What's Cooking at the Genua's?

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Ranch Dressing

Ranch dressing is my all time favorite go to dressing. Ever since I tasted Hidden Valley Ranch years ago I was hooked (still think they make the best bottled Ranch ever!). I have tried over the years to make my own and finally found a recipe that is pretty darn good! I have made my own dressings for a while now. I know exactly what is in them and I can watch the fat, sugar and so on. Granted they don’t last as long as bottled dressings but then again they aren’t full of preservatives either. Ranch dressing is one of the best-selling dressings out there! It is used on everything from chicken wings (though I still prefer blue cheese for this) to pizza! This is a super easy recipe and your body will thank you for it! It’s also a low-calorie version so it’s even better for you! In one tablespoon there is only 25 calories and 2 grams of fat! That is great! So give it a try! Let me know on here if you do try this and how you liked it!

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup reduced-fat buttermilk

½ cup light or fat-free sour cream

½ cup light mayonnaise

2 tablespoons chopped chives (1 tablespoon dried)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (1 tablespoon dried)

1 garlic clove, crushed/minced

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

Coarsely ground black pepper


DIRECTIONS:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk well! That’s it you are done!

Makes about 1½ cups.

Per (1 tablespoon) serving: 25 calories, 2 grams fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 1 gram protein, 1 gram carbs, 0 grams fiber, 50 mg sodium, 1 point for Weight Watchers


2 Comments »

Caipirinha

This cocktail is a Brazilian cocktail. I had it the first time at one of those “meat orgy” restaurants called “Amazonia”. It was delicious. Then our friend Andre (who is from Brazil) made it for us and his was even better. Love this little drink with a punch! We have a bottle of the liquor, Cachaça but haven’t made it ourselves yet. We will though. The Caipirinha is the national drink of Brazil and is enjoyed in restaurants, bars, and many households throughout the country. It was once almost unknown outside Brazil, the drink has become more popular and more widely available in recent years, in large part due to the rising availability of first-rate brands of cachaça outside Brazil.


INGREDIENTS:

2 lime, cut into quarters

2 tablespoons sugar

2 ounces cachaça

crushed ice

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place two lime quarters into each glass. (Smaller ‘rocks’ glasses are good) Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar in each glass and muddle with a pestle or end of a wooden spoon.

2. Add the remaining lime quarters to each glass and muddle some more. Stir in 1 ounce cachaça into each glass. Fill with crushed ice and stir again.

Makes 2 drinks

Leave a comment »

S’mores Cookie Pizza

When we think of pizza we don’t usually think of a dessert. But this is just that. Most people love s’mores and now it’s a dessert pizza. Kids and grown-up kids will love it! So easy to make and fun to eat! I am actually one of those kids who like their s’mores separated. I liked all the ingredients but not together. Go figure. Then again I was always happiest with a divided dinner plate. But that’s another story for another day! So play around with this, change it up if you like. Change the chips to flavored chips, like butterscotch or caramel. Be creative!

For illustrative purposes only!

INGREDIENTS:

12 full sheets (48 crackers) of reduced-fat graham crackers, broken into pieces

¼ cup reduced-calorie yogurt spread (comes in a tub and is found near the butter-Brummel & Brown)

2 tablespoons sugar

1¼ cup mini marshmallows

¼ cup semisweet mini chocolate chips

2 tablespoons fat-free chocolate syrup

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Spray a 9″ springform pan with nonstick spray.

2. Place the graham crackers, yogurt spread and sugar into a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Bake until just set, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350ºF.

3. Sprinkle the marshmallows and the chocolate chips onto the crust. Bake until the marshmallows are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes and then drizzle the top with the chocolate syrup.

Makes 10 servings.

Per serving: 193 calories, 5 grams fat, 38 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber, 2 grams protein, 10 mg calcium.

Leave a comment »

Crockpot Lemon Chicken

I was swamped today so I cannot take credit for this recipe. I got it from “The Hillbilly Housewife”. Check her site by clicking on her crockpot icon on the side of this page.  It used the ‘crockpot’ as stated and makes a great dinner when you don’t have the time. The recipe is easy and mindless, which is something we need every so often! Plus it’s healthy and full of protein! So enjoy!


INGREDIENTS:

4 chicken breast boneless skinless (about 25 oz)
1/4 cup flour
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 tbsp light butter
2 cloves garlic minced
3 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp no sodium chicken bouillon granules

DIRECTIONS:

Start by cutting the chicken into bite sized pieces. Mine are roughly 1 inch square. The chicken will shrink as it cooks, so keep the chunks a little larger than you would like them to be in the end. As always when you are working with raw chicken, be sure to wipe down all surfaces, cutting boards and knifes well.

Get out a medium-sized bowl and pour the flour and spices in it. Add the chicken pieces and cover them to coat all sides with the flour.

Get out a large pan and add the oil and butter. I’m using the butter for flavor and the oil for the higher cooking temperature. If you are watching your budget, you may omit the butter and use a little more oil instead. Put the pan on medium high until all the butter has melted.

Take the chicken out of the flour mixture, shaking off any extra flour as you go and drop them into the hot grease. I usually cook this in two batches. Cook the chicken for a few minutes until it has a chance to brown nicely on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pan and put it in your crockpot.

Pour the water and lemon juice in the pan you cooked the chicken in and add the garlic and bullion. Stir them to combine and use your spatula to scrape the bits of chicken and flour mixture off the bottom of the pan. They will help thicken the sauce as it cooks. Pour this mixture over the chicken in the crockpot.

Close the lid and cook everything on low for about 3 hours. Remove the lid and cook on high for 30 to 40 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.

I serve this with brown rice and a green vegetable like broccoli or green beans. In the summer I serve it with a mixed salad.

Leave a comment »

Mock Fried Rice (revisited)

Hi everyone! This is a repost of a recipe that I had pretty much forgotten was sooo incredibly awesome. I made it again the other night and had it leftover for lunch two days in a row. And yes I know some of you are going, ewww… cauliflower. Stop it! Give this recipe a try. Honestly it tastes nothing like cauliflower and it certainly doesn’t look like it. That is the first step. Your brain sees fried rice so it convinces you it’s fried rice. But it is so much healthier for you! I made it this past week with chopped up chicken sausage. So it was sort of like pork fried rice, but with chicken sausage. Either way it was delicious. I had been making smashed cauliflower alot and was tired of it. I also grated the cauliflower by hand this time with a hand box grater. No more. Next time it’s back to the food processor. I managed to grate my finger as well. Not fun. I had the cauliflower in the fridge for about a week or more and I figured I’d better make it soon. So when I went to cut it up it started to crumble a bit so this recipe was perfect. And of course once again, I left out the green pepper. I hate green peppers.  So try it this weekend, this week, soon! It’s a great meal or side dish. 

**

Ok everyone who loves fried rice stand up! Stay standing if you love or even like cauliflower! And stay standing if you hate cauliflower! This recipe will make you question your taste buds! I am not joking. I found this recipe in George Stella’s “Livin’ Low Carb” cookbook. I of course tweaked it to my liking. He calls for diced green bell peppers in it but for all of you who know me, I hate bell peppers of any color! I know, I know, what kind of Italian doesn’t like bell peppers? Me! Anyway, this recipe is incredible. We make it quite a bit now too. If you weren’t told what it was you would think it was fried rice for sure. I also add either chopped shrimp, chicken or pork to it to make it even better. Usually about  ½ cup of whichever you choose is great. Cooked shrimp, cooked chicken or cooked pork. I am actually making it tonight and I have to improvise again. There are scallions in the recipe and I’m out of them! Which never happens because John loves scallions. But I do have red onion which he also loves so I am going to try that with it today. We shall see what happens. Also the recipe calls for you to grate the cauliflower. Use a food processor with a grating blade if you have one. This makes it soooo easy. I tried it the first time with a hand grater on the largest holes and needless to say I was sorry! It’s so hard to grasp the cauliflower when it gets smaller. Use a food processor or be careful with the grater!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups raw cauliflower

2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

2 tablespoons finely diced green bell peppers (ewww….)

4 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions (green and white parts)

½ cup cooked chopped shrimp, chicken or pork (or leave it out if you want to go vegetarian)

¼ teaspoon minced fresh garlic

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

3 large eggs, beaten (I have used 2 and it seems fine also)

salt to taste if needed

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grate the cauliflower using a food processor!!! Use the grating blade. Take my word for it!

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pepper and 3 tablespoons of the green onions and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the cauliflower, shrimp, chicken or pork, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 4-5 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender

4. Add the soy sauce and stir. (Looking more like fried rice now isn’t it!) Add the eggs to one corner of the pan but don’t stir for 1 minute. This allows the eggs to cook for a bit, which will prevent them from completely breaking up and disappearing into the mix.

5. As soon as the eggs are soft-cooked, remove the skillet from the heat and gently fold the eggs into the mixture. Add salt or more soy sauce to taste. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon scallions and serve.

Makes 4 servings

6 Comments »

Asian Burgers & Slaw

There’s nothing like a juicy cheeseburger. But every so often I want a change and this Asian burger is just that. It’s made with ground chicken and is low in fat and has a high protein count. It’s an easy and fast recipe to make also so it should make a nice quick dinner when you’re in a hurry or just want to relax.

INGREDIENTS:

1 lb. ground skinless chicken breast

6 tablespoons low-fat Asian sesame salad dressing

3 tablespoons plain dry bread crumbs

2 scallions, chopped

¼ teaspoon salt

1 (12 oz.) bag broccoli coleslaw mix

2 tablespoons water


DIRECTIONS:

1. Spray the broiler rack with nonstick spray; preheat the broiler.

2. Mix the chicken, 3 tablespoons of the dressing, breadcrumbs, scallions and 1/8 teaspoon of the salt. Form into 4 burgers. Broil 5 inches from the heat until cooked through, about 5 minutes per side.

3. Microwave the coleslaw and water, covered in a microwavable bowl on HIGH until crisp-tender, 3 minutes. Drain. Toss with 1 tablespoon dressing and the remaining salt. Top the burgers with the remaining dressing. Serve with the coleslaw.

Serves 4

Calories per serving (1 burger with 3/4 cup coleslaw) 233, 6 grams fat, 2 grams fiber, 28 grams protein, WW Points 5


Leave a comment »

Summer Shrimp Salad

Shrimp salad always reminds me of summertime, the seashore, the beach and a quick easy salad that is delicious. This version adds a little twist, the twist being avocado. It is also a salad without all the mayonnaise, and that means fewer calories. A great light summer delight for lunch or a light dinner with a sandwich or even cup of chowder! This recipe serves 6 but if you want to make it for less people cut it in half. Avocados are so good for us with their good fats and along with the rest of the salad we’re eating much healthier, which is a good thing!


INGREDIENTS:

1 pound large cooked shrimp, peeled

1 pint of grape tomatoes, halved

2 avocados, cut into cubes

1 shallot, finely chopped

¼ cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

Grated peel of 1 lemon, plus 2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon plus ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar

salt and pepper

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil


DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large bowl, combine the shrimp, tomatoes, avocados, shallot and basil.

2. In another bowl, whisk together the lemon peel, lemon juice, garlic and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Slowly pour in the olive oil whisking constantly until combined. Pour the dressing over the shrimp and serve.

Serves 6

Leave a comment »

Italian Sauces (Part 2)

As promised here are more of the popular Italian sauces. They are by no means ALL of the sauces Italian food has to offer but it will cover most of them. I am also including a dessert sauce which most of you may have heard of, zabaglione. If anyone has a sauce I didn’t cover please let me know and I will do my best to find out all there is to know about it and I will post it. Mangia!

Neapolitan Ragù: This sauce is one of the two most famous varieties of meat sauces called ragù. (The other if you recall was the Bolognese sauce). This is a specialty of Naples as its name indicates. Like the Bolognese sauce, the Neapolitan sauce is also made from three main parts: a soffritto (a partially fried mixture of chopped onions, celery, carrots, seasonings, etc.), meat and tomato sauce. Neapolitan uses the whole meat, the soffritto has much more onion and in Naples, red wine is used instead of white, olive oil is used instead of butter and lots of basil leaves are used where Bolognese sauce has no herbs. Since the tomato season in Southern Naples is much longer than in Northern Bologna much more tomatoes are used. Neapolitan ragù is very similar to what most Italian-Americans calls “Sunday gravy,” because of the wider variety of meat in the American version, such as meatballs, braciole, sausage, and pork.

Pomodoro: Pomodoro when literally translated means “golden apple”. It is a basic tomato sauce. The first tomatoes that arrived in Italy were yellow, hence the name. The sauce uses a lot of garlic and basil as well as tomatoes. Basic and simple. This sauce is usually a little thicker than marinara and cooks longer so it can be darker in color. It also is usually made from fresh tomatoes rather than canned.

Puttanesca: Puttanesca sauce is an intensely fragrant and flavorful sauce. It’s a blend of tomatoes, onions, black olives, anchovies, capers, garlic and oregano, all simmered with olive oil. It is a spicy, tangy and somewhat salty sauce and is considered a modern sauce. The ingredients are typical of Mediterranean cuisine.

Salmoriglio: I admit I have never heard of this kind of sauce. It is a southern Italian condiment actually. Made of lemon juice, olive oil, minced garlic (yum), chopped oregano and parsley, salt and pepper; it’s usually served with seafood or grilled and roasted meats. Sounds very Mediterranean to me! (The photo below is grilled swordfish with salmoriglio)

Vodka Sauce: What would Penne ala Vodka be without vodka sauce? Plain penne! Vodka sauce is an Italian red sauce made from a relatively smooth tomato sauce, plus cream, vodka and the usual Italian herbs. It only gained popularity in the 1970s when a variation won a national recipe contest in Italy! Even though it’s the key ingredient in Penne ala Vodka it may well have been a sauce long before its “invention” in the 1970s. The vodka’s function is to release the flavors in the tomato that are usually inaccessible. Using alcohol for this purpose is common in Italian cooking, although more often wine is used.

Zabaglione: A dessert sauce. Zabaglione is a light, frothy, custard of whisked egg yolks, Marsala wine and sugar. It can be served alone or as a sauce to pour over cake, pastry, fruit and ice cream! Sound low cal to me too! A delicious sauce to say the least! The origin of zabaglione is uncertain. It might have originated Turin in the sixteenth century.




2 Comments »

Crab Dip w/Garlic Saltines and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Ok, I can’t take the credit for this recipe but I will thank Tyler Florence for it! I saw this on his show on the Food Network one weekend and made it last week. It was delicious! Easy too! And the saltines are incredible! I am going to make another batch this weekend! Even John who doesn’t eat many carbs in the form of crackers loved them! He was adding peanut butter to the crackers! But the dip is awesome on it. It is also better to let it sit over night in the refrigerator. The flavors will meld better. I also used the lighter versions of cream cheese and mayonnaise in my version. A suggestion from John is to heat it up also and serve it as a hot dip. I haven’t tried that yet but when we do I will post the results on here! We had this as our appetizer to our Thanksgiving dinner last Sunday. Washed it down with a bottle or two of Prosecco.

INGREDIENTS:

For the crab dip:

1 (8oz.) cup cream cheese, at room temperature

½ cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (DO NOT USE REGULAR MUSTARD)

½ tablespoon lemon juice

About 1 tablespoon EVOO (Extra-virgin olive oil), optional

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons chopped chives

1½ cups (about 12 ounces) fresh lump crabmeat, drained and picked over (I used claw meat and it was fine)

For the crackers:


2 cloves garlic, minced

¼ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

½ stick butter, melted (I used a butter substitute)

30 saltine crackers (about 1 sleeve)

For the tomatoes:

1 pint cherry/grape tomatoes

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

EVOO, optional

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

For the crab dip:

1. In a food processor add the cream cheese, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard, blend until smooth. Then add the lemon juice and olive oil, if desired and season with salt and pepper. Process until well combined, scraping down the sides as you go.

2. Scoop the mixture into a large mixing bowl and fold in the chopped chives and crabmeat. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper then cover and set aside in refrigerator.

For the crackers:

1. Meanwhile, prepare the saltines. Make a garlic butter by combining the minced garlic with parsley and melted butter.

2. Lay out a flat layer of saltines on a baking tray (I just sprayed it with cooking spray) and use a pastry brush to baste the saltines with garlic butter. Bake in the oven for about 5-7 minutes until golden.

For the tomatoes:

1. Split each tomato lengthwise and toss in a mixing bowl with balsamic vinegar. Toss the cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with a little olive oil, if desired, over the top. Season with salt and pepper and bake in oven for 7-8 minutes.

To Serve:

Arrange the three components so they can be assembled by easily. Take a saltine, spoon a little crab dip on top and garnish with a piece of tomato.

Makes 4-6 servings

Leave a comment »

French Margarita

Well we had an Italian margarita and now there is a French margarita. We tried these last weekend and they were quite tasty! Anyone who makes them please leave a comment on the blog letting me know how you liked them! And of course we were enjoying them so much I forgot to take a picture! If you want to see what it looks like go to www.food2.com/recipes/french-margarita and check it out. The picture shown is from that site.  They use raspberries and blackberries for garnish. We didn’t, because we did not have any. Guess we’ll have to make them again so I can take my own pictures this time! The ingredients call for sweet and sour mix. We used our regular margarita mix. Enjoy!

Photo for illustrative purposes only

INGREDIENTS:

2 oz. tequila (any kind, we use Milagro Silver)

1 oz. Grand Mariner

½ oz. each lime juice, orange juice, sweet and sour mix (Margarita mix)

1 oz. Chambord

Garnish: Skewer (toothpick) of raspberries and blackberries


DIRECTIONS:

Pour everything but the Chambord into a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to mix.

Fill margarita glass with ice and pour mixture into glass. Top with Chambord. Garnish with a skewer of blackberries and raspberries.

Makes 1 drink

Leave a comment »

Rachael Ray

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Joanne Eats Well With Others

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Garlic Girl

It's Not Just Popcorn!

BuzzFeed - Tasty

It's Not Just Popcorn!

An Edible Mosaic™

It's Not Just Popcorn!

StephenKing.com - Latest News

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Food52

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Big Bear's Wife

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Cinnamon-Spice & Everything Nice

It's Not Just Popcorn!

The Weekend Gourmet

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Skinnytaste

It's Not Just Popcorn!

What's Cooking at the Genua's?

It's Not Just Popcorn!

MarlaMeridith.com

Delicious healthy recipes, exclusive travel, stunning photography, fashion, lifestyle & more!

Chef in Training

A great place to find easy, delicious and family friendly recipes.

The Pioneer Woman

Plowing through Life in the Country...One Calf Nut at a Time

that's what she eats.

if you want to know what she said, you have to know what she eats.

Simply Recipes

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Budget Bytes

My stomach is full, and my wallet is too.

It's Not Just Popcorn!

Chocolate Moosey

Sweet treats and savory bites captured one photograph at a time.

overdeepblueseas

OVER DEEP BLUE SEAS BLOG @ WordPress.com

Sluggo's Escapades

What's Sluggo up to today?

Hip2Save

Not Your Grandma's Coupon Site

Rachel Cooks

Food, Family, Fun

My Bizzy Kitchen

A healthy balance of food and exercise . . . while keeping blood sugars normal! #igotsthesugars

RavieNomNoms

A Girl, Her Blog, and Lots of Food Pictures!

%d bloggers like this: