Tag Archives: Egg

Zucchini frittata to go

I’ve been looking for new ways to increase my vegetable intake so I tried out this frittata that made four portions, or enough for two days worth of breakfast for me and Nadia.

Eight eggs whipped with 1/2 c of part-skim ricotta, salt and pepper. Add that to sliced zucchini, scallions and parsley that has been sautéed in a light amount of oil or butter (or a little of both) until brown, about 15 min. Mix in a non-stick skillet and bake for 35 minutes at 350.

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Stretching your pesos: Fat Dude’s Mexican Fiesta, Part 7—Shrimp fried Mexican rice

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This is the last post of my “Stretching your pesos” series, which I essentially wrote because I made too much chicken for Nadia’s cousins and I had to figure out what to do with it.

On a small scale, the series taught me to use my leftovers to their full extent. And that’s important to do, considering people in this world are starving while Americans waste 33 million tons of food annually, according to NPR.

I only had a few shrimp, some Mexican rice and pickled red onion in the fridge by the end of this experiment, and I wanted to mix it up a bit, so I took inspiration from Orange County’s Dos Chinos food truck which fuses Asian and Mexican cuisines.

Enter: Shrimp fried Mexican rice.

I found the blueprint at Epicurious:

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 bunch scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup leftover pork, chicken, or beef, diced
  • 1 cup frozen peas and carrots, thawed (plus any leftover vegetables you have on hand)
  • 4 cups cold cooked white or brown rice (In this case Mexican rice, recipe here)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

The recipe makes four servings, but here’s a couple of ways to make it a little healthier if you aren’t using leftovers like I was: Use 2-3 cups of rice, so each person has less than 1 cup, with 1/2 cup per person being the target–and go brown rice; use low-sodium soy sauce. You can also reduce the oil, but this rice does need to crisp and you’re at less than 1 T per person. Try using 2 T, and add a tablespoon if necessary.

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Follow the link above for the full step by step, but the method is fairly simple and the result far less greasy than any box of takeout I’ve ever brought home.

You start by cooking the egg and the scallions with some of the oil. Then the meat and veggies get tossed in the pan and scrambled around. The rest of the oil goes in to crisp up the rice and you wrap it up by adding a mixture of soy sauce and water to flavor the rice.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime, and dig in.

I had a mental breakdown while making coconut-crusted chicken

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I’ve been trying to cook every meal at home since the new year began. I’ll delve deeper into that on Saturday when I post the first weigh-in of 2013, but, to get to the point, I’ve had all but three meals out (one breakfast and two lunches) in the last 10 days.

It wasn’t a resolution necessarily, but a goal I’ve had for a long time. For some reason, this time, it’s finally starting to click.

The idea for “coconut crusted chicken” popped into my head a couple of nights ago. I found a link to “Coconut Crusted Chicken Tenders” from the Can You Stay For Dinner blog. I went looking for chicken and left with a whole new outlook on weight loss.

The blog is written by Andie Mitchell, a 27-year-old who lost 135 lbs. by cooking and exercise. Her honesty is encouraging, and seeing that she lost so much weight without any gimmicks is inspiring. She writes about taking it one day at a time, one choice at a time, and that truly is the right mindset to make it happen.

So, back to the chicken.

I wasn’t so much looking for an exact recipe as I was just to see how someone else did it without messing it up. I planned to de-bone the chicken thighs I had cut down earlier in the week, but they were still slightly frozen by the time I arrived home. It was a pain to get the bones out and more then a few times I wanted to call it quits.

Because I wanted to add more coconut flavor, I soaked the meat in coconut milk while it came to room temperature (better for cooking evenly). Then came the batter station:

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Drain the excess coconut milk from the chicken, drop it in flour, then in egg, and finally into the coconut/panko mix. Pan fry for 3 minutes per side and bake on 400 degrees for 10 minutes.

I’m terrible with batters, especially using wet and dry hands. I’m always running back and forth from the sink. That, paired with the hunger of having to stop at the grocery store for a couple of ingredients, then waiting to marinate, AND THEN  … AND THEN!!! … fighting with monster batter hands. I had enough.

There were obscenities, more obscenities, and this: “I don’t want to BLEEPIN’ cook, I’m over this, let’s just go out already!”

I slumped against the kitchen cabinets and slid all the way to the ground in protest.

“Screw you coconut chicken.”

Nadia, who was napping before dinner, woke up, came to the kitchen and calmed me down. She said she’d help with the batter and we pushed through. The chicken was done and in the oven before I knew it. The slaw– 2 cups of shredded cabbage and 1/4 thin-sliced red onion soaked in lime juice with salt plus cubed pineapple and scallion–took about as much time to assemble as it did for the chicken to bake and then rest.

We almost went out. Because I almost gave up. It wouldn’t have been worth it, and nothing could have been better that night than the coconut-crusted chicken WE worked together to make.

There are going to be nights where I don’t want to cook, but, if I truly want to control what’s going into my body, I’m the one who has to take control.

I’m the one behind this wheel.

Now, on to the next one.

Real Simple magazine: Eggplant lasagna

In my continuing effort to cook most of my meals at home, I went through this month’s cooking calendar on the Real Simple magazine’s website. I put a menu together for the week and plan to link to the dishes each day, just to get back into the habit of blogging meals. This weekend I plan to pick up veggies at the Farmer’s market (SOCO Collection’s spread was incredible last Saturday) and I’ll finally knock out the remainder of the vegetarian menu.

But until then, here’s a vegetarian dish from Real Simple that I was iffy to try, but thankful I did. It’s eggplant lasagna, made with slabs of eggplant (they call for it to be broiled, but I threw mine on the grill), a simple tomato sauce and creamy, herb-spiked ricotta.

Add a side salad drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette and this is both hearty and healthy–for under 400 calories. Here’s the recipe for eggplant lasagna from Real Simple magazine.

Week 26, Meal 2: So good this has to be bad for you

Halfway through eating, Wifey Nadia turned to me and said this dish tasted so good that it had to be bad for us. Fresh, comforting and delicious. Nothing bad about that, I say.

I may have overcooked my eggs just a little, depriving myself of the maximum-possible yolk for this dish, but the cheesy polenta and loads of produce in this dish, the fanciest of our three Breakfast for Dinner 2 meals, did not disappoint.

Here’s Week 26, Meal 2: Parmesan polenta topped with asparagus, leek and poached eggs with prosciutto, tomato and basil salsa. Continue reading Week 26, Meal 2: So good this has to be bad for you

Week 26, Meal 1: If you like orange and ricotta …

Once upon a couple of years ago I reached into a cookbook Chef Brian gave me for Christmas and took a stab at his waffle recipe.

It was through this recipe that I learned the very important distinction of weight vs. volume — needless to say I chose the wrong measurement and ended up with super-flat waffles. Thankfully, it doesn’t matter if pancakes are flat because, you know, they’re supposed to be.

Here’s the idiot-proof recipe (don’t hold me to that) for Week 26, Meal 1: Orange-ricotta pancakes with honey-pistachio yogurt.

Continue reading Week 26, Meal 1: If you like orange and ricotta …

Week 26: BFD2

I live in a world where my wife thinks it’s crazy to eat breakfast — my favorite meal of the day — for dinner.

So, take it from me, it’s a big-f’n-deal when I get some BfD. It’s an even bigger deal when Chef Brian is in charge of the menu because he’s just as good at making yummy morning fare as he is at crafting dressed-up dinners.

Here’s what’s cookin’:

Week 26, Meal 1: Orange-ricotta pancakes with honey-pistachio yogurt

Week 26, Meal 2: Parmesan polenta topped with asparagus, leek and poached eggs with prosciutto, tomato and basil salsa

Week 26, Meal 3: Turkey pastrami hash and eggs

As always, each recipe makes two portions. Follow the jump for the shopping list. Continue reading Week 26: BFD2

Week 18, Meal 3: The chicken and the egg

I don’t know which came first, the chicken or the egg — I just know they both taste great together, especially with a little mound of crispy prosciutto piled on top.

For our finale to No-noodles Italian week, Chef Brian uses his powers of telepathy to read my mind and craft the perfect menu out of everything good in this world.

Here’s Week 18, Meal 3: Baked chicken milanese with arugula, cherry tomatoes, poached egg and crispy prosciutto. Continue reading Week 18, Meal 3: The chicken and the egg

Week 15, Meal 2: Turkey meatloaf with pan-roasted fingerling potatoes and green beans

I promised myself when we started this blog that I’d be open to new foods and be willing to revisit ingredients or dishes I’ve never had a taste for, or have flat out never liked.

I can thank Chef Brian for my new found love of tomatoes and turmeric to name a few, but he’ll probably never get me to appreciate seared ahi tuna (I usually try Wifey Nadia’s seared fish before cooking my fillet all the way through).

And another dish I’ve never really liked? Meatloaf.

Of all three dishes on our American menu, Week 15, Meal 2: Turkey meatloaf with pan-roasted fingerling potatoes and green beans was the one I was least excited for.

Little did I know how much a little BBQ sauce can change things. This recipe was the best one! Continue reading Week 15, Meal 2: Turkey meatloaf with pan-roasted fingerling potatoes and green beans

Week 14, Meal 3: Simple and perfect spaghetti and meatballs

Few words can describe the beauty of homemade spaghetti and meatballs as well as “simple” and “perfect.”

Though Chef Brian’s light and fruity pomodoro sauce has a handful of ingredients, the time-tested combination of carrot, onion, celery, rosemary and thyme is aromatic enough to make your head spin.

His turkey meatballs follow suit, pairing the same herbs with a couple of cheeses, egg and a whole lotta lean turkey.

Rounding out our week of making romantic meals by cooking with aphrodisiacs, here’s one inspired by “Lady and the Tramp.” It’s Week 14, Meal 3: Whole wheat spaghetti Pomodoro with turkey meatballs and shaved Parmesan. Continue reading Week 14, Meal 3: Simple and perfect spaghetti and meatballs

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