Few years ago I went to one of those home shows and came across this item. It was sort of like a cool idea to BBQ indoors especially during the winter months. So, I bought it and use it every now and then. Last week the weather was cold, windy and rainy, so I thought about a little summer cook out in my kitchen. (If you don’t have this stove grill, simply use a skillet and cook the chicken as you normally would.)
Approximate Total cost: Under $6.00 (Or $3.00/serving)
Prep and Cooking Time: 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve: 2 people
2 Chicken Breasts ($3.00)
1 tbsp. Chopped dry Onion
1 tbsp. Granulated Garlic
1 tsp. Paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
½ cup of red wine ($1.25)
1/2 tsp. Hickory Liquid Smoke
2 fresh or frozen corns ($1.25)
Season the chicken breasts with the first 4 ingredients listed.
Add ½ cup of red wine and the liquid smoke to the stove grill flavor ring. (If you have one, follow the stove grill instructions for the grill.)
Turn the stove to med. low heat, rub briefly the top cooking grill with olive oil and place the chicken and corn, cook on both sides for about 6 minutes/side. The chicken must be cooked well done but still moist inside.
Let it rest for few minutes before serving to keep the juices inside. Use the red wine and smoke in the grill’s flavor ring to pour over the chicken as the wine sauce.
I must say that this is a charming and attractive little dish that doesn’t require a laundry list of ingredients. The caramelized scallops tastes amazing and the pesto, broccoli and pearl couscous makes up for a lovely accompaniment. Scallops are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and relatively low in calories, they are an incredibly healthy source of protein. You can buy them fresh or frozen. Let’s make this together this weekend.
Approximate Prep and Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Approximate Total Cost: Under $16.00 (or $7.85/serving)
6 medium size scallops (Approx. 1lb. I use 3/ enough for one person) ($1.50 ea. x 6 =$ 9.00)
2 tbsps. Angie’s Dry Seasoning (see my link)
1 broccoli crown ($1.75)
3 tbsp. Olive oil (for the couscous, to season the scallops and for sautéing) (.45)
1 box of Pearl Couscous (this type has a larger grain) ($2.00)
3 tbsps. Angie’s Pesto (See my link for the recipe) ($2.50)
Season the scallops and set aside in the fridge.
Cook the Pearl Couscous according to the package directions.
Steam the broccoli in lightly salted water for few minutes to maintain the green color.
In a skillet with 1 tbsp. of olive oil, sear the scallops briefly until golden brown on each side. Scallops are lean protein, and as such, they can toughen very easily upon cooking. Do not overcook them, since they can go from succulent to rubber pretty quickly.
To serve I use a large soup plate, scoop the couscous in the bottom of the dish first, followed by the 3 scallops. I fill the sides with broccoli and finally, drip few tsps. of Pesto over the empty spaces.
HACK: You can add an avocado and a salad, and garnish with Cilantro, parsley, chives, or scallions. This goes well with a glass of white wine.
My seasoning: http://www.angieslifehacks.com/family-life/oven-roasted-bacon-chicken-and-angies-seasonings
My Pesto Recipe: http://www.angieslifehacks.com/cuisine/angies-homemade-basil-pesto-sauce
Scrumptious Pesto Recipe Series: Chicken, Broccoli, Edamame, and Snow Peas over Edamame-based Spaghetti. (Recipe # 2 of a total of 3 for this week)
I came across this new product while I was shopping at Costco; Organic Edamame Spaghetti. I checked the ingredients and nutrition chart in the box. To my surprise this product contains only 2 ingredients, and it is packed with protein and fiber. So, I decided to try it out and made this dish. As you can see my recipe contains 100% healthy ingredients. The result was great. The spaghetti tasted almost like the regular multigrain Angel Hair Pasta and there wasn’t much difference in texture. If you come across this pasta in the grocery store, maybe you want to try it also.
Approximate Total Cost: $13.15 (or $3.29/serving)
Prep and Cooking Time: Under 30 minutes.
Regular Pasta: If you don’t use Edamame pasta, boil ½ a box of Barilla Whole Grain spaghetti. (Walmart = $1.38)
Edamame pasta: For this pasta use the amount you would use for 4 servings. (Costco= $7.50; your cost will be: $1.25)
(See the photos in my slide show for explanations.The box renders the equivalent of 6pks. of 12 oz. regular spaghetti pack. You will only need to use the equivalent of 1 regular pack in this recipe and will still have pasta in the box for many dinners to come.)
1 large skinless-boneless chicken breast (@$1.99/lb.) (You will need only 1 cut in small pieces = $1.25)
5 cloves of chopped garlic (.25)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 bag of frozen Edamame Peas: (Wegman’s = ($2.75)
3 tbsp. olive oil to season the chicken, to stir fry the veggies and to drizzle over the dish before serving (.40)
1 med size onion cut in wedges (.50)
1 small broccoli head ($1.25)
1 handful of snow peas (.50)
1 avocado ($1.)
2 -3 tbsps. Pesto ($2.50) (See my link)
¼ cup Parmesan Cheese (to sprinkle over the finished dish) ($1.50)
Cut the chicken breast in small pieces (scroll down to see a photo) add the garlic, oil, season well and sauté.
In another skillet, sauté the onion, broccoli, frozen edamame (and the snow peas towards the end).
Add the sauté chicken, stir and set aside.
Boil the edamame spaghetti according to the package. (Or if you are using other pasta, boil accordingly)
Drain your pasta; (save ¼ cup of the water) add the sauté chicken, veggies and Pesto. It will look healthy green.
To serve: Using a large soup plate, serve a reasonable “small” portion of the finished pasta, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve with 2 sides, avocado and a salad if you wish.
Pesto Recipe Link: http://www.angieslifehacks.com/cuisine/angies-homemade-basil-pesto-sauce
My Pesto Salmon is not only nutritious, but quick, budget friendly and quite easy to make for dinner.
Approximate Prep and Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Approximate Total Cost: $8.30 (or $4.15/serving)
2 salmon filet ($4.00)
1 tbsp. Angie’s Dry Seasoning or any other seasoning you have in your pantry. (See link)
1 box of Parmesan couscous ($1.80)
3 tbsp. olive oil (1 to marinate the salmon and 2 cook the couscous)
1 handful of snow peas (.25)
1 handful of chopped Cilantro (garnish) (.25)
4 tbsp. Pesto to drip over salmon (total cost $4.90 buy you are using 2 tbsp. $2.00) see link.
Season salmon filets with 1 tbsp. of olive oil and dry seasonings. Set aside.
Cook the couscous according to package directions. Sprinkle some of the Cilantro.
In a med size skillet, sauté the salmon filets until golden, however, medium well.
Set your 2 plates starting with couscous sprinkle some of the Cilantro.
Plate the salmon, drizzle Pesto over it to taste, garnish with Cilantro and snow peas.
Serve with a salad.
Link: Angies Dry Seasoning: http://www.angieslifehacks.com/family-life/oven-roasted-bacon-chicken-and-angies-seasonings
Link: Pesto: angieslifehacks.com/cuisine/angies-homemade-basil-pesto-sauce
Pesto is a sauce that you should always have in your fridge. My version is fresh, not store bought, healthier and uncomplicated. This sauce is multipurpose, delicious and adaptable to many dishes. You can use it in pastas, over poached or fried eggs, over fish, in bruschetta’s, and to decorate a dish and the flavor is amazing.
This week I will be posting recipes using Pesto as an ingredient. So darling, make it ahead to have it ready to use! Smile.
Approximate Total cost: $4.90 (or .82 cents/serving)
Prep and Cooking Time: 15 minutes.
Serve: 6 people +
1 small Bunch of basil (USE THE LEAVES ONLY= ($2.00)
5 cloves of Garlic = (.40)
Juice of 1 lemon = (.50)
½ cup parmesan cheese = ($1.)
Salt & Pepper to Taste (you should have this at home)
¼ c. Olive Oil, add more as needed for smoothness (you should have this at home= (if not $1.)
In a food processor (or blender) process (pulse) the first 5 ingredients listed, then add the last ingredient, oil, slowly. (You can add more olive oil to taste as needed.) Refrigerate any leftover pesto for about a couple of weeks for later use. (I am sure that you will use it all before)
HACK: You can make non-traditional Pesto by using cilantro or parsley instead of basil. Serve it with any type of pasta, or crostini or as a side dipping sauce for any meat, pork or chicken dish.
My easy corn tortilla Quesadillas are budget friendly, crispy, gluten free and easy to make. They are packed with healthy fiber in the corn tortillas and the black beans. To make the tortillas you only need 5 main ingredients. This dish is very rich. One tortilla and a serving of avocado satisfy most people.
Approximate Cost: $12.74 (or $1.59/serving)
Prep and Cook Time: Under 30 minutes
Render: 8 Tortillas
1-2 tablespoon olive oil (you may not need to use it all)
1 pound ground 98% lean chicken ($4.90)
1-2 tsps. of any dry seasoning you have in your pantry
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed. (.90)
1 cup of beef broth (.45)
1 bag (30-count) of Corn Tortillas ($1.99)
2 avocados, peeled, halved, seeded and sliced ($2.00)
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese ($2.50)
In a skillet, heat ½ tbsp. of olive oil in medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Crumble the chicken a bit as it cooks, you want mini chunks. Drain excess fat if any, stir in the seasonings and a handful of cheese, set aside.
Mash the black beans with beef broth, use more broth if needed, and sprinkle some seasoning. Set aside.
In another smaller skillet heat ½ tbsp. of olive oil in medium low, place one tortilla. Top it with ground chicken black beans and cheese, and then top with another tortilla. Cook each side until the tortillas are golden brown and the cheese melts, about 3-5 minutes per side.
Repeat with remaining tortillas to make as many quesadillas to feed 6-8 people. Serve immediately
HACK: You can add a side salad of lettuce, tomato and red onion, or sour cream to dip them.
MEMORIES FROM FEBRUARY 2015: A Cold Day Calls for Comfort Foods -- Pigeon Peas Soup (Asopao de Gandules)
When it is so cold and snowy outside, like now, your soul ask you for yummy comfort foods. I was just thinking, anything soup will work. The recipe seems to have a lot of ingredients, but not really, and most of them we already have in our pantries. Are you ready?
Total Prep and Cooking Time: Approximately 45 minutes
Approximate Cost: Under $12.00 (or $2.00/serving)
1 frozen bag of pigeon peas (Found in most grocery stores in the frozen foods area.) ($2.50)
5 cups of beef broth and the water where you cook the peas.) ($2.25)
¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (.35)
5 cloves of garlic, chopped (25)
5 Baby Bella mushrooms, chopped (my secret ingredient for extra flavor) ($1.00)
2 Bay leaves
½ lb. pork (I use pork tenderloin, since it’s tender and cook’s fast) (3.00)
Adobo Goya for the pork - to taste
¼ cup Paprika
1 tbsp. Cumin
½ bunch of chopped Cilantro (.50)
1 cup of cooked rice
1 small jar of roasted peppers, drained ($1.50)
Cook the frozen bag of pigeon peas according to the package directions.
Clean and cut the pork in 1 1/2” pieces and Season it with 3 tsps. oil and Adobo Goya to taste.
Chop the onion, garlic and mushrooms, set aside.
In a medium size saucepan, add rest of the oil and sauté the onion, garlic and mushrooms.
Add the pork cook until golden; add the drained pigeon peas, the bay leaves, cumin and paprika.
Add the broth and pigeon peas water and bring it to a boil.
Reduce heat to med. low and cook for about 20 minutes until some of the liquid have evaporated.
Add 1 cup of cooked rice, chopped cilantro and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
Serve with drained roasted red peppers and avocado.
HACK: You can substitute the frozen pigeon peas for canned, (use 2 large cans.) You can add more rice of broth, depending on how soupy or dry you like your soups.
St. Valentine’s Series – Dessert: Nutella and Guava-Filled Pastry (Pastelillos de Guayaba y Nutella)
My recipe choice is an attempt to move away from the traditional Valentine’s chocolate covered strawberries, cakes and cupcakes. As an alternative, this is such a romantic and elegant French dessert. It’s ridiculously easy and it takes no time and no special skills to make. It’s so flaky, delicious and YUMMY. This dessert is perfect to end a romantic dinner.
1 sheet of Puff Pastry
Nutella and Guava to fill them
Follow the Puff Pastry box instructions “exactly” to thaw the pastry sheet.
Look at my slide presentation for instructions on cutting and placing in baking sheet.
Follow the Puff Pastry box instructions to bake puff pastry.
When done, pull them apart slowly, just half way through, fill them and close them back.
Finally, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
Serve them immediately or within a couple of hours. I do not recommend that you keep them for a day, since all pastry becomes soggy with time. If you do, keep them in an air tight container and then pray!!!!
HACK: You can serve these babies with a cup of Expresso, or Hot Cocoa, or better yet, a glass of champagne. Enjoy!
St. Valentines Series – Entrée Idea #2: Make a simple salad to complement your Filet Mignon entrée that I posted this week! Next, DESSERTS!
This is perhaps the simplest recipe of your St. Valentines dinner. Prepare the ingredients earlier and refrigerate. Maybe you can ask your adorable honey pie to work with you in the kitchen; it’s called “quality time together.” Add the salad dressing just before serving.
Total Prep Time: 10 minutes
Approximate Cost: Maybe a couple of dollars, its Valentines, you deserve it.
4 Baby cucumbers
6 Cherry Tomatoes (or 2 small Roma)
Angie's Salad dressing (see the link at the end of this post)
Few thyme or oregano leaves, chopped to sprinkle on top
Rinse, dry and cut the tomatoes and cucumbers in bite size pieces.
Add salad dressing and chopped leaves and let it rest for few minutes before serving.
Angie’s Salad Dressing link:
St. Valentines Series – Entrée Idea #1: Filet Mignon Steaks with Smashed Red Potato and Dill Sour Cream
Ingredients for the Filets
2 filet mignon steaks season with salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsps. olive oil
2 medium size red potatoes
Sour cream or Tzatziki (Greek yogurt dip)
Handful of Dill and Scallions
Clean and season your filets with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Let them rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees when ready to cook.
Meantime, in a hot skillet sear the filets for about 2-3 minutes per side or until a nice brown crust has formed. Don't move them around.
Once both sides are seared, carefully place the entire skillet with steaks in the center of the preheated oven for about 6-8 minutes, depending upon how thick your steak is.
Your steak will be ready when your meat thermometer reads 135 degrees in the center. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 4-5 minutes before serving to keep them juicy.
Ingredients for Smashed Roasted Red Potatoes
2 small red potatoes (about 2 ½ inches in diameter) (You can use more than 2 if you like)
½ tsp. salt
1/4 cup olive oil
Boil the potatoes in a small saucepan covered with at least an inch of water. Add a bit of salt to the water. Bring the water to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer and cook the potatoes until they are completely tender and can be easily pierced with a fork. Make sure they are cooked through but do not overcook. The total cooking time will be 20-30 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, set up a double layer of clean kitchen towels on your countertop. When the potatoes are done, remove them from the water, let them drain and sit for just a minute or two on kitchen towels.
Then, flatten the potatoes with another folded kitchen towel and gently press down on one potato at a time with the palm of your hand. You are aiming at a thickness of approximately 1/2 inch. Repeat with all the potatoes. If some break apart you can still put them back together and use them.
Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and put a sheet of parchment on top of the foil and spray with oil. Transfer the flattened potatoes carefully to the baking sheet and let them cool completely at room temperature.
To roast your potatoes
Heat the oven to 450°F. Sprinkle the potatoes with a little more salt and pour the olive oil over them. Make sure the potatoes are well coated on both sides. Roast the potatoes until they’re crispy and deep brown around the edges, about 30 minutes. Turn them over once with a spatula halfway through cooking. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream or Tzatziki.
HACK: Prep potatoes ahead early on. You can boil and flatten them up to 8 hours ahead and store them on the pan, lightly covered, in the fridge. Just pour the oil and salt shortly before roasting. You can piggy back them in the oven with your filets, smile!
ABOUT THE Author
I am a blogger, a photographer, a jewelry designer, a gourmet cook, and a recipe book writer. I am also a flea market flipper, an avid gardener, an interior/ outdoors designer, an avid golfer and traveler.