Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Summer Cooking: Lemony Orzo, Salmon Skewers, Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Well, I've been gone for a bit, and in the meantime I've been grieving the loss of my mother -- who passed in the beginning of June -- and trying to figure out the best way to get life back on track.  Cooking and eating seems to be a good place as any to start (to say nothing of the fact that I spent a month in LA subsisting off of martinis and snack foods--indulgences of grief).

I've enjoyed using Pinterest for recipes because I am seduced by the photos.  Truly.  But I've started a board of the recipes that I've actually cooked, and I add little mini-reviews.  You can check it out (and follow, if so inclined) here.

Now while martinis and snack foods are simply delicious, my personal trainer is going to make that weird face she makes when she's trying not to call me out on being lame. So, at least I can counter it with the fact that I a) am cooking again and b) eating healthy food!

Below you will see Grilled Salmon Kebabs.  These get 4/5 stars from me.  Next time we make them, I think I will use the spices as a rub on the salmon before it is sliced into pieces.  But they were tasty and paired wonderfully with Martha Stewart's Lemony Orzo. I love orzo and I love lemons, so this was a match made in heaven-5 stars!. She suggests lemon peel, but I will go out of my way for any excuse to use my favorite kitchen accoutrement: my zester! I liked that the zest stayed in with the orzo after cooking, and I think it made it more lemony (although I have not prepared it with peel instead of zest...). But I anticipate making this orzo several times this summer. The salad was also homegrown--a lettuce mix and beans from our patio garden.
We had leftovers, and I hate eating the same exact meal twice in a row, so I added this recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato Skewers with Cilantro-JalapeƱo Aioli Dip.  I made a few adjustments.  Notice the lack of skewers below (I prefer smaller pieces of sweet potato) and my "dip" was a little different--more of a dipping sauce.  I substituted plain yogurt for the mayo, blended everything with my immersion blender, and the result was fantastic.  It will be a great dressing for salad, and I even drizzled a bit in the soup I had tonight. 5 stars for the sauce!