Pickled Veggie Relish

pickledveg

Have you ever been to a really good Mexican restaurant where they bring you those amazing pickled carrots with jalapenos?  Yeah, they’re pretty amazing.  We’ve even posted on this before from our good friend and chef Alejandro!  We had a bunch of veggies that were getting pretty sad, so instead of being wasteful we re-purposed them in to this incredible relish.  We tossed this in to a fresh salad in lou of dressing, topped it on to some baked cod and added it like giardinera to a sandwich!  It’s very versatile and packed with flavor.  The recipe below is a loose version of what we did, use what you have on hand for vegetables- we used carrots, celery, onion, sweet mixed peppers and cilantro.

Recipe/ Directions

2-3 cups vegetables, carrots/ celery/ onion/ peppers

4-6 garlic cloves, rough chop or whole

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, optional

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

1/2 cup rice wine vinegar

1-2 cups water

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1/2 tsp salt and pepper, to taste

1.) Chop your vegetables to bite size or relish size pieces ( however you’d like to eat them!)

2.) Place all vegetables, garlic, cilantro, vinegars and coriander, salt and pepper in to a large saucepan, add enough water to cover everything.

3.) Bring the pan to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for about 5 more minutes.

4.) Once cooled slightly, put in to Ball jars to store in the refrigerator, And they’ll keep for about 3 months.

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Fancy Frozen Pizza

Almost every Friday, we pick up a frozen pizza.  Now this isn’t glamorous, but it’s our way of “eating in” instead of out, to save money, and also to just relax after a long week.  The last thing we ever want to do is make an extravagant dinner with a sink full of dishes to clean after a week of long days and work overload.  That being said, we go back and forth between $5 take and bake pizza from Dominick’s or frozen ($7.50) Home Run Inn pizza.  To fancify, we’ll chop up fresh garlic, basil, tomato, sometimes red peppers and mushrooms too… pop it in the oven and finish with fresh grated parmesan, a glass of wine ( or a cold beer depending on the day) and a new movie in your very own living room, snuggling with the people ( and kitties) you love 🙂  ooooo Fridays, gotta love em! 

Quinoa with Pine Nuts and Parsley

Quinoa is an incredible grain ( well technically it’s a seed), there’s a theme this month!  Like our Amaranth grain from last week, quinoa is very high in protein- the complete kind ( meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids) and is especially high in the amino acid lysine ( essential for tissue growth and repair)  Along with it’s protein power, quinoa is a very high in manganese an is a good source of magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus, which can be very good for you if you suffer migraine headaches, diabetes and atherosclerosis. source

Grains keep really well so they make great pantry staples.  They can really add volume and nutrients to any meal in a pinch.  This weekend was SO busy that we didn’t even grocery shop, so it was time to get creative with stuff we already had- Extra pine nuts from the Homemade Pesto, parsley from the Shrimp Succotash, and green onions ( that were almost out the door!) and chicken broth from our Asian Noodle Bowl.   With quinoa on hand it was a cinch to toss this side dish together.  We served it steaming hot with broiler buttermilk ( always left over from Muffins!) marinated chicken breasts and a quick fennel salad. 
 

Ingredients (Makes 4 servings)
adapted from Ellie Krieger So Easy
2 cups Reduced Sodium Chicken Broth
1 cup quinoa
1/4 cup pine nuts, dry roasted
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon pepper

Directions

Place broth and quinoa in a sauce pan, stir, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, cook covered for 15 minutes.

Heat a pan over medium high heat, add the pine nuts and roast till slightly golden brown, tossing often.  Set aside in a bowl.

Add oil to the same pan and warm up over medium heat, add scallions and cook for 1 minute, add garlic, stir and remove from heat.

Fluff cooked quinoa, then add scallion mixture, pine nuts, parsley and season with salt/ pepper to taste. 

Serve hot!

Asian Vegetable and Chicken Noodle Bowl

Want a take out style meal that you can make at home in under 30 minutes?  Well look no further!  Sesame whole wheat rice noodles topped with ginger laden chicken and fresh veggies will fill you up and satisfy any take out craving. 
Ingredients

(adapted from So Easy, Ellie Kreiger)
8 oz. soba noodles or whole wheat udon noodles
2 tsp canola oil
1 bunch scallions, sliced
1 Tbsp minced, peeled, fresh ginger
10 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1-15 oz can no salt added baby corn, drained and rinsed
1/2 lb broccoli florets (3 cups)
1/2 pound fresh baby bella mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1/3 c low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 c low-sodium soy sauce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds

 Directions

1. Cook noodles according to package directions.

2. Heat the canola oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the scallions and ginger and cook, stirring until fragrant, but not brown, about 30 seconds. Add the chicken a little salt and pepper ( garlic powder too if you like!) and cook, stirring occasionally, until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes. Add the baby corn, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, broth, and soy sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5-6 minutes. Add the noodles and sesame oil. Toss to combine.

BBQ Pulled Chicken and Easy Slaw

This was really quick and simple to throw together, and a tasty healthy meal. Perfect for a summer Sunday like we just had! Using a rotisserie chicken is a great way to make cooking faster, clean up easier and you can find one for around $6- can’t beat that! This sauce is sweet and savory, not thick and overpowering- we promise you won’t miss the fatty pork at all, dig in!

BBQ Pulled Chicken
Ingredients:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
16 ounces low-sodium tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
5 tablespoons molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 whole rotisserie chicken, skin removed, meat shredded into thin strips (about 4 to 4 1/2 cups)
6 whole-wheat hamburger rolls
6 large romaine lettuce leaves

Directions:

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add tomato sauce, water, vinegar, molasses, pepper and liquid smoke and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Add chopped chicken, return to a simmer, and cook an additional 10 minutes.

Split rolls. Place a leaf of lettuce on each roll, then pile on 3/4 cup of the chicken mixture onto the roll.

Easy Classic Coleslaw
Ingredients:
1/2 cup nonfat Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more to taste
1 (12-ounce) bag broccoli slaw mix

Directions:

In a large bowl whisk together the Greek or stained yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Add coleslaw mix and toss to coat.

Pasta Presto

Busy weeknights call for imaginative meals.  We found ourselves without a plan for dinner one night, and with a fridge/ pantry full of random ingredients begging to be used asap.  So, we made a pasta with yummy remains of fresh herbs and extra salad fixings ( goat cheese, yellow peppers, cherry and sun dried tomatoes), plus some leftover broth and wine.  It happened to be a very fresh, deeply flavorful, and very nutritious pasta entree that we just had to share with you!
Ingredients:
½ pound whole wheat bow tie pasta, cooked and drained, reserve ½ cup water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup diced yellow pepper
½ cup parsley, chopped
½ cup basil, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
14.5 ounce can Cannellini Beans ( white beans), low sodium and rinsed
¼ cup white wine
1 cup water
½ cup vegetable broth, reduced sodium
8 oz reduced sodium tomato sauce
2 ounces goat cheese
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large pan with high sides, over medium high heat. Add in onion, cook for 3 minutes. Add in yellow peppers and garlic, cook one minute more. Stir in white wine and cook till completely reduced, about 3 minutes. Then toss in the parsley, basil, tomatoes, beans, water, broth and tomato sauce. Stir to combine well and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook for about 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in goat cheese and taste test. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss in pasta stir to combine, if the sauce is too thick- add in some reserved pasta water until your desired consistency.  To serve, plate a portion and top with grated Parmesan.

Tuna Burgers for 2


In an effort to stay away from the grocery store and use up some ingredients we had on hand, Tuna Burgers were brought to life- not a tuna salad sandwich and not a beefy burger, but a merging of the two… the result was a delicious warm patty of perfectly seasoned tuna on a bed of spinach and fresh tomato- give it a try,

Ingredients:
20 ounces of tuna in water, drained VERY well
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon Teriyaki
1 egg
salt and pepper to taste
Canola Oil
Combine all ingredients together (save the Canola) and form in to 4 equal sized patties. In a large frying pan, distribute Canola oil to cover bottom of the pan, and heat over medium high heat. Add the burgers and cook till browned, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with your favorite sliced cheese, spinach, tomato, and avocado on a bun. Enjoy!