Monday, April 13, 2009

Strawberry Salad

Forgive me for yet another super-simplistic recipe. This combination is so simple, and yet so good, that I just had to share. (Besides, it looks so pretty on the plate!)

The amounts serve one person, but obviously it would be easy to double. I use Maple Farms brand dressing - it's very good.

Strawberry Salad

2 cups baby spinach leaves, torn a bit
1/2 grilled or baked chicken breast, sliced
4 large strawberries, diced
2 tbsp. raspberry viniagrette

Arrange on a plate and drizzle with dressing. Serves 1

Friday, April 10, 2009

Baked Brown Rice

I will admit that cooking rice should be a no-brainer. But brown rice is trickier, because it gets gummy on the stovetop. I love the nutty flavor of brown rice, and when I found this method for cooking it (which I believe comes from Alton Brown's Good Eats), I will thrilled. It's easy, low-mess, and gives you perfect brown rice every time.

Baked Brown Rice

1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice (not instant)
2 1/2 cups fat-free beef or chicken broth
1 tsp salt, optional

Preheat oven to 375. Put rice in a 2-qt casserole dish coated with cooking spray. In a saucepan, bring broth just to a boil. Pour over rice, stirring to combine. Cover tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bake on middle rack for 1 hour. Fluff with fork.

Sweet & Sour Ham Skillet

As I get older, I have learned to try food that previously made me turn up my nose. On an impulse, I decided to get a pineapple, and then didn't know what to do with it. I found this recipe on AllRecipes, and, as usual, adapted it somewhat. This is my version - definitely a keeper. I did use the fresh pineapple, but it originally called for a 20-oz can of unsweetened pineapple tidbits, which you could easily use if pineapple is out of season.

Note: cornstarch-based sauces don't usually freeze well, so you need to plan on eating it all at once (it would be an excellent dish for guests) or getting leftovers from the fridge within 4 days.

Sweet & Sour Ham Skillet

2 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, julienned
3-4 carrots, julienned
1 c. fresh pineapple, chunked (reserve juices from pineapple when cutting)
1 lb. fully cooked ham steak, chopped (97% lean)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 1/2 cups cold water
2 tbsp vinegar
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 tsp. ginger
4 tbsp. soy sauce
hot cooked brown rice

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and carrots and saute five minutes, until just starting to soften. Add ham and cook five minutes longer, stirring frequently.

In a bowl, combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Whisk in water, vinegar, mustard, ginger, and soy sauce. Slowly pour into skillet. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Stir in pineapple and cook 2 minutes longer, until sauce is thickened and bubbly.

Serves 6.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Not Your Average Tuna Sandwich

I will admit that I feel a little strange putting a sandwich recipe on the blog. Seems like it should be obvious, right? Well, this is an adaptation from a recipe in the Biggest Loser Family Cookbook, and it is so weird that I had to try it. It's kind of like a Reuben sandwich - initially, the flavors sound icky, but it's actually pretty good.

I used homemade hummus, since the store-bought kind is hard to find around here. I also roasted my own peppers, but you can buy them jarred if you prefer.

Not Your Average Tuna Sandwich

1 whole-wheat English muffin, split & toasted
2 tbsp. hummus
3 oz. tuna, drained & flakes
4 strips roasted red pepper
1/2 c. baby spinach leaves

Spread both sides of muffin with hummus, then layer remaining ingredients. Serves 1.