Posts tagged ‘dinner’

Healthy Eats for New Years

So this time around, like every couple out there I’m sure, Johnny and I decided our collective New Year’s Resolution is  to exercise more often and eat healthier. Wish us luck!

We started running together this week, and I’ve been at it in the kitchen making healthy meals for us! I’ve got hard boiled eggs on hand for a quick breakfast or snack, lots of fresh fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator, and homemade pita chips that are absolutely to die for and a great partner for healthy dips like hummus!

The star players of last nights dinner were lean, protein packed pork with whole wheat spaghetti complemented by the flavors of metabolism boosting red pepper and exotic curry and sesame. I prepared a take out favorite with a twist that couldn’t have been simpler to make and was absolutely guilt free!

Curried Sesame Pork Lo Mein

  • 1 lb. lean pork chops, sliced into thin strips
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ginger (fresh or powdered),divided
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder, divided
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 lb. whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 package frozen, shelled edamame, defrosted
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Scallions for garnish
  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cornstarch, soy sauce, and half of all the spices. Add the sliced pork and marinade for about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta to package directions. Drain, and stir in 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Set aside.
  3. Heat a wok or a large frying pan over high heat. Add about 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Add the pork, reserving any marinade in the bowl, and cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Remove the pork from pan and set aside in the bowl with the reserved marinade.
  4. Add more oil to the pan if necessary and add the zucchini and peppers, stirring constantly, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and add to pork.
  5. Add a small amount more oil if necessary and add the egg to the pan, scramble.
  6. Add the pasta to the pan and mix it around well.
  7. Add remaining sesame oil and spices. Mix well.
  8. Add the pork, veggies, and reserved marinade.
  9. Add the edamame and remove from heat. Taste, and season further with soy sauce or spices as desired.
  10. Serve sprinkled with scallions and enjoy!

**Remember folks, this recipe is just a guideline!
Please feel free to use whatever spices and vegetables you like!
This recipe would be great with chicken or tofu too!
Whatever you choose to do will be equally delicious and healthy!
Make sure you let me know how your version turns out!**

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January 14, 2010 at 11:17 pm Leave a comment

A soup stroll

Now, be honest, who doesn’t love soup?

Can you really look me in the eye and tell me,
“Jen, as a matter of fact, I hate soup!”

No. You can’t. And if you can, I’m very sorry that you are missing out on the delightfully comforting and delicious bowl of goodness that is soup. It’s so warm and tasty and absolutely PERFECT for fall. I took a look at some other blogs to see what soup’s on the stove of some other folks, here’s what I found.

And just in case you’re not hungry enough, lets end on a great big bowl of
Sausage and Shrimp Stoup a la Rachel Ray, it’s what I ended on last night!

Here's my dinner last night. A simple Sausage and Shrimp One Pot meal courtesy of Rachel Ray. Topped off with fresh basil and parsley served with a big hunk of crusty ciabatta bread!

Here’s my dinner last night.
A simple Sausage and Shrimp One Pot meal courtesy of Rachel Ray. Topped off with fresh basil and parsley served with a big hunk of crusty ciabatta bread!

October 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm 3 comments

A French Feast: Coq au Vin & Apple Tartlets

This weekend, some friends and I took a trip to France thanks,
in large part (well, in all parts), to my kitchen!

After this summer’s film Julie and Julia, based on the book of the same name, Boeuf Bourguignon was the French dish on everyone’s mind.(Both the movie and book, I must say, were quite entertaining. Obviously, the book was better. Bet let’s move on…) I could have hopped on the bandwagon and made this classic dish. But no! Surely, there must be other classic French dishes out there. My choice?? Coq au Vin!

Essentially, Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon are the same thing. Their core ingredients – bacon, mushrooms, pearl onions, and red wine – are the same. Their core techniques – sautéing in bacon fat and braising in wine – are also the same. The main difference is the protein selection. Where Boeuf Bourguignon is made with beef, Coq au Vin is made with chicken. That was my selling point. 🙂

I decided in my attempt to make Coq au Vin
to use Tyler’s Ultimate Coq au Vin recipe.

Why?

I think Tyler Florence’s Coq au Vin was a version that stayed true to the classic recipe while still being simple enough for a first time French chef.

Also, Tyler Florence is hot and I dig him. ANYWHO!

Preparing Coq au Vin really was quite simple.

Start by rendering the fat from four strips of bacon.1010091624
(Those of you close to me know how I feel about bacon. Bacon and I, well, we don’t really like each other all that much. Unamerican? Perhaps. I find the flavor  of bacon to be extremely overpowering. But I wanted to capture the true essence of this dish. So the bacon stayed.)

Once the fat is rendered, remove the crispy bacon and brown the chicken.
1010091637

Remove the chicken and set aside, add the vegetables and sauté until soft.
1010091641

Remove from heat, add 1/4c cognac, take a step back and FLAMBE!
1010091644(Look at it! Flames! How exciting is that?! This was my first time flambe-ing a dish! You should be impressed because I still have my eyebrows. 🙂 )


Once the flames subside, add the chicken back to the pot,
2c chicken broth, and a whooooooole bottle of red wine.

Add some bay leaves and fresh thyme and let simmer, covered, for one hour.

I served mine with my homemade roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

I must admit, bacon and all, this traditional french dish
was ces’t magnifique!
1010091804 (more…)

October 14, 2009 at 3:54 pm 2 comments

Goodness, gracious, great balls of…falafel!

You heard right. Falafel. Delicious, deep fried, middle eastern comfort food at it’s (oopsies!) its best. You could call them little balls of joy if you’d like – I might start to after my dinner experience last night.

Around 10 p.m., my favorite vegetarian friend Tiffy and her lovely boyfriend Jeff popped by my apartment to join Johnny and I on a brief trip into Philly to obtain some little balls of joy (heh, you know it has a nice ring to it).  Our destination?  Maoz Vegetarian. A lovely little vegetarian restaurant with several international locations that specialize in – you guessed it – falafel!

For less than $10 a person you get a fluffy, homemade (white or whole wheat) pita filled with crispy falafel balls, hummus, and eggplant, your choice of belgian or sweet potato fries(which cost a little more but are always well worth it in my book) and a drink of your choice. My favorite part, I must say, was the toppings bar. It offered a dozen or so toppings, including: tahini, cilantro sauce, olives, beets, Israeli salad, and tabbouleh among several other tasty options.

I would definitely return to Maoz,
and I would return hungry!

falafel2 Here we have my  delicious, half eaten  sandwich. I chose to stuff  my pita with briny, green  olives, cilantro sauce,  and Israeli  salad (cucumbers,  tomatoes, and red  onion).

(more…)

October 7, 2009 at 2:18 pm 7 comments

An evening in Italy – sorta

The sensational aromas of garlic, tomato sauce and olive oil are still permeating in the air of my little apartment. Tonight’s meal was like a little trip back to Italy – sorta. (I say back because in the summer of 2008 I was privileged enough to take a two week Mediterranean cruise to Italy, Spain, France, Croatia, and Tunisia. It was an absolutely amazing trip! But lets get back to dinner, shall we…) My intention for tonight’s meal was a simple, traditional baked ziti. Yum. To my dismay, when I checked the pantry, all I had were farfalle (bowties) and spaghetti. LIGHTBULB! Spaghetti Pie!

I think one time I watched Giada De Laurentiis make a spaghetti frittata once, maybe that was my inspiration? Maybe I was just hungry. Either way, I decided to serve it was a lovely italian side dish – broccoli rabe. (more…)

October 3, 2009 at 12:08 am 5 comments

A night off!

From the moment I woke up this morning, all I could think about was, “What should I make for dinner tonight?!?!” Odd, you say. To the average gal, perhaps. But not for I! Typically, this is my first thought everyday.It’s more than likely that this is the case because I tend to think about what to have for breakfast before I go to sleep. Heh. What can I say? I’ve got food on the brain. But here I sit at my computer with my nightly cup of tea and a full belly after enjoying my first night off in a week.

← see, here’s my tea! yummy!

*note:  I just so happen to work for Starbucks, so as I write this blog you may see a number of Starbucks mugs, coffees, and  TONS of Tazo tea.*

“But Jen?! Quit dilly dallying! What did you make for dinner tonight??”

I thought you’d never ask!

Being that fall has finally arrived and I am finally in my happy place (fall is my favoriteeeeeee time of year!), I decided to take one of my fall comfort food favorites and put a healthy spin on it. The result?
Turkey Florentine Meatloaf

  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 packet dried onion soup mix (I always use Lipton)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3c breadcrumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl until just combined.
  3. Place mixture on a foil lined baking sheet and form into a loaf,
    about 9×5.
  4. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until crunchy on top and the juice runs clear.
  5. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  6. Serve, and enjoy!

I served mine with Au Gratin potatoes, Betty Crocker ones, but they were still a delightful accompaniment to my meatloaf for such a chilly fall evening. I also enjoyed some apple cider with it, too. *contented sigh* I love the fall. 🙂

September 30, 2009 at 11:32 pm 3 comments


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