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Monday, January 19, 2015

Spicy Asian Chicken Strips on Skewers Served with Stir Fry Veggies

This is an Asian inspired dish that doesn't require too much time to make. You can add a serving of steamed rice to it as well. 

3 servings

Spicy Asian Chicken Strips on Skewers

  • 1.2 lb chicken strips (9 pieces)
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 t coriander
  • 1 t ginger powder
  • 1/2 t sonoran chipotle seasoning
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a bowl mix oils, vinegar, and seasonings and pour it over chicken.
  2. Rub the marinade in well before putting the chicken strips on skewers
  3. Grill the skewers and serve with the stir fry veggies.

Stir Fry Veggies

  • 150 g broccoli
  • 50 g celery
  • 150 g carrots
  • 100 g onions
  • 75 snap peas
  • 300 g zucchini 
  • 150 g cabbage
  • 100 g mushrooms
  • 1/8 C roasted peanuts
  • 1 T sesame oil
  • 1 T canola oil
  • 1 T corn starch
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1 T ginger powder
  • 1/2 t coriander

  1. Take your time and cut the veggies fine
  2. In a large wok heat the oils
  3. Add celery, carrots and onions. Cover and cook for about 3 min
  4. Add peas, zucchini  and cabbage. Cover and cook for a min or two.
  5. In separate bowl mix corn starch with soy sauce, ginger and coriander
  6. Pour it over the veggies and cook it for another 2 min or until the sauce coats the veggies and thickened. Don't cover it. You want the liquid to evaporate as much as possible. 

Pork Veggie Souvlaki with Greek Brown Rice Salad and Homemade Pita Bread Chips

Trip to Greece

Chips or Pita? Your choice!

This is a complete meal that isn't hard to make. It will take you to the heart of the Mediterranean whenever you wish to go there. And if you want to go all the way, then buy some Greek beer and enjoy it with your meal.

Souvlaki with Bell Peppers, Onions and Mushrooms

Serves 3
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoons dry oregano
  • 1 teaspoon mint sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • .6 lb pork loin 
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 6 large mushrooms 

  1. Cut pork into small pieces, a good size for skewers
  2. Cut the vegetables large enough for skewers
  3. Make the marinade using a food processor or blender. Mix all the ingredients except meat and blend it well. 
  4. In a plastic bag, add the meat and marinade. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours. 
  5. Heat the grill to high. Thread the pork cubes onto metal or wooden skewers. 
  6. Once the grill is heated up, grill the skewers until they are browned on all sides and cooked through (about 8 to 12 minutes), turning frequently during cooking. 
  7. Place the cooked skewers onto a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve with pita and brown rice salad

Greek Brown Rice Salad - This recipe was adopted from The only thing I changed is omitting the raisins.

Serves 3
  • 3/4 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1/8 sweet onion (such as Vidalia),
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Kalamata olives
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon feta cheese
  1. Cook brown rice according to the directions and allow it to cool.
  2. Combine red bell pepper, peas, onion, and olives in a bowl.
  3. Whisk vegetable oil, vinegar, and mustard together in a separate bowl for the balsamic dressing.
  4. Stir brown rice and balsamic dressing into vegetable mixture. Season with salt and black pepper.
  5. Top brown rice and vegetables with feta cheese before serving.

Pita Bread (Chips)

Serves 3 (2 Pita each)
  • 1/2 pkg yeast
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 3/4 c unbleached flour
  • 3/4 t salt
  • 2 T vegetable shortening

  1. Empty a package of yeast in a medium size bowl and pour warm (110 Degrees)  water over it. 
  2. Mix it with a whisk and let it sit for 10 min or until is bubbly. 
  3. Add vegetable shortening and mix of flour and salt. 
  4. Knead it until is smooth and not sticky. Let it rise, double the size. 
  5. Punch down the dough.
  6. Divide dough into 6 equal portions; flour your hands and roll each piece into a ball. Cover dough balls with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes. 
  7. Flatten the balls into rounds on a floured surface, cover with kitchen towel, and let rest 10 more minutes. 
  8. Gently roll each round into a circle about 6 inches in diameter on a floured surface. Place pita breads in a single layer on non-greased baking sheet.
  9.  Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C). 
  10. Bake in preheated oven until the pita breads puff up, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip breads over with a spatula, return to oven, and bake 2 more minutes. 
  11. If you want soft pita, cool on wire racks before cutting pita breads in half and gently separating tops and bottoms to form pockets for filling.
  12. If you want pita chips, turn off the oven and let the pita sit in the oven for another 10 min, and then remove from oven and break into pieces. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Asian Inspired Salmon Cakes with Chipotle Pepper Adobo Sauce

Fresh salmon filet chopped up.

Cakes, ready to be cooked.

Pan seared cakes.

You can sear, fry, saute, grill or bake it. Which ever you do, it will be delicious.

  • 1 lb salmon filet 
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 t cilantro 
  • 1  chipotle pepper adobo sauce 
  • 1 T mayonnaise
  • 3 T sour cream
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 1/2  lemon juice 
  • 1/2 t ginger powder
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 t mint sauce
  • 2/3 c bread crumbs

  1. In a bowl, combine mayo, sour cream, soy sauce, garlic, lemon juice,  ginger powder, garlic powder and mint sauce. 
  2. Chop salmon filets, green onions and cilantro very fine.
  3. Add the salmon, green onion and cilantro to the bowl. Mix it well.
  4. Add the bread crumbs, mix well, and form 6 cakes. 
  5. Cover and place it in the fridge for 2 hours. 
  6. In a pan, heat 2 T olive oil to a medium heat and sear the cakes on both sides. 

Monday, January 12, 2015

Chipotle Style Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Sweet Potato Wedges

The baking times are approximate; it depends on how thick you cut the wedges or rounds of sweet potatoes. Try to cut them evenly so they all cook at about the same rate. 

Serves 6

  • 2.2 lb sweet potato (4 large potatoes)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t Chipotle Chile Seasoning
  • 1 t sonoran chipotle seasoning
  • 1/2 t ground coriander
  • 1 t cajun seasoning
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1/2 t fresh ground pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. (For more crispiness, preheat your oven to 500°F.)
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut off the ends. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise and then, if they are very long, in half crosswise. Cut each piece into wedges.
  3. Put the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and add the oil. Mix well to combine.
  4. Sprinkle with above mentioned spices.
  5. Spread the sweet potatoes out in a single layer on a baking sheet; the oil they are coated with should keep them from sticking to the pan. 
  6. Bake for a total of 25 to 30 minutes. After the first 15 minutes, remove the baking sheet from the oven and turn over all of the sweet potato pieces. Return to the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until they are well browned. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Lasagna with Pesto Alla Genovese

The taste of Pesto alla Genovese is unique!

This is a full on version with meat and noodles. There are many ways to cut the calories out of this dish if you choose: delete meat and substitute mushrooms, or substitute zucchini in the middle layer, just make sure to salt it first and let it rest for a while, to get rid of the extra liquid. Pesto is very rich, you can use 1/8 cup instead of 1/4 cup which alone cuts 240 calories. The cheese mix can be replaced with low fat cheeses. And the last step with sliced mozzarella on top, substitute shredded cheese for it and just sprinkled it all over the dish. 

Serves 4
  • 6 oz lasagna noodles
Cook lasagna noodles accordingly, leaving it Al-dente or use the oven ready lasagna.

  • .5 lb hot sausage  (breakfast sausage)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 oz mushrooms
  • 2 c tomato garlic basil sauce 
In the sauce pan, brown sausage half way, then add red bell pepper and garlic to it. Saute for about 3 min and then add mushrooms which should be chopped in quarters. 5 min later add the tomato sauce (I used Hunt garlic basil sauce). Cook it for about 10 min on med heat.

  • 1 egg
  • 3 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 c cottage cheese
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese 
In a separate bowl whisk egg, then add ricotta, cottage and Parmesan cheese. Blend it well.

  • 1 c spinach
Cut the spinach finely.

  • 1/4 c Pesto alla Genovese  (I used the Priano brand from Aldi)
  • 3 oz mozzarella

  1.  In a 9X9 pan, pour 1 ladle of the sausage mushroom sauce.
  2. Lay the first lasagna noodles in a single layer. 
  3. Spread one third of the cheese mix over it. 
  4. Sprinkle all of the spinach over that. 
  5. Add another layer of lasagna noodles. 
  6. Spread all of the pesto over them. 
  7. Add another ladle of sausage mushroom sauce over it and spread it evenly. 
  8. Add another third of the cheese mix on top of the sauce and spread it evenly.
  9. Add the last layer of lasagna on top of the cheese mix.
  10. Pour the last of the sausage mushroom sauce over that. 
  11. Add the last of the cheese mix and spread it evenly. 
  12. Cut the mozzarella cheese in thin rounds and layer it over the cheese mix. 
  13. Cover it with foil and bake it at 375 for 45 min. 
  14. Uncover the dish and let it bake for another 10 min or until the top is golden brown.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Tomato Basil Creamy Soup with Bruschetta

Our tomatoes

When I am calorie conscious after the holidays, this light dish was always one of my favorites, especially now that we were able to grow our own tomatoes.


Makes 6 cups 

  • 2 T butter
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 lb tomatoes
  • 3/4 C onion
  • 1/4 C fresh  basil (1 T dry basil)
  • 2 C unsalted chicken cooking stock
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
Heat butter and olive oil in the pot you are planning to make soup in. Add onion and let it simmer for 3-5 min or until desired. Clean, peel and core tomatoes, then chop them very fine. Add it to the onion mixture and simmer for about 15 min. I kept it on a medium temp.  Then I added 2 cups of chicken stock and brought it to a boil then returned it to a simmer. Add basil (finely chopped) and heavy cream. As soon as the soup starts to bubble, turn it to low and let it slowly bubble for another 10 min or until the soup is as thick as desired. If you like it very thick, let it simmer even longer than 10 min. No need to add flour or corn starch. The soup thickens up with the ingredients above.



Makes  12 slices
  • 4 oz baguette
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 T garlic
  • 1/2 T garlic salt
  • 1/4 t garlic powder
  • 1/2 T Italian seasoning
  • 1 med tomato
  • 1/3 c mozzarella
I used a third of the baguette for three servings. Cut it about 1/2 inch thick and brush it with a mixture of oil, crushed garlic and half the garlic salt. Chop the tomato very fine and mix it with the Italian seasoning, garlic powder and remaining garlic salt and spread evenly on each slice of the baguette.. Top it lightly with shredded mozzarella. I don't like it that cheesy. Keep it light!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Mild or Spicy Enchiladas

Enchilada Sauce 

This Mexican style dish can be spiced up to your likings. Use hot salsa or mild salsa to adjust the heat. Enough for 4 if you serve it with rice and chips.

To prepare chicken use: 

  • 2 sm chicken breast (about 3/4 of a pound, or .5 lb of cooked shredded chicken)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 T garlic powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1/2 t Ground Chipotle Chile
  • 1/2 t oregano
  • 1 c chicken stock

To prepare enchilada sauce: 

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 chopped red onion
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 14.5 oz Diced and Fire Roasted Tomatoes
  • 14 oz Medium Salsa 
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1/2 T chilli powder
  • 1/2 T oregano
  • 2 oz Chipotle Peppers

To finish up:

  • 8 corn tortillas (6 inch)
  • 1 C shredded cheddar

To serve: 

  • 2 T sour cream
  • Chopped green onions
  • Chopped Cilantro

  1. Clean and wash the chicken. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
  2. In an iron skillet, place 2 T of oil, heat it up on medium heat and add chicken to it and brown.
  3. After chicken is browned on one side, sprinkle it with seasoning (garlic, cumin, chipotle, oregano).
  4. Turn the chicken over and brown it for another 2-3 min. Add 1 C of chicken stock and simmer it on medium heat.
  5. Shred the chicken, cover it, put aside.
  6. In sauce pan, pour 1 T olive oil, heat it on med heat and add chopped onion and chopped garlic.
  7. Saute it for about 5 min or until the onions are tender.
  8. Add a can of fire roasted tomatoes and salsa (I used medium salsa, not too hot or too mild).
  9. Season it with garlic powder, cumin, chilli powder, and oregano.
  10. Add diced chipotle peppers with adobo sauce.
  11. Turn down the heat and cook it down to reduce the sauce, for about 30 min.
  12. If you are making your own tortillas, keep them soft and warm. If you are using store bought tortillas then roll them up in wet paper towel and microwave it for 30 sec. The tortillas need to be soft.
  13. In 9X9 glass casserole dish, pour one ladle of the sauce on the bottom of the dish.
  14. Place sauce, chicken and pinch of cheese in middle of the tortilla, roll it and place it fold side down.
  15. Repeat 8 more times
  16.  After last tortilla, pour the rest of the sauce all over the tortillas. Make sure it is covered with the sauce.
  17. Sprinkle in the rest of the cheese and cover it with the foil.
  18. Bake it for 30 min, then uncover and bake another 5-10 min or until cheese is golden brown.
  19. Serve it with sour cream, chopped onion and cilantro.
  20. We also made cilantro lime infused rice and served it as a side dish.

Rice and chips are a nice addition to the enchiladas