Friday, May 31, 2013

80--- Coconut Curry Hummus

This is actually a copycat recipe.

I had hummus from this company and it was SO delicious.

And the flavor was really easy to replicate.

For less moolah.

There's nothing wrong with being a little thrifty now and then.

Coconut Curry Hummus
Makes ~ 2 cups

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz unsweetened canned coconut milk
2 Tbsp tahini
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
4 tsp yellow curry powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
Dash crushed red pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor until a smooth puree is formed.  For a thinner consistency, add 2-3 Tbsp water.

*Note: due to the saturated nature of coconut milk, this hummus does "set up" a bit when refrigerated.  No worries! Just stir prior to serving.

Serve with crudites or pita chips.

Nutrition Info per 1/4 cup: 89 calories, 5.5 g fat, 3 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 2.5 g fiber

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

80--- Tequila Lime Corn Salsa

I know what you're thinking.

Can I put really tequila into a salsa? And not cook off the alcohol?

Yes you can.

You would have to eat the entire 10 cups in one sitting to even get a buzz.

And the flavor? So worth the risk.

Tequila Lime Corn Salsa
Makes ~10 cups

16 oz frozen corn kernels
3 ears sweet corn, kernels cut from cobs
3 jalapenos, seeded and finely chopped
1 bunch cilantro, stemmed and chopped
8 green onions, chopped
3/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp raw sugar
Juice of 4 large limes
1 oz (one shot) tequila (higher quality is better)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and toss to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours prior to serving.

Serve with tortilla chips or on top of your favorite tacos.

Nutrition Info per 1/2 cup: 53 calories, 0.5 g fat, 2 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates,  1.5 g fiber

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Things That I Know

1.  It's Memorial Day weekend!  I am traveling for the first time, on a plane, with my baby.  Pray for me and my fellow passengers that her sunny personality shines through the entire flight.  I've read from other mommy bloggers that this experience is one of the most nerve-racking.  And it's also one that typically turns out fine.  Yes, I am bringing a bag full of all the toys that have ever entertained her, and a few new ones that are sure to amuse her. No, I will not be bringing treats for the other passengers in case she fusses. 

2.  On our trip we will be going to visit our friends in Phoenix.  It's our group of long time hommies and their sweet babes and it shall surely be a GRAND time.  One of my dear friends owns this shop with her twin sister.  If you are in the area, and in need of such things, you MUST check them out.  Their business continues to win award after award and I am so proud of them!

3. My sister just brought me some vanilla beans back from Madagascar.  And with them I will be making this (in addition to many other things).

4.  It's sunscreen season!  I am a sunscreen addict.  Ask my hubby.  The one thing I never leave the house without?  Sunscreen.  This is my fave.  Not chalky, not greasy, doesn't make my face freak out.  Prevent wrinkles, y'all!  Oh yes- and melanoma.

5.  I just ordered some of these for some friends.  They turned out so cute- great hostess gift idea for summer!

6.  Grilling this weekend? Better give this a whirl! Sounds lovely, doesn't it?

7.  I LOVE this idea for an easy grilled appetizer.  I never met a Brie that I didn't like.

8.  If you haven't tried these yet, there is no time like the present.  

Have a GREAT weekend! Be safe! Remember- 80/20!

Friday, May 24, 2013

80--- Homemade Low Sodium Vegetable Seasoning

Fact: Seasoning your vegetables often makes them tastier.

Fact: Most seasoning blends contain salt as their first ingredient.

Fact: Most of us should watch our sodium intake.

Fact: You can make your own seasoning blend with minimal (or no) salt.

Now, just in time for grilled vegetable season...........

Homemade Low Sodium Vegetable Seasoning
Makes ~ 3 1/2 Tbsp

1 Tbsp dried minced onion
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp celery seed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)

Combine all ingredients in a mortar and use a pestle to crush and combine thoroughly.

Sprinkle on vegetables sprayed lightly with olive oil prior to cooking (grilling, roasting, etc.).

Sodium per 1/4 tsp: 15 mg

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

20(ish)--- Not-Fried Ice Cream

Confession: I love fried ice cream.

Have you ever had it?

Typically served at Mexican restaurants, fried ice cream is a scoop of vanilla (or sometimes cinnamon) ice cream that is battered and deep fried and served sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar or drizzled with chocolate or caramel.  Yes, the ice cream stays frozen.

This is like that.  But it's not.  And you are healthier for it.  And it's gluten-free for my GF friends.

Crunchy outside, creamy frozen center, and a dash of cinnamon.  Amazing.

Not-Fried Ice Cream
Serves 16

1/2 gallon vanilla frozen yogurt
4 cups cornflakes, crushed (put them in a Ziploc bag and roll them with a rolling pin)
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Mix together crushed cornflakes and cinnamon.  Place them in a bowl.

Line a cookie sheet or plate (that will fit into your freezer) with parchment paper.

Use an ice cream scoop to scoop 1/2 cup of frozen yogurt into a ball (think like at Baskin Robbins).  Roll each ball in the cornflake and cinnamon mixture.  Place each ball onto the cookie sheet.  Repeat with remaining frozen yogurt until you have 16 covered scoops.  

Place plate or cookie sheet into the freezer to re-freeze for 1 hour prior to serving.  * Note: you may need to do several batches on smaller plates to keep the scoops frozen- it depends on your speed of scooping and rolling.

Serve drizzled with caramel or chocolate syrup, if desired.

Monday, May 20, 2013

80--- Easy Marinara-Poached Halibut

This is the recipe for those who do not like to eat fish.

This is the recipe for those who do not like to touch fish.

Fortunately, this is also the recipe that those of you who LOVE fish will enjoy as well.

One dish, minimal fishy contact, delicious result.

Easy Marinara-Poached Halibut
Serves 4

2 tsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 tsp fennel seed
16 oz canned marinara sauce (I like Hunt's Basil Garlic Oregano in 8 oz cans- lower sodium- no added sugar)
1/2 cup water
1 lb fresh halibut, skinned
1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add minced garlic and fennel seed.  Saute until fragrant, ~ 3 minutes.  Add in marinara sauce and water and bring to a simmer.  Sprinkle halibut with salt and pepper.  Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in basil, then gently place halibut filets into the sauce.  Scoop sauce over the top to cover.  

Cover saucepan and cook until fish is opaque and easily flakes, ~ 10-15 minutes.

Serve 4 oz of fish covered with marinara.

Nutrition Info per 1 serving: 213 calories, 7 g fat, 26 g protein,  10 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

20(ish)--- Ginger, Basil, Lime Soda Water

Still trying to kick that soda habit?  Try making your own.  You will use less sweetener, and none of the other bad-for-you-stuff.  

This combo feels like a cocktail- sans the booze.  Hooray for nursing women everywhere!

HOWEVER the ginger simple syrup is going to be the perfect complement to a new cocktail..... stay tuned.

Ginger, Basil, Lime Soda Water

GINGER SIMPLE SYRUP (makes enough for 8 sodas)
2 cups water
1 cup raw sugar
6" fresh ginger, peeled and sliced

SODA (ingredients are per each soda)
2 fresh basil leaves
1/4 fresh lime
~12 oz club soda

For simple syrup: Whisk sugar into water in a saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to set, covered for 30 minutes.  Strain out the ginger and cool in refrigerator until ready to use.

For soda:  In the bottom of a cocktail shaker, muddle basil leaves.  Squeeze lime juice into the shaker, then add in the wedge.  Add 4 Tbsp ginger simple syrup.  Shake well.

Fill a 12 oz glass 1/3 full with ice cubes, then add in (strained) contents of the cocktail shaker.  Fill remaining glass with club soda.  Stir and serve, garnished with fresh basil and a lime wedge if desired.

Nutrition Info per 1 soda: 90 calories, 22 g carbohydrates

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

80--- Butter & Bacon Salad

Now that I have your attention........

As I was dreaming up this salad, complete with butter lettuce, nature's butter (avocado) and butter beans, I asked my hubbster what else it needed.  He said "Bacon".  Of course, I scoffed.  And then I thought about it.  Could he be right?  And then I made a Butter & Bacon Salad and he was right.  Hear that, honey? You were RIGHT.

Butter & Bacon Salad
Serves 2

1 head butter lettuce (also known as bib lettuce), leaved
1 cup butter beans, drained and rinsed (also known as lima beans)
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 slices bacon, chopped
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 green onion, chopped
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

In a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, cook chopped bacon until crisp.  Add butter beans and vinegar to the skillet and saute ~ 2 minutes.  Whisk in honey and mustard.  Continue to saute beans until warm and vinegar has thickened and reduced slightly, ~3-4 minutes.  

On each plate, layer 5-6 lettuce leaves.  Spoon bean mixture on top of lettuce and drizzle evenly with remaining skillet liquid.  Top with avocado slices and green onions.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

Nutrition Info per 1 salad: 236 calories, 9 g fat (7 g monounsaturated), 10 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber

Monday, May 13, 2013

80--- Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges with Spicy Adobo Greek Yogurt Sauce

Yes.  You read correctly.  I am using sweet potatoes, not yams.  I know, I know.  It's odd for me.  But I needed a bit milder flavor.  And for that my friends, we use sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes have many valuable nutrients such a vitamins C and A and FIBER.  Make sure you eat the skin- where the majority of those nutrients are found!

Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges with Spicy Adobo Greek Yogurt Sauce
Serves 8

6 medium sweet potatoes, quartered into wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
7 oz 2% Greek plain yogurt
4-5 tsp adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers)
1/8 tsp garlic powder
2 green onions, sliced thin

For sauce: Mix together yogurt, adobo sauce (to taste- note: it gets spicier as it chills together), and garlic powder.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 2-4 hours prior to serving.

For potatoes:  Heat grill to medium-high heat.  In a large bowl, drizzle potato wedges with olive oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Place wedges cut-side down onto the grill.  Cook for 4-5 minutes, until grill marks appear, then flip and place the other cut-side down.  Cook for additional 4-5 minutes.  Move wedges to a part of the grill away from direct flame and cook, skin-side down for additional 4-5 minutes.

Serve wedges warm drizzled with chilled yogurt sauce.  Garnish with sliced green onions.

Nutrition Info per 3 wedges with 2 Tbsp sauce: 146 calories, 6.2 g fat, 4 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber

Friday, May 10, 2013

Things That I Know

1.  This looks AMAZING.  Rock on Jessica, ROCK ON.

2.  I'm stalking this jacket.  It's from Albion Fit, who sponsored a giveaway earlier this year.  I LOVE my hoodie from them and I am sure that I would LOVE this too.  Isn't it puuuurrrty?

3.  I found this website and I am STOKED!  Yes, I am a cook.  But sometimes I get stumped on new food combos to feed my wee babe.  She has so far liked everything that I have fed her (well- right now the texture of avocados gives her the ebbie-jeebies).  This website takes homemade baby food to a whole new level!

No, this is not my house but it was my Pinterest Pinspiration.
4.  I just finished refinishing our front porch.  It took me three weeks to finish, thanks to my sweet babe who likes to keep me within eyesight at all times, and to my JOB.  Nevertheless, it's stained black and I am SO happy with how it turned out.  

5.  This is my dream Mother's Day gift.  No, I know that I didn't get it because it's a crazy amount of money for what it is.  But a girl can dream.

6.  Then you take that double chaise lounge and you put it on this private beach and you have one happy momma!

Happy Mother's Day to all you mommas out there! Sunday is my first official Mother's Day! I am so happy to be part of this exclusive club that gets it's own special day.  I'm pretty sure that it's my new favorite holiday.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

20--- Strawberry-Coconut Macaroons

My hubby loves macaroons.  And I had a bag of shredded coconut. And it's strawberry season.  So that's how these little loveys were born.

Strawberry Coconut Macaroons
Makes ~20

2 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut flakes
3 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 egg white
1/2 cup fresh ripe strawberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place strawberries in a food processor and mix until a puree is formed.  Add in powdered sugar and egg white and mix well.  Transfer mixture to a large mixing bowl and add in shredded coconut.  Mix well.

Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper.  Spoon 2 Tbsp mounds of mixture (roughly the shape of balls) onto the paper.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the outsides are lightly golden.  Let cool on a wire rack.

*Note: these may get mushy stored in a covered container, so they are best eaten the same day!

Monday, May 6, 2013

80--- Quinoa-Crusted Quiche with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach

I started out wanting to make a frittata.  But then I wanted some whole grains in there (for fiber of course!).  So this turned into a quiche- with a quinoa crust.  The texture is so lovely- and tasty!

Quinoa-Crusted Quiche with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Spinach
Serves 6

2 cups cooked quinoa (I cooked mine in vegetable broth)
1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup chopped white onion
4 cups spinach, chopped
3 1/2 oz chopped sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in water for one hour
8 eggs
1 cup 2% milk
8 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add garlic and onion and saute until garlic is lightly brown, ~ 4 minutes. Add in spinach and saute for an additional 3-4 minutes, or until leaves are wilted.  Remove mixture from skillet and set aside.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and paprika.  Set aside.

In a large food processor, blend 1 cup cooked quinoa and 2 tsp olive oil until a mash is formed.  Transfer mash into remaining quinoa and mix until evenly distributed.

Transfer quinoa into the cast-iron skillet and press it down using a large spoon (or clean hands) until it is firmly packed in the bottom of the skillet. 

Sprinkle garlic, onion, spinach mixture onto the quinoa, followed by 4 oz shredded cheese.  Add soaked sun-dried tomatoes, then pour in egg mixture.  Top with remaining shredded cheese.

Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for ~45-50 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes prior to slicing and serving.

Nutrition Info per 1/6 quiche: 330 calories, 14 g fat, 26 g protein, 24 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

80(ish)--- Strawberry & Kale Bruschetta

Hooray for strawberry season! One serving of strawberries (about 8) has more vitamin C than an orange.  And, well, we all know about the goodness of kale.  No need to beat a dead horse.

This sweet twist on bruschetta is the perfect appetizer to a lovely dish of grilled fish or veggies for spring!

Strawberry & Kale Bruschetta
Serves 8

1 1/2 cups chopped kale
~10 strawberries, stemmed and chopped
1 tsp olive oil
2 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp toasted pine nuts (use a nonstick skillet for toasting)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1/4 tsp salt

In a nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add kale and salt and saute for 4-5 minutes, until tender.  Remove from skillet and set aside.

Add chopped strawberries to skillet and saute for 2 minutes, then add champagne vinegar.  Cook for ~4 minutes, until strawberries have softened and liquid is absorbed.

Combine strawberries, sauteed kale, toasted pine nuts, and fresh chives.

Serve over toasted baguette slices or pita chips.

Nutrition Info per 1 serving (~2 Tbsp): 36 calories, 2 g fat, 1 g protein, 3.5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber