Thursday, September 3, 2015

Shakshuka Light

This recipe calls for a "fiery" tomato sauce, but I left out the green chiles for a more mild (but still flavorful) version.

Shakshuka

Ingredients:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large bell pepper, diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp mild red pepper flakes, or more to taste
2 Tbsp tomato paste
28 oz canned chopped tomatoes, with their juice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
Fresh black pepper, to taste
6 large eggs
2-4 Tbsp roughly chopped fresh parsley

Directions:
Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over low-medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion, and saute for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and red bell pepper, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.

Stir in the cumin, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Mix well, and let the spices cook for 30 seconds. Next, add the tomato paste, and stir that into the mixture.

Finally, add the chopped tomatoes. Reduce heat to simmer. and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes, or until the sauce comes together and reduces. When most of the liquid has evaporated, remove the pan from the heat. At this point, you could let all of the sauce cool completely, and refrigerate or freeze it in airtight containers.

Transfer half of the sauce into a smaller nonstick frying pan. Make 3 small indentations in the sauce. Crack each egg into a bowl and gently slide it into an indentation, one by one. Cover the pan, and cook until the eggs are as runny, or firm, as you like them (about 10 minutes).

Garnish with chopped parsley, and serve right away.

Adapted from: http://www.theperfectpantry.com/2014/07/recipe-shakshuka-eggs-in-tomato-sauce-vegetarian-gluten-free.html

Allergens: egg
Nutrition (1/3 recipe): 385 calories, 29 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 372 mg cholesterol, 649 mg sodium, 862 mg potassium, 20 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 15 g protein, 62% vitamin A, 180% vitamin C, 16% iron, 11% calcium, 16% vitamin B-12, 23% vitamin B-6, 20% vitamin D, 13% copper, 18% folate, 21% manganese, 26% phosphorous, 25% riboflavin, 11% zinc
Cost (1/3 recipe): $3.30

P.S. The original recipe recommended one egg portion per person, but I think you probably want at least 2 eggs to feel satisfied.
P.P.S. You can freeze the leftover sauce (or share it with a friend).

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

"Very Involved" Ziti with Eggplant and Tomatoes


Last week, a good friend of mine texted me, "I just made a very involved pasta salad". At the time, I thought, "hmm, okay cool... random, send me the recipe." But now after having made said pasta salad, I realize how much that is the understatement of the year. "Very involved" is exactly how I would describe it. Don't believe the New York Times' estimated prep time of forty-five minutes - it took me closer to an hour and a half or two hours to make.

But it is pretty delicious. And a ton of food. 

Ingredients:
2 lb ripe campari tomatoes, cut in wedges
5 Tbsp Olive oil
Salt and pepper
2 or 3 garlic cloves, pressed
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and chopped (optional)
2 medium eggplants, about 1 pound
12 oz whole wheat ziti or other short pasta
6 oz mild feta
1 small bunch of basil, for garnish

Directions:
1. Heat broiler. Put tomato wedges in a shallow baking dish in one layer. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Broil tomatoes about 2 inches from heat until softened and lightly charred, 10 to 15 minutes. Set aside until cool, and then add garlic, and red pepper flakes and capers, if desired. Stir gently to distribute.

2. Slice eggplant into long strips about 1/4-inch thick. Paint the top of eggplant strips with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lower oven temperature to 400 degrees and roast eggplant for 10-15 minutes, or until soft.

3. Boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and rinse briefly, and blot dry. Put the pasta in a wide serving bowl, and add tomato mixture and eggplant. Toss gently to distribute. Taste for salt and hot pepper and adjust.

4. Crumble cheese over top. Drizzle with tomato juices leftover in the pan, and garnish with chopped basil. 

Adapted from: http://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1016647-cool-ziti-with-eggplant-and-tomatoes

Allergens: wheat, milk
Nutrition (1/6 recipe): 330 calories, 19 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 25 mg cholesterol, 338 mg sodium, 786 mg potassium, 34 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 10 g protein, 25% vitamin A, 32% vitamin C, 17% calcium, 11% iron 23% vitamin B-6, 10% vitamin E, 16% copper, 16% copper, 18% folate, 17% magnesium, 61% manganese, 14% niacin, 14% pantothenic acid, 23% phosphorous, 24% riboflavin, 29% selenium, 20% thiamin, 11% zinc
Cost (1/6 recipe): $3.08

P.S. The quality of the pasta salad was decreased by about the fourth day - especially the eggplant. So, unless you are making it for a party or a group, you probably want to cut the recipe in half to make sure it gets eaten.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Nostalgia thy name is Curry Chicken Salad


Some of my best memories involve sharing a meal, a drink or a sweet. But it is funny how foods that are not memorable at the time become a source of nostalgia later on. For example, when I was studying at the school of public health, the daily grind had curry chicken salad sandwiches for sale. I ate them, just like I ate many things on-the-go, in between classes or to get me through a study session. At the time, it was just a sandwich, but now I have fond memories of eating them. So today, I embraced that nostalgia, and made me some chicken salad... a heavily adapted version of the Pioneer Woman's recipe.
Ingredients:
1 1/4 pounds Chicken, cooked and diced
4 whole ribs of celery, chopped
1/4 cup sliced almonds
3 Tbsp light mayonnaise
3 Tbsp light sour cream
1/3 cup So Delicious almond milk creamer
1 Tbsp curry powder
Salt & pepper, to taste

Directions:

Mix together mayonnaise, sour cream, almond milk creamer, and curry powder until well combined.

Combine chicken, celery, and almonds in a large bowl, Pour curry dressing over the top. Fold together with a rubber spatula. Make sure it's all combined, then add more of whatever it needs. 

Chill for several hours. Serve on lettuce, or with juicy grapes on the side. Makes 5 entree-size portions, but portions are likely smaller on a sandwich or on a bed of lettuce.

Adapted from: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/curried-chicken-pasta-salad/

Allergens: Nuts (almonds), milk, egg
Nutrition (1/5 recipe): 270 calories, 15 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 76 mg cholesterol, 722 mg sodium, 196 mg potassium, 7 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 28 g protein, 3% vitamin A, 6% vitamin C, 5% calcium, 8% iron
Cost (1/5 recipe): $2.16

P.S. This chicken salad has been delicious on a bed of lettuce, on a bagel, or by itself. But, next time, it would be interesting to substitute some of the sour cream or mayonnaise for greek yogurt.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Canned Cuisine: Tuna Noodle Casserole



We are all busy, and forget to shop on occasion. We run out of fresh meat and vegetables, and are tempted to eat out, eat a tub of ice cream, or skip dinner altogether. This meal is full of pantry staples that you can always have on hand and does not fail to satisfy! If you are feeling extravagant, add an extra 1/2 cup of shredded cheese to the tuna mixture, in addition to the cheese on top. 

Recipe
Makes 4 servings

Cook the egg noodles, and combine the following ingredients in the saucepan:

6 oz yolk-free egg noodles
2 5 oz cans chunk light tuna
2 8.5 oz cans mixed vegetables, ex. Essential Everyday No Salt Added Mixed Vegetables with Carrots, Potatoes, Celery, Peas, Green Beans, Lima Beans
2 Tbsp Gulden's Spicy Mustard
2 Tbsp Nasaya Vegan Mayonnaise
Ground pepper, to taste

Spread the tuna mixture in an 8 x 8 pyrex pan, and cover in:

1/2 cup shredded 3-cheese blend, ex. Fontina, Asiago, Parmesan

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.

Allergens: wheat, gluten, fish, egg, soy
Nutrition (1/4 of the pan): 330 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 27 mg cholesterol, 637 mg sodium, 460 mg potassium, 42 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 22 g protein, 282% vitamin A, 17% vitamin B-12, 11% vitamin B-6, 10% vitamin C, 16% calcium, 26% folate, 19% iron, 34% manganese, 59% niacin, 12% phosphorous, 17% riboflavin, 64% selenium, 27% thiamine
Cost (1/4 of the pan): $1.87


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Sensational Summer Smoothies Debunked

Preface: Found in the archives of drafts long gone unpublished, this was originally written in 2012.


When the weather gets warmer, there is nothing more refreshing than a cool summer smoothie. But not all smoothies are created equal. Store-bought smoothies:
  • Are often full of added sugars - look for turbinado, sweetened juice or honey in the ingredients list
  • Can contain unnecessary additives to add protein, caffeine or electrolytes that are better sourced from whole foods
  • Can have distorted portion sizes - do you need really need 20 oz of smoothie?
  • Often contain everything but whole fruit, including sorbet, and juices
There are some good smoothie choices out there though!
  • Jamba Juice's Probiotic Fruit & Yogurt Blends are made with nonfat yogurt, soymilk and whole fruit, along with their probiotic blend. A small size smoothie ranges from 230-250 calories and provides 15% of your daily value of calcium. 
  • At Smoothie King, you can ask to "Make it Skinny", which means they leave out the added sugar. Try the Celestial Cherry High with 157 calories for 20 oz when you make it skinny. Don't be afraid to ask for a kids size - at 12 oz and 265 calories, the Kid's Kups Gimme-Grape is a great choice too! 
  • If you like Freshens' smoothies, choose smoothies without a "Juice Blend" in favor of whole fruit. Some "No Sugar Added" Smoothies may have sweetened juice instead of sugar. The Jamaican Jammer, for example, is made up of yogurt and whole fruit and comes in at 290 calories. The Strawberry Squeeze is another great option at 250 calories.
The best smoothie option is always home-made. You know what you are putting into it, and you can use appropriate servings sizes and sweetener to your taste. Below is a quick guide to get you started making smoothies at home. Pick at least one ingredient from each column, but feel free to double up on fruits and veggies. 

Smoothie Base
Fruits & Veggies
Extras
  • Skim or 1% Milk
  • Low-fat Greek Yogurt
  • Low-fat Yogurt
  • Low-fat Kefir
  • Soy Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • Green Tea
  • Coffee
  • Coconut Water



  • ½ Banana
  • ½ cup Pineapple
  • ½ cup Mango
  • ½ cup Papaya
  • ½ cup Peaches 
  • ½ cup Strawberries
  • ½ cup Blueberries
  • ½ cup Raspberries
  • ½ cup Orange slices
  • 1 cup Baby Spinach
  • ½ Avocado
  • 1 Medium Carrot, sliced
  • 1 Small Apple

  • 1/8 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Flax Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Wheat Germ
  • 1 tsp Grated Ginger
  • 1 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Fresh Mint
  • 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter
  • 1 Tbsp Lime Juice
  • 1/8 tsp Cinnamon/ Allspice/ Nutmeg
  • Splenda/ Equal/ Sweet N' Low to Taste

For example, you could combine 6 oz nonfat Vanilla Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup peaches and 1/2 cup strawberries, and garnish it with some mint for 180 calories and 81% of your Daily Value of vitamin C.


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Valentine's 2015

Happy Valentine's Day from your favorite blogging RD!

I melted chocolate in a double boiler and molded them in cupcake liners for the holiday. It was a ton of fun mixing and matching cranberries, walnuts, sprinkles, and white and milk chocolate!

For more inspiration, check out these Youtube videos:

Salmon Fra Diavolo with Veggie Topping


On a chilly day like today, when the temperature never reaches above freezing, and the wind chill is in the negative digits, it is only natural to crave soups and stews. I had fish de-thawed in my fridge, so I initially thought I would make fish stew. Unfortunately, I didn't have all the ingredients, and I wasn't highly motivated to leave my house to go shopping. Luckily, Ellie Krieger saved the day with a simple, healthy and easy recipe, that I adapted below, using the fish I already had in my fridge! Great RD's must think alike!

Ingredients
2 6 oz fish filets of your choice (Salmon, Tilapia, Cod, etc)
Marinate overnight in a ziploc bag with:
2 Tbsp Wildtree Roasted Garlic Grapeseed Oil
1 Tbsp Wildtree Hot & Spicy Fra Diavolo Blend
¼ tsp salt
OR
1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
¼ tsp salt

2 teaspoons garlic grapeseed oil, divided
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup canned low-sodium diced tomatoes, with juice
1/2 cup chopped pitted black olives
2 tablespoons capers, optional
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper, optional
2 cups packed fresh baby spinach and arugula mix
Salt and pepper

Directions
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in the same skillet; add onion and saute for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives and capers and crushed red pepper, if using, and cook for 3 minutes more. 

In a large nonstick skillet heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over a medium-high heat. Add the fillets, skin side DOWN. Cook 4-5 minutes, and then flip over. Cook additional 5 minutes. When finished cooking, fish will easily pull from the skin using a spatula.

Stir the spinach into the vegetable mixture and cook until it is wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve.

Adapted from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ellie-krieger/fish-with-tomatoes-olives-and-capers-recipe.html

Allergens: fish
Nutrition (1 fillet with topping, not including marinade): 486 calories, 19 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 94 mg cholesterol, 480 mg sodium, 2233 mg potassium, 28 g carbohydrates, 8g fiber, 15 g sugar, 39 g protein, 81% vitamin A, 69% vitamin C, 15% calcium, 22% iron, 86% vitamin B-12, 83% vitamin B-6, 29% folate, 18% magnesium, 18% manganese, 86% niacin, 33% pantothenic acid, 46% phosphorous, 50% riboflavin, 114% selenium, 32% thiamine, 10% zinc, 29% copper
Cost (farm-raised salmon with $2.79 of wildtree products, 1/2 recipe): $6.57

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tuna Burgers, perfected!


It only took about 3 tries, but I finally perfected this recipe. The proportions of tuna to breadcrumbs to egg is pretty crucial, so I included 2 different scaled versions of the recipe. The great thing about these tuna cakes is that they go great on a bun, roll or pita, but they are also good alone with tartar sauce, just like crab cakes. Deck them out with plenty of lettuce, tomato or cheese, and enjoy! 

This recipe has the added bonus of including a lot of pantry staples, being relatively affordable when you're eating on a budget, and super quick to make!

Ingredients:
Makes 2 burgers:                                     Makes 7 burgers:
1 3 oz can tuna                                         2 1/2 5 oz cans tuna
1/8 cup of finely chopped onion              1/2 cup tuna
1 egg                                                        4 eggs
3/8 cup breadcrumbs                               1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp black pepper                                1 tsp black pepper
Lettuce (optional)
Tomato (optional)
Cheese (optional)
Tartar sauce (optional)

Directions:
Mix drained tuna with onion, egg, breadcrumbs and pepper, or your favorite seafood seasoning. Form into patties, then cook in a pan with 1 tbsp oil for 4 minutes per side or until browned and heated through. Serve on hamburger buns with mayonnaise or tartar sauce. Add lettuce, tomato and cheese, if desired.

Allergens: Tuna, egg, wheat, gluten, milk (optional)
Nutrition (1 tuna burger with whole wheat hamburger roll and tartar sauce): 330 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 110 mg cholesterol, 588 mg sodium, 258 mg potassium, 41 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 20 g protein, 11% vitamin A, 8% vitamin C, 5% calcium, 20% iron, 13% folate, 14% manganese, 10% phosphorous, 11% riboflavin, 15% thiamine
Cost (1 tuna burger, plain): $0.83
Cost (3 sliders with cheese and tomato on potato rolls): $3.99

Adapted from: Meijer's Simply Give Cookbook (http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/3deb1aa6#/3deb1aa6/32)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Butternut Squash and Spinach Enchilada Casserole

This recipe totally made me rethink enchiladas - the nontraditional ingredients really worked well together! I felt like the original recipe could use even more vegetables, so I changed the recipe to double up the veg for next time.

Ingredients:
8 (5 inch) corn tortillas
1 unpeeled butternut squash, seeded
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
8 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup enchilada sauce
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup sour cream, for topping (optional)

Directions:
1. Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Lay the tortillas flat onto a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven until crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Meanwhile, place the butternut squash half into a microwave-safe dish cut-side-down, and pour in the water. Cook in the microwave until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and dice; place into a mixing bowl and set aside.
3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Continue cooking until the spinach wilts. Gently fold the spinach mixture into the diced butternut squash.
4. Arrange four crispy tortillas on the baking sheet. Divide the squash mixture among the tortillas. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of goat cheese over each tortilla, then top with the remaining tortillas. Pour the enchilada sauce over top, and sprinkle each with 1 tablespoon of cotija cheese.
5. Bake in the preheated oven until hot, about 10 minutes. Garnish each enchilada with chopped cilantro leaves and a dollop of sour cream to serve.

Adapted from: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/butternut-squash-enchiladas/

Allergens: Milk
Nutrition (1/4 recipe): 377 calories, 15 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 18 mg cholesterol, 732 mg sodium, 372 mg potassium, 51 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 13 g protein, 292% vitamin A, 60% vitamin C, 24% calcium, 22% iron, 19% vitamin B-6, 15% copper, 17% folate, 19% magnesium, 21% manganese, 11% niacin, 12% phosphorus, 12% thiamine
Cost (1/4 recipe): $3.18

When live gives you bananas... you make banana bread

I found about 10 bananas on the back shelf of my freezer, so naturally, I made lots and lots of banana bread. Do you sense a theme this week?! I'll give you a hint - it's food found in the depths of my freezer.
I thought I should be healthy or something, and I bought sprouted wheat flour to use in this recipe. It was VERY WHEATY, and not really an improvement in my opinion, so the recipe and nutrition analysis below uses all-purpose flour. Oddly, when I changed the flour in the recipe from whole wheat to all-purpose, it added vitamins because the white flour is enriched - funny how that works out sometimes. Additionally, the fancy flour cost more than a dollar more in this recipe. Definitely going to stick with all-purpose flour on this one.

But I toasted up the bread with a little butter and it was pretty darn good with a cup of coffee on this cold, snowy morning!

Ingredients:
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon fine grain salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
5 1/3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon bourbon
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan, and set aside.

Whisk the dry ingredients (flour through baking powder) together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together using a sturdy fork or in a Kitchen-aid until it’s lightened in color and texture. Mix in the flour mixture until well blended and the consistency of brown sugar. Gradually beat in the eggs.

Fold in the mashed bananas, walnuts (if desired), and bourbon. Scrape the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake at 350° F for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 – 10 minutes before unmolding to cool completely.

Adapted from: http://lifecurrents.dw2.net/bourbon-banana-walnut-bread/

Allergens: Wheat, gluten, milk, egg, nuts
Nutrition Info (1/8 loaf): 240 calories, 7 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 113 mg sodium, 147 mg potassium, 39 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 20 g sugar, 4 g protein, 6% vitamin A, 5% vitamin C, 2% calcium, 7% iron, 10% vitamin B-6, 12% folate, 10% riboflavin, 11% selenium, 12% thiamine
Cost (1 loaf): $2.33 (with all-purpose flour), $3.34 (with sprouted wheat flour)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Chesapeake Shrimp & Grits



I truly believe in food destiny. These shrimp, marinated in Chesapeake Lemon dressing, and tucked away in the freezer, were meant to meet yellow grits. Today, that destiny became a reality. I had the hardest time finding a recipe that even resembled my mental image of Shrimp & Grits. I imagined creamy, salty, bright yellow grits, with colorful veggies and perfectly seasoned shrimp. I wanted peppers, and onions, softened and perfectly blended with the shrimp. 

But so many recipes saturated the grits with cheese, packed in the bacon, and ignored the vegetables altogether. I think all the cheese, bacon grease and mounds of butter take away from the simple, delicious taste of this meal. My mother's side of the family is from the south, and we eat our grits with a little bit of milk and salt and it is perfection.

When costing out this recipe, I was caught unaware by the price of the shrimp (especially since I bought and froze this particular shrimp back in September). For the convenience of having large, uncooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp, you can expect to pay almost $20 per pound! All of a sudden, shrimp seems like a luxury item.

So, how might you save money on this meal? Buy smaller shrimp, and peel and devein them yourself. Replace the red bell peppers with green peppers. Consider canned diced tomatoes, instead of fresh. With all these substitutions, the cost per serving goes down by $1.85 to $3.08. I will have to try these substitutions and let you know how it goes! 

Ingredients
For the grits:
1 cup yellow grits, Bob's Red Mill 
4 1/2 water
1 1/4 kosher salt
2 Tbsp butter, unsalted
2 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 tsp Tabasco

For the shrimp:
1/2 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 bottle Tessemae's Lemon Chesapeake dressing
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup green onions, sliced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1/3 cup chicken stock
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce

Marinate the shrimp in Tessemae's Lemon Chesapeake dressing for several hours or overnight.

Combine the grits, water, salt, and 1/2 Tbsp of the butter and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer. stirring occasionally, until tender, 45 to 60 minutes. If the grits become too thick, add more water. Remove from the heat and stir in another 1/2 Tbsp of butter, the Parmesan cheese, pepper, and Tabasco.

Meanwhile, prepare the shrimp. Toss the shrimp with flour to coat evenly. In a fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbsp butter. Brown the shrimp until almost cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add the bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add the shrimp, green onions, tomatoes, stock, lemon juice, and Tabasco. Cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are opaque throughout and the vegetables are heated through.

Divide the grits among 4 bowls and top with shrimp mixture. Serve immediately.

Adapted from: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/recipe/shrimp-and-grits.html

Allergens: Shellfish, milk
Nutrition (1/4 recipe): 400 calories, 20 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 128 mg cholesterol, 259 mg sodium, 374 mg potassium, 41 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 18 g protein, 13% vitamin A, 21% vitamin C, 7% calcium, 21% iron, 16% vitamin B-12, 10% vitamin B-6, 14% vitamin E, 10% copper, 25% folate, 10% magnesium, 10% manganese, 22% niacin, 16% phosphorus, 13% riboflavin, 46% selenium, 22% thiamine
Cost (1/4 recipe): $4.93

Friday, January 2, 2015

Chilaquiles For One

Some dishes, you just don't forget the first time you had them. In particular, the egg chilaquiles I had at Lauriol Plaza have been stuck in my mind:

Three scrambled eggs with tortilla chips, and green tomatillo sauce. Topped with Monterey Jack cheese and sour cream. Served with seasonal fruit. Recommended for a hang over.

It came to my table still piping hot and comforting after a late night on the town. So, now that I have the time, I had to try my own version of it, perfectly portioned for 1.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup salsa 
3 oz chicken or vegetable broth
1 large egg
3 corn tortillas, in pieces, baked til crisp at 375 degrees
OR 2 oz tortilla chips
.75 oz queso fresco
Nonstick cooking spray 

Directions:
1. Heat salsa and broth in large saucepan to medium-high. Stir in the chips, coating all of them well with the mixture. As soon as the salsa mixture is at a boil, cover the pan and turn off the heat. Let stand for 5 minutes (no longer).

2. Once the chips are in the salsa, cover small nonstick skillet in cooking spray and heat to medium. Break the eggs in the skillet and cook sunny-side up on one side just until set.

3. Uncover the pot and check that the chips have softened nicely - they should be a little chewy, definitely not mushy. Spoon onto a warm plate. Sprinkle with sliced onion and cheese. Transfer the egg and serve right away.

Adapted from: http://www.fronterafiesta.com/cook/starters-snacks-a-light-meals/355-chilaquiles-with-salsa-and-eggs-

Allergens: Egg, milk
Nutrition (1 recipe): 375 calories, 10 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 192 mg cholesterol, 977 mg sodium, 110 mg potassium, 54 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 16 g protein, 41% vitamin A, 27% vitamin C, 17% calcium, 11% iron, 10% vitamin D, 11% phosphorous, 11% riboflavin
Cost (1 recipe): $2.52

P.S. In retrospect, my dream chilaquiles came with scrambled eggs and tomatillo sauce - sounds like I have some work to do!

Happy New Year!!

It's a New Year, so I thought I would point out some new things about my blog (and myself) in celebration!

First, I have added meal pricing, in addition to the food allergies and nutrition facts that I was already posting. After doing cooking demonstrations with low-income patients and struggling to provide meals that are reasonably priced, I feel it is important to be aware of the cost of our favorite foods. It makes us aware of how fortunate we are to be able to afford healthy food, and encourages us to consider low-cost alternatives along the way.

The Food Stamp challenge is one way to increase your awareness of this issue. Check out the Food Research and Action Center for more information.

Second, I have a renewed commitment to home cooking. After gaining weight since starting graduate school, cooking at home has allowed me to enjoy new foods, while still being able to control my portions. So, hopefully you will be seeing more posts real soon!

Check out this article from the New York Times, if you don't believe me!