Posts Tagged ‘corn’

5-Star Dinner

Somehow I am a day behind on the dinner postings. So last night’s dinner was an experiment! It was inspired by Erica from Itzy’s Kitchen and No Meat Athlete . Before school yesterday, I marinated a piece of salmon in salsa. I was not sure what I was I was going to do with it but we had Asian and BBQ already this week so I wanted something different.

While searching some of my favorite blogs I came across Erica’s corn pancakes with a link to the recipe on NoMeatAthlete. I immediately thought they looked delicious and had an idea.

I made the corn pancakes with the following – they are slightly different than the original recipe because I omitted corn (didn’t have any) and oil and butter because I wanted to see if they would work without the added fat. Also, I used skim milk instead of buttermilk.

So my recipe included:

  • 2/3 c. cornmeal
  • 2 tbsp. whole wheat flour
  • 1 c. skim milk
  • few squirts of lemon – into the milk (to replace the buttermilk)
  • chili powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 can of green chilis
  • 1 egg white
  1. Spray a non-stick pan and cook like a pancake!


Delicious, right?! I loved it, it was so much better than polenta!

So then I took the pancake, and following Matt’s lead, I spread refried beans mixed with green chilis on it. Then placed it on a bed of spinach – for extra greens.


The next layer of this delicious experimental meal included a tomato from my garden and a ripe avocado.


All of that goodness was topped with my salsa salmon which I broiled for about 10-15 min.


And here is a side view from Brady’s plate:


Overall, it was a simple and different dinner that we are definitely making again!   

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This week has flown by! I can’t believe it is already the weekend. I spent a lot of my time this week in my classroom, getting it ready for my kids to come next week. It’s almost done! Other activities this week included a work happy hour with Brady and a girl’s night – HERE! Everything was fun!

A new recipe I tried this week included the vegetable stock that Foodbuzz sent me last week and an old Cooking Light recipe that I found in my recipe book. (More on the recipe book later )


I followed the recipe for the most part – adding veggie stock instead of chicken broth. I also omitted the onions and the olive oil.

This mushy side was served with a zucchini boat filled with tomatoes, lentils and brown rice.


a close up


Brady’s boat contained a little lean ground beef too!


Thanks again Emeril and Foodbuzz!IMG_5392.JPG

Overall: I would make the zucchini boats again and I would make the polenta again. I think the polenta would be better in the winter as it is warm and mushy. Brady thought they went great together!!

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After a busy, fun weekend, and before a draining paper, we had a cookout! John and Ash, came over for some classic cookout food! We had the regulars: corn on the cob, salad, burgers and the fixins. We also had a new experiment – veggie burgers!

Veggie Burgers:

  • 1 c. brown rice
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1/2 c. egg whites
  • 1/2 c. bread crumbs
  • 1/2 can of chickpeas
  • salt and pepper

Process together until blended. Cook in a pan with non-stick spray.

**Next time, I would add other veggies – mushrooms, zucchini, squash, broccoli or onions.


They were really good but would be better with more veggies!

Carmelized onions:


John and Ashley’s Amazing Salad:


Grilled Squash:


My plate:


Plus lots of salad!

Yay for great friends and great cookouts!

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A huge thank you to Progresso for sending me a box of treats!!


Tons of great cooking utensils, a recipe card box and holder, a spoon rest and some 100% Natural Chicken Broth! This will be perfect to use in all of the holiday cooking coming up!

Speaking of holiday cooking…We have a contest!

Please leave a comment or email me your favorite holiday idea, tip or recipe! All entries/comments are due by Sunday, November 30th. Progresso is giving away three gift baskets to our winners!! I can’t wait to read them! 🙂

We had a fun dinner tonight with Brady’s parents. his sister (who is home from her first semester of college) and one of her close friends!

And for tonight’s meal: Taco Bar complete with ground turkey and taco seasoned lentils (a great “meaty” taco filling!)

Some highlights:

Pictured above: black olives, corn, lettuce, guac, black beans, refried beans, taco lentils, tomatoes, mango peach salsa plus ground turkey!
Brady had a soccer game tonight and we just got home. I still need to pack for Thanksgiving!!!!!!! The plan is to get a workout in in the morning and take off for home! 🙂

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Somehow, in the teacher’s lounge the other day, we started talking about quinoa!  I , of course, got very excited about it !  No one really knew what it was , so I decided to bring it in for everyone to try.  I explained the benefits of quinoa:

  • Complete protein. Quinoa contains all 9 essential amino acids that are required by the body as building blocks for muscles.
  • Magnesium helps relax your muscles and blood vessels and effects blood pressure. Quinoa contains high levels of this vital nutrient.
  • Fiber. Quinoa is a wonderful way to ensure that you consume valuable fiber that eases elimination and tones your colon.
  • Manganese and copper. Quinoa is a good source of these minerals that act as antioxidants in your body to get rid of dangerous cancer and disease-causing substances.

Compared to other grains, quinoa is higher in calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, and zinc than wheat, barley, or corn.2

Studies have shown that quinoa has documented health benefits too!

Quinoa, in its whole grain form, may be effective in preventing and treating these conditions:3

  • Artherosclerosis
  • Breast cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Insulin resistance

Researchers attribute the health benefits of quinoa to its complete nutritional makeup.

Quinoa is close to one of the most complete foods in nature because it contains amino acids, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.

Quinoa: A Body Ecology Grain

It does not feed fungal and bacterial infections in your body (and doctors estimate that 8 in 10 Americans have fungal infections, like candia!)1.

Quinoa has other qualities that make it an ideal “grain”:

  • Quinoa acts as a prebiotic that feeds the microflora (good bacteria) in your intestines.
  • Quinoa is easily digested for optimal absorption of nutrients.
  • Quinoa is gluten-free and safe for those with gluten intolerance, people on a celiac diet, and for autistic children who follow the Body Ecology program for autism.

Thanks, http://www.bodyecology.com/07/04/12/quinoa_benefits_guide.php, for the great info!

I then explained that it can be eaten in a HUGE variety of ways.  I offered a simple veggie mix of either, Italian, Asian, or Southwest/Mexican.  Easy to transport, simple to make, cheap and WONDERFUL!

Here is the salad:


  • 2 c. quinoa cooked as directed in 4 c. water
  • 1 avacado cut into small pieces
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can corn
  • 1/2 c. light Italian dressing
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 T. lime juice
  • 1/2 can chick peas and white beans (these were leftover in my fridge so I threw them in)

Mix all ingredients (except quinoa) together.  Add more cumin, lime, dressing and salt and pepper as you like.  When ingredients are mixed, add quinoa.

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Tonight was a perfect summer evening! One of my girlfriends from college and I went to a Total Conditioning class at the gym and then she came over for dinner! Brady was in NYC for work so I decided it was a good time to try some new “girlfriend food” recipes. It was difficult to eat because we were busy chatting and catching up!

I adapted this recipe by changing the following things in pink. 🙂

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Artichoke Puree & Roasted-Corn & Tomato Topping
(from the July 2008 issue of Shape magazine)

For the Artichoke Puree:

3/4 cup artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil I used 2 tbs. of hummus instead
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves or 1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 clove garlic
sea salt

For the Corn-Tomato Topping:

2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil no oil – it didn’t need it 🙂
1 clove garlic, pressed (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 ears corn, in their husks – roasted corn from Trader Joes frozen section…so good, cheap and easy!
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

For the Mushrooms:

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil – no oil, just a little PAM in the grill pan
2 (one for each of us) large portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
sea salt (optional)

Place the artichoke hearts, oil, thyme, garlic, and a small pinch of salt in a blender and pulse until smooth. Add more salt to taste. Set aside.

Preheat the grill (stove) to medium heat. Meanwhile, place tomatoes in a bowl and drizzle with oil. Add garlic (if using), basil, and parsley and toss gently to combine. Set aside.

When grill is hot, cook the corn, turning frequently, about 10 minutes, or until husks are charred and pulling away from cobs. Let stand until cool, then strip husks and remove silk by rubbing with a dish towel. Cut kernels off cob and toss them with tomato mixture; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

While the corn is cooling, grill the mushrooms. Pour oil into a small dish. Using a pastry brush, lightly coat both sides of each mushroom with oil. Place mushrooms on grill, gill side down, for about 8 minutes. Flip mushrooms and continue grilling for 6-8 minutes more, or until edges begin to brown. Lightly sprinkle with salt, if desired.

On a large serving platter, place mushrooms gill side up and spread artichoke puree over them. Top with corn-tomato topping and serve.

Here they are:

These were AMAZING! So many great flavors and easy to make. To go along with this we had a berry salad and quinona. The quinoa tasted great mixed in with the mushrooms. I can’t wait to have Kelly over again to try another “girlfriend food” recipe! 🙂

For dessert I adapted a recipe I saw in US Weekly. Weird, I know! We will call it…

Lemon Chiffon

  • Sugar-free lemon pudding made according to the package – 2c. skim milk
  • Fage 0%
  • Fat free Coolwhip
  • lemon juice
  • blueberries (optional)
  • a small pinch of blueberry flax and soy cereal – for crunch 🙂

Make the pudding according the package. Put the pudding in an individual bowl, or **a hollow lemon would be cute for a party**, add a spoonful of Fage, a spoonful of Coolwhip and a few drops of lemon juice. Toss on some berries and cereal for extra flavor! We both loved this summery, creamy, sweet, low-cal dessert!

The picture is not to pretty…but it tasted great!

Worse pic than I thought – sorry!

Overall it was a great night with wonderful food and even better company!

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