Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pan Fried Pork Chops (for Callie)

This recipe is my favorite recipe and I've been making them since I was in high school.
The key to juicy pork chops is searing them pretty good, and slow cooking them at the same time.
And most of all, using the thick cuts. Thin cuts are worthless in my opinion and turn into leather. Get the on the bone chops too if you can. The fat on the bone really helps keep things moist and tender.
This recipe does have a bread crumb crust but there's not enough to really make it shoot your blood sugar up if you are diabetic. I've personally never had a problem, especially if I balance it out with steamed vegetables or something non carb.

First you will want 4-5 good sized pork chops. Here's a pic of what you are looking for.

Crack a couple of eggs onto a flat plate and scramble them til the yolk blends with the whites.
sprinkle a little salt and pepper on each side of the pork chops and get a nice sized flat pan ready with a cap full of canola or olive oil.
You don't need a large amount of oil to make a nice crunchy fry on these, I promise!
If you have a paper plate or a regular one (paper is easier and disposable so less mess), dump a cup or so of bread crumbs onto the plate. I use this kind of bread crumb because I like the herbs infused in it. But you can use anything and add fresh herbs if you want.

If you have a food processor or chopper, chop about 1/2 cup of nuts of your choice. I like to use almonds, or   cashews, but you can use walnuts, macadamia nuts, pine nuts, etc. Anything works.
Do a rough grind/chop so it looks like this:

Add the nuts into the bread crumbs and give it a good hand stir so its blended.
Now soak the chops in the egg wash. You don't have to marinate them. I usually just slap it in the egg on each side and move on to the bread crumbs.

Now move onto the crumbs. You can lightly coat them on each side, or turn them on each side, press into the crumb mix, and keep doing it until there's a nice thick coating. Whatever you feel will work, go for it!

Make sure the oil in the pan is hot, and swirl it around to coat.
When you are sure the oil is hot, drop the chops into the pan and let em cook for about 5-10 min on one side.
Do not flip them over until the chops are browned.
When they are ready to turn them over, turn them, and add a few flicks of water from your hand and cover them. This is where the insides will steam and get juicy.
Cook a good 5-7 minutes and uncover them.
Now you are safe to turn them over a few times without them drying out.
Turn again, until the outsides crisp up, and when all is said and done, they should look like this:
You will know they are ready, when you poke them with a knife and you see no blood/red tinge in the juice.
When you are making the breadcrumb mixture, you can add things for different tastes. I've been known to use wasabi powder, cayenne, paprika, or fresh chopped herbs. This is another recipe you can doctor up and do what you like. It's all about taste and experimentation.
Also when you are cooking, if the chops appear dry on the outside, drizzle another cap full of olive oil or canola oil into the pan and move them around so they soak a little up.
I usually throw the egg away, but you can save them, scramble em and give em to a dog or cat :)
You can also do this without the bone but I'm a major carnivore and like to chew on the bone after.
I hope you enjoy this :)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My favorite creation. Thai Coconut Chicken Curry Soup.

So this soup was created from a past memory.  My ex husband took me to a hole in the wall restaurant.
The kind that looks pretty ghetto on the outside, and when you go in you think.... why am I here?
Thai Kitchen on Muldoon, in Anchorage, Alaska. This place is full of win and this is where I got my first dose of Thai Coconut Chicken Curry soup.
Just by tasting it, I modified it. And let me just say this. IT IS ADDICTIVE!

First you'll want to go to Walmart or an Asian store if you have access to one.
You will need these two, sometimes hard to find items:

The Golden Curry is a small skinny package. Inside you will find what looks like a chocolate bar in connected segments that smells of curry. This is what makes the soup!
The coconut milk, is regular with the cream of the coconut. Don't DON'T get sweetened.

Now that I've scolded you, you will need 4-5 chicken breasts, frozen or fresh and skinless. (they both taste the same to me)
2-3 cans of coconut milk
one plastic carton of chicken stock
2-3 squares of curry (how much you use depends on how much curry flavor you like. I tend to use 4 myself.
1 1/2 cups of unsalted roasted peanuts or cashews
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes ( I don't care for it, but I remember the stuff from the restaurant had it)
1 lime cut into slices/segments if you want to squeeze some into your soup
4-5 potato's boiled and skinned/whole

Easy recipe ahead!

Get a big soup pot, enough to hold 10 or so servings of soup.
Put the chicken breasts in the pot and add enough water to cover them, with maybe an inch above.
Boil the chicken until done (white in color). Remove chicken and set aside to cool.
The water will now be full of chicken stock and a sort of froth from the chicken.
LEAVE this in the pot, and let it continue to boil.
You will want to break of 2-3 squares of curry and sprinkle into the boiling water. Stir or smash it at the bottom until it's blended into the water and not in pieces.
Add all the contents of the coconut milk from the cans and stir slowly while waiting for the water to bubble.
Add entire contents of chicken stock while still stirring. (any of these will do except the stock tablets)

Slowly drizzle in the peanuts and slow cook for about 30 minutes. The peanuts will soften a bit while remaining crunchy in the center.
Hopefully you know how to boil a potato and skin it. If not just ask and I'll be happy to explain!
Otherwise, you want to chop the potato into small squares (think slightly bigger than chowder size chunks).
Add them to the soup and keep it on medium flame.
Take the cooled chicken breasts and chop them into bite size chunks and add them to the soup.
The soup is pretty much done but I like to let it slow cook and add about half a teaspoon of cream of tartar to thicken it. You can also make flour rue and add that as well. It's up to you if you like thick soup or runny.
I always prefer thick soup. Sticks to your ribs better :)
The potato's will thicken it slightly from the starch, but if you prefer thicker, do the above!
I like to add in green onions, or chopped green herbs of some sort for garnish.
You can add a dollop of sour cream to cut the curry if it's too much for you.
This soup is pretty much the only good memory I have of my marriage and one pot of the measured ingredients usually wields leftovers for a couple of days. This soup freezes nicely if you use a good freezer Ziploc.
Squeeze a little lime over the top of it too if you know anything about Thai food.
Thai food is based off coconut, lime, peanut, and chili.. At least from what I've seen and tasted.
This is a low carb recipe, and if you would prefer not to use potato's you can easily substitute cauliflower or parsnips.

P.S.- You can decrease the fat by using light coconut milk as well. This is not a non fattening soup but it is tasty!

Friday, February 25, 2011

For those following..

I will post the soup recipe after I get some sleep. Long day of stuff. Got some nice pics to post though.
Coconut Curry Chicken Soup will be up ASAP :)

 But as a tease... 

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I'm totally thinking of posting my favorite curry chicken soup recipe.
I've been craving this since I left home and it's been cold here lately.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chicken creation

When I make these meals I usually make them for just two people, but when I post the recipes I will consider the fact most people have kids or other family members, so I'll post for 3-4 servings. I hope that's kosher!

First, you'll want to get a good sized acorn squash. I usually make two of them just because I'm majorly into squash. What you'll want to do is let it sit until it changes in color. I like mine orange, since it's easier to cut.
It takes a bunch to make a squash go bad.
Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds.
Get a cookie sheet and cover it in foil. sprinkle a little water on it and set the halves scooped side down and try to get some water underneath.
Again I don't really cook by times, but I preset the oven 425 and usually let them back about 20 minutes, and then flip them over. Stick a fork in, and if it goes in and out easily it's pretty much done.

When the squash are done, set them aside and let them cool. It's really not worth burning your fingers over.
For the chicken it all depends on what your time frame is. If  you worked a long day and want the faster version follow below.
Get 3-4 nice sized frozen chicken breasts and boil them until they turn white and the fat melts off.
Again you can throw this broth out or use it for a soup. I will be posting a future recipe involving this process.
After the chicken cools off, you will want to slice into them so that there's a pocket to stuff things in.
If you are doing this with raw chicken you will want to cut a pocket into the side of the chicken to stuff it, like the picture below.

You can stuff chicken with so many yummy things but one of my favorites looks like the above picture.
Get one large container of low fat or regular ricotta (depends on what kind of diet you are on. I prefer regular because it binds better)
One package of frozen spinach (or two cups of fresh spinach). If you are using frozen defrost it, and squeeze as much water out of it as you can then chop roughly.
If you are using fresh, just lightly chop the spinach but don't overdue it or it will bruise.
Add this to the ricotta in a mixing bowl.
I like to add about 6-7 pieces of sun dried tomato chopped small but you can add fresh garlic, half a cup of onions, or pretty much any vegetable you like, or you can leave it with just ricotta and spinach.
Add 1/2 cup of low fat or regular mozzarella (again depending on your dietary needs).
Add one egg lightly beaten. This will help to bind the mix as it cooks so it doesn't just ooze out.
Stuff into the chicken depending on the size of the breasts. There's no real measurement.
You can either tie the chicken breasts shut with some cooking friendly twine or you can use toothpicks.

Now if you are doing this with the precooked chicken you should only bake it for about 10-15 minutes or the chicken will get super tough.
If you are doing this with raw chicken, I'd give it 25-30 minutes. It depends on the outside color. I cook mine until slightly golden or until the meat is white and no opaque color is seen.
If you are unsure, just cut into one and make sure the meat doesn't run pink.
If you want to get a nice color on them, you can pan fry them first before putting them in the oven.
I just do a lot of boiling and oven baking because it's less fattening that way.
If you've done this correctly, your chicken will look like this:

While the chicken is near the last few minutes of cooking, you will want to spoon out the squash meat.
Put it in a good sized bowl, and smash like you are mashing potato's.
I like to add a tablespoon of crushed garlic but if you have oven roasted garlic, that's even better.
Add a pinch of kosher salt. If you like pepper (and aren't allergic like I am), add a couple of pinches.
Add one tablespoon of olive oil (if you don't care about fat content, add two pats of butter).
Add a splash of half and half or heavy cream and stir the mixture. It should look like yellow mashed potato's.
In an oven safe dish put the squash mixture in, and depending on your taste, you can make one of two mixtures to sprinkle on top.
Sweet: 1/4 cup of brown sugar Splenda, one teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup chopped nuts (i use almonds or cashews)
Savory: 1/8th of a cup chopped basil or parsley (fresh is best) and 1/4 cup Parmesan
Sprinkle either one over the mix, and bake it 10 min or so. You are just heating it up, and letting the cheese or sugar melt.

You can leave the chicken whole and let people cut it themselves, or slice it into medallions and serve a cup of the squash mixture.
This meal is pretty carb free. If you wanted to add carbs, you could dredge the chicken in egg, and roll it around in breadcrumbs and fry it in a pan with a little olive oil and repeat the oven process.
This might sound like only a little bit of food, but squash is high in fiber and you can have as much as you want, especially if you don't use sugar.
Remember, you can have as much fiber as you want.
So if this isn't enough, make some steamed broccoli or whatever vegetable you like on the side.
I love asparagus or green beans as long as they're not overcooked.
Again you can experiment with fillings, and what you do. I create most of these recipes to be versatile and easy to work with!

Other things that mix well with ricotta are, broccoli, cauliflower, broccolirab, kale, collar greens, cabbage, and    sun dried tomatoes.
Let me know if anyone tries this and if you like it :)
If you have any suggestions or ideas for me on what to post next let me know!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I will post a chicken entree recipe tomorrow since Janelle was the only one to respond :P
I'm trying to pick something savory, sweet and salty or blandish. 
Decisions decisions.

Chicken dish

Now that someone has requested chicken, would you be interested in a soup, salad, entree or appetizer involving chicken?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Tomorrow I am thinking a non carb recipe. Or a no sugar... or both... Hrmmmm.
Vote for Chicken, Meat, Pork, Fish, or vegan :)

Pasta Carbonara

While you may think this is not a diabetic meal, you are partially correct.
For every carb I eat a fiber and protein. This of course is my own diet and may not work for everyone, but following this guideline for myself, helped me drop weight rather quickly.

So for each serving of carbs, I'd have 8 oz protein and since fiber is a free food, you can pretty much eat what you'd like.

If you can, look for whole wheat pasta, or egg pasta. These both have lower carbs which mean bigger servings.
As a diabetic or cooking for one, you need to start reading nutritional value and serving sizes.

To start, you want to get veggies that you like. Especially if they are high fiber. When I can I like to use spinach, white beans, green or yellow squash, green or red onions, chopped cabbage, carrots, kale, peas or tomato's. Keep in mind some of these do have natural sugar in them.

I made this Carbonara tonight using yellow squash, bacon, green onions, and fresh on the vine tomatoes.
All you want to do is dice the squash into small squares, as well as chopping the onions, and tomatoes close to the same size.
To cut your bacon easier, stick it in the freezer for 15 minutes. This helps you cut it into pieces easier and it's not as sticky to deal with.
While you are cutting things up, make sure you have a pot of water on the boil, adding a dash of salt and a splash of olive oil.
Chop the bacon into small pieces and saute them in a pan. You don't need to use olive oil because the bacon of course has fat.
Once the fat renders a bit clear, drain as much fat as you can and add the veggies.
Saute on low so that you don't overcook the veggies.  It should look like this :)

Your water should be boiling, so add linguine, angel hair, spaghetti, or whatever kind of pasta you like. Try to get the whole wheat or low carb if you can!
Let it boil for about 10 min  so that it's al dente (i never know the spelling for that).

Drain the pasta and set aside for a moment.
In the same pot you cooked the pasta in, add the saute mix you've created.

Time for the fun stuff!
Now you want to add the pasta you just cooked on top, keeping a medium flame.
Crack 2-3 eggs on top.

Grab two wood spoons or a good set of tongs, and stir while the heat is still on.
This is going to kind of glaze the pasta with the egg.
Don't worry the egg will fully cook but come out really yummy like a thick sauce.
Do this until the pasta is coated real well and shut the heat off.
Continue to stir for a bit and serve up as soon as you can or the egg will turn solid and look kind of clunky.

I like to add a sprinkle of Parmesan or low fat mozzarella on top before eating.
This should be a side dish for a diabetic. I like to have a small bowl (serving suggestion will tell you on the box how much pasta is safe) On the side I'll have a salad or steamed veggies.
You will learn to love vegetables when you are a diabetic.

Instead of bacon I like to use chicken, flaked halibut or salmon, steak, or pork tenderloin.
The thing about my recipes is, it's okay to get creative. Just remember to add fiber filled foods so that you can have the pasta without guilt or high blood sugar.

Hopefully someone will try this and confirm that it is tasty. I love it, and don't feel super guilty with the amount of vegetables I have with it or the fact the sauce isn't a sugary tomato sauce but total protein. :)


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bacon chicken appetizer

First you'll want 3-4 good sized chicken breasts, skinned and trimmed of any fat.
Boil in water until white in color. It's a bit messy and frothy when it's done. (I like to take the end water and use it for soup. It's like a stock)
Cut into long strips (size doesn't matter((first time you've heard that one eh?)) ).

chicken  bacon crock pot wrap

For the BBQ sauce I do a low sugar one.
1/2 cup reduced-sugar ketchup (the Heinz reduced sugar ketchup has 1 gram sugar per T)
2 T tomato paste
4 T Splenda
1-2 T brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it, or use all Splenda if you prefer)
(You can also use 1/3 cup Splenda-brown sugar blend, which will make the sauce a bit higher in sugar)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup mustard (regular yellow mustard, not Dijon)
2 tsp. green Tabasco (or 1 tsp. red Tabasco)
1 1/2 T Worcestershire sauce
Combine reduced sugar ketchup, tomato sauce, Splenda, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, mustard, green Tabasco, Worcestershire sauce in measuring cup or bowl and whisk together.
Pour finished mix into a crock pot.
Get some thick sliced bacon, and wrap each strip of chicken with bacon til covered and use a toothpick to hold it in place.
Do this until they are all skewered and immerse them in the crock pot with the bbq sauce.
I don't cook for a specific time. If you are cooking on low, i'd leave them in for 4 hours.
I do everything but sight. Snce the chicken is already technically cooked, you are just trying to get the bacon cooked and a glaze on it.
If you are making this for someone non diabetic, you can sprinkle some brown sugar on the top while it cooks to give it more of a glaze. Or you can substitute a little pineapple juice.
This is a versatile recipe.
You can make the glaze hot or mild.
You can also use turkey bacon or tofu bacon.
Chicken can be substituted with steak, tofu based meat substitutes. I've used Veggie Burger's.
Experiment and enjoy!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mmm Bacon

I am hoping one of you followers or readers is going to attempt the candied bacon recipe.
I'd like it if anyone tries something I post, let me know if they dislike, or like something so I can try to improve things.
I'm going to post a new recipe tomorrow. Today has been about unpacking and rearranging so I can finally call Arkansas home.
If anyone is interested in a specific type of recipe, like chicken, beef, fish, etc, just comment here so I can figure out what to post next :)
Thank you for reading and if you know anyone with special needs send them here or let me know and I'll post a recipe accordingly :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Candied Bacon!

Most of you are saying..... Bacon is a diabetic food?  And to that, I say... not really but we can still eat it occasionally.
This recipe I've created doesn't stop at pork bacon.
It can also be used on Turkey Bacon, or Tofu Bacon.
It's fun, easy and makes you happy with a mouthful of flavors and well.... as you know Bacon of any kind just makes anyone happy.

If you are going to make this with pork bacon, I'm going to suggest you get thick sliced bacon. Depending on what you like, I get the thick sliced maple bacon. Some people like peppered bacon ( I however, am allergic to black pepper, so you won't really see it in any of my recipes).

Now all you need is a cookie sheet and some foil to start off this magical process of bacon filled goodness.

If you use regular fatty pork bacon you don't need to do anything but lay the bacon down side by side across the sheet . Most bacon will fit perfectly in a normal sized sheet. You may ask why tin foil? You will find out eventually.
If you are using turkey bacon or tofu bacon you will want to drizzle a small amount of olive oil on the foil and then lay it out with the same concept as the regular bacon.

This is where the yummy magic begins!
If you are diabetic, I suggest you invest in Splenda with brown sugar. If you don't have dietary needs involving sugar, use regular brown sugar.
Grab a handful (and no I don't use exact measurements. Most of my food is done with experimentation and what I'd think would be a good amount!) of the brown sugar, and do a sort of dry rub on the bacon, or gingerly sprinkle it up and down each piece.
Fun so far right? Now you get to decide what kind of taste you'd like.
My favorite is to add some really good Malaysian cinnamon (very strong smell and taste). I got a huge container of it at Costco a while back and it's still as strong as the day I opened it. Just sprinkle a little on top of the brown sugar.
You can stop there, or invest in some International Foods flavored coffee's.
I like to sprinkle a little mocha vanilla on top of the cinnamon.
What this does, is ensure a nice glaze on the bacon. Yum!
If you like sweet and spicy, go for the brown sugar, cinnamon and a sprinkling of cayenne.
My most favorite one of all, is brown sugar with a little wasabi powder.

Now that your bacon is staring you in the face, laying there covered in sweet and powdery goodness, it will begin to beg you to put it in the oven.
Make sure you have your oven set at 425 degree's.

Depending on how well you like your bacon, I usually have mine in about 10 - 15 min, but keep in mind, I don't like well done meat of any kind. I like my bacon with a little curl and crisp to the fat.

After the bacon is to your liking, you need to something and rather quickly.
Get that bacon off the foil and out of the fat that it's immersed in.
I like baking the bacon because of two reason. A lot of the fat melts off, and it glazes and crisps nicely for candying.
Lay out some paper towels and let the grease kind of get sucked off the bacon.
But don't leave it to cool on the paper towels or it WILL stick. And unless you want that extra fiber, get it off there and let it cool on a ceramic plate.

The thing about this recipe is, you either love it or hate it.
I've gotten several tofuties hooked on the tofu sort, and several non bacon eating people hooked on the turkey version.
But most of all, I've hooked a few men with the bacon version ;)

So give it a try if you dare :)
Eventually I'll post some pics of it, but to be honest, it never really stick's around long enough to take pics of it.

P.S. - if you were wondering about the foil. Let the bacon grease cool. Easy cleanup. Or you can save the bacon grease and make something else if you care nothing about your heart :P

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Here I am!

Due to popular demand.... well a small handful of you, I have started my own cooking blog.
Feel free to post questions or ask about specific recipes you'd like to see made healthier.
I am not an expert, and don't claim to be, but by making up my OWN diet, and cooking healthier, I managed to ween myself off of 9 pills, and lose over 150 lbs.
I sadly admit at one point in time, I was almost 500 lbs. I am around 300 which is still overweight, but I'm still losing and dieting MOST of the time!
I'd love to share my recipes, and post pics of stuff when I can.
So thank you in advance for reading my meager little blog of food and love of food.
Remember, if you have anything you'd like to ask for in the way of a recipe or you'd like me to post something in particular, DO EEEET!