Wednesday, March 18, 2015

SMOOTHIE: Straw-Guava-Nana Probiotic Smoothie

This is an incredibly easy variant of the ever popular strawberry-banana smoothie and has the added benefit of probiotics via the kefir and/or yogurt. Enjoy!

Servings: 1-2

Ingredients:
  • 2 frozen guavas (available at Trader Joe's)
  • 4-5 strawberries (frozen are fine - just add a few more)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/2 cup of low fat milk or almond milk
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of kefir (or you can use 1/4 cup of plain yogurt)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

DINNER: Put-a-Ring-On-It Three Bean, Beef Chili

three-bean beef chiliThis recipe will result in the best chili you have ever had...period. I can brag about this recipe because Whole & Heavenly Oven.  I made a few tweaks to the recipe, and voila, I made my first chili! My Nebraska-born husband said it is the best chili he has ever tasted, and if we weren't already married, it might drive him to put a ring on it!
the base recipe isn't mine. I modified it from a great food blog,

Servings: 7-10

Ingredients
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I used 97% lean ground beef made at my local butcher)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 roma tomatoes chopped roughly (think small cubes)
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder or cayenne pepper...no more, no less
  • 1.5 teaspoons sugar (brown or white)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin 
  • 1 20-25 ounce jar tomato sauce (and plain pasta sauce will do - I used the basil-tomato pasta sauce I had in my cupboard)
  • 8 ounces of tomato paste (I prefer jarred paste for health reasons)
  • 1 1⁄2 cups water
  • 1-2 cups of broth (chicken, veggie or beef all work)
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 (15 ounce) can light red kidney beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • Toppings: shredded cheese, sour cream, onion, olives, cilantro (any one or all of the above)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan, saute onions and garlic for at least 3-5 minutes or until onions brown
  2. Add jalapeno and bell pepper and continue to saute for at least 3-5 minutes
  3. Add ground beef- begin to separate it immediately. 
  4. Add chili powder (or cayenne powder), cumin, and 1/2 tbsp of black pepper. Cook for at least 7-10 minutes.
  5. In a pot, add diced tomato, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, and broth. Add ground beef mixture and beans. 
  6. Add 1/2 tbsp of black pepper, salt and apple cider vinegar to the pot. Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If too thick, add a little more water or broth. If too thin, cook on high until the broth reduces.
  7. Enjoy! Be sure to add toppings. I really like cheddar cheese and olives with a side of nicely toasted sourdough bread, but the choice is yours!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

ARTICLE: Guest Blog Post, "Food & Consciousness"

I had the opportunity to right a guest post on Love, Inshallah's blog.  You can read the whole article here. Otherwise, feel free to follow my tagine recipe from the post below...

Recipe: Drought-Compatible Chicken, Vegetable & Potato Tagine 
This recipe is based on my recent discovery of a culinary homonym, the tagine. The tagine is both a Moroccan earthenware cooking dish and a savory dish cooked in the aforementioned dish. It is drought friendly as it requires very little water to cook a significant amount of food. I first discovered the tagine at a small Moroccan eatery in Paris, and I have been hooked ever since. Though the tagine is typically prepared as a stew, I cook out the water to create a delicious meat and rice dish.
Tagine
Serving Size: 3-4
Ingredients:
  • 1 chicken, cut into large pieces (soak in vinegar before preparing recipe)
  • 1/2 pound of baby carrots
  • 1/2 pack of frozen, organic peas
  • 4-5 medium sized potatoes cut into medium chunks
  • 2 onions, chopped (roughly)
  • 2 tbsp of crushed garlic or garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup of barley or farrow
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • Spice mix
    • 1 tbsp of sea salt
    • 1 tbsp of black pepper
    • 1 tsp of paprika
    • 1 tsp of cumin
    • 1 tsp of cinnamon
    • 1 tsp turmeric
Instructions:
  • Spread a bit of olive oil around the bottom of the tagine (just a quick swirl)
  • Line the bottom of the tagine with the barley, onions, potatoes, and carrots
  • Pour in the water
  • Layer chicken on top of your base
  • Pour olive oil on top of the chicken
  • Layer on spices, garlic, and lemon
  • Bake at 350 degrees for 2.5-3 hours – check in on your tagine at the top of hour 2
  • Remove the cover and let the water cook out
  • Garnish with fresh parsley. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

BREAKFAST/BRUNCH/SNACK: Mushroom, Spinach Quiche with a Potato Crust

What says brunch like a good quiche? Nothing! This recipe is incredibly easy and is a total crowd pleaser.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 pound of potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 16 ounces of spinach (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 small mushroom basket
  • 8-12 oz. of your favorite shredded cheese blend
  • Salt, pepper, and paprika
  • 4 beaten eggs
  • 1 cup milk
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Lightly grease a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie dish with 1/4 teaspoon oil. Toss potatoes with 1 teaspoon oil and 1/8 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Press into an even layer in pie dish, up the sides like a crust. Bake until golden brown at the edges and dry, about 20 minutes. Let cool
  3. Decrease oven heat to 350 F
  4. Melt butter over medium heat in medium skillet. Add garlic and onion and saute about 7 minutes until lightly browned.
  5. Stir in mushrooms, spinach, and cheese. Add salt, paprika, pepper to taste.
  6. Spoon into pie crust.
  7. Whisk eggs and milk together in medium bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Pour into pie dish
  8. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and bake 35 to 40 minutes more, or until set.
  9. Allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, June 16, 2014

BREAKFAST/DESSERT: Matcha Green Tea Greek Yogurt

I'm old enough to remember Pinkberry's first location in West Hollywood; and so old that I even remember their first flavor, Green Tea.  It was the perfect blend of yogurt, tang, sweetness, and matcha. I was in love; I fought LA traffic three of four nights a week just to get my hands on this yogurt goodness. Unfortunately, the relationship sizzled when I started eating healthier and started avoiding what I considered to be "extra" ingredients.

Fast forward a decade, I accidentally recreated a treat of the past. This is a super easy recipe - enjoy!

Servings: 3-4

Ingredients:
  • 2-3 cups of Greek yogurt - try Fage 0
  • 3 tbsp of Grade A maple syrup
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp of matcha green tea powder
Instructions:
  • Simply mix all ingredients together with a large spoon 
  • Refrigerate and garnish with your favorite toppings (berries, mochi, etc).

Sunday, June 1, 2014

BREAKFAST: Flourless, High-Protein Oatcakes

Pancakes are great, but sometimes can be a waste of calories. I tried a quick and easy recipe for a pancake alternative...let's call them oatcakes. The recipe is simple, and the end product is incredibly filling and healthy:

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup quick-cook oats
  • 2 eggs, only use one yolk
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of ghee or canola oil
Instructions:
  • Whip your eggs and add in all of your ingredients
  • Add oats if the mix if it is too thin, or add a bit of milk if the mix is too dry
  • Heat the oil slightly
  • Spread the mix out in a pancake shape on the pan
  • Cook each side for 3-4 minutes on medium heat 
  • Top with chopped fruits and don't forget to drizzle your oatcakes with pure
    grade b maple syrup!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

DESSERT: Homemade Strawberry Shortcakes


Strawberry shortcakes are the quintessential dessert of summer. I decided to make mine in late spring...because I'm in California, and our spring might as well be summer (I'm not rubbing it in cold-weather folks, I promise).  This recipe is perfect - no modifications needed. I'm not bragging, because it's not my recipe, it's from chefinyou.com.

The only modifications I made to the recipe are the following:
  • I didn't have whole milk for the shortcakes (really, they're sweet biscuits), so I used half evaporated milk and half low-fat milk
  • For the half of the strawberries that need to be mushed, I used frozen berries, and put them over the stovetop (with 3 tbsp of brown sugar).  I cooked them down until they were mostly dry and used this mix as the first layer of strawberry on top of the shortcake.
  • I used a mason jar ring as my biscuit cutter