The Dinners

November 11, 2011

I bet you thought I forgot about this…

Let’s talk about cookware. One of the things you’re going to notice with the recipes I’m sharing is a serious lack of oil and or/butter. If you like and/or use Teflon this won’t mean a lot to you. If you don’t, you’re probably wondering if I’m high or slightly insane.

Here’s the deal. Invest in some good, stainless steel pots and pans. You can scrub and scrub ‘til your heart’s content and you will not damage a good stainless steel pot.

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These are mine. They’re Reverware and I got them for Christmas in 2000. It’s coming up on Christmas 2011.

We registered for, for our wedding, Feistaware baking dishes. These are also pretty much fabulous because you can scrub them and not worry too much about damaging them. They’re also rad because they can go in the freezer, fridge, microwave, and oven.
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I’m not telling you to go spend a fortune on pots and pans right this minute I’m just saying that what you cook in does impact your cooking ability. It’s something to consider.

The other big thing that you’re probably noticing is that I never tell you to add salt to things and that’s because I almost never add salt to food. First of all, anything that’s manufactured outside of your home already has more salt than it needs. I’m not telling you that you need to make everything from scratch, although it would be some luxury if you could, I’m just telling you that if you’re buying red sauce, or adding soy sauce, or using cheese you can put down the salt shaker. We cut out almost all “extra” salt from our diets, and started making as much food from scratch as possible, a few years ago when my blood pressure got funny. The less salt you eat the less you crave, and the less you need to “taste” it. (I will warn you that going down this path will pretty much ruin most restaurant soup for you and you will hate the Olive Garden.)

Anyway, on with the show.

Baked “Chicken” Mozzorella
(Serves 2)

½ head of cauliflower • 2 naked quorn cutlets • 2 bell peppers sliced • 1 clove of garlic chopped • 2 cups of red sauce • ½ cup mozzarella

Preheat oven to 425. Cut fresh cauliflower and slice bell peppers, and place them in the bottom of a baking dish, top with Quorn naked culet and fresh chopped garlic cloves. Pour red sauce over the entire dish, cover with foil, and bake for 30-45 minutes. Pull off foil and flip the cutlets, place ¼ cup cheese on top of each cutlet, place back in the oven until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Calories for a serving using my ingredients: @250-300 calories depending on how many veggies you grab.

Important: when serving ensure that you’re only pulling a “serving” of red sauce – your calories can vary greatly based on how much of each ingredient you pull onto your plate. The red sauce is the second most calorie dense thing in this dish.
Variations: If you live with someone who has an actual metabolism you can make them some whole wheat pasta and put theirs on top of a bed of pasta. For even fewer calories, instead of cauliflower place the peppers and quorn on a bed of fresh spinach.

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Quesadilla
(Serves 1)

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These things are amazing, seriously.

2 La Tortilla Factory tortillas • 1 oz pepper jack cheese, shredded • 2 green onions chopped • 1 quorn naked cutlet sliced • 2 oz Portobello mushrooms sliced

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Disclosure: I use a panini press to make my quesadillas, you could probably set the whole deal on a cookie sheet in a 375 degree oven on some parchment paper.

Preheat your press, place “filling” items on top of one tortilla, top with the second tortilla, cook until the cheese is bubbling out the sides. Use a pizza cutter to slice into 6 wedges. Calories: About 380.

Note: If you’re using Quorn *or* actual chicken you’ll want to pre-cook it. Just baked it, wrapped, with some water.

Beefless Tips with Steamed Broccoli and Brown Rice
(Serves 2)

1 package Gardein Beefless Tips • 2 cups of Broccoli • 4 tbsp Teriyaki Sauce • ½ cup Brown Rice

Place package of beefless tips in a baking pan with 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce. Place covered dish in an oven, preheated to 375. While that’s baking, make your rice according to the package directions. (If you don’t have a rice cooker, get one. I never would have believed that it would make a difference, but it is truly amazing.) About 10 minutes before the beefless tips and rice are done, steam the broccoli until firm but tender. Split the rice between two plates, top with the broccoli, and then top each with half of the beefless tips. Calories: About 460.

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This was the only photo I had, this variation has some peapods – YUM.

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