Thursday, April 17, 2008

Vermicelli with Herbed Mushrooms

  • 6 oz vermicelli
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 6 C sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 C minced shallots or onions
  • 1 lemon
  • 1/4 C chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook the vermicelli according to the directions on the package but without salt.
2. While the pasta cooks, place the oil in a heavy, 10" nonstick skillet and warm it for 1 to 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and shallots or onions and cook the mixture, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, or just until the mushrooms are piping hot throughout.
3. Squeeze the juice from the lemon and add the juice to the pan along with the parsley or cilantro, salt and pepper.
4. Drain the pasta and place it in a large bowl. Toss the pasta with the mushroom mixture. Serve immediately.

Robyn's notes: this was one of those recipes that I thought wasn't going to be filling enough for a whole meal, but he said it was perfect. It was very quick to make, and since I used a lemon from our tree it was satisfying, too!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Herbed Whole-Wheat Couscous

  • 3/4 C reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 sliced scallions
  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 C whole-wheat couscous
1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in small saucepan. Add couscous, return to a simmer, cover and remove from heat. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork before serving.

Robyn's notes: he liked this and it went very quickly.

Spiced Turkey with Avocado-Grapefruit Relish

Avocado-Grapefruit Relish:
  • 1 large seedless grapefruit
  • 1/2 small avocado, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
Spiced Turkey
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp five-spice powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 turkey cutlets (8 ounces)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
1. To prepare relish: Remove the peel and white pith from grapefruit with a sharp knife and discard. Cut the grapefruit segments from the surrounding membrane, letting them drop into a small bowl. Squeeze out remaining juice into the bowl and discard membrane. Add avocado, shallot, cilantro, vinegar and honey. Toss well to combine.
2. To prepare turkey: Combine chili powder, five-spice powder and salt on a plate. Dredge turkey in the spice mixture.
3. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook until no longer pink in the middle, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve the turkey with the avocado-grapefruit relish.

Robyn's notes: Served with Herbed Whole-Wheat Couscous and a side of salad greens. This was a slightly more complex meal than usual because it was his birthday, but it still wasn't too complicated and didn't take long, just about a half hour. Was quite good, and was nice to be able to use grapefruit from our own tree.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Spanish Pilaf

  • 1 1/2 tsp Olive oil
  • 1/3 C chopped onion
  • 1/3 C chopped sweet red or green peppers
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 C long-grain white rice
  • 1 C canned tomatoes (with juice)
  • 3/4 C chicken broth or water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
1. Place the oil in a heavy, 8" nonstick skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions and red or green peppers; cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.
2. Stir in the garlic and rice; cook for 1 minute. Use a fork to break up the tomatoes right in the can; add to the skillet (with juice). Stir in the broth or water, salt, thyme, pepper flakes and bay leaf.
3. Bring the rice to a simmer, stir it well and reduce the heat to low. Cover the skillet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed. During cooking, stir the rice once or twice and add a little extra liquid if necessary to prevent sticking. Remove and discard the bay leaf.

Robyn's notes: I topped this with shredded Cheddar cheese to make it an entree. Another option is to cook some cleaned and de-veined shrimp into it or some roast chicken.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Mini White Breads

Note: Total time approximately 2 3/4 hours
  • 1 package (1/4oz) active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/3 C warm water (110F to 115F)
  • 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 C all-purpose flour (divided)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C milk
  • 2 tsp butter or margarine, melted
  • additional melted butter or margarine
1. Combine yeast, sugar and water in a large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/2 C flour, salt, milk, and butter.
2. Mix for 3 minutes on medium speed. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
3. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes. Punch dough down. Divide in half; shape into two loaves and place in greased 5 3/4inch x 3inch x 2inch pans.
4. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes. Bake at 375F for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks. Brush tops with melted butter.

Robyn's notes: mini loaf pans can be found in the utensil aisle of the grocery store if needed. I have never actually checked the temperature of the warm water, just keeping it warm but not hot. I've made these mini loaves several times over the past 8 years and they're very simple to make. Using these loaves makes for cute mini sandwiches or mini toasts, which may seem less than useful but they're great for smaller households because having two mini sandwiches is similar to having one regular sized sandwich, and then the loaves don't last so long that they get stale.

Nutritional Analysis: One 1/2 inch slice (prepared with margarine) equals 75 calories, 156mg sodium, 0 cholesterol, 14gm carbohydrate, 2gm protein, 1gm fat.
Diabetic Exchange: 1 starch