Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Penne and Macaroni Medley

I created this recipe after I ran out of options. Sometimes my mind does not work too well when I am under pressure. When somebody has a health problem in the family, everything in the kitchen seems altered. I mean, in terms of cooking. You cannot do this and that. This is good and this is something. He needs this and that. The world seems to revolve around the person who needs attention and care. When you cook something and he likes it, you get to pay attention to be able to make similar dish with slight modifications, adding a little bit of this and that.

The blueprint of this recipe are the Chicken Primavera and Veggie Angel Hair from the recipe book " Eating Well Through Cancer" by Clegg and Miletello which I borrowed from Cancer Resource Center of Mt. Zion Medical Center. When I first made each, hubby liked them so I was thinking something else related to the two might be a good idea. That's how I come up with this. The funny thing, when I did my primavera, I dumped the extra uncooked penne to the container I have for macaroni unintentionally. That's how these two got mixed up. Both taste the same though but it's the mistake that made the title.

Here is the list of ingredients, should you decide to try this recipe: 
  • half a pound of chicken tenders, cut in bite size
  • 2 cups of mixed penne and macaroni, cooked as per box instruction
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in strips 2x1/2 inch
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 tsp dried dill weed leaves
  • 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
Here is how I did it:
  • In a large non-stick wok, cook chicken pieces in olive oil, garlic and onion until lightly brown.
  • Add mushrooms, zucchini, peas and corn, sauteing and tossing until frozen veggies are heated through.
  • Add spinach and toss. Cover until spinach is cooked.
  • Add mixed pasta and sprinkle dried dill weed leaves.
  • Mix in Parmesan cheese and serve. 
This serves two very generous servings. Enjoy the healthy dinner!


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Who would ever believe that I made this pumpkin bread out of the Banana Bread Recipe that my daughter gave me. Oh well, actually my sister-in-law gave me a pumpkin recipe, too. But the blueprint of this bread was the banana. It was  a sort of experiment for me to substitute banana with pumpkin. I really never expected that it would come out good but it was "super" good. The picture shows like the crust was burnt but it was not. It was just  perfectly moist.

What really pushed me to do this experimentation was: # 1 - I wanted to get rid of the pumpkin in cans that I still have in my pantry from last year. It's about time to clean the shelves to give room for the new ones which are coming up in the market pretty soon. # 2 - Hubby loves anything that has pumpkin in it. So it was kind of a daring experiment because I was not really sure of the acceptability level of the  end result. However, I took some to work and had my few friends tried little pieces to solicit feedback and got thumbs up. I tried not to believe but taking it from my great critic, he said it was comparable to the ones we sometimes get at Starbucks. No No.. he must be kidding! I don't want to brag but may be you can try this recipe now that the pumpkin season is here.

Here is the list of what you will need:
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 oz)
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp white sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2-1/2 cups and 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
Here is how I did mine:
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray cake pan with non-stick spray coating. 
  • Beat eggs first and blend in buttermilk, oil and pumpkin.
  • Sift together sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon,nutmeg, cloves. Add to the pumpkin mixture and stir in pecans. Mix well.
  • Pour into prepared pan and bake 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Enjoy it with your favorite tea or coffee!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kale Soup with Macaroni

This is the soup I made for myself when I got sick last week. I wanted some vegetables but with protein also. There is just too many soups available but I wanted something that is easy to make and would not require me to go to the store to get the resources. It's different when you're sick because, I for myself, I wanted to eat but it's hard to stimulate your taste buds to eating something healthy. Everything seems tasteless that it takes one's effort and determination to feel better.

Hubby had the same soup on that day. He had no choice but to eat with me on the table, just with our favorite bread toast. He said that the soup was really good. Really? I did not taste it but he got me his thumbs up for this. Actually, I credited him for giving me the idea of what to make out of the green kale we kept in the freezer.

Here is the list of all the ingredients of this vegetable soup:
  • 1 cup of frozen kale ( can be fresh, too)
  • 2 chicken breast, clean and cut in bite size
  • 4 cups of Organic Low-Sodium Chicken broth (Safeway Brand)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Dreamfields macaroni
  • 1 can No-Salt green peas
  • 1 tbsp Herb Ox Sodium Free Chicken Granulated Bouillon
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste (optional)
Here is the way I did it:
  • Saute garlic and onions until transparent, then add chicken pieces and bay leaves. Stir and cover for a minute for the the meat to absorb the flavor.
  • Add kale, stir and cover for at least 3 or 4 minutes.
  • Pour in the chicken broth and bouillon, cover and bring it to a boil. Make sure the fire is on medium low. Cook for 15 minutes then add remaining water. Bring it to a boil again. Add more minutes if kale is still hard.
  • Add macaroni and peas. Cover and cook until macaroni is fully cooked. Add salt to taste.
  • Serve hot with crackers or toast.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sauteed Spinach

Before I got off work the other day, I decided to buy spinach for hubby's morning egg omelet. But the bigger packages are always cheaper compared to small ones. So I decided to get the big one with the plan of making something to eat with baked salmon for dinner.

I really did not try sauteing spinach yet but my feelings prompted me to try and see how it would taste. I was not too sure if it would really come out delectable but just to give it a try.

On the process, hubby was asking me what I was making and I told him that I was having an experiment with spinach. I warned him, though that we both might not like it because I just made it without a blueprint. I just randomly do what I thought would make it eatable.

When I served it with baked salmon, mashed potato and mango salsa, it came out really good that we finished the everything without any leftover. It made our dinner truly a great one. It's a nice side dish which makes a well-balance dinner. This takes care of the vegetables that our body needs.

Here are the ingredients you need in case you want to give this recipe a try:
  • 8 oz fresh spinach
  • 4 garlic cloves, freshly minced
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • a pinch of black pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
Here is how to do it:
  • Wash spinach and set aside.
  • In medium heat, warm olive oil in a wok big enough to hold the spinach. Then saute garlic and onions. When the onions turn translucent, pour in the spinach and stir. Cover for at least 3 minutes or until spinach are wilted. 
  • Add Worcestershire sauce and stir again. Then cover for a little bit, making sure there is still water. Cover for a minute or two.  Then sprinkle with black pepper.
  • Serve and enjoy your meal
Serving size: 2

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cilantro-Lemon Salsa

This is the salsa I promised hubby last night. He came home yesterday missing his No-Salt chips with Home-made salsa. He asked me if I had the ingredients to make it. I told him that my cilantro plants in the backyard can already give me enough sprigs to make a few servings. I have been substituting jalapeno peppers with the small chili peppers we grow in our yard. So I was ready with the organic tomatoes in cans we still have in the pantry.

Actually, I got this recipe from the can of the Fire Roasted Tomatoes made by Muir Glen. But as I really don't copy the whole thing, some ingredients are doubled, reduced or substituted.

Here is the list of ingredients if you have cravings for home-made salsa:
  • 1 can No-Salt Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (14.4 oz), drained
  • 1 can Low Sodium Organic Diced Tomatoes (14.1 oz), drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 4 tbsp cilantro, freshly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, freshly minced
  • 4 small red chili peppers, chopped (or 1 jalapeno pepper)
  • 3 tbsp organic lemon juice 
  • Kosher or Sea Salt to taste (optional)
Here is how I do mine:
  • Put all ingredients in a mixing bowl, except the Fire Roasted Tomatoes. Mix them and put in a blender. Crush for about 6 pulses. Pour back on to the mixing bowl.
  • Dump the Fire Roasted tomatoes on the blender and crush for 3 pulses. Make sure it's still chunky and pour on the bowl. Mix well and add salt for tastier flavor. 
  • Serve with your favorite corn chips and enjoy!

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