Eating clean: Chicken with mangoes

I work out, I run, and I try to eat well. And I look pretty good–I mean, nobody’s complaining. But, I see some other women while I’m running, and think, “I want a body like that.” And I hear the answer is ‘eating clean’. So, on Tuesday I picked up two eating clean books, and immediately started flipping through, wondering what I would make for dinner with the chicken that was defrosting. I found a recipe for Chicken with Mangoes, and I happened to have several mangoes in my fridge from various friends trees. Yes, I have friends with mango trees!

I cut up 3 mangoes
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and 3 chicken breasts and some broccoli to steam separately
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and put it all together with some brown rice
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Chicken with Mangoes
Adapted from the Everything Eating Clean Cookbook
serves 4

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 mangoes, diced
olive oil
Garlic powder, chili powder, black pepper to taste (I held back because I wanted the children to eat it)
brown rice
steamed broccoli

Saute chicken until almost cooked through, add mango and sprinkle with spices

Serve with rice and broccoli

Feel proud of your first ‘clean’ meal.

What’s for dinner: pasta with really good tomato sauce

I get Food and Wine Magazine in the mail every month. There’s usually a few recipes that I want to make, and always very pretty pictures to drool over. While l was flipping through the latest issue, I saw a recipe for “The Best Pasta for $4 a Serving” and was intrigued. The header note said that this was almost as good as NYC’s Scarpetta, and their pasta is $24 a serving. I don’t live in New York, and I don’t think I’d pay $24 for a plate of pasta with tomato sauce even if I did. So, I gathered my ingredients and made this for dinner on Monday night. It wasn’t difficult, but it did require the use of several different pots.

There wasn’t anything exotic about the recipe except that it called for making a mushroom broth–boiling mushrooms and water down for about an hour (mine took less time).
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And simmering garlic and olive oil together for about 1/2 hour (boy did my house smell good….its too bad we don’t have smell-o-blog)
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and putting it all together with 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes
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And then I blended it all together with the stick blender and simmered it for about an hour. And then I served it family style with some basil.
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The nice thing about this recipe is that after I invested that kind of time, I ended up with 3 containers of sauce I froze for future good eating.
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$4 Spaghetti That’s Almost as Good as $24 Spaghetti
I’ve never been much for making my own pasta sauce, but this recipe might convert me. I think the only thing I would change is to cut back on the olive oil. 
From Food and Wine Magazine, August 2012
makes 4-6 servings plus 4 cups of sauce to use another time

4 ounces white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
3/4 cup peeled garlic cloves (4 ounces–from about 4 heads. I only had two at home, so that’s what I used
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 28-oz cans peeled italian tomatoes with their juices
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 lb spaghetti, or your favorite shape
1/4 torn basil leaves
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving

In a saucepan, bring mushrooms and 3 cups of water to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until the broth is reduced to 1 cup–about one hour. Strain and discard the mushrooms.

While the mushrooms are doing their thing, put the garlic and olive oil in a small saucepan and simmer that until the garlic is soft and fragrant and lightly brown–about 1/2 hour

In a large non-reactive pot, combine tomatoes, garlic and oil and the mushroom broth, puree using an immersion blender and simmer over moderatly low heat until thickened, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper

Cook the pasta until al-dente, and drain, return to pot and cook with 2 cups of the sauce for about 1 minute. Serve with basil and cheese.

What’s for dinner? Vegetable stif-fry with tofu and peanuts

I don’t recall where I found this recipe, but its a definite keeper. Its got a ton of vegetables, tofu for protein, a little bit of spice and a lot of yumminess.

Its super easy. The hardest part is chopping the vegetables. And lets face it….that’s not such a difficult job.
photo photoMatchsticks of peppers, carrots and mushrooms

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a little hit of lime in the sauce, which I also toss with the tofu to get a little flavor in there….if you know what I mean.

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I’m looking forward to leftovers for lunch tomorrow!

Vegetable stir-fry with tofu and peanuts
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 T lime juice
1/2 t sriracha
1 T canola oil
2 carrots, cut into very thin strips
1 red bell pepper, cut into very thin strips
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps thinly sliced
2 cups bean sprouts
firm tofu, cubed
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
rice, for serving (or linguine, or rice noodles)

Mix the soy sauce, lime juice and sriracha in a small bowl. toss a small amount into the cubed tofu and let sit.

heat the oil in a large frying pan. Saute the carrots and bell peppers until tender, then add the mushrooms, then the tofu and bean sprouts.

Add the rest of the sauce and serve over rice. sprinkle some chopped peanuts and sliced scallions over as garnish.

What’s for dinner? Bang Bang Chicken

So, on Friday, I went out for an impromptu evening out at Bonefish Grill with a few friends. I had already had dinner, so I had a margarita. But my friend Barbie ordered something called Bang Bang Chicken. Its not on the menu….its a variation of their famous Bang Bang Shrimp. I had a bite or two….and wow….was it good. Crunchy and spicy. How bad could it be? I started google-ing to find a similar recipe immediately. I lucked out when I found a recipe for the shrimp version on The Noshery. I made a few changes to make the recipe Kosher, and off I went!

In the interest of full disclosure, I made a mistake while making this recipe. I left out the vinegar, and more than doubled the chili sauce and the sriracha. I used 6 Tablespoons of the chili sauce and 2 Tabelspoons of the Sriracha. It was still delicious….though quite spicy. So, feel free to add more…..to your taste!!!
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Amy’s Bang Bang Chicken

1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, cut into chunks
2 egg whites + 2 T water, well beaten
1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/2 Cup Corn Starch
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
2 tsp Rice vinegar
6 tsp Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
3 tsp Sriracha sauce
Romaine lettuce (optional)
scallions (optional)

Stir mayonaise, chili sauce, sriracha and vinegar together and set aside

combine panko and corn starch in a plastic bag or bowl

toss chicken in egg whites, drain off excess and dredge in panko mixture

fry chicken in vegetable oil until cooked and golden brown. drain on paper towels and mix with as much sauce as you desire.

serve atop a pile of romaine lettuce….the cool lettuce will help with the spicy-ness of the dish.

What’s for dinner? Tilapia cakes

I found this recipe in the May 2011 issue of Real Simple. it was one of those 10 things to do with _______ things, and that month it was about tilapia. We love tilapia around here because its relatively inexpensive, usually the kids like to eat it, and from what I can gather its a decent fish to eat….even though it is farmed.

You start by baking some fish in the oven

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and then you break it up and mix it with dill, eggs, mayo, dijon mustard and panko breadcrumbs. You form it into cakes and then either pan-fry or bake until brown and yummy!

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I served them tonight with a green salad with some mandarin oranges mixed in and roasted asparagus.

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if you can believe it…..all three of my children ate it. Reid ALWAYS eats this. He loves it, and I try to make sure I make extra so he can have some for lunch the next day. Adam usually eats it….with ketchup. Dorothy never eats it. NEVER. (she doesn’t eat a whole lot of what I cook) but tonight I told her that there would be no (homemade, delicious) popsicles (that she loves) if she didn’t eat the dinner I cooked. So, she tasted it. First…with pepper, she wasn’t impressed. Second….with lemon, still not a winner. Third….with ketchup, not a success. the fourth bite was with ketchup and Tabasco. Finally! She liked it! She finished her tilapia cake without crying. This was a major success.

Dijon fish cakes

  • 4-six ounce tilapia filets
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup mayonaise
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T chopped fresh dill. (I use dry)
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs

Season the fish with salt and pepper and bake at 400 until cooked through. 10-12 minutes. Let cool and flake

Mix together the mayo, eggs, dill and mustard, fold in the fish and then the panko.

Form into patties….I usually get about 12, and they’re about as big as my palm.

chill for at least 30 minuts in the refrigerator if you’re frying….it helps them to hold together.

I baked at 400 for about 10 minutes, or pan-fry for 3-5 minutes per side.

****this makes a great passover dinner. All you have to do is replace the panko with matzah meal.