Almond Butter and Spice Roasted Carrots

Have you ever had a dish out at a restaurant that immediately makes you want to try to recreate it at home? Maybe that’s just how my foodie brain works, but it’s where some of our home-run dishes get their inspiration from!

When Danny and I were dating, some of the experiences that helped to open his eyes and taste buds up to trying new foods the most was dining out. Whether it was on a date with me, lunch with his co-workers or bosses, or dinner with the future-in-laws, he was much more apt to giving something a bite in these settings. Yes, restaurant food has the added benefit of copious amounts of fat and salt added to make most anything taste out of this world, but it’s a start! Take a dish from a restaurant that was pleasing and run with it by cooking it at home, but adding a healthy, yet still very tasty, twist on it.

I went out to dinner with some girlfriends a few weeks ago and we shared a dish that I immediately thought, “Danny would love this and it would be another way to spice up carrots!” I was right on the money and Danny did in fact love my take on this restaurant-inspired vegetable side.

I promise you, the combination of nut butter and carrot is not as odd as you think!

IMG_0213.JPG

Almond Butter and Spice Roasted Carrots- serves 2 as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 2 large whole carrots, cleaned well and diced into 1-inch coins

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 4 tbsp crunchy almond butter

  • 2 tsp thinly sliced fresh red chile pepper

  • Juice from half of one lime

  • Sea salt to finish

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Clean and diced carrots into 1-inch coins. Toss with olive oil and spread in a flat layer on a foiled lined baking tray. Roast for 25 minutes or until carrots begin to brown and caramelize on the edges. Remove and place in a mixing bowl.

  2. To the carrots add almond butter, chiles, and lime juice. Use a spoon to gently toss so that the almond butter evenly coats the carrots. To serve, sprinkle with a finish of chunky sea salt and enjoy.

Walnut Cocoa Bites

Don’t get me wrong- I am a big fan of some convenience protein bars, but I’m also a big fan of making snacks from scratch when able to. The closest I get to making granola or protein bars is these poppable little energy bites! I love how easy they come together, how the ingredients can be customizable, and that they are a perfect midday snack or fuel before a workout.

IMG_0209.JPG

During the winter I seem to have an abundance of unsweetened cocoa powder around from hot chocolate making, and so I figured it deserved some love during snack time too! The sweetness and flavor comes not from the cocoa, but from the naturally sweet dates and nut butter. These bites stay fresh in the fridge for about a week, after which I’d recommend storing in a container in the freezer to enjoy for weeks to come.

What are you waiting for? Go, cocoa!

Walnut Cocoa Bites- makes 22 small bites

Ingredients

  • 1 cup pitted dates

  • 2 cup dry, unsalted walnuts

  • 5 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 3 tbsp nut butter- almond or sunflower seed work great

  • 1 tbsp hemp seeds, plus extra for finishing

  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. In a food processor pulse dates until broken into very small pieces. Then add walnuts and pulse until a fine ground meal is made.

  2. Add cocoa powder, nut butter, hemp seeds, and salt. Process until everything comes together and a semi-wet dough forms. Chill this dough for about 10 minutes in the freezer.

  3. Use your hands to form the chilled dough into small bites; the size is really up to you, but quarter sized bites will yield about 22 bites. To finish, sprinkle with more hemp seeds, finely shredded coconut, or even more cocoa powder.

IMG_0211.JPG

Honey Sriracha Salmon with Veggie Slaw and Soba Noodles

One of our New Year’s goals was to eat seafood at least once per week. Usually Danny and I do a fairly good job at this, but when we do dive into the ocean we tend to come up with the same things- smoked salmon, shrimp, or canned tuna or spicy tuna sushi. To be honest, there are also weeks where we don’t eat any seafood at all!

So, for 2019 we are aiming to make a plan to have seafood for a minimum of one dinner per week, and my goal as chef and Danny’s as Recipe King is to find recipes that utilize different fish or shellfish for variety’s sake!

seafood.jpg

The other night I fell onto an old classic, however, to ensure I got my one serving for the week. Danny was away for work and when I’m needing something quick and easy salmon filets call my name, and I just so happened to have some frozen on hand!

One cool thing I have learned about fish is its ability to go from frozen to cooked in very little time! I get aggravated when dinner rolls around, I haven’t gone to store, and I need to rely on some frozen chicken breasts that I didn’t think ahead to start defrosting. Luckily, salmon does not need to be brought out far in advance! For tips on how to go from frozen to cooked, check out this resource from Wild Alaska Seafood.

Veggies were added using a bagged slaw mix- I love a time saver when cooking for one- and the flavor was turned up thanks to a honey and sriracha sauce. Fix Hot Sauce sent me some samples of their original and lemongrass sriacha and I’ve been adding it to everything!

IMG_0208.JPG

Next time you’re needing some seafood inspiration, find your way to this recipe and you won’t be disappointed!

Honey Sriracha Salmon- makes 2 portions

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. wild salmon- divided into 2 pieces

  • 2 cups cooked soba noodles

  • 3 cups Mann’s Broccoli Cole Slaw

  • 1 tsp honey

  • 4 tsp sriracha

  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

  • 1 tbsp black (or white) sesame seeds

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine honey and sriracha and wisk to mix well. Set aside to be added to fish.

  2. Preheat your oven’s broiler function. If working with frozen fish, start by running filets under cold water and removing any ice; pat dry. Spray or rub onto flesh a small amount of avocado or olive oil (if starting with fresh fish you can start at this step). Place fish on foil lined baking sheet or in a cast iron skillet. Cook fish for about 4 minutes, then remove and carefully add honey sriracha sauce to flesh side. Return to broiler and finish cooking for another 6-7 minutes. If salmon is very thick, consider flipping halfway through. Remove from heat when salmon is cooked to desired level of doneness or opaque throughout.

  3. While fish is cooking, bring water to a boil and cook soba noodles until al dente, about 5 minutes. Drain and run under cool water to prevent noodles from sticking.

  4. In a small, heated saute pan add sesame oil and broccoli slaw. Saute until heated and veggies start to soften. Turn off heat.

  5. In a large bowl combine cooked soba noodles and sauted slaw. Divide noddle mixture onto two plates, top with cooked portions of salmon, and top with sesame seeds and more sriracha as desired.

IMG_0210.JPG