Saturday, June 23, 2012

Cashew Chicken

I grabbed a green pepper and some green onions from my little garden for this recipe.  It's the first time I've ever grown vegetables and nothing beats fresh veggies.  When I order Chinese I always pick the Chicken with Cashew Nuts so I thought I'd try to make my own.  I substituted the celery for crunchy pieces of carrots, and shallots in place of white onions.  I marinated the chicken after pounding, trimming and cutting. 


1 pound boneless skinless chicken tenderloins

1 green bell pepper

unsalted cashews (about 1 cup or more)

green onions

1 shallot

baby carrots (chopped)

Marinade for chicken:

1/2 cup soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

1 teaspoon sriracha-gives it a little kick

1 teaspoon  garlic paste

1 teaspoon ginger paste

Over med-high heat saute chicken in peanut oil  for about 5 minutes or until you don't see any pink.
Remove from pan.  Add another drizzle of peanut oil and saute veggies for about 2 minutes.  Put your chicken back in the pan and pour in remaining sauce from your marinade as well as the cashews.  Continue to cook for 3 more minutes and set aside to cool.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Creamy Chicken and Quinoa Bake

Quinoa is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor.  I have used a box of it that was mixed with brown rice and seasoned with garlic and rosemary.  I made a crust on the bottom of my pan first with a mixture of panko and Italian breadcrumbs.  Spray the bottom of the skillet and then add the breadcrumbs for baking.  I bake the crust alone first in my cast iron skillet for 3- 5 minutes until golden brown.  Follow instructions on Brown Rice and Quinoa box and then cook the chicken(ground) while waiting for Quinoa.  I cooked my chicken on the stove top until brown and then drained the remaining juices.  Stir in cooked rice and Quinoa into the ground chicken and add 2 tablespoons mayo, a dash of cayenne pepper and a splash of white wine.  Mix well and pour over crust.  Top with Swiss cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly.


Let stand for 5 minutes and serve. 


Summer Salad with Candied Hazelnuts

This is another recipe containing my new favorite snack, Green Snap Peas.  This time I've used them in a salad which is what they were intended for. 


Romain Lettuce

Dried Blueberries

1 Shallot-diced

Balsamic dressing

Candied Hazelnuts-(I roasted mine in the oven with brown sugar and butter for 4 minutes)

Green Snap Pea Crisps

salt and pepper to taste

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Egg, Cheese and Pickle Pressed Panini's

Thank goodness for Pinterest!  I reached into the very back of my cabinet the other day and caught a glimpse of my waffle iron.  I think I've only used it once in the 4 years I've had it.  I'm not too big on making fresh waffles so I thought I'd see if there were other foods to make on a waffle iron.  I have a whole section on Pinterist now dedicated to foods on the waffle iron.  The best thing about not making waffles on the waffle iron is the clean-up.  No more gooey batter spilling out and no mess to clean.

Spray the waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray and turn up to med-high heat.  Butter or spray the outside of the bread that will be directly on the heat.  I used egg white, swiss and pickles in my panini, but you could put just about anything on it.  When the bread is slightly brown and crisp, remove and serve. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Tuna Noodle Fake Out Casserole


This is a skinny version of an old classic. It's still rich in flavor but much easier on the hips! This was my mom's quick go-to meal when I was growing up.  I  have often have it's ingredients on hand in my pantry, but I try to stay away from high calorie pasta's.   My "skinny" version replaces the carbs and and the cream without ditching that "comfort food" taste. 


2 packages of Tofu Shirataki Noodles  (rinsed and patted dry or microwaved)

1 cup green peas

1/3 cup mayo

4 Slices of Golden Swiss (I got the lactose free kind for my hubby)

1/2 cup (crushed) green pea snap chips

salt and pepper

dash of cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix all ingredients except the snap pea chips and swiss in a bowl or the casserole dish your using.   Top with swiss, then crushed chips.  This week I've been experimenting with "Green Snap Pea Chips.  I just can't get enough and I'm trying them out wherever I see fit.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Artichoke Hearts


Brussel Sprouts

Dried cherries

Chopped hazelnuts

Artichoke hearts

Salt, pepper and olive oil to taste

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

Snap Pea Crusted Chicken Thighs

 This original dish was created with one of my new favorite snacks, Green Snap Pea Chips.  You can find them in the chip section at the local grocery store.  They are low in calories and fat so it's guilt-free! 

image from

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Trim fat, pat thighs dry and season with salt and pepper.  Bread thighs in flour first, egg and snap pea crumbs.  (You can also mix panko crumbs)  Bake for 30 minutes on a broiler pan so the juices fall to the bottom and the chicken stays crispy. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Marinated Mozzarella Tomato and Basil Appetizer

This is another quick and tasty recipe served with balsamic glaze for dipping.  I marinated the mozzarella over night with the following:

Dried basil
Cayenne Pepper
Poultry Magic
Olive oil
1/3 cup Marsala wine 

Cover, shake and marinate over night

Balsamic-  This is by far the best Balsamic I have ever had.  I put it on everything from salads to meats. The Magic Seasoning Blends is another one of my favorite cooking products.  I put it on veggies, meats and and use in stocks for soup.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Zucchini Carrot and Rasin Salad

I used my handy dandy mandolin to slice the zucchini and carrots.  I used the fine teeth setting on the slicer to create thin pasta-like strips.  I then added raisins and a sweet  Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette.  Simple, easy and packed with nutrients. 

Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette:

3/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon chardonnay Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon sugar

half a teaspoon pureed garlic

click on picture to enlarge

Brussel Sprout and Rutabaga Cakes

My mandolin slicer came in the mail today.  I have never been more excited about a kitchen gadget until now.  It can make sticks, crinkle cuts and slices in any thickness by adjusting the mandolin plates. The mandolin allows you to slice a large amount of food in a swift process.  This was an experimental recipe that turned out to be quite good. 


6 Brussel sprouts 

2 Rutabaga's

2 tablespoons mayo

1 tablespoon all purpose seasoning 

1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs

Slice the veggies on the mandolin using the fine teeth blade.  Mix in the remaining ingredients and form patties.  Coat pan with a little olive oil and cook over medium heat until brown and crispy on each side.  Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.  

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Lamb Meatballs with Mint


1 package ground lamb

Fresh mint

1 tablespoon mayo

2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

1/2 cup shredded swiss cheese

Fresh chopped mint

2 garlic cloves (minced)

salt and pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper

use broiling pan and broil for 7 minutes. 

Open Face Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is a quick alternative to stuffed chicken.  I breaded and pan fried the chicken first for 3 minutes on each side.  Removed from pan, then top with rosemary, sun dried tomato,  ham and swiss cheese.  I broil the chicken  in the oven for about 5 mins.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Panko Crusted Prawns with a Cilantro Corn Crema

The prep time is much greater with this recipe but definitely worth it!  After breading the prawns, I baked them along with thin slices of rutabaga.  After saucing the plate with my cilantro corn crema, I placed each prawn on top of the rutabaga .


2 turnips (rutabaga) sliced into thin rounds

1 pound large prawns

Yucca flour

Panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons milk ( I used organic soy milk)

1 egg

Cilantro Corn Crema:

2 handfuls fresh cilantro

1 small shallot

3/4 ounces orange juice

3/4 ounces soy milk

2 slices pancetta

1 very small jalapeno pepper, seeded

1 teaspoon sugar


Olive oil and seasoning  ( for the rutabaga slices)

Coat prawns in yucca flour, egg, then panko crumbs.

Bake prawns and rutabaga slices at 450 for 12 minutes.  Remove prawns. Turn up the heat to broil and continue to cook the rutabaga slices until they are brown and crisp. 

Puree all crema sauce ingredients in food processor. Bring to a boil in sauce pan and reduce heat while prawns and rutabaga slices are baking.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pearl Couscous with Fresh Mint

I love pearl couscous!  The consistency reminds me of tapioca beads.  I can't wait to try different recipes using this type of couscous. 

Follow the directions on the box or packet of couscous adding all of the below ingredients.  I squeezed the remaining  juice from the orange before serving.

1 bag plain pearl couscous

1/2 cup dried raisins or currents

 2 cups water

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 cup pistachios chopped

2 fresh sprigs of mint

orange zest

juice from a freshly squeezed navel orange

1 shallot chopped


Serves 4

Stuffed Mussels

(click on pictures to enlarge)

Baked and stuffed with mussels and scallops and topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. 


1 shallot finely chopped

2 teaspoons  basil pesto

1/2 pound fresh mussels

12 to 15 small scallops

1 teaspoon olive oil

2 tablespoon's marsala wine

1 piece of pancetta from the deli (sliced)

salt and pepper

serves 2

First put mussels in a pot of cold water and bring to the boil. When they open, drain and set aside to cool.   Remove the meat and chop up the mussels and scallops. Save half of each shell to later fill with your mixture.  Heat up your  sauce pan with the olive oil, pancetta, shallots and salt and pepper.  Saute for 2 minutes and then add the Marsala wine and cook for 1 minute more.  Add the pesto, scallops and mussels and cook for 3 minutes. 

Preheat oven to 450 and place rack on the first shelf close to the burner.  Stuff your mussel shells with the mixture and place cheese on top.  Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is slightly brown and bubbly.  I didn't have a lemon on hand and would have like to squeeze fresh juice over them before serving.