Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Roasted Tomatillo Ranch Dressing

Demand Media Video -- powered by ehow.com

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

DIY Dressings


Why not DIY your dressings? Most likely you will have all the ingredients you need in your pantry AND the your salad will be completely void of weirdo things like sodium benzoate, sorbic acid and calcium disodium edta.  Those things may be perfectly fine for you, but I can barely pronounce those words! The only thing that I would want to eat that I can barely pronounce is Foie gras... (is it faux gras? or Fuuuoaa gras? oh.. and sorry PETA!) 

I mean, I shouldn't judge because I am the sort of person that will eat a crumb off the floor and decide whether it was edible until after I ate it.  

Anyway, next time you put together a salad, why not whip up a batch yourself?

Here are some of my favorites! 

Miso Dressing 

Roasted Garlic Caesar Dressing

Classic Vinaigrette 

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Coconut Shrimp with Chopped Tropical Salad and Chili Vinaigrette

When I woke up on this particular day, I woke up craving a nice greasy cheese burger.  Why? Because, on this particular day, I had big plans to finally wheel my pain in the butt cart full of clothes to a popular East Village consignment shop and sell my fashion blunders away. 

Trust me, there was a reason why I postponed this task for weeks.  My huge cart (usually reserved for pre Superbowl party grocery shopping) was jammed packed with ill-fitted sweaters, not so skinny jeans, scuffed boots and neon mishaps. It was time to part ways and try to earn (what I thought) AT LEAST $50.  

Juicy, greasy, bacon cheeseburger was to be my reward for completing this mission. 

Boo. One subway ride and five blocks later, I walked away with $4.  

Always the optimist, I thought to myself... well, I can have that juicy, greasy, bacon cheeseburger and feel worse about myself OR stop by Chinatown, grab some mangos and make myself a light summer salad. 

Summer salad it is! 

Coconut Shrimp with Chopped Tropical Salad and Chili Vinaigrette 

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

This recipe is a three part-er! Don't worry, each part is really easy... 

Coconut Shrimp
serves 4 

28 large shrimp (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/3 cup cornstarch
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare shrimp, peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails intact. Rinse shrimp in cold water; drain on paper towels until dry.

Combine cornstarch, salt, and red pepper in a shallow dish; stir with a whisk. Place the egg whites in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until frothy (about 2 minutes). Place coconut in a shallow dish.

Working with one shrimp at a time, dredge in cornstarch mixture. Dip in egg white; dredge in coconut, pressing gently with fingers. Place shrimp on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat the procedure with remaining shrimp, cornstarch mixture, egg white, and coconut. Lightly coat shrimp with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes or until shrimp are done, turning after 10 minutes.

Chili Vinaigrette

3 tablespoons of Bottled Sweet Thai Chili Sauce 
3 tablespoons of Rice Vinegar

Mix in a bowl until well incorporated and set aside. 

Chop up your favorite tropical fruit and veggies. For this salad, I used mangos, avocado, english cucumbers and vine ripened tomatoes.  Combine with your a leafy green, I picked baby spinach. 

In a bowl, toss your chopped salad with your vinaigrette and top with coconut shrimp.  Enjoy! 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Chicken and Mushrooms in White Wine Garlic Sauce

Ping! Alert. Meow, Meow! Alert. Bzzz. Alert. Chirp, Chirp. Alert. 

No, the above does not indicate that my robot self is currently malfunctioning, it is my calendar alerting me of my next meeting/call/appointment/dinner engagement/happy hour/I think you get the point. 

Side note: I still can't decide on which ringtone provides a less threatening and more serene notification when receiving said alerts. 

I am leaning towards meow, meow.

Basically, what I am trying to say is... right now, I do not have time to cook a braised, succulent and tender dinner for two.  I do have time to use techniques such as delivery and take out, but the idea of low and slow does not apply to my kitchen activities as of lately.   

However, I was getting tired of outsourcing my meals and missed my stove.  That doesn't necessarily mean that my schedule screeched to a halt, it just meant that I had to stick super fast and super easy.  

A perfect example of a super easy and fast meal is Chicken and Mushrooms in White Wine Garlic Sauce.  It's not only quick to make (less than 20 minutes), but also very budget friendly.  

Chicken and Mushrooms in White Wine Garlic Sauce 
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light Magazine

serves 4 


4 ounces uncooked medium egg noodles
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 (8-ounce) package presliced exotic mushroom blend (such as shiitake, cremini, and oyster) 
1/2 cup dry white wine 
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth 
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese 


1. Cook noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and keep warm.

2. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Place chicken breast halves in a shallow dish. Combine 1 tablespoon flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Sprinkle flour mixture over chicken; toss to coat.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until browned. 

4. Remove chicken from pan. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan. Add garlic, tarragon, and mushrooms to pan; sauté for 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms darken. Add white wine to pan; cook 1 minute. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in broth, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper; cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring frequently.

5. Return chicken to the pan. Cover and simmer 2 minutes. Uncover; cook 1 minute or until chicken is done. Stir in noodles; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Place about 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture on each of 4 plates; top each serving with 1 tablespoon cheese.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

How To Pick a Fresh Fish

I think if people knew how easy it was to cook a fish whole, more people would do it.  It only takes four core ingredients and twenty minutes of your time. Plus, I think whole fish is more moist and the bones add extra flavor while roasting.   

But before you do away with fillets forever from your life, make sure you pick a superstar of a fish!  

1. Look for bright clear eyes. 

2. Smell it.  This is going to sound crazy, but if it smells fishy, something fishy is probably going on.  It should smell like the sea it was caught in, or nothing at all. 

3. Look at the gills.  Open it up and make sure that it is bright red and not a dull brick.  

That's it! 

Once you've selected your prize of a fish, liberally coat it with coarse salt, pepper, and cooking oil. Next, slide your roasting pan in a preheated 375 degree oven, cook for twenty minutes and  you are done! Simple. You can serve with your favorite sauce, lettuce wraps or eat it alone.  Healthy, quick and delicious. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

20 Minute Thai Butternut Soup

Let's face it, in real life, people don't have time for 3 hour braises or 2 hour roasting for a weekday dinner.  Typically, the only pocket we have available to prepare a healthy meal is the time between coming home from work until when The Voice starts.  Anything that requires more than 30 minutes of prep time, belongs in the kitchens of Seamless web.  

Fortunately, there are fast and tasty recipes out there that doesn't require a microwave or login information. A prime example is Cooking Light's Thai Butternut Squash Soup.  Honest to goodness, it took me 20 minutes to prepare and another 10 minutes to toss a delicious salad to accompany it.  Filling, vibrant and quite convenient to eat while watching your favorite prime time telly shows. 

Thai Butternut Squash Soup
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Serves 4


1 teaspoon canola oil 
1 cup chopped onion 
2 1/2 teaspoons red curry paste
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 
2 teaspoons brown sugar 
2 (12-ounce) packages frozen pureed butternut squash
1 (14-ounce) can light coconut milk
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/2 cup chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts 
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges


1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add curry paste, garlic, and ginger; sauté 45 seconds, stirring constantly.

2. Add broth and next 5 ingredients (through salt); cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Place half of squash mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining squash mixture. Spoon about 1 cup soup into each of 4 bowls; top with 2 tablespoons peanuts and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.


Print Friendly