Monday, February 21, 2011

The White Stuff is Back!

O.K. Enough of this winter already! I guess I shouldn't be upset. It is February in Cleveland. But, seeing the sun and ground over the weekend was such a tease. So, I've decided to bring Spring indoors with this lovely bloom from Trader Joe's. I also read a top 10 list of foods which will help beat the winter blues. So, I tried to include a couple of those foods(fish and lentils) into my dinner last night.
I started out by making a lentil salad .

First, I chopped 1c. of red pepper and 1 c. of red onion

Wisked together 5 T. of extra virgin olive oil, 5T. red wine vinegar, 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1/4 t. of cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.

Simmered 1 cup of rinsed lentils on medium-low heat for 15- 20 minutes. Lentils and other legumes have lots of B vitamins which help to improve immunity and mood.

Then tossed the ingredients together and serve at room temperature. Feta cheese makes and excellent garnish.

For the main dish, I tried a recipe from Giada which I've been looking at for over a year now, but, kept putting off for unknown reasons. It is Roasted Halibut with Grapefruit Fennel Salsa.

The salsa was a bit challenging, but, well worth the effort. Using 2 ruby red grapefruits, I first removed 1 teaspoon of zest with a zester. Then, using a sharp knife, I separated each of the grapefruit segments and holding the fruit over a bowl gently squeezed the juice from the halves until I had about 1/4 c. juice. Then I removed each of the segments until I had about 1 cup. Add the zest and the segments to the bowl of 1/4 c of juice.

Next, I cut a fennel bulb in half lengthwise and sliced it thin. I've avoided cooking with fennel before because I don't really like the taste of black licorice. But, I found this to really mild, crunchy and delicious.

Add it to the bowl of grapefruit segments and grapefruit juice. Add 1/4 c. of olive oil , 2T. chopped parsley, 1t. of salt and 1/8 t. of red pepper flakes. Stir to combine. This recipe also called for 2T. of Nicoise olives which I left out as my family does not like olives.

Meanwile, place 4- 6 oz pieces of Halibut on a parchment lined roasting dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 t. salt and enough pepper to taste. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes depending on thickness. Halibut was a bit on the expensive side, but, still much cheaper than going out.
Gently transfer the fish to a serving plate. Pour the salsa over the top of the roasted halibut and serve immediately.

A platter of Roasted Halibut with Ruby-red Grapefruit Salsa! That = sunshine!

There's your O-mega 3's, vitamins B's and vitamin C. Spring is coming...

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Dinner at Home

This is what it looked like around here on Saturday night. I try to be proponent of you, dear Cleveland, but on nights like this its damn near impossible for a sun lover like me. The cold and snow have been absolutely RELENTLESS! So, we stayed in and cooked using items we had purchased that day at Costco. Anyhow, on the brightside, I found some great tasting and easy products which would make a quick (meatless) weeknight meal.

First, I boiled these delicious spinach and 3 cheese ravioli's. I really liked the consistency of this ravioli because the dough seemed thinner than others I have tried.

Usually, I like to make my own sauces, but, this jarred sauce was truly delicious at about $4 per jar. Plus, I didn't have to fight with the butternut squash like I have in the past.

It is chalk full of vegetables such as butternut squash, tomatoes, red pepper puree, beets, etc. No artificial flavor or colors involved. The product is also gluten-free.

Added some leafy greens to round out the meal. I love Trader Joe's Tuscan Italian salad dressing.

If I have to stay in... I guess this will work. Enjoy.