Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Steamed artichokes with balsamic mayo dipping sauce

Approx. 115 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

I bought artichokes at the market this weekend and decided to steam them and serve with just a simple dipping sauce. When I eat artichokes, I only dip every second or third leaf (otherwise all I taste is sauce) so this recipe provided me enough sauce for both artichokes. If you dip every leaf (or load it with sauce) you will need to increase the recipe. I served this with a nice piece of grilled steak (not included in the calories).

One note of caution: Be sure to check the water level in the pot from time to time. I didn't check it until the house stunk like burned vinegar and realized that all the water escaped as steam. Needless to say, I got a good workout scrubbing the bottom of that pot!

  • 2 artichokes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 3 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 Tbs mayonaise (I used fat free)
  • 1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • water

  1. Clean artichokes and trim off any thorns.
  2. Add water, red wine vinegar, bay leaf, and garlic to the bottom of a large pot and cover with a steamer basket.
  3. Place artichokes in the steamer basket and cover the pot with a lid.
  4. Steam for approx. 30 minutes or until leaves easily pull off the artichoke.

To make sauce:
  1. Mix mayonaise and balsamic vinegar.
  2. Remove garlic from the steamer pot and smash. Add to the sauce and mix well.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Market Haul

Here's what I picked up on Saturday morning at the Downtown Phoenix Public Market:
10 grapefruit, 1 bunch of golden beets, 1 bunch of baby carrots, red vine and heirloom cherry tomatoes, broccoli, acorn squash, 3 cucumbers, snap peas, green beans, 2 types of lettuce, 1 mature red onion and a bunch of young red onions, a yellow onion, garlic, a bag of Nasturtium flowers, and 2 artichokes.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Strawberry spinach salad

Approx. 85 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 8 servings.
This is one of my favorite simple summer salads and made a similar version of it previously (recipe here). Last weekend, I planned a quick day trip to visit some friends in San Francisco and hoped that this would travel well for the short flight, which it did. I added the vinegar after I arrived, just before serving.

  • 3 cups strawberries
  • 8 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup red onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped Nasturtium flowers (optional)
  • 10 Tbs blue cheese
  • 1 oz balsamic vinegar


  1. Dice onion, slice strawberries, and chop edible flowers.
  2. Layer red onions, stawberries, flowers, and blue cheese on top of the spinach.
  3. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shrimp beet salad wraps

Approx. 210 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving (3 wraps)

After several days of eating beet greens, I decided it was time to eat some of the beets. I only used the lighter colored beets, since the red ones stain everything they touch. I originally was going to just cut lettuce and use it as a salad, but this head had such nice big leaves, that I decided to make lettuce wraps instead. There was enough for 3 generous wraps.

  • 9 medium shrimp (3 oz) - I used pre-cooked.
  • 1 1/2 cups beets
  • 3 large lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup red onion
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 3 sprigs cilantro

  1. Peel and slice beets. Steam until tender and then let cool.
  2. Dice the red onion and chip the cilantro.
  3. Remove tails from the shrimp.
  4. Toss all ingredients together and serve on lettuce leaves.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beet greens with carrots

Approx. 70 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

The bunch of beets that I bought had mixed colors. Some of them were the normal red beets, and others were the colored beets (white, pink, golden). The previous recipe used the greens from the lighter colored beets. These greens were from the red beets, which meant that the stems also contained the red. As a result, this dish is much darker looking than the other.

Because it was so dark, I decided to make it even darker by adding the carrots with the purple/burgundy skin. This recipe makes enough for 2 pretty filling side dish servings. I still hadn't gone shopping for meat, and ended up eating both servings as my entire dinner. It was VERY filling.

  • 6 cups beet greens
  • 1 cup carrots
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion
  • 8 oz water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, or to taste

  1. Wash and chop beet greens (leaves and tender stems)
  2. Dice the onion.
  3. Cut the carrots into thin slices (I left the skin on).
  4. Heat the water in a skillet and then add the onion, red pepper flakes, and garlic powder.
  5. Heat until the onion gets tender.
  6. Add the beet greens and carrots.
  7. Cook until the beet greens and carrots are tender.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Grilled chicken with tropical mango salsa

This is essentially the same exact recipe as the halibut with tropical mango salsa I previously posted, except I put the salsa on grilled chicken instead of fish. I also didn't have any edible flowers, so I added a little bit of diced red onion instead. This recipe was good with chicken, but I liked it much better with the halibut.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Beet greens with tomatoes and chili peppers

Approx. 90 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

With the weather warming up, this might be the last week to get the tender beet greens at the Farmer's market. So, I stocked up on a HUGE bunch of greens (with the beets). Look for many recipes this week that feature beets. This recipe makes enough for 2 pretty filling side dish servings. I didn't feel like making any meat to go with this, and ended up eating both servings as my entire dinner. It was VERY filling.

  • 8 cups beet greens
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 jalapeno chili peppers
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion
  • 4 oz water

  1. Wash and chop beet greens (leaves and tender stems)
  2. Dice the onion.
  3. Cut the jalapenos into thin slices (I left the seeds in).
  4. Heat the oil in a skillet and then add the onion and chili peppers.
  5. Saute until the onion gets tender.
  6. Add the beet greens and water.
  7. Cook until the beet greens wilt and get tender.
  8. Add the tomato and cook until it softens.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Curried squash soup

Approx. 200 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 4 servings.

I had a couple different types of winter squash in the kitchen that I wanted to use up. I decided to blend them together into this savory curried soup. This bowl was a little thicker than I anticipated. I added a bit more water to the remaining soup to thin it out a little bit more.

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium acorn squash (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 Tbs coconut milk
  • 4 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 5 cups water
  • cilantro, for garnish

  1. Peel and cube the squash. Grate the ginger.
  2. Add olive oil, ginger, and curry powder to a pot.
  3. Cook until the spices release their scent and the ginger softens.
  4. Add water and the cubed squash.
  5. Cook until the squash is soft.
  6. Add the canned pumpkin and coconut milk.
  7. Heat until everything is warm.
  8. Remove from heat and blend (I used an immersion blender).
  9. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Grilled chicken with tomatoes and fennel

Approx. 375 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

I didn't get home until late last night and really didn't have much energy to cook anything complicated, so I decided to make this quick dish. Including the prep time, this dish took less than 10 minutes to make. I put the chicken on my George Foreman grill right after getting the fennel into the skillet, and the timing worked that they were both done at about the same time.

  • 8 oz chicken breast
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 bulb fennel (approx. 2 cups)
  • 4 oz water
  • 1 oz white wine
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • edible flowers (Nasturtium) for garnish

  1. Cut fennel into thin slices and dice tomato.
  2. Add water, wine, and red pepper flakes to a skillet and bring to a boil.
  3. Add fennel and cook until soft and most liquid has evaporated off.
  4. Add tomato and cook until tender.
  5. Serve with grilled chicken breast (I cooked it on my George Foreman grill).
  6. Garnish with edible flowers.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Gingered shrimp with green onions

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

My favorite Chinese restaurant, China Chili, has a tasty Sichuan prawns dish, that is made out of butterflied jumbo prawns, battered and deep fried, and coated with a sweet and spicy garlic sauce. It is served on a bed of sliced cucumbers and is sooooo tasty. They also have a pretty good Mongolian chicken dish (they have Mongolian beef too, but I usually don't order beef dishes).

When I opened the fridge, I saw shrimp and cucumbers and thought about making my version (not deep fried) of the Sichuan prawns. I had no idea how they make the sauce though. Then I saw the green onions and thought about making Mongolian shrimp. I have no idea how to make that sauce either, although I'm sure I could have found it on the Internet if I were so inclined to look it up (I wasn't!).

So, I decided since I didn't know how to make either sauce, I would combine the two dishes and make up my own sauce. As a whole, this dish was pretty good, but I used way too many green onions! The green onion flavor was overpowering!!! The recipe below contains only half the amount that I actually used, so your dish won't quite look like mine, but will hopefully taste better.

  • 4 oz shrimp (I used pre-cooked)
  • 2-3 green onions, cut into 1 inch segments -split the white bulbous part into quarters lengthwise (approx 2/3 cups)
  • 1 cucumber, thinly sliced (approx. 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • ginger root, grated (approx. 2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • red pepper flakes, to taste
  • 1/2 Tbs soy sauce (low sodium)

  1. Add oil, red pepper, grated garlic, and grated ginger to a skillet.
  2. Heat until it sizzles.
  3. Add green onion slices and cook until they are tender.
  4. Add soy sauce, cucumber slices, and shrimp.
  5. Cook until cucumber softens and shrimp is warm (or cooked if using raw) all the way through.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Halibut with tropical mango salsa

Approx. 410 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

I love champagne mangoes and have been looking forward to them being back in season. I decided to use the first ripe one of this season in a fresh mango salsa served over fish. I also bought some edible flowers (I believe they are Nasturtium) at the farmer's market this weekend and was looking for an interesting way to use them. These have a nice peppery flavor that I thought would be a nice addition to the sweet mango and the spicy chili peppers. Plus, they would add some color. So, I chopped up a few flowers and mixed them into the salsa.

The chilis were a bit spicier than I anticipated, so at the last minute I decided to add some coconut milk to the pan while heating the fish, and then toss the salsa in the warm coconut milk. Brilliant!!! It was so good. I actually had enough salsa for 2 servings (the picture only shows half the salsa). I thought about saving the leftover salsa for something else, but it was so good, after I took one bite, I dumped the rest of the salsa on top of the fish and ate it all!

  • 5 1/2 oz halibut or other firm white fish
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium champagne mango (approx. 3/4 cup)
  • 2 small chili peppers (approx. 1/8 cup)
  • 4 sprigs cilantro (approx. 2 Tbs)
  • 8 edible flowers (I think they were Nasturtium)
  • 2 Tbs coconut milk
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Peel mango and chop into a fine dice.
  2. Cut chili peppers into thin rings (leaving in seeds).
  3. Finely chop cilantro and 5 edible flowers.
  4. Mix together the mango, cilantro, chili peppers, and flowers.
  5. Add oil and fish to a skillet. Cover and heat on medium for approx. 4 minutes.
  6. Season fish with pepper and flip.
  7. Add coconut milk to the pan, cover, and cook until fish flakes (approx. 3 minutes).
  8. Remove fish. Add mango salsa to pan and toss with warm coconut milk.
  9. When salsa is just warmed, serve over the top of the fish.
  10. Garnish with remaining flowers.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Chicken broccolini stir fry

Approx. 200 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

I was having one of those nights where I really didn't know what I wanted to make for dinner. After staring in the fridge until I was freezing, I pulled out some chicken and a random assortment of veggies, and just started chopping things up. I ended up with this stir fry, which I kind of had to improvise on.

Normally, I would mix the broccolini in with everything else in the pan (so that's how the recipe will read). However, I started with a very small pan, and ran out of room. Basically, I added the broccolini to the top of the pan, and ended up steaming it while everything else cooked below. Since the pan was too small to mix everything without making a mess on the stove, I just pulled off the steamed broccolini, put it on the plate, then scooped the rest of the stir fry on top.

  • 6 oz boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 4 cups broccolini
  • 1 cup mushrooms
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 Tbs stir fry sauce (I used East West Brand, spicy ginger teriyaki sauce)
  • 1/4 cup water

  1. Add water to a skillet and bring to boil.
  2. Add cubes of chicken and cook until white throughout.
  3. Add mushrooms and stir fry sauce.
  4. Mix and cook down.
  5. Add tomatoes and broccolini.
  6. Cook until all vegetables are tender.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Bloody Mess!!! Beet cucumber salad

Approx. 125 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving.

Along with all the beet green dishes, I've also been using the beets in separate dishes. I didn't take pictures of some of the dishes, because I haven't quite figured out how add beets to a dish without making it look like a bloody mess!

This salad is visually unappealing, but it was quite tasty. I liked the sweet earthiness of the beets, the salty tang of the cheese, and the crunchiness of the cucumber. It just looked like a murder scene!

  • 4 small red beets (approx. 1 1/4 cup chopped)
  • 1 small cucumber (approx. 1 cup chopped)
  • 2 Tbs feta cheese (I used fat free, tomato and basil flavored)
  • 1 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • black pepper, to taste

  1. Wash beets and steam them whole.
  2. Once tender, cool, then peel and cut into cubes.
  3. Toss with vinegar.
  4. Add diced cucumber (I left the skin on).
  5. Add cheese.
  6. Mix well and season with black pepper.
  7. Serve immediately before everything turns beet red!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Shrimp with beet greens in Thai red curry

Approx. 180 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 1 serving

I wanted something spicy and savory and still had a big bunch of beet greens left. I really didn't want a garlic sautee again, so decided to cook them in a Thai red curry sauce. I had some frozen cocktail shrimp, so I quick thawed those and tossed them in too.

  • 3 oz shrimp (I used pre-cooked)
  • 4 cups beet greens
  • 1 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbs coconut milk
  • 4 oz water

  1. Wash and chop beet greens.
  2. Remove tails from shrimp (so they are easier and less messy to eat).
  3. Add water, curry paste, and coconut milk to a skillet.
  4. Heat and then add beet greens.
  5. Cook until greens are tender.
  6. Add shrimp and heat until warm all the way through.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Salmon with sauteed beet greens

Approx. 400 Calories per serving. Recipe makes 2 servings.

Salmon is a little too rich tasting for me, so I usually prefer a lighter white fish. However, a nice coho salmon steak was calling my name the other day, so I bought it.

I bought a big bunch of beets (with greens attached) and decided that some spicy garlicy greens would counter the rich taste of the salmon. I also had multi-colored carrots, so I sliced those and added them to the greens for a little more color and texture. Overall, this was a very satisfying dish.

  • 11 oz coho salmon
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 red pepper flakes (or to taste)
  • 4 cups beet greens
  • 1/4 cup carrots

  1. Add 2 tsp olive oil to a skillet.
  2. Add salmon, skin side down and cover.
  3. Cook on medium for approx. 6 minutes.
  4. Add black pepper to top, then flip and cook approx. 3 more minutes until done (flakes easily).
  5. In a second pan (while salmon is cooking), add 1 tsp olive oil.
  6. Add grated garlic and red pepper flakes.
  7. Heat and then add chopped beet greens and sliced carrots.
  8. Cook until the greens and carrots are tender. If there isn't enough moisture, toss in a splash of water (or stock).
  9. Serve the salmon on top of the greens.