Saturday, April 25, 2015

Buying in Bulk

This week, a new Sprouts Farmers Market grocery store opened across the street from my apartment. To say I was excited about the grand opening is an understatement!

I quickly found out this store is serious about their produce. It was all so pretty and fresh. Adios HyVee!

The best part of the store is their bulk section. They have hundreds of bins and barrels packed with different fresh roasted coffee beans, rice, nuts, granola, dried fruit, baking essentials, spices, and a variety of sweet and savory treats.

Buying in bulk is nice because you can fill that little plastic bag with as little or as much as you like. And even better I will no longer have big bags of quinoa, rice or nuts just sitting in my pantry waiting to be eaten and feeling like I have to find a recipe that includes them.

My first two bulk purchases were red tart cherries and walnut halves. I bought ¼ of a pound of each for under $3.00. Needless to say, I will now be a frequent flyer in the bulk section!

For dinner tonight, Stephen made garlic pork chops in the cast iron skillet and I made a side dish using the cherries and walnuts. See the recipe below :)

3 sweet potatoes
6 cups organic green kale
¼ lb walnuts
¼ lb red tart cherries
½ cup plain goat cheese
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup chicken broth

 Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into cubes. Put cubes in large zip lock bag add 2-3 tablespoons of EVOO, salt, pepper and shake. Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Measure out ½ cup quinoa, rinse and add to 1 cup of boiling chicken broth. Cook according to directions on package. Typically requires simmering on low for 15-20 minutes after boil.

Next, you will need to cut, wash, and sauté your kale. First chop of stem. Then separate the leaves into sections and cut both sides of the stem. When you are done cutting the kale add to a strainer or salad spinner to wash. You want to wash after you cut so the leaves are damp when you sauté. Add 1 tablespoon of EVOO, salt, pepper to sauté pan and stir kale for about 5 minutes or until leaves reach a very deep green.

When the sweet potatoes, quinoa and kale are done cooking let cool before adding in cherries, nuts and goat cheese. Best part about this dish is that it is delicious as a cold leftover too! Score!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Grilled Seafood Caesar Salad

Today, I had one of the most delicious salads I have ever had in my life! And if you know me, you know I love salads. I thought with grilling season right around the corner this would be a good entrée to share as it seems pretty easy to make.

To begin, you will need to purchase romaine, avocado, lemon, onion, parmesan cheese, prawns, scallops, and snow crab. You could purchase Caesar dressing as well but I would suggest making it homemade with anchovies. Dressing is so much better homemade!

Next, grill the romaine, avocado, lemon, onion, and scallops. Boil and cook the prawns and snow crab. Note that the romaine lettuce was cut as wedges and topped with Caesar dressing and parmesan cheese.

Assemble on a plate as pictured below to serve. To eat, squeeze lemon on toppings and dig in to your quick and healthy seafood salad sensation!

Isn't this plate just so colorful and fun?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Duke’s Award Winning Clam Chowder

Today’s post comes from Tacoma, Washington. 
Being a seafood lover from the Midwest, I have major envy for people who live on the coast and have access to fresh fish on a daily basis. Thankfully, a perk of my job is traveling to cities where I can get my seafood fix.
Yesterday, I ate on Tacoma’s waterfront at a place called Duke’s Chowder House and had the best clam chowder. I ordered second bowl. It was that good.
The restaurant printed out recipe and put it under the bowl so I thought I would share with you all. I thought giving customers the recipe under the bowl that was super neat. [Note to self: if I ever open my own restaurant steal this idea!!!]
Tomorrow I am heading to Seattle and I can’t wait to check out Pike Place Market!


1 lb IQF Surf Clams (all natural)

1 ½ cups clam juice

1 oz clam base

4 strips bacon (nitrite free)

4 oz (1 stick) butter

2 cups diced celery

2 cups diced onion

½ tsp basil

1 tsp thyme

½ tsp marjoram

½ tsp black pepper

2 cups diced red potatoes

½ oz garlic

2 tbl parsley

1 tbl dill

4 oz flour

1 ½ cups milk

2 ½ cups heavy cream


Blanch diced fresh baby red potatoes in boiling water (until tender) Cool and hold separately. Cook bacon in heavy bottom saucepan until the bacon begins to crisp. Add butter, onions, celery. Sauté until tender. Add flour, lower heat and cook for 7 minutes at 165 degrees. Mix and dissolve all calm base with clam juice separately. Add clam juice and base mixture. Add dairy products. Add herbs. Heat until almost boiling (185 degrees), blending with a wire whip. Add blanched red potatoes and clams. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes at 185 degrees. Cool quickly or serve immediately. Taste chowder and realize that you have made the best clam chowder on the planet.