Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Fall is in the air...

Beef Stew
Recipe is my own

Today was the kids first day back at school and although it was in the 90's today it felt like fall was around the corner. So I decided it was the perfect day to make beef stew. It also didn't help that the rotisserie chicken I bought yesterday to use in recipes this week had a fly in the container and dead stuck to the chicken. AWESOME!  So beef stew it was! I also made it in the crock pot so that it wouldn't heat up the house on this hot day. 

1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 lb of stew beef
1/2 of an 8oz container of sliced mushrooms
2 pieces of celery chopped
3 medium potatoes diced
1 medium onion diced
5 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 large leek (diced)
1/2 bag of baby carrots chopped
1 cup red wine
1 cup veggie broth or water
3 tablespoons of flour and 1/4 cup red wine
 I like to cut the beef up into bite sized pieces.
 Add oil to a pan and get it hot. Add beef to the oil and brown well.
 Chop garlic and add to the crock pot.
 Dice the onion and add to the crockpot
 Once the meat browns add it to the crockpot

Chop celery and add to the crockpot
Chop the carrots and add to the crockpot
 add 1/2 the container of mushrooms (i chopped them a little bit)
 Chop 1/2 the leek and add to the crockpot
 Cut the potato into bite sized pieces
Give everything a stir and add in the broth or water.
Next add in the wine. Allow to cook for 8 to 10 hours on low.
5 minutes before serving mix the 3 Tablespoons of flour with the 1/3 cup of wine and mix well so the flour doesn't clump. Add it to the beef stew and mix it well. Add in some salt and pepper for taste and let it sit for 5 minutes. 
 So how does Beef Stew fit into the 21 day fix?

1 Red for meat, 1 yellow for potatoes, 1 green for carrots, onions, leeks, and mushrooms (its probably not quite a full green) and I also counted it as 1 orange (because of the sauce, when things have a sauce to them, I sometimes think of them like a dressing. This could be completely off, but sometimes you have to take a guess at it) I also would count it as 1 teaspoon because of the olive oil in it.

1 Red, 1 Yellow, 1 Green, 1 Orange, 1 Teaspoon

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Burrito Bowls

Burrito Bowls
Recipe courtesy of Melissa d'Arabian photos are my own. 

This recipe is so good that I made it two weeks in a row. Once for our family and once when friends came for dinner. This is so easy because you throw it in a crock pot, make your pico de gallo and you cook your rice and then set out toppings. My kids love this as well because then they can build their bowls with what they want. So what do you need? 

For the crock pot pork
1 boston butt roast - around 2 lbs. 
1/2 tsp Oregano
1 tsp cumin
salt and pepper
1 medium onion chopped
1 jalapeno diced (the seeds and white ribs inside of the jalapeno are where the spiciness comes from, so if you want flavor and very little spice just remove them, or add a little for a bit of spice) 
1 medium orange, cut in half. 
olive oil
5 cloves of garlic (cut in half) 

For the Pico de Gallo
2 medium tomatoes
1 jalapeno (again remove as much spiciness as you want) 
1 small onion
1/3 cup cilantro
1 avocado
1 lime
olive oil
pinch of sugar

For the Rice
1 cup brown rice cooked in a rice cooker or on the stove (cook 1 cup of rice for 4 people) 
1/3 cup cilantro
1 can of black beans rinsed 

green onioins
plain greek yogurt in place of sour cream
cheddar or montery jack cheese
lime slices if wanted

The first thing you want to do is get your pork into the crock pot. Rub 1 teaspoon of olive oil on all sides of the boston butt. Next use 1/2 tsp of oregano and 1 tsp of cumin and rub into the meat on all sides. Lightly salt and pepper and place into the crock pot. 
Next you are going to chop the onion, jalapeno and garlic and place them over the meat. 
Slice the orange and squeeze the juice over everything. Throw the pieces of orange into the crock pot, put the lid on it and let it cook on low for 8-10 hours. If on high cook 4-6 hours depending on the size of the meat. Your house is going to smell SO GOOD!
About 1 hour before you are ready to eat, you can get your rice cooking (I used a rice cooker) 
Then you will want to make your Pico de Gallo- 
finely dice your onion and place into a bowl. 
next slice your tomatoes and remove the seeds, then dice the tomato and place into the bowl
Dice the jalapeno as well and add to the bowl. Add a pinch of sugar (it helps bring out the sweetness of the tomatoes) and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. 
Dice the avocado and add it to the rest of the mixture in the bowl. 
Add in the cilantro and then squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lime over it and give it all a good mix. Put it in the fridge until ready to eat. 
Once the meat is done it is going to pull apart really easily. Put it onto a plate, leaving the juice and shred it with a fork so it is all broken apart. 
 Place 1 Tablespoon of oil into a pan and let it get hot. Medium high is a good temperature.
 Add the shredded meat to the pan and spread it out. You are not going to stir it. You want it to get nice and crispy brown on one side. 
 You can see here how it is nice and crisp on one side. This is typically called carnitas.
 Once it is nice and crispy, you are ready to start building your burrito bowl. 
Add cilantro into your rice (you can also add in the black beans if you want to) 

Now lets build our bowl. 
 Place 1 yellow container of rice and beans into a bowl. 
 Add 1 blue container of cheese
 Fill 1 green container with Pico de Gallo and put half of it over the cheese. 
 Top with 1 red container of meat
 add the rest of the green container of pico de gallo then top with a spoonful of greek yogurt. 
This meal is really filling, and seriously DELICIOUS!!
 So what containers do you count this as:

 1 Yellow,1 Blue, 1 Green, 1 Red  1 Tsp

Sauteed White Beans

Sauteed White Beans
Recipe courtesy of Melissa d'Arabian food network.com

This recipe is a great side dish by itself. If you are in need of an inexpensive side that is quick and easy to make, this is a great one. One of my sons asked for an extra helping of beans when we had this. 

Sauteed White Beans:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (I only used 1)
1/2 white or yellow onion, finely chopped
Kosher salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 cups cooked navy beans
2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried)
Freshly ground black pepper

In a small pan, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot add the onion with a pinch of salt and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Raise the heat and add the white wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half. Stir in the beans and oregano and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook gently for 15 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

Summer Fish Tostadas

 Summer Fish Tostadas
Recipe courtesy of Melissa d'Arabian and cooking light fresh food fast cookbook. 

This recipe was delicious. Full of wonderful flavor and perfect for a summer dinner. It was however, a little messy to eat. There are a few components to this recipe. 1. The pineapple salsa 2. The white beans simmered in wine, and 3. The fish and toppings. So I will break it down by each item and then it will all come together at the end. I made the beans first, then got the fish in the marinade, made the salsa and got the pineapple ready for the side, and then cooked the fish. It sounds complicated, but its not I promise. 

1. Fresh pineapple
2. White wine (about 1 cup) 
3. 1 can of white beans (cannelloni or great northern are good options) 
4.  1 Tablespoon Oregano (fresh is best) or 1 teaspoon of dried
5. Honey (1 tablespoon)
6. 1 tsp Cumin 
7. Olive Oil
8. Pepper
9. Curry
10. 1 Tablespoon butter
11. 1 lime
12. 1 jalapeno (optional)
13. Salt
14. Tortillas (I used white corn tortillas- the small 6" ones) 
15. Garlic
16. red onion
17. Avocado
18. Plain Greek Yogurt
19. White fish (cod, talapia, sea bass etc) I used cod
20. 1 onion diced

 1. To start the beans put about 2 teaspoons of olive oil into a pan and let it get hot. (medium heat.) Add in your diced onion and let it slowly cook down. The onion will become soft and a bit translucent.
 Feel free to start the marinade or salsa at this point while the onions are cooking down,( it takes a little while)
 2. Once the onions are cooked down, add in 2 cloves of pressed garlic or finely diced. Also add in about 1 teaspoon of cumin. Give it a good stir, so the onions get coated in the cumin. Cook for about 2 minutes.

 3. Add in the wine and turn the heat down a bit. This is going to simmer until the onions and wine become a bit thick and the wine seems to be soaked up into the mixture. 

4. Add in your beans and oregano and mix it all together. Let it simmer on low for a while. Just make sure they don't burn.  

 5. Making the Marinade for the fish: start by using the zest of the lime, then add in the juice of the whole lime. Add in 3 cloves of pressed garlic, salt, pepper, and then olive oil. You will use 1 tablespoon of olive oil. 
. 6. Wisk everything together and let it sit while you get the fish ready. 
 7. Get your fish out and cut it into bite sized chunks. You don't want them too big, but not too small either.
 8. Place the fish into a dish and pour the marinade over the fish. Use your hands to mix it around and really coat the fish in the marinade. You can let this sit up to 30 minutes. Don't let it sit longer or the acid in the lime will start to cook the fish and you will end up with ceviche. (Ceviche, for those who don't know is fish that is cooked using the acid from lemons or limes) 

In a medium bowl add 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice with the lime juice, honey, oil and jalapeno if you decide to use it. Season with salt and pepper. Add pineapple and onion. Gently stir in the avocado and cilantro. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes before serving. 

Place fish onto a baking sheet but make sure you let the marinade drip off of it before placing it on the sheet. If you don't your fish will steam instead of getting slightly crispy. Broil the fish for 5 minutes. 
Traditionally tostada shells are fried. I went for a healthier option and sprayed them with cooking spray before putting them into a hot pan to crisp up on each side. 

To assemble to tostadas you will use 2 shells, top with 1 yellow of beans (split between the two) and then top with 1 red of  fish. 
Top the fish with a little shredded cabbage, (usually you would use red, but I forgot to get it at the store) 
Top each one with a spoonful of pineapple salsa and serve with a side of Curried Pineapple. 

What containers will this count as: 
2 yellows for the tostada shells and beans, 1 red for the fish, and 1 blue for the pineapple/avocado salsa. It is not enough to count it as a purple. If you serve it with the side of curry pineapple, then it would count as 1 purple. 

2 Yellow, 1 Red, 1 Blue, 1 teaspoon  and 1 Purple with the side