At times living overseas has proved to be disastrous when it comes to my eating habits. When we were in Argentina, I kept stuffing my face with empanadas, meat and red wine. Germany was no different with the endless steins of beer, schnitzel
Needless to say, the pounds sometimes tent to creeping up without me realizing it, that is until I step on the scale and have a small heart attack. So this season, I decided to change things up after going through the Reboot program to start 2013. I'm planning on making most of my dishes with 70-80% fresh vegetables and very limited meat and processed products. Tis the season to be healthy!
So here is a healthy alternative to those pasta dishes! I tend to make a lot of pasta while my husband's season is in progress. He needs the extra carbs, I definitely don't.
Quick Veggie Pasta:
- 1 peeled carrot (you can also use zucchini or squash)
- Steam the veggies, then add your favorite pasta sauce and cheese!
Healthy, easy, and delicious! Plus, no need to spend hours on the treadmill to burn it off!
Happy Monday everyone!
Let's start of this rainy Buenos Aires Monday with a great recipe for roasted chicken with green beans/asparagus/what our local store will have in stock ;) I originally found the recipe on Oprah.com (check out the original recipe here
) but changed it a bit and actually made two different meals out of it.
Gotta love living overseas and not being able to find all the ingredients!
Roasted Chicken with Asparagus and Artichokes
- 1 package of chicken legs - I found one with 5 pieces, skin still on
- 1 Tbsp. dried oregano - I actually used McCormick Sweet Basil & Oregano Bruschetta Chicken mix
- 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 4 scallions, coarsely chopped
- 8 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup chicken broth
- I bunch of fresh asparagus - I couldn't find green beans at our local store that day but you can definitely add whatever veggie you prefer
- 1 cup frozen artichoke hearts
- 1'2 lemon, sliced into 1/4-thick rounds
Preheat oven to 400°. Season chicken with oregano (or the McCormick Sweet Basil & Oregano Bruschetta Chicken mix), salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Place chicken, scallions, and garlic in a large roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil.
Roast until chicken starts to brown, about 30 minutes.
Add wine and chicken broth and roast an additional 10 minutes.
Add green beans or asparagus (or any veggie you chose to use), artichoke hearts, and lemon slices, making sure vegetables are partly submerged.
Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more.
Very easy recipe with a lot of taste!
Since the original recipe called for chicken and sausage I decided to try the second recipe only with sausage...
Pork Sausage with Green Beans and Carrots
2 packages of fresh sausage - I was able to find each package with 3 pork sausages in each, one was stuffed with Parmigiano-Reggiano and the other with herbs4 scallions, coarsely chopped
6 cloves garlic, crushed 3 Tbsp. olive oil1 cup white wine1 chicken broth2 cups fresh green beans1 large fresh carrott1/2 lemon, sliced into 1/4-thick rounds
Preheat oven to 400°.
In the meantime, heat up a medium size pan, drizzle with olive oil and cook the sausage on both sides for about 1 minute each. Just so they are brown on both sides, not cooked all the way through.
Place sausage, scallions, and garlic in a large roasting pan. Add sausage, wine and chicken broth and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Turning the sausage half way through.
Add green beans, carrots and lemon slices, making sure vegetables are partly submerged.
Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes more.
Take out and enjoy!
Keep in mind that the sausage only recipe can get a little salty.
My favorite was the chicken only recipe but feel free to try them both!
I love cooking and trying out different recipes! Most of my home cooking involves throwing a whole bunch of random things together and experimenting. I would love to follow long reciepes but we all know I don't have enough patience for that... too many steps and too many ingredients. That's why I love when I stumble upon an easy recipe such as this one I found on Oprah.com. Its easy, quick and consists of only a handful of ingredients.
DirectionsTotal time: 20 minutes
- 12 ounces spaghetti - I used fresh pasta instead of the dried versions. I'm not sure if it really made a difference so any pasta would work!
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
- 1 1/2 cups canned black beans, rinsed and drained - I actually used dried beans that I soaked and cooked the night before
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 eggs
- Ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups salsa, plus more for garnish - I couldn't find salsa in our neighborhood store so instead I bought La Campagnola tomato sauce with basil. I think it worked out great!
- 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped green onion
In a large pot, bring salted water to boil and cook spaghetti according to package instructions.
In the last 3 minutes of cooking, add corn and black beans.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and fry eggs, in batches if needed. Season with salt and pepper. My eggs never turn out pretty, so I had to do a few test runs before taking the picture.
When spaghetti is finished cooking, reserve a cup of the pasta water. Drain spaghetti, beans, and corn, returning the mixture to the pot. Add tomato sauce and 3/4 cup pasta water, tossing to coat. Add more pasta water if needed. Divide pasta onto 4 serving plates and place a hot fried egg and 3 Tbsp. Cheddar on each. Garnish with additional salsa and green onion. Serve immediately.
Read more and check out the original recipe here: http://www.oprah.com/food/Huevos-Rancheros-Spaghetti-Recipe#ixzz27gHLJkHR
Overall, the recipe was pretty tasty but a little bland for our liking. I would probably substitute the past for something more flavorful like Pastamore
flavored pastas to give it a little more kick or even add some hot sauce.
We will be making it again!
- 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small garlic clove, pressed
- 1 teaspoon agave nectar (or sugar)
- 2 cobs of corn, cooked, cooled, and corn cut from cob (about 2 cups)
- 1 cup edamame, cooked and cooled
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup red peppers, diced
- 1/2 cup green peppers, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, oil, garlic, and agave or sugar. Whisk together and set aside.
- Add the corn, edamame, black & pinto beans, peppers, and cilantro to a medium/large bowl.
- Pour dressing over the mixture and gently toss.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour, up to overnight, to allow flavors to blend.
For an extra spice factor try adding fresh jalapenos!
Looking for a quick recipe for this weekend?!
Check out the Mac & Cheese Muffins
from Emily Bites
We tried this recipe for the 4th of July and it was pretty good, a little bland for our liking
(we like lots of flavor and spicy things) but overall is was pretty good and super easy to make.
Mac & Cheese Muffins
4 c cooked whole wheat or high fiber macaroni
1 T butter
1 T flour
1 c skim milk
1 garlic clove, minced
3 oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 oz Gruyere cheese, shredded
1 egg white
1 (10 oz) package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted, drained and patted dry (or you could use 1 cup cooked fresh spinach)
Salt & pepper to taste
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400. Lightly mist a 12-cup muffin tin with olive oil or cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a small sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour, mixing it into the butter until thick. Stir in the milk and garlic and raise the temp to bring the mixture to just under a boil. Add the cheese and whisk mixture together until thoroughly combined into a cheese sauce. (I would suggest using a little more cheese, probably doubling the amount the recipe calls for. It might not be so healthy but it will taste much better!)
3. Remove the cheese sauce from heat and then mix in the egg and egg white (binding agents) until combined.
4. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, spinach, cheese sauce, salt and pepper and mix together. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cups of your prepared muffin tin.
5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until the tops slightly brown. Let cool 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin.
Warm Sapporo Radler.
Its great when you can combine three different cultures in one beer mug.
Thanks to our time in Germany and strolling through the wonderful Christmas markets, I started to enjoy warm wine. I still love the traditional German glühwein but since we have three cases of Sapporo beer I decided to go a different route, a traditional Polish warm beer called grzaniec. There are many recipes for grzaniec, some include egg yolks while other just focus on honey.
Here is the Dominika version:
- 500 ml of Sapporo beer (one tall boy can)
- 200 ml of Sprite (Radler is a very popular beer option in Germany, basically its beer combine with Sprite!)
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- two thinly cut slices of lemon or orange
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat on low to medium-low heat for a couple of minutes.
Don't let the beer boil, you are just trying to warm it up.
Pour into a mug and enjoy!
Pa Jun: Korean Scallion Pancakes
I was at the grocery store the other day and stumbled upon a package that only called for four ingredients.
Now, that's my kind of cooking! From the photo I could tell it was some kind of a pancake mix with onions, scallions and meat. Interesting! I am all for trying new things so this one was a good one to try.
Since I followed the "photo instructions" on the packaging I can't correctly translate the cooking procedure, but I did find a very basic recipe online: Korean Scallion Pancake.
The dish was pretty good, I think if I ever make it again I will skip the meat. That was a little too strange! I did read that traditionally carrots, mushrooms and zucchini can be added. Dan was not a fan of this pancake concoction and opted for cereal instead. haha! On to the next food adventure, that hopefully my husband will eat ;)
Adventures with cooking....
I'm normally not an adventurous cook, I like to stick to my basics. But since living in Japan and seeing all the interesting produce and seafood I figured I should branch out of my cooking bubble.
So here is my latest creation " Quinoa Patties with Greek Yogurt Sauce
(its neither Japanese produce nor seafood! ha!)
I love scouting FoodGawker.com
for new recipes and then try them out on Dan. This one was a success, Dan ate all the patties! I wasn't too thrilled about the meal because I had to substitute a lot of the ingredients and do my normal guessing game at the market "this could be plain yogurt or it could be heavy cream....hmmmm....is this ground chicken or pork...wait, what is this meat I am buying?"
Its also fun when all the foreign ingredients cost a lot.... 500 yen ($7) for a small bag on quinoa, sure!
I'll have to go to the international store and show off some of the prices of our beloved Kraft products.
Enjoy! I promise to venture out and do some Japanese cooking soon, sushi perhaps!
Japanese Beef Bowl.
My first attempt at Japanese cooking - success!
Can't wait to try some more recipes, thank goodness for YouTube videos and Uncle Google.
A few weekends ago my sisters-in-law (well technically they will be my sisters in less than two weeks! :) ) organized a recipe themed shower for me.
What a great idea! Now I have over 20 family recipes to try out.
Jan's Watermelon, Feta, Olive Salad:
1 small red onion - peel, cut into very fine half-moons. Place in a bowl, add lime juice and let steep.
Juice from 2-4 limes
3 lbs. watermelon chunks
9 oz. feta, crumbled
Bunch flat-leaf parsley
Bunch mint, chopped
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
4 oz. pitted black olives
Fresh ground pepper
Cut watermelon 1/2" chunks, place watermelon and feta in large, wide, shallow bowl.
Add parsley and mint to bowl.
Pour onions and lime juice over salad.
Add oil and olives.
Toss gently with hands.
Add more lime juice if necessary.
Enjoy! It was delicious!