Two Sisters, One Kitchen

Quick, healthy meals by a loving team. See what’s cooking in J & K's kitchen!

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil February 8, 2015

Jamie says: In less than one week, I’ll be moving to my new place! I’m having that “this is my last time” doing (insert local activity here) feeling. Like tonight, it was “this is (probably) my last time eating dinner on the patio.” And yesterday, it was “this is my last time going to this church.” (You get the picture). It’s bittersweet, but I’m certainly super excited about my move. I’ve also been squeezing in a lot of activities, and let’s be real, restaurants, that I’ve wanted to try. My sister told me by the time I leave, I will have I milked this city dry. She made me smile. I like to think I’ve had the full experience. The cool thing is is that I’m not moving too far and can come back. And as my friend at the gym said, I’m about to expand my circle even more. Let the count down begin.

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil

Crispy polenta, creamy ricotta, rich salmon, golden zucchini, juicy tomatoes, and savory basil… yum!

Crispy polenta, creamy ricotta... and I'm just getting started...

Crispy polenta, creamy ricotta… and I’m just getting started…

Italian flag colors with Italian flavor.

Bam! Brilliant colors and brilliant flavors!

Bam! Brilliant colors and brilliant flavors!

Pan-Fried Polenta Cakes with Salmon, Zucchini, Ricotta, Tomatoes, and Fresh Basil

Ingredients:

  • one 17-oz roll polenta, original (Marjon)
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 zucchini, organic (Pero Family Farms, fresh wrapped)
  • 6 oz salmon filet, boneless and skinless, defrosted (Publix fresh frozen sockeye salmon, wild caught, USA)
  • 1 tomato, organic (Tasti-Lee)
  • 12 leaves fresh basil
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, low-fat

Directions:

  1. Slice polenta roll into about 12 even slices. Pour 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil in a large sauté pan. Place polenta on top. Using a spatula, flip polenta to coat other side in olive oil. Turn heat on to medium. Cook for about 10 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown, reducing heat to medium-low if needed.
  2. Place zucchini in food processor to julienne cut. Pour 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil in a small sauté pan, and add julienne-cut zucchini. Cook on medium heat for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
  3. Place salmon in a sauté pan on medium-low heat and cook for about 7 minutes, flip, and cook an additional 7 minutes or until done. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  4. Chop tomato. Tear basil.
  5. Arrange cooked polenta cakes in a circle in the center of two plates (6 per plate). Place cooked zucchini in the middle of the cakes, and top zucchini with ricotta cheese. Arrange salmon around ricotta on top of the polenta cakes. Place chopped tomatoes in between polenta slices on the outer ring. Top with fresh basil. Enjoy!

Servings: 2

  • Nutrition note: Gluten free (always check the packages to confirm, though) for those with Celiac disease or a gluten-intolerance. No additional salt is needed as the polenta is already salted.
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J & K Cook a Birthday Celebration Dinner July 30, 2013

J & K say: The two sisters made dinner together! Kathryn visited Jamie for the weekend to continue K’s birthday festivities. (Remember, you can celebrate the WHOLE month of your birthday.) Happy 24th birthday to K! 24K!

We rocked dinner with 3 amazing recipes: Almond Citrus Sockeye Salmon, Crispy Kalamata Kale with Balsamic Parmesan Sweet Potatoes, and Cilantro Citrus Quinoa with Fresh Cherries. We could not believe how absolutely amazing the meal was! Let us take you on a spin around the plate!

Almond Citrus Sockeye Salmon, Crispy Kalamata Kale with Balsamic Parmesan Sweet Potatoes, and Cilantro Citrus Quinoa with Fresh Cherries

Almond Citrus Sockeye Salmon, Crispy Kalamata Kale with Balsamic Parmesan Sweet Potatoes, and Cilantro Citrus Quinoa with Fresh Cherries

First stop, the salmon.

Almond Citrus Sockeye Salmon

Almond Citrus Sockeye Salmon

Let’s go back even further on this one… to the time when it was raw!

The salmon even looked beautiful raw!

The salmon even looked beautiful raw!

And it only became more beautiful (and appetizing) with some TLC and oven-time….

What a beautiful (huge) piece of salmon!

What a beautiful (huge) piece of salmon!

Next stop, one of the best side dishes we’ve ever created- Crispy Kalamata Kale with Balsamic Parmesan Sweet Potatoes.

Crispy Kalamata Kale with Balsamic Parmesan Sweet Potatoes

Crispy Kalamata Kale with Balsamic Parmesan Sweet Potatoes

These flavors made for a delightful marriage of sweet and savory, rich and healthy, flavorful and fabulous.

A must-make-again-ASAP recipe!

A must-make-again-ASAP recipe!

Can we give it a blue ribbon now? Please? Yes, vegetables can be oh-so-good…

Best side dish award (at least in our book that weekend)

Top side dish award (at least in our book)

We’re at our final stop. Meet the finale- Cilantro Citrus Quinoa with Fresh Cherries.

Cilantro Citrus Quinoa with Fresh Cherries

Cilantro Citrus Quinoa with Fresh Cherries

Although quinioa is an “ancient grain,” she can still party like the kids…

This ancient grain can still party hard!

This ancient grain can still party hard!

The fruity quinoa dish was so fresh and so refreshing!

Confetti of color and flavor

Confetti of color and flavor

Guess what the two sisters would eat at work the next day? (Hint: The quinioa looked pretty in the Mason jar, but we loved having leftovers of everything!)

Gotta love leftovers!

Gotta love leftovers!

We hope you enjoyed the tour. Now, if you’ll excuse us, it’s time to get eatin’!

K's birthday dinner is served

K’s birthday dinner is served

Crispy Kalamata Kale with Balsamic Parmesan Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 4 small-medium sweet potatoes (organic)
  • 6 cloves fresh garlic (organic)
  • 6 cups kale (Nature’s Greens organic)
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (Filippo Berio)
  • 16 pitted kalamta olives (Peloponnese)
  • 1 cup sweet roasted red peppers (Mancini)
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar (Bertolli, of Modena)
  • 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese (Publix)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Chop sweet potatoes into slightly larger than bite-size pieces. Spread in pan and toss in extra virgin olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes.
  2. Prepare the remaining ingredients: thinly slice the garlic and kalamata olives, and chop the roasted red peppers.
  3. Evenly sprinkle the garlic, olives and peppers over the sweet potatoes; add kale and toss. Bake another 10 minutes to 20 minutes, until kale is crispy.
  4. Remove from oven. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and drizzle balsamic vinegar on top. Add salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Servings: 6

Cilantro Citrus Quinoa with Fresh Cherries

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh orange (just for the zest)
  • 30 fresh cherries
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 15 oz can low sodium chickpeas (Publix Greenwise)
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • dash freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa, pre-washed (Ancient Harvest)
  • 2 cups water

Directions:

  1. In a medium pot, combine quinoa and water. Stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place a lid on a slant over pot and cook for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat. Pour extra virgin olive oil on top followed by salt and pepper. Place in a medium-sized bowl and refrigerate.
  2. Zest orange with a microplane. Pit cherries using a pitter and then use a knife to quarter cherries. Use kitchen shears to chop cilantro. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Add ingredients to the bowl with quinoa. Gently toss. Refrigerate until chilled. Enjoy!

Servings: 6

Almond Citrus Sockeye Salmon

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb wild sockeye salmon, skinless (Publix Seafood)
  • 1 fresh orange
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, original oven roasted (Wonderful)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. In a large baking dish, place salmon. Cut an orange in half and squeeze juices and pulp on top of fish. Use kitchen shears to chop parsley over fish. Sprinkle almonds on top followed by salt and freshly ground pepper. Bake for 18 minutes or until fish is cooked throughout and flakes. Enjoy!

Servings: 4

Credit: The salmon and quinoa recipes were inspired by and modified from the Healthy Apple’s recipe for Almond Crusted Salmon with Cilantro Cherry Quinoa. The sweet potato recipe was inspired by and modified from Real Simple’s Kale with Roasted Peppers and Olives.

  • Nutrition note: This meal gets super-hero status for flavor and nutrition. With power foods like salmon (omega 3s and vitamin D), sweet potatoes (vitamin A), kale (vitamin K and vitamin A) , almonds (vitamin E), quinoa (fiber, riboflavin), oranges and cherries (vitamin C), parmesan cheese (calcium), chickpeas (fiber), extra virgin olive oil and olives (unsaturated fats)… I could keep going on, but I think you get the picture. 🙂