Tag Archives: dinner

Heart Healthy Salad for Dinner

See—Little Baker does healthy too 🙂

Fast and good for your heart.

Enjoy!

Two Heart Healthy Salads (recipe by me)

printable recipe

Serves 1.

Broccoli-Tuna Salad

2 tbsp dijon mustard

splash balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1- 6 oz can tuna, drained

1/2 cup frozen broccoli florets, defrosted (or fresh)

small handful raisins

salt and pepper to taste

Tomato-Jarlsberg Salad

1/2 medium tomato, sliced (4 slices)

4 small slices Jarlsberg cheese

splash balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

METHOD

For Broccoli-Tuna Salad

  1. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, onion, balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
  2. Stir in tuna, followed by broccoli and raisins. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Adjust flavor to taste by adding more mustard, vinegar, salt, etc. Serve along side tomato-cheese salad.

For Tomato-Jarlsberg Salad

  1. Spiral out tomato and cheese in alternating layers on a plate. Splash balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Advertisements

Shakshouka (Egg in Tomato Sauce)

Quick din-din for one: Shakshouka. Wikipedia says it’s Tunesian. Thinking about it now, though, maybe it’s more Tex-Mex? It’s almost like a low-carb Huevos Rancheros. I don’t know; I was hungry and threw together whatever was in the fridge. And this delicious, little dish was the result.

Enjoy!

Shakshouka – Tex Mex Style (Eggs in Tomato Sauce)

Recipe inspired by The Three Cheeses

printable recipe

Serves 1.

INGREDIENTS

small splash olive oil

1 clove garlic, roughly chopped

1/4 cup red onion, roughly chopped

1 leaf mustard greens

1/2 cup diced stewed tomatoes

1 egg

1/4 cup canned beans (I used pinto)

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp ground cumin

pinch of red chile flakes

salt and pepper to taste

grated cheese to top, optional (I used Jarlsberg, but any kind would work)

plain yogurt to top, optional

METHOD

  1. In a pre-heated (medium-high) small pan or saucepan, sauté onion, garlic and mustard greens in olive oil until slightly golden. Then add in tomatoes, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Stir and allow to simmer over low heat until liquid reduce somewhat, ca. 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in beans and crack an egg over the top. Cover and reduce heat further to lowest setting. Cook ca. 5 minutes. At about the half way point, sprinkle optional cheese over the top. Then cover, turn off the heat and allow to finish cooking and the cheese has completely melted. Be careful not to overcook the egg–the yolk should be sticky, golden and still a little runny. (If you like it cooked all the way through, cook it longer.)
  3. Top with plain yogurt and eat!

 

Chicken Baked in Tomato-Spinach Sauce

For someone who loves food so much, it seems odd to eat as much yogurt and cereal as I do. The fact of the matter is that cooking for one is booooring. Of course this bothers me. For one, it’s not exactly healthy. In a recent discussion with my friend Natalie regarding my carb and sugar diet of late, she told me, “I’m surprised you don’t look more like Jabba the Hut”. Me too. Second, it’s lame; it’s not like I don’t have the time, money or skill. And third, and most obvious, I am the Little Baker SF! and have a responsibility to blah, leafy greens, blah, organic, blah…you know what I mean.

Chicken baked in a tomato-spinach sauce. There, my redemption dish. Easy, yummy and organic. It’s not so quick–1 hour cooking time–but breast takes a long time to soften up. Using thighs would probably speed up the process.

Enjoy!

Tomato-Spinach Baked Chicken (recipe by Theresa)

printable recipe

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

1 chicken breast (mine was with bone and skin—moister and more flavor this way)

1 cup canned stewed tomatoes, crushed

1 handful spinach leaves

1 clove garlic, bruised but still whole

1 tbsp onion, roughly chopped or thinly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1/2 tsp dried basil or oregano (or combination of both)

pinch of sugar

pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

METHOD

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Rinse and pat chicken dry. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together tomato, spices and onion. Then mix in the spinach.
  3. Place chicken in an ovenproof dish. (I used a glass pie plate.) Pour the tomato sauce over the chicken, making sure to coat completely. Drizzle olive oil over chicken. And season with a little more salt and pepper if you like.
  4. Cover dish with foil and bake for 50 minutes. At the midway point, remove foil and finish baking.
  5. Remove from oven, replace foil and let sit for 10 minutes before eating.

Honey Mustard Red Cabbage Salad with Sauteed Chicken, Eggplant and Zucchini

I’ve been eating a lot of red cabbage and cilantro these past few weeks. For two reasons: they’re totally budget-friendly (1 head of cabbage and 1 bunch of cilantro lasts me an entire week) as well as figure-friendly, or at least that’s what my mom and sister say. They both swear they’ve lost inches off their waistlines just by replacing lettuce with cabbage. Save money AND lose weight? Sounds good to me.

This salad was so awesome. Super crunchy from the red cabbage, kicky from the cilantro and sweet from the dressing. I made the dressing with non-fat greek-style yogurt instead of mayonnaise, and I sauteed the chicken thigh, eggplant and zucchini in only a drizzle of olive oil. So fat content is pretty minimal as well. You can of course play around with ingredient combination. I use canned tuna a lot or go completely vegetarian and use sweet potato instead.

Try this. It’s AMAZING.

Honey Mustard Red Cabbage Salad with Sauteed Chicken, Eggplant and Zucchini

Serves 1.

INGREDIENTS

Salad

1 chicken thigh, trimmed and patted dry with a paper towel

1/4 cup zucchini, sliced

1 round slice of eggplant, halved

a drizzle of olive oil

salt and pepper

1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped

1/8 cup red onion, finely chopped

1 oz blue cheese, crumbled

Honey Mustard Dressing

1 large tbsp non-fat greek-style yogurt

juice of 1/2 small lemon

1 tsp mustard (any style)

1 tsp sugar or honey

salt and pepper, to taste

METHOD

  1. Put the sliced zucchini and eggplant in an unzipped Ziploc bag and microwave for 1 minute. Remove and set aside.
  2. In a pre-heated non-stick skillet, fry the chicken thigh in a little olive oil, ca. 2 min. Do not move or flip during this time. Grind salt and pepper over the top.
  3. Then, flip the chicken and push to the side. Put in the zucchini and eggplant. Grind a little salt and pepper over the vegetables and other side of the chicken. Fry for about 2 minutes, moving the vegetables around to ensure even browning.
  4. Turn off the heat and let sit for a few minutes while you prepare the salad and dressing.
  5. In a medium-sized salad bowl, combine and mix together all dressing ingredients. Add the chopped onion, cabbage, cilantro and crumbled blue cheese and toss to coat.
  6. Slice the chicken at an angle. Put the salad on a large salad plate, topping with the sauteed veggies and sliced chicken. Grind a little more salt and pepper over top.

Ratatouille Stuffed Crepes Gratin

Some people are natural-born hosts. I am not one of these people. I stress about who to invite, whether they’re going have things to talk about or even LIKE each other, what to make, what drinks to serve, and, and and…

This Saturday’s potluck dinner was no different: I was late, people couldn’t find parking, my cheesecake didn’t gel properly. And, to make things worse: roommate drama. Major. (FYI: It has since been resolved. :D) Everything came together in the end, though. Awesome food and wine and scintillating conversation with my favoritest people in the city.

The baking and cooking part during the day was good too—actually, it was great. 3 straight hours of uninterrupted slicing, frying, stirring and baking. I finally got to use the frozen lucuma I brought back from Lima for a lucuma cheesecake (will post recipe soon). I also got to make this lovely vegetarian gratin (inspired by this recipe found on In Praise of Sardines)—I’ve been baking so much lately that I forgot how good it feels to be able to cook by feeling and not have to measure anything.

The original recipe is vegan, including the socca crepes which use chickpea flour instead of all purpose. My version isn’t vegan and is also a gratin. Visualize braised-all-day veggies wrapped in light-as-air crepes, smothered in creamy bechamel, and baked until golden on top and a melting pot of flavors in the middle. Love it.

Enjoy.

Ratatouille Stuffed Crepes Gratin (adapted from In Praise of Sardines and Epicurious.com)

Makes one 9×13 gratin dish, ca. 10 servings

INGREDIENTS

Ratatouille Filling:

1 lb any combination of red, yellow and/or orange bell peppers

1 lb zucchini

1 lb eggplant (I used the entire eggplant, ca. 1.2 lbs)

1/2 lb red onions

6 cloves garlic

4-6 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp dried basil (would have used herbes de provence if I had had it)

1 tsp dried rosemary

salt and pepper, to taste

Crepes:

1 cup all purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 cups milk (I used non-fat)

1 large egg

2 egg yolks

1 tsp olive oil

Bechamel:

1 tbsp unsalted butter

1/4 cup all purpose flour

2 cups milk (non-fat is fine)

salt and pepper, to taste

pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

Assembly:

handful grated parmesan

1 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

METHOD

Ratatouille

  1. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil.
  2. Roast the peppers over a barbecue grill, the gas flame on your stove, or under your broiler until black and blistered all over. Place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a plate to allow to continue cooking in their own steam. When cool, peel off skin (use a paper towel if needed). Seed and cut into one-inch pieces, preferably triangles.
  3. Cut the zucchini and eggplant into one-inch pieces. Place eggplant pieces in a colander over a sink or bowl and sprinkle lavishly with salt. Allow to sit for at least half an hour.
  4. Cut out a cone-shaped piece from the tops of the tomatoes and mark the bottoms with an X. In the boiling water, blanch the tomatoes for 20-30 seconds. Allow to cool briefly, then peel off and discard the skin. Cut tomatoes into one-inch pieces.
  5. Dice the onions into 1/2-inch pieces and slice the garlic as thinly as possible. In a large, shallow pan over medium-low heat, sweat the onions in 2-3 tablespoons of the oil, covered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. After a few minutes, season the onions with salt. If the onions start to color, reduce the heat to low. Add garlic, cover, and cook 15 more minutes until meltingly tender. Remove the lid and add the herbs, the tomatoes and the cut peppers. Turn the heat up to medium and cook for about 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in another pan (preferably non-stick) large enough to hold all the zucchini in one layer, sauté the zucchini in 1-2 tablespoon oil over high heat. Your goal is to caramelize the zucchini all over, without letting it burn or cook all the way through. It should take about 5 minutes. Remove from pan, season with salt, and set aside when done.
  7. When the tomatoes and peppers have cooked for about 10 minutes, add the zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes until almost tender then add the eggplant and cook 5 more minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.Using several paper towels, gently squeeze the eggplant dry. Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and sauté the eggplant as you did the zucchini, for about 5 minutes until caramelized.
  8. When the tomatoes and peppers have cooked for about 10 minutes, add the zucchini. Cook for about 5 minutes until almost tender then add the eggplant and cook 5 more minutes until all the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  9. Turn off the heat, cover and let sit for a few hours, in order for the flavors to “marry”.

Crepes

  1. Sift together flour, salt, nutmeg, and pepper to taste into a bowl. Whisk together milk, whole egg, and yolk in a small bowl, then gradually whisk into flour mixture.
  2. Heat a dry 7- to 8-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot. Spoon about 2 tablespoons batter into skillet, tilting to coat bottom. (If batter sets before skillet is coated, reduce heat slightly for next crepe.) Cook until underside is lightly browned, 6 to 10 seconds, then loosen crepe with a spatula and flip. Cook until just cooked through, about 20 seconds, and transfer to a plate. Make 10-12 more crepes in the same manner.

Bechamel Sauce

  1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the butter and let it melt. Whisk in the flour, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Allow the mixture to cook for about 1 minute.
  2. Whisk in 1/2 cup of the milk, again stirring constantly to fully incorporate ingredients and also to avoid scalding.
  3. Once the mixture is smooth and already starting to thicken, add in the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk as well as the salt, pepper and grated nutmeg. Reduce the heat to low and whisk until thick. Remove from heat. (The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools.)

Assembly

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F (oven rack in the center). In a 9×13-inch gratin dish, ladle in half of the bechamel sauce, making sure to coat the bottom completely.
  2. Spread 1/4 cup ratatouille filling across the center of 1 crepe and roll into a cylinder. Fold in the ends and transfer, seam side down, to the baking dish. Assemble the remaining crepes in the same manner, fitting them snugly. (You’ll probably have leftover crepes and filling.)
  3. Pour the remaining bechamel on top of the crepes, spreading evenly. Sprinkle grated parmesan over. Distribute the butter pieces evenly on top. Cover with a foil tent.
  4. Bake for 1 hour. Remove the foil. Broil on high for 5-10 minutes, or until golden on top.
  5. Remove from the oven and let sit for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Delicious Peru

I’m back.

Ten glorious days of stuffing my face with as many Peruvian culinary delights as possible—now that is my idea of vacation. My body is a little mad at me (and was really pissed on the flight back home) for being such a glutton, but I don’t care. It was worth it.

I’ve posted pics of my favorite food memories. (Photo-quality was not my main priority when I took these—obviously.)

Papa a la Huancaina (Potatoes with Aji Amarillo Cheese Sauce)

~

Pollo Relleno

~

Ceviche Mixto

~

Arroz con Mariscos

~

Ceviche de Pejarreyes

~

Tamal Verde

~

Chicharronnes

~

Choncholi y Rachi Rachi

~

Lomo Saltado

~

Pachamanca

(I realize that this post is REALLY LONG because of the photos, but I couldn’t get the pictures to appear next to each other. (Does anyone know how to do this???)

Quick Dinner of Poached Egg Topped Salmon

Just a quick post about my kind of brill’ idea for dinner tonight: Goat cheese and poached egg topped salmon patty served with a balsamic-dressed red onion and corn salsa. (Yes, I realize that is the.longest.title.ever. I did try to think of a more eloquent way of putting it, but I just don’t have the energy right now. Forgive me.)

So tasty and FAST. (Golden and slightly runny egg yolks—yum.) The only downside is the number of pots, pans and dishes you end up having to wash after making this. Oh, you know what would’ve been good too? Butter, instead of goat cheese on top of the egg. And maybe a simple lemon juice-olive oil vinaigrette for the salsa.

Enjoy!

Poached Egg Topped Salmon and Balsamic, Corn & Red Onion Salsa

Serves 1.

INGREDIENTS

1 frozen salmon patty, defrosted

olive oil

dried basil (or any herb like dill, rosemary, oregano)

salt and pepper, to taste

1 large egg

1 tbsp white vinegar, for poaching

1 tbsp goat cheese

Salad

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

a pinch of sugar

1/2 cup corn kernels

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill a small saucepan with water and allow to come to a slow boil.
  2. Pat dry the salmon patty; sprinkle each side with salt, pepper and basil flakes. Place the patty in a pre-heated non-stick skillet, allowing to fry for ca. 1-2 minutes on each side or until browned evenly and cooked just through.
  3. Add the white vinegar to the boiling water. Reduce the heat and gently crack the egg into the water. Use a large spoon to fold the egg white over the egg mass, in order to encourage the typical poached egg shape. Poach to your desired doneness. (Ca. 3 minutes for me. I prefer a slightly gooey yolk consistency—not too runny.)
  4. While the salmon is frying and the egg is poaching, make the salsa. In a small bowl, combine all salsa ingredients, mixing until all ingredients are completely coated. You can use the back of a fork or spoon to squish the onion and speed up the marinating/cooking process.
  5. Arrange the salsa onto a plate. Then, place the salmon patty on top, followed by the poached egg and then finally, the goat cheese. Grind a little salt and pepper over the top. Serve.

Broccoli Carrot Raisin Salad Topped With Tuna and Goat Cheese

This is just another one of my “I’m too lazy to cook / I feel fat and vitamin deprived” salads. I originally planned on doing this with red cabbage, but as it turned out, Trader Joe’s had nothing except for a 10 oz bag of shredded cabbage that they were charging an arm and a leg for. So I went for the next best (and cheapest) thing: broccoli.

Broccoli turned out even better. My mom never made any of those sweet-savory American potluck salads when I was growing up, but I just adore them—especially coleslaw and broccoli-carrot-raisin salad. With those salads as inspiration, I did the following in just 10 minutes: blanched the broccoli for about a minute (to bring out that gorgeous green), rough chopped it and then tossed it with grated carrots, sliced red onion and raising in a slightly sweetened white wine vinaigrette. I then topped the salad off with chunk white tuna and a bit of broken up goat cheese.

Easy. Delicious.

Broccoli Carrot Raisin Salad Topped With Tuna and Goat Cheese

Serves 1.

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

a pinch of evaporated cane sugar

salt and pepper to taste

1 stalk of broccoli, washed

1/2 medium carrot, grated

1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly

1 tbsp raisins

1 can no-salt added white tunafish

1 tbsp goat cheese, crumbled

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a small saucepan of boiling water, blanch the broccoli, about 1 minute. Remove from stove, drain and cool with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the vinaigrette: Mix together the vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper on a large salad plate.
  3. To the vinaigrette, add the carrots, red onion and raisins. Toss to coat.
  4. Peel away the tough outer layer of the stock and rough slice; break up the florets. Add to the salad. Toss to coat.
  5. Top the salad with tuna, breaking it up with a fork, and then the crumbled goat cheese. Season with a little salt and pepper.

An Italian Fish Stew for My Roommates

When I first moved in, I suppose I appreciated the simplicity of my living situation—we were roommates, not friends. At one point, however, it just felt weird to be sharing such an intimate space—home—with two people and not make an effort to know who they are.

I guess I wasn’t the only who felt this way.

Last Wednesday, my two roommates, Lauren and Melita, and I finally sat down together for a dinner at home. I’ve been living with these girls for 2 months and this is the first time we really had a chance to talk. Over wine, good cheese and a fish stew that I sort of just threw together (and inspired by this recipe from epicurious), we took turns talking about our work, families and relationships.

I’m glad we did it—L. and M. are amazing, independent, inspiring women. It may be more complex than before, but I think of that as a good thing.

So here’s the stew that brought us 3 girls together.

It’s loaded with vegetables, it’s healthy and it’s pescavegetarian (for the girls). Also, it’s completely flexible—as long as you make the basic tomato soup part, you can throw in whatever kind of veggies and seafood you want.

Blurry photo–I know. This is the only one I have…

P1060789

Italian Fish Stew (adapted from Epicurious)

INGREDIENTS

1 onion, finely chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

3 carrots, peeled and cut at an angle into bite-sized pieces

splash of white wine

1 large handful fresh basil, including stocks, sliced chiffonade-style

1x 28-oz can plain stewed tomatoes

1-1 1/2 lbs. fish or seafood (I used 3 large tilapia fillets)

2 cups vegetables, cut into bite-sized pieces (I used about 1/2 c. frozen corn and 1 1/2 c. broccoli florets)

salt and pepper, to taste

juice of 1 fresh lemon (could use the zest as well)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a pre-heated non-stick pot, saute the onion, garlic and carrots in a little olive oil until golden in color.
  2. Add in a splash of white wine and allow the liquid to reduce to about half.
  3. Mix in the stewed tomatoes, chopped basil stocks and salt and pepper. Allow the stew to come to a boil; then, reduce the heat to low. Cover and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes (until the carrots are tender and the liquids have reduced enough to form a thicker stew).
  4. Add the broccoli and allow to cook until al dente.
  5. Pour about 1/2 the soup mixture into a blender or food processor and mix until smooth. Pour it back into the pot. (Cover the blender with a towel and not the top to avoid splattering.)
  6. Add in the remaining vegetables (in my case, frozen corn) and seafood, allowing the soup to cover and cook the fish. Do not stir; otherwise, the fish with break up. Allow to stew for about 3-4 minutes—not longer.
  7. Ladle the stew into the bowls. Then, top each bowl with a dollop of fresh, soft goat cheese, a squeeze of lemon and serve.

For dipping, we threw some fresh bread under the broiler, then coated the pieces with a drizzle of olive oil and a few strokes of fresh garlic.

Such an uncomplicated stew but absolutely delicious.

Oh, and of course, serve with lots of wine!