Christmas Dinner

I had never made a boneless New York Strip roast before, and I broke my cardinal rule of party planning (never make a dish for the first time the day of the party.)

Fortunately, as you can see above, all went well. That was a six pound roast, rubbed with my garlic-olive oil paste, onion and fresh cracked black pepper. I placed the roast in an foil baking pan, because I wanted to roast this, not grill it I preheated the grill on high for about ten minutes. My grill has four burners so when I put the pan on the grill, I turned off the two burners directly under the roast, and adjusted the remaining two so that my grill thermometer read 300F (This would be the same if you did this in your oven. If you do this in your oven, start with your oven at 500F for 10 minutes, then turn is down to 300F.)

I used a meat thermometer, the type that stays in the meat while it is cooking, and is connected to a meter outside the grill or oven. If you do any amount of roasting, either grill or oven, I really recommend that you use a thermometer like this. You can set it to ring at your desired finished temperature and you will never overcook your food again.

The roast was the main part of the meal, and the part I was most stressed about. Everything else went smoothly. Tammy would pop into the kitchen from time to time, just to make sure everything was progressing. I made a loaf of bread which finished at the perfect time for me to start roasting the carrots. They take about 25 minutes under 450F and then another 10 minutes after adding the peas to the pan.

The bowl mixed greens and chopped pears was ready to be topped with the maple-mustard vinaigrette (with bleu cheese and walnuts on the side for those who want the full salad.)

The roast had just reached it’s finished temperature (143F) and I had pulled it off the grill. The carrots were about 10 minutes away from needing the peas to be added when Tammy pops in to ask “How are the carrots and potatoes going?”


Oh, no!!!!!

I dumped two pounds of fingerling potatoes onto a shallow jelly roll pan, drizzled olive oil, tosses with some salt and pepper and put it on the bottom rack of the hot oven. When I added the peas to the carrots, the potatoes were sizzling, and when the carrots were ready, so were the potatoes! Whew!

Everything works out!

I hope everyone enjoys your new year! I will still be here!

(P.S.: Next time, I will take the roast off the grill at 140F for a little closer to medium-rare.)

Roasted Carrots and Peas

Roasted Carrots and Peas
Serves 6

6 large carrots, peeled, and cut in quarters lengthwise
2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 tablespoon olive oil
Seasoning (black pepper, coriander, garlic powder, onion powder is what I used)

  1. Preheat oven to 450 and place a baking pan in it while heating.
  2. Place carrots in a Ziploc baggie.
  3. Top with olive oil and seasoning. Toss to coat.
  4. When the oven is hot, put the carrots in the hot pan.
  5. Roast for 25 minutes.
  6. Add peas, mix together. Roast another 10 minutes.

Nutritional data:
Calories:   79
Fat:           2.7g
Sat fat:      0.4g
Chol:           0mg
Sodium:  90.3mg
Carbs:     11.9g
Fiber:        3.7g
Protein:     2.9g

Coq Au Vin

Coq Au Vin
Serves 8 (average 6 ounce portion by weight)

Meals like this are great for cool days, or when you need to feed many people on a budget. It is fast, simple (with a few easy steps) and is a healthy choice. On my podcast, Make Your Someday Today, a common topic regarding health and weight loss is finding meals that taste incredible and are still easy to fit into a calorie budget. This recipe works!

Special equipment: Pressure Cooker

1 chicken (4-5 pounds), cut into 10 pieces (remove the wings from the breast, Cut the breasts in half, separate the drumsticks from the thighs.)
Flour, for dusting the chicken pieces
1 tablespoons cooking oil (canola or olive)
3 strips of bacon, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, mashed and minced
2 ribs celery, diced
1 large (3″) potato, peeled and diced
6 ounces baby carrots, cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup dry red wine
4 ounces fresh mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper as needed

  1. Dust the chicken parts with flour. 
  2. In the pressure cooker, add canola oil and heat the oil until very hot and brown the chicken pieces. 
  3. Remove the chicken to a warm platter. 
  4. Add to the pressure cooker the bacon, onion, garlic, carrot, celery and potatoe, and saute until the onion is wilted. 
  5. Carefully whisk in the 1 tablespoon of flour, then gradually add the wine and stir until thickened and smooth. 
  6. Add the thyme, parsley, bay leaf, salt and pepper, then return the chicken to the pressure cooker.
  7. Lock the lid in place and bring to pressure, then lower heat and cook for 8 minutes under pressure. 
  8. Allow pressure to drop by the naturally and remove the lid. 
  9. Add the mushrooms and simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes.  Discard the bay leaf.

Nutritional data (for 6 ounces of chicken, average of white and dark):
Calories:     434
Fat:           25.8g
Sat fat:        7.4g
Chol:         137mg
Sodium:     285mg
Carbs:       14.5g
Fiber:          2.1g
Protein:     31.7g

Optional: if you want this creamy, stir in 1/2 cup (5 ounces by weight) plain Greek Yogurt when you add the mushrooms and heat through.


My podcast, Make Your Someday Today is a twice-weekly show, where we talk to successful people in all walks of life and around the world on Monday, and then on Thursday, I take a specific message from the previous guest and give my “Trevitorial”, where I help you apply that message to your life. The entire purpose of the show is to help all of us overcome our challenges and fears and become the person we want to be, the person we deserve to be. I hope you give it a listen! 

Dublin Lawyer (my version)

Dublin Lawyer
Serves 4

2 tablespoons butter
2 cans crab (or 8 ounces crab meat)
12 ounces cooked shrimp
1/4 cup whiskey
1 cup minced shallot (about 4 large)
1/4 cup half and half
1/4 plain Greek yogurt
Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste

  1. Melt the butter in a large (10″) non-stick sauce pan.
  2. Saute shallots until they become soft.
  3. Add the cooked shrimp and crab meat. Stir together of medium-high heat.
  4. Add whiskey. Turn heat in high, and CAREFULLY flame the dish.  (This burns off the alcohol and concentrates the flavors.
  5. Stir in half and half and yogurt.  Stir until well mixed.
  6. Season to taste.

Nutritional data:
Calories:        199
Fat:                8.3g
Sat fat:           4.7g
Chol:          127.8mg
Sodium:     703.7mg
Carbs:           8.1g
Fiber:                0g
Protein:        22.8g

Note: I don’t have access to fresh crab. I used canned crab, which increased the sodium content. But the dish was still really tasty and a nice change of pace.  Also, traditionally is only uses crab, but I had shrimp on hand so I used that in addition to the crab.  It worked.

Carrots in Beer and Dill
Serves 4

1 pound bag of baby carrots
1 cup of beer
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon dried dill

  1. Cut the carrots in half the long way.
  2. Place carrots in a non-stick saute pan over medium heat.
  3. Add beer. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat.
  4. Stir occasionally.
  5. If the beer evaporates, add a little more. (It probably won’t need more.)
  6. Just before serving, add a teaspoon butter and dill.  Toss to coat and serve.

Nutritional data:
Calories:         61
Fat:                   1g
Sat fat:           0.6g
Chol:             2.5mg
Sodium:       32.5mg
Carbs:           8.1g
Fiber:            1.3g
Protein:         0.9g

Farmer’s Market Grill

Farmer’s Market Grill
Serves ?

We went to our local farmer’s market to see what fresh veggies were available. I bought some baby beets (about 1 inch in diameter) and small carrots (1/2inch in diameter, 4 inches long).

I washed the veggies, peeled the beets and cut off all the greens, reserving the beet greens. (The carrots had such a soft skin that I didn’t feel they needed to be peeled.) I steamed the carrots in the microwave for 1 minute, and the beets for 4 minutes. Then I place them in separate Ziploc bags. To each bag I added 1 tablespoon olive oil and some spices and herbs. (The carrots got dehydrated onion and garlic flakes, the beets just some fresh cracked black pepper.)

I let them rest for about a half hour and then I got my grill hot. I laid everything on the grill and turned them every few minutes. They took about 15 minutes to cook. I brought them off the grill and let them rest, covered.

I put a non-stick grill on medium high heat and added 1 tablespoon olive oil. When it was hot, I put the washed beet greens in the pan with a little pepper. I sauteed them until the greens began to wilt and removed them to the plate. (The meat was some pulled pork from last Friday.)

I added a few splashes of flavored vinegar. I made blueberry-lemon on a white wine vinegar base, and  blackberry-basil on a red wine vinegar base. The blueberry-lemon was excellent on the beets, and the blackberry-basil really complemented the pork.

I’m not going to give any nutritional data for this meal, because whatever you make will depend on what you can find.

The recipe for the vinegars are simple:

1 cup vinegar (your choice of types, just not white distilled)
1 pint berries, mashed
The zest of a lemon–OR–four fresh basil leaves, torn.

Mix the vinegar, berries and other flavor together in a lidded jar. Shake well and place in the refrigerator for 4-7 days. (Shake once a day.)

When you are ready to use it, strain the juice through a double layer of cheesecloth. Store in the fridge. I’m not sure how long it will last, but in the fridge, I’m guessing it will last quite a while. (Also, I specified a “double layer” of cheesecloth. For the first recipe, I accidentally used four layers, and it took forever to strain.)

These vinegars will have a few more calories than pure vinegar, but I can’t calculate how much. I honestly don’t think it will be enough to worry about.

Other flavor combinations that would taste good:
Sweet cherry-lime

Moo Shu Vegetables on Shirataki Noodles


Moo Shu Vegetables on Shirataki Noodles
Serve 4

4 large eggs
12 ounce bag of Broccoli Slaw (or other shredded vegetable, approximately 4 cups)
1 cup bean sprouts (fresh)
1 cup shredded carrots
6 ounce bag snow peas, diced into ½ inch pieces
3 scallions sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon fresh ginger root, crushed

1 Tablespoon plus one teaspoon sesame oil
2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon Hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce

14 ounces shirataki tofu noodles (2 bags)

1.   Empty bags of noodles into colander. Rinse. Set aside.
2.   Heat non-stock skillet with cooking spray. Lightly scramble eggs, and place in skillet.  Cook   until lightly set, remove from skillet, set aside.
3.   Wipe out skillet, re-spray with cooking spray over medium heat. When hot, add garlic and ginger, stirring, for one minute.
4.   Add broccoli slaw, carrots, bean sprouts and snow peas. Add vinegar, and 1 tablespoon sesame oil and let warm for 3 minutes.  Stir once or twice.
5.   Add hoisin sauce and eggs.  Stir to break up eggs.  Until heated through (3-4 minutes.)
6.   In a second non-stick pan, spray with cooking spray and add remaining 1 tsp sesame oil over medium-high heat. Add shirataki noodles and half of the scallions.  Toss until hot. (1-2 minutes)

Serve the vegetables (2 cups) over the noodles (1/2 cup).

Nutrition Data:
Calories:          204
Fat:                  10.5g
Sat fat:               2.1g
Chol:             211.5mg
Sodium:           230mg
Carbs:              18.9g
Fiber:                 8.1g
Protein:            11.7g