I am OBSESSED with summer fruits and vegetables right now. Just obsessed. I feel like I can't consume enough leafy greens, sweet summer corn, juicy peaches and tangy blueberries. While I have always leaned a little vegetarian, I have never craved summer produce quite like I am right now and I have to be honest, it's really quite fun. The best part is that you can't really over-indulge on things like kale and tomatoes or carrots and squash. You can literally eat as much as you want! How great is that?! It's only natural that this addiction of mine would manifest it's way onto my blog here, which is why this week's "What's for Dinner" post highlights all these current obsessions. While this meal is vegetarian, meat-lovers will get their fill from the heartiness of the fritters, and kids won't even realize that they are eating good-for-you vegetables, so it really is a meal to please all palates. I hope you enjoy this plate of food as much as I did!
Another simple, fresh meal for you this week. I can't help myself! I just want to eat simply-prepared, fresh ingredients and spend as little time in the kitchen cooking or washing dishes as possible. I know you agree with me! This week, I return to an old favorite - salmon. I just don't prepare salmon enough for myself, although I cook it almost weekly for my meal-prep clients. In fact, I truly love it when the meals I cook for my clients inspire me to cook better for myself, too. Hopefully, the inspiration train will continue on to you as well! While salmon provides the anchor, the salad ingredients provide the flair, and I love how all the textures of this dish comes from the creamy avocado, crunchy almonds, snappy cucumber and red onion, and juicy orange segments. All you need, right in one bowl! But my favorite thing about this meal is that it's not just for dinner. Cook up extra salmon and enjoy it throughout the week, for the easiest meal that keeps on giving. Enjoy!
We are dead in the middle of summer this week, and I am loving every minute of it. Not only the long days of sun and warmth, but the bounty of the season is just so inspiring. Fresh summer foods practically beg to be eaten in there most natural form, without any fuss or todo. Which is great for weeknight cooking. It's also why I have been craving so many salads lately. Fresh salads with seasonal ingredients that make a complete meal and leave me feeling healthfully satiated.
This week's meal was inspired by a dish I served at a recent event where I served brisket with blueberry-feta "slaw". Brisket is a labor of love, so I skipped that and focused on making the slaw a full meal. To help "beef" it up a bit, I married it with another summer favorite - panzanella, or bread salad. So many favorite ingredients all in one bowl - kale, blueberries, goat cheese (in place of feta) and toasted bread...yum! To really take it over the top I decided that since I'd be turning on the oven to toast the bread, I could toss some shrimp in there at the same time. And, voila! My shrimp panzanella with goat cheese and blueberries was born. It's an interesting combination, I'll give you that, but the beauty of eating fresh foods straight from the season is that they tend to pair so well together! Enjoy!
This week's meal is admittedly a departure for my weekly "What's for Dinner?" series. Recently, I was shopping at the Asian market to pick up some seaweed-sesame sprinkle that I like to put on rice and I was reminded of all the great ingredients they offer there. Sometimes I get so programmed in my ways of every-day-grocery-store shopping that it's exciting to be inspired by something different. When I saw the sashimi tuna for sale I was reminded of the restaurant I worked at during culinary school and how we would coat tuna in sesame seeds and then sear it ever-so quickly, adding great textural contrast to the delicate fish. I decided that while sashimi-grade tuna might not be in every weeknight meal budget, it's always nice to keep dinner exciting, and every now and then that means something other than chicken, or salmon! Right? Right. And what tuna lacks in affordability, it makes up for in fantastically fast cooking, so this complete meal can be ready in 20 minutes. Yum!
I have to admit, I often feel jealous of my clients. As I cook deliciously fresh meals for them each week, I can't help but wish I cooked as well for myself as I do for them. What can I say? I try a lot harder for my clients than I do for myself! After a full day of cooking for someone else, it's hard to have the energy to come home and do it again, [especially the dishes]. But recently I figured out a compromise. The healthy, supper-size salad. I like to leave a hearty, meal-worthy salad in my clients' fridges every so often. Not a side salad, but a salad that packs loads of protein, fiber and overall nutrients that it makes a meal all in itself. I realized this is the exact meal I can prepare for myself, too. The trick is in the no cooking. Chopping, yes. A few dishes, of course...but no cooking. And, my two favorite things about any meal - 1. It's easy to prep a big batch to enjoy throughout the week, and 2. the ingredients are super flexible - see my prep notes for suggestions. One last thing - with the weather getting warmer, don't you just feel like eating healthier and fresher? That's why I call this the "Rainbow" salad, because the more varied the veggies you choose, the more beautiful it is to eat. And who doesn't get happy when they see a rainbow!?!
This week, I'm sharing another one-pot meal with you all. I honestly can't remember what inspired this dish, but once I made it the first time I knew I wanted to turn it into a recipe. Originally, I made this brothy bean and bacon dish to serve with seared scallops and it was light, yet hearty. Rustic yet special-feeling. While scallops are one of my favorite foods, they are a bit pricey for a weeknight meal solution, so I swapped them for shrimp in this version. And, you know I gotta add that extra "veggie boost" so I simmered some kale into the mix as well. I realized this makes two, warm-food-in-a-bowl dinners in back-to-back posts, right as we get into the warmer months, but I can't explain it; this dish still feels apropos for spring. The broth is light and the meal is quick and easy, and with all your veggies, proteins and starches in one bowl you don't have to fuss over more than one dish. It will feel like a meal that simmered slowly all day, when really, it takes less than 30 minutes. Dinner, fast! I hope you enjoy this meal as much as I do!
I'm baffled that I haven't shared this meal with all of you sooner! Better late than never, right? The salmon and avocado recipe is one of my absolute favorite ways to prepare salmon and this entire meal represents the way I like to eat when I am trying to eat fresh and healthy. It's packed with veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats not to mention texture, color and flavor. It makes me happy and it makes other people happy, too. Trust me, I've made this for lots of clients and friends. The quinoa recipe is as flexible as any side dish can be, so especially as we evolve into summer feel free to change up the ingredients to suit whatever fresh veggies and herbs call your name at the market. And you know my mantra by now! "Make Extra!" Lunch has never tasted so good!
Here is a recipe I like to whip up when I want to cook something fast and simple, using only ingredients I already have on hand in my pantry. Further proof that a well-stocked pantry can make dinner effortless! (More on investing in your pantry to come in a future post!)
While the pasta and the peanut butter are more common, every-household items (most likely) the Asian ingredients may be a bit more uncommon, but the beauty of buying them once is that you can get multiple meals out of that initial investment. In fact, if you cooked my Hoisin Salmon meal I shared back in February, you just might have a few of these ingredients on hand already! How cool is that?!
My other favorite thing about this recipe, aside from it's speed and ingredients, is it's flexibility. You can switch up the toppings based on what you already have or what you are willing to stop at the grocery store for. I include a bunch of suggestions in the ingredient list, but ultimately the choice is yours. While I prefer this dish vegetarian for a perfect Meatless Monday treat, if you want to top it off with shredded chicken or seared shrimp, by all means, have your way with it! And if you are cooking for a family, make the toppings a "build-your-own" option for customization that will make every diner happy.
When it comes to weekly meals, I'm a big fan of pork tenderloin. Not only is it a lean and inexpensive protein, but it cooks quickly, too. It also takes on bold flavors very easily, like in this recipe where I simply mix a few spices together and rub it all over the tenderloin to give it a slightly charred, kicked-up coating. Paired with a curried-coconut chickpea and sweet potato side dish, this meal is easy, nutrient-rich, and just exotic enough to keep dinner interesting. So forget the same ol' same ol' this week, and cook this instead!
Um, I love tacos. Don't you? Who doesn't!? This meal offers a healthy twist, with honey and spice and freshly flavorful cabbage slaw. The enchilada squash is one of my favorite recipes with an unexpected prepartion and it packs a ton of rich, "cooked-all-day" flavor in a dish that really takes less than 20 minutes. I mean, those are the best kind of recipes, don't you agree?
Hi! I'm Emily, and this is the official blog of Guest Chef, my personal chef and catering business serving Metro Detroit. As much as I love to cook for people, I also love inspiring others to cook great food for themselves and their friends and family. Which is why I share recipes, tips and inspiration here. Follow along and let's cook something great together!