Tangy asian bbq sauce & marinade

Makes 2 cups marinade or 1.5 cups sauce

1/2 cup soy sauce
6 oz pineapple juice
2 tangerines or Clementine's - juiced
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 pinch pepper
3 cloves garlic - chopped
1 small shallot - thinly sliced
1 large green onion - chopped in 1/4 inch rounds

BBQ Sauce
2 Tbsp cold water
1 Tsp corn starch

To make bbq sauce bring all marinade ingredients to a boil. Combine corn starch and water and pour mixture into boiling sauce. Reduce heat to low and whisk until sauce thickens. Strain and use as a bbq sauce or dipping sauce.

This recipe is a great marinade for chicken or pork and a terrific sauce for bbq chicken or as a glaze on pork tenderloin. I will be making pork tenderloin in the marinade and then topped with the reduced glaze.

As a sauce!


Chinese chicken and mushroom lettuce cups (Or just Chinese mushroom lettuce cups)

First of all can I just say it taste like I just got home from a cheap, dirty, authentic Chinese restaurant. Only, this is totally home made and only about 200 calories for 3 cups!

1 Package boneless skinless chicken
4 Cloves garlic minced
3 tsp vegetable oil
1 Cup shitake mushrooms minced
1 Cup baby bella (or button) mushrooms minced
3 Cups Napa cabbage shredded (discard white thick stem part)
1/4 tsp salt
2 Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 Can (8 oz) water chestnuts chopped up
1 Cup green onions (about 4 onions)
1/8 Cup carrots minced
3.5 Tbsp hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Head butter lettuce
Black pepper

Preheat oven to 405. Season chicken with 2 tsp oil, salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until done (juice runs clear when cut into when chicken is done). When there is about 5 minutes left on chicken heat remaining 1 tsp vegetable oil in very large non stick skillet. Add garlic and carrots. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from oven and allow to cool to touch. As chicken is cooling add onions and mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are soft (about 4 minutes). Add cabbage and wilt down by tossing frequently with mushroom and garlic mixture. Add water chestnuts, salt, crushed pepper, hoisin sauce and soy sauce. At this point if you are a vegetarian you want to remove your portion and set it aside. Shred chicken with two forks (or fingers if cool enough) and add it to pan. Toss it and coat it. Cook for about 2 minutes to warm through and absorb flavor. Place cups on plate in bowl shape and fill with mixture. Serve with white rice.

*Note you can also skip the lettuce cups and simply serve right on top of rice!

Prewilted cabbage

Post wilted cabbage


Paprika chicken with onion garlic sauce

1 package boneless skinless chicken cut into halves (quarters for breasts)
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp favorite poultry seasoning
1 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup white wine
1/2 red onion sliced in strips
3 cloves garlic
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 tbsp COLD water
2 tsp corn starch
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp ground coriander seed
1/4 tsp favorite poultry seasoning

Preheat non stick pan with oil over medium high heat. Combine all ingredients for chicken on plate. Coat chicken and place in pan. Cook for 8 minutes and flip. Cook for 8 minutes and check that the inside runs clear when you cut it with a knife. If so you are done, if not keep cooking. When chicken is done remove it and set it on a plate covering it in foil. In same pan pour wine, chicken stock and seasonings in and bring to a boil. Using a rubber spatula pick up all the bits from the bottom of the pan and stir those in with your liquid. Mix cornstarch in cold water. Reduce sauce to about 2/3 and add in corn starch mixed in water and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and allow sauce to thicken. Pour of chicken.

Note: If sauce is not thick enough you can add more cornstarch a teaspoon at a time. If it is too thick add 1/4 cup chicken stock.


Chicken sate with Ponzu sauce

I got the original recipe for this from this Cooking Light recipe. After looking through it I made a few changes. I chose to serve this with a ginger cucumber salad. This makes about 2 servings.

1 pound boneless skinless chicken cut into 2-3 inch pieces
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup sake (rice wine)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
Cooking spray

In large baggie combine all ingredients, reserving chicken and cooking spray. Combine well enough to dissolve brown sugar. Pour half of marinade into dish, cover and place in refrigerator. Place chicken in bag with remaining marinade and refrigerate for no more then 8 hours. Pre-heat grill and leave on low. Place 4-5 pieces of chicken on each skewer. Coat grill with cooking spray and place chicken in single layer. Cook for about 5 minutes and flip. Cook for additional 5 minutes. Remove and serve with remaining marinade as dipping sauce.

Ginger cucumber salad

I also got this recipe from Cooking Light and again I changed it. Makes 2 servings.

1 large English cucumber julienne-cut
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup red onion thinly sliced and diced
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger object2=">
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar or Splenda

Combine vinegar, salt, sugar, red pepper, pepper, sugar & ginger in serving dish with whisk. Add cucumber & onion & toss to coat.


Shrimp pasta alfredo

1.5 lbs shrimp peeled & deveined, halved (aprx 30 large shrimp)
1/2 lemon juiced
4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
1 shallot sliced thin
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp pepper
1 pinch salt
1 generous pinch crushed red pepper

2.5 tbsp butter
3.5 cups whole milk
1.5 cups fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano
1/2 lemon juiced
1 tsp pepper
2.5 tbsp flour
pinch salt

4 servings of pasta
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp olive oil

I like to have everything chopped and prepared for this meal before I begin cooking as it goes very fast. In large pot bring water to a boil, add salt and olive oil, break spaghetti in three pieces and boil on medium. In large sauté pan melt butter and olive oil for shrimp over medium low heat. Add shrimp, salt, pepper & crushed red pepper. Saute until shrimp begins to get pink all around and add in shallot and garlic. After about 10-15 minutes remove shrimp from pan. Add butter and flour and whisk until golden brown. Begin with 2 cups of milk bringing heat up to high. Whisk quickly picking up all of the bits from the bottom of the pan with your whisk. Add in pepper, salt and lemon. When sauce thickens reduce heat to low. Whisk in cheese (reserving some to top pasta with). If sauce is too thick add milk as necessary. At this point taste for seasoning. Check for enough cheese, and pepper. If necessary add more lemon (you want it as a background flavor). When sauce is to your desired thickness add shrimp back to pan and toss in sauce. Drain pasta and add to pan. Toss to coat. Top with remaining cheese and serve.

Will make 2 large portions or four small portions. To reheat add a small amount of milk.


Grilled pork tenderloin

1 Pork tenderloin
3 Sprigs rosemary chopped
2 Sprigs Thyme chopped
3 Cloves garlic chopped
1 Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 Pinch salt & pepper
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 lemon juiced

Combine all ingredients in a zip log bag and marinate for a minimum of 20 minutes and a maximum of over night. Preheat grill to medium low and grill for 15 minutes. DO NOT TOUCH IT, CLOSE THE GRILL AND LEAVE IT SO IT WILL CARAMELIZE IN PLACE. Flip over and pour the marinade in the bag on top, and grill for another 10-15 minutes or until juice runs clear when cut open. Let rest for five minutes and then slice. You will see smoke when it is grilling because of the fresh herbs, but that is fine it just adds great flavor and depth.


Spicy Lentil Stoup

So this recipe came from Rachel Ray. Of course like most recipes I made some modifications. But you can compare and check out the original version here.

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 large baking potato, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
1 onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped
2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
Salt and black pepper
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
2 32-ounce containers (2 quarts) vegetable broth
One 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 small can mexi-corn
1 roasted red bell pepper
1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped (about 4 cups)
Crusty bread or rolls, for serving (I used a potato rosemary...yumm)

1. In a large, heavy pot, heat the EVOO , 2 turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the potato, carrots, corn, bell pepper, onion and garlic. Season with the rosemary sprigs, bay leaf, paprika, crushed red pepper, allspice and salt and black pepper to taste; cook until the vegetables are softened, 7 to 8 minutes.
2. Stir in the lentils, vegetable broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, stir in the kale and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Discard the bay leaf and rosemary sprigs. Serve the stoup with the crusty bread.

NOTE: If you watch Rachel Ray, a stoup is a mix between a soup and a stew. This will turn out very thick. You can add small amounts of water during cooking if it appears to thicken too much.


Carmelized Onion Dip

So I took a cooking class the other day. One of the recipes that they showcased was this recipe. While this one takes a little patience (caramelizing the onion), it is full of flavor and a great dip for everything from chips to veggies (raw and/or grilled).

2 tbsp Olive Oil
1 med white and/or yellow onion, any variety, chopped
1 tbsp Fresh Rosemary
Vinegar or Wine as needed
1 cup Sour Cream
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
2 Scallions or green onions, white and green parts, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Over medium heat, heat the olive oil in a large skillet.
  • Add the onions and chopped rosemary. Admittedly I didn't have fresh rosemary (because I am a jackass and went to the store to GET fresh rosemary and got home and realized that I did not actually buy the fresh rosemary that I needed) so I used dried rosemary and things turned out fine, although not quite as flavorful as the sample I had in the cooking class! Anywho...reduce heat to LOW and cook until onions are caramel colored and very soft, about 20-30 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure onions get cooked evenly.
  • If you find the onions are browning too quickly or starting to burn, reduce the heat a little and add a splash of vinegar (I used Red Wine vinegar) or wine. I also found that placing a piece of parchment paper tightly over the onions will trap their own moisture and ensure they don't cook too quickly or dry out in the pan.
  • Remove onions from heat and let cool.
  • In a food processor, combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, chopped scallions and caramelized onions in a food processor. Puree until smooth.
  • Salt and pepper to taste and puree until combined thoroughly.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • The recipe says it keeps for up to 4 days...mine is already half gone and I just made it tonight!

Serving Suggestions

  • I just served this with some Sweet Potato Chips that I found at the grocery store and it was fabulous!
  • This dip could easily be served with other veggies, raw or cooked. Some suggestions would be: grilled asparagus, grilled sweet potato sticks, sweet potato fries, french fries, carrots...
  • It can also be served with tortilla chips.


  • For a healthier version, you could easily substitute the soy versions of sour cream (Toffuti offers a sour cream alternative) and/or soy or canola mayo.

Grilled eggplant rolls with ricotta and basil

1 large eggplant thinly sliced
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
12 oz ricotta
1 cup fresh shaved parmesan
1 bunch basil Chiffonade
1 jar tomato sauce
6 cherry tomatoes quartered
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Cut top and bottom off eggplant. Peel skin off two sides and thinly slice leaving skin on outer edge of eggplant to help it stay together during cooking. Thinly slice eggplant, a mandoline works nicely, or you can use a knife. Combine olive oil and vinegar and brush eggplant on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Heat grill pan or skillet over medium heat. Put thin layer of olive oil in pan. Place single layer of eggplant in pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes per side until eggplant beds with out cracking. In bowl combine ricotta, 2/3 Parmesan, 1/2 of basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Lay eggplant flat and place aprx 2 tbsp cheese mixture one inch from bottom of eggplant. Roll eggplant and place seam side down on baking sheet. Cover with tomato sauce, tomatoes and remaining Parmesan. Bake for 15 minutes and top with remaining fresh basil.

Skin left on outside


Grilled steak and vegetable salad with rosemary red wine dressing

I recently went to a small organic cooking class here and one of the recipes we ate I really enjoyed so I decided to replicate and post here for you all! Here it is.
Steak, veggies & salad

2 Rib eye steak
3 Tbsp Olive oil
4 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
3 sprigs fresh rosemary chopped
1 red bell pepper sliced in strips
1 red onion halved & quartered
2 cups your favorite mushroom halved
salt & pepper to taste
2 cups fresh baby spinach
2 cups fresh romaine chopped

3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp coarse ground mustard
1 small shallot minced
1/2 cup EVOO
1 small sprig fresh rosemary chopped
salt & pepper to taste

Turn on grill to high leave on with lid closed for 5 minutes, reduce heat to medium low and clean grill.

In food storage bag combine 2 tbsp olive oil & 2 tbsp vinegar, 1/2 of rosemary, salt and pepper. Set aside to marinate until steak is at room temperature. In large bowl combine all veggies, remaining oil and vinegar, salt and pepper and toss till coated. Place veggies on grill first turning once after 10 minutes. Allow veggies to cook until soft but still with a little bite. Remove and place back in bowl. Cover with foil to keep warm. Place steaks on grill and cook until desired doneness (no I can't tell you how long I cook mine until medium rare and I tell how done it is by poking it with my finger). While steak is on grill combine all ingredients for dressing reserving oil. Whisk together and then whisk in oil quickly to emulsify. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Remove steak from grill and allow to rest. Place spinach and romaine on plate and top with half of veggies. Slice steak on an angle and place half on salad and veggies. Top with dressing to taste.
**This entire meal can be made in a skillet, frying pan, or grill pan, or even a george forman grill. Really all you need is the ingredients and you can cook it however you choose!

Full picture directions below.

Halve then quarter onion

To cut pepper cut around core leaving seeds, top and bottom in tact.

Cut into strips skin side down

Place in bowl and toss in marinade to coat

Preheat grill

Clean grill

Place veggies on grill

A shallot

Peel shallot

thin slice long way

Then make 3 cuts perpendicular to previous cut

Finely dice and you will be left with pieces all the same size

Line rosemary up on board

And chop

Turn veggies

Stack romaine leaves on top of each other

Slice in thirds length wise

Chop into bite size pieces

Combine with spinach

Place steak on the grill

Create salad dressing


Slice on an angle

Plate and serve

This is the vinegar I use, It is aged 25 years and was pretty pricey for one bottle. I reserve it for romantic dinners like this one.