Thursday, July 29, 2010

(mostly) grilled supper

Tonight, in celebration of being gifted with a second-hand gas grill, I made dinner almost entirely ON the grill. Woo!! :D

From left to right, we have sauteed kale (not done on the grill, clearly), pocket potatoes, and turkey kielbasa.

For the kale, I simply chopped up half an onion and sauteed it in olive oil, ripped up a whole bunch of kale, threw it in the ripping-hot pan (be careful...wet greens + hot oil = crackling popping hotness), turned the heat down to medium-low, added a cup of water and put a cover on it. I let it cook down, stirring every few minutes till tender. When the greens were tender, I doused it with a fair amount of red wine vinegar and a pinch of salt.

The pocket potatoes were an idea I got from a friend on a message board. I took 6 small red potatoes, sliced them, added some chopped onion and sliced garlic cloves, and tossed with salt, pepper, parsley and olive oil. I portioned the mixture out on two sheets of tin foil and crimped the edges to seal. These went on the hot grill for about 10 minutes, then flipped and cooked another 10 minutes. I opened the packets and dumped them into a serving bowl. Some of the onion and garlic stuck to the foil a little, but otherwise it worked great.

The turkey kielbasa was just split and grilled for about 3 minutes per side.

Everything was yummy and I will definitely make potatoes via the "pocket method" again soon!

Monday, July 19, 2010

grilling up a storm!

It was getting a little dark on my way home from work tonight. By the time I got the grill lit, thunder was rumbling loudly and lightning was snapping. I was on my way out load the grill up with goodies when the skies opened up!! We had sheets of rain and even hail for a good 30 minutes or so. It was intense...and the whole time, all I wanted was to get out to the grill to get my food on.

I wanted to do something different with my pork chops tonight. I came up with the following Ginger Garlic Soy Pork Chops:


4 boneless pork loin chops
1" of fresh ginger root, grated
3 cloves of garlic, grated
2 tsp toasted sesame oil
3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
juice of half a lemon

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, making sure that all sides of the meat get some marinade. Let the meat sit while you light the grill and let heat to medium high (about 20 minutes). When grill is ready, place chops on, brushing with more marinade if desired. I cook mine for about 4 minutes each side so that they remain just slightly pink in the middle (and don't dry out). Remove from grill and let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

While I had the grill going, I figured I'd try some grilled peaches. For these, I just split a couple of peaches, put them on the hot grill and let them cook for about 7 minutes each side until soft. I served them with a scoop of ricotta cheese and a drizzle of balsamic reduction. The reduction is simply 1/4 cup of brown sugar, 1/2 cup of balsamic, and the juice from half a lemon, all mixed and boiled until reduced down by half. The smell it made whilst cooking was amazing - sharp, sweet and rich. I ended up reducing it down a little too far and so it turned into sort of a gooey caramel type thing, but it still tasted awesome. Next time, I'd skip the ricotta in favor of some creme fraiche or even greek yogurt.

Monday, July 12, 2010

hot summer night cooking

It's been way too hot to cook inside. A friend has lent us a gas grill for a function we hosted over the weekend, so I've been using it as much as possible before it has to go back home. Tonight, it was my old favorite, turkey burgers!

I made the patties out of ground turkey, grated onion, garlic salt, paprika and a little cayenne pepper. While those were on the grill, I sliced up a couple of summer squash and put them on to steam, then made some chickpea salad out of chickpeas (duh), chopped tomato, diced red onion, and a splash each of olive oil and red wine vinegar. When the burgers were done, I quickly toasted the buns and then dosed them with barbecue sauce, sliced avocado and sliced red onion.

One of my prettier plates, if I do say so myself, and I'd happily eat this 3 nights a week...maybe 4. :)

July 4th family picnic goodies

For the big 4th of July family picnic, Nana told me I could "be creative" rather than giving me something specific to make, which was fun. I decided to make a salad and a dessert.

For the salad, I wanted something healthy but also relatively inexpensive, and of course it needed to be tasty! I had a ton of elbow pasta hanging around, so I boiled that, rinsed it and let it cool. I grated a couple cloves of garlic, chopped up some kalamata olives and seeded cukes, crumbled some feta cheese, minced a little bit of red onion, and mixed it all with some plain greek yogurt. I mixed it into the pasta, then took half a bunch of really nice swiss chard, cut the stems out, roughly chopped it and mixed it in. The chard gave it a nice tangy sweet hit to balance out the salty olives and feta and the slightly sour yogurt. Not bad for an off-the-cuff stodge.

The dessert I made was a rhubarb blueberry trifle. Again, I was trying to stay in a relatively healthy realm, so I used angelfood cake, sugar-free vanilla pudding, light Cool Whip, and I added very little sugar to my stewed rhubarb and blueberry mixture. In fact, the stewed fruit was REALLY sour straight up...nearly inedible. BUT...the combination of the fruit along with all the layers of other sweeter stuff worked absolutely perfectly. So, so yummy. And pretty!

I've not abandoned you!

I haven't run's just been too hot to do more than make a sandwich and crack open a beer for supper for the last week or so. We've also been super busy, so that hasn't helped. I'll be posting more pictures soon, I promise...please bear with me...:)


Friday, July 2, 2010

thai-style beef and broccoli stir-fry

I called this thai-style because I used soy sauce, lime juice and peanuts. The beef I used was london broil, sliced thin against the grain. The only problem I had was that I let the meat cook for too long while I was chopping the peanuts, and it made it pretty tough. It was kind of a shame, because it was really nice and tender when I originally cut it. I'm wondering if the lime juice might have toughened it up some, as well.

day-off roast chicken

Crappy picture, nummy chicken. I stuffed this with a quartered onion and some fresh sage and thyme that Amy gave me from her garden. The smell was mind-numbingly good while this was cooking.

special banana bread

This is my special banana bread. It's SUPER GOOD, even if I do say so myself.

It's special because it's made with low-fat yogurt in place of most of the oil / butter. The yogurt gives it a lovely richness without all the fat. I also use graham flour in addition to regular white flour. The graham flour adds a little nuttiness to the flavor, plus it adds some fiber and gives the bread a lighter texture than if I were to use regular whole wheat flour. And yes, I cook it in a cake pan rather than loaf pans. Not only does it cook faster and more evenly, but when I'm cutting pieces out of a cake pan, I can consider it dessert and therefore not eat so much of it. Theoretically.