Sunday, November 27, 2011

Leftover Mashed Potato Soup

Such a perfect way to use up an leftover mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving. It is so good that you will want to make mashed potatoes just so you can make this soup!

Serves 4

2 cups leftover mashed potatoes, brought to room temperature or microwaved for a minute to take the chill off (if you have any whole potatoes leftover, you can chop up a few and add along with the potatoes to make the soup chunkier)
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
32 oz chicken broth
2 tbs flour
1/4 c milk
1 cup frozen chopped broccoli, defrosted
1 tbs chives, plus more for garnish (I like the freeze dried chives you can find in your produce section, since I don't use chives often)
4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a medium sized pot, heat a little olive oil over medium high heat and add onion. Once onion begins to soften add garlic and cook for about a minute. Add broth and potatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and mix together milk and flour until it is smooth (mixture should be thick, think cake batter, but not lumpy, use a whisk and add more flour or milk if needed) and whisk into broth and potato mixture. Simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes to thicken, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli and chives once soup has thickened. Serve with bacon, cheese, and extra chives.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Lentil Soup with Bacon and Parmesan

It's a hearty and filling meal for the cooler weather. Feel free to leave off the bacon to make it totally vegetarian, but if you are down with bacon, I highly recommend it!

Serves 4, generously

1 tbs olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 carrots, cut into coins
1 1/4 c lentils, picked over and rinsed
32 oz broth
1 bay leaf (optional)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste
4 slices of bacon cooked until crisp, crumbled
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat about one tbs of oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook until it begins to soften, then add garlic and saute for a couple minutes. Add celery and carrots and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, or until softened slightly. Add lentils, bay leaf, thyme, and broth, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 40 minutes or until lentils are soft. If the broth has cooked down more than you would like, add enough water to thin out the soup. Remove bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle soup into bowls and top with the bacon and cheese.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tasty Trail Mix

Making your own trail mix is so easy and you can control the fat and salt, so it can be as healthy and whole as you want. Makes a great snack or addition to lunch and definitely works in the kiddos lunch boxes. Oh, and no, not all trail mix needs to involve Chex cereal. This recipes is simply a suggestion, you can add any mixture of seeds, nuts, and dried fruit you like.

1/2 c unsalted, raw pumpkin seeds
1/3 c dried cranberries
1/3 c dried cherries
1/3 c raisins
1/2 c banana chips, crushed up just a bit

Mix together and store in a plastic container.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes

You know how people on diets always wish there were "free" foods, ones that you can eat buckets of but never feel any repercussions. While there may not be any such food (darnit!), these pancakes are a pretty darn good compromise. They are healthy, low in fat, high in protein and fiber, and taste like they should make your behind double in size. Decadence and health. Yep, count me in!

1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c protein powder
2 tbs flax meal
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 c fat free milk
1 tbs vegetable oil
1 banana, sliced
1/4 c semisweet chocolate chips

Combine flour, protein powder, flax, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add egg, milk, and oil. Mix wet and dry ingredients together until just combined. Stir in banana slices and chocolate chips.

Pour by 1/4 cupfuls onto a hot griddle sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown and solid in the middle.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

White Bean and Kale Soup

You will want to eat this soup for breakfast, it is that good.

Olive Oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 bunch kale, rinsed, stems removed, and leaves chopped
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

In a soup pot or dutch oven, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion begins to soften. Add red pepper, carrots and celery and cook until all the vegetables soften. Add in 1 can of the beans and two cups of the broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender, working in small batches) blend the soup until it has thickened and become smooth (blend more or less, depending on your preference). Add remaining broth, second can of beans, kale, and cayenne pepper. Simmer on low for about 30 minutes until kale is soft. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Red Beans and Rice

When my husband was deployed the first time and I moved into our first apartment by myself, I looked for easy things to make for one person. I love to cook, but I don't cook for just me, so I ate a lot of Lean Cuisine and easy boxed dinners like Zatarain's. While Zatarain's Red Beans and Rice is quite yummy, I realize now that the amount of sodium I took in was outrageous, and there is no way I will feed my little boy salty food like that. So I developed this yummy, cheap, and healthy dinner that is as good, if not better than the boxed stuff!

1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 gloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cans red beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup uncooked brown or white rice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (more or less, depending on heat preference)
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp oregano
2 tsp chili powder
2 15 oz cans low sodium chicken/vegetable broth

In a large sauce pan with a lid, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add onion, carrot, peppers, and garlic and saute until veggies soften. Add spices and rice and stir for about a minute, until coated. Add beans and broth, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Cook for about 30 minutes until rice is tender and liquid has greatly reduced.

Serve with green onions, sour cream, tortillas, corn bread or whatever your little heart desires.

My Favorite Smoothie

Don't be frightened by the "special" ingredient in this smoothie. You don't even taste it and with all its added benefits, it makes this smoothies especially healthy!

Serves about 2

1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries
1 banana
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup nonfat milk

Place ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Use more or less liquid depending on how thin or thick you like your smoothie.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Fish Tacos with Homemade Salsa and Nonfat Cilantro Lime Dressing

Fish tacos are pretty much the best, especially during summer. They are so fast to make, very healthy, and taste so great. I use tilapia because it is a very inexpensive fish, but very good for you.

(Serves 2)

6 roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined, and chopped
1/2 an onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic
juice of 1/2 a lime

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency. Place in a bowl and refrigerate. When ready to use, pour off some of the excess liquid.

Cilantro Lime Dressing
1/2 c nonfat Greek yogurt
1 handful cilantro (about a 1/2 c)
juice of 1/2 a lime

Blend all ingredients until smooth.
2 medium to large tilapia fillets (you could also use salmon or halibut)
1 tbs chili powder
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 a lime
Salt and Pepper
About 4-8 corn tortillas, depending if you like to double up

In a dish, place fillets and season with a little salt and black pepper. In a small bowl, combine chili powder, cayenne, and lime, pour mixture over fish and allow to marinate for about 10 minutes.

Heat up an indoor grill (tilapia is a little too fragile for the outdoor grill, unless you use a special pan), grill pan, or nonstick skillet to about 350 degrees that has been sprayed with a little nonstick spray. Put fillets on grill/pan and cook for about 4 minutes per side. Be very gentle when flipping since tilapia is not the sturdiest fish. When cooked, I like to halve the fillets for each taco.

Serve fish on warmed tortillas with the salsa, dressing, avocado, and lettuce.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Perfect Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

If I said I never had an issue making oatmeal raisin cookies, I would be a big, fat liar. These cookies have eluded me... until now. I had tried every recipe I could find, I tried adding more flour, more oatmeal, less wet ingredients, soaking the raisins, not soaking the raisins, butter, shortening, butter and shortening. But, to be blunt, they all sucked. Today I decided to combine a few different elements from a few different recipes. They rocked. They were chewy, sweet, and just the right mixture of soft and crispy. Plus I made them with my little man, and there is nothing sweeter than that!

Yield-- about 4 dozen

1 c (2 sticks) softened butter
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 1/2 cups old fashioned 0ats
1 c plump raisins

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream together the butter and sugars. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and mix in. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly add the flour mixture into the butter mixture until just mixed. Add in the oatmeal, one cup at a time, followed by the raisins.

Drop by teaspoonful onto a cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on pan for a few minutes then transfer to a cooling wrack.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Mongolian Chicken

I always order Mongolian Beef from my favorite Chinese food restaurant when I am visiting my parents, but in between visits I make this version to ease my cravings. I made it with chicken this time and it was delicious.

Olive Oil
1 small onions, diced
About a 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/3 c soy sauce
1/2 c water
1/2 c brown sugar
1/2 tbs red pepper flakes
2-3 boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 c corn starch
3 green onions

In a sauce pan, heat about a teaspoon of oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add ginger and garlic and cook for about a minute, but be sure not to let it burn. Add soy sauce, water, sugar, and pepper flakes. Increase heat to medium high and bring to a boil for about 3 minutes until sauce is thickened.

In a medium sized bowl, add corn starch and chicken. Toss to coat chicken in corn starch. In a large pan or wok, heat about a 1/4 cup of oil until very hot. Add chicken and cook until chicken is brown and slightly crispy, about 7 minutes. Cut a piece of chicken to make sure it is no longer pink. Remove the chicken to a plate lined with a paper towel. Drain excess oil from pan and put the chicken back in. Add sauce and simmer for a minute. Add green onions.

Serve over rice with steamed veggies.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Broccoli Pesto

Who doesn't want to eat more veggies? Ok, maybe a lot of people. But if you are one of the people who wants to fit more veggies into their diet, consider this recipe. It is a great way to pack in a bit more veg, plus it is super yummy.

1 lb of whole wheat pasta
1 large head of broccoli, chopped
1 clove of garlic
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cooking water from pasta (plus more if needed)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook pasta according to directions.

In a microwave safe bowl, place broccoli and about 1/2 cup of water. Cover and cook at full power for about 5 minutes or until the broccoli is fork tender, but not overcooked. Place broccoli in a food processor with the garlic clove and pulse until well pureed. Add Parmesan and pulse until mixed. Repeat with the cooking water. Drizzle in the olive oil while pulsing the broccoli mixture. Add more cooking water if the pesto is too thick for your taste. Mix with pasta and serve.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Shrimp Fried Rice

Oh how I love thee....

5 cups cooked rice, I use brown
3 eggs
1 lb of 30-40 count shrimp, peeled, deveined, and thawed if frozen
1 tbs soy sauce
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 cups frozen mixed peas and carrots, thawed
4 green onions, diced
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a wok or large pan. In a bowl, beat eggs until combined. Turn heat to medium and pour in the egg. Allow it to cook for about 1 minute then lift the cooked edges to allow the uncooked egg to go underneath. Continue until all the egg has set. Remove to a plate, cut into small pieces and keep warm.

Add another 1/2 tbs of oil to the wok and add shrimp and soy sauce. Cook, stirring often, until shrimp are no longer pink, about 1 1/2 minutes, do not overcook, they will cook more later on in the dish.

If necessary, add a little more oil and then add onion and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and allow it to cook for about 1 minute. Add peas and carrots and stir until warmed. Toss in rice and then add shrimp and eggs. Stir in green onions. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with soy sauce.

This recipe makes about 4 large main dish servings and 6-8 side dish servings.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Grilled Portobello Vegetable Stack

If you haven't grilled vegetables before, you are seriously missing out.

4 portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems removed (be gentle here!)
1 red pepper sliced into 1 inch strips
1 zucchini, very thinly sliced
1 red onion, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
4 slices Swiss cheese
2 cups cooked quinoa

Heat a grill on high. Drizzle veggies with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn the grill down to medium and lay the veggies down directly on the grill (or lay the veggies on the outside edges of a charcoal grill). Grill for three minute and then flip over and grill for another three. Place veggies on a raised rack if you have one on your grill and allow to cook for another five minutes until very soft, otherwise keep out of direct heat and check often, turning when needed. Once veggies are soft, place on of the onion slices, a couple of the red onion strips, and a few zucchini slices on a portobello and top with a slice of Swiss. Keep out of direct heat and allow the cheese to melt. Place a 1/2 cup of quinoa on a plate and top with the mushroom stack.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sesame Chicken with Ginger Carrots

Oooh yeah.

Sesame Chicken
This is a recipe from the website AsianSupper. Go there to check out some yummy Asian inspired dishes including this one.

2 skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1 inch slices
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice cooking wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
vegetable oil or peanut oil for frying
3 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cornstarch or rice flour
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce (this is pretty spicy stuff, so use less or more depending on what kind of a fire eater you are)
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon oyster sauce (I subbed in Soy Vay Garlic Hoisin because... well that's all I had)
1/8 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

In a medium bowl, marinade the chicken in the soy sauce, rice cooking wine, sesame oil, sugar, salt and pepper. The chicken needs to marinade for at least 1 hour. I like to marinade it for about 2-3 hours.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, rice flour/cornstarch. mix int he chicken so that all the chicken pieces are coated with the flour mixture.

In a heavy-bottomed pot or deep-fryer heat enough oil to come halfway up the sides of the pot. Fry the chicken, in small batches, until golden and crispy, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the chicken using a wire mesh strainer and drain on paper towels.

In a small sauce pan, mix together the Sriracha sauce, ketchup, honey, oyster sauce, sugar, soy sauce and water. Bring it to a slight simmer and add the chicken. Gently toss the chicken until it is evenly coated with the sauce.

Sprinkle the sesame seeds over the chicken. Serve with warm rice.

Again, this recipe is from

Ginger Carrots
This is my own little creation. I was stuck because we had used up all our almost all our veggies for the week and salad just doesn't seem right with Chinese food. Luckily we always have an abundance of carrots, so carrots it was!

4 carrots, peeled and then shaved with a peeler or sliced very thin
3 cloves of garlic, minced
about 1/2 inch of a root of fresh ginger, graded with a lemon zester or a fine cheese grader
1 tbs hoisin sauce

Heat a pan with a lid over medium-high heat and add about a tsp of olive oil. Toss in carrots and two tbs of water and cover with a lid. Cook for about 5 minutes or until water has evaporated. Add in garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes. Stir in hoisin and cook for a bout 3 more minutes, or until the carrots are very soft.

Serve with brown rice.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Creamy Feta Dressing for Greek Salads

So tangy and delicious!

1/4 c red wine vinegar
3 tbs olive oil
1/4 c feta cheese
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 cloves garlic

Blend it all together until thickened and pour over any salad. It is especially perfect with a Greek salad using cucumbers, red onion, tomatoes, feta, and lettuce (optional!).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Pasta With Fresh Tomato, Basil, and Sausage Sauce

I usually use canned crushed tomatoes to make sauce because it is quick and convenient, but there is nothing like tomato sauce made fresh. It really doesn't take much longer, you can completely control the sodium, and it is so amazingly good!

1 lb penne
2 lbs plump, firm Roma tomatoes
3 sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 c fresh basil leaved, torn
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to package. In another pot, bring about 2 quarts of water to a boil. Drop in tomatoes and cook for about 10 minutes or until skin begins to crack. Drain tomatoes and rinse under cold water. When they are cool enough to touch, slide the skin off the tomatoes. The skin should come off very easily.

While the water boils for the tomatoes, cook sausage in a large sauce pan over medium high heat, breaking up sausage into small chunks. Once cooked through, remove from pan and set aside. To the same pan add a little olive oil and the onions and garlic and cook over medium heat until the onions become soft and translucent. Add in peeled tomatoes and cover. Stir occasionally and use a wooden spoon or spatula to break down the onion. Once sauce has thickened, about 20 minutes stir in sausage and add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes to heat the sausage through. Remove from heat and add basil and sprinkle with Parmesan.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Perfect Oven Fries

The best. Ever.

3 or 4 medium russet or baker potatoes, sliced into sticks
Two sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem and roughly chopped
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp kosher or sea salt plus more to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbs fresh chives, snipped

Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, thyme, oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake at 425 for 30 to 35 minutes, turning once. Toss potatoes with the chives and serve. YUM!

Whole Grain Blueberry Oatmeal Coffee Cake

1 1/3 c whole wheat flour
3/4 c. old fashion oats
2 tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c brown sugar
1 egg
3/4 c non fat milk
1/4 c oil
1 c blueberries

Preheat oven to 400. Mix together flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the egg, milk, and oil. Mix until just blended. Stir in blueberries and pour into a greased pie pan or 8x8 square glass pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Shrimp Boil

This is a very easy, but very impressive dinner. Serve with crusty bread and lots of wine.

2 lemons, halved
1/2 cup Old Bay Seasoning
1 head of garlic, top sliced off
1 large onion, quartered
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1 pound baby red potatoes
4 ears corn, husked and snapped in half
4 sausages, cut into thirds (any kind you like, the spicier the better)
1 1/2 pounds large shrimp, de-veined but unpeeled (frozen OK)

Dipping Sauce
1 stick unsalted butter
2 tbs Old Bay
2 cloves garlic, crushed

In a very large pot, add 3 quarts of water, lemon, onion, garlic, Old Bay, and thyme. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium and add the potatoes, cooking for about 10 minutes or until the potatoes soften. Reduce to a simmer and add corn and sausage, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add shrimp and cook for about 2 minutes if using fresh and 4 if using frozen. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp, sausage, and vegetables to a large serving bowl and spoon a cup or so of the cooking liquids over.

For the sauce, melt the butter and stir in the old bay and garlic. Pour some over a plate of the shrimp or offer it for dipping.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Whole Wheat Pancakes

They are so easy to make and so delicious, you won't want to go back to a mix after this. They are much lower in sugar and sodium than a mix, and my version is also very low in fat. Plus, you won't miss the white flour, I promise. This recipe is based on the Better Homes and Garden recipe, but with my touches. I hope you enjoy!

Makes about 8 pancakes

1 3/4 c whole wheat flour
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbs wheat germ (optional)
2 tbs flax meal (optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 c nonfat milk
2 tbs vegetable oil
butter, syrup, and berries to serve

In a large bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, wheat germ, and flax. Make a well in the center of the bowl and add egg, milk, and oil. Stir together just until mixed. If batter is too thick for your liking, add a tablespoon of milk until desired consistency is reached.

Pour by 1/4 cup onto a preheated griddle or pan and allow to cook until bubbles form on the top and edges firm up. Flip pancake and cook for another minute or two. Keep cooked pancakes warm in a low oven until all pancakes are cooked.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Super Easy Baked Mediterranean Salmon

This dish is the perfect blend of flavors. You have the fresh salmon, the salty olives, the sweet peppers and tomatoes, and the garlicky couscous. Plus, I whipped up a little cumin yogurt sauce that is just about good enough to eat by the spoonful. YUM, YUM, YUM!

4 salmon fillets, skin on or off, your choice
1 large red pepper, sliced
1 cup whole, pitted olives
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 1/2 tbs dried oregano
1 recipe garlic couscous
olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375. Drizzle a little olive oil on a baking pan and add the salmon and turn to coat. Add the peppers, olives, and tomatoes and stir to coat a bit. Sprinkle the oregano over the dish and add a little salt and pepper. Bake for about 25 minutes, until Salmon is flakey.

Cumin Yogurt Sauce

1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbs lemon juice
salt and pepper

Mix above ingredients and season with salt and pepper. Serve with Mediterranean style dishes, veggies, or pita bread.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tofu Pad Thai

I realize this isn't really Pad Thai, since true Pad Thai has peanuts galore. But here's the thing, we rarely eat nuts and never eat peanuts. It's not entirely intentional, and before you go spouting off all the wondrous nutrients in nuts, let me say that I never, ever ate nuts growing up. My mother is deathly allergic, so I never knew they glory of chocolate and peanut butter or candied walnuts. Don't feel bad for me, my backside has never minded. But that aside, now that I am a grown up of sorts I just don't care for the taste or texture of nuts and nut butter just doesn't do it for me.

Now, wasn't that a fun life story? Anyway, this is a yummy Pad Thai recipe without peanuts.

6 oz uncooked rice noodles
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package of firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch slices and then into four triangles
2 tbs soy sauce
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 cups bean sprouts (the white ones)
3/4 cup green onions, sliced,
1 carrot, shaved (use a peeler and shave off slices)
3 tbs rice vinegar
2 1/2 tbs fish sauce (I know, but give in and buy it, it makes all the difference in the world)
2 tbs sugar
1 tsp chili sauce (in the Asian food section)
1 cup shelled edamame

Cook noodles according to directions. Set tofu on paper towels to drain. After they tofu pieces have lost some of their water, put them in a bowl with soy sauce and garlic to marinate.

In a nonstick pan, heat about a teaspoon of vegetable oil and add tofu in a single layer, cooking in batches if necessary. Cook until browned on each side and keep warm.

In a wok, heat a tablespoon of oil over high heat in a wok until very hot. Add the garlic and stir-fry until golden, about 10 seconds. Add the egg and cook, stirring, until scrambled. Add noodles to the wok along with bean sprouts, 1/2 cup of the green onions, carrots, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and chili sauce. Gently toss with tofu. Serve and sprinkle with edamame and remaining green onions.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Vegetarian Enchiladas

Healthy, yummy enchiladas.

1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15 oz can of black beans, drained
15 to 20 Corn tortillas
2 cups of red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cheese, such as a jack and cheddar blend
cilantro for garnish

Preheat an oven to 375 and spray a large casserole with nonstick spray.

Heat up a little olive oil in a large sauce pan and add peppers, carrots, garlic, and onions. Once the veggies are soft, add in the beans and warm through.

Microwave the tortillas for about 30 seconds to help soften. Pour 1 cup of enchilada sauce into a shallow dish and dip a tortilla. Add a couple table spoons of the bean mixture to the tortilla, a sprinkle of cheese, and roll up and place seam side down into the prepared dish. Repeat until the tortillas are all filled. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.

Bake for about 25 minutes until the cheese melts and starts to brown. Serve with cilantro, salsa, avocado, and sour cream.

Steel Cut Oats in the Rice Cooker!

Steel cut oats are the new "it" breakfast. Didn't you know? Well, thank goodness you have me then. Anyway, they are crazy good for you and totally tasty, but they can take a little time to make. I for one am not often ready to spend 30 minutes standing over my stove first thing in the morning, which is why I usually revert to regular old fashioned oats that I cook in the microwave. That is until I fell in love with steel cut oats and now I'm not sure Mr. Quaker and I are nearly as good of friends. Yes, I am a traitor. Then in walked my rice cooker and a terrific threesome was created. I can combine the oats and water in the same time it takes to make a bowl of the old fashioned and end up with a heartier, yummier version of my usual breakfast staple.

**This must be made in a 7 cup rice cooker or bigger, otherwise you will have oatmeal water all over your counter

Makes about 3, 1 cup servings

1 1/4 c steel cut oats
3 1/4 c water
milk, raisins, and brown sugar for serving

Combine water and oats in the rice cooker and set to cook. If you have one of those fancy rice cookers with settings (and not the $15 cheapo one from Target like me) consider consulting your manual, but the oats will need to cook around 30 minutes.

Here are the before and after topping pics. YUM!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chicken, Zucchini, and Tomato Pasta

Yummy, healthy, and fast!

1 lb whole wheat spaghetti
3 chicken breasts, sliced
1 large zucchini, shaved (use a veggie peeler)
1 c grape tomatoes, halved
2 cloves garlic
Olive Oil
Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta according to packaging.

In a large pan, heat a little olive oil and add chicken. Cook until cooked through and lightly browned. Turn off heat and add zucchini, tomatoes, and garlic, toss to combine. Drain spaghetti and drizzle with a little olive oil. Put some spaghetti on a plate and top with the chicken and veggie mix. Sprinkle with a little Parmesan and serve.

Honey Mustard Crusted Chicken, Baked Sweet Potatoes, and Roasted Veg (One pan meal!)

I hate cleaning up after cooking. I mean I REALLY hate it. I have learned to clean as I go, but I still end up with a mess of cleaning after I am done. So I love one pot or one pan meals. This one is great, it all goes in at one time and cooks at the same temp. If you are cooking for more than 3 or 4, or you don't have big baking sheets, you may have to split it between two pans, but it can still all go in at the same time. If you have never made sweet potatoes this way before, you should try it, it brings out the sugars and caramelizes the side that touches the pan... it's crazy good.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c honey mustard
2 tbs white wine
1 c Italian bread crumbs
2 zucchinis, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 inch chunks
2 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1 inch chunks
3 or 4 small sweet potatoes or yams

Preheat your oven to 375 and coat a large baking pan with a thin layer of olive oil.

Sick the sweet potatoes a few times with a fork and put them in the microwave for about 6 minutes to soften up and start cooking, otherwise they will take too long for a one pan meal. Meanwhile, mix the mustard and wine in a bowl and pour out the bread crumbs onto a plate. Dip each chicken breast in the mustard mix until coated and then roll in the bread crumbs. Place on one end of the pan, but don't crowd the breasts. Next, arrange the zucchini and carrots in the middle and around the chicken if there is room, the veggies can be a little crowded. Sprinkle the veggies with a little salt and pepper. Last, take the potatoes out of the oven and slice in half, lengthwise. Arrange those flesh side down on the remaining area of the pan. Bake for about 25 minutes, checking the chicken to be sure it has reached 165 degrees or is no longer pink.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ravioli Soup

This is the fastest, easiest soup ever. Really, it is painfully simple. It's filling but not fattening, and you can feel good eating it but a little naughty since it has cheese ravioli. On a side note, I must have a tap into the brains of those at Sunset Magazine (... or perhaps it is the other way around? GASP!) because literally a week after I made this, I found an almost identical recipe in their magazine. But enough of this, make the soup and eat it.

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 c broth, veggie or chicken
1, 16 oz package of frozen peas and carrots (you could use fresh, but lets be honest, we all like easy)
1 lb of mini cheese ravioli, get the refrigerated ones
A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a dutch oven or large soup pot, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent add garlic and cook another minute, then add broth and bring to a boil. Once boiling add ravioli and cook for about five minutes. Add peas and carrots, parsley, basil, and thyme and cook for another two minutes. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.