April 2010

I love when I find new, easy recipes that also taste great!

Sorry, let’s back up. How was your weekend? I hope it was relaxing and fun. I was excited to put away my suitcase since I’m done traveling for a little while. It’s the simple things. Now, I just have laundry to tackle.

During the weekend, I went into Boston and got a new car! It was a fun few days. I even had a chance make a tasty pasta dish this weekend. As I mentioned earlier, it was easy to toss together and made leftovers for lunch! Perfect.

The recipe for Easy Penne and Tuna Salad came from the May 2010 issue of Cooking Light.  Meant to be served cold, it’s going to be a great addition to my summer meals. The dish is light with a nice touch of Mediterranean flavor (I love red peppers!). I used whole wheat pasta for extra fiber but followed the recipe as written otherwise. It was my first time using  tuna packed in oil and I really liked the moistness.

I honestly don’t know how people give up carbs as I swear I gravitate towards pasta and bread. I enjoy these types of foods so as long as I choose healthier options (whole grains) and limiting my portions (to one), I’m okay with it.

What’s your carb of choice?


Finally, a new recipe! I have been traveling for work with little time to cook (more about that later) but I have a yummy recipe for you today. As I’ve mentioned before, I rarely cook a big breakfast. I normally stick to toast, cereal or oatmeal but a bigger breakfast is always a treat. This morning I made Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes with Cinnamon and Fruit.

Whole wheat pancakes can sometimes be dry and bland but this recipe is great for fluffy, moist pancakes. While I followed the recipe for Cooking Light’s Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes, I also added a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of vanilla extract to the batter. The cinnamon/vanilla flavor enhances these already-tasty pancakes. I served these pancakes with fresh fruit which was a perfect addition to my weekend meal.


This batter seems very versatile and could easy be used for making waffle or pancakes with chocolate chips or blueberries. I don’t think I’ll ever grow out of loving chocolate chip pancakes…it’s a real treat for breakfast. I say, the more chocolate chips, the better.

While I haven’t been cooking lately, I have been eating out quite a bit. Last week, in Chicago, I had one especially memorable meal at Ditka’s. I ordered an 8 oz. filet with blue cheese which was extremely moist and cooked perfectly. For dessert, I enjoyed decadent homemade ice cream. If you’re in Chicago or Pittsburg, I highly recommend it.

I won’t be cooking much this week but hope to get back to my old ways soon. With the spring here, we’re starting to see fresh vegetables in Boston. It will be great to buy local again soon! I’ll be back with another recipe ASAP.

Enjoy your week!

How was your Easter weekend? It’s been beautiful here in Boston so I’ve been enjoying the weather. I love it when it’s unseasonably warm! Hope it’s nice where you are.

So, every month, I receive a few different cooking magazines…Bon Appetit, Cooking Light, Taste of Home’s Healthy Cooking, and Cuisine at Home. Not surprisingly, I don’t usually get a chance to read them immediately but get around to checking out the recipes eventually.

I recently made a combined dinner of two recipes from different magazines, Broiled Shrimp with Spinach Orzo Salad. The Broiled Shrimp recipe came from the April 2010 issue of Cuisine at Home and the Spinach Orzo Salad came from the April/May issue of Healthy Cooking. It turned out to be a great light meal.

Shrimp is something I don’t cook too often but when I do, I’m always surprised how easy it is. This broiled shrimp is super quick to prepare and cook. The mixture of flavors resulted in a tasty shrimp dish!

I love pasta salad, especially because it reminds me of summertime cookouts. This Spinach Orzo Salad is an easy side dish that’s a little different from a tradition rice or pasta side. I ate the leftovers for days and it was perfect for lunch.

Broiled Shrimp

Adapted from Cusine at Home

Servings: 2


1 Tbsp. butter

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. minced garlic

1/8 tsp. dried dill

2 Tbsp. whole wheat panko breadcrumbs

¼ tsp. dried oregano

12 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (tails left on)

Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat broiler.
  2. Melt butter in a saute pan over medium heat. Stir in lemon juice, garlic, dill, salt and pepper.
  3. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs and oregano. Set aside.
  4. Coat two small cassserole dishes with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet.
  5. Arrange six shrimp in each dish and divide butter/lemon juice mixture over shrimp. Top with breadcrumbs mixture.
  6. Broil shrimp for about 5 minutes. Watch closely as the shrimp cooks very quickly.
  7. Serve with Spinach Orzo Salad (recipe below). 

 Spinach Orzo Salad

Adapted from Taste of Home’s Healthy Cooking

Servings: 4


8 oz. whole wheat orzo

3 oz. fresh spinach

¼ c. reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled

¼ red onion, chopped

¼ c. reduced fat balsamic vinaigrette dressing

¼ tsp. dried basil

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp. pine nuts, toasted


  1. Cook orzo according to directions. Drain in cold water.
  2. In a large bowl, combine spinach, cheese, onion and orzo.
  3. In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinigarette, basil and pepper. Pour over orzo mixture to coat.
  4. Chill salad until ready to serve.
  5. Top with toasted pine nuts before serving. (I toasted pine nuts in my toaster oven using the light setting)

Hello! How’s your week going? Mine is flying by and I’m looking forward to the warm weather we’re expecting in Boston this weekend! We’re due for some nice weather after all the rain we’ve had.

As you know, I’m part of the Craving Ellie in My Belly cooking club and this week’s pick was Miso Glazed Cod. I’ve actually made this dish a while back and posted it here. In place of cod, I used another white fish, tilapia. The dish turned out pretty tasty and I also made a side of Ellie’s Sesame Stir-fried Chinese Greens which were delicious too! I really like bok choy because it has a different taste and texture than spinach or another common green.

I’ll have a new recipe in a few days so stay tuned. I’m trying to cook as often as I can before my work travel begins again in a few weeks.

Have a great Thursday!