Seasonal Cooking – A New Bridge To Cross

I made this really awesome Panini Burger last night, but nobody knows this except me. I love cooking for folks, the problem is I’m short on folks.

I remember when my boys were young and I had them all together with me on my weekends. I would make a big homemade breakfast, usually on Sunday mornings…sometimes it would be eggs, bacon, and toast or maybe biscuits and gravy. I think their favorite was when I would make pancakes…they each had their special requests. One liked plain, the middle would request chocolate chip, and the youngest put in his order for blueberry. I usually made about 30 – 40 pancakes and there wasn’t a crumb left most times.

I get it. It’s that season in life for me where my kids are setting off on their own adventures. That dark-headed, calm, cool, collected first born of mine with his dry comic relief is married and just bought a house, they are busy establishing their lives in preparation for their own family one day. The cute, olive-skinned, brown-headed boy with the adorable, dimpled smile is somehow not a little boy anymore and just graduated from high school, started a grown up job, and is getting registered for Junior College and spending the last of these Summer days with his beautiful girlfriend. My youngest love, the one with the dirty blond hair and dimpled, mischievous grin; he’s that All-American type so he always has to be where the action is. So, he’s never home and if it is Summertime, like it is now – you’ll find him up in Canada spending time with his dad. I’m proud of all of them and it’s a really special time right now watching their journeys unfold, but still being there for them when they need me.

I admit it was difficult at first, but I’ve settled in. I really dig the opportunity to nurture my body, mind, and soul. I mean, I’m not lonely – It’s been quite enjoyable get to who I am and plus I recharge by spending time alone. I still have a few more years with the baby and in a week he’ll be back home and I can add another plate to the table. I’ll have someone here to critique my experiments in the kitchen and appreciate my food art. And who knows, maybe the next season will bring some new faces to feed…

In the meantime, I’ll just have to share pictures of my tasty fares and let you try to imagine the flavors hitting your taste buds and then your eyes rolling back in your head.

Panini Burger[1]

This Panini Roasted Red Pepper Burger was out of this world, but you’re just going to have to take my word for it. Lean ground beef patty, seasoned and grilled to perfection on the George Foreman and that’s just the meat. I used Ezekiel Bread, which is a sprouted-grain bread that I drizzled in olive oil on the side that hits the grill. But before I started the assembly, I had to roast some red bells.

So here’s what we have – I placed a little bit of shredded Monterey Jack cheese and thinly sliced red bell peppers on the grill, then laid down a slice of the bread that I had spread some roasted red pepper humus on. This is where the meat comes in, followed by the roasted peppers, then provolone cheese, and finally some super greens – then I added the second slice of bread which I topped with cheese and bell pepper. Next, I closed the Foreman and let it all mesh. What resulted is a Panini Style Burger that I am positive they serve in Heaven. Try it and let me know what you think!

Moldiv_1437888368962[1]

 

Oh Sweet Potato Of Mine

Here it is - the potato's SUPER cousin.
Here it is – the potato’s SUPER cousin.

Not TECHNICALLY a potato since they are part of a different family of plants, but the sweet potato is related to potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are actually the super heroes of all potatoes, but you have to leave off all the sugar and marshmallows. I bet all the other potatoes are jealous of their cousin. Rightfully so, they have a few things they can brag about.

For example:

They are highly nutritional. One cup provides 65% of the daily minimum vitamin C our bodies need. Sweet potatoes boast high levels of calcium, folate, potassium, and beta carotene. And you know about beta carotene, right? BC is an antioxidant that when it get into our bodies make Vitamin A. Like it turns one serving into 700% of the US RDA for Vitamin A. They are so nutritionally rich, they are rated the most nutritious vegetable…we’re talking #1

and…

they sport a low glycemic index – which most potatoes don’t. This means it won’t spike your blood sugar levels.

also..

Sweet Potatoes are good for your skin. This is were Vitamin A and beta carotene come into play again. Did you know all of those fancy skin creams folks use are derived from Vitamin A? A sweet potato costs on average $.50 – $1.50 per pound. Since I’m not excellent at math…I’ll let you do it.

finally…

Sweet Potatoes are DELICIOUS! I eat them a lot for breakfast – I’ll have a baked sweet potato, an egg (however you like ’em), and some fruit (my favorites are honeydew, strawberries or pineapple).

Here’s something I came up with recently – I little spin how I normally incorporate the #1 vegetable into my morning routine.

I took some sweet potato tots and smashed down in the waffle iron. I spread some goat cheese on the sweet potato “waffle” and added some bacon and super greens (like baby kale and spinach).

This is way to much deliciousness for one picture.
This is way to much deliciousness for one picture.

And then, the crowing jewel…a fried egg done over-easy and carefully placed on top of this sweet little concoction. Of course, you can cook your egg just the way you like it – that’s just how I like mine. Add a couple of sprigs of fresh parsley for your daily dose of detox (that’s a whole other blog) and you’re mouth ain’t gunna know what hit it!

You’re welcome, enjoy!!

George Foreman: Where Have you Been All My Life?

Jalapeno-Lime Slaw and Salmon 

Seriously, why did I not ever get one of George’s grills before? This thing is awesome! I absolutely promise there will be a recipe at the end, so bear with me while I tell you how George and I got together and what life has been like since we teamed up.

My step-mom was cleaning things out in preparation for her move to Florida, I was over at her house getting some things that she had set aside for me when she came across her George Foreman Grill. Here, she said, you want it? I took it, because I’m that person you can pretty much pawn anything off on. I’m working on that, but in the meantime I went home with my very own GFG. If nothing else, I figured I could put up on one of those local buy/sell/trade groups on Facebook and make a few bucks.

Eventually, I cleaned it up and put it in my cabinet where it sat for about a month…until last week when I used it just about every night! The recipes that I was selecting on Pinterest called for grilled stuff – I was going to just settle for broiling in the oven, BUT THEN as if the cabinet itself was holding back the sun, there it was, in all of its glory, my George Foreman Grill!

I have been grilling meats, vegetables, sandwiches…anything that I can get my hands on! Everything I’ve made on this thing has turned out unexpectedly great – I say unexpectedly because, I can’t grill to save my life…I completely suck at using a BBQ grill! I don’t know why this is, I can only speculate that it is because I am not good at just sitting there babysitting food on an outdoor grill – I get distracted. It doesn’t matter now, because George Foreman has changed everything. I can now have grilled corn on the cobb – this makes me a happy woman!

For example, last night I made Grilled Salmon over Jalapeño-Lime Coleslaw with leftover Grilled Corn & Zucchini that George and I made last Thursday. I think mostly it was the dry rub I put on that glorious, pink, flakey, source of Omega 3, but George grilled it to perfection. I’m telling you my taste buds were doing back flips, followed by a happy-dance.

I can’t guarantee it will turn out as perfect as mine, unless you have yourself a George Foreman, but as promised, here’s the recipe for my grilled salmon and coleslaw. If you try it or make up your own version, let me know how it turned out!

Thanks for doing life with me,

Leslie


              Salmon & Jalapeño-Lime Slaw

salmon1

Ingredients

Jalapeño-Lime Slaw Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (Dukes, if you can get it, is way better than all the other mayos out there)
  • fresh lime juice from half a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Franks Red Hot Wing Buffalo Sauce
  • 4 teaspoons of raw agave nectar
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1-2 green onions
  • 1 jalapeño julienned
  • about 5 1/4 cups slaw mix (bagged cabbage and carrot shreds)

Buffalo Aioli Ingredients:

  • ½ cup mayonnaise (Dukes!)
  • 2 tablespoons Franks Red Hot Wing Buffalo Sauce
  • fresh lime juice from half a lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon raw agave nectar
  • pinch salt

Salmon:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 salmon filets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or olive oil spray
  • sliced jalapeños, for topping

Instructions

  1. Make the Cilantro-Lime Slaw: (Note: It’s best if you can prepare the slaw and Buffalo Aioli a few hours to a full day in advance.) In a medium bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, Franks, and sweetener until smooth. In a large bowl, toss the cilantro, green onion, and slaw mix together to mix. Add the mayonnaise mixture a little at a time, tossing as you go, until all your vegetables are coated to your preference. Cover tightly and chill until ready to serve.
  2. Make the Buffalo Aioli: Whisk together the Franks aioli ingredients and cover tightly. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. Make the salmon: Whisk together the cumin, chili powder, brown sugar, and salt. Rub the spice mix on the salmon (on both sides if it’s skinless, but on just the exposed side if it’s skin-on.) Then spray the olive oil on your hot grill and place the fish on and cook without disturbing for 4-5 minutes (thicker cuts might need 6-7 minutes per side). Remove the fish from the heat, tent it with foil, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes. .
  4. Place the salmon over the slaw and drizzle Buffalo aioli sauce over it. Serve with some grilled veggies.

 

*This is an adaptation of a taco recipe that Willow Bird Baking posted on Pinterest, which was adapted from other sources. You could still use this as a taco recipe, I just didn’t want to mess with softening up some corn tortillas.