Monday, January 31, 2011

Cod with Tomatoes, Capers, and Olives

This sauce is really good so you might want to make couscous or rice to go with this fish dish.

Cod with Tomatoes, Capers, and Olives

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
24 oz. diced tomatoes
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1/2 cup parsley, chopped and divided
1 1/2 lbs cod fillets
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or deep skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and onion and saute, stirring until the onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add oregano and thyme, and salt and stir. Add tomatoes, olive, capers and about half the parsley. Simmer a bit.

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper on both sides. Push some of the sauce to one side of the pan and spread the rest thinly over the bottom of the pan. Place the fish on top of the sauce in the bottom of the pan and cover with the sauce that you previously pushed aside. Cover the pan and simmer over medium heat until the fish is opaque and flakes easily, about 10 minutes.

Sprinkle the remaining parsley over the fish and serve.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Veggie Chili

Here's a good vegetarian chili that is enhanced by a splash of Frank's Hot Sauce (or your fave hot sauce). The chili has a good flavor but I used no salt everything so it really needed the kick of the Frank's for added flavor!

1 T olive oil
2 bell peppers (any color) chopped
1 box sliced mushrooms, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 T chili powder
1 T oregano
1/2 T cumin
1/4 t salt
1 can no salt aduki beans, with juice (you can use any beans you have, pinto, kidney, black, etc)
1 can no salt black beans, with juice
1 can diced no salt tomatoes with juice
1 cup low sodium V-8

In large sauce pan, heat oil and add onions, garlic, celery and mushrooms and cook 7 minutes. Add spices and cook around 5 minutes more.
Add beans and tomatoes with their juices and V-8, bring to a boil, then simmer  about 30 minutes.

Good with dollop of non-fat yogurt served on top.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Slaw with a Kick!

This slaw has a a wonderful fresh taste and the hot sauce gives it just a nice little kick that surprises the taste buds!

Spicy Mexican Slaw with Lime and Cilantro
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe can be easily doubled. Recipe adapted slightly from Fine Cooking Annual 2008.)

6 cups of sliced cabbage- (I used bagged slaw cause I had it!)
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 T reduced fat mayo
3 T fresh lime juice (more or less to taste)
hot sauce to taste (I used Sriracha hot sauce- ½ t)
salt to taste

Put cabbage, green onions and cilantro in large bowl.

In small bowl, whisk together, mayo, lime juice, and hot sauce.

Use a wooden spoon to mix dressing into cabbage mixture. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately, or chill for a few hours.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Marrakesh Express!

So, I was flipping through a magazine I get, Every Day Food, and this Marrakesh Stew caught my eye. From the title I knew it would most likely be fragrant with spices that we like. Of course, the title also made me think about the song "Marrakesh Express" from 1969..............the year I met my dear husband..............good times and a great song. For those of you who remember, here's a walk down memory lane and for my blog readers who are too young to know what I'm talking about, give a listen :-)


Back to the food....this stew is seriously good and it makes a lot.  If you're only cooking for two, you will have leftovers for another dinner and stew to freeze.

Marrakesh Stew

1 T olive oil
1 large red onion diced large
2 t ground cumin
1 t cinnamon
1 t ground coriander
1 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t allspice
4 large carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch pieces
salt and pepper
1 can diced tomatoes
3 3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 small eggplant. peeled and cut in 1 inch pieces
1 can chickpeas,  rinsed and drained
cooked couscous

In large Dutch oven, heat oil and and add onion, cooking about five minutes. Add spices and cook another minute. Add carrots, potatoes, and squash and season with salt and pepper. Cook stirring frequently, for about five minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice and the broth. Vegetables should be covered. If not, add some water. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, uncovered 20 minutes.

Add eggplant, stir to combine, and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in chickpeas, season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook until chickpeas are warm--5 minutes or so. Serve stew over couscous.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Green Barley Pilaf

Looking for a great grains side dish to go with just about anything?Try this delicious barley pilaf from Mark Bittman's book, The Food Matters Cookbook.

Green Barley Pilaf

2 T olive oil
1 onion chopped
1 T minced garlic
1 cup pearled (quick cooking) barley
3 cups vegetable broth or reduced sodium chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 box baby spinach

1.  Sauteé onion and garlic in olive oil until softened--5 minutes
2.  Add the barley and cook stirring about a one minute. Add the the liquid and some salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
3.  Turn the heat to low, cover and cook about 25 minutes. Stir in spinach, replace the lid and let rest at least ten minutes or up to 20 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Taste and adjust seasonings. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil if you like.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Crockpot Turkey Tenderloin

Easy dinner to make and it's low fat and low sodium but tastes pretty good!

Turkey Tenderloin

1/2 large red pepper, sliced
1/2 large onion cut into thin wedges
16 oz turkey tenderloin (mine was in two pieces)
1 clove garlic minced
salt and pepper
4 T orange juice
4 T hoisin sauce
2 T sliced green onion
2 T slivered almonds, toasted

Place red pepper and onions in slow cooker. Place turkey on vegetables, salt and pepper and sprinkle garlic over all. Combine orange juice and hoisin sauce and pour over all. 

Cook for 5 hours on low.
Remove turkey and slice. Serve turkey with vegetables and sauce over rice. Sprinkle with green onion and almonds.
Peas go well with this.

This picture did not turn out well at all but the dish tasted good!
Add caption

Easy Chicken with Onions, Mushrooms and Rosemary

6 chicken thighs, skinless and boneless
salt/pepper to season chicken
1T olive oil

1 red onion cut in wedges
Large box of sliced mushrooms

2 plum tomatoes, cut in large dice
fresh rosemary springs (I used 4)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Season thighs well on both sides with salt and pepper. 

Heat large oven proof frying pan, (I have a large cast iron skillet which is perfect for this) Add olive oil, and brown chicken very well on both sides.

Remove chicken from frying pan and put onions in and saute 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and saute 2 minutes more. 

Put chicken back in pan among the onions and mushrooms and scatter the tomatoes over all.  Put the whole springs of rosemary in pan. Roast 40-45 minutes, until chicken and veggies are done.

This was delish!!

This is how it looked when I put it in the oven! Yum-and as it bakes the house fills with rosemary!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Potato + Lentil Soup = Dinner!

Too lazy to go to the store so have decided to bake two large potatoes, heat up a can of lentil soup, chop some green onions, get out some Greek yogurt and some shredded cheddar--yep-dinner!

Chicken Salad for Lunch

I'm always in the mood for chicken salad and I especially like this one because of the green olives--never met an olive I didn't like!

Chicken Salad with Green Olives, Celery, and Green Onion
(Makes 4 servings, recipe adapted from one on Kalyn's Kitchen blog)

2-3 cups cooked chicken breast, shredded into bite-sized pieces
(you can cook 2 chicken breasts following the instructions below)
1 cup diced celery (about 3 stalks celery)
1 cup large green olives with pimento, sliced into crosswise slices
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup light mayo
2 tsp. green olive brine (liquid from the jar)
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
pepper to taste- no salt needed due to olives

Easy chicken poaching recipe: Put chicken breasts in large pot of salted water to cover. Put on a lid and bring to full boil. When boiling, turn off heat and set timer for 20 minutes. Let chicken sit with lid on pot. Makes nice tender chicken for salad other cooked chicken recipes.

Use your fingers to shred enough cooked chicken breast to make 2-3 cups.  Slice olives and green onions and chop celery.

Combine mayo, light mayo, green olive brine, Dijon mustard, and pepper.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine chicken pieces, diced celery and sliced green onions. Stir in enough dressing to moisten all the ingredients. (You may not need all the dressing, especially if you only have 2 cups of chicken pieces.) Then gently fold in green olives, mixing just enough to distribute them among the other ingredients. Serve immediately or chill slightly.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chicken Piccata with Capers

 If you like capers, keep reading...........if not, stop now! This dish is really good served over couscous cause the sauce is YUM!

Chicken Piccata with Fried Capers

(Makes 2-3 servings, but could easily be doubled. Recipe adapted slightly from Fine Cooking Annual.)

2  very large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T nonpareil capers
2 T olive oil
salt and pepper to season chicken
1 clove crushed chopped garlic
1/2 cup low sodium  chicken stock
2 T fresh lemon juice
1 t honey
1 T butter, cut up
1 T chopped fresh parsley

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts. Cut each one in half to make two pieces about the same size. One at a time, put pieces inside a heavy ziploc bag and pound chicken to make it an even 1/2 inch thick. Season chicken with a small amount of salt and pepper.  Chop parsley and set aside.

Rinse the capers and pat dry with paper towels. In a 10-inch nonstick frying pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add capers and fry until they open slightly and crisp a little, took 60-90 seconds for me. Remove pan from heat and use a spoon to transfer capers to paper towel, letting the oil drip back into pan.

Get oil hot again, then saute chicken on top side until nicely browned, about 3-4 minutes. Turn over and cook on other side until chicken is done, probably only 1-2 minutes on the second side. Arrange chicken on serving dish with browned side facing up. (You can cover them to keep warm if you want, but I didn't and they were fine.)

While chicken browns, measure out chicken stock, garlic, butter, and lemon juice so they are ready. Add garlic to hot pan and saute 15-30 seconds. Add chicken stock, and scrape pan to dissolve browned bits. Cook until stock is reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and honey, then turn off heat and add butter, stirring until butter is melted. Add half of capers and parsley to sauce, then pour sauce over chicken, garnishing with remaining capers.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Yummy Shrimp

There are a lot of food blogs to peruse but one I consult often is Kalyn's Kitchen because she always has something practical and yummy to eat. Yesterday I found both a shrimp recipe and a wonderful roasted broccoli recipe on her site. Made them both tonight and was pleased. I served the shrimp at room temperature. It has a flavorful sauce (only if you like horseradish, though) and would be good over brown rice. I had leftover sweet potato wedges so didn't make rice tonight. I love roasted vegetables and this broccoli is enhanced with fresh garlic cloves.

Shrimp with Mustard Horseradish Sauce
8 large cooked frozen shrimp, thawed
Juice of one large lemon
4 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 1/2 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T prepared horseradish (more or less to taste)
2 tsp. Greek yogurt
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
1-2 T finely chopped green onion

Whisk together the lemon juice, Dijon mustard, extra-virgin olive oil, horseradish, and yogurt Season to taste with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Add chopped green onions and mix into sauce.

When shrimp are drained and dried, mix with the sauce. I let the shrimp sit in the sauce in the fridge for an hour then brought it out and let it sit on the counter a bit to take the chill off before serving.

Roasted Broccoli with Garlic

1 bunch broccoli, about 1 1/2 pounds, cut into bite sized flowerets
3 T extra virgin olive oil
6-8 cloves fresh garlic
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450. Cut broccoli into bite sized pieces, and slice stems if large. Slice garlic cloves, and cut slices in half if you want thinner pieces of garlic.

Toss broccoli with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, then spread on a baking sheet. Roast until broccoli is bright green and edges are starting to brown slightly, 20-25 minutes. Serve hot.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Decade 1.1.11

New Year's Day Brunch Menu

Clean Out the Fridge Frittata!
Shallot and Red Onion Hash Browns
Cinnamon Sue Oranges

Clean Out the Fridge Frittata 
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 small onion, chopped
Handful of fresh spinach
4 eggs, beaten
Salt and pepper and some oregano
1 cup shredded mozzarella

 Pre-heat broiler
Sauté peppers and onions in a medium cast iron or oven proof skillet. Add spinach and wilt, pour in eggs and swish around like you're making an omelet adding salt, pepper and oregano. Sprinkle cheese on top and put under broiler to melt cheese-watch carefully so you don't over cook. Let sit a few minutes before cutting.

Shallot and Red Onion Hash Browns
1/4 cup sliced red onion
one shallot sliced
1/2 bag frozen has browns ( I like the Alexia brand)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Sauté shallot and red onion in olive oil, add hash browns and slat and pepper and cook allowing the bottom of the potatoes to form a nice crust.

Cinnamon *Sue* Oranges
2 naval oranges, peeled and sliced
Turbinado or regular sugar
Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon over the oranges, let sit a bit for flavors to develop.
**I learned of this recipe from a friend who is no longer with us and I always think of her each time I make it.**

A lot of families have traditional foods that are eaten on New Year's Day for good luck. On the Epicurious site I found some interesting facts about foods that my family always ate: cabbage, legumes and pork. Below, are some fun facts about these good luck foods.

Our good luck menu this year will be:

Lemon Pork Chops with Lentil Pilaf
Tangy Slaw

Cooked Greens

Cooked greens, including cabbage, collards, kale, and chard, are consumed at New Year's in different countries for a simple reason — their green leaves look like folded money, and are thus symbolic of economic fortune. The Danish eat stewed kale sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, the Germans consume sauerkraut (cabbage) while in the southern United States, collards are the green of choice. It's widely believed that the more greens one eats the larger one's fortune next year.


Legumes including beans, peas, and lentils are also symbolic of money. Their small, seedlike appearance resembles coins that swell when cooked so they are consumed with financial rewards in mind. In Italy, it's customary to eat cotechino con lenticchie or sausages and green lentils, just after midnight—a particularly propitious meal because pork has its own lucky associations. Germans also partner legumes and pork, usually lentil or split pea soup with sausage. In Brazil, the first meal of the New Year is usually lentil soup or lentils and rice, and in Japan, the osechi-ryori, a group of symbolic dishes eaten during the first three days of the new year, includes sweet black beans called kuro-mame.
In the Southern United States, it's traditional to eat black-eyed peas or cowpeas in a dish called hoppin' john. There are even those who believe in eating one pea for every day in the new year. This all traces back to the legend that during the Civil War, the town of Vicksburg, Mississippi, ran out of food while under attack. The residents fortunately discovered black-eyed peas and the legume was thereafter considered lucky.


The custom of eating pork on New Year's is based on the idea that pigs symbolize progress. The animal pushes forward, rooting itself in the ground before moving. Roast suckling pig is served for New Year's in Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Hungary, and Austria—Austrians are also known to decorate the table with miniature pigs made of marzipan. Different pork dishes such as pig's feet are enjoyed in Sweden while Germans feast on roast pork and sausages. Pork is also consumed in Italy and the United States, where thanks to its rich fat content, it signifies wealth and prosperity.

Lemon Pork Chops with Lentil Pilaf

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1 Tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary
1 cloves garlic, chopped
4 1 inch thick pork chops

Mix all the above ingredients together and marinate chops 4 or 5 hours.
Pre heat oven to 400
Sear the pork chops in a very hot oven proof skillet for two minutes on each side. Then put the skillet in the oven, turn the oven OFF and let the chops bake about 8 minutes.

Lentil Pilaf
Used Casbah brand rice and lentil mix and sautéed celery and onion in the saucepan before adding the water, and rice/lentil mixture.

Tangy Slaw

4 cups thinly sliced cabbage
1 cup shredded carrot
½ cup diced red pepper
½ cup diced red onion
¼ cider vinegar
1 T sugar
1 T vegetable oil
1 T dijon mustard
2 t prepared horseradish
salt and pepper

Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk together the dressing ingredients and pour over slaw and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours.