Friday, April 25, 2014

Chicken With Artichokes and Olives

Had to take a week off here, people visiting, not enough time to sit around and play on the internet.

Last week, I made some great stuff. Unfortunately, I was kind of lax in taking pictures, but I'll post the recipes anyway. The first dinner that I made in the week not only smelled amazing, but it was delicious, and really easy to make. I got it from Diabetic Connect. The original recipe calls for it to be made in a slow cooker. I kind of forgot to start it early enough to cook it in one, so I just used my dutch oven. I have been using this for a conversion: Slow Cooker to Dutch Oven Conversion. It's worked pretty well so far. Watch your heat, though. It can burn stuff pretty easily (as I have learned by trial and error). The result is very similar, just takes less time.

Try it out, and as usual, let me know what you think!

Chicken with Artichokes and Olives

2 cups sliced, fresh mushrooms.
14 1/2-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 cup dry white wine or reduced sodium chicken broth
1 2 1/4 oz can sliced pitted ripe olives or 1/4 cup capers, drained (I used Spanish olives with pimentos. Very yummy)
2 to 3 tsp curry powder
1 tsp dried thyme, crushed (I didn't realize we were out of Thyme, so I used a spice call Ajwain. It was really tasty - apparently, an Indian spice, so it fit right in with the curry)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 8 or 9 oz package of frozen artichoke hearts (they didn't have frozen where I shop - so I got a can or two without the marinade)
2 1/2# skinless, boneless chicken breast halves and/or thighs
3 TB cornstarch
3 TB cold water


In a 4 -5 quart slow cooker (or dutch oven), combine mushrooms, undrained tomatoes, chicken broth, onion, wine, olives, curry powder, thyme, salt and pepper.

Add artichokes.

Place chicken on top; spoon some of the tomato mixture over the chicken.

Cover and cook on low heat setting for 7 to 8 hours or on high heat for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. (In the dutch oven, I cooked at 325 for 1 hour)

Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken and artichokes to a serving bowl.

Cover chicken and artichokes with foil to keep warm.

If using a low heat setting, turn to high heat setting. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and water. Stir into mixture in cooker. Cover and cook about 15 minutes more until thickened (I did this on the stove. Check on the time when you do it. I burned mine a little, even on medium heat.)

Spoon tomato mixture over chicken and artichokes.

Per Serving (8 servings):
Calories: 229, Fat: 4 g, Chol: 82 mg, Sod: 396 mg, Carb: 10 g, Pro: 35 g

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pork with Garlic Cream Sauce

Once in a while, I run into a recipe that seems incomplete. Like the timing is either off, or they left out a step. This is one of those. It comes from a new (to me) I site that I've been checking out called Diabetic Connect. We'll see how things go with it. I'm definitely going to have to tweak some things, I can already see that.

Without the tweaks, it was still really yummy and husband really loved it, too. We had the same ideas for the changes, too. A couple of things that were mentioned in the comments on the original recipe were about the cooking time on the meat. Since this is pork, you know that you want to make sure that it is really done. Not overlooked, of course, but done. It can get tricky with this kind of cooking because you don't want to keep taking it out of the oven with the broiler on, at the risk of losing some of the heat. And the meat is too thin to use a thermometer. The only thing I can suggest would be using your best judgement and experience with your broiler. In the recipe itself, it says to cook the meat under the broiler for 4 to 6 minutes. What it does not say is, do you flip the meat and if so, is that per side? Again, I suggest using your judgement. I did it on one side and found that I would probably fare better if I did it on both sides for the full 4 to 6 minutes on both sides. Otherwise, I ended up putting it back in the oven over and over.

As far as tweaking the recipe goes, we found a few things. I think I would salt the meat just little  and let it sit there for a few minutes to make it less tough in the cooking. See how you feel about it, but we both agreed a tiny bit of salt and more garlic would fare well in the cream sauce. We served this with quinoa cooked in chicken broth with peas. Super simple and quite tasty. The quinoa tasted a little off, but I think that's because it was cooked with the peas. those probably should have been cooked separately. 

And as usual - please tell me what you think or anything different you did.

Pork with Garlic Sauce

1# pork tenderloin

2 tsp canola oil
2 tsp sesame seeds, toasted, divided
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBSP butter or stick margarine
1/3 C 1% milk
3 oz reduced fat cream cheese , cubed
1 TBSP minced chives

Cut pork into 1" slices, flatten to 1/2" thickness

Place in a 15"x10"x1" baking dish, coated in non-stick cooking spray. Brush oil all over sides of pork, then sprinkle with half of the sesame seeds. 

Broil 4-6" from the heat for 3-5 minutes longer ir until meat juices run clear.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, saute garlic in butter for one minute. 

Stir in milk and cream cheese. Reduce heat, cook and stir until blended and smooth. Stir in chives.

Serve with pork.

Per Serving (3 oz cooked pork with 2 TBSP sauce):
Calories: 255, Fat: 13 g (6 sat), Chol,: 88mg, Sodium: 151 mg, Carb: 3 g, Fiber: Trace, Protein: 27 g

Diabetic Exchanges:
1 Fat

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Beef-Broccoli Stir-Fry

There is always ways to improve things and of course you find this out after the fact. Like I've said before, I try recipes the way they'Re written the first time, then take notes when I eat them to make changes an add or subtract what I think should make it taste better the next time, or sometimes even make me want to eat it again. Sometimes I try things a few times, just to make sure I really don't like it before I give up on it. So far this week, we've had a couple different things that we really liked! but still could be improved upon, to us. You may think differently. Take my suggestions with a grain of salt (literally), and see for yourself, you may like the original recipe better.

We tried a "southwestern turkey burger", that was ok, but the additions may make it awesome. I didn't get a chance to do it for the blog, because Husband was working on it before I knew it. I will do it next time, though.

I made the broccoli beef a few nights ago and it was great. The only thing I would change is that I may marinate the meat longer. I had planned on making spaghetti squash instead of actual pasta, but since I had never used it before, I didn't realize that I needed to bake it first to get the "noodles" out of it. So that will be my first addition, and I will post reports on that when I try it. I may also use more garlic, but that's a personal preference. We like a lot of garlic. This made the house smell amazing.

Feel free to let me know what additions that you made and how they worked out for you. I really look forward to hearing from you, really!

This recipe is from Diabetic Living online, too. I'm telling you that they have fantastic recipes.

Beef-Broccoli Stir-Fry
Makes 4 - 1 1/4 cup stir fry and 1/2 cup spaghetti

2 TB reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 TB cornstarch
1TB white vinegar
1TB grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 clove garlic, minced (I used 3)
12 oz. boneless beef top sirloin steak
1 small bunch broccoli (about 1#)
2 tsp cooking oil (split)
2 medium carrots, bias sliced, 1/8 inch thick
3/4 cup reduced-sodium beef broth (as in previous recipes, I use Better Than Bullion, it gives it a richer flavor and you can adjust it)
4 green onions, bias sliced
2 cups hot cooked spaghetti squash or angel hair pasta

For marinade,  in a medium bowl (I actually used a large zip lock bag)' combine soy sauce, cornstarch, vinegar, ginger, crushed red pepper, and garlic.

Trim fat from meat. Cut meat across the grain into 1/8 inch thick slices.

Add meat to marinade; toss to coat. Cover and marinate at room temperature for 10 minutes. Drain meat, discarding marinade,

Meanwhile, cut broccoli florets from stems. If desired, peels stems. Cut stems into 1/4 inch thick slices.

In wok or large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add meat; cook and stir in hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or until. Slightly pink in the center. Remove meat from wok or skillet.

Add the remaining teaspoon to the hot wok or skillet. Add broccoli and carrots; cook and stir for 1 minute.

Add beef broth; cook and stir for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetable are crisp-tender, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of wok or skillet.

Return cooked meat to wok or skillet.

Add green onions; heat through.

Serve immediately over hot cooked spaghetti squash or pasta.

Per serving: 205 calories, 6 grams total fat, (1g sat. Fat), 40 mg chol., 659 mg sodium, 17 g card (4 g fiber), 22 G protein

Diabetic Exchanges: fat: .5; starch: 1; vegetables: 1; lean meat: 2.5

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I'm Back! Popover Pizza Casserole

Hi guys! It's been 4 years! A lot has happened, hence the time off. I certainly didn't imagine that it had been that long, though.

So, I've decided to bring it all back. Trying a little harder this time. And not doing it at holiday time! I'm going to revamp some things as I see them. If I can find them, I'm going to add nutritional information, and possible diabetic exchange information. This won't ONLY be diabetic cooking, but for the most part it will be. I will also try to do some experimentation to make things (especially baking) that are from regular recipes, and working with them to make them more diabetic friendly. We'll see how that works.

I am totally willing to take feedback, suggestions, ideas and things that you have tried that have worked. I'm hoping to do this all as inexpensively as possible, so those of you (and us) on limited budgets can work them out at home. If you think it's a good idea for me to do pricing on here, let me know that. Thanks for waiting! Shall we begin then?

This here, is next to the stove - it's my little buddy, who must be with me... at all times, while cooking. You can see a bit of his butt peeking out from underneath the white blanket on the left. :-) 

Last night, I made this Popover Pizza Casserole. I got the recipe from Diabetic Living Online - they have fantastic recipes. This turned out really good. I liked that I could add a lot of different vegetables (and probably more than I did). For this particular time, I followed the recipe pretty perfectly - just because I had never made it before. Next time, I'll try a few different things. The egg part really needed some flavor, so I may add some roasted garlic or garlic salt to it next time. I used Italian Seasoned Ground Turkey, instead of regular ground turkey. I also left out the fennel seeds (I do not like them).

A hint, if you haven't thought of it - get all your stuff cut up and measured before you start cooking. I couldn't believe how much easier and quicker it was.

Here is the recipe:

Popover Pizza Casserole
Makes 6 servings

1 1/4# ground turkey breast or extra lean ground beef
2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 1/.2 cups chopped yellow squash
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green sweet pepper
1 14-15 1/2 oz can (I used a jarred pasta sauce) of pizza sauce
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning, crushed
1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 cup fat free milk
1/2 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed, or 2 eggs
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup flour (you can substitute a 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup white flour)
1 cup shredded, reduced fat mozzarella cheese (4 oz) - I accidentally shredded too much, but I used it all
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In an oven-going large skillet, cook turkey, mushrooms, onions, squash and green pepper over medium heat until meat is brown and vegetables are tender, stirring to break up meat as it cooks.

Drain off fat.

Stir in pizza sauce, Italian seasoning and fennel into the meat mixture.

Bring to boiling, reduce heat. Simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread into an even layer.

Meanwhile, for popover topping: In a medium bowl, combine milk, eggs and oil.

Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed or whisk for one minute.

Add flour and beat or whisk about 1 minute more or until smooth.

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over meat mixture in skillet.

Pour popover topping evenly over mixture in skillet, covering completely. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Bake, uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until topping is puffed and golden brown. (Casserole may look a but gooey on top of the meat mixture from the melted cheese.)

Serve immediately.

Nutritional Facts:
Per serving: 327 calories,  7 g total fat (2 g sat),  58 mg chol., 611 mg sodium, 31 g carb (3 g fiber, 7 g sugars), 34 g protein

Diabetic exchanges:
Vegetables: 1, Lean Meat: 4, Starch: 1.5

If you try it, let me know what you think!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Tuscan Ravioli Stew

I got some new cookbooks right after the New Year started, and I spent 3 days going through them and marking what I would like to try. Then, I handed them off to the husband and told him to pick three-five meals he wanted to try and I would pick up the stuff for them when I went shopping. So he did. And all was well.

The first book we deicded to try (and remembered to take pictures of) is Our Best Diabetic Living Recipes. I picked this one up for several reasons: One, I have loved the recipes I've tried out of the magazine so much so far; Two, the other book I wanted was not available; and Three, the pictures were pretty. I made a very good decision. The first recipe we tried was this stew/soup. Now, I've never cooked or even eaten Broccoli Rabe (which I have also seen spelled raab), so I was a little unsure how it was going to taste or even how to cut it up. But this was by far, one of the best soup/stews that I have ever eaten, and it was easy to make. Another thing that we think helped, was freshly grated Asiago cheese. Instead of buying that prepackaged stuff, we went to New Seasons and got a big hunk of it and grated it ourselves. And then we started using it on everything. See what you think.

Totally worth every penny and the time and effort

Tuscan Ravioli Stew
makes 4 servings

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 large leek, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 14 1/2 oz. no-salt added stewed tomatoes, undrained*
1 14 oz. can beef broth**
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
5 cups coarsely chopped broccoli rabe or Swiss chard (about 6 oz)
1 9 oz. package refrigerated chicken or cheese filled ravioli***
1 Tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
Fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)****
1/4 cup finely shredded Asiago Cheese

1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add leek and garlic; cook about 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in undrained tomatoes, beef broth, the water, and if desired, crushed red pepper; bring to boiling.


2. Stir in broccoli Rabe, ravioli and rosemary. return to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes or until broccoli rabe and ravioli are tender. Ladle into shallow bowls. If desired, garnish with rosemary sprigs. Top individual servings with Asiago cheese.


*I used cut up stewed tomatoes, rather than whole stewed tomatoes
**Again, I used Better Than Bullion, it just has better flavor and you don't have to worry about waste
***We bought our fresh ravioli at New Seasons, but couldn't decide on a flavor, so we got Cheese, artichoke and olive; and chicken mushroom, I think. Both were fantastic. I highly suggest freshly made (like that day, if you can), it takes less time to cook, and the flavors are usually amazing.
****Fresh Rosemary tastes great. Problem is? I don't like sticks in my food. The dried spices are easy to grind down and still have that flavor, so that's what I do. But I don't need it as a garnish. All it is, is for looking anyway, so unless you're having the queen for dinner, I wouldn't worry about it.

How fabulous and tasty does this look to you?

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I am not a big fan of Swiss cheese. I only eat it in a few things - Reuben Sandwiches and this recipe. The husband seems to like it no matter what, but I just think it has the wrong taste for me. I am broadening my horizons with cheese, don't get me wrong, but as a girl raised on American cheese, this always tasted a little weird to me.

That said, I got this recipe from dLife. And it's really tasty. We use Black Forest Ham, and a fairly high quality (and sometimes, Guyere) Swiss. We have also finally been able to afford Foster Farms chicken, instead of the icky stuff (fatty, and veiny) that comes in a bulk bag. Things are starting to taste better! This is a fairly easy recipe to make, and we served it with lightly steamed broccoli. Fabulous dinner!

Chicken Cordon Bleu
(Makes 8 servings)

8 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (4 small)
2 oz sliced, smoked ham , cut in half
2 oz Cheese, Swiss, reduced fat, thin slice, cut in half
1 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp white all purpose flour
1 cooking spray
1/3 cup fresh chopped onion*
2 1/2 oz Soup, cream of chicken, condensed, canned (1/4 can)

 1. Flatten each piece of chicken to about 1/4-inch thickness by placing the chicken breasts in between 2 sheets of heavy duty plastic wrap and then using a meat mallet or rolling pin to flatten them out.

2. Next, place one-half slice each of ham and cheese in the center of each chicken breast half. Roll up lengthwise, and then secure with wooden toothpicks.

3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Dip each chicken roll in egg and then dredge in flour. Place the chicken rolls seam side down into a shallow casserole dish coated with cooking spray.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. While baking, combine the onion and soup, stirring well. After the first 20-minute baking period, pour the soup mixture over the chicken and then continue to bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the chicken is done.

*If you prefer, mushrooms may be substituted for the onion in this recipe.