Comments (0) | Thursday, January 27, 2011
Right off the bat, let's just get one thing straight...In no way shape or form is this recipe healthy. I mean I guess it is made of whole/real ingredients and not some powder full of corn derivatives. So it is better than those in a way, but it sure as heck isn't healthy. Not at all. Not even a smidge...BUT is is pretty darn amazing. We bought all the stuff for this meal for Christmas Eve night, but didn't make it. We had all the stuff sitting around for awhile till finally we got around to whipping up a glass. Oh My God! This stuff was amazing. It was so incredibly rich and so very tasty. The whipped cream was our favorite part. We will be using this whipped cream over and over and over again. Plus when it says it is spicy whipped cream...it means it! If you don't like spicy then you should probably omit the all or part of the cayenne and maybe even some of the red pepper flakes.
Mexican Hot Chocolate
Adapted from Babble
Makes 4-6 servings
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
4 c. milk
2 c. organic vanilla bean ice cream
3/4 c. sucanat
1 1/2 c. water
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3 t. vanilla extract
1 batch spicy dulce de leche whipped cream (recipe below)
1) Grate the chocolate with a fine grater or a microplane.
2) Heat a medium sauce pan on low. Add the milk, ice cream and sugar. Mix well until just before it simmers. Whisk in the grated chocolate. Keep whisking until it begins to melt and be incorporated. Whisk in the cinnamon vanilla and water. Heat until just before it simmers. Serve with spicy whipped cream.
Spicy Dulce de Leche Whipped Cream
1 c. heavy whipping cream
1/3 c. sucanat
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cayenne
1/4 t. red pepper flakes
1) About 1 hour to 30 minutes before you make the whipped cream freeze the bowl you plan to whip it in and the whisk.
2) In the cold bowl add the whipping cream and beat until it begins to form soft peaks. Slowly add the sucanat until it is well incorporated. Beat in the cinnamon and cayenne. Spoon or pipe onto hot chocolate and then top with red pepper flakes.
Comments (0) | Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Mitch Hedberg was a very hilarious comedian. He took some of the simplest jokes and made them amazing through his laid back delivery. One joke of Mitch Hedberg that comes to mind is when he was talking about how you have to "start a show strong and end the show strong. You can't be like pancakes. They are all exciting at first, but by the end your f*cking sick of them." Well Mitch...We can assure you that you won't be sick of these pancakes when you are done with them. They are not only delicious and easy to whip together, but they are packed with whole grains so you don't feel a huge carb crash after eating them.
Whole Wheat Pancakes
Adapted from Vegetarian Classics by Jeanne Lemlin
Makes 4 very generous servings
2 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c. evaporated cane juice or sucanat
2 1/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3 large eggs
2 1/4 c. milk
4 T. butter, melted and slightly cooled
vegetable oil spray or a non stick pan
1) Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. In a large bowl whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, evaporate cane juice, baking powder and salt.
2) Whisk eggs in a medium bowl. Add in milk and melted butter.
3) Pour the egg mixture in with the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
4) If you are not using a non stick pan spray pan with oil spray. Pour about 1/3 to 1/2 a cup on batter into the pan for each pancake depending on how large you like your pancakes.
5) Flip pancakes when bubbles begin to form in the top of the pancake and don't disappear after they have burst. Cook for another few minutes until both sides are nice and golden brown. Serve immediately with maple syrup and butter.
Comments (2) | Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Mexican food is serious comfort food around our house. We both grew up in areas with lots and lots of good Mexican food (Texas and Southern California). In fact the debate about what is better, Tex Mex or more authentic Mexican food, is a pretty common around our household. Jason being the Texan of course thinks Tex Mex is better while Cassie holds that authentic Mexican food beats out Tex Mex any day. We will probably never reach an agreement on this subject. One thing we do know is that we both love enchiladas and were very excited to find this healthy enchilada recipe that can be a made anytime rather than just waiting for a special occasion. Also the sauce from this recipe was wonderful. It will now be our go to recipe for enchilada sauce.
Kale and Pinto Bean Enchiladas
Adapted from Cate's World Kitchen
1 t. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large onion, chopped
1-2 jalapenos, with or without seeds, diced
1 t. cumin
2 small zucchinis, finely diced
1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
1 15 oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. cilantro, minced
1 recipe enchilada sauce, below
12 corn tortillas
1 c. grated jack cheese
salt and pepper
1) Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic, onion, and jalapeno. Cook for a few minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the cumin, zucchini and salt to taste. Cook for another 3 minutes and then add the kale. Stir until the kale has wilted.
2) Remove from heat and stir in the pinto beans, some black pepper, the cilantro, and a few spoon fulls of the enchilada sauce.
3) To assemble the enchiladas heat a small skillet over medium heat. Warm each tortilla in the skillet for about 30-60 seconds per side until soft and pliable. Fill the warmed tortilla with the kale and pinto bean mixture and then form into a roll. Place in a oven proof dish with a layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom. Repeat this step until you have 12 enchiladas. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and then sprinkle the cheese on top.
4) Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes until cheese is melted and begins to bubble. Serve warm.
1 large poblano pepper
2 T. vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can of whole fire roasted tomatoes and their juice.
1 t. agave nectar
1 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
1-2 t. lime juice
1) Cut the chili in half and place it cut side down in a pan. Place the chili under the broiler in your oven for about 10 minutes until the skin is charred and bubbly. Cover with cold water and soak for 15 minutes. Dice the chili finely.
2) Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the chili, onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes, stirring. When the onion has softened add the tomatoes, agave, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and salt and pepper to taste. Use a spoon to mash up the tomatoes as they soften. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
3) Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Using an immersion blender puree mixture until it is smooth. This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated. The sauce is best when it has sat for a few hours to let the flavors really meld.
Comments (0) | Friday, January 14, 2011
One of the things we are trying to do in 2011 is to shop our pantry before we plan meals and make a grocery list so we can use items we already have and avoid buying items that we didn't really need to begin with. When searching through our pantry this particular week we came across 1/2 a package of whole wheat macaroni and some frozen peas. We set to work thinking about what we could make with these and in our brains blossomed this idea for a pasta salad with chicken and peas. What resulted from this little idea was a great weeknight meal that was quick to throw together and very delicious.
Chicken, Pea and Pasta Salad
A Jason and Cassie Original
Makes 4 servings
8 oz. dried whole wheat pasta, preferably a small pasta like macaroni
5 oz. frozen peas
2 slices whole grain bread (we used sprouted multigrain bread
5 T. olive oil, divided
3 T. balsamic vinegar
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. basil
1/2-1 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs, baked and cubed.
Salt and pepper
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook till al dente. When the pasta is just done, throw the peas into the pot with the pasta. Let sit for about 30 seconds and then drain. Place in a large serving bowl.
2) Take slices of bread and cut into small cubes. Toss with 1 T. olive oil and salt and pepper. Line bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 5 minutes until golden and crunchy.
3) Meanwhile make the dressing by combining 4 T. of olive oil, the balsamic vinegar, oregano, basil, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Set aside. Let this sit together for at least 10 minutes so the flavors can combine.
4) In the bowl with the pasta and peas add the chicken, dressing and Parmesan cheese. Refrigerate until cool. This can be made ahead of time up to this point. The salad is actually better when it has sat together for a few hours. Just before serving toss the croutons in with the rest of the salad. Enjoy.
Comments (0) | Thursday, January 13, 2011
We have been having a serious cold front lately. Here in Denver we have had some snow, but on top of the snow we have had temperatures below 10 degrees the last few days. That is just bitter and it begs a person to have some serious comfort food. One of the best comfort foods on a cold day is soup and sandwiches. It is an easy meal and oh so warming and satisfying.
We had our tomato soup picked out so all we needed was a good sandwich recipe. While trying to decide we stumbled across a recipe in the January issue of Clean Eating Magazine. This recipe was stuck on 1/2 a tear out page filled with subscription cards. We only found it because we were intent on ripping it out of the magazine. Good thing we took a good look at it before we did because this sandwich was very yummy and so easy to make. Plus it was really healthy!
Grilled Turkey and Sun Dried Tomato Sandwiches
Adapted from the January Issue of Clean Eating Magazine
Makes 4 sandwiches
8 slices rye sprouted grain bread (We used Alvarado Street Bakery)
12 sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, patted dry and halved
2 oz. Jack cheese, thinly sliced
4 servings of low sodium turkey breast meat
1 1/2 c. arugula leaves, washed
1) Heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat.
2) While the skillet is heating assemble the sandwiches by taking 4 slices of bread. Place 6 sun-dried tomato halves on each slice of bread and cover with 1/2 an oz. of Jack cheese on each piece of bread. Layer 1 serving of turkey breast over each sandwich and then the arugula. Top with the remaining 4 slices of bread.
3) In the dry, heated skillet place 1 to 2 sandwiches (or however many you can fit) and cover with a lid. Let the sandwiches cook for about 2-4 minutes per side until the desired doneness of the bread. Flip over, cover and cook for another 2-4 minutes on the other side and the cheese has melted. Serve warm.
Comments (0) | Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Indian food is definitely a favorite in our household. We love the flavors involved and it is a great use to bring out a ton of spices and really just have some fun in the kitchen. One of our favorite Indian dishes is saag. The greens mixed with all the spices turns out a very creamy and flavorful meal that is very fulfilling and perfect for a cold night. You can make saag with almost any protein. Paneer, lamb, chicken, etc. It all goes well. Our favorite saag is with paneer (Indian cheese). Paneer can be a bit of a high calorie addition to the meal so we decided to give it a try with tofu instead of paneer. What resulted was a truly delicious and extremely healthy dish that will definitely be made in our household again.
Adapted from Chef In You
1 c. brown basmati rice
1 bunch chard or Mustard leaves
1 bunch spinach
5-10 parsley leaves (for freshness)
generous handful of fresh cilantro leaves
1-2 green chilis, with or without seeds depending on taste
2 T. canola oil, divided
1 onion, finely chopped
1 t. crushed garlic
1 t. crushed ginger
1 package firm tofu, well drained and cubed
1 t. garam masala
pinch of tumeric
1/2 t. corriander, ground
1/2 t. cumin
salt to taste
1) Rinse rice and prepare according to package directions.
2) Wash and roughly chop the chard and spinach. In a large pot steam the first four ingredients until wilted. Place all the wilted greens in a blender with the green chilis and puree until smooth. You can add a little water if the mixture is too thick to puree.
3) Meanwhile heat 1 T. oil in a medium skillet. Add tofu and cook for 5-10 minutes until it begins to brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
4) Add the remaining 1 T. of oil to the pan along with the onion, garlic, ginger and spices. Heat for 5 minutes until onions begin to soften. Add the tofu back to the pan and let cook for another 5 minutes. Add in the greens puree and bring to a boil. If the mixture is too watery you can add some corn starch to thicken it up. If it is too thick you can add some water. Salt to taste and serve warm over the basmati rice.
Comments (1) | Monday, January 3, 2011
This dish was incredibly simple, hearty, filling, inexpensive, healthy and delicious. In our opinion all of that adds up to a total winner in our book! We really enjoyed this stew and it was perfect for a cold winter week night.
Adapted from EatingWell.com
Makes 4 servings
1 c. quinoa, uncooked
15 oz. frozen edamame, thawed
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 zucchini, diced
2 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground coriander
1/2 t. cayenne pepper (or less if you don't like spicy food)
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1/4 c. cilantro, chopped
juice of 1 small lemon
1) Rinse quinoa and then prepare according to package directions.
2) Meanwhile fill a pot with water and the soy beans and bring to a boil. Cook for 4 or 5 minutes, drain and then set aside.
3) Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat and add the onions. Let cook for about 5 minutes then add the zucchini. Let cook for another 3 minutes until the onion begins to brown.
4) Add garlic, cumin, corriander, cayenne and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
5) Add the edamame to the tomato mixture and cook until it is heated through. It should only take a few more minutes. Stir in the cilantro and the lemon juice and serve over quinoa.