30 January 2010

It's menu time...

Rather than stay at home in the snow, I decided to get the weekly shopping done early. It took a while for Staci and I to put together this week's menu, but I'm happy with it. It may not be the best food for you, but it certainly is comforting food. The best part is I used my newly designed Meal Planner and Shopping List designed by Staci. It's got so much more writing space than the one that I was using previously. I was excited to get this week started, so I made homemade pizza again tonight. I won't post any pictures since we've made them before.

Sunday - Oven Fried Chicken and Roasted Potato Salad
Monday - Pressure Cooker Beef Stew
Tuesday - Chicken Boudine
Wednesday - Curried Chicken
Thursday - Chicken and Dumplings

28 January 2010

Going Italian...

Today's recipe is probably just outside the realm of "good for you" food, but it sure did taste like it should be good for you. Staci found this Chicken Piccatta recipe on the Food Network. It was originally done by Ina Garten, one of my personal favourite cooks. I made one small modification to the recipe by adding a teaspoon of capers into the sauce. If you do put in capers, don't worry about adding the salt to the sauce like the recipe. The capers will provide enough salt to season the dish.

Lemon juice and white wine make for such an awesome pairing. I've really been impressed, both with the taste, and the fact that Staci and I have been using both regularly. So regularly, in fact, that both have to go on the shopping list this weekend as we're out of wine, and almost out of lemon juice.

Try it! You might like it...or maybe you'll order pizza.

27 January 2010

It's soooo cheesy!!

Another vegetarian dish today, that's two this week. This one was a home run...warm stringy cheesy goodness with fresh basil and tomatoes. Such a perfect Italian-esque combination. I don't know why they work so well together, and I don't care as long as I can eat it all up!

I want to make this again. I think it turned out better than a traditional mac-n-cheese. When I do make it again though, I'll probably infuse the oil with some red pepper flake at the same time I heat the garlic. The ricotta can be a bit heavy and bland in the dish. I think it may have needed a touch of heat to cut the heaviness.
Overall though, I was greatly impressed with the dish, and because I used a whole wheat pasta, fat free mozzarella, and low fat ricotta, the dish stayed at a reasonable calorie count while being an awesome treat!

Creamy Cheese Rotini with Garlic and Oil
From the Turn Around Program

1/2 pound whole-wheat rotini
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
3 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, in chiffonade
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1. Cook rotini according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add garlic and stir to infuse oil and brown garlic.
3. Add rotini to skillet. Stir to coat. Add ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. Stir to mix and melt.
4. Remove pan from heat. Add tomato, basil, salt and pepper. Mix and serve.

Try it! You might like it...or maybe you'll order pizza.

26 January 2010

Something Fish-y

The sauce for this today's Salmon with Dill-Mustard sounded like it was going to be one of those "kick you in the mouth" kind of sauces. In actuality, it had a wonderful mild taste, and paired extremely well with the salmon. I added a side of balsamic mushroom couscous, which wasn't really needed, but was nice to have. Couscous is such an easy item to make, I want to make it all the time now. I'll have to come up with some different recipes for it soon.

Salmon with Spinach, Tomatoes and Dill-Mustard Sauce
From the Turn Around Program

1/2 cup fat free sour cream
4 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon lemon juice
4 (1/4 pound) skinless salmon fillets
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves
1 pint grape tomatoes
10 oz fresh spinach

1. Combine sour cream, mustard, dill, and lemon juice in bowl. Refrigerate till service.
2. Season salmon fillets with salt and pepper. In lightly greased non-stick skillet, cook fillets over medium high heat till lightly browned on both sides and opaque in the center. Remove fillets from pan and cover to keep warm.
3. In same skillet, add shallots and garlic. Stir and cook for 1-2 minutes till fragrant.
4. Add grape tomatoes to skillet, stirring for an additional 1-2 minutes till warmed.
5. Add spinach and allow to wilt.
6. Serve salmon fillets on top of the spinach and tomato mixture. Add a spoonful of the mustard mixture on top of the spinach.

I would recommend doing this one in a large skillet. The only non-stick that I have is a small pan that I usually reserve only for cooking eggs. Trying to cook all of the salmon rather than boiling in juices, and wilting the spinach is hard to do in a small pan. The overall flavour of this is very unique. Dill is something that I usually equate with pickles only. I think pickles are evil, so I typically don't eat dill. Paired with the mustard, however, it compliments the salmon nicely and you don't get to strong of a dill punch.

Given the state of the tomatoes and spinach, this isn't a "re-heat friendly" food. The salmon and the couscous, however, should be good for a second day. I guess I'll find out tomorrow!

Try it! You might like it...or maybe you'll order pizza.

25 January 2010

Weekly Menu

It's another week, and another menu. This week seems pretty great, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the food if everything is as good as today's.

Monday - Grilled Portobello with Salad Greens

Tuesday - Salmon with Spinach in a Tomato, Dill and Mustard sauce

Wednesday - Creamy Cheese Rotini with Garlic and Oil

Thursday - Chicken Picatta

I'm convinced that if I could serve Portobello mushrooms to Staci every day, I could turn her into a vegetarian. Well, I like to think that I could, anyway. It's not the best time of year to find portobellos; I want to try this again in the spring when you can find the giant ones in the store. This was a simple recipe, something that was meant as an appetizer. I just increased the mushroom count to two medium per person. I sliced them and put them on top of some mixed spring greens, and added a touch of mozzarella. Simply delicious!

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms
From the
Turn Around Program

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespooons soy sauce

1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme

1. Mix all ingredients together. Marinate mushrooms for 10 minutes flipping often.
2. Grill mushrooms or cook under broiler for 1-2 minutes per side till warmed through.
3. While hot, slice mushrooms and serve over greens.

Try it! You might like it...or maybe you'll order pizza.