Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shrimp with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce


Adapted from the Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce recipe from Cooking Light (Laraine Perri, JUNE 2012). OK - I have really tried the lettuce thing twice - but I think we are going to make this again - but just cut to the chase and serve over rice. I LOVED having the mix of the stir-fry with the fresh vegetables.

1 tsp Peanut oil
1 Medium shallot, minced (around 1 1/2 tbsp)
1/3 cup Water
2 tbsp Creamy peanut butter (low fat or low sugar is fine)
2 tbsp Hoisin sauce
1 tbsp Lime juice

1 tbsp Peanut oil
1 lbs Shrimp (raw and deveined - around 31/40 count)
1 tbsp Garlic, minced (or 2 cloves)
4 Green onions, cut into 1 inch slices, divided
1/2 cup Cilantro, chopped, divided
3 tbsp Soy sauce (low sodium is fine)
1 tsp Ginger, grated
1 tsp Brown sugar
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
1 cup Carrots, cut into thin strips (matchstick-cut)
4 oz Bean sprouts (around 1 cup)
2 splashes Sesame oil


1. To prepare sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add peanut oil, then shallots and sauté for 2 minutes.
2. Add 1/3 cup water, peanut butter, and hoisin sauce and stir continually as you bring to a boil. Cook for one minute after it boils.
3. Remove from heat and add lime juice and let cool. It is served at room temperature.

1. Heat peanut oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add half the green onions and sauté 1 minute.
2. Add shrimp and garlic and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring continually. The shrimp should be pink.
3. Add half the cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, and brown sugar, cooking an additional 1 minute.
4. Remove from heat and mix in a bowl with bean sprouts, carrots and the remaining cilantro.

Serve with rice with the sauce on top of the stir-fry. You can also make lettuce wraps if you are so inclined.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Kale Chips

Adapted from a few different recipes I found on the web - and Dr. Oz. These are amazing! Great way to eat Kale AND get a treat that is 100% good for you. You can really limit the oil and it will even be better for you. Yep...once again. Dr. Oz shows us the way!!!!!

1 bunch of Kale
1 tsp Olive Oil - OR olive oil spray (see below)
Kosher Salt or Sea Salt to taste

1. Wash the Kale and then rip or cut the leaves off the stems. Rip into small pieces.
2. Dry Kale thouroughly with paper or regular towels. It is good to let it air dry for a bit.
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
4. Layer kale with a very light layer of oil. This can be done in two ways:

4a -> In a large bowl, add the kale and the 1 tbsp of Oil and mix thoroughly. Then place the kale on two cookie sheets (you can use parchment paper)

4b -> On two cooking sheets (lined with parchment paper if you choose), layer the kale and then spray lighthly with a mister filled with olive oil. Using the spray, you can actually use less oil.

5. Sprinkle salt lighthly ontop of the kale.
6. Place in oven for 15 to 20 minutes.

Enjoy at room temperature or cooled!

Quinoa With Pine Nuts and Cherries

Quinoa With Pine Nuts and Cherries

Adapted from this recipe - Quinoa With Garlic, Pine Nuts and Raisins

Ingredients (makes 6-8 servings - good for summer potlucks)
2/3 cup Pine nuts
1 1/2 cups Quinoa, rinsed well
3 cups Chicken or Vegtable broth
2 tbsp Garlic, minced (or around 3-4 cloves)
Kosher salt and black pepper (to taste)
1 tbsp Olive oil
1/2 cup Fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 cup Dried cherries, each one cut in half
2 tbsp Lemon juice

1. Toast the pine nuts in a skillet over medium heat, stirring continuously, until they turn golden, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to a mixing bowl.
2. Place the quinoa in a saucepan (with a cover) and cook over medium heat until toasted (about 2 minutes). Add broth, garlic, kosher salt
and pepper to the pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer covered for around 18-20 minutes (the liquid will be absorbed). Remove from heat and leave covered around 2-3 minutes.
3. Fluff quinoa with a fork and let cool for a few minutes. Then add to the bowl with the pine nuts. Also add the olive oil, parsley,
cherries, and lemon juice.

Enjoy at room temperature or cooled!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Rosemary Lemon Chicken with Mushrooms


NOTE: This recipe was reworked from an old recipe that I had, that in turn was adapted from a great one from "Quick After-Work Italian Cooking" by Hilaire Walden; Fisher Books, 1995.

2 tbsp Olive oil
2 sprigs of fresh Rosemary
3 tsp Chopped garlic (or 3 cloves)
3-4 skinless chicken breasts, flattened and cut in half
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Juice and zest from one lemon
12 oz White mushrooms, stems removed and cut in half
1/2 cup Chicken broth
1/2 tsp Cornstarch
1 tbsp Dried Parsley

1. Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add rosemary and garlic and saute for 3 minutes.
2. Season the chicken with kosher salt and pepper. Add chicken breasts to the pan and cook until lightly browned, around 3 minutes per side.
3. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, mushrooms, chicken stock, cornstarch and parsley. Mix gently.
4. Cover and cook for 10-13 more minutes (turning chicken from time to time).
5. Serve with juices with rice.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fiddles and Drums (Fiddleheads & Mushrooms)


I had fiddleheads once - probably 15 years ago in Pittsburgh. Since I have been cooking alot recently, I wanted to try to cook them. I found them at Busch's and decided to give it a shot. I really liked these and kinda borrowed from four different recipes I found on the web. The season is almost over - but these are really great.

4-6oz Fiddleheads
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 tbsp Olive oil
8oz White Mushrooms, stems removed and cut into quarters (bigger ones) or halves (smaller ones)
1-2 tsp Garlic, chopped
Additional kosher salt and pepper to taste

1. Soak the fiddleheads in cold water for around 5-10 minutes. Rinse.
2. In a small pan, bring 2 cups of water to boil with 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Add fiddleheads and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and
rinse with cold water.
3. Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for around 2 minutes.
4. Add fiddleheads to the pan with kosher salt and pepper to taste. Cook for around 5 minutes
5. Add garlic and cook for one more minute and remove from heat.


NOTE: Here is a <a href="">food safety page from Health Canada</a> on cooking with fiddleheads. The size of the fiddleheads might require more time in the boiling water. The ones I cooked were rather small.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Pasta with Turkey Meat Sauce

Pasta with Turkey Meat Sauce

My first stab at a meat sauce. This uses turkey and should be pretty healthy - so it is really a total win. Had a great taste and is a definite winner on our end. It was inspired by a recipe from Real Simple and my Mediterranean Pasta.

Ingredients (serves 4-5)
1 12-14 oz pound box of penne (whole grain or equivalent).
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 Medium onion, finely chopped
1 Red pepper, finely chopped
3 tsp Garlic, finely chopped (or 3 cloves)
1/2 cup Parsley, chopped
8-10 oz Ground turkey (93% lean) - about half a package
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 28-ounce can Crushed tomatoes
1 tsp Dried oregano
1/2 tsp Dried basil

1. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion, pepper, parsley, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, for around 3-4 minutes.
3. Add the turkey, kosher salt, and pepper and cook for around 8 minutes, stirring constantly.
4. Add the tomatoes, oregano, and basil - then simmer until the sauce thickens, around 8 minutes.

Serve sauce over pasta, adding Parmesan cheese if you like.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Rainbow Chicken with Shrimp

Rainbow Chicken with Shrimp

Loved the way this came out - though it was not exactly the direction I was heading. Tastes good without being any specific ethnic cuisine. Very good and it will be a regular. Not a lot here that is bad for you - so that is good!

Ingredients (Makes 4-5 servings):
2 tbsp Olive oil
2 Chicken Breast halves, cut into 1/4" strips
3/4 lbs Shrimp, peeled and cleaned
1 tsp Cornstarch (divided)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 Medium red onion, cut into 1/2" squares
2 tsp Garlic, chopped
1 tbsp Lime juice
3 Bell peppers (different colors - using green, red and orange), cut into 1/2" squares
1/2 tsp Chili powder (regular or hot - to taste)
1/2 tsp Cumin, ground
1/4 tsp Coriander, ground
8 oz White mushrooms, stems removed and cut in half (if larger)
1/4 cup, Chicken broth

1. Sprink kosher salt and black pepper on cut chicken. In a seperate bowl, sprinkle the cornstartch on the shrip and set aside.
2. Heat 2 tbsp Olive Oil over medium-high heat in a wok or large saute pan. Add onions and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. The add chicken and cook for 3 minutes.
3, Add the lime juice, chili powder, cumin, coriander and the peppers and cook for 4 more minutes. Add more oil if needed.
4. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
5. Add the chicken broth with the other 1/2 tsp of cornstarch, then raise to a boil. Mix thoroughly.
6. Add the raw shrimp and cook until done (pink). When the shrimp are finished, the dish is ready to serve.

Enjoy with rice or noodles.