Citrus Roasted Salmon & Barley Risotto

I made the BEST dinner the other night from Power Foods – a cook book that I have had for over a year, but never used. Anthony has been keeping up with his vegetarian diet, so the salmon was just for me. The risotto is made with barley instead of rice, and it was really delicious.

The salmon is roasted on orange and lemon slices for 17 minutes at 400 degrees and topped with a puree of fresh peas and watercress. The risotto has leeks, asparagus and peas, and is prepared just like regular risotto. Delicious

Here is the recipe for the Spring Barley Risotto.


Roasted Broccoli and Tomatoes with Balsamic Vinegar

I love roasted asparagus. Seriously, it is in my top ten favorite foods, definitely near the top. I love the way it changes the flavor and texture of the asparagus, and now I won’t eat it any other way.

I need to add some new vegetable recipes to our rotation, and I have read about how fantastic roasted broccoli is, so I decided to give it a try with tomatoes, balsamic, garlic and some cheese on top. It worked out really well and we ate it over some pasta, but it would work perfectly as a side dish to some yummy chicken or fish.

Here’s what you need:
– 1 pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
– 1 large bunch broccoli, crowns only
– 4-5 cloves garlic, smashed
– olive oil
– 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
– parmesan or romano cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine tomatoes and garlic in a small glass baking dish and coat with olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.
2. While tomatoes are roasting, place the broccoli on a large baking sheet line with foil. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. After the tomatoes have been in the oven for 20 minutes, increase the temperature to 425 degrees and place the broccoli in the oven for 1- to 12 minutes.
3. Once the broccoli is in the oven, remove the tomatoes, add the balsamic vinegar, and stir. Place back in the oven for the remainder of the time that the broccoli roasts.

4. Remove both the tomatoes and broccoli from the oven, and combine. Top with grated cheese and serve over pasta or alone.

The best part of the whole thing was the crispy bit on the broccoli, which look a little burnt, but taste delicious.

Cranberry Beans & White Zucchini

I went to the farmers’ market yesterday and bought 2 new kinds of vegetables – Cranberry Beans and White Zucchini. I have never cooked fresh beans before, but these were too pretty to resist.

They were just as pretty when I shelled them, and I did some research online to see how I should cook them.

The general consensus seemed to be that the beans should be sautéed with garlic or onions, then covered with just enough water to simmer until tender, adding more water as necessary.

As the beans were cooking, I cut and cooked my other purchase – white zucchini.

I combined the white zucchini with regular green zucchini and sautéed it in olive oil and red pepper flakes.

Once both the zucchini and beans were tender, I combined them and served them with grilled chicken. Yum!

Roasted Potatoes with Shallots and Fresh Herbs

I LOVE potatoes. I could seriously eat them for every meal. I bought some Rainbow Potatoes from Whole Foods tonight and roasted them with shallots and fresh herbs. This is my favorite way to cook potatoes and it goes with just about anything.

  • 1 lb small potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces (I used a mixture of red new potatoes, small white potatoes and small purple fingerling potatoes, but any small ones work)
  • 1 medium shallot, minced (you can also use garlic)
  • A handful of fresh herbs such as parsley, tarragon or rosemary, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Mix potatoes, shallots and herbs in a medium baking dish. Add just enough olive oil to coat the potatoes and toss with salt and pepper. Bake for about 45 minutes, turning once so both sides get crispy.
I served them with a pan-seared steak topped with goat cheese and roasted asparagus. Yum!

Yummy, Easy Pasta

Every once in a while I remember this yummy pasta recipe that includes tuna, feta cheese and capers. It is one of my favorites because I LOVE salty things, and this combo is perfect, because it’s not too salty for Anthony, who is less of a fan.

The other great thing is that it tastes great warm or cold, and only requires the ability to boil water. Here’s what you need:

– Half a 16 oz box of rotini pasta
– Big bunch of broccoli, chop off the crowns
– 2 cans White Albacore Tuna, drained
– Juice of 1 lemon
– 4 tablespoons olive oil
– 4-5 tablespoons capers (or more if you’re me and you love them)
– Feta cheese

Boil the pasta and steam the broccoli. I usually put the broccoli in a mesh strainer over the pasta water to steam it while the pasta boils. One pot = awesome. Whisk the olive oil and lemon juice together to make the dressing, and add in a little salt & pepper.

Once the pasta and broccoli are cooked, mix together and add in tuna, capers and dressing. Served topped with feta cheese – warm or cold.


Italian Stir Fry

On of the favorite dinners in our house is what I call Italian Stir Fry. It’s just meat plus pasta plus vegetables with a little chicken stock and garlic.

Tonight I used tomato basil chicken sausage, tri-color tortellini, broccolini and sun-dried tomatoes. The chicken sausage was great because it was already cooked so dinner was done in no time.

This is a perfect dinner for busy days because you don’t have to spend too much time prepping or cooking, and you can use up leftover vegetables.

Here’s how I do it:

1. Put some water on to boil. We always start the water on first in our house so that is is ready as soon as we are ready for pasta (we make A LOT of pasta). If it boils before you need it, you can turn it down a bit. When you’re ready to put the pasta in, you can turn it back up and it will boil again.

2. Remove the sausage from its casing and sauté it in a large pan on medium-high heat, stirring it and breaking it up as it cooks. Once it is cooked through, remove it from the pan and set aside. If you’re using pre-cooked sausage, you can skip this step (just slice it up and throw it in the pan later).

3. Mince some garlic and add it to the pan, cooking it until it gets soft and smells good.

4. Add the vegetables and enough chicken stock to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the sausage back in and cover. Now is a good time to put the pasta in the boiling water.

5. In the time it takes the pasta to cook, the vegetables should get tender and the flavors will be starting to blend. Dump the cooked pasta in the pan, stir and serve.

Now for the best part – CHEESE.

Grate some parmesan cheese on top. The more cheese, the better. I bought a microplane grater a few years ago for lemon zest, used it once on a block of hard parmesan when our other grater was in the dishwasher – it was amazing. It makes tiny soft curls of cheese that melt into the pasta as you stir it. If you don’t have one, go out and get one now. It is on my list of things that will change your life (right above organic ketchup).