Sunday, January 31, 2010

Pasta Carbonara

• 1/2 pound bacon, chopped (I left it out & just used olive oil.)
• 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 pound fresh spaghetti or bowtie, cooked al dente
• 4 large eggs, beaten
• Salt
• 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I used powdered)
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
• Mixed vegetables or peas (optional)
In a large saute pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Pour off all of the oil except for 3 tablespoons. Add the garlic. Add the vegetables, if desired. Season with black pepper. Saute for 30 seconds. Add the crispy bacon and the pasta. Saute for 1 minute. Season the eggs with salt. Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble. Add the cheese and re-season with salt and pepper. Mound into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

Time: Less than 30 minutes
Cost: Less than $5
Taste: Ryan, James'best friend, says out of 5 it was a 4.2 at first bite and then 3.8 after a few bites when it got cold.
Healthiness: I can't say exactly,but I can say if you take out the bacon, use olive oil, add vegetables, and even use whole wheat pasta, there is no way it could be that bad for you! But I'll be honest, in Italy I loved it with Pancetta(bacon):)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Crab Ragoons & Avacado Egg Rolls

*Important note: We baked both the egg rolls & ragoons to make them healthier Substitute the oil for a light eggwash, then bake at 350 until they are as crisped as you like. You still have the crunch, but lose that nice oil flavor. At least you dont have to feel guilty afterwards though. If you find that the end product is a little to shiney and crisped, just thin out the eggwash next time with a little water." We also used low fat cream cheese. We paired it with brown rice and vegetables.

$11 for the whole meal.
Time: 1 hour ( a little long, but was fun making them together)
Flavor: Good, the dipping sauce is amazing! We didn't have saffron or tamarid, but it was still very flavorful without it. We thought the baked was good, but not as tasty as fried. We will make it again, but change up a few things... like a little less crab & not forget the cumin in the sauce like I did. I'd give it a 3 out of 5.

Cheese Cake Factory Crab Rangoons

• 8 ounces low fat cream cheese
• 8 ounces fresh crab meat or canned crab meat, drained and flaked
• 1 teaspoon red onion, chopped
• 1/2 teaspoon Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste
• 1 green onion, finely sliced
• 1 large clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and finely minced
• 1 package won ton wrappers
• 1 small bowl water
• Oil for deep-frying, as needed
Combine the cream cheese and crab meat. Mix in the remaining six filling ingredients (up to the wonton wrappers) one at a time.

On a flat surface, lay out a won ton wrapper in front of you so that it forms 2 triangles (not a square). Wet the edges of the won ton.

Add 1 teaspoon of filling to the middle, and spread it out toward the left and right points of the wrapper so that it forms a log or rectangular shape (otherwise the wrapper may break in the middle during deep-frying).

Fold over the edges of the wrapper to make a triangle. Wet the edges with water and press together to seal.

Keep the completed Crab Rangoon covered with a damp towel or paper towel to keep them from drying out while preparing the remainder.

Heat wok and add oil for deep-frying. When oil is ready (the temperature should be between 360 - 375 degrees), carefully slide in the Crab Rangoon, taking care not to overcrowd the wok. Deep-fry until they are golden brown, about 3 minutes, turning once. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain. Serve hot with Sweet and Sour Sauce or Chinese Hot Mustard.

Cheesecake Factory Avocado Eggroll

dipping sauce
3-4 teaspoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon tamarind pulp
1/2 cup honey
1 pinch powdered saffron
1/2 cup chopped cashews
2/3 cup fresh cilantro
2 garlic cloves
2 green onions
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil

egg rolls
1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, & diced
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, chopped
1 tablespoon minced red onions
1/2 teaspoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 pinch salt
3 egg roll wraps
1 egg, beaten
1. Stir together vinegars, tamarind, honey, and saffron in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 1 minute.
2. Stir until tamarind is dissolved.
3. In a blender, Puree tamarind mixture, cashews, 2/3 cup cilantro, garlic, onions, sugar, pepper, and cumin.
4. Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in oil.
5. Refrigerate until ready to use.
6. Gently stir together avocado, tomatoes, onion, 1/2 teaspoon cilantro, and salt.
7. Distribute filling evenly onto center of each egg roll wrapper.
8. Position a wrapper so that a corner is pointing toward you; fold the bottom corner up, 1/4 of the way over the filling.
9. Brush remaining corners and edges of the wrapper with egg, roll up from side to side, fold top corner over all and press to seal.
10. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
11. Continue by deep-frying the egg rolls in 375 degree oil for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.
12. Drain on brown paper bags.
13. Slice egg rolls diagonally across middle and serve with prepared dipping sauce

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Roasted Rosemary-Onion Potatoes

4 medium potatoes ( I used 1 large sweet potato & 4 small red potatoes)
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. chopped rosemary leaves or 2 tsp. dried rosemary leaves
1/4 tsp. dried thyme leaves ( I substituted basil instead)
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Heat oven to 450ºF. Grease cookie sheet, 15 1/2x10 1/2x1 inch. Cut potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Mix remaining ingredients in large bowl. Add potatoes; toss to coat. Spread potatoes in single layer in pan. Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes, turning occasionally, until potatoes are light brown and tender when pierced with fork.

Recipe from: Betty Crocker Cookbook & altered by me!

Taste: 3 or a 4 (French Fries are a 5 & these are close behind!)
Cost: For the entire meal I spent under $5 (which included fresh steamed broccoli, lean pork chops, and the Rosemary Potatoes)- So I'd call that cheap!
Time/Easiness: So easy! I started cooking at 5:50, everything was in the oven or steamer by 6:00, James & I left the house, came back at 6:30, dinner was ready!
Healthiness: Only2 Tbsp. olive oil & a little salt- confession James said they'd be better with more salt. If you use Sweet Potatoes it is way healthy. Here are a few facts I got on sweet potatoes from the 5 a Day Website, "These tuberous roots are among the most nutritious foods in the vegetable kingdom. They are packed with calcium, potassium, and vitamins A and C. This is why one colonial physician called them the "vegetable indispensable."
Appearance: 3 out of 5... they're colorful and pair well with so many dishes

**If you like sweet potato fries like I do this is the delicious & healthy alternative. One last thing: I put a bit of bbq sauce on the pork... I tried a new kind called Sweet Baby Rays! It is to die for, seriously 5 out of 5. James and I are tempted to name our first son Sweet Baby Ray in honor of it! Mmm! Probably not super healthy, but only a little is guilt free. :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Garden Chicken Soup

2 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 medium onion, chopped
2-3 medium carrots, peeled and diced into 1/4 in rounds
6-8 medium tomatoes, chopped (or 2 14.5 oz cans diced)
2 cups chicken broth

2 chicken breasts, chopped

3 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 tablespoons
fresh basil, chopped
  1. In a large pot, heat olive oil. Add onion, garlic and carrots. Saute 4 minutes. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned.
  2. Add tomatoes*, broth, salt, pepper and basil.
  3. Bring to a boil; let simmer 20 minutes.
  4. Add spinach and cook 5 minutes, or until spinach begins to wilt.
  5. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
*I added a yellow squash and zucchini with the tomatoes.
Recipe by:
Kelly (a college friend)

Taste: 4 out of 5 - pretty dang good!
Easiness: 40 min- chopping veg & simmering, but very easy!
Under $5- I did have some ingredients & I used dried instead of fresh basil to cut costs.
5 out of 5! Tons of veggies, nearly zero fat & I used low sodium chicken broth.
Appearance: 3 out of 5- colorful, but it's soup... c'mon how gorgeous can it be?!