Category Archives: Food and Recipes

Baked Garlic Cauliflower Popcorn

I’ve been in such a mood for popcorn, but I hate the way it gets stuck in my teeth and there’s always so much butter.  Bleck.  This week I decided to try to substitute the crunchy, pop-in-my-mouth food for something healthier.  I went to the store and bought an entire head of cauliflower (the one crayon I think I hated more than yellow green).  I washed it, then cut it into tiny, bite-sized pieces, and spread them out over a tin foiled cookie tray.  I drizzled some olive oil on top, then coated them in garlic powder, salt and pepper.  I took the two trays and popped them into the oven and set them to bake for 20 minutes (or until they were browned a bit).  The result was:

They were crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  I added a bit too much pepper to my batch, and the garlic wasn’t as strong as I would have liked, so next time I am going to mash some fresh garlic and sprinkle that on top of the cauliflower instead and ditch the pepper completely.  I’m sure fresh red pepper strips would also be a great addition to the tray.  I’m going to try that out as well.  As for this super quick fix of a snack–it was awesome and serves as the perfect substitute to popcorn for a movie.

Chicken and Rice Wrap

Here’s a recipe that started as chicken enchiladas, and ended as basically a wrap with chicken and rice.  Here’s how I made it:

In a pot, put–

One cup uncooked rice

One can of black beans (I used Goya), washed and drained

One cup of Old El Paso Salsa

One can Old El Paso Enchilada sauce–but save about two teaspoons for the chicken.

I added some water to the rice as well (about a cup), and set this on the stove at low heat to cook until it was done.  While this was cooking, I got three chicken breasts, cut them in half, and seasoned them with some of the enchilada sauce.  I’m sure they’re taste just as wonderful if you modify this step to use whatever seasonings you enjoy most.  After, I set them on a grill to bake in the oven for about 15 minutes.  Half-way through, I turned them over and added some more enchilada sauce to the other side.

Finally, when the rice and the chicken were both done, I took one whole wheat wrap, put down a layer of rice, sprinkled chopped up chicken breast on top, and closed it up.  Next time, I think I might add some shredded cheese as well.  My brother really liked it, and since we used medium salsa, it had a little bit of a kick to it.  Enjoy!

Chicken and Cheese (and Ham) Roll-Up

I didn’t know what to call my recipe.  My brother said I should call it Chicken Cordon Bleu because that’s what it started as, but after I edited the recipe, it became what I have decided to label, a chicken and cheese (and ham) roll-up.  I don’t have a photo of it because my brother inhaled those suckers faster than a llama can spit, but I googled some images and used one.  They kind of looked like:

To make it, you’ll need–

Chicken tenders (I bought a pound, which came with eight pieces)

2/3 cup of whichever shredded cheese you like best (I decided on the Mexican blend)

1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used Progresso, but it tasted a bit weird, so I suggest using another kind)

If you like ham, a few slices of Boar’s Head ham  (I don’t like them with ham, so if you’re like me, just ignore that step)

I put the chicken tenders inside a plastic zip-lock bag and pounded them with a mallet so they were still solid for the most part, but, well, tender.  Next, I took one piece of chicken, placed a slice of ham on top, then covered the ham with a layer of cheese.  I covered that with a second chicken tender, then placed another layer of cheese on top.  I folded the whole thing in half, and used two toothpicks to keep it together.  I found the best method is to place them in slanted, and in opposite directions.  Next, I put breadcrumbs in a bowl, and rolled the toothpicked mass around, covering the whole bundle with breadcrumbs.  Once covered, I placed them on a cookie sheet and popped them in the oven for about 20 minutes at 300 degrees.  I had left-over cheese when I made these, so I put a pinch on top of each chicken roll-up, which turned out fine.  That step is optional.

Our roll-ups came out really moist in the center, and my brother said his (with the ham) tasted better than my mother’s Cordon Bleu.  Win!  Oh!  And make sure to warn everyone you plan on sharing with that each roll-up has two toothpicks!  They don’t add fiber to the recipe.  Enjoy!

Crab Cakes

Happy New Year!  To celebrate 2011, I decided to try a new recipe (and by new, I mean one I made up).  I was in the mood for crab cakes, so I looked up a ton of recipes and kind of combined the three that looked the most delicious.  Here’s what I put together:

The recipe includes:

1 pounds of blue crab meat.  I used two containers of the real crab meat you can get at Stop and Shop.

1 large egg

1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1/3 cup chopped parsley

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 cup panko crumbs

1/4 cup fat-free mayo

In a bowl, I mixed together the egg, red pepper, onion powder, mayo and parsley until it was a well-mixed goop.  Then I added the crab meat, one container at a time.  Once I had that mixed in, I added the panko crumbs a little at a time.  I covered the bowl with plastic wrap, and left it in the fridge for two hours.  After, I rolled them into little balls, about an inch or two in diameter, and flattened them on my palm.  From this recipe, I was able to make about 28 bite-sized cakes.

I heated a frying pan, and sprayed it with a light butter spray, and cooked each side for about 1-2 minutes, or until they were a nice toasty brown.  After, I lined a cookie sheet with tin foil, plopped the toasted crab cakes on the sheet and baked them at 350 for about 10 minutes.

They were so good!  In the beginning, the cakes fell apart easily, so toasting them in a pan was tricky.  It took a few minutes for me to figure out how to flip them without causing them to break in half.  I ended up using two spoons and a strange jumping motion to flip them.  Once they were on the sheet though, they held together rather well.  Did you guys make anything yummy to celebrate the New Year with?

Sugar Cookies

I have tons of editing to get through before the 18th of this month, so naturally, I thought tonight would be the perfect time to make sugar cookies.  I found this simple recipe for low-fat cookies and I’ve been dying to try it for weeks.  I struggled to do more than two consecutive steps correctly.  At one point, the mixer was flinging bits of butter EVERYWHERE and I only got it to stop when one of the mixer prong-things fell out and shot across the room.  Awesome.  This experience reminded me why I hate baking: I completely suck at it!

In any case, I am now have specs of dough in my hair, puffs of flour all over my clothes and I’m pretty sure I accidentally got nutmeg in my shirt.  While I write this, I am waiting for the first batch of cookies to finish baking.  It took me forever to figure out how the llamas to get the dough flat without having it stick to every inch of my flesh–yes, I know, flour.  I figured it out, thanks.  I originally was going to try to cut cute little animals out, but after I messed up the sixth cookie, I grabbed a cup and angrily punched out plain circles.  Stupid cookies from Hell.

You’d never know if I was telling the truth or not, so you’ll have to take my word on it: I just got up and checked the cookies.  They are the very image of perfection.  Maybe all of my pain wasn’t for nothing.  They better taste like Heaven on earth or I will throw them out the window.  Or bring them to work.  Whatever.

Here’s a picture of the first batch:

Okay, I just ate one.  It tastes like broken dreams.  My verdict: Low fat cookies suck.  Whatever you do, don’t ever make them.  Oh God, these are so bad I can’t even bring them to work.  Excuse me for a moment, I need to scrape my tongue.

Thanksgiving

Oh hello there, good looking.  It’s been quite a while since we last spoke.  To be honest, I have been busy trying to catch up with my writing (is it December yet?) and watching Lost.  Stupid show–it’s like cocaine!  In any case, let’s catch up a little.

I hope you all had a brilliant Thanksgiving!  Mine was very quiet and mostly perfect.  My family enjoyed turkey, many thanks to my mother for the cooking and my brother for the lifting.  I made a green bean and mushroom thing.  I haven’t decided what to call it yet.  Any ideas?  Here’s the recipe in a nutshell: I mixed 3/4 cup of panko bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons of onion flakes (sorry Margo) and 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan.  I kept that going until the crumbs were toasty.

Then I put the toasty crumbs in a dish, and cooked up green beans and mushrooms in a pan until they were happily toasted as well.  I like my green beans crunchy, so I didn’t cook them too long.  I mixed in another tablespoon of butter at the end, stirred it about, then put the vegetables in a bowl.  I sprinkled the bread crumbs on top mixed some in and served it.  Here is a picture of it before it hit the table:

Delicious!

My only suggestion is: Cut the green beans in half, at least.  I decided to be lazy and keep them whole.  It was a pain in the rear end to get them onto everyone’s plate.  Next time I make this I am going to toss in some fresh garlic.  I imagine it would only improve the recipe.

Beyond dinner, I sat around the house, wrote, played with Simon (who will be featured in a post tomorrow) and read.  It was a great day off.  How was your Thanksgiving?

Soy Stir Fry

Tonight I made the most delicious dinner.  How do I know it was delicious?  Because everyone ate it all before I could take a picture of it.  That’s how.

I bought shirataki noodles, which are tofu noodles kept in a liquid and usually refrigerated.  A whole package of these noodles are about ten calories, so I am a fan.  I will warn those who are interested: The liquid they come in smells like the black death, so make sure to wash the noodles with water before cooking.  Also, you should boil the noodles for about 2 minutes just to make sure they won’t taste like dead horse butt. Once you wash them off and boil ’em a bit, they end up tasting like pre-chicken powder ramen.

In any case, I cooked up these noodles with garlic, onions, soy bean sprouts, mushrooms, chicken, broccoli and soy sauce.  Twas delicious.  The noodles themselves don’t really have a taste, so make sure when cooking with them that you toss them in with something that is strong (or at least, stronger than nothing).  I see myself cooking this again in the future–it was quick, easy, and tasted yummy.

Edward’s Lemon Dip

Today was a beautiful day, so I decided to take Edward outside for some playtime.  I had so much fun playing with him and the water, and from what I can tell, he had fun too.  Now he’s happily back inside, playing with a new toy. I always think it’s hilarious when he spreads his wings out and tries to attack the water, only to realize the water always wins.  Then he does the manly, valiant thing and runs to me like I’m going to help him out.

After cleaning the fish and the bird, I made a spinach dip.  I mixed together some sour cream, Parmesan cheese, garlic and lots of spinach.

It.  Was.  Delicious.  I ate it with some baked tortilla chips.  I was going to take a more attractive picture, but I got hungry.  It was perfect with the chips.  Also, why do I have old lady fingers?

Yes, I know it looks like snot.

It may look like snot, but it was divine.

Also, I tried the lime on the armpits.  IT WORKS.  I spent the morning cleaning everything and sweating outside.  No stinky pits.  This weekend has been such a success!

Feta Burgers and Lemon

Oh baby, let me tell you guys: I had the best dinner!  I decided to mix some feta cheese into ground chicken and make feta burgers.  They were delicious!  Next time I am going to add a little more feta (I only put a spoonful in each one).  I didn’t even eat it with a bun.  I just crumbled it up after it was done cooking and om nom nomed it with a fork.

Tomorrow I am thinking of making a spinach dip to celebrate the weekend.  I’ll let you know how that goes!

Unrelated: I heard from a friend that the best way to get rid of smelly armpits is to swipe them with lemons instead of using chemical-filled deodorant.  I decided to try this tomorrow just to see if it works.  I’ll also be sure to report on the nature of my pits after dowsing them in lemons.  For now, I am off to go walking in the super humid night.  Sleep tight, everyone!

Spinach Lasagna

Hello lovelies!

Today I had off from work, so I decided the best way to celebrate would be to cook something I have never had.  My meal of choice was spinach lasagna.  I was a bit hesitant to try it out for two reasons.  Firstly, I hate pasta.  I know, I know.  I can’t help it!  I’m a rice person.  Secondly, I’ve never made a meal with spinach before.  With that in mind, I drove myself over to the store and bought supplies for my dinner and made it a few hours ago.  Let me tell you–it was delicious.  I’ve decided to try adding some garlic to it the next time, but for my first time making it, I think I did a pretty hot job.

I can’t take full credit for this amazing victory though.  I got this recipe from a spiffy website.  It is run by a wonderful woman who focuses on recipes easy to make and calculate in weight watcher’s terms.  Here’s a link to the recipe I used for my meal: Spinach Lasagna Rolls

Also, a friend of the family mailed us some mangoes from his mango farm.  Do they call places where masses of mangoes are grown a farm?  A mango field?  A mango mansion?  Whatever–either way, the whole house now smells like mangoes and it makes me quite happy.  That’s all for now.  I wish you many fun adventures filled with mangoes and spinach (though hopefully not at the same time)!