Showing posts with label spinach. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spinach. Show all posts

Friday, November 21, 2014

CTB 2014 - Giada's Family Dinners

We officially moved into our new house two months ago. It is only now that I've started cooking dinner. It's been a combination of laziness (after hours of renovating, take-out is awfully convenient) and kitchen inaccessibility (I literally couldn't get into my kitchen). What did I make for my inaugural recipe? No, it was not this chicken. I actually made oatmeal. In the slow cooker. Totally a low energy input meal.

I actually made this chicken at the old apartment, I just haven't had a moment to post it yet! Sorry for the fake out. I will be cooking a full Thanksgiving dinner this coming weekend and really giving my kitchen a run-in. Until then, it's been pretty easy recipes coming out of the kitchen - baked chicken tenders, soup, risotto. We are planning a major kitchen reno after the New Year and I don't want to make too much of a mess before then!


Even though I made this chicken dish at the old apartment, that doesn't mean it wasn't tasty! If you are looking for a quick and easy chicken dish, this one will fit the bill. This is definitely not a healthy chicken dish, what with all of the heavy cream, but we can pretend, because it sits on a bed of spinach.


This recipe comes from my collection of cookbooks. I realize that I have totally failed at cooking something from each cookbook this year. That is, unless I cook two recipes each day, until the end of the year. Not gonna happen.  Perhaps this challenge will continue into next year. Or maybe I'll just replace it with something else entirely. Something a little bit more creative...

One Year Ago: Apple-Cinnamon Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls
Two Years Ago: Cinnamon-Walnut Butter & White chocolate peanut butter
Three Years Ago: Tomato and White Bean Soup
Four Years Ago: Stuffing Cupcakes

Chicken Florentine
Adapted from Giada's Family Dinners

2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, butterflied in two
Salt and pepper
All-purpose flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 large shallot
2 teaspoons minced garlic
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 (10-ounce) package, frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Coat in flour, shake off excess.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Cook chicken until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.

In another large skilled, melt butter over medium heat. Add shallot and garlic and cook until shallots are translucent.  Add white wine and stir, scrape up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Raise heat to medium-high and reduce volume by half. Add heavy cream and continue to reduce again by half.

Microwave spinach for 1 minute, stir, microwave 1 minute more. Add spinach to a serving bowl, top with chicken, pour sauce over top. Sprinkle the whole dish with parsley and serve.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

CTB 2014 - La Tartine Gourmande

With all of this traveling, I definitely miss a home cooked meal. So does one other person - the boyfriend! After I returned home from my most recent trip, he complained that he was tired of trying to figure out what to have for dinner. I'm thinking of leaving him with a bunch of casseroles and freezer meals when I leave for my next trip.


Something that makes for a perfect make-ahead meal is a quiche. I'm a fan of fresh quiche, cold quiche the next day for breakfast and microwaved quiche for dinner later in the week. It's such a versatile meal too! Go meatless and add all of the vegetables from your crisper drawer. Make it manly and add sausage and hunks of cheese. The quiche is one of my favorite - Empty out the fridge - meals.


This quiche comes from La Tartine Gourmande cookbook, with a few minor changes. The recipe called for Jerusalem artichokes and I just couldn't find them at the grocery store. I'm pretty sure it was also supposed to be a frittata, but I don't have a large non-stick pan. I did however have a pie crust and no one is going to complain about a buttery pie crust.

One Year Ago: Granola Cookie Wedges
Two Years Ago: Cookie Dough Fudge
Three Years Ago: Cookie Dough Egg Rolls

Potato, spinach & asparagus Quiche with Cumin
Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande

1 pre-packaged pie crust
10 stalks of asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
Olive oil
1 cup packed spinach leaves
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
7 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon cumin

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Roll out pie crust into a deep-dish pie pan.  Line pie shell with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake pie crust for 10 minutes.  Begin preparing vegetables while the pie crust bakes.  Let it rest on a wire rack while you finish prepping the veggies.

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes, until they are bright green.  Drain water and rinse with cold water.  Place in a large bowl while you prepare the remaining vegetables.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove and add to the bowl with the asparagus.  Add 1 tablespoon more oil to the pan and add red onion.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are softened.  Add the potatoes and spread evenly over the pan.  Add 1/2 cup of water and cover with a lid.  Cook for 15 minutes, remove lid.  Cook until potatoes are tender.  Add contents of the pan to the asparagus and spinach.

Add eggs and cumin to the vegetables and stir to combine.  Pour vegetables and eggs into the pre-baked pie crust.  Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the center of the quiche is set and no longer eggy.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Wrap the quiche tightly.  Quiche re-heats really well and will be a great meal for the rest of the week.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Butternut Squash & Goat Cheese Pizza

Happy Friday everyone! Is it just me, or has this week just flown by?  It was just Tuesday yesterday, right?


Since it is Friday, I thought we all deserved some pizza.  The Boyfriend says that he can eat pizza every day of the week, because pizza has so many options!  And he's completely right.  One day it could be a classic pepperoni and the next day this amazing butternut squash pizza.


But don't tell him he's right, I'm good with pizza once a week! Though I am totally having this for lunch all weekend. It was ah-mazing. It's that time of year that I want to put squash on and in everything and this pizza was a result of one of those thoughts.  That, and the idea that goat cheese belongs on everything.


Do you know who wanted nothing to do with this pizza?  The boyfriend.  He made some sort of bleghing noise and asked what I made for him. What's your favorite type of pizza?  Are you a classic lover? Or do you prefer something a little crazy?

One Year AgoCheesey Polenta with Sausage
Two Years AgoPovitica
Three Years AgoYeast Donuts

Fall Pizza
A Wilde Original

I made this pizza in the easiest way possible, with store bought pizza dough and the pre-cut butternut squash.  For dinner I just don't have the time to make my own dough and peel and cut a whole squash.  You could even go super lazy and buy one of those pre-baked pizza crusts!  No judging here, I do it All. The. Time.

2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
Kosher salt & freshly cracked black pepper
1 recipe pizza crust (or store bought)
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
2 cups baby spinach
Balsamic vinegar

If you are using a pizza stone, pop it in the oven now. Preheat oven to 400 ºF.  Toss butternut squash in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Roast squash for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a bowl.  Increase oven to 450 ºF.

Roll out pizza dough to a 16-inch circle and place it on a thin layer of cornmeal.  Drizzle top with olive oil and spread over the entire pizza.  Slide pizza onto pizza stone, or bake on a baking sheet, and bake for 10 minutes.  Remove crust from the oven and top with butternut squash and goat cheese.  Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven and top with baby spinach and sprinkle with a dash of balsamic vinegar.  Cut it up and chow it down!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Spinach & Gorgonzola Cavatappi

Anesthesia is crazy.


I'm happy to be talking to you from the other side of my wisdom tooth extraction.  Though I hardly remember much of the procedure, or the two hours after it.  I'm thankful to have had an excellent oral surgeon.  After the initial jab of the needle and the anesthesia washing over me, I have felt very little pain.  It's been a generally good experience!  I'm now down four useless teeth and happy that I won't have to do it again.


The only problem I had with the extraction is the timing, which is totally my fault.  The dentist told me no spicy foods until I'm all healed up.  This would normally be fine, but I planned the surgery just before a visit to my parents in Buffalo.  I couldn't have a single hot wing the entire time I was home!  I was so disappointed and now I'm back in New Jersey with a healed mouth and no chicken wings!  I'll have to make some wing sauce this week.

Before my extraction I made this amazing pasta dish.  I have an all new love affair with panko breadcrumbs.  And deep frying them.  Then devouring them.  This dish was super easy too and ready in less than 30 minutes.  It also uses my favorite pasta shape - cavatappi!  If you can't find the fun little corkscrews, feel free to use any pasta with ridges.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Chicken Florentine with Pasta

If you've been a long time WITK reader, you remember my early days in Colorado.  I was a year into my Postdoc and was also working as a fitness instructor.  After my move from Colorado to Connecticut, and subsequently to New Jersey, I haven't had the free time necessary to teach classes at the gym.  And I miss it so much! 

I was teaching nine classes a week when I was living in Colorado.  Bodystep, bodypump, bodyflow, TurboKick, bootcamp classes, it was all so much fun.  I had my regulars in each class and the people I gave a hard time when I didn't see them week after week.  We had a party everytime I stepped foot in front of the class, I had a great time making fitness fun with my gym friends.  Maybe some day I'll find the time to teach again.


It's been a year and a half since I started working here in and I've found my groove with work and the commute and I've started exploring the different gyms in Montclair.  And let me tell you, there are a lot of gyms in Montclair!  We have a fitness center in our apartment, it's the group fitness experience that I miss.  You know I've started taking Crossfit classes (and they are so much fun!).  This week I took advantage of an Amazon local deal and got a Barre fitness membership.

If you are a former dancer, cheerleader, baton twirler, you should really give bar classes a try.  There was totally a former ballerina in the back of the class I took this Saturday.  She was making us all look bad!  The bar class I took was a cardio and strength class.  We lifted weights, used slide boards (which I haven't seen in years!), did core work and worked our balance.  It was great and I felt taller and stronger at the end of class.  Plus, it's so fun to work out with a group of ladies and just have fun.


And...  I've signed up for my first HALF MARATHON!  Yikes!  I've got six weeks until I loop around Central Park in the More/Fitness Women's Half Marathon.  Are you in NYC?  Why don't you come out and run with me?  It will be fun... I swear...

I'll be following a fast-paced six-week training program to ramp up my distance to 13.1 miles.  It incorporates running along with crosstraining, so I will still have days to hit the Crossfit and Barre gyms.  To keep myself on track, I've added a fitness link up there at the top!  If you are looking to run a half or just want to workout with me (c'mon, it'll be fun!), follow along and we'll all be on our way to a healthier summer.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Spinach & Sun-dried Tomato Quiche

Don't worry, boyfriend and I are all good.  My new love?  It's Rock Climbing!

This new love goes back a few months now.  It all started in Alaska.  Boyfriend and I were docked in Skagway and it was his birthday.  To celebrate his big day, I got us a rock climbing/zip lining/rappelling excursion.  Nothing like making someone leap off of a high platform for their birthday. 

The rock climbing portion of the excursion was to take place on a vertical stone wall.  This was not one of those rock gym walls, with all the big and colorful grips.  We were going to be going straight up this 100-foot wall.  Nothing like jumping in head first when it comes to rock climbing.  Luckily we were being belayed by some pretty muscly college dudes.  (Here I am below!)


Climbing those cliffs was fun and exhilarating.  Both boyfriend and I wanted to stay there all day and climb the wall.

Shortly after Alaska we decided to go rock climbing in New Jersey.  We signed up for a belay class to become a certified belayer for each other.  Pressure was on to not drop each other on the ground.  We learned how to tie knots, properly clip in and catch a climber in a fall.  Then, we got to climb.


We've been back four times since our first class, passed our belay tests and started strengthening our climbing muscles.  Did you know you really use those little muscles in your wrists and forearms while climbing?  Also, don't do your nails just before deciding to go climbing.


Now we just have to buy our own shoes and harnesses and we'll look totally professional while climbing at the rock gym.  We'll look professional while on the ground at least, once we start climbing all bets are off.  We're still learning the actual art of rock climbing.  It's not a graceful effort right now!  At least it's a great workout!  And I haven't dropped boyfriend once yet.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Plums and Spinach & cranberry Quinoa

WARNING!!! If you are a Doctor Who lover and haven't watched Saturdays episode, read no further!!! Go watch it!



Okay, I'm going to nerd out on you a little.  The Fall season finale of Doctor Who was so sad!  I know, some people (namely my labmate) weren't fans of the Ponds, but I thought they were so much fun!  I don't feel too bad saying that I'll miss them without calling "spoilers" ahead of time, since they have been advertising the Ponds departure for weeks now.

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you're missing out.  You need to take a week off of work and get aquanted with The Doctor.  Doctor Who is a show on BBC America that follows the shenanigans of an immortal alien and his companions through time and space.  It's been on TV, on and off, for over sixty years.  It's fun, silly, frightening, dramatic, heart-warming and sad.  Those Brits know what they're doing here.  Not into sci-fi?  Don't worry, it's so much better than American sci-fi. 


If you only have one hour, watch the episode "Blink."  It's a stand alone episode that will pull you in.  Fellow Whovians, what was your first episode?  Are you a long-time viewer and remember hiding behind the couch watching Peter Davies?  Or are you a newbie like me and were introduced to the ninth doctor in 2005?

For now, we all need to wait until Christmas for more new Doctor Who.  I'm a little sad.


One Year Ago: Pumpkin Pie Mallomars
Two Years Ago: Chocolate Crisps

Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Plums
Adapted from Everyday Food

I was able to get boyfriend to eat pork by making this meal with pork tenderloin.  He refused to eat the plums and told me fruit is lame.  Actually he said something a little more colorful than that, but this is a family friendly blog!

1 pound pork tenderloin
4 plums
1/2 yellow onion
1 tbsp butter
Olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate red wine vinegar
Salt & pepper

Trim pork tenderloin and slice into 1-inch pieces.  Pound pork medallions thin.  Cut plums in half and remove the pits.  Cut each plum into 12 pieces.  Slice onion thinly.

Heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat.  Cook pork tenderloin, approximately for 3-4 minutes per side.  Do not crowd the pan with pork, cook in two portions if necessary.  Once pork is cooked, remove to a plate and set aside.

Add 1 tbsp olive oil to the pan and add plums and onions.  Stir to coat in oil.  Saute for 5 minutes, or until the plums are slightly softened.  Add vinegar to the pan and let cook down for 1 minute.  Return pork to the pan and toss together.

Spinach & cranberry Quinoa
Inspired by Everyday Food

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup dried cranberries
3 cups baby spinach
Zest from 1 lemon

In a medium pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 4 minutes.  Add quinoa and stir to coat in oil, cook for 1 minute.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid.  Let simmer for 15 minutes, add cranberries.  Let simmer for 5 minutes more.  Add spinach and lemon zest and stir.  Cover with a lid for 5 minutes to wilt spinach.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

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