Archive for Cooking

Portobello Stroganoff

This one was inspired by a recipe from Cook’s Country. I took their low-fat beef stroganoff on a different spin by taking out the beef altogether. Alright, the truth is I accidentally used the meat for something else, ok?

Actually, by having just the portobello mushrooms, it now felt even lighter. Also, I thought the idea of using yogurt instead of sour cream was interesting. Great for slashing the calories, for sure. Fortunately, with the tomato paste and mustard, it still retained quite a bit of tang, but not too much. Which I liked a lot, actually.

You’ll love the down home taste of this recipe. Give it a try. Definitely a cut above the commercial variety.

Oh, and feel free to add the meat. Not gonna hurt my feelings, I promise.

Ingredients (4 servings)
1 8oz pkg. No-Yolk Egg Noodles
4 Portobello Mushroom Caps
1 onion, finely diced
3 tbs. All-Purpose Flour
1 tbs. Tomato Paste
2 cups Low-Sodium Beef Broth
1 tbs Dijon Mustard
1/2 cup Fat-Free Plain Yogurt
EVOO
Salt & Pepper
1 large Egg White, discard yolk
2 tbs. finely chopped Fresh Parsley

Directions:
Brush portobellos with a little EVOO and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Grill or roast to preferred doneness. Slice into long, thin pieces. Set aside.

Now, in a medium-heated large skillet, cook onions until browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and tomato paste and cook until paste begins to darken, about 2 minutes. Add broth and mustard and bring to a boil while stirring, making sure there are no lumps. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, Whisk the yogurt and egg white in a bowl until smooth. Add in sliced mushrooms to the skillet and mix to combine well with the sauce. Turn off heat then stir in yogurt mixture and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a side of your favorite veggies.

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Strawberry Bacon Galletti

I love this dish. I’ve made it several times before (albeit in different configurations) and it’s just one of those things I come back to, every once in a while. And usually, it’s because it’s lunch time and you know you have leftover strawberries that will go bad if you don’t use them, like now. So…

You can even omit the bacon if you don’t like meat. On the other hand, if you don’t mind the meat but don’t like the smoky flavor of bacon, use pancetta instead. I’ve done it in the past. It’s really good, too.

Ingredients (2-3 servings):
1 lb. Galletti Pasta (or Farfalle)
15 Fresh Strawberries (more or less, depending on size), diced
5-6 strips of Bacon, diced (or pancetta)
1 tbs. minced Shallots
2-3 Cloves Garlic, minced
A handful of Flat-Leaf Parsley, finely chopped
EVOO
Balsamic Vinegar
Grated Parmesan
Fresh Ground Pepper

Directions:
In a bowl, macerate the diced strawberries in a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Set aside. Cook pasta to al dente.

Meanwhile, saute bacon and shallots with a little EVOO in a medium-heated pan until bacon is lightly browned. Add in garlic and cook for another few minutes or until bacon is golden brown and crispy. When pasta is cooked, combine everything together, add in the strawberries, parsley, some grated parmesan and a few cracks of black pepper. Toss well.

Serve on pasta bowls and garnish with some more fresh strawberries and parsley. Finish with a drizzle of EVOO.

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Spinach & Sausage Lasagna

Wow! I’ve made lasagna many times in the past but this one takes the cake, for sure. I guess, using really good quality marinara sauce makes a big difference. I used a store bought bottle made of san marzano tomatoes. Man, that stuff is expensive but so worth it! And the quality of the cheese is so pronounced. Be sure to use good artisan quality cheeses.

So, leave the Prego on the shelf already… and suck it up. You won’t regret it!

Ingredients (6-8 Servings)
12 sheets No-Boil Lasagna
1 5oz package Organic Baby Spinach
4 Italian Sausage Links, cooked and thinly sliced diagonally
2 24oz bottles All-Natural Marinara Sauce
2 cups Ricotta
2 cups Fresh Mozzarella, sliced into thin pieces
2 cups Provolone, Shredded
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan
1 cup EVOO

Directions:
Soak the no-boil lasagna sheets in tap water and set aside. Preheat oven to 375F. Meanwhile, lightly coat a 9″x13″ baking dish with a little EVOO. Pour half a bottle of marinara sauce and spread to cover entire bottom of dish evenly.

Slather 1 cup of ricotta cheese on one side of four lasagna sheets and layer on the bottom of dish, cheese side up (may overlap a little). Pour half a bottle of marinara sauce and spread evenly with a spatula. Spread evenly half of the sausage slices and half the spinach, then a third of the mozzarella, provolone and parmesan. Repeat the process for a second layer.

Top with a final layer of lasagna sheets and the remaining sauce and cheese. Drizzle evenly with a little EVOO.

Cover with foil and pop in the oven for an hour. Remove foil and keep in the oven for another 10 minutes. Let rest for a few minutes before digging in.

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Campanelle

It could’ve been any type of pasta but that’s what I have at the moment. Works for me, though! I like the thickness of the campanelle which gives it a meaty texture. The ridges are good for holding thick sauces, actually. But I wanted something simple right now, so no sauces this time.

I had some leftover fresh mozzarella so I diced it up and added it but you really don’t need it. Just some grated parmesan and you’re good to go.

So easy to make, too. Ready in 15 minutes.

Ingredients (2 servings):
1/2 lb. Campanelle Pasta
1-2 Garlic Cloves, minced
A handful of Parsley (or Cilantro), chopped
EVOO
1 Lemon, cut into 4 wedges
Grated Parmesan
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Directions:
Cook pasta to al dente. Meanwhile, in a medium-low heated large pan, sweat garlic in EVOO for a few minutes until fragrant but not browned. Add cooked pasta, chopped parsley and fresh cracked pepper. Toss well. Squirt some lemon juice and serve on pasta bowls. Garnish with grated parmesan, a lemon wedge and a drizzle of fresh olive oil.

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Chugwater Chili Meatloaf with Cilantro Mash

The last meatloaf I made was an Italian-inspired one and I haven’t made another, since. This time, I wanted to try something different. Maybe even get a little closer to home. And since I live in Wyoming, I thought I’d go local and give Chugwater Chili a whirl and see how it goes on a meatloaf recipe. And while I’m at it, I thought, I might as well go all out with the kick by adding jalapeno peppers to the mix.

I would’ve used ground beef but I happened to have a thing of ground turkey in the fridge, so that’s what I used. Smart Ground or something similar would be a good vegetarian alternative, as well.

I also had some leftover cilantro leaves so I just threw it on the mash and it worked out great. By the way, the radish slices gave it a nice cool break from the spiciness of the dish.

Outstanding, I say! Give it a try already.

Ingredients (4 servings):
The Meatloaf:
1 lb. Lean Ground Turkey
1 1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
4 Jalapeno Peppers, seeded and finely diced
1 Onion, finely diced
3 tbs. Chugwater Chili Powder (or whatever variety you have)
2 tbs. dried thyme
6 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 cup Frozen Peas & Carrots, thawed in microwave
1 Large Egg
4 tbs. EVOO
Fresh Cracked Pepper

The Glaze:
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 tbs. Chugwater Chili Powder (or whatever variety you have)
1 tbs. Honey
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. Hot Sauce

The Mash:
4 Russet Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 bunch Fresh Cilantro Leaves, finely chopped
1/2 stick Unsalted Butter
1 cup of Low-Fat Milk, more or less
Salt & Pepper

1 Bunch of Raddish, sliced

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large mixing bowl, combine all meatloaf ingredients together and mix well using your hands. Take note that Chugwater Chili Powder is already salted. If the chili powder you’re using doesn’t have salt in it, go ahead and add some, otherwise, beware of over salting.

Now, make the glaze by combining all the glaze ingredients together in a small bowl and mixing well. Transfer meatloaf to a meatloaf baking pan and smother evenly with the glaze. Pop in the oven for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, start your mash by rinsing the cubed potatoes to get rid of excess starch. Place in a pot immersed in cold water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and continue boiling for another 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender enough to mash. Drain water and then, add butter, milk, salt & pepper and start mashing until smooth and creamy. Give it a taste and re-season accordingly. Add in cilantro and fold using a large spoon or spatula.

Serve with slices of radish.

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Basil & Tofu Green Curry

I love curry and I have a staple diet of it on a regular basis. This one is really easy to make since I just use a can of this widely available green curry paste that I get from the Asian store. The only thing I did different this time is that I added some basil leaves in the mix to give it a more fresh and fragrant flavor. We don’t have any real Thai basil here in my neck of the woods so I just used the regular Italian variety, which is fine. Also, I seasoned with fish sauce for a more authentic taste. But it’s definitely fine to use salt & pepper, if you don’t have it.

This is pure vegan recipe but you can certainly add some chicken, if you wish. I have in the past, I just didn’t have any at the moment. That’s why tofu became the star of the dish. Works for me!

Oh yeah, green curry is way spicier than the red one, FYI. Okay, don the apron and get cooking!

Ingredients (4 servings):
1 can Maesri Green Curry Paste
1 can Low Fat Coconut Milk
1 cup Low Sodium Vegetable Broth
3 tbs. Fish Sauce
1/2 package firm tofu, diced into small cubes
A handful of Fresh Basil Leaves, torn into pieces
1 tbs. Dried Basil
1 Onion, sliced
1 Red Bell Pepper, sliced
4 cLoves Garlic, minced
Small Eggplant, diced into small cubes
A few pieces of diced Carrots
3 tbs. Canola Oil

Directions:
Heat oil in a pot and saute bell pepper, onions, eggplant and carrots in medium-high heat for a few minutes. Add in the garlic, dried basil and fish sauce and let cook for another couple of minutes while continuously stirring. Stir in the green curry paste, coconut milk and broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer covered for about 20 minutes. Give it a taste and re-season with more fish sauce if needed. Fold in the tofu and fresh basil. Serve over a bowl of jasmine rice.

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Maple Pecan Pie

I’m really not that big on making desserts and usually just rely on a quick scoop of ice cream or a piece of chocolate to get my sweet fix. But every once in a while, I’d get a hankering for something I haven’t had in a long time.

Although, I still have to have that scoop of ice cream, that’s right. 🙂

Ingredients:
1 cup Pure Maple Syrup
1/2 cup Raw Cane Sugar (or Brown Sugar)
3 Large Eggs
4 tbs. Unsalted Butter, melted
1 tbs. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 tbs. Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 tsp. Sea Salt
1 1/2 cups Pecans (pieces or halves)
1 9″ Pie Crust

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the first 8 ingredients until well blended. Pour mixture over the crust and bake for 1 hour. Let stand at room temp until completely cool.

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