Posts tagged ‘Quick Meals’

June 16, 2017

Need a quick and easy dinner? Try Sole!

Whole foods had a sale on dover sole, and it looked fresher than any other in the case, so I picked some up. I hadn’t had sole in twenty years, so I was excited to try it. I had to come up with a quick dinner and since the filets are thin it cooks quickly. Don’t get over-sole-d (sorry!), though, you don’t really need a full half pound per person. I used about 2/3 lb for two.

Filet of sole used to be on menus all the time, the intro to fish dishes since it didn’t taste “fishy”. It was one of my first big attempts at fancy dinner back in the 70’s. I think the recipe was from Simca’s Cuisine or Mastering the Art of French cooking. Julia Child or her partner in crime created it and it was sole wrapped around spinach. I don’t think I have ever had more dishes in my life. Including Thanksgiving.

My sole is quick and easy, so don’t worry.

Put about a half cup of flour on a plate. Sprinkle the flour with salt, pepper and paprika.

Heat a pan on medium high heat with a little grapeseed oil, enough to shimmer. Place the coated sole, in the pan taking care not to overcrowd. After a minute or two flip over and cook the other side till just undercooked.

As the filets are finished, remove to a hot dish and keep warm in the oven.

Clean the pan with a paper towel.

Melt one or two tablespoons of butter, swirly in a tablespoon of mustard and a splash of white wine. Sprinkle in a tablespoon of capers.

Put the fish back in the pan to coat with sauce. I used Fallot Dijon Provencale, which is infused with red pepper and garlic. Serve with steamed broccoli or the fancy cauliflower which I used.


Filet of Sole Dinner

Note: The products are some I like and I didn’t receive compensation or product for those in this post

August 25, 2014

Cilantro Lime Quinoa

If you are like me, you are always looking for a healthy option you can make ahead for lunch. Quinoa always seems like a good healthy choice, but I haven’t really found a way I liked it…until now! This is light and fresh with lots of healthy additions. Bonus, it holds up really well all week! I like to make this on Sunday and it is just as good on Friday as it is on Monday. I love that I can eat it cold at my desk which makes life so easy. Let me know what you think!


Cilantro Lime Quinoa


2 cups uncooked quinoa

2 cups chicken stock

2 cups water

Juice and zest of 4-5 limes

2 Tablespoons honey

1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Kosher or sea salt


1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

6 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

2 red or yellow bell peppers, chopped

3 carrots, chopped

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped

Rinse quinoa 3 times to remove the bitter outside layer. Cook the quinoa with chicken stock and water (I add a little extra liquid because we are at high altitude). Bring the liquid to a boil then reduce to simmer for 30 seconds, bring back to a boil for another 30 seconds then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes until cooked through and tender. Allow to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk the lime juice with the zest, honey, a pinch or two of salt & pepper, and olive oil, until the dressing comes together. Add the cilantro and mix.

Add the chopped scallions, peppers, carrots, black beans, chicken, and quinoa and gently toss in the dressing.

Garnish with additional cilantro and lime zest, if desired. Eat immediately or pack up for lunches for the week. Great hot or cold!

May 22, 2013

First CSA of the Season!

We got our first box of CSA veggies from Red Wagon Farms!

Here’s what our first CSA box looked like after a tiny bit of cleaning…

Included in the pack was Egyptian walking onions, Easter egg radishes, green garlic, spinach, sorrel, and arugula.

So tonight, I’m home alone and decided on a lush salad after working out.

Springtime Salad

Arugula one handful


½ Green Onion

Green Garlic leaves

From the fridge:


Grilled red and yellow peppers, chopped


1T Lemon Aioli

2T Greek yogurt


Mix the lemon aioli with the yogurt, salt and pepper

Toss in the bottom of a bowl and mix with the veggies. Top with Fried Chicken from Niwot Market and enjoy! I know not exactly the healthiest choice but at least I have the greens to counter act the fried chix. Plus I removed the skin, so it’s not that bad. Next time I’ll prepare better.

I’m happy to have my fridge filled with beautiful veggies and the ones from Red Wagon farms are beautifully trimmed and ready for my attention! Yum.


June 20, 2012

JUICE! It’s good for you!

I was sitting in the house this morning, hungry for a smoothie. Found no frozen fruits and no FRUITS at all! So instead I took this weeks CSA food and BLENDED it into my morning drink! YUM!

I took:

4 full carrots, 4 small radishes and 1 beet and finely chopped them.


What PRETTY colors!

I added Coconut Milk and some Orange Juice to get the goods to blend. I also added a scoop of Vega Sport Recovery Accelerator for an added boost.


Tossed everything in the Magic Bullet (*As Seen on TV) since I still don’t have the JACK LALANNE POWER JUICER and the juicing began!


This turned into a beautiful orange smoothie juice drink with lots of nutritional value! I don’t think I added quite enough liquid, but I like the thicker consistency of this drink. Plus its a vegetarian delight!

Now I am enjoying my juice and listening to Jimmy Buffet—Q97pG4

What a good morning/afternoon!

*no animal biproduct was hurt during the making of this drink.

**inspired by Juicing Vegetables 


April 22, 2012

Grown Up Grilled Cheese

What do you do after a long day when there is no food in the house? Last night was one of those nights for us. Ok so it wasn’t NO food clearly, but slim pickings: kind of like looking in your closet and having nothing to wear! Looking in the fridge, we had some spring pea soup that Mary had made but it wasn’t really jumping out as a meal. The only thing I could think to pair with it was grilled cheese of course! Who doesn’t love grilled cheese and some good soup? Given a few more staples we had lying around, this turned into an exceptional grilled cheese, if a little burnt since we were too hungry to wait patiently. Think cheddar and goat cheeses, onions and apple (yes, apple!) spiced up with a little thyme. Just the right combination to make boring cupboard staples into something great. Try it. It’s awesome. J



Grown Up Grilled Cheese

Shredded White Cheddar

Crumbled Goat Cheese

1 Onion Sliced

1 McIntosh Apple Julienned



Olive Oil

Whole Wheat Bread


Heat olive oil in a skillet and add onions to sautee. When onions are soft, add apples and season with a pinch of thyme and fresh ground pepper. Sautee until onions are lightly brown and apples are soft then remove from heat. Heat a skillet over medium heat (don’t do what I did and torch it.) J Lightly butter one side of bread. Place bread butter side down in pan. Sprinkle with cheddar, then apple and onion mixture, add some goat cheese, and finish with a bit more cheddar. Top with other slice of bread, butter side up. Turn once when golden brown on the bottom. Cook until desired doneness and serve immediately. Yummy!!

September 12, 2011

Indian Carrot Salad

Indian food is not really on the top of my favorite foods list. I don’t know why, but I just never fell in love with curry. This recipe is definitely an exception for me. Jamie Oliver never fails to impress with his simple and beautiful recipes. I love the spicy lamb and sweet and crunchy carrots. We added some romaine lettuce to make this a meal instead of a starter. We also liked the addition of fruit (grapes from our fridge in this case) for some extra sweetness; green apple peeled like the carrot would be a great addition as well. Such a fresh salad with unique ingredients is a great way to mix things up. Is this one that you will try??


The grapes we added were some cool black seedless grapes, they looked like olives but obviously weren’t. This is a great dish when you are bored or in a dinner rut. The only other curry dish I really like is Jamaican Meat Pies from Molly O’Neil’s New York Cookbook also a great dish. Thanks for this one Jaime!


Indian Carrot Salad

Courtesy ‘Jamie at Home’ by Jamie Oliver

• 1 1/4 pounds good-quality coarsely ground lamb
• 2 teaspoons garam masala
• sea salt
• 1 pound carrots (mixed colors if possible), peeled
• 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
• a small bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves picked
• a small bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked

for the dressing
• 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
• 3 shallots or 1 small red onion, peeled
• zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 1 heaped teaspoon
• freshly grated ginger
• extra virgin olive oil


Heat a large frying pan and fry your ground lamb until all the fat comes out of it (you can remove some of the fat if there is a lot). Add the garam masala and a good pinch of salt and give it a stir. Keep frying until the meat is lovely and crispy.

Shave the carrots into long thin strips with a peeler or a mandolin slicer and keep them to one side.

Heat a small frying pan over a moderate heat and toast the cumin seeds for 30 seconds – they will start to smell nutty and gorgeous. You’re not trying to cook the seeds here, you’re just waking their flavors up a bit. Put them into a pestle and mortar and grind them up. Put the pan back on the heat and toast the sesame seeds until golden. Transfer them to a plate.

Slice your peeled shallots or onion wafer thin. As with all salads that contain onion, you don’t want to be coming across great big chunks! If you don’t feel confident about your knife skills, use the coarse side of a box grater instead. This will almost mush your onions to a purée, but at least you won’t come across any big bits. To make your dressing, put the lemon zest and juice into a bowl and add the shallots or onion, grated ginger, ground cumin and a pinch of salt. Whisk everything together with about 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

Pour the dressing over the carrots, add the cilantro and mint leaves, and mix it all together using your fingers. It’s important that you have a little taste to check whether the dressing needs more lemon juice, oil or seasoning.Divide the crispy lamb between four plates and put the dressed salad on top. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds. Served with naan bread, some yogurt and lemon halves, this makes a great snack!

September 4, 2011

Summer Shrimp

Vacationing in Aspen, we came across some beautiful Olathe sweet corn. Our Colorado corn can be really good at the end of summer. Lazy day rummaging through my hosts’ cookbook collection I found a side dish to try. Only thing was that we wanted a main dish. The recipe (from Gourmet) admonished the reader not to try to improve it . Hmmph. A challenge. What we ended up with was nothing like the original. I decided to use our favorite way to spice up something bland; marinate it in hot sauce. We didn’t have Franks Wing Sauce that day and we used an exotic Hawaiian hot sauce, though I can’t remember the name. Franks always works though. I tried it again when I got home and it was still great.

Summer Shrimp

1lb shrimp.

4 ears corn

Basil and or mint


1-2 Large Tomatoes

Franks Wing Sauce (regular)




Peel the shrimp if necessary. Pour ¼ c. Franks Wing Sauce in a bowl. Add shrimp. Set aside to let marinate while preparing the rest.

Remove the corn from the ears. A bundt pan helps here putting the corn in the circle and scrape down so the kernals fall into the pan.

Melt 1T butter in a frying pan, add 1T olive oil.

Drain the shrimp, leaving the residual sauce on. Saute shrimp until pink and curled, about 2 minutes. Sometimes the shrimp will exude liquid. If that happens reduce the sauce or drain again.

Remove shrimp to a plate and set aside. Melt one more Tablespoon of butter to the shrimp pan, now empty. Add corn and sauté for 2 minutes, or till warm. Add the reserved shrimp and chopped tomatoes. Pepper generously and salt with celtic salt.

Remove from heat and tear basil and mint on top and serve.

It’s super fresh this way. But a little bacon would be nice…


August 6, 2011

Grilled Chicken Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette

You will probably see a theme in our food habits in the later part of summer: anything grilled. We grill chicken every week and keep it around to be used in other recipes. It is a great way to keep the kitchen cool and the cooking times down. This recipe was inspired by the ladies at Big Girls Small Kitchen. I was running out of ideas of things to make (not to mention I had limited resources to work with) when I came across their Barley Salad post. Of course, I had no barley, but I did have chipotle and salad stuff; success! This turned out great and I used the dressing on a more basic side salad later in the week and it was still awesome. You could even use it as a marinade…something to try later! In this case, we had some grilled chicken already prepared and mixed some of the salad dressing with some Greek yogurt and tossed the chicken in it. If you are grilling the chicken fresh, you can use any marinade you like and just chop it as is. Let me know what you think!!


Grilled Chicken Salad with Chipotle Vinaigrette
Adapted from
Big Girls Small Kitchen
Serves 4-6

Dressing Ingredients
1 ½ teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
Juice of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1-2 teaspoons adobo from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce, plus a little chopped chipotle
2 teaspoons honey
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon ground cumin

Salad Ingredients

2 chicken breasts

4-6 cups washed salad greens

1 tomato, diced
1 zucchini

1 cup corn kernels, cut from the cob or defrosted frozen

3 small carrots, sliced in rounds

½ avocado, diced
¼ cup shredded radishes
¼ cup fresh Basil and Mint leaves

Prepare the chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and some of your favorite marinade (we usually use BBQ or teriyaki sauce). Slice the zucchini and sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Husk the corn. Grill the corn, chicken and zucchini and set aside to cool while the preparing the salad. The corn will take the longest, followed by the chicken and the zucchini will go quickly. When the corn is cool enough, cut the kernels off the cob of 2 ears of corn.

In a bowl, whisk together the shallot, lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, and adobo. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking as you go, until the dressing is emulsified. Stir in the cumin and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt.

Combine the salad greens, zucchini, corn, tomato, avocado, radishes, and herbs in a salad bowl and toss with the dressing to combine (you may have some leftover).

Chop the chicken and top each salad with a good amount.

July 27, 2011

Weeknight Dinner: Grilled Chicken Fajitas

I am always looking for ways to make flavorful and healthy dinners during the week. It is always a challenge when you are busy and don’t feel like cooking at the end of the day, so things that can be prepped ahead of time or quickly are always the answer. I often opt for some semi-homemade options to supplement these meals. This is one that is great because it is easy to prepare and you can do pieces early in the day or right before cooking. Plus, you can throw some additional chicken and veggies in to save for lunches later in the week. I like to take the leftover rice and mix in chopped chicken and veggies for a great easy lunch! By skipping the cheese and sour cream included with lots of Mexican food, you can save lots of calories. This has so much flavor, I didn’t miss it. Enjoy!!


Grilled Chicken Fajitas

1 Pound Chicken Breasts

2 Red Bell Peppers

1 Green Bell Pepper

1 Zucchini

1 Red Onion, Sliced

1 Avocado

2 T Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Mission Fajita Tortillas



3 T Frank’s Red Hot Wing Sauce

Juice of ½ a Lime

2 T Red Wine Vinegar

1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped

2 Scallions, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper to Taste



Near East Spanish Rice

1 Tomato, cubed



365 Organic Refried Beans


Juice of ½ Lime


Salt and Pepper to Taste


Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and coat chicken with the mixture.

Cover the chicken and refrigerate until ready to grill (ideally 30 min – about 10 hours.) Prep the veggies by cleaning them and cutting them into manageable pieces to grill (quarter the peppers and slice the zucchini lengthwise.) Toss the veggies in 1-2 T olive oil and salt and pepper.

Slice the onion and set aside.

Prepare the rice according to the package directions and add chopped tomatoes after about 10 minutes of cooking.

Add 1 T olive oil to a skillet and cook the onions over med-high heat until golden.

Heat the black beans in a skillet over medium heat until warmed through, stirring in the jalapeños, lime juice, and spices. (Black beans do NOT photograph well, but they taste yummy!)

Grill the veggies and the chicken, let rest for a few minutes then slice into strips.

Heat the tortillas and serve immediately.


PS – When Ali got home late after work, she reinvented this by using lettuce in place of the tortillas which looked Fabulous! Gotta love new ideas! Do you have other ways to do fajitas??

May 21, 2011

Saturday Smoothie

Sunday breakfast often seems to be the time for eggs and bacon or wonderful pastries, but in our house, Saturday is for lighter fare. This morning we threw together a quick smoothie that turned out delicious! Smoothies are one of those great things that are easy to make and allow for creativity. I have to admit, not all of my smoothies come out perfect, but I have fun playing with it! We had cappuccinos this morning, so we didn’t need more espresso, but this smoothie would be great with a shot of espresso added! Try it and let me know what you think.


Saturday Smoothie

2 T Almond Butter

1 Banana (Frozen)

½ c Frozen Peaches

2 Scoops Chocolate Protein Powder

1 c Skim Milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Add more liquid if necessary. Serve immediately.

%d bloggers like this: