Friday, January 21, 2011

Green Smoothie

I've been experimenting with my juicer and I found a recipe online from Cherie Calbom of this smoothie that is supposed to help curb your appetite with lots of vitamins. I was kinda of weary (you'll understand once you read the ingredients), but it's DELICIOUS! Definitely a keeper! I think this may be impossible to make without a juicer and I highly suggest everyone have one considering the health benefits of drinking fresh vegetable and fruit juice. Anyway, if you have one, this is definitely worth a try!

Rinse and juice the following:

1/2 of an apple
1/2 cup spinach
1 celery stalk

In a blender, add:

1 banana
1 Tbl Tahini paste
6 ice cubes

Add juice to the blender and blend away until ice is broken up. MMMMMmmmm I promise it's good!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Quinoa Bread

I have to admit that this bread DID NOT rise correctly. I'm sure it's something that is totally my fault since I'm new to yeast breads. I think I wasn't patient enough to let it fully rise. The first time I made it, I killed the yeast with hot quinoa so this is actually my 2nd try. The flavor is really great and it is wonderful for dipping into olive oil with salt and cracked black pepper. Maybe next time I'll finally get it right! (it still looks pretty damn good, huh?)

Mix in bowl, let sit for 5 min until foamy:

2 packages active dry yeast
1 t. sugar
1/3 cup lukewarm water (very important to be lukewarm)

Slowly add:
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 3/4 cup bread flour
1 cup vegetable juice (yes, v8!)
2 t. salt
1 cup cooked and COOLED quinoa
1 Tbl. milled or whole flax seeds
1 Tbl olive oil

I used a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and kneaded for about 5-10 minutes. If kneading by hand, toss some flour down on a clean area and start kneading away (it may take 15 minutes or so by hand). Form into a ball and place in an oiled bowl at least twice as large as the dough ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size. This may take a few hours. If it seems like it's taking a long time, find a warmer spot in the house. You can also place a bowl of boiling water on the bottom rack of the oven (not turned on) and the dough on a rack above and close the door. After it doubles in size, punch down and divide into two loaves. Place on baking sheet or pizza stone, cover and let rise again until doubled in size. Slice top with a very sharp knife and brush with egg if desired for that shiny finish. Finally it's time to bake! Place into preheated oven (350) and bake for 25-40 minutes. Baking times vary with ovens but check after 25. Bread is done when it makes a hollow sound when hit with a wooden spoon.

Like I said before, this bread was so good to dip into olive oil with sea salt and cracked black pepper. It would've probably been great as a fancy grilled cheese if mine had risen right. Good luck and if anyone has any bread rising tricks, fill me in!

Awesome Muffins

I took a recipe I found and changed it up a little, ok a lot, and came up with these. Muffins are one of the best things for on-the-go breakfasts or toddlers who are becoming picky eaters :)

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix in large bowl:

1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 t. baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 cup oats
1/2-3/4 cup brown sugar depending on how sweet you want them

In medium bowl combine:

half of a mashed ripe banana
1 cup crushed canned pineapple
1/2 cup plain fat free yogurt or sour cream
1/4 cup milk
3 Tbl flax seeds
1 peeled and chopped apple

Add wet ingredients to dry. You can also add other dried fruits, nuts, spices if you'd like. Line or grease muffin tins. Fill about 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 20 min or until toothpick comes out clean and tops are browned.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quinoa & Chickpeas

I don' t have any creative name for this recipe, maybe you can come up with one for me. This would be good as a side dish or as a main meal. Once again, quinoa is a complete protein meaning it's equal to meat!

1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 c uncooked, boiled with equal amount of water for 15 min)
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup frozen or fresh corn
1/8 cup chopped red onion
olive oil
Curry mix seasoning (mine is a grinder from Giant Eagle's Market District line)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
salt and pepper
Flat leaf parsley

Saute onion, chickpeas, and frozen vegetables in olive oil until thawed. Add in your quinoa and spices. Top with some chopped fresh parsley. Super easy!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Persephone Salad

Pomegranates were on sale at the store so I bought one, not really knowing what to do with it. I cut it in half, tried to scoop out the seeds of one half, and made a huge mess all over the counter and had purple spots all over my face from it splashing on me. After that, I decided to look up online how to properly seed it. First, you cut it in half and place the pomegranate in a bowl of water. Scoop out the seeds into the water and clear away the hard, brittle white stuff that's surrounding them. Drain and you have just the seeds left! I made some pomegranate yogurt with one half and made a salad with some of the other half. It was really good so I hope this will help someone who wants to try a pomegranate and doesn't know what to do with it. I'm calling it a Persephone Salad because in Greek mythology, Persephone ate 6 of Hades pomegranate seeds, forcing her to stay with him in the underworld for 6 months of the year. Hence the seasons, 6 cold months and 6 warm months (that's the really short version). Anyway, here it is!

A few tablespoons of fresh pomegranate seeds. Read above for instructions!
A bowlful of salad greens or baby spinach
Red wine vinegar
Olive oil
Crumbled feta cheese (I used goat feta here)
Sliced almonds, (I had brown sugar and cinnamon ones for this)

I'm sure you don't need instructions on what to do. I recommend definitely using oil and vinegar instead of a heavily flavored dressing because all of the flavor is in the pomegranates and feta.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Green Mediterranean Pasta

Awesome picture of a pasta heart that appeared in my pot. Maybe it means something?

This was a "what do I have in my kitchen?" type of meal. I tried a new thing and it worked out really well...spinach pesto! You of course, can change up the vegetables or type of olives..whatever it is you like.

1 lb pasta, I used Capellini--cook al dente, drain, rinse, save a cup of pasta water
1 clove garlic
a few handfuls of fresh baby spinach
2 Tbl almonds or other type of nuts
2 Tbl parmesan
olive oil
lemon juice
1 jar artichoke quartered artichoke hearts, chopped up a little
a handful of olives, I used kalamatas
4-5 stalks of asparagus, cut into 1 in pieces
a few Tbl. of crumbled feta

First, get your water on for your pasta and start cooking. Make your pesto: Spinach, garlic, nuts, parmesan, olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice all in a food processor and chop. You could also throw in some basil leaves or mint if you have any around. In a saute pan, put a little more olive oil and artichokes, olives, and asparagus. Cook until the asparagus is slightly tender. Add about a 1/2 cup of the saved pasta water and the pesto. Cook for a few minutes until everything is heated. If it is too thick, add more pasta water. Toss with pasta. Top with feta cheese after it's plated.

I know I don't put precise measurements because with cooking, it doesn't matter much. You can add more or less lemon juice according to your taste preference. Karl loved this one...he said it tasted like a "gour-met" meal. Ok here's the final picture!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tuna Steaks with Lemon Cream Sauce

I was at Giant Eagle on Sunday and looking in the seafood department when I came across some fresh tuna steaks for only 4.99/lb (compared to the regular 10.99/lb) because their use by date was only a few days away. I planned on making them for dinner that night anyway, so who cares! They turned out so good! My only regret is that I didn't take a picture to share with you how pretty it came out. But here's the recipe anyway:

2 tuna steaks
1 Tbl black pepper
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Combine the spices and coat the steaks top and bottom with mixture.

Lemon sauce:

1 Tbl butter
1 Tbl olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice and zest of one large lemon
2 Tbl heavy cream
a little parsley
salt, and a pinch of sugar to take away the sourness of the lemon

Saute garlic in butter and olive oil taking care not to burn the butter. Add the lemon juice and zest along with everything else and simmer on low for a few minutes until the sauce thickens up.

Meanwhile, heat a saute pan over med-high heat with a little olive oil. Put the steaks in once it has become hot and cook for 4-7 minutes on each side, depending on thickness and desired done-ness. It is recommended to eat tuna med-rare, but we cooked ours until about med-well, just slightly pink. Remove from pan and place over a bed of mixed greens if desired, and cover with sauce.

I think this may have been the best fish I've made to date!