Fish So Good My Kids Ate It {Menu Plan Monday}

I serendipitously came up with a good recipe the other day. I started making Cajun Spiced Flounder and realized I was out of most of the ingredients.  I improvised and . . . what can I say? My kids ate it, and that’s saying a lot.*

Flounder Cacciatore

Flounder Cacciatore

I’m calling it

Fish My Kids Ate (or Flounder Cacciatore)

  • 4 flounder filets
  • 3-4 T. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic from a squeeze bottle (or 2 cloves)
  • 2 T. dried, minced onion (or 1/2 c. chopped onion)
  • 1 4-oz. can of sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 c. cooking sherry (any white wine probably would work)
  • 2/3 c. marinara sauce (I used Delallo)
  • 4 artichoke heart quarters, chopped
  • Salt and pepper

Saute the garlic and onion in the olive oil on medium for about three minutes. Add the sherry and mushrooms and sauté about 5 minutes more. Add marinara sauce and artichoke hearts to the pan and stir it all around. Sprinkle the flounder with salt and pepper and add it to the pan. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. Serve with rice or some other side that will soak up the delicious sauce.

* Okay, so Girl 1 ate three bites the first time I made it.  The second time, she refused to touch it.  But Girl 2 gobbled it up both times.

I’m linking up with Org Junkie for Menu Plan Monday:

Breakfasts: Hard-boiled egg, a banana, and coffee (sometimes with some unsweetened, vanilla almond milk) OR scrambled eggs with avocado and Jones all natural,  pre-cooked breakfast sausage (love these)

Lunches: Our main meal (see below)

Dinners: Leftovers, some variation of a big-ass salad, a smoothie, or a baked sweet potato

Monday: Crock pot rotisserie chicken, potatoes, salad

Tuesday: Spinach tomato frittata 

Wednesday: Flounder cacciatore (above)

Thursday: The Happy Housewife’s Marinated chicken with rice and a salad

Friday: Salmon cooked somehow or another

Saturday: Pizza using Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free pizza crust mix (I’m back to eating some dairy now, more on that later.)

Sunday: ??

A Beginner’s Guide to Good Enough Fish, Part 3 (Menu Plan Monday)

I’m linking up again with Org Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.  And today, just in time for the last two weeks of Lent, I have (drumroll please), the third installment of

A Beginner’s Guide to Good Enough Fish

And the crowd goes wild!

The Perfect Health Diet authors recommend eating salmon twice a week.  Most salmon recipes I come across have citrus and/or sweet flavors, and these just get old after a while.  (Actually, these salmon cakes don’t, but sometimes I get tired of these too, as good as they are.)  So I came up with a more savory salmon dish this past week:

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Mediterranean-Inspired Salmon

3 or 4 four-ounce salmon filets (no skin)

1/8 to 1/4 c. olive oil

1/2 onion, sliced thinly

1/4 c. Kalamata olives PLUS 1/2 c. of the brine

3 cloves garlic, minced OR 1.5 tsp. pre-minced garlic

4 handfuls baby spinach leaves

Salt to taste

Directions:

Saute the onion in olive oil for five minutes, on low to medium-low heat.  Add salmon and garlic and sprinkle with salt.  Continue cooking on low heat.  Flip the salmon after about 5 minutes and keep on low heat until salmon is cooked through.  Add the olives, spinach, and brine.  Simmer about five minutes, until spinach is wilted and the liquid is somewhat reduced.  Serve over rice, couscous, or quinoa.

This probably would be good with feta cheese, but I didn’t have any on hand.

Let me know if you like it and if you add any more seasonings.

My menu for this week:

Have a delicious week!

Cakes of the Pan and Salmon Variety (Menu Plan Monday)

I’m linking up again with Org Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

I don’t have a whole lot new to report this week, and I don’t have another installment of The Beginner’s Guide to Good Enough Fish.  But, I would like to draw your attention to two recipes I’ve enjoyed lately.

The first is for these Fluffy Coconut Flour Pancakes from Nourishing Days via She Cooks He Cleans.  They are grain-free and (if you use the coconut milk option) dairy-free, and delicious.  They are much more pancake-like than my go-to “Paleo Pancakes,” which are really just glorified scrambled eggs.

These are moderately time-consuming,  so I make them on weekend mornings or for dinner, not on busy weekday mornings.  I’ve made them three times now and I’ve tweaked them slightly each time.  The first time I didn’t have baking soda, so I used baking powder (I forget how much).  They were fine but not as fluffy as I would like and a little gritty.   Also I didn’t watch carefully enough and I burned them a bit.  The second time I used the called-for amount of baking soda and the texture was good but they tasted just a little like . . . baking soda.  Pat didn’t notice it though.

The last and best time, I halved the recipe (’cause I only had two eggs) and used canned, evaporated milk because I was out of the other milk options.  It was my best batch yet.  Fluffy, not grainy, and without a baking soda taste.  Oh, and I used rice syrup in place of honey.

No matter what the variation though, they were enjoyable each time and I will keep on making them.  It is important to read the directions carefully because coconut flour is peculiar and the texture of this batter is very different from ordinary pancake batter.

I’ve used Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour because that’s what I had on hand.  Nancy at She Cooks He Cleans recommends Coconut Secret Raw Coconut Flour.  I’ll try to find that when I run out of Bob’s and see if it improves the pancake texture.

This last time I made a strawberry topping out of frozen, unsweetened strawberries and a few spoonfuls of rice syrup (a Perfect Health Diet approved sweetener) simmered together on the stove.  Very tasty.

Secondly, I’ve made this recipe for salmon patties from Everyday Paleo several times now.  Really yummy.

From Everyday Paleo

The seasonings are great, though I left out the fresh ginger.  I only ever buy the powdered stuff, and I ran out of that.  Also, this last time I used frozen pre-chopped onions, which made the mixture a little watery, so I left out the lemon juice.

Because these don’t have breadcrumbs to help hold them together, you do have to make sure to cook them a full three minutes on a *hot* skillet before attempting to flip them.

I haven’t made the ginger mayo.  I just mix up a little yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and garlic and use that as a sauce.

Oh and this dairy-free, no sugar-added, paleo-compliant chocolate mousse??

Chocolate mousse (no added sugar)

Unbelievable.

But not Lent appropriate, so I’ll save the deets for later.

Here’s my menu plan for this week.  A lot of repeats are here from last week because I often come up with a different idea or have unplanned leftover nights.  That’s okay; the whole point of a menu plan is to avoid last-minute take out and extra trips to the grocery store, so it’s all good.

    • Monday: Tuna and rice noodles (with peas and cherry tomatoes and sesame seeds added)
    • Tuesday:  Leftover chili from Sunday
    • Wednesday: Salmon cakes described above
    • Thursday: Baked chicken and root veggies (try to cut down on white potatoes)
    • Friday: Salmon of some variety
    • Saturday: Chicken veggie stir-fry
    • Sunday: ??

Have a delicious week!

The Beginner’s Guide to Good Enough Fish, Part 2

I’m linking up again with Org Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.  But first, here is the post you’ve been waiting for:

Part 2 of The Beginner’s Guide to Good Enough Fish!  Last week, we cooked tilapia.  For part 2, we’re cooking salmon:

People make a big fuss over wild caught vs. farm raised.  I found these at Walmart and they say “wild caught” and “Alaskan,” but the fine print says “Product of China.”  What the????  I say: any salmon is better than no salmon.  So just pick up a bag and get on with it.  I prefer the filets with the skin removed, but the kind with skin will work too.

For defrosting, as with the tilapia, the best way is in a bowl of warm water:

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The microwave also will work, but it will take longer if your fillets are bigger, as these are.

COVER THE FISH IN THE MICROWAVE!

While the fish is defrosting, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  We’re going to bake the fish.  Broiling is another option, but I have a tendency to start fires with the broiler, so I stick with baking.

Grease a baking pan with a little oil or butter or cooking spray.

I mixed up a little sauce based on this recipe from the Perfect Health Diet blog.  It has about 1 Tablespoon rice syrup, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tsp minced garlic, and some salt and dried basil.

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Salmon also tastes good with some orange juice mixed with balsamic vinegar and maple syrup or brown sugar.  Or you can just use some salt and pepper and seasonings of your choice.

I baked the fish for 5 minutes first without the sauce.  Then I poured the sauce on and baked it for 5 more minutes.  If I put the sauce on at the beginning it might have burned.  The salmon was perfect after 10 minutes.

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Cooking time will vary depending on the number of fillets and how thick they are.  They’re done once they’ve gone from dark pink to light pink and “flake” with a fork.  This means if you scrape a fork along the top little pieces of the fish, well, flake off.

Try to avoid overcooking, because salmon isn’t as good when it’s too dry.  You can always stick them in the microwave for a minute (COVERED!) if you misjudge and it’s still a bit raw.  But always remember, we’re going for good enough.  So don’t sweat it.  If it’s too dry, just add a little butter.   😉

If you have the fillets with skin on them you can turn them over with tongs and scrape off the skin with a butter knife:

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By the way, salmon always forms little globules of fat on top, because it has all those healthy oils in it.  This looks gross but I don’t know what to do about it, other than put on seasonings that hide it a bit.

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So there you are, good enough salmon!  This batch actually turned out really well, better than just good enough.  Highly recommended.

I’d love to hear about your fish-cooking experiences!

Dinner menu for the week:

 

 

Menu Plan Monday, Back In the Saddle Again

I’m linking up again with Org Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

We’re trying to get back on the wagon here with the Perfect Health Diet  (PHD).  The girls were sick for most of the last two weeks, and our menu looked a lot like this:

and this:

Best kind of therapy there is.

I’ve gone several weeks now without heavy cream in my coffee, and the result is that I’ve lost . . . my appetite for coffee.  A little.  It’s okay with whole milk, bad with 1%, and worse than death with the combo 1% and low-fat coconut milk I tried yesterday.  Ugh.

I just discovered there is high-fat coconut milk that might taste better:

But would this be any improvement, calorie-wise, over heavy cream?  We’ll see.

I want to make this delightful-looking recipe sometime soon:

Chocolate mousse (no added sugar)

Also sure to be a death-blow to my calorie count.

Here’s my menu plan for this week.

  • Breakfasts: Paleo pancakes , whole milk yogurt with fruit; Pat usually has an apple and some nuts and cheese
  • Lunches: Leftovers, cold-cut “sandwiches” wrapped in lettuce
  • Snacks: pistachios, fruit, rice cakes with cream cheese
  • Dinners:

Have a delicious week!  Wish me luck in the week ahead with no Chocolate Therapy!

Ye Olde Weekly Food Poste: Of Paella and Pancakes

Well, we’ve been in the land of the walking dead around here lately.  We’re on our . . . fourth, I think . . . bout of illness since Thanksgiving.  So, my menu plan is not anything to shout about this week.

I do hope to make these coconut flour pancakes sometime soon.  I have a tub of coconut flour sitting around and was wondering what to do with it.

Fluffy coconut flour pancakes from Shecookshecleans.net.

I do have one success to report from last week:

Paella!

Paella!

Husband approved!

Husband approved!

The ingredients I used are here:

  • Lundberg Wild Blend Brown Rice-2/3 cup
  • Hillshire Farm – Beef Hot Link, 3 links
  • Beef bone broth,  2 cups
  • 3 oz salmon fillet
  • shrimp, raw, 12 large
  • Lemon juice, 1/3 cup
  • Red cooking wine, approx. 4 tsp (white probably is better but red is what I had on hand)
  • Fresh Parsley, 3 cups
  • Peas, frozen, 1.5 cup
  • Pictsweet Frozen Chopped Onion, 1 cup
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (I used the kind in the squeeze bottle)
  • Paprika, 1 tbsp
  • Saffron, 1 tsp
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped

I generally followed the method shown for  this recipe on the Perfect Health Diet blog, although I didn’t have all the same ingredients.

Here’s hoping for healthier times ahead!

Menu Plan Monday, No Sh*t Sherlock Edition

I’m linking up again with Org Junkie for Menu Plan Monday.

As I’ve obsessed about often, despite following the Perfect Health Diet  (PHD) for months now, I haven’t lost any weight.  In fact I’ve been gaining.  I’ve given it a lot of thought and done some scientific research and have come to a very cutting-edge hypothesis:

Maybe I should stop drinking 1/4 cup (or more) of heavy whipping cream in my coffee every day.

Just maybe.

Far-fetched, I know, but I”m going to give it a try.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

I’m trying some new recipes this week because I’m getting tired of our usual line up.

Actually, I probably won’t have salmon two days in a row.  But I’ll make these recipes this week in some order.  That’s all folks!  Have a delicious week!