Thursday, January 5, 2012

Food Stuff

Not long ago I did a post on meal planning. Well, actually, it was more like a listing of all the cream cheese food I made that week. I noted that up next I planned to eat more fish and I did, but I never posted about it... so that leads me to finally write this post. Following my cream cheese extravaganza I was really looking forward to eating healthier food.

One of my staple fish dishes is Tilapia with capers. I used to work at Christos Greek Restaurant and this dish was inspired by one of their specials. I used to lightly bread the fish in flour and then pan fry it with vegetable oil and white wine, but now I have been baking it with just a little olive oil and salt and pepper. It's not quite as scrumptious, but it's easier and healthier. It's a pretty simple recipe and once cooked I put it on a plate with rice and steamed veggies... and, of course, some warmed capers on the fish. Tilapia is a pretty mild fish so it needs a little kick in my opinion. An alteration I've made to this is baking the fish with seasoned diced tomatoes, but I am partial to the capers.

Another fish dish I've made recently was introduced to me by my friend, Joanna, who is all about the healthy eating:

Thyme Roasted Salmon with Cucumber Salsa


1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped up
1/4 cup quartered or chopped grape tomatoes
1/2 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp snipped fresh cilantro
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 tsp lemon juice and some lemon zest
2 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp salt

Mix together in a bowl and set aside.

I omitted the onions since they don't like me.

Preheat oven to 350.
Line a baking sheet with foil and spray or pour a little olive oil on the foil (about 1 1/2 tbsp).
Rinse Salmon and pat dry.
Rub both sides of the salmon on the oil on the foil.
Sprinkle on the salmon:
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Bake for 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork. Transfer to a plate and top with a scoop or two of the salsa.

I didn't have any thyme when I last cooked it, but it was still tasty and delicious

Often when I make dishes that only require half a vegetable I try to plan another dish where I can use the rest. I didn't do that with all the items in the recipe so instead I chopped up the rest of the green pepper and put it in the freezer to use later. In fact, the rest of this green pepper went into a meatloaf I made weeks later.

I did make another recipe that did have similar ingredients, however. My co-worker, Delena, brought this in one day and it's become one of my feel good staple items. And my kid LOVES it too... except when I put jalapeno in it so we've cut that out.

Mango Black Bean and Tomato Salad

1 large mango, pitted, and flesh diced
2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 (14 ounce) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked long-grain rice, cooled
1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
Pinch kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Add all ingredients above to a bowl and toss. Cover the bowl and let sit in the refrigerator for 1 hour for the flavors to develop... or serve immediately because you won't want to wait to eat it.

Lately my go to item when I want something fast, but don't have anything easy to make is shrimp. I can easily thaw the shrimp in water while I start some rice. By the time the rice is cooked I've also prepared the shrimp and a side of veggies. I usually just saute the shrimp in a little butter, but used to always make it with lemon juice and lemon pepper. Tasty.

You may have noticed that I pretty much mentioned rice with each of these recipes. I used to eat white rice a lot when I was in my young 20's, but that was because my roomie made it with every meal. It was through her that I learned how to measure out rice and water using my knuckles. I don't actually measure that way anymore, but she did teach me a thing or two about making rice. The last couple years I've started eating rice a lot more again as it is one of the food items that doesn't upset my delicate digestive system (white, brown, wild... I love them all). In fact, I just bought a rice cooker as a Christmas gift to myself. It was actually the only thing on my Christmas list, and while I got a lot of great gifts no one bought me the rice cooker so Merry Christmas to me... from me. 

Since I mentioned meatloaf earlier I should mention I recently made this as well. I have several meatloaf recipes in my cookbooks, but this recipe is the one I always go back to.

Heinz 57 Meatloaf

1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef (we've been using grass fed beef or ground turkey)
1 slightly beaten egg
1/2 cup seasoned dry breadcrumbs (I recommend Italian bread crumbs)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup Heinz 57 Sauce
3/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Heinz 57 Sauce for topping
*Since I don't do onions I add other veggies such as peppers and mushrooms.

Combine ground beef and all ingredients except the sauce for topping.
Shape into a loaf (8"x4"x1 1/2) in shallow baking pan.
Bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour (depending on your loaf size it could be 45 minutes).
Allow meatloaf to sit for 5 minutes before slicing.

With mushrooms and red peppers

So that's what I've been eating lately. All relatively healthy... except for that frozen pizza I didn't mention. : )


  1. Check out for meals. It's seriously wonderful and takes all the time out of planning. It relies on fresh, seasonal ingredients. Toddler-friendly foods that the whole family will enjoy.

  2. Thanks for the suggestion!


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