Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Those of you who know me well know I am a little neurotic about food. (and.... germs, throw pillows, playdough in the house, etc). So when my friend Carey loaned me a book titled "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" She had to know it would send me spiraling into a local food frenzy. If you have seen the documentary Food Inc. the book is along the same lines. It is about a family who decided to live off only food they could grow or buy in their county (yes county, not country) for a whole year! I was suddenly inspired to eat an all local diet for the summer (local meaning Texas, Houston doesn't really have a lot of farmland). The following recipes were all prepared with ingredients I bought at a farmers market last Saturday and the local section of Whole Foods, and all items were produced within 150 miles of Houston. (with the exception of flour, which I'm looking into and swiss cheese, because I had just spent like $7 on a wedge at Whole Foods earlier that week :)

Vegetable Frittata:
Start by sauteing 3 slices of purple onion (diced), 2 fresh jalapenos (seeded and diced), 2 baby yellow crookneck squash (diced), 1/2 bell pepper (any color diced), in 1T of olive oil over medium low heat. (My olive oil is local too! and tastes amazing!!)

I covered my pan for about 2-3 minutes to help my squash cook a little faster. Once the everything started browning and caramelizing, I added 1 handful of diced baby bella mushrooms, and 5 squash blossoms.

(You can add or omit any veggies to this, just remember to add veggies that need longer to cook first and quick cooking veggies last)

Once the veggies are cooked, pour 4 eggs slightly beaten with 2T of milk over the veggies. Salt and Pepper your frittata while the eggs are setting.

Once the egg mixture starts to pull away from the edges of the pan, top with your favorite shredded cheese (I used my swiss) and place the skillet in your over under LOW broil for 2-3 minutes ( until puffy, cheese is melted and a golden brown). Such a yummy brunch and even my kids devoured it.

Stuffed squash blossoms:
Squash blossoms can usually be found at farmers market in early summer, I have never seen them in a grocery store. They are most often the blossoms of zucchini plants.

I gave them a quick rinse and laid them on paper towels to dry. In a bowl combine chopped fresh basil, 3oz of fresh goat cheese, and juice from 1/2 a lemon or lime.

Once the squash blossoms are dry, fill them with a spoonful of the cheese mixture.

Twist the top to close. In a separate bowl whisk 1 egg, 3T of flour and 1/4c of milk. Dredge the blossoms into the batter and fry over medium heat in 4T of olive oil for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Drain on a paper towel and serve hot. They look weird, but taste amazing! Even Grant came back for seconds.


With Grant out of town earlier this week, I had planned on putting the kids to bed and having a bowl of popcorn for dinner. My sweet friend Amanda called late afternoon requesting dinner at my house and a Real Housewives watch party! I couldn't turn down the opportunity to gossip about the RHW with her so I started digging in my fridge to find something to cook. So this was my Mexican....ish dinner in under 30 minutes.


I grabbed 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, did a quick salt and pepper all over and covered with bread crumbs. (You can rinse your chicken with cool water first to help the breadcrumbs stick) I heated 2T of olive oil over med-high heat (thats a 7 on my cooktop) tossed in the chicken breasts and cooked till brown and crispy. (About 6 minutes each side depending on the thickness) Set your chickens aside.

I had a 4 beautiful fresh jalapenos from my neighbors garden in the fridge. I LOVE caramelized jalapenos! They are so sweet and not hot at all. Cut the jalapenos length wise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Dice up the peppers and put them in a skillet with 2T of butter and a pinch of Kosher salt.

Cook the with 3 slices of purple onion (diced) over medium low heat for about 20 minutes. (the slower, the sweeter) Once browned and kind of withered looking remove from pan and set aside.

My husband loves this corn and it is the easiest thing to make in a hurry.

Place 1/2 bag of frozen white corn kernels in a skillet with 2T of butter and saute' 4-5 minutes over medium high heat until soft, warm, and some kernels are turning brown.

Place hot corn into a bowl and add 1/3 pkg of softened cream cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and stir together. (Usually I add a small can of green chilies or caramelized jalapenos to the mixture for some extra kick) Serve warm.

I placed the chicken on the plate with a scoop of corn and dressed them both with the relish and sliced tomatoes. It looked fancy enough for company, but was super quick and easy!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Fish Tacos (diet style)

As I try to move away from my southern roots of adding bacon grease and cream to all my dishes, planning dinner has become a bit more challenging. I will say P90X and the diet is doing amazing things in this house, but sometimes I find myself craving anything beef or fried! This Tuesday was one of those days. I could not stop dreaming about fish tacos from Fish City Grill. Of course they are filled with fried catfish and mayo, and wrapped in a not so carb friendly flour tortilla. This is my version of a healthier fish taco and I actually liked it better.

Fish Tacos (diet style)
I started by making a crunchy spicy slaw to go in the tacos. Using a peeler, peel 1 entire carrot into a bowl (ribbons).

You can finely dice if that is easier. Next add 2 finely diced slices of purple onion, chopped cilantro (to taste), 1/2 a head of Napa cabbage, and 1/2 of a diced pepper (i used a yellow bell for color).

Squeeze in the juice of 1/2 a lime and stir. (Save the other half of the lime for the fish) I added a 1/4c of Tarter sauce that bites back (found at Whole Foods, no sugar!!) But you can dress your slaw however you like, remoulade, mayo and sugar, or it is good with just the lime juice. Set slaw in fridge. Next heat 1T of olive oil in skillet over medium heat. I used fresh cod filets, but tilapia or any white fish would work. Salt and Pepper fish to your liking and toss in the skillet.

Fish cooks really quickly, I did mine for 3 minutes on each side. (It's cooked if it flakes in the center when you cut it) Remove fish from skillet, squeeze the other half of your lime over the fish and set aside. We used spinach tortillas (only 15 carbs) and topped them with monterey jack cheese, fish, and slaw. The warm tortillas, with the crunchy cold slaw is sooooo yummy!