SWASHBUCKLED! (S2E6): Italian-ish

This week, we go deep into Marie’s Italian roots to make something, kind-of, Italian-ish? None of the ingredients that were provided were very Italian-y, but they all were delicious to eat on their own, and in the dish!

Watch this week’s episode here:


Ingredients Featured in This Week’s Episode:


 

This week, we dive deep into Marie’s “non-white girl” roots, and make some vegetarian stuffed peppers and take a fun twist on a traditional caprese salad.

The stuffed peppers are full of fiber from the veggies, whole wheat cous cous and black beans, while being packed with flavor from the jalapeño artichoke dip and fragrant cheeses. We both loved the stuffed peppers and preferred the green ones over the yellow (which was a surprise to us both!)

The caprese salad was a slam dunk…if you removed the chocolate. Cherries with Mozzarella and Basil was a delicious flavor combination. The dark chocolate pretzels made things a little weird, so when you make this at home (which you should!) we recommend just saving the pretzels on the side to eat on their own (a perfect dessert!)

 

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Black Bean, Cous Cous and Veggie Stuffed Peppers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 3 Bell Peppers
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Salt & Pepper
  • Cous Cous, cooked according to package directions (1 cup water + 1 Cup Cous Cous + 1 Tbsp butter + Salt)
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 zucchini quartered and sliced
  • 1 package of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • oregano
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 1/2 Can tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup Artichoke and Jalapeño Dip
  • 12 Tbsp Quatro Fromaggio (divided so each bell pepper gets 2 tbsp)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400˚F. Rinse bell peppers and slice in half. Remove seeds. Rub all sides with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place bell peppers skin side up on a lined baking sheet (parchment paper or foil). Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add diced onion, celery and carrots. Let cook for about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for a few more minutes. Then add mushrooms, butter, salt, pepper and oregano.
  3. Add 1 1/2 cup of the cooked cous-cous mixture (can save the rest to use as a salad topper), can of black beans, and tomato sauce. Let cook down for about 5 minutes, until mushrooms are cooked through. Mix in artichoke & jalapeño dip thoroughly.
  4. Remove roasted bell peppers from the oven. Turn over. Place 1 tbsp of Quattro Fromaggio cheese at the bottom, fill with 1/6 of the filling mixture, then finish with another tbsp of cheese.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.


Cherry Caprese Salad

Cherry Caprese Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 18 Reinier Cherries, pitted and halved
  • 1/2 package mozzarella balls (about 12), halved
  • Large handful of basil (about 20 leaves), Chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Fresh Ground Salt and Pepper (about 1/4 tsp each)
  • Balsamic Glaze
  • Optional (and not recommended): Chocolate covered Pretzels

Directions

  1. Rinse cherries, pit and halve them, Combine in a bowl with mozzarella balls and basil. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Garnish with balsamic glaze on top.
  2. We added the chocolate covered pretzels as the challenge for this dish, but it definitely didn’t do this beautiful and delicious salad any flavors. We made it again without the pretzels and it was so great. But the pretzels were fantastic on their own!


 

 

Head over to our PATREON PAGE to become a patron of Fearless Flying Kitchen and check out outtakes from this week as well as Mr. Critic’s reaction.

Meal Prep Monday: Lentil, Beet and Blue Cheese Salad

A couple weeks ago, I shared some ideas for meal prep that was so easy, you could do it Monday morning instead of slaving away on Sundays.

This week we have a nutrient packed salad that is loaded with robust flavors, and a ton of fiber and protein.

Meal Plan Monday Square

We start with a bed of Arugula, which is a peppery type of green (an also one of my favorites to use in salads). Then we put a layer of shaved Brussels sprouts, pre-cooked lentils, roasted beets, and blue cheese.

If you’re a vegetarian, you can stop there, or if you are looking for a bit more protein, you can top with just chicken. For extra color and a pop of a bold flavor, you can add chopped fresh basil to the top.

Meal Plan Monday Fearless Flying Kitchen ingredients

All these ingredients were divided evenly in five containers, one for each day of the week. I only used a fraction of the blue cheese for the five salads, probably 1-2 Tbsp per salad. The thing I like about bold cheeses, like blue, feta, parmesan and goat, are that a little goes a long way!

The chicken only went into three of the salads (due to the expiration date coding), so I also picked up some fresh chicken to bake up on Wednesday and use part of it for lunches on Thursday/Friday, and eat part of it for dinner Wednesday night.

Meal Plan Monday Fearless Flying Kitchen with chicken

This week, I paired the salad with our old stand-by, the Tuscan Italian dressing. If we were having this at home, I would just toss it with a little bit of olive oil, balsamic, salt and pepper.

Trader Joe's Tuscan Italian Dressing

Super simple, fresh ingredients, lots of flavor, and really easy to assemble. It will take a max of 10 minutes. What else can go in your lunch? A handful of your favorite nuts for a snack. Fresh fruit (there are so many to choose from these days). Baby carrots or sliced celery or cucumbers.

Lentil, Beet and Blue Cheese Salad

  • Servings: 5
  • Difficulty: SO EASY!
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 bag Arugula
  • 1 bag Shaved Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 container Pre-Cooked Lentils
  • 1 package Steamed and Peeled Baby Beets
  • 1/2 cup Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • 1-2 packages “Just Chicken” (Pre-Cooked chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 cup packed Fresh Basil Leaves,

Directions

Divide all ingredients evenly into five containers in the order listed. Cover and store for up to a week. Note that the “Just Chicken” has a limited “sell by” date. You can divide one package between three of the salads and then purchase another package mid-week, or just have the other two salads be meat-free.


SWASHBUCKLED! (S1E1): Lonely Alcoholic White Girl Soda

I am so excited to introduce my new project with The Fearless Flying Kitchen – SWASHBUCKLED!!

My best friend, Marie, lives a block away and works at Trader Joe’s. Every week, she is going to bring over FOUR INGREDIENTS that are absolutely random and completely unknown to me. My challenge is to create a dinner with what she brings to me and what I have in my fridge, freezer, and pantry. We film the whole thing for you to witness, and we call it SWASHBUCKLED!

Here is the first episode, followed by the recipes of what we came up with. I hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think about our new show in the comments!

Sunchoke and Fennel Chicken Picatta

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy to moderate
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 2 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Flour (can sub All Purpose Gluten Free Flour)
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 5 Sunchokes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Fennel Bulb, diced (and dice the fronds for seasoning)
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (optional)
  • 1 Lemon, both zest and juice
  • 1 Cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 1/2 Cup Peach Simpler Wines (or white wine of choice)
  • 1 Sprig fresh rosemary, diced or 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • GARNISH: Icelandic Style Plain Yogurt (or greek yogurt, or sour cream) and sprig of rosemary.
  • SERVE ALONG SIDE: Brown Rice, Quinoa, or a Whole Grain Pasta

Directions

  1. Cut chicken breasts into cubes. Season with salt and pepper then toss in All purpose Flour.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once hot, add chicken breasts and brown on each side (about 3-4 minutes on each side. Does not need to be cooked all the way through just yet). Remove from skillet and place on paper towel to remove some excess oil.
  3. In the same skillet, add sunchokes, fennel, garlic and lemon zest. Cook for about 5 minutes and then add lemon juice, chicken broth and white wine (peach simpler wines). Add rosemary and fennel fronds. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and reduce for about 5-10 minutes.
  4. Serve alongside grain of choice. Garnish with Icelandic Style Greek Yogurt and Rosemary Sprig.

 

Arugula and Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad with Roasted Coconut Sesame Seeds

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup arugula
  • 1 Cup Shaved Brussels Sprouts
  • 1/2 Cup Blueberries
  • 1/2 Cup Strawberries, Sliced
  • 1/4 Cup Organic Coconut and Sesame Seeds Clusters
  •  Fresh Ground Salt and Pepper
  • Dressing:
    • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
    • 1 Lemon Juiced
    • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
    • 1 Tbsp Honey

Directions

  1. Mix together dressing ingredients. Rinse arugula, Brussels sprouts and fruit and dry completely.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine arugula, shaved Brussels sprouts, salt, pepper, and a few tablespoons of mixed dressing. Add fruit and toss well. Arrange on plate and add coconut and sesame seed clusters.

 

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Queso Fish Tacos

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I live in San Diego, home of the best Mexican food in the world (outside of Mexico, that is). We take our tacos pretty seriously around here and my family can get pretty snobby when it comes to Mexican cuisine. It is part of the reason we will never leave San Diego. Ever.

Fish tacos are my husband’s go-to dish. There are so many great choices in San Diego, we usually go to Ranchos or El Zarape in North Park, but are always on the look out for new and delicious spots. (Comment with your favorite fish taco spot, and we’ll either try it or judge you) (half kidding – see above).

One of my favorite tacos shops in San Diego is Lucha Libre, which is a hipster taco restaurant in Mission Hills (and North Park!) San Diego with a luchador (Mexican Wrestler) theme, amazing salsa, and a line out the door. Go there. They are awesome. But my FAVORITE item on their menu is the queso taco – Where they melt cheese on the griddle and make it all crispy, then put it on a corn tortilla and fill it with carne asada, avocados and a secret cream sauce. It is a little sample of heaven on earth. But healthy? Probably not.

In true fearless flying kitchen fashion…I have to try to make the best in San Diego by combining everything I love about tacos (all while trying to make it a pinch more healthy). Why not do a mash up of this delicious cheese and meat filled taco with my husband’s favorite dinner?

Meet the Queso Fish Taco.

Grilled white fish (Tilapia or Mahi-Mahi, I used fresh tilapia from Trader Joe’s – Can’t beat the price either!) seasoned to perfection with chili and lime, a crunchy cheese and corn tortilla wrapper, leafy green cabbage slaw, home made guacamole. It really is the recipe for a perfect taco Tuesday…or any day..or, every day.

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First, I have to talk about my proudest discovery, which was mixing the Cruciferous Crunch Collection with the Cilantro Salad Dressing. I normally look at this salad mix when I am at Trader Joe’s and have never been inspired, since it seems too leafy and kale packed for my liking. But it is definitely worth the purchase. It could be great as just a regular salad tossed with a creamy dressing or used as traditional cole slaw, just with a leafier texture.

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Cruciferous Crunch Collection (Kale, Brussels Sprouts, Broccoli, Green Cabbage and Red Cabbage) mixed with Cilantro Salad Dressing

Fish Taco Slaw

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 bag of Cruciferous Crunch Collection
  • 2 Tbsp Cilantro Salad Dressing (or amount to taste)

Directions:

Mix well, until combined, and serve as cole slaw, or top with your favorite toppings and enjoy as a salad.

Next step, was some home made guacamole. Now, I can’t take too much credit here. I just copy the table side guacamole from El Torito. But it is delicious, and highly recommended.

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Homemade “Hibshman Guacamole”

Homemade Hibshman Guacamole

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 5 Medium Avocados, sliced and mashed up
  • 1/3 of a yellow or white onion, minced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, diced
  • 1/4  Jalapeno, minced very finely (to taste)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and Pepper to taste (go easy on the salt at first and try it with a chip. Usually don’t need too much salt because the chips are salted).

Directions:

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!

Most fish tacos you find out and about are breaded and fried. Not my favorite. We also don’t have an outside grill, so I did a hybrid of the two, and pan fried the fish with a bit of butter (but no breading).

I also haven’t ever cooked Tilapia before.

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So, this was really quite the miracle that this turned out. But, in all fairness, I did a lot of research on it…

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Grilled tilapia with a chili-lime rub

Chili-Lime Rubbed Tilapia

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • Zest of one lime
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 2 Tilapia Filets, cut in half (four total pieces)
  • 1 Tbsp butter (or Olive oil…whatever)

Directions:

Mix everything except for the tilapia and butter together. Rub evenly onto the tilapia. Meanwhile, heat a skillet or griddle on medium-high heat and melt a pat of butter (or Olive Oil if you prefer. I like the flavor that the butter adds). Once the pan is hot and butter is melted, cook tilapia for about 4 minutes on each side.

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We ate our Queso Fish Tacos with pinto beans and watermelon. Other delicious sides include rice, grilled veggies, corn or a simple salad of bell peppers, tomato and cucumber with cilantro, lime, salt and pepper.

Queso Fish Tacos

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

  • Eight corn tortillas (two tortillas per person)
  • 1 Cup Shredded Mexican Cheese
  • Chili-Lime Rubbed Tilapia
  • Fish Taco Slaw
  • Homemade Hibshman Guacamole

Directions:

See recipes above for Chili Lime Rubbed Tilapia, Fish Taco Slaw and Homemade Hibshman Guacamole.

To assemble the tacos, heat a griddle on medium-high heat, sprinkle cheese on griddle, the same size as the corn tortilla you are using. It will melt and then start to crust, and it is in between these two phases that you pop the corn tortillas on top, for about a minute. The bottom will crust up and the top will stick to the corn tortilla. Remove with spatula and put on plate.

Slice fish into large chunks and assemble on crispy cheese, then add your Fish Taco Slaw and Guacamole. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Summer Spinach Tortellini Salad

Summer Spinach Tortellini Salad from The Fearless Flying Kitchen This past weekend, I went up to the mountains with my mom (who is a vegetarian) and my daughter (who regularly survives on bread and cheese alone) to attend my dear friend’s 10 year wedding vow renewal ceremony. I volunteered to pack a lunch to make sure we had everything we needed for the all-day-affair. What to make that would keep in a cooler for hours and satisfy both of their needs? Thus, the Summer Spinach Tortellini Salad recipe was born! Good news was that it lasted hours without wilting, was full of vegetables, and provided the little one with enough carbohydrates to keep her going. Bad news is that I didn’t make enough to get a second helping.

Summer Spinach Tortellini Salad

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Spinach Tortellini
  • 1/2 Bag of Organic Spinach, rinsed and dried
  • 1/2 Bag of Organic Frozen Broccoli
  • 1/2 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Diced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese, Shredded
  • 1/2 Cup Tuscan Italian Dressing

Directions: Fill a large pot with about 4 quarts of water. Bring to boil over high heat. Add frozen broccoli. in 2 minutes, add Spinach Tortellini and cook until done, about 5 minutes (the package says 2-3 minutes, but because you will be adding something frozen just prior, it will decrease the temperature, thus needing more time). Prior to removing from the heat, add red bell peppers and sun-dried tomatoes, (to rehydrate them) for just a few seconds, then remove from heat and strain well, and rise with cold water.  In a separate bowl, combine spinach, mozzarella and the strained pasta/veggie mixture with 1/2 cup Tuscan Italian dressing. Cover and chill for at least an hour before serving.