Friday, January 14, 2011

Chicken Souvlaki

Want to make the easiest/healthiest dinner of all time? It requires only about 1%* actual cooking (none if you plan ahead) and is seriously delish and nutrish (pushing my luck?).

Try our Chicken Souvlaki.

As the experts say, a Mediterranean diet is healthful and nutritious. This recipe is inspired by one of our favorite dives in Princeton: Olives.

Have you been?

It's a quick little Greek market with tasty treats like chicken parm, lots of baked goods, breakfast egg dishes - and of course - Souvlaki. Olives' chicken souvlaki was legitimately responsible for 75%* of Hubby's nutrition during his undergraduate years. I can't blame him.

Here's our version.

1 lb chicken (buy a rotisserie and you'll never touch a pan!)
1 head of lettuce, shredded
1 tomato, sliced
1 red onion, very thinly sliced (who wants a big chomp of red onion? sick.)
Tzatziki sauce (nothing fancy here - we bought a tub from Whole Foods)
Pitas (1 package will have 4-5; you'll want 1 pita per person)
Salt and Pepper

If you bought unprepared chicken, season it generously with salt and pepper
Cook in a frying pan with about 1-2 Tbsp olive oil over medium heat (5 minutes per side, or until golden); remove, slice and let cool
Spread Tzatziki sauce on pitas
Layer all the good stuff!
Might I recommend this order*?
Tzatziki Sauce
*It ensures the least amount of spillage and mess, because if you haven't figured it out yet, you'll be eating this with your fingers, and if you're anything like me, you're having a tiny panic attack.

Want my advice? Go heavy on the sauce.

Because this sandwich is low in calories, you'll want to supplement it with a side or two. We used tabouli (prepared sides from Whole Foods), but anything you like will work!

Serve and enjoy!


*Percents in this post are approximate. 

**You know what else would be awesome in this Souvlaki? Pickles. And/or hot peppers.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Wifey Wednesday

I know I'm supposed to be taking the household by the horns and sharing some healthy recipes to get your 2011 started off on the right track, but how could I possibly overlook what I am about to show you...?

My new cousin (!) Mallory showed me the ropes.

Seriously. You should make these cookies. Even if you don't ever make it to the actual baking, I can't blame you. The dough alone is worth whipping up just for raw cookie dough's sake. These cookies are simple and maybe that's the beauty of them. The cinnamon flavor is undeniable, though, and incredibly festive for enjoying on a cozy New Year's Day night - just like we did last week!

2 1/4 C flour
3/4 + 3/4 C granulated sugar (another option is to use 1/2 granulated and 1/2 brown - your choice! Our brown sugar was past prime, so we made a game-time substitution for another serving of granulated - still delicious!)
2 tbsp cinnamon (or more... don't be shy!)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 stick butter
1 12 oz. package milk chocolate chips (we got these extra-large chips at Whole Foods)

Preheat oven to 350
Combine flour and sugar
Melt butter, add to mixture
Crack eggs and add to mixture
Add baking soda, salt, vanilla and cinnamon (use a lot of cinnamon - it should thinly coat the other ingredients siting in the mixing bowl; see how the batter has a brownish tint? That is solely from the cinnamon, if that gives you an idea of quantity)
Add chocolate chips (the entire bag!)
Bake for 8 minutes and promptly remove from oven to cool on baking sheet
Serve and enjoy!

Do you even want to see what we ate for dinner before this decadence? 

Wish I was kidding just a little bit.

Thankfully, over the course of the weekend, we developed a timely and special motto: diet starts Monday.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Braised Beef Short Ribs

In case it hasn't been made clear enough in the past, we do love a good meat and potatoes dish. The latest from Hubby's kitchen: Braised Beef Short Ribs.

In short, we are obsessed.

No pun intended :)

Do you like tender meat and rich, flavorful sauce? I thought so. This dish made me forget all about my snowy walk home from work. Surviving the freezing temps just got a little more bearable.

Serves 4
4 boneless beef short ribs - approx. 2 lbs total (we have gotten bone-in as well... we found boneless was just as delicious and tender! And - dare I say it? Boneless = healthier)
1 onion
2 carrots
2 celery ribs
1 tomato
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 C dry red wine
Olive oil
Vegetable oil
Salt, Pepper
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp oregano
Rosemary (sprinkle; can be fresh or dry)
Flour (for dusting the beef, about 2 Tbsp)
Beef broth

Preheat oven to 325
Very coarsely chop onion, carrot and celery
Put in Cuisinart and puree to coarse paste, remove and reserve
Cut tomato into large pieces, puree in Cuisinart, remove and reserve
Generously salt and lightly flour short ribs
Put 2-3 Tbsp oil in dutch oven (we used 1/2 EVOO and 1/2 veg oil because VO has a higher smoking point) and bring to medium heat
Sear short ribs about 2 min/side or until nice brown crust forms - don't overcrowd your pan! You may need to do do it in 2 shifts
Remove short ribs and drain pan of oil
Put a fresh 2-3 Tbsp of same oil mixture and bring back to med. heat
Add in vegetable paste and spread in pan
Cook 5-7 min or until light brown crust forms at bottom of pan
Scrape, respread, allow crust to reform; scrape, respread, allow crust to reform (do this 3 times total... crust will develop more quickly with each repetition, so watch it closely)
Add tomato puree, stir and cook for a few minutes
Add tomato paste, stir and cook 3-5 minutes or until mixture starts to turn brown
Deglaze pan with dry red win and stir until it forms a smooth mixture
Add pepper and oregano
Add salt to taste (about 1 tsp)
Cook down until mixture halves itself
Add beef short ribs back in and spread out in pan
Pour beef broth until short ribs are almost covered
Add 2 bay leaves and a sprinkle of rosemary
Put lid on and put in oven
Braise for 3 hours, turning and re-basting every hour
For the last 20 minutes, remove top completely to allow mixture to reduce and meat to brown
Remove and let cool for 20 minutes

Serve atop mashies for maximum deliciousness!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


I realize I'll eventually have more pictures than I care to imagine of Boston and Cambridge in the snow, but here's a smattering of our strolls around town after these first couple of storms.

Oh yeah... Happy New Year!


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