Korean-Style Beef Tacos

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When I was grocery shopping on Sunday, I circled several items on my list that I preferred to pick up at local farm stands. There’s a great stand right by my work and I had every intention of stopping before heading home yesterday. However, I guess I was in a hurry to get home because I was on the highway heading away from work and the farm stand when I saw the note to myself reading, “tomatoes” sitting in the passenger seat.

So much good it did me sitting there, huh?

I did the next best thing…I drove random country roads close to home on the hunt for tomatoes. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

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The first produce stand I spotted was right over a hill so I had to slam on my breaks and nearly pull into the field to get off the road. The car behind me…not so happy with me. It ends up they had berries and peaches…no tomatoes.

Off I went. There was a produce sign on a corner a few too many miles further down the road, so I headed that way and picked up my tomatoes. Beautiful tomatoes. I headed home and had lost 30 minutes of valuable evening time. When I walked in the door, I found a note scribbled on an envelope that read, “At beach 5:30″.

Apparently, I got left for the beach. I quickly threw on running clothes and struggled through 3 1/2 miles in the August-like heat before I talked myself out of a workout and into the relaxing beach instead. I said I wanted a good sweat session out of my workout…and that I achieved.

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By the time I returned home, it was 7pm and I had talked myself out of dinner. The tomatoes would wait for another night.

Knowing my luck, my CSA delivery today will include about 152 tomatoes. It included cabbage several weeks in a row…so much cabbage that I had no idea what to do with all of it all. And then I saw this recipe. While the purple cabbage adds a visual wow-factor, the green cabbage worked just as well. This recipe was positively delicious, says the person who could take-or-leave red meat. Flank steak is incredibly lean and this marinade is packed with flavor (and salt :( ), but not calories. You’ll love it.

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Korean-Style Beef Tacos
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Spicy, bold flavors...flank steak just found a new calling!
Ingredients
Steak:
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 5 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp chile paste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb flank steak, sliced into thin strips against the grain
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 6 corn tortillas
  • 2 green onions, chopped
Cabbage:
  • 3 cups cabbage, roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp chile paste
Instructions
  1. To make the steak marinade, combine the sugar, soy sauce, chile paste, lime juice, sesame oil, and garlic in a ziptop bag and shake well. Add the steak and turn to coat; refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, place the cabbage in a bowl. In a small saucepan combine the rice vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and chile paste. Bring to a boil and then pour over top of the cabbage. Toss to coat. Allow to sit for 10-20 minutes.
  3. When steak is done marinading, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, transfer the steak to the pan and cook 5-7 minutes or until cooked through, sprinkling with black pepper to season.
  4. Serve steak in the corn tortillas topped with the cabbage and a sprinkle of green onions.
Notes
Recipe from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks and originally, Cooking Light
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 2 tacos Calories: 547 Fat: 22.3 Carbohydrates: 38.3 Sugar: 13.0 Sodium: 1438 Fiber: 5.7 Protein: 46.0 Cholesterol: 107

 Thanks for all your chili recipes! They look amazing! I’m excited for football and chili, but this week, I’m going to enjoy summer and the beach :)

Be well,

sig4

Fajita Chicken and Vegetable Quesadillas

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It finally feels like summer.

I went to the beach last weekend. Lily, too. I even got in the water…about up to my waist. In another few short weeks, the water will be amazing. I would call to Lily from the shore and she would paddle out, and make a U-turn heading straight back to the shore. I don’t know which is funnier to watch, the fact that she doesn’t realize she can float in a life jacket or the fact that she can only turn to her right when doggy paddling.

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Over the weekend, we went cherry picking. Sweet, bing cherries from just miles away. I mean, does it get any better than that? I had to have burned a few calories last night when I pitted 6 pounds of them before freezing them. I am not-so-secretly hoping that we head back for more cherries this weekend. And strawberries, too. Yes, please.

My first CSA delivery of the season came yesterday and contained 2 quarters of the sweetest, most amazing strawberries ever (I think I had forgotten what strawberries are supposed to taste like…), mint, arugula, kale, and radishes. My plan for the arugula involves recreating a beet and goat cheese salad I had Tuesday night out on a rooftop for dinner with my friend, Kelly, and her family. It was soooooo good. The strawberries will be gone in no time. The rest will get worked into the menu for next week, if not demolished before then.

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It also feels like summer because it was been so, so hot. And unfortunately, very humid, too. The air conditioning is working hard. Dinner has moved from the front porch to the dining room table and I’ve been honing in on meals that do not require the oven. I need not make matters worse.

This quick meal is light, yet slightly indulgent, and perfect for summer…both flavors and the preparation sans the oven. You can even prep the ingredients ahead of time, or use leftovers. I found 3/4ths of the quesadilla to be perfectly satisfying, but I was vetoed on my opinion…so the recipe and nutrition facts include the whole thing. Happy summertime…enjoy!

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5.0 from 2 reviews
Fajita Chicken and Vegetable Quesadillas
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 5
 
Simple, healthy ingredients with bold, spicy flavor!
Ingredients
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 tsp fajita seasoning, divided
  • ⅓ cup onion, diced
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red or orange bell pepper, diced
  • 10 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • 2½ cups part-skim Mexican blend cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Season chicken with 2 teaspoons of the fajita seasoning, rubbing into both sides of the breasts.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and transfer chicken breasts to the skillet and cook 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through; remove to a cutting board to cool slightly. Dice chicken and set aside.
  3. To the skillet, add the onion and 1 teaspoon of the fajita seasoning. Saute the onion for 2-3 minutes or until slightly softened. Add to the skillet the remaining teaspoon of seasoning and the bell peppers. Saute the veggies for 6-8 minutes or until tender.
  4. Mist a griddle or electric griddle with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add 1 tortilla, ¼ cup cheese, and ⅕ of the chicken and veggies followed by another ¼ cup cheese and a second tortilla. Heat the quesadillas 4-6 minutes per side or until the cheese has melted and the quesadilla can easily be flipped. Serve hot.
Notes
Quick and simple to make...the whole family will love these!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 quesadilla Calories: 542 Fat: 17.8 Carbohydrates: 51.8 Sugar: 0.5 Sodium: 908 Fiber: 6.8 Protein: 43.2 Cholesterol: 74

 I have an all-day meeting today, but Friday should be here soon enough! Right? Right.

Be well,

sig4

Southwest Chicken Salad with Avocado Buttermilk Dressing

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Yesterday, Debbie came into work with the best gift a boss could ask for — a HUGE bag full of fresh, hand-picked Michigan asparagus. I was beyond excited (I LOVE asparagus) and it’s the first time I’ve ever had truly fresh asparagus…much less local.

I ate it raw for breakfast that morning. Yes, it was that good. Coffee and raw asparagus – not too shabby.

The day continued with some other firsts.

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I had my first ever CMS mock audit at the hospital. My audit wasn’t scheduled until today, but up he popped yesterday. To say the man was detail-oriented would be quite the understatement. I’m not sure if he was being insanely picky, or if he was just grasping at straws to find something wrong with my kitchen…given that’s his job and all. I’d like to think the latter.

I had a follow-up discussion with our Risk Management Officer that had all positive feedback…but my goodness, audits are incredibly nerve-racking. It was all a good learning experience and I took a lot away from the hour-long walk through.

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I left work at a very reasonable hour with my mind set on an outdoor run in the sunny, 75 degree May weather. It was heavenly. Absolutely heavenly. As I cooled off, I threw together another salad for dinner – not too much different than this one. I’m all about salad lately and for me, that’s unusual.

The night I made this, Mr. Prevention was thrilled to see vegetables on his plate after a week in India where he could consume only cooked foods. Some textured veggies are just what he wanted. As for me, I appreciate that I can fire up the grill, toss some ingredients together, and voila…have a filling, healthy, and balanced meal on the table in less than 20 minutes.

And over 16 grams of fiber per serving…impressive, huh? :)

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Southwest Chicken Salad with Avocado Buttermilk Dressing slightly adapted from Cooking for Keeps

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts 2 medium romaine hearts, chopped 1 jalapeño, sliced thinly 1 cup low-fat mozzarella cheese, shredded 1 large tomato, diced 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped 1 1/2 cups frozen corn, thawed 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 large avocado 1 1/4 cups low-fat buttermilk 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp dried basil Pinch of black pepper

Directions:

Heat a grill with high heat. Once hot (about 400 F), grill chicken until cooked through and slightly blackened, about five minutes per side. Let set for a few minutes. Slice into strips.

Meanwhile, prepare the dressing by adding all of the ingredients into a mini food processor or blender.

Pile lettuce onto serving platter. Sprinkle, jalapeño, cheese, tomato, cilantro, corn, and black beans over. Top with sliced chicken breasts, then drizzle with dressing.

Yield: 4 meal-sized servings

Nutrition Information (per serving): 511 calories; 15.3 g. fat; 73 mg. cholesterol; 799 mg. sodium; 48.0 g. carbohydrate; 16.5 g. fiber; 49.5 g. protein; 10.8 g. sugar

Result: I simplified this recipe a lot by removing the croutons and spices from the chicken. Grilled chicken with all of these bold flavors and the refreshing and light avocado buttermilk dressing was perfect. The fresh jalapenos were a nice touch and all of the toppings added not only great flavor, but also color and texture. We loved this one!

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 Hospital Week continues with free lunch for all employees. Eeep!

Be well,

sig4

Maple Glazed Salmon with Tomato-Dill Couscous

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When did yesterday get weird? Hmm.

During my morning cup of coffee, I decided to get on Twitter and thank my Illini basketball players for a fabulous season. Unfortunately, they were knocked out of the NCAA tournament after a very questionable call with just over 90 seconds left in the game. The guys were so classy with their tweets. It was hard to be sad — they played their hearts out. Of course, I was then running late as I don’t normally pause to catch up on Twitter in the mornings. Mistake #1 of many yesterday.

I got to work and I realized that my patients were booked on days I’m off work…AND double booked. How did this happen!?! I was in the middle of that fiasco when two {rather handsome} drug reps came in with some diabetes education materials. Before long, I was nearly running late for a meeting. The next thing I knew we were through our lunch rush and having lunch ourselves.

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Then…in walked our GFS rep and I had some things to to talk about with him. By the time he left, I looked at the clock and it was going on 3pm. I sat down at my work computer and saw my appointment reminder for my 2pm dentist appointment. This is an appointment I’ve had for THREE months…it was the soonest appointment they had for new patients and it’s the only dentist I’ve heard great reviews about (I hate the dentist, to the great reviews part is important…). I called the dentist office and told a little white lie when I was told they don’t reschedule new patients after a no-show. “Emergencies” happen…forgetfulness happens. Oops. That just isn’t like me!

I skipped my boot camp class because I was running late for that, too. Instead I had to head to the store to get 20 pounds of lettuce. The joys of running a kitchen.

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I got home, grabbed Lily to check the mail, and walked around to the front of the house to check for packages. And there…in a trap…was a LARGE animal. I took a picture and sent it to my father-in-law who shared that it was a possum. I called Mr. Prevention and all but demanded that he come home and do something with it. While the possum played dead/opened its mouth to bear its teeth, Lily was interested in making friends with the thing!

Mr. Prevention got home and despite dinner being almost ready, he headed out to buy a pellet gun. That’s a normal Monday night activity, right? My very cheap husband dropped over $150 on the stupid gun. I’m sure our neighbors are still talking…

Weird day…from start to finish.

Weirder yet? Mr. Prevention liked this meal…loved this meal. Couscous and all!

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Maple Glazed Salmon with Tomato-Dill Couscous from Cooking Light, as seen on Whipped

1 Tbsp olive oil 1 cup uncooked couscous 1 cup + 2 Tbsp fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 1/8 tsp salt 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1/4 cup red onion, diced 2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped

1 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp chili powder 1/2 tsp ground ancho chile powder 1/4 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp brown sugar 3/4 tsp kosher salt 4 (6 oz) salmon fillets 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat broiler to 500 F.

Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan and heat until hot. Stir in couscous; sauté 1 minute. Add chicken broth and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in tomatoes, onion, and dill.

Combine first 6 ingredients; rub spice mixture evenly over flesh side of fillets. Place fish on a pan coated with cooking spray; broil 6-9 minutes or until flaky and cooked through. Brush fillets evenly with syrup; broil 1 minute. Serve each salmon filet over 3/4 cup couscous mixture.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Information (per serving): 520 calories; 12.5 g. fat; 125 mg. cholesterol; 703 mg. sodium; 42.8 g. carbohydrate; 7.3 g. fiber; 54.5 g. protein9.3 g. sugar

Result: This meal was fantastic and very filling! I love the rub on the salmon — don’t skip it! The couscous was simple, but the red onion added the perfect touch. Because couscous cooks so quickly, this meal is ready in 20 minutes or less! Enjoy!

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Work and my last “regular season” hockey game!

Be well,

sig4

Sesame-Orange Shrimp + Weekly Menu

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My boss’s birthday was yesterday and on Friday evening, there was a birthday shindig at his house. Knowing how neurotic he is about tidiness and “everything has its place” mentality, I think most people were beyond curious to see what his house was like.

I’ll say this much: his suits are hung 2 inches apart in perfect order and his golf shirts are organized by color — down to the shade. The man is a neat freak and I wish I had just a fraction of that trait in me. As I’ve said before, I’m sure his blood pressure rises just walking into my disaster of an office…nd I always feel out of place in his.

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The party was a good time. My co-workers are just as crazy as I am, so I fit in well.

Someone brought a Polaroid camera and had the grand idea of taking, um, goofy-slash-inappropriate pictures around the boss’s house. Some involved his bed, some involved bushes, there were wigs worn…and a LOT of laughs. My photo was in the shower holding a towel up to my chin, giving the illusion of nudity, making a kissy face. I’m somewhat regretting this decision, but…let’s just say there were worse pictures than that.

Way worse. But it’s okay, I think…I mean, the CEO of the hospital was in on this, too. ;) We’re just a rowdy group of women, I guess!

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Photos from that night? Worthy of a thousand words. Many of which would be synonymous with “fun”.

These pictures? They don’t do this dish justice, just as my stories do Friday night no justice.

The reality is…this dish was excellent. Mr. Prevention and I both gave it a thumbs up and the unique texture of the shrimp will make you think you’re eating take-out. But, hold the guilt. This recipe is good-for-you calories and very filling. I served this with a side of broccolini and added snap peas to the original recipe to bulk it up and add color. Enjoy!

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Sesame-Orange Shrimp slightly adapted from Eating Well, as seen on Sweet Beginnings

1 cup dry brown rice 1 Tbsp sesame seeds 2 large egg whites 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp cornstarch, divided 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper 1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided 1 1/2 cups 100% orange juice 1/2 cup dry sherry 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce 2 tsp sugar 3/4 lb snap peas

Directions:

Cook brown rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Keep warm.

Whisk sesame seeds, egg whites, 14/ cup cornstarch, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add shrimp and toss to coat.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half the shrimp and cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Repeat with the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the rest of the shrimp.

Add orange juice, sherry, soy sauce and sugar to the pan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Whisk in the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch to thicken; about 8-12 minutes. With 3-4 minutes left to simmer, add the snap peas to the sauce; stir.

Return the shrimp to the pan and stir to coat with the sauce. Serve over brown rice.

Yield: 4 servings (~1 cup rice with 1 cup shrimp and snap peas)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 529 calories; 12.3 g. fat; 150 mg. cholesterol. 834 mg. sodium; 53.3 g. carbohydrate; 3.3 g. fiber; 30.8 g. protein; 12.3 g. sugar

Result: The shrimp were so unique in texture — the pictures do them no justice. I had to whisk in cornstarch to get the sauce to thicken, which also took about 2-3 times to do so than the original recipe stated. We really enjoyed this meal and would most definitely make it again!

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Weekly Menu: March 9th – March 14th

Lazy day here…no complaints! :-D

Be well,

sig4