Saturday, March 31, 2012

Go Bucks!

Fast and furious today.

My beloved Buckeyes are in the Final Four!

Obvs I needed to make Buckeyes for the occasion. Despite being a long-time and kind of intense Buckeye (alum, former C-bus resident, scheduled my wedding around football, etc.), I have never made these little bits of chocolate-peanut butter candy utopia.

And now I know why. They are a pain to make. There's no picture today because mine, um, don't look that good (and are cooling in the fridge). And there's no recipe posted because you can Google it. Side note - at the suggestion of one of my co-workers (and C-bus native) I used dark chocolate. Best. Idea. Ever.

This is what they should look like:

I can promise you that mine look nothing like that.

I can also promise you come 8:49-ish tonight, the hubs and I will be cheering our team on to hopefully the NCAA Championship game. GO BUCKS!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012


Tonight's fare is from EatingWell, which promised "Healthier in a Hurry." So let's review.

While I believe this recipe is meant to replace things like Hamburger Helper or some other pre-packaged sodium-fest, I don't know that I buy that this is super-healthy. You be the judge. I'm not a nutritionist, nor do I play one on TV.

I feel like this recipe was a little high in calories and sodium to qualify as healthy. And while it does include the super of all foods - broccoli - as a main ingredient - we def could have upped the nutritionals with more veggies. Plus, it was not specific enough (or at all) with serving size,which in my world leads to bigger-than-needed portions.

That being said, the "Hurry" part of this scenario certainly fit the bill. This was a snap to prepare - the only heavy lifting I had to do was cut up my chicken into chunks. And shoo off the dog, who was nipping at my heels for a teeny bit of chicken.


Stovetop Chicken & Broccoli Casserole
Source: EatingWell, I think March 2012 but I'm not sure

  • 8oz whole wheat egg noodles
  • 1 14oz can reduced sodium chicken broth (used no salt added)
  • 1 pound boneless chicken, cut into little chunks
  • 1 14-16oz package frozen broccoli
  • 1.5c skim milk
  • 1/2c. reduced fat mayo
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 1.5 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1.5c shredded cheese
  • Place noodles in a large skillet. Pour broth over the noodles. Layer chicken then broccoli over the noodles.
  • Whisk milk through garlic powder in a medium bowl. Pour over broccoli.
  • Bring to a simmer over med-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook, 15-18 mins. Stir every once in a while.
  • When casserole is done, sprinkle cheese on top and broil lightly until browned, approx. 3 mins.
Yield: 6 servings
Per serving: 446 cals; 15g fat (7g sat, 4g mono); 75mg chol; 41g carbs; 33g protein; 6g fiber; 662mg sodium

Despite my grousing about the health benefits, this meal was delish. While the hubs managed to pick out every last piece of broccoli from his serving, the kid and I savored our green goodness. It probably didn't need as much cheese as the recipe called for, but honestly - I love cheese and wasn't going to cut that down. We all liked the entire thing - it was warm and comforting and very filling. And probably not the healthiest.

Three Forks


Wednesday, March 28, 2012


After torturing the boys the past couple of nights with uber-healthy fare, I decided they needed a break and went with good, old fashioned meat and potatoes (Ack! No potatoes for the kid!). Of course, there's no lard or deep frying or anything particularly unhealthy involved, and this version still fits in my healthy qualifications. Shhh - just don't let them know that.

In my ongoing quest to fill our house with as many recipes as possible, I have started purchasing the Food Network Magazine. I am one of those fools who watches things like Cupcake Wars, Chopped, bake-off anything and Guy Fieri with reckless abandon. I can while away hours watching chefs I've never heard of creating bounties of deliciousness. So of course this magazine needed to find its way into my collection.

Sweet & Spicy Meatloaves
Source: Food Network Magazine, March 2012

  • 2 slices whole-grain bread, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 small onion, quartered
  • 1 medium carrot, quartered
  • 1/2 lb lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 lb lean ground meat
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tbsp peach chutney or apricot jam (used jam)
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Pulse the bread in a food processor until finely ground, transfer to a large bowl. Add the onion and carrot to the food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to bowl with bread and add turkey, beef, egg, and 1/2 tsp curry powder, salt and pepper.
  • Mix by hand (negative) until just combined. Shape into 4 small oblong meatloaves on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet (I used mini meatloaf pans). Mix the ketchup and chutney in a small bowl and brush over the meatloaves. Bake until just cooked through, about 20 mins.
Yield: 4 servings
Per serving (this includes potatoes and broccoli from the original recipe): 367 cals; 15g fat (4g sat); 123mg chol; 459mg sodium; 32g fiber; 29g protein

Kid. Potatoes. Need I say more. But, while I didn't really get a super "sweet" or "spicy" vibe from the meatloaf, I did find the overall flavor interesting in a good way. The boys also both really liked the loaves. This was also a super-fast meal to prepare.

Three Forks

Little loaf love

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Salmon I Am

Today was a completely fishy day for me, with a lovely tuna salad (homemade, obvs) for lunch and salmon for dinner. Color me sea-worthy.

I approached this meal with a little bit of trepidation, because the last recipe I pulled from Runner's World was not the best. Fortunately for us, this one was a bit more successful.

Unfortunately for you, I am out of words for tonight. Too much talking during the day. I'll have to remember to keep my mouth shut more tomorrow. Maybe.

Mini Salmon Loaves with Salsa
Source: Runner's World, March 2012

  • Combine two 5-oz cans salmon (drained), 1 c. frozen chopped spinach (thawed/skipped), 1 diced red bell pepper, 2 tbsp chopped dill, juice from 1/2 lemon, 1/2 c. quick-cook rolled oats, 2 large eggs and salt/pepper to taste (skip). Divide mix among 12 lightly greased muffin tins and bake at 375 degrees for 20 mins. Serve with salsa. Yield: 4 servings (did not provide nutritionals)
We also had:
Couscous with Roasted Almonds and Edamame
Source: No clue. My computer files - random word document that I saved

  • 1 med garlic clove
  • 1.5 c. carrot juice (used water)
  • 1/4 tsp salt (skip)
  • 1.5 c. frozen shelled edamame
  • 2 med scallions
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh cilantro
  • 3/4 c. couscous (used whole-wheat)
  • 1 oz. roasted, unsalted almonds
  • Mince garlic to make 1 tsp. Combine garlic, carrot juice, salt and pepper in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add edamame and return to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 4 mins.
  • While edamame simmers, chop scallions to make 1/2 c. and cilantro to make 2 tbsp. Set aside. Increase heat to high and return to a boil, stir in couscous. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 5 mins. Fluff couscous with a fork, add scallions, cilantro and chopped almonds.
In addition to potatoes, the kid does not like couscous. So he ate a bite. He did manage to eat two salmon cakes, declared his brain felt smarter, and asked for his after-dinner treat. He then dipped his elbow in the couscous. Awesome. The hubs thought the salmon cakes were OK, albeit too many red peppers. But I think in his case, ANY presence of red peppers is too much for him. I thought the salmon was very, very easy to prepare, but the taste was just OK. Nothing special, not revolting. The couscous wasn't anything special.

Two Forks

One lonely leftover salmon cake, taken post-meal

Monday, March 26, 2012

Not So Tempting Tempeh

Another week, another Meatless Monday upon us. As I was grabbing random recipes to prepare, this one caught my eye because it involves tempeh, which is something that I've never heard of or cooked with before.

For those in the dark like me, tempeh is a firm soy product that packs in a major protein punch. It has a slightly nutty texture and flavor, which was kind of fun to try and pass off as chicken to the kid. I would have tried the same bit with the hubs, but he unpacked the groceries and knew what was headed his way.

Tempeh and Broccolini Stir-Fry
Source: Cooking Light, March 2012


  • 1/2 lbs broccolini
  • 6 tbsp chopped green onions
  • 4.5 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 5 tsp canola oil
  • 1 (8-oz) package organic tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 c. diagonally cut snow peas
  • 2-2/3 c. hot white rice (used brown)
  • 3 tsp chopped peanuts
  • Cook broccolini in boiling water for 2 mins or until crisp tender. Drain and plunge into ice water, drain. Squeeze dry. Cut into 1-inch pieces. 
  • Combine 3 tbsp green onions and the next 5 ingredients (through red pepper) in a bowl. 
  • Heat a large, heavy skillet or wok over med-high heat. Add 1 tbsp oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add tempeh; stir-fry for 5 mins or until golden brown on all sides. Remove tempeh from pan, keep warm. 
  • Add remaining 2 tsp oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add broccolini and snow peas; stir-fry 2 mins, stirring occasionally. Add tempeh and vinegar mixture to pan; bring to a boil. 
  • Divide rice evenly among 4 bowls, top with tempeh mixture. Sprinkle with remaining green onions and peanuts. 
Yield: 4 servings (2/3 c. rice, 1-1/4 c. tempeh mix; 2 tsp peanuts)
Per serving: 410 cals; 16g fat (2.3 sat, 7.3g mono, 5.1g poly); 18.6g protein; 50.6g carb; 0mg chol; 558mg sodium

The kid thought the chicken had a "funny" texture because it squished apart in his mouth. The hubs declared that the combo of tofu and broccolini would never be a win-win situation for him. Neither finished their portion. I, on the other hand, liked the tempeh. While it does have an interesting flavor and texture, I thought it was overall a good meal. Will I cook this again anytime soon? Probably not. But don't count out the temptation of tempeh (ha ha). 

One Fork (only because the boys didn't like it  - I thought it was good)

Fancy pants pic taken with my new iPhone!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lemony Freshness

I'm here! I'm here!

After a whirlwind couple of weeks with very few blog posts, you are going to get the pleasure of five straight nights of cooking, fingers crossed.

I actually wasn't supposed to cook tonight because of baseball, but the kid had some minor stomach pangs, so we opted out and I opted into the kitchen. As with all of the recipes I pulled this week, I just kind of grabbed this one at the last minute. (The other recipes are in the to-be-filed pile category, i.e., laying on my kitchen counter.)

I normally am not a big fan of super lemony foods. Despite the oodles of benefits of this little yellow fruit, I don't love lemonade. Or lemon popsicles. Or lemon bars. But this just sounded right tonight.

Chicken Piccata with Orzo
Source: Cooking Light, not sure of date


  • 1 c. uncooked orzo
  • 2 tsp grated lemon rind (Yes, I did this!  Yes, it was a mess!)
  • 4 (4-oz) chicken cutlets
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (skip)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (skip)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 c. white wine
  • 1/3 c. fat-free, low sodium chicken broth (used no-salt added)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (skip)
  • 1 tbsp capers (skip - don't like capers)
  • Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain. Stir in rind. 
  • While orzo cooks, heat a large skillet over med-high heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add oil to pan, swirl to coat. Add chicken, cook 3 mins on each side or until done. Remove from pan, keep warm.
  • Add wine to pan, cook 1 min or until liquid almost evaporates, scrapping to loosen browned bits. Add broth and lemon juice, bring to a boil. Cook 2 mins or until reduced to 1/2 c. Remove from heat; add butter, stirring until butter melts. Stir in parsley and capes. Serve over orzo and chicken. 
Yield: 4 servings (1/2 c. orzo, 1 cutlet and 2 tbsp sauce)
Per serving: 345 cals; 8.5g fat (2.7g sat, 3.6g mono, 0.8g poly); 32g protein; 33g carb; 19g fiber; 73mg chol; 328mg sodium

The kid was super excited about the lemon chicken, because he loves lemony items (and was actually jonesing for a lemon bar earlier today, in a completely unrelated conversation). Howevs, he declared that while the chicken was good, it was not super lemony. I disagree - the lemon taste was strong, but not in a bad way. The hubs noted he tasted the lemon most in the orzo. The meal was also very fast to throw together. 

Three Forks

Yes peeps, I love The Beatles above all others. But I also have room in my heart for Zep (and Bowie, and the Stones, and...)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hey Now

Hey there peeps. I bet you thought I'd abandoned this blog and challenge, right?

Ah - not so, ye of little faith. Last week, as noted by Chef Hubs, I battled a fierce stomach virus that left me kitchen-free in every way possible. Then... hello spring! Due to the amazingly warm (and amazingly un-CLE-like) weather, we broke out the grill and fired away. In the future, when I can plan a little bit better, I will unleash many grill recipes for your reading pleasure, but this time we stuck to turkey burgers and such, courtesy of our local markets.

This week will be equally lackluster in blog posts for you. This will be the only one until probably next weekend, due to basketball and a work trip for me. Luckily, I have two meals to share with you tonight, thanks to yet another new baby in the 'hood.

If you have never participated in a meal train, you should. They are awesome. Especially if you are on the receiving end, which we were fortunate enough to be on when I popped out the babe last year. While I don't foresee another meal train for us in our near future, I still enjoy participating.

Meal Train meal:
Cheesy Beef Spirals
Source: Taste of Home Casseroles, Slow Cooker & Soups, Winter/Spring 2009

I also brought a lovely salad (IMO), ciabatta bread and dessert (not homemade - not enough time)

The meal looked awesome and it made a lot. I think Chef Hubs was salivating as I was making it. It is kind of like a deconstructed lasagna.

Our dinner:
Pasta Roll-ups with Turkey and Spinach 
Source: I'm not sure (was saved on my computer) - I think EatingWell?

Note: I did not include the cooked spinach because it makes me vom. I love raw spinach, but for some reason, I can't eat the green stuff cooked.

Tonight the hubs and I are on our own (with the exception of the snoozing baby) because the kid has baseball, so you won't get the benefit of his review. The hubs and I both liked this meal. It is a good weekend meal because it took about an hour (from start to completion, including cooking time).

Three Forks

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

What a wonderful day, let me count the ways:
  • 70 degrees and sunny in mid-March
  • The eve of March Madness
  • Wife's on the mend from vicious stomach flu
  • And you, faithful readers get a guest blog from moi
Yes, Chef Hubs is back with another concoction. After a nice walk to soak up the sun & warmth, it was decided that I would tackle tonight's recipe as the usual occupant of this blog recovers from a little influenza.
I'm in such a good mood in anticipation of this weekend's basketball extravaganza that I happily obliged.

We tried a Sweet-and-Sour Chicken recipe that worked out perfectly for me. It called for quite a few vegetables, but since I did this week's shopping (again pinch-hitting) we were woefully lacking in the greens, reds & yellows called for in the recipe. As a veggie-phobe, I figured it would still be yummy without the aforementioned produce. 

Sweet-and-Sour Chicken
Source: Not sure - from random recipes saved on the wife's computer

  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2  medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red sweet pepper, cut into bite-sized strips (omitted, none on hand)
  • 4 teaspoons cooking oil
  • 1 cup fresh pea pods, tips and stems removed (omitted, missing in action)
  • 12 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 8-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained (omitted)
  • 3 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • For sauce, in a small bowl stir together chicken broth, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, and garlic; set aside.
  • In a large nonstick skillet, cook and stir carrots and sweet pepper in 3 teaspoons of the hot oil over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Add pea pods. Cook and stir about 1 minute more or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from skillet; set aside.
  • Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to skillet. Add chicken to skillet. Cook and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink.  Push chicken from center of skillet. Stir sauce; add to center of skillet. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add vegetable mixture and pineapple chunks; heat through. Serve with hot cooked brown rice.
Yield: 6 servings
Per serving: 265 cals; 5 g fat, 17 g protein; 37 g carb; 33 mg chol; 315 mg sodium.

The kid ate it all and seemed to enjoy. Chef Wifey also ate it with only slight trepidation, which I attributed to it being her first real, solid meal in five days rather than the looks of it.  I thought it tasted pretty good, nothing spectacular but not offensive either. Who knows, with veggies maybe it would have been great.

3.14159265 forks (it's pi day!!)

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Wham Bam

And just like that, basketball season is over. It was a great run, with the team making all the way to the Elite 8, but alas, they just couldn't push past the defending state champion with the Maryland-bound talent.

And just like that, I was able to pull together a pre-game dinner for the small army known as my family. I didn't have time to post this last night since we had an hour drive to and from the game, so instead you get the pleasure of reading a Saturday morning pre-soccer post.

Shredded Beef Master Recipe 
Source: Diabetic Slow Cooker
The whole point of this is that you can take this recipe and prepare it three different ways. I just served it with buns and swiss.

Cheesy Potato Casserole
Source: Eating Well, not sure of date
I prepped this the night before, so I could just pop it in the oven for an hour right before we were ready to eat.

My family is not picky and overly complimentary of my cooking, so they had nothing but rave reviews. The kid (aka Top Chef Jr) thought the shredded beef lacked flavor. I thought the potatoes (hand-diced by me, btw) could have been cooked at least 30 mins longer.

Two Forks

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Tortilla Thursday

Tonight it was "tortilla Thursday" in our house. Creative, right? This meal came to us at the request of the kid, who offered his typical helpful "tacos!" when I asked for meal suggestions.

Usually I pair Mexican meals with either brown rice or canned refried black beans (low sodium, obvs). I have a long-standing love affair with refried beans, starting when my father introduced me to this delicacy by way of the fine dining establishment -Taco Bell - many, many moons ago. He is a man of refined taste, obvs.

Luckily for my arteries I haven't had Taco Bell in at least 15 years. Luckily for my heart health I continue to love all thing beany. That's why I decided to attempt to make homemade refried beans for tonight's food fiesta.

Turkey & Bean Burritos
Source: Heart Healthy Magazine, date unknown (this magazine is no longer published)

  • 8 flour tortillas (I used whole wheat from La Tortilla Factory)
  • 12 oz ground turkey
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1-15oz can black or pinto beans, rinsed and drained (used no-salt added black)
  • 1/2 c. salsa (used Newman's Own)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar
  • lettuce, sour cream, etc. for toppings (I had guac. I love guac)
  • Warm tortillas.
  • In a large skillet, cook turkey, onion and garlic over med heat until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain fat. Stir in beans, salsa, chili powder. Heat through.
  • Spoon about 1/3 c. filling on each burrito and top with cheese, etc.
Yield: 8 burritos (1 burrito/serving)
Per serving: 231 cal; 8g fat (3g sat); 41mg chol; 439mg sodium; 25g carb; 4g fiber; 15g protein

Refried Beans
Source: The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

  • 3 cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained (used no-salt added)
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, minced (I used canned)
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 c. minced fresh cilantro (skip)
  • Process beans and water in a food processor until smooth, about 2 mins, scraping down the sides as needed.
  • Combine onion, jalapeno and 1 tsp of oil in medium saucepan. Cover and cook over med-low heat, stirring occasionally, until veggies are soft, approx 8-10 mins.
  • Stir in garlic and cumin and cook for about 30 sec. Stir in pureed beans until combined and heated through, about 10 mins. Add remaining oil and cilantro. Season with hot sauce to taste.
Yield: 8 servings (1/2 c/serving)
Per serving: 120 cals; 2.5g fat (0g sat); 0mg chol; 19g chol; 7g protein; 6g fiber; 300mg sodium

The burritos went over very well with all of us. They were very filling, and there's enough left over for lunch. The refried beans, on the other hand, did not go over as well. The kid did not like the beans at all, and grudgingly ate three bites simply to gain an after-dinner treat. The hubs thought they were bland. I liked them, but since I'm all about the beans, my opinion might be a little skewed.

Three Forks for the burritos
Two Forks for the beans

Hello, beautiful

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Fast Times for Fishers

This is a fast post to match a fast meal. Partly because I'm tired, partly because I've barely seen the hubs for a couple of days and am semi-interested in having a conversation with him, but mostly because I have a seriously huge cupcake waiting for my consumption. Of course, I also have a seriously early workout planned for tomorrow morning to make up for said cupcake, but peeps, I just can't resist a good cupcake.

Happiness is a warm cupcake (?1?!)

Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce
Source: Cooking Light, January/February 2012

  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic (used 1 tsp pre-minced)
  • 16 slices pepperoni, coarsely chopped (used turkey pepperoni)
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.5 c. low-sodium marinara sauce (I used no-salt added from Trader Joe's)
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil (skip - forgot to buy)
  • 2 tsp evoo
  • 1.5 lbs chicken cutlets
  • 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Preheat boiler to high
  • Heat a saucepan over med-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add garlic and pepperoni; cook 2 mins or until garlic begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add oregano, cook 30 seconds. Add marinara sauce, bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 mins. Remove from heat, stir in basil.
  • Heat a large ovenproof skillet over med-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with pepper. Add chicken to skillet, cook 5 mins or until lightly browned, turning after 3 mins.
  • Spoon sauce over chicken; sprinkle evenly with cheese. Broil 2 mins or until cheese melts.
Yield: 4 servings (5 oz chicken, 1/3 c. sauce)
Per serving: 380 cals; 14.7g fat (6g sat, 5.2g mono, 1.2g poly); 48.5g protein; 28.7g carb; 122mg chol; 533mg sodium

The hubs started eyeballing this recipe three days ago when I pulled it. Needless to say, it lived up to his expectations. The meal encompassed everything he likes: Chicken, pepperoni, sauce. No veggies to sully up the dish. NOTE - I was planning on serving this with asparagus, but totally and completely forgot until we were halfway through with dinner and I noticed the lack of green. Oh well. The kid thought it was OK - he wasn't the biggest fan of the pepperoni sauce. I liked it - not only because it was fast and easy to throw together, but because I got to use my brand new (and slightly overpriced) ovenproof skillet for the first time.

Three Forks

Like the hot new pan?

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Kid and Colicchio

Signs that your kid watches too much Top Chef: When he tells you that the dinner is overcooked yet the taste is like an exciting flavor burst.

Once a week we sit down together and watch the latest episode of Top Chef. I, however, am not even close to the caliber of those culinary professionals. Tonight's fare proves it. And the kid obvs agree. In yet another effort of mine to perfect my nemesis we call fish, I managed to let it bake for 20 minutes in the oven and it still turned out half-frozen. So I quickly pan-seared it to finish it off. Kind of Quick-Fire-y, right?

This annoyed me to no end. Why? Because I try to time all of our food to be done at the same time, this  half-frozen fish snafu resulted in me needing to reheat the rest of the meal, which was irritating. I despise lukewarm food.

At least it was edible. Although if Tom Colicchio was at the table tonight, I have a feeling I would need to pack my knives.

Balsamic and Maple Salmon
Source: 500 Low Sodium Recipes, by Dick Logue

We also had Mushroom Risotto from Trader Joe's, and steamed broccoli. The boys had rolls.

It was so-so. Edible once it was cooked through. Certainly not as exciting of a flavor burst as the kid claimed. At least the meal was uber-healthy.

Two Forks

Two forks is two too many, HF!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A billion reasons....

There are so many reasons why I love Clean Eating. The magazine AND the concept.

First, the concept of eating clean is just so simple, that I kick myself for not figuring it out many years ago. It is not all that complicated to use fresh, natural, unprocessed ingredients to prepare food. Trust me - while I like a scoop of shells & cheese as much as the next person, ultimately I never feel like I'm missing out on anything and that I'm giving my children the best start on positive eating habits.

THEN there's Clean Eating magazine. I know I have gone on and on before about this publication, but peeps, it is just that amazing. It changed my entire outlook on food. Every issue is full of amazing, typically uncomplicated recipes that resonate with our uncomplicated eating habits. We are not fancy, experimental consumers - just an average family with average palates.

When I started cleaning up our act a few years ago, I eliminated a bunch of crap foods from our lives. There is no food itself that is off-limits in my book, but there are things that we used to consume that I just won't buy anymore.

For some reason, I put sausage in that category. Although a number of my cookbooks and magazines often have recipes that include sausage, I just didn't think it was something that could be prepared in a particularly healthy way. I don't know why.

Tonight, I decided to throw caution to the wind and give a sausage-based recipe from Clean Eating a whirl. Because if Clean Eating features it, it has to be OK, right? (PS - I am SO not paid for my Clean Eating love affair, in case you are wondering.)

Eggplant & Sausage Linguine
Source: Clean Eating magazine, August/September 2011
Some of the interesting ingredietns included with this: Sausage, eggplant, golden raisins, capers (which I skipped b/c I don't like capers), fresh parsley, and red pepper flakes.

Topped with ricotta!

I also made Chocolate Chip Coffee Muffins
Source: Cooking Light, Jan/February 2012

Much tastier in real life
First - the muffins. I actually made these on Saturday morning because GA was coming to babysit and had "requested" some fresh baked goods. PLUS, the hubs enjoys coffee-based pastries. Which is weird, because he doesn't like coffee at all. Note - I do not understand not liking coffee at all, considering the baristas at Starbucks know me by name and drink order (Venti bold, baby!). Whatevs. These muffins were delish and easy to prepare. The dog even enjoyed several bites. Ummm - probs not a ringing endorsement, but she did.

The sausage pasta dish also received great reviews. The hubs and kid didn't notice the secret eggplant/raisin ingredients, and chowed it down. The kid was not a fan of the concept of sausage before actually tasting it, and he didn't love the added bonus of ricotta, but in the end we all enjoyed another Clean Eating success.

Three Forks for both