Soy garlic weeknight salmon

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This weeknight wonder is great for anyone who is low on time, yet is health conscious. The salmon only needs about 20-30 minutes to marinate and get deep flavor. During that time, prep your veggies and/or starch and you can have a full meal ready in under an hour (including washing up!). You can easily do one fillet, or up to six. Adjust your acids if you desire, use Ponzu instead of Soy Sauce. Put in some cilantro to add freshness or mustard to up the spice. Do your thing and make it yours. Just remember to make more or less marinade depending on how much fish you’re cooking.

For two servings

2 skin-on salmon fillets or steaks (about 5-7 oz each, pinbones removed)
1/3 cup low sodium tamari sauce (or soy sauce)
1/3 cup of rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon of white sugar or honey
1 clove of garlic (smashed and minced)
1 teaspoon of fresh ginger (smashed and minced)
1/2 teaspoon of pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place salmon  in a prep bowl or dish.
Add tamari, vinegar, sugar, garlic, ginger and pepper to salmon fillets, toss to cover.
After 10-15 minutes, flip fish in marinade.
Once fish is fully marinated (10-15 more minutes) move fillets to a parchment lined jellyroll pan.
Roast for 10-12 minutes for medium rare.
Serve immediately or keep warm up to 30 min in a cooling/slighly open oven.

Enjoy!

 

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Mexican-spiced pork chops

Mexican-spiced pork chops

I served these earthy chops with quick pickled veggies for freshness and crunch and spicy roasted potatoes.

These pan fried pork chops are fast and simple yet earthy and rich. A great weeknight recipe to have in your back pocket. Pork chops are inexpensive and if you follow a few steps, very tender. But it’s easy to dry them out! Feel free to experiment with how you season your chops, however, follow these six tips for consistently delicious pork chops, every time:

  1. Always buy bone-in chops
  2. Buy 1/2″ to 2/3″ thick cuts, any thicker and you’ll have to pan-roast
  3. Sear on high for about 30 seconds then lower heat to medium
  4. Using tongs, pick up chops and sear up the fat on the sides
  5. Use a heavy bottomed pan such as cast iron or stainless steel
  6. Cook about 3 minutes per side

For 4 Mexican-spiced pork chops (pictured above), 

A night or two before cooking, rub chops with:

1 tbsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Refrigerate in ziplock or tupperware overnight
Bring to room temperature
Turn heat up to med-high on heavy bottomed pan.
Once hot, add canola oil

Add chops to pan, listen for a gratifying sizzle.
Resist the urge to move the chop for a minute or two.
Turn heat down to medium after about 30 seconds in pan.
Cook for 2 more minutes.
Flip chops, turn up heat for about 30 seconds, then down again.

Add:
2 sprigs of oregano
1 head of smashed garlic
1/2 tbsp unsalted butter to pan

Tilt pan and baste chop in butter, herbs and garlic with a spoon
Sear the sides of the chops using tongs.
Repeat process with remaining two chops.
Allow chops to rest about 10 minutes prior to serving.

Enjoy with a fresh salad or quick pickled veggies and a starch of your choice!

Salmon quinoa cakes

I made these salmon cakes after watching Damaris Phillips’ Food Network show, Southern at Heart. I thought the idea was genius. Filling, flavorful and fast. I adjusted the recipe to be more practical for a simple weeknight meal. Serve it with cooked quinoa and a simple acidic spinach salad. Acid really cuts the richness.

Salmon quiona cakes

These salmon quinoa cakes taste indulgent, yet they are packed with good fats and nutrients! It’s a win-win.

For 6 cakes:

1.5 lb skin on salmon fillet
1.25 cup cooked quinoa
3 scallions, sliced
1 chipotle pepper, stem removed
4 cloves of garlic
zest of 2 lemons
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp flour
3 teaspoons of salt
2 teaspoons of pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil
Lemon wedges for serving

Preheat
Oven to 400° F

Line baking pan with foil
Place salmon on foil, skin side down
Bake for 10-12 minutes,
Allow to cool, remove skin
Flake fish into large mixing bowl

Meanwhile…
Measure 1 cup quinoa, soak for 5 minutes, rinse well in mesh strainer
Boil 2 cups of stock, or water with bouillon, or salted water in saucepan, reserve hot liquid in a bowl
Add rinsed quinoa to dry saucepan, toast quinoa over medium heat until dry and nutty smelling
Add broth or water back to quinoa, bring to a boil, then down to simmer
Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes on low, allow 5 minutes to rest, covered after you turn heat off
Only use 1.25 of the quinoa for the cakes. Serve the rest with your meal or reserve for another time

Preheat oven to 350° F

Finely chop garlic and chipotle pepper (remove seeds if you don’t want heat)
Add scallions, garlic, chipotle, quinoa, salt, pepper, lemon zest, egg and flour and mix well
Form 6 patties, place on a rack on a baking sheet
Heat a cast iron skillet to medium, add 1 tbsp of coconut oil
Once hot, add the cakes to the pan in batches and brown about 2 minutes per side
Return cakes to the rack on the baking sheet and bake about 10 minutes

Serve with lemon wedges, an acidic salad and cooked grains.

 

Stir fried tofu with spicy coconut cabbage

Marinated tofu with spicy-coconut cabbage

So I’m not a huge vegetarian cook, but I do live in New York and I’m in my twenties, so I’m always looking for ways to make inexpensive meals with milage. I also love Chinese flavors, so viola! Thus came about my marinated tofu with spicy coconut cabbage.

This recipe is ripe for adaptation. No soy sauce? Add some salt. Can’t find cabbage? Try bok choy or broccoli.  Like it spicy, add some chili oil with the coconut oil. Be adventurous!

Ingredients for Stir Fry

1 package firm or extra firm tofu (10 to 12 ozs)
1 small red cabbage, sliced thin
1 small green cabbage, sliced thin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
fresh basil, chopped to garnish (optional)
3 to 4 scallions, sliced thin, whites and greens separated
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 jalapeño or thai chili sliced paper thin (seeds/ribs depending on spice preference)
1 cup rice white rice

Ingredients for Marinade

1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 cloves garlic, grated
zest and juice of 1 lime (2 if your limes aren’t juicy)
2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 teaspoons tbsp of Mirin or sugar
2 tbsp of canola or olive oil
pinch of salt and pepper

In a large bowl or flat bowl, combine and mix all marinade ingredients.
Drain and rinse tofu. Make ½ inch slices, then cross slice into triangular slices.
Pat tofu with paper towels to remove excessive moisture.
Add tofu to marinade and make sure all pieces are well coated.
Cover with cling wrap. Refrigerate, at least overnight, up to three days.

Basic Rice

In a medium saucepan add 2 cups water, boil:
Add 1 cup rinsed rice to boiling water, lower heat to simmer
Cover with lid
Cook about 12 – 15 minutes, remove from heat

Cooking the Stir fry

Carefully remove tofu from the marinade, reserving the liquid. Dab with paper towels to help with browing.
Preheat wok or skillet to high. Add canola oil when pan is heated.
Just before oil smokes, add tofu in one singular layer for about 3-4 minutes per side, allowing space (do this in batches if you must)

Remove cooked tofu, reserve on a plate. Then:

Turn wok heat to high
Add coconut oil to pan
Add garlic and ginger, toss for about one minute
Add scallion whites, toss for for about one minute
Add jalapenos, cook for one minute
Add reserved marinade, cook a minute more until thickened, then..
Add cabbage, toss and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes, until cabbage is tender, yet firm
Toss In tofu, turn off heat,
add chopped green scallion and basil

Spoon about a cup of rice into a bowl, top with a spoonful of stir fry, serve immediately

Marinated tofu with spicy-coconut cabbage

Stir fried vegetarian dishes can save you time and money.  And they are healthy! A great weeknight dinner