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No Fry Fish and Chips

I began a pretty intense workout regiment about a month ago. The idea was to get my butt off the couch and get my body summer ready. I didn’t need to lose any weight, but I was completely out of shape. All definition that I once had from playing sports and working out was gone, and I started feeling tired all the time, eating out a lot; I was pretty lazy.

So, Marc and I started a workout program, pretty basic; weight training, cardio, yoga, etc. We also cut back on the fatty foods we were eating so much of. With the cut back of certain foods I have found it difficult to make meals that make my taste buds jump for joy. I drool over CakeSpy and pray we never get bakeries like these within walking distance because I will be doomed. I can no longer look at Pioneer Woman, her love of butter sends me into sensory overload. Let’s face it, not everyone can convince their taste buds that flax seed and raw food is the way to go.

In my quest for finding delicious, healthy foods I have found a new love for fish, and not the kind of fish my mom used to get where I had to pick bones out of my mouth as I was eating. Sorry mom, but that was gross. This is the grocery store fish. I know not the freshest fish in the world, but it’s not expensive and there is a pretty good selection. When I didn’t care what was eating I would chow down on fish and chips like nobody’s business. Now, I like my fish and chips a little less fattening; no fry fish and chips.

Ingredients:

1 lb cod fillets, divided
Cooking Spray
2 large Russet potatoes cut into thin slices
Salt and pepper
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ cup skim milk
1 large egg

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425°F.

Coat a large baking sheet lined with foil with cooking spray. Arrange potato slices on baking sheet and spray them with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper; I also add a little garlic powder. Bake for 25 minutes, or until potato slices are golden brown.

In a shallow dish, combine flour, ½ teaspoon of salt, and baking powder. Whisk tin milk and egg. Add cod fillets and turn to coat with batter. Add cod to a baking sheet that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown and tender.

Adapted from the Food Network

Chick Pea Soup

Chick Pea Soup

Last night I was on my own for dinner. Usually I try to do something really healthy, but most of the time I end up eating frozen pizza. However, last night I made Chick Pea Soup. I don’t usually eat chick peas, I don’t make hummus or use them in salads, but I have heard they are good for you, and I will be really disappointed if someone tells me otherwise.

This soup was different for me because your first making a vegetable broth. Then you toss the veggies, and I like veggies. I considered putting some of the vegetables back into my soup after it was finished, but the soup is good and creamy so I opted not to add any vegetables back in.

Vegetable Broth

Ingredients

1 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (1 to 2 medium leeks)
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
Kosher salt
1 bay leaf, broken in half
1 fresh thyme sprig, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
One 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes and juices

Put the leeks, carrot, 2 teaspoons salt, bay leaf, thyme sprig or dried thyme, tomatoes, and 4 cups water in a medium, heavy pot over high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain stock into large bowl, extract much liquid as possible, and return stock to pot (discard vegetables in strainer).The stock should be about 4 cups. If not, add enough water to equal this amount.

Chick Pea Soup

4 cups stock
One 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup, short dried past, such as ditalini
2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
3 cups baby spinach leaves
Parmesan cheese

Puree 1/2 cup chickpeas with 1/4 cup water in food processor or blender. Add the pureed chickpeas and remaining whole chickpeas, pasta, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon salt to the stock. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente, for 6-8 minutes. (If the soup starts to cook down too much, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups additional water and return to simmer.) Add the spinach and cook 1 minute more or until wilted. Season with salt or pepper, if needed.

Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over each serving.

Curried Chicken Salad

chicken salad

Ok. So I didn’t make blackened chicken salad last night, I just wasn’t feeling it. I did; however, make Curried Chicken Salad. I got the idea from Foodiecall’s Blog,who made Curry Egg Salad that looked so good I had to try it. I was a little worried that my husband might not dig my “chick food” chicken salad, so I opted to get him one of those rotisserie chickens from the grocery store, you know…just in case.

I had about 2 pounds of chicken breast thawed. I put the chicken in a baking dish and added a 1/2 cup of water, then cooked in a 375° oven for about 45 minutes. While I was cooking the chicken I hard boiled 4 eggs for my chicken salad. I just recently discovered the correct way to hard boiling an egg.

*Put the eggs in a pot, make sure they don’t crack, fill the pot with cold water so the water covers the eggs about 1 inch. If you add salt to the water it makes it easier to peel the eggs later, I was completely missing this steps. Add the lid to the pot, bring the water to a boil, once the water boils remove the pot from the heat, but don’t take off the lid, you don’t want the water to cool too quickly. Leave the eggs in the hot water for 10-15 minutes then chill the eggs by running them under cool water.

Ingredients

2 lbs cooked chicken breast, cut into small bite-sized pieces
4 hard boiled eggs, chopped. I only used the egg whites, but it’s your preference
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 cup crushed walnuts
1/2 cup mayonnaise, or more if you like (I used a little more)
1 teaspoon curry
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 fresh ground pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix.

My husband ate two sandwiches last night and one this morning, I don’t even know why I worry anymore. I guess it’s rotisserie chicken tonight.

Curried Chicken Salad

Healthy Ideas

My mom started a fitness website, she’s a crazy workout lady. Here is my crazy workout mom, Fitness By Pat. If you go to the recipes tab you will see she added my blog to her site. So, for anyone that does happen to be directed here from my crazy workout mother I will add a Healthy Foods category, and I will do my best to find and post healthy foods, cause Lord I need it too.

*If you are going to start cooking healthy, you gotta start cooking from scratch, if you don’t already. It saves money and you know what you are eating.

*Eat out less, obvious one, and BRING YOUR LUNCH AND SNACKS TO WORK. Vending machines, fast food, convenience stores…Really?

*Cut back on snack foods like soda, candy, cookies, chip, you know. I love them too, but they just aren’t good for us.

*Be aware of what you are eating.

Here is one of my favorite salads. Sorry, no pictures, but maybe I will make it for dinner tomorrow and post some for you.

Blackened Chicken Salad

Mustard Dressing Ingredients

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup cider vinegar

Salad Fixins

2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast
1/8 cup canola oil
1/3 cup Cajun seasoning**
1 large carrot
1/2 red onion, minced
3 scallions, sliced thinly and diagonally

Mustard Dressing:
Combine the mayo, mustard, and vinegar in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

Salad:
Brush one side of the chicken breasts with half the canola oil, sprinkle with half the Cajun seasoning, and press the seasoning onto the chicken breasts, using your hand or the back of a spoon. Turn the chicken breasts over and repeat the seasoning process.

Heat a cast-iron skillet until it is very hot. Carefully place the chicken breasts into the pan. Cook the breasts without moving them for 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the iron pan into the oven or transfer the breasts to a baking sheet and finish cooking at 375°F oven for 10 minutes, until cooked through and well browned. Chill the chicken breasts completely, then cut into bite-size pieces.

Transfer the chicken to a larger bowl and add the carrot, onion, and scallions. Add the dressing and mix well.

Makes 6 Servings
Per Serving: Calories 500; Calories from fat 220; Calories from saturated fat 40; Protein 56g; Carbohydrates 9g; Total fat 25g; Saturated fat 4.5g; Cholesterol 145mg; Sodium 1,980mg; 44% Calories from fat

**If you would like to make your own Cajun seasoning, the following recipe will last for 4-6 months, then lose some of its kick.

Cajun Spice (Makes about 1 1/4 cups)

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon paprika
1/8 cup dried thyme
1/8 cup dried oregano
1 tablespoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1/8 cup dried sweet basil
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly ground white pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1/8 cup salt

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly with a spoon or wire whisk or in a food processor and pulse until well blended. Keep stored in a covered jar in a cool dark place for up to 6 months.

Recipe and nutritional information from Whole Foods Market Cookbook.

It’s been 5 weeks

Oh how depressing it has been 5 weeks since my last post. I am experiencing the blue screen of death on my laptop, so no pretty pictures of food or Marc eating my lunch, but I do have some recipes I tried from The Pioneer Woman. I could steal borrow her pictures, but I will just put a link to her very nice, very helpful photos.

Chicken Spaghetti

First thing to point out about this recipe is that the name for this is not so good. Sorry Pioneer Woman, but the hubby was not excited when I told him we were having Chicken Spaghetti. His brain went to ground turkey and then to turkey spaghetti. This meal almost didn’t make it.

So here’s whatcha do.

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked chicken
2 cans Cream of Mushroom soup
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup finely diced green pepper
1/2 finely diced onion
1-4 oz jar dice pimentos, drained
3 cups dry spaghetti, broken into two inch pieces
2 cups reserved chicken broth form pot
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 additional cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

Cook up chicken and pick out meat to make two cups. Cook spaghetti in same chicken broth until al dente. Do not overcook. When spaghetti is cooked, combine with remaining ingredients except additional 1 cup sharp cheddar.

Place mixture in casserole pan and top with remaining sharp cheddar. Bake for 45 minutes. If the cheese on top starts to get too cooked, cover with foil.

Crispy Yogurt Chicken

Here is another one where we need to work on the name, I don’t know, I guess I am just not a yogurt person, but someone told me to try this. Despite yogurt in the name, it is really good.

Ingredients:
Chicken legs
2 cups plain, unflavored yogurt
2-3 cloves Garlic
Parsley
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt
Butter
2 cups (approx.) bread crumbs

Begin by pouring 2 cups of plain yogurt into a mixing bowl. Peel and mince a couple of cloves of garlic and add them to the yogurt. Next chop up a small amount of fresh parsley and add it to the yogurt. To this add the juice of one lemon. Mix together to combine.

Rinse your chicken and pat it dry. Then give it a nice sprinkling of kosher salt.

In another bowl place the bread crumbs. Give them a sprinkling of salt too and then stir.

Butter a baking dis. With a pair of tongs place the chicken, one piece at a time into the yogurt mixture. Turn it over thoroughly to coat. Then roll the chicken in the bread crumbs. Cover each piece thoroughly with bread crumbs and place in the baking dish.

Finally, place a slice of butter over the large part of each chicken piece. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree over for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, removing foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Grilled Fish Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Guacamole

Fish Tacos

Last night was TACO NIGHT! I really dig Taco Night because Marc and I work together in the kitchen and usually it goes quite nicely. Well, until it is time to clean up. Marc is not a cleaner upper. Taco night usually is chicken or steak tacos with all the fixings, but last night I decided we were going to have fish tacos.

I haven’t always been a fan of fish tacos. At first, I thought the idea sounded a little strange. About 2 years ago I started seeing fish tacos on restaurant menus. I just could not imagine fish with all the taco goodness,but that all changed when Marc and I spent 2 weeks in Hawaii. Not only is Hawaii absolutely beautiful, but fish taco huts are everywhere. Marc obviously wanted to eat at one, so I gave it; if I was going to try a fish taco it was going to be in Hawaii. Let me tell you that first fish taco took me by surprise. I was hooked. I ate a fish taco everyday we were there after that. To be honest, I didn’t even like guacamole until Hawaii. I’m telling you that place will change your life.

Grilled Fish Tacos

Ingredients:
1 ½ lb firm fleshed fish fillet
¾ teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 8 oz can of corn
¼ teaspoon salt
8 corn tortillas
3 cups lettuce, shredded
1 lime

Fish Taco Sauce (stir together)
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon ancho chili powder (substitute regular chili powder)

Method:
Preheat your grill. We used the George Forman last night, but however you choose to grill you will first need to combine the olive oil, paprika and garlic salt into a bowl and toss the fish. The fish should take too long to grill; only a few minutes each side.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. If you are using an outside grill, you can do this on the grill instead.
For oven: on a baking sheet lay corn tortillas flat, maybe only 4 can fit at a time. I butter the tortillas and add a little salt for taste. Bake for about 5 minutes then flip and bake about another 5 minutes.
For grill: During the last 2 minutes of grilling the fish, throw the tortillas on the grill and flip to grill the other side.

After the fish is done, cut into pieces, enough for 8 tacos. I like lots of small pieces myself, but whatever works for you. Assemble tacos with lettuce, fish, spoonful of sauce, corn, squeeze of lime, pico de gallo, and a little guacamole or lots in my case.

Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo

I have to stop Marc from eating all this before the fish is done.

Ingredients:
2 tomatoes
¼ cup finely diced red onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced (the seeds are spicy, leave them out if you want your pico de gallo mild)
1 small clove of garlic, finely chopped
½ lime, juiced
½ teaspoon salt

Toss all ingredients in a small bowl and let stand at least ½ hour before serving.

Guacamole

Guacamole

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons red onion, finely minced
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 large avocados
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, finely minced
1 tablespoon of small fresh cilantro leaves, optional
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion, optional

Method:
Combine the onion, lime juice, and the sea salt in a small bowl, and smash with a pestle or fork to a coarse paste. Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits and scoop the flesh into the bowl. Add the cilantro and mix and mash, leaving some lumps. Taste and adjust the seasonings with salt.

Sprinkle the guacamole with the cilantro leaves and/or chopped onion and serve immediately, if possible. To keep the guacamole at room temperature for up to 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface. To keep the guacamole for up to 3 hours, do not add the cilantro until just before serving, and cover and store in the refrigerator. Makes about 2 cups.

Sweet & Spicy Chili



I am really bad at variety in the winter season, and I know it’s not the winter season yet; we are still in fall, but it’s so damn cold outside. All I want to do is bundle up on the couch, blast the heat in my face and pray to God my dogs will figure out how to use the potty. There is no variety in my clothing when it’s cold outside; my options are jeans and blue sweater with gray scarf or jeans and black sweater with purple scarf. With food, sorry, but it gets worse, it’s soup or chili. Really that’s the only thing that does it for me. I promise to try and overcome this problem and prevent a very boring blog this winter.

Sweet & Spicy Chili

Ingredients:

2 lbs ground beef
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 garlic cloves
2 24oz cans red kidney beans (drained)
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
2 Tablespoons of tomato paste
2 Tablespoons of ground cumin
½ teaspoon of salt
½ teaspoon of ground black pepper
2 jalapenos (deveined, deseed and chopped)
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
Cheddar cheese, grated

Directions:

In a 4-quart heavy saucepan cook onions in oil over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, kidney beans, garlic, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, jalapenos and bring to simmer. While this is simmering, brown beef in a large skillet. Drain the beef, and season with salt and pepper. Stir the beef into the mixture. Add brown sugar to taste. Cook for 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve with grated cheese.

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