Posted in Eating, Main Dishes, Seafood on September 5th, 2012 by Alanna – 1 Comment
I have been a big fan of hummus since college but it wasn’t until I got a food processor last year that I realized how easy it is to make and started making it myself. The recipe for the hummus will make a lot for you to have around the house as well. The idea for the recipe below came from one of my favorite local restaurants and it tends to show up on my weekly dinner menu often. I typically make the hummus a day or so before because I think it is better cold and when the flavors have time to sit.
Note: I get my tahini from Trader Joes next to where they sell the hummus, it is my favorite and I use the entire small tub. You can get tahini at any local grocery store though and I couldn’t taste the difference when I made it that way.
- 1/4 cup italian parsley (optional)
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 2 cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans are the same thing)
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- 2.5 tbs of water
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 5-6 tablespoons of tahini
- 1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers sliced (depends on your spice tolerance)
- 1 bunch of cilantro (amount you use depends on your taste)
- pita chips for dipping (optional)
- Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Set aside.
- Place all ingredients but the chickpeas, a handful of chopped cilantro, and jalapenos in the food processor and blend together until fine (about 30 seconds).
- Add half of the chickpeas, a handful of cilantro and a couple slices of jalapeno to the food processor and blend for another 30 seconds.
- Add remaining chickpeas and blend for 1 minute.
- Taste. Add more cilantro and jalapeno depending on your taste preference and blend until it reaches a more smooth consistency. I have never been able to get my hummus as smooth as when I buy it from the store but if you process and scrap the sides enough times the texture improves substantially.
- 1/2 lemon
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika
- pinch of salt
- mahi mahi
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place fish in greased pan.
- Squeeze about half a lemon over the fish and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Drizzle olive oil over fish.
- Sprinkle paprika over fish, make sure both sides of fish are covered. This has a subtle flavor so do not be worried about having too much on there.
- Add a dash of salt and bake in the oven for about 8 minutes. The cook time depends on the thickness of the fish. I check my fish every couple minutes as I do not want to overcook it.
- Remove from oven, place over hummus and let me know what you think!
Posted in Eating, Main Dishes, Vegan, Vegetarian on August 9th, 2012 by Alanna – Be the first to comment
This recipe was stumbled upon in a vegan cookbook. The recipe calls for Earth Balance, Miso Paste and Nutritional Yeast which can be found at Sprouts or Whole Foods The store I went to was out of nutritional yeast so I substituted with parmesan cheese. It was so amazing I never ventured to find nutritional yeast again. This recipe does not sound like it could possibly taste good but I assure you that it will not disappoint and it will leave you wanting more than you should probably consume in one sitting.
*If you use the Nutritional Yeast and Earth Balance, the recipe is completely vegan*
Sweet Potato Gnocchi
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance (or butter)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 3/4- 1 cup of flour
- Microwave sweet potatoes until soft, about 6 minutes.
- Once soft, squeeze the filling from the sweet potatoes into a large bowl.
- Mash with the earth balance and salt.
- Add 1/2 cup of flour and work through with your hands.
- Add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough is no longer sticky and unable to get off your hands. Add as little flour as possible.
- Roll a handful of dough out at a time into a 1/2 inch wide rope.
- Using a knife, cut rope into 1/4 inch nuggets and poke finger in each nugget to form a little dimple which will act as a sauce catcher.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough, store in fridge on wax paper until you are ready to cook. You can also freeze the gnocchi on a cookie sheet and then transfer to a ziplock bag ( the gnocchi will keep in freezer for about a month).
- To cook the gnocchi, gently toss is a large pot of boiling, well salted water.
- When the gnocchi are done they will float to the top of the water. Remove immediately with a strainer, drain well, toss with sauce and serve.
Basil Cream Sauce
- 1 tablespoon butter (or Earth Balance)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 cup of soy milk
- 1 cup of parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast)
- 1 teaspoon of miso paste (I use red)
- 1/4 cup basil leaves minced
- salt & pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan on medium heat, melt butter. Once melted, sprinkle in flour and stir with a wire whisk fast and constantly which will make what is commonly referred to as a roux. *Do not stop stirring.*
- Slowly pour in soy milk, whisking constantly (still).
- Sprinkle with parmesan and miso paste, again whisking until smooth.
- Turn the heat down low and add basil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Posted in Appetizers, Eating, Sides on February 28th, 2012 by Alanna – 1 Comment
I have been a fan of Chili’s southwestern eggrolls since college. Unfortunately, I know now that if I take down an order of Chili’s eggrolls dipped in ranch I will feel lathargic and my bathing suite may not fit as well (ok maybe that is a little extreme but you get the point). During one of my daily pinterest explorations I stumbled accrossed a baked southwestern eggroll recipe and adapted it based on my taste preferences. I had a ranch packet in the pantry so I thought I would take a stab at a ranch with a twist (which was well received by my party guests).
- 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 (10 oz.) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 1 (4 oz.) can diced green chiles, drained
- 4 green onions, chopped1 tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 package egg roll wrappers (about 24 total)
- In a large bowl, combine everything but the egg roll wrappers. Mix well to blend.
- Lay an egg roll wrapper out on a work surface so that one of the corners is pointing toward you and place ¼ cup of the filling in the center. Fold the tip closest to you up over the filling, roll a bit, then take the points pointing outward and fold them in toward the center. Continue rolling into an egg roll shape until a small part of the remaining point is still free. Dip a finger in water or beaten egg and lightly brush on the edges of the free corner (THIS IS KEY). Finish rolling and press to seal closed. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
- Preheat the oven to 425˚ F. Lightly oil a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the sealed egg rolls on the baking sheet seam side down and spray the tops of the egg rolls with cooking spray
- . Bake for about 15 minutes, or until lightly brown, turning halfway through baking. Serve warm with salsa. & chipotle ranch below.
Cilantro Jalapeno Ranch Recipe
- 1 ranch dressing packet
- 15 oz of reduced fat or fat free sour cream
- chopped cilantro (as much as you prefer, I prefer a lot)
- 1 thinly chopped jalapeno
- Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. If you have a food processor I would use it but it is not a must have.
- Place in the fridge until you are ready to serve the eggrolls.
Posted in Eating, Main Dishes, Seafood on February 24th, 2012 by Alanna – Be the first to comment
I haven’t had all the time in the world lately so on the nights where I have to stay late at work or have some other obligation I try to plan meals that take less than an hour from start to finish and limit the calories (so I don’t fee guilty about the wine I had at happy hour).
I stumbled on this gem of a recipe a few years back while sifting through one of my first (and still currently my favorite) cooking light cookbooks. I am a big fan of scallops and when you combine them with a sweet and spicy sauce they are amazing. The sauce has a little heat so use less chipotle if you are sensitive to spice. I suggest doubling the sauce and sauteing broccoli with onions to go on the side with a little of the chipotle orange sauce drizzled on top. Serve the scallops over a bed of brown rice or cous cous.
Side note: The sauce is so tasty that I am sure you could substitute another fish for scallops! Try it and tell me how it goes.
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- Cooking spray
- 1 1/2 pounds large sea scallops
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions
- Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
- Sprinkle scallops with paprika and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
- Add scallops to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan, and keep warm.
- Add orange juice and chile to the pan, scraping pan to loosen browned bits.
- Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/4 cup (about 1 minute). Add 1 tablespoon butter and 1/8 teaspoon salt, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
- Serve the sauce with scallops, and garnish with the onions.
adapted from cooking light
Posted in Eating, Living, Main Dishes, Our Favorites, Seafood on February 16th, 2012 by Alanna – 1 Comment
This is probably one of my all- time favorite recipe finds. Not only is it one of the most quick and simple recipes I have found but it is also restaurant quality in taste. Do not be thrown off by the miso ingredient, it may not be in your local grocery store but it is becoming increasingly more popular so it may. You can most certainly find it at any Trader Joes, Whole Foods or Asian Market. One of the best things is that the miso will last for a very long time in your fridge and you can mix it with hot water, tofu and green onions to make a miso soup. I suggest making double the sauce (because it is amazing) and serving it with rice, spinach or broccoli. This dish takes around 25 minutes from start to finsh and will not disapoint. Happy Cooking.
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 2 tablespoons miso (soybean paste, I typically go with the red)
- 4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
- Cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives ( I typically use more)
- Preheat broiler.
- Combine first 4 ingredients, stirring with a whisk. Arrange fish in a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon miso mixture evenly over fish.
- Broil 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, basting twice with miso mixture. Sprinkle with chives.
from cooking light
Posted in Living, Main Dishes, Sides, Vegetarian on January 31st, 2012 by Alanna – Be the first to comment
I recently discoved a soup at a local restaurant and I have not been able to get enough of it. I decided to search for a recipe so that I could make it from home and I was able to find one that was similar. Although it is missing something from the restaurant version and I have not figured out what ,it was yummy and perfect for the cold weather. Curry is a flavor I have come to love in the last few months. It definitely is not for everyone but if you like curry you should probably try this recipe. The recipe served this with brown rice which I did not but think it would probably taste good.
Note: This soup tastes better when the ingredients have some time to sit for a few hours or even over night.
- 2 cans of drained chickpeas
- 1 can of corn
- 2 tomatoes
- cilantro ( I added about a 1/4 cup, but I love cilantro and felt it could have had more)
- 2 tbs curry powder
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 can of light coconut milk
- 1 red bell pepper
- 1 onion (medium chopped)
- 1-2 jalapeno’s (depending on your heat tollerance)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 3 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 cups of Kale
- 1 tsp salt
- pepper (as much as you would like)
- Put chickpeas in a pot and cover with water until the water is about an inch higher than the beans. Add about 1 tbsp salt to the water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until beans are tender. Drain and set aside.
- Put the millet (or brown rice or quinoa) in a pan and cover with 3 cups water. Cover, bring to a boil, and then simmer for 20-25 minutes or until water has evaporated. Set aside.
- In the meantime, heat the oil in a medium stockpot over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and chili and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.
- Add the broth, chickpeas, tomatoes, curry powder, salt and black pepper. Brint to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the greens and stir until wilted.
- Add the coconut milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 4 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and curry powder to taste. Serve warm.
adapted from yummly.com
Posted in Chicken, Eating, Main Dishes, Salads on December 14th, 2011 by Alanna – Be the first to comment
I have always been big fan of chicken salad (specifically Safeway’s) but more often than not chicken salad has more mayo than necessary. I was looking for a different appetizer to make for a get together with my girlfriends that I could make the night before. I was too lazy to go to the store so I had make what I had on hand work. This recipe really needs to be made the night before so the flavors can sit, it is still good same day but not nearly as moist or flavorful. Most of this recipe is a taste test to see how much of the ingredients to add. I will also warn you that the flavors intensify over night so remember, less is more!
- Chicken (I suggest you make more than you think you will want)
- Fat free mayo (I use about a tablespoon a breast, you want it moist but not lathered in mayo)
- Craisins (to your liking, you could also substitute grapes)
- Chopped celery
- Plenty of chopped green onions
- Garlic powder
- Italian Seasoning (optional…I always add a dash or two if I have it)
- Boil chicken until done and cool.
- Shred the chicken into a bowl with fingers or a fork
- Add remaining ingredients.
- Let sit over night and serve with bread, crackers or over a bed of lettuce.
Posted in Living on December 1st, 2011 by Alanna – 2 Comments
I would like to consider myself pretty well-informed as far as health, nutrition and dieting are concerned and some of the items discussed I did not know. I feel like have had several conversations/debates the topics discussed. In a nutshell, the article is promoting the idea that everything comes down to calories you eat versus how many you burn regardless of any other factor. I am not going to list every single item mentioned but rather a few that I found to be the most commonly confused.
- Eat smaller meals more often boosts your metabolism and is better than eating 3 main meals. I seriously did not know if this was true or not (because I am calorie counter).
- Eating unprocessed foods will make you lose weight faster than if you are eating processed foods. (It may not make you lose weight any faster but it is healthier for your body)
- Fat makes you fat.
- Night eating makes you fat.
- Calories don’t count.
- Carbohydrates are fattening and you should not eat them at night.
- Weight loss supplements work.
- Protein bars are healthy
- You need to eat immediately after your workout
- High fructose corn syrup is worse for you than regular sugar. It is essentially the SAME exact thing from a chemical standpoint.
Click here to view the full article: http://www.livestrong.com/slideshow/546558-the-most-shocking-diet-myths/#slide-1
Posted in Deserts, Eating, Our Favorites on October 17th, 2011 by Alanna – 2 Comments
I have made this recipe countless times as a bundt cake but I decided to switch it up a little this time and see if it would turn out as a cupcake, which it did! I originally frowned upon the idea of a pistachio cake because I did not believe it would ever taste good. However, I have come to learn that I have to make this recipe on a special occasion and give it away, otherwise, I will consume the entire cake over the next week. This would also be cute if you spruced up the decorations for Halloween, an afterthought of mine tonight. I made this cake as low fat as possible (I am on countdown to Emily’s Wedding) but you can make it full-fat and it is even more amazing. Also, do not follow the directions on the cake box, just use the ingredients and directions below instead.
- 1 sugar free yellow cake mix
- 1 sugar free vanilla frosting
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup lite sour cream
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or crisco shortening (I had oil, so I used that)
- 2 small packages of sugar free pistachio pudding mix
- 1 cup of water
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix all the ingredients together until they are the consistency of fluffy mashed potatoes.
- Place in cupcake sheet and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Make sure you put a toothpick or knife in the middle of them and it pulls out clean to make sure they are done.
Posted in Appetizers, Eating, Salads on September 16th, 2011 by Emily – Be the first to comment
A few weeks back I found these amazing heirloom tomatoes at Trader Joe’s. They were so delicious that I ended up making several different meals out of them. This simple salad is wonderful as a starter, or can be a great option for a light lunch. As summer comes to an end these delicious tomatoes won’t be around for much longer, so enjoy them while you can!
Heirloom Tomato Mozzarella Salad:
- Heirloom tomatoes
- Mozzarella cheese (I used whole milk fresh mozzarella in lightly salter water)
- Olive oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Slice mozzarella and tomatoes and arrange on a plate
- Drizzle salad with equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
- This dish is also super delicious with fresh basil!