Honey Mustard Salmon Sunday

What better way to enjoy the Oscars than with some honey mustard salmon and Brussels sprouts with corn? Sunday’s are the best nights to treat yourself to a delicious dinner to prepare for the week ahead, especially when there’s something great on TV.

I just discovered Brussels sprouts a month or two ago (I know, where have I been?). Although my relationship with Brussels sprouts is recent, they’re quickly becoming my favorite vegetable. And salmon I could easily eat every day. Both of these recipes are quick and easy, not to mention super tasty!

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One word: YUM!!

Honey Mustard Salmon
1/2 tablespoon butter
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
salt & pepper
2 salmon filets

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Combine butter and brown sugar in a bowl, and microwave for 30 seconds until melted.
3. Stir in mustard, honey, and soy sauce.
4. Place salmon on baking sheet with foil.
5. Brush salmon with half of the glaze and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the salmon is firm and flaky (but before the white fat begins to form on the surface).
6. Remove, brush salmon with remaining glaze.

Adapted from Salmon Cooking.

Early Summer Brussels Sprouts and Corn
Serves 4 side portions. (Note: I don’t usually measure anything when I make this, I just make as much as I’m hungry for).
1 lb Brussels sprouts
2 ears of corn, kernels freshly cut off of the cob
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 lemons-worth of juice
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt & pepper

1. In a large pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat.
2. Cut Brussels sprouts in half and add to pan.
3. Sprinkle with lemon juice, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and generous pinches of salt & pepper.
4. Shake and stir to coat, continue to shake every so often, to enable a caramelized sear but not an over-cook on one side.
5. After about 10 minutes (adding more olive oil as needed), when Brussels sprouts are browned, soft on the outside, but a bit hard and crunchy on the inside, add corn kernels to the pan.
6. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the corn, sprinkle with more salt & pepper and stir to fully mix.
7. Cook for another 5 minutes, until corn is warm.

Source: Parsley & Polka Dots

Happy Oscar Sunday! Enjoy:)

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Not your typical Buff C

How do I live without buffalo wings and buffalo chicken dip as a pescetarian? Simple. Buffalo Cauliflower. This is one of my favorite recipes, considering this was probably my fourth or fifth time making it. It’s easy, delicious, and low cal, and it makes a great appetizer or an awesome meal! Enough of me talking, let’s get to the good stuff.

Start by preheating your oven to 450 degrees. Next, cut one head of cauliflower into florets.

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Mix the batter ingredients together in a bowl.
(1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup flour, 1/4 teaspoon garlic salt, 1/4 teaspoon dried onion, dash of Frank’s buffalo sauce)

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Coat the cauliflower florets in the batter. I take the easy (lazy) way out on this and simply dump the cauliflower in the bowl and stir until evenly it’s evenly coated with batter. Once the cauliflower is coated, place on baking sheet with aluminum foil and non-stick spray. Bake the cauliflower at 450 degrees for 15 minutes.

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While the cauliflower is in the oven, mix the sauce ingredients in a bowl.
(1/4 cup Frank’s buffalo sauce, 3 tablespoons of butter, dash of salt)

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Once the cauliflower is done baking, take it out of the oven and coat evenly with the buffalo sauce. Place the cauliflower back in the oven for an additional 7 minutes. Remove from the oven, and enjoy (with ranch and blue moon, preferably)!

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Buffalo Cauliflower
1 head of cauliflower

Batter Ingredients
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup water
dash of Frank’s Wing Sauce (or Frank’s Original Hot Sauce)
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon dried onion

Buffalo sauce Ingredients
1/4 cup Frank’s Wing Sauce
3 Tablespoons salted butter, melted
pinch of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.
3. Wash your head of cauliflower and cut into pieces.
4. In a medium bowl, mix together the batter ingredients.
5. Dip each piece of cauliflower into the batter until fully and evenly coated. Place onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer.
6. Bake for about 15 minutes until the batter just hardens.
7. In a small bowl, mix together the buffalo sauce ingredients.
8. Once the cauliflower is done, remove from the oven and brush with the buffalo sauce. Again, fully and evenly coat each piece.
9. Put back into the oven and bake for 7 more minutes, until the sauce has mostly dried and the cauliflower is crispy.
10. Remove from the oven, let cool, then enjoy! Tastes great dipped in ranch.

Source: Persnickety Plates

Spaghetti Squash Tacos

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I love spaghetti squash almost as much as I love Mexican food. So when I found this recipe combining the two, I knew it would be a hit. I’ve only made spaghetti squash two other times, and I can honestly say the hardest part is just cutting the thing in half. Make sure you have a good, sharp knife and a solid grip on the squash. (Confession: I am deathly afraid of knives and slicing my hand off).

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Once you’ve halved the squash and scooped out all of the guts, spread about 1/2 teaspoon of olive oil in each half and place face down on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

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While this is happening, prepare the other taco ingredients.

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Once the squash is roasted and cooled, gently scrape out the flesh into a bowl using a fork. Combine the chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and lime juice mixture with the squash. Now you’re ready to construct your tacos!

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Voila! For the full recipe, see below or go to the original recipe post on Marin Mama Cooks.

Spaghetti Squash Tacos
3 pounds spaghetti squash (either one large or 2 small)
2 tablespoons (about 1 lime) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 15-ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained very well
roughly 1/4 cup finely diced red
crumbled queso fresco
shredded lettuce
10-16 6-inch soft corn tortillas

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees and prep your spaghetti squash.
2. While the squash is cooking, prep your ingredients. Squeeze 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice into a small bowl.
3. In another small bowl mix together the 1 teaspoon chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, set aside.
3. Dice up your red onion.
4. Rinse and drain your black beans.
5. Crumble your cheese into a bowl.
6. When the squash is finished cooking, let it cool for a few minutes so its easier to handle. Working over a large bowl, gently scrape out the flesh with a fork. Compost the skin.
7. Add the 2 tablespoons of lime juice to the bowl with the chili spices and whisk to combine.
8. Pour the chili and lime mixture over the squash strands and toss well to combine.
9. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Warm and slightly blister each tortilla, about 30 seconds per side.
10. Sprinkle each tortilla with a layer of black beans.
11. Throw some of the squash mixture on top of the beans.
12. Add some cheese and red onions.
13. Top it all off with some shredded lettuce.
14. Enjoy!!

What the @#!% is a Pescetarian and why the $*@# would I want to be one?

What is a Pescetarian, anyways?

“Pescetarianism, or pesco-vegetarianism, means being vegetarian while still including seafood in your diet. One still cuts out red meat, pork, poultry, etc. from his or her diet like a vegetarian, but does not cut out fish and other seafood.”

When my friends, family, and co-workers found out I went pescetarian, they all asked (and continue to ask) why. Honestly, I had a hard time answering that question. I would typically answer by saying “I don’t know” or “It seemed like a good idea.” My favorite response was “I thought it would help me make healthier choices,” to which everyone obviously asked “Well, does it?” and I would come back to “I don’t know.” My reasoning made sense to me, but I had a hard time helping others understand. Until I stumbled across this wonderful article, titled “5 Reasons to Become a Pescetarian.” Sure, it may have been written in 2011, but three years later, these reasons still hold true. And here they are:

1. Pescetarianism may drastically improve your health.

Ok, from a diet standpoint, pizza, pasta and fried foods are still fair game. I’ve learned that making healthy choices is my own responsibility, and no new diet is going to permanently keep me away from french fries and donuts. BUT…

“A pescetarian diet may not only reduce your risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases, but stroke, osteoporosis, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, high blood pressure and some types of cancer.”

2. Becoming a pescetarian benefits our planet.

Well who doesn’t want to benefit our planet, am I right?

3. I (the writer of the article, not me) believe you aren’t against animal cruelty unless you are some type of vegetarian.

I can’t say that I wholeheartedly agree with this one. Do I think people that eat meat are cool with animal cruelty? No. We are taught that eating meat is normal and that everyone needs the protein from meat to stay healthy. What we are not taught about is animal cruelty. I think we are unintentionally ignorant when it comes to animal cruelty, and it’s not our fault.

4. We aren’t natural carnivores.

“The omega-3 fatty acids that are in fish and seafood are necessary in the diet of a human being — fish is the only true source of the omega-3 acids DHA and EPA.”

5. Many successful individuals choose vegetarian or pescetarian diets.

You probably could have sold me on pescetarianism solely based on this one. Cue Drake “I just wanna be, I just wanna be successful…”

You can read about these reasons in more detail by going to the article. To all the people that asked me “why,” here’s my intelligent and factual (gosh, finally) response! Happy Sunday!

Meatless Monday

Let me preface this “Meatless Monday” post by saying that I spent yesterday, “Sunday Funday,” venturing around the city, running various errands – one of which included a trip to Reading Terminal Market.

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Now, if you’ve never been to Reading Terminal Market, shame on you. Go. Right now. If you have been there, I’m going to assume you share my obsession. It’s a Philly Phoodie’s paradise. (See what I did there?)

Reading Terminal has only the freshest, brightest, most colorful produce; exotic, authentic foods from cultures all over the world; and every baked good known to man. It’s almost impossible to avoid getting lost amongst the never-ending aisles of food stands, only to realize two hours have passed since you got there.

Well, yesterday I was on a mission. I grabbed some cauliflower, spaghetti squash, and a beautiful grapefruit that I just couldn’t resist. I then allowed myself one token purchase from Wan’s Seafood stand – sea scallops. And then I ran out of there as fast I could before letting the bakery by the exit lure me in. Grabbed some free smells though.

Tonight, I used my token seafood purchase to make Seared Scallops over Wilted Spinach and Parmesan Risotto. I found this recipe on Pinterest, and you can find the full post and recipe (complete with calorie counts and Weight Watcher points) on Gina’s Skinny Recipes. That’s right – this is a “skinny” recipe, and it’s delicious. One thing I did differently was use vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. (Gotta keep it pescetarian-friendly). Check it out.

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Here’s my rendition of the recipe:

Parmesan Risotto
Servings: 3, Time: 30 minutes
1 cup arborio rice
1 tsp butter
1 shallot, minced
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
salt and pepper
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsp chopped parsley

1. Heat vegetable broth in a small pot.
2. In a medium size heavy sauce pan, add butter on medium-low heat.
3. Add shallots, sauté about 1 minute.
4. Add rice mixing well until well coated and transluscent, about 2 minutes.
5. Add wine, salt and pepper and mix well until it is absorbed into the rice.
6. Ladle 1 cup stock into rice and mix until all stock is absorbed, add another ladle, and continue adding and stirring until all broth is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes.
7. Add parmesan cheese and parsley, mix well and serve.

Seared Scallops over Wilted Spinach
Servings: 1, Time: 10 minutes
5 sea scallops
salt and fresh pepper
2 tsp butter
1 tsp olive oil
10 oz baby spinach, washed

1. Wash scallops and pat dry with a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a medium size pan on a high flame. When pan is hot, melt 1 tsp butter the scallops in the pan. Sear without touching them for a few minutes until the bottom forms a nice caramel colored crust. Turn over and cook about another minute or 2, until the center is slightly translucent and the bottom is seared. Be careful not to overcook. Continue this process until all of your scallops are cooked.
3. Add olive oil to a separate pan on medium heat.
4. Add spinach, salt and pepper, and toss until spinach wilts.
5. Serve spinach over risotto topped with scallops.

I made the full risotto recipe, so I’ll be having leftovers for lunch tomorrow. Really can’t complain about that!

Enjoy! And happy “Meatless Monday”!!

My Sweet, Sweet Valentine

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Hello hello! What a better way to start my food blog than with some sweet Valentine’s Day treats? I personally don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but yesterday’s holiday seemed like the perfect excuse to make these Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Brownie Bars. Yeah, that’s right. That’s a layer of red velvet brownies, topped with Oreo truffle and a layer of chocolate and mini chocolate chips. And they taste as wonderful as they look. See for yourself…

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I mean really, who needs flowers when you can have these? I’m completely smitten.

Now, I have to give credit where credit is due. You can find the full recipe for these beauties (and many more delicious recipes) here.

Make these for your Valentine and I guarantee you’ll have found the way to their heart!

Enjoy:)