Tag Archives: entrees

Toasted Millet with Mizuna, Kale and Sausage

Not a pretty dish but really good! Looks aren't everything people!

Not a pretty dish but really good! Looks aren’t everything people!

You guys are going to think I eat sausage every day.  It seems like that sometimes because my favorite meals are the ones that include it! Haha! In all seriousness, we get quite a few pounds of organic sausage from well cared for pigs from our local CSA every season and since it cooks up fast and defrosts quickly, I sometimes use it up faster than I do the other meats we get out of sheer convenience.  Rest assured, I am not eating sausage 5 days a week, though John would tell you I would totally do it if it was possible and / or good for me.

While there is nothing mind blowing about this recipe (it contains only 6 ingredients-not counting salt and pepper), we really enjoyed it so I thought I’d share – especially because it’s so simple.  I’m constantly looking to remind clients (and everyone else in the world) that eating well doesn’t have to mean long laborious processes or a long list of expensive ingredients.  A few simple high quality ingredients are all you really need and truly doesn’t take much time or energy to prepare.

Oh, and if you can find mizuna at your local store or farm (I get it – we just received a lot of it this summer and fall so that’s why I’m using it in recipes), try arugula.  Mizuna is a tiny bit spicy (but not as spicy as arugula or mustard greens) and can be eaten raw or cooked.   Really, any green that cooks quickly can be used here.

This makes 4 servings.

Ingredients
1 lb spicy italian sausage, casings removed
1 cup uncooked millet*
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 big bunch mizuna, washed and roughly chopped*
2 cups kale or swiss chard, washed, ribs removed and chopped
sea salt & black pepper to taste

Directions
Start by toasting your millet.  Millet doesn’t have to be toasted to be eaten but it certainly tastes better when you do!  Spread 1 cup of uncooked millet in a large skillet and heat to low medium heat.  Gently “cook” the millet for 5 minutes or so (I feel like this depends on your stove top – if you have gas, this will take less time.  If you have a ridiculously slow glass electric top like me, you could be here for a bit!), shaking the pan or stirring with a wooden spoon to make sure all grains are gently toasted.  The color will turn slightly more golden and it might start to smell like popcorn.  This is when you want to take it off the heat.

Toasted and cooked millet

Toasted and cooked millet

To cook the millet, heat 2 cups of water in a medium sized pot, add the millet (careful not to burn yourself as I did this particular night – oops), a tiny pinch of salt and bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce to a simmer, cooking for 15 minutes.  Turn off the heat and let the millet sit in the covered pot until you are ready to serve.

While the millet is cooking, heat 1 tbsp coconut oil in a large skillet (fine to use the one you toasted the millet in) and when it’s melted and the pan is hot, add the casing free sausage.  Cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go.  Once the sausage is cooked through, add in the diced red onion, mizuna and kale and cook until the onion is softened and fragrant (about 5-7 minutes).  Season with sea salt and pepper to taste and serve over the toasted millet.

That’s all there is to it!  I served it with a dollop of pesto on the side but it wasn’t necessary by any means (but pesto would be a great accompaniment if you felt you needed one because it goes great with everything).

*If you have hypothyroidism, skip the millet and use quinoa or another grain.  Millet has goitrogenic properties and while contains many valuable nutrients is not a good fit for those with thyroid issues.
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Warm Spinach Salad with Mushrooms, Bacon and Cider Honey Dressing

Bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon!

Bacon bacon bacon bacon bacon!

Who said you can’t eat salads in colder weather? This warm spinach salad is exactly what you need to eat when you want to eat a salad but it’s also cold enough to put the heat on.

Back in the day when I was a bar hopping mad woman living in Portsmouth, my friends and I spent most Sunday’s at Molly Malones for several hours of brunch and cocktails. They had this great warm spinach salad with hard boiled eggs and mushrooms and at the time (many years ago), I had never had anything like it.  A warm salad? That’s crazy talk! Well, since then, I’ve seen and had many versions of that same salad at other restaurants and often make it at home.  It’s so delicious you forget that you’re eating a salad! I’m sure there are hundreds of versions of this salad on the internet but this is how I do it when I’m in the mood for a salad from a restaurant that no longer exists.  So good and super filling! This is a salad that will keep you going and it’s an awesome way to sneak in veggies for people who don’t like them (because bacon)!

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients
7 to 9 oz container of Organic Baby Spinach
4 Hard boiled eggs, peeled and sliced
16 oz white button or portobello mushrooms, sliced
8 oz Nitrite Free Bacon (organic if you can get it), cooked & chopped
1 large vidalia or red onion, cut in half, then sliced thinly
1 tbsp coconut oil, pastured butter or olive oil
optional: 1 bunch lightly steamed broccoli (I like to toss in extra veggies!)

Dressing
3 tbsp honey
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 large shallot, finely minced (or 2 tbsp of onion)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
(you can add  thickener like corn starch at the end of the cooking process if you want but it’s unnecessary – if concerned about gluten free eating, double check the brand you use.)

Directions
Cook your mushrooms and sliced onions in a tbsp of coconut oil or butter until onions are soft and mushrooms browned.  Season them with salt and pepper to taste.

Remove the mushrooms and onions from the pan and make the dressing by adding the minced shallot, honey and cider vinegar to the same pan.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallot is soft and some of the liquid reduces, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour the mixture (carefully) into a small bowl and whisk in the dijon mustard until well blended, then whisk in the olive oil slowly until everything is well combined.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the spinach, mushrooms, onions, broccoli if using, hard boiled eggs, and bacon among 4 plates.  Top with a little of the warm dressing and serve immediately (then wish you had made enough for seconds!).
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Easy Roast Chicken with Root Vegetables

Simple Roasted chicken with root vegetables.

Simple Roasted chicken with root vegetables.

One of my favorite cold weather go-to dinners is a whole roasted chicken.  You just need a couple of minutes to get it ready for the oven and then you can sit back and relax while it cooks!  Cook it with some veggies all in the same pan and all you’ll have to do when it comes out of the oven is slice it without burning yourself! Plus, if you use an organic, pasture-raised (and hopefully local) bird, you can also save the carcass to make homemade chicken broth afterwards. Probably the best thing ever for keeping us healthy in the winter!

I used to be really intimidated by cooking whole chickens (or any other roast).  All the recipes I’d see on TV or online all seemed so complicated.  They all had me believing you had to truss it up with kitchen twine, stuff it or don’t stuff it, put herbs under the skin and aromatics in the cavity, and rub various fats and seasonings on the skin.  Jeez! Can’t I just cook the darn thing?? It seemed like way too many ways for things to go wrong and too many steps that may not matter all that much in the end result.

This is a simple recipe.  No fuss. No truss!!  Does trussing and all that junk make for a more flavorful or tender bird? Probably. But I’ve never had anyone turn up their nose or say that the meat from my bird was too dry or that it was not flavorful.  There are some things in life I can’t be bothered with and tying up a dead bird before I cook it’s carcass for an hour and half is one of them.  It’s not like it’s going to try to escape. Maybe for a special occasion you want to go the extra mile and make a fancy bird, but some of us just want to get dinner on the table on a Wednesday night without wrestling with poultry.

Cook it with some veggies all in the same pan and all you’ll have to do when it comes out of the oven is slice it without burning yourself! Plus, if you use an organic, pasture-raised (and hopefully local) bird, you can also save the carcass to make homemade chicken broth afterwards. Probably the best thing ever for keeping us healthy in the winter!

This recipe takes 90 minutes to cook.  I realize that is an asinine amount of time to make dinner for the average day of the week so there are a few options for this:
1. Make it on the weekend.
2. Make it AFTER dinner one night and eat it the next evening. It reheats beautifully.
3. Chop the veggies & prepare the chicken etc the night before, store in the fridge and pop in the oven as soon as you get home.  It’s hands free for 90 minutes so you can get lots of other things done, like your work out, laundry or helping kids out with homework.

Feel free to swap out these particular root veggies for other winter vegetables that you may have on hand or prefer.  Parsnips, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts and winter squashes all work well too!

This makes 4 servings.

Ingredients
5 lb whole organic chicken, giblets removed
optional: 1 head of garlic, top sliced off (to expose cloves)
2 medium beets, peeled, cut into 1.5 inch chunks
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed, cut into 2 inch chunks
1 onion, peeled, cut in half and each half cut into thirds
2 large carrots, peeled, sliced into 2 inch lengths
1 turnip or rutabaga, peeled, cut into 2 inch or so chunks
1.5 cups roughly chopped dandelion greens, tatsoi, mizuna or baby spinach
1 tbsps olive oil, melted coconut oil or pasture butter
sea salt & pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Toss the beets, potatoes, onion, carrots and turnip/rutabaga with the olive oil or coconut oil in a large roasting pan (if you care about presentation, you may want to toss the beets separately as they will coat everything red!).  The pan needs to be large enough to accommodate both a 5lb bird and all the vegetables at the same time.  I use one that is large enough for roasting a 20 lb turkey.  Sprinkle sea salt and black pepper on the vegetables.

Salt and pepper the inside cavity of the bird and if using the garlic, insert inside.  The garlic will add some flavor to the veggies and to the chicken but not so much that it’s absolutely necessary.  It WILL make your house smell amazing and make you hungry. Just a warning.

Make a bit of a well in the center of the roasting pan by moving the veggies towards the sides of the pan and insert the chicken in to the well. Liberally salt the skin of the bird (especially if you plan to eat it).  There is no need to add oil or butter to the skin (for this recipe anyway!).

Cook the chicken and vegetables for 90 minutes or until the juices in the thigh run clear when you insert a knife into the thickest part of the thigh.  Normally, I don’t need to do anything at all while this meal cooks (except maybe enjoy a glass of wine) but once in awhile you get a bird that doesn’t seem to release much liquid.  If that happens, you’ll start to smell burning (usually from the most sugary of veggies in your roast).  To fix that, give the veggies a gentle stir and add a few tablespoons of water or stock to the pan and continue cooking as normal.  A little browning adds delicious flavor – no one wants burnt vegetables though.

Going back to inserting a knife into a thigh to see if juices run clear . . .if you are wary of this as a gage of “doneness”, insert an instant read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh for a reading of 160 degrees.  Remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before cutting.  The temperature gage will continue to rise and letting the bird sit before cutting will help it to retain juices.

After 15 minutes, remove the bird from the pan and carve for serving.  Stir the greens (mizuna, tatsoi, baby spinach etc) into the roasted root vegetables (in all the delicious chicken juices, fat and gelatin – don’t be grossed out, that’s good stuff!). They will wilt somewhat but should remain vibrantly green. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Serve the chicken and veggies with a dollop of dijon mustard on the side for the chicken (at least that’s how I like it lately!).

Lemon, Asparagus & Spinach Risotto (Cheese Free)

Creamy cheese-free risotto!

Creamy cheese-free risotto!

I love risotto. I remember being so intimidated by it when I first learned to cook.  Having to stand in front of a stove stirring constantly for 30 minutes just seemed like too much of an opportunity for my ADD to screw it up but I eventually gave it shot and it really wasn’t as bad as people made it out to be.  The key is maintaining a constant temp (not too high, not too low) and stirring relatively regularly while it absorbs the liquid (but not constantly).  I’ve made a lot of different risottos over the years and most of them were drowning in parmesan reggiano, mascarpone or pecorino in addition to whatever other deliciousness (pancetta! butternut squash! fried sage!) I put in there.  I wanted to make it a little less of an indulgence and more of a regular day meal so I made a few tweaks to the traditional recipes I’ve made.  This one has no cheese, I’ve swapped out some of the arborio rice for brown rice, and I’ve included a couple servings of veggies but make no doubt about it – this is still a delicious and indulgent tasting dish!

Risotto is usually made with a high starch rice like Arborio, because the starch content lends itself to creaminess when cooked slowly with liquid.  But the problem with most rice that is right for risotto is that they are stripped of the whole grain (otherwise making risotto would take hours!) and when you eat them they can spike your blood sugar just like white rice.  No bueno.  To counter that (a little), I decided to use 1/2 arborio and 1/2 brown rice for this batch. It makes a difference!

Note about substitutions: This can easily be made vegan by opting for vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth and using coconut oil or olive oil in place of the butter (though I would opt for extra virgin olive oil for the 2 tbsp of butter stirred in at the end – more flavor!).  This can also easily be alcohol free.  The wine is just for flavor.  You can omit it and add in a little extra lemon juice at the end or a dash of your favorite vinegar to brighten the flavor.

This makes 6 side dish servings or 4 main course servings (though I would add protein to serve this as a main dish).

Lemon zest.

Lemon zest.

Ingredients
3/4 cup arborio rice
3/4 cup brown, wild or japonica rice (any whole grain rice of your choosing!)
5 – 6 cups low sodium organic chicken broth
1 onion, diced
3 tbsp unsalted pasture butter
1 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup white wine (I’ve even used vermouth in a pinch)
1 bunch asparagus, ends snapped off, then stalks cut into 1 inch pieces
2 -3 cups baby spinach
1 – 2 organic lemons, zested and juice reserved
dried or fresh parsley – your call as to how much (I love it so I use a lot!).
sea salt & black pepper

Directions
You’ll need 3 sauce pans or dutch ovens for this recipe. I honestly believe (now) that risotto isn’t that complicated but I do recommend reading through the entire recipe before starting so that you have an idea of what is coming next while you are cooking.

Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and turn heat to medium-low. In another saucepan or dutch oven, begin cooking your brown or wild rice according to the package directions (or if you’re me, just pour a few cups of water in a pan, boil and add rice).  You will only cook the whole grain rice for half it’s normal cooking time (so if it requires 45 minutes to cook, you will cook it for 22-23 minutes.  When you’ve cooked the wild rice for the allotted time, drain if necessary.

In another saucepan, (while the whole grain rice cooks), melt 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until it softens. Add the arborio rice and stir well to coat the rice with the pan liquids. When it’s well coated add the wine to the pan. Stir and let it cook until it’s mostly absorbed. Once the wine is mostly absorbed, add a small ladle of hot stock to the rice and stir. It should be absorbed into the rice in about 2 minutes. Continue adding small ladles full of stock to the rice, one at a time, stirring occasionally and allowing it to completely absorb into the rice before adding another.

Do this until the stock is gone (20 – 25 minutes). Note: You may have to turn your heat up or down a little to make the liquid absorb at the right speed.  Add in the whole grain rice when it’s cooked at it’s halfway mark – usually after the first couple of ladles of stock have been added to the risotto so that the arborio and whole grain rice finish cooking together.

Co

Coating the arborio rice with pan liquids.

When you are on your last ladle or two of chicken stock, add in the asparagus and allow it to “cook” with the rice.  One the liquid is absorbed, turn the heat down, add in your lemon juice, lemon zest, baby spinach, parsley, salt and black pepper.  Stir until the spinach wilts and then stir in the remaining 2 tbsps of butter. Taste to adjust seasoning if needed and serve!

This is a great base for risotto – meaning you can change this really easily by adding herbs, or by swapping out the vegetables for different ones.  You can skip lemon juice & zest and see if you like a less tangy flavor! So many options.  Enjoy!

Wilting the spinach at the end of cooking.

Wilting the spinach at the end of cooking.

I like to add sliced smoked sausage or pan seared wild sea scallops to mine. Yum!

I like to add sliced smoked sausage or pan seared wild sea scallops to mine. Yum!

Mix and Match Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd's Pie (topped with Butternut Squash!)

Shepherd’s Pie (topped with Butternut Squash!)

Growing up, we had Shepherd’s Pie quite a bit! In our house, it was essentially leftover mashed potatoes, frozen or canned corn and ground beef all baked in a dish together.  To be honest, I did not love it.

But now as an adult, I realize that was my mom’s way of using up leftovers and she didn’t get fancy with ingredients because she had 5 kids and at least one of us at any given time was a picky eater.

While I didn’t love the combo of plain beef and corn, I do see the appeal of a one pot dish and a form of Shepherd’s Pie appears in our house at least a couple times a month.  I like to call it Mix and Match Shepherd’s Pie.  It’s essentially one part protein, one part assorted cooked vegetables, a little tomato paste, worcestershire and appropriate spices, topped with mashed root vegetable or starch of your choice. This is not really a recipe, but more a loose formula, so go crazy if you like.  It’s a phenomenal way to use up leftovers, it’s full of comfort food, and it’s comprised of whole foods . . .what’s not to like?

The options are endless – almost anything you’ve got in your fridge can work here! I’ve made some really crazy combinations and so far neither John or I have turned up our noses at the result.  When you can’t think of anything to make – make this! The amount of nutrients you can pack into it are endless!

sausage, bell peppers, spinach, celery, onions and who the heck remembers what else! Filling for Shepherd's Pie!

sausage, bell peppers, spinach and who the heck remembers what else! Filling for Shepherd’s Pie!

Ingredients
16 – 20 oz protein of choice: try ground turkey, beef, lamb or pork, or sausages (casings removed), thinly sliced chicken breasts or canned beans.

3-4 cups leftover mashed root or starch: try potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, acorn squash, celeriac, turnip, rutabaga, kabocha squash or cooked polenta.  (If I don’t have leftovers, I boil and mash and then stir in 2 tbsp pasture butter or coconut oil to my starch/roots, plus salt and pepper. I usually will leave potato & sweet potato skins on)

3 cups chopped mixed vegetables of your choice: try mushrooms, broccoli, kale, dandelion greens, bell peppers, carrots, peas, zucchini, mizuna, cabbage etc.

1 cup diced onion or thinly sliced leeks
1 tbsp pasture butter, olive oil or coconut oil
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp dried herbs (one or two): try ground sage, savory, basil, oregano, thyme, tarragon, marjoram, dill
optional: 1/2 tsp garlic powder, onion powder or smoked paprika
sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions
Heat a large saute pan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp of coconut or olive oil (or butter) and saute 3 cups of chopped mixed vegetables and 1 cup of diced onions/leeks until they begin to soften and the onions are almost translucent. Remove the vegetables from the pan and cook your meat (you don’t need to cook canned beans if you are using them), stirring occasionally until cooked through.  Stir the vegetables back into the pan, add the worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, herbs and any optional spices until everything is well blended.  Most meats will yield a small amount of liquid during the cooking process, if you use something that doesn’t and the pan seems dry, feel free to add a couple tbsp of water while working in the tomato paste and other flavorings.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Pour the meat / bean & vegetable mixture into the bottom of a large casserole dish or 9X13 pan.  Top with mashed root or starch and bake for 30 minutes or until warmed through.  Some toppings will brown better than others, if your top doesn’t brown, turn on the broiler and broil for 1-2 minutes (keeping an eye on it as roots brown quickly).

Remove from oven and let cool briefly before serving.  Makes 4 generous delicious, comfort food servings.

Note: If your mash topping seems soupy (as the case might be with things like butternut squash) stir in a beaten egg before cooking and it will firm right up during cooking!

My favorite combos:
Topping: Colcannon (mashed potatoes with kale, leeks & cabbage stirred in)
Filling: Ground Turkey, broccolini & carrots (photo below)

Colcannon/Butternut Squash shepherd's Pie with ground turkey, carrots and broccolini!

Colcannon/Butternut Squash shepherd’s Pie with ground turkey, carrots and broccolini!

photo 1 copy 5

Topping:  Butternut squash
Filling: Sweet Italian Sausage, Kale, Bell peppers, peas

Topping: Smashed Parm Potatoes
Filling: Ground Beef, mushrooms & carrots

Do you make Shepherd’s Pie? What are your favorite filling and toppings? Are you a traditionalist or do you like to veer off and clean out your fridge like me? Share in the comments below, I’d love to hear your side of things!

Spiced Haddock Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cream on Fresh Corn Tortillas

Fish Tacos! Excuse the sloppy pic - they taste better than they look!

Fish Tacos! Excuse the sloppy pics – they taste better than they look!

When John and I first got together, and I was learning to cook, if I ever asked what he wanted for dinner, his response was always “tacos!”.  This was fine with me because my cooking skills at the time were exactly on par with just cooking some beef in a pan and stirring in a store bought packet of “taco seasoning”. It was easy and convenient.  But over time, as I started to amass more spices in my cabinet and learned how to use them, I started to question why I was wasting money buying spices in a packet and why I wanted to feed us something that had a ton of unnecessary ingredients like MSG and excess sodium so I started to experiment with making my own spice blends.   Then, I started to get bored with the standard taco (ground beef, hard corn shell, lettuce, salsa etc) and began to experiment with what could go into a taco.  The options really are endless if you think about it! A taco really just a vehicle for getting spiced things into your mouth and it doesn’t matter if it’s beef, fish, beans or tofu.  Add some raw veggies and a sauce of some sort and you’ve got yourself a taco!

I love fish tacos in the summer.  They come together really quickly and they’re great for hot weather.  It’s not a meal that will weigh you down.

At first glance, this recipe will seem complicated because you need to make fish, a slaw, a cilantro cream and homemade corn tortillas.  In all honesty, none of them take much time to make.  Other than soaking the cashews for the cream, the thing that takes the longest is making the tortillas and even that can be done quickly if you have more than one cast iron skillet or a very large skillet that you can cook more than one at a time on.

And if making all of these things from scratch is too much for you?  No big deal, we don’t do all or nothing here.  Do what works for your life and if you prefer to use store bought tortillas or regular sour cream, that’s fine but I insist you use full fat sour cream (preferably organic) – the low fat, no fat stuff has fillers and junk added to it. No good. Making my own tortillas is something I’ve only recently started to do and I haven’t looked back but I understand if you’re not there yet!

Ingredients

Spiced Haddock
1 lb wild caught haddock (or other white fish of your preference)
1 tbsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
Black Pepper & Seas Salt
olive oil or melted coconut oil

Directions
Put all spices, salt & pepper in a small bowl and mix. Rub fish with oil and then spices and lay out on a sheet pan. Let fish sit with the spices while you make the Slaw and Cilantro Cream. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes (will depend on how thick your fillets are) until fish flakes easily.

photo 2Cabbage & Arugula Slaw
2 cups shredded green or purple cabbage
2 cups baby arugula, chopped
1 bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
4 medium carrots, peeled and then grated (cheese grater or in the food processor)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
juice from half a lime
sea salt & pepper to taste

Directions
Put all ingredients in a bowl, toss to coat.

photo 1Cilantro Lime Cream
1/2 cup soaked cashews (soaked in water for 4-8 hours, rinsed and drained)
half a lime, zested and juice reserved
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic or 1 small shallot
1/2 tsp cumin powder
sea salt to taste

Directions
Put all ingredients in the blender or food processor and blend away until smooth.  Add more water if needed.  You can also use cashew cream if you already have some made in place of the cashews and water.

photo 3Fresh Corn Tortillas
2 cups Masa Harina Flour (use a non-gmo brand Bob’s Red Mill & Purcell Mountain Farms are two that I know of)
1 cup warm water
1/4 tsp salt

Directions
Put corn flour and salt in a bowl, add warm water and mix with your hands until it forms a dough.  If it feels dry and grainy add a little more water a little at a time.  Take the dough and form it into 10-12 small balls.  Cover them with wet paper towels or a wet towel while you form them.  Heat a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat.  While the skillet is heating up, roll each dough ball (one at a time) between two pieces of plastic wrap with a rolling pin (or a tortilla press if you have one) until they are about 5-6 inches across.  If they start to get cracks at the edges, add a little more water to the remaining balls before rolling out.   Fry each tortilla in the skillet for 1 minute on each side.  Once you lay them in the pan, don’t touch them until it’s time to flip (they’ll stick at first but let go when they’re ready to flip).  If you are making a lot of tortillas and only have one skillet, this will take awhile.  Use a second skillet if you have one – it will speed up the process tremendously.

To serve, spread some cilantro cream on a tortilla, top with slaw and fish.  Add optional salsa if you like!  Makes 3-4 servings (3-4 tacos each).

Wild Cod with Parsley, Lemon & Shallots and Arugula Salad

Wild Cod with Lemon, Parsley and Shallots - can't go wrong.

Wild Cod with Lemon, Parsley and Shallots – can’t go wrong!

Yay for summer!  I secretly (or not so secretly) love heat and humidity but that doesn’t mean I love being in a hot kitchen on those days (like today!).  When it’s a perfect summer day outside, I want to minimize the amount of time I have to spend indoors so I love having quick dinners at my fingertips and that’s where fish and a raw salad come in.

Wild cod takes just a few minutes to cook and a little chopping and slicing is all this arugula salad takes to make.  You can have healthy and delicious dinner on the table in 15 minutes tops.  Feel free to use any white mild tasting fish for this recipe.

If you are brave (and have amazing grill skills), feel free to grill your cod outside.  I find fish a little too delicate to do on the grill with my clunky bear-like coordination (unless it’s on a wood plank).  But by all means show me up with your gracefulness and report back.  And then come over and get grilling, thanks!

A tip for you:  Keep things like parsley, lemon, shallots, garlic, vinegars and oil/butter regularly in your kitchen.  Why?  Because almost anything tastes like you slaved over it when you add some of those ingredients.  Almost any combo of those ingredients makes a delicious salad dressing, chicken marinade, pasta or potato salad dressing and of course in this recipe, a topping for fish.  Get into the habit of keeping a few simple ingredients in your kitchen and you’ll always be able to whip up something delicious at a moments notice.

Ingredients
4 Wild cod fillets (skinned/skinless)
1 tbsp olive oil

1 organic lemon zested and juice reserved*
2/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
3 tbsp pastured butter
1 large shallot, minced
sea salt to taste

Arugula Salad
4 cups baby arugula, chopped (try other baby greens if you don’t have arugula)
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
2 large carrots, shredded or sliced thinly
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
freshly ground black pepper
sea salt to taste

*it’s really important to use an organic lemon in any recipe that uses the peel or zest.  That is where all the pesticides are and they are not easily washed off.  If you are just using the juice of a lemon, conventional is ok but please go for organic when using zest (and rinse well before using anyway).
Arugula salad -a simple and quick way to get a spicy new green into your diet.

Arugula salad -a simple and quick way to get a spicy new green into your diet.

Directions
Cook cod in a hot sauce pan with 1 tbsp olive oil.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat with 1 tbsp olive oil. When hot, cook the cod for 3-4 minutes on one side, flip and then immediately put in hot oven.  Cook for another 3-4 minutes in the oven (exact time will depend on the thickness of your fillets) and remove when fish is opaque and flakes easily.

While the fish is cooking, heat 1 tbsp of the butter in a small saucepan, cook shallots for 3 minutes or until softened/browning.  Turn off heat and stir in the lemon juice and zest, parsley, sea salt and remaining butter.  Spoon over fish.

Make the arugula salad before you begin making the fish or during (it takes just 5 minutes to make). Chop and prepare all your veggies and then dress with the oil and vinegar, salt and pepper.  Serve the cod and salad immediately.  Enjoy!

Makes 4 servings.

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