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Category: healthy eats

  1. Wednesday, April 25, 2018

    Lentil Rice Bowl with Lime-Tahini Dressing

    Today I have a recipe to share with you that is now my favorite. It’s a lentil rice bowl with lime-tahini dressing. That may or may not sound good to you, but no matter what you are thinking right now I promise you will like it. Well, okay, there may be someone out there not down for the lentil rice bowl but I kind of doubt it.

    Last week I had a photography job in Orange County. I needed to grab lunch on the road and noticed a place called CAVA. Now that I’m not eating wheat, dairy and sugar and my diet is still quite strict (waiting to get that allergy testing done!), eating out is tricky. CAVA looked like it could be promising so I decided to give it a try. I am so glad that I did, I love this restaurant!

    Recipe for Lentil Rice Bowl with Lime-Tahini Dressing from This Week for Dinner. Healthy and delicious!

    Heartbreakingly, we do not have a CAVA restaurant anywhere near my house. (Insert trombone.) I think the best way to describe CAVA is that it is essentially a Mediterranean-inspired Chipotle. You create a bowl, choosing your grains, greens, proteins, veggies, etc. While there were ingredients that did have wheat and dairy, there were plenty that did not. There was so much to choose from it made me happy! I ended up creating a lentil rice bowl with lime-tahini dressing and was, quite frankly, surprised how much I liked it.

    I had a bit of my bowl left over when I picked up Owen from school. He ended up stealing the rest of my lunch…I have never seen him inhale unidentified vegetables and grains that way! For the last week he has been begging me to recreate the bowl at home, so last night I gave it a go.

    Recipe for Lentil Rice Bowl with Lime-Tahini Dressing from This Week for Dinner, delicious and healthy dinner that makes great leftovers!

    This is my new favorite meal. It took some effort to get all the ingredients prepared, but the final dish was worth it. And now I have a fridge full of ingredients I can easily throw together for lunch or leftover dinner this week.

    Nutritious and delicious recipe for Lentil Rice Bowls with Lime-Tahini Dressing from This Week for DInner

    I did include leftover rotisserie chicken in our bowls to use it up, but you could easily leave the meat out and the bowl would be just as delicious…and completely plant based! Yay for delicious vegan food! (Update: the last time Nate and I ate this, we decided it really truly does not need chicken. This bowl is hearty and filling and delicious without meat.)

    Animated GIF showing how to create a Lentil Rice Bowl with Lime-Tahini Dressing from This Week for Dinner

    I am going to list below exactly how I built our bowls. Obviously you can mix and match ingredients or come up with your own creation. The CAVA menu provides some pretty great cooking inspiration, click here to check it out. (CAVA also has locations in 9 states as well as Washington D.C. If you live near one, I highly recommend it. Go and enjoy it for me!)

    Lentil Rice Bowl with Lime-Tahini Dressing
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Brown Rice
    • Lentils (Green, Brown and/or Black)
    • Cooked chicken, bite-sized pieces (leave out to make this dish vegan)
    • Carrots, diced
    • Golden beets, diced
    • Cauliflower, bite-sized pieces
    • Super or Power Greens, chopped (I bought a mix from the grocery store produce section)
    • Broccoli Slaw (no dressing, again, I bought a mix from the grocery store produce section)
    • Hummus
    • Chimichurri sauce
    • 3 handfuls grape tomatoes, chopped
    • 1 cucumber, chopped
    • Olive oil
    • 3 limes
    • ⅓ cup tahini (stir well before using)
    • ⅓ cup water
    • 1 garlic clove, minced or pushed through a garlic press
    • ¾ teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    Instructions
    1. Combine the juice from 2½ limes, tahini, water, garlic, salt and sugar in a small bowl. Whisk well and set aside.
    2. Roast carrots, beets and cauliflower together in a 425º F oven for 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Toss in olive oil and sprinkle with salt before roasting.
    3. Cook brown rice and lentils as directed on the package.
    4. Put tomatoes and cucumbers in a small bowl, drizzle with olive oil and squeeze the juice from the final ½ lime you haven't yet used. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to coat.
    5. In a bowl, layer the ingredients as follows: brown rice, lentils, chicken (if using), roasted vegetables, greens, slaw, spoonful of hummus, spoonful or two of chimichurri sauce, cucumber-tomato mixture. Drizzle generously with the tahnini dressing, mix all together and enjoy!
    6. Tip: I mixed and prepared all the individual ingredients in the containers that I would be storing them in the refrigerator in after dinner was done. It made clean-up much easier!

    OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:

    EQUIPMENT I USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:

     


  2. Sunday, April 22, 2018

    Urban Plates Chimichurri Sauce

    Hello. I need to share a quick recipe with you today. It’s for Urban Plates chimichurri sauce, which basically means I am totally copying a sauce I love from a restaurant called Urban plates. The Urban Plates chimichurri tastes especially delicious over steak or salmon, but it is so good you’ll probably want to pour it over all kinds of things (chicken? roasted vegetables? toasted baguette? YES to all!).

    Copycat recipe from the restaurant Urban Plates for their delicious Chimichurri Sauce by This Week for Dinner

    Less than a week after making my first batch of Urban Plates chimichurri I also made my new favorite meal Lentil Rice Bowls with Lime-Tahini Dressing. Holy smokes the chimichurri was good in that dish. Basically, you can pour the Urban Plates chimichurri over just about anything and be happy.

    So what is this Urban Plates and I keep speaking of? It is a a restaurant chain near where we live that is pretty much my favorite take-out place to eat. The food tastes homemade, there are tons of vegetables involved and the food is consistently delicious. Lately I’ve been ordering their baked salmon with a side of their chimichurri sauce…over and over again.

    Recipe for Chimichurri Sauce by This Week for Dinner as inspired by the restaurant Urban Plates

    The Urban Plates chimichurri sauce is divine. I dug around on the internet, found a blog post describing the ingredients in the sauce, then went to my kitchen to figure out the recipe. Happily I succeeded! I’ll still willingly go to Urban Plates where they can make the sauce for me, but I am relieved to know I can replicate this tasty sauce at home as well as share the recipe with those of you who live nowhere near an Urban Plates restaurant. Enjoy!

    Urban Plates Chimichurri Sauce
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    This recipe is a copycat of the Urban Plates chimichurri sauce I love so much! This sauce is wonderful served over steak or salmon but would be delicious drizzled over other savory foods, too!
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 cups fresh parsley (no need to chop it up at all)
    • 1 red bell pepper, cut into large pieces (originally this recipe said ½ of a pepper, but I have revised to 1 whole pepper because I like it better that way)
    • ½ of a red onion, cut into large pieces
    • 2 garlic cloves, removed from the paper and cut in half
    • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
    • ¼ cup white balsamic vinegar
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ¼-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    • ⅛-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    Instructions
    1. Place all ingredients in a food processor. Process on high for about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl about halfway through. Pulse until sauce has a uniform, medium-fine chunky consistency like you see in the photos. Serve over proteins like steak or salmon, vegetables or whatever suits your fancy!

    OTHER RECIPES YOU MAY LIKE:

    EQUIPMENT I USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:

     


  3. Sunday, February 25, 2018

    Week 568 Weekly Menu…and my foray into “clean eating”

    Hey everyone! So, one week ago when I planned my weekly menu it was a regular old week. Except for a horrific rash on my face that had been bothering me for nearly two weeks, that is. I went to the doctor on Tuesday. She told me to essentially eat like a hunter gatherer for 1 week and that I absolutely could not eat sugar, dairy or wheat for the week. So, since Tuesday I have only eaten meats, beans, vegetables, fruits, eggs and brown rice. (I’m allowed to eat oats, too, but just haven’t yet.)

    If you know me at all, you know special diets are just not my thing. But I of course listened to the doctor and got on it stat. And I have good news, which is also bad news in my opinion because I love bread so much. This clean eating stuff actually worked. WHAT THE?! Here are my conclusions so far:

    • This way of eating not only has cleared up the rash (which was terrible, friends…terrible), but my skin overall has never looked this good. I have always struggled with acne, so this is saying something.
    • I have lost over 6 pounds already. I’m sure some of that was water retention, but every time I step on the scale the number is lower. Note: I am not actively trying to lose weight. Note #2: Don’t worry, I’m not wasting away or anything. 😉
    • Eating this way was easier than I thought it would be and the food I have been eating has been delicious.
    • Eating this way requires a lot more food prep. Which just takes a little more planning. But I am also using way more fruits and vegetables, which is fantastic. I took about 30-45 minutes on grocery shopping day to prep a bunch of raw veggies so they are waiting in the fridge for a snack or for cooking.
    • I AM ALSO BORED TO DEATH WITH FOOD. Really. Today the food boredom is really kicking in. This boredom is manifesting itself in two ways. First, I’m sick of thinking so hard about food. Second, I am just bored with the options. I wish I could eat more things.

    I meet again with the doctor in two days to go over test results and to discuss the diet changes and next steps, including reintroducing foods slowly. The reason I am telling you all of this is because this is a food blog and this has been a pretty significant development in my daily experience with food. I won’t write about it all the time, but it was just so fascinating to me that results came so quickly with this diet shift. Crazy stuff.

    Okay, so here is this week’s menu, which is one I should be able to enjoy if I have to continue with the food restrictions beyond this Tuesday.

    Week 568 Weekly Dinner Menu

    MONDAY:
    Carnitas Rice Bowls

    TUESDAY:
    – Boozy Beef Stew

    WEDNESDAY:
    Stefania’s Braised Chicken

    THURSDAY:
    – Leftovers

    FRIDAY:
    – Grilled Chicken with Salad

    SATURDAY:
    – Eat out night

    SUNDAY:
    Roasted Veggie Scrambles

    Your turn! Share your dinner plans for the week in the comments below! (And any clean eating wisdom…I’ll take it!)


  4. Monday, July 10, 2017

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry

    Hi friends! This is an evolution of a recipe I already have shared on the site, Curry in a Hurry. Click here to read about the origin of that recipe and if you love chicken. Today’s version, however, is vegetarian.

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard

    I’ve gotta tell you, this vegetarian version of Curry in a Hurry is just as good as the original. Indian food just lends itself so beautifully to vegetarian cooking.

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynardVegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard | Homemade Paneer

    The first time I made this, I tried making paneer (a fresh cheese common in India) from scratch. It was delicious but took FOREVER. When I posted my paneer on Instagram and lamented the amount of time it took, several of my friends said, “Well, it shouldn’t have taken that long.” I followed this recipe from Aarti Party on the Food Network and I think the bottom line is that I could have increased the heat to speed things up. My paneer tasted great but when I discovered I could buy it at Sprouts, I may have broken into a little Hallelujah chorus right there in the cheese section. Maybe one day I’ll try making it again. We’ll see…

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard | Homemade PaneerVegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard

    That’s about all I have to say about this recipe besides that fact that it’s simple and delicious!

    If you want to try making baked homemade samosas, click here. The ones pictured in this post, however, are from the freezer section at Sprouts…and they are delicious! I’m getting really good at cheating at my Indian food, eh?

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry from @janemaynard

    Vegetarian Curry in a Hurry
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 1½ tablespoons oil
    • ½ of a small onion, chopped
    • 5 teaspoons curry powder
    • ½ teaspoon garam masala
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • 3 dried red chilies (I just used 1 so it wouldn't be too spicy for my kids)
    • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
    • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    • 3-5 cups fresh spinach
    • 1 cooked cauliflower florets
    • Half package frozen peas
    • 1 cup cooked potatoes, cubed
    • 1 can chickpeas
    • 8-12 ounces paneer, cubed
    Instructions
    1. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent.
    2. Add curry powder, garam masala, garlic and red chilies. Stir for one minute.
    3. Add coconut milk, tomatoes, tomato paste and simmer until thickens, stirring regularly.
    4. Add spinach, stir and cook until spinach as wilted. Add cauliflower, peas, potatoes and chickpeas and cook until heated through. Add paneer just before serving.
    5. Serve over rice.
    Notes
    You can do any combination of the vegetables and cheese above - you could leave out the paneer and just do the veggies, or do paneer with just one or two of the veggies. Basically it's totally flexible and the measurements do not have to be exact either!

     


  5. Wednesday, June 28, 2017

    How Shopping at My Local Farmer’s Market Reinvigorated Life in the Kitchen…and Got Our Family Eating Healthier!

    This post is sponsored by the American Heart Association Healthy For Good movement. The views, opinions and positions expressed within this post belong to Jane Maynard of This Week for Dinner and do not necessarily represent those of The American Heart Association unless explicitly stated.

    Local Tomatoes from Cyclops Farms | Photo from @janemaynard

    My new year’s resolution for 2017 was to cook more. I know it might seem strange to have a food blogger make this her resolution, but the fact of the matter was I had let cooking take the back burner (pun intended!). So, as 2017 kicked off, I decided to really focus on cooking again. And that focus has worked and made me a much happier person as a result.

    2016 was a rough year for several reasons that I won’t get into, but it really is no surprise that making dinner wasn’t a top priority for a good portion of the year. We were eating out a ton, which always makes me uneasy because I know we’re consuming way more calories, fat and sodium than we should be eating. There were a lot of pancake and cereal nights, too. I’ve made peace with how dinner went down in 2016 and have told myself “everything in its season.” But I am also feeling so good about the fact that I’ve been in the kitchen more this year, even during times that get especially busy.

    Cyclops Farms in Oceanside, CA | image from @janemaynard

    One of the keys to the success of this year’s resolution has been shopping at our local farmer’s market each week. There is a farmer’s market every Wednesday (all year!) in my town and after 3 1/2 years into living here I had never visited. I KNOW. It’s just so weird because things like farmer’s markets and CSAs make me so happy! So, as part of the resolution to cook more, I started going to the market each week. We also discovered a small, organic farm smack dab in the middle of a nearby neighborhood that is perhaps the happiest place in San Diego, with devoted shoppers and restaurateurs carefully selecting their produce each week.

    I cannot tell you how AWESOME this change in my life has been. First off, it’s fun telling my friends that I am going “to the market.” They think like I sound like a European grandmother and never quite know what I’m talking about.

    Cyclops Farms in Oceanside, CA | image from @janemaynard

    Beyond sounding like a European grandmother, going to the market each week has kept me much more in touch with what food is in season at any given time and our meals have reflected that natural seasonality more and more. And I love buying local – most of the farmers represented are located in my town or neighboring communities. I love knowing that our family is having a positive environmental impact through buying so much more of our food close to home.

    There’s been another unexpected benefit of going to the farmer’s market each week: my cooking has gotten more fun and creative. As you know, I’m totally about planning a weekly menu. My shopping list is always built around that plan and I rarely stray from the list when I am at the store. Going to the farmer’s market has gotten me to have a little more fun with our meals and add a bit of flexibility to the planning. Yes, I go into the market with a list, but I also let the fruits and vegetables that happen to be there that week drive what we eat. It’s made cooking fun and creative. (If you’re looking for a little creative inspiration before your next shopping run, consider shopping and serving the rainbow!)

    And, of course, the biggest benefit has been that we are eating way more homemade food, which is just plain healthier than takeout and most restaurant foods. I have been meaning to write this post about my new farmer’s market habit and the American Heart Association finally gave me the kick I needed to get it done. I am so happy to share my experience as part of their Healthy For Good campaign (did you know it’s National Fruit + Vegetable Month?), which encourages us all to Eat Smart, Add Color, Move More and Be Well.

    Remember that rough year I had in 2016? It kind of got me down. I felt uninspired and the stress of everything definitely caused me to rely too heavily on eating out. This post from the AHA about unhealthy eating as related to stress really spoke to me, especially numbers 2 and 6! I am telling you that this new focus I have had on nourishing myself and my family through food has been transformative. Yes, I still feel stress. Yes, I am still getting over some of that 2016 nonsense. But taking the time to focus on food has been amazingly uplifting. Plus, getting outside and walking for my grocery shopping sure has made life happier, too!

    I’m sure you’re wondering if I get all of my food at the farmer’s market…and the answer is no! First I hit the farmer’s market then pop over to my local grocery store to get other staples that weren’t at the market. I’ve never really loved food shopping, but now I look forward to it each week!

    So, that’s the update on this year’s resolution to cook more. The farmer’s market is my new happy place and I love the effect it’s had on our eating and on my life in general. And it’s totally helping me keep my new year’s resolution.

    Happy cooking!


  6. Sunday, March 5, 2017

    My New Favorite Go-To Meal: Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble

    You may have noticed Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble on my weekly menus a lot lately. That’s because that dish is my new favorite go-to dinner. FAVORITE. Since I’ve started going to the farmer’s market every Wednesday, I’ve been regularly roasting vegetables to have on hand in the fridge throughout the week. As a result, we’ve been making these roasted vegetable egg scrambles on busy nights and it is just so darn tasty. The first time I made these eggs, Cate was especially enamored and when Nate walked through the door that night she exclaimed, “You are going to LOVE dinner tonight.”

    Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble from @janemaynard - a great breakfast as well as go-to dinner idea!

    This is not a precise recipe, more of a jumping off point for you to make these eggs however you want. I recently received an email from a reader asking what vegetables I use for the scrambles. The answer? Whatever vegetables I happen to find at the market that are good for roasting! Since it’s winter time, it’s been a lot of cauliflower and squashes mixed with potatoes and onions. I’m sure when summer rolls around the mix will be different. I have to say, the cauliflower and butternut squash have been my favorites.

    Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble from @janemaynard - a great breakfast as well as go-to dinner idea!

    One quick note: the reason that this is such a fast and easy dinner option is because I already have the vegetables roasted and sitting in the fridge. I have yet to actually roast vegetables simply to make these eggs. Although, they are delicious enough to be worthy of the effort. BUT…the reason this is my new go-to dinner is because those veggies are sitting there waiting for me. I didn’t use to be a person who roasted vegetables every week, but now that I do, well, I love it. It really is wonderful having them on hand all the time, I highly recommend it!

    Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble from @janemaynard - a great breakfast as well as go-to dinner idea!

    Roasted Vegetable Egg Scramble
     
    Author:
    Serves: 1 serving
    Ingredients
    • 2 eggs
    • ~1/2 cup diced roasted vegetables
    • Pat of butter
    • 4 pinches salt
    • Pepper
    Instructions
    1. Heat a small frying pan on the stove over medium heat. Once the pan has been heating up for a few minutes, add the butter and roasted vegetables. Stir occasionally as they heat up.
    2. Whisk the two eggs with the salt (my rule of thumb is 2 pinches of salt per egg, so if you're cooking more than 2 eggs, just add more pinches accordingly). Note: this recipe is for one serving, but you can easily up the amount of eggs and vegetables and just cook them in a larger pan. Works great!
    3. Once the vegetables are heated through, pour the egg into the pan. Let cook for about a minute, then start to "flip" the eggs, turning the eggs and veggies over in the pan evenly. Cook until all the egg is just cooked through, making sure not too cook too long.
    4. Slide onto a plate, sprinkle with black pepper and enjoy!
    Notes
    Click here for an article I recently wrote about roasting vegetables. For these eggs, you can roast just 1 or 2 veggies or a large assortment. There are no rules here! Vegetables that I like to roast that I think are good in the eggs: always a bit of yellow onion, cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, squashes, broccoli, green beans, tomatoes, bell peppers, mushrooms, the list goes on!

     


  7. Wednesday, October 26, 2016

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette + Sodium Breakup + A Low-So Good Giveaway!

    I’m going to start a post about low-sodium eating with a crazy statement: I love salt. No, really. I LOVE SALT. So when I met my friend Jessica Goldman Foung (a.k.a. Sodium Girl) many moons ago, I have to be honest that low-sodium eating was something I had never even thought about. Then I heard Jessica’s story. In 2004 she was diagnosed with Lupus and learned that the autoimmune disease had attacked her kidneys and brain. As a result of all the craziness, she had to adjust her diet, including eating no sodium. This pretty much blew my mind. No sodium? How is that even possible? After following Jessica and her culinary adventures all these years she has proven to me that a life without sodium can be a rich and delicious one indeed. She is quite the inspiration.

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynard

    The American Heart Association recently asked if I would help spread the word about their new Sodium Breakup campaign. I was more than happy to so that people like me (a salt lover who could definitely improve her diet to help her heart) and people like Jessica (someone who had to give up salt to save her life) could both learn all about low-sodium eating. I was honored to be given the opportunity to write the kick-off post for the campaign on AHA’s website, which you can read by clicking here! Over the next few months you can keep checking in with the AHA to get all kinds of great low-sodium information, tips and more. The AHA is bound and determined to make your breakup with sodium a breakup you are happy about!

    And I have even more low-sodium goodness for you today: a book, a recipe and a giveaway!

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynard

    First, the book. Low-So Good is a beautiful resource written by my friend Jessica. The book has 70 mouthwatering recipes (hello, Jerk-ish Fish Tacos with Sauce, Slaw and Salsa, I need you in my life), but it is also a complete guide to low-sodium eating. Low-sodium novices and experts alike can benefit from what Jessica has to offer, and I love the guest articles peppered throughout the book from other food experts. The photography is gorgeous, the book is well organized and easy to read, and, best of all, Jessica’s infectiously happy personality shines through. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to cut some (or even all!) sodium from their diet…or really to anyone at all! Click here to buy Jessica’s book!

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynard

    Second, the recipe. A really helpful part of Jessica’s book is advice for eating in restaurants when you’re trying to go low-so. One of my favorite recipes in the entire book is MacGyver Vinaigrette. It’s more of a formula than a recipe, providing the guidance you need to make a salad dressing on the fly with ingredients you can find at restaurants. It’s awesome. So today I’m sharing one of my MacGyver no-sodium vinaigrette creations, which is sweet and zesty! The recipe is below and sized for one serving.

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynardSweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynard

    Lastly, the giveaway! One of you lucky, randomly-selected people will win a copy of Jessica’s book Low-So Good. Here is how to enter! (All comments must be posted before Midnight PT Wednesday 11/2/16. Prize must be shipped to an address in the U.S.)

    And now for a no-sodium salad that will make your taste buds super happy! And good luck with your sodium breakup adventures!

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette | Low-So Good | @janemaynard

    Sweet & Zesty MacGyver No-Sodium Vinaigrette
     
    Prep time
    Total time
     
    Inspired by "Low-So Good" by Jessica Goldman Foung. If you're trying to eat low-sodium, this on-the-fly dressing can be thrown together at a restaurant! (Or at home. Because it's good no matter where you eat it.)
    Author:
    Serves: 1 serving
    Ingredients
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons lime juice (about 4 lime slices)
    • 1 teaspoon honey
    • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • Generous pinch black pepper
    Instructions
    1. In a small bowl or in a small mason jar, add all of the ingredients. Whisk with a fork or shake well.
    2. Serve over salad!

     

     

     


  8. Thursday, June 30, 2016

    Summer Grilling: Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad

    {Cue music} Summertiiiiime and the grilling is eeeasyyyy. That’s right, forget the kitchen, it’s time to start cooking all of the foods on the grill. I’ll admit, I use my outdoor grill all year, but it’s especially lovely to cook outside in the summer, and pretty much a necessity when the weather gets hot.

    Recipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard The Salmon Council approached me to develop another recipe with them, this time focusing on the grill. Of course I said yes because grilling salmon is my most favorite way to prepare it. The result was this delicious grilled brown sugar bourbon salmon pecan salad that our whole family loved. (Well, everyone except Owen, but he is a 4-year-old who cannot be trusted when it comes to food.)

    Recipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard - Preparing the ingredientsRecipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard - Marinating the SalmonRecipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard - Grilling the SalmonRecipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard - Hot off the Grill

    As part of the recipe challenge, the Salmon Council sent me a box of Grill Mates goodies from McCormick. They sent many wonderful Grill Mates products, but the Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade Mix caught my eye. I decided marinated grilled salmon would taste wonderful over a mixed green salad and perfect for summer. Then I started thinking more about the spicy marinade mix and had a feeling it would be good on candied pecans. I was right! These candied brown sugar bourbon pecans are awesome on salad…or even alone as a snack! The nuts are bursting with flavor with just a hint of sweet. So good.

    Recipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard - Roasted Pecansbrown-sugar-bourbon-salmon-and-pecan-salad-this-week-for-dinner-prep-nuts-web

    I am so glad I had the chance to work with the Salmon Council and McCormick on this project because this recipe now exists. Enjoy!

    Recipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon Pecan Salad from @janemaynard

    Brown Sugar Bourbon Salmon and Pecan Salad
     
    Author:
    Serves: 4-6
    Ingredients
    • 1½ pounds salmon filet, skin on
    • 2 packages McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade Mix
    • ¼ cup oil
    • 3 tablespoons water, divided
    • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or white vinegar
    • 1 cup pecan pieces
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon butter
    • Mixed Greens (approximately 5-6 ounce package should be good)
    • Sliced tomatoes
    • Ricotta Salata
    Instructions
    1. In a 9x13 baking dish, whisk together 1 package of the McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade mix, ¼ cup oil, 2 tablespoons of the water and the vinegar.
    2. Place salmon filet in the dish, skin side down, then flip over so skin side is facing up. Cover dish with foil and marinate in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
    3. While salmon is marinating, preheat oven to 350º F and prepare the brown sugar bourbon pecans by placing the pecan pieces in a small bowl and tossing with HALF of the other Brown Sugar Bourbon Marinade packet. (You will have one half packet leftover...save it for another day!)
    4. In a small bowl mix together 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon of the water and 1 teaspoon butter. Microwave for 20 seconds.
    5. Pour brown sugar mixture over the spiced nuts and stir until evenly coated. Spread nuts on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, stir, then bake for 5 minutes more. Remove from oven, stir, and let cool. Be sure to stir and break up the nuts as they cool so they don't stick to each other or the foil.
    6. When the salmon has been marinating for about 45 minutes, preheat the grill to medium heat, around 500º F.
    7. When salmon has marinated for 1 hour, remove from fridge and, using the foil that covered the dish, place the salmon skin side down on the foil, folding up the edges of the foil to catch any liquid that cooks off while on the grill. Spoon marinade from the dish onto the salmon and spread evenly.
    8. Place foil with salmon on center of the grill, close the lid and cook for 10-15 minutes, until salmon is fairly easy to flake apart. Remove from grill.
    9. Toss mixed greens with seasoned nuts, sliced tomatoes and ricotta salata. Plate mixed greens and top with grilled salmon. Serve with your favorite salad dressing.

    Thank you to the Salmon Council for sponsoring today’s post!


  9. Wednesday, February 24, 2016

    Southwestern Salmon Orzo Salad

    February is American Heart Month. To raise awareness, the Salmon Council reached out to see if I would create a salmon recipe, which I was most happy to do! So, today we have Southwestern Salmon Orzo Salad, and it is quite tasty, if I do say so myself.

    Southwestern Salmon Orzo Salad by @janemaynardSouthwestern Salmon Orzo Salad by @janemaynard

    Currently, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for every 1 in 4 deaths. While that sounds dire, the good news is that a healthy diet and lifestyle can significantly help fight heart disease. When I interviewed Lisa Oz last December, one of my biggest takeaways from our conversation was how her heart surgeon father was an early adopter of using diet to help his patients’ health, an approach that then influenced Dr. Oz (Lisa’s husband). It can be quite miraculous what nutritious eating can do for our bodies.

    Southwestern Salmon Orzo Salad by @janemaynardSouthwestern Salmon Orzo Salad by @janemaynardSouthwestern Salmon Orzo Salad by @janemaynard

    Today’s post is specifically focused on heart-friendly salmon. Salmon is filled with omega-3 fatty acids, and it is recommended that we eat food high in omega-3s at least twice a week. But in addition to those omega-3s, salmon is also rich in protein and Vitamin D, a highly nutritious combination that can help lower cholesterol and reduce your risk of dying of a heart attack by up to one-third.

    Southwestern Salmon Orzo Salad by @janemaynardSouthwestern Salmon Orzo Salad by @janemaynard

    The Salmon Council challenged me to incorporate DeLallo’s organic whole grain orzo into my recipe. I immediately thought of an orzo salad that my mother-in-law makes that has a Greek flavor to it. I decided to change things up and give the salad a southwestern flare, using a cilantro dressing and adding some heat to the salmon. I have to admit that I’m not normally a huge fan of whole grain pastas strictly for taste reasons, but this whole grain orzo was awesome – just as delicious as regular orzo but with a nice nutritional boost. And the salad overall is sooooo good. The spicy sweet salmon pairs beautifully with the fresh-tasting cilantro dressing and the crunchy veggies. And, if you want to add just a bit of cheese, queso fresca or cotija Mexican cheeses are PERFECT in this salad. If you’re trying to cut back on cheese, though, the salad is just as good without it!

    Southwestern Salmon Orzo Salad by @janemaynard

    A note about the salmon – as much as I loved it in the orzo salad, it was also really delicious all by itself. The preparation is super simple, making it a great meal on its own. 

    Southwestern Salmon Orzo Salad by @janemaynard

    Southwestern Salmon Orzo Salad
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 8 ounces uncooked whole grain DeLallo orzo
    • 2 tablespoons salt
    • 1 to 1-1/2 pound salmon filet, skin on
    • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
    • ½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
    • ½ cup canned corn
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon cumin
    • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 2 cloves minced fresh garlic
    • 8 ounces salsa verde
    • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
    • ¼ cup sour cream
    • ¼ cup water
    • About 3 ounces queso fresca or cotija cheese, crumbled (optional)
    Instructions
    1. Add 2 tablespoons salt to a large pot of water. Bring to a boil.
    2. Add orzo. Return to boil then cook for 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain and set aside.
    3. Preheat outdoor grill to medium heat, so internal temperature of grill reaches 500º F.
    4. While the pasta is cooking, rinse and dry the salmon filet. Brush both sides of the salmon filet with olive oil.
    5. Place skin down on a large piece of foil, folding up the sides, leaving a couple inches between the edge of the salmon and the edge of the foil all around the filet.
    6. Mix together the brown sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, cumin, cayenne pepper and garlic. Spread evenly on the top of the salmon filet. Place salmon on the foil on the grill and cook with the lid closed for 10-15 minutes, until salmon is fairly easy to flake apart. You may see some white stuff as well. Remove from grill.
    7. Remove salmon from the skin in very large pieces. Set aside.
    8. In a large bowl mix together the cooked orzo, bell pepper, black beans, corn.
    9. Add salsa verde, chopped cilantro, sour cream and water to a blender and blend well.
    10. Add ½ cup of the green sauce you just made to the orzo mixture and stir well. Add salmon pieces and stir carefully.
    11. Serve with extra green sauce and top with queso fresca/cotija cheese if using.
    12. Serve immediately or chilled.

    To learn more about salmon, visit the Hooked on Salmon Facebook page and get salmon recipe inspiration on Hooked on Salmon’s Pinterest board. To find out more about DeLallo’s products, click here to visit the DeLallo website!

    This post is sponsored by the Salmon Council. DeLallo provided me with the orzo I used in this recipe.


  10. Thursday, February 26, 2015

    Friday Show and Tell + ONE AYA Summit

    Happy Friday! I have a TON of great food links for you today, but before we get to that I wanted to talk about something dear to my heart. Last October I had the chance to attend ONE’s AYA Summit in Washington, D.C. I have yet to write a post about the conference because there is just too much I want to share. I’m planning to do a series of recipes posts to tell the stories, but until then…

    ONE AYA Summit from @janemaynardPictured: Ginny Wolfe (ONE), Patricia Amira (The Oprah of Africa…she was AWESOME.)

    Video from the AYA Summit has been posted on Flipbook. Click here to see the videos (you’ll need to set up a Flipbook account – it’s worth it!). I don’t even know where to tell you to start, but all of it is fascinating/informative/inspiring – that I can promise!

    One of the women we heard from, Marquesha Babers, wrote a post for the ONE website. Please read it. Marquesha is an amazing young woman I was blessed to meet at the summit.

    Girl Rising Panel at the ONE AYA Summit from @janemaynardPictured, left to right: Holly Gordon (Girl Rising), Patricia Amira, Danai Gurira (Playwright and, yes, Michonne on The Walking Dead), Marquesha Babers (Poet)

    If you want to DO something right now to support ONE, click here! One of the reasons I love ONE so much is that they aren’t asking for our money, they are asking for our voice. Right now you can send a letter to your congresspeople urging them to reintroduce the Electrify Africa bill. It’s super easy and will make a difference.

    Okay, on to some delicious food!

    deconstructed chicken club from @janemaynard

    This week on Babble I shared a recipe for a Deconstructed Chicken Club. I’m finding that deconstructing foods is one of the best ways to get my kids to eat it!

    On Parade’s Community Table I have 2 posts this week!

    fast and healthy snacks for nursing moms from @janemaynard

    And, lastly, if you’re pregnant or have just had a baby, be sure to visit the Solly Baby Blog to get ideas for Healthy, EASY Snacks for Nursing Moms.

    Show and Tell time! Please share your own stuff!