Monday, October 29, 2012

Spiced Beef Stew with Sweet Potatoes

1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
1 (32-oz.) container beef broth
1 (3-lb.) boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 sweet onions, cut into eighths
2 cups cubed butternut squash (about 1 lb.)
2 cups frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
2 celery ribs, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme

1. Whisk together first 2 ingredients until smooth.
2. Sprinkle beef with flour, salt, and pepper; toss to coat.
3. Cook beef, in batches, in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes or until browned. Place in a 6-qt. slow cooker. Add sweet potatoes, next 8 ingredients, and broth mixture. Cover and cook on HIGH 6 to 7 hours or until tender.

Published in Southern Living's NOVEMBER 2012 issue.
Texture is a little too gooey, but flavor is delicious. Maybe it's because I don't have a slow cooker?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Apple and Cabbage Oven Baked Chicken

Picture credit from The Healthy Foodie.
Serves 2.   Ready-in 1.5 hours

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 small onion, thinly sliced
½ small Savoy cabbage, shredded
1 Red Delicious apple, thinly sliced
1 Golden Delicious apple, thinly sliced
½ cup all natural unsweetened apple juice
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

Preheat oven to 375F
Prepare ahead
Thinly slice the onion and apples and shred the cabbage as finely as possible. The use of a mandolin is strongly recommended here.
In an oven safe dish (mine was about 7" x 7") add about 1/3 of the shredded cabbage, followed by ½ the onion and ½ the apples.
Continue layering by adding another 1/3 of the cabbage, the rest of the onions, the rest of the apple slices and finally, the rest of the cabbage. Set aside.
Place your chicken breasts on top of the cabbage and add another sprig of rosemary, if desired.
In a small mixing bowl, add apple juice, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, rosemary, salt and pepper and mix until well combined. Pour over chicken and cabbage mixture.
Cover with aluminum foil and cook in the oven for about an hour, until chicken is cooked through.
Remove the chicken breasts and slice them on a diagonal
Divide cabbage/apple mixture between 2 serving plates and place sliced chicken breasts on top.
Serve immediately.

*  Recipe from The Healthy Foodie.
*  I put my oven safe dish over a cookie sheet in the oven and covered with tinfoil and this led to a very slow cook. Recommend not using cookie sheet, and removing tinfoil for a few minutes.
*  Double-recipe quantity = 6 servings. Delic left overs, maybe make triple next time & freeze individual meal-sized portions.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Fried Rice with Shallots

3 tablespoons peanut oil, plus more for frying I used sesame oil as a substitute
3 shallots, thinly sliced (3/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
4 1/2 cups cold cooked jasmine rice (see Note)
1 cup frozen petite peas, thawed
Lime wedges, for serving

In a small skillet, heat 1/4 inch of peanut oil until shimmering. Add 1/4 cup of the sliced shallots and fry over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the fried shallots to paper towels to drain.
In a wok or large skillet, heat the 3 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the turmeric and the remaining 1/2 cup of shallots and stir-fry over moderately high heat until the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and 1 teaspoon of salt and stir-fry over high heat for 1 minute. Add the peas and stir-fry until the rice and peas are hot, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the fried shallots and season with salt. Transfer the rice to a bowl and serve with lime wedges.

Published in Food & Wine's October 2012 issue.
Total time: 25 minutes; Serves 4

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Caramel Apple Muffins

Total time: 1 hr 30 minutes.  Makes 12 muffins.

Cinnamon Topping Ingredients:
1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tablespoons butter

Muffin & Caramel Ingredients:
1 (8-oz.) container sour cream
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples (2 cups = 2 apples)
1 (14-oz.) package caramels
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup chopped lightly salted, roasted pecans
Wax paper
Food-safe twigs or craft sticks (if you grow mint in your backyard, twigs are perfect for this recipe)

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Prepare Cinnamon Topping as directed.
2. Beat sour cream and next 3 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer 30 seconds or until blended.
3. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients. Add to sour cream mixture, beating at low speed just until blended. (Do not overmix.) Stir in diced apples. Spoon into a lightly greased 12-cup muffin pan, filling three-fourths full; sprinkle with Cinnamon Topping.
4. Bake at 375° for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pans to wire racks; cool completely (about 30 minutes).
5. Microwave caramels and cream in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until thick enough to coat muffins.
6. Quickly dip bottom three-fourths of each muffin into caramel mixture; roll bottom half of caramel-coated portion of muffin in chopped pecans, and place muffins, caramel sides up, on lightly greased wax paper. (If caramel mixture begins to harden before you've dipped all the muffins, microwave mixture a few seconds to soften.) Insert food-safe twigs or craft sticks into caramel-covered portions of muffins.

Recipe from Southern Living, SEPTEMBER 2012. Find original post here.
Be careful not to burn your fingers on the hot caramel.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Buttermilk Chicken Salad

Prep Time: 10; Marinate Time: 8 hours; 
Cook Time: 20 minutes; READY IN: 8.5 hours

Fried Chicken Ingredients:
2 large chicken breasts, each cut in half
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, divided
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
salt and pepper
2 cups vegetable oil

Salad Ingredients:
2-3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 navel orange, peeled and sliced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
ranch dressing, optional

In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, onion, parsley, thyme, tarragon, paprika, and 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper.  Mix together and submerge chicken breasts.  Cover and let sit in fridge for about 8 hours.

Remove chicken from buttermilk and set aside on a plate.

In a shallow dish, combine flour, garlic powder, onion powder, remaining 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.  Mix well.

Dredge chicken in flour mixture and coat well.  Set aside.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the vegetable oil under medium high heat.  You'll know it's hot enough when a bit of flour sizzles quickly when added.

Add 2 chicken breast halves at a time and fry for about 7-9 minutes per side, or until cooked through.  Place cooked chicken on paper towel-lined plate and cover with foil.  Repeat with remaining 2 chicken breast halves.

To assemble the salad, combine the romaine lettuce, tomato, and navel orange.  Toss well.  Slice up chicken and place atop lettuce.  Drizzle salad dressing.

Recipe from my bf likes it so it must be good.
I like spicy salad dressing with this dish.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup

1 large head cauliflower (the one I used was at least 7″ in diameter
olive oil for drizzling
Few dashes garam masala (optional)
3 medium to large sized peeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1″ pieces
1 sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
7 cups filtered water

First, preheat your oven to 400 °F and cut up your cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Sprinkle cauliflower lightly with garam masala. Place cauliflower on un-greased cookie sheet and lightly drizzle with olive oil. Place in oven and let roast until golden brown on the tops and tender, but not mushy, about 20-30 minutes. There’s no need to flip ‘em. Just remove from oven and let cool while you cook the rest of the soup.

In large stockpot, bring peeled & cut sweet potatoes, onion, garlic and water to a boil. Salt (abt 3/4 tsp) and stir. Reduce heat and allow to remain at a constant simmer until sweet potatoes are tender. Add in cooked cauliflower and divide soup into 2 parts.

Let soup cool and then blend one part soup in blender until very smooth. Combine with second part soup and stir. Salt to taste and warm up over stovetop if needed.

Recipe from Manifest Vegan
Cook/Bake Time: 30, Prep Time 10, Ready in: 40

Monday, August 27, 2012

Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Breast with Roasted Green Beans

Prep Time: 5  Ready-In: 25  Serves 2

4 ounces green beans, stem ends removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast half
6 thin slices prosciutto
Optional: Red pepper or basil
Lemon wedge, for serving

Heat broiler to 500.
Season chicken with salt and pepper; wrap with prosciutto. Optional to add either red pepper or basil leaves between the chicken and prosciutto. Place chicken, seam side down, on other side of pan; rub with 1 teaspoon oil.
Broil until chicken is opaque throughout, 15 to 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, toss green beans with 1 teaspoon oil, season with salt and pepper, and put on other side of pan in oven with chicken for remaining time.
Serve chicken and green beans with a lemon wedge.

Recipe from

Friday, August 17, 2012

Moroccan Nectarine and Plum Chicken Tagine

Prep time: 15, Cook Time: 40,
Ready in: 55 minutes, Servings: 4
1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb chicken thighs
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ginger, grated
4 nectarines, stoned and sliced
4 plums, stoned and sliced
1/2 cup water
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch saffron
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4 cup kalamata olives, chopped (instead of olives,  I put chickpeas)
1 tbsp harissa
1 tbsp honey
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat.  Brown the chicken on all sides, then remove to a plate.

2. Heat the second tbsp of oil and cook the onions until just starting to brown. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

3. Add in the nectarines, plums, water, paprika, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, salt and pepper.  Cover and simmer for fifteen minutes.

4. Add in the chicken, harissa, lemon, honey, and olives.  Simmer, covered, for 25 minutes.

5. Mix in the parsley and cilantro and serve.

Comments: Recipe from Joanne Eats Well With Others. Ingredients about $13 for 4 servings. 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Israeli Roast Eggplant, Hummus, and Pickle Pitas

1 large baking potato
1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch thick
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
1 cucumber—peeled, halved, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large tomato, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large jalapeño, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground pepper
4 thick, sturdy pita breads, warmed
1 cup hummus
1/4 cup tahini, at room temperature
4 large hard-cooked eggs, sliced
4 small dill pickles, thinly sliced

Preheat the oven to 425°. In a small saucepan, cover the potato with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderate heat until just tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool, then peel the potato and slice it 1/4 inch thick. Season the potato slices with salt.
Meanwhile, arrange the eggplant slices on a rimmed baking sheet and brush both sides with olive oil. Season with salt and bake for about 10 minutes, until browned and tender.
In a large bowl, add the cucumber, tomato, jalapeño, garlic, cilantro and parsley. Toss with the lemon juice and 3 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Cut off 2 inches from the side of the warm pitas to make openings in the pockets. Gently open the pitas. Spread the hummus on the bottoms and 1 tablespoon of tahini over it. Layer the potato slices, eggplant, egg and cucumber-tomato salad in the pitas, along with some of the salad juices. Top with the pickle slices and serve.

Recipe found in Food & Wine's July 2012 Issue, posted with the following comments:
At Butcher & Bee in Charleston, S.C., owner Michael Shemtov and chef Stuart Tracy prepare this messy, incredibly tasty vegetarian sandwich, called a sabich, with vegetables, hummus, house-baked pita and herbs from a garden right behind the restaurant. “The sandwich is Iraqi-Israeli, just like me,” Shemtov says. “It’s a personal dish.”

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Zucchini Banana Bread

Prep Time: 15, Cook Time:1 hour, Ready in: 1.5 hours

1 medium zucchini, shredded, moisture squeezed out
1 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 to 1 cup sugar (depending on how sweet you like your bread)
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large or 2 small overripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. 
Grease a 9x5 loaf pan and line with parchment paper. 
In a medium bowl, whisk flour and baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt. 
In another bowl, combine sugar, eggs and oil and beat on high speed with a handheld until creamy and light. 
Mix in mashed bananas and vanilla and beat until combined. 
Stir in dry ingredients until incorporated and then stir in grated zucchini. 
Pour batter into pan and bake for about one hour.  

Recipe from Mehan's Kitchen.
Bread turns out a little moist. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Baked Sesame Ginger Chicken

  • 6 chicken drumsticks or thighs
  • Sesame oil
  • 2 heaping Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 heaping teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 heaping teaspoon powdered (or fresh grated) ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 420 degrees.
  2. Dry chicken thoroughly with a clean cloth and place in a medium sized bowl. Drizzle with sesame oil and toss to coat.
  3. Combine all remaining ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4. Sprinkle sugar mixture over chicken and toss so that chicken is thoroughly coated.
  5. Place chicken on a baking sheet, skin side up, and bake for 25-35 minutes, or until the top is brown and crispy and the chicken is no longer pink inside.
  6. Get ready to lick your fingers!

Recipe from The Endless Meal

Friday, July 6, 2012

Israeli Tabouli

1 cup Israeli couscous* (see below comments)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup lemon, zested and juiced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped parsley
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
3 to 6 scallions, chopped
3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 cucumber, peeled and diced

Place 1 cup couscous in boiling water and follow packaging instructions. Once cooled, transfer to container and add all other ingredients.

Additional ingredients you might wish to add in include arugula, zucchini, pickles, black olives, etc. Not all of these additional ingredients mix well together, so pick and choose which ones work! 

*Optional, to use whole wheat and/or a flavored couscous. For flavored couscous I highly recommend the Near East Basil & Herb Pearled Couscous. It was always hard to find in the grocery store, and I'm happy it's finally available on Amazon!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stuffed Peppers, Southwest Style

Prep Time: 20, Cook Time: 30-40, Ready-in: 60 minutes

1 cup long-grain white rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
6 green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts separated
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup black beans, optional
1 4.5 ounce can chopped green chilies 
1/4 cup canned diced tomatoes or salsa  (optional to omit green chilies and double the quantity of salsa)
1 tsp cumin  
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne red pepper
4 ounces (1 cup) grated Monterey Jack cheese, divided
kosher salt and black pepper
4 large bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Prepare the rice according to the package. 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Stir in the rice, corn, green chilies, diced tomatoes, and 1/2 cup of cheese. Add the green onion whites, cumin, paprika, and cayenne red pepper.

Add 1/2 cup of water to the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish, then arrange bell peppers, cut side up in the dish. Fill the peppers with the filling. Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the bell peppers are tender. Uncover and add the remaining cheese. Bake for 5-8 more minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and turning golden brown.  

Garnish with green onions and drizzle with salsa (if desired), and serve. 

Adapted from Sunny Side Up.
Peppers were still fresh after 50 minutes in 350. Next time try 400 degrees. 
Definitely think a meat version would be better, but this was still very good. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Southwest Black Bean Salad

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 corn on the cobb, grilled
1 green pepper
2 tomatoes or a pint cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 avocado
2 limes to be used as dressing
splash of olive oil to be used with lime juice (optional)
parsley or cilantro
salt and pepper to taste

Monday, June 11, 2012

BBQ Chicken Salad Over Rice

Serves 3 * Total Time 40 minutes
1 cup basmati rice
2 chicken breasts
Salt & pepper
2 ears corn, shucked (or 1 cup corn kernels)
1/2 cup black beans, drained & rinsed
1 tomato, cut
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup BBQ sauce (plus more for chicken)

lime & splash of olive oil (optional)

1. Soak rice in water for approximately 20 minutes, then cook according to package instructions (usually 1 cup dry requires 1 and 3/4 cup water and boiled for 15 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, season both sides of the chicken breasts with salt & pepper, then grill over medium-high heat for 8 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center. Add corn to the grill at the same time, and rotate every couple of minutes to evenly char on all sides. Remove chicken and corn to a plate and let cool slightly. Shred or cut chicken into cubes, then mix with enough BBQ sauce to coat. Slice kernels off the cob.

3. In a bowl, combine & mix the grilled corn, shredded BBQ chicken, black beans, tomato and shredded cheese. On plates first layer rice, and chicken salad over the rice. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Alternatively if you want to serve the salad separate from the chicken, then use juice from an entire lime and a splash of olive oil as the dressing.

Original Recipe from Iowa Girl Eats.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Basil-Peach Chicken Breasts

Makes 4 servings  *  Ready in 45 minutes
"Starting the chicken on the stovetop and finishing in the oven helps prevent dry, overcooked chicken. The flavorful juices make a fresh and clean sauce--much lighter than a flour-thickened gravy. Serve with steamed rice, couscous, or quinoa for a simple summer meal." Southern Living, June 2012.

4 skinned and boned chicken breasts (about 2 lb.)
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
12 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 cup reduced-sodium fat-free chicken broth
4 large peaches, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 2 cups)
Garnish: fresh basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Cook chicken in hot oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove chicken from skillet, reserving drippings in skillet.
2. Reduce heat to medium. Add shallot to hot drippings in skillet, and sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Add ginger and garlic; sauté 45 to 60 seconds or until fragrant. Add basil, chicken broth, and peaches. Return chicken to skillet, and turn to coat.
3. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until chicken is done.

Roasted Broccoli, Asparagus and Grape Quinoa Salad

Makes 3 to 4 servings * Ready in 30 minutes

Original recipe posted on Dish Up Delights. Modified version below.

  • 2lb broccoli, (1lb cut) washed, dried and cut into florets
  • 8 ounces large seedless grapes, washed and dried
  • 1 asparagus bunch, cut into 1 or 2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 dry quinoa
  • 3 handfuls baby arugula
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons roughly chopped roasted and salted pistachios (optional)

  • Boil 1 cup water and throw in quinoa. Boil per directions on the packaging (approximately 15 minutes).
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil.
  • Toss the broccoli, grapes, and asparagus with enough olive oil to lightly coat them. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Roast for 20-30 minutes or until the grapes are blistered and the broccoli and asparagus are slightly charred.
  • In a large bowl, toss the the broccoli, grapes, and asparagus with the quinoa and arugula. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the balsamic, and Dijon mustard. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Toss the dressing with the salad and combine well. Adjust the seasonings if necessary. Garnish with pistachios. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Spring Salad with Warm Blackberry Dressing

A refreshing, sweet and savory salad.  Perfect for spring.
Serves 4; Ready In; 15 min; Cook Time 10 min

For the blackberry sauce (original recipe here):
12 oz. blackberries, rinsed and drained (2 packages)
¼ cup sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. cold water
1/3 lemon freshly squeezed
lemon zest

1 lb Baby Spinach Leaves, washed and fully dried
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
2 eggs, hard boiled and sliced
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1/4 cup fresh raspberries for garnish
1/8 cup fresh blackberries for garnish

For the salad, combine in a large bowl the spinach, onion and egg together. Garnish with walnuts and fresh berries. 

To make the blackberry sauce, combine the blackberries and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries begin to release some of their juices and the mixture is simmering. Stir in the lemon juice and zest. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl; whisk until smooth. Add the cornstarch mixture to the blackberries and mix well. Reduce the heat to medium and let cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture comes to a low boil and thickens slightly. Remove from the heat and keep warm if desired.  The sauce will thicken slightly as it cools.

Serve immediately.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Sweet Potato & Brown Rice Salad

Original post found at a Splash of Vanilla food blog here. See my version below:

160g brown rice, rinsed (or 1 bag of instant rice will do)
480g (1 lb) sweet potato, peeled and diced into bite sized pieces
Olive oil
120g (15 oz / 1 can) cooked or tinned drained chick peas
10ml extra virgin olive oil
3 tblspn balsamic vinegar
3 tblspn honey wholegrain mustard
45g (1/3 cup) chopped walnuts or pecan nuts
Green part of 6 shallots, sliced thinly
2 tblspns continental parsley, chopped (instead of buying parsley, I used red pepper that I already had at home)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees C.
Boil rice per instructions listed on package, or make instant rice. Meanwhile roast bite-size pieces of sweet potato in olive oil for 25 minutes or until slightly browned and almost cooked. After 25 minutes, toss sweet potato and  place nuts and sliced red peppers in roasting pan for 5-7 minutes until toasted (make sure they don’t burn!).
In a bowl, combine brown rice, chickpeas and shallots and honey/balsamic mixture. Once cooled, add sweet potato, walnuts and red pepper.

Serves 4 side dishes or 2 main dishes. 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Inside Out Spring Roll Salad

Serves 4; Prep Time 30 mins; Cook Time 2 mins; Ready In 35 mins

2 oz Bean Thread, mung bean noodles
3 cups Shredded Napa Cabbage
1 cup Torn Watercress
1 Carrot, cut into matchstick thin strips
½ cup Seedless Cucumber, cut into matchstick thin strips
½ cup Red Bell Pepper, cut into matchstick thin strips
1 Green Onion, minced
1 cup Chopped Baby Corn
2 Tbsp Snipped Cilantro
2 Tbsp Snipped Mint JA prefers w/o the mint

1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
1 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Minced Ginger Root
1 Large Clove Garlic, crushed 1/2 will do...
½ tsp Lime Zest
Garnish- Black Sesame Seeds

Soak the bean threads in warm water to cover for 10 minutes or till pliable. Drain, then cook in boiling water till the noodles expand and appear glasslike, 1-2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again. Cut into 4-inch lengths. Place in a large bowl along with the rest of the salad ingredients. In a small bowl whisk together the ingredients for the dressing till well combined; toss with the salad to evenly coat. Garnish with sesame seeds.

COMMENTS: This recipe was the winner of Chinese Recipe contest.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Skittle Cupcakes

If you add skittles to your cupcake batter, they will melt when baked!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Bulgogi (Korean BBQ Beef)

Active time: 30 mins, Ready in: 1  hr 30 mins

2 pounds thinly sliced beef (rib eye or top sirloin)*
3 scallions cut into 2-inch pieces
1 small onion thinly sliced
10 mushroom caps sliced

6 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 Tablespoon brown sugar
2 Tablespoon honey (or 1-1/3 more tablespoons brown sugar)
2 Tablespoon rice wine (or mirin)
2 Tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon grated ginger
2 Tablespoon sesame oil
pinch black pepper
2 teaspoon sesame seeds

Purchase pre-sliced bulgogi meat at any Korean market. Pay a little more to get good quality meat. If cutting the beef at home, partially freeze for about an hour to firm it up for easier slicing. Cut across the grain into about 1/8-inch thick slices

Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. If using packaged pre-sliced meat, separate the slices. Add the meat and vegetables to the marinade and toss gently to combine everything well. Marinate the meat for about an hour. Grill over charcoal or a smoked wood fire or pan fry in a skillet over high heat until slightly caramelized. (Preheat and lightly oil with sesame oil before adding the meat. If pan frying, do not crowd the skillet.) 

Recipe found on eating and living. Marinade from their chicken bulgogi.

*1.3 lb is sufficient for 3 servings

Friday, March 9, 2012

Green Bean Pasta Salad with Lemon-Thyme Vinaigrette

Total prep & cook time 35 minutes

12 ounces uncooked casarecce pasta Penne pasta may be substituted.
1/2 pound haricots verts (tiny green beans), cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
5 teaspoons lemon zest, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped roasted, salted pistachios Or any other nut you have in your pantry
2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon minced shallots
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
5 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups loosely packed arugula
Toppings: roasted, salted pistachios; Parmesan cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, adding green beans to boiling water during last 2 minutes of cooking time; drain. Rinse pasta mixture with cold running water; drain well.
2. Place pasta mixture, thyme, and 3 tsp. lemon zest in a large bowl; toss gently to combine.
3. Whisk together pistachios, next 5 ingredients, and remaining 2 tsp. lemon zest in a small bowl. Add oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking constantly until blended. Drizzle over pasta mixture. Add arugula, and toss gently to coat. Serve with desired toppings.

May give you garlic breath...
Barbara Lauterbach, Southern Living MARCH 2012 Issue.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Quinoa and Brown Rice Bowl with Vegetables, Shrimp & Thai Chili Sauce

Recipe adopted from Food & Wine Tahini Lemon Quinoa, Brown Rice dish.

1 cup long-grain brown rice
1 cup red quinoa
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 carrot, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1 head of broccoli—stems peeled and sliced into coins, heads cut into small florets
One 12-ounce bunch kale, large stems discarded
1 ripe avocado, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup mung bean sprouts

SAUCE for original recipe Instead of this sauce, I used an Asian Sweet Chili sauce
1/4 cup tahini, at room temperature
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons warm water
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

In a medium saucepan, cover the brown rice with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the rice is just tender, about 40 minutes. Drain and return the rice to the saucepan; keep covered.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the quinoa with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan and simmer over low heat until the quinoa is tender and all of the water has been absorbed, 20 minutes.

In a medium skillet, place the shrimp & asian sauce and simmer until cooked.

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot and cook until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the shiitake, cover and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt and cook, stirring a few times, until tender, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet. Add the broccoli, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring a few times, until deep green, 5 minutes. Add the kale, cover and cook, stirring a few times, until the broccoli and kale are just tender, 4 minutes. Season with salt. Stir in the other vegetables.
In a small bowl, whisk the tahini with the lemon juice, garlic, warm water and crushed red pepper. Season with salt.
Transfer the brown rice and quinoa to bowls. Top with the cooked vegetables, diced avocado and bean sprouts. Serve, passing the tahini sauce at the table.

One Serving 500 cal, 22 gm fat, 2.9 gm sat fat, 69 gm carb, 10 gm fiber, 15 gm protein.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Kale & Shrimp W/French Lentils

Servings: 2.5 Prep Total: 35 Mins
* 1 cup green french lentils
* 1 pound shrimp, peeled (1/2 bag, defrosted)
* 1 bunch kale, ends trimmed and cut into ribbons
* 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
* 2 cloves garlic, minced (or 1)
* 2 Tbs. Herbs De Provence (dried thyme, dried savory, dried majoram, dried rosemary, and dried lavender flowers)
* 1 pinch crushed red pepper
* 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* juice from half a lemon
* 1/4 cup dry white wine (or red if it's all you have at home)
* fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
* 1/2 tsp coarse salt
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Directions:  Cook the lentils in boiling water until tender, 25 minutes. Drain, if necessary.
On a plate, toss the shrimp with the Herbs De Provence and crushed red pepper.
Heat 2 Tbs oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer and sear for 2 minutes. Flip and sear 30 more seconds. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Scrap up the good browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Once the liquid has mostly absorbed, add the garlic and bloom for 30 seconds. Add the kale and cherry tomatoes; saute until wilted, 1 minute.
To the pot with the lentils, add the kale mixture and seared shrimp. Taste and season with salt and pepper, accordingly. Drizzle with remaining oil and spritz with lemon. Toss together and serve with the parsley as garnish!
Comments: Thank you Bev Cooks for the recipe.