Category Archives: Beautifully Healthy Food

Seared Scallop Sandwich with Lemongrass Infused Fresh Coconut and Dill Slaw with a Tamarind Turmeric Gravy


It's pronounced "sandwish"
It’s pronounced “sandwish”

Seared Scallop Sandwich with Lemongrass Infused Fresh Coconut and Dill Slaw with a Tamarind Turmeric Gravy

I was inspired by a fantastic Instagram post of a fried scallop sandwich with purple cabbage slaw. So today for lunch I decided to make my interpretation, with just a little South Asian flair.

I really went outside the comfort zone on today’s lunch recipe by only buying  raw from scratch ingredients instead of anything canned or pre-made.

I love the unique condiments I came up with for todays lunch.
I love the unique flavor profile of these homemade condiments.

Continue reading Seared Scallop Sandwich with Lemongrass Infused Fresh Coconut and Dill Slaw with a Tamarind Turmeric Gravy

Sushi Night!


Chirashi BowlWhen I was a kid I wasn’t afraid to try new varieties of food.  I  loved me some  raw vegetables: broccoli, brussels sprouts, and spinach. I liked to shock other kids by eating what they were picky about. As I think back to this adventurous exploration of food, nothing left such an impression on me as my first time trying sushi. Since then, I was hooked, and Japanese food has been one of my favorite cuisines. I could literally eat it every single day (if given the choice).

Angled Chirashi

Continue reading Sushi Night!

Announcing the Clean Slate Catering Menu!


I am extremely excited to debut my first few menu items! I will of course be adding more and more things to the Clean Slate Menu like a Tex-Mex and Italian selections.  Please contact me if you have any questions about prices, or if you have any custom requests. I am happy to entertain your inquiries!
CLEAN SLATE MENU

CLEAN SLATE MENU Jambalaya CLEAN SLATE MENU PULLED PORK CLEAN SLATE MENU RIBS

Salmon Two Ways with Porcini Mushroom Polenta & Seared Scallops on a Bed of Wilted Spinach and Bacon Cream


Salmon Two Ways with Porcini Mushroom Polenta & Seared Scallops on a Bed of Wilted Spinach and Bacon Cream

Salmon Two Ways with Porcini Mushroom Polenta & Seared Scallops on a Bed of Wilted Spinach and Bacon Cream
Salmon Two Ways with Porcini Mushroom Polenta & Seared Scallops on a Bed of Wilted Spinach and Bacon Cream

A few evenings ago, I was invited to a good friends home to cook diner. He had been wanting me to do fish because he is not comfortable cooking it and wanted to learn. We had salmon fillets which I prepared two ways, seared and steamed. I like my salmon with a medium rare center and a flakey outer layer. Accomplishing this is actually quite simple. For the first method, searing, apply olive oil to the skin side of the fish, then salt. This prevents the skin from sticking. Next, pour a generous amount of olive oil in a skillet and get it right up to the smoking point in temperature. Lay the fish fillet away from you and watch from the side of the fillet as the color changes indicating how much of the fish is done. To keep the skin on the fish and not stuck to the pan, take a fish turner or thin spatula and lift a corner of the fillet. If you salted it well and with plenty of oil, it lifts easily. If the skin is stuck, carefully but firmly scrape it off the pan by applying more pressure against the bottom of the skillet than the fish. With one quick movement, it should release. Once flipped, the opposite side should only cook for about thirty seconds, and you can also sear the sides if you like it more well done. Remove the fish and place it on a plate to rest, it will continue to cook due to residual heat.

That is a very simple, approachable way to prepare fish. However, it is actually the more involved of the two techniques; the next one is even simpler. To steam fish, I have a secret method I have used for a few years. My friend really enjoyed this kitchen shortcut and after seeing how fast and simple it was, he said he would be cooking a lot more fish. The first step is to find two microwave safe concave plates in your kitchen. If the two plates are positioned surface-to-surface, this will create a clam shell style steamer for the fish. Place your seasonings together with the fish on the bottom plate. I used lemon slices under the fillet, garlic cloves, spring onion, and a drizzle of honey on the top. Place the second plate over the top, encasing the fish and vegetables. Microwave for one minute and check the progress, being mindful that the plates will be hot and the steam inside can burn you. The fish should be about halfway done, but I always check just in case. Replace the top plate and return it to the microwave. Like I said before I have been doing this for a few years and it never takes more than two minutes total to cook the fish fillet. After two minutes remove the dish from the microwave, again being careful of the steam and hot plates. Inside you will have a perfectly cooked delicate and flakey fillet with a medium rare center.

Steamed Salmon, Chive, Lemon, Garlic, and Honey.
Steamed Salmon, Chive, Lemon, Garlic, and Honey.

 

steamed salmon2
The fish comes out perfectly juicy, and has absorbed all the flavors of the lemon, garlic, and spring onion. Notice the nice glaze of honey on the top.

 

Plating
Salmon two ways (seared and steamed) with a porcini mushroom polenta.

Scallops are incredibly delicate and can be tough when overcooked. Using a similar searing technique as the salmon, get a skillet with olive oil hot and add butter. The oil and butter combination prevents the butter from burning quickly. When the butter begins to brown and becomes fragrant, quickly place your scallops around the pan going clockwise. This is a good tip anytime you have a lot of things to turn in the pan so you know where to start. Scallops cook even quicker than shrimp so flip them as soon as you see them turning opaque white. The flesh will split slightly; you can test the density of the meat with your finger to check their tenderness and ensure you are not overcooking. Only flip them once and remove from the pan, reserving the delicious sauce.

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Tender scallops served on a bed of spinach, wilted in bacon cream.

Scallops pair wonderfully with fresh spinach. However, I wanted to add something rich and savoury to this dish,  so I used crispy fried bacon. I wilted the fresh spinach in the hot bacon grease until it softened, being careful not to overcook the spinach because it will lose its bright green color. I added the minced bacon, and reduced the heat. Once the spinach was cooler I added enough cream to create a sauce, stirring constantly.

salmon scallop2
The sauce of the fish and scallops, together with sautéed shallots and spring onion bottoms make for a wonderfully flavorful sauce.

Polenta is made from corn and in the south, we call this dish “grits”. It can be many colors depending on what type of corn is used, but white is the most common. Typically, it is a breakfast food served alongside eggs. I bought a bag of yellow polenta that also had some dried carrot and porcini mushroom. We added more porcini and a touch of butter, then boiled it for about 10 minutes, similar to quinoa. The deep mushroom flavor complimented the other delicate aspects of the dish perfectly and made for quite the epic meal. I hope you try a few of these dishes but most of all, the steaming technique. It really is simple. You could literally prepare a delicious, healthy meal of steamed vegetables and fish in two minutes with very little clean up.

Beets and Feta Cheese Salad


Beets and Feta Cheese Salad

Beet Salad Dressed Macro
Ewe beets? Yes beets, beet salad. But the one crazy difference? This salad is delicious!

 

Beet Salad Dressed Closeup
This super healthy salad is as tasty as it is nutritious.

Beets and Feta Cheese Salad Recipe:

  • Firm Feta Cheesecut into cubes then tossed in Lemon infused Olive Oil.
  • Grilled Herded ChickenBoneless skinless chicken breast. Grill or cook in light olive oil. Cut into cubes and sprinkled with my own Poultry Seasoning Recipe (Thyme, Salt, Dried Lemon Zest, Dried Orange Zest, Dried Lime Zest, Paprika, Sumac, Nutmeg, Tarragon, Marjoram)
  • Beetsred or golden if you can find them, both make for a beautiful healthy and tasty salad. Wash the beets first then place in a pot and cover with water. Add a dash of salt to keep the color from bleeding out. Bring to a boil until the beets are soft enough to insert a fork into. This can take from 30 minute to over an hour depending on the beets’ size.  Remove the beets, let them cool then cut into cubes (you may want to lay paper towels or parchment paper over your cutting board so it does not get dyed pink. You may also want to use disposable gloves when handling the beets.You can use pickled beets if that is all you can find, but go fresh if possible (the nutrient levels, as well as the taste, and texture are worlds apart.)
  • Fuji AppleAny crisp apple will do, even green apples. Allumette cut (matchstick size). Place the slices in cold water and add a squeeze of lemon to prevent them from turning brown.
  • Bitter GreensI used watercress tops  but arugula, spinach, or mustard greens are perfect with their crisp peppery bite.
  • *Whole Almonds and Sunflower Seedsdried edamame, soybeans, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, cashew, maybe even some toasted flax seed or flash fried quinoa.
  • *Dried Cranberries– Any type of  fruit works great really. Dried or fresh strawberries, blueberries, blackberries etc.

 *These last two lines of ingredients can easily come from a store bought fruit and nut blend or trail mix.  Maybe I will do a trail mix recipe soon…hmm*

Balsamic Vinaigrette, Wild Honey, and Strawberry Preserves Dressing Recipe:

  • Fruit and Honey Balsamic Blend- This is a secret recipe. Use fresh berries or preserves  (fig, apricot, blackberry or strawberry are all  delicious choices). Add an overloaded tablespoon of wild honey and your favorite thick balsamic vinegar. Mix until blended.
Cooked and cooled beets, cut into cubes.
Cooked and cooled beets, cut into cubes.

Beets are one of the most nutritious vegetables a person can include in their diet. They are packed with tons of vitamins to help support a healthy  and active lifestyle. Beets are super versatile, from eliminating garlic breath to acting as a hangover cure. Check out this link to find out more about this super food: 6 Health Benefits of Eating Beets.

Beet Salad Board2
I guess you could just eat it now…
One of my newly found and favorite ingredients, bee pollen.
One of my newly found and favorite ingredients, bee pollen.
This citrus packed seasoning blend goes great on all poultry.
This citrus packed seasoning blend goes great on all poultry.

 

 

Beet Salad Mixed2
This salad really is so simple to make, you have to try it.

 

 

Beet Salad Mixed3
I have not met one person whose negative opinion about beets was not changed by this salad’s wonderful flavors.

 

 

Either drizzle or toss the entire salad with the dressing.
Either drizzle or toss the entire salad with the dressing.

 

Beet Salad Board
The most colorful food is the healthiest I have heard, and each of these ingredients is also scrumptious (beets excluded).

 

 

Quinoa Cucumber and Mint Salad with Pickled Red Onions and Lemon Oil Dressing


 

Quinoa

 

 

 

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Spending time in such a health conscientious place like Los Angeles  sparked my love for Quinoa. This super food is packed with protein and is amazingly gluten free. It looks similar to couscous but in reality its closely related to spinach and beetroot and is considered a grain crop. You cook it like rice and it can be served in tons of different ways from risotto to crunchy fried. I had a close friend who had never tried it, so when he invited me over to cook Mayura Wagyu steaks I knew the the perfect dish to serve along side.

Quinoa, Cucumber and Mint Salad with Pickled Red Onions and Lemon Oil Dressing

This is my absolute favorite way to serve Quinoa, I still am not sure how I feel about it served warm and savoury. This dish is more on the salad side of things and served cold. The mint and citrus really perk it up and make it extra light and super tasty for such a healthy little seed. I adapted this recipe from a restaurant I used to work at in Downtown LA.

 

White Quinoa, boiled and cooled.

Fresh Italian Parsley, some roughly chopped and some whole leaves for garnish

Fresh Mint, same with the Parley, some torn leaves, and a few whole for garnish

Cucumber, thinly sliced and the thinner the slices the better, I cheated and used a mandolin for this step. If you have Japanese sushi cucumbers or English cucumbers use them for this.

Cauliflower, you can either grate this or mandolin it as well, but keep it raw for a nice crunch.

 

I wanted something a little sour to go with this salad so I made some pickled red onions. I love vinegar, and all things pickled and this next quick recipe is something I could have on every plate.

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Did I mention I love sour things? I like how it really cuts through thicker overpowering fatty flavors and restarts your taste buds for that next new bite. For this salad with all its herby brightness I wanted to help my tongue find the citrus notes with the help of vinegar.

These pickled red onions are one of my favorite garnishes for tons of things and I like to keep a jar at all times prepped in the fridge. Here is the recipe, they are actually very quick and easy to make for a pickled product.

Red Onions, sliced thin into half moon strings, I use around four small firm onions. Boil a pot of water. Place your sliced onions in a colander or strainer. Blanch in the hot water for less than a minute and drain so they are softened. Then place the red onions in your pickling jar with the rest of the following ingredients.

Sugar, a couple tablespoons to taste, depends on how sweet you want them to be.

Salt, I used like one and a half Tablespoon, but this total depends on your preference.

Garlic Clove, whole or however you like it, and as much as you like.

Tiny Pearl Onions, like a handful.

Rice Vinegar and White Wine Vinegar, about 4-8 ounces each. Make a 50/50 blend of both, and the vinegar blend should fill about half the jar and cover everything completely.

Coriander Seed, aka Cilantro seeds. Not necessary for the recipe, and they can be a little tough to find in some areas, but these really  add a good spice to the jar.

Bay Leaf, just a couple to add a little aroma and savoriness.

Pepper Corn, the more different colors you have the better. Black, red, pink, white, or green and add around 1-2 full Tablespoons.

Mustard Seed, also around a Tablespoon

Star Anise, use a few, they are a great garnish but also I like the flavor these add to the whole picture.

Let everything come to room temperature, and refrigerate. These are good for weeks, and really highlight any meal with their vibrant color and flavor.

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This dressing is great on all salad. It has strong citrus notes and its base is olive oil so it goes well on more than just salad. I may use it with a pasta soon with a few extras.

Lemon Oil Dressing

Extra Virgin Olive Oil, roughly around 4 ounces in a food processor.

Whole Lemons, zest the entire outside of the lemon then slice remove the seeds and juice. Place the zest and juice into your food processor.

Roasted Garlic, I used my simple Kitchen Shortcut method for this and made a whole clove.

Fresh Thyme, up to you how you want to use and if you don’t have fresh herbs just double the amount for dried thyme.

Parmeiano-Reggiano Cheese, I had some left over Parm crisps I made to garnish my Mayura Wagyu steak so I used them.

Puree everything in the processor and add more olive oil if it is too thick. This keeps for weeks and is super delicious on basically anything you would put olive oil on. Add a few Tablespoons of honey into it if your lemons were too sour.