Saturday, August 27, 2011

Homemade Peanut Butter dip

The Farm close to our hose has this amazing assortment of homemade peanut butters. They always have samples out which I love to try. So, with that in mind, I decided to whip up some yummy homemade peanut butter dip for a snack for the boys served with organic apple slices! Yummy!

Homemade Peanut Butter Dip
4 T homemade peanut putter (I used chocolate hazelnut Nutella but better!)
2 T plain Greek Yogurt
1 T applesauce
dash of cinnamon (what is better with apples)

Whisk together and Serve...with apples of course!

A Healthy Cookie...Is It Possible?

I struggle with giving my sons sweets. I want to be able to give them sweet treats, but that usually means feeding them sugar laden junk sure to stick them to the ceiling. I am not sure about you, but I get tired of peeling my kid off the ceiling or dealing with the sugar breakdown after! So, I knew I had to come up with some other alternative my picky, sweet loving kid would indulge in. Enter the Chair-We Banana Coo-coo as my son calls it. You can call it a breakfast cookie, scone, healthy bar...I just call it good!

Cherry Banana Cookies
1 c Flour- wheat if you have it
1/2 c Ground Oat- I food processed quick oats
(you can use 1 1/2c four)
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
2T sugar (totally optional)
1/4 t cinnamon and nutmeg
1/2 c cherries (I used fresh, you can use dried)
1 egg
1T Olive oil
1t vanilla (optional)
3 bananas mashed

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the wet ingredients in one bowl and all the wet ingredients in another bowl. Add the wet to the dry. Scoop out golf ball sized scoops onto a parchment lined cookie sheet. (I used an ice cream scoop) Bake 15-20 minutes.

***Need a bit more umf, or have a craving for a bit of chocolate. Add 1/4 c white chocolate chips and 1/4 c chopped macadamia nuts!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Ameri-terranean Pita Sammies

Today was a hungry craving/clean the fridge day. I needed to use up my left over pitas and had a few random bits left in the fridge that I didn't want to just toss, so, this is what I created.

Ameri-terranean Pita Sammies
1 pita cut in half
a few slices of avacado
a few slices of roasted red pepper
chopped up roasted chicken
a slice of tomato

Pile them in a pita and voila...a healthy yummy lunch. Oh and I had apple slices on the side... totally works...right!?!?

Perfect Brown Rice

My version of the Perfect Brown Rice!!!

2 cups rice
3 1/3 cup water
dash of salt

1. Bring water with oil to a boil and preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. As soon as water is boiling, put it , the salt and rice in a pyrex. (Make sure you lid is tight!)
3. Bake for an hour covered. Then, fluff and bake 5 more minutes.

***The key to great rice here is to pull the water off the stove as soon as it starts boiling so the water doesn't evaporate. I also pour everything in and put a layer of aluminum foil between the dish and the lid just to ensure no steam leaks out!

To freeze the perfect brown rice. Allow to cool, then place in a very thin layer on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once frozen, break up and place in a ziplock bag!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Goulash Style Stuffed Peppers

I traditionally do not partake in stuffed peppers. I find they to be just down right boring. If I want a meat filling, I would prefer meatloaf. At least with meatloaf I can ensure it does not turn out to be a dry, overcooked meatball! So, that got me to thinking....why do stuffed peppers have to be made with ground meat? Why not goulash??? Hmm...

Goulash Style Stuffed Peppers

1 lbs beef (I used beef cubes which I cut into even smaller chunks)
3 red bell pepper
3 shallots (So, I can hide the onion from my hubbie)
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups beef broth
2 T tomato paste
1 T oregano
1/2 tsp chili
olive oil
4 T red wine
salt & pepper
(def. could add veggies here very easily without the family knowing!!! Maybe next time!!!)

1. Saute garlic and shallots until tender in olive oil. Then, add your small cubes of beef. Saute for another 5-6 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, 1cup of broth, wine and oregano. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and allow to simmer until tender.

2. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare the peppers by slicing in half and removing seeds. Place in a pan with 3T of broth and bake for 10 minutes. Stir remaining broth into the meat and spoon into peppers. Cover with foil and bake an additional 15-20 minutes.

I LOVED this version! Plus, it was a great excuse to enjoy a nice bottle of red wine with dinner! I served with a ricotta brown rice. I figured since stuffed peppers traditionally have cheese and rice, this would make for a nice (deconstructed) side. I just prepared the brown rice as usually and then added 2-3 T of ricotta. Delish (easy) dinner!

These could easily be frozen before the final bake for an easy re-heat meal!

Black Bean Falafel Burgers

I found a recipe for black bean burgers and decided they had to be on the menu this week! I am SO glad I did. I adapted the original recipe from one created by Clean Eating.

 Black Bean Falafel Burgers

1 medium carrots, grated (I grated 4 baby carrots)
2 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp chili powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup kale
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
2T Worcestershire
3/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 c cooked mixed veggies (I had grilled yellow squash, zucchini, red peppers and onions from kabobs the other night, so, I added them to the food processor)

1. Put the Kale, beans and veggies in the food processor. Pulse several times. Bean should have some chucks still, but no whole beans...don't over process. (I processed the Kale and veggies first, then added the beans)
2. In a large bowl, combine bean mix and the remaining ingredients. mix by hand until everything is combined. Then, form 1/3c sized patties.
3. Grill.

I severed on thin buns with avocado and salsa. My mom also dipped in sour cream! They were delicious! Definitely very reminiscent of Falafel...something I LOVE!!! Plus there was enough left over to freeze!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Layered Mexican Pizza

I surprised myself and my husband tonight with this delight! It was SUPER easy and absolutely delish! Plus by limiting the cheese I really cut out a lot of calories.

Mexican Layered Pizza
1/3-1/2 lb beef, cubed
1/4 red pepper, chopped.
1/2 can black beans
1/2 c corn
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can enchilada sauce
6 whole wheat tortillas
1/4c cheese

1. Combine the drained and rinsed black beans with the corn and about a 1/4 cup enchilada sauce. Set aside.
2. Prepare beef cubes by chopping up into small bits. (This will make your pizza much easier to eat and will also help with any chewy cuts you have) Then, saute with a little bit if olive oil and the chopped red peppers. Saute just a few minutes, the bits of beef will cook quickly. Then, add a 1/4c of enchilada sauce and turn the heat down to low. Allow to cook down while you prepare the tortillas.
3. Brown tortillas. This can be done2 ways depending on your preference. I prefer to fry each one in a tiny bit of oil over low heat. Allow each side to brown. Or, you can brown each side under the broiler.
4. Layer your pizza. I used a large, white corning dish sprayed with Pam. Please a tortilla at the bottom. Then layer. One layer of beans and corn, then a layer of beef. Repeat until you have used all your ingredients. I had enough for 2 layers of beans and 2 layers of beef. Then, top with your final tortilla with a scoop or two of enchilada sauce and the cheddar cheese.
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Slice into portions and serve with a dollop of sour cream or avocado.

Edit: We all went back for seconds later in the evening because this was so good! I will put the recipe at the front of my card book.