Spinach & Mushroom Stuffed Flounder

flounder3

I’m keeping this post short & sweet for all my readers! With a mild sweet flavor and delicate flaky texture, Flounder is a versatile, easy-to-prepare filet of fish. This firm-fleshed white fish can be baked, sautéed, stuffed, and poached. I recommend cooking this lean fish with butter, or oil to maintain moisture and prevent your filet from drying out. Substitute Flounder for Grouper, or catfish in any tasty seafood recipe you’ve got your heart set on. (*Credit: Southern Living Magazine)

I wanted to get slightly creative and do something with the Flounder other than just season with salt & pepper and sear or bake it. Last time I prepared a Flounder dish at home, I stuffed it with crab meat and served it with pan seared Scallops. Defiantly one of my favorite Seafood dishes I’ve made at home. You can find that recipe in the link here

These filet’s were somewhat difficult to work with because of how thin they are. For as much as I can’t argue the $5 price for the bag at Aldi, these filet’s are super thin, that’s why my rolling looks weird. Last time, I was able to line up 2 filet’s next to each other to make one large roll. This time, I had to use half the amount of filling and roll one at a time. I took the remaining mixture and topped the Flounder with it. 

The sauteed spinach and mushrooms gave the dish a very light, Mediterranean feel. Only thing I would loved to have added if it was on hand would’ve been some fresh dill and feta cheese! 

IMG_20180320_201114

Mise En Place:

  • 2 Flounder Filet’s
  • 2 Cup’s Raw Spinach
  • 2 Each Baby Bella Mushrooms, small chop
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • Butter
  • S&P, TT

Method Of Prep:

  • To prepare the filling: heat up a large pan over medium heat. Add butter & garlic. Cook until garlic is lightly browned. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, approximately 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms from pan. Add more butter then saute spinach until wilted, approximately 2 minutes. Pour cooked spinach into a mesh strainer and allow to drain for 10 minutes. Use the back of a spoon to press liquid out of spinach if needed. Once spinach has been drained, add to mushrooms onto a cutting board and rough chop the two together. Mix well.

 

  • Turn oven to 350 Degrees.
  • Using a paper towel, pat dry the Flounder filet’s on each side. Season with salt & pepper.
  • Take 2 tablespoons of the filling and lay on the center of the filet(s). Roll from bottom to top. Place stuffed fillet(s) onto a greased and lined baking pan (I used foil). Add 1 Tablespoon of butter onto of filet. Place in the oven and allow to bake for 20 minutes or until fully cooked.
  • Serve right away with your choice of vegetable (I chose Roasted Brussels). Garnish the Flounder with any leftover mixture.
  • Enjoy!

**Cooking Tip: Add fresh squeezed Lemon juice to the fish right out of the oven. The acid will brighten up the flavors of the fish! You can also use citrus zest in the spinach & mushroom mixture as well. **

flounder2

Advertisements

Sweet Chili & Soy Tofu Vegetable Bowl

IMG_20180311_213937

This is a great recipe for anyone who is also following a low carb regime. I started the keto diet for Lent, in hopes of being able to fast myself from drinking alcohol, and eating sweets. Two things that make up a large part of what I consume on a daily basis (so much for a healthy lifestyle, huh?)  I just did a weigh in last week and have lost 5 pounds in 1 month! That’s pretty exciting to me considering I haven’t been to the gym since early December. An unfortunate injury to my tailbone from slipping on ice a few weeks ago has kept me from being able to work out. I’m hoping the bruising will heal soon so I can get back into my fitness routine. 2018 has been off to a rocky start with my health. I started it sick with bronchitis  for all of January into early February and then right when my strength had come back, during an early morning walk with the dog, I slipped very hard on the ice and slammed flat on my tailbone causing severe bruising which is still healing 3 weeks later. I heard rumors that the keto diet is an easy way to lose weight without having to workout. So I figured, if I cant go to the gym to lose weight, I’ll have to sacrifice some of my favorite things for 40 days to see if this diet actually works, and we’ll go from there. 

As you may have read, I recently adopted the pescatarian diet (Vegetarian including the source of fish or other seafood as protein) I will however still eat small bites of meat on the rare occasions like a tasting menu at work or my husband and I are at a restaurant known for their food. I’m not super strict or hardcore about this change, I just chose to eat less animal fats and focus more on healthier alternatives for personal reasons. During this change, I have been eating more vegan “meat alternatives”, a ton of seafood, lots of vegetables, berries, whole grains and soy products such as tofu. You may see a lot of tofu recipes on here but that’s because I happen to enjoy cooking and eating it.

This recipe takes my favorite Asian flavors of soy, and sweet chili sauce to coat the tofu and lay on top a bed of sauteed vegetables with garlic and sesame oil. If you enjoy Asian cuisine, I’m sure you’ll love this recipe. Feel free to substitute Chicken or another protein of your choice if Tofu isn’t your cup of tea 😉

IMG_20180311_213745

Prep Time: 30 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 Minutes

Total Time: 45 Minutes

Mise En Place:

  • 1 Pack Firm Tofu (Pressed to remove liquid, cut into bite size chunks)
  • 1 bag of Frozen vegetable Medley of choice (you may use fresh vegetables if you prefer)
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Oil
  • 1 Cup Raw Spinach
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • S&P, TT

For the Sauce:

  • 1/3 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Sweet Chili Sauce ( I used Mae Ploy)
  • 1/3 Cup Honey

Method of Prep:

  • In a saute pan over medium high heat, generously oil pan with vegetable oil. Add in tofu cubes and sear on each side 4 minutes or until golden brown all around.
  • As tofu is cooking, in a small sauce pot, whisk together all ingredients for sauce over medium heat until well combined. Bring to a boil and adjust heat to low. Allow liquid to simmer and reduce for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust to your liking. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Once tofu is browned on all sides, remove from pan and place on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up the oil.
  • Using the same saute pan, over medium heat, oil the pan again then add frozen veggies and minced garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until hot and vegetables are cooked through. Finish with sesame oil.
  • Dump vegetables into serving bowl. Top with spinach, allowing the steam from hot vegetables to lightly cook the spinach. Stir to combine.
  • Place saute pan back over medium heat, add in tofu and half the sweet chili sauce. Toss together until tofu is well coated and hot again. Pour onto bed of vegetables and spinach. Serve immediately. (Add extra sauce if you choose)
  • Enjoy! *Can Also be served with rice

IMG_20180311_213902

Marblehead Lighthouse

lighthouse3

I may have specified somewhere along the way that I wanted to expand this blog to more than just food. I do a lot crafting with wine bottles, corks, etc and I also have a passion for nature photography. I’ve done a post or two in the past on Lake Erie and other destinations I’ve visited not pertaining to food. I would like to continue doing that in this blog for more diversity. Some people may find my photography and crafting skills to be tremendous vs my food skills haha.  

lighthouse2

The Marblehead Lighthouse rests on the Marlehead peninsula, a rocky headland of Columbus Limestone that juts into Lake Erie. The oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes, has guided sailors safely along the rocky shores of Marblehead  since 1822. The Columbus Limestone on the peninsula has been dug for years and used around the country as a building stone, including the state capitol building in Columbus. Columbus Limestone is extremely durable; one of its uses is to armor vulnerable sections of shoreline against wave attack. This durability is why the Marblehead Peninsula exists and why the lighthouse has been in continuous operation since its construction. Source: http://parks.ohiodnr.gov/marbleheadlighthouse#activities

lighthouse5

It’s still technically winter here in N.E OH, even though the sun made an appearance today, it was still frigid. The cold didn’t stop me from taking my camera and getting out of the car 1 hour shy of sunset to capture some great photos of the light house and the area that surrounds it. My Grandparents live 10 minutes west of the Lighthouse, so when I am visiting, I like to escape for a minute to this little peninsula and have a moment of R&R. Today I took my dad with me because him and I haven’t had the opportunity to go together yet. If only it wasn’t so windy, I would’ve tried to catch more photos of the area. The wind chill had my hands feeling like they were going to fall off so I snapped what I could then made it quickly back to the car to warm back up. 

lighthouse11

The views surrounding the area are beautiful. There is a lovely picnic area to pack a lunch and sit while looking across at Cedar Point , Kelly’s Island, South Bass Island, Sandusky Bay and of course Lake Erie. It’s worth a trip if you’re in the area! I of course recommend stopping closer to sunset because the views are fascinating! For more information on the Lighthouse or directions to the State Park:

Location

110 Lighthouse Drive
Marblehead, Ohio 43440

Contact & Mailing:
East Harbor State Park
1169 North Buck Road
Lakeside-Marblehead, Ohio 43440

lighthouse4lighthouse12lighthouse13

I hope you enjoyed this post on one of the most appealing structures in an Ohio State Park. I look forward to collecting more outdoor icons to share. Enjoy!

Buffalo Tofu

buffalo tofu

Hot sauce is one of my beloved addition to food. I like the added heat it gives the meal furthermore, the acidity from the vinegar based condiment gives the flavor an extra pop.

My love for Buffalo sauce has expanded beyond the chicken wing. Now that I have cut meat from my diet, I have begun experimenting more with vegetarian and vegan friendly alternatives for protein. I’ve always enjoyed Tofu, yet for some folks, these bean curd blocks can be an acquired taste.

I’ve tossed buffalo in vegetables such as cauliflower and the outcome was still delicious! I wasn’t sure what to expect when using Tofu, but the conclusion showed fine results. This recipe combines my love for both blue cheese and hot sauce. Only change from the classic buffalo wing is I am using vegetarian friendly proteins 🙂 Omnivores, please feel free to still use this recipe with the protein of your choice 😉

Buffalo tofu2

Mise En Place:

  • (1) Package Firm Tofu
  • Buffalo Sauce
  • (1) Cup Broccoli, Roasted
  • (2) Tablespoons Blue Cheese Dressing
  • (1) Tablespoon Almond Milk
  • S&P, TT
  • Evoo

Method Of Prep:

  • Drain liquid from the Tofu package and press for 30 minutes or until moisture has been released (Place block in between 2 kitchen towels to soak up excess liquid. Place a bowl or something heavy on top to “press” the moisture out of the tofu.)
  • Cut up broccoli into bite size florets. Toss in 1 Tablespoon of EVOO and season with salt and pepper until well coated. Place in the oven on a baking sheet at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until broccoli is well roasted. (You’re looking for lightly blackened edges)
  • Cut Tofu into size & shapes of your choice (cubes or planks). Season both sides with Salt & Pepper.
  • Heat up a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons of EVOO to pan. Place enough Tofu to cover the skillet. Sear for 4 minutes or until golden brown. Turn over and sear an additional 4 minutes. Continue for all sides of the Tofu (4 total, no including the front & back edges)
  • Allow tofu to rest on top of (2) paper towels to soak up oil.
  • Once broccoli is roasted, toss in blue cheese sauce.
  • Once Tofu is all roasted, toss in Buffalo sauce to coat.
  • Serve & enjoy!

Buffalo Sauce:

  • (5) Tablespoons Butter
  • (3) Ounces Hot Sauce

 

  • Melt butter in a sauce pot over medium low heat. Whisk in hot sauce until well incorporated. (If sauce begins to break, pull off of the heat, continue whisking until blended)

Blue Cheese Sauce:

  • Mix ingredients together in a bowl until well blended. (Add more milk for a thinner sauce, more dressing for thicker)

Buffalo tofu3

Roasted Beets

Beets4

You can’t beat beets. One of my favorite root veggies the sweet, earthy and colorful beet. They’re not only a chock-full of everyday nutrients like B Vitamins, Iron, Copper, Magnesium & Potassium, these ruby gems also are a gold mine of health boosting nutrients. 

Beets are rich in nitrates—a compound that relaxes and dilates blood vessels. That means better circulation, and possibly lower blood pressure.  Beets are good for lowering inflammation and blood pressure. They also help to detoxify the body, boost immunity, and prevent respiratory issues. They also help lower your risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and stroke. I think you get the idea when I say, nothing beats a beet. 

I don’t know too many folks who dislike beets, but I’m thinking the ones that do, have never had a freshly roasted beet. They are probably used to something from a can & ya’ll don’t want to know my feelings on canned vegetables! Beets can be prepared numerous ways but roasted is the way to go. The beets in this recipe are rich and firm bursting with juicy flavor. They take a bit to cook but absolutely worth the wait. You be the judge of how you want to drop the beet..If you know what I mean! 

Beets2

Mise en Place:

  • 4 Medium Red Beets
  • Olive Oil
  • S&P
  • Tin Foil
  • Latex Gloves
  • Kitchen Towl

Method of Prep:

  • Turn oven to 300 degrees farenheit
  • Trim beets off the green and rinse under cold water cleaning away any dirt from skin
  • Pull a long sheet of tin foil, about the length of a sheet pan
  • Place the beets on the foil, drizzle enough oil to lightly glaze each beet. Use your hands to massage the oil around each beet. Sprinkle with S&P
  • Close the foil around the beets, creating a pouch. Place on a sheet tray and set in oven for 50 Minutes
  • Check to see if the beets are cooked through by taking a pairing knife and inserting it through the center of a beet. If the knife slides through softly, beets are ready to pull. if beet still feels firm in the center, place back in the oven for an additional 15 minutes.
  • Open up foil to remove the steam and allow the beets to cool down to room temperature for approximately 20 minutes.

Beets3

Peeling the Beets:

All beets purchased from the produce section of the grocery store, need to be peeled before eating. How to do this is simple but I highly recommend you wear latex or rubber gloves to keep your hands from turning purple from the beets bleeding as the skin is removed. I start with placing a kitchen towel in both hands. Placing the beet in my left hand, on top of the towel (because i’m right handed), take the towel in your right hand and begin to push downwards  on skin. If the beets have been cooked all the way the skin will peel off very easily. If the skin is harder to peel, your beets need to be cooked a little longer. Continue to do this around the whole beet until all the of the skin is removed. Cut into quarters, or slice into rounds and add to any meal of your choice!

Enjoy, Cheers!

Beets