Posts Tagged ‘recipe fridays’

Recipe Fridays: Lentils & Brown Rice with Sautéed Onions

If you like Middle Eastern cuisine, this is your evening recipe.  If you do not know how to cook, today’s recipe is probably not the best one to start out with; but it is reasonably fast and simple, and of course– delicious!

The glycemic load…

Since you already read yesterday’s post about the difference between glycemic index and glycemic load, you know that although this dish has a high GI, it has a relatively medium GL for one serving.  That is because there is a good amount of fiber (9 g) in this dish (women need 25 g per day; men need 38 g per day) and a healthy amount of good fat (the unsaturated kind) at 23 g.  Fat slows the gastric emptying time, and therefore the speed at which the carbohydrate from the food is absorbed into the bloodstream.

The filling factor

On a scale of 1-10, 10 being Thanksgiving-day-stuffed-like-a-turkey full, this is a good 7-8 depending upon your appetite and size.


Recipe Fridays: The Oat-Egg Pancake

The “Oat-Egg Pancake” (a Marissa-original) is delicious, healthy (and easy) for breakfast.  Make it on the stove, in the microwave or as a frittata in the oven.  Freeze for later, grab it, and go!
In the beginning…
My mother discovered the oat-egg recipe when I was in high school and too cool to eat Aunt Jemima pancakes.  I marveled at how an instant package of Quaker oatmeal mixed with egg whites could produce a bubbling pancake-like texture in the skillet.  To this day, my family still enjoys the oat-egg pancake creation — and we use all sorts of fun ingredients nowadays.
The myriad flavors

Banana-bread: for a banana-bread flavor, this is pretty easy and fun to make.  Keep the base ingredients (oats and eggs) and mash up one ripe banana, crushed walnuts, 1 tsp vanilla, and cook on the stove-top with butter in the pan.

Chocolate chip: just because it’s healthy does not mean it can’t taste great.  Those with nostalgia for chocolate-chip pancakes should add mini dark-chocolate chips to the mixture.  It melts nicely.

Cinnamon-raisin: if you are a fan of oatmeal raisin cookies (yes, you know you are), this pancake flavor might be your favorite.  To the base, add in a half tbsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp vanilla, a handful of raisins, and a dash of brown sugar.

Pumpkin-pie: in the Thanksgiving mood, add in some pumpkin seeds, a 1/4 cup of pumpkin from the can, a dash of brown sugar and 1 tsp vanilla.

Fruity Flaves: going for that fruity taste — dried fruits are insanely tasty.  Add in dried cranberries, apricots, dried blueberries and any fresh fruit you can find (fresh blueberries and blackberries work well but turn the pancake dark so be prepared).  Honey and salt garnish add a sweet and savory boost.

Say! I like oat-egg pancakes!

And I would eat them in the microwave, on the stove, in the oven and out of the freezer!  Now how does that work?

Stove-stop: see the graphic for directions.

Microwave: cook the mixture on high for one minute in a microwave-safe bowl.  Remove from the microwave and mix the mixture to redistribute the uncooked egg parts.  Place back into the microwave for another minute.  Serve.

Oven: if you have ever cooked a frittata, this is what the product should resemble.  Preheat oven to 350F.  While that heats up, start cooking your oat-egg pancake over low-medium heat on the stove for a few minutes.  Place the skillet in the preheated oven, bake for 20 minutes, (or when browned and frittata-puffed). Flip onto a serving plate, cut into wedges.  Serve.

Frozen: You cannot eat a frozen pancake or you will crack your teeth.  But you can prep it in advance, wrap in tin foil and store in the freezer for a week or so.  When you are ready to eat it, defrost the night before.

Nutrition Facts

This hearty breakfast serves over a third of the daily fiber needs for men and over a half for women.  The protein is ample (more than one serving’s worth: >8g) for a filling breakfast.  The calories are adequate for a training male or female (the pancake can be broken into parts to eat in two sittings, if it feels like too much).

Item Nutrition Facts
1 whole egg, 2 egg whites 112 kcal, 5.5g fat, 212mg cholesterol, 1g carbs, 0g fiber, 13.5g protein
¾ cup 110 kcal, 1.8g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 19g carbs, 3g fiber, 5g protein
2 tbsp flaxseed meal 80 kcal, 6g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 4g carbs, 4g fiber, 3g protein
3 tbsp wheat germ 60 kcal, 1.5g fat, 0 cholesterol, 7g carbs, 2g fiber, 4g protein
½  tbsp honey 32 kcal, 0g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 8.7g cho, 0g fiber, 0g protein
½ cup strawberry halves 24 kcal, .2g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 5.9g carbs, 1.5g fiber, 0.5g protein
TOTAL 418 kcal, 15g fat, 212mg cholesterol, 45.6g carbs, 10.5g fiber, 26g protein


Recipe Fridays: Black Bean Soup

If weekday cooking is tough… Try something new.  This weekend, prep a hearty meal and freeze to eat during the week (takes a total of 15 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook).

(Recipe depicted in graphic above)

Nutrition rating

How does this meal fair on the health-meter?

Nutrition information: without the bacon, black bean soup is less than 200 calories per serving and a good amount of fiber at 6 grams (1 cup).  For a hearty dinner, increase serving size to two cups for the following: 253 calories, 6 grams fat, 36 grams carbs, 12 grams fiber, 13 grams protein.  Two medium strips of bacon adds extra calories, fat and protein: 92 calories, 7 grams fat, .2 grams carbs, 0 grams fiber, 6 grams protein.

Applicability: as a dinner, this meal works best when made in bulk and eaten in portions/stored for later.

Taste: on a scale from 1-10, this meal is a true 7.5.  It is a real tasty way to consume fiber, vitamins and minerals for a small amount of calories.  For garnish, 1 tablespoon of sour cream and 1 tablespoon of grated cheese adds lots of flavor for little.

For maximum speed

Whenever you freeze something, it is easiest to unfreeze when prepared in small portions.  If you want to eat 2 cups of your soup, measure and freeze in that quantity.  For maximum speed, buy a container that is already that size.  This way, you don’t need to worry about defrosting the entire pot.

Food safety freezing tips

Soups can be frozen for 2-3 months.  Make sure to label your frozen container with a “use by” date.  Brush up on your freezing know-how by visiting the USDA’s safe food handling fact sheet.

Recipe Fridays: McCoy’s BBQ Chicken

Kevin McCoy and his MV21 team (Greg, Tom, Arielle and Geoff) cooked up a mighty meal during this year’s off-site trip.  His BBQ Chicken dish has still been getting rave reviews, and the recipe is rapidly making its way to each office.  Says McCoy, “I love this chicken– even though it is boneless, it has great flavour and does not fry out when you BBQ it.”

Put on your apron, because here it is:

McCoy’s BBQ Chicken

Kevin discovered this savory BBQ recipe from the Food Network, adding a few ideas of his own.  “I think the key was the brining (not more than 2 hours),” he says.  Brining is a lot like marination in that the entire meat is submerged for at least 12 hours (in brine) before cooking.  Brine is a combination of water and salt, and can sometimes have sugar, herbs and spices.  McCoy’s brine was composed of water, salt, maple syrup (substituted for brown sugar), garlic, and thyme.

Kevin’s Additions to Recipe (offered last)

To the Food Network recipe, Kevin made three additional tweaks:

“(1)    Added extra bacon fat (this was a target of opportunity — had left over from the bacon we used for the scallops)

(2)    Did not use fresh thyme (could not find, so I used two tablespoons of dried)

(3)    Cooked the entire time on the grill at medium heat (started very hot, then turned down).  Used the Shalav method of turning chicken often.”

The Recipe (taken directly from the Food Network)

This recipe serves 6 and (without the brine, see above) has a cook and prep time of 3 hours 20 minutes.



  • 2 quarts water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed with the side of a large knife
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 chicken and thighs, still connected, bone in, skin on, about 10 ounces each

The Ultimate Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1 slice bacon
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika or smoked paprika if available
  • Freshly ground black pepper


For the brine, in a mixing bowl combine the water, salt, sugar, garlic, and thyme. Transfer the brine to a 2-gallon sized re-sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken, close the bag and refrigerate 2 hours (if you’ve only got 15 minutes, that’s fine) to allow the salt and seasonings to penetrate the chicken.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. Wrap the bacon around the bunch of thyme and tie with kitchen twine so you have a nice bundle. Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the thyme and cook slowly 3 to 4 minutes to render the bacon fat and give the sauce a nice smoky taste. Add the onion and garlic and cook slowly without coloring for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, give the sauce a stir, and turn the heat down to low. Cook slowly for 20 minutes to meld the flavors. Once the sauce is done cooking, remove about 1 1/2 cups of the sauce and reserve for serving along side the chicken at the table. The rest of the barbecue sauce will be used for basing the legs.

Preheat oven 375 degrees F.

Preheat a grill pan or an outdoor gas or charcoal barbecue to a medium heat. Take a few paper towels and fold them several times to make a thick square. Blot a small amount of oil on the paper towel and carefully and quickly wipe the hot grates of the grill to make a nonstick surface. Take the chicken out of the brine, pat it dry on paper towels. Arrange the chicken pieces on the preheated grill and cook, turn once mid-way, and cook for a total of 10 minutes. Transfer the grill marked chicken to a cookie sheet and then place in the oven. Cook the chicken for 15 minutes, remove it from the oven and then brush liberally, coating every inch of the legs with the barbecue sauce and then return to the oven for 25 to 30 more minutes, basting the chicken for a second time half way through remaining cooking time. Serve with extra sauce.

Recipe Fridays: Sautéing Junkies

This week I did not cook all that much, but as mentioned, I will periodically provide you with recipes that target one of three areas: evening time (fast and simple meals), weekends (try something new), or breakfasts (supercharge your day).  All recipes share one similar feature: they are simply delicious!

This weekend: Chop veggies, sauté, then refrigerate

This week I give you a sautéing recipe that you can store for a few days in the fridge or up to a month in the freezer– this way, prepping meals during the week can take even less time.