Monday, March 26, 2012

Two easy side dishes

Sometimes the hardest part of making a meal is what to serve on the side as opposed to the main attraction. I was lucky enough to be born with a love for pretty much every vegetable, so I like to play around with them to create easy and yummy side dishes.

Per usual, this Sunday involved me cooking a few things to put on the blog! Here are two side dishes that I've made before and are always delicious!

Rainbow Corn Salad
Ingredients (serves 6): 
2 16oz bags of frozen corn
1-2 large white onions, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced 
1 orange bell pepper, diced
1/4 scallions, diced
2 Tbl olive oil
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black or white pepper

Directions:
Put olive oil in a large pot on medium-high heat and add your diced onions. Cook them until they are translucent, about 8 minutes. Add your peppers and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add your corn, scallions, and spices, and stir. Turn the heat down to medium-low and let sit for 15 minutes or until the corn is heated through. Can be served hot or cold!

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 143 per serving
Total fat: 3.3g
Sodium: 394.6mg
Carbohydrates: 29g
Fiber: 4.1g
Sugars: 2.8g
Protein: 4.2g


Lightly Creamed Garlic Spinach
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 bags of fresh spinach
1 medium white onion, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup light cream
1/4 cup pecorino romano cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbl butter

Directions:
Heat your butter in a skillet over medium-high and add the onion. Let cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook an addition 2 minutes. Add the spinach, turn the heat down to medium-low, and cook until all the spinach has wilted. Add your cream, cheese, and spices, and stir. 

As you can see, I ate my spinach with a blackened tuna steak! I'm attempting to take more pictures of my food before I dive right in and eat so I can stop stealing food pics from other people

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 111 per serving
Total Fat: 7.9g
Cholesterol: 22.5mg
Sodium: 505.7mg
Carbohydrates: 9.3g
Fiber: 2.7g
Sugars: 1.8g
Protein: 4g


Enjoy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

How to impress someone a lot by doing a little

Maybe I should have posted this around Valentine's Day, but people need to eat food every day so I guess it doesn't matter. Some people are afraid of cooking. Maybe you've had multiple disasters in the past, think it's too hard/time consuming, or you just don't like it. What those people don't realize is that cooking can be very very easy and still come out delicious and maybe even impress someone you've always wanted to cook for. Yesterday for Sunday night dinner, I roasted a chicken, my mom roasted some veggies, and we both put barely any effort into it. Guess what? It was soooooo good.



Roasted Chicken:
1 whole chicken (I used a 7lb Purdue chicken)
2 Tbl olive oil
Lawry's seasoning salt (or whichever is your favorite)
1 sprig of thyme
1 sprig of rosemary
1 sprig of sage

Roasted Vegetables (serves 4):
1 eggplant
1 zucchini
2 large onions
2-3 red bell pepers
salt + pepper
1/2 Tbl garlic powder
1 Tbl olive oil

Preheat your over to 350ยบ. On the bag the chicken comes in, it should tell you how long to cook your bird based on it's weight. Since I had a 7lb chicken, it cooked for 2 1/2 hours. To prep the chicken, take it out of the bag, remove the giblets, and rinse the chicken with water. Put the oil in a pan with deep sides to hold in the juice, spread it around, and place in the chicken skin side up (pictured above). Tuck the wings underneath the chicken to keep it from sliding around.  Place the herbs in a bundle inside the cavity of the chicken. Sprinkle the top of the chicken with your seasoning salt, as much as you'd like.

The chicken should have a white circular piece of plastic on top of it, which will indicate when the chicken is done by popping up. After the allotted time has passed, take the chicken out of the oven and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Cut the chicken by cutting the thighs off first (vertical slice down the thigh using your hand to pull it out at the same time), followed by a horizontal slice on each side of the bird near where the thighs were. Then, cut a vertical line directly in the middle of the chicken and proceed to slice pieces.

Boom you just made a simple roasted chicken.

The veggies are even easier (unless you are dreadful at cutting). Cut all of the veggies to about the same size (we do about 1 inch cubes), and place them in a heavy roasting pan that is thoroughly greased with oil. Sprinkle with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Roast the veggies for 40 minutes, stirring halfway through. It will make your life even easier if you put them in during the last 40 minutes of your chicken's roasting time so everything is done together!

The best part is that there will be plenty of leftovers to get creative with! Enjoy :)

Roasted Chicken Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 207 per 4oz
Total Fat: 15.6g
Cholesterol: 66.7mg
Sodium: 451.5mg
Protein: 15.3g

Roasted Vegetables Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 101 per serving
Total Fat: 4g
Sodium: 155.4mg
Carbohydrates: 16.3g
Fiber: 5.8g
Sugars: 7.3g
Protein: 2.8g