Needs [Must Have] One
Definition: Cooking Buddy – That friend who drags their pots and pans to your house in order to try and accomplish making a new and crazy recipe. They help you make a complete mess of your kitchen and eat whatever you create; even if it completely fails.
Recently I had a really good friend come back into town for an extended visit. While she was here we cooked and baked constantly, trying out all types of new recipes and methods of preparation. It was a healthy, stomach filling blast!!
Now life has returned everyone to their normal spots and routines…. 😦 sad day
But; I wanted to give my cooking buddy a shout out by creating a post showcasing all of our successful recipes!
One of the first dishes we made as soon as she got back into my state lines. It turned out delicious!!!!! Her new roommate actually showed her how to prepare the squash and she showed me!
- 1/2 Spaghetti Squash
- 2/3 cup fresh Broccoli
- Non-stick spray
- Lemon Juice
- 10 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1/2 cup Fresh Tomato, chopped
- 1/3 cup Yellow Onion, chopped
- 1 Garlic Clove, diced
- 1/2 tsp each of: Basil, Oregano,
Parsley, Onion Powder, Cayenne Pepper
- 3 cups tap water
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Slice your spaghetti squash in half, length-wise. Scoop out the seeds and place it flat side down in a baking dish (we used a clear glass pyrex 9×13 dish).
Put about an inch or two of water in the bottom of your pan, so that it just covers the bottom of your squash.
Stick it in the microwave for about 12 minutes. Your squash is done when a fork easily pierces the skin. We kept testing the squash and microwaving in increments of 10 minutes until the fork pierced the skin easily.
While your squash nooks in the microwave grab a sauce pan, put it on medium heat and start on your tomato sauce.
Put your water, tomato paste, veggies and seasonings all together, stir. Keep the heat on medium and let your sauce reduce down and thicken up. Should yield about 3 1/2 cups of sauce.
Your sauce is warming and your squash is cooking.
Grab your broccoli and slice your florets down to bite size. Toss them on a baking sheet with some non-stick spray, lemon juice and seasonings of your choice. Pop them into your oven for about 15 minutes.
By now your spaghetti squash should be done. Take it out of the microwave; carefully, that water is hot! Tip the water out and using a fork gently pull at the squash flesh. Start in the middle and work your way out, it should easily shred into noodle like pieces. 1/2 of a spaghetti squash should yield about 4 cups of ‘noodles’.
Put 2 cups of squash in your bowl, top with 1 cup of tomato sauce, 2/3 cup of your cooked broccoli and a tsp of capers.
Pause for 5 seconds to snap a picture (see above) then DIG IN!!
2 cups Spaghetti Squash……………….100 calories
2/3 cup Broccoli…………………………36 calories
1 cup Spaghetti Sauce………………….98 calories
1 tsp Capers……………………………….5 calories
I made another batch of spaghetti squash a couple weeks later for the roommate. Every thing stayed the same except when I pulled the ‘noodles’ out I placed them on a sprayed cooking sheet and stuck them in the oven for a couple minutes. I liked the texture that this gave the squash, crisped it up and dried it out a little bit; added to the pasta texture.
Tuna & Sweet Potato Patties
My friend makes an amazing tuna, potato cutlet packed full of Indian spices and lightly pan friend. It is…DELIGHTFUL.
I wanted to create a version of her cutlets that were lower in calories and used sweet potatoes instead.
We (and I really mean just her) played around and came up with this recipe. It has a little spicy kick to to it, keeps forever in the fridge and is really great to add into meals for your protein.
- 2 cans Tuna in water (drained)
- 1 Sweet Potato (peeled)
- 1/2 fresh tomato (chopped)
- 1 Garlic Clove (diced)
- 1/3 cup Yellow Onion (chopped_
- 1/2 tsp of Parsley & Cayenne Pepper
- 1/4 tsp of Onion Powder & Garlic Powder
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
Wrap your sweet potato in a damp towel and cook on high in the microwave for about 10 minutes.
In a sauce pan toast/cook your tomato, garlic, onion and spices together.
When your potato is done, peel it, chop it and add it to your sauce pan.
Into the sauce pan add your drained tuna.
Continue to cook everything on low heat, stirring, mashing and combining until you have a relatively chunk free mixture.
Portion out your mixture into 9 equal balls, place on a baking sheet and slide into the oven for about 10-20 minutes. Everything is already cooked, you just need to create a little bit of a ‘crust’ on your patties to help them hold together.
A few weeks ago I was moving apartments and found that it got to be 9pm and I hadn’t eating dinner yet. All my kitchen stuff was packed, the best I could do was a fork that got left behind and the tupperware I took my lunch to work in earlier.
I threw in some veggies, lettuce stems and a tuna patty and called it my ‘un-chopped’ salad. Nutritious and filling!
The recipe above should yield 9 patties.
1 Sweet Potato Tuna Patty……………40 calories
Baked Spicy Plantain Chips
Making plantain chips had been on my to-do list for a very long time.
But…I couldn’t the drive to get up and make them all by myself.
Well my perfect excuse/reason came when my girl visited!
- 2 Medium Plantains (the less ripe the better)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Lime Juice
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 3 tsp Chilli Pepper
- 1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees
Mix all of your dry spices together in a bowl.
Slice your plantains on a bias, that way you get ‘long-ish’ chips instead of little circle pieces. After finishing these chips we decided that they needed to be thinner, so get them as thin as possible.
Then we let them sit in the bowl for a while, just soaking up all the lime & spicy goodness.
Bake them for 25-35 minutes or until they turn brown and the edges look all crisped and curled up.
This recipe made 54 plantain chips. At 470 calories for the entire recipes each chip comes in at around 8.70 calories. I counted a serving as 7 chips. So for about 60.9/61 calories you can have 7 of these delicious, spicy, crunchy ‘chips’!
Store your plantain chips in an airtight container. I found that I actually liked them better the day after. I put them back onto a baking sheet, sprayed them with non-stick cooking spray and sprinkled a little extra lemon juice on them. They got even crispier and the lemon juice added an extra tang. YUM!
Curry Yogurt Chicken
This last entry I did not have any hand in preparing. My girl made some food to leave for those of us who had to stay behind while she jetted off to her fabulous life 🙂
One of her often repeated recipes, Curry Yogurt Chicken. It is delicious!
In the bowl is a small chicken drumstick that was marinated in a greek yogurt and curry mixture before being cooked up a super secret award winning method.
I combined it with an ‘un-chopped’ salad. Basically I used my lettuce leaves to scoop up the yogurt curry mixture and pieces of chicken, then took a bite of my celery and carrot. One may use the word lazy to describe this particular approach to salad consumption.
It was great having my girl back and my cooking buddy trying out new things in the kitchen with me!
We created a lot of winners during her visit, and some messes……read Confession Session for all those blown up, burnt up details.