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!
Eight roasted red peppers (we doubled the recipe to have leftovers)
Half of our peppers
The rest of our roasted peppers
Peppers steaming in a covered bowl. Allowing the peppers to steam makes it easier to remove their skins.
Plenty of chopped garlic! Again, we doubled this recipe, so here I have four cloves.
Finely chopped garlic and a wrinkly pepper.
A steamed up camera captured this photo of what it looks like when you remove the skin from a roasted pepper
Roasted red peppers, sliced into strips and combined with parsley and garlic.
Our selections for broth and coconut milk.
Coconut milk and broth about to boil, with chicken breasts just below the surface.
Spices for steamed carrots
Carrots, freshly peeled and ready to steam
Carrots rolled in spices.
Carrots ready to steam in the microwave.
Our spread included carrots, quinoa, chicken in poaching liquid and roasted red peppers.
Poundcake resting at Jess’s feet.
Me, Pat and Jess.
Me, Pat, Steve and Jess at the pier on Anna Maria Island.
Coconut milk-poached chicken and cinnamon, cayenne steamed carrots – serves 4 to 6
You will need:
1 package of quinoa
1 can of coconut milk, full fat, unsweetened
3 cups of chicken broth, low-sodium, plus more if using for quinoa
4 chicken breasts
8 large carrots
½ T cinnamon
1 t cayenne pepper
Prepare quinoa according to package directions, using either water or half/broth half water as your liquid.
Place chicken breasts in a large pot or pan.
Combine coconut milk and broth over the chicken, and set heat to high to bring liquids to a boil.
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.
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.
Serve chicken breasts over quinoa in a bowl to soak up the coconut milk sauce.
Roasted red peppers – serves 4 to 6
You will need:
4 red peppers
2 cloves of garlic
2 t dried parsley
Rinse 4 red peppers and pop them on a baking sheet.
Set oven to broil on high, and set baking sheet inside on the highest rack.
Use tongs to rotate peppers a quarter turn every 5 minutes. It is okay for peppers to blacken.
Meanwhile, chop garlic cloves.
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.
Slice or tear peppers into strips and toss with garlic and parsley.
Enjoy peppers on their own, with cheese and crackers, over salad or on a sandwich!
When Alex visited San Diego, we went out to a Mexican restaurant in Ocean Beach for dinner and agreed that our meal was the very best Mexican food we had ever tasted. Visit Ranchos Cocina if you are ever in OB! The Acapulco fish special inspired me to create this recipe, which I prepared over and over again with many types of white fish.
Our favorite versions of this dish were made with frozen, local mahi-mahi and fresh halibut. My sister, Liz, and I ventured to El Pescador in nearby La Jolla to buy the local, line-caught halibut at the fish market. I cooked the halibut for Liz and her husband, Jay, while their new puppy, Gracie, stood watch for crumbs.
Cod poached in coconut milk, without mango.
Mahi-mahi prepared with Brussels sprouts.
El Pescador in La Jolla.
Part of the expansive fresh fish selection at El Pescador.
Jake at El Pescador helped us choose halibut.
The ingredients at Liz and Jay’s apartment.
Gracie watching me cook.
Quinoa is simmering, broccoli is steaming, and the poaching liquid is ready for the halibut.
Placing halibut in poaching liquid.
Halibut after poaching.
Dinner for three at Liz and Jay’s.
Poached halibut for dinner.
White Fish Poached in Coconut Milk with Mango – serves 3 to 4
When preparing your mango, be sure to remove all of the skin from the chunks. The skin tastes bitter, and can sometimes irritate your skin. I prefer using full-fat coconut milk for this dish. The fat will separate from liquids in the can, and you can decide how much fat to include. I usually use about half a cup of the fat and dispose of the rest. You will get a creamier sauce and fuller flavor if you use full-fat rather than lite coconut milk. I have tried this recipe with bass, cod, mahi-mahi and halibut. Cod soaks up the coconut milk flavors the most, and cooks more quickly than other white fish because it is so thin.
You will need:
2 broccoli crowns, chopped
1 ripe mango, chopped into chunks
1 C quinoa
32 oz vegetable broth
14.5 oz C coconut milk
1-1.5 lb white fish
1 t garlic powder
1 t black pepper
Wash and chop broccoli. Chop mango into chunks, being careful to remove the skin from all pieces. Set broccoli and mango aside, separately.
Rinse quinoa and combine with 1 C veggie broth and 1 C water in a medium sauce pan. Bring to a boil. When quinoa reaches a boil, turn heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes.
Steam broccoli in a separate pot.
Meanwhile, combine canned coconut milk and about 1.5 C vegetable broth in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir until coconut milk fat has melted, and then add mango chunks. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer. Drop in your fish filets and cook for about 5 minutes, adding 1-2 minutes if your filets are thick.
At this point, your quinoa should be about ready. Stir to check whether the liquids have been completely absorbed. If they have, remove from heat and let the quinoa sit, covered, for 5 minutes.
Check that the broccoli has reached desired tenderness, and season with garlic powder and black pepper.
Fluff quinoa with a fork before serving. Serve fish over 1 C cooked quinoa, spooning sauce and mango chunks across the fish. Enjoy with a side of broccoli.