Monday, June 29, 2009

Chicken Jambalaya

Another South Beach WIN! I always know it's a real hit (and not just me thinking it's a decent imitation of the real thing) when non SBers love it, ask for the recipe, and don't know it's just a decent imitation of the real thing.
I upspiced the hell out of this though. . . the og recipes calls for 1/8 tsp of Cajun seasoning (psssh), and I must've used a teaspoon of my fave, Slap Ya Mama. It was SPICY yes, but spicy in a good way. Spicy in a, "This goes fantastically with tonight's episode of True Blood, since, HELLO, they're in Louisiana, plus, it's been hot here this weekend." If your tongue doesn't love the spice like ours, you might want to stick to the recipe (wuss).
I used a bag of the "ready in 3 minutes" miracle frozen brown rice from TJs and it worked perfectly. I also don't have a lid big enough for the pan I used, so I didn't cover it, and also, I have no idea how long I cooked it. As per usual. :o)

Chicken Jambalaya
  • 1 1/2 lbs. boneless,skinless chicken breasts,cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil,divided
  • 2 bunches scallions,white and green parts,chopped(2 Tbsp reserved for garnish)
  • 1 green bell pepper,chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves,minced
  • 1/2 cup whole-grain,quick-cooking brown rice
  • 1/8 tsp sugar-free Cajun seasoning or cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 (14-oz.)can diced tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 Tbsp of the oil in a large straight-sided skillet over med-high heat. Add chicken,scallions,bell pepper,and garlic;cook stirring often,until vegetables are softened,about 5 min.
  2. Stir in rice and Cajun seasoning. Add broth and tomatoes with juice and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to med-low,cover,and simmer,stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed,about 30 min. If jambalaya has excess moisture,cook uncovered for 3-5 min. Sprinkle with reserved scallions and serve.
  3. Makes 4(1 1/2-cup)servings

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Potato Salad

The only way to enjoy potato salad is German style.
Hölle ja.
(Thanks Sammy, for making me crave it for two days now)

  • 4 potatoes
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes; cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop.
  2. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside. Reserve bacon fat.
  3. Add the flour, sugar, water and vinegar to skillet and cook in reserved bacon fat over medium heat until dressing is thick.
  4. Add bacon, potatoes and green onions to skillet and stir until coated. Cook until heated and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Once I'm in Phase 3, I'm totally trying this with sweet potatoes. Think it'll work? If not, maybe I'll try this one.

1 sweet potato, peeled
1 large mango, skin removed

3 Tbsp olive oil
4 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 tsp grated lime rind
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp extra-fine sugar (or Splenda, or you might not need it at all, though it is a super tiny amount)
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
1 head Bibb or Boston (round) lettuce
½ cup (10g) fresh mint (ew)

Preheat the grill or grill pan to medium.

Chop both the sweet potato and mango flesh into long wedges, about ¾-in (2cm) wide, ½-in (1 cm) thick. Place in separate dishes.

Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and pour half over the mango and potato.

With tongs in hand, arrange sweet potato wedges directly over the grill and leave for 6-8 minutes, until grill marks appear and the bottom sides begin to soften. Turn and grill the other side for a further 6 minutes. While the other sides are cooking, arrange the mango wedges directly on the grill. Grill for about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer all the wedges to a cutting board and cut into cubes. Place them in a bowl and toss with the remaining dressing.

Arrange lettuce leaves on salad plates. Scatter the sweet potato and mango over the lettuce and add a sprinkling of sea salt and finely sliced mint.

Serves 4-6.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Crying Tiger

I had Thai food last night with the adorable Miss Judy Wheeler (who knew she liked Thai?!) and it got me thinking about this Yam Nua/Yam Neua (I prefer to call it by the name it used when I was first introduced to it - Crying Tiger) recipe I had made once using thinly sliced roast beef from the deli. The thin little meat flaps made me happy, especially since the meat in this dish tends to be really stringy and tough. The ratio of yummy, tangy, spicy dressing to beef is high with thinly sliced meat, so there is a ton of flavor without a ton of calories. PLUS - totally SB friendly if you don't use sugar in your dressing, which I don't think you need to do personally. If you must, you can get away with a really small amount though, so it wouldn't be the end of the world. This is a great way to use leftover meat, an easy to whip up super quick dinner if you go the roast beef route, and a decent intro to Thai flavors for those less adventurous.
There are a ton of decent recipes out there, but the fewer ingredients I have to mess with the better. This one from Good Housekeeping is probably the closest to the one I used way back when.

Crying Tiger Salad
1 - 3
tablespoon(s) less-sodium fish sauce (I'd go with a tablespoon at a time, tasting as I go; I don't know that you'd need all three tablespoons the original recipe calls for)
0 - 1
tablespoon(s) sugar (ack! too much sugar! start with a TEASPOON and adjust to taste! if you're brave and South Beachy try a little Splenda or Stevia)
bag (10-ounce) romaine salad mix
seedless cucumber, cut lengthwise in half, then thinly sliced crosswise
ounces deli-sliced rare roast beef, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
cup packed fresh cilantro or mint leaves
medium red onion, thinly sliced


  1. From limes, grate 1 teaspoon peel and squeeze 3 tablespoons juice (again, I'd do this to taste, maybe you'll want more lime juice than that and if your limes are game to give it to you, why not?).
  2. In a small bowl, prepare dressing: Combine lime peel and juice, fish sauce, and sugar; stir until sugar completely dissolves. Toss the beef in the dressing.
  3. In large bowl, combine romaine salad mix, sliced cucumber, cilantro or mint, and onion. Add dressing & meat to bowl and toss to combine. Divide salad among 4 dinner plates.
You can also sautee the onion a bit if you don't want to deal with the "I just ate a bunch of raw onion" aftermath. Or try using green onions if you have them. Yum, now I want Thai again.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Blueberry Pie

No time like the present.

Blueberry Filling
6 cups fresh blueberries (about 30 ounces) (see note)
1 Granny Smith apple , peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
2 teaspoons grated zest and 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon
3/4 cup sugar (5 1/4 ounces)
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca , ground (see note)

Pinch table salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter , cut into 1/4-inch pieces

1 large egg , lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water

For The Filling: Adjust oven rack to lowest position, place rimmed baking sheet on oven rack, and heat oven to 400 degrees. Place 3 cups berries in medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Using potato masher, mash berries several times to release juices. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally, until about half of berries have broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 8 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Place grated apple in clean kitchen towel and wring dry. Transfer apple to large bowl. Add cooked berries, remaining 3 cups uncooked berries, lemon zest, juice, sugar, tapioca, and salt; toss to combine. Transfer mixture to dough-lined pie plate and scatter butter pieces over filling.

Roll out second disk of dough on generously floured (up to 1/4 cup) work surface to 11-inch circle, about 1/8 inch thick. Using 1 1/4-inch round biscuit cutter, cut round from center of dough. Cut another 6 rounds from dough, 1 1/2 inches from edge of center hole and equally spaced around center hole. Roll dough loosely around rolling pin and unroll over pie, leaving at least 1/2-inch overhang on each side.

Using kitchen shears, trim bottom layer of overhanging dough, leaving 1/2-inch overhang. Fold dough under itself so that edge of fold is flush with outer rim of pie plate. Flute edges using thumb and forefinger or press with tines of fork to seal. Brush top and edges of pie with egg mixture. If dough is very soft, chill in freezer for 10 minutes.

Place pie on heated baking sheet and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to bake until juices bubble and crust is deep golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes longer. Transfer pie to wire rack; cool to room temperature, at least 4 hours. Cut into wedges and serve.

Pretty But Pasty
Too much tapioca (or the wrong thickener, such as flour or cornstarch) results in a filling that holds its shape but tastes gluey and dull.

Fresh But Soupy
With no thickener at all, there is plenty of fresh berry flavor, but the filling is loose and runny.

We used a 1 1/4-inch biscuit cutter to cut holes in the dough, but a spice-jar lid will also do the trick.

Pie filling thickened without enough tapioca won't firm up. But too much tapioca leads to gumminess.

A little tapioca plus a grated apple created a juicy but sliceable filling.

Pie Crust

Oh fine - if you must. (I'll just say it one more time though. . . . )
I tend to trust that these clowns have done all the science and calorie crunching for me. Give it a whirl and then make me a pie please.

Foolproof Pie Dough
Vodka is essential to the texture of the crust and imparts no flavor—do not substitute. This dough will be moister and more supple than most standard pie doughs and will require more flour to roll out (up to 1/4 cup).

For one 9-inch Double-Crust Pie
2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (12 1/2 ounces)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons sugar
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/2 cup chilled solid vegetable shortening , cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup vodka , cold
1/4 cup cold water

1. Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until homogenous dough just starts to collect in uneven clumps, about 15 seconds (dough will resemble cottage cheese curds and there should be no uncoated flour). Scrape bowl with rubber spatula and redistribute dough evenly around processor blade. Add remaining cup flour and pulse until mixture is evenly distributed around bowl and mass of dough has been broken up, 4 to 6 quick pulses. Empty mixture into medium bowl.

2. Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together. Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Step-by-Step: Key Steps to Foolproof Pie Dough

1. MAKE A FAT AND FLOUR PASTE: Completely blending part of the flour with all of the butter ensures a consistent amount of fat-coated flour in the final dough.

2. ADD MORE FLOUR: Pulsing in the final cup of flour ensures a consistent amount of uncoated flour in the final dough.

3. ADD WATER AND VODKA: Sprinkling with water and vodka ensures even distribution. No need to skimp—unlike water, vodka won't make the dough tough.

Banana Cream Pie

Good gravy I love me some banana cream pie. Working from the comfort of your hotel room bed offers up some perks, like Martha Stewart on in the background. Well you can bet your sweet tooth that these fingers stopped typing once she started making the pie of my dreams.
No wait, I would most certainly not make my own crust a), and there would be a layer of ganache between crust and 'nana, b). (does it work to do it that way in type, or just in speech? Whatever, it's my blog and I'll do what I want)

Delicious Banana Cream Pie
Makes one 9-inch pie
All-purpose flour, for dusting
1/2 recipe Pate Brisee - or, let's be reasonable
1 large whole egg, lightly beaten, plus 4 large egg yolks
6 to 8 medium-ripe bananas
3 cups whole milk
2/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to a 12-inch round, a bit less than 1/4 inch thick. Fit dough into a 9-inch pie plate. Using kitchen shears or a sharp knife, trim crust so there's a 1/2-inch overhang all around. Fold under overhang so it extends slightly beyond edge of pie plate. Crimp edge as desired. Prick dough all over with a fork. Brush rim of dough with beaten egg. Chill pie shell until firm, about 30 minutes.

(Or again, with the premade)

Line chilled pie shell with a round of parchment paper, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges of crust just turn golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove pie weights and parchment. Return crust to oven, and continue baking until golden all over, 20 to 25 minutes more. Place pie shell on a wire rack to cool completely.
(Not to beat a dead horse, but if you were using premade crust you wouldn't be doing any of this. . . . )

Prepare an ice bath; set aside. In a bowl, lightly whisk egg yolks; set aside. In a saucepan, whisk together milk, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Bring to a simmer (do not boil), and cook, whisking constantly, 3 to 4 minutes.

Whisk a quarter of hot-milk mixture into egg yolks; whisk in remaining milk mixture. Strain into a clean saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until custard is thick and bubbles appear in center, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto surface to prevent a skin from forming. Set in ice bath until completely chilled, 30 to 35 minutes. (Filling can be kept in refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, up to 1 day.

Cut 3 or 4 bananas into 1/4-inch slices, slightly on the bias. Beginning at the edge of the piecrust, arrange the slices in slightly overlapping rows. Cover with custard, using an offset spatula to smooth it into an even layer. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine cream and confectioners' sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Using a small offset spatula, spread the whipped cream on top of the custard. Refrigerate pie, loosely covered with plastic wrap, for at least 1 hour or up to 2 days.

Just before serving, cut 3 or 4 bananas into 1/4-inch slices, slightly on the bias. Beginning at the edge of the piecrust, arrange the slices in slightly overlapping rows on top of the whipped cream.

I hear some of that Stay Fresh fruit powder may stop the bananas on top from discoloring. Or lemon juice if you want to stay natural, though it does slightly change the flavor. Ooh, or try pineapple for a tropical flair!! Hell yes.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pork Satay

This one goes out to all my homies that think satay can be way too sweet sometimes. Also to Duane, who I think would come over to my house for dinner every day if I promised to make this for him (despite being reluctant at first). It's another South Beach Phase 1 recipe. Proof yet again that this diet does not SUCK, you naysayers!

Pork Satay
1/4 trans-fat-free peanut butter
1/4 c water
1 tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs pork cutlets (about 3/4" thick), cut lengthwise into 1/2" strips
4 metal skewers (if you don't have metal you can use wood, just be sure to soak them really well in water so they don't burn in the broiler)

Heat oven to broil.
Whisk together peanut butter, water, vinegar, soy, garlic and red pepper flakes in a mixing bowl. Place pork in a separate mixing bowl and add 1/4 cup of the dipping sauce, toss to coat. (I may have added more than that to coat all my pork - use your judgment). Reserve the remaining sauce for dipping or to spread onto the satay once it's cooked.
Thread pork onto skewers and broil 4 minutes per side. Coat with reserved sauce or put sauce in dipping cups and serve alongside pork.

A garnish of cilantro or sesame seeds would be good if you're cooking this for guests or you like cilantro. Mmmm.

To go alongside, I planned to make Sesame Green Beans, but realized too late that I didn't have any more sesame oil. What else was there to do but douse my cooked beans in Sriracha, soy sauce and garlic powder? They were good and went really well with the skewers.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Margarita Shrimp

I think the first time I made shrimp at home, it was because I was enticed to do so thanks to a recipe I found for margarita shrimp. I have really struggled since then to find the exact recipe that I used, but this one looks pretty close.
I wasn't clever enough to set aside any of the marinade to use as sauce, but while my back was turned, Duane had a little foil packet of marinade bubbling away on the grill to cook out any creepy crawlies and thicken it up a bit. Clever boy.
I could've sworn I used more lime juice, and maybe even some orange juice. . . oh well. I'd recommend making the marinade and giving it a taste to determine whether or not you think it needs more fruit flavor. Just keep in mind that if you're adding more citric acid to the dish, you might end up with ceviche.

Margarita Shrimp
2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup tequila
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
2 tablespoons triple Sec
2 tablespoons lime juice

Combine all ingredients, except shrimp, in a medium mixing bowl. Add shrimp, cover and let marinate in refrigerator for 2-3 hours. Remove shrimp and discard marinade. Thread shrimp onto skewers and grill for 5-6 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Asiany shrimps and stuff

I have been daydreaming about shrimp ever since I had these yummy chili garlic prawns at Fog Harbor Fish House down at the wharf. It made me think of how much I loved the red curry mussels at Fog City Diner that I was lucky enough to share with four of my favorite people. Fair enough, I didn't love the mussels but I loved the broth they came in. I'd happily put that with shrimp. Or chicken. Or beef. Or pork. Or cardboard. With lots and lots of fresh crusty sourdough.
What is with me and seafood at Fog named restaurants?

Chili Garlic Prawns
1 kg fresh large prawns
1 small onion, 10 garlic cloves, 1 inch piece of ginger - pureed in a blender
1 tsp red chilli paste or green chilli paste or red chilli powder
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c oil

Shell, devein, clean and butterfly the prawns with tails left on.

Mix the remaining ingredients together and marinate the prawns in this mixture, covered in the fridge, for 1-2 hours.

Grill till prawns are cooked, brushing with marinade and turning twice. Do not overcook the prawns as they will get tough. It is better to rather slightly undercook them.

This is not nearly as brothy/saucy as at Fog Harbor. I recommend setting some of the marinade aside to use to make sauce. Maybe cooked down with some broth/stock, oil, coconut milk perhaps. Yum.

Red Curry Mussel Stew

serves 6
4 dozen PEI mussels or any small black mussels (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp peeled & grated ginger
1/4 c peeled and diced tomato
1 tbsp Red Curry paste
4 c canned coconut milk
1 tbs chopped cilantro
6 sprigs cilantro for garnish
Tons of warm sourdough for sopping up the broth.

Scrub the mussels well and trim off the beards. Melt the butter in a large saucepan, and saute the garlic, ginger, and tomato for 2 minutes. Add the curry paste and coconut milk, stirring until the paste dissolves. Add the mussels, cover, and steam until open, about 3-6 minutes (discard any mussels that do not open). Add the chopped cilantro; divide the mussels and broth between the bowls and garnish with sprigs of cilantro. Serve with sourdough.
Die in red curry mussel ecstasy.

OR do the same thing with prawns that you've quickly sauteed to cook them until JUST done, and then put them into the broth and allow to heat through.

Now I think I need to invite those four favorite people over and surprise them with this dish. Of course I'll use the light coconut milk, whatever that means, but I try.

Calamari Noodles

Okay, if you know me, you might be surprised that I'm posting a calamari recipe because I don't love the squids. Fishy, rubbery oddness. But, for those of you that DO like snackin' the kracken (I'm not sorry for that), I thought this was a great twist on the standard rings and I love how they spiral into cute little curls!! (that one wasn't on purpose) Oddly enough, it came from Anne Burrell, whose show I don't really care for.

Calamari "Noodles" with Black Olives and Arugula
3/4 pound clean calamari, tubes and tentacles (or only tubes, if you prefer)
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 to 4 cloves garlic, smashed, plus 1 for rubbing bread
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup kalamata or gaeta olives, slivered
4 slices rustic Italian bread
2 cups washed baby arugula
2 tablespoons chopped chives, for garnish

Cut each calamari tube in strips lengthwise that are about 1/4-inch wide. If using the tentacles, cut in segments.

Coat a large saute pan generously with olive oil. Add the smashed garlic cloves and crushed red pepper and bring to a high heat. When the garlic is golden brown and very aromatic remove the garlic and discard. Carefully add the calamari and quickly toss or stir in the hot oil. Season with salt and saute for 1 to 2 minutes or until the calamari turn from translucent to opaque. Add the wine and the olives and cook until the wine has reduced by about half. Taste to see if the seasoning is correct.

While the calamari is cooking, toast or grill the bread. Rub the bread with the remaining garlic clove and drizzle generously with olive oil.

Divide the arugula between 4 serving bowls. Spoon the calamari and juices over the greens. Cut each piece of bread in half on the bias and arrange on the calamari. Garnish with chives and serve.

Yet another frittata

My mom was kind enough to drive me all the way home rather than shoving me onto BART as she could've done. To thank her, I told her I'd make her some brunch. Well, what do you know, but I decided to do a frittata. Can't imagine why. I know we were calling those others quiches, but lets call a spade a spade. Without a crust, it's a frittata.
In any case, I have all my delicious South Beachy ingredients hanging out, hoping to be used before I leave for two weeks and they all spoil. Mom doesn't do mushrooms so those were out, but I had plenty of other produce hanging around. . . Perfect for a whatever frittata.

Whatever Frittata
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 of a bunch of asparagus
1/2 medium Vidalia onion
two tomatoes
5 eggs
1/4 cup fat free milk
1 tsp sriracha
2 tbsp basil
1/4 cup shredded low fat cheese

I steamed the asparagus for a few minutes until it was just fork tender.
In the meantime, I pulled out my trusty cast iron skillet and sauteed the onions in the olive oil until soft and browned (though I think I should've gone all the way and caramelized them. I also think I'd use the whole onion next time as you couldn't actually taste onion in the finished dish).
Beat the eggs with the milk, and salt and pepper.
I cut one tomato into slices for the top of the fritatta and seeded & diced one for the filling. Once the asparagus was done, I cut it into bite sized pieces. I threw the tomatoes and asparagus in with the sauteeing onions to cook some of the liquid out, and added the Sriracha.
Then I poured the egg mixture over the veggies, gave it a quick stir to distribute everything and let it cook a bit on the stove top until the edges were beginning to set.
I popped it into a 350 oven and cooked it for 10-15 minutes, then pulled it out and sprinkled the top with cheese. Back in for 5 minutes to melt the cheese and finish cooking through.
I took it out and sprinkled the basil on top and let it sit for a few minutes to set up and cool down.
Then I cut it into quarters and we dove in, leaving a piece for each of us to have for breakfast tomorrow.

I'd like to tweak it a bit as there just wasn't enough depth of flavor for me. I mean, cooking it in butter would've been awesome, but I'm not cooking it in butter, so I have to come up with something else. I think upping the onions and making sure they're nice and darkly caramelized could help. Also, the addition of lean ham would've been a nice touch. I need to be sure to have some yummy Morningstar sausages on hand too as they would've been a fantastic complement.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Grandma's Orange Jello Salad

My grandmother made this jello salad for nearly every family event. To this day, we call it "Grandma's jello salad" and make it for every family function in honor of her. It makes me think of her, which is lovely, because she was fantastic. Love you Grandma!

1 small pkg orange jello
2 small pkgs instant tapioca
3 c boiling water
2 cans drained mandarin oranges
1 8 oz Cool Whip

Mix jello, tapioca & water. Let set. Stir occasionally. When slightly hardened, stir in oranges and Cool Whip. Refrigerate overnight.

Eat it and feel loved.

Quiche crazy!

As I was looking for the real recipe for those little South Beach quiches, I stumbled across a forum where Ami from Ohio unleashed on the quiche. She had several good suggestions that I'd like to try out. I have tweaked them a little to my own tastes, but you can check the forum for the originals if you don't trust me as much as you trust Ami. She IS from Ohio after all.

Bacon Cheeseburger Quiche - Phase 1
(She adapted this one from

1 lb. very lean hamburger or ground turkey
1 small chopped onion
4 slices crisp-cooked turkey bacon
3 eggs
1/2 cup fat free half-n-half
8 oz. low-fat shredded Cheddar or Swiss cheese
garlic powder to taste (optional)
(Ami's recipe called for mayo which I took right the hell out. I haven't made these yet to see if I need to sub the mayo with something else, but I usually go with plain yogurt that I've drained the excess moisture out of; I'd guess 1/4 cup would be sufficient)

Brown hamburger in skillet with onion.
Remove and mix in bowl with bacon pieces, breaking up any larger clumps with a fork or pastry
mixer until you have a fine mix. Drain well of any excess grease and press into the bottom of a deep-dish pie pan. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine remaining ingredients in mixer bowl and whip well.
Pour mixture over beef "crust" and bake 40-45 minutes until top is browned and "set".
Cool 15-20 minutes before slicing.
This can be packaged in Ziplocs or plastic containers for quick reheatable meals over the next 3-5 days though it does not freeze well.

Mini Frittatas with Ham and Cheese
Source: (c) Cooking Light Magazine
8 servings (serving size: 3 frittatas)
Bake these bite-sized frittatas in a muffin pan. They taste great hot or at room temperature, so you can make them in advance.

Cooking spray
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup reduced-fat ham (about 2 ounces), chopped
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 large egg whites
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add ham; sauté 3 minutes. Remove from heat; cool 5 minutes. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add ham mixture, stirring with a whisk. Spoon mixture into 24 miniature muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until set.

Nutrition Facts
8 servings (serving size: 3 frittatas)
Facts per Serving
Calories: 39
Fat: 1g
Carbohydrates: 2g
Cholesterol: 32mg
Sodium: 121mg
Protein: 4g
Fiber: 0g

Spinach and Feta Quiche (mmm, Spanikopita-y)
10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and very well drained
1/2 c onions, diced
1/4 eggbeaters OR 1 egg
1/2 c fat free Half and Half
6 oz low fat crumbled feta cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp minced garlic

Place spinach in greased pie plate. Beat eggbeaters. Mix in cheese, half and half, and seasonings. Pour over spinach in pie plate.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Eat 1/4 for breakfast each morning.

South Beach

Follow me along as I South Beach my life, won't you?
Most of the recipes in these books are fantastic (except the desserts - don't go there) and even when I'm not "following" the diet, I tend to grab a lot of inspiration from them.
As I struggle through Phase 1 there are some definite misses. Again, with the desserts - don't bother with those ricotta things. They are so gritty and weird. I mean if you absolutely have to have something sweet and that's what you think you need to do, okay, but don't say I didn't warn you.
I made these little quiche cups the other night to take into work with me for breakfast and to keep in the freezer for quick and easy reheatable breakfasts at home. They're good, though I modified the standard recipe a bit, but the problem is they stick to the paper like the two have become one. To eat them, you fold them back in the middle and scrape your teeth all over the paper like a sea turtle scraping algae off rocks. Not surprisingly, I'd prefer not to do that next time, though I still have 8 mini quiches to get through before there is a next time.
I can't decide if I'd rather just spray the hell out of the muffin tins with Pam, or bake them in one large dish and cut them up into smaller pieces. In any case, if this is a recipe you're trying, that's my suggestion.

This makes 12 mini quiches, which is 6 servings.

1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach
4 eggs
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat cheese
1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
1/4 cup diced onion (I probably used more than 1/4 cup, I used half of a small onion)
Sriracha to taste preference, I used a couple of teaspoons and can't really taste it or feel the heat

Microwave the spinach for 2 1/2 minutes on high to thaw it. Drain the excess liquid.

Line a 12-cup muffin pan with foil baking cups (NOT PAPER!) and spray the cups with cooking spray. You can also try cooking this in one large dish. I hear
that a loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray should take 30-35 minutes at 350, and then the loaf can be sliced into 8 slices. Each slice is the equivalent of 2 1/2 of the little guys (rather than the serving size of 2), so keep that in mind.

Combine the eggs, cheese, peppers, onions,spinach & Sriracha in a bowl. I set some of the cheese aside to sprinkle on top.
Mix well. Divide evenly among the muffin cups. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Quiche cups can be frozen and reheated in the microwave. Any combination of appropriate vegetables and reduced-fat cheeses may be used.