Monthly Archives: June 2012

Broccoli Slaw with Apple & Shrimp

Full disclosure: Sometimes I don’t feel like cooking. Many weeknights I’d like nothing more than to shower post-yoga, cozy into the couch, eat some (preferably healthy) food, and watch the latest episode of The Bachelorette, or, lately, So You Think You Can Dance. Um…sidenote. Did anyone see the first Top 20 episode of SYTYCD this week? Amazeballs. I’ve already watched every dance at least twice. The next show isn’t until July 11 so there’s going to be a lottttttttttt of re-watching around here. (Want to grab lunch? Go to the Farmers Market? Hang out by the pool? Sorry, I can’t. I have to watch SYTYCD for the 10 billionth time.) Already the best season ever. Need proof? I don’t even know which dance to link here…Let’s go with these insanely good jazz dancers who I swear could be twins, but are just tiny brown-haired perfect dancing mutants. Okay one more: The Top 20 (and Mia Michaels is back!!!)

Wait what was I talking about? Oh yeah, not cooking. Sometimes I’m just not feeling it (especially when it’s 300 degrees outside), but I still want to consume the items in my fridge, eat well, and avoid ordering takeout. That’s how this dinner came to be. I randomly picked up a bag of broccoli slaw at Trader Joe’s earlier this week. (If you’ve never had broccoli slaw it’s just shaved broccoli stalks and shredded carrots. Mega crunch factor.) To me, slaw screams summer and this kind is way tastier than the one made with cabbage. I didn’t have any specific plans for the slaw at the time, but when I saw it in my fridge on an I-don’t-feel-like-cooking day I decided it was the perfect answer. The only effort I put into it was slicing an apple into matchsticks for some sweetness and whipping up a super easy dressing (with Greek yogurt instead of mayo–score!) Then, for protein, I sauteed some shrimp. (Okay, those required a tiny bit of cooking, but I could handle five minutes on the stovetop.) Although I’m still figuring out what it takes to have a perfectly stocked fridge, freezer, and pantry (why do I feel this is going to be a lifelong effort?), frozen shrimp is one thing I always have on hand–it’s ideal for putting together meals in a pinch like this one.

I almost didn’t post this recipe because it feels so simple and so easy, but isn’t that what summer is all about? Toss this baby together so you can spend those long summer nights doing whatever you love to do–hanging out at the beach, going for a walk, or watching this ridiculous performance. Again.

Broccoli Slaw with Apple & Shrimp
Serves 2

Ingredients
12 oz bag broccoli slaw
1 gala apple (or other firm, sweet kind) cut into matchsticks
Dozen shrimp
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper

For the dressing:
4 Tbsp plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp agave (or honey)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
Dash salt
Black pepper

Preparation
If shrimp are frozen, defrost in water for 10 minutes. Drain. Place shrimp in a bowl with olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss to coat. Set aside.

Place broccoli slaw and apples in a bowl. Combine dressing ingredients in a separate container with a lid. Shake vigorously until combined. Pour all of the dressing on the slaw and toss to coat. Season with additional black pepper and set aside.

Heat a small pan on medium heat. When hot, add shrimp and cook, tossing occasionally, until pink–about five minutes.

To serve: Fill a bowl with broccoli slaw, top with shrimp, and season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

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Curried Couscous with Dried Cranberries

Need a super easy side dish to bring to a BBQ? I’ve got your answer right here. I promise it looks and sounds way fancier than it actually is. My recipe changes slightly every time I make this depending on the ingredients I have in my kitchen, which means it’s easy to adapt. In fact, the original recipe calls for parsley, but I had a huge bunch of cilantro so I used that instead. And you know what? I think I liked it even better. (Of course, you crazy cilantro haters feel free to sub in parsley. It’s delicious, too.) The other fab thing about this side is it takes no time to prepare. The couscous takes about five minutes to cook and you can accomplish almost every other step while you wait.

I brought this to a BBQ last weekend to celebrate one of my sweet yoga friends, Megan, who’s moving to D.C. this week. She’s super awesome, stylish, and talented (need proof? check out her paperie company Ruby the Fox). We’re all going to miss her so much. Isn’t it funny how, as an adult, you don’t make new friends very often? It’s not like when you were a kid and the girl on the swing next to yours instantly became your BFF. I didn’t realize this was the case until I started yoga teacher training earlier this year and met so many wonderful new people. Many of us have become super close and I know we’ll be in each other’s lives for a long time to come (even those moving to the east coast…tear.) When I walked into that first day of Teacher Training in January I was overwhelmed by the number of faces I saw in there. How would I ever get to know them all? Now, looking back, it’s hard to believe these people were ever strangers because we’ve become one big yoga family. I always know no matter which CorePower studio I go to and what time of day I go, I’m going to see someone I know and adore. As if I didn’t already love yoga enough this gives me even more reason to come back to my mat day after day. So here’s to all of my fabulous new friends: Thank you so much for sharing this amazing journey together. I can’t wait to see what the next chapter holds for each of us.

And just for fun here are some pics from the party (Melissa, thank you so much for hosting!)

Melissa, Me, Michelle, and Megan

Megan & Melissa

Katherine, Julia, Me, Kristen, Michelle

The gang : )

I almost forgot to include the recipe!

Curried Couscous with Cranberries

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups couscous

1/4 cup plain yogurt (plain Greek yogurt works, too)

1/4 olive oil

1 tsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1 carrot peeled and shredded

1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro

1/2 cup dried cranberries

2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)

1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds

1/2 red onion, diced

Preparation

Boil 1 1/2 cups of water. Remove from heat, add couscous, cover and allow couscous to absorb all of the fluid–about 5 minutes. Once cooked, fluff with a fork.

In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt and pepper. Pour over couscous and mix well until couscous turns bright yellow color. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa 

Pan-Seared Salmon with Avocado Puree

When it comes to cooking, there are still many things I’m not very good at. Cooking any kind of protein in a pan on the stove without burning it tops the list. In fact, I tend to avoid any recipe that calls for doing so. A close second on my list of Things I’m Not Good At is creating a meal with ingredients I already have on hand. So when this meal, which tapped both skills, turned out to be a raging success I was completely blown away. Now, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t magically have fresh (or even frozen) salmon filets sitting around so I picked those up from Whole Foods. But everything else came right from my fridge. The avocado puree is the easiest thing in the world to make–it’s basically guac ingredients with a few tweaks–namely shallot instead of red onion and lemon juice instead of lime–tossed into a blender and whipped into a frenzy until silky smooth.

I realized that the number of salmon recipes I’ve posted here hardly reflects the frequency with which I eat it. I down salmon at least once, but usually twice a week. The thing is, I tend to keep it super simple: Season with salt & pepper and roast at 450 for 12 minutes then serve alongside something green. Booooorrrrrrring. But now that I’ve tried this method of pan-searing before sticking it into the oven there’s no going back. I loved the restaurant-worthy crust that forms on the top and the fact that you finish cooking it in the oven so there’s no risk of burning the outside while the inside is still raw (ugh, every stinking time!) (Sidenote: I blame my electric stove because this happens even at low temperatures. My new apartment (I move in August!) has a gas stove and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it! )

I served the salmon and avocado puree alongside quinoa and arugula topped with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon. In other words, it was a super healthy, whole-foods only meal packed with good-for-you fats that will be in heavy rotation here throughout these warm summer months.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Avocado Puree

Pan-Seared Salmon
Ingredients
2-4 6 oz salmon filets (FYI I only cooked two filets though the avocado puree recipe makes enough to accompany four.)
salt & pepper

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350. Heat a pan (cast-iron skillet works great) on medium. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Sear salmon on both sides for 3 minutes. Place on baking sheet, skin side down, and roast for 8-10 minutes until cooked through.

Avocado Puree
Ingredients
2 avocados, pitted, skin removed
1 jalapeno, sliced (keep seeds if you like it spicy, remove seeds for less spicy)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 shallot
1 garlic clove, peeled and smashed
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp kosher salt
black pepper

Preparation
Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Add water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin out as needed. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Adapted from The Food Addicts 

Tart Frozen Yogurt

Topped with chunks of fresh mango 

In my experience, you either love or hate plain, tart yogurt. Whether it’s Greek, regular, or frozen I’m in the camp that adores it and would eat it for every meal if it had the same nutrition content as kale. I still remember my very first taste of Pinkberry. At first I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it because the tangy flavor was so unfamiliar. But as soon as I stopped thinking of it as a substitute for ice cream or even soft serve (remember TCBY?) and appreciated it for what it was—its very own thing— I found that I absolutely loved the sweet tangy taste. Now, with a billion different places besides Pinkberry offering this treat (often along with a dozen other self-serve flavors) I still gravitate toward tart, often combining it with another option such as strawberry or mango.

I came across this recipe that claimed to be better than Pinkberry while searching for another flavor of frozen yogurt to try (I found that one too and can’t wait to try it very soon). Whereas I thought the strawberry fro-yo I recently made was simple with just four ingredients, this one has it beat: Plain yogurt and sugar. That’s it!

I’ve only made about a handful of different ice cream/frozen yogurt flavors in my ice cream maker so it continues to be a learning experience for me. The strawberry frozen yogurt was out of this world, but my only complaint was that it got hard as a rock in the freezer. (I actually had to microwave the glass container it was in in order to be able to scoop some out so I could eat it–not ideal in the texture department.) In reading the comments to this plain frozen yogurt recipe (yes, I’m a comment reader) I found that David Lebovitz, the ice-cream guru himself, left one. (Sidenote: If he ever commented on my blog I’m pretty sure I’d spontaneously combust into a million little pieces.) In it, he suggests using full-fat plain yogurt instead of non-fat so it doesn’t get too firm in the freezer. Ah ha! Here I just thought my freezer was exceedingly freezing. And while many other fro yo recipes suggest straining the yogurt he says you don’t have to (good thing since I stop reading at the word cheesecloth). So I heeded his advice, mixed plain yogurt with sugar and voila: A frozen yogurt recipe that far and away rivals Pinkberry’s and for the price of a container of (organic) yogurt—a success indeed!

Tart Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients
3 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
¾ cup sugar

Preparation
Combine yogurt and sugar in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for one hour. Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturers’ instructions.

Note: I’m sure you could make this with plain non-fat yogurt (and I plan to try it soon). The taste will likely be very similar, but it will firm up in the freezer.

 Source 101 Cookbooks 

Asian Turkey Meatballs


I love everything about this meal and am so excited to share it with you. I want to take your hand, walk you to the grocery store, pick up the ingredients, and hang out with you in your kitchen while you make it. I’d even pour you a glass of wine. Really, this is my idea of the perfect weeknight meal: Super healthy, quick and easy to make, and totally delicious. There’s something about meatballs—probably their association with spaghetti and meatballs—that’s so darn satisfying. Except unlike their saucy counterparts, you won’t be in a coma after you eat these.

I made this recipe last week before embarking on an intense four-day long yoga teacher training. (If it seems like I’ve been doing teacher trainings since January you’d be right. This was my third one this year. I’ve loved them all and absolutely can’t wait to start teaching for real!) I knew I’d be exhausted at the end of each day, but wanted a healthy meal that would provide plenty of muscle-repairing protein and adequately fill my empty belly. These turkey meatballs—along with some brown rice and steamed broccoli—totally did the trick. I also love the Asian flavors from the ginger and soy sauce as well as the cilantro and scallions. The first time I made these (this was my third time in just a few months) I also made a lime dipping sauce from the original recipe, which was great. However, this time, after piling everything into a bowl, I drizzled a little bit of soy sauce, added dash of sesame oil, and squeezed some lime on top. It tasted very similar and required slightly less effort.

So the question remains: When are we going shopping?

Asian Turkey Meatballs

Ingredients
1 pound ground turkey breast
¼ cup Panko crumbs
1 egg (beat before adding)
1 Tbsp grated ginger (I used a cheese grater)
1 clove garlic, grated
½ tsp salt
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

Preparation
Preheat oven to 500. Add all ingredients in a large bowl and use your hands to combine. Spray a baking sheet or baking dish with non-stick spray. Shape mixture into golf-ball sized meatballs (about ¼ cup each). Bake 15-20 minutes until they slightly brown and cook through.

Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

I believe that every person has a secret list of “would-be-nice-to-have” qualities he or she hopes the person he or she falls in love with possesses. I’m not talking about things like has a job, went to a respectable college, and has all of his/her teeth. Those are requirements (at least in my book). I mean the silly, frivolous stuff you hope he or she has that you may or may not admit to your closest friends.

Well, I’m about to admit a big, fat “would-be-nice-to-have” quality to you that I always hoped my guy would possess: It would be nice if he really, really likes frozen yogurt. I know. It’s absurd. And ridiculous. But that’s exactly why, deep down, I always hoped my special someone loved fro-yo as much as I do–because the fro-yo obsession is absurd and ridiculous and stupidly overpriced so it would be so much more fun if we could share it together. (And by share I mean share the experience, not the bowl of fro-yo. That would just be crazy.)

I can’t remember the exact moment Robert first told me he loved all “cold white stuff,” but I’m pretty sure my heart skipped a beat. (It may have skipped just as much as when he told me that he snowboards—another quality on my would-be-nice-to-have list.) I can, however, remember thinking, so this guy isn’t going to judge me for dropping $7 on a vat of frozen yogurt with four different toppings and then polish off every last bite? He’s going to do the exact same thing? And let me tell you, as awesome as this would-be-nice-to-have quality was in my mind the reality is even better. I love how any time one of us asks the other if we want to get cold white stuff the answer is always, always “duh.” (Thank goodness for our stockpile of Groupons, YouSwoops, and Google Offers.)

So with our shared love of fro-yo in mind I knew I needed to make this homemade strawberry frozen yogurt recipe the moment strawberries were in season and I had just a little bit of time. That moment finally arrived last weekend. And let me just say this about the recipe: It was so fantastic—the perfect combination of ripe strawberry flavor and creamy texture—that I whipped up a second batch as soon as I finished making the first one. Bonus: It only contains four simple ingredients. Enjoy!

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients:
1 lb. fresh strawberries, stems/leaves removed, sliced
½ cup sugar
1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Preparation:
Place sliced strawberries in a bowl with sugar and mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit at room temperature for about 1 hour. Combine strawberries, Greek yogurt, and lemon juice in a food processor or blender (I used the VitaMix) and pulse/blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Proceed to freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod