Monthly Archives: August 2013

Chargrilled Veggies and Rice with Salmon

Chargrilled Veggies and Rice with Salmon

You know from my last post that I’ve been busy working on rice recipes for Jaime Oliver’s Search for a FoodTube Star with Uncle Ben’s Competition. With all of the vegetables pumping out of the garden right now, and summer grilling season upon us, this was somewhat of an inevitable dish.

I was actually shying away from doing another boring rice bowl dish. But when it’s so easy and the ingredients are so fresh, why not?

Chargrilled Veggies and Rice with Salmon

This recipe starts with salmon, which is found fresh locally this time of year. When buying salmon, always look for wild-caught salmon to avoid anything with added colors or chemicals. Frankly, I think wild-caught salmon is more flavorful than farm raised as well. For this recipe, I don’t put any marinades or rubs on the salmon at all, I simply season it with a little salt and pepper and cook it on a cedar plank on the grill. This allows the full flavor of the salmon, and the fresh veggies and herbs it’s eventually served with, to shine through.

Chargrilled Veggies and Rice with Salmon

Next, I add in a zucchini and yellow squash from the garden, as well as an ear of sweet corn and a nice, fat sweet onion; I used one of our infamous local varietals, the Walla Walla sweet onion. I love to cook with these because they have such a caramel sweet flavor, and grilling brings out all those delicious sugars in these local beauties. Plus they’re only available for about 1 month out of the year.

Chargrilled Veggies and Rice with Salmon

I simply slice up my vegetables, lightly mist them with olive oil, and throw them on the grill. Whatever you do, don’t use a canned cooking spray as these are loaded with chemicals. I love my Misto spray pump for this job, but absent of that you can always use the old-fashioned method of a pastry brush and a bit of oil instead of a mister.

Chargrilled Veggies and Rice with Salmon

Once the veggies are grilled, I chop them up, toss them with some brown rice, freshly chopped oregano, and crumbled goat cheese then serve it up with a nice chunk of the grilled salmon and a handful of sweet, juicy cherry tomatoes on top. It’s easy, it’s full of flavor, and it’s good for you. Who says rice bowls are boring?


Chargrilled Veggies and Rice with Salmon
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Calories: 302.2
  • Fat: 9.4
  • Saturated fat: 2.8
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.3
  • Carbohydrates: 18.2
  • Sugar: 0.8
  • Sodium: 272.9
  • Fiber: 2.4
  • Protein: 33.2
  • Cholesterol: 80.9
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Seafood
In my second entry for Jaime Oliver's Search for a FoodTube Star with Uncle Ben's Competition, I'm serving up some tender summer salmon on a bed of grilled veggies, nutty brown rice, herbs, and creamy goat cheese. It's an easy weeknight meal that packs a flavor punch!
  • 1 lb. raw salmon filet
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup quick cooking brown rice
  • 1 baby zucchini, trimmed and cut lengthwise into ¼" widths
  • 1 baby yellow squash, trimmed and cut lengthwise into ¼" widths
  • ½ large sweet onion, cut into ¼" rings
  • 1 ear of sweet corn, husked
  • 1 tsp olive oil in a mister can/bottle
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 2 oz. crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  1. Soak a cedar grilling plank in water for 1 hour. Preheat your outdoor grill.
  2. Season the salmon with salt and pepper. Place on the soaked cedar plank and place the plank on the grill. Close the lid and cook on low for 30 minutes or until cooked through. Make sure to keep a spray bottle of water nearby and keep a close eye on the grill to put out any flames before they catch the plank on fire.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to package directions.
  4. Mist the zucchini, squash, corn and onion with the olive oil (or baste with a pastry brush). Grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  5. Shave the ear of corn into a large serving bowl and add the cooked zucchini, squash and onion cut into ¼" cubes.
  6. Mix in the rice, oregano and goat cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Serve a scoop of the rice and vegetable mixture topped with a piece of salmon and a scattering of the cherry tomatoes.


Hoisin Marmalade Chicken Skewers with Lemongrass Rice

Hoisin Marmalade Chicken Skewers with Lemongrass Rice

I’ve been hard at work experimenting with rice based recipes for Jaime Oliver’s Search for a FoodTube Star with Uncle Ben’s Competition. I can’t remember the last time I ate rice this often. By happy accident, I had actually already been working on this particular recipe before I learned of the competition, about a month ago.

I don’t make enough money off my blog to keep myself in the manner to which I’ve become accustomed, so I continue to work in a completely unrelated field during the day. And because of issues at work, I’ve been working some very long hours. On those days, I need a quick dinner to come home to.

This dinner is insanely easy to prepare. I simply whisk up a thick glaze of sweet hoisin sauce and orange marmalade, throw in a little fish sauce for some dark saltiness, and a pinch of red chili-pepper flakes to offset the sweetness with a little kick. I pour the glaze over some chicken breast and let it sit while I start the rice, which is really no more than rice cooked with a stalk of lemongrass for some extra flavor.


Hoisin Marmalade Chicken Skewers with Lemongrass Rice


I like to alternate the chicken pieces on the skewers with orange slices. It makes for a pretty presentation and a wonderful aroma when grilling.


Hoisin Marmalade Chicken Skewers with Lemongrass Rice


While the rice is steaming, I cook the chicken on my propane grill. Chicken breast cooks up quickly, taking only about 2 minutes on each side.


Hoisin Marmalade Chicken Skewers with Lemongrass Rice


The entire dish takes about 20 minutes to prepare and serve, perfect for those busy days. I’ve added this to my repertoire of go-to weeknight meals.



Hoisin Marmalade Chicken Skewers with Lemongrass Rice
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 1 skewer + ½ cup cooked rice
  • Calories: 277.9
  • Fat: 5.9
  • Saturated fat: 1.8
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9
  • Carbohydrates: 29.4
  • Sugar: 13.1
  • Sodium: 549.7
  • Fiber: 1.1
  • Protein: 26.7
  • Cholesterol: 65.5
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Poultry
In my first entry for Jaime Oliver's Search for a FoodTube Star with Uncle Ben's competition, I'm giving you my original recipe for an easy and delicious 20 minute meal of sweetly spiced chicken skewers served with fragrant lemongrass-infused rice.
  • ¼ cup hoisin sauce
  • ¼ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • ¼ tsp red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2" pieces
  • 1 orange, halved and sliced (optional)
  • 8 bamboo skewers
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup quick-cooking brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  1. Whisk together the hoisin sauce, marmalade, fish sauce, and red chili pepper flakes.
  2. Mix the chicken pieces with the glaze and set aside.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Let toast for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
  4. Add the water and lemongrass to the rice. Bring to a boil then reduce to low, cover and cook for 10 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed.
  5. While the rice is cooking, arrange the chicken on the skewers. Use 2 bamboo skewers for each to keep the chicken steady on the grill. Alternate the chicken with orange pieces (optional).
  6. Cook the chicken on a grill on low for about 2 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Serve immediately.


Chargrilled Kale and Tenderloin Salad

Chargrilled Kale and Tenderloin Salad

Is it just me or has this summer just flown past? I can’t believe we’re now in the back-half of August. Where did the time go?

I mostly blame work – my day job that pays the bills – for this slippage of time. The pace there has been, in a word, crazy for the past few months which has made me appreciate my weekends all the more. Since I just took a big vacation to Ireland in March, I haven’t taken much time off this summer except for a routine weekend getaway to Napa to visit family. But on the weekends this summer I have taken the time to reconnect with old friends, explore the abundance of beautiful hiking trails in the area, wander my local neighborhood street fairs, and entertain friends and family around the firepit in the backyard.

And let’s not forget the ongoing yardwork that comes with summer. Every weekend you will find me in the yard at some point – watering, weeding, transplanting, mowing, pruning, picking. It seems a neverending process. Last weekend, a few friends joined me to relieve my 4 giant, old pear trees of 30 pounds of pears, which we transformed into jars of pearsauce and brandied pears. It gave me an opportunity to rid myself of some pears, and they got a lesson in canning. I fully intend to get at least another 10 pounds today and make another batch of brandied pears.

One of my favorite things about summer, though, is the fresh food. I especially love harvesting my garden bounty and turning it into a fresh, healthy meal. For those things that I don’t grow – after all, there’s only so much space in the garden – I look for local, seasonal vegetables and fruit at the farmer’s market. In my humble opinion, there’s nothing fresher than what’s in season, and I like to support my local farmers.

Chargrilled Kale and Tenderloin Salad

I was inspired to try grilling kale by a post from Two Peas & Their Pod. I am not a big fan of kale, I find raw, mature kale a little tough and chewy. But misted with a little olive oil and charred on the grill, it becomes tender, smoky, and slightly crispy. It’s a fantastic base for a salad.

Chargrilled Kale and Tenderloin Salad

I decided to pair the charred kale with pork tenderloin that I rubbed with garam masala. If you haven’t tried garam masala, you really need to. It’s a traditional Indian spice that is, like curry, a blend of other spices. It typically includes cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, cloves, cumin, and pepper. The exotic spicy-sweet-smoky flavor that it infuses to the pork is absolutely perfect with the chargrilled kale.

Chargrilled Kale and Tenderloin Salad

I then threw some grilled peaches and plums on the salad and topped it with a creamy herb dressing. With a side of crusty, warm bread and a glass of chilled rose wine, it’s a perfect summer meal to enjoy on the patio with the family.

Chargrilled Kale and Tenderloin Salad


Chargrilled Kale and Tenderloin Salad
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 2
  • Calories: 402.5
  • Fat: 10.1
  • Saturated fat: 2.9
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.3
  • Carbohydrates: 37.0
  • Sugar: 22.5
  • Sodium: 288.7
  • Fiber: 8.1
  • Protein: 44.8
  • Cholesterol: 92.8
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Pork
Baby it's warm outside! Step outside to the grill and try this quick and easy entree salad that is bursting with flavor. What are you waiting for?
  • ½ lb. raw pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 bunch fresh kale
  • 2 peaches, halved
  • 2 plums, halved
  • olive oil
  • ½ cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
  • ⅓ cup reduced fat buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh herbs (I used tarragon, thyme and society garlic)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your outdoor grill or barbecue and spray the grill with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Rub the garam masala into the pork tenderloin until thoroughly coated.
  3. Grill the tenderloin on low approximately 5-7 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from the grill and let settle for 5 minutes before slicing.
  4. Lightly mist the cut side of the peaches and plums with olive oil and grill about 2 minutes on each side until warm and tender.
  5. Lightly mist the kale with olive oil and grill about 30 seconds on each side until the edges are charred.
  6. Coarsely chop the kale into a medium salad bowl.
  7. Slice the grilled peaches and plums and toss with the kale. Top with slices of the pork tenderloin.
  8. Whisk together the yogurt, buttermilk, herbs, salt and pepper. Drizzle over the top of the salad and serve immediately.
Nutritional information accounts for 1 tsp of olive oil. I recommend using an olive oil mister (available on my Store page) to minimize the amount of oil used. Otherwise, use a brush to apply the oil to the fruit and kale.


Herbed Chicken Skewers

Herbed Chicken Skewers Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

This weekend I’m digging one of my favorite summer recipes out of my Entrees Cookbook. It’s easy, taking less than 15 minutes to prepare, extremely calorie friendly, and full of flavor.

Herbed Chicken Skewers Recipe - Colleen's Kitchen

I like to use boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins when I make skewers because their size is just perfect for skewers – no need to do any chopping. I simply roll the raw chicken in a mixture of finely chopped herbs and sea salt, skewer it, and pop it on the grill. Could it be any easier?

I think what I love most about my Herbed Chicken Skewers, is that they are so versatile. In the original recipe in my cookbook, I used a mixture of thyme, rosemary and oregano. This time I used golden oregano, thyme, Italian parsley and chives. You can use whatever herbs you have on hand, because isn’t cooking all about experimenting with different flavors?


Herbed Chicken Skewers
Nutrition Information
  • Serves: 4
  • Serving size: 1 skewer per person
  • Calories: 99.2
  • Fat: 0.4
  • Saturated fat: 0.0
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.0
  • Carbohydrates: 5.0
  • Sugar: 0.6
  • Sodium: 468.0
  • Fiber: 0.7
  • Protein: 19.2
  • Cholesterol: 16.7
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Poultry
What I love most about this dish is that it is so low in fat, yet is still full of flavor. Instead of using an oil-based marinade, I’ve used a combination of fresh herbs that creates a palate pleasing knock-out.
  • ½ cup assorted minced fresh herbs
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 raw chicken breast tenderloins (about 1¼ lbs)
  1. Mix the herbs, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
  2. Roll each piece of chicken in the herb mixture, shaking off any excess.
  3. Arrange the chicken on skewers, 3 chicken pieces per skewer.
  4. Grill on a propane grill on low heat for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked through. Serve immediately.