Thursday, May 27, 2010

Let's eat a rainbow!

There are many health articles out there encouraging us to eat lots of different colors throughout the day. This is because different colors mean giving our bodies an array of vitamins and minerals. I try to add lots of colors in most of my meals because it's nutrious and it's beautiful to look at.

Marinated Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
Sides of Roasted Butternut Squash and Vegetables

1-2 lb Flank Steak
1 cup Fresh Parsley (chopped)
5 cloves Garlic (minced)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
3 T Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Mix parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar, cumin, red pepper flakes, pepper and salt together.
2. Reserve 1/4 cup to use as dipping sauce
3. Marinate steak in the rest of the marinade for up to 8 hours (minimum 3)
4. Heat a grill pan on high heat
5. Grill each side 3-4 minutes
6. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing
7. Serve with reserved chimichurri sauce

*Roasted Butternut Squash is a very easy side to make not to mention lots of nutrients and fiber. The hardest part is peeling the squash which can be done with a vegetable peeler. Once you cut the squash into 1" cubes, it can be refrigerated and roasted in batches when you need it (up to a week).
- Toss squash cubes in a little olive oil, salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
- Roast on a baking pan for 30-45 minutes

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Healthy Yet Flavorful

Fresh produce is so affordable and beautiful this time of year. I picked up some grape tomatoes and asparagus for a pasta primavera dish. It's basically a very light pasta dish with onions, garlic, vegetables and olive oil. I breaded some pork tenderloin with panko bread crumbs seasoned with salt, pepper and freshly shaved parmesan cheese.

The breaded pork was baked in the oven so it was healthier than frying it in a pan. It came out crispy and juicy. It was perfect with the healthy pasta dish. I used whole wheat pasta for added fiber, nutrients and protein.

Parmesan Breaded Pork w/ Pasta Primavera

4-6 oz Pork Tenderloin
1/4 cup Panko Bread Crumbs
1/4 cup Egg Beaters
1/8 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1 T dried parsley

1 cup Grape Tomatoes (halved)
1 cup Asparagus (cut into 2" pieces)
1 T Olive Oil
1/2 cup Onions (diced)
3 cloves Garlic (minced)
2 T Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1 tsp Dried Parsley
1 tsp Dried Basil
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper

1/2 cup - 1 cup Cooked Pasta (use package directions)

1. Preheat oven to 375 deg F
2. Pound the pork with a mallet until it's 0.5" thick
3. Season pork with salt and pepper
4. In a shallow baking dish, mix parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley, salt and pepper
5. Dip it in the egg beaters
6. Dip the pork in the breading mixture. Pat and pack the breading around the pork
7. Allow pork to rest for 3 minutes to set
8. While pork is resting, spray a baking dish with nonstick spray (PAM). Leave the baking dish in the oven to allow it to get a head start to warm up
9. Place pork on the baking dish and bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes

10. Heat a deep skillet on medium high heat. Add olive oil
11. Add onions and garlic in the oil to infuse flavor throughout the oil
12. Add tomatoes and asparagus. Saute the vegetables
13. Add the Worcestershire, spices, salt and pepper
14. Cook for 2-3 minutes
15. Add cooked pasta and mix thoroughly
16 Serve Immediately

*Feel free to add more parmesan cheese to the pasta

Thursday, May 13, 2010

French Toast Casserole

3 eggs
3 cups skim milk
1 T Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 T Cinnamon
4-5 cups Italian Bread (thick cubes)
1/2 cup Chocolate Chips

For dusting: 2 T sugar, 1 T cinnamon

1) Cube Italian bread to fill up a deep casserole dish (approx 8x10)
2) In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and stir in milk, vanilla extract, sugar, cinnamon and maple syrup
3) Pour custard mixture over italian bread to soak it in. Stir carefully and pack in the bread to make it dense (no floaters!)
4) Add chocolate chips and mix evenly (carefully)
5) Cover and refrigerate until needed (I left overnight)

6) Pre-heat oven @ 350 degrees
7) Mix sugar and cinammon. Dust mixture of the top of the casserole
8) Bake uncovered for 45-50 minutes (or until the top is nicely toasted)

Serve with a large spoon or spatula! It can feed at least 4-6 people. My leftovers were still crowd pleasers 3-4 days after making it.