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Archive for the ‘CEiMB’ Category

“I’m late, I’m late for a very important date!” ~ the White Rabbit, Alice in Wonderland.  Duh me.  I had a major brain-fart last night.  Yep, I’m not afraid to say the “F” word publicly.  It is what it is, ya know.  Dinner must have been so good that I forgot all sense of what needed to be done afterwards.

With that in mind, I’ll make this one short and hopefully, sweet, if you can just look passed the “fart” comment …

 

Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach and Millet

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To see the original recipe, the one that also includes using whole wheat couscous, rather than millet, please click here to check out Culinary Delight‘s post about the delicious feast.

Ingredients:

(For two)

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp. EVOO
  • S+P
  • 2 packed, heaping cups spinach (I recommend using much, much more – we didn’t have enough)
  • 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 c. low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes, no salt added, with juice
  • 1 cup cooked millet, divided into 1/2 cup portions

Preparation:

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the olive oil and allow to heat.  Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Add the chicken and cook about 5 – 6 minutes per side, or until cooked through and juices run clear. Remove the chicken and set aside, keeping warm.

To the same pan, add the spinach and cook just until wilted, about 1 minute.  Remove from the pan and set aside, keeping warm.

Again, to the same pan, add the balsamic vinegar and chicken broth to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to remove any browned bits.  Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer and cook 3 to 5 minutes.

Portion the millet onto each plate (I used a packed measuring cup to make pretty lil’ mounds.)  Top with spinach, chicken and the balsamic-tomato sauce.

 

Hooray!!  It’s Friday!  Enjoy your weekend, people.

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When you are following a recipe, it really can’t get any easier than this one.  This week’s Craving Ellie pick, Salmon with Sweet + Spicy Rub, was chosen by the classy gal, Pam, over at Lobster & Fishsticks (love the name!)

Quick, easy and delicious is how you play the game and this one’s definitely a winner …

Ingredients:

(Scaled down to feed two)

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 tbsp. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 
  • Pinch of S+P
  • EVOO

Preparation:

(Note: I didn’t follow Ellie’s recommended cooking method, but instead followed my own favorite way to make salmon, as shown here and here.)

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, chili powder, cumin and S+P; mix well.  Rub each salmon fillet with EVOO and rub spice mixture evenly over both pieces; pressing into salmon lightly.  Set aside.  Spray an oven-proof skillet with cooking spray and heat over high for 4 minutes.  Turn burner down to medium-high and place salmon fillets in pan, seasoned side down.  Cook for 2 minutes, undisturbed, then carefully flip fillets and place skillet in oven for 7 – 8 minutes, until fish flakes easily with a fork.  Remove skin and serve.  Enjoy!

This cooking method provides a nice crispy exterior to your salmon fillet, each and every time.  The next time I use this combination of sweet + spice to make our salmon, I will most likely add cayenne pepper to the mix for a little extra punch.  We like it hot ‘n spicy around here.  Keep it clean, people.  Keep it clean.  I’m talking about our food here.  **Wink, wink**

Alright, our marathon TV night is in session, so I’m off like a dirty shirt.  Peace out.  Oh, and tomorrow’s Friday, sleep in a little bit, ok?

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CEiMB: buffalo chicken salad

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When this recipe pick appeared on the “What’s Cooking?” list on the Craving Ellie site, I gave a little smile and looked forward to the day.  I began to think about all the ingredients involved that make my mouth happy … hot sauce, hot-sauce-drenched chicken and, well, of course, salad.  I love a good salad.  Buffalo-spiced chicken on top of a salad is even better.  ‘Cuz I like my heat too.

So, hi there.  How are things in your world?  It’s all good in my hood.  Just keep on keeping on.  Don’t ya know it.

This week’s pick was chosen by the snazzy gal over at You Eat Now.  Feel free to meander on over to check out her version of the recipe.  Here’s what I put together for us …

Ingredients:

(For two)

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts (or 1 HUGE one, which I used.)
  • 2 tbsp. Frank’s Hot Sauce
  • 1 tsp. melted butter
  • Bunch of chopped lettuce, your choice – I used romaine … and a ton of it!
  • Assorted veggies – chopped carrots, celery, grape tomatoes
  • Oven-fried buttermilk onion peels (recipe below)
  • Blue cheese dressing (recipe below)

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake chicken breast for 25 minutes, or until done.  While chicken is cooking, prepare your salad by dividing chopped lettuce into bowls.  Top with assorted veggies and pre-made onion peels.  When chicken is done, remove from oven and cut into a fine dice.  Toss chicken in a bowl with hot sauce and butter.  Divide chicken evenly between salads.  Top with blue cheese dressing and serve.  Enjoy!

Oven-Fried Buttermilk Onion Peels

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Coat a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  Measure 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs into a small paper bag; set aside.  Slice a small onion into strips of desired width.  Place onion slices in a small bowl.  Pour 1/8 cup lowfat buttermilk over slices and stir until evenly coated.  Drain excess buttermilk from bowl and transfer onions to the paper bag.  Give the bag a good shake or two.  Carefully place onions onto prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until crispy.

Blue Cheese Dressing

Mix all ingredients together:

  • 2 tbsp. fat free mayo
  • 1/4 cup lowfat buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • Pepper, to taste

 

Very good.  We gave it our thumbs up.  Another winner.  Next week’s recipe involves salmon and a sweet + spicy rub.  Um, hello?!  YUM.  I’m looking forward to that … another smile has already started.

Have a great night and a fabulous Friday!  Sleep in a little tomorrow … you deserve it! 

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Hi people.  Hooray for Thursday.  Hooray for another weekend.  Unfortunately, it’s going to be a wet + gloomy weekend here in the Carolinas.  It started raining yesterday and is suppose to continue through Sunday morning.  No good at all.  I hate to complain since I know we really need the rain, but … I just really love the sunshine.  Hello Mr. Sunshine, wherever you are.  I miss you.  Come back soon. 

Ok, enough with the jibber-jabber.  On to the food … and fabulous food it is.  This week’s Craving Ellie’s recipe was selected by Aggie from Aggie’s Kitchen.  Great choice, Aggie!  It’s a winner in the flavor department, as well as super easy to whip together on a busy weeknight.   

 

Chicken with Mango Barbecue Sauce

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To see the original recipe, please click here to visit Aggie’s post on this great selection.  I stayed pretty close to the original recipe since the ingredients were so diverse and figured I could really screw things up if I strayed away too much. 

Here are the changes that I made to Ellie’s original recipe:

  • Remember those leftover peppers from last week’s CEiMB recipe??  Well, they were roasted and saved for this recipe.  I substituted roasted red peppers for the fresh red bell pepper.
  • No allspice or lime juice in da hizzouse, so those two things were eliminated completely. 
  • Used just 2 T of molasses, instead of 3 T.
  • Used frozen cubed mango (since I refuse to go up against a fresh mango.  Anyone know the trick to cutting one of these babies??)  Also, I used just 1 cup, instead of 1 1/2 cups.

I think that about does it.  The barbecue sauce has a consistency closer to a puree.  We liked it.  The sweet from the mango was countered by the heat from the jalapenos.  I think it would be great on fish or seafood as well.  Maybe even pork.  Good thing we have plenty leftover to freeze and use again another day, another way.

Alright, ladies and gents, you probably know what’s on right now and that’s why I need to cruise on outta here.  I’ll give you a hint … it starts with basket and ends with ball.  Loves it. 

Psst – tomorrow’s Friday, people.  Sleep in just a little bit.  See ya!

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CEiMB: greek-style stuffed peppers

Hi all.  What’s the good word??  Happy Thursday.  That’s pretty good, huh?  This week has gone by pretty quickly.  Another good thing.  March Madness is finally here.  Yes, yes, that’s very good.  I’m all amped up for hour after hour wasted away in front of the tube for the next three weeks.  It’s a good thing.  Oh yeah.

Let’s jump right into the recipe o’ the week featuring the fabulous Ellie Krieger

 

Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

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This week’s hostess with the mostess (literally) is the beautiful Ali, over at The Healthy Hostess.  Have you checked out her site lately?  It’s loaded with fantastic recipes and tips for entertaining success.  Thanks Ali!

To be honest, I was a little hesitant to go forward with this recipe since the huzzzband isn’t a huge fan of bell peppers.  But, I felt a little guilty since I haven’t craved any Ellie in the last two weeks, so I charged on.  Ya know, full speed ahead and all.

RwF’s version of Greek-Style Stuffed Peppers

(Makes 4 halves)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb. lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 1/2 zucchini, julienned
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup bulgur
  • 1/8 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes with jalapenos (had in fridge + needed to use up)
  • S+P, crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 red bell pepper, halves, cores + ribs removed
  • 1 can no-salt added stewed tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat feta cheese

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray baking dish with PAM.  In a large skillet, brown the turkey, onion and zucchini with a small amount of EVOO.  When turkey is cooked, remove from heat and stir in spinach, mushrooms, bulgur, egg substitute, oregano, vinegar, diced tomatoes and spices.  Spoon mixture into each bell pepper and place in baking dish.  Once all peppers are in dish, pour can of stewed tomatoes over top of all; cover with foil and place in oven.  After 30 minutes, remove foil and sprinkle each pepper with feta cheese; return to oven for 25 minutes, or until peppers are soft.  Enjoy!

Our thoughts … while we enjoyed the tasty filling, the peppers just weren’t ready after a long 55 minutes of baking.  I think they probably needed at least 20 additional minutes to really soften up.  We solved this problem by scooping out the filling and saving the peppers for later.  I figured I would just pop them back in the oven and make some good ol’ roasted red peppers.  Because of the long baking time, combined with Devin’s reservations with peppers, I probably won’t be making this one again.  If I could think of a better way to serve the meaty filling, then there may be a slight possibility that it will reappear, but I wouldn’t bank on that though.  Any ideas out there?

Alrighty, time to get back to the games.  Does everyone have their brackets clenched in their fist??  Have a great night.  Sleep in just a little bit tomorrow … it’s Friday, people!

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Hi all!  Another Thursday is here … along with another great recipe from one of my favorite ladies, Ellie Krieger.  This week’s selection was chosen by the fabulous Pamela, over at Cookies with Boys.  Her motto – “Who doesn’t like a cookie?”  So true.  Sounds like my kind of gal.

I must admit, I was a little hesitant with this recipe.  We are very picky shrimp eaters in the house and I wasn’t so sure how Devin would react to this combination.  Being the foodie that I am, I charged ahead and with a few modifications it turned out wonderful.  I’m happy to say that Devin made more than one mention about how good it was and I was in absolute agreement with him.  Hooray Ellie! 

 

Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes + Feta

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If you would like to follow the correct recipe, please see Cookies with Boys’ post here.  Here is my modified version for two …

Ingredients:

  • EVOO
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with celery, onion and green pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 20 medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat crumbled feta with basil and tomato
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat Panko bread crumbs

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a baking dish with PAM and set aside.  Saute onions in a large skillet with EVOO until tender.  Stir in tomatoes, pepper and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes, until slightly thickened.  Remove from heat; stir in shrimp and spinach.  Transfer shrimp/tomato mixture to prepared baking dish.  Top with crumbled feta and bread crumbs.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until cheese has melted and shrimp is cooked.  Enjoy!

 

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We served ours with brown rice and a salad.  It was delicious.  For me, the rice gave the dish a jambalaya feel.  Mmm.  So tasty and yet so healthy as well.

Alright, time to get the motor running, people.  Have a great day.  Soon to be TGIF …

 

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CEiMB: Nutty Granola

Well, hello there.  It’s been a while.  How have you been?  This is the first week in I don’t know how long that I haven’t yet cooked a real meal.  I didn’t even plan a menu this week.  Now we’re gettin’ a little crazy.  Uh-huh.  See, Dev’s been out of town this week.  So, what’s a gal to do??  Well, she makes herself a huge batch of vegetable soup, slurps away all week and enjoys the break.  He’s coming home tonight and it’s back to the grind tomorrow.  I’m happy for that.  My liquid diet has worn itself out. 

Actually, it hasn’t been all liquid.  My fabulous in-law’s invited me over for dinner one night, so I was lucky to enjoy a home-cooked meal that didn’t involve my hands …

 

Grilled Chicken

Chicken a la Grill

Tropical Salad

Tropical Salad

 

I am ever gracious.  It was delish.  The tropical salad was amazing … romaine leaves, banana, blueberries, coconut and papaya.  Ahh.  Heaven.  I was fork and knife ready to clear off any plate that had any salad remaining.  No such luck though.  Everyone thought it was as great as I did.

 

Now, on to this week’s CEiMB pick …

Nutty Granola

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Our hostess with the mostess this week is Lethally Delicious, who whips up some mean looking treats.  As you may well know, I am a HUGE granola junkie.  I make my own granola and can’t live without it.  I enjoy a bowl every morning, without fail.  I’ve strayed before, tinkering with oatmeal creations and waffles that look (and taste) more like dessert than breakfast, but I always end up with my beloved bowl of crunchy delight.

I felt like I was cheating on the bananas this morning when I whipped out the oats to put this one together … sans the yellow fruit.  This recipe by Ellie didn’t call for any bananas … or butter … or oil … or much of anything, really.  Once I looked over the ingredients, I knew I had everything I needed in the pantry.  Hooray for that.

To see the original recipe, please visit Lethally Delicious’ post here.  Here is the modified recipe that I used …

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Heaping 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup sugar free syrup
  • 1/4 cup each raisins and dried cranberries

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients together, except for the raisins and cranberries, and bake in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Once cool, stir in raisins and cranberries.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

Another great granola recipe.  Yum yum in my tum.  Well, it’s time for me to head out for the airport to pick up my lovebug!  Can’t wait to give him a big squeeze.  Hope everyone is having a great week.  Guess what?!  Tomorrow’s Friday, people.  Sleep in just a little bit.  Ciao.

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