Saturday, January 26, 2013

Steak Tips with Mushroom Gravy


Steak Tips with Mushroom Gravy

This was adapted from a Cooking Light recipe for Steak Tips with Peppered Mushroom Gravy. One day, I will write about a horrible attempt at Steak Fajitas when I was dating my wife 25 years ago. Needless to say, it is the bar by which all bad meals are measured by. This was nothing at all like that - and came out fantastic. I did receive some nice knives for Christmas and it make cutting the steak much easier. It is a lot about the tools! Anyway, this is a fantastic dish that will definitely grace our table again.

Ingredients (Makes around 4 servings - perfectly served over noodles, rice or with mashed potatoes).

Cooking spray
1 pound top sirloin steak, trimmed of fat and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tbsp Olive oil
2 tbsp Shallots or onions, finely chopped
1 (8-ounce) package Baby bella mushrooms, sliced
4 ounce White mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp Garlic, chopped (one one clove)
1 tbsp Soy sauce
3 tbsp Flour (all-purpose)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp Thyme (dried)
1 1/2 cups Beef broth

Directions (you are on your own for noodles, rice or potatoes)

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray and add steak. Sauté for around 5 minutes until it is browned on all sides. Remove from pan and cover with foil to keep warm.
2. Heat olive oil in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add shallots (or onions) and mushrooms - then sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic and soy sauce and sauté for around 30 seconds (until mixed).
3. Sprinkle flour, pepper, kosher salt and thyme over mushroom mixture and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then gradually add the beef broth, stirring constantly. Bring the mushroom mix to a boil and cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Return beef to pan and cook 1 minute longer.

Serve over noodles, rice or potatoes.

Enjoy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Coffee Pecan Cake


Coffee Pecan Cake

This was adapted from a Cooking Light recipe for Espresso-Walnut Cake. I had been meaning for the longest time to try this out. And of course - I did not have walnuts. Welcome the biggest change of all - Pecans! I loved the way that this came out - though you can make it a bit less coffee tasting (see note below).

Ingredients (Cooks in an 8x8 pan - will let you figure out how many servings that is)
Cooking spray
1 1/3 cups, plus 2 tsp All-purpose flour
1/4 cup Brown sugar
3 tbsp Pecans, finely chopped
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tbsp Instant coffee granules, divided (SEE NOTE BELOW)
5 tbsp Butter or margarine
1 cup Sugar
2 large Eggs
2/3 cup Yogurt (vanilla or plain)
2 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/4 tsp Table salt

NOTE: The instant coffee makes a strong taste. You can change out the tablespoons for teaspoons with instant coffee for a less strong taste.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat an 8-inch square baking pan with baking cooking spray (or dust with 2 tsp flour atop regular cooking spray).
2. Combine brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, and 1 tbsp coffee granules in a small bowl.
3. Place the butter or margarine in a large microwave-safe bowl. Heat in microwave until butter melts. Add granulated sugar, stirring with a whisk. Add eggs; stir well. Stir in yogurt, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Add flour and remaining tbsp coffee - then stir until blended.
4. Spread half of the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with half of the brown sugar mixture. Carefully spread remaining batter over brown sugar mixture, and sprinkle with remaining brown sugar mixture.
5. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Roasted Cod with Warm Tapenade


Roasted Cod with Warm Tapenade

This great fish recipe was adapted from Roasted Cod with Warm Tomato-Olive-Caper Tapenade from the EatingWell site. Loved the way that this came out and it was very easy to prepare. Served it with rice and a vegetable.

Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
1 pound Cod fillet (4 pieces)
1 tbsp Olive oil (plus some olive oil spray)
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1 small Onion, chopped finely
1/2 cup Cherry tomatoes, halved
12 Kalamata olives, chopped
1 tbsp Roasted red peppers, chopped
1 tbsp Capers, rinsed
1/2 tsp Dried oregano
1 tsp Balsamic vinegar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with sprayed olive oil or cooking spray. Placed the cod on the baking sheet and lightly spray olive oil on the fillets. Sprinkle with pepper. Place the sheet in the oven and cook for around 17 minutes.
2. When the fish is around 6 minutes from being done, prepare the tapenade. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add chopped onion and saute for around 1 minute. Add tomatoes and saute for around 2 minutes. Add olives, roasted red peppers, capers and dried oregano and saute for around 1 minute. Add the balsamic vinegar and remove from the heat.
3. Spoon the tapenade over the cod to serve.

Enjoy!

BBB (Better Blue Buckeyes)


BBB (Better Blue Buckeyes)

I was at a party for Mosaic Feline Rescue volunteers and these were around for dessert (here are my pictures of the cats at Mosaic). These were amazing and I shared some with my family - who wanted more...more...more!

These are adapted from a no-bake recipe that I was pointed towards on the VegNews site. The recipe is for Chocolate-Covered Crunchy Speculoos Balls. I tweaked this a bit to make it slightly better for you - given that I use Simply Jif (it has less sugar than regular). Low-fat peanut butter might work as well. Well, about the name - being a Michigan person...can't very well call it just Buckeyes....so I am calling it BBB....or Better Blue Buckeyes.

Ingredients (Makes 18-20)

2 cups Peanut butter (you may use an variety including low-fat or low sugar)
1/4 cup (4 tbsp) Butter or margarine (softened)
3 cups Crisp rice cereal
1 cup Powdered sugar
1 lbs Chocolate candy coating (like CandiQuik)

Directions

1. In a large mixing bowl, blend the peanut butter and butter or margarine until well mixed.
2. Add crisp rice cereal and mix well.
3. Add powdered sugar and mix well.
4. Mold around 2 tablespoons of peanut butter mix into a ball (slightly smaller than a golf ball). Place a toothpick in the balls and place them in the refrigerator for around an hour.
5. Melt the chocolate coating as directed, and dip the balls (by the toothpicks and spoon if needed) until coated. Let cool for another hour.

Enjoy!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Chicken Piccata


Chicken Piccata

This dish is a great addition to our repertoire as this came out fantastic. I have been carrying around the printout for this recipe for months and it was always on my short list. This recipe was adpated from Chicken Piccata I from the Prevention website. This is a great place to get healthy recipes and I have been going there more and more for dining ideas. In regards to the whole notion of it being Chicken Piccata I...it makes me think there is a sequel somewhere out there..."this time, it's personal!" Again, this is a great dish!

Ingredients (4 servings)
1/2 cup Flour
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper
4 chicken breasts (around 1 1/2 lbs), thinly sliced (around 3/8" thick)
3-4 tbsp Olive oil
1/4 cup Capers, rinsed and drained
1 Onions, finely chopped
2 tsp Garlic, chopped (or two cloves)
1/2 cup Dry white wine
1/2 cup Chicken broth
1/4 cup Lemon juice

Directions
1. Combine flour, kosher salt and black pepper in a 1 quart zip-top bag. Pat chicken dry. Working in batches, add chicken to bag, shake to coat, and set on plate in single layer.
2. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the chicken and cook for around 3 minutes on each site. Transfer chicken to a plate and cover tightly with foil. Cook the other half of the chicken the same way and place the finished chicken under the foil as well. Add extra oil as needed during the second batch of chicken.
3. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining tbsp of olive oil to skillet. Add the capers, onions and garlic to the pan and cook for 3 minutes (stirring often). Add wine, broth, and lemon juice to the pan and simmer for around 4 minutes.
4. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve.

Enjoy!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Quinoa and Lentil Salad


Quinoa and Lentil Salad

Here is another quinoa dish that I made for a vegan potluck. This recipe is from 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking: 500 Recipes for Lifelong Wellness (links to Worldcat - get it at a library). The recipe is on page 148. It is a great source of protein with both Quinoa and Lentils! A nice lemon taste as well! Quinoa is a wonder food that I want to use more of this year!

Ingredients

2 cups Quinoa (to be cooked with 4 cups of water)
1 cup Lentins (to be cooked with 2 cups of water)
1/2 tsp Taragon
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp Black pepper
3 tbsp Lemon juice
2 tbsp Olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustart
1 cup Parsley, chopped

Directions
1. Prepare the lentils. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add lentils and lower heat to a simmer. Cook lentils for 30 minutes and let cool.
2. Prepare the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly. Add to pan with two cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower to a simmer. Cook for 15-18 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Remove from pan and let cool in a bowl.
3. Prepare dressing by whisking taragon, kosher salt, black pepper, lemon juice, olive oil and dijon mustard.
4. Once the lentils and quinoa are cool, mix together and add the parsley. Then add the taragon mix.
5. Refrigerate for an hour or more before serving.

Enjoy!

Quinoa Tabbouleh (Tabouli) Salad


Quinoa Tabbouleh (Tabouli) Salad

I have wanted to make this dish for some time. This is adapted from a recipe given to me by Ross School of Business Catering where I work (in the library that is. Quinoa is a wonder food that I want to use more of this year!

Ingredients

1 cup Quinoa (to be cooked with 2 cups of water)
1/2 cup Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
1 large Cucumber, peeled and diced into small bites.
18-24 Cherry tomatoes, cut in half (use both red and orange if you have them)
1/2 cup Olive oil
1/4 cup Lemon juice
Kosher salt and ground pepper to taste

Directions
1. Prepare the quinoa. Rinse the quinoa thoroughly. Add to pan with two cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and lower to a simmer. Cook for 15-18 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Remove from pan and let cool in a bowl.
2. When the quinoa is cooled, add in parsley, cilantro, tomatoes and cucumbers.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk olive oil, lemon juice, kosher salt and black pepper. Pour over the quinoa and gently mix.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Shrimp Pasta With Red Sauce


Shrimp Pasta With Red Sauce

Saw this recipe at Prevention Magazine (Shrimp Fra Diavolo II). Seems to be a triple threat - healthy, easy and delicious!

Ingredients

12 oz Pasta (any variety)
1 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
4 tsp (or cloves) Garlic, minced (divided)
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
1 small Onion, chopped (white or yellow)
8 oz Mushrooms, thinly sliced
4 tsp (or cloves) Garlic, minced (divided)
1/2 tsp Dried oregano
1/2 tsp Dried parsley
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
1 cup Dry white wine


Directions

1. Cook pasta according to instructions.
2. Season the shrimp with kosher salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add the shrimp and 2 tsp garlic and cook for 2 minutes, until just firm. Remove to a plate.
3. To the pan, add red pepper flakes, onion, mushrooms, remaining garlic, oregano to the pan; cook until the onions are soft. Add the tomatoes and wine and simmer for 15 minutes.
4. Fold the cooked shrimp into the sauce and let simmer for 2 additional minutes.
5. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss.

Enjoy!


Corn and Parsnip Cakes


Corn and Parsnip Cakes

Tried this out for New Year's Eve, really like the way that this turned out. The original recipe is from Cooking Light. Nice side dish indeed!

Ingredients

1 cup chopped Parsnip (about one large parsnip or around 4 oz.)
1 (15 1/4-ounce) can Whole-kernel corn, drained
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Skim milk
1 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
2 Eggs
2 tbsp Olive oil

Directions

1. Cook parsnip in boiling water for around 12 minutes. Drain and cool with cold water.
2. Place corn in a food processor; pulse 3 to 4 times or until chopped. Place in a mixing bowl.
3. Place cooked parsnip in the food process and pulse 3 to 4 times as well. Add to the mixing bowl.
4. To the mixing bowl, add flour, milk, sugar, kosher salt, and eggs and beat until blended.
5. Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls to form cakes. Cook 2 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Enjoy!