Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cafe Mojo

Mat and I just got back from vacation today so we're ordering pizza tonight... YUM!

I'd like to introduce a restaurant that I've known for a few years now, Cafe Mojo.

Cafe Mojo is located in the small town of Urbanna, Virginia, home of the Urbanna Oyster fest and one of my best friends, Drew Hubbard. Drew introduced me to Mojo's during college and I've been hooked ever since. Serving a mostly seafood, and locally grown produce, makes for an amazing food experience.

Starting with the Fried Buffalo Oysters and Crab and Artichoke dip, continuing on with the salmon special served with mashed potatoes and sauteed greens, finishing up with one of the best desserts on the planet, Grilled Donuts topped with vanilla ice cream.

The grilled donuts are worth dreaming about, 2 Krispy Kreme Donuts caramelized on the grill topped with vanilla ice cream... it doesn't get much better than that.

Dinner ranges from $9 - $24.

My only "critique" of Cafe Mojo is that it's only open Thursday - Sunday, the only thing that would make it better would be to open all the time or a delivery to Kansas.

Cafe Mojo is worth the drive, a great place to meet for drinks with friends and an even better place to enjoy a well prepared and sophisticated meal.

Visit Cafe Mojo at
All photos were taken from The Local Accent and The Chesapeake Bay Life Magazine

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kitchen 64

This afternoon my mom took Mat and I out to a little place called
Kitchen 64 for lunch. I had seen this place before but never stopped in. It wasn't what I expected at all. For a place situated right at an exit ramp to 64 East on the Boulevard it was hip and dineresque.

The atmosphere was that of a mid-upscale diner, with a view of the kitchen at every seat. The one thing I noticed about the menu was that appetizers looked just as good as the meals.

Prices ranging from $6.50- $11.95 for lunch and $10.95-$22 for dinner.

I ordered the "Scott's Addition" a fancy version of a french dip that was HUGE and delicious. Wheat hoggie, thinly sliced prime rip, sauteed mushrooms and Swiss can't get much better than that. Mat had the Chili special and my mom had the Greek Nachos.

Overall I'd give Kitchen 64 a huge thumbs up, and I'd even consider calling The Food Network's Diner's, Drive-In's and Dives for this place!!

For more information visit:
All photos are from

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Black Bean and Corn Salad

Recipe made by:
My Mamma!



  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper


  • 1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup grilled fresh corn or 1 can corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup sweet red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

In a large bowl combine all salad ingredients. In a small bowl whisk together dressing ingredients. Pour over bean mixture and toss until all ingredients are coated. Refrigerate over night.

Notes & Tips:
This is an excellent quick side dish if you're ever in a hurry and need something yummy. You can also use this as a dip. If you'd like you can add into the salad, chopped red onion, chopped tomato and chopped jalapenos.

Really Good

Nutrition Facts:
6 servings
244 calories, 12.8g fat, 28g carbs, 8g protein

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Gammie's Delicious Bunt Cake

Recipe taken from:
My Gammie!

  • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 eggs, beat well
  • 1 can coconut pecan frosting
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Grease and flour bunt cake pan. Mix eggs, oil, water and cake mix. Stir in frosting and chopped nuts. Pour into pan and bake for 1 hour.

Notes & Tips:
If you'd like you can make a quick glaze to put on top of this, I don't normally do that since the cake has the icing mixed in. You can also dust on a little confectioner sugar if you'd like. I also keep the ingredients at almost all times since on a moments notice you could be expected to have a cake ready for company!


Nutrition facts:
Serves 12
506 Calories,28g Fat, 57g Carbs, 5g Protein

Buz & Ned's Barbecue

Sunday night Mat, Jennie, Erich, Stephen and I went to Buz and Ned's Barbecue. This is a Richmond staple. Located over on the Boulevard as you come down the hill to Broad Street.

One really neat thing about Buz and Ned's is that they beat Bobby Flay in his Food Challenge (YAY, since I'm not Flay's biggest fan).

Mat, Jennie, Erich and I all ordered the same thing, a single pork bbq combo. Nothing beats Buz & Ned's pork bbq. People in Kansas obviously wouldn't like the bbq because it's vinegar based, but really that's the way life should be. No sugar in my sauce... no sir. Barbecue was served with coleslaw on the side (again the way it should be), with baked beans and fries.

Buz & Ned's is an absolute must if you're visiting the Richmond area.

Atmosphere is pretty unique, you order inside then eat outside under a big party tent, thankfully there were heaters.

Visit Buz & Ned's website for more information:

Brio Tuscan Grill

Saturday night a big group of Mat's family gathered for supper at a place in Stoney Pointe Shopping Center called Brio Tuscan Grill. Tuscan is an upscale Italian restaurant built on the motto, "To eat well is to live well". Those who know me personally know that I would whole heartily agree with that statement.

Brio's atmosphere was fairly typical for that shopping district, dim lighting, soft music and lots of seating.

Brio is a national chain with most of it's restaurants concentrated in the south east.

At Brio I ordered a chopped salad with braised beef fettuccine. The pasta was a mix of braised pulled beef and marinated mushrooms. The chopped salad was wonderful as was the fettuccine. I thought that the prices were a little high, but overall the food was very good.

You can visit Brio's website at

Friday, February 19, 2010


This afternoon for lunch Mat's grandmother and two aunts, Sheila and Patsy took us out to a fabulous place to eat called Tango. It's in a section of Pennsylvania called Bryn Mawyr. Tango serves contemporary American cuisine, most of which
has an edge of flare built in.

I ordered the French Onion Soup and a Chicken Flatbread sandwich. Both things were equally delicious. The soup was created using a beef and veal stock and had about a half inch of cheese melted on top. (I ended up having the share the cheese with Mat, it was too much for me). The chicken flatbread wrap was just as great; avocado, grilled chicken, roasted red peppers and a cheese spread.

Tango's seating was cozy and intimate. The Bryn Mawr train passes by every 15-30 minutes adding to the old world charm. The service was impeccable, visiting the table just enough.

If you're ever in the Bryn Mawr area I highly recommend Tango if you're in the mood for a long lunch or an intimate dinner.

As far as price is concerned lunch ranged from $9-$21, dinner ranging from $14-$28. I'm not ashamed to pay a good price for good food and in my opinion this place is worth the price!

39 Morris Avenue - Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 tel. 610.526.9500
All photos taken from

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chicken Pomodoro

Recipe made by:
Claire Porter


  • 4 Chicken breasts, cubed
  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Vodka
  • 1/2 cup Chicken broth low sodium
  • 2 tablespoon Lemon juice fresh squeezed
  • 1/2 cup Tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoon Heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup Scallions minced
  • Your choice of pasta

Season breasts with salt & pepper, then dust with flour.
Saute in oil. Transfer to a platter; pour off fat from pan. Deglaze pan with vodka (away from flame) and cook until vodka is nearly gone.
Add broth and lemon juice. Return cutlets to pan and cook each side one minute. Transfer to warm plate.
Finish the sauce with tomatoes and cream. Heat through; pour over cutlets. Garnish with scallions. Serve over pasta

Notes & Tips:
Mat's aunt Claire made supper tonight. I have never heard of this recipe before, but I will def. be making it later. Very very yummy and seems super easy. Claire said the original recipe called for vodka, but she used white wine. Served with salad and bread.


Nutrition Facts:
Serves 4
290 calories, 9g fat, 33g carbs, 21g protein

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Simple Shrimp Creole

Recipe made by:
Beth Porter

  • 1 med. onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 sm. green pepper, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 crushed bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp. minced parsley
  • 1 lb. cleaned, cooked shrimp
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 rounded tbsp. flour

Cook and stir onion, green pepper, celery and garlic in butter until tender. Stir in flour and cook and stir one more minute. Mix tomato paste with water; add to onion mixture and stir until thickened. Add salt and red pepper. Simmer 30 minutes. Add shrimp when ready to serve. Serve over your favorite rice recipe.

Notes & Tips:
Since Mat and I are on vacation this week, the blog will be a little different. I will be doing the best I can to keep up with the different things we eat. Mat's aunt Beth made this tonight. Seems very simple and tasted great.

Pretty Good

Nutrition Facts:
Serves 4
330 Calories, 9g Fat, 35g Carbs, 27g Protein

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Perogies With Chicken and Tomatoes

  • 12 frozen perogies
  • 4 chicken breasts cut up
  • 1/2 can of beef consomme
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 can enchilada sauce
  • 2 shakes of Magi seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon of Mrs. Dash Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 can navy beans, drained
  • 1/2 can green beans, drained
  • 1 and 1/2 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 box Uncle Ben's sun dried tomato Florentine wild rice
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon COLD water


1. Prepare rice according to box instructions.
2. Boil 2 quarts of water in large pot, add perogies and boil for 5-7 minutes. Drain perogies and set aside.
3. In the large pot add beef consume, vegetable broth, enchilada sauce and chicken, bring to a boil, boil for 15-20 mins. Add Magi seasoning and Mrs. Dash, tomato paste, navy beans, tomatoes and green beans. Bring to low boil.
4. Simmer 5 minutes then add cornstarch mixture.
5. 5 minutes before serving add perogies. Serve over bed of rice. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Notes & Tips:

This is basically everything that I needed to get rid of before we go on vacation. This was pretty good though I have to admit. I love perogies and I thought this was an interesting way to serve them.

Pretty Good

Nutrition Facts:
Serves 4
795 Calories, 19g Fat, 79g Carbs, 79g Protein

Monday, February 15, 2010

Chicken Bruschetta Bake

Recipe taken from:
Kraft Foods

  • 1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
  • 1/2 cup water
  • cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Italian Seasoning Mix
  • 1 cup shredded cheese, mozzarella, cheddar, anything you'd like


Preheat Oven to 400 degrees.

In large bowl mix tomatoes, stove top, water and garlic. Cut up chicken and place in to a 9x13 pan in single layer. Sprinkle seasoning and 3/4 of the cheese on top of chicken. Top with stuffing mix. Bake uncovered for 30 mins. Remove from oven, sprinkle remaining cheese on top, return to oven for 5 mins.

Notes & Tips:

I didn't have 1 cup of just one cheese, so I mixed cheddar, mozzarella and Parmesan, which worked out well. Also, I used the reduced sodium Stove Top mix. I served this with green beans. This is one of my favorite recipes, it's comfort food for me.


Nutrition Facts:

435 Calories, 16g Fat, 36g Carbs, 36g Protein

Photo Credit:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Leftover Pot Roast Stroganoff

  • 6-10 ounces leftover pot roast, cubed
  • 1 - 2 cups leftover pot roast gravy
  • 1 can mushrooms, drained
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/2 cup beef consume or stock
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Italian Seasoning
  • 1 cup fettuccine or egg noodles
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch mixed with COLD water


Cube leftover pot roast and set aside. Boil fettuccine 12-13 mins. In a saute pan put the leftover roast gravy and turn on low-medium heat. Whisk in cream slowly being careful not to curdle the cream. Add salt, pepper, beef consume/stock and Mrs. Dash. Stir in mushrooms and pot roast chunks. Serve stroganoff over fettuccine.

Notes & Tips:

Looking for an idea to use up the rest of the pot roast I thought that because of the wine base from the pot roast gravy would make a great stroganoff. This certainly is not your normal super creamy stroganoff, the wine flavor from the gravy was the real shining star in this recipe.


Pretty good

Nutrition Facts:
Serves 2
Calories 310, Fat 19g, Carbs 15g, Protein 25g

Friday, February 12, 2010

Chocolate, Fig, and Almond Bites

Recipe taken from:
Runners World, March 2010


  • 3 1/2 ounces bittersweet dark chocolate, over 63% cocoa
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup hottest possible tap water
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 ounces dried figs, stems removed, finely chopped
  • 8 ounces almonds, chopped
  • about 30 mini muffin liners


In a small saucepan, combine the chocolate, honey and tap water. Heat the mixture over moderate heat just until the chocolate melts. Stir to combine. Remove from the heat. Stir in the zest, salt, cinnamon, figs and almonds. Arrange the paper liners side by side on a baking sheet or in a mini muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full. Refrigerate for at least 30 mins to firm up before serving. Makes about 30.

Notes & Tips:
Since Mat and I are going out for Valentine's day this evening, I thought I'd post a snack that I made for Mat this week. He found this recipe in Runner's World and thought it would be fun to try. I think the flavor of these were really good, but I was disappointed that they didn't "gel" completely. I thought they would be a little more like candy treats, but they were pretty gooey even after frozen.


Nutrition Facts:
Calories 47, Fat 2.5g, Carbs 5g, Protein 1g

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Roasted Shrimp with Peppers and Lemon

Recipe taken from:


  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 scallions, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • garlic salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound frozen large peeled and deveined shrimp, thawed
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Preparation:
    1.Heat oven to 450° F. Cook the rice according to the package directions.
    2.Meanwhile, in a large bowl, toss the bell pepper, lemon, thyme, scallions, crushed red pepper, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Spread on a rimmed baking sheet (reserving the bowl).
    3.Add the shrimp to the bowl and toss with the paprika, the remaining tablespoon of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Nestle the shrimp in the bell peppers on the baking sheet. Roast until the shrimp are cooked through and the bell peppers are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve over the rice

    Notes & Tips:
    YUM! Totally caught me off guard, I thought this might be good, but I never expected to be thinking about having seconds while I'm still eating the first helping. haha. I did serve this with couscous instead of rice, since we were hungry and couscous cooks faster.


    Nutrition Facts:
    4 Servings
    Calories 392, Fat 9g, Sat Fat 2g, Cholesterol 172mg, Sodium 534mg, Protein 28g, Carbohydrate 48g, Fiber 3g

    Photo Credit:

    Wednesday, February 10, 2010

    Beef Pot Roast

    • 1 cup port wine, or thick sweet red wine
    • 1 cup soy sauce
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 3 cloves chopped garlic
    • 1 teaspoon thyme (fresh or dried)
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
    • 3-5 pound trimmed beef roast
    • 4 stalks chopped celery
    • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces
    • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • Fresh thyme leaves (optional)

    Combine first 7 ingredients & pour over beef. Marinate 4-8 hours, turning once. Remove beef from marinade. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Brown roast on all sides, about 7 mins. Place beef, marinade and vegetables in large baking pan, cover and bake for 1- 1 1/2 hours. If desired, remove vegetables and beef from pan, leaving liquid. Put pan back on stove and boil. Mix a heaping tablespoon of corn starch mixed with a little COLD water. Pour into boiling liquid and boil about 1 min. stirring to make gravy.

    Garnish with thyme leaves, if desired.

    Notes & Tips:
    This is my sweet mother's recipe for beef tenderloin that I have adapted for pot roast. I did not let this marinate for nearly as long as I should have, (like 2 hours instead of 4-8), so the meat didn't get as tender as it could be. The meat that I used, I trimmed off almost all of the fat to save calories, I think that also effect the tenderness of it. I may stick to this recipe for marinating tenderloin instead of roast. I will say the gravy was amazing. Gravy is something that I've been struggling with for a long time, I think I'm coming very close to mastering it! YAY! So as a tip, if the meat is tough, slather it in gravy haha.

    Pretty good, the gravy was the best!

    Nutrition Facts:
    10 servings (serving size: 3 ounces roast, about 3/4 cup vegetables, and about 3 tablespoons cooking liquid)

    Calories:307 (31% from fat)
    Fat:10.4g (sat 3.5g,mono 4.8g,poly 0.5g)

    Photo Credit:

    Tuesday, February 9, 2010

    Spicy Pork Posole

    Recipe taken from:
    Self Magazine, Feb. 2010


    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 6 oz pork tenderloin, halved lengthwise
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
    • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
    • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 2 teaspoons chili powder
    • 3 cups canned hominy (about 3 cans, 15 oz each), drained
    • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1 small head green cabbage, cut into ribbons
    • 8 radishes, sliced
    • 1/2 medium avocado, sliced
    • 1 jalapeño chile, sliced

    Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Sprinkle tenderloin with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and cook until meat no longer sticks to pot, about 2 minutes. Turn and repeat on other side, then remove and slice into 1/4-inch strips.

    Add onion and garlic to pot; reduce heat to medium-low. Add remaining 1/4 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is transparent, 15 to 20 minutes; reduce heat as needed to keep from burning. During last minute of cooking, stir chili powder into onion mixture.

    Return meat to pot, along with hominy, broth and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.

    Add cabbage, cover and cook another 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Divide stew among 4 bowls; serve garnished with radishes, avocado and jalapeño.

    Notes & Tips:
    First, this is not that spicy, unless you the fresh jalapeño. I didn't use any in my bowl, I used almost a whole one in Mat's, he said it might have been a bit much for him. I did use a little bit of crushed red pepper in the broth though. Also, the recipe says it serves 4, they would be 4 VERY large it's probably more like serves 6. I was a little skeptacle at first because of how much hominy this recipe calls for, but I really liked it in the soup. It made the soup really filling. One last thing, I couldn't find the bay leaves so...I guess we ate them, oh well. I served this with wheat crackers.

    Very Good

    Nutrition Facts:
    Serves 4 (VERY BIG BOWLS)
    285 calories per serving, 10.2 g fat (1.9 g saturated), 35 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 14 g protein

    Photo Credit:

    Monday, February 8, 2010

    Quinoa Stir-Fry With Vegetables and Chicken

    Recipe taken from:
    Self Magazine, February 2010


    • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
    • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced
    • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
    • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
    • 1 clove garlic, sliced
    • 1 small red chile, chopped (optional)
    • 2 cups snow peas, trimmed
    • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    • 1 egg, beaten
    • 4 oz grilled chicken breast, chopped
    • 2 scallions, chopped
    • 1/2 cup cilantro
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

    Place quinoa in a small saucepan with 3/4 cup water and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook, undisturbed, until quinoa absorbs water, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff with a fork and leave uncovered.

    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook carrot, stirring occasionally, until it softens, about 1 minute. Add bell pepper, ginger, garlic and chile, if desired; cook, stirring frequently, about 2 minutes. Add peas, sprinkle with remaining 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute.

    Remove vegetables and return skillet to heat; add quinoa, along with egg. Cook, stirring constantly, until egg is evenly distributed, about 2 minutes. Add vegetables, chicken, scallions, cilantro and soy sauce; cook 1 minute more. Divide stir-fry among 4 bowls; serve warm.

    Notes & Tips:

    I couldn't find snow peas that looked good in the grocery store so I used broccoli florets. Also, I used sesame oil instead of olive oil. I loved how the quinoa tasted with the egg mixed in.


    Between Awesome and Pretty Good!

    Nutrition Facts:
    254 calories per serving, 7.8 g fat (1.1 g saturated), 30 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 17 g protein

    Photo Credit:

    Sunday, February 7, 2010

    Super Bowl Deer Chili


    1 lb ground deer meat
    1 yellow onion, diced
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 can whole tomatoes
    1/2 can green enchilada sauce
    1 can chopped green chilies
    1 can dark red kidney beans, drained
    1 can navy beans, drained
    2 tablespoons cumin powder
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 1/2 tablespoons rib rub
    1 teaspoon garlic powder
    1 or 2 splashes of Liquid Smoke

    Brown the meat with the onions. Sprinkle with salt and pepper while browning. When meat is no longer pink add both cans of tomatoes, enchilada sauce, green chilies and all spices. Let simmer for 20 mins. Add both drained cans of beans turn heat down to low and simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.

    Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, chips etc.

    Notes & Tips:

    Chili is such a personal thing, everyone likes it different. This is mine and Mat's favorite way to have chili. I have been saving my last pound of deer meat just for this occasion. You can adapt this to anything you'd like, really the mark of good chili (in my opinion anyway) is letting it simmer for over an hour.


    Nutrition Facts:
    Servings: 6
    Calories 134
    Total Fat 1.69g
    Total Carbohydrate 21.09g
    Dietary Fiber 4.49g

    Saturday, February 6, 2010

    Steak and a Mixed Greens Salad with Raspberry Vingerette

    Recipe for Salad from:
    Better Homes & Gardens
    8 grams or less low carb recipes

    2 steaks, cut of your choice
    1 cup "Whoop Ass Jalapeno Steak Sauce"

    3 cups mixed greens lettuce
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons cilantro
    Parmesan cheese


    Marinate the steak in steak sauce for 30 mins room temperature or 3 hours in refrigerator. Grill over charcoal 7 minutes on each side for medium rare. Serve with salad.

    Place salad greens in large salad bowl; set aside. For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine oil, vinegar and cilantro. Cover and shake well; drizzle over greens. Sprinkle with walnuts. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

    Notes & Tips:
    We used KC Strip steak, as you can see from the picture they were huge! I cut mine down to half so that I could have half of the leftover stuffed peppers from last night. You can marinate the steak in anything you'd like. We bought this sauce at a farmer's market in Arizona.

    Pretty good, the salad dressing is a little intense.

    Nutrition Facts:
    Steak serving size: 9oz
    500 calories, 19g fat, 2 carbs, 4g fiber

    Friday, February 5, 2010

    Quinoa-Stuffed Red Bell Peppers

    Recipe taken from:
    Shape Magazine October 2009

    2/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
    6 red bell peppers
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    3/4 cup diced carrots
    1/2 red onion, diced
    1 10-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
    1 15-ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 cup grated part-skim mozzarella

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Boil 1 1/3 cups water in a saucepan; add quinoa. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Keep covered; set aside. Remove pepper tops, stems, and seeds. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add peppers, boil for 5 minutes, and drain. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add carrots; cook for 3 minutes. Add onion; cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in spinach and beans. Remove from heat and mix in quinoa and chili powder. Fill peppers with quinoa mixture and place upright in a baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese. Add just enough water to form a very thin layer in the bottom of the dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until tops are lightly browned. Serve immediately.

    Notes & Tips:
    This is the second time I've tried this recipe. The first time I couldn't find quinoa in our grocery store, but I ended up finding it in the section with the gluten free brownie/cake mix and oatmeal...I don't know why since it's a grain/pasta thing. The first time I made this, I used couscous, I think if I was to make it again I'd use couscous. I think it tasted better. This time was good too, just drier. I also added magi seasoning to this, but you could use anything like soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce (or as I like to call it, worchhhh sauce).

    Also, I've decided to change the rating, since it's hard to put a letter "grade" on something when Mat is eating it, so now I'll just write what he comments on it.

    I served this with a salad.

    Pretty Good, I liked the other version better though.

    Nutrition Facts:
    (1 pepper): 237 calories, 6 g fat (23% of calories), 2 g saturated fat, 35 g carbs, 12 g protein, 10 g fiber, 171 mg calcium, 3 mg iron, 260 mg sodium

    Photo Credit:

    Thursday, February 4, 2010

    Honey-Soy Glazed Salmon with Spinach and Peppers

    Recipe taken from:
    Real Simple, February 2010

    1 tablespoon honey
    3 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
    1 skinless salmon fillet (1 1/4-pound piece), cut into 4 pieces
    kosher salt and black pepper
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
    3 bunches spinach, thick stems removed (about 12 cups)
    1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

    1.Heat broiler. In a small bowl, combine the honey and 1 teaspoon of the soy sauce.
    2.Place the salmon on a foil-lined broiler-proof baking sheet and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Broil for 5 minutes. Spoon the honey mixture over the salmon and broil until the salmon is opaque throughout, 2 to 5 minutes more.
    3.Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bell pepper and cook, tossing occasionally, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes; stir in the ginger.
    4.Add the spinach and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, tossing, until just wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of soy sauce. Serve with the salmon and sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

    Notes & Tips:
    I accidently forgot to broil the first first then put the glaze on it, I put the glaze on before I put it into broil. About halfway through the time, I pulled the fish out and spooned the glaze that had pooled around the bottom back on the top. We really loved the spinach and peppers, the salmon was good but nothing special.


    Nutrition Facts:
    Calories 321, Protein 36g, Carbohydrate 10g, Sugar 6g, Fiber 3g, Fat 15g, Sat Fat 2g, Calcium 119mg, Iron 4mg, Sodium 725mg, Cholesterol 90mg

    Photo Credit:

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

    Recipe inspired by:
    South Beach Living Cookbook
    Souffle Stuffed Chicken


    1 package TGI Friday's Frozen Spinach Artichoke Dip, not thawed
    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to ¼-inch thickness
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, sliced
    1 cup chicken broth
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
    Ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish
    Slices of lemon, for garnish


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Cut spinach artichoke dip crosswise into 4 equal pieces. Top half of each whole chicken breast with one of the pieces of frozen dip. Fold the other half of the chicken breast over the filling and fasten the edges with wooden toothpicks.

    Step 3: Place garlic and oil in a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until garlic is golden (being careful to not burn it). Discard the garlic. Add the chicken breasts to the skillet and cook until browned on both sides.

    Remove chicken breasts to an oven-safe dish. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest portion registers 170 degrees and the juices run clear.

    While the chicken is baking, add the broth, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper to the large skillet. Heat to boiling. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced in half.

    To serve, remove and discard wooden toothpicks. Arrange chicken on warm serving platter and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Garnish with the chopped parsley and lemon slices.

    Notes & Tips:

    The original recipe called for Stouffers Frozen Spinach Souffle, but since our local grocery store doesn't have that (at least I couldn't find it), I changed it to the spinach artichoke dip. I was pleasantly surprised that it only had 35 calories in 2tbls. YAY, because it is yummy. I served this with wild rice. I have to admit...this chicken is pretty addictive, I've already had seconds.


    Nutrition Facts:
    Cal: 308 Fat: 15g Pro: 32 Carb: 9

    Monday, February 1, 2010


    I wasn't able to be home this evening to cook dinner due to a meeting, so I thought I'd highlight one of mine and Mat's favorite side dishes, couscous.

    Couscous is a fantastic, versatile pasta, made of tiny grains of dough that are steamed. It originates from Morocco and northern Algeria, and is a staple throughout North Africa. It can be served many ways, as a breakfast cereal, dressed in a salad, or sweetened for a dessert. But in it's most common use, it accompanies a stew or savory sauce, much as rice does in other cultures. Most couscous is made of wheat flour, but there are varieties made of barley, corn, and even ground acorn meal

    I serve couscous almost always in place of rice. It is especially good with fish. The grocery store sells a few different varieties of couscous, original, pine nut, garlic, and Parmesan. Mostly we use the original version. I have mixed in many things but one of my favorites is canned chopped mushrooms.

    Couscous is low in fat and calories so it is an ideal carbohydrate side dish.

    One of it's best features is that it is extremely easy to cook. Each box lists a short set of instructions for a few different servings sizes. Normally I make 2 servings.

    Preparation for 2 servings begins with bringing 1 cup of chicken broth or water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil, when melted add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add 2/3 cup of dry couscous. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with fork.

    Photo credit:

    Manhattan Clam Chowder

    Recipe inspired by:
    The South Beach Diet Cookbook
    Menu of Joe's Stone Crab


    • 1/2 tablespoon bacon fat or cooking oil
    • 1/2 cup ham
    • 2/3 cup potatoes, chopped
    • 1/3 cup onion, chopped
    • 2/3 cup carrot, chopped
    • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
    • 12 oz. chopped clams
    • 1/2 cup clam juice
    • 1 1/4 canned diced tomatoes with juice
    • 3 teaspoons tomato paste
    • 2 teaspoons ketchup
    • 2 teaspoons Magi seasoning
    • 1/2 teaspoon Mrs. Dash original seasoning
    • 2 tablespoons corn starch
    • 2 tablespoons cold water
    • 1 red bell pepper , chopped
    • salt
    • pepper


    Heat oil in dutch oven or large pot. Add the potatoes and ham, also, add about 2 tablespoons of water, cook potatoes until halfway done. Add the onion, carrot, celery, clams, clam juice, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, ketchup, Magi seasoning, and Mrs. Dash. Allow to cook uncovered for 20 minutes on simmer.

    In a cup, mix the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons cold water to make a paste. Add to the soup. All 5 minutes to cook. Add the red peppers and cook for a few more minutes.

    Add salt and pepper to taste.

    Notes & Tips

    The original recipe calls for browning salt pork in a kettle or pot, I chose not to use salt pork, instead I used just a little bit of leftover bacon fat and ham. If I had to change this recipe I would add more seafood and change it from a clam chowder to a seafood chowder. I served this with whole wheat crackers.



    Nutrition Facts:

    Makes 3 servings
    214 calories, 1g fat, 18g protein, 36 carbohydrates, 6g fiber