Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Healthy dinner ideas

Lemon cous cous with swiss chard and turkey kielbasa

I combined 1/3 cup olive oil and 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice, seasoned it with salt and pepper and added that to 1 cup of dry uncooked cous cous.  After it absorbed it all it was still slightly hard; I was watching a show where the chef said "do this and once the liquid is absorbed it's ready to eat".  I really just wanted to try this but wasn't planning on having it for dinner that night.  Well it went in the refrigerator and the next day I made this dish. 

I got some turkey kielbasa and cut it in half lengthwise; Sear the kielbasa in a skillet then add chopped onions (with some olive oil too) and the stems of swiss chard until tender then added the swiss chard greens and cooked until tender; add the cous cous and some chicken stock; let it all simmer together until the kielbasa is cooked all the way and the flavors meld.  I plated it and sprinkled on some amaranth micro greens.

Homemade pizza with tomato sauce, Madeira mushrooms, thyme cream cheese, fresh mozzarella, lemon zest and fresh basil.

Bechamel over soft boiled eggs
We watched Jacques Pepin on his show "Essential Pepin", it was his show on eggs. He started the show with this easy recipe. He soft boiled the eggs by cooking them in boiling water for 6 minutes ( make a hole in the rounder end of the egg with a push pin before adding it to the boiling water). When they have cooked for 6 minutes drain and rinse in cold water, let the eggs sit in ice water and get really cold. Peel them by lightly tapping all around and hold them under running cold water while peeling and put them aside while you make the spinach and the bechamel.
Just saute some baby spinach in olive oil and garlic until you taste it and it's perfectly done (pinch of salt). To make the Bechamel, melt 1 Tbsp of butter and whisk in 1 Tbsp of flour in a skillet to make a roux, then add about a cup of milk. Whisk and cook until it thickens and cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes to ensure that the raw flour taste is gone. Season the bechamel with salt, pepper and fresh nutmeg. Place the spinach in a baking dish and nestle the soft boiled eggs in, sprinkle on some Gruyere and top each egg with bechamel; place under the broiler just until the bechamel turns a golden brown and serve.

Here is what it looks like when you plate it and cut open the soft boiled eggs. Serve with toast and it's really good!!

Spanish Tortilla

I had never made this Spanish Tapas.  It's very popular in Spanish homes and I keep saying...." I gotta make one of those Spanish tortilla's some day...".  I made it because I was watching a show called "From Spain with Love".  The chef she went to see made one and it was almost under cooked in the center.  I tried to do that but it was kind of cooked all the way through but still very good!!  It's potatoes and onions with eggs and salt and it's cooked in alot of olive oil.  Here is the recipe I followed.

Grilled pork chop, grilled potato with aioli and baby spinach

I brined these good looking pork chops with 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup kosher salt and about 1.5 quarts of water, for about 2 hours.  Tony lit the charcoal grill; he put these potatoes into an aluminum foil pouch with olive oil, salt and pepper; he gave the potatoes a head start on the grill, off the heat then added the pork and made some great grill marks and cooked them perfectly.  I sauteed some baby spinach with olive oil, garlic, red wine vinegar and some re hydrated raisins.  I made an aioli with garlic, egg yolk, mustard, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar and olive oil.  I served the aioli (below) with the potatoes.

Panzanella Salad

I had alot of tomatoes and alot of bread so I thought I'd make this.  I made a dressing with equal parts red wine vinegar and olive oil, about 2 tsp of Dijon mustard and salt and pepper.  I toasted some flavorful bakery bread, chopped in 1" squares and place in a serving bowl.  I had alot of cherry tomatoes (usually you use fresh summer tomatoes and they are not heated), but I added some olive oil to a non-stick skillet and tossed in cherry tomatoes that I cut in half and about 1/2 of an onion sliced; heat through just to slightly cook the onion but so it's still crisp, and to heat through the tomatoes just to bring out the flavor.  Toss this tomato mix on top of the toasted bread in the bowl and add some of the dressing; toss and let it sit for 5 minutes then toss again (add more dressing if it needs it).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Mushroom Sheppard Pie

Here is the mushroom Sheppard's pie, plated.

This was so good and easy to make and it's vegetarian.  I simply made some mashed potatoes seasoned with Gruyere cheese at the end.  Simultaneously I made the mushrooms; rehydrate about 1 cup of dried mushrooms with hot water(about 15 minutes), once re hydrated chop them;  saute thickly sliced fresh Baby Bella mushrooms in olive oil and butter for about 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper; add 1/2 cup of red wine and let it reduce for 4-5 minutes; add about 1/4 cup of the liquid that you re hydrated the mushrooms in and cook it until most of the liquid is gone; season with fresh chopped thyme. Put some olive oil on the bottom of a gratin dish and layer in the mushrooms and top it with the Gruyere mashed potatoes; place into a 400 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes until the top starts to brown.

I served the mushroom Sheppard's pie with the Panzanella salad, very good combination.

Chocolate Cake with Chantilly Cream

This was good (sure it's healthy), there is no flour in it... just eggs, butter, sugar and chocolate.  It's from my favorite lady Laura Calder here is her recipe. 

Chantilly cream is a fancy way of saying whipped cream with sugar and vanilla. 


  1. The blog is great. Fortunately we have had the opportunity to enjoy the delicious food that Jeannie creates. Let me tell you it tastes even better than it looks!
    Thank you Jeannie!!