Monthly Archives: March 2009

An Attempt at Japanese Pizza

I think it may be my stubborn nature, but I can never seem to follow a recipe’s directions. Let me clarify – while I am very capable of following the directions, I never seem to want to. I think that bread is the only recipe I will follow to a T. Sadly, this lack of discipline often leads to my recipe not coming out as planned. This is a perfect example. I bought what I thought was small head of cabbage for making 101 Cookbook’s Japanese Pizza. I cut the cabbage in half and chopped it up, thinking it would be the perfect amount – it was WAY too much. I don’t know what possesses me to do this, but I figured I would improvise. It is usually at this point when I just start doing my own thing with still expecting the recipe to turn out. This recipe, however, is one where I needed to flip the mixture over and after looking at it in the pan, I knew there was no way that was going to happen. So instead I decided to mash it up and make a kind of cabbage slop. Luckily Jason will try anything, so I asked him to try and let me know what he thought. Surprisingly, he loved it. He said it reminded him of a hearty pie filling – SUCCESS! However, since it was a success, I definitely did not learn my lesson in following directions.

Okonomiyaki Crumble
Adapted from 101 Cookbook’s Okonomiyaki (Japenese Pizza)

  • 3 cups of chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup of onions
  • 1 cup of frozen peas, not thawed
  • 1 cup of frozen corn, not thawed
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • salt 
  • pepper
  • olive oil


  1. Combine the cabbage, leeks, peas, corn, and flour in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Whisk eggs in a separate bowl and then add to the mixture. Mix until everything is coated.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add at least 1 tbsp olive oil, but more if you’d like. Pour in mixture and push down. Let cook at least 5 minutes. If you can flip it, go ahead and flip it. If not, crumble it up like scrambled eggs and mix it around so everything cooks. It will take about 10 minutes total. 
  4. Serve with salt and pepper.’

**I plan to try making this into a pie. I would preheat an oven to 375F. Make a standard pie crust and fill with this mixture. Bake for maybe 35 minutes, or until the filling is set and browned. If the crust is browning but the middle isn’t done, cover the crust with foil. I don’t know for sure about the temp and times, but that is what I would guess. Let me know if you try this!

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Posted by on March 27, 2009 in Egg, Vegetarian


Roasted Tiplapia with Orange-Parsley Salsa

Another fish recipe – I have been going crazy with the seafood lately! This is a recipe I personally did not try – it looked like it would have too much of a fish taste. However, Jason reassured me it was quite good. This is probably one of the easiest recipes -if you can call it that- I have ever made. You roast the tilapia, open a can of mandarin oranges, rip up some parsley, and you’re done!

Roasted Tilapia with Orange-Parsley Salsa
From Cooking Light Magainze, March 2009

  • 3 oranges (fresh) or 1 can mandarin oranges
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 4 (6 ounce) tilapia fillets
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Spray a corning wear dish with cooking spray. Place fish in the dish and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Drizzle with a tsp of oil. 
  3. Bake fish at 400F for 14 minutes, or until fish flakes easily. If possible, check to make sure the temperature reads at lest 145F.
  4. If using fresh oranges, grate 3 tsp orange rind. Peel and section oranges over a bowl, reserving about 2 tbsp juice. Chop sections. Combine rind, oranges, parsley, 5 tsp oil, and 1/4 tsp salt into a bowl and set aside.
  5. Combine 2 tbsp reserved juice, 1/4 tsp pepper, 1/4 tsp salt, and 2 tbsp parsley with brown rice and mix well.
  6. Serve fish with salsa on top and rice on the side. 
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Posted by on March 22, 2009 in Fish


Tabbouleh with Chicken and Red Pepper

I usually get into the same habits every week and eat the same thing for lunch almost everyday. In the recent Cooking Light Magazine (March 2009) there was a feature about Brown-Bag Lunch Alternatives. This alternative was one in the magazine that I new I would like just by reading the recipe. Jason thought it was just okay – he does not like parsley and lemon together all that much and prefers softer textures (the bulgur is very nutty). I personally like my food to be a little more work to eat, so this recipe was perfect for me. Traditionally tabbouleh contains mint, but I am just not a fan. It seems mint is the new craze (mojitos and tabbouleh to name just a few), but I just haven’t caught on. Regardless, this recipe could be tweaked many different ways to have many different flavors. I have made a similar salad in the past with berries, apples, and slivered almonds in it that was just delicious. If this recipe doesn’t look like your cup of tea, be creative and change it up a bit 🙂

Tabbouleh with Chicken and Red Pepper

From Cooking Light Magazine, March 2009


½ cup bulgur, uncooked

½ cup boiling water
1 ½ cup diced grape tomatoes
1 cup shredded cooked chicken breast
¾ cup minced fresh parsley
½ cup finely chopped red pepper
½ cup diced Cucumber, seeded
1 ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper

*The recipe also called for 1/4 cup minced fresh mint – I do not like mint, so I omitted it. 


  1. Combine bulgur and ½ cup boiling water in a large bowl. Cover and let stand for 15 minute, or until the bulgur is tender. Drain any excess water.
  2. Add tomato and remaining ingredients. Toss well. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Serve chilled.

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Posted by on March 21, 2009 in Chicken, Grains


Cheese Enchilada Casserole

Jason and I love tacos and enchiladas. While the real Mexican food from an authentic restaurant is obviously as good as it gets, we rarely eat out, so our home-made variety usually suffices. This recipe turned out delicious and was very easy to make. It could be prepared ahead of time, so when you get home you just need to pop it in the oven.

Cheese Enchilada Casserole

Recipe from EatingWell.Com
Serves 4-6


  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 1/3 cup sliced onions
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 9 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup taco sauce (such as Ortega)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl. Arrange 3 tortillas in bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread half of cheese mixture over tortillas. Repeat procedure with 3 tortillas and remaining cheese mixture; top with remaining tortillas.
  3. Pour taco sauce over tortillas; sprinkle with Monetary Jack cheese. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until cheese melts. 


Beans, Beans, the Magical Fruit…

the more you eat the more you…” We all know the song from childhood. I was recently told that this is actually a myth. The more you eat, the easier it is for your body to digest, so the less you … 🙂

Jason and I were unsure what to make for dinner the other night. The refrigerator was full of leftovers, all of which we had eaten at least once and while they were tasty, we were in the mood for something different. We settled on Mexican, but were stuck again. Jason also has meat tacos, so when I suggested refried black bean burritos, he was a little hesitant. I told him not to worry, which I often have to do when I am cooking something new. A good friend of mine had called, so I handed the spatula and a few simple instructions over to Jason for cooking the dinner. Needless to say, he was successful. We enjoyed our burritos that night and there was even some for another meal. This made me think about how versatile this mixture really is. With that in mind, I am posting the recipe along with a few meal ideas. 

Refried Bean Mixture
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 can refried black beans
  • 1 cup diced green peppers
  • 1 cup diced red peppers
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • 1/2 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved (1 cup)


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onions and peppers until tender. Add the black beans and cook for one more minute. Turn off the heat and add the cherry tomatoes.

Meal Possibilities

  1. Place 1/2 cup of mixture on the center of a tortilla. Top with a dollop of sour cream and some shredded marble cheddar cheese.
  2. Place 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice on a plate, top with the black bean mixture and shredded cheese.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Place 1/4 cup of mixture in a tortilla and roll up. Place the rolled tortilla in the pan and repeat until the pan is full. Cover with green taco sauce and/or salsa. Top with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 375F. Roll out (or prepare a homemade) pizza crust. Cover the pizza crust with a thin layer of the refried bean mixture. Top with extra onions, peppers, and tomatoes. Cover the pizza with marble cheddar cheese. Cook for 12-15 minutes or until the crust is crispy and the cheese is melted. 

If you have any ideas for meals with refried beans, please leave a comment!


Cucmber Relish Pasta Salad

This pasta salad was intended to just be a relish on top of the salmon, but I couldn’t think of another side; we had been eating too much rice lately, so good old rice just wouldn’t do. Instead, I decided to take the relish and turn it into a pasta salad. This salad is packed with nutrients. Yes, there is some oil in it, but fat is good for you – as long as it is the right kind. Olive oil and Canola oil contain monounsaturated fatty acids, which are super heart healthy. Something I didn’t know until my Advanced Nutrition and Metabolism class was that a lot of the phytochemical in vegetables are fat-soluble, which means they need some added fat to help with absorption. 

Take home message: Using some healthy fats in your meal will assist in absorbing more of the beneficial phytochemicals, help you feel full (satiety), and make your meal taste great. 

Cucumber Relish Pasta Salad
Serves 6-8

  • 1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 white onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk of celery
  • 2 cups of whole wheat penne pasta, cooked
  • 1 tbsp oil 
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika


  1. Combined the vegetables and pasta into a large bowl.
  2. Combine the ingredients from the oil down in a small bowl and whisk well. Add more oil if needed.
  3. Pour marinade on the pasta-vegetable mixture and mix well. Use a spatula to make sure you get all of the marinade out of the bowl and well distributed. 
  4. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
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Posted by on March 18, 2009 in Salad, Vegetarian


Spice Rubed Salmon

In regards to fish, nothing is better than fresh-caught, wild salmon. Sadly, Jason and I are poor college students, so we rarely even consider purchasing fresh, farm-raised Salmon from the grocery store; at $14/pound, we often decide frozen will do. This week I found some very inexpensive salmon fillets at the store and figured we would give them a try. They actually tuned out very good and for $4/pound, we can definitely afford these. As I have said many times, Jason loves fish and I love making him heart-health food, so he may be getting salmon every single week 🙂

Spice-Rubbed Salmon
From the Cooking Light’s Everyday Favorites cookbook
Serves 4

  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp group cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 4 6-ounce salmon fillets, skinned
  • Cooking spray


  1. Preheat the broiler
  2. Combine all of the ingredients except the fish and spray into a small dish and mix well. 
  3. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. On a plate, lay the fish flat. Pour some of the spice mixture on each fish and rub it into the fish. Reserve some spice mixture for the other side of the fish. Place the fish spice-side down into the pan. Pour the remaining mixture onto each fish and rub in. 
  4. Broil the fish for 8 minutes, or until it easily flakes (145F is considered done)
  5. If you prefer, you can cover the fish after step 3 and let sit for a few hours in the refrigerator (obviously do not preheat the broiler then).
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Posted by on March 17, 2009 in Fish