Thursday, February 18, 2010

Flank Steak, Rice, and Artichokes...oh my! guys want to know what we're eating at Chez Clements tonight for dinner.'s leftovers! That's one of my sanity saving devices...never cook a meal that can only feed you multiple times off of it. Either as the exact same meal or with bits and pieces reincarnated as something else. Trust me...this time honored habit has stopped my head from spinning around like something out of the Exorcist many, many times!

So Sunday's dinner is the starter for this! It was the Tomato-Marinaded flank steaks with herbed basmati rice and artichokes...we also had a cauliflower gratin...but I have to leave in 17 minutes for high school you guys get the down and dirty version...rice is starch enough! The gratin will wait!

Oh...and if I decide to reincarnate this, it will be as steak fried rice! yum!

Tomato-Marinade Flank Steak

To make it ridicously simply, I got the recipe for the flank steak from Gavan Murphy, hunky 'Healthy Irishman'. mmmmm! Here's the link to his blog with the recipe. (Oh, and can use this for any bit of steak you have on hand!)

Yeah...I know. It's not blue. Copy and paste into your address bar and I promise, at some point, I will figure out the whole hyperlink thing! thing I did do that isn't in his recipe was save the marinade after I took the meat out. While the meat was grilling, I put the marinade in a pot on the stove and cooked it at medium heat for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally (which means whenever I walked past the stove with nothing in my hands). At the end, I added a generous dollop of extra virgin olive oil (about 1/8 cup) and about a tsp of sugar. Mix, cook a couple minutes more, and use it as a sauce to dip the artichoke leaves in. Yum!!!! If you're not doing the artichokes, simply serve the sauce with the meat and rice.

Herbed Basmati Rice

1 cup uncooked long-grain white basmati rice
1 3/4 cup water
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs minced fresh parsley leaves
1 Tbs minced fresh dill leaves
1 Tbs minced fresh scallions, white and green parts (green onions)
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

Combine the rice, water, salt and butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce the heat to low, stir once, and simmer, covered tightly, for 15 minutes. (Sometimes you need to pull the pot half off the burner to keep it from boiling over. Depends on your stove. Gas is easier to control than electric!) Turn off the heat and allow the rice to sit covered for 5 minutes. Add the parsley, dill, scallions, and pepper. Fluff with a fork and serve warm.

Note...substitute any herbs you have or want. Fresh is obviously best...dried will work, in a pinch!

How to cook Artichokes

Cut the stem off the artichokes level with the bottom. You want them to be able to stand up. Slice about the top 1 inch off also. If the leaves are super-pokey and will cause bodily damage while eating, use kitchen shears to trim the needle off the top of each leave. If they're not bad, just leave 'em alone! Put about an inch of water in a large pot. Stand artichokes up in the water (stem end down). Slice a lemon and add that to the pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes or until a leave easily comes off.

Now...I have to run and get kidlings for school. I have no time to edit yet. So please ignore and forgive any typos...they will get fixed later. Y'all know I'm too anal to leave 'em!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Breakfast Frittata

Zuchinni, mushrooms, spinach,eggs, avocado. Zuchinni, mushrooms, spinach, eggs, avocado. Zuchinni, mushrooms, spinach, eggs, avocado.


Yes, I do honestly LOVE my morning veggie scramble with my two yolky eggs on top! It makes my tummy happy, and my body, and always gives me the energy I need to get through my mornings! And I have found that by not eating fruit at breakfast, I avoid any of those wacky sugar highs that sometimes hit me if I eat breakfast too close to working out. And then I have the fruit right afterwards to get that quick glucose to the muscles. And for some reason, eating the veggies in the morning, as opposed to the fruit, seems to set my taste buds for the day to 'less sweet'! I mean, there's a reason my blog is entitled 'and SOME fruit'! I love fruit and would eat it all day if I could. But I guess it's the same philosophy I used when I introduced my kids to solid food...veggies first, to set their taste buds to 'less sweet'! Just never applied it to myself before! Still works when you're 40, apparently!

So anyway...back to the whole 'zuchinni, mushroom...' deal. Yes, I love then. But even I get tired of the same thing day in and day out. But I still wanted my eggs...truly the easiest breakfast protein for me! And I still wanted my veggies. I just wanted them different. Enter the breakfast frittata! Easy, nutritious, and delicious. Hits all my criteria for a successful breakfast!

Jen's 'I Just Want Something Different' Breakfast Frittata

Chop up whatever veggies sound good. This morning I was ALL about change, so I had diced orange peppers, baby asparagus, and mushrooms. I know I've told you about big pans = lots of space for the veggies = non-soggy veggies...but today's goal is a compact pile of veggies that can be covered by my two eggs. So I picked a small saute that's oven safe! Very, very important!

So heat up that pan nice and hot...we still want to cook the veggies quickly to avoid a sodden, mushy mess. EWWWWW! (and I'll just briefly say that I think most people who 'don't like vegetable' just haven't had them done and cooked properly. But I digress...) So, where are we...ah yes...heat pan. Spray with Pam. Add veggies. I added my put-in-absolutely-everything spice mix (see below for recipe) mixed once and then let it alone for a minute or two to get nicely browned. Don't stir them a lot...they don't like that! You make them cry...they get mushy. EWWWWW! again! After a minute or two, stir them ONCE! Cook another minute and then trust that they're done...and still nicely al dente!

While you are cooking the veggies, you should be turning your broiler on to high, mincing some fresh herbs (I used parsley and thyme) and beating the crap out of two eggs in a bowl. Now make sure the pile of veggies is nice and even, then pour the eggs over them. DON'T STIR! no, no, no! Just let them be for a couple of minutes. Keep an eye on them. You'll be able to see the edges start to set. Once the edges start to brown and the middle is starting to set, sprinkle your fresh herbs on top and then take the whole pan and slide it under the broiler. You want to finish cooking the eggs and get a nicely browned top on it. But watch it carefully so it doesn't burn!

When done, grab that pot holder and remove from oven. I served it with half an avocado and you have the perfect paleo breakfast! mmmmmm!

The Super Secret 'Put-in-absolutely-Everything' Spice Mix

Things taste better fresh! That includes your spices! And if you find yourself reaching for the same three or four containers almost everytime you cook, why not save time and combine them? That's how this spice mix came about.

Got an extra coffee grinder? Cheaper than heck, and the easiest way to grind your own spices!


My personal holy spice trinity is peppercorns (I usually use a mix that contains black, green, white, and red peppercorns...but if I'm out, like I was today, than plain old black ones work just fine!), crushed red pepper, and dried minced garlic...and I recently added dried minced onions to the mix also! I throw them all in my grinder and GRIND! Then it gets dumped into a pretty blue bowl that sits by the side of my stove, complete with spoon! It is honestly put in everything from scrambled eggs to my name it, it's probably in there! Couldn't be easier!

Monday, February 15, 2010

French Country Chicken

Just for Reet! Short, sweet, to-the-point recipe so she can maybe have it for dinner. I give you the basic recipe and you can play with it as you want. Personally, I usually add celery, and always use way more vegetables than called for. I always use the chicken thighs too...the breasts usually end up drying out and the slight reduction in calories is not worth the hugh reduction in taste, in my opinion!


2 Tbs Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, thighs, or combination of both, cut in chunks
2 Tbs butter
2 shallots, chopped (or 1 medium onion)
3 small carrots, thinly sliced
10 mushrooms, sliced (cremini, button, portabella...whatever you want!)
1 tsp oregano
2 cloves garlic, minced
handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 cup dry red wine (I've also used white, if that's what I already have open)
1 - 32 ounce can of crushed or diced tomatoes

In a large skillet, over medium high heat, warm the olive oil. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper and brown in oil for about 3 minutes each side - until browned. Remove to plate.

Return pan to stove and reduce heat to medium. Add butter to the pan and saute the shallots/onions and other vegetables. Saute 3-5 minutes or until carrots are fork tender. Add the oregano, garlic, and parsley and stir well. Add wine and reduce liquid for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir. Add chicken back to pan and simmer chicken in sauce for 6 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and juices run clear.

Nice and paleo on its own. For all others, try it over rice or some buttery noodles!

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 servings

Friday, February 5, 2010

Jen's Baked Vegetarian Chimichanga's

So I've been asked for my chimichanga recipe. And I'm going to give it to you guys! Along with every other recipe for the foods I'm cooking for my home catering business. No, not paleo, but tasty, overall pretty darn healthy, doesn't take hours to prepare and doesn't break the bank yummy food. I figure it's not the lack of recipes that has me in such high demand, but lack of I feel pretty safe that I'm not going to be losing customers doing this! So let me know if you have any questions, and as always, let me know how it turns out for you!

Jen's Baked Vegetarian Chimichangas

Makes 8 servings

2-3 cans of beans...I like using a variety of black, pinto, and kidney. Sometimes I soak and cook my own beans. When I don't, I use the no-sodium added beans from Fresh-n-Easy...still rinsing them really good!

1 can (7 oz) diced green chilis...I'vve been known to roast my own anaheims and poblano's and dice them up for these. Not hard to do...roast over your gas stovetop, in your oven, or on your grill...just turn frequently to avoid burning. Once roasted, but in a brown paper bag, fold the top over, and let them sit in there until they're cool enough to handle. Then peel the charred skins off, chop, and use! Good in anything Mexican! Delicious in scrambled eggs!

3 cups prepared coleslaw mix with carrots...personally, I adore the brocolli slaw mix for these!

1 cup shredded cheese...recipe calls for sharp cheddar...I'm a huge fan of multiple cheeses for a more layered flavor. Love the 5 cheese mexican mix from Costco for this one!

2 cups salsa...this is approximate. You'll want to add enough salsa to the mix to combine well, without being watery.

8-10 flour tortillas

1 can sliced black olives (optional)

In a bowl, combine beans, chilies, slaw mix, cheese, salsa, and olives (if using). Mix well.

Wrap tortillas in a cloth towel and microwave until hot and pliable. I usually do about 1 min for a dozen tortillas. Lay tortillas flat. Divide the slaw and bean mixture among the tortillas, spreading in a band near the edge of each tortilla. Fold over the sides, then roll up tightly to enclose.

Place bundles seam side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake in a 425 degree oven until crisp and brown, about 15 minutes.

To eat, top each chimichanga with additional salsa, sour cream, sliced green onions...whatever sounds good!