Tag Archives: organic cooking

Chicken Cutlet Alfredo with Spinach ~ summer cooking

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The temps in northeast Florida are hitting 95 and the ‘real feel’ is over 100 degrees…so natch, I don’t feel like cooking. Even with the a/c blasting, it seems people don’t want to turn the stove on.

So, here’s how to make a luscious Chicken Cutlet Alfredo with Spinach without turning the stove on. I’m a good home cook, not a gourmet chef…and I’m heavy on veggies. With my penchant for eating, I try to keep my weight down to a dull roar. Veggies help. I say, ‘home cook’ because in extreme heat, I’m totally okay with using quality prepared foods and this recipes uses them.

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I started with Perdue prepared cutlets because the chickens are cage-free, are fed an all vegetarian diet and they use no antibiotics. You can use whatever cutlets you like. There are other good ones out there.

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Then I assemble my other ingredients. I use as many organic ingredients as possible. When I was younger, my body quickly repaired itself, now I’d like to give it all the help I can to fully function healthily. So: Prepared Alfredo Sauce, frozen peas, frozen chopped spinach, jarred mushrooms.

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Then I heat a chicken cutlet in my microwave oven. I heat one cutlet just under 1 minute. You have to know your microwave. Just heat it, don’t cook it. Then set it aside. [This recipe easily doubles, triples. You can nuke two, three, or all four cutlets in the package. Don’t worry too much about proportions. If you have extra spinach mixture, eat it for lunch the next day.]

IMG_2748Next, for one cutlet, I cook frozen spinach and frozen peas together. I like lots of veggies so I cook a half a bag of frozen spinach for myself many people would use one quarter of a bag for one, then I add 1/4+ C frozen peas, salt and pepper to taste. Cook them in your microwave until done according to your microwave. In mine 2-3 minutes. Take them out and mix well.  Don’t over cook. Then add 1/3C Alfredo sauce and 1/4 C jarred mushrooms without any of the water. Mix well and cook in the microwave a minute or so. I eyeball stuff. It really doesn’t matter if your spinach to peas ratio isn’t like mine. I hardly ever use salt, but most people do, so I added it in the recipe. You can use an herbal salt substitute. This is not rocket science. It’s summer cooking in a microwave. It’s supposed to be relaxed.

Then remember the chicken cutlet you set aside? Place it on top of the Alfredo spinach/peas/mushroom mixture. Drizzle 1/4 C of Alfredo sauce on top and heat in microwave. The whole process takes about 15 minutes and doesn’t heat up the kitchen at all.

Dust with grated Italian cheese. I use a mixture of Parmesan, Romano, Provolone, and Mozzarella. Pour a glass of iced tea, or a glass of chilled white wine. Get your fork and eat. You might have to let it cool a bit. Things that come directly out of a microwave can be hot.

This can be served over cooked pasta mixed with Alfredo sauce, but the peas are enough carbs for me and I don’t want to boil water for pasta in summer heat.

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Summer Garden “Ceviche” ~ getting rid of belly fat is murder

IMG_1121All of my novels have a food angle to them. The1940s, historical Sanctuary Point mystery series presents families sitting down at the dinner table enjoying hearty meat and potatoes fare…not to mention the strudel, cake, and cookies. This depicts how people ate in that era.

My contemporary novel, HARMFUL INTENT, and my first indie endeavor, features a heroine who likes to eat. While Veronica “Ronnie” Ingels, PI, is fit and trim, she can hold her own at the table and what she eats isn’t necessarily healthy. However, in the course of the investigation she takes an organic cooking class and is surprised by how tasty the meal is. The next time the reader sees Ronnie, she’s sleuthing away in the second book of the series, DEADLY DESIGNS (coming out at the end of the year)…and she’s had a change of culinary lifestyle. She’s taken a few health-conscious cooking classes. Her diet has changed and she now knows her way around the kitchen.

Although this recipe for Summer Garden “Cerviche” isn’t written about in either novel, it’s wonderful for adding vegetables and fruit to the diet. Vegetables and fruit are essential in fighting the battle of the bulge as well as fostering all over health.

Feeds 2-3 people (can easily be doubled)

1/8 C virgin olive oil

1 juice of one lemon with some pulp, remove seeds

1/4 C red onion, coarsely chopped

1 ear of corn, shelled

1/2 cucumber, seeded, and cut into small bite size pieces

1 banana pepper, cut in half, seeded, and cut into small bite size pieces

1/3+ C of mango and papaya chunks, removed from a can or jar of Dole Tropical Fruit

3 Tbps of juice from Dole Tropical Fruit

4-5 small fresh basil leave, cut into slivers

salt and pepper to taste

Ceviche has heat. See  note at bottom.

Combine all the fruit and vegetable ingredients and the slivered basil leaves in a glass bowl.

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In another small bowl whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice with some pulp, 3 Tbsp juice from Dole Tropical Fruit, and the salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables and fruit mixture. Gently fold in and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

 

 

Heat note: There are several ways to add heat. If you seed and slice 1 jalapeno pepper into slivers and marinade it with the vegetables and fruit for the entire 2 hours, there will be a great deal of heat. The slivered jalapeno can be mixed through right before serving for less heat. Or you can place a gourmet bottle of your favorite hot sauce on the table and heat can be added individually according to taste.

Chill a footed desert glass (or a martini glass, or margarita glass). Remove vegetables and fruit with a slotted spoon, draining well, and place into serving glasses. Serve cold.

 

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Fitness Tip: increase walking. Take a stroll in the evening after you’ve digested your dinner. Walk you dog.

Note: Make sure you’re well hydrated. Take a bottle of water along for the walk.

It’s always advised for individuals to consult their doctor before going on any diet or exercise routine, and before making lifestyle changes.


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