Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Breakfast Ease

I know, I know it has been way too long!  I am finally reorganized and cooking creatively.  It gets so easy to eat the same meals over and over, and when you throw weekend travel into the mix you go for simplicity...aka BORING!  Instead of boring you with yet another chicken, vegetable, and whole grain week...I am stepping it up!

This week has started my dive into new and creative breakfasts for Paul.  I wanted to find an egg dish, of sorts, that was loaded with protein and flavor.  It took the meshing of a few recipes, but I think I did well.  Paul and Kristen (who got a few slices today) will have to let me know their thoughts :) 

Crustless Loaded Quiche
6 slices

Ingredients:
4 Eggs (can also go with 2 eggs and 3 egg whites)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (I will try it with Gluten Free Flour later this week and report back)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup skim milk (you could use any kind of milk)
1 can Artichoke Hearts in water (I used 365 brand and rinsed them), chopped
1/3 cup roasted red peppers (I like Cento brand) roughly chopped
1 cup fresh spinach
3/4 cup onion
Italian Seasoning to taste
1/2 cup Soft Goat Cheese crumbled
1/3 cup Parmessan

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray Pie Dish with Olive Oil Spray.

In a pan over medium/high heat, heat onions until translucent.  Add in spinach and mix until wilted.  Add in artichoke hearts and red peppers.  Mix until heated through.  Season to taste.  Take off burner to cool slightly.

In the meantime, whisk eggs.  Continue whisking adding flour, baking powder, and then slowly the milk until well mixed and airy.

Add the onion/spinach/etc mixture to the egg mixture.

Pour into the prepared pie dish.  Add the crumbled goat cheese to the top and then the parmesan.

Bake for 20-25 min, until lightly browned around the edges and quiche is set.  Cool and serve.  Can be stored for 5 days!

Nutrition of each slice: 167cal 5.85g fat 17g carb 3.85g sugar 11.65g protein

Enjoy!
mer

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Return To Winter

With the return of winter like weather on Monday, I thought I would give the house one last taste of winter food.  So, I decided to make a roast with sweet potatoes.  Traditionally a roast is made with a fatty chuck roast, but I went with a very lean sirloin tip.  It actually turned out just as moist as desired, and warmed the house with a last taste of cool weather (hopefully).

Ingredients:
1 sirloin tip, boneless, about 2 to 3 pounds
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
3/4 c. water
1 cup red wine
1 cube unsalted vegetable bouillon
1/4 t. celery seed
1/4 cup garlic and herb seasoning
1/4 t. black pepper

Place sliced onion in crock-pot and top with sweet potatoes. Place the roast on top of the vegetables. Mix together water, wine, bouillon, celery seed, herbs, and pepper; and pour over roast. Cover and cook on low for 8 hrs. or on high for 4 hrs. Or, if preparing in the oven, place in a 200-250 degree oven for 4 hours.

Paul has requested that I stop making variations of my oatmeal cookies, the last ones were cranberry/apple (same recipe from below).  He was eating cookies every night, and each batch was disappearing faster than the previous one.  I'll have to come up with some less appetizing to him :)

Enjoy!
mer

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Cookies and Applesauce

I have been craving oatmeal cookies for a while, so I decided to create a recipe that would allow me to indulge.  Nothing like a 10 mile run with a speed workout mixed in to give the perfect excuse for some pre-work baking :)

I took a couple of recipes, mixed and matched, and came up with what are officially my favorite oatmeal cookes...yes, I had one as my mid-morning snack. (How could I not taste test before writing it up, and, SERIOUSLY, you would have done the same thing...fresh from the oven goodness)

Applesauce Oatmeal Raisin Cookies 
  • Cooking spray

  • 1 cup all purpose flour (I actually used a wheat baking flour from WF bulk)

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 T whipped butter (you could probably use regular butter, but it increases the fat)

  • 1/2 cup evaporated cane juice (aka sugar)

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce (I used 365 unsweetened)

  • 1 large egg

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1-1/3 cups rolled oats (not quick)

  • 1/2 cup raisins


  • Heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. Cream the butter and both sugars with an electric mixer. Beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the applesauce, egg and vanilla then mix until blended, about 2 minutes. Add the flour to the applesauce mixture and mix well. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the oats and raisins. Drop rounded spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets about two inches apart. Bake until slightly golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cool baking sheets on wire racks for 5 minutes, then remove the cookies and cool completely. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks.

    Each cookie has 145 calories and 1.5g of fat and they tasted like little cakes, YUM!!

    Enjoy the cookies and the beautiful Austin day!
    mer

    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    Stuffed Peppers

    There is no creative title for this one because the dish stands alone!

    The beautiful peppers set the tone for the stuffing.  I didn't just want traditional stuffing, so here are my twists:

    Stuffed Peppers

    7 large peppers (red, orange, yellow)
    1 small/medium purple onion diced
    1.5lbs ground venison, turkey breast, or lean ground meat (if you are going to make this a vegetarian dish you can use spinach, white beans, or even crumbled firm tofu)
    Lundberg Brown Rice Couscous (Gluten Free)
    1 can no salt added diced tomatoes
    1 small can tomato paste
    Herbs de Provence
    Minced Garlic
    1/2 cup high quality part skim mozzarella
    parmesan for sprinkling on top

    Cut the tops off of the peppers and clean out the insides.  Set aside.  Cook the couscous according to instructions using water instead of broth.  Saute onions with minced garlic (to taste) until soft.  Add meat and cook through.  Add in generous helping of herbs (I used 1/4 cup).  Stir in diced tomatoes and tomato paste.  Stir in the cooked couscous.  Turn heat off and add mozzarella.  Stuff each pepper with filling.  Place into a 425 degree oven, without the tops, for 10-15 minutes until the peppers start to soften.  Place the tops on the oven grate, top the filled peppers with parmesan and roast for 10 more minutes.  Serve with a salad or other dark green vegetables!

    Enjoy!!
    mer

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011

    Dessert - Don't be afraid!

    I had a client ask me for a sweet treat idea, and so I needed to get creative on this one.  Part of eating healthy is keeping an open mind and exploring new options, so here goes:

    Vegan Black Bean Brownies (I combined a couple of recipes to make this one.  Others had too much fat or sugar)
    Servings: 9

    These brownies are a great alternative to traditional brownies!

    Warning: Because there isn't any flour they come out pretty dense in case you are looking for a cake brownie.

    Note: Rolled oats may substituted for the instant oats. Put the rolled oats in the food processor.  Use optional sugar if your bananas are still green and not very ripe. (I used ripe bananas that were a perfect sweetener!)


    Ingredients:
    •15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
    •2 whole bananas
    •⅓ cup honey or for a rich taste maple syrup or molasses
    •¼ cup unsweetened cocoa
    •1 tbsp cinnamon
    •1 tsp vanilla extract
    •¼ cup raw sugar (optional)
    •¼ cup instant oats (you can definitely use Gluten Free Oats!)

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease an 8x8" pan and set aside. Combine all ingredients, except oats, in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scrapping sides as needed. Stir in the oats and pour batter into the pan. Bake approximately 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.

    If you find these brownies are too soft, add another 1/4 cup oats or flour.

    If you give the recipe a try, let me know what you think!!
    mer

    Tuesday, March 29, 2011

    Super Simple Sloppy Joes

    In taking advantage of our beautiful venison meat, I decided to make sloppy joes this past week.  As I told Paul what was on the menu, he asked if I was going to buy, "Manwich?"  After spending a moment trying to figure out what Manwich was, I realized that I might not actually know what a "real" sloppy joe tastes like.  The only ones I have had are either homemade from scratch or from Mother's, a Veggie Restaurant in Austin.  So, please, be the judge and let me know if these are real...either way they sure were tasty!

    Super Simple Sloppy Joe's
    1lb Ground Venison, Turkey Breast, or Veggie Crumbles
    1 diced medium white onion
    1 diced small green pepper
    1 large can pure tomato paste, no salt
    1 can diced tomatoes, no salt
    cajun seasoning or spicy seasoning of your choice

    In a large sauce pan on medium/high heat, saute onion and green pepper until softened.  Add ground protein source until cooked through.  Add diced tomatoes and seasoning.  Season to taste.  Add tomato paste, 2 T at a time and mix in.  Let cook over medium/low heat continuing to stir for about 5 minutes more, and serve!

    Wednesday, March 9, 2011

    Lots of Cooking!

    Or should I say, "lots of photo downloading."  We aren't going hungry here that's for sure.  I just haven't been on top of the photo downloading game.  Like with any new routine, it just takes some time.

    Last week we ran into our friend, Derick, who said, "when are we having gnocchi again?"  No better time than the present so I was excited to present a lovely meal for our wonderful friends Saturday night. 

    On the menu:
    Spinach and Fig salad
    Gnocchi with Hot Italian Beef Sausage and Mild Turkey Sausage - with sundried tomatoes (if you want to keep this meal vegetarian you can replace the sausage with chopped fresh peppers and some hot italian seasoning)
    A new spin on Boston Cream Pie

    The Spinach and Fig Salad was a super easy hit.

    Spinach
    Figs (sliced)
    Parmesan Shaved (optional)
    2 slices of Fresh Sourdough Bread cut and toasted for croutons
    Balsamic Vinegar

    To make the dressing, I reduced balsamic vinegar with about 6 figs and mashed the figs as the vinegar thickened.  I then strained it.  It was a thick and rich dressing.

    Gnocchi with Sausage and Sundried Tomatoes
    3 lbs Gnocchi (I can give you the recipe if you would like to make it from scratch or you can buy it at Central Market or Mandolas Italian Market)
    4 Hot Italian Beef Sausages (Fresh not Packaged)
    2 Mild Turkey Sausages
    1 jar sundried tomatoes packed in olive oil
    20 Sundried tomatoes rehydrated and not packed in oil
    1 28 oz can chopped tomatoes (high quality italian)
    large bunch of fresh basil

    1) Cut up the sundried tomatoes not in oil and put them in a container.  I like using my kitchen sheers to do this.  Then open the jar of sundried tomatoes in oil, cut them, and add the tomatoes and oil to the container.  This saves about $5+ in sundried tomatoes and gives plenty of olive oil flavor to all of them. (Extras keep beautifully in your fridge, so don't be afraid to make bonus...you will note that I used the remainder to roast chicken yesterday!)

    2) In a large suace pan, cook the sausage to just done.  Strain out the juice or any excess oil, wipe the pan and put the sausage back in on low/med heat.  Add both sets of tomatoes and about 1T of the reserved olive oil (this is the only oil in the dish).  Again, with the sheers, cut the cleaned fresh basil in strips directly into the pan.

    3) Let simmer until all the flavors are on spot.  The hot sausage will add a nice kick

    4) Cook the Gnocchi al dente (do not over cook or it will be mush), and mix the gnocchi into the sausage meal.  We got 4 servings + 2 large bonus servings for the men + 2 meals of leftovers from the above!!  Makes lots of food

    Boston Cream

    Paul's favorite part of a Boston Cream Pie is the Cream which is a Bavarian Cream.  Mine was always a big hit until we went to Tartine in San Francisco.  (An absolute MUST if you are there).  The two Eclairs he has had have been stamped in his memory.  The Cream filling is a vanilla bean filling.  So to honor this, I created a vanilla bean bavarian cream.  Since I didn't want it to get lost in the heaviness of cake, I created layers of pastry, cream, and then chocolate ganache.  Here is the finished product.

    I took the extra cream, and pastry, and made my first Napolean for a party on Sunday night.  It didn't stand a chance, so I am hoping it was a hit!

    Happy Bellies!
    mer