Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shepherd's Pie

6-8 servings

1lb lean ground beef
1 onion diced
1 red pepper seeded and diced
olive oil
1 cup frozen mixed veggies (with corn!)
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder (prepared mustard will do)
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cup chicken or beef stock
4 medium potatoes peeled
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1/4 cup italian flavoured bread crumbs

Preheat oven to broiler.

Fry onion and pepper in olive oil until browned. Add beef and contine to simmer until meat is cooked through. Add frozen veggies and spices and cook until veggies are warmed through. Stir in flour. Stir in stock and let simmer until thickened to a gravy then transfer mixture to a 9x13 glass baking dish.

In the meantime, boil potatoes until tender then mash with butter, milk, cream cheese, salt & pepper.

Top meat mixture with a layer of mashed potatoes, followed by cheese then bread crumbs. Broil until brown and bubbly.

Tip: I used a 9x13" dish because I like more space for the cheesy topping but you could make a deeper dish pie instead if you want.

- shepherd's pie -

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Brined and Barbecued Chicken Recipe

It was my first time using a brine. The chicken turned out nice and juicy!

4 servings

8 chicken pieces with or without skin and bones
4 cups warm water
4 cups ice or cold water
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
2 smashed garlic cloves
barbecue sauce

In a large bowl, mix warm water with salt & sugar until dissolved. Add soy sauce and olive oil. Add ice cubes or cold water. Either way, make sure the mixture is cool before adding to the chicken.

In a lage zipper bag or container, place the brine with the onion and garlic. Mix then add chicken pieces. Original recipe says to brine for 4 hours but I left it for 24.

When ready to use, rinse the chicken peices several times in cold water then pat dry with paper towels. Don't skip this step or you may end up with really salty chicken.

Grill until no longer pink inside then brush barbecue sauce on and grill for another minute or two on each side. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Tip: You could probably just sprinkle on some spices and grill instead of using a sauce. However you cook it after brining is up to you.

Original Recipe:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Crustless Quiche Muffins { with turkey bacon, onion, red pepper, broccoli and cheddar cheese - south beach diet friendly }

6 muffins

3 large eggs
3/4 cup 2% milk
3 slices turkey bacon
1/4 cup sliced onion
1 diced red pepper
1/2 cup cooked broccoli pieces
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
salt & pepper

Beat eggs with milk and set aside.

In some olive oil or butter, fry the bacon, onion and pepper until golden. Set aside and allow to cool.

Mix all ingredients into the egg mixture and divide between 6 muffin cups that have been sprayed with cooking spray or rubbed with oil. I would skip the paper muffin cups on this one as the egg will probably stick to it. Bake at 350F for about 20 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve hot.

Leftovers are also good reheated the next morning.

Tips: Try using ham, swiss and frozen thawed (and squeezed) spinach. Try adding mushrooms! You can pretty much add anything you want! Make it richer tasting by using a can of evaporated milk instead of 2%. If you're on South Beach you can use lower fat evaporated or regular milk, and low fat cheeses.

- crustless quiche muffins -

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Creamy Chicken Corn Chowder

8 servings

3 slices bacon diced
1 stalk celery diced
1/2 red pepper diced
1 small onion diced
1 medium potato diced
1 tablespoon chile powder
3 cups homemade (or low sodium) chicken stock
1 can corn (341ml - about 1 cup?)
6 oz cooked chicken breast diced
salt & pepper
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1 tablespoon dried parsley (or 1/4 cup fresh cilantro if you like it ..I don't)

In a large nonstick pot, fry your bacon until crispy (no oil needed). Remove bacon and set on a paper towel to drain. In the bacon oil on medium high heat, fry onions, peppers and celery until golden. Add potatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in chile powder.

Add chicken stock, corn and chicken and bring up to a simmer. Cook on medium heat until potatoes are tender.

Mix flour with milk until lumps are gone and add to simmering soup. Continue to simmer until thickened then add parsley (or cilantro) and cheese. Serve hot.

Tips: I had 1 1/2 breasts of left over grilled chicken so I used that. I always keep bacon in the freezer. Buy a pack of bacon and seperate it into portions of 3 strips. Wrap each portion in plastic wrap and freeze. They cut easily when they're frozen if you use a sharp knife.

- creamy chicken corn chowder -

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup

4 servings

3 red bell peppers
2 plum tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoon olive oil
salt & pepper
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup chicken or veg stock
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil
3/4 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo), rinsed
sour cream

Place peppers and tomatoes on the grill or under a broiler until skins turn black. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic for a few minutes. The skins should easily peel off. Remove stem and seeds from peppers.

Chop 2 peppers and 2 tomatoes roughly. Chop 1 pepper finely and set aside in a seperate bowl.

In a nonstick pot, brown onions in olive oil. Add salt, pepper and cinnamon. Stir. Add chopped peppers and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add stock and bring up to a simmer. Move to a blender and blend until smooth. Return to pot on medium heat. Once simmering add chickpeas, heavy cream and basil. Bring back up to a simmer. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream.

Tips: Peppers are beautiful and in season here now but you can always used canned tomatoes and a jar of roasted red peppers. If you're on South Beach you may want to leave out the heavy cream.

- roasted red pepper and tomato soup -

Grilled Chicken Breast with Roasted Vegetables and Yogurt Recipe

4 servings

- Chicken -
4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon each paprika & oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons balkan style yogurt
1/2 a lemon juiced
1 tablespoon honey

- Roasted Vegetables-
1/2 a head each cauliflower and broccoli cut up
1/2 red onion, sliced
4 whole cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon each paprika and dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

- Yogurt -
1 1/2 cups balkan style yogurt
1 tablespoon dried dill
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup grated cucumber

To make chicken. Mix all ingredients except chicken and place in a large ziploc bag. Place chicken inside, seal the bag and smoosh it all around. Let sit in the fridge for 2 hours or longer. Remove the chicken from the bag and grill it until no longer pink inside.

To make the vegetables. Mix the spices with lemon juice and olive oil. Add all the veggies and toss well. Place in a glass baking dish in the oven for 40 minutes on 425F. After 20 minutes, give it a stir. Remove from oven and toss with parmesan cheese.

To make the yogurt. Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Creamy Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup

4 servings

1 cup broccoli cut up
1 cup cauliflower cut up
1 medium potato sliced
3 cups chicken stock
1 tsp butter
1 tsp flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

Add broccoli, cauliflower, potato, salt and pepper, and stock to a pot and boil until veggies are tender.

Blend in a blender until smooth.

In the same pot, mix butter and flour over medium heat just until it starts to brown. Return soup to the pot and bring to a simmer. It should thicken slightly. Add milk and bring back to a simmer. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Serve hot.

- creamy broccoli and cauliflower soup -

Creamy Veggie Soup

You make this soup when you have leftovers from a party veggie platter! Make it vegan by using vegetable stock.

4 servings

1/4 cup chopped celery
1 cup baby carrots
1/2 cup chopped zucchini (peeled)
1/2 cup red pepper slices
1 potato peeled and diced
1/2 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo), rinsed
1/2 tsp ground cumin
salt & pepper
2 cups chicken stock

Add all ingredients to a pot and simmer until veggies are tender. Put in a blender and puree until smooth. Serve hot.

Tips: Great soup for kids because they can't see all the veggies that are in there.

- creamy vegetable soup -

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chicken Salad

1 serving

1 skinless, boneless chicken breast half
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
2 cups lettuce, chopped
1 tomato, diced
1/2 cup Balkan style yogurt
1/4 cup cucumber, grated and squeezed (use paper towel)
1 teaspoon dried mint

Marinate your chicken for at least an hour in lemon juice, olive oil and spices. Grill or fry until no longer pink inside. Set aside to rest.

Mix yogurt with cucumber and dried mint. You can also add garlic if your heart desires.

Top lettuce and tomato with yogurt and then place sliced chicken on top.

- chicken salad -

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Meatloaf Cupcakes

12 muffins

2 slices bread
3/4 cup milk
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon each paprika, garlic powder and dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
2 large potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup sour cream
beets or food colouring (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F

Soak the bread slices in milk.

In a bowl, add beef, egg, ketchup, spices, onion and parsley. Add soaked bread and mix it all up until well combined.

Evenly distribute between 12 muffin cups. No need to grease the muffin pan as the meat has enough oils in it already, it won't stick.

Bake for about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Meanwhile, peel and roughly chop your potatoes. Boil just until softened, then drain.

I didn't have any beets but I really wanted to use them as colouring. If you have a beet cut it up (it cooks faster) and boil it then mash it in with your potatoes. Leave some white if you want. Or use different food colourings.

Mash potatoes (and beets) with remaining ingredients.

Remove cupcakes from tray and frost with mashed potatoes. If you want to get fancy, you can pipe it on. Sprinkle with various spices for decoration.

- meatloaf cupcakes -

Tuna on Salad

2 servings

1 can tuna in water, drained
1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 scallion (green onion), finely chopped
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
salt and pepper

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard (or dijon)
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3 cups lettuce, chopped
1 tomato, diced

Mix tuna with celery, scallion, mayonnaise, dill, salt and pepper.

Mix mayo, mustard, honey and lemon juice. Toss lettuce and tomato in honey mustard dressing and top with tuna mixture.

- tuna on salad -

Marinated Steak Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

1 serving

4 oz grilled steak (spiced however you like)
1 teaspoonolive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
2 cups lettuce, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 cup cucumber, chopped
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon prepared mustard (dijon if you like)
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Marinate the steak in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper for at least 1 hour. Blot with paper towels to dry then sprinkle on your favourite steak spice blend. Grill the steak to desired doneness and set aside for 10 minutes.

Mix mayo, mustard, honey and lemon juice then toss with lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber. Slice up your well rested steak and place it on top of your salad.

- marinated steak salad with honey mustard dressing -