Wednesday, March 30, 2011

White Bean Pesto Hummus

I made this White Bean Basil Hummus or as we renamed it White Bean Pesto Hummus tonight. I didn't have fresh basil on hand so I used 2 cubes of the frozen basil. I am not 100% sure what the measurment is for the cubes as they are not fresh however 2 cubes added a lot of basil flavor so I wouldn't use more. Rather than use fresh lemon juice I used the equivilant of lemon juice from the bottle. Everyone loved this and ate fresh veggies with it. The picture isn't so pretty but trust me, this is a keeper. I don't see why you can't make this exact recipe with chickpeas...perhaps I will do that next time.

1 Can Cannelini or Northern White Beans, rinsed and drained
2 cubes Frozen Basil
1 Small Garlic Clove
1 1/2 Tbls. Lemon Juice
2 Tbls. Tahini
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 C. Olive Oil

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree until smooth letting it go for a few minutes. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

Well I finally found a good cereal alternative that everyone in my house likes. The question is can I keep up with demand? I made Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins based on this recipe. I changed the flour so it uses mostly whole wheat flour. I also switched the brown sugar to silan and used a little less oil although in retrospect I am not sure why I didn't just use applesauce. I guess I was having a bad day as I also forgot to throw in a teaspoon or 2 of ground flax seed, both of which I would do next time.

1 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 C. Flour
3/4 C. Oatmeal
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Egg, beaten
3/4 C. Skim Milk
1/2 C. Silan
1/8 C. Oil
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
3/4 C. Blueberries, fresh or frozen

Combine flours, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl combine egg, milk, silan, oil and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and add wet ingredients mixing until just combined and lumpy. Fold in berries. Line a muffin pan with paper liners or spray with pam. Fill cups 3/4 the way full. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes testing if they are done with a toothpick.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Another Baked Fries Recipe

I had a few potatoes left over and was thinking I should find something to do with them and I was at my computer reading the Chicago Tribune when I saw this recipe.

I decided to give it a shot. The results were good however mine were a bit well done. Next time I would watch them closer or cook them less or at a lower temperature. Consider yourself forewarned.

2 pounds potatoes
2 Tbls. Olive Oil
1 tsp. Paprika
1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
Red Pepper Flakes, to taste

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut each potato into eight long wedges. Place potatoes in a large saucepan with salted water to cover. Heat over high heat to a simmer. Reduce heat to low; cook 5 minutes. Drain. Place the wedges on a baking sheet. Mix the oil and spices in a small bowl. Brush the oil mixture over the potatoes to evenly coat. Bake 10 minutes, turn wedges. Bake 10 minutes. Turn broiler on and broil until potatoes are crisp on top about 5 minutes but keep your eye on it as it goes fast. Turn potatoes and broil second side about 5 minutes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cauliflower Popcorn

This recipe was adapted from a recipe by the same name from the Kosher By Design Entertains cookbook. I have only made 3 changes in this recipe. First is I use frozen cauliflower, not because it is better but because I can't always get fresh and when I can I am too lazy to clean and cut it. But if you have fresh cauliflower and aren't lazy like me then I encourage you to use it as it is better. Secondly, I have cut the oil from 6-8 Tablespoons(yikes!) to 2 Tablespoons and it still seems excessive. Lastly I substituted splenda for the sugar. I often double or triple this recipe as we munch on it from the minute it comes out of the oven and my kids like it.

2 Heads cauliflower, cut into medium sized florets OR 1 bag frozen cauliflower(can be frozen or defrosted)
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Splenda
1/4 tsp. Onion Powder
1/4 tsp. Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp. Paprika
1/4-1/2 tsp. Turmeric
2 Tbls. Olive Oil

Combine all spices and oil in a large bowl or in a ziploc bag. Add in the cauliflower and toss to coat evenly. Place in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast at 450 for 35-45 minutes until cooked and slightly browned. If the cauliflower is getting too brown for your liking you can mix it in the middle of cooking.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Quinoa Edamame Salad With A Twist

I got this recipe for Quinoa Edamame Salad from my sister. I believe it originated as a rice recipe which she converted to quinoa, which you can do with most rice recipes. I have made it many time with edamame and love it however my husband isn't an edamame fan so I substituted chickpeas and now he eats it too. Either way you can't go wrong.

1 C. Quinoa, rinsed
2 C. Chicken Broth
2 Carrots, shredded
1 Can Chickpeas, drained OR cooked edamame
1/8 C. Soy Sauce
1/2 Tbls. Sesame Oil

Place quinoa and broth in a pot. Bring to boil. Simmer 15 minutes. Allow to cool. Mix in carrots, chickpeas or edamame, soy sauce and sesame oil. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Curried Chickpea Salad

Isn't it pretty??? Well it is tasty too! This recipe for Curried Chickpea Salad is simple and easy.

2 cans Chickpeas, rinsed well and drained
4 tsp. Olive Oil
1-2 small onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
2-4 Tbls. Cilantro, chopped
1-2 T Lemon Juice
Sea Salt to taste

Drain chickpeas into a colander placed in the sink, then rinse well with cold water until no more foam appears and let chickpeas drain while you cook the onions.

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onion, turn heat to medium-high and saute onions until they are lightly browned and starting to get crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Stir frequently while the onions cook, and don't let them get too browned. When onions are lightly browned, stir in the turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cayenne pepper and cook 2-3 minutes more, until the spices are fragrant and slightly toasted.

Add the drained chickpeas and cook 2-3 minutes more, stirring so the spices and onions are well-distributed in the chickpeas. Then stir in chopped cilantro and lemon juice and cook 3-4 minutes more. Turn off heat and season to taste with sea salt.

Let the mixture cool, then transfer to a plastic container with a snap-on lid and let salad chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve cold or at room temperature, tasting and adjusting the flavor with more lemon juice and sea salt before serving if desired.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Cabbage Salad With Red Pepper, Cilantro, Peanuts and Dijon-Ginger Dressing

I found this recipe for Napa Cabbage Salad with Red Bell Pepper, Cilantro, Peanuts, and Dijon-Ginger Dressing on one of my favorite websites- Kalyn's Kitchen.
Right off the bat I used regular cabbage rather than Napa. Otherwise I pretty much stuck with the recipe and it was wonderful.

5-6 C. Chopped Cabbage
1 Red Pepper, very thinly sliced into same-length slices
1/4 C. Green Onions, thinly sliced
1/2 C. Cilantro, chopped
1/3 C Dry Roasted Peanuts, chopped

2 Tbls. Rice Vinegar (use unseasoned vinegar without added sugar)
1 frozen ginger cube OR 2 tsp. grated ginger puree
2 tsp. Dijon Mustard
1 tsp. Sesame Oil
1 Tbls. Splenda
salt and black pepper to taste
3 Tbls. Canola Oil

Stir together all dressing ingredients. Let the dressing sit to develop flavor while you chop the salad ingredients.

Toss together the chopped cabbage, red bell pepper strips, sliced green onions, and chopped cilantro in a medium-sized salad bowl. Add desired amount dressing and toss to coat the salad. (You may not need all the dressing if you like your salads on the dry side.) Put salad in individual serving dishes and top each serving with chopped peanuts or toss peanuts into salad before serving.

Monday, March 14, 2011


I got this recipe from a friend who adapted it from a recipe she got from a friend. It probably doesn't resemble the original recipe at all but isn't that how it goes? If you like your granola a little sweeter I would add more silan. I used 1 Tbls. of cinnamon as my kids aren't huge cinnamon fans. I didn't add any fruit as I thought my kids wouldn't be likely to try it but if you like fruit in your granola then by all mean, add it. The only other thing that I am on the fence about is the whole almonds. I find them kind of clunky and am not sure but perhaps next time I would replace the whole almonds with more sliced almonds. So if that is something you would find bothersome then I recommend switching the whole almonds with more sliced.

This is really good and I have to keep myself from gobbling it all up.

6-7 C oats
1 C. Sunflowers Seeds
1 C. Whole Almonds (or more slivered almonds)
1/2 C. Plain Coconut
2 Tbls. Sesame Seeds
1/2 C. Slivered Almonds
4 Egg Whites
1/4-1/3 C. Silan
1-2 Tbls. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Vanilla
Craisins, Raisins or dried fruit, optional

Combine oats, seeds, nuts and coconut in a large bowl. Whisk together eggs, silan, cinnamon and vanilla. Pour egg mixture over oat mixture and mix until all ingredients are wet. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (it took me 2 sheets to make a single layer of oats). Bake at 350 for 1/2 hour. Rotate the pan and continue baking until cooked through and crunchy- about 5-10 minutes. After it is done baking you can add craisins, raisins or whatever dried fruit you like.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Grilled Crispy Mustard Brussels Sprouts

I know that not everyone loves Brussels sprouts. I for one am a big fan and am always looking for new ways to prepare them(as I learned early on that boiling them is not a good way). I was really happy to find this recipe for Grilled Crispy Mustard Brussels Sprouts which uses mustard and cooks them on the grill rather than roasting them in the oven.

I used frozen sprouts which eliminated the first step. I also used a gas grill so that made things easier as well.

1 bag frozen Brussels sprouts, defrosted and sliced in half
1/4 C. Olive Oil
2 Tbls. Dijon Mustard
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Whisk together olive oil, mustard, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Pour mustard sauce over sprouts and toss to thoroughly coat. Place Brussels sprouts on preheated grill, keeping the bowl nearby with the sauce reserved. Grill until browned and slightly charred on both sides, flipping half way through cooking, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove Brussels sprouts to the bowl with reserved mustard sauce. Toss gently to coat and serve immediately.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Baked Chicken Cutlets with Lemon and Mustard

I found this recipe for Baked Chicken Cutlets with Lemon and Mustard in the Amit Women Efrat cookbook.

The recipe called for 12 medium chicken breasts however I used 6 breasts and 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

12 pieces of boneless, skinless chicken
1 Onion, quartered
3/4 C. Lemon Juice
2 Cloves Garlic
2 Tbls. Dry Mustard
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. White Pepper
1/4 C. Olive Oil

Combine all except chicken in food processor and blend until smooth. Pour sauce over chicken and marinade in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight turning once. Preheat over to 400. Place chicken and marinade in pan and bake for 10 minutes uncovered. Turn chicken and baste. Bake an additional 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked. Do not overcook.

If using the thighs I would recommend cooking the chicken a little longer. I cooked the dark meat for 30 minutes total and the white meat for 20 minutes total. We really liked this one and I think it would also taste good on the grill.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hot Cocoa

The minute it starts to rain and get cold I know my kids will come home from school requesting hot cocoa. When my kids request cocoa I usually give it to them as they don't request it often and I am usually having a similar desire for a hot cup of tea or coffee. That said I hate making the instant packets of cocoa. Even the sugar free or fat free ones, which I think taste bad. So I found several recipes for cocoa online and consolidated them to make this:

1 C. Skim Milk
1 Tbls. Cocoa Powder
2 tsp. Splenda

Warm the milk on the stove and once it hits a simmer mix in the cocoa and splenda.

This one was loved by kids and grown ups alike!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Persian Chicken-Jujeh

I came across this recipe in Chefs' Confidential cookbook. The recipe called for boneless, skinless chicken thighs however we prefer the leaner breast so I substituted it. This recipe was also supposed to be made on skewers however I am not a huge fan of chicken on a stick so I decided to keep them off the stick. If you are putting them on and using wooden skewers please remember to soak the skewers for 30 minutes in water to prevent burning.

1 Large Onion, Quartered
4 Garlic Cloves
1 Tbls. Paprika
1 tsp. Turmeric
2 Tbls. Oregano
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Pepper
1/2 C. Fresh Lemon Juice
1 C. Olive Oil
2 Pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, cubed

Combine onion, garlic, paprika, turmeric, oregano, salt, pepper and lemon juice in a food processor. Process until well combined. Add oil through feed tube. Toss chicken with marinade and coat well. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Preheat grill or broiler. Grill or broil 5-7 minutes on each side or until meat is opaque throughout.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pesto Lemon Rice

A little over a week ago I shared a wonderful recipe for Dairy Free, Nut Free Pesto. I got a few comments and email asking what I used the pesto for. So without further ado I give you Pesto Lemon Rice. This was so good that I had to make more the following day.

1 Tbls. Olive Oil
1 C. Rice(I used brown)-not instant
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Tbls. Lemon Juice
2 1/4 cup Chicken Stock (I used water with chicken soup powder)
2-3 Tbls. Pesto

Heat oil in a pot with a tight-fitting lid; then add the rice and saute until rice is light browned, about 2-3 minutes, stirring several times. Add the salt and lemon juice and stir again. The lemon juice will bubble up in the pan. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. As soon as it is boiling, turn down the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and let it cook without lifting the lid for 20 minutes or 30 if using brown rice. After 20 or 30 minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork. Stir in the pesto, put the lid back on and let the rice sit for 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Simple Chicken and Rice Bake

Sometimes the best meals are the simple ones. I am always a fan of meals that only use one pot or pan so this one is a double win. I used Basmati rice because I was out of brown rice and that was all they had at the store. Apparently basmati rice is lower on the glycemic index so that is a good thing.

I based this loosely around a recipe I found in the Amit Women Efrat Chapter Cookbook

8 pcs. of Chicken(I used 3 legs, 3 thighs and 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts)
Onion Soup Mix
1 C. Rice
2 C. Water

Spray a pyrex with pam. Season the chicken with onion soup mix. Place the rice in the pan. Put the chicken on top of the rice(I didn't put the boneless skinless pieces in yet). Add water. Bake at 350 for 1 hour 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and chicken is browned. At 45 minutes into cooking I added the boneless skinless breasts and they came out perfect.

Everyone was so hungry and ate so much that I didn't get a chance to take a picture until after dinner when there was 1 sad leg left and a tiny spoonful of rice left. Here is what the leftovers look like:

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Baba Ganoush

I do not like eggplant. My husband loves it but I don't. I have tried it prepared many different ways: fried, battered, in tomato sauce, lasagna, parmagean, roasted, grilled-you name it I have tried it but I just can't get on board. This doesn't mean I don't cook it-I just don't eat it. However there is one way I like eggplant. That is in the form of Baba Ganoush. Something about this salad makes the eggplant delicious to me. So when I saw this recipe for Baba Ganoush I had to try it. I had never thought about making Baba Ganoush before and when I saw how simple it was I couldn't believe it. The only change I made to the recipe was I didn't use paprika as all I had was sweet paprika and I didn't think it was an appropriate substitute for smoky.

1 Eggplant
2 Tbls. Tahina
1 Clove Garlic, minced
lemon juice, to taste
Pinch Smoked Paprika, optional
salt, pepper
Pinch Cumin

Roast eggplant at 425 degrees until black, softened and oozing juice, about 45 minutes. Mash eggplant pulp (remove skin) with rest of ingredients.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mexican Quinoa Salad

I found this recipe for Mexican Quinoa Salad on The Girl Who Ate Everything site. It was guest blogged from My Green Diet. Does that make this a 3rd generation recipe? Please look at their picture as it is much better than mine.

I began making this recipe on Thursday evening. I cooked the quinoa and made the dressing. On Friday I completed the prep but completely forgot that I had made the dressing. As I was adding the lime juice I thought to myself that I had made a salad dressing the night before that had similar ingredients. It wasn't until all the ingredients were in the bowl that I realized that I had already made this dressing. So I went ahead and made another cup of quinoa so that I could double the recipe and use all the dressing. I posted about my error on facebook which prompted a lot of requests for the recipe. I commented that after we tasted it and determined if it was good would I share it. The results are in-we really liked it and our guests did too.

The only change I made was I didn't use red quinoa as I didn't have any. I do think it looks pretty in their picture and may have to get my hands on some. I used bottled lime juice and I counted the tomatoes as I hate when recipes give you a measurement for something that you'd rather count. Also, take note that the original recipe says it serves 2-4. I am guessing they mean as a main dish because as a side dish it serves more than that- probably 6-8.

(Also, if anyone knows why blogger keeps rotating my photos or can give me a solutions it would be greatly appreciated)

1 C. Quinoa, washed and drained
2 C. Water
1/4 C. Olive Oil
3 Tbls. Lime Juice
3/4 tsp. Cumin
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes, (optional)
1 Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
12 Cherry Tomatoes, cut in quarters
5 Green Onions, finely chopped
1/4 C. Chopped Cilantro
1 Avocado, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse the quinoa and add to a saucepan with the water, cover, bring to boil and reduce to simmer - cook until all water is absorbed. 10-15 min. Turn off the heat and leave it alone for 10-15 minutes. Remove lid, fluff with a fork and pour into a large bowl. Add black beans, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and avocado.
Separately, whisk together extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, cumin and red pepper flakes. Add salt and pepper.
Toss dressing with quinoa mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
This salad can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Roasted Cauliflower and Red Pepper Soup

Remember a while back I told you about Cauliflower Carrot Soup? Well I have another cauliflower soup recipe for you. Today's recipe is similar to the Cauliflower Carrot Soup but kicked up a notch. I have actually been making this recipe for quite a while and it is good! I based it on this recipe from Closet Cooking but mine is a little simpler, healthier and a lot less fancy. That said it is really good.

1 head fresh Cauliflower, cut into florets OR 1 large bag frozen Cauliflower(which is what I use)
1 Tbls. Olive Oil
1 Onion, Chopped
2 cloves garlic, Chopped
2 Roasted Red Peppers (I roast them using this technique from Closet Cooking)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
4 C. Water

Put cauliflower on cookie sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast the cauliflower in a preheated 400F oven until lightly golden brown, about 20-30 minutes. Spray soup pot with Pam and saute onions until tender about 5 minutes. Add garlic for 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower, roasted red peppers, cayenne and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes. Puree with a hand blender.

This one isn't such a kid friendly recipe as it is quite spicy however it is so good.

Stay tuned for a mash up(no pun intended) of the 2 cauliflower soups....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Oat Apple Sauce Muffins

In my quest for healthy breakfast options I found this recipe for Oat Apple Sauce Muffins. They weren't too sweet and had a subtle flavor but my husband and I enjoyed them. The kids were not as excited about them as we were but they did try them, which is a step in the right direction.

Here's my edited recipe:

1 C. Buttermilk (or Buttermilk Substitute which is what I used)
1 C. Rolled Oats
1 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 C. Brown Sugar
1 Tbls. Ground Flax Seed
1/2 C. Applesauce
1 Egg

Place oats in a small bowl, pour in buttermilk. Let sit for two hours at room temperature. Preheat over to 375. In a large bowl, stir together whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar and flax seed. Stir in oat/buttermilk mixture, applesauce and egg; mix well. Pour batter into lined or greased muffin cups. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Baked Omelet

I came across this recipe for Egg Vegetable Casserole on a blog I recently started reading. I used to make something similar several years back but it also had cottage cheese in it (I can't find that recipe so if you know what I am talking about please pass it along). It sounded simple, good and kid friendly.

(Sorry the picture is so bad-my camera is sort of broken)

We renamed it Baked Omelet:

1 Tbls. Olive Oil
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 C Fresh Spinach, chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
18 eggs
2 Tbls. Skim Milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 tsp. Seasoned Salt
1 C. Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
Parmesan cheese, shredded (optional)

In a large skillet, saute the peppers and onion in the olive oil. Add in the spinach for a minute or two. Allow to cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk and seasonings. Pour the eggs in a greased 9 by 13 pan. Add in the sauteed veggies and tomatoes. Stir everything in the pan. Stir in mozzarella cheese. Make sure everything is distributed evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until the eggs are set and golden. Sprinkle the casserole with Parmesan cheese if desired.

The recipe says that the Parmesan is optional however I thought it added a lot of flavor. My husband toasted some whole wheat bread with the Parmesan cheese and added the eggs to make a sandwich which sounded like a good school lunch to me. Also-just like any omelet, you can change the vegetables and spices. I think the key is the cheese and making sure the egg is set when you cook it. A hit in our house. I may even attempt these in muffin form next time for a good portable breakfast.