It’s been a long time since I sat down here to share anything I’ve found. I’ve actually just been trolling my own blog’s recipes and cooking off that for a while. Eventually my short gastronomic attention span ensured that I come back to cooking new food after a while so here I am. I have made a few new dishes recently that I didn’t think were all that great so that has delayed my coming back with anything new also. So this dish has Moroccan roots, Morocco is on the northwest tip of Africa, just across from Spain on the Straight o Gibraltar. The storyline for the classic movie “Casablanca” was set in the city of the same name in Morocco. Much of their food was influenced not only by the regional foods that grew there but also by Arab, Moorish and Berber cultures, basically Middle Eastern influence. That means, of course, a lot of spices and actually, sometimes even more spices than other Middle Eastern food. Moroccan food can be uniquely cooked in a vessel called a tagine (which is also a dish) which looks a bit like the player piece to the board game “Sorry”. The tagine is generally made of clay and promotes long, slow cooking and keeps moisture in and circulating as food cooks. It’s the original crock-pot! Now, I didn’t have a tagine and used a regular pot but maybe I’ll look into one if I keep this up. It looks like it may be a “one function item” for the kitchen and with my lack of space, may be a prohibiting factor. Anyway! So I was craving something with olives in it. A quick scan of the search results found this recipe on Epicurious.com and the title sounded like it would hit the spot. I’m not going to say that this dish is show-stopping, but it was easy to make, flavorful and on the Dukan diet. Let’s get to it!
- 2 Meyer or regular lemons (I used regular)
- 1T olive oil
- 1 large onion, cut in thin half rings
- 2-3 large garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 T paprika
- 2 t ground cumin
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- 1 t ground ginger
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 4 lbs skinless, bone-in chicken
- 1/2 cup chopped green olives
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a large pot that has a lid. When it’s hot, salt and pepper the onion then brown until it’s golden, about 8 – 10 minutes on medium to high. Cut up the first lemon into 8 wedges and squeeze at least 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice out of the second lemon into its own container and reserve for last. Next, after your onion is deliciously golden, add the garlic, paprika, cumin, cinnamon and ginger. Mix around and allow to the spices to mingle and then pour in the chicken broth. Allow that to come to a boil before adding the lemon wedges and the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with a little salt and pepper, reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is done. This should take about 30 minutes, halfway through you should turn your chicken to get better cooking and to allow the spices to cook into both sides of the chicken. When the chicken is finished cooking, remove them to a plate and set aside for a few minutes and turn the heat back up to high. Add the olives and lemon juice to the pan and allow to boil uncovered for 5 -7 minutes. Keep stirring it occasionally to prevent the onions from sticking. When ready, pour over the chicken and serve. This dish was very aromatic, slightly tangy and salty and was very good served over whole-grain couscous! We also ate it without the couscous and it still was good just the juices ran all over and weren’t as “part” of the meal.
THREE CUPS of salt? Kosher salt even like the good salt? You’ve got to be kidding. This is the first thing I thought about this recipe. The next thing I thought was “well, if it doesn’t work out we can order pizza.” Long story short, I think it may have been worth it although I need to work on the technique a little more. The new cookbook I’m working out of titled “The New Spanish Table” by Anya von Bremzen has a lot of really awesome looking dishes in it. The downside though is that the kitchen experience level is above “novice” for a lot of them. So far, I have managed to find a few good ones that are not hard at all and stayed within the lines more or less of the Dukan Diet but this recipe pushed the envelope with technique. Not impossible mind you, I have never ever before cooked with this method and to be honest, didn’t know anyone cooked anything by fixing it up all nice and then dumping a lot of salt on it and baking it. That went against every natural inclination I had in my kitchen. Enshrining food in a salt crust for cooking makes the food cook evenly and slowly at fairly low temperature and if done correctly, will crack off easily leaving behind very little additional salt. That’s the catch there though, doing it right so the salt comes back off. So my end result here was an extremely flavorful pork loin, perfectly cooked and moist that was a little too salty on the bottom for my taste. Room to get better! Anyway, the marinade/rub that goes on here is fantastic and I think that this dish was worth the risk and I will definitely be making it again. Just not often….
- 6-8 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 TBS flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 TBS fresh oregano, chopped (or 2 tsp dried)
- 1 TBS smoked sweet Spanish paprika
- 1 tsp hot paprika or cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 TBS high quality white wine vinegar
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 pork loin (2.5-3 pounds)
- THREE CUPS KOSHER SALT!
- 5 large egg whites, beaten
Put all the ingredients down through the olive oil into a food processor and get it down to a coarse paste. Put the pork into a baking dish and rub the spice paste all over it evenly. Cover and refrigerate anywhere from 6 hours to overnight. *Make sure you take it out of the refrigerator and let it warm up to room temp before cooking or the whole thing will be off. When you’re ready to cook it, have the oven at 375°F. Mix the salt and beaten egg whites together in a bowl until evenly moist, it should just barely hold together when you let it fall off a spoon. Kinda clumpy. If it doesn’t, mix in a little water until it does. Pour the salt mixture over the pork and get it thoroughly coated, pushing up excess salt on top and around the sides in a little salt-pork-loaf in the pan and bake about 35-40 minutes or until your meat thermometer reads 155°F. Let the meat rest after taking it out of the oven for 5 minutes and then smack it with a spoon or butter knife. The salt should crack and come away in pieces, you can (and should) wipe away any excess salt, especially from the bottom with a paper towel. This recipe was presented with a Cilantro “mojo”, or sauce…kinda like a chutney.
- 1.5 chopped fresh cilantro
- 5 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 serrano pepper, seeded and chopped
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground pepper
- 1/2 cup high quality white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup high quality light olive oil
- Kosher salt to taste
Put it all in a food processor and puree it. Let it sit together in a bowl to “let the flavors develop”…make friends and all that…for 30 minutes before serving.
This side-dish is so simple it is ridiculous. I really like fresh asparagus for a lot of reasons, one of which is how fast it is to prepare. On an evening where I don’t have a hot veggie planned or ready, steamed asparagus is a go-to item. This method requires only a few more ingredients but virtually no additional time. I love contrasting flavors and this tangy-sweet sauce soaks up nicely into the head of the asparagus stems making a good veggie even better. I found this recipe in “The New Spanish Table” by Anya von Bremzen and am combing the book for more interesting and tasty dishes with Spanish flair. If being strictly strict on the Dukan Diet then the honey involved here will reduce this to only the last stages of the Diet but overall, it is not a lot of honey. Let’s get to it!
- 2 LB Asparagus
- 4 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
- 1.5 tsp honey
- 3 TBS aged sherry vinegar
- Kosher salt and pepper
Trim the asparagus ends and wash the stalks, pat dry. Toss them with 1 TBS of the oil to get a good coating and sprinkle with some salt. Spread evenly on a tin-foil lined cookie sheet and place under the broiler on medium, 6 – 10 minutes turning them once during cooking. You will want them to just be getting browned to blackened. While those are going, mix together the honey, vinegar and leftover oil and season to taste with the salt and pepper. Return the cooked asparagus to the bowl with the sauce and toss again to cover and serve. Grilling the asparagus is also an option. Very tasty, very quick, very easy. What more could you want?
Up until recently Daniel and I have resorted to buying a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from Publix for our lunches when I didn’t have leftovers. That gets tiring after a while and will lead us to temptation because well, it is hard to eat healthy when we are tired of the same healthy every day. Now this won’t come as a shock to anybody but chicken is cheap. Typically, the less processed (de-boned, de-skinned, marinated, cooked…etc) any food is, the cheaper it is. Now, I understand and am not judging people who don’t like to see their food looking more like the animal it used to be, but it doesn’t get much more cost-effective than buying and preparing a whole chicken. $0.94- $1.00/lb. Even better, there are so many ways to bake a chicken that the variations can keep my taste buds interested! This recipe I found on southernfood.about .com and it interested me not only because it included curry powder, but also because it calls for peach jam or preserves. The combination sounded interesting and I happen to still have some curry powder my parents brought me from Dubai, the combination of the spices and the sweet is really quite good. The recipe was buried in an article about baked chicken in general but I think I am going to try more of their suggestions for dressing up a chicken dinner!
I made this dish three ways to see what tasted best and what alteration could be made to cut out some of the fat out. The first way I made exactly like the recipe stated (as I do most of my recipes here) as far as leaving the skin on and baking it. This way was great and tasty but leaving the skin on increases the fat content and it was hard not to eat it because of the yummy curry/jam glase that was on top! The second way I spread the spices under the skin and baked it like the recipe stated but before I put the jam/mustard topping on I pulled the skin off and threw it out. Lastly, I took the skin off before the chicken was cooked, covered it with tin-foil and followed the rest of the recipe. Out of those two methods, it was not only easier to take the skin off after it had baked but the chicken was more moist as well. There are debates that cooking the chicken with the skin on increases the fat content in the meat because it traps the fats which may be true to an extent but I think overall, that method falls in the middle and taking the skin off reduces the fat by about 12 grams! Taking the skin off before baking would remove the most fat but that chicken was also a tiny bit dry and it takes more time and effort to remove the skin raw. It’s up to you, we enjoyed all of the chicken any way it was cooked! Anyway let’s get to it.
- 4-5 lbs of chicken (whole or quartered, skin on)
- 2 TBS curry powder
- 1/2 lemon squeezed
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- Vegetable oil (enough to make a paste and coat the chicken)
- 3 TBS peach jam or preserves
- 3 TBS grainy dijon mustard
Heat oven to 450°F and place chicken on a foil-lined baking tray. Mix all but the last two ingredients together and rub the meat under the skin. Mix the last two ingredients together in a separate bowl and set aside. Give a light coat on the outside of the skin with a small amount of the curry rub as well. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes at the high temp to get the skin crispy then lower the oven to 350°F and bake for about 50 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven, spread the peach and mustard glaze on the top and return it to the oven for another 10 minutes or until the meat is fully cooked close to the bone. Dukan Diet Worthy on Phases 2 (in moderation) or higher. Quick, tasty, and a little different from your average baked chicken dish!
I know it has been a while, but I think I may be back in the swing of things. Spring just makes you want to get all excited and GET THINGS DONE! I have had to pace myself with all the many projects that need doing around here and making time to actually sit down and do the things I love which definitely includes cooking and trying out new recipes. I really liked this one in particular from the Barefoot Contessa, (Food Network) for how pretty and green this dish is and how it really brings Spring to the table. Fresh veggies are abundant with the peas, beans, broccoli in season and this recipe makes good use of them all. If you aren’t familiar with cooking vegetables by the blanching method, this will be a crash course for you. Blanching is a way to cook vegetables that preserves their crunchy goodness and color and is easy to do. Basically you need a pot with a boiling basket or strainer to fit it and a bowl of ice water. For most vegetables, just a quick 1 -2 minute boil then throw them into the ice water is it! After the blanching, reheat the veggies however your choose to but don’t actually cook them any longer, this recipe uses the same pot on the stove. I switched out some ingredients to cut down on the cost (isn’t it terrible that eating fresh veggies and healthy food is more expensive?) and I doubled the recipe to have more leftovers. You know I couldn’t make a meal without leftovers. Let’s get to it!
- 1/2 lb trimmed green beans (use the French ones if you can)
- 1/2 lb trimmed sugar snap peas
- 1/2 lb asparagus cut to 2 inch spears
- 1 lb broccoli florets, cut the larger ones in half
- 1 TBS butter
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 3-4 thinly sliced shallots
- salt and pepper to taste
So starting with the blanching you will need all your vegetables washed, trimmed and cut how they need to be and ready to go. Once we get started it will go fast! Have your pot with enough water in it boiling to cover the veggies and have your basket insert in there too. A large bowl of ice water waiting will also be needed. When you have all that ready, get set to put the beans in first for a 60 second boil. Remove them with your basket or if you don’t have one, then a slotted spoon, and immediately get them in the ice water to stop the cooking process. Repeat this with the peas and broccoli. The asparagus will need a 2 minute boil before the ice bath. Once all your good greens are good and cold, drain them and pat dry. Dump out the boiling water and add the butter and oil to the pan and lightly saute the shallots until browned. (5-7 minutes give or take) Add in your iced vegetables, the salt and pepper and stir to combine, allow them to sit on the stove just long enough to heat through and you have yourself a wonderful celebration of Spring right there.
This is 100% Dukan Diet worthy on any vegetable + protein day and no matter what your diet this is a tasty way to get in your green!
Two words: Dinner. Party. Super motivation to get some new food on our table! I was excited to have some good friends over and to try out this recipe I found on Food Network’s website. I’d say this dish was easy-moderate difficulty but 5 stars for flavor and presentation. The best part is that the roasted chicken is 100% on the Dukan Diet. Now the herbs kick the cost up a bit but it wouldn’t work with dried herbs right I don’t think. If you really need a reason to talk yourself into spending the extra few bucks on the herbs think about this, all the herbs provide wonderful vitamins and nutrients when eaten raw and the dried alternative just won’t do! There wasn’t much chicken left, or anything really, so that was compliment enough. I think it is safe to say everyone thought it was as delicious as I did but I am disappointed that I totally forgot the yogurt sauce in the fridge. Oh well, let’s get to it!
- 1/2 medium red onion, rough chop
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4- 1/2 cup fresh tarragon leaves
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh dill
- 1/4 cup chopped black walnuts
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1//4 cup olive oil
- 1 TBS red wine vinegar
- Kosher salt and ground pepper
- 3/4 – 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt
- 1 five – six pound whole roasting/fryer chicken
- cooking twine
- 2lb plum tomatoes cut in half lengthwise
You need a food processor for this fantastic dish and you need to get the onion, parsley, cilantro, tarragon, 2 TBS of the dill, the walnuts and the garlic in there. Get them a little chopped up then add 3 TBS of the olive oil, the vinegar, 2 tsp salt and pepper to taste and process that until it is nice and smooth. Separate half out and mix it into the yogurt, set aside in the fridge until you are ready to serve (and don’t forget it there!).
Preheat your oven to 450° F. Now here comes the messy part. Put your cleaned chicken in a pan or dish lined with foil. With your fingers, separate the skin from the meat of the chicken at the base of the breast and the neck to where you can run most of your hand up under the skin. Then, with the chicken face-down, slice a cut in the skin at the top of the thigh and loosen the skin from the meat on each thigh/leg piece. When you are able to run your fingers through easily, start rubbing the herb mix up under the skin and on the outside until you use it all up. Season the inside and outside of the chicken with some salt and pepper and put your bird face-up. With a piece of twine, tie the legs together so they don’t flop around and possibly fall off when cooking. You can tie the wings back too if you like, I didn’t bother with that. Anyway, stick it in your super hot oven and let it roast for 30 minutes. The skin should get a golden brown. While this is cooking, wash and slice up your tomatoes. Toss them in some salt, pepper and the rest of the olive oil until they are well coated. Take the chicken out of the oven and reduce the temperature to 375°F and put all those tomato’s on the pan with the chicken, sliced side down. Baste your bird with the drippings and put it back in the oven for an hour. Sprinkle with the rest of the fresh dill and serve with the yogurt sauce. DON”T FORGET THE SAUCE!
Very very tasty, guaranteed to make your house smell fantastic and your mouth to water. 100% Dukan Diet Worthy for any protein + vegetable day!
So much to do, so little time! I have been making some food in the new house but not a lot of new dishes, old favorites and simple things like hamburgers have been on the table lately. It is time-consuming to find recipes I think I can tweak to fit our diet, not to mention the added time during prep and cooking while I run back and forth between the stove and the cookbook to make sure I’m doing it right. Oh and since this is a new house and I don’t know where anything is….more time just to FIND the cumin or that chicken broth I know I bought a while back! My friend Misty Dawn took the time to help me out though and sent me this recipe for Feta stuffed Poultry burgers, we enjoyed them and since they were simple and we needed a change from our grilled chicken and hamburgers, it hit the spot! So this is definitely quick and easy, throw a salad down next to it and you’re doing a good dinner in very little time. Using some ground turkey or chicken breast meat mixed in with general ground turkey/chicken will lower the fat but still allow for some moisture from the dark meat. Using a fat-free feta wouldn’t change the overall flavor too much either, I suggest using half fat-free and half regular or reduced fat feta. Cut the fat and calories but still get some of the enjoyment out of a good tasty cheese. Anyway, let’s get to it!
- 1 pound uncooked extra lean ground chicken breast or turkey breast
- 1 TBSP fresh oregano chopped
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 7 TBSP crumbled feta cheese (can use fat-free)
- Salt and pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, combine the chicken or turkey, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper, garlic, and feta. Mash together well. Divide mixture into four balls and then press gently into patties. Grill, broil, or pan cook patties until internal temperature of burgers reaches 165F (about 7 to 8 minutes per side). Done! Either serve plain with a side salad and a vegetable dish to stay Dukan Diet Worthy (phase 3 and up) or on a bun with red onion, lettuce and a light mayo or alioli spread.
Another new to our house recipe from my “Quick and Easy Indian Cooking” cookbook, this dish has a surprising blend of spices and ingredients that I have never had with green beans. Although time-consuming with all the chopping, doubling the recipe so it lasts longer makes it worth the effort. This is spicy if you leave in the cayenne pepper but doesn’t have to be – make it however you like it. Green beans are full of protein, ginger, garlic and the spices all have terrific health benefits and this will keep in the fridge for a week easy. (I. Love. Leftovers.) So let’s get to it.
- 3 Tbs vegetable oil
- 3/4 tsp cumin seed
- 2 small onions chopped into fine half-rings
- 1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced into slivers
- 5 cloves garlic chopped
- 8 ounces chunky-chopped fresh mushrooms
- 1 lb green beans, snapped to 1″ pieces
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1.5 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 3/4 tsp garam masala
- 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1/2 cup water
Heat up the oil then put in the cumin seeds. Let them get hot until they start snapping/popping in the pan. Once they get there, add the onion and brown. While that is browning, chop up the garlic, ginger and mushrooms and add those after the onion is getting browned. Stir it all around and cook for a few minutes until the mushroom beings to soften. Add all the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer until the beans are cooked to your preference (about 15-20 minutes). Uncover and increase the heat to allow the liquid to boil off and serve!
Tasty, low-fat way to prepare a vegetable side dish and Dukan Diet Worthy Stage 2 and higher!
I realize that title is a little clunky but I couldn’t think of a better description of these little mini-burgers! I am working with a new cook-book I got from my in-laws for Christmas called “Quick and Easy Indian Cooking” by Madhur Jaffrey. This cookbook is quickly making it to the top of my favorite list as it not only lives up to the name but I am finding quite a lot of the recipes are very good (which is a plus for a cookbook right?). This is a recommended book if you are wanting to begin learning how to cook Indian recipes. Our favorite recipe from the book at the moment is this one, which I have made three times, the last time in a double batch. I once had a super tasty cilantro chutney at a restaurant once that I duplicated at home because I liked it so much. For this recipe, I added yogurt to make it more creamy and used it as a topping. Since we are eating less grains and breads lately, we had these just on a plate with the topping and side vegetables but I am curious about how they would go larger and on a bun more like a traditional hamburger. If anybody tries that, let me know how it turned out in the comments! Let’s get to it anyway.
- 1 TBS besan (chickpea flour)
- 1.5 lb ground beef or lamb (we preferred beef, too much fat in the lamb and too expensive to really taste the difference)
- 6-7 TBS chopped cilantro leaves
- 1-2 green chili’s, fine chop (seeded or not depending on your heat preference)
- 1.5 tsp whole cumin seeds
- 1.5 tsp whole coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 lightly beaten egg
- oil *a light spray for pan searing is fine, none for grilling
Brown the chick-pea flour in a small cast iron skillet (a regular one will work too) until it browns slightly. Once it is browned, mix everything except the oil in a large bowl and form into small slider patties. Brown on both sides on medium-high for about a total of 4 minutes. Cook-time will vary depending on your stove or grill and how done you like your beef. Keep in mind that the whole seeds are not toasted before cooking so essentially, they are toasted during cooking. If you are going to shorten the time to make a rare burger, you may want to pre-toast the spices before mixing.
(my cilantro chutney interpretation – measurements not exact, mix by taste!)
- 6-7 TBS fresh cilantro fine chop
- 1.5-2 tsp powdered ginger
- 2 large garlic cloves muddled or 2 tsp garlic paste
- 1/2 TBS white vinegar
- 1-3 tsp “Spice Islands Red Curry Powder”
- 1-2 tsp lemon juice
- 1-2 tsp kosher salt
- 6-8 TBS fat-free yogurt
100% Dukan Diet Worthy for all stages.
This recipe Daniel found at allrecipes.com and made for me one night. He did a great job! Very colorful, very flavorful and we enjoyed it. This recipe has good reviews on that website. Now we know that flour is not on the Dukan Diet but well, there is an exception to every rule. In this case, it seemed necessary to make the sauce thick and tasty and overall was a very small amount. Daniel made some adjustments as he went and tripled the recipe so we could have leftovers, I LOVE leftovers!
- 2 (6 ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 1/3 cup white wine, or additional chicken broth
- 1/4 cup chopped sweet yellow pepper (can substitute red or orange)
- 1/4 cup diced tomatoes (Daniel used a 14 oz can)
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
After you get all this out and ready to go, this recipe is not overly complicated. Flatten out the chicken breasts either by using a rolling pin or just by hand with the chicken between some wax paper. Put it in a bag with the flour, salt and pepper. Get the butter hot in a pan and brown the chicken in it, both sides. When that is done, pour in the chicken broth, wine, and peppers and allow to come to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring and allowing the liquid to thicken to about half the original volume, it may take more time depending on your stove. Once that is done, add in the tomato and cilantro and enjoy! Almost Dukan Diet worthy and close enough to count at our house. The website has some nutritional information regarding this recipe stating that it is about 307 calories/serving.