RECIPE: Quick and Easy Roasted Root Veggies
I totally forgot to post this easy recipe from about a month ago. You can use any root veggies you love or happen to have on hand. I had butternut squash and beets from my Farm Fresh to You box. There were also leeks in the box, so I used them as well.
- Chop root veggies into cubes of a uniform size.
- Slice white and light green part of leeks into rounds (rinse well because they tend to trap sand).
- Put all three ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. I also use these super awesome “cheats” from Gourmet Garden to add a little more flavor. I happened to have Lemon Grass and Garlic pastes on hand. Mix well.
- Spread out in a casserole dish (or baking sheet) and cook for about 45 minutes at 400-degrees. I stirred/flipped them twice during that time.
Easy…and delicious. And you can really make this with whatever you have on hand…potatoes and sweet potatoes with garlic…parsnips and carrots with ginger and nutmeg. Enjoy!
As you can see from the last post, I’ve been kind of gluttonous lately. And not just recently…but for about the last two months…Thanksgiving vacation in Tulum rolled into the holidays with the wine and cheese and plenty more parties and celebrations. Christmas in Austin was one of the biggest fattening food fests I’ve enjoyed in a long time…chicken fried steak ON A DOUGHNUT, the world-famous Franklin BBQ, and of course, my self-famous thanksgiving-supper for Christmas eve. Then it was my birthday…so why start being healthy before that? It was all so good…but whoa.
Yesterday my NutriBullet arrived in the mail…and I am stoked to get on a healthy/juice plan. This morning I made my first concoction. It was awesome. Really tasty. And this NutriBullet works like a charm (and it’s so easy to clean up!). The claim is that it’s better than a blender because it pulverizes everything (even flax seeds and nuts) and it’s better than a juicer because it keeps all the nutrients since you aren’t discarding the pulp. It really worked well to break everything down into a juice.
Here’s what went into mine:
- Two handfuls of spinach
- One handful of pineapple, blueberries, raspberries
- 12 raw almonds
- 1 tsp of flax seeds
- 1 tsp of fresh ginger
- spring water to the fill line
Then all you do is screw on the blade/lid and blend it together. Easy and great-tasting. I think I’ll try to do at least one in the morning…maybe I’ll take one for lunch too. I can’t wait to try more varieties of drinks.
I made this awesome summer salad last week for a Fourth of July BBQ at Katie and Jerod’s and I totally forgot to post the recipe. I’ve been making this salad for many years and I’m pretty sure everyone in my family makes it for BBQs now too. (Shanon was making it in Kiawah for their Fourth of July dinner as well. Kind of like we were “cooking” together. Ha.)
RECIPE: Summer Potato, Corn, and Tomato Salad (With Basil)
I saw this on The Food Network’s Good Deal with Dave Lieberman a long time ago and I’ve been making it ever since.
- 1 pound baby red potatoes, scrubbed
- 5 medium ears of sweet corn
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 small red onion, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 large bunch of fresh basil
- 1/4 cup of EV olive oil
- 2 large lemons, juice
- kosher salt to taste
- pepper to taste
1. Place the potatoes in a large pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Cook until just fork tender (about 15 minutes). Remove from water and place them in a bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking.
2. The original recipe calls for you to cook the corn for 5-7 minutes in the same boiling water that you cooked the potatoes in, but I don’t think you need to cook sweet summer corn. Use a chef’s knife to slice the kernels of corn off the cob.
3. Add sliced tomatoes, onions and quartered potatoes to the bowl.
4. Add olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and toss gently to combine.
5. Tear basil leaves and add to the salad. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
I like to serve this at room temperature, but the flavors definitely come together if you put it in the fridge for a bit. Enjoy!
OK…so I’ll have a few more posts about Emily’s bridal shower/bachelorette party down in Laguna Beach this past weekend…but a few people have been asking about my beautiful “grown-up” Arnold Palmer jello shooters. So I want to share the recipe with you. (They were much easier than the ones I tested last week.)
RECIPE: Arnold Palmer Jello Shots
I found a bunch of fun “classy” or more grown-up jello shot recipes online (a lot of them on Pinterest actually) so I kind of combined recipes to make my own. Here’s how I did it:
- 10 whole lemons
- 1 1/2 cups pink lemonade
- 3 packages plain gelatin powder
- 1 1/2 cups of sweet tea vodka (I prefer Firefly…but it’s a bit more expensive than the other brands. Jeremiah Weed also makes a great version.)
1. Cut the lemons in half. Carefully scoop out the insides. (I used a sharp serrated knife to gently cut down the sides and then a spoon to scoop out the lemon. Make sure you don’t poke any holes in the lemon rind. A grapefruit spoon would be great for this.
2. Add lemonade to a saucepan. Sprinkle the gelatin over the juice and let it sit and “bloom” for 2 minutes.
3. Heat the lemonade over low hear, stirring constantly, until the gelatin as dissolved (about 5 minutes).
4. Allow it to cool slightly (so as not to cook off the alcohol) and stir in the vodka.
5. Pour or ladle the mixture into the empty lemon halves. (Fill all the way to the top because there will be a little shrinkage when the jello sets up.) I used a casserole dish to hold the lemon halves and I kind of squeezed them in so they wouldn’t move around. I also saw someone online put the lemon halves in muffin tins. Just make sure they don’t tip over.
6. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight.
7. Wait until you are ready to serve and flip the halves upside down and slice into wedges.
It really was so easy. The hardest part was scooping the lemons out. But that wasn’t so bad. Now I want to try some more of these recipes.
Enjoy! These were pretty strong. But very delicious!
We made these tasty lavash pizzas yesterday. I’d never done them and they were so easy! Just put directly on the rack in the oven (or on a pizza stone) at about 400 or 425. They only take about 5-8 minutes.
First one…pesto, shredded mozzarella, artichoke hearts, yellow and red cherry tomatoes, chopped grilled chicken, and feta. (We couldn’t wait to take a picture…sorry there’s a piece missing. Ha.)
Second one…fig jam, fresh sliced mozzarella…put that in oven. Then when you take it out, put prosciutto, arugula, and shaved parmesan on top.
Third one…shredded mozzarella, feta, mushrooms, green and red peppers, and topped with shaved parm.
Healthy, tasty, easy. Great for sitting around and snacking.
Emily’s bridal shower is next week and I wanted to try a fun, fancy, grown-up jello shooter for the party so I made these yesterday as a trial run. They were good…plenty of vodka, good taste, but they were very time-consuming (as anyone who has made layered jello very well knows). The invite and all the other stuff I’ve made for the shower is red and aqua, so I was stoked on myself for mixing lime and blueberry jello to get just the right aqua color. Ha.
So these are layers of cherry jello, the lime and blueberry mixture, and condensed milk with gelatin. All three layers have a decent amount of vodka too. Packs a nice little punch for a shot.
Anyway, I don’t think I’m going to make these next weekend because I frankly don’t have the time to do all the layering with only one set of molds. But I’m going to try another version I found that hopefully will be just as cute.
RECIPE: GROWN-UP JELLO SHOOTERS
Here’s the recipe for these vodka jello shooters.
Basically, you pour one layer in and put it in fridge to set up. Then you pour the next layer and let it set up. Repeat in strips until you get to the top of the mold. Each layer takes between 5-8 minutes. You can’t add the next layer too soon because the layers will mix together. But you can’t wait too long because then the layers won’t stick together. I really feel for all the moms who make this treat for their kids. Without the vodka of course. Ha.
RECIPE: Summer Quinoa Salad
I make this easy quinoa salad a lot in the summer and eat it cold. You can really put whatever you want in it…and I switch it up all the time. Although I do tend to stick with mint, cilantro, and a cumin-lemon-lime-olive oil dressing because I love those flavors. Basil goes nicely as well. I’m taking this to a Memorial Day pool party at the Klawin’s tomorrow. Healthy and tasty.
- Snap peas
- Green onions
- Anaheim chili (or banana chili if you want less spice)
- Fresh mint
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. (It’s usually one cup of quinoa to two cups of liquid. I used water, but you can also use stock for more flavor.) It takes about 20 minutes to cook.
2. Cut veggies or anything else you’re going to add to the quinoa. (Sometimes I used chopped chicken if I have leftovers. Sometimes I use vegetarian chick’n strips.)
3. Mix lemon juice, lime juice (or vinegar) with olive oil to make a simple vinaigrette. Add salt, pepper and a generous amount of cumin.
4. Allow the quinoa to cool. (I did not do this today and it make my herbs wilt.) Pour the vinaigrette over the quinoa and veggies. Mix all ingredients together. Adjust seasonings if necessary. (I usually end up adding more salt, cumin and lemon juice.)
5. Let chill in the fridge overnight. You might need to adjust seasonings again before you serve. Delicious served cold or room temp.
I haven’t been doing many food-related posts lately. That’s partly because I’m trying not to eat a lot of food right now. And partly because I just haven’t been eating anything worth posting. But on Sunday I whipped up a batch of “easy fajitas” so I’d have something tasty to eat after yoga this week. Here’s my recipe:
RECIPE: EASY FAJITAS
- Whole onion, sliced thinly
- One red bell pepper, cut in strips
- One yellow bell pepper, cut in strips
- About 1 lb. of chicken strips
- 1 package of Frontera Skillet Sauce (This is a product from Top Chef Master Rick Bayless…it comes in a few varieties…I’ve tried them all and they’re all delicious. I found it at Sprouts.)
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add onions and peppers and sauté until onions are soft and translucent. Remove to a bowl.
2. Add chicken to the same pan and brown on both sides until cooked most of the way through.
3. Return onions and peppers back to the pan and add the entire packet of sauce. Cook for about 8 minutes until chicken is cooked through and sauce is heated.
4. I like to serve this on a tortilla topped with cilantro and avocado. I also sometimes add a little bit of grated cheese.
It’s really good and really easy.
Happy Easter ya’ll. We’re not a religious family, but Easter for us was always about spring and renewal (and of course baby lambs and bunnies and chicks). I have wonderful memories of my childhood setting up our “Easter egg tree” (an illegally cut Dogwood branch…Virginia’s state tree…with decorated blown-out eggs) and the Easter bunny convention (all of our stuffed bunnies would line up on our deacon’s bench). Dying eggs, elaborate egg hunts (always with our dyed eggs…no plastic ones), jelly beans and reading “The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes” (I still have it and already read it this morning). Ha. My mom was so great with us as kids and holidays. Maybe it was the mania setting in before we all knew…but she made every holiday magical and special…and religious or not, Easter was no exception.
Later Easter became more about getting together with friends (or family) and enjoying a wonderful brunch (and lots of mimosas and bloody mary’s) to celebrate the first signs of spring. I think I’ll always remember our Easter brunches in Atlanta. I love spring.
Today I’m going over to some friends for a wonderful home-cooked brunch. I’ll do a full post on the spread later. But I already made my cabbage dish and it’s one of my faves so I thought I’d share it here.
RECIPE: Braised Red Cabbage with Apple and Onion
This goes really well with pork or turkey. We’re having ham steaks today…but this is also a good dish at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 medium onion (halved and thinly sliced)
- 1 Gala or Fuji apple (halved, cored, and sliced)
- 1 head of red cabbage (2 lbs) (cored, quartered and thinly sliced)
- bay leaf
- salt and pepper
- 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
- 4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 cup of water
1. In an extra-large heavy saute pan or Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat.
2. Add onion and apple. Cook stirring, until onion softens (about 4-6 minutes).
3. Stir in red cabbage, bay leaf, and season with a generous amount of salt and pepper. (You will probably end up reasoning later…but give it a good amount at the beginning.)
4. Add cider vinegar, sugar and water. (You will also likely end up adding more vinegar and sugar later once the cabbage has started to sweat.)
5. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook until cabbage is tender. (My recipe says 20-25 minutes. I’ve found that’s more like 45 minutes…stirring occasionally, and tasting along the way to adjust seasoning. I really like to be able to taste the vinegar, sugar and salt…its sweet and sour flavor goes so well with the meat.) Remove the bay leaf and serve warm or room temp.
Tip: If it’s really liquidy, remove the cover for the last 10-15 minutes and some of the liquid will cook off.
Love that deep purple color! Enjoy…and Happy Easter.
RECIPE: Moroccan Carrot Ribbon Salad
I had a bunch of farm fresh carrots in my delivery this week and I wanted to try out a ribbon salad. I found this recipe online and used it for inspiration.
(Just note: I kind of winged it on measurements, which is very unlike me in the kitchen…but I figured this would be a hard one to mess up.)
- Bunch of carrots
- Balsamic vinegar
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
1. After peeling your carrots, use your peeler to create long, thin ribbons.
2. Steam the carrot ribbons for 1-2 minutes.
3. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, cumin, salt and pepper. (I used this amazing fruit balsamic that I got in Switzerland. I found an online version here. I’m not positive which one I bought, but I think it’s a fruit balsamic…maybe fig. So it has a little extra sweetness. The original recipe called for lemon and honey instead of balsamic. But I think the balsamic was perfect.)
4. Toss the carrots with the vinaigrette and add cilantro. Yes, it really is that easy.
It was so good warm right after I made it. This is a great, easy side.
RECIPE: Chipotle Pork Posole (from Everyday Food “Fresh Flavor Fast” cookbook)
First, a word on the Everyday Food cookbooks. I’ve made so many recipes from the two books I own and every one of them has been fantastic. If you don’t have these and you’re looking for a great “everyday” kind of cookbook. Go get one of these. This posole recipe is one of my faves…I’ve adapted it slightly.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb) halved crosswise
- Salt and pepper
- Cumin (to taste)
- 1 onion coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo
- 2 cans (14 1/2 oz each) low sodium chicken broth
- 2 cans (15 1/2 oz each) hominy, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes in juice
- 2 cups water
1. In a Dutch oven or large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Season the pork loin all over with salt, pepper and cumin. (This week I actually used a pre-marinated chipotle pork loin that I found at Ralph’s.) Cook until browned on all sides, 6-7 minutes. Transfer pork to a plate.
2. Add onion and garlic to pot, season with more salt, pepper and cumin. Cook over medium heat, stirring occassionally, until onion begins to soften, 4-5 minutes. (Because the bottom of my pot was getting a little crispy, I deglazed it with a little chicken stock.)
3. Add chipotle chilies, cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. The chipotles have a nice smoky flavor…so even if you don’t love a ton of spice (I don’t), just add a little to get some of that flavor.
4. Add chicken brother, hominy, tomatoes with their juice, and water. (You can add more chicken stock instead of the water if you want.) Put the pork back into the pot, along with any juices on the plate. Bring the whole thing to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook until an instant-read thermometer reads 145-degrees F. (This is where the cookbook says that takes about 5 minutes. But I’ve found that simmer for longer, 20 minutes are so, allows the pork to pull apart more easily.)
5. Remove pork and shred with two forks. Return to the pot and stir to combine.
6. Serve with cilantro, avocado cubes, limes, diced radishes, and tortillas on the side. (I usually skip the radishes.)
This traditional Mexican stew actually improves the next day or two as the flavors really settle in to each other. YUM!
I have to admit…I’m pretty stoked on myself right now…feathers fluffed…I just whipped together a tasty Asian-flavored dish in about 15 minutes with ingredients I had at home…oh, and I’ve been drinking all day…so there’s that too. Ha.
RECIPE: Easy Lemongrass Chicken and Bok Choy Stir Fry
Seriously, I wish I would have thought of doing this sooner. So tasty.
1. I minced two garlic cloves, one stalk of fresh lemongrass, and about 1/2 Tbsp. of fresh ginger. I sauteed half of that in a little olive oil (would probably be better in peanut or sesame oil) and threw in some chicken tenders that I’d chopped up into little bites.
2. I added a shake of red pepper flakes, a few sprinkles of cardamom, and a few sprays of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (soy sauce would work as well). Once the chicken was cooked through I removed it from the pan.
3. Next I threw in the other half of the minced garlic/lemongrass/ginger mixture and added the leaves of two heads of bok choy. I sauteed that for a few minutes, added a few sprays of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and a 1/2 cup of chicken stock. Cover the pan and let the bok choy steam.
4. Add the chicken back into the pan and stir it all together. I added a little extra chicken stock to deglaze the pan and that was it. Tasty and delicious. Awesome Asian flavor.
Who knew? I never cook actual Asian food. But this actually tasted like I could have ordered it at a restaurant. YUMMY.
RECIPE: Lemon Chicken Breast (with steamed Romanesco Cauliflower)
Tonight I cooked up what can only be described as one of the tastiest chicken dishes I’ve ever made. It’s from Barefoot Contessa, and I’m pretty sure it’s a breast-only version of her Engagement Chicken recipe (which got it’s name because she swears if you make it for your boyfriend, you’ll get engaged…ha).
Seriously so good. I pretty much followed the recipe to a T. I did opt for skinless breasts for a little bit of a healthier version. (I used a blend of frozen poultry herbs instead of the fresh herbs…but they’re just as good.) Yep, it was delicious. I could eat it every night. Seriously. Every night.
I paired it with steamed romanesco cauliflower. I got this beautiful veggie in my Farm Fresh To You box last week. I’ve never tried it before, but it’s pretty much just a cross between cauliflower and broccoli. It’s a natural fractal (each little bud consists of a series of smaller, identical buds, arranged in a logarithmic spiral…yeah, I wiki’d that…but I also studied fractals in a math theory class in college, so I’ve always had a fascination with them).
If you don’t do anything else I say, make this chicken dish!
Parsnips are delicious. Parsnips with apples…even more delicious. Parsnips with apples and leeks…a killer combination. Instead of a standard leek and potato soup, today I decided to do a little fancier (but just as easy) version.
RECIPE: Creamy Parsnip Soup (adapted from Everyday Food cookbook)
- 2 Tbsp. butter (I used Brummel and Brown…prob would be better with real butter, but I’m going for the “healthier” version of things these days)
- 1 pound (2 cups) sliced leeks (I only had two leeks, so I also added half of an onion.)
- 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cubed
- 2 apples, peeled and cubed
- 1 medium baking potato (I used 5 little new potatoes)
- 1 quart chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (I used fat-free half and half, and used a full cup)
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Start by heating the butter over medium heat in a dutch oven or large pot. Add the leeks (and onions) and stir for about 7-10 minutes while they soften. (Save 1/2 cup leeks for the topping.)
2. Add the parsnips, apples, potatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmmer, partially covered, until the veggies are tender (about 20-25 minutes). The recipe actually called for one can of chicken stock and 4 cups of water. I use all chicken stock for more flavor.)
3. Remove from the stove. Use an immersion blender (my favorite kitchen tool of all time!) to blend until smooth. (Or you can work in batches and blend it in a regular blend.) Stir in the cream and season with salt and pepper.
4. Heat 1 Tbsp. butter over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add the remaining leeks, cook, stirring, until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes). Sprinkle on top of the soup.
Enjoy! It’s really tasty and you can’t really go wrong.
If you know me, you know I’m obsessed with kale. (Apparently everyone else is too because I had to go to two grocery stores today to find some.) So I was at an event last week and sharing some recipe tips/secrets with the others there and this one girl mentioned massaging your kale. I googled it and sure enough found a plethora of recipes and how-to videos on how to massage your kale. And as it turns out, you really have to get in there and put some muscle into the massage.
RECIPE: Massaged Kale Salad with Pepitas, Tomatoes, and Feta
Rinse kale and remove thick stalks. Then chiffonade into thing ribbons or chop into small pieces. Add 1 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt, juice from half a lemon or a full lime (I used lime), one small avocado, a drizzle of olive oil. Then you really get in there and massage the other ingredients into the kale for FIVE FULL MINUTES. Basically you’re working some of the bitter flavor out of the kale with the salt and the acid from the lime and you’re rubbing the avocado and oil into the leaves. It wilts down considerably as it softens and releases water.
Once you’ve massaged the kale, you can add pretty much whatever you want into the salad. I kept it simple with roasted pepitas, grape tomatoes, and crumbled feta cheese. Oh and a nice helping of cracked pepper.
I can’t believe just how delicious this is and that I hadn’t heard of this technique before. (I guess because it’s big on the raw food/vegan circuit and I’m not really huge on the raw food movement.) Try it, you’ll like it. I’ll definitely be trying it with different ingredients.