14th October 2008

Tuna Steaks on Cilantro Noodles

Lisa has running group on Tuesdays, so I try to find recipes that can be prepared relatively quickly and don’t depend on exact timing — and so we can eat as soon as she walks in the door! This pasta dish from Fitness Food fit the bill: tuna steaks are grilled and placed upon a bed of wheat-noodles that have been tossed with plenty of cilantro, green onions, and an asian-inspired dressing. Any recipe that includes the words “one large handful of cilantro” gets my vote!

Lisa says:

Fitness Food rules.

Chris says:

See? You go for a run, you have run-worthy food waiting for you when you get home.

Lisa says:

I love the green onions.

Chris says:

…and of course, the cilantro?

Lisa says:

Of course!

Chris says:

I’d totally make this again if we wanted a quick pasta-and-fish meal. It took all of 20 minutes to make.

Lisa says:

Good, because I’d totally eat it again!

Tuna Steaks on Cilantro Noodles
1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sweet chili sauce
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp spicy sesame oil
oil spray
2 6-oz tuna steaks, at room temperature
8-oz wheat linguine
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 large handful cilantro leaves, chopped
lime wedges

Mix the lime juice, fish sauce, sweet chili sauce, sugar, and oil in a small bowl with a whisk, and set aside.
Pat the tuna steaks dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat a grill pan over high heat and spray with the oil. Add the tuna and cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until cooked to your liking. Transfer the steaks to a warm plate, cover, and keep warm.
Meanwhile, place the noodles in a large pot of salted, rapidly boiling water and cook according to package directions, until al dente. Drain well. Add half the dressing, half the scallions, and half the cilantro, and toss well.
Divide the noodles between two plates, then place a tuna steak on each. Mix the remaining dressing with the scallions and cilantro and drizzle over the tuna and noodles. Serve with the lime wedges.

2 Servings

posted in Fitness Food, Main Dishes | 6 Comments

28th January 2008

Garden-Style Lasagna

Tonight Lisa made this labor-intensive lasagna based on a Cooking Light recipe, and added extra spices and mushrooms. I’m usually a bigger fan of tomato-sauce based lasagna, but this one hit the spot with its variety in textures and sheer number of sauteed vegetables.

Chris says:

Wow you’re on a roll with these Cooking Light recipes. Good picks.

Lisa says:

This one is delicious — and actually has portion sizes that are relatively generous for a “light” recipe…

Chris says:

I heart this lasagna.

Lisa says:

Me too! I still can’t believe it’s low fat.

Chris says:

I love that we have enough leftovers for like three more meals.

Lisa says:

Good thing we liked it, then!

Garden-Style Lasagna
Cooking spray
2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped zucchini (about 8 ounces)
2 cups chopped yellow squash (about 8 ounces)
2 cups thinly sliced carrot (about 8 ounces)
2 cups chopped broccoli (about 6 ounces)
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tsp oregano
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
3 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Dash of nutmeg
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat cottage cheese
2 cups (8 ounces) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
12 precooked lasagna noodles, divided

Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion to pan; sauté 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Spoon onion mixture into a large bowl. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms, and yellow squash; sauté 4 minutes or until tender and just beginning to brown. Add to onion mixture. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced carrot; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add chopped broccoli; sauté 4 minutes or until crisp-tender. Add to onion mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and oregano; toss well to combine.
Place flour in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, and nutmeg; stir until smooth. Stir in spinach.
Combine cottage cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella; stir well. Spread 1/2 cup spinach mixture in bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodles over spinach mixture in dish; top with half of cottage cheese mixture (about 1 1/2 cups), half of vegetable mixture (about 2 1/2 cups), and about 1 cup spinach mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining spinach mixture over noodles; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella.
Cover and bake at 375° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and beginning to brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

12 Servings

posted in Cooking Light, Main Dishes, Vegetarian | 10 Comments

3rd January 2008

Seared Cod over Veggies and Pasta in a Mushroom Broth

Wow, was this good. Cod is coated in crushed dried shiitake mushrooms, seared, baked, and then plated over a dish of pasta and vegetables sitting in a mushroom broth. This recipe comes from Weight Watchers, and, shock of all shocks, the portions weren’t of the usual minuscule variety.

Chris says:

I love the crust on the fish — really shroomy.

Lisa says:

Yeah, and I’m glad we didn’t toss the dried shiitakes like the recipe suggested. They’re good on top.

Chris says:

I have to say, this is actually a pretty tasty recipe, considering the source.

Lisa says:

I’m actually full!

Seared Cod over Veggies and Pasta in a Mushroom Broth
1/2 lb green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium carrot, julienned
1/2 cup julienned rutabaga
1 white turnip, julienned
1/2 lb whole wheat pasta
5 oz dried shiitake mushrooms
3/4 lb cod fillet, in 4 pieces
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 tsp minced, peeled ginger
green onions
enoki mushrooms

Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the rutabaga, turnip, carrots, and green beans and cook for 3-5 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the vegetables to stop them from cooking further. Set aside.
Cook the pasta according to the directions, drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside.
Grind half the dried shiitakes in a blender until it forms a powder. Spread the powder on a piece of wax paper. Season both sides of the cod with salt and pepper, then dredge in the mushroom powder.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the cod and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the cod to a baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes or until done.
Bring the broth to a simmer in a saucepan and add the remaining dried shiitake mushrooms. Simmer for 15 minutes. Strain the broth and set aside the mushrooms. Add the ginger, vegetables and pasta to the broth and bring back to a simmer, until heated through. Divide the pasta, vegetables, and broth among four large soup plates. Arrange the pasta to make a bed for the cod in the center. Garnish with chives, scallions, enoki mushrooms, and the reserved shiitake mushrooms.

4 Servings.

posted in Main Dishes, Weight Watchers | 4 Comments

16th October 2007

Puttanesca Fusilli with Shrimp

A return to my favorite tomato sauce tonight, this time swapping out the angel hair for fusilli. Shrimp seems to go really well with this sauce made with anchovies, capers, olives, and garlic.

Lisa says:

What gives? We’ve made this before…

Chris says:

Yeah, well that was before we had our witty banter up. Plus I changed it just a bit, and I figured my submission for Presto Pasta Night should be my favorite sauce of all time.

Lisa says:

Witty, huh? Anway, this is soooo delicious. I love it. Remember I used to hate puttanesca? …I still don’t like olives.

Chris says:

Give ’em here! They’re essential to the dish! How about I take a picture that doesn’t show many of them — maybe when you look at this later you’ll forget they were ever there.

Puttanesca Fusilli with Shrimp
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, slivered
1 garlic clove, minced
3 1/2 cups diced plum tomatoes
1/4 cup minced parsley
3 tbsp kalamata olives, roughly chopped
2 tsp oregano
1 1/2 tbsp capers
2 tsp anchovy paste
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper, more to taste
shrimp (optional)
3-4 cups cooked fusilli

Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over low heat. Add garlic and saute for 5 minutes. You want the garlic to be translucent, but not browned. Add tomato and next 6 ingredients (tomato through crushed red pepper) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook 10 minutes or until thick.
Meanwhile, if using shrimp, sautee the shrimp in a tsp or so of garlic-infused oil for 2-3 minutes or until opaque. Stir cooked shrimp into tomato mixture.
Combine tomato mixture and pasta and toss well. Garnish with oregano sprigs or fresh parsley.

3-4 servings

posted in Main Dishes | 1 Comment

1st October 2007

Fettuccine with Shiitakes

The only drawback to cooking all these wonderful meals is that it can be pretty time-consuming, especially when you have other evening commitments; sometimes we don’t end up sitting down to eat until 9:30 or later! So it’s good to have a collection of quick recipes to come back to when you know you’ll be pressed for time. This recipe, based on one by Mario Batali in The Mushroom Lover’s Mushroom Cookbook, is one we’ll be adding to the rotation. Start to finish, this meal takes less than 30 minutes to prepare. Presto! (Pasta Night!)

Chris says:

I can’t believe you used to hate mushrooms.

Lisa says:

I can relate to people not liking them, but these are delicious. So you cut a bunch of oil out of the recipe?

Chris says:

Yep, the original called for like 5 tablespoons… that’s “Molto” Mario for you!

Fettuccine with Shiitakes
1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
8 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned, and cut in half
1 cup chicken broth
2 oz sweet red vermouth
8 oz fresh fettuccine
1 bunch of arugula, cleaned and chopped (1 cup)

Heat the oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Saute the garlic until soft but not burned. Add the shiitakes and cook until they give up their liquid, 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in the stock and vermouth. Bring to a boil and boil until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. The sauce should just coat the mushrooms.
Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the fettuccine until al dente.
Over high heat, toss the arugula into the shiitake sauce until it just wilts. Pour the sauce over the drained pasta. Serve hot.

2 Servings.

posted in Main Dishes, The Mushroom Lover's Cookbook | 1 Comment