Thursday, April 23, 2009

Chicago Tribune Talks About Edible Nutrition Blog!

Check out what the Chicago Tribune is saying about my Food Blog:,0,2889564.story

Thanks for reading! Keep the suggestions coming!

Wendy Jo

Spring is in the Air & in my Garden!

For the past two weeks I have been traveling, and haven't had a chance to sit down and post a blog. My apologies! But, after some requests I feel it's time to share some spring ideas to help your mouth ready for the succulent treats of spring!

Spring Salad--Inspired by a Cooking Light recipe in April 2009
5 radishes, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 carrots, use a vegetable peel to make long slices
4 cups lettuce--your choice! Arugula & Mizuna worked fabulously in this recipe
4 green onions, thinly sliced
2 Tb. mint, chopped*
2 Tb. parsley, chopped*
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 Tb. olive oil
1/2 ts. kosher or sea salt
5-6 grinds on a pepper mill
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

In a large bowl toss all vegetables together. Top with herbs, then lemon zest and juice, and finish with olive oil. Toss again. Sprinkle with S&P and crumble goat cheese over top. Serve!
*Note, any fresh herbs can work--this is just some of what I grow; thus, it's what I used! Cilantro, basil, thyme, or dill could all work in this!

Along side of this fabulous salad I served Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa! YUM!
4 chicken breasts, skinless & boneless
3 limes, juiced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 ts. salt
3 Tb. olive oil
Marinate chicken breasts in above mixture for at least 30 minutes, and no more than 4 hours. Grill on medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes on each side. Cook until internal temperature reaches 165*F on a meat thermometer.

Mango Salsa
1 mango, cut into small cubes
1/4 red onion, minced
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1 avocado, cubed
1/2 jalapeno (or more who like heat), minced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt to taste
Mix & immediately serve over chicken breasts!

My whole meal was Spring Salad, Chicken breasts with Mango Salsa, Black Beans, & Brown Rice. The above serves 4 and took about an hour to pull together! Enjoy!
Oh, and my camera broke; thus, I will post pics when I can!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Texas-Inspired Meal with Some Flair! Venison, too!

Brace yourself...One of my all time favorite meals is chicken fried steak, greens, & beer bread! Of course all of the added fat, grease, and gristle does not make it a favorite of my stomach or heart! So, how can I make it healthier and still tasty?
Looking through my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box I saw Swiss Chard and decided that it would be a perfect stand in for my greens. Next, I pulled out Venison Round Steaks (Thank you Steve & Robyn!!!), panko bread crumbs, and beef base (the makings of beef broth). Lastly, I pulled out some fresh herbs and a bottle of beer to whip up some of my favorite bread! Hands down this was 5-stars! My husband placed it up there with his top 5 dishes! I hope you give it a try! And yes, the Chicken Fried Steak was crunchy and delicious!
First things first--get the bread started!
Beer Bread
3 cups flour, all purpose
1 Tb. baking powder
3 Tb. sugar
1 ts. salt
1/4 cup fresh herbs (I used dill tonight)
1 bottle of beer
1/4 cup butter, melted
Heat oven to 375*F. Spray a bread pan with cooking spray. In a bowl whisk together dry ingredients. Add beer & butter and stir just until combined--don't overmix quick breads! Pour into bread pan and bake for 35-45 minutes.
A Spin on Chicken Fried Steak
2 thin round steaks, venison or beef
1/4 cup whole wheat flour--you can use white, too
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs, this makes it so don't substitute
1 Tb. olive oil
Place flour on one plate and panko crumbs on another. Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet (I prefer cast iron). Dip steaks into flour, and then place on panko plate and press into meat. Place meat into hot skillet and cook for 5 minutes on each side. Place meat onto a serving platter. Don't season with S&P, because the gravy takes over for it!
Peppercorn Brown Gravy
In meat skillet add 1 tablespoon of butter and 2 tablespoons of white flour. Whisk until light brown color. Pour 2 cups of beef broth into pan and stir until thickened. Add 1 ts of cracked pepper and stir. Serve over meat!
Now for the greens...

Sauteéd Swiss Chard
1 Tb. olive oil
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 bunch of swiss chard, washed
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
salt to taste
In a skillet, sauté onion and garlic for 3 minutes over medium high heat. Meanwhile prepare swiss chard. Chop stalks and set aside. Chop leaves and set aside. Add stalks to onion mixture and sauté for 4 minutes. Add leaves and cover for 3 minutes, stir, and repeat. Once the mixture begins to wilt add lemon zest and juice. Season with salt and serve!

A Leftover-Inspired Frittata

There is something so simple about frittatas and filling! I had a little more ground beef that I needed to use before my 3-day window for food safety was up; thus, I had to get creative again. So, spinning off my idea from the other night I decided to do an Italian rendition with my beef mixture. Most of all, I hope my ideas allow you to be more creative with your next batch of leftovers!
Empanada filling--take two!
Frittata Italiano
1 1/2 cups ground beef, cooked
1/2 pkg of mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced
1 Tb. olive oil
6 eggs, or 1 1/2 cup egg substitute
3 oz goat cheese
Bruschetta Mixture (see recipe below)
Preheat oven to 350*F. In a heavy skillet heat olive oil and add bell peppers and mushrooms. Sauté for 4 minutes. Add ground beef and heat for 2 minutes. Whisk eggs and pour over eggs. Top with crumbled goat cheese. Allow to cook over medium heat for 3 minutes and then finish in oven for 5-10 minutes or until middle is set. Serve with Bruschetta:
2 Tomatoes, chopped
1 cup Parsley, chopped
1/4 Red onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 Lemon, juiced
Salt to taste
Mix & Serve!