Whole Grain Penne alla Puttanesca and a Little Scoop of Ricotta

The Spicy and Pungent Pasta of the Ladies of the Night

Cook garlic, red pepper flakes and anchovies in olive oil for a few minutes until the anchovies dissolve. Add diced canned tomatoes, dried basil, chopped kalamata olives and capers. Simmer, then adjust seasoning. Top whole grain pasta (3X the fiber of regular pasta) with the sauce then a little scoop of (low-fat) ricotta. Everyone loves Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino with pasta, but sometimes it’s nice to have a change and fresh creamy ricotta (here too) fits the bill.
Thank you to my blogger friend Stacey of Stacey Snacks Blog for the idea to make Pasta alla Puttanesca. As she says, “you have this stuff in the house,” which I did. So for all those in colder climes who are not in the mood to brave the weather and go shopping, this intensely flavorful dish might just be an option for tonight’s dinner!

Chez Lori Lynn

My cookbooks have long outgrown their original home on the bookshelves. Cookbook Sprawl has now reached my office, the coffee table in the den, and the sideboard in the dining room. But I’m not complaining. They are all precious to me. For the holidays I received the magnificent Alinea cookbook and a personalized Home Cooking with Charlie Trotter! Thanks D & K!
Do you have any kind of collection that has taken over your home?

Cedar Plank Salmon

Fresh Wild Sockeye Salmon
Grilled on a Cedar Plank
Brown Sugar Mustard Rub

Soak the cedar plank in water for a minimum of 2 hours. You will need something heavy to weigh down the plank to keep it submerged. Fire up the grill, heat the smooth side of the plank directly over the flame. Turn the plank over and brush olive oil on the smooth side. Place the fish, skin side down, directly on the hot plank.

I prepared this fish first by mixing olive oil with a squeeze of lemon juice and rubbing that on the fish, then seasoning with salt and pepper.
When the plank was ready, I placed the fish on the plank and coated it with a mix of course-ground Dijon mustard and brown sugar.

Grill on high heat, close the lid and cook to desired doneness. This fillet took about 15 minutes. You need to keep on eye on the grill as the cedar can catch fire, if it does, douse with some water. I had soaked the plank for about 3 1/2 hours and it did not catch fire. I did turn down the heat directly under the plank however.

Using a long-handled spatula, lift the plank off the grill and place it on a heat-proof platter. Serve the fish directly from the plank.
You can visit my new blogger friend, Fishmonger Ran, at Don’t Fear Fish for more details on Cedar Plank Cooking.
Great presentation! Wonderful cedar-y aromatics! The fish is subtly imparted with the true deep flavors of the wood. Can’t wait to try this method with other fish, meat, and vegetables!

My Julia Child Floribunda Roses

August 15 is Julia Child’s birthday. In celebration, Lisa of Champaign Taste blog has hosted the Third Annual Julia Child Birthday Event. Please visit Champaign Taste to watch Julia make an omelette on The French Chef (oh, the memories) and to see the delicious ways other bloggers celebrated Julia’s birthday. Thanks again, Lisa!

Artichoke with Fragrant Tomato Broth

Artichoke – sans mayo or butter?
You bet.

Heat about a quarter cup of olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat, add 4 cloves chopped garlic, cook for a few minutes but do not brown. Add about 6 cups of vegetable stock along with a  10 oz. can of diced seeded peeled tomatoes and juice, a cup of white wine,  a half teaspoon each of dried basil and thyme, and a bay leaf, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Add trimmed organic globe artichoke (or two), bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook covered.
When the artichoke is almost tender, remove the bay leaf, add a half cup of rinsed capers and some chopped fresh basil. Adjust seasoning and finish cooking for about 5 minutes. Serve the tender artichoke in a soup bowl over the fragrant tomato broth. Ladle more broth and garlic and capers over the artichoke. Very flavorful,  and lower fat than some recipes…So I’m submitting this dish to Giz & Psychgrad’s Tried, Tested and True 2 Event at Equal Opportunity Kitchen.
They say, “We are asking you to submit your health-promoting tried, tested and true recipes. This can be any sort of dish – appetizer/soup/bread/main/dessert – your choice. But, it should be a low calorie dish, one that you’ve adapted from a higher fat to be a healthier choice, a vegetarian option, just to give you a few suggestions. Please don’t feel restricted. Just think about a submission that’s healthy and tastes good – that you would feed to someone you love knowing that you were promoting good, healthy eating.” I think this dish fits the bill.
To Your Good Health!

Heart Healthy Salmon & Scallop, Two Ways

Grilled Salmon and Scallop, Lemon Orange Basil Sauce
Steamed Asparagus
Brown Rice, Dill Tofu Sauce

Steamed Salmon & Scallop
Roasted Red Pepper Eggplant Coulis
Brown Rice, Asparagus Spears with Dijon Shallot Vinaigrette
In addition to Wild Salmon, Cannellini Bean Basil Broth here are two more Heart Healthy dishes.
The first photograph may look rich, however the sauce on the fish is fresh lemon and orange juices whisked with some extra virgin olive oil and fresh chiffonade of basil. The creamy brown rice sauce is made from tofu blended with fresh dill, Bragg Liquid Aminos, tamari, and spices. This is a delicious savory sauce – great on rice, vegetables, chicken or fish. I’m happy to provide a detailed recipe upon request.
In the second photo the fish is cooked in a Bamboo Steamer Basket, served with a coulis made from roasted red pepper, eggplant, chile and spices. The cholesterol lowering brown rice molded in the center is topped with the folate-rich asparagus spears that were dipped in the dijon vinaigrette.
If you are imbibing red wine for your heart, try pairing a fruity Pinot Noir with the steamed dish and perhaps a Zinfandel with the grilled one.

Heart Health Benefits of Scallops:
Scallops are good source of a very important nutrient for cardiovascular health, vitamin B12, and of omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and potassium.

Heart Health Benefits of Soy Protein:
Tofu is a very good source of soy protein. Research on soy protein in recent years has shown that regular intake of soy protein can help to lower total cholesterol levels. From The World’s Healthiest Foods website.
To Your Health!

Wild Salmon, Cannellini Bean Basil Broth


Heart Healthy Wild Salmon, Cannellini Bean Basil Broth

I having been preparing and photographing some heart healthy dishes. This one is a flavorful low-fat/low-sodium chicken broth with cannellini beans, minced garlic sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, with rough chopped fresh basil. This earthy soup is topped with crispy-skin fresh wild salmon rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Health Benefits of Cannellini Beans

These beans are low-fat, high in fiber and provide a high quality of magnesium, fiber, iron and folate. They help cut cholesterol. The beans fiber binds to fat to help flush it from the body. It’s also loaded with folate which helps lower levels of homocysteine, which clogs arteries. From Today’s Women & Health.



I am submitting this photo to the CLICK theme-based monthly food photography event for this month, which features any and all kinds of beans ‘n lentils.


Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

This unique species of salmon begin their lives by spawning in the Alaskan fresh water lakes that flow into the Naknek and Egegik river systems. After living and growing for 1 to 2 years in these pristine waters, they make their way down river and thrive for another 2 to 3 years in the cold waters of the North Pacific and the Bering Sea.
During their life in the Pacific Ocean, the sockeye feed on plankton and krill, this gives them their bright red color.

Also their unique natural diet promotes their healthy high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. On their return to the bay as mature wild sockeye salmon, the fish are selectively harvested only after enough salmon have returned safely to their spawning grounds. The fishery is carefully monitored to allow future generations of sockeye the same life cycle, and preserve this wonderful and unique salmon species. They are truly one of the healthiest fish to eat in the world.
This fabulous salmon was fished by Randy Houghton and his crew of White Cane Sockeye Salmon.

Slow Roasted Wild Sockeye, Red Potatoes, Citrus Herb Vinaigrette
Red Potatoes are sliced on a mandoline, layered into the roasting pan, drizzled with olive oil and seasoned with sea salt and pepper. Baked at 425 for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Lemon slices are scattered over the potatoes, topped with the seasoned sockeye, and more lemon slices and pitted kalamata olives. Roasted at 250 for 25 to 30 minutes (or to your preference).
Citrus Herb Vinaigrette: 4 parts olive oil, 2 parts lemon juice, 1 part orange juice, salt and pepper are whisked together. Mix in fresh thyme leaves and chopped basil. When the salmon is cooked, the vinaigrette is generously ladled over the warm fish.
This excellent recipe was inspired by one in Country Living magazine.