Main Dishes

  • Blackened Salmon Salad Recipe

    cajun blackened salmon salad

    A while back, I was in the warehouse looking through spices to create recipes for the SpiceJungle blog. I came upon two spices that seemed very similar but with slightly different names I was a bit perplexed as to the differences between the two.

    I know that cooks in Louisiana often use Cajun seasoning in jambalayas when boiling crawfish, and they add to just about any seafood coming fresh off the boats that day. But what about Cajun blackening seasoning? What is the difference between the two seasonings? I know you’re dying to know!!! Well, call off Sherlock Holmes because the mystery is solved.

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  • Spaghetti and Herbed Meatballs

    Spaghetti and Herbed Meatballs

    I have always had a love affair with big cities. Cities such as New York, Paris, Seattle and Los Angeles make me feel alive; the constant low hum of activity is electric. These cities rarely sleep; there is always movement, always a vibrant collection of people from all walks of life.

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  • How To Make Homemade Chicken Tacos

    How To Make Chicken Tacos

    How To Make Chicken Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Dressing

    I love tacos! I could eat them at every single meal and still not tire of the mire of flavors that are found in one small shell. Seasoned protein, crisp lettuce, cool sour cream, and cheese come together in a crispy corn shell. There is no delicate way to eat a taco, you simply have to dive in and accept the mess that follows. Although the taco may seem like a utensil-free meal, a fork is necessary to scoop up the filling that always falls out the other side.

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  • Sweet and Peppery Five Spice Tofu

    Five Spice Tofu

    Sweet and Peppery Five Spice Tofu

    Being a former chef and also a vegetarian is difficult at times for there are so many amazing restaurants opening within the Grand Rapids area and many are focused on meat. I don’t have an aversion to meat or meat-based products due to a political agenda; it is simply the right choice for me to maintain my weight and a healthy lifestyle. That being said, bacon still smells amazing, braises, stews and a beautifully prepared steak do not send me screaming in disgust. I just simply choose not to consume them.

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  • Wild Forest Mushroom Risotto With Almond Milk

    Wild Mushroom Risotto

    Mushroom Risotto

    Wild Mushroom Risotto is often thought of as complicated and time consuming but once you understand the basic fundamentals of cooking risotto it becomes a simple and joyful task. Risotto is rice that is cooked to a creamy consistency with the addition of liquid, typically chicken stock and white wine. In our wild mushroom risotto recipe, we'll be using homemade almond milk to bring out the nutty flavor of many of the dried mushrooms found in our forest blend mushrooms. Continue reading

  • Tangy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    Tangy Roasted Brussels Sprouts

    Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe

    As children we often look upon green vegetables with disgust, hoping that they roll off our plate and into the waiting mouth of the family dog. The dog then promptly spits it out and the evidence of our secret is found out by our parental figure. Our parents tried to cover them in cheese, smother them in hollandaise sauce or even hit them in casseroles, but we always found them.

    Brussels sprouts were considered the most dreaded of all the green veggies. Our mothers did not understand the subtle sweetness that can come from roasting these tiny cabbages versus boiling them until bitter and soggy. Sliced in half and roasted in well-seasoned cast iron pan will result in an earthy, nutty and subtly sweet brussels sprout. Very different from the boiled mush we experienced as children. Brussels sprouts are a curious vegetable, grown in the ground on a stalk; the vegetable grows from the bottom of the stalk upward.

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  • Honey Orange Roasted Carrots

    Honey Roasted Carrots

    Thanksgiving is a time to relax and give thanks for all that we have. It's a time to celebrate with friends and family. It's a time to eat yourself into a food coma!

    I look forward to the intoxicating smell of 20lbs of slow roasted turkey, creamy mashed potatoes, herbed stuffing, freshly baked pumpkin, apple and pecan pies filling the house. Family and friends gather around the table; eat, catch up on family gossip, compliment the creaminess of this year’s mashed potatoes and debate whether or not to add more herbs to the gravy next year. After everyone has relaxed and the tryptophan in the turkey begins to take affect, the couch and football beckons. Pie and mounds of creamy vanilla whipped cream soon follow.

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  • Wild Mushroom Pot Pie

    Wild Mushroom Pot Pie

    The humble potpie has a long and prestigious history, beginning with 20 blackbirds baked in a pie. A staple in European cultures for centuries, often gracing the tables of aristocrats and royalty. Potpies are still part of the traditional cuisine of many regions throughout Europe. The empanada from northern Spain is a version made with pieces of pork or fish. Cornish tin miners brought their hand-held meat pies, called pasties, with them to the copper and iron mines of upper Michigan. If you are a native Michigander you have most likely consumed a pastie with gravy or ketchup.

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  • Baked Jerk Chicken and Spiced Lentils

    Baked Jerk Chicken and Spied Lentils

    Jamaican jerk chicken is a Caribbean-influenced dish with origins in British, Dutch, French, Spanish, East Indian, West African, Portuguese, and Chinese. Jerk cuisine is a combination of Caribbean cultures, flavors, and spices. The slow-smoke method is an age-old Caribbean practice used to cure meat, by marinating or rubbing meats, seafood, and even vegetables with the seasonings and then slowly grilling them over wood. This causes jerked foods take on a spicy-sweet flavor and tender interior texture. Known for its fiery hot mixture centered around the Scotch bonnet chili pepper—considered one of the world’s hottest peppers—jerk is a highly spiced mixture of flavors that come together beautifully in this recipe.

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  • Oven Baked Barbecue Ribs

    Baked Barbecue Ribs Recipe

    Barbecue, just the word alone conjures up visions of fork tender pork butt, sweet and sticky barbecue sauce, and fall-off-the-bone ribs. Is your mouth salivating yet?

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