Saturday, February 27, 2010

Chick pea/ Garbanzo Taco

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 15 oz. cans of garbanzos, drained & rinsed

1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1.5 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper

1 tbsp tamari
2 tsp lemon juice

1. In heated skillet, put 1 tbsp vegetable oil and garbazos.
2. Add seasoning. Cook for 10 minutes in medium heat, stirring continuously. Be careful they don't burn!
3. Add tamari and lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute.

I found this online but now the URL doesn't work. I made this recipe in advance and it was delicious luke warm. The original recipe called for mashing the garbanzo beans, but the texture of the whole ones was pretty nice.

Fish Tacos

1 tbsp of virgin coconut oil
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
6 small pieces of tilapia
juice from 6 limes
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro

1. Heat coconut oil in a skillet
2. put all ingredients in skillet and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, turning frequently and breaking up fish as it cooks

Chicken Taco Fixing

The first in a series of taco fillings that I'll blog about now. I hosted taco-fiesta tonight - everything was delicious!

1 lb of chopped chicken breast. 1/2 inch cubes work well
1 cup of lemonade
2 tbsp of EVOO
juice from 1 lime
lime zest from that lime
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 bay leaf

1. put all the ingredients in your wok. medium high heat. 15-20 minutes until the chicken is done.

Pretty simple. The lime zest is my addition, but otherwise its basically this delicious recipe!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Spinach Lasagna

So, again, this recipe comes from reading a variety of recipes and then compromising on my own version given time and ingredients in my possession.

preheat oven to 350 degrees

Prepare yourself with the following bowls of ingredients.

Bowl A: 1 can or bottle of marinara sauce (I used a mushroom base) ;

Bowl B: mix together
1 package of frozen spinach cooked.
1 14-16 ounce tub of ricotta cheese
1 14-16 ounce tub of fat free cottage cheese
2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Bowl C: 15 cooked lasagna noodles

Bowl D: 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese mixed with 1 tbsp of italian spices (I have a grinder called that - if not, basil, oregano, garlic powder,thyme, some pepper, etc). Put this bowl in the fridge until much later.

Using Bowl A, B, & C, begin the assembly process.
In a regular lasagna/baking dish, I sprayed non-stick cooking oil first. Then a spoonful of marinara sauce. then 3 lasagna noodles.
Then I put in about half of the spinach mixture over the noodles, spread out evenly
then 3 lasagna noodles
Then several spoonfuls of marinara sauce evenly spread out
then 3 lasagna noodles
then the other half of the spinach mixture, spread out evenly.
then 3 lasagna noodles.
then the rest of the marinara sauce
then 3 lasagna noodles.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes. Then remove aluminum foil and top with 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella with 1 tbsp of italian spices. Bake (uncovered) for 10 minutes.

Few things to consider.
Why cottage cheese?
Well, to be honest it was because I didn't buy enough ricotta. But, on the plus size, it lightened the flavor a little - and the calorie count. I think I could probably cut the ricotta in half and not notice the difference with this substitution.

What if I want it with meat?
If you wanted to make this meaty, cook some ground beef with marinara sauce. I think the multitude of layers in this pasta would make that combination very nice.

What if I don't have spinach?
I would substitute in any other complementary vegetable - grilled onions, or lightly cooked mushrooms could work nicely. There is a lot of room for variation with the vegetables! It seemed important that the vegetables be cooked, however, before the lasagna construction, to prevent weird texture issues. Next time I'm going to try layering some grilled eggplant in there, as well.

What if I want to make it vegan?
Well, there are some vegan cottage cheeses. I think replace all of the ricotta with that; replace all of the cheese with soy alternative. For nutrient and texture value, it may also be best to blend in some soft tofu with the spinach/"cheese" mixture. Someone let me know how that works out if you do it!

What else can I serve with lasagna?
This recipe produces a hearty meal. We ate it with a green salad and a french baguette - plus some dessert!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Chicken Mozzarella

I read what felt like a billion "easy chicken parmagian" recipes and finally made this version. It borrows from so many others, that I can't really cite a specific other recipe.

4 pieces of chicken (I took two .75 lb chicken breasts and cut them in half)
14 Ritz-like crackers (mine were the generic brand)
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/2 tbsp dried Italian Herb blend (its a grinder that has garlic, onion, parsley, black pepper, salt and maybe more)
1/2 tbsp dried Oregano
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup flour
Red Pasta sauce
Pasta of your choice

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Take a baking dish and line it with aluminum foil. This trick cut my cleaning time substantially
3. Prepare three small bowls. Bowl A should have just the flour. Bowl B should have the beaten egg. Bowl C gets a bit more complicated - put the crackers in there, but crush them with your hands until they are pretty fine mush. Add the herbs - to be honest, I just kept pouring the herbs until it looked about right (my grandma's method of cooking which always infuriated me, but I now understand). Therefore, the 1/2 tbsp measurements are guestimates - if you want to add more, I say go for it. Then add 1/4 cup of Mozzarella (you'll need the rest at the end)
4. Now take the chicken dip it both sides in the flour bowl, then both sides in the egg bowl, then both sides in the cracker bowl, and then place it on the foil. Repeat for each piece. Whatever remains from the cracker dish, just put on top of the chicken pieces.
5. Bake for 20 minutes
6. As soon as you put the chicken in the oven, start the water boiling for pasta. Cook as directed. I was able to time this almost exactly so that the pasta and chicken finished at the same time.
7. When the chicken has cooked for 20 minutes, take a generous spoonful of the pasta sauce and place it on each chicken piece. Use the remaining 1/4 cup of mozzarella and evenly distribute it amongst the chicken pieces. Put them back in the oven for about 4 minutes.
8. After draining the pasta, coat with your red pasta sauce.

Serve pasta in a bowl with a piece of chicken. A caprese salad completes the meal nicely.