Semper Paratus et Coctus
Food Friday: From Couscous to QuinoaAnother post written for lernintri.com–from lifestyle coaching to smoothie recipes and more, it’s…View Post

Food Friday: From Couscous to Quinoa

Another post written for lernintri.com–from lifestyle coaching to smoothie recipes and more, it’s…

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Food Friday: Matzo Ball Soup!It’s Food Friday!  I have a matzo ball soup recipe for you today, since it’s tasty, easy to make,…View Post

Food Friday: Matzo Ball Soup!

It’s Food Friday!  I have a matzo ball soup recipe for you today, since it’s tasty, easy to make,…

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Tomorrow’s lunch of sweet potato-celery-apple slaw and a snack of crispy kale…plus today’s snack of pistachio-stuffed dates!
Get the recipes here:
http://www.wholeliving.com/151696/sweet-potato-celery-and-apple-salad

http://www.wholeliving.com/151709/sesame-kale-crisps

Note: don’t cook the kale at 200 for an hour like the recipe says…crank it up to 350 and it’ll be done in half the time…just be sure to stir halfway through, don’t crowd the pan or it’ll steam rather than crisp, and keep an eye on it…it should brown at the edges and be crispy, not burnt :)

http://www.wholeliving.com/151444/pistachio-stuffed-dates-coconut

Note: I didn’t add salt because my pistachios were already salted, plus I noticed my food processor was having a tough time with the dry nuts so I added a drizzle of EVOO and scraped down the bowl between pulses a few times—came out delicious!

Yes, I’m one of those annoying foodie freaks who are 99% likely to take photos of everything they shove in their pie-hole. They need to create support groups for poor losers like us. Some sort of steps of enlightenment to guide us toward a less annoying practice.

On a brighter note, at least we are (for the most part) enthusiastic about what we eat, where it comes from, and how it’s prepared (hence, more open minded and a little more conscious about food than the average artery-clogged, golden arch-loving bear)—at least my overly optimistic inner-cook sure does hope so.

So, on that note…this was my dinner. Don’t worry, I won’t take a picture of its glorious exit. That’s a whole other group of weirdos that probably should follow some sort of 12-step program themselves. :)

Yes, I’m one of those annoying foodie freaks who are 99% likely to take photos of everything they shove in their pie-hole. They need to create support groups for poor losers like us. Some sort of steps of enlightenment to guide us toward a less annoying practice.

On a brighter note, at least we are (for the most part) enthusiastic about what we eat, where it comes from, and how it’s prepared (hence, more open minded and a little more conscious about food than the average artery-clogged, golden arch-loving bear)—at least my overly optimistic inner-cook sure does hope so.

So, on that note…this was my dinner. Don’t worry, I won’t take a picture of its glorious exit. That’s a whole other group of weirdos that probably should follow some sort of 12-step program themselves. :)

Bourbon-Glazed Grilled Pork Chops, Grilled Napa Cabbage & Green Onions with Chinese Mustard Basil Glaze, & Thai Cucumber Mango Sweet Chili Salad!

Fresh. Grilled. Sweet & Savory. Good for you. ‘Nuff said. :)

Thanks to Paula Deen & Foodnetwork.com for this awesome go-to bourbon pork chop recipe (you could also add bourbon to a tomato-based sauce like BBQ for a twist, though this one is mustard-based, and very tasty as-is):

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/bourbon-glazed-pork-chops-recipe/index.html

Thanks also to wholeliving.com for this fiery, satisfying and nutritious grilled Chinese mustard glazed cabbage and scallion recipe—this is a must-try, as it is a pleasant assault on your taste buds that packs a lot of flavor and heart-healthy folate:

http://www.wholeliving.com/172237/grilled-napa-cabbage-chinese-mustard-glaze-and-scallions

Lastly, a thank you to saltskitchen.net for this cool, crisp, and creative cucumber and mango salad with an Asian flair (my only change was to add some diced papaya and red peppers and omit the peanuts and dried shrimp):

http://saltskitchen.net/2012/10/19/thai-mango-and-cucumber-salad/

Bourbon-Glazed Grilled Pork Chops, Grilled Napa Cabbage & Green Onions with Chinese Mustard Basil Glaze, & Thai Cucumber Mango Sweet Chili Salad!

Fresh. Grilled. Sweet & Savory. Good for you. ‘Nuff said. :)

Thanks to Paula Deen & Foodnetwork.com for this awesome go-to bourbon pork chop recipe (you could also add bourbon to a tomato-based sauce like BBQ for a twist, though this one is mustard-based, and very tasty as-is):

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/bourbon-glazed-pork-chops-recipe/index.html

Thanks also to wholeliving.com for this fiery, satisfying and nutritious grilled Chinese mustard glazed cabbage and scallion recipe—this is a must-try, as it is a pleasant assault on your taste buds that packs a lot of flavor and heart-healthy folate:

http://www.wholeliving.com/172237/grilled-napa-cabbage-chinese-mustard-glaze-and-scallions

Lastly, a thank you to saltskitchen.net for this cool, crisp, and creative cucumber and mango salad with an Asian flair (my only change was to add some diced papaya and red peppers and omit the peanuts and dried shrimp):

http://saltskitchen.net/2012/10/19/thai-mango-and-cucumber-salad/

Beef Soba Noodle “Faux” Phô!
I LOVE me some phô…and though I have found a suitable place in downtown Key West that offers amazing steamed pork belly dumplings and a vegetarian version of this tasty Vietnamese classic, I still favor the authentic version featuring raw beef strips, tendon, and tripe. To make this soup…well, all the recipes I’ve perused online seem time-consuming and complex, to say the least…boiling bones? Yellow rock sugar? 6 or more spices? Not that I don’t appreciate the complexity of phô, it’s rich history, or the time recipe authors take to post these dishes so home cooks can replicate them, but I was fresh from the gym, hungry, and eager to eat, like, NOW.
Thanks to chefinyou.com, and fellow cook “DK” who posted this, I was able to make a few changes and get my phô fix in a fairly painless and speedy way! It is soooo delicious! Enjoy!
http://chefinyou.com/2010/06/soba-noodle-soup-recipe/
My changes: I know most traditional versions have rice noodles, but I liked the above link featuring buckwheat soba noodles since I enjoy them so much (wheat = yum!); I used chicken stock because that’s all I had on hand at home, though beef stock would have been awesome as well; I added some thinly sliced raw steak to the bowl at the end (don’t worry, the heat from the broth cooks it perfectly once it’s stirred in), as well as garnishes of basil, bean sprouts, lime wedges, thinly sliced jalapeño, cilantro sprigs, and a sprinkle of fish sauce and spicy chili sauce.

Beef Soba Noodle “Faux” Phô!

I LOVE me some phô…and though I have found a suitable place in downtown Key West that offers amazing steamed pork belly dumplings and a vegetarian version of this tasty Vietnamese classic, I still favor the authentic version featuring raw beef strips, tendon, and tripe. To make this soup…well, all the recipes I’ve perused online seem time-consuming and complex, to say the least…boiling bones? Yellow rock sugar? 6 or more spices? Not that I don’t appreciate the complexity of phô, it’s rich history, or the time recipe authors take to post these dishes so home cooks can replicate them, but I was fresh from the gym, hungry, and eager to eat, like, NOW.

Thanks to chefinyou.com, and fellow cook “DK” who posted this, I was able to make a few changes and get my phô fix in a fairly painless and speedy way! It is soooo delicious! Enjoy!

http://chefinyou.com/2010/06/soba-noodle-soup-recipe/

My changes: I know most traditional versions have rice noodles, but I liked the above link featuring buckwheat soba noodles since I enjoy them so much (wheat = yum!); I used chicken stock because that’s all I had on hand at home, though beef stock would have been awesome as well; I added some thinly sliced raw steak to the bowl at the end (don’t worry, the heat from the broth cooks it perfectly once it’s stirred in), as well as garnishes of basil, bean sprouts, lime wedges, thinly sliced jalapeño, cilantro sprigs, and a sprinkle of fish sauce and spicy chili sauce.

Oven-Fried Pork Chops, Roasted Asparagus, Romano Garlic Brown Rice & Sweet Chili Cabbage Sauté!

This is the fourth time I’ve tried to post this since I made it last night…fingers crossed that this one works :)

All recipes serve 2 (or 1, if you like leftovers the next day).

Oven-Fried Pork Chops & Roasted Asparagus (all on one baking sheet):
- 2 bone-in pork chops
- 1/2 c Italian dressing
- Pan Spray
- 1 c Seasoned Bread crumbs
- Handful of asparagus, rinsed and woody ends trimmed off
- Drizzle of EVOO, sprinkle of s & p

Marinate chops in dressing in a resealable bag at least 15 min, or at most overnight.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray liberally with pan spray.

Lightly shake off excess dressing from chops, then dredge both sides in crumbs, coating well. Place on one side of pan and bake 15 minutes.

While pork cooks, toss asparagus in oil and salt/pepper to coat, then spread evenly along one half of baking sheet and roast alongside pork chops for an additional 10 minutes or until chops are cooked through.

Romano Garlic Brown Rice:
- 1 c dry brown rice, cooked according to package directions (should yield about 2 c)
- 1/2 c grated Romano cheese
- Sprinkle of garlic powder, s & p, parsley, and onion powder to taste

Combine all ingredients, tossing with a fork to fluff.

Sweet Chili Cabbage Sauté:
- Pan Spray
- 2 t minced/chopped garlic
- 1/4 c thinly sliced onion
- 1.5-2 c chopped cabbage
- 2 T water
- 2 T Sweet Chili Sauce (I like Mae Ploy’s version)
- Dash of red pepper flakes (optional, for a little kick)

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Coat with pan spray. Add garlic and onion, stirring until fragrant, about 1 min.  Add cabbage, stir and cook about 2-3 min. Add water and let steam uncovered about 2 min. Add sauce (and red pepper flakes, if using) and toss to coat, cooking about 2-3 min more or until desired tenderness (I like mine a little crunchy).

Oven-Fried Pork Chops, Roasted Asparagus, Romano Garlic Brown Rice & Sweet Chili Cabbage Sauté!

This is the fourth time I’ve tried to post this since I made it last night…fingers crossed that this one works :)

All recipes serve 2 (or 1, if you like leftovers the next day).

Oven-Fried Pork Chops & Roasted Asparagus (all on one baking sheet):
- 2 bone-in pork chops
- 1/2 c Italian dressing
- Pan Spray
- 1 c Seasoned Bread crumbs
- Handful of asparagus, rinsed and woody ends trimmed off
- Drizzle of EVOO, sprinkle of s & p

Marinate chops in dressing in a resealable bag at least 15 min, or at most overnight.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a baking sheet with foil, spray liberally with pan spray.

Lightly shake off excess dressing from chops, then dredge both sides in crumbs, coating well. Place on one side of pan and bake 15 minutes.

While pork cooks, toss asparagus in oil and salt/pepper to coat, then spread evenly along one half of baking sheet and roast alongside pork chops for an additional 10 minutes or until chops are cooked through.

Romano Garlic Brown Rice:
- 1 c dry brown rice, cooked according to package directions (should yield about 2 c)
- 1/2 c grated Romano cheese
- Sprinkle of garlic powder, s & p, parsley, and onion powder to taste

Combine all ingredients, tossing with a fork to fluff.

Sweet Chili Cabbage Sauté:
- Pan Spray
- 2 t minced/chopped garlic
- 1/4 c thinly sliced onion
- 1.5-2 c chopped cabbage
- 2 T water
- 2 T Sweet Chili Sauce (I like Mae Ploy’s version)
- Dash of red pepper flakes (optional, for a little kick)

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Coat with pan spray. Add garlic and onion, stirring until fragrant, about 1 min. Add cabbage, stir and cook about 2-3 min. Add water and let steam uncovered about 2 min. Add sauce (and red pepper flakes, if using) and toss to coat, cooking about 2-3 min more or until desired tenderness (I like mine a little crunchy).

Roasted Spicy ‘n Creamy Chicken!

10 lbs lost so far and still going! Chicken is high in protein, versatile, and I’ve rediscovered my love for this inexpensive and low calorie cut by getting a little creative. If you’ve been following my posts recently, you’ll see Chicken Parmesan with Spinach, Chicken Penne Marengo, Easy Lemon Chicken and Rice… All very different and tasty, but all featuring the same, sexy ingredient. :)

Thanks to Food Network and Paula Deen & Company, this roasted breast is topped with a creamy, mayo-based, spicy sauce that thickens and crisps up a bit as it cooks. I substituted Miracle Whip and Cajun Seasoning instead of regular mayo, paprika and cayenne (because that’s all I had on hand), and it still came out scrumptiously:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/roasted-spicy-mayonnaise-chicken-breasts-recipe/index.html

Enjoy!

Roasted Spicy ‘n Creamy Chicken!

10 lbs lost so far and still going! Chicken is high in protein, versatile, and I’ve rediscovered my love for this inexpensive and low calorie cut by getting a little creative. If you’ve been following my posts recently, you’ll see Chicken Parmesan with Spinach, Chicken Penne Marengo, Easy Lemon Chicken and Rice… All very different and tasty, but all featuring the same, sexy ingredient. :)

Thanks to Food Network and Paula Deen & Company, this roasted breast is topped with a creamy, mayo-based, spicy sauce that thickens and crisps up a bit as it cooks. I substituted Miracle Whip and Cajun Seasoning instead of regular mayo, paprika and cayenne (because that’s all I had on hand), and it still came out scrumptiously:
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/roasted-spicy-mayonnaise-chicken-breasts-recipe/index.html

Enjoy!

Dinner last night: Pesto Tilapia Foil packets (with onion, red pepper and spinach) & sides of Cuban-seasoned brown rice and steamed broccoli!

See my past post for the “foil packet method”—it’s fast, easy, healthy, and keeps your fish filet tender as it absorbs the flavors and liquids of all your other ingredients/seasonings!

Enjoy!

Dinner last night: Pesto Tilapia Foil packets (with onion, red pepper and spinach) & sides of Cuban-seasoned brown rice and steamed broccoli!

See my past post for the “foil packet method”—it’s fast, easy, healthy, and keeps your fish filet tender as it absorbs the flavors and liquids of all your other ingredients/seasonings!

Enjoy!

Seared Tuna Steak & Lemon-Dijon-Dill Sauce!

Tasty, protein-packed, and oh-so-simple!  The “Best Meals/Workouts for Your Body Type” that I’ve been touting all week had Miso Salmon on the menu, but my budget had other ideas. So, I picked up some flash-frozen tuna steaks instead, and searched for a combination of my favorite flavors for fish: dill, lemon, and a hint of sinful creaminess ;)

Thanks to this post by the Cooking Club of America, I found my go-to tuna recipe that’s a cinch to prepare:

http://www.cookingclub.com/Recipes/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/6156/Pan-Seared-Tuna-with-Lemon-Dill-Sauce

2.5 minutes per side left it a bit on the medium side for me… Next time I’ll try 1.5 min on each side for a more tender, pinker tuna.  I’d also possibly add a splash of white wine to the pan sauce for that extra scrumptiousness. Enjoy!

Seared Tuna Steak & Lemon-Dijon-Dill Sauce!

Tasty, protein-packed, and oh-so-simple! The “Best Meals/Workouts for Your Body Type” that I’ve been touting all week had Miso Salmon on the menu, but my budget had other ideas. So, I picked up some flash-frozen tuna steaks instead, and searched for a combination of my favorite flavors for fish: dill, lemon, and a hint of sinful creaminess ;)

Thanks to this post by the Cooking Club of America, I found my go-to tuna recipe that’s a cinch to prepare:

http://www.cookingclub.com/Recipes/articleType/ArticleView/articleId/6156/Pan-Seared-Tuna-with-Lemon-Dill-Sauce

2.5 minutes per side left it a bit on the medium side for me… Next time I’ll try 1.5 min on each side for a more tender, pinker tuna. I’d also possibly add a splash of white wine to the pan sauce for that extra scrumptiousness. Enjoy!