healthy

Raking Leaves and Creating Memories

Balsamic Mahi Mahi with Broccoli

I identify myself as unusual, and here’s why: I recently recognized raking leaves as a 2014 top fall memory. With the identification comes a story. A college friend and I spent our fall break at my house in Minnesota. My friend comes from Hawaii, where leaves don’t fall (weird!), so she had never before raked leaves. Shockingly, I found myself excited to head to the yard with my family and friend for her first leaf gathering experience, and even more shockingly, I enjoyed being out there. Thus, raking leaves is a fond memory. Afterwards the girls went for manicures and pedicures, perhaps favorably tainting my thoughts.

Fall is here, temperatures are dropping, and famers market season is wrapping up, so I’m making the most of the last fall vegetables: broccoli, onions, and parsley.

Balsamic Mahi Mahi with Broccoli

1/2 lb mahi mahi

2 medium heads broccoli

1/4 cup onion, roughly chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp parsley

Salt and pepper

Steam broccoli until still slightly firm, about 6 minutes. In a large skillet, heat butter and olive oil on medium high. Place mahi mahi in skillet, season with parsley, salt, and pepper; and cook for about 5 minutes. Turn mahi mahi and add onion to skillet, sautéing until mahi mahi is cooked through and onion is translucent, 4-6 minutes. Turn heat to low, add broccoli, balsamic vinegar, and garnish with extra parsley. Stir to mix flavors and serve.

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Italian Chicken

Italian Chicken

I forget how much I love being with the campus community. All my friends live within a one mile radius, so someone is always popping by the house. This might inhibit productivity, but it greatly improves student satisfaction!

In other news, I have been an iPhone 6 owner for ten days. I only dropped it once so far (probably a record for me), and although I harbored a bit of skepticism with the bigger screen, I quickly adjusted and now love it.

Back to the community that I love… My boss just stopped over with tomatoes from his garden, so what was I to do? Cook with them, of course! Thus, I made Italian Chicken, a simple weeknight dish.

Italian Chicken

1/2 lb chicken tenderloins

2 medium tomatoes

2 tsp Italian seasoning

1/3 cup parmesan cheese

2 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add chicken and season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Brown and cook chicken (about 3 minutes each side), and remove to place in baking dish. Top chicken with a single layer of sliced tomatoes and parmesan cheese and bake for 7 minutes. Serve when the cheese looks delicious and gooey!

Cod with Sage

Some days I look 16–a reality I realized upon being carded buying tickets to an r-rated movie. Or the timid high school ticket clerk wanted nothing less than to misstep and sell tickets to someone under 17. The worst! Regardless, after showing my ID, the poor kid (he was a kid) realized I am, in fact, old enough to see the movie and sheepishly handed me a ticket. Someday I’ll appreciate lean estimates on my age, but for now I’ll simply laugh.

I would recommend the movie, 22 Jump Street, for a laugh, given the ridiculous nature of the storyline. Two  nearly 30-year old cops go undercover as freshman at a local university to uncover a drug trade.Though not the thought-provoking type, I certainly laughed throughout the showing.

Before seeing the movie I made cod. Cod, a mild fish, is low in calories and high in protein. I like to cook it many ways–grilled, oven baked, or pan sautéed. Cod is a thicker filet, so it won’t flake apart as easily as other fish. Once seasoned and cooked, cod is delicious.

I made Cod with Sage on the stove, but the recipe also works on the grill, though I recommend using a grill pan to make sure the fish doesn’t fall through.

Cod with Sage

1 lb cod filets

3/4 cup worcestershire

3 sage leaves, chopped

2 tsp celery root

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cayenne

1/2 tsp salt

Mix worcestershire and sage together in a small bowl. In another small bowl, combine celery root, garlic powder, cayenne, and salt. Sprinkle dry seasoning on all sides of cod. Using a basting brush, coat cod in worcestershire. Heat a drop of oil in a large sauté pan, and add cod to pan. Cook cod on medium high for 7-9 minutes, making sure fish is just cooked through and flaking with a fork.

Turkey Burgers with Avocado

A week of travel is underway on my end. My family and I spent a long weekend in Manhattan dining, seeing, and walking, and we had a wonderful time. We stayed near Grand Central Station, so we witnessed the bustle of the workday in New York City. We all love visiting cities and are pretty fascinated by the city lifestyle, so we enjoyed seeing that.

Family at Olives

One of our favorite restaurants was The Meatball Shop, where every dish comes with a meatball. There are a few locations, but we went to the one in Chelsea. We also tried Olives, which provides an intimate environment and good food, but I’m not convinced it’s worth the price. And of course we made a few trips to Magnolia Bakery because I absolutely love their Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake!

We also loved seeing Aladdin on Broadway and walking through Central Park.

Today I fly on work’s corporate jet (it’s as cool as it sounds) across Minnesota, and this weekend I’ll visit friends in Chicago.

We made it home from New York just in time to cook Dad dinner for Father’s Day, and he loved these Turkey Burgers with Avocado. As you can see, we chose not to eat them with buns this time, but you can eat them however you prefer.

Turkey Burgers with Avocado

1 lb ground turkey

1 tbsp egg whites

1/2 avocado, mashed

2 green onions

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp season salt

Salt and pepper

Heat grill to high. Combine all ingredients except turkey and egg whites in a large bowl. Using your hands, mix in turkey and egg whites until combined with other ingredients. Also using your hands, form mixture into patties 1 inch thick and 3 inches wide and place on foil. Cook patties on hottest part of grill to brown, 1-2 minutes each side. Move patties to indirect heat until cooked through, 6-9 minutes. Serve with preferred toppings and with or without buns.