Search This Blog

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Raspberry Chipotle Marinade

Yep!  This is STORE BOUGHT!  No need for cooking!  This is a delicious marinade that I use for grilling chicken with.  Just put some chicken breasts in a freezer bag with some of this sauce, grill, and top with some more.  So delicious!!!

I bought it at Costco but they should have this or something simliar at your grocery store.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Friday Night Favorite with Spinach and Cheese Stuffed Ravioli

This is an easy, delicious, and elegant side dish!  I pair it wish filet mignon, roasted asparagus, broiled tomatoes, or different favorite side dish.  This is so easy and sooooo good!  I purchase Monterey Pasta Co brand ravioli from Costco.  (You can probably find it or a similar type at your local grocery store).  The pasta is pre-cooked, so you just have to thaw and heat up.

Serves 4 - 6


1/2 package (Coscto comes with two attached packages, use one full package), about 12-15 raviolis
1/4 Cup sun dried tomatoes
2 Tbsp chopped green onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 Cup olive oil
1/4 Cup white wine
Fresh shaved parmesan cheese


Rinse pasta and drain.  Thaw thoroughly, about 15-20 minutes.

Heat oil and wine in a pan, add garlic.  Simmer on med heat about 5 minutes.  Add sundried tomatoes and ravioli.  Reduce heat to low-med.  Toss ravioli regularly, until thoroughly heated through, about 10 minutes.  Add green onions.  Season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Indian Spiced Carrot Soup with Ginger

I have a girlfriend who's taste for cooking I completely trust.  She lived in Connecticut for a while, so I figured she's have some good soup recipes.  Sure enough, she sent me this recipe, and it was fantastic.  I'll admit, it sounded a bit odd, and I'm not usually a fan of curry.  However, this was so delicious, easy to make, and my hubby even loved it!!! 

I served this as a starter, then followed with filets, asparagus, and stuffed ravioli.  (That recipe will come next!)

Thanks Mara!!!!!  :)

Serves 5 - 7


1 Tsp coriander seeds* (or you can use ground coriander)
1/2 Tsp yellow mustard seeds*  (or you can use ground yellow mustard)
3 Tbsp peanut oil
1/2 Tsp curry powder
1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
2 Cups chopped onions
1 1/2 Lbs carrots, peeled, thinly sliced into rounds (about 4 cups)* (I purchased two bags of the crinkle-cut thin sliced carrot rounds from Publix to avoid having to peel and cut whole carrots)
1 1/2 Tsp finely grated lime peel
5 Cups low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 Tsp fresh lime juice
1 Tsp crushed red pepper
Plain yogurt for garnish* (I didn't use this - it looks pretty for guests, but I didn't want it to cool down the soup.  And if you let the yogurt sit at room temperature, it becomes runny).


Grind coriander and mustard seeds in a spice mill to fine powder. 

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium - high heat.  Add ground seeds and curry powder; stir 1 minute.  Add ginger; still 1 minute.  Add next three ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; saute until onions begin to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add 5 cups broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to med-low and simmer uncovered until carrots are tender, about 30 minutes.  Cool slightly.

Working in batches, puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.  Return soup to pot.  Stir in lime juice; season with salt and pepper and crushed red pepper, if desired.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Roasted Asparagus

Well, it's still monsooning here in South Florida, and I'm feeling a bit lazy today.  Although I'm still making time for my 90 minutes of hot yoga!  That just means I'll get home late and won't have much time to cook.  If you're in a crunch for time today, do what I'm doing.  Swing thru Publix and grab a rotisserie chicken, some asparagus, and some lettuce and salad ingredients.

I'm eating rotisserie chicken (skin removed), asparagus and a side salad.  For the side salad, use whatever ingredients you like.  The more veggies, the better!

I'll post a picture of the asparagus later, but for now, here's a yummy and quick way to prepare it:

Serves 2


10-12 thick asparagus stalks, ends removed (I just snap about 1 1/2 - 2" of the ends off and rinse)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tsp crushed red pepper
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1/2 shallot, slivered
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
fresh parmesan cheese

Turn oven on broil.  Toss asparagus in all ingredients.  Place on a baking sheet under broiler for about 5-7 minutes, or until crisp, tender, and ends are browning.

Feel free to add parmesan if desired.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Last Minute Chicken Caesar Salad

Hey gang!  If you're still undecided as to what to make for dinner tonight, why don't you have what I'm having?  Easy chicken caesar salad.  This is a great Tuesday night dinner.  Not too exciting, not too difficult to make, not too bad for you.  It's actually one of Adam's favorite "weeknight dinners". 

If you work from home or have time to swing home, put a couple of frozen chicken breasts out to thaw.  If not, stop by the grocery store.  You won't need much, it's easy, and of course, HEALTHY!   (Well, sort's lowfat dressing, and low carb.....)

Serves 2


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 bag romaine lettuce (or if you buy the bag with 3 romaine stalks, use 1 1/2 of them)
1/4 to 1/2 Cup lowfat caesar dressing (use to your liking....Adam likes his salad soggy)
1/2 Cup whole grain croutons
black pepper
sea salt
fresh shaved parmesan


Preheat oven to 350.  Season chicken with salt and pepper (and any other seasonings you may like).  Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, until cooked all the way through.

Rinse and chop lettuce.  Combine in a large bowl with croutons.

Add chicken, dressing, salt, pepper, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Toss and serve!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Superb Minestrone

This was quite a bit of work, but soooooooo worth it.  This was I think the tastiest minestrone soup I've ever had!  This makes a ton, so I had one night of leftovers and then froze the rest for another cool night!

Makes about 10 cups (serves 6 - 8)


1/2 Lb (about 1 1/4 cups) dried white beans such as Great Northern, picked over and rinsed (to make ahead of time, soak in water overnight)
1/2 Tsp salt
1/4 Lb pancetta (Italian cured pork belly, available at specialty food shops) or sliced lean bacon, chopped (I, of course, used lean turkey bacon).
1/3 Cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 Large carrot, cut into 1/2" dice
1 Rib of celery, cut into 1/2" dice
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 zucchini, scrubbed and cut into 1/2" dice
1/4 Lb green beans, trimmed and cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 Lb petite red potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4" dice
4 Cups shredded green cabbage
1/2 Lb kale, rinsed, drained, stems discarded and leaves chopped
1 28oz can tomatoes, chopped course and drained well
4 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
fresh grated parmesan cheese
optional sausage, sliced and cooked with bacon
fresh warm roll to accompany


In a large bowl, let the white beans soak in enough water to cover them by 2 inches overnight, or quick-soak them.  Drain the white beans.  In a saucepan, combine them with enough water to cover them by 2 inches and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour or until tender.  Add the salt and simmer another 5 minutes.  Remove the pan from heat and let the white beans stand, uncovered.  Set aside.

In a heavy kettle, cook the pancetta (or bacon, and sausage if including sausage) in the olive oil over moderate heat, stirring until it is crisp.  Add the onion, and stir until onion is softened.  Add the carrots, the celery, and the garlic and stir for 4 minutes.  Add the zucchini, green beans and potatoes and stir for an additional 4 minutes.  Add the cabbage and kale and cook the mixture, stirring until cabbage and kale is wilted.  Add tomatoes and broth and simmer the soup covered, for at least 1 hour.

Drain the white beans, reserving the liquid.  In a food processor, puree half the beans with 1 cup of the reserved liquid.  Stir the puree and the remaining whole beans into the soup.  Simmer, and add the remaining reserved liquid, if needed, to thin.  Season soup with seasonings of choice (I used some crushed red pepper, oregano, italian seasoning, salt and pepper).

Serve soup with fresh grated parmeson on top, and a warm bun on the side.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Layered Salad

This recipe comes from my wonderful mom!  She always used to make this along with her French Onion Soup recipe (posted previously).  This is so scrumptious!  Packed with crunchy veggies, and a creamy dressing makes this healthy yet filling and comforting.  A great accompaniment to soups.

Serves 4 - 6 as a side salad


1 head of iceberg lettuce
1/2 Cup chopped celery
1/2 Cup chopped green pepper
1/4 Cup chopped green onions
1 Cup peas
1 1/2 Cup low fat mayo
1/2 Cup low fat sour cream
2 Tbsp lemon juice
4 - 6 slices bacon, crumbled
1/2 cucumber, chopped
4 oz grated cheddar cheese
1 tomatoe, chopped


Layer the first 5 ingredients respectively (up to the peas).  Mix sour cream, mayo and lemon juice and spread evenly over salad mixture. 

Top with cheese, cucumbers, bacon and tomatoes.  Cover and serve chilled.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Beer Cheese Soup. 'Nuff said.

I cannot believe I haven't posted this yet!  Wowza.  This is mouth watering.  However, I recommend making it on a cold night.  Also, this recipe makes a HUGE pot, so either serve it with friends or freeze it.  It is very rich, and I recommend serving it as a starter, preferably before a nice hot, juicy steak.

Makes 13 cups


4 1/2 Tbsp margarine (room temp)
4 1/2 Tbsp flour
3 Cups water
1 1/2 Heaping tsp chicken base (Better than Buillon)
6 Cups heavy cream
2 1/4 Cups Killian's Irish Red beer
1 1/2 Lb shredded meunster cheese
1/4 Cup light brown sugar
1 Tsp tabasco
1Tsp kosher salt
1 Tsp black pepper
1 Cup chopped chives, for garnish


In a small bowl, mix flour and margarine to make a roux.  Set aside.  In large heavy saucepan, bring water, cream, beer, and chicken base to a boil.  Stir often.  Slowly whisk in the roux and return to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

With heat on low, slowly whisk in the cheese in small amounts, melting completely before adding more.  Add the sugar, hot sauce, salt and pepper and continue stirring. 

Serve hot and garnish with chives.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cayenne Rubbed Chicken with Avocado Salsa

This was easy, fresh, and so tasty.  You can cook this chicken in a skillet, but I grilled it.  It was so delicious with a slight charring on the edges!

Serves 4


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbsp cayenne pepper
Sea salt and black pepper
1 Medium red onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Garlic clove, minced
1 Large Vine Ripe tomato, chopped
1 Hass avocado, pitted and cut into chunks


1.  Mix cayenne, salt and pepper in a bowl, and rub all over chicken.

2.  Heat grill to high heat.  After about 10 minutes, reduce heat to medium-high and scrape grill.  Place chicken directly on grill rack and cook about 30 minutes total (depending on size of chicken), turning over once.

3.  Combine avocado, tomatoes, garlic, onion and lime juice in a bowl.  Spoon on top of chicken.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Green Green Spring Vegetables

What a fresh and healthy combination of veggies!  Crunchy and delicate.

Serves 4 - 6


1/4 Lb french green beans (haricots verts), ends removed
1/4 Lb sugar snap peas, ends removed
1/4 Lb Asparagus, ends removed, and cut into 2" pieces
1/2 Lb broccolini, ends removed (or broccoli florets)
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Shallots, sliced
Sea Salt and Pepper


1.  Boil a large pot of water. 
2.  Set up a large bowl of ice water in the kitchen sink.
3.  Boil asparagus first, about 1 minute.  Add the snap peas, broccolini and haricots verts.  Boil 1 more minute.
4.  Immediately transfer veggies from boiling water to ice water.  Let completley cool, then drain.
5.  In a skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat.  Add shallots.  Cook about 5 minutes until shallots begin to brown slightly.  Add remaining vegetables and toss until heated thoroughly.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serve hot.

Fontina and Sundried Tomato Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Hi followers!  I think I published this recipe a while back, but last night I made it again with some tweaks and it was SOOOOOOO delicious, I figured I'd re-post with the little adjustments.

Serves 2


2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Sea Salt and Pepper
1/2 Cup fresh baby spinach
1/4 Cup sundried tomatoes
1/2 Cup grated fresh Fontina Cheese
1 Tbsp chopped shallot
1 Garlic clove, chopped
3 Fresh basil leaves, chopped
Olive oil


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Slice the chicken breasts lengthwise to create a pocket.  Set aside. 

3.  Mix the following ingredients in a bowl:  spinach, sundried tomatoes, shallot, garlic, shredded fontina cheese, and basil.

4.  Stuff the mixture equally into each chicken breast and close with a toothpick.

5.  Drizzle chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.  Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  Remove foil, and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Serve hot when thoroughly cooked through.