Peanut-Soy Lo Mein and Bok Choy

12 06 2014

This recipe is based on our Fresh Fork Market grab bag this week of CSA (community-supported agriculture). Among other goodies, we received beautiful bok choy and some funky green-onion looking things called garlic scapes. Essentially the scapes are part of the tops of garlic bulbs, and can be used just like garlic. They are available in early summer and I must say, are far easier to chop than regular garlic (although I’m a pro at chopping garlic)! 

This lo mein dish with a delicious peanut-soy sauce is super speedy, and bok choy is the perfect veggie to compliment it! Pick your protein, or serve with a salad and get a healthy dinner on the table in no time.

Peanut-Soy Lo Mein With Bok Choy

The following serves 3-4 (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Martha Stewart and Fresh Fork Market):

  • Toasted sesame oil
  • 2 small heads of bok choy, stalks chopped and leaves cut separately
  • 6 garlic scapes, chopped (you could also use a couple of cloves of minced garlic instead)
  • 1 Tbsp chili paste
  • 1 package (10 oz) lo mein noodles
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp all-natural creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken broth

Bring a medium pot with water to a boil. Cook the lo mein noodles according to package directions and drain. These cook fast, so I suggest dropping the noodles after you cook the bok choy. The noodles I used took 4 minutes to cook.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high and add a little sesame oil, a couple turns of the pan. Add 4 chopped garlic scapes and saute for 30 seconds. Add the chili paste and saute, stirring, for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the bok choy stalks and saute for a minute. Then add the leaves and cook until wilted, another minute or two. Remove the bok choy and any liquid from the skillet to a bowl and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk the soy sauce, vinegar, peanut butter, honey and cornstarch together. Add the remaining chopped garlic scapes. Add the peanut-soy mixture to the same skillet you cooked the bok choy in and cook, whisking over medium heat. The mixture will thicken pretty quickly, it might almost look like it’s seizing up. Slowly whisk in the chicken broth to thin out, 1/4 cup at a time. Cook until the sauce is warmed through, then reduce the heat to low. Add the cooked lo mein and the bok choy you set aside, along with any liquid that may have settled in the bowl. Toss well to coat, allowing the noodles to soak up the sauce. Finish with a drizzle of the sesame oil.

Serve with a protein of your choice. Pictured above is grilled sirloin steak seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder.

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Grilled Fish With Lemon, Basil and Garlic

3 06 2014

This technique of grilling fish on top of lemon slices is brilliant, and is my new favorite way of cooking fish! The citrus helps flavor the fish, but more importantly it prevents it from sticking to the grill. Flavorful, smoky fish that’s done fast – that’s my kind of summer supper!

Grilled Fish With Lemon, Basil and Garlic

The following serves 2 (adapted from Martha Stewart):

  • 2 boneless, skinless white fish filets, really you could use whatever fish you’d like, your cooking time will just vary
  • 1-2 lemons, sliced thick
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt

Preheat grill to low heat.

You don’t have to use a grill pan if you don’t have one, I just thought it was easier for transporting these stacks. Spray the grill pan with non-stick spray.

Each piece of fish will use 3 thick slices of lemon. Place 2 slices of lemon per fish on the grill pan and top the lemon with a layer of basil leaves, using however many you need to cover the lemon slices. Next, add 2-3 smashed garlic cloves on top of the basil. Top the lemon, basil and garlic with a piece of fish. Drizzle the fish with a little olive oil. Season lightly with salt to taste, and top each piece of fish with another slice of lemon.

Grill covered for about 10-12 minutes (do not turn), or until fish has turned opaque and begins to flake.

Serve with more lemon slices and roasted or steamed veggies.





Grilled Flank Steak With Lime and Soy Sauce Marinade

14 05 2014

Tonight’s dinner is for my Mom, who makes a knock-out grilled flank steak! She doesn’t follow a recipe, she just wings it – like most Moms do. So when I asked her where this recipe came from she couldn’t remember. After a little research I found it came from another Mom we all know so well….Miss Martha Stewart. 🙂

Thanks to a thin cut of meat, this lean flank steak is both healthy, and a quick fix. Serve along with grilled or roasted veggies of your choice for a yummy, all around good-for-you meal!

Grilled Flank Steak With Lime and Soy Sauce Marinade

The following serves 2-3 (Compliments of This Girl’s Mama, who adapted this from Martha Stewart):

  • 1 and 1/2 lbs flank steak
  • Juice and zest from 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger (save yourself time and use it from the paste from the tube!)
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes – the bigger the pinch you use, the spicier the meat with taste

In a bowl, whisk together the lime juice and zest, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, ginger, green onions and red pepper flakes. Place the steak in a resealable freezer bag and pour whisked marinade over. Seal bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour, turning the bag over occasionally.

Remove steak from the marinade and preheat grill to high. Grill steak, covered and untouched, 3 minutes per side over the hottest part of your grill. Flank is a lean piece of meat and if overcooked can be dry and tough, so be careful not to cook it too long. While you want a nice char on the outside, you also want the inside to be rare to medium-rare.

While the meat is grilling, bring the leftover marinade to a quick simmer in a saucepan over low heat.

Remove steak from the grill to a plate. Top steak with some of the warmed marinade and tent with foil, allowing to rest 5-10 minutes. Once rested, slice steak against the grain into thin slices.

Grill or roast some veggies for a quick side dish.

Divide steak among plates, top with more of the warm marinade and serve with veggies.

PS….if you happen to have leftover steak (which likely won’t happen), enjoy it for lunch the next day in a multi-grain wrap with veggies, arugula and shredded cheese.





Sun-dried Tomato and Garlic Vinaigrette

13 05 2014

I indulge in a lot of salad. So naturally, I’m always on the hunt for new and healthy dressings to try! This vinaigrette was inspired by Food Network Magazine, and packs a punch of flavor. You won’t miss any store-bought dressing with this recipe, that’s for sure!

Sun-dried Tomato and Garlic Vinaigrette

The following is enough for 2 salads (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat with inspiration from Food Network Magazine):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 heaping Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a small skillet, heat 2 Tbsp of oil and add garlic. Cook on low a few minutes. Add the shallot and sun-dried tomatoes and cook a few more minutes, stirring often, until garlic browns.

Transfer cooked oil mixture to a small food processor, add vinegar and pulse until chunky. Continue to pulse and slowly stream in more olive oil until the vinaigrette reaches your desired consistency, between 2-4 more Tbsp worth of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve vinaigrette over salad. The salad pictured above includes:

  • Organic arugula
  • Sliced grilled chicken
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Sliced baby yellow peppers
  • Halved grape tomatoes
  • Reduced-fat shredded Italian cheese
  • Walnuts




Chicken With Blueberry Sauce and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

7 05 2014

This is such a gorgeous meal, I mean look at those colors! I love food that is visually stunning like this, and was excited to whip this up when I saw it in one of my latest issues of Cuisine at Home. And I really do mean whip up – this is a perfect, speedy supper recipe for a busy weeknight.

Chicken With Blueberry Sauce and Mashed Sweet Potatoes

The following serves 2 (adapted from Cuisine at Home):

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh orange zest
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium, reduced-fat beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter or butter substitute
  • Chopped fresh parsley
  • Lemon wedges for serving, optional

Place diced sweet potatoes in a large pot of cold, salted water and bring to a boil (cover with a lid to bring to a boil faster). Continue to boil for 10 minutes until tender. Drain and return to the pot. Cook and stir for another minute over medium heat to dry them out. Mash sweet potatoes with 1 Tbsp butter and lemon juice, using a masher or immersion blender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

While the potatoes are boiling, work on the chicken. Cut chicken into cutlet-size pieces (cut in half horizontally) and season with salt and pepper, or red pepper flakes and a little orange zest. Saute chicken in olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until cooked through, a few minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and keep warm.

Add shallots to the same pan and saute for a minute, stirring constantly. Deglaze the pan with wine and simmer until almost evaporated. Stir in blueberries, broth, vinegar and brown sugar – bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium and simmer until blueberries begin to burst and sauce thickens, about 2-3 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in 1 Tbsp butter, then season with salt and pepper to taste. I also added a pinch of fresh orange zest right at the end. The sauce was a little thin, so next time I might not use as much broth. It will also thicken a bit if you let it sit for a minute or so before serving.

To serve, divide the mashed sweet potatoes among plates, top with sauce, following by the chicken and a little more sauce. Garnish with parsley and lemon wedges if desired. Enjoy with a glass of the wine you used to cook with!





Fish Tacos with Carrot and Cilantro Chimichurri Slaw

30 04 2014

Friends often ask me how I’m able to cook nearly every night after long work days. The trick is to meal plan for the week, use similar ingredients in different dishes and utilize leftovers. The other night I made a steak dinner with a chimichurri sauce. I saved some of the chimichurri on purpose to use with this taco, to add flavor and finish the dish. By using leftover sauce with quick cooking fish and pre-shredded carrots, I’m able to get dinner together super fast on a busy weeknight.

Fish Tacos with Carrot and Cilantro Chimichurri Slaw

Fish Tacos with Carrot and Cilantro Chimichurri Slaw

The following makes 2 large tacos (compliments of This Girl’s Gotta Eat):

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cod filets, skinless
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground cumin
  • Ancho chile powder
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup leftover cilantro chimichurri
  • 2 whole-grain tortillas, soft taco size
  • 2 Tbsp whole cilantro leaves

Heat a Tbsp or so of olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Season fish filets on both sides with a little salt, cumin, chile and garlic powders to taste. Saute until fish is opaque, cooked through and starting to brown, 4-5 minutes or so per side.

Meanwhile in a bowl, combine the carrots, green onions, red onion, chopped cilantro and all but a little of the leftover chimichurri until combined.

Warm the tortillas in the microwave 10-20 seconds.

To serve, divide the carrot slaw among warmed tortillas, top with a piece of fish and garnish with remaining chimichurri and cilantro leaves. To make the taco easier to eat after you plate it, gently break up the fish into bite-size pieces with a fork.





“Greek Salad” Chicken

15 04 2014

This speedy supper is a take on a pasta dish I found in my latest issue of the Food Network Magazine. They used ingredients commonly found in a Greek salad, cooked them up and tossed them with spinach pasta. Looked delicious, so I thought I’d use the same ingredients with chicken, for a low-carb option instead.

"Greek Salad" Chicken

“Greek Salad” Chicken

The following serves 2-3 (adapted from Food Network Magazine):

  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 bell pepper, red or yellow, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 heaping cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, low-sodium chicken stock
  • 2 packed cups organic baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup reduced-fat, crumbled feta cheese
  • Lemon flavored oil for serving

Heat 2 Tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Season chicken lightly with salt and garlic powder, then add to the hot skillet and cook until browned on both sides, 5-8 minutes, flipping half way through. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.

Lower heat to medium. Add remaining Tbsp of oil to the same skillet and add peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes and oregano and cook for a minute until fragrant. Next add the chickpeas and season very lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is lightly browned, another 3-5 minutes. Next add the olives and deglaze with the chicken stock bringing to a slow bubble, and scrapping up any brown bits that may have formed on the bottom of the skillet. Slide the browned chicken back in, lower heat and simmer until cooked through, 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir in the arugula until wilted (you may want to remove the chicken first to give yourself more room to work with). Divide the pepper and chickpea mixture among plates, top with pieces of chicken, crumbled feta and a drizzle of the lemon flavored oil (or extra-virgin olive oil).

Pasta option: If you wanted to make the pasta option, simply cook up 12 oz of dry penne to al dente, save 1/2 cup of the cooking water and toss the penne and the starchy water with the rest of the cooked ingredients. Finish the dish the same way, with feta and a drizzle of olive oil.