Herbaceous Grilled Lamp Chops

Herbaceous Grilled Lamb Chops

Herbaceous Grilled Lamb Chops

Last weekend I visited a Persian market.  The market filled me with all sorts of food inspiration, but it mostly left me with a strong desire to eat lamb.  I guessing that desire came from the cooked foods section, which had fresh lamb kabobs and shawarma. The market also housed a rather large meat department, it had lamb in every form, hooves, hearts, livers, basically every part of the lamb that a better cook than I am could possibly want to cook. A far cry from the selection at my local Whole Foods! I feel like I hit the lottery if they have stewed lamb meat once every 4 months.  Wouldn’t it be fabulous to be able to walk into your local market and find, um..choices?  Like ramps in the spring time, in California–but I digress.  Let’s just say, I left the Persian market with market envy.   I shop at Whole Foods so often that when I go into a conventional grocery store, I’m always amazed at how inexpensive things are.  Haha..call it reverse sticker shock! Thank you Whole Foods!  Surprisingly, I did not leave the Persian market with lamb.  I did find some great spices, some pomegranate molasses, and a few other great items.  I left with my new finds and a mission to cook these lamb chops.

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Ingredients:

1 lb lamb chops

2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary, finely chopped

4-5 cloves of garlic minced

1 teaspoon lemon powder, can sub with lemon zest

1/2 teaspoon of olive oil

Directions: To a small bowl add garlic, rosemary, lemon zest and oil, mix well.

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Dry lamb chops, season generously with sea salt. Rub the lamb chops with the herbaceous garlic paste.

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Place lamb chops on a hot grill, and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until lamb chops are cooked to your liking.  Remove from grill, serve with a fresh squeeze of lemon and enjoy!

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Creamy Caesar Salad Dressing

Creamy Caesar Dressing--DIY Caesar Salad Dressing

Creamy Caesar Dressing–DIY Caesar Salad Dressing

My latest obsession is salad.  Crispy and crunchy vegetables with a drizzle of oil, and a splash of citrus or vinegar–what’s not to love?  Salads are a great way to get in a few servings of fresh vegetables in their raw state.  As much as I love salads, they can become a bit boring if you don’t mix things up a bit.  The easiest way to do that is to switch out the vegetables and the dressing.  I often make caesar salads with romaine lettuce, but sometimes I switch out the romaine and replace it with baby kale, or lacinto kale.  It makes for a hearty salad and an especially delicious twist to the standard caesar  salad, we are all used to.  I’ll post the recipe I use for the kale caesar another day, but today, I’m sharing my recipe for my favorite creamy caesar salad dressing.  It’s my go to dressing, when I crave a creamy salad dressing.

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: none

Ingredients:

1 clove of garlic pasted

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon of worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon of anchovy paste

2 large egg yolks

1/4 cup grape seed oil

5 teaspoons of olive oil

3/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese

black pepper to taste

Directions:  To a small bowl add the grated garlic and lemon juice, allow to sit for 10 minutes.  If you have a hand mixer like I do, add the lemon garlic mixture, (after it sits for 10 minutes), and the rest of the ingredients to a bowl and mix until the mixture thickens–about 1-2 minutes.

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Transfer to an air tight container and chill until ready to use.

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If you don’t have a hand mixer,  whisk worcestershire sauce, anchovies, and egg yolks into garlic/lemon juice mixture.



While whisking, drizzle grape seed oil and extra virgin olive oil into bowl in slow, steady stream until fully emulsified.


 Add 3/4 cup Parmesan and pepper to taste; whisk until incorporated:

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Parmesan, Lemon and Red Pepper Flakes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Parmesan, Lemon, and Red Pepper Flakes

Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Parmesan, Lemon, and Red Pepper Flakes

 

 

I was at the farmers market this past Sunday, doing my usual weekly shopping.  One of my favorite vendor’s had these beautiful stalks of brussels sprouts.  I got so excited about them that a woman, who was also shopping, pulled me aside and whispered : “How do you cook those?” This isn’t the first time this has happened to me,  believe it or not, people stop me all the time, either at the farmers market, or at Whole Foods, to ask how to cook a variety of vegetables. The funny thing about people asking me cooking questions is that they almost always whisper the question?  I don’t understand why they whisper the question! I want to tell them, “you know you’re not the only person on the planet who has no idea what to do with ((insert name of vegetable here)).”   I shared this recipe for roasted brussels sprouts with the  the lady at the farmer’s market. It’s simple, easy and so delicious.  It’s one of my absolute favorite ways to cook and eat brussels sprouts.

 

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Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10-15 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

1 pound of brussels sprouts halved

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

3 tablespoons of olive oil ( or ghee or coconut oil)

Sea salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese

 

Directions: Pre-heat the oven to 425F. Add the lemon juice and red pepper flakes to a medium sized bowl and set aside.  In a medium bowl add the brussels sprouts, oil and sea salt, toss well making sure that all the brussels sprouts are evenly covered with oil.

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Place on a foil lined baking sheet and put in the oven.

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Cook  for 10-15 minute, or until the brussels sprouts take on a significant amount of color and they become crisp and tender. Sprinkle the sprouts with  half the cheese and cook for another minute or two, just until cheese melts and becomes crisp, remove the sprouts from the oven, transfer them to the bowl with the lemon juice and the red pepper flakes, toss well to coat the brussels sprouts with the lemon juice, sprinkle with the remaining cheese, serve immediately and enjoy! These are crispy, tangy with a little kick! They are the perfect side dish for almost any meal!

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Lamb Lettuce Wraps with Mint Chimichurri Sauce

Lamb Lettuce Wraps With Mint Chimichurri Sauce

Lamb Lettuce Wraps With Mint Chimichurri Sauce

One of my favorite “cook” books is The Flavor Bible by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg. It is my go to book when I need inspiration for a new recipe. If you own it, then you know it’s not a cookbook in the traditional sense, because it doesn’t contain any recipes. It’s more of a reference for exactly what it title states, flavors that work well together. Yesterday I was browsing it for an idea for what I could do with some ground lamb that I needed to make for dinner. It was a hot day here in California–go figure–so I wanted something light and cooling. I opened The Flavor Bible up and landed on Chimichurri and it hit me! Inspiration at it’s best!! I decided to make lamb lettuce wraps with a mint Chimichurri! These are DELICIOUS!! My husband raved at every bite! If ground lamb isn’t your thing, or you can’t get it in your grocery store, try this with ground beef or chicken, the mint Chimichurri sauce will work with either.

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Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

 

 

Ingredients:
1 lb Lamb
9 leaves of organic Butter lettuce
1 cup of organic Green onion sliced white parts included
3 cloves of garlic minced
Salt and black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup of fresh organic mint chopped

Ingredients for Mint Chimichurri
1/2 cup of flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup of mint
3 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic
Sea salt to taste

Directions:
Place all the ingredients for the Chimmichurri in a blender or processor and blend until smooth, set aside. Heat the tablespoon of oil in a skillet, add garlic, and green onion, toss for 20-30 seconds, then add in ground meat. Season with sea salt and black pepper, and cook until meat is browned and cooked through, add in the mint and toss, remove from the fire.
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Scoop meat into lettuce leaves, top with Chimmichurri and enjoy!

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Parchment paper meals

These last two weeks have been unbelievably busy for us. I’ve barely had time to think, let along blog and cook. In addition to that it has been extremely hot here, too hot to cook. Turning on my oven when my house is already 100 degrees in the shade is not my idea of fun. Luckily I have a countertop convection oven. I use it all the time, especially for hot days and quick meals like this one. Our staff Nutritionist Justice De La Torre is the queen of these Parchment paper meals. She sent me over a picture of one of her meals and so I had to try it out for myself. You can put any type of fish in this that you’d like! I have done this with fresh sardines, salmon, and tilapia with great success! You literally put every thing in, fold the parchment and bake for 10-12 minutes and dinner is done. This is perfect for a quick cook meal on a hot day.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time :10minutes
Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:
2 tilapia fillets
1-2 tablespoons of Olive oil
3-4 Onion rings per piece of fish
2-3 slices of Bell pepper per piece of fish
3 cloves of garlic sliced
Lemon or lime slices

Directions:
Place the fish on top of parchment paper, drizzle with oil and season with sea salt.

Top with onion, garlic, bell pepper and lemon or lime slices. Fold the parchment into an envelope, Bake on 425 F for 10-12 minutes.

 Serve with a nice green salad, or throw some squash in like Justice did and you have a complete meal.

What do you make for dinner when it’s too hot to cook?

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Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Garlic

Lemon and Garlic Roast Chicken

I love to roast chicken whole.  It is the epitomy of lazy cooking in my opinion, however, the payoff is amazing! You marinate the chicken, stick it in the oven for an hour, and you’re done.  I’ve mastered the art of roast chicken.  My roast chicken is famous among my friends and family. Brining is the secret to perfectly roasted chicken, but I’ll save that for a another post.  For now I’ll just give you a recipe for perfectly roasted chicken.

Here’s what you need:
Ingredients
1 Whole Organic non-GMO Chicken
4 cloves of garlic, pasted
The juice of 1 lemon
The zest of 1 lemon
Sea salt
Black pepper
2 Tablespoons of olive oil

Servings: 4-6

Directions:
In a small bowl add the pasted garlic, lemon zest and oil.

 Rub the the olive oil  mixture all over the Chicken, and season it generously with sea salt and pepper.

Place the chicken in a 450F degree oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Remove once the chicken has cooked through and the skin is crispy and golden brown. Pour the the lemon juice over the chicken, let rest for 10 minutes and serve.

Do you have any tips for roasting chicken? 
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Lemon Herb Cauliflower "rice"

Lemon Cauliflower Herb “Rice” It Paleo, Gluten free, and Low-carb

As adventurous as my daughter is when it comes to food, she still struggles with textures. A meal for her can be made, or broken, if something is not the right texture for her. I’m constantly trying to introduce her to new foods, but at the same time give them to her in a way that she will except. Many foods that I give her end up on the floor if I get it wrong. I read somewhere that people on a low carb diet substitute cauliflower for grains and potatoes. I myself have had cauliflower mash and loved it. I decided to try to do a cauliflower rice to go along with a roast chicken I was making for dinner. It turned out to be a hit with her, and my husband loved it too. I added lemon and cilantro, but just like any rice, you can add what ever flavorings suit your fancy. This is both Cauliflower rice is Paleo, Gluten free, and low carb.

Here’s what you need:
1 large cauliflower head, stems removed
1/4 cup of finely chopped onion
Zest of a lemon
 Juice of half a large lemon
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Tablespoon of chopped cilantro

Equipment needed:
Food processor

Directions:

Add the cauliflower florets to you’re food processor and pulse until the cauliflower looks like this:

Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan, add the onion and cook until translucent.

Add in the cauliflower and lemon juice and zest, mix well.

Cover the pan and let cook for 3 minutes. Uncover the pan and cook an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking, but allowing a little browning. Turn fire off, and add the chopped cilantro and serve. I didn’t add the cilantro to her portion, again, textures.

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