Rice, Bean and Citrus Salad

16 05 2016

This tasty side dish was a brainchild of a bean and orange salad I’ve had at family parties over the summer. It’s light and refreshing, perfect to serve along with a big piece of meat like steak and surprisingly, it feeds a crowd!

Rice Bean and Citrus Salad

The following serves 6 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat): 

  • 3 cups brown rice
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup diced bell pepper, whatever color you have (I used yellow here)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cilantro
  • 4-5 nectarine/halo/cutie oranges, peeled and separated

Cook rice according to package directions. While the rice is still warm, mix in the lime zest and salt to taste.

Meanwhile, in a medium-large bowl, add the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. While whisking, stream in olive oil until thick and emulsified, just eyeball it.

Add the black beans, bell pepper, carrots, shallot and cilantro and toss well. Allow to sit in the dressing for a few minutes, then add in the rice and toss to combine.

You can leave this out covered at room temperature for a few hours until ready to serve. Before serving, add the orange segments and toss to combine. Note: the oranges are not in the picture above because I wasn’t ready to serve this at the time of photographing.





Sauteed Cod and Peas With Carrot Broth

9 05 2016

Here’s a sexy little restaurant-worthy dish to start your week out right! And since you need wine for the recipe, treat yourself to a glass while you whip this beauty up…you deserve it!

Sauteed Cod and Peas With Carrot Broth

The following serves 2 (compliments of Cuisine Lite Menus for Two and This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 cup cooked frozen crinkle cut carrots
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 Tbsp grated ginger (use the kind in the tube for ease)
  • Dry white wine
  • Salt
  • Hot sauce of your choice
  • 2 pieces of skinless, boneless cod
  • 4 tsp olive oil, plus more for the fish
  • Paprika
  • 1 and 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

Cook carrots according to package directions and strain. Add broth and cooked carrots to high-powered blender and process until smooth. Remove puree and set aside.

Cook 1/2 cup of the onions and ginger in 2 tsp oil in the same saucepan you used to cook the carrots. Cook over medium heat until onion softens, 3 minutes. Deglaze pan with 1/4 cup wine, cook for a minute, then add the carrot puree. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, covered or partially covered as it will splatter. Season broth with salt to taste and a dash of your favorite hot sauce.

Meanwhile coat the fish with a little oil and season liberally with salt and paprika on both sides. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add fish and saute 4 minutes. Turn the fish, add a splash of wine and saute another 4 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork.

While the broth and the fish are cooking, heat the remaining 2 tsp oil in a medium skillet and saute the remaining 1/4 cup onion until beginning to soften, 3 minutes. Add peas, cook 3-5 minutes. Deglaze pan with a splash more of the wine and season with salt to taste. Add butter, chopped cilantro and remove from heat, tossing until the butter melts.

Spoon out the carrot broth between two shallow bowls, top with peas, fish (and some of the liquid it cooked it) and garnish with cilantro.





Garlic-Parm Quinoa and Zucchini

3 05 2016

You know how sometimes you just need a quick side dish? Well, here’s one right here to add to your arsenal – quick and healthy quinoa and zucchini with just a few ingredients.

Garlic-Parm Quinoa and Zucchini

The following serves 3-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2.5 cups chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large zucchini, cut down the center lengthwise and then into moons
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Cook quinoa with 2 cups chicken stock according to package directions. Reserve the 1/2 cup for later.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and zucchini and saute until starting to brown and soften, flipping once, 5 minutes or so. Add the butter, garlic and salt to taste and continue to saute until butter is melted and garlic is fragrant, another couple of minutes. Add the cooked quinoa and the rest of the chicken stock, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and add the cheese, cooking and stirring another minute or two until the stock is absorbed and everything is combined. Taste, and season with salt as needed.





Creamy Tomato-Corn Soup

29 04 2016

I recently posted a recipe using my son’s corn pureed baby food in place of cream in a sauce. Same logic applies here with this creamy, cream-less tomato soup! Perfect for warming your soul on a chilly spring day.

Creamy Tomato-Corn Soup

The following serves 2-3 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat): 

  • Olive oil
  • 1 leek, (remove hard green top, sliced down the middle lengthwise and then sliced again horizontally into half moon pieces, rinse with water to remove dirt)
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground thyme
  • Salt and pepper
  • Sherry
  • 1 (28 oz) can whole peeled plum tomatoes, pureed
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen corn

In a large pot over medium-high heat add some oil (couple turns of the pan), saute almost all of the leeks (reserve 1/4 cup) until softened, a few minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and thyme. Saute another minute until garlic is fragrant. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Deglaze the pan with a little sherry (again, couple turns of the pan, just eyeball it) and cook for a minute. Add the pureed tomatoes and chicken stock, season again with salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook corn according to package directions. Remove 1/4 cup and set aside. Puree the remaining 3/4 cup with a little water in a high powdered blender until smooth and creamy.

Turn off the heat on the soup and using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Mix in the corn puree and return the soup to simmer, another 5-10 minutes or so until hot and combined. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Serve soup garnished with the leeks and corn you set aside, along with grilled cheese for dunking! Pictured here is a rosemary-herb bread with provolone, yum!





One Pork Butt – Three Meals: Pork Quesadillas With Corn Crema

22 04 2016

One Pork Butt – Three Meals.

Meal two, quesadillas, which is always a great go-to vehicle for using up leftovers!

Also, more baby food inspiration here, as I used my son’s corn puree for the corn crema. I’ve seen recipes using heavy cream or mayo added to sour cream to make homemade Mexican crema. I figured corn puree has a similar consistency so why not. Major win folks, its delicious and the perfect sauce to cut through the pork in these quesadillas!

Pork Quesadillas with Corn Crema

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 4 multi-grain tortillas, soft taco size
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1 cup Pulled Pork, just eyeball it
  • 1/2 cup sliced and rinsed leeks (remove the hard green top, slice the white part down the middle lengthwise, then slice again into half moons, then rinse pieces in a mesh strainer to remove any dirt and dry slightly)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • Zest and juice of half a lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Sliced green onions for garnish

Preheat oven to 400.

Cook corn according to package directions. Remove 1/4 cup and set aside. Puree the remaining 1/4 cup with a little water in a high powdered blender until smooth and creamy. Combine the corn puree with the sour cream, zest and lime juice and salt to taste. Set aside.

To build the quesadillas, add two tortillas side-by-side on a large baking sheet (or pizza stone). Top each tortilla with a layer of cheese, pork, leeks and cooked corn (make sure cheese is on the bottom which will act as a glue to keep everything together). Add another layer of cheese and top each with another tortilla. Bake for 20 minutes until tortillas begin to brown and cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven and once cool enough to handle, cut each into four pieces. Divide among plates and top with the corn crema (I used a squeeze bottle if you’re curious) and garnish with sliced green onions.





One Pork Butt – Three Meals: Pork and Cheddar Pancake Muffins

22 04 2016

One Pork Butt – Three Meals.

And finally, here’s meal idea three…brunch!

It’s mother hubbard here this weekend. This is about as real as it gets folks, I’m talking down to one egg kind-of-serious. I managed to whip up something creative with just a few ingredients and leftovers though, which is what I do best! AND, I was even able to base it off a little inspiration from one of my favorite pancakes.

There’s this crazy tasty, sweet/savory pancake at First Watch made with cheddar cheese and bacon, which was the inspiration for this dish. Sounds weird, but covered in yummy maple syrup, it’s the perfect brunch bite! Making these as muffins allows you to cook them all at once, rather than having to flip a bunch of jacks individually, and I’m all about saving time!

Pork and Cheddar Pancake Muffins

The following makes 6 muffins (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

Preheat oven to 400.

In a medium bowl combine the milk and eggs. Add Bisquick and stir until just combined. Fold in the pork and cheese.

Spray a large muffin tin with non-stick spray, or use liners for easy cleanup like me. Divide the batter among 6 cups. Bake until cooked through and slightly browning on top, about 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before removing.

Serve pancake muffins with a side of Peach Habanero Syrup to pour all over!





One Pork Butt – Three Meals: Pork and Broccoli Lo Mein

21 04 2016

One Pork Butt – Three Meals.

Meal one, ridiculously fast Lo Mein! This dinner is so easy it’ll practically cook itself, thanks to the pulled pork ready to go in the fridge (see link above/below for the pulled pork recipe)! You could use spaghetti noodles instead if that’s all you have, but Lo Mein noodles cook up in a fraction of the time.

Pork and Broccoli Lo Mein

The following serves 2 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Lo Mein noodles – the 10 oz package I buy comes in 3 bundles, I used 2 bundles
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 heaping cup Pulled Pork
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock or broth from the Pulled Pork
  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the broccoli and Lo Mein noodles and cook according to noodle package directions (should take like 4 minutes), then strain.

Meanwhile, whisk together the broth, soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, garlic and cornstarch. Add to a large saute pan and bring to a slow boil. Add the pulled pork, the cooked Lo Mein and broccoli and the green onions. Using tongs, toss everything together and cook on low a few minutes to bring it all together, allowing the noodles to soak up the sauce. Remove from the heat and allow to stand a few minutes before serving.








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