Category Archives: Eating Healthy on a Budget

Salmon Ravigote

 

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Poach delicious salmon steaks or fillets in only 15 minutes!

Salmon fillets are poached briefly, then served with a ravigote sauce. Ravigote means “to invigorate” in French, and this sauce, containing tomatoes, scallions, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, and olive oil, awakens the taste buds and complements the salmon. Pickled capers lend wonderful piquancy to the sauce.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
For the Sauce:
2 plum tomatoes  halved, seeded, and diced
1 tablespoon drained capers
2–3 scallions, trimmed  and sliced
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

For the Salmon:
Four 5 ounce skinless salmon fillets, about 1 1/2 inches thick
3 cups of water
Kosher salt, to taste

Directions:
To make the sauce, mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

To poach the salmons, bring 3 cups of salted water to a boil in a large stainless steel saucepan. Add the salmon to the pan and bring the water back to a boil over high heat for 2 minutes. Immediately turn off the heat, or slide the pan off the heat and let the salmon steep in the hot liquid for 5 minutes. Note that your fillets will be slightly underdone in the center at this point and you may have to adjust the cooking time to accommodate thicker or thinner fillets, depending on your personal taste preference.

Remove the fillets from the poaching liquid with a large spatula, drain them well, and place on four warm plates. Absorb any liquid that collects around the fillets with paper towels, then spoon the sauce over and around the steaks and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
Alternatively,  for the poaching liquid, you can substitute 1½ cup dry white wine, like a good Sauvignon Blanc added to  1½ cups of water, for a different flavor profile.

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CREPES DE VOLAILLE VERSAILLAISE

DSC00434 (2).jpgCREPES DE VOLAILLE VERSAILLAISE
(Chicken Crepes with Asparagus and Mushrooms)

This classic French dish with Italian origins is a perfect main course that can be served during Spring Brunch.

Serves 8

Ingredients:
For the Filling:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1-1/4 cups whole milk
1-1/4 cups chicken broth (See Cook’s Notes)
¼ cup chopped shallot
½ cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups finely chopped cooked chicken (See Cook’s Notes)
3 tablespoons medium-dry Sherry
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed

For the Crepes:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1-1/4 cups whole milk
1 whole large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted

For the Finishing Sauce:
1 large egg yolk
5 tablespoons chilled heavy cream
1 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup shredded Gruyere cheese, for garnish

Special Equipment:
A 3-quart flameproof ceramic or enameled shallow baking dish

Directions:
TO make the filling: Heat 5 tablespoons butter in a 2-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until foam subsides. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, until pale golden, about 2 minutes. Gradually add milk and broth, whisking, and bring to a boil, whisking. Reduce heat and simmer gently, whisking frequently, until veloute sauce is silky and thick, about 25 minutes. Reserve ½ cup sauce for topping.

Cook shallot in remaining tablespoon butter in a 10-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Stir into veloute sauce along with chicken and Sherry.

Cut tops from asparagus and set aside. Cut enough stalks into ¼-inch pieces to measure 1 cup, reserving remainder for another use. Cook tips in a saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Transfer to a bowl of ice and cold water with a slotted spoon. Scoop out tips and drain on paper towels, then reserve for topping. Cook and drain chopped asparagus in same manner and stir into veloute sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

TO make the crepes: Sift together flour, salt, nutmeg, and pepper to taste into a bowl. Whisk together milk, whole egg, and yolk in a small bowl, then gradually whisk into flour mixture. Force batter through a fine sieve into a bowl.

Heat a dry 7-to 8-inch nonstick skillet over moderately high heat until hot, and then brush very lightly with some melted butter. Spoon about 2 tablespoons batter into skillet, tilting to coat bottom. (If batter sets before skillet is coated, reduce heat slightly for next crepe.) Cook until underside is lightly browned, 6 to 10 seconds then loosen crepe with a spatula and flip. Cook until just cooked through, about 20 seconds, and transfer to a plate. Make 15 more crepes in same manner, brushing skillet with melted butter as needed and stacking crepes on a plate.

ASSEMBLE and bake the crepes: Preheat oven to 350 °F. Spread ¼ cup filling across center of 1 crepe and roll into a cylinder. Transfer, seam side down, to buttered baking dish, then assemble more crepes in same manner, fitting them snugly. Bake in middle of over 15 minutes.

MAKE the finishing sauce while the crepes a baking: Stir together yolk, 2 tablespoons cream, and reserved ½ cup sauce until smooth. Beat remaining 3 tablespoons cream with a whisk until it holds soft peaks, and then fold into yolk mixture.

Spoon the finishing sauce over crepes and broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Heat butter in skillet, then add reserved asparagus tips and toss until warm.

Place 2 crepes on each of 8 plates and top with asparagus tips. Garnish with Gruyere cheese and serve.

Cook’s Notes:
Fish stock or water can be used as a substitute if shellfish is being used in place of the the chicken.

About 9 ounces of chopped cooked shrimp, lobster or crab-meat can be substituted for the cooked chicken.

The filling and crepes can be made 2 days ahead and kept separately, covered and chilled in the refrigerator.

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower Soup

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Roasted seasonal vegetables add depth to this simple winter soup.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts
1 small head of cauliflower, cut into  florets
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 cup diced  white onion
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup  milk
Crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°F. Halve Brussels sprouts. Arrange sprouts and cauliflower on a large sheet pan. Light season with salt and pepper and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes, stirring halfway.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a large sauce pan and sauté diced onion until translucent. Add the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes.

Transfer half of the roasted vegetables to the broth and simmer for about 2 min., stirring occasionally. Return the remaining vegetables on the baking sheet to the oven, to roast for another 5 minutes.

Use an immersion blender to purée the soup. Remove from heat and stir in the milk and remaining roasted vegetables.

Pour the soup into serving bowls and garnish with a few sprinkles of crushed red pepper. Serve immediately.

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Thank you so much!

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Roasted Red Beet, Spinach and Goat Grilled Cheese Sandwich

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All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Pork Noodle Bowls

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Fragrant Pork Noodle Bowls are light enough for warm weather but substantial enough for dinner. Assemble the noodle bowls stove side, ladling the piping-hot broth into the bowls to coax the flavors of the individual ingredients into perfect harmony.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon kosher salt
One 8-ouncepackage thin rice noodles
4 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces red cabbage , finely shredded
4 scallion,  sliced diagonally
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
6 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger
Lime wedges, for serving
Dried crushed red pepper, for garnish
Chopped dry-roasted peanuts,  for garnish

Directions:

Bring 8 cups of salted water to a boil in a large pot.Remove from heat and submerge the noodles; let stand 20 minutes or until tender. Using a colander, drain the noodles. Divide noodles among 4 soup bowls.

Sauté mushrooms in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat  for 5 minutes or until tender. Spoon over noodles. Add pork to skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until hot; spoon over mushrooms. Divide cabbage and add the scallions and cilantro leaves  among the soup bowls.

Bring the broth and ginger to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat, and divide among bowls. Garnish with crushed red pepper and roasted peanuts.Serve with lime wedges and a dash of soy sauce, if desired.

 

Hello Friends!

All photographs and content are copyright protected. Please do not use these photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this photograph and all other contents, then we kindly ask that you link back to this site. We are eternally grateful and we appreciate your support of this blog.

Thank you so much!

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Duo of Tomato and Corn Gazpacho

 

It is too darn hot to cook!

 

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So early this  morning, I went out to my garden, picked the  ripe  tomatoes , fresh corn and assorted  herbs and blended the corn separately from the tomatoes with a little  salt and black  pepper,to taste; poured  each of the vegetable purees into  separate  containers; covered and placed them  in the fridge for over an hour or longer.And there  you have it! GAZPACHO!

And  the best part about this recipe is that you can make this in the morning  before you leave for work, and return home  with  a delicious gazpacho waiting  for dinner!

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Zuppa Toscana

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I love the Olive Garden’s Zuppa Toscana.

I loved it so much I decided only recently to make it home. This creamy concoction has Italian sausage, hearty potatoes and just a hint of heat with the crushed red pepper flakes. The ingredients are a perfect combination if there ever was one, not to mention the velvety-rich broth that warms us from the inside out. The ingredients list is budget-friendly and, while it tastes indulgent, there is also a hefty amount of leafy greens, making this soup one of the healthiest dishes out there.

 

 

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 1/4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 Yukon Gold potatoes, sliced into wedges then halved
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large white onion, finely chopped
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups kale or Swiss chard or baby spinach, rinsed, tough stems removed, roughly chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
Cook the Italian sausage and red pepper flakes in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crumbly, browned, and no longer pink, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove an drain on paper towels and set aside.

Leaving a few tablespoons of drippings with the sausage in the bottom of the Dutch oven, stir in the onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Pour the chicken broth into the Dutch oven over the onion mixture; bring to a boil over high heat. Add the potatoes, and boil until fork tender, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the heavy cream and the cooked sausage; heat through. Mix the kale into the soup just before serving. Ladle into bowls and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Eating Light: General Tso’s Chicken

Photo Credit: Kate Mathias, 2011

This sweet and spicy dish is absolutely one of my favorite things to eat and it is  Chinese-American restaurant staple. The version featured here, is lighter than your normal take-out or restaurant style recipe, mainly because the chicken is only lightly coated in cornstarch and is pan-fried rather than deep-fried.

Serves 4

Ingredients:
1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 large egg white
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 pound skinless boneless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon Chinese chile-garlic sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying
2 tablespoons very finely chopped fresh ginger
2 large garlic cloves, minced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
Steamed broccoli and white rice, for serving

Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine the toasted sesame oil with the egg white, 1 tablespoon of the soy sauce and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of the cornstarch. Add the chicken, stirring to coat. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the chicken broth with the chile-garlic sauce, sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

In a large saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the ginger and garlic and cook over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir the broth mixture, add it to the pan and cook until thickened and glossy, about 3 minutes. Keep the sauce warm over low heat.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil until shimmering. Carefully add the chicken, one piece at a time, and fry over high heat, turning once or twice, until very browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Drain the chicken on paper towels and immediately add to the sauce along with the scallions. Cook just until coated, about 30 seconds.

Serve right away, with steamed broccoli and rice.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Chocolate Beet Cake

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This cake is chocolate heaven, even  for those who are  self-proclaimed beet-haters! A marvelous cake that is so  moist and delicious, who would have ever known that the secret ingredient just happened to be red beets! It’s a great recipe to sneak in a few veggies for children who will ask for a second piece, because it’s just that good.

 

Serves 16 to 20, depending on how thick the slice

Ingredients:
3 or 4 medium  red beets
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
1 ¾ cups packed brown sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

For the icing:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
4  1/2 ounces Neufchâtel cheese, softemed
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
beet juice (left over from above)
4 ounces dark chocolate – melted

 

Directions:
Cook the beets: in a saucepan, cover beets with water and boil 30 to 45 minutes. Remove the skin, quarter the beets and puree them in food processor with a little bit of the water they cooked in. You should end up with 2 cups of pureed cooked beets. Reserve  the beet juice of for the icing.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a 10-cup Bundt pan or tube pan with oil and dust with flour.

Combine the chocolate and oil in a Pyrex liquid measuring cup. Microwave on the defrost setting just until the chocolate melts. Note: Using a double boiler is the traditional way to melt chocolate is a microwave is not handy.

Combine the eggs and sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Slowly beat in the oil and chocolate mixture, beets, and vanilla.

Whisk the flours and stir in the baking soda and salt. Gently stir the flour mixture into the egg and chocolate mixture just until the flour is mixed in. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, about 40-45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove the cake from the pan and let cool on the rack.

While the cake is cooling, make the icing. In a medium bowl, add the Neufchâtel cheese and sugar and stir in the milk and the vanilla.Divide the icing in half and place the reserved icing in a second bowl. With the other half of the icing, add 1 to 2 tablespoons a beet juice to the icing. Note: the icing may be thickened with confectioners’ sugar or thinned with milk or the beet juice. Drizzle the white icing onto the cake and allow it to set, followed by the beet icing. Drizzle with the melted dark chocolate. Slice and serve individually on dessert plates.

 

Cook’s Notes:
If you want to forego without the dramatic icing and chocolate drizzles, just simply dust the cake with confectioners’  sugar.

beet cake

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

Beet Soup with Crispy Potato Croutons

 

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A gorgeous, healthy, and very tasty beet soup that is elegant, yet simple to make. Beets and sauteed onions and garlic simmer in vegetable stock before being finished with a swirl of coconut milk. Velvety smooth, impress your guests with this soup as a first course, as it t goes great with crusty bread and champagne.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
For the Potato Croutons:
2  /2 pounds potatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste

For the Beet Soup:
2 Tablespoons olive  oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt, to  taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
2½ pounds beets, peeled and coarsely chopped
6 cups vegetable stock
Juice of 1 lemon
One 13-ounce can of coconut milk
Chopped fresh dill, for garnish (optional)
Sliced scallions, for garnish (optional)

Directions:
For the Potato Croutons:
Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of water, add the vinegar and salt to taste and boil until very soft. Drain the potatoes, and return them to the saucepan. Holding the lid on tightly, shake the pan to fluff up the edges of the potatoes.

Transfer the potatoes to a baking tray, and toss in a generous amount of  olive oil. Spread them out into a single layer. Season with salt,black pepper thyme and toss to coat.

Roast the potatoes for about 25 minutes, then turn each piece of potato over. Return to the oven for  another 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven and set aside.

For the Beet Soup:
Put the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the beets and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, then add the stock.

Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat so the mixture simmers gently. Cook until the vegetables are fully soft and tender, 35 to 40 minutes. Add the lemon juice  the coconut milk and purée with a blender.Blend until smooth – if you find th too thick at this point then add water until you reached your desired consistency.Taste and adjust the seasoning,with salt and pepper.

Place the soup into a saucepan and let it heat up to the perfect eating temperature.

To serve, pour the soup into bowls and sprinkle each bowl with the roast potato croutons.

Garnished with the  dill or scallions, if desired.

The soup can be served cold as well. Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to several days.

 

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TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor