Pesto Cod – Light and Flavorful

I’m back I’m back I’m back!! This past month has been so fully devoted to my trip “home” to visit my family in Washington! It. Was. Beautiful. I got to meet my new nephew, Ellis London. I got to build Legos with my oldest Nephew, Noah Jesse. And I got to play in an Anna and Elsa tent with my one and only niece, Olive Selah Grace. I got my toes done and shopped at Ross with the girls (one doesn’t realize how they love Ross until they move away from it!), to go on a romantic date with my husband at a spot on the beach we went to when just dating…and I got to be close to my three brothers, my best friends of all time. My heart is happy as I resume my food posting!! So please forgive me for my absence! But when one has not seen so many of the most important people in their life for a year and 3 months….one cuts out everything else in life to just BE with them!! I sincerely hope you all had a chance these past months to just BE with the ones that are important to you!

However, as glorious as it was, I am ready for a few things to resume. First and foremost, health! In every aspect of the word! Physical, mental, spiritual!! And along with that, the resuming of sharingy journey with you wonderful people!!

So, assuming you are all still feeling like fat cows just like me, let’s start off with something super light but still so yummy yummy yummy!!

Cod with Pesto! So incredibly easy and tasty!

So, here’s what you need:

16 oz Cod Fillets
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1 sm bunch parsley
2 Tbsp cilantro paste or fresh (optional)
1 tsp minced garlic
Juice of a lemon
2+ tsp Olive Oil
2 tbsp minced favorite nut (I used walnut)

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Preheat the oven to 400*
  2. Start your pesto. Trim the stems off the parsley and place in a good proccessor. Pulse a few times until broken down some.
  3. Add all the other ingredients except the fish and blend. Add more olive oil until it becomes a thick sauce, or whatever consistency you prefer.
  4. In a cast iron skillet, melt coconut oil over medium high heat. Add fish and sear for about 3 minutes per side.
  5. Too each fillet with even portions of pesto then slide into the oven for 5 minutes to heat everything through. Serve hot and feel good about your choices!! Go you!! Happy New Year!!

 

 

Pesto Cod 1

Blend everything together to make your pestoooooo!

Pesto Cod 2

Sear your fish on each side for about 3 minutes.

Pesto Cod 3

Top with pesto and slide into 400* oven for about 5 minutes, until everything is warmed through.

Pesto Cod 4

Now serve with some nice hearty veggies!!  (I always serve fish with a sturdier veggie like broccoli or asparagus since fish is so light…it makes me feel full and satisfied!)

Pesto Cod 5

And enjoy!  Yummy yum yums!  Thanks for reading guys, I truly appreciate you all!

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Fall Stir Fry with Spaghetti Squash

Don’t you love those “DUH!” moments??  Those times when you have an idea and feel like a genius for having said idea…but also feel like an idiot for not having that idea earlier?  That is what happened with this recipe!!  For quite a while now I have been taking favorite noodle recipes and substituting in spaghetti squash!  Now as I have mentioned before, I do not think of or present the dish as a noodle dish when I do this…or the people consuming will expect it to taste exactly like noodles.  But if you present it as a great spaghetti squash recipe, they will be overjoyed with the flavor, and they will be expecting it to be so different from noodles that they will be pleasantly surprised!

Well.  We love stir fry in this house.  But I had pretty much given up on noodle stir fry, even though it is my favorite version.  Why had I never considered spaghetti squash stir fry?!  But I was looking through this wonderful book you will remember:

 

DHV

…and I stumbled upon a recipe called “Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables.”  Aka…chicken stir fry with noodles.  I thought “oh man that looks tasty…” then suddenly….palm meet face!!  SPAGHETTI SQUASH!

The great thing about this is that it is more of an idea than a recipe.  Stir fry is such an open ended thing.  It is so great because as long as you keep veggies in your fridge and some for of soy sauce and sesame oil…you don’t even have to plan ahead.  You just chop chop, toss it in a wok and BAM!  Nutritional dinner!!  🙂  Most of you probably already know how to do that!  I just wanted to open your eyes to the new possibilities with spaghetti squash!  But nevertheless,  here is the general idea of what I did!

 

The ingredients:

  • 1 Small Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Head Broccoli or Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2-3 Large Chicken Breasts, Cut into bite sized pieces
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 or 2 Bell Peppers, Julienned
  • 1 or 2 Large Carrots, sliced
  • About 1/4 Lg Head Red Cabbage, Sliced
  • 1 Small Onion, Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Minced
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Raw Honey (Optional)
  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch Red Pepper Flakes

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Cook your spaghetti squash in advance, however you prefer to do this.  I stab mine a bunch then roast at about 400* for an hour or so, turning once.  It is done when the skin is very tender and easily pierced.  Remove seeds and remove the flesh in strands with a fork.  Set aside.
  2. Salt and Pepper your chunks of chicken.  Heat the coconut oil in a wok and add chicken.  Stir and cook until chicken is browned and cooked through…about 5-8 minutes.  Remove and set aside.
  3. Add your onions into the wok and cook for about 2 minutes, until starting to get tender.  Add garlic, cook and stir for 30 seconds or so, then add in the rest of the veggies (minus the squash).  I did not pre-cook my cauliflower but if you don’t want a crunch in the middle of your cauliflower or broccoli, feel free to steam or boil for a few minutes before hand. 🙂  Cook all the veggies, stirring, until everything is getting tender-crisp.
  4. Add the chicken back in and stir.
  5. Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.  Dump over stir fry.  Stir in.
  6. Add in the spaghetti squash strands and toss it all together.  Heat it through, then remove and serve!  Garnish with sesame seeds if desired!!  ENJOY!!!

Peectures:

SS Stir Fry 1

Cook your spaghetti squash first! In the meantime, cook your chicken.  Set aside.

SS Stir Fry 2

Add your onions and cook for a few minutes.  Add in garlic and stir, cooking about 30 seconds.  Then dump in the rest of your veggies, minus the spaghetti squash.  Cook until everything is tender crisp.

SS Stir Fry 3

Add in the chicken and cook and stir..

SS Stir Fry 4

Then add in the sauce…and last but not least the spaghetti squash!  Toss everything to coat, heat through, then remove and serve!!

 

 

Grain Free Fish Taco Bowls

Yum!  If any of you know anything about Mr. Rodgers, you probably know that he loves anything “taco.” However, our options are limited, seeing as his new, stricter rules cut out any grain!  Now he always loves what I make, but because he’s just so wonderful I love trying to surprise him with new dishes that capture at least parts of his old favorites…without the items on his “no-no” list.

That is what this was.  And it was totally worth it!  I am so excited for a new way to enjoy our favorite flavors.  We used to eat fish tacos once every other week or so, because it made us feel like we were eating a “fancy” or “special” taco.  Now…we can do that again, without guilt or the added pounds for the Mister!  Want to know a secret?  He has lost 40 pounds so far, and is still going!  I am so incredibly proud of him!  And thrilled with all the new recipes we are discovering in the process.

Anyways…back to these AMAZING bowls of flavor!

Adapted from pinchofyum.com

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Recipe Cauliflower Rice
  • 2 Tbsp Grassfed Butter or Coconut Oil
  • 1 lb Fresh Cod (Or white fish of choice)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Red Onion, Diced
  • 1 Red Pepper, Diced
  • 1 Can Black Beans
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Cayenne Powder (to taste, if you don’t like it spicy then just use a pinch)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 Recipe Avocado Salsa for topping
  • Fresh Mango for topping (so good!)

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Mix together all the spices and spread generously over your fish filet.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet, melt the butter/oil over medium high heat.
  3. Add your fish now, cooking each side a few minutes until it is white through and flakes easily.  It will be tastiest if you can get at least a little bit of a sear on both sides!  We like ours crisp and a little blackened, as you’ll see in the picture!
  4. Remove the fish and add the peppers and onions.  Cook until tender crisp, making sure to stir and scrape up those blackened bits of goodness stuck to the bottom of the pan.  Add the beans and garlic and stir, cooking until everything is warm through.
  5. In a bowl, add a big spoonful of cauliflower rice.  Next, layer on the bean/veggie mix, then the fish (I shredded mine), then salsa, then mango…and whatever else your heart desires!  Enjoy!

 
Fish Taco 2

Prep all your veggies and things!

Fish Taco 3

Get your fish ready…

Fish Taco 4

Mix together your seasonings…

Fish Taco 5

And generously season your fish.  Melt your butter and add fish.  Sear each side and cook until it flakes easily.

Fish Taco 6

Remove from pan and set aside.

Fish Taco 7

Add onions and peppers to same pan and cook until tender crisp, stirring so you scrape up all the yummy blackened stuff on the bottom of the pan.

Fish Taco 11

Add your black beans and garlic, cook until heated through, and dump into a bowl.

Fish Taco 8

Shred your fish.  Yummy!

Fish Taco 9

Prepare your spread!

Fish Taco 10

You an do this buffet style and have everyone create their own, or fix the bowls up yourself!

Fish Taco 14

Add the rice first, then the veggie mix…

Fish Taco 16

Then the fish…

Fish Taco 15

The salsa…

Fish Taco 17

And the mango!

Fish Taco 18

So ridiculously yummy, with layers of flavor!!!  I hope you enjoy this like we did!

 

 

Avocado Salsa Featuring Persian Lime Olive Oil

I must tell you a story.  A few Mondays ago (Mondays are our day off, so always turn into a date day extravaganza!), we decided to go visit one of our favorite towns called Clayton!  Clayton is about 20 minutes away, and is right on the Saint Lawrence river, which is home to the Thousand Islands.  Yes, the Thousand Islands is a place, not just a dressing!  We stroll by the Inn where the dressing was first served all the time!

So like I said, we love Clayton!  However, it is pretty small, and there is only so much to do…so we drove there with only a little bit of concern that we would not be able to find anything new to do, and that we would end up just wandering around aimlessly.  But, our cares must have wafted up to Heaven and been heard, because we had a blast at a new place we didn’t even know was there!  If you are a foodie like me (as I am assuming you are if you are reading this blog,) you will appreciate our little mini-adventure.  Right next to the River Rat Cheese Store we always stop by (SO MANY AWESOME CHEESES!), we noticed a new store front called The 1000 Islands Cruet.  So we decided to wander in.

Quickly we were greeted by a jolly gentleman who obviously loved his business.  What was that business?!  VINEGAR AND OLIVE OIL!  Most of you probably guessed that by the “Cruet” in the title…but I had no idea what a cruet was so I thought I’d mention it for the newbs like myself.  😉  Before long we had little paper cups and bits of bread and were trying all sorts of samples…mixing this with that, nerding out about what we would use it for, and hearing endless fun facts from the owner and his wife.  It was truly really fun!  And the different flavors they had were amazing!  We were mixing things like orange infused olive oil with chocolate balsamic vinegar!  I wish I could remember more, because the possibilities were endless and so tasty!

And so, to end our adventure we decided to choose one oil to bring home that we knew we would use often.  Our final decision?  Persian Lime Olive Oil.

So.  Good.  And incredibly useful!

I wanted to share with you the first thing I used this incredible oil for!  I’ve had to step up my game before it is all out, Mr. Rodgers is loving it on his salads and I can hardly keep up!  So here is my first creation:  Avocado Salsa!  Easy enough!

This recipe came out of necessity, as I was halfway through preparing my salsa for my fish taco bowls (coming soon) and I realized I had no lime juice.  Then…LIGHTBULB. <—Please read that in Gru’s voice.  I remembered this bottle of magicalness that I had hiding on my lazy susan.

 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Avocado, Diced
  • 1 Large or 2 Small Tomatoes, Diced
  • About 1/4 C Red Onion, Minced (Depending on taste, you can use more or less)
  • Good squeeze of cilantro paste, or a handful of fresh
  • 1-2 Tbsp Persian Lime Infused Olive Oil…just enough to coat everything with a limey flavor
  • Optional: A dash of red wine vinegar for an extra twang

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Dice all your veggies and toss together in a bowl.  Gently combine so your avocado doesn’t break down.
  2. Add oil, paste, and vinegar if you are using it.  Stir gently.  Taste, add salt or pepper if needed, and adjust any flavors as you desire.  Keep chilled until ready to serve.

 

And that’s it!  I will soon post the beautiful dish I used this salsa with, but until then, enjoy this just as it is!  Goes great on top of meat, with chips, as a dressing for a salad…whatever your mind can think up!

 

What would you use Persian Lime infused Olive Oil for?

Lime Oil 2

Lime Oil

Fish Taco 1

Fish Taco 12

Delicioso!  Enjoy!

 

 

Bacon Bit Egg Bites!

I’ve posted some egg bite recipes before.  I love them because you can whip out a dozen when you have a few minutes to spare, and you have healthy breakfasts for the rest of the week!  Ones with protein to keep your body happy!  Because I love the idea so much, I decided it was far time to create a new adaptation to keep it exciting!  So here is my  new flavor!!  Bacon Egg Bites!

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 Eggs
  • 1-2 Tbsp Unsweetened Almond Milk (Or Greek Yogurt.  Almond Milk makes it more light and airy, yogurt is fluffy but more dense if that makes sense.)
  • 2 Tbsp Cooked Turkey bacon, crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp Red Onion, Minced
  • 1 Tbsp Chives
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Butter for pan

 

And here’s how you do it:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crack all the eggs into a bowl.  Add the other ingredients and whisk together until combined and fluffy.
  3. Grease the bottom a mini muffin tin with your butter.
  4. Fill all the cups 3/4 full with the egg mixture.
  5. Slide into your heated oven and cook until starting to brown, and the middles are solid.  This should take between 20 and 30 minutes!!

 

Yay healthy easy breakfast!!  Enjoy guys!!

 

Photo-21 Photo-22 Photo-23 Photo-24

Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower

Yes.  I know.  I got accused of being weird again with this one.  Sometimes it gets interesting being a 24 year old that eats healthy food substitutions.  We’ll get teased now and then as our friends wonder why in the world we would eat mashed cauliflower when we could have mashed potatoes, or why we drink those bright green smoothies when we could get free fruit smoothies any time from my job.  But my husband…is amazing.  For one, he has turned a corner.  Mr. Rodgers has put his foot down and decided to change his life so that he can live long and live well.  Sure, we still have one “indulgence” day a week, but his passion fuels me.  And his love to research helps too so we know the affects of potatoes and such things on your body!!

And so…we eat mashed cauliflower.  Garlicky mashed cauliflower in fact.  And I must tell you, I barely miss the potatoes.  I have simply fallen in love with cauliflower.  You can do so much with it.  The flavor is fantastic in so many different ways and styles.  And it’s one “white” thing that is actually good for you!  I have multiple plans for it this week that I can’t wait to share with you!!!!

But back to this super easy, super comforting, super yummy creamy garlicky deliciousness.

 

Garlicky Mashed Cauliflower.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Lg Head Cauliflower
  • 3-5 Tablespoons Grass Fed Butter (Healthy Fat!  And creamy deliciousness!)
  • 1-2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 C Almond Milk (Or so!)
  • Salt and Pepper (Be generous!)

 

And here’s how you do it!

  1. Rinse cauliflower and cut into florets.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add cauliflower, boiling for about 15 minutes or until tender.
  3. Drain cauliflower and dump into a food processor.
  4. Add butter first so that it melts.  Add garlic, salt, and pepper and pulse a few times until combined.
  5. Slowly add almond milk a little at a time, pulsing, until you get just the right creamy consistency that makes you happy!  Taste and adjust as needed, I always play with a little more of this, a little more of that.  Just like Amelia Badelia!  Any one?  Eh?
  6. Serve along side your favorite meat dish…for example, a tasty pot roast!

 

Peectures of the simple process 🙂

Photo-18

Butter, salt, pepper, garlic, cauliflower…heaven?

Photo-19

Creaaaaaaaamy!  See how I tasted it to make sure it was perfect?  Haha.

Photo-20

Make this.  Do it.  I want some right now!!