Happy 30-days-til-Christmas! Yes, I’m counting.
Today I added ANOTHER string of lights to our poor tree because I decided it wasn’t bright enough. The tree was supposed to be an exercise in minimal decorating, and I limited ornaments, but apparently there’s no such thing as too many Christmas lights.
I hadn’t planned on blogging food today, but made two yummy meals that turned out well, so here are some recipes!
Fruit and Veggie Smoothies
It looks like a chocolate milkshake! But it’s a delicious blend of veggies masked by yummy fruits, and even Ryan, the pickiest of eaters, couldn’t tell there were veggies hidden in these (I told him what was in it after his first sip, and he still finished the whole glass).
I got the idea from Jamba Juice, who sells veggie-infused smoothies, but charges tons for them (unless they’re on BOGO or 2-for-1, love those!), and still adds a bunch of unnecessary juice and crap. I figured I could do a better, cheaper job with what we had on hand.
**I didn’t think about it til afterwards, but this smoothie is vegan, assuming you use almond milk and turbinado sugar!**
1/2 bag baby spinach, washed
3 huge, heaping spoonfuls cooked squash (unsalted)
1 frozen banana (I peel and freeze them when they get too dark–I like underripe bananas–and they’re super sweet when they’re overripe. Plus if you peel them before instead of after freezing, they’re much easier to just throw into stuff)
3 mandarin oranges, peeled (or two smallish oranges, or one navel orange)
2 cups frozen mixed berries (or about half of a bag of frozen berries)
Almond milk (I probably added a cup or two–do however much will make your blender run and get the consistency you like)
Optional: Brown/turbinado sugar (to taste). I added about 2 tbsp to make sure Ryan would eat it, but it probably didn’t really need any
Look how pretty everything looks together in the blender, pre-blending!
Obviously this is super changeable, as is the nature of smoothies. I recommend throwing in whatever you have on hand, especially stuff that might be about to go (our spinach probably needed to be eaten today or tomorrow; moldiness, on the other hand, is beyond the “about to go” phase). I recommend using “strong” fruits to mask the veggies. Ryan can taste banana in ANYTHING, and normally hates it, but recognized the merit in the smoothie tasting banana-y instead of spinach/squash-y.
I added mint sprigs for effect. They were also good muddled into the smoothie
Then for dinner, we had some rockfish/sculpin leftover from our fishing trip yesterday. Cooking fish always freaks me out, but Ryan, ever the fisherman/chef, loves to make fish, and he’s really good at it. This is his recipe. We made it with our fish, but it would basically work with any white fish.
Ryan’s Sauteed Rockfish with Lemon Caper Garlic sauce
1 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup onion, small dice
2-3 tbsp capers (cut up if you use bigger ones)
1/2 lemon, juiced
Melt butter in a medium-large skillet (you can use the same pan to cook your fish in a minute). Add the solids, cook until the garlic browns and the onions go translucent. Turn off the heat, add lemon juice, pour into serving bowl, set aside.
This smelled so damn good!
8 small white fish fillets
Dry fillets with a paper towel. Add a big drizzle of olive oil to the pan you just made the sauce in. Once the oil is hot enough, add the fillets. When the fish is more looks more opaque than translucent [see what I mean? The fish above are all translucent/shiny except on cooked outside edge], flip it over (about 2-3 minutes). The fish is done when browned on both sides (just a little, not burnt), and fish is opaque all the way through when broken in half. Take the cooked fillets out and rest on a paper towel to soak up excess oil.
Christina’s Lemon Asparagus
1 bunch asparagus, washed with ends trimmed.
Because I’m lazy, and our fish was super fresh (ie, not “fishy” tasting), I used the same oil from the fish for the asparagus. I washed the asparagus, and while still damp, threw them in the pan with the little bit of leftover oil. It’s a one pan meal, people! The water hitting the oil made everything sizzily and steamy, so I threw on some lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon) and a sprinkle of salt, put on a lid, and let it steam about 3-4 minutes. My asparaguses were pretty thin. They’d need longer for thicker stems. Asparagus is done when it turns a lovely dark green and gets kind of limp (but not gross limp, just cooked limp).
Sorry I don’t have any pictures of the cooking process for the asparagus. It looked pretty much how you’d imagine.
Here’s the whole dinner, plated:
We served the fish over a bed of whole wheat couscous, but rice would work nicely, too.
The lemon caper sauce was so good, especially when it mixed into the couscous, and the fish was really good, and the asparagus was just the right kind of lemony. This looks like a fancy dinner, but it was super easy, came together really quickly, and used one pan!