Quick & Easy Salmon Zoodle Bowls

I’ve been on a health kick recently, but with all my recent travels and the start of wedding season, it’s been tough to stick to a steady routine and diet. So many decadent distractions everywhere! That’s why I love super simple recipes that are easy to whip up in the kitchen, but still good for you. Salmon is my go-to protein for weeknight dinners, and I’ve recently been pairing it with a little bit of pesto, garlic, tomatoes and zucchini noodles. So light, refreshing, and packed with a ton of flavor.

Here’s my recipe for Salmon Zoodle Bowls – everything you dreamed of for those busy weeknights. What are some of your tips and tricks for eating healthy with a busy schedule? I’d love to hear from you!

When you’re off your blogging game and Instagram Story is the best picture you have…

Ingredients (serves 2) 

1.5 tbsp olive oil
4 zucchinis – washed, peeled and spiralized into noodles
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cloves of garlic, diced
2 small salmon fillets, cut into three pieces each and marinaded in a little bit of olive oil, s&p and the diced garlic
1/2 a tomato, diced
2-3 tsp of pesto, depending on your taste
Grated parmesan cheese

Recipe

First, prep your zoodles. Lightly fry the spiralized zucchini noodles in 1 tbsp olive oil and garnish with salt & pepper and any other spices to your liking. I usually add some onion powder and parsley flakes, but you can also add red chilli flakes for an added kick. This should only take a few minutes – avoid frying for too long, or the zoodles will become mushy and let out moisture. Keep em’ crispy! Once this is done, arrange the zoodles in a bowl.

Next up, take your salmon pieces (already marinaded in olive oil, s&p and garlic) and lightly pan-fry them for a few minutes on each side in half a tbsp of olive oil. As you’re frying them, drop in the diced tomatoes and add pesto over the salmon pieces. Stir this mixture so that the pesto combines with the tomatoes and coats the salmon. Cover until the salmon pieces are completely cooked (this should taken around 5-10 minutes longer depending how thick the salmon pieces are).

Spoon the salmon, pesto and tomato mixture over your zoodles. Garnish with fresh parmesan cheese, freshly cracked pepper and a little more pesto if you please. Enjoy! Guilt-free and delicious.

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Creamy No-Cream Cauliflower Soup

I know, I know. I’m completely failing at posting regularly on my blog, but I promise you it’s all for good reason. Life has been a whirlwind lately with tons of travel and a busy work schedule, but I’m looking forward to things slowing down a bit for the summer. We’ve had a taste of some amazing weather here in Chicago, and I’m getting so amped for outdoor music festivals, day drinking, international travel (fingers crossed), barbecues, and experimenting with some lighter summer flavors in the kitchen. It’s gonna be a gooood, good summer. I can just feel it!

This time of year, I always find myself craving more veggies. My husband and I have been trying to incorporate one meatless meal at least once a week, and it actually hasn’t been that difficult to do. Veggie soups are perfect for helping us accomplish this goal – they’re easy to make, quite filling, and last for at least three days. I’m a lazy cook, so this is a big win in my book 🙂 Last week, I made a modified/healthier version of Food Network’s Cauliflower Soup and absolutely loved it. The best part about my recipe is that it was super creamy and sweet, with NO cream at all. Enjoy!

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Ingredients (serves 4) 

1/2 stick butter
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 cauliflower head, cored and cut into small florets
2 tbsp fresh parsley
4 cups chicken broth/stock
6 tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
Salt, to taste
Black pepper
Paprika, to taste
1 cup greek yoghurt

Recipe (*modified from the Food Network) 

Melt 1/4 stick of butter in a heavy soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, then add the carrots and cook until they begin to brown. Add the cauliflower florets, cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. The cauliflower should be very soft at this point. Add the parsley and chicken broth and let simmer for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, make a white sauce in a small saucepan. Melt the remaining 1/4 stick butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the milk and whisk to combine until the flour is no longer lumpy. Pour the white sauce into the pot. Add salt, pepper, and paprika to taste and allow the soup to simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes. When serving, place some greek yogurt at the bottom of the serving bowl, add the soup, and stir slowly. Creamy and delicious, with ZERO cream involved!

*Note that the Food Network recipe suggests that you can use an immersion blender to puree for a smoother, thicker soup. This is a great option, but I sort of liked feeling the cauliflower’s texture. And like I said, I’m a lazy cook, so love the added benefit of only cleaning one pot!

Oven Roasted Eggplant with Tahini

It’s official. Tahini might just be my new favorite ingredient. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s an oily paste made from ground sesame seeds and is commonly used in Middle Eastern cooking. It’s nutty, creamy, and delicious all at once.

I also think I should rename my blog Mrs. Chatterjee, because I’ve been stealing so many of my mom’s recipes! 🙂 I can’t help it, she’s just a creative genius in the kitchen. She made us this roasted eggplant with tahini over the holidays and I’ve been craving it ever since! I finally tried it out yesterday and it’s SO easy – definitely my new go-to side dish. All you need is some eggplant, tahini, onions, garlic, and olive oil, and you have this amazing, creamy dip that you can eat with bread or even mixed in with hot rice. So good!

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Ingredients (serves 2)

1.5 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, grated
1 large eggplant
2 teaspoons tahini
Salt and pepper, to taste

Recipe

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Rub some olive oil on the eggplant, place it in an oven proof dish, and cook for 45 minutes. Prepare your ingredients while the eggplant is roasting to save time.

Once the eggplant is done cooking, let cool for 5 minutes. Remove the skin and scrape out all the ‘meat’.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized pan on high. Fry the onions for a few minutes till they begin to turn slightly golden. Add the garlic and stir for another minute. Add the eggplant and tahini into the onion garlic mixture and stir. The eggplant will stick to the pan, so continue stirring for several minutes until everything is nicely mixed together. Season with salt and pepper and your’e done! Told ya, easiest recipe EVER.

Coconut Shrimp Curry (Malai Chingri)

My mom’s coconut shrimp curry (or ‘malai chingri’ as the Bengalis call it) is hands down my favorite dish, ever. No joke. Every time I visit my parents, it’s the #1 item on my list of dishes that my mom must cook for me on my first day back. I’m kind of a brat about it, which is why I was so surprised to learn just how easy and quick it is to make! It’s now my go-to recipe whenever I have guests over for Indian food, and it’s always such a crowd favorite. I’ve been asked for this recipe a million times after guests have tried it, so I’m so excited to finally be able to share it with you after verifying all the ingredients and steps with my mom. I sometimes simplify it and skip the cumin and whole garam masala if I’m out, but those spices really make it that much better. Enjoy this creamy, coconut-y, delicious goodness!

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Ingredients (serves 4) 

15-20 shrimp, deveined
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp whole garam masala (cardamom, cinnamon, clove, cardamom)
1 medium sized onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, grated
1 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tomato, diced
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 tsp cumin and coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Kashmiri chili powder, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch of sugar
1 small can of coconut milk
Cilantro, for garnish

Recipe

Heat oil on a medium sized saucepan. Once the oil is heated, add the cumin and whole garam masala. Fry the onions till they begin to brown. Add in the garlic, ginger paste, and tomatoes and stir together till the oil begins to separate. Stir in the shrimp and fry till fully cooked. Add in haldi, cumin and coriander powder, garam masala powder, chili powder, salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Stir in the coconut milk and let boil. Add in more garam masala or chili powder, depending on your taste. Once the shrimp is fully cooked and mixed with the coconut milk, remove from heat and garnish with cilantro. Serve with hot rice.

Sweet & Spicy Shrimp Curry

Ugh, is it seriously Sunday already? I can’t believe how quickly the Thanksgiving long weekend flew by! This year we celebrated “Thanksgivmas” with my in-laws, with Christmas presents & jammies on Thursday morning, followed by a more formal turkey dinner in the evening. It was so nice to get into the Christmas spirit a little earlier this year, and even though we felt a bit sad after the family festivities were over, we realized that the official holiday countdown has only just begin! I still have a full week of Christmas celebrates with my side of the family to look forward to in Canada. I seriously cannot wait to gorge on my mom’s amazing food and steal–I mean, learn–more of her delicious recipes :). SO. EXCITED.

Anyways, we’re battling some serious Sunday blues here in the Gupta household, so we decided to whip up some homemade Indian food to cleanse our palate from all the decadent eating we’ve been doing over the long weekend. If you follow me on Instagram, you know what I’m talking about! Also, my husband bought me these amazing kadhai dishes as part of my early Christmas gift, and I was just really excited to test them out.

I’ve been making a lot of fish and chicken lately, and wanted to try out a new shrimp recipe tonight. My go-to recipe for shrimp curry involves heavy coconut milk, and I was in the mood for something lighter. I drew some inspiration from this Prawn Patia dish but added some Bengali spices and simplified a few of the steps. I was shocked by how delicious this dish ended up tasting! I love love love adding some sweetness to my curry (true Bengali) and I couldn’t get enough of the sweet and spicy combination. So good, I just had to share with you guys. Enjoy!

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Full spread from tonight’s dinner – bhindi masala, baingan bharta, and sweet & spicy shrimp curry!

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This might be my new go-to shrimp recipe…

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How cute are my new kadhai dishes?!

Ingredients (serves 2)

1/2 tsp kalo jeere (black cumin)
15-20 shrimp, deveined
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 onion, sliced into long slender pieces
1/2 tomato, diced into small pieces and ketchup, to taste
3 garlic cloves, grated
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin and coriander powder
1 sugar cube (or 1 tsp sugar)
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp water
Salt, to taste
Cilantro, for garnishing

Recipe

Heat the oil on a large saucepan. Once heated, drop in the kalo jeere for a few seconds. Then fry the onions until they begin to brown slightly. Add the grated garlic and ginger paste and mix together with the onions and kalo jeere. Add the tomatoes and stir continuously until the oil begins to separate. Add salt and the remaining spices (red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin and coriander powder) and keep mixing for another few minutes.

Add the sugar cube and stir until it mixes with the onions and spices. Add water and vinegar and cook until the tomatoes are fully cooked with the spices. Drop in the shrimps and cook for a few minutes with the onions and spice mixture. Stir continuously until the shrimp is fully cooked through (around five minutes). Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with hot rice!

Chicken & Sun-Dried Tomatoes in a Garlic Cream Sauce

‘Tis the season for turkey, but I have to admit, I’m always going to favor chicken over turkey. I didn’t grow up celebrating Thanksgiving, but after my family migrated to Canada, we always chose roasting a chicken over trying to handle a big bird. Chicken is just so much more juicy and flavorful! Anyone else with me?!

Anyways, today’s recipe is one of my favorite chicken dishes that would make an excellent non-traditional side for a Turkey Day meal. Or an entree for after Thanksgiving, when you’re sick of all the leftover turkey and craving something new.

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I first discovered this recipe on Damn Delicious, and simplified it even further for the lazy (or time pressed!) cook. My version is really really ridiculously simple, but impressive enough for guests and still damn delicious. Trust me, you won’t be able to stop licking your plate. My husband doesn’t even like sun-dried tomatoes, but he loves everything about this chicken and always asks for it.

Keep reading for the recipe!

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Ingredients (serves 2-4)

6 chicken thighs
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 an onion (or 1/2 small onion), chopped
6 cloves of garlic, diced
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, chopped
Parsley flakes, to taste
1.5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup chicken broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
Red chili flakes, to taste
Thyme leaves, for garnishing

Recipe

Marinate the chicken in salt and pepper, to taste. Melt the butter on a large saucepan on high heat. Once heated, fry the onions and garlic till the mixture becomes slightly translucent. Add the chicken thighs, fry on each side for a few minutes until they begin to brown. Add the sun-dried tomatoes and allow the thighs to fry a little longer in the olive oil. Lower the heat to medium and add the chicken broth, cream, and parsley flakes. Stir everything together and add more salt if necessary. Cover until the chicken is fully cooked, then garnish with thyme leaves.

Best served with pasta, or just a side salad and some garlic bread to soak up all that delicious gravy. Yum!

Let me know if you guys try out the recipe and don’t forget to subscribe by email (to the right) so you can get immediate updates. You can also like me on Facebook. Happy almost Turkey week!