Monday, March 21, 2011

Cashew Coconut Mahi Mahi

So it's been a little while since I posted some recipes, but we are currently remodeling our kitchen, meaning that we literally took EVERYTHING out of the cabinets and set it on the living room floor, then painted all of the bases, and just had granite countertops put in... it's still a work in progress, but it's looking GREAT!  You'll be seeing some pictures soon, I'm sure :)

Anyway, on Wednesday night, Curt and I had a nice workout at the gym... the only problem was that afterwards, we were both STARVING and there wasn't really anything at home.  I stopped by the grocery store and found some frozen wild caught Mahi Mahi.  I grabbed the bag and headed towards the veggie section to find something to go with it.  I had planned to just broil the fish with some lemon and oil, but I turned over the bag of fish and lo and behold, I found this awesome recipe!  The original recipe called for cornstarch, but it was something that I could easily alter.  So here we have:

Cashew Coconut Mahi Mahi

* 2 (6 oz) filets of mahi mahi
* 1 pinch ground cayenne pepper
* 3 tbs of coconut flour
* 1/3 cup of coconut milk
* 1/2 cup of chopped, toasted cashews
* Salt & Pepper

I had raw cashews that I picked up from Trader Joes, but I wanted to toast them.  I think that toasting them really helps to warm up the oils and bring out a lot of the yummy flavor.  Keeping this in mind, I heated up a pan (without any sort of oil or spray) and threw the cashews in.  I put the heat up to medium and shook the pan every minute or so to make sure each side of the cashew was getting some color.

While I was waiting for the cashews to toast up, I mixed the coconut flour and the cayenne pepper.  I would suppose you could use any sort of flour type substance like almond flour or cashew flour.  I thought the coconut flour would go nicely with the coconut milk, so that's what I used.  You definitely want to coat the fish with something, though.

Once the cashews had some color, I chopped them up into tiny little chunks, not to the point that they were minced, but just to where they were small enough to fit nicely on the fish without it falling off all over the place.

Next, I dipped one side of the fish in the coconut flour mixture.  You don't need a ton, but you do want to have enough so that it sticks nicely to the fish.  This flour mixture is what allows the coconut milk to stick to the fish.

Now, onto the coconut milk.  Once the fish has a nice coating of coconut flour, you want to dip it, flour side down, in the coconut milk.  Make sure that it is all coated and yummy looking.

Next, I put the fish, coconut milk side up, in an oven proof pan.  I forgot to mention that I preheated my oven to 350.

Now, you pour the chopped cashews on top of the fish.  Some will fall off the sides, but it will be ok.  Just pack on all of the cashews that you can.  Then stick the whole thing into the preheated oven.  The fish only took 20 minutes to cook and then voila!

Cashew coconut mahi mahi!  This was absolutely delicious!  I'm really going to have to make this over and over again.  The fish was cooked through, but not tough.  The coconut milk helped to keep the fish tender and give a nice light coconut flavor.  I didn't feel that it overpowered the fish at all. 

This was another of those dishes where I was really suprised at how good it would be.  It's a definite keeper because it's deliciously paleo, really really simple, very quick, and fabulously tasty!  You all should DEFINITELY give this one a try!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Creamy Lemon Chicken Soup

 When the weather outside is cold and windy, one of my go to meals is soup.  There's nothing like having a nice big bowl of soup while you're curled up on the couch with a good movie.  When we had all of that snow a few weeks ago, all I wanted was soup.  I wasn't able to go to the grocery store while the snow was really, really falling.  I did have a few things in the fridge, so I decided to create this soup. Here we have:

Creamy Chicken Soup with Lemon and Spinach

* 1 quart chicken stock (I use homemade)
* 1 box thingey frozen spinach (maybe 10 oz?)
* 1 1/2 lb of shredded chicken
* the grated peel and juice of 2 lemons
* 2 tbs olive oil
* 4 cloves of garlic, minced
* 3 eggs, beaten
* 1/2 onion, minced

(I had planned to use the broccolini, but then thought it might be a little weird in a soup... I had some spinach in the freezer, so I used that instead)

I started off by sauteing the onion and garlic in the olive oil.  Onions and garlic are the base of pretty much every dish I ever make, so no need to switch things up too much.

While the onions were sauteing  I set to grating the peel off my lemons.  The zest contains a whole lot of citrus oils which packs a punch of flavor.  It's amazing how a little bit of zest can really liven up a dish.

Once the lemons were zested, I used my little juicer thingey and got all the juice out.  It ended up being a pretty good amount of juice.  I always prefer freshly squeezed juice... the bottled stuff says it's fresh, but it's never quite the same.

Once the onions were softened, I added in the frozen spinach.  I didn't bother really thawing it out because the extra water just added to the liquid part of the soup.  I like my soups really brothy, so this worked perfectly for me.

When the spinach was warmed through and combined thoroughly with the onions, I added in the chicken stock.  You could use chicken broth too, but I always have homemade chicken stock in the freezer, so I use that... plus, if I make it myself (it's super easy to make), I know what goes into it so I can guarantee there's no other chemicals and junk in it.

Next, I added in the lemon zest and stirred until everything had come to a gentle boil.

While waiting for the soup to come to a boil, I whisked the eggs in a bowl and added the lemon juice to the egg mixture.  I stirred it all together and set it aside until the soup boiled.

I had shredded chicken from earlier in the week when I had roasted a whole chicken for dinner.  I just threw that into the soup and turned the temperature down to medium.

Next, it was time to add in the egg.  Now, you don't want to add the egg to the hot soup.  If you do this, the egg will scramble and you'll have little chunks in your soup.  I don't know about you, but I'm not a fan of scrambled egg soup.  To avoid this, I took a ladle of the soup and added it to the egg mixture and immediately started mixing it all together.  I added in one more ladle full of the soup into the egg and stirred a bit more, just to be safe.

Finally, I poured the egg/soup mixture into the big pot of soup and started stirring.  The egg really helps to thicken the soup without adding any of the gut irritating grains like flour or cornstarch.

Overall, this soup was pretty good!  I liked the spinach flavor, as well as the garlic and lemon blend.  I will say that I think it was a bit too lemony for me.  Next time, I might try to cut down the lemons to just one lemon (zest and juice).  If it isn't lemony enough, I can always add in more later.  This was a yummy and unique soup.  You could probably add in more veggies if you wanted to... carrots, celery, etc... it's worth a shot!