Thursday, February 12, 2009

Salmonwiches with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

I created this recipe in a desperate search for a fresh recipe for fish night. Mundo doesn't usually get very excited about our weekly fish nights, because I'm still a rookie at perfecting dishes made with fish. He really enjoyed this sandwich made with marinated roasted salmon and a lemony dill mayo. The sweet potato fries are so easy to make and can be served with so many different meals- and they're really good for you!

4 center cut salmon filets (or a large enough piece of salmon to generously feed 4 people)
3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
Juice and zest of 2 lemons
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tsp dried dill
2 tbsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp olive oil
4 ciabatta rolls or sour dough rolls (I bought a sour dough baggette and cut it into segments)
packaged spring mix salad or other lettuce of your choice

1/4 cup real mayo (you can use lowfat)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp dried dill
freshly ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt

Combine the garlic, zest and juice of 2 lemons, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 2 tsp dried dill, 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley and 2 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl. Place salmon in a ziploc bag. Pour marinade over salmon. Marinate for about an hour. Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients for the mayo, adding pepper to taste. Set aside. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake the salmon for 10-15 minutes, until it flakes easily with a fork and the color is no longer opaque pink. To serve, toaste each roll. Spread with 1-2 tsp mayo, depending on how much mayo you like. Top with one of the salmon filets and a handful of spring lettuce mix. Serve with sweet potato fries.

Sweet Potato Fries:
4 large sweet potatoes (I make one per person), peeled and cut into spears
olive oil
kosher salt

Place sliced and peeled sweet potatoes on a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet). Drizzle generously with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, flipping the fries over halfway through baking. They are finished cooking when they are brown on both sides and tender when poked with a fork.

Low Fat Pumpkin Muffins with Cranberries and Walnuts

This original recipe was made with pepitas (pumpkin seeds), but I didn't have any in my pantry. So, I decided to substitute walnuts. I also don't keep buttermilk or pastry flour on hand, so I used regular milk and whole wheat flour. Then, I saw my dried cranberries and thought they would taste awesome in this muffin. I was pleasantly surprised with the result! These are moist and delicious. They are great for snacking (Eli LOVES them too!)

1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
3 tbsp molasses
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries (tossed in a little flour before adding, so they won't sink to the bottom)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, whisking together (through the nutmeg). Combine the sugar, molasses, canola oil, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla and milk. Whisk together. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Stir in the walnuts and cranberries (don't overmix!). Spoon 2 tbsp of batter into each muffin cup. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove from muffin tin and cool on a wire rack. Makes 12 muffins.

Fish Tacos with Green Rice

I created this recipe one evening, trying to come up with a flavorful version of a fish taco that was easy to make without a grill (since it's the middle of February). These tacos are packed with layers of flavor. They will melt in your mouth! If you have little kiddos, just leave out the jalapeno (although they actually aren't too spicy even with it in the recipe). The green rice is easy to make and tastes great with the tacos. I used flounder because it's really affordable and it's not "fishy" tasting- it's really mild.

Yield: 4 servings (2 tacos each)

1 lb flounder filets or other mild white fish
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
3 tbsp canola oil
Juice and zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp fajita seasoning

2 1/2 cups packaged shredded cabbage for coleslaw
1/2 jalepeno, seeded and finely minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Juice and zest of 1 lime
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 /2 tsp salt
freshly ground pepper to taste

8 corn tortillas, warmed in the microwave (cover the stack with a wet paper towel and microwave for 25 seconds)
1 avocado sliced, drizzled with lime and seasoned with salt
Cholula Mexican hot sauce or other hot sauce, if desired
sour cream

Combine all of the marinade ingredients for the fish (through fajita seasoning). Marinade for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine all of the ingredients for the slaw, through ground pepper. This can be made ahead of time- it actually tastes better if it sits for a while. Preheat broiler in your oven. Line a cookie sheet (jelly roll pan) with foil. Place fish on foil. Broil about 5 minutes, until cooked through and flakes easily with a fork. Flake the fish into large pieces and place in a bowl. To assemble a taco, place a spoonful of fish in a corn tortilla. Top with a spoonful of slaw, a slice of avocado, a drizzle of Cholula and sour cream. Enjoy!

Green Rice:
1 1/2 cups jasmine rice
1 tbsp canola oil
2 1/4 cups water
1 cube caldo de pollo (Mexican chicken bouillon cubes found in the Mexican section of the grocery store)
1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 tsp canola oil
1 tbsp water

Heat canola oil in a saucepan. Add the rice and sautee until just beginning to turn chalky white. Pour in the water and add the boullion cube, breaking it apart with your spoon and stirring well to make sure it's dissolved. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the spinach, cilantro, 1 tsp oil and 1 tbsp water in a food processor. Puree until pretty smooth. Stir the puree into the cooked rice. Serve.

Lemony Shrimp and Spinach Linguine

This is SO easy to make. I literally made it from start to finish in 15 minutes. I served it with the
Simple Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette. There is no butter in it, so it's low in saturated fat and the leftovers were awesome! The original recipe was called Linguine with Shrimp and Lemon Oil. I found that it really wasn't necessary to make the lemon oil and I substituted spinach for the arugula, since I always have it on hand. You can also leave the shrimp out and add in roasted red bell peppers for a vegetarian version.

1 box linguini pasta (you can use whole wheat, but I actually prefer white in this recipe)
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 cup red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 16 oz bag frozen cleaned and peeled shrimp
1/4 cup lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 lemons, zested
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 handfuls of baby spinach
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese (you can buy it in a bag in the shredded cheese section) plus more for topping each individual serving

Heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet. Sautee the red onion and garlic until tender and translucent. Add the shrimp, salt and pepper. Cook until the shrimp are thawed and just turning pink. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, 1/3 cup olive oil, spinach and parsley. Mix well. Toss in the pasta and the 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Top each indivdual serving with more parmesan and freshly grated pepper, if desired.

Lowfat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'm always looking for ways to make my baked goodies a little leaner, since I tend to eat too many of them and make them too often! I found this recipe in my Nestle Toll House Best Ever Cookies cookbook. They taste great. You really don't miss all of the butter and the applesauce gives them a little taste of something different. I omitted the cinnamon, because I don't care for cinnamon in my chocolate chip cookies and I substituted whole wheat flour for some of the white. I halved the recipe for Mundo and me. They will yield about 4 dozen cookies.

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups quick or old fashioned oats
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg whites, vanilla and applesauce. Beat until smooth. Turn off the mixer. Pour in the flours, salt, baking soda and oats. Mix until just combined. Add the nuts and chocolate chips. Bake 10-12 minutes.
Cool on a wire rack.