Monday, May 21, 2012


Two-fer one, that is. I cooked last night, but I didn't blog because I was so totally and completely exhausted.

For the one of you who don't know, I ran my first 10K yesterday. In fact, it was my first race ever, and my first athletic competition since high school (unless you count some fierce games of whirley ball and a random staff softball game long ago). Needless to say, the entire experience was intimidating, overwhelming, exhilarating and exhausting all wrapped into one. And needless to say - even though I am very used to waking up at obscene hours to work out - I was just spent last night and didn't make it past 8:15.

So now you get double the recipe pleasure.

Last night we had Chicken Penne with Sun-Dried Tomato and Fresh Red Pepper Sauce
Source: Clean Eating, July 2011

  • Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1tsp evoo
  • 2 tsp low-sodium dry rub or blend
  • 1.5 c. uncooked penne
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced (skip - didn't feel like chopping)
  • 2 tsp finely chopped basil
  • 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 c. sun dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 c. unsalted raw cashews
  • 1/4 c. whole fresh basil leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 shallot, halved
  • Diagonally score chicken and rub with thin coating of oil and dry rub. Grill chicken. Chop and set aside.
  • Prepare pasta while chicken cooks.
  • Prepare sauce. In a blender/food processor, combine all sauce ingredients until very smooth.
  • Toss everything together and serve.
Yield: 2 servings (we had more than enough for 3)
Per serving: 648 cals; 13g fat (2g sat); 85g carb; 14g fiber; 50g protein; 402mg sodium

The hubs took one look at the unblended ingredients and had major doubts. But, the sauce turned out awesome. I ended up heating it up so the meal was hot, but otherwise have no changes to this. It was a different flavor but different in a way that even the kid and hubs enjoyed.

Tonight we had Tuna Salad Melt
Cooking Light, June 2012

  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 c. chopped red onion (skip)
  • 1/4 c. canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 c. canola mayo (I use Spectrum)
  • 1 tbsp Dijon
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • salt/pepper (skip)
  • 1 (12-oz) can white tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • bread, shredded Swiss, tomatoes, spinach
  • Combine all ingredients (through bread/cheese, tomatoes, spinach) in a bowl.
  • Top bread evenly with cheese and broil. Arrange tomato slices, 1/3 c. tuna and spinach on top of bread.
Yield: 6 servings (one sandwich)
Per serving: 231 cals; 11.1g fat (1.9g sat, 2.9g mono, 3.8g poly); 15.2g protein; 18g carb; 3.9g fiber; 21mg chol; 500mg sodium

Of course we had soccer practice tonight, so I made this and let it hang in the fridge until the boys got home, and simply broiled the sandwiches upon their arrival. So that was the best part - I was able to make this ahead and have something fresh for dinner. I thought it was OK, the hubs liked it, and the kid wasn't the biggest fan. He gave it an encouraging thumbs up at first, but a few more bites in and he was done. Personally, I prefer another tuna recipe I make - with spectrum mayo, diced apple, topped on fresh spinach with a teeny douse of Newman's Own Olive Oil & Vinegar dressing. Yum.

Chicken Penne: Three Forks
Tuna: Two Forks

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Rated R

For all my younger fans (!) out there, this blog post might not be the most appropriate of reads tonight.

Today at lunch, me and two of my co-workers had an extensive conversation about cups. Not the kind of cups that you drink from, mind you, but the kind of cups that - as a female - I have no experience with. Side note: We had this appealing discussion at the NEO famous Melt. Yum. Good thing I saved my run for after work today.

I digress. The cup conversation continued with a couple of follow up text messages tonight to confirm some of our sneaking cup suspicions (i.e., husband consultations). These messages happened to come in when I was making tonight's dinner... meat balls.

You know you love it. Class act all the way.

"I'm A Boy" from The Who album "Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy" Of course

Every Day is a Meatball Day!
Source: The Eat-Clean Diet Cookbook by Tosca Reno

  • 1.5 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 c. oat bran or breadcrumbs (used oat bran)
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tsp seat salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, place egg and oat bran. Add spices and mix well. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Using an ice cream scoop (I used a smaller scoop) make meatballs and place on a prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 20 mins or until golden.
Super easy, super fast. I liked baking the meatballs instead of pan frying them. Because I am not great at pan frying anything. While they balls were a-bakin, I prepared the pasta (whole wheat rotini), garlic bread for the boys and steamed broccoli, so everything was timed perfectly. They tasted great (except for being a little too "crusty" for the kid) and there are a bunch of leftovers.

Three Forks

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What About Bob?

No no - we don't have any crazies hanging here - despite the opinion of my hubs and some of my peeps.  But, we do have kabobs!

Who doesn't like food on a stick? Ice cream on a stick? Score. Cake pops on a stick? Double score. Meat on a stick? Ummm.

Italian Beef Kabobs
Source: The New American Heart Association Cookbook

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3/4 c. dry red wine
  • 2 tbsp light Italian dressing
  • 1/4 c. low-sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil (used canola)
  • Marinade 1.5 lbs sirloin tip (cut into 16 cubes) in a large, resealable plastic bag for about 8 hours.
  • This is the combo we used for the kabobs: steak, portobello mushrooms, red peppers, red potatoes cut in half. I would use onions next time too.
When I think about it in advance, I like marinating things. I really think it deepens the flavor. How foodie of me. What was kind of a hassle about this was the actual kabob-ing. It took a few too many minutes to skewer the food, so that was annoying to my impatient (and hungry) self. However, once that unpleasant task was done and we had grilled the 'bobs, it was all positive, all the way around. Kid approved. Hubs approved. Hfish approved.

Three Forks

Monday, May 14, 2012

Best Email Ever

Hey ho peeps. Today sure has been a Monday in every sense of the word, right? Are you feeling it too? Do you feel like I do? (Bonus points for lyric reference, btw)

A few items to quickly address.
  • Great Mother's Day! My wonderful boys and babe spoiled me with some super fun presents and by grilling a delish healthy meal (chicken and asparagus).

  • I am ridiculously excited about Howard Stern on AGT tonight. YES I am one of those Stern Super Fans who has listened to him for almost 25 years. LOVE HIM.

  • Over the weekend, I made two desserts: One for us and GA, and one for a little shin-dig we attended on Saturday eve.
A note about these desserts. Once again, due to our awesomely ridiculous schedule, I had to squeeze both in during the baby's nap. Blah blah blah. Schedule blah blah. Anyway. On behalf of GA, I cranked out two dozen Triple-Chocolate Cupcakes (source: unknown) and for the soiree, I butchered Tiny Lemon Gem Tarts (Betty Crocker Indulgent Desserts, Winter 2007). And that's what leads me to this email thing.

I received an email from a certain party hostess who was frantically searching for more lemony things. At 4 a.m. Peeps! This made my life for a number of reasons. One: Hysterical email in and of itself. Two: Despite my inability to remove the tarts from the pan without completely crumbling more than half of them (and then hiding this effort in muffin tins), they were edible! Can I have a woot woot?! And I had my doubts! Side note: I was NOT awake at 4 a.m. to receive this email. For once.

On to tonight's dinner:
Asian Chicken Salad
Source: EatingWell Diabetes Cookbook

As you may remember, during the warmer months I like to throw in a salad or two every once in a while. Plus, this one promised to be quick and easy. And it was! I made some simple substitutions to meet our tastes (no radishes, romaine instead of cabbage), but otherwise this required no chopping, some measuring and easy mixing. We all liked this dish - lots of flavor, not too heavy.

Three Forks

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I'm Nine Now!

I fear that this blog has evolved into a documentation of kid randomness instead of my adventures in recipe hunting. But, the kid typically has way more interesting things to say than I do, so deal with it.

Per usual, tonight at dinner I asked the hubs and the kid for their meal ranking. Both the hubs and I agreed that the meal (cornflake crusted chicken fingers/almond rice pilaf) was a three forker. The kid vehemently disagreed - anointing the chicken with four forks - and then denounced our over-ruling with a "I'm NINE now."

Being nine apparently brings a lot of new topics to the table, btw, because immediately following the ranking conversation, we had an extensive dialogue about what it means to call someone "hot." Because, dear readers, he has officially gone there. Because he is nine now.


Cornflake-Crusted Chicken Tenders
Source: The Carb Lovers Diet Cookbook, by Ellen Kunes and Frances Largeman-Roth

Almond Rice Pilaf
Source: Four Ingredient, 10 Minute Recipes, Weight Watchers, December 2011

So, why did we give this meal three forks instead of four? I needed a super-fast and easy meal that I could prepare and have ready immediately after baby bedtime and soccer-practice, and both of these recipes fulfilled that. The rice was really good - it included almonds and shallots - and the chicken was also good. But not great. Not four forks great. Just good. Unless you are nine.

Three Forks

Mmmm steamed broccoli

Monday, May 7, 2012

Bowling for Tacos

Ugh - so that might be the worst blog title ever.

Luckily, dinner tonight was not the worst. Because we have limited family meals this week, the boys were off the hook for Meatless Monday. Instead, we went gluten free!

A word re: gluten free. No one in my family (as far as I'm aware) has any gluten-based tolerance issues, so the reason I selected this recipe was simply because it looked yummy. Color me stupid, but I couldn't really tell you why this was gluten-free.

And, since I don't feel like typing out the entire recipe, you won't get the opportunity to look at the ingredients, so you won't be able to figure out the gluten-free for me thing either.

Kind of depressing?

Gluten-Free "Taco" Bowls
Source: Clean Eating Magazine, Jan/February 2012

First of all, let's start with the preparation. For a weeknight, this was not the best choice. It was supposed to simmer for 55 minutes. Because my stove tends to cook a little faster than usually indicated, I was able to cut that time down by about 15-20 minutes, so we didn't have to eat super late. Besides the long simmer time, the meal was fairly easy to throw together. Limited chopping, mostly just a throwing a bunch of spices together. As far as the food itself, no one missed the gluten (ha ha), because it was really good. The kid really liked it and didn't notice the fun pinto beans thrown in. It was basically like a shell-less taco, although the boys did use taco chips to scoop it up. And there are lots of leftovers.

Three Forks

Kind of NOT depressing?!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Today and tomorrow, the kid is taking some sort of standardized test at his school. Unfortunately I can't expound much more on the nature of tests because the hubs keeps me away from most things having to do with academics. What I can tell you is this test taking thing inspired my recipe selection for tonight.

Here's hoping the salmon brain food not only helps the kid out tomorrow, but helps me with the copious (my new fave word, btw) amount of writing I have to do tomorrow.

PS - I didn't feel like blogging last night, but we had steak tacos from EatingWell for the kid's birthday dinner. HB kid!

Grilled Salmon and Brown Butter Couscous
Source: Cooking Light, May 2012

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 c. uncooked couscous (used whole wheat)
  • 2 tbsp dry white wine
  • 14.5 oz low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt (skip)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper (skip)
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper (skip)
  • 1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt (skip)
  • 4 (6oz) skinless salmon fillets
  • Cooking spray
  • Preheat grill to med-high heat.
  • Heat butter in a small saucepan over med-heat; cook 3 mins or until browned. Add nuts; cook 1 min, stirring occasionally. Add wine and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, remove from heat, and let stand 5 mins. Fluff with a fork; stir in rind, juice, 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper.
  • Combine white pepper and next 4 ingredients (through 1/4 tsp salt) in a small bowl. Coat salmon fillets with cooking spray. Sprinkle with spice mixture. Place salmon on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill over med-high heat 4 mins on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve with couscous.
Yield: 4 servings (1 salon fillet and 1/2 c. couscous)
Per serving: 457 cals; 15g fat (4.9g sat, 4g mono, 4.1g poly); 41.2g protein; 35.8g carbs; 556mg sodium

Salmon: 3-0 - we all liked the grilling method (kudos to Chef Hubs)
Couscous: 2-1 - the kid did not care for the couscous (texture, peeps); the hubs and I liked the lemon-y change-up
Difficulty: This was no problem at all. I reduced the overall cook time (40 mins?!) by having Chef Hubs grill the salmon while I dealt with the couscous.

Three Forks

Super food bonanza