Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Salad Recipe

When I cook, I don't usually follow much of a recipe. This is how I learned how to cook: Look in the cupboards, fridge, and pantry and take note of contents. Brainstorm how those contents could be put together to make a meal. Put them together and hope it tastes good. I'm in the habit of doing this when I have company too, and a word to the wise: cook something you know will turn out good when you have company. (Failed recipes with company: Indian Spinach Chicken & Pork chops w/ raspberry vinaigrette, potatoes, carrots, garlic, & green onions.)

Since I’m eating a lot of fruits and veggies for the next 6 weeks, I have to figure out new recipes almost daily. Here are a couple:

Alfredo Noodles with Dino-Trees

Prep./Cook time: 30 min.

Linguini noodles
1 White sauce recipe (will need butter, flour, milk, and salt)
Broccoli & Cauliflower
Meat of some type (I used some left over ground beef, I’m sure chicken would be delicious, too, maybe even more so)

Cook noodles to al dente and meat until done. Cut up broccoli and cauliflower into a big frying pan. Add enough olive oil to keep it from sticking and burning (2-3 T). Add about 1/3 C water and cover. Fry on medium heat. When it seems like long enough for the water to have boiled mostly off (and steamed the veggies a bit), uncover (caution, steam is HOT!) and fry to taste. While all that is cooking make your white sauce (see recipe below, from BHG red checkered cookbook). Serve linguini onto plates and top with meat and veggies, add white sauce to taste.

White Sauce

2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Dash black pepper
1-1/2 cups milk

In a small saucepan melt butter. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Stir in milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Makes 1-1/2 cups sauce.

Caesumber Chicken Salad

Prep. Time: 24 hrs, Cook/Assemble time: 15 min.

Romaine Lettuce
Orange Juice
1 Chicken Breast
Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Cucumber Salad Dressing (I’m sure it’d be good w/ Ranch or Caesar too, but I had cucumber, so I used it

To marinate: Put Chicken breast in a ziplock baggie and pour in about ¾ or 1 C Orange juice in. Seal and stick in bowl in fridge for 24 hours, turning over occasionally. (I started w/ a frozen chicken breast, so I let it marinate until it wasn’t frozen any more plus a few hours. If you start with a thawed chicken breast, you only really have to marinate for 3-5 hours.) To cook/assemble: Cut up chicken into bite sized pieces and fry on medium heat until done all the way through. While frying, wash and spin dry romaine lettuce and tear into slightly larger than 50 Cent piece sized pieces. When the chicken is done, put in a bowl and stick in freezer while you add croutons and cheese to bowl of romaine. When the chicken isn’t hot any more (can be luke-warm, don’t want it to be frozen). Dress to taste and devour. (1 chicken breast will make about 2-3 servings, add other toppings accordingly.)

I ate that salad for lunch today…it was…DELICIOUS! I had my doubts, especially since the cucumber dressing isn’t as good as I imagined it’d be on other salads (It tastes a lot like dill…which reminds me of the taste of pickles, which I can’t stand).

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