Two Sisters, One Kitchen

Quick, healthy meals by a loving team. See what’s cooking in J & K's kitchen!

Zuppa di Grandma January 25, 2010

Vegetable Soup

Jamie says:  I was getting ready to leave for class this morning- making my breakfast and lunch- and thought, why not make dinner?  Actually, I have a little cold, so hot soup in the Crockpot sounded like the perfect dinner-time meal.  I had to leave for my Nutrition and Immunity class in less than 20 minutes, but I did it.  I made the soup very similar to my Italian Grandma’s vegetable soup: into the Crockpot went “whatever fell out of the refrigerator and freezer” (that’s how Granny cooks and it works every time). 

So, I used a 2 lb box of Swanson Organic Free Range Chicken Broth and some water as the base of my soup.  And in went everything else: a can of Hunt’s Diced Tomatoes with Basil, Garlic, and Oregano; a can of Publix Great Northern White Beans;  frozen cooked eggplant from another night’s dinner; fresh zucchini, onion, celery leaves, and escarole; extra virgin olive oil, parsley, basil, oregano, bay leaves, and ground pepper. 

The beauty of cooking soup in a Crockpot is that dinner is ready when you want it.  I came home from a cold triathlon track practice, and Kathryn and I enjoyed the delicious, steamy hot soup along with some fabulous garlic cheese bread that K made just for me.  I think it might have been my best vegetable soup yet! 

Nutrition note:  Extra virgin olive oil has even more antioxidants than regular olive oil.

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Heather’s First Meat Meal January 24, 2010

Chicken Stuffed with Mozzarella Cheese

Jamie says:  I was so honored!  My friend Heather asked me if I would cook for her the first meat dish of her life!  She’s been a vegetarian her entire life and wanted to try meat since she is going to Africa soon.  I’ve been thinking about what to cook all week- even when I was swimming laps in the pool.  What on earth do you make someone who is trying meat for the first time?  She would probably judge all meat by this experience.  What if she didn’t like it and decided not to eat meat ever again?  I figured chicken would be safe- it’s kind of plain and chicken is classic.  I brainstormed all sorts of ways to cook chicken- chili, fajitas, quesadillas, salads, soup, pasta, sandwiches, etc.  I pulled out cookbooks and “phoned a friend” (aka I asked my Mom and some foodie friends).  K and I finally decided on our own recipe:

We bought chicken fillets and dipped them in melted Smart Balance Omega 3 spread.  We then shook them one at a time in a large Ziplock bag that contained minced garlic, parsley, basil, sea salt, pepper, and Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs Italian Style.  We cooked the chicken and after it was almost done, we sliced the fillets in half and added Sorrento low-fat mozzarella cheese in the middle.  We returned the chicken to the oven and took them out when the meat was fully cooked and the cheese melted.

We served Heather this meal at a potluck dinner at our apartment with our Tuesday lunch group.  Our friends brought Caesar salad, mashed potatoes and gravy, and extra chocolately brownies to complete the meal.  We tried not to make a big scene out of Heather taking her first bite, so Kathryn kept the conversation flowing.  I was so proud of Heather.  She didn’t even freak out or say much.  She bit into that chicken like a pro.  I think everyone enjoyed the chicken and the meal and supporting Heather on her adventure.  (I couldn’t really taste the chicken as well as usual since I have a cold, but I asked Kathryn what she thought of it and she really liked the flavor and especially enjoyed the crunchy breadcrumbs.)  Dinner was a success.  Heather’s second stab at meat will be a turkey sandwich at Tuesday lunch…can’t wait!

Nutrition note:  Although eating meat may be mentally intimidating for a vegetarian, he or she can physically handle and digest meat.

 

Dark-Chocolate Pineapple Shake

Dark-Chocolate Pineapple Shake

Kathryn says: Oh, what a sweet afternoon treat!  I drained a cup of Dole Pineapple Tidbits in 100% Fruit Juice (by drinking the juice :)) and put the pineapple in our bullet blender.  Then, I melted two Dove dark chocolate promises in a small bowl in the microwave for about 30 seconds.  I poured some Publix organic original light soy milk into the bowl and stirred it with a spoon.  Then, I added the mixture to the blender.  I added two ice cubes and some more soy milk, put the lid on and blended it until smooth.  The thickness and sweetness were delectable.  What a rich, tropical delight!

 

Apple Sauce Pancakes!

Apple Sauce Pancake

Kathryn says:  I love pancakes!  This week, I’ve been trying different ingredients in them: peaches and cinnamon, hot chocolate powder and strawberries, and the most simple but quite tasty – apple sauce pancakes.

To make: Pour pancake mix into a bowl and mix in apple sauce until it reaches the desired thickness.  Then, pour the batter on a greased skillet and cook on medium heat  and flip when ready!  Enjoy with honey or syrup, or plain.

I used Kodiak Cake’s 100 percent whole grain pancake mix and Mott’s peach-flavored apple sauce.  And I made it in the shape of an apple for kicks! 🙂

 

Penne Bruschetta January 23, 2010

Penne Bruschetta with Garlic, Mozzarella, Tomatoes, and Breadcrumbs

Penne Bruschetta Variation with Cheddar Cheese and Spinach

Jamie says:  To make this creation, I first boiled whole grain penne pasta.  Meanwhile, I diced fresh tomatoes and sprinkled sea salt, ground pepper, parsley and basil on them.  I then sautéed some minced garlic in extra virgin olive oil in a pan.  I added Ian’s Panko Breadcrumbs Italian Style to the pan to soak up some of the oil.  I then added chunks of mozzarella cheese and the diced fresh tomatoes so that they would get warm.  I poured the penne into my bowl and drizzled some extra virgin olive oil on top.  I then added my bruschetta mixture, and voilà- I had a wonderful dinner.  Later, K and I made some chocolate chip “brownies” for dessert.  It came out more like a cake, but it was still delicious though! 

The penne bruschetta pasta was so good that I used the plain leftover pasta to make the recipe again for lunch the next day.  This time, though, I used finely shredded cheddar cheese and added spinach.  Since the pasta was cold, I threw it in the pan with the rest of the ingredients to heat it up.  I liked it even better than dinner the night before, which is quite amazing because it can be hard to make a great thing even better.  

Nutrition note:  Tomatoes have lycopene in them.  Eating foods with a lot of lycopene is associated with a reduced risk of some diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease.

 

Mango Melon “Milkshake” January 19, 2010

Mango Melon "Milkshake"

Jamie says:  I had a fun time visiting two good friends in St. Pete this weekend.  After the ride home followed by some shopping and church, I needed something quick to eat while I was making my picnic lunch to eat with K.  I decided on a smoothie using the fruit I had in the fridge.  It was light and refreshing- just what I was looking for.  Just for kicks, I drank it with a straw.

In my little blender (Bella Cucina Rocket Blender), I blended cantaloupe, mango, vanilla extract, ice cubes, and skim milk.

Nutrition note: Orange fruits (and vegetables) have beta-carotene (the precursor of vitamin A).  Vitamin A is important for good eyesight.

 

Escarole Salad January 18, 2010

Escarole Salad with Shrimp and Whole Grain Bread

Jamie says:  My Mom makes the best escarole salad.  Escarole is almost a treat for us because a lot of Publix stores do not have escarole.  (However, if you ask, they will special order it for you.) Anyhow, the new, big Publix had escarole this week, and we bought it.  I modeled my salad after my Mom’s escarole salad except that I added shrimp and slices of whole grain bread.  It was good and satisfied my hankering for escarole, but it wasn’t that filling (dinner part 2 continued right after).

To make this salad, wash and tear escarole.  Add minced garlic, lemon juice, and sea salt.  Top the salad with chilled cooked shrimp and slices of whole grain bread.

Nutrition note:  Seven medium shrimp count as a 2 oz serving from the meat & beans group.  About 5.5 oz is the recommended daily serving from the meat & beans group.