Recent Recipes

Biscuits and Gravy

Comments (0) | Sunday, May 23, 2010

What the heck is biscuits and gravy doing on a healthy eating blog? Well we both firmly believe that a healthy lifestyle contains the occasional unhealthy food. Splurging once in awhile helps keep you from feeling deprived and then binging. Biscuits and gravy really don't need any kind of introductory hype. They're just flat-out, savory goodness. We've made basic biscuits and gravy before, then we discovered a recipe for Cheddar, Bacon, and Fresh Chive Biscuits in Bon Appetite magazine, so we thought why not use those instead of your regular buttermilk variety. We adapted the recipe to include jalapenos and no chives, which added a complimentary spice.

Gravy (found at: http://www.foodreference.com/html/artbiscuitsandgravy.html)

½ lb. ground breakfast sausage.
2 T. butter
4 T. all purpose flour
3 c. cold milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Sauté the sausage until it is cooked and has released as much of its fat as possible. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon and do NOT drain the grease. You'll need it to make the roux...

You should have about 2 tablespoons of rendered pork fat. Add the butter and melt it. Then add the flour a little at a time over medium heat, constantly whisking. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Now start adding the cold milk a little at a time, whisking incessantly. Toward the end of the milk add the sausage back in. When you reach the desired consistency add salt and pepper to taste.

Cheddar, Bacon, and Jalapeno Biscuits (adapted from Bon Appetit, Feb. 2010)
Makes 6 biscuits

3 thick-cut bacon slices
2 cups bread flour
3/4 T. baking powder
3/4 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1/2 c. chilled, unsalted butter,
cut into half inch cubes
1 jalapeno, minced
3/4 c. chilled buttermilk

Position rack just above center of oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Line heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook bacon in heavy large skillet over medium heat until crisp and brown. Transfer bacon to paper towels and drain, then chop coarsely.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in processor. Add butter cubes. Blend until coarse meal forms, about 30 seconds. Transfer flour mixture to large bowl. Add cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and copped bacon; toss to blend. Gradually add buttermilk, stirring to moisten evenly (batter will feel sticky).

Using lightly floured hands, drop generous 1/2 cup batter for each biscuit onto prepared baking sheet, spacing batter mounds about 2 inches apart.

Bake biscuits until golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.

Now, split two biscuits onto each plate and pour the gravy on top.

Remember, you don't have to live in the deep South to eat like the world is going to end tomorrow, so when you're craving something that'll leave you and your dinner guests speechless, give this a try.

Servings: 3

Calories: Don't ask

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Huevos Rancheros

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Huevos Rancheros is definitely one of our favorite meals. We both love it a lot, but it can be pretty unhealthy with a little tweaking we have been able to take Emril Lagasse's recipe for Huevos Rancheros and turn it into a meal that can be enjoyed any time and with a lot fewer calories and less unnecessary fat. We actually love to make 2 servings of this during the week and then use the remaining ranchero sauce and make 2 more servings on Saturday mornings for a nice, but healthy weekend breakfast.

Huevos Rancheros
Adapted from Emril Lagasse

Ranchero sauce:
1 T. vegetable oil
1 c. chopped white onions
1 c. chopped bell pepper
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne
1 minced jalapeno (with or without seeds depending on your preference)
2 cloves minced garlic
1 c. chopped fresh tomatoes and their juices
1 c. low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
3 T. chopped cilantro

4 corn tortillas
1 c. refried beans (preferably low sodium)
2 T. butter
8 large eggs
2 oz. pepper jack cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the Ranchero sauce, in a medium pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and bell peppers, and cook stirring for 3 - 5 minutes. Add the cumin, salt, cayenne, jalapeno and garlic. Cook stirring for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook stirring for 2 minutes. Add the stock and simmer until thickened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and add the cilantro. Cover and keep warm.

Put 1/4 of the refried beans on each tortilla and place on a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for about 7-9 minutes until the tortilla is slightly crispy at the edges and the beans are warm.

In a medium skillet melt 1/2 T. of butter. Break 2 eggs into the skillet and fry until begining to set. Repeat until all eggs are cooked.

Place 2 eggs on top of each tortilla with refried beans. Top with 1/4 of the ranchero sauce and sprinkle 1/2 oz of cheese on top.

Server immediately.

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Persian Cauliflower Kuku

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We tried this dish for the first time this week and it was SO good. We found it in the cookbook "Silk Road Cooking: A Vegetarian Journey" by Najmieh Batmanglij. This cookbook is one of our absolute favorites, as it has some amazing and authentic vegetarian recipes. It follows the Silk Road and you can find a variety of delicious dishes that you would never think to make. The Persian Cauliflower Kuku is no exception to that. It is a hearty meal that is much like a Spanish tortilla made using cauliflower instead of potatoes. It would be good paired with yogurt and flat bread or some quinoa.

Persian Cauliflower Kuku
Silk Road Cooking: A vegetarian journey
6 eggs
1/2 t. baking powder
1 T. flour or bread crumbs
1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese or fresh mozzarella shredded
1/4 c. vegetable oil, butter or ghee
1 small red onion thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 small head of cauliflower coarsely chopped
2 t. salt (we used less about 1 t.)
1/2 t. black pepper
1 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. paprika
1/4 t. turmeric
1 green bird chili chopped or 1/8 t. cayenne
1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley or basil

1. Break the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the baking powder, flour, milk and cheese. Whisk lightly.

2. Heat the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over low heat. Add the onion and stir-fry for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, cauliflower, salt, pepper, cumin, paprika, turmeric, chili and parsley. Stir-fry for 5-10 minutes until the cauliflower is soft.

3. Pour the egg mixture over the cauliflower in the skillet. Cook over low heat 6-12 minutes until set.

4. Place the skillet under a preheated broiler for 1-3 minutes to brown the top.

5. Serve warm of cold.

4-6 servings
300 calories per serving for 4 servings.
200 calories per serving for 6 servings.

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Strawberry Tuna Salad

Comments (0) | Monday, May 17, 2010

Tuna salad is one of our favorite quick and easy lunches. It's very tasty and so simple to whip up a batch. The problem with tuna salad is that it can pack a pretty high calorie punch from all the mayo used to make it. We substitute 0% fat Fage plain Greek Yogurt for mayo for a great fresh flavor and a fraction of the calories of mayo. The addition of strawberries to the salad adds a great tart, but sweet flavor and some beautiful color. Finally we use Frontier brand's Pepperman to add some salt and a great mix of peppers. We highly recommend this seasoning mix...it's so flavorful and quite addictive. We use it in almost all our cooking.

Strawberry Tuna Salad
1 can solid white albacore tuna packed in water (preferably the no salt added variety)
4 T. Greek yogurt
2 T. relish
1/4 t. Pepperman
5-7 strawberries chopped

Drain tuna well and place in a small bowl. Flake the tuna with a fork until it is in small chunks Add the Greek yogurt, relish and Pepperman and mix well. Fold in the chopped strawberries. Serve on your favorite whole grain bread.

Serves 2
Calories: 175

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Comments (0) | Monday, May 10, 2010

Pizza is one of our all time favorite foods! We could eat it almost every night and not get sick of it. Our quest to be more healthy eaters hasn't made us give up on pizza, but we have had to make some changes to our recipes. By using homemade sauce, whole wheat crust, loading it with vegetables and going light on the cheese you come out with a delicious, but healthy alternative to your normal take out. Also pizza is easy! It does take some planning because you need to allow the dough to rise, but the steps involved aren't too difficult. OK Let's get this started with the dough.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
2 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 packet active dry yeast (or 2 1/4 t.)
1 t. sugar
1 c. warm water divided
1 t. salt
3 T. olive oil plus more for greasing

Combine a 1/4 c. of the warm water with the sugar. Make sure sugar is dissolved. Pour the yeast on top of the water mixture and let sit for 1 minute. Stir the yeast into the water/sugar mix and then let rise for 10 minutes. Combine the yeast mixture with the flour, salt, olive oil, and remaining water. Knead dough for about 10 minutes (a stand mixer with a dough hook is a great help for this step). Press dough into the bottom of a bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Turn over and cover in bowl and let rise for 90 minutes.

This will make enough dough for about 2 medium pizzas.

About 30 minutes before the dough is done rising you will want to start making the sauce and toppings for the pizza. When we make sauce it tends to be a "little of this, little of that" process, but here is the basic recipe. You can adjust the seasonings to fit your taste.

Tomato Sauce
2-3 c. canned crushed tomatoes
1 T. olive oil
2-4 cloves garlic minced or crushed
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
1 t. oregano
1 t. basil
salt and pepper to taste (I usually don't add to much to keep the dish low in sodium).

Heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes to the oil and let cook for about 1 minute until fragrant. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes.

At this time you should also pre heat the oven to 450 degrees.

6 oz. of cheese
3 c. fresh spinach (washed and dried)
1 c. diced onions
1 large tomato seeded and chopped.

To assemble the pizzas you will first need to divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Use non-stick canola spray and spray your 2 pizza pans. Roll each part into a large thin circle to fit your pizza pan. The dough should hang over the edge of the pan. Roll the edges to create a crust. Poke holes in the dough with a fork to keep the crust from bubbling up. Top the dough with as much or as little sauce as you want. Add the vegetable toppings divided among the two pizzas. Cover with 3 oz. of cheese per pizza.

Bake pizzas in oven for about 16 minutes. Switch positions (from bottom to top rack and top to bottom) of pizza about half way through to make sure both get cooked evenly. The cheese should be light brown and bubbly. Slice pizzas into 8 slices.

Each slice of pizza has 132 calories.

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Japanese Chicken-Scallion Rice Bowl

Comments (0) | Sunday, May 2, 2010

This meal was a quick and easy way to finish off our lazy Sunday. Everything about it was tasty, from the chicken broth (which we didn't make from scratch this time, but used some good organic stock out of a carton), to the egg and chicken combination. We've never been able to successfully make egg drop soup. After following this recipe and having it turn out we realized that it's good to have more egg white than egg yoke and to not mix it together fully. This is another great recipe from Eating Well that Cassie found online. We've only just discovered this goldmine of delicious recipes, so bear with us as the next few posts may also come from them. We promise to post some of our own recipes or ones from other sources soon.

Japanese Chicken-Scallion Rice Bowl
from Eating Well April/May 2005

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