Sunday, February 20, 2011

My latest cooking adventures…

L and I have been trying many new cooking methods as of late in an attempt to both eat healthy and more diversely. Here are some pics and recipes of a few of our latest meals. I know, I know… everyone posts pics of “what they just ate” but since these are mostly healthy recipes, I thought I’d share. We are using fresh in-season ingredients, olive oil, real butter and healthy fats. The bacon that we purchase is apple-wood smoked bacon that is nitrite/nitrate free, often sold as uncured.

This first recipe is specifically for Stephanie.

—— Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecan Pieces ——

Choose small hard Brussels Sprouts and cut off the stem portion. Slice in 1/2.

Saute in 1 tbsp. of olive oil mixed with 1/2 tbsp. melted butter over medium heat. Grind pepper and salt over the top and continue to stir intermittently until browned.

Once your Brussels Sprouts are browned, add in the pecan pieces and continue to heat until pecans are slightly toasted.

Serve immediately.

—— Chicken stuffed, bacon wrapped jalapeños ——

Use small 2-3 inch fresh jalapeños. Stuff with a small slice of raw chicken, wrap in bacon and set on skewer. Bake in oven until chicken is done; about 40 minutes at 350°. One thing I would try different with this recipe is to marinate the chicken first. I will try this recipe again using a 50/50 Worcestershire/lime juice marinade.

—— Breaded Tilapia with Grape Tomatoes ——

  1. For this recipe, we used tilapia fillets from Trader Joes; so frozen works just fine. I breaded them using a 50/50 mix of almond meal and pecan meal mixed with our favorite chile-coffee steak rub. Dredge the raw (and thawed) tilapia in egg yolk, dip in the breading spreading evenly on both sides. Grill on pre-soaked cedar planks for ~14 minutes or until flakey.
  2. For tomatoes, we used small grape tomatoes. Slice in 1/2, add in salt, pepper, parsely or oregano and 3 cloves smashed garlic. Top with a drizzle of olive oil and broil in oven until browned.
  3. Serve with grilled asparagus.
—— Wheat-free Coconut Macaroons ——

We got 2 fresh, young and impudent* coconuts at the grocery store today and one thing I really know how to make is a good macaroon. I used my tried and true recipe and changed it completely to allow for new ingredients.
  • 1 + 1/3 C ground coconut (I used fresh ground coconut shredded in a food processor)
  • 2 tbsp. flour (I used rice flour)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/3 C sugar (I used 3 tbsp. agave syrup)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  1. Mix together all ingredients
  2. Mound into small piles on cookie sheet
  3. Bake for 20 minutes in 350° oven**
*Goofy Simpson's reference.

**NOTE: I had to cook the cookies for 30 minutes and should have cooked them on parchment paper to crisp up the bottoms. Because I used fresh coconut and agave syrup there was a lot more moisture in this cookie. The big difference is that the cookie had the consistency of a muffin—overall a very tasty treat. It would be awesome dipped in some dark chocolate.