Friday, August 31, 2007

I Don't Even Like Beans

For some reason, I keep making things with black beans. I don't really like beans all that much. But they are healthy for you and vegetarian. I love this recipe from Cooking Light for their Cuban Black Bean Patties with Pineapple Rice. It is really good and hearty.

If you decide to make this, I would add about 1-2 TBS corn meal to the bean mixture before shaping into patties. If you don't, they tend to ooze all over the frying pan. The extra corn meal keeps them firm.

I served it with the rice and roasted up some broccoli with Italian seasonings.

Cuban Black Bean Patties with Pineapple Rice

recipe from Cooking Light - March 2007


1 (3 1/2-ounce) bag boil-in-bag long-grain rice
2 teaspoons butter
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt


2 cups rinsed, drained canned black beans (1 [15-ounce] can), divided
1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg white
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup cornmeal
Cooking spray
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

To prepare rice, cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain; place rice in a large bowl. Melt butter in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pineapple; sauté 4 minutes or just until pineapple begins to brown. Add pineapple mixture, cilantro, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to rice in bowl; cover and keep warm. Wipe pan clean with paper towels.

To prepare patties, place 1 1/2 cups beans, garlic, cumin, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl; partially mash with a fork. Place 1/2 cup remaining beans and egg white in a food processor; process 30 seconds or until well combined. Add bean puree to mashed beans in bowl, and stir until combined. Add cheese and onion to bean mixture; stir until combined. Divide bean mixture into 4 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Place cornmeal in a shallow dish. Dredge both sides of each patty in cornmeal.

Heat pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Spoon about 1/2 cup rice onto each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 patty and 1 tablespoon sour cream.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutritional Information: CALORIES 294(27% from fat); FAT 8.7g (sat 5.4g,mono 1.7g,poly 0.2g); PROTEIN 10.2g; CHOLESTEROL 28mg; CALCIUM 155mg; SODIUM 532mg; FIBER 3.5g; IRON 2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 45g

Buffalo Shrimp

This is the BEST recipe for buffalo shrimp. I've never made buffalo wings, but make this shrimp dish all the time.
Buffalo Alaskan Shrimp
recipe from the Fisherman's Express website

1 lb Alaskan Shrimp
1/2 cup Flour
1 Tbsp Paprika
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 cup White Vinegar
1/2 cup Margarine
2 Tbsp Hot sauce
1/8 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 to 1 Tbsp Paprika
1/8 tsp Celery seed
1/8 tsp each Garlic, Salt & Black Pepper
Peanut or Vegetable Oil

Buffalo Sauce Ingredients:
1 cup Mayonnaise
1/2 cup Sour Cream
1/4-1/3 cup crumbled Blue, Feta or Mexican Cheese
1 Tbsp each Lemon Juice & White Vinegar
1/4 cup fresh Parsley, minced
2 Tbsp Green Onion, minced
1 small clove Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp each Salt & Pepper
Dash Cayenne Pepper
Celery sticks

Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails on. Dry thoroughly on paper towels. Mix flour, paprika and cayenne pepper together in a bowl. Hold shrimp by tail and dip into vinegar and then into flour mixture. Set aside. Melt margarine with hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, celery seed, garlic salt and black pepper. Keep warm.

To Cook Shrimp
Heat 1 inch of oil in a skillet. Fry shrimp, one serving at a time, turning to cook both sides. Drain on paper towels. Quickly dip fried shrimp into hot sauce.

Buffalo Sauce
Combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, lemon juice, vinegar, minced parsley, onion and garlic and seasonings. Refrigerate. (Makes 1 1/2 cups). Serve with Buffalo Sauce and celery sticks.

Serves 4 - 6

I've Been Tagged

It's so nice to feel loved. I was tagged by Meg, of Meg's Adventures in the Kitchen. So now I have to come up with 8 factoids about myself. Here goes...

1) I snore. LOUDLY. I attribute this to allergies. But I feel for anyone who has to share a room with me. They are not going to get any sleep at all.

2) I can name all 50 states in alphabetical order. In fact I can sing them too. We learned this song in 3rd grade that taught us this.

3) I am afraid of clowns, bugs, going into dark basements by myself, aliens and ghosts.

4) I don't have any brothers or sisters.

5) I am the only person on earth who is not impressed with her Kitchen Aid mixer. I honestly could take it or leave it. It makes me sad because I had wanted one my entire life and now that I have one, it's just not that fantabulous.

6) I love tiramisu. I could eat it every day. I would even take a bath in it, if I could. Luckily the Italian take out place near our house has a cheap and yummy version.

7) I never had a pet until I was 31. Except for a few goldfish. So now that I have 2 adorable kitties, I have gone all crazy kitty mom like.

8) I have eaten cow tongue. Enough said.

So to keep up the trend, I am tagging the following people:

Mrs. Schoon
Tidbits by Jen
Carla's Kitchen
Good Things Catered
And a Cookie for Dessert
Crystal's Creations
Jennyfer's Culinary Creations
Honeybear's Adventures in Food

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I'll have a Mojito, Chicken that is

I had an old jar of Trader Joe's Mojito Simmer sauce sitting in the pantry. I've made used it before with chicken but I wanted to try something that was more of a "recipe." So I was delighted to find a recipe on Jessy's blog Envious Edibles! It was very yummy served over rice. I did change a few things, which I noted in orange in the recipe.

Mojito Chicken

1/2 onion diced (used 1 small onion)
2 cloves of garlic diced (didn't add garlic)
2 chicken breasts ( diced into bite sized pieces) (used 1 lb thin sliced chicken breasts)
1 jar of mojito simmer sauce
1 can of corn (drained) (used canned mexican corn mixture)
1 can of black beans ( drained)
1 tablespoon of Caribbean seasoning (used 1 TBS Emeril Southwest seasoning)
1/3 cup of Bacardi 151 Rum ( or any rum of your choice)
1 pinch of crushred red pepper (sprinkled cayene before serving)

Salt and pepper chicken,sprinkle with Caribbean seasoning, crushed red pepper and cook until brown in small amount of olive oil . (I dipped my chicken into egg and then flour combined with the Emeril seasoning & lightly fried in oil. Then I removed the chicken from the pan) Add Rum and cook until alcohol burns off, remove from pan. Saute onions and garlic, add corn and black beans. Simmer for just a few minutes, then add simmer sauce and add chicken back into the sauce. Serve over rice.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

I found a yummy recipe on my cooking board, posted by MLR513. I had to try it out. It was very good and felt healthy too since it has no meat.

Black Bean Tortilla Casserole
1 large chopped onion
2 10oz cans Rotel tomatoes
½ cup picante sauce
1 tsp ground cumin

2 15oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup reduced fat cream cheese
10 7-inch corn tortillas
2 cups shredded cheese

In large skillet sauté onion, and then add tomatoes, picante sauce and cumin. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Then, stir in beans and heat through. Add cream cheese at the end, and stir until melted. Remove from heat.

Spray bottom of a 9x13 pan. Spread 1/3 of bean mixture on bottom of pan, topping with a layer of tortillas and half of cheese. Then another layer of bean mixture, tortillas and bean mixture. Cover and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle on remaining cheese, and bake until melted. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream, lettuce and guacamole as desired.


On Thursday we had taco night. We haven't had tacos since Cinco de Mayo, so this was a big treat. I made homemade quacamole and put out all the fixings, including sour cream, cheese, lettuce shreds, and taco sauce. I served them with refried beans. Very economical to make and yummy too.

BBQ Salmon

My husband loves salmon. This week I tried a BBQ Salmon dish that I found on the Food Network TV website. I served it with fresh corn on the cob and creamed spinach.

Here's the recipe. I used spicy salt instead of regular salt and used a few splashes of Tabasco instead of the cayene. One thing to note, this is not a thick bbq sauce, it's on the thin side due to all the juice and lack of ketchup.

Barbecue-Roasted Salmon
from Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller

Cooking spray
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, about 1-inch thick

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, lemon juice, brown sugar, chili powder, lemon zest, cumin, salt, and cayenne. Using tongs, add salmon fillets to the prepared pan. Pour the orange juice mixture over the salmon and turn to coat both sides. Roast for 15 minutes, until a fork can be easily inserted into the salmon.

Calories 302, Total fat 16g, Saturated fat 3g, Cholesterol 84mg, Sodium 402mg, Carbohydrates 10g, Protein 29g, Fiber 1g

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Spicy Ground Turkey and Cellophane Noodles

This is one of my favorite dishes to make! I got it from a diabetic website, of all places. One thing that I do is omit the sugar substitute. It's also a good recipe to play around with. I use whatever vegetables I have on hand and throw in water chesnuts, baby corns, etc.

Spicy Ground Turkey and Cellophane Noodles

1/2 pound ground turkey
1 1/2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
3 3/4 ounces bag cellophane noodles
1 teaspoon canola oil
4 scallions sliced, white part and 2 inches green
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 inch fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons chili puree with garlic
1 cup 98% fat-free, no-salt-added canned chicken broth
1 tablespoon vodka
2 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/8 teaspoon sugar substitute
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 pound snow peas, strings removed, sliced thin
1/2 pound bean sprouts
slices of fresh lime for garnish

1. To marinate the turkey: In a bowl combine the turkey with the vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil. Refrigerate and marinate for 20 minutes up to 2 hours.
2. In a bowl, soak the noodles in warm water for 20 minutes. Drain and cut into 2-inch lengths; set aside.
3. In a wok or heavy nonstick skillet, heat oil until hot. Stir-fry the scallions, garlic, and ginger for 1 minute.
4. Add the turkey and chili puree. Stir-fry, breaking up the ground turkey until it is cooked through.
5. Add the broth, vodka, soy sauce, vinegar and sugar substitute along with the noodles.
6. Cook over high heat until the noodles absorb the liquid. Mix in the snow peas, bean sprouts and cilantro.
7. Heat through, and serve immediately with lime slices.

Nutritional Information:Per Serving--
Calories: 247
Carbohydrates: 32g
Protein: 14g
Fat: 6g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Cholesterol: 45mg
Fiber: 3g
Sodium: 373mg

With a little help from my friends

Tonight I didn't feel like cooking. I made this meal with a little help from my "friends"--Bertolli Vodka Sauce and store-bought fresh tortollinis stuffed with chicken and prosciutto. Add some grilled asparagus and texas toast. Presto - instant dinner!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

IHO Bobby Flay--Chicken Cacciatore

I love me some Bobby Flay! So when he did Chicken Cacciatore on Throwdown, I had to try it out. One thing that is not included in the recipe is the honey. On the show, he drizzled a bit of honey on top right before serving. I added this when I made the recipe. It was simply delish!

Chicken Cacciatore from Food Network TV
1 (3-pound) chicken cut into eighths
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 large yellow bell pepper, thinly julienned
1 serrano or jalapeno chile, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 cup low-sodium canned chicken broth
1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes and their juices
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons aged balsamic vinegar or capers
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 pound spaghetti (size 8 or 9) cooked al dente
Basil sprigs
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat. Season the chicken pieces on both sides with salt and pepper and place in the pan, skin side down and cook until golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the chicken to a large plate. Add the remaining oil to the pan and heat until almost smoking. Add the mushrooms and cook until golden brown, season with salt and pepper and remove to a plate.

Add the onion and bell pepper to the pan and cook until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the serrano, garlic and chili flakes to the pan and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the wine and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the chicken stock, tomatoes, and rosemary and bring to a simmer. Return the chicken and mushrooms to the pan, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon to a large shallow bowl and tent loosely with foil.

Increase the heat to high and cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the vinegar and basil and pour the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with fresh basil sprigs. Serve over spaghetti and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Crabs, Crabs and More Crabs!

Living on the East Coast, crabs have always been a fun summer treat. Last week, we had our annual crab feast, complete with steamed crabs, coleslaw, tater tots, corn salad, deviled eggs and strawberry cake for dessert. Here are some pictures.

A closeup of the crabs:

Here's another closeup of the crabs:

The deviled eggs that we had with the crabs. Yes, not a traditional side dish for crabs, but good nonetheless.

And last, but not least, the strawberry cake we had for dessert. Yes, that is pure whipped cream as a frosting!