Archive for March, 2010


Gorgonzola Steaks

March 30, 2010

This recipe goes along with the last post, roasted tomato and garlic penne from Rachael Ray.  It’s a great one for date nights or a dinner when you want to treat yourself!  I made a few changes to limit what fresh herbs you need to gather, but it definitely still delicious!

You will need…

  • 4 tenderloin steaks, about 1 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 scallions, whites and greens chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c gorgonzola, crumbled
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t rosemary, chopped

Then you…

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Pat the steaks dry and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Brown the steaks on each side, about 1 and half minutes each side.
  5. Toss the scallions, garlic, gorgonzola, thyme and rosemary together.
  6. Top the steaks with the cheese mixture.
  7. Transfer the skillet to the oven.  Bake for another 5 minutes or so until the cheese starts melting.

Roasted Tomato Penne

March 28, 2010

This is another Rachael Ray-inspired posting.  What I like about this pasta is the roasted garlic and tomato sauce plus all the greens tossed in.  It’s almost like combining a salad and noodles.  Yumm.

You will need:

  • 1 lb whole wheat penne
  • 8-10 cloves garlic, cracked but left in their skins
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes
  • 4 T olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 c fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 c baby arugula, roughly chopped
  • 1 c Parmesan, grated

Then you…

  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. Spread the grape tomatoes on a cookie sheet.   Put the garlic along one end.
  3. Sprinkle with olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook penne about 2 minutes short of fully cooked.  Save 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water.  Drain.
  6. Remove the roasted garlic from its skins; chop/mince into a paste and place in the bottom of a large bowl.
  7. Add the 1 1/2 cups of cooking water.  Mash the garlic into the hot water with a fork. 
  8. Add the tomatoes and mash with fork until well combined.  Toss with the penne.
  9. Mix in the basil, arugula, and cheese.

Cheesy Couscous

March 24, 2010

This was something I made to go with the Tangy Chicken Tenders.  It’s creamy from the goat cheese and has a bunch of delicious veggies.  Plus it comes together very quickly.

You will need:

  • 1 c vegetable stock
  • 1 c couscous
  • 1 1/2 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 oz baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) fire-roasted and diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 c frozen corn
  • 1/3 c fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 oz fresh garlic and herb goat cheese, crumbled
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you…

  1. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil and remove from heat.  Mix in the couscous, cover and let sit 5 minutes.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Add the onions and mushrooms and begin to brown.  Mix in the canned tomatoes with their juice and the frozen corn until heated through.
  3. Toss the couscous into the veggie mixture; remove from heat.  Add the fresh tomato and goat cheese.  Mix well!


Tangy Grilled Chicken Tenders

March 22, 2010

I really like chicken, and these tenders are no exception.  They are great with couscous or rice, and they rock in sandwiches and salads — especially those with goat cheese.  The longer you let them marinate, the more flavorful they’ll be, so be sure to allow at least 4 hours.  You can even prep them the night before, throw them in a large ziplock bag, and let them party in your fridge.  Then after work, you’ll be just a few minutes away from a fast and delicious dinner!

You will need…

  • 1 lb chicken tenders (or breast cut into tender-like strips)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 c white wine vinegar
  • 1/8 c olive oil (just eyeball it in the 1/4 c measuring cup)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you…

  1. Pat the chicken dry and season with salt and pepper.  Put in a large ziplock bag.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic with the mustard, vinegars, and olive oil.  Whisk together and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add the marinade to the chicken.   Make sure all the pieces are coated.  Seal and allow to marinate at least 4 hours, if not overnight!
  4. Heat up your grill, grill pan or skillet.  Grill the tenders about 3 minutes on each side, or until the juices run clear and the chicken is cooked through.

Brussels Sprout Hash

March 16, 2010

Another tribute to St. Patrick’s Day!  This is a take-off on the many cabbage dishes that make their appearance this time of year.  It’s quick side dish that’s perfect with corned beef or whatever you feel like serving up!

You will need:

  • 2 small onions, chopped
  • 8 oz  baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 16 oz brussels sprouts, ends cut off + cut lengthwise and then into thin strips
  • 4 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 T margarine
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 t ground mustard powder
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Then you…

  1. Heat 1 T olive oil in a large non-stick skillet.  Add onions and caramelize over medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper. Remove and place in a large bowl.
  2. Heat 1 T margarine in the same skillet.  Add the mushrooms and caramelize over medium heat.  Season and add to the bowl with the onion.
  3. Heat 3 T olive oil in the same skillet.  Add the sliced brussels sprouts.  Saute over medium heat until just starting to soften.
  4. Add the vinegar (stand back or you’ll get a face full of vinegary steam!) and mustard powder.  Mix well.
  5. Add back the onion and mushroom.  Heat through and season with salt and pepper as needed.
  6. Enjoy!

Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad

March 14, 2010

This week I’m heading to training off-site, which means no access to a microwave for lunch!  Of course, I didn’t think that through until it was Sunday night.  Whoops! If you are like me, you are likely to have the ingredients for a pasta salad on hand most days of the week.  Really all you need is some pasta, some sort of dressing, and some veggies to throw in (oh! and a little bit of cheese too!).  You could make this super simple by defrosting frozen veggies and adding those to cooked pasta with dressing from the supermarket, or if you feel adventurous, try making your own vinaigrette and then roasting some fresh veggies.  I had broccoli and carrots on hand, but this is delicious with just about any vegetable.

For the mustard vinaigrette, you will need:

  • 1 1/2 t Dijon mustard
  • 2 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 7 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 t honey
  • 1/2 t lemon juice
  • 1/4 t Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Then you will…

  1. Use a small jar or container with a lid.  Add all the ingredients together, cover, and shake to emulsify.
  2. This will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks, so use any extra for salads!

For the roasted veggies, you will need:

  • 2 c chopped veggies (I used a head of broccoli plus some baby carrots)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and cracked
  • 4 T extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, taste

Then you…

  1. Preheat your oven to 350.
  2. Spread the veggies out on a baking sheet.  Add in the garlic.
  3. Toss with the olive oil.  Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through and starting to brown.

For the pasta salad, you will need:

  • 1/2 box of whole wheat pasta (I used rigatoni)
  • 1/4 c mustard vinaigrette
  • 2 c roasted vegetables
  • 1/4 c shredded cheese (I used Asiago)

Then you…

  1. Cook the pasta according to the box in salted water.
  2. Drain the pasta and toss with the vinaigrette.
  3. Add the vegetables and the cheese.
  4. Serve at any temperature.


March 12, 2010

Bolognese is a very comforting food.  With lots of meat and sauce, it can be delicious.  This is a quick version that can be made with ingredients you have on hand.

You will need…

  • 1 lb hamburger
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 c shredded carrots, chopped (optional)
  • 1 box (8 oz) sliced bella mushrooms
  • 1/2 c red wine, divided
  • 1 T crushed oregano
  • 1 T basil
  • 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

Then you…

  1. Brown the meat in a large saucepan.
  2. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and mushrooms.
  3. Mix in 1/4 c red wine to deglaze the pan.
  4. Add in the oregano and basil, plus the tomato paste.  Mix well.
  5. Add the crushed tomatoes and simmer 20 minutes.  Add the last 1/4 c wine in the last 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with pasta, a green salad and garlic bread

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