3/25/15

Seared Blood Orange Scallops with Rustic Pea Hummus

Seared Blood Orange Scallops with Rustic Pea Hummus
This elegant meal, which is equally suitable for a special occasion or a weeknight dinner, comes together in a matter of minutes. The scallops get a quick dousing of fresh squeezed juices, garlic powder and salt & pepper, then are seared to perfection in about 4 minutes. The pea hummus can be made beforehand and so can the salad (which is quite simply 3 ingredients: mixed greens, walnuts and blood oranges topped with a squeeze of fresh blood orange - no dressing needed).

All told you can have this dinner for four on the table in under 20 minutes. Oh, and it's perfectly Paleo, too.

1) Prep your salad and place on the plates, then get to work on the Pea Hummus. For the Pea Hummus, I used this recipe from the Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook:

Rustic Pea Hummus
adapted from Le Pain Quotidian
makes 1 cup, enough for 4 smears (double recipe for a heartier portion)

1 cup frozen organic peas, at room temperature (soft)
2 Tbsp organic tahini
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or by using a hand blender. I left mine chunky for a more rustic feel but you could blend to a smooth puree if desired.

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2) Add your smears to the plates with salad already on them. Now you're ready to make your scallops.

Seared Blood Orange Scallops
serves 4

16-20 wild caught sea scallops, 10-20 per pound size (4-5 scallops per person)
1 blood orange, juiced and zest reserved for garnish (zest first, then juice)
1/2 lemon, juiced
garlic powder
sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp salted butter for cooking (Kerrygold is my favorite)

Heat large skillet to medium high and add butter. Squeeze blood orange and lemon over the scallops, then sprinkle with garlic powder, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper. Mix to coat and season once more with garlic powder, salt and pepper.

Place in hot pan (you should hear it sizzle when you add the scallops), cook for about 2 minutes on each side.

3) Remove and place evenly atop the Pea Hummus smear on each plate, 4 to 5 scallops per plate. Top with the blood orange zest and serve immediately.
Beautiful and delicious!
Boom, done.

3/21/15

Weekends are for Breakfast: Bacon, Eggs and Salad


Weekends are for a lot of things but for sure, they're for breakfast. During the week, you're all frantic trying to get out the door to work or school or wherever and there's no time to cook a decent meal, much less sit down to enjoy it. But weekends...on weekends you can sleep in and still have time to cook the most ridiculously awesome meal...and on weekends you can totally savor every single bite.

So this is pretty much how weekend breakfasts go around here. I'll switch up the fruit based on what's in season, and I'll throw whatever veggies are hanging out in the fridge into the eggs, but the staples are always: Bacon, Eggs and Salad (a perfectly Paleo meal, I might add).
Applegate Sunday Bacon, Vital Farms Pasture-Raised Organic Eggs w/organic bell peppers and organic cilantro, and sliced organic tomatoes
Fresh organic baby spinach, organic sliced strawberries and organic blueberries
I'm pretty sure everyone already knows how to make bacon, eggs and salad but I just have to tell you how great Applegate Sunday Bacon is, especially when it's baked in the oven to the perfect crispness. It's salty, savory and out of this world good.

How to Make Perfect Applegate Sunday Bacon:
  • Preheat oven to 385 degrees.
  • Lay slices of bacon side by side on a baking sheet without overlapping. I line my pan with non-stick foil for less mess but it's not necessary.
  • Place baking sheet in oven and cook for approximately 18 minutes. Check it at around 16 minutes to be sure it's not overcooked. Conversely, you may need to leave it in for an extra minute or two to get the perfect crispness.
  • Upon taking the pan of bacon from the oven, immediately remove the bacon from the grease that has accumulated and place on a paper-lined plate. Don't let the bacon sit in the grease or it won't be crisp.
And a word about salad with breakfast:
It's not crazy (I know what you were thinking!). Raw baby spinach topped with fresh fruit that's in season is fabulous. Sweet, tart, crunchy and healthy. No dressing needed.

Lastly, if I could just leave you with this one thought...


3/20/15

Easy Scratch Caesar Salad

Easy Scratch Caesar Salad
Recently, we had the pleasure of joining family who had rented a vacation home in beautiful Tucson, AZ for a long weekend. We enjoyed some amazing sunset meals out at the local Bob's Steak and Chop House overlooking Tucson National Golf Course.

Sunset from the patio at Bob's Steak and Chop House in Tucson, AZ
One of my favorite dinners, though, was at home and included an incredibly tasty homemade Caesar salad. My sister in law Sunny is an amazing cook and I especially admire her ability to entertain large groups with ease. She whipped up this incredible Caesar salad dressing from scratch, and while I usually pass on salad dressings, I couldn't resist. I'm glad I didn't resist. It was fabulous and clean. I snapped this pic of the paper recipe she uses:
Sunny's recipe for Caesar Dressing adapted from Epicurious
And then I quickly made it again as soon as we returned home - yum! It was super easy and quick to make. Just throw a few ingredients in a bowl, stir and toss with romaine. I halved her recipe and it was plenty to dress a large salad for 3-4 people as a side.

Just throw a few ingredients in a bowl, stir and toss with romaine - so easy for such goodness

Easy Scratch Caesar Salad
Adapted from Sunny Hirschfeld and Epicurious

Serves 3-4 as a side

1 organic garlic clove, mashed with a pinch of sea salt
1/2 tsp anchovy paste
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Worscestershire sauce
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
3 large stalks of organic hearts of romaine lettuce, chopped
sea salt
fresh cracked black pepper

In a medium mixing bowl add all ingredients except lettuce, salt and pepper, and mix with a fork until blended.

Toss with lettuce and add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a sprinkling, or a few shaves, of Parmigiano Reggiano if desired.

Note: For a Paleo-friendly version, you can make your own Paleo mayo or do as I did and use Sir Kensington's Mayo.

Bon app├ętit!

3/10/15

Beefsteak Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad

Organic Beefsteak Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad
Juicy beefsteak tomatoes, silky buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil topped with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil - the perfect accompaniment to grass fed beef tenderloin steaks hot off the grill. Tonight's meal was about simplicity. Two classics joined together in harmony on one Paleo plate.

Buf Creamery Buffalo Mozzarella
Dairy can be a bit of a gray area when it comes to the Paleo diet, but I find that a small amount of dairy in my diet, especially non-cow dairy, doesn't impact me negatively. The mozzarella I used was by Buf Creamery, made from grass fed buffalo. It's really awesome and they're even working on getting certified organic.


The other stars in this classic were O Olive Oil Port Balsamic Vinegar and McEvoy Ranch Organic EVOO.

Beefsteak Tomato and Buffalo Mozzarella Salad

Serves 4 generously

2 organic beefsteak tomatoes, sliced thick
1 container Buf Creamery buffalo mozzarella, sliced thick
fresh organic basil leaves
O Olive Oil Port Balsamic Vinegar
McEvoy Ranch Organic EVOO
fresh cracked black pepper
sea salt

Layer sliced tomatoes, mozzarella and basil leaves on a plate. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and EVOO. Top with freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt.