Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Thanksgiving Side: Garlicy Green Beans with Steamed Chesnuts

Still figuring out what you'd like to bring to your Thanksgiving feast?  Try this, super simple, festive, yummy and Gundry-friendly side dish.
This recipe uses steamed chestnuts to put an autumn twist on garlic green beans.  I first discovered this slightly-sweet, and soft version of the holiday nut a couple of years ago when a stuffing recipe I wanted to make included them.  Since then, I always look for steamed chestnuts around the holidays. Trader Joe's has them for cheap (around $4 for 6 oz.).
12 oz green beans
4 oz steamed chestnuts
3 garlic cloves, sliced

Heat extra virgin olive oil on medium in a large skillet.  Add green beans to the pan and sprinkle with salt.  Cook the green beans until crisp tender.  Then add chestnuts and garlic and cook about 5 minutes more until garlic is golden and chestnuts are warmed.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


So, I guess before I share this new, yummy, simple recipe with you, I should address my five month absence. Suffice it to say: my husband and I have gone through some life changing experiences, including buying a home (notice the different counters?). So, for many months cooking (and blogging) took a serious back seat. I'm happy to report that I'm basically back to "normal" and have been enjoying cooking for Max and myself again ... And have developed a few new, yummy, quick recipes, including this one.

A few months back my girlfriend/colleague was talking about a delicious jambalaya she made over the weekend.  I love the mix of ingredients and depth of flavor in jambalaya and thought,"Man that sounds good. I wonder if I can come up with a Gundry-friendly version of jambalaya?" In my estimation this recipe is a delicious meal, that's quick and easy enough for a weeknight, interesting enough to serve to guests and nearly as satisfying as a true jambalaya.
1 chicken sausage (I like hot Italian)
8 shrimp, medium (buy shelled and deveined to save time)
2 to 3 bell peppers (I prefer the color & flavor of red/yellow/orange)
2 zucchini
Sliced onion or shallot (optional)
1tsp salt
2 - 3 Tbsp Old Bay seasoning
1tsp garlic powder (optional)

First, prep your veggies and sausage. Chop the zucchini and bell peppers in a large, rough chop.  Slice onion or shallot if using.  Remove the sausage from its casing and break into small pieces (or slice if using a pre-cooked sausage).

Preheat a large skillet over medium heat with extra virgin olive oil.  Add the veggies to the skillet, spinkle with salt and Old Bay and stir to combine.  Cook for a minute or so and then add the sausage.  Cover* the pot and cook until the veggies are nearly soft and the sausage is almost cooked through.

 While the veggies and sausage are cooking, prepare your shrimp as needed (shell, devein, remove tails, etc.).  Add the shrimp, along with the garlic powder (and more Old Bay if desired) and cook until they are opaque and firm. I like to break the shrimp in half with a spatulas so it seems like there's more shrimp. :)

 Serve in bowls and don't forget to pour in some yummy sauce.

*Covering the pot traps the wonderful juices released from the veggies and creates a delicious sauce.

P.S.  If you happen to serve this meal to some non-Gundry'ers, this recipe would be delicious with a slice of crusty bread to sop up this dish's delicious sauce.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Pork Tenderloin with Red and Yellow Peppers

This recipe came from my mother... well, it's something she found in a magazine... it's not an age-old family recipe.  She's a very talented woman (seamstress, handy woman, teacher, gardener), but cooking has not long been one of her strong suits.  She's recently taken more of an interest in cooking and I believe she's found her groove.  Perhaps, when I was growing up, cooking felt like a chore, and the results reflected it.  Now her kids have long since flown the nest and she's found that cooking can be fun.  This recipe from Cooking Light has a ton of dimension, but is still fairly easy to pull together.  Thanks Mom!  I love you... and your cooking... as of 2010.  Smile.  I am.
1 1-lb. pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch thick medallions
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp chopped, fresh rosemary, divided
4 canned anchoy fillets, drained and mashed
3 garlic cloves, thinly slices
1 each red and yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Sprinkle medallions with salt and pepper.  Add oil to pan and swirl to coat.  And then add the pork and cook for 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to medium and turn the pork over.  Add 1 teaspoon roasemary, anchovies, garlic and bell peppers and cook for 7 minutes until the peppers are tender and the pork is done.  Drizzle with vinegar.
Top with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary.  Serves 4.
Served here with sauteed zucchini... a side dish staple in our household.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Chicken with Goat Cheese and Arugula

A girlfriend of mine sent me this recipe a few days ago and I was struck by the simple recipe that looked like a lot of effort.  Fittingly, the recipe is from SimplyRecipes.com. I decided that I must make it and post it without delay.  The hubs and I are gearing up for a big move next weekend... we found our house and have closed escrow.  So, in all likelihood, the pans will be packed this weekend and we'll be all about takeout for a couple of weeks.  I'll try to not take too long an absence.

Anyway, so here is the recipe:
4 Chicken breasts, tenders removed, breasts pounded thin
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
2 handfuls arugula (about 4 oz.)
4 oz. soft goat cheese, broken into small pieces
1 - 2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil

When shopping for this meal, I saw a goat cheese with kalamata olives and thought that sounded so delicious and a perfect compliment to the Mediterranean vibe I was feeling with this meal.  I also had the butcher prepare the pounded breasts for me.

Preheat oven to 425.  Pound breasts thin to make them thin enough for rolling.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper.  Lay chicken flat, smooth side down.  Layer with arugula leaves and pieces of goat cheese in the center.  Starting with the narrowest end, roll up the chicken into a tight roulade and seal with toothpicks.
Heat the oil on medium-high in a large oven-proof skillet.  Brown roulades on all sides.
Place the skillet in the oven and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and cover the pot with a lid or foil and let rest for 5 mintues.  Remove the toothpicks from the chicken and slice the roulades into rounds to serve.
I used the arugula again to make a yummy side salad accompainiment with hearts of palm, artichoke hearts and toasted pine nuts.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

A Rainbow of Yumminess

So, part of this whole having-to-move fiasco is trying to use up or get rid of things that we don't want to schlep to our next destination... including two huge bags of charcoal.  Max keeps suggesting that we barbecue to try to get through our stockpile.  Yesterday, we grilled up a simple and tasty meal that was so colorful, I just had to share.
The onion and shrimp (skewed separately as the onions take longer to cook) are simply dressed with olive oil, salt and pepper, allowing the natural freshness and deliciousness of the food to shine through. We steamed the artichokes first until just tender in a bit of chicken broth and then crisped them on the grill.  If you've never dealt with an artichoke before - snip the pointy ends off each of the leaves with kitchen shears and then cut the choke in half.  After steaming, scoop out the "hairy" center with a spoon and then grill.  We also enjoyed some roasted purple cauliflower.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Remember Frittata?

No? Well, get to know her.  If frittatas aren't a regular part of your repertoire... they should be.  They are so easy, but seem somewhat impressive, they're filling without being heavy and they're delicious right out of the oven and as left-overs the next day.  My hubby and I have been soooo busy (we recently found out that we have to find a new home - pronto... a long story, the details of which I won't bore you with and the reason for my February absence... apologies) and I've needed quick and easy meals to keep us healthy and on-track.  Frittata is the perfect answer.

Frittatas are a quick, one-pan meal that can often be prepared with whatever veggies you have on hand in the frige.  Recently, I made a frittata with delicious fresh, chicken bratwurst, green bell peppers and oyster mushrooms.

The basics of frittata making are the same.  Start with sauteing veggies and meats (if using) until veggies are tender and meat is cooked through.  Then pour in eggs whisked with salt and pepper and let cook until the sides are set.  Then put the whole thing under the broiler for a few minutes until the top is set and golden (or a smidge charred if you leave it in too long like me :)

I was too lazy for accompainiments, but this would have been delicious (and more in-line with Gundry) with a simple side salad of greens tossed in a vinaigrette.

For more detailed recipes and other ideas check out prior frittata posts here, here, here and here.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Beef Meatballs and other foods worthy of Super Bowl 2012

When I started dating my husband five years ago he made two things very clear: I had to love his cat and I was to be a Giants fan.  He also made it clear that being a Giants fan could be quite a beating... yet that year, after a rocky start, the Giants went on to beat the undefeated Patriots for an amazing Super Bowl victory.  This Sunday, after a five week streak of amazing, unexpected wins, our Giants are once again facing the Pats. So, of course, we are having a Super Bowl party!  I won't share with you our actual menu... as it's shamefully un-Gundry, but I will share with you a new, tasty, meatball recipe and remind you about past posts that could help you put together a yummy and Gundry-friendly Super Bowl menu. 
First, as for the meatballs... a few months back, while at a cute little Italian place near our home, I ordered some beef meatballs that were plated on lightly dressed greens and served with a mild, crumbly cheese.  So, when this Tasting Table recipe showed up in my inbox, I thought: I must try to recreate that yumminess.  I served these gems as a main dish, but you could just as easily plate as appetizers at your Super Bowl party. 

Yield: 20 to 25 meatballs (I halved the recipe)
Cook Time: 30 minutes

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
2 Tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 eggs
1.5 cups fresh whole milk ricotta
2.5 lbs. ground beef, preferably grass-fed
1 cup finely ground fresh breadcrumbs (substitute almond meal)
.5 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a medium skillet set over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and add the onion and garlic.  Cook until tender, about 8 minutes.  Add the thyme, oregano and parsley and cook for 1 minute.  Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, then fold the ricotta cheese into them.

Using your hands, mix the cheese-egg mixture with the beef, almond meal, Parmesan cheese and onion-herb mixture until just combined.

Using a 1.5" scoop or a spoon, scoop the meatballs into rounds and roll each scoop into a 1.5" ball.  Make sure the balls seem well formed and add a little more almond meal if necessary.

In a medium skillet set over medium heat, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Add the meatballs and cook, turning, until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.

Place the meatballs on a sheet pan lined with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes or until the internal temperature of each meatball is 140 degrees.  Serve warm.

I served mine on top of baby arugula tossed in a mustard vinaigrette and crumbly cotija cheese.  We also enjoyed some sauteed zucchini and a glass of the Bogle Petite Sirah.  If you haven't checked out this wine yet, you should.  It's inexpensive ($9 at Trader Joe's) and totally delicious right now.

And, secondly, check out some past posts... 

For another delicious, yet different, meatball recipe, look here.  If you didn't see my post on the ridiculous football-inspired appetizer I made for our family's Thanksgiving football extravaganza, view it here.  For some yummy, healthy dips look over my posts here and here and serve them with raw or roasted crudite. And lastly, some general tips on Gundry entertaining can be found here.  If you don't feel like cooking or just need a good filler for your table, cheese and charcuterie plates with olives and nuts are always a good bet.  And, if you haven't tried it yet, serve guacamole with endive leaves, they are a sturdy and delicious compliment to the creamy, party classic.