Monday, April 27, 2009

Stuffed Zucchini

I've been wanting to make something using quinoa that's healthy, low cal, and yummy. I ended up with this concoction. Although the quinoa ended up playing only a small role in this dish, I was pretty pleased with it (each zucchini boat = ~200 calories). For the filling, I sauteed and mixed together the following in various stages: zucchini onion garlic Quorn Grounds cooked quinoa chopped parsley golden raisins feta cheese curry powder paprika crushed red pepper salt/pepper The mixture tasted really good, but I thought it was a little dry, so I made a sauce of yogurt, 1 egg yolk, salt, and lemon juice, and spooned this over the boats. After it cooked in the oven, the sauce just sort of firmed up, but did not really add any moisture (I'm not sure what I was expecting exactly). It did however, sort of hold the filling together. But I wouldn't add the sauce the next time, it just didn't add anything special to it. Hmm, ...what kind of sauce would work with this though??? Any ideas? So, what did I learn from this little experiment? That any mixture that involves curry powder, raisins, and feta cheese will always be good - duh! Happy eating :) ---Skye

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Parmesan Spinach Cakes

I got this recipe from EatingWell.com. It's super easy to make and the texture and taste are very good too. Okay, it's not macaroni n' cheese good, but if you're looking for a healthy, low cal, and yes, tasty, new take on spinach you've got to try this. One review of this recipe on EW said it sort of tastes like a warm spinach dip, and yes it sort of does. The benefit of cooking it in a muffin tin is that the edges get a little crusty and chewy which make it extra good (I'm going to cook them longer next time to heighten this effect - yes, I will make them again!). Therefore, I do not think it would be as good baked in a pan. I bet artichokes, goat cheese, or other types of greens would be good as a variation of this dish. I'm going to try freezing some of them and then I'll pop them in the microwave for a quick breakfast with a poached egg when I need it.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cozy Carrot Pudding

This recipe was suggested to me by Jaime, who stumbled across it at foodgawker.com. I think it's another great way of getting veggies into your kids but it also sounded like a tasty recipe for adults too. It was very easy to make, but with any homemade pudding, you have to monitor the stove top and stir it frequently so the milk doesn't scald. 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots 2 cups whole milk 4 T butter 2 T sugar 1/2 cup raisins You combine the milk and carrots together in a saucepan until they boil, then reduce heat and stir frequently until almost all of the liquid is gone. Then you add your butter and give it a stir, then the sugar, then the raisins if you choose. That's it. Foodgawker's recipe added cardamom but I didn't have any and I wanted to see how this brought out the carrot-ness of the carrots anyway so no special trips to the store for ingredients I don't have. The great thing about this recipe besides it being a veggie-dessert, is that the ingredients are simple and often in your fridge. I gave some to Molly after dinner and she liked it. I can see making this a regular in our repertoire. Thanks Jaime for suggesting it and I'll throw it back at you and suggest you make it for yourself. It's crushable. -Nell

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Spicy Soft Chicken Tacos with Cabbage

As I always seem to be drawn towards mexican food (and things wrapped in tortillas) I found this recipe that was rated so highly amongst other foodies. It sounded interesting since it had cabbage as an ingredient and I've never had cabbage with anything mexican. So, I had high expectations and while I would not go so far to say it was disappointing, I had to tweak the recipe a little to make it more for my liking. I also taste-tested it on Michael and our friend Beth and you can see how each assembled theirs. The recipe calls for boneless and skinless thigh meat (chicken) which is very juicy and I will make sure to use more of this for grilling in the future. The recipe comes from Cooking Light (http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1227897)


  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • Cooking spray
  • 12 (6-inch) white corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese (such as Tillamook)
  • Low-fat sour cream (optional)


Prepare grill.

Combine first 4 ingredients in a small bowl; rub spice mixture over chicken.

Place chicken on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 10 minutes on each side or until done. Let stand 5 minutes; chop.

Heat tortillas according to package directions. Divide chicken evenly among tortillas; top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons cabbage and 1 teaspoon cheese. Serve with sour cream, if desired.

What all three of us agreed on is that even though there's sufficent spice and heat for the chicken, the tacos needed some acid. Beth suggested making the cabbage into a slaw, and I think even just a healthy lime juice spritz over the cabbage would be enough. Healthy, easy to eat and make and the thigh meat makes these crushable. Nell

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Old School Spaghetti & Meatballs

We had good ole' spaghetti & meatballs last night...nom, nom, nom! Mike made the marinara sauce and I made the meatballs.....I love Italian affair! This morning I had a free health screening they offer at my work every year and you get paid to do it, and I was wondering how eating all this pasta and meat, in addition to the exorbitant amount of candy I have been indulging in last week would affect the outcome? Oddly enough my glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol all had good numbers. YAY! I don't need a bad health check to trigger me into a panic attack! And now we begin....... Meatballs 2 lb ground beef (not the real lean stuff) 2 lb ground pork 1 cup wheat bread crumbs 2 eggs big handful of chopped Italian parsley 1 onion 3 garlic cloves salt & pepper to taste ~I sauteed the onions and garlic until slightly brown then added to the rest of the meatball mixture. Put them in the oven uncovered at 450 degrees for 35 minutes. Next time I will flip those suckers midway through so they brown evenly on each side. It's really only for esthetics, they still taste 'da bomb'! Marinara Sauce 2 big cans of tomato puree( don't get generic brand as they usually add cornstarch or other things to stretch it out) or 1 can of puree and one 1 jar of Classico Tomato & Basil sauce ( you really don't need this, but we didn't have time to let the sauce simmer and let all the flavors come out. And Classico doesn't have foreign preservatives in it...just basic ingredients.) 1/2 -1 cup of chicken stock 1/2 - 1 cup red wine( not cooking wine, but any red you would sip on anyway) 1 carrot chopped tiny 2 celery stalks chopped tiny 1 onion chopped handful of fresh chopped basil handful of fresh chopped oregano handful of fresh chopped Italian parsley 2 garlic cloves minced 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tbsp dark brown sugar red pepper flakes Siracha hot sauce to taste salt & pepper I think that is everything Mike put in the sauce? Yep...I had him check and that's everything. ~ I garnished with parmigiano and part-skim ricotta.....If you haven't tried ricotta as a condiment, you must! It adds a nice refreshing coolness and authentic Italian eating feel... ~All of this makes enough for like 3 meals for a family of 4. I freeze this with the sauce poured right over the balls.~ CRUSH IT...... ~ Jaime

Spinach Dip

Sorry I don't have a picture for this, but I'm posting about it anyway because you should all add this to your repertoire of quick, delicious, party dips (you do have a repertoire of those right?). It's 3 ingredients: cream cheese (I used neufchatel), frozen spinach, and salsa. I also added a bit of cumin and garlic salt. Jim had some of the fellas over practicing last night and I always like to prepare a little snack tray for them. They all absolutely crushed this dip. It was surprisingly excellent! ---Skye

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hungarian Strudel

Easter Sunday, Mike, the boys, and I, all fisted in for authentic Hungarian Strudel makin'. Mike's Mom's(Gail Diley) side has been practicing this tradition since they were children. Here is a little background on his family tradition:
" This became a treasured Diley family tradition. Mom had learned to make it from her mother, who learned in Hungary. Mom made it with her frequently, but her two sisters, Westy and Tess, never really learned to make it. Paula learned to make it first-hand from Mom and taught Gail during the season when we lived together. We often added frozen phyllo dough as a fill-in (for the torn spaces- we didn't master that part as good as Mom). One of our treasured memories was when we invited Westy over and she joined in the kneading and tossing. We agreed she reminded us of mom pounding and tossing the dough. When we ate this in the Diley household, it was always as the entire meal." ~picture above is of the Apple Strudel~
We had a total of ten people all partaking in this process. Basically, the dough was made, then kneaded and thrown about 100 times...seriously. As the the dough rested we made three traditional fillings(apple, cheese and cinnamon, cabbage). There are just a million variations you could come up with for the filling, but we kept it real old school.
Once the dough rested for about 30 minutes the stretching of the dough begins. In order for the dough to retain its elasticity the room's humidity must be kept at Sauna temperatures, so we kept a pot of boiling water going and buttoned up all the windows. As we glistened we began to roll and stretch the dough...
Once the dough was stretched we added the filling and rolled it into a log then baked it for about 30 minutes...
Here is a little sampling of each strudel... Enjoy ~ Jaime

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Beet & Goat Cheese Spread

I had some beets in the fridge that I wanted to use up, so I made this. It's based on an Eatingwell.com recipe that I remembered seeing once. I just pureed cooked beets, goat cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It had a surprisingly light, Spring-like flavor despite the earthiness of the beets. I think it would have looked prettier if I'd had some watercress or something to sprinkle on top. If you're looking for something slightly unusual to take to party, I think this would be a crowd pleaser - even for people who "think" they don't like beets.

Friday, April 10, 2009

the old spaghetti factory

This is nothing special, hence the modest picture, but it's one of my staple dinners and it's always delicious so I thought I'd share it with you. It's spaghetti with cabbage. My trick is to quickly cook the cabbage over very high heat so that parts of it get brown but it still remains fairly crispy too. I cook the cabbage with crushed red pepper and garlic, then I finish the dish with feta cheese and/or parmesan. Also, I used to think I didn't like pasta cooked al dente, but I recently discovered that yes, al dente IS better - it's got a nice sort of chewy texture, you should try it!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Poached Egg Over Leftovers

poached egg over leftovers: green beans, rice, spinach, onion, red pepper flakes, tarragon, salt & pepper sauteed together and topped with a poached egg.... mmmmm jaime

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Scrumptious Braised Cabbage

Scrumptious, scrumptious, absolutely sCrUmPtIoUs!!!! I really can’t believe I’ve never tried braising vegetables before, and especially cabbage? Cabbage addict I am! Eatingoodinthehood is who gave me my inspiration…her cabbage dish looked sooooo tasty! I will definitely be making it with a poached egg on top soon. There are two ways to braise vegetables: fast (about 20-30 minutes) or slow (2 hours). Last night I didn’t have two hours for the slow version, so I stove topped it. Here is a link to braising vegetables, which provides instructions for both fast and slow. Stove Top Braised Cabbage and Carrots: (Cabbage, Carrots, and Onions) Cut up your cabbage into nice hunks and remove the husky part of the core. Pick out a couple of carrots that are the most even in thickness and cut into a few sections. Coarsely cut one onion as well. In a nice hot pan add a drizzle of olive oil (you really only need a wee bit) and a small pad of butter. Once the butter just starts to brown add the cabbage in a single layer to the pan, leaving each hunk whole. Lay the carrots and onion in the pan trying to have a piece of each veggie touching the bottom of the pan so it can sear. Add a hefty grind of pepper and wee grind of salt. Once all is added do not stir or attempt to flip around, as the cabbage hunks will come apart. Let this cook on medium high heat uncovered until the cabbage and carrots get a nice burnt-brownness on the bottom. Once this happens pour in about ¼ cup chicken broth. You only need enough broth to release the veggies from the pan a little. Quickly cover the pan tightly and turn down the heat to a medium-low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Try not to remove the lid to check on your little cabbages, just let them simmer and do their thing. I used to two pans for one whole cabbage. I poured a little soy sauce in one of the pans to see how that would turn out…and man oh man…you just got to try this! There are endless veggie and spice combinations for this…..so experiment and ENJOY!!! Jaime

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dyl's 18th Edibles

A lovely day it was........... Dylan's Menu: Ribs (Japanese style) Dad's Potato Salad Slow Cooked Green Beans Extra Sweet Corn Bread Sweet Mint Tea Carrot Cake Ice Cream Dylan requested an ‘All American Dinner’. He specifically stated “No tofu or curried dishes!” Working at the Green Papaya has tired him a bit on the Asian dishes.

For the slab of ribs, I separated them in twosies and marinated them overnight in light soy sauce, water, Chinese 5-spice, garlic, sugar, a tad of sesame oil, fish sauce, and a cap full of red food coloring. The sugar and the red food coloring are the key here. You could use any variation of spices, but the sugar and the red food coloring give it that sticky red sweet Japanese BBQ look and taste…mmmmM! After marinating, I spread them out in a single layer in baking pans and poured a little more of the marinade over them, then covered tightly with foil. These cooked at 275 for an hour, and then flipped to cook for an additional hour. After 2 hours, they still looked pretty sIcK, and I was a bit worried : / I removed the foil and turned up the heat to 375 and started basting them with the juices from the pan about every 10 minutes, continuing for about ½ hour. I think it would have worked out fine if I cut the low temperature cooking time down to about 1-½ hours, then turn up the heat and baste. Anyway they were delicious for my first attempt at ribs!

The green beans, corn bread, and mint tea are pretty self-explanatory and all very yummy. I added a can of creamed corn to the corn bread to give it more sweetness that Dylan was preparing his taste buds for.

Dylan is a big fan of Carrot Cake and it has been a standard birthday request every year. This time I wanted to find something to do with these flavors, but not in traditional cake form. I found a recipe by David Lebovitz for Carrot Cake Ice Cream, and let me tell you it was CRUSHED! I followed the recipe pretty much as follows but didn’t add as many candied carrots or currants as called for. An ice-cream maker was purchased for this and it worked great. (only 25$), and I will definitely be coming up with other ice-cream/yogurt/sorbet creations. I also cooked up a simple box carrot cake. Austin made individual servings by folding the cake and ice cream together. Again CRUSHED!!!

Such a lovely day with the fam, beautiful weather, and good eatin’! Jaime

Sunday, April 5, 2009

This morning I made coconut banana french toast, a recipe from a kitchen I use to cook in, it's a good use for leftover coconut milk.
It is exactly as the the name suggests: 1 banana, 1 can of coco milk, and about 4 eggs
mash banana and mix all together. I usually half the recipe for two people, its good with honey or maple syrup. enjoy!Posted by Picasa


OK, I tried the recommended goat cheese spread with caramelized leeks. Not disappointing what so ever. A great spring-time appetizer, the lemon zest makes it. Its equal parts goat cheese and cream cheese, lemon-zest and juice, fresh herbs, I used thyme, and a few drops of liquid, whatever you have, cream, milk, water. It was gone in minutes at the party, and it was so easy to make.
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