Friday, May 28, 2010

Risotto Cake with Roasted Vegetables

I know I am posting too many to keep up with, but we had this last night and I had to share. I WISH I had taken a picture, but I thought, I don't know if it will be any good. Stupid, stupid, stupid. I had to cook the risotto a lot longer than it said. I kept testing it and it wasn't soft yet. Then when I tried to make the cakes, they wouldn't really stay together, they just kind of fell apart. So I did my best and then I actually put them all together like a pie on a baking pan. Then I layered all the vegetables on top. Then topped with cheese so it looked like a pizza. And, in fact, that is exactly what I told my son it was. The marinara recipe I used was really good and because all the veggies were so sweet, the honey in it really complimented the dish. However, I'm sure it would be just as good with any sauce you choose. Enjoy! Oh, and I got it from the Canyon Ranch cookbook Nourish. All their recipes are found online here.

Risotto Cake:
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup diced yellow onions
1 teaspoon minced garlic cloves
2/3 cup Arborio rice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

Roasted Vegetables:
1 medium fresh zucchini, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 large Portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 cup peeled and sliced eggplant, cut into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1/2 cup sliced red onions
1 red bell pepper, cut in half

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Risotto Cake Seasoning Mix:
1 teaspoon garlic granules
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup Marinara Sauce (recipe follows)


1. In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add rice to the pan and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add salt, and begin adding vegetable stock to pan 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time until all liquid has been absorbed and rice is creamy. Allow rice to cool for 15-20 minutes.
2. Preheat griddle or electric skillet to 350°. For each cake, use 1/3 cup of risotto mix, form into a ball, and flatten to 1/4-inch thickness. Spray griddle with canola oil spray, and place risotto cakes on griddle until crisp on each side. Place each cake on a baking sheet after grilling.
3. Combine all ingredients for Risotto Cake Seasoning Mix together.
4. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread vegetables out on a separate baking sheet. Lightly spray with canola oil spray and dust the vegetables evenly with 1 teaspoon Risotto Cake Seasoning Mix. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until slightly browned. Peel skin off red pepper and slice into strips.
5. Evenly divide roasted vegetable mix over each of the 4 risotto cakes. Top each cake with 2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese. Dust each cake with a pinch of remaining Risotto Cake Seasoning Mix and bake at 350° for 5 to 10 minutes or until cheese melts.
6. Ladle 1/4 cup of Marinara Sauce on a plate and top with one Risotto Cake with Roasted Vegetables.

Serving Information
Makes 4 servings, each containing approximately:
295 calories
47 gm. carbohydrate
7 gm. fat
18 mg. cholesterol
13 gm. protein
705 mg. sodium
6 gm. fiber

Fresh Marinara Sauce


  • 1 T EVOO
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 t dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 lbs tomatoes, chopped (I just used canned whole peeled tomatoes and chopped them myself)
  • 2 Tbs. honey
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh basil
  • 1 Tbs. minced fresh oregano


Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Saute the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and brown slightly. Add the dried basil, dried oregano, thyme, and pepper and saute briefly.

Add the tomatoes and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, or until thickened.

Stir in the honey and salt. (If you want a smooth sauce, puree with an immersion blender and strain the mixture through a large-mesh sieve. I just left it chunky.) Add the fresh basil and fresh oregano and simmer for 5 minutes.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hoisin Chicken with Cucumber Salad

I finally used the grill almost by myself last night. Doug had to go help someone move about 15 minutes after he got home so he had me turn the grill on before he got home. I have seen him do it, but I am one of those people who has to do it myself to remember. This expands my food repertoire so much now!

Weston loved this meal and is a hard person to get to eat meat, but he just kept saying "mmm, mnmm, I like it!" I took the skin off my pieces of chicken & you really could not tell the difference. So if you want to save a few calories and clogging arteries and cut the skin off, go for it!



For the Chicken:

  • 3/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 3 scallions, coarsely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed and halved (remove seeds for less heat)
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes, plus lime wedges for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks (separate pieces)

For the Salad:

  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced


Prepare the chicken: Preheat a grill to medium on one side. Combine the hoisin sauce, scallions, garlic, ginger, jalapeno, lime zest and juice, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste in a mini food processor or blender; process until almost smooth. Season the chicken with salt; toss with the hoisin mixture in a large bowl.

Make the salad: Bring the vinegar, sugar and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring. Remove from the heat; stir in 1/4 cup ice cubes until melted. Toss the cucumber and red onion in a serving bowl with the vinegar mixture; place in the refrigerator.

Grill the chicken over direct heat until the skin is crisp, 5 minutes per side, basting with extra marinade. Transfer to the cooler side of the grill; cover and grill until cooked through, 10 to 15 more minutes. Serve with the cucumber salad and lime wedges.

Per serving: Calories 375; Fat 16 g (Saturated 4 g); Cholesterol 107 mg; Sodium 1,906 mg; Carbohydrate 30 g; Fiber 1 g; Protein 32 g

Tabbouleh with Chickpeas & Artichokes

I made this salad instead of the cucumber salad with Hoisin Chicken. It is really good the longer you let it sit. However, next time I will definitely half the recipe. It is still sitting in a big stew pot because I had nothing else big enough to mix it in. I'm happy to eat it for lunch & dinner the rest of the week and just switch out my main dishes.

Tabbouleh with Chickpeas and Artichokes

  • 2 cups bulgur wheat
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 pound dried chickpeas, cooked according to package directions
    (or about 3 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed)
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 14 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • Zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Handful of basil leaves, chopped
  • Handful of fresh Italian parsley leaves, chopped
  • Handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Combine the bulgur wheat and the water in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce the mixture to a simmer. Cook the bulgur for approximately 15 minutes until all of the water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.

Rinse the chickpeas and transfer them to the mixing bowl with the cooled bulgur. Add the cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes, and artichoke hearts.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the juice from the 2 lemons and the olive oil. Add the dressing to the bulgur and vegetable mixture. Add in the chopped herbs and toss all of the ingredients together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour prior to serving.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Turkey Meatloaf with Feta and Sun-dried Tomato

I saw Giada make this on her show and remembered it. I have actually never made meatloaf and never liked it growing up so I wasn't hesitant to try it, but it will be in my rotation for sure. It also was so super easy to make. I only had to buy feta to make it because I keep a big jar of sun-dried tomatoes in my fridge.


  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped garlic and herb-marinated sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced, optional
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat


Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Spray a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, if using, eggs, milk, feta, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.

Carefully pack the meat mixture into the prepared pan and bake until the internal temperature registers 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice. Put on a serving platter and serve.

Strawberry Cream Puff Cake

Sundays are dessert days and when I usually try something new for a dessert. I don't think I bought anything to make this because I had everything already. It was so good and that cream cheese whip cream is addicting. I could have just eaten that out of a bowl. I got it from here. Enjoy!

Cream Puff Base:
5 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
2/3 cup flour
3 eggs

Cream Cheese Mixture:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup powdered sugar

For the cream puff layer, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bring the butter, water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the flour all at once and stir quickly until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and stir the mixture until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and beat until the mixture is shiny with a satiny sheen. Don’t overbeat. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan (or in a pinch, you could use a 9-inch circle cake pan). Using an offset spatula, spread the mixture on the bottom and one inch up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and prick pastry with a toothpick 10-12 times. Return to the oven and bake 5-10 minutes more until golden brown but not overbaked (you can insert a toothpick into the center and if it comes out with sticky dough, it still needs longer in the oven). Cool completely.

For the cream cheese mixture, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar (if you want to ensure there are no lumps, sift the powdered sugar into the cream cheese) and beat with the cream cheese until mixture is smooth and light. Add the remaining ingredients and beat until stiff peaks form. Spread onto the cooled cream puff shell.

Top with fresh sliced strawberries (I mixed 2 cups of strawberries with 1 teaspoon sugar and let them hang out in the fridge while I was prepping the cake) or you can use a 16-ounce bag of frozen strawberries that have been thawed. Mix the thawed strawberries and juice with 1-2 teaspoons sugar and bring to a simmer in a saucepan. Cook until slightly thickened. Cool completely and use as topping for the cake.

Shredded Salad with Chicken & Peanut Sauce over Rice Noodles

I check the foodbuzz recipes every so often when I haven't found anything new to try and had been wanting to try this recipe. This took a long time to make just with the chopping, etc. My advice is to do whatever you can throughout the day or ahead of time. But it was sooooo good, I cannot even tell you. I used whole wheat spaghetti noodles and only 2 of the peppers. It was still spicy, but not too spicy for me. I picked out the peppers after tossing it all together so someone wouldn't get one accidentally and heat rash their mouth. I also didn't add mint just because I didn't want to buy it and only use it for this recipe. I added quite a bit more water and did not even use close to all the peanut sauce.

To poach the chicken:
1 three-inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled, smashed and cut in half
10 cilantro stems
2 T toasted sesame oil
1/2 t salt
2 large, bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts

-in a large saute pan, add ginger, garlic, cilantro, sesame oil, and salt and enough water to reach halfway up the side of the pan; bring to a boil over high heat; add the chicken, reduce heat to medium, and cover; simmer until chicken is cooked through; remove from heat and let stand until cool enough to handle
-transfer chicken to a cutting board; remove skin and cut meat from bone, cut meat into small strips or shred with your fingers

Prep vegetables and herbs:
1/2 head green cabbage (or savoy or napa), cored and thinly sliced
6 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced or julienned on slicer
3 serrano chiles, seeded and thinly sliced into long strips
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced white and green parts
1/2 c fresh mint leaves, chopped
1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

-place all sliced and chopped vegetables and herbs in a large mixing bowl

Peanut Sauce:
1 five-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1/4 c fish sauce
1/2 c soy sauce
3/4 c freshly squeezed lime juice
1 c smooth, natural peanut butter
1/4 c toasted sesame oil
2 T water if needed

-in a large measuring pitcher, combine ginger, shallots, fish sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice; whisk in peanut butter; whisk in sesame oil; if sauce is too thick, whisk in water starting with one tablespoon and adding more as needed

To finish salad:
1 pound rice vermicelli noodles
1/2 c roasted, unsalted peanuts for serving

-bring a large pot of water to a boil; cook noodles according to package instructions or until al dente; transfer to a colander to drain; rinse under cold water, drain, and place on a serving platter
-add prepared chicken to bowl of vegetables and herbs and toss to combine; pour half of the peanut sauce over this mixture and toss to coat; taste and add more peanut sauce as desired
-to serve, top noodles with chicken salad mixture, drizzle with some remaining peanut sauce, sprinkle with peanuts, and garnish with any extra herbs or green onions

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lemon Basil Shrimp and Pasta

We made this last night and for some reason it just completely hit the spot. I served it with the Coconut Green Beans. The spinach tasted so good to I will be remaking this tons as a way to get me to eat more spinach! I actually checked the Cooking Light Cookbook out from the library and this was in it. They mention, in the book, that you can also substitute chicken for the shrimp to be more cost effective.

Cooking Light
Lemon Basil Shrimp and Pasta
Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

A zesty one-pot pasta dish is complete after tossing with capers, basil, olive oil, and lemon juice. Serve with focaccia or crusty baguette.

Yield: 4 servings


  • 3 quarts water
  • 8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons drained capers
  • 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups baby spinach


Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add pasta; cook 8 minutes. Add shrimp to pan; cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are done and pasta is al dente. Drain. Place pasta mixture in a large bowl. Stir in basil and next 4 ingredients (through salt). Place 1/2 cup spinach on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 1/2 cups pasta mixture.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 397 (22% from fat)
Fat: 9.6g (sat 1.5g,mono 5.3g,poly 1.8g)
Protein: 31g
Carbohydrate: 44.9g
Fiber: 2.4g
Cholesterol: 172mg
Iron: 5.4mg
Sodium: 666mg
Calcium: 88mg

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Oatmeal Recipes

Craisin Cinnamon Oatmeal (Lisa Esplin)

2 cups water
1 cup oatmeal (Regular or Instant)
1/2 cups dried sweetened cranberries (Craisins)
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (Optional)
1-2 teaspoons of Peanut Butter (Optional-I know it sounds wierd but it's so yummy!)

Boil two cups of water. Stir in oatmeal and remaining ingredients. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Cook for less time if using instant oatmeal. I usually add Stonyfield Organic Low Fat French Vanilla Yogurt to Claire and Afton's oatmeal to cool it down and give it flavor. I eat mine with Skim Milk.

Pumpkin Oatmeal (Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious)

1 cup nonfat (skim milk)
1/4 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup canned pumpkin or sweet potato puree
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (optional)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice (I used cinnamon and nutmeg)
1 cup old-fashioned oats
2 teaspoons natural peanut butter (optional, I’d say go with 1 teaspoon)
Dried fruit and nuts (optional)
Pure maple syrup, for serving

1. In a small saucepan, combine the milk, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and if using, and spice. Bring to a gentle boil and stir in the oatmeal. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the oatmeal is soft and creamy. Stir in peanut butter, if using.

2. Spoon the oatmeal into bowls, sprinkle with dried fruit and nuts, if you like, and serve warm with maple syrup.

*I usually omit the last step and cook with water instead of milk 2 cups water to 1 cup oatmeal. I usually add Stonyfield Organic Low Fat French Vanilla Yogurt to Claire and Afton's oatmeal to cool it down and give it flavor. I eat mine with Skim Milk.

Sweet & Crunchy Granola

3 C rolled oats
1/2 C unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 C flaked coconut
1/2 C wheat germ
1 1/2 chopped nuts ( almonds, pecans, walnuts )
1 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t kosher salt
4 T (1/2 stick ) unsalted butter or canola oil
1/3 C pure maple syrup
1 t vanilla
1 C chopped dried fruit ( cranberries, raisins ) If you use raisins cover them with water and microwave until plump. This way they are soft in the granola not hard. Trick works well.

Preheat over 350*
In a large bowl, mix tog the oats, seeds, coconut, wheat germ, nuts, cinn, and salt.

In a small saucepan melt butter in the maple syrup over low heat. Stir in the vanilla. Add to the oat mixture. Add 2 T water and stir until well combined. Spread the granola evenly on a large baking sheet. Bake for 25 - 30 min. stirring at 10 min intervals ( important )

Remove from oven and cool. When cooled -I like to add peanut butter and chocolate chips or if I use craisins-white chocolate chips.