healthy eating is a way of life
Deep into lockdown and I am not feeling at my best. The edict here is that we should stay at home, not going out at all except for ‘essential’ purposes. Well, for me shopping for food is an essential reason to get out of the garret. And face it, when one can’t go anywhere nor meet with friends, then cooking is one of the few real pleasures left in life. Ergo, the dishes this week are things that look and sound good. Maybe all these recipes are healthy and very nutritious, but this week that’s all secondary to simple pleasure.
Not only that ~ these recipes remind me of warmer and better times spent in California.
From Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest we have 30 Minute Creamy Thai Turmeric Chicken and Noodles. I like easy thirty-minute recipes. Turmeric is supposed to have lots of interesting health benefits.
30 Minute Creamy Thai Turmeric Chicken and Noodles
Another 30 minute dish, this time from Dana at Minimalist Baker; Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella ~ how very Californian. This is quick, nutritious, vegetarian comfort food. Rosemary is another herb with lots of health benefits attached to it.
Rosemary Roasted Root Vegetable Panzanella
At Cooking with a Wallflower one of Andrea’s top ten recipes is this Korean Style Spinach Mushroom Glass Noodles. I enjoy making a stir fry and this vegetarian dish looks so very easy for a lunch or dinner at any time.
Korean Style Spinach Mushroom Glass Noodles
Here in England, in the depths of winter, a hearty soup is always welcome on the dinner plate. Holly at Spend with Pennies has something that would remind me of warmer and better times vacationing in California. A Crock Pot Taco Soup ~ and almost everyone has a crock pot tucked away in a kitchen cupboard. Allegedly this soup is so easy it practically cooks itself.
Crock Pot Taco Soup
I’ve realised that the recipes this week all have some kind of Californian connection. So, how could I not include something like these Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos with Chipotle Slaw and Roasted Pineapple Sauce. From epicurious.
Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos
Our collection this week comes from Jessica at How Sweet Eats; 20 of My Favorite Soup Recipes for Winter. From this fabulous list I’ve chosen to feature this great looking Chicken Tortellini Soup. If you buy a rotisserie chicken this dish is so quick and easy.
Chicken Tortellini Soup
Santa Monica, CA
autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower
It’s the middle of fall, Thanksgiving is in a couple of weeks, we’d like to make a start on Christmas shopping, and most of us are trapped in one sort of a lockdown or other. But there is nothing to stop you going grocery shopping, and then honing your chef skills.
These recipes have a kind of mid-autumn, pre Thanksgiving flavour. In one case I would strongly recommend serving a decent sherry or Madeira to go along with the cake. In fact, why not treat yourself to a decent glass of something any way. You deserve it, and you probably won’t be driving to work today.
(BTW for new readers, and if you just don’t know, if you click on the highlighted recipe name you will go right to that dish on the chef’s own website.)
First up this week, from Half Baked harvest we have this delicious looking 4 Cheese Sage Pesto Florentine Lasagna. How great would this be to make ahead for your Thanksgiving parties? (NB. Women should be very careful of too much sage.)
4 Cheese Sage Pesto Florentine Lasagna
Another pasta dish from Diane at In Dianes Kitchen; a very warming Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole. (Noodles are pasta too.) This is a very easy dish, even most of my fellow single men could make, (and most single men cannot cook).
Cheesy Chicken Noodle Casserole
Now a really pretty midweek dinner from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower; Honey Garlic Shrimp Farro Bowl with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette. And how fabulous to serve this if you have friends over for a pre or post Thanksgiving lunch.
Honey Garlic Shrimp Farro Bowl with Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
Tiffany from Creme de la Crumb has a very seasonal dish in this Candied Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole, (with marshmallows). Being English I’m not quite certain if this is an entree or a dessert. No doubt someone will enlighten me.
Candied Pecan Sweet Potato Casserole
Joy Wilson at Joy the Baker has come up with what has to be the longest recipe name ever, (and that’s saying something here), Dad’s Perfect Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Sweet Potato Pie. You have got to make this just so you can tell your guests what it’s called.
Dad’s Perfect Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Sweet Potato Pie
And finally for this week. As you would expect from Heather Christo we have an extremely pretty dish, this time a Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake, which is both vegan and gluten free. How brilliant for afternoon tea around thanksgiving, although I’d serve this with sherry and not tea.
Pumpkin Pecan Coffee Cake
if you have never tried a good Maderia wine, then you have no idea the heaven you’re missing out on
create healthy habits, not restrictions and rules
It’s hot, it’s sunny, it’s time for a cool drink and a fabulous salad. After all this self-isolation, comfort eating, and processed food it’s time to eat more fresh fruit and vegetables. And we all know that salads are brilliant at this time of year. Preferably eaten in the sunshine and fresh air.
This quick, healthy arugula salad with lemon balsamic dressing is from Erin Clarke, at Well Plated by Erin. It’s listed as a side dish, but I think many of us would be happy to have this for an al-fresco lunch, maybe with some salmon or chicken added.
This is fabulous from The Bojon Gourmet; vegan caprese salad with peaches and arugula. Here a vegan mozzarella is used, but if you don’t want to be so strict you could choose an alternative. BTW, I love heirloom tomatoes.
Vegan Caprese Salad with Peaches & Arugula
And now for something completely different from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats; panzanella with marinated chickpeas and chimchurri. Bread in a salad, now that is different!
Panzanella with Marinated Chickpeas and Chimchurri
Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a recipe for heirloom tomato soba noodle salad, and as I already said I like heirloom tomatoes.
Heirloom Tomato Soba Noodle Salad
Trust Amanda at Chez le Reve Francais to come up with something decadent; an asparagus, broccoli, and endamame salad. Looks deliciously different.
Asparagus Broccoli and Endamame Salad
Finally this week is from Chunghah at Damn Delicious, how about this grilled Greek chicken salad, served with tzatziki dressing?
Grilled Greek Chicken Salad
from Heather Christo
roll out those lazy hazy crazy days of summer
So, what is it? Spend the days isolated in lockdown? Or do we get out into the yard, have family over, have friends round, or just enjoy ourselves in the warm summer sunshine?
I guess you all know which end of the spectrum I’d prefer. But then, at my age I’m not so risk-averse.
Should you wish to try some alfresco dining then I heartily commend these recipes to you.
Since we can’t go travelling the world, there’s a cosmopolitan flavour to the dishes this week.
First up, from Amanda at Chez le Rêve Français, we have this Tuscan roast pork with apples. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Tuscany; Florence, Sienna, Pisa….. but the food there is fabulous. Amanda captures the atmosphere perfectly with this dish that would be great on any alfresco dining table.
Tuscan Roast Pork with Apples
Since you probably don’t want to go trogging off to stand in line at IKEA, I offer you this Swedish meatball pasta, from Chungah at Damn Delicious.
Swedish Meatball Pasta
From semi-professional taco eater Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb here’s a dish of Cajun shrimp and rice, cooked in a skillet, so easy and so delicious. Great with a salad. I’ve had a very similar dish in the West Indies, on a beach of silver sand.
Cajun Shrimp and Rice
To go along with any of the dishes this week, or as a fabulous, healthy meal in its own right we have this beautiful Mediterranean Salad from Heather Christo. She does make good looking dishes.
Our collection this week comes from Good Housekeeping Magazine their 75 quick summer dinner ideas for easier weeknights ~ weeknights? Hell! These dishes are great at any time. From this collection I’ve chosen to feature this grilled Moroccan steak and carrots. It’s worth getting the spices and doing this properly, you’ll love it!
Grilled Moroccan Steak and Carrots
And for desert, or as an alfresco brunch, we have this blueberry Dutch baby panckake from Andrea at Cooking with a Walflower. Fantastic with vanilla ice cream.
Blueberry Dutch Baby Pancake
an odd fact,
women like kale much better than guys do
you can keep your oysters, but give me Scottish Scallops
Just around the corner from the garret is a fantastic old-fashioned fishmonger ~ well this is an old-fashioned fishing harbour, although because of the European Union we don’t do that much fishing from here at present. But, this fishmonger is the real deal, they have fresh fish and shellfish you just wouldn’t get at the fish counter in your local supermarket. They may be slightly pricier, but you get what you pay for, and do these guys know their fish…..
So, this weekend I have a fancy for scallops, and I know the fishmongers usually has great Scottish King Scallops, (a.k.a. great scallop, clam, Couquille St. Jaques).
Now all I need is a great recipe.
Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a really nice recipe for pan seared scallops pasta carbonara. I know this recipe is very fast and very easy, as well as being something you could serve at a posh dinner party. I love this.
Pan Seared Scallops Pasta Carbonara
Now, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest I can offer you these honey butter blackened scallops with herby polenta. I love that these scallops are just seared in a hot pan with spices, honey, and butter. Perfect if you just happen to have a skillet in you pan drawer. Simple, easy, perfect.
Honey Butter Blackened Scallops with Herby Polenta
Next up is Chungah from Damn Delicious with her garlic butter scallop bowls ~ I love the cilantro lime rice and pico de gallo too. Now that summer is with us, (even here in England), this is a perfect dish for an alfresco luncheon.
Garlic Butter Scallop Bowls
Another dish from Chungah at Damn Delicious; bacon scallops with garlic butter sauce. I just had to include this recipe because of it’s 3 great components; scallops, bacon, and garlic butter. What’s not to like?
Bacon Scallops with Garlic Butter Sauce
From Petra at Food Eat Love we have this delicate dish of scallops with mango and spring onion salsa. Perfect to serve with drinks, and so very, very easy.
Scallops with Mango and Spring Onion Salsa
Last for this week is a collection of 18 scallop recipes from Delicious Magazine. I’ve chosen to feature this warm salad of pear, scallop, and chorizo. I think the disparate flavours in this dish will go well together, and you should be able to have it ready in under half-an-hour.
Warm Salad of Pear, Scallop, and Chorizo
I don’t think they’re after scallops
I’ve been told some people are obsessed with bran muffins
Now I’m not certain what’s going on, but several of the cooks whose blogs I follow have posts about muffins this week. I looked it up, thinking it was National Muffin Week or something, but no, it’s seems it’s just one of those spooky coincidences that keeps happening for me right now.
National Muffin Day in the USA is actually February 20th.
Two interesting things; #1 here in England we do not eat a lot of English muffins. #2 I didn’t know there was a second meaning for the word muffin, or stud muffin at any rate.
However, be all that as it may, here are some cool muffin recipes, which I may have to reprise on February 20th, or not.
First up this week we have Heather Christo’s delicious looking almond poppyseed muffins, and being from Heather they are allergen free, vegan, and gluten free. All I know is they look very yummy.
Almond Poppyseed Muffins
Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower has a recipe for ube mochi muffins. I have to admit the only bit of that I understand is muffins, but these little cakes look fantastic and I would be interested to try them.
Ube Mochi Muffins
And I thought I should include a recipe for ‘space muffins’ for those of you who would like to ingest their marijuana. Personally, I cannot see the attraction, but then I have enough of a problem with booze.
Now for something else completely different we have these pizza muffins from In Dianes Kitchen. Now that is a good idea for a pre-prepared snack or for something to take to work for lunch.
Gingerbread Apple Muffins
Our last collection this week is from delish magazine; 52 muffins to make your morning a little more enjoyable. From this great collection I’ve chosen to feature the chocolate lover’s chocolate chocolate-chip muffins by our friend Averie Sunshine.
Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins
Cilantro ~ the Devil Herb.
In England ‘Cilantro’ is called ‘Coriander’, which is the word Americans use for just the dried seeds of the plant. Funny, in England we say ‘Coriander Seeds’. The difference arises because ‘Cilantro’ is a Spanish word, and there a big Hispanic influence in the USA. Here, just about the only Spanish influences are that we beat the Spanish Armada in May 1588, and some of us go there on vacation.
Coriander is also known as Chinese parsley, and can be used both in salads and as a herb in cooking.
Some really great dishes use this adaptable plant, which goes really well with lime.
First today we have this cilantro lime chicken dish from Chungah at Damn Delicious. The other fabulous seasonings used in this recipe are brown sugar, oregano, and basil.
Cilantro Lime Chicken
A similar dish from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb. Except now we have a recipe for one pan creamy cilantro lime chicken and rice. I really like one pan dishes, but it’s coriander here, not cilantro. Nice by any name.
One Pan Creamy Cilantro Lime Chicken and Rice
Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb has this super recipe for one pan Spanish chicken and rice, a bold and zesty dish you can make in a half-an-hour. Strangely, Tiffany calls one of her ingredients coriander, which we now know better as cilantro.
One Pan Spanish Chicken and Rice
Also from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb, this is interesting; garlic lime shrimp marinade. And this is a fast marinade that will be ready for the grill in just 15 minutes. Lots of cilantro. Tiffany seems to like Cilantro.
Garlic Lime Shrimp Marinade
From San Diego’s Averie Sunshine archive I have chosen this foil pack lime cilantro salmon. This is so easy to make, and it will be ready to eat in 10 minutes ~ you heard me right, just 10 minutes to produce this wonderful tasty, and very healthy dish.
Foil Pack Lime Cilantro Salmon
Heather Christo has a different kind of cilantro recipe for a warm summer afternoon, this tomato peach and avocado salad with cilantro vinaigrette. Heather says that this is a beautifully simple 30 minute salad that will totally blow your socks off. I tend to agree. Nice to take to work for lunch too.
Tomato Peach and Avocado Salad with Cilantro Vinaigrette