Archive | October, 2012

Lentil Salad with Argula & Feta (with Warm Honey Vinaigrette)

9 Oct

 

Yield: 1

 

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon + 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar (divided), plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons honey, plus more to taste
  • 2 large handfuls arugula, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons feta (plus more, depending on how much you like it!!)

 

Preparation

  • Place lentils in a small pot and cover by about ½ inch with water. Add 1 teaspoon vinegar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until lentils are tender, about 25 minutes (this varies somewhat with lentils – start checking after about 15 minutes for doneness). Once tender but with a slight bite, turn off heat and drain if there is excess water.  Allow to cool slightly.
  • In a small skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until shallots are softened but not yet brown, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar, stirring all the while, and then add honey. Turn off heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. At this point you will need to taste and adjust seasoning depending on what you like: a little more honey for sweet, olive oil to thin out strong flavors, vinegar for acid, or salt and pepper.
  • In a medium bowl toss arugula with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Add lentils and feta, and toss evenly with dressing. Serve.

 

Source:  Practical Cooking for One

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Cooking Dictionary: Part 3

8 Oct

Pinch: The amount of dry ingredients you can hold in a pinch (between your thumb and forefinger). It’s equivalent to 1/16 teaspoon.

Puree: To mash a food to a smooth, thick consistency.

Sauté: To cook food quickly in a small amount of oil in a skillet or sauté pan over direct heat.

Spatula: A flat utensil. Some are shaped to scrape sides of the mixing bowl; others are shaped to flip foods, or to stir ingredients in a curved bowl.

Sear: To burn or scorch a food with an application of intense heat.

Simmer: To cook food gently in liquid at a temperature low enough that tiny bubbles just begin to break the surface (around 185 degrees).

Steam: A cooking method in which food is placed in a steamer basket over boiling water in a covered pan.

Stir-Fry: To quickly fry small pieces of food in a large pan over very high heat while stirring.

Whisk: A utensil with looped wires in the shape of a teardrop, used for whipping ingredients like batters, sauces, eggs, and cream. The whisk helps add air into the batter.

Zester: A utensil with tiny cutting holes on one end that creates threadlike strips of peel when pulled over the surface of a lemon lime or orange. It removes only the colored outer portion of the peel (zest).

Source: Cooking 101: WebMD

Last-Minute Lasagna

5 Oct

 

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

 

Ingredients

 

  • 1 24- or 26-ounce jar pasta sauce $
  • 2 18-20-ounce refrigerated large cheese ravioli
  • 1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed dry
  • 1 8-ounce bag shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Parmesan

 

Preparation

 

  • Heat oven to 375° F.
  • Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Cover with a single layer of ravioli. Top with half the spinach, half the mozzarella, and a third of the sauce.
  • Repeat with another layer of ravioli and the remaining spinach, mozzarella, and half the remaining sauce.
  • Top with another layer of ravioli and the remaining sauce (not all the ravioli may be needed). Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until bubbly, 5 to 10 minutes more.

 

Nutritional Information

 

Calories per serving: 385
Fat per serving: 17g
Saturated fat per serving: 8g
Protein per serving: 22mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 35g
Fiber per serving: 4g
Cholesterol per serving: 56mg
Iron per serving: 3mg
Sodium per serving: 1183mg
Calcium per serving: 507mg

 

 

 

Source: Fake It, Don’t Make It, Real Simple MARCH 2002

 

Easy Fish Tacos

4 Oct

Yield: 6 Servings

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 10.6-ounce package Gorton’s Extra Crunchy Fish Tenders
  • 3 8-inch flour tortillas
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 10-ounce jar tartar sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Romaine lettuce

Preparation

  • Bake the fish according to the package directions.
  • Wrap the stack of tortillas in foil and place in the oven during the last 5 minutes of baking.
  • To assemble the tacos, place the warm tortillas on serving plates, put 2 tenders on each tortilla, and cover with a few slices of the onion. Add a dollop of the tartar sauce and top with 1/4 cup of the lettuce.
  •  Fold over and serve.

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 469
Fat per serving: 33g
Saturated fat per serving: 2g
Protein per serving: 7mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 32g
Fiber per serving: 1g
Cholesterol per serving: 55mg
Iron per serving: 2mg
Sodium per serving: 812mg
Calcium per serving: 57mg

Source: Fake It, Don’t Make It, Real Simple  MAY 2005

Cooking Dictionary: Part 2

4 Oct

Here’s a cheat sheet to help you figure out confusing words you may come across in recipes.

 

Caramelize: To heat sugar until it liquefies and becomes a clear syrup ranging in color from golden to dark brown.

Convection Oven: An oven equipped with a fan that provides continuous circulation of hot air around the food.

Cut in: To mix a solid, cold fat (like shortening or butter) with dry ingredients until the mixture takes the form of small particles. It can be done with a food processor, a handheld tool called a pastry blender, a fork, or two knives.

Dash: A very small amount of seasoning added to food. It’s somewhere between 1/16 teaspoon and a scant 1/8 teaspoon.

Dice: To cut food into tiny cubes (1/8 to 1/4 inch).

Dilute: To reduce a mixture’s strength by adding liquid (usually water).

Dollop: A small glob of soft food, such as whipped cream.

Dredge: To lightly coat a food with flour, cornmeal, or breadcrumbs before frying or baking.

Dust: Lightly coating a food with a powdery liquid, such as flour or powdered sugar.

Egg Wash: Egg yolk or egg white mixed with a small amount of water or milk. It’s brushed over baked goods before baking to give them gloss and color.
Source: Cooking 101: WebMD

Baked Potato Eggs

3 Oct

 

Yield: 4 Servings

Prep time: 10 Minutes

Cook time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

 

Ingredients

  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 2 precooked turkey sausages, diced
  • 4 large eggs

 

Preparation

  • Heat oven to 400° F.
  • Scrub the potatoes and pierce each with the tines of a fork. Bake until fork-tender, about 45 minutes.
  • Carefully cut each potato in half.
  • Scoop out the insides and stir in the butter and cheese. Fold in the sausages. Spoon the mixture back into the potato halves, creating a hollow in each center.
  • Break 1 egg into each hollow.
  • Arrange on a baking sheet and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until set.

 

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 320
Fat per serving: 13g
Saturated fat per serving: 6g
Protein per serving: 10mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 19g
Fiber per serving: 2g
Cholesterol per serving: 231mg
Iron per serving: 2mg
Sodium per serving: 148mg
Calcium per serving: 95mg

 

Source: Jane Kirby, Real Simple APRIL 2003

Cooking Dictionary Part 1

2 Oct

Here’s a cheat sheet to help you figure out confusing words you may come across in recipes.

Al dente: Italian phrase meaning “to the tooth,” used to describe pasta or other food that is cooked only until it offers slight resistance when bitten into.

Au gratin: A dish that is topped with cheese or a mixture of breadcrumbs and butter, then heated in the oven or under the broiler until brown and crispy.

Au jus:French phrase describing meat that is served with its own natural cooking juices.

Au lait: French for “with milk.”

Bain-marie: A water bath used to cook certain dishes.

Baking powder: A leavener (which helps a dough or batter rise or become light in texture) that contains a combination of baking soda; an acid (such as cream of tartar); and a moisture-absorber (like cornstarch).

Baking sheet: A flat sheet of metal, usually rectangular, used to bake cookies, biscuits, etc.

Baking soda: Bicarbonate of soda. Baking soda is used as a leavener in baked recipes. When combined with an acid like buttermilk, yogurt, or vinegar in a batter, it produces bubbles from carbon dioxide gas that allowing the batter to rise as it bakes.

Blackened: A cooking method in which meat or fish, usually rubbed with Cajun spices, is cooked in a very hot cast-iron skillet.

Broth/bouillon: A liquid made by cooking vegetables, poultry, meat, or fish. The flavored liquid is strained off after cooking.

Braise: A cooking method, on top of a stove or in the oven, in which food is browned in fat, and then cooked, tightly covered, in a small amount of liquid, at low heat for a long time.

Broil: To cook or brown food by placing it under the broiling unit in an oven. The broiling unit is usually at the top of the oven, but older ovens may have a broiler drawer underneath. Recipes often call for placing the food 4-6 inches away from the broiling unit.

Brown: To cook quickly over high heat, causing the surface of the food to turn brown while the interior stays moist.

Brush: To apply a liquid with a pastry brush to the surface of food.

 

Source: Cooking 101: WebMD

Easy Chicken Parmesean

2 Oct

 

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

 

Ingredients

  • 2 12-ounce packages low-fat baked breaded chicken-breast tenderloins or cutlets
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups jarred marinara sauce
  • 4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper

 

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 425° F.
  • Place the chicken in a shallow roasting pan or a 9-by-13-inch cake pan.
  • Sprinkle with the oregano, then pour on the sauce. Sprinkle with the Parmesan.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the sauce is hot and the cheese is melted.
  • Season with pepper to taste. Serve with mixed greens dressed with a vinaigrette.

 

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 345
Fat per serving: 10g
Saturated fat per serving: 3g
Protein per serving: 32g
Carbohydrates per serving: 33g
Fiber per serving: 1g
Cholesterol per serving: 84mg
Iron per serving: 1mg
Sodium per serving: 1840mg
Calcium per serving: 87mg

 

Source: Fake It, Don’t Make It, Real Simple  FEBRUARY 2005

 

 

Fake & Bake “Fried” Chicken

1 Oct

 

Yield: 4 servings

Prep Time: 10 mins

Cook Time: 25 mins

 

Ingredients

  • 1 3 1/2- to 4-pound chicken, cut up and skin removed $
  • 1 cup ranch dressing
  • 2 cups instant potato flakes

 

Preparation

  • Heat oven to 450º F. Coat a baking sheet with vegetable cooking spray.
  • Lightly brush the chicken pieces with the dressing, then roll in the potato flakes.
  • Arrange on the baking sheet and place in oven.
  • Turn down oven to 350º F and bake 25 minutes or until the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork.

 

Nutritional Information

Calories per serving: 648
Fat per serving: 39g
Protein per serving: 51mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 22g
Fiber per serving: 2g
Cholesterol per serving: 165mg
Iron per serving: 3mg
Sodium per serving: 659mg
Calcium per serving: 30mg

 

Source: Pilar Guzman, Fake It, Don’t Make It, Real Simple  OCTOBER 2003