Friday, December 14, 2012

Shrimp in White Wine & Lemon Sauce over Papardelle with Steamed Kale

Shrimp in White Wine & Lemon Sauce over Papardelle with Steamed Kale....It's becoming fairly obvious that it is the holiday season and the lull of a leisurely Fall is no longer the norm. Not to mention work is all hectic, who woulda thunk? Of course this has meant that Dahlicious has been on the back burner - despite the fact that I've still been cooking! Mostly I have been using some usual go-to's that have already been discussed on this here blog, and I've been a horrible photog lately and have not captured many pics while whipping up some meals.

Anyways, Monday night I tried. And the following is how is a recap...

What I used:
A dozen or so large shrimp (this was for two, they were small so it was more like 20 - I normally would only consume 4-5 large ones myself)
1 Small yellow onion
A couple cloves of garlic
Fresh Parsley
White Wine
Clam Juice
Lemon/Lemon Juice

How to:
I started by sauteing the pressed garlic and the very finely diced onion over medium/high heat with some salt and pepper and dried oregano. Once it was nicely sauteed (translucent) I added the shrimp which had been marinating for just a few minutes in lemon juice (half the large lemon that I had on hand). I pushed my garlic/onion mixture to the edges of the saute pan and let the shrimp cook in the middle. Once the shrimps were pink on both sides I added a nice pour - equal parts I'd say - of white wine and clam juice.I happened to have a bottle of clam juice around because I like adding it to seafood sauces for flavor, but if you don't have clam juice that's fine just add a bit more wine. In total about a cup of liquid. . A little more salt and pepper to taste and then I let it simmer and reduce on medium heat. I added more clam juice and white wine when the shrimp/sauce had thickened a little and let it simmer another 5 minutes or so. Making sauces like these is really not an exact science - it's just something you have to play with a few times until you get the hang of it. One good tip though is to add in small quantities and add in layers. For instance, don't put all of the wine you want to use in at once, add a little, let it simmer, add a little more etc. Same with seasonings. You can always add more later, but you can't take it out!!

While this was happening I was simultaneously cooking up my pasta (that night I was using the rest of some egg papardelle I had in my pantry from TJ's) as well as steaming some big kale leaves. After steaming to perfection I added just a tiny bit of salt and pepper and a small squeeze of lemon juice to the kale. When my pasta was al dente I tossed it in the sauce, keeping some of that starchy water on the noodles, and let it all toss/marinate together for a minute or two with the heat turned off. This allows the pasta to absorb some of the sauce and actually makes the sauce a bit richer. At this point I also added in a palm full of freshly chopped parsley. That bit of fresh greenery brightens any dish and adds one more flavor component that kinda kicks it up a notch (any Emeril fan's out there?? Is he even on TV anymore...?)

I served it up nice and hot alongside the kale for a very filling yet pretty light dinner. This time I didn't add any butter to the sauce (I am giving myself a pat on the back for restraining) and the shrimp of course were delicate as the protein focal point of the evening. All in all I would recommend this concoction next time you are in the mood for a lemony/winey/shrimpy/Dahliciousy pasta meal!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lazy Monday: Ode to Jarred Sauce

Lazy Monday: Ode to Jarred Sauce... The holiday season has commenced, and just like many of you out there I too traveled out of town last week - which meant my grocery shopping trip was a quick loop through TJs after work on Monday night (jumping off the bus a block before the door and timing my checkout to get me right on the next bus home, gotta love windy city livin'!). Anyway, I stocked up on some of the usuals - tuna, pork loin, chicken breasts, brussels, kale, broccoli, onions, sweet potatoes, yogurt, bananas bla bla bla. I got home after shopping and was in no mood to muss and fuss over making a big meal. I also figured I'd continue the gluttonous carbo load that had ensued the prior 5 days for just one more meal.

On the Menu:
TJ's Papardelle with Sausage Ragu & Haricot Vert

I had a jar of a Dahlicious looking Sausage Ragu from William Sonoma that was part of a pasta themed gift for my birthday and it seemed like the perfect thing to pair with a papardelle noodle. Papardelle is really one of my favorites (perhaps it also makes sense that in asian cooking I prefer wider flat rice noodles as well). There's just something about an al dente, wide, flat noodle clinging to a hearty sauce that is, for me, reminiscent of a hug. Comfort food you could say.

Anywho, I figured that if I was basing my dinner off of a pre-made sauce (of high quality at least!) that I would add a few fresh ingredients of my own. Enter chopped parsley and grated parmesan.

I poured about 1/3 of the jarred sauce in a pan over medium heat while the pasta cooked for approximately 5 minutes. Once the pasta was al dente, I fished it out of the pot, letting some of the starchy water cling to the noodles, and then tossed it in the now lightly bubbling sauce. Once it was nicely mixed I threw in a palm full of chopped fresh parsley as well as a little grated parmesan cheese. I gave it a toss and served it up with steamed haricot vert (pretty much just skinny green beans). I gave the greens a little squeeze of lemon and finished the pasta with a bit more parm and chopped parsley.

The meal was perfect for the Monday night I was having. It was hearty and filling, but the fresh parsley and the lemony greens gave it a light and healthful feel. I would highly recommend checking out this sauce.. I have two more to try and will report out on how Dahlicious they are too. Happy eating all!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Seared Tuna & Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad

Seared Tuna & Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad... Simple and light. That was my Tuesday night. We had a potluck planned at work on Wednesday where I knew I'd be eating a lot so I prepped with this meal. Although I will admit, I was baking some cookies for the event and may have snuck 1 or 4 after my healthy dinner (but who counts broken cookies anyways...?).

The Tuna:
Per usual I kept it simple, olive oil, lemon, lemon pepper - on the grill pan at high heat for 4 minutes on the first side, turn it down a bit and another couple min on the other side. Voila.

The Salad:
I still love the already shaved brussels in the produce section of TJ's. So dang easy and good. They have quite a crunch though so be sure to toss them in dressing before you make the rest of your meal so they have a little time to soften. I tossed mine in this TJ's balsamic that I just love in a pinch. I usually stick with olive oil, white balsamic, lemon, etc but sometimes you need a little creaminess in your life and this dressing does the trick without tons of calories. While the brussels were soaking up that yummy balsamic goodness, I got to chopping. One large ripe avocado, a handful of baby heirloom tomatoes, and a few cooked beets. I also used these ingredients for another salad this week - so handy to have around!
Undressed brussels

Yummiest dressing

BRIGHT veggies

Finished salad

The Meal:
I gave the salad a toss and piled it on my plate. I topped with with my seared tuna and dinner was served!


Hope this post gives some inspiration for your next dinner time salad at home!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Baked Corn Flake Chicken Fingers

Baked Corn Flake Chicken Fingers... I was never one of those kids that was particularly interested in kid food. Chicken fingers, PB&J sandwiches, ketchup. - none of these foods enticed me. When I came home and wanted a snack I insisted on my mom making homemade fried mozzarella (yes I had her slice hunks of mozzarella  dip them in egg wash and Italian bread crumbs and fry them over the stove). When I was in middle school and I brought my lunch everyday I refused to bring a turkey sandwich like most kids, instead my mom made sure we always had plenty of leftovers (even enough for my two best friends as well) to eat a hot meal at lunch. So you can imagine my own surprise with myself when I was interested in making chicken fingers at home. I happened to read a recipe that sparked some interest and when I found myself in the check out line with a package of raw chicken tenders and a box of TJs corn flakes I knew I would have to follow through. And so my healthier adult version of a kiddie meal was born.

On the Menu:
Baked Corn Flake Chicken Fingers w/ Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The Chicken:
Usually if you fry chicken or add a breading it is a good idea to use an egg wash or marinate the meat in buttermilk. I saw somewhere that it was suggested to use Greek Yogurt instead, so I went for it. On Monday night as I was cleaning up after dinner I prepped just a bit for Tuesdays meal by placing the chicken tenders in a large glass bowl with about a cup of plain Greek yogurt and a liberal shaking of paprika. I covered it with saran wrap and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Then once I was ready to crust the little chickies I removed them from the fridge and dredged them one by one in the corn flakes. For this mix I put a ton of cornflakes in a Ziploc bag and crushed them by hand until they were the size I wanted, then I put them on a plate and tossed them with some salt and pepper and voila! Once the tenders were coated I put them in the oven at 400 for about 15 minutes.

Pre Bake
The Brussels:
I just cut them in half and drizzled with olive oil, salt and pepper and placed them in the oven at 425 for 40 minutes. I did this as I was prepping the chicken and so I took the Brussels out and put the tenders right in.

Pre Roast

Post Roast

BBQ Sauce, Honey Mustard, Ketchup


The meal was yummy and different! I used 3 sauces: 1) TJ's BBQ, 2) My own mixture of spicy brown mustard and a squeeze of honey, 3) Ketchup.

It was easy and fun to try! My challenge to all of you is to come up with a "kiddie" food you either LOVED in childhood or perhaps you've only come to enjoy as an adult, and create your own spin on it. It's fun to see what you can come up with! Hope yall are having a Dahlicious week.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tuna & Acorn Squash

Tuna & Acorn Squash... It's that time of year when root vegetables & gourds are not only on display for your viewing pleasure, but are actually there for you to take home and cook! I've never done much cooking of squashes and fall veggies in the past, but this year I'm really feeling it. Last week at TJ's I saw a beautiful acorn squash and felt compelled to buy the little guy. I figured I'd find room for him somewhere in my belly. So, last night I decided it was time for the sweet gourd to play a part in my dinner.

On the Menu:
Broiled Lemon Tuna w/ Sauteed Broccolini & Roasted Acorn Squash

The Tuna:
While the squash cooked (which took about 45 minutes) I let my tuna marinate in lemon juice and a liberal shake of lemon pepper. Easy Peasy. Once the squash was out of the oven I popped the Tuna in  there (on the same baking sheet with new aluminum lining) and cooked for approximately 6 minutes on each side. The oven had been on 400 but I changed it to broil just as I slid the tuna steaks in. An extra squeeze of lemon after they came out and they were good to go!

The Broccolini:
Sauteed in garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. They really are such a great vegetable. As my significant other has said when I buy broccoli now "Who eats broccoli anymore when you have broccolini???". It's stems have a nice firm crunch and the thinner florets at the top absorb more of the garlicky olive oil. They also cook fairly quickly especially when lightly steamed for a minute at the very end before serving.

The Acorn Squash:
I started by cutting the squash in half. Well I did it the "wrong way" but it didn't seem to mater. They are sort of egg shaped with a small stem on each end. I think you are supposed to cut it the long way, but I cut right around the chubby center. Then I cut off the two top stem parts so that the halves could sit open and flat on the baking sheet. I scooped out all the seeds (just like a pumpkin or spaghetti squash) and drizzled with olive oil, a pinch of salt, and a sprinkle of cinnamon  I read a bunch of recipe's that suggested honey, maple sugar, brown sugar, butter, etc but I figured this would be a good way to get a little sweet taste without all the calories. Cinnamon is a great go to. And to be totally transparent I did add a thin slice of butter right before eating!

The good part about this dinner was that I felt as though I was getting some rich fall flavors and a warm starchy treat, while still eating a very low calorie and low fat meal. It was filling and easy and Dahlicious!

Tentative Week of Dinner

Tentative Week of Dinner:

Sunday I did my weekly shopping, stocking up on my usual's and filling in the gaps of what I didn't already have to make a few complete meals for the week. My usual's include bananas, Trader Joe's strawberry and blueberry single serve Greek yogurts, Kashi go lean crunch, and eggs. That makes up my breakfast and snack (hard boiled eggs are a great protein treat for me between breakfast and lunch when I'm dying of starvation by 10 am at my desk.).

I knew that I had some tuna steaks at home that I wanted to make this week, along with a head of broccoli  a bunch of Brussels sprouts, and an acorn squash just waiting to be roasted. I knew that I wanted to make 4 dinners and have enough for lunch and leftovers. As I strolled through the store I picked up fresh ingredients that sounded Dahlicious - estimating 1 protein & two veggies per night. Here is my menu:

Seared Tuna w/ sauteed brocolini and roasted acorn squash

Baked Chicken Tenders (marinated in greek yogurt and coated in crushed corn flakes) with roasted Brussels sprouts

Grilled Pork Chops with sauteed onions, broccoli, mushrooms, and bell peppers

Italian Chicken Sausages with sauteed Kale and Baked Feta

Monday has clearly come and gone and the seared tuna with acorn squash was a hit the first time around, and now I'm just waiting to dig in at lunch! A post about that is coming next! Happy Election Day everyone - I think my healthy chicken fingers are pretty fitting on this good ole American eve!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Kitchen Sink Pasta

Kitchen Sink Pasta... Despite the title this was a Dahlicious dish, full of lots of fresh ingredients. I stocked up on groceries this week thinking I'd be doing a lot of cooking, but it is not turning out that way. Tonight I will be baking a Chicken Pot Pie, that is not my own. We picked it up from an awesome shop in Wisconsin a few weeks back along with an Apple Pie and other fall goodies. This place makes Pot Pies and sweet pies and freezes them so that you can take them home and bake them off at your convenience. So that's tonight. Then tomorrow we are eating out to celebrate a few recent birthdays. Any who,  I have all these fresh veggies that need to be used and so came last nights dinner for one - plus lunch today!

On the Menu:
Linguini with Onion, Yellow Bell Pepper, Broccolini & Baby Yellow Tomatoes (and Chicken!)

The Dish:
In a large sauce pan I sauteed chopped onion and garlic in olive oil. Once they started to get a nice opaqueness going I added the chopped yellow bell pepper and the chopped broccolini. I added a bit more olive oil as well as salt, pepper, crushed dried oregano, and the juice from half of a lime. I let this saute for a few minutes alone. Next I added an entire little carton of baby yellow tomatoes. I let these saute until they were ready to be squished. Once that time came and they were oozing with Dahlicious juiciness I let the whole mixture rest on low heat until ready to serve. Add salt and pepper to taste. ALSO: While my linguini was boiling I added a table spoon or two of the starchy pasta water to my veggie sauce and gave it a good mix.

In a separate smaller sauce pan I placed 3 raw chicken tenders ( I happened to buy a whole thing of these guys thinking I was going to have time to try this baked chicken tender recipe using Greek yogurt for a marinade and crushed corn flakes for a crusty fried effect...anyways that might happen next week). So in went the three tenders, I filled the pan up with water so that they were just covered, then put it over high heat with a lid until it came to a boil. Turn the temp down to medium low and let them cook all the way through. Once they were done I chopped/shredded them and added the pieces to my "veggie sauce". When the pasta was perfectly al dente I scooped it out (allowing some of the water to still cling to the pasta) and tossed it right in my veggie/chicken saute pan. After a nice toss, ensuring all of my lovely pasta strands were coated in that olive oily, tomatoey, garlicy goodness, I served up a nice little mound in a cream soup bowl.

Sauteed Veggies

Squished tomatoes

Dinna time!

Veggies in every bite!

It was an easy dinner and was a good use of lots of fresh ingredients that needed to be eaten. This idea could be tweaked in so many ways to accommodate whatever you have in the fridge  Any veggies would have worked, you could have used canned tomatoes instead of fresh ones, or added fresh chopped herbs if you had them on hand. Not to mention you could have subbed tofu or shrimp or any other protein for the chicken.

Hope this inspires at least one of you to take a look in your fridge and be a little creative on how you can use all of your ingredients (perhaps minus the kitchen sink!) in one meal to avoid tossing your precious groceries!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Paprika Lime Salmon & Sweet Potatoes

Paprika Lime Salmon & Sweet Potatoes... Do you ever have one of those days where everything goes wrong?? Well I think I'm tossing yesterday in that pile. Got home from a slightly stressful day at my office and was in no mood for things to not go smoothly at home. I was on edge you could say. I decided to prepare salmon, snap peas, and a sweet potato. Pretty standard - I've made this meal before. Here is how the evening unfolded...

On the Menu:
Paprika Lime Salmon with sauteed Snap Peas and a baked Sweet Potato

The Salmon:
I put the salmon fillets in a pyrex baking dish and drizzled them with olive oil. Next I squeezed the juice from one VERY juice lime (tip: before slicing the lime or lemon give it a good firm roll on the counter pressing down with your palm, this gets the juices flowin!). So on went the lime, along with a few liberal dashes of red wine vinegar (which I should remember to use more often), some salt, and a few shakes of paprika for a little heat. I popped this in the fridge to marinate about 20 minutes while I got my oven up to 450 degrees. In went the salmon to cook away for approximately 15 minutes.

The Snap Peas:
Olive oil, salt, pepper - light saute over medium heat. Done in 5 minutes.

The Potato:
Here is where my night took a turn. I was doing the above cooking, which wasn't so much cooking as assembling, while on the phone (admittedly venting to my mom about my day) so this is partly why I do not have any photos of this meal. Normally I wash the potatoes (2 of them), cut off the ends/poke a couple holes then place them on the damp paper towel that I dried them with and put them in the microwave. Usually I let them go on the pre-set potato button. For two potatoes I do two rounds.

Well last night I let them go once and when I pulled them out they weren't up to par. So I set them for a second round. A minute or so in I opened the microwave and pulled one out - I was pretty hungry and in no mood to wait. Plus I was the only one chowing down so if it wasn't cooked perfectly I wasn't going to complain to myself. I got my plate ready and sat down, leaving the second potato to finish off cooking. Well within a minute smoke started rising before my eyes, I turned around to my kitchen (mouth full of salmon) and there were FLAMES through the microwave door!!!! I can only imagine what a fly on the wall saw next... me jumping up and down yelling inaudible craziness running to the sink and filling two glasses of water and dousing the inside of the dreaded cooking machine. Of course more smoke ensued. I live in a cold and WINDY city, where we are experiencing gustier than normal winds thanks to Sandy. So after cleaning up my charred mess I attempted to air the place out with my windows open. This of course made everything fly around and smack my doors shut. So I opted to just keep one a little open and deal with it in the morning. I also had to sleep with my head under the sheets to avoid too much of the horrendous smell.

In Summation:
My meal was actually tasty, however I only managed down a few bites - I was a bit shaken up thinking I was going to be swallowed by flames. The mess wasn't so bad, nothing paper towels and soap couldn't handle. I still don't know what caused the combustion since I've done this many times before, and I am not sure how I am going to plan all my meals around avoiding the microwave from here on out. But I do know this much, I am going to have to start telling people that I am trying a new perfume that's supposed to smell like s'mores because my closet smells like a campfire!

Hopefully tonight's dinner of who-knows-what won't explode!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Balsamic Chicken Breasts w/Kale & Caprese

Balsamic Chicken Breasts w/Kale & Caprese.. Another easy meal for one. Or two! I actually made enough for two, because sometimes that's easier, and brought the leftovers for lunch. I think that is the very definition of killing two birds with one stone. Not only was I pleased with that shortcut, but I also had time, whilst my chickies marinated, to get tomorrow's lunch ready last night as well! I know, I know - I'm a tad bit of a planning freak so if you aren't the same way don't worry that you won't be able to accomplish making dinners & lunches. You can do it even if you aren't a planner. You just have to have some good go to's. For instance, cooking extra chicken breasts and veggies is a good go to for me in terms of creating lunch while creating dinner. Or making sure you always have diced veggies on hand for salads. Or better yet buy a couple of TJ's premade soups near the chilled pasta section and bring one of those for lunch.

Now that my lunch rant is over, let's get back to dinner. This meal took all of 16 minutes. Minus the marinating of the chicken which I let go for about 30 minutes, but you could do it the night before, the morning before etc. It was healthful, simple, and totally satisfying.

The Chicken:
I marinated the breast in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, crushed dried oregano for about 30 minutes. Then I placed them on a baking sheet lined with foil and popped them in the preheated oven on broil for approximately 8 minutes on each side. Voila!

The Kale:
I just did a simple saute with crushed garlic, olive oil, salt and pep! So simple, so Dahlicious.

The Caprese:
Large slices of perfectly ripe tomato alternating with equally as large slices of fresh mozz, drizzled with olive oil and a bit of balsamic - perfection. Add some fresh basil if you've got it!

Enjoy your week of eating, and remember, it helps to plan but if you just have some basics and some fresh ingredients on hand it's not that hard to make a nice well rounded meal for yourself - and perhaps even for lunch too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pesto Tofu Stir Fry

Pesto Tofu Stir Fry... As I think I have mentioned before, I consider any meal where the protein and veggies are in bite sized pieces all mixed together in a sauce over some sort of starch to be a "stir fry". In last night's case it was a pesto themed vegetarian stir fry. I can't say that it was particularly innovative or that it took any skill, but it was satisfying and healthful and there were plenty of leftovers to bring for lunch - what more could a girl need??

On the Menu:
Tofu, Onion, Asparagus Pesto Stir Fry over Balsamic Brown Rice

The Stir Fry:
Alls I did was chop up my onion and asparagus into bite sized pieces before sauteing for about 10 minutes on medium heat with a liberal pour of olive oil. Once the veggies were slightly caramelized I added a big spoonful of TJ's pesto. Side Note: My dad makes an insanely Dahlicious homemade pesto, and while I know it's easy unfortunately my food processor seems to have died and thus without a replacement yet I am confined to the jarred stuff - TJ's version is pretty good though. I gave the veggies and pesto a nice mix so that each little morsel was coated in the tangy sauce. In another pan I sauteed a ton of chopped tofu, also smaller bite sized pieces. Once they were slightly crisped on the outside I tossed them in with the veggies along with another spoonful of the pesto and gave the whole thing a toss. I let it sit on low heat for another 5 minutes while I fixed up my rice.

The Rice:
The same pre-cooked brown rice I always use. I love this stuff. Once it was steamed and ready to serve I simply put a little pile on my plate and drizzled it with balsamic vinegar. This added a night tartness and acidity to the rice, an extra layer of flavor if you will.

I covered the rice with a heaping portion of my tofu & veggies and dinner was served! Again I know this isn't my most exciting meal here on Dahlicious, but let's face it not every Tuesday night will include an extravagant meal. My goal here is to put out doable recipe's - some more complex than others. But the true nature of this blog is to inspire those of you just embarking on your journey into cooking, or for those of you who have already started on your way, to feel like most nights can be a "homemade meal" kind of night, and not always with a whole lot of hassle.

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Healthy Teriyaki Chicken & Fried Brown Rice

Healthy Teriyaki Chicken & Fried Brown Rice... Trader Joe's Soyaki Teriyaki Sauce is a staple in my kitchen. I've got at least 3 bottles sitting around at any given time. It's lighter than your usual teriyaki sauce, not so thick and sweet. It's got a bit of a tang and its full of sesame seeds for texture. I just love it. My mom used it growing up, and I would say it is definitely a taste that reminds me of my childhood (as odd as that might sound). I had been thinking of doing a regular ole stir fry, but decided to change it up a bit. Instead of sauteing the chicken already sliced, I opted for a baking/broiling technique after marinating it in Soyaki. Instead of simply sauteing veggies in more of the sauce and serving OVER rice, I decided to saute the veggies in soy sauce and add scrambled egg & brown rice to create a sort of "fried rice". I've done a faux fried rice before on Dahlicious, but this one was different because this time I added egg. Which not only created a more realistic, restaurant style flavor & texture, but it added protein to a dish that otherwise was comprised mainly of veggies and carbs. I also stuck with brown rice, as I always do, and used just a few dashes of soy sauce and some fresh garlic to season the dish. Simple and healthful.

On the Menu:
Soyaki Marinated Chicken Breasts w/Veggie Fried Rice

The Chicken:
I marinated two chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag with plenty of the soyaki sauce for about 30-45 minutes. Marinate longer if you can, I didn't decide on this meal until I was home from work so I only had a little bit of time before my stomach started growling undeniably. I set my oven to broil and let it get hot while the chicken marinated and while I chopped and started sauteing my veggies. I placed the breasts on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and popped them in the oven on the top rack for 8 minutes on each side.
I took the chicken out and let it rest for just a minute before slicing and serving. I am telling you I will never go back to the days before broiling my chicken breast. It is so insanely easy and keeps the chicken so moist inside, yet I can always count on it being fully cooked after the 8/9 minutes on each side. Love the technique!

Marinated Chicken Pre Broil

The Veggie Fried Rice:
I happen to be going out of town this weekend, and eating out tonight, so last night I was in need of using up all the veggies in my fridge. I ended up having TONS extra to bring as leftovers to work which I am excited to dig into when the clock strikes 12!

I started by dicing 1 yellow onion, 1 red bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper, 1 bunch of broccolini, and a small bowl full of kale (I removed the ribs and shredded the big pieces by hand into bite size leaves). I sauteed in some olive oil over medium heat with 3 cloves of pressed garlic. Once the veggies became a little wilted and opaque I added in a handful of chopped mushrooms and a few dashes of soy sauce for flavor and to help deglaze just a bit. Once the veggies were cooked to my desired state, fully cooked but still with some integrity in the center because I like a little crunch in my fried rice veggies, I pushed the contents of the pan to the edges and created a hole in the center. I whisked 2 eggs in a bowl, just as you would with scrambled eggs and poured it in the hole. I used a fork to scramble the eggs right in the center of the veggies, and once the egg was forming nice scrambly chunks I started giving the whole pan a toss. A few more dashes of soy sauce along with the TJ's steamed brown rice, and voila!

Sauteing the crunchy veggies
Adding the kale
Making the egg hole

Scrambling the eggs

Adding the rice & soy sauce

Finished product

Dinner is served!

This was a super easy dish, but involved a lot of fresh ingredients. I felt like I got all the veggies and protein I could possibly pack into a meal, while keeping it Dahlicious, not to mention I've got lots of leftovers!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Weeknight Staple: Tuna & Veggies

Weeknight Staple: Tuna & Veggies.. I'd say at least once a week I make some sort of seared or broiled tuna with veggies. It's quick and healthy & it's definitely one of my go to's. This week my tuna/veggie night happened on Monday and it was even simpler than usual. I had a few things on hand that needed to be used up and so, my simple little meal was born.

On the Menu:
Lemon Broiled Tuna Steaks w/sauteed kale & mushrooms

The Tuna:
Last night I broiled the tuna, mostly because I wasn't in the mood to clean the grill pan (when I broil it I just place the tuna on aluminum foil which I use to cover a cookie sheet - so the clean up is simply throwing out the foil!). I drizzled olive oil over both sides of the tuna steaks, along with a few big squeezes of lemon as well as salt & pepper. I popped it in the oven on the top rack, and let it broil for 4 minutes on each side. This cooked my tuna almost all the way through, with a slightly pink/raw center. Cook for 5/6 minutes on each side if you want it well done, and 3 minutes on each side for a rare center. It was flavorful and healthy and easy as can be.

Kale & 'shrooms:
In a large saute pan I simply sauteed the mushrooms in garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper. I let that go on medium/low heat for a few minutes and then added my kale. I let it all saute on medium heat while my tuna was in the oven and voila! Dinner was ready in approximately 15 minutes. Super easy meal. Very little prep besides slicing the mushrooms and dressing the tuna.

Sorry there aren't more pics, but it was that simple!!!

Hope everyone had a Dahlicious Monday night dinner to start their week off right!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Spinach Egg Toast (Breakfast/Snack)

Spinach Egg Toast (Breakfast/Snack)... Last Friday I came home from work in the late afternoon and was feeling pretty hungry. I had eaten an early lunch and had plans for a late dinner. I had just enough time in between that I knew it would be necessary to whip up a snack with a few things in the fridge.

What I ended up making was of course Dahlicious and healthy and filling, but I realized it would also make a swell breakfast if you have a few minutes in the morning to make a warm little plate of eggs and veggies.

What I had:
Fresh spinach
Whole Wheat Ezekiel Bread

How To:
1) Toast your bread
2) Saute a few handfuls of spinach in a little olive oil, salt and pepper.
3) Make two fried, scrambled, poached, sunny side up etc eggs
4) Stack the spinach on the toast and the eggs on top of that
5) Finish it off with a little more salt, pepper, or perhaps some shredded Parmesan cheese if you've got it on hand!

So Simple. So Dahlicious. So Filling. Pretty Healthy. Enjoy!