Category Archives: seafood

Steamed Cod with Citrus Chili Glaze

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I’m one of those people who gets very excited about ideas. One weekend on a Saturday Jacob and I were running errands and I decided it was the day I was going to make my first steamed fish.

I was very excited with the notion of a new kitchen tool–a steamer!

I love fish–it’s very healthy, tastes wonderful, and is ultra satisfying on a breezy summers day. I rarely shop at Williams-Sonoma (of course most people go in there only to order things off their phone) but I was delightfully surprised to find a great deal on a steamer. For only $20 bucks we took home a beautiful simple wood steamer.

If you live in the Bay Area and you have access to fresh fish, I encourage you to get it from some place like Berkeley bowl, although it’s a little pricier, it’s well worth it.

I’m all about intuitive cooking–using your best judgement to put small variations on your favorite recipes–and for this one I didn’t have two kinds of Japanese wine, I just used the one sake we had in the house. The recipe came out fine!

I don’t generally cook cod, but I had heard of its mild flavor and dense, flaky white meat--it’s used to make cod liver oil, an important source of vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA).

I got this wonderful heart-healthy cod recipe from Cooking Light Magazine.


I topped the cod with some of the ginger in addition to
steamed baby bok choy and a side of chutney.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup sake (rice wine)
1/4 cup mirin (sweet sake)
2 stalks lemongrass, outer layers removed
3 tbsp. chopped onion
1 tbsp. minced garlic
Juice and zest of 1 orange and 1 lime
1/4 cup sweet Asian chili sauce
4 quarter-size slices fresh ginger
4 pieces (4oz each) Pacific cod
Cooked brown rice
1/2 cup cilantro sprigs

Serves 4, takes 30 minutes

Directions:

1. Set a steamer in a wok or pot with 2 in. water underneath. Bring water to boil.

2. Boil sake and mirin until reduced by half. Mince 1 tbsp. lemongrass; cut the rest into thin 3-instrips. Add minced lemongrass to sake mixture, reduce heat to medium and add onion, garlic, juices, and zest. Cook 3 minutes; add chili sauce and cook until thickened, 10 minutes.

3. Put lemongrass strips and ginger in steamer. Top with fish; cook, covered until just opaque in center, 8 minutes. serve over rice with a drizzle of sauce and the cilantro.

The perfect summer dinner party entree, leaving you feeling satisfied, light and happy.

242 calories, 22 g protein, 2.3 g fat, 18 g carbs, 190 mg sodium, 40 mg chol.

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Salmon Jalapeno Hand Roll

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Because I’m a girl who enjoys food–good food–I’m on an evolving journey to capture my favorite flavors in my own kitchen.

I’m always trying to make healthier renditions of flavor profiles I love.

That being said, I adore sushi (who doesn’t?) and one of my favorite rolls is a salmon avocado hand roll with a slice of jalapeno for a kick. I love handrolls because they are fun to eat, like a sandwich, and the provide texture because you get more seaweed (and more crunch). Also the salmon adds that bagels-and-lox type feel, but a little farther East.

I have reinvented my own version of the salmon avocado jalapeno handroll. It’s deliciously addicting, super flavorful and might make your pores feel hot! Here are the two sheets of seaweed, sort of like two halves of a small finger sandwich.

This seaweed product is so new, I couldn’t find an image of it online for a screen shot. Love this new find..!

This delightful Japanese inspired snack has only five ingredients:


1. Wasabi Roasted Seaweed (Trader Joe’s)
2. Smoked Salmon
3. Jalapeno
4. Light Cream Cheese
5. Avocado

The directions are very simple. Slice the salmon very thin and add one small layer. Add about 1/2 tablespoon light cream cheese, avocado and a sliver of Jalapeno. Be careful on the jalapeno as a little goes a long way–they are hot! Cover first layer with a second layer of seaweed.

This is my boyfriend Jacob, the taste tester in my kitchen. He will probably laugh when he sees this picture (let’s hope so).

Enjoy!!

Sweet Cheese ‘N Peach Cinnamon Raisin Kugel

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For me cooking has turned into a passion. I study what other chefs, bloggers, food personalities are doing and apply it to my own “practice.” While intuitive cooking is my strength, I am also good at making healthy food delicious. I am passionate about this because I can’t eat whatever I want, and I love to eat good food. I do not “diet” and do not believe dieting works. I do believe you can pick up tips and tricks to translate your favorite dishes into something you can eat without wondering what it did to your waste line or heart.

I am on a constant mission to learn how to enjoy delicious food that’s easy on the body.

I am envious of Hungry Girl Lisa Lillien. She translates traditionally unhealthy food into skinny jeans friendly creations easy on the palate, and easy to put on the plate.

I have been following her for a few years now since I bought her first book.

I was referred to her at a Weight Watchers meeting, and was hooked. I had been informally doing the same type of junk food transformations since I was a teenager–and here was a girl from the opposite coast–Long Island, New York doing the same thing.

Tonight I made her Sweet Cheese ‘N Peach Cinnamon Raisin Kugel (with Walnuts–my addition).

Kugel is a dish that can be made sweet or savory. It’s a Jewish dish generally served as a casserole or a pie, often made egg noodles or potatoes, though at times made of zucchini, apples, spinach, broccoli, cranberry, or sweet potato. I love sweet kugel (I have a sweet tooth) and love when my mom makes this with cottage cheese, cinnamon and raisins. It’s sweet, decadent Jewish comfort food.

Here is Hungry Girl’s version of Kugel.

You will need:

1 package House Foods Tofu Shirataki, Fettuccine Shape (You can get these at Whole Foods or Safeway. They have almost no calories)
1 large firm peach, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 cup fat free liquid egg substitute
1/4 cup low fat cottage cheese (recipe calls for fat-free but I’m not a big fan of that)
2 tablespoon raisins (I toss in a handful of large multi-colored ones from trader joe’s)
2 tablespoon Splenda (I use 1 tablespoon Agave instead–it’s less chemicals)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract (possibly my favorite tool in the kitchen)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (you can be more generous with this and the vanilla if you prefer)
dash salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions:

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine egg substitute, cream cheese, Agave (or Splenda), vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt. Stir until completely blended and free of lumps. Mix in cottage cheese and raisins, and set aside.

Rinse and drain Shirataki noodles well. Pay dry. Slice noodles into small pieces.

Over medium heat toss noodles in a pan until they are thoroughly dry and beginning to toughen (1 min or so). Transfer noodles to a mixing bowl and top with the peaches.

Combine cheese mixture with the noodles and peaches, and stir well. Top with a coat of chopped walnuts. Transfer it all to a medium-small baking dish and spray with non-stick spray.Place dish in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes or until firm.

Enjoy with dinner or even dessert. Below I plated the kugel with lemon and chive salmon and whole wheat quesadillas with light Mexican cheese. I served this salmon with brown grain mustard mixed with yellow mustard.

Blake’s Hashable Salad

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Tonight while we were watching House I made a really killer salad. Really, it’s a salad for a small army, country or more likely, family.

I break lots of rules all the time when it comes to salad. I put fruit in salad, I put dried fruit in salad, I put bread items in salad, I put fish in salad–I even will put noodles in my salad. Needless to say these salads are not meant for someone who is trying to fit herself into an Oscar dress, but for the gal who just enjoys really delicious food, good for the heart, the mind and the taste buds!

This salad would make a wonderful brunch salad because it’s literally sprinkled with a hash (not quite hash brown, not quite boring potato). It also has some very fresh ingredients like shrimp, cheese and garlic from the farmer’s market (but special Green Garlic from Knoll Farms pictured below–they look like green onions).

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This is a salad that is a full meal, not an appetizer. This salad will fill up your kitchen patrons 100%.

In real life the colors of the salad pop–the photo doesn’t do it justice.

For this very eclectic salad you will need to start by visiting your local farmer’s market (or wherever you can get the freshest locally grown produce). Hopefully these ingredients are native to your area.

I always tell you this but I will say it again. You don’t need every ingredient for this salad. Make it your own! I generally just use what looks good in the kitchen. The one thing I will tell you is, get to your local Farmer’s Market. It’s worth it!

Ingredients For Blake’s Hashable Salad:

1. Multi-colored small potatoes (round)
2. Bread (can be a little stale) note-I used black bread for this recipe, but any loaf will do
3. Mixed lettuce (mustard greens mixed with arugula and other blends are optimal)
4. One egg
5. Goat cheese (optional)
6. Green garlic (optional) note. You can use regular garlic (minced, and mixed with some green onions for a similar look/effect).
7. Olive oil
8. Balsamic vinegar (black)
9. About 12 shrimp or more depending
10. Cocktail sauce (I like mine hot with horse-radish yum)
11. Some nuts/trail mix. I like the wasabi mix from trader joe’s which has wasabi peas, dried fruit and assorted nuts.
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12. lemon
13. salt/pepper
14. Any herbs and spices you think would make your salad flavorful. I used Smoked Apple Salt, Herbs of Provence Salt, & Coriander.
15. Fromage blanc goat cheese. (I love Cowgirl Creamery)!

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Again–don’t freak out. You don’t need 15 ingredients. I just tend to experiment and play with what’s in my cupboard :0] And with everything in life, especially cooking, failure is important–so you learn what flavors go well together and what don’t.

And despite my extensive list of ingredients I always encourage you to KIS. Keep It Simple.

Directions:

1. Skin and mince garlic and simmer in olive oil (I used a cast iron pan–the best for potato hash).
2. Chop potatoes into very mini pieces.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (mini oven is preferred).
3. Stir potatoes until browned on all sides and somewhat soft. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Chop day old bread into bite size pieces and dress with a nominal amount of olive oil and put into pan.
5. Pour 1/3 cup of Wasabi Trail Mix into Pan.
6. Put cast iron into oven to bake.
7. If frozen, thaw shrimp in bowl of warm water. Let soak.
8. Clean and chop Green Garlic. If possible chop into tiny tiny pieces or chop in your food processor.
9. Put egg in boiling water.

Stir frying or baking nuts are a wonderful way to bring out the oils and the flavors of the nuts. They add a lot of umph to your dish.

10. Mix together three tablespoons of Fromage Blanc cheese with green onion and blend in food processor (I used my blender–not recommended).
11. Pat down shrimp and drizzle lemon over shrimp.
12. Take somewhat hard egg, cut in half using some of the egg whites in the salad and half the egg in the center of the salad.
13. Put dollop (or three) of cocktail sauce in the center of the plate.
14. Put dollop (or three) of Fromage Blanc in the center of the plate on top of the cocktail sauce.
15. Place half your perfect egg on top of those two creamy condiments.
16. Arrange the salad leafs around the periphery of the sauces and
17. For dressing I usually do a simple mix of olive oil and balsamic vinegar (black) along with lemon juice salt and pepper.

(note make sure your potatos have enough salt. I know I’m not your doctor–for those of you who need to go easy on the salt–go easy on the salt :-]


Crispy homemade croutons baked in a drop of olive oil are delicious

My mom raised us on funky salads. They are delicious and as a kid I ate salad every single night. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I could name one “Barefoot Contessa” of salads, it would be my mom, my inspiration for this dish.

Seafood Pasta with Parmesan Kisses

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I was on the elliptical trainer watching the Food Network (of course)–Giada was on and she was cooking the most decadent Italian meal in her perfect seaside home. She looks perfect too–did I tell you that? I couldn’t help but ask myself, does pint-size Giada eat the food she makes? Her meals generally consist of butter, cream and sugar, yet she maintains a very svelte figure.

To be honest I have a feeling she dumps all the food she makes right in the trash at the Food Network right after she makes it. What a waste!

Here’s her recommendation for Valentines Day.

Valentine’s Day

Italian Fried Olives
Cheese Stuffed Dates Wrapped in Prosciutto
Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Red Pepper Salsa
Lobster Risotto
Roasted Tomatoes with Cheese and Herbs
Chocolate Honey Almond Tart with Almond Brittle

While these recipes look delicious, bathing suit season is coming and to be honest if I eat all of these items I will be wearing a one piece and a big white t-shirt on the beach (are you laughing yet–I hope so) :-]

But seriously, Italian food is delicious, and pasta is really delicious and pretty healthy for you if prepared right. My date night looks a little different from hers–still delicious, but more realistic regarding the calorie count.

This dish is very easy!! It’s called Seafood Pasta with Parmesan Kisses.

You will need….

Ingredients:

1 bag whole grain pasta (also brown rice pasta works too) (full of fiber and protein)
half pound of cooked shrimp

1/4 pound of raw calamari (baby octopus) if you are feeling adventurous
1/2 cup olive oil
rosemary
basil
1/4 cup light parmesan cheese
Italian parsley if you can find it
lemon (optional)
1/4 cup white wine
shallots
salt/pepper for taste

You DON’T need all of these ingredients. I tend to use whatever spices I have in front of me–but generally stick to groups. That means Rosemary, Basil, Herbs De Provence, Italian Parsley are for Italian flavored food (or omelets/ chicken). You don’t need the white wine, garlic or lemon but they add a lot of flavor.

Directions:

boil pasta for 8-10 minutes or until soft
carmelize shallots (saute) (skinned and chopped) in a pan with olive oil and garlic
add 1/4 cup white wine
add shrimp making sure to stir every 30 seconds
squeeze a lemon over the shrimp
add all finely chopped herbs
add salt and pepper to taste
when pasta is done drain the pasta over the sink (of course) and run cold water over the pasta (so it doesn’t stick)
pour seafood stir fry over the pasta and add a generous amount of the parmesan cheese
feel free to sprinkle with more herbs, salt and pepper

Enjoy with a glass of Pinot Noir or a white like Pinot Grigio

Anecdote:

One evening I was feeling really tired and a little grouchy. Jacob was generous enough to make dinner for us. He’s seen me use white wine sauce so he thought you were supposed to boil pasta in white wine. I couldn’t help but laugh at this endearing gesture. He really does try hard to make me happy. So this blog is dedicated to Jacob, always there for me when I need him, counter-intuitive white wine pasta and all.