Archive | May, 2011

Cedar Planked Salmon with Mango-Kiwi Salsa, Angel Hair Pasta and A Cheesy, Nutty Salad

27 May

So my oldest baby girl started this intense 2 week swimming lesson this past Monday. The class requires her to be in the pool precisely at 5pm. Which means both my hubby and I have been quite busy adjusting our schedules to get her there on time. Is it an adjustment? Yes! Has there been a total wrench in routine? Yes! However, as a person who did not learn to swim (I know, I know, shame on me), I think it’s of the upmost importance that my children learn to swim. Not to mention, at least three of my immediate neighbors have pools and my child has already been to her share of pool parties. The point is my children are required to learn to swim.

Anyway, as usual I digress.  I said all of that to say, I didn’t get to cook dinner for 3 days. Monday didn’t matter as I had made plenty on Sunday. However, Tuesday and Wednesday I had to succumb to lures of Fast Food.

By Thursday I knew that I could not eat another greasy meal. I was already starting to feel bloated, lethargic and energy deprived. I wanted some real food that would tantalize and excite my tastebuds without making my esophagus feeling like a oily slip and slide.

So after looking through my recipes I decided I would make Salmon with a Mango-Kiwi salsa.  I served it with angel hair pasta in a marinara sauce and a simple salad topped with fresh mozzarella cheese and praline coated pecans.  It’s quick but satisfying to the palate.  The fruit salsa is a nice addition and really adds a nice summery touch to the salmon.  The salmon recipe is one that I got out of Cooking Light Magazine many years ago.  My version is slightly altered as I like to make it on the grill using cedar planks.  The cedar gives the fish a nice taste that compliments the fruit.  

  • Salmon:
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dry italian herbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon herbed sea salt (or regular salt)
  • 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
  • Cedar Planks
  • Relish:
  • 1/2 cup diced peeled mango
  • 1/2 cup cubed peeled kiwifruit
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • Soak Cedar-Plank for about 30 min in water or according to directions.
  • To prepare salmon, combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add fish to bag; seal. Marinate 10 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • While fish marinates, heat grill to 400 degrees.
  • Remove fish from bag, discarding marinade.  Place salmon filets on the cedar board.
  • Place planked salmon on the grill and cook for 10-15 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
  • While fish cooks, prepare the relish. Combine mango and the remaining ingredients. Serve over fish.

As for the pasta it was a simple Angel hair pasta with a fresh marinara sauce that I buy pre-made.  It’s just a tad more expensive than the jar sauce but I find it to be worth it when I’m pressed for time and just don’t feel like making my own sauce.  I also spiced it up by adding fresh basil, cherry tomatoes, a drizzle of herb olive oil and freshly shredded parmesan cheese.  Yummy, is the word for this pasta.  Plus my oldest daughter loves this pasta so I really enjoy seeing her eyes light up when it’s brought to the table.

The salad was just some romaine lettuce & spinach leaves which I chopped and then topped with coated pecans and fresh mozzarella cheese.  I like using the pecans because it gives a sweetness and crunchiness to the salad.  The cheese not only adds another level of flavor, it also gives the salad more texture.  Trust me if you throw plain lettuce on a plate, it will likely end up in the garbage disposal.  Well at least in my family.  A few simple toppings added and now another vegetable is being eaten at dinner.  Bon Appetit!

Mango, Kiwi and Cilantro, all chopped up ready to be mixed so the flavors can blend together.

Fresh Salmon soaking up all of the marinade.Cedar Plank Boards. Just finished soaking.



Cedar Plank Boards. Just finished soaking.



I love cooking salmon on cedar planks. Great flavor & it absorbs excess oil so you get firm, flaky salmon.


MMMM, al dente pasta with marina sauce, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese!


Final step was to add the salad and Voila! Dinner is done.


Getting Rid Of Leftovers

15 May

So, I had a busy day today and finally arrived home with a growling belly. There’s something you should know about me. When I’m really hungry I get frustrated. And, there’s no greater frustration than not having something satisfying and ready to eat.

Well, that was me today. I looked in the fridge and saw nothing that immediately called me out. Penny, Penny, eat me. That’s what I wanted to hear but I wasn’t hearing it.

I saw some spinach and shrimp hiding in the corner. I had made that for dinner yesterday and served it with rice. It was good yesterday but I just didn’t feel like eating it again today. There was also some leftover brushetta that I had used as a dip for my favorite blue corn chips. However, I really wasn’t in the mood for dipping. There was lunch meat and I always keep an assortment of cheeses (fresh mozzarella balls, cheddar, parmesan, etc). Again, not really hearing Penny, Penny, come eat me for dinner.

There was plenty of food in the fridge but nothing was really seducing my taste buds. Just when I was about to give up, I thought I would peep in the fridge. That’s when I noticed a single Garlic Naan Bread. For those who may not know, Naan Bread is Indian style Tandoori flat bread. While it’s usually served as a side item at many Indian recipes, I like to use it to make pizza.

That’s when it all hit me. Ohhhh, what if I took the fresh Mozzarella cheese balls and sliced it and placed it over the pizza. Then I decided to spread some of the Spinach and Shrimp on top of the Mozzarella. Shoot, while I’m cleaning the fridge, why not throw that Brushetta on top of everything. Finally, I topped it all off with a little Cheddar Cheese.

My little creation was then thrown in a 425 degree oven for about 10-15 mins until the pizza got a nice golden brown.

I had to hurry and snap the picture because it was pretty much devoured after that….Don’t judge me:)


Everything But The Kitchen Sink Salad; A Simply Simple Super Salad

13 May

I know what you are saying. She started off so strong and then poof, fizzle and gone. Penny’s blog, like so many others before hers, had disappeared just as fast. Well hold on darling because Penny’s no quitter. However, I am a master Jack of all Trades which means…I’m busy as hell. Lol, like most moms I know, I am a first class circus act. What’s my specialty, juggle, juggle, juggle. I’m always juggling being a mommy of my two super adorable but very active girls, a wife to a great guy, my community service involvement and of course my own very stressful job.

However, I don’t quit. I just acknowledge my priorities. Which means things I want to do, prefer to do and wish I could do more often, sometimes have to be put aside so I can complete things I have to do. Blah, blah, blah, enough already. I said all that to say…I’m here. Even when I don’t post for a month. I’m here.

So let’s talk about some food. Just because I haven’t been around does not mean I haven’t been cooking. Well, to be honest I haven’t been cooking quite as much. Having major surgery will do that to you. Oh yes, long story short, I had a surgery but I’m all better now. Anyway, my lack of cooking has not resulted in a lack of inspiration. So today I was inspired to make a yummy salad.

This salad was no frills but chock full of yummy goodness. I call it the “Everything But The Kitchen Sink” salad. It’s quite easy and can be eaten as a side dish or add chicken or fish and turn it into an entree. Plus this salad is extremely healthy, yet you won’t be hungry afterwards.


2 cups Chopped Lettuce (I used an Iceberg & Caesar blend. I like these varieties because they are pretty firm.)
1/4 cup Black Beans
1/4 cup cooked Corn
1/2 of a chopped Cucumber
1/2 of a chopped Tomato
1/4 cup Cheese (I actually just cut up a cheese stick)
A small handful of corn chips. I used blue organic corn chips.

Simply mix all of the ingredients together (except the chips) and then crumble the chips on top of the salad. I served this salad with a an Asiago Peppercorn dressing which complimented the beans and corn perfectly. Next time I make this salad I will likely add some chopped avocado. So, if you are looking for a nice summer salad that won’t make your waist expand then try this one. Bon Appetit!


Below is a picture of this salad served with a Turkey Burger. Look for the Turkey Burger recipe in an upcoming post.