Lemon-Garlic Tuna Linguine

I am a HUGE pasta lover. I think that if I allowed myself to do it, I would eat pasta every day and not get tired of it. You can do so much with it that it never feels like the same thing. Its also such an easy food to work with.

Today I was craving it and so was my boyfriend. So I made my lunch for and stored the left overs for him to take to work tomorrow. Very easy and quick recipe.

Boil the pasta according to the box directions. While that’s cooking mince 4 cloves of garlic put in a bowl to the side. Take out a can of tuna. In a separate bowl, break the tuna up. Not too much, you don’t want it to look like tuna shavings, but then again you want it broken up enough that its dispersed throughout the dish. Once that’s done, zest an entire lemon and add the zest to the tuna. Take out a pan, pour in about 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil. Once the olive oil is hot enough, add the minced garlic. To the garlic, add about 1/4 tablespoon of red pepper flakes. I added more because my boyfriend is a spice fiend. Allow the garlic to cook for about 3 minutes and then add tuna with the lemon zest. Stir it all up, make sure the garlic is very well incorporated to the tuna. By this time the linguine should be cooked. Take it off the heat and drain it BUUUUT save some of the water, about a half a cup of it. Add the linguine to the pan where the tuna, garlic and lemon zest are cooking. Mix it up and add the water you saved. Add just enough to barely cover the food. Give it a mix and then squeeze half the lemon into it. Add salt and pepper to taste and let it cook on low heat for about 5 minutes so that the sauce thickens a bit. If you want to add more red pepper flakes, then by all means, throw it in there. Turn off the heat after 5 minutes and let sit for about another 5 and then add some chopped parsley. You can add some Parmesan cheese if you like, I didn’t though. Absolutely amazing taste. I wish I had made more so I could eat more of it, but I had to save some for the boyfriend.

 

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Eat happily❤

Go-to recipe ;)

So I am admitting that this past week I did not plan out my meals the way I had hoped😦 I usually base my cooking schedule on my boyfriend’s work schedule and this week was a little weird so I just went with it on a day-to-day basis. I repeated some old recipes I had used already but hadn’t made in a while.

Something simple and quick is what I was looking for. A few months ago I tried out this new quinoa recipe. Quinoa is an amazing source of protein and I use it as a replacement for rice whenever I can. This particular recipe was simple and it goes so well with any meat you want and a simple salad. Its a Garlic-Mushroom Quinoa. I make it with some grilled chicken and a very simple salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions with olive oil, some lime juice, salt and pepper. Tastes amazing.

You start by cooking the quinoa according to the box instructions. Once its done take it off the stove and let it cool down a little. While its cooling, take out a pan and pour in some olive oil, just enough to coat the pan lightly. Once the olive oil is hot add some diced yellow onions. Let the onions cook for a bit, when about three minutes have passed add the minced garlic, I always use three cloves. Let that cook for about two minutes and the add the sliced mushrooms, I use about 7 of them. The original recipe calls for cremini mushrooms, but I have used baby portobello mushrooms and it tastes great. Sprinkle in some salt, pepper, red pepper flakes if you wish and cook until the mushrooms are soft. Once that happens, add the quinoa. Add just enough. Don’t overdo it because you’ll end up with a whole lot of quinoa and little bit of mushrooms. I have done variations on this dish, I have added Worcestershire sauce to the mushrooms while they are cooking. I have added soy sauce. Make it your own. Once you turn off the heat add some chopped parsley or cilantro and you’re good to go🙂 This is my go-to recipe because its so simple and so quick to make and you can always dress it up differently.

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ENJOY🙂

 

Invention Day

Hello to all,

I wanted to thank those that began following me. I got the notifications and I was happy and a bit surprised to get followers🙂 I appreciate you giving me some sense of fulfillment haha.

So I feel myself starting to lose interest in planning my meals. The first week I was all about it, looking things up and writing down the recipes and all. The second week I looked everything up but I was getting easily frustrated with having to write things down and looking up more recipes. This week I looked up some recipes but I haven’t actually laid anything down for the week. My mother-in-law did the cooking this weekend (thank God) and I took a break from the kitchen. But I am determined to keep this going. I have showed a sort of interest in making soups this season and am ready to try many of them. But that is yet to come, I still have another week or so before I want to start just because I want the weather to be absolutely perfect for the soup.

So this week, one of the days I made my boyfriend his lunch, I made him something simple yet yummy. I made him some pork tenderloins with green peppers and onions over some brown rice. What I invented for this part was the marinade for the pork. I honestly winged it and when I finished I was a bit scared of how it would come out but when I tried it, I whooped for joy because it came out great and the pork tasted awesome. I mixed some deli mustard with some balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt/pepper, cumin, some chili powder and a bit of lemon juice and let the pork sit for about an hour or so while I made everything else. I boiled the brown rice with some salt and white vinegar. I sauteed the onions and green peppers with some olive oil. When the onions and peppers cooked for about 3 minutes I added some salt and some chili powder. After about 2 more minutes, I added 2 cloves of garlic. I finished cooking the peppers, allowing them to soften. Once they were done I moved them to a plate to make way for the pork. I sprayed the pan with some Pam and put the pork in and let it cook. Once the pork was cooked, I added the peppers and onions back into the pan and let it sit for a while.

I assembled my boyfriend’s tupperware with some brown rice first and the put the pork and peppers on top. I made him a side salad and sent him happily on his way🙂

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With the rice that was left over I did something different. I used the same pan I had used for the pork and the peppers because it had all the seasonings and yummy stuff the meat leaves behind when it cooks. To the pan I added corn, peas and shredded carrots. I added some salt and pepper, a bit of water just to cook the veggies more thoroughly. Once the veggies cooked nicely, I added the rice and mixed it all up and let it sit for a while longer. I ate the rice with some turkey and it filled my stomach nicely🙂 this rice can go with almost anything, you can make some nice grilled chicken, or some tuna would be nice.

 

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As you can see, my made up recipes don’t really have measurements or time intervals. I really just throw things together to my liking and go from there. When you are not measuring always start with as little of a spice as you can and move up from there if it needs more, my mom always used to say, you can always add more but you can never take any away. So just be careful.

On that note, I hope everyone has had a beautiful Monday :)  I hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

 

My “Arrugula” Skirt Steak “Salad”

Good evening all! As I have mentioned I am on a quest to lose weight and get healthy. I have tracked my food this whole week, and tracked my exercise through my FitBit Flex. I’ve come in under my calorie goal 4 out of the 5 days😀 the day I went over was because I got a little too happy with a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon:/ I love my wine. Anyway, I have said no to the taco truck around the corner every day this week, which is a very hard thing to do because I have grown ADDICTED to their chorizo tacos…they are the best I have ever eaten. Today is my 4th anniversary, and my boyfriend knows that my weakness is the taco truck and offered to bring some to celebrate…I plain out rejected him and said we could eat some on Sunday, which will be our cheat day. I am very proud of myself.

Anyway, this week, I had all my meals planned, or at least the lunch/dinner part. Breakfast is very easy for me to do since we always either have a fruit protein smoothie or some type of egg concoction. On Tuesday we made this amazing recipe that I found on my Pinterest account titled Arrugula Skirt Steak Salad. So I took the recipe, and of coarse I completely changed it into something else😀 well not completely but i changed it somewhat.

My boyfriend and I went food shopping when I got back from work in the afternoon (my job gives me a nice break from 9am-2pm). We bought everything we needed for the week and went home to cook. My boyfriend took care of the steak which he simply seasoned with salt and pepper, while I prepared the salad. The only catch was we made sandwiches out of it😦 I know bread is not exactly diet-friendly, but I couldn’t help myself this time, especially since where we live they have the BEST bakery with the FRESHEST bread, so good.

So, I’ll post the recipe below and I’ll post the changes I made🙂

Arrugula Skirt Steak Salad with Pears, Pecans and Gorgonzola

Ingredients

1 lb. skirt steak, excess fat trimmed

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper, for seasoning (about 1 teaspoon per side of steak)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter –didn’t use–

1/4 cup light brown sugar –didn’t use–

2 large pears, cored and cut into medium-sized chunks –didn’t use–

1 tablespoon granulated sugar –didn’t use–

3/4 cup chopped pecans –didn’t use–

4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese –used feta instead–

4 cups baby arugula, washed and patted dry –used spring mix instead–

For the Mustard Vinaigrette:

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

3 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar –used honey instead–

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

1. Cook the skirt steak to your liking.

2. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium flame. Once melted add brown sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add pear chunks, stir, and then cook – stirring occasionally – for about 5 minutes, or just until the pears have released their juices and really softened up. With a slotted spoon (leaving behind as much sauce as possible) transfer pears to a clean plate. –I SKIPPED THIS STEP–

3. Add pecans to the same skillet the pears were cooked in (keeping the pear juices and caramel in the pan!), and toss them in the caramel, cooking over medium heat for just 1-2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and working quickly transfer pecans to a plate covered in wax or parchment paper. –SKIPPED THIS STEP–

4. Once steak has rested for 10 minutes, slice meat against the grain into 1” strips.

5. Scatter arugula onto a large serving dish or platter. Arrange steak strips across the top, then add pears, pecans, and gorgonzola evenly around the platter. Lightly dress with vinaigrette, and serve at once.

For the Mustard Vinaigrette:

Whisk all of the ingredients together. Season well with salt and pepper and adjust ingredients to taste.

 

So, I basically followed all these steps except for the ones for the pears and pecans. I made the vinaigrette in a separate bowl and then tossed the salad with it. My salad was just a spring mix with some cherry tomatoes, cucumber, feta cheese and red onion. Everything was chopped very small so that it would be easier to eat. After I tossed the salad with the dressing, I cut up the steak into pieces and tossed that into the salad bowl and gave one final mix so that the steak could coat with the vinaigrette. We used some nice fresh french bread, gutted it so that it made a shell to hold the salad, and then we loaded it up. It was absolutely delicious. I hope I get the chance to make it the real one that’s on this post though, because it sounds awesome.

I hope some one tries this wonderful recipe, whether its the original or my version and lets me know how it tasted🙂

Below I am including the direct link to the recipe I used:

http://bakerbynature.com/arugula-skirt-steak-salad-with-caramelized-pears-pecans-and-gorgonzola/

 

Sleep well everyone🙂

 

 

I’m back!

So its been a while since I’ve been on here. I’m guessing over a year now. I have been trying my hardest to keep with the cooking and I’ve improved a lot. But I just haven’t thought to come back and post about it. I’ve made a few new recipes that have sat well with my boyfriend so I know I am making progress.

I’ve decided to keep this blog simply because I need an outlet for some of my cooking frustrations and my new experiments. I’m trying to become better and I trying to take it seriously by planning out my meals and making sure they are healthy and good for us. We have gained some weight since the last time I posted and I need to reverse that PRONTO.

I want to get on track and really start doing well as far as our eating habits. I don’t appreciate the weight I’ve gained, or the fact that I lose my breath coming up the stairs from the subway. So, I’m implementing some lifestyle changes.

1. Healthier eating: less garbage more real food. Eating every three hours to keep my metabolism going. Drinking a lot of water. Eating breakfast, and that doesn’t include a Builder Bar and a Venti Iced Coffee from Starbucks. Stop eating left-overs from the kid I take care of. And reducing the amount of junk food I consume and limiting it to ONE cheat day, which will be Sundays.

2. Exercising: I NEED to get back into the habit of exercising. I used to go to the gym 5 times a week. Now I don’t go at all and I’m still paying my membership. We have a beautiful park here around the corner from our apartment and I walk a lot with the kid I take care of, so I have to take advantage of that.

3. Fluids:  it goes without saying. I need to drink more water. More green tea, less fattening coffee and stick to my basic black.

This is my first week planning out my meals ahead of time. I usually just come home and I just make whatever I have on hand but usually I end up making things that I’ve made recently and I want to avoid that since I am trying to impress my boyfriend and myself. I don’t want my cooking to look like I’m just cooking because I have to and I’m trying to get it over with quickly. I want it to show that I love doing it.

Its still hard to do this with my mother-in-law on me like white on rice. But I’ve gotten to the point where I pay no mind to her and do what I have to do.

Anyway, yesterday I made I made my boyfriend’s lunch for today. And in keeping in the spirit of healthy eating, I made a copy cat version of Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad. It came out pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. I didn’t take a picture of it so I can’t post the actual thing, but I will share the recipe and the small changes I made to make it my own and to make it somewhat more healthy.

Applebee’s Oriental Chicken Salad Copycat

Honey Oriental Dressing
  1. 3 Tbsp honey (cut this down to 1 tbsp)
  2. 1 1/2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  3. 1/4 cup mayonnaise ( I didn’t use this at all)
  4. 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  5. 1/8 tsp sesame oil
For the Salad
I skipped steps 1-4. I made it with grilled chicken, seasoned with some salt, oregano, and cumin.
  1. 1 egg
  2. 1/2 cup milk
  3. 1/2 cup flour
  4. 1/2 cup cornflake crumbs
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1/4 tsp pepper
  7. 1 chicken breast
  8. 3 cups vegetable oil, for frying (I used Pam)
  9. 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  10. 1/2 cup chopped red cabbage
  11. 1/2 cup chopped napa cabbage (didn’t include this)
  12. 1 carrot, shredded
  13. 1 green onion, chopped (used red onion instead)
  14. 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
  15. 1 Tbsp sliced almonds (didn’t include this either)
Instructions
It goes without saying that I skipped steps 2-4. I just seasoned my chicken, sprayed some Pam on the skillet and grilled the chicken until it was cooked through. I let it sit for a few minutes on the cutting board and then I cut it into strips.
  1. Blend together all ingredients for the dressing. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Preheat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. You want the oil at about 350 degrees F, (or test the oil by putting a small piece of torn bread into the pot and if the bread sizzles, it’s ready, if it just floats there, it’s not.)
  3. In a small bowl beat the egg and milk together. In another bowl combine the flour, cornflake crumbs and salt and pepper.
  4. Cut chicken breast into several long thin strips. Dip the strips in the egg mixture, and then into the flour mixture, coating completely. Add chicken strips to the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes or until cooked through and coating is dark golden brown.
  5. Prepare the salad: Combine the romaine, red cabbage, napa cabbage, carrots, onions and cucumber.
  6. Add chicken pieces on top and sprinkle with almonds. Serve with the honey oriental dressing!

I found this recipe on Pinterest, but the credit goes to the lady who runs the website I will post below.

http://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/2014/06/applebees-oriental-chicken-salad-copycat.html

 

Hope you all enjoy it. I hope I can stick to actually updating more often on here.

Chicken and Broccoli night!

So today I get a text at work from my wonderful boyfriend. He says, “Babe, I took out the chicken, please make it😉.” First thing that runs through my mind is, “he wants chicken, AGAIN?” There’s only so many chicken recipes I can make for him because he’s not eating a lot of things right now. He’s been on this healthy lifestyle change for the past 4 months, has dropped about 60 pounds and I am extremely happy for him and don’t want t mess it up by adding rice to his diet before he’s ready. Anyway, I think “well there’s broccoli in the freezer, why not make chicken and broccoli.” DONE! Menu made. Right? No! Its a simple recipe to make but I’ve never made it, so I take to the internet and a research and stumble upon a wonderful Martha Stewart recipe for chicken and broccoli. Its a little different from your Chinese restaurant version but I think, “hey, its Martha, you can never go wrong with Martha.” So I print out the recipe, stop by the market on my way home to get a few things I’m missing to make it and Voila! I’m ready. I get home, unpack all my stuff. His mom hasn’t been feeling well lately so she’s in her room resting and I have the whole tiny kitchen to myself! So I gets to cook’n.

 

Recipe according to Martha:

Makes 4 Servings

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

 

INGREDIENTS:

3 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

2 tablespoons honey

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices)

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 1/2 pounds broccoli (stems peeled and sliced 1/4 inch thick, florets separated)

1 small lemon (halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise, seeds removed)

2 teaspoons cornstarch (dissolved in 1 tablespoon water)

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large, shallow bowl, whisk together soy sauce, 3 tablespoons water, vinegar, honey, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Pour half of the mixture into another bowl; reserve. Place chicken in remaining mixture; let marinate 15 minutes.
  2. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon oil over high heat. Add half the chicken; cook, tossing often, until brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Repeat with another 1/2 tablespoon oil and remaining chicken. Wipe skillet with a paper towel.
  3. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Cook broccoli and lemon, tossing often, until broccoli is bright green, about 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water; cook until broccoli is tender and lemon is translucent, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add reserved marinade, cornstarch mixture, chicken, and any accumulated juices from plate. Bring to a boil; cook, stirring until thickened, 1 minute. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Being the Hispanic woman that I am, I followed, maybe, one of these steps. Take into consideration, I’m only making for Christopher, not for four people, so I had to alter a few things.

I didn’t use the rice vinegar, I used balsamic vinegar. I omitted the honey and cornstarch all together. Instead of canola oil, I used olive oil. I added more then 1/2 tablespoon of crushed red pepper flakes because I know Christopher loves his spiciness and I added a little more than was asked of garlic because I LOVE garlic! I didn’t really measure the cuts of chicken and I eyeballed all the ingredients.

Anyway, I followed the first step of mixing all the ingredients together and let the chicken marinate, while I cooked the broccoli along with the lemons and I added a bit of white onions🙂 I removed the broccoli, lemon and onions and added the chicken along with all its juice and cooked it until it was nice and tender and then added the broccoli and lemons again so that it could cook with the juices. Once it was done I piled it into a tupperware and sprinkled sesame seeds on top. The other half of the mixture that she said to put aside at the beginning of the recipe, I put in another little tupperware, in case he wanted to add more to the food when he ate it.

So of coarse, being the wonderful chef that I am, I tasted my creation. It was so tasty, that I had to physically stop myself from eating Christopher’s lunch. Pat on the back for me and many thanks to Martha for the template on how to make chicken and broccoli. I will one day follow this recipe down to the tee because I’m sure its even better then the one that is sitting in the fridge.

my creation

 

Recipe retrieved from:

http://www.marthastewart.com/340870/chicken-broccoli-and-lemon-stir-fry