I LOVE FOOD!

Is it possible to eat healthy on an island?

I need more protein and not  just meat! It is possible! I laid in bed the other morning thinking what I could do-while knowing I live on an out island in the Bahamas- what could I get here to make and still be healthy? I knew I had Quinoa and Salmon and both are full of protein but could I really make something using those 2 ingredients and taste good too?

For years I have collected recipes. I have over 20 cookbooks here and 10 huge books I made from ripped out magazine/newspaper recipes. Most of them are organized-Main Entrees, Appetizers, Salads,and  Soups. But I do have 3 books that are marked “Favorites” and I spend alot of time searching in these because they are not categorized at all! And my computer has a “cookbook” document full of recipes.

After searching most of the cookbooks I went to my computer to see what I already had. I should have started there! I had 7 Quinoa recipes and “Jesus be praised”, there was one with Salmon and Quinoa! But would it taste good…….

Quinoa Salmon Cakes
serves 6
• 3 cans wild caught, no salt added Atlantic salmon-I used smoked salmon-easier!
• 1/2 cup dry quinoa
• 1 bunch green onions
• 1 tablespoon lemon zest
• 1 tablespoon fresh dill, minced
• 1 large egg
• Salt & pepper to taste
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
Prepare the quinoa by placing 1 cup water on the stove to boil. When the water is ready, add the quinoa, cover and turn down to simmer for 10 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed.
While the quinoa is cooking, Place in a large bowl and break it up with a fork. Set the bowl aside.
In a food processor, fit the metal s-blade, add the green onions, lemon zest, dill, salt and pepper. Process in about 5 – 6 one second pulses, until the onions are minced.
When the quinoa is done cooking and has cooled slightly, add this and the salmon to the food processor and pulse until a dough begins to form and all the ingredients are combined, about 10 pulses. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as you’re blending.
Crack the egg into the bowl that the salmon was in. Add the contents of the food processor and mix the everything together with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle with a touch more salt and pepper if you wish. Form the dough into patties and set aside.
In a cast iron skillet or saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Place the salmon cakes into the skillet and cook for 2 – 4 minutes per side, or until they are heated through. They held together well, great flavor ( John had to put hot sauce on them of course!) and we even ate them cold the next morning. I believe they would hold up good carried for lunch. You think you could get your kids to eat them?

Next I made……

IMG_5181Quinoa Pizza Bites
This delectable snack will certainly keep you in your taste buds happy!!
Makes ~40 bites
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 large eggs
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 cup chopped pepperoni slices (~1/2 of a 7 oz bag)
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp dried crushed oregano
pizza sauce for dipping
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together all ingredients, except pizza sauce, in a medium mixing bowl.
3. Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (1 heaping Tbs each), and press down gently to compact.
4. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Nutritional Information for 5 bites per MY FITNESS PAL: Calories – 175, Fat – 10g, Protein – 9g, Fiber – 2g, Calcium – 10mg, Carbs – 12g

They also hold together good and have great flavor! I know kids will love them because of their pizza flavor. NO flour! I loved them! You could put them in a small foil pan for making bread and slice them too.

We had friends over for dinner and I made homemade pizza on the grill using my stone. It was so easy and didn’t heat up the house! I rolled the dough think to make Neapolitan-Style pizza adding whatever ingredients I had-fresh basil, parmigiano cheese, red onion, olives, diced canned tomatoes (no fresh yet!), fresh thyme, oregano, anchovy, and jalapenos. YUMMO! I put the grill up to 500 degrees and preheated stone for 15 minutes. Placed the pizza on stone and closed the lid for maybe 5 minutes. You have to watch them. Didn’t take long at all and looked so professional. It was even good cold the next day at the beach!

Now here is a savory dish that plays with your head. Our friends said it was interesting…..

Savory Yogurt cheesecake with caramelized onions.

This is an attractive appetizer for any occasion. You need to start a day in advance since the yogurt for the filling has to be drained overnight.

Filling-
1-32 oz plain yogurt
4 oz cream cheese
1 cup ricotta cheese
Salt/pepper
1 large egg yolk

Crust-
½ cup flour
½ cup yellow cornmeal
1 teaspoon sugar-I forgot to add and didn’t matter
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
2 ½ tablespoons butter- chilled and cut into small pieces
¼ cup ice water
Cooking spray

Onions-
1 teaspoon butter
8 cups sliced onions-approx 4 large onions
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Pepper
1 teaspoon thyme

To prepare filling-line strainer with cheesecloth and place yogurt in overnight in fridge to drain. Cover so won’t dry out too. Spoon 1 ¾ cups of drained yogurt into bowl. Reserve the remaining yogurt. Beat cream cheese in another bowl. Add yogurt, ricotta, and slat/pepper and egg yolk. Beat til blended.
Preheat oven 350
Crust-Place flour, cornmeal, salt/pepper in food processor and pulse 3 times to combine. Add butter and pulse 4 times or till resembles coarse meal. With processor on, add ice water through chute until moist but do not form a ball. Press crust into bottom of oiled spring form pan. I used a pie plate. Bake 350 for 15 minutes. Cool
Onions- melt butter in pan, add onions and cook 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in sugar, salt/pepper and cover. Cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in thyme.
Spread yogurt mixture into cooled crust. Bake 350 for 35 minutes or till almost set. Cool on wire rack. (Cheesecake will continue to set as it cools). Serve at room temperature. Slice cheese cake and top with onions. May serve with crackers or eat as cake! YUMMO

We had our first Moon Rise Beach Party  last night. We each bring a dish to share so I made

Grilled Chipotle Quesadillas with Cheddar. I also made these on the grill on my stone.
3 T oil
1 red onion diced
1 red pepper diced
1-4 minced chipotle chiles
¼ lime juice
Salt/pepper
Hamburger
Flour tortillas
Cheddar cheese grated

Cook onions and pepper till soft, add hamburger and fry. Add chipotles and mix.
To assemble- spread meat mixture over half of tortilla add cheese and fold in half. Easier to manage this way. Grill on hot stone till set and cheese is melted. Cut in half with kitchen scissors and serve with salsa and sour cream. Carried great to the beach!

I love to cook and have a wonderful kitchen here in our island home. My goal this season is to take all my cookbooks and choose new recipes I have never tried. These were the first. John loved them all!!!!

Also- made home made pizza on my stone on the grill at 500 degrees. Cooked in 5 minutes perfecto!

IMG_5186 IMG_5187

 

SISSY in the KITCHEN

Seems there isn’t enough time living on an island. You would think we just lay around the beach drinking smoothie drinks all day. That is not the case with John and I here at Fairhaven! I love to rise early-before John boy-get on the computer while having a delightful hot cup (or 3) of coffee. We sit on the front deck around 7 enjoying this view…..

However, I can’t sit too long as I hear my garden call me. John goes out to his man cave and does his many projects! Garden work is never done and with the tomatoes, lettuces and herbs in full now there is always watering, trimming, picking or even pulling out the spent plants and planting new. I feel so at home in the garden. Peaceful. I talk to my plants telling them they can grow and flower with my TLC! I am closer to my Lord too in my garden. He speaks to me as I work and I can listen better while surrounded by all the glory of the garden!

My other love is in my kitchen. I LOVE to prepare delicious, nutritious food. Presentation follows so the eyes enjoy even before the first taste. This, of course all takes precious time away from me being in the garden. THANK HEAVENS for my baby sissy Cathie being here for the past month (and we have another month together!!) She goes to the kitchen while I am in the garden. We plan meals, snacks, dressings to be made and off she goes. She makes our “green drink” every morning using my fresh picked kale, broccoli rabe, herbs, ginger, cucumber, apple and lime. YUM….. and she delivers it to me in the garden!

A planned beach gathering for moon rise, happy hour on our deck or a friend/neighbors deck, dinner just the 4 of us or boys playing poker- all these fun times together require planning, cooking preparing and cleaning up! She does it all!! It blesses me beyond watching her look in my garden for the right herb or coming out with a spoonful to taste test! Of course the second reason is that I get even more time in my garden while she does all this work and we still get to have delicious food!

Here are a few recipes we have prepared this past month. ENJOY!

MUSHROOM QUESADILLAS with WARM BLACK BEAN SAUCE

2 T olive oil
Any mushrooms, sliced
Pepper/salt
1 T thyme
Flour tortillas
2 cups shredded sharp white cheese

Salsa-
olive oil
1 small onion
Garlic- lots!!!
Jalapeno chopped-as much as you like!
1 can blk beans drained
1 can corn
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil
Chipotle peppers in adobe sauce (or smoke flavor)
Salt/pepper
Heat pan with oil, add mushrooms season with salt/pepper thyme, saute 10 mins then remove from heat into bowl. Add more oil to pan with garlic, onions and jalapeno, saute for 2-3 mins, add corn. Stir in tomatoes and chipotle peppers. Season with salt/pepper.

Heat another pan, add a drizzle of oil. Cook tortilla 1 min, turn over. Sprinkle ½ cup cheese over ½ tortilla. Add mushrooms over cheese and fold tortilla in half pressing down slightly. Cook til cheese melts a bit- 30 sec or so. Repeat. I placed mine in 9×13 pan that I sprayed lining them up next to each other adding salsa on top. This way I could carry to beach-carried great and tasted great room temp! Otherwise you can serve each tortilla on a plate with salsa. YUM!

Carried to beach for moon rise beach party……was a hit!!!

USING LEFTOVERS…..

Made an easy broccoli soup then made this as a side dish ( had to clean out fridge when it died again-but thankfully we had the new compressor here!)

QUINOA with SWEET POTATO and MUSHROOMS

  • CUP or so cooked quinoa
  • olive oil
  • garlic
  • onion
  • mushrooms
  • sweet potato diced
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt/pepper

Heat pan with oil stir in onion, cook til translucent, add garlic, cook a few mins or so. Add mushrooms, sweet potato and cayenne pepper, slat/pepper. Cover and cook over med heat til sweet potato is tender. Stir occasionally so doesn’t stick. Pour white wine or water if starts to stick. Spoon mixture over Quinoa. Can top with chopped toasted pecans- I didn’t have them!

When served we found the Quinoa might be yummy IN the soup! IT WAS! AMAZING FLAVOR!

Another yummy dish that carried well to the beach…..

COLD SESAME NOODLES with CARROTS and CUCUMBERS and ASIAN SAUCE

12 oz of  Rice Noodles ( or angel hair pasta)2T peanut oil or sesame oil2t garlic-I used way more!2t ginger1 cucumber peeled and julienned2 carrots peeled and julienned2t white sesame seeds2 scallions-green parts thinly slicedSAUCE-3T tahini2T smooth peanut butter2T soy sauce2T rice wine vinager2t chili pepper flakes for heat!

Cook noodles til al dente, drain, rinse in cold water. Toss with 1T oil

Heat 1T oil and cook ginger and garlic til fragrant-30-40 secs. Remove from heat

To prepare sauce- in med bowl combine tahini, peanut butter,soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, chili paste and pepper with 3T of water and whisk til smooth. Stir in cooked garlic/ginger. Add cucumbers and carrots to noodles and pour sauce over. I waited til we got to beach-sauce soaks in alot and was dry otherwise! Carries great for party! YUMMO flavor!

 

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