Friday, November 2, 2007

Country Style Cucumbers

  • 1 large cucumber
  • 4 red onion slices
  • 2 Tbsp rice or white-wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • ground red pepper to taste

1. If the cucumber is waxed, peel it; otherwise leave the skin intact. Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds with the tip of a teaspoon and slice the cucumber into 1/4" crescents. Place the slices in a small mixing bowl.
2. Separate the onion slices into rings and add them to the bowl.
3. In a measuring cup, stir together the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and red pepper. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers and onions.
4. Let the salad stand for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before servings, or cover and chill overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.
Robyn's notes: I used red-wine vinegar because it's what I have in the house.

Turkey Florentine

  • 8 oz boneless turkey breast cutlets (1/4" thick)
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 4 tsp minced onions
  • 1/4 C apple juice
  • 8 C spinach, loosely packed
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg (optional)

1. Dry the turkey pieces with a paper towel, then sprinkle them with the salt and pepper.
2. Place a heavy, 10" nonstick skillet over high heat for 1 minute. Swirl in the butter and add the turkey. Cook, turning as necessary, for 3 minutes, or until the turkey is browned and firm to the touch, with no trace of pink in the center. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
3. To the skillet, add the onions, apple juice and spinach. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 1 minute, or until the spinach is barely wilted. Sprinkle with the nutmeg (if using). Place the spinach on a serving plate, top with the turkey and serve.

Robyn's notes: this went fast to cook. Looks pretty and fancy when done, but definitely needs a side dish. I served with couscous for me, and Country-Style Cucumbers for him.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Peanut Ginger Pasta

  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 1/4 tsp minced fresh gingerroot
  • 1 1/4 tsp grated lime peel
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 4 oz uncooked whole wheat linguine
  • 1 C chopped fresh broccoli
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1/2 medium sweet red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh basil

1. In a blender, combine the first 10 ingredients; cover and process until blended. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan, cook linguine according to package directions, adding broccoli during the last 5 minutes. Cook until tender; drain.
3. In a large bowl, combine the carrot, red pepper, onion and basil. Add linguine, broccoli and lime juice mixture; toss to coat.

Robyn's notes: if I make this again, I won't use the blender to combine the first ingredients. I could whisk them together just as easily (although it would definitely take longer) and wouldn't have to wash the damned blender afterwards. Plus, I lost a lot of the mixture because I wasn't able to get it out of the blender all that well. The ginger was strong, especially for my taste. He liked this and ate most of mine as well as his own.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Curry Powder

Many items in the spice aisle of the grocery store are a single spice or herb, dried, chopped or ground, etc. Curry powder, however, is not a single spice or herb. When purchasing curry powder, different brands will have different amounts of the spices, and sometimes other spices added.

Most curry powders usually include coriander, turmeric, cumin, and fenugreek in their blends. Additional ingredients such as ginger, garlic, fennel seed, cinnamon, clove, mustard seed, green cardamom, black cardamom, mace, nutmeg, red pepper, long pepper and black pepper may also be added.

The curry powder I have on hand contains coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, bay leaves, celery seed, nutmeg, cloves, onion, red pepper, and ginger.

GF - because curry powder is not a single spice, there is a slight possibility of gluten in some brands. The McCormick company is very dependable on this subject and does not hide wheat on their labels (if it's there, it'll say "wheat", not "natural flavours"). At the time of this writing, McCormick curry powder is gluten-free, as are most others.

Curried Chicken and Bulgur Salad

  • 1/4 C medium-grain bulgur
  • 1/2 C water
  • salt to taste
  • 2 Tbsp mango chutney
  • 2 Tbsp nonfat plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 green onion
  • 1/2 C cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 Tbsp currants or seedless raisins
  • 1/2 C canned mandarin orange segments, drained

1. In a small saucepan, combine the bulgur, water, and salt; bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the bulgur is tender and the water is absorbed. Fluff the bulgur with a fork and turn it into a mixing bowl to cool.
2. If there are large pieces of mango in the chutney, dice them; then place the chutney in a medium bowl with the yogurt and curry powder. Mix well with a table fork. Add the bulgur and toss everything until the bulgur grains are well-coated.
3. Cut the green onions, including the tender green parts, into fine slices. Add the green onions, chicken, currants or raisins and oranges to the bulgur mixture and toss again. If desired, cover the bowl and chill the salad for 30 minutes or overnight to blend the flavors.

Robyn's notes: He didn't get to eat much of this, because he ate too much at the work Halloween party, but he tasted it and really liked it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Chili Non Carne

Note: Long cooking time. Plan ahead, will need over 90 minutes total.

  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 C chopped onions
  • 6 Tbsp chopped celery
  • 6 Tbsp diced carrots
  • 1/4 C chopped green peppers
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 C canned tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 C water
  • 3/4 C canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp bulgur
  • salt to taste
1. Place the oil in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Add the onions, celery, carrots and peppers. Cook over medium heat for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender but not brown. Stir in the garlic, chili powder and cumin; cook for 1 minute.
2. Add the tomatoes (with juice) and water; bring the chili to a simmer. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.
3. Add the beans and bulgur. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the bulgur is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Add salt to taste. Serve hot.
Robyn's notes: yeah, yeah, I know, lots of bulgur recipes recently, haha! It bulks up the chili and adds nice flavor. When I made old-fashioned chicken macaroni salad, I chopped up more green pepper than I needed, and kept the extra in a sealed container in the fridge, knowing that I'd need some for this recipe.  He really, really liked this a lot.