Thursday, June 28, 2012

Glazed Turnips

I think turnips are probably one of the most underrated vegetables out there... which is such a pity, they're so full of flavor and make a wonderful side-dish. I remember my Grandma Letha making turnips when I was a kid, sometime boiled, sometimes fried and sometimes mashed. I'm always surprised to meet people who have never tried turnips. In you or somebody you know has never had them, try this wonderful recipe I found at - it's a Weight Watchers recipe, but DON'T judge a book by it cover - they're good & healthy!!

Glazed Turnips


  • 1lb fresh turnips
  • 2 tbsp low calorie butter (I used Brummel & Brown)
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp fat free vegetable broth


  1. Peel turnips, remove stem, and slice thickly
  2. Simmer them in salted water for about 10 minutes. They should be just tender when you take them out of the water.
  3. Drain them very well. Heat some butter in a skillet and brown the turnips in it.
  4. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and brown sugar, turning the turnips around to get colored. Add stock as needed to make a thin glaze. Taste to adjust seasonings.
  5. Chop parsley or celery leaves and sprinkle over turnips. Serve hot.
Preparation time: 5 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spicy Turkey Enchiladas

I've been cooking more with ground turkey lately... but not just because less fat than ground beef, but because I actually think it tastes better. Going through my cookbooks I found this delicious recipe for turkey enchiladas (sometimes I just have these crazy cravings for enchiladas) in a helpful little book called The $7 a meal Cookbook by Linda Larsen. I'm all about trying to save money while cooking and this book is great! Anyway - back to the enchiladas... they're wonderful and easy to make. If you don't like them spicy, but omit the cayenne pepper and green chilies - you can replace the chilies with 1 can of sweet corn.

Note - Look for ground turkey, dark and light. This type has more flavor and is much less expensive than ground turkey breast.

Spicy Turkey Enchiladas


8 ounces ground turkey
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 (4 ounce) can diced green chilies, undrained
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese or Mexican blended cheese
8 flour tortillas
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Sour cream to garnish


1. In a large skillet, cook turkey until browned; remove from skillet with slotted spoon, place in medium bowl, and refrigerate. Drain skillet but do not wash or wipe.

2. In same skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with flour, salt and pepper; cook and stir until bubbly.

3. Add chicken broth; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture thickens. Add chilies, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and chili powder; simmer for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of this sauce to the cooked ground turkey; stir in pepper jack cheese and half of the Parmesan cheese.

4. Preheat over to the 350 degrees. Dip tortillas into the sauce, then place a few spoonfuls of the turkey mixture on each tortilla and roll up. Place, seam side down, in 13" x 9" glass baking dish and cover with remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until sauce begins to bubble. Serve immediately with a dollop of sour cream!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lentils with Chorizo

Chorizo is a Spanish/Portuguese pork sausage full of flavor. My grandmother, who is full-blooded Portuguese and a wonderful cook, would often use this type of sausage in bean dishes. This Spanish lentils recipe is fantastic for a last minute meal and the ingredients are simple. If you can open a can, you can make this. Enjoy!

Lentils with Chorizo


28 oz canned lentils
20 slices of chorizo
14 oz canned fire-roasted tomatos
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt & pepper


1. In pot the heat olive oil. Add onions and chorizo and saute until the meat is not longer pink.

2. Add canned lentils and tomatoes. Stir. Add red wine vingear and salt & pepper to taste.  Stir.

3. Let simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Garnish with parsley and serve!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Cooking Tip #30

Ok... I know this isn't necessarily a "cooking tip"... but it's an eating tip and I think it has a good point.

"Make sure that vegetables are the first things you eat at lunch or dinner. You'll fill up with fewer calories and less fat. Clean that part of your plate first or, if you're at a restaurant, ask for a leafy green salad before getting your entree. "

 - Andrea Giancoli, registered dietitian and the spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics  

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chicken Asparagus Roll-Ups

Now this recipe is a real treat, folks! My mother used to make a similar dish when I was growing up... and it was always one of my favorites. I found this recipe on It was given 4.5 out of 5 stars from people who have prepared it... and I can understand why! My only recommendation would be - take your time. Be patient. If you go slow and steady, the recipe is not rocket science. I used mozzarella instead of provolone cheese, which worked out great. I also used toothpicks to help keep the chicken rolled up nicely... especially when your adding and rolling in the breadcumbs.

Chicken Asparagus Roll-Ups


1/2 cup of mayonnaise
3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced and zested
2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
16 spears of asparagus, trimmed
4 chicken breasts, skinless
4 slices provolone cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs


1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F (245 degrees C). Grease a baking dish. In a bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, lemon zest, tarragon, salt, and pepper until the mixture is well combined. Set aside. 

2. Cook asparagus in the microwave on High until bright green and just tender, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Set the asparagus spears aside. Place a chicken breast between two sheets of heavy plastic (resealable freezer bags work well) on a solid, level surface. Firmly pound the chicken breast with the smooth side of a meat mallet to a thickness of about 1/4 inch. Repeat with the rest of the chicken breasts. 

3. Place 1 slice of provolone on each chicken breast, and top the cheese with 4 asparagus spears per breast. Roll the chicken breasts around the asparagus and cheese, making a tidy package, and place, seam sides down, in the prepared baking dish. With a pastry brush, apply a coating of the mayonnaise mixture to each chicken breast, and sprinkle each with panko crumbs, pressing the crumbs into the chicken to make a coating. 

4. Bake in the preheated oven until the crumbs are browned and the chicken juices run clear, about 25 minutes.

Cooking Tip #29

" When a recipe calls for zest, instead of grating it into a separate container or onto parchment paper, hold the zester over the mixing bowl and zest directly onto the butter or cream. The aromatic citrus oils that are sprayed into the bowl will give the dessert a zesty finish." - Pichet Ong, Spot Dessert Bar, NYC.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pan-Seared Pork Chops

I originally discovered this recipe by Chef Gerry Garvin last year for pan-seared turkey chops... but I decided to use, "the other white meat" and tried pork chops. This is one of those easy dishes you can make without any trouble, but taste good enough to convince people that you've slaved in the kitchen all day preparing. Soul Food Seasoning is sold in most grocery stores... it's a bit like regular seasoned salt but with just a hint of spiciness to it... and, of course, full of "soul" too! ;-)

Pan-Seared Pork Chops with a White Wine Sauce


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 or 4 medium sized, boneless pork chops
Soul Food Seasoning
1 cup white wine
1 tablespoons butter
Black Pepper


1. In a large saute pan heat olive oil over medium heat.

2. Rinse pork chops. Season with Soul Food Seasoning and ground black pepper, making sure to pat seasoning into the meat to seal in flavor.

3. Sear chops in pan for 9-12 minutes per side or until golden brown. Remove chops from pan; lay on a paper towels to soak up excess oil.

4. Add white wine to remaining juices in the pan, stirring to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring sauces to a slight simmer for 3 to 5 minutes; whisk in butter to finish.

5. Place chops on a serving plate and drizzle sauce over the chops.