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 Millet

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Father’s Day yielded great family time and a few leftovers to be worked in to this week’s meals. I don’t know about you, but my dad taught me a thing or plenty about grilling and making it worth while. So in addition to the grilled buffalo steak and lobster, I have some grilled green onion sausage for sandwiches, grilled salmon for salad and an easy, one pot dish to stretch the rest. I’ve mentioned before that a little millet goes a long way. At less than $2 a pound at Whole Foods (self serve isle), 2 cups of cooked millet can make enough millet and vegetable salad for 8-10 servings. Millet is a wonderful whole grain that cooks like rice and is easy to replace in dishes such as pasta salad. With an abundance of summer vegetables in season such as bell peppers, cucumbers, tomato and corn (also technically a whole grain), it’s easy to make a millet salad both filling and full of flavor. This dish is also easy to add grilled or baked seafood (fish or shrimp) to for a complete meal. Check out the recipe below and enjoy!

Ingredients:
1 cup of dry millet
2 cups of water
2 husks of corn
1 large cucumber
1 large bell pepper
1 large tomato
2/3 cup diced yellow onion
1/8 cup lovage or parsley
1 medium juicing orange (1/8 cup)
2 small lime juiced (1/8 cup)
1/2 cup shredded carrot fresh (1 large carrot)
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp. coarse black pepper
1 tbsp. onion powder
2 tsp. cayenne

Directions:
1. Rinse millet in a small pot and bring to a boil with water. Cook for 20 minutes.
2. While millet cooks, shuck corn and rinse well. Cut from the cob into a medium-sized bowl. Peel and dice onion and add to the bowl.
3. Peel cucumber and cut around the seeded center like a box. Cut each fourth into strips and then dice. Repeat with tomato and set aside.
4. Add hot millet over corn and onion, once cooked and stir to cool and cook mixture.
5. Peel carrot and using a potato peeler or shredder, shred or cut ribbons of carrot into the bowl.
6. Slice and dice bell pepper and add it and the cucumber and tomato to the salad.
7. Chop parsley or lovage and add to the bowl.
8. Juice orange and lime into the mixture. Add seasoning and mix well.
9. Eat as is or with protein of choice.
10. Enjoy!

A Bit of Semi-Homemade

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For nights like tonight, during a busy week, I prefer quick, semi-homemade meals. I braved the cold for needed supplies last weekend and was surprised to find a cool new item in Trader Joe’s, onion and garlic jam. It is basically reduced balsamic vinegar with caramelized onion and garlic. Though its intended use is with meats and cheeses, I thought it could be great on a flatbread. I picked up smoked salmon for the protein since it’s already cooked and flavorful, and cream cheese and capers for that tart pop that the flatbread would need. Tonight it was easy to pick a few leaves of arugula out of my backyard, though store brought is fine, and I added my last kale and Swiss chard for a quick side salad. I needed a change and a nice dose of leafy greens since I have been eating lots of chili this week. This meal definitely gave me that change and lots of flavor to boot! It took less than 20 minutes to make (cooking time) which makes it perfect for later evening meals. I’ve included the recipe for the flatbread below. As always share your thoughts. Enjoy!
Smoked Salmon Flatbread

Ingredients:
1 3 oz pack of smokes salmon
1 bag of fresh pizza dough or 1 roll of thin crust pizza dough
2 tbsp. onion and garlic jam
1/8 cup of cream cheese cubed
1 tbsp. capers
1 tsp. fresh chopped green onion
1/8 cup thinly diced red onion
Approx. 1 tbsp. olive oil

Directions:
1. Take dough out of the fridge and let it rest for 15-20 minutes in original package.
2. Line a cooking sheet with aluminum foil and evenly spread the of olive oil to prevent sticking.
3. Follow instructions on container to spread out dough and bake for 2 minutes shy of the recommended time.
5. Peel and slice the red onion. Cut a fourth off of a slab of cream cheese and cube it.
4. Remove from oven and spread jam over warmed bread and add the red onion and cream cheese. Bake for another 5-7 minutes.
5. Add the smoked salmon, capers and green onion.
6. Enjoy.

A Bit Of Luck

 

IMG_6052I always say I like to be inspired by the food around me and today was certainly no exception for my demo this morning with the mobile farmers market. Due to some technical difficulties I could not make my original idea of sweet potato and onion cakes with sage and top it with pickled kale. Instead I made a kale slaw with a great selection of zucchini, squash, purple turnips, and green onion. I made a simple, spicy rice wine vinaigrette to base the shredded mixture. Nothing is better than the surprise that crosses someone’s face from eating something healthy and delicious. Thank you to the wonderful staff of the LSU Health Clinic in Mid-City and everyone from the area who came by this morning. As always, please share your thoughts and like this post if you enjoy what you try.

Ingredients:
1 cup of shredded zucchini
1/2 cup of shredded squash
1 cup of thinly sliced kale ( cut in ribbons)
1/2 cup of minced purple turnips (2-3 bulbs)
1/2 cup of green onion
1 tsp sage
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Vinagerette ingredients:
1/2 cup of rice wine vinegar
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp coarse black pepper

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, add vinegar and sugar and mix with a whisk or fork until sugar is completely dissolved.

2. Whisk in olive oil and salt and pepper until well incorporated. (1-2 minutes)

3. Rinse the kale well and stack 3 to 5 similar-sized leaves and slice into thin ribbons before adding to the bowl with the vinaigrette

4. Using a potato peeler, remove the outside skin from the turnips.

5. Using a cheese grater, grate the turnips, zucchini and squash and put the veggies into the bowl.

6. Chop green onion and then mince it into small bits before adding it to the bowl.

7. Add seasonings and mix together thoroughly with either tongs, a spoon or by gloved hand.

8. Enjoy

Note: This can be served with the protein of your choice. I would pair it with stewed or grilled chicken, baked or seared fish or hearty pork chops.