Monthly Archives: February 2010

Weekday Lunches: Lettuce Wraps

I’m tired of soup for lunches.  So for a change of pace this week, I decided to make some quick lettuce wraps. I made two varieties that I can alternate each day. I’ll take lettuce and filling in separate containers, filling leaves at lunchtime. Add a piece of fruit and lunches are done, making my mornings a bit less hectic.

Black Bean and Brown Rice Lettuce Wrap

  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • ¼ cup cilantro
  • 2 tsp limejuice
  • ¼ cup fresh salsa
  • 2 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried

Mix together all ingredients, except lettuce. Set aside. Cut lettuce leaves crosswise. Fill lettuce leaves with a tablespoon or more of mixture, fold leaves and eat.  This mixture can also be heated before filling the leaves.

Creamy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

  • 2 small chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
  • ¼ cup salad dressing or mayonnaise
  • 1 small apple, chopped
  • ½ cup sweetened cranberries* or ¼ cup cran-raisins
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Romaine lettuce leaves, washed and dried

Mix together all ingredients, except lettuce. Set aside. Cut lettuce leaves crosswise. Fill lettuce leaves with a tablespoon or more of mixture, fold leaves and eat.

* I still have cranberries in my freezer, so I mixed 1/2 cup with about 1 tbsp of sugar and 2 tbsp of orange juice, boiled until cranberries popped and liquid reduced to half.  Strained the cranberries and added to salad.


Fish ‘n’ Chips

Had some cod left over from the other day, so I thawed it for this classic-with a twist.  Yup, actual homemade chips.

This is another time my dandy slicer gadget came in handy.  Made the slaw with it, too.  Deep frying these chips was a challenge in that too long in the hot oil they will get too brown (or burn), not long enough and they aren’t very crisp.  I set the thickness for 3mm for these because I wanted some body along with the crispy.  I test fried several slices before I was happy enough to go with the rest.  With the oil at 350+ it took several batches of 8-10 slices each to use up the 3 smallish yellow potatoes I used.  Keep the finished chips in a 200 oven-use a paper lined baking tray.

I Googled around to find a batter and this recipe came up and caught my eye, it worked really well and I can recommend it.

I have fun making tartar sauce, manage to get it a little different every time.  Started with mayo, and added some chopped capers, finely diced onion, sweet relish, lemon juice, chopped parsley, and chopped stuffed green olives.

The slaw was pretty straightforward:  Cabbage, red bell pepper, onions, and some grated carrots.  Dressing was rice wine and apple cider vinegars, a little peanut oil, salt and pepper.  Let the slaw and the tartar sauce age for an hour or more in the fridge for best results, of course you can use them right away if time presses.


A bit of breakfast

Mmm…biscuits n gravy.  These are made with southern style pork sausage.

Critter post

Just a quick dinner

Kid Friendly: Tortilla Pizzas

These are quick, easy and fun.  Little effort and everyone still gets fed.  Serve with black beans and rice with a dash of limejuice as a great side.

Tortilla Pizzas

NOTE:  These must be watched carefully while cooking.  Of 3 test meals I made, I burned one while standing right next to the oven…it doesn’t take much for them to burn.

  • 8 burrito size flour tortillas
  • 16 oz shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 6 oz pickled jalapenos
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or turkey, browned
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 8 oz shredded lettuce
  • sour cream (opt)
  • guacamole (opt)

Place tortillas, probably 4 at a time, on the top rack under the broiler, 2nd slot from the top.  Broil until golden brown on one side.  Remove and on the un-browned side add approx. 4 oz of cheese, jalapenos and 1/8 of ground meat to each tortilla.  Broil until cheese is melted (it doesn’t take long, and to be honest, never once it did take the same amount of time!).  Remove, add tomatoes & lettuce.  Slice into 4 pieces each (you can use a pizza slicer).  Serve with sour cream and guacamole.

Something to hold you until I figure what to do for dinner.

Kitteh post

Toby sizes up the high jump competition.

And, steps to assure his victory.

Just toss stuff in there and call it dressing recipe.

A few weeks ago TaMara asked if I had a dressing recipe for Cornish game hens, told her not really, I just kinda throw stuff together.  Well I had a craving for dressing today, and some veggies to use up, and some leftovers just chillin in the fridge.

So I fired up the stove and dumped a bunch of stuff in a big pan (this baby is 13″) to cook down a bit.  I had zucchini left from the meal yesterday, a bit of the risotto/veggie medley so in they went, along with some more carrot and another can of mushrooms.  Also a diced onion, a yellow bell pepper that was starting to go limp, some celery that was well on the way to limp.

I’ve been carving chunks off of a pork tenderloin and a frozen lump of chicken breasts for the last couple of meals.  Thawed all of that and fried it in some oil.

Can’t have dressing without gravy, this is three links of boudin sausage boiled down in chicken stock.  Boudin is a Cajun staple, it is rice and pork with seasonings that vary maker to maker.  Plenty of other flavors too-gator boudin, crawdad boudin, etc. You could strain the rice out but I see no need.  This was colored with Kitchen Bouquet.

Had a bag of bread stuffing left from the holidays that I just hadn’t dealt with yet.  Mixed it with the veggies and moistened it with some of the boudin flavored stock.  I layered the pork and chicken atop and cooked it in a 350 oven, covered, for an hour–took the lid off the last 15 minutes.


Yay! Eli went home to a new family!

We first met Eli in this post. Yesterday he went home to meet his new playmate–a Newfoundland.  Should be interesting.  He leaves some friends behind at the shelter.

As always, you can reach the shelter here.