Salmon Series Part One: Syd’s Birthday Eve Salmon Risotto

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Posing with the final product!

After our last day of racing at the Olympic Trials, my parents took my husband Alex, me and Jess out to eat in St. Armand’s Circle. We picked an Italian restaurant that had caught my eye the previous week when Jess and I were on more stringent meal plans. After several days of racing, I was craving a hearty, warm meal, and savored the salmon risotto that I ordered for lunch. After the meal, we stopped by Kilwin’s for ice cream, at my sister-in-law Becky’s recommendation. I ordered the Heavenly Hash flavor, which I had not come across since college!

This blog entry is the first in a series of six ways to prepare salmon. Salmon is one of the staples in the Taylor kitchen, and Jess’s boyfriend Austin recently requested my top three salmon recipes. There are so many favorites to chose from, so why not six?

For my birthday eve meal, Alex and I cooked our own version of salmon risotto. We loaded up our risotto with as many veggies as possible, and used the Persian spice zarchobeh for extra flavor and color. We broiled two small filets of salmon, and added the cooked salmon after the Arborio rice had absorbed all of our cooking liquid.

Recipe

Syd’s Birthday Eve Salmon Risotto – serves 4 to 6

We used 1/2 stick of butter as recommended in the “Wild mushroom risotto with peas” recipe by Giada de Laurentiis in “Everyday Italian,” but you could get away with using half that amount.  Allow a full hour for cooking this meal; the risotto alone takes at least 30 minutes, and you will want to be patient while all cooking liquids get absorbed.  White wine is traditionally a popular addition to risotto.  If you want to use white wine, pick a dry wine and add just 2/3 of a cup after you add your Arborio rice.

You will need:13100965_10206263031229973_6779215179086965754_n

  1. 1 lb of salmon
  2. ½ T dried basil
  3. ½ T garlic salt
  4. ½ T black pepper
  5. ½ stick of butter
  6. 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  7. 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  8. 1 or 2 red peppers, thinly sliced
  9. 1 C white button mushrooms, finely chopped
  10. 1 ½ C Arborio rice
  11. 32 oz chicken broth
  12. ½ T cayenne pepper
  13. 1 T zarchobeh or turmeric
  14. 1 can artichoke hearts
  15. 1 C frozen peas
  16. 12 cherry tomatoes
  17. 1 handful fresh basil, washed and torn
  18. ¼ C shredded parmesan

 

Steps:

  1. Add half of your dried basil, garlic salt and black pepper to the bottom of an oven-safe ceramic dish. Place salmon filets on top of spices, skin down, and add the remaining basil, garlic salt and pepper to the top of the filets.
  2. Broil salmon for approximately 20 minutes on high.
  3. In a large pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add thinly sliced red onion as soon as butter has melted, and stir for five minutes until the slices begin to soften.
  4. Add chopped garlic and thinly sliced red peppers to your pan, stirring to combine. After a few more minutes, add chopped mushrooms.
  5. When mushrooms begin to darken, add your Arborio rice to the mix.
  6. Start adding chicken broth by the cupful, and stir while broth is absorbed by rice (about 5 minutes per cup of broth).
  7. After you have added three cups of broth, add your cayenne pepper and zarchobeh or turmeric. Add your final cup of broth.
  8. When your broth has mostly been absorbed, add canned artichoke hearts, peas, fresh basil and cherry tomatoes. Stir to combine for about five minutes or until all ingredients have heated through. Finally, add shredded parmesan and stir to combine evenly.

The first risotto recipe I ever followed came from Giada’s cookbook.  Patrick and I made the “wild mushroom risotto with peas” found on page 131 of “Everyday Italian.”  I followed the sequence of Giada’s recipe loosely when I created this dish.

Source: Laurentiis, Giada De. Everyday Italian: 125 Simple and Delicious Recipes. New York: Clarkson Potter, 2005. Print.

 

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Coconut Milk-Poached Chicken with Roasted Red Peppers

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Half of our roasted red peppers, ready to be covered in foil to steam and cool.

For the past week, my training partner, Jess, and I have been fortunate to stay with a host family near Sarasota, FL, while we train for the upcoming Olympic Trials.  Because Trials begin on Thursday, I am blogging a day early!

Jess and I have been staying with Steve and Pat Roach, and I was delighted when they accepted my offer to share a dinner that I prepared with them in mind.  Steve and Pat have taken us for a tour of Anna Maria Island (see pictures below), and made us feel at home in their house.  To thank them, Jess and I worked on this dinner to share.  We also have enjoyed getting to know Kahlua, a shy cat who is not pictured, and Poundcake, the 9-month old golden retriever puppy (pictured below).  Jess and I have been sticking to healthy meals during most of our training time together, and appreciate the guidance of Georgie Fear, a registered dietitian, board certified specialist in sports dietetics and co-owner of One By One Nutrition.  We knew we wanted to include roasted red peppers, and to build a balanced meal.  One thing I thought we were missing was something green!  We rectified that situation the next day when we had leftovers on top of a leafy spinach salad.

I separated the roasted red peppers into their own recipe, because they are fantastic to make on their own as an appetizer, topping or side.  Enjoy peppers on their own, with cheese and crackers, over salad or on a sandwich!  Happy National Garlic Day!

 

Recipe

Coconut milk-poached chicken and cinnamon, cayenne steamed carrots – serves 4 to 6

You will need: IMG_3978

  1. 1 package of quinoa
  2. 1 can of coconut milk, full fat, unsweetened
  3. 3 cups of chicken broth, low-sodium, plus more if using for quinoa
  4. 4 chicken breasts
  5. 8 large carrots
  6. ½ T cinnamon
  7. 1 t cayenne pepper

Steps:

  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions, using either water or half/broth half water as your liquid.
  2. Place chicken breasts in a large pot or pan.
  3. Combine coconut milk and broth over the chicken, and set heat to high to bring liquids to a boil.
  4. After your liquid boils, reduce heat to low and cover for 8 minutes.       Check chicken for doneness after 8 minutes, and continue to simmer on low for up to 15 minutes.
  5. While chicken is simmering, peel carrots and dust with cinnamon and cayenne. Place in a microwaveable dish with a cover, and microwave for 6-8 minutes.
  6. Serve chicken breasts over quinoa in a bowl to soak up the coconut milk sauce.

Recipe

Roasted red peppers – serves 4 to 6

You will need:IMG_3977

  1. 4 red peppers
  2. 2 cloves of garlic
  3. 2 t dried parsley

Steps:

  1. Rinse 4 red peppers and pop them on a baking sheet.
  2. Set oven to broil on high, and set baking sheet inside on the highest rack.
  3. Use tongs to rotate peppers a quarter turn every 5 minutes. It is okay for peppers to blacken.
  4. Meanwhile, chop garlic cloves.
  5. When peppers have broiled on all sides, remove from oven and place in a large bowl covered with a lid or foil. Wait at least 10 minutes for peppers to cool to the touch, then remove skin, stem and seeds.
  6. Slice or tear peppers into strips and toss with garlic and parsley.
  7. Enjoy peppers on their own, with cheese and crackers, over salad or on a sandwich!

 

 

Wide Zucchini Noodles and Pappardelle with Meat Sauce

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The pappardelle at the bottom tastes great with a forkful of zucchini noodles and meat sauce with lentils!

Alex and I spent a week apart in different parts of California, and with an anticipated 10 days apart coming up,  we only wanted to spend dinners together this weekend!  This is a glimpse of “Taylor in Your Kitchen” at the Taylor home!  We got creative with more veggie noodles, and I switched up our usual turkey meat sauce recipe by adding steamed lentils, at the recommendation of one of the patients at the physical therapy clinic where I work – an anonymous “thank you!”

This recipe is fantastic for a quick weeknight meal.  The sauce is easy to make once you get used to cooking with multiple pans simultaneously.  To ease your transition to that stage of kitchen comfort, I recommend prepping all of the sauce ingredients before you start cooking.  When the sauce is simmering, you can multitask more easily with the pasta and zucchini noodles.  Pappardelle noodles cook in about four minutes, and while the water is boiling, you can make progress on the zucchini prep.  Otherwise, prep all ingredients first until you get a hang of this recipe.  This dish makes a satisfying vegetarian meal if you omit the turkey; the lentils lend staying power to the sauce.

Recipe

Wide Zucchini Noodles and Pappardelle and Meat Sauce – serves 4

For this recipe, I like to use a peeler for the zucchini instead of the spiralizer, to match the width of the pappardelle pasta.  Zucchini noodles take about 5 – 7 minutes to cook down.  Check out the gallery to see what the zucchini will look like as it cooks.  You can also prep zucchini noodles quickly by microwaving a single serving for just 2 minutes – that’s perfect for leftover sauce.

You will need:

  1. 1 yellow onion
  2. 1 orange pepper
  3. 1 lb ground turkey meat
  4. 1 package steamed lentils – about 10 ounces
  5. 24 ounces of pasta sauce, your choice on flavor!
  6. 1 t garlic powder
  7. 1 t black pepper
  8. 1/2 t hot red pepper flakes
  9. 1 package of pappardelle pasta – about four 2 ounce servings
  10. 1/2 T salt
  11. 4 or 5 zucchini
  12. 1/2 T olive oil

Optional: parmesan cheese to serve

Steps:

  1. Peel the outside layer of zucchinis and discard.  Keep peeling until you reach the zucchini seeds, and discard the center portion.  Retain all zucchini strips – those will be your noodles.
  2. Chop onion and yellow pepper(mini or bite-sized pieces).  Heat a medium pan over medium-low heat, and spray with cooking spray.  Add chopped onion and pepper pieces and stir occasionally while veggies cook.  Your onions should start to become translucent.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a medium pot over medium heat for the turkey and sauce.
  4. Spray with cooking spray and brown turkey meat.  Crush up the turkey meat and season with garlic, pepper and hot red pepper flakes.
  5. While turkey is browning, start heating a pot of water for pasta.  Add just a dash of salt to the water as you bring it to a boil.
  6. Add your veggies to the turkey meat when the meat has cooked through completely.  Stir to combine.  Add pre-cooked lentils last.
  7. Pour your pasta sauce over the meat, veggies and lentils.  Stir and simmer for about 10-15 minutes over low heat until your pasta and noodles are ready.
  8. Add pappardelle to boiling water, and reduce heat to medium-high.  Stir occasionally to prevent sticking, and check tenderness after just four minutes.  Drain as usual and stir in olive oil immediately.
  9. Heat a medium pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Add your pile of zucchini noodles, and cover with a lid.  Stir occasionally until zucchini reaches desired tenderness.
  10. Plate pappardelle pasta with an equal amount of zucchini noodles.  Top with pasta sauce and parmesan cheese or more hot red pepper flakes.

Daikon Noodle Pad Thai

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When I visited San Diego to compete in the San Diego Crew Classic and train in the double with Jess, I had the pleasure of staying with my sister, Liz, for a few nights. On Saturday evening, on the eve of my race, Liz invited Shelly, her new San Diego friend, over for dinner. I arrived home with groceries and a plan, and put Liz and Shelly to work. I was in a spiralizing mood, and decided to try out daikon radish noodles for the first time. I had seen a recipe for daikon noodle pad thai in the Williams Sonoma spiralizing cookbook called The Spiralizer Cookbook (thanks Morgan!) but decided I did not want to strictly follow that pad thai recipe. In the spirit of pad thai, I paired our noodles with colorful vegetable ingredients, a flavorful peanut sauce with fresh chopped garlic and ginger, and tender bites of chicken and a single scrambled egg. We topped our noodle dish with a wedge of lime and a generous helping of Sriracha sauce. Everyone went back for seconds!

We noted that the daikon radishes were much harder to spiralize than zucchinis; we also were using a handheld spiralizer called a “vegetti” rather than the “iPerfect Kitchen” standing spiralizer that I have at home (thanks again Georgie Fear)! Be prepared to take turns or take rest breaks if you are spiralizing daikon radishes by hand! Daikon noodles are worth the effort; the daikon radish has a bite to it, and the noodle texture holds peanut sauce well. Thanks to Liz for hosting this meal, and for inviting Shelly over to cook and enjoy dinner with us. As usual, Liz’s puppy Gracie kept a watchful eye over our cooking just in case any morsels fell to the floor. Liz, Shelly and I had enough energy to listen to music and clean up our dishes to have a fresh kitchen for the next morning. We ate early and got drowsy watching Modern Family and sipping tea. That’s my idea of a perfect pre-race evening!

Recipe

Daikon Noodle Pad Thai – serves 3

Plan ahead so you are not hungry while you are spiralizing. Once prepared these ingredients cook quickly, but the spiralizing step can take a while. Liz, Shelly and I made a double batch of sauce, and ended up having leftover sauce, so I adjusted my previous peanut sauce recipe quantities for you for this meal.  The Racing Weight Cookbook authors Matt Fitzgerald and Georgie Fear deserve credit for inspiring this peanut sauce, which I adapted and have used over and over!

You will need: IMG_3271

  1. 4 or 5 daikon radishes – to yield 4 or 5 cups of spiralized noodles
  2. large crown of broccoli
  3. about 1 C baby carrots
  4. about 1 C sugar snap peas
  5. 1½ pounds chicken breast
  6. ½ C peanuts
  7. 1 lime cut into wedges

For your sauce:

  1. 2 C veggie broth
  2. 1/3 C peanut flour – we used PB2
  3. ½ C raw cashews
  4. 1½       T fresh ginger, chopped
  5. 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  6. 1½ T sriracha sauce
  7. 1½ T honey
  8. 1½ T soy sauce
  9. 1 t hot red pepper flakes if you like spicy sauce

Steps:

  1. Peel and spiralize your radishes. Set aside.
  2. Chop all of your vegetable ingredients.
  3. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces.
  4. Prepare peanut sauce and leave on the stovetop at a low simmer: bring vegetable broth to a simmer, adding liquid ingredients. Add peanut flour, stirring until combined. Add garlic, ginger and cashews. For extra heat, add 1t or more hot red pepper flakes.
  5. Begin by cooking chicken pieces over medium heat with salt and pepper in a large pot or pan (you will add your daikon noodles to this pan – make sure you have room!). Add about one third of your peanut sauce to flavor the chicken while it cooks. Stir to coat with sauce, and keep stirring occasionally until chicken pieces are cooked through.
  6. Next, set a medium or large pan over medium heat and add your veggies. Add one cup of water and cover with a lid to steam veggies. Once veggies begin to feel tender, add a third of your sauce and stir to coat. Continue cooking and checking vegetables until they have reached desired tenderness.
  7. At this point, combine noodles with chicken pieces and add the rest of your peanut sauce. Stir to coat and cook noodles for about five minutes or until tender. Noodles should take on the color of the peanut sauce.
  8. Meanwhile, crush peanuts in a Ziploc bag with a mallet or the side of a can.
  9. Serve noodles and chicken in bowls topped with plenty of veggies. Add a lime wedge, crushed peanuts and Sriracha sauce.

Sauce inspiration: Fitzgerald, Matt, and Georgie Fear. “Asian Chicken with Peanut Sauce.” Racing Weight Cookbook: Lean, Light Recipes for Athletes. Boulder: Velopress, 2013. 230-231. Print.

The Williams-Sonoma Cookbook: The Spiralizer Cookbook. Weldon Owen, 2015. Print.