Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Spicy Beef Short Rib Tacos

I love this taco recipe... they're warm and spicy and not anything like a ground beef taco, which in my opinion is the best part about them.

I came across a recipe on the food network website that sounded awesome, but a little too spicy for our family with 2 small children. So we modified it, and the end result was phenomenal! Now you can tweak this to suit your liking of spicy but this recipe is a happy medium.

*You will need a pot with a lid that are both oven safe.

Recipe takes approx. 2.25 hours, but the results are worth it.

Oil - I use extra virgin olive oil
1 lb boneless beef short ribs (this will feed roughly 4 people)
1 onion
2-3 teaspoons minced garlic ( I use the kind out of the tube just cause it makes my life simpler)
1 quart beef stock
1/2 cup salsa
1 jar fire roasted red peppers
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
2 chopped chipotles in adobo sauce
Smoked paprika

Preheat oven to 400 degrees, dice one whole onion, chop 2 chipotles in adobo and set both aside. Drain can of tomatoes and red peppers and set aside.

First heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan or dutch oven over medium high heat. Season short ribs with salt and pepper,  place in pan and sear on all sides.
After all sides are browned remove meat from pan and set aside. Add a little extra oil and using the same pot caramelize diced onions for 3-4 minutes, or until soft and golden brown. Then add garlic and mix thoroughly, then immediately add 1 quart beef stock/broth, salsa, chopped chipotles, drained and chopped roasted red peppers and tomatoes, then sprinkle in a good shake (technical term of measurement) of smoked paprika and cumin.
Bring to a boil, then return short ribs to pan, cover and place in the oven on 400 for 1.5 hours...
After 1.5 hours remove meat and shred completely.

Then add meat back to pot of liquid and return to oven for an additional 30 minutes.
This will be your end result... serve this on your choice of tortilla, add toppings and enjoy!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Asian Chicken-Brown Rice Lettuce Wraps (Weight Watchers Recipe)

These are a really delicious alternative instead of eating tacos, I love the asian flavors of it all, really yummy.

Tthis recipe is from Weight Watchers Annual Recipes for Success 2007 Cookbook, and is only 5 points for three lettuce wraps.
 I actually modified the recipe a bit because of personal tastes, but for those that don't mind peppers and onions the actual recipe I imagine is good too.

First cook instant brown rice, (for those of you who know me, this hurts to me to cook, but is way easier then buying regular brown rice and cooking if forever) once cooked spread out onto a large sheet pan and place in the fridge to cool.

Then, saute ground chicken in about 1 tsp canola oil. I added some seasoning to the meat since I omitted the scallions and bell peppers, I added a pinch onion powder, fresh garlic, gresh grated ginger, splash of soy sauce and salt. Once cooked thoroughly drain and (add water chestnuts if desired) then set aside.

Prepare the dipping sauce by mixing 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, 1 TBSP lime juice, 1 TBSP grated ginger, 2 tsp hoisin sauce and 2 tsp dark sesame oil in a small bowl and set aside. 
The recipe calls for iceberg lettuce which I personally don't care for, so I decided to switch it up and use napa cabbage (or asian lettuce) instead.
To assemble, take one napa cabbage leaf and 2 TBSP chilled brown rice, 1/4 ground chicken, top with 1 tsp soy sauce mixture and 1 tsp peanut sauce (see full recipe below) roll up and devour!
Recipe yields 5 servings:
1/2 cup uncooked instant brown rice
1/4 cup  low sodium soy sauce
1 TBSP lime juice
1 TBSP grated fresh ginger (peeled)
2 tsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp dark sesame oil
1 tsp canola oil
1 pound ground chicken breast
1 cup chopped green onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1/2 large)
1 TBSP minced garlic
1 (8oz) can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
14 large crisp iceberg lettuce leaves (or napa cabbage)
5 TBSP peanut sauce ( such as House of Tsang)

Per serving: 3 wraps containing 2 TBSP rice, 1/4 cup ground chicken, 1 tsp soy sauce mixture, 1 tsp peanut sauce
calories: 253
fat: 7.9g
carbs: 21.6g
fiber: 3.5g
protein: 24g
sodium: 631mg
iron: .9mg
cholesterol: 53mg
calcium: 37mg

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Zucchini and Couscous-Stuffed Roasted Tomatoes

Found this recipe in my Weight Watchers Quick Italian Favorites cookbook, and it sounded so good, so I had to make it. Here's a picture of them just before I popped them in the oven. See below for steps and recipe. This is meant to be a side dish but we used it as our main course and had a really big salad on the side. Was pretty scrumptious!
1 package roasted garlic and olive oil couscous (such as Near East)
1 cup diced zucchini (1 medium)
1/2 cup chopped onion (1/2 small)
1/2 tsp salt, divided
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 large tomatoes
4 tsp grated fresh parmesan
also calls for 1/4 cup fresh basil, but we left this out
instead we added about 1/4 cup diced carrots for some extra veggies
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Prepare couscous mix according to package direction, omitting fat (oil or butter)
  3. While couscous stands, heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add zucchini, onion and carrots (if desired) and saute 4 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in basil (if used), 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Fluff couscous with a fork. Stir 3/4 cup couscous into zucchini mixture; reserve remaining couscous for another use.

Cut tomatoes in half crosswise; remove and discard pulp and seeds. Place tomato halves in an 8-inch square dish and sprinkle evenly with remaining salt.

  1. Spoon zucchini mixture evenly into tomato halves. Sprinkle each stuffed tomato half with 1 tsp of grated parmesan.
  2. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until tomatoes are soft and filling is thoroughly heated. 

Serving size is 1 stuffed half tomato. 4 servings total.
Calories 133
Fat 1.4g ( saturated fat 0.4)
Protein 5.5g
Carbohydrate 26.5g
Fiber 2.6g
Cholesterol 1mg
Iron 0.8mg
Sodium 572mg
Calcium 47mg

Insanely Good Homemade Chicken Teriyaki

So first off let me say that back in Clarksville, TN there is a yummy Japanese restaurant called Kohana and they make a delicious Chicken Teriyaki, and we came pretty close to recreating that today. Plus the sauce is only about a point (on weight watchers) so with the chicken it was about 5 points total!
The recipe we found online was similar to this one but we tweaked it a little bit to our own taste.

Soy sauce ( we used low sodium cause I have serious salt issues haha) - 3 TBSP + 1 TSP
Pineapple juice - 1/2 cup
Fresh garlic - 3/4 TSP
Fresh ginger - 3/4 TSP
Dry mustard - 1/2 TSP
Brown sugar - 1 1/2 TBSP
Ground black pepper - A few grinds

Cornstarch - 1/2 TSP
Pineapple Juice - 3 TBSP

Sesame Oil (optional)
Mix together first 7 ingredients in a saucepan, bring to a slight boil, then mix last 2 ingredients together in a separate bowl and add to boiling pot. Allow to boil for 1-2 minutes then turn down heat and allow to simmer and reduce for about 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let cool. Add a few drops of sesame oil for extra flavor!
 Slice a chicken breast in half horizontally to make it nice and thin, once teriyaki is cooled put about half the marinade in a ziploc with the chicken and marinade for 30 minutes then grill til done. Use the remaining marinade to pour over top and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
Hope you enjoy this recipe, I will be making this again very soon! We really love this recipe. This recipe will make about 3-4 pieces of chicken.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Eggplant Parmesan and Breaded Zucchini

We are finally enjoying the fruits (er vegetables) of our labor. :) Started a garden about 2 months ago and have been watering and fertilizing it with this recipe in mind as we watched our little cloud nine white eggplant and zucchini squash grow.

I love eggplant, but I really love it cooked this way. Not only did we have eggplant but we also had zucchini prepared the same way (minus the sauce and cheese) and since all my veggies came from our garden it just made the meal all the better. Probably one of the most delicious meals I've had in the past few months.

I used a very simple recipe so no need for measuring or pulling out a cookbook.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

I used a whole small eggplant and half a zucchini for 2 people.

Sliced the zucchini about 1/4" and peeled the eggplant and sliced to about 1/3-1/2"

Used 2 eggs and about 3/4 cup italian panko bread crumbs for the breading. (Had a bit leftover so I'm sure these amounts can be reduced) If the veggies are too moist put them in some flour before egg to help it stick.

After breading all the veggies, I placed them on a sheet pan in the oven at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes.
Then added a small spoonful of spaghetti sauce (I used jarred sauce but any homemade or jar sauce will work) and a little slice of whole milk or buffalo mozzarella and baked for another 10 minutes.

It was so crispy and flavorful, I paired this dinner with a little bit of pasta and some delicious caprese salad (see other recipes). Voila! Minimum effort and maximum flavor.


Sunday, October 31, 2010

Butternut Squash and Vanilla Risotto

Boil 4 cups vegetable broth and add cubed butternut squash and 1 whole split vanilla bean scraped. Cook until tender (about 5 minutes) remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Leave broth and vanilla bean in pot and lower heat to low or simmer to keep warm.

In a large saute pan melt butter and add rice to coat in butter. Add wine and simmer until almost completely evaporated. Then add 1/2 cup simmering broth to rice and stir until almost completely absorbed. Continue cooking the rice adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, allowing each addition to almost cook off before adding the next, until the rice is tender but still firm to bite. (about 20 minutes) turn off heat. Gently stir in butternut squash and grate fresh parmesan cheese, add remaining butter and salt.
Transfer to a bowl and serve immedietly.

This is the most amazing and aromatic risotto I've ever had. Risotto is a long cooking process of arborio rice that you must stand over the stove while this cooks, but it makes the most creamy delicious dinner or side dish ever. I omitted the onion this recipe originally called for and the chives to finish off the dish. I really like the vanilla aroma and I think the onion would cover it up. Recipe from foodnetwork.com from Giada at Home.

4 cups vegetable broth
1 large vanilla bean
3 cups peeled cubed butternut squash
2 Tbsp butter, plus 1 Tbsp butter reserved
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt

Flourless Torte with Ganache Icing

Had such a fun time making this cake with my cousin. This is the most amazing cake with a rich and fudgy ganache icing. Well worth the time it takes to make this cake. Got this recipe from my "Williams-Sonoma Desserts" cookbook

Mix together 1/4 cup of the sugar, egg yolks, rum, vanilla and salt. Beat until pale yellow, thick and well incorporated.
Use a double boiler and combine chocolate and butter. Melt and whisk until well blended. Set aside to cool slightly.
Pour the slightly cooled chocolate mixture into the egg yolk and rum mixture and beat until blended
In a separate bowl beat egg whites until foamy, add 2 Tbsp sugar and continue beating until medium-firm peaks
Gently fold in egg whites into choclate mixture until well incorporated DO NOT OVERMIX

Pour into a prepared greased and cocoa powder dusted pan, bake on 300 degrees for 30 minutes
DO NOT OVERCOOK (Should be very moist but not liquid)
Cool completely before icing
Over a double boiler melt chocolate, buttter and corn syrup until melted.
Gently pour over cake. Chill before serving.
Unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting
10 oz of bittersweet or dark chocolate
3/4 cup (6 oz) unsalted butter cut into pieces; plus extra for greasing
5 large egg yolks
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp dark rum or brewed espresso
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
3 large egg whites at room temperature
Chocolate Glaze:
1/2 cup unsalted butter cut up
8 oz chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 Tbsp light corn syrup