February 6, 2014

Dinner #3 faux-ghetti

Soooo, I love spaghetti with a great sauce. One of the hardest things about this diet is having to cut out pastas. This also includes cutting out things like polenta which I would have otherwise subbed for pasta. The intention of this dinner was to serve cauliflower with a fresh sauce. What I thought was cauliflower was actually cabbage once I got home... Sometimes cauliflower comes with big leaves wrapped around the head so I didn't double check what I pulled from the bin. Oh well. 

A few weeks ago I bought a nutribullet that I've been using to make morning smoothies. I used it to make a super easy sauce that I could eat like a soup. So. I blended 2 tomatoes, a handful of baby carrots and a handful of spinach. In a saucepan I sautéed a chopped onion and 5 cloves of chopped garlic with a little  beef stock for 5 minutes, then added 1 tablespoon of tomatoe paste. For a minute I stirred the paste with onion mixture until I got a nice color on the bottom of the pan.  I poured 1/4 cup beef stock, a pinch of salt & pepper, and the tomato sauce into the pan and boiled for 10 minutes and added 2 diced tomatoes and cooked down for another 5 minutes. 

While I made the sauce I poached some chicken breasts. Low & slow for about 15 minutes & it was perfectly tender. 

For the cabbage I sliced it so it had a spaghetti like quality and boiled it for bairly a minute. Actually this dinner was a big hit! The sauce was one of the best I've made, so in the end it all worked out. 

Dinner #2 turkey burgers with mixed greens

I think this is going well, considering its day 2! This dinner got raves from Chris & me! First the veggies. Stew Leonard's makes this awesome pre mixed veggie combo that's shredded: Brussels, kale & red cabbage. Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat & add greens along with 2 tablespoons chopped garlic. Toss for a minute add 1/2 cup organic chicken stock, and 1/2 teaspoon salt toss and cover until tender - don't cook it too long or it will get mushy. It took 3-5 minutes.

For the little burger I mixed about a pound of lean ground turkey, 1 finely chopped bell pepper, small onion, handful of  chopped cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and ground pepper. I mixed until blended with my fingers - if you over mix it makes meet tough!  After I divided meat into 3.5oz patties - by using a scale. I grilled each for about 5 minutes a side in a cast iron grill pan on medium heat and added a tiny bit of water for the last minute and covered. The patties we didn't eat we froze for another day. 

Dinner was super yummy!

February 3, 2014

Day 1

It's that time of year when people try out new diets. I'm more of an all-in-moderation type of gal so I can have a little bit of everything. My husband on the other hand has more issues knowing what the difference between full & overly full.

In effort to gain some insight to his eating habits & control his weight he's trying the HGC diet through his doctor. Part of the diet requires a strict diet of 500 calories a day (gasp) for at least 30 days. For someone who doesn't cook & who is on the road daily this can pose additional challenges. 

I'm helping out with the cooking, we've bought a scale, which I've never used for portioning out food. I'm actually looking forward to educating myself on how much I'm really eating & of what. I realize I probably eat too much sugar & this diet eliminates almost all sugars except from limited whole food sources. 

Tonight's meal fed us both for dinner and lunch tomorrow. It was a success except for the part of Chris not totally being full at the end. To compensate he had strawberries for dessert. 

For dinner I sautéed 1.5 peppers, an onion a tablespoon of chopped garlic in a non stick skillet. At the end I poured on some low sodium beef stock for moisture since we didn't use a fat as well as 1/2 tsp of pink salt. 

Once the veggies were done I removed them and place 4 filets each weighing 3.5 - 3.7 oz which is the recommended weight. I also finished them with 1/2 tsp of salt and a bit of broth.
Before serving we portioned everything out so that our lunch will be set for tomorrow. It was very good however I could have eaten a bit more.

Over the next 30 days I hope to chronicle our food adventure & welcome comments & suggestions! 

January 7, 2013

Kicking my Starbucks habit

So for quite sometime I've had a really bad daily habit - Starbucks. I seem to never get tired of a grande coffee & a treat. My two treats I get most often are the pumpkin bread and the blueberry muffins. As a Christmas present to myself I got a Nespresso coffee maker and I love it! Although I know it's pricy I love the coffee and having it anytime and not having to clean up a coffee maker. Okay one habit down now to deal with the treat issue...

I was looking for a blueberry bread recipe and couldn't find one that looked great. Most of them looked heavy and thick like a pound cake. At a loss I went to my favorite banana bread recipe and substituted blueberries & added whole wheat flour. Awesome. It isn't heavy and can hold up to being toasted. For this week I can forgo Starbucks blueberry muffins!

1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/4 cup frozen not fresh blueberries
1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper - set aside. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat to incorporate.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Stir in sour cream then add blueberries. Spoon into prepared pan.

Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.


January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! Here's a delicious start.

Hoping 2013 is wonderful. My resolution is to post regularly. I'm happy to say goodbye to 2012. It wasn't a bad year - just a year I watched go by. So to prevent the same old I want to bring a bit of pizazz to this year. Tonight starts 2013 with a super yummy classic pasta. Enjoy!

Brown 1.25 pounds of organic sirloin & set aside.
In the same sauce pan sauté an onion until translucent.
Mix in 1/4 cup tomato paste & brown for a minute.
Add 10 cloves chopped garlic stirring for 1 minute.
Stir in 1 large large can crushed tomatoes along with water of equal proportion.
Stir back beef
Toss in 1/8 cup oregano & basil.
Simmer for an hour or two.

I add salt, black pepper & red pepper to each stage & finish with fresh chopped parsley, butter & Parmesan.

November 1, 2011

Falafel Bites and a Gourmet Giveaway!!

I'm so thrilled to participate in my second Kitchen PLAY Progressive Party this month! Six bloggers are invited to each monthly party, and each blogger is responsible for a creating and writing about a different course (cocktail, amuse-bouche, salad, appetizer, entree, or dessert). For my last kitchen play post I created the "Petal Pusher" cocktail. This time I was asked to create an amuse-bouche (french for "mouth amuser") - perfect because I love small bites!!
This month's sponsor is Calphalon who provided each chef with one of their terrific small appliances. I received their XL Digital Deep Fryer - eek!!  Some good news for you... Calphalon is also sponsoring a wonderful giveaway at Kitchen PLAY. Simply recreate any one recipe from this month’s Progressive Party, post about the experience on your blog and provide a link to your post on Kitchen PLAY to enter.  All qualifying bloggers in each course will be entered to win a Calphalon Kitchen Electrics prize valued at $100 (6 prizes total).  The deadline is November 30, 2011. Please review the complete contest rules before entering. Good luck!
To be completely honest, I've never fried before. I've eaten plenty of delicious fried food as most of my family lives in Kentucky, but I have never attempted to fry at home.  One of my favorite fried foods is stuffed squash blossoms but they aren't exactly in season so I had to try a different route. I wanted my one bite to be full of flavor and easy to make (for a first time fryer). After lots and lots of deliberation as to what would make a delicious one bite, (and tickle taste buds) I decided on falafels! These are a Middle Eastern classic that can pack a lot of flavor and  satisfy any type of eater from vegan to carnivore. 
The falafel recipe I used couldn't be any easier, fried up perfectly and can be made ahead of time - all things I love in a recipe. These little fritters come from Martha Stewart's Hors d'Oeuvres Handbook. I always turn to her for inspiration since her recipes are fool proof.

September 8, 2011

My first Brimfield Trip

I Finally got to attend Brimfield!!! I've been a bit neglectful of chatNchow.  There's been so many exciting things happening in my life between changing jobs and getting married something had to give. I'm back & it feels great! I'm starting with an exciting post that I shared over at the Teroforma blog. yesterday I finally attended Brimfield. I'm totally a New England girl. I grew up in a houseful of antiques and never thought I might like to spend a day traipsing through the rain and cold to find more!
Above are some of the pictures that I captured. The best finds came from the Lunt factory that recently closed down. I found parts used in their manufacturing process including wooden trays that held the flatware along the production line.  I also found 2 die cast 18" bright red letters, a C and an L for guess who.  I also found the most gorgeous french linen grain sack! Brimfield is still going on through the weekend so if you haven't been I highly suggest going.  You're just in time to miss the rain and enjoy some nice weather!