Month: March 2014

Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

Beet Salad

Beets! They turn my hands red every time, which consistently leads to questioning. They take forever, but my advice is this: let the beets cook as long they need. Don’t take them out early! Don’t do it! Serve the beets warm right away or chilled, but the vinaigrette tastes best at a cooler temperature.

Beet Salad with Orange Vinaigrette

4 medium-sized beets

1/4 chopped pistachios

1 orange, zested and squeezed

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp honey

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off tops and roots from beets and remove skin using a vegetable peeler. Lightly toss with olive oil and place in foil on a baking sheet, using foil to cover beets. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until beets are tender. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, and cut beets into bite size pieces. In a container with a lid, mix orange juice, orange zest, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Toss dressing with beets and top with pistachios.


Soba Noodles with Veggies


Please welcome back Meatless Monday! For years I occasionally prepared Meatless Monday meals, but I recently decided to try cutting out meat every Monday. I choose not to eat meat on Mondays primarily because it gives me an opportunity to try new ingredients. For some they are, but soba noodles are not in my usual rotation. I also enjoy choosing fresher foods that are high in nutrients.

I won’t post a meatless meal every Monday, but when I come up with a good one I will surely share.

I saw many recipes for soba noodles, but they are new to me. Soba noodles come from buckwheat flour and wheat flour and are about as thick as spaghetti. Still, I was careful to stray too far from my usuals, so I put Brussels sprouts with them.

Soba Noodles with Veggies

9 oz soba noodles

1 1/2 cups very thinly sliced Brussels sprouts

1/2 cups roughly chopped kale

4 cloves garlic

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

2 tbsp lime juice

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

fresh cracked pepper

parmesan cheese

Place soba noodles in boiling water and let simmer for 3 minutes, then drain and rinse, or cook according to package. In a sauté pan, heat vegetable oil and add garlic, Brussels sprouts, and kale. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until Brussels sprouts are tender, about 6 minutes. Add soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and pepper to sauté and remove from heat. Add noodles to vegetable mixture, stirring to coat noodles in sauce. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.

Garlic Butter Shrimp


Readjustment is hard, even after only one week away. I get nightly urges to go sit in the backyard hot tub like I did every day last week. Alas, one cannot vacation forever. On the bright side, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated to jump back into normal life.

Spring break marks halfway through the semester, and two of my classes changed at the mid-semester break. I just completed Global Journalism and Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation, and I added Public Health and Nutrition. I’m sad to move away from communication classes, but I am interested in health and nutrition.

As promised, this is my recipe for Garlic Butter Shrimp. It’s definitely a weeknight meal: ridiculously easy and tasty. You probably even have the ingredients on hand.


Garlic Butter Shrimp

1 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled

5 tbsp unsalted butter

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup onion

1/2 tsp chili powder

Melt butter in skillet, add chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté until onion begins to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Add shrimp and chili powder and cook until shrimp is no longer translucent, about another 4 minutes. Serve shrimp with remaining butter sauce in skillet.

Away from Paradise, Back to Reality

Ah, sunset walks on the beach...

Ah, sunset walks on the beach…

My excuse for disappearing for a week: I went to Clearwater Beach, Florida for spring break! One of the best things about college is spring break. Sometimes I think about not having week in college designated for traveling, and I get sad. Most of the time, though, I am content with the break I do have.

So my excuse for zero posts is I was taking a leave in paradise. After lounging on the beach and spending time in our private pool and hot tub, I feel refreshed and ready to dive back into daily life. I already have many recipe ideas I can’t wait to post!

Stay tuned for Garlic Butter Shrimp and Soba Noodles with Vegetables. Coming soon!

Almond Parmesan Crusted Mahi Mahi

Almond Parmesan Crusted Mahi Mahi

You know how people crave chips sometimes? That happens to me with seafood. Actually, it happens with chips, too, so maybe I should think of a better example. Almond Parmesan Crusted Mahi Mahi satisfies my seafood craving.

By the way, spellcheck doesn’t recognize “mahi mahi.” That’s what the bag says, so that’s what I write.

This terrible Chicago winter continues, so I have little motivation to eat meals out. Eating out means I have to go from the apartment to the car, from the car to the restaurant, from the restaurant to the car and from the car to the apartment. In “Chiberia,” that is too much. Of course, if I’m already out, I can eliminate the trip from the apartment to the car, so then I can go out.

The point of the last paragraph was that since I’m home more, I cook more. And I cook fish because I like it.

Almond Parmesan Crusted Mahi Mahi (1)

This is a simple pan-fried fish, and you might even have all the ingredients on hand. It’s simple, yet sophisticated; a last minute entree.

Almond Parmesan Crusted Mahi Mahi

1 pound mahi mahi, thawed

1/2 cup almonds

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup dijon mustard

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp onion powder

olive oil

salt and pepper

In a small, flat bowl, combine dijon mustard, soy sauce, lemon juice and onion powder. In another small, flat bowl, combine almonds and parmesan cheese. Grease skillet with olive oil. Take one mahi mahi filet, and coat it with the dijon mustard mixture. Then dip, the filet in the almond mixture. Repeat with remaining filets, and place in skillet. Cook fish until cooked through, about 4 minutes on each side.