Hot Dog Hash & A Fried Egg – Oh My Goodness!

Every once in a while, we completely throw all of our improving diet cautions to the wind and just decide to live a little. I also have a secret admission to share: I absolutely¬†love breakfast foods. I have been known in the past to go into phases where I ate some form of breakfast for each meal. I know, terrible habits that we really are working on changing. We don’t really believe in the theory of “I’m never eating those foods again” approach, we practice the idea of an overall healthier diet with lots of vegetables, healthier fat options and fruit; but that you can still occasionally have those meals that aren’t the best – but with moderation. We should all be more cautious of the amount and makeup of what we are putting in our bodies constantly, but don’t be afraid to splurge every now and then. ūüôā While doing one of my recipe search sessions, I came across one of my favorite Iron Chef winners, Michael Symon, and could not have been more excited for his¬†Hot Dog Hash¬†recipe! I love hot dogs (especially Nathan’s brand – they are great hot dogs no matter how you make them) and everyone in the entire house go crazy for any type of a hash. To also be able to make a homemade version just kind of sounded fun! The prep was not any big deal at all, just a little chopping and slicing. We followed the recipe but added a bit more hot dog (2 additional) as our potatoes were a little bigger than medium sized. Easy fix by adding a bit more meat and onion – but this did extend the cooking time a little bit. I really didn’t mind at all, the entire time we were making it I was whisked back to my grandma cooking fried ‘taters n onions’ on weekend mornings when I was a child. This is one of those smells that just conjure up happiness and warm memories for me. I added a couple of drops of Tabasco at serving, and hubby chose his go to sriracha red rooster sauce. We added a whole grain piece of toast to mop up any leftovers, and got quite a treat with the mango and banana slices with cinnamon. Has anyone else tried this one? I know for sure this will be a quick and cost effective breakfast dish every now and then – and I’m about 95% sure the kiddos will love it as...

Chicken Calypso With Island Peas And Rice

As I am sure you can tell from all of the different chicken dishes we have, we¬†have to keep finding new ways to dress up everyday chicken entrees. I came across this recipe and decided we had to try it. I actually looked up mediterranean cuisine to see exactly what defines ‘mediterranean’ and found that it is really a type of food that is influenced by the many different regions and cultures around the area. Thorough our adventures in cooking we have found that we actually love all of the different styles; the curries, the fruits and vegetables — so much deliciousness! The¬†Chicken Calypso with Island Peas and Rice¬†from the Publix Aprons series did not disappoint in any way. ¬†We stuck right to the recipe with only a single deviation. We could not find the ‘Complete Seasoning’ listed in the ingredients, but found ‘All Purpose Seasoning’ – it turned out amazing. Seems to be your basic salt, pepper, garlic and other spices. We fed the three of us adults and had a small serving leftover of the chicken and a lot of the rice. We decided the next time we make this, we are going to double the chicken portion so everyone could have some the next day or to ensure enough to serve the kiddos too. I will say that the rice tasted even better on day two and would probably go well as a side with many different main dishes. We stuck with the raisins option and really felt like it added some sweetness and moisture to the rice. This meal was super easy and not really time consuming at all. We finished off the meal with some mango slices sprinkled with...

Michael Symon’s Pork Saltimbocca

I usually try to watch the ABC show The Chew in the afternoons, and am totally guilty of recording it on the DVR when I am too busy to watch on time. One of my most favorite days of the week is Friday where they do the Extra Value Friday, specifically I LOVE the Michael Symon 5 in 5 section! Anytime I can create a delicious and pleasing meal in 5 minutes, give or take, with 5 ingredients and under 5 bucks — seriously this, to me, is a no-brainer! Michael Symon’s¬†Pork Saltimbocca¬†totally fit the bill of delicious, quick and cheap! So, I actually kept the episode on the DVR so I could show my hubby – it literally had me drooling while I watched it and left me marveling at the simplicity and ease. Hubby thought the exact same thing and we made it that night. (Any other fellow Chew watchers realize now, how far behind I am on my blogging!) Off to the store he runs and the only change we made to the recipe at all, was we got a loin chop and pounded it out instead of the tenderloin. By just doing the pounding ourselves (the meat department was rather busy during the shopping trip), it did add about 10 minutes to the total prep time, but was no sweat. One of the things we love about trying all of these new recipes, is that we are learning new things every time; we may use the true tenderloin this time, but honestly, the loin chop was no less delectable and tender. We also decided to stick with the prosciutto listed in the recipe, during the show he indicated any type of ham or bacon type meat would work. I will let you in on a secret though, if you have never tried ‘fried’ prosciutto, splurge and give it a try. It is a true embodiment of what a ‘bacon’ could and should be! The arugula and the sauce that it was in was something out of a restaurant. Never would I have thought to wilt it a little and then add the fresh and crunchy leaves on top. It was such a nice pairing of the saucy, warm cooked with the green and fresh arugula. Winner! I went totally processed boxed potatoes au gratin for the side as we have been exhausted and crunched on funds and time with the hustle, bustle and chaos that seems to be what the holidays have become ’round here. Next year, I vow that we will slow down and just spend a LOT more time reflecting and spending less chaotic family...

Chicken And Mushrooms With Asparagus & Herbed Basmati Rice

While we are slowly but surely changing our eating habits as whole lifestyle change, I don’t necessarily go out looking for specifically ‘diet’ recipes. When I picked the main dish recipe I noticed the name, but figured it would be pretty good when I looked over the ingredient list. So we decided the¬†Dukan Diet Chicken and Mushrooms with Asparagus¬†was something we were game to try. The only substitutions that we made were due to the fact that we couldn’t find button mushrooms; so we made do with the regular white mushrooms quartered. Once all of the chopping was done (and there is a fair amount of chopping) it comes together super easy. We were a little concerned there was no ‘sauce’ other than the melded drippings created when you cook the mushrooms – it was perfect! It wasn’t greasy or bland and the tastes really came together in a comforting way that made our mouths smile! We couldn’t quelch the desire to put this yummy little concoction along with a bed of rice (no surprise here, I seem to be on an infinite rice craving). This time I chose an¬†Herbed Basmati Rice¬†and it was a nice blend of herbs to complete the dinner into a meal that overall wasn’t at all hard to make and was completely satisfying. I started out with the chicken mixture and rice separate, but found when I mixed them together it was an amazing...

Coconut Shrimp With An Unsweetened Coconut Rice

I seem to be on a quest to find the very best coconut rice ever! You will notice from all of the different ones I have blogged about, that I am¬†still apparently on the hunt. Let’s be honest, I just simply LOVE coconut. On meat, in sides, cookies, cakes…hehe, what else could I possibly do with it? I may have just begun another ‘journey’ – sounds like fun… So let’s get to the meal! We started on the Coconut Shrimp¬†as it¬†does require that 30 min. refrigeration time before cooking. Start a little early so that you can lower the temperature of the shrimp. (We also left just one with the batter only – minus coconut – so that we could taste the batter all by itself. The result, it is a pretty decent fry batter – it is tasty and crispy, but really light. May definitely try this on some fish or for a chinese style dish in the future!) At this point we started the rice which I’ll get to in a minute, but for the finish on the shrimp it was really great how quickly they really cook. And my best advice, when they are beginning to brown pull them! That light brown color may look undercooked, but bear in mind that it will continue to cook to perfection after you pull it out of the oil. You don’t want to end up with overcooked batter or overly chewy shrimp. Awesome! We cannot express what an amazing version of coconut shrimp this turned out to be! ¬†Next time I’m thinking I may thinly slice some green onion to top it very lightly! We choose a sweet chili sauce for dipping, but they were good without as well! The Coconut Rice¬†is another Thai version of what is typically a sweet and sticky side. Looking over the recipe, the biggest thing I noticed as the lack of the usual sweeteners – the sugar specifically, and I won’t lie, I was a little nervous as to whether it was going to pass the taste test for everyone. Hubby also mentioned he was scared of this new unsweetened version, but we all came away very impressed with both the flavor and more importantly, the texture of this recipe. The unsweetened coconut lightly throughout the cooked rice was a new and pretty girthy add to the texture – and without all the sugar, the rice was not nearly as sticky as some of the previous versions. The¬†BEST part was the toasted coconut ¬†on top! The recipe indicates it is optional – I’m going to say it, just do it! It doesn’t take long at all and it adds so much nuttiness and texture to the rice that I cannot possibly imagine it without. With our mango (I totally cheated, I used the stuff from the jar–it is quick and easy and we still get fruit (even though it¬†could be better if we got it ripe and in season whenever we wanted to eat it), but this time instead of just some pure cinnamon on top, I decided to use the spice mix that is used in the Honey Spiced Butter. Bingo! It was so much more spiced and sweet and just an explosion of taste this time around. Note: I used¬†very, very little just sprinkled over the top for a persuasion of spice. I feel like this is one of those mixes that can go from perfect to tears with just the smallest amount too much! This dinner turned out so incredibly filling and light and the taste while really subtle, was such an amazing dinner! We all gave it two thumbs...

Carne Bistec & Quinoa Salad With Artichokes And Parsley

Last night was one of those no motivation type nights, but I decided I had better get back to my weekly menus! I really wanted to make something unlike anything we’ve made before – but it had to be exploding with flavor; so I mustered up my will power and got the shopping done ūüôā That really felt like a major task yesterday, but the effort really paid off with a flavor intensive dinner that filled us up and made us happy ūüôā So I’m really not the most efficient person when it comes to chopping – especially when it took so much for me to motivate to begin with. I will say the prep took me a fair amount of chopping and slicing so I did that all ahead of time so that when I was ready to get going it was ready. I started cooking the Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley first because it overall took more time. This was a first for us! None of us has ever tried quinoa, I figured it would be difficult to prepare or maybe a little more costly and to my delight I was wrong on both accounts! I have to say, we¬†loved it!! I used the sweet onion option and put in just under a cup of parsley. The flavor was so intense and again I remember why I love lemon and artichoke hearts – the two flavors seem to be meant to be – YUM! Once everything was prepped, the cooking was no sweat. We were a little concerned there would not be enough salt (with the light sodium/fat free broth & only a 1/4 teaspoon), but when we got to eat it, we didn’t even notice it was missing! The Carne Bistec¬†(Colombian Steak with Onions and Tomatoes) looked amazing and we really appreciate the taste of latin foods. We use a lot of cumin in our recipes too, but find that we really love the flavor and the versatility of the spice. And I did substitute New York Strip steak for the Sirloin tips just because of the cost of the tips this week. It was really a simple and flavorful steak dish and we opted on the low carb option and put the sunny side up egg on the top. I really like the “to taste” instructions for the spices in this dish, that way you can go as intense or light as you want. We went fairly light so the steak would have a subtle flavor to compliment the intense flavors in the quinoa side. We rounded out the meal with a little fresh cut pineapple and overall it was filling but not too heavy. Well worth the effort and so pleased with the...