Friday, May 21, 2010

Chocolate Mousse

I made the Pioneer Woman's Pots de Creme recipe and it is absolutely fantastic. I made half the recipe and then divided that into four servings as these are really rich. (To follow the serving size in the Pioneer Woman's recipe would lead to some serious GI distress, yo.) I highly recommend a little freshly whipped cream on top.

Now my only word of caution is that these contain raw eggs. The general public can handle the possible risk of salmonella, but these are not for the young, elderly, pregnant, or immuno-compromised. For the rest of us, this chocolate mousse represents living on the edge - culinary-style. Meow!


This post is c&p from a post on my old blog.

1 Ripe Avocado
1 Clove Garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
1/4 tsp Green Pepper Tabasco Sauce
1/4 tsp fresh Lemon or Lime Juice (fake-y lemon juice works fine, too)
Pinch salt
2-3 Grinds Black Pepper
Optional: 2 Tbsp Salsa

Take your ripe avocado and scoop out it's innards onto a cutting board.

Now give it a good mash with a fork. I like to leave it a little chunky.

Move the mashed avocado to a bowl. Add the chopped garlic, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Now here is where you get a choice. You can leave your salsa in a state of pure green deliciousness, or you can add the salsa.

I like to add the salsa both for flavor and because it stretches out the guacamole a little bit. More guacamole for all = WINNING MOVE.

Now you might have a moment where you get all tense about whether the bright red salsa will stir into your guacamole and still look normal. I can assure you it does. Photographic proof:

Throw some saran wrap over that guacamole and put it in the fridge for at least an hour. Otherwise you will get a strong garlic-y taste. A way around that is to first roast your garlic before adding it to your guacamole. Then it can be eaten right away.

This recipe serves 2 huge guacamole fans or 4 more modest eaters.

Penne with Vodka Sauce

I used this recipe from the Eating Well website with the following modifications:
  • I cooked up organic nitrate-free bacon in place of the capicola
  • I put goat cheese on top in place of Parmesan - but you could also go crazy and use both. I really like the goat cheese flavor with this dish.
I am labeling this one as vegetarian as you could easily skip the meat.

Baby Food: Blueberries & Yams

I stumbled on this food combination one day and found it actually really delicious as an adult. Stir in some plain whole milk yogurt and it's fantastic. I'm so inspired by this flavor combination that I plan to someday make a sweet potato pie with a blueberry glaze and whipped cream.

Blueberry & Yam Puree

-1 large yam or sweet potato
-1 bag frozen organic blueberries

1. Pre-heat oven to 350°.
2. Wash yam and poke a few holes in it to allow steam to escape. Place on baking sheet and bake for 1-1.5 hours or until soft.
3. Put blueberries and 1/4-1/2 cup water in microwave-safe bowl. Thaw blueberries partially in microwave. Drain blueberries and reserve water.
4. Combine yam innards and partially-thawed blueberries in blender. Use extra water from blueberries to thin puree as needed.
5. Spread in ice-cube tray and freeze.

Tequila-Lime Chicken Quesadillas

3 Limes, juiced
1/8 cup Tequila
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 pound Chicken Breast
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 Bell Pepper, cut into strips
1 Medium Onion, cut
1.5 cups Mexican-style Shredded Cheese
4 Tortillas (taco-sized)
Optional: Cilantro for garnish

Recommended Sides: Sour Cream, Homemade Guacamole, Homemade Pico de Gallo or Chunky Salsa (like Salsa Lisa)

1. Mix the lime juice, tequila, Tabasco sauce, chili powder, and garlic in a bowl. Cut the chicken up into bite sized pieces and add to the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Pull chicken out of fridge and let it come to room temperature prior to grilling.

2. Pre-heat oven to broiling.

3. Grill the chicken. Remove from grill when chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160°. Let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing to allow juices to redistribute.

4. While chicken is grilling, heat up oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add pepper and onion to the pan. Cook them for 3-5 minutes until the veggies are soft.

5. Time to layer. Spread out two tortillas on a cookie sheet and divide chicken, veggies, and cheese evenly between both. Place remaining tortillas on top and place in oven for a few minutes to melt cheese.

6. Cut with a pizza cutter and make it look all purdy on your plate.

Quesadilla recipe serves 4.

Baby Food: Pasta Primavera

- 1 cup cooked whole wheat pasta
-1/2 lb frozen organic mixed vegetables (this was 1/2 a bag)
-1/8 tsp sage
-1/8 tsp basil

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
2. When pasta is just about ready, heat vegetables and 1/2 cup water in the microwave.
3. Combine pasta, vegetables, and spices in blender or food processor and puree to desired consistency.
4. Spread in ice cube tray and freeze.

Baby Food: Curried Lentils & Vegetables

-1/2 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over to remove any small stones
-2 tsp finely diced onion
-1/2 lb frozen organic mixed vegetables (this was half a bag)
-1/4 tsp curry powder
-tiny pinch ginger

1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add lentils and onion and boil for a few minutes. Reduce heat to low and simmer until water is soaked into lentils (time will vary - make sure to check on them every 20 minutes or so.)
2. Once lentils are just about ready, heat the mixed vegetables and 1/2 cup water in the microwave until thawed.
3. Puree lentils, vegetables, and spices to desired consistency. You could also puree all the ingredients except for the lentils and stir those in at the end for a chunky texture.
4. Spread in ice cube trays and freeze.

I like to serve this with whole milk yogurt.

Baby Food: Parsnip & Carrot Puree

Wondering what a parsnip even looks like? Inner beauty, people. You've got to remember inner beauty.

-2 parsnips
-6 carrots

1. Peel parsnips and carrots and dice into 1/2 - 1" cube sized pieces.
2. Steam carrots for 5-8 minutes before adding parsnips as the carrots take longer to cook. Steam carrots & parsnips together for an additional 5-10 minutes or until soft.
3. Put carrots & parsnips into blender or food processor and puree to desired consistency. Use fresh water to thin mixture rather than the water left over from steaming the carrots & parsnips as the carrot water will contain nitrates (which are bad for baby and adults, too).
4. Spread mixture in ice cube trays and freeze.

Baby Food: Cherry Applesauce

-One bag frozen organic cherries
-6-8 organic apples

1. Wash and peel apples. Steam for 15 minutes or until soft.
2. Thaw cherries and 1/2 cup water in the microwave.
3. Combine apples, cherries, and water in blender. Puree to desired consistency.
4. Spread in ice cube trays and freeze.

Chicken Caesar Salad

OK, so this isn't really a recipe, but more of a meal idea.

-Chicken Breasts
-Mixed greens
-Italian Dressing for marinating chicken (I use Wishbone)
-Caesar Dressing (I use Paul Newman's Creamy Caesar)

Marinate chicken in Italian dressing for at least an hour. Grill chicken and bring it to an internal temp of 160°. Once you remove the chicken from the grill let it sit for a few minutes before slicing. Assemble salad. Bon Appetit!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Fresh Shrimp with Homemade Cocktail Sauce

No changes and it was great: Ina Garten's Shrimp with Cocktail Sauce

Mashed Horseradish Edamame (aka Mashed Soy-tatoes)

Mashed Horseradish Edamame
1/2 lb frozen shelled edamame beans
1 lemon - zested & juiced
1 Tbsp (or more if you like it spicy, which we do) prepared Horseradish sauce
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 tsp black pepper

Thaw edamame under warm running water for a few minutes. This will be boring. Then boil thawed edamame for 5 minutes to soften. Drain and reserve 1/3 cup of this cooking water. Place edamame and all other ingredients in a food processor. Puree, slowly adding the reserved liquid.

Related Recipes:
Honey-Soy Glazed Fish
Seasoned Quinoa

Honey-Soy Glazed Fish

Honey-Soy Glazed Fish

Mix 2 Tbsp cup soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sugar, and 1 Tbsp honey. Ideally I think it would be good to marinate the fish, but we just covered the fish with the sauce before putting it on the grill. Since this particular fish was sashimi-grade and we bought it from a reputable fishmonger we only cooked it for 2 minutes on each side. And yes, I did just say fishmonger.

Related Recipes:
Mashed Horseradish Edamame
Seasoned Quinoa

Seasoned Quinoa

Seasoned Quinoa

Quinoa is cooked just like rice. Don't be scared. Husband would also like for you to know that it is a complete protein. And for the record, I think the sage flavor was weird with this meal, but Husband wanted it that way and marriage is about compromise.

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp dried sage or other spice
1/2 tsp salt

Add salt to water and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling add remaining ingredients (quinoa, butter, sage) and return it to a boil. Then cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes and then remove from heat. Let it sit an additional 5 minutes.

Related Recipes:
Honey-Soy Glazed Fish
Mashed Horseradish Edamame

Bean & Rice Burritos

6-10 taco- or burrito-sized tortillas (depends on how robust you want your burritos to be...)
8 oz shredded cheese
Spanish rice mix, prepared (I use Zataran's)
Can black beans
Can fat free refried beans
1/2 packet of taco seasoning
Jar fresh salsa like Salsa Lisa

Heat both beans with 1/2 packet of taco seasoning. Now spread out a tortilla and fill it up with beans, spanish rice, cheese, and salsa. Roll and stick in freezer bag. Easy peasy. And pleasy. The dietitian in me feels compelled to tell you that this recipe is especially high in sodium given it's use of processed & canned foods. But you can choose to ignore that information and eat them anyway. That's what I do.

Goat Cheese, Red Pepper & Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breasts over Greens w/a Lemon Vinaigrette

My friend Susan brought me this meal shortly after Bella was born and I fell in lurve with it.

1 lb chicken breast
1 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 can artichoke hearts, diced (get the most expensive can...they are much more tender)
4 oz goat cheese
1/2 cup Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
Mixed baby greens
Salt & Pepper to taste

Pound chicken breasts to ~1/4 inch thickness between sheets of waxed paper. Mix red pepper, artichoke hearts, goat cheese, and breadcrumbs in a bowl. Spread pepper/artichoke/goat cheese mixture on top of each chicken breast and roll 'em up (there will be a decent bit of pepper/artichoke/goat cheese mixture remaining). Place stuffed chicken breasts in baking dish. Put remainder of pepper/artichoke/cheese mixture in separate baking dish (you can put the chicken & other stuff in one dish, but it will take FOREVER to bake). Bake both dishes for ~30 minutes at 350° or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160° (Food Safety Dietitian Laura highly recommends a meat thermometer). While chicken is cooking, mix 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice with 1 Tbsp olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. When chicken is done cooking, let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting it on a slight angle. To serve, generously spread greens on a plate and top with chicken and remaining pepper/artichoke/cheese mixture. Put dressing on top. Fin!

Veggie Lasagna

My veggie lasagna is always an evolving thing. Here is how this particular batch was made. This recipe is a little labor intensive so I usually make it on weekends when I can force get Husband to help me. I like to make two small lasagnas rather than one big one so that I can cook them up separately. These can go directly into the freezer - just thaw in fridge before cooking or add some cooking time if you want to put it in the oven straight from the freezer.

26 oz quality pasta sauce or I made the sauce portion of this Food Network recipe
6 oz tub Parmesan cheese
2 cups/8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
15 oz tub low fat cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
Assorted vegetables, sliced (I used two small zucchini, 1 medium yellow squash, 1 container mushrooms)
1 Tbsp olive oil
No-boil lasagna noodles

If you are making your own sauce, start with that step. Sauce all ready? Good, let's proceed. Put a medium sized pot on a burner over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pot and force yourself to wait a minute. Add sliced vegetables and give it a good stir. Put the lid on the pot so that things get nice & steamy. Let vegetables cook, stirring every few minutes or so until they are nice and tender - almost mushy). I don't remember how long this takes - maybe 10-15 minutes? Maybe it's only 5 minutes. Eh, you'll know when they are ready.

Now we are ready to put the lasagna together. First, put aside 1/2 cup sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese right away - this is going to be for the very top layer. The very first layer of the lasagna will be a small amount of sauce in the bottom of dish, followed by noodles. Do not be obsessive about the noodles lining up perfectly - it doesn't matter. Now just start layering the other ingredients. I think we did a layer of half the cottage cheese, followed by half the veggies, followed by mozz & parmesan cheese, more sauce, noodles, remainder of cottage cheese, remainder of veggies, mozz & parmesan, and one last layer of noodles, remaining sauce and remaining cheese. Something like that. Again, doesn't really matter and don't drive yourself crazy trying to get that cottage/ricotta cheese to spread evenly. Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 60-70 minutes at 375°. Remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes to get the top looking purdy. It's done when you can easily stick a fork in the middle. Now exercise patience and let it sit for 10 minutes before diving in.

Curried Chicken Salad

I use this Epicurious recipe, but I modify it as follows:
  • 0.75 lbs chicken (in place of 1.5 lbs)
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder (in place of 5 tsp curry powder)
  • 2 Tbsp finely diced onion (in place of 1 cup onion - GAH - how gross would that be?)
  • 1.5 cups sliced grapes (in place of 1 cup grapes)
  • Sometimes I used frozen cubed mango in place of fresh mango

Cucumber Salad

I used this recipe from, but subbed fresh cilantro for the dried dill. I also skipped the onion, because I didn't have one on hand. Oh - and you can make the cucumber slices extra pretty if you run a fork down the sides before slicing it. Picked that trick up when I was in charge of the salad bar at a hospital during a summer job. Side note - being in charge of a salad bar does not a good job make.

Chicken Enchiladas

Husband is OBSESSED with these right now. I follow this recipe from, but I make the following modifications:
  • I use shredded chicken (from either a rotisserie chicken or I cook a whole chicken in the crock pot)
  • I use full fat yogurt in place of the sour cream (I've tried both ways and really prefer the yogurt)
  • I skip the water
  • I add extra peppers (1/2 cup)
  • I use 16 oz enchilada sauce in place of the taco sauce.
  • Sometimes I just put cheese on the top instead of in the filling AND on top

Chicken Pesto Pasta

This is my take on Noodles & Co's Pesto Cavatappi.

0.75 lb chicken breast, cut into strips (can use more or less according to your fancy, yo)
1 Tbsp Olive oil
~2 Tbsp white wine
~1 Cup Pesto
8 oz penne pasta noodles, cooked (i.e. 1/2 box)
1-2 fresh tomatoes, diced (seeds removed)
6 sundried tomatoes, cut into small slivers
1 package fresh mushrooms, sliced
Parmesan cheese, shredded for garnish

Cook pasta noodles according to directions on package. In the meantime, heat pan over med-high heat. When pan is hot, add oil. Add chicken strips and cook for 1 minute on each side. Add mushrooms and saute for a few minutes. Add wine and de-glaze pan. Add tomatoes and heat through. Finally, add drained pasta noodles and pesto sauce and heat for an additional minute or two. Garnish with parmesan cheese for serving.

This recipe is EXCELLENT with shrimp in place of the chicken. Just make sure not to overcook them!

Ukranian Potato Salad

It's OK to laugh at the chicken sausage all sliced and weird on the plate. My feelings will not be hurt. I cannot say the same for Husband's feelings, as the chicken sausage slicing was his doing.

I never cared for potato salad until I had some while traveling in Kiev, Ukraine with Husband a couple years ago (read about that trip here). The magic is in the fresh dill & pickles.

3 medium potatoes (I used Yukon Golds)
1/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 large deli pickled (or more if you are feeling festive), diced into medium-sized chunks
2 T dijon mustard (I used Maille brand)
3 T mayo
3 T fresh dill, coarsely chopped

Peel potatoes and slice into cubes. Boil until cooked (15-20 minutes). Drain and let cool for 10 minutes or so. In a separate bowl, mix the dijon, mayo and dill. Combine cooled potatoes, pickles, and peas and add the dijon/mayo/dill mixture. Stir just until mixed. I like to serve this still warm.

Serves 4.

Caprese Salad

One of my favorite foods EVER. I always plate it up all pretty, even if I'm going to just dish it up minutes later. In all honesty, you will be much more satisfied with your food if you take some time for presentation. For reals, kids.

Ball of Mozzarella
2 medium tomatoes
Bunch of fresh basil
Balsalmic Vinegar
Quality Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Slice tomatoes and mozzarella into similar sized slices. Tear medium-to-large basil leaves. Plate salad with overlapping tomato slices, mozzarella slices, and basil. Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil (QUALITY olive oil - no cheapy stuff or it will not taste nearly as good). Sprinkle salt & pepper on top. DONE.


3 cups loosely packed basil leaves
1/3 cup pine nuts (options - you can use other nuts such as walnuts or almonds and/or you could toast the nuts first)
3-4 T shreddedparmesan cheese
3-5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup quality olive oil (quality olive oil important since it does not get cooked much before consumption)

Place ingredients in food processor. Turn processor on and slowly add olive oil. Done. This was a tough one, huh?

Palak Daal

I fell in love with Indian food while studying abroad in London and then fell in love with an (half) Indian man three years later. Consequently, we have quite the spice collection and eat Indian food on a fairly regular basis.

This particular recipe was from 101 Cookbooks and I tried it after my friend Amy told me about it. Husband and I weren't completely in love with it, but it was nutritious and filling, which counts for something. Mint chutney (I had some bottled stuff on hand) and naan (used frozen kind from the Indian grocery store) made it much better.

WARNING: This meal is - in the words of my good friend and fellow dietitian, Amy - a fiber bomb. She told me a story about how she fed it to her husband and he called her later from work to complain about his, uh, flatulence situation. So proceed with caution and maybe don't have it for lunch if you have a hot date that night.

Pot Roast

This is an unusual meal for me to make, but Husband got a bee in his bonnet about having it after we tried a sample at the grocery store. Since Husband is generally one of those people who wishes that food came in a pill form so he wouldn't have to deal with it (WHA??), I make sure to give in to requests like this in hopes to encourage a love of eating. I used this recipe, but tripled the carrots and added mushrooms. I will be making this again, for shizzle. The best part was dumping a generous glop of horseradish on top.