Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Snacks

Here are the recipes of what I am making for Super Bowl, in case anyone needs some ideas. I am making a super-fattening Buffalo Chicken dip. The recipe comes from a friend who made it at a party I went to. The other recipe is for a meatball appetizer. These could also be made as an entree, just serve over some egg noodles.

Buffalo Chicken Dip
Ingredients:
4 chicken breasts, boiled & shredded
1 (12 oz.) bottle of Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce
16 oz. cream cheese
16 oz. jar Naturally Fresh blue cheese dressing
8 oz. grated cheddar cheese

Directions:
Boil chicken breasts for 20 min. Cool and pull apart with a fork or fingers. Place chicken on bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish. Pour the buffalo wing sauce over the chicken and coat thoroughly.

In a 3-quart sauce pan, simmer the cream cheese and blue cheese dressing over medium heat, stirring constantly until combined, pour on top of chicken.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with grated cheese on top and bake for about 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

I like to eat it with Fritos Scoops and celery.

Danish Meatballs
1 package frozen meatballs
Dill Sauce ingredients:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsps dried dill weed
1 cup sour cream

I just buy frozen meatballs, you could make homemade meatballs, and I probably would if I was making this as an entree, but for a Super Bowl snack I don't really want to take the time. Just being honest.

Defrost the meatballs and place on a baking sheet. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.
For the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan; stir in flour. Stir in broth, salt and dill weed. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream.

I am going to place the meatballs in a crock pot and pour over the sauce. Then I can just take the crock pot over to my friend's, plug it in and they'll stay hot the entire time.

Housekeeping

I know I was a slacker this week. My husband was out of town, so I decided to take it easy, and I didn't really cook. I didn't even go to the grocery last weekend, which means I have a lot of shopping to today. I need to hit up the store, Land and Sea Market, and the produce stand.

I have planned out my week and here are the recipes you can look forward to:
- Vegetarian Bean and Pasta Soup
- Fettuccinne with fresh vegetables and chicken
- Shrimp and cheesy polenta
- Meatless Jambalaya
- Meatball and Macaroni Soup

Tomorrow is Super Bowl Sunday and we are going to a friend's house (shout out to Jenny Mac Seals), and I am bringing two very sinful dishes: Buffalo chicken dip and Sweedish meatballs. Recipes to be posted later.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Paula's Apron

I am watching Paula Deen and she has the funniest apron on. It says, "I'm still a hot babe. It just comes in flashes!" She is so funny. I want a cute apron.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Quick Dinner

My hubby is out of town until tomorrow night, so I have been taking a break from cooking. Tonight I just made a quick dinner of tuna salad and a sweet potato. I like to make tuna without mayonaise. I just drizzle in red wine vinegar and olive oil, add a squeeze of fresh lemon and season with salt and pepper. I like to add a few chick peas, artichoke hearts and kalamata olives. Serve it over a bed of lettuce or in a hollowed-out tomato. And I also have some leftover for my lunch tomorrow.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

One of My Favorite Paninis

I make paninis a lot. I like to come up with new combinations of flavors. One of our favorites has a combination of apricot jam, brie, and sliced deli turkey or chicken. It may sound weird, but trust me it is delicious. I love brie, it is one of my favorite cheeses and it goes so well with fruit. I use sourdough bread with this because it is mild, but you could definitely use a nice multi-grain bread. Just something that will hold up well when pressed. The brie is so yummy when it melts.

To make the panini, first drizzle the bread with a little olive oil. Then flip the bread over and spread a thin layer of apricot jam on all slices. Layer next with thinly sliced brie. Then, place a couple of slices of turkey, and top with the other piece of bread. Place on a preheated panini press until golden bread. If you don't have a panini press, place it in a hot pan and weigh down the sandwich with another pan. Flip, and press down until both sides are golden.

Stay tuned for future paninis, and if you have any great ones, please share in the comments section.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

St. Pete Saturday Market

My mom and I headed down to St. Pete this morning for the Saturday market. If you haven't been, you simply must check it out! It was awesome. There are a ton of local farmers, artists, and vendors selling their products. Farmers with fresh produce at unbelievable prices. Artists selling jewelry, photography, art made out of metals and old hubcaps. People selling artisan breads, hot sauces, bbq sauces, cheeses, fresh herbs, fresh seafood, desserts, specialty food items, etc.,etc., etc.

It was a foodie's dream. There was a live band and tons of people with their dogs. I bought some grapefruit, oranges, a great chedder cheese and baba ganoush. There was a great vendor, Pappardelle's, there selling homemade flavored pastas. They only sell it at local farmers markets, they don't have a store anywhere. I got a rainbow medley orzo, which is spinach, red pepper and plain orzo. I also got a basil garlic fettuccine. While my mom got lemon garlic fettuccine. You know I'll be making some good dishes with those in the future. Here is their website: www.pappardellespasta.com.

And of course I bought fresh kettle corn popcorn! One of my favorite things in the world.

Friday, January 23, 2009

My Evil New Flat Iron

My Revlon flat iron that I had for years finally died. Seriously it was at least 4 years old, my mom bought it for me one Christmas. So I went and bought a new one. I decided to get another Revlon since my other one lasted so long. I found this cute pink one that benefited breast cancer research. Even more exciting was the auto shut-off feature, so if you forget to, it will shut itself off after an hour.

This was a huge deal for me because I am always paranoid that I leave my flat iron on. I have major OCD when it comes to appliances. I check like 5 times before I leave the house to make sure the flat iron, the toaster oven, and the coffee maker are all off.

So yesterday, I used it for the first time. It has 20 different settings and I had it on like 10 because I have pretty thick hair and that's what the package said to set it at. Well, the damn thing got so bloody hot it singed my hair! Thank God it was just a small section underneath.

I decided then that maybe I should read the directions. My bad because it said the first time you use it to start off on the lowest setting. Oops. Well, today I am pissed because I turned it on, the light came on, but the panels never got hot. Now I am going to have to return it for another one. What a pain in the ass. Next time I suppose I'll read the directions first.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Trip to Poland

Tonight I made a very quick, and Polish dinner: Polish turkey keilbasa and pierogies. I bought a package of turkey keilbasa, it usually comes in two long links. I used one link and about a quarter of the other. I'll save the rest for breakfast this weekend. I sliced the keilbasa in about 1-inch slices at a diagonal.

I heated a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and added a tablespoon of olive oil and about 2 tablespoons of butter. Once they melt together add the keilbasa, letting it brown on one side. Flip the keilbasa over and add half an onion, sliced.

While the keilbasa and onion are carmelizing together, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add 6 peirogies. Let cook for 5 minutes. Remove from the water and add to the pan with the keilbasa and onions. Allow to brown and crisp for a few minutes. Serve with a little sour cream. Makes enough for two.

I made a little side salad to serve with it. This is a really easy and fast meal. Some nights you just need that and as long as it taste goods that is all that matters.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Henry's Turkey Chili

It was a very cold day today by Florida's standards. On the way home from work my hubby and I decided it was a perfect night for chili, so we stopped by the store. Henry usually makes beef chili, but we're not eating red meat at the moment. We decided to substitute ground turkey, which I do regularly in meals. This is a great recipe full of spice, but not too spicy.

Ingredients:
2 packages of ground turkey
1 (15-ounce) can of dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can of light kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can of tomato sauce
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cubanelle pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp cumin
2 tsp brown sugar (optional)

In a large pot over medium-high heat, add a couple tablespoons of oil. Add the onion and peppers and let sweat for about 10 minutes. Then add the chili powder, cumin and brown sugar, if using, allow to cook with the vegetables for a couple of minutes. Add the can of diced tomatoes, let heat through for a minute. Add the can of crushed tomatoes.

In a separate skillet, brown the ground turkey over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper. Once the meat is browned, add to the pot with the vegetables.

Add the can of tomato sauce and two cans of kidney beans to the pot. Allow the chili to come to a slight boil. Turn the heat down, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. It is recommended to check the seasonings about 5 minutes into the simmer. If you like it spicier, add a couple dashes of hot sauce, more chili powder, or a teaspoon or two of crushed red pepper.

Top with shredded chedder cheese and a dollop of sour cream.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bumble Bee Tuna Commercial

Has anyone seen the new Bumble Bee tuna commercial? It is the one with the sissy looking guy playing the quitar and singing. It totally cracks me up.

Pizza and It Wasn't Delivery

I often make pizza at home. Pizza is one of those things you can get real creative with. I always try out different ones. Tonight I made one with items I had around the house. I did pick up a Pillsbury pizza crust from the store, but the rest I had on hand. Pillsbury now has a thin crust, which is good because it is lighter. The pizza dough can be found in the refrigerated aisle of the grocery store by the canned biscuits and rolls.

I preheated the oven to 400 degrees. I unrolled the dough onto a cookie sheet that I had sprayed with pan. I like to prebake the crust for 5 minutes. Then top it and bake for another 10 minutes. This allows for a crispier crust.

I topped it with just a little jarred pizza sauce. I then seasoned it with garlic salt and pizza seasoning. Italian seasoning or dried oregano, basil or combination of both would be good substitutes. I had some leftover ricotta cheese and I mixed it with frozen spinach that was thawed and drained well of all the excess water. I then carefully spread the mixture on the crust. I topped with sliced mushrooms, sundried tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Breakfast for Dinner

I love breakfast food so much that I often make breakfast for dinner. Tonight I made what I am calling the Bistro Omelette with Pesto Potatoes. It was so delicious. I made an omelette filled with swiss cheese, a little fresh parmesan and sauteed mushrooms. I sauteed the mushrooms in olive oil with a little garlic and salt and pepper.

I served potatoes with my fancy omelette, but those too were kicked up a notch by adding a sun-dried tomato pesto. I made regular home fries like I do so often by using red potatoes that are evenly chopped up. I do a large chop. I throw them in a skillet with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. When the potatoes were nearly done - fork tender and crispy on the outside - I added a little of the pesto, maybe a 1/4 cup, and some fresh chopped parsley.

The recipe for the pesto is below. There are a ton of ways to make pesto and you can put them on almost anything, pasta, of course, chicken, fish, steak, whatever your imagination can think up!

Ingredients for the sun-dried tomato pesto:
1 and 1/2 Tbsp of pine nuts
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, in oil, roughly chopped
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3-4 garlic cloves
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
3/4 olive oil

Place the pine nuts in a pan over medium heat, jiggle the pan every so often to allow the pine nuts to toast. Remove from the heat and place in a food processor. Add the tomatoes, cheese, garlic and basil to the food processor. Turn on, and blend the ingredients together. While the processor is still on, slowly stream in the oil until the mixture is smooth and emulsified.

*Tip- Because pine nuts are high in fat - the good kind - store them in the fridge or freezer and they'll last forever. (Not literally, but almost.)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ultimate Comfort Food

Since it was a chilly evening I decided to make a simple, but comforting meal of soup and sandwich. I made turkey melts made with Boar's Head Oven Gold Turkey, turkey bacon, sliced tomato and Boar's Head swiss cheese on sourdough. The only thing that might have made it better was a little avocado.

I then took plain Campbell's condensed tomato soup and switched it up with skim milk instead of water to make it creamier and bumped up the flavor by adding fresh basil. It was a quick, simple meal, but it certainly hit the spot with a chill in the air and after being stuck in traffic.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Shrimp Scampi

This is one of my husband's favorite dishes I make.

Ingredients:
1 pound of angel hair or thin spaghetti (I like to use multi-grain or whole wheat pasta, it's healthier)
1/4 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt and pepper
1 pound of medium or large raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
a couple of pinches of crushed red pepper
1/2 cup of dry white wine, like a Pinot Grigio
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
5 Tbsp of butter

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add some salt. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the pasta you are using. (Always double check the directions on the box.) Before you drain the pasta, reserve a couple of ladles of the pasta water for later.

While the pasta is cooking, mix the olive oil, garlic, parsley, and salt and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Add half the mixture to the shrimp, stir to make sure all of them are covered. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, add the shrimp. Cook for a few minutes, turning halfway through. Shrimp doesn't take long to cook. Once they are bright pink and curled up, no longer opaque, they are done. You don't want to overcook shrimp or else they become rubbery.

Remove the shrimp from the pan and onto a plate, reserve. Turn the burner to medium and pour the rest of the oil mixture to the pan. Add a couple of pinches of the crushed red pepper. (Use your own hot meter to decide how much.) After a minute or two, the garlic should be a golden brown, add the wine. Cook for another minute, allowing the alcohol to cook off. Add the reserved pasta water, lemon zest and lemon juice. Cook for another minute. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the shrimp back to the pan, stir to coat and reheat. Add the drained pasta and toss well. Check for seasoning.

Distribute the scampi among 4 plates or bowls, top with fresh parmesan cheese and more fresh parsley, if you like.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Best Part of Winter in Florida...

No, I don't mean the weather, which isn't half-bad. While you northerners are freezing your butts off, we Floridians are enjoying 70 degree temperatures and sunny skies. We are also enjoying fresh, delicious, juicy strawberries that come from Plant City, the winter strawberry capital of the world, which also happens to be located in the same county I reside. I just had my first taste of the season yesterday. It isn't quite the peak of the season yet, but they were still delicious and a gorgeous deep red. I see a lot of strawberry shakes, smoothies, pies, and of course shortcake in my near future.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Recipe: Pork Chops in Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce with Bacon Pea Polenta

I am always looking for new recipes for pork chops. They're economical and versatile. This one I came across in Racheal Ray's Big Orange Book. I was actually looking for a recipe with polenta, and this caught my eye. It is definitely a keeper. It sounds fancy, but it is very easy to make. I had a little problem with it, but it wasn't the recipe's fault, it was my own impatience. See, I confess when I mess up. But more on that later. I will definitely make it again, so I can perfect it. Below is the recipe, with my little changes.

Ingredients:
3 Tbsps olive oil
4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch of scallions, 3/4 cut into 1-inch pieces and the rest chopped
4 strips of smoky bacon, chopped (I used turkey bacon because that is what I eat, but whatever you like)
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar (If you don't have this or can't find it, like me, just use half distilled white vinegar and half dry white wine.)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 (28 ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (I loved these. It was my first time using them and I definitely will use them more often.)
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup frozen peas (Racheal's recipe calls for more, but I thought it was too much.)
1 cup quick-cooking polenta
1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Place a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 Tbsp of olive oil. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper and sear them in the hot pan until they're golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan onto a plate and cover with foil. To the same pan, add the garlic and scallions. (You may want to lower the heat before you add the garlic, so it doesn't burn.) Cook until the scallions are tender, about 3 minutes.

While the scallions cook, heat the remaining Tbsp of oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Once it is hot, add the chopped bacon and cook until crispy, 5 to 6 minutes.

Once the scallions are tender, add the vinegar, brown sugar, and tomatoes to the pan. Bring the sauce to a bubble and return the pork chops to the pan. Lower the heat to a simmer. Finish cooking the pork chops in the sauce, 3 to 4 minutes.

When the bacon is crispy, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon and reserve. Pour off all but about a Tbsp of the rendered fat, add the chicken stock, milk, peas and remaining chopped scallions to the pot, and bring everything up to a bubble. Now this is where I had some trouble. Let the liquid come to a bubble over the medium heat or turn it up just a little. Be patient. Unlike me who cranked it to almost high and then all of a sudden it was boiling furiously and boiled over unto my flat-top stove, which I am still scrubbing clean. And then when I added the polenta it cooked to fast and wasn't as smooth as it should've, and could've been. So, when it comes to a gentle bubble, whisk constantly, gradually adding the polenta to the pot and cook, still whisking, until the polenta has thickened up, 2 to 3 minutes. Season the polenta with salt and pepper and stir in the parmesan cheese and reserved bacon.

Serve the polenta alongside the chops and top with tomato sauce. Serves 4.

New Kitchen Tool

I'm sure everyone has organizational challenges in the kitchen like me, especially if you're limited on space. I'm not so much limited on space as I am unlimited on stuff. One of my biggest headaches was the shelf where I keep all my spices and seasonings. I have a spice rack, but I have so much other miscellaneous spices that I have an entire shelf in my cupboards for them. Well, my problem was finding certain seasonings when I needed them. Of course, each time I cooked what I needed was in the back, and I am short, so I would have to take everything out to find what I needed. Today, I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond on a mission to find a shelf organizer. I got this little step organizer where I can place everything on different rows and levels, making it not only look more neat and organized, but I can actually see everything when I open the cupboard door.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Recipe: Hot Italian Turkey Sausages with Peppers and Onions

Staying on my healthy course, tonight I made Italian turkey sausages with peppers and onions served over brown rice. I used hot sausages, but if you don't like spicy food, you can substitute mild or sweet Italian turkey sausage.

1 package of Italian turkey sausage (I used Publix brand, but if you don't shop there the Jennie-O brand of turkey products are excellent.)
2 peppers of you're liking (I used a green and a red because that is what I had) stem, seeds and insides removed, then sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
couple dashes of worcestershire sauce
olive or vegetable oil
salt and pepper
2 cups brown rice
2 cups water

Preheat an oven to 425 degrees.

Place the sausages in a non-stick skillet and add water, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. Place on medium heat and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Simmer for 20 minutes. Drain the water, add a tablespoon or two of oil to the pan, return to the stove and continue to sear the sausages for a couple of minutes. Move the sausages to the edge of the pan and add the onion to the middle. Salt and pepper and allow to carmelize.

While the onion is cooking, place the sliced peppers on a cookie sheet and drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. (To me, roasting vegetables is the most delicious way to cook them. In this recipe it prevents the peppers from being overcooked and soggy.)

Once the peppers are finished roasting and onions have carmelized with the sausages, add a little balsamic vinegar to the pan. I eyeballed it, but about a 1/4 cup. Add a couple of dashes of the worcestershire sauce. These two elements add a lot of flavor. At the very end, add the peppers and toss lightly. Serve over brown rice.

I bought instant brown rice and followed the package directions. Brown rice is healthier than regular white rice. Make enough for four servings. That is 2 cups water, brought to a boil and salted. Add 2 cups of brown rice, stir, cover with a lid and turn the burner to low, simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir, cover and let sit for another 5 minutes or so until the rice has absorbed the water.

Serve with sausage, peppers and onions over the rice. I served two sausage links per person, with one leftover for lunch tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sushi Dinner

I was a terrible housewife today and forgot to take anything out of the freezer for dinner tonight, so my husband had to take me out to dinner. I deserve to be taken out every once in awhile though. I don't like to defrost meat in the microwave. It just freaks me out. We decided to visit our favorite sushi place, Sushi Alive! This means I am going into day 6 with no meat consummed. I feel great and still not missing meat. However, I think tomorrow night I will break my no meat eating streak by making turkey sausage with peppers, onions and brown rice. Still healthy though.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Recipe: Minestrone Soup

This soup is very hearty, even with not having any meat in it. It is full of beans, veggies and pasta. This is another recipe from Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book, and it's a keeper. I only made a couple of changes, for example, I added zucchini because I had some I needed to use up. Feel free to add or omit any vegetables you like. That is what cooking is all about, making a recipe your own.

Minestrone Soup
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, grated
2 carrots, shredded
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp dried marjoram, or oregano
salt and pepper
1 (15 ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained
1 (15 ounce) can chick peas, drained
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, or 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Pinot Grigio)
4 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
1 bunch of Kale or chard, vein removed and leaves coarsely chopped (I omitted this)
1/2 lb. (1 cup) of elbow or other small shapped pasta
grated parmesan for topping (a decent parmesan, not out of the green can)
toast, preferably whole wheat or multi-grain

Heat a soup pot over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the chopped onion to the hot oil. Let cook for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and bay leaf; season with red pepper flakes, marjoram, and salt and pepper and saute until vegetables are soften, 8-10 minutes.

Add the beans, and season with salt and pepper and the rosemary. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes, or until the paste smells sweet. Stir in the wine, cook for 1 minute, then stir in the stock and water. Wilt the greens, if using, and bring the soup to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente 8-10 minutes. Adjust the seasonings. Serve bowlfuls of the soup topped with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese. Use bread or toast for mopping up your bowl. Serves 6.

Changes to the Schedule

So, we didn't feel like having leftovers last night and I figured I should use the salmon that I bought. It isn't a good idea to wait a couple days to use the fish after you buy it. So, last night I prepared the salmon. I just pan-seared it for a couple of minutes on both sides and served it with a mixed greens salad topped with chickpeas, corn, cucumbers and sweet vinaigrette.

I gotta tell you, I haven't had meat in days, and I don't really miss it. I could totally be a pescatarian (a vegetarian that eats fish) and be happy as a clam - pun intended. Tonight, I made a delicious minestrone soup from Rachael Ray's new cookbook. I'll post the recipe in a separate post.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

On the Menu this Week...

My hubby and I have decided to eat healthier. I guess that is everyone's New Year's Resolution. Anyway, I have picked out some healthier dishes to make this week. I am loading up on vegetables, beans, brown rice and lean protein. No red meat, less carbs and less cheese. That last one is difficult because I love all types of cheeses. Below is this week's menu and tonight's recipe. It features a couple of vegetarian meals. I will try to post a recipe per day.

Tonight: Falafels with J. Alexander's orzo salad
Tomorrow (Monday): Leftovers
Tuesday: Pan-seared Salmon on a bed of mixed greens and vinaigrette
Wednesday: Minestrone Soup
Thursday: Hot Italian Turkey Sausage with Peppers and Brown Rice

Falafel Burgers with a Greek Yogurt Sauce
This recipe was inspired by a recipe in Rachael Ray's new cookbook, Big Orange Book (BOB). However, I have made a different sauce for it.

2 cans (15 ounce) of chick peas, drained and rinsed
1/2 a red onion, chopped
2 garlic gloves, grated
1 handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3 Tbsp of all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
Salt and Pepper
1/4 cup veggie oil
whole-wheat pita bread
lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, banana peppers as toppings

Pat the chick peas dry with paper towels and place them in a food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients, up to and including the salt and pepper. Process until all the ingredients are blended and smooth. The mixture will be thick. Divide into 4 equal parts and form into patties.

Preheat a large non-stick skillet with the veggie oil. Place the patties into the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side.

Wrap the pita bread in foil and warm in a preheated oven or toaster oven. Cut the pita bread in half and gently open the pockets. Cut each falafel in half and place in the bread. Fill with toppings of choice and top with yogurt sauce.

Greek-yogurt Sauce
1 cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt (You should be able to find this at the regular grocery store. I found mine at Publix by the rest of the yogurt.)
1 clove of garlic, grated
small section (maybe 3-4 inches) of a seedless cucumber, peeled and grated
Greek Seasoning (or salt and pepper, dried oregano)

Place all the ingredients in a bowl, stir until well blended.
*Note- cucumbers are filled with water. After you grate the cucumber make sure to squeeze out the excess water.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Recipe: My Tapenade

Tapenade is a spread that consists mainly of olives. I like to add sundried tomatoes and feta cheese, among other things. Tapenade is great just as a snack by spreading it on crackers or toast. But it is also good on sandwiches like paninis or burgers. It is pretty hard to mess up tapenade. I don't really measure anything, just throw it all in the food processer. Most grocery stores now have those olive bars and I just fill a small container with kalamata and green olives. This is a great dish to have as an opening act while guests are arriving for a party.

Olive and Sundried Tomato Tapenade
a combination of kalamata and giant green olives, roughly chopped
sundried tomatoes in oil - about 8, roughly chopped
capers - 1 Tbsp.
feta cheese (about a 1/4 cup)
juice of half a lemon
1-2 garlic cloves
handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley
crackers or toast

Place all the ingredients in the food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pour a little bit of the sundried tomato oil in as well. Blend until the ingredients turn into a smooth, spread. Add more oil if needed. Spread on crackers and enjoy!

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe New Year's Eve! I did. And I wish everyone a Happy New Year. 2009 is already shaping up to be a pretty great year for me. I hope it continues.