Showing posts with label garlic recipe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label garlic recipe. Show all posts

Quinoa with Mushrooms Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Sometimes I don’t know what’s best for me.  I first learned about quinoa over a decade ago when I was a vegetarian.  I next heard about it when I was low carbing,  Both times the protein heavy grain would have been a good addition to my diet.  Both times I was intimidated by this “new” food and I let that keep me from trying it.


kale Quinoa Mushrooms3kale Quinoa Mushrooms2


My first quinoa recipe was a bust almost as if it confirm that quinoa should be intimidating.  It took me months to try it again.  I am just finally getting the hang of it and I’m realizing that I had no reason to be intimidated.  Quinoa is not a direct replacement for rice since it is much mushier, but when you want a different grain it can’t be beat.


kale Quinoa Mushrooms5

Quinoa with Mushrooms, Kale and Sweet Potatoes

Adapted from Real Simple

The original recipe called for white wine but it overpowered the rest of the recipes.  I added a splash of lemon juice and added water instead.  Also, don’t skimp on the pot size for the veggies, I used my largest stock pot and that worked much better than the saucepan I tried to use the first time. and used the large stock pot and that helped with the volume of kale.

 kale Quinoa Mushrooms1

The harvest grains blend is not quinoa.  It wasn’t until my second attempt that I tried the quinoa and I forgot to take an ingredient picture that time!

1 cup quinoa

2 cups water or stock for the quinoa

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into almost uniform pieces

10 ounces cremini mushrooms, quartered

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 bunch kale, cut into small pieces and the stem removed

3/4 t salt

1/4 t pepper

3/4 cup water

splash of lemon juice

1/4 cup grated parmesan



Note: All recipes say “cook according to package instructions” but since I buy quinoa in bulk, there is no package and no instructions.  So here are my abbreviated instructions, The Kitchn has more detailed instructions. 


1. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and set aside.  Use 2 cups of water(or stock) for each cup of quinoa.  Bring the liquid and quinoa to a boil then cover and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Once the liquid has been absorbed take it off the heat to stand for 5 minutes.  Fluff the quinoa and then serve.


2. While the quinoa is cooking heat the 2 T olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.  Add the chopped sweet potatoes and quartered mushrooms to the oil and cook for 5 minutes.


3. Add the garlic to the stockpot and cook for an additional minute.


4.  Here is where you’ll be glad you have a stockpot.  Add the kale, 3/4 t salt and 1/4 t pepper, 3/4 c water and splash of lemon juice.  Work with the kale to make sure that all of the kale gets to the bottom of the pan and gets a chance to wilt in the hot water.  Also, try to stir the sweet potatoes and mushrooms off of the bottom if to let the flavors incorporate into the kale as well.  Continue to stir for about 10-12 minutes.


5. Combine the cooked quinoa and kale and top with the 1/4 c grated parmesan.  Stir to combine


Nutritionals (serves 4): Cals: 402, Fat: 13, Carb: 61, Fiber: 11, Protein: 17

Garlic Mozzarella Wontons

I love mozzarella sticks.  Even when I was at my strictest with the low carb diet a couple of years ago, I would cheat with mozzarella sticks (they’re mostly cheese, right?)  I have been trying to make mozzarella sticks at home for a while now to no avail.  Hungry girl has a recipe that uses Fiber One, and while it works pretty well, it requires me to buy certain ingredients that we don’t use on a day to day basis (Fiber One and egg beaters).  While I love mozzarella sticks, I don’t want them every day or every week, and I’d rather not have two-thirds of a box of Fiber One sitting in my pantry for months.

Then I had the idea to try stuffing some wonton wrappers with cheese and baking them, hoping that they would crisp up in the oven and provide all of the flavor of regular mozzarella sticks without the fat from frying.  The first time I made them, I stuffed the wonton wrappers with small squares of cheese, but it all but disappeared after baking (would the cheese act differently if I fried it?).  The second time, I shredded the cheese and crammed as much as I could into each wonton.  It worked out better, but there were still some air bubbles. Still, while they weren’t quite mozzarella sticks, they were definitely delicious.

Cheese and garlic wontons5

Garlic & Mozzarella Wontons
Adapted from Babble
While Dan enjoyed these without any accompaniment, I ate each wonton with a generous serving of my favorite pasta sauce.

4 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded
4 garlic cloves, minced (we love garlic-use less if you don’t)
fresh ground pepper
12 wonton wrappers
1 cup of easy tomato sauce

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Combine the shredded mozzarella and minced garlic.

3. Place a small bunch of shredded mozzarella and garlic mixture in the middle of the wrapper.  You want to put so much cheese in the wrapper that it barely closes. 

4.Moisten the edges of each wonton wrapper with a bit of water. Press the edges together to form a triangle-shaped wonton.

5. Bake the wontons on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for 10-13 minutes. Eat warm.

Nutritionals (12 servings excluding tomato sauce) Cals: 50, Fat: 2, Carb: 5, Protein: 3

Scallops with Spinach, Bacon, and Corn

Dan here today.  A week or two ago, Beth and I were channel surfing and came across Rocco’s Dinner Party, a competition cooking show hosted by Rocco DiSpirito.  I came away from that show with two thoughts.  First, Rocco DiSpirito is kind of a jerk.  Second, scallops with bacon and corn, which was prepared by one of the chefs and which Rocco pooh-poohed as something everybody does, sounded like a tasty idea.  Thus, when we came home from Sam’s Club with a bag o’ giant scallops, I decided to make some.  This recipe had the added benefit of allowing me to use up some bacon in the fridge, some spinach from the CSA, and some of the giant reserves of frozen corn we apparently decided to stockpile in preparation for the apocalypse.  On top of that, when the spinach was done, it tasted like bacon.  I think I would eat a lot more vegetables if they all tasted like bacon.  Anyway, here’s what I did:

Bacon, scallops, frozen corn, spinach, garlic, salt, and olive oil

1.  Put the corn in a microwave safe dish with a little water.  Cover and cook for about five minutes.

2.  Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the bacon and fry until crispy.  Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside.  Leave the bacon grease in the pan.

3.  Add the garlic to the pan, and after a few seconds, add the scallops.  Cook for one to two minutes per side, until nicely browned.  Set aside.

4.  Add the spinach to the pan.  After it has begun to wilt, crumble in the bacon and add the corn.  Continue to cook until the spinach has fully wilted.

5.  Enjoy your scallops and spinach.  With any luck, both will taste a little bit like bacon.

Couscous, Beans and Mushrooms

Last week’s couscous lunch was such a winner that I decided to make something similar this week.  Unfortunately, none of the variations I could find on the Internet met all of my requirements: protein, vegetables, and cheese.  I finally decided just to stick to the original recipe but replace asparagus with green beans.  I also used peanut oil in place of olive oil due to the Great MacKenzie Olive Oil Shortage of 2011.  Other than that, everything was the same, except that I didn’t cook the prosciutto to keep it pretty and pink for the pictures.
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The thing that I love most about this recipe is that the flavors of the individual ingredients are so different, yet they still go together well when combined.  Since I also made another recipe that I’ll be sharing with you tomorrow, I decided that this week I would let Dan eat some (He’s been forgetting to eat lunch some days).  I’m looking forward to enjoying this lunch for another week.
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Beer Me

A few weeks ago, Foodbuzz, the company that puts ads on our site, sent out a mass email offering a bit of cash to anyone who created a meal using New Belgium beer and blogged about it.  Since I enjoy beer, food, and the additional beer and food that money can buy, I decided to sign up and sell out.  After a bit of brainstorming, I came up with a meal.

I decided to make three different dishes with a comfort food theme using New Belgium’s Mighty Arrow Pale Ale. (By the way, am I the only one who thinks of Angry Birds’ Mighty Eagle every time I see that in print?) The first dish I created was Mighty Arrow Pretzel Bites (yes, this is the third time I’ve made pretzel bites, but this was a new recipe for me).  The second dish was Beer and cheddar fondue (with fruit, veggie, and pretzel bite dippers), and the meal ended with Chocolate Beer Cake with dark chocolate ganache.
beer fondue1
One of the best parts of cooking with beer is that very few recipes call for an entire bottle and so I could finish the bottle while cooking.  Dan and I each had a beer with our meal, and I must say, even though I didn’t taste the beer in the pretzels or the cake, the beer did go well with both dishes!

I will post the recipes for the pretzels and cake over the next two days, but I wanted to start with the the beer and cheese fondue.
beer fondue6
My inspiration for the fondue course was the Wisconsin Beer Fondue from The Melting Pot.  My friend Becca and I used to go to the one in DuPont Circle on a semi-regular basis, and we quickly learned that sharing cheese and chocolate was both affordable and filling (although Dan would disagree).

We hadn’t made any kind of fondue before because we don’t have a fondue pot.  There just isn’t room in our teeny kitchen for a dish that only has one purpose.  Instead, we used a regular saucepan and it worked really well, although I think we would have needed a real fondue pot if we’d been entertaining.  The recipe was super easy to make (the longest part was grating the cheese), and I could definitely taste the beer.  It gave a nice kick to the cheese and garlic.  I also added a little extra Worcestershire that I loved but Dan could have done without.
beer fondue8
Right after we finished eating, we turned on the Amazing Race, and what did we see but a Detour challenge where the teams had to eat a bowl of cheese fondue.  Unfortunately, it didn’t look like the teams enjoyed it as much as we did.  Maybe they should have tried our fondue instead.

Beer and Cheddar Fondue
2 apples, cored & cut into chunks
2 cups broccoli florets
2 cups  celery
Some New Belgium Beer pretzel bites (come back tomorrow for the recipe)

Fondue 1 pound good cheddar, grated
2 Tablespoons finely minced garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 ½ Tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 ounces  New Belgium’s Mighty Arrow Pale Ale or other beer + more if needed
6 Tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed
1 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
Toss grated cheese with the flour in a large bowl and set aside.

Combine the 2 tsp of olive oil and 2 Tbsp of garlic in a sauce pan over low heat. Heat until it starts sizzling and the garlic is fragrant.

Increase the heat to medium-high and pour in the beer, 6 Tbsp of apple juice concentrate and 1 teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Bring the beer mixture to a boil and then slowly add the cheese while constantly stirring.  Stir until the fondue is smooth and melted.  If the cheese starts to over thicken add some more beer.

As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received money to prepare this meal.  All opinions are mine.

Salad Granola

I had the great pleasure of having a 6am flight back to Denver last week.  And for those of us that aren’t constantly calculating the differences between time zones, that means that I woke up at 2:45 am MST.  Ouch.

I tried to sleep through the first flight but I knew that the second flight was too long for me to sleep through all of it and I didn’t want to read anything I had with me.  That left me wandering through Hudson News looking for something to distract me.  I am immediately drawn to the gossip mags, US, PEOPLE etc, but I wanted something more engaging and so I picked up Saveur.  It is one of the only food magazines that I don’t subscribe to and I was excited to see that it was the Chefs’ 100 edition.  I devoured the magazine and it definitely helped the time fly by (pun intended)savory granola1

 I found a lot of great inspiration in the magazine but #75 Savory Granola had to be made stat.  I’ve been loving my salads but totally aware of the fact that I need to change things up or else I’ll get sick of them.  Also, Dan is trying to put in enough calories and enough servings of veggies.
savory granola7

I will admit that I didn’t know what a few of the ingredients are (what are basil seeds? are they different than dried basil) and I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand so I made something up  and presto-chango my own recipe!
savory granola8

Another inspiration came from Ashley over at the Edible Perspective has been inspiring me with all of her experiments with so many different grains.  The first that I wanted to try was amaranth.  She has experimented with popping it and using it for cereal and popcorn. So I was wondering if it could replace the puffed rice in the granola. And it worked!  Also, check out Ashley’s blog, she’s experimenting with such great recipes that it is inspiring.
savory granola4

Basil-Garlic Salad Granola
4 Tbsp unpopped amaranth (a little more than 2 cups popped)
1 cup pistachios
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 1/2 Tbsp dried basil
1 cup fresh basil minced
1/2 cup honey
salt, to taste

Take 2 T of amaranth and place it in a dry large pot that had been heated to medium high.  Make sure to fully heat the pot before putting the amaranth in. Cover the pot as soon as you put the amaranth in the pot. shimmy the pot on the burner and the amaranth should pop immediately and finish pretty quickly. Remove the pot from the heat immediately and pour out the popped amaranth.  Repeat until you have the desired amount of finished product.

Combine all of the rest of the ingredients except for the honey.  While you are combining the granola heat up the honey.  Once the honey is warm pour it over the granola and fully combine.  Pour the granola into a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 40 minutes.  Cool completely and store in a sealed container for two weeks.

Chinese Pork and Garlic Broccoli

Yesterday I shared a spicy recipe which was a new flavor profile for me. (and yes, I’m watching a lot of Top Chef these days)  Today was Dan’s turn to try something he hasn’t traditionally liked.  Generally Dan avoids dishes with soy sauce in them so I was surprised when I came home to Dan making this dish.
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While I loved the flavors of this dish (I do love Chinese food! Especially when it isn’t coated in syrupy sauces) Dan just thought it was just ok.  But hey that is much better than his usual reaction to Chinese food!

Pork Chops with Soy Sauce and Garlic Broccoli

1 cup white rice
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 pork chops (2.5 lbs total)
head of Broccoli
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp soy sauce
Preheat oven to 400.

Cook rice by following the instructions on the package.
Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 T olive oil.  Sprinkle 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper over the pork.  Cook the pork for 2-3 minutes on each side.  Move the skillet into the oven and continue to cook for 6-8 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 T olive oil.  Add in the broccoli, garlic, soy sauce and 1/3 c water.  Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes.

Nutritionals (Serves 4) Cals: 474, Fat: 17, Protein: 30, Carb: 50, Fiber 3.

Rosemary and Cheese

Baked brie is such an amazing appetizer, I remember when it was served at almost every event I went to in DC, usually with cranberries or other sweet-ish ingredients and sometimes baked inside puff pastry. 
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My love of brie cheese is why I was so excited when I saw the box of camembert in the fridge.  One of the best parts of Dan being the chef of the house is I come home to a fridge full of ingredients and I get to try to imagine what he’s going to make out of them. 
Dan made this dish one afternoon before he left for practice and when I realized how delicious this was steaming hot out of the oven I felt so bad that he spent all the time making this dish and wouldn’t eat it at it’s peak of deliciousness.  I really hope his swim practices change to the mornings!

Baked Camembert Pasta
from Jamie’s Food Revolution

  • 8 oz box of camembert cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced`
  • 1 Tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 lbs rigatoni
  • 6 cup spinach
  • 4 oz parmesan, grated
Preheat your oven to 350.  Place the cheese on a piece of parchment paper.  Cut a circle In the middle of the top of the cheese wheel.  Discard the disk and , Cut a circle around the rind on top of the cheese and discard the disk of rind.  In the remaining space sprinkle the garlic, rosemary, a teaspoon of olive oil and a little pepper.  Place the cheese wheel on the parchment covered baking sheet and cook it in the oven for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, boil water in a large saucepan.  Cook the rigatoni according to the box instructions.  During the last minute of cooking add the spinach.  Drain the pasta and spinach into a colander over a bowl to save the water.
camembert pasta-0096Replace the rigatoni and spinach in the saucepan, add the parmesan and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.  If the cheese and spinach gets too thick add the saved cooking water.  Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the pasta and serve each plate with some of the camembert straight out of the oven.

Nutritionals (Serves 6): Cals: 539, Fat: 23, Carb:55, Fiber: 2.7, Protein: 25

Hot and Spicy

I don’t know what has happened to me.  I used to HATE spicy food.  I couldn’t stand how the spiciness made my mouth feel, it just hurt.  Over the past few years I’ve slowly gotten into more and more spicy foods. 

This pasta dish was pretty darn spicy.  However, it was a little dry.  Next time, I think we will add more olive oil.  I’m excited that my taste buds have grown up and are enjoying more adult foods.  Have you grown into or out of liking spicy foods?
 red pepper pasta-0013

Pasta al pangrattato
from Jamie’s Food Revolution

  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, with leaves removed from stalk
  • 4 slices stale bread, crushed into small breadcrumbs
  • salt
  • 1 lbs fusilli
  • 8 anchovies and 2 Tbsp of oil from the tin
  • 1 lemon
cook fusilli according to package instructions.  When the pasta is halfway done cooking, heat a large frying pan over medium heat.  Pour 2 T of the anchovy oil in the pan and when it gets hot, add the breadcrumbs.  Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme leaves and anchovies.  Continuously stir the ingredients for 4-5 minutes.
Drain the fusilli and add the pasta to the frying pan.  Save some of the cooking water to add to the pasta to loosen it up.  Squeeze the juice of half the lemon over the pasta and add some salt.

Nutritionals (Serves 6): Cals: 350, Fat: 8, Carb: 56, Fiber: 4, Protein: 11

dressing it up

I have to admit that I’ve never understood the salad dressing thing.  I’ve always kind of thought that they were too tangy or cloying or whatever.  Well, that is except for Ranch dressing, because I wouldn’t be me if the only thing I liked wasn’t one of the worst (nutritionally) of its kind.
Dan has decided to add more veggies to his diet and that has included more salads for me which also means more innovative salad dressings (caesar’s salad and lime dressing) Once again tonight’s dinner included a homemade salad dressing and tonight's consists of lemons, garlic, olive oil and rosemary.  These are some of my favorite things!
Salmon, Fennel and Salad with Lemon-Garlic Salad Dressing
from Real Simple 

  • 2 Fennel Bulbs, sliced 
  • 2 lemons 
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 Tbsp Olive oil 
  • 1 tsp Salt 
  • 1 T pepper 
  • 4 6oz salmon fillet 
  • 1 tsp honey 
  • 1 tsp rosemary, chopped 
  • 12 ounces mixed greens 

Preheat oven to 400.

Toss the fennel, lemons, garlic and 1 T oil and 1/4 t salt and pepper.  Roast for 8 minutes

Season salmon with 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper and place on top of the fennel.  Roast for 12-15 minutes.
Salad dressing:
In a medium bowl, squeeze the garlic out of the skins and mash.  Squeeze the lemon pulp and juice into a bowl.  Stir in honey, rosemary, 2 T of oil and 1/4 t salt.

Place salmon on top of the mixed greens and drizzle both with dressing.

Nutritionals (Serves 4): Cals: 425, Fat: 18, Carb: 20, Fiber 5.3, Protein: 46.4

Pork Chops with Oregano

This is a delicious and hearty meal.  What recipe isn’t awesome when it has prosciutto AND bacon.  It’s over 600 calories/serving, but I only eat half a chop so that would reduce the calories by a bit.  The original recipe called for sage, we really want to try that next time.

Pork Chops with Oregano
adapted from Jamie’s Italy
  • 2 1/2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 thick pork chops
  • handful of oregano
  • 1 bulb of garlic,
  • 4 slices of prosciutto
  • 4 Tbsp diced butter
  • 4 dried apricots
  • olive oil
  • 6 strips of bacon

Preheat oven to 425.

Place the diced potatoes into a large pot of water, add salt and bring to a boil for 3 to 4 minutes.  Then drain the potatoes and let them dry.

Spread out all pork chops on a cutting board and slice a “flavor pocket” into the side of the chop.

Add the oregano, one clove of peeled garlic, prosciutto, butter, apricots and a pinch of salt and pepper to your food processor.  Pulse until combined.  Divide butter combination by four and stuff into the flavor pocket.

Set the chops aside and cover with plastic wrap.

Chop the bacon into small pieces and place them into a large roasting pan with the potatoes and the rest of the unpeeled garlic cloves.  Drizzle the combination with olive oil and then put it into the oven.  After 10 minutes heat a large frying pan on high and add a little olive oil.  Add the pork chops and fry for 10 minutes until each side is golden brown and crispy.

Remove the potato mixture from the oven and put the chops on top of the potatoes.  Return the pan into the oven for about 10-15 minutes until chops are cooked (but not so long that they are overcooked!)

Nutritionals(Serves 4): Cals: 643, Fat: 30, Carbs: 22, Fiber: 1.7, Protein: 68.

Wild Mushroom Tamale Pie

Tamale’s are my favorite Mexican dish, but I always have to remember not to order it in restaurants because it is never quite what I want.  I found this recipe during my search to find a good tamale recipe.

Wild Mushroom Tamale Pie
January/February 2010 Clean Eating.

  • 2 cup yellow onion
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, finely diced
  • 3 cup vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
  • 2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 ears of fresh corn kernels
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin

Topping Ingredients:
  • 1 cup prepared corn bread batter
  • 2 oz goat’s cheese crumbled
Preheat oven to 350.

In a medium sauce pan, heat olive oil until there are faint whisps of smoke, then add the onion and sauté until the onion becomes translucent.  Add the garlic and then half of the tomatoes.  Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a sauté pan.  Add the corn and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  Cook for about 3 minutes and then add the remaining tomatoes and all of the mushrooms.  Continue cooking for a minute or two and combine it with the onion mixture in the sauce pan.

Season mixture to taste with the cayenne, salt, pepper and cumin.

Spoon the mixture into a casserole dish and dollop the surface with the corn bread batter in uniformed dots.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.  Garnish with dime sized pieces of goat cheese.

Nutritionals (Serves 4): Cals: 320, Fat: 7, Carbs: 53, Fiber 7, Protein: 13.

Sausage and Green Lentils

Sausages and green lentils with tomato salsa
from Jamie’s Italy

Salsa Ingredients
  • olive oil
  • red onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
  • 1 small stick of cinnamon
  • 1-2 dried red chilies, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 14-oz cans of tomatoes, chopped


In a medium pan add olive oil and heat until you see wisps of smoke.  Add the onion, garlic, cinnamon stick and chili.  Gently fry for about 10 minutes until the onion is translucent.  Turn the heat up and add the red wine vinegar  after it starts to steam turn it down to low and add the tomatoes and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • 8 medium-sized chicken sausages
  • olive oil
  • 1 lbs broccoli
  • juice of half of a lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • fresh thyme
  • 14 oz of lentils
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • handful of parsley
  • red wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 400.

Add the lentils to a saucepan add enough water to cover the lentils.  Add 2 cloves of garlic, the bay leaf and some parsley stems.  Simmer the mixture for 20 minutes.

Take a roasting pan and place the sausages lightly covered in oil.  Place in the oven for 25 minutes.
After the sausage comes out of the oven boil water in a sauce pan and then add the broccoli.  Drain the broccoli and toss in a bowl with lemon juice and olive oil.  Place in a separate serving dish and set aside.

When the lentils are done drain most of the water and remove the parsley stems and bay leaf.  Smoosh a clove of garlic with a fork and add it to the lentils.  Sprinkle 4 T of olive oil, parsley leaves and salt and pepper.
Add the lentils to a serving dish.  Remove the cinnamon stick from the salsa and season with salt and pepper and spread across the lentils.  Cut up the sausages and spread across the top.  Serve alongside the broccoli.
Nutritionals(Serves 8): Cals: 301 Fat: 20 Carbs: 12.5 Fiber: 4 Protein: 19

Basic Risotto Recipe

This recipe is the base of so many awesome recipes so I figured I’d give it to you separately. Especially since I have two recipes coming up that use this as the base.
risotto bianco
Jamie’s Italy

  • 2 pints of chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 a head of celery, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 cup Arborio rice
  • 4 oz white wine
  • 4 oz parm cheese, finely grated

step 1: heat the stock in a sauce pan.  In a separate sauce pan add the onion, garlic celery and cook for about 15 minutes.  Then add the rice and turn up the heat.
step 2: continuously stir the rice to keep it from frying too much.  When the rice becomes translucent add the wine and keep stirring.
step 3:  Once the wine is cooked into the rice add a ladle of the hot stock and a pinch of salt.  Turn the heat down.  Slowly keep adding ladlefuls of stock, continuously stirring and making sure that the stock is absorbed before adding the next ladleful.  This process should take about 15 minutes, the rice should be soft with a slight bite.  Keep checking the seasoning.
step 4: remove the rice from the heat and add the parmesan.  Stir well and let it sit for 2 minutes.

Serve immediately
Nutritionals(serves 6): Cals: 429, Fat: 12, Carb: 59, Fiber: 2, Protein: 16.7

Grilled swordfish

We’re trying to incorporate fish into our diet at least once a week.  Swordfish was on sale this week at the Sunflower, so we tried this.  We love Jamie Oliver because his recipes are simple and the flavors really pop.  We ate this recipe with Caesar’s salad on Saturday night.  That was a LOT of garlic for one night.  Good thing we love garlic!
Grilled Swordfish with salsa di giovanna
from Jamie’s Italy


  • juice of one lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely sliced
  • sprig of fresh mint sliced
  • sprig of fresh oregano, roughly sliced
  • 4 1/2-inch thick slices of swordfish (36 oz)
Combine the lemon juice and olive oil.  There should be three times as much olive oil as lemon juice.  Add salt, pepper, garlic, mint and oregano.

Heat grill until very hot sprinkle swordfish with salt and pepper.  Place swordfish on the grill for about a minute for each side until the fish is golden.  This will have the fish at about medium rare.  Cook longer if you prefer.  Spoon sauce over fish.

Nutritionals(Serves 4): Cals: 497, Fat: 23, Carb: 2.8, Fiber .7, Protein: 65.1

Acorn squash recipe

Dan made this delicious recipe from Eating Well a few weeks ago and it was so delicious and filling that I could only eat half, but I was anticipating the leftovers.  Unfortunately, the squash fell victim to an overflowing refrigerator and accidentally fell on the floor while readjusting. 


 Acorn squash stuffed with chard and white beans
  • 2 medium acorn squash, halved and seeded
  • 1 tsp EVOO
  • 2 T EVOO
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 8 cup chopped chard leaves
  • 15 oz can white beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/3 cup coarse dry whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan

Start but cutting a small slice off the bottom of each squash so that it sits flat.  Brush the inside of each squash with the teaspoon of EVOO and sprinkle with half of the salt and pepper.

Place all four in a microwave safe dish, cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for 12 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.  Once this is done, move the squash to an oven safe dish.

Turn the stove onto medium heat and place 1 T oil in a large skillet.  Add the onion to the skillet and and stir until the onion starts to brown.  This should take 2-3 minutes.  When the onion is browned add in the garlic and stir for a minute.  Then add the water, tomato paste and the last half of the salt and pepper.  Add in the chard and cover for about 3-5 minutes.  Stir in white beans and olives and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Preheat the boiler.  In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan and a tablespoon of EVOO.  Fill each squash with a cup of the chard mixture and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.    Broil 1-2 minutes in center of the oven until the breadcrumbs are browned.
The squash was much sweeter than we expected but this was a perfect meal even though the olives kinda overpowered the other flavors.

Nutritionals(serves 4): Cals: 342, Fat: 13, Carb: 49, Fiber 12, Protein: 11.

Steak with Rosemary and Garlic

I found this recipe in the March issue of Real Simple.  I love the combination of rosemary and garlic.  Dan and I really like these with TJ’s home fries.

Steak with Rosemary and Garlic
  • 6 cloves of thinly sliced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 1-inch thick strip steaks
  • salt and pepper
  • In a shallow dish combine garlic, rosemary and oil.  Place the steaks in the dish and turn over to coat.  After 30 minutes turn the steaks over again. 
  • Place the steaks on a large skillet on medium heat.  Season the steaks with 1/2 tsp salt and pepper.  Cook about 5 to 7 minutes per side.  This cooks the steak to about medium-rare, cook longer if you like your meat really really dead.
Nutritionals (4.4 oz): Calories 233.6, Fat: 13.2, Crab: 1.4, Fiber: .3, Protein: 25.8

Easy, no?  Not only is it easy, it is so tasty!


I may or may not watch a lot of The Food Network, and today I forgot to fast forward through some commercials and I heard two ads for ‘umami the new taste.’  Commercials for a flavor?  I remember hearing the word on the Top Chef challenge last week, but that was the first time I heard it.  Am I late to the party?  Has everyone known about umami for awhile and I’m just learning?  Or is umami an advertising ploy to give a name to a taste that has been around for awhile?

In honor of the umami commercials, Dan made us some Mushroom pizza.  The same pizza I was sad to miss last week.So
So, this is umami?  I really like umami, it may be my favorite taste!  This pizza was super easy, just take. Brush the dough with olive oil and bake at 425 for 15 minutes.  Add some mozzarella cheese and the mushrooms from the mushroom risotto and place them on top of crust and bake it for 12 minutes. (Still at 425) Presto Chango Dinner!


For dinner, Dan made pumpkin leek soup.  From a whole pumpkin!  It was fun seeing him figure out how to cook it!
Yay for fun fall flavors!  And boo for the end of my weekend.  Back to work I go tomorrow.

Pork Chops Braised in White Wine

Pork Chops Braised in White Wine (adapted from American Heart Association Cookbook)
  • 1 t dried sage leaves crumbled
  • 1 t dried rosemary leaves, crumbled
  • 1 t finely chopped garlic
  • 1 t salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 center cut loin pork chops, very lean, about 1 inch thick (12 ounces)
  • 2 T margarine
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 3/4 c dry white wine

Trim all fat from pork chops.  Combine the sage, rosemary, garlic salt and a few grindings of pepper.  Press a little of this mixture firmly into both sides of each pork chops.

In a heavy 10-to 12-inch skillet, melt the margarine with the olive oil over moderate heat.  When the foam subsides, place the chops in the hot fat and brown them for 2 or 3 minutes on each side, turning them carefully with tongs.  When the chops are golden brown, remove them from the pan to a platter.

Pour off all but a thin film of fat from the pan, add 1/2 cup of the wine and bring it to a boil.  Return the chops to the pan, cover and reduce the heat to the barest simmer.  Basting with the pan juices occasionally, cook the chops for 25 to 30 minutes, or until they are tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife.

15-Minute Rosemary Garlic Potatoes

15 Minutes Rosemary Garlic Potatoes
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary(chopped) or 1/4 t dried
  • 1 1/2 pounds red new potatoes, scrubbed and thinly sliced
  • coarse salt and ground pepper
Combine oil, garlic, and rosemary in a 2-quart microwave-safe baking dish with a lid.  Cover and microwave on high until garlic is fragrant, 1 minutes.  Stir in potatoes.  Cover and microwave on high until potatoes are tender, 13-15 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serves 4

Per serving: 151 cals, 3.6 g fat, 3.3g protein, 27.6 g carb, 3 g fiber