Friday, August 24, 2012

Steak Au Poivre

It has been an exciting week for me here in Portland!  I got a wonderful new job, I am the new librarian for the Oregon Department of Forestry and I saw some family friends whom I haven't seen in probably 10 years.  Last night we had a big family event down at the sailing club that my parents belong to and we ate lots of good food, played catch up with our family friends who were in town, and of course went sailing.  Although it was a great week I am still happy that it is Friday, here is to a sunny and relaxing weekend at the beach.  As for this recipe it is almost the exact same sauce that I made for the Pork Au Poivre and it was a great sauce poured over the mashed potatoes I paired with the dish.  It is a nice low fat sauce too that adds lots of yummy flavor.

Serves 3

The Ingredients
3 petit sir loin steaks
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 cup red wine (dry)
1 teaspoon Dijon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Salt and Pepper
Cooking Spray

The Process
1.  Turn grill onto hot and let heat up.  In the mean time heat a medium skillet up over medium-high heat.  Salt and pepper the steaks.

2.  Add cooking spray to pan when hot and sear steaks for 1 minute each side and transfer to the grill and grill for about 3 minutes each side for medium rare.

3.  Take the same skillet and add beef broth, red wine, 1/4 teaspoon salt, Dijon, and tomato paste.  Whisk continually while you bring the mixture to a boil.  Boil for 1 minute and then reduce the heat to medium heat and keep whisking for 4 minutes until sauce starts to thicken.  The sauce reduces to about a half a cup.  Serve sauce over steak and enjoy.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Parsnip Garlic Mashed Potatoes

The second wedding I am in this summer is approaching quickly and this upcoming weekend I am headed out with a bunch of my girls for the bride's first bachelorette party.  We are headed to Rockaway Beach and have fun adventures planned along the way.  I love Oregon because of the fact that one weekend I can be at the coast in an hour and a half and the next weekend I can be up on the mountain in the same amount of time, I definitely love living in a state with diverse climates.  On a different note I recently tried a new machine at the gym, it is a machine that simulates rowing and holy crap my back is so sore but I still would recommend it.  This is a recipe I created recently and they might be the best mashed potatoes I have had in a long time.  Enjoy.

Serves 3

The Ingredients
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
3 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped in half
1/2 cup sour cream (fat-free)
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons butter (salted)
1/2 cup beef broth
Salt and Pepper

The Process
1.  In a large pot bring water to a boil and add parsnips, garlic, and potatoes to the pot.  Boiling for about 15 minutes or until the parsnips and potatoes are soft enough to mash.

2.  In the meantime chop up green onions and parsley and set aside.

3.  When potatoes, garlic, and parsnips are ready drain them and put into a medium glass bowl and mash them with a potato masher.  Then add butter, sour cream, beef broth, Parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste.

4.  Right before serving add the green onions and parsley to the mash and mix well and serve.

This is a semi-healthy recipe minus the butter and Parmesan cheese which you could easily leave out and the mash would still taste amazing.  I also served this with Steak Au Poivre the recipe will follow this one.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Chicken and Chickpea Salad

I feel like I have been pretty lucky lately with how many adventures I've been going on this Summer.  I just got back from the wonderful Timothy Lake family camping trip and now this weekend my boyfriend and I are headed down to Eugene, Oregon for my boyfriend's sister's engagement party.  I love Eugene because I always become nostalgic due to my college days at University of Oregon, go Ducks!  In another light I'm onto the "being creative in the kitchen" again due to my lack of fresh groceries, although the garden does supply me with some fresh veggies such as the swiss chard I used in this recipe.  I created this recipe from all the odds and ends in my refrigerator and I was going for healthy, protein packed, and a little bit spicy.  Enjoy!

Serves 2

The Ingredients
1 large chicken breast, cut into 1-in. cubes
1 15oz can chickpeas, drained
2 cups swiss chard, chopped
3/4 cup yellow onion, minced
1 small Serrano pepper, minced 
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup fat free feta cheese
Black pepper

The Process
1.  Spray a skillet with cooking spray and warm up over medium heat.  When hot add chicken, 1/4 cup yellow onion, garlic salt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and some black pepper.  Cook for about 5 minutes or until chicken chunks are cooked through.  Once these are done put in freezer for 10 minutes to cool off.

2.  At the same time steam swiss chard for 45 seconds and then put into freezer for 10 minutes to cool off.

3.  In the mean time in a medium bowl add chickpeas, 1/2 cup yellow onion, and Serrano pepper and set aside.

4.  In a small bowl mix together salt, olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, Dijon mustard, rice vinegar, garlic, and pepper to taste. 

5.  When chicken and swiss chard have cooled add then to the chickpea mixture.  Also add the Dijon/lemon dressing.  And then add feta cheese, mix well and then put in refrigerator for 25 minutes to cool. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Grilled Steak with Tapenade

First of all my mom and I had our 2012 Pickle Fest this past weekend and it was awesome.  We didn't have time to pre-order our pickling cucumbers so we went to the Beaverton Farmers Market early Saturday morning and we ended up getting some amazingly small and perfect cucumbers for our day of pickling.  We only pickled 35 lbs this year but I think it will be enough for the year, in the past we have done 50 lbs of cucumbers and that is definitely a longer day.  From shopping to jar lids popping it took us 6 hours and I had fun every second of it.  In other news it is still very hot here in Portland, Oregon so I continue making lighter meals.  I adapted this recipe that came from the Food Network site and I will definitely make it again because it was so refreshing and delicious.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
2 petit sirloin steaks 
1 medium shallot
2 cloves garlic
1/2 sprig rosemary
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 lemon, halved
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley, roughly chopped
Salt and Pepper

The Process
1.  Preheat a grill or grill pan to high. Pulse the olives, shallot, garlic, rosemary, red pepper flakes, 2 tablespoons olive oil and the juice of 1/2 lemon in a food processor; season with salt and pepper.

2.  Pierce the steaks all over with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Rub 1 heaping tablespoon olive mixture all over the steak, then set aside, about 10 minutes.

3.  Meanwhile, toss the remaining olive mixture with the tomatoes, parsley, the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and the juice of the remaining 1/2 lemon in a small bowl.

4.  Grill the steaks until browned on one side, about 7 minutes. Flip and cook about 7 more minutes for medium rare.

5.  Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.  Thinly slice the steaks against the grain and top with the olive-tomato tapenade.

Per serving: Calories 361; Fat 26 g (Saturated 6 g); Cholesterol 43 mg; Sodium 283 mg; Carbohydrate 7 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 25 g

Friday, August 10, 2012

Cod and Goat Cheese Tacos with Sweet Slaw

I love cooking with my mom we always try new things or we get creative with what is in the refrigerator, this evening we got creative and it turned out super delicious.  In other news my mother and I are also preparing for Pickle Fest 2012.  Pickle Fest is when we make 40lbs of pickles, we have been doing it for years because pickles are just so wonderful!  It is a secret recipe that my mother obtained after years of making these pickles with her neighbor and it is secret for a reason, because it may be one of the best spicy dill pickle recipes ever.  My family, boyfriend, and I are also preparing for a fun camping trip that we leave for on Sunday.  Since I was a child my family and I have been going to Timothy Lake and camping there for a week, I look forward to it every summer.  Because of work schedules and such my boyfriend and I are only able to go for a couple nights, but it will be a blast! Please enjoy these wonderful fish tacos created by my mother and I.

Serves 2

The Ingredients
1/2 pound cod, about 1 inch thick
2 cups of green cabbage, shredded
2 oz herb goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 yellow or red onion, minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped finely
1 carrot grated
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 garlic powder
1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 black pepper
4 corn tortillas
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon agave
1 tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon lime juice
Lime wedges for serving

The Process
1.  In a small bowl mix together the apple cider vinegar and agave and set aside.

2.  In a medium bowl mix together cabbage, carrot, onion, cilantro, and tomato.  Then add the vinegar/agave mixture and toss well.  Salt and pepper to taste.

3.  In a shallow bowl mix flour, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Then take the cod piece and coat it in the flour mixture. 

4.  Heat and oil a medium size skillet over medium-high heat, when hot add the cod to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes each side or until cooked through.

5.  To assemble tacos start with fish on tortilla, then add goat cheese, then sweet slaw, and you can top the tacos with hot sauce like I did. 

These tacos are on the healthier side but I don't have the nutritional facts for them because I created the recipe.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Asian Bulgur and Turkey Burgers

What a weekend!  This past weekend one of my best friends in the entire world got married in Yachats, Oregon which is on the coast.  Now the Oregon coast isn't known for its amazing weather by any means but we sure lucked out.  It was 81 degrees which maybe happens about once or twice a summer here in Oregon.  Not only was the weather beautiful but during the ceremony (which was right on the coast line) there was an entire pod of humpback whales that swam by!  It was as if the entire world was in harmony at once.  Not to mention the bride and groom were so beautiful and lovely and awesome.  Another part that I loved about this wedding was the food, it was catered by Yumm Cafe.  Now Yumm Cafe is so so tasty, it seems like a simple idea but it is all about the sauce and the bride and I used to live in Eugene when we went to college and we probably ate Yumm Cafe at least 3 times a week, so not only was it delicious but it was very much nostalgic.  On another note recently I made this wonderful and healthy recipe (from Food  network) on another hot summer night.  It was so very filling and refreshing and different. So eat up!

Serves 3

The Ingredients
1/4 cup bulgur what
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup of seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
12oz lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
3 whole wheat hamburger buns

The Process
1.  In a medium bowl add bulgur and boiling water and cover with plastic wrap and let stand until bulgur is tender about 45min.-1 hour.

2.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk the vinegar and sugar with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper until dissolved.

3.  Then add the cucumber and onion, toss well and set aside to marinate for about 30 minutes.

4.  In a separate small bowl combine the yogurt and chili garlic sauce. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

5.  Drain the bulgur and put into a large bowl. Add the turkey, hoisin, scallions, ginger, garlic and chopped cilantro and mix until just combined. Form into 3 equal sized patties.

6.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until very hot. Lightly brush both sides of each patty with oil and place in the skillet. Cook, turning once, until just cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

7.  Drain the pickled vegetables and toss with the cilantro. Spread some spicy yogurt sauce on the top and bottom of each bun and top with a burger patty and some pickles.

Nutritional Facts:
Calories 186; Total Fat 4 g (Sat Fat 0.4g, Mono Fat 0.7g, Poly Fat 1.5g) ; Protein 18g; Carb 23g; Fiber 3g; Cholesterol 23mg; Sodium 421mg