Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spicy Honey Mahi Mahi with Chili Mango Rice

Ohhh, yum, yum, yum. This meal is all about sweet and spicy, which we love. I asked P what I should say about this meal and he said, "It's a little bit of spice with a whole lot of awesome!" Haha!

Spicy Honey Mahi Mahi

2 mahi mahi filets
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 teaspoons crushed ginger
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt and pepper to taste

(Please note that I very rarely ever use any sort of measuring devices, so these amounts are all guesstimates. I suggest tasting the marinade as you go along and just adding whatever you think it needs.)

In a small bowl, mix all ingredients except for the fish.

Pour mixture over fish and marinate for at least 30 minutes.

In a frying pan, warm up a little sesame oil over medium heat. Remove fish from marinade and cook for about 5 minutes on each side.

In a small sauce pan, reduce marinade to a glaze over medium heat.

Pour glaze over fish and enjoy!

Now for the rice. I'm seriously obsessed with all things mango. Just today I used mango shampoo, mango shaving cream, drank mango green tea, ate mangos for breakfast and then found a way to incorporate mangos into our dinner. At least I'm obsessed with something that is packed with vitamins and nutrients, right? :)

Chili Mango Rice

3 cups water
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup orange juice
2 cups brown rice
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup cubed mango
2 tsp chili garlic sauce
Juice from one lime

Bring 3 cups water and 1 cup chicken stock to a boil. Add rice and cook as directed on package.

When rice is almost done cooking, add orange juice, mango, cilantro, chili garlic sauce, and lime juice.

Simmer until juice is absorbed and mango is heated through.

This made a lot of rice, so I can't wait to eat it again for lunch tomorrow!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BBQ Chicken Pizza

Last night, Patrick declared this "THE GREATEST PIZZA ON EARTH!"

That's a lot to live up to, people! So much pressure! ;)

But seriously, this pizza was absolutely delicious! The best part is, he left this morning for the weekend so the leftovers are ALL MINE! Hehe!

BBQ Chicken Pizza

1 package of pizza dough (I used Trader Joe's fat free garlic and herb pizza dough.)
2 chicken breasts, cubed
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3/4 cup bbq sauce (I used my homemade bbq sauce. Love it!)
2/3 cup pizza sauce
16 ounces mozzarella cheese (I used low fat cheese)
1/2 red onion, chopped
Italian seasoning
Red pepper flakes
Fresh cracked black pepper

Marinate cubed chicken in 1/4 cup bbq sauce for at least 30 minutes.

Spread pizza dough over lightly greased cookie sheet or place onto a pizza stone.

If you like crunchy pizza, bake dough for about 3 minutes without anything on it.

In a frying pan, heat the oil and then saute chicken until cooked through. Throw the onions in at the last minute to cook just a little. You can use any ol' oil you want for this, but I'm a big fan of the sesame oil.

Mix 1/2 cup of BBQ sauce and 2/3 cup of pizza sauce in a bowl. Spread over warm pizza dough.

Spread cheese over the sauce.

Add chicken and onion.

Sprinkle with italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and fresh black pepper as desired.

Bake until cheese is melted and dough is cooked through.

Now I'm starving! Off to heat up the leftovers! :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

CrockPot Beef Stroganoff

OK, I swear I know how to cook without my slow cooker. I'm just on a little kick right now. :)

When I told Patrick I was making beef stroganoff for dinner, he made a horrible face and declared that he didn't like beef stroganoff. Apparently they serve it practically every other day on the carrier, so he was not thrilled with the idea. But, within 5 minutes of turning on the CrockPot, my house smelled AMAZING and then P was suddenly counting down the minutes until dinner was ready. We both really enjoyed this meal and I plan making it again and again.

And in case you were wondering, P said my beef stroganoff is much better than the stuff they serve on the carrier. I don't think I'm going to take that as much of a compliment. ;)

I found this recipe for CrockPot Beef Stroganoff and after reading TONS of reviews, I modified the original recipe and came up with this.

CrockPot Beef Stroganoff

1-2 pounds steak, cubed (I used sirloin that I got at a great price)
2 cans GOLDEN cream of mushroom soup
1 packet of dry onion soup mix
1/2 cup beef broth
1/2 onion (I used white)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon McCormick's Montreal steak seasoning (We LOVE this stuff!)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
4 ounces cream cheese 
Salt and pepper to taste

Throw everything but the cream cheese into the CrockPot. Cook on low for 6 hours.

20 minutes before serving, add cream cheese to pot. Stir until melted and blended well.

Seriously, could this recipe be any easier?!

Well, that doesn't look very appetizing! Haha! I promise it is though!

I served it over extra wide egg noodles, with green beans on the side.

I modified my pulled pork recipe a little after making it again this weekend for a party we had, so be sure to check that out!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Low Fat Chicken Tequila Fettucini

I found a recipe for California Pizza Kitchen's Chicken Tequila Fettucini stuffed away in my recipe box a few days ago and I almost threw it out when I saw that it called for butter and heavy cream. It just sounded way too fatty for us, since we typically try to eat only low fat foods. But, I decided to make it anyway and see if I could modify it to be a low fat recipe. Success! This was packed with flavor and spice!

Low Fat Chicken Tequila Fettucini

1 16 ounce package of dry spinach fettucini
1/3 cup chopped cilantro (I cheated and used frozen cilantro cubes)
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 jalapenos, minced (you can use less jalapeno and remove the seeds to cut down on spice)
3 tablespoons Can't Believe It's Not Butter Fat Free Spread
approximately 1 1/2 cup unsalted chicken stock
approximately 1/3 cup tequila
approximately 1/3 cup lime juice
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 red onion
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1/4 cup asiago cheese

In a small bowl, mix chicken, soy sauce, 3 tablespoons tequila and 3 tablespoons lime juice. Marinate in the fridge for about an hour.

Saute 2 tablespoons butter, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno for about 5 minutes. I included the seeds from one, for extra spice.

Add chicken stock, remaining tequila, and remaining lime juice. Add additional stock, tequila, and lime juice as you see fit. I added more of each because I wanted more sauce.

Bring mixture to boil and thicken sauce for about 5 minutes.

In another pan, saute onions, peppers and 1 tablespoon of butter until cooked through, but be sure to not overcook them. A little crunch in the peppers is really nice in this recipe.

Add chicken and marinade, mix well.

Add sauce from other pan, bring to a gentle boil until chicken is cooked through.

Add asiago cheese and stir until well blended.

Prepare pasta as directed.

Add pasta to the chicken and veggie mixture.

Squeeze some fresh lime juice in at the last minute, for a little more flavor.

Isn't the green pasta fun?

Serve and top with your favorite cheese. I used asiago, again.

Whew! This stuff was spicy, just like we like it! I've never had the CPK version of this dish, so I can't really compare my recipe to theirs, but this was definitely delicious without the fatty butter and heavy cream! I want to try this recipe again soon and add some more veggies. Maybe some artichoke hearts? Any other suggestions?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Laurel's CrockPot Chicken with Garbanzo Beans

Since I created this blog, my sweet friends have sent me a bunch of delicious recipes to try out! I started with Laurel's middle eastern chicken recipe, since I was intrigued by the idea of middle eastern food in the CrockPot. Thanks so much for this great recipe, Laurel!
Laurel's CrockPot Chicken with Garbanzo Beans
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 large chicken breasts
2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 small zucchini, quartered lenghtwise and sliced into 1/2" slices
1 12 oz container cherry tomatoes
1 cup chopped cilantro
Plain yogurt - two 12 oz. containers (I used fat free yogurt)
Mix olive oil, garlic, paprika, cumin, and red pepper flakes.
Coat chicken with oil mixture and throw in crock pot.
Add remaining ingredients plus any additional marinade.
Cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours.
I love how the paprika gave this dish a beautiful red color.
I served this with sun-dried tomato couscous, some plain yogurt to cut down the spice and I fried up some falafel.
Laurel said she typically doubles everything, especially the marinade, so I might try that when I make this again. This time I followed the recipe exactly and it was great! Try it, you'll like it! :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

C/Kara's Brown Sugar Toffee Cookies

When Kara stayed with me for a few months last year while our guys were deployed, we had a great time acting like little Martha Stewart's in my kitchen. Kara volunteered at the USO while she was here, so we often baked stuff for her to take into the office and we also fed my handman neighbor pretty routinely, since he was always fixing stuff around the house. But when it came to these cookies, we would bake them with the intention of sending them to the USO or giving them out to the neighbors, and then we would "accidentally" eat all three dozen cookies.


We created this recipe because, as strange as it sounds, I really don't like chocolate. I know, I know, crazy. So, these chocolate free cookies quickly turned into my favorite treat.

C/Kara's Brown Sugar Toffee Cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 8 ounce bag of Heath Bits o' Brickle toffee bits (Make sure you don't get the chocolate covered toffee bits. The recipe doesn't turn out nearly as well using those.)
(No pictures of this recipe, since these cookies are just too dangerous to have in the house.)

Stir together flour, baking soda and salt, then set aside.

Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended.

Add eggs, beat well.

Gradually add flour mixture, while beating the mixture.

Gradually add toffee bits, until fully mixed into the dough.

Drop teaspoons of cookie dough onto a cookie sheet sprayed with Pam.

Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Cool on a wire rack.

These cookies are extra delicious when they are crunchy, so I prefer baking them for the full 11 minutes.


And don't feel obligated to share. ;)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

CrockPot BBQ Pulled Pork and Homemade Mac & Cheese

Stop whatever you are doing, right this instant.

And go make this.

Seriously, it is that good.

I found two recipes for pulled pork last week, here and here, and then sort of combined the two to into what turned out to be a super yummy recipe. We ended up eating dinner at 5:30 the night I made this because the delicious smell made us SO hungry!

CrockPot BBQ Pulled Pork

4 pounds pork shoulder (ours was bone in, but you could use boneless)
1 white onion, sliced in rings
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup worcestershire
1 tbsp ground mustard
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp McCormick's Montreal steak seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
5 splashes of Tabasco sauce
Dash red pepper flakes (we like things spicy, so I used about a teaspoon)
Salt and pepper to taste

Start by adding everything but the meat and onions to the CrockPot. Thoroughly whisk together.

Add meat to CrockPot and turn it a few times, to coat each side with the sauce. Then throw the onions into the CrockPot as well.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

When cooked through, place meat onto a cutting board to shred. The meat is so tender that it will literally fall apart when you touch it. Discard any bones and fat (or give them to the dog - made Shiner's day!). After the meat is shredded, place it back into the pot and cook it for another 30 minutes or so, just so that it can soak up a little more juice.

Be warned that this makes A LOT of food! We've eaten pulled pork 4 times already and there is still a ton left.

That face means that my recipe was a success. :)

I also used all of these ingredients (minus the pork and onion) and bottled up my own BBQ sauce! I added about the same amount of everything that the recipe called for and then just played with the ingredients until I liked the way it tasted. SO GOOD!

I served the pulled pork with some mac and cheese I whipped up from ingredients we had laying around the house.

Homemade Mac & Cheese

2 cups elbow noodles (we were out, so we had flower shaped macaroni. Ha!)
2 cups shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 cup skim milk
1/4 cup fat free sour cream
3 tbsp butter (I used fat free Can't Believe It's Not Butter)
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1/4 tsp ground mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup bread crumbs

Cook pasta as directed.

In a saucepan, sauté onion and garlic in 1 tbsp butter until golden.

Add spices, milk, sour cream, and 1 3/4 cup cheese to saucepan. Mix until creamy and cheese is melted.

Add pasta and mix well.

Spray an 8x8 baking dish with Pam. Add pasta and sauce.

Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup cheese and 1/3 cup of breadcrumbs on top.

Bake for 30 minutes at 350.

The final product! Also served with potato bread and baked beans. Not the healthiest meal out there, but it was worth it. Oh, so worth it.