Sunday, July 19, 2015

A Skinnytaste Kind of Week


Do you know Skinnytaste? It's a blog, it's a cookbook, it's everywhere on social media ... it's Gina Homolka. She is known for slimmed down recipes which are generally easy to prepare and always made from natural, readily available ingredients. I've tried quite a few and they always  turn out well.

When she released a cookbook last year, I bought my daughter a copy for Christmas. And last spring I finally got a copy for myself, too. I've cooked from it sporadically since then, but this week turned out to be all Skinnytaste, all the time.


It began with Thai Coconut Mussels. Mussels are a relatively recent addition to my culinary repertoire, probably because I only began eating them a few years ago.  My husband and I got into the habit of splitting the mussels appetizer at our favorite (though, sadly, now closed) farm-to-table restaurant. I wanted to duplicate those dishes at home, so began experimenting with several recipes.

Mussels are generally steamed, and the cooking liquid seems to be the most important factor in flavoring the dish. I've tried various stocks/broths, beers, and wines. This recipe is unusual in that the liquid is light coconut milk. Adding diced tomatoes, scallions, red bell pepper, ginger, chiles, and cilantro imparted the Thai flavor.

We both thought it was a nice change of pace, but Ina Garten's (The Barefoot Contessa) Mussels in White Wine recipe remains my favorite.



Next up were the Make Ahead Western Omelet Muffins. That's right, omelet muffins. I've been skeptical of that whole concept for a long time, but finally got around to actually trying it and was pretty impressed. I used shredded taco cheese instead of swiss because that's what I had on hand and omitted the scallions.

These were amazing! The best part was having a delicious breakfast already made for the rest of the week. I learned from my friends on Instagram that they also freeze well. There will now be a batch of these "muffins" in my freezer at all times!



And finally,  Baked Chicken Parmesan... I can't even tell you how many recipes and methods I've tried over the years, but this is the best! Gina's lightened up version starts with baking breaded chicken cutlets at a very high temperature, then placing them in a pan with warmed marinara sauce, topping with mozzarella, and letting it melt. (Note: the linked recipe says to put it back in the oven, but that was changed for the cookbook) This is the only way I will prepare chicken parmesan from now on!


What is your favorite Skinnytaste recipe?


Weekend Cooking, hosted at Beth Fish Reads, is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page.

43 comments:

  1. Ok, ok, ok -- This time I'm succumbing and I am REALLY getting myself a copy of this cookbook. Those muffin omelets look awesome. And they freeze???

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    1. Beth F - They didn't last long enough to freeze here, but Melissa (AvidReader) mentioned that she has frozen them with good results.

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  2. I swear, you prepare the best looking meals. It sounds like I need to get that cookbook!

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  3. I haven't tried Skinnytaste yet, but those muffin omelets sound like something I should be making for husband's breakfast during the week.

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    1. Diane - They are so quick and easy! I love eggs, but hate cooking in the morning. This seems to be the perfect solution.

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  4. This post is making me really hungry!

    My wife and I love mussels and we cook them all sorts of ways. We have a Belgian restaurant near us. Mussel dishes are their specialty. They do all sorts of traditional and non - traditional things with them to very good effect.

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    1. Brian Joseph - We discovered a Belgian restaurant near my daughter in NYC (Markt). I previously had no idea mussels could be prepared in so many ways. It's always a treat to visit!

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  5. Oooh. I love the idea of the muffins. I've made something similar from Fine Cooking, but never thought that they would freeze, And the chicken? Yes, please.

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    1. Audrey - I'll have to verify the freezing part, but these were delicious. Her recipe uses 6 eggs and 6 egg whites for 12 muffins.

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  6. I'll have to check out this cookbook! I just started a new "lighter" eating plan myself. Oh...and I love mussels. and muffins. and chicken..... LOL

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    1. Debbie - It's a good one... recipes for all sorts of things!

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  7. This looks like something I not only would like but need. A little creepy putting on the swimsuit this year! Right now I'm in "fruit mode" but with big birthdays coming up, this will soon pass into decadence...

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    1. Jeanie - It's amazing how delicious these lighter dishes still taste!

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  8. I always enjoy seeing what's happening on the Skinnytaste blog, so I can imagine that the cookbook would be great. Those Western omelet muffins look really good!

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    1. Monica - I've never had one of her recipes fail... don't know how she does it!

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  9. I have this cookbook and thought I would try a few recipes and then I just didn't. I need to get it back out and see what I can do. Those muffins look lovely.

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    1. Kay - We might have another skinnytaste week around here :)

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  10. Tangs a good cookbook, I have Ben using it recently. Great recipes! You present them so beautifully.

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    1. Thanks, Tina! Wish I knew a little more about food photograph though...it is an art, I think.

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  11. OK this made me hungry. I am definitely trying those omelet muffins- and the chicken parm looks good too.

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    1. Greg - Sorry about that... but seriously, the chicken parm was to die for!

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  12. Curious about the baked chicken parm - looks yummy. I need to see if library has this one.

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    1. Diane - That baked chicken parm was SO good! I'm tempted to make it again this week.

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  13. You had me at "easy to prepare," and then there were those photos of gorgeous meals and dishes. Everything I love most. Thanks!

    Thanks for visiting my blog, and enjoy your week.

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    1. Laurel-Rain Snow - I love to cook and eat, so delicious lightened up dishes are perfect!

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  14. This was the first I'd heard of Skinnytaste, and the recipe for those omelet muffins sure sound good.

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    1. Claudia - She has some excellent recipes. Once you've met her, you'll be a friend for life ;-)

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  15. I'm tempted to buy her book just for the omelette muffin recipe alone. Thanks for sharing this book.

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  16. Thanks for sharing your links too. Your dishes always look amazing! It makes me want to cook more!

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    1. Pat - You can find many of the recipes on her blog... and she keeps adding new one, too!

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  17. I haven't tried Skinnytaste, but those muffins look like something I could make on a weekend and pack for lunch at work every day.

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    1. Patience_Crabstick - I'm going to make omelet muffins again this week... ham and cheese this time, I think.

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  18. It all sounds delicious! Sounds like the perfect cookbook for my daughter. B

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    1. Bonnie - My daughter uses it all the time! Glad I'm finally cooking from it, too.

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  19. I've never heard of SkinnyTaste! These recipes sound yummy though, especially the mussels. I'm currently working my way through Si King and Dave Myers' (better known as The Hairy Bikers) Hairy Dieters cookbooks.

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    1. thebookwormchronicles - Hairy Dieters cookbooks?? LOL, I'd have to check that out for the name alone :)

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  20. Wow, this is a very convincing argument in favor of this book, especially for one I've never heard of before. I'm going to try the omelet muffins immediately. They sound amazing. Thanks JoAnn.

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    1. Margot - I hope you have good luck with the omelet muffins. It was so nice to make a batch and have them ready for breakfast for several days!

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  21. I have a huge shelf of cookbooks; I love them. I think I get that love of cookbooks from my mother, since we both have collected every type of kitchen gadget and cookbook on the market. I'll have to check this blog out and see if they have something skinny for me. :) I'm in need of a good cookbook with recipes that don't lend themselves to increasing my cholesterol along with my hips, arms, thighs, etc. ;)

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    1. Kathy - Skinnytaste sounds like just what you're looking for!

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  22. Mmmmm. Everything looks so yummy. I've made Ina's Mussels and they are really good. I like coconut so I'd give this new one a try. That Chicken Parmesan looks great!

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    1. Ti - I just made Ina's mussels last night! The coconut Thai versions was a nice change of pace and a little unusual.

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