Friday, March 27, 2009

Garlic with Chicken

So! I felt like a chicken & wine dish tonight. I loosely based it on the recipe here: Garlic Chicken at Simply Recipes. I modified based on what I had because its silly and stupid to go out and buy a bunch of things for a recipe when you've got similar ones already. I dont know how it is yet, because its still on the stove top.

- 2 chicken breasts, bone-in & skin-on
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- all of the garlic in my little container that wasnt sprouting or rooting (about 30 cloves)
- rosemary (minced. i have frozen rosemary in my freezer and i mince it as needed)
- 1/2 bottle chardonnay (i walked up the hill and bought a cheap bottle. its not terrible but then again i dont like the whites so much. though tastes might be changing)
- s&p

1. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken in the olive oil in a pan large enough to hold everything. Brown all sides and remove to a plate.
2. Add the garlic to the pan. Cook for about four minutes, stirring frequently, until golden.
3. Add rosemary and wine. Bring to a boil and add chicken. Cover. Simmer until chicken is done. Season to taste with salt & pepper.
(4.) Here's where I decided I was hungry, and took the chicken out. I cut it off of the bones and into bite sized pieces. Then I put it back into the pan and waited til it was done. Added a bit of water and a bit more wine.
5. Serve with whatever you feel like. I'm using egg noodles tonight.

Nutrition: no idea yet.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Decided to make some lasagna today. Not too sure how it's gonna turn out besides tomatoey and cheesey.

Here's what I did, before I forget:

1 lb turkey sausage ('italian', bulk would be preferable, but i just removed casings)
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced and separated
1 15 oz can whole tomatoes, juice removed and diced
1 26 oz can 'spaghetti sauce' (i was lazy and do not have spices)
1/2 lb lasagna noodles
8 oz shredded mutz
12 oz cottage cheese
1 egg
pinches 'italian seasoning'
1 tsp olive oil
12 oz spinach (i use frozen :X)

1. Set a huge pot of salted water to boil.
2. Brown the sausage in a pan. Drain fat off. Mince sausage (my preference. i can never get meat to break up well enough!). In same pan, add onions. Cook 2 min, then add 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook 2 min. Add sausage back to pan. Add tomatoes. Add tomato sauce. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer. Add lasagna noodles to the pot. Cook for however long the box says.
3. In a small skillet, heat olive oil. Add 1 clove minced garlic. Cook 1 min, add spinach. Add bit of salt. Cook at least until all is defrosted.
4. Combine egg, mutz, cottage cheese and italian seasoning. Salt and pepper.
5. Drain the noodles and lay out, so they dont stick.
6. Assemble;
1 cup sauce
1 layer noodles
1/2 cheese mixture
1 layer noodles
1/2 remaining sauce
all spinach
remaining cheese
1 layer noodles
remaining sauce
handful of extra mozzarella

7. Bake in the oven at some temperature for some amount of time. I havent gotten to that yet -- its in the fridge. I did all the prep this morning, so yeah. It'll be with a small romaine salad and a greek/feta vinaigrette for dinner tonight.

Nutrition facts: none


The only thing that would have made this salad better would be cheese. And maybe a smaller portion size.

-2/3 small head romaine, sliced ~1/2-3/4 inch thick
-1 tomato, diced i used a large tomato that was going bad and cut off the bad parts.
-1/4 medium red onion, sliced
-1/2 cup garbanzo beans (i put the rest in a container with lemon juice, olive oil, parmesan and to mix it a bit, a pinch of smoked sea salt)
-1 can tuna, packed in olive oil
-2 tsp lemon juice
-S&P to taste

Toss everything in a bowl, serve.
I love tuna in olive oil. It makes this salad filling and rich, without using salad dressing. Also, I know what's in it (not 'vegetable oil' or 'vegetable broth', both of which can have soy). And its yummy. Bonus: it was 1.50$/can last time I bought groceries.
Nutrition: will update this later, when I'm not too lazy to grab the can of tuna. Under 400cal for a huge salad though.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tuna Sandwiches

This is how I like my tuna sandwiches. Its not that unique at all, but I dont care. I made it today, and I figure, if I dont post here about the simple things, I wont be posting a whole lot.

So here it goes:

1/4 small apple, diced small (less than 1/4", give the rest of the apple to the boyfriend for safe keeping)
1/2 stalk celery, diced small (eat the rest.)
1/8 white onion, diced small (i just cut a few half rings off the half onion i had in the fridge...)
1 can tuna (5oz)
~2 tbsp mayo
~1 tsp sweet relish
black pepper

Combine all. Add a bit of lemon juice if its too thick. Spread on whole grain bread, top with tomato slices and a couple pieces of lettuce. Or, if you dont feel like slicing a tomato and washing lettuce, just put on bread. Or, hell, just use celery stalks. I dont care.
Should serve 2.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


My mom kinda suggested (Hi Mom!) that I tell my sister about this, but I figured I'd post it.

Its basically a carmelized onion, lentil and rice pilaf. People seem to have their own variations of it, and its pretty much one of those comfort whatever-works-for-you kind of dishes... I do believe that it has a basis in Lebanese food, but well...

This is how I like it:

2 tsp olive oil, split
1/2 white or yellow onion, thinly sliced
30 g rice, uncooked (about 1/6 cup. i've been using basmati rice. i probably will use this until its gone and then maybe use brown rice. its healthier, after all. also, the texture might hold up better. cooking time will be longer though)
35 g lentils, uncooked (about 1/4 cup. i think mine are brown lentils?)
1-2 tbsp lemon juice
1/4-1/2 tsp cumin (entirely optional. as evidenced by the fact that i dont have any and dont use it right now. but i like it. i just never think of spices when i go shopping)
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium high heat in a small skillet. Add the onions, toss to coat. Turn the heat down to medium-low / low. Add a few good pinches of salt. Stir occasionally through out the rest of the process.
2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium high heat in small sauce pan. Add the rice, toss to coat. Cook rice, stirring constantly, until grains turn opaque and some brown a bit. This makes it taste better. Remove the rice to a bowl or plate, and set aside.
3. Add the lentils to the saucepan. Stir to coat with the oil that remained in the pan. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly, until there are some browned spots on the lentils. Add water to cover + about an inch or so. Add the cumin at this point, if you're using it. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the rice to the lentils. Add a few healthy pinches of salt. If more water is needed, add it. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the lentils are soft, and the rice is done, adding more water if needed. If the lentils and rice are done, and there's excess liquid in the pan, turn up the heat to reduce it. Stir nearly constantly if you do this. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. If you feel like it, slightly mash the lentils and rice. I like it this way.
6. Remove the saucepan from the heat, add half of the carmelized onions, and the lemon juice to taste. Salt and pepper again, if need be.
7. Serve with the remaining carmelized onions on top! Enjoy!

This is definitely one of the cheapest, filling meals that I could eat pretty much any time. If you're feeling ambitious, it keeps pretty well. It eats well at room temperature, or even chilled, so its pretty ideal for lunches. Also, you can easily make up a bunch of carmelized onions before hand and freeze or refrigerate them; it doesn't touch the texture or flavor. Add a salad or a vegetable (or a bunch of grilled veggies...mmmm) for a more complete meal.

Nutrition: Cal=342, Fat=9.7g, SatFat=1.4g, Carbs=52.4g, Fiber=12.1g, Sugar=3.6g, Protein=12.0g

Bonus: Vitamin C= 27%, Iron=25%

Monday, March 9, 2009

Quiche with Asparagus

Today's quiche is using up that asparagus I got at the farmer's market! Its a monterey jack cheese, bacon and onion quiche with chopped asparagus and whole pieces laid on the top.

:D So good. I gotta get it in the oven so I dont eat all the asparagus.

This turned out to be a great success! I like having serving size differentiators on top of quiche... I'm a million times more likely to just grab one serving rather than 1.5 or two at a time. I think i should do that from now on. Also, the fresh taste of the oh so in season asparagus was amazing.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Pasta in a tomato-ricotta sauce

Dinner tonight was a quick, easy pasta. With some garlic bread (from that baguette!). Garlic bread still needs to be perfected, so I'm not going to go into it. We had garlic croutons. Oh well!

For 3 servings of the pasta:
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cans whole tomatoes
- salt and pepper to taste
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2-3 tbsp ricotta (i used part skim. just adds richness and creaminess without tooo many calories or too much in the way of cost)
- 6oz whole wheat pasta
- fresh grated parmesan to serve

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
2. Add the carrot, celery, and onion (this is also known as a mirepoix). Sprinkle with some salt. Cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook another few minutes.
3. Add 1 can of tomatoes with juices. Add the other can of tomatoes, and set the juices from that aside. Break up tomatoes with a spoon. (sometimes, i dice the tomatoes beforehand. depends on my mood and how much i'm willing to put into it)
4. Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. Another idea is to add a spoonful or two of tomato paste, but I like to let everything simmer. Also, I dont always have tomato paste on hand. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I had to add some more red pepper here.
5. When sauce is almost thick enough to enjoy, put the pasta in the (should be boiling) water. Cook for however long, until its al dente. If sauce gets too thick during this time, add some of the reserved juice from the tomatoes.
6. When pasta is done, add directly to the sauce with a slotted spoon. Add about a half cup of the pasta water also. Stirrrrr. When the sauce starts to coat the pasta well, add the ricotta. Stir to evenly distribute. Salt and pepper to taste again.
7. Serve! (optional: top with fresh grated parmesan)

Nutrition per serving: Cal=336, Fat=12.3g, SatFat=2.1g, Carbs=57.1g, Fiber=9.9g, Sugar=8.8g, Protein=11.5g


I stopped by the Little Italy Farmer's Market today!
Picked up two artichokes, 1 bunch of asparagus, and 1 baguette. Ate 1/3 of the baguette with olive oil and balsamic when I got home. Yummy.

For the artichoke:
1. Trim 1/2" off the top. Trim the stalk down a lot. Pick off the tough outer leaves. Trim 1/4" off the rest of the leaves (the pokey part). Rinse thoroughly.
2. Fill a pot with 1-2" of water. Squeeze some lemon juice in there (or open the bottle and pour some in... i cheat). Bring it to a boil.
3. Toss in the artichoke in a steamer basket or just in there. Cover. Set a timer for 25 minutes. At that point, check the base for tenderness with a knife. It should go in smoothly. If it doesnt, check again in 5 minutes. Repeat til tender.
4. Drain, turn artichoke upside down to drain. Optional: let cool some more.

For the faux-aioli:
1. Spoon some mayo into a bowl. Add enough lemon juice to thin it. Add a teaspoon or so of jarred pesto. Stir. Chill.
2. Do this when you put the water on to boil, so it has time for the flavors to meld in the fridge.


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuna Casserole

On a comfort food, leftovers to reheat kind of kick.

Tonight was tuna casserole. Well, is tuna casserole. Its in the oven right now. Pretty straight forward, with a bechamel instead of like canned cream of shit.

Went like this this time:
1/4 cup butter (i like to keep salted around)
1/4 cup flour
1/2 white onion, small dice
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups milk (nonfat today)
1 cup frozen peas
1 carrot, diced
6 oz egg noodles
2 cans tuna fish (today, i added the liquid in one of the cans but drained the other)
Salt & pepper to taste

1 slice whole wheat bread
1 tbsp butter

1. Set a pot of salted water to boil. Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a pan of some size. Mine's an Ikea (what?!) rectangle thing. I'll measure it later for you. Smaller than a 9x13.
2. In another pan, throw in the half stick of butter over medium-low heat. Add onions. Sweat for a few minutes, until translucent. Add garlic. Cook another minute or two. Whisk in flour. Cook for a few minutes, until bubbly but not any darker (this is a pale roux). Add milk, whisking all the lumps out. I generally add half at a time. This is your bechamel! Continue stirring every so often, and cooking. It should thicken up a bit.
3. Your salted water should be boiling. Throw in your carrots and egg noodles. Cook for around 5 minutes, until the noodles are on the raw-er side of done.
4. Add your peas and tuna to the bechamel. Stir gently, so as not to break up the tuna toooo much. Alternatively, you can wait to put the tuna in til later, but I dont.
5. Put your slice of bread in the food processor. Pulse until you've got fine breadcrumbs. Add the tbsp of butter. Pulse until you've got breadcrumbs combined with butter.
6. Drain the noodles/carrots. Return to pot (because this is your big pot and you dont want to dirty up more dishes! Add your bechamel to it. If you didn't add your tuna yet, add it now. Mix. Salt and pepper to taste. Probably more than you'd think you needed. Pour into your greased pan. Top with breadcrumbs.
7. Bake at 350F for like 25-35 minutes, until browned.

Eat over a period of a few days. Should be 4-6 servings or so.

For 4 servings: Cal=483, Fat=23g, SatFat=11g, Carbs=34g, Fiber=4g, Sugar=10g, Protein=34g

*EDIT* Total cost ~ $4.54

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pot Roast

I love love love pot roast in the slow cooker.

My basic recipe goes a little like this, but it changes all the time!

3-4 lb beef (like my dad, i prefer the 7 bone chuck. bones are great)
1 onion (or more or less, slice decently thinly)
2-3 carrots (sliced thinly)
2-3 potatoes (diced on the bigger side)
optional: wine, spices

So! Heat your oil in a skillet big enough to hold your meat. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Coat with flour, and brown for a few minutes on each side. This is the only chance for it to brown. Put your onions and veggies in the crockpot. Put your browned meat on top. Add about 1/2 cup of liquid (today it was half wine and half water - i used 2$chuck, so we'll see how it works out!). Put it on low and leave it for at least 6 hours. Preferably more.

When the meat's just about done (tender and falling apart), remove it to a cutting board and tent with foil. Reserve the veggies, and pour the remaining liquid into a sauce pan. Reduce for 10-15 minutes, thicken if need be for a great gravy. Slice the meat, and serve!

This can be the ultimate one pot meal. I mean, veggies and potatoes and meat... What else do you need? For leftovers (there ought to be leftovers), cube remaining meat and store with the veggies and gravy. It will heat up into a divine stew. If you dont have leftover veggies, just add more while you're heating and it'll make you simmer everything for a while. Which can only help the potroast.

Alternatively, you can do what I did today. About 10 hours in (i started with a frozen roast. just up the cooking time), I took out most of the liquid and all of the veggies (i added them late!). I put this to boil, and returned the meat to the crockpot. Should be awesome. I'm also serving it over mashed potatoes, simply because my groceries hadn't come in yet, and I didnt have potatoes til later.

So! Easy peasy. This roast is costing me about 4$ total, because meat was on sale (and the original piece was huge! I hacked it in half and froze one. this is that one). Carrots, potatoes, and onion are all cheap, so it works splendidly.

No nutrition facts, because it varies so much by how much you eat.. just like everything else. But for this, its so easy to eat just a lil more or a lil less.