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15-Minute-Meals: Alaskan Cod with Citrus Wine Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and Quinoa

Alaskan Cod with Citrus Wine Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and Quinoa

Alaskan Cod with Citrus Wine Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and Quinoa

I’ve recently decided I’m going to run the Seattle Rock and Roll Half Marathon. Why? I’m honestly not sure. Perhaps it’s because I’m a glutton for punishment, or rather it’s the peer pressure of a number of my friends and family doing it. Or it could be the ever unattainable goal to be perfectly in-shape, toned, and fit like the women I see on the covers of the magazine while buying my triple-whipped brie or multiple bottles of Malbec. Whatever the reason…I’m doing it. Which means I’ve got 13 weeks to get in shape to run 13 miles. Seems reasonable.

As such, I’m going to be on the hunt for delicious and healthy meals that can be made in 15 minutes or less. This one fits that bill perfectly. Each item literally takes 10 – 15 minutes and since the asparagus and quinoa are self-sufficient it’s an easy dinner to pull together after a run. If you’re able, buy the fish and asparagus that day from your local farmers market or fish monger. This is the perfect time of year for thin, crisp, earthy asparagus so splurge and buy the best looking organic ones you can find.

Alaskan Cod with Citrus Wine Sauce, Roasted Asparagus, and Quinoa

Pair with a light Pinot Grigio.

Serves 4

Roasted Asparagus: Pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees. Place trimmed asparagus in a 9×12 glass baking dish and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Toss until all the asparagus are lightly covered and glistening. Roast for 10 minutes, giving the pan a shake at the five-minute mark to ensure nothing burns.

Quinoa: Place two cups chicken stock and one cup quinoa in a small pan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 10-15 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and lightly fluff with a fork.

Alaskan Cod with Citrus Wine Sauce: I used cod, but pick whatever looks best and is preferably on sale. Rinse the fish, dry, and then lightly salt and pepper. In a large non-stick skillet pour 1-cup white wine and 1-cup orange juice. Add the fish and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and gently poach for about 5 minutes per side (pending on the thickness of the fish) until cooked through and just beginning to flake. Remove from pan and tent with foil to keep warm. Bring the pan to a boil and reduce the cooking liquid by about 1/2. The citrus wine sauce will be a bright yellow and should be the consistency of warmed honey. Serve the sauce over the fish.

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Filed under 15-Minute-Meals, Health Conscious, Seafood

Screw patience: Roasted medley of spring vegetables served over angel hair pasta with chicken sausage, tossed with a cilantro pesto

 

Roasted spring vegetables

Roasted spring vegetables

 

I have spent my entire life wishing I was a more patient person. But try as I might, I am inherently impatient and intolerant of things that move slowly.

I’m impatient with people who are slow walkers. I loath slow talkers. I despise inefficiency and elevator doors that take seconds to close feel like eons to me. Despite constant admonitions from family, friends, bosses, and co-workers to just “slow down, Erina” it’s something I really struggle with.

So, it will come as no surprise that when it seems time for Winter to be over and Spring to arrive I am as impatient as ever. I long for the days of short skirts, endless nights, swimming in the Lake after work, and reading in the back yard while soaking up the sun and drinking a gin and tonic.

Sadly, as it is March in Seattle, we are not there yet.

When my impatience for the season changing reaches its height I often find myself cooking foods that represent the season ahead.

This pasta dish was inspired by a refrigerator full of vegetables from Spud and no plan for what I was going to do with them. It’s not the quickest recipe (ironic, I know), but it’s very yummy, very healthy, totally affordable and shouts ‘Spring is here’ better than I ever could.

Roasted medley of spring vegetables served over angel hair pasta with chicken sausage, tossed with a cilantro pesto

A very hearty, pretty dinner, good for a crowd. If you prefer a vegetarian option just skip the chicken sausage. Serve with a dry Riesling.

 

Roasted medley of spring vegetables served over angel hair pasta with chicken sausage, tossed with a cilantro pesto

Roasted medley of spring vegetables served over angel hair pasta with chicken sausage, tossed with a cilantro pesto

 

1. Vegetables: Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl (which you can later use for serving) toss a medley of spring vegetables that suit your fancy. They should be bite-size, but still substantial. If you are doing a mix of vegetables that will vary in how long they take to get tender, vary your size a bit so everything is done at the same time. For this recipe I did butternut squash (cut into small cubes), carrots, mushrooms, onions, and asparagus. Toss with just enough olive oil until glistening. Season with coarsely ground salt and pepper.  Transfer to a 9×12 glass baking dish. Pop in the oven and cook for about 1 hour (flipping each 20 minutes) until vegetables are firm-tender. If you feel like the vegetables are drying out you can add a bit of water to the bottom of the baking dish about half way through the roasting.

2. Cilantro Pesto: In a food processor or blender (you know which one I used…), blend until smooth 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 cup firmly packed cilantro, 2 TB lime juice, and 2 cloves garlic. Set aside.

3. Pasta: Cook angel hair according to recipe. Before you drain reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid.

4. Chicken sausage: In a large skillet head 2 TB olive oil until glistening. Add chicken sausage that has been cut into 1″ pieces and cook until slightly carmelized and browning. Set aside pan, reserving the oil and fat generated from cooking the sausage.

5. Assembly: In the large bowl you used to toss the vegetables originally return the now cooked vegetables. While still hot from the oven toss with half the pesto to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Add the pasta and reserved cooking liquid, remaining pesto, sausage, and reserved oil and toss until well coated. Serve with generous portions of coarsely grated Parmesan.

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Filed under Pasta, Seasonal Cooking, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

Healthy and satisfying, who knew? : Shrimp, Asparagus Fettuccine with Pesto

Shrimp, Asparagus fettucine with Pesto

We are thick (no pun intended) in the middle of the time of year that can easily do a number on our waistlines and check books. With endless holiday parties to attend, too many glasses of wine, lack of time to exercise, and the constant pressure of consumerism that our society seems to thrive on, it’s easy to feel like being healthy is simply the thing that’s going to have to go by the wayside. At least until January 1 when we berate ourselves with New Years resolutions and a vow to do better in 2010.

If you’re a regular reader of Shut Up and Cook you’ve probably realized that I’m not the kind of girl who orders the garden salad for dinner with the dressing on the side please. Admittedly blessed with a reasonable metabolism and fortunately a 5’10” frame to fill, I am never one to trade flavor for deprivation. That said, even the best of us sometime need to trim down, tone up, and be a little kinder to our bodies.

Serves 6.

A lovely simple, mid-week dinner.

Shrimp, Asparagus Fettucine with Pesto

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces whole-wheat fettuccine

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)

1/2 cup sliced jarred roasted red peppers

1/4 cup prepared pesto

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound raw shrimp, (21-25 per pound), peeled and deveined

1 cup dry white wine

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

PREPARATION

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add fettuccine and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions specify. Add asparagus and continue cooking until the pasta and asparagus are just tender, about 3 minutes more. Reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the fettuccine and asparagus and return to the pot. Stir in peppers and pesto. Cover to keep warm.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until pink, about 3 minutes. Add wine, increase heat to high and continue cooking until the shrimp are curled and the wine is reduced, about 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and the reserved cooking water to the pasta; toss to coat. Season with pepper and serve immediately.

Compliments of EatingWell. A fantastic source for yummy and healthy meals.

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Filed under Health Conscious, Pasta, Uncategorized