Since the last time I’ve written, so many things have happened in my life and throughout the world. Isn’t that always the case? Life is never stagnate. That can be a good thing and it can be a scary thing … Continue reading
Every week I compile recipes and ideas so that I have a guide, a dinner road map, if you will. Also, I try to create dinners that can turn into lunch for me throughout the week. Last week I got a little sidelined. We had a friend in town, which is always a great thing, and then I got sick, which is always a horrible thing. I take getting sick to a new level. When I get sick, I am down and out for the count. Here is what I made last week before I got sick. My recipe makes about 4 servings, and I love this because it’s so easy to throw a couple in the microwave during the week for a quick-lunch or dinner. The original recipe is from Food and Wine, http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/stuffed-peppers-with-thai-curry-rice-and-mushrooms. I made some changes based on my likes. In the original recipe, it directs one to steam the peppers. In recipes like this, I prefer my peppers to not be soft. If you prefer softer peppers, see the original recipe.
Stuffed Peppers with Thai Curry Farro and Mushrooms
6 large red bell peppers, halved with cores and stems removed
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
2 medium shallots, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup farro
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste (NOT red curry sauce)
1 tablespoon of sambak olek (if you like more or less heat, adjust accordingly)
1 pound mushrooms, chopped (any kind you like works in this recipe)
4 cups spinach
1/4 cup basil, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cook farro according to the directions on the bag, but replace the liquid with unsweetened coconut milk and chicken stock. Once farro is cooked, remove from heat and set aside.
- In a stock pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic, and continue stirring until they soften, and do not let them become too browned. Add ginger, red curry paste, and sambak olek, and stir for about a minute just for the flavors to blend. Add the chopped mushrooms and stir a few times until the mushrooms soften, approximately 5 minutes. Once the mushrooms have softened, add the spinach and stir until the spinach has wilted. This will happen quickly, so keep an eye on it.
- Remove the mushroom-spinach mixture from the heat and add the farro, basil, salt and pepper. Stir until combined, and fill each red pepper half with the mixture.
- Place peppers in a baking dish that is lined with parchment (I love using parchment whenever I can. It ensures there is no sticking, and makes cleaning even easier.). Cover with foil or place a cover over the dish, and bake in the oven for approximately 40-45 minutes.
The recipes for this week in the Kopp household include:
- Crazy Monday night!!! We never eat out on a Monday! Franz had the night off, so we decided to finally go to Steak Night at Small Bar (http://smallbarsd.com/). This was so exciting! It starts at 5pm on Mondays. You get a 3/4 pound rib eye steak, potatoes roasted in duck fat, a side salad with blue cheese dressing, and a pint of beer for $15!!! It was so tasty and so inexpensive! I highly recommend it! Once they sell out, they are out!
- Roasted Cauliflower with Cranberries (http://www.bhg.com/recipe/roasted-cauliflower-with-cranberries/): I always have leftover fresh cranberries in my freezer from the Holidays. I LOVE this recipe!! This could easily be served with a pork tenderloin, sautéed chicken breasts, or even thrown in a bowl of whole wheat pasta for a vegetarian option.
- Cream of Parsnip Soup (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/cream-parsnip-soup *** See my notes!): I have been making this recipe since 2007. Whenever I eat parsnips, I immediately think about my husband’s grandfather. We would eat parsnips from his garden way back when Franz and I were dating. It was the first time I had ever tried one, and I have been hooked ever since. He was a very wise man. ***In this recipe, I remove the butter and just use olive oil or grapeseed oil. I cut back on the amount of onion, and I use only about half of a large onion. The recipe calls for 3 1/2 cups parsnip. That’s hard to eye-ball, so I always go with about a pound of parsnips (I usually go a little over considering the stems and peels are discarded.). Lastly, I remove the half-and-half from the recipe. It is not needed. If you want it, you could even do less than the recommended amount.
- I have a big container or spinach that I need to use, so one night will be sautéed chicken breasts with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, and sweet onions.
I hope you give these recipes a try, and if you live around the San Diego area, try out Steak Night at Small Bar! Have a great week, and enjoy the Holiday weekend!
Take Care and Happy Eating!
OK, so my title is a little misleading. Let me start at the beginning. Melissa’s (http://www.melissas.com/) offered another challenge to the San Diego Food Bloggers. The timing was a little tough due to the craziness of the Holidays, and Melissa’s pushed our creativity to the next level. We had to use all of the ingredients and create two recipes: one savory and one sweet. I was on board. I can’t thank Melissa’s enough for giving us the opportunity once again. I received my complimentary box of goodies containing a one pound bag of Mandarin oranges, two Korean pears, bag of Baby Dutch Potatoes, steamed chestnuts, steamed baby potatoes, steamed beets, peeled and steamed baby potatoes, seedless grapes, and a cookbook all about Baby Dutch Potatoes.
I gave myself a few days to figure out the direction I wanted to go with all of the items. I browsed the cookbook I received. I had some ideas, and then my wallet was stolen. Aargh. I am still talking with different companies and the police, so my creativity took a little hit. I felt like grabbing a burrito at La Posta (http://www.yelp.com/biz/la-posta-de-acapulcos-san-diego-2) and a growler from Societe Brewing Company (http://societebrewing.com/) instead of cooking and writing.
I started with dessert. I needed something sweet! I decided to make a Korean Pear and Grape Pie. I had eaten a Korean Pear before, but I had no idea how it would bake. This is where the “Don’t Try This At Home” comes into play. The pie tasted really good, but it looked like a wet mess. So sad. Korean Pears are unbelievably juicy. Maybe that was where I went wrong. Maybe I needed to add more flour to the fruit mix, or maybe I should have sautéed the pears to extract some of the liquid? Let me know your thoughts! The produce was delicious, and the pie was really tasty, it just should have held together better. I wish I had more time to try this again, but time was short. I’m making sure to put “Time” on my wish list to Santa!
Korean Pear and Grape Pie
For The Crust:
- 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup Canola Oil (You can substitute Vegetable Oil)
- 6 Tablespoons cold milk
For the Filling:
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, plus 2 teaspoons
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large Korean Pears, about 2 pounds total, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 pound seedless red grapes, halved
- 2 Tablespoons butter, diced
- 2 teaspoons milk
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. For the crust, sift together flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Combine oil and milk, but no need to mix, into a small bowl. Pour oil and milk into the flour mixture. Stir just until the dough comes together. DO NOT over mix!! Divide dough in half, and shape into 2 round balls. Roll dough between two sheets of wax paper to form 12 inch rounds. Transfer one disk to a 9.5 inch glass pie pan, removing and discarding the wax paper.
- Create the filling by mixing together the 1 1/4 cups sugar, flour, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add sliced pears and grapes, and toss until evenly coated.
- Fill bottom crust with fruit mixture and place diced butter on top. Cover with the remaining pastry round, discarding the wax paper. Crimp edges to form a seal. Create a vent on top either by scoring the pie or by creating a design. I opted for a Christmas Tree vent. Brush with milk and sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons of sugar. Bake for 1 hour and allow to cool for at least an additional hour. If the pie crust begins to darken too quickly, cover the edges with foil.
Once I made my sweet tooth happy, I, shockingly, was in a way better mood to cook! With the remaining ingredients I created an entrée and a side dish that is so easy to make any night of the week. I usually am not a fan of chestnuts, but I LOVE them in this recipe. And I love beets, but they can kind of be a pain if you buy them fresh. I felt like I was cheating by having the beets peeled and steamed for me! No grabbing surgical gloves to avoid the red stained hands! Awesome!
Seared Five-Spice Chicken with Chestnuts, Beets, and Spinach Roasting on the Open Fire (Well, not really, but I was listening to Christmas music while cooking, so it just sounds right.)
- 3 skin-less chicken breasts (You can easily increase this number. My Trader Joe’s chicken pack had 3 in it, and I didn’t feel like getting more.)
- Five-Spice powder, 1 teaspoon
- Dash of cayenne powder (I like a kick. If you don’t, don’t use it, or substitute paprika.)
- Dash of ground black pepper
- Peanut oil, total amount approximately 2 Tablespoon (You can easily swap this out for canola oil or olive oil or any oil that can take high heat. Do NOT use extra virgin olive oil.)
- Fresh orange juice, 4 Tablespoons
- Soy sauce, 2 teaspoons
- Rice vinegar, 1 Tablespoon
- Fresh spinach, 4 ounces (or a couple of large handfuls if you don’t have a scale)
- Mandarin oranges, 2 diced
- Sprinkle Five-Spice, cayenne, and black pepper on chicken breasts. Add about a tablespoon of peanut oil to a skillet and heat to medium-high. Once the pan is nice and hot, add chicken breasts. Once one side is seared, flip and sear the other side. Once seared, reduce the heat to about medium to medium-low. Cover the skillet with a piece of foil. I prefer foil over a lid because it allows steam to escape and the chicken breast maintains the sear. Continue cooking until the chicken is at least 165 degrees, approximately 20 minutes. I always cook mine a little longer just because I like chicken that way. And if you properly seared it, it will remain juicy (unless you let it cook for an hour;).
- Once chicken is fully cooked, remove from pan and keep warm. In the same skillet, add another tablespoon of peanut oil, orange juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar. Add chopped chestnuts and chopped beets. Stir all ingredients together, loosening the chicken bits on the bottom of the skillet. Increase temperature to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once a boil is reached, reduce heat and simmer for about 3 minutes. Add spinach and gently toss until the spinach is wilted.
- Place a nice amount of the chestnut mixture on a plate and top with a chicken breast. Serve with a side of Baby Mash Potatoes, and call it a night!
Ginger Baby Mash Potatoes (No red-heads were harmed in the making of this recipe.)
I love these Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes. The roast so nicely! I received the same potatoes from Melissa’s during the last challenge, and I couldn’t resist preparing them the same way, but I had to mix it up a little!
- Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes, 1 1/2 pounds
- Olive oil, approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons
- Melissa’s Peeled and Steamed Baby Potatoes, 17.6 ounces, rinsed
- Greek non-fat yogurt, 6 tablespoons
- Milk, 6 tablespoons
- Fresh ground ginger, 2 teaspoons (You can add more if you prefer a stronger ginger flavor.)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Rinse and dry the baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes. I halved the potatoes lengthwise, and place in a mixing bowl. Drizzle olive oil over them (about a Tablespoon or so), and sprinkled them with fresh ground pepper and some salt. This really is about what you like. As I mentioned in the previous post, I like a lot of pepper and not too much salt, so I would suggest eyeballing it. Just remember you can always add more after they have roasted, but you can’t take any away! Place them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover them with foil, place in a 425 degree pre-heated oven, and wait until they have softened. Ovens can vary, so check them after about 20 minutes. Once they are soft, remove the foil cover and place them back into the oven. Roast until they are the golden color you prefer. Make sure to flip and move the potatoes around once while they are browning. This step will take about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven. Once they are browned to your liking, set them aside to cool.
- Place peeled and steamed baby potatoes in a large mixing bowl. With a potato masher, roughly mash the potatoes, and add the yogurt, milk, ginger, salt and pepper. Once the Baby Dutch potatoes have cooled, break them down cutting them into smaller pieces. Add small pieces to the potato mash mix. With the potato masher, continue mashing the ingredients together. I left mine a little rustic (Or in non-fancy words, chunky.)
- Simply reheat the potatoes in a microwave until heated through.
This was another fun challenge, and I can’t thank Melissa’s enough for the ingredients provided. Even though I received free stuff, all opinions are all mine! I can’t wait to see what other Food Bloggers created with these items! And I look forward to using the cookbook, but that might have to wait until after Christmas!
In case I can’t write again before the Holidays, I hope everyone has a fun, safe, and memorable eating experiences! Looking forward to writing many more posts in 2015!
And check out what other Bloggers created:
Take Care and Happy Eating!
I was walking around the other day in 86 degree weather looking for new Winter clothes to buy. What the what??? It started getting
warm hot sweltering back in May, and I don’t feel a cool down coming anytime soon! The only glimpse of Fall I’ve seen is around 6am when I get out of bed and the floors feel cold. Like my favorite TV personality says, “That ain’t right!!!!” I love Turko. When it’s that hot, it’s hard to get into the cooking mood. Fortunately, there are some great options for eating out!
Recently, I was invited to Whole Foods La Jolla to check out the new menu at their casual Restaurant & Bar, Torrey Pints. Having a night away from the kitchen sounded pretty good! There is a full bar where you can either belly up with a great beer tap list, grab a large tables for big groups, or pick a small table for individuals or smaller parties, or grab food for carry out. They have live music and it’s open to the grocery store, so it has a very energetic feeling. You can go to the website (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/stores/lajolla) and find the events calendar to check on when musicians will be performing.
If you are in the mood for a movie night, I would recommend grabbing some appetizers and some drinks before heading over to La Jolla Village Cinemas (http://www.landmarktheatres.com/market/SanDiego/LaJollaVillageCinemas.htm). Entrées are served as well, but I felt like the vibe and menu lent itself more to smaller plates and beverages.
I must add that I was invited for a complimentary meal by Jennifer at Whole Foods, however my opinions are 100% my own.
If you aren’t in the mood to eat out, here is a recipe that works whether you live in a place that is 35 degrees or 86 degrees. I bought a Crock Pot about a year ago. Yep, it was the first one I’ve ever owned, and I ignore it. I don’t know why. When I use it, I love it. I need to use it more often.
Some Slow Cooker recipes are simply throwing ingredients into the cookware and letting it cook for several hours. This one requires a little prepping of the ingredients, but it is well worth the small amount of effort. The original recipe is from Cooking Light, but I’ve made a couple of changes. For the original recipe, go to: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/chicken-chickpea-tagine.
Chicken and Chickpea Stew
1 1/2 tablespoons Grapeseed oil
8 chicken thighs, skinned and deboned (about 1 pound or so)
1 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 cup unsalted chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1 cup chopped dried apricots
2 (15-ounce) cans organic chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle meaty side of chicken with black pepper. Add chicken to pan, meaty side down; cook 5 minutes or until well browned. Remove from pan (do not brown other side).
2. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 4 minutes. Add cumin and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper); cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add 1 teaspoon salt, stock, honey, and cinnamon, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring to a simmer. Carefully pour mixture into a 6-quart electric slow cooker. Stir in apricots and chickpeas. Arrange chicken, browned side up, on top of chickpea mixture. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours. Discard cinnamon stick. Sprinkle with cilantro; serve with lemon wedges.
I served the stew with Freekeh. Freekeh has an almost tea-like flavor, and it is a great source of protein and fiber. You could serve this with anything, really, in order to soak up all of the flavor: farro, quinoa, or even mashed potatoes. Hope you enjoy this dish as much as Franz and I did! (FYI, I found uncooked Freekeh at Sprouts (https://www.sprouts.com/) in San Diego. I had a hard time locating it, but I’m sure it will become more popular soon!
Also, I just received a box of complimentary goodies from Melissa’s (http://www.melissas.com/). I’ve been put to another challenge to create a recipe! I will post my creation, along with other San Diego Bloggers’, on November 18th. Make sure to check it out!
Take Care and Happy Eating!
My last post discussed FINALLY going to places that have been on “the list”. You know, that list of restaurants you make that you intend to visit in the near future? The one that keeps growing? The one where Juniper and Ivy was added to it before it even opened in March, but have yet to go? (Side note, I do have reservations there in a couple of weeks – FINALLY! I briefly digress.) That list that continues to grow, but you find yourself, once again, at Pizza Port in OB ordering another delicious pie and a pint? Please tell me you do so that you make me feel better.
I try very hard not to be that way with the dinners I make at home, but there is a particular comfort in making a dish that you know what you need, the steps you need to take, and that it will turn out to be a delicious meal while you watch Brian Williams deliver the news in yet another stunning tie. We love Brian Williams in my house. I won’t say who loves him the most. So back to the dinner recipes! With the heat San Diego has been experiencing, it has been hard to think of new and refreshing meals. Grilling or sautéing chicken (because I don’t want to leave the air-conditioned comfort of my house) and serving it over a salad is getting SO played.
I fell in love with this recipe that was emailed to me by Food and Wine. The recipe online is not complete for some reason, so the one below has my changes and additions. If you would like to see the original recipe, go to http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/tomato-and-peach-salad-with-crisp-tofu. It is so refreshing, and you can easily play around with the ingredient list if there’s something you want to add or delete. I would really hesitate from deleting any items. I ended up not using all of the dressing that I had made, so dinner for the following night was already on my mind.
First Night: Tomato and Peach Salad with Crisp Tofu
- 2 Serrano chiles, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup plus 6 tablespoons canola oil or grape seed oil
- 24 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained well and cubed
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 2 peaches, cut into wedges
- 2 cups arugula
- 1 cup basil leaves
- Put the serranos in a small heat proof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup of water to a boil with the vinegar, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour the brine over the serranos and let stand for 15 minutes, until cooled to room temperature. If you are not a huge fan of heat, you can easily omit this ingredient. However, the sweetness from the peaches and the peppery quality of the arugula tastes awesome with the candied Serrano. Another option, you could finely chopped the chiles and add them to the dressing in order to spread the “heat wealth”.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce, lime juice, ginger, mustard and 6 tablespoons of the oil. (Here is where you could add the chopped serrano, if you so desire.)
- In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the remaining 1/2 cup of oil until shimmering. Add the tofu, season with salt, and cook over moderate heat, turning, until crisp, 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate. (*Add only enough tofu to the pan so that it can properly brown. Add more oil if needed between batches.)
- Once the tofu has cooled, place the tofu in a large mixing bowl. Add the tomatoes, peaches, arugula, and basil. If you didn’t add the serranos to the dressing, add those in at this time. I added about half of the chiles. I like things spicy, but I want to taste my food as well! I also added some of the serrano brine. The amount of the Ginger Soy Dressing you can add really depends on you. I used about 2 Tablespoons. Gently mix all of the ingredients together. (*The amount of tofu I sautéed may be more than you will need. However, if you have leftovers, add it to a salad the next day for lunch:)
A week earlier I noticed, and clipped, a recipe in the local paper. I used that recipe as a springboard for the salad I made last night using the leftover dressing from the Tomato and Peach Salad with Crisp Tofu (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/sep/09/get-fresh-cool-ideas-cucumbers/).
Second Night: Megan’s Quick Chilled Shrimp, Cucumber and Soba Noodle Salad
- 6 ounces soba noodles
- 1 pound cooked shrimp (bought uncooked shrimp from Trader Joe’s and sautéed)
- 1½ cups sliced cucumbers
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup (or more) mint
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 3 to 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- sliced serranos left over from the previous evening’s dinner
- Left over dressing from previous evening’s dinner. I used about 2 Tablespoons of dressing, but you can add as much or as little as you like. My husband and I eat large portions, so the recipes above were enough for the 2 of us. If you are cooking for 1, I would still make these portions and then you have lunch for the next day or two.
- Cook soba noodles as directed on the package. If you are like me and buy your shrimp frozen and raw, cook shrimp, let them cool and add to a large salad bowl. If you buy them precooked, just go ahead and add them to the bowl as is. Add cooked and cooled noodles to the bowl. Add cucumbers, carrots, mint, cilantro, scallions, serranos (if you like a little heat), and as much dressing as you like. Mix all ingredients together.
On a final note, even though it feels like a nice Summer day in the Sahara Desert, Fall is quickly approaching. Ever since I became a coffee drinker, I haven’t been able to enjoy what used to be a favorite beverage of mine, Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks. It just tastes too sweet and fake. I had a free beverage coming my way, so I decided to try an Iced Pumpkin Spice Latte (Venti because it was free, of course.) but opted out of the 6 shots of flavor (Can you imagine???), and I requested just one flavor shot. Also, I requested non fat milk and an extra shot of espresso. Perfection. The only problem is that it was probably a $6 drink, so I will have to wait for another freebie before I order another one!
Enjoy the last few days of Summer! Take Care and Happy Eating!
How often do you cook dinner? I usually cook dinner 5 nights a week. That’s a lot of meals. As much as enjoy trying new recipes and making some up, I have those dishes that I always revisit throughout the year. As a kid, my mom’s favorite go-to meals were meatloaf, perch, spaghetti with jarred Ragu, and liver and onions. There was always a half-gallon of milk on the table, and it always had this orange plastic holder with a handle. Why? I’m not sure. Where did my Mom even get that thing? And where did it go?
My go-to meals are salmon (either seared or in cake form), big salads with a ton of stuff in it, good old pasta with a tomato sauce (and I admit, often it is Barilla), and some kind of grain salad, like wheat berry or Farro, with roasted veggies and chicken. But because I cook a lot of meals, I don’t want to get too repetitive, so I look everywhere for new ideas.
I made a meal the other night from an article in the San Diego Union Tribune (http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2014/Apr/08/Armenian-cookbook-vegan-eggplant-casserole/), and Franz claimed it is one of his favorites. It is so simple to make, it smells awesome, and it is delicious. This will be added to my “go-to” meals without a doubt. The creator of the recipe, Dikranouhi Kirazian, is a local San Diegan who just published Armenian Vegan: A Pure Vegan Cookbook with 200+Recipes Using No Animal Products. I might have come up with a sexier title, but if this recipe is a good example of the rest of her work, I will have to buy this one!
Eggplant Casserole (Any notes in parenthesis, highlighted and in italics are my notes or additions.)
Serves 2 to 4
2 large eggplants
Olive oil (for brushing eggplant)
Salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste (or any herbs you prefer that can withstand being broiled)
For the sauce
2 medium onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (I added more because I love garlic.)
1⁄4 cup olive oil
2 cups sliced mushrooms (I added more because I love mushrooms.)
2 bay leaves
1⁄2 teaspoon oregano
1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
15-ounce can diced tomatoes
8-ounce can tomato sauce (I had a 15 oz jar of tomato sauce from Trader Joe’s, so I added the whole thing. I like it a little saucy!)
Wash eggplant and cut into 1⁄2-inch-thick round slices. Place slices on a large tray, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder ( I had some Santa Maria seasoning that I wanted to use, so I sprinkled that on them.). Turn slices over and repeat on other side. Put under a broiler preheated to between 350 and 400 degrees (I put my oven to 425 degrees to achieve the necessary browning), and broil both sides until a light golden brown. When done, remove from oven and set aside.(I opted to slice each round in half after broiling. I figured it would be a little easier to eat.)
Prepare the sauce while eggplant is cooking: Chop onions and garlic and sauté for several minutes in small amount of olive oil; then add the rest of the olive oil, mushrooms and all other spices. Add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce, and stir frequently. Cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes, then turn off heat.
Prepare for baking: Pour several spoons of sauce on the bottom of an 11-by-7-inch or 9-by-9-inch casserole dish. Layer the bottom of casserole dish with eggplant slices. Spoon some of the sauce on this layer; then add new layers, spooning sauce over each. Be sure to keep some sauce to pour over top layer.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and bake casserole dish for 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot, as a main dish with rice or any pasta, and with a crunchy baguette. Can also be served cold as an appetizer. (I served this with Barilla’s Linguine.)
Sorry there are no photos. I didn’t take a picture because I didn’t realize how much I would love it, and the leftovers didn’t look very pretty. However, if you go to the UT link noted in the beginning, there is a beautiful photo!
I couldn’t leave you without one image. I found my childhood milk holder!
Take Care and Happy Eating!
Recently, I received an email from Barbara from Barbara Cooks (http://www.barbaracooks.com/) asking if the bloggers of San Diego might be interested in receiving a box of items from Melissa’s Produce (http://www.melissas.com/). The “Challenge” was to take what was delivered to you and create a delicious recipe. First, I love getting things shipped to me. I feel like it’s Christmas! Second, no surprise, I love food. Third, I love playing around with food to create something new. Fourth, I love knowing that a bunch of people out there have the same ingredients and will come up with very different recipes.
I’ve heard of Melissa’s Produce, but I didn’t know much about the company, which the owners, Joe and Sharon Hernandez, named after their daughter. It’s basically an online grocery store for very unique items. There’s everything from organic fruit baskets to organic blue agave syrup to Pinot Noir and Chestnut basket. Can’t find Armenian cucumbers at your grocery store or Farmers’ Market? Just go to Melissa’s Produce. There are a ton of recipes online created by their five Corporate Chefs. Say you bought quinoa at your grocery store and you don’t know how to cook it, or maybe you’ve cooked it a million times and you need a fresh idea for dinner. Just type in “quinoa” on the website’s recipe search engine, and several recipes are at your fingertips. Maybe Muscato Cashew Quinoa will strike your fancy. My only question, are you hiring, Melissa’s Produce???
I must admit that this service is pricey. Here’s what I received: Fava Beans (shelled, steamed, and ready to eat, 8.8 ounces), Baby Beets (peeled, steamed, and ready to eat, 8 ounces), Brussel Sprouts (10 ounces), Leeks (cleaned and sliced, 6 ounces), Red Quinoa (6 ounces), Dried Chanterelle (.5 ounces), Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes (1.5 pounds), and Ojai Pixie Tangerines (1 pound). I received smaller quantities than if I were to have ordered the items myself. I estimate the total amount for the portions I received to be around $40. For certain items, overnight shipping is required, so you can add almost $20 for the FedEx delivery. Everything I received was in perfect condition and tasted great.
My mom was visiting from Cleveland, Ohio when the shipment arrived. She was excited to see what was in the box and what I’d make with it. A few days after I received the box, I just started sautéing things. My Mom asked what my plan was, and I honestly wasn’t certain. It just kind of came together. We were talking, and I’d roast Brussels Spouts. We’d talk more, and I chopped Fava Beans. We’d talk some more, and I sautéed leeks and cook quinoa. Next thing I knew, I created Quinoa Stuffed Chicken with a Spicy Soy Orange Glaze and, as I call it, Mish Mosh Potato Salad.
For the potato salad, I halved the Baby Dutch Yellow Potatoes and put them, sliced side down, onto a baking sheet lined with parchment. I covered the sheet with foil and put them into the oven at around 400 degrees. Once the potatoes were soft, I removed the foil, flipped those bad Dutch Babies over and continued cooking them in the oven until they were nicely browned. I roasted the Brussel Sprouts in the oven at around 400 degrees, as well, until they were browned and softened slightly. Once I removed them from the oven, I did a rough chop on those lovely mini cabbages. I placed the potatoes and Brussel Sprouts in a large bowl and added the Red Beets which I roughly chopped, as well. I took walnut oil and balsamic vinegar, whisked it until it emulsified, and added it to the potato salad. I usually do a ratio of one part vinegar to two parts oil, but I must admit I don’t really measure. I added a little salt and pepper, too, and that was it!
Like I mentioned earlier, this was a “do whatever I felt like” kind of cooking day. I love sautéing leeks and garlic, so that’s where I started. First, I sautéed the leeks in olive oil over medium to medium high heat until the softened and were golden, probably around 6 minutes. I added a few garlic cloves I had chopped and continued cooking for about a minute. I added about 2 ounces of white wine (mainly because I felt like a glass of wine while I was cooking), and I raised the heat and cooked for a few minutes. Right about then, the house smelled amazing. I had cooked the quinoa in chicken stock earlier, so I added the leek mixture to the quinoa. Earlier, I had also reconstituted the Chanterelles. I simply boil water, add the mushrooms, turn off the heat, leave the lid on, and let them sit for 30 minutes or until they have softened. I rinse the mushrooms very well after. I chopped the Chanterelles and the Fava Beans, and I added them to the quinoa mixture. I added some ground pepper and salt, to taste. The amount of quinoa filling was enough for 8-10 chicken breasts. I didn’t realize just how much it would make, but I love leftovers!
I pounded the chicken and put as much filling as I could in each breast, approximately 1/2 a cup of filling for each. I folded the chicken breast so that the filling remained inside, and I tied the chicken with kitchen twine. I put the stuffed chicken into a baking dish coated with olive oil, covered, into the oven (around 375 degrees) for about an hour, or until it reached 165 degrees internally.
While the chicken cooked, I threw together a few items I had on hand for a sauce. In a bowl, I whisked together orange juice (about 1/2 cup), soy sauce (about 4 tablespoons), agave (4 Tablespoons), white vinegar (2 healthy Tablespoons), and a couple of Tablespoons of chile paste. If you like it really spicy or not very, this amount can be catered to your taste. After whisking to combine, I placed the mixture into a pan and brought it to a boil while continuing to whisk. Once it reached a boil, I reduced the temperature and I let it simmer for about 10 minutes. It will reduce slightly and thicken. I added the chicken breasts to the pan and continued cooking at a medium heat while basting the chicken with the sauce. At this point, the chicken is cooked, I just wanted to really infuse the chicken with the flavors of the sauce. I got the idea of doing an orange juice based sauce because of the tangerines in the shipment. I decided to simply eat the tangerines as a dessert. It was a perfect meal, if I do say so myself!
I can’t wait to read what other local bloggers created! What a fun idea! A huge “Thank You” goes out to Barbara and Melissa’s Produce!
Take Care and Happy Eating!
Here is the link to see all of the Bloggers who participated: An InLinkz Link-up
Another year, another great bake sale for the San Diego Food Bloggers. I participated last year, but I wasn’t there to see all of the action. This year I was able to watch it transpire. It was fun to see so many friends and random people filling grocery bags full of desserts. Awesome job!! I’m still waiting for the final amount raised for Share Our Strength‘s No Kid Hunger campaign. However, the sale isn’t officially over. You can still make a donation on-line. If we raise the most money, Duncan Hines will donate an additional $10,000 to our total! Atlanta has been winning this bake sale every year, and we, the San Diego Food Bloggers, would love to put an end to that streak! If you can, please go to http://join.strength.org/goto/SDFBBakeSale2013 and make a donation. Thank you so much for all of your help!!!
This year I opted to make Chocolate-Banana Whoopie Pies. Choosing what to make is a daunting challenge. I wanted to make something that would appeal to the most people, and something that can be consumed on the spot or in a couple of hours. Chocolate is always a big hit, and once I saw a preliminary menu of what other bakers were planning to bring, I made the decision to make Whoopie Pies. Sadly, I’d never made them before. I looked over various recipes, and decided upon one from Good Housekeeping, February 2012.
Here’s the recipe (any changes are noted with **):
Chocolate-Banana Whoopie Pies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 6 Tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
(** The recipe states to fill the sandwiches with marshmallow crème. You could do that, but that didn’t sound exciting to me. I found a recipe that I liked better which is below. Also, I made another batch of these that I didn’t sell. I added cinnamon to the batter, and I wish I had done that to the bake sale batches. I love cinnamon!)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. From bananas, mash enough for 1/2 cup; finely chop remaining, and reserve. (**I mashed 1 banana, and I chopped 1 to add to the filling.) In another medium bowl, mix mashed banana, sour cream, and vanilla.
- In a large bowl, with mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and sugar until well combined. Beat in egg until well blended, scraping bowl occasionally. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture alternately with sour cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until batter is smooth, scraping bowl occasionally. (**Don’t over mix! That’s probably the biggest mistake when baking.)
- Drop 1 rounded measuring teaspoon batter onto prepared sheets. Repeat with remaining batter, spacing 2 inches apart. With wet fingertips, flatten tops of balls to form rounds. (**I tried making rounds with a 1/4 measuring cup, and I baked for about 10 minutes. I got about 7.5 cookies (sandwiches) out of it. They were really large, especially when you consider it is 2 cookies and filling. It made my belly kind of hurt after eating one. The next batch I used a tablespoon of batter, and I cooked them for about 8 minutes. I was able to get 15 sandwiches out of the batter. It was a much more reasonable size, and it is that size I sold at the bake sale.)
Banana Crème Filling
- 1 cup solid vegetable shortening (**I used Spectrum Organic All Vegetable Shortening Non-hydrogenated.)
- 1.5 cup powdered sugar
- 2 cups marshmallow crème
- 1.5 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 chopped banana
- Whip first 4 ingredients together. Fold chopped banana into filling. Fill sandwiches with as little or as much as you like, or just eat by the spoonful. It’s all good. I preferred the pies after they had been refrigerated. In general, I would suggest to keep the pies refrigerated.
On another note, it was my brother’s birthday on Monday. Brian turned 50 on Monday. A HUGE “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!’ goes out to him. Even though a few miles are between us, I’m thinking of you!! I hope this is a great year for you, Brian. The photo below is from my dad’s 80th birthday last year. I picked the photo below for 2 reasons: 1) Brian was looking quite dapper and 2) for all of the special people present in the photo. The best birthday wish is to be surrounded by people you love.
Take Care and Happy Eating (and Please Consider Making a Donation)!
I love food trends. It’s fun to see what people create with the hot item of the season, or the month, or the minute. I over indulged one weekend in New York City when pork belly was all the rage. Bad idea. My husband and I couldn’t even look at pork belly for about a month. Then there was the ramp craze. That wasn’t a big hit with me. It was just ok. Then kale got the spotlight. It was (and seems to still be) everywhere! Is kale even cool anymore? I will never tire of it. Of course you could swap it out for turnip greens or Swiss chard, but I still really enjoy kale. And there are many types to choose. Check out this blogger who documents 6 kinds: http://www.pigandvine.com/2013/01/garden-6-kinds-of-kale.html
Top Ten Reasons to Eat Kale
- It goes with anything! Just Google recipes for kale, and you will find a combination you like. Say you don’t eat veggies often (a la Ron Swanson), add some quinoa and some grilled chicken. You prefer sweet entrees? Make a nice vinaigrette, add some strawberries, maybe throw in some sautéed shrimp, and dinner is served.
- It is super filling. It’s like eating a bowl of rice. It seems to really expand, and yet I’ve never felt uncomfortably full.
- Talk about healthy!? It’s one of the healthiest foods on the planet! It has a ton of fiber, calcium, vitamin B6, A and K, magnesium, etc., etc. However, I have read that too much kale may interact with some medications and can interfere with the absorption of calcium, so have that milkshake from Jack in the Box another time, and speak with your doctor about drug interactions. I even think you get health benefits for just reading about it! So well done. You’ve just increased your magnesium!
- You can eat kale, and then feel ok about that Jack in the Box milkshake you will gulp down later!
- It’s really tasty, and you feel good eating it. You know when you donate to a worthy cause or finish a charity run? That’s how I feel after eating a bowl of kale.
- It doesn’t have to be 100% healthy. Go ahead, throw a pork belly on it. It won’t judge you.
- You can bake them and eat them like potato chips! Or you can have someone else do the work for you. Thanks, Trader Joe’s!
- I think it keeps one regular. Just being honest.
- You can try growing it and talk about it at farmers’ markets so you sound really cool.
- It’s so pretty! You can use it in a floral or table arrangement!
I had lunch the other weekend at Mon Ami Gabi at Paris Las Vegas. My husband had a delicious steak, and I thought it was very reasonably priced for Vegas. I ordered the Frisee, Kale, and Warm Bacon Salad with a Soft Poached Egg. Divine. Again, it doesn’t always have to be healthy! However, I’m in love with a recipe that doesn’t clog the arteries. I discovered this recipe in Good Housekeeping (April 2013). It’s a Dr. Oz recipe (and I now love him because through his show I discovered the cleanse I did last month), and I think it’s a great one for people who already love kale and for those who are not so sure about it. Another option with this recipe is to blanch the kale first or add the quinoa hot if you are not crazy about eating kale raw. I’ve read that it is even healthier to eat kale cooked. You have so many options with this simple recipe!
Apple and Baby Kale Salad
- 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained (*see note below)
- 1 lemon
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I used avocado oil just because I like to mix it up every so often.)
- 1 medium Granny Smith apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 6 cups mixed baby kale (Or use any kind of kale you like. I like them all!)
Cook quinoa according to the directions on the package; let cool. (I didn’t let it cool that much. I just threw it in.)
Whisk together mustard, oil, lemon juice, green onion, and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Add apple, kale, and cooked quinoa; toss to combine. And, of course, it’s great topped with sriracha. Like I even need to mention that (insert eyes rolling).
Why do I love this particular recipe? First of all, I love the unexpected sweetness of the Granny Smith apples. Second, if you (or someone you know) think you might not like kale, it’s a great introduction. You could add more quinoa and not use as much kale. **You could replace the quinoa for something all together – you could add orzo! Why not? It would be like a pasta salad with some kale. Maybe throw in some blue cheese? OK, I’m just getting hungry now.
Even if kale has jumped the shark, I’m not letting this trend go anytime soon! What’s your favorite food trend? I’d love to hear about it! And if you head to Vegas anytime soon, check out Mon Ami Gabi. There’s a patio (no reservations accepted for that area) that is on the strip. Talk about a great day: A bottle of wine, steak, kale and watching the lovely people of Vegas walk by! What could be better?
Take Care and Happy Eating!
Hello! I’ve been gone from my blog for a bit. I had some difficult weeks, and it felt appropriate to just take a break. However, I found that I was nearing March, and I was still in a blah mood. And I don’t mean blah in a good way like Blind Lady Ale House (http://www.blindladyalehouse.com/), but blah in a sad rut kind of way. I needed to figure a way out of it.
A couple of months ago, I saw a commercial for a Dr. Oz show about a 30 day cleanse. I don’t believe in cleanses. I think the body, if you have a proper diet, naturally cleanses itself. Yeah liver! The ad was intriguing to me due to the number of days. I watch Dr. Oz every so often and he doesn’t seem to push fad diets, so I was curious how someone could, in a healthy way, cleanse for a month. The cleanse was created by Dr. Alejandro Junger, who attended medical school in Uruguay and completed 6 years of post-graduate training in NYC. His program removes certain things from one’s diet: dairy/eggs, gluten, processed sugar, soy, coffee/soda/alcohol, beef/pork, creamed vegetables, and peanuts. By removing these items, Junger claims you remove the products that feed bad bacteria in the body.
Here is Dr. Junger explaining how the detoxification process works:
Click here: Dr. Junger Discusses Good and Bad Bacteria
Here are the 10 Detox foods recommended:
1) Green leafy and cruciferous vegetables (a.k.a. the gassy veggies)
2) Fish, cold water preferred
3) Chicken, free range preferred
5) Apple cider vinegar
6) Lemon water
7) Herbal teas
8) Unsweetened coconut milk
9) Coconut oil
10) Plant based protein powder
Of course he has a book, and he has a program (http://www.cleanprogram.com/) you can buy for a whopping $425 where you get nutritional pills, online support, shake packets, etc. What interested me was the potential results: feeling better overall and more vibrant skin and hair. He claims that in 1 month you can lose up to 10 pounds and even your eyes will be whiter! I didn’t see any downside to his program. You can eat as much as you want on the program as long as it’s on the “approved” list. Why not give it a try? He has so many recipes listed on Dr. Oz’s site for each meal of the day. Super easy. I’m opting to forgo his $4oo+ system and do it on my own with his on-line suggestions and recipes.
My parents and brother were coming for a visit at the very end of February, so I decided I would eat out with them and go crazy for 3 days, and then on Monday, March 4th, begin the 30 day cleanse. I was very worried that going to places like Hodad’s (arguably the best hambugers in San Diego – not to mention amazing onion rings) and Extraordinary Desserts (hands down some of the best desserts you’ve ever had) would be hard. Also, I was nervous that giving up simple things, like having a cup of coffee with a piece of toast in the morning, might foil my detox plans, but I was willing to give it a try!
The detox plan suggested on Dr. Oz’s site has a different meal for every single day. I opted to pick a few recipes and make larger quantities, as opposed to making something different to eat every single time. Each week I will create a different set of meals.
Here was what I made for the first week:
Breakfasts: Switched between Berries and Green Shake and Favorite Green Shake
Lunch: Hummus Chicken with Brown Rice Pilaf (In addition, certain days I had leftovers from dinners I prepared.)
Dinners: Shepherd’s Pie, Quinoa Salad with Roasted Veggies, and Black Bean and Chipotle Bisque (and will make Asian Turkey Lettuce Wraps for dinner tonight)
The first 2-3 days were interesting. I thought I would be craving certain things, but I barely had an appetite. That’s very odd for me! I would eat, but I was eating much smaller amounts than normal. I’m not sure why. Also, I had a slight headache during this period. Dr. Junger suggests not to exercise for the first few days, and to slowly build up your exercise regimen. Well, I had boot camp on the third day, and I didn’t want to miss it. My head was pounding during that hour!
A lot of people are asking me how the cleanse is going. So far I really like it. I have lost 5 pounds since Monday, but I highly doubt that will continue. What I like is that I’m not thinking about food all the time. I think that’s why I wanted to take a break from writing as well. Don’t get me wrong! I love eating food, thinking about food and cooking – I really felt like I needed a time out. I can’t wait until April so I can go out and have a beer with my husband or a cocktail and dinner with friends. Again, I never believed in cleanses or diets, but so far The Clean Cleanse has been very interesting. I will continue, and I will keep all of you posted along the way. If you are on Instagram or Facebook, you can follow my daily journey that way, too!
Below are the recipes I’ve made suggested by Dr. Junger and his crew.
Berries + Greens Shakes
1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, etc.)
1 to 2 loosely-packed cups of spinach
2 cups coconut milk
1 tbsp coconut oil
2 heaping tbsp plant-based protein powder
Blend until smooth.
Favorite Green Shake
- 3 cups spinach
- 1 cup frozen blueberries (or raspberries, blackberries, mangoes, papaya, etc.)
- 1 tbsp flax oil
- 1 tbsp maca powder**
- 1 tbsp spirulina**
- 1 cup almond milk
- 2 heaping tbsp plant-based protein powder**
- 2 dates or a few drops of stevia to taste (I didn’t have either on hand, so I skipped this ingredient.)
Blend until smooth. (**I couldn’t find these ingredients on their own, so I opted for a dietary supplement that combined the two with other ingredients. I found Amazing Grass, Green Superfood, Raw Reserve at GNC. I use 1 Tablespoon in my shakes.)
Hummus Chicken Serves 2-3
- 2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (local and free-range)
- 2 lemons (1 sliced into rounds and 1 juiced) (**I just used the juice from the lemons, and did not slice into rounds to use as a topper.)
- 1/2 cup hummus (recipe below)
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs or 2 tablespoons dried
- Generous drizzle of balsamic vinegar
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat to 450°F. Blend all the hummus ingredients together in a food processor.
Place the chicken breasts in a small roasting pan, covering all exposed meat with the hummus (use a spoon or your hands, just make sure it’s layered quite thick, about 1/4”). Scrunch each lemon half in your hand and then loosely arrange them over the chicken with the rosemary sprigs, broken into smaller pieces. Serve with Brown Rice Pilaf**. (**I bought Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Medley. It’s a blend of Long Grain Brown Rice, Black Barley and Daikon Radish Seeds. It’s delicious.)
Asian Turkey Lettuce Wrap Serves 4
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 carrots, finely chopped or grated
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder
- 2 tbsp wheat-free Tamari
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp coconut nectar (******I haven’t found this ingredient anywhere!! If you know where I can buy it, please let me know!! Thanks!)
- 1 can water chestnuts, chopped
- 1 head Boston, bibb lettuce or endive
- Chopped cilantro
- 2 green onions, chopped
Melt coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add carrots and saute for several minutes.
Add garlic, ginger, turkey and Chinese 5 spice to the pan and saute until turkey is cooked through – about 3 to 5 minutes.
Add water chestnuts and cook for 3 more minutes. Stir in tamari, vinegar and nectar. Cook for a couple more minutes, stirring well to thoroughly combine.
Put one scoop of turkey mixture into lettuce leaves. Top with green onions and cilantro.
Dr. Oz Shepherd’s Pie Serves 2 (****This was a favorite! I served it to my family while they were visiting, and it got great lots of thumbs up!)
- 10 cups cauliflower florets, steamed soft
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp unrefined virgin coconut oil, divided (more or less if needed)
- 2 cups roughly chopped broccoli florets
- 1 small bok choy, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 8 oz poached chicken, diced
- Freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F degrees. Purée the cauliflower, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a blender until very smooth. set aside. In a medium pan sauté the broccoli for 2 minutes in 2 teaspoons of coconut oil, until lightly browned and starting to soften a bit. Transfer to a bowl and cook the bok choy for 2 minutes, in the same pan, adding a little more of the coconut oil if necessary, until starting to brown. Transfer bok choy to the bowl with the broccoli. Add the diced chicken, 2 cups of cauliflower purée, 1/2 teaspoon salt and freshly ground pepper and gently toss. Transfer mixture to a 4 cup baking dish, top with the remaining cauliflower purée and bake for 20 minutes until hot and bubble. If you like to brown the top a bit, broil for a few minutes after baking.
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Vegetables Serves 1-2
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 2 small zucchini, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, chopped (Oops, I didn’t add this. Ran out of space on the baking sheet!)
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- Enough oil to lightly cover vegetables
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 small yellow (summer) squash, chopped
- juice of one fresh lemon
Roast chopped vegetables in the oven at 300°F until tender. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a medium pot and then reduce the heat to a simmer and let cook for 10-12 minutes, or until water is absorbed and quinoa is fluffy. Toss everything together in a large serving dish. Serve warm or at room temperature with fresh lemon juice and sea salt to taste.
Black Bean and Chipotle Bisque Serves 4 (**I LOVE this recipe. Creamy and delicious!)
- 2 cups black beans, canned or dried (Note: If using non-canned beans, there is overnight soaking prep time. See directions below for both options)
- **I added a quart of Organic Chicken Stock instead of water to cook the beans. I opted for canned beans to save time.)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped roughly
- 1 large carrot, chopped roughly
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 tsp chipotle powder (**I didn’t use this. I didn’t feel like it was necessary.)
- Juice of 1-2 limes
- A few tbsp (possibly up to 1/4 cup, depending on taste) apple cider vinegar
- Sea salt to taste
- 2 scallions, minced (for garnish)
- Small handful of cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
Soaking Directions (if using non-canned beans)
To lessen the cooking time and to make the beans more digestable, it is ideal to soak the beans overnight in water with a strip of kelp. After about 8-12 hours, strain and rinse the beans. Drain well. If using canned beans, skip this step and proceed to cooking directions.
Make sure carrots and onions are chopped. In a large soup pot, melt 2 tablespoons coconut oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and carrots for about 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and keep stirring frequently, until fragrant. Stir in the dried spices and beans, allowing everything to cook for a few more minutes, continuing to stir often. Before the beans start to dry out, add enough water to completely cover them, and allow the water to come to a boil (**Here is where I used chicken stock. I used a quart. If you want it thinner, just add more stock or water.). Reduce heat to medium, cover and allow beans to simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir every so often. After 30 minutes check the beans for doneness (should be very tender). If the liquid is getting very low and the beans are not yet tender, add a bit more water to the pot, and continue to cook until the beans are soft. When they’re done, remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Add the tender beans (and whatever water is left), a little at a time, into a blender with the lime juice. Purée until you have a thick and creamy soup. Experiment with the flavor, adding a touch of apple cider vinegar to help balance out the flavors. Season with sea salt. Serve with fresh chopped cilantro and scallions (optional).
Have you ever done this cleanse or another one? I’m curious to hear people’s thoughts and stories! I’ll keep you posted throughout the month on my progress! Recipes for the Clean Cleanse can be found at http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/clean-program-30-day-meal-plan?fb_xd_fragment.
Take Care and Happy Eating!