Creativity in quick and easy weeknight meals often gets lost. This week lets take it up a notch with interesting but delicious plates! *Note: All recipes serve 4.
Creamy Tomato Soup
In a stock pot, heat 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (cold pressed). Add 4 chopped shallots and 2 chopped cloves of garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 4 – 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir in 1/2 cup white wine while scraping bottom of pan for 2 – 3 minutes. Add 4 cups vegetable broth (low-sodium), 1 cup full-fat coconut milk, 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 cup of basil leaves. Using a regular blender or immersion blender, blend until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 – 2 teaspoons of maple syrup. Blend again. Serve with an extra drizzle of coconut milk and basil.
*Recipe from http://www.loveandlemons.com. One of my fav’s! Even though these are solely vegetarians recipes, they are veggie forward (rather than grain) and easy to incorporate an animal protein if wanted.
Seared Scallops with Bacon and Cabbage
Cook bacon in large stock pan. Remove bacon strips to paper-line plate and pour half of bacon droppings to grill pan or saute pan. Return stock pan to medium heat and add 1 head of sliced green cabbage and season with 1 tablespoon of dried thyme. Cook for 2 minutes before adding 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in chopped Fuji apple and 3 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. Cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in chopped bacon and salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat on grill pan and swirl bacon drippings. Season scallops with salt and pepper. Cook 2 minutes on each side. Serve 1 1/2 cups of cabbage mixture on plate and top with scallops.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Chicken
Prep 2 large sweet potatoes by covering with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook potatoes in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Prep 2 bone in chicken breast by drizzling with olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper. Place in oven after 10 minutes of potatoes. Cook until firm and juices run clear (approximately 35 minutes). Remove potatoes and chicken from oven and allow to cool slightly. In large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add 4 – 5 cups of kale and/or spinach to the pan to saute. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. After wilted, remove from heat and add chucks of goat cheese to greens and shredded chicken breast. To plate, half potatoes and top with greens, goat cheese, and chicken mixture.
Spanish Steak with Onions and Tomatoes
Season 1 pound sirloin steak with salt, pepper, and garlic pepper. In cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over high heat. Cook beef for 1 – 3 minutes per side (depending on temperature of choice). Remove steak from pan and reduce heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add 2 sliced yellow onions. Cook until tender. Add 2 sliced tomatoes to onions. Season with salt, pepper, and 2 teaspoons of cumin. Add 1/4 cup water and simmer for 5 minutes to create sauce. Slice steak and return to pan with onions and tomatoes. Add extra season if needed. Serve with 1/2 cup grain of choice such as farro or barley.
1 green cabbage
1 Fuji apple
2 large sweet potatoes
1 bunch greens: kale or spinach
2 medium yellow onions
2 medium beefsteak tomatoes
Fresh herbs: basil, dill
4 slices of bacon
1 pound sea scallops
2 bone in chicken breast (organic, if possible)
1 pound sirloin steak (grass-fed)
Goat cheese, soft
Extra-virgin olive oil
Dry white wine
2 cups vegetable broth (no or low sodium)
1 carton of culinary coconut milk
1 can/jar sun dried tomatoes
Apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup grain of choice: farro, barley, brown rice
Dried herbs: oregano, red pepper flakes, thyme, garlic powder, cumin