Monday, August 31, 2009

Stir-Fried Ginger Pork with Asian Green Beans and Classic Rice Pilaf

Now I'm the kind of person that if I had to choose one meat to live off of for the rest of my life it wouldn't be pork, it'd definitely be chicken. B'gawk! Hehe. This meal though, it sways me ever so slightly to the pork side. Haha, it's like going to the dark side, but tastier! It's a filling and comforting meal and it really is a belly pleaser. Nothing is more enjoyable than to listen to people's "mm's" as they chew their way through their plate of food. The contented sighs of full bellies....oh it's just fabulous! Try this, the whole meal is only 440 calories per serving!

Stir-Fried Ginger Pork

2 tablespoons of soy sauce, low sodium
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon of brown sugar, packed
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1lb. pork tenderloin, raw

Finely chop garlic. Cut pork into thin strips (about 1/2"). In medium bowl blend soy sauce, garlic, brown sugar, and ginger. In non-stick skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat and brown pork. Add garlic mixture and cook for 7 minutes or until pork is thoroughly cooked.

Asian Green Beans

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves
1lb. whole fresh green beans
3 tablespoons Lawry's Marinade Teriyaki with Pineapple Juice
1/4 dry cup chow mein noodles

Finely chop garlic. In non-stick skillet heat olive oil over medium-high heat and cook garlic 30 seconds. Add green beans and marinade and cook 10 minutes or until beans are tender. To serve, top with chow mein noodles.

Classic Rice Pilaf

2 teaspoons of butter
3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
1/3 cup white onion, chopped
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground thyme
1 3/4 cups of chicken broth, low sodium
1 teaspoon of parsley, fresh, chopped

In 2-quart saucepan melt butter over medium high-heat and cook rice, onion, pepper, and thyme for 4 minutes or until rice is golden. Stir in broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and let simmer 40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes and then stir in parsley.

Tasty Turkey Burgers

Nothing is better than homemade burgers, mm. My stomach is growling and I think these sound fantastic again for dinner. I get a lot of mixed feedback for turkey used in burgers. My opinion? What's wrong with it? It's delicious and it's healthier for you! :) This is a simpler version of what the boy and I normally eat. We have it at least once a week...or twice with leftovers :P

Tasty Turkey Burgers

1lb. ground turkey
3 tablespoons of green onions, chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce, low sodium
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder w/ parsley (Lawry makes this, or just use garlic powder.)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 red onion, medium sized. (I use only about half, but if you love em' pile em' on!)
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
4 pieces of American cheese, low-fat.
4 whole wheat hamburger buns

Cut onion into slices. In large bowl combine turkey, soy sauce, garlic powder, and pepper; shape into 4 patties. Evenly brush onion with olive oil. Grill or broil burgers and onions until burgers are to desired done-ness and onions are tender. Top burgers with cheese and cook until cheese is melted. Top with onions and enjoy!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mesquite Chicken and Veggie Pouches

Now this just doesn't seem like diet food at all! This meal was so easy to do, I really love "pouch" meals where i can throw it all together and forget about it. Isn't that a quote from some infomercial? :P There's tons of flavor in this dish and the colors are vibrant and appetizing. What else? The entire meal, including the carrots is only 420 calories and you feel FULL. Most dieters don't know what "full" is, hehe. I hope you try it! It's not spicy for those who may be afraid of it. I think pepperoni on my pizza is too spicy LOL so this is a-OK for me. :) I even included the carrot recipe for you.

Mesquite Chicken and Veggie Pouches

1/4 cup Lawry's Marinade with Lime Juice
1lb. chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
1 onion, yellow
1 bell pepper, red
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon of cilantro, fresh
2 cups of rice, cooked (I use brown as it's better for you, but feel free to use whatever you'd like!)

Pre-heat oven to 425°. Cut chicken into 1/2" cubes. Chop onion and pepper (I threw mine into the food processor for little bits, but you can keep them 1/4"in. to 1/2"in. if you so desire). In large bowl toss chicken with marinade, beans, red pepper, and onion. on four 12 x 18" of heavy-duty aluminum foil, evenly divide mixture. Wrap foil loosely around chicken and seal the edges with a double fold. On baking sheet, arrange pouches seam side up. Bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Serve over hot rice.

Maple-Dijon Baby Carrots

1 bag of baby carrots (approx. 1lb.)
1 tablespoon of butter
1 1/2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of syrup, maple

In medium saucepan, add carrots and enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil over high-heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook for 6 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. In the same saucepan toss carrots with remaining ingredients.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Turkey Burgers with a Basil-Red Pepper Mayo

Oh my, this picture just makes my stomach growl because homemade turkey burgers are probably the best thing I discovered for the boy and I's dinners. I've always loved turkey burgers, but these were better than your average frozen patty. I mean c'mon they're thick and juicy and all these flavors packed inside just makes my mouth water. We used to just slap cheese and onions on em' but then I found this mayo recipe and whoa momma, my mouth had a party at first bite :) People go "ew" when I say Turkey and Burger together, but please please try them!

Turkey Burgers with a Basil-Red Pepper Mayo
2 tablespoons light mayo (I use light miracle whip.)
2 tablespoons basil, fresh, chopped
2 tablespoons of soy sauce, low sodium
2 tablespoons of green onions, chopped
1 oz. red peppers, flame roasted (Come in little jars at your local super market, though I used the sweet roasted peppers :P)
1lb. ground turkey
4 whole wheat turkey buns
4 pieces of tomato, optional (Mine pictured doesn't, but the boy's did.)
4 slices of yellow onion
4 slices of romaine lettuce (I didn't have any but though I'd throw it in there!)

In medium bowl combine ground turkey, green onions, and soy sauce. Divide and shape into 4 patties.
Chop roasted peppers. In small bowl combine peppers, mayo, and basil. Grill or broil burgers until desired done-ness. Spread mayo mix over top half of buns. Top burger with onion (try them grilled or broiled for more flavor!), tomato, and lettuce.

Chimmichurri Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Salad

I have a confession to make, I am addicted to Slim Fast's recipes they offer for free through their site. There really is such a variety to choose from? Don't like chicken? Fine, try grilled halibut or Caribbean jerk steak. Even if you're not into dieting, it's a great site for dinner options and healthy options together as one :) This entire meal pictured (including the potatoes) is only 430 calories per serving, wow! I didn't include the potato recipe but can if enough people show interest in it?

Chimmichurri Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Salad

1/2 cup of Italian dressing
1/4 cup white onion
1/4 cup parsley, fresh, chopped
1 garlic clove
4 chicken breasts, boneless
3 bell peppers, any color
2 small zucchinis
1 bag of salad mix, (I used the Spring Mix as recommended by the recipe, but use what you wish!)

Cut peppers into quarters and zucchinis lengthwise.

To make chimmichurri dressing: in food processor or blender combine Italian dressing, onion, parsley, and garlic. Makes about 2/3 cup. Coat chicken and veggies with dressing and grill veggies and chicken until the chicken fully cooked and veggies are tender (I broiled mine since we don't have a grill...YET!)

Arrange lettuce on serving platter or individual plates and top with chicken and drizzle with remaining dressing and serve.

Crisp Greens and Warm Ginger Chicken Salad

sorry for the poor picture quality, bad lighting at our old place.
Mmm nothing is better than a salad piled high with food! I snagged this recipe from Slim Fast and gave it my own twist since I didn't have some of the ingredients on hand. This is great for a lunch or to accompany with something starchy like homemade bread sticks (recipes anyone?) or some dill bread. My stomach is growling now!

Crisp Greens & Warm Ginger Chicken Salad
1/4 cup of light mayo (I use light miracle whip, use whatever you prefer)
2 teaspoons of vinegar, red wine (white works too)
2 teaspoons soy sauce, low sodium
2 teaspoons of honey
1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
4 large oranges (ex: California navel)
12 cups of spring greens (Dole makes this mix)
4 chicken breasts, boneless
8 oz. snow pea pods, fresh or frozen, optional. (I use the frozen steamers, they keep longer)

Place your chicken under the broiler for fastest results but you can also bake or grill. I seasoned the breasts lightly with salt and pepper first.

Peel and section two of the oranges, set aside. Slice remaining oranges in half and squeeze juice into a small bowl. Combine mayo, ginger, honey, soy sauce, vinegar, and reserved juice.
In large bowl toss greens with dressing, serve and top with snow peas, chicken, and orange slices. Add a hard boiled egg if you so fancy, yummy! This recipe is good for 4 servings.

Pesto Rubbed Chicken (Homemade Pesto Sauce)

So the recipe is called "pesto RUBBED chicken," but there was so much pesto I basically just evened out the portions and piled it on top. My pesto is homemade too baby! It's really amazing stuff and although it's green it's excellent! I say this because I myself am not fond of green veggies much (I do force myself to eat them though). Try it if you haven't or come on over for dinner and I'll make it for you! *wink* ;)

Pesto Rubbed Chicken (Homemade Pesto Sauce)

for the chicken:

2 tablespoons of olive oil.
4 chicken breasts, boneless.

for the pesto sauce:

3 cloves of garlic (yes, the fresh stuff! no minced jar garlic!)
2 cups fresh basil
3 tablespoons of pinenuts
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated

It's easiest to make this in a food processer (Wal-Mart has a mini one for like $15) It's not the exact one I use, maybe they don't show the off-brand ones on their website but they do have the mini ones! Or you could use a blender if you want to save your cash for a night out on the town! :) Peel and chop your garlic. Place garlic, pinenuts, basil, and parmesan cheese into food processor. Place about 1/4 cup of your oil into the processor and let it do its job. After a couple of seconds you'll probably have to scrape down the sides and such, at this time go ahead and place the rest of your oil in and let it spin again for a few more seconds until completely blended. *NOTE: Sometimes I like to just use 1/4 cup of oil since sometimes 1/2 cup will seem to much. Just use your best judgement.

You can grill, broil, or bake the chicken at this point. I chose to broil my chicken so I used a baking sheet (you can use a broiling pan too) and placed the chicken breasts on, scooping even amounts of Pesto to cover the entire chicken. I have to say I didn't really keep tabs on how long it took to cook thoroughly, but broiling is the fastest method in my opinion. So I would say 8-10 minutes maximum if you choose to broil. Just keep an eye on it! :)

If you're in a rush to get dinner on the table Knorr brand makes a Pesto Sauce Mix that you can blend with olive oil for a quick sauce. You should be able to find it at any local super market.

Jamaican Pork with Creamy Lime Salsa

I picked up this recipe by signing up at Slim Fast as it has tons of new and exciting recipes that you can pick and choose from and they're all about roughly 500 calories per dinner serving. Most recipes make 4 servings so that's great for couples like James and I because I can cook one night and take a break for the next by just eating leftovers. I'm not sure how much I loved the lime salsa, it could be the fact that it's made with mostly mayo that throws me off, or it was just too much for one small piece of chop. I think if I do make this again I'll use less of the mayo and maybe add a little bit more lime juice to it as I didn't get the full punch of that flavor either. Needless to say, the actual chop was amazing! I suppose you could use a tenderloin or something instead, but I figured chops were easy enough. :)

Jamaican Pork with Creamy Lime Salsa

1/2 cup light mayo (or whatever your preference is)
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/4 cup onion, red, chopped
1 garlic clove
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound pork chops, boneless (or bone in if you prefer)
1 tablespoon Caribbean jerk seasoning (made by McCormick if you need help locating it in the spice aisle)

Chop the garlic. For Creamy Lime Salsa, in medium bowl, combine mayo, lime juice, onion, garlic, and pepper; set aside. Evenly season chops with jerk seasoning. Grill or broil chops until done. To serve, arrange chops on serving platter, then evenly garnish with Creamy Lime Salsa. Serve with remaining salsa.

Smothered Chops.

I found this recipe over at Amada's delicious blog, Fake Ginger. It seemed simple enough to make so I placed it on the grocery list and set out to create this delicious food, haha. I must have my mothers curse with homemade gravy as it took me forever to create the ever so slightly thickened sauce that was to "smother" these chops! maybe i needed more flour, or to let it boil longer, I'm not sure. Although it wasn't a thick gravy like my mouth constantly waters for, it was delicious. I would definitely make this again as it's just such a comforting food to me. Reminds me a lot of home with my momma in the kitchen. Next time though, I won't forget the applesauce!

Smothered Chops.
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 pork chops, boneless (or bone in if you prefer.)
1/4 cup olive oil1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup milk (i used fat-free, but feel free to use whatever you'd like)

Put the flour in a shallow platter and add the onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper; mix with a fork to distribute evenly. Pat the pork chops dry with paper towels to remove any moisture and then dredge them in the seasoned flour; shaking off the excess.

Heat a large saute pan or cast iron skillet over medium heat and coat with the oil. When the oil is nice and hot, lay the pork chops in the pan in a single layer and fry for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Remove the pork chops from the pan and add a little sprinkle of seasoned flour to the pan drippings. Mix the flour into the fat to dissolve and then pour in the chicken broth in. Let the liquid cook down for 5 minutes to reduce and thicken slightly. Stir in the milk to make a creamy gravy and return the pork chops to the pan, covering them with the sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes until the pork is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper before serving.