When you invite friends over for dinner and aren’t sure what to prepare, here are three quick and easy go-to things you can make that are totally yummy and delicious!  It is hard to mess them up!  The nice thing is you can make them all ahead of time and let them sit at room temperature while you visit with your friends, then two of your dinner items go in the oven, and the third goes on the grill.  Also – it is healthy and low carb if that is any concern for you at all.

What’s on the menu you ask?  Halibut with lemon and cilantro, portabella mushrooms stuffed with cheese, and grilled marinated vegetables.  Yum.  The first order of business is to check with your friends to see if they like fish.  I’d say that is the most important thing, DO THEY LIKE FISH!  If not, choose chicken sausages or something else that they might like.  If they do, this menu is for you! Oh, I also did some figs because I saw them when getting the fish and they were perfectly ripe!  I just sliced them and added a drizzle of honey on them, along with some Paté and Brie (I added a few nuts for good measure…).  Delish!

Figs, noney, brie, pate

You can find all the recipes for these below…  but here is a brief description of what I did.

First, I started with the fish.  I found this wonderful piece of Halibut from Whole Foods.  I don’t normally do my regular shopping there, I find it pretty expensive.  So I go there for specialty items and get what is on sale…  this day it was the fish!  A beautiful large piece of fish that was plenty to feed 5.  

Halibut with lemon and cilantro

I had two bunches of cilantro at home (also – it is a good idea to check in with your friends to see if they like cilantro.  Apparently about 10% of the population thinks it tastes like dirty grass.  I, however, LOVE IT!  And I cannot get enough of it, so I load it up with lots of it!).  I cleaned it thoroughly, which really was just taking time holding it under running cold water after I had separated it from its rubber bands, I did this for about 5 – 10 minutes – you will see the water start to run clear once all the particles are out of it.  I let it sit on a paper towel for a while to dry out a bit before chopping.

cilantro

I then chopped it all of it up!  Cut the stems off (I do this all at once, just about half way down from the top of the cilantro… if you have a few stems in there when you chop, no biggie!).  I also sliced up the lemons.

Chopped Cilantro and lemons

Next I sliced up the zucchini and put it in a large ziploc with some creamy Italian dressing to marinate.  I had purchased the dressing from our local Ingles up in near our Mountain House…  I had looked online to see if it is available elsewhere, but no luck so far!  These dressings are as close to homemade as you can get, and they have really good ingredients!

Creamy Italian Dressing with Zucchini

Next I moved onto the portabella mushrooms.  I bought 6 of them, took out the stems of each and left the ribs in.  I tore up some Tomato & Basil Jack Sargento cheese and put that in each one.

Tomato Basil Jack

I then topped each mushroom with some feta.  You can get different types of feta, and I used a creamy Belgian one – but use what you want to.

Mushrooms topped with Cheese

Then – we were off!  All we had to do was stick the fish and the mushrooms in the oven, and my darling husband grilled up the veggies and dinner was served!  I did also include a french baguette and some butter for those not living carb-free eating.  See the full recipe for each below… Enjoy!

Halibut with lemon and cilantro
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5 from 1 vote

Halibut with Cilantro, Lemon and Butter

Course Dinner
Servings 5 People
Author Wendy Miller

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs Halibut Fish Filet
  • 2 bunches Cilantro
  • 3 Lemons
  • 2 tbsp Butter - Cold from the Fridge
  • Drizzle Olive Oil

Instructions

  • Set the oven to 350F.  You can do this later if you want to the fish to sit and you have some time before you cook it. 
  • Wash the cilantro under cold water and put on a paper towel to dry. Once dry, cut off stems and then chop cilantro to small pieces. Slice two lemon and slice the cold butter into thin strips or pats.
  • Drizzle the bottom of a glass pan with olive oil. Place the fish in the pan. Salt and Pepper the fish evenly. Cover the fish with Cilantro, drizzle the fish with the juice from the other lemon. Place the pats of butter evenly on top of the fish.
  • Bake for 15 minutes, check to see if this is how you like your fish. I like it not overcooked, so you may want to leave it a few more minutes.

Notes

*Remember, once it is overcooked you can't go back!  Better to take it out early and taste thank to overcook it!
Creamy Italian Dressing with Zucchini
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5 from 1 vote

Sliced Grilled Zucchini

Author Wendy Miller

Ingredients

  • 4 Zucchini
  • 5 tbsp Creamy Italian Dressing

Instructions

  • Slice up the zucchini to your desired thickness, but keep them thick enough so they don't fall through the grates once heated up.
  • Place zucchini in a large ziploc bag, and o pour in the dressing.  If there is more dressing needed, just add more!  They should all be coated pretty well.  
  • Grill the zucchini on a 350 degree grill for about 10 minutes, to desired level of done-ness.  Put on a platter and serve!

Notes

*I used Chef G.W. Clisso that I purchased from Ingles.  You can use what you like, but keep the ingredients and healthy as possible!

Mushrooms topped with Cheese
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5 from 1 vote

Roasted Cheesy Portabella Mushrooms

Author Wendy Miller

Ingredients

  • 5 Each Portabella Mushrooms
  • 1 Package Sargento Tomato & Basil Jack Cheese
  • 2 Containers Belgian Creamy Feta

Instructions

  • Turn your oven on to 350F.  Remove the stems from each portabella.  I did not remove the stems for this but if you prefer, you certainly can.
  • Tear up about a slice and a half of cheese for each mushroom.  Place the cheese inside each mushroom cap to cover the inside surface.  Then add the feta on top of each one to cover that cheese up.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until all the cheese has melted but they are not falling apart.  A cookie sheet will work fine!  Put on a platter and serve.