Saturday, February 26, 2011

One Dish Fish

I am always recommending that my clients eat more fish - you've all heard it!  It's a wonderful source of lean protein and a great source of heart healthy fats (omega 3 fats), depending on what kind you choose.  I used tilapia for this particular meal - which is not a fish that is high in healthy fats - but it was on sale!  If you are looking to increase omega 3's in your diet - which you should be - the best sources are mackerel, trout, herring, tuna and salmon.  Very generally speaking, the recommendation is 1-2 grams per day, which can be easily obtained through a good quality fish oil supplement, especially if you don't like fish!

I love this recipe because there are pretty much no dishes involved so it's easy clean up.  I make it a different way pretty much every time depending on what veggies and spices I am in the mood for.  This is what I did tonight but you can put your own spin on it!

2 medium sized yellow squash, thinly sliced
1/2 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
fresh parsley
1 fish filet per person
onion powder
garlic salt

First thing, cover a cookie sheet with foil.  Slice up the squash and onion, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle breadcrumbs over them and garnish with parsley.  The thinner you can slice the veggies, the better.  That way they will be done cooking at the same time as the fish.  I usually use 1 zucchini and 1 yellow squash for more color, but all I had tonight was squash.  I only put the parsley because I had it in the fridge and I like the color - presentation is important =) - but it's not really necessary.  The breadcrumbs aren't necessary either, but again, I had them on hand so I threw them in.

Place the fish filets directly on top of the vegetables and season with salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic salt & paprika...or whatever spices you have on had and feel like using!  This was a pretty good combo though...

Bake at 375 for 16-20 minutes.  If you buy frozen fish, just follow the directions on the package.  It will be done when the fish is no longer translucent and flakes with a fork.

Here comes the good part, remove the foil from the cookie sheet and the dishes are done!  If yall come up with another good variation, let me know!


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Not Your Mom's Meatloaf

Where have the last 10 days gone?!?!  OOPS!  No fear, I am back now!  My husband requested meatloaf for dinner the other night...I'm pretty sure he didn't have the same idea as I had when he asked for that, but this is what he got!  And I think it turned out well...

This actually IS my mom's meatloaf recipe that I spruced up a bit.  It was a total experiment - I might make some changes next time...keep reading for that.  By "spruced up" I mean that I added lots of veggies to my meatloaf, mostly in an effort to clean out my fridge and not have to throw things away, but also to make this more delicious and nutritious...obviously!  So any veggies you have would work I'm sure...but this is what I used.

On a side note, I made 2 meatloafs out of this  - it cooks faster that way and 1 meatloaf is enough to feed both of us plus lunch the next day - so I stuck the other in the freezer.

I apologize for my exceptionally terrible photography on this one.  Roll your sleeves up and prepare to get your hands dirty!

2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 white onion
1 cup baby carrots
1 can no salt added diced tomatoes
2 lbs extra lean ground beef (would probably be good with lean ground turkey too)
1 packet onion soup mix

1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar

Start by spraying a small saute pan with cooking spray and sauteing spinach.  I know it doesn't look like it, but this really was about 2 cups of spinach before I cooked it.

Transfer to a large mixing bow.  Next, chop up the onion and carrots.  I used my mini food processor so it took about .8 seconds.  Then add the tomatoes (drained).

Next add the ground beef and onion soup mix to the bowl.  This is the messy part...mix it all together, divide into 2 "loafs" and place in a loaf pan.  You could make one giant meatloaf I suppose, but it would probably take forever to cook so I wouldn't recommend it!

Now for the "glaze" - this sounds weird and I thought my mom was nuts when she told me how to make this but it really is good!  Mix the ketchup and brown sugar in a small bowl and pour over the loafs.

Bake at 350 for about 45 min - 1 hour.  Its done when the meat is no longer pink...obviously, just felt like I needed to clarify for some reason!

Next time I make this I might shred the carrots or leave them out all together, not sure I was in love with the crunch in my meatloaf, you can't really taste the veggies though.  Other than that it was a pretty successful experiment!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Mexican Spaghetti

A.K.A. Fideo.  But, I try to tie as many things as possible to actual spaghetti since its my favorite food...just go with it!  This is one of my favorite things my grandma makes, which says A LOT because she is an amazing cook!  My Mom makes a pretty mean fideo too...she fixed it last week when I was at home so I took a stab at it this week and it was really easy and turned out great.  I didn't change the recipe much, or at all really...just make sure you use lean meat and low sodium ingredients and you will have a healthier version.

This will be especially good during this ridiculous winter wonderland we are currently having...I am soooo over it, but it is giving me a chance to make lots of yummy soups!

This can be made with ground beef, turkey or shredded chicken - or no meat at all, which tastes really good but I wouldn't suggest it because you need some protein in your life.  I used ground beef (makes it seem more like spaghetti).  You also need some veggies in your life so make sure to serve this up with a nice salad...just a suggestion!

Here is what you need:

1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 box fideo noodles (found in the pasta section)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 can crushed tomatoes, no salt added
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 1/2 cups low sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 handful fresh cut cilantro
1/2 teaspoon cumin

Brown ground beef in large skillet, drain and set aside.  In same skillet heat oil over medium heat.  Add fideo and saute until lightly brown.

Add onion and garlic.  Saute until onion starts to soften.

Add tomatoes, broth and cumin.  Season with pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil then add cilantro.

Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add ground beef and simmer for 5-10 more minutes, until fideo is soft.

On a side do I always pick completely un-photogenic (is that a word?) recipes?!?!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chicken and Veggie Soup

I have had intentions of blogging for a few days now, but my computer has had other plans for me!  But now I am back in business with a recipe that is totally appropriate for this ridiculously COLD weather...I am NOT a fan!

This chicken and veggie soup is a low carb, low sodium, high nutrient twist on the classic recipe.  I also tried a new ingredient when making this, maybe you all have cooked with shallots before, but I never had.  It has the flavor of onion and garlic combined which is pretty convenient and saves some time.  I probably would have included both ingredients anyways - this is just a way to cut down on the chopping -which is always a plus!

This recipe also calls for whole wheat orzo pasta - which is just a really tiny rice shaped pasta.  You could substitute other small shaped pasta if you have something else on hand.

Here is what you need:
1 tbsp olive oil
12 oz chicken cut into bite sized pieces
1 medium yellow squash, diced
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 plum tomatoes OR 1 can no salt added crushed tomatoes
2 cups low fat low sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup orzo pasta
2 cups fresh baby spinach

Heat oil in large skillet/saucepan.  Add chicken and saute on medium-high until cooked.  Transfer to a plate.

Add squash, zucchini, shallot and Italian seasoning to pan.  Saute 3-4 minutes until veggies start to soften.  

Add tomatoes, broth and orzo.  Increase heat, bring to a boil continuing to stir occasionally. 

Reduce heat to a summer and cook 8-10 minutes, until pasta is soft.  Finally, add spinach and cooked chicken.  Stir while cooking until spinach is wilted and chicken is heated through.

You could always add more broth if you like it to be "soupier."  I used crushed tomatoes which makes it a little bit thicker; we aren't huge fans of fresh tomatoes so we probably would have eaten around them.  By using the crushed tomatoes we still get the nutrients, but not the texture we don't like!  Either way works though.