Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Chili Verde Pork Bowl

I just love a bowl dinner. I had a one pound pork tenderloin and decided to cook it slow and low in the crock pot and then shred the meat over bowl of spaghetti squash. Very tasty and low carb.

1 fairly large spaghetti squash
1 pork tenderloin
1 jar Salsa Verde
1 T cumin
1 onion chopped

Toppings: Greek yogurt, shredded cheddar, jalapeno rings, salsa, avocado

Early in day, in a crock pot put the onions, add the tenderloin, pour on the salsa verde and stir in the cumin. Set to low and cook all day. Before serving, shred the meat and place back into the sauce.

An hour before serving, prepare spaghetti squash- poke a few holes in it and bake on cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 400. Cut in half and scoop out seeds and put the halves flesh side down on sheet and bake for another 30 minutes. Take a fork and scrape out the insides giving you a nice "bed" of squash in each bowl (I used only half a squash for two bowls) The squash I baked was not small.

To layer the bowl: spaghetti quash, shredded pork in sauce then the toppings of your choice.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Super Easy Ice Cream

Happy Memorial Day Ice Cream Treat

Who ever heard of healthful ice cream? Read on!

4 bananas, peeled and cut in chunks--put in ziplock bag and freeze

In blender, combine frozen bananas, a little almond milk and blend until the consistency of ice cream. At this time you can add some dark chocolate chips and serve or you can put mixture in container and freeze and  then scoop out later. I did the latter. It was very yummy! And pretty much guilt free, right?

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Overnight Oatmeal

When I think of oatmeal, I usually think of a warm bowl of breakfast goodness. Have you ever had it cold? It's quite good and healthful. You make it the night before and then just add fresh fruit in the morning--pretty yummy! There are all sorts of variations on this but here's the one I've been making lately:

In a small jar the night before add:

1/2 cup steel-cut oats
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 T greek yogurt
1/8 t vanilla
squirt of honey
dashes of cinnamon
1 T raisins

Screw on lid and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning add fresh fruit and chopped walnuts.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Pork Medallions in Mushroom Marsala Sauce

Recently I bought a nice pork tenderloin at Arbor farms and I decided to do something different than my usual go-to recipes. I had some sliced mushrooms and some shallots so here we go:

1 pork tenderloin cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces and then flatten with palm-salt and pepper
1 pkg sliced mushrooms
2 shallots, diced
butter and olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup chicken broth ( I used vegetable broth)
1/2 cup Marsala wine
chopped parsley
1 T flour

In large skillet heat some butter and olive oil and brown the pork on first side 3 minutes, then flip for 2 minutes. Transfer to plate. In same skillet add a bit more oil or butter and quickly cook the shallots 1/2 minute, then throw in the mushrooms and stir around for around 3 minutes to get them golden. Sprinkle the flour over all, pour in the Marsala wine and stir well. When wine seems to have evaporated, pour in broth and stir. Cook for a while more to reduce by half then add the meat back in and stir the meat around in the sauce--add parsley and serve!

I served with easy crisp potatoes and spinach. In large saucepan of salted water, boil chopped potatoes 15 minutes then drain and add to skillet with butter and olive oil. Cook for another 20 minutes stirring often-adding salt, pepper and minced garlic.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Roast Asparagus and Cauliflower

I love asparagus and I love cauliflower so why not arrange a marriage? You will not regret this union.

1 head cauliflower, in florets
1 bunch asparagus, cut in thirds (tough ends removed)
3 cloves garlic minced
2 T fresh rosemary minced
5 T olive oil
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Mix all the ingredients (but not the cheese) in a zip lock bag so you can get the spices and oil well distributed. Let sit on counter for up to an hour. Preheat oven to 450. Dump mixture into baking dish and roast for 25 minutes--stirring half way. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Chicken with Vinegar

That title may not actually sound good to many people but this is a Mark Bittman (from the NYT) recipe and I usually always like the things he makes sooooooooo, I decided to give it a go and it was fabulous! It is deceptively simple as well and I adore simple recipes!

2 T olive oil
1 3 lb chicken cut up
salt and pepper
1/4 cup of scallions chopped
1/4 cup shallots sliced
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 T butter

1.  Preheat oven to 450. In large oven proof skillet, heat the oil and then brown the chicken skin side down for 5 minutes, then flip over for 3 minutes. Salt and pepper.

2.  Place the skillet in the oven for 25 minutes. Remove chicken to dish and put back in the oven that you have turned off.

3. Pour all but 2 T cooking juices out of skillet. Place skillet over medium heat and add shallots and scallions-sprinkle with salt and pepper--cook for 2 minutes. Add the vinegar and raise the heat to high and cook a minute or two.  Add 1/2 cup water and cook for a couple of minutes stirring until mixture is somewhat reduced. Stir in butter.

4.  Return the chicken to the pan and spoon the sauce of each piece--serve immediately.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Fiesta Fish Stew

This is a really good fish stew that you can serve over some brown rice. I recommend letting it cool a bit as the flavors are really nicer when it's more luke warm. When I first tasted it when it was piping hot I thought maybe it needed more spice but after it had cooled a bit it was just perfect--you might want to add a bit more salt.

1 pkg Trader Joe cod, thawed and cut in 1 1/2 in pieces
1 cup clam juice
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup white wine
2 T lime juice
1 large onion cut in 1/2 inch wedges
1 garlic clove, minced
2 thinly sliced shallots
1 jalapéno seeded and thinly sliced
1 t salt
black pepper
3 cups chopped zucchini
2  tomatoes chopped
2 T white wine vinegar
1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

1.  Bring the clam juice, broth, wine, lime juice, onions, shallots, garlic, jalapéno, salt and pepper to a simmer in a 5 qt saucepan. Cook uncovered 15 minutes.

2.  Stir in the zucchini and tomatoes. Cook for about five minutes and then add the fish and cook for two minutes or until it's flaky. Stir in the vinegar and the cilantro and serve over some brown rice.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Chicken Mole

I have tried a couple of different mole sauces in the past but the one I made tonight may be my favorite. I made the sauce and then let it sit. I sautéed some bone-in chicken thighs and braised them with a little water on low heat for close to an hour. When ready to serve, i just ladled the mole over the chicken and some brown rice--pretty tasty. This recipe made a lot of mole so I will need to dream up some leftovers! Mole enchiladas, anyone?

Mole Sauce:
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • Salt, to taste
For Mole Sauce, in large skillet cook onion in 1 tablespoon hot oil over medium heat 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute more. Stir in cocoa powder, chili powder, cinnamon, and cumin. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add undrained tomatoes, water, raisins, and peanut butter. Whisk to combine. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool slightly. Transfer to blender. Cover; blend until pureed. Season with salt, to taste. Set aside.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Shrimp and Scallop Ceviche Tacos with Corn Relish

Years ago, we spent a few winter holidays in Mexico and during that time we both fell in love with ceviche. I was intrigued by the fact that the citrus "cooked" the raw fish. Over the years I've made it a few times but usually it's a dish that we eat out. Here's a little different twist putting the mixture into taco shells.
  • 1/2 pound fresh or frozen medium shrimp
  • 1/2 pound fresh of frozen bay scallops
  • 1 cup lime juice
  • 1 orange, juiced (1/4 to 1/3 cup)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped Persian cucumber or English cucumber
  • 1 lemon, juiced (3 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons agave syrup
  • Kosher salt
  • corn tortillas, heated
Thaw shrimp and scallops, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp. Halve shrimp lengthwise. In large bowl combine lime juice, orange juice, onion, cucumber, lemon juice, cilantro, and shallot. Add shrimp and scallops: mix well. Cover and chill 4 hours or until opaque and firm to the bite, stirring every hour to make sure it is evenly "cooked."
Remove ceviche from juices with slotted spoon. Stir in agave syrup and salt to taste. Serve with corn relish and tortillas. Makes six servings.

Corn, orange, tomato, cilantro, and green onion: In small skillet cook 1 cup thawed frozen whole kernel corn in 1 teaspoon olive oil and pinch of salt. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through and lightly browned. Combine corn, 1 orange cut into pieces, 1/2 cup quartered grape or cherry tomatoes, 1 tablespoon sliced green onion, and 1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Chicken Tenders!

Ok, who doesn't like chicken tenders? I know that it's usually the cuisine of choice on the kids' menus but really I like them too! And I ain't no kid! The thing is though, they're often fried and that's really not that good for ya. So, I'm here to make your day: baked chicken tenders that totally ROCK! And, because I'm in a good mood I'm even sharing with you a terrific ranch buttermilk dipping sauce. Today is indeed your lucky day. Oh, by the way, these are REALLY good, too!

Dipping Sauce:

2/3 cup mayo
1/3 cup low fat buttermilk
1 t dried dill
1 garlic clove minced finely
black pepper
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 scallions minced

Mix all together and put in refrigerator until dinner.


1 pound chicken tenders
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
3 T butter
2 eggs
splash of milk or buttermilk
salt and pepper
3/4 cup flour
cooking spray

Carefully brown the Panko crumbs in the 3 T butter--stirring constantly about five minutes.

Heat oven to 425

Put a cooling rack into a large cookie sheet--spray all with cooking spray.

Set up 3 stations: flat bowl with flour, whisked egg (to which you've added salt, pepper and splash of milk) and bowl of Panko crumbs.

Dip each tender this way--first into egg, then flour, then egg AGAIN, then roll in crumbs and put on rack.

When all are done, bake for 12-16 minutes--depending on your oven and the thickness of our tenders.

Serve with dipping sauce and Franks Red Hot if you wish.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Eat your greens!

Here's a great side side dish that is easy and so good for you. You can make it and then just let it simmer for a half hour while you make other dishes or sip a glass of wine on the porch!

1 bag of chopped kale greens
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
4 garlic cloves sliced
1/2 onion sliced
salt and pepper
olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth
red wine vinegar

In large lidded skillet heat some olive oil and sauté the onion. Add the garlic and stir a bit. Add the greens, the tomatoes and their juice and the broth. Mix well bring and turn heat to medium low--put a lid on and left them cook down--30 minutes or so.

Before serving, sprinkle each serving with red wine vinegar.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Homemade Ranch Dressing

I really like the taste of Ranch Dressing but when I look at the commercial bottle variety the long list of unpronounceable ingredients makes me shudder. Here's a pretty good version with ingredients I can pronounce!

1 cup non fat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
2 tsp fresh dill
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Put all ingredients in blender or processor and combine.

Good on salad or as dip for veggies.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Beef with Spinach and Sweet Potato

This is a recipe that I saw in Prevention Magazine and it sounded simple, tasty and quick. It was very good and the spinach and sweet potato dish could be made with a number of other things besides steak. That combo is pretty darn good on its own.

3 tsp olive oil
2 small grass-fed beef tenderloin steaks
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½" cubes
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ tsp turmeric
⅛ tsp red-pepper flakes
2 Tbsp sherry or red wine vinegar
1½ tsp honey
1 pkg. organic baby spinach
⅓ c toasted slivered almonds
1. HEAT 1½ tsp of the oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Season beef with salt and black pepper and cook, turning, until browned, about 4 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer to plate and cover.
2. ADD remaining 1½ tsp oil to skillet. Add sweet potatoes and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, turmeric, and red-pepper flakes. Cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add vinegar and honey. Gradually add spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 2 minutes.
3. SERVE beef with spinach and sweet potatoes, topped with almonds

Monday, May 9, 2016

Broccoli Basil Fritatta

I love a recipe that is so easy it's almost ridiculous. I served this with a romaine salad which included mini yellow tomatoes and avocado.

8 eggs
salt and pepper
2 T fresh basil cut in ribbons
1 pkg of frozen broccoli florets, thawed
1/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 onion chopped

preheat oven 400

In 10 inch oven proof skillet, melt the butter and cook the onion for a few minutes. Salt and pepper the onion. Pour in the broccoli, sprinkle the basil about. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then pour over all. Sprinkle on the cheese and bake for 18-25 minutes. I baked it the full 25 minutes but some ovens behave differently. Let sit for ten minutes before cutting. Easy peasy.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Buttermilk Roast Chicken

This is a Nigella Lawson recipe so you know it's gonna be delicious! I changed it up a bit cause I decided to roast a bunch of veggies under the chicken and oh, my, they were scrumptious.

4 chicken legs and 4 chicken thighs
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic minced
1 T pepper
1 T sea salt
2 T fresh rosemary chopped
1 T honey

For veggies:
1 lb brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
4 carrots, peeled and cut in 2 inch pieces
1 onion, peeled and cut in wedges

Mix the marinade in a bowl. Put the chicken in large freezer bag and pour the marinade in. Put in the refrigerator for up to two days.

Heat oven to 425. Put the veggies in bottom of a roasting pan and top with the chicken. Bake for 45 minutes. Take the pan out and turn the chicken pieces over and put back in the oven for 20 more minutes.

Very yummy!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Salmon with Mustard Sauce

We eat salmon at least once a week and I'm always trying to figure out how to switch up the taste a bit. Today I tried a Martha Stewart recipe that was quick and easy and pretty tasty. If you don't care for mustard then this isn't for you. It's made with Dijon and may be a bit too pungent for some.

1/2 cup Dijon
3 T lemon juice
salt and pepper
2 T fresh dill
2 T fresh basil
1 t olive oil

Mix well and spoon over fish.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Braised Country Ribs

So I guess if you don't eat meat, then this isn't an entry for you. But if you do, wow, this is good. I only made 4 country ribs since it's just the two of us. You should double everything if you were making for four. County ribs are meatier and fattier than spare ribs. They need to be cooked for a long time to get nice and tender. This dish is a keeper (if you eat pork).

4 country (pork) ribs, salt and pepper well
olive oil
salt and pepper

1 onion chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 stick of celery chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T tomato paste
1/4 apple cider vinegar
2 bay leaves
1 t crushed red pepper flakes

chicken broth

Heat oven to 350

In Dutch oven, brown the ribs in the hot olive, getting them brown on all sides. Remove ribs to separate plate. Turn heat to medium and add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, then add the carrot and celery and cook another 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato paste and the vinegar. Stir well. Add red pepper and bay leaves. Put ribs back in and pour in enough chicken broth to almost cover ribs. Bring to a simmer, cover and put in oven for an hour. Take lid off and cook for another 1/2 hour but watch carefully. If too much of the sauce is cooking down--add a little chicken broth and cover again. The sauce is SOOOOO good, you don't want to lose it! Serve over rice. Very good indeed.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Fish Taco Bowl

Do you love fish tacos? We do and this seemed like a fun riff on the flavors you get when you order this dish! I have a mandoline that I rarely use but it's perfect for this because you want your cabbage sliced really thin. You can use any firm white fish for this.

12 oz cod
cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper
olive oil

four cups of red and green cabbage sliced really thinly
4 sliced green onions, separted
1/2 bunch of cilantro leaves

1 cup greek yogurt
4 T lime juice
4 t green Tabasco sauce

guacamole--make your own or use store bought

Rub fish with olive oil and spices and let it sit while you prepare the cabbage.

Slice up the cabbage and add the cilantro, and 1/2 the chopped green onion. Make the dressing and pour all except a little bit over cabbage and toss well.

Heat some oil in a heavy pan and sauté the fish about 3 minutes per side. Divide cabbage among two bowls, shred the fish in pieces over the cabbage. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the fish. Garnish with green onions and dollops of guacamole. Enjoy!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Tonnato Sauce

Every once in a while I make a batch of Tonnato Sauce because it's yummy and versatile. Many people mostly associate it with veal as that is the traditional pairing in classic Italian cuisine. We don't eat veal at home, but you can use it on any number of other meats, veggies, eggs, etc. The other day I brought home a nice plump rotisserie chicken thinking that it would be happy dressed up a bit with some creamy tonnato and by gum I was right!

Recipe for tonnato:

1 cup mayo
1/2 cup olive oil
1 6 oz tuna in olive oil, not drained
3 anchovy fillets
2 T lemon juice
3 T drained capers
salt and pepper

In blender puree all ingredients, including oil from tuna can, until smooth and season with salt and pepper

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

As I've mentioned before, my dear husband is not exactly wild about spaghetti squash. Consequently, I don't prepare it all that often and when I do cook it I try to jazz it up as much as possible. I always think I'm gonna convert him into being a squash lover but things don't seem to be going that way. However, he did say he really liked this dish. He and I have very similar food tastes usually but not when it comes to squash! If you are living with a reluctant squash dragon, this may be the dish that does the trick--it's pretty tasty.

1 medium spaghetti squash--poke holes in it and put in pan and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. That should have softened it enough to slice in half,  scoop out the seeds and then put the halves (cut side down) on a cookie sheet and bake for another 30 minutes.

1 lb ground turkey
spices: salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano, paprika, cumin, onion salt, garlic and a pinch of cayenne
1 cup of salsa
cheddar and mozzarella cheese

In a large pan brown the turkey well--season it up with all the spices--roughly a t of each, adding a bit more of those you really like. Add the salsa and 1/2 cup of water.

When the squash comes out of oven shred it with two forks and add the squash to the meat mixture, stirring well.

Turn the mixture into the two squash shells and bake for 30 minutes at 350. About half way sprinkle on cheeses to melt.

Serve garnished with Greek yogurt, chopped cilantro, avocado chunks and jalapeno rings.