Monday, December 2, 2013

Roasted Brussel Sprouts with Raisins & Pecans

20 good sized brussel sprouts, cut in half lengthwise
olive oil, salt, and pepper
1 c chopped pecans
2/3 c chopped raisins
1/4 cup butter

Mix raisins and brussel sprouts and toss with olive oil to coat them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast on a cookie tray lined with foil (edges turned up to prevent leaks) or in a roasting pan at 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. They will start to smell strongly and turn just a tiny bit brown when done. You can always taste test!!

When the brussel sprouts are finished dump into a bowl. Next heat the butter over medium high in a pan on the stove and toss the pecans in it just for a few minutes till they begin to toast. Watch them and do not burn them. When done, dump the pecan/butter mixture into the brussel sprouts mixture. That's it! They're good right now and can be refrigerated and reheated and are still yummy.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

I'm temporarily off sugar but not to be denied my holiday pleasures, came up with this yummy and just sweet enough holiday smoothie!

1 ripe banana
1 cup mashed pumpkin (fresh or canned)
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1/4 t ground allspice
3 cups coconut milk (almond or regular would works too)
15-20 ice cubes

Blend until smooth then sip and savor the holiday flavor!

If you want to sweeten it up you could add a few dates, or a dash of honey, of whatever sweetener you like!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Yummy Freezable Chicken Tortilla Soup

This makes a HUGE batch of freezable chicken tortilla soup loaded with good for you veggies and flavors!

3-4 chicken breasts, cooked, and cubed, or 4 c cooked chicken
(If you like, you can cut up a store bought rotisserie chicken instead)
1 large sweet onion, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapenos - discard ribs and sees & chop fine
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/4 lb green beans, cut into small bite sized pieces
2 28 oz cans of chopped tomatoes, plus one 14 1/2 oz can
2 14 1/2 oz cans black beans
4 cups broth, any kind
olive oil
coriander, cumin, salt, and pepper (at least 5 T cumin, 2 t coriander)
1 bunch fresh cilantro chopped fine, or 3 T dried (fresh is better)
4 cups corn, fresh or fozen works fine
olive oil

Optional Garnishes:
crushed tortilla chips
avocado slices
sour cream

Use a large soup pot for this. Heat olive oil on bottom of pot ove rmedium high. Dump in onions, garlic, carrots, and jalapeno. Add 1 T cumin and 1 t coriander. Stir for about 5-6 minutes till the veggies are tender. While this is going on, dump the two cans of black beans, liquid and all in a blender and puree. You don't have to do this, but it will make your soup creamier.

Add green beans, tomatoes, chicken, corn, broth, pureed black beans, 3-4 T cumin, 1 t coriander, and 1-2 t salt. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes. Best if reheated after it has time to sit awhile. Easy to freeze. To thaw, just put the frozen soup in the fridge till liquidy and reheat.

Awesome if served with some crushed tortilla chip, a few slices of avocaodo, and a dallop of sour cream.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Spicy Honey Turmeric Vegetables

2 c broccoli
1/2 sweet onion
1 portobello mushroom
2 zucchini
2 cloves garlic
olive oil or sesame oil

3 T honey
1 1/2 T turmeric
1 t cardomom powder
1/8 t cayenne
1 c milk or any kind. Coconut milk is really good!

Pour a little oil in a hot pan. Stir fry all veggies together at once till crisp tender. Mix all sauce ingredients then dump in the pan. Heat through. Weird but good!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Barley and Roasted Veggie Salad

1 cup of barley, cooked according to directions
2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
2 large portobello mushrooms or 2 cups other mushrooms
cloves from 1/2 head of garlic, peeled
olive oil
2 T dried oregano
1 t salt
1 1/2 c mixed nuts and seeds - I used 1/2 c each of sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, and chopped hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Mix broccoli, mushrooms, and garlic cloves and toss with olive oil to coat. Add oregano, salt, and pepper and toss some more to mix well. Spread in a shallow baking tray or roasting pan. Roast for twenty minutes or until broccoli is tender and just starting to brown. Place nuts/seeds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for three minutes. Watch them carefully or they will burn :) Trust me!

Chop up the roasted garlic cloves. Mix the cooked barley, roasted veggies and garlic, and nuts/seeds all together.

For dressing, mix:
2 T soy sauce
2 T balsamic vinegar or 1 T balsamic and 1 T sherry
1/4 c olive oil

Whisk well and mix in with salad.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Moroccan Inspired Quinoa

1 cup Quinoa
2 cups water

2 T olive oil
1 c matchstick or grated carrots
1 c onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic minced
1 t curry
1/8 t cinnamon

1 c raisins
3/4 c slivered or toasted almonds
2 T good yellow curry powder **
1 t cinnamon

2 cups coconut milk

Cook 1 c quinoa in 2 c water according to package directions, typically by bringing it to a boil and then slowing to a simmer for 20 minutes till done.

In a shallow pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Saute carrots, onions, and garlic with 1 t curry powder and 1/8 t cinnamon till tender. Set aside in a big bowl. Add raisins and almonds. When quinoa is done, mix this in too. Next add the remaining 2 T curry powder, and 1 t cinnamon, then 2 cups of coconut milk. Mix well.

It is good if served immediately but even better when it has a chance to sit overnight!

** Any yellow curry powder will do but the Maharajah style curry from The Spice House is insanely good!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Kale Basil Pesto

2 heads of kale, stripped off stalks and torn
4 c basil packed loosely
1/4 c lemon juide
1 1/2 c olive oil
1 c walnuts
1/2 c pepitas no salt
1/2 c parmesan
3 t salt
5 cloves garlic ( or less if you don't love it as much as me)

I am always trying to find creative ways to enjoy more dark leafy greens. This tastes really good.

Food process all ingredients together and enjoy! You might have to process the kale in batches, but then you can throw it all in together. It makes a little over a quart. YUM. Great on salads, meats, crackers, as a dip, or spooned out of the jar!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Curried Roasted Cauliflower & Chickpea Salad

I love roasted anything... this is yummy!

1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets
4-5 tomatoes, chopped
2-3 T good curry powder
2 T ground coriander
2 t salt, pinch of pepper
Olive oil
1 28-oz can of garbanzo beans, about 2 cups
2 cups cooked brown rice
4 cups fresh spinache

Heat over to 450 degrees F. Toss cauliflower pieces with chopped tomato, curry powder, coriander, salt and pepper, and enough olive oil to thoroughly coat without getting greasy. Put in an casserole dish or baking dish and roast for about 40-45 minutes until cauliflower is fork tender.

Meanwhile saute spinach in olive oil over medium high heat in pan on the stovetop, till wilted. Set aside.

When cauliflower mixture is done, toss with the garbanzo beans, cooked spinach, and brown rice. Let sit in the fridge over night for the flavors to really marry.

Monday, April 15, 2013

White Bean Salad

1 can of white beans
1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber seeded and chopped
1/4 cup feta cheese
1/2 c pitted and chopped kalamata olives

1 T dried Oregano
1 t salt
1/8 t cracked pepper
1/4 c lemon juice - about one big lemon juiced
1/2 c olive oil

Drain beans and rinse. Let dry just a few minutes. Add tomatoes, cucumber, feta, and olives. Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk together before pouring on beans. Let marinate in the fridge overnight. Enjoy by themselves or over a bed of lettuce. If you want serve with chicken or fish as well.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cheese Blintzes with Strawberry Sauce

This recipe has been with me for years. I have no idea where it came from, but I do know it is divine! It is a great make ahead and heat dish for Easter Brunch and company.

1 c milk
¼ c cold water
2 large eggs
1 c all-purpose flour
2 T sugar
Pinch salt
3 T unsalted butter, melted

Cheese Filling:
1 ½ c ricotta cheese
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
3 T confectioners' sugar
1 T lemon juice

Strawberry Sauce:
1 quart strawberries, sliced
¼ c sugar
¼ c water
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Unsalted butter, melted for making blintzes
Powdered sugar, for dusting

Whisk the milk, water, eggs, flour, sugar, and salt together until the batter is smooth with no lumps. Mix in the melted butter. Refrigerate batter for 1 hour to let it rest.

For the filling: In a small bowl combine the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, egg, confectioners' sugar, and zest and blend until smooth. Refrigerate this as well until you’re ready to assemble the blintzes.

For the sauce: Mix the strawberries, sugar, water, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a small pot over medium heat. Simmer and stir gently until the berries release their natural juices. The consistency should be a bit chunky, it will thicken up when it cools down.

Make the crepes: Put an 8-inch crepe pan or nonstick skillet over medium heat and brush with a little melted butter. Pour ¼ c batter into the pan and swirl it around so it covers the bottom evenly; pour back any excess. Cook until the crepe batter sets and the bottom is lightly browned on the first side, then flip it. Cook it on the other side for 30 seconds - 1 minute. Flip onto a plate and continue making the crepes until all the batter is used. Cover the stack with a towel to keep them warm.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Spoon about ¼ c of the cheese filling along the lower third of the crepe. Roll the crepe and place it in a 9x13” baking dish seam side down. Continue until the pan is full.

When you’re done, brush all the crepes with melted butter. Bake for 10-12 minutes to warm up and brown a little on top. Watch carefully. Pour the strawberry sauce on top, dust with powdered sugar, and serve hot.

If you are not going to make them immediately, put them in the fridge, and then thaw to room temperature. Bake them in the 400 degree oven as above, possibly adding a little more time to heat them through.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Spiced Orange Chocolate Smoothie

This came about when I wanted dessert and had only a bunch of miscellaneous ingredients on hand. So good!

1/2 cup vanilla ice cream
1/3 c coconut milk or milk of your choice
1 large orange, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 cardamom pod
1/8 t cinnamon
1 oz good dark chocolate broken up

Put in a high speed blender and blend together!


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Fancy Citrus Celebration Salmon

This is really good and really easy to make! The recipe is flexible, feel free to modify as you wish. If you don't have wine or champagne, substitute one or the other or broth or any other liquid that you think would add flavor. And if you want to cut it in half that's fine too, just adjust.

1 whole salmon without skin, cut into portions about 4 oz each
3 small or 2 large lemons, cut into thin slices
1 large or 2 small oranges, cut into thin slices

1/2 c sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
3 extra tablespoons of oil from the tomatoes or olive oil
3/4 c champagne
3/4 c white wine
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 T dill

salt and cracked pepper

Grease a 9x13" baking dish with olive oil or cooking spray. Line the bottom with sliced citrus. Its ok if you have a double layer. Salt and pepper the salmon and lay out over the citrus.

Mix the sun-dried tomatoes, oil, wine, champagne, garlic, and dill together. Dump over salmon.

Bake at 375 for 25-27 minutes till salmon just flakes. Great served with Tyler Florence's Ultimate Potato Au Gratin, and steamed asparagus with Crazy Citrus Vinaigrette.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Tyler Florence's Ultimate Potatoes Au Gratin

Whether you serve this with salmon or that amazing Chicken Madeira below, its a hit. I added a few shredded carrots to the cabbage mix and a layer of cooked mushrooms. Is was delicious and keeps in the fridge for some time after it is cooked. Click here for original recipe.

If you have a mandoline slicer, it makes cutting the potatoes much easier!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Wild Rice, Roasted Veggies, & Leftover Turkey or Vegetarian Soup

This is a great post-holiday soup. It can be made with chicken, turkey, or you can leave out the meat for a vegetarian version.

2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large, or 2 small sweet onions, peeled and chopped
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled
2-3 carrots peeled and chopped

olive oil
salt, pepper, cumin

3 T fresh chopped rosemary
8 cups chicken or veggie broth
2 cups leftover chicken or turkey (optional)
1 c uncooked wild rice

First roast the veggies. Mix them all by hand with olive oil to coat, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and cumin, and spread them out on a large cookie tray lined with foil. Roast in a 500 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes till tender.

While the veggies are roasting, put a little olive oil in the bottom of a soup pot and dump in the rosemary. Stir to soften about 2 minutes. Next add the uncooked rice and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer.

When veggies are cooked, dump them and the chicken into the pot with the now cooked rice. Let it simmer awhile to blend flavors, at least 15-20 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and any other spices you like to taste! Yum!!

Crazy Creamy Citrus Vinaigrette

I call this crazy because I kept dumping herbs into it and it tastes good! I use it on salads, sturdy greens like rainbow chard leaves sliced up, and it is really good on asparagus. I imagine it would make a great marinade for chicken too.

6 small or 4 large lemons - this is not an exact science!
Zest w peeler and juice to get 2/3 c juice

2 c olive oil
4 large or 6 small cloves garlic
2 T honey
2 t oregano
1/2 t each thyme,salt,pepper, ginger
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T mustard seeds
1/2 c orange juice

Dump it all in a blender and process till creamy. Keeps well in the fridge.