Bruschetta Topped Salmon Burgers

This recipe is so quick and easy, that it would be silly to not give it a try. I am embarrassed to even claim that this is a “recipe”, but it is a delicious combination that you may not have thought to try. You could try to make your own salmon burgers, but why bother when Trader Joe’s makes them so deliciously and chock full of salmon?! For this recipe, I used their burgers, but feel free to experiment with your own or any other pre-made variety.

After my WOD this morning, I knew that I needed to have a healthy and filling lunch before heading off to a graduation party where I will be faced with the temptation of many delicious Portuguese foods that don’t fit into my diet. I stopped by Trader Joe’s on my Vespa ride home and started roaming the aisles looking for options. Their premium salmon burgers caught my eye, and after a little more browsing, I decided I would top it with bruschetta made from ripe tomatoes on the vine.

Serves 2
1 package Trader Joe’s Premium Salmon Burgers (they are small, cook all 4)
3 tomatoes – diced
6 leaves fresh basil – chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp. fresh black pepper
Pinch of salt

1. In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients except salmon burgers. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. Grill salmon burgers according to package directions.
3. Top burgers with a mound of bruschetta, and enjoy a protein packed and satisfying lunch!

Lemon Basil Fluke Over Sautéed Spinach

I am a daddy’s girl, so the fact that my father and fiancé get along so well warms my heart! They went fishing together today on my dad’s boat. We used to go fishing every single weekend at the Jersey Shore, but Hurricane Sandy destroyed our beach house. This is the first summer of my life not being down the shore, and it is a tough adjustment. I can’t imagine how the people who lost their primary homes are feeling.

Luckily, the boat is docked at our property, and the boys were able to go on a day fishing trip. They caught quite a few keepers and my fridge is now stocked with fluke filets! Yum! If you are not familiar with fluke, it is extremely similar to flounder. This recipe would work with any thin white fish filet like flounder or tilapia. As per the recipe, it is served over a bed of sautéed spinach. If you are not here for paleo, it would be excellent over a bed of fluffy rice.

Serves 2
2 fluke filets
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch of salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 egg – beaten
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup chopped basil
6 oz. baby spinach
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic – minced

1. In a shallow pan for breading, mix almond flour, pepper, salt, and garlic powder. Dip each filet in egg and then coat with flour mixture.
2. In a nonstick skillet, drizzle a little olive oil just to coat the bottom of the pan,and heat over medium high heat. Sauté each coated filet for about 3 minutes per side until browned. Remove fish from pan, cover, and set aside.
3. In a large pot, sauté garlic in olive oil until fragrant, then add spinach. Stir occasionally until wilted.
4. While spinach is cooking, add lemon juice and wine to skillet and heat over high heat until reduced by half. Add basil, stir, and turn off heat.
5. Plate a large pile of spinach, top with filet, and drizzle lemon basil sauce over.

Paleo Coconut Crusted Crab Cake Salad with Lemon Vinegrette

This meal is scrumptious! These crab cakes can be served over salad as per the recipe, on their own as an appetizer (make them mini!), or even on a sandwich!

There are many substitutions that can be made as well. Not here for paleo? Substitute bread crumbs for the almond meal. Mayo can be any mayo of your choice – paleo, low fat, or good old Helmans! Don’t have scallions? Throw in chives or leeks. Not a fan of coconut? Skip it and replace with either almond flour or breadcrumbs.

Crab Cake Ingredients:
8 oz. lump crab meat
1/4 cup finely chopped red and green bell peppers
2 Tbsp. chopped scallions
1 egg
1 Tbsp. paleo mayonnaise
2/3 cup almond flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup coconut flakes

Salad Ingredients:
1 head of lettuce
1 tomato cut in wedges
Remainder of peppers from crab cake ingredients – chopped

Dressing Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
Juice of one lemon
1/4 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. ground mustard
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch of salt

1. Whisk together dressing ingredients in a small measuring cup and set aside.
2. Create two plates with a mound of salad ingredients and refrigerate to chill until ready to serve.
3. In a medium mixing bowl, fold together all crab cake ingredients EXCEPT coconut flakes (hands work best).
4. Form 2 inch patties out of the crab cake mixture and place on a plate or cookie sheet. Sprinkle coconut flakes on both sides of each patty.
5. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium high heat, and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Sauté cakes until brown on both sides (about 3 minutes per side).
6. Plate crab cakes on top of salads and drizzle with dressing

Grilled Greek Packet

I used the oven at lunch today, and realized that’s a bad idea in 90 degree heat with probably 99% humidity! Dinner tonight will be cooked entirely on the grill in one nice and easy packet made of foil! The oregano and kalamata olives will really bring out the rich Greek flavor!

Tonight’s meal is awesome for a few reasons:
a. I finally get to use oregano for the garden!
b. It can be be prepared ahead of time and thrown on the grill. Perfect, because I will be at our high school graduation ceremony.
c. No inside cooking.
d. You can prepare this ahead of time for a camping trip and cook in the campfire.
e. Greek food is scrumptious!

2 chicken breasts – cut into 1 inch cubes
1 zucchini – cut into 1/2 inch rounds
1 large red bell pepper – cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1 clove garlic – minced
Juice of one lemon
2 Tbsp. white wine
2 sprigs fresh oregano chopped (or 1 Tbsp. dried)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. pepper
Pinch of salt

1. At least two hours ahead of cook time, mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. Scoop contents onto a large sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, and make a packet put of it. It may be easier to split it into two packets. Make sure it is sealed so you don’t lose any goodness while cooking. Refrigerate to allow for marination.
2. When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium high heat. Cook packet for 15 minutes, then flip over and cook for 10 more.
3. Remove packets from grill and carefully open. The steam inside is VERY hot! Scoop contents onto plates and enjoy!


Paleo Frittata with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Turkey Bacon

School’s out for summer! This teacher is probably just as happy as her students to have the extra time on her hands… Not for the same reasons though. I am looking forward to putting the finishing touches on our wedding, getting into better shape (double sessions of bootcamp yesterday followed by a morning WOD today…what?!?), and reporting culinary creations to you!

With the extra time, I can make a fun lunch! Even better? Leftovers are great to reheat on low in the microwave for snacks or other meals during the week! I am craving protein after the extreme workouts over the past 24 hours, so this frittata will do the trick!

6 eggs
4 slices of turkey bacon – chopped
3 oz. baby spinach
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion – chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to broil.
2. In a 12 inch non stick frying pan, cook the bacon until crispy, remove from pan, and set aside.
3. In the same pan, add 1 tsp. olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté while stirring occasionally until transparent. Add mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Lower heat to medium and stir in spinach to the hot mixture and allow to wilt – about 2 minutes.
5. While the spinach is wilting, in a large bowl, whisk together eggs with black pepper.
6. Scoop the contents of the pan into the egg bowl and stir together, then pour back into the frying pan.
7. Cook for about 4 minutes over medium high until the egg sets on the bottom.
8. Place the pan in the broiler for 4 minutes until the top begins to brown.
9. Remove from pan and cut big slices to enjoy!


Sweet Grilled Beet and Chicken Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette

I started the Advocare 24 Day Challenge again today in preparation for our wedding that is very rapidly approaching. I started this blog because recipes were so hard to find while on the challenge, so expect a lot of postings in the near future.

As I have said before, I am a beet freak. Well, our garden beets are ready! This will be our first time tasting our garden creation! My fiancé and his kids went strawberry picking last weekend, which has led to a surplus of strawberries around here, so why not turn the, into a delicious dressing?

2 chicken breasts
3 medium beets – peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
1 head of lettuce – washed and cut into salad sized pieces
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegrette
3 strawberries
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
Salt & pepper

1. Preheat the grill to medium high.
2. In a mixing bowl, stir together beets, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Grill for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.
3. While the beets are cooking, drizzle 1Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper over the chicken breasts. Grill for about 5 minutes per side until done.
4. While chicken is cooking, blend together the strawberries, 1 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth and set vinaigrette
5. Top a large pile of lettuce with chicken, beets, and walnuts, and drizzle vinaigrette on top.

Snappy Chicken

Having a garden rocks! I can always manage to whip up a meal with what we have in the freezer and pantry, but it is rare to have fresh produce at your fingertips! This meal was so simple to prepare and absolutely scrumptious! All it took was defrosting some chicken and sending my fiancé out to our garden to pick some fresher than fresh sugar snap peas! Yum!

Serves 2
2 chicken breasts or boneless skinless chicken thighs – cut into bite size pieces
2 cups sugar snap peas
2 8 oz. cans of sliced water chestnuts – drained
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 Tbsp. hot chili sesame oil
2 Tbsp. ponzu sauce
1 tsp. chopped ginger
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
Sesame seeds to garnish

1. In a wok or large skillet, heat hot chili sesame oil over high heat. Add chicken and garlic and cook until chicken is opaque while stirring frequently.
2. Add water chestnuts, sugar snap peas, ginger, ponzu sauce, and red pepper flakes. Stir frequently while cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Do not over cook! You want crunchy sugar snap peas!
3. Plate, sprinkle with sesame seeds, and enjoy!

Broccoli Rabe and Chicken Sausage

Broccoli rabe is a favorite of ours. While I love getting creative with new recipes, broccoli rabe isn’t one that I play around with! Lots of garlic and the heat of red pepper flakes is in my opinion the only way to go. Top it with grilled sausage of your choice, and you have a simple, delicious, and paleo meal!

Alternate serving options include stirring in pasta (yum, I miss the days of pasta!) or doubling up the broccoli rabe to two bunches if you are extra hungry (it does cook down quite a bit).

Serves 2
1 big bunch broccoli rabe – washed and chopped
1 package sausage of your choice – I use either turkey or chicken
3 cloves garlic – cut into slivers
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat grill to medium high heat, and grill sausage until done.
2. While the sausage is grilling, in a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high heat and sauté garlic until fragrant.
3. Add broccoli rabe to pot and cook for 5 minutes while stirring frequently. This will cook the rabe aldente, you may choose to sauté longer if you wish.
4. Stir in red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.
5. Plate a large pile of broccoli rabe and then top with sausage.

Hot & Sweet Shrimp Sauté with Broccoli

I love the combination of a sweet morsel of shrimp with the heat of red pepper flakes! This meal is so easy, and can be prepared in advance and cooked in 10 minutes! This is perfect timing for getting home from a hard workout and getting vital nutrients into your body!

Serves 2
2 dozen shrimp – raw, peeled, and deveined
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. Splenda brown sugar
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic – minced
1 large head broccoli

1. At least 2 hours prior to cooking, whisk together olive oil, brown sugar, red pepper flakes, and garlic in a small bowl. Pour into a ziplock bag with the shrimp and refrigerate until ready to cook.
2. Steam broccoli according to your taste.
3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dump entire contents of bag into the skillet and cook shrimp for about 3 minutes per side until opaque and pink.
4. In the last minute of cooking, stir in steamed broccoli to coat and warm up.

Southwest Mahi Mahi Burger Salad

It is a busy night, so I am resolving it with a quick fix: pre-made mahi mahi burgers from Trader Joe’s.  No, they are not real paleo.  They have trace amounts of rice flour.  Luckily for me, I have adopted what I like to call a “modified paleo lifestyle” which allows me to overlook such things. These mahi mahi burgers can be found in the frozen section at Trader Joe’s. Don’t have a store near you? Feel free to substitute with any pre-made fish patty or burger.

Even with a hectic night ahead, I am able to have everything ready to go ahead of time and then just slap the burgers on the grill and assemble the salad last minute.

2 frozen mahi mahi burgers
1 head lettuce – washed and choped
1 red bell pepper – sliced into very thin strips
1 can of corn – drained
1 avocado sliced (if preparing in advance, wait to slice until ready to serve)
2 Tbsp. salsa

Dressing Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. Lime juice
1/4 tsp. Chili Powder

1. Whisk together dressing ingredients and put to the side.
2. Grill mahi mahi burgers according to packaging.
3. While the burgers are cooking, pile lettuce, red peppers, and corn on two plates.
4. Top salad with burger, avocado, and a spoonful if salsa and then drizzle with dressing.