Monthly Archives: March 2013

Black Bean Salsa-Stuffed Peppers

As I write this I’m staring at my big orange suitcase, affectionately known as The Pumpkin, which is 99% packed for my annual girls trip to Vegas.  It can’t come fast enough.  By this time tomorrow morning, the first day of Spring (applause!), I’ll be on a plane trying to keep myself busy enough for the 5 plus hours to go by quickly so I can start gambling, sunning, drinking, betting, and overall partying.  In preparation for the trip and any decadence coming my way, my friend and I endured a week-long cleanse last week, which I won’t bore you with, and I have been super-strict since.  These Black Bean Salsa Stuffed Peppers were made before the cleanse but they are healthy enough to have anytime you are watching your waistline.  I kind of wish I had them now.

Black beans are mixed with fresh tomato, serrano chile, cilantro, oregano and extra-virgin olive oil and spooned into bright, crisp peppers.  The recipe ends there, suggesting to enjoy these stuffed peppers as a cold plate or appetizer with some chips.  But I took it a step further and threw those bad boys in the oven with a little water, covered in foil, and baked them at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  How you choose to eat this is up to you but the cooked version made these feel more like a meal to me.  If you want to get even crazier, add a little ground meat with the beans or top them with a little cheese when baking.  This is a great dish for a vegetarian in your circle of peeps or just as-is for a healthy meal, cooked or not.

I won’t have another post this week due to my little vacay but I’m hoping to have some photos to share via Instagram here.  In the meantime, Happy Spring!

DSC04301

The ingredients:

DSC04297

In a medium bowl, combine the black beans, tomato, onion, chile, cilantro and oregano. Stir in the EVOO; season with salt.

DSC04299

Slice off the top third of each bell pepper. Discard the stems and finely chop the remaining flesh from the tops; add to the bean mixture. Keeping the bell pepper bowls intact, discard the ribs and seeds.  Place the bell pepper bowls on a platter (trim a bit off the bottom if they’re wobbly) and fill with the bean mixture. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired, or bake at 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

DSC04302

Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Red onion

Substitutions:

  •  Jalapeño pepper

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

Spinach and Parmesan Soufflés

As I mentioned the other day, I’m a big breakfast fan and will eat it for any meal.  Eggs are one of my favorite foods to make but I’m usually either a simple fried egg or scrambled egg girl (I’ve only recently started eating runny yolks).  So when I come across a recipe like this one for Spinach and Parmesan Soufflés, I get a little excited to make something new, something that might become another breakfast favorite in my book.  Soufflés seem intimidating but I was up to the challenge.  And I was prepared to eat these whether they were puffy or floppy.

Spinach is mixed with thickened milk, cheese, and egg yolks before being gently combined with whipped egg whites.  Once baked until golden brown, they become puffy and are a true picture (although I didn’t take the picture right away and they had deflated by the time I was ready to snap…boo).  The result is a light, healthy, nutritious breakfast sure to impress everyone.  Don’t like spinach?  Swap it out for broccoli or green peppers.  Serve this with some toast, a little fruit or as a complement to any meat.  And don’t be afraid of or intimidated by soufflés.  They really aren’t hard and even if they lose their puff, they’re still good.

DSC04237

The ingredients:

DSC04227

Place a baking sheet in the oven. Preheat oven to 425°F.  Coat 4 (6-ounce) ramekins with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with breadcrumbs, tilting and turning dishes to coat sides completely.  Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add spinach; cook for 2 minutes or until spinach wilts, tossing constantly. Place spinach in a colander; let stand 5 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid from spinach. Coarsely chop spinach.

DSC04228

DSC04229

Combine 2/3 cup milk and the next 4 ingredients (through black pepper) in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Cook for 2 minutes or until mixture is thick and bubbly, stirring constantly. Spoon mixture into a large bowl, and let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in spinach, cheese, and egg yolks.

DSC04231

Combine egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl, and let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes. Beat with a mixer at high speed until medium peaks form (do not overbeat). Gently stir one-fourth of egg whites into spinach mixture, and gently fold in the remaining egg whites.

DSC04233

DSC04234

Gently spoon mixture into prepared dishes. Sharply tap dishes 2 or 3 times on counter to level. Place dishes on preheated baking sheet; return baking sheet to 425° oven. Immediately reduce oven temperature to 350°; bake soufflés at 350° for 21 minutes or until puffy and golden brown.

DSC04235

Serve immediately.

DSC04236

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Healthy Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

I’m so so sorry I’ve been slacking on the posts lately.  I can’t really explain why other than my brain has been focused on so many other things lately – work, travel, fashion, reading, home decor and catching up on old episodes of House.  I promise I’ll try to do better!  I can’t even tell you what I’ve been eating lately because I haven’t been cooking much.  Lots of eggs and toast, I guess.  When I have no food in my house and no imagination to come up with something creative, my go-to dinner is an egg sandwich.  I’m one of those people who loves breakfast foods and could eat breakfast at any meal of the day without being embarrassed by it.  Eggs are usually what I reach for when I have time to make a nice breakfast but after realizing I had some buttermilk about to expire, I dug into my recipe book, searched and found these Healthy Whole-Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes.  I had everything I needed already to make these so this was a perfect dish for a slow Sunday morning.

With equal parts whole-wheat and all-purpose flour, these pancakes are mixed together with low-fat buttermilk and eggs to become light and fluffy.  These aren’t jazzy or exciting pancakes but with a little butter and syrup, these are the kind of pancakes that remind me of Sundays as a kid.  They are perfect for a cozy weekend morning at home with the paper and hot cup of coffee.  If you’re feeling nutty, add a dash of cinnamon to the batter or top it with fruit and powdered sugar.  The nice thing about these simple pancakes are in fact their simplicity.  And a great way to use up your leftover buttermilk.

DSC04316

The ingredients:

DSC04310

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine buttermilk, oil, egg, and egg white, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

DSC04311

DSC04312

Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Turn pancakes over when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked.

DSC04313

DSC04314

Serve with syrup and butter.

DSC04316

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:  None

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Sweet Chili Rolls

Have you had one of those weekends where you either have too much to do or don’t feel well enough to do anything at all?  That was me this weekend.  After taking Friday off and laying in bed all day because the pesky cold virus that was threatening me most of the week final showed it’s ugly face, I still didn’t feel up to much the rest of the weekend.  When you have a food blog and do almost all of your cooking on the weekends though, this doesn’t make things easy when all you want to do it lay in bed.  So thank goodness for the slow cooker.  Normally, I don’t have the patience to wait for food to cook in a slow cooker.  But when every physical activity becomes exhausting and all you want to do is rest, the slow cooker is a life saver.  And these Sweet Chili Rolls were worth the wait.

Ground turkey is mixed with a blend of water, pinto beans, ketchup, dijon mustard, garlic and chili powder in the slow cooker and cooked low and slow for 6 hours.  The result is healthier version of a sloppy joe which is topped with cheese.  I love the addition of the pinto beans here because the slow cooking process make the turkey meat tender and texturally perfect with the beans which also provides a boost of fiber.  I substituted some of the chili powder with chipotle chili powder to add a little kick so consider adding in additional spices if you choose.  I really don’t think you can go wrong here with other flavors like dry mustard or smoked paprika also.  Whether you have a lot to and have no time to cook or just need keep your feet up instead of standing in the kitchen, these sandwiches are a happy no-brainer.

20130225-131852.jpg

The ingredients:

DSC04317

Blend chili powder, sugar and cornstarch in a bowl. Add ketchup and mustard and stir to combine.

DSC04318

Pour ketchup mixture into slow cooker and stir in 1 cup water, beans, onion and garlic. Crumble in half the turkey and gently stir to combine. Repeat with remaining turkey.

DSC04319

DSC04320

Cover and slow cook on HIGH for 6 hours or on LOW for 8 hours.

DSC04321

Uncover and add salt. Spoon 1/2 cup of the mixture onto a roll. Top with 2 tbsp shredded cheese.

20130225-131802.jpg

Additions:  None

Omissions:

  • Vidalia onion

Substitutions:

  • Chipotle chili powder

Overall Rating:  Love It

Source:  Family Circle Magazine

%d bloggers like this: