September 24, 2009

Pass the Couscous!

I got this recipe from a filipino classmate. It is delish.

1 (5.8-ounce) box instant couscous
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 orange, juiced
2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1/2 lemon, juiced
3/4 cup almonds, toasted
Freshly ground pepper

Stir the couscous, cranberries, curry powder, salt, and sugar together in a heatproof bowl. Bring water (amount will be listed on package directions) to a boil and pour it over the couscous. Add the orange juice. Give it a big stir, cover the bowl tightly and let it stand, giving it a big stir once or twice, until the water is absorbed and the couscous is tender, about 5 minutes.

Fluff up the couscous with a fork. Add the olive oil, parsley, lemon juice, and almonds. Stir around until everything is distributed evenly throughout the couscous. Make up to 2 hours ahead of time and keep at room temperature until you're ready to serve. Check the seasonings just before you serve the salad and add salt and pepper, to taste.

Note: To toast the almonds, spread them out on a baking sheet and bake in a 400 degree F oven until they turn a shade darker, about 8 minutes or put in a dry pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes-watch closely to avoid burning...I have burned my nuts several times...rugh!

September 07, 2009

new potato salad and healthy(ish) onion rings

for our labor day celebration today, we tried out a couple new sides with our hamburgers. i liked them both. so now i am sharing them!

dijon potato salad

i usually dislike traditional potato salad. probably because i strongly dislike pickles (how un-american, i know!) so i'm always on the look-out for a decent alternative. i think i found it. i REALLY liked this one. it comes from everyday food magazine.

1 1/2 lbs red new potatoes, scrubbed and halved
1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 C chopped fresh flat-leaved parsley

steam the potatoes. in a serving bowl, combine vinegar and dijon and season with the salt and pepper. add the hot potatoes, toss and then let cool. after it's at room temperature add the oil and parsley and toss. yum.

baked onion rings (also from everyday food magazine)

1 1/2 C cornflakes
1/2 C breadcrumbs
1 large egg
1/2 C low-fat buttermilk
1/4 C flour
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1 sweet onion
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. preheat oven to 450. in a food processor, pulse cornflakes and breadcrumbs until fine crumbs form, then transfer to a medium bowl. in another medium bowl, whisk together egg, buttermilk, flour and cayenne pepper and season with salt and pepper.

2. dip onion rings in egg mixture, then in the dry mixture. pour oil onto a rimmed baking sheet and stick it in the oven for 2 min to warm it up. then place the onion rings on the baking sheet. cook for 16 minutes, turning once.

September 06, 2009

Healthy Chicken Nuggets

I saw this on a blog ages ago and finally decided to try it now that the hubs is back in school and not home to tell me what he wants for dinner. Now I'm mad I waited so long! Baby girl ate 5 nuggets and was begging for more. Hubs came home and ate the entire rest of the batch. They really are good! I thought it was weird to use rice crispies, but it works! For some reason they don't let any of the juice out of the nugget so the inside is super tender while the outside is nice and crispy. Don't be afraid to use the fat free sour cream, it actually tastes great in the dipping sauce! Enjoy!

Healthy Chicken Nuggets with Creamy Dijon Dipping Sauce

1 ½ pounds chopped chicken breasts or chicken tenderloins

½ c flour

1 – 2 eggs slightly beaten

4 c crisp rice cereal

2 Tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

½ c reduced fat sour cream

2 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp honey

carrot and cucumber sticks for dipping

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place the rice cereal in a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Pulse in the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place crumbs in a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl add the flour and in a third beat the eggs. Coat each piece of chicken in the flour first, shake off the excess, dredge the chicken in the egg next, and then press the chicken in the crumbs to help them stick. Place each piece on a baking sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes until light golden brown and cooked through (turn once halfway through). Meanwhile, mix the sour cream, mustard, and honey. Serve the chicken nuggets with carrot and cucumber sticks with the sauce for dipping.