Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Monday, June 30, 2008
8 slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
2 packages (10-ounce) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, drained, and squeezed dry
3/4 pound pepper-jack cheese, grated (about 3 cups)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
Two 12-inch store-bought pizza shells, such as Boboli
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Heat the oven to 425°. In a large nonstick frying pan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. In a large bowl, combine the bacon, drained spinach, pepper jack, salt and pepper and mix well. Brush the pizza shells with the oil. Divide the spinach mixture evenly between the two pizza shells and sprinkle the Parmesan over the top.
Bake the pizzas directly on the oven rack (for a crisper crust) or on two baking sheets until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes.
Barley-Asparagus "Risotto" with Balsamic Vinegar
Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion is tender, about 6 minutes. Stir in barley and cook, stirring, about 1 minute more. Add broth, cover and simmer over low heat for 8 minutes; stir in asparagus and simmer 2 minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in chives and vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and serve. Yields about 1 cup per serving.
Ranch Grilled Chicken
1 lb boneless Chicken breasts
Whisk dressing mix, oil, & vinegar. It is like a paste. Put in a gallon zip loc bag, add chicken and squish bag so that chicken is all coated. Set in refrig for at least 1 hour but no longer than 4 hours. Cook on grill.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
I took it one step further, added some proscuitto...which for whatever reason was within arms distance from the veal, so it was like we "had" to have it! Here's what we used:
~ 1 lb of veal, thinly sliced (we had about 6 decent slices of veal altogether)
6 slices of proscuitto
6 slices of low-fat provolone
2-3 Tbsp of fresh sage, chopped
flour, seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic
Wine (for deglazing the pan)
Instead of rolling it up, I just folded it in half, and secured the packages with a toothpick. Then I dredged them in flour seasoned with salt, pepper and a little garlic-parsley mixture and into the pan it went! I pan-fried it in a touch of olive oil and a little butter (spray butter). Then I deglazed the pan with a little marsala, getting all of those yummy brown bits off the pan. I let the wine reduce a little and voila!
We had this with fresh steamed green beans, whipped cannellini beans and a tossed salad.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Here's what he did...
1 link of sausage, cut into 1/2" rounds
12 grape tomatoes
Juice of one lemon
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl. Add the shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Skewer shrimp, sausage and tomatoes. Grill over direct heat for a few minutes, turning once.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
A couple of years ago, Norm bought a Weber Grill cookbook (Weber's Real Grilling) that had a couple of pizza recipes in it that looked fantastic. By the way, this cookbook is gorgeous...lots of pictures (a big plus for a visual person like me) and loaded with pro grilling tips and of course some outstanding recipes.
For the holiday weekend, we decided we'd try a grilled pizza. And holy cow, it was delicious! I was going to try my hand at a homemade crust, but opted for the ready-made whole wheat pizza dough that I found at Trader Joes. The pics I took came out blurry so I figured I wouldn't post them...but here's the recipe!
Barbecued Chicken Pizza
(Source: Webers Real Grilling)
1 envelope active dry yeast
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
2 1/2 C all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling dough
Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
2 T unsalted butter
1/4 C finely chopped yellow onion
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 C ketchup
1/4 C dry red wine
1/4 C dijon mustard
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, 5-6 oz each
extra virgin olive oil
ground black pepper
2 C grated smoked Gouda cheese
1/4 C finely chopped fresh chives
To prepare dough: In a medium bowl, combine the yeast and sugar with 3/4 C warm water (105-115 degrees F). Stir once and let stand until foamy, 5-10 min. Add 2 1/2 C flour, 3 T of olive oil and salt. Stir until the dough holds together. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth, 4-6 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Turn the ball to cover the surface with oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place until the dough doubles in size, 1-1 1/2 hours.
Punch down the dough in the bowl. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and cut into 4 equal pieces. Cut parchment paper into 9-inch squares and lightly oil each sheet on one side. Roll or press dough flat on the oiled side of the paper into circles about 8" in diameter, leaving the dough a little thicker at the edges. Then lightly oil the top side of the dough.
To make the sauce: In a medium saucepan over med-high hear, melt butter. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until light brown, about 1 min, stirring occasionally. Add remaining sauce ingredients. Whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes. Pour 1/2 the sauce into a small bowl, reserving the other half in the saucepan.
Lightly brush or spray chicken on both sides with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly coat the chicken on both sides with the sauce in the bowl. Grill the chicken over direct medium heat until meat is firm to the touch and no longer pink in the center, 8-12 minutes, turning once. Finely chop or shred the chicken and moisten with same reserved sauce in the saucepan (you may not need all of it).
Lay dough on the grate, with the paper facing up. Grab one corner of the paper with tongs and peel it off. Grill over direct medium heat until they are marked on the underside, 2-3 minutes, rotating the crusts occasionally for even cooking. Don't worry if crusts bubble, they will deflat when turned over. Transfer the crusts from the cooking grate to the back of a baking sheet, with the grilled sides facing up.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese over each pizza, leaving 1/2 inch border around the edges. Arrange the chicken and chives over the cheese. transfer the pizzas from the baking sheets to the cooking grate. Grill until the crusts are crisp and the cheese is melted, 4-5 minutes, rotating the pizzas occasionally for even cooking. Transfer to a cutting board, cut into wedges. Serve warm.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
While we were in Whole Foods, Norm found one of our favorite cheeses - Humbolt Fog. So that sparked the idea of getting a few specialty cheeses, cracking open a bottle of wine and enjoying our deck. So 4 cheeses, a container of quince paste, apples and pears and the cutest whole wheat mini-toasts that you have ever seen later...we were exiting Whole Foods ready to have ourselves a good time! That is until we got back to our car, parked by the state store and I had the idea of each of us picking out 2 bottles of wine to have a wine tasting along with our newly acquired cheese.
It was so nice to sleep in for a change!!! On Saturday morning, I woke up before Norm, so I put on the coffee and decided on what to make for breakfast.
Here's what I came up with....
3 C baby spinach
1 C mushrooms, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 C reduced-fat feta cheese
2 slices of canadian bacon
Heat two skillets over medium-high heat. Spray both with cooking spray. In one pan, add mushrooms, saute until brown around the edges. Add spinach and garlic; sautee until spinach is wilted. While the mushrooms and spinach are cooking, add the canadian bacon to the other pan, and "fry" until it starts to brown. Remove bacon to the spinach pan and keep warm.
Re-spray the bacon pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add eggs and "fry" until done season with salt and pepper. Divide spinach and mushroom mixture between 2 plates; divide cheese between two plates. Top with canadian bacon and eggs.
I have made this so many times since we first tried it. This is also from the South Beach Diet Quick and Easy cookbook, but I've been playing with the ingredient amounts to suit our tastes. Personally, I like more dressing, so I upped the amount of everything except the olive oil. I keep tweaking it, but it's really just plain good!
We have also had this salad served with grilled salmon on top for a filling lunch or with grilled mushrooms and asparagus for a little something extra to accompany dinner.
Eggless Caesar Salad
(Source: South Beach Diet Quick & Easy cookbook)
1 T fresh lemon juice
2 anchovy filets, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 t dijon mustard
1/4 C extra-virgin olive oil
1 T grated parmesan cheese
1 (1 1/2 lb) head romaine lettuce, chopped (8-10 cups)
Whisk together lemon juice, anchovy, garlic and mustard in a large mixing bowl; slowly whisk in oil. Stir in cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add lettuce, toss, and serve.
Makes 4 (2-Cup) servings.
160 calories; 15g fat; 2.5g saturated fat; 3 g protein; 4g carb; 2 g fiber; 125 mg sodium
Our laptop took a dive around the middle of April...causing much distress. Norm couldn't check his fantasy baseball Web site, I couldn't blog or do any of the fun internet things that I can't (um or shouldn't) do from work. We had to send it away to get fixed. The entire process took far too long (like 3 weeks!) so we were very happy to get it back and fully functional.
In the meantime, I did spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen making some yummy stuff.
So here's the first of the catch up recipes...Indian Spiced Lentils. I found this in a South Beach Diet cookbook. I wasn't sure I could convince Norm to try lentils. Outside of his Dad's authentic Indian dishes, I don't think he has had too many things where lentils were a major player. The dish was yummy. Since we like our food on the hot side, I added some extra heat from a jalapeno...and I upped the curry powder for more flavor. We had it with some grilled salmon and broiled eggplant.
Indian Spiced Lentils
(Source: South Beach Diet Quick & Easy Cookbook)
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced (not in original recipe)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp curry powder (I used closer to 1 T)
1 C dried lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 1/2 C chicken broth
2 T chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute more. Stir in curry powder and lentils. Add broth, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook until tender, about 20 minutes. Season to taste with salt and papper. Stir in parsley just before serving.
Monday, March 31, 2008
This was a cake that I found on the Food Network site, courtesy of Eating Well magazine. I knew I wanted to make a cake, but make a healthier version of a classic...this fit the bill perfectly! It uses whole wheat pastry flour, and I subsituted Splenda for baking for the sugar, and egg beaters for the eggs to keep it lighter.
Instead of the 9x13 pan, I made a layer cake of 2-9" cake rounds and used 2 packages of cream cheese. I also had 1/2 a bar of dark chocolate that I chopped up into the cake batter for a little surprise. I baked everything at home, then assembled it at their house. In my haste, I forgot my camera, but snapped a few shots as we were 1/2 way thru it with my mom's camera. I'll have to post the pics when she sends them to me. Everyone raved about it...and my mom requested that I make it again for our family's 4th of July party this summer! It was definitely a hit = )
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup nonfat buttermilk
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained, juice reserved
2 cups grated carrots (4-6 medium)
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
2 tablespoons coconut chips or flaked coconut
12 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
To prepare cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Toast walnuts in a small baking pan in the oven until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the reserved pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots and coconut.
Add the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until blended. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading evenly.
Bake the cake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare frosting & finish cake: Place coconut in a small baking pan and toast in the oven at 300 degrees F, stirring several times, until light golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with the coconut.
I found this recipe on Rachel Ray's Web site. Say what you will about Rachel, but she has some damn tasty recipes! I served this with some simply prepared butternut squash (with a touch of butter, salt and pepper) and french-cut green beans.
Parmesan Crusted Tilapia
(Source: Rachel Ray)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspooons paprika
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 tilapia fillets (about 1 pound total)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400º. In a shallow dish, combine the cheese with the paprika and parsley and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle the fish with olive oil and dredge in the cheese mixture. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until the fish is opaque in the thickest part, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve the fish with the lemon wedges.
Monday, March 10, 2008
(Source: adapted from a recipe on allrecipes.com)
1 lb frozen seafood medley (trader joe's)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 (7 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
1 T chili powder (approximate amounts of this and the cumin, i did it to taste)
2 cups cottage cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
5 whole wheat large tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (reduced fat shredded mexican blend)
1 can green enchilada sauce
To Make Meat Mixture: Heat a medium skillet with cooking spray over medium high heat. Add seafood, garlic, onion and green chile peppers and saute until browned, then add seasoning (chili powder, cumin) to taste. Stir until well incorporated.
To Make Cheese Mixture: In a medium bowl mix sour cream with cottage cheese and season with salt and pepper; stir until well blended.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
The spice rub is simple: cumin, coriander, garlic salt, cayenne
Pre-heat the broiller. Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Slice the eggplant into rounds (typically i make mine around 1/4" thick). Rub spice rub onto both side of the eggplant slices. Broil until dark golden brown, flip and broil the other side. Easy as pie!
We had these with brown basmati rice with spicy shrimp. Yum!
Monday, February 18, 2008
To die for. Since we've been on "the diet" we haven't been there or had the pizza in forever. Sooooo for a Valentine's weekend surprise, I bought all of the makings for the pizza with the intent to make a whole wheat crust and make my own. Plans went astray, and the dough never got made so I decided to use the ingredients and incorporate them into a pasta dish that was South Beach friendly.
Whole Wheat Pasta with Prosciutto, Arugula, Mozzerella & Cabernet Marinara
8 oz whole wheat pasta
1/2 C chopped onion
4 oz prosciutto, chopped
4 oz sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T fresh basil
1 jar cabernet marinara (I used Muir Glen Organic)
3 cups arugula, chopped
Salt, pepper, italian seasoning
6 oz fresh mozzerella, sliced
Cook pasta according to directions on box. Saute onions, garlic, mushrooms until tender over med-high heat. Add prosciutto. Sautee a few minutes longer until fragrent. Stir in sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, etc to taste. Stir in arugula and let wilt. Spoon over pasta and top with cheese.
This is also one of those recipes that is so easy, it's almost embarrassing to post. Seriously. Well...except for the dipping in chocolate part. I need to work on my dipping skills. There's endless possible varieties to try by using different cake mix/frosting/coating combos...this one is a strawberry cake with strawberry frosting dipped in dark chocolate.
1 box of cake mix
1 container of frosting
Chocolate (I used Baker's dark chocolate)
Make cake according to the directions on the box. While it's still hot, crumble into tiny bits. Stir in frosting until incorporated. Form in 1" balls - I used a small pampered chef cookie scoop thingie - and place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Refridgerate until completely cooled. Dip into chocolate and let harden.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Anyway...this was the side dish served with the apple and gorgonzola pork tenderloin. We also had some steamed green beans and a tasty tossed salad.
The original recipe was from allrecipes.com. I found it a couple of years ago, when we first started playing house together. It calls for orzo, but do you know how hard it is to find whole wheat orzo to make this a South Beach friendly dish??? Ugh. So I figured that I'd just make some brown basmati rice, cooked in chicken broth (canned, with herbs). And that I'd saute the 'shrooms, etc seperately and mix it all together at the end. Turned out pretty freakin' tasty. If I do say so myself.
So here's the original recipe...as written it makes a ton. I cut it in half for us, and we still had leftovers. I used a mushroom mix that had porcini, bella, oyster and maybe something else...and just used a little olive oil (like 1/2 T).
Orzo With Mushrooms and Walnuts
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Place walnuts on a baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until they release their aroma. Stir once or twice for even toasting.
Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onion and mushrooms until tender and golden brown.
Pour in broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in orzo, reduce heat to low, and cover. Simmer until orzo is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. If after 15 minutes there is still liquid, remove cover, and cook until liquid is gone. Remove from heat, and stir in walnuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ahhh another pork tenderloin recipe...
I fear that Norm's parents are beginning to think that all we can make is some sort of pork tenderloin. It seems like every time we have them over, there is always pork on the menu, only the sauce changes. Sometimes it's a gorgonzola sauce...or a dijon cream sauce...or even glazed with hoisin and say and grilled. **Sigh** oh well. There are rarely leftovers though, so I don't think serving pork in the future will be an issue = )
This recipe comes courtesy of Carrie's Kitchen Creations. Her pics made my mouth water, I had it starred in my Google reader for months, just waiting for a good time to make it. I love pork with fruit...my hubby, not so much. Or so he thought!!! We were trying to decide what to make and I mentioned that I had seen this amazing looking recipe on a food blog that had apples and gorgonzola. He turned up his nose, but failed to give me any other options, so he finally condeded. He was the first to say how delicious it was...so yeah!!! This opens up so many more culinary possibilities. I'll have to save this one for special occasions as it's way too much sugar (from the cider and the apple butter) for South Beach.
The pic at the beginning of the post is what it looked like before it went into the oven - pretty as a picture (but alas, my picture is not so pretty). The one below was after I pulled it out of the oven. After we sliced it, it lost some of it's prettiness.
Carrie's Kitchen Creations Fall Harvest Pork Tenderloin
1 (1 lb) pork tenderloin
2 apples, cut into 1/4 inch slices
3 tbs gorgonzola, crumbled (I used closed to 1/2 C of cheese, just because I love cheese!)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 C apple butter
1/2 C apple cider
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cut tenderloin lengthwise down the center (I made two slight cuts from the center cut to create little canals to place the apples in). Be careful to cut the tenderloin deep enough to open it up but not so deep you cut it in half.
Mix apple butter, apple cider, and ginger.
Coat bottom of 9x13 inch baking dish (mine is glass) with apple butter mixture. Lay tenderloin in dish so cut side is facing up. Place apple slices in canals previously created when cutting tenderloin. Sprinkle the crumbled gorgonzola down the center. Top with chopped garlic. Drizzle the rest of the apple butter mixture over the apples and gorgonzola. Sprinkle salt and fresh ground pepper over the top.
Bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cover with foil and bake another 30-35 minutes. Remove foil and slice to eat.
This was originally found in Light & Tasty magazine a couple of years ago. We normally only make about 1/2 lb of pork since it's just us, but keep the original amount of sauce. I love me some good sauce, and in my opinion, the recipe doesn't make enough sauce!!! We have changed it up a bit to be more in line with the South Beach Diet by omitting the flour altogether. We used a Smithfield marinated pork loin cut into about 1/3 inch thick medallions.
Pork Medallions with Dijon Cream Sauce
(Source: Light & Tasty)
1 pork tenderloin (1 pound)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon butter
3 green onions
1/3 cup white wine or chicken broth
1/2 cup fat-free evaporated milk (used fat-free half & half instead)
4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Cut pork widthwise into 6 pieces; flatten to 1/4-in. thickness. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine the flour, salt and pepper. Add pork, a few pieces at a time, and shake to coat. In a large nonstick skillet, brown pork in butter over medium-high heat. Remove and keep warm.
Slice green onions, separating the white and green portions; reserve green portion for garnish. In the same skillet, saute the white portion of green onions for 1 minute. Add wine or broth. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add milk. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 1-2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Whisk in mustard.
Serve pork with Dijon sauce. Garnish with reserved green onions. Yield: 3 servings.