Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Wonky Wackiness

Let's make a list for tonight's post.

1. I was going to blog on Sunday night, but we lost power for almost 14 hours. Luckily I had just finished making our Father's Day Feast (chicken fingers from EatingWell... the hubs has simple taste); unfortunately I spent the rest of the night either fretting about all of our food spoiling or calling First Energy and yelling at them. I may or may not have been the crazy 1:30a and 5a caller. Just sayin.'

2. Due to an unfortunate eye infection, I am functioning with one contact lens. No I don't own glasses. Yes I am dealing with that. Therefore you can't hold whatever I type here with my wonky eye (new fave word, stolen directly from Andy Cohen and his wonky crossed-eyes) against me.

3. This recipe is a continuation of the Waste Not Week. So note the asterisks for those ingredients I had on hand.

4. Nick Cannon annoys me on AGT. Yes?

Turkey and Black Bean Chimichangas
Source: HeartHealthyOnline.com - from a magazine that doesn't exist anymore

  • 6 10-inch whole wheat, low carb tortillas*
  • 8 oz turkey meat*
  • 1/2 c. chopped onion*
  • 1 15-oz can no-salt added black beans, drained
  • 1 14.5-oz can no-salt diced tomatoes, drained*
  • 1/4 c. bottled salsa (Newman's Own)*
  • 1/4 c. fresh cilantro (skip)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice*
  • 1/2 tsp cumin*
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheese
  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with spray, set aside. Heat tortillas in oven for 5 mins (I did not heat mine).
  • In a large skillet, cook turkey and onion. Add black beans and mash slightly. Add tomatoes, salsa, 1/4 c. cilantro, lime juice and cumin. Heat through.
  • To assemble, scoop about 1/2 c. of turkey mix into each tortilla, fold up. Place on baking sheet, spray tops and sides with cooking spray. Bake 10-12 mins or until golden brown.
Yield: 6 servings (1 chimichanga per serving)
Per serving: 206 cals; 4g fat (0g sat); 25mg chol; 424mg sodium; 33g carb; 23g protein; 18g fiber

I made this while the boys were at soccer (tourney time!) so once I rec'd the call that they were on the way home, I popped it into the oven and voila - dinner was served (with brown rice - yum). I actually got 8 chimichangas out of this, so we have some leftovers. The kid did not like the black beans, despite my best superfood pitch.

Three Forks

Monday, June 11, 2012

More Meatless (Operation Waste Not, #2)

Because I have high hopes of cooking more this week, I decided to torture the boys with tofu tonight. In addition to the meatless, this recipe met several of my criteria for the week:
  • Salad (Summer salad!)
  • Bunch of ingredients I had on hand
  • Lettuce Wraps
I have a bunch of lettuce wrap recipes floating around, but have never gotten around to making one. In fact, I have never, ever eaten lettuce wraps.


They always look really good on menus, but so does about a million other things, so I have never ordered them. Obviously I get the concept of lettuce wraps, but nary a wrap has passed these lips.

Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce
Source: Cooking Light, June 2012

(For your reading pleasure, I am going to star all of the fun ingredients I have in my cupboard.)

  • 1 tsp canola*
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot*
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter*
  • 4 tsp hoisin sauce*
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper*
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice* (used bottled)
  • 1 (14oz) package extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled
  • 1 tbsp dark sesame oil*
  • 6 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/2 c. plus 2 tbsp cilantro (skip)
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce*
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger* (used refrigerated)
  • 2 tsp sugar*
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha*
  • 1 c. matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1 c. matchstick-cut cucumbers
  • 2 c. hot sticky rice
  • Bibb lettuce
  • To prepare sauce, heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add canola oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallot and saute for 2 mins. Add 1/3 c. water and next 3 ingredients (through red pepper), and stir with a whisk. Bring to a boil, cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in lime juice.
  • To prepare filling, spread crumbled tofu in a single layer on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 20 mins, pressing down occasionally.
  • Heat a large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add sesame oil and swirl to coat pan. Add 1/3 c. green onions, saute 1 min. Add tofu, saute for 4 mins. Add 2 tbsp cilantro, soy sauce, ginger, sugar and Sriracha; saute 1 min. Remove from heat, stir in cucumbers, carrots and remaining green onions.
  • Spoon 1/4 c. rice into each lettuce leaf. Top with 1/2 c. tofu mixture; sprinkle with 1 tbsp cilantro. Serve with sauce.
Yield: 4 servings (2 lettuce wraps and 2 tbsp sauce)
Per serving: 355 cals; 15g fat (2.1g sat, 8.5g mono, 3.7g poly); 16.2g protein; 42.6g carb; 3.9 fiber; 0mg chol; 568mg sodium

Despite the hubs asking :"Where do I need to put this crap?" in reference to the tofu when he was putting away groceries, he did a pretty good job of eating most of the crap on his plate. The kid really enjoyed the peanut sauce, asked for seconds, and ate almost his entire portion. I thought it was very flavorful. Unfortunately, I don't know if I can truly call these "wraps" as the lettuce leaves I bought were kind of tiny, so it turned out more like a salad.

Three Forks

Ha ha ha - get it? At least I amuse myself 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Operation Waste Not, Night 1

I know I'm not the only one out there who buys a random ingredient here and there only to find I don't have any other uses for it. This has resulted in a very nice little collection of sauces, oils, spices, etc.

That's why I decided to - with the help of a somewhat willing Chef Hubs - to make a master list of what I have stockpiled and build this week's meals around them.

Truth be told - I came to this idea when I noticed I had two bottles of marsala wine sitting around. This obviously means I needed to include chicken marsala on my list. I searched through my chicken recipe binder, pulled a Clean Eating marsala recipe, and was well on my way to recipe blissdom.

Except for the fact that upon further inspection before starting tonight's meal I realized that this recipe in fact doesn't call for even a smidgen of marsala wine. Um. Oh. Hm. I guess Operation "Waste Not" was not a success.

Side note: For the millions of readers out there wondering, I DID NOT save any money on my grocery bill, and in fact spent $20 more than usual. WTF?

Chicken Marsala
Source: Clean Eating, October 2011

  • 1/4 c. flour (used 1/2 c.)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (used 2 tsp)
  • Two 5oz boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded thin (used a pound of thin-sliced, which is why I increased the flour and oregano)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 c. chopped mushrooms
  • 2 c. 100 percent apple juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • In a small bowl, combine flour, oregano and pepper. Spread on a plate, dredge chicken through mixture to coat and set aside.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil on med. Add mushrooms and saute until soft, about 5 mins. Remove from skillet and set aside on a plate.
  • Add chicken to skillet and brown on med heat about 5 mins per side. Remove chicken and transfer to a plate. Add 1/4 c. apple juice and deglaze skillet by scraping any browned bits from the bottom. Increase heat to med-high and add parsley and remaining 1-3/4 c. apple juice. Cook until juice is reduced by half, about 20 mins.
  • Return chicken and mushrooms to skillet and cook for 5 more mins, until heated through.
Yield: 2 servings (4.5oz chicken, 1/2 c. mushrooms, 1/2 c. sauce). Per serving: 370 cals; 11g fat (2g sat; 7g mono); 33g carbs; 95mg sodium; 3g fiber; 35g protein

Honestly, I was more than a little annoyed that Operation Waste Not was not incorporating the marsala, and I actually kind of searched through my chicken binder for another recipe. I then decided this was stupid and stuck with the original recipe. Sometimes I get too anal for my own good, peeps.

Anyway, I'm glad I did. Despite the kid giving it a "mediocre" (didn't like the sauce) both the hubs and I liked this a lot, and it did taste marsala-y. It was also a snap to pull together. One note: The serving supposedly includes mushrooms AND sauce, but - at least the way I cooked it - it was one in the same.

Three Forks

Monday, June 4, 2012

I'll Be Back

It seems that the start of summer has gotten the best of this blog. Between travel soccer, travel baseball, the call of the grill and other randomness, our family meals have become few and far between. As have my blog posts.

Do note: I have cooked some meals here and there - meals, party dishes, etc. - but I've been too tired or too busy or too lazy to write about any of them. Note number two: Although the blog has been lacking in posts, I have continued on with the challenge and have not repeated anything. In fact, I have so many frickin recipes that I plan on continuing this challenge indefinitely.

But that's for another blog.

Tonight was one of the rare nights without any commitments. So we grilled! With a recipe! For your reading pleasure!

Grilled Taco-Barbecue Chicken
Source: Betty Crocker Summer Favorites, Summer 2007

We had the chicken with steamed broccoli and:
Parsley-Farro Salad
Source: Cooking Light, June 2012

This was the first time we've had farro. The best way to describe farro is that it is like "barley on steroids." (Not my quote - just like it) It has a kind of chewy, nutty flavor and of course has a lot of health benefits. Much to my surprise, the hubs declared that he actually likes farro more than our old standby, brown rice. Hmpf! The kid didn't appreciate this change up quite as much as the hubs, but the kid was also having a mildly pissy night (i.e., he's exhausted), so I don't think any change up would have worked for him tonight. The chicken was good - nothing special, but totally edible. That's a ringing endorsement, right?

Three Forks