Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate Milk Dud Cookies with Sea Salt

Where do I begin...oh baking I really don't like you much.  I am really good at making pie, so I like that kind of baking.  I'm about to start making my own bread every week so that will be baking.... but if we are talking about baking in general?! um NO THANKS! Though I did enjoy hanging out with my dear friend Nyssa and the "wolf pack" while making these ugly cookies and yes they taste very yummy they just don't look pretty.

 Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
Makes 2 dozen

The Ingredients
1 1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
5 tablespoons butter
7 tablespoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 box Milk Duds, chopped into halves

The Process
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheet.

2.  In large mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, and sea salt  mix well and set aside.

3.  In medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat.  Remove from heat when melted and add cocoa powder and both sugars.

4.  Next add yogurt and vanilla.  When well mixed add this mixture to the large bowl of dry ingredients.

5.  While mixing fold Milk Duds into the dough as well.

6.  Taking large spoonfuls of dough and put on greased pan.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  When done take out of oven and let cool for 10 minutes.

These cookies are very gooey and rich, much like awesome brownies.  They would also be very good mashed up with vanilla ice cream!!!

Lemon Cilantro Rice

This recipe also came from Closet Cooking which I mentioned in my previous blog.  Though instead of lemon, the original recipe calls for lime.  I used lemon because it is what I had and because I used lemon in the Tandoori Chicken.  This rice is super simple, it is pretty much pilaf with a little extra, and it was a perfect side dish to balance out the spiciness of the Tandoori Chicken.

Adapted from Closet Cooking
Serves 4

 The Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 cup brown basmati rice
2 1/2 cups water
1 hand full of cilantro, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced

The Process
1.  Heat oil on medium heat in saucepan.  When hot add onions, cook for 5 minutes.

2.  Add garlic to saucepan and cook for 2 more minutes.  Next add the dry rice to the saucepan and toast the rice for about 3 minutes.

3.  Add water to saucepan and bring to a boil.  Then cover and reduce for about 40 minutes or until rice is done.

4.  When rice is done add the cilantro and lemon juice and stir well. (note: I also added soy sauce after, very good).

So like I said a nice and simple rice and flavor to compliment the Tandoori Chicken.

Tandoori Chicken Skewers

While trying to use up all my food before buying more I was presently surprised that I had all these ingredients laying around except for the lemon, which my lovely friend brought over.  This recipe is based off of one on a food blog I love to read called closet cooking.  This blog covers so many different flavors and with everything that I have made I have yet to be even slightly disappointed.  I did change the recipe around some, especially since I didn't just have garam masala laying around, in fact I created it with a recipe that is posted on closet cooking.  I paired this tandoori chicken with lemon cilantro rice and steamed red cabbage with soy sauce and butter.  My lovely friend Elisa also brought over a scrumptious bottle of slightly sparkling pinot grigio, it went very well with the chicken.  And now the recipe:

 Adapted from Closet Cooking
Serves 2

The Ingredients
1/2 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 medium red onion, grated
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon ginger, grated
1 tablespoon garam masala (I didn't have whole spices so I halved the portions and used ground spices)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pound chicken breast, cubed for skewer
Salt to taste

The Process
1.  Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl, then add chicken.  Let marinate for at least 1 hour.

2.  Turn oven on to broil, and put chicken on skewers.

3.  Grease pan and place skewers on pan.

4.  Broil for about 5 minutes each side, or until cooked through.

Enjoy!  It is a little spicy, but in the most perfect way.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Cauliflower Fritters

I was absolutely blown away by these! I love making different kinds of vegetable fritters because we all know fritters aren't the best thing in the world for you so why not make them more healthy by making them with vegetables! I have made lovely spinach fritters before that I should really make again to put on the blog...but that is my inspiration behind making these, well and for my vegetarian friend Jovan:)  These fritters were definitely the perfect compliment to the garbanzo bean tomato curry that I made as well.  These are soo fluffy and egg-y and amazing...just sayin' 

Adapted from Sunset
Servings 4

The Ingredients
1 cauliflower head medium to large size, washed and broken into florets
1 tablespoon salt
3 large eggs
3 cloves garlic, minced of pressed
1 teaspoon hot sauce (any) we used Cholula
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Olive oil

The Process
1.  Preheat oven to 200 degrees to keep the batches of done fritters warm.

2.  In a 6-8 quart saucepan bring water to boil and add cauliflower florets, reduce heat to simmer and cover for 10 minutes.  Drain cauliflower and mash with fork and let cool until no more steam is seen.

3.  In large bowl mix together eggs, salt, garlic, hot sauce, flour, baking powder, paprika, and pepper.  When cauliflower is cool add to bowl and mix well.

4.  In large skillet heat up olive oil over medium-high heat, and add a heaping spoonful of fritter mixture to the pan for each fritter.  The fritters will take about 6-8 minutes to cook, so flip about every 4 minutes.

So as I said in the recipe for the garbanzo tomato curry, serve these fritters with the curry and it makes a wonderful meal and add cottage cheese dollops they will make the meal even better:)

Also some more nutritional facts

Nutritional info: Calories 107; Sat. Fat 1.5g; Protein 6.8g; Fiber 2.2g

Garbanzo-Tomato Curry

This recipe I found while trying to find a yummy vegetarian meal to cook for my lovely friend Jovan.  After being picky and wanting a new sort of flavor in my life I decided that this dish coupled with cauliflower fritters would be perfect new taste and adventure (nerdy I know but it IS an adventure) haha.  Anyways this meal also can after a hellish weekend full of stomach flu and rice boring and shitty. Anyways I'm feeling better and cooking away again:)

Adapted from Sunset
Serves 4

The Ingredients
1 small yellow onioin, chopped finely
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 can tomatoes, diced (keep fluid)
Olive oil
Cottage cheese for garnish (optional)

The Process
1.  In a large skillet add some olive oil and heat over medium high heat, then add onion, garlic and ginger.  Cook until mixture begins to brown about 6 mintues.

2.  Add garbanzo beans, tomatoes (with juice), curry powder, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, cayenne and salt to taste, mix well.  Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for about 6-10 minutes to thicken.

3.  Put on plate (with cauliflower fritters) and put some dollops of cottage cheese on all and eat eat eat!

This is obviously a very healthy meal but let me give you some nutritional facts to make you feel extra good about what you are eating:)

Nutritional info: Calories 264; Sat. Fat .7g; Protein 13g; Fiber 8.2g

um awesome:)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Stuffed Mushrooms

I made this wonderful appetizer for thanksgiving, because I mean more food is always better right? :)  I liked this recipe I found because it was one of the only simple expensive sea food stuffing or sausage involved.  I made these, since I am still not the host of the family thanksgiving I don't get to make many decisions on what we make for dinner, I usually just have to help prepare what is being made.  Not saying I don't love the meal every's just hard cause this year I was looking up all these new recipes that sounded sooo good and I didn't get to make any of here was my simple and easy contribution to thanksgiving dinner.  Well I did help prepare the green beans too...but you know....COME ON!

Makes 28 mushrooms
Adapted from Giada

The Ingredients
1/2 cup Italian-style dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Asagio cheese, finely grated
3 garlic cloves, pressed
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
28 large white mushrooms, stemmed
Salt and Pepper to taste

The Process
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

2.  Stir together in medium bowl: bread crumbs, Asagio cheese, garlic, parsley, mint, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Mix well.

3.  Pull stems out of mushrooms and scoop filling into each mushroom.

4.  Spray cookie sheet with oil and put mushrooms on it and put in oven.

5.  Bake for 25 minutes or until tops get golden brown.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Burgers: Bleu Cheese/Balsamic Sauce and Roasted Veggies

The evening began at my friend Rebecca's house with some beverages and watching Man V, Food on the travel channel.  The episode was all about burgers, big, spicy etc.  Anyways I decided I must have a burger it had been so long, while I sat there I was like ok I'm so tired I don't want to make one, but I also am needing to save money cause its the holiday I decided I had no choice I must cook one up tonight, which we all know I normally love to do....but lately I've been pretty tired.  So as I went to meet up with my other lovely friend Elisa I called her and said come outside, get in my car and lets go to the store I have a vision! Once we were finally back home we began the process to success!  I will say that obviously this is a burger and we used a ton of cheese, so this is one of my fat kid recipes!!! Enjoy! Also please notice in the picture that there is cheese oozing out of the burger...yep that is because I also wanted a Juicy Lucy, and if u don't know what that is look it up:)

Makes 2 burgers

The Ingredients
4 slices of sourdough bread
2/3 pound lean ground beef
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Italian spice
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
4oz creamy bleu cheese
1/4 cup milk
1/8 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/8 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 zucchini, sliced
1 small head of broccoli, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, chopped
1 small tomato, sliced
1 cup mixed greens, (for lettuce) 

The Process
1.  Start by turning on oven to 450 degrees and in glass cooking dish toss olive oil, and some salt and pepper to taste with zucchini, red onion, broccoli, and two cloves of the minced garlic.  Put in oven and cook for about 15-20min or until roasted.

2.  Next take the balsamic vinegar and put in sauce pan over medium heat.  This will take about 20min to reduce, and you want a slow steady simmer, not boiling because then the vinegar will burn.  Stir often and just pay attention to it.

3.  Time to spice up the burger meat, in medium mixing bowl add raw beef, pepper, salt, Worcestershire sauce, chili flakes, italian spice, garlic powder, and rest of minced garlic, mix well with hands.

4.  Mix together the two grated cheeses.

5.  Heat up pan over medium-high heat and take meat mix and flatten into two thin burgers.  Add half of grated cheese mixture to the center of each burger and fold side over to look like a taco.  Then reshape each burgers slightly to make round again. Add burgers to the pan and cook each side about 4mins (because they are thin they will cook fast), or cook until done.

6.  Put sourdough bread slices in toaster and toast.

7.  Slice tomatoes and rinse mixed greens and set aside. 

8.  When balsamic vinegar is reduced add the bleu cheese and milk and whisk until smooth and blended and take off of stove.

9.  To assemble first put roasted veggies on bread, then the burger patty, then the balsamic bleu cheese sauce (lots of it), then put on tomatoes and mixed greens then other piece of bread and eat eat eat!!!

We also added our own bacon to the burger but its not necessary because the burger was so flavorful already.  There is a lot of balsamic cheese sauce so definitely dip your burger in it too.  And it is pretty awesome because I felt like I was in one of those Carl's Junior commercials with sauce dripping everywhere and big ol' burger in my hands....but it was cooler cause Carl's Junior is nasty and my burger was gourmet!!

I also wanted to give props to this hot sauce shelve in my friend Elisa's fridge because every fridge needs to have that much variety of hot sauce! I approve!!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Mom's Birthday Dinner

Success! After many emails between my father, me, and my older brother we successfully pulled off my mum's birthday meal:)  My older brother hosted the event in his lovely home in Sellwood, and my aunt, uncle and cousin joined as well.  My dad made the chicken based on a recipe I found on
The chicken was apricot chili tequila chicken thighs, and they tasted sooo good:) As for the rest of the meal, I made the potato "salad" which is featured on my blog under gourmet, and I roasted green beans and a red bell pepper, with a pinot grigio vinegar based dressing.  My aunt and uncle brought an amazing chocolate mousse cake to top off the meal.  It was a perfect way to end an awesome yet exhausting weekend.  Now time to prepare for thanksgiving!!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken and Asparagus Taco Time

These tacos were inspired by what was in my fridge and the awesome hot paprika that my lovely friend Jovan brought back for me from Germany.  Plus who doesn't love tacos? No one I know.  Anyways this is also my one fun thing I'm letting myself do today (writing this post) because otherwise I have a crazy amount of school work to do.  I have three papers due in the next two weeks with one due tomorrow and one on sunday.....yes it is intense, but that is graduate school right? Right?....well I think so.  Anyways on to the tacos these are very healthy and yes spicy but as we all know you can control your own amount of spice, but be warned if you follow these directions expect spicy:) And once again this recipe is by yours truly:)

Serves 2-3


1 large chicken breast, cubed

1 bunch of asparagus, chopped in two inch pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon hot paprika or cayanne

1/8 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon nature's seasoning (optional)

1 tablespoon Tapatio sauce

3 tablespoons plain yogurt

3 tablespoons salsa

Pepper and salt to taste

Olive oil

Small corn tortillas

Extra sharp cheddar, shredded

The Process
1.  Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat, when hot add garlic and cook for 1 minute.

2.  Begin steaming asparagus, steam for 2-3 minutes (al dente).

3.  After 1 minute add chicken to skillet and turn heat up to medium-high, cook for about 5 minutes.

4.  Drain asparagus and add to skillet, turn heat back down to a low-medium.

5.  Add to skillet: hot paprika, cumin, garlic salt, nature's seasoning, chili powder, Tapatio sauce, plain yogurt, salsa and salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 2 more minutes or until mixture is hot and chicken is cooked through.

6.  In the mean time warm up tortillas.

7.  Assemble: tortilla, cheese, hot mixture of chicken and asparagus then top with more plain yogurt, salsa, and Tapatio.

8.  Eat!

I know it seems odd to have asparagus in tacos, but it is surprisingly and wonderfully delicious:)  Also note that I realize extra sharp cheddar is fattening but when you use extra sharp cheddar you can use a small amount because the flavor is so big, so keep that in mind.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Lamb and Blood

No I did not make this delicious meal...wish I was that good at gravy and sauceness.  On sunday evening, halloween, I decided to go up to my parents house to have a family dinner and watch scary movies.  My dad just invested in 20lbs of lamb that his friend raised and butchered.  We don't eat much lamb but it is nice to have variety.  This was a leg of the lamb and it was sooo amazing!  Completely infused with garlic and more.  Not to mention the gravy....oh my god the gravy.  I'm not sure my dad has ever made a gravy this good, we were all sitting at the table dousing our meat in it and trying not to drool. 

Now to the blood part of this post.  We ended up watching the movie my bloody valentine.  It was a bad movie don't watch it.  There was tons of blood which doesn't bother me but it was a little awkward to watch with my parents haha.  Anyways all in all awesome evening with motivation to have my dad teach me the ways of sauce.

Thai Beef Salad

This was absolutely amazing, probably my favorite as of recent.  Though a word of warning it is gnarly the next day because the cucumbers have so much water in them that it waters down the whole salad blarg!  Anyways I also forgot to take a picture so I will just not have one, but imagine lovely green with the contrast of rare red beef:) Yum!  I made this one for my wonderful friend Brittany, she came over and it was one of those nights when you hardly remember to turn on music (which is rare for me) because you are both talking about life in depth. Twas lovely.  Alright on to the recipe.

Servings 4
From NPR

1 pound sirloin steak
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 hot red thai chili, chopped
2 cucumbers, thinly sliced
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup mint, chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper

The Process
1. Preheat oven to broil.  Rub steak with garlic powder and a little salt and pepper.  Place in greased pan and broil each side 3-4 minutes for medium rare.

2.  Remove steak from oven and put in fridge for one hour.

3.  In the meantime, chop up and add to large bowl the cucumbers, shallots, cilantro and mint.

4.  To make dressing whisk together in small bowl fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, hot chili and a little pepper.

5.  When steak is done cooling thinly slice and add to the large bowl, then add dressing and mix all together and eat.

It is a wonderful low fat meal that is refreshing and tastes good even on a cold day.  But like I said it does not keep well, so make sure and eat it all up!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tzatziki Sauce

I love tzatziki sauce! It is good on almost everything, and nothing can compare to the wonderful sour taste of plain yogurt.  I was encouraged to make this to accompany my leftover Spinach and Tofu Triangles (the last post I did), and they were perfect together.  Also might I add that the Blazers won against the Suns last night and they looked amazing! Go Blazers!  So here we go
makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 medium-small cucumber, grated (skin and all)
1 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, pressed (in garlic presser or minced)
1 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

The Process
1.  Combine all ingredients in small bowl and mix well.  Let chill for at least 1/2 hour and serve.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Spinach and Tofu Triangles

Well how should I start this.  I made these yesterday and yesterday was a better day.  Today is one of those days where everything hits you at once even though you knew all these things were happening in your life.  Today was that day for me and the coldness outside helps but it doesn't.  I just want to go home (at work) and have a warm meal made for me with a large TV with cable so I can watch the Blazers game...  Guess I will keep wishing and write about these amazing Spinach and Tofu Triangles instead.

The Ingredients
1/2 package whole wheat phyllo dough
1 10oz. package frozen chopped spinach defrosted, and water squeezed out
1 medium red onion, chopped finely
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 8oz package of extra firm tofu, crumbled
1 tablespoon baby dill, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup reduced fat feta cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper

The Process
1. In skillet heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, add garlic and onions and cook until clear. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. When onions and garlic are clearish, take off heat and add spinach, lemon juice, tofu, dill, parsley, feta, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.

3.  On dry surface lay out 2 sets (4 layers thick) of phyllo dough and cut each set into 9 rectangles.

4.  Spray all the rectangle with olive oil, then add about 2 tablespoons full of mixture to each rectangle.

5.  Fold rectangles over to look like triangles and take a fork to press the edges together.

6.  Lightly spray olive oil over all rectangles, grease a large cookie sheet and place all of the triangles onto sheet and place in oven.

7.  Takes about 25 minutes to bake, or bake until golden brown.

I paired these with a large steamed artichoke and it was an amazing combination.  I would also suggest making a tzatziki sauce to dip the triangles in.  I used balsamic vinegar as a dip which tasted lovely as well.

This is a pretty healthy meal too considering all the spinach and tofu involved:) And vegetarian friendly.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pimento Cheese Spread

Alright as I have warned you in the past, there will be some fat kid recipes on my blog, because I mean truly who isn't one at heart....I mean seriously.  So here we go.  This is inspired by Russell Street BBQ, every so often...well more often than not my wonderful friend Rebecca (who has an amazing food blog too) and I go to Russell Street BBQ to grab a drink and their oh so awesome pimento cheese spread.  Now the other day we had one of our rendezvous after a shitty monday at work, and we got our typical drinks and we about to order the pimento cheese spread....but no they were all out.  Before I almost lost my shit we decided on the Frito chili pie, while it was good I still had to have two cocktails to make up for it.  So since then I have been craving the pimento cheese goodness like no other and I decided to make it, knowing of coarse that it wouldn't be as good as Russell St. and guess what I was right....but still this version was pretty damn good.  So make this and get fat and be happy:)

From Paula Deen
makes 3 cups (i.e. more than enough)

3 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup monterey jack, grated
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon House seasoning (recipe follows)
3 tablespoons pimentos, diced
2 teaspoons grated onion

The Process
1. Mix together cream cheese, cheddar, monterey jack, mayo, pimentos, grated onion, and house seasoning. 

2.  Serve on mini garlic toasts.

House Seasoning:
1/2 cup salt
1/8 cup black pepper
1/8 cup garlic powder
mix well

I will say that it is a pretty salty recipe even for my likings (and i love salt), so be weary. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Healthy Chicken Pot Pie

Soooooo this pot pie is sooo amazing, ask Elisa, she was the lucky guest for dinner:)  I'm pretty sure her pug Chula liked it too.  I was looking through many recipes looking for a healthier version of chicken pot pie because often times even when you make the crust with whole wheat flour, there ends up being sooo much butter involved.  Otherwise chicken pot pie doesn't contain too much fat when home made.  This came about on one of the wonderful cold and sunny days last week here in Portland, Oregon.  Fall is my absolute favorite season for many reasons, but one of the top is the internal instinct to cook up hearty and warm meals.  This meal is extremely nutritious and it helped me get through a week full of homework, meetings, work and then a weekend full of class...... thank you chicken pot pie.
Adapted from Ellie Krieger
Serves 3

2 medium sized chicken breasts, cut into cubes
2 handfuls of crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 head broccoli, chopped
2 leeks, bottom 4 inches only, wash and chopped
1/2 small red onion, chopped
2 medium golden potatoes, cubed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
5 sheets frozen whole wheat phyllo dough, thawed (I found this at New Seasons)
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
olive oil

The Process
1.  Preheat oven to 350F, and spray bread loaf pan with cooking spray.

2.  Heat up skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil, while it heats season chicken with salt and pepper.

3.  Remove chicken and set aside.  Add more olive oil to pan and add potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms and red onion.  Cook for about 3 minutes.

4.  Add garlic and leeks to skillet and cook for 1 additional minute.

5.  Add milk to skillet. Stir flour into chicken broth until dissolved and add to skillet.

6.  Bring mixture to boil, then lower to medium-low heat and cover and simmer for 10minutes stirring occasionally.

7.  Add chicken, parsley and thyme, stir and set aside.

8.  Take 5 sheets of phyllo and place center of sheets over the center of pan and press down so all corners are touching pan.

9.  Add all of the filling from skillet, then fold end of phyllo sheets over top of filling to cover.

10. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top and put in oven for 30 minutes or until filling is bubbling.

11. Take out and let cool for 5 minutes to set, and enjoy!

I think that steamed broccoli or sauteed spinach would be a great side dish to go with the pot pie, though I just ate the pot pie:)


Monday, October 4, 2010

Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad

This is me really trying to revive my cooking blog.  So I had made this salad a while back, perhaps even before the blog existed.  And I made it once again last week, needless to say I forgot how amazing and healthy it is.  I found it tastes best fresh, but the day after is fine as well.  All the fresh herbs can get a little soggy even though their flavor becomes stronger with time.  Many life changes recently but now I'm getting back on track and hopefully will keep up the blogging, because I love it.

Adapted from Sunset:

Serves 5

2 cups uncooked wheat berries
7 cups water
1 jar (6oz) marinated artichoke hearts
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup feta, crumbled
1/3 cup calamata olives, pitted and sliced
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/4 italian parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste.

The Process
1.  First bring to boil the wheat berries and water, then simmer and cook until done, about 1 hour, then strain.

2.  While wheat berries are cooling, combine all ingredients in one large bowl.

3. Add wheat berries, mix thoroughly, and add salt and pepper to taste.

There is a lot of chopping involved and the wheat berries take a while to cook, but besides that it is a fresh easy meal.

Nutritional info: cal:207, protein:5.4g, fat:9g, fiber:4.8g
Picture from:

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm Sorry

Web design and research class are slowly killing me. I hope to survive and keep cooking sometime in the near future.  Until then just know I have been eating well, but missing the joys of life (cooking, and writing about it).

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pork Stir Fry with Collard Greens

So normally with meals like this I don't follow a recipe because over many years stir fry has become second nature....well and honestly who can't make a tasty stir fry?  Anyways I made this one because it is a low fat and healthy recipe, which lets admit stir fry's can get a little heavy sometimes.  Once again I used pork, this is because I was at my parents house waiting to watch the second Suns vs. Lakers game (go suns) and I got bored and wanted to make them dinner...and as usual they already pulled meat out of the freezer that morning to eat for dinner and yes it was pork.  I swear I don't normally eat this much pork.  So here it is:

Serves 4
Adapted from Cooking Light

The Ingredients
1 package (about 4 ounces) uncooked rice noodles
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound lean pork chops, thinly sliced
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
5 teaspoons sesame oil
1 bunch of collard greens, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, grated or jar
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
Sriracha sauce

The Process
1.  Prepare rice noodles according to package. When noodles are done mix in 1 teaspoon sesame oil, 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce, and cilantro.

2.  In a small bowl combine pork and 1 tablespoon soy sauce and set aside.

3.  In medium mixing bowl combine remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, chicken broth, hoisin sauce, cornstarch, and whisk until smooth.

4.  In large skillet heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil over medium-high heat.  Add pork mixture to skillet, saute for 3 minutes or until browned then remove pork from skillet.

5.  Add remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil to same skillet and add collard greens, carrots, ginger, and garlic, saute about 2 minutes.

6.  Add pork to skillet once more and stir in broth mixture, simmer about 3 minutes or until thick while stirring occasionally.

7.  Remove from heat and stir in green onions.  Serve pork mixture over noodle mixture.

Nutritional info:
Calories:395, Fat:9.6g, Sat. Fat:2.1g, Carbs:43.7g, Protein:28.1g, Fiber:2.4g

I will say while I did enjoy the dish I don't prefer sweet things and hoision sauce is definitely sweet.

Picture from:

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Breakfast Casserole with Turkey Bacon

This recipe intrigued me the minute I found it.  Not only does it contain some of my favorite breakfast foods, but it is healthy!  I normally don't eat heavy breakfasts unless I go out to eat or it is a brunch.  But once again this was up in Hood River when my mission was to make sure my grandparents were well fed, so here it is:)

Serves 4 (it's deceiving)
Adapted from Cooking Light

The Ingredients
6 turkey bacon slices
1 cup red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (30 ounce) package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (10ish ounce) can of condensed 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
Cooking spray

The Process
1.  Spray cooking oil in large skillet and turn to medium heat, add turkey bacon and cook till crisp.  Take turkey bacon out of pan and set aside.

2.  In same pan add red onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.  (Add more cooking spray when needed throughout cooking process).

3.  Then add potatoes to skillet and cover and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4.  Preheat oven to 350F, and spray 11 x 7 cooking dish with cooking oil.

5.  In a big bowl combine crumbled turkey bacon, 1/2 cup sharp cheese, green onions, sour cream, salt, pepper, and soup and mix well.

6.  When potatoes are done add them to large bowl with mixture from above, mix well but gingerly.

7.  Put potato mixture into cooking dish and sprinkle the last 1/2 cup sharp cheese over the top.

8.  Cover dish with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove tin foil and bake for another 30 minutes until slightly crispy and brown on top.

It was really really tasty!  Not to mention it kept me going all morning.  Here are some nutritional facts:
Calories:293, Fat:10g, Sat Fat:4.8g, Carbs:41g, Protein:12.2g, Fiber:4.7g
So you can see for such a delicious breakfast casserole it is pretty darn healthy

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Stuffed Pork Chops

So this recipe came about in Hood River visiting my grandparents.  Whenever I go visit them I insist on making them dinner for several reasons.  First my grandmother thinks that 1 Cornish game hen can feed 4 people, second they are from the Midwest so spices don't exist in their cooking world, third I really don't want to eat more of that gnarly elk my grandpa caught 2 + years ago, and fourth they love any and everything I make.  My grandmother also swears that she doesn't like garlic, so every time I cook I make sure to put a generous portion of garlic in and she doesn't even notice....funny how the brain works.  Anyways this was a delicious dish.....not bad for you but also not super healthy because my grandparents could afford to gain some weight.

Adapted from Giada
Serves 4

The Ingredients
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 sun-dried tomatoes, diced
1 (10 ounce) bag of frozen spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup (2 ounces) goat cheese
1/3 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
4 pork chops (from the loin on the thicker side)
1 can (8ounces) chicken broth
1/2 lemon, zested
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Olive oil for pan

The Process
1.  Heat up olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute.

2.  To the skillet add sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, salt, pepper, and thyme.  Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.  Transfer mix to a medium bowl.

3.  In bowl with mixture add goat cheese and cream cheese, mix well and set aside.

4.  Cut pockets into the thickest part of each pork chop and season with salt and pepper.  Stuff 1/4 of cheese mixture into each pork chop and set aside.

5.  In small bowl combine chicken broth, lemon, lemon zest, and Dijon mustard, mix well.

6.  Heat up big skillet with fair amount of olive oil in it over medium-high heat.

7.  When skillet is hot add pork chops and half of the broth mixture and cover.  Cook each side for 6 minutes or until done.  When chops are flipped to other side add rest of broth mixture and cover again.

So as you can see this recipe could be on the lighter side but is still semi-healthy considering the contents.  So sit back and enjoy.  I accompanied these with roasted asparagus and a simple salad.

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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

White Bean and Chicken Enchiladas

So for cinco de mayo I always love to cook for the occasion.  I also always seem to end up making fish I decided this year I wanted to switch it up and have an extra healthy version of cinco de mayo.  This month of may I have been trying extra hard to eat very healthy while working out a ton because may 27th I am going to Hawaii with my wonderful boyfriend.  I am excited because we are attending a wedding and creating havoc outdoors.  I will not be sun tanning (waste of time) but I will definitely be swimming and yes it would be nice to at least look good in a bikini especially when I know that the minute my white skin is exposed people will be blinded....but that is a fact about myself that I accepted a long time ago.  Anyways hence the extra healthy here we go

Serves 4 (2 enchiladas each)
Adapted from Cooking Light (but I definitely changed it quite a bit:)

The Ingredients
2 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 (15ouce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup shredded pepper jack and sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons canned and chopped green chiles
2 tablespoons sliced green onions
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 (10ounce) can enchilada sauce
1/4 cup water
8 (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas
1 small roast chicken, shredded
Cooking spray
Salt and pepper to taste
Tapatio (optional)

The Process
1.  Shred all chicken and set aside.

2.  In a food processor combine: sour cream, white beans, 1/2 cup cheese, chiles, onions, cilantro, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.

3.  In a medium skillet combine 1/3 cup enchilada sauce and 1/4 cup water. Turn to medium-low heat.  Dip tortilla in the sauce mixture to soften then set aside on a plate; do this with all tortillas.

4.  Preheat oven to 350F degrees and spray cooking spray in large glass baking dish.

5.  Begin assembling enchiladas place one tortilla in pan add about 3 tablespoons bean mixture down center of tortilla followed by a small handful of shredded chicken.  Roll up tortilla and place seam side down in pan. Repeat with the other 7 tortillas.

6.  Once all 8 enchiladas are lined up in the dish pour rest of enchilada sauce from can over the top and sprinkle the rest of cheese over the top too!

7.  When oven is preheated put enchiladas in oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly.  I also broil them for a minute or two to slight brown the tops.

Please enjoy!

Might I add this meal was accompanied by a wonderful Mexican salad my lovely friend erin made...together we created heaven.  Oh and I made blackjack margaritas to go along with our feast, naturally.

Here is some nutritional info (I believe these numbers are pretty accurate...but I did use real cheese not reduced fat so I upped the fat a little to compensate):
Calories:380, Fat:10g, Sat. Fat:2g, Carbs:70g, Protein:24g, Fiber:7g

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Friday, May 7, 2010


So last night I attempted to make risotto with brown rice... I do realize it is best to use actual risotto or a starchy rice but I thought hey let me try to make a semi-healthy risotto.  After an hour and 15 minutes of stirring I decided that I would eat some crunchy cheesy brown rice.  So not only did the risotto defeat me but I tried a new recipe for a "Greek-Style" roast chicken.  There was quite a process involved not to mention the long hours of waiting while the chicken slowly cooks away in the oven and it was flavorless.  I tasted a slight hint of citrus but when I rubbed the chicken down with eight plus spices I thought for sure flavor was on my side.  Anyways I just needed to share because I am cooking away with my little extra free time in between semesters but this time I was indeed 100% defeated.  The color label indicates my embarrassment...just sayin' :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Peanut Sauce

So in a search for a peanut sauce that was spicy enough and healthy enough I came upon this recipe.  Of course I changed it a little, as I always do with ever recipe I cook and with this one the spice is definitely more pronounced in my version:)  So here it is:

Serves 4
Adapted from Cooking Light

1 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter
2/3 cup water
6 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons hot paprika
3 teaspoons Sriracha sauce

The Process
1.  In a medium bowl mix peanut butter, water, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar, hot paprika, and Sriracha sauce.  Mix well with a whisk until smooth and creamy, no lumps.

Nutritional information with 2 chicken skewers and 1/4 cup sauce:
Calories 424, Fat 15.5g, Sat. Fat 3.2g, Protein 47.2, Carbo 23.7g, Fiber 2.7g

So as we can see this is not the lowest fat dish ever!....but think about how fattening this dish is at restaurants....that is where you now know you can feel good about eating this dish:)
Dedicated to my friend Jim! he loves this stuff!

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Chicken Satay

This is a dish that I absolutely love and have made several times because of it!  Also this is the dish that created a fight between an un-named boyfriend of a friend and me.  It was over the pronunciation of the dish and yes I said it backwards (satay chicken), but the point was that I was generously providing and making this dish at the time and yes he was about to consume it as well....douche bag!  And there are many other reasons why I dislike this person, but this is just one example of him being usual.  Anyways I can't not think of that story every time I make it...which yes slightly ruins this most wonderful dish a little every time for me.  Anyways this time that I made the dish it was for my wonderful friend Alaina's birthday party.  The theme of the party was food on a stick I immediately thought of my wonderful (with a slight reminder of a bastard) chicken satay, and here it is....not to mention it was a hit.

Serves 4
Adapted from Sunset Magazine

4 skinned and trimmed chicken breasts
1 cup soy sauce
4 tablespoons minced ginger (from a jar)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons Asian red chili paste
a bag of wooden skewers (soak for 20 minutes before use)

The Process
1.  Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry.  Slice diagonally across the grain into 1/4-inch think strips.

2.  In a very large zip-lock bag, mix 1 cup water, soy sauce, ginger, rice vinegar, sugar, and Asian red chili paste, and chicken.  Let marinate for at least 3 hours and up to a day.

3.  Take meat from marinade, thread onto skewers and discard marinade.

4.  Heat oven to broil.  Spray a pan with oil and place skewers on pan.

5.  When oven is hot place skewers in oven and broil for 12 minutes or until done.

This would also work very well on the grill, but as I am not YET a grill master I cannot and will not tell you how long to leave on the grill....but I'm sure you can figure it out.  Also I made a peanut sauce with this, it follows in the next recipe. And yes this is a low fat meal...just look at the ingredients...they explain themselves.

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hot Peppers

This is an interesting article, and I knew there was a reason I love hot peppers besides the fact that they are damn delicious!  This is good news for all you people out there that can't handle the heat too!

Mild Peppers May Help Burn Calories


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vietnamese Spiced Pork Chops

These were so damn good I couldn't get enough!  They have a good kick to them too and I didn't even add more spice like I normally do.  I love lean pork chops, they are healthy, tastey, and oh so filling!  Anyways I made these the night of the blazer game as well, and even though the blazers lost I had a major win or success with these. Try 'em now!

Serves 4
Adapted from Cooking Light

The Ingredients
4 boneless lean pork chops, about 1 inch thick
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
cooking spray

The Process
1.  Lightly score a diamond pattern on both sides of pork.

2.  In small bowl combine: brown sugar, paprika, ground coriander, salt, crushed red pepper, ginger, and garlic and mix well.

3.  Spray large skillet with cooking spray and turn to medium-high heat.

4.  Take mixture from bowl and rub evenly over pork.

5.  Add to skillet and cook each side for 5 minutes or until done.

The kitchen will smell so good once this pork hits the pan! Also some more nutrition facts.

Calories:199, Fat:6.4g, Sat. Fat:2.1g, Carbs:9.2g, Protein:25.3g, Fiber:1.1g

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Tomato Corn Salad

You can thank my graduate school for separating me from one of the only things I love more than and cooking it.  For some details my cohort and I are all struggling to put together 12 source annotated bibliographies....not fun at all.  Anyways on to food (the thing I love)....last thursday night I gave myself a break from life and asked my mother if I could go come up to her house make her dinner and watch the blazer game.  So the obvious answer was yes so I made these next two items, and yes they tasted great together!

Serves 4
Adapted from Sunset

The Ingredients
3 ears sweet corn
1 pound tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/4 fresh basil, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper

The Process
1.  Cut kernals off raw corn cobs and put in medium bowl.  Add tomatoes and red onion and stir.

2.  Toss with vinegar, oil, basil, and salt and pepper to taste.

This is seriously an amazing and fresh tasting salad, also a good way to use up corn when it is so cheap you have to buy lots of it.  Here are some awesome nutrition facts as well, might I mention that I added the olive oil to the recipe so that will change things a little but really its olive oil, its good for you, get over it!

Calories:58g, Fat:0.8g, Carbs:13g, Protein:2.3g, Fiber:2.4g

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Benihana Salad Dressing

You heard me right! If any of you have ever been to Benihana's (the restaurant), all of their meals come with a side salad that has this absolutely amazing dressing!  I searched the internet far and wide and this ingredient combination seem to come up the most.  I did make the dressing and while it is really really good, I am not convinced that it is the same as the restaurant's.  It is hard to tell because I have not been to Benihana's in years, so I guess that means I need to go again soon.....anyone want to join???  Oh and as far as healthy goes for this recipe....I would say not very healthy because of the 1/2 cup peanut oil, but at the same time moderation is the key word to staying take it or leave it.

Makes 1 3/4 cups dressing
From somewhere in the crazy web

The Ingredients
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons minced celery
2 tablespoons ketchup
4 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

The Process
1.  Combine all ingredients in a blender, make sure all ginger is well pureed.

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An article for the haters of cilantro

Sorry to inform you, but this is not a recipe.  It is an article about cilantro and how some people love it and some people hate it.  My lovely roommate Tom brought it to my attention, and I had to blog about it.  So read this article then read my commentary.

The Curious Cook - Why Cilantro Tastes Like Soap, for Some -

First of all I honestly don't think it tastes or smells like soap; if we are talking about soapy things might I mention how much mirror pond by Deschutes brewery taste like shampoo! Just think shampoo the next time you talk a nice cold sip of mirror pond.  Second of all the reference the article makes to it smelling like bed bugs: I have already put that reference at the bottom of my blog page because I find it hilarious...and sorry but no I don't know what bed bugs smell like....and I personally think that is a good thing.  As for myself and cilantro, back in the day I hated it!  I would always pick it out because it was too overwhelming for my IMMATURE taste buds;)  Now a days I'm apparently more refined than Julia Child, because I wouldn't be caught dead trying to pick something out of my food haha.  Anyways I do like the researchers suggestion of starting with cilantro pesto, it is very good.  I personally started liking cilantro when I was eating tons and tons of thai food (thanks to my lovely friend amber).  The thai soups especially incorporate cilantro is such a wonderful way.  And on an ending note may I reiterate that not everything I post has cilantro in it.  I will admit to one thing, I cannot stand green bell if anyone can convince me otherwise please try because I want to love all food and so far that is the only thing I despise.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hot and Sour Soup

This is so amazing. I have only made it twice, but both times have healed my soul.  I love hot and sour soup so I would like to think that I have somewhat of a palate for it....well and all my friends love it too so that is honestly all the gratification I really need.  Anyways I made this soup last Friday for two lovely friends during that crazy stormy weather.  It was perfect after a long week and work day, and very filling too I might add.  Sad to say I did not create this recipe, but second best Sunset did:) Picture from this link.

Makes 4.5 quarts (that is a lot, just in case you were wondering)
Adapted from Sunset

The Ingredients
2 pounds pork top loin, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons ginger, freshly grated
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 can (8oz.) sliced bamboo
12 cups chicken broth
3/4 pound shiitake mushrooms, chopped however you like it
12 ounces firm tofu, drained and cubed
4 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Chopped fresh cilantro and sliced green onions to sprinkle on soup in the end

The Process
1.  In a bowl, toss pork with 1/4 cup soy sauce and ginger.  Marinate 20 minutes.  In another bowl, stir together remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, rice vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, and salt; set aside.

2.  Heat peanut oil in large pot (at least 5 quarts) over medium-high heat, the add pork and marinade.  Cook, stirring consistently, until pork loses its pink color, about 4 minutes.  Stir in bamboo shoots and cook 1 minute.

3.  Increase heat to high, add broth, and bring to a boil.  Add mushrooms, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook about 20 minutes.  Add tofu and simmer 5 minutes.  Add soy-vinegar mixture and simmer 5 mintues more; the liquid will thicken.

4.  In a small bowl, beat eggs with sesame oil.  Slowly pour eggs into soup in a thin stream while stirring soup very slowly in one direction.  Add pepper, stir briefly, them simmer 5 minutes.

Serve with cilantro and green onions AND SRIRACHA!

The heat is the key in my humble opinion...hehe

Nutritional facts: per bowl, Calories-224, Fat 18g, Protein 15g, and Fiber 0.7g

Pretty darn healthy once again, especially for a dinner!

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Pineapple Bake

This one was inspired by a dish I tried along time ago on Easter.  It is a sweet and FATTY side dish that compliments the Easter ham very well.  Now remember when I said that this food blog will consist of 98% healthy recipes?...well consider this part of the 2% that is not healthy or good for you at all.  But seriously we all need a little something different at times.  And a holiday is a perfect time to make excuses and eat whatever you do it!

Serves 10

The Ingredients
2 cans crushed pineapple, about 2lbs.
1/2 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
6 slices of white sourdough bread, cubed

The Process
1.  Grease a large shallow glass baking dish, and heat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  In medium bowl, mix pineapple, white sugar, flour, salt, and eggs.  Pour into baking dish.

3.  In medium skillet, melt butter over medium heat.  When butter is melted add cubed bread and stir until all butter is absorbed.

4.  Put bread on top of other mixture in dish and bake for 30 minutes.

5.  Take dish out of oven, turn oven to broil.

6.  Sprinkle brown sugar over top of bread, and put in oven for 1 minute or until slightly golden.

Try not to eat the whole dish, it is soooooo good!

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Parmesan Yogurt Chicken

Once again school and work have been running my life.  While I can't post often, I refuse to let the things I have to do take over the things I want to do!  So last week I made dinner for my lovely friend Alaina, she made couscous and roasted parsnips and broccoli yum!  I realized I hadn't made my mum's Parmesan yogurt chicken dish in so so long, so I did.  Growing up my mum made this dish for us kids all the time, it was my favorite.  The cool thing about this dish is that you can make it as fatty or low fatty as you I did:)

Serves 4
From my mum's cookbook

4 chicken breasts
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup low-fat or fat-free plain yogurt
1/4 cup smart balance mayonnaise or lite mayonnaise
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

The Process
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Grease a large glass baking pan and place chicken breasts in pan.

3.  Drizzle chicken with lemon juice and sprinkle salt and pepper over chicken.

4.  In medium bowl combine yogurt, mayonnaise, green onions, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne pepper, and thyme.  Mix well.

5.  Spread mixture evenly over chicken.

6.  Put chicken in oven and bake for 50 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked.

7.  Take chicken out of oven and drain extra juices.  Turn oven to broil.

8.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top of chicken and put back in oven.

9.  Broil until golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Take out of oven and eat with creamy sauce all over everything!

This is one of the best comfort meals ever!  Great for anytime of the year too!

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Shrimp and Okra Gumbo with Creamy Yogurt Grits

So as I said previously my parents were out of town so they had me up to house sit the crazy dogs.  Before they left I bought the newest cooking light magazine cause they have so many good recipes.  Anyways my dad was flipping through it and said " i want this upon my arrival home sunday night."  Of course my automatic response is "u wish!" ...but then I thought that would be nice of me, it does sound good, and I can add one more thing to my blog.  So surprise here it is, and yes it was very very good.  Not to mention my mother has a camera so I was able to actually take my own picture of this dish:)

Serves 4
Adapted from Cooking Light

The Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 cup yellow onion, chopped
4-ounces smoked ham, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2/3 cup celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound fresh okra pods, sliced
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1(28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 pound pre-cooked, tailless big shrimp
2 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

2 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup quick-cooking grits
1 cup fat-free Greek-style yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

The Process
1.  Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in large sauce pan.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute or until lightly browned and stirring constantly with a whisk.

2.  Add chicken broth and stir with whisk until thick.  Pour into a bowl and set aside.

3.  Wipe same pan clean with paper towel.  Heat up last tablespoon of olive oil in pan over medium heat.

4.  When hot add onion and ham, cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.

5.  At this point start boiling water for grits, when boiling gradually whisk in the grits, then cover and reduce head to a simmer.  Simmer for 8 minutes or until thick.

6.  After ham and onion cook for 10, add yellow bell pepper, celery, thyme, garlic and okra.  Cook this for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

7.  Add broth mixture, water, cayenne, paprika, ground black pepper, salt, allspice and tomatoes.

8.  Bring to boil and then simmer for 10 minutes.  Then stir in shrimp, cook for 4 minutes.  Sprinkle with parsley in end.

9.  Put grits in bowl and put gumbo with parsley over that.

Some nutritional info as well:
calories 300, fat 10.5g, saturated fat 1.4g, protein 26.6g, fiber 7.3g

Healthy Chocolate-Walnut Cookies

So these are damn good! I'm surprised, without looking for healthy cookies I came across these! I was searching out some super amazing chocolate heaven...thus the cookies.  And if you haven't noticed I really don't like baking except for pies and I don't even like sweets, so recipes like these will be far and few between sorry.

Makes 20 big cookies (they spread out a lot)

The Ingredients
Parchment paper
2 1/2 cups walnut halves, finely chopped
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

The Process
1.  Position 2 racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Heat oven to 350F degrees.

2. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

3.  Put walnuts on baking sheet and toast, about 7 minutes, let cool.

4.  Mix sugar, cocoa and salt in bowl.

5.  Then add in walnuts egg whites and vanilla.  Beat this together with fork until sugar mixes in but don't over beat and let the batter get stiff.

6.  Put 1/2 tablespoon of batter per cookie on to baking sheet with parchment paper.

7.  Bake about 15 minutes or until tops of cookies are glossy and cracked.

Eat all of them with milk!

Also some nutritional facts and though it is per cookie think about all the other bad cookies in the world:
55 calories, 3.3g fat, 0.4g saturated fat, 0.6g fiber, 1.2g protein

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Pork and Vegetable Pot Stickers and Spicy Dipping Sauce

Let me preface this post with we went to Uwajimaya.  And of course I wanted to buy everything!  We did get a little can of supposed pineapple juice with coconut pulp....tasted more like corn syrup and gelatin blarg!  Anyways I decided I wanted to make pot stickers upon seeing the gyoza wrappers.  So from there I thought about what I wanted to stuff the pot stickers with and I decided on the rest of the ingredients.  Might I add, I made these while house sitting for my parents and they have all the best pans and cooking supplies so I was in heaven!
This is my own recipe:)

Serves 4 (makes 40 pot stickers)

1 pound lean ground pork
1/2 of one radicchio, finely chopped
4 green onions, finely chopped
1 1/2 large carrots, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 package of gyoza wrappers (the circle shaped kind)
2 tablespoon olive oil

For dipping sauce:
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons garlic chili paste
1 tablespoon ginger, grated

The Process
1. In big bowl add ground pork, radicchio, green onions, carrots, ginger, garlic, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sriracha sauce, black pepper and mix very well.

2.  Lay out 40 gyoza wrappers on a clean/dry counter top, and add a half a tablespoon of meat mixture in the middle of each wrapper.

3. Wet the edge of the gyoza wrapper with water and fold over meat to create a half circle.  Gently press down on edge to make sure the wrapper is sealed around meat.  Do this with all 40 wrappers.

4.  Put large skillet on stove add the olive oil and heat over medium heat.  When hot put each pot sticker in pan standing upright.  This means the edge that you sealed will be sticking up in the air.

5.  When each pot sticker is golden on the bottom, then put in 1/2 cup water and cover pan immediately in order to steam the pot stickers.

6.  When all water has evaporated then pot stickers are done.  About 5-6 minutes.

7.  Make the sauce.  In a small bowl combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic chili paste and ginger.  Mix well and eat tons!

Note that I call it spicy dipping sauce...that means it is spicy...pretty damn spicy so use less garlic chili paste if you can't handle it:)  Also the pot stickers did tend to stick to the pan so be ready for that and expect to soak the pan afterwords...and yes there might be a couple of pot stickers that rip because they are so stuck, but don't worry it's not the end of the world.  Once again I also had trouble deciding what color these pot stickers are because they are fried and steamed.  So while in truth they are more of a beige color, I am going to put them in the golden section because honestly what sounds more appetizing beige or golden pot stickers? point exactly.  And while these are fried it is for a brief second and the pork is lean, so this is once again a healthy meal!

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Lime Vinaigrette

This was a nice salad dressing that I used on a simple salad along with the steak I made my brothers.

Makes a bowl full

The Ingredients
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix Well. and enjoy

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London Broil withh Soy Citrus Mayonnaise

Part of another lovely sibling dinner.  So every other Wednesday I have dinner with my older and younger brothers.  It is pretty much started out with us trying out various Pho restaurants and in general it is focused around us eating at restaurants.  This night was different.  As I said before it is beef week and who better to eat my beef and judge it but my brothers.  They are the perfect judges because they also grew up on my father's amazing meats.  Amazing meats includes everything from marination, cooking, grilling, resting, cutting...EVERYTHING; so they know what good beef is.  I will start this with I got props for the meat!

Serves 3, full to the brim
From Gourmet Today (the new cookbook)
In the oven, not on the stove top like the original recipe says

The Ingredients
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine
1/3 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch green onions, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 pounds top round beef
1 cup smart balance mayonaisse

The Process
1.  Mix together the soy sauce, dry red wine, lemon juice, orange juice, olive oil, green onions, garlic, black pepper, cayenne.

2.  But beef into the mixture above and marinate at least 2 hours.

3.  Heat oven to broil.  Take beef out of marination and put in baking pan (greased).

4.  Broil each side about 6 minutes. (This is for a 1 inch thick top round).

5.  In the mean time bring the leftover marinade to a boil and boil for 1 minute.

6.  Mix one cup of mayonnaise and about one cup of marinade to create cream sauce for top of steak.

7.  When steak is done take out and let rest for 5 minutes and then cut against the grain and serve with sauce.

This was sooooo good. I also made a quinoa bake to go with it and I didn't like it, too much adobo flavor so I will not put it up.

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Monday, March 22, 2010

Corned Beef Brisket

I do realize that this is the first beef product I have put on my blog.  I absolutely love beef and I was raised on red meat.  The thing is, is that my significant other does not eat beef simply because he claims that the texture is like a wet towel!  I keep trying to convince him otherwise especially since the meat I make in general does not have that texture because it is extremely important to not over cook meat, moisture is the key to any cut or kind of meat.  Plus I love cooking for others so if I make a nice piece of beef I will be the only one eating it and honestly I find no joy in that.  This week will be different, my boyfriend went to visit his get ready here comes the beef!

Serves 5
Adapted from Sunset

1 piece (3.4lbs) of corned beef brisket
1 lemon, thinly sliced
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar
The little spice packet that comes with the corned beef

The Process
1.  Set oven to 325F degrees

2.  Rinse the corned beef off thoroughly under cold water to rinse away extra corning salt.

3. Trim off extra fat on brisket, but leave the fattiest side alone (need fat for cooking).

4.  So a roasting pan is what is suppose to be used for this, but since I don't have one yet I used a semi-deep metal pan that was big enough to easily fit the brisket, and a stove top vegetable steamer (the kind that looks like a silver little spaceship when closed).  I simply placed the spaceship in the metal pan and opened it up as a platform to set the brisket on, fatty side up.

5.  Next I placed the onion and lemon all over the brisket (top and sides). And I sprinkled the little spice pouch over the top of the onions and lemons that were on the brisket.

6.  Next I boiled water to put in the bottom of the pan, as much as you can fit without letting it touch the bottom of the brisket (about 4 cups).

7.  Then cover the entire pan with tin foil.  Then bake till brisket is tender 3 1/2 hours (1 hour per pound).

8.  In small bowl  mix together Dijon mustard and brown sugar.

9.  Take brisket out of oven after 3 1/2 hours and turn oven to broil.

10.  Take off tin foil and spread mustard mixture over the top of the brisket (over onions and lemons).

11.  When oven is hot enough put brisket back in and broil until mixture becomes golden about 8 minutes.

12.  Take out and let meat rest for 7 minutes.  Then cut 1 1/2 inch think slices against the grain and eat lots!

Lets go beef!  I could use some more iron anyways....
Might I add a friend also made a DELICIOUS shepherds pie to accompany this wonderful st. patty's day meal.

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