Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving menu 2007

I am cooking my very first whole turkey this Thursday, and I am waiting patiently (not!) with eager anticipation. Nathan and I have decided to break away from the family scene this year and have Thanksgiving dinner with just the two of us. We are planning some major leftovers to justify purchasing an 18 lb. bird for only 2 people! (You can see last year's Thanksgiving menu here!)

On the menu this year:

Deviled Eggs
Baked Artichoke Flowers (made with wonton wrappers)

Roasted Turkey with gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Homemade Stuffing
Steamed Broccoli and Baby Carrots
Individual Green Bean Casseroles
Cranberry Fruit Conserve
9-grain rolls

Pumpkin-Ginger Cheesecake Pie with fresh whipped cream

Note to self: pick up a new meat thermometer before Thursday.

Tell me your Thanksgiving menu!!! (Or post a link in the comments so I can check you out!)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

SPICY Noodles with Veggies (out in the open!)

Thanks to Nathan, I love Korean food and all things spicy! He's half Korean, and when we started dating he brought me to a Korean restaraunt, opening up a whole new world of sights and tastes.

I rarely dabble into Korean food at home because it is just not the same, unfortunately. However, I've been holding onto this recipe because I thought it might have some potential...and I was right! It was simple to make, the ingredients were easy to find (with an easy substitution if you don't want to go to an Asian food store) and the meal was really, really tasty. But, he forewarned - it was HOT! Grab a glass of milk, a side of kimchee, some chop sticks and enjoy Korea, without the plane ride and language barrier.


1/3 cup water
1/3 cup soy sauce
3 tsp
gochujang* 1 tbsp brown sugar
1 lb dried spaghetti (or soba noodles, if you want to keep it truly authentic)
10 oz. of sliced mushrooms - I prefer shiitake for the visual
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrot
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted until browned

3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp garlic, finely minced
1 inch of fresh ginger, finely minced

In a small bowl combine water, soy sauce, brown sugar and gochujang together until sugar dissolves and set aside. Prepare pasta as directed.

While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet until hot. Take off direct heat, and add ginger and garlic. (If you keep your ginger in the freezer, like me - be prepared for some "spitting" when the residual water hits the oil!) Return to the heat and immediately follow with the sliced mushrooms, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mushrooms take on a darker brown color, approximately 6 minutes. Add cabbage, carrot and green onion, and saute until veggies become crisp tender. Add sauce and mix thoroughly, until heated through.

Add your noodles to the vegetable mixture and toss to combine. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds for a garnish. Serve immediately.

*Gochujang, a Korean spicy bean paste, is readily available in most supermarkets in the international food aisle. If you can't find it there - check out your local Asian Food Market. It retails between $4.00 - $5.00. You can substitute 3/4 teaspoon Chinese chile paste and reduce the amount of soy sauce to 1/4 cup.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

C & C Chicken

In pouring over various cookbooks and websites, I'm finding that one of the quickest and healthiest ways to add color and flavor to your food is to top it with a homemade salsa. To me, there is nothing better than fresh vegetables and fruits. Salsa is perfect because you are only limited by your own imagination, and what you have in your kitchen. I made mine with the slightest pinch of salt and maybe a tsp of olive oil to bind it all together. I'm totally eating the leftovers for lunch in a lettuce wrap!


...for the chicken:
4 slightly pounded boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp ground corriander
1 tbsp olive oil

...for the salsa:
1 ripe mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup corn (if using frozen, thawed)
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 large shallot, finely diced
1/4 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro (or parsley, if you do not like cilantro)
2 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Place cornmeal and corriander in a large plate and mix with fingertips. Dredge each chicken breast into the mixture until coated.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken approximately 7 minutes on each side, until completely cooked through, and the crust turns a nice golden brown.

Meanwhile, mix together all salsa ingredients - tasting before adding salt for seasoning.

Serve by spooning the salsa over the chicken!

This meal took about 15 minutes to put together, start to finish - so it is the perfect "on the go" dinner. I also whipped up a batch of polenta made the cornmeal, chicken stock and milk (instead of cream and butter). No salt. And you know what?! It totally didn't even need it - - the salsa was the perfect compliment without being overpowering.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Times are a ch-ch-changin'

The past couple of times that I have gone to my doctor, my blood pressure has been high. Since I was either sick or in pain (or both), they didn't worry too much - but I was asked to return for a quick blood pressure check when I was feeling better. Last week, I did.

And the results were not pretty.

No more Creamy Beef more Mac and more Baby Back Ribs! No more of my absolute favorites!!! Whaaaaaaa! It really is hell on earth right now, but I have to keep reminding myself that it is time to take care of me.

This weekend marked the beginning of a newer, healthier Kat. I'm ready to give this low sodium/low fat/lower carb thing a try. I have to.