Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shrimp and Calamari Ceviche

1 lb jumbo shrimp
1 lb calamari cut into rings
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 limes, juiced and zested
1 bunch cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup ripe grape tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, diced
1 jalapeno,de-seeded and chopped
Salt to taste

In a food processor, add the cilantro, lime juice, lime zest, jalapeno, garlic, oil and salt.  Pulse until blended well.  Add some water to thin, if necessary. Only a touch!  Blend again.

Quickly blanch the shrimp and calamari (for about 1-1.5 minutes in boiling water and quickly into an ice bath. Once it is chilled, drain well.

Toss with the cilantro sauce and tomatoes and garnish with avocado.

Serve with crackers or crusty bread.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Watermelon and Feta Salad

Watermelon chunks
Crumbled feta cheese
1 T mint, chopped
2 T fresh basil, chiffonade
Balsamic vinegar
Olive oil

Assemble and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chap Chae

Glass noodles are so pretty!  I have no idea if I'm making this dish authentically, but it really doesn't matter because the way I make it is sooooooooo good!  And I looks like the traditional dish.  Some korean lady might slap my hand for adding in too much spice or garlic, but other than that, I think it is pretty close to the real deal.
You'll need to go to an asian store to find the particular kind of noodle. It says it is made from "sweet potato starch" and is slightly gray in color, when dried. It will cook up clear and glistening!
1 package of glass noodles *available at any asian market
1 lb. thinly sliced beef
Red and Orange Bell Peppers, sliced thinly
Green onion, chopped
Sesame Seeds
Bean Sprouts
Mushrooms, sliced *optional

1 cup soy sauce
2 T brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp minced ginger
1 T siracha
1 T rice vingegar
3 T sesame oil

Gently sautee garlic in the sesame oil on low heat.  Add in the rest of the ingredients and bring to a simmer.  Stir and let cook for 10 minutes.
Soak the glass noodles in hot water for 10-12 mins.  Do not oversoak.
In a wok, add in a touch of canola oil and throw in the beef.
Add in the mushrooms and peppers and keep stirring/cooking.
Once the meat is mostly cooked and the veggies are tender, add the noodles to the wok and then add the sauce.

Toss well.

Garnish with sesame seeds, green onion and bean sprouts.


Friday, September 20, 2013

Shy's Pad Thai

1/2 package of rice noodles
2 chicken breasts
1 lime
1 package of bean sprouts
1 bunch of green onions
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
3 eggs

Pad Thai Sauce

3 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 T crushed red pepper
2 T soy sauce
1 T fish sauce
3 heaping spoonfuls of tamarind paste
1 cup of simple syrup (I made mine with 1 cup water and 1/2 cup brown sugar)
2 dashes of Dave's Insanity Sauce

Begin by making the sauce.  Mix all of the sauce ingredients together and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to low and let cook for a few mins.  Then, just set aside.  Taste and adjust heat, salt, sweet, tang.

Boil/soak the rice noodles until tender.

I usually poach the chicken by wrapping it in tin foil and baking it in a 400 degree oven for about 25 minutes.  Let cool and then shred.

In a large skillet/wok, toss the noodles with the chicken, sauce, eggs, chopped green onions and half of the peanuts.  Cook until the eggs have completely cooked and the dish is heated through.

Garnish with more peanuts, bean sprouts, and lime wedges.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Korean BBQ Beef with rice

Beef and Marinade:
1 lb of top round / London Broil steak sliced very thin
OR 1lb. of beef tenderloin cut into chunks
1 cup soy sauce
3 T brown sugar
1 T ginger paste or 1/2 T fresh mashed ginger
3 cloves chopped garlic
3 T your favorite BBQ sauce (I like to use the darker, molasses ones for this)
1/ T crushed red pepper flakes or 1 T thai chili garlic sauce
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 scallions, chopped
Sesame seeds for garnish

***Reserve 1/4 cup of the marinade for after the beef is cooked. Set aside.

Optional Garnish:
Chopped scallions, diced cucumber, shredded carrots, cilantro

Freeze top round for 1-2 hours until almost firm.
Slice thinly across the grain.

Combine marinade ingredients and whisk together.
Add beef to the marinade and make sure all of the beef is fully covered.
Marinate for 2 hours to 24 hours.

On a very hot grill or grill pan, sear or BBQ the beef for 2-3 mins per side.
Or, sometimes I broil the meat in the oven broiler.

Serve with rice and steamed broccoli. Pour remaining marinade over beef before serving.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Kung Pao Chicken

 I just recently learned how to make Kung Pao Chicken and bought a Wok from ikea.  :)

1 lb. chicken breast cut into cubes
Broccoli florets
3-4 green onions, chopped
2 spoonfuls of crushed red pepper flakes or  garlic chili sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup soy sauce
Dash rice vinegar
2 large cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 sweet onion diced finely
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Canola oil
1/2 cup peanuts
1 tsp. corn starch mixed with 1/8 cup cold water (make into a slurry)

In a sauce pan, sweat the onions and garlic with a little salt/pepper and the cayenne pepper in about 1 T oil.  Allow to cook on medium heat, stirring often until soft.  Add in the soy sauce, sugar, crushed red pepper or garlic chili sauce, and vinegar and stir well.  Let simmer for 5-7 minutes and then turn off the heat. Taste and re-season.

Separately, in a wok (or large skillet) saute the chunks of chicken until they are almost cooked through, in a touch of oil.

Blanch the broccoli in boiling water for about 3-4 minutes then chill in cold water to retain the green color.  Drain.

Add the broccoli to the chicken and stir over high heat.  Add in the peanuts and half of the green onions and continue to stir, sauteeing for another 2-3 minutes.

To the kung pao sauce, stir in the corn starch slurry and heat to a boil, stirring often.  Add the sauce to your wok of chicken and broccoli and let heat through.

Serve with rice.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Shylah's Cioppino

1 lb. live mussels, cleaned
1 lb. calamari, cleaned and sliced into rings
1/2 lb. shrimp, cleaned with shells removed (save shells)
1/2 lb. cod, chunked
1 can of clams, save the liquid

1 jar of spicy marinara sauce
2 T butter
1 cup of dry white wine
1 medium white onion, diced
3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
1 T crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 T sugar
2 T oil
Chopped flat leaf parsley

Crusty bread, toasted for dipping

Begin by sweating the diced onion in a bit of oil in a large pot over low/medium heat.  Add in the crushed red pepper and garlic and continue to cook until soft.  About 4-5 minutes.  Do not brown the onions/garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  Increase heat to high and add in the wine and sugar.  Stir well and let simmer for about 4-5 minutes.

Reduce heat to low/medium and add in the sliced calmari at this point.

Add 1 cup water and the clam juice liquid to a small sauce pan and add in the shrimp shells.  Simmer on medium heat for about 8 mins.

Strain all of the clam/shrimp shell liquid into your garlic/onions/wine mixture.
Add in the jar of tomato sauce to the large pot and stir.

Heat until bubbling.

Add in the chunks of cod, shrimp, clams, and mussels and butter.  Cover and increase heat to high.

Let cook 7-10 mins, stirring once every couple of minutes.

Garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley and serve with crusty bread.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Traditional Fattoush Salad

1 head of romaine lettuce, finely chopped
1 english cucumber, diced
1/2 cup red cabbage, chopped
1-2 ripe tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped *optional
1/4 cup fresh mint, finely chopped *optional
2 green onions, chopped *optional
2 loaves of thin pita bread, baked in the oven until very crispy (Sometimes I brush them with olive oil and add a light sprinkle of garlic salt before baking. It adds flavor!)

1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
juice from 1/2 lemon
Dash of sugar
2 T sumac

Toss salad ingredients together in a bowl and crumble the baked pita into the salad.

Whisk dressing ingredients together until emulsified and pour over salad.

Toss well.

Serve with any assortment of additonal toppings: grilled chicken, feta cheese, beets, sauteed onions, grilled lamb or beef, etc.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Greek-Style Orzo Salad with Feta

1/2 box Orzo, boiled to al dente
1  8 oz. package feta
2 large tomatoes, diced or 1 package of grape tomatoes, halved
12-15 pitted kalamata olives, halved *optional 1 bunch parsley, chopped
Juice from 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup White Balsamic Vinegar 1 can cannellini beans or chic peas (optional) *But a great addition!!!
Salt/pepper to taste

Chill cooked orzo by running it under cool water for a few minutes.
Drain well.
Toss with diced tomatoes, chopped parsley a small amount of the feta, olives, juice of lemon, oil, garlic and the vinegar.
Add in beans, if you want.
Let chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Top with more feta before serving. You can also add in sliced beets! But, wait until you're ready to serve so that they don't turn everything pink.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Greek Salad Pizza with Chicken


I1 frozen pizza dough ball or pizza dough from your local pizzeria
1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
1 6-8 oz. chicken breast
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Olive oil
Garlic salt

Field greens
Grape tomatoes
English cucumber
Kalamata olives
Sliced beets
Red onion
4 oz. feta cheese

White Balsamic vinaigrette:
1 part olive oil and 2 parts White Balsamic Vinegar, whisked

Allow dough to thaw and rest.  Preheat oven to 425.

Cube chicken breasts and toss with a drizzle of olive oil, cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Sautee until cooked through and set aside.

Stretch dough to the size of your pizza baking sheet and par-bake the crust for 5 minutes.
Brush with olive oil and sprinkle crust with garlic salt.

Arrange mozzarella cheese and chicken on the pizza crust and bake another 8-10 minutes.

Prepare salad ingredients (slice onions, cucumbers, etc.) and toss with dressing.  
Arrange salad on top of pizza and garnish with crumbled feta cheese.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Magic Noodles (Spicy Thai Peanut Curry Noodles)

A spicy thai-inspired dish with rice noodles and a sweet peanut curry sauce! Loaded with veggies and chicken. It is named "Magic Noodles" because use it fuels workouts.

SERVES 6 -8 , 6 portions
1 (14 ounce) package of linguine style rice noodles
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (chunky is good!)
2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce (1 tablespoon if you don't enjoy a little kick!)
1 tablespoon brown sugar, level
1 tablespoons yellow curry paste (red works too!)
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 (10 ounce) cans coconut milk (shake well before opening)
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1/2 cup broccoli floret
1/2 cup asian style pea pods
8 ounces chicken breasts or firm tofu

Begin by poaching the chicken breast. (If you are using tofu, bake, fry, or steam your tofu. That is up to you!). Wrap chicken in a tin-foil wrapper and place in a baking dish. Bake at 425 for about 30 minutes or until cooked completely through. While the chicken is baking, begin the sauce.
Pour the coconut milk into a large skillet with high sides and gently warm on medium heat for a couple minutes. Add the peanut butter and melt. As the peanut butter melts, add in the rest of the sauce (save 1/2 cup chopped peanuts) ingredients and stir fully. Let gently simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes.
Start a large pot of water to boil for the noodles.
Rinse and slice the peppers into thin strips.
Rinse the rest of the veggies and add all of the veggies to the sauce.
Cover and let continue to simmer on lowest heat.
When the chicken is finished cooking, remove it from the oven and the foil & let it rest for a few minutes or until cool enough to slice. Slice the chicken into slices or chunks and add to the sauce and toss.
Rice noodles cook fairly quickly, so keep your eye on them. Add rice noodles to boiling water and let cook according to the package directions (about 6-8 minutes). Test by eating one of the noodles for doneness. Noodle should be al dente -- cooked but not overcooked.
Drain noodles.
Turn off heat.
Add a small amount of the coconut peanut butter sauce to the large pasta pot.
Return the noodles to the pot.
Pour the rest of the sauce with veggies on top of the noodles.
Toss thoroughly.
Serve with a garnish of chopped peanuts on top.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Chicken Marsala

4 chicken breasts
2 T flour
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup sweet marsala wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
Variety of mushrooms, sliced
1 can chicken stock

Chopped parsley (optional)

Lightly brown chicken breasts in a skillet and set aside. *Chicken does not need to be fully cooked, only nicely browned.
In the same pan, add olive oil and mushrooms, garlic, and onions. Cook for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until the mushrooms and onions become tender.
Add in butter and let melt.
Sprinkle in the 2 tablespoon of flour and cook for another minute or two, stirring.
Once the flour has had a chance to cook for a minute, turn up the heat to med-high.
Pour in the wine and stir fully.
Replace the chicken breasts into the pan of wine sauce.
Cover the chicken with the sauce and let simmer for about 2-3 mins.
The sauce will thicken.
Add in 1 can chicken stock and stir to combine.
Let simmer about 10-15 minutes on low heat.
At the very end, add in the heavy cream and stir well.
Sprinkle with generous amounts of parmesan cheese.

Serve over pasta and top with chopped flat leaf parsley.

*Note: using a fat free heavy cream or light cream can sometimes curdle in dishes using acidic components (wine, tomatoes, lemon).

If you use a full heavy cream, the dish will be rich and will not curdle.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Balsamic, Fresh Mozzarella, Tomato & Basil Focaccia Salad Pizza

1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar (white is ok too)
1 frozen pizza dough, ball (available in the freezer section of most grocers)
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch fresh basil
1 large ripe tomato or 2 ripe roma tomatoes
1 tablespoon garlic salt
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
4-6 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese

1Thaw and allow frozen pizza dough to rest.
2Balsamic Glaze: Put 1.5 cups aged balsamic vinegar and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring. When it becomes syrupy, take off heat and put into another dish.
3Chill for 30 minutes.
4Once frozen dough thawed and rested, stretch or roll out dough to be about 1/4 thick in an almost rectangle shape.
5Lay on pizza sheet and brush on 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle all of the dough with garlic salt and the parmesan cheese.
6Bake in a 425 degree oven for 8 minutes.
7Pull out and poke the dough several times with a fork.
8Put back into the oven for an additional 4-5 minutes or until golden brown.
9Slice fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and chop basil.
10Arrange mozzarella and tomatoes on foccacia and sprinkle with lots of fresh basil. Drizzle remaining olive oil over the top. Use extra virgin or any good olive oil.
11Drizzle with Balsamic glaze and serve with extra balsamic glaze for dipping.

Friday, September 18, 2009

BBQ Chicken Pizza

I was bored with every flavor combination I had come up with recently and decided to make a BBQ Chicken Pizza. I liked it well enough from when I worked at CPK and figured it wouldn't bore me. I love the way cilantro, red onions, and bbq sauce taste together.

1 frozen pizza dough ball, thawed and let rest
1 T olive oil
Garlic Salt

8-10 oz. Chicken Breast, boneless skinless
1 cup bbq sauce (your favorite! I used 1/2 honey and 1/2 Open Pit Original)
Bunch of cilantro, chopped
1/2 Red Onion, diced finely
2 cups shredded mozzarella

2 T Ranch Salad Dressing (high quality, don't use Fat Free or Kraft -- they taste so bad that they aren't worth it)

Stretch or roll out the pizza dough to fit the size of your pizza pan. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle crust with garlic salt.
Put in a preheated 400 degree oven for 4-5 mins.

Grill/poach chicken breast, dice, and toss in BBQ Sauce.

Pour chicken and sauce over the crust, sprinkle with a lot of shredded mozzarella and diced red onion.

Put back in the oven for another 10-12 minutes.

After the pizza is golden brown and melty, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with Ranch for dipping.

I like to have a nice green salad with this pizza.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hot Spinach and Artichoke Dip with Fresh Tortilla Chips

1 package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 T chopped garlic
1/2 can artichoke hearts
1/2 jar alfredo sauce
2 packages of cream cheese, *softened
1 tsp. garlic salt
dash pepper
1 tablespoon SAMBUCA(optional)
8 oz. shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded parmesan
diced tomatoes for garnish
4 flour tortillas
canola oil

Thaw and squeeze out spinach. In a bowl mix spinach, garlic, salt, pepper, alfredo sauce, the SAMBUCA, 2 packages cream cheese, half the shredded mozzarella and half the parmesan cheese. Mix to combine thoroughly.
Chop up 1/2 can of artichoke hearts (drained well) and add to the mix.

Pour into a baking dish, cover with tin foil, and bake in 350 degree oven for 15 minutes or until bubbly. Do not over bake.
Take out of oven and top with remaining cheeses and diced tomatoes. Bake for an additional 5 minutes until cheese melts.

In a non stick skillet, put 2 T canola oil. Cut the flour tortillas into 1/4's and fry for about 1 minute on each side until lightly brown. Sprinkle with garlic salt.
Serve on the side with the spinach dip.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Bengabi Pizza


Bengabi Pesto:
1 cup zaatar spice
5-7 sprigs of fresh thyme, thyme removed
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/4 cup olive oil

2 thin loaves of pita bread or 1 frozen pizza dough ball (pictured with pizza dough)
1-2 ripe roma tomatoes
2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 Preheat oven to 380
2 Mix zaatar, thyme, garlic, oil in bowl and let sit 1-2 mins.
3 Smear onto pita, but don't get too close to the edges; leave a little crust
4 Top with slices of tomato
5 Top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella per pita

Bake in oven on the rack for about 7 minutes or until crust is crispy and cheese is melted.
If it is not done at 7 mins, check on it after 10 and it should be done.

Add crumbled goat cheese or fresh mozzarella to make it realllllly good!

Chicken Parmesan with Fresh Mozzarella and Fresh Basil

4 large good sized boneless chicken breasts
1 cup mayonnaise (lite mayo works fine!)
1 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
2 cups panko (usually in the asian section of a regular grocery store)
1 (20 ounce) jar of good marinara sauce (Prego, Ragu, etc.)
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon garlic (or 2 cloves, chopped)
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 dash salt and pepper
8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
1 cup fresh basil
1Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2Mix italian bread crumbs with panko in a large dish.
3Slather each chicken breast with mayo and dredge in breadcrumbs.
4Put chicken breasts side by side in baking dish and cook in oven for 15-18 minutes or until they start to brown on the outside.
5Begin the sauce with jar of pasta sauce, can of tomatoes, sugar, garlic, salt and pepper (add a little onion if you wish). Simmer on low-medium heat until chicken is browning.
6Remove chicken from oven and pour all of the sauce over the tops of the breasts.
7Reduce oven temp to 375 and bake, uncovered, for another 20 minutes.
8In the last 5 minutes, pull the chicken out again and layer on slices of FRESH MOZZARELLA all over the chicken and return to oven.
9I usually turn the broiler on for about 2 mins to start the melting process then turn it back to the oven.
10Once the cheese has melted and started to bubble, remove from oven.
11Top with lots of torn Fresh Basil leaves.
12Serve with pasta.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Pizza

1 frozen pizza dough ball
8 oz. grilled or poached boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
6 oz. shredded mozzarella
1 cup franks red hot
olive oil
garlic salt
Chopped Romaine
Chunky Bleu Cheese dressing or high quality ranch (not Kraft, blech.)

Thaw dough ball and let rest
Roll or stretch dough out to size of pizza baking sheet.
Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt.

Mix diced chicken with red hot and pour all of the mixture onto the pizza crust.
Top with shredded mozzarella.

Bake at 400 for about 12-15 mins.

I sometimes turn on the broiler feature to help melt the cheese (only for a minute or two!).

Served topped with chopped romaine and chunky bleu cheese dressing.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Indian Chicken Curry

I've been doing a lot of research on Indian Cuisine lately and have come up with a whole lot of conflicting information - Northern vs. Southern, regional recipes, traditional recipes, signature recipes, etc. that over the years have all been combined, mixed up, combined again, mis-named, re-named, and now we have it.

But, I've created a great curry that is delicious and very close to what most Indians would agree is a Tikka Masala, with yogurt or cream added.

You can modify this recipe in the ingredients you throw in. This morning, I had to make 2 meals (lunch and dinner) for myself to take to work. I am too too busy, and not exactly rich, so I need to cook & can't eat out.
Today, I made it vegetarian with extra firm tofu, rinsed chick peas, and of course, the garnish of chopped onions, cilantro, and cucumber.

But no matter what you put in it (chicken for most) the sauce goes like this:

2 T Canola Oil
1 small onion, diced finely
1 tsp. chopped garlic
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger
1 T brown sugar
2 T masala spices (email me for the exact ingredients and I'll direct you)
1/2 small can of tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
3 spoonfuls of yogurt
1/4 cup heavy cream

Optional Ingredients:
Chunks of chicken breast, tofu cubes, chick peas, peas, spinach, paneer

Chopped cilantro, red onion, cucumber (For me, this is a must!)

Begin by gently sweating/sauteeing diced onions in the oil, in a large skillet. After about 10 minutes, add the 2 T of spices and stir. Cook for another 2-3 mins on low/medium heat. Add in the paste and tomatoes, sugar, ginger & garlic. Stir and let simmer.
Add in your optional chosen ingredients and continue to cook. If you use chicken, add 1/2 cup water to your sauce and let simmer until the water reduces and the chicken is cooked through. If you use tofu or other vegetarian ingredients, do not use the extra water.

Seperately, mix the yogurt and cream together.

Once the optional ingredients are cooked or heated through, add in the yogurt/cream mixture and let heat thoroughly.
Stir to combine fully.

Serve with Jasmine Rice, naan, and the garnish.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


 This is my recipe for a traditional lasagna. Enjoy!

1 small tub ricotta cheese
1 package cream cheese
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
1 T tomato paste
8 oz. shredded mozzarella
8 oz. fresh mozzarella
Fresh Basil for garnish
5-7 lasagna noodles (I use the no boil ones)

Brown the beef, add in the onions and garlic and sautee until the onions are soft. Drain excess oil and add in the tomato paste and sauce. Stir well and set aside.

Let cream cheese come to room temperature and mix with the whole tub of ricotta. Add in the dried basil and salt/pepper to taste. I do not add an egg to this mixture; personal preference.

Slice fresh mozzarella and set aside.

In a bread baking dish (I use a larger, glass bread baking pan, use whatever you have), put a few spoonfuls of just the sauce in the bottom of the dish.
Lay down 1 lasagna noodle and sprinkle with some shredded mozzarella. Ladle on 2 large spoonfuls of the meat sauce and then another lasagna noodle.
Then, add a few spoonfuls of the ricotta cheese mixture, shredded mozzarella and a couple spoonfuls of the sauce, and then another lasagna noodle.
Then, add a few slices of fresh mozzarella and some meat sauce. Add another lasagna noodle.
Add some more ricotta cheese mixture, shredded mozzarella, and sauce, then another lasagna noodle.
Repeat until the bread pan is filled.

Add 1/2 cup water to the rest of your meat sauce and pour that all on top of the lasagna you've put together.
Top with shredded mozzarella and slices of fresh mozzarella.

Let lasagna sit in the fridge for 1-4 hours before baking, for best results. This step is not necessary however.

Bake covered with tin foil for 1 hour on 350.
In the last 15 mins of baking, remove foil.

Let stand for 10-15 mins before slicing and serving.

Garnish with chopped fresh basil.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Shy's EASY flourless chocolate cake

3/4 cup of good quality cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 stick butter
6 large eggs
2 T kahlua

Preheat your oven to 350.
Melt the butter and set aside to cool
Beat the eggs and sugar until creamy.
Add in the kahlua and continue to beat.
Gradually add in the cocoa powder and beat until fully incorporated.
Finally, add the butter and continue to beat for about 1 minute.

Butter a 2-quart glass baking dish and pour the batter into it.

Place the baking dish into a larger baking pan and fill the larger pan with about 1 cup of hot water.

Bake the cake for 45-50 minutes or until the top begins to crack.

If you would like a more gooey cake, reduce the cooking time by 15 minutes.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Pesto Pizza with sliced tomatoes and sundried tomatoes

This a great, flavorful pizza. I always use FRESH MOZZARELLA cheese for my more italian style pizzas because it has better, creamier, richer flavor. However, feel free to substitute any grated mozzarella cheese if you are saving cash.

Crust: I am a huge advocate of the frozen pizza dough that is available in many grocery stores. In mine, it is a secret gem at only $1.50 per ball and that feeds about 3-4 people!
Let it thaw completely and rest for about 1 hour in a bowl with some olive oil on top, covered with saran wrap.

***NOTE: You can also often buy a dough ball from your local pizzeria. This is economical as well.

Once the crust is thawed and rested, punch it down and then slap it back and forth in your hands until it starts to open up. You can also stretch the dough and/or roll it out. Use flour if you want.

Preheat oven to 425. Spray pizza pan with a non-stick spray or canola oil. Lay crust on pan and bake for 5 mins. (You may need to poke the dough with a fork a few times to let air bubbles out.)

Brush or coat the top of your crust with olive oil and then a good amount of garlic salt sprinkled on the crust.

Put 1 large bunch of fresh basil, 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, 1/4 cup nice parmesan cheese, grated, and squeeze of lemon into a food processor or blender. I also add about 1/2 tsp. salt. Blend until smooth. Add in a couple TBSP. of water if you need to get it to move more freely. I don't use pine nuts for this sauce because of the added expense, but feel free to add them if you have them!

Slice your tomatoes, sundried tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella into slices.

Take out your par-cooked crust and smear all of your pesto sauce all over the middle and out to the sides.

Top with tomato slices, sundried tomato pieces, and lots of fresh mozzarella.

Bake an additional 10 mins, THEN change oven to broil and broil for 3-5 mins.

***If you want to make it super decadent, add 5-6 small goat cheese rounds to the pizza too.

Top with additional fresh cut basil, if you wish.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shy's Guacamole

4 large ripened avocados
1 clove garlic
1 small lime
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 or 2 TBS. hot tomato salsa (your favorite brand)
1/2 tsp. sea salt
a couple grinds of black pepper
3 dashes tabasco sauce

Mash the avocado with chopped garlic, garlic powder, salt, pepper and your favorite chunky tomato salsa.  Pop the lime in the microwave for 20 seconds and then roll on the counter to loosen the juices.  Squeeze all of the juice of 1 lime into the avocado mixture.  Add in the tabasco sauce and cilantro & mash until combined.  I like to keep the guacamole a little chunky, so don't mash it until it is a puree.  Serve with chips or on tacos, chicken, or anything you'd like!   Leave one avocado pit in the guacamole to help keep it bright green.  If you need to store the guacamole, lay a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the guacamole and refrigerate; this will keep it from browning.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Mozzarella Stuffed Spaghetti and Meatballs

This is a great traditional Spaghetti and Meatballs recipe but the secret is that the meatballs are filled with little balls of boccaccini (fresh mozzarella)!!!

2 lbs. ground sirloin
2 T A1 steak sauce
1 T worsheshire
1 T grill seasoning
1 T tomato paste
Italian Seasoning
1/4 cup paremsan cheese
2 pieces of bread, crumbled and soaked in milk (squeeze out excess milk)
Dash bread crumbs
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced *optional
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 eggs

Combine fully and set aside.

1 large can of high quality whole tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
1 jar of your choice of pasta sauce
Dash sugar
3 cloves garlic, diced
Italian Seasonings

boccaccini (small balls of Fresh Mozzarella)
parmesan cheese


Fresh basil

Great served with homemade garlic bread!!!

Form meatballs around little balls of boccaccini and set aside. Make sure the cheese is fully encased in the meat.
Make up to 20 meatballs. Boil large pot of water. Drop 7-10 balls at a time into the rapidlly boiling water. Allow each ball to boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove from water and set on a baking sheet or in muffin tins.

Bake meatballs for 30 mins on 375.

Combine sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and smash up the whole tomatoes. Let simmer while meatballs are baking and then add the meatballs to the sauce. Let cook additional 15-20 mins.

Top spaghetti with GENEROUS AMOUNTS OF SAUCE and 3-4 meatballs each. Garnish with lots of fresh basil and parmesan cheese.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Curry Noodles

I love curry!

This thai dish is pretty easy to make, and really really good. Plus, you can really add any veggies and protein that you'd like. I like scallops.

2T of red curry paste (available in any grocery near the Asian foods)
1 can coconut milk (not light)
1 T brown sugar
1 T thai garlic chili sauce
Rice noodles
Chicken, shrimp, scallops, beef -- anything you'd like (par-cook it first)
Broccoli, bok choy, bell peppers, pea pods, pineapple chunks, eggplant, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, etc.

Heat the coconut milk over medium heat. Add in the curry paste, brown sugar, and thai garlic chili sauce. Stir well to combine the curry with the milk fully. Taste and re-season. It might need a tad more sugar.
Add in your veggies and par-cooked protein.
Simmer over low until the veggies are tender and cooked.

Serve curry sauce over soaked rice noodles.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

That One Salad

This is one of the best salads on earth! That is why it is called THAT ONE SALAD.

SERVES 4 , 1 salad (change servings and units)

1/2 small head romaine lettuce
2 cups fresh spinach
1/4 cup lightly toasted unsalted walnuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1-2 ripened tomatoes
8 ounces white balsamic vinegar
6 ounces extra virgin olive oil
garlic salt
2 loaves of thin pita bread
1 (4 ounce) triangle bleu cheese (the higher quality the better)
1 (8 ounce) chicken breasts or 2 (4 ounce) chicken breasts

What is White Balsamic Vinegar, you ask???

1Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
2Grill/brown the outside of the chicken breasts (you can do this in a non-stick skillet with a little canola oil or on a grill pan like a George Foreman). After one side is slightly browned, place the chicken in tin-foil and wrap tightly. Bake the chicken in the oven for about 20 minutes depending on thickness. When you remove the chicken from the oven, check for doneness. If the chicken is not cooked all of the way through, put back in the oven for another 10-12 minutes.
3Meanwhile, brush pita with a small amount of oil and sprinkle with garlic salt. Place loaves into oven on the racks and let back for 5 minutes or until bread is firm and lightly brown. Remove from oven.
4Chop romaine and spinach, and tomatoes and put in large bowl. Toss with the dried cranberries and all of the toasted walnuts.Add 1/2 of the bleu cheese to the salad, crumbled.
5Put the white balsamic vinegar into a blender or food processor on medium/high and slowly drizzle in the remainder of the oil. Allow to emulsify for 30 seconds or so.
6Once the chicken is fully cooked and is cool enough to handle, dice into medium/small pieces and toss into salad.
7Pour entirety of the dressing over salad and toss/mix together.
8Serve salad on top of the crispy bread!
9Serve with extra bleu cheese crumbles on top & cracked black pepper.

Pear Pecan and Goat Cheese Salad

This is a great salad!
It is great served on top of a baked pizza crust.

1 small head of romaine lettuce
1 cup of baby spinach
1 ripe bartlett pear (the red pear)
1/2 cup whole pecans
1/2 cup craisins
4 oz. goat cheese
1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 T apple cider vinegar

Make a balsamic vinegar reduction with 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar and 1 tsp. sugar.

Chop the romaine and toss it with the spinach.
Slice the pear and add it to the lettuce mixture with the craisins.
Gently toast the pecans and add them to the salad.
Add half of the goat cheese to the mix and toss again with 2 T of apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil.

Assemble salad on a plate, crumble the remaining goat cheese on top and drizzle with generous amounts of balsamic reduction.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Taco Pizza

1 Frozen Pizza Dough Ball
1 lb. ground beef
1 taco seasoning packet
Shredded Lettuce
Diced Tomatoes and/or salsa
Shredded Mozzarella
Sour cream
Garlic Salt
Olive Oil

Hot Sauce
Ranch Dressing
Tortilla Chips

Thaw the dough and let it rest. Stretch/roll it to the size of your pizza pan and brush with olive oil and sprinkle crust with garlic salt. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 425.

Brown ground beef in a pan with the taco seasoning and the amount of water recommended (I use less water and only about 1/2 the seasoning packet -- personal taste).

Bake the pizza crust for 5-6 mins in preheated oven.

Take out of oven and top with the ground beef and shredded mozzarella cheese.

Reduce heat to 400 and bake an additional 10-12 minutes until the crust is golden and the cheese is fully melted.

Top the whole pizza with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes and/or salsa, sour cream and other taco toppings.

Cut into slices and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Lamb and Pine Nuts in a Cup

Tonight I wanted to experiment. I had some left over pot sticker wrappers (like wontons) from an attempt at making ravioli out of them gone awry.
(Making ravioli from wontons is yucky!!!)
So, I did some research on how to bake them in a muffin tin and create little cups to hold fillings.
I was in the mood for something Greek/Middle Eastern, so I filled them with a combination of ground lamb, beef, pine nuts, feta, garlic and parsley.

They were really good!

I served them with Orzo with feta and beans.

1 lb. ground lamb
1/2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped

1 T dried parsley
1 T dried thyme
1/2 T cumin
1/2 T garlic salt
1/2 T red chili flakes
1 tsp. cinnamon

About 20 gyoza wrappers (pot sticker wrappers)

4 oz. feta cheese

Olive oil for brushing

Canned diced tomatoes, optional.

Brown the beef and onions on medium/high heat and then add the lamb. Mix together and cook until the pink is gone. While cooking, add in all of the seasonings and stir to combine. Add in the garlic, but keep the chopped parsley aside for now.
Continue to cook for about 8-10 mins on low/medium heat & allow the flavors to combine. Stir occassionally.

In a seperate pan, spray with non-stick spray and lightly toast a handful of pine nuts. More if you like more! We like more.

Drain fat from the meat mixture.
Add chopped parsley and pine nuts and stir to combine.
Add in crumbled feta, stir, and keep warm on low heat.

In a muffin tin, spray with non-stick spray, and in each cup lay 1 wrapper on one side of the cup and wet the bottom with a tiny bit of water (dip your fingers in water and run over the bottom of the wrapper) and lay in another wrapper on the other side of the cup.
Do this until you fill up the whole muffin tin.
Brush each cup with a bit of olive oil.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes or until beginning to brown.
At this point, I took them out of the oven and carefully removed each cup. I placed them all on a flat cookie sheet (or pizza sheet) and filled them with the meat/cheese mixture.
I replaced them in the oven for an additional 5 mins.

Remove from oven and serve with yogurt sauce and your favorite side dish!

Yogurt sauce:

1/2 cup of plain yogurt, allowed to let drain all day and thicken
handful of fresh mint, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced

Let yogurt sit in a strainer or coffee filter in a set-up where the yogurt will not touch the bowl it is in and will allow it to strain the liquid out. Or, just buy Greek Yogurt.

Add in the fresh chopped mint and garlic and serve with the meat pies above.

Oh oh oh! In 1/2 of them I added half of a can of diced tomatoes, just to see if that would taste better. It didn't taste bad, but it didn't taste better. The nice flavors of the lamb, pine nuts, garlic and cheese was a great combination and the tomato flavor was overpowering.

It did taste more Italian though, so if you like a more Italian flavor, you might enjoy it with tomatoes more.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Quinoa Tabouli

I got the idea of making tabouli with quinoa to up the protein factor.  But, then I found out that bulgur wheat is pretty high in protein too (less amino acids though!).

1 cup of quinoa, prepared and chilled
2 bunches of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 small bunch of mint, finely chopped
1 bunch of green onion, chopped
2-3 tomatoes, diced
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Prepare all of the ingredients and toss to combine.  Chill and serve with lettuce leaves and pita bread.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I'll write the recipe later.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Butternut Squash Soup

I have a new uncle now named Kirk and also a new cousin named Cody and they came over for dinner last week. I made a starter of butternut squash soup and it was really quite good. So, I thought I'd share.

1 whole butternut squash, seeded, peeled, and chunked (or, I cheated and bought the pre-diced package butternut squash)
1 package frozen winter squash puree (in the freezer section)
1 can chicken or vegetable broth
1 can water
1 small onion, diced
2 T brown sugar
Dash cinnamon and nutmeg
Oil for tossing and sauteeing (so about 2 T tops)
1/4 cup Heavy cream *optional

Begin by tossing the squash chunks in a bit of oil, coarse salt, and black pepper.
Sprinkle about 1 T brown sugar all over the squash.
Roast in an uncovered pan in a 400 oven for 30-35 mins.
Meanwhile, dice up a small onion and gently sautee/soften in a bit of oil. Salt the onion once it starts to soften. Do not brown the onion.
After it is soft, add in the squash puree, stock, water, and spices and 1 full T of brown sugar.
Bring to a boil, stirring often, then reduce to a low simmer.
After the squash is done, add it to the soup. Let cook for another 10-15 mins on low heat.

Now, either use a HAND BLENDER or you'll need another pot.

Ladle the soup and squash chunks to a blender (you will want to work in batches; about 3 batches will do for this amount of soup), and puree on high for 30-60 seconds per batch until smooth. Move each batch to a new pot.

Once all of the soup has been pureed, taste and re-season.

More salt? More pepper? (Maybe a dash more sugar??? Probably not, but maybe.)

Stir in heavy cream and let cook for 5-10 more mins on low heat.


I love it with multigrain crackers or graham crackers!!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Pork Tenderloin Chops de Giada

So, this isn't really my recipe. I got it from Giada DeLaurentis but I've modified it slightly. It is sooooooo good, so I'm putting it on my blog for you.

1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup white wine (drinking wine)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 head of fennel (anise)
lemon (juice and zest)
olive oil
1/2 tsp. white sugar
3-4 large thick cut pork loin chops (boneless)

Season then brown the pork chops in a skillet and set aside (they should not be cooked through, only browned on the outside)
Chop up garlic and fennel
Add 2 T olive oil the the same pan the pork chops were browned in and then add the fennel and garlic.
Lower heat and gently sautee for 4-5 mins.
Deglaze pan with white wine and stir to get all of the goodness off of the pan.
Add in tomatoes, salt/pepper, and sugar. Stir stir stir.
Chop up a handful of flat leaf parsley and toss it in.
Reintroduce the pork to the pan and nestle them into the sauce.
Turn the heat to medium and cover the pan.
Cook for 10-15 min, depending on the thickness of your chops.

After cooking, add in 2 T capers and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice along with some lemon zest. Garnish with more chopped parsley.


Monday, January 5, 2009

Healthy Veggie Fajitas

1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
1 white onion
1-2 large portabella mushroom caps
chopped garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil

6 flour tortillas
(Or 6-8 ice berg or romaine lettuce cups for substitution, if you are watching carbs)

Jar of Salsa
Low Fat Sour Cream
Romaine lettuce (chopped)
Cilantro (chopped)
Lime (optional)

Slice the peppers, onion, and mushroom and cook in a hot skillet with oil and garlic stirring often until veggies begin to soften. Reduce heat half-way through if veggies are starting to brown too much.
Add in 2 tablespoons of your favorite salsa and stir.

Heat tortillas in microwave for about 20 seconds to steam.

Make fajitas by piling veggies, more salsa, sour cream, lettuce and cilantro (and a squeeze of lime) into the tortillas (or lettuce cups) and enjoy.

*Some people like shredded cheese, but I don't.

**Don't hesitate to add in other vegetables to the above recipe if you have them and like them. This is a great way to get your vegetables but make them taste like a decadent mexican meal.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Spicy Seafood Pasta


This is what I made before a 10 mile run!

1 lb. live mussels
1 lb. shrimp, cleaned and deviened
1/2 box fettucini or linguine pasta
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T crushed red pepper
1 cup dry white wine (drinking wine)
1 jar marinara sauce (good quality)
3 T butter
Chopped flat leaf parsley
Parmesan cheese
Toasted crusty bread

Begin by boiling the water for the pasta.

In a large pot add the wine, garlic, butter, crushed red pepper, and half the jar of marinara sauce.  Bring to a simmer and let cook for about 5 minutes, then add in cleaned live mussels.  Increase the heat and cover tightly.  Allow the mussels to cook for 4 minutes stirring once at 2 minutes.  Turn off the heat. Once the mussels are cooked and have opened, remove the meat and return it to the sauce. Discard the shells.  (I left a few mussels in their shell, but that was just for presentation.)

Cook the pasta for 10 minutes or according to the package.  In the last minute, toss in all of the cleaned and de-shelled shrimp.  Do not put the shrimp in until the pasta is pretty much done.  More than one or two minutes in the water will overcook the shrimp.  Drain pasta and shrimp and return it to the pot.  Toss the pasta, shrimp and sauce with the mussels together with the remaining marinara sauce and chopped parsley and some salt/pepper.  Heat until the sauce and pasta are hot.

Serve with toasted crusty bread.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Creamy Chicken Enchilladas

1 lb boneless chicken breast (thighs ok too)
1/2 chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoon oil (canola or vegetable)
1 (12 ounce) jar alfredo sauce
1 small tub sour cream
1 small jar medium or hot salsa
1/4 cup sliced jalapeno (optional)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups chopped lettuce
1 ripe tomato, diced
8-12 ounces mozzarella cheese
6  medium flour tortillas

 Lightly brown chicken in skillet with oil.
After chicken has a light brown color (does not need to be cooked through), add chopped onion and 1/2 jar of salsa to pan and bring to a simmer.
Reduce heat and let simmer on low-medium heat for about 15-20 minutes, stirring and shredding the chicken as it cooks.
Preheat oven to 375.
Spray a baking dish with non-stick cooking spray or coat with a light coating of oil.
Add 1/2 jar of alfredo sauce to shredded chicken and stir to combine.
Add in sliced jalapenos if you are adding them.
Spoon equal amounts of the chicken mixture into the 6 tortillas, rolling the tortillas and placing them seam side down into the baking dish.
In a bowl, mix together the rest of the alfredo sauce, the sour cream and 1/2 cup water. I usually warm the water and that helps the sour cream and alfredo sauce come together smoothly.
Pour that alfredo/sour cream mixture over the top of all of the enchillada rolls.
Pour 1 line of salsa down the middle of the rolls.
Sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese and cover with tin foil.
Bake for 30 minutes.
In the last 5 minutes, remove the tin foil and allow to brown in oven.
Top with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and more sour cream.

French Onion Soup

2 large sweet onions, sliced thinly and quartered
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 T sugar
1 tsp. thyme
1 cup sweet marsala wine
1 qt. beef broth
2-3 T Olive oil

Mozzarella or Provolone cheese
Parmesan *optional

Slice onions very thin and quarter them.  Sautee in oil over medium heat.  Do not char the onions; let them caramelize gently, stirring often. After about 2 minutes, add in the thyme and salt/pepper. Let them cook for another 5-7 minutes and then add the sugar and garlic.  Continue to let them cook until they become a light caramel color.  Add in the marsala wine and turn up the heat to high.  Let simmer for about 5 minutes and add in the beef broth.  Stir and let cook for another few minutes until the flavors blend and the soup is steaming hot.

Ladle into fire safe bowls and top with croutons and slices of cheese.  Broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted and begins to brown slightly.  Garnish with some parmesan.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mussels and Wild Mushroom Risotto

I went to Miller's at 14 and Haggerty, the only good place to buy fancy ingredients near me. I got a bag of live mussels from behind the fish counter, some dried wild mushrooms, a package of sliced portabellas, 2 shallots, a $5 bottle of white wine and a bunch of fresh parsley. I had the rest of the ingredients at home.


1/4 sweet white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 shallot, sliced
1 T capers, drained
2/3 cup white wine
Olive oil
Chopped parsley
Juice from 1 lemon

Crumbled bleu cheese *optional

1.5 cups arborio rice
2 T olive oil
2 T butter *optional
1/4 sweet onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1 shallot, sliced
1 package wild mushrooms, steeped in warm water for 30 mins (about 1 cup warm water)
1 package sliced portabella mushrooms
Chicken stock, heated
2/3 cup white wine, chill taken off
Chopped parsley
2 T (or more!) parmesan cheese
Salt/pepper to taste



Sautee onions, shallots, garlic in olive oil for a little while until transluscent (not browned).
Increase heat to medium/high and add in wine, capers, parsley and juice from 1 lemon.
Put the mussels in, toss in the wine, and cover for 4-7 mins or until all/most of them have opened.
Pour into a bowl and serve with crumbled bleu cheese.


Strain the mushrooms and reserve the liquid. Chop the mushrooms and add all of the mushrooms to a hot oiled pan. Brown the mushrooms, stirring often, and set aside.
Sautee onions, shallot, garlic in olive oil for a little while until transluscent (not browned). Add in rice and stir to coat. Keep cooking over medium/low heat for 5 minutes or so, stirring often. Add in 2/3 cup of white wine and stir. Cook until the wine has been absorbed by the rice. Add in 1/2 cup heated chicken stock and stir stir stir. While that cooks, add in the mushrooms and keep stirring. Once the chicken stock has been absorbed, add in the mushroom stock (about 1/2 cup) and stir. Once the mushroom stock has been absorbed, add in another 1/2 cup of warmed chicken stock and stir. Salt/pepper to taste.

Once the rice is *almost* done, add in parsley, butter, and parmesan cheese and stir some more.
Take off heat and serve.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Grilled Chicken Kebab with Coconut Rice and Grilled Pineapple

For 2 people

12 oz. - 24 oz. chicken breast, cubed
4 oz. plain yogurt
2 T Ras el Hanout spice (shawarma spice mix)
1 cup jasmine rice
1 can coconut milk
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. sugar
Fresh pineapple, sliced
Cilantro, chopped
Red Onion, diced
Yellow onion, diced
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 can black beans
Vegetable oil
2 loaves Naan bread

This recipe is a little involved, but worth it in the long run. Jon got a new gas grill for his birthday, so I use that to grill the kebabs on, but you could use a George Foreman or other indoor grill, or even your broiler.

Begin by rolling chicken chunks in the shawarma spices and then marinating in plain yogurt. Let the chicken sit in the fridge for 2-8 hours in the marinade. Then, put 4-5 chunks on each skewer.
Grill chicken until cooked thoroughly.
To make the coconut rice, add milk and 1/2 cup water to a sauce pan and bring to boil.
Add in sugar and 1 cup jasmine rice.
COVER the pan tightly and reduce heat to your lowest setting available.
Let the rice cook for 15-20 minutes, no peeking!!! Let rest additional 5 mins with the heat off.
Chop red onion and cilantro and use as a garnish.
Put the diced yellow onion in another pan with some vegetable oil. Gently sautee until soft and add cumin and rinsed black beans. Add salt to taste.
Grill pineapple.

Serve with naan and a squeeze of lime.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bleu Cheese Walnut Dip for crackers or crostini

Also great on veggies or apple slices and fresh pineapple!

1/2 cup toasted walnuts
4 oz. bleu cheese
1 package cream cheese
2 T honey
1 tsp. garlic salt
Chopped scallions *optional

Toasted crostini
Fruit slices

Toast walnuts in a 350 oven for 5-7 mins on a baking pan.
Combine softened cream cheese, bleu cheese, salt and honey in a bowl.
Add in toasted walnuts and combine.
Garnish with chopped scallions, if desired.


Friday, December 5, 2008

Tofu Parmigiana

Last night, I created a great vegetarian version of Chicken Parmesan using extra firm tofu instead of chicken. It tasted great and I like to limit my consumption of meats whenever possible. I do use eggs and cheese, however. You can alwasy use soy milk instead of eggs in this recipe and vegan cheese instead of mozzarella.

1 package extra firm tofu cut into 2 steaks
Panko bread crumbs mixed with italian bread crumbs (50/50 mix)
1 egg
FRESH mozzarella cheese
Spaghetti sauce
FRESH basil leaves, torn
Flour seasoned with lots of garlic powder!

Preheat oven to 425
Drain your tofu on paper towel by wrapping each tofu steak and leaving in fridge for at least 1 hour.
Dredge tofu in a little seasoned flour (handle carefully or tofu could break apart)
Dredge in whisked egg
Dredge in panko/breadcrumbs mixture
Move steaks to a baking dish sprayed with PAM or other non-stick cooking spray
Bake in 425 oven for 15-17 mins
Take out of oven and top with about half the jar of spaghetti sauce and slices of fresh mozzarella
Reduce heat to 375 and bake for another 10-15 mins
Top with lots of torn fresh basil leaves and maybe some parmesan cheese!

*Serve with some spaghetti and sauteed mushrooms, if you wish.

Note: I used to skip the 1) dredge in flour step and have found that I should not skip that step. It helps keep the breadcrumbs on the meat/tofu/eggplant/other veggie so much better!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Cast Iron Skillet Deep Dish Pizza

1 frozen pizza dough ball
Pizza Sauce
Fresh Mozzarella, sliced
Shredded Mozzarella
Italian Sausage
Olive oil
Parmesan Cheese
Garlic Salt
Red Pepper Flakes

Any other ingredients you'd like!

Preheat oven to 350.
Let dough thaw and rest.
Brown the sausage.
Oil the cast iron pan and stretch the pizza dough to fit in the pan & up the sides.  I let the dough hang over a little.
Par-bake the dough for 5 minutes.
 Take the pizza out and layer with shredded mozzarella.  Bake another minute in the oven to let the cheese melt just slightly and form a barrier for the sauce.
Layer sauce, sausage, pepperoni, fresh mozzarella slices and more sauce.  Top with more fresh mozzarella.
Fill up the pizza!
Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown on the edges and the cheese is fully melted and hot.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Apple Walnut Salad with Bleu Cheese

I like to make my own croutons for this salad. I slice up a baguette,toss the slices in some olive oil, some garlic salt, and a little parmesan cheese. Lay the slices on a baking pan and bake in a 375 degree oven for 8-10 minutes until crunchy. Let them sit in a warm oven (oven OFF) for additional 3-5 minutes to get extra crunchy.

1 small head of romaine lettuce
1 cup of baby spinach
1 green apple (I prefer the more tart variety)
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/4 cup craisins *optional
4 oz. bleu cheese
3/4 cup Apple cider vinaigrette (see salad dressing post)

Dice the apples and toast the walnuts. Chop the romaine and toss with the spinach. Add everything to the bowl and toss with the cider vinaigrette.
Serve with homemade croutons on top!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Sherry Mushroom Chicken

2 chicken breasts
2 packages of cremini mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 shallot, sliced
2 cups cream sherry
1/2 cup light cream
Flat leaf parsley, chopped
Shredded parmesan cheese
Olive oil

Season chicken breasts and sautee in a pan 3-4 minutes per side.  Chicken does not need to be cooked through, but should get a little color.  Set aside.

Halve the mushrooms and sautee in 3-4 T olive oil.  Use a hot pan to brown the mushrooms.  After the mushrooms begin to brown, reduce the heat and add in chopped garlic and sliced shallots.  Continue to cook over medium heat until the garlic and shallots begin to soften.  Don't let the garlic burn.  Season with salt and pepper.

Put the chicken into the pan and add in cream sherry and let cook 10-12 minutes over medium heat.

Reduce heat and allow the sherry to stop boiling.  Add in cream and stir thoroughly to incorporate.
Let cook for 7-10 more minutes.

Garnish with chopped flat leaf parsley and parmesan cheese.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pear and Bleu Cheese Pizza with Honey Drizzle

1 (ball frozen pizza dough (available at your local grocery store in the frozen bread section)
1 (4 ounce) wedge of good quality blue cheese
6 ounces lightly toasted walnuts
1 ripened bartlett pear
4 ounces olive oil
garlic salt
grated parmesan cheese
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese (more if you'd like)

1Defrost the pizza dough and follow instructions on package for making a 12" pizza crust. Make sure ball is thoroughly defrosted and has had time to rest (about 1/2 hour in a bowl) as it will make the dough more elastic and easier to form into a pizza crust.
Dust with flour and roll out dough into a circle. Put on a pizza pan and brush whole crust with a layer of olive oil.
Sprinkle dough with Garlic Salt and Parmesan Cheese.
In a preheated oven (400 degrees) put the pizza crust into the oven and let bake for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, slice pear into thin slices.
Take crust out of the oven after baking for 5 minutes and sprinkle with mozzarella.
Arrange pears and walnuts all over the top of the pizza and crumble the entire wedge of bleu cheese on top of the pear and walnut mixture.
Bake for an additonal 10-14 minutes or until the cheese melts and the crust is browned.
Lightly drizzle honey over the whole pizza and serve.
Garnish with a sprinkle of finely chopped flat leaf parsley (optional).

12***Added flavor: Fry some bacon until crispy and crumble real bacon bits over the top!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fish Tacos

I love fish tacos!

I love the fish tacos at a restaurant called Bar Louie in Novi, MI.
So, I decided to make them at home.

Fish: 3/4 lb. skinned and clean Mahi Mahi, poached with lime juice and olive oil for 20-25 mins in 400 oven, wrapped in tin foil
Tortillas: Flour, taco size, warmed for 20 seconds in microwave
Toppings: shredded lettuce, shreddded cabbage, diced tomatoes
White Sauce -- 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup lite mayo, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 small can green chilies, juice from 1/2 lime, salt. Mix to combine.
Cilantro Lime Sauce -- large handful cilantro, 1 clove garlic, juice from 1 whole lime, 1/4 cup olive oil. Put in food processor on high for 30-40 seconds.

Assemble how you like!

Serve with black beans and rice.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Vegetarian Burritos with Brown Jasmine Rice

1 can fat free vegetarian refried beans
1/2 small onion, diced and gently sauteed in a bit of canola oil
2 heaping spoonfuls of salsa
Flour tortillas or whole wheat tortillas

Toppings of your choice:
Diced tomatoes
Chopped cilantro
Avocado slices
Chopped lettuce
Diced onions
Sour cream
Black olives
More salsa
Hot sauce

You choose!

Dice and sautee the onions over low-medium heat until soft. Add in 2 spoonfuls of salsa and stir. Add in 1 can refried beans and mix to combine. Continue to heat over low heat, stirring often, for about 10 mins.
Cook 1 cup brown jasmine rice according to package. The keys is to use exact amounts of water to rice. Brown rice usually takes longer to cook, so allot about 30 minutes total cooking time for the brown rice. Once the brown rice has been cooking over the lowest heat setting you have for about 20 minutes, DO NOT REMOVE THE LID. Turn the heat off and let the rice sit for an additional 10 minutes.

Compose your burrito by warming your tortilla in the microwave for about 10 seconds & putting a layer of the vegetarian beans, rice, cheese (optional), tomatoes, cilantro, lettuce, avocado, hot sauce and whatever else you like!

Roll it up and have some napkins handy!

You can put your burrito under your oven's broiler for 1-2 minutes to get a crispy browned outer shell, if you'd like! I like mine with tons of hot & spicy salsa on top.

Different spins:
1) Add shredded chicken breast!
2) Use black beans instead of fat-free refried beans!
3) Use white jasmine rice instead of brown (it is easier to cook!)
4) If you want, put a little canola oil in a non-stick pan and get a crispy crust on the burrito by wrapping it up, placing seam side down on medium heat for 3-5 mins on first side and 1-2 mins on second side.
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