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Monday, June 3, 2013

Recipe Review from 5/27/13

Very short week for me that ended with a four day yoga training session in the Cities. Planning ahead was pretty important so the Husband wasn't left scrounging.  Huh...ended up being "Mexican" week somehow.  Husband had chorizo tacos for the remainder week.  Oops.  Hope he didn't mind! 

Lunches consisted of:

Golden Sunshine Quinoa Salad  (from Ckng Lght BB)  gluten free, vegetarian
Show: Simply Delicioso with Ingrid Hoffmann
Episode: Orange Crush 

I'm lovin' these quinoa salads!  So easy to make, can be served warm or cold, and a nice protein boost for lunch after the gym.  This weeks variation is Mediterranean flavored.  I swapped out the cucumber for a zucchini because I'm just not wild about the taste of raw cucumber.  

2 cups quinoa
2 1/2 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
4 scallions, light and white green part only, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped golden raisins  I used craisins
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cucumber, peeled, halved, seeded and chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse under cold water until the water runs clear. Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the quinoa and return to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer the quinoa until it has expanded fully, about 20 to 25 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.

Place the cooled quinoa in a large bowl. Add the scallions, raisins, rice vinegar, orange juice and zest, olive oil, cumin, cucumber and parsley and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, then serve.

And suppers: 

Potato, Poblano and Chorizo Tacos  (Ckng Lght May 2013)   gluten free; vegetarian optional
This came together a lot faster than I thought it would and I really liked the flavors, even if I forgot to buy the poblano peppers and substituted a yellow bell.  I also liked how the chorizo was a background nuance - at three ounces it's really not a heck of a lot of meat which I prefer.  Enough to add some spice, not enough to overwhelm me.  This does make enough to feed four exactly, with two full taco's each.  If I'd been thinking, I would have made some cornbread to go along with.  Recommended.   
photo from
  • 2 poblano chiles or a red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups diced white potato
  • 1 cup chopped onion 
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels 
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 ounces Mexican raw chorizo, casings removed
  • 3/4 cup unsalted chicken stock
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 ounce Manchego cheese, shredded (about 1/4 cup)  I used sharp cheddar
  • 8 lime wedges

  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Cut poblanos in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place poblano halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil for 8 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 5 minutes. Peel; coarsely chop.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add potato; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove potato; place in a large bowl. Add onion to pan; cook 3 minutes. Add poblano bell pepper, corn, red pepper, and garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add onion mixture to potato. Add chorizo to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes, stirring to crumble. Return potato mixture to pan. Stir in stock and salt; bring to a boil. Partially cover, reduce heat, and simmer 6 minutes or until potato is tender, chorizo is done, and liquid almost evaporates.
  4. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, heat tortillas over medium-high heat directly on the eye of a burner for about 15 seconds on each side or until lightly charred. Arrange about 1/3 cup potato mixture in center of each tortilla; top with 1 1/2 teaspoons onions and 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese. Serve with lime wedges.

Spicy Shrimp Kebabs and Grilled Eggplant with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce (Ckng Light, June 2013)
gluten free; pesce-vegetarian

Two recipes I combined - the shrimp was with a quinoa dish that I really wanted to make, but we were having quinoa for lunches all week.  What this combination was ultimately lacking was some rice.  It was still really good, but it could have used a starch to bring everything together.  The red pepper sauce was a bit putzy and time consuming for a weeknight, so save for a weekend or Friday night.

photo from
Spicy Shirmp
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped and divided 
  • 12large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1/2 pound)
Combine 1 tablespoons lime juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, black pepper, hot sauce, paprika, and 2 garlic cloves in a medium bowl. Add shrimp; toss well. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.

Grilled Eggplant and Red Pepper Sauce
My notes - the grilling directions below assume one style of grill, which I do not have.  We made do.  This could also be done in the oven. 
photo from
  • 1 whole garlic head
  • 2 large red bell peppers 
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 pounds eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 2 large)
  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat using both burners. After preheating, turn the left burner off (leave the right burner on).
  2. Remove white papery skin from garlic head (do not peel or separate the cloves). My notes - Chop off the top of the bulb to expose the garlic and drizzle with oil. This will make squishing the pulp out so much easeir!  Wrap garlic in foil. Place garlic over left burner; grill 40 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Separate garlic cloves; squeeze to extract garlic pulp. Discard garlic skins.
  3. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Flatten bell peppers with hand. Lightly coat grill rack with cooking spray. Arrange bell peppers, skin sides down, over right burner, and grill for 15 minutes or until bell peppers begin to blacken. Place bell peppers in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 5 minutes, and peel.
  4. Place toasted cumin seeds in a mini food processor, and process until finely ground. Add garlic pulp, grilled bell peppers, vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; process until smooth.
  5. Lightly coat eggplant slices with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Arrange eggplant slices over right burner; grill 5 minutes on each side or until tender. Serve eggplant with pepper sauce.

Huevos Rancheros Tacos  (Ckng Lght May 2013)  Vegetarian, gluten free
Good! Super simple, great fresh taste, but the one downside was they are messy messy messy to eat.   I should have left the tortillas soft and not let them get quite so crisp.  I also had a couple of substitutions:  regular salsa for the pico de gallo; I poached the eggs rather than fried (for ease of prep); I skipped the Mexican crema completely (though subbing regular sour cream or plain Greek yogurt would be fine); and I forgot the cilanto!  Darn it.  Almost forgot the avocado too but remembered that as we were sitting down. Recommended for breakfast or supper.  I had this for supper with some cornbread on the side. 
  • 4 (6-inch) corn tortillas
    photo from
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh pico de gallo
  • 2 tablespoons Mexican crema
  • 1/2 ripe peeled avocado, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 4 lime wedges
  1. Preheat broiler to high.
  2. Arrange tortillas on a baking sheet; lightly coat tortillas with cooking spray. Broil 2 minutes; remove pan from oven. Turn tortillas over. Top each tortilla with 2 tablespoons cheese and 2 tablespoons beans. Broil 1 minute or until cheese melts. Remove from oven.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Crack eggs into pan; cook 2 minutes. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until whites are set. Place 1 egg in center of each tortilla; sprinkle with pepper. Top tacos evenly with pico de gallo, crema, avocado, and cilantro. Serve with lime.

Oat Scones (Ckng Lght BB)
And one breakfast munchie!  Though I think I did something wrong because the batter was really wet and sticky and wouldn't have worked no-way no-how for the directions below.  A bit of add-libbing in that 10" pie plate was necessary.  I also added some miniature chocolate chips just because I could. 

1 cup rolled oats, quick or old-fashioned, toasted or not
1-1/2 cup flour or whole wheat flour or some of each
3 Tbs brown or dark brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
7 Tbs cold butter, cut up
1 egg
1/2 cup milk or cream
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 425 deg F.

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Beat egg with milk and vanilla; stir into flour mix just until evenly moistened. Scatter some oats or flour on counter and turn dough out. Pat into a circle about 1 inch thick. Brush with some milk or cream and sprinkle with some sugar (coarse crystalline if you have it) or oats. Cut into 8 wedges and place together on a cookie sheet or in a 9" or 10" pie plate. Bake at 425 deg F until just nicely browned, 12 to 15 minutes.

The original posters’s note: these are delicious with marmalade, jams, maple butter or honey; they’re decadent with apple butter and whipped cream for a dessert or sinful breakfast. I love them split and smothered with yogurt cheese (ie thickened yogurt, or else regular or fruit yogurt) and a spoonful of blackcurrant jam (pictured) or apple butter (or any other jam or jelly) on top for breakfast; absolutely delicious with a spoonful of ginger jam/marmalade on lemon yogurt.  These improve in flavour if you take them out of the oven and wrap them in a clean dishtowel, allowing them to slowly cool a bit before you devour them.  The original recipe said to cook them on a preheated baking stone. I only did that the first time and have not bothered ever since.

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