Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Spice-Crusted Pork Chops with Buttermilk Carrot Slaw

D and I decided to have this recipe.  However we were a little shocked by the price of thick-cut pork chops, so we only bought 2. D had to work, so I prepped the chops. I told him I didn't cut down the spice for 2 chops but used up all the paste.  He said that is typical for a Weber recipe.

For the slaw, since neither of us are huge carrot fans, we used bagged coleslaw, and mixed with the rest of the ingredients.

The results were flavorful and good.  We will definitely have again.

Spice-Crusted Pork Chops with Buttermilk Carrot Slaw

Photo by ALB

Adapted the recipe by Jamie Purviance
With my modifications, there were 4 servings of slaw, and 2 servings of chops.

2¼ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon chipotle or ancho chile powder (used Chipotle)
½ teaspoon dried Mexican oregano leaves, crumbled (used regular oregano)
¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
6 center-cut pork rib chops, each about 8 ounces and 1 inch thick, trimmed of excess fat (used 2)
¼ cup buttermilk
¼ cup sour cream
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon whole-grain or stone-ground mustard
⅓ cup vegetable oil (did not use)
5 large carrots, about 1¼ pounds total, peeled and grated using the large holes of a box grater (used bagged coleslaw)
1 shallot, about 1 ounce, very thinly sliced
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil, Italian parsley, or cilantro leaves, or a combination (used cilantro)
Kosher salt

1 In a small bowl mix the salt, pepper, paprika, onion powder, chile powder, oregano, cayenne, and garlic powder. Set aside 1 teaspoon of the spices for the slaw. Add the oil and vinegar to the bowl and stir to combine.

2 Spread the paste on both sides of each pork chop. Cover and refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours. Allow the chops to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling.

3 Meanwhile, make the slaw. In a large bowl combine the buttermilk, sour cream, vinegar, mustard, and the reserved 1 teaspoon spices. Slowly whisk in the vegetable oil until emulsified. Add the carrots, shallot, and fresh herbs. Toss well and season with salt. (You can make the slaw up to 4 hours ahead; cover tightly and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature and toss before serving.)

4 Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350° to 450°F).

5 Grill the pork chops over direct medium heat, with the lid closed, until still slightly pink in the center, 8 to 10 minutes, turning once. Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm with the slaw.

Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Penne

D made this.  It had a lot of flavor.  He added mushrooms, for a little more bulk (and they were onsale).  We would have again.

We had with a Caesar Salad.

Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe Penne

Photo by ALB

If broccoli rabe is a bit bitter for your family or if you have trouble finding it, chopped broccoli would be a delicious substitute. Serve with extra lemon for more zip.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

2 quarts water
8 ounces uncooked multigrain penne pasta
1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed and coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 (3-ounce) smoked chicken sausages, each diagonally cut into 8 pieces (used Chicken Sausage with Cheese from Johnsonville)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 ounces pecorino Romano cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

1. Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add pasta; cook 7 minutes. Add broccoli rabe; cook 2 minutes. Drain pasta mixture, reserving 2/3 cup cooking liquid; keep pasta warm.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add sausage to pan; cook 6 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add 2/3 cup reserved pasta water, pasta mixture, pepper, and salt to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 2 minutes or until slightly reduced. Stir in juice, and sprinkle with cheese.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 374; Fat: 12 g; Satfat: 4.1 g; Monofat: 3.7 g; Polyfat: 0.5 g; Protein: 25 g; Carbohydrate: 48 g; Fiber: 6 g; Cholesterol: 58 mg; Iron: 6 mg; Sodium: 539 mg; Calcium: 264 mg; Sugars: 4 g; Est. Added Sugars: 1 g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2016

Skillet Chicken with Seared Avocados

D made this the other night. It had a ton of flavor.  Plus if you used a tortilla, it was like fajitas. I really liked it.  Would have again.

We had with refried beans and tortillas.

Skillet Chicken with Seared Avocados

Photo by ALB

The tiniest bit of sugar helps the avocado halves char in the pan, adding robust toasty flavor.

Yield: Serves 4 (serving size: 1 chicken breast half, 1 avocado half, 2 tablespoons sauce, and 2/3 cup onion mixture)

1 tablespoon olive oil
4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ancho chile powder
Cooking spray
2 small ripe avocados, halved and pitted
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 medium red onions, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings
4 green onions, trimmed
1 poblano pepper, sliced
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 to 3 tablespoons water
8 cilantro sprigs
4 lime wedges
1 teaspoon aleppo or other coarse red pepper (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 450°.

2. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt, black pepper, and chili powder. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes. Turn chicken over; cook 1 minute. Remove chicken from pan (chicken will not be fully cooked).

3. Wipe pan clean with paper towels. Coat pan with cooking spray. Increase heat to high. Sprinkle avocados with sugar. Add avocados, cut side down, to pan; cook 2 minutes or until charred. Remove avocados from pan. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add red onions; cook 3 minutes or until charred. Turn red onions; add green onions and poblano. Cook 3 minutes. Separate red onions into rings; toss with green onions and poblano. Stir in lime juice and soy sauce. Nestle chicken and avocados into onion mixture. Place pan in oven; bake at 450° for 7 minutes or until chicken is done.

4. Remove pan from oven. Combine sour cream and water in a small bowl until thinned to a saucy consistency. (didn't do...just used sour cream). Drizzle sour cream mixture over chicken and avocados. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and aleppo pepper, if desired.

Nutritional Information
Amount per serving
Calories: 417; Fat: 21 g; Satfat: 4.5 g; Monofat: 11.1 g; Polyfat: 2.4 g; Protein: 40 g; Carbohydrate: 19 g; Fiber: 7 g; Cholesterol: 119 mg; Iron: 2 mg; Sodium: 610 mg; Calcium: 78 mg; Sugars: 5 g; Est. Added Sugars: 0 g

Cooking Light, JANUARY 2016

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya

D's mom got me the The Homesick Texan's Family Table cookbook.  If a recipe on this site isn't from Cooking Light, it is usually from Homesick Texan. Her recipes are big on flavor, but not complex to make.  This is the first recipe we (D) made out of  the book.  It was pretty easy for a weekday night, and it had a lot of flavor.  The servings were big.  We used Johnsonville Andouille, but next time we both agreed that the Rajin' Cajun Andouille should be used.

I found the recipe on NPR's Website, so I shared it.  We would have again.

Sausage and Shrimp Jambalaya

Photo by ALB

From Lisa Fain, Homesick Texan.
Recipe from NPR Website
Serves: 5
Serving Size: 1.5 Cups

1 teaspoon vegetable oil or bacon grease
1 yellow onion, diced
2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and diced
1 bell pepper, seeded, stemmed, and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 pieces (12 to 14 ounces total) Andouille or other smoky sausage, sliced into rounds
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon cayenne
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup rice (uncooked)
1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 green onion, green part only, chopped
salt (to taste...for Nutritional Information, I used 1/4 tsp)

In a 4-quart pot or large, deep skillet, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, jalapeños, and bell pepper, and cook, occasionally stirring, until the onions are translucent and the peppers are softened, 7 to 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and sausage, and continue to cook, occasionally stirring, until the sausage begins to crisp, about 5 minutes more.

Add the tomatoes (do not drain the cans), parsley, thyme, oregano, cayenne, chicken broth, and rice. Stir until well combined, turn the heat up to high, and bring to a boil. Then turn the heat down to low, cover the pot, and cook until the rice is tender and has absorbed a lot of the liquid, 20 to 25 minutes.

Remove the lid and stir in the shrimp. Cook until the shrimp is pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in the smoked paprika and green onions, and then adjust the seasonings and add salt to taste. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Information (from My Fitness Pal)
Servings 5.0; Amount Per Serving
Calories: 477; Total Fat: 24 g; Saturated Fat: 7 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 169 mg; Sodium: 1440 mg; Potassium: 125 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 30 g; Dietary Fiber: 3 g; Sugars: 7 g; Protein: 31 g

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Skinny Beef & Broccoli Noodles

This is one of those recipes that I wonder about when I figure out the nutritional information. What is the author's definition of skinny, because mine is a 400 or lower calorie meal, which this is not?  True I did double the portion of beef because what are you supposed to do with .75 pounds of left over steak?  And yes, we subbed fettuccine for the rice noodles, since Kroger doesn't believe in selling rice noodles (or linguine, but I digress).  But we got 5 portions (1.5 Cups).  But even using the correct amount of steak makes the dish ~550 calories (again 5 servings) and the noodle sub was negligible.  So I don't know.

So my bash is on the title.  But the dish was good. It needed more broccoli, but what dish doesn't?  The portions were a good size. I don't know if it was easy, as D made it. But I would have again, because it was good.  Just it wasn't "skinny."

Skinny Beef and Broccoli Noodles

Photo by ALB

PREP: 0:15
SERVES: 4 (we got 5, and nutrition was based on 5)
SERVING SIZE (with 5 servings) was about 1.5 Cups


1 lb. wide rice noodles or udon noodles (used fettuccine)
1/3 c. low-sodium soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp. Sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp. honey
3 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. cornstarch
3/4 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced against the grain (used 1.5 pounds)
1 large head broccoli, cut into florets
8 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
Lime wedges, for serving

In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook noodles according to package directions until al dente. Drain.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, Sriracha, honey, and 2 tablespoons sesame oil. Whisk in cornstarch and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining tablespoon sesame oil. Add steak and cook 3 to 5 minutes. Add broccoli and mushrooms and 2 tablespoons water and stir, cooking until tender, about 6 minutes more. Reduce heat to low and add cooked noodles and reserved sauce to skillet. Toss until fully coated and warmed through. Serve with lime wedges.

Nutritional Information
(from My Fitness Pal)
Servings 5.0
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 645; Total Fat: 20 g; Saturated Fat: 6 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 4 g; Trans Fat: 0 g; Cholesterol: 21 mg; Sodium: 676 mg; Potassium: 234 mg; Total Carbohydrate: 74 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 6 g; Protein: 42 g

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Black Bean Quesadilla

This is one of those recipes that is great when you are cooking for 1.  I'm pretty sure this was a Weight Watchers 123 Points (yes, that old!) recipe at some point.  If not, I used to make something very similar to it.

D was out of town a few weeks ago, so I made this.  Just mixed everything in the bowl, and made one serving for dinner, lunch, dinner and another dinner).  It was very simple, and I almost always have everything on hand.  (My avocado was bad so no avocada, and I had green salsa).

I would make again.

Black Bean Quesadilla

Photo by ALB

In a hurry? These satisfying quesadillas take just 15 minutes to make. We like them with black beans, but pinto beans work well too. If you like a little heat, be sure to use pepper Jack cheese in the filling.

Serve with: A little sour cream and a mixed green salad. 

 4 servings | Active Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 15 minutes

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, preferably pepper Jack
1/2 cup prepared fresh salsa (see Tip), divided
4 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas
2 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1 ripe avocado, diced

Combine beans, cheese and 1/4 cup salsa in a medium bowl. Place tortillas on a work surface. Spread 1/2 cup filling on half of each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half, pressing gently to flatten.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil (used 1/2 tsp since I made 1 at a time) in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 quesadillas and cook, turning once, until golden on both sides, 2 to 4 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm. Repeat with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and quesadillas. Serve the quesadillas with avocado and the remaining salsa.

Per serving : 377 Calories; 16 g Fat; 5 g Sat; 8 g Mono; 13 mg Cholesterol; 46 g Carbohydrates; 13 g Protein; 10 g Fiber; 679 mg Sodium; 581 mg Potassium

From EatingWell: July/August 2010

Sopa de lima (Mexican lime soup)

I made this.  D was out of town, and I decided to try this.  He isn't a huge lime fan, so why not make something I'll probably like.

I was right.  There was a lot of flavor.  The color wasn't very red, but that was probably because I used plum instead of roma tomatoes, since Kroger seems to have problems with having romas in stock.

It was easy to make.  There was a lot of flavor.  I would have again.

Sopa de lima (Mexican lime soup)

Photo by ALB

Serves 4

2 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled
4 Roma tomatoes, quartered (used Plum)
1 jalapeño, halved and seeded (feel free to add more if you like more heat)
4 cups chicken stock
2 limes (1 peeled of pith and roughly chopped, 1 halved lengthwise and very thinly sliced crosswise)
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Added 1 teaspoon cumin
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I cut into 1 inch pieces prior to cooking)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup finely chopped white onion
1 avocado, diced
1 cup chopped cilantro
Added fried jalapenos
Added sour cream
Crumbled tortilla chips (optional)

Step 1:
Add olive oil to a 12” skillet or large saucepan (used a Dutch Oven) over medium-high heat. Add tomatoes, garlic and jalapeño with a pinch of salt. Sauté for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. The tomatoes will slump and give off juice as the jalapeño and garlic soften and char. (I removed the tomato skins that stayed in the pan, and threw away)

Step 2:
Remove the pan from the heat and carefully transfer the vegetables to a food processor or blender. Process with the peeled lime.

Step 3:
I added the onion and sauteed for 5-7 minutes.  Return the mixture back to the pan  along with chicken stock, thyme, oregano (and cumin) and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. (I added the cilantro here too).Scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan and bring everything to a simmer.

Step 4:
Carefully add the chicken and simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

Step 5:
Remove the chicken from the pan and slice or shred into bite-size pieces. Return the chicken back to the pan. (I skipped this, since my chicken was already in pieces)

Step 6:
Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings to your liking.

Garnish each bowl of soup with chopped onion, cilantro, avocado, (fried jalapeno and sour cream) tortilla chips and more lime if desired.