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

Advertisements

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

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

 

Eggplant Parmesan Sliders

This is a perfect dish fot lent! The first time I made this dish I was so surprised how delicious it was I had to make again. It may be a little more time consuming but you will not regret it one bit.

I’m a complete meat eater. Unfortunately, I’m not any where a vegetarian or do I claim to be. I do like to however incorporate some meatless dishes into my week of food planning. If you are vegetarian and want a fun take on a “slider” give it a try or even if your a carnivore like me and want a meatless dish take a peek. It’s sure to be a crowd pleaser and a recipe you’ll be coming back to in the future.

Eggplant Parmesan Sliders

For the Eggplant:
1-Medium Size Eggplants, sliced ½ inch thick, peeled
2- Large Eggs
1 ½ C- Italian breadcrumbs
½ C- Parmesan or Romano Cheese, finely grated
½ T- Italian Seasoning
½ T- Garlic Powder
½ T- Onion Powder
Sprinkle: Salt (Extra to draw out moisture of eggplant)
Sprinkle: Pepper

Slider:
10-12-Slider Buns
1C- Marinara Sauce (Homemade or store bought)
10-12 slices of fresh mozzarella (I buy the one pre-sliced)

Directions: Remove moisture from eggplant by adding sliced eggplant to a strainer. Generously sprinkle salt over the eggplant. Leave for 30-60 minutes. After, rinse the eggplant with cold water and lay out on a paper towel to dry. In a bowl mix together bread crumbs, cheese, and spices. In a separate bowl add eggs and whisk with a splash of water. Preheat Oven to 375° Degrees. Spray baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray. Set up a breading station. First dip eggplant in the egg wash, then in the breadcrumbs to coat, place on the baking sheet. Repeat for remaining eggplant. Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes until bottom is slightly golden brown, flip over for another 10-12 minutes until the other side is golden brown in color. The eggplant should still be slightly firm and not mushy.

Assembling Sliders: Add marinara sauce to bottom bun, place an eggplant slice on bottom bun and top with a slice of fresh mozzarella and finish with a dollop of marinara sauce. Repeat with remaining eggplant.

Notes: You may need a less or more breadcrumbs. It all depends. I always seems to need a little more. It varies depending on the eggplant slices.wp-image-2099971444

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.

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