Saturday, June 29, 2013

Salmon Pasta with Kale and Fennel

When I was in college, every spring I would make a pasta dish with chicken and fennel in a creamy lemon sauce with creme fraiche and parmesan. It was my favorite pasta dish! Since I shouldn't eat it any more because of the dairy, I decided to make a similar version, but without the cream. In order to bump up the flavor factor, I added some kale (plus kale is all the rage now!), and to mix it up, I added salmon instead of chicken. 

This has become my new favorite pasta dish to make. It's so simple yet so satisfying. I will admit that I went for seconds on this one! And I didn't even miss the cream or cheese!

Salmon Pasta with Kale and Fennel

1/3 lb. salmon fillet
1 c. whole wheat penne
1 bunch kale, rinse and sliced
1 fennel bulb, sliced in half moons
1 clove garlic, minced
juice from half a lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1.      Fill a stock pot with water and bring to a boil. Cook penne according to package directions and drain.
2.      Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in sauté pan over medium heat. Salt and pepper salmon fillet. Add salmon, skin side up, and cook for 3-4 minutes, then flip over. Cook for another 3 minutes, then remove from pan and set aside.
3.      Add 1 tbsp more oil to pan, then add garlic and fennel. Turn heat down to medium low and cook until fennel becomes almost tender, about 7 minutes. Add kale and cover. Cook for another 2 minutes.
4.      Meanwhile, flake salmon. When kale is cooked, add salmon and pasta. Toss with lemon juice and a little more olive oil, then serve.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Little Si

Before last year, I had never hiked Mt. Si or Little Si, both of which are kind of a requirement to consider yourself a native here in Seattle. Since then, I have done Little Si at least twice, with another trip coming up in a month or so.

I really prefer hiking Little Si on the weekdays. I don’t have to worry about finding parking, or the trail being very crowded. It’s a very nice, quiet experience.

I love the views from the top of the mound. You can see a good portion of the valley and the peaks surrounding North Bend. Isn’t the view so pretty?

Monday, June 24, 2013

Tuna and Chickpea Salad

While I was in school, my daily schedule was rather hectic. Three days a week, I was at work from 6 am to 5:30 pm, so I had to take full advantage of every shortcut I could think of. Lunch was no exception. I found myself eating out quite a bit, and that got tiring and expensive! Luckily for me, there is a salad bar at my grocery store and I loved making easy quick salads during my lunch.

This salad was one of my favorites. I made it so many times, that I finally decided to take a picture of it. It's so simple, yet so delicious! Canned tuna and chickpeas and veggies from the salad bar are mixed with a simple balsamic vinaigrette made at home to make a simple, yet incredibly satisfying salad. Perfect for a quick lunch or dinner!

Tuna and Chickpea Salad

Serves 2

1 can tuna, preferably oil packed, slightly drained
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ onion, sliced thinly
½ cucumber, sliced
½ bell pepper, cubed
Handful cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ c. balsamic vinegar
½ c. olive oil
Salt and pepper

1.      Mix together balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dressing. Combine the rest of ingredients and toss with dressing.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Paprika Chicken and Potatoes

Whew! These last 9 months have sure been a wild ride. I'm officially done with my classes for the summer and I'm so glad. I was getting very drained and exhausted towards the end. But I made it! I got a 3.3 in cell biology, a 3.8 in animal biology and a 3.5 in plant biology. I'm proud of myself for being able to get those grades while working full time. I had a lot of doubts when I first started, but I've proved to myself that I actually can get good grades!

On another note, I now have the free time to begin posting recipes again! Like this one for paprika chicken and potatoes. One of my favorite Czech dishes growing up was chicken paprika and knedliky. I would constantly request that for dinner when we would visit my grandparents. The sauce is so creamy and the knedliky were so dense and delicious! I sure do miss eating it, so to tide me over until I have the time to make knedliky, I usually make this meal.

It's a super simple recipe. Take the potatoes and chicken, dust them with paprika and minced garlic, then bake. How much easier can it get??

Paprika Chicken and Potatoes

Serves 4

4 chicken thighs
4 potatoes, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
Juice from ½ lemon
Olive oil

1.      Preheat oven to 425F. Place chicken thighs in a roasting dish and surround with potatoes. Sprinkle minced garlic over the top. Dust potatoes and chicken with paprika, salt and pepper. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Toss to coat.
2.      Bake for 30 minutes or until thighs are done (register 160F on thermometer). The potatoes may need an extra 5-10 minutes to get extra crispy.
Serve with green salad and enjoy!

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