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February 2012
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Fennel Orange & Avocado Salad

February 29, 2012   

Fennel and Avocado Salad I have been cooking with a lot of fennel recently. I was not a big fan of fennel until a few months ago. I am not sure what exactly happened but now I find myself buying a pack of fennel bulbs every time I am in Trader Joes.. and I am there very often.

I find myself eating it raw mainly in salads but it tastes delicious roasted with a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. I used the roasted variety as a pizza topping or even on a salad- they were delicious.

This salad is a bit different as it does not have any lettuce greens. It has lots of sliced fennel, orange segments and creamy avocado. They all make an amazing combination- with the crunch fennel, juicy oranges and soft avocados.

I made a simple lime and orange dressing with a bit of roasted cumin seeds.

The salad was simply delicious… to make a meal of it, one can add some chicken, shrimp or chunks of delicious fish…
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Sole Filet with Balsamic Glaze and Tomatoes

February 28, 2012   

Sole Filet with Balsamic Glaze If you are trying to incorporate more fish into your diet- this is a great dish to make. I usually buy my fish from a local store in our town. I love the freshness and variety they have. I sometimes buy the frozen variety from Trader Joes. It is cheaper and as long as I pick the wild caught kind, I am happy with my choice.

I bought a pack of frozen sole from there. I had never cooked with it before and thought it looked really good. My family prefers mild, white fish and this seemed to fit the bill.

I brought it home and decided to cook it in a very simple way. I wanted to make a balsamic glaze and pair it with tomatoes to top the fish. Balsamic glaze is super simple to make- all you have to do is cook down some balsamic vinegar with garlic, salt and pepper. The trick is to stay close to the stove while the vinegar is cooking down as it tends to get super thick almost instantly.

I paired the delicious fish with simple broccoli and roasted potatoes. To keep the carbs down, I had just a few of the potato pieces. Honestly, the fish was so yummy, I really didn’t miss the carbs…
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Linguini with Sausage Ragu

February 27, 2012   

Linguini with Sausage Ragu I love using chicken sausage. It is hard to tell the links are made with chicken instead of pork or beef. They are healthier and honestly, more delicious. I love using them for all sorts of things including in pasta.

For this dish I bought fresh linguini from Whole Foods. My plan was to make the sausage ragu with pappardelle but while ordering it, the lady behind the counter got confused and gave me linguini instead. I didn’t have the heart to correct her and decided to go with it. Somehow when I make ragu I always envision it with the wide, pappardelle like pasta.. but linguine works really well.

I served this delicious pasta with a big green salad and some red wine… it was a great week night meal…
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Fennel Carrot & Beet Salad with Orange Dressing

February 26, 2012   

Fennel Carrot and Beet Salad This is a delicious salad, inspired by Martha Stewart. I watched her during the holidays and this was a salad she made with roast pork.. but I think it would be great with a yummy pasta dish. It is especially very nice in the winter as it includes beets, carrots and fennel. All the veggies are grated or sliced. The mixture of all the colors is beautiful.

I made it easy and bought shredded carrots. I peeled the beets and grated them using a box grater. I used my trustee mandolin to slice the fennel. One could just use a sharp knife to slice the fennel thin as well.

The great thing about this salad is that one can make it in advance. The flavors and colors meld together and taste delicious.

I made an orange dressing with fresh orange juice, agave, Dijon mustard and white wine vinegar- very simple and yet very flavorful!

The salad was delicious and full of crunch!

  • 2 fennel bulbs, trimmed and peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 medium beets, grated

Place all the grated and sliced vegetables into a salad bowl. Mix well and keep aside.

  • ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons agave
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (depends how tart you like your dressing)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Place the orange juice, vinegar, mustard, agave, oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Place a lid and shake for 30 seconds or till the dressing is emulsified.
Dress the salad half an hour before serving. Check for seasonings and serve.

Roasted Cauliflower and Sausage Pasta with Pecorino & Thyme Breadcrumbs

February 22, 2012   

Roasted Cauliflower and Sausage I decided to go with the pasta theme from yesterday and post this delicious dish. As a lot of you know, I work with cauliflower a lot- mostly in Indian dishes. I decided to make a change and use the veggie in another cuisine.. how about pasta, I thought??? Well, why not?

I decided to roast cauliflower florets in a hot oven to bring out the nutty, sweetness. I then took off the casings off some delicious chicken sausages and sautéed them with garlic, shallots, white wine and diced tomatoes. The mixture made a delicious sauce- especially after I added some leftover pasta water to it… it thickens the sauce and makes it yummier.

If that was not enough- I decided to add a topping.  I slow cooked a delicious combination of garlic, breadcrumbs, thyme and Romano cheese. The topping gives a delicious crunch and flavor to the pasta dish.

This is a great option for a quick, healthy weeknight meal.. try this with a delicious salad and a glass of wine.
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Chorizo Lasagna with Poblano Bechamel Sauce

February 21, 2012   

Chorizo Lasagna1

This lasagna is a bit involved and may take a bit longer than your regular, run of the mill lasagna- but it is so worth it! The flavor is unbelievable. I decided to give the lasagna a huge punch of flavor by using, my favorite, Latin flavors!

I first roasted a medley of veggies including poblano pepper, onion, garlic and combined them all with fresh cilantro in a blender. I had a thick paste which I added to a white sauce also known as a béchamel sauce. The sauce had an amazing, smoky flavor.

I then made the meat mixture with turkey meat, onion, garlic and fresh chorizo. I also added chipotle pepper to the mix to mimic the smokey flavor of the green sauce. I always have fresh tomato sauce which I used in conjunction with the green béchamel sauce to make the dish.

I layered the lasagna with a mixture of shredded Mexican cheese- it brought the flavor profile to another level. This is one of my favorite lasagnas.. so please try it…
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Lo Mein with Chinese Broccoli and Mushrooms

February 20, 2012   

Lo Mein with Chinese Broccoli and Mushrooms I served these noodles with the sweet and sour fish dish I posted last week. Since the fish didn’t have any veggies, I decided to pack the noodles with mushrooms and Chinese broccoli. Unfortunately Chinese broccoli is not available in all supermarkets, so, one can substitute baby spinach for it. I like to visit an Asian store in a neighboring town once a month. I love going through the aisles, not recognizing most of the ingredients. I love buying lots of bottles; dried noodles and fresh vegetables. A must purchase is the Chinese broccoli. I love the sweet, earthy and almost bitter taste of these delicious greens.

I love all kinds of noodles- especially the Chinese egg noodles. I used fresh ginger, green onions as aromatics. I also used flavorful sesame oil to give the dish great taste.

All in all- the dish is self sufficient and great as an entree but it is fabulous with the chili fish…
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