Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Boozy Meat Marinade

Mmmm. Boozy Meat.

Opening my refrigerator yesterday, staring at me was a package of steak tips. Also staring at me was barbecue sauce. I am so sick of barbecue sauce. So I remembered that Mr. Not Your Bubbe's Kitchen has a  cookbook, "Mastering the Grill" (found here) which is fantastic for those grilling maniacs. I looked around and one recipe stood out to me. 
Well in this cookbook is a marinade recipe that is perfect for the summertime. You'll see why I coin this as Boozy Meat Marinade.

What you need:
1 lime, zested and sliced thin (cookbook calls for a lemon)
1 small onion, sliced thin
2 tbsp Kosher Salt
3 tbsp grated horseradish (the white kind if you buy it)
1 cup of vodka
(the cookbook mentions adding a jalapeno; i did not have one on hand so omitted)

How you make it:
Take a freezer bag, and place the zest of the lime, slices of the lime, slices of the onion, the salt, and the horseradish, and combine well. Next add the meat of your choice. I used steak tips; but this would be excellent on chicken or seafood as well. Refrigerate.
I marinated the steak in the fridge for about 2.5 hours. When I took it out; the vodka and lime definitely broke it down, and I believe the term is, denaturation took place where it almost looked cooked.

Then we tossed the tips on the grill and cooked them until our liking.
The end result was a crisp, almost buttery taste to the steak but with a spicy bite from the horseradish. Absolutely delicious and will be making again!
We served this with corn on the cob, a bright arugula and tomato salad in a lime balsamic vinaigrette (recipe below), and some homemade cheddar beer bread.

The wine we had was Yorkville Cabernet Franc, 2007. A very, very good wine. Flavor like Cabernet, the finish was exceptionally light. A fantastic summer red.

Extra recipe for Lime Balsamic Vinaigrette:
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp white wine vinegar
2 tsp balsamic glaze, like this one

Whisk all ingredients together, toss over cherry tomatoes and baby arugula.

Happy eating!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Chicken Sausage Spinach Pasta

Consider this informational, friends. Health up that pasta dinner!

Who doesn't love a pasta dinner? I know Mr. Not Your Bubbe's Kitchen loves. Here's the thing. After the arrival of our baby, Ms. Lil Lady Not Your Bubbe's Kitchen, I am on somewhat of a healthy eating kick to shed the baby weight (let's ignore the fact I made peanut butter swirl brownies today, shall we? I mean, I am giving 3/4 of the batch out-promise!). But given the face my husband and I may not even have time to even eat at all, if have the luxury of being able to cook a couple rules apply:

1. We have to be able to make a dinner quickly
2. Eat it quickly
3. Clean it quickly. 

Speed is key.
Additionally, given my current health kick, sometimes the fastest food isn't the healthiest.Tonight, I share with you a quick pasta dinner that packs in some extra veggies and is made with chicken sausage.

4 pack of Chicken Sausage, like Johnsonville Chicken Sausage, chopped into discs
1 jar of Marinara, like Newman's Own
1 tsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 small Yellow Onion, chopped
2 tsp Minced Garlic
2-3 cups of fresh spinach, chopped roughly
1 Green Bell Pepper, roughly chopped
6 ounces of Whole Wheat (any pasta that is protein/fiber enriched will do- I prefer Barilla Plus)

How to (so easy, so quick!):

Heat oil in a pan; when pan is ready (a sprinkle of water sizzling will tell you the pan is ready), add the onions and chicken sausage. Let them saute for a few minutes. Add in the garlic and make sure nothing burns- I cannot stress enough how nasty the smell of burnt onions and garlic is. Next, add in the spinach and toss around the onions and garlic. Toss in the jar of marinara and then add the bell pepper. Let this combination simmer for about 15-30 minutes.

Boil pasta per package directions- minus 1 or two minutes. When the pasta is ready, add the pasta to the sauce for the final two minutes.

You're meal is done, and it's done in 30 minutes or less. And it has extra healthy in it: protein and fiber in the pasta, leaner type of meat, and some iron in the spinach. 

Now, let's see if our lil lady will let us enjoy dinner!
(Pardon this photo, time is of the essence these days!)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A very refreshing summer salad!


Thanks to Ms. Ina Garten, I bring to you Arugula, Watermelon, Feta, and Mint Salad!
The original recipe can be found here

When the weather gets warm, my appetite sometimes just craves something fresh and crisp. I saw this salad on Barefoot Contessa a few months back, and Mr. Not Your Bubbe's Kitchen and myself were intrigued to try it.

This time, I didn't sway too far away from the original recipe, and boy was it light and refreshing; but I am offering some suggestions to you (and for me) for when this is made again.

What you need:

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • About 1/4 of a finely chopped yellow onion
  • About 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 cups baby arugula, washed and spun dry
  • About 1-2 cups of diced watermelon
  • 6 ounces of fat free feta 
  • About two handfuls of fresh mint leaves, julienned
  • *Possible add ins to salad: 
  • Slices of grapefruit and orange
How you do it:
Whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, onion, honey, salt, pepper, and mint. The mint addition to the dressing was Mr. Not Your Bubbe's idea. By doing this it will disperse well into the salad and the flavor is brought out more in the dressing. Next add in the olive oil and whisk well. Set aside.

Rinse the arugula. Chop the feta (or buy pre-crumbled). Toss these ingredients together with watermelon. Add grapefruit or orange segments if so desired. 

Pour the vinaigrette over the salad to your liking.

Serves about 4 hefty salad portions. This is one salad that you truly do not need to be concerned with caloric intake- It's fresh and delightful. Enjoy!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Grape-Nut Pudding: This one's for you, Mom.

Reminiscing about going out to eat as a kid with my family, I recall one dessert item my mother always liked. Grape nut pudding.
I've not had it in years, but there's something very homey and comforting about this dessert (or snack). But not only is it comforting, it's loaded with calcium and protein, and my version is low in fat.
The thought came into my head to try to make it (and well, once a thought is in my head about food these days, the pregnancy takes over and
Here's the recipe I played around with, I hope it brings you back, also!

What you need:
3 cups of skim milk
3 eggs (You could definitely substitute egg beaters here, I just do not currently have any in the house)
1/2 of sugar
1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (eh, toss a little extra in there) of grape-nuts cereal
pinch of salt
1 tsp of vanilla extract

How to make it:
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. With a hand mixer, blend until eggs and other ingredients are well combined (maybe about a minute on medium speed).

Spray an 8x8 baking dish with non stick cooking spray and add the custard mix to the pan.
Place the 8x8 pan in a water bath in a larger pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes, or until firm (very little jiggle).

 Best served with whipped cream!
Servings, about 6-- Roughly 2/3 cup per serving- picture below? Not to scale! 

Amount per Serving

Calories 170
Calories from Fat 21.8

Total Fat 2.42g
Saturated Fat 0.75g
Cholesterol 109.5mg
Sodium 166.67mg
Total Carbohydrate 31.17g
Dietary Fiber 1.17g
Sugars 22.83g
Protein 8g

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pesto Dip Revisited

I'm having a few ladies over my house tomorrow and wanted to try something new. We're having a bunch of appetizers, salads, and desserts and I wanted to make a pesto for either crostinis, vegetables, or both!

However, I had no pine nuts in my pantry (insert sound of tiny violin playing). But I did have pistachios!

So I decided that I wanted to make a quick and easy dip or spread, and it would be Spinach Pistachio Pesto.

Here's the recipe!

About 2.5-3 cups of baby spinach
About 1 cup of basil leaves
About 3 very large garlic cloves
3-4 tbsp of grated parmesan 
1/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup roasted pistachios (place in a skillet on medium low heat for about 5-6 minutes, shaking pan occasionally)
Kosher salt and pepper
About a 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (one specific for dressings and marinades will be best)

Place the first 6 ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until blended. Season with salt and pepper.
With the food processor running, slowly stream in the oil. Mixture will be thick. If using recipe for pasta, add some more oil. If using as a dip or spread; leave as is.

Note: Due to the limited "not good for you" ingredients in this recipe, I've omitted the nutrition information. The recipe should easily serve 8-10 people.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

The best damn brownies, ever.

Yeah. I try to stay healthy. I exercise. I watch what I eat (most of the time- definitely not as much since becoming pregnant). And often my treats on my blog are healthier alternatives to full calorie/full fat delectables.

I wanted brownies....and I wanted them bad since watching Ina Garten, Ms. Barefoot Contessa, make her Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies on the Food Network last week. Don't be mistaken. I have seen this episode about 18 times; but this last time is what did me in. I had to have these.

So hats off, Ina. You've done it again. Sure, I still made a few changes. It wouldn't be me if I didn't. But honestly, If they taste this good with minor (I'm talking very minor) adaptations, imagine what they would be like with no changes at all!

These are the damn best brownies, ever. And therefore, no nutrition information will be provided. Just enjoy them.

Adapted from: Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies: Ina Garten

1 pound unsalted butter (I used 1/2 lb unsalted butter & 1/2 lb land o lakes light butter)
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
3 large eggs
3/4 cup egg beaters
1.5 tbsp ground coffee 
1 tbsp brewed coffee
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an aluminum foil lined 12 by 18 by 1 1/2-inch sheet pan with non stick cooking spray and sprinkle some flour over it.
Melt together the butter (I diced the butter so it would melt quicker), 16 ounces of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, egg beaters, ground coffee, brewed coffee,  vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add this to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. 
Pour into the prepared sheet pan. Spoon the peanut butter over the top of the chocolate mixture and using a knife, swirl it through the chocolate mixture. I placed 3 large spoonfuls in different places on the batter to ease the spreading of the mixture.
Bake for 20 minutes, then tap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie batter. Bake for about 10  minutes more or until a toothpick comes out clean. 
Allow to chill, completely, prior to cutting into these love bugs.

Easy Weeknight Dinner: Salmon Croquettes

Growing up, one dish my mother always made was salmon croquettes. They were also something I never passed up. 
Now, her sides of choice were (and still are!) peas and mashed potatoes. While that works well, I really am not a fan of peas, and like to bring in other grains and starches into my diet. So, I chose to use Trader Joes Healthy Grains mix which is a combination of Quinoa, Cous Cous, and other great grains. You could try using Quinoa or Cous Cous alone, and it would work well.

So I revisited this home style classic and was so impressed with the results, I decided to share with you. You'll be impressed with how quick this dinner is & the total calories for both dishes is under 500 calories. Enjoy!

What you need for the croquette patties:

  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) Alaskan pink salmon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 a medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp (about) dried dill weed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
  • Roughly 3 tbsp of Smart Balance Omega-3 Vegetable Oil (obviously, any vegetable oil will work; but this is what I used)

How you make them:
Drain the can of salmon. Mash the salmon, eggs, regular bread crumbs, minced garlic, diced onion, salt, pepper, dill weed, parsley.
Make into patties. Place the panko in a bowl or a plate for dipping. Dip the croquettes into the panko. 
Heat the oil in a 12" fry pan. Fry patties about 4 minutes each side until golden brown.

Seriously. That's it.

The facts for the salmon:
Serving Size: 1.25 patties (batch makes about 5)

Amount per Serving

Calories 223
Calories from Fat 89.7

Total Fat 9.97g
Saturated Fat 2.63g
Cholesterol 132.5mg
Sodium 580.06mg
Total Carbohydrate 11.8g
Dietary Fiber 1.01g
Sugars 1.63g
 Protein 20.11g

Now for the grains.
What you need:
1 1/4 cups of Trader Joes Healthy Grains 
1 3/4 cups of water
1 tbsp smart balance light butter spread
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 a medium cucumber, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
3 ounces light feta cheese, diced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp dried dill weed
1/4 tsp kosher salt

How you make it:
Chop the vegetables and feta cheese, set aside.
Boil the water and butter. When boiling, add in the grains. Cover and simmer per package directions, approximately 10 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice, olive oil, dill, and salt. When the grains are done, add the dressing to the grains. Turn off the heat and add the vegetables and feta.

The facts for the grains:
Serving Size: 1 cup (makes about 4-5 cups approximately)
Amount per serving:
Calories 267
Calories from Fat 79.1

Total Fat 8.79g
Saturated Fat 2.1g
Cholesterol 6mg
Sodium 77.2mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.39g
Dietary Fiber 2.73g
Sugars 2.96g
Protein 9.6g

Done and done. Under 30 minutes and you have a meal that is high in protein and tastes delicious.