A Bit Of Green Onion Sausage

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With the dreary weather expected this week, I was in the mood for some jambalaya. I’ve posted before about my preference for traditional New Orleans styled jambalaya with seafood, sausage and a red sauce to boot. I decided to highlight some local green onion sausage that I picked up at Soprano’s supermarket in Livonia parish which is about 30 minutes or so from Baton Rouge on Hwy 190. My dad loves to find gems off the beaten path and Soprano’s green onion sausage certainly makes the list. The sausage is made in house and the store offers both fresh and smoked options as well as other flavor combinations. Green onion sausage is tasty and pretty easy to find, so try a brand that you like and give it a try.

I also picked up some fresh turnips, green onion and red potatoes from the farmers market to make a quick soup with some of the sausage as a second option for meals this week. With a little help from a kohlrabi salad mix (kohlrabi, kale, shredded golden beets) from Trader Joe’s and a quick pickle of shaved turnips and thinly sliced yellow onion, that will be a nice side to my soup meals. For some added sweetness, you can also grate or thinly slice a small red apple into the salad mix. Since I have previously posted a jambalaya recipe, check out the soup and salad recipes below.

Potato, turnip and Sausage Soup
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 cup diced red potato (2 medium)
1 cup diced turnip root (2 medium)
2 cups chopped turnip greens
1/4 lb green onion sausage
1 small yellow onion
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 14.5oz can of chicken stock
2 cups of water
1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper

Directions:
1. Peel and thinly slice onion. Add to a medium pot over medium heat with olive oil. Once it begins to sizzle and brown (2 mins) add 1/2 cup of water to carmalize the onions.
2. Remove green tops from turnip roots and soak tops in water in a bowl or the sink to remove dirt.
3. Using a potato peeler, peel turnips until dirty skin is removed. Cut off skinny end and green stem end. The cut in half and dice into medium pieces. Add to the pot with onions and add remaining water and bring to a boil.
4. Rinse potatoes and dice into medium pieces and add to the pot.
5. Cut sausage in half long-wise before slicing thin and add to the pot. Add seasoning.
6. Rinse and chop turnip greens and green onion and add to the pot.
7. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 10 minutes.
8. Enjoy.

 

Kohlrabi and Kale Salad
Serves 1

Ingredients:
1 cup salad mix
2 tbsp. rice wine vinegar
1/2 tbsp. local honey
1 tbsp. thinly sliced onion
1 tbsp. thinly sliced turnip
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. sea salt

Directions.:
1. In a bowl, add vinegar and honey and mix with a fork until dissolved. Add seasonings.
2. Peel and thinly slice a small onion (About two cuts worth). Add to the vinegar.
3. Peel dirty skin from turnip. Rinse peeler and then use to peel thin pieces into the bowl.
4. Let sit for 3-5 minutes then add salad mix and toss well with a fork.
5. Enjoy.

 

A Bit Of Chicken

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I knew this would be a week where I would need to eat dinner quickly to get work done and workouts in, so I went with my favored chicken legs. I am a huge fan of making half the pan of baked chicken flavored different ways and I continued that trend this week with my pan of 10. I seasoned half the chicken with cumin, salt, pepper and cayenne and the other half with smoked paprika, onion powder, salt and pepper.

For sides I rinsed and warmed a can of organic black beans that I mixed with cumin, canned diced tomato and cilantro as one side. I also brought a few ears of corn that I cut off the cob and seasoned with fresh herbs, salt and pepper.

For my lunch and dinner this week, I alternated between chicken with those two sides, chicken tacos and a basil and peach salad that all used that original pan of chicken from Sunday.

The chicken took 35 minutes to cook, the black beans 10 minutes to be warmed through and seasoned and the mango pico took 10 minutes to make. I cut the corn off the cob and seasoned it as needed for meals since it doesn’t need to be cooked and also diced tomato and cucumber for salad lunches in the morning before work.

The “cooking” this week took less than an hour for 10 of my 15 workday meals and also totaled $24.91 or 2.49 per meal. It helps if you can pick flavors and main items first and build from there. See the details below and give meal planning a try!

1 can of organic black beans – $.89
1 can diced tomatoes- $.98
2 ears of corn- $.29/each
Romaine and arugula- $7
Chicken legs- $2.31
Hola Tortillas- $2.59
Fresh tomatoes- $5
Cucumbers- $1
Peaches- $2
Mango- $.98
Avocado-$.99
Cilantro- $.59

A Bit Of Flavor

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It was great to celebrate summer produce with a food demo yesterday at the Red Stick Farmer’s Market. With beautiful seasonal corn, tomatoes and cucumber in abundance, it served as a great base for a shrimp bowl. Thanks to Anna Marie Seafood Company, Lena Farm, Chenier Farm and the Fekete Farm for great produce and homemade jelly for the dish.

Not only was this a simple dish, but one that was easy to make with two different flavors to mix things up. This is an easy dish to make before hand and store as individual servings in the fridge for go-to lunch or dinner meals during the week. Depending on your preference, you can make the shrimp all at once and either warm the shrimp separate, or eat cool bowls. I prefer to cook the shrimp two servings per person at a time by making individual and double serving-sized ziploc bags of shrimp that I stock in the freezer. Mix and store the dressings in mason jars or small containers and add 1-2 tbsp. to each serving before eating. The base ingredients are for 8 servings and each dressing is for 4 servings. Check out the two recipes below.

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 7 minutes

Ingredients:
4 cups of fresh corn (4-5 ears)
2 cups diced tomato (2-4 small tomatoes)
2 cups of diced cucumber
1 cup micro greens (optional)
1/2 cup green onion

Shrimp ingredients:
2 lbs shrimp (5-6 pieces per serving)
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1/2 tbsp. sea salt
2 tbsp. olive oil

Dressing 1 ingredients:
2 tbsp. Lena’s hibiscus and bishop crown pepper jelly
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coarse black pepper

Dressing 2 ingredients:
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 tbsp. chopped fresh orange mint
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
2 tbsp. chopped yellow onion
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. coarse black pepper

Directions:
1. If cooking shrimp all at once, add peeled and deveined shrimp to a large ziploc bag, add seasoning and oil and close it. Massage or shake shrimp to distribute seasoning evenly. Let sit so Flavor soaks in.
2. Shuck and rinse corn to remove strings. In a large bowl, cut corn off of cob into bowl, one at a time.
3. Peel cucumber in one-inch strips leaving some skin for additional nutrients. Cut in half, then cut in half again. Cut the fourth of cucumber in half horizontally, then into strips before dicing to get a small dice. Repeat with remaining three pieces.
4. On a cutting board score and dice tomato and add to bowl.
5. Rinse and chop green onion and add to bowl. Mix with a spoon and add evenly to individual containers.
6. To make dressing one, add jelly and vinegar to a mason jar or small container and mix with a fork until jelly is dissolved. Add oil and seasoning. Store until ready to use.
7. To make dressing two, chop mint and onion and add to mason jar or container. Add vinegar, oil and seasoning and mix well. Store until ready to use.
8. Heat a large skillet over medium- high heat for two minutes. Add shrimp to skillet in an even, flat layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side. *If all of the shrimp doesn’t fit into the skillet, lower heat for the second batch to prevent over cooking shrimp.
9. Add dressing and shrimp to a pre-made bowl and enjoy!

 

A Bit Of Pork Loin

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Pork tenderloin is a good cut of meat that can be cooked in a variety of ways. You can smoke it, barbecue it and roast it with different flavors. Since my rosemary is growing wild in its pot outside, I decided to stuff the pork loin with some fresh garlic and rosemary and base it with a balsamic honey glaze near the end of the cooking process. I paired the pork with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli and broccoli and cheese rice with extra streamed broccoli during the week. It also makes a wonderful sandwich with lettuce and sliced tomato. Depending on the size of the loin, it can be plenty, so I highly recommend cutting and freezing a few servings in clearly-labeled freezer bags to make the most of your work. Once cooked, it’s easy to defrost and pair it with a new side and vegetable in a couple weeks when a quick meal is needed. Check out the recipe below and enjoy!

Serves 8-10
Cook time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:
1 pork loin (1.5 -2 lbs.)
6 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1/2 tbsp. sea salt
1 1/2 tbsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tsp. cayenne
1 cup diced yellow onion
1/2 cup water

Glaze:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. local honey
1 tsp. coarse black pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut about four, finger-length slits in the top of your loin and add to a roasting pan or oven safe dish.
3. Smash and peel garlic cloves and rinse rosemary. Shove garlic and rosemary pieces into the slits until filled.
4. Peel and dice onion and add with the water to he roasting pan. Season loin along the top for a nice crust.
5. Cover with foil and cook for an hour.
6. Combine balsamic vinegar and honey on a small dish until honey is dissolved, add pepper and mix with a fork. Pour over loin then let cook for another 10 minutes.
7. Remove from oven. Internal temperature should read between 140-145 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer, let rest for 10 minutes before cutting and making sure the loin is not running pink.
8. Serve with sides of choice and enjoy!

 

A Bit Of Eggplant

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Eggplant is one of those misunderstood vegetables. It grows in many varieties with varying levels of sweetness and is easy to incorporate in a roasted vegetable medley, ratatouille, or made creole style with seafood and ground meat. I decided to give it some Asian flavor with a little sesame oil, ground ginger and a healthy hand of green onion. Since I keep shrimp on hand, that was a simple protein to add atop my sautéed eggplant. Check out the recipe below and let me know your thoughts.

Sautéed shrimp and eggplant
Serves 2

Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant
1 small onion diced
1 small bell pepper diced
3 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. coarse black pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
1 tbsp. onion powder
10 medium shrimp
1 medium lime

Directions:
1. Rinse eggplant and cut off ends. Cut in half longwise, then cut each half into thirds in slices. Keep slices stacked and cut into strips before dicing. Repeat with second half.
2. Rinse bell pepper then cut in half and remove seeds and stem. Cut into strips then dice. Repeat with second half.
3. Cut one end off the onion then cut in half and peel each half. Cut into strips up to the remaining end then dice. (Keep to stabilize the onion while you dice). Repeat with second half.
4. Peel and dice cloves of garlic.
5. Heat sesame and 1/2 the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add vegetables once hot. Add half of the seasonings and stir well. Add a splash of water to prevent sticking. Let cook for 5 minutes.
6. While mixture continues to cook, peel and devein shrimp and season with remaining seasoning.
7. In a small skillet, heat remaining olive oil and add shrimp, seasoned side down once hot. Cook for three minutes, stir vegetable mixture then flip shrimp. Cut lime in half and squeeze a half over the shrimp. Let cook for 2-3 minutes then turn off heat.
8. Plate and enjoy.