Posts in the Main meals Category

Baked Cornflake Chicken Nuggets

Some days I sit down to write a post and I’m filled with thoughts, a rapid moving, overflowing inner dialogue just bursting to come out. I can barely type fast enough to keep up with the steady stream of personal commentary. Today my mind is quiet (I guess I shouldn’t complain). My kids are doing their homework independently (aliens must have replaced my actual children with look-alike clones), dinner is made and sitting on the counter, and the house is more or less clean. What now?

I was talking to a friend the other day about the hustle and bustle of our respective households. We both agreed that while raising children can be exhausting and overwhelming and frustrating, there is nothing more wonderful than a house filled with laughter and noise and chaos. At realizing how much we actually enjoyed the tumult, my friend threw her head back, laughed out loud and said “beautiful chaos”. What a great way to sum it up.

I think I will keep this short and sweet, take advantage of the momentary quiet, and maybe enjoy a cup of tea….

Here’s an easy recipe for Baked Cornflake Chicken Nuggets….they’ll keep all the “aliens” happy (and maybe even quiet for a few precious minutes)!

INGREDIENTS

Chicken Nuggets:
3 boneless, skinless, chicken cutlets cut into 1” cubes
1-cup flour
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups ground cornflakes (I buy a box of cereal and pulse it in the food processor until I have mostly fine crumbs)
1-2-teaspoons poultry seasoning (MSG free. I like Trader Joe’s 21 Blend Salute)
Kosher salt (use sparingly as the poultry seasoning often contains salt)
Canola oil cooking spray

Honey Mustard Sauce: (Just mix all the ingredients together)
¼ cup honey
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup Dijon mustard
1-tablespoon white distilled vinegar or lemon juice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper or 2 teaspoons of Frank’s Hot Sauce

* This recipe for Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce comes from a great website www.pinchofyum.com

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a rimmed cookie sheet with the cooking oil (I like to do this over the sink to make sure the floor doesn’t get slippery).

Take out three medium sized mixing bowls. Put the flour in the first bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat with flour. Put the eggs into the second bowl. Take out about 5 or 6 pieces of chicken and put them into the beaten eggs. In the third bowl, add the ground cornflakes and the spice mixture. Mix well. Drain the chicken on the side of the egg bowl and add the chicken pieces into the cornflakes. Using a fork (or your fingers) coat with crumbs. Place on the prepared cookie sheet. Repeat with all the pieces of chicken (you might need 2 cookie sheets). Spray the top of the nuggets with cooking spray and sprinkle lightly with kosher salt. Put into the oven for about 7-8 minutes. They should look a bit browned on top. Turn them over and cook another 5-6 minutes. Remove and serve hot with sauce.

* I was recently at a restaurant in Nyack, NY called Strawberry Place. They have wonderful, home cooked food that makes you want to return day after day. In particular they make a Buffalo Chicken Wrap. These nuggets would work great in a wrap filled with lettuce, tomato, onion, blue cheese dressing and Franks Hot Sauce!

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Lasagna Roll-ups

I have been making Lasagna Roll-ups forever. I have taught this in classes for kids and adults for the past several years. I have sent countless friends and family to my website for this easy, delicious recipe. And I just realized it’s not actually on my website. Ooooops!

We made this great dish today in young chefs cooking club. This is an adorable group of 5, 6, and 7 old boys and girls. The kids did a great job mixing the filling and assembling the roll-ups. They did an even better job of cleaning their plates, literally eating every last morsel of pasta, bit of tomato sauce and fleck of spinach.

The parents were thrilled to see such exuberant eating. Several of them decided to go straight to the market and pick up the ingredients to make these roll-ups for dinner. I felt that that level of enthusiasm for a recipe deserved prompt attention. So here is the now infamous recipe for Lasagna Roll-ups…

INGREDIENTS:

1 32oz. container of Ricotta cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 bag frozen chopped spinach, drained
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 Jar tomato sauce
1 box lasagna, cooked according to the box instructions
1 8oz. bag of part-skim, low moisture shredded Mozzarella cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the Ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach, and salt. Lightly coat the bottom of a casserole dish with tomato sauce. Take one long lasagna noodle and lay it flat on a cutting board. Take two tablespoons of the Ricotta mixture and spread it evenly across the entire noodle. Then roll up the noodle and place it seam down in the casserole dish. Continue doing this until the entire dish is full. Then pour some more sauce, making sure all the noodles are covered, and then top with the shredded cheese. Bake this in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling. If the cheese starts to burn cover it with some tin foil.

* You may have some extra Ricotta filling. No worries. Either use it as a filling for an omelet (I just bought the Tramontina 80114/535DS Professional Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan, 10-Inch, Natural Aluminum and I love it. In fact I performed the restaurant flip with my omelet this weekend and earned the momentary respect of my 10 year old son. Need I say more?). Or mix it in with some Israeli cous cous and serve it with a piece of grilled chicken or fish.

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Best laid plans . . . Here’s how day 1 actually turned out: I did have the delicious scrambled eggs with salmon and onions for breakfast. Lunch was a BBQ Chicken salad from Mt. Kisco Diner (turns out Truck is closed on Mondays). BBQ sauce has quite a bit of sugar and there was lots of corn and black beans which are high in carbohydrates, but overall a great lunch. For snack I had 4 pieces of a brown rice California roll (left-over from my son’s snack) and dinner was Zucchini Taco Boats as planned. The Taco Boats were out-of-this world delicious! I was prepared for a whole song and dance from my husband, but instead I found him gobbling down not only his boats, but mine as well! Luckily I caught him, fork and knife raised, but only one bite in. We both loved it! I did make a few adjustments so it would be easier for me to prepare . . . I used a taco seasoning mix instead of the spices Gina listed, I used Marinara sauce instead of tomato sauce (oops), I added extra onions and pepper, omitted the water, and found they only needed about 10 minutes in the oven.

Day 2:

Breakfast: I hope to make Lemon Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes from Simply Quinoa. They look amazing but have a few ingredients I don’t stock in my pantry. I also have some old bananas and plan to add those in as well. Wish me luck!

Here’s the Recipe:

http://www.simplyquinoa.com/lemon-blueberry-quinoa-pancakes/

Lunch: I think I’ll have the leftover eggs for lunch with a salad. Not too exciting but really easy.

Dinner: Quinoa Greek Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Tzatziki

Greek salad Quinoa and Pan Seared Chicken

This is pretty straight forward.  Cook the quinoa according to the instructions on the box.  Remove the quinoa from the pot once it’s cooked, as it will continue cooking and become mushy if you leave it in the hot pot.  Dice up some cucumbers, red onions, black olives, feta cheese and tomatoes.  Mix the quinoa and salad ingredients together.  I made a quick dressing from lemon, olive oil, dried oregano and black pepper and poured it on top.  I salt/peppered some shrimp and chicken and pan-seared them in a hot pan with oil.

Dessert/Snack: I am still hoping to try the Baked Pear with Cinnamon Ricotta. I have apples in the house so I’ll use that instead and maybe add a few rum soaked raisins?

Healthy Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are some of my favorite cookies. They are gluten free and sweetened with bananas and chocolate chips, but no white sugar.

Here’s the Recipe:

http://castlewalkkitchen.com/2014/01/healthy-banana-o…ate-chip-cookies/

Oatmeal Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies


While my posting has been sporadic at best, I am hoping to try something new and fun this week. My daughter’s Bat Mitzvah is coming up in June and I am eager to slim down just a bit and get back on the “healthy-eating wagon”. I really believe that “we are what we eat”. So my plan is to put good foods into my body, making it strong and healthy. If I look better in my swimsuit, that’s just frosting on the cake (or the cherry tomatoes on top of an iceberg wedge. I’ll work on the metaphors).

I am loving the www.skinnytaste.com blog. Gina is an awesome chef and a really nice person (I know, I’ve met her!). She has weekly dinner plans to help make meal time a breeze. Best of all, she gives you an amazing guide to help you assess the recipes that are best for you (Weight Watchers, Vegetarian, Paleo, Gluten-Free). I am planning for lots of vegetables, a moderate amount of protein/fruit/grains, and low sugar/processed foods/gluten.

I thought I’d blog about the foods I’m eating with photos and simple recipes. Some won’t really be recipes at all, but an easy compiling of foods (like a salad). Please follow along and let me know how it’s going for you. Also, I’m taking quick photos to post, so please forgive any less-than-stellar photographs.

Day 1:

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Salmon and Fried Onions

I used some leftovers I found in my refrigerator. Some already broil salmon (about 6 ounces). One piece of salmon should be about 1” in width. You can also ask your fishmonger to cut 6 oz. pieces. Salmon is a great food to eat, as it’s high in the nutrients and minerals your body needs to stay healthy (you can read about some of the health benefits here (http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/salmon-one-fishes-can-eat-5512.html#page1). I also used 3 eggs (you could only whites if you want) and half an onion. If I had scallions or spinach I would have used those too. I really like adding extra vegetables as often as possible.

I sprayed the pan with canola oil and added the onions. I cooked those until a bit crispy on the edges. In a separate bowl I scrambled the eggs and crumbled up the salmon. I poured the egg mixture over the onions. I ate half of this and saved the remaining half for tomorrow. I ate this with a cup of decaffeinated coffee and a tablespoon of non-fat, non-dairy creamer, as well as a glass of water. Try to drink 2 8oz. cups of water with every meal and you’ll be on your way to staying hydrated.

Eggs with Salmon and Crispy Onions

 

Lunch: Salad with Tomatoes, Corn, Avocado and Grilled Shrimp

I am heading to my favorite restaurant for lunch, Truck, in Bedford, NY. It’s farm-fresh meets Mexican. Most of the ingredients are locally sourced and seasonally based. The food is incredible (same holds true for the specialty cocktails and dessert). Again, this is pretty easy to make. You can follow the Tortilla Salad recipe on my blog and add the protein of your choice. The amount of protein you use should equal the size of your fist. If you want to make shrimp, but don’t know how, leave a comment and I’ll post some additional information. I would omit the tortillas for myself, as I’m avoiding processed foods (tortillas are from the factory, not the farm, unless you are making them from scratch) and gluten.

Tortilla Salad

Here’s the recipe

http://castlewalkkitchen.com/2014/01/261/

 

Snack: Apple

 

Dinner: Taco Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Here’s the recipe

http://www.skinnytaste.com/taco-stuffed-zucchini-boats/

 

Dessert: Baked Pear with Cinnamon Ricotta

Here’s the recipe http://www.health.com/health/recipe/0,,10000002002233,00.html. I’ve never made it before, but it sounds like a perfect, sweet treat.


Baked Fish with Breadcrumbs and Cheese

I’m not sure how many of you or your children have read a series of books called The Boxcar Children written by Gertrude Chandler Warner. It was my daughter’s favorite book and my boys have just finished the first and second book in the series. They are wholesome, kind, lovely books reminiscent of a time before iPhones, video games, and television. In the stories the children build things, go fishing, make dinner, and take care of one another in such a compassionate way. They also eat fruits and vegetables from the garden, enjoying the simple pleasures in life. In one story the youngest boy wants nothing more than blackberries with cream for his birthday, and later in the story the sister makes fish for dinner after the boys bring home their finest catch. Somehow I am always wanting for both their easy, carefree lifestyle and the simple yet mouthwatering meals that they eat. This recipe is based on the fish described in the book Surprise Island. I found a recipe I liked on Serious Eats by Lidia Bastianich called Baked Fish with Savory Bread Crumbs. We call it Boxcar Fish.

INGREDIENTS

2 Branzino filleted, (my fishmonger does this for me and it yields 4 fillets)*
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Zest and juice from 1 lemon (an works nicely too)
½ cup white wine
4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
½ cup Panko bread crumbs
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 teaspoon 21 blend seasoning from Trader Joe’s (or any other msg free seasoning blend)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
Black pepper

* Any mild white fish fillets will work well

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a 9×13 casserole dish add 3 tablespoons olive oil, lemon zest, lemon juice, white wine, and garlic. Mix together. Add the fish and coat both sides with this dressing. Rest the fish skin side down.

In a small bowl add the rest of the olive oil, Panko breadcrumbs, cheese, and seasoning. Mix well. Sprinkle mixture on top of each fillet in an even layer. Bake for about 10-12 minutes (though could be a bit longer depending on the thickness of the fish). Turn the broiler on and broil for 2-3 minutes or until the top is lightly browned. Don’t walk away during the broiling as it can burn very quickly. I like to serve this with zucchini spaghetti and spoon the extra sauce on top.

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