I know I’m not the only one that struggles to maintain a yummy, yet healthy lifestyle. And having a food blog definitely doesn’t help. Although the holidays are really not an ideal time to get started on a diet, I figured if I didn’t start now, I’d put it off until the beginning of the year – like everyone else. Then end up miserable until Spring when – like most people – I’ll realize swimsuit season is creeping up and I still have Holiday weight to lose. It’s an endless cycle. That’s why, no matter how inconvenient it is now, I started.
For anyone that’s been on a restrictive diet (diets that don’t include sweets and carbs, the two things I love most), you know that the first few days are tough. You want to stick to the guidelines but you’re sick of salad and baked chicken with steamed broccoli – or in my case, asparagus. So, despite some limitations, I’m determined to find a way to still be able to cook delicious. I won’t divulge too much about which fad-diet I’m on as of late. I’ll wait until it actually yields results to share with everyone else. In the meantime, I can still cook meals that are just as delicious as full-fat meals and feel much better about myself and my health.
This recipe is so unbelievably easy. Serve with vegetables of choice.
Grilled Dijon Tilapia Recipe
2 Tilapia Filets
1 tablespoon Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
Olive oil Spray
Heat your Panini grill, or grill pan
Spread Dijon mustard in a thin layer over both sides of the tilapia filets
Coat the grill with spray olive oil, place fish on grill. Cook until done. If you’re using a grill pan it may take a bit longer – don’t forget to flip the filets over.
Serve with veggies.
If you’re in search of a low-fat, low-calorie donut hole recipe, this is not it. But if you’re anything like me, and spend all week trying to fit in workouts and counting your calories on a convenient little iPhone app, then you’re allowed a little indulgence on the weekend. It’s okay, I won’t tell anyone. Just be sure to have a salad for lunch.
Recipe adapted from Rasamalaysia.
- 1 package Pillsbury Grand Jr. biscuits (contains 10 pieces)
- Oil for deep frying
- Heat oil in a frying plan.
- Separate each biscuit piece and form round shapes with your hands.
- Drop them into the frying pan making sure to brown them without burning them. Turn them over to get all sides.
- Remove onto a paper towel-lined plate or bowl (to remove excess oil) dust with sugar and serve.
Panko crumbs have become the new trend lately. I’ve noticed it used more often than the traditional Italian breadcrumbs. For those of you unfamiliar with Panko, it is a thick, flaky Japanese breadcrumb used mostly for frying. The nice thing about Panko is that it’s crunchy even if you don’t fry it.
When my mom started using Panko, I knew I had to get on that bandwagon. So during one of my weekly grocery store escapades I picked up a package. I was so excited to use it in my cooking.
I’ve been trying to make healthier dinners. So instead of frying Panko chicken I decided I was going to “oven fry” it. I have a feeling I won’t be going back to Italian breadcrumbs for a while.
Panko Crusted Chicken
2 Chicken Breasts
Olive Oil Cooking Spray
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
Preheat oven to 350
Generously spray each chicken breast with Olive Oil Cooking Spray
Dip each oiled chicken breast into the Panko crumbs until well coated
Place in a baking dish, sprinkle with Italian Seasoning
Bake for 23-25 minutes.
Then, broil for 10-15 minutes (until browned)
Serve with Steamed Asparagus
I don’t do much cooking with rice, which is kind of ironic considering most Arabic dishes are stews that require rice on the side. I should be making more stews like Bamiya (okra and meat in tomato sauce), Fasoolia (string beans and meat in tomato sauce), and Sabanekh (spinach with rice) but those dishes take way too long on weeknights.
When I came across this Chicken and Rice Chile Verde recipe by Cooking on the Side, I was excited to try something new. Actually, it was delicious. I would definitely make it again.
Recipe adapted from Cooking on the Side.
Chicken and Rice Chile Verde Recipe
1-1/4 cup Chicken Broth
4 large Chicken Thighs (about 1-1/2 lb), skin and excess fat removed
1 medium Onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 clove Garlic, minced or pressed
3/4 cup Calrose Rice (short-grain sushi style rice) If you use other rice, you may need to adjust chicken broth accordingly
1 (4 oz) can Diced Green Chilies
1/2 teaspoon Oregano, dried
1 cup Frozen Peas, thawed
1/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
Heat a large frying pan over high heat.
Lightly coat the inside of the pan with cooking spray.
Add chicken in a single layer.
Cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until browned. Remove from pan.
Add onion and garlic to the same pan; sauté 30 seconds.
Mix in rice, chiles, oregano and chicken broth. Arrange the chicken, in a single layer, over the top. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low.
Cover and simmer 25 minutes.
Sprinkle the peas over the chicken.
Cover and cook 5 minutes longer, or until the liquid is absorbed.
Remove from heat; let stand covered 10 minutes.
Sprinkle cheese on top.
Servings = 4
It must be wedding season – again – and I guess since my last rose cake experiment, I’ve been named cake baker for bridal showers/bachelorette parties. I absolutely don’t mind, in fact, I love the idea.
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with this cake. The theme was a black and gold lingerie party which meant that I had to match the cake to the theme. After much research into cake decorating ideas, and some creativity on my part, I came up with the perfect idea.
Isn’t it great?! You can find anything and everything online – Google is your oyster. I decided to make a chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting. The dark chocolate is the closest I could come to black without dealing with licorice-flavored anything. So I made a 3-4 tier chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting filling as well as dark chocolate frosting on the outsides and a dark chocolate glaze to top it all off. It was a chocolate lover’s dream. I then got some gold-shimmer edible sprinkles. My original plan was to push the sprinkles up against the outsides of the cake. However when I decided on a glaze, that idea went out the window. I had to figure something out. I decided to just put a ton of gold sprinkles on top.
Okay it didn’t turn out exactly as I had imagined, but it was still delicious. Oh, and it was a bit lopsided from transport. I had someone drive me over so I could hold the cake and stop it from falling apart in the car – well, the photos are self-explanatory. It’s very Alice in Wonderland.