Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Baked Parmesan Tomatoes

4 tomatoes, halved horizontally
 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
 1/4 teaspoon salt
 freshly ground pepper, to taste
 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 450F. Place tomatoes cut side up on a baking sheet. Top with Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. Drizzle with oil and bake until tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter (I used Adam's Natural crunchy)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, nuts (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the peanut butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and mix until well-combined. If using, stir in chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, and/or nuts. Drop (heaping) tablespoonful-sized balls of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly. (I rolled them into balls before flattening them.) If desired, create a cross-hatch design with a fork, for an authentic peanut butter cookie look. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before devouring. Makes a dozen normal-sized cookies.

Mexican Chocolate Breakfast Shake

1/2 c. old-fashioned oats
1 c. almond or coconut milk (I just used regular - my coconut milk was frozen)
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp honey, maple syrup or other sweetener to taste
1 small banana, cut into pieces and frozen overnight in a freezer bag

Combine oats, milk, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and sweetener in a resealable bowl. Stir together and refrigerate overnight. Add banana and oat mixture to food processor or blender and process until smooth and well-combined. If shake is too thick, add more milk for a thinner consistency.

Notes: Making the oatmeal mixture ahead of time and refrigerating it overnight softens the oats and gives the shake a smoother texture. If you're feeling impatient (or don't mind little bits of oatmeal in your shake), you can make this without that step. Just put the oats in the food processor or blender first, process until it becomes a fine powder, and then add the rest of the ingredients.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Zesty Avocado Cilantro Buttermilk Dressing

3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 small jalapeno, seeds removed, leave them in if you want it spicy
1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
1 medium avocado
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp chopped scallion
juice of 1 lime
1/8 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. For a thinner dressing add more buttermilk, for a thicker dip use less. Makes about 1 pint.

Spinach Cheddar Muffins

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
 2 teaspoons baking powder
 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
 1/2 teaspoon salt
 6 tablespoons butter, melted
 1 egg
 1 cup whole milk
 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach - thawed, drained and squeezed dry
 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 cup muffin cups. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a mixing bowl. Stir the melted butter, egg, milk, spinach, and cheese together in a large mixing bowl until evenly blended. Slowly stir in the flour mixture to form a batter. Spoon about 2 tablespoons into each muffin cup. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 35 minutes.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sundried Tomato Alfredo

3 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes (NOT packed in oil)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it's ready to sizzle, stir in the tomatoes and garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes, or until garlic becomes fragrant and tomatoes soften. Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk in the cream. Return the pan to the heat. Heat just until the cream begins to bubble - do not boil - whisking often. Remove from heat. Stir in the Parmesan, parsley, and nutmeg until the cheese has melted. Season with salt and pepper. Makes 1 cup. Serve over hot pasta or as a dip with baguettes.  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tomato and Mozzarella Pasta al Forno

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 14oz. cans diced Italian plum tomatoes
1 tsp. dried oregano
salt and pepper
1 lb. pasta (tubes)
8 oz. mozarrella cheese, cubed
2/3 c. parmesan cheese

Heat oil in skillet. Add garlic and cook over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and oregano, simmer rapidly, stirring occasionally until thickened, about 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Toss pasta with sauce. Place half the pasta in an oiled 9x13 dish. Cover with half the mozarrella and half the parmesan. Top with remaining pasta, mozarrella and parmesan. Bake at 400F for 15 minutes.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Pina Colada Smoothie

1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 banana
1/4 cup ice cubes
2 tsp honey, optional

In a blender, combine all ingredients. Puree until smooth. Pour into two large glasses.

Note: I added a 6oz container of vanilla yogurt to thicken it up some.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Honeydew Smoothie

2 cups honeydew melon, cubed
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup ice cubes

In a blender, combine all ingredients. Blend until frothy. Makes 2 servings.

Avocado Chicken Salad

cooked, shredded chicken breasts
chopped green onion
lime juice
salt and pepper

This is an eye-baller. Just mix it all together to suit your wants and/or needs and taste preferences. We served it on croissants with chips and homemade salsa!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Salsa Chicken

boneless skinless chicken breasts
salsa (see recipe on blog for homemade)
taco seasoning (see recipe for homemade below!)
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream for garnish

Easy peasy! Put your chicken breasts in a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with taco seasoning. Spoon salsa over then top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Top with sour cream if desired.

Taco Seasoning

1 part cumin
1 part garlic powder
1 part chili powder
1 part onion powder
1/4 - 1/2 crushed red pepper

Mix all spices together and store in an air-tight container. I keep mine in the freezer. Use sparingly or liberally depending on how spicy you like it!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Skillet Gnocchi with Chard & White Beans

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, divide
1 16-ounce package shelf-stable gnocchi (see tip)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup water
6 cups chopped chard leaves (about 1 small bunch) or spinach
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian seasonings
1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add gnocchi and cook, stirring often, until plumped and starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. 

Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and onion to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 2 minutes. Stir in garlic and water. Cover and cook until the onion is soft, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chard (or spinach) and cook, stirring, until starting to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, beans and pepper and bring to a simmer.

Stir in the gnocchi and sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 3 minutes.

*Tip: Look for shelf-stable gnocchi near other pasta in the Italian section of most supermarkets.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Mango Coconut Bread

1 cup mango puree (about 2 ripe mangos)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup unbleached whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar (I used Stevia)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1 large egg, beaten
2 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 325F. Puree mango in a blender until smooth.

Combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl. Mix well. Add nuts and coconut and mix to combine.

In a medium bowl, mix eggs, melted butter, and pureed mango. Add to the flour mixture and stir until just blended.

Pour batter into a greased 9x6 loaf pan and bake at 325F for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes.


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Gluten-Free Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups

10 cooked Tinkyada Brown rice lasagna noodles
2 c. browned, lean ground beef (I cooked it with some onions)
1 c. part skim, ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten
2 c. frozen or fresh spinach
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 c. tomato sauce
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 c. part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and spread them carefully onto a sheet of aluminum foil or waxed paper to prevent sticking. If you are using ground beef, brown it and set it aside.

In a bowl combine ricotta, egg, spinach (if using frozen spinach heat and drain spinach to release excess water), salt and mix well. Add beef now if using it. Spread half a cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of a small, round 4 quart casserole dish. Spread each lasagna noodle with the ricotta/meat mixture and roll them up. Stand up or lay flat in the baking dish. Pour 1 cup of tomato sauce over all the noodles. Sprinkle them evenly with the Parmesan, then the mozzarella cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes until cheese is nicely melted.

Notes: As you can see, this recipe has basically no seasoning, which sounded way boring and bland to me. I cooked the meat with my little leek that I got in my Bountiful Basket and added 2 T of Italian Seasoning. It was good, but I'd add even more seasoning next time to spice it up.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Shake and Coconut Bake Pork Chops

2 pounds pork chops (about 4 chops)
1 13.5 oz. can coconut milk
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tsp dijon mustard
2 cups Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp pepper
2-4 tbsps coconut oil

In a bowl mix together the coconut milk, lime juice and dijon mustard.

In a gallon-sized zip lock, shake up the bread crumbs, ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, coriander and pepper to mix.

Dip the each pork chop in the milk mixture first, coating completely, and then drop it into the bread crumb bag. Shake it up good.

Heat up 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil on medium-high heat. Add the pork chops to the hot oil and let them sear for a minute or two on each side. Add another tablespoon or two of coconut oil as needed between chops.

Place the chops into a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chops reaches 145 degrees.

Note: There was way too much coconut milk mixture. You could probably halve that and still have plenty for four pork chops.