Well Dined

10Jan/170

Try The World – Spain Box; Tapas

Well Dined | Spanish Tapas

I've had to pause my Try The World subscription, because I have been so slow to go through the boxes, plan a meal/blog post, make it, and write it up.  Oops!  So I've made a goal for 2017 (I don't like the word "resolution") to work on 1 Try The World post per month.  This month I made tapas with the Spain Box!  So much food!!!

Well Dined | Try The World - Spain

The Spain Box came with El Navarrico salsa tumaca con ajo (tomato sauce with garlic); El Avión paprika; Oleum Hispania extra-virgin olive oil; and Espinaler canned white tuna - all of which were used to make the tapas.

Well Dined | Try The World - Spain

It also contained P. listo jasmine floral jam; Ines Rosales cortadillo citrus crumble cakes; and El Almendro turrón (almond candy).

13Oct/161

Avocado Rose Toast

Well Dined | Avocado Rose Toast

If you've been anywhere near Instagram, you know that avocado roses are all the rage.  Simple, elegant, beautiful.  Melissa (Smells Like Brownies) and I decided to try our hands at making them, and I think they turned out pretty well!

Watch this video to learn how to do it.  Melissa is much more coordinated than I am, so those are her hands you are seeing.

Well Dined | Avocado Rose Toast

Or you can follow these directions: Oil a cutting board and knife with olive oil.

5Oct/160

Rainbow Cauliflower Bowl

Well Dined | Rainbow Cauliflower Bowl

Oh my gosh, this cauliflower bowl is so gorgeous, and filling, and satisfying, and yummy, and healthy, and low carb, and all the things.  It has a lot of different components, but they come together to make such a lovely whole.  Another successful vegetarian lunch with Melissa from Smells Like Brownies.

Well Dined | Rainbow Cauliflower Bowl

Start by making your cauliflower "rice" (actually, start by pickling some chard stems, which was done by Melissa before I arrived).  Place raw cauliflower into a food processor and pulse until chopped to the size of rice (a few larger pieces are fine) - 1/2 a large head will make 3-4 cups.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and microwave for 2 minutes, just to soften.

Well Dined | Rainbow Cauliflower Bowl

Next, heat some coconut oil in a pan and add turmeric, cumin, a pinch of cayenne, and some fresh pressed garlic.  Cook for a bit to activate the spices, then add the cauliflower and stir to combine and heat through.  But don't leave it on for too long - you want the cauliflower to have texture!  Make sure to season with salt and pepper.

11Aug/160

Broccoli and Potato Gribiche

Well Dined | Broccoli and Potato Gribiche

When I was assigned Melissa's blog last month for SRC, I was reminded of all the recipes of hers that I had been wanting to make.  And I couldn't get my mind off of this warm potato salad with roasted broccoli and an egg vinaigrette.  That vinaigrette is called "sauce gribiche", which I had never heard of before.  Melissa says, "It’s an eggy French vinaigrette, apparently friends with mayonnaise, that is made from hardboiled eggs, oil, vinegar, capers, and fresh herbs."  Sign me up!

Well Dined | Broccoli and Potato Gribiche

First step - roast the potatoes and the broccoli.  Why do I only have a photo of the potatoes?  I don't know.  Melissa used purple potatoes, which looked gorgeous.  I couldn't find any, though, so I used red.

Well Dined | Broccoli and Potato Gribiche

Meanwhile, boil the eggs.  Hello, lovelies!

13Jun/166

SRC – Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread from A Spoonful of Thyme

Well Dined | Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread

It's Secret Recipe Club time again!  This month, I was assigned A Spoonful of Thyme.  I enjoyed the story she tells about her grandmother and the pies, and how she talks about mealtime being an important bonding time.  I can tell that family is very important to her!

I went in this month with a mission, because I was hosting a game night and needed an appetizer or snack.  I considered this Zahtar Flatbread and these Bar Eggs, and was even distracted by a couple of desserts - Coconut Cream Bars and Poached Figs.  But in the end it could only be the recipe that hooked me immediately - Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread.  I'd seen this floating around the internet and hadn't tried it yet; this was the perfect opportunity!

Well Dined | Cheesy Pull-Apart Bread

I ended up going shopping at 1:00 AM (long story) and there was no working the bread counter.  So when I saw that all of the crusty breads were pre-sliced, I ended up having to go with a baguette.  It worked out okay, but I would have preferred a regular loaf.  Anyway, cut the bread in a crisscross pattern (but not all the way through the bottom) and stuff with cheese slices.  This is a bit of a process, but I found it relaxing - kind of like meditation.

16Feb/161

Valentine’s Day Beef Wellington

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

This year for Valentine's Day we decided to stay in, and we both agreed that I should make Beef Wellington - a very special occasion dish of filet mignon and mushrooms wrapped in puff pastry.  You can find many recipes out there for this dish, but mine has some secret weapons to keep the puff pastry from getting soggy, the beef from getting overcooked (look at how nice and pink it is, even after 20 minutes in the oven), and to add extra flavor.  It is not difficult, but it is time consuming with many steps - which is why it is a special occasion dish (plus it's soooooooo rich).  So read on!

Well Dined | Beef Wellington

First up, sear the filet.  (I made 4 servings because it would use a whole package of puff pasty - I have never had good luck with refreezing it.)  You want to get a nice sear on all sides, including around the edges, but don't cook the steak all the way.  Remove the filets to a plate and allow to cool a bit, then cover and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.  This step is what will keep the beef from overcooking in the oven.

3Jun/151

Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

Have you ever had squash blossoms?  It's kind of weird to eat flowers, right?  But these delicate blooms (stuffed with ricotta cheese and herbs, battered, and fried) are so, so delicious.  They are also extremely perishable and only last a few hours at home.  So it is best to cook them right away.

Well Dined | Stuffed Squash Blossoms

I've only ever had squash blossoms in restaurants before, but as soon as I saw them at the farmers market, I knew that I had to try making them myself.  I really wanted to go with a stuffed and fried recipe, which is what I'm used to eating.  But I found a bunch of other cool recipes I'd like to try if they still have them at the market next week - soup, quesadilla, fritatta.

21May/152

Vegetable Alfredo Pasta

Well Dined | Vegetable Alfredo Pasta

I was looking for a dish to bring over to my friend, Melissa, who just had a baby.  This recipe immediately popped out at me - one dish, easy to transport, easy to reheat, and lot's of veggies (plus cheese and pasta, of course).  There's a reason people are always bringing casseroles!  I also liked that it uses a lot of frozen veggies, making it budget friendly and easy to make year-round.

I also may have used it as an excuse to buy this thing, which I have been wanting for a long time - so cute!

Well Dined | Vegetable Alfredo Pasta

This is actually enough for 2 casseroles - I made one for me, too!

So, we start out with ALL THE VEGETABLES.  Ever.  Just kidding... kind of.  Saute onion and garlic in olive oil, then add frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach.  When those have thawed, add in shredded carrot and zucchini.

Well Dined | Vegetable Alfredo Pasta

I saw this and thought to myself, "not enough vegetables," so I added some frozen peas to the boiling pasta for the last 30 seconds.  You can use whatever shape of pasta you like, I thought bowties would be fun and cute.  I used Barilla protein plus pasta, because it boasts 17g of protein per 3.5oz serving and veggie dishes can always use some extra protein.  I also rinsed the pasta (and peas) in cold water to stop the cooking and get rid of the extra starch (something I only do for pasta salads, and pasta that is going to be cooked again in the oven).

30Jul/141

Greek Style Zucchini Salad

Well Dined | Greek Style Zucchini Salad

On Monday, I promised you a recipe for the side dish I served with the Garlic Butter Salmon with Dill.  And here it is - a Greek style salad made with shredded raw zucchini, so healthy!  The dill in this dish helps tie it in with the flavors in the salmon (plus it helps me get rid of more dill).

Well Dined | Greek Style Zucchini Salad

The raw zucchini - along with mint, dill, green onions, and feta - is marinated in a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and garlic.  The original recipe recommends chilling for several hours to allow the flavors to meld together, but we found that 30 minutes was enough.

Well Dined | Greek Style Zucchini Salad

This salad is bright and fresh, perfect on it's own or as a side.  Make it all summer, take it with you anywhere, and enjoy!

30May/140

Week of Meals

A friend of mine asked if I could put together a week of meals that are healthy, easy, and cost effective for a single working mother.  I thought that sounded like a great idea!  But I definitely underestimated how much work it would be.  It's hard to make food for just two people without having a ton of leftovers - so to get a different meal in each night, I had to figure out how to use ingredients in multiple dishes.  And I wanted to make sure that they were healthy, had a bit of variety, and took 30 minutes or less to put together.  It's a tall order, but I think I managed.  Each recipe is sized for two adults, and there is a shopping list included at the bottom of the post.

Well Dined | Broiled Salmon with Mustard Butter and Boiled Potatoes and Green Beans

First up - Broiled Salmon with Mustard Butter and Boiled Potatoes and Green Beans.  This meal is healthy, easy, and comes together in under 30 minutes.  I am so in love with this mustard butter (that I discovered making this recipe), I make it all the time now.  There are no grains in this dinner, and as far as starchy potatoes go, baby red-skinned are relatively low on the glycemic index.  Plus - by cooking more salmon and vegetables than you need, you will already have the ingredients you need for dinner the next night.  This meal comes first because fish needs to be cooked the same night that it is purchased for best quality.

The salmon is going to be one of the more expensive proteins for the week, but it is worth it because it is so good for you (not to mention delicious).  Gotta get those Omega-3's!  However, I do not recommend buying farm-raised Atlantic salmon as it is full of chemicals and pollutants.  Instead, I recommend buying wild Alaskan or farmed Norwegian.  The Norwegian salmon is pretty great and I can get it here in NoVA for around $15/lb, and coho goes for $13/lb (versus $29/lb for king salmon, yikes!).  If you absolutely cannot swing Alaskan or Norwegian salmon, buy another type of fish instead (cod, halibut, or tilapia would be good).

Well Dined | Salmon Nicoise Salad

For our second dinner, we use the extra ingredients from the previous night, plus a few more, to make Salmon Nicoise Salad.  The only thing you have to cook for this dinner is hard boiled eggs, and you can do those in advance if you like.  Boil more than you need, because we will use some in another dish.  Like the previous night, this meal is grain-free and loaded with healthy fats.  You can see how big one serving is in this photo - I ate the whole thing, Jasper only ate half of his.  So if this is too much food for you, plan to set aside half of it for lunch the next day.  It should travel well, just keep the dressing separate.

This is actually the most expensive meal of the week (if it is making 2 servings, and not 4), so the kind of greens you use will matter.  I used mache or lamb's lettuce, which I think is really delicious.  But there are definitely cheaper lettuces/greens out there.  A note on olives - nicoise olives are traditional, but expensive, so feel free to sub kalamatas, which taste very similar.  You could even buy jarred kalamatas to save even more.