Monday, September 30, 2013

Polenta Tamale Pie

I pulled these first two leftover ingredients from my refrigerator:
1/2 lb. cooked ground turkey (left over from my Zucchini Pizza Crust)
2 cups cooked black beans (left over from a batch I ate with Quinoa over the weekend).  Drained and rinsed.
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 can whole chick peas, drained and rinsed.
1 canned jalapeno, diced (remove stems and seeds)
1 tube of vegetarian Polenta, flavored with garlic and basil
4 slices muenster/colby cheese, cut in halves

Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
Heat oil in a large skillet.  Add the cooked chicken, black beans, chick peas and the tomatoes.  Combine thoroughly.

Stir in the diced jalepeno.

Simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid thickens.  Spray another skillet (10") with cooking spray.  Transfer the bean mixture into it and pat down.

This is the Polenta I bought

Slice the whole roll into 1/2" slices

Place slices on top of bean mixture.  I took the end of the Polenta, crumbled it and placed the pieces into any open gaps as shown in the image above.

Place slices of cheese on top of the Polenta to cover most of it (add more if you'd like).  Bake for 25 minutes.

Let set for five minutes.  Serve warm.

I have never cooked with Polenta.  This is my first time.  I've heard about it on FoodTV and when I saw it on the shelf, I grabbed a tube with no idea what I was going to do with it.  As I searched for ideas on the internet, a Mexican tamale pie jumped out at me.  I have my own recipe for Tamale pie so that's what I decided to make with it.  I'm so glad I did.  This was really good and healthy (low fat, low carb), even my meat and potatoes man enjoyed it.  We have plenty of leftovers for another two meals!  Yay!  Savoring the beginning of a new week.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Autumn at Spottswood Place

Welcome to Spottswood Place, I'm glad you stopped by. . .

My new centerpiece for my dining room table.

My sister gave this doll to me decades ago.  She said it reminded her of me.  Once upon a time, in my young days I had long black hair and was able to make some braids....*whimper*

 And that's it!  Autumn is one of my most favorite times of the year to decorate.  I also love the pumpkin, cinnamon apple scented candles that come with this season, I constantly have one burning.

It's the start of the weekend.  Savor every moment!


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Zucchini Crust Pizza

Copied from Seattle Local Food
2 small eggs
3 small zucchinis (about 8"), grated and drained (I used a net strainer and a rubber spatula)
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
2 tbsps olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small container sliced shiitake mushrooms
1 lb. ground turkey or chicken
1 cup marinara sauce
1 cup grated low-fat or non-fat mozzarella cheese
Fresh basil leaves, sliced

Preheat oven to 450F degrees.  Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

 Combine the eggs, grated zucchini and parmesan cheese

Spread mixture into circle, about 1/2" thick

 Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven, leave on pan and set aside.

While the pizza crust is baking or cooling, heat the oil in a saucepan on medium low heat.  Saute the onions and garlic until translucent.  Remove and set aside.

Saute mushrooms in same pan until softened.  Remove and set aside

Turn heat up to medium.  Combine the onions and garlic with the ground turkey breaking it apart until brown.  Remove and set aside to cool.

Spread the marinara sauce over the crust

Sprinkle on the chicken, mushrooms and top with mozzarella cheese.  Bake for another 5-7 minutes until the edges start to brown.

Remove from oven and sprinkle with sliced basil

Doesn't it look like real pizza??  I was so impressed!

A very low or no carb pizza, imagine that?  Another recipe I found on Pinterest and knew I had to make it.  If you're like me, making it is half the fun.  I was amazed how good it tasted but the only thing I'll change next time is not add so much chicken.  I think I went over board that I ended up taking some of it off each slice I ate.  I just didn't like the way it tasted, other than that, like I said, I was amazed. 

As far as my meat and potatoes man, I made him a fancy DiGiorno pizza that he enjoyed.  He tried my pizza and didn't like it one bit, lol!

It's almost the weekend!  Until then, savor every moment!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Spanish Chicken Rice

2 tbsps paprika
2 tbsps Goya seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1-2 tbsps olive or canola oil
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and peppers
1 green pepper, sliced
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/2 can tomato sauce
2 tbsps tomate paste
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 pinch of red pepper flakes

Heat oils in large pan.  Sprinkle both sides of chicken breasts with Goya seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper.  Brown chicken both sides for 3-4 minutes each.

While the chicken is browning.  Add the onions, green peppers, canned tomatoes and tomato sauce to a large dutch oven or crockpot

After the chicken has browned, transfer to pot and place on top of vegetables.  Save drippings and pan for next step:

To the drippings in the pan, add the two tablespoons of tomato paste.  Stir and blend for 1 minute.

Add broth to tomato paste and stir completely, making sure to scrape up drippings.

Add the tomato broth to the chicken in the pot.  Sprinkle in the pepper flakes.  Simmer for 4-5 hours in crockpot OR 2-3 hours in dutch oven.

These ingredients are not part of the recipe but if you have any leftover vegies in your refrigerator, by all means add them to the simmering pot.  I had fresh green beans and some shiitake mushrooms to add.

Add the cup of rice 10 minutes before it's all done.  Stir and simmer.

Serve and enjoy!

I'm trying to be creative in making healthy minded dishes especially now that I have to be careful in what I eat.  I lessened the amount of oil down to just 1 tbsp and it worked perfectly.  I was thrilled to have had enough green beans to add since I have to eat a lot more vegies, more than anything else.  The brown rice was just enough and added enough substance.  The spiciness from the red pepper flakes was perfect.  Hubby and I enjoyed this dish very much with just one serving.  There's plenty of leftovers for tomorrow!

Hope you're having a wonderful week!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Spicy Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Recipe by girlversusdough at

2 tbsps. olive oil
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 lb. ground chicken
1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
1 shallot, chopped
1 cup matchstick-sliced carrots
1 tsp. minced garlic
1/4 cup sliced almonds, plus more for garnish (I used two tsps. flax seeds)
3 tbsps. soy sauce
2 tbsps. brown sugar
1 to 2 tbsps. sriracha
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 head bibb or butter lettuce, leaves removed
Sliced green onions for garnish (optional)

In a large frying pan or a wok, heat olive oil and sesame oils in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add chicken, mushrooms and shallot; cook until chicken is browned, about 5-7 minutes.

Add carrots and garlic; cook until carrots are slightly softened, about 2 minutes.

Add sliced almonds (I used flax seeds), soy sauce, brown sugar, sriracha (add 1 tablespoon for less spiciness, 2 tablespoons for more), rice vinegar (image above) and grated ginger.  Simmer until sauce has thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

Spoon chicken filling into lettuce leaves.  Garnish with sliced almonds and green onions (optional).

I really do enjoy Asian food, especially the spicy kind.  I might even like it more than Mexican food (shhhh! don't tell my family). I'm trying to eat low carb and low fat foods and when I found this recipe online, I couldn't wait to try it out.

Cooking it was half the fun.  The wonderful aromas permeated throughout the house, I love that!  Because I knew hubby wouldn't want to eat his with a lettuce leaf I went ahead and made him some white rice.  He was happy and I was very happy, these lettuce wraps were almost as good as the ones you find at PF Changs.  I'm very satisfied with this recipe and will keep it!

Hope you're having a great week!

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