Easter Sunday

I had a great Easter weekend – full of fun, family and plenty of sunshine! With an event on the Saturday before Easter, followed by one of our biggest festivals of the year this weekend, I knew I was going to be crazy busy with not a lot of travel time. So my parents drove down and spent Easter weekend with me. While I managed our event, they shopped ’til they dropped, so it’s safe to say we worked up quite an appetite.

I polled a few twitter friends on what we absolutely had to have for our brunch, and the menu was decided. After our early church service, we enjoyed:

  • Honey Baked Ham (purchased)
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Roasted Parmesan Asparagus
  • Green Beans
  • Dinner Rolls
  • Sweet potato casserole (purchased)
  • Lemon cake with lemon cream cheese frosting

 

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So, I cheated with the honey baked ham and sweet potato casserole – purchasing from Honey Baked Ham in Destin. But totally worth it! I also grabbed some dinner rolls from Publix.

Deviled Eggs

  • 8 hard boiled eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • Paprika

(It was incredibly hard to peel the eggs, so if anyone has suggestions let me know!)

I don’t know the last time I boiled eggs, so I had to look it up in my cookbook. Basically, you start with cold water, bring to a boil, and cook to make sure that it’s hard boiled. Check out this helpful graphic for the desired doneness. Slice the eggs lengthwise, and put the yolks in a bowl. Then mix the yolks with they salt, pepper and mayo. The recipe I was following called for dry mustard, but I didn’t have any. I took a zip lock bag, cut part of the corner, and then squeezed them into the egg whites. Sprinkle a little paprika on top!

 

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Roasted Parmesan Asparagus:

  • 1 Bundle of asparagus
  • Olive oil
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 4 tablespoon parmesan

Again – this was an easy addition to my lunch, and fast! Always wash your produce first, and pat dry. Place the asparagus, and toss with olive oil and a little salt. Lay them out on the plan, and squeeze the lemon juice on top. Sprinkle parmesan, and then roast at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes.

I tried this lemon cake for the first time, and want to give Well Plated by Erin credit because it was AMAZING!

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Stuck on Food: Steak with Couscous and Asparagus

With my newly made homemade chicken broth, I cooked a delicious meal last night – Steak with Couscous and Asparagus.

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Publix had a sale on steaks, so I grab three so I would have leftovers. I marinated them all day in a quick mix of Dale’s seasoning and water (sometimes Dale’s can be a little strong for me).

They also had a sale on asparagus, and since I have given up cheese for lent, I couldn’t do my normal Parmesan recipe. I found an Ina Garten recipe for roasted asparagus, and decided to try it! First I cut off the bottoms, and wash the leftover stems. I set my oven to 400 degrees, and then tossed the cleaned asparagus with salt, pepper and olive oil. Place it on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes – easy.

For the couscous, I wanted to cook with my homemade chicken broth. Bring the couscous and chicken broth to a boil, then simmer the pot for 12 mins. At the end, I added a little more salt and lemon juice.

Back to the steaks. I put them on my Cuisinart grill, searing them first, and then allowing them to cook to about medium. I don’t trust myself as a cook yet to keep something medium rare. I’d rather it be closer to done!

Everything finished about the same time, and the result – delicious!

Stuck on Food: Broccoli Slaw Pasta

Hungry Girl Time!
Anyone else on the no-carb plan? My doctor advised me that I was taking in one too many carbohydrates, so I have been trying to find ways to eliminate them – or let’s be honest, put them on the portion control plan. But, this was a direct shot to my heart.  I love pasta! And, it’s cheap, so it fits rather nicely in my itemized and limited budget for groceries. Regardless, I’m following my doctor’s orders, and I am at least trying as best as I can to keep my same diet, just with substitutions!

Insert Pinterest. (What did we do before our glorified Google machine?) I found what seemed like millions of recipes on there to help your pasta dishes be a little healthier, so I picked one I thought I looked pretty easy – http://bit.ly/19xSbUo

I simplified this recipe though. I was exhausted when I got home, but I really want to try this!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Package of Broccoli Slaw
  • 4-5 cups of water (enough to cover the slaw)
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Favorite pasta sauce (I used Bertolli’s Four Cheese Rosa Sauce)

I boiled water with a pinch of salt, put the broccoli slaw in the pot, and simmered the water and slaw it until it was tender. After draining the water, I added my sauce (obviously didn’t save any calories with that choice, but I was tired and hungry). I cooked the sauce and slaw just a few minutes more, just to give the sauce a little soaking time. Dinner was served, and in about 10 minutes!

Now, this is not as good as the real stuff, but it really was pretty tasty. I could hardly taste the broccoli slaw! I probably more of a mental thing, so maybe the next time I make it, it will taste exactly like pasta! I made way too much (since I put the whole packet of slaw in the pot), and the leftovers were terrible the next day. When I make it again, I’ll only make as much as I want for that night.

Overall – pretty good dish, great price for a meal, and gluten-free! Added to my recipe rotation – for a main dish or a side!

Stuck on Food: Veggie Quinoa

Well, I got a juicer for $1 at Target. I’m fascinated, mainly because I always feel like I never get all the juice out of my lemons. No more! Time to try a new recipe – Hungry Girl time!

A Juicer

Project: Quinoa plus a juicer

I love a good lemon vinaigrette, and I’ve seen a few things on Pinterest that inspired this experiment in the kitchen with quinoa. Check out this Mediterranean Quinoa Salad, which had a few ideas similar to this one, and much better pics

.Veggie Quinoa

Ingredients:
– Quinoa
– 1/2 cup of Feta, crumbled
– Package of veggies for fajitas (in the produce section of Kroger): includes peppers (red and green) and onions. They are already sliced and ready to go in the pan.
– Olive Oil
– Juice of one lemon – using the new juicer of course

Cook the quinoa as the package directs. TIP: Wash the quinoa first. It will taste a whole lot better if you will. Mine took about 15 minutes to cook.

In another pan, I sauteed the Kroger package of pre-sliced onions and green and red peppers – how helpful! I realize it doesn’t really take that much time to cut veggies, but since this package was basically the same price as peppers, and buddy, I threw it in my basket! I added a little olive oil, and in just a few minutes it was done.

Whisk together the juice of one lemon, 1/3 cup of olive oil and a little salt.

After the quinoa was cooked, drained and cooled a little, I added the peppers and onions, lemon vinaigrette, and then the feta cheese. You want the feta to melt a little, but not entirely.

Great recipe, and I need to remember for Meatless Monday!

Stuck on Food: Black Rice

BlackRiceHave you guys ever tried black rice? Where in the world have I been?! I thought I would give it a whirl tonight. After work, I went by Kroger to grab some chicken and some veggies for the weekend!

Project: Black Rice

If you were in the dark like me… here’s a little info on the project for tonight. Black rice was also known as forbidden rice, because in ancient China, only the emperor was allowed to eat it. (Shouldn’t that in itself make you want to try it?)

Black rice is full of antioxidant-rich bran, which is found in the outer layer that gets removed during the milling process to make white rice. But only black-rice bran contains the antioxidants known as anthocyanins, purple and reddish pigments — also found in blueberries, grapes, and acai — that have been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease and cancer, improvements in memory, and other health benefits.” – Read more from CNN’s article “Is Black Rice the New Brown” Here

Also good FYI – it turns purplish when it cooks. Don’t freak out like I did! The water is pink too, so have something to set your spoon on so you don’t leave a purple stain on your white cabinets!

Still trying to work on making sure the entire meal is ready at the same time, so that is another challenge for me with this meal.

Ingredients:
– Chicken Tenderloins – fresh from the store
– Black Rice (I used Lotus Black Rice, which I ordered from Amazon Prime)
– 1 green bell pepper, diced
– 1 small onion, diced
– 1 lemon
– Salt
– Dried herbs

First off – start on the rice. I followed the directions on the package, just 1 cup of black rice, 1 3/4 cups of water, and a pinch of salt. Bring that to a boil, and then simmer with a lid on the pan for 30 minutes. Easy.

Next, I wanted to get my chicken going. I drizzled a little olive oil on my pan, added all the chicken tenderloins and set my stove top to medium. Remember, my oven is a little older and gets really hot. Just make sure you cook your chicken through! I then drizzled some more olive oil, and sprinkled salt and the dried herbs pictured above. I got the herbs as a gift- Dean & Deluca -the best dried herbs! I added the juice of one lemon to give it some additional tartness. Flip the chicken a few times, and I like for mine to brown. I turned up the heat to high just to make sure I had a great color on my chicken.

I grabbed the chicken off my pan, and added the diced peppers and onions, and a little more olive oil. I thought it would be a great idea for a tomato too – but I did not like that flavor addition. Leave it off for your recipe!

After my peppers and onions were nice and tender, I added the chicken back just to make sure they were both warm. Checked on the rice- and it was all done!

Results: I am a huge fan! Great recipe, minus the tomato. And my meal was perfectly timed.