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My Greek Inspired Chicken Dinner.

19 Mar

Tonight’s dinner was my version of a Greek inspired dish. It was simple and full of flavor. I simply took 2 chicken breast and sliced them so that they were about 1/4 inch thick. Then I lightly seasoned the chicken. You can use your favorite seasonings. I used a combination of black pepper, paprika and sea salt. I also added a little of the Wegmans Basting Oil. I actually used this basting oil for almost all of my dishes.

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I then sautéed it in extra virgin olive oil. I cooked the chicken for 5 minutes each side until it was golden.

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I then wrapped it aluminum foil and put it in a 400 degree oven and let it cook for another 10 minutes. While the chicken was cooking in the oven, I threw in the naan bread. Note, I literally threw it in the oven directly on the racks and let it stay for 3-5 minutes until it was golden brown.

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The chicken and naan were cut and placed on a platter that included cucumbers, brushetta, feta cheese, pesto and grapes. I also served a side of Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf. The combination was a flavorful and enticing to the tastebuds.

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Hey all I just want to say thank you to all who read my little blog. I promise to try to keep it update. Please go to my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pennylovesblog and hit like to stay update of all my dinner creations. I love your feedback and discussions. So please go to my Facebook page and hit “like” http://www.facebook.com/pennylovesblog . Thanks so much:)

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Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf: A Whole New Way To Enjoy Whole Grains

19 Mar

Today I had a pleasant culinary surprise. I tried this Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf and it was delicious. I was nervous about it being dry and rock hard. However, it was quite tasty. Now, I did boil it in chicken broth and I also added a teaspoon of the Wegman’s garlic parmesan cheese finishing butter. So, I definitely think doing those things added flavor. I also cooked it for 30 minutes instead of the recommended 25. It ended up being a tasty side dish and a nice healthy alternative to white rice and pasta.

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My Meal Planning Follow Up

11 Dec

Well, I must admit that while planning my meals in advance was a great tool in helping me to stay organized, I didn’t quite stick to the plan the entire week.

However, I will say this was quite a learning experience and I think the more I attempt planning my meals, the more successful I will be.

A few of the things that thwarted my efforts were:

•Not having all of the ingredients in stock. While I was writing out my menu, I should have also been writing a grocery list. In the future I’ll try to have my plan written before Sunday so I can buy all of the ingredients for my menu when I go grocery shopping.

•Not making enough food for leftovers. Well, technically I did make extra food. However, my husband ate it for his lunch the next day. So going forward I will keep this is mind so that I’m not thinking dinner is in the fridge, when it isn’t.

•Not taking into consideration that we had plans for Friday and Saturday. I think my menu will always have a takeout or rotisserie chicken day. This will be for those days when there is a Parent Teacher Night, practices, Holiday parties or whatever is going on at the time. My goal is to write down a list of places that has quality takeout that I can buy when I truly have no time
to cook. I am not a fast food fan so I’m thinking that my favorite grocer’s (Wegmans) salad bar, the rotisserie chicken dinner special sold at Whole Foods and the Thai restaurant that we enjoy, will all be on that list.

So, hopefully my next Menu Planning attempt will be even better. Of course, this experience was not a failure by any meals. I did manage to adhere to the following menu on Sunday and Monday. On Tuesday I switched it up and opted to serve a grilled chicken salad instead. I did this because I realized that Meatloaf takes too long to prepare the day of. However, later that night after the kids were in bed, I made the turkey meatloaf and it was served on Wednesday. On Thursday we did have the Quesadillas with various leftovers. On Friday & Saturday we had social events so I did not cook.

So all in all I think it went fairly well and I look forward to planning more often. Below are a few of the pictures I manage to snap of the dinners. Hope my experience helps you and I would love your feedback or ideas on how you plan out your weekly meals.

•Beef & Broccoli Stirfry
~~I used beef short ribs (which I cut into 1/2 inch cubes) for this dish because it cooks quickly and is quite tender.

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•Grilled Chicken Salad
~~As you all know, I love making salads. They are quick, healthy and easy to make. Plus it’s a great way to add in lots of vegetables.

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•Turkey Meatloaf
~~Making your meatloaf the night before allows all of the flavors to combine so that it’s perfect when you serve it the next day. It also makes it easier to cut.

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Adding Extra Nutrition To Your Favorite Foods: Ground Turkey With Spinach, Onion & Peppers

15 Nov

This post is not necessarily a recipe post. My purpose today is just to give you an idea about how you can make a few tiny changes and instantly make
your food more healthy and nutritious.

Today’s example is Ground Turkey. I often use ground turkey in lieu of ground beef. I find the 93 percent fat free (93/7) ground turkey to be as juicy and flavorful as the 80 percent fat free (80/20) ground beef. However, the turkey has less fat, cholesterol and calories. While, in my opinion, having all of the taste. I know there is also 93/7 ground beef but I find the 93/7 ground beef to rather dry for most of the recipes I use. I also just prefer the sweetness of the turkey.

I often use 93/7 ground turkey for tacos, pasta sauce and even pizza toppings. Another thing I do is sneak in extra vegetables into my ground turkey. Sure you probably wouldn’t expect spinach in your burrito, taco or pasta sauce but…why not? Spinach takes on whatever flavor it’s paired with and it’s a superfood. Yes, spinach is a superfood! It’s high in protein, low calories, high in Vitamin A & J and a great source of folic acid. That’s just a few of spinach’s benefits and it taste good. When I make ground turkey I usually add in about 1/2 a bag of spinach.

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Yes, half a bag of spinach sounds like a lot but it quickly cooks down. I also always add onions and peppers to my ground turkey mixture. I always try to make my food as colorful as possible. Colorful foods are usually high in nutrition. Of course, that’s excludes skittles. Lol.

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I also like to sometimes put this mixture on top of beans and then add cheese on top. This is great as a dip with tortilla chips or just as a yummy entree.

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This can be made early in the week and used later for whatever dish you prefer. So try it and let me know what you think. Bon Appetit!

Savory & Juicy Salmon

9 Nov

Tonight I thought I would make salmon for dinner. However, I wanted to change it up a little. I wanted it full of savory flavor with a light sauce to keep it juicy. Typically, I either make it on the grill or throw it in the oven. Both produce great results. However, tonight I thought I would try a slightly different cooking technique. If you want to try this recipe you will need the following:

Preheated oven to 425%

SALMON:
1lb salmon
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon *Basting Oil
1 Tablespoon mixed seasoning (pepper, salt, herb blend)
Parmesan Cheese

SAUCE:
1/3 Cup Broth
1/2 Tablespoon Flavored Butter
1 Pinch of your favorite seasonings

Take 1lb of fresh salmon and lightly seasoned it Wegmans basting oil, lemon & garlic seasonings & cracked pepper.

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Then put 1TBS of Olive Oil in a skillet & once it was hot put the salmon in the skillet. Cooked the filets for 1.5 minutes on either side.

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Take the salmon out of the pan & placed on a aluminum foil (feel free to use your favorite casserole dish or oven pan, I was in a hurry. Lol) sheet. Topped each filet with Parmesan cheese. I used enough to just cover each filet.

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The filets were put into the 425 degree oven and cooked them until they were firm and flaked easily, between 10-12 minutes.

While the fish is cooking take 1/3 cup of chicken broth and added 1/2 tablespoon of shallot & garlic flavored butter. I also added a pinch of lemon pepper & Montreal steak seasonings. This was stirred & then microwaved for 30 seconds or until piping hot.

Once the salmon is done, pour the sauce on top and viola, this entree is done.

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The salmon was served with quinoa and corn on the cob.

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Lavash Vegetable & Hummus Wrap

29 Oct

Try this for a quick healthy snack or meal.


1 Lavash Wrap (can use tortilla wraps)
2 Tablespoons hummus
10 Spinach leaves
1/4 cup of shredded carrots
1/4 cup of long cut cucumber
1/4 cup of flavored feta

Place the wrap on a plate or wax paper. Spread the hummus evenly on the wrap. Lay the spinach leaves until they cover the hummus. Add the cucumbers and then the carrots. Finally spread the feta on top of the vegetables. Add another dollop of hummus & spread over everything.

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Then carefully roll the wrap. Lightly press down upon the wrap so that all of the ingredients are packed together.
Then cut the wrap into 1 inch segments. Which will sort of resemble pinwheels.

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This is great as a lunch entree, appetizer, snack or along with whatever you are serving for dinner. Bon Appetit!

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A Fancy Salad Made With The Simplest Ingredients

9 Sep

Looking for a quick & healthy lunch or dinner idea? Try this simple but hearty salad with chicken, diced apples, almonds, cranberries, pinenuts & cheese (mozzarella & cheddar). Serve with a honey mustard or balsamic dressing.

I chose the ingredients based on items I had in my fridge & pantry. Feel free to substitute based on what you have.

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