Archive for the ‘Seafood’ Category

It’s Zucchini Time Again!

Friday, July 15th, 2016

So many zucchini … so many possibilities.

Zoodles ... there's a special gadget that will turn your zucchini (or summer squash) into "zoodles" ... a low carb and delicious alternative to pasta.

Zoodles … there’s a special gadget that will turn your zucchini (or summer squash) into “zoodles” … a low carb and delicious alternative to pasta.

My first recipe with these was a Shrimp Scampi with Zoodles …

Garlicky, fresh, light and healthy!

Garlicky, fresh, light and healthy!

To make this, simply prepare your favorite scampi recipe and when the shrimp are about 3/4 of the way cooked, remove them from the pan and set aside (cover to keep warm). Add the zoodles to the pan, adding a splash of wine or lemon juice if needed, turn the heat to high and stir fry for a bit. You don’t want to overcook these, so remember to work quickly. Reduce the heat to medium, return the shrimp to the pan, give a good toss to distribute the ingredients evenly, then cover to warm through. You do not want to overcook this or the shrimp will become tough and the zoodles mushy.

And, of course, there’s always the classic Stuffed Zucchini!

Stuffed Zucchini

Stuffed Zucchini

This recipe will have to follow later … I’ve got to get to work!


Hello Spring!

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

We still need more rain and snow, but I am so thankful for a lovely weekend to get some good cycling in. Yesterday was beautiful and today promises to be even better!

Along Seivers Road between Winters and Dixon. Spring is here already!

Along Seivers Road between Winters and Dixon. Spring is here already!

We enjoyed a nice caffeine stop mid-ride.

Cappuccino & Espresso at a favorite rest stop, Steady Eddy's in Winters.

Cappuccino & Espresso at a favorite rest stop, Steady Eddy’s in Winters.

Post ride I made a spicy fish stew that made for a perfect dinner. Served here with some short grain brown rice, lightly stir fried mixed baby greens (mix from the Farmer’s Market), and garnished with a bit of Chevre cheese. I posted a similar recipe a few months ago.

This batch was about half seafood (two types of cod) and half chicken Andouille sausage. It was super spicy because I did not adjust the chili flakes (oops) to account for the spicy sausage. The Chevre cheese helped to temper the heat a bit and added just a bit of richness.

Spicy Fish Stew with Chicken Andouille Sausage, Greens, and Brown Rice. Garnished with a bit of Chevre.

Spicy Fish Stew with Chicken Andouille Sausage, Greens, and Brown Rice.

Yesterday I logged about 65 miles on my Colnago and today I hope to ride even a little more. I’ve got to get out and ride, ride, ride to get myself ready for the 2016 Tour de Cure. I’m striving for Champion Status again this year. Please help  me to reach this goal by making a donation to support my ride. Simply click here to go to my personal Tour de Cure page.

Here’s wishing you a fabulous weekend!

Pacific Rockfish

Monday, December 7th, 2015

Pacific Rockfish has a sweet, delicate flavor. I like to quickly sear it in a little olive oil, then throw in a few sliced cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs, cover, reduce the heat to low, and allow it to steam in the resulting juices. Add a touch of salt and pepper to taste. Serve with brown rice and steamed vegetables for a light, healthy, protein-rich meal.

Rockfish is high in protein, low in saturated fat, a good source of B-vitamins, and delicious. It is a tad high in cholesterol, though, so do enjoy in moderation. For more nutritional information, click here.

Seafood Stew

Tuesday, December 1st, 2015

Seafood Stew

4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 to 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes
1 to 1 1/2 pounds fresh wild-caught seafood (I like cod or snapper, prawns, scallops)
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 or more large fresh thyme sprigs
1 large bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon (or more, to taste) red chili flakes
2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
Salt to taste
Chopped fresh thyme for garnish

Assemble and prepare all ingredients. Clean, trim, and chop the fennel into about 1/2-inch cubes. Rinse tomatoes and roughly chop into about 1-inch cubes. Rinse and pat dry fish and seafood, cut fillets into about 1-inch cubes.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy bottomed non-reactive pan. Saute the fennel over medium-high heat until it begins to caramelize a bit. Add fennel seeds and tomatoes, cover and simmer on low until the tomatoes soften and the sauce is heated through. This will take about 30 minutes or so. At this stage, I often puree the tomato and fennel mixture to make a more smooth sauce, but you can leave it as is or puree just a bit for a more rustic stew (as shown below).

Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat in a heavy bottomed non-reactive pan. Add the seafood and saute until it’s about half-way cooked through. Add the wine and cook about 5 to 10 minutes to cook down the wine a bit. Add the tomato-fennel sauce to the pan along with the fresh thyme, bay leaf, and chili flakes. Stir gently to combine.

Cover and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes until the fish is cooked through. Season to taste with salt. If your sauce is too thin for your liking, add the tomato paste and stir gently to combine.

Remember to remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs before serving.

Serve with a good hearty brown rice, or on top of some freshly made homemade croutons. Garnish with a bit of feta cheese, if desired.

To serve, I like to place some homemade croutons (still warm from the oven is best!), sprinkle a little feta over the warm croutons, then ladle some stew over top. If I’m feeling decadent, I’ll add a little more feta and chopped fresh thyme on top as a garnish.

This makes about 4 servings.

I've been promising this recipe for a while, haven't I?

I’ve been promising this recipe for a while, haven’t I? This stew is light and healthy, but also hearty and satisfying. A bit of heat from the chili flakes lends a warm comfort. Apologies for the lousy picture, I assure you this tastes better than it looks in this photo.

Homemade Croutons

Day old bread – a good artisan bread is best
Good quality olive oil

Cut the bread into bite-sized cubes and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and toss well to combine.

Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven until they’re golden brown. You’ll want to give the pan a few shakes now and then, and turn the cubes with a spatula so they’ll cook evenly.

Remove from the oven and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack. Sprinkle the croutons with a little salt – be careful to not over salt.


Coming Soon … Peru – the Food

Thursday, June 11th, 2015
More to follow …

One of my favorite meals I had in Peru ... Ceviche Mixto


Spicy Roasted Shrimp Cocktail

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Years ago I discovered this method of cooking shrimp and I have never boiled it since. Ina Garten, on an episode of Barefoot Contessa, made her Roasted Shrimp Cocktail. To make is spicy, just add some red chili flakes before roasting.

Spicy Roasted Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail & Tartar Sauces

The sauces shown are very simple, rustic versions of tartar and cocktail sauces.

For the tartar sauce, simply combine to taste mayonnaise, sweet pickle relish, lime (or lemon) juice, and a dash of Worcerstershire sauce and blend well.

For the cocktail sauce, simply combine to taste some ketchup, horseradish (I like lots), lime (or lemon) juice, and a bit of chili garlic paste.

One week from today, right at this very moment, I will be riding in my 7th Napa Valley Tour de Cure! If you would like to help me reach Champion status, please click here to make a donation. You’ll be supporting the American Diabetes Association and helping meet their mission: To prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes.

I’ll be headed out shortly for a training ride on the American River Trail. It’s a beautiful morning for a ride! Hope you get one in, too.

Challenge: Day 16

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

I have pretty much given up trying to track everything, but I’m sticking pretty closely to the portions.

Dinner last night was Spicy Teriyaki Shrimp with steamed vegetables. After a long, long week, it was super satisfying and delicious.

Spicy Teriyaki Shrimp with Stir Steamed Vegetables

2 cups mixed fresh vegetables cleaned and cut into bite-sized pieces
6 to 8 large shrimp, cleaned, peeled, deveined
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon (or more!) chile garlic sauce

Clean, trim, and cut into bite-sized pieces. Drain well, but make sure they’re a little moist still. Heat a large non-stick wok. Add your vegetables one at a time, starting with whichever vegetable will take the longest to cook (I started with the carrots). Once all the vegetables are in the wok, give a good few stirs or shakes to evenly distribute the vegetables. Reduce heat to low and cover.

Asparagus, broccolette, carrots, green beans - prepped and ready to cook

Heat a smaller non-stick skillet. You can use a little cooking spray, if you like, but you won’t need much oil. You’ll want to cook the shrimp on medium-high until they just turn pink. Add the sauces, stir gently to evenly coat, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook just a few minutes until the shrimp are fully cooked.  You don’t want to overcook them, though, or they’ll get tough.

To assemble the dish, place your steamed vegetables in the bottom of a serving bowl. Spoon the shrimp and sauce over the vegetables.

Spicy Teriyaki Shrimp & Stir-Steamed Vegetables

If desired, you can garnish with some raw, unsalted cashews


Spicy Chipotle Shrimp with Stir Fried Vegetables

Monday, January 12th, 2015

A wonderful post-ride recovery meal - easy, low carb, high protein, and delicious!

Spicy Chipotle Shrimp with Stir Fried Vegetables

3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
8 ounces shrimp (medium to large size), cleaned, shelled, & deveined
1 – 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot or red onion
1 – 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 – 2 tablespoon Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, finely diced
1/4 cup dry white or sparkling wine
salt, pepper, red chile flakes to taste

about 4 cups of assorted vegetables* of your choice, cut into bite sized pieces
2 tablespoons orange juice
a dash of low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped

Prepare all of your ingredients. Rinse the shrimp, shell, and devein them. You can leave the tails on or pull them off – it’s a matter of personal choice.  Lay them on paper towels to remove excess moisture.

Over medium-high, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a wok. Add the shrimp and cook until they just start to turn pink. Remove from heat and set in a colander to drain. Wipe the wok clean.

Add the second tablespoon of oil to the wok and reheat, on medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot or onion and cook until they just begin to caramelize. Add the Chipotle peppers and heat through. Return the shrimp to the wok and toss to combine well. Add the wine and cook on medium heat to reduce the wine and thicken the sauce. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and chile flakes. Remove from heat, cover and keep warm.

In another wok, heat the last tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add your vegetables in batches and stir fry a few minutes. Add the orange juice and soy sauce, and cook just until the excess liquid is mostly evaporated. It’s important to not overcook the vegetables for this dish, so watch them carefully.

To serve, divide the vegetables between two large dinner bowls, top with the shrimp, and garnish with the cashews.

This makes two large servings.

We used asparagus, carrots, celery, French green beans, mushrooms, and snap peas.

If you want to add some healthy carbs, this would be great with some brown or black rice.


Cioppino Party

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

Last night I had some friends over for dinner. After the holidays, we’re all feeling a bit, dare I say, overindulged? However, last night was the final “holiday” party for 2014. It just had to wait until 2015 due to everyone’s schedules. So a light and healthy meal with just a touch of decadence was in order.

We had a few appetizers, the usual fresh vegetable platter, some cheese and crackers, and one experimental recipe – Roasted Crimini Mushrooms with Herbed Goat Cheese and a Balsamic Vinegar Glaze.

Roasted Crimini Mushrooms

Fresh Veggies

For the entree, I made Cioppino, mostly based on this recipe from Giada De Laurentiis. I made just a few modifications, but tried to follow her recipe as closely as possible because I’ve never made Cioppino before.


3 tablespoons avocado oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
28 ounces of chopped fresh Roma tomatoes
1 1/2 cups dry white white
2 cups oyster broth
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
1 1/2 cups water
1 bay leaf
2 1/2 pounds mixed seafood: mussels, shrimp, scallops, calamari
1 1/2 pounds wild caught fresh swordfish, cut into chunks

Mis en place: assemble and prepare all of your ingredients.

In a large pot (at least 5.5 quarts), heat the oil over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, and shallots; saute about 8-10 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute another 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes, wine, broths, water, and bay leaf. Stir to combine well. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and allow to gently simmer for about 30 minutes. This will allow the flavors to blend.

Add the mixed seafood, cover and cook for about 5-10 minutes. Add the fish, stir gently, and cook another 5-10 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes.

Ladle into bowls and serve with a good, crusty bread. This recipe makes six generous portions.

Cioppino - light, yet rich and satisfying, this Cioppino will make you want to head back for seconds.

We served a 2011 Luna Canto, which paired nicely and stood up to the spicy kick of this Cioppino.

For dessert, I made a “Paleo” Apple Crisp that I know you’ll want to try.



Grilled Wild Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Swordfish with Pineapple Salsa

Fall 2014 Quarter has officially started and life on campus is returning to its hectic quarter pace. I miss my morning pre-work rides, but have been able to get a few post-work rides in lately.

Thursday on my way home … dealing with commute traffic (ugh!) … I realized that what I really needed was to sort of reset things with a healthy, satisfying dinner. I stopped by my new local neighborhood store, Sprouts Farmers Market, and wandered about. Walking by the seafood counter, I saw some beautiful wild swordfish on sale. Hmm … grilled wild swordfish with pineapple salsa … why not? That was one of the very first special meals I cooked as a rookie foodie, and a soothing reminder of a simpler time long ago.

This beauty of it is that this is actually a very simple meal to prepare. Marinate the fish. Chop a few ingredients for the salsa. Make a simple salad. Grill the fish. Enjoy. If you want, serve with some roasted root veggies (pictured here – from the deli counter at my local Nugget Market), steamed rice, or a crusty hearth bread.

First, marinate the swordfish in some freshly squeezed lime juice and a little olive oil while you prepare the pineapple salsa.

Pineapple Salsa

1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple* chunks (about 1/4-inch cubes)
2 Serrano chilies, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, cut into about 1/8-inch chunks
juice of 1-2 fresh limes
a large handful of fresh cilantro leaves
salt and pepper to taste

Fresh pineapple is best, but in a pinch you could use canned (in its own juice, not sweetened).

Prepare the cilantro. Remove the leaves from the stems, rinse well and drain on towels.

Prepare the fresh pineapple. Using a large chef’s knife, cut off both top and bottom and discard. Cut off the outer skin, being sure to cut deep enough to remove the “eyes.” If you’ve never cut a fresh pineapple, try Googling “how to cut a pineapple” and you’ll find some videos and easy to follow instructions.

Once you’ve removed all of the skin and “eyes” of the pineapple, slice off a few 1/4-inch thick slices, then stack them and cut them into 1/4-inch cubes.

Note – if you want to make this even more simple … buy some pre-cut fresh pineapple chunks or spears. Many stores carry it in the the produce section.

Rinse the peppers, then cut them length-wise. I like to remove most of the seeds from the peppers, otherwise the salsa is too hot. However, some like it hot, so this is up to you! Dice finely and add to the pineapple.

Squeeze the limes and add the juice to the pineapple and peppers.

Coarsely chop the cilantro and add. Stir to combine all ingredients well. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.

Get your grill ready. While it is pre-heating, prepare your salad or other side dish. I’d recommend a simple salad with a light citrusy vinaigrette.

Grill the swordfish. Click here for some simple directions.

Place the grilled fish on your plate and spoon some salsa over it. Serve with side dish(es) of your choice.