Creamy Comforting Fish Chowder

IMG_5452

Happy Monday? Hopefully you had a nice relaxing weekend. On Friday I was in the mood for a creamy warm soup. I had some cod filets in the freezer so naturally I thought of fish chowder. I love making fish chowder! It’s not something I make often, but it’s always so easy and delightful when I do make it. It’s a great way to add fish to our diet in a way that is tasty and very easy to eat. It has creaminess from the milk, hardiness from the vegetables, and sweetness from the corn. I don’t usually add mushrooms, but I had them in the fridge and they turned out to be a nice addition. What more can one ask for when one wants a comforting bowl of soup?

IMG_5456

Fish Chowder (adapted from Epicurious) Serves 4-6
4 slices bacon
2 Tbs unsalted butter
2-3 Tbs flour (2 Tbs if using cream, 3 Tbs if using milk)
1 medium onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 carrots, chopped
1/2 cup corn
1 dried bay leaves
3-4 sprigs fresh summer savory or thyme, leaves removed and chopped (1 tablespoon)
2 cups potatoes, cubed
4 cups stock (I used chicken stock)
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 firm white fish filets (cod, tilapia..etc)
1 cup milk, half n half, or heavy cream
3-4 tablespoons fresh chives, minced

1. Heat a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot over low heat and add the the bacon. Cook about 5 minutes per side until cooked through and crisp.
2. Remove to plate and cut into little pieces. Set aside. Leave about 1 Tbs of the bacon fat or oil in the pot.
3. Add the butter, onions and garlic, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon,  until the onions and soft and translucent.
4. Add flour and continue to stir for another 2 minutes.
5. Add the potatoes and stock. If the stock doesn’t cover the potatoes, add just enough water to cover them. Turn up the heat and bring to a boil, cover, and cook the potatoes vigorously for about 10 minutes, until they are soft on the outside but still firm in the center.
6. Add bay leaf and thyme.
7. Reduce the heat to low and season with salt and pepper.
8. Add the fish fillets and cook over low heat for 7 minutes.
9. Gently stir in the milk and adjust any season as necessary.
10. Turn off heat.
11. Garnish with chopped chives and bacon pieces and enjoy!IMG_5442IMG_5445

IMG_5446
Oh, delicious delicious bacon (this was turkey bacon but any bacon would be good)

IMG_5447IMG_5449

IMG_5457
Bet you can’t have just one bowl! Enjoy!

Mediterranean Inspired Salmon (and turning a negative into a positive)

IMG_5343
I’m always looking for new ways to cook salmon (that and chicken breasts). My usual go-to recipes are Salmon Teriyaki or Basil Lemon Salmon with Spaghetti. But since I have to watch my sugar and carb intake I’m challenged to find new recipes. It’s always uplifting when something that seemed like such a negative event (like finding out I had gestational diabetes) actually became a somewhat positive event in my life. I always thought I knew a fair amount about healthy eating and nutrition, but after attending a program on diabetes and having to monitor my glucose levels during pregnancy, I realized how much I didn’t know and how important it was to actually apply what I learned.  And since my unborn baby’s health is dependent on me and my diet, I have to be even more proactive and discipline with my nutrition and sugar/carb intake (I just hope that I haven’t learned too late into my pregnancy).

So in search of healthier ways to prepare salmon, I came upon this recipe on allrecipes.com.  I made a few changes to what I had at home, instead of basil and cilantro, I used fresh thyme and rosemary. I left out garlic salt and used regular kosher salt. Since I had to bake some vegetables also, I baked my salmon at 450 Fahrenheit instead of broiling. I squeezed some lemon before serving and just like that, I have a new husband-approved recipe to add to my salmon repertoire! And best of all, this recipe does not use any sugar and is still so flavorful and delicious.

So although I was not exactly thrilled when I found out I had gestational diabetes (there may or may not have been some tears 😅), it has made me learn to eat better and healthier, not only for myself, but for my daughter, husband, and this little baby growing in me.

Mediterranean Inspired Salmon (serves 3)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 fillets salmon
2 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary (3-4 inches)
Salt and pepper

  1. Mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, thyme and rosemary in a baking dish. 
  2. Arrange the salmon fillets in the shallow baking dish, sprinkle with salt and pepper, turning once to coat and sprinkle salt and pepper on other side.
  3. Set aside to marinate for 15 minutes. Using a spoon to pour marinade on top of fish every so often.
  4. Preheat oven 450 degree
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes.
  6. Gently turn salmon over. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  7. Squeeze some lemon on top.

IMG_5338

IMG_5339

IMG_5342
Enjoy!

Asian Inspired Fish en Papillote, and an actual weekend (sort of)!

IMG_6510

Yay for weekends. Too be honest, weekends don’t always feel like weekends to me. I’m a stay at home mom and my husband’s schedule is never consistent often working on weekends and nights. So while I can appreciate weekends for their offerings of free time and a break from the work week for many, my own routine and life does not change much on weekends.

But this week, my husband had a rare three days off, no calls, no moonlighting, no presentations to work on… and it was nice. We were able to take our daughter for one last splash in the pool before the weather got too cold, we went to Balboa park and enjoyed the nice weather, had family relaxation time at home, and got dessert at a new restaurant we haven’t tried.

FullSizeRender.jpg
Delicious Brownie Shake

On Friday, I made Fish en Papillote but I wanted to try something different with it and so I used ingredients for Asian Style Steam Fish. It was such a quick recipe, so easy to make and best of all it was tasty! I wasn’t going to make a blog post about this recipe so I didn’t take many pictures, but it was so good and easy I figured I should just share it now. I know I will definitely make this again.

And now friends, it is Sunday, and my husband is back at work, my daughter is napping, and I am back to the routine. 😌

Asian Inspired Fish en Papillote
For one fish packet
1/4 tsp of salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/2 Tbs sesame oil
1 Tbs soy sauce
1 inch knob of ginger sliced into thin strips
1 scallion, sliced
a couple slices of chili pepper
1 white fish filet

1. Lay fish onto parchment paper.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
3. Add soy sauce and sesame oil on top of fish.
4. Lay on top ginger, scallions, and peppers.
5. Seal parchment paper.
6. Back at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
7. Garnish with cilantro.

Fresh Pineapple Salsa

01d9760774d5142143e36e73b5b6a1edd2f8b5c03b
Nothing tests my patience more than sitting in traffic or cutting a pineapple.
But oh how I love sweet, ripe, juicy, fresh pineapple,  and so I endure.  I like to cut up a whole pineapple and just store it in my fridge and snack on it during the week, or make juice,  or smoothies.  And sometimes I make a pineapple salsa for fish.  If you don’t have fresh pineapple or don’t want to cut one up (which I completely understand), you can always use canned pineapple or buy the pre-cut spears.  This salsa is another great summer recipe, bright, refreshing, sweet, and slightly spicy! This week  the temperature has been consistently above 100 and it’s been rough. But to think only about 1-2  more months of summer…wow time flies.  Enjoy the summer recipes while you can!

012a1f8eca322375ab429891fe4c5358d8d6bc21c4

Pineapple Salsa for Fish (enough for about 3-4 small fish filets)
1 cup chopped fresh pineapple
½ cup chopped cucumbers
¼ cup chopped white or red onion
2 tbs honey
1 lime, juice of
½ tsp cayenne
½ tsp paprika
pinch of salt (to taste)
2 tbs chopped fresh mint (optional)
½ jalapeno seeded and diced

1.   Mix all ingredients together.
2.   Let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes
3.   Serve over grilled fish.

01c70caca129292c4e993e914da9150df207f6416b
010b439d49ee526925c10d182b01c334b5bc2cd37b

0138583750fe50526b1ab35cca7f27a706ee23f8d8

019bb517d9a635f98bf8b0ffe7102d223e516e369b 01f46dc1860550d09d47e0583d06a4669dc8461414  010f219bf59731fe0bc8b9ef797d3587367a3854b2
0115b3e34d950f79d751ebffc4450ac36cfd7026eb

Spiced Tilapia

01491a75cb966a96ea00cf4ae861823a3ee1cf7520
Happy Father’s Day!  I hope it’s a fun filled and relaxing day for everyone.  My husband got called into work today so I have a little me time.   So what better to do…than blog?

My mother-in-law gave us an electric indoor grill for Christmas and I was surprised at how often I have used it. Fish, chicken, shrimp, vegetables…it’s been really fun to cook anything using it.  A few days ago I made a tilapia dish I often make and I decided to grill it.  My fish came out with beautiful grill marks and it was a nice change from pan frying or baking the fish. It’s a very simple rub with some spices and olive oil and you get a very fragrant and flavorful fish.   If your tilapia pieces are on the smaller side then feel free to use a little less salt than the 1/2 tsp the recipe calls for.

Spiced Tilapia (2 tilapias pieces)
½ tsp dried cumin
½ tsp dried coriander
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp chili
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tbs oil

Combine all ingredients into paste
Spread all over fish
Marinate a minimum of 15-30 minutes
Grill medium heat about 4 minutes per side.
Serve with lime wedges (optional).

019120f4e54309c6e36ebb76b109bbc6fe2215e5ab
Paste will be bright and red.
01bce978e34c65c0da42debbf7db9d2d2847fd0617
The marinate gives a nice bright color.
019033b6eac2e4ee5f0d1d125407c2103acad182d5
Pretty grilled tilapia.
0190938700b516dbb60573bf12f6f2e710081edb32
Served with couscous and a kale salad.  Enjoy!