Monthly Archives: March 2011

Pasta with Spicy Turkey Sausage, Broccoli Rabe, and Garlic Crema

A few nice people around these parts have commented on how my photos have improved and are looking spiffy these days. Well, to you lovely people, sorry about this one. Tonight, I simply did not care about lighting, garnishes, food composition, or textiles. In fact, the fact that my little DIY “photo studio” is housed WAY up on the second floor of our apartment was a major deterrent tonight to snapping a good photo, after a week (or two) like I’ve had. My job is sucking the life out of me at the moment, and each evening, I arrive home weary and generally pretty surly. Luckily, I live with a fine man who makes a stiff drink and is always there to pat my head and make me smile.

Also, tomorrow’s friday, which always improves morale around here.

So does pasta. And this dish is no exception.

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Indian Butter Chicken

After my first bite of this dish, I said that I thought this might be the best thing that I’ve ever made.  If you’re new to Indian food, this is a great way to dive in. The sauce is creamy and spicy, and is perfect for mopping up with some whole wheat naan. Adios, take out!

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Ultimate Shrimp and Grits

This is one of my favorite dishes of all time. It is comfort in a bowl!

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General Tso’s Chicken

Another Rocco recipe. Let me elaborate — another fabulous Rocco recipe from his book Now Eat This. It’s no secret that I heart this book of his, and wouldn’t you know it, the man came out with a new book this week! BUT, before I will allow myself to purchase another. cook. book., I promised myself that I would make a few more recipes that I’ve dog-eared from Now Eat This.

This recipe, “Almost General Tso’s Chicken”, as Rocco called it — is sassy. It’s got a healthy kick to it, which helps to balance out the sweetness that the sauce offers. I’ve made this sauce a couple of times for a number of Rocco’s recipes — you can find the recipe for it here. I like to make it over the weekend when I have more time and stick it in the fridge — that way it’s ready when you want to use it and makes dinner a whole lot easier.  Overall, this meal is a GREAT stand-in for crazy fattening chinese take out — score.
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Swordfish with Tomato-Bacon Butter

A meal like this fills me with questions…

Like, a) why don’t I eat seafood every single day?? It’s so good!

and

b) why don’t I cover everything with tomato-bacon butter???

I feel lost. Sigh.

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Taco Stuffed Zucchini

Is it possible to have a crush on a blog? If so, I currently have two hard-core crushes. Our Life in Food — my savior in my efforts to eat low-carb and not kill myself.  Seriously, I stumbled on to this blog as a “normal reader” — aka, not looking specifically for a low-carb site. Her photos are impeccable and you don’t even realize that most of the recipes avoid carbohydrates until you’re already hitting the print button.

And On the Woodside, for the kind of writing which helps you live life a little more…tenderly.  Absolutely can’t get enough.  I’ll stop there for fear of sounding like a stalker, even though I kind of am.

Anyway, I found and printed this stuffed zucchini recipe a few months back, before I realized I was obsessed with Our Life in Food.

I love mexican flavors, and again, the photo of these just called to me. I’m sorry to say that my photo is BAD, but this dish is YUMMY. Seriously yummy. The filling tastes like the best taco dip you ever had, and Brian devoured two halves in no time. Since I am such a dainty eater (…), I only had one half.  SO good, and can’t wait to eat the leftovers.

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Penne alla Vodka with Shrimp

So here’s the thing about diets:

I suck at them.

I mean, no carbs, sugar, or alcohol for two whole weeks???

You know what I say to that?

Pasta with vodka cream sauce. That’s what I say.

Bam.

What? At least I used whole wheat pasta.

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Spaghetti Squash Casserole with Ricotta, Spinach, and Turkey Pepperoni

I loved so much about this meal.

#1. It is YUMMY. Seriously, this thing was very filling and very lasagnaesque. If that’s a word.

#2. It can be (and was) made entirely in advance (two days prior, in my case).

#3. It features spaghetti squash, a vegetable that I’ve always wanted to like.

This contains a tad bit too much cheese to actually call it healthy, but it is a MUCH healthier take on lasagna and for that I am grateful.

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Beef Burgers with Pimiento Cheese Sauce

I have been eyeballing this burger all week. With all of it’s beefy, cheesy, fried eggy glory. But, as you can see, this burger is sans egg. As you might imagine from the amount of eggs you see here, I’m drawn to pretty much anything that features a runny egg, which the original recipe for this burger in fact did.  But the strangest thing happened — neither B or I were feeling the egg. Weird.

Also, we used grass-fed ground beef for this recipe. This was my first time cooking with grass-fed beef, and the texture and flavor was definitely different than grain-fed. Not better or worse, just different — closer to the texture of actual steak.

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Seared Scallops over Wilted Greens

I intended on making this last night for dinner, but we had a last-minute overnight guest who just happens to be a 10 year-old boy who instead suggested “waffles”  or “meat lovers pizza” for dinner.  Now, while I myself am not a parent, my partner is, and lemme just say– it is hard to not eat like crap when kids are around. While I succumbed to the pressure last night and shelved this dish to lunch today, I’ve got to figure out this kid-friendly/real food equation. And fast.

On to lunch: this was fantastic. And I loved that the recipe used both the leaves and the stems of the kale, one of my favorite greens.

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White Bean and Warm Spinach Salad with Bacon and Mushrooms

This was so damn good that B didn’t even realize it had mushrooms (his alleged arch enemy) in it. I loved this, and since it pretty much contains ingredients that I always have on hand, I will be making this a lot.

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Marinated Flank Steak

In order to amp up for my next Costco trip (I say this as if I don’t go to Costco like once a week…but I just love it!), I wanted to use  a few things from my freezer this week.  Flank steak is one of my favorite cuts of meat because it is tasty and can feed quite a few people for a pretty good price. I dig that, as a social worker on a limited income. This steak is flavorful and juicy, and when dipped into some guacamole as we did, is a hugely satisfying meal.

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Salmon with Creamy Pesto Sauce

Given my new-found obsession with pesto, and my longtime love affair with salmon, this recipe was was a no brainer. Can be on the table in under 15 minutes, to boot.  Delicious.

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Potato and Broccoli Rabe Gratin

I have been craving a naughty potato dish for a while now. And despite the fact that this was based on a cooking light recipe AND I had the nerve to add additional veggies in AND omitted the bacon, this still definitely satisfied my naughty craving.  Not too shabby.

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Croque Madames (quickened, definitely not lightened)

In a continuing effort to improve my photos, I took a little field trip to one of my favorite shops, Paper Source, to purchase some props. Behold one of the pieces of beautiful wrapping paper I purchased to use as a background. Despite my somewhat inexplicable lack of motivation in pretty much every area of my life right now, I have, somewhat miraculously, managed to construct a DIY light box, very much using Ashley’s model and other resources on the interwebs — something that’s been on my to-do list for many months.  I’m starting to see some improvements around these parts, which is a nice motivator. Who knew?

Oh, and the food. This sandwich is the freaking bomb. Make it, immediately.

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Easy Baked Pesto Chicken

I am having a love affair with pesto. Strangely, up until recently, I never cared much for it. I think it was the thyme pesto that really made me turn a corner into full on love.

This chicken is fabulous. Low carb (except for the crusty bread we used to sop up all of the pesto-y juices, of course), cheesy, tender, juicy. Seriously, so good — and couldn’t be easier.

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Sicilian Escarole with Chick Peas and Caramelized Onions

Greens, chick peas, and caramelized onions are some of my favorite things. This dish has a nice sweetness to it, but also a nice kick from the red pepper flakes. Brian said he will definitely be requesting this again, which he doesn’t says a lot since, like me, he loves trying new things. Win.

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Quinoa, Butternut Squash & Leek Pilaf with Runny Eggs

A few years back I wouldn’t ever eat egg yolks when eating eggs for breakfast. As B and I were eating this yummy, healthy dinner tonight (made even yummier from runny eggs), I was reminded of back when we first started dating and how he never made fun of me for eating around the yolk when eating fried eggs. Now that’s true love. And craziness because yolks are delicious — nature’s best sauce, in my (now) opinion.

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