Tag Archives: recipe

Creamy Chocolate Gelato

I usually don’t share recipes that require special equipment to make, but this chocolate gelato is the exception. If you do not have an ice cream maker, stop what you are doing and purchase one immediately! Trust me, you will thank me for it after one creamy bite.
chocolate gelato

Continue reading Creamy Chocolate Gelato

Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

Who says eating healthy can’t taste good? This week’s recipe includes quinoa, a superfood that is both high in fiber and high-quality protein. Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is 100% whole grain, but is technically the ancient seed of a leafy plant related to spinach. It’s also gluten-free!

Without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Artichoke Spinach Dip’s healthy cousin, Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole:
spinach artichoke quinoa casserole

Continue reading Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

Halloween Treats from the Kitchen

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! Our final post in celebration of Five Days of Halloween is for tasty homemade treats!

This cookie recipe attracted my attention because it looked like a little pumpkin. When mine came out of the oven, there was nothing pumpkinish about them. In hindsight, I should have been skeptical of a cookie image linking me to a recipe that did not have a picture of its own, but who knew the internet could be misleading?

My initial disappointment over these cookies did not end with my first taste. While very moist and tender, the flavor was lackluster. I was ready to chalk them up as a #fail, but decided to give them one last chance and added the glaze. HELLO!
cookies

The secret to these Tangerine-Glazed Pumpkin Cookies is the glaze and to serve them at room temperature. The mild pumpkin and spice cookie is a vehicle for the citrusy glaze that bursts with flavor. I loaded on the glaze and couldn’t stop myself from licking the bowl when I was done.

The recipe from Health calls for tangerines but my grocery store didn’t have any, so I used oranges instead. I also substituted five-spice powder with pumpkin pie spices.

Here’s how their recipe:

Ingredients

Cookies:
Cooking spray
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder (I used pumpkin pie spice)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon finely grated tangerine zest (I used orange zest)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh tangerine juice (I used orange juice)
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 375°, and spray 2 large baking sheets with cooking spray.

2. For cookies: Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, five-spice powder, and salt in a medium bowl.

3. Beat sugar, butter, and zest with an electric mixer on medium speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla until blended. Reduce speed to low, and beat in the flour mixture just until blended.

4. Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake for 12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly browned. Cool 10 minutes on cooling racks.

5. For glaze: Whisk together all in-gredients in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Drizzle glaze evenly over cookies. Let cool until glaze is set.

Easy Vegetarian Curry Cuisine

Sometimes what you need for cooking inspiration at home is a good meal out. After eating at Everest on Grand, all I could think about was Indian food, so I decided to whip up a little curry.
curry

The only thing this Vegetarian Times recipe for Curried Potatoes with Cauliflower and Peas was missing was the tofu, so I added some on the side (not pictured). For meat eaters, consider adding some roasted chicken.

Here’s their recipe:

  • 2 tsp. ghee or melted butter (I used butter)
  • 1 10-oz. pkg. diced onions, or 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups) (I used onion)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds (I used ½ tsp. ground mustard)
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 6 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces (1½ lb.)
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (1½ lb.)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1. Heat ghee in pressure cooker* over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Stir in garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin, mustard seeds, and turmeric, and sauté 2 minutes. Add potatoes, cauliflower, sugar, and ½ cup water.

2. Close pressure cooker, and bring up to high pressure. Cook 5 minutes.

3. Release pressure with quick-release button, or transfer pressure cooker to sink, and run cool water over rim to release pressure.

4. Stir peas into cauliflower mixture, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Serves 6, ready in 30 minutes or less

* While I have a pressure cooker, I made mine on the stovetop. I followed the instructions above but simmered on low for 20-30 minutes.

** To make a vegan version of this vegetable curry, substitute vegetable oil for the ghee. Serve with rice and Cucumber Raita.

Lotta Lentils Soup

I love making soup. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends in the refrigerator or pantry, and warm you up on cool evenings. And since I rarely follow a recipe, each one is always different.

This batch of lentil soup was ready in less than an hour and has fed me for a week:
lentil soup

Here’s how I did it:

3 TBS olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
5 Swiss chard leaves, chopped
2 cups green lentils, rinsed
8 cups of water

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium flame. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and remaining vegetables, cook for a few minutes to brighten their color. Add water and lentils along with 1-2 bay leaves and some branches of fresh thyme, cover and cook for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems, salt and pepper to taste.

This makes a large batch of soup that freezes well and reheats beautifully.

Crustless Quiches

This recipe is great for those times when the cupboards are bare. Using the most basic ingredients, Crustless Broccoli-Cheddar Quiches from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food collection is a great recipe for breakfast, lunch or even a light dinner. Very easily halved or doubled, it’s also a great recipe for experimenting! Try substituting different cheeses and vegetables, I used frozen kale after discovering that I was out of broccoli and it was delicious!
crustless quiche

I’ve made this recipe for simple brunch and dinner parties, it’s always a hit and couldn’t make things any easier.  Consider serving it with some crusty bread and a side salad or fruit, and the meal is complete.

Here’s the recipe:
– Butter, for ramekins
– Coarse salt
– 1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli florets
– 6 large eggs
– 1/2 cup half-and-half
– Ground pepper
– 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (3 ounces)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter four 8-ounce ramekins (or a 9-inch pie dish); set aside. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli; cook 1 minute. Drain well; transfer to a cutting board, and blot dry with paper towels. Chop coarsely.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in broccoli and cheese.

3) Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Ladle broccoli mixture into ramekins, dividing evenly. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

PREP: 10 MINS TOTAL / TIME: 50 MINS / SERVINGS:4

Fast Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Some weeks there is less healthy cooking in my life than I like to admit, this was one of those weeks. Fortunately, the one meal that I made was worth sharing! Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Chickpeas and Rainbow Carrots from Vegetarian Times:
vietnamese noodles

This gluten-free, vegan recipe is a cold noodle salad. After the cold blast of fall air we’d just had, I wanted something hot, hot, hot for dinner! I’d like to say that’s why I used chile garlic sauce instead of sweet chile sauce but I’d be lying. I didn’t have any sweet chile sauce, so I opted to go for a spicy substitution instead. The ruling? I really liked it. It was quick and simple, ready in less than 30 minutes and my spicy version was warming even though the dish was cool.

Here’s the recipe from Vegetarian Times (October 2013 p.29):

  • 4 oz. thin rice noodles
  • 6 Tbs. sweet chile sauce (I used red chile garlic sauce)
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 3 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
  • 2 rainbow carrots, sliced into thin coins (1 cup) (I used regular carrots)
  • ¾ cup cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup toasted unsalted cashews, chopped (I was so hungry, I didn’t chop the cashews)

1. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Drain in colander, and rinse under cold water until completely cooled.

2. Stir together sweet chile sauce and lime juice in measuring cup or small bowl.

3. Combine noodles, cabbage, carrots, chickpeas, cilantro, and mint in large bowl. Add chile sauce mixture, and toss to coat. Garnish with toasted cashews.

Serves 4, ready in less than 30 minutes.

Real Simple Chickpea Pasta

This quick dinner recipe comes together in less than 20 minutes, who could ask for more after a busy day? My version was even quicker because I made a single serving for myself with gluten-free ramen noodles that cook in 4 minutes. Real Simple’s Chickpea Pasta with Almonds and Parmesan is easy to customize for any taste:
pasta

Here’s how they do it:

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
7 cups low-sodium vegetable (or chicken broth for non-vegetarians)
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
kosher salt
1 pound angel hair pasta
1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted roasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Directions
– Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
– Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, crushed red pepper, and ¾ teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil.
– Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until the broth is nearly absorbed and the pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and parsley.
– Divide among individual bowls and top with the almonds and Parmesan.

This recipe is easy to make for one person and you can use any kind of pasta you like. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

The Day of the Domestic Diva

Sometimes a day goes so well that a girl feels like a domestic diva. Once a year the stars align in my life to create the perfect atmosphere of enthusiasm, productivity and can-do attitude. This is something that can’t be planned for or anticipated, it comes unexpectedly and must be obeyed because you never know when it will happen again. This freak occurrence happened over the weekend and I cannot begin to tell you the satisfying list of accomplishments that piled up. However, in the midst of shrub trimming, laundry, cleaning, creating piles of bags for donation and finally organizing the linen closet, there were a few highlights worth sharing.

My first tomato harvest of the season:

tomatoes
This was all of them and they were eaten immediately after this photo was taken.

Homemade bug deterrent lotion bars. I’ll let you know if they actually work before sharing the recipe, the same goes for the natural deodorant I also made. Pretty, aren’t they?

bug spray bars
Should I be skeptical since the recipe was for “bug deterrent” and not “bug repellent”?

And the pom-pom on my domestic diva cap goes to the banana muffins that I whipped up:
banana muffins

Inspired by the Regret of Sharing Banana Bread, I modified Lucy Moll’s Banana Walnut Muffin recipe that appears in Energy Eating: The Vegetarian Way. There are tons of great recipes in this book, this one was so good that I burned the roof of my mouth trying to eat them straight from the oven, so baker beware!

Lucy Moll’s Recipe for Banana Walnut Muffins:

1 cup whole-wheat flour
1-1/2 cups unbleached white flour
3/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbs reduced-fat margarine (I used butter)
2 tbs unsweetened applesauce
1 cup mashed bananas (I used four very ripe bananas)
2/3 cup buttermilk, sour milk or reduced-fat soymilk (I used 2 tbs of white vinegar and milk to equal 2/3 c)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter cups (this was all me, I’m not sure Lucy would approve)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare muffin tin with baking cups or oil. Mix dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients. Combine all and ingredients and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Lucy says this makes 12 muffins but I got 17.

Here’s hoping the stars align again soon, I’ve got more projects that need doing!

Let’s Get Curried Away!

I have always had a bit of a crush on Jamie Oliver. Not only does he have a great accent, but he works globally to educate people on food and healthy diets. What’s not to like about that? Well, if you need another reason, he gave us this week’s recipe:curry

Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Chickpea and Spinach Curry is fast and full of flavor, it’s also a pantry favorite of mine. It can be made with fresh, frozen or canned produce and takes less than 30 minutes to make.

I served mine with Jasmine rice made in 7 minutes thanks to the pressure cooker. A quick meal that makes great leftovers, you won’t find a recipe much simpler than this one.

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

When I eat an entire pan of enchiladas myself, I know that I have to share the recipe. Not only did I eat the entire pan myself, but I was actually sad to see the last one gone – that’s not how I usually feel after days of eating the same thing over and over again. Trust me, these are goooooooood. enchiladas Gina’s Skinny Taste recipe for Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas took longer to  make than most of my weeknight dinners but it was worth the wait. I ate myself sick the first night (they were so good, I just couldn’t stop), and they tasted even better the second day for lunch and the following night for dinner. I filled my tortillas a little fatter than she did and topped mine with fresh avocado, but otherwise followed her recipe to the letter. Don’t wait long to make a pan of these!

Herby Frittata with Goat Cheese

Here’s a recipe that was easy to prepare but fussy to finish, at least for me. Cooking Light’s Herby Frittata with Vegetables and Goat Cheese is full of great flavor thanks to the fresh dill, chives and goat cheese. It’s simple until it comes to the cooking time. Their recipe claims that the eggs will set up and be ready to eat in 5 minutes. When I followed their instructions, I had a soupy mess that definitely wasn’t pretty. Additional stovetop cooking and a second stop under the broiler left my end product a little dried out.

Final ruling? This is yummy and you should try it. Just make sure your eggs are completely set up on the stove before putting them under the broiler.

Image