Salmon & Arugula Salad w/ Walnuts, Onion & Heart of Palm

I was unsure what I wanted for lunch today, so I went with an easy option...and pretty much the only thing I could make with what I had in my fridge. This salad is really easy and while the salmon cooks, you can prep your veggies and clean up, so when all's said and done, only 15 minutes will have passed. And, it was so good!

Prep Time: 5 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Serves: 1, but just double the ingredients for 2, and so on

Ingredients: 5oz piece of non-farmed salmon 1 T olive oil (salmon) 1/2 t sea salt 1/2 t ground black pepper 1/2 lemon wedge, cut into three sections 1/3 box of arugula 4 stalks heart of palm, sliced 1 1/2 T sliced or chopped red onion 1 T olive oil (dressing) Himalayan sea salt, to taste Ground black pepper, to taste

Prepping & Cooking: Preheat oven to 420 degrees. Prep a cookie sheet with foil and spray some olive oil on top. Rinse the salmon and pat dry. Place the salmon on the foil and top with juice of one section of the lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper. When the oven is ready, place the fish inside and set the timer for 15 minutes (oven temps vary).

While the salmon is cooking, put the arugula on the plate and drizzle with olive oil and second slice of fresh lemon. Gently toss the greens to absorb the dressing. Chop the onion and heart of palm. Add to the plate. After the salmon has spent about 15 minutes in the oven, place it on top of the salad and squeeze final section of lemon on top and add salt and pepper to taste. All done!

Arugula, Scallop & Brussels Sprout Salad

Scallops are great on their own, but if you want to change it up or if you've never made them at all, they make a lovely salad topper. I normally make my salads with chicken or some kind of fish, but I ordered a ton of scallops and needed to use them up. In addition, the arugula, Brussels sprouts, heart of palm and onions tie it all together nicely. Not only is this salad delicious and packed with clean protein, it's easy to make.

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 10 minutes Serves: 1, but just double the ingredients for 2, and so on

Ingredients: 5 large scallops sliced in half 1 T olive oil 1/2 t sea salt 5 Brussels sprouts 1/3 box of arugula 2 stalks heart of palm, sliced 1 1/2 T chopped red onion 1 T olive oil 1 T balsamic vinegar Himalayan sea salt, to taste Ground black pepper, to taste

Prepping & Cooking: Rinse the scallops with water and dry with a paper towel. Slice in half. Heat a pan on medium and add olive oil. After the oil is heated, sauté the scallops (sprinkle the sea salt) for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Steam the Brussels sprouts until they are slightly undercooked.

While the sprouts are cooking, put the arugula on the plate, and top with the heart of palm, and onion. Drizzle with olive oil. After 10 minutes, put the scallops on the plate with the salad. When the sprouts are done, chop each sprout in fours and add to the plate. Top with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and enjoy!

Baked Asian Chicken Salad w/ Heart of Palm

I used to hate cooking chicken. I mean, I think we can all agree that a piece of uncooked chicken is not that attractive, or any raw meat or fish, for that matter. But, alas, we need our protein, and if cook and eat animal protein, we should get accustomed to handling the meat, right? Well, maybe just slightly shut your eyes or have your significant other do it. ;-) After all that, I have to admit that the main event of this salad is really not the chicken. It's the heart of palm! So nutty, yet sweet, and oh so delish! I could eat an entire can, but I somehow managed to make this last through four salads. :) Also, I love mache. If you haven't tried this lovely baby lettuce, you are in for a treat! This salad is simple, but elegant (mache is mainly produced in France) and would also bode well as a starter salad by eliminating the chicken.

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes Cooking Temperature: 350 degrees Serves: 1 (there will be enough chicken for 2, so just double the other  ingredients below)

Chicken Ingredients: 4 chicken breasts that weigh about 4-8 ounces (I use the extra pieces of chicken for lunch or dinner the next day with a side of veggies) 1 T olive oil 1/2 T sesame oil 1/2 T tamari (gluten free) or soy sauce 1 T gomasio seasoning (get this at your health food store, Whole Foods; or just use  a mix of sea salt, sesame seeds, and garlic powder) 1/2 T pepper

Salad Ingredients: 1 T olive oil 1/3 box of mache lettuce 2 stalks of heart of palm 1 T olive oil Fresh squeezed lemon, to taste Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste 2 T finely diced scallions or red onions 1 T balsamic vinegar

Prepping & Cooking: Clean and cut off extra fat from chicken (those weird white parts) and place into a shallow dish or bowl. In a bowl, place olive oil, sesame oil, tamari or soy sauce, Gomasio, and black pepper. Give it a stir and pour over chicken. Flip the chicken a few times to make sure all sides are coated with the marinade and set a timer for 15 minutes.

When there's about 5 minutes left on the timer, pre-heat oven to 350. Place tin foil on baking sheet and when chicken is finished marinating, evenly place on the foil so the pieces aren't touching. When oven is ready, put the chicken in and set the timer for 30 minutes. I usually check it around 20 minutes and cut the thicker pieces to see if they are still pink. Cook the chicken until you see no pink (depending on the thickness of the breasts, it could take 25-30 minutes).

While the chicken is cooking, place the mache on a plate and top with fresh squeezed lemon, sea salt and pepper. Cut the heart of palm into small pieces in any shape you like and put on the lettuce. Once the chicken is ready, cut into bite-sized pieces and place on the salad. Sprinkle the scallions on top and drizzle with the balsamic dressing. Enjoy!

 

Garlic and Olive Oil Mahi Mahi over Sautéed Kale

I have learned to love making mahi mahi. This fish is light in color and rich in nutrients and can be be pretty much topped with anything, making it similar to chicken (okay, maybe that's like saying you can cook a snake with some lemon and it tastes like chicken, or camel, but you get the idea). I will get back to the point: this mahi is topped with olive oil, gomasio seasoning (sea salt, garlic and sesame), and fresh ground pepper. That's all and it's fabulous - make this on your next Tinder date and everyone will be happy with your culinary skills.

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes Cooking Temperature: 425 degrees Serves: 2

Ingredients: 2 wild mahi filets at about 8-10 ounces for the pair, (or, Whole Foods has wild mahi in the freezer section for about 10 bucks!) 1 T olive oil 1 T gomasio seasoning (get this at your health food store, Whole Foods; or just use sea salt, sesame seeds, and garlic powder) 1/2 T pepper 1/2 bunch green kale (cut off stems, rinse and dry) 1 T olive oil 3 cloves of garlic 1 T Gomasio

Cooking & Chopping: Pre-heat oven to 425. Place tin foil on baking sheet and lightly brush with olive oil. Place fish on top and rub with olive oil, Gomasio and pepper. Place in heated oven and set your timer for 15 minutes. In the meantime, remove kale from stalks and break into 1-inch-sized pieces. Make sure kale is mostly dry by patting with paper towels or a clean dish towel.

While the fish is cooking, start on the kale. On medium heat, warm olive oil and add garlic. Sauté for about 1 minute until garlic is cooked. Add kale and mix frequently with a wooden spoon until the kale is wilted and add the gomasio. If you feel like a lot of smoke is coming from the pan, lower the heat a bit. The kale should only take about 5-7 minutes.

Once fish is cooked, remove from oven and set aside while you plate the kale. I take the sides of the foil and cover the fish until I'm ready to eat it - this let's it steam up a bit more and prevents it from cooling off. Put the kale on a plate and plop the fish on top. You now have a beautiful and nutritious meal! Nom nom!

Arugula Salad with Halibut, Pinto Beans & Veggies

I love salads. Especially when I just spent 14 days in Morocco eating bread with numerous meals (lots of healthy stuff happened, don't get me wrong, but bread is a staple over there). And yes, I ate the bread and yes, I liked it. And yes, I felt majorly bloated after the meal.

Anyway, here is a simple salad that will satisfy your tastebuds and also looks pretty nice on a plate. ;-) I used artichokes, avocado, pinto beans, olives, Persian cucumbers, but you can use whichever veggies you want - onions, tomatoes, carrots, or anything you fancy!

Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2 (or 2 meals for the single diner)

Ingredients: 2 frozen halibut fillets or of course you can use fresh (I buy from Whole Foods - open packs and let defrost overnight in the fridge) 1 T Olive oil ½ of lemon, squeezed Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste 2-3oz prepared package of arugula (about half a package or as much as you want!) 5 chopped artichoke hearts 1/4 chopped avocado 1/4 cup pinto beans (strained and rinsed) 1 Persian cucumber or 1/4 cup chopped regular cucumber 6 small black olives (I used black turkish olives) 1 1/2 T Olive oil (for dressing) 1/2 T Balsamic vinegar (for dressing) 1/2 lemon, squeezed (for dressing) Himalayan sea salt and ground black pepper - topper

Cooking & Chopping: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put fish in a shallow dish and top with olive oil, white vinegar, and salt and pepper. Then place halibut on a cookie sheet with piece of foil (to save cleaning time) Once the oven is preheated, place halibut into the oven. Set timer for 25 minutes and chop up your salad toppings. Check the fish in 25 minutes - it should flake with a fork.

Place arugula in a bowl and toss with the olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper; place on plate. Top with your veggies. When halibut is cooked, remove and separate halibut from skin carefully with a spatula (unless you like the skin). Place about 5 ounces of halibut on top of your salad and top with a little fresh squeezed lemon and ground pepper. Put on a plate and eat up! Yum!

Greek(ish) Baked Mahi Mahi

Whenever I make mahi mahi I find it incredibly hard to find a recipe that I like and I'm not sure why this happens. With this recipe, I have solved my problem. This is my version of a Greek-style mahi mahi...if you add citrus fruit, olive oil and salt, you can make anything amazing. :) Cooking Time and Temp: 25 minutes at 425 degrees

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2

Ingredients: 2 wild mahi filets, (also, Whole Foods has a nice wild mahi in the freezer section) 1 t sea salt 1 t coarse ground pepper 10 chopped baby tomatoes 10 chopped black olives 1/4 chopped red onion lime juice of 1 lime 1/2 T olive oil 1/2 T white vinegar

Cooking & Chopping: Pre-heat oven to 425. Place tin foil on baking sheet and lightly brush with olive oil. Place fish on top and rub with olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Place in heated oven. Chop tomato, olive and onion and top with olive oil and vinegar.  Mix and set aside.

Cook fish for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and top with tomato mixture and cover lightly with foil. Cook 5 to 10 minutes longer until opaque and flaky. Remove and put over your favorite veggie or grain (I like a combination of 1/8 cup brown rice and sauteed onion and bell pepper) - photo below. For the veggies, coarsely chop and sauté in olive oil for about 10 minutes.

Enjoy!! Or if you want to get fancy, you can say it in Greek: καλή όρεξη

Salmon & Mixed Veggie Salad

Salads are usually part of my daily routine, but there is always a way to make each one different - try changing up the greens (spinach, arugula or mixed greens) and always mix and match the veggies. Sometimes I put beans for protein instead of seafood, but my favorite version includes salmon. Just an FYI: I would normally put avocado in this salad, but unfortunately I ran out at breakfast and the ones in my kitchen aren't ripe yet. :( Also, I like to make two servings of fish, so that I can make dinner with the leftovers; tonight I will pair the extra salmon with some quinoa and sautéed spinach with garlic.  If you're cooking for two, just double the salad ingredients and split the salmon in half. Easy!

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

Wild salmon fillet (I usually do about 10 ounces so that I get two portions)

1 T Olive oil

½ of lemon, squeezed

½ T white wine vinegar

Himalayan sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

2-3oz prepared package of arugula (about half a package)

3 cremini mushrooms, chunked

½ large carrot, chopped

5 black olives, chopped

1 scallion, diced

¼ cup organic cheddar cheese (optional)

3/4 T Olive oil (for dressing)

1/2 lemon, squeezed (for dressing)

Himalayan sea salt and ground black pepper - topper

Cooking & Chopping:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon on a cooking sheet with piece of foil (to save cleaning time) and top with olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Once the oven is preheated, place salmon into the oven. Set timer for 20 minutes and chop up your veggies. Place arugula and veggies in a bowl and toss with the olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper; place on plate. When salmon is cooked, remove and separate salmon from skin carefully with a spatula (unless you like the skin). Place about 4 ounces of salmon on top of your salad and top with a little fresh squeezed lemon and ground pepper.

Eat and enjoy!

Rocket Salad with Balsamic & Agave Tofu (or Chicken)

If you're looking to find a great dinner salad or just a new recipe to try, this is the one! I start out with a bed of rocket (arugula) and top it with a combination of vegetables, avocado and nuts. You don't have to follow my toppings exactly, just use your favorite ingredients and every time the salad will get that much more exciting. Yes, a salad can be exciting (in my weird world) and I change it up each time by adding a new topping or trying a new dressing! I do, however, highly suggest using arugula, because the salad will not be the same without that key ingredient—if you must substitute, go with spinach or mixed greens. In less than 30 minutes, this flavor-filled dinner will not disappoint even the most discerning palates...even the saladphobes. I use tofu for this recipe, but I made chicken for my poultry-eating roommate and she loved it! Rocket is one of my favorite salad greens; not just because it's low in calories (just two calories per half cup serving) and high in vitamins A and C, but because of its strong, delicious flavor, compared to romaine, for example. This recipe serves two.

img01019-20100524-1944 Marinade 1 pound extra firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 1-inch cubes or 2, 4- to 6-ounce servings of chicken breasts 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 2 T soy sauce 1/2 T agave nectar 2 T extra virgin olive oil 2 cloves of garlic smashed A Pinch of fresh or dried Thyme, Oregano, Rosemary, and Marjoram. (Feel free to use any of your favorite herbs or leave them out completely if you wish)

Salad 1 bag wild arugula salad 1/4 cup julienned carrots 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms 1/2 cup sliced (in halves) grape or cherry tomatoes Sliced red onions or scallions to taste 1/4 cup sunflower seeds 1/8 cup pine nuts 1/2 avocado cut into slices 2 servings of goat cheese (see package for serving size)

Salad Dressing 3 T olive oil 1 T balsamic vinegar 1 T agave (or honey) t sea salt

Directions Mix marinade in a shallow bowl or small tupperware and add tofu. Let sit for about an hour. In a medium-sized skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add tofu (with marinade) and sauté for about 10 minutes or to your liking. While the tofu is cooking, mix the olive oil, agave and sea salt in a small bowl. Put salad ingredients into a large bowl (leaving out the avocado and goat cheese), and toss. Put salad on two plates and add avocado, goat cheese and tofu to the top. Sprinkle with black pepper to taste and you've got yourself a gourmet salad!

Pasta di Farro

For all of the pasta lovers out there, this quick and easy homemade pasta dish with farro (see About Farro below) is a healthy alternative to regular pasta. I learned about farro through my friend Alexi, who spent a couple years in Italy. Don't mind the spoon in the photo below, there were no forks in my office. ;) pasta1Ingredients ½ container of farro spaghetti (about 4oz) 3 T olive oil 6 garlic cloves chopped (garlic lovers: add more) ½ yellow onion, chopped 2 large on-the-vine tomatoes (or tomato of your choice), chopped 1 t sea salt Fresh black pepper (to taste) Red pepper flakes 1 T fresh basil or ½ T dried Fresh parmesan

Instructions Bring water to a boil in a medium-sized pot. Add farro and cook according to instructions on package, about 6-8 minutes. While pasta is boiling, in a small saucepan, on low to medium heat, warm the olive oil (about 30 seconds) and add chopped garlic and onions. Saute for 3-4 minutes until garlic is browned and add the tomatoes and sea salt. Stir. Sprinkle the black pepper, red pepper and basil and bring mixture to a boil. Cook on low to medium heat for about 20 minutes or until sauce is to your desired thickness. Stir every couple of minutes to mix the flavors around. Serves 2-4, depending on your appetite. :)

About Farro Farro is an ancestor of modern wheat that closely resembles spelt, which has been grown throughout Europe for centuries. With the increasing interest in healthy and organic foods in the US, farro is starting to show up in more and more restaurants and grocery stores—I buy mine at a local Italian shop near my apartment: Rafetto's.

Farro is an unhybridized form of wheat that closely resembles spelt, but has a hearty and nutty flavor that last throughout the next day's leftovers. A great alternative for people who are sensitive to hybridized wheat, the type of gluten in farro is easily digested.

What is Spaghetti? "A long, thin form of pasta. Spaghetti is the plural form of the Italian word spaghetto, which is a diminutive of spago, meaning thin string or twine. The word spaghetti can be literally translated as little strings." - cubemarketplace.com

Bean & Arugula Soup

About a year ago my friend Alexi and I found this yummerific bean soup recipe and since I have made it over 15 times. About 20 minutes to prepare and cook, this easy-breezy soup makes a great lunch for 4 days or you can cook it up as a nice dish for your friends; I usually do the former. You can also pair it with some garlic toast or even sprinkle some Parmesan cheese over the top right before eating. Ingredients

2 large garlic cloves 1/4 cup plus 1/2 tbls extra virgin olive oil 1 (14- 15 oz) can stewed tomatoes 1 3/4 cups reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth 2 (19 oz) cans canellini beans, rinsed and drained (3 cups) 1 package (4-5 links) of spicy sausage -- I like to get Tofurky Kielbasa 1/4 tsp black pepper to taste 1 (5 oz) bag baby arugula

soup1Cook garlic in 1/4 cup oil in a 3.5 to 4.5 quart heavy pot over moderately high heat, stirring until golden, 1 to 2 min. Add sausage and saute for 2-5 minutes (refer to package for cook time). Coarsley cut up tomatoes in can with kitchen shears (I just leave them whole), then add (with juice) to garlic and sausage in oil. Stir in broth, beans, and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in arugula and cook until wilted, 1.5 min. Serves 4.