Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Summer Scallops

Scallops are the perfect summer dish.  They are quick and easy to cook so you don't waste time in the kitchen when you could be catching rays at the pool.  I recently went scalloping in the gulf with some of my best friends and I think that I have cooked scallops in about 10 different ways, all which were delicious.  This recipe stuck out because of the ease of the preparation and the shorter ingredient list... hope you enjoy

Seared Scallops in herb and butter sauce
Recipe from Cooking Light

1 TBS chopped fresh parsley
1 TBS chopped fresh chives
2 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops or the equivalent in bay scallops if you have access
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 TBS chopped shallots
1 TBS white wine vinegar
3 TBS chilled butter, cubed
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a little bit of olive oil to the pan to heat.  Rinse and dry the scallops, then sprinkle the scallops with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.  Cook about 3 minutes on each side (if using bay scallops it will be about 3-4 minutes cooking time total).  Cook until browned and remove from pan.  Keep warm
Then combine the wine, shallots, and vinegar in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Cook 5 minutes until liquid is reduced to about 1 TBS.  Then turn the heat down to low.  Slowly add the butter, in cubes, one at a time until all the butter is melted and mixed in.  Stir in the parsley, chives, thyme and about 1/8 tsp of both salt and pepper.... 
Plate scallops and pour the sauce on top.

I enjoyed serving this dish with Israeli Couscous and steamed sugar snap peas.  It is a versatile dish and will pretty mush go with anything

Monday, April 16, 2012

Roasted Green Beans and Carrots

I love a simple and delicious vegetable side. We have been eating our weight in green beans and carrots lately. The combination of these two veggies not only have a gorgeous color palette but there flavors blend perfectly together. Of course, the Penzey's Spices provide the additional burst of flavor

Roasted Green Beans and Carrots

A pearce's kitchen original

2 lbs "skinny" organicgreen beans, ends cut off
1 bag of organic carrots, cut in half
garlic salt to taste
penzeys shallot pepper to taste
lemon pepper to taste
olive oil

To cook
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Combine all of the above, making sure that you coat the veggies evenly with the oil and seasoning. Place on a large cookie sheet lines with aluminum foil and place in oven. Cook for 15 minutes, then with a spatula toss the veggies and replace back into the oven. Then cook another 10-18 minutes, depending on how soft you want your veggies. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

This veggie side dish will go with anything.... Even added cold into a salad they are delicious :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Springtime Rice

One of my favorite meals to plan for is definitely Easter. I have a tradition of having a rack of lamb grilled with the best mint jelly I can get my hands on. I love lamb.

I have decided to accompany my Easter tradition with this Springtime Rice dish. I have made it several times paired with grilled chicken, shrimp, and sometimes just right out of the fridge!

Try this recipe out soon, it will not disappoint

Springtime Rice
Recipe from How Sweet it is


1 bunch of organic asparagus, get the thin asparagus if available
2 TBS olive oil
3/4 cup (uncooked) brown jasmine rice
1 cup chicken stock, or vegetable stock
1 shallot, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 container baby bella mushrooms, rinsed well and quartered
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
1/8-1/4 cup roasted almond pieces, or walnuts, roughly chopped


Cook rice according to package directions, using the chicken stock (1 cup) in place of 1 cup of the water that the directions on package specify.

While rice is cooking, preheat the oven to 400. Toss the asparagus in olive oil, salt, pepper, and roast asparagus on baking sheet for 15-20 minutes.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, add 1 TBS olive oil and then add the diced shallots. Add a pinch of salt and cook for 3-5 minutes. Then add in the chopped mushrooms, and saute for another 3-5 minutes. You want the shrooms to be soft. Then stir in the garlic and chopped dried cherries and cook until the garlic speaks. Turn the heat up to medium high, then add the white wine, cook for 3 minutes. Then reduce the heat to low.

When the rice is finished cooking, add the rice to the shallot/cherry mixture. When asparagus is roasted, give the asparagus a rough chop (into bite size pieces), then add to the rice mixture. Sprinkle roasted almonds (or walnuts) on top Serve and enjoy

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Asian Slaw

I'm BACK! I know that it has been a while since I blogged, not sure where the time has gone. But I am here now and have lots of recipes to share. I think that it helps that I have been cooking when it is still daylight outside so that helps with the pictures :)

Asian Slaw

recipe adapted from Guy Fieri

What you need:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 TBS minced ginger (fresh or from a jar is fine)
1 TBS minced garlic
2 TBS brown sugar
5 TBS low sodium soy sauce
4 TBS mirin (or white wine)
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 cup thinly sliced organic napa cabbage (Can cheat and buy the already chopped cabbage mix)
1 cup thinly slice organic green cabbage (Cheat here also)
1 cup julienned organic carrots (cheat and buy the ones in the bag)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped bok choy (1 bunch of baby bok choy is a good amount)
red onion and green onions (1/2 cup of each - I don't like raw onions so not in my recipe)
peanuts, for garnish
** After making this several times and loving it, I have also started to add shelled edamame and a sprinkle of sesame seeds at the end...
*** Note: Guy Fieri also uses wontons and bean sprouts in his recipe so check the link above if you want to see exactly what he does. I leave these out

To prepare:
In a saucepan, add 2 TBS olive oil, ginger, and garlic. Saute until lightly browned and the flavors "speak". Add in the brown sugar, soy sauce, and mirin. Continue to saute for 5 minuts and then remove from the heat. Allow to cool then whisk in the olive oil, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar.
Mix all the vegetables in a large LARGE bowl. Begin by pouring half of the dressing over and mix well. Then add the rest of the dressing as needed. Garnish with peanuts.

NOTE: I like to leave about 1 cup of the vegetables out of the mix and add the next day to "freshen" the salad. It lasts in my fridge for 2-3 days without getting too soggy, but it does help to add fresh veggie mix to brighten it up. However, if you know that you are going to eat all that night, go ahead and add all of the vegetable mix.

We have made this asian slaw 2 times in the past week! It may seem like a lot of ingredients but you can cut down on some of the chopping time if you buy the ingredients already chopped so you literally only dump them in! By infusing the garlic and ginger into the oil and soy sauce you create such a wonderful flavor for the dressing.

I love to serve this dish with fish (tuna steaks are the best), flank steak, and even with just some grilled chicken on top is wonderful :)
Let me know if you make it and give me your review

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Baked Crab Cakes with Lemon Mustard Sauce over a bed of Arugula

The winter months here in Birmingham have been mild (knock on wood), I feel like our fall was colder than our winter. I am not complaining, but the sunny bright blue skies and slight coolness is making me crave a beach trip with fresh seafood involved. I made these crab cakes, which were recommended to me from a friend, a week ago and still craving them. They have such a wonderful lemon flavor that makes them so fresh. Make them today and enjoy

Baked Crab Cakes
inspired by Kitchen Daily and Allison K.
1/3 cup of mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
2 TBS dijon mustard
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp old bay seasoning
1 TBS fresh parsley, chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 egg
1 LB fresh lump crabmeat, rinsed to check for small shells
1/2 tsp Salt
pepper to taste
1 cup bread crumbs, or 1 cup Almond Meal (I like almond meal but it can be hard to find and expensive)

Lemon Mustard Sauce

1/3 cup mayonnaise or greek yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
2 TBS dijon mustard
1 1/2 TBS chopped fresh parsley


Fresh Arugula, washed and rinsed
sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese
avocado, sliced
red peppers, diced
1/2 to 1 lemon, juice squeezed (depends on how much lemon you like!)
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 TBS balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix mayo (or greek yogurt), dijon, lemon zest, old bay, parsley, scallions, and egg. Add the crab meat and season with the salt and pepper. Be sure to combine well.

Place the almond meal (or bread crumbs) onto a plate. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly oil the foil or use a non stick spray on foil.

Form the crab cakes into a ball using 1/4 cup mixture for each crab cake. Then dip the cake into the almond meal or bread crumbs and flatten to about 1 inch high. Note - this mixture doesn't hold together very well, so just know that it will be messy and your hands will get dirty! Just do your best to work with the mixture and form it into a round patty.

Bake for 10 minutes. After ten minutes, turn your broiled on high and cook for another 1-2 minutes to brown cakes. Be sure to watch the broiled carefully so you don't burn!

When baking, prepare the sauce by combining the mayo or greek yogurt, lemon juice, dijon mustard and fresh parsley. Stir together well.

To make salad, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice and whisk until well combined. Toss the arugula with some of the dressing (this dressing makes enough for several salads). Throw in the cut avocado and peppers.

Plate the salad, layer the crab cakes on top and drizzle the mustard sauce on top.

This is such a wonderfully fresh salad that has the perfect amount of lemon. IF you use the almond meal, the carb count is very low. Substituting for the yogurt will also reduce total calories. ENJOY

Monday, January 16, 2012

This week's menu

Power protein smoothies... recipe to come this week, I promise!

Spinach salads with grilled chicken or tofu, homemade dressing and lots of delicious toppings (avocado, artichoke, peppers, pepperocinis, olives, etc)

Boiled Shrimp with spinach salad
Leftover soup
Crabcakes on a bed or arugula with lemon, olive oil, balsamic dressing (homemade)
Thursday night dinner TBD....

Snacks.... snacks are the hardest thing for me. Many days I don't get home until 7 pm so I must eat a snack or I feel sick and none of my clients want to hear their instructor's intestines making a ton of noise! It is around 3-4 pm that I get hungry, no matter if I had a small or large lunch. I need NEED NEED some ideas for snacks that are easily transportable and filling. I.E. a mozzarella string cheese is not my idea of filling. Fruits are easy, but sometimes the acidity of them ends up hurting my empty stomach... I gladly take your suggestions for healthy snacks

Please leave suggestions if you have a favorite SNACK!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

This Week's Menu

Protein Power Peanut Butter Shakes (recipe to come)


Lentil Soup - above
Cuban Flank steak with cilantro black beans

Brussels Sprouts

Another year has begun and if I could drag myself away from pinning on Pinterest, I could update this blog more! I have set many goals and one is to continue to share healthy recipes that our kitchen enjoys!

The first recipe of 2012 is one that I have now made 15 times (at least) and have not gotten a finished picture snapped yet. So many of my recipes are made at night and the lighting just makes the product look gross and I am not willing to invest in a light pod like other bloggers (Sorry)!

Anyways, these brussels sprouts are not like your grandma's.... meaning they are not boiled until they turn to mush but rather are pan seared until a night browning occurs and served with a warm butter sauce. I have entertained with these multiple times and the conversation always goes:

"I like vegetables, but brussels have never been one that I could eat"
I reply, "That's what everyone says, just try these"
Person puts a small portion on plate to be nice....
Several minutes later they walk back over and fill their plate, the brussels are that good :)

Brussels Sprouts with shallots and brown butter sauce

Adapted recipe and inspired by my favorite blog right now: How Sweet Eats (Go to her blog for some wonderful pictures of the brussels sprouts and enjoy her humorous writing)

2 Tbs olive oil
1 pound brussels sprouts - cut stems off and then cut in half lengthwise
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs unsalted butter

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the olive oil. When oil is heated, add the diced shallot and minced garlic and saute for a minute or two until the garlic "speaks" Then, push the shallot/garlic mixture to the edge of the pan and add in the brussels, place the brussels cut side down, arranging carefully so each brussels get a spot facing down in the pan (I do this by hand, one by one). Salt and pepper (add shallot pepper if you have a penzey's nearby). Cook about 7-9 minutes, testing the brussels in the center of the pan, you want them to be pretty browned before you turn them. Once they are browned, toss the brussels in the pan and add about 1 TBS water (quick steam) and cover with a lid. Cook for about 4 more minutes. While the brussels are "steaming" heat the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, whisking continuously until the butter begins to get a golden color and little brown flakes begin to appear, then remove immediately off of the burner. Remove brussels from the pan and place in serving dish. Then drizzle the butter sauce on top and serve!!!! Easy as that for a great side dish

NOTE: I have played with different add-ins that you might enjoy....
2 slices of bacon or pancetta (browned at beginning then added back in at the end)
Nuts - either walnuts or pecans, roasted and added in at the end
Cranberries - dried, tossed in at the end