Friday, July 31, 2009

Grilled Salmon Steaks with Honey Mustard Sauce

I try to cook salmon at least once a month (and then eat it all week). Not only is it delicious, but it is also very healthful...all of those omega-3 fatty acids are important for good cardiovascular and brain function! I buy wild salmon (as opposed to farm raised) for both nutritional and environmental reasons:
  • Farmed salmon provide less usable omega-3 fats than wild salmon
  • Farmed salmon are given antibiotics and exposed to more concentrated pesticides than wild salmon
  • Farmed salmon are given a salmon-colored dye in their feed...without it their flesh would be a grey color!
  • Salmon farming has a negative impact on the health of wild salmon
Buy wild!

I made this recipe a while back. The pics aren't too great (I took them at night), but the fish was incredible. The honey mustard glaze was perfectly sweet and tangy, and then caramelized once it hit the grill. I swapped the asparagus for grilled zucchini (it's zucchini season!) and I also oven roasted some red potatoes...I used the leftover honey mustard as a dipping sauce
for the veggies.

I have 2 stove top grill pans, which I love and use all the time. The one I use the most is side is a grill and the other a skillet. I bought it when I was in college at Wal-Mart for about $20. Its great for grilling chicken, veggies, fish, etc and then it reverses to a flat surface perfect for pancakes! The other one is All-Clad and has a panini press...I found it cheap at TJ Maxx. Grilling is a great cooking method because it doesn't require a lot of additional fat.

I hope you try this recipe. It's a quick and easy week-night meal (there are only 6 ingredients, including the salt and pepper). Enjoy!

Grilled Salmon Steaks with Honey Mustard Sauce
adapted from EverydayFood

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar (or any other vinegar)
Salt and pepper
4 salmon steaks (6 ounces each)
Oil or cooking spray for the grates

Make mustard sauce by combining the mustard, sugar, and vinegar. Divide sauce, reserving half for marinating and half for dipping. Set aside

Arrange salmon steaks on a plate and season with salt and pepper. With a brush or spoon, lightly coat both sides of the salmon with the mustard sauce. Cover with foil and allow to marinate for 15 to 30 minutes.

Heat grill to med-high and lightly oil grates. Grill salmon until cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer salmon to serving plates and serve with reserved sauce (and some veggies!).

Per serving - 267 calories, 11 g fat (1.7 g saturated), 6 g carbohydrates, 34 g protein (exchanges: 2 fat, 5 protein; WW points: 6)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Oven Baked Onion Rings

I love onion rings and have been waiting to make the baked onion rings in the June issue of EDF ever since my copy came in the mail. And then a few weeks ago, one of the blogs that I read, The Bitten Word, made them and said they were fantastic! And then I got back from LA and realized that the CEimB recipe of the week was none other than Ellie's version of baked onion rings!

The two recipes are surprisingly similar. So I made a combination of the two...I mostly followed Ellie's version, using all of the same ingredients, minus the cayenne, and I halved the recipe (oh, and I added an egg white to the buttermilk mixture for a little extra binding power).

The part that I borrowed from Martha's version was the baking method. Her recipe calls for first heating the oil on the baking sheet, and then minutes later adding the onion rings (so the rings start to cook/crisp as soon as they hit the pan). Ellie says to use cooking spray...I used regular canola oil (I didn't have cooking spray) to coat the pan which needless to say added a few more calories...oh well!

Also like Martha, I baked them for 8 minutes per side for a total of 16 minutes (Ellie doesn't call for flipping them half-way through the baking time, but I think it's important for both sides to crisp on the hot pan).

I used the Kettle Brand of baked chips, and if you can find them it's totally worth it (both for this recipe and everyday snacking). They are made with whole sliced potatoes (not ground-up reformed chips, like Baked Lays). Don't get me wrong, I eat Baked Lays, but these are so much better!

If you like onion rings, give these a try. You will not be disappointed!

  • Per serving (following Ellie's version) - 205 calories, 3.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 40 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein (exchanges: 1/2 fat, 2 1/2 starches, 1/2 vegetable; WW points: 4)
  • Notes - Grind the chips up very fine...if you don't, they will start to clump and not stick to the onion; I would add an egg white to the buttermilk mixture to help the crust stick; I also think heating the pan first is a good idea too...would this work with cooking spray? not might burn?!?; definitely use a sweet onion (like Vidalia)...the sweetness contrasts well with the salty chip coating; I baked at 450 for 16 minutes...turning the rings after 8 minutes
  • My thoughts - These are great! As an onion ring lover, I assure you that they are worth it! But eat them right away or they will start to lose their crispiness (and get cold).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Grilled Tuscan Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

Another teacher and I are in LA this week with a group of dancers from Tari's...the kids get to dance all day...We get to sit around the hotel/try to find things to do all day (until Friday when the Pulse starts and we get to dance!).

So far (we've been here since Saturday) we've shopped several times, eaten at lots of great restaurants, been to Manhattan Beach, and now we are sitting in a coffee shop checking email, etc. Time to catch up on the blog!

I've tried another of the EDF recipes that I posted for July/Aug, the Grilled Tuscan Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon. I made this last week at the beach (yes, this is my 2nd week of vacay!) and it was great; I doubled the recipe because I was cooking for 10 people and served it with grilled eggplant and zucchini, my favorite Brown Rice Casserole (I'll post this recipe later), sausage (the real stuff...full-fat), and a green salad.

I made a few changes (of course): I added the lemon juice to the marinade (instead of basting with it while the chicken was on the grill) and I used boneless-skinless chicken breasts and marinated them for about 6 hours (from lunchtime until Patrick, my "brother" who is now promised to a certain popstar, was ready to grill). When I make this again I might omit the water and steep the rosemary in the oil instead.

Grilled Tuscan Chicken with Rosemary and Lemon

Makes 4 servings

1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary (or 1 tbsp dried)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (patted dry)

In a small saucepan, bring 1/3 cup water and rosemary to a boil; remover from heat, cover, and let steep 5 minutes. Add water and rosemary to a blender with the oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper. Puree until smooth.

In a large baking dish, combine chicken breasts with the rosemary oil; turn to coat. Cover and let marinate for at least an hour in the refrigerator (and up to overnight).

Heat grill to medium. Remove chicken from marinade and place on grill; discard marinade. Grill the chicken for 20 - 30 minutes, or until cooked throughout, turning halfway through the cooking time.

Per serving - 255 calories, 9 g fat (2 g saturated), 2 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 39 g protein (exchanges: 5 1/2 protein, 2 fat; WW points: 6)

Notes - The nutrition info above is assuming that at least half of the oil in the marinade gets discarded (after marinating of course) - I think that is a pretty good estimate, but there may actually be fewer calories; A whole breast of chicken is alot...I only had about half of one with my dinner (which wouldn't have filled me up if I hadn't also had so many veggie sides...fill up on the veggies!)

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Breakfast Cookies

Two words that normally don't go together...breakfast and cookies! I was excited to make these treats, which were chosen by What's for Supper? as this weeks CEiMB recipe. My hopes were high after reading the reviews on the FoodNetwork website (a five star rating is usually a good sign).

I made a few changes so that I could incorporate ingredients I already had on hand (or flavors I prefer), none of which should have had much of an effect on the final product:
1 tsp cinnamon & 1/2 tsp nutmeg -----> 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup carrot baby food ----> 1/4 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla ----> 1/2 tsp vanilla & 1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup oats & 1/2 cup bran cereal ----> 1 cup oats
1/3 cup raisins ----> 2/3 cup fresh blueberries
1/3 cup walnuts ----> 1/3 cup almonds
The result? I'm not sure what I think...I've eaten a few of them and they definitely aren't bad, but I'm not about to add them as a regular to my breakfast menu. They aren't decadent enough to qualify as a dessert (but they really aren't supposed to be), and they aren't good enough to replace the usual things I eat for breakfast (oatmeal with fruit and nuts, English muffins with pb, smoothies, yogurt, etc).

That being said, I am not an on-the-go breakfast eater. I have time in the mornings to think about what I want to have for my first meal and then make/eat it at my leisure.

In contrast, I'm sure most of you, if you are lucky, grab something quickly while rushing out the door on your way to school or work...or you drive-thru Starbucks/McDonalds...or you skip breakfast entirely. So maybe this would be a good option for you! They are relatively healthy after all...and if you add a glass of milk or a tall latte for a little extra protein, even better.

  • Per serving (1 cookie) - 190 calories, 9 g fat (2 g saturated), 23 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein (exchanges: 1 1/2 fat, 1 1/2 starch; WW points: 4)
  • Notes - Whole wheat pastry flour is something I keep on hand to bake is less processed than AP flour (so it has more of the natural fiber/vitamins/minerals) but is "softer" than regular whole wheat flour (so your baked goods aren't so dense)...I know you can find it at Whole Foods or order it online, but I bet Fresh Market carries it and maybe some locally owned grocers do too (Rouses? Acquistapace's in Covington? Calandro's in Baton Rouge?); I love using my (small) ice cream scoop for portioning cookies and cupcakes; If you use fresh berries like I did, fold them in VERY gently at the end
  • My thoughts - Mostly, I've already told you what I think of these, but here's a little more...they are slightly sweet, cake-like cookies packed with healthy fats (nuts and canola) and some whole-grains and fruit...might be perfect for a quick grab-and-go breakfast (after they bake, store them in a zip-top bag in the freezer and when ready to eat, pop them in the microwave for about 45 seconds); the serving is one cookie (for around 200 calories), but I would be tempted to eat 2 (plus a glass of milk - can you really have cookies without milk?)...and for some people, a 400+ calorie breakfast might be too much; and just as a comparison, a whole wheat English Muffin plus 1 tbsp peanut butter = 230 calories, 9.5 g fat (2 g saturated), 30 g carbohydrates, 4 - 5 g fiber, 10 g protein