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    We finally have internet!!!  The internet has been down the past couple of days and I was taken back to the time before Google.  We decided that before the internet we just went through our days not knowing a lot of things.  For instance, over the weekend we watched The Fighter (great movie by the way!) and someone asked a question about how true the story was, but since we couldn’t look it up online the que stion was quickly forgotten we went on with our TV Sunday.  But now the internet is back up and I can tell you the movie did a good job of telling the true story and I can get back to blogging : )

    In honor of the upcoming Cinco De Mayo holiday I wanted to get some use out of my new food processor and make some guacamole.  Plus I just bought the vegetarian bible at Marshalls and needed to try it out!  In case you haven’t checked them it out yet Marshalls has some great deals on cookbooks (like $4 great deal!). 

    Now on to the recipe!  The main ingredient in guacamole is avocado.  Avocados are actually a fruit that tastes like a vegetable.  They are bright green and contain high amounts of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).  MUFAs can help lower “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood and may help reduce your overall risk for heart disease.  Avocados also contain a good helping of antioxidant Vitamins E & C.  But be careful about portion size!  Since this is a fattier dish the serving size is around 2 tbsp.   

Ingredients:

  • 3 avocados
  • 1/2 red onion-chopped
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 clove of garlic- minced
  • 2 tomatoes- seeded and chopped
  • 1-2 jalpenos (depending on how hot you want it) -seeded and chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • pinch of chili powder

     Squeeze the juice from the limes into a small bowl.  Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits.  Take a spoon and scoop out the insides and toss in the bowl of lime juice to prevent the avocado from browning.  Chop all the rest of the vegetables and cilantro by hand or with a food processor then mix in the avocado, spices and cilantro. 

    Happy almost Cinco De Mayo!!!!

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     I have a confession to make.  French fries are one of my favorite foods of all time.  I love their greasy carb laden deliciousness and if it came down to my last meal, curly fries dipped in buttermilk ranch would be the star : )  So you can see my dilemma as I am an advocate for healthy eating but also a deep fried fanatic.  These sweet potato fries from goveg.com satisfy my love for french fries without sticking me with the greasy guilt afterward. 

     Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A and C and they’re great because they retain a large amount of it even through the cooking process.  Quick hint:  The better a vegetable or fruit keeps its color after cooking the more vitamins and minerals it retains.  So the bright orange color you see in the fries above are just about the same color they were before cooking.  Some other vegetables that keep their color well after cooking are brocolli, carrots, green beans, corn, and peas.  Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin so to be absorbed you will need to eat some form of fat with it.  The same goes for vitamins D, E & K. 

    This recipe is really easy and  if you don’t have all the spices on hand you could also make it with a few shakes of your favorite seasoning salt.  I also made a batch using Fiesta Party Dip Mix and they were just as delicious!

Ingredients:     

  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1  Tbsp. olive oil

    Preheat the oven to 375°F.  In a small bowl, combine the cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper. Set aside.  Peel the sweet potatoes and julienne them using a very sharp knife.  Then in a large bowl, combine with the olive oil and the spice mixture. Toss until evenly coated. 
    Place wedges in a single layer on a baking sheet and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through and edges are crisp.
Makes 6 servings

  

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   Well folks it’s been a month since I started this blog and I’ve had some successes and some failures and here’s a few things I’ve learned so far:

1. I am MESSY in the kitchen

2. I’m not very good at website designing

3. I need a larger food processor, the black  bean burgers had to be done in halves because mine is too small and it was a hot mess

4.  I like to use apples a lot

5.  Almond milk is a great substitute for cow’s milk even in baked things

6.  I haven’t put this in a post yet but I have been secretly obsessed with Lindt dark chocolate with sea salt and  I’ve been eating some just about everyday since its discovery earlier this month

7.    Tastefully Simple makes the best Grill Seasoning and if you like to grill I STRONGLY suggest you order some!

8.  Gluten free cupcakes are delicious : )

9.  I don’t like washing dishes and even more than that I HATE drying them

10. Lastly, I have loved making these foods and sharing with everyone, I hope anyone who has read this has enjoyed it too and I look forward to the next month!

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    Today instead of working out I made garlic knots out of extra pizza dough and chamomille tea : )     Happy Sunday!!

Garlic Knots

  • 1/2 pizza dough recipe
  • 2 cloves of garlic- Minced
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of pepper
  • Parmesan cheese to sprinkle

   Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Roll out dough and cut into 2×4 inch strips.  Roll out and knot each slice and place on a greased baking sheet.  Combine garlic, oil, salt and pepper and brush onto unbake knots.  Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Sprinkle parmesean over the top and serve warm.

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      I am on a mission to find the tastiest whole wheat pizza crust recipe.  For me, the crust is the MOST important part of a pizza, the toppings are nice, but if the crust is bad I won’t even bother.  This challenge is especially hard for me because I’m not very good at making bread doughs.  So I first tried the easy way and go for a whole wheat mix, but here in nothern IN, those are hard to come by.  I finally found a pre made crust from Boboli, but at 5 dollars a pop not including the toppings I wanted something a little more economical.

    This is the first of probably many pizza crust posts and today we have two contestants- Crust 1 and Crust 2- they are essentially the same recipe, with the measures of wheat flour and all purpose flours flip-flopped.  My ultimate goal is to find a recipe that is tasty and uses all whole wheat flour, but small steps!   To fully appreciate the products I added some of my favorite toppings and ended up with a fantastic version of a margarita pizza that everyone needs to try!   Here are the crust recipes:

Crust 1

  • 2 cups all purpose flour                                                                
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt

    In a large bowl, combine the warm water and yeast and let sit for 5 minutes.  After 5 minutes stir in the oil and salt and the flours and stir with a spoon until most of the flour is absorbed, then take the dough out and knead until the rest of the flour is absorbed.   Place the dough in a oiled bowl roll it around a couple of times till the dough is coated.  Let dough sit covered with a towel in a warm dry place for an hour or until the dough has doubled.   If you want a fluffy pizza then use the whole dough to make one pizza, if you’re looking for a thin crust then split the dough in half to either make two crusts or you can freeze one for later!  Roll out your dough and place your favorite toppings on and bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. 

Crust 2

  • 1 tsp raw cane sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

     In a large bowl, dissove sugar in warm water, then sprinkle yeast over the top and let it sit for 10 minutes (it should be foamy).  Stir in the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture and then mix in the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour, then tip dough out onto a surface  floured with the remaining all-purpose flour and knead until all the flour has been absorbed.  placed dough in an oiled bowl and roll it around a couple of times till all surfaces of the dough are oiled.  Then let it stand for an hour or until doubled in size.  If you would like a thin crust then split the dough into 2 to make two crusts or keep it whole to make one fluffy crust.  Roll out your crust and let it stand for another 45 minutes covered with a towel to let it rise a little more.  Then add your favorite toppings and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.   

Crust 1

Crust 2

     AND THE WINNER IS ………CRUST 2!!!  –It’s from allrecipes.com and  this was the unanimous winner, it was fluffy and tasty and it was even the crust with the larger proportion of wheat flour to all purpose and less sodium!  It had a little more sugar but the difference in flavor was worth it!  Crust 1 was good, but as my family put it, ” very healthy tasting”. 
    For my toppings I went with what I had in the kitchen.  I didn’t measure any of these so I’m sorry for the rough estimates! Per pizza I used:
  • 1 Tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic- minced
  • About 1 jar of Ragu homestlyle pizza sauce
  • Enough sliced mushrooms to get a few slices on each piece of pizza (probably about 3/4 cup)
  • Enough raw kale to cover the pizza (except the crust)
  • 2 tomatoes thinly sliced (I used a yellow and a red one to add some different flavor)
  • About a 1/2 cup of Crumbled feta cheese

    First brush the areas you intend to make the crust with olive oil,  I got this tip from my cousin and it adds a crispiness to the outside but keeps the inside very soft.  Spread the sauce first and sprinkle the garlic evenly over the top.  Then place the kale, then mushroom slices, then tomatoes and finally the feta.  Bake in the middle of the oven for the 15-20 minutes.  Add a glass of two buck chuck chardonnay and you have yourself a great little meal!!  This might be my new favorite pizza.  What’s your favorite pizza?  Leave any tips or recipes you might have, I would love to here from you! 

 
  
 

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    I swear I will eventually post a dessert that doesn’t base itself around the apple, but the problem is that whenever I make one of these desserts I buy a bag of apples and inevitably end up with extra ones that I feel compelled to use!  So this time I’ve decided to make bread pudding because it’s a great way to use up stale bread or if you see a deal on bread at the grocery store (as I did!)   I kind of mixed a few recipes together and the result was a nice (not too sweet) dessert! 

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium apples- cored and cubed
  • 2 tbsp raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon split in halves
  • 3 cups of stale bread cut into cubes- I used a crusty italian roll
  • 2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
  • 4 eggs- slightly beaten
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup of butter- melted
  • 1 Tbsp of raw cane sugar to sprinkle over the top (optional)

Stella my kitchen buddy

     Preheat over to 350 degrees.   Start out by cutting up your apples into cubes, this is another instance where you can peel if you want but I didn’t, then put them in a large bowl and mix with half of the cinnamon and the honey then set aside.  Cube your bread, and put the cubes in another large bowl with the milk, eggs, remaining cinnamon, melted butter and granulated sugar and mix together with a spoon.  Add your apples and to the bread mix and let sit for an hour so that the bread can absorb the moisture. 

   

    After an hour, pour mixture into a greased 9x13in pan and sprinkle with cinnamon fand bake for 55 minutes.  Let sit  for 15 minutes to set but serve it warm and it’s great with ice cream!

      Enjoy!!

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Diesel

    This is Diesel, my sister’s new dog.  He doesn’t have much to do with food except he likes the crumbs I drop on the floor but he’s pretty cute and I think he deseves some recognition : )

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