Healthy and Spicy Grilled Sockeye Salmon Recipe

I picked up this beautiful wild Sockeye salmon on my way home from work. Isn’t she a beauty? I was looking for an easy and healthy meal that wouldn’t take too long and grilling has been the only option for me lately. I have refused to turn on the stove even though weather has been a little cooler than normal this August, July was an inferno! The Sockeye is lovely to look at but even better eating it so as soon as I walked in the house I got to prepping for this healthy and spicy grilled Sockeye salmon recipe! Yes you’ll pay a little more for wild sockeye salmon but aren’t you worth it? ๐Ÿ™‚ You just have to treat yourself once in a while!

sockeye-salmon

Sockeye salmon is bright, fresh and all natural and is known across the US as “red salmon” because of its rich, red hue. The Sockeye gets its color from a diet rich in zooplankton and shrimp. Sockeye salmon isn’t the most fatty of salmon or the most popular, the king salmon is, but the sockeye has a stronger salmon flavor. Salmon is one of my favorite fish and nothing like eating natural salmon from the wild, you just feel better eating it. There have been several times when I’ve gone to buy salmon at my local supermarket only to put it back after seeing they’ve add food dye. That’s been done to farmed salmon for years, if it’s not pink enough they’ll add some color for you! The FDA says it’s safe but I’ll bet on nature any day! So sometimes I splurge a little and pay extra for quality as a special treat to myself! I wanted something healthy and easy to make so making this spicy grilled salmon recipe was the perfect after a long day at the office!

salmon

Salmon has many nutrients and it’s meatiness makes it a very filling fish. It’s so simple to prepare, just a little salt and pepper will do most of the time but you know me, I had to turn the heat up and make it spicy! Grilling the fish was also a better option for me considering the heat wave we’ve had this Summer, it gets the skin nice and crispy as well. I first seasoned the salmon with a habanero sea salt but wanted a much bolder heat. I picked up this amazing habanero horseradish sauce from DEFCON Sauces at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo last Spring and had been saving it for a grilled steak dish but this sauce took the salmon to another level.

defcon-habby-hotsauce

The label reads a little scary but don’t be afraid! If you can handle jalapeno heat or a bit of habanero or scotch bonnet peppers you can handle this sauce. Also, it’s not just pure heat, the flavors are bold and well balanced and you can really still taste the horseradish. It’s truly a great sauce. I’m not a fan of products that only burn so always look for great flavor and if it’s not hot enough I can always add extra heat but didn’t have to with this sauce. I grilled the Sockeye salmon first then after it was almost cooked I generously spread the sauce on top. It’ll also be great on steak I’m sure so you may see that next time!

spicy grilled salmon

While the salmon was grilling, I tossed a quick baby spinach salad with red onions and nectarines for some some added sweetness and was done in about 15 minutes! So simple and easy and just what I need after having a long day at work. If you live in the city or an apartment and don’t have a grill get yourself an indoor stove top grill or prepare your salmon on a George Foreman grill, either will work like a charm.

 

Spicy Grilled Sockeye Salmon

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Seafood
Servings: 2
Author: Maria

Ingredients

  • 1 lb wild sockeye salmon
  • Habanero Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Defcon Habby Horse Hot Habanero Sauce
  • Bunch of baby spinach washed
  • small red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 nectarine peeled & thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp ginger balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Heat up the grill then season the salmon with the habanero salt. Place the salmon on a grilling rack so fish doesn't stick to the grill. Place the rack with fish directly on grill and cook for about 10 minutes.
  • Right before salmon is done, spread the horseradish sauce over salmon and leave on grill for another minute.
  • Prepare a quick salad by tossing the spinach, red onions, nectarines, olive oil, vinegar in a bowl and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Place the salad on a plate and top with salmon.

 

Easy Brunch Recipe: Roasted Chiles and Vegetable Frittata

Oh my, I can’t believe it’s been so long since I last posted here. So sorry to have abandoned you so just wanted to let you all know that I’m still here! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve just been so overwhelmed with work, home repairs, travel and wait for it……redesigning this blog!! Woo Hoo! Within a few weeks I’ll be able to share with you a brand spanking new Hot Lollies blog that’s bright and lively with great new spicy content to go along with it. I’ll still keep posting here until I make the switch over to the new design so please don’t go anywhere! You see, I even made a roasted chiles and vegetable frittata for you! How can you resist a spicy, hearty frittata?

baked-frittata

I saw this episode of Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa a while ago and immediately went online to bookmark this frittata recipe. I love Ina’s recipes. She makes the most luscious comfort foods look so easy to make. I don’t always get a chance to watch her show but this episode featured all the things to make with cheese so clearly I had to drop everything!

Ina made a bacon and Gruyere grilled cheese, a rib-eye steak with Stilton cheese sauce, a coconut cupcake with cream cheese frosting but what really hooked me was a roasted vegetable frittata. Tender pieces of lightly season roasted vegetables tossed with an egg and cheese mixture and baked to perfection! It’s a great way to start your Sunday morning with a bright and peppery egg dish. The chile peppers add nice heat that isn’t overwhelming and really lets the vegetable and cheese flavors come through.

I spiced up the recipe and also substituted a few things to make it just a little healthier. I switched the half & half for 2% milk and cut back on the oil by just drizzling a small amount to roast the vegetables. The original recipe also served twelve so I quartered the recipe and made them in ramekins instead of a cast iron skillet, you know, for portion control. ๐Ÿ˜‰

egg-mix

frittata

Roasted Chiles Vegetables and Frittata
serves 2

recipe adapted from Ina Garten

1/2 small zucchini, 1 inch dice
1/4 red pepper, 1 inch dice
1/4 green pepper, 1 inch dice
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 small cubanelle pepper
1/2 jalapeno, diced
habanero-infused olive oil
1 small garlic clove, minced
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1-2 tbsp fresh Parmesean cheese, grated
1 scallion, chopped
2-3 slices of habanero pepper, diced
2 tbsp Gruyere cheese
1 tbsp butter
salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, spread zucchini, peppers (except habanero) and onion on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt & pepper and toss around until nicely coated. Heat for 10 minutes then add the garlic and toss again. Heat for another 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven.

2. Turn down oven temperature to 350 degrees. In a bowl, beat the eggs, add the milk and beat again. Stir in the Parmesean cheese, season with salt and pepper and mix well.

3. Melt butter in a saute pan, add the scallions, habanero pepper and cook until soft. Add the roasted vegetables and mix well.

4. Spoon the roasted vegetables into two ramekins until each is 3/4 full and top off with the egg mixture. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes then top each with the Gruyere cheese and baked for a couple of minutes until cheese is melted.

Meatless Monday: Buttery Pan Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts! They used to be the vegetable I avoided until a friend of mine made me try them years ago. I always thought they would taste like cabbage, which I’m not a fan of, but they were surprisingly different and only resemble cabbage in appearance. Brussel sprouts are nutty, buttery, nutritious and so filling. They are the perfect accompaniment to grilled meats and seafood but can also be enjoyed alone. They are also one of the healthiest of vegetables, packed with all sorts of nutrients.

roasted_brussel_sprouts

Brussel sprouts are high in protein and fiber, low in calories and loaded with anti-oxidants to help protect against heart disease and cancers. Also, according to doctors and nutritionist, adding a little extra kick from spices will also help rev up your metabolism.ย  Sometimes I will have these after getting home late from a good work out at the gym. They are light, and quick and easy to make. They are so tasty there is really no reason not to add them to your diet.

Spicy Roasted Brussel Sprouts

1 lb brussel sprouts
1-2 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
dash of salt & pepper

1. Rinse the brussel sprouts in water and peel off a layer or two and cut each in half. Heat up a cast iron skillet or heavy bottom pan on medium heat and add butter. As butter is melting toss in brussel sprouts and stir.

2. Add the garlic, pepper flakes and the salt and pepper to taste. Stir and cook for about 8 minutes until the brussel sprouts are tender and nicely browned.

Enjoy in a bowl with a glass of white wine!

Healthy Superbowl Snacks – Spicy Quinoa Cakes

This quinoa bites recipe has been on my Pinterest board for over a year now. I’ve made it a couple of times and decided to tweak the recipe for a spicier option. What can I say, I just can’t help myself! Adding a little spice here and there can really elevate a dish, even if it’s just a few pepper flakes.

quinoa_poppers2

These spicy quinoa mini cakes are a healthy alternative to the numerous fried and cheese laden appetizers that will be consumed during next weekend’s super bowl. If you’re looking for ideas on what to make and want to balance out your menu, this is it! Quinoa is a grain used in many dishes across South America and has gained popularity across the US for it’s high protein content and health benefits. It’s the super food of choice for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. It’s high in fiber, rich in iron and has been known to regulate insulin levels in your body. How could you not want to eat this?!

quinoa_poppers

These are great little snacks you can munch on between meals, as appetizers or just serve up as a side dish. The original recipe called for a sauce but these are moist enough that you don’t need one. If you do want something extra, serve with a salsa. You can also use regular size cupcake pans and serve as a side with vegetables or grilled chicken.

Spicy Quinoa Mini Cakes
adapted from So Very Blessed
yields 48 mini cakes

2 cups quinoa, cooked
2 egg whites
1/4 cup Gouda cheese
1 jalapeno, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt

1. In a small bowl add all the ingredients and mix well.

2. Grease a mini cupcake pan and spoon in the quinoa mix into each mold.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Note: The recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked quinoa. You can cook 1 cup of quinoa in about 1 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock for extra flavor. I used a low sodium chicken stock and boiled quinoa for about 15 minutes. You want the quinoa to crack open and be light and fluffy.

Quinoa has too many health benefits not to include in your diet. Use any leftover cooked quinoa to toss in your salad or add some texture to your smoothies. Enjoy!

Blackout Special Series: Spicy Curried Plantain Mash and BBQ Ribs

So hurricane Sandy knocked us around a little, actually a lot, I had no power in my neighborhood for about eight days but that didn’t stop me from cooking. Not sure if it was out of shear boredom or the fact that the meat in my refrigerator was very slowly defrosting but I was a cooking machine! I packed the freezer with frozen water bottles and that kept everything frozen for a good 4 days. The temperatures started to drop into the 30s & 40s so things lasted a little longer. I wasn’t making anything fancy, that’s not my style of cooking. I just wanted to make flavorful, delicious dishes that would fill my belly and keep my kitchen nice and warm!

BBQ ribs and curried plantain mash

I boiled a couple of green and ripe plantains and made a spicy curried mash that was unbelievably delicious. A little sweet, a little spicy and savory. In Dominican Republic we use plantains about a dozen different ways but curry isn’t a spice Dominicans use. I figured the curry would add a different dimension to the plantains with a more intense, bold flavor.ย  The plantains tend to be a little bland so adding a little salt when boiling brings out the flavor too.

pot of plantains

I also boiled them with the skin which I don’t normally do but have seen others do this. It actually makes it easier to remove the skin but also darkens the fruit when cooking. I prefer peeling them first before boiling since it’ll give the fruit a more bright color but it’s really a matter of personal taste. This was quick and easy to make and when you’re in the dark and can’t find ingredients, you want exactly that, a no fuss, hearty meal.

pot of bbq ribs

You can have the plantains as a side dish to compliment the ribs or if you’re a vegetarian, skip the ribs and double your serving. Plantains are very filling and a great product to stock, they’re gluten free too. The green plantains can last up to two weeks without having to be refrigerated and will only begin to ripen the longer you store them. So buy them green, they’ll last longer! It’s such a versatile fruit and normally eaten fried, boiled, mashed with a little oil, vinegar and red onions or if you want to be a little different, have them curried!

BBQ Ribs
serves 3-4

2 lbs spare ribs
1-2 tbsp Adobo seasoning
1-2 tbsp oil
1 cup Spicy BBQ Sauce, I used Dinosaur’s Wango Tango Habanero Hot BBQ Sauce
1 tbsp hot sauce, optional

1. Boil ribs in 2 quarts of water seasoned with Adobo until fully cooked. Drain off water after cooking.

2. In same pot add oil and brown the ribs. Add the barbeque sauce, hot sauce and let sauce reduce until ribs are sticky

Curried Plantain Mash
serves 2

1 green plantain
1 ripe plantain
1 tbsp salt
1-2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp butter
2 dashes of cayenne pepper

1. Peel plantains and cut in half crosswise or just cut in half and boil with skin in a pot of salted water for about 10 minutes.

2. Remove the ripe plantains sinceย  they cook faster. Continue cooking green plantains until fork tender. Lower the heat and drain the water from the pot.

3. In same pot mash the plantains with a potato masher or fork. Plantains should look like a chunky version of mashed potatoes.

4. Add butter, curry, ground black pepper and cayenne pepper and continue stirring until butter melts.

5. Serve immediately

Easy Weekday Dinner: Spicy Kale with Turkey Kielbasa

I started working out again about a month ago to try and shed a few pounds packed on in the last six months. I’m not a big fan of working out but it’s a necessary evil if you love to eat like me! Actually, its the gyms and treadmills that I don’t like and prefer any outdoor activities. Also my trip to Argentina and Chile is fast approaching so that’s even more motivation to get in shape! Yes, I’m taking a trip soon so let me know if there are any great food places to try in Buenos Aires, or in the Santiago, Chile area.

So part of the plan is to make more low or no-carb dishes for dinner. Low carb meals are so much better for your digestive system if you’re going to eat late. Try to have heavier meals during the day so you’ll have the rest of the day to use those carbs for energy. Besides, who wants to go to bed feeling full and bloated anyway?

I made this spicy kale dish with turkey kielbasa because I knew it was quick and easy to make. I’m usually starving after a good workout so anything I can make under 30 minutes is fine by me. This dish may not look like much but its so filling. Kale is a hearty, leafy green that’s got a nice crunch even when cooked down a bit and the kielbasa will add the much needed protein after a tough workout.

Kale and Kielbasa

The kielbasa gives this kale a nice smokey flavor similar to what ham-hocks do for collard greens but this is a little healthier with the turkey kielbasa.

Kale and kielbasa in broth

The extra added spices will help boost your metabolism as well which is another benefit of spicy foods. This dish is healthy, gluten free and the kale provides disease fighting antioxidants too. Kale also packs a healthy dose of fiber, vitamin A, calcium and beta-carotene, it’s up there with broccoli as one of the super foods!! If you’ve never had it before give it a try with this easy dish.

spicy kale and kielbasa in a bowl

Spicy Kale and Turkey Kielbasa

1/2 lb of Kale, or half of 16oz bag
1 link of kielbasa, sliced thick
2 cherry chile peppers, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp chile pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup chicken stock

1. Add washed and rinsed kale to an enamel pot and turn heat up to medium. Let kale sweat for a couple of minutes.

2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Let kielbasa and kale cook for about 10-15 minutes.

You can serve this as a side dish as well, just serve a little less. Enjoy!