Saturday, July 31, 2010

Picnic in the Park

Yesterday was such a gorgeous day, it was perfect for a nice little picnic in the park!  Of course I made us something delicious to eat!  I made us some roasted eggplant and white bean spread with some Stacy's Pita Chips for dipping!  And then I threw together a very yummy hearty sandwich with grilled chicken, arugula, tomato slices, mashed avocado, and spicy light mayo served on a whole wheat baguette!  Doesn't that sound amazing??  I think so (and so did my friends)!

What's your favorite picnic sandwich???

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Tex Mex Burgers

My friend makes these burgers and I thought I'd adapt it a bit and share it with everyone!  They are healthy, full of protein, and very tasty!  You don't even need to add salt! 

Turkey Tex Mex Burgers (serves 6)
1 pound ground lean turkey or chicken
1/2 cup canned black beans (drained and rinsed)
3/4 cup canned corn (drained and rinsed)
4 tablespoons BBQ sauce
1/2 cup cooked quinoa (red or white)
1 cup finely chopped cilantro

Combine ingredients together in a bowl and divide into 6 patties.  Mixture will be sticky so wet your hands before making the patties.  Grill, pan fry, or broil burgers for about 5-6 minutes on each side. Enjoy with some more of your favorite BBQ sauce with some roasted or grilled veggies for a delicious healthy meal. 

Calorie Count per burger: about 220 calories
Protein Count per burger: about 18 grams protein

Tex Mex Turkey Burger, roasted zucchini, and sauteed spinach

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Tomato Pine Nut Salad

I love this salad!  My mom created this salad years ago and it's always been one that my family loves very much.  My siblings and I get super excited when we see that my mom prepared it for a Shabbat dinner. This salad is so easy to make yet so delicious!  It's one of my favorite salads and I make it a lot when I have company over.  Everyone loves it and they look forward to having it when they come over!  I actually get requests for it!  It only has 4 ingredients plus extra virgin olive oil. If you are one of those green herb haters you are not going to love the salad so stay clear but you can always make it without the greens!  I prepare a side bowl of salad minus the greens for one of my friends and she still loves it.

Tomoto Pine Nut Salad (serves 6)
2 containers of grape tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
2 bunches of flat leaf Italian parsley, finely chopped
1 cup toasted pine nuts (NOT ONES FROM CHINA, see risk of eating pine nuts section)
1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

To toast the pine nuts, place the nuts in a dry pan and turn heat to medium.  Toast pine nuts until golden brown, be sure to keep a close eye on them because they can burn quickly.  Once pine nuts are toasted place in a large salad bowl.  Add the halved tomatoes and chopped parsley to the bowl.  Drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper into the bowl. Mix to combine and serve immediately.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cilantro and Shrimp

I don't know about you but I seriously love cilantro!!  It's almost equal to the love I have for quinoa.  I know many people who can't stand the taste of cilantro, but honestly you guys are missing out.  The flavor is Spring-like, fresh, and clean.  It's really great on seafood.  Today I am sharing with you a recipe for broiled shrimp with cilantro.

Broiled Shrimp with Cilantro
1 bunch cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
zest of one lemon
crushed red pepper (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 pound shrimp (cleaned and de-veined)

In a mini food processor blend all the ingredients except the shrimp together.  Pour the cilantro mixture over the shrimp in a bowl or baggie and let marinade for 30 minutes in the fridge.   When ready to cook, preheat broiler on high.  Place shrimp on a baking sheet and broil in the oven for about 4 minutes on each side.  When shrimp turns pink and is firm to the touch it is cooked through.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ginormous Cookies

I recently bought myself this really awesome muffin top pan, I got it from Amazon, but the idea originally came from the blog Picky Palate.  Of course this pan can be used to make muffin tops, but there are so many other ideas to use it for as well!  Here are two cookie recipes from Picky Palate that I tried, they came out amazing! Each cookie is a 1/4 cup of cookie dough.  They are really ginormous! The first is XXL M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Here's a picture of how they came out...
The next recipe I tried out was Giant S'mores Cookies.  Here's what they looked like right out of the oven...

Other than making extra ginormous cookies I think this pan can be very useful.  You can use it to make individual meatloaf rounds, baked eggs for your english muffin breakfast sandwich (I'm going to try that this week, so I'll let you know how it comes out), personalized frittatas, burgers, and much more!

If you have any ideas please leave a comment below!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Lactose...Can your tummy handle it??

I know this is an issue for many people, and yes I feel bad for you if you are one of those people!  Sorry!  A friend of mine emailed me and asked if I could post some recipes for those of you who can't have dairy.

So below is a list with links to all the recipes I've posted so far that are dairy-free!
Dairy-Free Chicken Pot Pie

Have an Elia Pancake for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
Egg Muffins
Burritos? Just omit the cheese!
Easy Tomato Sauce with Whole Wheat Pasta
Susan Z's Lemony Cabbage Salad
My Mamma's Beets
Steak and Chicken Marinades with a side of Garlicky Potatoes
You can have a ton of quinoa...Try this (omit the feta), or this, or this, or even this! Serve it with some broiled fish or chicken!
Beet and Endive Salad
Spinach Artichoke Chicken Burgers This has no cheese and you can eat the burger with Red Pepper Aioli.
Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Spread served as a crostini, it's pretty filling!

I hope this helps you get started with some ideas and recipes for meals that are dairy-free!  I will try to think of more ideas to accommodate those who can't handle the lactose!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Miso Butter Corn

The other day I went to Momofuku Noodle Bar for lunch with a friend.  They are constantly changing up the menu so it's always nice to go there every so often to see what they are serving that day.  On the menu was this corn dish sauteed in miso butter, it was served with scallions and roasted potato.  It was amazing, the miso butter gave the corn a great twist!  AFter devouring the corn I said to my friend, "I'm definitely going to try to recreate this at home one day very soon!"  It seemed pretty easy actually.  Miso, butter, corn, scallions, and potatoes.  Simple as can be!

I went for it.  I bought farm fresh corn at Whole Foods and also picked up some white miso paste, scallions and unsalted butter.  I dropped the potatoes from the dish because it was really the corn that I was after.  I couldn't care less about the potatoes.  Here are some photos of the process.

Miso Butter Corn (serves 4)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons white miso paste
green parts of 2 scallions sliced thinly
4 ears of corn, kernels stripped

Combine butter and miso paste in a small bowl with a fork.  Place stripped corn kernels in a large saute pan, along with miso butter.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Saute on medium heat for about 3 minutes, add scallions, and cook for 2-3 more minutes.  Enjoy!

One night for dinner I had the corn with a simple grilled chicken breast.
The next day I had leftovers for lunch!  I saved this compartmentalized takeout container for this purpose, it's really a great alternative to a laptop lunch box.  Which someday I will buy for myself! I myself am organized and so why shouldn't my lunches be as well!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Spread

Roasted Eggplant and White Bean Spread
(Taken from Giada De Laurentiis' Cookbook Giada at Home)
1 Eggplant (roasted whole for 45 minutes at 450 degrees, rotate eggplant halfway through)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon
1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
2 garlic cloves

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until completely smooth.  Cool spread in the fridge and serve on toasted baguette slices, pita chips, or pretzels!

XXL, eggs that is!

I'm at Whole Foods at Columbus Circle today and I find these there, in the produce section next to a variety of mushrooms, eggplants, and summer squashes.  I've never actually seen an Emu or Ostrich egg up close and personal like this, but let me just tell you they were a little scary!!  I actually couldn't bring myself to even touch them.  I know that's kind of cowardly of me but still they freaked me out, so instead I took a photo for you all!  The Emu eggs were the scariest looking.  They had like a scaly shell with tiny raised darker spots over the overall avocado green shell.

They are pretty pricey too!  I did a little research online and found out that an Emu egg is probably around the same weight of about 10 extra large chicken eggs.  You can get a dozen organic eggs for around 3-4 dollars, no need to pay $29.99 for one Emu egg that apparently has a pretty bland taste.  From what I've heard Ostrich eggs taste pretty much similarly to chicken eggs.  I think one Ostrich egg is equal to about 24 chicken eggs.  I'd rather just buy 2 dozen eggs rather than spending $39.99!

What are you thoughts?  Ever eaten either of these eggs?  Would you?  Leave me a comment and share your thoughts!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

BBQ...and more Quinoa

Another quinoa creation made by me, I call it non other than, Asian Style Quinoa. It contains edamame, cilantro, sauteed shitake mushrooms, slivered almonds, toasted sesame seeds, and 2 cups cooked quinoa.
Asian Style Quinoa Dressing
(This is enough to pour over 2 cups cooked quinoa)
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 shallots finely chopped.
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons peanut butter or tahini
1/2 cup sesame oil
1/2 cup peanut or vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
Mix all ingredients together and pour over quinoa salad before serving.
Errol eating the quinoa...he's a first time quinoa tryer and now he's a quinoa lover! Sous Chef Seth enjoying the quinoa as well! Bacon Wrapped Scallops made by Seth
Seth also made Mexican style corn smothered in sour cream and shredded cojita cheese sprinkled with lime, AKA Elote....who knew it would be so easy to make something so good! Let me tell you, it was f-cking amazing!!! I think I ate it up in 2.5 minutes! YUMMY!

Monday, July 5, 2010

What do you do with your leftover oil after using it for cooking? I always let it cool and then I usually pour it down the sink. Sometimes if I have a jar handy I pour it in there and then throw it away. Neither of these solutions are good for your pipes nor is it good for our environment. I came across this article in the New York Times. After reading the article I was very intrigued. I think this is a really cool new product! It's safe for the environment and solves your problem of what to do with leftover cooking oil, and even solidifies paint, WOW! I haven't actually had the chance to look for it in supermarkets but when Chanukah is near again I will be sure to search around for it. Meanwhile, I guess I won't be doing much frying!
Hip Hip Hooray for CobZorb!!
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