A Bit Of Taco

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Tacos are a great go-to dish for me since there are so many different things you can do with it. It was great to be able to incorporate a lot of the fresh produce coming in this Spring in the slaw and the salad at the farmer’s market this past Saturday. These tacos were loaded with flavor and a variety of nutrients. Slaw is a great way to eat a vegetable you know is good for you, but may not be a favorite, such as beets or radishes. They add complimentary flavors to the other vegetables without being overpowering. I was excited to try something new myself with an herb called lovage. It was leafy like parsley and similar in taste with the addition of celery and carrot notes. It taste great with the arugula salad I also made to go on the tacos. While I didn’t include it, you can always add salsa and sour cream to make your tacos your own. *Note the jam used in the marinade and dressing for the slaw came from the Red Stick Spice Company. You can always substitute with any berry or citrus jam you have on hand.

I hope you give these a try for a taste of something new! Check out the recipe below.

Serves 4
Shrimp marinade ingredients:
2 lbs. fresh peeled and deveined shrimp
¼ cup rice wine vinegar
1 ½ tsp. F.R.O.G. jam (figs, raspberries orange and ginger)
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
Slaw Ingredients:
1 cup shredded purple cabbage
½ cup shredded carrot (2 medium)
½ cup shredded turnips (2 small)
¼ cup shredded beets (1 small)
1/8 cup finely shredded radishes (1 medium)
1/8 cup chopped green onion
½ cup rice wine vinegar
1 tsp. F.R.O.G. jam (figs, raspberries orange and ginger)
2 tsp. local berry honey
2 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coarse black pepper

Arugula and Lovage Salad Ingredients:
2 cups shredded arugula
1 cup fresh chopped lovage
1/8 cup of fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. local berry honey

Remaining ingredients:
1 tsp. olive oil (for cooking)
1/8 cup lemon juice
12-16 tortillas
Directions:
1. Peel and devein shrimp and add to a ziploc bag and refrigerate until ready to use. In a medium-sized bowl add vinegar and jam and whisk until jam is dissolved.
2. Add olive oil slowly while continuing to whisk. Squeeze lemon juice in, seeded side up to avoid getting seeds in the mixture and add in half of the remaining ingredients for the marinade. *If preferred, preheat the oven to warm your tortillas.
3. Mix until well blended and then add to the bag of shrimp and add in remaining seasoning. Close bag and massage the mixture gently to distribute marinade evenly. Set aside until ready to cook.
4. In the same bowl from the marinade, add the honey and jam with vinegar and dissolve by whisking. Add in half the seasonings and whisk until well incorporated. Set aside for slaw.
5. Remove large outer leaves from cabbage and rinse thoroughly. Cut off the end of the cabbage for stability and place it cut side down on the board. Cut in half and remove the core from one half of the cabbage.
6. Cut four strips into cabbage about an inch from the narrow end. This will make it easier to keep the cabbage together while you thinly slice it. Slice the cabbage and add it to a large bowl.
7. Rinse and peel roots vegetables using a potato peeler. Grate each vegetable into the bowl with the cabbage. Add dressing and remaining seasoning and toss gently with a spoon. Set aside until ready to plate.
8. Rinse arugula and lovage. Cut off long stems of arugula and chop into strips. Chop lovage like you would parsley and add both to a medium-sized bowl. Rinse bowl from marinade and slaw dressing and squeeze in half of a lemon, seeded side up and whisk with the olive oil. Add to the bowl with the greens and toss with a spoon.
9. *If warming, add tortillas to a non-stick baking sheet and brush each with a little water. (You can use a wet paper towel, a clean wet hand or a fine mist spray bottle). Place in the oven.
10. Place a tsp of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the pan heats (2-3 minutes) add the shrimp in an even layer. After 3 minutes of cooking, sprinkle with remaining lemon juice and flip the shrimp to cook for an additional 3 minutes.
11. Remove tortillas from the oven with one minute remaining on the shrimp. The shrimp should be white. If so remove from heat. If at all gray or translucent, cook an additional minute.
12. Chop shrimp and then make tacos.
13. Enjoy.

A Bit Of Casnet

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I am a huge fan of local seafood and whenever I am in New Orleans, I like to stop at Castnet’s to stock my freezer with fresh fish and shrimp. Once home, I will often break down my load into individual serving bags for easy use later. I.e. 5 large shrimp for an easy dinner with rice and vegetables, or a pound of medium shrimp for okra and shrimp or gumbo etc. Of course if you don’t make regular trips to The Big Easy, you can always stock up when your local store runs specials or sales on your favorite seafood. If stored properly, you can have freshly frozen seafood on hand for several months. In this dish I used a black drum fillet and an individual serving bag of large shrimp. You can substitute your favorite type of white fish if you do not like or have drum. This dish took 20 minutes to make and was easy to dish up for lunch the next day. A side salad of cucumber and tomato or any combination you’d prefer is an easy addition to this dish and a great way to get in additional vegetables. The recipe is listed below. As always feedback is welcomed!
Citrus Fish and Broccoli Rice

Serves 2

Rice ingredients:
1/4 cup dry rice
1/4 cup of chicken stock
1/8 cup white wine
1/8 cup green onion
1/2 cup frozen broccoli
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder

Seafood ingredients:
1 large or two medium fillets of white fish (skin on optional)
2-3 large shrimp per person
1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp. olive, coconut or avocado oil

Directions:
1. In a small pot, rinse and strain rice, then add liquids and green onion over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once it boils, top the pot and reduce to low heat. Set timer for 20 minutes.
2. Rinse fish and peel and devein shrimp if fresh.
3. Add oil to a large non-stick pan over medium heat. While it heats, add half of the seasoning to the fish and shrimp.
4. Place the fish in skillet skin down if keeping skin, and let sear for 3 minutes.
5. Season and sear the other side for 3 minutes, reserving a little seasoning for the other side of the shrimp.
6. While the fish sears, add broccoli and seasoning to rice and stir before topping the top to finish cooking.
7. Move the fish to one side and add the shrimp seasoned-side down before adding the orange juice and a splash of water to prevent sticking. Season and flip shrimp after 2 minutes to cook the other side before removing to a plate. *Shrimp cook quickly so be careful not to over cook them.
8. Check the thickest part of the fish gently with a fork in the center to ensure it is white throughout and not translucent or a grayish color which would mean the fish is not cooked.
9. Turn off rice and plate it first, then the fish and shrimp.
10. Enjoy

A Bit Of Mexican

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This dish started out as black beans and cilantro-lime rice and turned into my version of a chipotle bowl. Because it can be topped so many ways, this is certainly a dish I can repurpose many ways this week. The black beans in this dish can be either dried or canned. If you do make them dried, you will need 16 oz of dried beans, 8 cups of water, the same amount of peppers and double the remaining ingredients. I would also recommend making them on Saturday or the night before the beans will be used. I love Mexican-themed food and this is an easy one to make to please any crowd. Below are the ingredients for the chicken, beans and rice with the toppings I used. You can always add cheese, lettuce or any rich greens and green onion if preferred. Check out the recipe and share your thoughts!

Serves 4

Black beans ingredients:
1/2 cup cooked black beans per bowl
2 seeded and diced Serrano peppers
1 seeded and diced jalepeno pepper
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tbsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coarse black pepper
1 cup of water

Rice ingredients:
1 cup of rice 1/2 cup per bowl
1 tbsp. fresh cilantro
1 2/3 cup of water
1 juiced lime (about 1/8 cup)

Chicken ingredients:
4 to 6 chicken thighs (approx. 1 per bowl depending on size)
1 tbsp. coconut oil
1 cup sliced sweet peppers
1 cup sliced yellow onion
1/2 cup of water

Toppings:
1/2 cup diced tomato
2 tbsp. salsa per bowl
1/4 cup diced tomato per bowl
1/2 tbsp. sour cream per bowl
1/2 tbsp. sea salt
1/2 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. smoked paprika (optional)
2-3 slices of avocado dressed with lime

Directions:
1. In a small pot, rinse rice. You will need 1 1/2 cups of liquid so with the lime juice, add the remaining amount of water. Bring to a boil, then top and reduce to low heat for 20 minutes.
2. If cooking canner black beans, rinse and add to a medium-sized pot. With gloved hands, slice and dice the jalepeno and Serrano peppers. Add seasonings and simmer over low heat.
3. Add coconut oil over medium heat to a medium-sized skillet. While the oil heats, rinse chicken and add half of the seasoning. Add to pan and sear for 3 minutes.
4. While chicken cooks, rinse and slice sweet peppers and slice onion. Add the the remaining seasoning to the chicken and flip to cook on the other side for 3 minutes.
5. Add peppers and onions and 1/2 cup of water and move chicken on top of vegetables. Let cook for 8-12 minutes.
6. Turn off heat and add rice, then beans, chicken and vegetables and toppings preferred.