Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Aloha BBQ Sliders


 Oh man, this combo is delicious.  If you haven't tried a "hawaiian" burger you need to make these!  Bacon, pineapple, bbq, so so good.  These are really fun summery burgers made on the grill and served on hawaiian buns.  But, you can make them anytime of year if you want a fun meal!  Just cook the burgers in a skillet.





Aloha BBQ Sliders
via Tidy Mom

1-1/2 pound ground beef
2/3 cups Barbecue Sauce, divided
3/4 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
1 pkg (12 each) Hawaiian dinner rolls
sliced Swiss cheese, around 3-4 slices
1 can (8 oz each) pineapple slices, drained (reserve juice)
6 slices of bacon
lettuce (I skipped)
cooking spray

Spray cold grate of gas grill with grilling spray.  Preheat grill for medium heat.  Combine barbecue sauce with 2 tablespoons pineapple juice.  Meanwhile, combine 1/3 cup of Barbeque sauce mixture to beef and steak seasoning in large bowl.  Shape mixture into 12 small patties.  Grill patties 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through (160°F).  Meanwhile, remove attached rolls from package; do NOT separate.  Cut in half horizontally.  Spray cut sides with grilling spray; toast on grill.  Grill pineapple slices for 1-2 minutes on each side (if desired).  Separate toasted rolls and assemble sliders;  Spread remaining barbecue sauce mixture on rolls, place a small piece of lettuce then patties on bottom halves of rolls; top with cheese, bacon and pineapple.  Close with tops of rolls.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Southwest Goat Cheese Pizza

This was one of our favorite pizzas I've made in a long time.  It was delicious!  The goat cheese was awesome with the southwestern flavors of cilantro, lime, and pablanos.  Such a great pizza.  I used the Pioneer Woman's pizza dough because it is by far our favorite!  Its so so so easy to make if you have a stand mixer and it is really delicious.  I try to make it at least the day before because the flavors really get better the longer it sits in the fridge (within 3-4 days).



Southwest Goat Cheese Pizza
via Sprouted Kitchen - (please check out her blog, its amazing!)
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche, room temperature
  • sprinkle of smoked paprika
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 roasted poblano pepper*
  • 1 ear of corn, kernels removed (you can use 1/2 - 3/4 cup frozen corn)
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese (I used a 5 oz log, crumbled)
  • 1 packed cup baby arugula
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • juice of half a lime
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 500'. Prepare the dough according to instructions and set up your pizza stone or baking sheet.  Collect all of your topppings together. Roll the dough out super thin, about 1/8''. Transfer the dough to your pan.  Spread the creme fraiche across the top. Sprinkle a bit of smoked paprika on top (chipotle powder works too if you like it spicy). Distribute half the goat cheese, the poblanos, shallots, corn and the rest of the goat cheese. Bake in the upper third of the oven for 12-15 minutes until the top browns in parts. Turn the oven to broil and cook another minute.  Remove the pizza to cool. In a bowl, combine the baby arugula, cilantro, oil, lime juice, and pinch of salt and pepper. Toss gently to coat. Top the pizza with the greens and cut as you wish.

* To roast the pepper, broil them in the oven until blackened on all sides.  Remove the pepper to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Allow them to steam for five minutes or until cool, this makes the skin easier to peel. Once they are cool enough to touch, rub or peel off the charred skin. Discard the stem and seeds and chop into small pieces.



Thursday, October 9, 2014

Smoky Black Bean Chili


This delicious smoky chili was a good mix up for my normal chili!  It was a great vegetarian meal that was pretty darn healthy as well!  We loved this and it will definitely make its way into the rotation.




Smoky Black Bean Chili
slightly adapted from Rachel Ray magazine

1 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 bell pepper
1 cup frozen corn
2 tomatoes chopped
1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped (I ended up adding a second for a spicy chili!)
chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt & pepper
2 cans black beans, rinsed
1 quart vegetable stock/broth
2 tbsp tom paste

Heat oil in large stock pot.  Cook onion, carrots, and pepper until tender.  Add all other ingredients and stir.  At this point the chili was too thin for our tastes so I used my immersion blender to puree a little bit until it was as thick as I liked.  Season with seasonings to taste.  We enjoyed this with shredded cheddar, greek yogurt, and cornbread.

Salmon Florentine

This is definitely becoming a regular in our home.  I've made spinach and feta covered salmon a few times and its great, but this was so so much better.  We have been loving sun dried tomatoes lately so they were a great addition.  And last minute this afternoon I thought of this fish I previously made with roasted garlic.  Have you ever had roasted garlic?  It is one of the simplest things to make and it adds incredible flavor.  Such a delicious healthy meal that was pretty simple to make!



Salmon Florentine
adapted from Self Magazine

1 lb fresh wild salmon
about 5 oz frozen spinach, thawed
1 head garlic
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, basil
1 teaspoons panko bread crumbs, optional


Heat oven to 450. Cut the top off the garlic and wrap it in foil.  Bake at 450 for 30 minutes until garlic is roasted and tender.  You will be able to easily squeeze the cloves out.  Lower heat to 375.

Squeeze spinach of all excess liquid and place in a bowl. Add tomatoes, feta, and roasted garlic.  Season with salt & pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes and mix.  Place salmon fillet in a baking dish and carefully cover with spinach mixture patting down on salmon.  Sprinkle lightly with panko.  Bake until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes.


 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Mexican Grilled Polenta Pizza




I mean holy cow.  These "pizzas" are so so good.  They have that great grilled flavor, the polenta crust is crunchy on the bottom, yet somehow still sort of creamy inside, and the veggies - so so good!  This is why I love the blog world and making new recipes.  You find something so fun and inventive like this that I never would have thought of, yet we absolutely loved it.  If its too cold where you are to make these on the grill, I'm positive they would be just as delicious made indoors.  You could roast the veggies or even saute them and bake the crust in the oven as well, no problem.  I am starting to think of fun winter versions of this now with colder weather veggies!


Mexican Grilled Polenta Pizza
adapted slightly via Edible Ash
  
3 cups water
1 cup polenta grits
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper 
toppings: red onion, red peppers, zucchini, corn, black beans, taco sauce, smashed avocado, cheddar cheese, etc.

For the polenta: Bring water to boil in a large pot. Slowly stir in the polenta grits and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and place a lid on slightly ajar to avoid spattering. Stir frequently for 25-30 minutes [lid can be removed once spattering stops] until the polenta is very stiff. Stir in 1 tablespoon of olive oil and the salt + pepper. Taste and add more s/p if needed. *The polenta will seem thickened around 15 minutes but continue to cook the full time. Do not use these instructions for quick-cook polenta.
While cooking, line two, 8-inch round pans with parchment [or wax paper]. Spread half of the polenta in each pan with a silicone spatula being sure to spread evenly, firmly, and all the way to the edge. You want the pizzas 1/8-1/4-inch thick. Place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes until fully chilled.
While chilling cook any pizza toppings and set aside until ready to use.

Preheat your grill to 350-375* F [med/med-high]. Grease your grill grates and evenly brush 1-2 teaspoons of oil the top of each polenta crust. Remove from the pan and gently flip onto the grill. Peel the parchment off and close the grill. Cook for 7-10 minutes, until grill marks appear and the edges are golden brown. Lightly oil the other side then carefully flip with a large metal spatula. Grill for about 4 minutes then add toppings (I spread with smashed avocado, then shredded cheese). Close the grill and let cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Carefully remove from the grill and add the remainder of the toppings (veggies and taco sauce in my case), let rest for 2-3 minutes then slice on a cutting board and serve.
----
notes: Cooking polenta for hot breakfast cereal may only take about 5-10 minutes but when cooking to actually create polenta it takes about 30 minutes until it’s fully ready. It’s important to cook it this long so the pizza crust holds up when grilling. Pizzas can be made 1 night ahead and kept in the fridge overnight. Cover once cooled.
for the toppings: I sliced red onion, red pepper, and zucchini and tossed them in olive oil and taco seasonings.  Then I cooked them on the grill using my grill basket until tender. Then I added frozen (thawed) corn and black beans and tossed together. I set everything aside until ready to top the pizzas.



Spinach and Artichoke Spaghetti Squash

This was a really delicious spin on spaghetti squash.  It basically tastes like spinach and artichoke dip baked on top of the squash in a casserole dish.  Its packed with tons of great nutrition and yummy feta cheese.





Spinach and Artichoke Spaghetti Squash
via Taste & Tell blog

1 spaghetti squash, seeded
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup light sour cream
3 ounces less fat cream cheese
3/4 cup grated parmesan, divided
3 cups packed baby spinach
1 1/4 cups canned artichoke hearts, chopped
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

  1. Place the spaghetti squash in a microwave safe dish, cut side up. Pour about half an inch of water in the dish, then cover with plastic wrap and microwave until soft, about 10 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly, then with a fork, scrape up the strings from the squash.
  2. Meanwhile, in a pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, 5-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 60 seconds. Add in the sour cream, cream cheese and half of the parmesan cheese and stir until the cream cheese has melted and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the spinach and artichoke hearts and cook until the spinach has wilted. Pour half of the mixture into each spaghetti squash half and gently pull up on the spaghetti squash strings to combine with the sauce as much as possible. Top with the shredded mozzarella and the remaining parmesan. Place under the broiler for 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.






Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Thai Salad with Coconut Curry Dressing

This is a fun salad before the nice weather is completely gone!  I had this recipe pinned for forever and finally tried it out.  We added shrimp on top to make it a meal and it was great!  I have really been liking curries lately and absolutely loved the flavor of the dressing!  And the mango is perfect, don't skip it if you can find it!


Thai Salad with Coconut Curry Dressing
via The Roasted Root

For the dressing:
1 cup full fat canned coconut milk
3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder 
½ teaspoon kosher salt

For the salad:
Spring green mix
1 mango, peeled and chopped
½ red pepper, sliced
1 avocado, sliced
4 stalks green onion, chooped
2/3 cup roasted unsalted cashews
Fresh cilantro for serving

 To prepare the dressing:
  1. Add all ingredients for the dressing to a small blender (I used my small food processor) and blend until smooth. Refrigerate the dressing until it thickens, about 2 hours.
To prepare the Thai Salad:
  1. Add all ingredients for the salad to a large serving bowl (or add desired amount of ingredients to separate bowls).
  2. Drizzle desired amount of Curry Coconut Peanut Dressing on top and toss ingredients together.
  3. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and lime slices.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Salmon & Feta Pockets

These are one of our new favorite meals.  I guess not very new since we have been making them all summer long.  They are ridiculously easy and so so great.





Salmon & Feta Pockets

Whole Wheat Pita Pockets
Salmon (we use about 1 lb wild salmon for the two of us and leftovers)
Feta Cheese, crumbled
Greek Yogurt
Fresh Spinach
Tomatoes, sliced
optional: cucumbers and red onion (I'll add these if I have them!)

Bake salmon until it flakes easily with a fork.  Spread greek yogurt in pitas and add all other ingredients to your taste!  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Salmon Salad with Sauteed Peppers, Corn Cakes & Avocado Dressing

This was a fun salad for dinner!  I've been eying both these homemade summer corn cakes and this avocado dressing on pinterest for quite a while so I decided to make them into a salad including one of our favorite add ins - salmon!






Salmon Salad with Sauteed Peppers, Corn Cakes & Avocado Dressing
Summer Corn Cakes via Ezra Pound Cake
Avocado Dressing via Food Pins Now


Summer Corn Cakes, recipe below
Avocado Dressing, recipe below
1 head red or green leaf lettuce
1 red pepper
1/2 red onion
1 small zucchini
2 salmon fillets
taco sauce

Sprinkle salmon with salt & pepper and cook at 375 for around 15 minutes until they flake easily with a fork.  Slice pepper, onion, and zucchini thinly and saute in a pan with olive oil until tender.  Chop lettuce and place into serving bowls.  Serve salads with salmon, veggies, dressing, and corn cakes, and drizzle with taco sauce.


Summer Corn Cakes 
yields about 12, so I would probably half next time!  
3 ears corn, shucked
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornmeal (If you can only find cornmeal mix, skip the baking powder.)
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons well-shaken buttermilk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Canola oil, for frying 

Cut the corn from the cobs into a large bowl, and scrape the stripped cobs with the back of the knife to release the juices into the bowl.  Place 2 cups of the corn kernels into a food processor, and pulse several times, until the corn is slightly pureed but still chunky. Scrape into the bowl with the remaining corn kernels.  Add flour, cornmeal, onion, basil, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper to the corn. Stir to mix.  Add the eggs, buttermilk and butter, and stir just to combine. 

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add just enough canola oil to barely cover the bottom, and heat until sizzling hot.  One heaping tablespoon at a time, scoop the batter into the skillet. Cooking in batches of 4 to 5 to avoid overcrowding, fry the cakes 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown.  Drain on the lined baking sheet.


Avocado Dressing
1 large avocado
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 teaspoon hot sauce
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt

Mix all in a food processor and serve.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Garlic Sweet Potato Fries with Creamy Feta Dip

Alright get ready for this ridiculousness.  This dip is so addicting and can basically make anything more amazing when its added on top.  And the fries, they aren't like regular garlicy flavor, but the garlic gets roasted in the oven when its cooked on the fries and its amazing.  I've made these fries and dip so many times I can't count in the last month.  Addicting.  We love sweet potato fries and they are in regular rotation in our house, but these take them to a whole new level!



Garlic Sweet Potato Fries with Creamy Feta Dip
adapted from How Sweet Eats

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled (if desired) and sliced into thin 1/2-inch (thick) strips
olive oil
6 garlic cloves finely minced (or more!)
 
creamy feta dip
4 ounces feta, crumbled
less than 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoons mayonnaise
salt & pepper
garlic powder
basil
 
 
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack on top. Spray the rack with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Add sweet potatoes to a large bowl and toss with olive oil and garlic. Toss very well to coat. Spread sweet potatoes out in a single layer on the wire rack. Bake for 25-35 minutes

Remove and let cool slightly. Dip in creamy feta!

creamy feta dip
Combine all ingredients together and mix well. Season to taste and enjoy!


 
 





Potato, Red Pepper, and Ricotta Quiche

Man there is just something about quiche in our house.  We just love it and can't get enough.  I love making it with whatever we have on hand.  But we stayed in a bed in breakfast about a year and a half ago in Bloomington, and had the most amazing quiche for breakfast in the morning and nothing has really compared since then!  Here is my attempt to recreate it, and although it may not be quite the same, it turned out really amazing in our opinions!  We loved the potatoes in it and the ricotta makes it so creamy.  I always make two quiche, because we love having the leftovers for breakfasts and lunches and it never lasts long. 






Potato, Red Pepper, and Ricotta Quiche
yields 2 quiche

2 pie crusts (I use peppridge farm refrigerated pie crusts)
about 10-12 eggs
about 3/4 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheese
12 oz ricotta cheese
8 small red potatoes
seasonings for potatoes: chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt & pepper
1 red pepper, diced
1 zucchini, diced

Start by cooking your potatoes.  Wash them thoroughly and dice into bite size pieces.  Add about a tablespoon olive oil to a saute pan and cook them until tender seasoning with chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, s&p to taste.

Roll out pie crusts into two pie dishes.  Mix eggs, milk, and shredded cheese in a large bowl with a whisk.  Evenly place potatoes, red pepper, zucchini between pie crusts.  Add large spoonfuls of ricotta into pie crusts and pour eggs over everything.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 325 and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes until quiche is set.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes if possible then serve!   



Monday, July 7, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Carbonara

Have you ever had carbonara before?  I never had and had no idea what it really was.  Its basically a pasta dish with the sauce made out of eggs and parmesan and let me tell you, it was devine.  Without being overly heavy, it truly tasted like a really really rich dish.  I love both cauliflower and mushrooms so much, but unfortunately they are probably Corey's least favorite vegetable.  However, being me, after seeing this recipe over and over again I just couldn't get it out of my mind.  I had to make it anyway and I just had a feeling he would love it to.  We both did and I have made this one three times in the past few months as well.  It feels so indulgent, but I really don't feel that guilty eating it!


Grrr another picture posting sideways, I don't know why! 





Roasted Cauliflower and Mushroom Carbonara
via Closet Cooking

1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces fettuccine (or pasta of choice)
4 ounces pancetta, diced or 4 ounces bacon cut into 1 inch pieces (I used 3 strips bacon)
1 clove garlic, chopped
2 eggs
1/2 cup (2 ounces) parmigiano reggiano (parmesan), grated
plenty of fresh cracked black pepper
salt to taste
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped (I skipped this)


Toss the cauliflower and mushrooms in the oil, salt and pepper, place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in a preheated 400F oven until they start to caramelize, about 20-30 minutes, mixing half way through.  Start cooking the pasta as directed on the package.  Cook the pancetta in a pan, pour off all but a tablespoon of the grease from the pan, add the garlic, cook for 30 second and turn off the heat.  Mix the egg, cheese, pepper and salt and parsley in a bowl.  Drain the cooked pasta reserving some of the water.  Mix the pasta, egg mixture, cauliflower and mushrooms into the pan with the pancetta, adding reserved pasta water as needed.  Serve immediately!



Soba Noodle Bowl with Kale & Brussel Sprouts

Amazing.  We have made this at least four times in the past month and a half.  I've added in red peppers and bok choy but you can add in any veggies you have on hand.  I totally recommend the bok choy, I used 4 baby ones.  I just love how simple this recipe is and that you get so many good veggies in.  I have no idea why my picture is rotated, or how to change it sorry!



Soba Noodle Bowl with Kale & Brussel Sprouts
via Self magazine I believe

6 oz soba (buckwheat) noodles (you can use any noodles here)
1 tbsp olive oil (I used coconut oil)
10 - 12 brussels sprouts
2 cups quartered mushrooms
3 stalks kale, stemmed and torn into pieces (feel free to use a whole bunch though!)
1 small zucchini, halved and sliced thin
4 baby bok choy (or 1 regular sized head), sliced in bite size pieces, optional
1/2 red pepper, sliced thin, optional
1/4 cup soy sauce
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp minced ginger (I just sprinkled in dried ginger)
1 tbsp rice vinegar (or any vinegar)
2 tsp agave syrup (I used honey)
1 tsp sesame seeds
siracha to taste, optional

Cook noodles according to package.  Head a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat for 1 minute.  Add oil to pan and swirl to coat.  Add sprouts, red pepper, and 1 tbsp water; stir-fry for 3 minutes.  Add mushrooms, kale, zucchini, bok choy, and 1 tbsp water; stir-fry 3 minutes.  Stir in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, vinegar, and agave.  Add noodles to the pan.  Cook, tossing, 2 minutes.  Add in siracha to taste if desired.  Top with sesame seeds and serve.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas with Quick Homemade Enchilada Sauce


You have got to try this!  I was really surprised how easy this homemade enchilada sauce was to make and how much of a difference it makes!  I thought it had much deeper flavor and was totally worth the 10 minutes (plus I love knowing exactly what is in it!).







Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas with Quick Homemade Enchilada Sauce
enchilada sauce via How Sweet Eats

1 sweet potato, diced
1 cup mushrooms, quartered
1 red pepper, sliced
1 pablano pepper, sliced
1 small zucchini, diced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 cup black beans
8 corn tortillas
enchilada sauce, below
1-2 cups shredded cheese

Toss veggies with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper if desired and roast for 20-25 minutes at 400 until tender, tossing once midway.  Add about 1/3 cup enchilada sauce to bottom of baking dish and spread to cover bottom of pan.  Divide black beans and veggies between tortillas and rolls them tightly, placing them next to each other in the dish. When finished, cover the tortillas with the remaining sauce and cheese. Bake for 30 minutes at 350, until the cheese is golden and melted on top.

enchilada sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
15 ounces tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Whisk in the flour and cook until it is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 more minutes before using.


Spicy Curried Tomato Lentil Soup

I know its not exactly soup weather, but save this recipe in your mind for a rainy day!  Or make it for lunches for the week if you'll be stuck inside your freezing air conditioned office!  Its delicious, spicy, creamy, and satisfying.  We had it with a big dollop of greek yogurt on top, a piece of crusty garlic bread, and a simple spinach salad.



Spicy Curried Tomato Lentil Soup
via Heather Christo

1 tablespoon butter
½ yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups tomato soup (homemade or boxed, I used a boxed from Trader Joes!)
1 ½ cups cooked lentils (I used the steamed cooked lentils from Trader Joes)
1 ½ cups cooked rice (I used brown rice)
1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
Kosher salt to taste
 
In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper flakes to the melted butter. Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.  Add the tomato soup and stir to combine. Let simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.  Add the lentils and stir well.  Add the cooked rice and stir well.  Add the curry powder and then season with kosher salt to taste.  Serve hot.
 
 
 
 

Parmesan Ricotta Lentil "Meat"balls

Alright, get ready for not the prettiest pictures I've ever taken.  I hope you'll trust me when I say these were absolutely delicious, or at least follow the link to "The Sprouted Kitchen" blog and hopefully her beautiful pictures will convince you to try these.  While they don't taste like meat, they do taste so indulgent with the parmesan that I didn't even miss it!  I served these over spaghetti squash with marinara, topped with melted mozzarella and it was delicious!






Parmesan Ricotta Lentil "Meat"balls
via the Sprouted Kitchen

2 Cups Cooked Lentils (I used the pre-cooked lentils sold at trader joes in the produce area)
2 Eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 Cup Ricotta
1/4 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
1 Large Clove Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Fennel Seed, crushed (I skipped this)
2 Tbsp. Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley (I skipped this)
Hefty Pinch of Dried or Fresh Thyme
1 tsp. Each Sea Salt and Pepper
2/3 Cup Breadcrumbs (fresh or panko, preferably)

In a food processor, pulverize the lentils into mostly mush. Put them in a large mixing bowl.
Add the beaten eggs, ricotta, parmesan, garlic, fennel seed, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to mix well. Stir in the breadcrumbs and let the mix sit for 20 minutes (I used it right away).

Preheat the oven to 400'. Check the lentil mix by rolling a 1'' round ball between your palms, it should hold together fairly well. If it seems pretty wet and it falling apart, stir in another Tbsp. or two of breadcrumbs until the ball with stay together.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the mix into balls and line them up on a baking sheet (they don't need lots of space between, they won't spread). If you like a bit more of a crust, brush them with olive oil.

Bake on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown, gently turning the balls over halfway through baking. Remove to cool slightly.

Serve with your favorite noodles, on a bed of sauteed greens, or simply on their own (I served over spaghetti squash with marinara and topped with melted mozzarella, see below).


Spaghetti Squash with marinara and mozzarella

Spaghetti squash
1 jar marinara
about 1-2 cups shredded mozzarella (optional)

Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds, place in baking dish with cut side down and add about an inch of water.  Cover with foil and roast for 45-50 minutes until tender.  Use a fork to pull away from skin.

Combine squash noodles with marinara and place in baking dish.  Top with desired mozzarella.  Bake or broil until cheese is melted.





Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Crispy Brussels Sprouts Tacos w/ Caramelized Shallot Salsa

After making brussels sprouts for the first time, I couldn't get them out of my mind.  I saw this recipe on How Sweet Easts and thought it looked really interesting.  These were definitely how she described them, they seemed like more of a snack than a hearty dinner, but nonetheless they were still delicious!  The sharp cheddar and tart tomatoes went perfectly with the brussels.  These tacos were a really fun mix up!






Crispy Brussels Sprouts Tacos w/ Caramelized Shallot Salsa
via How Sweet Eats


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
4 shallots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup torn fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound brussels sprouts, stems removed and sliced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 ounces manchego cheese, freshly grated (I used sharp cheddar)
10 4-inch flour or corn (your choice) tortillas, warmed
 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  Heat a skillet over low heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and butter.  Add the shallots with 1/4 teaspoon salt and stir to coat. Cook the shallots, stirring every few minutes, until the slightly golden and caramely, about 15 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and cook for another 10 minutes. If at any time, the shallots seem to be burning or crisping up, reduce the heat.  While the shallots are caramelizing, toss the tomatoes with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and pepper. Stick them in the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until they just begin to burst.  Combine the tomatoes, shallots and cilantro in a bowl. Mix and mash it together with a fork. Taste and season additionally with salt and pepper if needed.

While the shallots and tomatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the brussels with the salt and pepper, tossing to coat. Cook until slightly soft and the sprouts begin to crisp, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and flipping the sprouts. Stir in the smoked paprika, garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Turn off the heat.

To serve the tacos, warm the tortillas and fill them with the brussels sprouts. Add some grated manchego on top and a few spoonfuls of the salsa. Serve!


Butternut Squash & Kale Gnocchi Gratin with Ricotta

This was just plain delicious.  It felt so decadent without being super heavy, and it is healthy!  I served it with parmesan tomatoes (new to us and not our favorite) and asparagus.  Definitely making this one again!







Butternut Squash & Kale Gnocchi Gratin with Ricotta
adapted from Craftsy

Gnocchi (I used a tri-color, potato, spinach, and tomato)
16 oz cubed butternut squash
2/3 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 bunch kale, trimmed and cut into 1-inch ribbons
1/2 cup whole-milk ricotta
1 cup grated Gruyère (I used white cheddar)

Preheat oven to 425.  Toss squash in a drizzle of olive oil and roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender. Cook gnocchi according to package directions until it floats to the surface. Drain well. Whisk together milk, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a 12-inch ovenproof skillet, then bring to a boil over moderate heat, whisking. Add kale and cook until bright green, 2 to 4 minutes.  Remove from heat, then stir in gnocchi. Spoon ricotta over gnocchi in large dollops and cover with Gruyère. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until cheese is browned and bubbling in spots, about 4 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired.  Finish with parmesan.  



Crock Pot Vegetable Gumbo

I would call this more of a vegetarian red beans and rice more than a gumbo, but it was delicious!  It reminds me a lot of our friend Joe's delicious red beans and rice, but packed full of good veggies and so easy to prepare.







Crock Pot Vegetable Gumbo
via Better homes and gardens

2 cans kidney beans
2 cans fire roasted tomatoes
2 peppers (different colors)
1 large onion
2 cups frozen okra
1 tablespoon cajun seasoning

Combine all in a crock pot and cook on low all day!  Serve over rice with green onions and sour cream if desired. 

Eggplant Parmesan over Spaghetti Squash

We had never tried spaghetti squash until recently and I have to be honest, I was sort of dreading it.  We recently watched a documentary called Forks over Knives which is based on the benefits of a plant based diet.  While we are not becoming vegans, it has just made us more aware of our choices and really helping to make vegetables the focus of more of our meals versus meat.

I was pleasantly surprised with spaghetti squash!  I really truly love it and can use it as a substitute spaghetti and not be the least bit sad.  We've made a few other recipes using it since, and I'm looking forward to sharing them here as well.






Eggplant Parmesan over Spaghetti Squash

eggplant via Rachael Ray, squash via paleo cookbook

1 spaghetti squash

1 large eggplant
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

24 oz marinara sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
shaved parmesan, optional

Cut spaghetti squash in half, scoop out seeds, place in baking dish with cut side down and add about an inch of water.  Cover with foil and roast for 45-50 minutes until tender.  Use a fork to pull away from skin.
Slice eggplant in 1/4 inch slices.  In three shallow bowls, place flour, egg + water, and breadcrumbs.  Dredge each slice of eggplant in flour, egg, and then breadcrumbs.  Place on baking sheet (I put them on a wire cooling rack onto of a baking sheet so they could get a little crispier), bake at 450 for 10 min, flip, then 10 more minutes.  Place in casserole dish, top with marinara & a little mozzarella bake for 15-20 mins at 350 until cheese melts.
Serve eggplant over spaghetti squash and enjoy!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Tostadas

Here is one of our go to meals and one of Corey's absolute favorites.  You can mix up your toppings however you want, but our go to is refried beans, brown rice, homemade salsa, shredded cheese, lettuce & sour cream.  This one I sauteed peppers, onions, zucchini, and corn for some added veggies.  Mix them up however fit your tastes!  They are messy to eat but that makes them all the more fun! 






Tostadas

Corn tortillas
refried beans
brown rice
shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
homemade salsa
sour cream
optional: sauteed peppers, onions, zucchini & corn

You can either fry or bake your tortillas so they are crisp and can hold all the toppings.  To fry them you will need to heat vegetable oil in a saute pan and cook tortillas for a minute or so on each side, watching carefully so they don't burn, until they are crisp.  Drain them on paper towels.  To bake them I place a cooling rack for cookies on top of a baking sheet, then spray both sides with cooking spray.  Bake them for 3 minutes per side or longer if needed until crisp. 

Top with toppings as desired and eat!  Don't be afraid to get messy!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Ok, russels Sprouts are by far my new favorite vegetable.  I mean these are so so good.  And this way of cooking them, with the bacon!  And roasting them in the oven so the edges get crispy and so delicious.  I mean I couldn't stop eating them!  And after making these, I goggled and pinned about 500 other brussels sprouts recipes.  Oh so delicious. please please make these, you will not be sorry!






Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
via a Paleo cookbook we borrowed from Corey's co-worker, sorry I don't know the name!


1 pound Brussels Sprouts
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 strips bacon
1 teaspoon thyme
salt & pepper

Cook bacon and dice.  Chop off stems and quarter sprouts.  Mix all ingredients along with a drizzle of bacon grease (you can use olive oil if you prefer).  Bake at 375 for 40-45 minutes.  Dig in!!


Marinara Sauteed Zucchini Ribbons

This is our new favorite way to eat zucchini!  I'll be honest, its a little annoying to do the ribbons, at least with my vegetable peeler.  But its really fun to eat them that way, and they cook so fast!  If you prefer you could just chop it as you normally would!  I would never have thought to saute it in marinara, but its delicious!  And incredibly easy, I mean two steps how easy can you get!?






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Marinara Sauteed Zucchini Ribbons 
via Rachael Ray, May issue

2 large zucchini
marinara sauce (I probably used about 1/2 to 1 cup)
parmesan for topping

Slice zucchini with vegetable peeler.  Add zucchini ribbons & marinara to a large saute pan.  Heat over medium heat for a few minutes until tender.  Serve in bowls and top with parmesan!




Thursday, May 8, 2014

Kale & Wild Rice Casserole

Here is a delicious & healthy, easy weeknight meal.  We of course loved the caramelized onions on top & I loved the mushrooms mixed in.  I used half spinach because we aren't huge kale fans.  I served this with our new favorite zucchini dish (sharing soon!) & salads.





Kale & Wild Rice Casserole
via Half Baked Harvest


2 large bunches of Kale, leaves torn (I did about 8 or 10 cups total fresh kale + spin mix)
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced (I halved this, since they aren't Corey's fav)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup chicken broth (or veggie broth)
1/4 cup heavy cream or canned coconut milk
4 cups cooked wild rice
1 1/2 cup gruyere cheese, shredded (I used white cheddar)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large sweet onions, sliced into thin rings
salt and pepper

Instructions

Grease a 2-3 quart casserole dish. Set aside.

Heat a very large skillet (the largest you have!) over medium-high heat. Add all of the torn kale to the skillet and add 1 cup of water. Cover the skillet and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until the kale is wilted. Once the kale is wilted and all of the water has been absorbed, remove the kale from the skillet and set aside.

Return the skillet to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. When the skillet is hot, sprinkle in the mushrooms in a single layer. Don't stir them! Let them sizzle until they have caramelized on the bottom, about 2 minutes. When the bottoms are caramelized, toss them once and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to cook without stirring for about 5 minutes. Now add the butter to the skillet and cook until the butter begins to brown. Once the butter is browned reduce the heat and add the garlic, thyme and nutmeg and cook for about 10 seconds. Now add the kale back to the skillet with the mushrooms, garlic and spices and toss well.

Sprinkle the flour over the kale and mushrooms and cook for 1 minute. Add the milk and chicken broth, bring to a boil and cook 2-3 minutes or until there is a thick sauce. Add the cream and stir to combine. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked wild rice. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Now wipe the skillet and add the olive oil, cook over medium-high heat. Add the onions and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the onions begin to soften, about 5 minutes.Continue to cook until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes. 

Sprinkle half the cheese over the casserole and then add the onions and the remaining cheese. Bake the casserole for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the onions are crispy. Serve!












Thursday, May 1, 2014

Shrimp & Spinach Enchiladas

Here is one incredibly easy dish to whip up and pretty darn healthy & tasty too!  We had this two weeks in a row haha! I served it with pinto beans and a bunch of roasted veggies (red pepper, zucchini, red onion, & mushrooms).



Shrimp & Spinach Enchiladas
adapted from Rachael Ray magazine!

1/2 pound peeled & deveined shrimp
10 oz spinach
1 can Rotel tomatoes
6-8 corn tortillas
sprinkling of shredded cheese (optional!)

Heat a tiny bit of olive oil in a saute pan.  Sprinkle shrimp with garlic powder and cook 2 minutes per side until pink.  Chop shrimp and set aside.  If using fresh spinach add to pan & cover.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until wilted.  If using frozen, de-thaw and squeeze out excess water.  Combine spinach, shrimp, and half can of Rotel.  Spray 9x13 pan with non-stick spray.  Spoon shrimp mixture into tortillas and place in casserole dish.  Top with remaining Rotel & sprinkle with cheese if desired.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas are crispy on edges.


Asparagus Quiche with Polenta Crust

This was de-li-cious!  The crust was a fun new replacement for pie crust and much healthier and nutritious.  The polenta was creamy, but with crunchy edges.  And the filling was so creamy and pillowy!  Not like any other quiche I've made.  It was really easy too!  Boil the polenta, roast the asparagus, mix the filling and bake!


Asparagus Quiche with Polenta Crust
via Take A Megabite

polenta crust -
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 t kosher salt
  • 1 cup polenta (or yellow corn grits)
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg
filling -
  • 6 oz. asparagus
  • 1 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • scant 1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus more for sprinkling
  • 3 oz. crumbled feta
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt
  • 2 large egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
Directions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 400F. Snap asparagus spears into bite size pieces, discarding the ends. Toss asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, or until crispy. Turn oven temperature down to 375F.
  2. Meanwhile make the crust. Grease a 9 (or 10) inch springform pan. Set aside.
  3. Bring water to a boil with salt. Add the polenta in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring constantly, until the polenta is very thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, 1/2 cup parmesan, salt, pepper, and the egg. Transfer to the greased pan, and spread with a spatula to cool a bit. When cool enough to handle, use damp fingers to form a 1/2 inch thick lip around the edge. Bake until dry and pale golden, 20-30 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle crust with parmesan, feta, and roasted asparagus. Whisk together the Greek yogurt, egg, whole milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over the asparagus. Sprinkle with some more parmesan, salt and pepper. Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the custard is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Serve!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Jamaican Jerk Chicken

We went on a wonderful vacation to Jamaica in August shortly after our daughter turned one.  The resort we stayed at had a "jerk hut" on the beach that we literally ate lunch at every single day.  We tried it the first day and fell in love.  It was so flavorful, incredibly spicy, and just plain delicious!  Finally, my husband convinced me to try to recreate it.  While I don't think it came anywhere close to the real thing, it was pretty darn good!  I served it with black beans & rice, grilled corn on the cob tossed w/ cilantro, pineapple, & avocado.





Jamaican Jerk Chicken
via Simply Recipes 

1/2 cup malt vinegar (or white vinegar)
2 Tbsp dark rum
2 Scotch bonnet peppers (or habaneros), with seeds, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
4 green onion tops, chopped
1 Tbsp dried thyme or 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons ground allspice
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
4 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons molasses
1 (5 or 6 pound) roasting chicken, cut in half, lengthwise
1/2 cup lime juice
Salt and pepper

Safety note. Scotch Bonnet and Habanero chile peppers are very hot and can cause extreme pain if they come in contact with your eyes. We strongly recommend wearing protective gloves while handling the chilies and the jerk paste.

1 Put vinegar, rum, hot peppers, onion, green onion tops, thyme, olive oil, salt, pepper, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and molasses into a blender. Pulse until mostly smooth.

2 Place chicken in a large freezer bag, or in a large roasting pan or baking dish. Pour lime juice over the chicken and coat well. Add the jerk paste to the chicken pieces and coat well. Seal the bag or cover the chicken in the pan with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight.

3 When you are ready to cook the chicken, remove chicken from the marinade bag or pan. Put the remaining marinade into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside to use as a basting sauce for the chicken. If you want you can reserve a little of the marinade (once boiled for 10 minutes since it has been in contact with raw chicken) to serve with the chicken or to mix with some ketchup and a dash of soy sauce for a serving sauce.

4a Grilling Method
Preheat grill to medium high. Sprinkle chicken halves with salt and pepper. Place chicken halves, skin side down on the grill grates. Cover. Cook for approximately one hour, keeping the internal grill temperature between 350°F and 400°F, turning the chickens occasionally and basting with marinade, until the chicken halves are cooked through. The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 165-170°F for the breast and 180-185°F for the thigh. Transfer chicken to platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm and let stand 15 minutes.

4b Oven Method
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chicken halves in a rimmed baking pan, skin side up. Roast until chicken halves are cooked through, about 50-60 minutes. The chicken is done when the juices run clear (not pink) when a knife tip is inserted into both the chicken breast and thigh, about 165-170°F for the breast and 180-185°F for the thigh. Transfer chicken to platter. Tent loosely with foil to keep warm and let stand 15 minutes.

Cut chicken into pieces. Serve with black beans and rice.

Garlic Ginger Bok Choy

This was our first time trying bok choy and we really loved it!  I don't really know what to compare it to?  The stalk part almost reminded us of the texture of celery and it contained a lot of water like celery, but didn't taste like it to us.  We were huge fans & I loved how incredibly easy and quick it was to prepare.  I served it with teryaki salmon & our favorite honey glazed carrots and we both thought it was a really satisfying meal!


 


Garlic Ginger Bok Choy

1 tbsp olive oil
1 head of bok choy, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
2 tbsp soy sauce
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

Cut the core out (similar to if you are chopping celery).  Cut each stalk in half & chop. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the garlic, ginger, and crushed red pepper flakes then cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.  Add the bok choy and soy sauce then stir until evenly coated then sauté for 3-4 minutes or until greens are wilted and the stalks are crisp-tender. Season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste, if needed.