Rosemary Pork Roast

Heyyyy!  If you haven't already heard, I weathered Hurricane Sandy about two weeks ago.  And while I emerged unscathed, I can't exactly say the same for my frozen meals (or the town of Hoboken, but that's a really, really long and sad story).  The freezer is pretty much empty now.  Sigh...I hate to throw away food but I've had food poisoning once and I don't actually feel guilty enough to want to risk getting food poisoning again.  I'll take a pass on that, thanks.

With this month's Secret Recipe Club's assignment, I knew I would need to start stocking up my freezer once again.  I figured I'd start with meat.  It's so versatile that it can be eaten alone, on a sandwich, with sides to make a full meal, etc...  This month's assignment gave me the opportunity to make something from Miz Helen's Country Cottage. Miz Helen's a cool lady.  I can tell.  She has a ton of recipes for me to choose from, but of course my wandering eye strayed to a rosemary pork roast.  Who doesn't love rosemary?  It's one of my favorite herbs and I could eat it all day.  Don't make me prove it to you.  Let's get into this!

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Basil Pesto Chicken

For the past two weeks, I've been making some really poor food choices.  

Let's recap:

- I have been in all-day training meetings at work for the past two weeks.  This means that I have access to free breakfasts, free morning snack buffets, free lunches, and free afternoon snack buffets.  Although I sometimes make good food choices, that doesn't really matter if you eat a ton of healthy food.  The volume of food outweighs the quality of the food at that point.

- Additionally, I took a trip to Disneyworld last weekend.  I had a fabulous time but it is super super hard to eat healthy food while on vacation.  My willpower just can't win in battles like these.

I was so happy to make it back home on Monday so I could try to get my body used to eating some semblance of healthy food once again.  I can also head over to the dance studio now and squeeze in some cardio workouts.  Finally!

I stumbled across this chicken dish through a photo posted on Pinterest.  Can I state how much I love that site?  Such pretty pictures.  I then discovered that the recipe associated with this picture belongs to the Kalyn's Kitchen blog.  I think she has simple, interesting recipes and beautiful photos on her site.  Another thing I love!

After reading through the post, I realized that the Basil Pesto Chicken recipe is actually a part of the South Beach Diet cookbook.  Now, I'm not one to follow diets.  If I want to get my body back on track, I make sure to eat healthy foods and get enough exercise.  But since everything in this recipe is fresh and good for me, I had no qualms about whipping this up.  And of course there's cheese.  There's always cheese.

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Lamb Meatballs in a Mint Tomato Sauce

Confession: This was my first time ever making meatballs. I've been cooking pretty regularly for years, but meatballs have never been on my radar.  I'm not sure why.  They really should be, since I love bite-sized food.

In an effort to get away from the various vegetarian meals I've been posting recently on this blog, I dug deep into the recesses of the black hole that is my Bookmarks library.  I reached in and pulled out this recipe.  It's been on my mind to make these lamb meatballs for a while now so I figured there was no time like the present.

I love lamb.  Lamb chops, lamb ragu with mint, lamb burgers.  Let's make it all happen.  Let's also add these lamb meatballs into the rotation.  They were succulent and delicious and perfectly paired with the mint tomato sauce and a serving of cous cous.

Frankly, I don't know how I've managed to live so long without this.

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Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf

Say what?  The holidays are over?

First they snuck up on me, and then they whizzed on by.  Let's hit pause for a second.  Because I'd still like to bring you a semi-holiday dish. (Do you like the word "semi-holiday"?  I just made it up, in case you couldn't tell.) I like to think of this recipe as a way to grab one last turkey and cranberry fix before the New Year completely engulfs us.

And this dish has the added bonus of helping me clean out the pantry.  Seriously, you don't even want to know what's in our cupboards and how long it may or may not have been there.

So let's get to it.  Most families end up having turkey with cranberry sauce for the holidays, whether it's Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Since I hold no grand illusions of roasting an entire turkey for myself and my roommate, I decided that maybe I could recreate these flavors on a smaller scale.  Perhaps with a cranberry and turkey meatloaf?  Oooh, shut it.

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Ground Beef Kheema

For some reason, I have an obscene list of recipes bookmarked and just waiting to be created.  For some reason my brain thinks that I have all this spare time in which I can cook and bake to my heart's content.

Yeah right.

One of the recipes that I had save to try out sometime was something called a kheema.  More specifically, it was a turkey kheema recipe.  It was on my "To Make Soon" bookmark list, which means that I really really wanted to make it soon.  (I know I might be coming across as a deranged person right now, but really I'm not..  For serious.)  Of course I kept putting it off.  Then imagine my surprise one day when I was minding my own business, watching Aarti Party, and she began to talk about a kheema recipe.  I looked on in food jealousy as Aarti made a ground beef kheema on her show.

The next weekend, I was on top of this recipe...

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Creamy Dijon Chicken

Let me preface this post with the fact that I am not a mustard lover. In fact, I don't think I've even blogged about mustard in the 2 years of this blog's existence. Really, the only condiments I like are ketchup, BBQ sauce, and any form of hot sauce. I have limits, ya know.

But when I saw how easy and beautiful this chicken dish looked on the Simply Delicious blog, I completely forgot about my aversion to mustard. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a pretty picture.

Conveniently enough, my mom is a huge mustard lover, and is therefore quite ready to recreate this recipe as soon as it's posted. And I need to be on her good side right about now, so I can get lots of home-cooked food when I head back to the Bahamas later this month. Life's a trade off sometimes.

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Vegetable Meatloaf

I've been scoping out that Bobby Flay for a while.

But not like that.

A while ago, I saw a Food Network Magazine* recipe from Bobby Flay for a Vegetable Meatloaf with Balsamic Glaze. I like meatloaf. I like vegetables. I like balsamic vinegar. This was a no-brainer.

* Hereafter known as "FNM" because I'm lazy and can't type 3 whole words each time I want to refer to the magazine.

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Chicken Tinga

In case you don't know, I'm a consultant. Guess what that means?

I'm a Platinum Marriott Rewards member and I've been around a restaurant or two.

One of my and my coworker's favorite places to go for a quick lunch is Cosi. If you're not familiar with Cosi, just know that it's a soup/salad/sandwich place with incredible flatbreads that are baked on-site. This summer, Cosi unveiled a new sandwich: the Chicken Tinga. I had never heard of this chicken tinga stuff before but since the sandwich contained feta, guacamole, and most importantly, chicken which looked a lot like pulled pork, I knew I had to have it. And after my first messy bite, I was hooked. I loved the smoky, spicy combination of my favorite ingredients as well as the fresh salsa and cilantro that topped the sandwich.

Several weeks and numerous Chicken Tinga sandwiches later, I got to thinking: I could make this myself. I could have a never-ending supply of chicken tinga in my own house! (Well, it wouldn't be never-ending, but I could always make more.) What took me so long to come up with this idea?

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Chicken Stuffed with Goat Cheese & Sundried Tomatoes

A few weeks ago, I started my training regimen for the Nassau half marathon. When a coworker asked me if I was following a set diet and increasing my calories, protein, etc., I responded with the truth: Of course I was increasing my calories. But just with anything within reach.

I think this would be those nasty things that we call "empty calories". You know, candy bars, chocolate and other such processed foods. This may be the reason I actually gain weight during my half marathon training, rather than lose or maintain my weight.

After some thought, I decided that I should be a good runner and eat right for the next 8 weeks of training. In my arsenal of recipes (that I will one day have a chance to recreate for myself), I discovered two quick and easy chicken dishes that I had been meaning to, someday, maybe get around to making. Here is the first:

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Green Chicken Curry

I somehow got sucked into The Next Food Network Star shows this season. I don't really know how it happened, but I guess it was inevitable since I watch Food Network about 75% of the time I turn on the television.

A few weeks ago, I was watching the Food Network Star hopefuls make a team dinner. One of my favorite contestants, Aarti Sequeira, made a Green Chicken Curry dish that looked amazing! It even had Bobby Flay (my close personal friend, as I have humbly mentioned in a previous post) raving about it. I had food envy.

So when my roommate wanted to go to the grocery store later that same day, I made a game time decision that this dish was going to make an appearance chez moi that evening. Oh yeah...

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