Sunday, November 21, 2010
These are simple, easy and oh.so.good.
Skip the mush this Thanksgiving and make these impressive sweet potatoes. Top with crumbled goat cheese for an extra bite of goodness.
Honey Roasted Sweet Potatoes
1 large sweet potato, cubed in 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 tsp melted butter
1 Tbsp honey
pinch of salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
preheat oven to 375 degrees
In a bowl, combine potatoes, honey, butter and salt. Gently toss together and place in single layer on a prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes. (tip: the longer you cook, the crispier they will be.)
Sprinkle cayenne pepper and serve.
These are great for breakfast too.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I played with the original recipe to fit the dietary needs of my family.
I just finished the leftovers for breakfast. It's so good that I cant wait to make it again.
Swiss Chard and Root Veggie Gratin
2 lbs. turnips, rutabagas, or potato or any combination of the three
1 onion, chopped
3 lbs. Swiss chard (or other dark, leafy green)
2 cups + 3T veggie broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbl. whole wheat flour
3 Tbl. minced fresh thyme
1 1/4 cups (about 5 oz) coarsely grated aged cheddar
Preheat oven to 400F. Prepare 9×13 baking dish.
(Peel the rutabaga if desired) Use a mandolin (or a very sharp knife and keen slicing ability) to create 1/8″ thick slices. Chop swiss chard, including stems (except for about 1″at the end).
Cook onion over medium heat in 3T veggie broth in a pot big enough to hold all the greens. Add swiss chard, and salt and pepper to taste and cook until tender but not super mushy – about 5 minutes. Transfer greens to a colander. Drain well and press with your fingers to get out as much liquid as possible.
For sauce: Combine broth and garlic in small pot. Bring to simmer, then lower heat. Slowly whisk in the flour and stir steadily. Cook and whisk for one minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Assemble: Spread half of turnips/rutabaga sliced in the dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, a quarter of the thyme and 1/4 cup of cheese. Add half of the greens evenly over the cheese, then sprinkle salt, pepper, a quarter of the thyme and 1/4 cup of the cheese over it. Pour half of the sauce over the first two layers. Repeat with another layer of veggies, seasoning, 1/4 cheese, greens, 1/4 cup cheese and more seasoning. Pour remaining sauce over the top of the gratin and press the vegetables down with your fingers. Sprinkle with the last 1/4 cup of cheese. Bake for about 1 hour until golden on top with all of the liquid absorbed. Let stand 10 minutes. Slice and serve.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
I created this recipe out of shear laziness and boy is it good. We're heading to a casual dinner party this evening and I had no desire to go to the market, so I needed to create an appetizer out of ingredients on hand.
This is sort of like humus, minus chickpeas and tahini. :)
Cannellini Beans and Cashew Dip
1 15oz cannellini beans*, drained and rinsed
1 garlic clove
2 t lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup whole cashews
1 t Greek seasoning spice
Place all ingredients in the blender and puree until desire consistency. Serve with chopped veggies and/or crackers.
*Cannellini beans are mild white beans related to the kidney bean. I typically have a can on hand as they are extremely versatile.
Friday, September 17, 2010
WHAT? No Dairy? You would never know that there's no dairy in the recipe. The cashews give this recipe a rich creamy texture and flavor.
I love dishes like this for my family because we can all have variations of the same meal without any extra work. While the Hubster and I prefer this dish as photoed above, the kids wanted theirs "deconstructed"--a side of pasta, a side of peas, a side of squash, etc.
Pasta with Cashew Bechamel, Roasted Butternut Squash and Peas
1/2 medium butternut squash
2- 3 cups peas
2 slices of prosciutto, chopped
pasta of choice
Cashew Bechamel Sauce (see below)
1. Cut, cube and roast the squash. See how to do that by clicking here.
2. Heat the peas in a sauce pan
3. Cook the pasta per directions on box/bag
4. Make the bechamel.
5. put it all together and top with a little prosciutto.
Cashew Bechamel Sauce
3/4 Cup Cashews, whole
2 T Whole Wheat Flour
1 Cup water or veggie stock
1/4 t salt
pinch of cayenne
pinch of nutmeg
Place cashews, flour, water/stock, salt and cayenne in a blender and blend until rich and creamy.
Pour the mixture into a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Now the recipe...
Hearty Banana Oat-Goat Bread
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
2 T whole flax seed
1/2 cup sucanat or brown sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1 cup smashed bananas
1/2 cup goats milk (although cow dairy, or unsweetened rice milk can be used too)
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 t vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9x5 loaf pan with oil or butter and dust with flour.
In a large bowl mix together all dry ingredients.
In another bowl beat the eggs until bubbly--about 2 minutes. Then pour in bananas, vanilla, milk and applesauce and stir.
Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until completely blended. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
These sweet and spicy wraps are great for lunch or a light dinner. I know kale is not for everyone, my kids would rather eat mud. Really. Nevertheless, it's important to role model healthy eating, and so we incorporate leafy greens on a daily basis.
I have been a bit obsessed with making different versions of this kale salad lately. This recipe was built around a jar of pepper jelly.
It all began with an encounter with a jam maker at the local Farmers Market. I had noticed this particularly unfriendly lady before, and like most of the other customers, I passed her by. For some reason, a couple of weeks ago, I was inclined to stop and strike up a conversation. EXCEPT she ignored me. I asked her questions in my usual friendly way and got no response. No love for me. It was so weird. She looked right passed me and didn't make a sound...not a peep...or a nod...just a blank stare.
I know what you're thinking, maybe she was blind and/or deaf? BUT NOOO she talked to familiar customer just fine. SO I made it my mission to befriend the grumpy jam maker. Step 1: I bought her jam.
I picked up some pepper jelly. (Don't ask me about step 2...I don't know)
I love having a jar of sweet and spicy pepper jelly on hand. It's great to add to goat cheese for an appetizer or as a flavor to build a meal around. Which is how I came to thinking up a recipe using kale and pepper jelly.
There are two tips for eating kale, #1 De-rib. Always remove the tough inner rib, leaving just the leaves; and #2 Chop of the leaves into little bite sized pieces.
To make these wraps just add about 1/4 of a chicken breast to helping of the Kale-Carrot Salad and wrap in your favorite tortilla or flat bread.
Kale Carrot Salad
1/2 bunch kale, de-ribbed, and chopped into small pieces
2 carrots, shredded or sliced
1/4 C raisins (optional)
2 limes, juiced
1-3 t of pepper jelly*
1 T water
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
salt to taste
Place the kale, carrots and raisins into a large salad bowl. In a small bowl mix the limes, pepper jelly, water, garlic and salt together. Add to the kale and toss.
*You can substitute pepper jelly for a combination of honey and red pepper flakes. Adjust the heat to your personal preference.
Monday, August 9, 2010
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1. Put beans into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, cooking for an additional 15 minutes. Drain and put into crockpot.
2. In a skillet, add olive oil, onions, bacon, mushrooms and mustard seeds. Saute for 5-7 minutes on medium heat. Add mixture to crockpot.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the crockpot, stir and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Steps 1 and 2 can be done the night before.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
With that said, we've had a great meal plan this week, which I will share with you in a sec; but first take a look at this, Sandwich in a Can:
Never mind the nasty-factor, this is a sad commentary on the state of food and our obsession with fast and easy meals. Making nutritious, home cooked meals doesn't have to be time consuming and out of reach for busy people, it just takes planning. Meal planning, specifically, and prepping for the week in advance alleviates the stress of "what's for dinner?"
Preferably, for the busy person, all shopping for the week takes place in one outing. This requires organization and a detailed grocery list.
Here are some ways to get organized, get that meal plan together, and get the shopping done so the food is in your home ready to eat!
- Take inventory of ingredients already in stock in your pantry and refrigerator.
- Look at your calendar. Are there some days that are busier than others? On those days will you need "fast food?" If so, consider the crock pot or making a one dish meal, such as a lasagna, in advance so that reheating is all that's necessary.
- Make a meal plan for the week. Start with 4-6 dinners. Consider doubling the recipes that can easily be made into a lunch or frozen for future consumption.
- Create a shopping list from your meal plan. Don't forget to check your list twice for all ingredients and make sure you write them all down.
- Schedule your shopping day, don't forget your list, and stick to it! Veering away from your list will wreak havoc on your budget.
In my experience, two areas in particular dictate a persons eating habits: time and money. Creating a meal planing-shopping system will help with both and lend itself to healthy eating habits.
Weekly Meal Plan
Sunday- Pulled BBQ Chicken Sando's and Baked Sweet Potato Fries
Monday- Shrimp Taste-Off (meaning two differently seasoned shrimp to get the kids excited about something they don't normally care for. It was a big hit. We had garlic and buttered shrimp, and Old Bay spiced shrimp.) Green salad, and a small side dish of pasta tossed with lemon, Parmesan cheese, Bouquet Garni spice, salt and pepper. Dee-lish and like most of my meals, only took 15 minutes to put together.
Tuesday- Taco Night
Wednesday- Cobb Salad
Thursday- Chicken and Veggies served over Brown Rice
Thursday, July 15, 2010
On to good food...
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I only wish it had a better name. Doesn't "spelt" sound like some sort or bird seed or an ingredient in a horse pellet?
I'm not sure what I would call it, but I would include something about it's nutty flavor. Or it's golden color. How about "Honey Nut Grain," doesn't that sound better than spelt?
This salad is perfect for spring. Light and tasty.
Spelt and Broccoli Salad
4 cups cooked spelt
1-2 heads of broccoli crowns, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 bunch of green onions, trimmed and chopped
1 cup of grape tomatoes (optional)
1/2 avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup Orange Juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2-3 T balsamic vinegar
Salt and Pepper to taste
put dressing ingredients in blender and mix until creamy. Toss together.
Sunday-Green Salad with Chicken
Monday- Pizza w/ Chard
Tuesday- Bean Soup
Wednesday- Macaroni and Cheese and Green Salad
Thursday- Chicken Enchiladas
Friday, March 19, 2010
Oh my, this is good. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a snack, this tasty seasonal recipe is yum, yum, yum!
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces, approx 1-1/2 cups.
1 cup chopped greens (spinach, chard kale), finely chopped
2 T butter
6 oz Feta
1/2 cup whole milk
1 pie crust (I used a pre-made spelt crust from Whole Foods)
salt and pepper to taste
Heat butter in a skillet, add asparagus and greens and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly. Salt and pepper to taste.
While your veggies are cooking, evenly place feta into the bottom of the pie crust. Poor veggies on top of the feta.
In a separate bowl mix eggs and milk. Carefully poor egg mixture over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes on 375 degrees.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Pears and Kefir Cheese with an Egg, Whole Grains, and Kale.
1. Get out a medium skillet and the leftover "Not My Grandmothers Brown Rice".
2. Put a teaspoon of butter in the skillet and warm, add rice and stir for about 30 seconds.
3. Push rice over to one side of the skillet. Crack egg in the other half.
4. While egg is cooking, slice a pear and scoop out about 1/4 cup of Kefir Cheese.
Viola. Filling, tasty, and health promoting meal first thing in the morning.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Monday, February 1, 2010
Yes I'm alive! It's been two weeks since my last post but that doesn't mean we haven't been eating....just nothing exciting!
I spent the first week eating our way through the pantry, freezer and refrigerator.
I hate it when things start to pile up. We had weird combinations like pancakes-chicken-salad. I made several soups and salads with all sorts of things...a little steak here, and little chicken there...one sausage, a handful of dried beans...not to worry it got put into something. We ate through it all in one week.
Last week I was just plain lazy. I made two large salads, 1 whole bird, 1 slab of beef, and we ate wraps....all week. The kids mostly had grilled cheese sandwiches.
I lost 4 pounds during the two weeks so maybe it wasn't all bad, just not anything to write about. The wraps were really good though.
Back to usual now.
Monday- Chicken Enchiladas
Tuesday- Sweet Potato and Kale Soup (tastes better than it sounds)
Wednesday- Taco Salad
Thursday- Gnocchi with spinach and cream
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Do you get the picture? When you have a salad ready to go, you have an instant meal, side dish or snack.
Remember: Salad dressings are a downfall for many a salad. Make sure to make your own or simply use oil and vinegar. Penzey's Spice House also offers many great dry dressing bases that are free of mystery ingredients.
Monday, January 4, 2010
2 Poblano peppers, seeded and sliced
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed or minced
1 T chili powder
Salt to taste
1 1/2 lb top sirloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
4 large tomatoes, chopped (or 28oz can of diced tomatoes)
4 cups broth or water
1 cup dry polenta
1 cup grated jack cheese
Start the polenta first. While polenta is cooking make the beef.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
If you are looking for something really quick and tasty to add to your table, this is it.
Sliced pears tossed in fresh lemon juice to prevent browning with a side of Kefir Cheese.
What's Kefir cheese?
Sometimes called yogurt cheese, its thick and smooth and has a tangy flavor, similar to yogurt with a little added salt. In my opinion it's like a combination of yogurt (flavor) and cream cheese (texture).
It was so quick to put together, I will definitely be serving this as a part of our Christmas day breakfast.
Brought by my most awesome friend Jami, this addition to our brunch table was a huge hit. I polished off the last three pear slices after everyone left.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sliced yellow onions
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1/4 pound mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
4 ounces oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Gruyere
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Savory pie crust, recipe follows
3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Monday, December 21, 2009
2 ripe persimmons, pureed
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped apples
Sift flour, spices and salt together, set aside.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.