Food Hero

Strawberry Spinach Salad by Rachelle
August 18, 2009, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Main Dish, quick fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman, Salads | Tags: , ,


Too hot to cook? I’m a huge fan of “big salads.” (Remember how Elaine on Seinfeld always wanted to order “big salad.”) But sometimes you just can’t think of something yummy to put on your salad greens. My soulssitah Jen Payne to the rescue! Jen passed this great list of 101 Salads from the New York Times on to me, and I offer it now to you. (I understand #7 , the carrot blueberry salad  is especially great.)

In the meantime, here’s one of my favorite combos: Strawberry Spinach Salad. Start with clean, dry baby spinach leaves. Toss in a couple hand full mint leaves. Add very thinly sliced red onions, chevre (goat cheese), and cashews. The lightest splash of olive oil and rice vinegar, or poppy seed dressing is nice.


Steak w/Lime Marinade & Spinach Salad by Rachelle
August 17, 2008, 7:29 am
Filed under: Main Dish, Medium Fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , , , , ,

Adapted by Rachelle from Martha’s Stewart’s Everyday Food. (A great cooking magazine.)

I adpated this recipe so you get two treats in one — great steak and a delicious salad. Using pre-washed fresh spinach and ginger from a jar will save you a little time. If you want to use fresh ginger peel it with a veg peeler and slice the entire root thinly. Chopped what you need for the recipe and put the rest in the freezer for long-term keeping. This calls for flank steak but you can use any grilling steak. For more info than you’ll ever need to know on how to pick a steak click here, and here is a handy video of How to Broil a Steak. (I only do the pan-searing step for really thick steaks.) Have Yum!

Shopping List
1/3 c lime juice (4 limes)
2T soy sauce
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2T ginger, peeled and minced (or scooped from a jar)
1/2 t red-pepper flakes
1 1/2 lbs flank steak
coarse salt
fresh pepper
bag of fresh pre-washed spinach
red onions
mandarine oranges (tinned and drained is okay)
Sliced almonds

crusty bread (of course)

Get out a glass pan or rimmed baking sheet and a ziploc bag. Put all your marinade ingredients into the bag, seal and shake. Now open it back up and put your steak in there. Seal and turn it over a few times to coat both sides. Let marinade in the fridge for at least one hour, but preferably overnight.

When you start getting hungry, take the steak out and put it on your pan to bring it to room temprature. Turn on your broiler and put your broiling pan in the oven. Pour the marinade into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and cook, stirring regularly until the sacue thickens slightly. I usually try to get it to reduce by half. Set the pan aside.

Slice your red onions thinly. Peel your mandarin/satsuma and break it into segments. Give your spinach a little extra wash and spin in the salad spinner. Pour it in a bowl and toss it with the onions, oranges, and almonds.

Now put your steak in the broiler and keep an eye on it. It will take 5-7 minutes for a flank steak, longer for thicker steaks. You have to turn the steak over half way throuhg. Again, check out this video for tips about times for rare-vs-well done. It’s not hard, but the timing can be tricky. Err on the side of under-doneness as the steak will continue to cook slightly once you take it off the heat. You can always make a small slice in the center of the steak to check for done-ness.

When your meat is done to your preference, take out the pan and let the steak sit for a few minutes. Toss your salad with your reduced dressing. Hopefully it’s still warm, because this will wilt your spinach slightly and release all the flavors in your salad.  Slice a hunk of crusty bread, put everything on your plate and nosh away.



White Sauce with Proscuitto, Spinach and Peas over Cheese Tortellini by Rachelle
August 7, 2008, 5:36 pm
Filed under: Italian, Main Dish, Medium Fix, Rachelle Mee-Chapman | Tags: , , , , ,

Created by: Rachelle Mee-Chapman

White sauce isn’t really that a hard. Once you learn how to make the basic sauce you can add whatever you want to it to make a bunch of quick dinners. This combo makes a pretty green-and-white dish full of pasta that has a little extra nutritional value due to the iron-rich spinach.

They key to a stress-free white sauce is to have everything chopped up before hand and to pre-heat the milk before you start. Nuke the milk in the microwave for about 1/2-2 minutes and it will hold enough heat until you are ready to add it to the sauce.

If you feel a little nervous about getting the sauce and pasta done at the same time, just cook the pasta before you start the sauce. Drain it, toss it with a little olive oil, add the spinach and put the lid on. It’ll keep.

Shopping List

2T butter
2 cloves garlic, diced
2T flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 handfuls of shredded Parmesan cheese
8 slices (1pkg) prosciutto (or other cured pork product)
1/2 c frozen peas
4 handfuls fresh spinach, shredded lightly by hand
2 pkgs fresh cheese tortellini

Dice your garlic. Wash your spinach and dry it in the salad spinner. Pour it out onto a cutting board and run your knife through it a few times until it is slightly shredded. Slice the prosciutto into thin-ish strips. Pour hot water over your peas to speed up the defrosting. Heat your milk for two minutes in the microwave. (A glass measuring cup works well for this.)

Okay, ready? Put a pot on the stove over medium heat and melt butter. Toss in the garlic and cook 2 minutes. Stir in flour. Don’t let it scorch. Using a whisk, stir in the warm milk. Stir constantly, turning up the heat slightly until it comes to a low boil. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until the sauce reaches a desired thickness. Add in a couple of handfuls of Parmesan cheese and stir until melted. Add prosciutto and peas. Stir in peas and heat through. Add lots of fresh ground black pepper.

Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Toss in shredded spinach and stir. This will wilt it just slightly. To wilt it more, put the lid on the pot and let it sit a minute. Pour pasta into serving dish and stir in just enough sauce until the noodles are gently coated. Spoon a little more sauce on the top if desired, but don’t drown it! This goes very nicely with some white wine, don’t you think? Time for dinner! Have yum!

What did you add to your white sauce? Do tell in the comments below or link us to your recipe!