A Bit Of Freedom

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Sometimes it’s good to have help from the store when you know you’ll have a hectic week. While I enjoy creating new dishes and putting things together, sometimes it’s a lot easier to throw something together from the store and add a little freshness to it at home. I’ve done just that twice this week with an inexpensive trip to Trader Joe’s and the farmers market.
My fruit and cheese tray had sliced local peaches, goat cheese, olives and pita crackers from trader joes and basil and rosemary from my backyard. Pair that with the wine of your choice and it’s golden with no cooking involved. Since I had more goat cheese after this meal I thought, why not make something equally quick with more fresh herbs, smoked salmon, and pickled red onion? With the remaining smoked salmon I made quick rolls with more goat cheese, avocado, left over pickled onion and basil. This could make a nice appetizer or meal depending on the how much you make. Below is the quick smoked salmon chips I enjoyed this week.

Smoked Salmon Chips

Ingredients:
1 3oz pack smoked salmon ( optional: reserve half for rolls)
9 whole wheat pita chips
2 tbsp soft goat cheese
4 basil leaves
6 slices thinly sliced red onion
1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Large green olives (optional)
Directions:
1. Thinly slice a small onion. Reserve recipe amount and store the rest in the freezer for later use.
2. Add vinegar and honey to a small bowl and mix until honey dissolves. Add salt pepper and onions. Top with foil and put in the fridge. (Can be done the night before).
3. Lay out the pita chips on a plate and add olives if desired.
4. Spread the goat cheese evenly on the chips then rip basil leaves in half before evenly distributing the leaves on top of the cheese.
5. Open the package of smoked salmon and cut three strips into thirds before placing a piece on each chip.
6. Add pieces of pickled onion to each chip and enjoy.

A Bit of Jamaica

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Though I haven’t posted pictures from my family trip to Jamaica, I’ve certainly been thinking about the tasty meals we enjoyed at the Goblin Hills Villa. Coming back from that amazing experience has me beyond grateful for the peaceful spot we called home for four days, the time with family and baring witness to the joining of two incredible people in marriage. I was inspired by my new pal Wendy to make some curry chicken and coconut rice with some fresh green beans. So before I left I stocked up on some Jamaican curry and jerk seasoning after learning of its origins in the Boston Bay Area. This was quite tasty and something I will certainly be making again. Below is the recipe of my take on curry, though I am bound to try other ways as well. Enjoy! 🙂

Curry chicken and coconut, onion rice

1/2 of a whole chicken (2 lbs with bones) cut into small pieces
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 cup diced onions
2- inch piece of fresh ginger
2 tbsp. yellow curry powder
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne powder
2 tsp. sea salt
3/4 cup of water

Rice ingredients:
1/2 cup dry long grain rice
1 cup coconut water
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 tsp sea salt

String bean ingredients:
16 ounces fresh long string beans
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. coarse black pepper
1 tsp. onion power
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup of water

Directions:
1. Rinse rice in cool water and add in coconut water over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.
2. Slice 1/2 cup of onion into thin strips and add to the rice once it begins to boil and salt. Top and reduce heat to low and set timer for 20 minutes.
3. Add coconut oil to a medium-sized pan over medium heat. (If you need to cut up chicken breast, do that before heating the oil.)
4. While the oil heats, dice an onion and peel the ginger and chop into 4 to 6 large pieces.
5. Add both to hot oil and stir for 2 minutes before adding chopped chicken. Stir and then add seasonings and water.
6. Top and let cook for 20 minutes over medium heat. Turn off rice once timer sounds and set timer again for remaining chicken time.
7. 10 minutes into the chicken cooking, rinse and chop the long beans into thirds.
8. Add green beans with water to a non-stick pan over medium heat. Let cook for five minutes before adding seasonings and oil. This will partially blanch the beans and speed up cooking. Let cook for another 10 minutes and stir occasionally before removing them from the heat.
9. Plate,add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.