Thursday, May 29, 2014

Turkey Burgers, Hold the Bun

Turkey Burgers, Hold the Bun... So don't get me wrong I love red meat and nothing can ever compare to a juicy beef burger. However, during the week, I like to try and cut out some calories and fat and carbs (the good stuff) when I can and so the best way to make a burger into a more healthful option is to swap the red meat for turkey and the bun for... well, nothing. So last night I grilled up some turkey burgers with cheddar along with some roasted brussels and baked sweet potato. It was easy and filling and totally Dahlish.

Pure joy cutting open a perfect avocado...

In the broiler to melt the cheddar

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Oven Roasted Dill Salmon

Oven Roasted Dill Salmon... After a fabulous week long vacation in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, I am finally back in the kitchen and feeling totally inspired by the warmer weather and the healthy options that become more exciting in the summer time. We ate a variety of great foods in Rio, but among some of the favorites were the beach side snacks... fresh coconut water, acai bowls, and boiled corn on the cob. Of course there were your heavier options (think doughy flaky empanadas) but through and through the Rio culture is concerned with physical appearance and good health. Morning, noon, and night you will find people of all ages and types running along the beach, participating in various boot camps in the sand, biking around the lake, or playing club volleyball. There are surfers galore and even weightlifting stations built into the rock plateaus overlooking the water - talk about a scenic way to pump iron.

Anyways, the trip was great and really kick started our excitement about healthful summer meals and snacks now that we are back in Summertime Chi. Last night's dinner was really simple but really Dahlicious. The technique I used not only kept the salmon incredibly moist and tender, but kept out any fishy smell from permeating into the condo. For those of you who don't have grills but hate that post roasting stench, this is a fabulous option.

On the Menu:
  • Oven Roasted Lemon Pepper Salmon with
    • Greek Yogurt Dill Sauce
    • Warm Quinoa Spinach Salad

First I got the sauce ready. To a small bowl I added the following ingredients and gave it a good mix. Then I set it aside (in the fridge if you want) until I was ready to serve.
  1. A few large spoonfuls of plain Greek yogurt
  2. Zest of about half a lemon
  3. A palm full of chopped fresh dill
  4. Juice from 1 lemon
  5. A palm full of grated cucumber
  6. A pinch of salt

While the oven was heating and I prepped the salmon. I lined a baking sheet with foil, and then laid out a second piece which would become the pouch in which my salmon would roast. Now here is where things get interesting. First, you lay down a layer of lettuce, just plain old romaine works perfectly. Then lay down a few slices of lemon, the salmon fillets, and drizzle with olive oil, and liberally sprinkle with lemon pepper. Cover the salmon with another layer of lettuce, seal up the foil pouch and roast at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

In the last 5 minutes that the salmon was in the oven I steamed up my favorite already cooked quinoa from Trader Joe's and tossed it with fresh baby spinach, grape seed oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper for a quick warm salad.

I served the salmon right over the quinoa and greens and added a dollop of the yummy dill sauce on top. It was super Dahlish but still felt fresh and healthful.

The lettuce is a really neat technique which helps lock int he moisture and simultaneously reduces the smell of fish in your home - definitely a home run for us!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Short Rib Stew

Short Rib Stew... As I continue my journey into the slow cooker world, I figured a staple like beef stew should really be something I master early on. My mom never really used a slow cooker, but her advice was to be super simple with one trick.. a can of condensed tomato soup.

On Sunday I grabbed an onion, three carrots and a few red potatoes as well as a can of that tomato soup she suggested and headed to the butcher for some stew meat. Turns out my only option was to either buy it in 5lb bulk or to find an alternative. Right above the stew meat was boneless short ribs which looked delectable so I grabbed them and went on my merry way.

I planned to let the stew slow cook all day on Wednesday but didn't want to deal with the chopping in the morning so I did it Tuesday night while I was making Tuesday's dinner. I put the roughly chopped onion, carrot, and potato in a large plastic bag along with two cloves of garlic and stuck it in the fridge until go time.

On Wednesday morning simply dumped my bag of veggies in the slow cooker, placed the short ribs on top then added a sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce, a can of condensed tomato soup, salt, pepper, and a couple bay leaves for good measure. I turned that bad boy onto low and that was that.

When I got home around 5 the meat was tender and easy to pull apart, the veggies were nicely cooked but not mushy, and the sauce was rich and tomatoey - a perfect stew broth. All in all it was super Dahlicious and so stinkin easy. If you are trying to please a meat and potato lover this is a really nice go to. I think this could be done almost just as easily in a dutch oven if you seared the meat and then cooked it low and slow in the oven for a few hours.

What I used:

  • 1 yellow onion
  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 large red potatoes
  • 1-1.5 lbs boneless short ribs or stew meat
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • A few sprinkles Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt, pepper, bay leaves

Chopped up the night before

In the morning, before setting it on low

On a side note, Tuesday's dinner was also super simple but a crowd pleaser for sure. I grabbed dough from my local Mariano's as well as a delectable canned pizza sauce (not thick or sweet, just right), some fresh mozzarella and prosciutto. While the pizza was bubbling away in the oven I tossed together a quick salad of arugula and freshly sliced fennel - for the dressing I whisked together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lime juice, lime zest, honey, salt and pepper. Super simple but super Dahlish and fresh and crunchy and a fabulous side to the decadent pizza. Hope everyone is having a wonderful week!