In the Kitchen With Bubba Walker

These recipes were contributed by Bubba Walker, a North Ellis County resident, and originally appeared in the North Ellis CountyNOW July 2015 issue.

Almond & Lemon Crusted Fish With Spinach

  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh dill (or 1 tsp. dried), finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil (divided use)
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt (divided use)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/4 lbs. cod (or halibut), cut into 4 portions
  • 4 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, slivered
  • 1 lb. baby spinach
  • Lemon wedges for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Combine lemon zest, almonds, dill, 1 Tbsp. oil, 1/2 tsp. salt and pepper in a small bowl.

3. Place fish on the prepared baking sheet and spread each portion with 1 tsp. of mustard. Divide the almond mixture equally among the portions, pressing it onto each piece of fish.

4. Bake fish until opaque in center, about 7 to 9 minutes, depending on thickness.

5. Heat the remaining 2 tsp. of oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic, stir and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant, but not brown.

6. Stir in spinach, lemon juice and the remaining 1/2 tsp of salt; season with pepper.

7. Cook, stirring often until spinach wilts.


Chicken and Fruit Salad

  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp. fruit-flavored vinegar
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 cups mixed salad greens
  • 2 cups cooked chicken breast, sliced
  • 2 cups melon (cantaloupe or honeydew), chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1. In a large bowl, whisk sour cream, vinegar, sugar, poppy seeds, salt and pepper until smooth.

2. Reserve 1/4 cup of the dressing in a small bowl.

3. Add the mixed greens to the bowl and toss to coat.

4. Divide among 4 plates and top with the chicken, melon, walnuts and feta.

5. Drizzle each portion with 1 Tbsp. of the reserved dressing.


Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper

1. Place oil, vinegar, shallots, mustard, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Or blend in a large glass measuring cup or wide jar with an immersion blender.

2. Drizzle over spinach, lettuce or your own favorite medley of salad greens.


Pineapple Green Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup frozen banana slices (about 1 medium banana)
  • 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1-2 tsp. pure maple syrup or honey (optional)

1. Add almond milk and yogurt to a blender; add spinach, banana, pineapple, chia seeds and sweetener (if desired).

2.  Blend until smooth. Enjoy!


Green Jasmine-mint Iced Tea With Lemon

  • 1/4 cup loose green jasmine tea, or 12 green jasmine tea bags
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, plus more whole sprigs for garnish
  • 4 cups simmering water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 cups cold water

1. Steep loose tea, (or tea bags) and mint leaves in simmering (not boiling) water for 2 to 3 minutes.

2 Strain the tea (or remove the tea bags and mint leaves), and pour into a large pitcher. Stir in lemon juice and honey until the honey is dissolved.

3. Add cold water. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

4. Serve over ice with mint sprigs, if desired.