Thursday, August 28, 2008
My dad used to make this salmon pretty often, when I lived at home (wow, I guess that was 7 years ago!). The sauce is SO amazing. It tastes very unique. It's sweet, tangy, garlicky and a little rich from the butter. It reminds me of a New Orleans barbecue shrimp sauce. It's so good you'll want to lick your plate! This recipe makes enough for two small salmon filets (about 3 inches long each). It doubles very easily, if you're planning to serve more people. I bake mine, but you can also cook it on the grill or broil it. I served it with roasted butternut squash, green beans and whole wheat couscous (Far East garlic and olive oil brand is awesome- I like to add nuts of some sort when I stir the couscous into the broth. Cashews, almonds and pine nuts all taste great in this).
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 c. ketchup
1/2 tbsp mustard
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire
freshly ground pepper
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
salt and pepper
2 salmon filets, about 3-4 inches long each (I'm not sure how many ounces they would be)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Heat the butter and olive oil in a small saucepan. Add the crushed garlic and sautee for one minute (until it doesn't smell raw anymore). Add the rest of the ingredients, except the lemon juice. Allow the sauce to simmer over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes (do not boil!). Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Place the salmon filets in a small baking dish. Pour the sauce over the filets (you don't have to remove the skin, if you don't want to. It will come right off when the salmon is cooked). Bake the salmon for about 15 minutes, or until it flakes easily with a fork. Do not overbake or it will taste like rubber (yes, I've done this before :) ).
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I've been making a lot of pasta dishes lately because I've been watching Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals pretty frequently and she works with pasta often. This dish was inspired by her Chinese Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe. I decided to leave out the meatballs and used sliced chicken instead that I seasoned with garlic powder, ground ginger, salt and pepper and sauteed before I cooked the veggies. You can definitely serve this over brown rice and leave out the noodles, if you're tired of pasta. But, the whole wheat noodles taste great!
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
2 large chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp ginger powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper
6 green onions sliced on a diagonal
1/3 cup tamari dark soy or regular soy sauce
4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 cups snow peas, thinly sliced on an angle
1 red bell pepper, very thinly sliced
2 inches ginger root, grated
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 pound triple washed spinach, leaves stripped of larger stems, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, available on Asian foods aisle of market
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds, available on Asian foods aisle of market
Place a pot of water on to boil for spaghetti. When it comes to a boil, salt the water and add pasta to cook to al dente.
Monday, August 25, 2008
I got this recipe from my Cooking Light magazine collection- I love this magazine! They always have great recipe ideas that are healthy and yummy. I made a few changes to the recipe. I didn't add any cilantro (because it can be so strong and tends to overpower the casserole. However, I've included it before and it tastes great either way.) I substituted cottage cheese for the ricotta, because I've never been a huge fan of the ricotta and the cottage cheese gives the casserole a creamy consistency. It is delicious with fresh corn. You could easily leave out the chicken and make it vegetarian. Here's the original recipe: Chicken Poblano Casserole
3 poblano chiles (about 12 ounces)
1 large red bell pepper (about 8 ounces)
3 ears shucked corn
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
3 cups (12 ounces) preshredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
1/3 cup finely diced red onion
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 (16-ounce) carton lowfat cottage cheese
18 (6-inch) white corn tortillas
3 3/4 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (optional)
1 cup thinly sliced green onions, divided
Cut poblanos and bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place poblanos and bell pepper, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Place corn on baking sheet. Broil 10 minutes or until poblanos and bell pepper are blackened and corn is lightly browned. Place poblanos and bell pepper in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and coarsely chop; set poblanos and bell pepper aside separately. Remove corn kernels from cobs.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Place flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and black pepper in a large saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat until slightly thick (about 12 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Combine 1 cup milk mixture and poblanos in a blender; process until smooth. Stir pureed poblano mixture into remaining milk mixture.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine bell pepper, corn, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 cup Mexican cheese, red onion, eggs, and cottage cheese.
Coat bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup sauce in bottom of dish. Arrange 6 tortillas over sauce, overlapping slightly. Spread half of cottage cheese mixture over tortillas; top with half of chicken. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup green onions and 2/3 cup cheddar cheese. Pour about 1 cup sauce over cheese. Repeat layers with 6 tortillas, remaining cottage cheese mixture, remaining chicken, 1/3 cup green onions, 2/3 cup cheddar cheese, 1 cup sauce, and 6 tortillas. Pour remaining sauce over tortillas. Coat 1 side of foil with cooking spray. Place foil, coated side down, over casserole. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese and 1/3 cup green onions. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 15 minutes.
Nutritional InformationCALORIES 369(29% from fat); FAT 11.9g (sat 6.1g,mono 2.9g,poly 1.2g); IRON 1.8mg; CHOLESTEROL 98mg; CALCIUM 536mg; CARBOHYDRATE 33.8g; SODIUM 594mg; PROTEIN 33.1g; FIBER 3.6g
Monday, August 18, 2008
This was dinner tonight. I saw this recipe on a cooking show and adapted it a little. It is definitely a "crowd pleaser"- it makes a ton! The sauce is not a heavy tomato-based sauce, so the pasta tastes different than you would expect. When Mundo saw me making it, he said, "Did you make Hamburger Helper?" You can imagine my reaction to that, "Are you crazy?! When, in our 6 years of marriage, have I ever made Hamburger Helper??" The funny thing is, that's really what this recipe is. This is just a healthier version :).
1 box whole-wheat rotini pasta
salt for boiling pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lbs ground white turkey meat or lean ground beef
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried basil
ground black pepper
1 carrot or about 6 baby carrots finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried rosemary, crumbled in your hand or chopped
1 c. beef broth
1 28 oz. can whole tomatoes
1 16 oz. container low fat ricotta cheese
1 to 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (low fat mozzarella would work)
Heat olive oil in a large pot/dutch oven. Brown ground meat in olive oil until cooked through and beginning to caramelize. Add the onions, carrots, bay leaf, rosemary, dried basil, pepper and salt. Sautee until onions and carrots are soft (6-8 minutes). Add garlic and sautee 1 minute. Stir in broth and tomatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove bay leaf. Stir in pasta and ricotta. Top with mozzarella. Bake until the cheese begins to brown on top, about 10- 15 minutes.
One night, last week, I had a craving for angel food cake with fresh berries. I had a carton of blueberries in the refrigerator, so they were calling my name. I didn't have a dozen eggs, which you need for angel food cake, so I thought I would try to find a low fat pound cake recipe. I stumbled upon this recipe on Cooking Light's website, Lemon Pound Cake with Mixed Berries.I didn't have any lemons or yogurt, so I altered it just a bit. The end result was a pound cake that tasted just like an angel food cake. It really was quite yummy.
2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. unsalted butter, softened
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup. low-fat sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one 8 x 4 inch loaf pan with cooking spray/flour. Cream butter and sugar in a mixer bowl until fluffy. Add egg whites and egg, beating well. Beat in almond and vanilla extract and sour cream. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter/egg mixture and beat well. Pour batter into loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes (this will release it from the pan- I learned this lesson the hard way). Top with berries coated in a little sugar and a spoonful of whipped cream. So yummy and light!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I halved this recipe when I made it and it made about 16 nice size cookies. They spread a lot when you bake them, so make sure you spread out the balls of dough on the cookie sheet. You can't even tell that they are made with whole wheat flour!
3/4 c. butter
1 c. organic sugar (evaporated cane juice solids- it's unrefined)
1/4 c. molasses
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white wheat or unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 1/2 tsp ginger
More organic sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and molasses and beat well. Combine the flours, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and ginger. (or do what I do- turn off the mixer, pour in all of the dry ingredients and turn back on! My cookies seem to come out just fine using this method!) Gradually add to the mixture in the mixer. Scoop dough into teaspoon size balls. Dip the top of the balls into sugar. Place on cookie sheet, spread apart so they have room to grow.
Bake 8-10 minutes, depending on desired crispiness of cookies. Mine were thin, yet chewy. They are SO tempting and yummy to snack on!
I made these two side dishes this week after a trip to our local Agricenter produce market. They had really fresh okra, heirloom tomatoes and green beans, so I was inspired to make these recipes. The okra and tomatoes I served alongside grilled chicken breast, sauteed corn that I cut off the cob and seasoned with salt, pepper and butter and brown rice pilaf seasoned with sauteed onions, garlic, parsley and chicken broth. I served the green beans with mashed potatoes (I also bought my potatoes at the produce market and they were AWESOME) and steaks that I seasoned with salt pepper and grill seasoning and grilled outside. Yummy dinners!
Southern Okra and Tomatoes
3 cups sliced okra
1 tbsp salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion diced
1 small bell pepper diced
1 large tomato or 2 medium tomatoes diced
1 garlic clove minced
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
Boil the sliced okra in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain well and set aside.
Sautee the onion and bell pepper in oil until tender. Add the garlic. Sautee for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add the okra and season with salt, pepper, flour, butter and sugar (you could also season with cajun seasoning for a little kick). Simmer for 10 minutes and serve.
My Green Beans with Bacon
3 cups fresh green beans, stems removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 slices turkey bacon (or you can use regular bacon if you wish)
1 tbsp water (or more if needed, to deglaze the pan)
salt and pepper to taste
Steam green beans in a steamer basket or in a saucepan with a small amount of water at the bottom (you have to use a lid). Drain and set aside. Sautee the onion in the butter and olive oil until tender and just beginning to brown. Add the bacon. Sautee until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and cook about a minute longer. Stir in the green beans and the water, scrapping off the the browned bits at the bottom of the pan. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Pizzas appear about every 2-3 weeks on our menu. I love to vary the toppings. My favorites are: supreme with turkey pepperoni, bellpeppers, onions, olives, mushrooms and jarred marinara sauce, buffalo chicken pizza with buffalo wing sauce, sliced chicken breast, onions, and lowfat cheddar and barbecue chicken with barbecue sauce, onions, chicken and lowfat cheddar. For a healthy version, use half whole wheat flour and limit the amount of cheese you put on top.
1 cup warm water ( or 1 1/2 cups if making wheat crust)
1 package quick rise yeast
1 teaspoon salt
3 tbsp olive oil
2.5 to 3.5 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour (or 1 cup whole wheat and the rest white)
cornmeal for dusting pizza pans
If making by hand in a regular bowl: Dissolve yeast in water. Add salt and olive oil. Stir in flour until a nice ball of dough forms. Knead on the counter until the dough is nice and smooth. Allow to rise for 30 minutes. Sprinkle pizza pans with cornmeal. Shape into crust and bake.
If making in KitchenAid mixer (my favorite way, of course :) ): Dissolve yeast in mixer bowl. Add salt, olive oil and 2 cups of flour. Turn on mixer with dough hook attachment to speed 2. Add more flour until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl and makes a nice ball. Allow it to continue kneading for 3 minutes. Grease the mixer bowl with cooking spray and allow the dough to rise for 30 minutes. Sprinkle pizza pans with cornmeal. Shape dough into pizza crust.
*For either method, remember that you can heat your oven for 1 minute on the lowest temperature setting, then turn it off and put the bowl of dough in the oven to rise. Usually guarantees a good rise.
When I make these in my pressure cooker I don't soak the beans. However, they can be made on the stove the regular way by soaking the beans over night or quick soaking them in hot water for an hour or so before cooking. These are a family favorite that we serve every Christmas Eve as a Cuban tradition. I served them over brown rice (now that's some serious fiber, baby!) with sauteed plantains (maduros- the sweet version, when the skin is nice and yellow with brown spots) and a nice salad. It was a great vegetarian meal!
One 1 lb bag of black beans, rinsed (soaked if cooking the regular way on the stove)
8 cups of water
1 1/2 green bell peppers cut into large pieces
1 large onion cut into large pieces
4 cloves minced garlic
1 bay leaf
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
1/4 c. olive oil
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp oregano
1 small can tomato sauce
Combine all of the ingredients in a large pot or pressure cooker. If cooking in a large pot, simmer for about 3-4 hours, until the beans are nice and tender, stirring periodically. If cooking in a pressure cooker, bring up to high pressure and cook 45 minutes.
Once beans are cooked, add:
2 tsp vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
2 tbsp sherry or cooking wine
2 tbsp olive oil
Remove the pieces of bellpepper and onion with about 1/2 cup of the beans and place in a blender. Puree. Pour back into the beans. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so. Serve over rice or with flour tortillas and sour cream.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Yes, people, I actually made my first batch of homemade bagels today! They came out SO good, too! I am extremely proud of myself. I love to experiment with baking new things, but there is never a guarantee that my bread/rolls/bagels :) will come out even remotely correct. The bagel experiment, however, was a smashing success! (Yes, I have a lot of time on my hands). The next time I make them, I'm going to try using half whole wheat flour. I sprinkled sesame seeds on top of this batch. I think breakfast bagels with eggs, cheese and ham will be on the menu tomorrow morning!
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp white sugar
3 c. bread flour (I used all purpose and they came out just fine)
1 package fast rising or regular yeast
3 quarts boiling water
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp cornmeal
1 egg white
poppy seeds, salt, dried onions, sesame seeds, etc. for toppings
Make dough using a bread maker on the dough setting, by hand, or using a kitchenaid mixer. For the mixer version, dissolve the yeast in warm water. Add the salt, sugar and flour. Using the bread hook attachment on speed 2, combine the ingredients until it makes a ball of dough. Continue mixing for about 3 minutes, in order to knead the dough. Allow dough to rise in a warm, dry place for 30 minutes (or preheat your oven for 1 minute on the lowest setting, then turn it off and place the bowl in the oven. Fool proof way to help dough rise).
Cut dough into 8 equal pieces and roll each piece into a small ball. Flatten balls. Poke a hole in the middle of each with your thumb. Twirl the dough on your finger or thumb to enlarge the hole, and to even out the dough around the hole. Cover bagels with a kitchen towel and leave them on your counter for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, sprinkle a large, ungreased baking sheet with cornmeal. Carefully transfer bagels to boiling water (I boiled 4 at a time). Boil for 1 minute on each side, them remove to a paper towel for a second and transfer to the baking sheet. Glaze tops with egg white and sprinkle with toppings.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
This was dinner tonight. It only took me about 20 minutes to make it from start to finish. It was so fresh tasting. The agricenter produce market has beautiful tomatoes that would work great in this dish. Unfortunately, I was only able to make it to Kroger today, so we had to live with slightly ripe roma tomatoes. I served it with an italian salad made of: romaine lettuce, black olives, tomatoes, and cucumbers dressed with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, oregano (dash) and parmesan. It was yummy!
4 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 small onion, finely diced
1 tbsp dried basil
dash of red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
8 roma tomatoes, diced
4 tbsp water
1/2 box whole wheat angel hair pasta
Grated parmesan and mozzerella to taste
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the onion until tender. Add the garlic, basil, and red pepper flakes and saute until the garlic becomes fragrant and tender (about 2 minutes). Add the tomatoes and the water and season generously with salt and pepper. Allow to simmer about 10 minutes until the tomatoes release their juices and a nice sauce develops. Cook the pasta according to package directions. Stir into the sauce. Top with grated parmesan and mozzarella, if desired.
*You could also add diced zucchini or eggplant when you add the tomatoes. Italian chicken sausage would be a nice addition if you didn't want it to be vegetarian.
Monday, August 4, 2008
I modified this recipe that I originally saw on Rachael Ray's website. It makes a TON of lasagna, so it would be great for entertaining. Mundo really liked it!
2 tbsp olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cooked and shredded
1 lb sliced button mushrooms
2 medium sliced zuchini
salt and pepper
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 c. skim milk
2 c. chicken broth
1 box whole wheat lasagna or oven-ready white lasagna
2 1/2 cups shredded lowfat mozzarella
1 small container low fat cottage cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the shrooms and sautee. Once they begin to turn golden brown, add the zuchini and garlic and sautee until tender. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the shredded chicken. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the flour and stir for one minute until it bubbles (you don't want a brown roux, just cook long enough to get rid of the raw flour taste). Add the milk and chicken broth and season with salt and pepper. Bring up to a bubble, stirring constantly. Then, simmer 4-5 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Assemble the lasagna by ladling a small amount (about 1/2 cup) of sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with three noodles. Top with 1/3 of the chicken veggie mixture, 1/3 of the cottage cheese and about 1/2 cup of cheese. Pour 1 cup of sauce over the layer. Then, add two more layers. Top off the lasagna with the last three noodles, the remaining sauce and the remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly. Serve with a fresh dinner salad and whole wheat french bread and you have a perfect weeknight dinner!
Although the first recipe I posted was quite contrary to healthy eating habits, Mundo and I generally like to stick with a pretty healthy diet. This granola is a great snack and tastes awesome with yogurt. You can experiment with different dried nuts and fruits.
3 cups oatmeal
1/2 c. chopped almonds
1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnuts
1/8 c. whole flax seed
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. pineapple or apple juice
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. chopped dried apricots
1/4 c. raisins.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine the oatmeal, nuts and flax seed in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, wisk together the brown sugar, salt, syrup, honey, juice, almond extract, cinnamon and 1 tbsp olive oil. Pour over the oatmeal mixture and stir to combine. Spray the bottom of a large jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Spread the mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and stir in the dried fruit. Allow to cool. Smell your house- it smells yummy :)
We had an amazing weekend in church life with Christine Caine from Hillsong Church Australia. I was asked to make something for our green room and decided that these cinnamon rolls would be a nice treat. You can make them a little healthier by adding 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 white flour and by using lowfat butter for the filling. Man are these good!
*I make the dough in my KitchenAid mixer so I don't have to knead it by hand.
- 3/4 c. low-fat milk
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 c. butter
- 2 packages yeast (I use quick rise)
- 1/3 c. warm water
- 3 eggs
- 1 box instant vanilla pudding mix
- 5 1/2 to 6 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
Combine milk, butter, salt and sugar in a microwave-safe dish. Microwave until the butter is melted. Beat the eggs and pour in a little of the milk mixture to temper the eggs. Pour the egg mixture into the milk mixture. Dissolve the yeast in the water in the mixer bowl. Add the milk/egg mixture. Add 5 cups of flour and the pudding mix. Begin mixing the dough on speed 2 with the dough hook (or mix by hand). Gradually add more flour until the dough cleans the bowl. Beat for 4 minutes longer, or knead by hand until the dough is nice and smooth (baby's bottom :) ). Using a non-stick spray, grease the mixer bowl to make sure the dough won't stick while rising. Allow to rise in a warm, dry place until doubled in size (about 30 minutes for quick rise).
- 1 c. white sugar
- 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 c. butter
- 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
- 1/2 c. chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- 1/2 c. raisins (optional)
Roll dough out to make a 10 x 24" rectangle. Combine all of the filling ingredients and spread evenly over the rectangle of dough (make sure you go to the edges so it's completely covered). Roll up the dough from the wide (24" side). Cut into 24 one inch rolls and place in two greased 13 x 9 inch baking dishes. Cover with a towel and allow to rise until doubled in size. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until light brown around the edges.
Cream Cheese Icing:
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 1/2 c butter, softened
- 3 c. powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 3 tsp. milk
Combine all ingredients and beat in the mixer with the wisk attachment until light and fluffy. You can use a hand-held mixer as well. Spread over the warm rolls. Wow, they are SO good!!