Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Few Of My Own Recipes

I've shared a couple of my, well, made up recipes in the past.  I always get nervous doing it because I don't exactly measure, etc.  But I have a couple of family favorites I would like to share.  I'll give my usual warnings that measurements are approximate.  And feel free to do what I do with recipe which is change it to make it your own.

This first one I came up with this past weekend.  It was a pretty cold weekend by Florida standards and I thought soup would be a great idea.  Hubby grew up eating his grandfather's "greens and beans" so this soup is a bit of a spin-off from that.

Sausage, Kale and White Bean Soup

1 package of turkey sausage (5 links...feel free to use regular sausage)
1/2 pound of kale, chopped (you could also use escarole)
2 cans of white beans (I used Great Northern beans)
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups of chicken broth (I use fat free sodium free)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Brown the sausage in a bit of olive oil.  Remove from the pan, take off the casing and slice the sausage.

Add a bit more oil to the pan and saute the onion and garlic until translucent.  Add in the kale until it's all wilted down.  Add the sausage back in and then add the chicken broth.  Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer and let cook for about 15 minutes.  Season to taste.

Even the kids liked this (well, my youngest wouldn't eat the "seaweed" but she ate everything else).  I threw in some leftover orzo too.  It's great with a nice crusty bread.

The next recipe I've changed a few times before I got to the "recipe" I use now.  I made these for Valentine's Day last night.  They're always a family favorite.

Chicken Quesadillas

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips
1 medium onion, sliced
1 pablano pepper, sliced (or you could use a regular pepper or a couple of jalapenos)
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp. pureed chipotles in adobo (use more or less depending on taste)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cup of canola or vegetable oil (depending on how limey you want the marinade)
salt and pepper to taste
1 package of Shredded Mexican style Cheese (this depends on how cheesy you like them)
6 Burrito size flour tortillas (you can use smaller ones if you like)
Cooking spray

Put the chicken, onion and pepper in a shallow dish or resealable bag.  Whisk together the lime juice, chipotle, garlic, oil, salt and pepper to make the marinade.  Pour over the chicken and veggies and marinate for at least half an hour but not more than a couple of hours.

Cook the chicken and veggies in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies are a bit tender.

Now, how you make the quesadillas will depend on what kind of equipment you have on hand.  I use a Foreman Grill but you can do it in a skillet or on a grill as well.

Spray one side of a tortilla with cooking spray and place on the pan or grill, sprayed side down.  Sprinkle the tortilla with a bit of the cheese, spreading it evenly over the tortilla.  Add a layer of the chicken and veggies (not too much...a nice single layer is good) then top with a bit more cheese.  Spray the second tortillas with cooking spray and place on top of the first, sprayed side up.  Let the quesadilla cook for about 5 minutes on one side.  If using a pan or grill, flip the quesadillas over (this can be tricky) and cook another 5 minutes or until the tortilla is a bit browned and crispy.  Repeat the process with the other 4 tortillas.  You can keep them warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.  Let them cool a bit before cutting into wedges (I cut mine into 8 wedges using my pizza cutter).  We top ours with salsa and sour cream.

When we're eating healthy, I use whole wheat tortillas and reduced fat cheese.  I've also make them with steak.

I hope I got these recipes right!  If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Drive By Steak Post

I'm going to apologize in advance for the short post.  I do have another one in the works but I need to try all the recipe first so it will likely be  LATE Super Bowl post.  But hey, you can use the recipes for next year!

I recently tried this steak recipe after my friends Wendy and Bill turned me back on to London broil.  I have NOT made it as a salad.  I just use all the marinade for the steak and serve it with roasted potatoes and a veggie.  I imagine this marinade would work great for flank steak too.

Grilled Thai Beef Salad


1 pound top-round London broil or flank steak, about 1 to 1 1/2-inches thick
3 tablespoons lime juice, divided (I don't divide it...I throw it in all at once.  I don't get why she says to divide it)
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 1/4 teaspoons red curry paste or chili-garlic sauce (I use chili garlic sauce.  Sriracha would also work)
1/2 head red-leaf lettuce, torn (about 6 cups)
3 shallots, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup), divided, for garnish
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, rinsed and dried
1 cup basil leaves, sliced into ribbons

Rinse and pat the meat dry. Place in a sealable plastic bag or small glass dish. In a medium bowl combine 1 tablespoon of the lime juice, soy sauce, canola oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger and red curry paste. Pour half the mixture into the bag with the meat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice to the bag. Seal tightly, and marinate meat in refrigerator at least 4 hours or overnight, turning occasionally. Reserve the rest of the mixture refrigerated, to dress the salad.

Spray grill or grill pan with cooking spray and preheat. Grill steak until medium-rare, about 5 minutes per side, depending on desired doneness. Let rest until room temperature then slice thinly against the grain.

Combine lettuce, sliced shallot, cilantro, basil and beef in a salad bowl, reserving a few shallots for garnish. Add the reserved dressing and toss to coat. Divide salad among 4 plates and garnish with reserved sliced shallots.

One of these days I will make it as a salad.  This marinade is SO good and the longer you leave the steak in, the better.
I PROMISE you a post next week with the Super Bowl recipes I tried...well, unless they suck but I doubt they will!  GO GIANTS!!!!