Wish Upon A Dish: May 2014

May 30, 2014

Poached Egg Topped Spring Vegetable Free-Form Lasagna ♥ The Best Way to Celebrate Spring

I have always loved the look of a free-form lasagna although I am not quite sure why.

There can be downfalls to something labeled free-form. If you are OCD like I am, it will drive you crazy that it looks disorderly. In a lasagnas case, you will want to stop the insides from oozing out onto the plate and the edges remain neat and trim. This is not about the neat, oh no, when I cook it looks like a bomb went off. It is all about the control. In this house, when diner is over, my dish always look like it never saw the light of day while The Nudge always has a slick of whatever sauce was served. Eggs Benedict? He always laughs at my clean plate, wondering how does I do that, or should I say "did I even eat Eggs Benedict?".

All right, I have always been a straightener of pictures, flowers, and table settings. I guess that is why, even with all good intentions of following the recipe for a free-formed lasagna, the minute I start the prep, I can not stop from grabbing a few ramekins and start layering.

This time I was determined. I think.
I will be successful due to the fact that this lasagna has no ooey gooey anything. Things should stay nice and neat in between the pasta sheets as long as I don't bake it too long.

First thing I needed to do was to buy sheets of pasta that when boiled would not be heavy, the way the curly edged ones are. I could have made my own, bought fresh large sheets and cut them to size or just use the Barilla No Boil pasta sheets. I use them all the time when I make lasagnas in those aluminum loaf pans, they fit perfectly and a great size for a lasagna for two.
This time I would boil them and cut them in half. I could have used wonton wrappers (always in my freezer) but a stack of those would really be an appetizer size and I was making mine for dinner.

Another great thing about this recipe is that it does not end with pasta, it ends with the insides out, so the stack is less likely to tilt over. I think I can do this.

Two other things, sorry. I used Swiss chard instead of spinach (because I think it has more flavor), frozen peas (forget finding fresh around here) and braised baby leeks (big time sweet, yum). The recipe called for 4 (6-inch) squares of pasta be cut across the diagonal to create 8 triangles. This would have made two layers of pasta and three layers of filling. I boiled 6 (8-inch) pasta sheets and cut them in half. When I make individual servings of anything I do three or four. Two dinners and one (or two) lunches. When I make pasta, I omit my lunch serving and make three dinners. That's what I did this time.

Normally my last layer is pasta with sauce and melted mozzarella. I broke away from tradition and ended the layering with ricotta and then right after it bakes, a small sprinkling of fresh mozzarella.

Did I forget the poached egg? OMG, I can't forget that. That egg is the reason I put this dish on the menu.  Has anyone ever celebrated a Springtime Vegetable Lasagna by placing a perfectly poached egg on top? That egg is the reason for no bechamela sauce. The runny yolk mixed with the drizzle of olive oil, is the sauce. If I had seen this recipe before Easter it would have been on the menu.

These lasagnas are full of spring vegetables and you add the ones you can find in your market, but I think the ones in this recipe are the epitome of what they mean when they say spring vegetables.

With The Nudge traveling, I have no demands on the time to serve this, so I can enjoy the wonderful sunny spring weather we are experiencing after 4 days of torrential rain.
I just might even eat outside.

Asparagus, Spinach, and Spring Pea Lasagna
Makes 6 servings

* Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
* 4 small sheets fresh pasta or 6 Barilla no-boil lasagna sheets
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil; more for pan
* 2 cups loosely packed spinach, stemmed and washed
* 1 cup fresh shelled peas
* 4 medium-thick stalks of asparagus, peeled, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch pieces
* 1/2 cup ricotta
* 1/2 cup light cream
* 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
* Truffle oil (optional)
* 1/4 cup white vinegar
* 3-6 large eggs
* 1/4 cup minced fresh chives

1. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to boil over medium-high heat. It should hold enough water to cook the pasta sheets without crowding. And the pasta sheets and cook until done, 3 to 5 minutes.
Carefully lift the pasta sheets out of the water and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Use your fingers to keep the sheet separate so they don't stick to one another. When the sheets are cold, remove them from the ice water, drain, and transfer to a large bowl. Add the olive oil and toss the sheets to lightly coat, then cut each sheet on the diagonal to form two triangles.
2. Layer triangles on a baking sheet and cover with a damp towel; set aside or refrigerate for use the following day.
3. Bring a pot of generously salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Place the spinach in a sieve and submerge in the water for one minute. Remove it immediately; transfer the spinach to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Once it is cool; drain the spinach and squeeze the excess the excess water out of the leaves. Set aside.
3. Return the water to a boil, put the peas and asparagus in the sieve and immerse the sieve in the boiling water for three minutes or until the vegetables are just tender. Lift the sieve out of the water and immediately immersed in a bowl of ice water. One cool, left out of the water and let drain.
4. When you're ready to assemble the lasagna, heat the oven to 400° and lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large, heavy saucepan to poach the eggs.
5. To build the lasagnas, arrange 4 triangles of pasta on the baking sheet. Layer the ingredients on top of the pasta triangles; layer a generous tablespoon of ricotta, some spinach leaves, a few pieces of asparagus and some peas. Add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Lightly season with salt & pepper. Place the remaining triangles of pasta on top of each mound of the vegetables and repeat the layering of ingredients. On top of the top sheet of paste place a few more asparagus and peas, 2 tablespoons more cream, and a light sprinkle more Parmesan. The lasagnas can be refrigerated for up to 3 hours until you are ready to cook them..
6. When ready to cook, place the sheet tray in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese on the lasagna is golden brown. Remove the pan from the oven and lightly sprinkle each lasagna with white truffle oil, if desired.
7. Poach the eggs while lasagnas are in the oven. Reduce heat to low, so that the water maintains a slow simmer, add the vinegar. Swirl the water with a spoon and carefully slip in the eggs - crack them in a cup one at a time and tip the edge of the cup about 1/2-inch below the surface of the gently simmering water. Use a spoon to lightly nudge the white toward the yolk and allow to poach for 4-5 minutes, until the whites are set but the yolk is still runny. Remove from the water.
8. Using a spatula, carefully lift and slide a lasagna onto each of four plates. Top with a poached egg and pour any cream left on the tray around the base of the lasagna. Lightly drizzle with truffle oil, if using, sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately.

My Diabetic Recommendation: No recommendations, except eat and enjoy, this is perfect the way it is. One ramekin used half the recommended pasta of three per serving, so half a lasagna was more than enough for me and came in at under18g of carbohydrates. This was a great way to get your pasta fix and along with all those vegetables should be more than acceptable by ADA standards.

This is going on the keeper list.

Follow Me on Pinterest

May 27, 2014

Pulled Pork Chimichangas ♥ Leftovers Made Healthy by Request

Cooking a pork shoulder can present numerous obstacles when there are only two of you, like what to do with all the leftovers.
Shoulders and butt's are always over 5 pounds, and while they do shrink quite a bit, you can rarely expect to eat it all unless you are cooking for a holiday weekend.

With The Nudge away for the week, and his family up in New Hampshire, I will be cooking for myself on Memorial Day. Doesn't mean I won't be cooking anything good, but I will not be serving picnic fare.

Right now, having extensive experience in the many creative ways to serve leftovers, I decided to post this recipe for after this Memorial Day, when you find yourself with substantial leftover meats, whether shoulder or brisket.

I have never had a chimichanga but was introduced to them via Cook's Country TV a few week's ago, the idea of them stuck with me. I just happened to have three zip bags of pulled pork from a slow cooker recipe I was testing. I took all  the ingredients from a traditional pulled pork sandwich and turned them into healthy baked chimichangas.

These were delicious, deemed a keeper after one bite and there were no leftovers for a lunch so I had one sad sap at the table. I will make these (maybe with different fillings) over & over again. I do have to pat myself on the back for the guacamole sauce I created. It was spicy, sweet, creamy and tart and the perfect "pickle relish" that normally would top a pulled pork sandwich.

You can add and deduct as many ingredients as you like (more spinach/kale or less mushrooms) but I will give my amounts.

Pulled Pork Healthy Baked Chimichangas
Makes: 10-12 chimichangas

* 1 cup pulled pork meat
* 2 ounces reduced fat cream cheese
* 1/2 teaspoon cumin
* 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
* 1/2 cup pico de gallo
* 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno
* 2 cups fresh spinach/kale leaves, steamed and finely chopped
* 1/4 cup minced and cooked mushrooms
* 3 slices American Cheese or Cheddar
* 12 flour tortillas, fajita size

1. Mix first 8 (up to mushrooms) ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Spoon 1/4 cup meat mixture into the bottom half of each tortilla. Place a piece of cheese of top of the filling.
3. Fold both sides of tortilla in and over the filling. Starting at the bottom, carefully roll the tortilla, using a bit of the filling as glue. Place seam-side down on a sheet pan that has been sprayed with Pam.
4. Liberally spray the tops of the chimichangas with Pam. Heat a non-stick skillet and when a drop of water sizzles upon contact, place as many chimichangas as will fit in your skillet without touching.
5. Cook all sides until they brown and crisp. A tap with the spatula will tell you when. Remove to a sheet pan that is warming in the oven.
6. Serve with guacamole and salsa.

Oh, and an ice cold beer, please!

This post featured my newly planted herb garden and a few plants that are in my backyard.
I thought you would get as much of a kick seeing what I saw when I looked out my screen door Memorial Day. Seems our neighbors cat, Bobby, has decided that he will take his naps under my new Bonfire Begonia. I think he's right but the birds have another opinion.

Follow Me on Pinterest

May 23, 2014

Grilled Ginger-Glazed Chicken Tenders

Yay, yay, yay for Spring and the grill is open for business!!

No, I do not grill in the dead of winter (especially this last winter with over 10 huge blizzards). My patio doors are sealed with plastic to keep the cold out so it is also sealed from foot traffic. I finally bought a grill pan but great is the day when I can open my Weber and fire up natural coal with a steak in tow.

Once the weather settles I plan at least five grilled meals a week. I will grill everything except pasta, pancakes and eggs. I even make my mussels on the grill, oh you haven't tried it? Just use the grill cover as your lid and the mussels get all that grill flavor as they steam, yummy!!

I thought this Asian inspired chicken dish would be perfect for my first official start of grill season (two weeks of rain postponed the original date).

During the week, I made a new potted herb garden, which sits right next to my fenced-in pot of parsley (stops the groundhog from trimming the stalks). I am digging up my 20 year old one which got very leggy and full of wild mint. There I have my chives, marjoram and tarragon.

I potted three hangers with Impatiens and Begonias and...... 

....this huge, bright red Bonfire begonia. They are great drought resistant plants and require minimal sun. Last year we got an orange one but this year she had the red. Absolutely gorgeous.

Bobby (our adopted neighbors cat, thinks this will make the perfect spot to take long afternoon naps under!!

Soon a fuschia and a petunia will join the group and feed the butterflies and hummingbirds.

Yesterday we grilled a bone-in ribeye with baked potato and corn. This weekend, right before The Nudge jets off to Copenhagen, we will celebrate the official opening of the patio with our traditional bruschetta day including a wonderful Grgich Hills Fumé Blanc a wine we have been drinking for over 25 years.
Saturday will be the first mow of the season and then we officially "cut the ribbon" on the good 'ole outdoors.
Even the cats are having a grand time. I think they have taken a nap in every spot of sun as it travels across the yard.

I always buy two large pots loaded with basil plants and I might just get me a third. I pick from them way into the summer and then it's pesto time.

While I miss the boss when he travels, I have already started to plan all the foods I will be eating while he's gone. Dishes which will include foods The Nudge is not fond off, including a Greek inspired Swordfish with Avgolemono Sauce, a Lamb Shawarma Pita and a Pork Tenderloin Stuffed Wellington, all on the grill. I hope the weather is on my side because it's going to be a grand grilled food week. I hope to share a few wonderful dishes with you.

This dish could not have been any easier. Everything goes into a food processor and then on the stove to reduced by half. Half of that mixture will marinade the chicken for at least 1 hour. The other half will baste the chicken pieces as they grill. Excellent flavor.
The chicken can be dipped into a bottled plum sauce but there really is enough flavor as is.

I served this with a plate of vegetable fried rice. You can find a well reviewed recipe here.

Grilled Ginger-Glazed Chicken Tenders
From the kitchen of Wish Upon A Dish with inspiration from Cooking Light

Serves: 4

* 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
* 2 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1 tablespoon Tamari
* 1/2 cup mirin
* 1 pound chicken tenders, or 1 pound chicken breasts, sliced

1. Place the ginger and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse sand. Add the mirin, tamari and blend for 5 seconds. Remove to a small saucepan and simmer until the mixture is reduced by half (about 1/4 cup).
2. Pour half over the chicken pieces anf reserve the other half as a basting sauce. Spear four pieces per skewer. Reminder: Baste the chicken after it has cooked on one side and never use a basting sauce on raw meat unless you wash the brush after the initial application.

Follow Me on Pinterest

May 21, 2014

Tea Brined Roaster ♥ Cooking with Tea, Recipe Redux Challenge - May 2014

When I have the time I always brine my whole chickens, especially the ones that will be grilled.  This month's Recipe Redux Challenge was to cook with tea. Now I thought about using loose tea to smoke the bird but the weather would not cooperate and the last two weeks have been wet ones. In order to post this recipe on it's designated day, I had to use pictures from a tea marinaded roaster I cooked a few weeks ago.

Why use tea in my brine? Well, I saw a Tyler's Ultimate show on Food Network about the BEST fried chicken and the secret was brining the meat in sweet tea. Since I do not like making fried chicken I will take the brine recipe and use it with a roasting chicken.

When I can't get to the butcher I always buy an Empire Kosher Chicken at my supermarket. When you buy Kosher, the chicken is already salt brined so omit the salt from this brine recipe. If you buy a regular bird, do not omit the salt, or just forget about what you just read.....lol

I thought my 4C Light Low Calorie Green Tea Iced Tea Mix would be a great option for the sweet tea. It already is sweetened with Splenda. I will add fresh lemon juice to the mix along with the proper amount of salt to make the brine.

Sweet Tea Brined Roasted Chicken
serves 4

* 3 pound Organic Chicken
* 1 gallon water
* 1 1/2 scoops pre-sweetened green tea mix
* 1 scoop (from the tea) table salt
* 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Mix everything in a plastic brining container and stir to dissolve tea and salt. Brine for 24 hours.

Heat oven to 375F while letting the chicken come to room temperature. Rub unsalted butter all over both sides of the chicken, place 1/2 an onion in the cavity and salt & pepper the skin. I did not want to add too many aromatics to the dish because I wanted to make sure the flavor of the brine shined through.
Roast for 90 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 165 in the breast.

Simple but sweet and you definitly can taste the sweet tea in the meat. As far as how a granulated sugar  brine would effect a glucose reading, I have no idea, but to not take any chances, the tea with Splenda can only be better.

Follow Me on Pinterest

May 19, 2014

Spinach & Artichoke Egg Souffle Breakfasts ♥ Why My Garbage Has Eaten More Puff Pastry Than Me

I am currently on my forth package of frozen puff pastry. That means I have already gone through 6 sheets. No, not eaten. Six sheets that should have but weren't.

What is this fascination I have with puff pastry? Believe me, I know I am not the only one that has this foodie affliction. Do you continuously buy the same ingredient, watch as it goes from fresh and tasty to way past the usage date and straight into the garbage? I find lots of petrified fruits at the bottom of my crisper drawer, do you?

I defrosted my very first box of frozen puff pastry in the ridge (I listen to Ina, she bakes with it lots) and there it sat until I knew by one look that there was no way I was opening up that wrapper. Box #2 went where the rest of the freezer contents did after Sandy. Yup, sigh.

I'm not even sure why I did not give up after Sandy but, one bite from a Panera's souffle told me I was going to do this. I love those things but at over $4.00 each and 5 miles away, I could not justify changing out of my comfies to travel for breakfast and after finding the King of Clones website,  I decided I could make my own.

As I replenished the food in the freezer, I also did the pastry. Yes, I bought package #3. Where that box is, is now a mystery, quickly being pushed to the back as new meats and vegetables became roommates.
Ask me today and I will tell you, "oh yeah, there is a box somewhere in that frozen tundra", but I refuse to empty the freezer for one item, no matter how I feel like I should at least make an effort. So, bye-bye souffles you ask? Not yet, I confess.

What happened next, might be blamed on a compote recipe spring fever, but I found myself in the freezer section searching out cranberries (which, by the way, there was none. Can someone explain that, please) and there it was. My infatuation, a predilection of sorts. The frozen pastry section. I promised myself this would be the very last time because this stuff was expensive (I should know, I was in the hole for over $20). Immediately a feeling of dread came over me, I must be nuts, why did I insist on trying to bake with this stuff? Was I a food sadist? Is there even such a person?

I had a box of Croissant Breakfast sandwiches in my hand and I put it back, so I do know right from wrong.
The King of Clones uses crescent dough, but I was using the good stuff.

The following recipe makes 4 souffles, but I doubled mine to make 8, so I will be using 2 sheets cut into quarters. I also will be baking one batch in my favorite mini spring form pans and the other four in 4" pastry rings.

Before I get started I want to say one thing (and you are my witness), I have never made this before and the more I type the more I realize I probably should have made a dry run using a 2 dollar pop can of dough or I might be right back in front of the freezer case, grabbing for that fifth box.

Spinach & Artichoke Bread Souffles
Makes: 4 servings

3 tablespoons frozen spinach, thawed
3 tablespoons minced artichoke hearts
2 teaspoons minced onion
1 teaspoon minced red bell pepper
5 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ cup shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon salt
1 sheet frozen puff pastry, defrosted in the refrigerator
melted butter
¼ cup shredded Asiago cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Combine spinach, artichoke hearts, onion, and red bell pepper in a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover bowl with plastic wrap and poke a few holes in the plastic. Microwave on high for 3 minutes.
3. Beat 4 eggs. Mix in milk, cream, cheddar cheese, Jack cheese, Parmesan, and salt. Stir in spinach, artichoke, onion, and bell pepper.
4. Microwave egg mixture for 30 seconds on high, and then stir it. Do this 4 to 5 more times or until you have a very runny scrambled egg mixture. This process will tighten up the eggs enough so that the dough won't sink into the eggs when it's folded over.
5. Unroll and separate the crescent dough into four rectangles. In other words, don't tear the dough along the perforations that make triangles. Instead, pinch the dough together along those diagonal perforations so that you have four rectangles. Use some flour on the dough and roll across the width of the rectangle with a rolling pin so that each piece of dough stretches out into a square that is approximately 6 inches by 6 inches.
6. Brush melted butter inside four 4-inch baking dishes or ramekins. Line each ramekin with the dough, then spoon equal amounts of egg mixture into each ramekin. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of asiago cheese on top of the egg mixture in each ramekin, and then gently fold the dough over the mixture.
7. Beat the last egg in a small bowl, then brush beaten egg over the top of the dough in each ramekin.
8. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until dough is brown. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the soufflés from each ramekin and serve hot.

The reviews are in: While they looked great, I over baked them a tad (the directions said brown and flaky). The puff pastry cracked into crumbs just trying to cut a fork full. The last two, I undercooked by 15 minutes and they were not as browned but they were more tender and the crust stayed together better. I used more spinach & artichoke than called for, so if you make these, follow the recipe as written. There should be more egg mixture than vegetable. The frozen puff pastry had too much puff but not to give up, I will try the crescent dough the next time. I have a feeling that to get that pastry to a flaky puff, I might just have to make this quick pastry dough and use paper baking cups instead of the metal pans.

Follow Me on Pinterest

May 17, 2014

Buffalo Chicken Salad ♥ Week Four, Day Two - EatingWell Meal Plan

I am not sure if there is anything to say about this dish. Everyone loves Buffalo everything nowadays and since I had yet to make my version, I was happy to find this at EatingWell.com.

Every time we head to our favorite joint, right after ordering a round of drinks, one of us shouts out "and an order of Buffalo Chicken Chips, please".

What we enjoy about their version is that there is no breading on the chicken, just a coating of flour and then the sauce. Buffalo wing sauce is usually made with a hot sauce and butter and that's not very healthy. I found a bottle of Frank's Buffalo Sauce in my pantry, and all I needed was a yogurt-based blue cheese dressing, which I thinned with white wine. I placed a small container of extra blue cheese on the table because The Nudge loves blue cheese. Eat as much as you like if you do not have a cholesterol concern. Dairy has no carbs.

People forget that this is a one person diabetic family and I still set out condiments for the one who doesn't have to refrain. Bread and butter is enjoyed by my better half and with a salad I always include them.

I had two breasts from a rotisserie chicken and with some knife work, dinner was on the table in 15 minutes.

Buffalo Chicken Salad

4 servings, 2 1/2 cups salad & 3 oz. chicken each

EatingWell:  All the flavor of Buffalo chicken wings is packed into this irresistible, healthy salad. But unlike chicken wings, you can eat a big serving of this healthy Buffalo chicken salad recipe for just 291 calories.


  • 1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat blue cheese plus 1/4 cup, divided
  • 6 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 4 teaspoons red-wine vinegar, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce, such as Frank’s Red Hot
  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped


  1. Combine 1/2 cup blue cheese in a small bowl with buttermilk, 2 teaspoons vinegar and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; mix well, mashing slightly with a fork. Set aside.
  2. Place chicken in another bowl; sprinkle with flour and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper and toss until coated.
  3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until just cooked through, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in hot sauce and the remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar and cook, stirring often, until the chicken is coated, about 1 minute.
  4. Combine lettuce, carrots, celery and cucumber in a large bowl; add the reserved dressing and toss to coat. Divide the salad among 4 plates and top each with an equal portion of chicken and 1 tablespoon each of the reserved blue cheese.

Per serving : 291 Calories; 11 g Fat; 4 g Sat; 4 g Mono; 75 mg Cholesterol; 15 g Carbohydrates; 32 g Protein; 5 g Fiber; 607 mg Sodium; 832 mg Potassium

1 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 2 1/2 lean meat, 1 medium-fat meat, 1/2 fat

Follow Me on Pinterest

May 14, 2014

Quinoa Pilaf ♥ The Little Seed That Could ≡ Week Four, Day One - EatingWell Meal Plan

While I was researching information for this post, I stumbled on a forum where their seemed to be a lively back and forth on the actual pros and cons of eating quinoa on a diabetic diet. Most diabetic recipes will call for 1/2 cup servings on grains and vegetables (exchange plan is based on 1/2 cup servings), and the carbohydrate for a serving of quinoa is on the higher side than most. With all the hoopla surrounding quinoa, I was surprised by that, I actually thought it was on the low side of the carbohydrate scale.

Kind of bummed me out, but then I did a little more research. While developing diabetic meal plans, most health professionals do not like to put all their eggs in one basket (daily allotment per meal) because they would rather you eat more bulk (to be full) of low carb foods. Except in the case of Super Foods.

Quinoa, it being a magic seed and all, is often paired with foods low on the Glycemic Index so that you will get the full benefit of all it's nutritional properties.

Below is the nutrition facts for 1/2 cup cooked quinoa.

Scallops are low in carbohydrates and through the roof in B-12, has under 120 calories per 4 large, so when I found this recipe I immediately put it on the menu. Another EatingWell recipe not on the meal plan but a great sub if you are following along with this. I subbed this recipe for the second "cook one, freeze one" Eggplant Parmesan night.

One thing I have to say, I was born with the hate cilantro gene. There was way too much in this recipe for my taste but if you love cilantro, the amount is right. It ruined the whole eating experience this time but not the concept of the dish. I will make this again, sans the cilantro, to use in the stuffing of vegetables. I loved the orange segments and the toasted almonds. I added the pea pods for even more nutrition and crunch and I marinaded the scallops in the juice that was in the bowl after segmenting the oranges.

If scallops are not your thing, steam some shrimp or king crab. Seafood not for you, poach a breast of chicken or a turkey tenderloin.

I know quinoa is on the same edge as kale from over-exposure but it is worth keeping in the rotation. I might even try a few of the breakfast ideas I stumbled on while researching.

Quinoa Pilaf with Seared Scallops
adapted from EatingWell: Jan/Feb 2014

Makes: 4 servings, about 3 scallops & 3/4 cup salad each

* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 3 scallions, sliced, greens and white separated
* 1 cup uncooked quinoa
* 1 cup water
* 2 medium blood oranges or naval oranges
* 1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
* 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander, divided
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 pound dry sea scallops

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add scallion whites; cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, about one minute.
2. And quinoa; cook, stirring until toasted and fragrant, about one minute more. Add water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand, covered, for five minutes.
3. Meanwhile, slice the ends off oranges. With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith, discard. Working over a large bowl, cut the orange segments from the surrounding membranes and squeeze juice from the membranes into the bowl before discarding them.
4. Add the scallion greens, almonds, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon coriander and salt to the bowl, gently stir to combine.
5. Pat scallops dry and sprinkle both sides with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin and a 1/4 teaspoon coriander. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large cast iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
6. And the scallops and cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. (To prevent overcooking, transfer the scallops to a plate as soon as they are done.)
7. And the quinoa to the bowl with the orange mixture and gently stir to combine. Serve the scallops over the warm quinoa salad.

Per serving: 368 calories; 13g of fat (2g sat, 8g mono); 27mg cholesterol; 41g carbohydrates; 22g protein; 6g fiber; 597mg sodium; 668mg potassium.

2 1/2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges:  2 starch, 1/2 fruit, 2 lean meat, 2 fat

My Diabetic  Recommendations: I know this dish is on the high side of allowable carbohydrates, the benefits of the quinoa is worth it. Just plan no carb foods for your other two meals, like my favorite breakfast of an egg omelet crepe with turkey sausage and Swiss cheese and then a lunch of low carb vegetable soup. 

Follow Me on Pinterest

May 11, 2014

Smørrebrød, American Style ♥ Recipe Redux Breton Gluten Free Cracker Recipe Contest Sponsored by Dare Foods, Inc

I don't always enter every recipe contest that is offered, I have blog rules that I like to adhere too.

First and foremost, the sponsors food must fit into my everyday life,
Second, they have to fall into a category that adds to the dietary subject of this blog, and
Third, while samples are often provided, the food has to be accessible to, well, everyone, and most of all,
It has to be a legit healthy food product.

This month's sponsor is Dare Foods - makers of Breton Gluten Free crackers.
Although easily found across the USA, "I received free samples of Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax and Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic from Dare Foods Incorporated mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Dare Food Incorporated and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time."

I love these crackers and anything that tastes great and does my body good, well, I am all for it!!
Why would a gluten-free food help with my diabetes? OK, let's have a little talk about Gluten-Free.

Those words are all over the food world, from packaged baking products, prepared foods (like deli and sauces) to restaurant menus, alcoholic beverages and cocktails and almost every food blog that has a gluten-free category.

Like most new diets, gluten-free is not a fad diet but people throw that word around like they did with 'no trans fat' (which we knew was misused) and '100% juice' (how about less than 3%), I am happy to say that this product passes all my rules.
They are delicious and they add to the diabetic subject of this blog, even though they are a prepared food.
I love that.
Did you know there are studies that state 25% of Diabetics (resistant to their own insulin) are afflicted with Celiac Disease (allergy to natural gluten).

I was happy to create gluten-free recipes using Breton Gluten Free crackers.
Let's see what I prepared for you today.

There really is a great story behind my inspiration for this post and it might just have something to do with (no, it did have to do with) The Nudge and a last minute scheduled business trip to Copenhagen.

I was clicking on "things to do in Copenhagen" and everywhere I clicked there was a picture of the infamous open-faced Smørrebrød of the Scandinavian countries, especially Denmark.

Right there I knew what I was going to make for this challenge. Best yet, I knew I was on to something when hubby's Swedish traveling partner, upon seeing the entry pics I forwarded to them, confirmed that I was on the right track. Seems there are more sandwich shoppes in Copenhagen than there are Micky D's in America.

I decided to Americanize and update their famous sandwiches. First a little history.

Smørrebrød "butter and bread" usually consists of a piece of buttered rye bread or a dense, dark brown bread, topped with commercial or homemade cold cuts, pieces of meat or fish, cheese or spreads. This daily practice is the base on which the art of the famous Danish open sandwich, smørrebrød is created: A slice or two of Deli is placed on the buttered bread, and then decorated with the right accompaniments, to create a tasty and visually appealing food item.

These were so much fun to make. Everything you see was bought at my local supermarket at extremely affordable prices. I know my supermarket carries two brands of deli that are certified gluten free, you can check with your supermarket. The flounder was coated using GF fish fry crumb mix.

Allow me to truncate.
The first selection you see, are our seafood smørrebrød, moving down to the pork and then beef, covering all the bases and hitting a home run.

I choose the Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax for the seafood and pork with the Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic for the beef smørrebrød.

I was sure my American version of smørrebrød would be absolutely perfect for a light dinner, entertaining appetizer platters or a family lunch.

Platter #1:

German and American Smørrebrød
Interpretation of an iconic German Pork Roast dinner & an American Ham & Swiss

German Sandwich
* Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax crackers
* Thin slice roasted pork loin
* Apple butter
* Spoonful of sweet and sour red cabbage
* Fresh horseradish or sauce

American Sandwich
* Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax crackers
* Slice of spiced ham or Virginia ham
* Spoonful of whole grain mustard
* 6-7 julienne strips of Swiss cheese
* Mandarin orange segment

Platter #2:

English and Italian Smørrebrød
Interpretation of Beef Wellington and a Caprese Salad

English Sandwich
* Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic crackers
* Slice of liverwurst
* Thin slice of roast beef
* Slices of red onion
* Watercress
* Tomato Pesto

Italian Sandwich
* Breton Gluten Free Herb and Garlic crackers
* Slice of salami or pepperoni
* Slice of provolone cheese
* Pinch of prosciutto
* Slice of red pepper, sweet or hot
* Basil leaf or dollop of basil pesto

Platter #3:

Canadian and Danish Smørrebrød
Presentations of Nova Scotia Lox and Copenhagen Flounder Salad

Canadian Sandwich
* Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax crackers
* Seafood cheese spread
* Spoonful of scrambled eggs
* Minced Nova Scotia Lox
* Julienned radish slice
* Chopped chives
* Quarter of a lemon slice

Danish Sandwich
* Breton Gluten Free Original with Flax crackers
* Spoonful tartar sauce
* Piece of fried flounder
* Pickled cucumber
* Shrimp salad
* Red onion slice
* Sprig of fresh dill

I think everyone will agree that any table where these American smørrebrød are served will get the conversations and questions about "so tell me, what's on these gems?" started, the juices flowing "Hope there are more of these in the house, I could eat a ton" and the proud host beaming "Yes, I made these all myself and yes, they are completely gluten free" to "however did you get the time to do all this" knowing it was all done ahead of time and in under an hour and the best part (no cooking required!!)

Kid friendly, add or minus ingredients depending on preferences, there is something for everyone, sandwiches can be made ahead and served at room temperature. What's not to love? You will be the talk of the walk.

Oh, and did I mention, they taste great?!?! Bye-bye loafers, Momma's got a new pair of pumps.

Follow Me on Pinterest