Fiery beef with cashews

This recipe is one that everyone enjoys. I like the fact that I can make the marinade the night before and then skewer the next night for Keith to grill (making it a good option for days when I commute to my office.) Keith and Samantha like the fact that it has a little heat. I like the fact that they both enjoy it!

Spicy beef

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 TB minced ginger
  • 1 stalk lemongrass chopped or 1 tsp dried lemongrass
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
  • 1 TB soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 flank steak, sliced diagonally across the grain into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 TB chopped cashews
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped

Mix all ingredients except flank steak and then toss with flank steak slices.  Marinate overnight. Skewer the beef and grill a few minutes on each side (or broil) and serve over rice with some chopped scallions and a few chopped cashews. 

Quick dinner

Keith has a 7:00 event this evening so I knew we wanted dinner on the table by 6:15. Since he’ll be active, I thought he would like something on the light side. This salmon served with grilled asparagus was just the thing.

Salmon

  • 6 oz salmon fillet per person, skin removed and brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 TB white wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 TB minced dill
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp capers

Combine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, dill, honey and salt and pepper in a blender.  Slowly add oil with the motor running so it emulsifies.  Add capers.  Preheat grill and cook for about 8 minutes total.  Remove from heat and top with sauce.  The asparagus was tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper and grilled for about 6 minutes.

Keith’s choice

I handed the salad cookbook to Keith and he picked this tuna and slaw.  I’ve made it before and adapted from the cookbook version.  In the current climate, we have to be flexible with substitutions at the store – there was no Napa cabbage so I substituted a bag of coleslaw mix.  It worked fine.  Again, Keith opted to have his tuna marinated in teriyaki sauce while I had mine brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper.  Samantha chose chicken tenders as her protein.

Seared Tuna and slaw

  • 1 head Napa cabbage thinly sliced (or one package coleslaw mix)
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 TB mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 TB low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
  • 4 TB canola oil
  • 2 TB sesame oil
  • 3/4 lb tuna steaks
  • additional canola oil for searing

Combine cabbage and scallions in a large bowl.  Whisk together vinegar, mayonnaise, mustard, soy sauce and ginger.  Combine oils in a measuring cup and whisk into vinegar mixture, pouring slowly and steadily.  Toss dressing with cabbage and scallions.

Season tuna with salt and pepper.  Heat a non-stick skillet over medium high heat and add about 1 TB canola oil.  When oil is hot, sear  tuna about 2 – 3 minutes per side.  Remove from heat and slice.  Alternatively, grill for 2 minutes a side.  (That is what we did.)

Place slaw on plate and top with sliced tuna.

tuna and slaw

Lemon salmon with watercress salad

I modified a recipe from a cookbook that is all salad recipes.  I loved the idea of salmon with watercress.  The recipe called for sprinkling salt in a heavy pan and then putting the salmon on top of the salt to sear it.  (It wasn’t a lot of salt.)  I was really worried about the salmon sticking so I took a different direction.  It was good but not our favorite.

Lemon salmon

For salad:

  • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 shallot minced
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 package watercress

Combine lemon juice and shallot.  Let sit for 30 minutes and then gradually whisk in olive oil.  Toss with watercress.

For salmon

  • 1 6 oz salmon filet per person, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 1 TB canola oil
  • 2 – 4 TB lemon juice
  • 1 – 2 TB white wine

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add canola oil.  When hot, add salmon and sear 2 minutes per side.  pour 1/2 of lemon juice over salmon, cover and cook for 3 minutes.  Pour remaining lemon juice and wine over salmon, cover and cook for 3 more minutes.

Place serving of salad on each plate and top with salmon.  It looks pretty!

salmon salad

Family favorites

My husband loves takeout Chinese food and one of his favorites is Kung Pao Chicken.  This variation with shrimp takes a little bit of time to prep but then the cooking is quick. I even pulled out my Asian plates!

Kung Pao Shrimp

  • 3/4 cup chicken stock or broth
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 TB low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 TB honey
  • 1 TB chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 TB cornstarch
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsps canola oil
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 chopped scallions
  • 2 TB minced ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 can bamboo shoots, drained
  • 1/4 cup peanuts

Combine chicken stock, sake, soy sauce, honey, chili-garlic sauce, cornsatrch and sesame oil in a measuring cup or bowl.

Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Swirl in canola oil and when hot, stir-fry shrimp until pink (about 3 minutes).  Remove shrimp and keep warm on a plate.  Add scallions, ginger and garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds.  Add broccoli and bamboo shoots until tender, 2-3 minutes.  Add broth mixture and shrimp and cook until thick, about 1 minute.  Add peanuts and serve over rice.

kung pao shrimp

Healthy salmon

I’m trying to make sure that we are eating some healthy dinners – it’s so easy to fall into comfort food in January.  It would have been especially tempting yesterday when it snowed.  The recipe I based this on called for grilling it outside but I certainly wasn’t going to make Keith stand out in the snow.  Actually I think the grill pan worked better anyway.

Grilled salmon with lemon vinaigrette and roasted asparagus

Salmon

  • 6 oz salmon fillet per person, skin removed and brushed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 TB white wine vinegar
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 TB minced dill
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp capers

Combine vinegar, lemon juice and zest, dill, honey and salt and pepper in a blender.  Slowly add oil with the motor running so it emulsifies.  Add capers.  Heat a grill pan on you stove top over medium high heat.  Grill salmon 6- 7 minutes a side.  Remove from heat and top with sauce.  I served with roasted asparagus (tossed asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and roasted in the toaster oven at 400 for 10 minutes.)

salmon

A new entree salad for Spring

I have a fairly new salad cookbook and was looking through it for inspiration.  I found an entree salad that screamed spring – it included asparagus and smoked salmon.  These are two things we love and two things that feel springy.  I tweaked it a bit and served it for dinner.  A definite hit and do-over!

Smoked salmon and asparagus salad

  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 TB white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 TB minced tarragon
  • 1 package salad greens of your choice
  • asparagus (tough ends broken off and blanched in salted water for 2 – 3 minutes, then chilled)
  • 1/2 lb smoked salmon
  • 1 shallot thinly sliced

Whisk together half and half, vinegar, lemon juice and tarragon.  (Cream will curdle and thicken.)  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Top each plate with greens and asparagus.  Spread smoked salmon across veggies and top with shallot.  Pour dressing over salad and serve.

Delicious!

 

Spinach salad with grilled salmon

Tonight was healthy eating night – spinach salad with grilled salmon.  I cooked the salmon on the stove on a grill pan.  It definitely helps to cover the salmon with a pan lid.  This salad is very adaptable and can easily incorporate leftovers or favorite elements (olives, nuts, other veggies, etc.)

Spinach salad with salmon

  • baby spinach
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 3 TB olive oil (I used some flavored olive oil)
  • 1 TB white wine vinegar
  • salmon fillet (about 6 oz per person)
  • pine nuts
  • goat cheese

Combine the shallot, olive oil and vinegar in a jar and shake to combine.  Brush salmon with olive oil and cook on a grill pan over medium heat about 5 minutes per side covered.  (I started with the skin side up).  Put spinach on plates and pour dressing over spinach.  Heat goat cheese in a hot oven for 3 – 4 minutes until warm but not melted and toast pine nuts.  Top dressed spinach with pine nuts, warm goat cheese and cooked salmon (and whatever else you like – we had the leftover garlic smashed potatoes on the side).

IMG_3029

Healthy eating

Tonight we had a spicy marinated flank steak, sliced thin, skewered and grilled.  When you are trying to use less fattening ingredients, adding lots of spice can really help.  Keith loved it and there is enough leftover for his lunch tomorrow.

Thai syle grilled spicy flank steak

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 TB fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 TB chopped fresh lemongrass or 1 tsp dried
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced (leave out seeds and wear gloves when handling)
  • 1 TB low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 lb flank steak, diagonally across the grain into thin slices
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 TB cashews, chopped

Combine honey, onion, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, jalapeno, soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil.  Pour over flank steak and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight.

Skewer steak strips and grill – about 5 – 6 minutes.  Serve over rice topped with scallions and cashews.

Thai style grilled steak

Thai style grilled steak

Back to reality

The last week and a half has included dinner out for Samantha’s birthday, Samantha’s party with cake, a few other meals eaten out and our neighbor party.  Add all of those together and I’m up one and a half pounds.  Not a lot, but I know how hard it is to lose.  So I planned a very healthy dinner tonight to get us back on track:

Grilled scallop salad

  • Romaine lettuce, washed and dried
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 3 TB mint leaves, torn
  • 1/2 seedless cucumber, washed and cut in half lengthwise and brushed with olive oil
  • 3 scallops per person, brushed with olive oil
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced

Whisk together olive oil, lime juice and mint leaves.  Toss with romaine lettuce in a large bowl.  You can either grill the cucumber or include it uncooked.  Grill the scallops on a grill pan over the stove, about 3 minutes per side.  Chop cucumber and add to lettuce mixture.

Divide lettuce mixture between plates.  Top with sliced avocado and seared scallops.   The finished product:

Salad with grilled scallops