• Polynesian Flank Steak

    steak.jpg

    This flank steak recipe is excellent, and comes from Cooking Light’s June 2007 issue.  We marinaded the steak for about 8 hours, and in that time the ginger really infused the steak and gave it great flavor.  We served it with potato salad and grilled up some pineapple and green onions as well.  Our only complaint was that it probably needed more salt; however, since we didn’t have the entire amount of soy sauce the recipe calls for, that may be the reason.  This is definitely a keeper for our house, especially since the kiddos ate it!!!

    Ingredients:

    • 1/3 c. pineapple juice (we used canned pineapple, drained it, and then grilled the pineapple, which was superb)
    • 1/3 c. low sodium soy sauce
    • 1/4 c. thinly sliced green onions
    • 1 TBSP minced peeled fresh ginger
    • 1 TBSP honey
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1.5 pounds flank steak

    Directions:

    1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add steak to bag.  Seal and marinate in fridge for at least 3 hours, turning once
    2. Prepare grill
    3. Remove steak from bag, reserving marinade.  Grill steak, about 20 minutes, or until desired degree of doneness, turning and basting frequently with the reserved marinade.
    4. Grill pineapple (my addition)
    5. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting diagonally across the grain into thin slices.

    Nutrition:

    • Calories: 188 (30% from fat)
    • Fat: 6.3g
    • Protein: 24.8g
    • Fiber: 0.2g
    • Cholesterol: 42mg
    • Iron: 1.7mg
    • Sodium: 396mg
    • Calcium: 24mg
    • Carbs: 6.2mg

    Polynesian Flank Steak:

    4star.jpg

  • Sesame Noodles with Chicken

    sesame-noodles.jpg

    This recipe comes from Cooking Light’s June 2006 issue. It’s good, but we have better recipes for this same type of dish, so we won’t be making this one again. If you ask nicely enough I’ll post some of the other recipes ;) I made a few additions as well.

    Ingredients:

    • 8 ounces uncooked linguine
    • 1 c. matchstick cut carrots
    • 8 ounces snap peas (my addition)
    • 2/3 c. broth
    • 1/2 c. peanut butter
    • 2 TBSP rice vinegar
    • 2 TBSP soy sauce
    • 1.5 TBSP fresh ginger, minced (original recipe calls for 1 TBSP)
    • 1/2 TBSP sesame oil (my addition)
    • 2 tsp. Sriracha (omit for a more kid friendly version then diners can add their own)
    • 2 c. chopped cooked chicken breast (could easily substitute tofu)
    • 1 c. thinly sliced green onions (I used a whole lot less)
    • 2 TBSP sesame seeds, toasted
    • Garnish with bean sprouts (my addition)

    Directions:

    1. Cook pasta according to directions, omitting salt and fat. Add carrots and snap peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain well.
    2. Combine broth and next 5 ingredients (through Sriracha) in food processor; process until smooth. Combine pasta mixture, chicken, and onions in a large bow. Drizzle broth mixture over pasta mixture; toss well.
    3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and bean sprouts

    Nutrition:

    • Calories: 456 (27% from fat)
    • Fat 13.9g
    • Protein: 31.1g
    • Cholesterol: 48mg
    • Calcium: 47mg
    • Sodium: 645mg
    • Fiber: 5.2g
    • Iron: 3.2mg
    • Carbs: 52.8g

    Sesame Noodles with Chicken:

    3star.jpg

  • Ziti with Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta Cheese

    dscn3816.jpg

    The pasta recipe comes from Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen. Lidia Bastianich has a show on PBS, and she is well known for her Italian cuisine. It’s very authentic, and the few things we’ve made of hers have all been delicious! It is a rustic and hearty dish and very tasty! I’ve never really cooked much with eggplant, but I really love it. It’s important to get the smaller firmer eggplants as opposed to the extra large Italian American varieties, and there’s a salting process that’s necessary in making the eggplant melt in your mouth tender. Definitely not a weekday meal, as it is very time consuming. We’ll definitely make this recipe again, but probably will half the recipe, because it makes enough to serve a small army! The pan fried eggplant recipe is -s’s
    Ziti with Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta Cheese

    Ingredients:

    • 2 large firm eggplants (each about 3 inches in diameter and 1.25 pounds)
    • 2 TBSP coarse salt, plus more for cooking the pasta and seasoning the sauce
    • 6 TBSP olive oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
    • One 35 ounce can peeled Italian plum tomatoes preferably San Marzano), lightly crushed, with their liquid. We used 2 28 ounce cans. You can also skip the sauce making step and just use your favorite sauce.
    • 1 tsp. crushed hot red pepper. We omitted to make more kid friendly
    • 1 pound ziti
    • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. We used peccorino Romano
    • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, washed, dried, and shredded
    • 1/2 pound (1 cup) fresh ricotta cheese or packaged whole-milk ricotta cheese. We used the part skim variety
    • 8 ounces Fontina cheese, thinly sliced (if baking the pasta). We used mozzarella.

    Assembly:

    • Trim the stems from the eggplants. Remove strips of peel about 1 inch wide from the eggplants, leaving about half of the peel intact. Cut the eggplant into 1 inch cubes. Toss in a large bowl with 2 TBSP of salt. Dump into a colander and let drain for 1 hour.
    • Rinse the eggplant under cool running water, drain thoroughly and pat dry.
    • Preheat oven to 400F. Brush a baking sheet with 3 TBSP of the olive oil. Turn the eggplant cubes onto the baking sheet, toss to coat with oil, and spread them out in an even layer. Bake until the eggplant is very tender and browned, about 25 minutes. Turn and stir the eggplant cubes gently once or twice during baking so they cook evenly.
    • Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in an 8 quart pot over high heat.
    • Heat the remaining 3 TBSP olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Scatter the garlic over the oil and cook, shaking the pan, until golden, about 3 minutes. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, add the pepper flakes, and season lightly with salt. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat to simmering, and simmer for 10 minutes. We actually simmer for 30 minutes to get a more thickened rich sauce.
    • Stir the ziti into the boiling water. Return to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook the pasta, stirring occasionally, until done, about 10 minutes.
    • Drain the pasta and return it to the pot over low heat. Pour in all but about 1/4 cup of the sauce, and toss lightly to coat the pasta with sauce. Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in 3/4 cup of the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the basil. Gently stir in the eggplant. Add the ricotta by heaping teaspoonfuls, stirring it gently into the pasta; you want the ricotta to heat, but you don not want it to blend with the sauce completely. Either serve the pasta as is–right from the pot–sprinkled with the remaining 1/4 cup of the grated cheese, or gently slide it into a 13 x 11 baking dish. Arrange the Fontina slices overlapping to cover the top of the pasta. Spoon the reserved sauce over the Fontina and sprinkle the top of the baking dish with the remaining 1/4 cup grated cheese. Bake until the edges of the baking dish are bubbling and the cheese is lightly browned, about 20- to 30 minutes.

    Pan Fried Eggplant

    Ingredients:

    • Eggplant
    • Salt
    • Flour
    • Egg
    • Breadcrumbs
    • Seasoning

    Assembly:

    • Rinse the eggplant and remove stems. Remove strips of peel about 1 inch wide from the eggplants, leaving about half of the peel intact. Slice into 1/2 inch rounds. Salt the eggplant and let drain for 1 hour, and then rinse with cold running water and pat dry.
    • Put some flour in one bowl. Put an egg in another bowl. Put Panko bread crumbs in the third bowl. Season the breadcrumbs with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning (like basil and oregano).
    • Heat a skillet with about 1/2 inch of oil. Take your eggplant rounds, dip in the flour, then the egg, then the breadcrumbs. Pan fry until golden brown.

    Ziti with Roasted Eggplant and Ricotta Cheese

    4star.jpg

    Pan Fried Eggplant

    4star.jpg

  • Chipotle Cashew Chicken

    dscn3544.jpg

    I’ve only made a couple of Rachael Ray’s 30 minute meals, and I must say that her 30 minute meals are a bunch of b.s. While this recipe is super tasty and we’ll make it again, it certainly takes longer than 30 minutes. Even the recipe on foodnetwork.com states that from start to finish it takes 40 minutes! I timed it and it took me 42 minutes, and I’m not slow on prep or cooking. Possibly if you have a commercial grade stove, where it takes 2 seconds for a pan to heat up and the sustained temperature is much higher than a regular stove, then maybe just maybe, this dish can be prepared in the advertised 30 minute meals.

    Anyway, this dish is excellent, and spicy. You can easily bring the heat level down, or turn it up depending on how much chipotle you add. When spicy, definitely not kid friendly…our kiddos had fish sticks that night.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1 large onion, 1/4 onion finely chopped, 3/4 thinly sliced
    • 2 cups quick cooking brown rice–I used white rice
    • 4 cups chicken stock
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 2 pounds chicken meat: tenders, boneless, skinless breasts or boneless, skinless thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
    • 2 tablespoons grill seasoning blend (recommended: Montreal Steak Seasoning blend by McCormick)
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons tamari dark soy sauce
    • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
    • 10 to 12 water chestnuts, whole
    • 1 cup frozen green peas
    • 3 tablespoons chipotle in adobo (2 peppers and their sauce),or substitute 1 1/2 tablespoons ground chipotle powder
    • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
    • 1/4 to 1/3 cup real maple syrup
    • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    • 1 cup raw cashews–I used peanuts

    Assembly:

    • In a medium pot over medium heat combine 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan, and 1 tablespoon butter. When butter melts into oil, add in the chopped onion, cook 2 minutes, then add rice and cook 3 minutes more. Add stock and cover the pot. Raise heat to bring stock to a rapid boil. Once the stock boils, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, 17-18 minutes.
    • While rice cooks, make the chicken. Heat a large skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil, 2 turns of the pan, then the chicken. Season the chicken with grill seasoning. Brown the chicken on both sides, season with soy sauce then move off to one side of the pan. Add the remaining onions, garlic and peppers. Cook 2 to 3 minutes then add water chest nuts and green peas and mix vegetables and meat together. Add the chipotles and cumin. Toss to coat. Glaze the mixture with honey and maple syrup and turn off the heat. Add in the chopped cilantro or parsley and the cashew nuts.
    • Top rice with cashew chicken and serve.

    Chipotle Cashew Chicken:

    4star.jpg

  • Cuban Mojo Chicken with Mandarin-Black Bean Salad

    cuban-chicken-and-black-beans.jpg

    These recipes come from Southern Living and are excellent and perfect for a hot day, lighter dinner, and entertaining.

    Cuban Mojo Chicken:

    • 1/4 cup fresh oj
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspon ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • Chicken

    Assembly:

    1. Combine: first 7 ingredients in a zip-top plastic freezer bag or shallow dish; add chicken. Cover or seal, and let stand for 20 minutes. Make Mandarin-Black Bean Salad while chicken marinates…see below.
    2. Remove chicken from marinade, reserving marinade. Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
    3. Grill chicken
    4. Pour marinade into a saucepan and boil for 2 minutes
    5. Cut cooked chicken diagonally into 1/2 inch thick slices and drizzle with cooked marinade.

    Mandarin-Black Bean Salad:

    • 2 c. mandarin orange segments, well drained
    • 1 c. canned black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 3/4 c. diced jicama
    • 2 TBSP chopped red onion
    • 2 TBSP seeded, minced jalapeno
    • 2 TBSP shredded fresh mint leaves
    • 1/4 tsp salt

    Assembly:

    1. Stir together all ingredients in a large bowl. Let stand until ready to serve, tossing occasionally.

    Cuban Mojo Chicken with Mandarin-Black Bean Salad:

    4star.jpg

  • Orange Black Beans with Cumin

    black-beans.jpg

    This recipe comes from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, and the recipe was quite a disappointment. I had high hopes for it, but it fell short on many levels, primarily it was too sweet. Maybe if you leave out the brown sugar it would taste good, but even so, I’m not willing to give it a second chance.

    Ingredients:

    • 2 15 ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 2 TBSP firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
    • 1 medium size shallot, minced
    • 1 celery rib, minced
    • 1/2 cup orange juice
    • 1/2 cup chicken broth
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
    • pinch of ground cinnamon or cardamom
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

    For Serving:

    • Hot cooked white rice
    • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
    • 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomatoes

    Assembly:

    1. Combine the beans, brown sugar, shallot, celery, oj, broth, cumin, and cinnamon in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on HIGH for about 1.5 hours.
    2. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot ladled over rice, and garnished with the cilantro and tomatoes.

    Orange Black Bean with Cumin Recipe

    2star.jpg