Citrus Soy Chicken Drumsticks

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Baked drumsticks are always a big hit in my household. Easy, tasty, fast, messy and inexpensive dinner-- what's not to like? I have several drumsticks recipes on my blog already Baked Asian Style Drumsticks and Soy Balsamic Drumsticks and here is another one for a little variety.

Ingredients
8-10 drumsticks
Oil of choice --1 teaspoon
Seasoning you like for chicken (I used 21 Seasoning Salute from TJs)
1/2 cup of Low Sodium Soy Sauce
2-3 crushed garlic cloves
Juice of 1 orange

Combine all ingredients except chicken in large ziploc bag. Shake to mix. Add chicken and shake it to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator anywhere between 1/2 hour to overnight.

Bake at 400F for about 40 minutes till brown. Flip over 1/2 through cooking time. This recipe would work just as well with other chicken parts, modify cooking time according to thickness.

I only marinated for about 1/2 hour and these tasted great anyway. I bet they would have been even better if marinated longer.

Enjoy!



Inspired by http://www.sandraseasycooking.com

Butternut Squash Parsnip Soup

Monday, October 6, 2014

This soup is a twist I tried on our family favorites, Butternut Squash Apple Soup . This version contains parsnips instead of apples and is topped with crunchy bacon. 

INGREDIENTS:
Butternut squash 
2 parsnips
4 small shallots or one medium onion, diced
4-5 cups of chicken stock (I use a combination of homemade chicken stock that I froze and Imagine Low Sodium Organic Chicken Broth)
1tbs oil, I use grapeseed
Salt pepper to taste
Pinch of nutmeg optional
1 teaspoon sugar
Sea salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup of milk or cream ( I used 2 % milk)
1-2 pieces of bacon per bowl (Optional)

If you are able to get your hands on peeled and cut up squash, skip to the end of step 1.


1) Wash and dry your squash. Using a sharp knife to piece a few holes in the squash. Place it on a paper towel. Microwave about 3 minutes and flip over. Let cool a bit. At this point, you should be able to peel it, scoop out seeds and cut into cubes. 


2) Wash and peel parsnips. Chop into 1/2 inch pieces. 


3) In a medium pot, heat oil. Add shallots. Cook about 5 minutes till soften. Add squash, parsnips and broth. Cook on medium flame till squash and parsnip are soft, about 20 -25 minutes. 


4) Add salt, sugar, pepper and nutmeg if using. Another option to nutmeg if you like spicy is a bit of curry powder.  Add milk or cream.  
Using immersion blender, blend your soup.

5) If using bacon, cook till crisp per package direction. Drain and chop into small pieces.


6) Add soup to bowls. Top with bacon if using and serve.

I served these with crackers I made out of Nasoya wonton wrappers. I cut the wrappers into strips, sprayed with cooking spray and baked at 350 till golden brown.




Masor Jar Salad--the Perfect Work Lunch

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

As you guys know, I am a working mom. I work in NYC, one of the most expensive if not the most expensive cities in the US. I also try to eat healthy which means a $10 to $12 salad from one of the local places (Chop't, Just Salad, Sweet Green, etc). Meanwhile, I have a perfectly stocked fridge at home.

About 6 months ago, I started to see these Mason Jar Salads popping up all oven Pinterest. I have it pinned forever like I do many many recipes (hanging head in shame), till finally, I tried it for the first time last week and fell in love!

The combinations are endless but the most important thing is the order of ingredients and packing your items tightly. I can't stress this enough ORDER OF INGREDIENTS IS KEY!
I make 2-3 jars at a time, usually on Sunday night and the salad stayed fresh and tasty with the greens being not at all soggy.

I have been using 1 Pint mason jars which is just about enough but am thinking of picking up some Quart jars to see if I can pack more greens. If you pack the ingredients tight, you would be surpised how much fits into a pint size jar.
Mason Jars are available on Amazon, if you are looking to pick some up, please search through the link on my blog (it's on the right side of my page)

The key to preventing the greens from getting soggy is placing the hearty veggies on the bottom. Note that the veggies on the bottom that touch the dressing get a bit pickled which tasted delicious, particularly for red onions, carrots and radishes.

Layer 1: Dressing (to go on the bottom)
You can choose any combination you like.
So far I have done:
  • Extra virgin olive oil, Balsamic Vinegar, Dijon, Chopped Shallots
  • Extra virgin olive oil, Apple Cider Vinegar and Honey
  • Extra virgin olive oil, Fig BalsamicVinegar and Berry Preserves
About 2 tablespoons of dressing is more then enough for my taste.

Layer 2:Hearty Vegetables
I have used thinly sliced red onions, radish, thinly slice carrots, cherry tomatoes with success.

Layer 3: Less Hearty Vegetables
Less hearty vegetables such as zucchini, corn, beans, edamame, beets, roasted butternut squash, avocado (if using avocado, squirt with lemon to prevent browning)

Layer 4: Grains or Pasta
Any grains you like-- quinoa, wheatberries, faro, rice.

Layer 5: Protein and/or Cheese
Protein and/or cheese would go here. So far I have used grilled chicken and goat cheese. Both with great result.


Layer 6: Greens and seeds
So far I have used arugula and kale as the top layers. I also brought pistachios but in a separate ziploc baggie which I broke out when I mixed my salad.

That's it, you are done. Close the jar tight. Refrigerate and bring to work!

To eat, I throw the salad into a large bowl that I keep at work and mix well.

Mason Jar Salad Ready to Transport

Mason Jar Salad in a bowl at my work desk.
With Kale, Red Onion, Carrots, Radishes, Quinoa, Tomatoes, Avocado,
Pan cooked zucchini, Grilled Chicken


Another Mason Jar Salad (with Arugula, Red Onion, Carrots, Radishes,Avocado, Beets,
Wheatberries, Roasted Butternut Squash and Pistachios)




Shrimp with White Beans and Garlic

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The minute I saw this recipe from Bon Appetit, I had to try it.  Just from the description, I knew it was very similar to the shrimp white beans appetizer I have had at Spanish tapas restaurants that I have been wanting to replicate at home.

I made some modifications to make my life simpler which resulted in the below which I can guarantee tastes better then it looks. 

Ingredients:

6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (divided into 2 tablespoons each)
3 garlic gloves minced (divided into 1 minced clove and 2 minced cloves)
1/4 teaspoon of ground chipotle (recipe called for 2 dried chilles de arbol but I could not find it anywhere)
1 bay leaf
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 can on diced tomatoes, drained (or 1 1/4 cup fresh tomatoes)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 pound of shrimp, cleaned and deveined
1 teaspoon smoked paprika ( I plan to use more next time)
Parsley for garnish (optional)

Crusty bread for grilling (optional)


Instructions:

Preheat broiler. 

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in an oven proof skillet that fits you broiler.

Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic, chilles or chipotle and bay leaf. Cook stirring constantly for about 1 minutes, don't allow the garlic to burn.

Add diced tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomato paste, cook till paste is red and begins to caramelize, about 3 minutes.

Add drained beans and broth, salt and pepper. Simmer till reduces slightly, about 5 
minutes.

While the mixtures is simmering, in a medium bowl, combine shrimp, smoked paprika, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and remaining minced garlic. Mix to combine.

Add shrimp mixture on top of the beans. Place under broiler for about 3 minutes.

Add another tablespoon of olive oil and garnish with parsley. I used dry because I did not have fresh.

For grilled bread, I used a grill pan. I brushed it with olive oil. Heated till hot, about 3 minutes, added baguette cut across, flipped after about a 1-2 minutes. Grilled for another 1-2 minutes. 

I served this with a side of green beans in addition to the bread!

Hope you enjoy and let me know your thoughts in the comments.












adapted from Bon Appetit' http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/garlic-shrimp-and-white-beans

Sauteed Soft Shell Crab

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

While I am not usually big into fried food,  when it comes to soft shell crabs, I say "Yes, please".
I usually serve them over a salad or with a side salad and limit myself to one or two so it's not too unhealthy.

These are surprisingly easy to make! I will be making them again tonight! Soaking the crabs in milk helps plump them up when cooked. Combining butter and oil results in crispy crabs.


Ingredients (4 servings)


1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 4 small soft-shell crabs, washed and well dried on paper towels
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat with great results)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Ponzu sauce for dipping


Directions:


1. Wash and pat dry the crabs with paper towels. Make sure they are well dried because you want them to soak up the milk, not water.

2. Place the milk in a shallow bowl large enough to hold the crabs in a single layer. Add the crabs and let them soak for 1 hour. Drain and discard the milk.


3. Season the flour with salt and pepper and dump it  into a large ziploc bag. Lightly dredge each crab in the flour.

4. Heat the oil and butter together in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and sautè the crabs in batches until golden, about 4 minutes per side. Add more oil and butter to the pan if necessary.

4. To serve, place a crab in the center of 4 salad plates and garnish each with a sprinkle of chopped parsley if using. I serve this with a sized of ponzu sauce, usually over a green salad. The salad in the picture is mixed greens with roasted asparagus, roasted potatoes (left over from the night before), fire roasted corn (from Trader Joe's)and market fresh radishes. 






Easy No Boil Noodles Meat Lasagna

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I have made lasagna in the past and though delicious, it was always an ordeal. This one, however, is a keeper. The prep time was short due to not cooking the noodles and the results were given two thumbs up. Both husband and older daughter asked for seconds! Not only that, I have left overs for another dinner!

Ingredients:

1 pound of ground beef (I used grass fed 85% Lean Beef)
1 medium onion chopped
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 table spoon of oil (I used grape seed)
1 15 container of ricotta ( I used part skim)
2 1/2 cups of shredded mozzarella ( I used part skim)
4 1/2 cups of tomato herb sauce
1 egg
1/4 cup grated parmesan
6-8 lasagna noodles (depending on thickness)
1/4 cup hot water


Directions:


Preheat oven to 375 F.


Preheat a large skillet with oil. Add onion, cook stirring occasionally for about 5-7 minutes till begins to soften.  Add beef. Cook stirring and breaking up into fine pieces. Continue to cook till no longer pink.


Add tomato sauce and garlic powder. Mix evenly with beef and heat a few minutes till sauce becomes warm.I did not add any salt because the sauce contained salt.


Beat one egg, combine with ricotta and grated parmesan. 


Spread 1/3 of the meat mixture into a rectangular pan, 11 x 7  inches. Top with 3-4 uncooked lasagna noodles depending on their thickness. Top with 1/2 the ricotta mixture and 1/2 of the mozzarella.

Repeat procedure. Spread remaining 1/3 of the mixture over the 2nd layer of mozzarella.

Slowly add hot water to the edges of the lasagna.

Cover with 2 layers of heavy duty foil. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.

We had this with a side of sauteed kale. Would also be great with a side salad or a roasted veggie of your choice. 




*Adapted from Southern Living Magazine 2000

Black Cod in White Miso Sauce

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Love the texture and flavor of black cod. Cooking it in miso makes it that much more delicious. Though many recipes call for marinating it for a few hours or overnight, I did not not have the time to do that and it still came out delicious.

Ingredients:
3 black cod fillets, about 5 ounces each
2/3 cup of white wine
1/3 cup of white miso paste
2 tablespoons of honey
Cooking spray

In a microwave safe dish, combine wine, miso and honey. Mix a bit.
Microwave for 30 seconds and mix well till smooth. Allow to cool a bit.


Wash and dry your cod really well.  Spray baking dish with cooking spray. Add fish and spoon half the miso mixture over it. Broil about 5 minutes. Flip over, spoon the rest of miso mixture and broil another 3-5 minutes. If cooking and browning too fast, lower the broiler rack to be further from heat. 

Serve immediately. We had this for dinner with baby bok choy and it was delicious.


Pan Seared Crispy Skin Striped Bass with Butter and Lemon

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I am here to tell you that the fish skin can be delicious. Do not fear the fish skin! The key to the skin being tasty is getting it to be crispy. The key to it getting crispy is making sure the fillet is dry. More on this below.

Ingredients
3-4 Striped Bass Fillets (or another boneless fillet with skin)
1 tablespoons of oil with high smoke point. I use grape seed. 
Juice of 1 medium lemon
1-2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt to taste

1) Remove your fish from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to cooking. Sprinkle a bit of salt on it.

2) Wash and dry your fish really really well with a paper towel. Using a butter knife, scrape the skin. This will let out some more moisture. Pat dry again with a paper towel.

3) Preheat skillet, preferably non stick till it's really hot, about 2 minutes. Add oil and swirl it around. Heat another minute. 

4) Add your fish fillet skin side down. Sprinkle salt on meaty side. Press down with a spatula so the the skin flattens for about 10-15 seconds per piece. A metal spatula is best for this. Cook for about 7-10 minutes WITHOUT DISTURBING on a medium high flame. Most of the cooking should occur with the skin side down.

5) Flip over using a metal spatula and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add butter and allow to melt for a minute. Turn off flame and baste with butter. Add lemon juice and allow it to combine with butter.

6) Serve immediately. We had this with quinoa and green beans and it was delicious.




*adapted from honest-food.net


Baked Spring / Egg Rolls Kid Friendly Style

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


This healthy twist on the traditional spring rolls is a hit with adults and kids alike.
There is an opportunity here to play with the ingredients based on your/your kids preferences.

What I used:
1 tablespoon grapeseed  oil
2 shallots finely chopped
Bulb of 1 leek, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
Ground ginger
Salt to taste
1/2 cup of sweet corn (during corn season, I shucked and froze for later use)
Nasoya Eggroll Wraps--about 1/2 a pack
Coconut cooking spray.


In oil, saute finely chopped shallots and leeks. 
Added ground beef, when almost cooked (with almost no pink), added ground ginger, salt and sweet corn. Cook another few minutes.
Drain beef mixture and allow to cool a bit.
Stuff into NaSoya wraps as per directions on package into envelope like shape. 
Spray with coconut oil spray. 
Baked till golden at 400F, flipping over once for ~10 per side.

Enjoy!

Breakfast Chia Pudding with Almond Milk and Berries

Monday, February 24, 2014

I have been seeing chia pudding cups popping up all over place these days: in local coffee shops and on pinterest alike. I have used chia seed in Overnight Oatmeal  and my kids sprinkle it over their cereal in the morning. 
They are a great source of fiber and omega 3s! What's not to love?

Figured why not try this pudding. The results were delicious, surprisingly filling and both of  my girls and hubby thought this tasted good enough to eat! Score!!!!


Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 tsp of maple syrup (or honey)
1 teaspoon vanilla

Add all ingredients to either a bowl or a glass jar. I prepared these in a glass jar for easy mixing and transporting to work. If using a bowl, mix really well. If using a glass jar, cover and shake to  mix. Uncover and leave on the counter for about a half hour. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with fresh berries and enjoy! I ate mine cold though I hear you can warm it up as well (though I have not tried this).

 
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