3.31.2010

Leftover Nachos


What's a girl to do with leftover taco salad fixings?

NACHOS!

See my taco salad recipe here, and with the leftovers, just sprinkle them on top of some of your favorite tortilla chips. You can make your own, or my favorite is the Hint of Lime variety by Tostidos! Anyway. Top the nachos with the fixings and low-fat cheese and bake in oven at 350 until the cheese melts and the fixings are hot!
Garnish with some chopped scallions and cilantro leaves.

3.30.2010

Twice Baked Cheesy Potatoes and Taco Salad

Everyone loves a big pile of Mexican food, and here's how you can right at home!

TWICE BAKED CHEESY POTATOES and
TACO SALAD (serves 4 with leftovers- maybe!)



What you'll need:

-4 Idaho Potatoes (Bake for 40-50 minutes before baking again)
-1 can fat-free/organic re-fried beans
-1/2 cup Fat free/Low fat sour cream, and extra for garnish
-5 scallions, chopped
-1 packet taco seasoning
-1 cup shredded LOW FAT Mexican blend cheese
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1lb ground and lean beef, chicken, turkey OR meatless substitute
-1 cup corn kernels
-1 small red onion, minced
-1 garlic clove, minced
-4 cups romaine hearts, chopped
-1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
-2 limes
-1 cup salsa
-salt and pepper to taste

What you'll do:

The potatoes:
First, bake the potatoes at 400 degrees for about 40-50 minutes. When they are almost done, carefully take them out of oven using mitt to handle. Cut open the top of the potato so that you can scoop out MOST (NOT ALL) of the potato inside. Place all of the white potato filling in a bowl. Set aside the potato boats that you have created. In the bowl with the potatoes, add the re-fried beans, the 1/2 cup sour cream, and a few sprinkles of the taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Mash this mixture up until it is smooth. Now stuff the potato skin boats so that the filling is about 1/2 -1 inch filled outside of the potatoes. Cover each potato with some of the cheese. Bake again at 350 until the filling is cooked through and the cheese is melted. About 15 minutes or so.

The salad:
In a large saucepan, heat oil. Add onions and garlic for about four minutes. Stir in meat and remaining taco seasoning. Cook until meat is golden brown. Set the meat to one side and add corn to the other. Add a handful of scallions and the lime juice to the corn and let cook through for about 5-10 minutes. Be sure to stir the meat around too so it doesn't burn! Dress your plates with the lettuce and top it with the meat, THEN the corn.
Sprinkle some cheese and scallions on top.

Add your twice baked potato, sour cream and salsa sides and you've got a tasty
AND HEALTHY Mexican fiesta to enjoy!




3.29.2010

Episode 2 of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution!

CLICK HERE if you missed it this past Friday!

And check out one of his yummy recipes!

Jamie Oliver's: Chicken Chow Mein

Chicken Chow Mein

This dish makes use of a tender, juicy Asian cabbage called bok choy which is simple to cook and really tasty. You should be able to find bok choy (also known as pak choy, Chinese white cabbage or hakusai) in your local grocery story, but if not, a nice heart of romaine (halved or a handful or two of baby spinach thrown into the wok for the last 2 or 3 minutes of cooking will do the trick.

A thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
2 cloves of garlic
½–1 fresh red or green chile, to your taste
1 large skinless chicken breast, preferably free-range or organic
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 scallions
A small bunch of fresh cilantro
1 baby bok choy
optional: 4 shiitake mushrooms
4 ounces (2 bundles) ready-to-cook chow mein noodles
Peanut or vegetable oil
1 heaped teaspoon cornstarch
1 x 8-ounce can of water chestnuts
2–3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 small lime

To prepare your stir-fry
Put a large pan of water on to boil.
Peel and finely slice the ginger and garlic.
Finely slice the chile.
Slice the chicken into finger-sized strips and lightly season with salt and pepper.
Cut the ends of your scallions and finely slice. Halve the bok choy lengthwise.
If using the mushrooms, either tear into pieces or leave whole.

To cook your stir-fry
Preheat a wok or a large frying pan on a high heat and once it's very, very hot, add a good lug of peanut oil and swirl it around.
Stir in the chicken strips and cook for a couple of minutes, until the chicken browns slightly.
Add the ginger, chile, cilantro stalks, mushrooms (if using) and half the scallions.
Stir-fry for 30 seconds, keeping everything moving around the wok quickly.
Add your noodles and bok choy to the boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, no longer.
Meanwhile add the cornstarch, water chestnuts, and their water to the woke and give it another good shake to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom.
Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce.
Halve the lime, squeeze the juice of one half into the pan and mix well.
Drain the noodles and bok choy in a colander over a bowl, reserving a little of the cooking water.
Stir in the noodles and bok choy, with a little of the cooking water to loosen if necessary, and mix well. Have a taste and season with more soy sauce if needed.

To serve your stir-fry
Use tongs to divide everything between tow bowls or plates, or lift on to one large serving platter. Spoon any juices over the top and sprinkle with the rest of the scallions and the cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges.

Jamie's recipe is taken from Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver (Hyperion).
©2009 Jamie Oliver, with photographs by David Loftus.

3.25.2010

REVIEW: American Idiot- The Musical

Last night I attended one of the preview nights for Green Day's American Idiot on Broadway. I'll try and keep this short and sweet.

For starters... HOLY $HIT GREEN DAY WAS THERE! As I was sitting in my seat drinking wine (yes, you could drink in your seats AND they were selling in the rows)... all of the sudden Billy Joe walked past me, then Tré Cool, then Mike Dirnt! Entourage, skinny wives and all- they were cool, took pictures with fans, and chatted with the little people. Very down to earth seeming fellows. No, I did not jump the aisles and tackle anyone...

On to the show... There is no Overture, which was awesome. What's the point of that anyway, just get the freakin' show started! For 90 minutes, and no intermission, you are quickly whisked into this Rock Opera's world. What does "Rock Opera" mean? NO TALKING. So if you want a deep story filled with twists, turns, and metaphors... this is not that show. Angry kid wants to leave home. He does. Does Drugs. Now What? There's the story! The set is minimal, if not contrived, and the over-all staging/directing was bland. Which was a disappointment or maybe it's what you get with Director Michael Mayer from Spring Awakening? I never saw Spring Awakening so I guess that I can't go that far to judge. That's not to say though that the music did not carry the energy throughout. The cast did Green Day justice with their emotion and free-for-all style. Well done. However, I do have a gripe when it comes to male leads on Broadway. Is it just the pool of actors, the characters written, or the casting director's faults for this growing epidemic of scrawny, obnoxious, I-need-ritalin looking leads? Where is Hugh Jackman? I want Hugh Jackman! I want a sexy man who's not afraid to dance and be merry but still sweats his testosterone all over the audience. Is that too much to ask?

The Bottom Line: If you are a Green Day fan, spend the dough to see this. It's a concert... without Green Day and more expensive than their concerts. Wait... Let me rephrase the bottom line: If you are a Green Day fan, AND get discount tickets, spend the dough to see this.

3.24.2010

Jamie Oliver To The Rescue! UPDATE!

I just finished watching the first episode of Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. It was absolutely brilliant! I really hope he accomplishes his goal, but he can't without us!

So sign his petition to show your support !
This is Jamie's message:

The American Food Revolution needs to start now! If you care about your country and the health of its children please help us make a difference. We need your support to get people back in touch with food and keep cooking skills alive before it's too late. We want to make sure every kid gets good, fresh food at school. It's proven that real food promotes more effective learning. If you want better health for your kids the junk food must go. I need to be able to show The President and industry how many of you out there really care about this issue so please don't wait, sign up today. It will only take 30 seconds.

America's health needs you!

If you are one of my readers from outside the US, just sign the petition as a New Yorker from zip code 10128! Who cares! WE NEED YOUR HELP TOO!

Grab the button below for your blogs and attach this hyperlink: www.jamiesfoodrevolution.com/petition

YOU CAN ALSO MAKE A DONATION BY CLICKING THE BUTTON BELOW:

Don't miss Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution on ABC Fridays at 9!

The previous episode airs before at 8 Eastern Time!

GO JAMIE! GO!!

3.23.2010

Eat, Pray, Love!

I saw this trailer on another blog and figured I'd join the club!
What do you all think?


3.21.2010

3.19.2010

Gnocchi with Sun-dried Tomato and Almond Pesto!


Easy and delicious!

GNOCCHI with SUN-DRIED TOMATO and ALMOND PESTO
(from Vegan Italiano- but I added cheese, so not really!)
What you'll need:

1 16 ox package of fresh gnocchi
6 tablespoons oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Reserve 2 tbsp of the liquid along with them.
1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

What you'll do:
In a large pot cook the gnocchi in salted water according to the package directions. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid. DO NOT OVER COOK! They will be mushy and unmanageable.
Drain gnocchi and return to pot.
Meanwhile, place tomatoes, basil, almonds, garlic, salt and pepper in a food processor. Process until everything is finely chopped. Add this mixture to the gnocchi along with the cooking water and stir gently. Garnish with Parmesan cheese and more basil if desired. Serve with a side of salad!


3.17.2010

Jamie Oliver To The Rescue!


I love Jamie Oliver. His cook book Jamie at Home: Cook Your Way to the Good Life is an amazing step back (which is GOOD) from what we've become: Mindless and Processed Eating Fiends! Ok, maybe not all of us, but let's face it: The fake is everywhere! But on Friday, March 26th at 8 on ABC, Jamie will bring the Food Revolution right into our living rooms with a 2-hr premiere event (it's a six-part series)! I could go on for a full page describing my love for this concept, but these sneak clips will do enough convincing- you don't need to listen to me rant!





3.14.2010

Green With Envy Part II


Part II for my Green With Envy series of veggie goodness!

TWO PEAS IN (and out of) A POD!
(Ladies Home Journal)
What you'll need:
4 cups snow peas, halved lengthwise
1 fennel bulb sliced thin (reserve 2 tbsp of the fronds- those leafy looking green frizzies at the top)
1 cup thawed (if frozen) peas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

What you'll do:
Combine all ingredients together and stir until everything is fully coated with the oil and lemon juice. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.


Green With Envy Part I


Spring is almost here! Time to veg up your menu!

GREEN BOW-TIES
(Ladies Home Journal)
What you'll need:
2 large zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 tbsp olive oil, and 1/4 cup
1/2 ib bow-tie pasta
1/2 lb asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped chives
3 tbsp chopped Italian parsley
1 lemon zested and juiced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

What you'll do:
Heat oven to 400. Toss zucchini, garlic, salt and pepper, and 2 tbsp olive oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake veggies for about 15 min or until tender. Meanwhile, cook bow ties in salted boiling water for about 5 minutes. Then add the asparagus and peas and continue to cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente, and the veggies are cooked yet still crisp and green. Save about 1/4 cup pasta water. Drain pasta and veggies. Toss in the roasted zucchini, chives, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and stir together. YOu can serve with extra cheese and pepper if desired.


3.08.2010

Green Flea Market Finds

The Green Flea Market on the Upper West Side of Manhattan is a great place to go treasure hunting on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. The market is on Columbus avenue between 76th and 77th street. Enjoy all of the goodies outside, but don't forget to go inside to find more antiques!















OPEN:
10 AM to 5:30 PM (Nov.-Mar.) and 10 AM to 6 PM (Apr.-Oct.) on SUNDAYS ONLY

3.06.2010

MOROCCAN STEW

Great for a cold day, but it's looking like Spring is getting closer and closer these days!

MOROCCAN STEW
(from The Vegan Table)
What you'll need:
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons vegetable broth or water
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 large red bell peppers (I skipped these because my boyfriend doesn't like them, aren't I sweet)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp light brown sugar
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
1 tsp grated/minced ginger (I used powder)
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 15oz can chickpeas
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
salt and pepper to taste

What you'll do:
Heat the 3 tablespoons water/stock in a soup pot. Add onions, peppers, and garlic- cook about 5-7 minutes or until the onions start to sweat. Add more water if it has all evaporated at this point.
Stir in brown sugar, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, cayenne, ginger, and saffron-
cook for a minute and stir occasionally.
Add sweet potatoes and coat with spices.
Stir in tomatoes and add remaining water/stock, and chickpeas. Bring to boil and reduce to low heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender but not overdone.
Season with some salt and pepper to taste.

I served this with some wild brown rice. I added 1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 cup sliced almonds, salt and pepper to 2 cups of rice. (that's two cups cooked).

3.05.2010

BLOG UPDATE!


My blog address is now: beholdthemetatron.com
Super excited about this!
But PLEASE update your readers because you are all missing now and that makes me sad!!!!

My professional website is now: kristensenese.com

I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!
I have a lot of catching up to do...

Here's a sneak preview:

3.02.2010

Chicken Caesar Pasta!

I adapted this Rachel Ray recipe ever so slightly because I don't eat meat. My boyfriend does though, so there's chicken for him, and Italian white beans for me! Enjoy!

CAESAR PASTA:

What you'll need:

  • Salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 6 anchovy fillets, drained
  • 4 large cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, eyeball the amount
  • 1 12-15oz can Cannellini White Beans (RINSED)
  • 2 medium heads escarole, washed
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano

What you'll do:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, salt the water. Add the pasta and cook until just shy of al dente, according to package directions.
Reserve about 1 cup of the starchy cooking water just before draining.
While the pasta is cooking, put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the extra-virgin olive oil. Add the anchovies and cook until they've melted into the oil, about 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic, stir 1 minute then add in Worcestershire. Add in the rinsed beans and cook for a few minutes. Shred the escarole and add several handfuls at a time, wilting the greens in the garlic oil. Dress the greens with lots of pepper, then squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the pan. Add the reserved starchy cooking water to the eggs in a small bowl and beat together to temper them. Turn off the heat and add the drained pasta and the egg mixture. Stir to combine. Add half of the cheese and toss vigorously for 1 minute. Dress the pasta with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and transfer to a serving dish. Pass the remaining cheese at the table.
GRILLED CHICKEN WITH SPINACH PESTO

What you'll need:

  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (toasted)
  • 1 cup packed fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 small pieces boneless, skinless chicken breast

What you'll do:

Heat a grill pan to high.
Toast the nuts lightly in small skillet over low heat, then add them to a food processor.
Add the spinach, basil, lemon juice, garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste, and pulse to combine.
With the processor on, stream in the extra-virgin olive oil to form thick pesto.
Lightly pound out the chicken, then rub all sides with the pesto. Spray the grill pan with cooking spray or rub with a little oil and grill the chicken 2 to 4 minutes on each side. PLace a handful of Parmesan on each piece of chicken, cover with tin foil and let melt.
Serve sliced on top of Caesar Spaghetti Pasta!