Easy & Quick, Sides

Romano Cheese Roasted Red Potatoes

These roasted red potatoes are the perfect side dish for any meal.  They are quick to make and come out delicious!  I love potatoes.  There are so many potatoes out there along with even more ways to cook them.  These are simple to make and a great add with any dish or just eat them right out of the bowl (I may or may not have done that. 🙂 )

Roasted Red Potatoes

Ingredients:
6-8 medium size red potatoes, washed and quartered
2 T olive oil (more if needed)
3 T butter, melted
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1 t dried rosemary
3 T Romano cheese, grated (optional)
Salt: to taste
Pepper: to taste

Directions: Preheat oven to 400°.  Add potatoes to a baking dish.  Melt butter in a small bowl, add in rosemary, garlic and onion powder and sprinkle of salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Drizzle oil and butter over the potatoes and bake in oven 15-20 minutes.  Mix potatoes and bake another 15-20 minutes.  Add more oil if needed.  Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper and toss with Romano cheese and enjoy.

Notes: Cooking times will vary based on ovens. If you want them crisper keep them in longer, if you just want them cooked through adjust the oven times accordingly.  Feel free to use more oil.  I do feel like it helps with the crispy exterior.

20171122_101644353606577.png

 

Advertisements
Sides, Veggies

Zucchini Fries

I LOVE zucchini.  It’s one of my favorite vegetables.  My Mom’s always made sautéed zucchini with onions and butter and I’ve always loved it.  Over the years I’ve tried to think outside the box and do something different since I love this ingredient so much.

I’ve used zucchini in everything from pasta to eggs.  I first made these zucchini fries a few years ago when I was being healthy and had a craving for something salty and crunchy.  Since I was dieting I couldn’t just have the French fries I wanted so I decided to try zucchini fries.  They came out delicious.  I baked them the first time I made them.

The zucchini fries I made today I actually fried.  I fried in a little oil and let drain on a paper towel.  They came out amazing.  I used mini zucchinis I found at the store but I usually use regular size ones.  Either will work.  Check it out!

Zucchini Fries

Ingredients:
2 zucchini cut into fries or wedges or 8-10 mini zucchini cut in half
1/2 cup flour
1- 1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs
3 eggs, whisked
2 T Romano cheese, grated
1/2 T garlic powder
1/2 T onion powder
1/2 T Italian seasoning
Salt & Pepper to taste
Oil for frying
Ranch dressing to serve (optional)

Directions:  Make a breading station.  Add whisked eggs to a bowl and add breadcrumbs with seasoning and cheese to a 2nd bowl.  In a large zip lock bag add the flour and the pieces of zucchini.  Shake the bag until the zucchini is coated with the flour. (Note: you can also do this step in a bowl.)

Bread the zucchini.  Remove from flour, dip in egg and then coat in breadcrumb.  Finish with all pieces and set aside.  (You can bread all the zucchini and then put in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes to help the breading stay on when frying.)  Note: The breading doesn’t stay overly well on the skin side of the zucchini so it’s not abnormal for the breading to be coming off.

Heat a large sauté pan,  Add in frying oil to cover the bottom and about 1 inch deep.  Let heat up.  You can use more oil if you want. I didn’t want to use too much.  To check if you oil is hot enough you can drop a drop of water and make sure it sizzles or you can put the end of a wooden spoon in the oil and make sure there is bubbles coming from where the spoon is (This was a trick from Culinary School.)

Once the oil is ready start frying your zucchini in batches.  Don’t over crowd the pan or that will bring down the temperature of the oil and you won’t get a nice golden and even fry.Cook for 2 minutes and flip over.  If your using bigger pieces, you may need to cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove from oil and place on a paper towel.  Continue with remaining pieces.  You can add the zucchini to a baking sheet pan and place in a low oven, about 325° degrees to keep warm.  This is a great idea if your making a lot at one time.  Season the zucchini fries with salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Notes: Don’t forget to put on a paper towel after you take out of the oil.  If you skip this step your zucchini may get very soggy due to the oil absorbing in the zucchini.  Season with salt once you take out of the oil because then the salt will stick to the fries better.  Serve with ranch dress if you’d like.

wp-image-225559402wp-image-1320607616

Salad, Sides

Black Bean & Corn Salad

Tonight I made a black bean corn salad to go with my main entree.  While trying to be healthy I really try and make other sides that aren’t just your typically potato or rice sides.

That’s what I did here tonight.  It’s pretty basic but you can definitely add other flavors.  I used what I had on hand.

Black Bean & Corn Salad

15 oz black beans, (rinsed) (I used no salt)
1 cup frozen corn
1 T lime juice
1 T olive oil
3 T cilantro, chopped
1 small jalapeño, diced (remove seeds for less spice)
3 T red onion, chopped
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1 t chili powder
salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:  Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well.  Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
wp-image-769388195

Sides

Baked French Fries with Romano Cheese & Parsley

Eating healthy is hard! It’s hard for anyone who loves to eat.  I constantly crave all the bad things. Like pizza, tacos, wings, burgers or fries.  I wish I craved fruits and vegetables.  I will never be that person, unfortunately.

So, when your eating healthy you really learn new ways to make your favorites.  That’s what happened with these baked french fries.  I decided to make some and they came out great.  It’s great alternative.  I made them with a lean blue cheese burger with no bun.

Baked French Fries with Romano Cheese & Parsley

Ingredients:
2 Russet potatoes, cut into matchsticks/fries
2 T oil
2 t garlic powder
3 t salt
1 T Romano cheese
2 t parsley

Directions:  Preheat oven to 375.  In a bowl add the potatoes, 1 t of salt, garlic powder and olive oil.  Mix well to coat all of the potatoes.  Bake in oven for  50-60 minutes. flipping half way. When completed add cooked fries to a bowl and sprinkle the remaining salt, parsley and Romano cheese and serve.

Note:  You can cook these longer if you’d prefer.  It all depends on what texture you are looking for.  I only made 2 potatoes as they should be eaten all at one time.  They may not be great left over.  Feel free to add a slight drizzle of oil when they come out of the oven to help the seasoning stick.

wp-image-1454465998

Sides, Starters

Stuffed Artichokes

One of my favorite things to eat growing up was stuffed artichokes.  My grandparents use to make them often and I can still picture us all sitting at their kitchen table with a bowl filled with a big artichoke with all the eaten leaves around the edges.  It’s funny how you remember certain things from your childhood.  Not a surprise I’d remember something food related! 🙂

My Dad was a huge fan of Italian Stuffed Artichokes as well.  Before he passed away he actually taught me how to prepare the artichokes and then stuff them.  They may take some time prepare for stuffing but it’s well worth it.  I love them myself and I am constantly on the look out for nice big artichokes at the grocery store.  It’s sometimes hard to find the larger artichokes and those are really the best ones to stuff.

Take a look at my recipe for Italian Stuffed Artichokes.

Italian Stuffed Artichokes

Ingredients:
4-5- Large artichokes, cleaned, leafs and stem trimmed
3 -cups Italian Breadcrumbs
3 T- grated romano cheese
3 T- grated parmesan cheese
3 -garlic cloves, grated/minced
1 T- garlic powder
1 T- onion powder
1 T-Italian seasoning
1 T-lemon juice
1/4 -Cup Olive Oil (1 T More for drizzling)
Sprinkle: Salt and Pepper

Directions: Mix all above ingredients except 1 extra tablespoon olive oil. Pull back artichokes leafs and spoon in breadcrumb mixture.  Get deep down in the leaf.  Complete all artichokes. Put in large sauce pan with about 2 inches of water. Drizzle olive oil over the top of artichokes. Cook covered for 60-80 minutes until tender. Keep an eye to make sure all the water doesn’t cook off. Add more as needed. Also, you can add a large steamer into pan and put the artichokes in there. After cooked, serve immediately.

wp-image-82025482wp-image-2099996645

 

Sides

Layered Rosemary Potatoes

Tonight I made a new potato dish.  I love potatoes and I’m always trying to make new recipes with them.  So, tonight I kept it pretty simple yet delicious.

This is a layered potato dish with butter, spices and a little cheese.  This isn’t like a gratin or even a galette.  There isn’t liquid or cheese in this recipe. I tried to keep it as healthy as possible.  With all that being said, it was still very good and guilt free.

Layered Rosemary Potatoes

Ingredients:
5 small Yukon gold potatoes, sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 T butter, melted
1/2 T olive oil
2 t rosemary, dried
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1 t salt
Sprinkle: Pepper
4 T Romano cheese, grated

Directions: Pre-heat oven to 400°.  Brush a round baking dish with 1/2 T of melted butter, don’t forget the sides.  In a bowl mix sliced potatoes, with remaining butter, oil, rosemary, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper.  Start layering potatoes in a circle on the bottom of the dish, slightly overlapping.  Cover the full bottom and then sprinkle 2 T of Romano cheese, complete with remaining potatoes.  Once you finish the 2nd layer add the last 2 T of Romano cheese.  Finish off with a final layer of potato.  No cheese should go on the top layer as it may burn.  Bake in oven for 45-55 minutes.  When you remove from the oven the top potatoes may be a little crispy.  (Don’t worry they are still yummy)  Cut and serve immediately.

Note: The potatoes will be loose and not stuck together much because it’s only a little amount of Romano cheese.  Feel free to add different cheese.  I was trying to keep it healthier and didn’t want to add a shredded cheese like mozzarella.  If you use shredded cheese the potato will probably stick together more.  That will make it a little more rich in taste.

 

wp-image-1982617700
Before baked.
wp-image-337871627
Finish product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beef, Complete Meal, Sides

Complete Skirt Steak Dinner!

Tonight I had my favorite meal of meat and potatoes. I have 4 separate recipes in this post.  The marinade for skirt steak, the Chimichurri sauce, a potato recipe and a mushroom dish. It is a complete steak dinner.

I had been wanting to make skirt steak and I decided since it still feels like Summer here in Chicago I’d do it today.  I made the marinade yesterday and had the meat marinating all night.  It’s a good habit to marinade certain meats.  Marinades add flavor to the meat, moisture and also some marinades help tenderize meats.  Unfortunately, skirt steak isn’t super tender which is why I marinaded it over night.

I went to the grocery store yesterday and had the butcher show me the skirt steak  and the piece he showed me was too thin.  I wanted to grill it and not have it turn into shoe leather.  He then showed me the premium skirt steak.  This piece of meat was HUGE!  I had him cut it in half and he offered to remove the excess fat and also tenderize it.  This was great!  I figured one less thing I had to do.  I paired the grilled skirt steak with a chimichurri sauce and a new potato dish and a deconstructed stuffed mushrooms.  Take -a look at my complete steak dinner recipe below.

Go to the bottom right hand side of the page and hit “Follow” to subscribe via email so you don’t miss a thing!

wp-image-2114604637

Skirt Steak Dinner with Chimichurri

Marinade:

Ingredients:

1 cup oil
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 T Worcestershire
2 T red wine vinegar
2 limes, juiced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 T onion powder
1/2 T garlic powder
2 t chili powder
2 t paprika
2 t salt
2 t pepper

2 lbs skirt steak, trimmed

Directions: Whisk all ingredients in a large bowl.  Add in the meat and mix well. Put in the refrigerator for 4-24 hours.  Rotating the meat a few times. Once ready to cook, heat grill on high heat.  Let excess oil drip off and add to the grill. Cook 3-4 minutes on each side. Note: Cooking time will vary on the thickness of the beef. My skirt steak was pretty thin and I wanted to cook it on high heat and fast.  Once cooked, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes.  When ready slice the skirt steak and top chimichurri suauce.  See recipe below.

Chimichurri Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 C & 1T olive oil
2 bunches cilantro, stems removed
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems removed
3 garlic cloves
1 small red onion
2 limes. juiced
1 1/2 T red wine vinegar
1 t onion powder
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t Salt
1/2 t Pepper
Sprinkle: Red Pepper Flakes

Directions: Add all ingredients to a food processor.  Pulse several times until all is minced up.  Add more oil as needed. Once completed you can add to a mason jar or container and put in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Notes: If you have a lime that seems a little to firm it may not produce a lot of juice.  You can place in the microwave for about 10-15 seconds which will help get as much juice as possible. Also, watch the amount of garlic. It can become overpowering in the sauce.  If this happens you can add a small, I mean small amount of sugar. Like no more than a half of teaspoon.  This will help mellow out the flavor of the garlic.

wp-image-1648156069wp-image-745463198

Sliced Potato Crisps:

Ingredients:
1 large baking potato, sliced 3mm thin
4 T butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t parsley
1/2 t onion powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt

Directions: Preheat oven to 425°.  Rinse large potato and slice with a mandolin using 3mm setting.  Line a cookie sheet with foil, spray with cooking spray.  Line the cookie sheet with the sliced potatoes.  In a bowl melt the butter and add the garlic, parsley, onion and garlic powder.  Brush half the butter on the potatoes and place in oven for 15 minutes.  Remove the potatoes and brush with remaining butter mixture and put back in the oven for 5 minutes.  Remove from the oven sprinkle with salt and serve immediately.

wp-image-1526953178wp-image-1482163088

Deconstructed Stuffed Mushroom

Ingredients:
16 oz sliced mushrooms
2T butter
1T olive oil
2T cream cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs, Italian seasoned
1 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper

Directions: Heat a medium sauce pan on high heat.  Add olive oil to pan and then the garlic and mushrooms. Cook until they start to soften about 4-5 minutes.  Add in the butter, spices, and the breadcrumbs and mix well. Finally add in the cream cheese till melted and then remove from heat and serve immediately.

Note: This is my exact recipe I use to make stuffed mushrooms only it’s not stuffing them it’s mixing it all together.  It taste just like the stuffed mushroom.  It may not be as pretty of fancy but it’s amazing.

wp-image-1784266341