Monday, January 2, 2017

Eat Healthy

Eating healthier in the new year is a noteworthy goal especially after all the holiday consumption of high caloric foods. This week on Ever Ready each posting will feature healthy recipes to get you off to a good start in 2017 . 
My definition of healthy means embracing whole foods like vegetables, fruits and whole grains, plus healthy proteins and fats. It also means cutting back on refined grains, added sugars, salt and unhealthy fats. I use very little salt in my recipes instead depend on using a variety of spices to add flavor to the dish. 
Salmon and Asparagus in Foil Packets  recipe serves 2
  • 3/4 lb. asparagus 
  • about 3 tablespoons olive oil or Lemon Olive Oil, divided
  • salt and pepper to taste, divided
  • 2 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each
  • 1 large orange, halved or 1 large lemon, halved
  • 1/2 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • optional dill sprigs as a garnish

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  To a 12-inch long sheet of foil (I used Reynold's Heavy Duty Non-Stick), divide asparagus into 2 equal portions (about 8 spears per foil packet) and layer in center of each length of foil. Drizzle 1 tsp of the oil over portion of asparagus then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Rinse salmon and allow excess water to run off, then season bottom of each fillet with salt and pepper. Layer fillet over asparagus. Drizzle top of each salmon fillet with 1 tsp of the olive oil mixture and season with spices. Top with lemon slices or orange slices. 
  • Repeat process with another sheet of foil, remaining salmon fillet. asparagus and oil.
  • Squeeze half the juice of the orange or lemon over one salmon fillet and half the juice over the other fillet.
  • Seal foil packets, making sure to tightly crimp the seams so the olive oil and citrus juices don't leak. Place packets on baking sheet and bake for about 25 to 30 minutes. Carefully open one packet to check for doneness of salmon.
Lemon, Sun-Dried Tomato and Pistachio Quinoa Salad
Cook's notes:
This is a fast, easy dish that’s ready in 20 minutes and packed with big flavors and so much texture. It's vegan, gluten-free, with no added sugar, and very little oil or salt. You can either serve it warm or cold and it’s a great salad for lunch boxes, picnics, potlucks, and parties. Upgrade and toss in some white beans or chicken for a fabulous main!
Makes about 4 cups and recipe adapted from Averie Cooks
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • extra-large yellow onion, peeled and diced small
  • 1 cup quinoa (I use tri-colored)
  • 1- 1/4 cups water
  • 2 TB. apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TB. lemon juice (zest the lemon before juicing it)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes (about 3 ounces), sliced thinly (I use dry rather than oil-packed but oil-packed may be drained and substituted be sure to pat dry on a paper towel)
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup shelled pistachios 
  • 2 tsp. lemon zest, or to taste
  • To a large skillet or saucepan, add the olive oil, onions, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until onions have softened and just begun to barely brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the quinoa and stir it into the onions and let it toast for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the water, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice (zest the lemon before juicing it), salt, pepper, reduce the heat to low, cover pan, and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed. While it's cooking, chop the remaining ingredients.
  • Transfer quinoa to a large bowl and add the sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, pistachios, lemon zest, and stir to combine. Taste, check for seasoning balance, and if necessary add more salt, pepper, or possibly a pinch of sugar if you prefer it sweeter to balance the acids, or a pinch of cayenne adds heat. Dish can be served warm and immediately or stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The flavors develop over time and tastes better a day or two after making it, and can either be served warm or cold.

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