Tuesday’s Table – Seared Salmon with Peas, Salad and Grilled Lemon

First things first, this recipe came from the Today Show. Last week they were doing 30 minute healthy meals, once I saw this I thought about it several times. Peas are one of my favorite things ever and the idea of “mashy peas” looked and sounded great to me. They are English peas with lots of fresh herbs, lemon and olive oil in a food processor – yum. Why hadn’t I thought about this before?!

I made this last night for dinner and it is going to be one of my new regulars. Quick, fresh and delicious. Check, check, check.

   

Here is original recipe, http://m.today.com/food/recipe-easy-healthy-salmon-peas-herbs-has-spring-written-all-2D80560514

Here is our version – 

Mashy Peas:

Package of fresh or frozen English peas. Microwave as directed on package.. Today Show suggests we shuck our own and blanch them but they are crazy, no one has time to do all of that.

Throw the peas in the food processor and add some of your favorite chopped fresh herbs. I added chives, mint, flat leaf parsley and basil.

Next add – 

Juice of 1/4 – 1/2 of a lemon depending how much lemon you like.

1/4 c. olive oil

1 clove of minced garlic (1 tsp.)

1 tsp. Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Blend in the food processor for 10-20 seconds. Not long because you want your peas to have texture and not be actual mush.

  

   

   

Seared Salmon:

Heat a  cast iron skillet to medium- high heat. Pat salmon dry, lightly season the salmon with a teeny bit of kosher salt on both sides. Add the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to skillet. Place the salmon, skin side up. Add lemon when you add your salmon, add at least 1/2 of a lemon to sear. Reduce heat to medium. Allow salmon to cook to a golden brown. After about 4 minutes, flip the salmon and finish cooking, about 5 more minutes. 

   

Green Salad :

I couldn’t find pea shoots anywhere so I ended up making a little green salad using exactly the dressing for their said pea shoot salad. I added a few chopped, toasted pecans to the salad for a bit of crunch. I tried out a box of Baby Spring Mix with herbs and definitely recommend it! It was from Kroger and their brand.

To the greens I added:

– 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

– A drissle of extra virgin olive oil (1-2 tsp.)

-Pinch kosher salt

– Freshly ground black pepper

– A small handful of chopped toasted pecans (I had some that were spicy from Trader Joe’s in our pantry so that’s what I used. Pistachios or almonds would be great here too!)

Toss this and set aside until salmon is plated.

  

All of these Springtime flavors really are wonderful! I hope you enjoy as much as we did!

Caroline

Taco Salad

I find myself asking family and friends several times a month/week/day what they are making for dinner. I always need recipe inspo and reminders. Sometimes I just have a block and cannot come up with anything that sounds appetizing.

Taco salads are one of those meals I often forget about but every time I make them they are so good and husband approved.

For a healthier version of one that does not skimp on any of the exciting things, I always substitute ground turkey for ground beef. It is so good and saves many calories and grams of fat.

Below I am going to write the steps that I take and the ingredients that I use but everything is up to you!

Taco Salad:

– Brown the ground turkey in a medium sized skillet

– Drain any grease, add 2/3 cup of water and seasoning.

I use either Less Sodium Taco Seasoning packet or I make my own based on this recipe, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/taco-seasoning-i/

– Chop Romaine lettuce and cilantro, toss together.

Plate your greens, top with ground turkey  add your favorites!

This week we are using chopped jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, a bit of grated cheddar cheese, green onions and the most important part – Fiesta Ranch Dressing!!

   

For the dressing:

One small container of fat free Greek yogurt

Approximately 1/4 package of Fiesta Ranch seasoning (it doesn’t take much and if you only use a 1/4 then you have 3 more uses from this one little packet!)

1 Tbs. of your favorite salsa

While the turkey is browning I combine this and put it back in the refrigerator until everything is ready.

Other topping ideas:

Avocado

Black Olives

Squeeze of lime

What are your favorite toppings?

Well aware this is absolutely elementary but I hope you enjoy!!

***Julia likes to omit the cheese and make a quick Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette to make this recipe gluten and dairy free!

Easter Decorations {for under $10}

Last week one of my good friends told me about how she had done Easter decorations around their house for less. She found several great things from Marshall’s and even the Dollar Tree. As she was telling me about these it inspired me and I took our conversation as a challenge that I gladly accepted.

I had been wanting an excuse to buy confetti filled Easter eggs, a childhood obsession of mine, and had seem them in a recent Paper Source ad so off I went, on a mission.

I returned home with Starburst jelly beans and a carton of Silly Rabbit Confetti Eggs from Paper Source. I used the same $5 container of moss from my orchid project earlier this week, it came from Flower Mart in Green Hills.

   

 

Once home I took a couple of minutes and pulled the random “bunny” weddings gifts and items from around my house. Then put together a seasonal entryway. If you don’t have any bunny things (it sounds sort of silly that I do but you know like little McCarty, Herend, Wolfe “figurines” — now I really sound like an old lady) that is totally fine too! Wolfe birds or any other little animals would work well too or nothing at all.

After peeling the bottom off of two of the confetti eggs I sprinkled the confetti around the moss and placed the eggs, then I added little groups of jelly beans around the eggs.

For less than $10 I had all of the happy Easter decorations needed for our little home.

  

Tuesday’s Table – Spaghetti Squash Carbonara

I love pasta. And realllly love pasta carbonara, but those are definitely not things I can eat on the reg. This dish has all of the best parts of carbonara, but it subs out your regular noodles for roasted spaghetti squash. At first spaghetti squash made me nervous, but really it’s a tasty vessel for your pasta ingredients, definitely worth a try.
The inspo for this dish came from a recipe of Emeril’s and has morphed a good bit so here goes.. 

 *Side note- when I made this it ended up being a lot of steps at once.. like not hard just a lot of steps at once and makes a bit of a mess. 🙂 

First carefully slice your spaghetti squash in half and spoon the seeds out of the center. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil, about a teaspoon then coat the inside with salt and black pepper. Roast face down at 400 for 35 minutes.  

  

Next chop your onions, bacon, parsley, mince your garlic and grate your parm.
After your squash is in the oven and items are chopped, put 3-4 pieces of bacon, chopped, on the stove, cook almost through, drain most of the grease, and add chopped onion and minced garlic to the skillet. Let cook together for 5-7 minutes or so until the onions start to turn golden-y, translucent. Add frozen peas to skillet.

In a small bowl combine the parsley, parmesan and eggs.

Take squash out of the oven and make spaghetti (I do not know the term but, you know, fork it so it turns to spaghetti like noodles).

Next add your egg combination to the bacon and onions in the skillet.
After 1 minute add the spaghetti squash to the skillet to combine all ingredients.  Serve with grated parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.

YUM!!
This dish is will be a crowd pleaser.. even for those of you who are spaghetti squash hesitant.

  

Spaghetti Squash Carbonara 

1 spaghetti squash

3-4 pieces bacon

1 small sweet onion

2-3 cloves (2 tsp) garlic

2 egg yolks plus 1 egg

2-3 Tbs chopped flat leaf parsley

1 c. freshly grated parmesan

1 c. frozen peas

olive oil

sea salt

black pepper

Easy Orchid Centerpiece

I adore orchids. I feel like one single orchid makes your room feel instantly put together… or really just a little more grown up. Keeping them alive is another story. I am essentially an orchid killer, but I have decided for $12-20 if I can keep them alive for 6 weeks or so then it’s worth it.

I have always loved orchids planted in bowls and feel like it takes the already chic orchid to an entire new level. I set out to make my very own centerpiece. 

Using a McCarty Pasta Bowl that I have always had and loved, I went and purchased three orchids from Trader Joe’s. The only important (and probably obvious thing here) is to buy three of the same type so that look like they are meant to be together. Also cost is important since you’re buying three, which is why I went to Trader Joe’s–theirs are $12.99 each.

Next I went to our local flower shop and purchased moss. It comes in a little $5 roll. I left with two rolls of the moss, but one was more than enough. There are several different types, and I bought the least expensive one.

Last I went to Home Depot with the rest of Tennessee on Saturday morning and purchased Potting Mix specifically for orchids. It was made by Miracle Gro and costs all of $4. When reading about repotting orchids this part seemed important as it helps keep the moisture levels right, etc.

Be sure you do this outside because it makes a bit of a mess between the potting mix and the moss, but it is very easy and took all of 5 minutes to assemble.

First add a couple of inches of the potting mix to the bottom of your bowl. Then add in your orchids (once you take them out of their original containers be sure to loosen up the roots a bit). You will have to play with how you want them to be arranged, but this is easy. Then just fill in the potting mix so that they stay put. Last unroll your moss and add a little bit of water to it.  Once barely damp pull, the moss into pieces so you can place it around the base of your orchids. 

  

   

 

The very helpful man at the Flower Mart told me for their orchids they water each plant 1-1 1/2 cups a month. As we know watering or lack there of is what regularly kills orchids, but he told me to add about 4 cups of water a month to my centerpiece. He also suggested moving the moss a bit when adding this so the water gets to the bottom of the root and is not soaked up by the moss. My bowl does not have a center hole, so I will probably water less than this at first and see how it works. 

 This centerpiece costs less than $50 and should last for several months. Let’s say it last for 4-6 months and then it’s essentially $10 a month, which is a steal for a centerpiece that packs a punch. Also usually I hate a tall centerpiece but since this is not dense I do not foresee any problems as far as visiting with guests across the table. 

   

 

 Please let us know what you think! 

We would love to hear if you have ANY tips for keeping your orchids alive!