May 23, 2011

Temporary hiatus..

Despite my best efforts this weekend, I need not get my recipes posted. I have decided after my first week working four 10-hour days, spending the weekend on our two gardens and yard work, and running after a toddler that I'm going to take a temporary hiatus from posting. If I get motivated I may post a great recipe every now and then but some time off will be good. Thanks for reading and check back once in awhile!

May 13, 2011

New recipes next week!

I've got 5 great recipes to share - black bean burgers, chef's salad with chicken, alfredo pasta with shrimp, hearty minestrone soup, and spinach tomato pizza that I will post next week. I've had a sick little boy all week and no extra time to type up recipes!

May 5, 2011

Week 41 Recipe Notes

  • I finally had time to type up a shopping list this week!
  • I used asparagus twice this week, got to use it while it's in season.

Week 41, Recipe 1: Mediterranean Salad

  • This was actually a really filling dinner and very tasty!
  • Cut up the veggies, except for the tomato, ahead of time and make the dressing ahead of time too to save on meal prep time.
  • Recipe modified slightly from The Best of America's Test Kitchen
  • 1 cucumber, peeled and halved lengthwise, cut into small chunks
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered (or chopped regular-sized tomato)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
  • Lettuce - romaine hearts or another crunchy variety works well with this salad
  • 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper to taste
1. Whisk the oil, vinegar, and garlic together in a large bowl. Add the cucumber, tomatoes, chickpeas, olives, onion, and parsley. Toss and let stand at room temp to blend the flavors for 5 minutes.
2. Add the lettuce and feta and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Week 41, Recipe 2: Cajun Grilled Shrimp & Scallops

Photo by Taste of Home (forgot to take one of my own!)

  • The original recipe is from Taste of Home but I modified it significantly by using my own cajun seasoning. If you prefer not to mix up your own, use: 3 tsp store-bought cajun seasning, 1 1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce, 3/4 tsp garlic powder, and 3/4 tsp onion powder instead. If you make my homemade seasoning, you'll have extras. Store in an airtight container or small ziplock and label.
  • I have never cooked sea scallops before so I only bought 6 just in case I didn't like them. Turns out they are delicious and I will be cooking them again! They have a delicate flavor, like crab. Even my almost 2-year-old liked them.
  • If you don't have metal skewers, use wooden ones but be sure to soak them in water at least 15 minutes before threading shrimp and scallops onto them.
  • 3/4 c. butter, cubed
  • About 1/2 pound shrimp (uncooked or cooked but with tails on)
  • 10-16 sea scallops
  • Homemade cajun seasoning (or replace with seasonings listed in NOTES):
    • 1 tbsp garlic powder
    • 1 tbsp onion powder
    • 1 tbsp paprika
    • 2 tsp white pepper
    • 2 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • pinch of cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 tsp salt
1. Melt the butter in the microwave and stir in 4 tsp of the homemade cajun season (or all of the seasonings listed in the NOTES).
2. Set aside 1/2 c. of the butter mixture for serving and cover with foil to keep warm.
3. Coat a grill rack with cooking spray before starting the grill. Peel and devein shrimp if necessary, leaving the tails on.
4. On four metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternately thread shrimp and scallops (I used precooked shrimp so I threaded the shrimp separate from the scallops because I thought they would cook faster which they did).
5. Baste on both sides with butter mixture and grill, covered, over medium heat for 3-5 minutes on each side or until shrimp turn pink and scallops are firm and opaque, basting occasionally with butter mixture.
6. Serve with the reserved butter for dipping.

Week 41, Recipe 3: Frittata with Asparagus, Ham and Cheese

  • The original recipe calls for Gruyere cheese but I had Swiss on hand so I used that and it was delicious.
  • I love using asparagus whenever I can this time of year!
  • Recipe modified from The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
  • 8 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 c. shredded Gruyere or 1/2 c. shredded Swiss
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive or cooking oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced parsley
  • 8 oz asparagus, trimmed of tough ends and cut on the bias into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 2 oz cooked ham, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk the eggs, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper together in a large bowl and set aside.
3. In a large (10-inch) ovenproof skillet (put foil over the handle if there is rubber or plastic on it), heat oil and then saute the onion and asparagus for several minutes. Add the ham and saute a few minutes more until asparagus is tender.
4. Dump the egg mixture on top of the asparagus mixture and stir for about 30 seconds until the eggs on the bottom are starting to set.
5. As the sides start to cook, use your spatula to pull the sides in, tilt the pan and let the uncooked egg in the middle run underneath. Continue the all around the pan. Let cook for several minutes on the stove until mostly set but still moist in the middle.
6. Transfer to the oven and cook until set, about 3-7 minutes. I also turn my broiler on for a minute or so at the end (watch carefully!) so the top gets nicely golden brown.

Week 41, Recipe 4: Turkey Avocado Wraps with Black Bean Salsa

  • As I was assembling these, I was skeptical that they'd have much flavor. I was proven wrong...they were tasty!
  • I made the salsa the night before we ate the wraps as it needs to chill at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours before serving.
  • 1/2 c. mayo or salad dressing
  • Large flour tortillas or wraps of choice
  • 12 oz sliced deli turkey
  • 1-2 avocados, sliced thin
  • Thin slices of Monterrey or Colby Jack cheese
  • Black Bean & Corn Salsa:
    • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
    • 1 c. chopped tomato
    • 1/2 c. frozen corn, thawed
    • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
    • 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
    • 1 tbsp cooking oil
    • 1 tbsp lime juice
    • 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste)
    • 1/4-1/2 tsp pepper (to taste)
1. Mix the ingredients for the salsa and chill for 1-24 hours.
2. To assemble wraps, spread mayo even over each tortilla, top with turkey & cheese, salsa and avocado slices and roll up (fold in the bottom one-forth of the tortilla over the filling and then roll up from the one side).

Week 41, Recipe 5: Pan-roasted Chicken with Asparagus

  • This was quick but tasted gourmet.
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Chicken breasts (bone-in (skinned) or boneless)
  • 2 large shallots, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 c. chicken broth
  • 1 tsp thyme (or 3 sprigs fresh thyme)
  • 8 oz halved shiitake mushroom caps or halved white button mushrooms, rinsed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed of rough edges
  • 1/4 c. shredded Parmesan
  • Rice to serve with, optional
1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Heat olive oil in a large oven-proof (put foil over handle if there is plastic or rubber on it) frying pan (not non stick if you have the option) until oil it hot but not smoking.
3. Add the chicken breasts, top side side (if using bone-in) and cook until golden, Turn chicken over.
4. Turn the heat to medium-low and add the shallots and garlic to the pan with the chicken, stirring occasionally so the garlic doesn't burn, until the shallots are soft and translucent, 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the chicken broth, thyme, mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook until mixture starts to boil, about 1 minute.
6. Place pan in the oven, covered, and bake 10 minutes. Remove and lay asparagus over the chicken and place back in the oven, covered, for 5-10 minutes more or until chicken is cooked through (cut to check).
7. Season asparagus-mushroom-broth mixture with extra salt and pepper to taste.
8. To serve, divide veggies among 4 rimmed plates or shallow pasta bowl, top each with a piece of chicken and spoon sauce over all. Top with a sprinkling of cheese. Serve with rice if desired.

Week 41 Shopping List


• The shopping list is organized) by category and then within each category by meal. After each item you’ll see a number in parenthesis which corresponds to the meal number. That way you can easily pick which recipes you want to try and then find those items (or cross items out) on the list.
• Under Veggies/Fruit I have italicized anything that is a veggie or fruit but NOT found in the fresh fruits and veggie area of the supermarket.

• About 1/2 lb shrimp (uncooked or cooked but with tails on) (1)
• 10-16 sea scallops (1)
• 2 oz cooked ham, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (3)
• 12 oz sliced deli turkey (4)
• Chicken breasts, bone in or boneless (5)

• Cucumber - 1 (1)
• Tomatoes - 1 pint grape or cherry (1), 2 large tomatoes (4)
• Garlic - 1 clove (1), 3 cloves (5)
• Onion - 1/2 small red (1), 1/2 white or yellow (3), 1/2 red (4)
• Fresh parsley - 1/2 c. chopped (1), 2 tbsp minced (3)
• Lettuce - romaine hearts or other crunchy (1)
• Asparagus - 8 oz (3), 1 lb (5)
• Avocado - 1 or 2 (4)
• Cilantro - 2 tbsp minced (4)
• Corn - 1/2 c. frozen and thawed or 1/2 c. fresh cooked off the cob (4)
• Lime - 1 (4)
• Shallots - 2 large (5)
• 8 oz shiitake or white button mushrooms (5)

Breads & starches
• Flour tortillas or wraps (4)
• Rice, optional (5)

• Salt
• Black pepper
• Red wine vinegar - 3 tbsp (1)
• Extra virgin olive oil - 3 tbsp (1)
• Cooking oil
• Homemade cajun seasoning (see list of ingredients in Recipe 2) OR use list of seasonings in the NOTES of recipe 2 if you do not want to mix your own cajun seasoning (2)
• Thyme - 1 tsp dried or use 3 fresh sprigs (5)

• Feta cheese, 4oz (1)
• Butter - 3/4 c. (2)
• Gruyere or Swiss cheese - 1/2 c. shredded (3)
• Slices of Monterrey or Colby Jack cheese (4)
• Parmesan - 1/4 c. shredded (5)

• Kalamata olives - (for salad) (1)
• 1 15-oz can chickpeas (1)
• 8 eggs (3)
• Mayo (4)
• 1 15-oz can black beans (4)
• Chicken broth - 1 c. (5)