Sunday, November 15, 2009

The South Beach Diet

Sorry for the lack of posts recently. Mark and I have been on the south beach diet- trying to lose the poundage we both gained from baby. Not all of the recipes have turned out great (don't get me started on the Almond Energy Blast or I might gag) But there have been a few recipes that were tasty and we'll make again. We're hoping to be down to our goal weights by Thanksgiving and then we'll be back to cooking (with moderation) with carbs, butter and bacon :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Peanut-Curry Chicken


The only downside of this recipe is our house smelling like curry for days. Otherwise it was delicious!

1 cup jasmine, basmati or Texmati rice
1 small bunch scallions, coarsely chopped
1 inch ginger, peeled and grated
2 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped and mashed into paste
1 small red chili pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 cup cilantro leaves (a couple of handfuls)
2 rounded tablespoons curry powder (a couple of palmfuls)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth, plus an additional splash, divided
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 pieces boneless, skinless chicken breasts or 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup Greek-style yogurt

PREPARATION
Prepare the rice according to the package directions.
While the rice cooks, combine the scallions, ginger, garlic, chili pepper, cilantro, curry powder and a splash of the chicken broth in a food processor and process into a paste.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat with the oil. Add the chicken to the pan and brown, 2-3 minutes. Add the spice paste and stir for 1 minute to combine. Add the peanut butter to the pan and whisk in the broth. Bring to a bubble and whisk in the yogurt; lower the heat and simmer for 7-8 minutes. Serve over rice.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

I love all things pumpkin and this breakfast dish was no exception.

1 cup old fashioned oats, not quick cook
1 Tbs whole flax seeds, optional
2 1/2 Tbs brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp butter, softened
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3/4 cup milk

Topping:
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
2 tsp butter, softened
1 Tbs brown sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 4 individual sized ramekins. Set aside.

Combine the oats through salt in a medium sized bowl. Stir well. In a separate bowl, combine the vanilla, butter, pumpkin, and milk. Whisk thoroughly. Pour the pumpkin mixture into the oats. Stir until combined.

Divide mixture evenly between 4 individual sized ramekins. Place ramekins on a baking sheet (this makes it easier to move in and out of the oven.). Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the topping: chopped pecans, butter, and brown sugar. After the oatmeal has baked for 10 minutes, remove and divide topping mixture evenly between the ramekins. Bake and additional 7 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before serving. Top with a splash of milk and raisins, if desired.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Feijoada

This Brazilian pork and black bean stew was really tasty. It takes a lot of time to cook but not much time to prepare.

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
1 pound smoked sausage, such as kielbasa, cut into 1-inch pieces
One 8-ounce smoked ham hock
1 large onion, chopped
2 dried bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 cups long-grain white rice
Salt and pepper
1 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Pickled jalapeƱo chile slices, for serving

DIRECTIONS:
In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook, turning, until browned, about 8 minutes. Add 8 cups water, the beans, sausage, ham hock, 1/2 cup onion, the bay leaves and garlic and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the beans are tender, about 2 hours; add water as needed to keep the beans and meat submerged.

During the last 30 minutes of cooking, in a large pot, bring 4 cups water and the rice to a boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer, undisturbed, until the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

During the last 20 minutes of cooking, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat. Add the remaining onion and cook, stirring, until browned, about 15 minutes. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the cooked beans to the onions and mash; stir into the stew and cook for 30 minutes longer. Discard the bay leaves and garlic cloves, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with parsley. Serve over the rice and top with the pickled jalapeƱos.

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