Archive for February, 2018

ROASTED ACORN SQUASH WITH PEPITAS

Simple and delicious!!!! 

ingredients1383789066825

2 acorn squash, halved and sliced into 1-inch-thick wedges

3-4 tablespoons melted butter

1 tablespoon brown sugar

¾ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

directions

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss sliced squash with melted butter, brown sugar, smoked paprika and salt. Roast for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with pepitas and roast 5 more minutes. Season with salt to taste.

 (Recipe found on http://www.foodnetwork.com)

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PAELLA WITH SEAFOOD, CHICKEN, AND CHORIZO

You can tweak this recipe to make the paella exactly the way you like it. I didn’t use lobster tails, but added more clams and chorizo. The photo to the right is actually what my paella looked like! I can’t believe I made it and how incredible it tasted!! Give it  a try……..you’ll be amazed!IMG_0053

ingredients

2 chicken thighs

2 chicken legs

1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons sweet paprika

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 Spanish chorizo sausage

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Spanish onion, diced

1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and hand-crushed

1 cup Spanish rice, short to medium grain

1 teaspoon saffron threads

3 cups water, warm

4 jumbo shrimp, peeled with heads and tails on

2 lobster tails, split

6 littleneck clams, scrubbed

½ cup sweet peas, frozen and thawed

Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish

Lemon wedges, for serving

directions

Rinse the chicken pieces and pat them dry. Mix the oregano and paprika with some salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the pieces of chicken; marinate for 30 minutes so the flavor can sink in a bit.

Heat the olive oil in a paella pan or wide shallow skillet over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the pan, skin-side down and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. Add the chorizo and continue to cook until the oil is a vibrant red color. Remove the chicken and sausage to a platter lined with paper towels.

Return the pan to the stove and lower the heat to medium. Make a sofrito by sautéing the garlic, onion, and tomatoes; cook until the mixture caramelizes a bit and the flavors meld; season with salt and pepper. Fold in the rice, stirring to coat the grains. Stir the saffron into the rice. Pour in the water and simmer for 10 minutes, gently moving the pan around so the rice cooks evenly and absorbs the liquid. Do not cover or constantly stir like risotto.

Add the shrimp, lobster, clams, the reserved chicken, and the chorizo. Give the paella a couple of good stirs to tuck in all the pieces and just let it simmer, without stirring, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes. Scatter the peas on top and continue to cook for 5 minutes, until the paella looks fluffy and moist. The ideal paella has a toasted rice bottom called socarrat. Allow to rest, off the heat for 5 minutes, and garnish with parsley. Serve with lemon wedges.

(recipe found on http://www.foodnetwork.com)

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MASOOR DAL (SPICED RED LENTILS)

If you’re a vegetarian and/or fond of Indian spices, this dish is for you!! I LOVED it!!!! Another healthy recipe perfect for these cold temperatures! 

ingredients16COOKING-MASOORDAL-articleLarge

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

2 ½ cups (10 ounces, about 1 medium) finely diced sweet potato

1 tablespoon minced ginger

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 Thai or bird’s-eye red chili

1 cup red lentils

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 cup canned chopped tomatoes

Salt

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

directions
In a large saucepan over medium-low heat, heat oil, and sauté onion until softened. Add sweet potato, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add minced ginger and garlic; stir, and reduce heat to low.

Finely dice chili, keeping seeds if you wish to add more heat. Add chili, lentils, coriander, cumin, turmeric and ground ginger to pan. Stir until lentils are well coated with oil. Add tomatoes and 4 cups water. Raise heat to bring to a boil, then reduce heat until mixture is at a fast simmer. Cook uncovered until lentils and potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.

Season to taste with salt, and continue to simmer until mixture has thickened, about 10 minutes. Whisk dal to amalgamate lentils and sweet potatoes. If dal is too soupy, increase heat and cook for a little longer. (Note–I left this step out because I preferred to have those small diced sweet potatoes whole.)

To serve, place dal in a serving bowl and sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve hot.

(Adapted from a recipe found on cooking.nytimes.com)

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DON’T HAVE A TIRE BLOWOUT

Imagine this: You’re driving your car and all of a sudden, your tire light goes on. You are not in the mood to deal with it and figure that the light went on because the outside temperature dropped. You ignore the light.  You get away with it for a while until one day, you have a blowout and need a new tire. Of course, this hassle and expense could have been How-to-Handle-a-Tire-Blowout_615x330prevented, if you just paid attention to the tire light.

We all ignore things that are unpleasant. One of the easiest things to avoid is getting on the scale. As many of you know,  I am not a huge fan of the scale for several reasons: 1. I hate when we define ourselves by “that number” 2. The scale has great limitations because it does not tell us anything about “that number”.  Your body composition, which tells you how much muscle and fat you have, is the most important factor.  3. The scale causes a great deal of anxiety in some people.

HOWEVER, figuratively speaking, the scale can prevent a tire blowout. I have several clients who have gone for their annual physical only to be SHOCKED at how much weight they have gained in the course of one year.  Let’s face it–denial is a wonderful thing. We all go there and we are all pros at making rationalizations.  (It must be that damn dryer again that keeps shrinking my clothes!)

I know it’s scary but I think it’s worth it to take the plunge and hop on the scale once a week. Keep a log of your weight so that you can catch yourself before you have a larger issue.  I find that my clients, who weigh themselves weekly, are able to maintain their weight much easier than others who don’t—the scale keeps them honest and in check.

So, unless you are paralyzed with anxiety, give this a go. Rip off that band-aid, face the music, smell the coffee, bite the bullet or as Nike says JUST DO IT. As unpleasant as it seems, you’ll be glad that you did.

 

 

 

 

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PAPRIKA-RUBBED SHEET-TRAY CHICKEN

Chicken lovers? THIS ONE IS FOR YOU!!!! This is super easy and I learned how to spatchcock a chicken in the process. So will you!

ingredientsimage

1 (3 ½ – to 4-lb.) chicken, spatchcocked (butterflying a whole bird, removing the backbone and sometimes the sternum, and flattening it.) *See note below

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

2 teaspoons hot paprika

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon black pepper

2 garlic cloves, finely grated

¼ cup olive oil

2 lemons, quartered

directions

Preheat oven to 325°F.

Pat chicken dry with paper towels. Grind fennel seeds in a spice mill or with a mortar and pestle. Combine fennel, hot paprika, salt, smoked paprika, black pepper, garlic, and olive oil in a medium bowl; rub spice mixture all over chicken. Rub any leftover spice mixture onto lemon quarters.

Place chicken, breast side up, on a rimmed baking sheet or in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet; scatter lemons around chicken. Roast at 325°F for 1 hour or until chicken is tender, lemons are soft and jammy, and a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion of breast registers 160°F, basting chicken with drippings every 30 minutes. Remove from oven; rest 15 minutes. Squeeze lemons over chicken, or serve lemons with warm chicken.

*NOTE: I wasn’t sure how to spatchcock a chicken so a searched for it on you tube. It’s the easiest thing!! If you need help, check out this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pod4x5NJoYI

(Recipe found on http://www.cookinglight.com)

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