Grilled Romaine Salad with Crab

Think you’re grill is only for burgers and chicken?  Think again.  Grilling romaine hearts gives them a smoky flavor while still remaining crisp.  Big Guy and I both love amping up salads by grilling the greens.

The dressing for this salad only requires TWO ingredients:  pre-made guacamole (Wholly guacamole is my favorite) and lemon juice.  Other toppings include grilled corn (another love of my life), cherry tomatoes and crab (if you don’t have access to fresh, high quality crab meat, use grilled shrimp).

I prepped all the ingredients ahead of time so that when it was time for dinner, all Big Guy had to do was fire up the grill and cook the corn and romaine.  While the romaine was cooking, I cut the corn off the cob.

Make sure to season the salad with plenty of salt and pepper – it’s a simple salad and these two ingredients make a huge difference.

grilledromaine

So fresh and full of flavor!

And don’t you dare skip grilling the romaine.

Curried Lentil-And-Vegetable Stew

Despite cooking with zucchini and tomatoes last night, we had an entirely different dinner last night.  An abundance of homegrown tomatoes and zucchini are transformed in this Indian-inspired dinner.  

I was unable to find pre-cooked lentils, so I simply purchased quick cooking lentils, and they were ready in six minutes.  The stew starts by sautéing onion in a little EVOO and then adding zucchini and garlic.  Once those ingredients cook for three minutes, add in the tomato, curry powder and ketchup.  Yes, ketchup.  It’s our secret ingredient adding a little tang, a little sweetness and a little acidity.  The curry powder adds a PUNCH of flavor.  Cook, stirring constantly, for one minute before adding in the vegetable stock that is mixed with cornstarch (one tablespoon) to help thicken up the stew.  Finally, add in the lentils and salt and allow to cook for three minutes.  The entire pot gets a pop of freshness from the juice of one lime.

Serve a bowl full of this flavorful stew with cool, tangy Greek yogurt on top.

lentilcurry

Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Noodles

And so begins the never ending supply of tomatoes and zucchini from our garden!  (I promise I’m not complaining.) After spending the day by the pool yesterday, a healthy dinner was on the menu.  Not only were we able to use our tomatoes and zucchini from the garden but we were also able to use fresh thyme and basil.  Recipes that use multiple items from the garden make me happy.

Chicken Parmesan with Zucchini Noodles is a lightened up version of the usual chicken parm.  But just because you’re slashing calories doesn’t mean you have to slash the flavor.  A simple tomato sauce is made by sautéing fresh tomatoes, shallots, garlic and thyme in a little white wine.  The sauce simmers until thickened.

Chicken cutlets are then slathered with a mixture of Greek yogurt and parmesan cheese before being dredged in bread crumbs (I used gluten free).  Baked, instead of fried, until cooked through and the breading is crunchy.

Once the chicken is cooked through, turn the oven to broil and top each piece of chicken with a little of the tomato sauce and then mozzarella cheese.  Broil until the cheese is bubbly.

Finally, the zucchini is spiralized and sautéed with a  little EVOO and garlic before being tossed with the remaining tomato sauce.

chickenparm

Word on the street is that our corn will be ready for harvest this weekend!

Avocado and Lump Crab Salad

As promised, a crab recipe!  And this lunch or dinner option is naturally gluten-free, requires no cooking and is ready in a matter of minutes.  Double the recipe so you can have leftovers.

Sweet crab is jazzed up with zesty lime juice, a drizzle of EVOO, pungent red onion, and in-season tomatoes for a simple yet incredibly satisfying meal.  Season with salt and pepper and if you remember to pick it up at the store (fail), cilantro.  The crab mixture is served in an avocado half that adds the most perfect amount of creaminess to every.single.bite.

crabavocado

This recipe could not be simpler.  Perfect for hot days when you don’t want to turn on the oven and it requires minimal ingredients.  Splurge on high-quality crab, though.  Your taste buds will thank you.

 

Spiralized Beets with Seared Scallops and Orange

Good Morning and Happy Monday!  After being at the beach for the past week I’m trying to get back into the “normal” swing of things.  Our week away was super low-key which is exactly what I wanted.  I felt like I unplugged a little – I wasn’t constantly checking social media, I didn’t read my blogs every morning, and I must say – it was a nice change of pace.  I read five (!!!!) books, knocking out that bucket list item and we were able to check-off an ice cream date.  By the way, I will never argue with ice cream for dinner, especially when it’s mint chocolate chip.  We arrived back home on Saturday evening and we spent yesterday getting everything back in order – laundry, tidying up, stocking the fridge and cooking an amazing dinner.

The recipe is from the SkinnyTaste Fast and Slow cookbook so I can’t share the exact recipe but I can give you an overall idea of what the ingredients are.  I think this cookbook is one anyone could enjoy – it’s full of fast recipes as well as slow cooker recipes.

beetsandscallops

On our way home from the beach, we stopped by our favorite seafood “shack,” The Island Seafood Company, and picked up some fresh scallops and lump crab (coming later in the week).  The scallops were HUGE.

After browsing through my recipes, I finally decided on a salad that incorporated spiralized beets as well as oranges and a refreshing dressing.

The beets are spiralized and then roasted until cooked through.  I adore roasted beets and spiralizing them helps them cook faster which means dinner is on the table sooner.  Win.  The lettuce was studded with red onions and then tossed with a dressing made up for fresh orange juice, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.  Pile the lettuce in a bowl and then top with the roasted beets.  Finally come the seared scallops – we cooked ours for about 2 minutes a side in a mixture of butter and EVOO.  Finish the salad off with fresh orange segments and you’re ready to dig in.

I loved all the flavors and textures in this dinner.  The scallops were perfectly tender and incredible with the roasted beets which were earthy.  The dressing was vibrant and fresh and I loved the bites with oranges.

I hope you’re having a great Monday so far and I’ll see you later with a crab recipe or two.

Orange-Sesame Pork with Napa Slaw

Skip take out and make this orange-sesame pork with napa slaw.  It’s the perfect weeknight dinner that will be on the table in under 30 minutes.

First things first, prep your brown rice.  Rice can take a little while to make but once it’s cooked, it will stay hot for quite a while.  If you don’t want to spend the time making rice (though it’s a money saver), feel free to sub in precooked rice in a pouch (like Uncle Ben’s).

Next prep your slaw – though I must note that you can do this up to a day in advance.  I actually made the slaw the morning that I was going to be making this dinner.  The slaw is a mix of napa cabbage, green onions, orange sections plus the juice of the orange, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and red pepper flakes.  Simply toss and set aside.

Slice the pork chops into 1/4-inch slices (I used center cut pork chops).  Toss the pork with the cornstarch, a little soy sauce and pepper.  Finally, make the sauce.  The sauce is a mixture of orange juice, oyster sauce (mine had unfortunately gone bad so I simply used a little more soy sauce), red pepper flakes and sesame oil.

Stir fry the pork in a little canola oil until browned (about 6 minutes).  Add in the sauce mixture and cook until bubbly and thickened.  Serve the pork over a pile of rice with some of the slaw on the side.

orangepork

The leftovers held up really well and I thought the pork actually got better with time.  I think it really soaked up the flavors from the sauce.

What’s on your dinner menu tonight?

 

Sesame-Ginger-Chickpea-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

If you’re in a dinner rut you must try these stuffed sweet potatoes.  So many flavors and textures.  This recipe was in a recent issue of Cooking Light in a section that focused on the use of “tahini,” a rich sesame seed “butter” that can be used in everything from savory soups to desserts.  I’ve found that Trader Joes has the best tahini for the price but you can find it at Harris Teeter and some other local grocery stores.

The most time consuming part of the recipe is baking the sweet potatoes but once their in the oven, you can forget about them for an hour.  Pierce the potatoes with a knife or fork and rub with a little oil before baking at 400 degrees.

Once the potatoes are baked, remove from the oven and let them rest (and cool!) a little bit.  Now it’s time to roast your chickpeas.  Rinse and drain the beans before tossing with sesame oil, garlic powder, ground ginger, and salt.  Roast for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.

While the chickpeas roasted, prep your sauces.  The tahini sauce is made with tahini (make sure to stir it really well), spicy fresh ginger, garlic and rice vinegar.  It is thinned out a bit with the addition of warm water.  Whisk until creamy and smooth.  The other “sauce” is simply Sriracha mixed with a little water.

To serve, halve the potatoes and score with a knife.  Top with the tahini sauce and a sprinkle of salt.  Add the roasted chickpeas and then top with a little more tahini and some of the spicy Sriracha mixture.

stuffedswttators

Incredibly delicious.  Incredibly healthy.  Incredible filling.  This recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free and perfect for any night of the week.