Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Lemon-Grilled Chicken Meal 2

Hearts of Romaine Ceasar Salad with Grilled Chicken
Courtesy of Cooking Light - August 2008 issue

1 large egg (use a pasteurized egg if you have safety concerns)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
2 canned anchovy fillets (you can leave them out, or use the anchovy paste from a tube)
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon water
1 1/3 cup plain croutons
2 heads hearts of romaine lettuce, leaves separated (about 14 ounces)
3 servings Lemon-Grilled Chicken Breasts, thinly sliced
1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Place egg in a small bowl or coffee mug; cover with boiling water. Let stand 1 minute. Rinse egg with cold water; break egg into a small bowl.

Combine pepper and next 3 ingredients (through garlic) in a mini food processor; process until minced. Add egg and lemon juice; process 1 minute or until thick. Gradually add oil and water, processing until blended.

Combine croutons, lettuce, chicken, and egg mixture in a large bowl; toss gently. Divide salad evenly among 4 plates. Sprinkle each serving with 1 tablespoon of the cheese.

Serving suggestion from magazine: Serve with soft breadsticks and cubed cantaloupe mixed with cracked black pepper.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional Information:
261 calories
10.1 g fat
29.3 g protein
12.5 g carbohydrates
1.8 g fiber
115 mg cholesterol
2.9 mg iron
561 mg sodium
165 mg calcium
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Home-made Apple Pie

Home-made Apple Pie
Courtesy of Jen

5-6 medium to large tart apples (Granny Smiths are best, but you could also use a sweeter apple, like Gala, and just sprinkle some lemon juice on them after you chop them)
3/4 cup sugar (can also use Splenda, cup for cup)
2 Tbsp. flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
dash nutmeg
dash salt
1 pkg of 2 ready-made, rolled-up, refridgerated crusts (any brand name or the generic work just fine...just make sure there are 2 inside)
one of the following: (***see below for explaination of this step***)
2 tsp of melted butter, one egg white, or enough foil to wrap from underneath the pie plate and over the edges

1) Peel, core, and cut apples into small chunks (sprinkle with lemon juice if using sweet apples).
2) Mix apples and all seasonings in a bowl.
3) Unroll one crust into a pie plate.
4) Dump apple mixture into crust and spread evenly.
5) Flip the other crust on top and trim the dough that is overlapping the pie plate.
6) Fold edge of top crust underneath the edge of the bottom crust and pinch together all around the edge of the pie plate (I use my pointer finger and push the outside edge towards the middle of the pie while pinching it around my finger with my other pointer and thumb, so it makes a wave all around the edge--I hope that makes sense. You can also crimp it together by using the tinges of a fork and pressing down all around the edge of the pie plate).
7) Make 4-5 slits in the middle with a knife to let steam out as it cooks.
8) Brush entire top crust with either melted butter or an egg white (optional)***
9) Bake at 425 for 45-60 min, or until it is golden brown. ***If you don't brush it with butter or egg, make sure you only bake it for 20 minutes and then wrap the edges from the bottom with foil for the last 25-40 minutes. The edges will burn if you don't brush them or cover them with foil.***
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Rice Supreme

Rice Supreme
Courtesy of Jen

1/2 cup chopped green onion
2 cups uncooked rice
2 cans beef broth or consume
2 cans French onion soup
1 small can mushroom stems and pieces
1 small can diced carrots
1 small can green peas
1 stick celery

Mix all ingredients in a 3 qt dish except carrots and peas. Add 1/2 stick butter, sliced on top.

Cover with foil and bake at 450 for 60-75 minutes. Half-way through, stir in carrots and peas.
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Baked Tomatoes

Baked Tomatoes
Courtesy of Jen - found in a Jenny Craig cookbook

2 large ripe tomatoes
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 to 1/2 tsp each of oregano, basil, parsley

1) Preheat oven to 350.
2) Cut tomatoes in half from the top down (so that they are equal halves).
3) Turn them cut-side up in a baking dish.
4) Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with seasonings.
5) Jen puts some shredded Parmesan cheese on top, and it was lovely!
6) Bake for 40 minutes.

Serves 4.

***Can also use grape or cherry tomatoes....just cut in half and follow directions above.
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Parmesan Crusted Chicken

We also had this at Small Group, and it was wonderful... there are several more recipes to come from our Small Group meeting - they were all so fabulous that I have to share them!!

Parmesan Crusted Chicken
Courtesy of Jen

1-1/2 cups Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (can also use tenders...just use more)
2 sticks butter, melted (can substitute with olive oil or the like)

Combine bread crumbs, cheese, salt and pepper in a bowl. Dip the chicken in the melted butter and then in the bread crumb mixture, being careful to coat the chicken heavily.

Place the chicken in a baking dish and bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Do not turn the chicken.

This can be prepared the day before, refrigerated, then baked. It also freezes well, before or after baking. If frozen and uncooked, double the baking time. To reheat if already cooked, thaw in refrigerator over night. Then bake in a 325 degree oven until hot.

Serve with a tasty rice dish and veggies, or over pasta with marinara sauce.
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Crunchy Coleslaw

We had this recipe at our Small Group this weekend, and John and I just loved it! So I'm sharing it for you guys to enjoy, but also so that I'll have the recipe in my files to make again and again.

Crunchy Coleslaw Salad
Courtesy of Angela

4 10 oz. pkgs coleslaw mix (or 1-2 head of cabbage shredded)
2 cups top ramen noodles (3 pkgs. crumbled/discard seasoning pkt)
1 cup sliced almonds (4 oz)
½ cup sesame seeds (2 oz)
1 stick butter (4 oz)
1 cup vegetable or peanut oil
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar (aka: distilled rice vinegar) NO SUBSTITUTES
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon pepper

In a medium sauce pan, melt ½ stick of butter and sauté noodles until light brown. Add ½ stick butter, almonds, and sesame seeds then sauté until light brown as well. Noodles take longer to brown and nuts/seeds will burn if done all at once. Set aside.

In a shaker jar, combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Shake well before adding to salad.

Just before serving, combine the ingredients, and mix well until evenly coated. Don’t mix together until ready to serve, as noodles aren’t crunchy after the first serving; still tasty the day after, just not crunchy.

If not sure you will eat the whole thing at once, then split each part in half and serve only half at a time so you can reserve some crunch.

183 calories per cup

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Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tacos with Salsa

We have only followed this recipe to make the taco meat, but I'm confident that the remaining portions of the dish are divine. We got tired of the prepackaged taco seasoning mixes, and wanted something a little more healthy.

Tacos with Salsa
Courtesy of Weight Watchers
(4 points - for those tracking)

2 tomatoes, diced
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon minced seeded jalapeno pepper or to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1 pound lean ground beef (10% or less fat)
1 cup canned diced tomatoes (we use the whole can)
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
8 taco shells
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce
1/4 cup fat-free sour cream

Place the fresh tomatoes in a strainer or colander in the sink; drain 20-30 minutes.

In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat the oil. Saute the white onion, garlic, and jalapeno pepper until the onion is translucent, 6-8 minutes. Stir in the cumin, oregano, and paprika; saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the beef and cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 8-10 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Reduce the heat; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.

To prepare the salsa, in a medium bowl, combine the fresh tomatoes, cilantro, red onion, and lime juice; season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper.

To assemble the tacos, divide the beef mixture among the taco shells; top with the lettuce, then the salsa and sour cream.

Nutritional Information
200 calories
10 g fat
3 g saturated fat
1 g trans fat
33 mg cholesterol
317 mg sodium
16 g carbohydrates
3 g fiber
13 g protein
67 mg calcium
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Chicken Quesadillas & Corn Salad

If you can't tell - I live with a man that loves Mexican food... he could eat it everyday if I'd let him... so I try to work it in whenever possible.

Chicken Quesadillas & Corn Salad
Courtesy of Weight Watchers
(6 points - for those tracking)

Corn Salad
1 cup thawed frozen corn kernels
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 tomato, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small bowl, combine all salad ingredients and set aside.

1 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast (We marinated ours in Wishbone Italian salad dressing and then grilled it. The same as we would do to prepare fajitas.)
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce (We left this out because John hates wilted lettuce.)
1/2 cup thick and chunky salsa
6 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/3 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

To prepare the quesadillas, in another medium bowl, combine chicken, lettuce, and salsa; divide amoung 3 of the tortillas. Sprinkle with the cheese, top with the 3 remaining tortillas.

Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. (We skipped this step and there was enough fat in the tortillas to do the job. They were nice and toasted.) One at a time, cook the quesadillas until lightly browned, 3 minutes on each side; turn carefully with a wide spatula.

Cut the quesadillas into quarters; arrange 3 quarters on each of 4 plates. Serve with the salad on the side. (We also included a tiny bit of guacamole and a small amount light sour cream for dipping.)

Per serving: (3 quesadilla quarters and 1/2 cup of salad)
297 calories
11 g fat
4 g saturated fat
1 g trans fat
49 mg cholesterol
712 mg sodium
31 g carbohydrates
3 g fiber
19 g protein
134 mg calcium
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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ravioli Soup

This is one more from my recovery period... and again - the leftovers were frozen before pictures could be taken.

Ravioli Soup
Courtesy of Angela

1 lb lean ground turkey
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp. onion salt
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 c. finely chopped onion
1 28 oz. can Italian-style crushed tomatoes in puree
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 14.5 oz. can beef broth
1 c. water
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried parsley

1 13 oz. package plain ravioli w/o sauce (in fridge section near pizza toppings & Luncheables)
salt & grated Parmesan cheese

Cook the ground turkey in a large pot until browned, about 15 minutes. Drain the fat. Combine remaining ingredients except ravioli and additional Parmesan cheese. Bring soup to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool, put in container and freeze.

To prepare for serving, thaw soup and put in a large pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for at least 30 min.; stirring occasionally. Thaw and cook ravioli according to package directions until just tender. Drain ravioli; add to soup. Salt to taste. Serve with Parmesan cheese.


She also gave us a yummy salad to go with this that had mixed greens, dried cranberries, and carrots in it...
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Pesto Pasta

This is another one from my surgery recovery meals... the leftovers got frozen for me before I could get any pictures. Because of my protein needs - we added some grilled chicken to each serving for me.

Pesto Pasta
Courtesy of Renee

The pasta (remember i'm guesstimating here, so the numbers won't be exact)

Pasta Ingredients:
1 package whole wheat penne pasta (cooked firm)
1 tsp Dried Italian Seasoning
3 med., firm yellow squash (cut in bite sized chunks)
1 large orange bell pepper (sliced, then cut in 1-2" lengths)
1 medium tomato on the vine (cut in bite sized chunks)
3 fresh cloves garlic (minced)
1/4 of a medium onion (minced)
4 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 tbsp Lemon Pepper
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta until firm (about 9 minutes), drain and rinse.
2. Return pasta to pot, drizzle 2 tbsp EVOO and add 1/2 t Italian seasoning. Toss, set aside.
3. In a medium iron skillet, heat 2 tbsp EVOO to medium-low heat.
4. Add minced onions and garlic + a little kosher salt, sweat(not you, the onions!)
5. Turn heat to med and allow garlic and onions to brown a little, add in squash, 1/2 t Italian Seasoning, Lemon Pepper. Cook 1 min or so. (The squash will release a lot of water, so you will have to turn up the heat so they don't get squishy.)
6. Throw in bell pepper, cook until peppers begin to change color, then add in tomato. Toss all together to evenly spread garlic, onions, and herbs, then throw it in with the pasta. Mix together being careful not to break the pasta.The key here is to add things quickly so the veggies don't get soupy or squishy.

The pesto (you need a small food processor):
Makes enough for about 6 meals:
1 hand full Sun-dried tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt
4 cloves garlic
4oz fresh basil
fresh lemon juice (i use the kind in the plastic lemon so I don't have to squeeze lemons)
3 tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese

1. Steam a hand full of sun-dried tomatoes so they come back to life.
2. Process garlic, a little EVOO, and tomatoes until they form a thick paste. Add EVOO as necessary. Set aside in a bowl.
3. Remove basil leaves from stems. Wash thoroughly! Remove any brown spots.
4. Add a hand full of basil leaves, about a T of lemon juice and a drizzle of EVOO to the food processor and process until leaves are finely chopped. Repeat until all leaves are used.
5. Return tomato mixture to processor, add cheese and about a teaspoon of Kosher salt (to taste) and blend together.
6. Put about 2 tbsp of pesto per 1 package of pasta. Add a little EVOO to pasta to coat noodles if necessary. Mix well and serve.

For the rest of the pesto:
In an ice cube tray, drop about 1 tbsp of pesto into each section (it probably won't fill the whole tray). Cover with plastic wrap and push the plastic into the pesto so there is NO AIR touching the pesto. Freeze a couple of hours. Take Pesto cubes out of ice tray and place in a freezer bag. Suck as much air out of the bag as you can.

To use frozen pesto:
Take out needed amount and reheat in saucepan on low heat or toss it into the hot pasta right after you drain it and let it melt into the pasta.
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Amazing Cookies

While I was recovering from surgery - one of our church friends brought these cookies over to us... and I HAD to get the recipe and share them with you.

Modified Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies
Courtesy of Angela
* Indicate the modifications made

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour *
2 tbsp milled flax seed *
2 tbsp wheat germ *
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt (she used 3/4 tsp sea salt * instead)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
1 cup chopped nuts

PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, flax seed, wheat germ, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

PAN COOKIE VARIATION: Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. Prepare dough as above. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack. Makes 4 dozen bars.

SLICE AND BAKE COOKIE VARIATION: PREPARE dough as above. Divide in half; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm. Shape each half into 15-inch log; wrap in waxed paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.* Preheat oven to 375° F. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices; place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Makes about 5 dozen cookies. May be stored in refrigerator for up to 1 week or in freezer for up to 8 weeks.

HIGH ALTITUDE BAKING (5,200 feet): Increase flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 2 teaspoons water with flour and reduce both granulated sugar and brown sugar to 2/3 cup each. Bake drop cookies for 8 to 10 minutes and pan cookie for 17 to 19 minutes.
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BBQ Chicken & Corn Salad

I was so excited about dinner last night - I forgot to take a picture for ya'll.

Honey Chicken Skewers with Grilled Corn Salad
Courtesy of Real Simple Magazine
Labeled as kid friendly by the magazine

Serves 4

1/2 cup ketchup
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt & pepper
Canola Oil for the grill
6 ears corn, shucked
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 scallions, sliced

Place twenty 8-inch wooden skewers in water to soak. Heat grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, honey, and Worcestershire sauce; set aside.

Slice the chicken lengthwise into twenty 1/2 inch-thick strips. Thread each strip onto a wooden skewer. Season with salt and pepper.

Lightly oil the grill. Cook the chicken, turning occasionally, until cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes, basting with the ketchup mixture during the last 2 minutes of cooking.

Meanwhile, grill the corn, turning occasionally, until slightly charred, 3 to 4 minutes. Cut the kernels off the cobbs, place in a medium bowl, and toss with the butter, scallions, salt and pepper. Serve with the chicken.
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Friday, August 8, 2008

Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti Sauce
Original Recipe from my Mother-In-Law, but we've modified it a bit

1 pound of lean ground beef
2 small cans tomato sauce
1 can tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can mushrooms
1 can water (tomato sauce can)
1 medium green bell pepper, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. sugar (I leave this out)
1/8 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

Brown the meat in a pan with some salt & pepper, I usually brown it in a different pan than my main sauce pan. When the meat is browned - I take it out of the pan and put it in a bowl lined with paper towels to remove as much left over fat as possible.

While the meat is browning - I saute the onion, bell pepper, and carrot with some salt & pepper in the olive oil. When the vegetables start looking soft - you can add in the browned meat. Add in all the remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes to let the flavors combine. I usually taste the sauce as soon as I can smell the spices so that I can adjust them as needed - typically I add a little more italian seasoning, oregano, or garlic powder depending on my preferences.

We serve this over low carb pasta (Dreamfields Penne) and top with a little bit of cheese... either parmesan or cheddar (I know it sounds funny - but if you try it... you'll love it!)
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Orange Fluffy

Orange Fluffy
Curtesy of my friend Allie

1 Big Can Crushed Pineapple (we used no sugar added)
2 Big cans Mandarin oranges (we used no sugar added)

Add 3 little boxes orange jello (we used sugar free) and let stand 5 min—stir

Add one regular container coolwhip (we used light) and one 16oz container sour cream (again we used light). Mix.

Chill or freeze!

We topped with pecans for a crunchy addition to our dessert.

I plan on doing different versions of this - I might try strawberry jello next time and replace the oranges with light fruit cocktail.
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Sunday, August 3, 2008

Caribbean Chicken

We served this with brown rice, and yellow squash cooked with bell peppers and onions.

Caribbean Chicken
Recipe courtesy Guy Fieri, 2008
Show: Guys Big Bite
Episode: That Bird's a Jerk

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (we cut the recipe in half)

1 teaspoon allspice
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice, fresh
1 tablespoon lime zest
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons freshly chopped thyme leaves
2 tablespoons jalapeno, seeded, diced (we left this out, because I'm a wimp)
2 teaspoons freshly grated or chopped ginger
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper
4 chicken breasts, bone and skin on
Lime wedges

Puree all ingredients except chicken in food processor.

Add marinade and chicken to re-sealable plastic bag, mix thoroughly and let marinate, refrigerated, for 4 to 8 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat grill to high, remove excess marinade from chicken and place on grill.

Grill each side of chicken for 3 to 4 minutes then place on a pan and finish in the oven for 15 minutes.

Squeeze a lime wedge over each piece of chicken and serve.
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Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

During preparation...

Final product (isn't John hysterical with is plating presentations?)

Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Galumpkis)
Recipe courtesy Tyler Florence
Show: Food 911
Episode: Grandma's Galumpkis

Yield: about 1 dozen (this is one that we've made to freeze for easy meals throughout the day for me)

Sweet and Sour Tomato Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 1/2 quarts crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cabbage Rolls:
1 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Splash dry red wine (we use cooking wine - since we don't drink - even though they tell you not to use it...)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups steamed white rice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large heads green cabbage, about 3 pounds each (we only used one)

To make the sauce:
Coat a 3-quart saucepan with the oil and place over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and sugar; simmer, until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

Place a skillet over medium heat and coat with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sauté the onion and garlic for about 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in the tomato paste, a splash of wine, parsley, and 1/2 cup of the prepared sweet and sour tomato sauce, mix to incorporate and then take it off the heat. Combine the ground meat in a large mixing bowl. Add the egg, the cooked rice, and the sauteed onion mixture. Toss the filling together with your hands to combine, season with a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Remove the large, damaged outer leaves from the cabbages and set aside. Cut out the cores of the cabbages with a sharp knife and carefully pull off all the rest of the leaves, keeping them whole and as undamaged as possible, (get rid of all the small leaves and use them for coleslaw or whatever.) Blanch the cabbage leaves in the pot of boiling water for 5 minutes, or until pliable. Run the leaves under cool water then lay them out so you can assess just how many blankets you have to wrap up the filling.

Next, carefully cut out the center vein from the leaves so they will be easier to roll up. Take the reserved big outer leaves and lay them on the bottom of a casserole pan, let part of the leaves hang out the sides of the pan. This insulation will prevent the cabbage rolls from burning on the bottom when baked. Use all the good looking leaves to make the cabbage rolls. Put about 1/2 cup of the meat filling in the center of the cabbage and starting at what was the stem-end, fold the sides in and roll up the cabbage to enclose the filling. Place the cabbage rolls side by side in rows, seam-side down, in a casserole pan.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pour the remaining sweet and sour tomato sauce over the cabbage rolls. Fold the hanging leaves over the top to enclose and keep the moisture in. Drizzle the top with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 1 hour until the meat is cooked.

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Fried Rice

** Trick - make the rice either the morning before you cook this dish or the night before and put it in the refridgerator to get cold.

Fried Rice
Recipe courtesy Food Network Kitchens

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Peas, carrots and corn are a good choice because they're all about the same size so they'll cook at the same temperature and time. Also, they're a good size ratio to the rice. Other vegetables can be used but do not put too many veggies in ratio to rice or the rice will get soggy. Also, do not crowd the pan or the veggies will steam instead of cooking crisp and make the final dish soggy. The egg is cooked right before the rice because it has a tendency to stick to the pan and remnants in the pan burn as the other ingredients are cooked. When cooked right before the rice, any remnants become incorporated into the rice. Although jasmine rice is preferable, any kind of long grain rice can be used. Avoid using medium and short-grained rice as they tend to be sticky. Also, the rice should not be warm fresh rice, otherwise it will also tend to be sticky.

1/3 cup plain vegetable oil, like soy, corn, or peanut
1/3 pound black forest ham, diced, or about 2 cups cooked, cubed or shredded meat (we left this out)
1 onion, diced
Salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 whole scallions, thinly sliced on the bias, white and green separated
1 1/3 cups (6 ounces) medley frozen corn, peas, carrots (we opted for no corn)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups cold cooked long-grain rice, white or jasmine rice, grains separated

Heat a large heavy-bottomed nonstick skillet over high heat. When hot add 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the ham and cook stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Add the onions to the pan, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes until onion is fragrant Add the garlic, ginger, and scallion whites and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the frozen vegetables. Cook until just defrosted but still crisp. Transfer contents of the skillet to a large bowl.

Return the pan to the heat and add 2 more tablespoons of oil. Add the eggs and season with salt and pepper. Stir the eggs constantly and cook until almost set but still moist, then transfer egg to the bowl. Break the eggs up with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Return the pan to the heat and add the remaining oil. Add the rice to the pan and use a spoon to break up any clumps. Season with salt and pepper and stir-fry the rice to coat evenly with oil. Stop stirring, and then let the rice cook undisturbed until its gets slightly crispy, about 2 minutes. Stir the rice again, breaking up any new clumps. Add the scallion greens. Transfer to the bowl. Stir all the ingredients together with the rice, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve. (We added some soy sauce to the rice while it was cooking, and added everything back to the pan so that it would remain hot while we finished the rest of dinner.)
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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sweet & Sour Pork Chops

Sweet-n-Sour Pork Chops
Recipe courtesy Robin Miller

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (we cut the recipe in half)

1 tablespoon sesame oil
Salt and ground black pepper
4 (4-ounce) boneless pork loin chops
1 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup chopped scallions

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season pork chops all over with salt and black pepper and add to hot pan. Cook chops 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Add apricot preserves, soy sauce and ginger and bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer 5 minutes, until pork is cooked through. Remove from heat and stir in scallions.
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Friday, August 1, 2008

Starting Over

Hi everyone,

I started this blog with a specific purpose, and it didn't work for me... obviously because I only posted 9 times... so I'm going to start this one over.

I have a new found motivation and devotion to really getting into a good clean eating program and starting up my exercise routine. So I'm going to post recipes here, and pictures/reviews of things that John and I are trying...

He's made three new recipes this week along with all the food that has been delivered to us from our church family... so I'll be putting those up with pictures and recipes in the coming days... and we'll be expanding our new selections this week too - so the possibilities are limitless.

Please feel free to try these recipes and tell me what you think as well - and if you have any ideas of things we should try... I'd love to hear those as well.

Saddle up my friends and enjoy this new endeavor with us!
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