Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Black Bean and Corn Salad

I started an internship last week, like I've been mentioning. Besides just learning a ton about the law and the process, I also have to learn to pack a lunch. During the school year I live(d) right on campus and would be able to come home and make myself something yummy to eat and I would sit and watch something like Judge Judy or People's Court or something. Now things are different and I either eat at my desk, eat in the conference room, or sit outside and watch the rain and eat. Thing is, doing this is 40 minutes away from where I live, so there's no possibility of coming home for lunch. So... now I have to pack my lunches.

When I went home to San Francisco this week I made a point to go to Japantown and get a bento box. Obviously I'm not doing the whole "bento" thing, but I like how it portions your food and I like the separators so my fruit doesn't get covered in something else.

For lunch today I had a black bean and corn salad and some sliced apples, which I made last night and just grabbed this morning. Easy lunch! Healthy lunch! Flavorful lunch! OH and transformable lunch! Guess what's for lunch tomorrow? Empanadas stuffed with this salad!

I'm watching cholesterol now too, so that will be added into all my new nutrition counts.

ALSO, I am finally participating in a foodie.. thing. Souper Sunday hosted by Kahakai Kitchen features different soups, salads, and sandwiches submitted by all blog users. I definitely feel that this bean and corn salad definitely should be shared so people can eat it up! But, I can't take full credit for this delicious dish. I found this recipe on Clean Green Simple, a blog full of many good recipes!

Black Bean and Corn Salad

6 tbsp lime juice
2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp salt
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp chili pepper
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
1 avocado, peeled and cut into small cubes
20 cherry tomatoes, halved

1. In a small bowl whisk lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, cayenne, chili pepper, and cilantro.

2. Over medium heat, combine the beans and corn in a pot. Stir occasionally until heated through.

3. Gently mix in the tomatoes and avocado.

4. Pour the liquid over the vegetables. Toss. Put in a refrigerator until cool.

* serves 2

CALORIES: 488 calories
CHOLESTEROL: 0 milligrams
FAT: 22 grams
SODIUM: 1113 milligrams

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cajun Chicken Pasta

I have lost an exorbitant amount of weight using the website myfitnesspal. On the forums I run a weekly challenge, revolving around a certain food choice. The winner of the challenge chooses the next challenge.

This week the challenge was bell peppers. Sometimes I like them, sometimes I don't. This was one of the occasions where I really really did. It was also one of the occasions where the boyfriend who never likes bell peppers liked them.

I'm not really sure what made it different this time, but they definitely were cooked enough to weird me out and the flavor of the Cajun spice definitely complimented the peppers.

That being said - this dish was super high in sodium like wow.

Cajun Chicken Pasta

4 ounces pasta
4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast, diced
2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
2 tablespoons Brummel&Brown yogurt spread
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
4 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 green onion, chopped
1 cup 1% milk
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta. Drain and set aside.

2. Place the chicken and Cajun seasoning in a ziplock bag. Shake to cover.

3. In a large skillet sautee the chicken in the yogurt spread for about 5-7 minutes.

4. Add the peppers, mushrooms, and green onion. Saute 3 minutes. Reduce heat.

5. Add the cream, basil, lemon pepper, salt, garlic powder and ground black pepper. Heat through.

6. Add the cooked linguine, toss and heat through. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

* serves 2

CALORIES: 460 calories
CARBS: 63 grams
PROTEIN: 29 grams
SODIUM: 1383 milligrams

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Shrimp Shells + Sauteed Garlic Asparagus

Tonight's dinner was pretty simple, but pretty tasty. Upon cooking I came upon the harsh realization that my half-and-half had soured since I last checked (around Thursday). It was unfortunate because the sell by date on the carton says July and it's obviously not even June. But that is the way it goes. I replaced the half-and-half with milk, so I'm sure this sauce was supposed to be creamier. But honestly, I'm not even sure if I'd want it to be creamier. It was delicious.

The only thing that could have made this dish better would have been more shrimp. I stupidly weighed out my shrimp when it was still frozen and the frozen shrimp weighs more than the thawed shrimp due to all those ice crystals. Finding the shrimp in the pasta was like finding some delicious treasure (if treasure was delicious).

Thanks to allrecipes.com for the pasta recipe.

The asparagus is something I've made in the best and is super easy for a tasty green.

Shrimp Shells

12 oz shell noodles
4 slices bacon
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp fresh oregano
2 tbsp fresh basil
3 tomatoes, chopped
6 green onions, chopped
1 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 pound shelled and deveined shrimp
1/4 cup pine nuts

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and cook the pasta until al dente.

2. Place bacon in a skillet and cook until crispy. Place on a paper towel until cool. When cool, crumble.

3. With the leftover bacon grease, saute the garlic, oregano, and basil for a minute. Add the tomatoes and green onions and cook for 3 minutes. Add the bacon, milk, and cheeses until the cheese has melted.

4. Add the shrimp and cook until

* serves 6

Sauteed Garlic Asparagus

1/2 tbsp Brummel&Brown yogurt spread
9 asparagus stalks, trimmed and cut in half
1 clove garlic

1. Mince the garlic.

2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and asparagus. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.

* serves 2

Nutrition: Shrimp Shells
CALORIES: 491 calories
CARBS: 46 grams
PROTEIN: 33 grams
SODIUM: 415 milligrams

Nutrition: Sauteed Garlic Asparagus
CALORIES: 60 calories
CARBS: 4 grams
PROTEIN: 2 grams
SODIUM: 68 milligrams

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cantonese Chicken Bok Choy Stir Fry

Dinner tonight didn't look particularly pretty and for some reason it came out a whole lot more liquidy than it should have. BUT, the flavor of the dish was excellent.

Today was my first day at my summer internship at a public defender's office. I was a little unsure about how cooking was going to go after working all day, but it went well. I'm eating an hour later than I would if I weren't working, but at least I'm not eating fast food... Like I did when I last had a job. And got really fat.

Tonight's dinner recipe comes from Food Network Magazine's December 2010 edition.

Cantonese Chicken Bok Choy Stir Fry

1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup oyster sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp vegetable oil
6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 thin slices peeled ginger
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
10 oz sliced mushrooms
12 oz bok choy, cut crosswise into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tsp sesame oil

1. Toss the chicken with the oyster sauce and set aside. Mix the cornstarch with 3 tbsp water in another bowl and also set aside.

2. Heat a skillet over high heat. Add the oil, then add the green onions, ginger, and garlic. Stir fry for 20 seconds. Add the chicken mixture and stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the mushrooms and bok choy and cook for 3 minutes.

3. Add the broth and sesame oil and bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch mixture. Return to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Serve over rice.

* serves 4

Nutrition (without rice):
CALORIES: 303 calories
CARBS: 12 grams
PROTEIN: 38 grams
SODIUM: 415 milligrams

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chicken Empanadas

Not everything I cook is for dinner, obviously. A few days ago my boyfriend asked me if I'd make some sort of finger food for his English class's potluck today. Sometimes having a boyfriend is like having a child; I am just envisioning my future of baking for bake sales and the like. But since I enjoy cooking I agreed. The empanadas were kind of time consuming and perhaps not the best thing to make when I'm trying to study, but I would definitely make these in the future because they are so yum. I followed a Paula Deen recipe (that didn't involve any butter) and just found the process to be so simple (but like I said, consuming - I did make 40 empanadas that all have to be hand-stuffed). I would definitely try to make a dessert empanada in the future. Or an Italian empanada. Ohhh or an Indian empanada stuffed with curry. I mean, it would just work with anything.

Studying is kind going okay. I got enough done today to pat myself on the back. I'm going out to get sushi tonight and when I get home it will be back to studying.

Chicken Empanadas

3 cups cooked chicken, diced
8-oz Mexican mix shredded cheese
4-oz 1/3 less cream cheese
1/8 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and diced
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 15-oz packages pie crusts


1. Combine all the ingredients except for the pie crust in a large bowl. Mix with your hands.

2. Roll out one of the pie crusts on a clean, lightly-floured surface. Cut out circles in the dough using a 3-inch round cookie cutter. Roll the dough out flat to make the best use of the dough. I got 10 rounds per pie crust.

3. After your dough rounds are cut out, with your fingers dipped in water, run your fingers around the edge of a round. Place about 1 tsp of mixture (it might need more than) in the middle of a round. Fold the dough in half and press softly shut with your fingers. With a fork, press the edges closed to seal.

4. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 for 25 minutes. Let cool before eating.

* makes 40 empanadas

CALORIES: 117 calories
CARBS: 11 grams
PROTEIN: 4 grams
SODIUM: 223 milligrams

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Baked Shrimp w/Feta

I had the 3rd of my 4 finals today at 6PM. I knew I needed to eat before the 3 hour long test, but I also knew that it would need to be something tasty as well as filling. Tonight I pulled out a recipe from the trusty Cooking Light magazines. Actually, I haven't purchased a Cooking Light in years. This is recipe from the April 2009. But something about the magazine changed since then and they just don't excite me like they used to. But I do still have several of my old magazines and cook out of them quite regularly. I don't think anything I've made from Cooking Light has ever disappointed. Tonight was no exception. The taste of the feta with the shrimp and the tomato was just really pleasant. I served it over rice to sop up some of the tomato juices. It was good! The magazine suggests serving it with orzo, which I have no doubt would be good too but that's not what I had in the house.

One thing I've decided about this blog is I'm not going to post any of my kitchen flops. I mean, for as much as I like cooking delicious food, I don't like everything I cook. In my last blog I pretty much posted everything I cooked. But since this is my "cookbook" I really should only be filling the pages with yummies I would make again and not gross stuff that won't get made in my kitchen again. So you can take my word for it: everything in here is good.

Baked Shrimp with Feta

1 tbsp lemon juice
1 1/2 lbs shrimp, peeled and deveined
Cooking spray
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp claim juice
1 tbsp white wine
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 (14.5-oz) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 450.

2. Combine the lemon juice with the shrimp in a bowl and set aside. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Add oil to the pan. Add the onion and saute for a minute. Add the garlic and saute for a minute. Add the clam juice, wine, oregano, pepper, and tomatoes, bringing to a boil.

3. Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add shrimp mixture.

4. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and place mixture in the dish. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

5. Bake for 12 minutes.

* serves 4

Nutrition (without rice):
CALORIES: 276 calories
CARBS: 11 grams
PROTEIN: 39 grams
SODIUM: 732 milligrams

Monday, May 9, 2011

Turkey Mini-Meatloaves w/Roasted Root Veggies

Now that we have the welcome out of the way and now that I'm taking a break from studying for my Criminal Law test, I can post my first homecooked meal! I actually cook to relieve stress, so high impact times in my life are just generally going to produce more entries, because I get such a satisfaction from standing in the kitchen, mixing, baking, stirring, and sauteing. I also love sitting down with whatever I made and indulging in it. But above all, I love to share my food (which is why my boyfriend is so great). Even though I lack capacity to create my own recipes and follow most recipes exactly the to tee, cooking is like an art. There was one day and I accidentally dropped my cooked cauliflower on the floor and I just fell down and cried, because that was my labor, my work, it's my creation.

Anyway, I guess in each of these posts you'll get to know me a little more. I don't really want to do a "HEY MY NAME IS ELIZABETH" kind of entry, because it's weird to me and I just would rather not. But anyway, I got this cookbook last year when I decided I needed to lose weight. I just found low-calorie foods to be so bland. But after some careful review I got the best cookbook ever. I really recommend it as it's one of the cookbooks I've used more than twice. Maybe if this all works out and I get lots of followers I'll host a giveaway with this cookbook, since it is my favorite and all. Because really, if I have giveaways I'm only going to give you the best of the best.

But I am getting so ahead of myself.

Turkey Mini-Meatloaves with Roasted Root Veggies

For the Meatloaf:
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 cup 1% milk
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
5-oz bag baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
2 tbsp grated Parmesan
1/4 cup egg substitute
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp nutmeg

For the Glaze:
3 tbsp ketchup
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Tapatio

For the Veggies:
3 medium carrots, cut into chunks
2 New Potatoes, chunked
6 stalks asparagus, chopped
1 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper


1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Put the breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl and let sit.

3. In a skillet with the olive oil, cook the onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until golden and soft. Add the spinach and stir until wilted. Transfer to a bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add the turkey, cheese, egg substitute, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Combine the mixture using your hands.

4. Pack 1 cup of the mixture into a 1-cup measuring cup. Invert the cup onto a rimmed baking sheet. Repeat with remaining mixture. Bake for 40 minutes, until golden.

5. On a baking sheet toss all the vegetables with the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the oven and cook for 30 minutes.

6. While the meatloaves are cooking, making the glaze by mixing the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce in a small bowl. When the meatloaves are complete, brush over the top.

* the veggies serve 2, the meatloaf serves 6

Nutrition: Meatloaf
CALORIES: 203 calories
CARBS: 12 grams
PROTEIN: 27 grams
SODIUM: 515 milligrams

Nutrition: Root Veggies
CALORIES: 112 calories
CARBS: 19 grams
PROTEIN: 3 grams
SODIUM: 45 milligrams

Sunday, May 8, 2011


I'm a 24 year old female living in Sacramento, CA just completing my first year of law school. This blog will be where I post recipes and pictures of food I make, create, and copy. Since I've been in law school I've intentionally lost over 50 pounds (with about 20 more to go). Not only will the food in this blog be DELICIOUS, but it will also give a nutritional break down of what I cook.

I plan to participate in blogger cooking challenges and the like. And here it goes!