Saturday, July 24, 2010


With the change in the blog, comments can no longer be made on each individual recipe, unless you find it in the archives section....So, I have made this Post and will keep it current so that any one can make a comment here, about anything they see in the blog.

Happy cooking.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

German Potato Salad

One of the many recipes that I cherish from my childhood. (and the beginnings of my love for bacon)
Tip: these are far from healthy. I will include a low fat version later.


1 1/2 lb boiled and cubed red Potatoes with skin still on
1/2 cup cooked and crumbled Bacon
1/4 cup diced Kosher Dill Pickles
1/4 cup diced white Onions
1/4 cup diced celery
1/2 cup Mayonaise
2 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive oil( or use drippings from Bacon)
1/4 cup white Vinegar(or juice from pickle jar)
salt and pepper to taste


In a large mixing bowl combine potatoes, oil, mayo and vinegar and mix by hand.
Once well blended, add remaining ingredients and continue to mix by hand until thoroughly blended.

This side dish goes great with pinics-burgers-pot luck dinner parties.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Tasty Rice

Side dishes are sometimes as important as the main dish, and should always be tied in with flavor or contrasting texture.  Vegetables are always a great option for side dishes, but if you want a well balanced meal, you should have a main dish-protien,  vegetables and a starch.


1 cup Jasmine White Rice
3 cups water
1 cube Chicken Boullion
1 Pinch Chinese 5 Spice
Juice from 1/2 medium Lemon


In a 3 qt. sauce pan bring the water, boullion, Lemon juice and 5 spice to a boil using medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, add the Rice to the water and cover.  Jasmine Rice requires frequent stirring or the rice on the bottem will burn, and the rice on top will be uncooked. Continue to cook and stir until all water is absorbed and Rice has reached desired consistency.

Chinese 5 spice is very pungeunt and powerful, so a pinch is really all you need. 
This side dish accompanies Fish, Pork and Chicken extremely well.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Quick Breakfast

Sometimes 10 minutes is all we have,  as we are getting ready for work, to eat breakfast. This recipe literally takes about 5 minutes of prep and 5 minutes cooking time. p.s.   and it's healthy!

Healthy Breakfast


2 eggs
2 Tbsp finely chopped red onions
4 Tbsp rough chopped Baby Bella Mushrooms
1 Tbsp finely chopped Cilantro
1 slice Pepper Jack sandwich cheese
1/2 oz Bleu Cheese dressing
2 slices Whole Wheat toast
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil


In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs and bleu cheese dressing. Whip mixture thoroughly until eggs and dressing are well blended.
Preheat a 6" Teflon coated frying pan, and add the Olive oil to heat. Add mushrooms, onions and cilantro to lightly saute.
Pour egg mixture over veggies mix and let sit on medium heat for about 2 minutes.  Lay the slice of cheese on top of the eggs then scramble the mixture.
Cook until eggs are completely cooked and cheese is melted through out mixture.

Place one piece of toast on a plate, then cover with egg mixture, then cover with second piece of toast.

No salt or pepper is needed as flavor comes from the cheese and dressing.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Swai with Peach Salsa

Some people, myself included, have been searching a lifetime for that fish that doesn’t taste or smell like FISH.
I have found the best option to date.

Tilapia was high on my list for this because of its very light texture and light fishy flavor. But, the health world says Tilapia is not really good for you due to the amounts of Mercury and other toxins that are absorbed into the fish from their environment.

So the search goes on…and lo and behold….SWAI, or Basa, or Vietnamese catfish, or White Roughy. It is called many things by many different cultures that use it. This fish is so light it will take any seasonings you throw at it and come out tasting exactly like the seasoning. Fluffy, flaky and oh so tasty. It is not the highest in omega-3’s and not the lowest in toxins. But it is safe to eat 2-3 times a week, and frankly, that is all the fish I can eat.

So here is one recipe from this past week:

1 Swai filet (about 6 oz)
Zest from 1 medium lemon
1 medium peach-peeled, seeded and diced
¼ cup Jalapenos-seeded and diced
¼ cup red onions-diced
¼ cup Cilantro-finely chopped
2 tsps Brown Sugar
2 Dashes of salt
2 Dashes of pepper
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of cinnamon
2 cups precooked white rice(preferably Jasmine rice---great flavor)


In a separate container, combine diced peaches, jalapenos, onions, cilantro
Garlic powder, cinnamon, brown sugar and 1 dash each of salt and pepper. Stir with wooden spoon until
Thoroughly mixed.

Preheat 10” frying pan to Medium heat.
Spoon Peach salsa mixture into the pan to cover a space large enough to lay the fish on top of.
Season the fish on both side with remaining dashes of pepper and salt.
Lay fish on top of peach mixture in frying pan. Cover fish with remaining peach mixture.
Continue to cook fish on each side for about 3-4 minutes at medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low
For about 1 minute per side.


Place ½ cup of precooked rice on one side of plate. Place ½ of fish on other side of plate.
Pour peach mixture over rice and fish.

Makes two full meals.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Favorite Home Made Pizza

Chicken Alfredo Pizza


1 portion of pizza dough
1/2 cup of light Alfredo Sauce
1/4 cup chopped cooked chicken
1/4 cup chopped cooked smoked bacon(or Pancetta)
1/4 cup crumbled cooked Italian sausage
1/4 cup chopped white onions
1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
1 cup Mozzarella cheese


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees

After working the pizza dough into the desired shape and size, spread Alfredo sauce evenly over the surface. Then sprinkle each of the toppings evenly; onions, chicken, sausage, bacon then cheese. Sprinkle the top of the pizza with Italian seasonings.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until crust is a light golden brown.

mmmm, Bon Appetit!

Easy Pizza dough

This is one I love because, a) I can make my own pizza anytime, b) put anything I want on it and c) it is fairly inexpensive (depending on your toppings).


1 package of dry yeast (or 1/2 tsp active yeast from a jar)
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 cups All purpose or Whole wheat Flour


Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Stir in remaining mixture and beat vigorously(about 20 minutes). Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes. (the longer you let the dough sit, the more it will rise, and the lighter and flakier your pizza crust will be.)

Remove cover and divide dough into 2 equal halves.

On a flour covered surface, work each piece of dough into 10-11 inch rounds (or squares, or decide, have fun with your kids and use a cookie cutter or a knife to make smaller individual pizzas.)

Spread your chosen sauce over the surface evenly, then cover with all your favorite toppings. Cover with  about 1 cup of Mozzarella(or your favorite cheese.) Plain tomato sauce works best, with 1 Tbsp Italian seasonings sprinkled over the surface of the sauce.

Place in oven on middle rack (you can use or don't use a cookie sheet; without makes crispier crust) and bake 12-15 minutes or until crust s a light golden brown


You can cook the dough by itself, to make a pre-made pizza dough for cold ingredients like a Pesto sauce instead of tomato sauce, or an avocado based sauce for a totally healthy California Pizza Kitchen style pizza. If you are only baking the dough, with no other ingredients, cut the baking time down to 10-12 minutes.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Chicken Alfredo Lasagna w/spinach


2 lb. cooked shredded Chicken (seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste)
2 links Chicken Italian sausage ( I get mine at Central market for now)
1 bunch fresh leaf Spinach-blanched
2-8 oz  boxes Lasagna noodles
1-8 oz container Ricotta cheese
4 cups fresh grated Mozzarella cheese
3 cups (24 oz) Light Alfredo Sauce


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. 
Spray a deep(4") baking pan with Pam on all sides and bottom. After boiling Lasagna noodles to al dente, cover bottom of pan with noodles, slightly over lapping them. On the first layer of noodles spread a thin layer of ricotta cheese, then place blanched spinach leaves generously to form a good layer. Next layer of noodles, again slightly overlapping cover with a thin layer of mozzarella cheese, then a generous portion of chicken and lastly, drizzle some alfedo sauce over entire layer. Next layer of noodles, cover with a thin layer of Ricotta cheese, a layer of spinach leaves, then a good portion of Italian sausage evenly spread out. Repeat each layer making sure you ration all ingredients for at least six layers, plus a top layer with chick, sausage, alfredo sauce and mozzarella to cover it all. 
Place in the oven and bake for 110-15 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and slightly browning.


Blanching is just a cool way of saying to quickly cook something with boiling water.  I use a hand strainer to place and withdraw the spinach from the boiling water. Spinach is very delicate, and in order for it to retain some of its structure to be handled for this dish, the 'dip' in the boiling water must be quick, no more than 5 seconds, then immediately into a cold water bath to stop the cooking process.

Good luck, and Bon Appetit!

Baked Alfredo with Shrimp, Chicken and Pancetta

This is my version of one of only two dishes I eat when I go to Macaroni Grill, Pasta Rustica.  i add the sun dried tomatoes and fresh chopped Basil not only for additional color but also additional flavor.


1/2 lb cooked, peeled and deveined large shrimp
1/2 cup cooked and drained Pancetta(or thick cut smoked bacon)
1/2 lb cubed sautéed boneless chicken breast (sautéed with a dash of salt and pepper, and 1clove minced garlic)
2 1/2 cups uncooked Penne pasta
4 cups water
pinch of salt
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
12 oz. Light Alfredo sauce
1 cup mozzarella cheese
3 Tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp chopped Basil


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
In a 5 qt sauce pan bring water, olive oil and salt to a boil.  Add Penne paste and continue to boil until pasta is al dente.
Remove from heat and drain.
In a large mixing bowl combine pasta, shrimp, chicken, Pancetta(or bacon), fresh ground pepper and Light Alfredo sauce and mix until all ingredients are evenly distributed.
Pour mixture in to a Pam sprayed baking dish. Cover with mozzarella cheese, then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped basil.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is bubbling and starting to brown.
Makes 4-6 servings.

Light Alfredo Sauce


1/2 tsp butter
2 cloves minced garlic
1 1/2 cups fat free milk
2 tbsp flour
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup sn dried tomatoes
3 Tbsp chopped Basil


In a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat melt the butter. When the butter is melted add the minced garlic cloves,sun dried tomatoes and fresh basil and cook for a minute.
In a bowl combine the 1 1/2 cups of fat free milk with 2 tablespoons of flour. Make sure the flour is mixed into the milk well.

Add the milk/flour mixture to the sauce pan with the butter, garlic, tomatoes and basil. Cook over medium high heat until it just starts to boil. Stirring or whisking constantly until the mixture thickens. This should take about 5 minutes.

Add 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan to the sauce pan and stir it into the milk.
Lower the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes.
Makes about 12 oz.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Black Bean Chili w/Home made Cornbread

Home made Cornbread

1 1/2 cups fresh ground corn chips (use a food processor, and use your favorite chip; I used regular yellow corn tortilla  chips)
1 1/2 cup of white flour
1 Tblsp sugar
2 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
10 oz cream corn


Pre heat oven to 350 degrees; spay 10" pie dish with Pam cooking spray; in a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients and mix until blended well; Add milk and egg, mix on low speed with hand mixer until blended well; Add cream corn and canola oil, continue to mix with hand mixer on low until well blended. pour mixture into greased pie dish; place into pre heated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until top of corn bread is turning light brown.( you can also check the inside with a long toothpick, if nothing sticks then it is done.)


Using the ground corn chips adds a texture to the corn bread that you will not get if you use regular corn meal. Slightly crunchy, but not overly so. It make a perfect pair with the Black Bean Chili.

Black Bean Chili


1 lb. bag of black beans
1/3 cup of standard chili powder
4 Tblsp Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle Blend
1 whole medium white onion, sliced into 1/4" wedges
4 roma tomatoes, sliced into 1/2" wedges
3 Jalepeno peppers, chopped and seeded
1 Habanero pepper, chopped and seeded
1 tsp Cumin powder
4 Tbsp of fresh Garlic, minced
1 cube(tbsp) chicken bouillon
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tblsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh Feta cheese


The most important part is to get the beans ready. Black beans need to be soaked. Place beans in a large deep bowl and cover with warm water(after cleaning out non-bean material). let soak for 1 hour, then drain. cover with warm water again, let soak for one hour. continue this process until color of water is almost clear, should be about 4 hours. cover with warm water one last time and place in 'fridge over night.


In a 5qt. Crock Pot, place beans and water from last soaking. Place all of seasoning ingredients next, then cover with all of vegetable ingredients.  Add water to cover all ingredients. Turn on Crock Pot to low for 7-8 hours.

Serving suggestion:

On a deep salad plate, crumble about 1 cup of Homemade Cornbread; Ladle out 1 cup of Black Bean Chili with juice included, then sprinkle about 2 Tblsp of Feta cheese on top.

This dish has some heat due to the Jalapeno's and the Habanero, but not too much . Very enjoyable in any type of weather.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pulled Pork via Crock Pot

With this recipe I need to give a great big thank you to my friend Big Mike for providing the baby back ribs that I slow cooked in the crock pot to further soften the meat. This recipe will go great on any style of bread, open, closed or toasted, as well as over rice or egg noodles if you don't have any bread available. On the day I pulled this one from my head, I used it to cover a bed of white rice.


1 slab slow smoked baby back ribs
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 cup spicy BBQ sauce (see previous recipe)


Place rib sections in bottom of 5 qt. crock pot. Add onions, then BBQ sauce. Turn on crock pot to low heat, and cover for 6-7 hours. Bones will be easily removed at this stage.  Use two forks to 'pull' meat apart from itself.

The slab that Big Mike gave me yielded about 1 1/2 lbs of meat, with each serving being around 3-4 ounces, this will make about 6 servings.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Barbecue Sauce


1 8 oz. can Tomato Sauce
2 Tblsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp favorite hot pepper paste 
(you can create this by simply seeding and chopping and your favorite hot peppers, or a mixture of them and then slowly reducing them with 1 tsp of oil per 5 peppers, if you make more than you need for your sauce, you can freeze it)
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime blend
1 Tbsp extra virgin Olive oil


Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil while constantly stirring. Reduce heat and simmer until mixture is smooth and thick, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and use immediately. 
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of a nice sweet, dark and tangy Sauce.

If you don't like hot, leave out the pepper paste.

Limitless, really. use on brisket, or on grilling steaks, or on pulled pork, or on grilled chicken. This Sauce is so good,
I would almost eat it by itself.

Brisket Tacos

Brisket Tacos:

So I had my sister-in-law ask me, in that classic '80's commercial flashback, "where's the beef?" Sirloin steak, or something…please.
So I have a couple of recipes coming over the next couple of days which use beef, yes, just for you Cristina. I hope you enjoy as much as we did.
Now I don't eat much beef, for health reasons of my own, so I want you to know this was a real sacrifice on my part, slurp..oh, create and test these recipes, mmm…, before I post them.  
Also, the main reason I am not posting one recipe per day, is so that everyone can see the picture of what the latest recipe posted looks like. Until I can get my photo-bucket account to link properly to this blog, or get my official website up and running, this will have to suffice. and without further ado, I present brisket tacos:


1 1/2 lbs. cooked, chopped brisket meat( you can substitute any left over beef, or pork or chicken here.)
8 white corn tortillas
2 cups lettuce of choice, shredded
1 cup cheese of choice, shredded
1 Tbsp dark chili powder (get it in the hispanic section of your market)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/2 Tbsps unsalted butter
Plenty of your favorite Salsa
dash of Cumin (cumin is so powerful, to give a measurement to how much is actually used is not possible, maybe a 1/16th of a tsp. or less)


Pre-Heat 10" skillet on medium heat, then add butter to skillet. Add meat to melted butter, and begin to saute. Add all seasonings and mix thoroughly. The meat is already cooked, so you are looking to only heat it up not re-cook it.  Place Tortillas in a tortilla warmer, and heat in Microwave for 30 seconds on high.   Using a Tablespoon, place 2 heaping spoons onto each tortilla. Cover meat with lettuce, then sprinkle cheese on top. Add a generous portion of your favorite salsa.
Makes 8 Tacos.

If you are not using a smoked meat, during the saute process add a couple of DROPS of artificial smoke. Artificial smoke is very concentrated, so be careful not to use too much.
Sauteing is a quick way to cook food if you use high heat, and a very quick way to heat up already cooked food: continually stirring the food while maintaining the medium heat will have this portion of meat heated in about 3-4 minutes.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Texas Style Cordon Bleu


4 chicken breasts
1 cup seasoned Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 oz smoked Gouda cheese, sliced into 1" squares about 1/8" thick
20 strips of hickory smoked bacon
1 egg, beaten
salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder (these items will just be a dusting)
4 slices deli style sliced smoked turkey breast
Pam cooking spray


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Clean and trim chicken breasts of all excess fat. Wash, then pat dry breasts. Place breasts on flat surface and using a sharp knife, cut into the breast parallel to the flat surface, making a pocket in the breast. Make the pocket large enough to hold the Gouda and turkey.  Lightly season breasts on both sides with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. Take 3 slices of smoked Gouda and wrap them in one slice of smoked turkey breast. Place the gouda and turkey wrap into the pocket in the chicken breast. Lay out 5 strips of bacon side by side, then lay stuffed breast on one end of bacon strips and roll up the breast in the bacon. Repeat this process with each breast. Baste breast/bacon with beaten egg.
In a large mixing bowl, blend Panko and Parmesan cheese.  Coat the breasts with Panko by rolling and covering with breadcrumbs.  Place coated breasts into a baking dish that has been sprayed with Pam. Place in pre-heated oven for 30 minutes, or until no pink juice comes from breast.
Makes 8 servings when each breast is cut in half cross ways.

I cut into the breast on the large side, and keep my other hand on top of the breast. You can feel where the knife is inside of the breast, and if the knife is sharp enough, guide it where it needs to go. You don't really need to worry, with this recipe, about going to far with the pocket because the bacon and breading will hold it together.  This will be good practice for filleting those fish you catch over the summer.
I use so much pepper, garlic and opinion powder that I have a special home made blend of equal parts salt, garlic powder, pepper and onion powder that I use religiously. Keep the empty containers from your store bought seasonings and start blending your own spices.  Make sure you label them though, I have had too many sneezing fits smelling the unlabeled containers. LOL.

Healthier variations of this recipe can be made: use regular breadcrumbs to cut down on sodium; use low fat cheese in place of the gouda; use turkey bacon in place of the regular to cut down on fat.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Super Soup

Creamy Vegetable soup
This recipe makes about 10 servings of about 3/4 cup.  It is a perfect winter storm~stay at home~in front of the fire or T.V. soup. I took a Baguette loaf of bread and cut some slices about 1/2" thick, sprinkled them with olive oil and some Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Blend, then broiled them for about 2 minutes on high(until lightly toasted), and used them for my dipping crackers with the soup. 


2 10.5 oz cans Cream of Mushroom soup
1 cup sour creamy mashed potatoes(recipe follows)
1/2 Cup chopped zucchini
1/3 cup copped carrots
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Onion & Herb blend
1/4 cup chopped Green Onions 
3 strips Bacon fried and crumbled
8 cups water


In a 5 qt sauce pan, mix mushroom soup with water.  Make sure the soup and water are thoroughly mixed(no lumps). Add carrots, green onions, Mrs. Dash and bacon. Heat on medium heat until soup begins to boil. Add mashed potatoes, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat and simmer for another 10 minutes to allow all flavors to blend properly.  Easily served in over sized mugs for that nostalgic or romantic evening in front of the fire.

Sour Creamy Mashed potatoes:


4 Large Russet baking potatoes
2 Tbsp Butter
4 Tbsp Philadelphia Chive & Onion Cream cheese
1/8 tsp sea salt
5 cups water
1/4 cup fat free skim milk


cut potatoes into 1 to 1 1/2 inch cubes and place in 5 qt. sauce pan with water and sea salt.
bring potatoes to a boil and continue to boil until potatoes fall off tines of a fork. 
Add butter and milk and mash potatoes completely with potato masher. fold in Cream cheese until
completely incorporated with potatoes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Panko Crusted Baked(or fried) Ocean Trout

So, one of my friends recently asked me something that I have asked my self, and others in the past: is there a fish, that doesn't taste like fish?

I love shellfish but have a hard time eating regular fish most of the time because of that fishy flavor or a fishy smell, so this was really a question that I needed to answer for my self as well as for my friend.  Now we had talked about different fish at the time and several were thrown onto the table as possible candidates for the non-fishy tasting/smelling fish.  Well, there are friends all over the place today, and one of those gave my wife about ten pounds of Ocean Trout(Sea Trout in some markets).  Regular Rainbow Trout are pretty hardy fish and also have a pretty hardy aroma and flavor that keeps me from enjoying it the way I would a steak.( frankly, why eat something if you can not enjoy it?) But this Ocean Trout was different.  It had the color of Tilapia, white with a rosy tint, in a distinctive trout filet shape, and boy when it cooks up, white and flakey, with no fish taste or aroma in the manner I cooked them.  Now you can try this method with other fish to see if it takes away that fishy smell and taste, but as long as I have 9 pounds of this trout left, I don't need any other fish.


4 Ocean Trout filets
1 Omega-3 egg
8 Tbsp Panko bread crumbs
(Panko bread crumbs are seasoned bread crumbs made in a specific manner. There are as many different
types and brands of Panko as there are of regular bread crumbs.  I chose Panko because it fries or bakes
up to a beautiful golden color, and because all the cooks on T.V. use it. ;)  )
1/8 cup finely chopped chives
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil(or cooking spray)
1/4 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


Beat egg in small container and blend in the lemon juice with a fork. Pat dry the filets with paper towels.  In a separate dish mix the Panko, chives and parmesan cheese together until thoroughly blended.  Brush one side of each filet with egg-lemon juice mixture, then lay filet into Panko bread crumbs with brushed side down.  Brush egg mixture onto exposed side of filet and then flip filet in Panko bread crumbs to make sure filet is completely and evenly coated. The result is a very lightly breaded fish filet.

For Fried:
Pre-heat 8" skillet with olive oil to medium high.  Place filets one at a time in hot pan.  Cook about two minutes per side, or until Panko is golden brown. Remove from skillet and place on paper towels to drain.
I love this option.  It is a tiny bit less healthy, but oh, so worth it.  The fish comes out tasting like a fried pork chop(if it is not over cooked) and that was the goal here, right?  To have fish that did not taste like fish!

For Baked:
Pre-Heat oven to Hi broil. Make sure that you have a rack in the oven at about the middle. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and place the filets on baking sheet.  Place in oven on middle rack for 3-5 minutes per side.  You are watching carefully for the Panko to brown, and you don't want to wait to long because the fish will be over cooked and taste like a seasoned bread stick. If it is not over cooked, you get a nice juicy, lemony tasting filet, that does not taste like fish.

As far as the 'health' factor on this dish….one serving of olive oil is 1 Tbsp @ 14 grams of fat, but 12 grams of that is the good fat, the polyunsaturated fat that your doctor always talks about, the fat that your body NEEDS in order to function properly.
I chose the Omega-3 egg because not all fish is high in this stuff and you can always use more of it.  The Panko bread crumbs are the criminal in this dish, coming in with 430 mg of sodium per 2 Tbsp. So, do you have to use Panko? No, absolutely not.  I chose to use it because of the flavor factor.  As far as calories go, about 248 from the fish and the olive oil together. If you choose to bake, then only calories from the fish at 128 per 3 ounces, which is a filet about 2 inches wide by 5-6 inches long by about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. If you are concerned about exact portions, then a food scale is defiantly recommended.

So, the bottom line is:

Fried=248 calories
           14 grams fat
           430mg Sodium
           350 mg Omega-3 from the egg(each filet will be slightly more due to it's own omega-3)
Baked=128 calories
              0 fat from oil
              350 mg omega-3
              430 mg sodium (from the Panko)

Side dish recommendation:

The Zucchini and Asparagus dish went perfect with the fish.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Zucchini and Asparagus

Ok, probably my two most absolute favorite vegetables...seriously.
Last night, I didn't really feel like cooking, but being at home, I have to make some thing wonderful and delicious for my wife...right?
This is strictly a vegetarian dish, but either one could be added as a side dish for any meal.

4 good sized Zucchini Squash(about 1 1/2 " in dia by about 6-8" long)
1 lb(or bunch) Asparagus
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
a dash of salt(literally a pinch between your fingers)
1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 tbsp grated light parmesan cheese
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Blend

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the Zucchinis in half long ways. Trim the asparagus to have no white on the stalks, just the most tender parts.
In a 9X12 glass baking dish, arrange the asparagus on one end, to take up about one fourth of the baking dish. First, sprinkle the olive oil over the asparagus, then dash of salt, then fresh black pepper.  Work the asparagus so that all stalks are slightly coated with oil, salt and pepper.
Arrange the Zucchini to fill the other 3/4 of the baking dish. Sprinkle the Zucchini with the parmesan cheese, then sprinkle the Mrs. Dash over the entire baking dish.
Cover the dish with aluminum foil to trap heat, which will steam the veggies.  Place in pre-heated oven for not more than 15 minutes. Remove foil, and change oven to broil for 5 minutes or until parmesan cheese is golden brown.

Makes 4 generous servings.
I did not calculate nutritional info on this dish because, frankly, no additives, no preservatives, fresh vegetables, and seasonings is pretty healthy.
Make sure you use the 'light' parmesan cheese to keep the fat down. 1Tbsp has 85 mg of sodium, so if you break that out into 4 servings, you get 21.25mg of sodium from the cheese, and the dash of salt is fairly negligible, but we'll call it 40mg...which brings us to 31.25 mg of sodium per serving...well below Dr. recommended intake of 140 mg per serving.
Also, remember, some vegetables have natural sodium, like tomatoes, and asparagus, and corn, so when you are working on a low sodium meal, take those veggies into account as well.

One more thing; If you are on a "six small meals a day" type of diet, this will go great as a mid afternoon snack.

Turkey Sausage

Here we go.  The Taquitos called for Turkey Sausage:

1 lb ground turkey(93% lean gives the best flavor to fat ratio)
1 tsp ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Garlic powder
1 tsp Mrs. Dash Spicy Blend
1/2 tsp Sage
1/4 tsp Poultry Seasoning
1/4 tsp Thyme
1/4 tsp Salt

Place all dry ingredients(herbs and spices) into a spice blender or pestle for grinding.
Grind spices until at a fine dust consistency. (almost to what the sage was before you added it)
Place 1lb ground turkey into large mixing bowl. Sprinkle spice mixture onto ground turkey and begin to mix by hand.  Mix thoroughly so that spices are well blended into ground turkey.
Cover and place into refrigerator for one hour.  This will give the spices time to "set in".

This can be molded into about 12 individual pattys or links for a traditional breakfast, or mixed with eggs in the following recipe for Taquitos.


Easy Breakfast Taquitos

Ok.  Since everyone will tell you that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, what better place to start than there.  I had to do some research on this one so I could bring you all of the nutritional facts, so that you could see this was a healthy alternative to a traditional southwest style breakfast.  Keeping in mind that nutrition is only part of the battle, i.e. if you eat 5 taquitos, you are exceeding the recommended serving size, and therefore are consuming many more times the quantities quoted for each serving.  So, without further ado or explanation:

1 dozen white corn tortillas
1 lb Turkey Sausage (recipe will follow)
8 Large Grade AA cage free eggs
1/4 cup buttermilk
cooking spray

Beat 8 eggs and buttermilk in a large mixing bowl with hand beater.  Beat until slightly foaming, or on the verge of whipped. (you want the eggs really fluffy.)
Lightly spray a heated skillet with cooking spray.  Scramble eggs in skillet until almost completely done, then add Turkey Sausage.  Continue to cook and stir until eggs are completely done, and sausage to egg ratio is about 1-2.
Spoon about 2-3 tbsp of egg/sausage mix into each tortilla.

12 Taquitos of which each is 1 serving.

Nutritional facts:(per serving)
Calories from Fat---50

All of this nutritional information was gathered from each of the products themselves and then calculated to the servings size that I suggest.
Fruit is an integral part of every days food intake, and with few exceptions is generally not bad for you at any time in any way.
If you add half of an apple or half of an orange, or some other fleshy tree fruit to this breakfast, you will feel satisfied, and have energy from the natural sugars provided from the fruit.
Diabetics, of course, need to be cautious about their fruit consumption through the day as they monitor the total sugar  intake.

I hope this gets some of you off to a good start tomorrow morning, I know it will me.
Good luck, and good eating.

Healthy alternatives to Traditional recipes

Right now with the swing towards eating more healthily, which I agree with, I have had some requests for   traditional favorites, but healthy versions.  This is a very difficult task.  Healthy for who? is the first question.  Many different requirements across the board for healthy eating: low fat, low sodium, low sugar, low potassium, low carb, high protein...take your pick.
The best thing I can try to do is combine as many of these needs into a single days menu, and let you work out the variety of options for the main protein and side dishes based on your needs and desires.
So with that in mind, I leave you with this thought: dieting is for the birds, and any Doctor who is really concerned about your health will tell you: crash diets don't work. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is with exercise and the right amounts of the right types of food at the right times of the day for your lifestyle.
So coming soon, I hope later today, I will have the first installment of a daily menu that focuses on healthy, portion conscious, ingredient conscious meals.
See you soon.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chicken Cacciatore

A request from one of our followers, for a simple crock-pot meal with chicken, got me to thinking.  Chicken Cacciatore is one of the easiest and most loved dishes out there, and can be prepared in a multitude of ways.  Preparing it my way (giggles) is a combination of a couple of ways I like to cook:

one whole chicken~cut into individual sections (2 legs, 2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thighs/backs)
Tip: If you remove the skin, you will cut the fat content of this dish down considerably.
3 cups of white rice
5 cups of water
4 medium tomatos~boiled, skinned and crushed
2 medium jalepenos~seeded and finely chopped
1 medium bell pepper~sliced into 1/2" crescents
1 medium white onion~sliced into 1/2" crescents
3 cloves garlic~crushed and minced
1 tsp fresh Thyme~chopped
1 tsp fresh Oregano~chopped
1 tsp fresh Rosemary~chopped
1 tsp fresh Basil~chopped
(all of these herbs can be purchased in the produce market at your local market.)
1 tsp salt
1 Tblsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Blend
2-8oz cans tomato sauce
1 cube chicken bouillion
Tip: Chopping, crushing or mincing spices and herbs releases more of their oils than
simply tossing them in whole.

Lightly dust the chicken with the 1 Tblsp of Mrs. Dash. Grill the chicken over a medium fire about 6 minutes per side. You are not looking for the chicken to be fully cooked at this point, only to have that smoke flavor from the charcoal.

While the chicken is grilling you can get your other ingredients prepared.  In a 5 qt crock-pot, place the crushed tomatos in the bottem, then sprinkle the garlic and jalepenos over the tomatos.  Place the chicken on top of the veggies. Place the onions on top of the chicken.  Add the tomato sauce. Add the fresh herbs~ Tyhme, Rosemary, Oregano and Basil.
Add 1 cup of water.

Tip: if you don't have the ability to grill, or you don't want to grill the chicken....saute the chicken in a low profile skillet with 1 Tblsp Extra Virgin olive oil, each side about 2 minutes, just enough to sear the chicken, then add 1 tsp of liquid smoke, to the one cup of water before adding it, to the crock pot.

Cover and turn the crock pot on low for about 6 hours.  The chicken will be smokey and tender and very flavorful.
Add the bell peppers and turn crock pot to high for about thirty minutes.  I like my peppers more crispy, and since they really don't affect the overall flavor of the dish, they don't need to be in the mix the entire time.

In a seperate 3 qt sauce pan, bring 4 cups of water and cube of chicken bouillion to a boil. Once bouillion is reduced and water is boiling, add rice, cover with tight fitting lid and reduce heat to medium to simmer for 15 minutes. Remove rice from heat and let stand for about 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

To Plate:
Place about 1/2 cup of rice slightly off center on your desired serving plate.  Place 1-2 pieces of chicken on the rice, opposite of center from the rice.  Spoon about 1/3 cup of sauce mixture onto rice and chicken.
makes 4-6 servings.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Thank You

Thank You all so much for coming and joining my blog.  This is the first step in my new career choice, and I intend to make it grow big and quick. If you check back once a week, you will be pleasantly suprised to see at least two new recipes. My original intention was to add one a day, and I will try to keep that pace....for now. If you have any specific requests for a style or flavor, please do not hesitate to mention it here.  When it comes to food, I do not discriminate one culture or one flavor from the next. Plain and simple, I love to eat good food, so I will share as many 'foodie' experiences as I can.  Keep spreading the word, and lets see how fast we can get 50, then 100, then who knows how many followers. This blog is as much you all's as it is mine, I am simple the progenitor.....LOL....tata for now.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Once again I bring you something very simple to make. Because there are so many personal preferences, it is hard to find anyone who makes it the way you like it. Every Tex-Mex restaurant has their own flavor, even though, if you get it made at your table, you see the same ingredients go into it.  This recipe has wowed my friends at parties time and time again, and it is so very simple to make. Now one last note: because Guacamole starts to turn brown after just a few hours if you do nothing, I will include some tips at the end of the recipe to keep it fresh AND green for at least a few days....but remember, guacamole always tastes better freshly made.

5 medium avocados(about 3 1/2-4" long, about 2 1/2-3" in diameter)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powser
1/4 cup cilantro~chopped finely
1/2 medium tomato~diced(about 2-3" in dia.)
1/2 medium white onion~chopped
2 medium jalapenos~chopped finely(optional)
1/2 large lime~squeezed for juice(about 2" between poles, and 2 1/2" dia)

Peel, pit and mash avocados in a 5 qt mixing bowl. Now if you like your Guac creamy, mash more....chunky, mash less. Remember, the avocados chunks will get smaller, and more creamy each time you mix in ingredients. Mix in lime juice, garlic and salt. Mix in onions and jalapenos. Fold in the tomatos and cilantro with a rubber spatula.(you don't want mashed tomatos or mangled cilantro.)
serves 4-5 people generously.

keep the pits from the avocados-after recipe is complete, place it in a sealable tupperware (not glad ware) container.  Before closing up the container, place the pits into the mixture, then place some plastic wrap right over the top of the guacamole, being sure to squeeze out any air bubbles. Oxidation is what turns the Guac brown.....aren't you glad your lungs are not made of avocados....

Have fun and enjoy.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Easy Stir Fry

Stir fry really is easy.  We always look at something, and maybe because we have never tried it, we think it is hard.  Well, that was me.  I started trying different things with cooking, and before I knew it, I was making the dishes that the Famous people on television were making. Then I started being able to recognize what I liked and did not like about their recipes, and started formulating my own. You will see me use Mrs. Dash blends alot. That is done for two very specific reasons.  The first, I have high blood pressure, and the less salt I consume, the longer I get to thnk about my bucket list. Now, the second reason~conveinance.  The Blends have most of the same herbs and spices I would use in my cooking anyway, so two birds with one Mrs. Dash~so to speak.
Stir fry can be made with any protein you choose as well as your choice of veggies, this is one such rendition:
(if you cannot eat spicy, substitute spicy items with non-spicy. i.e. all olive oil and all Garlic & Herb Mrs. Dash and bell peppers instead of serranos)

1 lb. sirloin beef~cube it first to about 3/4", then slice thinly long ways
1 tsp. Spicy Sesame oil
1 tsp. Extra virgin Olive oil
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Spicy Blend
1/2 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Blend
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Chinese 5 spice
1 tsp dark Soy sauce
1/2 cup carrots~julienned
4 green onions~cleaned and chopped(greens included)
3 Serrano chilis~thinly sliced into rings(with seeds)
1 cup Snow Peas
1/4 medium head cabbage~chopped to 1" squares
12 oz Whole Wheat Linguine
4 cups water

Pre-heat Wok(or large skillet) on med-high heat. Add Sesame  and olive oil when pan is hot. Add beef(or other protein) and quickly toss to coat on all sides with oil. Add Mrs. Dash Blends, salt, Chinese 5 spice and soy sauce. Continue to stir/toss beef until fully cooked and tender(about 5-6 minutes). Add carrots and serrano chilis and reduce heat to medium for about 7-8 minutes.

In a seperate 2 quart sauce pan begin to heat 4 cups of water to a boil as soon as you have the beef started.

(Tradition states that you throw a dash of salt and a Tblsp of oil into the water. This will affect the taste and overall flavor of the dish by adding more salt and oil that the pasta will absorb while if you want more salt, this dish is light in that department, you can add it to the water for the pasta.)
Once the water is boiling add your pasta.

Back to the Stir fry~the carrots and the peppers are cooked down to tender by now, so we add the remaining veggies: cabbage, onions and snow peas and reduce the heat again to med-low and cover for about 6-8 minutes.  This will steam the tender veggies with out over cooking them.

Drain the pasta when done and plate 4 equal servings, then cover the Linguine with the Beef Stir Fry.

Total prep time for the veggies, about 10-15 minutes. Total cooking time about 20-25 minutes, because the pasta takes longer, and you want the veggies to be done after the pasta so that they do not over cook. 

I had this one tonight, and it is always enjoyable....and mighty tasty!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Angelica's Winter Beef Vegatable Soup

Cold winter days and nights alway make me think back to those old Campbell's soup commercials where the snowman comes in from outside, and melts into a little kid to eat his soup.
So this one is a tribute to my wife, Angelica, because she loves to make and eat soup.

1 lb. beef stew meat~cubed to about 3/4 inch size
1 1/2 cups carrots(baby carrots work best)
1/2 cup onions~chopped to about 3/4 inch size
1 cup Fennel stalk~ chopped to about 3/4 inch size(can substitute celery)
1 cup mushrooms~sliced(baby portabella's)
1/4 medium head cabbage~chopped to about 3/4 inch size
2-3 cups Red Russett baby potatoes(cut in quarters)
2 medium ears of corn~cut into about 1 inch thick rounds
2 Tblsps extra virgin olive oil
1 Tblsp Mrs. Dash Spicy Blend
1 Tblsp Mrs. Dash Cipotle Blend
1 Tblsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Blend
1 quart organic vegetable broth
1 quart organic chicken broth
3-4 cups of water(depending on how soupy you like your soup.)
Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a 5 quart stock pot combine both broths, 3/4 of the onions, carrots, corn, and 1/2 of the fennel.
Then add Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb blend. Add water, then salt and pepper to taste.
Bring to a boil.
In a pre-heated 10" skillet add olive oil and cubed stew meat. Sear the meat on all sides.
While searing add Mrs. Dash Spcy Blend and Mrs. Dash Chipotle Blend. Do not completely cook meat at this time, only sear it with the seasonings.
Transfer the stew meat to the stock pot.
Take one ladle full of the stock and use it to deglaze the skillet, then add this deglazed mixture back to the stock pot.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 1 hour.
Add the remaining onion and fennel, cabbage and mushrooms and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes or until corn is done.

You can make you own broths and it will save you money in the long run. It is healthier, and YOU control what you put in them. We chose to use store bought broths this time because it is much, much quicker.

Green Chili Chicken Enchiladas

This is not a low fat, low sodium recipe but a few easy changes can make it one. It is definately influenced by my mother, but she kept all of her recipes in her head, so I have no idea if it s the same. Also remember, when you are using pre-made items from cans or packages, check the sodium content before you start adding your own. Salt piles up fast and can get so overpowering that it will burn the inside of your mouth.

1 lb. boneless chicken
1 large tomato~diced
1 medium poblano pepper~diced
1 medium red onion~finely chopped
2 cloves garlic~crushed and minced
1 1/2 tsps salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp dark chili powder
5 cups water
3 cups(16 oz.) Green enchilada sauce ( I make my own and that recipe will follow, but you can use Hatch or Old El Paso)
1 dozen corn tortillas
1 Tblsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup sour cream
2 cups shredded colby jack cheese

Using a 5 quart stock pot, bring water to a boil then add your chicken, tomato, poblano, garlic onion and seasonings. Boil chicken until done, no pink reamaining and red onions should now be clear. Remove from heat and strain off liquid reserving about 1/2 cup. Place chicken mixture back in stock pot and add 1/4 cup sour cream, 1 cup green enchilada sauce, and 1/2 cup of liquid reserved from boiling chilcken. Stir together until well blended.

Pre-heat small skillet on medium low heat, then add olive oil. Place each tortilla into pre heated skillet for about 1 minute on each side, just enough to warm it so it will roll easily.

Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees.

Place 2 to 2 1/2 Tblsp of chicken mixture onto each tortilla, then roll up and place in
a 8 X 10 inch baking dish sid by side.
Spread remaining sour cream across the top of rolled up enchiladas, cover with remaining green enchilada sauce and then cove the entire dish with the cheese.
Bake until chees is melted and slightly golden.

makes 6-2 enchilada servings.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Home made croutons that make you go 'Wow'

I love croutons, but very rarely have I found store bought ones that make me go 'Wow'. I don't know why, it did not seem hard at all to make my own, with the flavors that I wanted. I guess when you are selling a national product it does get hard to please everyone. Well, now that I know I can make my own, I will not purchase another bag of croutons from a store. If you have a bread maker this works perfect for you because you are saving money twice, and get to pick what type of bread you want to make your croutons out of. For this recipe I chose Sourdough, and it went really well with the Artichoke and Avocado salad.

You can start with the amount of cubed bread you want, just remember to calculate all of your other ingredients to match.

3 cups cubed(1 inch) sourdough bread
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1Tblsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning

Pre heat oven to 300 degrees.
Place cubed bread in mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil onto bread while flipping the mixture.
Once all of the cubes apper to have some oil drizzle, add the Mrs. Dash and the salt and flip the ingredients again until you see all cubes coated with seasoning.
Place seasoned cubes onto a baking sheet and bake until golden brown.(approx. 10-15 minutes)

Store extra croutons in your pantry in a sealed air tight tupper ware type container.

(flipping is a trick you see the chefs do with a saute pan when they have their hands full and need to stir the ingredients: grab the bowl by the rim and in one quick move push it away from you about 3 inches and then pull back towards you the same distance. The ingredients slide up the far wall of the bowl and into the air, and your motion catches them as they fall. Try it the first time over the sink, otherwise you will be cleaning the floor of the ingredients that were in the bowl.)

If you have a recipe that calls for breadcrumbs, you can make your croutons ahead of time and crush them to the disired consistancy for your bread crumbs. This, again, will allow you to control tha amout of salt and fat that goes in to your cooking; not to meantion the lack of preservatives and other chemicals you will miss out on.

Happy cooking!

A new recipe with Greek influence~Artichoke & Avocado salad

Often times I find my self searching my memories for something good too eat, because I love food of course. Blending cultures and ingredients, that would normally not come into a recipe together, in order to create something new, exciting and most important of all~tasty. That is what I love to do most and this blog will help me share that passion with you.

My wife loves artichoke hearts and I tolerate them, so I wanted to find a way that I could enjoy eating them as much as her. Enter the Avocado:

1 can medium quartered artichoke hearts in water( rinsed and drained)
1 cup large pitted and garlic stuffed green olives
1 large avocado(not totally soft, just barely soft)
2 cups fresh snow peas(still in pod)
1/2 cup of diced white onion
1/4 cup Caesar salad dressing
1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesean cheese
1 cup home made croutons
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a large bowl combine artichoke hearts, olives, snow peas and onions.
After peeling and pitting the avocado, cube it into 1/2~3/4 inch cubes and then add to other ingredients.
Pour salad dressing onto other ingredients and gently fold all ingredients together so as not to mash up the avocado.
Portion out servings onto salad plates, sprinkle with grated cheese and about 5~6 croutons, and garnish with cilantro.

This makes about 4~1 cup servings and is a light and fresh addition or substitution for a standard tossed salad.