Warm Spinach Salad



I won’t get into full detail, but this week I was diagnosed with Diabetes.  It literally crushed me, but I’ve been pushing on, doing some research, gone to the bookstore to get some diabetic cookbooks and so far I’ve been pretty positive.  That positivity can only last so long before I crash and burn.  

Cooking dinner takes over my day.  I can’t just whip up a meal and eat it without worrying about how much carb, sodium and sugar.  Last night I made a warm spinach salad with quinoa.  It was really good, but I was still hungry afterwards.  Thank you sugar-free fudgsicle.  Quinoa is new to our diet and I know DH doesn’t like it, but he’s a trooper and still eats as much as he can.

Warm Spinach Salad

recipe from Eat what you Love by  Marlene Koch

1/4 cup chicken broth

2 tsp minced garlic

1 TBsp olive oil

2 TBsp balsamic vinegar

Pinch of Salt

Pepper to taste

8 cups spinach (I used 3-4 handfuls)

2 TBsp grated Parmesan cheese


1)  Add chicken broth and garlic to large saute pan and place over medium heat.  Bring to a simmer.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook for 10 minutes to soften and mellow garlic.

2)  Whisk in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Turn off heat and add spinach.  Using tongs, quickly toss the spinach in warm dressing just until coated. 

3) Top with grated parmesan cheese and serve.

Broccoli and Sausage Pasta

Happy Mother’s Day! We had a low key day and took the pups out to Alexandria Bay. When dinner came around, I was feeling pretty lazy and remembered this recipe posted on TPW. This meal was quick, easy and healthy to boot!

Broccoli and Sausage Pasta
Original recipe from Good Life Eats

2 cups broccoli florets, cooked till tender crisp
3 links mild italian sausage
1 red onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper, more if you like
salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces Ronzoni garden delight radiatore pasta, cooked according to package instructions

In a large saute pan, drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil. Add the sausage, cooking until browned on all sides. Remove sausage and slice into rounds. Return to pan. Add onion to the sausage and saute until the onion is tender, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute more.

Deglaze the pan with the white wine, making sure to scrape up all the browned bits. pasta, and broccoli. Season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Serve topped with grated Parmesan cheese.

Chipotle Inspired Rice Bowl

I love Chipotle and I think the one in Syracuse is closed :( I was lucky to find Gina’s recipe for her Fiesta Lime Rice. The components were just like the rice bowl I use to get at Chipotle so I added a little more lime juice than the recipe called for, topped it with salsa and mashed avocado (seasoned with salt&pepper to taste and a lime juice). And it tastes exactly like Chipotle’s rice bowl!

Chipotle Inspired Rice Bowl
Original Recipe from Gina

2 cups cooked long grain rice
1 can black beans, rinsed and heated
1 cup corn, heated
1 large tomato, diced
1 large scallion, diced fine
2-4 tbsp chopped cilantro
1 fresh squeezed lime juice
salt to taste

Mix everything in a bowl! Top with homemade or pre-made salsa and guacamole (or mashed avocado).

Light General Tso’s Chicken

Light General Tso’s Chicken
Original Recipe from Martha Stewart

1 1/4 cups long-grain brown rice
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated and peeled
3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 large egg whites
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

Cook rice according to package instructions OR in your rice cooker. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water until smooth. Add snow peas, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, and red-pepper flakes; toss to combine, and set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, remaining 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken, and toss to coat.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Lift half the chicken from egg-white mixture (shaking off excess), and add to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining oil and chicken, and set aside (reserve skillet).

Add snow-pea mixture to skillet. Cover; cook until snow peas are tender and sauce has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet (with any juices); toss to coat. Serve with rice.

Photo taken with iPhone4. Sorry for the poor quality!

Baked Tilapia with Dill Butter

Everyone is always looking to eating healthier right? Or at least try to in our case. We’ve been trying to work out a bit more and I had some frozen tilapia in the freezer, fresh is perfect too of course. Originally, I bought the tilapia to make New Engl
and Seafood Bake
which turned out amazing! I don’t have a picture for it, but since we don’t own a indoor or outdoor grill, I baked it at 400F for about 25 minutes. Anyways, instead of doing that, I just took the same flavors and paired it with brown rice and steamed broccoli.

I think i might of accidently cooked the fish a few minutes too long, but overall, still delicious!!

Baked Tilapia with Dill Butter
Original recipe from Comfort of Cooking

3-4 Frozen Tilapia, thawed (Fresh is great too)
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 1/2 TBsp finely chopped fresh dill
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, juiced

Preheat oven to 400F. In a small bowl, combine butter, dill, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Place tilapia onto a big sheet of foil. Drizzle with lemon juice and cut squeezed lemons into thin slices. Season with salt and pepper. Dollop the top with the butter mixture and top with lemon slices. Fold foil into a packet and place on a baking sheet.

Bake for about 17-20 minutes.

Pomegranate Chicken

Recently I added the foodie blogroll widget and have gotten a bit of traffic, which makes me quite the happy panda. I currently have 4 followers, well, more like 3 because my friend Maria decided to start a food blog but has yet to post. In her words, “she doesn’t do blogs”. Personally, i love it. I’m planning on having a giveaway for Halloween. Nothing too spectacular since i don’t have the funds to give out fabulous gifts like most bloggers. I was thinking of giving away some cookie cutters since my new obsession (which i have yet to venture in) is cookie cutters and learning to decorate them. What do you think?

Moving on to the food before i get sidetracked. I know most people out their do not like Rachael Ray and thats perfectly fine, but i do. I’m not in love with her or anything, i just happen to buy her magazines, unless you have a better suggestion. I was flipping through her October 2009 issue with my husband peeking over my shoulder when i came across a recipe called Pomegranate Chicken with Walnuts. The picture looks so good, mine, well not so much. I of course omitted the walnuts, defrosted chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs and used regular POM juice. Overall, this dish was a-okay. My husband said “It has an interesting taste” which you know when they say interesting, they really mean i don’t like it haha Personally, it wasn’t that bad. It was a little sweet for a savory dish and the parsley probably killed it for us… completely overpowered the whole dish.
My changes are in the parentheses :)

Pomegranate Chicken with Walnuts
Recipe from October 2009 Rachael Ray Magazine

2 cups rice (1 cup rice)
5 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (1 huge piece of chicken breast, cut into quarters)
Salt & Pepper
1/4 cup vegetable oil (i used canola)
1 large onion, halved and sliced
1 clove garlic, smashed
3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (i of course omitted it)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups cranberry-pomegranate juice (i used regular pom juice)
2 TBsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

In a medium saucepan, bring the rice and 2 1/4 cups water to a simmer. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until the water has evaporated and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned, about 7 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the onion, garlic and walnuts to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cinnamon, scraping up the browned bits. Return the chicken and any juices to the pan, add the cranberry-pom juice and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 3-4 mins; transfer the chicken to a serving plate.

Cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 3 minutes; stir in the parsley and pour over the chicken. Serve on top of the rice.

Lemon Pesto Shrimp Pasta Salad

Well i’ve decided to transfer my few recipes i did post on Dreamwidth to here hoping i would get a little more traffic or at least some traffic haha So a lot has happened this last month or so. First off, days before we left Florida, we kinda sort of bought a puppy. Boy is he cute too. He’s half pitbull half rottweiler, but do not let those names alone fool you. Frankie is the biggest doofus in the world and he simply amazes me (i’ve never had a pet before in my life and goldfishes do not count). Anyways, enough about him, i’ll post a pic here one of these days.

So, we’re pretty much settled down now and since the husb is still on leave we’ve been hanging out at home and trying to train Frankie as best as we can before we send him off to Obedience School. Just recently i purchased a cheap food processor and was dying to make something with it. I opted for a nice and simple Pesto sauce since i bought some pine nuts from the commissary recently. I found the recipe from the wonderful Elise which was very simple to make. I mixed it with lemon pepper shrimp, baby spinach and penne pasta. Overall this dish was very delicious and the shrimp was cooked just right (i think i have a tendency to overcook them?). Good summer dish even though it feels like its spring here.

Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp
recipe from The Food You Crave by Ellie Krieger

1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
3 TBsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare a grill. Toss the shrimp with the oil, add the salt, pepper and lemon zest. Grill until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the shrimp to a plate and drizzle with the lemon juice. Enjoy hot or at room temperature.