Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I know it's WAY too soon to already be recycling recipes...but I just have to say...this is my best invention so far...and it was completely an invention...

::Turkey Tacos:: + ::Black Bean Salad:: + ::Summer Twist:: = Heaven.

You are going to have to click back to my March archive for the taco/black bean recipes --- but I promise --- so easy and so good.

Then, my Summer Twist referenced above is simply avocado and mango.  I'm utterly utterly obsessed with mango and don't know what I'll do when they go out of season.  I've literally had one a day for probably the past 2 weeks.  BTW, it cracks me up that yesterday was officially "The First Day of Summer".  Dude, it's been summer for months up in Texas.  "First Day of Summer" to me is mid-May --- like when school is out --- that's summer.  Or as soon as it hits 90 degrees --- which may have actually been April down here.  But whether you are just celebrating summer --- or kinda already OVER summer --- make this, eat this, enjoy this.

...so my "mango-a-day" habit got me wondering how good/bad these guys are for ya.  It's basically like eating an apple in terms of calories (130), carbs (35g), fiber (4g), protein (1g); however, it has more sugar (31g vs. 25g) which gives it the glycemic index of a banana (51) vs. the 38 index of an apple.  I don't exactly know what that means...but that's not great.

...one final thought...thanks to Gwen Stefani...literally anytime I write "banana" I hear in my head B-A-N-A-N-A-S!  Literally.  Every time.  Am I the only one?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Apple & Basil.Chicken.Salad.

This is absolutely delicious.  It's a great mayo-free chicken salad.  And took like 15 min to make.  Original recipe came from RealSimple

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup lime juice (roughly 2 limes)
1 T vinegar
2T brown sugar
4 scallions (or green onions or leeks)
2 granny smith apples, peeled and diced
1/3 cup peanuts, roasted and chopped
2T mint, thinly sliced
1/2 cup basil, thinly sliced

1. Pound chicken to even thinness.  Cut into strips.  Place in large saucepan and add enough water to cover chicken by 1/2 inch.  Add 3T of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper.  Let simmer.  Cook until no pink remains; roughly 8-10 minutes.

2. While chicken is cooking, in a large bowl combine: lime juice, vinegar, and sugar --- stirring until sugar dissolves.

3. Add peanuts to small saucepan and toast --- stirring frequently.

4. Add scallions and apples and toss.

5. Drain and pat chicken dry.  Dice and add to apple mixture, along with peanuts, mint, basil, and remaining salt and pepper.  Toss and plate.


Friday, June 11, 2010


[Back Story]

If you are interested, here is a little back story --- otherwise skip right on down to the recipe.  Where I work, no one has offices.  Not even the owner of the agency.  We all sit in cubes --- some are just significantly larger than others.  Anyways, the cubes are arranged in groups of 8 or so --- which are referred to as "pods".  Well, every Friday my pod takes turns bringing in breakfast.  Given I've been cooking more, they told me my usual fare of Einstein Bagels or Taco Cabana breakfast tacos wasn't going to cut it.

I did some research and came across this casserole recipe on MyRecipes and I liked it because it's on the healthier side --- at least relative to others.  Then I added a few things to spice it up --- and changed the name because the term "casserole" either evokes grandma or Thanksgiving green beans.


Cooking spray
12 ounces turkey breakfast sausage (3-4 links)
2 cups milk (I used skim but whatever you have)
2 cups egg substitute (one of those small egg beaters cartons)
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
16 slices white bread (pretty much a loaf)
1 cup finely shredded reduced-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese


What I added:
1 can black beans
1 can rotelle
But you could also add mushrooms, chopped bell pepper, green chilies, chopped onions etc.


1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. De-case sausage and add to pan.  Stir and break sausage to crumble, cooking roughly 5 minutes or until browned.  Doesn't have to be cooked all the way through since will go in the oven.  Set aside to cool.
2. Combine milk and next 6 ingredients (stop at bread) in a large bowl and whisk.

3. Trim crusts from bread. Cut bread into 1-inch cubes. Add bread cubes, sausage, cheddar cheese, and any "adds" to milk/egg mixture, stirring to combine.

4. Pour bread mixture into a 13 x 9 baking dish coated with cooking spray, spreading egg mixture evenly in baking dish. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.

5. Remove from fridge and let stand 30 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350°.

7. Sprinkle evenly with paprika and bake for 45-55 minutes or until lightly browned and egg is set.  let stand 10 minutes --- then enjoy!

When serving --- top with salsa.  I used my favorite "Joe T's" salsa.  I'm pretty sure it was a hit...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Listen. I know it sounds crazy. I get it. But TRUST me. This.Is.Amazing. The salty crunch of the pistachios mixed with the sweetness of the banana and the bite of the chili and lime is all interesting and delicious.

Let me tell you a quick little story though. So yesterday I was clicking on some blogs I follow and came across this one on FussFreeCooking and decided I was so buying the ingredients and going to try it.

Later that day I got a notification that someone had commented on my blog --- and it was a STRANGER. That may not excite you but it excited me. I really only thought my friend Sarah and my Mom ever read my blog so to get a legit comment (and compliment no less) from just a random reader --- Ex.Citing!

It gets better. I then clicked on her name to see who this random fan was and believe it or not --- it took me back to FussFreeCooking! Literally the girl who's blog I'd been on earlier that day and who made the recipe I decided to try --- was the girl who commented on my blog.

Crazy great --- and this all went down on my birthday!

Ok --- on to the recipe, this makes 2 servings:

1/2 avocado, diced into cubes
1 banana (at preferred level of ripeness), diced into cubes
1/4 or 1/2 small red chili, finely chopped
1T olive oil
Juice from 1/2 a lime
2T coriander, chopped -OR- 1t ground coriander seed powder (in bulk spices section)*
2T pistachio, toasted and chopped
Salt and Pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in medium bowl except for pistachios and stir

2. Plate mixture and sprinkle with pistachio

3. Enjoy as is or with crackers, chips, or bread (I just had it plain)

*Literally just realized I read the recipe wrong when I made it. I bought the coriander powder thinking it was the spice that was needed. Didn't realize it even came in "leaf" form. When I was making it I could tell there was some sort of leaf in the picture but assumed it had been left out of the recipe --- kinda looked like cilantro. Then I just realized I read it wrong.

HOWEVER --- I thoroughly enjoyed my "powdered" option and definitely recommend going that route if desired!


So this was a recipe I gave a slight twist to from AllRecipes.com --- following serves 2:

Zest of one lemon
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lime
2T vinegar
1T olive oil
1t honey
1/2T dijon mustard
1/8t salt
1/8t pepper
1 ear of corn / roughly 1/2 cup kernels
1/4 cup sliced basil
1/4 cup red bell pepper
2T finely chopped red onion
8oz / 1/2lb of lump crabmeat*
2 beefsteak tomatoes
6 cherry tomatoes

1. If using a fresh ear of corn, shuck it (ha ha), then rub with olive oil and sprinkle with paprika and garlic salt. Grill or roast in oven at 400 degrees for 15 min --- rotating occasionally.

2. Combine zest, lemon and lime juices and the remaining ingredients up until the corn in a medium bowl and whisk.

3. Add corn, basil, bell pepper, and onion to juice mixture and stir until coated.

4. Slice or chop tomatoes and divide on two plates. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with scoop of crab mixture.


*Crab meat is expensive!! Like the 8oz jar is roughly $15

Here's what went down at Whole Foods this evening:

Me talking to the butcher guy behind the fish counter: Do you have any lump crab?
Him: Yes, right here.
Me: How much is it?
Him: $18.99 a pound
Me: How much is that little container?
Him: A pound
Me (in my head not out loud): OMG! Should I just cook some chicken instead??

They have less expensive crab meat in a jar --- bought the "mid-grade" and picked "lump crab" vs. the high-end "jumbo lump crab" and the low-end "claw meat"
Point of the story --- maybe a recipe for a special event rather than a Wednesday night! :)

Here's an idea for a twist on any of the leftover crab salad for day two...

Put on top of tomotoes and lettuce
Add diced avocado
Add chopped red chili pepper
Add more fresh basil and squeeze of lime
Still liking it day two...