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Teriyaki Chicken Wings

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We love chicken wings in our house. I mean, really, who doesn’t? And after spending so much money on them in restaurants I now continue to make them fresh at home. This way I will know exactly what ingredients are used and I prefer to bake them, rather than frying,  in my oven on convection roast. (I have a convection option on my oven) The flavors are endless. From the old standby “buffalo” flavor to the unique flavors of garlic/parmesan to teriyaki. I keep experimenting.

I used to buy the giant frozen bag of cooked buffalo chicken wings and go from there. Realizing they were almost as expensive as eating them in a restaurant I then moved onto the giant bags of frozen uncooked wings. Still too pricey and the wings they used in these bags are what we started calling mutant wings. Most of them were either too small or the machines that cut them severed the bones leaving too many sharp edges and mutant looking wing pieces. Searching the supermarkets for fresh wings became my next challenge. Have you ever priced fresh chicken wings? They can be very expensive as well. $3.99/lb and up in most places. We found a few stores would have sales at $2.99/lb which wasn’t bad but still not good enough for my budget. And then grocery gods smiled upon us and opened an Aldi store in my neighborhood. There was much rejoicing when I saw the prices of their fresh chicken wings. $1.99/lb! At that price, I now buy two packages. Each package usually has about 10 wings, uncut, which comes out to 20 when I cut them myself. So for about $5-$7 we get 20 wings! (and yes, I leave the wing tips on as well, gives you a little handle!) And an even better deal when they have a sale on them at $1.79/lb. I stock up big time! I live in south Florida so the prices may vary depending on where you live.

This recipe is a no sugar added teriyaki. We try to avoid sugars in foods if we can and I use sucralose as a substitute. But if you prefer, just use regular sugar.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 10 fresh chicken wings, cut into 20 pieces
  • Teriyaki sauce (recipe below)
  • sesame seeds
  • 2 scallions chopped

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to convection roast at 400ºF. (or bake)
  • Place plain wings on large rimmed cookie sheet. (I use a ceramic cookie sheet so I don’t need foil or anything, but if using a regular cookie sheet use foil or spray pan as they may stick)
  • Roast for about 20 minutes and turn wings over. Roast another 20 minutes.
  • By now the wings should be crisping up pretty good, remove them to a large bowl and pour the teriyaki sauce all over them to make sure they’re coated completely.
  • Return wings to the cookie sheet and roast another 5-10 minutes, watching they don’t burn with the sauce. 
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle with sesame seeds and scallions. 
  • Serve with blue cheese or ranch dressing and celery/carrot sticks.

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Teriyaki Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sucralose (or sugar if you prefer)
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable/canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced

Directions

Mix all ingredients together.

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Quinoa Shrimp Scampi

This recipe started out because I looked in my pantry and saw that I have just way too much quinoa in there. I have plain, red, tri-color and then I just bought a couple more packages at Home Goods! So I decided I needed to start using it more. The quinoa I used in this recipe was an Italian flavored one. I bought this container of Pereg quinoa in Home Goods for $3.99 and I used about half of the container in this recipe, about 1 cup. This brand comes in all kinds of flavors which is pretty cool so you can make whatever you’re in the mood for! I also bought a spinach version and a mushroom version. Just follow the directions on the package and you’re good to go! I also substituted the water with chicken broth, which gives it so much more flavor. A vegetable broth would work great too! But if that’s not something you would want to do then just use water. 

This is a quick meal you can throw together in under 30 minutes for sure. Great for after work when you want something nutritious and delicious! This was a nice filling and satisfying meal for two of us but if you want it can serve 4 as a side dish.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Pereg “All’ Italiana” quinoa (Use 1 cup and cook according to package)
  • 12-16 ounces uncooked extra large-jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (no tails on unless you like that sort of thing- I do not)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 large tomato chopped
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Parmesan cheese for topping

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions on package. When it is done, keep it on low to stay warm.
  2. Add the oil and butter to a medium skillet and saute the garlic till soft, just a few minutes.
  3. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook on medium heat. A couple of minutes on each side until shrimp turns pink is good. Do NOT overcook.
  4. Add the lemon juice and herbs and mix well.
  5. Add the chopped tomato to the quinoa mixture.
  6. Divide up the quinoa into flat bowls and top evenly with the shrimp mixture. Make sure the delicious juices are evenly distributed as well.
  7. Serve with some parmesan cheese on top if you like!

 

 

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Summer Couscous Salad

I made this salad again for the July 4th holiday and thought it would be good to repost! Once again it was a hit! Quick, easy, refreshing and delicious!!

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It’s been a while but here is a new recipe. I made this dish yesterday to bring to a friend’s for a barbecue. She said to bring a side. Turns out she made almost the same exact salad! Very funny, but they had a few different ingredients so it was cool. (Hers had chopped red pepper, and everyone who knows me knows I would NEVER put sweet peppers in anything!)She also didn’t have the carrots or tomatoes.

I just threw this together quickly and it can totally be changed to what you like. It’s your choice!

This was a very fast and easy salad to make. It’s a nice change from the usual heavy ‘pasta’ type salads. Mostly veggies also so how can it be bad? Enjoy.

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INGREDIENTS:

1 ½ cups pearl couscous (cooked according to package directions) I also used chicken broth instead of water

1 can corn kernel, drained and rinsed

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

¼-½ of an english cucumber chopped small (If you use a regular cucumber, remove the seeds and peel)

1 stalk celery sliced/chopped

1 carrot grated or chopped

cherry tomatoes/halved (I used about 20 or so)

¼ cup red onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried dill

½- 1 teaspoon garlic powder (approximately)

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Put all ingredients in a large bowl (except for olive oil). Mix thoroughly. Then slowly add some olive oil to make it smooth and silky. I think I used a couple of tablespoons. 

Chill several hours and serve.

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Easy Cranberry Sauce

I was never one to eat the canned, gelatinous cranberry sauce. Thought it was nasty. Still do actually. Especially with all that sugar in it!! So I searched my recipes and came up with a combination of a few. It’s very simple, really. I had bought a few bags of fresh cranberries before Thanksgiving because they were on sale and couldn’t pass up the BOGO special. I have another bag left and I think I’ll make another batch to freeze. 

Last night I made my Thanksgiving Bundles and we had no sauce so I made this recipe. So easy and so tasty! Oh and revisit my  Thanksgiving Bundles post as I updated the photos. 

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag fresh cranberries

1 cup water

1 cup Splenda (or other sucralose sweetener)

1 teaspoon fresh orange zest

1 small apple (any kind) peeled and finely chopped

1 cinnamon stick

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Add the water and Splenda to a medium pot. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add the cranberries and orange zest. Stir and bring to a boil again.
  3. Lower heat to simmer and add the apple and cinnamon stick.
  4. Simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  5. I used a potato masher and just broke up some of the cranberries and apple pieces but you don’t have to do this.
  6. Remove from heat and cool. Chill a few hours before using, unless you like it warm!

That’s it! Simple. Just be careful when the cranberries start to pop. The splatter can be hot!

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Mock Fried Rice (revisited)

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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…

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Shrimp Egg Rolls

Today is all about me venturing into the realm of the large wonton wrappers! Yes I have now graduated from the small ones to the big ones! I have to admit, I was a little scared of not rolling them right, or having the filling ooze all over the place. But my fears were for naught!

 I had seen this recipe on an episode of Hungry Girl and I figured it looked easy enough so I tried it! They were such a success I made them two nights in a row for dinner! Yes, they are usually an appetizer but who says they have to be? Now this recipe calls for scallions and bean sprouts. I was out of both of them so I left them out in this batch. Still came out awesome! The best part of this recipe is that they are baked, not fried! Saves a ton of calories (each roll is about 100 calories) and they still come out crispy and yummy! 

I ended up using the whole package in two days so I have to restock my supply of large wrappers. Remember you can find them in the produce department in the Asian section. Even Walmart’s produce section has them! They are so easy to make and you can substitute anything you want in them. Not a fan of shrimp? Use chopped cooked chicken or chopped cooked pork. These are great for getting rid of leftovers in the refrigerator! Just make them into an egg roll!

I doubled the original recipe (it was an accident actually so I made it work) therefore, this makes a lot of filling. I got about 20 egg rolls out of it. No leftovers!

INGREDIENTS:

1 bag coleslaw mix (12-16 oz.)

8 oz. cooked and chopped shrimp

1 can sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped

½ cup bean sprouts, chopped

4 scallions, chopped (green and white parts)

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced widthwise

3-4 tablespoons reduced-sodium or lite soy sauce

2 teaspoons crushed garlic (I used 4 cloves)

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon salt

Several dashes black pepper

sesame seeds, optional

20 large square egg roll/wonton wrappers

Sauces for dipping

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  2. Put slaw mix into a large microwave-safe bowl with 4 tablespoons of water. Cover and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Drain any excess water. Add the rest of the ingredients (except for the wrappers of course). Mix well and set aside. You can set it in the fridge to marinate for about 20 minutes for a better flavor.
  3. Using a large baking sheet spray lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  4. Using a clean, dry surface place a wonton wrapper. Evenly distribute about ½ cup of the mixture onto the wrapper, just below center, in a row.
  5. Moisten all four edges of the wrapper by dabbing your fingers in water and running them around the edges smoothly. This will help the wrappers stick better.
  6. Fold the sides of the wrapper about 3/4 inch towards the center. This keeps the mixture from falling out of the sides. Next, roll the bottom of each wrapper up around the mixture and continue rolling until you reach the top. Seal the outside edge with another dab of water. Go slow at first till you get the hang of it. It’s actually pretty easy.
  7. Carefully transfer to prepared baking sheet. Repeat until you have made enough rolls. Keep the surface you are working on, dry and clean.
  8. Spray the tops of the egg rolls with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if you wish.
  9. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. I baked for 30 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and serve!

Be very careful as they will be extremely HOT! We cut them in half to let steam out before eating. I also made my own sauce using Mikoto ginger dressing and some soy sauce. Delish! Enjoy!

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Fun With Couscous!

Yes I said “fun with couscous”. Recently I discovered Israeli Couscous or Pearl Couscous. I had seen it in a recipe some time ago and had a hard time locating it so I gave up. Then I was in my favorite Italian grocery and came across it. It was also a BOGO so I bought it! Of course by now I couldn’t remember or find the recipe I originally wanted it for! But it didn’t matter, I was all about finding a new recipe or recipes. For those of you who say you don’t like couscous, this is a great variety to try. It’s much larger than normal couscous and had a wonderful silky texture. It’s not grainy like the regular variety.

First time I made it I served it cold! I had some leftover tomatoes and cucumbers and made a Mediterranean style cold salad with it. It was a huge hit! I served it at a barbecue at my house and people were asking for 2nd and 3rd helpings! So of course I’ve made it several times since!

Not to get into a rut with my new-found side dish I decided to make a hot side dish last week. This time it came out like a creamy cheesy risotto! OMG it was incredible! And it only took about 10 minutes to make! Did I mention this couscous only takes 8-10 minutes! No constant stirring, no long drawn out process, just a quick and easy side dish that you can add ANYTHING to. I’ve even added it to a soup instead of noodles! I am all about the couscous these days!!

It’s possibilities are endless! So today I am going to include both my cold recipe and my hot risotto style recipe. Enjoy and go buy some couscous!

Recipe #1:

Mediterranean Couscous Salad

1 cup uncooked Israeli/Pearl couscous

1 ¼ cup liquid (water, chicken broth, veggie broth, etc)

Chopped tomato, about ¼ cup(remove seeds and insides, gets too watery)

Chopped cucumber, about ½ cup

1 cloves garlic, minced (or you can use garlic powder)

¼ cup finely chopped red onion

t teaspoon dill (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:

1: Boil liquid and add couscous. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes. Watch it carefully so it doesn’t overflow. Stir occasionally.

2. When the liquid is all gone, drain and rinse well under cold water.

3. Add rest of ingredients, mix well and add a little olive oil (1-2 tablespoons). Mix again and chill.

4. When ready to serve place in serving bowl and drizzle a little more EVOO over the top and mix.

Makes 2-4 servings

Recipe #2

Couscous Risotto

*This recipe I used what I had leftover in the fridge to add to the couscous. I had made broccoli rabe the night before so I chopped it up and used that. You can also add chopped mushrooms or anything else you wish. Even change the cooking crème variety. Make it yours!

1 cup uncooked Israeli/Pearl couscous

1¼ cup liquid (water, broth, etc.)

leftover veggies, chopped well

Few tablespoons Savory Lemon & Herbs Cooking Creme (Philadelphia brand)

¼-½ grated parmesan cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Boil liquid and add couscous. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

2. When liquid is gone, keep heat on low and add the veggies, cooking crème and parmesan cheese. Stir well till heated through.

3. Serve immediately.

Makes 2-4 servings

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Asian Style Quinoa

Once again I am looking for things to add to my yummy quinoa dishes. That is one of the great things about quinoa. It’s so versatile! Love it!! Anyway, I was making my Asian style pork chops for dinner and decided to have quinoa with it. So I came up with this quick and easy dish to go with it. This recipe used the plain white quinoa, only because I was out of the colorful ones. Use whichever you wish. I’m finding more and more recipes with quinoa and it’s getting easier to find in the regular supermarket which is fantastic! I still like to get mine from Whole Foods (when I take the trek there) because I can get it in bulk. Much better for me. Just look for it in your local grocery store with the rice and you’ll be happy you did!

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained

2 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth (gives it a better flavor)

3 scallions sliced, green and white parts

4-5 cloves garlic minced

1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (it really does make a difference)

1 tablespoon soy sauce*

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place the chicken broth and quinoa in a medium pot.

2. Bring the broth to a boil, lower to simmer, covered. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until all liquid is absorbed.

3. When quinoa is done keep stove on low but add in the garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Mix well. Add the scallions and serve.

*If you want more soy sauce just add it. This is a conservative amount but feel free to add more.

Makes about 4 servings

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Best Garlic Smashed Cauliflower, Ever!

So I have been totally slacking in my blogging duties. I apologize. I have many recipes to add and I’m going to start with this one. I love mashed potatoes. My favorite veggie of all time. But what I don’t love is the calories that go with it. For a while I have seen a few recipes from different sources that combine a potato and cauliflower. I know I’ve posted a recipe for my smashed cauliflower before but this one blows it away! I’m not kidding. The majority of the recipe is cauliflower which is low-calorie and good for you. But you will swear there is no cauliflower in this when you taste it. OMG! Oh and it has a bunch of garlic in it too! I made this last night as a side for our pork chops. I was so excited that I forgot to take a picture of it before we demolished it. The recipe makes 4 servings and the picture I have here is what was left. Needless to say I will most definitely be making this again, soon! One of the recipes I found used buttermilk but I didn’t have any so I used fat-free half-and-half. You can definitely use buttermilk or regular half-and-half, whatever you wish. But the great thing about this is that there is about 100 calories per serving! I know! So without further ado here is the recipe I came up with.

(See I told you there wasn’t much left!)

INGREDIENTS:

1 large potato, peeled and cut into small cubes

4 cups cauliflower florets, washed (a small head is probably fine)

¼ cup milk of your choice (buttermilk, half-and-half, regular milk…)

2 tablespoons butter substitute (I use I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter, light)

 6 cloves garlic, peeled

salt and pepper to taste (I did find that it does need salt so you may even want to add some to the water)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the cauliflower, potato and garlic into a pot large enough to hold it all. Cover with water and bring to a boil.
  2. When it boils, lower the heat to a simmer and continue cooking for about 15-20 minutes. Making sure the cauliflower is very tender and soft.
  3. Drain and return to pot. Add the milk and butter. 
  4. Using a hand mixer or potato masher, mash till smooth! Add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve and be ready to be amazed! Makes 4 servings or 2 very large ones! 

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Broccoli Slaw with a Twist

Here it is another July 4th and of course most people will be having the usual mayo-laden salads. Don’t get me wrong, I love those salads. If I could eat potato salad every day I would! But I have to be more conscious of things these days if I want to lose any weight. So I came up with this light and crunchy slaw. The twist in this slaw is jicama. I know many of you do know what jicama is but I’m sure there are many who don’t. Let alone know how to pronounce it! The ‘j’ is pronounced like an ‘h’. But no matter how you say it you may be pleasantly surprised by it. Jicama is sometimes called a Mexican turnip. It’s composed mostly of water so it’s also very low in calories! Bonus!! The taste is hard to describe. It’s crunchy with the texture of a potato or apple but sort of sweet and sort of earthy. Usually it’s found in salads. You can also fry it up like french fries! For this recipe I shredded it but you can also julienne it. It’s great with dip too. They are usually the size of a large grapefruit and can weigh a couple of pounds. Just peel the outside skin and slice it up! Try it!!

Well I made this originally for a side to go with our rib dinner this weekend. I made it the night before which is advised so that the flavors can blend. It’s not a heavy mayo slaw either. I brought it over to a friend’s house tonight because we did have leftovers. This recipe makes quite a bit so share it! And I have to say even though my husband and I loved it we knew it was a hit when our friend Brad loved it! Then again, there isn’t much food that Brad doesn’t like! But really, he gave his thumbs up approval so we know we have a hit! Thanks Brad!

I know there are many recipes out there that use jicama in a broccoli slaw but mine also has a slight Italian flavor to it. I used the new Breakstone’s Zesty Blends sour cream. They come in three flavors and I used the Roasted Garlic and Herb. Delicious! It’s great as a dip just as it is too! Great for dipping that extra jicama in!

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup light mayonnaise

½ cup Breakstone’s Zesty Blends “Roasted Garlic and Herb”

1 package broccoli slaw

2 large scallions chopped

½ of a large jicama, peeled, shredded or julienned

2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

1. Mix mayonnaise, sour cream, scallions and vinegar in a large bowl. Add the slaw and jicama and mix well.

This is best if it is made the night before or several hours before using.

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