Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Fish leek soup

Approx. 315 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

I've had a few recipe misses lately (that didn't make the blog) and decided to fall back on making trusted recipes for a while. Here is a quick soup I made that pretty much used up every member of the onion family, plus a few other assorted veggies. I basically added the carrots for some color and texture.

  • 1 large leek (approx. 2 cups)
  • 1 medium onion (approx. 1 cup)
  • 1 shallot (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • 2 green onions (approx. 1/3 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 small red potatoes (approx. 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 medium carrot (approx. 1 cup)
  • 4 oz halibut or other firm white fish.
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 8 cups water

  1. Wash and slice potatoes and carrots (I left the skin on both).
  2. Add to a pot of water.
  3. Add grated garlic and spices.
  4. Cook for approx. 5 minutes.
  5. Clean and chop all other vegetables and add to the pot (except green onion).
  6. Cook until all vegetables are tender.
  7. Cut halibut into cubes and add to pot.
  8. Cook until fish is done and flakes.
  9. Add green onions.
  10. Mix well, and then serve.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Beet salad with orange halibut

Approx. 290 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

After making the beet salad, I decided that I wanted to make it a little bit more substantial for a complete dinner. I had a small piece of halibut in the fridge and decided to cook it again in the orange juice, since was so good the first time.

  1. Make beet salad as described.
  2. Cook halibut in orange juice as described (but leave out vinegar, since it is already on the beets).
  3. Place halibut on top of beets and cover with the orange juice sauce.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Beet salad

Approx. 75 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

I had an assortment of multi-colored beets and decided to make a simple salad with them. I was worried about the colors bleeding together, so I sliced and steamed each color individually, and then combined them into the salad.

  • 4 small different colored beets (approx. 1 1/4 cup sliced)
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Peel beets and cut into thin slices.
  2. Steam beats (I steamed them 1 color at a time) for approx. 2-3 minutes.
  3. Arrange on plate.
  4. Drizzle with vinegar and add pepper to taste.
  5. Serve hot or cold.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Halibut salad with orange dressing

Approx. 290 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

I had so many fresh colorful veggies from the farmer's market, that I wanted to start eating them right away. I decided to make a colorful salad for lunch using the multi-colored carrots. I was a bit disappointed when I cut into the purple carrots to discover that the purple color was just on the skin and the carrot inside was orange. Oh well. It was still delish!

As I was cooking the fish, I decided to add juice from one orange to give it some sweetness, and then to serve as the dressing for the salad. I was quite pleased with the results. The salad had a nice sweet and sour taste with the vinegar.

  • 3 oz halibut (or other firm white fish)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups lettuce, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sliced carrots (I used white, orange, and purple carrots)
  • 1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes (I used multi-colored heirloom tomatoes)
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 small orange (juice only)
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Add oil to a skillet and place fish fillet on top.
  2. Cover and cook on medium heat for approx. 4 minutes.
  3. Flip the fish and season with pepper.
  4. Cut orange in half and squeeze the juice from both halves over the top of the fish.
  5. Cover the pan and cook for approx. 2 more minutes, or until fish flakes and is done.
  6. Place lettuce, sliced carrots, and quartered cherry tomatoes on a plate.
  7. Place cooked fish on top of salad.
  8. Add vinegar to the orange juice left in the pan and mix well.
  9. Pour the liquid over the fish and salad.
  10. Season with black pepper, if desired.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Market Haul

Spring has arrived on the farms around Phoenix. I'm sad that the apple season is over and there are no more to be found, but there were so many colorful veggies at the market this morning that it made up for it. I had a hard time deciding what to buy. I probably bought too much!

Here's what I picked up today at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market:
A HUGE bag of oranges, 4 grapefruit, 1 bunch of multi-colored beets, 1 bunch of multi-colored carrots, red vine and heirloom cherry tomatoes, purple cauliflower, golden cauliflower, acorn and butternut squash, 3 cucumbers, snap peas, 2 types of lettuce, red potatoes, green onions, and a yellow onion.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Winter Vegetable Soup

Approx. 165 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 4 servings.

I was trying to use up the veggies that have been sitting in my fridge for a while and decided to make soup, which is my typical approach. I already ate most of the chard leaves, so I had a bag of mostly stems and leaf fragments. I chopped the stems and added that instead of celery. I had planned to add about 1.5 cups of lima beans, but I only had half that amount, so that's what I used.

With the jalapeno peppers and the red pepper flakes, this ended up very spicy (which was perfect for me). If you don't like spice, cut back on one or both ingredients.

  • 1 large white potato (approx. 2 cups)
  • 1 large carrot (approx. 1 2/3 cups)
  • 1 medium onion (approx. 1 cup)
  • 3 cups Swiss chard (I used mostly stems)
  • 2 jalapeno peppers
  • 3/4 cup lima beans (I used frozen)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • water (approx. 8 cups)
  • salt, to taste

  1. Dice potatoes and slice the carrots (I left the skin on both of these).
  2. Add to a pot of boiling water (approx. 8 cups)
  3. Dice onion and slice jalapeno peppers (I kept the seeds in the slices)
  4. Add diced onion, grated garlic, and other spices.
  5. Cook until potatoes are tender but not completely done.
  6. Add chard and jalapeno peppers.
  7. Cook until chard and potatoes are done.
  8. Add lima beans. Cook until lima beans are thawed and hot all the way through.
  9. Serve and garnish with sliced green onion.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Fennel Grapefruit Salad

Approx. 125 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

When I used some fennel for a different recipe a while ago, I sliced the entire bulb, even though I only needed half of it. At the time, my thoughts were that I would use the left over slices to make fennel tomato soup. That didn't happen. I decided to make a simple fennel and grapefruit salad. While this had very nice flavor, the fennel pieces were a little too big and crunchy. If you make this, I recommend using very thin/shaved slices, like you can make with a mandoline.

  • 1/2 fennel bulb (approx. 3 cups)
  • fennel leaves, for garnish
  • 2 pink grapefruits
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Core fennel and then shave into thin slices.
  2. Place fennel in a bowl.
  3. Remove peel and pith from grapefruit and cut into segments (cut over the bowl that the fennel is in, so the juices and segments cover the fennel).
  4. Allow flavors to blend for 5-10 minutes before serving.
  5. Put fennel and grapefruit segments on a plate. Garnish with black pepper and fennel leaves.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Crab Salad

A couple of weeks ago some friends were in town and we got together for a BBQ. I volunteered to bring some appetizers. I originally was going to make three different kinds, but was having a hard time thinking of a third, especially with the constraint that they couldn't be spicy.

Luckily for me, the two I made filled the whole tray and I was saved from having to be creative.

Tonight, the cupboards were pretty bare, and I spied the canned crab I bought for the third appetizer. This is what I was thinking of making, but just couldn't get all that excited about - pea pods stuffed with crab salad. I'm glad I didn't try to bring these. They were a pain to make and looked really messy when I was done (I only made the 5 shown here, but there was enough crab salad to make about 25). I also forgot to add the capers before I started filling the pea pods, so they were really bland.

So then I decided to see if it could be salvaged into a different appetizer. This one was a little better (this picture is without the capers). I stuffed the crab salad into a hollowed out tomato. You could probably fill cherry tomatoes too for finger food. This is a small tomato and could be served as an appetizer for a sit-down dinner. It is a bit messy to eat though. There is enough crab salad to stuff 4 small tomatoes.

Ultimately, I remembered to add the capers, then chopped up the remaining pea pods and tomatoes, and mixed it all together. Not pretty at all (hence no picture) but fairly tasty.

The crab salad has approx. 130 Calories for the full batch (not counting pea pods or tomatoes).


  • 1 can crab meat (approx. 4.5 oz drained)
  • 1 Tbs low fat mayonaise
  • 1 tsp capers (don't forget these or it is really bland!!)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onions
  • 1 squeeze fresh lemon juice
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Drain the crab and remove any shell pieces.
  2. Mix with all other ingredients.
  3. Spread on toast, stuff in vegetables, toss on a salad, or just eat it as is.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Halibut with mashed gingered turnips

Approx. 300 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

The weather has been cold and rainy lately, so I decided to cook something warm and savory to take the chill off. I really like the combination of ginger and turnips, so decided to make gingered mashed turnips. Since that didn't seem like a complete meal, I added some fish and greens. I had already used the turnip greens, so I used Swiss chard for my greens. If the turnips still have their greens, you can use those instead.

My mashed turnips were a bit runny. I should have drained off the cooking water, but I didn't think there was that much, so I didn't bother. I highly recommend draining them before mashing. I also just fork mashed them. You could make them smoother if you blended or whipped them.

  • 4 oz halibut or other firm white fish.
  • 2 medium turnips (approx. 2 cups)
  • 2 cups of greens (I used Swiss chard)
  • 6 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • water
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Wash and dice turnips.
  2. Add grated ginger to the turnips and cook until tender (I added about 1/4 cup water and microwaved for about 6 minutes. You could also boil them).
  3. Add oil to a skillet and cook fish (approx. 3-4 minutes per side) until it flakes.
  4. When the fish is done, remove from heat and let rest.
  5. Using the same skillet, cook greens (add a splash of water if the pan is too dry).
  6. Drain and mash turnips.
  7. Add greens and fish.
  8. Season as needed.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Curried Squash and Lima Beans

Approx. 390 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

Since I've been eating a lot of light, fresh, fruity flavored main courses lately, I decided to change things up and make a hearty, stick to your ribs, savory dish tonight.


  • 1 cup lima beans (I used frozen)
  • 1 small butternut squash (approx. 2 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup green onion
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

  1. Peel and dice butternut squash. Microwave on high for 4 minutes while chopping all other vegetables.
  2. Dice yellow onion and cut green onion into thin slices.
  3. Chop mushrooms.
  4. Grate garlic and add to skillet with oil, diced onions, and curry powder.
  5. Cook until onions get soft.
  6. Add mushrooms, squash, lima beans (I added them frozen), and coconut milk.
  7. Cook until squash and mushrooms are tender, and beans are warm.
  8. Add green onion slices.
  9. Mix well and then serve.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Halibut with fennel and grapefruit

Approx. 280 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

I really like the taste of fennel and grapefruit together. I thought about making a fennel grapefruit salad (might still do that since I have both ingredients in the house) but I really wanted something warm for dinner tonight. I decided to cook everything instead. I added the juice from one orange to make it a little bit sweeter. Poaching the fish in the fruit juice allowed it to pick up some of the sweetness, which was nicely offset by the spice of the red pepper flakes.

The chard got a little overcooked and lost some of its bright green color. If I make this again, I would probably add the fish immediately after adding the chard.

  • 8 oz halibut
  • 1 small bulb fennel (approx. 2 cups)
  • 1/2 small onion (approx. 1/3 cup)
  • 2 cups Swiss chard
  • 1 medium pink grapefruit
  • 1 small orange (juice only)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

  1. Remove the core from the fennel, and then cut fennel, onion, and chard into thin slices.
  2. Remove peel and then segment grapefruit, saving as much juice as possible.
  3. Cut orange in half and squeeze to juice. Add to the segmented grapefruit.
  4. Add oil and spices to a hot skillet.
  5. Add onions and fennel. Cook until tender.
  6. Add swiss chard and cook until wilted.
  7. Add fish, then cover with grapefruit segments and the orange juice.
  8. Cover the pan and cook on low heat for approx. 6 minutes or until the fish is done.
  9. Drain excess liquid from the pan before serving.
  10. Garnish with fennel leaves.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Chicken with Avocados and Blood Oranges

Approx. 310 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

I bought a couple of blood oranges this weekend and was trying to think of a creative way to cook/serve them, but I was drawing a blank. Maybe it was because I was tired or not feeling particularly creative today, or maybe I just wanted something simple that wouldn't compete with the flavor. I don't know. At any rate, this isn't really a recipe, but it's what I ended up making.

  • 1 small blood orange
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 4 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts

  1. Remove orange peel and cut into segments.
  2. Slice avocado.
  3. Grill chicken until cooked (I used my George Foreman grill).
  4. Place the three ingredients on a plate and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Halibut ai Frutti di Bosco

Approx. 265 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

I was in San Diego last week and had dinner at Asti Ristorante one night. I ordered the Tilapia ai Frutti di Bosco, which was described as grilled tilapia topped with berries and extra virgin olive oil. I asked them to go light on the oil, since I didn't want the fish swimming in it. They brought me a beautiful grilled tilapia fillet, topped with whole blueberries, diced strawberries, and diced ripe tomatoes. Tomatoes? I didn't notice any olive oil in the sauce, so I guess they really went light. At first I thought the tomatoes in the berry sauce would be weird, but because they were so ripe, it was delicious! So delicious that all I could think about for the last week is buying fish at the farmer's market so I could try to recreate this dish. The tiramisu was AMAZING too, but I'm not even going to attempt to recreate that dish!

I'm not a huge fan of tilapia, so I decided to use halibut for my version. I also decided to toss in a couple yellow cherry tomatoes for some added color, and a little bit of fresh mint, just to boost the flavor. I also added a little white wine while I cooked the fish. (I drank a glass of white wine in the restaurant while enjoying this dish.) While it doesn't taste exactly the same as the restaurant's, it is pretty close. And very tasty! I'll probably resist making this again though until summer, when the berries are actually in season (and not so expensive!).

  • 2 halibut fillets (5 oz each)
  • 3 large strawberries
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 medium tomato (very ripe)
  • 2 yellow cherry tomatoes
  • 5 leaves of mint (plus leaves for garnish)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 oz white wine
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Dice strawberries and tomatoes.
  2. Chop mint.
  3. Add mint, stawberries, blueberries, and tomatoes together and let flavors marry.
  4. Rinse halibut and pat dry.
  5. Season each side with black pepper.
  6. Add oil to a skillet and add the halibut fillets.
  7. Cook approx. 4 minutes and then flip.
  8. Add wine to the pan and cover.
  9. Cook approx. 4 more minutes (or until fish flakes).
  10. Remove from heat and top with the wild berry sauce.
  11. Garnish with additional mint leaves.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Black bean mash appetizer

Approx. 20 Calories per piece. Recipe makes 30 pieces.

This is the other appetizer that I took to the BBQ on Sunday. I wanted something simple, yet tasty. If the presentation is too much work, this could easily be served as a dip, either with veggies, chips, or crackers.

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/3 cup yellow onion
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 8 sprigs cilantro
  • 2 watermelon radishes
  • 2 small cucumbers
  1. Dice onions and grate garlic.
  2. Add oil, garlic, onions, chili powder, and cumin to a skillet.
  3. Heat until onions are soft.
  4. Rinse and drain the black beans, and then add to the skillet.
  5. Mash the beans and mix well with other ingredients.
  6. Add finely chopped cilantro and stir in.
  7. Allow bean mixture to cool.
  8. Slice cucumbers into thin slices (I peeled off strips of skin).
  9. Top with bean mixture.
  10. Add a small cilantro leaf and quartered slice of watermelon radish as garnish.