Thursday, February 28, 2008
1 medium-sized ginger root
Peel one sweet potato and cut into 1 ½ to 2 inch cubes.
Peel the ginger and slice – doesn’t have to be perfect because you’re not going to eat the ginger.
Throw your potatoes and ginger into a medium sized pot. Pour enough water to cover the potatoes and then a little more. About 4-6 cups of water.
Add ¼ to ½ cup of brown sugar – depends on how sweet you want it. You might start out with less and work your way up.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
1. Taste great
2. Be healthy
3. Be easy to reheat
4. Incorporate protein, starch, and vegetables
5. Be as appealing to the eye as it is to the mouth
I think this recipe for orzo-stuffed bell peppers really fits the bill:
½ cup orzo
4 bell peppers – any color you prefer ( I like assorted colors)
½ lb ground turkey
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
½ red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed and diced
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
1 tsp tabasco sauce (optional)
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Slice bell peppers in half, longwise (from top to bottom). Set aside.
Cook orzo to al-dente as directed. Drain and set aside.
Brown ground turkey.While cooking, add worcestershire sauce. Drain and set aside.
In the same pan, saute garlic in olive oil for about 2 minutes over medium heat taking care not to burn.
Add the diced red bell pepper and cook for another minute.
Slowly add the diced tomatoes, crushed red pepper, tabasco, and 1 tsp salt and simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine the orzo, ground turkey and tomato mixture. Mix well to combine.
Scoop orzo mixture into each bell pepper half. Place the peppers in a large casserole dish. Carefully pour about 1 cup of chicken broth into the bottom of the dish.
Cover dish with foil and bake for 35-45 minutes.
While the diced red bell pepper in the stuffing is not necessary, it did add a nice bite. I added it because I had some left over from my salmon cakes.
Also, you don’t have to add the crushed red pepper. We like things just a little spicy around here, so I like to add pepper and Tabasco whenever I can.
To make this vegetarian, you can leave out the ground turkey, double the orzo, and use vegetable broth instead. You can also add spinach.
Lastly, you don’t have to use orzo. Using brown rice would work as well. The only drawback is that brown rice takes a long time to cook. Orzo, being pasta, cooks in about 9 minutes.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
1 lb ground turkey (85/15 is best)
1 can black beans (14.5 oz)
1 can kidney beans (14.5 oz)
1 can pinto beans (14.5 oz)
1 can diced tomato (28 oz)
1 can adobo chiles
¼ cup chili powder
2 tbsp cumin
2 tsp onion powder (or dried onion)
1 tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cayenne
Salt to taste
In a small food processor, chop 4-5 adobo chiles with about ¼ cup of diced tomatoes. (You will have leftover chiles – you can keep these in a plastic bag in the fridge for a few weeks).
Brown the ground turkey in a large Dutch oven. With ground turkey, you have to keep separating the meat while it is cooking, or you’ll get big chunks of turkey.
Once the turkey is browned, add your adobo chile and tomato mix. Mix to combine.
Add beans, the remaining tomatoes, and the spices.
Allow chili to simmer for at least 15 minutes.
Add tabasco to taste.
Add salt to taste.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup chocolate chips (you can use milk chocolate, though I used semi-sweet)
1/2 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners
Into a bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Melt butter and in a small bowl whisk together with sour cream, milk, egg, and vanilla.
Stir butter mixture, chocolate chips, and cherries into flour mixture just until combined (don't overmix, please!)
Using a 1/3 measuring cup, scoop muffin mix into lined muffin cups.
Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.
3 lemons, halved and juiced
5 cloves garlic
5-6 sprigs rosemary, leaves only and roughly chopped
½ cup olive oil
4-5 lbs chicken (breast or thighs) with skin
Mix the marinade ingredients together. Toss chicken in a large gallon bag; you’ll probably need two. Pour marinade and lemon halves in the bag. Mix well to cover the chicken. Marinate for up to 4 hours.
Turn grill on high to heat grills. Once the chicken is on the grill, turn down to med-low. Grill each side for 10-15 minutes if grilling breasts, or 8-10 minutes if thighs, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 150-155° F. Take the chicken off the grill, place on a plate and cover with foil. The temperature will continue to rise even after the chicken has been taken off the grill, allowing the chicken to reach 160°. Allow the chicken to rest at least 10 minutes before serving.
1 box couscous, prepared
6-8 strips of roasted red peppers, roughly chopped
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
Mix red peppers, parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt into prepared couscous. Serve hot or at room temperature. You could top with feta or goat cheese.
A note about preparing couscous: My sister always says that everytime she’s ever had couscous, it’s been lacking in flavor, and I tend to agree. I find that using a chicken bullion cube (Maggi brand is my favorite) in the two cups of water required to prepare the box of couscous gives it a really yummy flavor.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese Sandwiches
½ recipe of Homemade Rosemary Focaccia or 1 round store-bought focaccia
4 oz goat cheese
4 oz neufchatel cheese (or cream cheese), softened to room temperature
1 jar roasted red peppers
4 oz spring mix lettuce
Cut focaccia in half (through the middle of the loaf so that you end up with a top and a bottom half).
Place the bread, cut side up, on a cookie sheet and broil until just toasted.
In a small bowl, mix goat cheese and softened neufchatel cheese until well mixed.
Spread the cheese mixture on each half of the focaccia.
Top one half of the bread with spring mix; press the lettuce slightly into the cheese mixture so that it will stay put when you cut the sandwiches.
Top lettuce with roasted red peppers.
Put the two focaccia halves together and cut the bread into smaller sandwiches.
You can cut into small pieces to serve as finger food, or you can cut into larger sandwiches for lunch.
1 lb store-bought pizza dough
1-2 sprigs rosemary (leaves only), roughly chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 400° F.
Allow the pizza dough to come close to room temperature. This makes the dough easier to handle and roll.
In a small bowl, mix the olive oil, rosemary, and garlic. Allow the flavors to blend a little while you are preparing the dough.
Cut the dough into two, if you’d like to have two smaller loaves.
On a lightly floured surface, roll each half into long, rounded rectangles. Transfer the dough onto parchment paper.
Brush the rosemary & garlic oil on the top of each loaf. Reserve a little bit of the oil.
Bake for 20-25 minutes.
After removing from the oven, brush lightly with remaining olive oil and sprinkle the bread with salt and pepper.
6 3oz filets of salmon, cooked and flaked or 1 can (16 oz) salmon
½ red bell pepper, diced into small cubes
½ green bell pepper, diced into small cubes
1 bunch green onion, diced
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 slices white bread
1 tbsp mayonnaise
4 tbsp Miracle Whip
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp lemon zest
salt & pepper
Using a food processor, process the bread into small crumbs.
In a large bowl, mix salmon, bell peppers, onion, parsley, ¾ of the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, mustard and lemon zest. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Shape the salmon mix into patties. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Overnight is ok too. (You should have about 8 patties)
Once the patties have cooled, put the remaining bread crumbs in a large plate. Dip the patties in the bread crumbs.
In a large pan, heat about 3 tbsp of canola oil (med-high heat).
Place 4 salmon patties in the heated oil. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Finish remaining batch.
Carefully transfer cooked patties onto a plate covered with paper towels.
You can serve immediately on top of a bed of spring mix lettuce. Top with remoulade and serve with a lemon wedge.
(You can also reheat later by preheating the oven to 400° and baking for 7-8 minutes on a cookie sheet.)
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp horseradish
¼ tsp Tabasco
¼ tsp cayenne
¼ tsp paprika
1 to 1 ½ tsp lemon juice
Mix all the ingredients well. Serve on top of the salmon cakes.
Friday, February 15, 2008
The point is, once the materials being heated by hot air have begun heating on the surface, the heat transfers through the material to heat the stuff underneath the surface. And in the meantime, the surface (in the case of roasting vegetables) dehydrates and then the food browns from caramelization, completing the cooking process.
Roasting is used to bring out the natural sweetness and to enhance the flavor of many types of vegetables. Roasting works best with vegetables that can withstand high heats without turning into mush.
1-2 roma tomatoes, cut into wedges
2 yellow squash (cut into 3/4 in thick rounds)
2 zucchini (cut into 3/4 in thick rounds)
1 large eggplant (cut into 1 1/2 in cubes)
1 red onion (cut into large pieces)
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 can diced tomatoes (14.5 oz)
Preheat oven to 400F. In a large roasting pan, evenly spread the diced tomatoes. Toss the fresh vegetables and garlic in olive oil and salt. Spread out the vegetables evenly over the diced tomatoes. Cover with foil and bake/roast for 30 minutes, stopping halfway to toss the vegetables. Uncover after 30 minutes and roast for another 10 minutes.