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Showing posts from March, 2013

dinner : rotisserie turkey breast, beet, avocado and arugula salad, quinoa

Tuesday night is rotisserie chicken night in our household.  In an ideal world, I'd have time to season and roast a whole chicken on a weeknight, but in my world, we'd be sitting down to dinner after midnight if I tried that.  On this particular night, I had the good fortune to come across some rotisserie turkey breast, which I actually prefer to chicken, because it tends to come out more evenly cooked than a whole chicken.

I try to keep things interesting with the side dishes, without getting too complicated, and thus defeating the purpose of the pre-cooked poultry.  The quinoa is super-easy to prepare, but the package directions won't always tell you to rinse the grains before adding them to the pan.  That extra step helps eliminate any bitterness that is often associated with quinoa.

While the quinoa was cooking (about 15 to 20 minutes), I diced up some cooked beets, which I usually find in vacuum sealed packages in the produce section of the supermarket, and tossed th…

dinner : shrimp, spinach and tomato omelette

This one came together in a rather odd way.  My intention was to put the spinach, shrimp and tomatoes into the omelette.  But as I was peeling the shrimp, I was thinking it would be a shame to waste the flavor in those shells, so after I cooked the shrimp in a bit of olive oil and some spices, I set them aside and added the shells to the same pan, with some water (wine would have been better but I didn't have a white on hand).  Once the shells had cooked for a few minutes, I removed them from the broth and added a couple handfuls of halved cherry tomatoes.  I cooked those down, adding more water when the mixture dried out, until they began to fall apart and make a light sauce.  Then I cleaned the pan, and sauteed the spinach with some minced garlic and red pepper flakes. 
 Serving the sauce on top turned out to be a nice touch, and it came in quite handy as camouflage in the spots where I tore the egg (like I always do).  My omelettes are not the prettiest you've ever seen, b…

wine down : ahead of the curve

I stumbled upon this recent article, in which the author documents the latest and greatest wine trends sweeping the industry.  Among them are Eastern European wines, modern rosé and Finger Lakes wines, all of which we have been enjoying for several years.

I don't want to toot my own horn, but as far as I'm concerned, that makes us bona fide trailblazers!

I'll celebrate by recommending one of my favorites, a fantastic Croatian white:

Kozlovic Malvazija, Istria, Croatia Usually available for under $20

dinner : caprese omelette

Tonight is omelette night!  Actually, omelette night was supposed to be tomorrow, but a scheduling conflict forced me to switch nights this week.

Anyhow, omelettes can be a wonderful weeknight meal, especially when you're pressed for time (and really tired from a workout).  The variety of fillings is only limited by your imagination.  Tonight, I'm going with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil, but there are a few other combinations I've tried with great success.

White beans with pesto and parmesanSauteed spinach and fetaSteamed butternut squash and goat cheeseZucchini, shrimp and corn get the idea.
Remember, you can always use egg whites or egg substitute if you have special dietary considerations.  Serve with a side salad and/or a slice of grainy bread, and you're good to go.

happy accident : chadon beni hummus

It's become a bit of a Sunday afternoon ritual to rummage through my fridge and toss/repurpose any odds and ends laying around before putting away my groceries.  As fate would have it, the only edible items left this time around were a half-empty tub of hummus, and a container of leftover shado beni sauce that I made a few days ago.  I wondered if anyone had ever tried combining the two (yes) and how the combination would taste (AWESOME!)

Here's my recipe for shado beni sauce.  The rest of the concept is pretty much self-explanatory.

20-30 chadon beni leaves, chopped (also called shado beni, culantro or recao)
2 scallions, chopped
6 cloves of garlic
1 hot pepper, seeded and chopped (jalepeno for the wimps, habanero for the bad-asses)
pinch of salt (optional)

Place all the ingredients in a blender and process, adding enough water to create a sauce. The thickness of the finished product will depend on your taste, but I like mine just a bit on the runny side (think chimichurri).

In ad…

dinner : curried black-eyed pea soup

As a reward for enduring horizontal snow during this morning's commute, I decided some comfort food was in order come dinnertime.  This is one of my cold-weather standbys, and was adapted from a recipe by one of my favorite food bloggers.  The original, seen here, uses canned pigeon peas, as well as potato, and is more of a stew consistency.  I used cooked, pre-packaged black-eyed peas, eliminated the potato and added chicken stock and coconut milk to thin it out.  Apart from those items, the ingredients are pretty much the same.  I also threw in a handful of diced carrots that were nearing the end of their usable life.  Once all the vegetables were completely soft, I pureed the mixture using a stick blender, and served it with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkle of minced cilantro to make it look all fancy. Whenever possible, I used lower sodium and non-fat versions of all the canned/pre-packaged items, and the finished product was still as delicious and comforting as ever. …

name change : game change

Contrary to popular opinion, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth.  But I had fallen into a mental block of epic proportions.  Said block was since compounded by a series of life-changing events, and I feel as if I'm trying to find my creative footing all over again, so please be patient with me.

As I get up to speed on posting more frequently, I'd like to point out that besides the name and layout change, I will no longer be featuring any 'magic number' information in my posts, mainly because I have no idea what my magic number is anymore, and I probably won't know for sure until I've been there for a while.

Okay, let's hope I can get my act together and maintain this thing properly for once and for all.  *fingers, toes and eyes crossed*