Monday, February 28, 2011

Tilapia with Honey & Ginger Dressing

Adapted from:
Cooking Light.

It's been awhile. We know. Lauren and I successfully made it through our first round of midterms for the semester. Unfortunately, that meant our heads were really in the books and we had to sacrifice recipe-searching, planning new meals, and blogging for a couple of weeks. We did make time to cook some past meals, but there were certainly a few dinners that had to wait until 9pm or consisted of boxed pasta, frozen veggie burgers, blueberry pancakes, and even (cringe) bowls of cereal. Now we're on the up side of things, with an exciting week of meals planned before we head out for spring break this weekend!

Our first meal back was wonderful. Oriental-inspired tilapia over a bed of spinach and romaine lettuce with shredded carrots. The sauce was full of flavor and easy to make. We're already brainstorming things to add for the next time we cook this, like mandarin oranges and crispy noodles.

For the Dressing:
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped green onions
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/8 tsp dark sesame oil
For the Fish:
  • 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets
  • Salt, to taste
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups salad greens

For the dressing, simply combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir well.

For the fish, heat e.v.o.o. in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season fish with salt and pepper and add to skillet; cook 3 minutes on each side or until tilapia begins to flake. Place greens onto plates and top each serving with 1 fillet; pour dressing evenly over each salad.

Yield: 2 servings

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Balsamic Pork with Peaches

Adapted from Clean Eating

After a long day at the clinic for Lauren, we treated ourselves to a wonderful dinner. The balsamic and rosemary are a delightful combination, and the peaches add a savory touch. This meal might be best enjoyed in the summer, but why hold back a great meal in February? The pork takes an hour to marinate, so you need to plan ahead for that, but otherwise it's simple enough! We served ours with boiled new potatoes and steamed snap peas.

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 10 oz. lean pork tenderloin
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • One 15 oz. can peaches

In a small bowl, stir together balsamic, oil, honey and rosemary. Reserve 1½ tbsp and add the rest to a large ziploc bag.

Cut pork into 4 equal-sized medallions. Place pork on a cutting board and cover with saran wrap. Lightly pound the medallions with the flat side of the meat mallet to about 1½-inch thickness. Add pork to bag of marinade and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to broil. Remove pork from fridge. Discard liquid from marinage and season pork with salt and pepper. Broil pork for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the medallions over. Place peaches evenly on top of and around each piece. Return to oven for another 10 minutes, or until pork is visibly white throughout and firm to the touch.

Once cooked through, remove pork and peaches from oven. Pour reserved marinade over pork.

Yield: 2 servings

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shepherd's Pie

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

There's nothing like country home cooking (or Irish style cooking). This is a childhood favorite that I haven't had since my childhood. You do have to cook all the ingredients before baking it in the oven, but the time is well worth it. It's a great hearty meal for these cold winter days!

  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 8 oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained
  • 1 package mushroom mix gravy
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 16 oz. bag frozen green peas, thawed
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes (4 new potatoes)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cut potatoes into quarters and boil until softened. Drain and beat with hand mixer.

While potatoes are boiling, cook onion in a skillet with olive oil over medium heat. When onions are soft and browned, add ground beef to the skillet. Continue to cook until beef is cooked, breaking up large chunks of meat. Then add mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in mushroom mix gravy and mix well. Add wine and water and salt and pepper to taste. Let simmer for a few minutes until mixture thickens.

Spray casserole dish with cooking spray then transfer meat mixture to the dish. Layer green peas on top, then mashed potatoes. Add parmesan cheese on top and a little pepper.

Bake in oven for approx. 25 minutes or until mashed potatoes are lightly browned.

Yield: 4 servings

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

Adapted from The Skinny Taste

Chicken Parmesan is an Italian-American classic, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. This recipe has to be one of the simplest ones around - as well as the tastiest! It would be great served over pasta or with a side of steamed veggies.

  • 4 chicken tenderloins
  • 1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tsp butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup reduced fat mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup marinara
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 450°. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Mix breadcrumbs and Parmesan in a bowl. Melt butter in another bowl. Brush or pat the butter onto the chicken, then dip each tenderloin into breadcrumb mixture. Place on baking sheet.

Lightly spray chicken with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes. Turn chicken over, bake another 5 minutes. Remove chicken once more, pour marinara evenly onto each tenderloin and sprinkle mozzarella over them. Bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is melted.

Yield: 2 servings

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chicken and Tomato Scampi

Adapted from The Pioneer Woman

The big question for tonight was can you substitute red wine for white wine when cooking? This recipe called for white wine, but we had read on another recipe that you could use either white or red wine. We did a little bit of Googling and decided to try the red wine since we were making a tomato based sauce. The meal turned out absolutely delicious- definitely one of our favorites! Any comments or suggestions on cooking with wine?


  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 4 oz. linguine
  • salt and pepper to season
  • grated parmesan cheese to sprinkle


Heat 2 tbsp. of olive oil in skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add garlic and cook for another minute. Pour in tomatoes and let cook for another 2 minutes. Then add wine and let sauce simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While sauce is cooking, cook pasta according to package directions. You can also start cooking the chicken. First season the chicken with salt and pepper and heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet. Cook chicken in the skillet until golden brown on both sides.

When everything is cooked, put pasta on a plate. Then add 3/4 of the sauce over the pasta followed by the chicken on top. Then spoon the remaining sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with parmesan.

Yield: 2 servings

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Taco Rice

Adapted from Tasty Kitchen

This meal is a nice twist to a traditional taco salad. Substitute rice for tortilla chips and add your favorite taco toppings. We seasoned the ground beef with Spike all natural seasoning, which we had heard was a pantry must-have because it can spice up any meal. Our beef was well flavored and we look forward to trying Spike on other meals to come. Our taco toppings included lettuce, tomato, mozzarella, and salsa, but avocado, sour cream, and queso would go great as well.

  • 2 servings of rice (1 cup uncooked)
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 tsp. Spike all natural seasoning
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • salsa
  • cooking spray


Lightly coat skillet with cooking spray and cook ground beef for approx. 5 minutes or until browned. Once beef is cooked add onion and garlic and cook until onion is tender.

While beef is cooking, boil water and cook rice according to package directions, 8-10 minutes if using boil-in-bag rice.

Once beef and rice are cooked, layer ingredients on a plate starting with the rice, then adding the beef, lettuce, tomato, and cheese. Serve as much salsa on top as desired.

Yield: 2 servings