Introducing Creativity To The Alternative Diet: Many of us have segued from traditional dietary lifestyle to alternative dietary lifestyles, i.e. Gluten free, Vegan, Grain free, Real food, etc. What are we discovering?? These recipes are NOT mediocre!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Chicken & Asparagus Review

I really liked these recipes. I cook both chicken and asparagus a lot so it was nice to try some different techniques. I loved how the asparagus turned out. I followed the recipe exactly. The chicken was also quite good. Both Jeremy and I thought it needed a dipping sauce. We went really gourmet: mustard for him bbq sauce for me. I served it with couscous with pine nuts, lemon zest, and parmesan cheese. It made for a good, easy, healthy weeknight meal.

Oven Baked Chicken and Roasted Asparagus

Good dinner! Thanks for the good chicken recipe, I will make this again because it was yummy and healthy AND easy. I did everything as the recipe said and served it with french bread and everyone liked it. What did everybody else think?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Last Night's Delight

I know, I know, dorky title, but seriously, I enjoyed the wild rice last night so much! I am looking forward to eating more for lunch today. I didn't read carefully last night so it was too late to serve it completely chilled. We had it a little cooler than room temp and it was delicious. So today I'll have it chilled. I really loved the mix of flavors. The almonds totally made it. Actually, I could say that about the cranberries, and red onion, too! I used veg. oil instead of canola because that was what I had. I used a little more carrots and celery than it called for. I can't really think of anything else that I did differently. I will make this again. It will be great for a summer meal, or potlucks and get-togethers of all sorts. I just loved it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tisha's Latest Recipe

Hey Gals!
I know it's odd to post like this but was afraid if I commented to Tisha's recipe, no body would see it.
Question: the last line of the recipe says "cover and chill", does this mean that you combine everything at the end and after you chill it you then serve it cold? I am confused. Has anyone got any advise or experience on this recipe yet? Thanks!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Chicken or Pork stir-fry

This is my standby for a quick easy dinner! I love the simplicity of it and the great flavors I can create with whatever I have on hand. For an even faster meal I have done the meat as usual and then used a bag of frozen stir fry mix veggies. That works okay but I suggest defrosting veggies first or they are too wet to stirfry. This is not from any original recipe so please feel free to use measurements loosely and to your taste!

2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or pork chops (or tofu)
1 TB cornstarch
1 Tb veggie oil (more for cooking)
1 c. or so of chicken stock
2 Tb soy sauce
1 Tb worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp chili pepper paste ( this comes in a tube in produce section)
1 small onion (sliced pole to pole)
1 bell pepper (chop into med chunks)
1 large carrot (thin cut on a sharp diagonal to shorten cooking time)
1 stalk celery (chopped on thin diagonal)
1 c. other veggies ( I use whatever is in need of eating in the fridge)
1 c. cashews
Rice to serve with is great!

Slice meat in thin strips and place in a medium bowl. Sprinkle cornstarch over it and the oil. This should make a thin paste over the meat if not adjust starch/oil to coat all meat without being soupy. Let rest while you chop veggies.

Chop all veggies.

Preheat Wok until it is hot. Add about 1 Tb oil to wok and swirl around pan. Add meat to pan but do not stir until the meat easily releases from the pan. When all meat is almost fully cooked add Onions, peppers, celery and carrots. Add a splash of stock to wok as needed to help cook the veggies but it should not be soupy and evaporates quickly. Add your other veggie based on how quickly it cooks. (Zuc. , peas, mushrooms, etc take about 3 minutes. broc, cabbage, cauliflower etc a little longer).

As veggies come to the desired softness for you start to add a little more stock to make a bit of sauce for stirfry. The starch from the meat releases to help thicken the stock. Then add the chili pepper, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce to stirfry. Just before serving toss in the cashews mix well and serve over rice.

Oven baked Chicken and roasted asparagus

This is a recipe that my family has done for almost 20 years. My dad was a fan of fried chicken but after his triple bypass surgery this was the closest he was allowed to come to it.

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups Grape nuts flakes
3/4 c non fat milk
salt and pepper to taste
PAM or spray oil (if you have it)

1 bunch asparagus
olive oil
1 TB minced garlic fresh or (1/2 Tb dried)
salt and pepper
2 TB sherry

Preheat oven to 425 degrees
pour milk in one shallow bowl and cereal in another. Dip chicken in milk and then in cereal and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and spray lightly with PAM or olive oil spritzer. Bake chicken for 10 minutes and turn oven temp down to 350 degrees and bake until chicken is done (appx. 2o minutes). Remove from oven and let rest 3-5 minutes before cutting into it.

Meanwhile, trim your asparagus and place in a shallow baking dish. drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle garlic, salt and pepper on top and bake until soft (thin asparagas takes about 10-15 min thick takes about 20-25 minutes). Remove from oven and drizzle the sherry over the top. Be careful the sherry may steam a bit in the hot pan.

I have also made the Orzo recipe that Rachel posted long ago but used quinoa instead of the orzo to go with this meal and thought it went well together.

2 for 1 deal!!!

Ladies, I could not decide on one recipe! I wanted to post one this time that is a staple in my house. Something I tend to have all ingredients on hand, light on the budget, and quick and easy to make. I narrowed it down to 3 recipes, herb roasted chicken, stir-fry and oven baked chicken. I am going to post 2 of these recipes and feel free to do both or choose which one your family may use more often and review that one.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chicken & Wild Rice Salad

A few times a year, when I'm short on time to cook, I buy a smoked turkey from our nearby meat market. I can use the turkey all week to make quesadillas, turkey soup, curried turkey salad, etc. without having to do any meat prep. I stumbled across this recipe when looking for another tasty use for my smoked turkey. It is colorful and tasty - and it even passes as a "salad" minus the lettuce. It was my first attempt at using wild rice, which takes a while to cook, but is definitely worth the wait! Enjoy!

Chicken & Wild Rice Salad

1/4 cup fig vinegar or white whine vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbl canola oil

Remaining ingredients:
2 cups chicken broth
1.5 cups uncooked wild rice
1 tbl butter
cooking spray
1 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast (or turkey)(or grilled chicken)
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted
2 tbl minced red onion

1. To prepare dressing, combine first 5 ingredients in a bowl. Gradually add oil, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Cover and chill.
2. Combine broth, rice, and butter in a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 45 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid absorbed (mine took longer than 45 minutes). Remove rice mixture from heat; cool.
3. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 8 minutes on each side or until done. Cool; cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
4. Combine cooked rice, chicken, celery, carrots, cranberries, almonds, and red onion in a large bowl. Add dressing; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill.

Yield 6 servings.