Menu 3- Food Twists to Tempt your Tastebuds

Face it, fixing dinner EVERY night can put you in a foodie funk... especially when you're trying to keep it healthy, and especially when you're short on time and foodie funds- b.o.r.i.n.g.

Chicken... and then more chicken... lemme guess- chicken tonight???

Well I say it's time to mix it up, and twist it up! 

Because like martinis, games with spots, heavy metal glam bands of the 80's... and the dance move that is as good for your abs as it is for a good smile- everything is better with a twist.

Bon Appétit, my sweets!

Monday: Asian Glazed Wings and a Grilled "The French are Never Blue" Salad- for healthier wings gone global... keep the blue cheesy passionate crunch... loose the celery.

Notes: For the salad, I use prepackaged Romaine lettuce hearts.  Rub with a bit of oil and grill in a grill pan for about 6 minutes, turning occasionally until there is a light char on the outer leaves.  Top with crumbled blue cheese, bacon, cut up hard-boiled egg and my favorite French Dressing.

Tuesday: Turkey Meatloaf Burgers and "Tater" Tots- (for when you're craving diner food without all the grease and carbs.)

Note: For the meatloaf, I half this recipe!  And used dried thyme.  After it's cooked, cut into patty-sized slices and top with your fav. cheese of choice to melt- I love Gruyere (Havarti is nice too) in this case.  Wrap in a crisp iceberg lettuce leaf (instead of the bun) and add all the regular fixing's... I like grilled onions, mustard, and mayo!

"Tater" Tots- 1 pound bag frozen cauliflower
2 Tblsp. water
4 Tblsp. butter
2 large egg yolks
1 c. grated parmesan cheese
2 tsp. dried chives
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave cauliflower with water until very tender.  In a food processor add cooked cauliflower and the rest of the ingredients.  Place mixture in a large zip-lock bag and snip off one of the lower corners.  Pipe into 1" tater tot lengths and bake about 17 minutes or until browned

Wednesday: Eggs Benedicto: (for when you want breakfast for dinner- Latin style... with some heat!  (yum- I LOVE Eggs Benedict!)

Notes: I add some spinach sauteed in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and 1 Tblsp. chopped cilantro added the last minute or two.  Use a (ripe) sliced tomato as the base instead of the croissant. 

So, from the bottom up- tomato slice, spinach, prosciutto, egg all smothered in hollandaise- and sprinkled w/more fresh cilantro!

Thursday: Chicken "Pasta" Chowder- (for when you want a healthier Chicken noodle soup- a soup my mom made time and time again growing up, now just minus the pasta.  This chowder is comfort food- xo, Mom!) 

Notes: For the Chowder- Fry 1/4 lb. diced bacon in large saute pan until crisp.  Drain on paper towel and set aside.  Retain 3 Tblsp. drippings in the pan and add 2 Tblsp butter (I know!!) and saute 1 minced garlic clove, 1 c. chopped onion, 1 1/2 c. diced celery and 1 1/2 c. diced carrots.  Add 8 c. chicken broth and bring to a boil.

In the meantime, make zucchini noodles, peeling with a vegetable peeler down just the outer green edges in long strips to create "noodles."  I use about 8 zucchini for a "chowder,"  less for more of a soup.

Add in 3c. of cooked chicken (I use a rotisserie chicken, shredded) and the zucchini noodles and simmer for about 6 minutes, just until zucchini is al dente.

Season throughout with salt and pepper (layering is key in cooking!)  And serve with reserved bacon sprinkled on top.

Friday: Chocolate Spiced Pork Chops with Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta over a bed Arugula and Feta- (for those who have a sweet tooth, like me, and would often just prefer to eat dessert for dinner!  Perfect Friday date night dinner- sweet and spicy!)

Notes:  Try them- you'll love them.  Yes, Brussels Sprouts are good.  Get some prepackaged Arugula and toss w/a bit of balsamic vinegar (or champagne vinegar if you're looking for romance ;-), some olive oil, salt and pepper and crumbled feta cheese.  Top w/ the pork chops and don't forget the brussels!