Monthly Archives: July 2010

Yet another healthy salad

So yeah, remember when I made pork chops just yesterday? Well yeah I had to compensate that with yet another healthy salad.Quinoa is so good for you that it can compensate any fatty food that you had the day before (or that’s a lie that I tell myself). But really quinoa is really healthy. Also I will gone for the next 5 days. Cancun…no big deal. So I might not be able to post anything until Monday. But to make sure that you have something for the week, I have prepared this Quinoa Tuna Salad. It’s healthy, spicy and refreshing at the same time. Try!

Ingredients: 3 cups cooked quinoa, 2 tomatoes, 1/2 red onion, 1 can of spicy tuna (I used Bumble Bee Spicy Thai Tuna), 1 pepper, bunch of scallions, 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper  to season

Cool off the cooked quinoa. Dice the tomatoes. Add to a bowl.

Dice the onion

Add to the bowl and chop the red pepper.

Mix with the quinoa. Add the chopped scallions and the tuna.

Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and mix together.

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Pork Chops with Mushroom Dijon Sauce

After all the summer recipes of salads, soups and light appetizers that I have been making in the past months, I decided that it was time to make some nice pork chops. This dish can be made lighter by not using the pork fat in the sauce but I figured if I am making pork chops, I might as well go all the way and forget about calories. I also baked the pork after grilling it on the pan but you can skip that step. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients: 4 pork chops, 1 shallot, 4 oz mushrooms, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, 1/4 cup dijon mustard, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 2 tablespoons butter, grilled seasoning, vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350. Heat up a pan with oil. Rub the grilled seasoning into both sides of each pork chop.

When the pan is hot (test by letting a drop of water fall into the pan. If it sizzles then it is hot enough), lay the chops and cook on each side for 4-5 minutes.

Remove the pork chop leaving the fat in the pan. Place in an ovenproof and bake uncovered for 5 minutes.

Add the butter to the pan. Chop the shallots and the mushrooms and add to the pan with the fat and butter. Cook for 5 minutes or until the shallots become tender.

Add the chicken broth, mustard and cream to the pan and mix together.

Return to a boil. Let the sauce simmer until slightly thickened. Pour the sauce over the pork chops and enjoy!

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Filed under Main Course, Meat

Quickfire Recipe

There are those days when you know you need chips and dip. Whether it is when you are sitting on the couch on Wednesdays drooling over Top Chef or while you are cooking a dinner on an empty stomach. I have a lot of recipes that involve spinach, artichokes, chili meat, crab…the list goes on. But my favorite go to dip is the simplest. In a baking dish add 1 layer of sour cream. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and add a layer of cheddar cheese. Add a layer of sour cream, a layer of your favorite salsa, and top with another layer of cheddar cheese and taco seasoning. Place in a preheated over (350 degrees) and cook for 5 minutes. Top with fresh tomatoes and lettuce and enjoy. TOP CHEF tonight!!!

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Filed under Appetizer, Blah Blah

Pea Obsession

A few months ago I looked into my friend Thalia’s freezer to find at least 10 bags of frozen peas. “What’s up with the peas?” I had to ask. “I like peas,” was the adorable panda answer. “10 bags?” I pushed. “I have this irrational fear that they are going to run out of peas one day,” Thalia admitted. A pea obsession, I concluded in my head.

I guess we all have foods that we can eat every moment of every day. While for me it is not peas, it is definitely cheese. I can eat any cheese (no matter how smelly, hard, soft, green it is) at any time of the day in unreasonable quantaties. But back to our green friends. When I saw this “chunky pea hummus” recipe on Smitten Kitchen, I came to the conclusion that this pea deliciousness is what Thalia would be if she was a food. I eliminated the scallions and pita bread from the recipe and opted for more of a pea side dish than dip.

Yesterday I went out with Thalia. “I ran out of peas!Can you believe it?!” Honestly I found it hard to. There were that many peas in that freezer! “I e-mailed my mum and asked her to buy me peas, peas and more peas. Enough peas to fill the entire car.” Maybe my obsession with cheese is not as strong as I though it was.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups frozen peas, 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons water, 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt

Begin by cooking the peas according to the instructions on the packet.

I simmered the peas in 1/4 cup of boiling water until the peas became tender. Mash them up a little bit leaving at least half of the peas whole.

In a small bowl, add yogurt, water, lemon juice and water

Add the spices

Whisk together until the sauce forms into one mixture

Mix the peas with the dressing and enjoy as a side dish or a dip.

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Filed under Appetizer, Side Dish, Vegetarian

Beer Chicken

When I first mentioned that I was making beer with chicken, boyfriend responded with, “Great I love chicken with beer!”. When I explained that the chicken actually cooks in beer and doesn’t simply go with a cold glass of one, he looked devastated. What a waste of a beer. My mum used to make this recipe a lot. And why not? It only needs 4 ingredients and tastes great. So don’t be greedy and leave one bottle of beer aside for the chicken.

Ingresients: 6 chicken thighs (with bones), 1 bottle of beer, grilled seasoning, 1/2 cup baking raisins (you can use regular raisins too but I like the baking ones cuz they are a lot more moist)

Preheat oven to 400. Begin by rubbing the chicken thighs with grilled seasoning on all sides. Place in a baking dish.

Next add the raisins to the baking dish

Pour in the bottle of beer

Place the chicken in the oven for 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Don’t you love easy recipes?

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Filed under Chicken, Main Course

A Gourmet Sandwich

Recently my friend came to visit me from New York. On Sunday I decided to take him to one of my favorite brunch (and dinner) spots. Gaslight, located in the South End, is intended to resemble a traditional Parisian brasserie, which it does with traditional French dishes such as Steak Frites and Duck Confit. For brunch they offer the usual egg dishes as well as French lunch and breakfast dishes. While I did not get a Croque Monsieur while I was there, it made me think. Why do I never make Croque Monsieur for lunch at home? Croque Monsieur is a traditional French ham and cheese sandwich served with béchamel sauce and is very popular in France for lunch. Here is what I did:

Ingredients (4 sandwiches): 8 slices of white bread, 8 slices of good quality ham (I used Virginia ham), 2 1/2 cups grated gruyere cheese, 1 cup of favorite cheese (I used grated mozzarella and parmesan mix), 2 tablespoons dijon mustard, 1 cup milk, 1 1/2 tablespoon flour, 1 tablespoon butter, salt and pepper to season, pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 400 and toast bread for no longer than 5 minutes on each side until the bread becomes crispy and golden. Take the bread out of the oven and brush with Dijon mustard. Add 2 pieces of ham on top of 4 (of the eight) slices of bread.

Add 1/2 cup of grated gruyere on top of the ham.

Close the sandwich with the other slices of bread and place on a buttered baking tray. For the sauce, heat the milk on a stove or in a microwave. To a small pot, on medium heat, add the flour and the butter.

Stir continuously until the flour and butter become one mixture. Slowly whisk in the hot milk. Let the sauce thicken while stirring occasionally and then add 1/2 cup gruyere cheese, 1/2 cup cheese of your choice (again I used parmesan and mozzarella), salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Stir the sauce together and add on top of the closed sandwiches. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Broil in the oven for 5 minutes and enjoy!

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Filed under Breakfast, International Food, Sandwich

Light Salad Dinner

I saw this recipe on 30 minute meals with Rachel Ray. It is great dish for a hot summer night when you don’t feel like eating meat or anything heavy and it’s a nice update to a regular Caesar that I usually make for dinner during summertime. I also bought these beautiful portobello mushroom caps at farmer’s market this weekend, so how could I not make this salad? I also made a food discovery…anchovy paste which was a really pleasant surprise and added a nice touch to the dressing. I did not use semolina rolls, rosemary and the 2nd clove of garlic but the rest is pretty much Rachel Ray’s recipe. Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did.

Ingredients: 8 portobello mushroom caps, 1 tablespoon grill seasoning, 1 lemon, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, 2 teaspoons anchovy paste , romaine salad, 1 cup grated Parmigiano, 1 clove of garlic, bread crusts (I used 6 pieces of white bread), 1/3 cup olive oil and extra for drizzling

Preheat the oven to 350. Begin by cutting the crusts into cubes. While Rachel Ray used semolina bread, I just used the crusts of Wonder Bread. Drizzle olive oil over and throw in the oven for 5 minutes or until the bread turns golden and crispy.

Heat the grill. Drizzle the portobello caps with olive oil and sprinkle with grill seasoning on both sides. Grill each side for 3-5 minutes or until the mushrooms become tender and start releasing juices.

While the mushrooms are grilling, start making the dressing. Rub the garlic on the bottom of the bowl. Squeeze the lemon juice and add Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce and anchovy paste.

Whisk in the olive oil.

Roughly chop the romaine lettuce and add to the bowl. Add the croutons.

Mix the salad and crouton with the dressing. Julienne the mushrooms caps and add on top of the salad. Sprinkle with cheese. Enjoy hopefully on a patio or a balcony with a glass of sangria.

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Filed under Salad, Vegetarian