Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Eve and Beyond menu

I'm including WW Points values b/c we are counting religiously right now.

New Year's Eve: Our favorite Turkey Burgers (7); Layered Lima Bean Dip and Crudites (2) Turkey burger on sugar-free bun with mustard and lettuce, tomato, etc

New Year's Day: Leo's birthday! He wants grilled chicken. 4 oz grilled Chicken (3); 1 cup brown rice (4); 1 cup black eyed peas (2); steamed kale (0) (hoppin jon for luck and kale for $!)

Friday: Shrimp Pad Thai (9); Green Salad with Wasabi Ginger Dressing (1)

Saturday: Baked Eggplant with Mushroom-and-Tomato Sauce (New Recipe) (2 serving for 6points); Steamed Broccoli (0); Breadsticks (2)

Sunday: Chili-Cheese Black Bean Enchiladas (8); Green Rice (4)

Monday: Cooking for a friend with a new baby Mini Meat Loaves (6); mashed new potatoes (2); okra and tomatoes

We tried the Mini Meat Loaves recipe a couple of weeks ago, and it is DELICIOUS! I don't really like meat loaf, but Todd does...so I tried it since it has so many great reviews. I loved it!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Chicken and Basil Calzones

Recipe Link

This is a great EASY (IMO!) recipe for a weeknight.

You start by just browning the meat (I used ground turkey instead of chicken) with a little garlic. Once it was browned, I drained the meat and then simmered with 3/4 cup prepared pizza sauce for 5 minutes. Then I sprinkled in a little dried basil. It calls for fresh, but I'm not paying for that right now, lol.

I rolled out the Pillsbury pizza dough right on the cookie sheet sprayed with pam. Then cut it into fourths and patted those into rectangles. Then put 1/4 of the turkey on and topped with 2 tbsp preshredded mozzarella. Folded over and crimped with a fork. Baked at 425 for 12 minutes.

They were YUMMY! I think we'll try them with taco turkey meat and black beans next. Very good and easy!

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Cilantro Lime Mayo

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Homemade tortilla nuggets for the boys...

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Recipe Link

These little sandwiches are yummy! You start by marinating the chicken cutlets in egg, oregano, hot sauce, and salt for a few hours. I used the amount that of hot sauce that it called for, and it was plenty spicy for me. Then you just coat in crushed tortilla chips and pan fry. I added a little lime zest to the cilantro-lime mayo, and that made it really good. We highly recommend this one!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Breakfast Quesadillas

I've gotten really bored with steel cut oatmeal or whole grain toast lately, so I've been trying some other things. I like the Smart Ones frozen breakfast quesadillas, so I experimented with making my own. I just made them yesterday and haven't actually tried one yet...so I'll get back to you with my review. I think it will take several attempts to get the filling just right.

I used this recipe for a guide...but they're not very hard.

My ingredients were...

light tortillas
18 egg whites (scrambled)
onions, jalapeno, garlic, bell pepper (sauteed)
Soyrizo (cooked a little - do you have to cook this stuff to use it in a filling? I don't know)
can of black beans, drained and rinsed
lowfat cheddar
Pace Salsa Verde - our FAVORITE these days!

Here's the filling - I cooked what needed to be cooked and dumped it in a bowl. I let the hot stuff cool a bit.

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We love this salsa!

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I did quesadillas b/c burritos involve a lot of extra tortilla for wrapping. This is the smaller size light tortilla. I did filling (maybe a little over 1/4 cup?), salsa, and then cheese. I folded and then unfolded when I remembered to take the picture. Ever the wonderful photographer!

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Freezing! I ended up with a total of 15.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Soft Pretzels

Lots of moms that I know have been talking about using their mixers lately...so I caught the bug today. I made soft pretzels. I followed this recipe exactly...


It was time-consuming but pretty easy. They will be much easier next time. I think they turned out great - the texture is really good. I might try cinnamon-sugar on top next time.

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A quick bath in simmering water with baking soda...I guess to make the outside crispy?

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My afternoon snack!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

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Recipe Link

This was yummy! I tripled the recipe and had enough for dinner, a lunch leftover for each of us...and then I froze some, I think. It has been a few days.

I followed the recipe except that I used a combo of regular chili powder and chipotle chili powder instead of the dried chipotle. This was an easy prep recipe!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I made sushi!

Todd and I have developed a serious sushi habit, and he has been suggesting for awhile that we (I) should try making it ourselves (myself). My friend Carla tried it and told me it wasn't that complicated, so I gave it a try tonight. I bought all the supplies at H Mart yesterday for about $12.

We loved it! I used Alton Brown's sushi rice recipe. Note that the recipe has a typo - it's 1 tsp salt...NOT 1 TBSP.

While that cooked, I prepped the filling. I did a California roll, so I used cucumber, avocado, and imitation crab meat.

I used these YouTube videos to learn how to construct them and use the mat.



We loved our homemade sushi! So nice to just eat it from the counter while we fed the kids - didn't have to go to a fancy restaurant. I ended up making 6 rolls - I told Todd I had saved us about $50 tonight if you subtracted the supplies. Can't wait to try some other types of rolls.

And here are some pictures!
The rice on the nori...

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A finished roll. Sorry for the knife - I know the photos on this cooking blog are awful. But I don't care enough to work on it, lol.

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Leo checks it out. There's that knife again!

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We had everything - even wasabi and soy. The only thing we didn't have was the pickled ginger - I could only find a huge container of it. Way too much. Notice that we are using Gerber bowls as our sauce bowls, haha!

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Southwestern Pumpkin Burgers

Recipe Link

We haven't had a homemade veggie patty in a long time, so these were a welcome treat! They are a bit time consuming with the chopping and sauteeing, but I thought the results were unique and flavorful. The pumpkin definitely has a different personality when it's not in a sweet dessert. I have made MANY homemade patties, and these are so easy to work with when forming the patties and cooking. They were firm and I didn't have to be super careful with them to keep them together. I think they would be good on a WW Bun, too.

I served with green beans and homemade cannelini hummus and raw veggies.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

What's on the Menu 10/27-10/31

Mon - Southwestern Pumpkin Burgers, Green Beans

Tues - Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili, Orange and Avocado Salad

Wed - Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce; Green Salad

Thur - Lentil Tacos

Fri - Hot Dogs at the Halloween Block Party

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers

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My friend Julie shared this recipe with me. We made them in a pan, but they took forever - we will grill them next time. I used regular mushrooms - next time I will use portabellas.

We loved them - probably my favorite turkey burger to date!

Mushroom Blue Cheese Turkey Burgers

* 1 pound ground turkey
* 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
* 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese

1. Preheat grill for high heat.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the ground turkey, mushrooms, onion, and soy sauce. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Form into 4 burger patties.
3. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place patties on the prepared grill, and cook for 10 minutes per side, or until well done. Top with blue cheese during the last few minutes.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Roasted Poblano Black Bean Hummus

I have been experimenting with hummus made out of different beans lately. I concocted a winner today - it is soooo good! I don't have a picture, and I don't have an exact recipe...but you'll get the idea.

Roasted Poblano Black Bean Hummus

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
poblano pepper - roasted, peeled, and seeded
juice of 2 small limes
1-2 tbsp tahini (can sub peanut butter, but I don't think it is as good)
5 garlic cloves (or to taste)
1 bunch cilantro, stems removed
cumin to taste
salt to taste

To roast poblano pepper, preheat oven to broil. Put poblano pepper on a cookie sheet and roast on each side until the skin starts to blacken - usually 4-5 minutes per side. After each side has been roasted, put the pepper in a large ziploc bag and let it steam for 10 minutes. Then remove the pepper from the bag. Remove the seeds and peel off the skin. You can use as much of the pepper in your hummus as you like - I used about half of a medium sized one.

Combine poblano and all other ingredients in a food processor. Whirl to desired consistency.

Trust me - this is soooo good! I like it best at room temperature.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Bahn Mi

Recipe Link

I made these yummy Vietnamese sub sandwiches a week or so ago. They were delicious and easy! I couldn't find a Daikon Radish, so I just used a regular radish.

I began by marinating the veggies and cooking the meat with the chili garlic sauce on top. While that was happening, I prepped the sandwich toppings and mayonnaise sauce. Then assembled the sandwiches after the meat had cooled a bit.

These were great for dinner, and they were even better as leftovers. As the directions state, I just wrapped them tightly and stored in the refrigerator.

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