One Pan Jambalaya with Shrimp and Sausage

snow dog

It snowed today…again. And in the last 2 weeks school has only been open for 2 days. In other news, Travis built what he calls a “snow dog”. Which of our dogs does it resemble the most?

Randolph and our house

Our house from the road. Usually a pretty tropical scene but…ahhh…not today. But the boys had fun playin’ while I watched from the warmth of the passenger seat. We went for a drive to the oceanfront, had lunch at the only place open (which wasn’t a bad choice, my grilled chicken and bacon salad was delish) and worked from home. Travis made the snow dog around 5pm and I spent just enough time out there to take a couple pictures. Then I came in to start up dinner:

Kentucky bourbon sausage

onions, peppers, garlic and rice

jambalaya

jambalaya served up

One Pan Jambalaya with Shrimp and Sausage

  • 1 package (4 links) Niman Ranch Kentucky Bourbon Uncured Sausage (the best, they can be found at Whole Foods)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 7-8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup organic jasmine rice
  • 1 – 28 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons organic Worcestershire sauce (because no HFCS)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups frozen okra, defrosted
  • 1 pound bag uncooked frozen shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Method

  • Start by slicing the sausage links. I like them pretty thin. Heat a large, high sided, non-stick skillet on medium high heat and the sausage (without any oil). Let it cook for a few minutes without turning so they get color and brown bits start forming (see above). Stir to brown on both sides. Using a large spoon, remove the sausage from the pan and place in bowl. Reserve.
  • Turn the heat down a bit and add the EVOO, onion and pepper to the same skillet. Add salt and pepper. Cook until the onion is translucent and then add the garlic. Cook garlic for 30 seconds and add rice stirring to coat the rice with any pan juices and toast it a bit. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, spices and bay leaves and cook on low for 30-40 minutes.
  • Remove lid, stir, and add a bit more chicken stock if needed. I don’t like it dry but I also don’t want jambalaya soup! Add shrimp, sausage and okra and cook until shrimp is just done. Do not overcook shrimp or they will be rubbery (yuck). Check for seasoning, add more salt and pepper if needed, and remove bay leaves.
  • Serve up. If you like it spicy you can add a dusting of cayenne pepper or a dash a hot sauce on top!

**Easy defrost tip for the shrimp and okra: Place the shrimp in a large colander and rinse with water. Put the okra in a separate smaller colander and also rinse with water. Let them both sit out at room temperature while the rice is cooking and they should be ready to go once you need them!

Chopped Taco Salad

My mom used to make a version of this salad when we were kids. I remember there being enough salad that an entire bag of crushed Doritos was mixed in! I think there was also most of a bottle of ranch dressing involved. I substituted a handful of Late July organic tortilla chips. Mom would approve of this version nowadays versus the dusty orange, chemical laden Doritos of the past.

Late July chips

Confession: I hid the rest of the bag of chips from my teenage son, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen them again!

chopped taco salad

Served in front of the tv while watching the movie Fury with a side of pickled jalapenos.

Chopped Taco Salad

What it took for 2 nice sized servings:

  • 8 ounces ground sirloin
  • heaping tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 4 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • shredded cheddar cheese, (didn’t measure about 1/3 cup)
  • 3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced (in the summer I have used chives)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 12-15 nacho chips, crushed
  • Newman’s Own organic ranch dressing¬† (didn’t measure about 1/4 cup)
  • pickled jalapenos
  • cilantro is amazing in this salad but I didn’t have any

Method

  • Cook ground sirloin until well done and drain. Stir in taco seasoning along with a couple tablespoons of water. After the water has evaporated turn off and remove from heat to cool slightly.
  • In the meantime start preparing the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Start with the lettuce, tomatoes, onion, cheese, avocado…then squeeze the lime juice over the avocado (for amazing flavor and to keep the color fresh), crush the tortillas over the salad, add the slightly cooled meat, drizzle with the ranch dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

layering the taco salad

 

Salmon Nicoise Dinner Platter

This is a salad that’s not a salad. It’s an un-salad. No lettuce, no salad, right?!

Salmon Nicoise

I love a good tuna nicoise salad when I’m out for lunch. This recipe is a riff on that salad. Yes, other people have switched the tuna for salmon before (I’m not the first!) but I thought I would try the toppings without the greens. It was good and fun to eat!

Salmon Nicoise

Salmon Nicoise Dinner Platter

For the salad

  • fresh salmon – sprinkle with kosher salt/ pepper and lemon zest. bake at 425 degrees until done
  • fresh green beans – cooked to desired done-ness
  • black and green olives
  • sliced avocado
  • new potatoes, sliced boiled and chilled
  • hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • tomato chunks

For the vinaigrette

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 tablespoon local honey
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

I made the potatoes and hard-boiled eggs earlier in the day and chilled them in the fridge. This was there was a nice combo of warm and cold on the plate. The potatoes were amazing with the dressing…kind of like a no-mayo potato salad.

Arrange on a plate and drizzle with vinaigrette. (you will have extra vinaigrette for a salad the next day) Enjoy!

 

Halibut with Basil-Mango-Avocado Salsa

I went to the store yesterday with cod on my grocery list but the halibut was on sale…endofstory. Just kidding, another selling point was the fact it was wild caught and sustainable. Halibut is awesome when paired with a little sweetness and it loves when you shower it with citrus. Toss in some fresh herbs. Avocado. Tomato. Done. mango avocado salsa For the halibut: season both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, get a pan really hot and add a splash of EVOO, then sear the fish for about 3 min per side. I made a bed of plain quinoa, then added the halibut and topped with plenty of the salsa. We ate all of the salsa between 2 people so if you are feeding more…make MORE ūüôā halibut with mango avocado salsa

Basil-Mango-Avocado Salsa

  • 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled and cut into a large dice
  • 1/2 cup frozen diced mango, thawed
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 4-5 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives (I use kitchen shears…easier than a knife!)
  • 1 tablespoons¬†extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  • Toss together in a small bowl and enjoy outside!

Based on this recipe from Bon Appetit.

Weekly Eats

The latest installment of my week in food:

Sunday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, cherries, banana, cinnamon, nutmeg and almond butter

Lunch: salad with spinach and mixed greens, cucumber, goat cheese, leftover chicken thighs and balsamic vinaigrette.

Salad with chicken

Dinner: Seared salmon, zucchini “noodles” and a little side of kimchi.

Monday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, cherries, strawberries, banana, cinnamon, flax seeds and almond butter

smoothie

Lunch: Leftover zucchini “noodles” topped with black beans, a fried egg and served with salsa, cheese and sour cream

Dinner: Pasture – I had the seafood stew

Tuesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, raspberries, blueberries, banana, flax seeds and almond butter

Lunch: a big bowl of pho at Haiku 

Dinner: Chicken-tortilla-soup aka my favorite soup ever-ever. 

Wednesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, banana, blueberries, cinnamon, chia seeds and almond butter

Lunch: Leftover soup

Dinner: shrimp and quinoa “salad” and steamed fresh green beans…”steamed” by me…not the “steam fresh” brand…whatever

Thursday

Breakfast: granola bowls with plain greek yogurt, strawberries, blackberries and granola

Lunch: chicken salad and marinated cucumbers from

Dinner: Edo’s Squid – seared tuna (rare) and garlic noodles

Friday

Breakfast: granola bowls with Noosa “tart cherry” yogurt, strawberries, blackberries and granola

breakfast

Lunch: odds and ends from the salad bar at Whole Food

Dinner: Grilled london broil (Travis picked it up and it was not very good to me…he liked it though) and roasted cauliflower. I also ate some pita chips and edamame hummus while waiting for the charcoal.

Saturday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, cinnamon and peanut butter

Lunch: Leftover soup

Dinner: Stuzzi pizza РI had the vegetariana

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken and chips and veggies all whirled(is that a word?) together means yummy soupy-goodness. I have seriously made this so many times that I realized not sharing it here was like I was lying to you somehow. I think my spoon goes into my bowl so fast that I just don’t think about you. Sorry. I think.

It easily doubles to feed your 2 brothers, 2 sisters, their husbands and kids…ummm…a big crowd…

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 white/yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • (you can add a diced red pepper here…I didn’t have one)
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 28-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • pepper-jack cheese
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2-1 cup crushed tortilla chips
  • 3/4 cup Mont Jack cheese with jalapeno peppers
  • 1-2 roasted chicken breasts or meat from one small rotisserie chicken, pulled
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Toppings:

  • Mont Jack cheese
  • Sour cream
  • Limes
  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • more crushed tortilla chips

Method

  • Heat oil in dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat and add vegetables (next 6 ingredients). Season with salt & pepper. Saute until tender or about 15 minutes.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, seasonings, fresh cilantro and chicken stock. ¬†Bring to a simmer and let cook down for 20 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add the crushed tortillas and simmer for 10 more minutes or until soft.
  • Remove the pot from the heat and using an immersion blender,¬†blend until smooth. Blend it! Trust me. It somehow tastes better when the soup is smooth!
  • Add the shredded, roasted chicken, corn and the¬†cheese and stir around to incorporate.
  • Spoon into bowls and finish with your favorite toppings.

Weekly Eats

The latest installment of my week in food:

Sunday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana and organic peanut butter

Lunch: a chicken burrito (rice/black beans/salsa/cheese) with guacamole from Alamo

Dinner: We heated up the grill – charcoal style – and enjoyed a filet. Served with soba noodles tossed with sauteed zucchini, sliced green onions, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and lime juice. Kimchi on the side!

Monday

Breakfast: granola bowls with vanilla agave yogurt, strawberries and blueberries

Lunch: Leftover soba noodles and a few slices of leftover steak

Dinner: Homemade pizza with broccoli, shallots and lots-O-mozz cheese

Tuesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, strawberries, banana, chia seeds and organic sunflower seed butter

Lunch: I visited my sister Angela and my nephews for the day. We always have lunch together when I visit so I came prepared with some leftover pizza dough, an avocado, a lemon and some cheese. I had the idea to pre-bake the crust with a little olive oil, mash the avocado with some lemon juice, salt and pepper and then top it with a little cheese. My sister had a roma tomato so we decided to add that in. My nephews both LOVE tomatoes….errr “manos”….that’s their pronunciation!

Here’s the crust getting smeared with avocado…

pizza

…and with all the toppings. After this step we baked it for about 2 minutes to melt the cheese…and then there were no more pics because we devoured it!

pizza with avocado, tomato and cheese

Dinner: We were invited to our friends Ashley and Cade’s house for dinner. They started a fire in the fire pit and got their charcoal grill going. Soon they were cooking up salmon fillets and roasting romaine which had been drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper. There was also some warm rosemary bread to go with it. It was too delicious and too much fun for a standard Tuesday night! I a-l-m-o-s-t felt guilty!

Wednesday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, banana, cinnamon and organic sunflower seed butter

Lunch: Leftover cold soba noodles, steamed broccoli and a fried egg

cold soba noodles, broccoli and fried egg

Dinner: Maple Dijon Chicken and spinach & mixed greens salad with diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, walnuts, chunks of brie and lemon vinaigrette

salad

Thursday

Breakfast: smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, banana, cinnamon, ginger, flax seeds and sliced almonds

Lunch: a vegetarian burrito bowl with guacamole from Chipotle (it’s been forever since I had one of those!)

Dinner: grilled skirt steak, smashed potatoes and the same type of salad we had yesterday (minus the walnuts because I didn’t have any more)

Friday

Breakfast: granola bowls with vanilla greek yogurt, strawberries, raspberries, pineapple…and GRANOLA hello!

Lunch: My fiance’s grandfather passed away this week. At 96 his funeral today was a celebration of his life. I will miss his wit and charm. He couldn’t hear yet refused to wear a hearing aid and this caused endless laughs with his misunderstandings what he thought he heard. Though I believe sometimes he was just playing. For a long time he has called me his daughter-in-law even though I’m engaged to his grandson (doesn’t that make me his grandaughter-in law?). Every time we visited he asked Travis, “when are you going to marry that girl? If I was 50 years younger I’d do it for you.” You couldn’t visit Walter Haney Carper without leaving with a smile on your face! Today I snacked for lunch: ham, a deviled egg, a little pasta salad, fruit and 2 small cookies

Dinner: Back over to Ashley and Cade’s house. She made these incredible bowls with slices of pork loin, broth, sliced cabbage, carrots, avocado and cilantro. It was a little like pho without the noodles.

Saturday

Breakfast:¬†granola bowls with vanilla greek yogurt, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, banana…

granola bowl

Lunch:¬†black beans, avocado, cheese and Mother in Law’s kimchi

Lunch: black beans, avocado, cheese and kimchi

Dinner: Mom’s Siam¬†for some thai food on the patio. I had a dish with watercress, ginger, broccoli, green beans and shrimp. Super yum!

Spaghetti Squash Veggie Bake

I have been lovin’ Mondays this semester. I get up super early to take Devin to school, work out for an hour, eat breakfast, take a shower and then it’s still not even 9 o’lock yet! Travis goes to work and I have the house to myself until I leave for my 4 o’clock class. It’s usually a “write papers, make presentations and do home work kinda day”. In between studying, I cook.

Last week I roasted a spaghetti squash at 400 degrees for about an hour. Let it cool for a few minutes so you don’t burn yourself! Then use a fork to scoop it into a small baking dish (about a 8×8 size).

roasted spaghetti squash

I looked around in the fridge for some ideas for what to put on the squash. At first I was just going to dump some jarred sauce on it but then I decided to add some veggies to my veggies. I got out a half an onion, 1 zucchini and 2 cloves of garlic, then chopped, diced and sauteed them up in a skillet until almost tender. Then I added a 14 ounce can of organic diced tomatoes and a little oregano, salt and pepper and let it simmer for 10 minutes or so while I went back to my studying.

Then I dumped it over the squash and mixed it around…

spaghetti squash

Covered it with some freshly shredded parmigiano-reggiano…

cover it with cheese

and baked it at 350 for 15 minutes until the cheese melted into the veggie crevices!

Spaghetti Squash Veggie Bake

Lunch is served!

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

Before I talk about tomato soup let me show off another glorious bowl of overnight oats. Same basic recipe as before but I stirred in thawed frozen blueberries and added some sliced almonds on top. I could eat these everyday but Travis’ reaction to his second bowl in a week was, “Porridge again? I like my smoothie action.”

blueberry almond overnight oats

I love being able to use of TONS of what’s growing in my garden all at the same time! I think I overdid it planting cherry tomatoes because I have them coming out of my ears. In the past 2 weeks I have made gazpacho, a large version of a caprese salad with halved cherry tomatoes, basil and mozzarella all tossed in a homemade balsamic vinaigrette (that we shared with 8 friends) and we have eaten plenty of tomatoes sliced in sandwiches. My son and I picked another couple pounds of tomatoes yesterday and I was pretty excited to try a cooked version of my tomatoes.

Here are the tomatoes before going in the oven…

chopped tomatoes

This soup is so flavorful! I made it with tons of halved cherry tomatoes with a few larger tomatoes…all from my garden. In the early afternoon I prepared the tomatoes, roasted them and then let them cool completely.

roasted tomatoes

Then I blended all of them with my Vitamix. Because the recipe doesn’t tell you how to slice or dice the basil after I transferred the tomato mixture into the soup pot I blended the basil with some of the chicken stock and then added that to the soup. After the soup was done I used my immersion blender to puree the onions to make it completely smooth. I didn’t strain it as instructed.

raosted tomatoes in the Vitamix

Roasted tomato basil soup with some basil to garnish!

roasted tomato basil soup

After we each had a good sized bowl with dinner there  was still enough leftover to fill an eight cup container!

Leftover roasted tomato basil soup

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

  • 3 pounds tomatoes (I used cherry and roma varieties)
  • EVOO
  • 1 large vidalia onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 – 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Toss together the tomatoes, drizzle extra virgin olive oil over and salt & pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.
  • In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a little salt and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet to a Vitamix or high speed blender and blend until smooth. Add mixture to soup pot. In the same blender container add basil and about a cup of the stock and blend until mostly smooth. Add to soup along with the remaining stock. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. ¬†Serve hot or cold.

Slightly adapted from Ina Garten