Sunday, April 27, 2008

This Week's Menu

Sunflower Orange Roughy and Tangy Coleslaw

Tortellini Primavera with Pesto Sauce

Turkey with Chutney and Couscous

Turkey Salad with Chutney and Cashews

Southwestern Vegetable Bake with Tortilla Wedges

Garlic n’ Potato Soup


Magnolia Bakery's Orange Vanilla Cupcakes

Magnolia Bakery's Orange Vanilla Cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients
1 ½ cups self-rising flour
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup orange juice (use a variety without pulp)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Frosting Ingredients
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Unsweetened shredded coconut, for garnish (optional)

To make the cupcakes:
1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
2. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and zest gradually and beat until fluffy, about three minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the orange juice and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
5. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

To make the frosting:
1. In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 8 to 10 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, on the medium-high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for three minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously, and mix until fluffy, for three minutes. Add the vanilla and beat well.
3. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat for five minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Add a few drops of red food coloring to give a pink tint to the frosting, if desired. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer—set a timer!). Use immediately to frost the cupcakes. If you like, garnish with the coconut (or do some with coconut and some without).

Turkey with Chutney and Couscous

From the Cooking Light 5 Ingredient 15 minute Cookbook

4 turkey breasts
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup chutney or preserves (peach or apricot)
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp water

Sprinkle the turkey with salt and pepper. Spread some oil or cooking spray in a pan and cook the turkey breasts, covered in the pan until cooked through. Remove the breasts, reduce heat and add chutney mustard and water in the pan stirring for 2 minutes. Serve the turkey with sauce spooned over the top.

Curried Couscous
½ tsp curry powder
1 10 oz package of couscous
2 Tbsp walnuts chopped
½ cup sliced scallions
Apples sliced

Prepare couscous according to package directions. Add curry powder before adding the couscous to the water. After the couscous has steamed add the walnuts and scallions and mix them in by fluffing the couscous with a fork.

Serve the meal with sliced apples.

Turkey Salad with Chutney and Cashews

From the Joy of Cooking All About Salad cookbook

½ cup mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
3 Tbsp mango or peach chutney (I have found peach or apricot jam works just fine too- they jus don’t have the same spicy notes)
2 tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups diced turkey (or chicken) (you can use leftover Turkey Chutney)
3 scallions, miced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 cup coarsely chopped cashews
Optional ½ cup dried currants, raisins or craisins
Lettuce, washed and cut

Bake or pan fry the meat, cool and then dice. Mix the first five ingredients and then combine with the last five ingredients. Serve on a bed of lettuce.

Sunflower Orange Roughy and Tangy Coleslaw

Sunflower Orange Roughy

¼ cup corn flake crumbs
2 Tbsp roasted sunflower kernels
1 teaspoon of Mrs, Dash or All purpose spice
4 orange roughy fillets (other white fish types will work too) OR chicken if your family doesn’t do fish)
1 Tbsp lemon juice

Combine the first three ingredients. Dip the fillets in the lemon juice and then dredge in the mixture. Coat a broiler pan (or a cookie sheet if you don’t have one) with cooking spray or a small amount of butter. Place the fillets on the pan, cover in any remaining crumb mixture and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes (more like 30 minutes if you chose chicken).

Tangy Coleslaw
½ cup plain yogurt
1 ½ Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp sugar
½ tsp dry mustard
1 cup peeled carrots
3 cups shredded cabbage

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Shred cabbage with a grater or roughly chop cabbage into chunks and put through the food processor until shredded (as thick or fine as you prefer). Shred carrots with a grater or peeler. Add the cabbage and carrots to the large bowl and toss until dressing covers vegetables evenly. Chill in the fridge until dinner is served.

Southwestern Vegetable Bake

2 10 oz packages of corn
1 14 oz can chili-style tomatoes, undrained
1 15 oz can white hominy drained
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp taco seasoning
¼ tsp pepper
½ cup shredded cheese
(if you have any peppers or carrot leftover you can chop and add that too)

Combine all the ingredients except the cheese into a 9x12 bake dish, mix and stir well. Cover the dish with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove the dish from the oven just to uncover, top with the cheese and place back in the oven for another 5 minutes.

Tortilla Wedges
4-6 flour tortillas
2 Tbsp olive oil or cooking spray
1 Tbsp salt

Cut the tortillas into wedges and spread onto a cookie sheet covered in oil- OR Spray with cooking spray. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Bake at 400 degrees for 5 minutes or until browned and crisp.

Tortellini Primavera with Pesto Sauce

1 9 oz pack of tortellini (frozen of fresh)
1 16 oz package of frozen veggie mix OR leftover summer squash from last week
1 8 oz container of sour cream
2 tbsp of pesto
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp pepper

Boil the pasta until cooked and steam the veggies until tender. In a large bowl, mix the sour cream, pesto, salt, pepper and cheese together. Drain the pasta and veggies and add to the large bowl stirring until the pasta and veggies are well covered.

Garlic n Potato Soup with Romaine Salad

Garlic n’ Potato Soup
2 cups milk
2 cups water
4 potatoes peeled and quartered
Garlic clove crushed
1 cup shredded cheese
¼ tsp pepper
Optional 2 scoops unflavored protein powder

Bring the potatoes and 2 cups water to a boil and continue to cook until the potatoes are soft. Mash the potatoes in the water with a masher or put it all through a blender. Add the milk and garlic to the mashed potato mixture and simmer until reduced (just a bit thicker than when you added the milk). If you would like to add some protein, stir in two scoops until it is dissolved. Top with cheese and pepper and serve hot.

Romaine Salad
4 cups Romaine lettuce, washed and torn
12 cherry tomatoes
½ red onion sliced
Your favorite dressing
Combine lettuce, tomatoes and onions and dress to taste

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Creamy Tortellini with Mushroom Sauce

From Everyday Food

1 pound bag frozen cheese tortellini
2 cloves crushed garlic
2-3 fresh shitake mushrooms sliced
¼ cup fresh parsley
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper to taste

If you find fresh tortellini, you can use that instead of frozen; cook in a pot of boiling salted water until the pasta floats to the top, about three minutes.

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook tortellini according to package instructions; drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat oil over medium-low heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender, about 7 minutes.

Add 1 cup water; season with salt and pepper. Cook until liquid is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; add tortellini, Parmesan, butter and parsley. Toss to coat; serve.

Note: The mushroom sauce can also be tossed with plain pasta, such as fettuccine, linguine, or spaghetti. Cook two ounces of pasta, and add two more table

French Onion Soup with Green Beans

¼ cup vegetable oil
3 cups sliced onion (most types-except red-work well)
½ cup shallots (or just one more ½ cup of the above kind of onion)
¼ cup sherry (optional just adds a more refined taste)
5 cups beef broth
½ pound cheese (Jack, Mozzerella etc..)
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp thyme
2 garlic cloves
French Bread (one loaf is enough for the recipe)

1 pound green beans (washed with ends snapped)
¼ cup sliced almonds
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup parmesan

Heat the oil in the bottom of a pot and sauté the onions for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile gather the herbs and garlic in one of those mesh balls- OR if you are like me and don’t have one cut a 3 x 3 square from a clean rag and tie the corners in knots around the herbs and garlic.

Add the broth and the herb packet and simmer for 30-45 minutes while covered so as not to lose any liquid.

Normally the soup is poured in oven safe bowls, the bread is added, the bowls are topped with cheese and broiled until browned and bubbly. I use an easier method. It’s not as pretty but saves a lot of time and you can use any old bowl. I slice the bread and spread it across a baking pan or dish. Slice the cheese and spread over the bread. Broil the bread and cheese until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Then pour the onion soup into bowls and take a 1 or 2 slices of bread (now covered in hot cheese, so be careful ) and drop into the soup bowls just before serving.

Steam the green beans until tender. Meanwhile, toast sliced almonds by heating in a skillet with a 1 tsp of butter stirring constantly so they do not burn. When the green beans are done, immediately rinse in cold water to keep the color. Place in a dish and top with 2 Tbsp of butter, the almonds and a sprinkle of Parmesan if desired.

Classic Spinach Salad

1 bag or ¾ bunch baby spinach leaves (washed, de-stemmed and set to dry)
1 hard boiled egg ( diced)
2 Tbsp bacon bits
1 8 oz can mandarin oranges (drained)
¼ cup sliced almonds OR walnuts

If using walnuts:
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Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
1 ½ cups vegetable oil
¾ cup red wine vinegar
¾ tsp dry mustard
1 ½ tsp salt
½ cup sugar
½ Tbsp dry onion
½ tbsp poppy seeds


If you would like candied walnuts rather than almonds. Toss chopped walnuts in a bakng dish with sugar, egg white and salt. Bake at 350 for about 5 minutes. Set on a paper towel to cool. For the dressing, pour ingredients into a cruet, Tupperware or Ziploc bag and shake vigorously until it emulsifies.

Spread spinach leaves over dinner plates and top with chunks of egg, bacon bits, oranges and nuts. Serve with dressing to taste.

Spring Time variation:
Rather than oranges, almonds and poppy seed dressing, use sliced strawberries, candied walnuts and raspberry vinaigrette.

Feta Spinach Crepes

From Karin at RecipeZaar

2-3 bunches spinach
1 onion, finely chopped
feta cheese, crumbled (as much as you like)
1/2 cup grated romano cheese or parmesan cheese
1 carton ricotta cheese, small carton
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten

tomato sauce to top

1 cup all-purpose flour
2 eggs
½ cup milk
½ cup water
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter (melted)


Wash spinach and remove stalks. Cook the spinach in a pan until the spinach is limp. Drain well and squeeze as much liquid from cooked spinach as you can. Chop roughly. Add finely chopped onion, the Feta, Parmesan and Ricotta Cheese. Mix well. Add ground nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add lightly beaten egg. Set aside and set oven for 350 degrees.

To make the crepes: Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Add eggs, milk and water. Beat well. Add the melted butter.

Heat a little butter in crepe pan (or use spray). Pour about 3-4 tablespoons of crepe mixture into pan working in an outward spiral so as to cover the base of the pan thinly and evenly. Pick up and rotate the pan to roll the mixture evenly over the pan if needed. Cook over high heat for about 1 minute until mixture looks as though it is setting on the top and the underneath is lightly browned. Turn crepe over and cook the other side for about 1/2 a minute.

Remove each from pan when cooked and place on piece of waxed paper under a pot lid to keep warm until you are ready for them.

Place even amounts of Spinach mixture in the centre of each crepe and place in a bake dish. Once all crepes are filled and in the bake dish, top with 1/2- 1 cup tomato sauce and bake for 5-10 minutes (enough for egg in the spinach mixture to cook).

Cooked, diced chicken and/ or pine nuts can also be added to the Spinach mixture.

Mini Egg and Ham Casseroles

By Rachel Ray

Use leftover bread from the French Onion Soup or buy a demi-baguette

1/4 baguette, cut into small cubes
4 ounces cream cheese, cut crosswise into 12 slices
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1/4 pound thinly sliced ham, chopped (about 1 cup)
4 scallions, white and green portions thinly sliced and separated
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon fresh parsley leaves
1/2 pound plum tomatoes, sliced into wedges

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan and fill each cup halfway with bread cubes. Top each with a cream cheese slice.

In a small saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the ham, scallion whites and a pinch of pepper. Cook, stirring, until the scallions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the half-and-half and bring just to a simmer before removing from the heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and thyme, then whisk in the warm half-and-half mixture. Fill the muffin cups with the egg mixture and bake until puffed and golden around the edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto a cooling rack.

Drizzle the tomato slices with olive oil, top with the scallion greens and season with salt and pepper. Serve with the mini casseroles.

Hawaiian Pizza

You can use store bought dough, Boboli crust or follow the recipe below to make your own crust.

½ jar tomato sauce
½ pound mozzarella (shredded)
2-3 slices of ham (chopped)
½ cup pineapple chunks (or tidbits just make sure to press the liquid out)

2 ¼ tsp yeast
½ tsp brown sugar
1 ½ cup warm water
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive Oil
2 ½ cup flour

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. After a few minutes, stir in salt and oil and gradually mix in the flour. Mix until it begins to form a ball (add more flour if necessary). Take out the ball and knead on a floured counter. Once it is smooth lace back in the bowl, cover it with a cloth and let rise. Once it has doubled in size (after about an hour) place on the floured counter and roll into a circle.

Bake at 375 until just before browning. (It will be cooked but still white)

Remove from the oven and top with sauce, cheese, ham and pineapple.

Sauteed onions and bacon bits are also great on this pizza.

Egg Salad Sandwich (the only one I'll eat)

6 Large Eggs
1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Salt and pepper
A tiny squeeze of lemon juice
2 stalks celery, washed and chopped
1/2 bunch chives, chopped
2 small handfuls of lettuce (or leftover spinach)
8 slices of whole grain bread, toasted and buttered if you want to be indulgent

1 bag of mini carrots
Optional ranch dressing

Place the eggs in a pot and cover with cold water by a 1/2-inch or so. Bring to a gentle boil. Now turn off the heat, cover, and let sit for exactly seven minutes. Have a big bowl of ice water ready and when the eggs are done cooking place them in the ice bath for three minutes or so - long enough to stop the cooking. Crack and peel each egg, place in a medium mixing bowl. Add the mayonnaise, a couple generous pinches of salt and pepper, now mash with a fork. Don't overdo it, you want the egg mixture to have some texture. If you need to add a bit more mayo to moisten up the mixture a bit, go for it a bit at a time.

Stir in the celery and chives. Taste, and adjust the seasoning - adding more salt and pepper if needed.

To assemble each egg salad sandwich: place a bit of lettuce on a piece of toast, top with the egg salad mixture, and finish by creating a sandwich with a second piece of toast.

Serve with raw carrots and ranch dip if desired.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

This Week's Menu

Chopped Salad
Feta Chicken with Zucchini
Hawaiian Rice Bowls
Quick Beef Stroganoff with Brussels Sprouts
Tandoori Chicken with Yogurt Sauce
Ultimate Veggie (or Meat) Chili
Whole Wheat Pancakes with Walnuts and Apples

Your Grocery List

Whole wheat flour
All purpose flour
Wheat germ
Baking powder
Brown sugar
Soy Sauce

8 chicken breasts (look at the recipes and measure according to your needs)
14 ounces extra-firm tofu, frozen and thawed
OR 14 ounces ground beef
1 1/4 pounds New York or sirloin steak (or stir fry beef strips)

Spice Cabinet
Dried cilantro
Ground ginger
Ground cumin
Chili powder
Red pepper flakes

2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 4-ounce can diced jalapenos
1 4-ounce can green chiles
2 14-ounce cans black beans
14-ounce can dark kidney beans
¼ cup Chicken Broth

8 oz sour cream
4 oz crumbled Feta
Butter 4 sticks
2 1/2 cup buttermilk
1C plain low fat yogurt
1/2 cup feta cheese (or Gorgonzola)
Creamy Dressing like Ranch, Blue Cheese, Cesar etc... (to taste)

1 package egg noodles
White rice (or brown if you prefer)
Pasta (a small type like shells)

Fresh Produce
1 yellow onion
1 lemon
4-6 medium zucchini
1 bunch parsley
1 lb button mushrooms
1 red bell pepper
1-2 zucchini squash
1-2 yellow summer squash
2-4 carrots
Ginger root
1 bunch scallions
1 head of lettuce (romaine, green leaf or red leaf)
Optional 2 handfuls spinach leaves
2 tomatoes
1 cucumber
4 granny smith apples
1 Package Brussels Sprouts
Shelled Edamame

1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup whole roasted cashews
Unflavored Protein Powder optional
Bacon Bits

Hawaiian Rice Bowl

1-2 zucchini squash
1-2 yellow summer squash
2-4 carrots
2 cups frozen, shelled edamame
6 cups cooked rice

1 cup soy sauce
1 cup sugar
1 Tsp grated ginger
1 garlic clove minced
3 scallions chopped

Sesame seeds (optional)

Start a pot of rice according to package directions.

Mix soy sauce, sugar, grated ginger, garlic and scallions in a sauce pan and heat until sugar is dissolved. Continue to heat until reduced slightly. The sauce will still be liquid. Let cool and pour into a tupperware or dressing cruet and shake until well mixed.

While the sauce cools, julienne the vegetables and steam with the edamame until just tender.

While the vegetables steam check in the rice.

When the rice is done, assemble a bowl with rice, piled high with veggies and top with the sauce. You can sprinkle sesame seeds over it if you like.

Whole Wheat Pancakes with Walnuts and Apples

1 tsp butter
pinch sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 granny smith apples, sliced (skinned too, if you prefer)

1 cup whole wheat flour
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
6 Tbsp butter
2 1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
You can also add a scoop or two of unflavored protein powder if you would like

Melt 1 Tbsp of butter in a sauce pan and add sliced apples, sprinkle with a pinch of sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and sautee, stirring frequently, until softened.

Mix the dry ingredients for the pancakes in one bowl.

Melt 6 Tbsp butter and mix with buttermilk and beaten eggs. Pour into the dry ingredients stirring constantly until the mixture is consistent. Stir in the walnuts.

Heat and grease a griddle with some butter or cooking spray and pour 1/2 cup amounts of batter onto the griddle. Cooking until bubbles form all over the pancake, flip and cook a minute longer.

Serve with apples and warm syrup.

Chopped Salad

1 head of lettuce (romaine, green leaf or red leaf) shredded
Optional 2 handfuls spinach leaves washed and cut
2 tomatoes diced
1 cucumber diced
3-4 Tbsp Bacon Bits
1 cup cooked pasta (a small type like shells)
1 chicken breast cooked and diced
1/2 cup feta cheese (or Gorgonzola)
4 scallions chopped
Creamy Dressing like Ranch, Blue Cheese, Cesar etc... (to taste)

The idea of this salad is that you chop everything into small pieces and mix it together with your favorite creamy dressing. You will forget you are eating salad mmmmmm.
Use spinach leaves too if you want to get an extra healthy boost :)

Tandoori Chicken with Yogurt Sauce

from Everyday Food and thanks to my sister Jill for sharing it with us!

1C plain low fat yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1tsp turmeric
1tsp ground ginger
salt and ground pepper
4 chicken breasts
2 granny smith apples
1Tbs cilantro

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a large bowl mix 1/2C yogurt, garlic, turmeric, ginger, 2t salt and 1/4t pepper. Add chicken, turn to coat. Transfer chicken to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Peel apples and coarsely grate into a medium bowl. Add cilantro and the remaining 1/2C yogurt. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve apple yogurt sauce alongside chicken and rice.

Serves 4.

Feta Chicken with Zucchini

From Real Simple magazine

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lemon
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 medium zucchini
1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup (about 2 ounces) crumbled Feta

Heat oven to 400°F. Drizzle 1/2 tablespoon of the oil in a roasting pan. Remove the zest from the lemon in thin strips; set aside. Thinly slice the lemon. Place half the slices in the pan. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Place it on top of the lemon slices and season with 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Slice each zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice each half into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons. In a bowl, combine the zucchini, parsley, pepper, and the remaining oil, lemon slices, and salt; toss. Spread the zucchini mixture around the chicken and sprinkle the Feta over the top. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer it to a cutting board and cut each piece into thirds. Divide the chicken, zucchini mixture, and lemons among individual plates and sprinkle with the zest.

Quick Beef Stroganoff with Brussels Sprouts

From Real Simple magazine

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds New York or sirloin steak, thinly sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon plus
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry sherry
1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup sour cream
Cooked white rice or egg noodles
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped

Brussels Sprouts
2tbsp Olive Oil
All purpose spice shake (or mix your favorite spices and seasonings)

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the steak with 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper cook until browned on both sides, about 3 minutes.. Remove steak. Wipe out skillet. Add the remaining oil and return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until their liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add the sherry and broth. Boil until the liquid reduces to 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, add the sour cream, and heat until the mixture thickens. Return the steak and any juices that have collected on the plate to the skillet. Season with the remaining salt and pepper. Heat until warmed through. Divide the rice among individual plates. Spoon the steak and mushrooms on top and sprinkle with the parsley.

For the Brussels Sprouts, cut the hard stems off and spread in a baking dish, rolling them in olive oil to coat. Then sprinkle on your favorite seasoning mix. Bake at 375 until you can poke one easily with a fork.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

This Week's Menu

Crunchy Noodle Salad
Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Peas and Herb Baked Chicken
Curried Red Lentil Stew
Tri Color Pepper Quiche
Vegetarian Fajitas
Tomato Basil Soup with Cheesy Bread
Creamy Broccoli Soup with Popovers

Crunchy Noodle Salad

Crunchy Noodle Salad

The Barefoot Contessa

Kosher salt
1/2 pound thin spaghetti (or up to a 1lb, I find there is lots of sauce with just 1/2 lb)
1/2 pound sugar snap peas
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil
1 tablespoon honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons white sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, and thinly sliced
4 scallions (with and green parts), sliced diagonally
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook
according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring another large pot of salted water to a boil, add the sugar
snap peas, return to a boil, and cook for 3 minutes, until crisp tender.
Lift the sugar snap peas from the water with a slotted spoon and immerse
them in a bowl of ice water. Drain.

For the dressing, whisk together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce,
sesame oil, honey, garlic, ginger, 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, peanut butter,
salt, to taste, and the pepper, in a medium bowl.

Combine the spaghetti, sugar snap peas, peppers and scallions in a large
bowl. Pour the dressing over the spaghetti mixture. Add the scallions and
the cilantro and mix again.

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Peas With Herb Baked Chicken

Spring Risotto with Asparagus and Peas (Fresh Direct)

With Herb Baked Chicken

8 ounces asparagus
1 pound peas in the pod or 4 ounces sugar snap or snow peas
3 1/2 to 4 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, finely chopped, or 1 leek, white part only, finely chopped
1 cup or Arborio rice
1 1/2 tablespoons regular or reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigian cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Kosher salt
2-3 Chicken breasts halves
¼ tsp each Parsley, Thyme, Rosemary
1 Tbsp olive oil

1. Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees F

2. Mix the parsley, thyme and rosemary together in a small bowl. Place the chicken in a bake dish and pat with olive oil, salt and then the herb mix. And place in the oven.

3. Break the tough ends off the asparagus (when you bend a stalk with both hands, it will break at the point where it is becoming tough and dry). Coarsely chop the stems and put them in a medium saucepan. If using peas in the pod pull off the stem ends to remove the tough string that runs along the "spines" and add to the pan. Steam until just cooked.

4. In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter with the olive oil over low heat. Add the shallots, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 4 minutes. Uncover, increase the heat to moderate, and cook, stirring, until the shallots are golden. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the grains look chalky with a white dot in the center of each, about 5 minutes. (Do not allow the rice to brown.)

5. Stir in 1/2 cup of the broth and simmer, stirring frequently, until almost all the liquid is absorbed, 3 minutes. Add another 1/2 cup broth and simmer, stirring, until it has been absorbed. Stir the asparagus and the peas. Continue adding the broth in the same fashion, 1/2 cup at a time, until the rice grains are tender but still firm in the center and the risotto is creamy but not soupy. Remove from the heat.

6. Stir in the sour cream, about half of the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, and pepper to taste. Add the salt if necessary to pick up the flavors. Garnish with the remaining cheese.

7. Remove chicken from the oven when slightly brown and juices run clear from it.

Curried Red Lentil Stew

Curried Red Lentil Stew

By Debbie Passey

(I would say these amounts serve 3 adults. You may want to double it anyway so you don't have 1/2 of a butternut squash sitting around...)

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pinch fenugreek seeds (It won’t ruin the stew if you leave it out)
1 cup dry red lentils (any variety of lentil will do though)
2 cups butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed (about half of a whole squash) (Cube the whole thing and freeze the rest to use later for babyfood, roasted veggies or the next time you make this recipe)
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (you MUST have this herb- it makes the whole dish)
2 cups water
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
6 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 pinch ground nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste (a good Tbs of salt is a must)

1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat, and cook the onion, ginger, garlic, and fenugreek until onion is tender.

2. Mix the lentils, squash, and cilantro into the pot. Stir in the water, coconut milk, and tomato paste. Season with curry powder, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until lentils and squash are tender. (Mash the squash cubes for a more consistent texture.)

Its very thick so you could serve it over basamati rice if you want to make some or with naan bread (available with the frozen foods)

Tri-Color Sweet Pepper Quiche

Don't be scared by this recipe. Its not too hard and no one will think less of you if you want to use store bought pie crust :)

Tri-Color Sweet Pepper Quiche
From “Fresh Direct”

4 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium bell peppers, preferably one each of red, yellow and orange, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced into 1/8 inch wide strips
1/4 cup water
1 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 whole eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 cup grated cheese (your favorite “white cheese” provolone, Monterey Jack etc..)
1/2 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives (optional)

Easy Tart Crust (Makes one 10 to 12 inch tart crust)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoon (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoon (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons water

1. Prebake the tart crust as directed in note and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the peppers and sauté over medium-high heat, string occasionally, until the peppers are well wilted but not browned, about 10 minutes.

4. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the wine and a pinch of salt. Continue cooking until the peppers are soft but not browned, about 15 minutes more.

5. While the peppers cook, put the basil, Parmesan cheese and remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a food processor or blender and purée as fine as possible. Set aside.

6. Whisk together the eggs and yolks in a bowl. Add the half-and-half, heavy cream and about 1/2 teaspoon salt and whisk to smooth.

7. To assemble the quiche, spread the basil purée across the bottom of the crust. Top with half of the provolone, then all the peppers. Dot the olives, if using, over the peppers. Spread the remaining provolone over the peppers and pour in the egg and cream mixture.

8. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean and the edges of the crust are very golden. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes, then serve.

Easy Tart Crust (Makes one 10 to 12 inch tart crust)

1. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Cut in the butter and pulse several times until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Continue to pulse while adding the water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough adheres to itself when pinched.

2. Gather the dough into a ball and set the ball on a sheet of plastic wrap. Cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and roll the dough into an 11 to 13 inch circle. Remove the top sheet and turn the dough into a 10 to 12 inch tart or pie pan, pushing gently into the corners and up the sides. Place in the refrigerator to chill before baking, up to overnight. If chilling overnight, remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking.

Note: Prebaking the Crust for Quiches and Savory Pies

For quiches and savory pies that have a moist filling and short cooking time, the crust should be prebaked until golden so the pie turns out with a crispy, not soggy, bottom. To prebake a pie crust:

1. Have the rolled-out crust slightly chilled.

2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

3. With a fork, prick all across the bottom of the crust and bake until beginning to puff up on the bottom, about 12 minutes.

4. Gently prick the bottom again to allow steam to escape. If the sides are beginning to collapse, press them up with the fork. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes more, until the crust is golden on the bottom and around the edges.

5. Remove and continue with the recipe, either right away or after the crust has cooled a bit but not longer than 1 or 2 hours never chilled.

Note: The dough can also be mixed by hand. You will need slightly more water with this method.

Vegetarian Fajitas

Vegetarian Fajitas

Bell Pepper (any color)
Large Onion
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
2 Tbsp Taco Seasoning
Flour Tortillas
Cottage Cheese
Any leftover Cilantro

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Wrap fajitas in aluminum foil and place in oven

Thinly Slice onion and peppers and sautee in a pan with olive oil. Salt and let the water evaporate out of the vegetables. Stir often to keep them from sticking.

Stir in taco seasoning (to taste) and continue to cook until onions and peppers are soft and no longer soggy.

Serve over fajitas with cilantro and cottage cheese for protein.

Tomato Soup with Cheesy Bread

Tomato Soup with Cheesy Bread
From “All Recipes”

4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced
4 cups tomato juice
14 leaves fresh basil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste
Sliced bread of your choice (multi grain with a hard crust is best)
4-6 slices of Monterey Jack Cheese

1. Place tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat. Simmer for 30 minutes.

2. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the stock pot.

3. Place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.

4. Top sliced bread with cheese and broil until cheese bubbles. Serve with warm soup.

Creamy Broccoli Soup with Popovers

Creamy Broccoli Soup with Popovers

4 cups water
4 cups broccoli
2 Tbsp Butter
1 onion chopped
1/3 cup flour
2 boulion cubes
2 ½ cups milk
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp black pepper
½ cup shredded cheese (optional)

Steam broccoli until cooked through.

In a pot, sautee the onion in butter until soft.

Transfer the broccoli and the onions to a blender and puree.

Add flour to the pot and slowly mix in the water then bullion and bring to a boil.

Bring it back to a simmer and stir in the milk, nutmeg, pepper and pureed broccoli and onions.

Serve with shredded cheese on top.


2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Grease and flour a popover tin (ramekins, custard cups and even a cupcake tin all will work too).

2. In a medium bowl beat eggs slightly, beat in flour, milk and salt until smooth. Fill cups (or each opening in the tin) 1/2 full.

3. Bake at 450 degrees F for 20 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for 20 minutes more. Remove the popovers from the cups and serve while they are hot!