Tag Archives: food

Thai Basil Chicken with Cashews


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable, canola or peanut oil
  • 4 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 teaspoon cornstarch, dissolved in 4 teaspoons water
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed Thai basil or sweet basil leaves
  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • 1 fresh jalapeno chili, thinly sliced into rings (optional)


  • 4 Tablespoons lager-style beer, like Tsingtao
  • 2 Tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper (or black pepper)


  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 Tablespoon lager-style beer, like Tsingtao
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon fish sauce (or add an additional 3 teaspoons soy sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar


  1. Make some rice.
  2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Let stand for 15 minutes.
  3. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. Place a wok or wide sauté pan over high heat until hot.
  5. Add the oil, swirling to coat the sides.
  6. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 10 seconds.
  7. Add the chicken and asparagus and cook, stirring constantly until the chicken is no longer pink, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the sauce and bring to boil.
  9. Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until sauce thickens, about 1 minute.
  10. Remove pan from heat and stir in jalapeno chili, basil leaves and cashews.
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White Chicken Chili


  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 poached boneless chicken breasts
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 cups poaching broth
  • 1 can corn (Del Monte Summer Crisp)
  • One (1) 4-ounce can diced green or jalapeno chili peppers
  • Two (2) 15-ounce cans white northern beans
  • Reduced fat shredded cheese, fat-free sour cream, and salsa for serving (optional)


  1. Spray a saucepan, add the oil, and sauté the onions until tender.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  3. Serve with cheese, sour cream, and salsa, if you want.

Serves 6 (1 cup servings)

Calories 330; Protein 29g; Fat 5g; Carbohydrates 44 g; Fiber 9g; Sodium 120 mg.

If you’re not crazy about the corn, you can substitute 1 cup chopped red or green pepper in place of the corn.

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Blackened Shrimp with Pomegranate-Orange Salsa

blackened shrimp

Another yummy shrimp dish, and this salsa is no slacker either. Between the peeling the pomegranates and shrimp, it can be a little labor intensive, but it’s tasty and the salsa makes enough for leftovers.

The original recipe called for serving this on a bed of spinach, but my kids won’t eat anything served that way, so I served it as a side dish for Turkey Jambalaya, where I substituted the turkey with 1/2 lb of shrimp and 1 lb tilapia.

The next day, I mixed the leftover salsa and shrimp with some sliced flank steak, half a cup of brown rice pilaf, and it was a most excellent cold lunch. I made some of the salsa by itself for Thanksgiving this year, although it didn’t go over too well, probably because it had to compete with the cranberry sauce. 

Salsa Ingredients:

  • 2 cups pomegranate seeds (about 2 large pomegranates)
  • 1 cup finely chopped orange sections (about 1 large orange)
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 Tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Salsa Steps:

  1. Combine the ingredients in a large bowl.

Shrimp Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 36 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil, divided

Shrimp Steps:

  1. Combine paprika and the next 7 ingredients (through allspice) in a large zip-top plastic bag.
  2. Add shrimp to bag; seal and shake well to coat. Remove shrimp from bag.
  3. Heat 3 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add half of shrimp mixture anc cook 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan.
  5. Repeat procedure with remaining 3 teaspoons oil and remaining shrimp mixture. Serve warm with salsa.

Calories: 260 | Protein: 25g | Fat: 8g | Carbohydrates: 35g | Serves: 6

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Fish and Cheese

My kids love this stuff. Sounds terrible, tastes great. Try it!


  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 pounds talapia
  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 1/2 Cup fat-free Half & Half
  • 2 teaspoon lemon pepper
  • 3 Cups grated cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a long baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Pat fish dry with a paper towel and place in a single layer in baking dish.
  3. In a small saucepan melt butter over medium heat.
  4. Add flour and cook for one minute.
  5. Add Half & Half, lemon pepper and bring to a boil, stirring constantly until thickened.
  6. Spoon mixture over fillets.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.
  8. Remove fish from oven and sprinkle with cheese, continue baking for 10 minutes more or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Calories 264; Protein 26 g; Fat 11 g; Carbs 5 g; Sugar 0 g; Sodium 325 mg

Adapted from Linda’s Eating Well, Living Thin

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Fish and Olives

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This is an easy fish dinner. I have used tilapia, snapper, and maybe even haddock. Any white fish is probably fine.


  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 2 pounds fresh or frozen fish, thawed if frozen
  • one 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup sliced green pimento-stuffed olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • juice from one lime
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 Roma tomato, finely diced


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Coat a long casserole dish with cooking spray.
  3. In casserole combine undrained tomatoes, garlic, olives, cumin, and lime juice.
  4. Lay fish fillets over tomato mixture. Drizzle with olive oil and season with a little salt and black pepper. The olives are salty so easy on the salt.
  5. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
  6. Spoon some of the sauce mixture over the top of the fish and sprinkle with diced fresh tomatoes.
  7. Continue to bake for another 7-10 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.

Calories, 402; Protein, 69 g; Tot Fat, 12 g ; Carb 7 g

Adapted from Linda’s Eating Well, Living Thin.

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Asparagus Quiche

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This is tasty, easy to make. Aaron loves it, Kennedy not so much.

The big difference between this recipe and the linked orignal is that I use non fat milk (because that’s what we drink) and it seems to always need an extra five minutes in the oven.


  • vegetable cooking spray
  • 1/2 pound fresh asparagus, tough ends trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup non fat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 slices turkey bacon , cooked and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Coat a 9 inch pie plate with vegetable cooking spray.
  3. In a saucepan, place asparagus into boiling water and cook for 4-6 minutes, or until tender but still firm. Drain well.
  4. Sprinkle crumbled bacon and asparagus into pie plate.
  5. Top with cheese.
  6. In a bowl, beat together, eggs, milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic powder. Pour egg mixture on top of cheese.
  7. Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes or until golden and just set in the center. Makes 8 servings.

Adapted from Linda’s Eating Well, Living Thin

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Garlic Dip


This is my little sister Tina’s recipe.

It’s an especially delicious Arabic treat and goes good with the chicken skewers and tabbouleh salad.

Watch out! Tahini is very calorific (but it’s just a dip so it can’t hurt you).

Thank you Tina!


  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of tahini sauce (You can get this in the organic section of grocery store.)
  • Appx 1/2 cup of fresh lemon juice
  • Water (to taste)
  • (optional) 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley


  1. Crush the garlic and salt together to a paste. 
  2. Mix in the tahini and beat in the lemon juice.  Gradually mix in enough water to make the mixture the
    consistency of very thick cream or mayonnaise. 
  3. Add parsley and adjust salt and lemon to taste.
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Turkey Jambalaya

I’ve made this about three times in the last month. It’s easy and tasty. I find if I double the red pepper, the kids only eat it once, and I get all the leftovers for lunches. Evil Dad.

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  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 2 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can corn (summer crisp)
  • 2 cups shredded cooked turkey
  • 6 ounces andouille sausage, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced green onions


  1. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add chopped onion and garlic, saute 6 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. Stir in bell peppers and next 5 ingredients (paprika through black pepper) and saute 1 minute.
  3. Add rice, saute 1 minute.
  4. Stir in chicken broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil.
  5. Add corn.
  6. Cover, reduce heat, simmer 15 minutes.
  7. Add turkey and sausage, cover and cook 5 minutes.
  8. Sprinkle with green onions. Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup).

Calories 249 (27% from fat); Fat 7.6 grams (sat 2.4g, mono 3.4 g, poly 1.3 g); Protein 17.3g; Carbs 27.4 g; Fiber 2.7g; Chol 42mg; Iron 2.7mg; Sodium 523mg; Calc 37mg

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Mediterranean Chicken and Vegetable Kebabs

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Kebabs are a good protein you can build the rest of the meal around. You have to get Syrian bread (pita) and hummus (Sabra makes a tasty spicy hummus). 

It’s not a Lebanese meal without them.


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh or dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 24 strips
  • 18 (1/2-inch thick) slices of zucchini
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into 12 wedges
  • 12 garlic cloves peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • cooking spray (for grill)


  1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a zip-top plastic bag; seal and shake well. If you get more than two pounds of meat, keep the same number of strips and vegetable pieces, but increase the amount of marinade proportionately. Marinate in refrigerator 20 minutes. Remove chicken and vegetables from bag; discard marinade.
  2. Cook garlic cloves in boiling water to cover 3 minutes; drain and cool.
  3. Thread 4 chicken strips, 3 zucchini slices, 2 fennel wedges, and 2 garlic cloves alternately onto each of 6 (12-inch) skewers. Sprinkle with pepper.
  4. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray or onto a tray to broil. Grill, turning once, 8 minutes or until chicken is done. Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 kebab).

Calories 238 (25% from fat); Fat 6.6 grams (sat 1.1g, mono 3.8 g, poly 0.9 g); Protein 36.3g; Carbs 7.4 g

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Tabbouleh is a bulgur wheat salad that doesn’t take too long, tastes great on pita, and gets even better if you let it stand overnight.


  • 1 heaping cup bulgur
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ripe plum tomatoes, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch dice


  1. Combine the bulgur, water, lemon juice and olive oil. Mix well and set aside for 30 minutes at room temperature. Eventually the bulgur soaks up the juice, but this can take longer if the bulgur was in the freezer. Let the bulgur soften up. Fluff with a fork.
  2. While the bulgur is soaking up the oil, I combine the mint, parsley, red onion, garlic, pepper, and salt in a second bowl. When the bulgur is ready, combine both bowls and toss with a fork.
  3. Add the tomatoes and cucumber and toss again. Adjust the seasoning if necessary and allow to stand, loosely covered, for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to come out.
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