Grilled Steak and Vegetable Salad


Ingredients

  • 14 oz raw top sirloin steak (should yield two 5-oz cooked servings)
  • 2 cups lettuce or mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup (1 medium-large 3” x 2-¾”) yellow pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 cup (2 small 2-2/5”) tomatoes, wedged or sliced
  • 3 Tbsp Newman’s Own® Lighten Up Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
  • 2 Tbsp red onion, chopped

Direction

Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Trim all visible fat from meat. Brush 1-½ Tbsp dressing lightly over one side of steak and over cut sides of peppers. Reserve remaining 1-½ Tbsp for later use. Place steak and peppers on grill, dressing sides down. Grill steak 5 minutes on each side or until medium doneness (160° F) and grill peppers 10 minutes (peppers do not need turning) or until al dente (tender-crisp). Meanwhile, place greens in 2 serving bowls; top with tomatoes and onions. Cut steak across the grain into thin slices; cut peppers. Arrange steak and peppers over salads. Drizzle with remaining 1-½ Tbsp dressing.

 

Nutritional Information

30 day challenge

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Lemon Garlic Lamb


Ingredients

  • ¾ lb (12 oz) raw, boneless lamb chop loin* (should yield two 5-oz cooked servings)
  • 6 cups (1 large bunch) fresh spinach
  • 2 cups portabella mushrooms (3 medium mushroom cups)
  • 1 cup (8 medium) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Dash of salt and/or pepper (optional)

*This recipe can also be made with chicken breast: start with 1 lb raw, boneless, skinless chicken breast to yield two 6-oz cooked servings.

Direction

Lamb: Preheat broiler. Trim all visible fat from lamb. Spray rack in broiler pan with non-stick cooking spray for 3 seconds. In a small bowl, combine garlic, dried rosemary, and black pepper. Place lamb on prepared rack and cover with half of garlic mixture. Broil 4 minutes, 4 inches from heat; turn lamb over. Cover lamb with remaining garlic mixture. Broil 2-4 minutes or until cooked through. Vegetables: Spray medium skillet with non-stick cooking spray for 2 seconds and heat over medium heat. Add mushrooms and sauté. Once mushrooms are near desired tenderness, add spinach and tomatoes and sauté an additional 2-3 minutes. Serve lamb over vegetables. Salt and pepper to taste if desired.

 

Nutritional Information

My 30 day Challenge

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms


Ingredients

  • 1 lb (16 oz) portabella mushroom caps
  • 2 cups shredded moderate-fat mozzarella cheese (3-6 g fat per oz)
  • ½ cup (1 medium 2-3/5”) fresh tomato, chopped
  • ½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary or 1/8 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Direction

Preheat oven to 350°F or outdoor grill to medium-high heat. In a medium-sized bowl, combine chopped tomatoes and shredded mozzarella; toss with ½ tsp of olive oil, rosemary,  black pepper, and garlic. Remove stems from mushroom caps and discard. Using a spoon, scoop out interior of mushrooms to create “mushroom bowls.” In a small bowl, mix ½ tsp olive oil, lemon juice, and soy sauce. Using a pastry brush, brush soy sauce mixture on both sides of mushroom caps. In the oven: Bake mushroom caps in oven until soft, then divide tomato and cheese mixture into mushroom caps. Cook an additional 2 minutes, or until cheese is melted. On the grill: Once warm, grill mushroom caps, starting with stem-side down, 5 minutes on each side or until soft. Spoon ¼ of tomato and cheese mixture into each cap. Cover and grill about 2 minutes or until cheese has melted. (For easy cleanup, place a piece of aluminum foil directly on grill; lay mushroom caps on aluminum foil.) Garnish with cilantro. Each serving includes two mushrooms and ½ cheese and tomato mixture.

 

My 30 day Challenge

Nutritional Information

Spicy Garlic and Lime Shrimp


Ingredients

  • 1-¾ pound (28 oz) large raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined (leave tails on); if using frozen, fully cooked shrimp use 1-1/3 lbs (about 21 oz) (either starting portion should yield three 7-oz servings)
  • 3 8-oz packages of House Tofu Shirataki brand angel hair noodles
  • 1 cup (2 small 2-2/5”) fresh or canned tomatoes, diced (if using canned tomatoes, drain liquid)
  • ½ cup (1 small 2-½” x 2”) green peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed

Seasoning blend:

  • ¼ tsp salt or salt substitute
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp dried parsley flakes
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder

Direction

If using frozen shrimp, thaw. De-vein and peel shrimp. Make the seasoning blend by combining all the spices in a small bowl. Drain liquid from noodles and rinse thoroughly, set aside. Preheat a large skillet over medium heat. Once pan is heated, add olive oil and stir in pressed garlic. Immediately add shrimp, green bell peppers, and lime juice. Sprinkle the entire seasoning blend over shrimp and peppers. Stir. Sauté shrimp and peppers 3-6 minutes. Add drained noodles and continue to cook shrimp, peppers, and noodles an additional 2-4 minutes or until shrimp begins to brown and peppers are al dente (tender-crisp). Remove from heat, toss with tomatoes.

Nutritional Information

The Health Program

Zesty Lemon Scallion Grilled Chicken & Vegetable Kabobs


Today officially starts prep for my 30 day challenge.  So for the next 30 days, I will be posting recipes from that.  All these recipes are lean and healthy.  If you are interested in loosing weight and getting healthy,  join me on my 30 day challenge.

Ingredients

  • 24 oz raw, boneless, skinless chicken breast (should yield three 6-oz cooked servings)
  • 2 cups (2 small) summer squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1” chunks
  • 2 cups (18 medium) mushrooms, quartered
  • 1-½ cups (1 small-medium) zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1” chunks
  • 1 cup (8 medium) cherry tomatoes

Zesty Lemon Scallion Sauce:

  • ¾ cup scallions (4-6 scallions), chopped
  • 6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp hot red pepper sauce
  • ½ tsp salt or salt substitute
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground

Direction

If using wooden skewers, soak in water 30 minutes. In small bowl, combine scallions, lemon juice, olive oil, hot red pepper sauce, salt, and black pepper; set aside. (You may wish to reserve part of this sauce for finished kabobs.) Preheat grill to medium heat. Thread kabobs with chicken, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and tomatoes. Brush kabobs before and during cooking with sauce. Grill kabobs 10 minutes, turning once, until cooked through.

 

Nutritional information

Garlicky Skillet Greens


INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup sorghum
  • 2 tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
  • 1 small yellow onion (½ roughly chopped, ½ minced)
  • ¼ cup rendered bacon fat
  • 1½ lb. each collard and turnip greens, stems discarded, leaves thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 12 cloves garlic confit, sliced, plus 2 tbsp. garlic oil

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Boil vinegar, sorghum, and Sriracha in a 1-qt. saucepan; let gastrique cool.2. Melt bacon fat in a 12″ cast-iron skillet over medium-high. Stir in minced onion; cook until soft, 4–6 minutes. Increase heat to high, add both greens, and season with salt; cook, stirring constantly, until greens are wilted, 1–2 minutes. Stir in reserved gastrique, the garlic confit, and oil.

Broccoli and Italian Sausage Ravioli


INGREDIENTS

  • FOR THE DOUGH:
  • 8 oz. rigatoni
  • 1½ tsp. kosher salt
  • Olive oil, for greasing

  • FOR FILLING AND FRYING:
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 oz. hot or sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 8 oz. broccoli rabe, cut into ½” pieces
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. grated parmesan
  • 2 hot cherry peppers, seeded and minced
  • 10 slices deli-style mozzarella
  • Canola oil, for frying
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup bread crumbs

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Make the dough: Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan. Add pasta and reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is very soft, about 20 minutes. Let pasta cool in water; drain completely and transfer to a food processor. Add salt and purée into a smooth, sticky dough. Divide dough between 2 sheets of greased parchment paper. Top each with another sheet of greased parchment paper and flatten; chill 30 minutes.

2. Make the filling: Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a 12″ skillet over medium-high. Cook sausage, stirring and breaking up into small pieces, until browned, 4–6 minutes. Transfer sausage to a colander set over a bowl; set aside. Add remaining oil to skillet. Cook garlic until golden, 1–2 minutes. Stir in broccoli rabe, salt, and ¼ cup water; boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered, until broccoli rabe is tender, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to colander with sausage and let filling cool. Transfer filling to a bowl; stir in parmesan and peppers.

3. Assemble the ravioli: Working with half the dough and using a rolling pin, roll dough ⅙” thick. Remove top sheet of parchment paper; using a 4½” round cutter, cut out 10 circles, gathering and rerolling scraps. Place 1 slice mozzarella over each circle and top with 2 tbsp. filling. Fold circle in half and pinch edges to seal in filling.

4. Fry the ravioli: Heat 2″ canola oil in a 6-qt. saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350°. Place flour, eggs, and bread crumbs in separate shallow dishes. Working with 1 ravioli at a time, dredge in flour, dip in eggs, and coat in bread crumbs; fry until golden and crisp, 2–3 minutes. Transfer ravioli to paper towels to drain; serve hot.

Eggplant Curry


This  version of Thai curry is made with “lite” coconut milk, which has the same flavor but one-third the calories and one-third the fat than regular coconut milk. For a milder taste, substitute green or yellow Thai curry paste for the red, or reduce the amount of red curry paste to 1 tablespoon. This curry is excellent on its own or spooned over basmati rice.
  • 2 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 10-oz. pkg. frozen peas
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 12-oz. pkg. extra-firm tofu
  • 2 (14-oz.) cans lite coconut milk
  • 2 Tbs. red Thai curry paste
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 medium eggplant (1 ½ lbs.), cut into 1-inch cubes
  1. Wrap tofu in several layers of paper towels. Place in colander in sink. Set plate on top of wrapped tofu, then weigh down with large, heavy can (such as a can of tomatoes). Let stand at least 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, shake cans of coconut milk well, then open. Pour 1/2 of 1 can into large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in curry paste until well blended. Add onion, eggplant and bell pepper, stirring well with rubber spatula (to prevent breaking tender eggplant during cooking) and scraping bottom of pan.
  3. Add remaining 1 1/2 cans coconut milk, sugar, vinegar, tamari and salt, stirring with spatula to mix well. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.
  4. Unwrap tofu and cut into bite-size cubes. Add to curry mixture, stirring with spatula to mix. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Add peas and warm through, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve hot.

The Books….


Anyone who knows me knows of my love for food and my desire to learn.   There is something about food that has the ability to bring people together.   Furthermore,  I love to travel and some of the food that I fell in love with was Mediterranean.   Hence my choice of this challenging cuisine.

The book I have selected for the Mediterranean portion of my International Cuisine Challenge is:

Culina Mediteranea by Hendrik Neubauer

The thought behind the Indian Cusine for this challenge, was posed as a question:  “What’s your favorite cuisine?”  The conversation continued for a bit but was ultimately decided upon Indian.  The thought process was to pick a cuisine that would be fun to cook and push the culinary envelope.

The book selected for the Indian section of my challenge is:

Complete Book of Indian Cooking by Suneeta Vaswani

Both books have about  300 recipes each.  600 recipes in 365 days shouldnt be a problem…. right?

The International Cuisine Challenge


In a little over a month,  I will be in Portland attending school at Le Cordon Bleu and officially starting my journey in the culinary world.  Most of you probably have seen the movie Julie and Julia.   Instead of doing the same deranged assignment that Julie did,  I figured that I would add a twist to it.  I have picked two cuisines to devote my first year of my culinary education to… Mediterranean and Indian.  My favorite chefs who will accompany me on this journey will be Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, both geniuses in their own right, as well as the guys from Sorted food

Books: As of yet, no books have been selected to begin this pursuit.

Me:  Aspiring chef by day,  food critic by night.  Single with no desire for a relationship outside of food and working out and wanted to add more to my plate.  Risking my sanity for this journey towards culinary perfection…  in the spirit of Julie and Julia I too have signed on for a deranged assignment.

365 days, who knows how many recipes and  a crappy outer borough kitchen.

How far will it go? We can only wait. And wait. And wait…..

The International Cuisine Challenge. Coming soon to a computer terminal near you.