Sweet & Spicy Citrus Marinade

I don’t make seafood enough.  Call this my attempt to rectify that fact.  I make salmon a lot, but it’s normally broiled or grilled with the same spicy Asian teriyaki mix.  I’m over it.  It’s time for some change (cue Peter Brady… when it’s time to change you’ve got to rearrange!!!!) in my seafood repertoire; I’m going to put some Tilapia in the mix today.

I made this marinade the other day and used it with the Tilapia.  It turned out really well, and I would absolutely use it again!  The original recipe says it would be good on chicken, but I thought the citrus worked really well with the fish.  I think it would be really great on the grill in the summer!

Sweet & Spicy Citrus Marinade

Recipe from:  Cooking Light


  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (1 Orange) 
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice (2 Limes)
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar 
  • 1 Tablespoon EVOO
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Directions:  For the Tilapia, I took 4 fillets and placed them in a cooking-spray coated pyrex dish.  Combine the marinade ingredients (except paprika) and pour over the fish.  Let sit for 15-20 minutes.  Broil in the oven for 15 minutes or until the fish is done.  Top with Paprika and some fresh Black Pepper.



and After!

and After!

Asian-Spiced Sriracha Peanuts

I’ve been absolutely CRAZED the past few weeks!!!!!  Shopping, shopping, more shopping and cleaning has completely booked up my time and thoughts while I’m getting ready to move.  I cannot believe it’s finally here!

Dave, our best friend Adam and I are moving into Philly tomorrow.  I could not be more excited!!

The 3 of us from this summer at a Phillies Game!

The 3 of us from this summer at a Phillies Game!

This week I skipped my favorite workout day to try and start packing up my room.  I literally sat in front of my closet for about 10 minutes, playing with Stella when I decided instead of packing, I should be making peanuts!  It was clearly the more important thing to do, especially after skipping my workout.  (Ugh!!!!!!!!!!!)

I have been obsessing over my Roasted Buffalo Peanuts so I bought THREE pounds of nuts when I was at our local bulk candy/nut store.  I made 2 batch of Buffalo Peanuts and wanted to try out something new.

After rummaging through our spice cabinet, I came up with this awesome recipe.  It is not as spicy as the buffalo variety, but it is packed with flavor and let me tell you… it is the most addictive thing ever!  I sat and ate so many peanuts I felt sick, wasn’t hungry for dinner, and the swing of calories from the peanuts vs not burning 1500 calories during my workout SUCKED!  I have to work out extra hard tonight!

Asian-Spiced Sriracha Peanuts

Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook


2 cups Salted Peanuts

1 Tablespoon Sunflower oil (or Olive Oil)

2 Tablespoons Sriracha Hot Sauce (my favorite condiment)

1 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five-Spice

1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/2 teaspoon White Pepper

1/2 teaspoon Salt


1.  Preheat the oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with pam.

2.  Combine peanuts with oil, Sriracha, and seasonings.  Dump onto the baking sheet and spread out.

3.  Bake for 12-15 minutes until toasted.

*Let cool, they are REALLY hot when they come out of the oven, they will become crunchier when they are cooled also*

Like I mentioned, these are not that spicy, so if you enjoy the kick that the Buffalo Peanuts have… add some Cayenne Pepper to the mix!

photo 2 (77)


(this was before I ate half of them!!!)

(this was before I ate half of them!!!)



Peanut Butter Soba Noodles

It’s been a while since I’ve posted an Asian-Inspired recipe… my favorite kind of recipe I might add.  I was on my own for dinner the other night and was inspired to finish up the package of Soba Noodles I bought earlier this year for my Soba Pasta Salad.

Although the original recipe does not call for Soba Noodles, it worked really well with it.  I would probably even say I prefer it to normal spaghetti or the recommended Udon noodles!

Peanut Butter Soba Noodles

Recipe by:  It’s Good to be the Cook

Makes:  4 Servings


1.5-2 Bundles Soba Noodles (that’s all I had left)

1 Cup Chicken Broth

6 Tablespoons Soy Sauce

3 Tablespoons Creamy Peanut Butter

3 Tablespoons Chunky Peanut Butter

3 Tablespoons Honey

1 teaspoon Garlic, minced

1 teaspoon Hot Chili Garlic Sauce

1 teaspoon Sriracha Chili Sauce  

¼ cup Green Onions, chopped

¼ cup Peanuts, chopped

Sesame Seeds, optional


1.  Cook the Soba Noodles according to directions on package.  I boiled water, threw in the pasta and let it boil for a minute, then turned it down to a simmer for 3 minutes.  I drained over a colander and ran it under cool water until they cooled off a bit.  Set aside.

2.  Combine the chicken broth, soy sauce, both peanut butters, honey, garlic, and both chili sauces in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Heat and stir until peanut butter is melted.  Cook for about 5 minutes or more until the sauce thickens a little.

3.  Toss pasta with sauce.  Let sit for 10 minutes in the refrigerator (if you want) while you chop the Green Onions and Peanuts.  Stir the pasta again, the sauce should become thicker.  Top with the Green Onions, Peanuts, and Sesame Seeds. 

I love green onions, and they’re really good on here!

This recipe is amazing served cold, or you can serve it warm if you’d like too!  It is very similar to “Cold Sesame Noodles” or “Szechuan Noodles” found in most take-out Chinese restaurants.  BUT- of course… it is much better.

The noodles are so soft without being mushy, they worked really well with the thick sauce.

I used Reduced Fat Peanut Butter for both my Creamy and Chunky and also Low-Sodium Soy Sauce in there.  I try to make healthier decisions as much as I can, and save on fat, sodium, or calories wherever I can.  It normally doesn’t compromise the recipe either.  I promise.

Does anyone else have a good Soba Noodle Recipe?  I love them!

Asian BBQ’ed Chicken & Grilled Romaine

I’m ready for summer!  That means its time to get out the scrubber and clean off the BBQ!

5-Ingredient Asian Marinade

for BBQ Chicken
4 Shakes Hot Chili Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Chili Garlic Sauce
2 teaspoons Sweet Chili Sauce
4 teaspoons Teriyaki Sauce
1 teaspoon Honey
1.  Place 2 chicken breasts in a freezer bag.  Add all 5 sauce ingredients.  Zip up and mush the chicken around in the bag (with the bag closed!) until the sauce is mixed well.  Put in the refrigerator for an hour.  Flip the bag over once during that time.
2.  After it sits for a while, take the chicken out.  Fire up your barbie (cleaned and sprayed with Pam BEFORE lighting).  Place chicken on the grill over medium to medium high heat.  Depending on thickness, heat flipping once until it looks done.  If you aren’t sure, go ahead and take a piece off, cut it in the middle and make sure it’s no longer pink.  Put it back on if it’s not done.
3.  That’s ALL!!!

I’m not the best judge with checking to see if my chicken is done.  I’m so paranoid that I always end up taking it off too late when it’s all dried out.  This time around, I made sure to not over-cook it and it was perfect!  You can use this chart for some helpful tips!

Chicken marinating…

I was able to get some nice grill marks on there!

I served this sweet and spicy chicken over a really yummy salad… with GRILLED ROMAINE!  Have you ever had it before?  It’s so good!  It was so easy to do and I will absolutely be using this again, really soon!

Grilled Romaine

2 heads Romaine, rinsed and patted dry
Olive Oil sprayer
Salt & Pepper
1.  Slice the romaine in half, lengthwise with a large knife so you make it through the entire head, leaving the bottom white part in tact.  Pat dry and let sit for 5 minutes.  Spray with an oil sprayer, or carefully lightly drizzle olive oil on.  You really don’t want to use too much.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
2.  Fire up your Barbie!  You’ll only need medium-low heat for these babies so make sure it’s not too high.  Place the lettuce slice-side-down onto the grill.  Let the sit for 5 minutes before checking on them.  Once they are starting to get some grill marks, cook for another minute or two, then using tongs, take off of the grill.
3.  Cut off the white-ends of the lettuce, cut up and serve in a salad!

cut the romaine length-wise so the leaves stay together

finished product!

This was so delish!  You seriously won’t believe how easy it is and how much of a difference it will make to your salad.  Try it!!!

The rest of the stuff in this salad were some strawberries, dried currants, sunflower seeds, red bell pepper, celery, a hot cherry pepper and some blue cheese crumbles.  It all came together really well with the chicken and some Ken’s Light Asian Sesame.

yummy salad with both the romaine and the chicken

Sriracha Chicken w/ Onions

For those of you who have been following, this recipe should not come to you as a surprise.  It follows ALL of my favorite meal requirements…

1.  It is asian

2.  It is healthy

3.  It is simple

4.  It is SPICY!

Sriracha Glazed Chicken w/ Onions (inspired by a Cooking Light, 2005 recipe)

4 Servings, < 350 calories per serving!


4 Servings of Brown Rice, cooked without salt or fat

3 Tablespoons hoisin sauce

1 Tablespoon ketchup

1 1/4 Tablespoons Sriracha

1 1/2 Tablespoons canola oil

1 thinly sliced onion

1 Tablespoon bottled minced fresh ginger

1 Tablespoon bottled minced garlic

3/4 teaspoon curry powder

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch-thick slices


1.  Prepare rice according to directions on the box without using salt or fat.

2.  While the rice cooks, combine Hoisin, ketchup, and Sriracha in a small bowl.

3.  Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add onion; sauté 3 minutes or until tender.

4.  Add ginger, garlic, curry powder, and chicken breast.  Sauté 6-10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

5.  Stir in hoisin mixture, cook for one minute.  Serve over rice.

I sliced the onion in our food processor which saved so much time! It also allowed the onions to be uniform size and thickness which prevents burning.

Simple sauce. You can double it if you'd like to set some aside to put on each individual dish.

This chicken was so easy to make that I even had some time to sit down with Stella! She is rockin' her new "buff" my Mom gave her. She's ready for Survivor 50!

Sriracha Chicken w/ Onions over brown rice

This recipe turned out fantastic.  It passed the test of not only Dave and my Mom, but my Dad who is the pickiest of us all!  If you don’t own any Sriracha yet, it is definitely something you want to pick up.  Sriracha is a nice change from your normalTabascoor Frank’s hot sauce, with more flavor and heat than both.  You can use it on anything from chicken like this, to sushi, and even on eggs!

Pineapple Chicken & Homemade General Tso Sauce

Just when you thought I was off my Asian kick…

Time for a new recipe for Pineapple Chicken with Homemade General Tso Sauce!

Ingredients for the chicken:
3 Chicken Breasts
2 Slices Pineapple (canned, in pineapple juice)
2 Tablespoons Pineapple Juice (from the can)
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
1 Hot Cherry Pepper, diced
1/2 Onion, diced or sliced however you desire
1 teaspoon Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
2 Tablespoons Orange Juice
1 Tablespoon Teriyaki Sauce
1 Bag Steamfresh Snow Peas, cooked

3 Servings Instant Brown Rice

Ingredients for the sauce:
2-3 Tablespoons Teriyaki Sauce
2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
1 pinch Light Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Honey
1 teaspoon Garlic
1 teaspoon (or more) Sriracha Hot Sauce
1 teaspoon Cornstarch (plus 1 teaspoon Cold Water)
1 teaspoon Sesame Seeds

This amazing dish was so simple!!

For the chicken: Start by sauteeing the onions and garlic in a grill pan with 1 teaspoon Olive Oil. Cut your chicken breasts into small pieces or 1-2 inch long slices and add into the grill pan. Season with the Cayenne Pepper. After chicken is almost cooked (just a few minutes) add the rest of the “chicken” ingredients EXCEPT the snow peas and brown rice (the peas will fall apart if they are added in too early). Mix to combine well with the sauce. It shouldn’t be too saucy.

For the sauce: Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan, combine the Teriyaki Sauce through the Sriracha Hot Sauce and stir with a whisk. Toast the sesame seeds and add them into the sauce. Now, stir a teaspoon of corn starch in with a teaspoon of cold water in a separate container. Add the cornstarch mixture into the sauce, lowering the heat to medium. Stir the sauce until it becomes thick.

Serve the chicken mixture over some brown rice and spoon the sauce ontop for a quick, healthy, spicy & sweet dinner!



Good Luck for 2012! Soba Pasta Salad

Did you know that certain foods are thought to bring good luck for the New Year?  I recently read this article from Good Housekeeping, and was inspired to make some good luck foods this week.

The first type of food on the “good luck” list is noodles.  Have you noticed that Soba Noodles have been everywhere lately?  I was curious why the sudden craze for buckwheat pasta, so I did some research.  God I LOVE google.  Buckwheat noodles have more protein than rice, B Vitamins, fiber, etc.  Check out this article for more info.

Cabbage was also on the good luck foods list… so this Cooking Light Recipe for Soba Noodles w/ Veggies and Tofu seemed like the perfect choice.  We all could use some extra good luck, right?

This recipe called for some ingredients that I didn’t already have, but it was so simple.  First, I made the dressing.  To toast the sesame seeds, I made a little bowl with foil, put the seeds in, and toasted it in our oven for a few minutes.  Simple.  Next, I dumped all of these ingredients into a small bowl and mixed it around with a whisk.


  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon bottled minced or minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chile paste with garlic

Minced Garlic and Ginger

Toasted Sesame Seeds in my makeshift foil container

Everything's ready to get into the bowl to make some sauce!


  • 4 cups hot cooked soba (about8 ouncesuncooked buckwheat noodles) or whole wheat spaghetti
  • 3 cups very thinly sliced napa (Chinese) cabbage
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (12.3-ounce) package firm tofu, drained and cut into 1-inch cubes

To make the pasta salad, I first cooked 8oz of buckwheat noodles (SOBA!!) in a pot of boiling water.  The Soba Noodles that I picked up were in 4 little bundles, so I used two and a half of them.  While I was waiting for the water to boil, I shredded my carrots, cut up some cilantro, and sliced theNapa.  I followed the directions on the Soba box, but it is very easy:  boil water, put noodles in, let them boil then turn down the heat to a simmer for 3 minutes.  That’s all!

Now, this recipe called for the tofu to just be cut up and put into the mix… but I prefer mine to be warm, so I took about a teaspoon of oil, heated that in a pan, then dumped the cut tofu in with some salt and pepper.  I fried this up while the noodles were cooking.  It took about 10 minutes to get a nice brown on the tofu.

Sauteing the tofu real quick before putting it into the salad

Everything else is ready to get mixed in with the Soba!

Once all of these steps were done, I dumped all of the salad ingredients in a huge bowl and stirred in the sauce.  There was surprisingly enough to cover everything!  The BEST part about this dish is that the serving size is TWO CUPS!  That’s a lot for a healthy meal!  I really enjoyed this pasta salad, and am interested to see what it tastes like cold tomorrow.

I love anything that I can eat TWO CUPS of!!

How could I forget to mention that one serving of this delicious pasta has only 336 calories and 7 grams of fat?  WOW!  Hopefully this simple, healthy dish will bring myself and anyone else who tries it good luck for 2012!!