{February 18, 2011}   33 Years in the Kitchen – Week 33

Don’t worry, I haven’t been wasting away on this diet not making any delicious recipes. In fact, I’ve been trying to cook even more! It’s just been a busy week with some long at work hours so I’ll make this short and sweet. Here are a couple of new healthy recipes I’ve been trying:

Chicken Breasts with Tomatoes and Olives served over whole wheat cous cous with arugula. This was extremely flavorful and filling.

Cuban Chicken Pizza. I 86’d the jalapenos and used 2% colby jack and threw out the idea of cilantro altogether (yeah, yeah, I’m tweaking again) and although delish (we’ve had it twice) couldn’t eat an entire serving.

And then there was some frozen yogurt experimentation. I used the same recipe from the Honey-Lemon experiment from last week, but substituted the lemon with a half cup of pomegranate juice. Heaven.

And then BFF Lauren’s wife Melissa mentioned a craving for banana pudding ice cream…and so began the best frozen yogurt making experiment ever.

2 cups vanilla greet yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
3 mashed bananas
2 egg whites, whipped to stiff peaks

you mix the first four ingredients together and then fold in the egg whites. pour into your ice cream maker. and when it’s almost finished churning throw in several handfuls of baby vanilla wafers.

OMG. So. Freaking. Good. Do it. Now!

That’s all for today, but I’ll try and come up with something new and exciting and healthy next week…we’ll see if it tops Banana Pudding Frozen Yogurt, though…

I never thought this day would come, but here it is. Sigh. I am dieting. Now, I don’t mean a fad diet or South Beach or anything crazy like that. I’m just trying to be more sensible. And stop bad snacking. And stop drinking calories. And exercise. Yeah, exercise. Stupid mortal enemy always finds a way to get back into my life (grumble grumble grumble).

Don’t worry, though. This won’t affect you. Why not? Well, because I am still eating sensible and healthy dinners (we all know I’m obsessed with Cooking Light) AND because I get a cheat day every week so you can still expect some decadent dishes thrown in the mix.

To that end G and I were trying to think of a healthy dessert that we could keep around the house (in lieu of the homemade ice cream and cookies and such that we normally indulge in). G had the idea of frozen yogurt and I started searching the internet. I ended up on Yogurt Everyday’s recipe page and picked Honey-Lemon Frozen Yogurt.

Now, we all know I’m a fan of tweaking recipes so I substituted 2 cups of 0% fat plain Greek yogurt for the 2 cups whole milk plain yogurt that they call for in the recipe. So basically my yogurt is just as delicious as theirs, but has less fat and more protein (go Greek yogurt go!). This frozen yogurt tasted so good we could hardly keep our fingers out of the machine while it was churning. I mean, for realz. This stuff is deliciously tart with great texture and a subtle sweetness that had me just over the moon last night while watching the Green Bay Packers win the Super Bowl (I cheered for the Packers because I like cheese).

Now, here’s a bonus recipe. Saturday night co-BFF Abby, super fun friend Jessica and I met up at Abby’s house to play with her new Xbox Kinect and her adorable bunny Henry. Our secret agenda, however, was to attempt to duplicate Murphy’s recipe for Brussels Sprouts. I think we did a pretty good job:

Operation Brussels Sprouts

1 Bag of Brussels Sprouts
1 Orange
4 cloves of garlic
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp soy sauce

Wash and halve the sprouts and place in roasting pan. Then zest the orange. Toss the sprouts with zest from the orange, juice from half orange, olive oil, soy sauce, garlic cloves salt, and pepper.Place in the oven at 425 for 45 mins stirring once. Once you remove sprouts from the oven, squeeze the other half of the orange over them and toss to coat.

These sprouts ended up super delicious. We used the exact same ingredients (minus the garlic) on some tilapia that we baked at the same temp for ten minutes. The fish was served on top of the sprouts. This dish was yummy and healthy!

Enjoy and wish me luck!

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Martha Stewart. Although it did not include any stock tips, it did include a host of delicious fish recipes. As you can imagine I copied several recipes into my database, but I was particularly struck by Seared Salmon with Mustard-Caper Butter. Stop the presses! Could this possibly be a recipe that I don’t have to tweak? I mean, I am pretty much in love with every single ingredient. Wow.

So Monday night rolls around and when G strolls in from work around 1:30 am he has a bag full of individually wrapped/frozen salmon fillets that he purchased at work. Score. The cut/quality of this restaurant grade salmon is so much better than what I can get in the grocery store. My half-asleep little brain immediately decided we’d be having Martha’s salmon on Wednesday (G’s day off this week). As it happened, I was chatting with so much fun friend Mandy the next day about Brussels sprouts (obsessed, much?) and she gave me her favorite recipe for making them. A menu is born!

I was looking forward to cooking this meal all day yesterday. It was going to be awesome. I stopped at the grocery on the way home and got the bits and pieces that I didn’t already have in the pantry (sprouts, potatoes and a lemon) and then woosh! The wind went right out of my sails and I no longer felt like cooking. Shit. So, my sous chef had to step up and be the chef. Geoff made Martha’s salmon (recipe above) and Mandy’s Potato/Sprouts (recipe below as I interpreted it, which is probably different than how Mandy actually makes it) and some Fat Boy Bread (nickname courtesy of BFF Lauren) all while I lounged on the couch watching Season Four of 30 Rock (my new entertainment obsession).

It was delicious. Super delicious. Amazing even. I would eat both things again multiple times. Here is what it looked like:


Mandy’s Super Delicious Brussels Sprouts with Potatoes

Brussels Sprouts (enough for however many peeps you are having over for dinner)
Red Potatoes (same as above)
Olive Oil
Juice of Half a Lemon

1) Wash, trim and halve Brussels Sprouts. Wash and quarter red potatoes.
2) Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil (for easy clean-up).
3) Bake in a 425 degree oven for 45 minutes, stirring once.
4) Remove from oven and squeeze the juice of 1/2 lemon over the sprouts/potatoes.
5) Toss and serve.

et cetera