Monday, February 24, 2014

Steak and Ale® Garlic Sirloin

Steak and Ale® Garlic Sirloin
Copycat Restaurant Recipe
4 servings
Menu Description - “Seasoned with garlic and topped with homemade garlic butter.”

Garlic Sirloin
1/2 cup butter
2 teaspoons garlic powder
6 garlic cloves, minced
4 sirloin steaks
salt and pepper to taste
basting brush

Lightly oil the grill plate with cooking spray. Preheat grill for high heat. In a small saucepan, melt butter over low heat with garlic powder and 4 cloves minced garlic. Set aside. Sprinkle both sides of each steak with salt and pepper. Sprinkle one side of each steak with the two garlic cloves, minced. Place meat on grill. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until desired doneness is achieved. When done, transfer to warmed plates. Brush tops liberally with garlic butter, and allow to rest for 2 minutes before serving.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The American Cafe® Spinach Dip

The American Cafe® Spinach Dip

1 lb (16 oz) Velveeta Cheese
10 oz frozen chopped Spinach
3 oz Cream Cheese
1 can Ro*Tel Diced Tomatoes
Dollop of Sour Cream
Tortilla chips

Cut up Velveeta & cream cheese into 1/2" cubes. Put all ingreidents in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on High 5 min. or until cheese is melted. Stir after 3 minutes in microwave. After the dip is ready to serve, place a big dollop of sour cream on the middle portoin of the dip. Serve with tortilla chips.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

McDonald's® Shamrock Shake

McDonald's® Shamrock Shake
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon Peppermint Extract
1/4 teaspoon McCormick Green Food Color
Whipped cream (Reddi whip)
2 cherries

Place all ingredients except whipped cream and cherries in blender; cover. Blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into two glasses. Top with whipped cream and a cherry for each. Serve with straws if desired.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Olive Garden® Sicilian Splash

Olive Garden® Sicilian Splash

8 ice cubes
6 ozs white grape juice
4 1/2 ounces orange soda
sparkling water
2 slices of lemon (garnish)

Place 4 ice cubes each in two tall glasses. In a pitcher place white grape juice, then orange soda and some sparkling water. Pour mixture into glasses. Garnish each glass with lemon slices.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Sonic Burgers – Hop Over To A Healthier Meal

Sonic Burgers – Hop Over To A Healthier Meal

Not every burger joint has a carhop that will bring your food out to you. But then again, Sonic is not your average burger joint. And while it is pretty awesome to have your food delivered on roller skates, that fun is at the sacrifice of your healthy diet. Yes, unless you are the one on the roller skates, you're going to be over your daily calorie limit very quickly with this delicious fare from the 50s. Making the burger joint foods you love at home is the answer. Then get out your roller skates after dinner and enjoy the fun!

The Best Burgers are Homemade

One of the easiest ways to enjoy healthier delicious burgers is to learn how to make them at home. Start by controlling the burger itself. Choose lean top-grade meats or poultry to form the basis of your burger. Now you have complete control over the stuff you want and avoiding the stuff you don't. Many burger joints use beef with added filler. You don't have to. Choose the highest quality ground meat or poultry you can afford and you'll have the best burger.
Now you also have the ability to sneak some extra healthy ingredients in your burgers to boost the nutrition level up and over the top. Grind up some spinach, kale, or other greens and hide it in your burger blend as a way to slip vegetables into your meal in a way your kids will never know. If you have a picky eater in the family, this might just be the trick to getting them to eat their vegetables without having to fight with them at the dinner table. Don't forget to crack an egg or two into the mix for even more protein. Smash up some beans for more protein and fiber, and a way to stretch the budget, too.

Sodas, Shakes, and Slushies

While they are ooohhhh so good, drinks like shakes, slushies, and sodas are not especially healthy. There isn't much you can do about making a can of soda healthy, but you can choose alternatives to help control the sugar and carbs. Turn to sparkling water with a twist of lemon or lime or even a splash of real juice for a healthier choice.
Shakes and slushies can be tweaked pretty easily to create a healthier alternative. You can actually hide veggies in these frozen concoctions if you are sneaky enough. Even frozen spinach will blend well into a shake if you pack in the flavors and colors. Blend in enough blueberries or strawberries and their bright colors and deep flavors will quickly hide the green of the spinach.
Rethink the ingredients completely to create healthier alternatives. Use frozen yogurt to blend your shake instead of ice cream. Use real fruit in your slushies instead of fruit flavors for the healthiest choice. Remember, the closer you get to the vine or tree, the healthier the ingredient.

All the Extras

So the homemade burgers and drinks are great, but who can resist the onion rings and those tater tots? In order to get the same great taste with less fat, you have to flash fry them in a lighter oil or bake them on a rack in the oven. The trick is to use the best oil and the least amount of time in the oil. Short cooking times at high temperature will produce good results with less fat saturated into the potatoes.
Cutting up your own potatoes, rather than using prepackaged, is the other answer to a healthier alternative. Precook your potatoes, grate them, mix in a little flour and egg to make them stick together, and then roll into little ball shapes with your hands. You can coat these with a light cover of panko crumbs for extra crunch. Don't forget to season them with salt. Now you're well on your way to a healthier alternative with just as much flavor and goodness as any drive-up can offer.
When you cook with these methods, you are able to control what ingredients you put in your food, or more importantly leave out. Also, you can feel good knowing that you are giving your family the food they love while preserving the healthy qualities. Grabbing a burger on the run is fun, but is it worth the calories you sacrifice? Once you learn how to make your favorite burger joint fare at home, you'll find you can make it healthier and perfectly suited to your family's taste buds.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Applebee's® Crispy Buttermilk Shrimp

Applebee's® Crispy Buttermilk Shrimp
Copycat Restaurant Recipe
3 servings
Menu Description - “A heaping platter of shrimp, lightly breaded and fried to perfection. Served with garlic mashed potatoes, fresh seasonal vegetables, garlic toast and cocktail dipping sauce.”

Crispy Buttermilk Shrimp
1 pound raw large shrimp, de-veined
1 cup flour
1 cup cornflakes, crushed
1 cup buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix together cornflakes and buttermilk. Dip shrimp into wet batter. Mix flour, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Transfer flour mixture to a resealable plastic bag. Then place 6 shrimp at a time in the flour mixture and shake gently. Place shrimp on a plate to reserve for frying. Fry until golden brown on each side in 400 degree F one inch hot oil.

Applebee's Copycat Cocktail Sauce
1 cup ketchup
2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
½ teaspoon Worcestershire
3 drops red pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Chill. Tip: Homemade buttermilk is less expensive than store bought buttermilk and is easy to make. Add one teaspoon distilled white vinegar to one cup fresh milk; let sour for 5 minutes.

Friday, January 31, 2014

California Pizza Kitchen – Customize Healthy Ingredients At Home

California Pizza Kitchen – Customize Healthy Ingredients At Home

If anyone knows how to create a custom menu for kids, it's the California Pizza Kitchen. Taking almost every health preference into account, such as vegetarian and vegan, gluten free and high allergy foods, the California Pizza Kitchen knows how to take care of their customers. If pizza is on your mind, but the budget is tight and you have a gaggle of hungry kids to feed, you might want to adapt your own pizza menu that is just as versatile and maybe a bit healthier.

Saucy Hidden Nutrition

Pizza is usually one of the more popular meals in the United States. It doesn't take much convincing to get the whole family excited about having pizza for dinner. The big debate doesn't begin until the toppings are up for discussion. If you have a difficult time getting your family to choose anything other than mountains of pepperoni and piles of fatty cheese, it may seem impossible to get a healthier pizza on the table. But, here's the trick; start with a healthy homemade sauce to help pack in the nutrients.

Yes, making your own sauce can provide a great way to add those vegetables you only wish your kids would try. But, you don't have to slave for hours over a hot stove to make your own sauce. You can start with a jar of all-natural (check label) prepackaged marinara sauce and puree in some spinach, roasted red bell pepper, garlic, onion, and mushrooms. You can even sneak in a little grated zucchini, squash, or sweet potatoes to really boast the fiber and nutritional levels. Be sure to include lots of “pizza spices” like basil and oregano. Once the sauce is down and toppings piled high, your family will never guess the pizza they are about to enjoy is actually good for them!

Cut the Crust

Bread is very often the first to go when it comes to making dishes more healthy. Cutting out carbs is one way to lose weight for many people. So it's only natural to try to find ways to have pizza without the crust, or at least with a healthier crust.

For instance, serving your favorite pizza toppings either on top of, or wrapped in, a tortilla is an option. You can even create pizza-like meals in or on large leaves of lettuce rather than on bread for a better way to eat healthy. Along with tortillas and lettuce, experiment with other types of crust, such as pita bread or even a personal-size pizza made on an English muffin half. Re-think that huge, thick, buttery pizza crust and come up with your own fun, and healthier, ways to have your pizza and still avoid a lot of the carbs.

Pizza Your Way

Try some of your other favorite healthy meals in a pizza style. Choose an all-natural barbecue sauce (read the label to avoid added sugar, salt, and fat) for your sauce, then top with grilled chicken for a healthier alternative to sausage. Top with coleslaw and mozzarella cheese made with skim-milk. The coleslaw is a tasty and healthy way to add vegetables and crunch that you and your family won't be able to resist. The mozzarella cheese gives you the gooey goodness you expect in a pizza without all the fat.

Another idea that is sure to please is pizza rolls. Instead of making a traditional pizza on a big, fatty pizza dough crust, make tiny pizza rolls out of your favorite healthy ingredients on top of phyllo dough, puff pastry, or even tortillas. Spread your healthy toppings out onto thinner, smaller square pizza “crusts,” fold into triangles or roll up and bake on a cookie sheet. Spice them up just like a pizza and you'll be amazed how fast your family digs in. Keep your crusts thin and light, then fill them with healthier choices, and you'll have a much more nutritious pizza.

Try this recipe from Zucchini Pizza Boats