Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Colorful meals for gray days

The weather in Atlanta couldn't make up its mind in February. It'd be beautiful and sunny outside then suddenly rainy and cold. During some particularly rainy stretches I wanted to make dinners that were a lot more exciting than the view out the window. Below are some highlights from the meals.

Now it's turning into a gorgeous spring. I love that it's staying lighter so much longer, though it is strange eating dinner while it's still so bright out. I feel like it's summer already... not that I'm complaining!

Here are some meals to inspire you to brighten up your dinner plate, whether it's sunny and warm where you are or still rainy and cold. (Bonus points if you serve it on brightly colored Fiestaware too!) Enjoy!

Salmon with Jalapeno Slaw

This recipe was inspired by my new dairy free, gluten free cookbook, Cooking With Isaiah. I brushed salmon with a chili-lime sauce before baking it. I tossed lime juice and zest, fresh cilantro, olive oil, and sea salt with sliced red onion, yellow bell pepper, and jalapeno for the salmon topping. I served it with a side of mushroom risotto and an arugula salad, tossed with a homemade dressing of 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 1 Tbsp. honey, sea salt, black pepper, and lime juice.

Chicken Fajitas

I topped corn tortillas with brown rice and sauteed veggies and chicken. I cut up my chicken in strips, seasoned it with black pepper and dried parsley and sauteed until done. I then sauteed yellow and red bell peppers, cut into strips, chopped onion, chopped mushrooms, and diced jalapenos. I seasoned the veggies with black pepper and cayenne pepper for a little extra heat. I topped the fajitas with fresh cilantro and sliced avocado. 

Sweet Potato Chili

I love sweet potatoes. So when I saw this chili recipe from the blog 86 Lemons that included sweet potatoes I was excited to try it. And it didn't disappoint! I followed the recipe to an extent, and it came together fast. I essentially sauteed red onion, a bell pepper, diced/peeled sweet potato, a diced jalapeno, and mushrooms. I then added a can of fire roasted tomatoes, garbanzo beans, black beans, and two cups of chicken broth. I added ground cumin, a dash of red pepper flakes, a clove of chopped garlic, a dash of cinnamon, and ground black pepper. I topped mine with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime, but you could add cheese, sour cream, and sliced avocado too.

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