Sunday, December 31, 2017

Pan-Seared Flank Steak with Blue Cheese Pesto

I have a father who loves (and I mean LOVES) blue cheese. We always get him a block of good blue cheese for Christmas and his birthday (who wouldn't love cheese as a gift?). This holiday we had a decent amount of cheese leftover from various holiday parties and get-togethers with friends so I decided to repurpose the blue cheese into something different. This pesto is so tasty on steak, but would also be wonderful tossed with roasted veggies.



1. Place flank steak in a shallow dish. Combine the balsamic, oil, honey, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and pour over the steak. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.



2. Remove steak from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Once the steak is close to room temperature, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. Transfer to a cutting board and rest for 10 minutes.



3. While the steak rests, place the pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.


4. Slice the steak and place on a platter. Top with pesto and serve.



Pan-Seared Flank Steak with Blue Cheese Pesto
Serves 2-3

All you need:
1 1/2 pounds flank steak, trimmed
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Pesto
1 cup baby arugula (one handful)
2 peeled garlic cloves
1/4 cup toasted pinenuts
1/4 cup blue cheese
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

All you do:
1. Place flank steak in a shallow dish. Combine the balsamic, oil, honey, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and pour over the steak. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
2. Remove steak from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking. Once the steak is close to room temperature, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until desired doneness. Transfer to a cutting board and rest for 10 minutes.
3. While the steak rests, place the pesto ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
4. Slice the steak and place on a platter. Top with pesto and serve.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Gluten-Free Buttermilk Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes

I love the smell of pancakes in the morning as it reminds me of cooking breakfast with my Grandma growing up. My family always made them thinner (as you will notice with this batter), which I like because the pancakes cook quickly and get a nice crust on the outside. These are great to make at the beginning of the week and keep in airtight container in the fridge. To reheat, simply place 1 or 2 pancakes on a plate and microwave for 1 minute. So yummy!




1. Combine the flours, sugar and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.


2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, buttermilk, eggs and butter. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.




3. Coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray and turn heat to medium. Use 1/4 cup measure for each pancake and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown.


4. Serve the pancakes with sliced banana and melted nut butter or pure maple syrup drizzled over the top.


Gluten-Free Buttermilk Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes
Serves 6

All you need:
1 cup gluten-free all-purpose flour
1 cup almond flour
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mashed ripe banana
2 cups buttermilk
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
Cooking spray

All you do:
1. Combine the flours, sugar and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, buttermilk, eggs and butter. Add to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
3. Coat a large nonstick skillet or griddle with cooking spray and turn heat to medium. Use 1/4 cup measure for each pancake and cook for 2 minutes per side, or until golden brown.
4. Serve the pancakes with sliced banana and melted nut butter or pure maple syrup drizzled over the top.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Thai Chicken Pot Pie

We are currently experiencing piles of snow here in west Michigan, so that means I'm ready for some warm comfort food. I'm a huge fan of Thai food so I decided to put a spin on the classic chicken pot pie recipe by adding Thai flavors like curry paste, ginger, fish sauce and cilantro. This turned out so amazing and I love the fact that it's a complete meal! Since it has a slight spicy kick, I think this meal would pair perfectly with a glass of sparkling white wine or champagne. Cheers!


1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Melt oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and celery and cook until lightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.


3. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, curry paste, tamari, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, cilantro, basil, ginger and cornstarch and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened. Add chicken and peas and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.



4. Pour the chicken mixture into a pie plate and top with crust; seal the edges. Cut 4 slits in the center of the crust and brush with egg wash; bake for 25 minutes.



5. Let the pot pie rest for at least 10 minutes, then scoop into serving bowls.




Thai Chicken Pot Pie
Serves 6

All you need:
2 teaspoons coconut oil
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
3 peeled garlic cloves, minced
1 (13.5 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 tablespoon tamari
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 cups shredded chicken
1/2 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 prepared pie crust
Egg wash (1 egg + 1 tablespoon water)

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Melt oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add carrots and celery and cook until lightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
3. Add coconut milk, chicken broth, curry paste, tamari, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, cilantro, basil, ginger and cornstarch and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until thickened. Add chicken and peas and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
4. Pour the chicken mixture into a pie plate and top with crust; seal the edges. Cut 4 slits in the center of the crust and brush with egg wash; bake for 25 minutes.
5. Let the pot pie rest for at least 10 minutes, then scoop into serving bowls.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Crispy Salmon and Sweet Potato Patties with Sweet Horseradish Mustard Sauce

Every month I like to go through my pantry and fridge and play a game of "Chopped" with myself to see what I can make with the variety of canned goods, spices and sauces that seem to accumulate there. I had been staring at the canned salmon for awhile, so it was time to make it into something fabulous. These salmon patties are a great source of heart-healthy fats and the sweet potato adds delicious flavor, fiber and color. The highlight of this meal is the sauce, though. If you love sweet and spicy like I do, it's probably best you double the sauce because it's addictive!

Serve these as an appetizer (just make the patties slightly smaller) or a light dinner with a side of greens.



1. Place the sweet potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain and mash.


2. Place the remaining patty ingredients in a large bowl along with the mashed sweet potato and stir to combine.


3. Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup for each patty and gently place in the skillet. Working in batches, cook for 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a serving platter.



4. Combine the mustard sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over the patties and serve.




Crispy Salmon and Sweet Potato Patties with Sweet Horseradish Mustard Sauce
Serves 6

All you need:
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed
1 (14.75 oz.) can wild caught salmon, drained
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs
2 tablespoons mayo
2 shallots, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

Mustard Sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
2 teaspoons prepared Horseradish (or more, to taste)
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Vegetable oil, for frying

All you do:
1. Place the sweet potatoes in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender. Drain and mash.
2. Place the remaining patty ingredients in a large bowl along with the mashed sweet potato and stir to combine.
3. Heat a thin layer of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Use a 1/2 cup measuring cup for each patty and gently place in the skillet. Working in batches, cook for 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a serving platter.
4. Combine the mustard sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Drizzle over the patties and serve.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Spinach, Sundried Tomato and Almond Stuffed Mushrooms

Stuffed mushrooms are such a classic party staple. What I love about them is that you can make a large amount and the flavors are so versatile. Typically, I make them with sausage but I decided to create a meatless one (and honestly I might like this one better). The sundried tomato adds a nice pop of sweetness while the almonds and parmesan add a perfect nuttiness that just gets better as these roast in the oven. I foresee this being one of my favorite holiday recipes for years to come!


1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the stems from each mushroom and place in a food processor. Place the mushroom caps on the prepared baking sheet.



2. Place the almonds, tamari, garlic, tomatoes and spinach in the food processor with the mushroom stems and pulse to combine. With the processor running, drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil.


3. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the panko and cheese and stir to combine.


4. Scoop the mixture into the mushroom caps. Bake for 15 minutes.

5. While the mushrooms bake, combine the remaining olive oil and balsamic in a small bowl. Once out of the oven, sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.



Spinach, Sundried Tomato and Almond Stuffed Mushrooms
Makes 24

All you need:
24 extra-large stuffing mushrooms
1 cup roasted salted whole almonds
2 teaspoons tamari
4 peeled garlic cloves
1 (3 oz.) bag sundried tomato halves
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

All you do:
1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove the stems from each mushroom and place in a food processor. Place the mushroom caps on the prepared baking sheet.
2. Place the almonds, tamari, garlic, tomatoes and spinach in the food processor with the mushroom stems and pulse to combine. With the processor running, drizzle in 1/2 cup olive oil.
3. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl. Add the panko and cheese and stir to combine.
4. Scoop the mixture into the mushroom caps. Bake for 15 minutes.
5. While the mushrooms bake, combine the remaining olive oil and balsamic in a small bowl. Once out of the oven, sprinkle the mushrooms with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Transfer to a serving platter and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic.