Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Topped Filet Tuesday

Rachel Ray's Tenderloins were delicious!

You can find her recipe here...Tenderloin Steaks with Gorgonzola and Herbs and Roasted Garlic and Grape Tomato Pasta with Basil and Arugula

If you are trying this recipe at home I would suggest a few small changes. I caramelized the filets in the pan for 2 minutes, at least, on each side instead of Rachel Ray's suggested 90 seconds. I also left the oven on warm after putting the steaks in the oven instead of turning if off all together. This produced a nice Rare-Medium Rare steak. When making the pasta she also tells you to cook the noodles al dente or slightly firm because they will cook longer once you mix everything together. I did not find this to be true, they did not continue to cook later. I will leave the noodles cooking in the boiling water a little longer until they are to my desired firmness.

This dinner didn't even take that long to make. If you are a beginner then I would suggest doing some prep work before you start. I'm a kind of do it all at once, multi-tasker in the kitchen. I like having 10 different things going on around me at the same time. Pot on every eye, pan in the oven, sauces and such on the countertop. It makes me feel like I'm a chef in a big city restaurant on a busy Friday night.....just a dream.

I did really enjoy making this meal....and eating it!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Meatless Monday: Round 3

Self Evaluation: A-

 Italian always seems to be a comfortable, easy way to go with Meatless Monday meals. Most ingredients used in Italian dishes are very versatile and absolutely delicious, well to me at least. This week's meatless dishes definitely have an Italian theme to them. Enjoy!

 One Egg, One Egg White, Pesto Omelet, and Cinnamon Toast
Omelets are easy for me to make at work with a limited kitchen. I used my pesto that I brought for my pizza to add some pizazz to my eggs.

Tomato, Mozzarella, and Basil Pizza
This is a favorite of mine, Meatless Monday or not. The original chef who designed this pizza is up for debate. However, it seems agreeable that a tomato, basil, mozzarella pizza was made in honor of Queen Margherita in 1889 on her visit to Naples. This pizza proudly displays all the colors of the Italian flag. 

 Eggplant Stack and Brocollini
I won't lie, I stole this idea from Real Housewives of Miami. I baked eggplant slices to a nice crisp. They were then stacked with fresh mozzarella, roma tomatoes, and fresh sliced basil. I then topped each stack with baby arugula and parmesan. On the side I served up so oven roasted broccoli raab. It was sooo delicious!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tuna Sunday

Dinner was delicious!

Blackened Seared Tuna Steak (on sale at Harris Teeter), Sticky Sushi Rice, Fresh Express Double Carrot Salad with Makoto Ginger Dressing

My only complaint was I cooked the tuna a little longer that I prefer. I like a rare tuna steak, bright red throughout. This piece was definitely a little more on the medium side, but still absolutely delicious!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Looking forward to....

The goal for this week is to create a menu, stick to it, and have a daily short update from each evening's dinner. I wanted to give a sneak peek of what you can expect to see!

 Blackened Seared Tuna, Sticky Rice, Salad with Ginger Dressing
 Eggplant Stack, Broccoli Raab, Salad
Filet Topped with Gorgonzola and Herb,
Garlic Tomato Pasta with Basil and Arugula
(Rachel Ray Recipe!) 
 Baked Italian Sausage Pasta, Salad
P.F. Chang's Beef and Broccoli, Rice, Egg Rolls
Baked Chicken Wings, New Potatoes, Broccoli and Cheese 
If I stick to this menu for the entire week the reward is going out somewhere!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meatless Monday: Round 2

So here we are, Tuesday afternoon. It's debriefing time for Meatless Monday: Round 2.

Well what can I say?
  • I was pleased that I made homemade meatless meals and didn't wait until the last minute and buy pre-made "convenience" items.
  • I still am finding myself with random weird meat cravings I never knew I had. 
  •  I still want to step it up tremendously though in the weeks to come.

What did I eat this week?

Well I did get a little more creative with the meals, as promised. However, I am not completely satisfied. I want to really get into this and cook some awesome meatless meals. I did do a lot better than last week though.

Tomato Basil Omelet and Cream Cheese Bagel.

SMILE! It's breakfast time!
I used one egg, one egg white, and fresh cut tomatoes and basil; felt good about that. On the side I served up a delicious everything smart bagel with light cream cheese

Small Spinach Salad and Spaghetti

I feel like I could have improved here. I loved my spinach salad, but I did go with plane ol' noodles (should have used whole wheat noodles!)and Ragu. Not very creative.

Mexican Pizza, Fiesta Rice, and Broccoli

A true Taco Bell knock off and it was delicious!
This ended up being a lot more food than I initially expected. Half of the pizza accompanied with a little rice and broccoli was plenty....made great leftovers for lunch today though!

P.S. I feel like I need to confess. I did cheat a little. While I was a Publix I ate a very small, two bite sample of beef strognaoff. ..... It was a sample and the lady was so cute that I couldn't say no.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day....of course!

As usual, I'm a little late....of course! I hope everyone had a wonderful, safe St. Patrick's Day.

Being that the holiday was on a Thursday, Matt and I did the responsible thing. We stayed in instead of fighting the drunken crowds at every drinking establishment around town.

However, I am not one to pass up any reason to celebrate! Thursday night for dinner Matt and I followed tradition....of course!

We dined on corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes.

Whose tradition? Not mine, I'm not Irish, but Matt is! Whether or not this was his tradition before is highly debatable, however it will now become just that.  

As would only seem correct with most of our celebrations, this dinner is not exactly authentic IrishIt is very much an Irish American tradition. The celebration of St. Patrick was first noted as an official holiday in the 17th century. At that time in Ireland beef was considered a delicacy. Pork and bacon were much more commonly seen around the dinner table. A broiled piece of bacon was traditionally used in Irish meals. During the Great Famine of the 18th century many Irish immigrated to America. It was here in the states, where it was more affordable and accessible, that beef was substituted during dinner.

So, Cheers! To the Irish, St. Patrick, Irish Americans, and well drinkers around the world....of course!

Fun Fact: President Abraham Lincoln's Inaugural Dinner Menu consisted of Corned Beef and Cabbage with Parsley Potatoes!

Corned Beef Hash

With this quick breakfast idea in mind, I saved a small portion of the corned beef and potatoes from Thursday's dinner for Sunday's breakfast. I've never been a fan of corned beef hash. I personally can't stand the taste or texture. Everything about it says NO! to me. However, with my leftovers and "I can make anything taste good" attitude I decided to try my hand at this classic breakfast dish.

Of was delcious!

The corned beef and potatoes were so crispy, the egg just perfectly cooked. When you cut into the egg the yolk oozed into the hash!

Matty and I both were very pleased with the outcome! 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Meatless Monday

Last week my mom and I were having a conversation on a movement that she heard about, Meatless Monday. Apparently cutting meat out of your diet one day a week has numerous health and environmental benefits, from lowering your risk of cancer to reducing your carbon footprint. Who'd a thought? 

As a challenge to myself  I have pledged to join Meatless Monday! At first I thought this would be a difficult task. I went back and forth with myself on whether I could really do this. 

"I love steaks .... and chicken .... and shrimp .... and fish! How could I possibly go a WHOLE day without eating any meat?"

"There are plenty of vegetarians out there. It can't be that bad."

And the best one ... "This could be a good thing. Aren't all vegetarians skinny?"

I sat and listed all of the meatless dishes I could think of and realized, I CAN do this! Matt is not happy at all about this idea, to say the least, and I don't think he will be participating.

So for today's menu:
Nancy's Quiche Lorraine

Spinach and Strawberry Salad with Champagne Dressing

Lean Cuisine Mushroom Tortelloni

Mini Cheese Ravioli with Marinara Sauce

So here I am, my first Meatless Monday. This should

(Due to the newness of this idea today's meals are not homemade, except for the salad....Sorry! I promise that more creativity and time will be given to next week's Meatless Monday Meals.)