Sunday, May 30, 2010

Grilling Marinade

With Memorial Day upon us, it is the time of year for being outside and grilling. And now that I have access to a very nice grill on Sundays, I want to grill everything. Which is exactly what I did today. I coated the broccoli, corn, onion slices and par-cooked sweet potatoes with extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, then grilled them until tender.

Grilling Marinade

1/2 c. white wine vinegar
1/2 c. lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1 T. dry mustard
Salt and pepper

Whisk together all ingredients and marinade meat for at least 1 hour before grilling.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tilapia With Burst Tomatoes

WARNING: If you get really squeamish at just the idea of blood or needles, you may want to skip this story and go straight to the yummy recipe.

I had to get blood drawn for lab tests this morning. Apparently I have small, rolling veins. Getting blood drawn has frequently been a problem for me, and today was no exception. The first arm the nurse tried (Yeah, I said first), she missed my vein. She then started wiggling the needle around in my arm trying to get it in my vein, which was unsuccessful. So, she went to my other arm. She hit the vein and drew my blood just fine, or so I thought. About 45 minutes later, my arm was still kind of sore, which is odd. And now I have a big, ugly bruise and my arm is swollen. Swollen!! What in the world did she do to me?

Tilapia With Burst Tomatoes
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4 tilapia fillets
Salt and pepper
Chili powder
2 c. cherry tomatoes
2 c. mushrooms, quartered
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, smashed
Extra virgin olive oil

Toss cherry tomatoes and garlic with oil, salt and pepper. Lay tomatoes and garlic out on a baking sheet. Roast in a 250 degree oven for 30 minutes. Toss mushrooms and onions with oil, salt and pepper. Add mushrooms and onions to tomatoes and roast for another 30 minutes, or until tomatoes burst and mushrooms are tender. Season both sides of tilapia with salt, pepper, chili powder and paprika. Saute tilapia in skillet for 3-4 minutes per side.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Citrus Chicken and Wild Rice

My little niece, Claire who just turned 1, has started to give kisses. Usually when she gives kisses, she really just bites your lips and drools all over your face. But now she closes her mouth and then opens it when she kisses. It's SO cute! Not that I'm bragging, but I am the first person that she has given real kisses to.

Citrus Chicken
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4 chicken breasts, cut into cutlets
1 lemon, zested
1 lime, zested and juiced
Fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
4 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 avocados, diced
2 scallions, chopped

Mix tomatoes together with avocado, scallions, salt and lime juice. Season both sides of chicken cutlets with salt, pepper, lemon zest, lime zest and thyme. In large skillet, saute for 3-4 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Top chicken cutlets with tomatoes and avocados.

Wild Rice
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1/2 c. wild rice
1 c. instant brown rice
2 c. chicken broth
1 c. sliced mushrooms
2 c. broccoli, cut up in small pieces

Saute mushrooms in skillet for 5-6 minutes, or until browned. Set aside. Bring chicken broth to a boil. Season with salt and stir in wild rice. Reduce to simmer, cover and let cook for 45 minutes. Stir in brown rice, cover pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Top rice with broccoli and mushrooms. Return lid to pot, turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff rice with fork.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Lemon Garlic Chicken with Sweet Potatoes

My boyfriend, Stephen, has decided that he wants to work on his 6-pack for summer. Yeah, you read right. Someone told him a couple of weeks ago that if he wants his 6-pack to show, he needs to cut down on carbs. So he has been eating salads and eating less carbs. Then after the salad I made him on Friday, he told me it was overly healthy and he thinks he needs more carbs. So much for that short-lived health kick.

Lemon-Garlic Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
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2 chicken breasts, cut in bite size pieces
Salt and pepper
2 T. paprika
2 t. cumin
1 t. ground red pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
4 slices bacon, cut up
2 lbs. sweet potatoes
Green onions, cut on bias

In gallon sized storage bag, mix together paprika, cumin, ground red pepper, garlic, lemon juice and oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Put chicken in storage bag and toss to coat chicken. Let chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes. Pierce sweet potatoes multiple times with fork and microwave for 3 minutes to soften slightly. Cube sweet potatoes. In large skillet, brown up bacon. Remove bacon from skillet and drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of grease. Add sweet potatoes to skillet and toss to coat. Cook for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through and browned. Stir bacon back in with potatoes. Remove chicken from marinade and cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or until cooked through. Top with green onions.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Steak and Shrimp Salad

Ok, I have to tell you about my doctor's appointment on Wednesday. First of all, I really like my new doctor, Dr. Loafer. She really listened to everything I talked about. She probably wished I would stop talking so much, but she never cut me off. Even though I went to her about my thyroid, she is going to look at how everything in my body is working. So... it looks like while I'm fixing some issues with my insides, I will have a very short list of foods I will be able to eat, for 6 months. I have to admit, I'm a little bit nervous about it. Ok fine, I'm a lot nervous about it. But I know it will be worth it to be healthy again. Hopefully I will have the will power to keep cooking for others while refraining from eating it myself. I will continue to update you all on how things are going.

My friend, Corley, grew the tomatoes I'm using in this salad. They are so good. Thanks lady.

Steak and Shrimp Salad
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Romaine lettuce
Tomatoes, diced
Green onions, sliced
2 hard-boiled eggs, quartered
1 lb. thin sirloin steak
3/4 lb. red potatoes, cut in wedges
1/2 lb. shrimp
Lime zest
Salt and pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Red wine vinaigrette

Season steak with salt and pepper. In skillet cook steak for 3-4 minutes per side, or until cook through. Let steak rest, then dice steak. Toss potatoes with oil and season with salt and pepper. Saute potatoes in large skillet until cooked through and browned on both sides, about 25 minutes. Season shrimp with salt, pepper and lime zest. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side. Toss lettuce with vinaigrette. Top salad with potatoes, shrimp, green onions, tomatoes, steak and hard boiled eggs. Season tomatoes with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cuban Style Pork

Yesterday I started a story for you explaining why I haven’t been blogging much lately. So here’s part two…

Part Two

The biggest factor addressed in this book for me is something I never thought would be a part of this blog... I need to maintain a gluten-free diet. Let me tell you up front, I am not happy about this. I repeat, NOT HAPPY!!! Finding this out is like a psychological and emotional stab in the heart. But I as much as I don't want to admit it, I have been feeling better without gluten in my diet. I haven't gotten to 100% yet, but I am eating about 90-95% gluten-free. For some reason, though, this is effecting my inspiration and motivation to cook. As silly as it sounds, I feel so restricted. I know there are a ton of things I can and do make that don’t contain gluten, but I love me some bread, and the idea of not cooking with it has me messed up. It’s been three weeks now and I know I need to get over it. I’m working on it. I hope to start cooking more again. But I am determined not to make this blog about eating gluten-free even though you will probably see more recipes that don’t contain gluten.

I hope I haven’t bored you terribly with my two part, rambling story. But the moral of this story is that if you have hypothyroidism, or have symptoms of hypothyroidism, I highly recommend this book. **In fact, I have a doctor's appointment Wednesday afternoon, so I will let you all know how it goes.

Cuban Style Pork

Monday, May 17, 2010

Asian Steak Stuffed Potatoes

I try not to be too long winded in my blog, but today I have a story for you. I've decided for the sake of keeping it short and peaking your interest, I am going to make this a two part story. So I hope you come back tomorrow for part two...

Part One
I have been bad at blogging lately, partially because of being busy. But there is another reason, and I feel I need to explain. The story actually starts back last August... After going to my yearly doctor's appointment, I found out that I have hypothyroidism. So I started taking medication and very quickly started feeling better. Then in January, as I started working out more and eating healthier, I started feeling tired all the time again. My visit back to my doctor in February came and went with no explanation of my returned fatigue. Then about a month ago, my friend Marisa recommended this book to me. Well, with knowledge comes responsibility... (to be continued) Click for Part 2

Asian Steak Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
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2 small sweet potatoes
1 1/2 lb. sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. rice vinegar
2 T agave nectar
1 T. sesame oil
1 t. ginger, freshly grated
1 clove garlic, smashed
2 T. butter
1/3 c. half and half
Salt and pepper

Pierce sweet potatoes multiple times with a fork. Bake in 400 degree oven on a baking sheet until cooked through, about 1 hour. Mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, agave, sesame oil, ginger and garlic. Marinade steak for at least 30 minutes. In large skillet, cook steak with marinade for 5-6 minutes. When sweet potatoes are cooked through, split the top of the potatoes and scoop out the inside. Mash sweet potatoes with butter, half and half, salt and pepper. Stuff mashed sweet potatoes back in skins and top with steak and marinade.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Banana Cupcakes

Today is my niece, Claire's first birthday. She had an adorable cupcake themed party. So I made different sized cupcakes and a small 5 inch cake for Claire to dig into. I thought that banana would be a good flavor for a 1 year old. She was so cute and had a really good time eating up her cake.

Banana Cupcakes

2 sticks butter, at room temperature
2 c. sugar
7 egg whites
3 c. cake flour
3 1/2 t. baking powder
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. milk
1/2 c. over ripened bananas, mashed

In food processor, process milk and mashed bananas into a smooth, light puree. Shift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt, set aside. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg whites, 2 or 3 whites at a time. With mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and banana puree alternately in 2 or 3 additions, beating until just blended between additions. Divide batter into muffin tins and bake in a 350 degree oven for 18-20 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 box powdered sugar
Cream together cream cheese and butter. With mixer on low speed, slow add powdered sugar until well incorporated.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pizza Burger

These burgers are ridiculously good. I could pretend that these burgers are healthier because they are made from ground turkey breast, but I'm pretty sure that the pepperoni and mozzarella cheese more than makes up for any chance they had at being healthy.

Pizza Burger
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1 lb. ground turkey breast
2 t. dried basil
Salt and pepper
1/4 c. pizza sauce
20 pepperoni slices
4 slices fresh mozzarella
Fresh basil, thinly sliced
4 sesame buns, lightly toasted

Mix ground turkey with basil, salt and pepper. Form into 4 equal sized burger patties. Cook in skillet or grill for 6-7 minutes per side, or until cooked through. In skillet, cook pepperoni slices for 4-5 minutes, or until slightly crisp and rendered of fat. Drain pepperoni on a paper towel. In the last 3 minute of the burgers cooking, top each burger with a tablespoon of sauce, 5 slices of pepperoni and a slice of mozzarella. Tent burgers with foil and let cheese melt.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Salmon With Avocado Sauce

Yesterday was the first Mother's Day since I've lived in Dallas that I got to spend with my mom. It was such a fun weekend. I think that mom had a great time playing with her grand-babies and seeing their new house. But as always, the weekend went by way too quickly.

Salmon With Avocado Sauce

4 salmon fillets
Salt and pepper
Fresh thyme
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 avocados
1/2 c. water

Season salmon with salt, pepper, fresh thyme and lime zest. Saute salmon in large skillet, over medium heat for 5-6 minutes per side. Smash avocados with lime juice and salt. Mix in water until is becomes a thick sauce. Pour sauce over the salmon.