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Holy Cow...I Can Cook?

I started this food blog New Years 2010 to force myself to get in the kitchen and teach myself how to cook. Well it has been a year, and it turns out, cooking isn't so hard after all. I kept the promise I made to myself and cooked healthy yummy meals for my family all year. Once I just got in there, read the recipes, and experimented I found cooking is yet another form of artistic expression. Just like with my art, I let go of the fear of failure and found a new passion.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Chicken with Cilantro Lime Pesto

2 Cups packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno chili, stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, divided
1 Tsp sesame oil
3 TBS Olive Oil
3 Green Onions
2 Cloves Garlix
Juice and Zest of one lime
1 TBS soy sauce
1/2 Tsp salt
Chicken Breasts (2 or 4; how ever many you intend to eat)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a blender, puree cilantro, garlic, chili, half the peanuts, lime zest and juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Add olive oil and process until smooth. About one minute.
Put Chicken in baking dish and season with salt and pepper, as desired. Cook in oven for apprx. 1 hour.
Serve chicken over brown rice; drizzle pesto over top and garnish with chopped green onions and remaining peanuts.

Lauren's Greek Chicken

Chicken Breasts (2 or 4, how ever many you plan to eat)
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
Juice of two lemons
3 Garlic Cloves (minced)
2 Tsp. Oregano
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper

-Preheat Oven to 350
-Combine all ingredients except the chicken
-Put chicken in a baking dish
-Pour sauce over
-Bake for 30 mins; baste once and flip, then cook for another 30 mins

(So very simple, but so very delicious!)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Yam & Ham Soup

This hearty soup is a great chilly weather dish and surprisingly low calorie. There is nothing better than warm soup on a rainy day!

1 cup diced cooked ham
1 large leek or 1 1/2 cups (sliced)
2 tbsp water
2 small yams or 3 cups (peeled, & cubed)
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups water
2/3 cup (5oz) fat-free evaporated milk
1/4 tsp black pepper
Cooking spray
Thinly sliced green onions (garnish)

1. Heat a large Dutch oven or heavy soup pan over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add ham; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove ham and set aside.
2. Add leek to pan; coat with cooking spray. Cook leek, covered, 5 minutes or until very tender, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tbsp water to pan, if needed, to prevent burning.
3. Add yam, chicken broth, water, evaporated milk, and pepper, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until sweet potato is very tender. Use stick blender to puree in pan or transfer soup to blender or food processor in batches. Return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in 3/4 cup reserved ham. Ladle soup into bowls; top servings with 1/4 cup reserved ham. Garnish with onions.

Serves 4
Serving size: 1 1/4 cups

I served this with a rustic whole wheat bread on the side with Smart Balance spread.