Saturday, January 28, 2012

Sausage & Squash Stir Fry.

It was 9:00 PM and I had just landed in my kitchen after a very long day of work and a late swim practice carpool.  I knew there was a package of chicken sausage in the refrigerator and my usual full produce drawer.  Four ingredients and 15 minutes later, dinner was served.  Nothing fancy, but it was fast, flavorful, and fresh.
  • 1 package of fully cooked low-fat chicken sausage
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced with a mandoline slicer
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 T olive oil

Dice onion and saute in oil over medium heat in large skillet (with lid - you’ll use it later) for 3 minutes, until onion starts to soften.  While onion cooks, slice sausage into one-inch pieces.  Add sausage to onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.  Slice zucchini and add on top of sausage and onion in pan.  Cover and cook for 3 minutes, allowing zucchini to steam.  After 3 minutes, remove lid, mix in zucchini, and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes, until sausage is heated through and zucchini is tender.  Serve with rice.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pork Chops & Apples.

Here's a low prep recipe for boneless pork chops. All the ingredients go in the oven at once and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. That's long enough for a quick run on the treadmill - and still enough time to get the table set and call everyone to dinner!
  • 4 boneless pork chops
  • salt & pepper
  • parsley
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 1 large apple, chopped
  • 1/8 c honey
  • 3/8 c orange juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking pan with foil and place pork chops in pan.  Sprinkle chops with salt, pepper, & parsley.  Spread chopped onion & apple over pork. Mix honey and orange juice together; pour over everything and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until pork is cooked through.  Enjoy with a fresh cooked vegetable and rice!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweet Jane: Turkey with Jicama Slaw & Caramelized Onions on Ciabatta.

One of my most favorite sandwiches is the world is #18, the Georgia Reuben, from Zingerman's Deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan. #20, Tom's New Job, is the not-grilled version of this sandwich.  I was inspired to create my own twist on one of the best sandwiches in the world.  Really. I do not go to Ann Arbor without having one. Anyway, with my recipe here are some important similarities to #18: turkey, swiss cheese, slaw, & good bread.  I took mine a different direction with jicama slaw, a balsamic dressing, and the addition of caramelized onions.  Nothing will ever replace #18 for me, but mine is a darned good sandwich, too.

Recipe makes 4 sandwiches
  • ciabatta rolls
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 T butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 8 slices deli turkey
  • 4 slices deli lacey swiss cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded jicama
  • 2 T creamy balsamic vinaigrette*, plus more for rolls
  • mixed baby greens
Slice ciabatta rolls in half and set aside.  Cut onion in quarters and slice thinly.  Heat butter and olive oil over medium-low heat until butter is melted.  Add onions and sprinkle with salt & pepper.  Cook onions over medium-low heat, stirring often, until soft and slightly brown, about 20 minutes.  While onions cook, mix together shredded cabbage and jicama for slaw.  Add 2 T of dressing to slaw and toss until well mixed. This will not be a creamy slaw, but rather, a lightly dressed mixture of cabbage & jicama. If you prefer it to be creamier, add more dressing!

To assemble sandwiches:  Spread more balsamic vinaigrette on each half of ciabatta. Layer mixed baby green, 2 slices of turkey, 1 slice of cheese, and a heaping spoonful of slaw on the bottom of each roll.  Top with 1/4 of the onions, more greens, and the other half of the roll. Enjoy (with an extra napkin!).

* I used Annie's Balsamic Vinaigrette - perfect consistency! 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Olive & Parsley Orzo.

I admit, this may seem like an odd little combination, but we all know that some of our great cooking moments come when we add unlikely ingredients in the same bowl.  And that's how olives and orzo came together.  My first taste-tester was none too sure about this combination, until the spoon hit her mouth - and then she wanted the rest of the bowl for herself!

  • 1/2 box orzo
  • chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup assorted olives, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp green onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp Italian parsley, chopped

Cook orzo according to package directions, substituting chicken broth for half the cooking water. You could also use a bouillon cube or packet in the water.

Chop olives, onion, & parsley and toss together.  I used a mix of olives I had on hand from the olive bar in my favorite grocery store, green and black, buttery, rich, and intense flavors, all mixed together.

When orzo is cooked, toss the chopped ingredients with the pasta and enjoy!  It's as simple as that!