Original and Practical Recipes. Inexpensive, Quick and Healthy.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Crispy Roast Potatoes

I made these roasted potatoes to go with Woody's Pork Tenderloin.  I wanted to make crisp and flavorful potatoes.  I seasoned with garlic and a little Parmesan and roasted the potatoes until they were golden brown.

You will need:
4 large Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 tablespoon Butter
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons Parmesan
Salt and Pepper to taste

Step 1:
Peel and dice the potatoes.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Step 2:
Boil the potatoes in salted water for 5 minutes.  Then drain the potatoes.

Step 3:
Toss the potatoes in the olive oil, butter, garlic, Parmesan, salt and pepper.  Then spread out over a greased baking sheet.

Step 4:
Bake the potatoes until they are golden.  Flip every 10 minutes or so.  The potatoes will be roasted after about 40 minutes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Steak Marinade

Friday night I made steak and potatoes for dinner.  I made a simple 3 ingredient marinade and let the steak marinate for an hour before broiling.  It was a quick meal for a lazy Friday night.  I cooked so much steak that we had steak and eggs for breakfast the next day.

You will need:
1/2 cup Soy Sauce
1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
3 tablespoons Mustard

Let marinate for an hour and then generously sprinkle salt and pepper over the steak.  Then either broil or grill.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Roman Style Chicken

I hosted Sunday Night Dinner last weekend and I made Roman Style Chicken.  This is a perfect meal to make when you are hosting a dinner party because it tastes better if you make it the night before.  When I host SND I like to do all the work ahead of time so I can spend time with my guests.  I think that it is expected that I will cook something healthy for SND.  Dre always asks, "Is this low fat?" - because she knows that I try to keep it healthy.  This is a great example of a low fat meal that is full of vegetables.  It was a big hit at SND.

This recipe can be altered to include your favorite vegetables.  This time I included mushrooms and peppers.  In the past I have added zucchini or artichoke hearts.  The basic concept of this recipe is to sear chicken at a high heat, then create a tomato based sauce, add the chicken and cook low and slow.  The actual proportions and additional ingredients can be to taste.  You can add a hot pepper if you want to add a little kick to the dish.

Serves 6-8

You will need:
2 pounds whole chicken breasts
8 ounces mushrooms
3 peppers (I used red and green)
3 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
2 tablespoons italian seasoning
olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth

Step 1:
Heat a large pot over medium high heat.  Then add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot.  Coat the chicken with salt and pepper and then add to the pot in batches.  Cook for about 2 minutes per side, until browned.  Set aside.  And continue until all the chicken has been browned.

Step 2:
In the same pot, saute the mushrooms and peppers for about 5 minutes.  You can use 1 part olive oil and 2 parts white wine for sautéing to reduce the amount of fat.  Then add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, white wine, and chicken broth.  Stir together.  Add italian seasoning, salt, and pepper to taste.

Step 3:
Bring the sauce to a slow boil.  Then add the chicken.  Let simmer for 40 minutes.  You could serve right away, or for extra tender chicken, let it sit overnight.  Then simmer for an additional hour before serving.  Just before serving use 2 forks to shred the chicken.

I always serve over pasta with parmesan on top.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Poached Eggs with Avocado, Tomato, Bacon and Goat Cheese

Happy Saturday everyone!  The peapod man just delivered this week's groceries and I made this delicious breakfast!  This meal was inspired by a breakfast sandwich that was served at the Butcher and the Burger Yelp event I recently attended.  I highly recommend checking out the Butcher and the Burger if you are in Chicago - it's on Armitage.

I must say that I had never thought of combining goat cheese and avocado until I discovered it at Butcher and the Burger.  It is definitely worth trying - I love the creamy texture.  

You will need (per person):
2 Eggs
2 Tablespoons Vinegar
Sliced Avocado
Sliced Tomato
an English Muffin
Goat Cheese (or any cheese)
Bacon (I used Turkey Bacon)

Step 1:
Cook the bacon until crisp.

Step 2:
Poach the eggs.  Add 2 inches of water to a frying pan, add 2 tablespoons vinegar and bring to a slow boil.  Then crack an egg into a small bowl - make sure the yolk is not broken otherwise this will not work.  Once the water has boiled, lower the egg gently into the water.  If the egg white spreads out a lot you can pull it together with a spoon.  Repeat putting up to 4 eggs in one pan.  After 2 minutes carefully make sure the egg is not stuck to the bottom of the pan and roll the egg over.  Cook for 3-4 minutes total depending on how runny you like your eggs.  Click here for a video demonstration.

Step 3:
While the eggs are cooking - toast your english muffins.  Once toasted, spread with goat cheese and then stack the bacon, tomato, and avocado on top.

Step 4:
Use a slotted spoon to remove the poached eggs from the water, and place on top of the goat cheese, tomato, bacon, and avocado.  Enjoy!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Orthodox Easter Menu Ideas

My friend Carla asked me to come up with menu ideas for Orthodox Easter which is this Sunday.  She lives in Jordan and said that Ham and Lamb aren't common foods there - so I came up with suggestions that do not involve those meats.

Artichoke Dip - my family serves this at every holiday
Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto - this is what I brought to Easter dinner this year
Jam and Brie Phyllo Cups - very very quick and easy

Chicken Piccata  - this lemony dish seems springy to me
Chicken with Honey Curry Sauce - an easy to make crowd pleaser
Woody's Pork Tenderloin - easiest recipe I know - see recipe below - I will post a photo soon
Chicken Tetrazzini - feeds a crowd

Low Fat Carrot Cake Cupcakes -carrots, Easter, makes sense to me
Low Fat Chocolate Pie - very easy, very good
Nutella Cheesecake - quick, easy, and involves Nutella.

Woody's Pork Tenderloin

You will need:
Pork Tenderloin
1 cup Red Wine
1 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup Soy Sauce

Step 1:
The night before combine the wine, worcestershire sauce, and soy sauce in an oven safe glass pan.  Then add the pork and let marinate over night.

Step 2:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  While the oven is preheating, take the pork out of the fridge and let it and the glass pan come to room temperature.  I have been told that placing a cold dish right in the oven might result in it breaking.  Then place the pork it in the oven with the marinade and cook at 350 for about 30-45 min. Basically until it is done. 

* This goes very well with mashed or roasted potatoes

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mustard Chicken

I made Mustard Chicken last night.  This is a quick crowd-pleasing recipe that I make often during the week.  One nice thing about this recipe is that you can change it up however you like by adding onions, mushrooms and/or artichoke hearts.  Sometimes I don't add any of those and just make the sauce - sometimes I add whatever is in the fridge.  Perhaps the best thing about this recipe is how simple the ingredients are.  Most people probably have all of the ingredients at home; most are pantry items that last a long time.  It is also worth pointing out that these this is a very inexpensive meal to make.

You can use any type of mustard you like.  I have used Dijon, Stone ground, Whole Mustard, etc... they are all very good, use you favorite.

Serves: 2
Total time: 45 minutes

You will need:
1.5 pounds Chicken Breasts
Flour to dredge the chicken
Salt and Pepper
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoons Flour
1 cup Chicken Stock
1/2 cup Mushrooms (optional)
1/2 can chopped Artichoke Hearts (optional)
1/4 cup chopped Onion (optional)
1/2 cup Milk
3 tablespoons Mustard
1 tablespoon Tarragon

* I serve with Rice Pilaf

Step 1:
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.  In a bowl combine about 1/2 cup flour and salt and pepper to taste, you will use this to coat the chicken.  Then heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Once the skillet is hot, dredge the chicken in the flour and place in the skillet.  It will only take a couple minutes to brown on each side.  Once the chicken has browned, place it on a baking sheet and put in the oven.  The cook time will depend on the size of your chicken breasts.  I purchased medium sized chicken breasts and they were fully cooked in about 30 minutes - and very tender.

Step 2:
While the chicken is in the oven, start the rice if you are having rice.  I love eating rice with this because I think that the sauce is great on rice.  Then get started on sauteing any of the vegetables you would like to add into the sauce.  Once the mushrooms have browned/onions have softened/artichokes are heated - set aside.

Step 3:
Make the sauce.  Start by melting the butter in a medium saucepan.  Then stir in the flour.  Stir for one minute.  Then slowly add the chicken stock and milk whisk until the butter/flour mixture is completely incorporated.  Then bring to a slow boil.  Let boil for 1 minute, stirring frequently.  This lets the sauce thicken.  Then add in the mustard and tarragon.  Go ahead and add extra mustard if you really like mustard.  Then add in the sauteed vegetables.  (This sauce only takes about 5-10 minutes to make, so I wait until the chicken is almost done before I make it.)

Enjoy!  There will be at least one more post this week.  My friend Carla asked me to post about menu options/recipes for Orthodox Easter this weekend.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Breakfast Burrito

 I hope that everyone had a lovely Easter.  The Sunday Night Dinner crowd gathered at Jenn's house last night where she hosted a delicious dinner.  Easter dinner is extra special because we have an Easter egg hunt!  This year Caroline won, finding 16 eggs total.

I brought asparagus wrapped with boursin cheese and prosciutto - which has already been posted on this blog.  We also had ham, lamb, scalloped potatoes, peas, and lots of great food.  I was painfully full after.  This blog was a hot topic at dinner.  Lately, every time I see my friends, I get scolded for not updating the blog.  Caroline has been informing me that Fay Lyons wants updates!  Caroline told me that she doesn't know what to cook and her cupboards are bare!

I am so sorrry!  I am going to be better - starting NOW.  I got a bit distracted with other things in life.  I took the IAPP's exam to become a Certified Information Privacy Professional - which I passed!  I spent a considerable amount of time studying - which ate up time that I would have used to blog.  I also have been hand addressing the invites for my wedding (with less than 3 months to go - they need to get in the mail!).  Here is some evidence:

Yes, during the past 6 weeks, Charles and I have eaten.  I problem is that we have been eating recipes that I have already posted on the blog!  I ran out of ideas for a little while - but I will be better about posting.

Tonight I am going to make Mustard Chicken - which is one of my go to weeknight meals.  So expect another post this week!  Now I am going to post about a delicious a quick breakfast - Breakfast Burritos!  I am a strong believer that anything is more delicious in taco or burrito form.  This recipe is very easy to make for multiple people - this recipe is per person - adjust as necessary!

You will need (per person):
2 Eggs
1/4 cup reduced fat Mexican Cheese
1/4 cup Black Beans
1 large Tortilla

Step 1:
Crack the eggs into a bowl - and scramble.

Step 2:
Heat a skillet over medium heat.  I use a non-stick skillet so I do not need to add butter to the eggs.  Pour the eggs into the pan.  Then add the salsa (as much as you want), black beans and cheese.  Stir.

Step 3:
Once the eggs are fully cooked, heat the tortilla in a microwave for 15 seconds.  Then scoop the egg mixture into the tortilla, roll up, and eat!