Grilled portobello with 2-bean vegetable salad 5/13/22

Grilled portobello mushroom with sauteed onions on a sesame hard roll and 2-bean vegetable salad

If you are trying to eat more plant-based meals, grilling a portobello mushroom instead of a meat burger is a great substitution. John marinated the mushrooms in no fat Italian salad dressing and balsamic vinegar and sprinkled on some garlic powder, salt, oregano. They took about 12 minutes on the pre-heated grill.

I made my 2-bean salad with a drained can each of black beans, black eyed peas, and petite diced tomatoes. Other vegetables are onion, scallion, carrot, celery, jalapeño, garlic, red bell pepper, and cilantro. The dressing was made from no fat Italian dressing, balsamic and cider vinegars, cumin, Tabasco sauce, sriracha, and lime zest and juice. Plus salt, this salad needs a lot of salt. I think I ate a quarter of it testing it for the right levels of salt, acid, and spiciness.

As summer approaches, we will be making more of these types of dinners. When it gets really hot out (90-105F) we will be cooking outside more and eating salads to keep the house cool and our tummies happy.

Posted in American, Grilling, Healthy tips, Legumes, Salad, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Shrimp with broccoli and zucchini over polenta 5/12/22

Shrimp with broccoli and zucchini over polenta

Shrimp with vegetables over polenta is our version of shrimp and grits. John uses Bob’s Red Mill polenta and makes it in a ratio of six parts water to one part polenta. One half cup of polenta turns into quite a lot. He adds salt and a tablespoon of faux butter so these are pretty healthy grits. He also cooked the shrimp in a touch of olive oil and olive oil spray until they were brown and just cooked through.

I sautéed a quarter of a large onion and two cloves of garlic in some butter spray and salt and then added broccoli and zucchini to the pan with a quarter cup of water and two teaspoons of butter. By the time the water had mostly evaporated the vegetables were done and had a hint of butter. It is amazing how a little bit of butter really improves the taste.

Except for having to use three pans that increased clean-up, this was an easy prep and cook meal that was super filling, tasty, and easy to prepare.

Posted in American, Easy, Grains, Healthy tips, Methods, pescatarian, Shellfish, Vegetables | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Fusilli with mushrooms and kale 5/11/22

Fusilli with mushrooms and kale

It’s pasta Wednesday! It’s also vegan Wednesday! I try to keep my Wednesdays vegan along with one or two other vegan or vegetarian days a week. This week along with with this pasta dinner, Friday (Afghani dal), Saturday (grilled porto mushrooms), and Sunday (Breakfast for Dinner) are all either vegan or vegetarian. I like to think that we are helping the planet as well as helping our waistlines!

I have been buying Trader Joe’s shredded kale which means the hardest things I have to do are cutting up the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. If I start with the mushrooms then they can be cooking while I cut up the rest of the stuff. The Al Dente Carba-Nada fusilli only takes about 4-5 minutes to cook so I need to be sauteeing the mushrooms, onions, and garlic (going into the pan in that order) before John drops the pasta. As the pasta is done and he is draining it (after reserving a cup of pasta water), I put in great handfuls of the kale. It look like a lot but it cooks down a ton.

At this point I stir the whole thing around adding pasta water to create a light sauce. Since I have been using olive oil spray up to this point, I also add in a teaspoon or so of olive oil, the real thing. Since I am not having grated cheese on mine I make sure that everything including the pasta water has been well salted during the cooking.

This whole process takes about 20 minutes total and the result is very satisfying. Why not choose a pasta/vegan day for yourself!?

Portion size for the pasta is 3 ounces

Posted in Easy, Healthy tips, Italian, Methods, Pasta, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Roasted talapia with sheet pan sprouts and squash 5/10/22

Roasted talapia with sheet pan Brussels sprouts and butternut suash

Tonight’s easy, delicious, quick, and healthy dinner is all a matter of timing.

Method:

  • Turn the oven on to 425F convect
  • During the preheat season the fish in a baking dish with olive oil, Old Bay, salt, garlic powder, and tarragon leaves. Also halve the sprouts and cut the squash (pre-peeled and cut package) into uniform chunks. Shake the veg in a plastic bag with olive oil and salt. Lay the pieces out on a sheet pan covered in aluminum foil and sprayed with olive oil cooking spray.
  • By now the oven should be heated up. place the sheet pan in the oven and set timer for 10 minutes.
  • At 10 minutes check for doneness. My sprouts were large and took longest to cook. Rotate the sheet pan.
  • At this point put the fish in the oven. I put mine on a rack just under the vegetables. Set timer for another 10 minutes but keep your eye on the vegetables and pull them when they are done and cover loosely with foil. I took mine out of the oven at 20 minutes total. They waited two minutes while the fish finished up.
  • After the second 10 minutes are up, temp the fish. Anything between 125 and 140 should be fine. Ours needed an extra two minutes at this point.
  • Serve with lemon or tartar sauce. I used some leftover sauce grabiche.

Voila! Dinner is on the table in 22 minutes! Although talapia gets no respect as a food fish, it is a mild tasting white fish which takes to sauces well and in the world of expensive fish is relatively cheap. I buy them frozen in a bag of individual fillets from Costco.

Posted in American, Easy, Fish, Methods, pescatarian, Sheet pan, Vegetables | Tagged | Leave a comment

Chicken with quadruple vegetables 5/9/22

Chicken with gravy over cauliflower rice and cabbage with asparagus and broccoli

Rotisserie chicken and McCormack’s chicken gravy took care of the protein portion of our dinner. Unfortunately the white rice we were planning on having had languished in the refrigerator too long so it got pitched. I had been planning on half cauliflower rice anyway so I just added some slivered cabbage to it for the base of my dish. Steamed broccoli and asparagus made up my last two veggies.

Adding extra vegetables instead of a starch is a good way to lower carbs and calories. An added bonus is an extra large portion!


Posted in American, Easy, Healthy tips, Methods, Poultry, Vegetables | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Mother’s Day Specials 5/8/22

My kids made me some special treats for Mother’s Day! Since I have to go back on my diet on Monday, I really enjoyed these over the weekend!!

First, my daughter made this delicious Swedish tea ring. Usually it has a white sugar icing glaze but I vetoed that because 1) it makes it too sweet and 2) you have to wait until it cools to put put the icing on which delays eating it! Here it is just out of the oven.

You can find her recipe here – https://www.braisinhussy.com/2016/12/08/dugan-ish-coffee-cake/

Swedish tea ring

On Sunday we went to our son’s house where there were hugs and cards from the grandkids and of course more treats for mom. In addition to having bagels and lox he made a delicious strata which is a bread, egg, cheese, and spicy Italian sausage concoction. Yum!

Strata

So what with all the lovely food, hugs, cards, and flowers (from John) I felt well-loved on Mother’s Day!

Posted in American, Baking, Eggs, Holidays, Special occasion | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Penne with broccoli and mushrooms 5/7/22

Penne with mushrooms and broccoli

Saturday night’s quick and easy dinner was whole wheat penne with lots of mushrooms and broccoli. Cooked the mushrooms first with some onion, garlic, pepper flakes, salt, and oregano. I added the broccoli shortly before the penne was al dente. Then added the pasta and a cup of the pasta water plus some olive oil to make the sauce. I grated parmesan over the top but omit it for a vegan or vegetarian preparation.

Posted in Easy, Italian, Methods, Pasta, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Grilled hamburgers and tabbouleh 5/6/22

Grilled hamburger with onion and tabbouleh

Does anybody else do this? You know you have to go back to dieting on Monday so you eat everything that you would not normally eat in the days leading up to D-Day. So yes, I am human and we made hamburgers for the first time since last July 4th. I cannot even begin to tell you how delicious they were!

John grilled the hamburgers perfectly. He added salt and baking soda to the ground beef which makes them extra juicy. I made the tabbouleh. Here is my recipe. I think it is very tasty.

Posted in American, Beef, Grains, Kitchen tips, Recipes, Salad, Vegetables | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chicken enchiladas and spicy black beans 5/5/22

Chicken enchiladas and spicy black beans

In celebration of Cinco de Mayo we made chicken enchiladas and spicy black beans. Our method is pretty simple. Buy a jar of salsa verde, corn tortillas, feta cheese, and rotisserie chicken. Shred the chicken. Put a layer of salsa verde down in a baking dish. Heat the tortillas over an open flame until they are supple. In each tortilla put some chicken, salsa verde, and cheese. Roll them up and put them in the baking dish seam side down. When you have completed all your tortillas cover them with salsa verde and sprinkle on cheese. You can use whatever cheese you like. We used feta because it is similar to queso fresca. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes.

The spicy black beans are merely two cans of drained and rinsed black beans plus one can of Original Rotel, a spicy tomato and chile preparation. Heat until warmed through.

Posted in Easy, Methods, Mexican, Poultry, Southwest U.S., Vegetables | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Matzoh ball soup 5/4/22

Marzoh ball soup

We still are finishing up leftovers from Sunday. This soup was made from a packaged mix but we diluted it a little more since it is very salty and added extra vegetables and some chicken pieces.

Posted in American, Easy, soup, Vegetables | Tagged | Leave a comment