Have you seen any photography from abandoned malls? Super creepy and pretty surreal. Like stores abandoned, ransacked and growing moss. Like the employees left one day and never came back…

For some reason going to the mall was such a treat. My go to stores were The Gap and H2O (like the water sign, lol) and whenever possible I made a beeline for Panda Express…you know…for the orange chicken…

Do yourself a favor and check out some abandoned mall images and make this delicious orange chicken and rice bowl recipe.

Ingredients

5 teaspoons of canola oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips

2 cups broccoli florets

2 carrots, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, 1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon scallions

14 ounces unsalted chicken broth

2 oranges, squeezed

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

4 tablespoons cornstarch

3 cups cooked white rice

Preparation

Heat 2 teaspoons of canola oil on medium in a large wok pot; stir-fry chicken for five minutes or until lightly brown, remove. in same skillet, heat remaining oil, stir-fry broccoli, carrots, onions, bell peppers and ginger for 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are soft enough.

In a medium bowl, combine chicken broth, orange juice, soy sauce and cornstarch. Stir until smooth. Add to skillet, stirring constantly. Boil 1 to 2 minutes or until thick. Stir in chicken and cook until hot

Spoon over hot rice and serve with a diet coke just like when I was in the seventh grade.

XOXO,

M

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I’m going to tell you a secret…I love pasta…! OK so I guess it’s not much of a secret at this point ūüôā

Recently I came across a recipe for Creamy Linguine with Shrimp. OK, another secret: I used to eat shrimp as a little tyke at Red Lobster. But now I really just hate the fish. But the recipe looked pretty good so I gave it a shot with modifications. Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients:

8 ounces linguine noodles

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced.

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 cup heavy cream

4 teaspoons of Italian seasoning

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon coarse salt

2 cooked fillets of dover sole

freshly grated romano cheese

Preparation

Cook linguine as normal, drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Melt butter in large, deep skillet on medium heat. Add asparagus and garlic, cook and stir 5 minutes or until asparagus is softened. Add cream, seasoning, lemon juice and salt. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally.

Stir sole into skillet, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add pasta and reserved cooking water, toss to coat well.

Sprinkle with grated Romano cheese and a light chilled Riesling wine.

Enjoy!

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Last week in the Sun Times Taste section there was a recipe for Beef Burgundy. I tried it! I followed it to a tee and I think the results were pretty yummy!

Ingredients

8 ounces of baby carrots

3/4 teaspoon of dried marjoram

3/4 teaspoon of black pepper

2 pounds of lean beef stew meat cut into 1.5 inch pieces

1 cup beef broth

1 cup burgundy red wine

2 cloves of garlic, minced

8 ounces of fresh mushrooms, cut in half

1/4 cup Wondra (quick mix flower)

No yolk noodles

Preparation

Put carrots into a slow cooker with the beef. Sprinkle marjoram and pepper over the beef. Add broth, wine, garlic and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low for six hours.

Remove about 1/2  cup of liquid from the cooker, add flower and mix.  Pour the mixture back into the cooker for 30 more minutes or until thick and until carrots and beef are tender enough for your liking.

In separate bowls, pour the finished stew over noodles and serve. This recipe called for no yolk noodles but if I make this dish again I will probably use white rice instead.

Serve with the Burgundy wine left over from the recipe and enjoy!!

Sidenote: I served the dish on plates over a bed of collard greens because I had them leftover from Sabbath dinner and did not want them to go to waste. This was not a part of the original recipe.

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Does anyone out there like fish? I love fish. Eat it all the time. Cheap or spendy, it’s all good to me! Friday night I tried my hand (with a little help ) at this French recipe and it was a crowd pleaser to say the least!! If you are into fish, give this dish a try!

White Fish Provencal served with baked risotto over a bed of steamed brussell sprouts and asparagus.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 pounds of halibut fillets and lemon sole fillets (any white fish works with this dish)

First, spray lightly with butter, season to taste with coarse salt and coarse black pepper, seafood seasoning then sprinkled lightly with dill weed.

1/2 cup of olive oil

1/2 cup of finely chopped onions

1 can drained diced tomatoes

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 tablespoons dry white wine

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 cups of arborio rice

1 14oz can of chicken broth

Sauce Preparation and Risotto

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in 10 inch oven ready skillet on medium; add 1 small minced onion and cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add 3/4 cup of arborio rice; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Stir in 1 can of chicken broth; bring to a boil. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of dried italian seasoning. 1/4 teaspoon of course salt and pepper. Bake, covered, 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Fish Preparation

Preheat oven to 375. Place fish in single layer in baking dish coated with cooking spray. Lightly season fish with salt, pepper and seafood seasoning. Bake for 12 minutes.

Heat olive oil in medium saucepan on medium. Add onions, cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Add tomatoes, Kalamata olives, wine, basil, garlic powder and thyme. Simmer uncovered for 3 minutes. Remove fish from oven.

Vegetable Preparation

Fill a big stew pot halfway full with water and let boil. Rinse fresh asparagus and brussel sprouts; put into a steamer pan (basically a pot with holes in it) and place on top of the stew pot while it boils. Keep an eye on it as you do not want veggies to get soggy. About 15 – 17 minutes is a good window to adhere to.

Once you have the steamed vegetables, risotto, the sauce and fish you are ready to make your plate!

I have pictured it here served several different ways but I like to start with the risotto, then the veggies, fish then top it iff with a dollop of sauce and enjoy.

White wine always goes well with fish. Always. Especially white fish.

I served it with chardonnay. Enjoy friends ūüôā

 

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What do these four ingredients have in common? Aside from being ridiculously tasty and packed with good stuff like protein, fiber and iron, they are also my favorite ingredients to start the day.

Recently I have gotten serious about my fitness and part of that is being cognizant of the foods I put into my body. That means way less salty potato chips and way more fruits and vegetables. Which is not super hard for me because I love fruits and veggies so the challenge for me is turning down Sour Patch Kids and reaching for water not black tea (green tea is a good substitute as it is good for the metabolism).

Here are a few healthy eating tips I have adopted that have really been working for me.

Each week I make a batch of my own hummus so its always on hand for dipping vegetables and spreading on toast and english muffins. An old co -worker gave me this recipe, she is Lebanese so I think it’s safe to say the recipe is authentic!

Ingredients

1 Can Progresso Chickpeas

3 – 4 Tablespoons Tahini (Sesame Seed Paste)

1 Clove of Garlic

Lemon and Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Separate chickpeas from chickpea juice and save the juice
  2. Pour chickpeas into blender
  3. Add 1/4 cup chickpea juice
  4. Add tahini, garlic, lemon and salt
  5. Blend

Keep adding chickpea juice until the consistency is smooth and creamy. The same goes for the garlic and the salt. You will probably need more of everything than you think, just remember to add slowly.

I never start my day without eggs. I prefer cage free organic eggs just because I feel bad for the chickens that have to lay eggs in cramped cages. I don’t mean to be political but they gift us with eggs (which I love) so I like to think they have the option to lay them under kinder, gentler circumstances.

The versatility of an egg is also pretty cool. Poached, scrambled, boiled, fried. I love them all. You can also pair them with just about anything.

Which is why avocados and kidney beans are so high on my eat list (just kidding I don’t have an eat list :). But they are packed with so many good vitamins and nutrients but best of all they are filling and tasty and 100% guilt free!.

Later this week I will post a few egg recipes as rice has become an unexpected go to for me!

Best,

M

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Bet you can’t name that movie reference! Hint: it became a very successful television series…

I’ve often heard the phrase “beautiful bodies are made in the kitchen not the gym.” While I do not believe that is entirely true, what you put into your body is as important as how you train your body, if not more.

That is why it is important to fill your diet with fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes; all the healthy, natural stuff with pronounceable ingredients.This is hard for me because candy (skittles, starbursts, blow pops, gummy bears, sour patch kids) is my biggest vice. OK, candy and french fries, actually.

Full disclosure, I am no vegetarian but the meatless options do interest me because I have had tasty dishes made with seitan and tofu. I would just hate to have to give hop cheeseburgers and filet mignon.

I chose to make Walleye Pike because it was a fresh option at my local grocery store, Treasure Island. All in all I think it turned out pretty well. This was also my first time preparing fish with the head still attached…!

Baked Walleye Pike

First things first when preparing fish, you must scale and debone. This can easily be done at home or you can ask them to take care of it behind the counter.

Then you must butter the skin and the inside of the fish. While the fish is open, sprinkle with two capfuls of lemon juice. Season to taste with Old Bay Seasoning (a really awesome seasoning that is good for not only seafood but poultry, salads, and meats).

Stuff the Pike with vegetables of your choice. I chose mushrooms, sliced raw onions, fresh tomatoes and green onions. Then sprinkle another pinch of Old Bay for good measure.

Coat a shallow dish with butter, add the stuffed fish and cover with foil. Bake on 375 for 30 minutes. The juice from the vegetables will steam the fish.

Remove from oven and transfer the cooked fish to a platter for serving. Since the fish is already chockfull of vegetables I would suggest serving with a light side like rice or quinoa.

A sweet chardonnay will pair nicely with this dish.

Cheers,

M

 

 

These higher than average temperatures are messing with the stew/soup fanatic in me but lets be honest, I can eat soup literally any time any where. Which is why I am going to go ahead  and post my Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup recipe!

Start by preparing a pot of fetuccine noodles or spaghetti noodles. Bring the water to a boil and add the pasta. Let it cook until tender, drain the excess water and set aside.

Take two already thawed out skinless, boneless chicken breasts and season with a pinch of season salt, poultry seasoning and garlic and onion seasoning. Cook in the oven on 365 for 17 minutes. Once the chicken has cooled down, slice to your liking.

Pour two boxes of chicken broth into a large saucepan along with the noodles, rice and chicken, carrots and celery. Cook over medium heat until it begins to boil. Once it boils, turn it down to simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve with Saltines or my personal favorite, the everything flatbread cracker from Whole Foods.

I also tend to think this would be nice with a sweet white zinfandel or semi dry chardonnay. Whatever you serve this with, I guarantee it will be a hit!

M