Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Fish Tacos with Chipotle Cream

 I love tacos.

As previously mentioned, the husband and I are trying to incorporate more fish into our diets.  Of course when I say that we are trying, I really mean that the husband is going along with my wishes.  He's wonderful.

I love tacos, and I like fish, but I don't always like fish tacos.  Sure, they taste wonderful when the fish is deep fried--but I refuse to fry food.  However, the grilled tacos I've had at most restaurants are just kind of...blah.  I've never had the desire to make fish tacos before, until I saw Ellie Krieger's recipe included chipotle chiles.  Mmm.  Sign me up!

 The recipe was certainly simple enough!
  1. Marinate fish for 20 minutes in olive oil and lime
  2. Mix together chipotle cream
  3. Grill fish
  4. Assemble tacos

Consensus?  Yummy!

Time: 45 minutes total (includes 20 minutes of marinating)
     *quick and easy
     *Tasty--the husband isn't a huge fish fan, and he really enjoyed these
     *can prep the cream ahead of time
     *Easy to tweak to your preference
     *possibly kid friendly, depending on the quantity/heat of chipotles (we like it hot and added extra)

     *Fish was slightly bland
     *Best served during the summer, as fresh corn would really make this dish. Canned corn was just okay
     *Cream definitely tasted yogurty--I'm picky about both yogurt and mayo (the 2 main ingredients!), so I didn't love the cream--but the husband did, and he hates mayo

Splurge on good corn tortillas!  We used the cheapies that come in 30 packs for only a few bucks, and really wished we had the "real" corn tortillas---it would add a lot.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving
Calories 420
Total Fat 17 g
Saturated Fat 2g
Protein 28 g
Fiber 5 g

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pork Medallions with Cherry Sauce

I've learned a lot from marriage.

Our wedding day, May 2007

  • Men don't change (see this post)
  • Some people (my husband) will never gain weight (see this post)
  • Other people's needs matter more than my own
    • I can't pretend I'm always altruistic--I'm the baby of the family, and sometimes I'm just too self-centered to take good care of my husband. I do try, though!
  • Pork isn't so bad.

Obviously these are not listed in order of importance.

Before we were married, I had only eaten pork once, and it was too salty for my taste.  All of this "the other white meat" stuff fell on deaf ears--I was not interested in eating pork.

The husband, it turned out, loves pork.  So, in trying to be a good wife (see point number 3, above) I decided to try making pork for him.  The first time--not so good (I used this recipe, and it just wasn't for me.)  The next time I was a fan.  Since then--we've eaten it on many occasions, including a Christmas Eve and Christmas dinner that we hosted at our humble home.  Turns out pork has some good things going for it--and I can buy pork tenderloin super cheap at Costco. :)

When flipping through Ellie Krieger's The Food You Crave, I was instantly drawn to the Pork Medallions with Cherry Sauce.  This sounded similar to the Cooking Light pork dish that won me over, so I figured we may as well try it out.

I've never bought dried cherries before--I always cheat and use Cherry-flavored Craisins (don't judge, I know they're so artificial, but we love them!).  I figured I should try these with the real deal though, so I splurged.

The recipe is certainly easy enough--and is on the table in less than 30 minutes!

*Quick and easy! (less than 30 minutes)
*Easy to find/keep on hand ingredients
     (and relatively inexpensive)
*"Hands-off" enough so you can prep the side dishes/veggies while the pork cooks

*Sauce texture is kind of funky--it's mainly dried cherries with some vinegar
     --I tried pureeing it when we reheated the leftovers, and that helped
*Taste = just okay

I wanted to love this recipe--but it turns out I just don't love dried cherries.  I'd like to say I'll revisit this in the future---but I don't think so.  I did like the fact that you cook the pork in a stainless (or not nonstick) pan--I forgot how wonderful those browned bits are that go in the sauce.  I'll definitely be using my stainless saute pan more in the future!

Nutritional Info:
Calories: 245
Total fat: 9 g
Cholesterol: 92mg
Sodium: 380 mg
Carbohydrates: 31 g
Protein: 8.5 g
Fiber: 0 g

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Fettuccine with Creamy Red Pepper Sauce

I'm not a huge pasta fan.

I'm not really sure why.  I think part of the reason is that I don't like tomato sauce.  I'll put up with it on my pizza or in a lasagna, but really--I don't like it.  This is a huge dilemma for the health-conscious side of me, because now I'm left with cream sauces.  Of course these sauces taste good, but because I know how many calories are in them, I'm basically counting each piece of pasta that goes into my mouth to make sure I don't over-indulge. 

Not fun.

So while I don't typically make pasta, I was intrigued by Ellie Krieger's recipe in The Food You Crave for a "creamy red pepper sauce."  Creamy?  Yum.  Guilt-free? (I knew Ellie would deliver a healthy, low-cal version of a cream sauce).  Sign me up.  And I love peppers...so here we go!

Only a few ingredients needed--we're off to a great start!

Have I mentioned how much I love my food processor?


The verdict?  Pretty good!  This definitely isn't something I'll crave, but when the husband is dying for some pasta--and I'm not willing to make his favorite dish, macaroni and cheese--this will be a possibility!

**Note: this recipe makes a TON!  We ate it for several days.

Time: 30 minutes

*Quick and easy
*Inexpensive ingredients--mostly pantry items (except feta, which we always have on hand anyway!)
*Mild flavor--might work for a variety of palates
*Reheats well

*Not as flavorful as other sauces--needs some tweaking

Future suggestions:
*add 4 oz light cream cheese for a little more creaminess--the sauce needed a little 'something' to bulk it up
*skip adding pasta water--I didn't add the whole 1/2 cup Ellie mentions, but shouldn't have added any at all.
*roast (hotter) peppers myself and use those for more intense flavor

Nutritional Analysis per serving (6 servings):
Total fat: 11 grams
Saturated fat:4.5 grams
Protein:18 grams
Fiber:10 grams