Straight Outta the Book

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{when I go a couple days without blogging, you get extra pictures to make up for the loss}

Toward the end of 2013, I proclaimed that I wanted to utilize my cookbooks more instead of solely relying on recipes I find out in the world wide web. I have a lot of good ones and they just sit on the top of my fridge. I look at them and I enjoy seeing them- but I just wasn’t in the habit of pulling them down, thumbing through them, and following a recipe in the black and white text.

I had every intent of stepping up my cookbook game in 2013, but thanks to holiday madness- it did naht happen.

SO when I was thinking about what I wanted to do differently in 2014, this of course was something I had to add to my list.

With the recent acquisition of Giada’s newest recipe compilation, I had zero excuses to not get all old fashioned with my bad self and whip out the cookbooks.

This past week and weekend, I made three of Giada’s recipes.

  1. Chicken Chopped Salad
  2. Baked Salmon with Arugula Salsa Verde
  3. Roasted Vegetables with Chipotle Cream over Crispy Pita

Chicken Chopped Salad

Sounds plain and boring right? Wrong. Unfortunately the recipe isn’t online anywhere, but the salad was a mix of chopped chicken breast, baby arugula, avocado, fennel, sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, salt, and pepper. This mix was then tossed in a dressing of apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper.

I ate the chicken chopped salad with whole grain pita and WOAH. Total brown bag lunch game changer. It’s pure mediterranean deliciousness. It’s light, but also filling.

Baked Salmon with Arugula Salsa Verde

I work from 11:30am to 7;30pm three days during the week. When I get home after 8, the last thing I want to do is make a huge dinner only to eat and then try and go to bed around 10. It’s just too much. So I’ve been switching up how I eat on these days to accommodate my new schedule.

Around 4:30, when I would normally eat a decent sized snack, I eat an even bigger snack that includes more complex carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. For example, my snack before would be something like a piece of fruit and a serving of nuts or nut butter. Now my snack is something like a serving of fruit over some greek yogurt with sweet potato or granola and some nuts or nut butter.

And then when I come home later, I eat a serving of protein and some vegetables (instead of loading up on lots of carbs right before bed). It seems to be working thus far!

While some weeks my protein will be something a lot more low maintenance and something in the form of a chicken burger or eggs- I wanted to do something fun this week and I had two frozen salmon fillets in my freezer.

So on my day off from work- I cooked off the salmon following Giada’s recipe and roasted some broccoli (so I could just reheat the meal when I got home from work the next night).

The baked salmon was spectacular. I’ve eaten a lot of salmon in my life and so I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t expecting magic with this recipe or anything. But DAMN was this good. The parsley and lemon combo on the fish was to die for. It was AWESOME having this at home waiting for me after a long day.

Roasted Vegetables with Chipotle Cream over Crispy Pita

My picture above is misleading. You can’t even see the crispy pita and chipotle cream sauce underneath the massive pile of veggies and kidney beans! I promise they are there.

This roasted vegetables dish is a revamped version of another recipe she has (the one I linked to). It’s basically the same thing- which is why I linked to the original- BUT in her cookbook recipe she uses greek yogurt instead of sour cream in the chipotle cream. And she uses crispy whole wheat pita bread instead of tortillas.

I made this for Will and I on Friday night and it was a great starter to us going out for margaritas. As she says in her cookbook, it is reminiscent of a tostada, but it’s healthier for you! Nothing fried here!

I topped our “tostadas” with avocado and they were delish!

Cookbook cooking success! It was fun to leave my computer out of the kitchen for a couple of days/nights and rely on the love that another cook poured into recipe creation and food making.

And I’m sure my lil computer appreciated the time out of the kitchen too- the amount of times I have to clean it due to food related messiness is absurd.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

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8 thoughts on “Straight Outta the Book

  1. I’m the same way with cookbooks and paper recipes–I always forget I have them! As a graduation gift, my mom got me two classic cookbooks-The Joy of Cooking and Cook’s Illustrated, and I’ve barley looked at either because I always get recipe inspiration from blogs or Pinterest–great reminder that I need to pay attention to what I have!

  2. Giada is one of my favorite chefs. She uses arugula in a lot of her dishes along with so many fresh herbs. Salmon is on sale at my local supermarket so I should try this soon.

  3. Yum! Love the fresh veggies incorporated into all of these recipes! The great thing about recipes centered around vegetables is that you can have a pretty decent portion size and not feel like you’re skimping out! I am going to have to try that baked salmon with the parsley and lemon on top….that is def right up my alley!

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