Thursday, September 25, 2014

Watermelon and Cherry Tomato Salad

Hi! It's been a while. I have been doing a lot of cooking but just have not found any time to put the recipes back on the blog. I'm back on my cleanse/diet which I was on a few years ago so mainly lean proteins and fruits and veggies. No grains really and no dairy. So the next few recipes I post may lean towards that a little. However, I'll be off it in a week and will just go back to dairy-free, gluten-free although I will still try to stick to lower sugar. Speaking of which I read the other day women should only have 24g of added sugar maximum a day (not including natural sugars in fruits etc). That's crazy considering just my "healthy" granola ceral has 9g in each serving! So although it will be hard, I think a lower sugar diet is probably worth it in the long run.

Sorry getting sidetracked- this watermelon and cherry tomato salad was great when all of that was in season this summer and depending on where you are some of it still might be (my cherry tomato porch plant is still going nuts) but if not just keep this one bookmarked for next summer! it's super easy, it sounds super strange but the flavors go together great!

  • handful of fresh basil
  • handful of cherry or grape tomatoes
  • about 3 cups of cubed watermelon
  • 1/4 cup of white balsamic vinegar

  1. If you're watermelon isn't cubed already, try to chop it into 1" chunks. The smaller the easier to eat but it all depends on how much effort you feel like putting in.
  2. Wash your basil then slice it into thin ribbons. If you've never chopped up fresh greens before the easiest way is to squish it into a little ball then slice it with your knife (careful of fingers!)
  3.  Cut your cherry or grape tomatoes in half. I learned an awesome trick for this!! I saw it on a youtube video and maybe you have to but you turn a plate upside down, pile your cherry tomatoes on top, then put another plate on top, so the cherry tomatoes are held between the bottoms of both plates. Push down on the top plate to hold tomatoes in place (but not so hard you squish the tomatoes!) then take a serrated knife and cut through the middle of the tomatoes. Remove the top plate and voila, perfectly halved tomatoes (this also works on grapes for chicken salad etc). 
  4.  Add all your ingredients to a bowl then toss well before serving (I like this salad best the second day as the vinegar has had some time to really soak in)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Slow Cooker Mexican Quinoa

I made this recipe yesterday and loved that it was so easy and not time consuming. I threw the ingredients in the crockpot before I left for work, set the timer, came home added the quinoa and an hour later I had dinner. It's also a super versatile recipe and I've seen similar things out there just with little additions or changes to ingredients so feel free to have fun with it. If you don't want this to be vegetarian/vegan you could definitely add some chicken or ground beef to it. I plan on trying that next time as well. I just put my entire crock pot in the fridge and will have leftovers for days.

  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (undrained)
  • 14.5 oz can black beans (drain and rinse)
  • 1 cup broth (chicken or veggie depending on your diet)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • *1 chopped jalapeno (omit if you don't want it spicy)
  • 1 cup of quinoa (rinsed)
  1. Add all ingredients except for quinoa to the crockpot. Cook on low for  anywhere between 5-10 hours.
  2.  Turn crockpot to high and add in quinoa and stir. Cook for an additional hour on high. 
  3. When you see white rings around the quinoa you know it's ready. Add any extra spices or salt and pepper and stir in before serving (I added in a couple tablespoons of smoky chipotle sauce). 
  4. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Crock pot Potato Soup (gf/df)

I love crock pot stuff. It's so easy. Pile it all in, turn it on and leave it, come home from work to dinner. And it's cheaper than going out. Here's a fall recipe- potato soup. This makes a lot of potato soup because I like to freeze the leftovers for crazy nights that way even though we only have enough time to microwave something its still something homemade :)

  • 8-10 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 7-8 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped and peeled carrots 
  • 8 cups chicken stock (Or broth I'm not picky)
  • 1 tablespoon salt (I make my own chicken stock so I use a little more salt, if your broth has salt in it you may want to reduce this)
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder.
  • 1/4 cups flour (I used gluten-free )
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk 
  1.  In a crockpot, combine potatoes, celery, onion, and carrots. Cover with chicken broth and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder.   
  2.  Set on low 8-10 hours, or high 5 hours.  
  3. Once finished cooking, combine milk and flour in a small bowl until fully combined and pour into soup. Mix gently and allow to cook for 15-20 minutes longer on low.
  4. I like my potato soup less chunky (and I don't do a very good job chopping my veggies) so I take half of the soup out and put it in a blender and blend it for a couple seconds. then I use a potato masher or fork to slightly mash what's left in the crock pot then add back in what I put in the blender. Quick way to make "creamier" soup.  

Monday, October 7, 2013

Roasted Potato Slices with Smoky Dip

This recipe is easier than it seems (or maybe it just seemed complicated to me because there was a dip involved and I was thinking "ain't nobody got time for that!" but then I did...) and it turned out so good! Like always, I modified the recipe a little bit which is the one listed below! We ate these with dinner but they'd be a really good snack or party appetizer too! This recipe serves 3 people as a side dish. 

  • 4 medium potatoes
  • 1/3 cup of sour cream (I used vegan sour cream)
  • 1/3 cup of mayo (I used light mayo)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 sprinkles of salt (yes this is my new measuring system for spices haha)
  • 2 sprinkles of pepper
  •  teeny-tiny sprinkle of cayenne pepper (if you want them a little spicy)
  • sprinkle of cumin*
  • sprinkle of chili powder*
  • sprinkle of garlic powder*
  • sprinkle of onion powder*
  • Sprinkle of paprika*
potato slices pre-roasting
*if you don't have one of these its not the end of the world you should still make your dip, it'll still be really good, I promise
Steps for Potato Slices
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Wash and scrub potatoes
  3. Slice potatoes into 1/4" slices (don't get anal about this, noone really cares that much)
  4. Put slices in a bowl, drizzle olive oil on top then add salt and pepper and cayenne pepper
  5. Mix it all together with your (well-washed) hands making sure each slice is coated in oil
  6. Lay slices on a roasting pan (I had to use two pans and covered them in foil for easy cleanup) making sure slices don't overlap (this is really important if you don't want them soggy)
  7. Roast for 15 minutes then turn pan around in oven and roast for 10 more minutes (no need to flip slices)
  8. Some slices might get burned and some slices will be perfect, that's life but I like the burned ones, if you don't have a person in your house who likes the burned things, you should get one ASAP it makes you feel better about burning thing. 
Steps for Smoky Dip
  1. Combine sour cream, mayo, cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder, mix well and store in fridge until potato slices are done.

Easy Applesauce (crockpot)

The boy and I went apple picking a couple weekends ago and since then I have been making apple everything (lots of the recipes will be on this site). Apple cake, apple muffins, apple sauce, apple butter. Here is the easiest, tastiest homemade applesauce I've made and I've tried out three different ones.
apples in crockpot

  •  3-5 apples, cut up (about 1 inch chunks or larger if you plan on blending the applesauce). Peel the apples if you don't plan on blending because the peels can be a weird texture. If you blend the applesauce after cooking the peels won't be an issues.
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1-2 tablespoons of agave or honey (if you want it sweetened)
  1. Place all ingredients in crockpot
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours (if you cook it on high add 1/2 cup water)
  3. Put in blender and blend or just leave it if you like chunkier apple sauce

Lemon-Pepper Oven Baked PorkChops

So I have been trying to figure out how to make pork chops for a very long time. Yes you can shake n bake them or pan fry them or even bake them but mine always turn out rubbery and tough. Bleck. However the other day the boy came home from dinner at a friend's house and started bragging about the pork chops his friend made. The secret? Wrap them in tinfoil when you bake them in the oven! Weird but I tried it last night and success, they were so tender and the lemon-pepper wasn't overly strong at all like it sometimes is with chicken.

  • 2 pork chops (preferably with the bone)
  • roll of tinfoil
  • lemon pepper
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • butter (or olive oil, or vegan butter)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Tear off 2 large chunks of tinfoil (enough to wrap up each chop completely)
  3. Place 1 tbsp butter (or in my case vegan butter) in center of tinfoil
  4. On a seperate plate generously sprinkle both sides of your pork chops in lemon pepper
  5. Place chops on top of butter in tinfoil
  6. Put 1 tbsp butter on top of chop
  7. Put 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce on top of chop as well
  8. Wrap up tightly in foil
  9. Cook in oven for 35 minutes!
  10. Enjoy!

Apple Crisp Muffins (GF/DF)

After two batches of applesauce, 1 batch of dried apple rings, and 1 apple cake I still had leftover apples from our visit to the orchard!! So I decided to make apple muffins :) The crisp topping on these is what made them stand out. I didn't come up with this recipe at all, but I did substitute gluten-free flour mix and earthbalance vegan butter for the butter in it and the muffins still turned out delicious! However I did end up baking them for like 15 minutes longer than the recipe calls for not sure if it was my oven or what but it might be something that's good to know!