Quick Eats: Pan-Roasted Salmon and Vegetables

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Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized by salmon recipes that didn’t turn out as well as you’d hoped. Everyone have their hands up? Okay, great- because I have good news. If you’re looking for a quick, easy, filling and tasty recipe that isn’t loaded with harmful or artificial ingredients- and don’t want the salmon included in it to be overcooked or, worse- undercooked and rubbery- then you’ve got to give this one a try! It’s pretty much impossible to mess up!

The asparagus in this recipe can actually be swapped out for different types of vegetables. Originally, I saw the salmon and potatoes combined with romaine lettuce- but since I had devoured a pretty big salad in the hours leading up to my making this- I thought the asparagus would be a nice change. I’ve also tried this with carrots and zucchini on two separate occasions and it came out just as good!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes (or other bite-sized)
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • Four 6-ounce salmon fillets
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • Your preference of asparagus spears

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

2. In a medium bowl, toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; arrange in a single layer on a greased baking sheet.

3. Roast the potatoes in the oven until slightly golden and fork tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. While the potatoes roast, rub the asparagus spears with 2 tablespoons olive oil and the lemon juice. (*SIDE NOTE: you can steam the spears to soften them prior to roasting!*) Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

5. Brush the salmon fillets with the melted butter. Season each fillet with paprika and salt and pepper to taste.

6. Arrange the asparagus spears and salmon on the baking sheet with the potatoes. Continue roasting for 5 to 7 minutes more, until the lettuce is tender and the fish is cooked through.

7. To serve, divide the potatoes, romaine and salmon among four plates.

8 Enjoy!

I love the flavors in this dish. They all tasted so wonderful together and the meal was filling without making me feel like I was weighed down or like I’d eaten too much of a good thing. Most importantly- the salmon was cooked to perfection. It was flaky and juicy- not dried out or overtly crisp!

If you’re looking for something that tastes great and is loaded with nutrients- then this is a go-to dish for sure!

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xx

Quick Eats: Harvest Chicken Skillet

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We’ve officially reached uncomfortably cold temperatures here in New England- which has prompted me to go seeking out warmer comfort foods to chow down on while I bundle up in as many layers as possible and crawl under every fleece blanket I own. I stumbled upon this recipe from Well Plated– a seasonal dish similar to one I used to order from a small, family-owned restaurant in my hometown a few years ago during lunch breaks at one of my former jobs- and one I haven’t had in a while (but have always wanted to try and replicate at home!)

This recipe takes less than an hour to prepare and cook (and serves four) which is perfect for people like me who want something warm and filling in a hurry- and really- who ISN’T super busy this time of year?

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 slices of bacon, chopped
  • 3 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium high, until hot and shimmering. Add the chicken, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper. Cook until lightly browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate lined with paper towels.

2. Reduce skillet heat to medium low. Add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp and brown and the fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to the paper towel-lined plate. Discard all but 1 1/2 tablespoons of bacon fat from the pan.

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3. Increase skillet heat back to medium high. Add Brussels sprouts, sweet potato, onion, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender and the onions begin to look translucent, about 10 minutes.

4. Stir in the apples, garlic, thyme, and cinnamon. Cook 30 seconds, then pour in 1/2 cup of the broth. Bring to a boil and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes.

5. Add the reserved chicken and remaining 1/2 cup broth. Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in reserved bacon and serve warm.

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There are so many flavors in this dish and all of them are fantastic- the chicken and the bacon are salty and crisp, the vegetables are sweet and soft- and the cinnamon and garlic just melt in your mouth and bring everything together so, so perfectly. I had a lot of this left over after getting my fill at dinner- and it tasted just as incredible re-heated for lunch at work the following day.

I’d like to try this recipe again but maybe incorporate some other ingredients, as well- like Yukon gold potatoes or zucchini. It’s such a versatile dish and it definitely helped keep me warm while I ate it!

xx

Quick Eats: Cheesy Cauliflower Bread

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It’s been a short while since I’ve shared a recipe post, but that doesn’t mean I’ve stopped experimenting with new ideas and ingredients in my kitchen. My current “flavor of the month” is cauliflower. When I’m not eating it raw or mixed in as part of a vegetable stir fry- I’m researching the ways I can include it in my diet with new and tasty dishes I wouldn’t have thought to try before.

I love garlic bread, and I definitely love cheesy bread- so finding a recipe that combined both, but without the actual “bread” part- pretty much made my week. This low-fat, low-carb, healthier-with-cauliflower-substituted-for-dough combination takes just under an hour to prepare and cook- and the results are so good- you’ll never guess that this isn’t really bread at all!

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • 4 cups of riced cauliflower (about 1 large head of cauliflower)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese (1-2 cups will be used for topping)
  • 3 teaspoons of oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Dipping sauce(s) of your choice

OKAY, HERE’S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Preheat oven to 425°F degrees. While the oven is heating, prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Make sure your cauliflower is chopped in florets. Add the florets to your food processor and pulse until it resembles rice.

3. Place the cauliflower in a microwavable container and cover with lid. Microwave for 10 minutes. From there, place the microwaved cauliflower in a large bowl and add the 4 eggs, 2 cups of mozzarella, oregano, garlic and salt & pepper. Mix everything together.

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4. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and shape into a rectangle for the bread sticks.

5. Bake the crust (no topping yet) for about 25 minutes or until golden. Once done, sprinkle the top of the “bread” with the remaining mozzarella cheese and put back in the oven for another 5 minutes- or until cheese has melted.

6. Slice and serve with dipping sauce of your choosing.

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I can’t stress how good these things taste (without making you feel bloated or gross the way typical bread sticks can.) If I hadn’t prepared them myself, I would have just assumed they were a thinner, crispier bread instead of a vegetable. They were crunchy and cheesy with just the right amount of garlic- and when topped with marinara or ranch- I could have eaten the entire pan all on my own (for the record: I shared these!)

I’m thinking this recipe may make another appearance at Thanksgiving if I have the time to bake them before my family gets here. I’d like to see how many of my relatives would be able to tell if these were actually made out of cauliflower or not!

xx

“Is It Summer Yet?” Giveaway!

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In some of my recent posts, I had hinted at an upcoming giveaway I was putting together in celebration of the Spring and Summer seasons finally arriving after what was undoubtedly one of the worst winters my neck of the woods has seen in a very, very long time. I wanted the giveaway to be seasonal, fun, and have a more personal touch with reflections of some of the items and essentials I covet in the warmer months. I’ve been carefully curating the contents (say that five times fast,) over the past couple of weeks, and I’m excited to announce that it’s finally time to share what one lucky, randomly selected winner will receive in my Summer-themed giveaway!

The “Is It Summer Yet?” giveaway is pretty self-explanatory- consisting of accessories, cosmetics, a bit of home decor- and a little something for the foodies out there. Each item was selected to help jump start a Summer/beachy frame of mind for the winner and are all products that I also own and use regularly every year after I dig myself out of the snow and welcome the sunshine!

*This giveaway IS NOT limited to United States residents only! Since I will be paying for the shipping and handling out of my own pocket- it’s open to those of you across the pond, below (or above) the border, and anywhere in between, too!*

Here’s what’s included:

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Lush’s Ocean Salt Scrub:

The first step to getting glowing Summer-ready skin is exfoliation, and I turn to this incredible face and body salt scrub from Lush to do just that! A scoop of this bright blue, Margarita-scented scrub is enough to gently buff away dead and dry cells, revitalize the surface of my skin, and leave my face, elbows, knees, etc. super smooth.

Bath & Body Works “Cool Amazon Rain” Body Lotion:

After exfoliating, I turn to lightweight body lotions that quickly absorb as they’re applied to keep my skin soft and hydrated all day and night. I love this newer lotion from Bath & Body Works which has an energizing, citrus, “tropical” smell to it.

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Harney & Sons Fresh Brew Iced Tea Tins in Peach and Raspberry Herbal:

I love iced coffee, especially before I go in for a long day at work- but in the warmer months I find myself taking afternoon iced tea breaks, too. These individually packaged fruit-flavored teas- made specifically to be iced- are especially nice and refreshing.

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Good Housekeeping Juices & Smoothies Recipe Book:

Iced coffees and iced teas aside- Summer is also the season of smoothies and healthy juices (and milkshakes and frozen margaritas on “cheat days” from all that healthy eating.) This hardcover book from Good Housekeeping has really great recipes that cover all ends of the frozen-beverage spectrum and will be sure to come in handy when you’re ready to have a picnic, BBQ, camp-out, beach day- or any other outdoor get-together.

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Maybelline “Baby Lips” Lip Balm:

When it comes to my Summer lip care, I stick to the basics. Hydrating glosses in bright corals and pinks, and sunscreen-packed balms. One of my favorites is this colorless “Baby Lips” balm from Maybelline with SPF 20. It keeps my pout soft and smooth for all-day wear and I don’t have to worry about any color fading since it applies clear. I just throw this in my bag on-the-go for quick touch-ups.

Sephora’s Formula X Nail Polish in “Prism” and “Incandescent” :

I love bright, tropical colors on my nails in the Summertime- and this year I find myself already gravitating towards bright blues, greens, and orange tones. I picked out two of my favorites, “Prism,” a metallic turquoise with a hint of pearl, and “Incandescent,” a bright and solid cantaloupe-tone. Both are from the Formula X line at Sephora, which is long-lasting and isn’t packed with harsh chemicals.

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Bumble and Bumble “The Surf Set”:

Despite having coarse and curly hair, I’ve managed to develop a relatively quick and simple step-by-step process to achieving beautiful and healthy-looking “beachy” waves over the past couple of years- no flat-iron required- thanks in part to Bumble and Bumble’s “Surf” line. In this giveaway, I’ve included three travel-sized bottles of the set: the shampoo, conditioner, and my personal favorite- the salt spray- guaranteed to get your hair looking like you’ve spent a day at the ocean.

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Old Navy Mint-Colored Beach Tote:

To store all your giveaway goods, I’ve included this faux-leather, mint colored beach tote from Old Navy. While I definitely love bold colors and floral prints in the Summer- I thought this lovely pastel was too pretty to pass up and would be suitable to carry along in the Spring, too.

Old Navy Sunglasses with UV Protection:

Rounded sunglasses seem to be a big trend this year (whereas last year was the Summer of cat-eye sunglasses,) so I opted to keep the shades simple for anyone’s tastes with this pair of chic rose-hued and thin wired sunglasses from Old Navy. I own a very similar pair, and I’ve been loving them so far! I feel kind of like Penny Lane in “Almost Famous” whenever I have them on.

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Bath & Body Works 3-Wick Candle in “Island Margarita”:

And finally, since I couldn’t include actual alcohol in this giveaway- I settled for the next best thing- this margarita scented candle from Bath & Body Works. With the lime part of the fragrance being the most distinctive, this is a great, slow-burning candle that will make your entire space smell amazing and tropical.

IMPORTANT STUFF:

The giveaway is running from now through midnight (EST) on Monday, April 13th, 2015, after which time a winner will be selected  at random through Rafflecopter and contacted directly to obtain additional information to process shipping. If selected, you’ll have 72 hours to respond to the confirmation e-mail. If I don’t receive a response in that time, I’ll unfortunately have to select another winner, instead!

Nothing in this giveaway can be traded or swapped for something else. What you see is what you’ll be receiving if you win!

HOW TO ENTER:

Like each of my past giveaways, I’ve set up an official page for this one using Rafflecopter – CLICK HERE to head over to it, review the guidelines, and make sure your entries are properly counted!

There are two ways to enter the giveaway and you can do one or both of them!

1. Comment on this post with your name and e-mail address. Please keep in mind that I have comment moderation turned on to avoid spambots- so if your comment doesn’t appear right away; don’t panic! I’ll put it through as soon as I’m able!

2. You can tweet about the giveaway and link back directly to this post or to my homepage: LegallyRedhead.com

Good luck, everyone- and remember to check the Rafflecopter page to make sure your entries have been counted!

xo

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Quick Eats: Red, White, and Fruit.

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Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans! Unfortunately for those of us on the East Coast, our day of outdoor cookouts and night of fireworks was rained out thanks to Hurricane Arthur barreling up the coast. We had a tremendous thunderstorm last night, and it’s been pouring out for most of today- limiting most of the festivities to the indoors.

While I will be braving the rain to attend a friend’s birthday party later on tonight, I’ve been settled in for most of this morning and afternoon- re-living the glory of past episodes of “The Walking Dead” during AMC’s “Dead, White & Blue” marathon (which spans seasons 1-4 and leads up to a Sunday night preview of the upcoming fifth season- for anyone who needs to catch up!)

I’ve also been whipping up some quick, healthy, delicious- and patriotic colored snacks, too- namely simple fruit and whipped cream bowls using fresh strawberries and blueberries:

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Using the extra strawberries and blueberries I didn’t put in the fruit bowls, I made smoothies by adding a sliced banana (for more flavor,) a couple scoops of non-fat vanilla yogurt, and a cup of milk into my Magic Bullet. Not to sound like an infomercial, but if you’re looking for a convenient, easy to use- AND easy to clean blending/shredding/chopping/slicing/dicing/mashing/whipping/etc. appliance, you have GOT to invest in one of these. The device does pretty much everything in a matter of seconds with no mess and no hassle, and it’s small for easy storage without taking up a ton of counter or cabinet space. The smoothies, after everything was added into the glass container- took all of 20 seconds to chop the fruit, whip up the yogurt and milk, and blend it all together for a delicious drink.

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The fruit bowls and the smoothies were so refreshing (despite the rain, it’s still stifling hot and humid,) were low in fat, and were healthy- which makes them even better. I’m hoping to share more detailed smoothie recipes shortly (I make a mean chocolate-banana one!) since I’ve been having such a blast playing around with the Magic Bullet.

I hope everyone has a great rest of the Fourth!

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