RECIPES

This is where I post awesome, yummy, healthy and quick recipes I use. Check back often as there will be a new recipe to try at least once a week.

Lemon Berry Chobani Muffins

(posted 3/28/11)

(Adapted from Honey Scented Blueberry Muffins, changes noted)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C whole-wheat flour, plus 1 Tbsp flour reserved
  • 1/2 C all purpose flour
  • 1/2 C granulated sugar
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp iodized salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 1 tsp cinnamon
  • + 1/2 tsp Chinese Five Spice (without pepper)
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract
  • 1 C Honey Lemon 0% Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1 C blueberries, fresh or frozen Frozen mixed berries, mostly blackberries
  • +frozen mango pieces
  • +zest from 1 lemon

Preparation

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 375°F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda, salt, nutmeg (five spice) and cinnamon.

In another bowl, whisk together egg, vegetable oil, vanilla (lemon zest) and Chobani.

In a small bowl toss the blueberries (berries) with reserved flour until lightly coated, add to egg mixture. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture, using a spatula fold ingredients together just until dry ingredients are moistened. Be careful to not over mix the batter, as it will cause the batter to be slightly stiff and not smooth.

Line muffin pans with paper muffin cups I just put them in the tin sans paper, spray lightly with non-stick spray. Fill muffin cups half way, (fill empty cups 1/2 way with water!) (top with mango slice) and place in oven. Bake at 375°F for 8-12 minutes until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. (or until they spring back at you)

Healthy Fall Salad (cranberries, feta and toasted pecans)

(posted 3/25/11)

 This takes me about 30 seconds to throw together in the morning. The key is toasting the pecans. This is critical! Toasting nuts gives them an entirely different complex and warm flavor. You can do this either in a toaster oven or in a pan. Sometimes I toast a large batch of nuts in a pan if I know I’m going to be using a lot, and then store them in an air-tight container in the fridge (you should always keep your nuts in the fridge!). Toast them on medium heat until you smell them and they begin to turn toasty brown. They burn quickly so keep an eye on them! There is a toaster oven where I work so I simply break a few up, throw them on a small piece of foil, wrap them up and then unwrap them at lunch and throw them in the toaster oven on the foil on medium. They come out perfectly and everyone thinks I’m making popcorn because they smell so good!

Salad Ingredients:

  • About 3 cups of 50/50 blend salad mix (baby spinach and baby greens) or all of either
  • 3 tablespoons pecans toasted (with chipotle and brown sugar optional)
  • 3 tablespoons reduced fat feta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dried, unsweetened cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion (optional)

Dressing:

  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper

 Assembly:

If making this for lunch, put salad greens in medium container (leave enough room to toss) dried cranberries, feta and onion. Place nuts in foil if they need to be toasted or in a separate container if already toasted (they can get stale if left with moist ingredients). You can toast them with a pinch of chipotle and some brown sugar if you really want to up the wow factor.

in small air tight container, place all ingredients for dressing. Shake vigorously and then again before serving.

Mediterranean Tuna Salad

(posted 3/25/11)

Salad Ingredients:

  • about 3 cups 50/50 blend baby greens (these just happen to be my favorite)
  • 1 small can of light tuna (you can used the Italian “Genova” tuna packed in olive oil as well. I know tuna may not make you think “Italian” but that’s what it does for me! Weird, I know.)
  • 2 tbs. red onion chopped
  • 1/3 -1/2 cup of canned cannalini beans (low sodium and rinsed in cold water!)
  • 2-3tbs. reduced fat feta cheese

Dressing:

  • 2 tbs. olive oil (you can use the olive oil from the tuna can if you used said tuna!)
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tbs. lemon juice
  • salt & pepper

(simple stuff here people)

Assembly:

You can either serve this on a plate or if bringing for lunch, put in a medium container (leaving room to toss), everything but the dressing. I usually just assemble my dressing in a small container and then shake vigorously before dressing the salad, then I close the lid and shake the whole thing. Easy peasy rice and cheese (minus the cheese and rice obvi.). Volia! Mangia! (Ok I’ll stop now)

Guinness Shepard’s Pie

(posted 3/21/11)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground lamb
  • 3 large carrots diced
  • 1 box of baby bella mushrooms (diced small!)
  • 2 medium onions diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1-2 cups of peas
  • 4 Tbs. butter
  • 4 Tbs. flour
  • 1 can of Guinness
  • 1/2 cup of beef stock
  • 1 large recipe of Homemade Mashed Potatoes (I like to make mine with peeled russet potatoes (about 8), milk, sour cream, butter and salt and pepper. Make sure it’s a little thin to spread on top)

Directions:

  • Make your mashed potatoes (Matt made mine. He’s the resident mashed potato maker) and set aside.
  • heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Add a small amount of olive oil and add your diced carrots and a sprinkling of salt, sauteing until starting to soften, about 10 minutes.
  • Add your onions next and saute about 5 minutes.
  • Next add lamb and stir until cooked.
  • Add mushrooms and saute about 3 minutes.
  • remove the entire mixture from the pot and place off to the side in a large bowl. Add the peas and garlic to it.
  • In the now empty pan, add your butter.
  • When it is melted and foaming slightly, add the flour and whisk until cooked about 30 seconds.
  • Pour in Guinness while whisking continuously.
  • Add the lamb and vegetable mixture back in with the beef broth and heat until it’s simmering. Turn heat down until it’s just simmering and cook until the sauce thickens, about 10 minutes.
  • Top with the mashed potatoes, CAREFULLY (this tends to be messy) and top with shredded cheddar cheese if your into that sort of thing (I know I am).
  • Bake at 375 degrees until the cheese is melted and heated through. You can refrigerate this after assembling (as I did the night before) and heat it through, about 30 minutes. It’s best to place it on top of a foil lined cookie sheet because it tends to bubble over and make a mess of your oven.

This is sooo super yummy. It has such depth of flavor. The Guinness really compliments the strong lamb. You can make this beef too of course just don’t be callin’ it “Shepard’s pie” round meyah hear! 😉

Lean Chili with Smoky Paprika & Chili Blend

(posted 3/10/11)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs lean, grass feed, free range beef (or venison or buffalo)
  • 1 large can of crushed tomatoes (or boxed if you can find them! low or no sodium added. V. important)
  • 2 cans of low sodium kidney beans rinsed (or 2 cups that were dried and have been re-constituted…if you have that kind of time)
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 small or 1/2 large green bell pepper diced
  • 3 small carrots diced (for added sweetness)
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup (yes I used that much) Wild Cheff Smokey Paprika & Chili Blend (I’m sorry I have no substitute for you. There is none. That’s the point! He’s done all of the work for you!)
  • 1 Tbs. cumin
  • 1 Tbs. dark brown sugar (stay with me here)
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika (I know it’s in the blend but this was the only I could add more good stuff without adding more heat!)
  • 1/2 cup of beef stock

Directions:

  • Dice veggies and set aside.
  • Heat a cast iron dutch oven over medium high heat.
  • Add just enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  • Add onions and saute 3 minutes stirring until turning translucent.
  • Add carrots and saute another few minutes.
  • Add peppers and saute.
  • Add beef and saute until cooked through, breaking it up as you go.
  • Add the garlic and saute about 1 minute.
  • Now add seasonings, crushed tomatoes, beans and beef stock. Heat to a boil stirring occasionally.
  •  Cover and reduce heat to just above low and simmer…as long as you can! I did mine for about 3 hours? The longer it simmers and the longer it sits the better it will be! 2 Hours is good but I say let it sit a day to let the flavors meld.
  • Serve with light sour cream or Chobani 0% greek yogurt (or mix them together if you like your chili on the verge of white like I do…Matt was horrified) and top with cheddar cheese. and Serve alongside cornbread.

 

Lightened Up Cajun Shrimp with Pepperjack Grits

(Posted 3/8/1)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of polenta or quick cooking grits
  • 2 cups of chicken broth + more for thinning (or whatever the package calls for)
  • 2 Tbs. Butter
  • 1- 1 1/2 cup of low fat milk
  • 1 cup of Chobani 0%
  • 1 block of pepperjack cheese shredded
  • 1 lb of raw shrimp (peeled and de-veined)
  • 2-4 Tbs. of Wild Cheff Cajun Blend
  • OPTIONAL FOR SAUCE (butter, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and chicken broth. *see below)

Directions:

  • Start by rinsing your shrimp under cold water and patting dry. I like to remove the tails from mine but leave them on if you prefer.

 Sprinkle with the Cajun seasoning and toss to coat. set aside.

  • Next shred your cheese and get your chicken broth heating to a boil. Generally with polenta or quick cooking grits you boil the liquid, whisk in the grits and reduce the heat and cook for about 5 minutes. This is what I did. Now because I used polenta I needed WAY more liquid then I originally thought. I chose to use milk.
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium/high heat.
  • Add just enough canola oil to coat the bottom of the pan and then add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 2 minutes per side.
  • Once the polenta is whisked into the chicken broth, whisk in the milk and butter.
  • Remove from the heat and add Chobani and cheese. Add more chicken stock to thin if needed.
  • *When your shrimp is cooked you have the option of making a sauce. Add more butter (about 3 Tbs.), whisk, add 2 Tbs. tomato paste, 2 Tbs. Worcestershire Sauce and enough chicken stock to thin. Serve over the Polenta. I made a little bit of this and added some off to the side but it’s not necessary and I would suggest forgetting it if you’re trying to make this light!
  • Plate the grits immediately and top with shrimp.

This was delicious and sooo fast! The Wild Cheff Cajun Blend did not disappoint but it was spicy so watch out! The Polenta mellowed the heat but the addition of the pepperjack cheese (which I added last time on a whim and it turned out perfectly!) gives it a nice pepper taste and a little heat.

Grits in its orginial form often has LOADS of butter and cream. By adding just a small amount of butter and using the milk and the Chobani, it had a wonderful creamy texture and a nice tang from the Cho. I think this lightened up version was quite a success! I served it along side some steamed asparagus and it was a fabulous and super fast way to end a week!

Plantains with Honey & Chipotle

(Posted 3/1/11)

(adapted from “Fried Plantains” by Alton Brown)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large green plantains
  • 2 cups of cold water
  • 3 tbs of coarse sea salt
  • 3 cloves of garlic smashed
  • canola oil
  • honey
  • chipotle (dried, smoked chiles, powdered)
  • ground sea salt for when done

Directions:

  • Start by smashing the garlic cloves and placing them in a medium bowl with water and sea salt). I’m not sure this actually did anything in terms of flavoring the plantains but it was a nice idea.
  • Peel plantains and get a small amount of oil (just enough to coat the pan) cooking over medium high heat in a large cast iron skillet (it is a well known fact that cast iron is the absolutely best for “frying” anything!)

  • slice diagonally into 1 in pieces (you don’t HAVE to make them diagonally I just felt inclined)

  • lay 2 layers of paper towels onto a jelly roll pan and top with a wire rack, ALSO topped with a layer of paper towel. Then layer another jelly roll pan or plate with a double layer of paper towel also for drying the soaked plantains.
  • Fry the plantains in batches cooking until golden brown, about 1-2 minutes per side.
  • Remove immediately to the paper towel lined rack and start the next batch.
  • Blot the top with an additional paper towel and then SMASH the plantains (or squish slowly really, smash maybe isn’t the best word) with the back or a spoon or spatula so that they are flattened and add to the water, garlic salt mixture. Let soak for just a minute or 2. Remove and transfer immediately to the paper towel lined pan/plate and blot dry.

  • When all of the plantains have been fried once and soaked and bloated, removed the soaking liquid from the bowl and rinse out and dry (no need to dirty another dish!)
  • Fry the plantains in batches a SECOND time, adding more oil as needed, this time until crispy about 2-4 minutes per side.
  • Remove to the paper towel lined rack and blot dry slightly.
  • Add to the bowl and drizzle with honey, a sprinkling of ground sea salt and chipotle. Watch out for the chipotle, use too much and you will regret it! Make sure you sprinkle it one them. Toss the whole thing in the bowl coat and serve immediately, repeating the process with the next batch.

THese are amazingly good. Starchy much like a potato but with the slighly hint of banana, the little bit of salt with the sweet from the honey and the smoky spiciness of the chipotle. BRILLIANT! Just brilliant! Served with the Cuban Sandwich it’s a match made in heaven.

Cuban Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pork loin marinated in mojo (you can roast or slice and broil like we did)
  • 4 sub rolls
  • 1/2 lb of honey ham (low sodium)
  • 1/2 lb of swiss, provolone or american cheese (also low sodium, you always want to go low sodium on deli meat!)
  • 4-6 tbs yellow mustard divided
  • 16 pickle slices (I like the Claussen deli sliced ones for this they are perfect!)
  • butter or Smart Balance (I used the later)

Directions:

  • grill or roast you pork loin and set aside.
  • turn your Panini press or George Forman grill on (I used my George Forman obvi. It’s little but it’s handy!)
  • cut the roll the long way and butter the outside. Layer with mustard, ham, cheese and sliced pork and then put 4 pickle slices in the middle.

  • Grill and slice. Enjoy! (VERY simply!)

Healthy Hearty Beef Stew

(NOTE: this recipe takes about 3 hours. It’s not that involved, that’s almost all cook time! So it’s a good thing to make on a weekend when you have the time)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat trimmed of fat (I used my grass-fed stuff of course, much less fat and much healthier!)
  • 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 1/2 cups of boiling water
  • 1/2 cup of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup of dried woodland mushrooms
  • 1 tbs. dried roasted garlic
  • 3/4 cup of good red wine (I used Penfolds Thomas Island Shiraz but I also love Gnarly Head Old Vin Zin for this)
  • 1-2 cups of beef stock divided (you may not need it all)
  • 4 small/medium potatoes (cubed, bite-size)
  • 4 small/medium carrots (diced)
  • 1 large onion (diced)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1-1 1/2 cups of frozen peas
  • 1/2 can of tomato paste
  • 1 tbs. rosemary
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. sage
  • 1 tsp. marjoram (optional)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Directions:

Start this party off by heating 1 1/2 cups of water in a Pyrex measuring cup for 2 minutes in the microwave…i.e. boil water.

To this, add your dried mushrooms and dried roasted garlic. stir and set aside (You will notice that this alone is dish worthy. You could easily make a soup out of just this. Honestly. I made Matt smell it and looked at him expectantly…forgetting he doesn’t get nearly as excited about smells or anything for that matter as I do.)

Next rinse potatoes and carrots, peel carrots and then cut and add veggies to a large bowl and set aside, also adding minced garlic.

Rinse your beef and pat dry. sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Heat your dutch oven over medium high heat.

Add about 1 tsp of olive oil to pan and swirl to coat. Working in BATCHES (i.e. you do NOT want your meat touching, you want crust, not steam), roll beef pieces in flour, shake off excess and sear, about 1 minute per side.

Transfer cooked stew meat to a plate as it is finished and add more oil as needed. You want a nice crust on the meat. This is what helps thicken the stew and adds loads of flavour! Don’t worry about flour stuck on the bottom on the pan, that’s what you want!

When you are done add a little more olive oil to the pan add the veggies, sauteing about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Meanwhile, removed mushrooms and garlic from liquid with slotted spoon (or your hands if your like me) AND SAVE SOAKING LIQUID! Don’t be throwing away all of that flavor! Chop up the mixture and return to the soaking liquid..I’ll explain in a minute.

 Return the veggies to their bowl (they are obviously not cooked all of the way! we just want to give them some good flavor), add frozen peas, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Now de-glaze the pan with the red wine and cook down for a minute. Add tomato past and stir to combine. This adds AMAZING depth to the dish without adding a lot of calories. Tomato paste is one of my favorite cheats!

Add mushrooms with soaking liquid and return beef to pot. Add herbs and a small amount of salt and pepper. You can add a small amount of beef broth at this point (maybe 1/2 cup) but you don’t want to drown it!

Return mixture to a boil and then cover and turn heat to low so it’s just at a simmer for 1 hour (this is a good Sunday meal for this reason!). You can also place the entire thing into a 375 degree oven but make sure you have returned it to a boil before placing it in there. It will look like this after an hour:

Remove the veggies from the refrigerator after about 1/2 hour into the cooking of the beef. You don’t want to add cold veggies to the mixture, it will drop the temperature too much. After 1 hour, turn the heat up slightly so that when you add the veggies, it doesn’t stop simmering. Add veggies, stir and add about 1/2 -1 cup of beef broth or just enough so that the veggies and meat are still sticking out like so:

 Return to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to low again and simmer for another hour and half to 2 hours, checking after 45 minutes and adding more broth as needed.

NOw go do something fun/constructive; build a model airplane, solve world hunger, take your dog for a walk, or if your like me, pour yourself a glass of the most amazing sweet and mellow South Hampton Red from Jewell Town Vineyards and eat the last of the machengo cheese and hum happily to yourself at how wonderful the combo is….just a thought

When the meat is falling apart and the veggies are tender, serve and enjoy. That’s it. 🙂

Herb Eye of the Round Roast

(adapted from Bon Appetit’s Roast Beef with Dijon-Caper Sauce, changes noted)

Roast Beef:
  • 1 3-pound eye of round beef roast, trimmed of excess fat and sinew
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 2 cups low-salt beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons drained capers
  • 

Preparation

For roast beef:
Sprinkle beef with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix thyme, basil, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Heat oil in large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef; cook until browned on all sides, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with herb mixture. Transfer skillet to oven. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 130°F, about 40 minutes. Transfer to cutting board; let rest.

*Place a few pats of herb butter on the cutting board and place the roast on top when letting it rest. When slicing, roll the roast around in the melted herb butter to cover the roast.

For sauce:
Place skillet with juices over medium-high heat. Add butter; stir until melted. Add flour; whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk in broth; bring to boil. Boil until sauce is reduced to 1 1/4 cups, whisking often, about 6 minutes. Whisk in mustard and capers. Season sauce with pepper.  We don’t use this sauce!

Cut beef crosswise into very thin slices. Transfer beef to platter. Serve with sauce.

Next we have the 2 mushroom ragout. I often use baby bella mushrooms for this as that’s what I have available. Once you have removed the roast to the “herb butter covered cutting board”, simply place the skillet on the stove and use it from there.

As Fine Cooking is snooty and denied me access to this recipe unless I felt like paying lots of money for a membership, I’m doing it from memory.

2 Mushroom Ragout

(adapted from Fine Cooking’s Double-Mushroom Ragout)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of baby bella mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 lb of baby spinach (optional)
  • 1 tbs. of butter
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 tbs. of fresh thyme
  • 1 tbs. of fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 -1 cup of red wine
  • 2/4 cup of heavy cream
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Reconstitute the dried mushrooms in HOT water, about 1 1/2 cups. set aside, about 10 minutes. Reserve some of the soaking liquid.
  • Place the skillet used for the roast over medium/high heat.
  • immediately add butter and sliced baby bella mushrooms. Add salt and pepper and saute until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Add reconstituted porcini mushrooms garlic and saute 1 minute.
  • De-glaze the pan with red wine and add beef juice from sliced roast. Continue cooking for 5 minutes until it has reduced, stirring often.
  • Add herbs and cream and turn the heat down slightly to medium low and cook down. If it needs thinning add mushroom soaking liquid.

This. Is. PHENOMENALLY. The herbs and the mushrooms and the beef. Mm. MMM!! We used to make this somewhat often but it’s been a long time and I forgot how amazingly yummy it is. It just has such a great flavor combination. It’s a very impressive meal but I suggest making it for a crowd as for just 2 it’s a LOT and the leftovers aren’t nearly as good. We served ours with some mashed potatoes and roasted (that is until my oven died and I had to finish cooking them in the microwave) haricot vert (french green beans).

Herb Butter

(posted 2/22/11)

You have 2 very distinct options here:

  1. you can bring a stick of good quality salted butter to room temperature and mix the herbs in, then let it reset in the fridge. OR
  2. you can make your own butter, a task made quite easy through the use of a food processor but if you are an incredibly show off, you can churn or shake or whatever other way you want to do it, your own butter. Suit yourself.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of butter (salted)

large bundle of fresh herbs (amounting to about 1/2 cup when minced)including:

  • parsley
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • sage (use 2-3 leaves but is optional)
  • tarragon (use only 1-2 sprigs is optional)
  • basil (also optional)

(I only used the fresh rosemary, parsley and thyme I got from Whole Foods with a little dried sage)

(* you want a lot of rosemary if you are anything like me, thyme next, parsley third, basil, sage and tarragon last)

  • wash herbs. lay them out on a clean dry towel, roll up and rub to dry herbs.
  • Remove leaves from stems going against the growth (top to bottom) and make a pile.
  • Finely mince herbs.
  • Add to softened butter and mix throughly to combine.
  • Either place the butter directly into the refrigerator, or, using either wax paper or plastic wrap, form into a log and place in the refrigerator.
  • Let sit a few hours or even a day (the longer the better).

Mushroom, Thyme & Cheddar Omelette

(posted 2/22/11)

The tradition omelette contains 3 eggs, hence, “the three egg omelette.” However, I like make mine with 2. It’s more reasonable for a girl and comes out much more delicate, which is appropriate when with working with such delicate ingredients. You can use any cheese you like, I happen to be very fond of sharp cheddar cheese but I would recommend either gruyere or even brie! (oo that would be excellent!) This gets it’s finishing touch with a small drizzle of *herb oil, a necessity.

This makes enough filling for several omelettes, I’d say about 4 -6 depending on the size.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large fresh eggs
  • 1 package of mixed gourmet mushrooms (or use baby bella if you cannot find them)
  • 1 medium/small onion (or you can use 4-5 shallots if you prefer!)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1-2 tbs. fresh thyme
  • 1 tbs. fresh rosemary
  • butter
  • salt & pepper
  • *herb oil olive (optional)

Directions:

  • start by finely chopping the onion. Set aside.
  • finely chop the mushrooms and set aside.
  • Heat a medium omelette pan (or a saute pan with 1 in rounded sides, you do not want a strait side) over medium heat.
  • Meanwhile, finely mince garlic and herbs (separately) but set aside.
  • When the pan is hot enough, add 1 tbs of butter, then the onion and saute 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft. remove from pan and set aside in a medium bowl.
  • Add 1/2 tbs of butter and half of the mushrooms. You do not want to crowd the mushrooms! Saute until they turn brown and shrink by about half (about 4-5 minutes). Add salt, pepper and half of the herbs just before they are done. Remove from pan and add to onions.
  • Repeat with the second batch of mushrooms only this time, when there is 30 seconds left, add the garlic, herbs and salt and pepper and continue to saute. Add the rest of mixture and stir to combine throughly.
  • Wipe the pan and return to medium heat.
  • crack eggs and add about 2 tbs of water, salt and pepper. Beat the eggs until they are well blended.
  • Add 1 tbs of butter to the pan and swirl to combine. When you can smell the butter (it’s a slightly nutty smell) and it is done foaming, add the eggs and shake the pan.
  • Using a high heat, flexible rubber spatula, swirl the egg mixture around in the pan as it cooks. Lift the edges of the egg as it cooks and tilt the pan to get any liquid egg underneath to cook. This goes very quickly!

**NOTE: Alton Brown did a fabulous show on making omelettes. This is where I learned my technique. I was nice enough to track it down for you (click here)! I do not follow it exactly but it gives you the basic idea.

I ALSO, watched Julia Child make omelettes about 3 weeks ago. I’m sad to admit this was my first Julia Child show and I am now in love with her. She takes a much more relaxed approach but I found that episode too! How good am I to you guys?! 😉

  • When the top of the omelette still looks uncooked and slightly jiggle (shake the pan slightly to make sure it isn’t sticking anywhere), add about 1/4 cup of the filling and the cheese (I’d say about 1/3 cup) to only 1/3 of the omelette! When you slide your omelette out you will fold the other side over. Over fill you omelette and it will be a mess.
  • CAREFULLY slide you omelette out, filling side first, and as the second half comes out of the pan, gently fold it over the first half. Viola! NOW drizzle a small amount of herb oil over the top, and top with fresh parsley if you are felling fancy.

(this looks delicious and you know it!)

To complete this breakfast, toast 2 pieces of good crusty bread and top with your homemade herb butter. Serve up alongside a Lady Grey tea and you will find yourself dreaming of gardens and spring and thinking how wonderful life is before you even know it!

Scallop Tortellini with Pesto & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

(posted 2/16/11)

Ingredients:

  • 1 package dried, tri color cheese tortellini (or frozen if you can find it. You can use other cheese tortellini but the tri color gives great taste and great color)
  • 1 lb bay scallops
  • 1 small jar of sun-dried tomatoes packed in marinating oil (reserve some of the oil)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup of FRESH pesto (I have the hook-up and therefore, have JARS of homemade pesto in my freezer. My parent’s grow a massive batch of basil in the garden every year and supply a friend with it. They get pesto in return. Find as fresh as possible, or use this recipe and make some yourself! When storing pesto, pour a layer of olive oil on top to seal it before putting in the fridge so it lasts longer)
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/3-1/2 cup dry white wine (like a chardonnay)
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • salt & pepper
  • parmesan cheese (optional)

(see? What did I tell you, easy recipe here!)

Directions:

  • Get a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil.
  • rinse scallops with cold water and pat dry. If you are using bay scallops, you don’t NEED to remove the small “frill” which is what attaches the muscle to the shell and is very tough (I tried to find a picture for you to no avail). If you are using larger scallops, you definitely want to remove this with a small pairing knife. However, I’ve found with bay scallops, you can’t tell and it’s not worth the effort.
  • Sprinkle scallops with salt & pepper on both sides.
  • chop sun-dried tomatoes and mince garlic.
  • cook tortellini according to package directions -1 minute. You want it to be slightly undercooked so that it soaks up the juicy sauce 😉
  • While the tortellini is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium high heat.
  • add sun-dried tomatoes with about 1-2 tbs. of the marinating oil from the jar. Warm through 1-2 minutes.
  • Add butter and scallops. Saute, tossing occasionally for about 2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and saute another 1 minute.
  • Drain pasta.
  • Add white wine to pan to de-glaze, cook down for 2 minutes.
  • Add pesto and pasta and toss to combine, cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve immediately and top with parmesan cheese.
  • YES, it really is that easy. You hardly have to do anything!

I hope you make this. Not only do I hope you make it, but I hope you add it into your weekly rotation and in doing so, giggle a little at how ridiculously easy this is. So little effort for something so spectacular!

Chocolate Cake Torte with White Chocolate Mousse & Raspberry Orange Zest Sauce

(posted 2/15/11)

Ingredients:

  • 1 13×9 baked recipe of your favorite chocolate cake ( I used boxed cake mix EKK! I know but I needed to save time. If you really want to impress though I suggest making your favorite from scratch recipe though!)
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream (I never said this was diet food here)
  • 12 oz of high quality WHITE chocolate…or white chocolate chips (this is 1 bag)
  • 1 bag of frozen Wyman’s raspberries (this is the best bet in the winter)
  • 3 Tbs. sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • juice from orange
  • 5 Tbs. and 3 Tbs water

(see this recipe is already easy peasy!)

Directions:

  • Pour cream into a large bowl and put in refrigerator to keep cool.
  • melt white chocolate and 5 Tbs. of water in bowl set over barely simmering water (this is what “they” like to call a double boiler), stirring constantly until melted
  • set aside and let come to room temp, stirring occasionally.
  • meanwhile, using the same small saucepan you used for your double boiler (at least this is what I did), remove the water and add raspberries, water, sugar, orange zest and juice from orange. I didn’t use the juice from the orange which was a big mistake. I had already added too much water and I had to use more sugar to sweeten it BUT I high recommend you use this step. ALSO, ZEST first, cut and juice SECOND!…hehe, poor naked orange!

You will need one of these do-dads and if you don’t have one, go get it. Everyone needs a zester in their life.

  • Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, reduce heat to medium low and let reduce. About 10-15 minutes.
  • Remove cold bowl of cream from the fridge and beat on medium speed until peaks form. I made my peaks a bit stiffer because I wasn’t letting this set for too long but really a soft peak is fine.
  • GENTLY fold the room temp white chocolate into whipped cream. How you ask? using a spatula, go around the outside of the bowl. Then swooping into the middle and cut the mixture in half, folding the mixture over itself. Do the same on the other side. If you stir this you will end up with a watery yucky mess and no one will like it…least of all you.
  • Let this set (which I did for only about 1 hour) in the fridge either overnight or for 6 hours. (Yeah whatever)
  • When raspberry mixture is reduced slightly to a more syrupy consistency, strain it through a fine mesh sieve as such, forcing the mixture through, so the seeds stay behind but the fiber of the fruit goes through to thicken it. Make sure to scrape the outside of the sieve to get all of the loveliness. Set aside (this can also be done a day ahead and kept in the fridge)
  • bake cake according to directions (or if you’re doing it like me, make this first)
  • transfer cooled cake to a cutting board, top facing up and let cool completely (Also didn’t do this)
  • When the cake is cooled, CAREFULLY level the cake, using a seated knife, cutting off the top so that it’s even. (I skipped this step which is EXACTLY why my torte resembled the leaning tower of pisa)
  • Next cut the cake in half. like so [|] (nice illustrations right?)
  • Then, CAREFULLY again, cut each layer in half through the middle, making 4 thin layers total. Brush crumbs from the top.

ASSEMBLY!

  • stack your first layer of cake onto a platter.

*NOTE: to keep your platter clean, overlap layers of wax or parchment paper on the platter and then place the cake on top. Then when you are done, carefully slide the paper from underneath!

  • drizzle 1/4 of raspberry mixture over the cake and spread out evenly.
  • spread about 1/5 of the white chocolate mousse on top of this and spread out evenly.
  • repeat 2 more times and then top with 4th cake layer.
  • Next clean up the edges. Using your serrated knife and a ruler if your feeling ambitious, trim the edges of the cake so that it’s a nice clean rectangle…unlike mine.
  • Now “frost” the entire torte with the remainder of the white chocolate mousse (you can see why you used so little on the layers) and use the remaining raspberry sauce to drizzle over the top and make it prettier than mine please!
  • Let set up in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. (didn’t do that. I was COVERED in mousse and raspberry sauce by the time I was done and not in a good way, and stuffing the end pieces I cut off into my mouth. I’m not sure I even ate an actual slice. Oh well!)
  • Want to be really fancy? Garnish with fresh raspberries and top with a little orange zest. Hell, even press white chocolate shavings into the sides and be the star of the show why dont’ you? As I was only presenting this to my boyfriend who ignored HIS part of the Valentine’s Day meal duties, I did not do any of these things. HOWEVER, this came out so divinely that I will be sure to make this again in the future for a party and you can bet your bottom that I will make that thing GORGOUS!….as it was it simply looked ready to eat.

Swiss Chard & Cannellini Bean Soup

(posted 2/10/11)

(adapted from “Escarole and Bean Soup” from “Everyday Italian” by Giada De Luarentiis)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large, sweet onion finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 pound swiss chard, chopped
  • Salt
  • 4 cups low-salt chicken broth
  • 2 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (1-ounce)  Parmesan or Romano cheese rind (or piece of either)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Directions

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat.
  • Add onions and heat until turning translucent, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the swiss chard and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds.
  • Add a pinch of salt.
  • Add the chicken broth, beans, and Parmesan rind. Cover and simmer until the beans are heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Ladle the soup in bowls and drizzle with 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil. Enjoy.

this soup is infinitely better the next day, as most soup is. I’ve also used garlic fronds, or the greens that grow from the tops, as a substitute for some of the onions and garlic and they worked beautifully.

The Chocolate Elephant (peanut) Monkey (banana)

(posted 1/8/11)

  • 1 banana frozen
  • 1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3-1/2 chocolate protein powder
  • 1/3-1/2 Chobani 0%
  • low-fat milk

combine all in blender and blend until smooth. Add enough milk to creat desired consistency. enjoy 🙂

HIGHLY recommended with the ice cream, but when done the original way, VERY yummy and super-duper protein packed!

Lindsey’s Lentils

(posted 2/8/11)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bag of lentils (I had red) rinsed and picked over for foreiegn objects
  • 1 lb of lean smoked sausage (I used turkey kielbasa one of my favorites)
  • 4 medium carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery whipped dry and diced
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1/2 can of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of good, slightly sweet red wine (I used my favorite standby, Gnarly Head Old Vine Zin. It’s inexpensive and delicious)
  • 2 cups (plus more if needed) low sodium beef or chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • olive oil

Directions:

  • Heat a large cast iron dutch oven over medium high heat. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Working close to pot, add about 1 tablespoon of olive oil once pot is heated. Dice kilebasa and add to pot, sauteing and stirring occasionally 3-4 minutes until caramelized (mmmm).
  • next chop and add vegetables in order, adding as you go and stirring occasionally until you get to the garlic. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add tomato paste and stir to coat.
  • Add wine and deglaze the pan, strapping up any bits on the bottom.
  • Add broth and herbs.
  • bring to a boil, stir and cover.
  • Place in oven and cook for 40-60 minutes or until lentils are plump and tender and vegetables are tender. You may have to add more liquid.

Sorry I didn’t take a picture of this, it didn’t look to appetizing. Apparently, for whatever reason, the red lentils cook MUCH faster than regular lentils. I went to check on them after a little more than half an hour. I was shocked they looked cooked and BEAUTIFUL…until I went to stir it and the lentils disintegrated! It was still good but I had to puree it farther to get out the chunks of kielbasa and vegetables.

Butternut Squash Soup

(posted 2/8/11)

Ingredients:

  • 1 large or 2 medium butternut squash (I used 3 small)
  • 2-4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth 
  • 1-2 cups of milk OR light cream (you can go as light or heavy as you prefer)
  • 1 Tbs of honey
  • 4 tbs.-1 stick of butter (again, your choice. I used about 4)
  • 2 Tbs. garlic powder (do not ask me why but this is key)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • *olive oil

Directions:

Cut your squash in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds as such:(I had to have Matt assist with this picture. I’m not that gifted)

It is your choice, and I highly recommend you do so, to roast the seeds and use them as a garnish. They come out crunchy and add a wonderful hearty, salty note to the soup. Simply remove seeds from squash filling, rinse under cold water in a sieve and pat dry, laying out on a paper towel or dish cloth. toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and spread out evenly on a roasting pan. Roast with squash at 400 degrees for about 3-6 minutes. They should be golden brown around the edges (be careful, sometimes they pop like popcorn! that means they are done!) remove and sprinkle on finished soup. They also make a great snack 😉 (I didn’t do this as I can’t eat them 😦 but I encourage you to do so!)

Next arrange facing up in a roasting pan with 1 inch of water on the bottom. I roasted mine facing down to save time but roasting up makes the flesh caramelize and gives it wonderful flavor. simple drizzle with olive oil and use fingers to coat inside surface evenly. drizzle with honey and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast squash at 400 degrees for 40-60 minutes or until fork inserted into thickest part goes in easily. You want the squash tender not hard.

Remove from the oven and let cool 10-15 minutes!

Now you can save lots of time and frustration, unless your weird like me and don’t mind it, by buying pre-peeled squash or pre-cut. You can steam or roast it but I like to peel it myself and AFTER they have been roasted.

Once cooled, cut in half horizontally separating the top dense half from the bottom hollow half like so: C|D (It was the best illustration I could think of!)

Using a small sharp pairing knife, CAREFULLY slice the skin off of the squash. Cut into chunks and add to the food processor (if you have an immersion blender, you can use this as well, or else a blender works wonderfully and before I owned any of these things, smashing it in the pan with the liquid using a potato masher works well too 😉 )

 

Puree, adding small amounts of broth to make it smoother. Add the pureed squash to a large pot over medium heat.

Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Serve. MMMMMM

Red Wine & Mustard Chicken(Pork Medallions) Over Polenta with Mushroom & Spinach Ragout

(posted 1/28/11)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb chicken or pork tenderloins (if using pork cut as instructed above)
  • 1/3 cup Grey Poupon mustard (grainy)
  • 1/2 cup of good red wine ( I used Penfolds)
  • 1 tube of prepared firm polenta (mine had sun-dried tomatoes in it)
  • olive oil

Ragout:

  • baby bella mushrooms sliced (small container..I used a huge one!)
  • 1/2 box of baby spinach (I used way more and it cooks down a LOT so don’t be overwhelmed by it)
  • 2 shallots (I used a whole onion, too much)
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely diced
  • 1/4 of same good red wine
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream (really the only non healthy part of this and it can be omitted if you prefer)

Directions:

In a large freezer bag, add your mustard, red wine and about 1 tbs. of olive oil, squish ( I have no other way to describe this!) the contents of the bag to combine. This is the marinade by which your chicken or pork will become otherworldly. 😉

Add the chicken/pork to the bag, squeeze out all of the air and place out flat on the counter like so:

Next prepare your ragout ingredients.

  • finely slice shallots (onions in my case)
  • clean mushrooms with damp towel, remove stems and slice (you can use pre-cut mushrooms to save time)
  • finely chop garlic.
  • slice polenta into rounds. This is very easy to find these days but if you prefer, you can make your own polenta. This meal can be served over soft or firm polenta, whichever you prefer. (my mother, for reasons unknown to me, had half of a polenta “log” in her fridge. I just went with it)

  • *pre heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Heat a large pan over medium/high heat. I used a non stick but it’s not teflon coated so it’s OK to use it at high heat.
  • pour a small amount of olive oil in the pan swirl to coat.
  • Cook chicken/pork in batches, not letting them touch. Cook 3/4 minutes per side and when done, place in an ovenproof dish, and into the preheated oven to stay warm and continue to cook.

  • once the meat is done, wipe your pan with a damp paper towel to clean.
  • add a little more oil and cook polenta slightly, turning once about 2 minutes per side.

  • add more olive oil and shallots/onions.

  • cook for 1 minute and add wine and raise heat so that it cooks down.
  • add mushrooms. Now my mistake was to crowd all of the mushrooms in the pan. big mistake. you need to give them room so they brown nicely and don’t get tough. Do this in 2 batches if you must. NOT like this:

  • next add the spinach & garlic. The spinach will cook down.
  • turn down heat and add cream.
  • to plate: place a polenta round onto a clean plate, top with pork/chicken (if using chicken slice diagonally for plating) and top with ragout. Serve immediately. top with parmesan cheese (optional).

Now I know this doesn’t really look pretty cause I messed up my ragout. BUT it is an impressive meal and everyone still loved it, I guess I’m just my worst critics. 😉

Chicken Tamale Casserole

(posted 1/26/11)

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup (or one handful if you have little hands like me) + 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can of green chiles
  • 1/2 bag (1 cup) of southwest frozen corn (I used steam fresh)
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 box (I used a 6oz bag plus a tad more from another bag) of corn muffin mix such as Martha White
  • 1 can of enchilada sauce (red is tradition or green if you want it a little more mild)
  • 1 lb. of chicken breast
  • 1/4 cup of plain Chobani 0%
  • 1/4 cup pepperjack cheese

Directions:

  • preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Mix 1/4 cup of cheese and next 7 ingredients together in a bowl.

 Now the original recipe calls for a 8oz box. I only had a 6 oz. bag of regular corn muffin mix and another 6oz of southwest style. So I used all the regular and a little of the southwest that had jalapenos and peppers. It also called for a can of creamed corn. Well I had a can of regular corn but I decided at the last minute I’d use the 1/2 bag of my southwest corn I had left in my freezer instead! GREAT idea, if I don’t say so myself. 😉 It was sooo much yummier that way!

  • Spray a 13×9 pan with cooking spray and spread the mixture into the bottom.

  • Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.

  • While the corn base is cooking, cut the chicken breast into very large chunks.
  •  Add the can of enchilada sauce to a small pot with about 2 Tbs. of water.
  • Add chicken and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 10-15 minutes.

  • Remove from pot and place the entire contents of the pot in a large bowl.
  • using 2 forks, shred the chicken in the liquid.
  • Add 1/4 of Chobain and mix to combine.

  • When the corn base is done, poke it all over with a fork.
  • Layer the chicken mixture on top.

  • top with remaining cheese. The original recipe calls for a mexican blend which if you can find low-fat, GREAT! I’m sure it would be excellent. I had cheddar on hand and also pepperjack which adds wonderful pepper flavor without a lot of heat.

  • Bake an addition 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and slightly brown.

  • Let cook for 5 minutes and then serve alongside a salad of baby greens.

This, I don’t even know what to say, it was just soo good! If you like tamales, as I do, but know how very time-consuming they are to make (been there!) then this cannot be beat. Same flavors just much easier!

You could also do this with pork which is more of a traditional filling and if so I would stick to the red enchilada sauce. I WOULD, definitely though, slow cook the pork in the sauce. It will make it tender and fall apart and much more like a tradition tamale filling.

Lindsey’s Pork “Fried” Rice

(posted 1/25/11)

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 1 1/2 Lbs. of boneless pork “chops” (whichever package has the least amount of fat marbled within. you are going to trim any fat on the edges)
  • 1 cup of brown rice (dry)
  • 2 1/2 cups of low sodium chicken broth (this was the ratio MY rice needed but yours may vary so check the package!)
  • 3/4 cup + 1 Tbs. of low sodium soy sauce, divided in 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup
  • 1 Tbs. sesame oil, divided in half
  • 3 Tbs. ginger, divided
  • 2 Tbs. rice wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 cup of frozen peas, slightly thawed
  • 1 lb baby bella mushrooms
  • 2 medium onions
  • 5 medium cloves of garlic
  • 5 eggs
  • canola oil

Directions:

  • Start your brown rice immediately! It usually takes about 45 minutes so get it going immediately. You will be cooking this in chicken broth so get that boiling in a small pot over high heat and add the tablespoon of soy sauce, 1 tbs. of ginger and 1 clove of garlic finely minced. When the mixture comes to a boil, add the rice, stir, reduce the heat and cover, simmering for about 45 minutes (or as long as the package instructs). The rice should be light and fully and all of the moisture should be absorbed.

While the rice is cooking, assemble the rest of your “stir fry” ingredients:

  • trim the outside fat off of the pork. I used butterflyed, boneless pork chops. you want a thin cut.
  • Dice the pork into about 1/2 in. cubes.
  • add to a bowl and add 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 1 Tbs. ginger, 1/2 Tbs. sesame oil and another clove of garlic minced. toss to coat and set aside to marinate.

  • Next prepare you vegetables. set them each aside in the order they will be added (onions, pork, peas, mushrooms & garlic)
  • chop onions
  • wipe mushrooms with a damp towel/paper towel. NEVER WASH MUSHROOMS! THey are like little sponges and will soak the water up and get slimy. yuck. remove the stems and dice the mushrooms. If you are using pre-sliced mushrooms like I did (had them on hand), then simply chop up finely.
  • smash your remaining garlic cloves with the flat side of your knife using the heel of your palm to remove the paper. slice off the root and dice those as well (a little lesson if you’re not use to working with garlic 😉 )
  • Have all of your ingredients ready and waiting to go like this 🙂

  • As soon as your rice is done, heat a large non-stick skillet (if you have a wok use that and know how jealous I am of you!) just under high heat. I use my large cast iron skillet. The whole point of cutting everything small is so that it can cook quickly in the high heat!
  • Crack your eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork to combine.
  • Add about 1/2 tbs. of canola oil to the pan and swirl to coat.
  • add your eggs and scramble. remove to a plate immediately.

  • wipe the pan with a damp paper towel and return to the heat.
  • add your reserved 1/2 Tbs. of sesame oil and a little extra canola to just coat the pan.
  • Add onions and saute, about 2 minutes, stirring often with a spatula.

  • add pork and saute another 2 minutes.

  • Add peas & mushrooms and saute another 2 minutes.

  • Add cooked rice, garlic and remaining soy sauce (you don’t have to use it all) and ginger and optional rice wine vinegar and cook for another minute.

  • break up the scrambled eggs and mix into rice.
  • remove from heat and enjoy!!!

Baked Falafel w/ Tatziki Sauce

(posted 1/21/11)

Tatziki “Sauce”

  • 1 cup of plain 0% greek yogurt (I used Cho of course. My mother, before you could find greek yogurt on the market, use to have to strain regular yogurt through a cheese cloth so be thankful my friends!)
  • juice from 1 lemon (or 2 if your a lemon fan like me)
  • 3 Tbs. freshly chopped dill
  • 3/4 cup (or 1 if you love cucumbers like me) diced english cucumber
  • 1/2 cup red onion or scallions finely diced
  • 2-3Tbs. *Tahini sauce

*Tahini is ground sesame seeds. It’s got the same consistency as natural nut butters. It’s STRONG, but in a good way! warm, nutty, sweet and tangy, it’s a bit indescribable, much like falafel. I have had this jar in my fridge for about a year. A little goes a long way so TASTE your tahini first and taste your tatziki as you go. It’s easy to over do it. I got my mine in Woo Town from my old buddy Eddy (Ed Hyder’s Mediterranean Marketplace that is).

Mix all the loveliness together and as always TASTE OFTEN! This is YOUR dinner so you might as well like it!

Cut your falafel ”disks” (I got a bit hasty last night) in half if you made them as large as I did, serve them on a nice healthy Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat pita, top with your tatziki sauce and then round it out with a good helping of fresh flat leaf parsley and be BOMBARDED with flavor my friends!

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie with Stuffing

(posted 1/19/11)

Ingredients:

  • 2 prepared pie crusts (raw) (I usually make extra when I make this from scratch and keep them in the freezer)
  • 1-2 lbs chicken breast
  • 2 medium or 3 small carrots diced
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1 stalk of celery diced
  • 1 cup of frozen peas (I only had about a 1/3 of a cup 😦 )
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced and set aside
  • 1/3 of a bag of stuffing (or about 2 cups I’d say, maybe 1 and 1/2?)

Gravy:

  • Low Sodium Chicken Stock
  • Butter, 5 Tbs. divided into 2 Tbs. and then 3 Tbs.
  • 3 Tbs. flour
  • 2-3 Tbs. Cream Sherry
  • 3-4 Tbs. Wild Cheff Sagebrush Blend (you need to get some. Trust me it’s worth it. If you DON’T have some you could try to add about 1 Tbs. each sage, rosemary, and thyme but no guarantees it’ll be as good!)
  • 1/2 cup of milk (optional)

Instructions:

  • Roll one of your pie crusts into a 9in pie plate and set aside.
  • Peel & dice carrots and set aside (these need to cook longer than the rest of the filling)
  • wipe celery stalk with a clean wet towel and dice as well ( you can add more if you like celery but I find it’s not too popular and easily overpowers)
  • dice onion and add to celery.
  • peel and mince garlic and set aside (you wont be cooking this until you make your gravy)
  • rinse and pat chicken breast dry. trim any fat and cut into bite sized pieces.
  • Heat a medium pot over medium heat.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Add stuffing to a large bowl. Add 2 Tbs. of melted butter and toss to coat. Now add chicken stock. I don’t bother heating the stock, but simply adding it in small amounts, tossing continuously until just SLIGHTLY moist. You want to use a little less liquid than it calls for as it will soak up moisture when baked.
  • Cook chicken in 1 Tbs. olive oil stirring periodically until mostly cooked (it will continue to cook in the oven) about 5-8 minutes (depending on how small you cut it).
  • Remove from pot and add to bowl with stuffing.
  • Add frozen peas to bowl with stuffing & chicken.
  • Add another Tbs. of oil to the pot and saute carrots for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add onions and celery and continue to cook for another 5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  • Remove vegetables from the pot and place in the large bowl with other fillings (chicken and stuffing) and toss all together to combine.
  • Return the pot to the stove and add 3 Tbs. of butter.  Let the butter foam slightly and then add garlic (I told you it was coming back!) and cook for about 30 seconds.
  • whisk in 3 Tbs. of flour (this is your roux).
  • Add Sherry (this is a very sweet cooking liquor, be careful not to add to much. I suggest trying a little first if you are new to it) whisking continuously.
  • Add milk, slowly while whisking continuously.
  • Add about 1 to 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock. REMEMBER! anything with a roux does not reach it’s full thickness until it has come to a boil! So moral of the story? Add some stock (maybe about a 1/2 a cup), raise the heat to medium/high and see where it gets you, whisking continuously.
  • Add your Wild Cheff Sagebrush Blend and whisk to blend.

  • Add your gravy (once you have reached your desired consistency. It should look like gravy, simple.) to the large bowl and toss lightly to combine all of your filling. (smells great doesn’t it? 😉 )
  • Now pour your mixture into your prepared pie shell and spread out evenly.
  • Lay the second pie crust over the top, folding over the edges and pinching to seal.
  • Cut 4 slits in the top for steam ventilation. You can brush your pie with an egg wash but why bother?

  • Place onto a baking sheet covered with tin foil to prevent a mess in your oven from any leakage.
  • Bake 30-40 minutes or until the top if golden brown like so:
  • Now I know this doesn’t look so beautiful but I promise you it’s the best chicken pot pie you have ever had! TONS of flavor and it sure hit the spot last night.

 

Kahlua Dulce de Leche Bread Pudding

(posted 1/16/11)

Ingredients:

  • 1 LARGE loaf of stale bread (white or wheat)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 cups of milk
  • 4 tbs. Kahlua (plus more over the top)
  • 2 tbs. instant espresso powder
  • 1 tbs. cinnamon
  • 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk (i didn’t use 2 I used one but after tasting it, I’m pretty confident in this change)

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and grease 13×9 glass baking pan.
  • whisky eggs in a large bowl.
  • Add milk and whisk to combine.
  • Add cinnamon, espresso powder, Kahlua and 1 can of sweeten condense milk and whisk to combine.
  • Cube bread into about 1in squares or smaller.
  • Now you have 2 options here, you can either place the bread cubes into a large bowl and pour the custard over the bread and toss, OR you can use a large bowl to make your custard and then add the bread cubes as you make them and toss to coat. I did the latter.
  • You want to let the bread & custard sit for about 10 minutes so that all of the custard is soaked up, tossing occasionally for even soaking.
  • Pour your (very ugly) mixture into you greased baking dish.
  • Pour your second can of sweetened condensed milk (god do I LOVE this stuff!) over the top of the bread pudding. This will thicken and make a wonderful thick caramel sauce.
  • Sprinkle (place your thumb over the top of the bottle and shake over top) Kahlua over the top of the sweeten condensed milk.
  • Place in oven with a water bath underneath. Fill any pan with side with about 1/2 in of water and place on the rack directly below like so:
  • Bake 40-50 minutes or until center is slightly firm (like a cake. It should be springy).

  • Let cool slightly and serve with French vanilla ice cream. Swoon.

Now bread pudding is such an amazing use for leftovers in your fridge as well. Got brown bananas? Try adding then to the custard and leave out the Kahlua (or use irish cream like Bailey’s) and add double the cinnamon.

You can even make savory bread puddings which are wonderful. Got a bunch of leftovers you aren’t sure what to with? Toss them into the custard with some herbs, leave out the sweetened condensed milk and you have an amazing meal. It’s especially good with breakfast sausage served at brunch.

So there you have it, fast, easy and oh so gooey and yummy. Once you make your first bread pudding and see how easy it is, you’ll be making them all the time.

Lindsey’s Asian Turkey Burgers with Sesame Broccoli Slaw

(posted 1/14/11)

Ingredients:

Burgers:

  • 1 Lb. lean organic ground turkey (it’s not all lean so make sure you check!)
  • 3 tbs. low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. sesame oil
  • 1-2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice*
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder (or granulated garlic)
  • honey teryaki marinade with sesame (whichever brand you prefer)
  • 6 sesame hamburger buns

Slaw:

  • 1/2 bag of broccoli slaw (can be found in the produce section of most grocery stores, near the bagged salad mixes)
  • 1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2-3 tbs. sesame oil (you can use 1 tbs. sesame and substitute another mild oil for the rest such as grape seed)
  • 1/3 cup sesame seeds toasted
  • 1 tbs. fresh ginger, peeled and grated (Or dried ginger)
  •  1 tbs. dark brown sugar (optional, in fact you may find the marinade on the burgers is sweet enough)

Instructions:

  • Mix ground turkey and next 4 ingredients together in a bowl. Form into patties (4-6), flatten and set aside NOTE: often ground turkey is VERY soft. It may help to let it sit in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes after mixing to let cool and firm slightly. This will also help the flavors meld and can be mixed a day ahead of time! You can ALSO add an egg to the mixture to help bind it.
  • For the dressing for the slaw, whisk all of the ingredients together, except for broccoli slaw, in a large bowl. Add the broccoli slaw and toss to coat. Set aside.
  • Heat grill or griddle/pan over medium/high heat.
  • place a 1/2 cup of the marinade into a small bowl. brush the tops of the burgers with it and place coated side DOWN onto your grill. Brush the other side (the uncoated side that should now be facing up) with marinade as well.
  • Cook burgers until cooked completely through, about 5-7 minutes per side (The flatter you have made these the faster and more evenly they will cook). Remove from grill when done and let sit for 1-2 minutes.
  • Toast buns slightly. Add burger and top with Sesame Broccoli Slaw. Serve with side salad of baby greens with Thia Peanut Dressing. (P.S. I haven’t tried this dressing recipe but it looked the most promising. I’ll let you know how it turns out!)

Ta-Dah! I know it’s tough without the pictures but it’s actually a very simple dish and I encourage you to tweak it at will!

Oo and one quick note! Might I suggest serving this with my FAVORITE wine Kung Fo Girl Riesling?! It’s a dry riesling with wonderful clean, bright notes of grapefruit. It would go PERFECTLY with these and that’s certainly what I’m planning on having mine with!

*This wine is out of Washington state and increasingly easier and easier to find as it’s gained popularity over the past 2 years I’ve been drinking it. I could never find it before! It’s also a very well priced wine between $14-$11 a bottle. So shop around cause prices vary.

Chobani Chicken & Green Chile Casserole (the Lindsey version)

(posted 1/13/11)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 lb chicken breast poached and shredded (or 2 cans of organic chicken breast in my case)
  • 2 cans of diced green chiles (or 1 of diced jalapenos if you made a mistake like me)
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 container of plain Chobani 0% (WOW was this amazing!)
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin (optional)
  • 12 corn tortillas (soft)
  • 1/3 block both pepperjack & sharp cheddar cheese shredded

Instructions:

  • Chop onions and saute in a small amount of olive oil in a medium pan. Cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the next 6 ingredients to the hot pot and mix together.
  • Meanwhile spray bottom and sides of baking dish (I used a rectangular one) and add one layer of corn tortillas.I had to cut the 4th one on each layer in half so as to make it fit better. I ALSO ran the bottom layer only of the corn tortillas under water for a second. I was worried about them becoming hard instead of soft so I wanted to make sure they had enough moisture.

  • Next place a 1/3 of your chicken Chobani mixture and spread out evenly.

Now I’d like to tell you a funny story. Somewhere along the line of stocking up on canned green chiles because I love them so very much, I had picked up a can of diced jalapenos. Now when I opened the can I didn’t pick up on this as the cans were two different brands so I though one was simply more mushy than the other.. I did notice however, as I was pouring them into my mixture. (uhm yeah, too late!) Needless to say this casserole was VERY spicy for my taste but then again I’m a wimp. So if you want it spicy, add jalapenos, if not, then leave them out!

  • OK, moving on..Next add 1/3 of the cheeses that you have shredded.
  • Repeat this process 2 more times and finish with you layer of cheese.
  • The original recipe calls to bake this at 350 for 30 minutes. Again, can I leave anything alone? No. So I covered mine with tin foil (to make sure the corn tortillas steamed and got nice and soft) and baked it at 400 for about 15 minutes, then and extra 10 uncovered.

It looked, like this

I served it alongside some rice and beans and I like to eat mine with baby greens.

Pulled Pork & Black Bean Lime Tostados

(Posted 1/13/11)

Ingredients:

  • Tostados (or hard taco shells broken in half)
  • pulled pork (dry, no BBQ sauce) or *grilled lime chicken
  • black beans (rinsed with cold water and drained)
  • green onion chopped
  • can of green chiles (optional)
  • Lime juice (optional)
  • Low Fat Mexican & Pepperjack Cheese

  • Start by laying out tostados onto a baking sheet covered in tin foil (you can spray this so the cheese dosen’t stick)

  • Arrange black beans on tostados.
  • Now this recipe originates from one using *grilled lime chicken breast. As it happens, Matt had smoked a pork shoulder the week before so I had leftovers I needed to use but this can easily be done with the lime chicken (simply marinate chicken in lime juice, olive oil, lime zest, cumin, chipotle (if you are so inclined) and salt and pepper. Grill and slice).

  • Next arrange the pulled pork (or grilled lime chicken), green onions and green chilies on the tostados.

  • Grate cheeses and sprinkle over each tostados.
  • Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is all melted and the edges are golden brown. Serve with rice & black beans with green chiles.

Lindsey Joseph’s Wrap Bean “Burrito”

(posted 1/11/11)

flax, oat bran & whole wheat Lavash bread

This is more like a bean and cheese quesadilla but it’s easy and healthy.

  • 1 Joseph’s “Flax, Oat Bran & Omega 3” Lavash (or 1/2 if you want a snack)
  • 1/3 cup (roughly) Fat Free refried beans (or vegetarian refried beans if you happen to be of that persuasion 😉 )
  • 2 Tbs (or spoonfuls) of Green Mountain Gringo Medium Salsa (don’t ask me WHY but the medium is best and I hate salsa. It’s got great big chunks of organic goodness!)
  • 1 Tbs. (or spoonful) of light sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of shredded, low-fat mexican or cheddar cheese
  • 1 tbs. cumin
  • 1 1/2 -2 cups of baby greens or leaf lettuce (I basically like to make this a salad)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Lay your Joseph’s Wrap out and spread the refried beans onto one half.
  • sprinkle with cumin (makes a big difference trust me)
  • top with salsa & sour cream and spread out evenly over the top.
  • sprinkle with cheese and fold in half.
  • You can either microwave this on a plate for about a minute and a half, OR if you have access to a toaster oven as I do at work, microwave for about 45 seconds to help the cheese melt, then “toast” to medium to give it a nice little bit of crunch.
  • Top this gooey yumminess with your lettuce and then cut and eat. It may sound bizarre but your talking a super quick and easy meal with lots of protein, fiber, and a vegetarian meal (if you simply switch the beans). The lettuce makes a nice cool crisp contrast and it’s o-so yummy. I can’t wait to eat mine!

Chorizo & Soft Boiled Egg Salad w/ Sourdough Croutons

(posted 1/6/11)

Ingredients:

  • 50/50 baby spinach/spring mix greens
  • 1/2 lb hard cured chorizo (or other hard cured meat)
  • 1/4 lb manchego cheese (or block of other hard cheese such as parmesan)
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 large slices of good sourdough bread
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 (+ extra) olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. lemon juice

Instructions:

  • Heat grill to medium/high heat.
  • thinly slice chorizo on a diagonal. set aside
  • brush sourdough slices with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt & pepper.
  • heat small pot of water to a boil.
  • cook chorizo on a grill pan with round holes in it, set on grill until browned and slightly crispy. remove to plate and toast bread on grill and remove to same plate.
  • gently place eggs in boiling water with spoon. Cook 5-6 minutes, immediately draining. transfer pan with eggs to sink and fill with cold water. let sit.
  • useing vegetable peeler, shave cheese from block and set aside.
  • whisk together Dijon, olive oil and lemon juice. add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Arrange greens on plate and drizzle with dressing. cut croutons from sourdough slices and place on salad. arrange cheese and chorizo.
  • shell eggs and crack in half, placing on salad. enjoy.

Servings: 2 entrée or 4 salad course size.

Cooking Light’s Broccoli & Cheese Soup

(Posted 1/5/11)

Total: 33 minutes
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups)

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 2  garlic cloves, minced
  • 3  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  (16-ounce) package broccoli florets
  • 2 1/2  cups  2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/3  cup  all-purpose flour
  • 1/4  teaspoon  black pepper
  • 8  ounces  light processed cheese, cubed (such as Velveeta Light)

Preparation

Heat a large nonstick saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 3 minutes or until tender. Add broth and broccoli. Bring broccoli mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes.

Combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Add milk mixture to broccoli mixture. Cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Stir in pepper. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.

Place one-third of the soup in a blender or food processor, and process until smooth. Return pureed soup mixture to pan.

Nutritional Information

Calories:
203 (28% from fat)
Fat:
6.3g (sat 4g,mono 1.8g,poly 0.4g)
Protein:
15.6g
Carbohydrate:
21.7g
Fiber:
2.9g
Cholesterol:
24mg
Iron:
1.2mg
Sodium:
897mg
Calcium:
385mg

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2002

5 Responses to RECIPES

  1. Pingback: Sick :(. Herb Eye of the Round with 2 Mushroom Ragout | trailtotrain

  2. Pingback: My Seafood Cooking Class! | trailtotrain

  3. Pingback: Latin Monday?: Cuban Sandwiches & Plantains w/ Honey and Chipotle | trailtotrain

  4. Pingback: Light and Fast Chicken & Broccoli “Alfredo” | trailtotrain

  5. Pingback: Potato & Turkey Sausage Frittata | trailtotrain

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s