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
Good food is at the heart of a great Christmas and a Happy New Year
The theme for this Food on Friday was suggested to me by a friend in California ~ I would never have thought if it on my own. Here in England the traditional Christmas Day fayre is exactly the same as a Thanksgiving Dinner ~ only better. The idea of having a pot luck Christmas lunch / dinner is alien to an Englishman, but it does sound brilliant. As a matter of fact, we don’t do pot luck at all in England.
Ergo these recipes should not only be fantastic in their own right, but should also be suitable to take along to a pot luck meal.
First up this week, here’s a simply delicious dish from Dianes Kitchen; baked chicken Parmesan meatballs. Diane says these are great eaten right of the oven, or with your favorite sauce. These look as though they would be very welcome at any pot luck.
Baked Chicken Parmesan Meatballs
If we’re looking for an appetiser to have with drinks then we could do worse than go for these fabulously festive brie bites from Erin Clarke at Well Plated by Erin.
Brie Bites with Puff Pastry
Here in England, just about the only time we eat brussel sprouts is at Christmas, so I felt I just had to include a sprouts recipe. From Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have these roasted bacon brussels sprouts with salted honey. A great side dish to take to a pot luck.
Roasted Bacon Brussels Sprouts with Salted Honey
In all my visits to the USA, I have never, ever had a decent baked potato. That’s because you guys cook them in the microwave. A proper jacket potato needs a very hot oven, and I’ve yet to see anyone in the USA actually use their oven, So, since great baked potatoes would go down well at a pot luck here’s Ali from Gimmie some Oven to tell you how to do it.
The Best Baked Potatoes
So, you’re going to a pot luck and you want to really help the table along / show off how rich you are, then why not take along a whole maple glazed ham. We have the perfect recipe from Chungah at Damn Delicious.
Maple Glazed Ham
Our collection this week comes from Taste of Home, 40 last minute Potluck ideas ready in 30 minutes or less. From this collection I’ve chosen to feature herb-roasted olives & tomatoes, partly because the recipe is by Anndrea Bailey from Huntington Beach, California. I like Huntington Beach. Anyway this is a great vegan side.
Herb Roasted Olives and Tomatoes
one of the best soup recipes ever.
I’ve made this.
if you want something beautiful on the table, pick up some salmon
If you’re trying to eat a very healthy diet, then salmon should be on your shopping list. This attractive fish has a stack of health benefits, not just that it’s rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, eating salmon is supposed to reduce the risk factors for several nasty diseases. Salmon is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet, and fresh line-caught salmon should be clean ~ not full of all the crap that is in some of the food we eat.
Buying the right piece of salmon is important, starting with the basic rule ~ never buy anything that looks manky. Anything that says wild is probably better than farmed, and some farmed salmon is better than others. Usually the rule is the more you pay the better it will be, but not always, but don’t sweat it. Go to a good grocery store or fishmonger, and you’ll be fine.
First this week we have one of my favourite salmon dishes; Thai salmon in foil,from Chungah at Damn Delicious. I think cooking in foil is a brilliant technique, and it reduces the amount of washing-up no end.
Thai Salmon in Foil
Another recipe for cooking in foil, and following on from last week’s post which was all about cilantro; from Averie Sunshine’s 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 healthy dish.
Foil Pack Lime Cilantro Salmon
Now we have a fabulous 30 minute recipe from Sabrina Modelle; grilled salmon with peach salsa. This dish has so much going for it; you can cook the salmon on the BBQ, which means you can make the whole recipe in your yard. Anything with grilled salmon looks really special, so this is something you can serve to guests. And, best of all, it’s a 30 minute recipe that will make a great lunch, dinner, or something to take to work the following day. (This recipe was found for us by Elise at Simply Recipes).
Grilled Salmon with Peach Salsa
Until I saw this from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest I had never heard of cooking on a BBQ grill by placing the food on a cedar plank. But, now I’ve seen this cedar plank salmon with watermelon feta salsa from Teighan this is something I must try the next time I’m somewhere warm and sunny ~ that’s if anyone friend will let me. I’m an Englishman, and as everyone knows we are terrible at cooking on a BBQ.
Cedar Plank Salmon with watermelon Feta Salsa
This brilliant sweet and smokey cedar planked salmon is from Kate Merker at Country Living magazine. Apart from soaking the plank for a couple of hours to stop it from catching fire, this is a very easy BBQ recipe!
Sweet and Smokey Cedar Plank Salmon
With healthy eating in mind I so like the look of this dish of braised salmon from Heather Christo; Paleo red curry braised salmon with sweet potatoes Fabulous!. Paleo is good, I think. This 45 minute recipe not only uses coconut oil and coconut milk, it also has more than enough garlic. Nice.
Paleo Red Curry Braised Salmon with Sweet Potatoes
Our collection this week is from Olive Magazine, their 40 best ever easy salmon recipes. And I’ve chosen to feature the very first recipe from this great collection Thai salmon parcels with jasmine rice.
Thai Salmon Parcels with Jasmine Rice
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
There’s mo metaphysics on Earth like a chocolate dessert. ~ Pessoa
Now that summer is here, and some of us may be thinking of entertaining and garden parties, it might also be the right time to think of indulgent desserts. After all, one may have the greatest grill in the district, but that means little if you can’t follow up the steak, oysters, and king crab with a really great dessert.
Some of you may also have some annual holiday celebrations coming up, I know my cousins across the pond celebrate their independence soon….. And talking of dessert in the USA, pie and cheesecake isn’t what a great summer desert is all about.
So, first up this week, from Heather Christo, we have this vegan triple coconut sorbet. I love sorbet, so light and refreshing on a hot summer afternoon. This sorbet is dairy-free, nut-free, and free from soy products.
Vegan Triple Coconut Sorbet
Now, from Chungah at Damn Delicious, I offer you this substantial slow cooker apple pear crisp. Apples and pears are such a fabulous combination ~ I used to know a great London pub called The Apples and Pears. (In Cockney rhyming slang that doesn’t mean what you think.)
Slow Cooker Apple Pear Crisp
Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has a very cool looking dessert which appeals both to the sophisticated English Gentleman and the northern street kid in me; black raspberry lavender cobbler.
Black Raspberry Lavender Cobbler
I suppose I have to include one cheesecake recipe, but to give it an English flavour I offer you this no-bake Eton mess berry cheesecake from Half Baked Harvest. (Eton is a town near Windsor, where the Queen lives.)
No-bake Eton Mess Berry Cheescake
Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cake
Your collection this week is from Delish Magazine; 79 delish summer desert recipes you’ll be making again and again. I confess that this collection had me at the best ever rhubarb pie. Being a proper Northern Englishman I love rhubarb pie ~ serve it with custard or vanilla ice cream.
Best Ever Rhubarb Pie
and to drink with your delicious desserts,
how about champagne mojitos?
(or a nice cup of tea)
It’s a smile, it’s a kiss, it’s a sip of wine, it’s summertime.
Now that the weather is much better for most of you guys ~ warmer, sunnier, bluer skies ~ it’s perhaps time to think of lighter and healthier summertime dishes, rather than all of those warming soups you were cooking just a few weeks ago.
This week’s dishes all have a seafood angle to them.
First this week we have Chungah at Damn Delicious with these very clean and healthy looking garlic butter shrimp zucchini noodles. I have to admit that I don’t actually make zucchini noodles, but looking at this recipe I’m beginning to think that I should.
Garlic Butter Shrimp Zucchini Noodles
Now, from Heidi at Foodie Crush we have this very useful post entitled how to make the best grilled salmon. This isn’t so much a recipe as a method, but I think it’s damn good.
How to Make the Best Grilled Salmon
Elise Bauer at Simply Recipes has a great summertime dish; spicy garlic shrimp with coconut rice. And, Elise is right, any shrimp dish is best eaten fresh.
Spicy Garlic Shrimp with Coconut Rice
Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats has an absolutely delicious-looking crab avocado salad on buttered garlic toast. So mouth-watering. So great to serve with drinks.
Crab Avocado Salad on Buttered Garlic Toast
This is interesting from Tiffany at Creme de la Crumb; garlic lime shrimp marinade. And this is a fast marinade that will be ready for the grill in just 15 minutes. Lots of cilantro.
Garlic Lime Shrimp Marinade
and to drink, not wine
Heather Christo gives us a
Asparagus, when picked, should be no thicker than a darning needle.
Back in the day they must have had some pretty fat darning needles.
I don’t know about you guys, but I am always nervous about cooking asparagus. For a start one is supposed to have a proper asparagus cooker, which I once had but eventually gave to a thrift store. I could buy a new one, but who in their right mind will pay $300 for a pot they will only use once in a while? (I kid you not, I looked on Amazon, and the asparagus cooker I liked was $300.)
OK, this has to be my very favourite recipe idea for asparagus, from in Diane’s Kitchen we have bacon wrapped asparagus ~ and need I say more.
This is a very healthy, tasty, and nutritious lunch idea from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower: roasted asparagus mushroom quiche. This is easy to make and would be perfect for a weeknight dinner as well as something to take to work for lunch~ to be eaten either hot or cold. You can also freeze a quiche.
Roasted Asparagus Mushroom Quiche
Now, from Jessica Merchant at How Sweet Eats we have asparagus one pot pasta. Next to sheet pan cooking, I love one pot cooking just the best. This looks a wonderful recipe.
Asparagus One Pot Pasta
From Chungah at Damn delicious we have sheet pan garlic butter tilapia. This is a 30 minute recipe, and you can substitute any white fish for the tilapia. Personally I like deep, cold water fish; cod, haddock, halibut… and I’d add lots of fresh herbs, like basil and parsley. But, I love the asparagus and tomatoes, and I really like sheet pan cooking.
Sheet Pan Garlic Butter Tilapia
From Heather Christo, another great recipe, grilled romaine, red onion, avocado and bacon salad. Remember to make far too much of this dish, so you’ll have enough leftover to take to work for lunch.
Grilled Romaine, Rd Onion, Avocado, And Bacon Salad
This is especially for an American Girl I know, who I am certain doesn’t always eat a good breakfast. Again, from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower we have a perfect summer weekend brunch, roasted garlic asparagus and bacon eggs benedict, with basil avocado cream sauce. Yeah, the only time my friend will get to eat this is if I make it for her. (funny thing about asparagus…)
Roasted Garlic Asparagus And Bacon Eggs Benedict With Basil And Avocado Cream Sauce
I know how much you like recipe collections, so from Wide Open Eats here are 20 foil packet recipes making dinner a breeze ~ how cool is that? Anything that makes mid-week dinners easier is a good idea. Included in this collection is a great recipe for lemon chicken and asparagus from Creme de la Crumb.
Lemon Chicken and Asparagus
$300, check it out