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Wow! We really don’t make enough fish. This recipe is amazing, and enough to convince me to stop being so scared of fish dishes and bring a little more into my life. Sometimes I feel like living in the northwest, I get a little burned out on all the salmon around here (crazy! I know!), but this recipe has just enough kick and is such a departure from the usual – it made me fall in love with salmon all over again. Plus, the avocado salsa here could be my new favorite topping. Seriously. This is fantastic, folks. Did I mention this is also paleo and whole30 friendly? I didn’t even realize it until after I’d already scarfed it all down.

grilled spiced salmon with avocado salsa

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa
via the cookie rookie 

2 lbs salmon, cut into 4 pieces
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika powder
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp ancho chili powder
1 tsp black pepper

for the Avocado salsa:
1 avocado, sliced
½ small red onion, sliced
Juice from 2 limes
2 tbs finely chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

Mix the salt, chili powder, cumin, paprika, onion and black pepper together, rub the salmon fillets with olive oil and this seasoning mix. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Pre-heat the grill. Combine the avocado, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a bowl and mix well, chill until ready to use. Grill the salmon to desired doneness (our took about 7-8 minutes). Top with avocado salsa and enjoy!

Last week I made this amazing soup. It was so bright and summery, and perfect on a night that was just a bit crisp. For fresh herbs, I only had parsley and a little bit of basil on hand, but it made for a fantastic pistou (the french version of a pesto), and with just a squeeze of lemon in each bowl, I was in love. And it was still fresh and delicious the next day after a quick zap in the microwave and a mix-in of the pistou and lemon at work. I forgot to take a picture of the masterpiece, but the original one is so gorgeous, I just had to share. After browsing a bit, I think Love and Lemons might be one of my new favorite food blogs. I didn’t even notice most of the recipes were vegetarian or vegan, everything just looks so good! Click through the link below for the full recipe!

soup au pistou

image via love and lemons

When I’m in a pinch for a meal, my go-to is often chicken with a mustard sauce. I usually have almost everything on hand, there are a million variations, and they always turn out just right. This version is perfectly tangy, but with the sweet creaminess of leeks. I love to serve this with a vegetable like broccoli and smother the whole plate with this amazing dijon sauce.

chicken-breasts-with-dijon

Chicken Dijon
via bon appetit

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
1 small onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced fresh thyme plus thyme leaves for garnish
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Heat oil in a large heavy Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place chicken in Dutch oven and cook until brown on both sides, 12-15 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
Place leeks and onion in same pot and sauté until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, wine, Dijon mustard, and minced thyme and bring to a simmer. Return chicken to pot. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
Transfer chicken to plates. Bring liquid in pot to a boil; cook until sauce is thickened and glossy, about 15 minutes. Whisk in butter and season with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken and garnish with thyme leaves.

For you non-paleo followers, don’t let the tag frighten you away – this dish is awesome! We’ve made it twice now, and I know it’s going to be a regular in our weeknight rotation. I love the substitution of broccoli slaw for noodles. It’s still hearty and delicious, and possibly more flavorful! The recipe below makes about 3 servings, and we’ll usually double it so there’s enough for leftovers.

paleo pad thai

Paleo Chicken Pad Thai
via the paleo mom

1 1/2 lbs chicken meat, cut into small 1” chunks
4-5 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil (more if you use breast meat, less if you use thigh meat)
5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsp Fish Sauce
1 Tbsp Coconut Aminos (or use 1 more Tbsp fish sauce, or soy sauce if you’re not paleo)
4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
½ Tbsp Coconut Vinegar (Apple Cider Vinegar would work too)
5 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
4-5 green onions, finely chopped
12oz package of broccoli slaw
2 medium carrots, cut into thin julienne strips

Heat a wok (or large saute pan) over medium-high heat. Add oil and garlic, cook about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Add fish sauce, coconut aminos, lime juice and vinegar. Cook at a rapid simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Add broccoli slaw and julienned carrot. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft but still firm, about 3-4 minutes. Toss or garnish with green onion and cilantro to serve.

 

I had a seriously craving for corn chowder this week. And a little extra kick! So I hit the produce stand, grabbed a couple of peppers and got to work. I also substituted cilantro for the traditional parsley, which I loved with the flavor of the peppers. It ended up not too spicy, but just with a bit of bite, so if you’re looking for a real kick, feel free to pile the peppers on!

corn chowder

Four Pepper Corn Chowder
adapted from food52

6 medium ears of corn
6 strips of bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 small onion, diced
1 medium poblano pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small celery rib, finely chopped
2 lbs yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 cups light cream, at room temperature
2 tablespoons cilantro, coarsely chopped
3 Tablespoons Corn Meal OR Masa
1/4 cup Water

Add bacon to a pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Cook for a few of minutes until it just starts to brown. Throw in the diced onion, poblano, jalapeño, bell pepper and celery and stir, cooking for 5 to 8 minutes. Add butter and melt. Add the potato and saute with the vegetables for an additional minute. Add the corn. Stir and pour in chicken broth and salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Pour in the cream. Combine cornmeal (or masa) with water. Stir to combine, then pour into the chowder. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. If chowder needs more thickening, add another tablespoon of cornmeal mixed with water. Cook for another ten minutes. Serve with crusty sourdough bread or even torilla chips!

The other day, one of my coworkers had shells & white cheese with peas mixed in, and I had this intense craving mixed with nostaglia that I knew I would need to satisfy. I was thinking about it for days before I stumbled across this great recipe – cauliflower is really the perfect substitution for those of us trying to cut down on the carbs (check out the cauliflower fried “rice” recipe too!). We served it with sauteed chicken to up the protein factor, and it was the perfect not-quite-paleo meal.

cauliflower pasta with peas and ricotta

Cauliflower “Pasta” with Peas & Ricotta
via the stonesoup

1/2 head cauliflower, chopped into tiny trees
250g (1/2 lb) frozen peas
1/2 bunch mint, leaves picked
250g (1/2 lb) ricotta
2 handfuls grated parmesan cheese
Freshly Ground Pepper

Bring a medium saucepan of salted water to the boil. Simmer cauliflower for 10 – 12 minutes, or until tender. Meanwhile, heat a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in another saucepan. Cook peas over a medium high heat for 5 – 8 minutes, or until peas are tender and starting to go a little wrinkly. Remove from the heat and stir through the mint. Drain the cauliflower and return the peas to the heat. Toss cauliflower in with the peas and add ricotta. Stir until ricotta is heated and coating everything. Taste & season.

Some nights I’m in for a big, complex meal. I love spending time in the kitchen, but it’s not always one of those nights. Sometimes we’re short on energy, but still want something homemade and delicious. On those nights I head over to Stonesoup; it’s full of simple, fresh, whole food recipes.
I love this recipe for it’s simplicity and it’s versatility. I’m thinking next time we might add brussels sprouts. We often toss whatever’s on hand in a baking pan and roast it in the oven for a hour, but this recipe has a great balance of flavors and is a perfect starting point for different combinations.

roasted sausage onions and butternut squash

Magic Sausage Supper
via stonesoup

1/2 butternut squash
2 medium onions, quartered lengthwise
1/2 teaspoon dried chili flakes
4 thick sausages (we used kielbasa)
1 small bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves picked

Preheat your oven to 350F. Halve the squash crosswise then chop into wedges. Place pumpkin, onion, chili and sausages in a roasting dish. Drizzle generously with olive oil. Roast for about an hour, stirring at the half way mark. It’s ready when everything is golden and tender. Serve with parsley leaves sprinkled over the top.

A belated post for Hanukkah! We hosted this year and I made latkes (with a corned beef main course). I love this latke recipe for the flavor boost from the chives and the extra crisp that the panko addition gives. Short on time and energy, I used a 2lb bag of frozen shredded hash browns instead of peeling and shredding potatoes and they turned out fabulous with a lot less work.
These turned out so great, I’m thinking about making latkes more of a regular thing. One of our favorite local restaurants serves them as a brunch side option and now I’m dreaming of these with a few perfectly poached eggs. Yum!

Food52

Golden Panko Latkes with Sour Cream and Chives
via food52

6 Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and grated (about 2 pounds)
[or a 2lb bag of frozen shredded hash browns]
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 to 1 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
4 tablespoons finely chopped chives, or more to taste (divided use)
2 eggs
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups panko breadcrumbs (extra crispy)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup canola oil

Mix the sour cream together with another tablespoon (or more to taste if you wish) of the finely chopped chives and refrigerate.
Wash, peel and (medium) grate Yukon gold potatoes. Squeeze and drain excess potato liquid once grated. If using frozen hashbrowns, start here. I found it them easier to work with once they had begun to thaw a bit. Add salt, white pepper, and 3 tablespoons of finely chopped chives. In a separate bowl beat 2 eggs till frothy. Add eggs and flour and mix thoroughly. Form into patties about 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick. Cover with panko breadcrumbs on each side.
Using a large skillet, heat oil which should cover the bottom of skillet and 1/2 way up the sides of the patties. Test first by dropping a teaspoon of mixture into hot oil. It should quickly fry but not so hot it burns (just like when making falafels). The secret is getting the oil to the correct frying temperature so as to flash cook the potatoes to crispy perfection on the outside but remain soft yet cooked on the inside. Once you’ve cooked the potato pancakes serve hot immediately along with the cold sour cream & chive mixture.

Mushrooms and marsala are always the perfect pairing. And Smitten Kitchen always does it perfectly. My obsession started with the Mushroom Bourguignon (favorite dish ever) and blossomed from there. I love the simple ingredients that play off each other so well here.

chicken and mushroom marsala

Chicken and Mushroom Marsala
via smitten kitchen

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, halved and sliced thin
3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced thin, any variety you like
1/2 cup dry Marsala
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves (optional, for garnish)

Pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large heavy skillet heat oil and 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking and brown chicken in 2 batches, transferring with tongs to a large plate as browned. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet and sauté onion and mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until liquid mushrooms give off is evaporated. Add Marsala and cook mixture, stirring, until Marsala is almost evaporated. Add broth and chicken with any juices that have accumulated on plate and simmer, turning chicken once, until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Transfer chicken with tongs to a platter.
Simmer mushroom sauce until liquid is reduced to about 1/2 cup. Remove skillet from heat and stir in remaining 2 tablespoons butter and salt and pepper to taste, stirring until butter is just incorporated. Spoon mushroom sauce around chicken and sprinkle with parsley.

A protein plus a vegetable and a sauce equals the perfect easy dinner for any night. And pesto is always a pleaser. It’s been so long since I had green beans, and pesto was a wonderful and unexpected pairing. This spinach version has such a lovely flavor, I had to smear it all over the pork chops too. The best part? Husband did all the prep and I just had to throw the chops on when I walked in the door. Just lovely.

Oven Roasted Pork Chops and Green Beans with Spinach Pesto

Oven Roasted Pork Chops and Green Beans with Spinach Pesto
via paleo foodie kitchen

6 center cut boneless pork chops
1 lb green beans, trimmed
1 bag baby spinach
¼ cup sliced raw almonds
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp aleppo pepper (or 1 part cayenne, 4 parts paprika substitution)
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350F on convect roast setting.
Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Place on a wire rack on top of a foil lined sheet and roast for 5-6 minutes depending on thickness. Remove from oven and set aside.
Make pesto by combining baby spinach, sliced raw almond, extra virgin olive oil, garlic, aleppo pepper, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until smooth.
Steam green beans until just crisp and toss with pesto sauce.