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Fish Tacos

January 27, 2013 3 comments
Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

I recently visited my doctor and I left the office with tons of questions.

Why are soap operas on in the waiting room?  Why not something more neutral like a news channel?

What is that smell?  Doctor’s offices always have that unique smell that you never smell anywhere else.  I can’t explain it but if you were to blind fold me and lead me to a doctor’s office, I’d know I was there.

Who decided that a roll of paper is the best material to sit on while waiting endlessly for the doctor to show up?

Why are patient gowns impossible to tie without help?

Why are we weighed with all of our clothes on and why doesn’t the doctor take that into consideration when figuring out if we’re overweight?  Surely the shorts, t-shirt and flip flops I wore during my July visit weigh less than the jeans, boots, and sweater I had on during the January visit.

Why, no matter what my ailments are, does the doctor always prescribe exercise and weight loss?  I seriously doubt the chronic cough I recently developed is caused by being 10 or 20 pounds overweight.

Why am I all-of-a-sudden talking in a Jerry Seinfeld voice?

Who are these people…..

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Next up in my series of good for you meals is Fish tacos.  Skeptical?  “Hmmm…?” you say. Well I say don’t knock it until you try it.

They’re a nice alternative to chicken or beef tacos and of course, the fish combined with the fresh ingredients make them light and full of flavor and a heck of lot healthier.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh tilapia fillets (or other mild, white fish)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (seeds removed)
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes (if fresh are not available, canned are perfectly fine)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • Creole Seasoning (such as Tony Chachere’s)
  • Corn Tortillas
  1. Rise and dry fish.  Season both sides lightly with the creole seasoning.  Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Saute’ onion until slightly translucent (3-5 minutes) and then add the garlic.  Mix.
  4. Add fish to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minute.  Flip and cook another 2-3 minutes or until fish is opaque and begins to flake.
  5. Add jalapeno,  tomatoes, cilantro, and lime juice.
  6. Continue to cook over medium heat for a few minutes.
  7. Using a spoon, begin to break up the fish to incorporate all of the ingredients.
  8. Meanwhile, heat tortillas in a separate skillet on both sides to warm.
  9. Top tortilla (use 2 per taco) with a few spoonfuls of the fish mixture.
  10. Garnish with a bit more cilantro and a fresh squeeze of lime.
Give it a try. Healthy and delicious

Give it a try. Healthy and delicious

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(Better for You) Potato and Ham Soup

January 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Potato and Ham Soup

Potato and Ham Soup

It’s January and people are making tons of resolutions they won’t keep.  Get to the gym, save more money, quit smoking, and of course, eating better.

Today’s post is the first in a series of delicious meals that won’t go straight to your waistline and hopefully help you keep your resolution.

Then again, I think these recipes are so good that you may want to eat everything thus throwing this theory out the window.

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After Christmas, all of those hams that are stocked to capacity at the grocery store go on sale.  Normally twenty or thirty dollar hams are half off…maybe less.  It’s hard to pass up that kind of bargain so I throw one in my cart whether I need it or not.

The problem is I have a small family and a whole ham will go a very long way.  So that means leftovers.  Lots and lots and lot of leftovers.

I know you can freeze it, but to me, frozen ham that’s been thawed just doesn’t have the same taste.  So I have to find alternative uses for it.

Ham omelettes for breakfast.  Ham and Cheese sandwiches for lunch. And ham and potato soup for dinner.  I’m good with these options.

Soup is a great meal when you’re watching what you eat.  It can be loaded with calories but with a few simple tweaks you can make any soup healthy.  This uses lots of lower fat/lower calorie ingredients.  But I promise you it isn’t low on taste.

Soup is also very filling so you typically eat less.  However, be warned, this soup is so tasty you probably will want seconds.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 cups diced potatoes
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 cups ham, diced
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 cup low fat sour cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. Add chicken broth to a large dutch oven (or soup pot) over medium low heat.  Bring to a simmer.
  2. Add potatoes, onion, carrots, garlic, and ham.  Stir.
  3. Simmer over low heat for approximately 2 hours.
  4. Add milk and sour cream.  Stir.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Continue cooking over low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Serve in your favorite soup bowl and garnish with a few sprinkles of low fat sharp cheddar cheese and a slice of crusty bread (optional).
Good for you

Delicious and good for you

Roast Beef and Kielbasa Sandwich with horseradish cheese sauce

January 20, 2013 2 comments
Roast Beef and Kielbasa Sandiwich w/ horseradish cheese sauce

Roast Beef and Kielbasa Sandiwich w/ horseradish cheese sauce

The best part about food blogging is the interaction I have with other bloggers. We follow each others tweets, we’re friends on Facebook, and we connect through our blogs.  Mainly, at least in my opinion, we’re each others inspiration.

I cannot begin to tell you how many of the family dinners I’ve made over the past few years that have started by me reading a blog. I have bookmarks upon bookmarks of recipes I want to try.  Clearly I’ll never get to all of them, but I’m going to try.

In the midst of wading through the hundreds of recipes, there are probably 20 or so that have risen to the top.

The first recipe from my elite group of bookmarks is for a sandwich called “Beef and ‘Basa.”  It comes from Adam Holland who runs a blog titled “The Unorthodox Epicure – Confessions of an aspiring food snob.”  Adam doesn’t mess around with the recipes from his “Food Snob Chronicles.”  They’re good, creative ideas and best of all, most are easy to follow.  Perfect for a home cook.  Take a few minutes to check him out and if you like what you see, give him a follow.

Like any recipe I find, I try to tweak it to my liking, but this one looked as though it required no tweaking at all.  However, since I wanted to make it somewhat healthy, I traded out regular mayo for Olive Oil mayo and used turkey kielbasa.  I may have negated the fat count that I saved by upping the amount of cheese.  Also, since I really like caramelized onions, I used two. The technique is pretty much exactly the same.

My wife and I really loved Adam’s sandwiches and I’m confident that you will too.  Enjoy!

Thanks Adam!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound roast beef (from the deli), sliced thin
  • 1 package of turkey kielbasa (such as Hillshire Farms) cut in to half-inch thick slices
  • 2 yellow or red onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 12-inch hoagie/sub rolls (for 4 sandwiches)
  1. To caramelize the onions, add olive oil to large skillet over medium-low heat and add onions.  Stir occasionally and cook until caramelized.
  2. Meanwhile, in sauce pan over low heat, add the mayonnaise, horseradish, mustard Tabasco, pepper and cheese.  Stir to combine. Stir occasionally to melt the cheese.
  3. In another skillet, over medium high heat, cook the kielbasa 2-4 minutes on each side until nice and browned.
  4. Once the onions are caramelized and cheese sauce is ready, toast the rolls under the broiler until just slightly brown.
  5. Assemble the sandwich by first spreading the cheese sauce to both sides of the toasted roll.
  6. To one side of the roll, add a generous pinch (or 3) of onion, a large mound of roast beef,  a few slices of kielbasa and another dollop of cheese sauce.
  7. Top with second side of roll.
Don't forget to cut it in half (or maybe not)

Don’t forget to cut it in half (or maybe not)

Stir-Fry

January 12, 2013 Leave a comment
Stir Fry

Stir Fry

Over the holiday’s my hard-drive crashed.

If this has ever happened to you, my condolences.  Clearly you felt my pain.  If you haven’t, then let me tell you it sucks.  Its a significant gut-wrenching, heart-stopping moment.

After the initial punch-in-the-face you step back and realize you’re just an average user and you didn’t lose your 500 page “masterpiece”  that was in the final stages of refinement before shipping to your publisher.   It’s not that bad.

You probably lost some music which isn’t a true loss because you probably have it all on iTunes.

Maybe it was some some pictures of your cute puppy, which, lets be honest, have probably already been overly shared on Facebook or Instagram.  Again, easy to get back.

Even important stuff like taxes are most likely stored through your online tax service or if you’re “old school”, you have printed versions.

Yes I can get my music back, same with some recent pictures of the dogs and my tax information.  What I can’t get back are pictures that I wasn’t ready to share. Namely a few hundred unedited senior pictures I took of my step-son. It’s not the end of the world but for a parent of a kid that isn’t the most photogenic to begin with, that’s a huge loss. Things happen so we’ll try again in the spring.

There is a lesson to be learned here and that is back up files and back them up often. Ironically I do have a back-up hard drive but its only as good as the frequency in which you take advantage of it.  For me it was about every 6-8 weeks or so…which clearly isn’t enough. I also learned that “Google Drive” is now my new best friend.

By the way, I also lost a bunch of photos I had ready for the blog, which is partly to blame for my hiatus.  Also, the batteries in my “grown-up” camera are dead hence the use of my smartphone picture for today’s post.  I clearly need to step up my game.

While I throw myself a pity-party, here’s a healthy, immensely flavorful stir-fry dish for you to try.  I made this version with pork but you could substitute chicken or shrimp.  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chicken broth (low sodium please)
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce (again, low sodium)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • A few grinds of fresh ground black pepper
  • 5 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin, cut in to pieces (same size for even cooking)
  • 1 onion, slivered
  • 1 red bell pepper (or combination of red/yellow/green)
  • 2 cups bean spouts
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 cup diced pineapple (optional)
  1. In a medium sized bowl combine the broth, soy sauce, honey and black pepper.  Wisk to combine ensuring all of the honey is dissolved.
  2. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture to a separate bowl, stir in cornstarch until combined and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola (or olive) oil in a large skillet (or wok) over medium heat.
  4. Add pork and cook, stirring often until cooked through (about 3 minutes).  Transfer to plate.
  5. In same skillet, increase heat to medium-high and add another tablespoon of oil.
  6. Add ginger, onion, bell pepper and bean spouts and cook for about 3 minutes.
  7. Add broth mixture (not reserved cornstarch mixture) and bring to a boil, stirring for about 3 minutes.
  8. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the pork and the reserved cornstarch mixture.
  9. Cook, stirring until thick, 2-3 minutes.
  10. Add pineapple and stir to warm through.

Serve with rice or noodles — eggroll optional.

Stir Fry with Egg Roll

Stir Fry with Egg Roll