Fusilli Lunghi Alfredo x 2 and Stuffed Chicken Breast

29 Apr IMG_6816

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It’s dawned upon me that in order to efficiently have a food blog, I need to take better photos of the step-by-step process, or remember to take photos at all, before it’s finished. The problem lies in the fact that I’ve only got two hands, both of which are being used to control the variety of dishes on the stove and in the oven. Needless to say, I need an assistant…who’s interested?

This week, I made Fusilli Lunghi Alfredo with Broccoli, and then made it a little better for leftovers the next day. Also here is a stuffed chicken breast. Both of which I will totally tell you  how to make.

 

First things first: Carbs.

What you need:

1 box/package Fusilli Lunghi Bucati (commonly found in your local Italian supermarket, some regular grocery stores will have it as well)

1 head of broccoli, de-stemmed and cut into bite-size pieces

1/4 of a white onion, diced

3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 jar of Alfredo Sauce

1/4 cup grated parmesan

Salt&pepper to taste.

1 tbsp butter (I used Earth Balance, same thing)

 

How to make it:

Set a pot of water on the stove, salt it to death, and allow it to come to a boil. While the water’s working on boiling, take a large sautée pan and throw the butter on it to melt over medium heat. Once the butter melts, add the onions and garlic, and let them cook til translucent. Once that happens, add the broccoli, and cook to your level of desired doneness. Personally, I prefer a more crispy broccoli, so I let it cook for about 15 minutes or so, that way it absorbed all of the good garlic flavour. Once the water boils, add the pasta and cook 8 minutes or so. Basically, until it’s just under-done. As soon as the pasta finishes, drain it, and add to the sautée pan. Dump the jar of Alfredo sauce in, along with the grated parmesan, and stir until well coated. That’s it. Seriously.

 

On to the SLIGHTLY more complicated one, the chicken.

 

What you need:

Chicken breasts, how ever many you need to feed the people you’re cooking for. I don’t know your life’s story!

1/2 cup of baby spinach, destemmed

1/4 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese

a few leaves of basil

salt, pepper, paprika to taste

a few toothpicks

 

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350F. Clean and trim chicken breasts appropriately, and then butterfly them down the center, thickness wise. Add spinach, cheese, and basil, then fold the chicken breast back over and skewer it with one or two toothpicks. Then, season with salt, pepper, and paprika. Drizzle some olive oil on top if you want.

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Stick them in the oven for around 25 minutes. That’s it.

 

NOW, how did I “recycle” the leftover pasta the next day? Easy as hell!

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I cut up some fresh chives and cherry tomatoes, and just threw them right on top. Looks like a totally different dish now!

Those veggies on the side are just sauteed red onions, eggplant, and kale. Nothing major. Dice some eggplant, slice some red onion, garlic, and kale. Throw into a sautee pan with butter and wait for kale to get slightly wilty. That’s it. I seasoned mine with some Herbs de Provence.

 

Eggplant Parmesan

18 Nov

Done

Look at this out of focus delicious cheesy goodness. This is an entire 3 lbs of eggplant parmesan, because my eyes are always bigger than my stomach. However, I chowed on this all week, without any complaint, because it turned out delicious. Eggplant is yet another “fall” food that is incredibly versatile, and hearty enough to stand on its own without a meat dish to accompany it.

What you need:

Whatchuneed

 

Two medium sized eggplants
Two jars of tomato sauce (or home made sauce)
Fresh mozzarella
Bread crumbs (seasoned with italian seasoning, or to taste)
Flour
Three eggs
Shredded parmesan cheese
Olive oil
Vegetable oil (for frying)
Salt
Pepper

How to make it:

Preheat oven to 350F. Take a large skillet and pour vegetable oil in it, and heat on medium-high heat. Wash eggplant and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds. The size of the rounds will vary, but that’s not important. Drizzle them with olive oil, then salt and pepper them to taste. Prepare your breading station: lay down a sheet of tin foil, and place a bowl in the center. Place flour on one side of the bowl, breadcrumbs on the other. In the bowl, whisk the eggs together.

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In order to bread the eggplant, you drege each slice in flour, coat in egg wash, and then roll in bread crumbs. When coated, place into that skillet and let it fry til the outside is golden brown. Place them on a plate with a paper towel to absorb some of the oil when done

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While the eggplant is frying, slice up the fresh mozzarella cheese, and prepare the tomato sauce and parmesan for layering.

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I forgot to take photos of layering the ingredients, but the order should go as this: eggplant, cheese, sauce, parm, eggplant, cheese, sauce, parm, and then mozzarella on top. Place the dish into the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling on top, and eggplant is fully cooked through.

Portobello Napoleon

11 Nov

Main shot

Keeping with the theme of “fall” foods, I present you guys with one of my favourite arrangements of one of my favourite foods: portobello mushrooms. There is nothing you can’t do with a portobello mushroom, from burgers to casseroles to stir frys, what have you. Portobello napoleon is one of those combinations of tastes and textures that is just so rich and so perfect, and all around a decadent comfort food. Prep and cooking are also incredibly simple, and what comes out is just oh-so-satisfying.

What you need:

Whatchuneed

Two packages of portobello mushrooms (approx. 6 small caps in each)
1 package of deli-sliced provolone
1 jar of roasted red peppers (or 4-5 home roasted ones)
1 jar of basil pesto (or a home made pesto)
Balsamic vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper

How to make it:

Pre-heat your oven to 300-325F. Clean and hollow out the portobello mushrooms (scrape out the ribs, you won’t need those, and brush off the dirt). Arrange them on a baking sheet lined with tinfoil, and spray/drizzle with balsamic vinegar

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Cover generously with salt& pepper, and let sit for about 10 minutes. Once the balsamic has been absorbed, begin layering the mushrooms with a smear of pesto, a slice of cheese, a roasted red pepper, another slice of cheese, another smear of basil, and then the second balsamic coated mushroom on top.

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When these bad boys are all prepped and stacked, place them in the oven for about 20 minutes or so, or until cheese is bubbling. For better stability, throw a bamboo toothpick through the middle of each napoleon.

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Once ready, serve up on a bed of rocket and cherry tomatoes and shredded parmesan for a bright looking presentation.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

4 Nov Collage

It’s fall, one of the best times of the year…except for everyone wildly running  around on their “EVERYTHING PUMPKIN” circlejerk. Pumpkin is the worst gourd ever, by the way. Go squash. Squash always wins. But the best part of fall are sweet potatoes (yams?). The texture, flavour, and lovely fall colour of this tuber are fantastic, and make any meal better.

 

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And what goes best with sweet potato? Spinach.

 

What you need:

 

Whatchuneed

3 medium sized sweet potatoes
1.5c spinach, torn up by hand or chopped
1/4 c. feta cheese
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

 

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 375F. Wash and peel (optional) the sweet potatoes, and then dice them into inch-wide pieces.

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Take an oven pan and throw down some olive oil, then place sweet potatoes on the pan, and salt&pepper generously.

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Give the pan a solid shake to evenly coat every slice of sweet potato, and then throw into the oven for about 30 minutes. At the 30 minute mark, take the pan out, and add the spinach. Lightly drizzle with some more olive oil, and feta cheese, then place back in the oven for 5-7 minutes.

When finished, remove from oven, and serve hot with main dish of your choosing, or eat the whole pan yourself…no one’s judging.

Done done done

Chicken and Mushroom Tikka Masala

25 Nov Finished Product

 

 

I love Indian food. I don’t know how many possible ways there is for me to say that. It’s amazing to walk into a place that caters pretty well to everyone’s dietary needs. As someone who can’t handle most dairy products, Indian food is a godsend, because the most dairy they use is yoghurt and butter. After weeks of careful research, looking at various Chiken Tikka Masala recipes, I decided to give it a go at home.

What you need:

 

For the chicken marinade:
1 package of boneless chicken breasts, cubed
1 package of white button mushrooms
1 1/2c yoghurt
3tbsp lemon juice
3tsp cumin
3tsp ground black pepper
1tsp ground red pepper
1.5tsp cinnamon
1.5tsp salt
1.5tsp ground ginger (or 1 piece of fresh minced ginger)

For the sauce:

 

 

 

 

 

1.5tbsp butter
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
3tsp coriander
1.5tsp cumin
1tsp paprika
1.5tsp garam masala
3/4tsp salt
1 can (12oz) tomato sauce
1.5cup coconut milk
1/2c cilantro

 

How to make it:

Combine ingredients for marinade with the chicken, let marinate for an hour.
  

For the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, and add the garlic and onion. Let it cook until a bit golden, then stir in coriander, cumin, paprika, garam masala, salt, and tomato sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, and simmer to thicken, which should take about 5 minutes

Take chicken out of the fridge, or wherever it was marinating. Heat a pan on medium heat with some olive oil, and start to sautee the button mushrooms. Once the mushrooms begin to get soft, add the chicken and marinade to the pan

Cook the chicken for about 8-10 minutes, or until fully cooked through. Add to the sauce. At this point, you should make some basmati rice. The trick is to have an almost equal ratio of rice to water, as you want a firmer rice. Let the rice and water boil, turn the heat down to the lowest it can go, and wait for all the water to be absorbed by the rice.

 

Serve the Chicken Tikka Masala over rice on a large plate, with some naan if you want. Enjoy!

Pepper-Ginger Tuna Steaks

18 Nov Finished product

 

 

Decided to get a bit adventurous and make some pepper-ginger tuna steaks. I kind of just winged this one from scratch, seeing as we had no food in the house that day.

What you need:

Tuna steaks (however many, sashimi grade)
4tbsp ground ginger
4tbsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil


 

How to make it:

Combine the ginger, pepper, and olive oil. Add to defrosted tuna steaks and let marinate for about half an hour to 45 min

When almost ready, heat a pan with a bit of olive oil on low heat, add tuna steaks along with marinade, and cook through almost completely (I like my tuna steaks medium, but you can make them as raw or well done as you want).

 

Serve with whatever you’re feeling that day. Mesclun greens with a lemon or ginger dressing works best.

Cranberry-Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

14 Nov Finished Product

Tis the season for baked goods with cranberries in them! I love dried cranberries more so than any person probably should. This isn’t a bad thing, seeing as it will prevent me from getting scurvy. Vitamin C is important, people!
Here’s how to make these wonderful, wonderful cookies.

What you need:


2c flour
3c oats (old-fashioned)
1c light brown sugar
1/2c granulated sugar
1/2tsp salt
1/2tsp cinnamon
1tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1tbsp vanila
3tbsp coconut milk (or whatever milk you have on hand, just not soy)
1/2lb of butter (it’s about two sticks)
2 eggs

1c dried cranberries
1c 60% cocoa chocolate chunks

How to make it:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Combine flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, whisk the vanilla, milk, and eggs together, and set aside.

Warm up the butter in the microwave or however, and combine with the sugar, using an electric mixer. Mix on medium until well combined. Set speed to low, and add the milk, eggs, and vanilla mixture. Beat well. Add the flour and oats slowly and mix until well combined. Stir in chocolate chunks and cranberries by hand. Grease a pan/cookie sheet/whatever incredibly well. Throw about a large tablespoon of batter on there for each cookie and stick those bad boys in the oven for about 15 minutes. Wait patiently, and receive delicious cookies.