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.

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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.





Rockfish Tacos with Carrot-Bean Slaw and Avocado Cream

24 03 2016

So here I am, This Girl is back…from a LONG break after having a baby! Bare with me as I get back to real cooking and blogging (enough with the frozen pizza, to-go orders and week-old leftovers, although I can stretch a leftover now like you wouldn’t believe)!

These tacos were inspired by last night’s baby food, homemade of course, and admittedly my son has been eating better than me lately. I made him pureed avocado and corn. I love the silky smooth texture, which is different then my usual chunky guac. Here I pureed avocado with sour cream making a “sauce” for these tacos, although his combo with the corn would be delicious as well. Too bad he ate it all! Next time I’m doubling, half for him and half for us!

Rockfish Tacos with Carrot-Bean Slaw and Avocado-Sour Cream

The following makes 4-5 large tacos (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 large poblano pepper
  • 1 lb skinless rockfish, cubed
  • ½ Tbsp ancho chile powder (you could use regular chile powder, I just wanted to match the smokey flavor in the poblano)
  • ½ tsp each ground cumin and garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp each salt and onion powder
  • Olive oil
  • 1 heaping cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) blank beams, rinsed well
  • ½ cup sliced green onions
  • 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 avocado
  • 2 Tbsp sour cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Tortillas (I used multi-grain soft taco tortillas)
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend

Char the poblano pepper over an open flame on your stove. Continue to turn and char until all sides are done. Place in a medium bowl and immediately cover tightly with plastic wrap. This will trap the steam to make peeling easier.

Combine chile powder, cumin, garlic, salt and onion powder in a small bowl. Season fish liberally all over using spice blend. Add olive oil (few turns of the pan) to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add seasoned fish and saute until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes.

While the fish is cooking, uncover the pepper once cool enough to handle and peel the skin. Don’t take too much time removing, leaving some of the char on will add flavor. Cut in half, remove seeds and rough chop/large dice. Add back to the bowl along with the carrots, beans and green onions. Season to taste with salt and pepper, any spice blend you have leftover from seasoning the fish, juice of half the lime and the rice vinegar. Mix well and set aside.

Add the avocado and sour cream to a small food processor along with salt and pepper to taste and juice from the rest of the lime. Pulse until smooth and set aside.

Warm tortillas in the microwave, or if you have time you can char them over an open flame on your stove or on the grill.

Finally, build your tacos. Spread some of the avocado-sour cream on the bottom of a tortilla, top with some cheese, the carrot-bean slaw and fish. Enjoy any leftover slaw as a side dish along with the tacos.





Sweet and Spicy Chorizo Chili

26 01 2015

Tonight’s dinner paired zesty chorizo with sweeter veggies like carrots and corn, along with ginger beer, creating a unique chili recipe that offers a sweet beginning with a spicy finish. I’m betting this will be equally delicious, if not better tomorrow after it’s had time to sit!

Sweet and Spicy Chorizo Chili

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

  • 1 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 lb bulk chorizo
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) ginger beer (I used a low-calorie option)
  • 1 pint chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen corn
  • Lime wedges
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded Mexican cheese blend

Rinse the beans well, then add to a large bowl with 3 cups of water. Let the beans soak for 6-8 hours, or overnight. Drain the beans, rinse and add to a medium saucepan with 3 cups of water and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce to low, cover and cook for 45 minutes to an hour. Stir occasionally. Strain the beans and discard the bay leaf, and set the beans aside until later.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften. Season lightly with salt. Then add the garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook for another minute, stirring to toast the spices. Deglaze the pan with a little of the ginger beer, one good turn of the pan, and cook for a minute or two. Reserve the rest of the beer for later. Next, add the chorizo and brown, breaking up with a wooden spoon into small pieces. Once the chorizo is cooked through, add the tomatoes, cooked beans, the rest of the beer and the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and cover. Cook chili for 1 to 1 and a half hours, stirring occasionally. During the last 20 minutes, add the corn and remove the lid. Let the chili stand for 5 minutes or so off the heat before serving.

Garnish with lime wedges, sour cream and cheese. If you like it spicier, just serve with some hot sauce as well.





Cauliflower and BBQ Pulled Pork Shepherd’s Pie

24 11 2014

The next time you make BBQ pulled pork, do yourself a favor and make extra and freeze it to use later in this deliciously healthy casserole! Seriously, this is divine…giving you all the comfort and none of the guilt! Topped with a creamy mashed cauliflower, you’ll think you’re indulging in an over-the-top potato Shepherd’s pie, when you’ll really be devouring a meal loaded with veggies.

Cauliflower and BBQ Pulled Pork Shepherd's Pie

The following serves 4-6 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Half a small-medium onion, diced
  • 4 small-medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 heaping cup shredded cabbage
  • Kosher salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • BBQ sauce
  • 3-4 cups worth of leftover pulled pork that has been tossed in BBQ sauce (if you have some frozen, just defrost it first)
  • Low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Splash of milk, I use almond milk, but use whatever you have
  • 1 heaping cup reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  • Fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9 x 13 casserole dish with non-stick spray and set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add cauliflower florets and boil for 8-10 minutes, until softened, but not mushy. Drain cauliflower in a mesh strainer, shaking out excess water. Return drained cauliflower to the hot pot and allow to sit for a few minutes, so that any remaining water evaporates.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Once hot, add onions and carrots and cook for a few minutes until beginning to soften. Next add cabbage and stir to combine. Season with salt and for an extra kick, a pinch of red pepper flakes and even some of your favorite hot sauce if desired. Stir in BBQ sauce, either homemade or store-bought, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup (use less sauce if you have a smaller amount of pork, or more sauce if you have a larger amount – you just want the mixture to be heavily coated so it stays moist while it bakes). Add leftover pulled pork and toss until everything is combined. Add a splash or so of chicken stock to thin the sauce slightly, and cook for just a few minutes until the cabbage begins to wilt. Remove from heat.

Add cooked cauliflower florets to a food processor, along with sour cream, milk and salt to taste. Process until smooth. Add 1/4 cup of the cheese and process again. Taste and season with additional salt if needed. If you don’t have a food processor, you can easily mash by hand – it might not be as smooth, but you’ll still get the job done! 🙂

Add the pulled pork mixture to the prepared casserole dish, spreading out in an even layer. Top with the mashed cauliflower, spreading in an even layer over the pulled pork mixture. Top cauliflower with remaining cheese, you can even add more if you’d like.

Bake casserole, uncovered, until bubbling hot, 45 minutes to an hour. The cheese will be melted and starting to brown and the cauliflower with set like mashed potatoes. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes or so before plating. Serve garnished with chopped parsley or cilantro.





Leek and Carrot Rice Pilaf

1 08 2014

Here’s a great rice pilaf recipe for a quick weeknight side dish. I like using whole wheat orzo and brown rice for a healthier starch. This is also versatile, you can easily swap out the leek and carrot for other veggies you have on hand.

Leek and Carrot Rice Pilaf

The following serves 4 (adapted from Rachael Ray):

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped onion or shallot
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat orzo
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 leek, white and green parts, chopped
  • 4 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 and 1/4 cups brown rice
  • 3 and 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 lemon zested, and some of the lemon juice
  • Parsley, chopped for garnish

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute a few minutes. Add orzo and toast, stirring occasionally, until deep brown and beginning to smell nutty. Add garlic, leeks and carrots and saute a few minutes until they begin to soften. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Next, add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and cook until the stock evaporates.

Next add the rice, the remaining 3 cups of stock and the lemon zest. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover. Cook 15 – 20 minutes covered and on low, until rice is tender and liquid is almost evaporated. Remove lid, stir and season with more salt if needed. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley.

Serve alongside a protein of your choice. Pictured here is grilled quartered chicken.





Thai Cabbage Wraps With Chicken and Broccoli

22 07 2014

Tonight’s fantastically delicious and healthy dinner is a riff on a Pad Thai I made with chicken and broccoli a while back. I tweaked the recipe and made it low carb in order to use up some of our lovely Fresh Fork Market ingredients including cabbage, carrots, candy onion and green onions. You don’t always need a new recipe, try using different ingredients to make an old recipe, new!

Thai Cabbage Wraps With Chicken and Broccoli

The following makes 7-8 wraps (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat and Taylor Made):

  • 1 and 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • Half a candy onion (or whatever onion you have), chopped
  • 3 small carrots, peeled and chopped, green leaves removed and roughly chopped as well
  • 1 lb ground chicken breast
  • 1 small head of broccoli, chopped into small florets
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Sriracha
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp natural creamy peanut butter
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional for more heat)
  • Whole cabbage leaves rough stems removed, 7-10 total, depending on the size
  • Toasted sesame seeds and nuts, use whatever you have, for garnish
  • Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped for garnish
  • Green onions, chopped for garnish

In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and carrots, saute for 3 minutes or so until beginning to softened. Add the chicken and cook, tossing occasionally until cooked through. Add in the carrot greens and wilt.

Bring a medium pot of water to boil. Add broccoli florets and quickly blanch, 1-2 minutes. Remove with a spider or slotted spoon and run under cold water. Drain, and set aside.

Prepare the sauce by whisking together the soy sauce, Sriracha, garlic, honey, peanut butter, juice of 1/2 a lime and red pepper flakes. Set aside.

When the chicken is cooked through and the carrot greens are wilted, turn the heat to medium-low. Add the broccoli and the sauce, toss to combine and let the sauce soak into the chicken and veggies, a few minutes.

To serve, dish out the chicken mixture onto cabbage leaves. Top with chopped nuts, cilantro or parsley, and green onions. Finish with a little more lime juice, or serve with lime wedges if desired.

If you have some of the leftover chicken mixture, enjoy it the next day over some shredded cabbage dressed with a little olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper – delicious!