Wednesday, January 21, 2009
I have been really busy lately between taking care of my family, my classes and the blog. I have therefore decided to take a little break from posting new recipes until I can catch my breath a little. I hope you'll continue to enjoy the hundreds of recipes I have posted here. If you are a current Artsy-Foodie subscriber you'll be automatically notified the next time I do post something new. If you are not currently a subscriber, now is a great time to sign up! You'll get automatic email updates when I post new recipes. Thank you so much to all of you for your continued support.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Happy Inauguration Day!
Yesterday was Martin Luther King day and a national day of service. In the past, my eldest son has volunteered in homeless shelters or helped rebuild trails for the community. This year we decided to mark the occasion as a family by purchasing foods to donate to our local shelter. The kids each contributed some of their piggy-bank savings. We purchased a nutritious collection of non-perishables. Unfortunately our efforts came to an anti-climactic conclusion: the shelter was closed! We'll just have to go back during the week.
And now, on with the recipe... the number one complaint that people have when it comes to chicken breasts is that they are flavorless and too dry. This cooking method traps in the moisture and coats every bite with delicious spices. The chicken is first flattened with a mallet which tenderizes the meat and allows for even cooking. Then a simple mixture of flour and spices coats the chicken breast before it is cooked on high heat. The result is a delicious main dish: flavorful chicken crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.
|Delicious Weekday Chicken|
I like to use chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour) because it's a staple in my pantry and I love its taste. However, if you are not concerned about gluten, you can always use all-purpose instead.
2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/3" thickness
1/4 cup chickpea flour
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
Olive oil for frying pan
Mix the flour, turmeric, garlic, paprika, and sea salt in a bowl together. Coat the chicken breasts thoroughly with the mixture.
Place a thick-bottom pan coated with olive oil on medium-high heat. Place the chicken breasts in the hot pan without overcrowding-- work in batches if necessary. When the underside is nice and golden, flip to the other side. Cook until a meat thermometer registers 160F. Let the meat rest 5-10 minutes before serving.
Artsy-Foodie's Tip: This recipe makes great leftovers the next day. Cut what's left into bite size pieces and combine it with some shredded cabbage, peas, green onions and a homemade asian dressing for a delicious chinese chicken salad. Or, you can mix it in with your favorite rice pasta and some sauce for a quick dinner the next day. I love dishes that make my life easier the next day!
Thursday, January 15, 2009
This dessert is an exercise in patience. Each piece of tangerine is lovingly peeled, seeded and freed of its fibrous coat before it can go for a swim in this creamy honey flavored pudding. If you are in the mood for something different, not chocolaty, this velvety cream fits the bill. It makes great use of seasonal tangerines.
I made it on a rainy weekend, singing along to my favorite french CD. Somehow, I didn't mind the prep-work so much; it was almost relaxing. I am not sure I would want to tackle it on a busy weekday, but it's a really nice treat for a lazy day when you a craving something creamy and different.
|Tangerine Honey Pudding|
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 pinch sea salt (1/8 teaspoon)
4 cups of lowfat milk or soymilk
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon tangerine zest
2 cups chopped tangerines, seeded, skinned, membranes removed
Combine cornstarch, salt in medium heavy bottom pot. You will need to mix constantly. Turn on the heat to medium and slowly, mixing energetically, pour in the milk. When the liquid mixture is warm, add the honey and zest. The mixture will thicken and boil. Don't forget to keep mixing while it boils for about three more minutes or so: you are looking for an almost pudding like consistency because it will thicken some more as it cools. Turn off the heat and let cool, mixing every five minutes. Add the tangerine pieces and transfer to a glass bowl or storage jar and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I take my veggies very seriously. Some people feel that a meal isn't a meal without a slab of meat; I feel that a meal isn't a meal without a big portion of vegetables. I have to admit that the prep time involved in washing, chopping, and seasoning vegetables isn't exactly conducive to making them an easy part of one's diet. I prepare my CSA box every Wednesday by pre-washing and chopping everything. And every once in a while, I'll make a batch of homemade dressing to use throughout the week.
This dressing came about when I was craving an unusual way to dress my veggies. The fresh flavor of the oranges complements the assertiveness of cilantro so well. This salad dressing goes with just about anything. It is wonderful on romaine lettuce, beets, or shredded carrots with some added parsley. We have been eating it all week and every time everyone at the table raves about it.
|Cilantro Orange Creamy Dressing|
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
2 green onions, chopped 1/4 cup
1 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
1 tablespoon GF soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup chopped orange pieces, peeled and seeds removed
1/2 tablespoon honey
Place all the ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well combined. Transfer the dressing into a jar and refrigerate for future use. It will keep for up to one week.
Here are more wonderful salads for you to enjoy:
Cranberry Apple Salad Dressing
Roasted Beet Salad with Creamy Orange Dressing
Thursday, January 8, 2009
This muffin recipe is a new twist on an old favorite. Cornbread enjoys quite a following of loyal fans. As much as I enjoy a slice occasionally, I don't usually go out of my way to eat it. But it seemed like the perfect accompaniment for the vegetable soup I was making. A few tries yielded these savory muffins.
The addition of the cheese makes them very satisfying. All you'll have to do is add a bowl of steaming soup for a truly memorable winter meal.
|Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins (makes 12)|
If you are not concerned about gluten, substitute the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, and xantham gum for 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour instead.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 1/4 cup soymilk or regular milk
1 large egg, beaten
1/3 cup egg whites
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/4 teaspoon xantham gum
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup shredded cheese (such mexican blend or mild cheddar)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely diced jalapeno peppers (optional)
Preheat oven 375F.
Oil muffin pan
Mix all the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.
Mix the next 7 (cornmeal-salt) in a larger one.
Combine the wet ingredients into the dry ones and mix until almost combined. Add the cheese and, if using, the jalapeno pepper. Mix until combined and divide the batter equally in the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or longer (check with a toothpick to see if they are done-- toothpick should come out clean).
Here are some great soups to pair up with these muffins:
Butternut Squash and Lima Bean Soup
Creamy Black Lentil Soup with Kale
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Vacation is over and it's back to reality. The kids are in school and the demands of work are upon on us once again. I did not make any new year's resolution concerning our diet this year. I am committed to providing my family with healthy options but it is not always easy.
One thing I have learned over the years is that preparation is everything. If I don't spend the time pre-washing the vegetables I get from the farm we don't eat as many as we should. If I don't spend time making food ahead of time, by the time dinner comes often I am too tired to cook.
My solution is to make things that keep and reheat well such as these wonderful fish patties. They're full of vegetables and refreshing spices. You can freeze them, refrigerate them, take them to work with a green salad for a great lunch or simply enjoy them at the end of long day.
|Tuna Vegetable Patties (makes 13)|
1 medium zucchini shredded
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 large eggs
1 Lb cooked tuna, skinless, boneless
1/3 cup chopped parsley
3/4 cup cooked brown rice or black rice
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
olive oil for the pan
Pulse all the ingredients, except for the olive oil, in the food processor until well combined but not smooth (about 10 times).
Heat a thick bottom pan. Pour a thin layer of olive oil in a pan. Use 1/4 cup of batter per patty, leaving spaces in between for easy flipping. When the bottom is nice and golden, carefully flip them to the other side and continue cooking until patties feel firm. It takes about 8-10 minutes per batch (about 4 minutes per side).