Friday, June 1, 2007

Ketchup day...or is it Catch Up?

Where did the rest of the week go? It was just busy, busy, busy. Somehow, I find it almost impossible to work late, run errands, go to physical therapy or the gym, cook dinner and clean up...and post in my blog, all in the same night. So, I've done it all...except post here. Sorry, but today I'll recap. There is no dinner tonight, because I spent too much time planning and shopping, plus there are lots of leftovers in the refrigerator. Time to get rid of them!

Let's start with Wednesday. On Wednesday, I fell in love, but not with my husband. Oh, I'll still let him hang around, but if my new favorite sandwich is on the horizon, he'd better get out of the way! This one is from the deli section of Take Out Tonight. These Roasted Red Pepper and Goat Cheese sandwiches are simplicity itself, but absolutely crave-able. Start with a crisp, toasted English muffin. My favorite is the Thomas Light Whole-Grain English Muffin. At only 100 calories and 8 grams of fiber, this provides a perfect, toasty background to a thick spread of goat cheese. A silky roasted red pepper and a bloom of peppery arugula top off the sandwich and provide layers of flavor. I've had this for lunch every day since Wednesday (and twice for breakfast, too).

Wednesday night, I ventured into the Greek section of the cookbook and turned out the Lemon Garlic Roast Chicken. All I can say is "Opa!" My only regret is not using kosher chicken. I've gotten so used to the moist, flavorful results from kosher chicken that I am never satisfied with grocery stick chicken any more. However, once I tasted the potatoes, the chicken didn't matter. Quartered red potatoes begin to brown in a hot oven by themselves, and after 20 minutes, the chicken is added on a rack, and the remaining garlic and lemon infused marinade and a bit of water are poured over the potatoes. They continue to cook until they are crispy and caramelized outside, but moist and silky inside. Portion control was very difficult for this one.

Do you notice what's wrong with this picture? Yep--there is a distinctly monochromatic look to the plate.I have an excuse though, really. It was 9:30 by the time dinner was ready, and the grilled hearts of romaine and grilled zucchini I planned to serve alongside just didn't happen. When I plated up dinner, the Husband looked at it and said, "Even I know the food isn't all supposed to be the same color." Everybody can be an armchair quarterback!

Last night, we had a fiesta with Skinny Chimichangas. In this dish, ground turkey (I used 97%
lean beef instead) simmers in tomato sauce, Mexican spices, and green chills. The mixture is rolled into tortillas (we used some high fiber ones) and sprinkled with a little grated cheese. The resulting burritos are sprayed with cooking spray and baked at 400 degrees until they crisp up, which they did surprisingly well. I served mine with a spoonful of nonfat Greek yogurt and a bit of salsa on top. We both really liked these.

In an effort to use up some odds and ends, as well as up the overall nutritional value of the meal, I put together a side dish consisting of a can of black beans, zucchini in a 1/4" dice, corn, minced jalapeno, minced onion, some chopped red and yellow peppers, and garlic. I started the zucchini first, letting it sit over a medium-low heat until it developed a brown, caramelized surface, then turning it to let the other sides brown as well. Only then did I add the fresh vegetables and turn up the heat, letting the flavors meld. I added the black beans at the end, giving them time only to heat up. I finished the dish with salt, pepper, and smoked Spanish paprika, which provided a nice hint of smokey heat. I think this would be fabulous served over brown rice, with a little bit of tofu, feta cheese, or diced chicken added in.

I went through the cookbook today, and it looks like it has about 30 main-dish recipes I'd like to make, so it should keep things moving along here for at least a couple of months. So...check back often. There are lots of delicious-sounding meals on the list for the coming week.

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