Saturday, April 30, 2011

Chicken, Pasta, and Pancakes? Don't worry, not all together.

Hey everyone! I apologize for the lack of blogs, but graduate school is really kicking my big B lately. As finals are lurking around the corner, I've decided to procrastinate in the most productive way cooking!

This recipe is from a website recommended by my dear old friend Meg Buckley. This site takes well-loved recipes and modifies them so that they are a tid bit healthier. However, the rotini pasta with butter and cheese I served it with probably canceled out any healthy qualities of the chicken.

Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Melted Mozzarella

What ya need:
*24 oz (3 large) chicken breasts sliced in half lengthwise to make 6 cutlets
*salt and pepper to taste
*1 tsp olive oil
*3 cloves garlic, crushed
*10 oz frozen spinach, drained
*3 oz shredded part skim mozzarella
*1 roasted red pepper, sliced in strips
*olive oil spray

What ya do:

*Preheat oven to 400°. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Lightly spray a grill with oil or grill outside on a gas grill. Cook chicken on the grill until no longer pink, careful not to overcook or you'll have dry chicken.

*Meanwhile, heat a sauté pan on medium heat. Add oil and garlic, sauté a few seconds, add spinach, salt and pepper. Cook a few minutes until heated through.

*When chicken is done, lay on a baking sheet lined with foil or parchment for easy clean-up. Divide spinach evenly between the 6 pieces and place on top. Top each with half oz mozzarella, then slices of roasted pepper and bake until melted, about 6-8 minutes.

*Like I said, I served this chicken dish with just simple rotini pasta with a little butter and cheese. Feel free to substitute the pasta with some roasted veggies or a salad to minimize ya carbs. Me, I'm always down for carbo-loading.

Although I am quite enjoying Lent being over, I'm still trying to keep up with my healthy eating habits (generally). I found this pancake recipe on one of my favorite blogs, and it's amazing. It's less than 300 calories per serving, and has tons of protein. Based on the ingredients, you would never think these would look like normal pancakes but they really do.

Cottage Cheese Pancakes

What ya need:

*1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
*1/2 cup oats (I use "Old Fas
hioned Quaker Oats")
*3 egg whites
*1 TBL sugar
*Splash of Vanilla Extract (I use about 1 teaspoon)
*Sprinkling of Cinnamon (about 1/2 teaspoon)
*pinch of salt

What ya do:

*Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Cook on a hot griddle, sprayed with non-stick spray. Serve with syrup, jam, fresh fruit..whatever you want. I cut up some fresh bananas with a little honey...superb.

That's all for now! I'll try to be better about blogging during finals..I'm still backed up with recipes and will try to put the rest of them up this week.

Happy eating!

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Hey there bloggers,

So a few weekends ago, UConn won the National big deal. Of course, all I cared about was the food..of course. So my friend Caroline came over and we made cilantro white bean hummus and turkey black bean burgers! It was the perfect meal to cheer on Kemba and Shabazz to victory.

Cilantro White Bean Hummus
What ya need:

3 cans cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)

2 limes (juice and zest)

3 cloves garlic (chopped)

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cups vegetable stock

1/3 cup chopped onion

a good handful of cilantro (chopped)

salt and pepper to taste

[[I also served the hummus with pita chips and make homemade pita chips, just grab some pita bread at the grocery store, cut it into triangles and bake at 350 degrees with some olive oil and salt and pepper until crispy.]]

What ya do:

*In a large stock pot, on medium high heat, combine the oil, onion, and garlic. When onions and garlic cook down a bit, add the beans and lime zest. Cook for another minute or two.

*Add in the veggie stock. Then add the cilantro and lime juice. Cover with a lid and bring to a slight boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 5 minutes.

*Use a blender or food processor to make the hummus creamy and smooth, and salt and pepper to taste.

*This recipe was originally a hummus "soup", but I decided to use it as a prepare for a little soupy consistency.

Turkey and Black Bean Burgers

What ya need:

16 ounces
cremini mushrooms

1 clove garlic

1/4 yellow onion

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup refried black beans

2 pounds turkey

1 teaspoon sea salt

fresh ground pepper

What ya do:

*Place mushrooms, garlic, and onion in a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground. In a large skillet, melt the butter and cook the mushroom mixture until very soft, about 5-7 minutes over medium heat.

*Transfer the mixture into a large bowl, add the refried black beans, ground turkey, salt, and pepper, and mix all together until very well combined.

*Split the mixture into 6 even portions. Roll into balls and flatten into thick burgers. Cook in a skillet or on a barbecue grill until cooked through.

*I served these burgers on some nice rolls with some avocado and tomato, with a little mustard. Feel free to add whatever you usually like on your burgers! I do have to warn you, though these burgers were pretty tasty, they looked like dog poop. I don't mean to be gross, but seriously just look at the picture. So don't be alarmed if the meat is looking like something your dog may have digested...

Happy eating!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

A meal of my favorite ingredients.

Hey there bloggers! I know what you are thinking..two posts in one week, whaaat?! Well I have been cooking up a storm this weekend, and I felt I should share my food wealth :)

Last Friday, I was looking for something light to eat before coating my stomach with buttloads of alcohol. Oops. So, due to my food blog stalking abilities, I came across this awesome recipe with all of my favorite ingredients (my friend Caroline actually found the same recipe and made it the night before, so she was really my inspiration).

Pasta (ok, you had me at P) with asparagus and sundried tomatoes (my favorite veggies of all time). What could be better? Add a little Meyer lemon, and you have yourself a nice little meal.

What ya need:

*8 oz linguine pasta

*2 T extra virgin olive oil

*3 cloves garlic, minced

*1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it!)

*juice of two large meyer lemons to equal about 1/2 cup

*1 bunch asparagus, sliced

*1/2 cup chopped sundried tomatoes

*pinch of salt and pepper

*1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

*fresh parsley for serving

What ya do:

*Cook the pasta in boiling salted water until done. When pasta is done, remove noodles with a slotted spoon, reserving boiling water. Blanch asparagus in water for thirty seconds, until bright green. Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of cooking liquid.

*Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute for thirty seconds. Remove from the heat. Add the pasta, sundried tomatoes and asparagus to the pan and toss everything together.

*Pour in the lemon juice along with additional cooking water if the dish seems too dry. Season with salt and pepper.

*Add the Parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley.

This dish was so tasty, and very light and easy.

Me and my partner in crime/sous chef.

Happy eating!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Fish? Nuts? Combo it up, baby.

Hey everyone! I haven't been cooking as much lately because I've been feeling a little under the weather, so I've been saving some back-up meals from a few weeks ago.

It was a Sunday night, and Steve and I wanted something we thought of fish! Fish is so good for you, and so much easier than people give it credit for. Plus, this recipe literally has 3 main ingredients...Easy Smeezy! (My favorite saying).

What ya need:

1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup pecans
4 skinless catfish fillets (6 oz each), rinsed and patted dry
Vegetable oil for frying (about 4 TBL)
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Lemon wedges for garnish!

What ya do:

*Grind the cornmeal and pecans with salt and pepper in a food processor until the nuts are finely ground. Transfer to a large, shallow container (or ghetto paper plates like me). Dredge (I love this word) the catfish in the cornmeal mixture, patting it on to coat completely.

*Heat 2 tbl of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 2 fish fillets until golden brown and firm to the touch. 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a plate, sprinkle with salt and cover to keep warm.

*Wipe the skillet with a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining 2 tbl oil and fish. Serve with lemon wedges, if desired.

I served the fish with a box of rice pilaf (Near East is the best) and some roasted vegetables. If you want to serve the veggies I chose here's what you do:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash and 1 eggplant into medium slices. Place them on a baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil over the veggies and sprinkle some salt, pepper and garlic powder over them. Bake until lightly browned, or to your liking. The best advice I could ever give, is to experiment everyone! Worst case scenario, your dish tastes a little different than expected, and chances are it's still edible. Cooking is learning..if you try new things, you might come up with something amazing! (And then send the recipe to me...)

There you go folks! Super healthy, easy and delish. When you are in the mood for something lighter, think fish! And maybe some nuts because let's face it, nuts are amazing.

Happy eating!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Brunch and Friends

I know I am posting this late, but after those shrimp tacos and margaritas I was like "Holy hangover batman!" and needed a late Sunday brunch to indulge my headache and unsettled stomach. So what better than banana bread french toast?

I was inspired by this dish after going home with my friend Caroline for the night. She's from Barrington, Illinois...a super cute town with an AMAZING breakfast place called Egg Harbor. They made this decadent banana bread french toast, and after one bite I was in heaven. I knew I needed to try them.

So..after a night of margarita-induced intoxication, my friend Whitney and I baked this french toast in our "Walk of Shame" clothes from the night before. She's the best :)

Banana Bread French Toast

What ya need:
3 eggs
3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter
1 loaf banana bread (I bought a fresh loaf from Breadsmith's in Wauwatosa...lazy I know. So sue me.)
confectioners' sugar for dusting (optional)

What ya do:

*In a shallow bowl, whisk together the eggs, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla with a fork. Set aside.

*Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Slice banana bread into 4 thick slices. Dip each slice into the egg mixture, then place in the hot pan. Cook on each side until
golden brown.

*Dust with confectioners' sugar just before serving, if desired.

Super delish. Not so good for you, but you have to have a balance right? Also I gotta get my sweets where I can. Lent will be the death of me. I believe I will gain 10 pounds the first week after Easter, due to eating three pints of Phish Food Ben & Jerry's in one week.

Happy eating :)