Food Flight

An aviator's culinary adventures

Stuffed Mushrooms February 16, 2010

Filed under: Appetizers,Snacks,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 12:57 pm
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First of all, I’d like to apologize for my unannounced leave of absence these past few weeks.  I was busy packing up and moving from AZ to FL again and then I just got out of the habit of remembering to update the blog.  I have a collection of pictures and recipes that need to be updated so hopefully, I get those up soon.  Rather than try to keep everything chronological, I’m here to tell you about some amazing stuffed mushrooms I made for a midmorning snack today.  My Aunt Kathy gave me a cookbook titled “Carb Conscious Vegetarian” by Robin Robertson,  I was excited to try some recipes as my recent food intake has seriously lacked nutrition.  My roommates both returned home on February 15th so I wanted to have Valentine’s Day goodies ready for them…. that roughly translates to me baking multiple batches of cookies and eating most of them and then needing to bake more until I finally filled their packages and refrained myself.  Miraculously I managed to maintain my weight after a weeks worth of the “cookie diet” but mostly because I just didn’t eat much besides cookies… not a good way to go, trust me.  In an effort to feel healthy and energetic again I’m going to try to “cook real food” (my mom’s suggestion).  It makes sense though, stop baking cookies… why didn’t I think of that?!?! Alright, enough about my dieting, these mushrooms are quick and easy and absolutely delicious!!! Definitely try them, they’d be a great side or appetizer for any meal.

RUMAKI-INSPIRED STUFFED MUSHROOMS

8 ounces white mushrooms

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger

1/4 cup chopped canned water chesnuts

2 tablespoons soy bacon bits

2 tablespoons sherry or port

1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari soy sauce

DIRECTIONS: Remove the stems from the mushroom caps and chop them.  Set aside the caps.  Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped mushroom stems and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the ginger, water chestnuts, bacon bits, sherry or port, and tamari.  Cook, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Stuff the mushroom caps with the filling and arrange them in a single layer in a lightly oiled shallow baking dish.  Cover loosely with foil and bake until the mushrooms are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes.

Apparently my camera skills are out of practice

KATIE’S NOTES:  I used diced ham since I forgot to buy soy bacon bits at the store (sorry for the vegetarians out there…)  Fresh ginger can be kept in the freezer for quite a while so its not a bad investment, my roommates had bought it for some other recipe. Of course, if Asian isn’t your cup of tea feel free to play around with the stuffing ingredients.

SERVES 4

PER SERVING: 62 calories, 4g fat, 3g protein, 4g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 0mg cholesterol, 178mg sodium

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Tropical Fruit Snack January 25, 2010

Filed under: breakfast,Dessert,Snacks — flyingbubble @ 6:57 pm
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The other day I felt like having a banana.  Then I remembered that we had leftover orange infused sugar in the fridge.  I pulled out the bag of sugar and saw some delicious kiwi fruits sitting in the drawer.  I sliced the banana, peeled and diced the kiwi and tossed them in a bowl.  Sprinkled my creation with orange sugar and stirred. The juices from the kiwi and banana mixed with the sugar to create a syrupy coating.  It was excellent and I wish I had thought to fill the crepes with this syrupy fruit mixture instead of just butter and sugar.  For a quick and easy fruit makeover… toss on some flavored sugar! (Regular sugar would work as well).

 

Cardamom/Thyme Grilled Vegetable Quesadilla January 21, 2010

Filed under: Dinner,Snacks,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 4:53 pm
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Today, I got off work early because my LT really didn’t have any tasks for me.  Partially because I don’t have a CAC card (meaning my ID does not log me into their computer system), to which Senior Chief told me, “Good Job!” with a wink and a thumbs up.  I actually spent the morning reading a book about investing and playing deal or no deal on my iphone after I made exactly 3 phone calls and had a short conversation with the Master Chief about the book I had just finished reading.  It’s a tough life getting paid to hang out doing nothing all day :).  I arrived home at lunch time and my mom bombarded me with lunch options since she was apparently starving.  She seemed to favor the quesadilla option (since it would use up some fresh vegetables) so I offered to cook for her.  We’ve had fresh thyme sitting the fridge from the Chicken Couscous recipe a few days ago so my mom suggested that I throw that in.  My experience with quesadillas did not involve thyme but like I said before, they’re a great blank canvas for any flavor combination.  On the tv show The Next Food Network Star, I have seen contestants bite into random ingredients that they’ve not cooked with before so they know what flavor they’re dealing with.  That example led me to munch on some fresh thyme leaves, to my dismay… they tastes like leaves.  Yup, I literally felt like I was just eating part of a bush from the backyard.  Online research seemed like the next logical step, from which I discovered that thyme is often overlooked because it does not have a strong “centerstage” flavor profile.  Thyme cannot compete with the distinctive smell/taste of tarragon, basil and sage, however it is the perfect herb to blend into recipes and enhance the other flavors.  With this knowledge, I realized that I needed another flavor for the thyme to enhance.  Rather than researching anymore, I went to the spice cabinet, read through the labels and essentially just picked one at random… cardamom.  Sounds good, smells good, why not?  Clearly I’m on the path to culinary genius.  I sauteed Red onions and green peppers in a skillet with olive oil, salt, pepper, a dash of cardamom and a handful of fresh thyme leaves.  Then I assembled my mom’s quesadilla with mexican blend cheese, chopped tomatoes, the herbed onion and green peppers and a slice of cheddar cheese (the extra cheese was her request).  I wasn’t hungry enough for the tortilla so I served myself a plate of steaming hot vegetables topped with shredded cheese and a dab (yes that’s a legitimate measurement) of mango salsa.  The food was really good, I don’t know if the flavors were the best compliments for each other but it definitely worked.  If you’re feeling adventurous try it out and let me know what you think.

PS.  When I remembered to take pictures my mom had almost completely polished off the quesadilla so you may see some teeth marks in there.

 

Ginger.. err I mean… Cinnamon Cookies! January 13, 2010

Filed under: Cookies,Snacks — flyingbubble @ 11:50 am
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My mom likes ginger snaps and my granddad really likes ginger snaps (my mom’s dad) so when I saw ginger cookies in my Weight Watchers cookbook I just had to try the recipe.  I carefully followed the instructions and evenly measured each dough ball to get exactly 16 cookies.  Despite my efforts, when the timer went off, my mom pulled a tray of partially black rock hard burnt cookies from the oven.  Even more disappointing was the fact that I had used the last of our ground ginger on that batch.  Eager to clear the “black mark” from my baking record, I decided to try the recipe again.  We have a large container of ground cinnamon so batch 2 became cinnamon cookies.  This time I did everything the same except I watched the cookies like a hawk while in the oven.  The recipe had called for 15-20 minutes in a 400 degree oven, which seems like overkill considering most cookies bake for about 10 min in a 350 degree oven.  This time I pulled the cookies at 10 minutes and they were crisp on the bottom but not burnt! 🙂 yay. They’re actually really tasty and only 69 calories a piece.  Next time, I’d like to try baking them at 350 and see if I can get a more even browning.  Here’s the recipe, it’s quick and only makes sixteen 69 calorie cookies so its not as damaging to your diet if you can’t help nibbling on them.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup margarine

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons honey

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground ginger (or cinnamon)

1/8 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Combine first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; place over low heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until margarine melts.

2.  Combine flour, ginger, and salt in a medium bowl; add margarine mixture, stirring well.

3.  Drop dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 400 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Transfer to wire racks; cool completely.  Yield: 16 cookies (1 per serving)

NUTRITION FACTS: 69 calories, 10.1 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat, .2 g fiber, .7 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 52 mg sodium, 4 mg calcium

 

Chile-Cheese Cornbread January 12, 2010

Filed under: Bread,Snacks,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 8:51 pm
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Today I added a tag cloud to my blog (you may notice it if you scroll down the right hand side).  I was anxious to see which word appeared the biggest, meaning it’s the most common tag for my recipes.  Most people who know me would assume that my most common tag has to be cookies, brownies, sugar, syrup, chocolate or any other sweet word imaginable.  To everyone’s surprise my most common tag is actually cheese!  I apparently can’t cook without it.  Looking back through my recipes, I have made a lot of quesadillas, pizzas and other cheese related dishes.  I make no promises to continue or discontinue my excessive use of cheese but it’s nice to be aware of my cheesy bias.  I chose to cook today’s recipe before I had seen the tag cloud so here’s another cheesy food I’ve made.  I bought a Weight Watchers cookbook at a thrift store for 50 cent a while back and I just found it at my mom’s house.  Since my cookbooks of choice are all in Florida I decided to try making a few from this book.  The batter was very easy to whip up and clean up after.  Aside from waiting 30 minutes for the bread to cook this is a great quick and easy recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup water

1/2 cup egg substitute

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

3/4 cup (3 oz) shredded 40% less fat Cheddar cheese

1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

2. Combine water, egg substitute, and oil; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened.  Stir in cheese and green chiles.

3. Pour batter into an 8in square baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until cornbread is golden.  Yield: 16 servings.

NUTRITION: (per serving) 107 calories, 15.3g carbohydrates, 3g fat (.9g saturated), 0.7g fiber, 4.6g protein, 4mg cholesterol, 125mg sodium, 138mg calcium

 

Fancy Quesadilla December 30, 2009

Filed under: breakfast,Snacks — flyingbubble @ 1:52 pm
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Jeremiah was hungry for breakfast and I had already eaten so we made this recipe up based on our available ingredients.  A couple nights ago my dad and I were watching Bobby Flay’s Throwdown and we saw him win a grilled cheese contest.  My dad thought the winning recipe sounded delicious so he went out and bought the ingredients.  I arrived home on Christmas eve after a long day of skiing at Snowbowl (near Flagstaff, AZ) and my dad called to tell me that I was in charge of grilling the sandwiches and I could find everything I need already in the fridge.  The “grown up” grilled cheese sandwich was made with brie and goat cheeses, green tomatoes and bacon.  We had leftover cheese so I thought a brie and goat cheese quesadilla would be delicious.  I would have added some sliced green tomatoes if we still had any.  I’m posting this because the cheese combination is really good and worth trying.  I also forgot to photograph the grilled cheese sandwiches.  Brie is the perfect compliment to the sharp and  tangy goat cheese.  

 

Diet Soda Baked Apples October 25, 2009

Filed under: breakfast,Dessert,Snacks,Vegetarian — flyingbubble @ 7:07 pm
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Before departing on the trip to my lovely new home in Pensacola, I visited my sponsor family in Annapolis is say goodbye.  They gave me some glass lock storage containers (which have been awesome for storing my leftover foods) and a wonderful appetizer serving dish which I haven’t been able to use yet.  We’re planning to have a dinner party soon so I’ll finally get to break it out!  On a side note, I found out that if you place one glass lock container inside the other… there is a pretty strong possibility that they will get stuck together!  I was trying to conserve packing space and managed to get two of them stuck! We tried cold water on the inside one and hot water on the outside one with no luck.  We tried brute force but didn’t want to crack the glass just to separate them.  We tried soaking them in soapy water for days right side up and up side down.  I was not present for the final separation but somehow my roommate was able to pry them apart!  Thankfully, I still have a fully functional set of containers.  The point of this explanation is that while I was visiting my sponsors they had just picked apples from an orchard and offered some to me.  I grabbed a couple of HUGE cooking apples. I’m not sure what type they were. Its hard to tell when they don’t have a cute little grocery store sticker with the name right on it.  I’ve been trying to figure out the perfect way to use them as I’m not a huge fan of apple pie.  I was flipping through my Hungry Girl cookbook today (shocker… I know… you’d think I didn’t own any other books).  I found a recipe for baked apples.  It seemed super simple too, just some diet soda, cinnamon and splenda.  So I baked them this morning and they were awesome!! Well worth the 45 minutes wait.  Plus, the apples were so big we still have 3 pieces left.  I had to cut them into pieces to fit in the pan, normally you would want to keep them hole and just choose smaller sized apples.  Here’s the recipe, just in time for fall season, so you can cook these at home.

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“Bestest Baked Apples”

INGREDIENTS:

4 medium Rome apples

1 can diet black cherry soda

1/2 no calorie sweetner packet

Dash of cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Core apples.  Place in a casserole dish. Pour the entire can of soda over apples.  Sprinkle cinnamon and sweetener over apples.  Place dish in the oven and bake for 45 minutes or until apples are tender.  Serve warm, hot or cold. MAKES 4 SERVINGS.

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PER SERVING: 72 calories, <0.5g fat, 10mg sodium, 19g carbs, 3g fiber, 14g sugars, 0g protein

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