Category Archives: Recipes

Skillet Zucchini Lasagna…ish

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These days, how many things start with “So I saw this thing on Pinterest…” A LOT!

That being said, I saw this thing on Pinterest, HA!

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But first….

Zucchini is so plentiful in the summertime, and there are SO many ways to cook it deliciously and healthy. Baked, broiled, sauteed or grilled by itself… Mixed into a stir fry.. or replacing pasta as noodles, AKA zoodles~ .. (Note to Self: Get a spiralizer thingamajig)

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OODLES AND OODLES OF ZOODLES!!! Too far? My bad 😉  But think about it, the possibilities are endless. Zucchini, Yellow squash, cucumbers, carrots, beets… Give me all the veggies!! It would probably be a great way for kids to try new things as well! Fun shapes are always, well, FUN!

Has anybody tried a spiralizer? Brand/Type?

I’ve seen these nifty little things, but I’m quite skeptical as to if they work well. Or well enough to spend money on and not shred my fingers instead.

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Mooooving on…. 🙂

I initially saw this recipe as a layered lasagna, but I have to play with my food while it’s cooking… Slice and dice, chop and stir… I sometimes think that chopping vegetables is one of my favorite aspects of cooking. We all know how much I love my knives!

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I mean, come on… how beautiful is THAT!

I say a sharp knife and good mise en place is a cooks best friend 🙂

 

On to the recipe? Sure, why not 🙂

So, The Hubs has been working nights for a while, so during the week, I can make up any delicious concoction my little heart desires.

ingredients

Simple ingredients that I already had in my fridge and pantry, that I just threw together and VOILA!

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All in one pot, and done in about 20 minutes.

SKILLET ZUCCHINI LASAGNA

1 lb Ground Turkey (feel free to use beef or even chicken if you like) – I seasoned mine with a bit of Tony Chachere’s and Italian herb seasoning

2 Large Zucchini – sliced into rounds

1 Onion – diced

1 Green Bell Pepper – diced

1 Stalk Celery – diced

3-4 Mushrooms (any kind you prefer – I had theses baby portabellas leftover from stroganoff a few nights before) – sliced

1 Can Diced Tomatoes

Salt/Pepper/Italian Seasoning/Parsley/Parmesan Cheese

 

First, season ground meat and allow to brown over med-high heat, while chopping up your vegetables

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Once meat is cooked through, remove from pan and set aside while you saute your veg in a touch of olive oil over medium heat. I like to start with the trinity (onion, bell pepper and celery, first, since they take a little longer to soften) then add the zucchini and mushrooms, then tomatoes (seasoning to taste as you go…. ALWAYS season every “layer”)

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Stir it all up and add your meat back to the pan to incorporate it all together.

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Here’s where you can add any seasonings, herbs, cheese.. whatever floats your boat. That’s what makes cooking fun, making things your own 🙂

Cover the pan and let simmer for about 15 minutes, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until your zucchini is softened to your liking.

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I topped mine with a bit of parmesan cheese and parsley. This was amazing, and great as leftovers for lunch the next day!

For all you carb lovers out there, I’m sure this would be fabulous and a crowd pleaser if you mixed in you favorite pasta and served with a crusty piece of garlic bread!

Enjoy, my friends 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thai Inspired Pork and Peppers

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As we all know, I’m always looking for a new sauce, marinade, condiment or flavor to add to my culinary repertoire. I think that the condiment aisle is my favorite in any store. Seriously, I could get lost there. There’s just so many different possibilities to ponder.

As I was perusing said favorite aisle at Target, recently, I came across a Thai Inspired grilling sauce.

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The first dinner date that the Hubs and I went on, was to a Thai restaurant. His favorite dish there is called “Pad Prik Pork”. It’s pork and peppers simmered in a red curry sauce. So I knew that when I saw this bottle, I could make something scrumptious that he would love.

Turns out, he fancies this recipe over my red coconut curry, so I’d call it a winner!

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I started off with lean, boneless pork chops… green and yellow bell peppers… onion.. and celery (all cut into bite sized pieces).

Cut the pork into small strips and Marinate with grilling sauce.

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Cook the pork in large skillet, then add all veggies once pork is no longer pink.

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Stir it all up, cover, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, until the veggies are tender.

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Serve over rice, if you like… and top with Sriracha for a spicy kick of goodness!

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If you haven’t tried Sriracha before.. For the love of all things spicy, Just Do It! It’s good on just about anything and everything 🙂

Spicy Asian Turkey Meatballs

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We all know of my love affair with meatballs and Asian flavors.

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So I figured why not find a way to marry them together for a little protein filled snack.

Since the Hubs is back working nights, I don’t really “cook” for the boy and I, like I do when he’s home in the evenings.  I’m good with eating salads or soups…. or meatballs 😉  And the boy is pretty happy with anything simple I whip up for him. I mean, does this look like the face of a 6 year old that takes things seriously??

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But I digress….

I always have some crazy (or normal, if you’re like me) condiments hanging around, so I decided to mix up a few with some ground turkey and see how it went.

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These came out delicious! Spicy but Sweet and oh so Meaty. Perfect on their own, on top of an asian inspired salad, in a soup with zucchini and bok choy, However you like!

Now as some of you know, I’m not the measuring kind, so I have no idea (well I could guestimate) how much I put of anything exactly. I just add a shake of this, a glug of that, and a splash of this, and surprisingly, it usually works out :).

I’ll give you a list of the ingredients I used and a round about measurement, but feel free to adjust to what you have and make it your own.

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SPICY ASIAN TURKEY MEATBALLS

1lb Lean ground turkey

1-2 teaspoons of each….

Low Sodium Soy Sauce

Hoisin Sauce

Oyster Sauce

Sweet Chili Sauce

Sriracha

Season to taste with…

Probably 1/2 teaspoon or so of each…

Onion Powder

Garlic Powder

Ground Ginger

Cayenne Pepper

Chives

Salt

Black Pepper

Bake in a pre-heated 375′ oven for 20 – 30 minutes until cooked through. 

Cloud Bread… Nailed it!

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Bread….. that’s not bread…. Love it!!

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After seeing this recipe MONTHS ago, I knew I had to try it. Why I waited so long, I have no idea. This stuff is like little pillows of goodness. Who knew you could make a bread like substance (well that sounds real appetizing…) out of eggs and cream cheese??

But seriously, you have to try this. If you are watching your carbs, this is a perfect way to be able to enjoy sandwiches, burgers, even pulled pork without the guilt!!

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CLOUD BREAD

2 Eggs Separated

2 oz Cream Cheese

1/8 tsp cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 300′.

Separate eggs. Whites in one bowl, yolks in another.

Add cream cheese to yolks and mix until smooth. In the other bowl add cream of tartar to whites, and beat with hand mixer on high until fluffy and peaks form.

Carefully add the yolk mixture to the white mixture and fold to combine.

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Spray cookie sheet with Pam and spoon the mixture into rounds. Bake for about 30 minutes until GBD (Golden Brown and Delicious)

Let cool on a wire rack. Once cooled, store in ziploc bags or tupperware overnight. Like Magic they turn into “buns”.

Enjoy!

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I’m baaaaack… with a 7 day cleanse :)

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Welcome back fellas. I know I’ve been gone for a while, and I’ve been meaning to come back and say hello.. I just didn’t know how to jump back in it.

I’ve been in a weird sort of funk, that I think I’m finally over. I don’t know if it was the stress of everything (Holidays, Birthdays, Wedding planning) or what, but I’m done with that. Time to get ME back!

The wedding is a month away, now, and I felt like it was time for a new start for my body to get back to where I was happy with it. In my state of Funktasticness, I wasn’t as diligent with my eating habits as I had been, and that made me feel even worse about myself.

I saw this cleanse on Pinterest a good year ago. It claimed that you would lose 10-17 lbs in 7 days, and no crazy starvation days, but eating REAL food! Fruits vegetables, and BEEF! It’s a strict plan, but you can customize it to fit You.

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I could honestly eat like this every. single. week. I didn’t crave anything, I was never starving, and for the first 4 days I didn’t even miss the meat (and we all know what a self proclaimed carnivore I am).

By the beginning of the second day, I was already down 3 lbs. and by the fifth day, I had lost 6. All together, at the end of the Seventh day, I was down a total of 11 lbs. (Have I mentioned that I need to fit into a wedding dress in a month… yeah)

And who wouldn’t want to eat this beautiful cornucopia of natural goodness, anyway?

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I’ll put up my daily eats for the 7 days first, and then, I’ll post the guidelines and specifics on why this works

Day 1. 10 oz. watermelon, 1 large honeydew melon, 1 grapefruit
(-3 lbs)
Day 2. 3 stalks celery, 1 med. zucchini, 1/4 c leeks, 1c broccoli, 1/2sm. Onion, 5 baby carrots
Day 3. 1/2 pear:1/2 apple:1/2 avocado smoothie, 1/2 apple, 1 c okra, 1 1/2c brussel sprouts, 1 grapefruit
Day 4. 6 Bananas, 20oz skim milk, cabbage soup
(-6 lbs.)
Day 5. 16 oz Lean Beef, 6 whole tomatoes
Day 6. 12 oz Lean Beef, Cabbage soup, 8 baby carrots, kale chips, saute’d bok choy
Day 7. 1 sm. avocado, 4 cherry tomatoes, 3 stalks celery, 1c roasted okra, saute’d kale, 1/4c leeks (I couldn’t bring myself to having brown rice and juice after I had worked so hard all week, so I just stuck to the veggies)
(-11 lbs)
MY Cabbage Wonder Soup Recipe
2 med onions – chopped
1 green bell pepper & 1 yellow bell pepper – chopped
3 stalks celery – chopped
1 head cabbage – shredded
1 14.5 oz can tomatoes
1 envelope Lipton onion soup mix
24 oz. water
*Saute all vegetables until tender, add tomatoes, soup mix and water. Simmer until desired doneness.
This plan can be used as often as you like without any fear of complications. It is designed to flush your system of impurities and give you a feeling of well being. After seven days you will begin to feel lighter because you will be lighter by at least 10 lbs. You will have an abundance of energy and an improved disposition.During the first seven days you must abstain from all alcohol
You must drink 10 glasses of water each day
Day One All fruits except bananas. Your first day will consist of all the fruits you want. It is strongly suggested that you consume lots of melons the first day. Especially watermelon and cantaloupe. If you limit your fruit consumption to melons, your chances of losing three lbs. on first day are very good.
Day Two All vegetables. You are encouraged to eat until you are stuffed with all the raw or cooked vegetables of your choice. There is no limit on the amount or type. For your complex carbohydrate, you will start day two with a large baked potato for breakfast. You may top the potato with one pat of butter.
Day Three A mixture of fruits and vegetables of your choice. Any amount, any quantity. No bananas yet. No potatoes today.
Day Four Bananas and milk. Today you will eat as many as eight bananas and drink three glasses of milk. This will be combined with the special soup which may be eaten in limited quantities.
Day Five Today is feast day. You will eat beef and tomatoes. Eat two 10 oz. portions of lean beef. Hamburger is OK. Combine this with six whole tomatoes. On day five you must increase your water intake by one quart. This is to cleanse your system of the uric acid you will be producing.
Day Six Beef and vegetables. Today you may eat an unlimited amount of beef and vegetables. Eat to your hearts content.
Day Seven Today your food intake will consist of brown rice, fruit juices and all the vegetables you care to consume.Tomorrow morning you will be 10-17 lbs. lighter than one week ago.
If you desire further weight loss, repeat the program again. You may repeat this program as often as you like, however, it is suggested that you are allowed two glasses of white wine in addition to the instructions on the program. You may substitute champagne for white wine. Under no circumstances are you to drink any other alcoholic beverages with the exception of beer which is allowed. Any liquor (bourbon,vodka, rum) is forbidden. Cream drinks are especially forbidden. You may have an occasional cordial such as creme de menthe or schnapps, but you must always limit yourself to two drinks. If you wine, drink only wine that day. If you have beer, drink only beer that day, etc. Alcohol adds empty calories to your diet. However, after the first week it will help your digestion and settle your stomach.
G.M.’S Wonder Soup  is intended as a supplement to your diet. It can be eaten any time of the day in virtually unlimited quantities. You are encouraged to consume large quantities of this soup.
Additional CommentsVegetables as may be taken in the form of a salad if desired. No dressing except malt, white or wine vinegar, squeezed lemon, garlic, herbs. No more than one tea spoon of oil.

You have been given a recipe for the WONDER SOUP which can be eaten in unlimited quantities. This soup is a supplement while you are on the program and it should be a pleasure to eat. Not everyone likes cabbage, green peppers, celery etc. This recipe is not inflexible. You may substitute vegetables according to your taste. You may add any vegetables you like: asparagus, peas, corn, turnips, green beans, cauliflower, etc. Try to stay away from beans (lima, pinto, kidney, etc.), however, because they tend to be high in calories even though they are very good for you.

Beverages you may consume while on the program :

1. Water (flavored with lemon/lime if desired).
2. Club Soda is OK.
3. Black Coffee. No cream or cream substitute. No sugar or sweetness.
4. Black Tea = Herb or Leaf.
5. Absolutely nothing else except the fruit juices which are part of day seven. No fruit juices before day seven.

How and Why It Works

Day One you are preparing your system for the upcoming  program. Your only source of nutrition is fresh or canned fruits. Fruits are nature’s perfect food. They provide everything you could possibly want to sustain life except total balance and variety.

Day Two starts with a fix of complex  carbohydrates coupled with an oil dose. This is taken in the morning for energy and balance. The rest of day two consists of vegetables which are virtually calorie free and provide essential nutrients and fiber.

Day Three eliminates the potato because you get your carbohydrates from the fruits. Your system is now prepared to start burning excess pounds. You will still have cravings which should start to diminish by day four.

Day Four, bananas, milk and soup sound the strangest and least desirable. You’re in for a surprise. You probably will not eat all the bananas allowed. But they are there for the potassium you have lost and the sodium you may have missed the past three days. You will notice a definite loss of desire for sweets. You will be surprised how easy this day will go.

Day Five, Beef and tomatoes. The beef is for iron and proteins, the tomatoes are for digestion and fiber. Lots and lots of water purifies your system. You should notice colorless urine today. Your allowance calls for the equivalent of five “quarter pounders”. Do not feel you have to eat all this beef. You must eat the six tomatoes.

Day Six is similar to day five, Iron and proteins from beef, Vitamins and fiber from vegetables. By now your system is in a total weight loss inclination. There should be a noticeable difference in the way you look today, compared to day one.

Day Seven finished off the program like a good cigar used to finish off Victorian meals, except much healthier. You have your system under control and it should thank you for the flushing and cleaning you just gave it.

Broiled Salmon and Saute’d Kale

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Salmon…. Kale….. Bacon… How can you go wrong??

I crave a good, fresh piece of seafood every now and then. Having lived so close to the coast my whole life, it was readily available. Now-a-days, I have to say I’m a bit skeptical in the freshness of it.

One thing I’ve learned, if fish smells like fish…. I mean really SMEYLLS like fish, it ain’t no good. Fresh fish should smell like the sea… and not Fishy!

Second thing… I’ve figured out myself. Don’t Overcook your protien! The secret ingredient to keeping things tender and juicy and perfectly cooked… is temperature.. take it off the fire at just the precise time, and let it rest for 5-10 minutes.

Beef.. Med Rare-  150′.  Pork – 160′.  Poultry – 180′.

Invest in a meat thermometer… It’ll save your life! 😉

Seafood is tricky. It can go from raw to overdone in a matter of minutes!

I used a bit of Technique in this preparation, and it worked out Perfectly!

Baked at 325′ for about15- 20 mins to slowly cook it from the bottom, then Broiled for the last 10, to give it nice “crust” on top. Thing about Salmon, is that you can’t cook it too fast or it will get tough… It’s a Volutpuous fish, that takes time and dedication into doing it right 😉 . And there’s nothing worse than it being overcooked!

Enough chit chat. Let’s get on with it, already!

INGREDIENTS

4oz Salmon Filet

Olive oil, Coarse Salt, Black Pepper, Cayenne

1-2 Kale leaves

1 Slice Bacon

1/4 Small Onion

PREPERATION

Preheat oven to 325′. Season Salmon with a smidge of Olive oil, Salt, Pepper and Cayenne. Simple is the key here, so that the Salmon can really shine.

Place in heated oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, You want the bottom to be just cooked, and the whole piece to be turning a lighter shade of pink.

When it reaches that point, switch your oven to Broil and let it go another 10 minutes or so.

While that’s happening, move to the stove top.

Saute Bacon and thinly sliced onion, over med – med high heat, until soft. Remove when done and add Kale (just rip it into pieces off of the stem) . When kale is about halfway done, and has all turned a lovely shade of bright dark green, season with a bit of salt and pepper and return bacon and onions, cook to finish.

Top this with the now Nicely Bronzed Salmon

PERFECT combination of flavors. The Salmon had almost a sweet flavor, velvety texture and flaked like nobody’s business… the Kale was deliciously bitter, with the smokieness of the Bacon, it was FANTASTIC.

“New Orleans Style” Roast Beef PoBoys

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First of all, Shout out to my favorite city in the WOILD!! WHO DAT?

Football season has offically gotten underway, and those Boys in Black and Gold are back on the field! I don’t necessarilly care about football, but SAINTS football… that’s a whole ‘notha topic.

If any of you don’t know, we’ve had a rough time this year. From all this Bounty Scandal hullabaloo, to a suspended Head Coach and key players, to last minuite nail biting on the signing and agreement with Mr. Drew Brees. It’s been a tough few months for the members of the WHO DAT NATION.

I mean… what defensive player, in the league, doesn’t try to make every tackle his best… and they ALL get paid for it…. But I digress..

I had the wonderful opportunity of growing up in this great city, make lifelong friends, and have fond rememberances of my time spent there. It will always be “home”. There is an energy there, that is completely… indescribable.

Time to bring a taste of home to my table! For those of you who have never had the sheer Glory of experiencing this “sandwich” first hand… I’m so very sorry 🙂 It is absolutely one of the best things you can fit into your pie-hole!

It’s not just some sandwich. It’s a symphony of the perfect crusty but soft bread, meat cooked perfectly with Cajun/Creole flavor, and “dressed” to perfection.

The Hubs had asked recently if I could make a Roast Beef PoBoy. Who does he think he’s talking to here??? 😉

I still remember the little gas station / PoBoy place back home, Danny and Clydes. Drip down your arms deliciousness. Fried Shrimp and Roast Beef were my fav’s, and they did it right!

When it comes to PoBoys, the messier the better!

INGREDIENTS

1 Beef Chuck Roast (mine was about 2lbs)

1 Garlic Clove (thinly sliced)

Salt, Black Pepper, Cayenne

1 TBSP Veg Oil

1 Onion (diced)

1 Carrot (diced)

1 Stalk Celery (diced)

1 cup Beef Stock

1 cup Chicken Stock

Water if necessary

2 TBSP Worcestershire Sauce

1 TBSP Hot Sauce

1 tsp Thyme

1 BayLeaf

HOW WE DO IT

Trim excessive fat from exterior of roast. Cut a few slits into one side and stuff them with the sliced garlic. Season roast with salt, pepper and cayenne.

Heat large, heavy bottomed pot and add veg oil till nice and shimmery. Sear roast on all sides till nice (but not burnt) crust forms.

Remove roast and set aside. Saute’ Onion, Carrot and Celery until semi soft. Mirepoix in place of the Trinity…. SHOCKING, I know!! 😉

Place roast back in pan and then add the stocks. You want the liquid to be at least halfway up the roast. Add the remaining ingredients, return to boil, cover and lower to simmer.

Let that goodness go for 4 hours. Once it’s done, the meat will litterally fall.  apart.  .. if you stare at it for too long 😉

Once that is all said and done, take the roast out (you may need to use more than one utensil, and set aside. I strained my braising liquid twice, for extra smoothness.

Slice… AKA… Look at roast, till it shreds into delicious beefy scrumptiousness

and add back to strained “gravy”. Reduce for another 30 minutes or so…

or until you can’t wait to get in in your mouth!

Staying NOLA Authentic??……..   Serve on crusty french bread, with a slight schmear of mayo, finely sliced lettuce, sliced tomato and extra gravy.

Better have those napkins handy 😉

The Hubs kept giving me “The Eye” while he was scarfing it down… I hope that it was the good eye. 😉 I think that the “This is Awesome!!” comment confirmed that! 🙂

And the fact that his plate looked like THIS, five minutes later….