Baked Lemon & Rosemary Rainbow Trout

Last night, we wanted to have fish and the plan was to grill it. The plan was to pick a couple fillets up at the grocery store, let the coals heat up while we each did a quick workout, and then grill those babies. Oh, and given how hot and humid it was, we wanted a side dish that would keep things cool–like a fresh salad (check it out Brent’s creation: Fresh Rainbow Pepper Salad).

Well, we forgot to buy coals (just a couple nights ago, we forgot to put the grill and coals back into the shed after dinner… and then it rained…). We were too tired to go back to the store–Isn’t it disappointing how the weeks shortened by holidays can sometimes feel like the longest ones?–so we decided to bake our trout. Oh, yes, we bought rainbow trout. I forgot to mention that detail, but you already knew that from reading the title of this post. 🙂

So, anyways, we looked for some basic recipes, took the ideas and came up with this little number. It was quite yummy. We hope you like it as much as we did!

Baked Lemon & Rosemary Rainbow Trout


Ingredients

  • 2 Rainbow Trout (approx. 1.5 lbs each), cleaned
  • Half of a lemon, sliced in rounds as thinly as possible
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (just enough to brush both sides of each fish)

Method

  1. Rinse the fish and pat dry.
  2. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
  3. Line a large baking pan with tin foil and then place a baking rack inside (so that it rests on top of the foil). The foil isn’t required, but it will make clean up a LOT easier. 🙂
  4. Open up each fish so the flesh is exposed.
  5. Sprinkle the flesh of both fish with salt and pepper.
  6. Lay out the slices of lemon on one side of the each fish’s flesh.
  7. Lay one spring of rosemary inside each fish and then close both by folding one flap of flesh and skin down over the other.
  8. Brush the outside of both fish with olive oil until well coated (this will help prevent the skin from sticking to the baking rack).
  9. Lay the fish side by side on the baking rack in the pan.
  10. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, or until the flesh of the fish is milky, white and somewhat flakey. (FYI: We learned last night that Trout doesn’t flake quite as much as Salmon, so we don’t think flakiness is the best guide for knowing when the fish is done.)
  11. Plate each trout over a generous helping of Fresh Rainbow Pepper Salad (or by itself with the salad on the side or even over any kind of greens/salad you like), and enjoy.

The fish was perfect. A little milky and soft in texture, with a fresh tang of lemon and the slightest hint of savory rosemary.

Oh, and we were so eager to eat, we completely forgot to take “before” and “during” pictures. So, all I have is this [hopefully] appetizing “after” picture.

Yes, by “after” I meant, “after eating,” haha. Sorry!

P.S. You may have already realized, “Ha! Their dinner was full of rainbows.” And you have even wondered, “Did they intent to do that?” Answer: No. But, indeed, I realized soon after we started eating and I began formulating these posts in my head that yes, there’s an odd appropriateness or simple weirdness, depending on your perspective. Take it as you will. We had a rough (albeit short) week, and maybe fate or karma or whatever decided we simply needed a few rainbows to cheer us up last night. 🙂

Fresh Rainbow Pepper Salad

This salad is a very quick and delicious side salad (as long as you have a mandoline) that is refreshing but still filling. That, and the color is a nice contrast on a plate that can be otherwise bland.

We threw this together to go alongside some baked trout, and it was a nice balance.  Feel free to add some other spices in to mix and match your favorite entrees.

Ingredients
1 large red bell pepper
1 large yellow bell pepper
1 large orange bell pepper
2-3 stalks of celery
1/4 of a red onion
3/4 tablespoon coconut vinegar
3/4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp minced garlic

Method

sliced peppers and celery and onion

Slice the peppers, celery stalks, and the onion thinly using a mandoline.  After this, I used a knife to quarter the slices so that the salad would be manageable with a fork.

mixed bowl of peppers and red onion and celery

Mix the sliced items and the rest of your ingredients in a large bowl.  I used a slightly larger tupperware bowl so I could just put on the lid and shake vigorously–mixing is lame.

dressing for pepper salad

Mix your olive oil, coconut vinegar, salt, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl to create your dressing.

tossed pepper salad

Allow the salad to rest for at least 15 minutes. (The longer it can rest, the better the flavors will blend.) 

final easy pepper salad paleo

Serve and enjoy!

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Lesson 1: The veggie grilling pan we bought a few weeks ago may have been the best purchase of the year.
Lesson 2: Homemade rosemary & garlic infused olive oil is rockin’ on brussels sprouts.
Lesson 3: Grilling brussels sprouts are super easy and deliciously smokey!


Grilled Rosemary-Garlic Brussles Sprouts

Ingredients:

  • Brussles Sprouts
  • Rosemary-Garlic Infused Olive Oil (preferably, homemade)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)

Method:

  1. Prep your brussels sprouts by chopping off the ends. (If you leave them on, like we did by accident, you will end up with an unpleasant, bitter taste in your mouth.)
  2. In a bowl, toss the brussles sprouts with the rosemary-garlic infused olive oil. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper if you like, but don’t go crazy because you’ll want to taste the sublet goodness of the olive oil.
  3. Spread the brussle sprouts out on your vegetable grilling pan.
  4. Grill over medium flame for about 10 minutes, stirring, tossing and/or turning frequently. Some leaves will char, that’s ok. If you don’t like the taste of them, just don’t eat those. 😉

We hope you like this quick and easy side-dish recipe. Try it next time you plan to grill up some big steaks or are simply in the mood for smokey and savory greens!

A Book of Beards

No, this post isn’t about Paleo.

It’s not even about food. >gasp!<

…This post is about a friend of mine who needs our support.

I found out last night that my former hair dresser, Mike Cummings, was diagnosed with Testicular Cancer in 2011. (He’s my former hair dresser only because I had to move states over a year ago for a new job.) Why should you, the few who read my blog, care about Mike and his illness?

Well, if you have ever known or do know someone with cancer, I don’t have to explain it. If you haven’t been close to someone who’s had cancer, look around you: lots of people are suffering from it and other diseases daily. I lost one of my sisters to cancer. It sucks. As someone who’s been through the pain of watching a loved one suffer, I understand what Mike’s family and friends are going through.

What’s amazing to me is that one of Mike’s dear friends is doing something truly significant and beautiful to help him. Justin James Muir is publishing, “A Book of Beards.” This book has 86 stunning beard portraits and 18 written contributions; and its proceeds will all go to two wonderful causes.

The first cause is Mike. All proceeds from the first press of the book will go directly to Mike to help alleviate the stress of the medical bills.

All proceeds from additional pressings will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to help continue their efforts and support their cause. In 1997, Justin’s twin brother was diagnosed with Leukemia. Thankfully, his brother is cancer free now. But so many others still suffer.

I am hoping that you can find it in your heart to help Mike and others like him fighting cancer. Buy the book. Or, if you can’t spare the cash to buy it right now, help me spread the word about it. More information about “A Book of Beards,” go to http://bookofbeards.com/.

Best in Health,

Heather

Coconut-Dill Veggie Dip



Yesterday we hosted our first BBQ since moving into our new home. We love entertaining and it’s so great to have a huge backyard and a full-sized grill. Plus, our new house is plenty big and not all of our “living space” furniture is crammed into one room anymore! I think last night’s BBQ was a great success–everyone seemed to really enjoy the food, beverages and conversation. YAY! 


We had burgers, brats, a veggie platter, a fruit platter, and our friends each brought a little something to share. There were crackers and olives stuffed with anchovies and wine and these OMG-to-die-for-sweet potato fries baked with pumpkin pie spices (Thanks, Nicole and Brian–you two are brilliant!). Are you drooling yet? Well, if not, I think you will be soon because I’m finally going to get the point of this post…


Coconut-Dill Veggie Dip

Ingredients

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon yellow mustard seed, ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon dill (fresh is best, but dried dill weed will work just fine)
  • top half of a 15 ounce can of coconut cream (make sure you don’t shake it up before opening; you want to use the top half of the can b/c that’s where the most fat/cream/pulp has settled–if you use too much of the liquid below it, the dip will be too runny to dip veggies into)
Method
  1. Combine spices in a mini bowl.
  2. Scoop out of the can into a small bowl the top half of the coconut cream. 
  3. Blend the spices into the coconut cream.
  4. Chill for about 5 minutes in the refrigerator.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
As you can see from the picture, I served my dip with baby carrots, broccoli, celery sticks and radishes. The dip was sweet and creamy up front, savory in the middle, and finished with a tiny bite in the back. It went well with all of the veggies! 

Honestly, this was completely a last-minute experiment. (By last-minute, I mean it–I started putting this together at 4 p.m., exactly when the party was supposed to start, haha. Lucky for me, the first fashionably-late friend didn’t arrive until 4:45 p.m.) My goal was to make a Paleo-friendly ranch dip for our veggies; I had even purchased a ranch flavor packet earlier that day just in case my efforts failed. But I really didn’t want to use that packet because it was littered with preservatives and such. 

I was nervous. I tried to look up recipes for making ranch dip from scratch. All of them were different and called for things like mayo and sour cream. But I got a vague idea of what spices to use. I threw caution to the wind and mixed a few spices together. That’s when I started to get excited. After I tasted the final product, I was thrilled!

I think if I had had the time to add some paleo-mayo (freshly made with egg, lemon juice, mustard seed and coconut oil), it might have had that tangy, ranch taste. However, I love this recipe just as it is. I love the sweet coconut, the savory dill with onion and garlic, and the little kick at the end from the yellow mustard seed and black pepper.

And the best part: Everyone loved it.

I hope you will, too. 🙂
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