Posts Tagged ‘The Food You Crave’

This weeks recipe for CEimB was picked by Liz of The Not So Skinny Kitchen.  If you visit her blog, don’t go there hungry. Her posts will make you drool. 

As indicated in the post title, we all made this recipe using a delicious fish, Halibut.  It is mild in taste, flaky, yet firm and moist when cooked correctly.  It is also on my list of fish that should only be eaten 6 or less times a month due to their “moderate” mercury content.  Halibut is an expensive fish so I can’t imagine indulging too often anyway.  An interesting fact about this fish is that it is on a “sustainability” list and almost all the Halibut we purchase on the East coast is brought in from the Pacific. 


Ted and Teddy's version with brown rice

This recipe can be found on page 232 of “The Food You Crave” by Ellie Krieger.  You can also get it off the foodnetwork.   Our opinion of this recipe, and we had 3 taste testers, Ted, Teddy, and yours truly were very much the same:  the fish was moist and delicious but the flavor was lacking. I must have missed something because this is my sister’s comment “Here’s the halibut dinner for this week, we loved it.  Sue”  Her photo is at the end of the blog.

Super moist
Super moist

My recommendation if doing this again is at the bottom of this post.  But…here’s my story.

First, let me introduce you to my “gadget” of the night. I found this at the back of my cupboard when making the Spring Rolls the other day. It’s amazing what I can find in the back of my cupboards. It’s similar to finding that $50.00 bill you hide in your wallet “just in case”…you know..the one you put there about 10 years ago?!?  This gadget, actually it’s a tool rather than a gadget, comes with a wooden cutting board that has an indented surface. You put the herb in the middle and simply rock the super sharp blades back and forth. Easy chopping.


Ingredient changes…. I didn’t use canola oil, I used olive oil. I didn’t have the shallot so I used 1/2 an onion. No cilantro, only fresh flat leaf parsley. 

Time changes.  The only time difference was with the fish. The Halibut were 2 very large fillets and I had to let them cook 12 minutes.

My fish tales….When in South Carolina last week, I went to my favorite fresh fish store, Murrell’s Inlet Seafood. I was told it was no problem shipping to NY and the fish would certainly keep for months since it was fresh and NOT previously frozen.  Apparently you can freeze fish and defrost ONLY ONE TIME. Do not freeze, defrost and refreeze.  No good. So in this event, I believed the fish person and was going to order a whooping 4 lbs of Halibut. But the guy on the phone pooh-poohed me and was ready to hang up saying “it’ll cost more to ship”.  I could tell by the tone of his voice he thought “silly woman. wasting my time”.  Since his tone kind of annoyed me (not the word I would like to use but to be courteous…) I ordered several pounds of different fish, 4 lbs of which were Halibut.  It arrived today and was packaged perfectly. I used 2 fillets for our dinner, Susan wanted one, so I am left will one fillet of Halibut along with the rest of the “catch” tucked away in my freezer. 

Why I was not thrilled with this recipeFirst, I didn’t enjoy the spinach. It needed “something”.  Next time, I would saute the spinach with a little garlic, salt and pepper. But I was curious how such a simple method, using the microwave to cook spinach would prove out.  Second, the sauce didn’t have that sweetness I so enjoy with my curry. Typically, raisins are added to my curry dishes and I REALLY wish I had included them tonight. There wasn’t enough flavor imparted into the fish.  Luckily the natural flavor of the fish carried this dish home.


Joanne's dish - no rice

Thanks to Liz of The Not So Skinny Kitchen for picking this recipe because it gave us a chance to enjoy a lovely piece of Halibut and also, now I have 20 lbs of fish in my freezer that I can’t wait to use.  Rainbowlike fish:10702Was I a sucker or what?!


Sue's Version of this weeks CEimB

Sue's Version of this weeks CEimB

Reminder:  Check out the Give Away for some Bob’s Red Mill GF Products.

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I changed the name. GUILTY!  This weeks CEimB is cooking up “Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach and Couscous”.  I chose Quinoa instead of the couscous 1. because I had Quinoa and, 2. we are not couscous fans.

From the Food You Crave, Page 205

From the Food You Crave, Page 205

It was picked by Marthe at Culinary Delights.  Make sure to visit her site and get the REAL recipe. 

As for the Quinoa, lets first get the pronunciation right…say “Keen-Wa”.   That’s right.  I was saying “QwinOA” for the longest time. 

The Incas refer to Quinoa as the mother grain.  It contains more high quality protein than any other grain.  It stands alone as a complete protein grain.  It contains no gluten.  It is easy to digest. The flavor is light and nutty and is easy to prepare. 

Cooked Quinoa

Cooked Quinoa

Ingredients for the Apple Crumbles version of tonights Balsamic Chicken (and Quorn) with Baby Spinach and Quinoa

  • 3 TBS Olive oil
  • 3 Boneless chicken breasts (Joanne used 2 Quorn Cutlets)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 8 oz Baby Spinach
  • 2 TBS Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Veggie Broth
  • 3 Chopped Vine Ripe tomatoes
  • 2 TBS Tomato Paste (added this)
  • 1 cup uncooked Quinoa

To cook the Quinoa:  Place 1 cup dry in 2 cups water in a 1 1/2  qt.saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce to simmer, cover and cook until water is absorbed (about 15 min).  The red color becomes translucent. The germ ring will be visible along the outside edge of the grain.

I followed the rest of the recipe from “The Food You Crave”, page 205 for both Ted’s chicken version and Joanne’s “Quorn” version.  I did add 1 TBS to each version of tomato paste.

Ted's Balsamic Chicken with Baby spinach

Ted's Balsamic Chicken with Baby spinach



The meatless version using Quorn

The meatless version using Quorn

The results:

Ted thought the chicken had very little flavor.  The flavor of the sauce carried this dish.  It was vibrant and bursting with flavor from the sweet “kick” of balsamic coupled with the tomatoes. 

More flavor could be added to the chicken by cooking it about 3 minutes per side then adding it back to the sauce for 5 minutes, at a simmer.  It would absorb the flavors as it finished cooking.

We still thought this was an enjoyable meal so a round of applause is offered to Marthe. Clapping cat:9293    Good pick!

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Make the popcorn, grab the Milk Duds, sit back and prepare to enjoy this weeks episode of “Craving Ellie“. We have to congratulate Pam of Lobster and Fishsticks for a wonderful choice.  The recipe is from “The Food You Crave” by Ellie Krieger and can be found on page 227. Be sure to go to Lobster and Fishsticks  for more details.


Salmon is a healthy meal choice.  It is high in protein, rich in Omega-3’s (the healthy fats), and filled with Vitamin D, B-12 and a host of other nutrients.  There are endless recipes for salmon and if you have a good quality piece of fish, it is hard to go wrong.   

This recipe was very easy, quick, and tasty.  It finishes like candy.  I bet Pamela’s boys (Cookies with Boys) even liked it (check out Pamela’s post to find out).  One tip when cooking fish for the fish finicky:  make sure all the bones are out of there!  If those finicky fish eaters get a bone between their lips… game over! 



  • 2 TBS brown sugar (recipe called for light, we only had dark)
  • 1 TBS chili powder (Ted wasn’t looking so I put the whole TBS in 😉 )
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • Salmon Fillets (we had  1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1 TBS olive oil

The meal was cook according to the book.  Ted prefers his fish JUST cooked and I like mine a little more done. Tonight’s fish was grilled, stove top for 6 minutes per side (Joanne’s piece was left on the hot grill for an extra couple of minutes while fooling around with pictures which achieved the perfect degree of  “doneness”).  We had 2 very thick fillets.  Tip:  When choosing the salmon, opt for the thick center cuts.  Make sure it is an even thickness throughout. 


On the side of this great dish, we had Broccolini with Lemon Glaze.

One more time… Thanks to Pam of Lobster and Fishsticks for a great weekday meal.

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It was my recipe pick this Thursday for cooking with my CEimB friends.  We use  Ellie Krieger’s book: “The Food You Crave. Luscious Recipes for a Healthy Life”.  I sincerely hope everyone enjoyed this recipe for taste as well as for ease of preparation.


This week’s recipe was Sesame Stir-Fried Chinese Greens on page 258 and, as quoted from the book “…. mild yet flavorful, tender yet nicely crisp.  The distinctively rich toasted sesame oil and a finishing sprinkle of sesame seeds give it a luxurious touch.”


I chose this recipe for a couple of reasons:  1.  Most of us had sesame seeds, low-sodium soy sauce and rice wine vinegar on hand from a recipe we all did a couple of weeks ago (see “Sesame-Teriyaki Chicken Thighs“) and 2. It’s a side dish and I was curious as to what everyone’s main dish would be to pair this with (nosey me!).

This is the recipe as written in the book:

  • 1 TBS sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • 2 lbs bok choy or napa cabbage, cut across into 1″ wide strips
  • 2 TBS low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 TBS rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil

Toast the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over med-hi heat until golden, about 2 min, stirring frequently.  Set aside.  In a wok or lg. skillet, heat oil over hi heat until very hot but not smoking. Add bok choy or cabbage and stir-fry until it begins to soften slightly, 1 – 2 min.  Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and cook until just done, 1-2 min. longer. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately.

My ingredients for tonights dish:

...and the all star cast is.....

...and the all star cast is.....

The only change to ingredients I made was the low sodium soy sauce – which I DID NOT have on hand.  I used what I DID have which was “Shoyu Soy Sauce”.  This is a very salty soy sauce. …”traditionally brewedIf you suffer from wheat intolerance, this is not for you. It contains Water, Whole Soybeans, Whole Wheat, Sea Salt, Koji.


Just what is Koji?
Koji is steamed rice that has had koji-kin, or koji mold spores, cultivated onto it. … This magical mold, for which the official scientific name is Aspergillus Oryzae, creates several enzymes as it propagates, and these are what break  the starches in rice into sugars that can  be fermented by the yeast cells, which then give off carbon dioxide and alcohol. Without koji, there is no sake. For what it is worth, sake is not the  only beverage in the world using koji. There are a couple of others throughout Asia. But the brewing methodologies are vastly different.

The recipe was so incredibly easy it shouldn’t have tasted as good as it did.  The only draw back, depending on what your main course was, would be that it had to be served immediately.  Not sure what holding it on warm would have done to it? 

My main dish was grilled tuna (very simple: let 2 tuna steaks sit in lemon for 10 – 15 min., rub with 2-3 drops sesame oil -both sides, salt and pepper – both sides and cook on in door grill -high heat 2-3 min/side)…which I finished before starting the Bok Choy. 

The dinner was a complete success.  Another point scored to Ellie Krieger!  Thanks eveyone who cooked along! Hope you enjoyed.


Sesame Stir-Fried Chinese Greens with Grilled Tuna Steak

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Dinner with CEimB

The ingredients

The ingredients

Tonight was my first time following along with CEimB. It was fun because I pulled Ted in to help since he is the meat eater.  He couldn’t wait…so excited for REAL meat! You see I always try to sneak my vegetarian meat substitutes past him. Never works. 😦     If you don’t want to read the entire procedure, the review for this recipe, from Ted of course because he ate the meat, was “very good“. From my point of view, it was an easy recipe to prepare.  

For my part in this recipe, I substituted Tempeh for the beef.  I’m sure there was a better vegetarian sub out there, but I think I used up all my imagination efforts on an up coming cake order.  Anyway.. job at hand….our preparation went something like this:

  • Began the sauce at 5 PM.  Dinner was on the table by 6:15 PM.
  • The ingredient substitutions were Vegetable Broth for Beef Broth and most of the wine. I only had about 1/2 cup of Red Wine available. As you can see, I used pre-minced garlic (time saver).
  • Chopped shallots, carrots, celery and cooked in my infused olive oil (sundried tomato + crushed garlic clove + dill).
  • The sauce took the exact time indicated in the recipe – 40 minutes. 
  • After the sauce was on, I pan seared my Tempeh, which I left as a whole 8 oz slab, 2 minutes per side (not 5 per side as we did for the beef) . Set it aside and got Ted to work with the beef. He seared it in the infused EVOO 5 min. per side and popped it in the oven with the temp. indicater stuck in.  It was only a 1lb piece so we needed to watch the temperature carefully. The meat cooked at 425. The Tempeh cooked at 400.
  • For the vegetable, I followed along with the picture and cooked green beans with sliced baby bellas. I added 2 TBS of the cooking sauce to the bottom of the vegetable baking dish. Added the beans and ‘shrooms. Added 4 more TBS of sauce on top, covered with foil and cooked at 400 in the same oven with the Tempeh.
  • Cooking time to a temperature (for the beef) of 140 degrees (med-rare) was about 25 minutes for 1lb. After the meat was done, we removed it, covered with foil while I finished the sauce with rosemary and cocoa.

The comments:  Ted:  “Mmmmm…. good.” “Is this the first time you cooked sauce like this?”  Joanne: “I don’t do sauce. So.. Yeah.”  Ted: “The sauce is lite so the flavor of the meat isn’t masked.”  Joanne: “I wish  I had had more Red Wine it would have given it more flavor also the beef broth may have made the sauce more robust in flavor“.  I don’t buy chicken or beef broth any more so that won’t happen in any recipe. But we usually do have more wine than I did tonight. What happened there?! Whose been nipping at the wine bottle?


Joanne's substitute for meat

The last comment of the night while cleaning up, which tells you something about any sauce I have tried was… Ted: “Hey! The sauce didn’t even stick to the pan!” 


Ted preparing the meat


The Tempeh with Rosemary and Chocolate

Tempeh with Rosemary and Chocolate


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