Friday, June 28, 2013

Sriracha Salmon & Mint Lime Lentils

Sriracha Salmon & Mint Lime Lentils... I make a lot of salmon and veggies, and occasionally I throw lentils in there. This was a similar dish to one I make often but with a slight twist.

The lentils are already cooked and are a great addition to any meal - I get them at TJ's and couldn't be a bigger fan. You can heat them up or use them cold in a salad. For this particular meal I heated them up, added a tiny drizzle of grape seed oil, a big squeeze of lime, and a few chopped up mint leaves.

This accompanied a bunch of roasted brussels which were smokey and crispy and salmon marinated in lime, lemon pepper, and a quick little drizzle of sriracha to heat it up!

It was so easy and Dahlicious. The brussels go in the oven at 375 for ~45 minutes and the Salmon goes in there with the Brussels for the last 15 minutes that they cook.

The lentils take ~3 minutes to heat up, then tossing them with the mint and lime just takes a second right before serving.

The next night I made a low cal version of spaghetti and meatballs.. aka spaghetti squash and shrimp - I can't say this is a perfect replacement, but it satisfied a certain craving and I felt extremely light even after downing a pretty generous portion!

Dahlicious Lunch: Arugula Chopped Salad

Dahlicious Lunch: Arugula Chopped Salad... Nothin fancy here but it's what I brought a couple days this week for lunch.

Bed of arugula with a heaping scoop of edamame and a ton of chopped veggies. I went with some pretty organic carrots and radishes that I grabbed on Sunday. Paired that with a little Persian cucumber and finally some roasted yellow bell peppers. The peppers added a great sweet/cooked texture and flavor that was definitely the show stopped. I also added some fresh mozz - those little tiny balls just cut up into halves or quarter.

Quick and easy and Dahlicious and healthful. I added a little grape seed oil and vinegar and it was perfection.

Enjoy this colorful lunch inspiration!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Dahlicious Lunches: Roasted Chicken

Dahlicious Lunches: Roasted Chicken... I've gotten in a rut of using sliced turkey as my go-to the past few months for my main lunch protein. It's easy and good and healthful bla bla bla. But this week I went in a TOTALLY different direction. Get this.. instead of turkey... I brought... chicken! I know I know, white meat is white meat - but the slight change has been refreshing. This week when I got to the grocery store it was Monday after work (I'd been traveling all weekend) and the things I grabbed were a real hodge podge. I had a hard time even processing the things I needed for a proper lunch. I didn't feel like waiting in the deli line for turkey and was getting antsy when all of the sudden I noticed the hot little section of roasted chickens. Perfect. I love roasted chicken. I figured this would be a good easy alternative and would be much faster than waiting in the deli line.

When I got home I promptly removed the chicken from the handy dandy carrying pack and got to work. I cut off the legs and cut right down the breast. Then I mostly used my hands to shred up every last morsel I could. Of course I had to do a couple of taste tests - 1) to make sure it was good enough 2) because I knew that that chickie was never going to taste better than right then and there while it was still warm and juicy. I had to.

Once I had my large pile of shredded chicken I divided it evenly into 3 containers - Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Friday is a half day so I can figure out a more interesting lunch.

To go with my shredded roasted chicken, on Tuesday I brought a small salad of little yellow tomatoes and fresh mozz with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Along with this I brought 2 brown rice rice cakes and a fruit leather.

Today, Wednesday, I paired my chicken with leftover veggies from dinner - roasted cauliflower and sauteed snap peas. All in all I think it will be a Dahlish lunch!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Shrimp & Cauliflower - Low Cal Version of Mashed Potatoes & Gravy

Shrimp & Cauliflower - Low Cal Version of Mashed Potatoes & Gravy.... I tend to find that Cauliflower is a miracle worker and the absolute best way to trick yourself into feeling like you are consuming gluttonous carbs when in fact... YOU AREN'T!

I make roasted cauliflower once a week at least, generally just chopping into bite sized florets and roasting with olive oil until golden brown then I toss the morsels in a Biryani spice blend. I'm salivating.

This week though I tried something I had been wanting to try for quite some time. I made mashed cauliflower. I know, pretty simple, nothing you haven't already seen on Pinterest, but I'm here to confirm it is easy and Dahlicious.

The meal started out a little unsure of itself, but I quickly decided that if I was going to imitate mashed potatoes, I better go ahead and imitate the gravy. I will warn that this version does call for a teeny tiny butter and a wee bit of flour.. but you could forgo those things if you were being good - or you could just accept that this is clearly better for you than mashed potatoes and gravy and pot roast and just enjoy the butter and flour. Your pick.

What I used:

  • A dozen large shrimp
  • Tablespoon or so of flour
  • 1-2 cloves of crushed garlic
  • White Wine (1/2 cup or so)
  • Juice of 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock (eye ball it)
  • 1 Head of Cauliflower (this fed two people very generously)
  • 1 Little pad of butter 
  • 1 Bag of spinach (which really diminished and looks sadly small on my finished plate, don't judge)

The Shrimp:
I cleaned and deveined and butterflied my shrimp, then I gave them a quick toss in the flour so they were lightly coated and threw them in a hot saute pan with a liberal pour of olive oil. I got these guys nice and golden brown on both sides and promptly removed them after a few minutes of cooking to a plate off to the side.

I added my garlic to the saute pan and let it simmer for a minute with the heat down to medium. Then I slowly added the white wine, chicken stock, and lemon in small amounts of each letting it reduce into a nice lemony gravy. The excess flour and little bits of shrimp that get stuck in the pan will be de-glazed with the newly added liquid and will form the gravy. Let that keep cooking. Keep stirring over medium/low heat and add liquid as you desire. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss the shrimp back in right before serving.

The Cauliflower:
I cut the head into little bite sized pieces (the smaller the better but not so small that you can't drain it.) Next steam the florets. I used the super duper lazy way and placed them in a big glass bowl, filled it 1/3 of the way with hot water, covered the top with plastic wrap and popped it in the microwave for 5 minutes. Voila.
You can steam any way your heart desires. Once they're steamed all the way through and fork tender, drain all of the water out. Add a splash of chicken stock and a little drizzle of olive oil along with some salt and pepper and use an emulsion blender to mash them thoroughly. You could also use a blender or food processor but I happen to like my hand held one so that's what I used. After it was nicely smashed/pureed I added a tiny bit of butter for richness and gave it one big stir. You can surely taste test and add more seasoning etc if needed.

I served this dinner as a heaping portion of mashed cauliflower with a scant side of lemony sauteed spinach and a big ole scoop of shrimp and gravy over top! It was so Dahlish I will be repeating this one very soon.

Just to give you an idea of HOW much better it is to eat cauliflower:

A cup of steamed/boiled cauliflower is only about 80 calories and 7 carbs. A cup of steamed/boiled  potatoes is about 166 calories and 32 carbs. Major calorie/carb saver. Try it!


Dahlicious Lunch: Roast Beef & Fresh Mozz Sando

Dahlicious Lunch: Roast Beef & Fresh Mozz Sando... So here is a little sandwich combo I came up with for work yesterday and it was SO tasty. I really just used random things as I went along but it was simple and perfect. At the store this week I grabbed a loaf of Ezekiel bread - I try not to eat too many carbs during the day at work but occasionally Ill spring for a sandwich and when I do it's always on Ezekiel bread. It is great to use if you are making it the night before because it is a pretty dense/stiff bread which holds up well overnight and becomes just a tiny bit soft the next day - but not soggy in the least.

Here is what I used:
2 Slices of Ezekiel bread - very very lightly toasted
Mayo (a squeeze... maybe table spoon??)
Grainy mustard (even quantity to the mayo I'd say)
Little pinch of horseradish (dime sized scoop)
4 slices of Roast Beef
1 Large ball of fresh mozz - cut into 4 slices
4-5 Large spinach leaves

Super simple. In a small bowl mix your mayo, mustard, and horseradish to get a Dahlicious spread for your bread. Liberally apply it to be slices.

Next add your roast beef....

Then your mozz and spinach....

And voila! Easy Peasy! I also brought a side of carrots and hummus as well as an unsweetened applesauce. It was perfect.

Today I packed a pretty standard lunch of sliced turkey, tomato/mozz salad with balsamic and again the unsweetened applesauce. Anywho - hope these ideas help inspire you to get creative with your lunches!