Tag Archives: Recipes

Recipe: Curry-Roasted Chicken

6 Mar
It tastes better than it looks in this photo. Actually, it looked better than this photo, too.

It tastes better than it looks in this photo. Actually, it looked better than this photo, too.

Time: 10 minutes to prep, 20 minutes to cook (chicken); 20 minutes to prep (cucumber raita)

Ingredients (chicken)

  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion or garlic salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 4 ounces each)

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with vegetable oil spray.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the curry powder, cumin, onion/garlic salt and cayenne
  3. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with the curry mixture. Place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet with smooth side up. Lightly spray with vegetable oil spray.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center.
  5. Serve with cucumber raita (recipe below).

Ingredients (cucumber raita)

  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces fat-free plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated peeled gingerroot
  • 2 tablespoons finely snipped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • Pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Grate or dice the cucumber. Put in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let drain for 5 minutes. Squeeze the cucumber to remove excess liquid.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the yogurt until smooth. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the pepper.
  3. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Sprinkle with pepper before serving as an accompaniment to the chicken.

Verdict

This was actually much simpler than you’d think. The curry seasonings are a rub. You can prepare the seasoning months in advance and but it out when you’re ready for this simple curry dish. The cucumber raita isn’t much different than the cucumber yogurt that goes with the black bean meatballs. This version has red pepper, which I thought made the yogurt too chunky. It did add nice color to the plate, though. I served mine over couscous, which always pairs well with anything curry. Courtesy of American Heart Association  Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cookbook, Third Edition

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Winter Advisory Meal Plan

26 Jan

Winter is no longer coming. It’s here. And according to weather reports, we East Coasters should be on the lookout for White Walkers, direwolves and giants.

By this evening an insane amount of snow is expected to blanket New York City. I’m not happy about this. I hate the cold. I hate snow. They combine the two things I cannot stand: being cold and wet.

But since Mother Nature is a hater, I have to deal. I’ll go to work today, hopefully come home early (preferably by subway, MTA!) and prepare to hunker down in case I have to work from home tomorrow. But just because Mother Nature has unfriended me and unleashed this hellbeast upon this fair city, it doesn’t mean I’m allowed to slack off.

The first thing anyone should do in case this kind of nonsense threatens your town is ensure you have provisions. Not everyone is lucky enough to live across the street from the grocery store. But it’s going to be so cold that those cashiers won’t see me for days. Instead, I’ve put together a few food ideas for you to prepare as you (and possibly winter boo) prepare for Winter Storm Juno (the worst name ever).

Breakfast: It’s the most important meal of the day, you can’t deny it. But your usual cold cereal or cup of yogurt isn’t going to cut it this time around. You’re going to need something hearty to start you off. I suggest a nice bowl of oatmeal. It is, after all, national oatmeal month. Celebrate with a cup of warm goodness flavored with frozen berries and a little brown sugar. Or, if yogurt isn’t your thing, an egg-white omelette with veggies and a sprinkle of cheese will do the trick to get you started. And don’t forget your coffee (or tea), because it’s cold out there.

Lunch: If you weren’t a fan of them before, now’s the time to make leftovers your best friend. You’re going to need something that travels easily if you have to go to work, or something that’s not going to require a lot of your time if you have to work from home. I’m a fan of chili. I make mine with turkey burger and kidney beans. Be careful of the high amount of sodium, but the fiber and protein work wonders for your system. You’re going to want food that will warm you from the inside out. Also a good look: pasta. Whole wheat spaghetti with marinara sauce is always delicious. Soup is good, too, but it doesn’t travel well. There’s always the risk of spillage.

Dinner: Now’s the time to have some fun with your meal. If you’ve already prepared the night before with your soup, pasta or chili, tonight you can make another good, hot meal. For me, it’s all about comfort food in these situations. That’s when I bust out my mini-meatloaves and macaroni and cheese with sauteed or roasted veggies.

Snacks and desserts: Now that you’ve warmed yourself up with your regular meals, a few cold treats won’t hurt you. In preparation for the whiteout to come, I’ve sliced up some red, yellow and orange peppers for hummus dipping. I also picked up some Goldfish crackers and will do my best not to devour them in a day. As for my sweets, I’ve got some applesauce cups and bought some snack size Haagen Dazs ice-cream bars. I know how bad I am when it comes to my sweet treats, so hopefully Mother Nature will stop hating and melt this snow quickly.

What are you doing to prepare for winter wonderland? Whatever it is, be safe and drink wine.

Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Tilapia and Spinach

14 Mar

tilapia_spinachTime: 20 minutes to prep, about 30 minutes to cook

Ingredients

  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 5-8 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, separated
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • half of one lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Procedure

  1. Clean the fillets and pat dry. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
  2. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Saute half of garlic for about 3-4 minutes. Add fillets to pan and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Set aside in oven at warm temperature
  3. Melt second tablespoon of butter in saucepan and saute rest of garlic to desired crispiness. Add spinach and salt and pepper. Saute until wilted.
  4. Squeeze lemon juice over both spinach and tilapia. Serve tilapia atop spinach.

Verdict

This is one of the few dishes I make that I don’t need a recipe for. It’s very simple to make. I allowed extra time for prep and cooking, but it shouldn’t take more than an hour to prepare this. I love it because it’s light, it’s delicious and it takes no time to prepare. I serve it with brown rice.

Recipe: Bourbon Street Red Beans and Rice

18 Dec

Bourbon Street Red Beans and Rice

Time: 30 minutes prep; a little less than 2.5 hours (but well worth it)

redbeansandriceIngredients

  • 1 cup dried red beans
  • 2-3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno chili
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4-6 drops liquid smoke
  • salt, to taste
  • 4 cups cooked rice, warm

Preparation

  1. Cover beans with 2 inches of water in large saucepan; heat to boiling and boil 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 1 hour; drain and return to saucepan.
  2. Add two cups broth to beans and heat to boiling; simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
  3. Add vegetables and herbs; simmer covered, until beans are tender, 30-45 minutes, adding more broth if necessary (beans should be moist but without excess liquid). Discard bay leaves.
  4. Stir in red pepper sauce, cayenne pepper and liquid smoke; season to taste with salt.
  5. Serve over rice.

Courtesy of 1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes, Fourth Edition

Verdict

I’ve always made my red beans and rice the quick way: from the directions on a side of a can of Goya beans. I have to say that this way, while a little more complicated and with a longer cook time, is so much better. The flavors are so full. I used a bullion cube to make my broth, but I made it while the beans were soaking, so as not to add to my cook time. Also, while the beans are soaking, you can make other things. There’s no sense in watching beans soak when you could be adding to your meal. I never wanted to cook with dried beans before because it just takes so long, but I understand why now. Good things take time. I highly recommend this one, especially in these frigid temps.

Recipe: Cream of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup

27 Nov

Cream of Artichoke and Mushroom Soup

Time: About 15 minutes to prep; 10-13 minutes to cook

image

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup chopped portobello mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups reduced-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 package (9 ounces)  frozen artichoke hearts, thawed and finely chopped
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • Paprika, as garnish

Procedure

  1. Saute mushrooms and onion in lightly greased medium saucepan until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute.
  3. Stir  in milk, dry milk and bouillon cube; heat to boiling, stirring.
  4. Add artichoke hearts; reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
  6. Sprinkle with paprika.

Courtesy: 1,001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes

Verdict

I thought I’d try something different. Cream of mushroom soup isn’t the most ideal entree, but the artichoke seemed to be a nice twist. This came out very tasty. The actual recipe called for Parmesan toast, which I didn’t feel like making. But I suggest either croutons or rice if you’d like something a little more hearty for your dish. Plus, it was quick to make, which is always a bonus.