Thursday, June 13, 2013

38 x 38 - 12 New Recipes (#2, #3, and #4)

I come from a long line of great cooks and I often (jokingly) blame them for my waist size.

Grandma Joyce
My maternal grandma ran a school kitchen back when food was made from scratch. They peeled potatoes, made the bread, stirred the soup....they did it all. Potato soup, the best homemade rolls you'll ever bite into, and fried elk steak with gravy......yummy! Grandma Joyce's food is all comfort and love.

I swear my paternal grandma was from the South although sadly, I'm not sure. She passed when I was a freshman (maybe a sophomore) and I hate to admit I didn't think to ask back then. There's some secrets that I'm not sure of but that's an entirely different story. But Grandma Carmen could cook the best fried chicken, potato salad, collard greens, and green beans with bacon that I've ever tasted.

My mom can make anything. I was one of those lucky kids who grew up with almost everything from
My mom in the middle at last year's fish dance
scratch. You wouldn't find a box of hamburger helper in our kitchen nor a boxed cake mix. We lived on a tight budget and my mom knew how to stretch it and still make great, delicious, healthy, nearly gourmet food.  Give my mom a bottle of cheap whiskey and she'll grill up the best drunk steak you've ever eaten (no my mom isn't drunk, the steak is!). Meatloaf is great for dinner but the next day for a sandwich....delicious. Pies, cakes, cookies....yes, mom does it all.

My dad and his wife

Then there's my dad who does all the cooking in his household. I've never seen my dad follow a recipe. Oh, he'll glance at one here and there but then he takes out this, adds in that, doubles get the picture. He cooks like me. His food is spicy...he lives in New Mexico and is definitely influenced by jalapenos, Hatch green chilies, and other flavors like cumin and chili powder. He's the one who could win Iron Chef - give him 10 ingredients that don't match and shouldn't taste good and he'll make it happen.

Which of course bring me to me. . . I consider myself a pretty darn good cook. I can follow a recipe and have it turn out. I also do like my dad and never follow a recipe exactly. Comfort food, spicy food, baked...I'm pretty good at it (except bread...I give up). I again jokingly blame my waist on this.

So now I'm learning to eat better (by the way, 30 lbs lost in just 7 weeks woot woot!). So I'm trying a lot of new recipes and I thought I'd share a few with you. These are delicious and pretty healthy (just try it!!)

Cauliflower Fried Rice
This was delicious and I found it guessed it, Pinterest. It was delicious. I liked it alot but I will say it's not EXACTLY like rice. I couldn't fool my kids with it. 

- 3 cups of grated raw cauliflower (use a cheese grater or food processor)
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
- 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1/2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 eggs (or 4 egg whites) scrambled
- 3 TBSP soy sauce
1. In a large pan, saute garlic and onions in olive oil on a medium/high heat, until onions become soft and transparent. (about 2-3 minutes)
2. Next add in peas, and carrots and cook until carrots begin to soften and peas are heated through, about three to four minutes
3. Next stir in scrambled eggs , cauliflower and soy sauce. Cook stirring frequently for about 5-7 more minutes. 

Chickpea and Tomato Salad with Fresh Basil 
I tried this a while back (before the diet) and it was soooo super yummy I can't wait to have it again. 
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • About 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 25 large basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp honey (10g)
  • pinch of salt
Toss all ingredients together and chill for at least 20 minutes, allowing all the flavors to merge.

This recipe boasts that it's the best marinade for chicken ever and after trying it, I might just agree! It's sooo delicious! A couple of my own notes: the recipe called for bone-in, I used boneless because it's what I had, the recipe says marinate overnight but I only had two hours, and I added garlic (see I'm my dad). Oh and I made my chicken into kabobs with lots of veggies. 

¼ cup grapeseed oil
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup white wine, nothing fancy (I used chardonnay)
2 teaspoons Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon paprika
In a blender, combine the grapeseed oil, soy sauce and white wine, Italian seasoning and paprika. Blend on high until your marinade looks creamy and well combined. 
In a zip lock bag, place all chicken pieces and pour the marinade in. Massage it around so that all of the chicken is coated with marinade. Seal the bag and marinate overnight. Now grill

I highly recommend all three! 

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