Saturday, January 31, 2009

What We're Eating - Week of 2/2/09

Tacos made from leftover nacho elements

Mahi Mahi with mango sauce
I haven't decided which recipe I'll make; I have several! Maybe this one:
Brown rice

Cheddar Chicken Chowder
I'll post this recipe soon - it's an old favorite of ours.

Beef Stroganoff
Green beans with macadamia nuts

Giant Chipotle White Beans
101 Cookbooks is a great vegetarian resource: she is so creative and seems like a lovely person. I'll be halving this recipe, since it looks like we will have quite a few leftovers from earlier in the week.

Clark Bars

Why Clark Bars? Why now? Well, the Super Bowl is on Sunday, and I usually like to make something in homage to the two teams playing. A few years ago when Pittsburgh was in the Super Bowl, I had a hard time thinking of what to make. I found out that Clark Bars are made there; searched for a recipe; and came up with this one. They are very easy and good; when you see the ingredient list it's not hard to understand why.

By the way, a friend of mine told me that Pittsburgh is famous for serving french fries on top of everything: even salad!

Clark Bars

1 (16 ounce) package graham crackers,
1 cup melted butter
2 1/2 cups peanut butter
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk


Grease a 9x13 inch pan.

Mix graham cracker crumbs, butter, peanut butter and powdered sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.

In a small pot melt chocolate chips and condensed milk together over a low heat. Stir until well mixed. Spread the chocolate mixture over the peanut butter mixture. Chill the cookie-bars for 4 hours. Cut and serve.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ellie Krieger's Lemon Chicken Orzo Soup

I took Ellie Krieger's book out of the library, and it's really good. It's called The Food You Crave, and it's basically healthy, satisfying food without fake or substitute ingredients. I'm posting this soup today because my sister has one of her many New England weather-induced colds, and it's pure comfort food - restoring and nourishing.

The eggs disappear into the broth and thicken it. If you have leftovers, you'll need to add some broth.

Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo

4 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces skinless -- boneless chicken breast halves, cut into small chunks
1 pinch salt -- plus more to taste
1 medium onion -- diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery -- diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium carrot -- diced (about 1/2 cup)
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup orzo -- preferably whole wheat
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with the salt, add it to the pot, and cook, stirring, a few times, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a dish and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and let simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Turn the heat down to low to keep the soup hot but not boiling.

Warm the remaining 1 cup broth in a small saucepan until it is hot but not boiling. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs. Then gradually add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture, whisking all the while. Add the mixture to the soup, stirring well until the soup is thickened. Do not let the soup come to a boil. Add the cooked chicken to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Makes 4 servings, Serving size: 1 1/2 cups

Per serving: Calories 280; Total fat 10g (Sat fat 2g, Mono fat 6g, Poly fat 1g); Protein 26g; Carb 22g; Fiber 2g; Cholesterol 139mg; Sodium 291mg

Sunday, January 25, 2009

What We're Eating - Week of 1/26/09

I always plan our meals weekly, though I often switch nights around. I love knowing that I have a plan for the week and all the ingredients on hand. In general, we try to eat fish once a week and often have one vegetarian meal per week. I don't usually plan side dishes and vegetables - it depends on how busy the day is. We eat brown rice quite a bit, but it takes about an hour to make. I do freeze family-sized portions, which works really well. We also eat a lot of salad, broccoli, grilled vegetables (in the summer especially), veggies and dip, and sugar snap peas.

Monday (1/26/09)
Ellie Krieger's Sweet and Spicy Grilled Cheese
Chopped "Fixin's" Salad

Tuesday (1/27/09)
EK's Baked Shrimp with Feta and Tomatoes
w/w bread

Wednesday (1/28/09)
Spinach Lasagna with meat sauce

Thursday (1/29/09)
Island Pork Tenderloin (not the salad)
Brown Rice (Saveur's method is the best)

Friday (1/30/09)
Italian Sausage with Tuscan Beans
from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything

We have a very busy weekend next weekend, so I'm holding off on planning for now.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Oatmeal - Two Ways

When I was young, I didn't like oatmeal. In fact, once my mother even served it to my sister and me with vanilla ice cream to get us to eat it! (We did.) But now, oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfasts. I just posted an actual recipe below, but here are two other ways I like to make it.

Peanut Butter Oatmeal

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup water
pinch of salt
1 T. brown sugar
1 T. peanut butter
1/2 apple, chopped

Bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the oats; stir; and turn down the heat to medium. Cook until thickened. Turn off heat and mix in brown sugar and peanut butter. Transfer to bowl and top with apples.

Oatmeal Muesli (cold)
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup plain yogurt
brown sugar
chopped pecans, walnuts, or almonds
diced apple
frozen blueberries

Mix oats and yogurt in bowl. Mix in brown sugar, nuts, and fruit to taste. If you like softer oatmeal, you can mix the yogurt in the night before and leave it in the refrigerator. You can also substitute vanilla yogurt and leave out the brown sugar to save calories.

Baked Oatmeal

I've been making this recipe for years - I saw it originally on the Cooking Light board. It's quite healthy and reheats wonderfully. It has lots of whole grains, calcium, and protein and makes a great breakfast. I like to put vanilla yogurt on top (Stoneyfield is my favorite). If you want a little something extra with the yogurt, a dusting of brown sugar, a drizzle of maple syrup, or a sprinkle of chopped nuts will take it over the top.

I never use raisins: I use Craisins or frozen blueberries.

Baked Oatmeal

2 1/4 cups Quick cooking oats, uncooked or 2 3/4 cups Old Fashioned oats, uncooked
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cup raisins or Craisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups skim milk
4 egg whites -- lightly beaten (or 1/2 cup egg substitute)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
fat free milk or nonfat yogurt and fruit -- optional

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In large bowl, combine oats, sugar, raisins, cinnamon and salt; mix well. In medium bowl, combine milk, egg whites, oil and vanilla; mix well. Add to dry ingredients; mix until well blended. Pour into baking dish. Bake 55 to 60 minutes or until center is set and firm to the touch. Cool slightly. Serve topped with milk or yogurt and fruit, if desired. Store leftover oatmeal tightly covered in refrigerator.

Serves 8. Per serving: 133 Calories (kcal); 2g Total Fat; (12% calories from fat); 5g Protein; 24g Carbohydrate; 2mg Cholesterol; 220mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 0 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1/2 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Asiago Spinach Dip

My lovely and talented college roommate, JiYoung, gave me this recipe. I made it for New Year's Eve, and we loved it. There's no way to make this truly healthy, but you can sub almost all lowfat dairy to help a little. My SIL Beth suggested stuffing the leftovers in chicken breast - yum! I also think it would be good stuffed in a turkey burger. Ground turkey breast is so lean that it's hard to make burgers without them drying out.

JiYoung made the dip in a crockpot, which is a great idea because the dip will stay nice and hot. The oven works fine, though, and it reheats beautifully.

Asiago Spinach Dip

1 (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 cups grated asiago cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained - I measured after I thawed/drained

How to:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Combine everything (a mixer helps, unless your cream cheese is very soft)
3. Bake in preheated oven until middle is bubbling and the edges are golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn on the broiler for the last couple of minutes (watch carefully) to get those brown spots we all love on melted cheese.

Serve with crudite, pita chips, crackers, tortilla chips, or crostini.