Daddy Memories – Butter Bean salad

As a little girl, I vividly remember my dad preparing what I think was his favourite salad, which in turn became my all time favourite of course!

So today I decided not only to re-live that memory, but to take it to another level in honor of  the great guy that he was, ❤ and I am sure that instead of being insulted by the changes, he would be proud of his little girl.

The original salad was very simple, below is a list of the ingredients:butterbeans

  • Butter Beans
  • Sliced Tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced onions
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive oil and vinegar
  • Dusting of oregano

As you can see, it’s pretty simple, just mix the above ingredients and it’ oh sooooo tasty, and the best part was dipping  pieces of a fresh baguette into the leftover juices!

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In those days there was no fancy vinegar, no cilantro and goodness know’s what else, especially in Uruguay.

But nowadays, with the available ingredients, new flavours, fancy vinegars, etc…. I decided to take this salad to the next level.

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Not too many changes, just a few additions, so here it goes………

  • Butter Beans – stayed the same I used 2 cans
  • Sliced Tomatoes – stayed the same, used 2 medium tomatoes
  • Thinly sliced onions – stayed the same, used 1/2 medium onion
  • Salt and Pepper – stayed the same, tsp of each
  • Olive oil and vinegar – used olive oil but replaced the vinegar with same fabulous Lemongrass Mint infused White Balsamic vinegar from Mount Dora Olive Oil Company
  • Dusting of oreganoreplaced this with some chopped cilantro
  • Added a can of sliced Hearts of Palm that are easily available nowadays but when I was a kid they were an expensive commodity!

Hope you enjoy this salad as much as I do, and I do recommend that you try both versions, they are both great 🙂

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Grilling in Winter…..

I know, I know, I live in South Florida, which means we can technically grill all year round, but then again, it does rain a lot so your grilling moments can come to an end very quickly!

A few years ago our gas outside grill died a horrible death of rust and exposure to the south florida weather elements. So after assessing the situation I decided just for the convenience and maintenance to invest in an electric grill instead.

This way I can use it outside and inside and the weather will never be a problem 🙂 am I smart or what? lol

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Anyway, yes I know its not the same as a real BBQ (not to mention the really real once like they have in my country “Uruguay” see pic below)

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but you know what, it works for us. So with that said, tonight I brought out my handy dandy Wolfgang Puck electric grill/griddle (oh please note I use the griddle part of it a lot for pancakes, omelettes and lots of other yummy things).

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This morning I put some flank steak into a ziplock bag and marinated it in mojo for about 8 hrs. Whilst the grill was getting hot, I turned the oven on to 400 deg F and seasoned some Broccolini (yes I know, twice in a week but we love this veggie). ❤

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This time I drizzled some Parmesan Garlic Olive Oil from the Sedona Olive Oil company. I let it roast for 15 minutes turning it over once to get an even color on it.

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I also made some light and fluffy Couscous, seasoned with cilantro, lime, turmeric and garlic.

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Once the grill was very hot I quickly cooked the Carne Asada and served it immediately with a side of Couscous and some roasted Broccolini ❤

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Nothing nicer that the satisfaction of making my family happy 🙂

Cod Poached in Thai Ginger Broth

I have to say that today’s dinner was a meal fit for a King and guess what? It only took me under 30 minutes to make it and it does qualify as a healthy meal ❤

I started with some lovely fillets of cod that I had purchased at Trader Joe’s this weekend which I lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and put them to the side.

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Turned my oven on to 400 Deg F, grabbed a roasting pan and placed some lovely Broccolini on it. Drizzled it with some Lemon infused olive oil from the lovely Sedona Olive Oil Company, garlic powder, salt and pepper and into the oven it went for aprox 15 minutes, make sure you turn them over every 5 minutes or so to ensure that they don’t burn.

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Whilst the broccolini was cooking away, I chopped some scallions and garlic and gave it a quick sauté, then I added about 2 cups of Thai Ginger broth and some chopped cilantro and let it simmer away for a few minutes to infuse all the flavours.

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I then added the cod, covered the pan with a lid and let it cook for a few minutes on each side basting it every now and then.

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I removed the cod from the pan and poured about 1/4 cup of coconut milk into the broth.

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Placed one of the cod fillets in a bowl, added about a cup of the broth, topped it off with some of the roasted broccolini and there you have it. A lovely thai spicy broth with some hearty cod and delicious broccolini. Don’t tell me that is not a meal fit for a King?

Cauliflower……a Healthy alternative to Rice

Anyway who knows me well enough, knows that I love love love rice! White Rice, Wild Rice, Black Rice, Rice Salad, Fried Rice, Rice pudding and the list goes on and on!

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I blame it on my dad <3. Although he was born in northern Italy, he was raised in Tianjin, China and during our childhood, rice was always on the table!

People have a hard time giving up pasta, potatoes, chocolate, etc. I have a hard time giving up rice 🙂

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With that said, I am trying really hard so here is a replacement that I have been using to quench my “rice need”! Of course it makes it easier if you like Cauliflower which thank goodness I do, because my replacement is Cauliflower Rice……

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Its so simple and easy. Just grab a head of cauliflower, get rid of the leaves and stalk and chop the florets in to manageable pieces. Place in a food processor and give it a quick whiz! Not too long as you don’t want it to turn into a gooey paste!

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And there you have it, cauliflower rice is ready to use! Told you it was easy right 🙂

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Now its time to put it into good use. I chopped up some garlic, ginger, onions and cilantro. I sautéed the first 3, I found 2 Uruguayan Chorizos in the fridge that I had cooked a few days ago (leftovers) and I chopped them too and added them to the pan. Finally I added the cauliflower rice and cilantro and gave it all a quick toss.

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Seasoned in with salt and pepper and added some red pepper flakes and now it was time to taste it!

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My daughter walked into the kitchen claiming she was hungry just as I was serving myself so as a good mama, I gave it to her and guess what? She liked it!

Yes I know its not rice but it does the job and tastes very nice. This doesn’t mean I am giving up on my loving rice, just means that every once in a while it will get replaced by cauliflower rice 🙂

Another variation I made for tomorrow is Cilantro Lime Cauliflower rice, I think this is my favorite for now! Again simple and easy

1 lime
2 cloves of garlic
1 handful chopped cilantro

Place chopped garlic and rice in a pan and cook into nicely golden. Then add the chopped cilantro and juice of a lime. I added some more lime juice as I really like lime!

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For the love of lemons…….a fab carb free yummy salad!

After I posted the recipe for my imitation version of the”Lemon Caper Capellini Salad” one of my blog readers made a comment that they made my salad and used basil instead of parsley and zucchini noodles instead of pasta!

So tonight I am going for that same version but with an “Andy” twist “……

For this I used:

  • 4 zucchini’s
  • 12 cherry tomatoes cut into quarters
  • 1/8 cup of capers
  • juice from 4 lemons
  • 1/8 cup of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste ( love lots of black pepper)
  • dash of garlic powder
  • 4 kafir lime leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Started by putting my zucchini’s through my handy dandy spiralizer.

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Then I proceeded to boil some water seasoned with salt, garlic powder and 4 kaffir lime leaves. The kaffir lime leaves infused some lovely thai lime flavor into the zucchini noodles. Don’t have any but happen to have a lemon or lime tree, use those leaves instead, they are very aromatic!

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I let the zucchini noodles boil for just 2 minutes, any longer and you will have zucchini mush, 1 minute will give you an all dente texture.

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As soon as I got them out I placed them in an ice bath to stop the cooking process.

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Whilst they cooled down, I squeezed the lemons, mixed the juice with the olive oil, salt and pepper and put that to the side.

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I quartered my cherry tomatoes, chopped up the cilantro and got my capers.

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Now all that’s left it to put this delicious lemony Zucchini healthy salad together.

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Add the tomatoes, cilantro, capers and top off with the lemon vinaigrette, give it a toss and kaboom, there we have it, if you love lemons, you will love love this guilt free salad!

Bon Apetite!

Mussels makeover time……

After last nights dinner I was left with a few helpings of Mussels, so now its time for their makeover!

I made some rice and cooked it with the leftover stock from the mussels to give it that kind of paella flavor and some achiote to give it a nice yellow color..

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While the rice was cooking I took each mussel off its shell and set them aside.

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Then I sautéed some onions, garlic and once they were nice and golden I folded in the rice.

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Tossed in a handful of chopped cilantro and the unshelled mussels!

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Its turned out fingerlickingly delicious, guess I could call it a simple Paella, but who cares what we call it if it tastes good right?.

Walking Dead in Belgium……

Yes we are ‘The Walking Dead” fans and tonight is the season premier so very excited!

Kind of funny that on such a night when the aforementioned program is airing, I decided to make Steak Tartare for dinner which of course consists of seasoned raw minced meat :-). Guess my Belgium heritage was calling out for me…..

All three of us, the hubby, my daughter and I will be indulging on our favorite dish, whilst my son has regular steak with fries (yep he is not a fan) ❤

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So we will be eating a traditional Belgium dish whilst watching the “Walking Dead”!

For my Steak Tartare I used:

  • Lean Minced Meat
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Tabasco Sauce
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Egg
  • Mayonnaise
  • Capers
  • Grated Onions
  • Chopped Cilantro
  • Salt and pepper

Once I mixed all of the above I just adjusted with salt and pepper for taste and ready to go.

In the meantime I had some Checkers seasoned fries in the oven which go just perfect with tonights dish.

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Check my next posting to see what we had for dessert on our special TV night 🙂