Lemon and Herb Buttered Tilapia

Here is another quick, tasty, and healthy recipe that we rely on fairly often. The flavor is great, and it can be tossed together in no  time! You can change the taste up by changing the herbs you put in the butter.

I found this recipe in one of my Taste of Home cookbooks. Here is the link to that recipe. I generally follow it at least to some degree. In the instructions, I included some variations we have enjoyed.

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/quick-healthy/five-ingredient-seafood-recipes/view-all

Above, I served this with roasted broccoli and cauliflower, but it really quite tasty with many different side dishes. We’ve had this with roasted asparagus, steamed veggies, salad…really any side you like.

Lemon Tilapia with herbed butter and roasted asparagus…. #spring #itswhatsfordinner #ilovetocook #ilovefood

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Lemon and herb baked tilapia with roasted cauliflower…. Fast and tasty!! #itswhatsfordinner #ilovetoeat #ilovetocook

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This fish recipe really does not disappoint! Between the melted butter, the light flavored fillets, and the paprika, this dish tastes much more complex than it really is. I love recipes like this.

Here’s how I make it:

Instructions:

Ingredients:

-4 or 5 frozen tilapia fillets (thawed before cooking…which can be done quickly by placing in water in the sink for 20 minutes or so…)

-butter

-dried herbs (many times I just use parsley)

-lemon slices

-salt

-pepper

-paprika

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Cut the lemons into slices and place them into a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.

Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika on the fillets. Place them on top of the lemon slices in the baking dish.

Bake in oven for 12-17 minutes, or until flaky with a fork. I hate to give an exact time because ovens vary, but you want to make sure it is flaky but not over-cooked.

While the fish bakes, melt butter in the microwave. The amount will depend on how many fillets you are cooking. For 4 or 5 fillets I usually melt around 3ish tablespoons. Once it is melted, sprinkle in whatever herbs you like. I usually do parsley. Place this into the freezer for the remaining cook time of the fish.

Once the fillets are flaky with a fork, remove from oven and place the “frozen” herb butter on the fillets. If you don’t want the butter to run to other foods on your plate, do this while the fillets are still in the baking dish. If you don’t mind the butter coming in contact with your side dishes just put the butter on the fillets once you have it on your plate.

I have done some variations of this recipe. One we liked was a Southwestern Tilapia. Instead of lemons, I used limes as my base. In addition to sprinkling the fillets with salt, pepper, and paprika, I also included some cumin. With this recipe, I think diced cilantro would have been good in the butter, but my husband is not a fan, so I just did parsley like normal.

I hope you enjoy this fish recipe as much as we do! It is a recipe I often turn to when we are pressed for time but still want a home cooked meal.

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Pepper-Crusted, Pan-Seared Ahi Tuna Steaks

 

This is my go-to recipe when I need something healthy, fast, and easy! I don’t even remember where I came across this recipe…….I honestly think I read a bunch of ahi-tuna recipes and just got ideas from reviews from other cooks. So I’ll just explain how I make it. My husband and I both really like this recipe, and we have made it for relatives and friends who have also enjoyed it!

As you can see, I sometimes make it with roasted asparagus, but we’ve also had it with steamed veggies, a salad, or even sauteed Brussels sprouts.

I was a bit concerned about serving it as what I would call “under-cooked,”  but I have found from past experience if you cook it longer than this recipe recommends it will just end up dry. Don’t worry if it is dark pink in the center….it will taste great!

Pan -Seared, Pepper-Crusted Ahi Tuna Steaks with steamed green beans. Tasty and fast!

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These really have a nice, meaty flavor!

Here’s how I make it:

Instructions:

Ingredients:

-1 package for frozen ahi tuna steaks (I’m sure fresh is better….but I use what I can get) (The brand I buy is probably somewhere around a pound. 4 or 5 steaks)

-butter (somewhere around 2-3 tablespoons….I don’t really measure)

-salt

-pepper

-paprika

First, pat the steaks dry with a paper towel. Then sprinkle one side with salt, pepper, and paprika. I don’t measure, just liberally sprinkle all over the side of the steak. Then press down with fork to ensure the seasonings stay on.

Melt the butter in a non-stick pan. Once butter is melted, place steaks in seasoned side down and sear for 2-3 minutes. Don’t over cook though…. While the steaks cook on that side, season the top side with salt, pepper, and paprika, like you did the other side. Flip the steaks and cook for 2-3 minutes on that side. Again, don’t overcook. You want this to be served what I would call pretty close to rare, or even rare.

Don’t worry if the center of these are quite pink. That is how you want it and they will taste great!  🙂

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!! In fact, we’re having these for dinner tomorrow!  🙂

Bacon, Tomato, and Asparagus Pasta with White Wine Sauce

We try not to eat pasta all that often, but this is one of our new favorites when we are craving a fast and tasty pasta dish! It also tastes great re-heated the next day for lunch! I’m sure you could add in or substitute any of the veggies for whatever you like or have on hand.

I modified this recipe based on one I found on one of my favorite recipe websites. Here is a link directly to that sight!  I have made many recipes from this site and we have enjoyed them!  GimmeSomeOven 5-Ingredient Bacon and Asparagus Pasta

Doesn’t that just look tasty!! I love that this recipe uses simple ingredients, comes together quickly, but then tastes like something that was much more complicated. The tastes just all really compliment each other very well.

SO, HERE’S HOW I MADE IT:

Ingredients:

–pasta (I used about half of a 16 oz package of linguine, as the original recipe suggested)

–bacon chopped into small pieces  (original recipe called for about 8 strips, I only had 5….so that’s all I used)

–fresh asparagus cut into small pieces (I didn’t really measure the amount, just used about half of the bunch)

–1 cup dry white wine (I just used “cooking” white wine….nothing fancy)  🙂

–canned tomatoes with garlic, basil, and onion (I drained them and used about 1 cup)

–small slices of red onion (I used about 3/4 cup)

–Parmesan cheese

Instructions

Cook the bacon in a large skillet until it is crispy.  Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon (you want to leave as much of the bacon grease as you can).

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Cook the asparagus and onions in the bacon grease for about 5ish minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon, again leaving as much bacon grease as you can. Set the veggies off to the side with the bacon.

Now add the wine slowly to the, scraping the pan bottom to get the bits. Cook for about 5 minutes or so.

With a few minutes left for the cooking pasta, add the tomatoes to the pasta and water. Make sure to put it in with enough time to warm the tomatoes through.

When the pasta is ready, drain and mix all of the ingredients back in the skillet with the wine sauce. Mix well and sprinkle with the cheese.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!!

 

 

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli

So, we love to eat at Chinese buffet style restaurants, but I know they are not so healthy. This dish is great for an evening when you are craving that style of food.

This was a recipe I modified. It is an Ellie Krieger recipe from one of her books that I have. Here is a link to the book: Ellie Krieger “Comfort Food Fix” Amazon.com

I am sure this recipe is amazing cooked just as it is in the cookbook, I just made a few changes based on what I had on hand.

Here’s what my serving looked like. It tasted as good as it looks!  🙂

Sesame Chicken with Broccoli…..it was tasty! And pretty healthy too! #ilovetoeat #ilovetocook #elliekriegerrecipe

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I mentioned that I made a few changes, and I’m sure you could make other modifications if you didn’t have one or more of the ingredients.

I also need to mention that this ended up leaving a pretty big mess in one of my skillets. Enough that I cooked my second batch of chicken and my veggies in a different skillet. My guess is I didn’t drain the marinade off the chicken quite thoroughly enough and the honey stuck to my skillet. I drained it, but make a note when you read “drain the marinade from the chicken” in the instructions below, make sure to REALLY drain it. This issue had no impact on the taste or quality of the meal…..just left a mess. Luckily the dishwasher took care of that…  🙂

Here’s how I made it:

INGREDIENTS:

-2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into 1 inch chunks  (the original recipe calls for 1 and 1/2 pounds of chicken breast–we like thighs better…and they are cheaper! )

-5 tablespoons of reduced sodium soy sauce (divided)

-4 teaspoons sesame oil (divided)

-5 teaspoons honey (divided)

-olive oil (original recipe called for canola…I had olive)

-green onions (recipe called for 2, I think I used 4….we like onion.)  These need to be chopped and the greens should be separate

-ground ginger (I used McCormick and the recipe called for fresh….)

-3 minced garlic cloves (my guess is the recipe meant for it to be fresh…mine came from a jar)

-1 and 1/2 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth

-4 teaspoons cornstarch

-1 tablespoon rice vinegar

-1 teaspoon chili paste (I used roasted red chili paste from a jar)

-1 small head of broccoli cut into florets and steamed for about 4-5 minutes

-sesame seeds (recipe called for toasting them….I did not)

Pre-heat your oven to a “keep warm” or really low setting.

In a bowl large enough to marinate all of your chicken chunks, whisk together 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, and 2 teaspoons of honey. Marinate the chicken chunks for about 20 minutes. While the chicken marinates you can cut up your onion and broccoli.

Using a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the marinade. Remember, as I mentioned above….DRAIN WELL. I think this is why I ended up with a bit of a mess…. again, it didn’t impact the flavor or quality of the meal….

Heat about 2 teaspoons (ish….I don’t usually measure oil when I use it to stir-fry) of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over med-high heat. Add about half the chicken and cook until chicken is thoroughly cooked…turning a few times. Place the cooked chicken in a dish in the oven to keep warm.

Repeat the above process on the remaining chicken chunks. When they are cooked place them in the oven with the previously cooked chicken. Remember, as I mentioned above…. After cooking the 1st batch of chicken I had to grab a clean skillet for the rest of the recipe…hopefully you won’t need to because you’ll have learned from my mistake.  🙂

Heat about 2 teaspoons (again…ish) of olive oil over med-high heat and add the white part of the chopped green onions, the garlic, and a light sprinkling of the ground ginger. Cook, stirring, until you can smell it…. I think I cooked it for about 1 minute.

At this point it would be a good idea to start the boiling water for your steamed broccoli. Once your water is boiling, add the steam basket with the broccoli, put the lid on, turn heat down to med and steam for about 4-5 minutes. Don’t over cook it…

In a bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 3 teaspoons honey, the cornstarch, the vinegar, and the chili paste. Blend it until the cornstarch and the honey are dissolved. Add the mixture to the pan with your onions and garlic. Cook, stirring pretty continuously, until the mixtures gets darker and thicker….probably around 2-3 minutes. At the end of that time, add in a little bit more sesame oil (1-2 teaspoons probably).

Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve with your steamed broccoli. We topped ours with sesame seeds and the greens of the green onion.

We really thought this tasted good….and I’m sure many other veggies would be a tasty addition to this recipe! Now that I’m re-thinking it….I wish I would have added crushed red pepper to mine before eating it. Next time I will!

Hope you enjoy!

 

 

 

Frittata

 

I am not a huge breakfast person….seems like you always end up eating the same kind of foods. Boring. BUT, I do LOVE making a frittata!  It seems kind of fancy and difficult when the reality is that it is MUCH easier than omelets! I also love that I can literally toss in whatever I may need used up out of the fridge and/or pantry!

I don’t actually even know where I found this recipe to start out with….so I’ll just give you the method I use to make it.

Spinach and tomato frittata to get us up and going this morning! #sherwoodfarmok #farmfresheggs

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In the frittata above,  I followed the basic frittata recipe (that you’ll find below), but right before baking I added canned (drained) diced tomatoes with garlic, basil, and oregano, baby spinach leaves, and I believe some sliced onion…although I can’t see it in the pic.

What I really LOVE about this dish is you can make it whatever you want it to be! I’ve added mushrooms, bell pepper, green onions, tomatoes (fresh or canned), asparagus (roasted and left over), cooked crumbled bacon, cooked sausage,……the list could go on and on and on.

Veggie fritatta and hot tea!! Ah…Saturday morning… 🙂

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The above frittata has diced tomatoes, bell pepper slices, and red onion slices. I tend to make meatless frittatas, as they are a  bit healthier, but the ones with cooked bacon are quite tasty.

I’ve even done a version where I added rotel-style diced tomatoes with green chiles and black beans for a tex-mex inspired version of this breakfast treat. I would have added jalapenos, but my husband doesn’t appreciate that much heat.

I think you’re getting the idea….you can literally add anything you might like in an omelet or breakfast casserole. A good friend of mine added left over roasted broccoli and it was great!

One more pic….then some instructions:

Veggie frittata for brunch at home…. Ah Sunday mornings….. ☺☺ #brunch #sherwoodfarmok

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Here I served it with bacon, but it really is a hearty, filling meal on it’s own. My husband just really likes bacon…..  🙂

Here’s how I make it: Instructions for a 13 by 9 pan

Ingredients:

-eggs (I don’t put a set amount here because it depends on the size. I use our eggs from the farm and they tend to be small. Sometimes I use 14. If you are using store-bought large eggs 9-12 would probably work.) By the way, this recipe can serve 4 with possible leftovers… Depends on how hungry your guests are.  🙂

-cheese (I would say I use around a cup and a half….give or take a little) I’m also not telling you a kind, because I think that depends on what veggies, meats, etc that you plan to add. For veggies I usually use mozzarella, but if it is a tex-mex frittata I’ll use a mexican inspired cheese…you get the idea. It’s cheese, can you go wrong?  🙂

-pepper

-various assortment of veggies/meat (see above)

Pre-heat your oven to 350. Spray a 13 by 9 pan with spray. I use a glass plan, not a metal pan (I suppose that could impact cooking time.) While the oven heats, chop up any fresh veggies being used, or cook any meats being used, or drain canned tomatoes that you are using….basically get all of your “toppings” ready.

In a large bowl, mix all of your eggs until the whites and yolks are blended well. I’ve found this is easier to do if I add them just a couple at a time.

Sprinkle in some pepper (and garlic salt if you like garlic…)

Add in about 1 cup (ish) of cheese to the eggs. Mix well. Pour into your greased baking dish. Add more cheese if you’d like.  🙂

Now, this is the point in the recipe where you add in all the yummy things. Just space out your “toppings” evenly throughout the cheese and egg mixture. Sprinkle with a bit more cheese and pop it into the oven.

Bake for about 30 minutes. A toothpick should come out pretty clean when the frittata is ready to come out.

Let it cool a little and then enjoy!

I’ve used this recipe countless times and it never fails. Company seem to think you went to a lot of trouble, but really you didn’t (especially if all the veggies were chopped ahead of time!)

My personal favorite frittata is one where I use mozzarella cheese, italian flavored diced tomatoes, red onion, bell pepper, and garlic salt. But play around with it, see what you like.

Hope you love it!

Roasted Veggie Pizza

Pizza is in my top 10 favorite things to eat. Maybe top 5…. anyway, we LOVE this recipe. It’s even been our New Year’s Eve dinner the last two years.  It’s also meatless, so it’s great if you are trying to incorporate some meatless meals into your weekly menu.

I found this in a Cooking Light “Fresh Food Fast” cookbook  I have at home. I changed it up a little, but I’m sure it is very good in it’s original form.  Here is the book, if you’re interested: Cooking Light Fresh Food Fast Amazon.com

If you’re wondering why the pizza on the right looks slightly different, that is mine…..and I sprinkle crushed red pepper on it before baking. FYI. This recipe isn’t probably as healthy as one would hope…..but it’s pretty healthy for pizza!

So, I’ll go ahead and admit it…..I don’t ever make my own pizza crust. Probably should, but oh well. I usually buy the Mama Mary’s small 3-pack. We sometimes do ultra thin and sometimes original. I also don’t make my own pesto…..it is just so much easier out of a jar…Anyway, if you’re wanting to try this here you go:

Here’s how I make it:

Ingredients:

-3 small pizza crusts (or 1 regular pizza size if you’d prefer….or if you make your own crust just use that)

-jarred pesto sauce (I like Classico brand, but any would work I’m sure) I don’t actually measure out an amount…the original recipe for a big pizza called for 1/3 of a cup. I just use enough to get each crust a nice, spread out layer of the sauce

-mozzarella cheese (again…I’m not big on measuring….but the original recipe called for 1 cup. I am quite sure I use more than that. I mean….it is pizza.   🙂  And really any Italian cheese would taste good.

-2 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped

-1 cup (or around there) of grape tomatoes cut in half

-olive oil

-salt and pepper

-1/2 cup red onion sliced  (optional…I sometimes use it and sometimes don’t. Top picture didn’t have it, bottom picture did. If you use it just roast it and use with the other veggies)

Pre-heat your oven to 425.  You’ll see in the picture above that I used a pizza stone, but that was actually the 1st time I did that. I always just used a pizza metal cooking pan with the holes. Both work well.

While the oven heats, chop your zucchini and tomatoes. Mix with olive oil (enough to coat all of the veggies) and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake on a rimmed baking sheet covered with foil for about 15-20 minutes. The veggies should be tender and maybe slightly charred/browned.

Spread the pesto sauce over the top of your crust. Top with the roasted vegetable mixture. Then top that with your cheese. If you want to at  this point you could add other toppings, but you don’t need to, as it is tasty just like this!  I do sprinkle crushed red pepper on my pizza before I bake it…..so if you like that, go for it!

Bake in the 425 degree oven for 6-10 minutes (ovens vary, I don’t want you to burn your pizzas because of me!) When the cheese is melted and the crust looks ready, you are ready to enjoy your pizza! My husband will often top his with some Parmesan cheese…so, if you like that you could add that at the end.

Hope you love it!

Italian Roasted Chicken and Veggies

So, dinner last night was quite yummy!! I tried (and slightly changed) a recipe I found on a great website, gimmedeliciousfood.com

Here is a link directly to the site: Gimme Delicious Food.com     I’m sure the recipe is terrific made exactly as it is posted. See below for my slightly different directions.

I’ll be honest, the picture caught my attention on this one (thank you Pinterest), so healthy and colorful!! I wasn’t sure exactly what veggies I had on hand, but I really think you could toss in any veggies sitting around in your fridge. That’s what I did! I didn’t even really measure any amounts, I just used what would cover up my baking dish and pan (yes….I used both, and my husband and I were both glad I did!)

Italian Roasted Chicken and Veggies!! #ilovetoeat #ilovetocook #healthyfood

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Don’t let the “0” likes fool you!! (New blog and new instagram…)  There were plenty of “likes” with this recipe!! Tender, tasty chicken combined with roasted crisp/tender veggies. My husband gave this 2 thumbs up after his first bite!

So, here’s how I made it:

Ingredients:

-2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (original recipe called for breasts) cut into 1 inch pieces

-about 1 and 1/2 cups of  each of the following veggies: bell pepper, onion, broccoli, cauliflower and cherry tomatoes (I used less tomatoes only because that was all I had left)

-paprika

-salt

-pepper

-olive oil cooking spray

Pre-heat your oven to 425. Although I turned mine down toward the end of the cook time. I always worry about my dish cracking….although according to the Anchor website, the dish is safe at 425….

Line your dish (or dishes if you end up like me) with foil and spray with cooking oil. Spread out the chicken and veggies across the dish.

Sprinkle the chicken and veggies with salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and paprika. I didn’t measure any of the spices….just sprinkled until I thought it looked good.  🙂

Lightly spray the top of the chicken and veggies with spray, or toss with olive oil if you’d rather.

Roast until the chicken has an internal temp of at least 165. It took around 30 minutes for us….. Just cook until chicken is tender (and 165) and veggies are crisp/tender and slightly charred.

ENJOY!!