Friday, March 25, 2011

Portabella Mushroom & Bok Choy Soup

Yes, you're seeing beef in the picture.  Of course I didn't eat it, but the boys did!  I've decided short of making two totally separate meals, I need to be a little more creative and add some sort of meat to the dish they eat for dinner.  They are growing boys after all!   Tonight was a winner on all accounts.  I was in need of a wonderful broth to cure my spring cold, and the boys wanted steak!  So the broth was made with dry sherry, vegetable broth and wonderful vegetables and added a thinly sliced steak on top to make the boys...happy!
Serves 4

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 container portabella mushrooms, sliced
1 sweet onion, sliced and cut into half
3 green onions, diced
3/4 cups dry sherry
1 small bunch bok choy, cut into 1/4 inch slices including green tops
2 large carrots, cut into match book slices
5 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup Italian parsley, diced

Method

1)  Heat olive oil in a pan large enough to hold all ingredients. Saute portabella mushrooms and sweet onions, 5-10 minutes.  Add dry sherry and cook down about 5-10 minutes.  Add vegetable broth, carrots, parsley, and green onions, place a lid on the pan and continue to cook on low until you have the steak cooked if using.
2) If making the steak, make on the stove top until done to your liking.
3) Before serving add the bok choy and warm for 2-4 minutes and serve at once!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thai Curry Soup

Not sure why I don't make more Thai food!  It's exciting when recipes turn out well when I least expect it!  I through this one together quickly tonight using ingedients I had around the house and left over from other recipes.  Try this you will love it!  Enjoy!


2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 red pepper, diced
1 container sliced portabella mushrooms
4 green onions, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 cup diced cooked boneless chicken breast, optional (for the non-vegan family members)
1 15oz can coconut milk
2 cups vegetable broth
5 teaspoons red curry paste
1/2 package Rice noodles (included a picture of the one I purchased)
3 tablespoons cilantro, diced
1/4 cup peanuts for topping

Method

1) If using chicken, cook on top of stove until cooked thru.  Remove and set aside.
2) Add sesame oil to a pan that can hold all the ingredients.  Once oil is warm add the diced red pepper and mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes or so.  Next, add the green onions and continue to saute for 2-3 minutes.
3) Add the vegetable broth and coconut milk and let cook on medium-low while you prepare the rice sticks (noodles). Also add the red curry paste and adjust seasoning to your liking.
4)  Prepare the rice noodles according to package directions, 4-6 minutes.

5)  Place noodles in individual serving bowls, add the vegetable mixture and chicken (if using), and divide the broth among the 4 bowls.  Top each bowl off with cilantro, and peanuts and serve at once.  YUMMY!



Friday, March 18, 2011

Frogs on a Log and Ants on a Branch!!!

Have you ever had Frogs on a Log?  Well, when my kids were small these were a staple!  These days I make two versions, I thought you might be interested in them too!  The basic 'Frogs on a Log' which is...peanut butter, celery and golden raisins. And the new version I make, which is a... wheat-free pretzel, almond butter, and raisins or otherwise known as 'Ants on a Branch'!

   
'Frogs on a Log':
2 Organic celery stalks, cut into 3 inch pieces
4 tablespoons peanut butter
Enough golden raisins to cover each log

Method
1) Hold each celery stalk and insert enough peanut butter in the cavity to fill it.  Place golden raisins on top to represent frogs!  

'Ants on a Branch':
2 wheat free pretzel rods, cut in half
3 tablespoons almond butter
Enough raisins to cover each branch

Method
1) Hold each pretzel rod and place enough almond butter on top of each.  Place raisins on top of the almond butter! Enjoy!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Green Drink with Ginger

Good Morning to you all!  I hope when you got up this morning a green drink was was waiting to start off your day!  This is what I made this morning.  I figured it's a lot healthier than a green donut or a green beer for dinner~We have to celebrate St. Patrick's Day some how!  Hope you all have time to make one for the ones you LOVE!  Enjoy!

Makes 2 drinks

1 1/2 cups spinach (packed)
2 cups pineapple (peeled and cut into chunks)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger (peeled)
1 green pear (cored)
1 cup ice cubes
1 tablespoons ground flax seed
1 tablespoon cold pressed flax oil
1/2 cup filtered water

Method

Place all ingredients in a high powered blender and serve at once.  Yummy!


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wine and Rosemary Infused Chicken with Baby Tomatoes and Kalamata Olives

This wonderful amalgamation of chicken, wine, rosemary, tomatoes and olives is one of my favorites!  Adapted from one of my favorite cooks, Marcella Hazan.  It's a beautiful combination that is incredible served over rice or with potatoes.  It's fantastic for dinner parties too, because of the ease of the recipe.  Enjoy!

2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 pieces of bone in chicken breasts
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoons rosemary leaves, chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
3/4 cup white wine
1 jar of kalamata olives, drained
1 container cherry tomatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste

Method

1) Wash chicken and sprinkle with salt over the pieces evenly! 

2) Add olive oil and garlic to a pan that can hold the chicken without over crowding, warm the pan to medium high heat.  Add the rosemary and chicken to the pan and brown the chicken on both sides, 5-10 minutes. 
3) Once browned add the crushed red pepper and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the wine, scraping the brown bits for another 2 minutes and cover with a tight lid or foil immediately.  Continue to cook on medium temperature, flipping occasionally,  for 25-35 minutes depending on the size of your chicken breasts. If the juices in the pan seem to evaporate to quickly add an even combination of water and wine (2-3 tablespoons), to replenish the liquid.

4) Five minutes prior to the chicken being complete add the olives and continue to cook.  Before serving, add the tomatoes and cook another 2-3 minutes (just until the color of the tomatoes brightens and they become plump).  Serve at once!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tuna Spinach Wraps

I like to create recipes that have duel purposes!  It saves me time planning and executing meals throughout the busy week.  Yesterday, I made these appetizer tuna wraps using a large spinach leaf for each wrap and inserting a tablespoon of the tuna salad mixture.  The best part was the tuna mixture also doubled as dinner tonight in the form of tuna sandwiches for the boys!  

2 7oz cans of tuna.
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 red onion, diced
1 celery stalk, diced
2 tablespoons Italian parsley, diced
1/4 cup seedless kalamata olives, diced (Optional)
3/4 cup vegan light canola mayo
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bunch Fresh spinach (as large of leaves as you can find)

Method:

1) Mix tuna, bell pepper, onion, celery, parsley, olives, garlic, canola mayo, and salt and pepper to taste.
2) Take one tablespoon of mixture and place in a fresh spinach leaf, wrap and secure with toothpick!  Serve!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Roasted Acorn Squash and Kale Salad

Sorry for the delay on a blog post, but sometimes life just seems to happen!  I'm back and hopefully I'm making everything you are in the mood to eat!  For me, quick and healthy meals are a must!  I'm guessing you're in the same boat?   So today, when I got home from work I knew I wanted something other than what the boys wanted for dinner!  So... I made this scrumptious hot and cold salad!  It turned out wonderful and was something I through together using ingredients I had in the refrigerator and cupboards.  NO MESSY DISHES TO WASH EITHER...YIPPEE!
Serves 1 as a main dish or serves 2 as a side dish

Ingredients for squash:
1 large acorn squash (peeled, seeded, & diced)
1/4 cup water
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 Tablespoon Blue Agave Nectar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh grindings of pepper
Foil
Parchment Paper

Ingredients for Kale:
1 cup Lacinato Kale, torn into pieces
1 Tablespoon, olive oil
Grind of salt & pepper

Method:

1) Preheat oven to 425. Take a piece of foil large enough to hold all the diced acorn squash.  Line the foil with a piece of parchment paper before adding the squash.  Fold the sides of the foil so nothing leeks out, then add the diced squash, cardamom, agave nectar, salt, pepper, olive oil and water, wrap the foil tightly (this will allow it to bake faster), and bake for 20-30 minutes just until the squash is soft but still hard enough to hold it's shape.
2) To prepare the Kale, take the torn pieces and place in a dish large enough to hold both the kale and squash together.  Drizzle the olive oil over the kale and salt and pepper, mix the kale with the olive oil with your fingers (make sure they are clean)!
3) When squash is complete, drain the squash, mix in with the kale.  Lightly, drizzle 1 tablespoon of agave nectar over the salad and decorate with your choice of edible flower or green of your choice! 

NOTE: I used an apple scented geranium leaf and a streptocarpella flower (which is not edible, but removable before eating)!



Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Have U visited Kookie Karma Yet?

This is a website everyone eating healthy should visit!  It's called Kookie Karma they have the best cheesy kale chips around!  I know you're thinking, "She has lost her mind"!  But, they are fabulous and are a welcome treat when you really want some chips!  Just thought I would share, hope you all had a wonderful day, and remember to SMILE!

Sesame Chicken with Wheat Free Pasta

Tonight was one of those night's in which I was extremely busy after work!  I needed to make a dinner fast!  One boy had Basketball and another wanted to go to Church with a friend.  So, I used my Vita-mix mixer to make a sauce with some ingredients I had in the refrigerator, it was so good.   Here is the simple recipe!  P.S.  I used the wonderful chopsticks our exchange student (Jack) from China gave us when he stayed with us last year.  We all can't wait to see him this summer when he and his parents come to meet us!
Serves 4

To make the Chicken:
1 1/2 cups Chicken or Vegetable broth
2 green onions including green tops, sliced (Use an extra one for decor if you have it)
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into chunks

Sauce:
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled
4 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons tahini, (the bottled sauce which was purchased for the Kale Salad, we need to use it up!)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (less if you prefer not to have it spicy)
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Pasta:
3/4 box of Jovial wheat free pasta, or brand of your choice (This brand has great consistency)

For Topping:
Toasted Sesame Seeds and extra green onions (Optional)

Method:
1) Boil a pot of water to cook the pasta until just done according to directions on the box. Drain.
2) Meanwhile, In a separate pot place all but three tablespoons of the chicken broth, green onions and chicken in and bring to a boil.  Cook until chicken is just done, 6-8 minutes (depending on how big of chunks you cut your chicken).  Take the chicken out of the chicken broth to cool while you make the sauce.
3) Place all the sauce ingredients listed above along with the leftover 3 tablespoons of chicken broth into a high power mixer.  Blend until no lumps appear.
4) To Serve, place pasta in individual bowls, shred the chicken over top (evenly distributing among the bowls), and pour the sauce over each bowl as well, dust with toasted sesame seeds .  Serve with salt and pepper at the table!



Clean up the kitchen with...Bar Keeper's Friend...click below!