A good wander over to the farmers market yielded these tasty little gems called garlic scapes or garlic greens. These are basically the flower stem of a garlic bulb. They give you that garlic flavour without too much garlic bite. They have a really short season though so grab them when you can! They do freeze nicely though. I love garlic dressings, my mom makes a Croatian salad that I just adore that has a lovely simple garlic dressing. In my opinion the bitier the better. For those who want milder garlic joy though a garlic scape dressing would definitely be the way to go.
- 3 garlic scapes or more, chopped
- 1 cup vinegar of choice (in this version I used malt)
- 1 tbl extra virgin avocado oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp honey
- Add the ingredients to a blend and blend until smooth.
I love how simple salad dressing can be! Makes 8 servings (2 tbl each). Each serving contains 19 calories, 1.1 gram fat, no fibre, no protein, 3 grams carbs. Aren’t those the best salad dressing nutritionals ever? It doesn’t take much to go far with this dressing. Now that salad season is upon us this is definitely the time to hit the farmer’s market and get those ingredients to start making your own dressings and salads!
What to do with leftover mead…I never thought I would actually wonder something like this. Thing is I love cooking with various other wines so why not give cooking with mead a try? I love goat cheese and it pairs beautifully with mead. This needs to be done! The end result was creamy, tart and slightly sweet with nice body to it. Definitely the star of this chicken dish. It seems to me like just the thing hobbits might serve to dwarf dinner guests.
- 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 60 grams goat cheese
- 1 tbl corn starch
- 1/4 cup mead of choice (I chose a local spiced mead)
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 tbl light butter
- salt and pepper to taste
- If you choose you can marinate the chicken in a bit of mead for a few hours. It is really tasty to do but not crucial. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Grill chicken until done. While the chicken cooks make the sauce.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the cornstarch and stir until combined.
- Slowly add the milk and mead, whisking constantly.
- Once the sauce has heated to near boiling (do not let it boil). Add the goat cheese and stir until melted.
- Serve on top of sliced chicken breast.
Serves 2 and is easily doubled to serve more! Each serving contains 241 calories, 5.8 grams of fat, 10.2 carbs, no fibre (you can fix this by adding a clear supplement), and 29.9 grams of protein.
Not to be confused with mint jelly. I demand to be minty! This is such a nummy sauce filled with flavour for drizzling over all sorts of meats. Great on lamb, pork, beef, game meats especially are great for this one! In the game you make mint sauce out of mint, mixed spice, and vinegar. So simple and so tasty. You can make this the day of as long as you allow it to sit at room temperature atleast 3 hours before serving. Otherwise, this delicious sauce is great for storing. Bring it out with a flourish when a delicious meat that demands to be minty graces your table. You wouldn’t want to deny freshmaker now would you? If you know what I’m talking about give yourself a big pat on the back for your comic reading prowess. Hehehe. If you don’t it’s o.k….be free little poptart. *sigh* I know…geek.
- 1/2 cup malt vinegar
- 1 tbl brown sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup finely chopped mint
- 2 tbl finely chopped tarragon
- 1/4 tsp ground pepper
- Combine the water and sugar in a bowl. Bring to a boil while stirring to make sure the sugar dissolves completely.
- Add the vinegar, mint, tarragon, and pepper. Allow to cook for 1 minute then remove from the heat. Allow to steep for atleast 3 hours before serving.
Makes eight servings. Each serving contains 11 calories, no fat, no fibre, 3 carbs, and no protein. Just drizzle away!
O.k…..one more….I thought we were having stovetop? I want none of this soul toast.
Alright, now I have to dig through my comics and read that one again. Goodtimes.
We are still locked in those cold days of winter so we need something comforting and warming. I always shake my head when I see those frozen entree salisbury steak dinners. We can do so much better with just a bit of prep. You can even form these patties ahead of time, refrigerate or freeze them (as long as you started with fresh meat ofcourse). You could get this dish on the table in the time it takes to make one of those frozen dinners in the oven. Hehe, I can’t compete with the microwave. Want to know something interesting, they eat this in Japan. It is that international a dish, although out there they call it Hanbagu. I just like saying it, it makes me feel very engrish. Hanbagu is awesome! Fear the hanbagu! We love you hanbagu!
- 400 grams extra lean ground beef
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 200 grams mushrooms
- 2 pkg beef oxo, reduced salt
- 1 tbl light butter
- 2 tbl cornstarch
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed
- 1 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbl montreal steak spice
- 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combine the beef, garlic, worcestershire sauce and montreal steak spice in a bowl. Form the mixture into small patties and set aside.
- Heat a pan to medium. Spray and add onions and mushrooms, cook until desired doneness, remove from pan. If you like a chunky gravy just set them aside. If you prefer a smoother gravy puree these with the water and set aside.
- Add the patties to the pan and sear on each side. Traditionally, you will finish cooking these in your gravy. If you are doing these remove them and set aside. If not, then cook until done.
- While the patties are searing or cooking. Add the cornstarch, oxo and butter to a small pot. Allow the butter to melt and stir to combine with the dry ingredient. Add the water or puree slowly, whisking the whole time to avoid lumps. Bring the sauce to a boil. If you had the onions and mushrooms set aside add them now.
- If you are cooking the patties in the sauce place them in your gravy now and allow to simmer covered for 20-30 minutes. If you opted for the cooked patties serve the sauce over the patties and enjoy!
Serves 4. Each serving of patties and mushroom gravy contains 291 calories, 18 grams of fat and 1.1 grams of fibre. Definitely one of those comfort foods, it may be low in calories but the fat is something you don’t want to do everyday. Tasty with rustic mashed potatoes (especially those royal mashed potatoes) and some cooked carrots.
So I’ll admit it, we watch a lot of those reality cooking competition shows like top chef, hell’s kitchen, etc. For some reason atleast once per season…often more than that, somebody absolutely has to make a chimichurri sauced something. Colour me all impressed, ooo bringing out this Argentinian sauce, awesomeness, you culinary gods you. Then I started looking at recipes and such. It’s just a nice easy tasty blender creation. Not so impressed anymore am I (I know, I totally yoda’d that statement. It happens. Chill.). Granted, thanks to those shows I have now added another tasty to my repertoire.
- 6 cloves garlic (you may want to use less, I am involved in a torrid love affair with garlic. So, you might not want to be as involved with it as much as I sometimes am.)
- 1 small onion
- 1/4 cup red wine or red wine vinegar (I used the wine because I just plain wanted to.)
- 1 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- black pepper, freshly ground
- 1/2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbl fresh basil
- Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth like the sauce above.
See? You see how easy this is? Takes more work to make rice crispy squares. I’m so totally going to give the evil closet monkey stare to the next person on one of these culinary reality shows that stands there all proud next to their chimichurri sauced whatever. I used mine as a marinade and sauce for a two person steak. So the sauce for two is 75 calories, 1.6 grams of fat and 2.4 grams of fibre per person. Folks use this as a dipping sauce as well. I highly recommend this as a marinade, that was one happy steak….in my tummy. Goodtimes.
Alright, I can’t take credit for the silly title. I saw it once in a recipe book called eat, shrink and be merry. It amused me greatly. I wasn’t fond of their particular recipe so I went off and made my own. One idea of theirs that I did like was their use of skinless thighs instead of wings. It’s delicious and totally works! They also remind me of those tasty jumbo wings we used to get for 20 cents each way back when. Those were the days. Well wing night is still in my reach so that is definitely cause for celebration! *hobbit dance of joy*
- 6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (you can use bone in but you will have to cook them longer…I’m hungry, no waiting grawr)
- 3 fluid oz. ketchup
- 1 fluid oz. frank’s red hot sauce
- 1 tsp chili garlic sauce
- 2 tbl honey mustard dijon
- 2 tbl worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp pepper steak spice
- 1 tbl garlic powder
- 2 tbl red wine
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- Combine everything except the chicken, refrigerate until ready to use.
- Spray the thighs with some cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper (optional). Grill or bake the chicken at 425 for 20 minutes. I recommend grilling you get a crispier chicken that way.
- Baste the chicken with some of the sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking.
- If you love a super saucy wing like me, toss the wings in a bit more sauce after cooking and serve.
This recipe makes more bbq sauce than you need for just one meal of this. I like to reserve the rest for future parties. Makes 6 “wings”. Each wing is 150 calories, 4 grams of fat and 1 gram of fibre. Just a couple tends to do me, served with some oven fries you have a regular pub night on your hands!
What started as a mint jelly turned into a thai glaze. Hehe it’s crazy how stuff like that happens sometimes. We picked up mint at the market, while we were there the basil called to us, then we found some tasty hot peppers, then lemongrass…well something had to be done! Done it was. I made jars of this stuff to have on hand as a glaze for all sorts of meats or to add to a stirfry as a dressing. Makes a nice subtle marinade too! It was definitely a fun experiment in canning.
- 1 cup mint, minced
- 3/4 cup basil, minced
- 2 tbl lemongrass puree
- 2 hot peppers, seeded and finely chopped
- 2 tbl lemon juice
- 3 cups splenda
- 1 gelatin sheet
- 3/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup basil and mint minced finely combined
- 1 1/2 cup water
- Combine the 1 cup of mint, 3/4 cup of basil, lemongrass and water in a saucepan.
- Bring to a boil. Remove from heat and cover. Allow to steep 30 minutes. Strain and press all liquid out of the leaves.
- Combine all the liquids, splenda, and pepper in the saucepan. Boil 2 minutes stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and stir in the gelatin sheet. Add remaining herbs.
- Store using prefered method.
Makes enough to fill 3 250ml mason jars. Each jar contains 64.4 calories, .1 grams of fat, and .8 grams of fibre. Yeah…each jar. That is the kind of glaze you can go nuts with. Want to see our first invention using it?
Tasty! We used the glaze as a marinade with a couple of chicken breasts. Did up two portions of rice noodles according to the package. Added a tbl of soy sauce and honey to the noodles, tossed, and topped with the grilled chicken all nicely sliced up. Goodtimes. Can’t wait to try this with pork sometime. The glaze is a really bright and lemony type of thing. Not as spicy as I had hoped but my husband thinks a couple of coats during grilling will yield more spice.
I had fun with this hardcore hobbit attempt. In the game shire rations are made of marinated chicken cutlet, apple, and sharp cheese. The marinated chicken cutlet is made of chicken, green onion, and fine seasonings. This is really a double hardcore in one…and that sounds nasty hehe. Now I could see a hobbit being happy with just marinated chicken, some cut up apples and cheese BUT I think they would be much happier with my changes. I kept all the main ingredients like I usually do but changed it up. I approached this like an episode of ‘chopped’, on chopped just cutting up the ingredients and putting them on the plate just won’t fly…well they won’t here either. I fancied up the shire rations by making the apple portion an apple slaw, and the cheese portion a nice cheese sauce for the chicken. I served them on our camping plates though just to make them more ration like hehe. I think the hobbits would be pleased and would never leave their hole without these shire rations.
- 2 royal gala apples, sliced into matchsticks
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 4 tbl fat free plain yogurt
- 2 tbl honey
- Combine, chill for 20 minutes and serve.
Marinated Chicken Cutlet:
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tbl steakhouse pepper spice
- Combine and marinate for atleast 4 hours.
- Grill the chicken until cooked using desired method.
Sharp Cheese Sauce:
- 64 grams of light cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 tbl flour
- 2 tsp light cooking margarine
- 2 tbl parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1/2 tsp salt
- Melt the margarine in a saucepan over medium heat and combine with the flour.
- Whisk in the milk and the salt slowly to prevent lumps.
- When the milk is heated stir in the cheeses. Do not allow to boil!
- Heat and stir until thickened. Serve on the chicken.
The apple slaw serves two, each serving contains 163 calories, .5 grams of fat, and 3.8 grams of fibre. The Chicken makes two servings, each serving contains 142 calories, 1.3 grams of fat, and .4 grams of fibre. The cheese sauce serves four (I like to save the extra to have cheese fries when I feel naughty), each serving contains 85 calories, 2.9 grams of fat and .1 grams of fibre. All together, just to make it simple, a serving of shire ration contains 390 calories, 4.7 grams of fat, and 4.3 grams of fibre.
*phew* That is a load of info. Definitely a tasty meal. This was how I celebrated the end of my first challenge. Definitely decadent seeming but not really in the end. The beauty of this success was that each of these recipes can stand alone and be used for other things…bringing them together is what makes a hobbit happy though. I have a feeling I could actually bring it together when camping. I would definitely give it a try, a fun challenge! I have a feeling that chicken over a fire would be to die for.
A very favourite sauce of mine from the french, provence to be exact. I was introduced to it as a child in switzerland. My parents were there on business and took me along. Oh so garlicky. LOVE! They served it with my steak and frites. Ever since then that’s really the way I always envision it. Since then my version of aoli has gotten even more garlicky. So definitely a warning, if you are not as garlic obsessed as I am you might want to tone this bad boy down. I’ve always made my aoli from scratch, and it really is best that way but these are healthier times. I must resort to an easier method and cut the fat and calories in half. *sniff* It’s all for the best really. It still comes out beautiful and tasty but the purist in me gets a little snobby sometimes hehe.
No, those frites are not fried ofcourse.
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1/2 tsp powdered mustard
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 7 tbl half the fat mayo
- Combine in blender or in my case magic bullet until fully blended and creamy. Allow to sit for 4 hours or overnight. Serve!
Makes 4 servings of 2 tbl each. Each serving contains 68 calories, 6.2 grams of fat, and .1 gram of fiber. This sauce is great with steak and frites as I mentioned, chicken, or even as a really powerful salad dressing. It really does kick caesar’s butt.
The original recipe for those who are curious is:
- 5-8 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 tsp powdered mustard
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 egg whites
- 1/2 cup of olive oil
- Combine the garlic and egg whites, slowly add the olive oil until it is emulsified (white and whipped up).
- Stir in the lemon juice and mustard. Allow to sit 4 hours or overnight. Serve!
8 servings of 2 tbl each. Each serving contains 128 calories, 13.6 grams of fat and .1 gram of fiber.
As you can see the half the fat mayo really does make this a half the fat recipe in the end. My purist version will just have to be reserved for special occasions. In the meantime though this cheaters version seems to make us pretty happy too.
Mmmm, creamy garlicky goodness. So out of reach for folks trying to watch what they eat. Well, not really. I used to make this recipe for my sisters while we watched saturday morning cartoons. I have always had a problem digesting a lot of butter and cream so I had made up this alternative long ago. It was almost a ritual of sorts. 11:30 would roll around, the cartoons would be winding down, and I would pop out the pans and get started on the alfredo sauce for my sisters. They would gobble it down happily while we finished up our watching with a little reading rainbow. Later, I would find this recipe doubles up nicely to feed a crowd for a pasta dinner. A nice alternative to tomato sauce all the time. Paired with a whole wheat or multigrain pasta this is a very happy dish indeed.
- 1 cup evaporated skim milk
- 1/2 cup skim milk
- 2 tbl butter
- 1 1/2 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese ( sometimes and romano or asiago blend makes this extra special)
- 2 tbl flour
- snipped fresh chives for garnish
- 5 cloves of garlic (I loooove garlic, some folks may want to reduce this), pressed
- In a medium saucepan melt the butter and combine with the flour. Slowly add the two milks whisking them in so that no lumps form. Continue to heat until the milk is hot and begins to thicken. Add the garlic.
- Gradually stir in the cheese. Stir until cheese is melted and the sauce is thickened.
- Toss with your choice of pasta and sprinkle with fresh chives to garnish. Serve!
Makes 6 servings. Each serving contains 171 calories, 9.5 grams of fat, and 0.2 grams of fiber. Definitely a health conscious way to indulge! I have served this to crowds who never knew this was a diet friendly recipe…it was well received every time. No need for heavy creams and a stick of butter to enjoy a little alfredo now and then! In the picture I used whole wheat bows…very tasty and good at trapping that sauce. If you want to up to protein toss this with a bit of grilled chicken for a tasty chicken alfredo!