STUFFED TURKEY MEATLOAF MUFFINS & FRIES

Deb's Stuffed Turkey Meatloaf Muffins and Fries - hot off the grill.

      You cant help but love these wonderful individual "meatloaf muffins." They are fast and easy to make, so you whip up a batch during the week for the kids or make a couple of dozen and put them in the freezer.  Just pop one or two in the microwave later for an on the go lunch or dinner.  The cheesy inside can either tone them down, spice them up - even make them elegant with a nice chunk of Brie and bring them to your next get-together.  Served with potato wedges, you can make them on the grill or in the oven, with ground turkey, chicken beef, chop in some vegetables, -- the possibilities are endless.  Have fun with these!

INGREDIENTS:

STUFFED TURKEY MEATLOAF MUFFINS
INGREDIENTS:
2lbs Ground Turkey*
 *(for extra moist muffins use a mix of dark & white meat turkey, for the calorie conscious choose the leaner ground white meat turkey and add more liquid)
2 eggs
1 c.  1% milk
2 tbsp Italian seasoning mix (I like Emeril's)
1 tbsp granulated garlic  
1 c. chopped onions, sautee'd until golden brown
1/4 c. Worchestershire Sauce
1 - 2 c. panko crumbs
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 c. shredded cheddar for filling (bleu, brie or any of your melting favorites will work)
DIRECTIONS:
You can make these in the oven or on the grill - you just need an average size muffin pan, sprayed with non-stick spray..  Preheat to 350 degrees.  If you're using the grill, be sure to put them over indirect heat so you don't burn the bottom.  
In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, seasoning mix, garlic (fresh is ok too), chopped cooked onions, Worchestershire sauce & parmesan cheese.  Add the ground turkey and mix gently.  Now gradually add the panko crumbs until you have the desired consistency for a meatloaf. 
Put enough turkey mixture in each muffin cup to fill about 1/2 inch of the bottom and a bit up the sides; add about a tablespoon of cheese, then add another scoop full of turkey mixture to cover and seal. 
Cook about 20 minutes, then check for doneness with a toothpick.  If the cheese is melty inside, they're done!   Serve with Fries. 
POTATO WEDGES
For homemade, take about 4 or 5 of your standard baking potatoes and scrub clean. Cut in quarters, then cut each quarter in half again.  Place all the wedges in a large bowl or Ziploc bag.  Toss with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and your favorite BBQ seasoning mix; or a simple Garlic, Parmesan & Basil mix.  You can be inventive here.  
With homemade or frozen:  If grilling, place them all in an oiled grill basket or pan until crispy and brown, turning once.  They should be done the same time as the muffins.  If you're using the oven, place on a non-stick baking sheet (or pizza tray with holes if possible) and follow directions above.  
Enjoy - dinner in 30 minutes!

MEAL IN A MUFFIN CUP (serves 5-6)

Serving Size of 2 or 3 will satisfy the average person. In my family (4 or more!)

     So, here I was scouring my fridge/freezer trying to come up with something different for dinner and not go shopping. It was getting late and it was snowing and the kids needed to eat, but sometimes the best things come out of necessity.  I'm into Quick & Easy this winter, but we still want that comforting food in this cold weather. So here is a treat for you, and feel free to adjust it to your taste - for breakfast, brunch dinner or dessert.  Its too easy to pass up: 
INGREDIENTS
1 pkg Peppridge Farm Puff Pastry dough, each roll thawed & cut into 9 squares.
1 1/2 - 2 lbs ground sausage (or links, casings removed)
1 pkg frozen chopped onions & peppers
1 c. crumbled Feta cheese
1 pkg Steam Fresh mixed veggies, just barely steamed and still crisp.
1 egg for egg white
Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
     Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
     Sauté onions & peppers in a large fry pan with olive oil until they just begin to caramelize; Add crumbled sausage and cook until just browned, mash slightly with potato masher. Turn off heat, add Feta Cheese, Mixed veggies, Salt & Pepper to taste. If you want a spicier flavor, add chili powder or hot sauce now.
     While the onions and sausage are browning, spray a muffin tin with Pam, and place a square of dough in each muffin cup, allowing the corners to peek out of the cup. Then when your meat filling is done, fill each pastry cup with the mixture (as much as you can fit). I had extra filling, so I simply put it in the empty muffin tin cups. 
     Brush the dough with whisked egg whites, and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes until pastry dough has risen and muffins are puffy. Remove with a flexible spatula and serve. 
     Although you have a complete meal right in front of you, a side salad of mixed greens or a Capresé salad would be delicious on the side.     ENJOY!
  • Oven Fried Pork Chops, Hot out of the oven!

  • A meal in a Pork Chop, also would be nice served on a bed of arugula or baby greens.

"OVEN-FRIED, SPINACH CRUSTED PORK CHOPS" - A Meal In A Pork Chop, Serves 4-6

     Sometimes I'll grab something out of the freezer, not exactly sure of what to do with it.  This time I had pork chops, so I set them out to defrost.**  Unfortunately, we were out of eggs and breadcrumbs, and I though my idea of breaded chops was out the window.  But wait, I did have some things on hand, and who says you have to use an egg wash to bread or batter something?  What developed were some of the best Pork Chops I've had.  It may sound a bit unusual at first, but just try it.  All you need - meat, starch & vegetable in one Chop!!  Photos Above.

INGREDIENTS:  8 Pork Chops,  1 to 1 & 1/2" Thick; 2 pkgs Frozen Creamed Spinach; Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper to taste; 1/2 c. Light Mayonnaise; 1 tbsp Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic; 4 c. crushed Chips, Tortilla Chips, Crackers or Cereal Flakes, Extra Virgin Olive Oil for drizzling over chop.  

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, mix defrosted Creamed Spinach & Light Mayo (and a little Tabasco if you like).  Clean & Dry Chops, and season by rubbing in Poultry Magic, Salt and Pepper.  Crush your chips or crackers in a Ziploc bag, and pour into another bowl, crushing them until well crumbled.  Some larger pieces are fine.  Now, for each Chop, place it in the spinach mixture and coat well, then dip in crumb mixture and press the crumbs into the spinach, covering all sides.  Place on a well greased tray of a broiling pan, and sprinkle with any extra crumbs.  Drizzle with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and bake about 45 minutes or until cooked medium to medium rare.  Done!  Serve with or over a mixed greens salad if you prefer more vegetables!!

**You will need to add an extra 15 minutes or so of cooking time if not fully defrosted.  

MAKING STRATA CASSEROLES

Leftover Holiday Ham Strata ~ Reuben Style
Serves: Serves 6

      Hey All, The holidays are over for now, and its time to go back to work, kids get back to school, and we're all going back to our usual routine.  But that doesn't mean you have to go back to the same old rut when you cook.  Here I have a collection of fast easy meals, both comforting for a long snowy day and light and healthy for those who want to shed the holiday pounds.  All of these complete dinners can be made in less than an hour, often less than 30 minutes (Unless its a slow-cooker meal).

           Are you one of those people that scoop out the insides of your bagels in the morning?  I am.  What do you do with the insides?  I have a new answer for you.  From now on, you will put them in a Ziploc Freezer Bag, along with any other old or stale breads, and save them until the bag is full.  Then …, you  have a world of options at your fingertips!  For example, you are going to learn how to make a Strata

     This one here is one of my favorites: A Reuben Strata, which can be prepped the night before or in the morning using your left-over corned beef or pastrami and some day-old bread, and cooked in a flash!  What a great note on which to end the season.

DEB'S REUBEN STRATA, Serves 8 - 10

Reuben Strata: Simple, make-ahead, everyday meal
Many Substitutions Permitted!

     You can make a Strata out of most anything from mixed veggies, bread  & custard to one with meats and cheese.  You often see them at breakfast or brunch.  However, in this case, we're going to make a Ruben Strata.  Here, you will get the taste of the real deli sandwich, hot and ready in a one pan meal. The flavors are unexpected and it's a great way to use leftovers from your fridge. Sometimes the custard in Stratas are eggy, which you wouldn't want unless you're planning breakfast.  However, the misture of eggs to milk/cream/seasonings is the key.   In our adaptation of this Ruben Strata, (original from Noblepig.com) you will find no trace of scrambled eggs, instead tasting warm custardy bread, ham, cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. It's tangy and savory and you can't help but love it.  (The colors you see are not usual - the red and green are from our christmas bagels.  The original recipe calls for sliced & toasted Dark Pumperknickle, but you can use whatever you prefer.  Here, I used a mix of sesame, plain, Christmas colored sesame & pumperknickle)

INGREDIENTS

Butter, (I used Pam) to coat the pan
1 gal. Ziploc bag of leftover bread/bagel pieces (recipe originally directed 20 slices        pumpernickel bread)
4 cups diced ham (I had no ham, so I used leftover bologna & breakfast sausages)
2 cups sauerkraut, rinsed and drained
2-1/2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (traditionally Swiss)
1 cup Thousand Island dressing
10 large eggs
2 cup skim milk
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

DIRECTIONS
     Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place bread on a baking tray, spray with oilive oil, and put in oven for 20 minutes, turning once. This will crisp up the bread, giving it the potential to hold the egg mixture. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13" baking pan with cooking spray.
     Cover bottom of dish with bread cubes or pieces. (If you are using whole slices of crisped bread, simply slice them to fit evenly along the bottom). Top bread with 1 cup meats (of your choice), 1 cup sauerkraut and 1 cup cheese. Spread half the dressing over the cheese (this is the key to your Ruben so don't leave it out.  Of course, you can substitute any dressing you like, but you will change the taste). Repeat for one more layer, then top with one more layer of bread. 
     Whisk eggs, milk and Dijon until well combined. Pour your mixture over layers in baking dish (do this slowly, let some settle in and pour more.)  Using your hands, press down layers to make it fit into the pan and so the bread soaks up the custard.  I did not finish with cheese as it tends to burn).   Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24.
Bake loosely covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, remove cover and bake for remaining 15 minutes until top is crispy and browned. Wait 10 minutes before serving.

Eggplant Parmigiana, Serves 6

Perfectly fried eggplant, light fresh tomato sauce taste, and lots and lots of cheese!!

     First things first.  This does not qualify as fast and easy if you plan on frying your own eggplant.  Its just not worth the time when most Italian deli's and specialty stores have already done it for you at a reasonable price.  Its worth it.  I ended up with leftover fried eggplant from New Year's Eve that went unused because was sliced and fried cross-wise dashing my hopes for eggplant rolletini.  Yet, there was enough of it to make a medium size tray of the classic Eggplant Parmigiana.  All I needed was the sauce and the cheese mixture and I'd be ready to go.  In less than an hour we had a fantastic Sunday dinner. The only thing that could have made it better would have been a bowl of my cousins meatballs!! 

INGREDIENTS:         About 1 1/2 lbs of Fried Eggplant
3 14oz cans diced fire roasted (or your favorite) tomatoes, drained.
Italian Seasoning (I like Emeril’s) to taste
A handful of Fresh Parsley
3 lb container of Ricotta Cheese
2 bags of shredded Mozzarella
4 eggs
A handful of Grated Cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
DIRECTIONS
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a med sauce pan add the drained tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning, along with 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp fresh ground pepper. Let that cook on medium heat until hot and bubbly. (I put mine in a bowl in the microwave - time saver)
While your tomatoes are cooking, whisk together the 4 eggs, grated cheese, salt (remember the cheese has salt in it) and fresh ground pepper to taste. I think the pepper adds a nice zing. Once well blended, add all the ricotta, all the shredded Mozzarella and the fresh parsley. Fold into the egg mixture until well combined. (Its not a cake, so don't be shy with it).
By now your sauce is done. In a square baking dish (9x9 or 10x10), cover the bottom with a thin layer of tomato sauce. (About a cup), then lay the slices of fried eggplant over the sauce so they just overlap slightly and the bottom is covered. Next, add about 1/3 of your cheese mixture and spread to cover eggplant (use your fingers gently so you don’t pull the eggplant apart), and cover that with another cup of sauce. For the second layer, top with another layer of eggplant the same way you did the first, then top that with another layer of cheese, then sauce, then eggplant. This should be your top layer. If you happen to be using a very deep baking dish (I was not) and you have enough eggplant, you can add a third layer, always ending with eggplant. Now the top should have some nicely placed dollops of cheese mixture, and be covered with more sauce. *Note, do not add too much sauce or it will bubble over, as you can see in my picture!
Cover loosely with foil and bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, until hot and bubbly, then remove foil and cook another 10-15 minutes. Done.
Let rest 15 minutes before slicing or your layers will slide together and the cheese will ooze out when you cut it. (we can never wait!!)

HEALTHY STUFFED PORK CHOPS W/ FRUIT & VEGGIE SALAD

Deb's Healthy Oven Baked Pork Chops & Fruit & Veggie Salad. Delicious!!

     A fun recipe for a rainy summer day; light and healthy, no frying, not too heavy, delicious side salad.  How can you pass it up!

INGREDIENTS:
4 large bone in 1 & 1/12 inch thick pork chops
4 ripe heirloom tomatoes, sliced thin.  
1 c. shredded cheese of your choice
Salt & freshly ground pepper. 
3 eggs, 2 tbs lite mayo, 1 tbs mustard, Salt & Pepper (whisk together, set aside in a bowl)
3 c. panko & bread crumbs (mixed and set aside in a flat bowl)  
1 c. flour (set aside in a flat bowl)
DIRECTIONS
Slice each pork chop through the fatty side, all the way to bone, until you have a nice deep pocket.  If you stand the pork chop sideways on the bone and slice with tip of the knife first through the outside of the fat through the flesh, holding the chop from the outside, you will have no problem with this.
     Fill the pocket with 3 or 4 thin tomato slices and about a tablespoon of the shredded cheese and press closed, making sure the tomato or cheese is not falling out.  Now dredge the chop in flour, shake off the excess, dip in egg mixture, then in breadcrumbs.  Place on cooking  tray.  Repeat for the rest of the chops.  Top each with a slice of tomato and a drizzle of oil.  
Place in a hot oven, at least 400 degrees F, for approximately 30 minutes, until the chops are deep golden brown and fat is crispy.  
SALAD:  Meanwhile, make your salad.  Here you can use your imagination.  Mine contained 1 head of Romaine Lettuce, chopped; 2 c. cantaloupe, diced; 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch slices; 1 avocado, coarsely chopped; fresh ground pepper; and a generous pour of EVOO.   Then, a good sea salt - added just before serving so the salt doesn't leach the water out of the fruit.  
Absolutely fantastic.  You're going to enjoy this one.   

SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING CHICKEN & CORN SALAD

Deb's Chicken & Corn Salad

    This week I was visiting mom at her beach cabin, when suddenly she tells me she has nothing to cook for dinner, oh-and the oven is not working.  Impossible I think, she's Italian!  Yet, she insists, all she has are leftovers, a pkg of frozen corn, some frozen chicken wings & thighs.  Ok, I can work with that.  After scoping out a few pantry staples, I kicked her out of the kitchen telling her, as I always do, sometimes you have to "Think Outside The Gravy!"  A short while later, voila, dinner fit for my Mom!!

INGREDIENTS FOR SAUTEE'D WINGS
4 chicken thighs
1 dozen chicken wings, flaps removed
1 pkg Lipton Veggie or Onion Soup Mix
1/2 c. bottled Italian dressing
1/3 c. maple syrup
CORN SALAD
4 medium sized red potatoes, diced to about 1/4" pieces
1 pkg frozen SteamFresh corn, barely cooked 
1 roasted red pepper from the jar
1/2 c. leftover coleslaw (or 1/8 c. mayo)
Olive Oil, Salt & Pepper to taste. 
DIRECTIONS: 
     Ok, ready:  Place the defrosted chicken pieces in a large ziploc bag along with the Italian dressing, maple syrup and seasoning mix.  Squeeze out any air and allow to marinate about an hour.  Meanwhile you can make your Corn Salad:
     Microwave the corn about 2 minutes or so until slightly warm and place in bowl.  Dice roasted red pepper finely and add to corn along with the leftover cole slaw (if you have it, or a bit of mayo if you don't) and set aside.  Preheat a large non-stick skillet over high heat and add about 1 tbsp olive oil, then add diced potatoes, salt and pepper.  Don't move them for about 8 - 10 minutes until they are browned on one side. Toss and brown the other side.  Remove with a slotted spoon and add to corn mixture.  Add another tbsp olive oil and toss well.  Cover until ready to serve. 
      In the same pan, add the chicken pieces, skin side down, a few at a time so as not to crowd the pan.  Let the chicken sit over high heat at least 5-8 minutes until the skin is browned and caramelized.  Then turn and lightly cover the pan, cooking at a simmer until the chicken begins to pull away from the bone.  The thighs will take longer to cook so add them first, along with some of the wings and take the wings out as they are done and add more.  Once all the chicken is done and removed from pan, add all of the remaining marinade and bring to a full boil, at which point you will have a delicious glaze to pour over your wings if you so desire. 
     There, done in less than 30 minutes and it sure looks beautiful!

GARLIC & LEMON CHICKEN W/GREEN BEANS & RED POTATOES!

In my version I used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, red potatoes & Brussels sprouts.

     I found this recipe on Facebook and it looked too simple and too delicious not to make immediately.  I usually keep only skinless chicken in the house so I had to adjust my cooking time down, but it came out just as mouthwatering as it looks.  Another one pan healthy meal to add to my favorites!!
Recipe adapted from SkinnyTown USA on Facebook.  
INGREDIENTS
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 lemons, 1 thinly sliced, 1 juiced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder or red pepper flakes (optional) 
3/4 pound trimmed green beans (or your favorite green vegetable)
8 small red potatoes, quartered
4 chicken breasts (bones left in, with skin, about 3 1/4 pounds)
DIRECTIONS
        Preheat oven to 400°F.   Coat a large baking dish or cast-iron skillet with cooking spray.  Arrange the lemon slices in a single layer in the bottom of the dish or skillet.
In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper; (if you want a bit of spice add a dash of cayenne or your favorite hot sauce now); add the green beans & potatoes and toss to coat. Using tongs, remove the green beans, letting the marinade drip off, and arrange them on top of the lemon slices.  Then arrange the potatoes along the inside edge of the dish or skillet on top of the green beans.  Place the chicken in the same bowl with the olive-oil mixture and coat thoroughly. Place the chicken, (if it has skin, then skin-side up), in the dish or skillet.  Pour any of the remaining marinade mixture over the chicken.

Bake  at 400 F for approx. 50 minutes (less if you're using boneless/skinless chicken). Remove the chicken from the dish or skillet, along with the juices. Place the beans and potatoes back in oven for 10 minutes more or until the potatoes are crispy outside, tender inside.  Serve plated with chicken, green beans and potatoes equally. Or serve family style on a platter. 

DAHL (RED LENTIL SOUP), OR W/ SHRIMP OR CHICKEN AS A COMPLETE MEAL

Indian Dhal w/ Shrimp over Couscous & Peas

   Dahl, (sometimes spelled dhal,daal and dal), is a thick lentil soup often prepared with clarified butter. With much less fuss, we use a bit of sesame oil for depth and flavor instead. This Dahl is one of my favorites, prepared with all pantry staples, it's easy & quick and the whole family loves it.  Try it as a main dish** over Basmati rice, or as a side dish served with Pita or Naan Bread. **For a COMPLETE MEAL, sauté some diced chicken or shrimp in garlic and oil and stir into the Dahl before serving over rice.  Delicious!! Adapted from a recipe by Ashley Adams at About.com Guide.  Serves 4

DIRECTIONS

  • 1 T. sesame oil or, alternatively, olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 T. minced garlic (or paste)
  • 1 T.  ground ginger 
  • 4 cups fat free chicken broth
  • 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 T. Garam Masala Powder (OR substitute 1 T. cumin; 1 t. coriander; 1 t. tumeric; ¼ t. cardamom ¼ t. cinnamon)
  • ¼ t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 t. salt, or to taste
  • 2 T. tomato paste

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a 3-quart stockpot or other medium-sized soup pot, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, about 6 minutes.

2. Stirring constantly, add the water or broth, lentils, spices and salt. Bring to a low boil, then turn down the heat to low, cover and let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes, or until lentils are very tender.

3. Stir in the tomato paste until well combined. Cook several minutes more, or until the soup is desired temperature and consistency, adding more water to the dahl if needed. Serve hot with Naan or Pita Bread, or over Couscous or Rice, and garnish with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt if desired.

**COMPLETE MEAL: For an even more substantial complete meal, sauté some diced chicken or shrimp in garlic and oil and stir into the Dahl before serving over rice.  Delicious!!  See photos below for the process. 






  • Red Lentils (Dahl) w/ Shrimp & Diced Chicken added.







  • Dahl, served alongside Pine Nut Couscous & Peas







  • Dahl w/ Shrimp served over Couscous & Peas as a complete meal - Delicious!!

DEB'S CAULIFLOWER SALAD

        It was 96 degrees outside today.  Did you want to cook? Not inside, not outside, not even in the air conditioning.  No cooking.  I didn't even want to eat hot food.  What to do when you have a family to feed?  Try this wonderful salad I came up with*: 
INGREDIENTS
3 bags "steam-in-the-bag" cauliflower florets
2-3 Fresh Garden Tomatoes, cut into about 1" chunks
2 Avocados diced into 1/2" pieces
Lemon Juice
1 pkg baby bella mushrooms (or your choice) sliced thinly
3 cans Tuna in Water (Italian in Oil is best if you can afford the calories) 
2 cans white crabmeat
Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Fresh Basil, torn to garnish.
*You can add or subtract ingredients to your own taste.  
DIRECTIONS
Steam Cauliflower until just barely defrosted, but not too hot, place in fridge to cool.  You still want some crunch. Cut your Tomatoes and Avocado and toss with a few sprinkles of Lemon Juice and 1/4 c. Olive Oil in large bowl.  Drain Tuna and Crabmeat.  When ready to serve, add Cauliflower, Mushrooms, Tuna & Crabmeat to the Tomatoes & Avocado and toss gently with Fresh Ground Pepper & a good Sea Salt.  Serve with EVOO for dressing.  

PASTA & CAULIFLOWER W/ CRUMBLED SAUSAGE (w/ 1lb pasta, Serves 6)

Pasta & Cauliflower w/ Crumbled Sausage.

     This one is just too easy to pass up when you want to satisfy that pasta craving on a hot summer day.  Its light, you can make it healthy, and its always absolutely delicious.  

INGREDIENTS:      1 Box Pasta (here I used Linquini, broken in thirds); 1 1/2 lbs sausage meat or turkey sausage; 1 small onion, diced; 2 large heads cauliflower; 1 tbsp garlic paste; extra virgin olive oil; grated parmigiano reggiano (or your favorite). 

DIRECTIONS:      Cut out the core, and cut the florets off the cauliflower, toss in a bowl with olive oil and garlic.  Steam for 5 minutes in microwave, that spread flat on baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, turning once, until golden.  Sprinkle with grated cheese.  

While cauliflower is roasting, boil pasta until just al dente, drain and set aside, being sure to  reserve about 1 c. of pasta water.  

In a large deep pan, brown the sausage, breaking into pieces as it browns, add onion and allow to finish cooking, then drain all the fat and turn the heat down to LOW.  Add about 1/2c. EVOO, along with the cauliflower and stir, then add the warm pasta.  Toss well along with a good handful of grated cheese and enough pasta water to loosen your sauce to the consistency you want.  This is not a wet drippy sauce.  It should just be moist and cling to the pasta.  Garnish with fresh basil or parsely if you wish.  Done!

**For an even healthier pasta, you can use chicken sausage, and/or grill it rather than fry it inside, then proceed from the addition of the cauliflower and oil.  If you don't eat pork, you can even make this with fresh or canned tuna - Mmmmm.  And, of course, you vegans can leave out the sausage entirely and its still delicious.  Let me know if you try it.  

DEB'S GRILLED BLOODY MARY CHICKEN & COUSCOUS SALAD

Deb's Bloody Mary Chicken, Served with a Couscous & Arugula Greens Salad.

     I was wandering around the kitchen today trying to come up with something different to do with my stand-by boneless skinless chicken thighs.  They're healthy, inexpensive and we always have them in the house.  Suddenly I saw a bottle of leftover Mr. & Mrs. T Bold & Spicy Bloody Mary Mix.  There is no alcohol in the mix, just the juice and spices.  This could be brilliant I thought…:
INGREDIENTS FOR BLOODY MARY CHICKEN:
1 pkg (10-12) boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 c. Mr. & Mrs. T Bold & Spicy Bloody Mary Mix.**  & 2 Tbsp Poulty Magic
DIRECTIONS:
Place everything in a Ziploc bag, close and toss till well mixed, squeeze all the air out and let marinate for 1 - 2 hours.  Remove and grill 5-10 minutes on each side depending on the heat of your grill and size of your chicken.  Done.  You won't believe how delicious these chicken thighs are.  A zesty and smoky flavor, with a hint of tomato, but not too hot.
**I cannot recommend any other Bloody Mary mix because I generally do not like tomato juice at all.  This is the only mix I have ever had that I drank.  ….maybe it was the vodka, but it sure was good on the chicken!
COUSCOUS & ARUGULA SALAD
Another one of my favorite sides is this simple salad made here with arugula, but which can be made with any mix of greens you have in the house.  I find that mixing in the couscous, instead of serving it separately actually cuts down on the carbs you end up eating.  You use less of the pasta overall, you can't go back for a second helping of just couscous, and the flavor combination eliminates the need for a heavy dressing.  I made the particular salad as follows:
INGREDIENTS FOR SALAD:
2 boxes Pine Nut Couscous (or your fav. flavor) 
    prepared according to package directions, fluffed and set aside. 
1 bag baby arugula, coarsely chopped/snipped
1 head Romain lettuce, coarsely chopped
3 ripe strawberries, halved and thinly sliced
1 cucumber, peeled in stripes, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1 avocado, chopped. 
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (and fresh lemon juice if desired)
DIRECTIONS:
Prepare the couscous per pkg directions, then fluff with a fork and let cool a bit.  
Roughly tear or chop your greens and place in a large bowl, along with the strawberries (or berries/fruit of any type), cucumber and avocado.  Toss lightly with olive oil and let the fruit and cucumber fall to the bottom of the bowl.  
Spoon about half the fluffy couscous on top of the greens and mix gently so it falls into the mixture, then spoon the rest of the couscous on top again.**  Add lemon juice if desired.  Lightly cover and let sit at room temperature while you cook your chicken.  
When ready to serve, uncover and toss until well mixed.  See photos.  Serve with the Bloody Mary Chicken and some EVOO on the side. 
**Yes, the warm couscous will wilt the greens, but if they were cold and fresh, they will wilt just enough to make them pliable and soft enough so the couscous can stick to them, but still have a slight crunch.  
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    Arugula & Romain Salad, and Pine Nut Couscous

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    Couscous & Arugula Salad

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    Deb's Grilled Bloody Mary Chicken Thighs

Deb's Balsamic Burgers & Panzanella Verde

Deb's Panzanella Verde

     I was looking for a refreshing summer salad to go with the burgers I was going to put on the grill that evening and I got this idea from Bobby's BBQ on TV. I happened to have a bag full of leftover bagel pieces in my freezer. We freeze the scooped out bread to use when the fresh tomatoes come in.  Since I'm not a fan of a strong vinegarette, I made a few substitutions to the dressing, then used it in the burgers.  You are definitely going to LOVE this combination.  Fast, easy & delicious!
PANZANELLA SALAD INGREDIENTS: 
Bread: 1 Gal. Size Bag of leftover bagel bread (from the inside of the bagels, torn into 1" pieces); Olive oil, Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper.  Toss together in bowl, then spread in one layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 400 degrees, 10 - 15 minutes, turning once until golden brown.
Vinaigrette:  1/4 cup chopped fresh basil; 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar glaze; 1 tbsp garlic powder & 1 tsp sugar; 2 tsp lemon juice; 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling; Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Salad Greens:  1 bag baby arugula & 1 bag fresh mixed greens
1 can capered herring (or anchovies if you prefer)
1 cup mixed pitted olives, chopped
1 tablespoon capers (if you did not use herring)
1 pkg "Steam Fresh" peas, just defrosted
1 c. fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 cup torn fresh basil leaves
Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
DIRECTIONS FOR PANZANELLA SALAD:
 Wisk together basil, vinegar, garlic, sugar, mustard and a bit of water until smooth. While still stirring, slowly add the oil and blend until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper.
For the salad: Put all greens ingredients in a large bowl. Add half of the vinaigrette and toss to coat. (Reserve the rest for your burgers)  Add the bread and toss again. Transfer to a large platter and drizzle with EVOO. Serve at room temperature.
INGREDIENTS FOR BURGERS
2 1/2 - 3lbs 80/20% Ground Beef
Remaining Vinaigrette from Panzanella Salad recipe
Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper to Taste
1 cup finely diced onions (frozen chopped is ok), sautéed until golden
1/4 c. Worchestershire Sauce, to taste
    In a large bowl, mix all above ingredients together with your hands until well combined, but do not over-mix.  Form patties depending on the size of the buns you will use.  You can make any size you want.  This recipe makes delicious sliders, 1/4, 1/3 & 1/2 pounders!  When you make your patty, press down on the center with your thumb so the burger doesn't turn into a ball on the grill.  This way you will not have to press it down on the grill and lose all the juices in the meat.
Serve on a bun with Panzanella Verde.  Enjoy.  
  • PANZANELLA SALAD AND







    Panzanella Verde

  • BURGERS. A COMPLETE MEAL!







    Deb's Balsamic Burgers

White Bean & Turkey Chili

<p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<strong><em>Some of you will look at this and think that nothing with Tater Tots can be light and healthy, but the average Tot only has about 16.5 calories. &nbsp;If you bake them off first on a cookie sheet, you don't add any extra calories with oil. &nbsp;So try this one pot meal with leftover chicken or turkey. &nbsp;Its superfast and easy, and everyone will love it! &nbsp;</em></strong></p> <p>INGREDIENTS</p> <div>1 bag of frozen tater tots (any brand)</div> <div>1/4 c. olive oiL</div> <div>2 (12 ounce) cans Campbells Healthy Request condensed cream of chicken soup</div> <div>2 1/2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked &amp; cubed&nbsp;(or leftover shredded chicken from a roaster or a turkey, you can even use "short cuts")</div> <div>1 bag frozen Steamfresh peas &amp; mushrooms (or your favorite veggie mix)</div> <div>1 bag frozen cauliflower (the more veggies you add, the healthier this becomes)</div> <div>1 tbsp Italian Seasoning</div> <div>1 pkg of low fat shredded colby-monterey jack cheese</div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div><strong>DIRECTIONS</strong></div> <div>First, line a baking sheet with foil, spray with pam, and bake the tater tots at 400 degrees until crispy, about 20 minutes, turning once</div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div>While they're baking, in a large oven-proof skillet heat 1/4 c. oil, then add chicken and your choice of frozen veggies. Once the mixture begins to get hot, add your seasoning and the 2 cans condensed cream of mushroom soup, and stir until mixture is hot and begins to bubble, &nbsp;If its too thick to stir add 1/4 c. water at a time just until you can stir easily. &nbsp;Then remove from heat.</div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div>Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the chicken mixture, then remove the hot tots from the oven and carefully layer them on top of the cheese.</div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div>Bake about 5 or 10 minutes more for cheese to get hot and melted. Enjoy without guilt. &nbsp;</div> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Light & Healthy Tater Tot Chicken Casserole

Tater Tot Casserole
(photo credit from justbecauseiamme.com)

<p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;" data-mce-mark="1">&nbsp; &nbsp; Here is one dish you can put together in 10 minutes, and depending on your leftovers, eat it twice. &nbsp;You will need to have leftover Chili (your own or one of my delicious recipes) to put it together, after that its a snap!</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;" data-mce-mark="1">INGREDIENTS: &nbsp;About 1 Quart or more leftover Chili, heated (you can always add a can or 2 of diced tomatoes if you don't have enough; 1 lb box Elbow Macaroni; 1 c. Cubed or Shredded Swiss or Mozzarella; and a quick Bechamel Sauce for topping: (1/4 c. Flour, 1/4 c. Olive Oil or butter; 4 c. 1% milk.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span style="font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 14px;">DIRECTIONS: &nbsp;Preaheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a large deep casserole pan liberally with Cooking Spray. &nbsp;Cook Macaroni according to package directions for "al dente," drain and pour pasta in casserole dish. &nbsp;Add your cheese and the warmed Chili, directly into your casserole and mix evenly. &nbsp;Finally, to make the Be'chamel, in a medium sauce pan mix the flour and oil or butter over medium high heat, wisking constantly until thick and pasty. &nbsp;Then add your 4 c. of milk, one at a time, wisking vigorously until thick and creamy (about 10 minutes total). &nbsp;I added a bit of salt and pepper to bring out the flavor, along with fresh chopped parsley and a bit of nutmeg to mine when it was done. &nbsp;Pour Bechamel evenly over the top of the macaroni &amp; chili, bake 40 - 50 minutes until hot and bubbly. &nbsp;</span></p>

Chili Macaroni Bake w/ Light Bechamel Sauce

Deb's Chili Macaroni Bake w/ Light Be'chamel topping. As you can see, ours was a hit!

<p>coming back soon</p>

PULLED PORK STUFFED CABBAGE ROLLS

These were so delicious, the whole family loved them!

<p>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;Last weekend I was trying to come up with something new for breakfast, and we were out of most everything in the house except eggs and bread. &nbsp;Normally, we use egg beaters instead and you can make this with egg beaters, but you will loose the effect of the eyes. &nbsp;On the other hand, you will gain the effect of less calories and lowered cholesterol! &nbsp;A mixed greens salad, or a caprese salad will make a complete lite dinner. &nbsp;For a heartier appetite, add some turkey sausage. &nbsp;Enjoy!</p> <div>For 6 servings:</div> <div>INGREDIENTS</div> <div>1 large fry pan or flat griddle</div> <div>6 slices Rye Bread (if you want 2 eggs per person)</div> <div>or 6 slices of White or Wheat if you want 1 egg per person.</div> <div>Softened Butter or Margarine (or Pam if you are really cutting calories)</div> <div>1 dozen eggs.</div> <div>Salt and Pepper to taste</div> <div>A plastic cup or cookie cutter smaller than the diameter of the bread</div> <div>DIRECTIONS:</div> <div>Heat fry pan or griddle to medium or med-high heat.</div> <div>Butter or Spray each side of the bread</div> <div>Place the bread on the griddle and immediately use the cookie cutter or glass to cut out the desired shape. Since I was using a circle and 2 eggs, I cut out one whole circle, then another half inch of bread, forming a moon shape. Place the cut-outs on the grill to toast along with the bread. Repeat, working quickly with the remaining bread and eggs.</div> <div>When the bread is toasted and golden brown, flip entire bread/egg combo over to cook other side, to your desired degree of doneness. Don&rsquo;t forget to flip the cut-outs.</div> <div>Plate each slice, with one circle (sun) and one crescent (moon). Serve immediately with hot sauce.&nbsp;</div> <p><em>&nbsp;</em></p>

Sun & Moon Eggs in a Toast Pocket, Serve w/ a salad for a complete dinner

Deb's Original Sun & Moon Eggs in a Toast Pocket. For a complete meal at dinner, serve with a mixed greens salad.

<p>INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN</p> <ol> <li>1 tablespoon olive oil</li> <li>1/2 pkg frozen diced onion</li> <li>1 apple (I prefer pear), cored, peeled and diced</li> <li>1/4 cup orange juice (enough to moisten crumbs)</li> <li>1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves</li> <li>1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves</li> <li>1 pkg or so fat free croutons</li> <li>Salt and freshly ground black pepper</li> <li>1 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained</li> <li>1/2 c. fat free Feta Cheese</li> <li>1 egg, beaten</li> <li>2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs</li> <li>2 tablespoons canola oil</li> </ol> <p>INGREDIENTS FOR SMASHED CAULIFLOWER</p> <ol> <li>4 pkgs frozen steam fresh cauliflower</li> <li>1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning</li> <li>1/2 cup 1 or 2% milk</li> <li>2 tablespoons olive oil</li> <li>2 teaspoons chopped garlic</li> <li>Freshly ground black pepper</li> </ol> <p>DIRECTIONS<br />In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the onion and diced apple. Once onion begins to soften, add garlic (to taste) and orange juice and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chopped fresh rosemary and parsley and mix to combine. Remove from heat. Stir in croutons, tomato and tempered beaten egg, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. &nbsp;Remove from heat and leave aside to cool<br />Lay the chicken thighs out flat on a work surface. Cover with plastic wrap and pound the thicker parts with a meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4-inch thick. Spoon some of the filling into each thigh, making sure not to overstuff so you don't lose the filling while cooking. Roll up each thigh and secure with toothpicks.<br />Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Generously salt and pepper each side of the thighs. Place thighs in the skillet or grill pan with ridges and cook for 5 minutes on one side, then turn over and place in oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through. &nbsp;Remove chicken from the pan to a serving platter and let rest for a few minutes, then spoon some of the pan juices and tomatoes on top before serving. &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;DEB'S METHOD: &nbsp;Stuff each thigh as above and secure with toothpicks, and lay side by side in a large baking dish. &nbsp;Sprinkle top with a bit of breadcrumb mixture, and drizzle with olive oil. &nbsp;Bake 30 - 45 minutes until juices run clear. &nbsp;(If you have extra stuffing, place it under the thighs before roasting. &nbsp;</p> <p><br />DIRECTIONS FOR MASHED CAULIFLOWER: &nbsp; *(See below for photo w/ pork tenderloin)<br />You are going to love this one: &nbsp;Place the cauliflower packages in the microwave (2 at a time is fine) for about 15 minutes. &nbsp;I used 2 cauliflower and 2 broccoli. &nbsp;Add 1 tablespoon of margarine or olive oil while still hot, 1/4 c. fat free cream cheese, salt &amp; pepper while still hot and mash with a potato masher. &nbsp;If you want a smoother &nbsp;of salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. In the meantime, add milk, butter, garlic, and rosemary sprig to a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Drain potatoes and return to the pot. Use a potato masher or large fork to mash the potatoes. Remove rosemary sprig from milk mixture and discard. Add the hot milk to the mashed potatoes. Mix to combine and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with the chicken. &nbsp;</p>

STUFFED CHICKEN THIGHS & SMASHED CAULIFLOWER

Photo Credit to Food.com These particular chicken thighs are stuffed with sautéed mushrooms, spinach, and jack cheese. Simple, it is not made on the stove, just the oven, but if you want to keep the calories down, omit the cheese. Add a sprinkle of parmigiano at the end.

INGREDIENTS FOR CHICKEN

  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1/2 pkg frozen diced onion
  3. 1 apple (I prefer pear), cored, peeled and diced
  4. 1/4 cup orange juice (enough to moisten crumbs)
  5. 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary leaves
  6. 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
  7. 1 pkg or so fat free croutons
  8. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  9. 1 can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
  10. 1/2 c. fat free Feta Cheese
  11. 1 egg, beaten
  12. 2 pounds boneless and skinless chicken thighs
  13. 2 tablespoons canola oil

INGREDIENTS FOR SMASHED CAULIFLOWER

  1. 4 pkgs frozen steam fresh cauliflower
  2. 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
  3. 1/2 cup 1 or 2% milk
  4. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  5. 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  6. Freshly ground black pepper

DIRECTIONS
In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter and add the onion and diced apple. Once onion begins to soften, add garlic (to taste) and orange juice and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chopped fresh rosemary and parsley and mix to combine. Remove from heat. Stir in croutons, tomato and tempered beaten egg, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Remove from heat and leave aside to cool
Lay the chicken thighs out flat on a work surface. Cover with plastic wrap and pound the thicker parts with a meat mallet or rolling pin until about 1/4-inch thick. Spoon some of the filling into each thigh, making sure not to overstuff so you don't lose the filling while cooking. Roll up each thigh and secure with toothpicks.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over high heat. Generously salt and pepper each side of the thighs. Place thighs in the skillet or grill pan with ridges and cook for 5 minutes on one side, then turn over and place in oven for about 15 to 20 minutes until cooked through.  Remove chicken from the pan to a serving platter and let rest for a few minutes, then spoon some of the pan juices and tomatoes on top before serving.      DEB'S METHOD:  Stuff each thigh as above and secure with toothpicks, and lay side by side in a large baking dish.  Sprinkle top with a bit of breadcrumb mixture, and drizzle with olive oil.  Bake 30 - 45 minutes until juices run clear.  (If you have extra stuffing, place it under the thighs before roasting.  


DIRECTIONS FOR MASHED CAULIFLOWER:   *(See below for photo w/ pork tenderloin)
You are going to love this one:  Place the cauliflower packages in the microwave (2 at a time is fine) for about 15 minutes.  I used 2 cauliflower and 2 broccoli.  Add 1 tablespoon of margarine or olive oil while still hot, 1/4 c. fat free cream cheese, salt & pepper while still hot and mash with a potato masher.  If you want a smoother  of salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. In the meantime, add milk, butter, garlic, and rosemary sprig to a small saucepan and warm over low heat. Drain potatoes and return to the pot. Use a potato masher or large fork to mash the potatoes. Remove rosemary sprig from milk mixture and discard. Add the hot milk to the mashed potatoes. Mix to combine and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with the chicken.  

Jan. 9, 2013

Spice Rubbed Tenderloin of Pork

I made the above recipe even more calorie friendly by using a package of pork tenderloins I happened to have on hand in the freezer. Its so fast and easy you won't believe it, especially when you see the presentation it makes. Its perfect for company, colorful, and if you must have a starch just pick up a fresh crusty loaf of Italian bread on your way home!
Open the package to find 2 tenderloins, rinse and pat dry.
Place both loins in a jumbo ziploc bag with about 1/4 c. Worchestershire Sauce; 1/4 c. olive oil, 1/2 c. of your favorite seasoning blend (we used Prudhomme's Steak Magic, but McCormick is also good); and rub/mix until well coated. Let marinate about 30 minutes or more.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Heat a ribbed grill pan on your stove-top to super-hot. Pour in about a tablespoon of olive oil and place each loin fatty side down as flat as you can for about 5 minutes. Turn over and immediately place pan in a 400 degree oven for about 15 - 20 minutes depending on the thickness of your loins and how you like them cooked. Optimally, they should be pink in the center.
Remove from the pan and let sit while you add some broth to the pan drippings to make an au jus. (Or use a jar gravy, pour it in the pan, scraping up the fond on the pan bottom cook a minute or two if you prefer that). Slice loins on the diagonal and serve family style.
For us, 2 loins served a family of 4 for 2 meals (one with mashed cauliflower, one with a great big salad w/ croutons, tomatoes & cheese).

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BRAISED CHICKEN WITH ZUCCHINI OVER QUINOA

Chicken w/ Fennel & Tomatoes. Photo courtesy of The Food Network. Add your Quinoa to soak up the delicious healthy sauce, and a bit of zucchini on the side. Enjoy this one!

<div>&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<em>&nbsp;If you are a frequent reader, you will have already found this recipe in my holiday recipe section on Christmas Eve, or in the Seafood section.&nbsp; I made it this&nbsp;Christmas Eve, with Orzo, and excelled. &nbsp;But now I am going to give you my secret to turning this delicious dinner into a low calorie meal.&nbsp; We will eliminate the high calorie cream sauce &amp; butter &amp; oil, use fresh low calorie seafood, and cut back on the pasta.&nbsp; You can't help but love this one!&nbsp; (The Maragaritaville Jerk Shrimp gives you all the spice you need.&nbsp; It its too much for you, try the citrus lime, or skip that part and use your own favorite spice mixture - even just a bit of lemon, oregano, cilantro, thyme, salt &amp; pepper)</em></div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div>Ingredients:</div> <div>1 box Margaritaville Jerk Shrimp</div> <div>1 lb large to jumbo shrimp</div> <div>1 lb calamari (squid) cut into rings</div> <div>2 lbs sea scallops (cleaned &amp; cut in half if too large)</div> <div>1 box Orzo Pasta</div> <div>3 cans Campbells Healthy Request Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup</div> <div>1 box prepared fat free chicken broth</div> <div>1 can petite diced tomatoes drained.</div> <div>1 bag frozen peas (as desired)</div> <div>Directions:</div> <div>In a deep sauce pan saute Margaritaville shrimp until the spice coating just begins to melt.</div> <div>Add the three cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup, and the raw seafood; along with the diced tomatoes.</div> <div>Stir until your seafood (shrimp) begins to turn pink. If your sauce is too thick, add chicken broth until you have the desired consistency, where the sauce just coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and cover to allow the seafood to finish cooking.</div> <div>Boil the box of Orzo per package directions until just al dente, add peas just before draining, and return to warm pot. Ladle in about 4 cups of the &ldquo;cream&rdquo; sauce and give it a minute or two to absorb along with just a bit of the seafood. Place in serving bowl. Ladle as much of the remaining seafood as you can on top. You can serve the rest separately, with some fresh grated parmigiano reggiano on the side.</div>

SEAFOOD OVER ORZO RISOTTO

<p>Here's a dish you can make summer or winter; simple, quick and easy, light yet satisfying. Its so delicious, you can use it as part of your Christmas Eve spread, but I threw it together this weekend with a couscous salad for a perfect end of summer meal. You can't go wrong with this one.</p> <p>2 1/2 to 3 lbs Cod, cut into approx 4 x 2" servings<br />1/3 c. light mayonnaise<br />1/2 c. melted butter<br />1/4 c. light oil<br />1 teaspoon each Salt &amp; Pepper<br />2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence<br />About a half bag of your favorite chips, crushed.<br />(Kettle Chips work best - we used Jalapeno flavor)<br />2 c. panko crumbs</p> <p>Preheat your oven to 450 degrees</p> <p>In a medium bowl wisk together mayonnaise, melted butter, oil, salt, pepper &amp; herbs until well blended.<br />In another medium bowl, mix together panko crumbs and crushed potato chips.&nbsp;<br />Dip the fish in the mayo mixture first, then into the crumb/chip mixture, pressing until crumbs stick, then place carefully on a greased cookie sheet. Continue with all the fish pieces. Sprinkle any remaining crumbs atop the fish.&nbsp;<br />Bake on high heat, 450 or 500 degrees, depending on your oven, 10 to 15 minutes, until fish flakes easily,</p> <p>To make the Couscous Salad:&nbsp;<br />Cook your favorite couscous according to package directions. I used parmesan flavor.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In a large bowl mix 1 bag arugula; 2 large beefsteak or ugly tomatoes, chopped; 1 large zucchini, sliced thin; 1 large handful of seedless red grapes, sliced in half; 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper. Fluff the couscous with a fork and add the warm couscous to the vegetables. Garnish as you see fit. Enjoy!</p>

Crunchy Baked Cod w/ Couscous Salad, Serves 4 - 6 (30 minutes)

<div class="tmpMainRich1"><span class="rtbBox"><span class="rtbBox"><span class="rtb2"><strong><em>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I adapted this recipe from one that was previously not all that pretty and very unhealthy. Now, with more healthful ingredients, you can justify the handful of Fritos because of all the veggies you get at the same time&nbsp;and&nbsp;it all comes together in&nbsp;10 minutes or so. You wont want to admit it but you will love it as well as your kids, especially when you need something quick that does not require the oven to be turned on. **</em></strong></span></span></span><span class="rtbBox"><span class="rtbBox"><span class="rtb2"><strong><em><br />INGREDIENTS</em></strong></span></span></span></div> <div class="separator"><span class="rtb3">2 pkg frozen corn, microwaved just until thawed<br /></span></div> <div class="separator"><span class="rtb3">2 pkg frozen peas, microwaved just until thawed<br /></span></div> <div class="separator"><span class="rtb3">1/2 (or more to taste) pkg frozen, diced pepper &amp; onion mix<br /></span><span class="rtb3">1/2 cup low fat shredded cheddar cheese</span></div> <div class="separator"><span class="rtb3">1/2 cup light mayonnaise</span></div> <div class="separator"><span class="rtb3">3 pkg short cuts, cut into bite sized pieces, or 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded ***</span></div> <div class="separator"><span class="rtb3">1 bag chili cheese fritos (or plain corn fritos, ore even baked tortillas if you prefer)<br />1 dash of hot sauce if your family likes it.</span></div> <div class="oneLineSpace">&nbsp;<em>DIRECTIONS</em></div> <div class="tmpMainRich1"> <div class="separator"><span class="rtb3">Toss all of the ingredients, except fritos &amp; cheese, together in a large bowl and stir until well combined and thoroughly coated with mayo.</span></div> <div class="separator"><span class="rtb3">Just before serving, add the cheese and the bag of chili cheese fritos and toss to combine.&nbsp;<br />I've made my version, which you can see in the photo below and I don't think it looks so bad. But, I've to re-named it anyway because I don't want my kids eating anything referred to as a mess!<br />Now, most importantly, the recipe should serve about 4 - 6 people. Tonight, every bit of it was gone. Yes, my kids are good eaters, but they loved this one. Sprinkled with a few fresh fritos on the top and a splash of tabasco and they were in heaven. Try it. Even I liked it! &nbsp;Thank you for the idea Katherine.&nbsp;<br />Next time I'm going to toss in 1 can of petite diced tomatoes, well drained, just for a bit more flavor and color.</span></div> <div class="separator">&nbsp;</div> <div class="separator"><span class="rtb2">** The recipe from katherineskitchen.com, called "Frito Mess" uses 1 lb ground beef, browned and drained. I substituted that for the lower fat healthier chicken, and used light mayonnaise and low fat cheese.<br />* The original recipe did not call for beef at all, so if you want to make this vegetarian, feel free to leave it out.</span></div> </div>

DEB'S FRITO DELIGHT, Serves about 4

10 Minute Chicken-Frito Delight

<p><span class="rtbBox"><span class="rtb3">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;I&nbsp;had the most wonderful dinner recently of Oil Poached Sea Bass, over Broccoli Rabe &amp; Crispy Pork Belly, surrounded by a luscious, light &amp; creamy Lemony Sauce. I am going to try and recreate it here for you, along with a few technical hints along the way.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Poaching fish is more of a technique than a specific recipe, as you can poach any type of fish, adjust the type of liquid you poach in, and change the seasonings you add to the liquid according to your own taste. Poaching liquids can include almost anything including seasoned water, broths, wine and oils. In this recipe, we are going to look at a quick but gentle poach in lightly flavored Olive Oil so we preserve the fish's natural flavor and end up with a deeply flavored, healthy meal. The accompanying photo is of a dinner I had&nbsp;recently at Roots Bistro Gourmand in Bayshore. There is no way I cannot duplicate this recipe exactly, as their Chef is a genius, but I will get you as close as possible to that beautiful dish.<br />&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Before we get to recreating the recipe in the photo, you will need to adjust to the idea of dumping a bottle of half decent olive oil in to a pan, with fish and herbs, and then discarding it, because when you do, you will end up with a tender, moist fish with a delicate flavor and texture. If you are successful, it will be like no other recipe you have made. You barely need to touch it with a fork to see it flake in to pieces. Each bite yields perfectly cooked fish throughout, with subtle flavors pulled from the oil and herbs. See&nbsp;</span><a href="wlmailhtml:{E0730DCC-53D8-4329-8ED8-C7C4A83D6F68}mid://00000007/!x-usc:http://www.mattikaarts.com/"><span class="rtb3">www.mattikaarts.com</span></a><span class="rtb3">&nbsp;for more on this technique and additional tips.<br /><br />Oil poached fish recipe: (Serves 2)<br />1 lb Sea Bass (Salmon, Cod, Halibut, or any kind of fish you like)<br />3 - 4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil<br />1 tbsp Capers<br />2 bulbs of garlic<br />herbs of choice &ndash; rosemary, thyme, savory, oregano are all good choices<br />1 lg. Lemon<br /><br />1) if you are using herbs &ndash; put the oil in a pan, big enough to hold the oil and the fish. The smaller the pan, the less oil you have to use. Put the herbs in the oil, along with a pinch of salt.<br />2) Heat the oil up till pretty hot &ndash; say 180F. Remove from the heat, and let cool back down to 120F or lower &ndash; say 30 minutes. This steeps the herbs in oil, adding flavor to it.<br />3) Pat the fish fillet dry. Cut in to two or 4 pieces, so you can handle it easily.<br />4) Heat the oil gently until it reaches 120F. Check with an instant read thermometer or candy thermometer.<br />5) Gently add the fish to the oil.<br />6) Keep the heat of the pan around 120F &ndash; move the pan on and off the heat as required to maintain a consistent temperature.<br />7) Depending on the thickness of the fish, they might take about 15 to 20 minutes to cook through.<br />You can test the fish by carefully using a carving fork to try and flake the end of the fish. It should flake easily, and be just opaque all the way through.</span></span></p> <div class="tmpMainRich1"><span class="rtbBox"><span class="rtb3">BROCCOLI RABE &amp; CRISPY PORK BELLY<br />Ingredients:<br />1 large bundle broccoli rabe, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds<br />Salt<br />2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil<br />1/2 pound cured pork belly, 1 inch thick (You will need to go to your&nbsp;<br />butcher for this) cut into bite size pieces.<br />Directions:<br />Trim ends of the broccoli rabe and cut into 3-inch pieces.<br />Bring 2 inches water to a boil in a high sided skillet. Salt the water and add the broccoli rabe and simmer 10 minutes, drain &amp; reserve.<br />Return the skillet to the stove and heat extra-virgin olive oil over medium-high heat. Add cured pork belly, fat side down, and sear the fat side of the belly until crispy, about 6 - 7 minutes.&nbsp;<br />Add the broccoli rabe and stir to combine, cook about 2 minutes more.<br /></span><em><span class="rtb3">For more on cured or curing pork belly, see:&nbsp;<br /></span></em><a href="wlmailhtml:{E0730DCC-53D8-4329-8ED8-C7C4A83D6F68}mid://00000007/!x-usc:http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/dan-barbers-pork-belly-232205#ixzz28KiLVWuZ"><em><span class="rtb3">http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/dan-barbers-pork-belly-232205#ixzz28KiLVWuZ</span></em></a><span class="rtb3"><em>.<br /></em><br />ALTERNATIVELY,&nbsp;<br />For an easier version using Pancetta in place of Pork Belly, here is a version of&nbsp;</span><em><span class="rtb3">BROCCOLI RABE &amp; PANCETTA from Food &amp; Wine.com<br /></span></em><span class="rtb3"><em>Ingredients:<br />2 pounds broccoli rabe, cut into 2-inch lengths, thick stems discarded<br />2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil<br />4 ounces pancetta, sliced 1/8 inch thick and cut into 1-inch matchsticks<br />4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced<br />Salt and freshly ground pepper<br />Directions:<br />1. In a saucepan, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until just tender, about 5 minutes. Drain, shaking off the excess water.<br />2. Wipe out the saucepan. Add the olive oil and pancetta and cook over moderately low heat, stirring often, until the pancetta is golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 3 minutes.&nbsp;<br />3. Add the broccoli rabe, season with salt and pepper and cook over moderately&nbsp;<br />high heat until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a bowl and serve (along with poached fish and sauce below).&nbsp;<br /></em><br />WHITE WINE LEMON SAUCE:<br />1 c. poaching oil (after fish is poached)<br />2 tbsp. flour<br />1/4 c. lemon juice<br />1 c. white wine<br />1. In a medium saucepan heat about 1 cup of the poaching Oil over medium-low heat.<br />2. Quickly wisk in about 2 tbsp of flour until no lumps remain, and cook about 3 or 4 minutes to allow the flour cook out and the oil will begin to thicken slightly.<br />3. Wisk in 1/4 c. lemon juice and 1 c. dry white wine. Cook about 5 minutes more. This should give you a beautiful silky sauce with the flavor of the poached fish oil.</span></span></div>

Olive Oil Poached Sea Bass, Broccoli Rabe & Crispy Pork Belly, Serves 2

Olive Oil Poached Bass, Broccoli Rabe & Crispy Pork Belly - from Roots Bistro Gourmand

<p><span style="font-size: 14px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>For the Ribs</strong></span>: 2 Racks baby back ribs, cut into individual ribs; Poultry Magic (or your favorite BBQ Seasoning) Worstershire Sauce.&nbsp; Put all the Ribs in a Jumbo Ziploc Bag (or large tray) with about 1/4 c. seasoning and 1/3 c. Worstershire Sauce and marinate for about 3 - 4 hours.&nbsp; When ready, cook on grill turning often about 10 to 15 minutes until nicely charred and meat begins to pull away from the ends of the bone. <em>If you are not using a grill, you can put them under the broiler, turning once at 10 minutes and cooking another 10 minutes.&nbsp; Be careful - we do not suggest using infrared broiling here!</em></span></p> <p><span style="font-size: 14px;">&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<span style="text-decoration: underline;"><strong>For the Asian Egg Noodles</strong></span>: 1 pkg No Yolks Egg Noodles, 1 pkg frozen peas, 1 pint light Daisy Sour Cream, 1/2 c. peanut butter (or more to taste), 1/4 c. soy sauce, 2 tbs honey, Hot Sauce to taste.&nbsp; (For ours, we like <em>Auntie El's Good &amp; Evil Hot Sauce</em>, as it has an asian taste).&nbsp; Cook Egg Noodles until al dente, and drain.&nbsp; While noodles are boiling, in a large glass bowl combine sour cream, peanut butter, soy sauce &amp; honey with a wisk until well blended.&nbsp; You can thin the sauce a bit with the pasta water.&nbsp;Add hot sauce to taste.&nbsp; I prefer to make it on the mild side and serve the extra hot sauce on the side.&nbsp; Now, About 30 seconds before the noodles are done, toss in the frozen peas.&nbsp; Then drain noodles and peas and put in the entire thing in with the sour cream/peanut mixture.&nbsp; Fold noodles into sauce with a rubber </span>spatula.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; <span style="font-size: 14px;">Done.&nbsp; Serve noodles along side the ribs for a delicious complete meal your kids will gobble up.&nbsp; You can do this with chicken also.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p>

DEB'S BABY BACK RIBS & ASIAN EGG NOODLES

BBQ Ribs & Asian Noodles & Peas w/ Spicy Peanut Sauce

    For the Ribs: 2 Racks baby back ribs, cut into individual ribs; Poultry Magic (or your favorite BBQ Seasoning) Worstershire Sauce.  Put all the Ribs in a Jumbo Ziploc Bag (or large tray) with about 1/4 c. seasoning and 1/3 c. Worstershire Sauce and marinate for about 3 - 4 hours.  When ready, cook on grill turning often about 10 to 15 minutes until nicely charred and meat begins to pull away from the ends of the bone. If you are not using a grill, you can put them under the broiler, turning once at 10 minutes and cooking another 10 minutes.  Be careful - we do not suggest using infrared broiling here!

    For the Asian Egg Noodles: 1 pkg No Yolks Egg Noodles, 1 pkg frozen peas, 1 pint light Daisy Sour Cream, 1/2 c. peanut butter (or more to taste), 1/4 c. soy sauce, 2 tbs honey, Hot Sauce to taste.  (For ours, we like Auntie El's Good & Evil Hot Sauce, as it has an asian taste).  Cook Egg Noodles until al dente, and drain.  While noodles are boiling, in a large glass bowl combine sour cream, peanut butter, soy sauce & honey with a wisk until well blended.  You can thin the sauce a bit with the pasta water. Add hot sauce to taste.  I prefer to make it on the mild side and serve the extra hot sauce on the side.  Now, About 30 seconds before the noodles are done, toss in the frozen peas.  Then drain noodles and peas and put in the entire thing in with the sour cream/peanut mixture.  Fold noodles into sauce with a rubber spatula. 

     Done.  Serve noodles along side the ribs for a delicious complete meal your kids will gobble up.  You can do this with chicken also.