Sunday, April 9, 2017

Fajita Steak Salad

Oh my goodness, this salad was SO delicious!!!!! I know what some of you are thinking - yes, I am a vegetarian, so no, I did not eat the flank steak. But, my husband and son did and they just loved it - it smelled incredible. I actually marinated tofu for myself in the same steak marinade and baked it in the oven. I loved it!  The cilantro dressing is just flat out yummy. I hope you enjoy this salad as much as we all did!!

I found the recipe on the blog Damn Delicious. You must check this blog out - she has so many yummy recipes posted! 

Here is the recipe word for word from Damn Delicious:

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and thinly sliced

For the cilantro lime dressing

  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar <I only used 2 tsp>
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup <my own addition to balance out the tartness of the vinegar>

For the steak

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds flank steak <I also used firm tofu - read the intro above>

Directions:

  1. To make the cilantro lime dressing, combine cilantro, sour cream, mayonnaise, garlic, lime juice, maple syrup (if using), and salt in the bowl of a food processor. With the motor running, add olive oil and vinegar in a slow stream until emulsified; set aside.
  2. To make the steak, whisk together olive oil, garlic, lime juice, cumin, chili powder, oregano and onion powder in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine steak and marinade; marinate for at least 30 minutes, turning the bag occasionally. Drain the steak from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a grill pan over medium high heat. Working in batches, cook steak, flipping once, to preferred temperature, about 3-4 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove from heat and let rest for 10 minutes before thinly slicing against the grain.
  5. Add onion to the skillet, and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent and slightly caramelized, about 7-8 minutes; set aside.
  6. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the skillet. Add bell peppers, and cook, stirring often, until soft and slightly caramelized, about 8-10 minutes; set aside.
  7. To assemble the salad, place romaine lettuce in a large bowl; top with arranged rows of onion, peppers, steak and avocado.
  8. Serve immediately with cilantro lime dressing.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Stuffed Portobella Mushrooms with Spinach & Artichokes

 

 Ingredients:

  • 4 large portabello mushroom caps
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3-ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (about 4 ounces)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 cups firmly packed fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • 6 oz jar of marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 Tbl pine nuts, optional

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Wipe the mushrooms with a damp paper towel to clean off any dirt. Remove the stems. Use a spoon (I like to use a grapefruit spoon) to take out the black gills of the mushroom. Use your hands to rub oil onto the outside of the mushrooms.
  3. Heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat in a large pan. Add diced onions and sautee for 5-7 minutes. Add the chopped spinach and sautee for another 3 - 5 minutes, letting the spinach cook down. Stir the onions and spinach together. Remove from heat.
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix together softened cream cheese, sharp cheddar, dried basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Mix until combined. Add the slightly cooled onions and spinach; mix well. Divide cheese mixture between the prepared mushroom caps. Sprinkle 1 Tbl pine nuts, if using, on top of each mushroom.
  5. Place filled mushrooms in a baking pan. Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes. Enjoy with a side salad. 


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

One Pot Creamy Tomato Tortellini Soup



I've heard from a few friends recently that the Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Tortellini and Sun-dried Tomatoes I blogged a few weeks ago was a big hit with their families (as it is with mine!). So, I thought I'd look for another soup recipe with tortellini recipe to try.  I was inspired by the soup recipe I found on the blog Gal on a Mission. I added my own flare by putting a pear and some maple syrup.  I also blended mine bc my children like pureed soup opposed to chunky.

Click here for the Gal's original recipe.

And below is her recipe with my additions and slight changes.

This soup nicely serves a family of four. Serve with a crusty bread and a side salad. Enjoy!

Ingredients:
  • 1 medium onion diced or 1 cup
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 spring of fresh rosemary chopped or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 1 pear, chopped with skin, <my addition> 
  • 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tsp pure maple syrup <my addition>
  • 4 large fresh basil leaves or ½ teaspoon dried basil <I used about 10 fresh basil leaves>
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups chicken stock <I used veggie>
  • ½ cup heavy cream <I used half and half>
  • 20 ounces three-cheese tortellini
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese + extra for garnish
  • salt and pepper, to taste (optional)
  • fresh basil, to garnish
  • shredded parmesan cheese, to garnish
Instructions:
  1. Place the onion, garlic, and olive oil, fresh rosemary, and chopped pear (if using) in a 6-quart soup pot or dutch oven. Sautee over medium heat for 5 - 8 minutes or until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, pure maple syrup (if using), basil, salt, pepper, chicken stock, and heavy cream - stir to combine. Simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. This next step is mine because I wanted the soup to be creamy. (If you want your soup chunky, skip this step and go right to step 4). Place the soup mixture in a high speed blender (you may have to do this twice because there is a lot of soup!) with the lid insert removed to let steam escape. Place a clean towel over the lid insert to catch any soup that escapes while blending. Blend until creamy and smooth. Return soup to pot and bring to a simmer.
  4. Place the three-cheese tortellini into the soup and cook for 12-15 minutes or until the tortellini are tender and cooked through.
  5. Stir in the parmesan cheese.
  6. Serve and garnish with fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Polenta Stuffed Pizza Peppers

I'm often shocked when I try a recipe that is so easy to make and with so few ingredients, yet tastes so good!! I have to say, these pizza peppers are one of those recipes.  And if you follow my blog at all, you know I LOVE a stuffed pepper - I couldn't wait to give these a try!!! The amount of time it took to assemble these was ridiculously quick....I used pre-cooked tubed polenta which really helped.  Also, the fresh buffalo mozzerella and fresh Parm were so melt-y and salty and amazing when the peppers came out of the oven - yum!!
This is the perfect meal to make on a weekday night when you have little time to get dinner on the table. **If you want to add protein I think cooked, crumbled Italian chicken sausage would be delicious!

I found this recipe on the blog Vegetarian Ventures (which is AWESOME, btw)....here is her recipe word for word (this recipe makes enough for two adults): 
Ingredients:
  • 3 bell pepper, halved with seeds removed
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil + more for greasing
  • 9 oz pre-cooked polenta (half a normal size tube) or about 1½ cups homemade, cut into 6 even pieces
  • 1½ cups of your favorite tomato sauce <I always use Rao's>
  • 8 oz fresh mozzarella, divided into 6 equal chunks
  • Parmesan, for sprinkling
  • Dried oregano, for sprinkling
  • Salt / pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil, for serving
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch baking pan. Brush peppers with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool enough to handle.
  • Divide the polenta between the bell pepper halves and use a fork to break the polenta up. Pour ¼ cup tomato sauce into each bell pepper half and top with mozzarella. Sprinkle a healthy helping of Parmesan, oregano, salt, and pepper over the mozzarella.
  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cheese on top is browned and bubbling.
  • Remove from heat and sprinkle with fresh basil. Serve right away.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Margherita Pasta



I found this recipe on the blog Carlsbad Cravings. It was super creamy, full of flavor and just like the blog said, it all came together in about 25 minutes. My husband said it was the best new recipe I have tried in months!!! Your family will love this! I think you could add grilled chicken if you wanted some protein. Serve with a simple side salad and some good crusty bread.
 
Here is the recipe word from word from Carlsbad Cravings:
  • 1lb spaghetti or pasta of choice
  • 2tablespoons olive oil
  • 2tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 6 Roma tomatoes, choppeddivided
  • 4-6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2cups low sodium chicken broth <I used veggie broth>
  • 1 1/2cups milk
  • 2teaspoons chicken bouillon <I used veggie>
  • 1teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2tsp EACH dried oregano, dried basil, salt
  • 1/4tsp EACH pepper, red pepper flakes
  • 1/2cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2oz. cream cheese, softetned
  • 1/4cup loosely packed basil, chopped
  • Parmesan & chopped basil, for garnish
Instructions:
Cook pasta al dente according to package directions in generously salted water. Remove 1 cup pasta water before draining.  Set pasta aside.
 
Melt butter and olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Increase heat to medium and add onions and HALF of the tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes <I sauteed for more like 8 minutes>. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Sprinkle in flour and cook while stirring for 2 minutes (it will be thick).  
 
Turn heat to low then slowly whisk in chicken broth, then milk, stirring constantly until smooth. Turn heat to medium high and bring the sauce to a simmer. Stir in spices and boullion and continue to simmer until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. 
 
Reduce heat to low and stir in Parmesan cheese until melted, followed by mozzarella cheese until melted, followed by cream cheese until melted.  
 
Stir in remaining tomatoes and fresh basil. *Stir in pasta until well coated, adding additional reserved pasta water a little at a time if needed to reach desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes to taste. <*I found it easier to just place the pasta in the dish and then ladle the sauce over the top - even though I was using a giant pan if I had put all the pasta in the pan along with the sauce, it would have overflowed>
 
Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan Cheese and additional basil if desired.
 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Vegan Banana Smoothie Pancakes


My kids wanted pancakes this morning and we didn't have any eggs.....and this is why I love Pinterest so much - I just searched eggless pancakes and a hundred options popped up! I chose these banana pancakes because I had all the ingredients on hand and really, they turned out filling and delicious! I topped with a little powdered sugar, mini chocolate chips and a little pure maple syrup!

This recipe comes from the blog The Big Man's World.
** I doubled this recipe for my family of five**

Ingredients
  • 1 heaping cup rolled oats (gluten free, if needed)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice (or non-dairy like almond milk if vegan)
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 Tbl baking powder
  • 1 Tbl apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbl maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract  
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbl chocolate chips <this was my addition, use Enjoy Life chips if vegan>
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients (except the chocolate chips) in a blender. Blend until smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  2. Allow the batter to rest for 5-10 minutes, giving the oats time to absorb liquid and thicken.
  3. Preheat a nonstick pan over medium high heat. Once hot, pour in about ¼ cup of batter.
  4. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until you can easily slide a spatula underneath. Flip. Cook for another 1-2 minutes on the second side.
  5. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
  6. Add your toppings of choice and enjoy.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Roasted Squash & Pear Soup


WOWZERS! This soup is fancy restaurant quality - really and truly!!! The kids loved it, my husband ate two bowlfuls and I just felt happy that something so healthy got my family all in an eating tizzy! 

This is another recipe from my dear friend, Kellie, over at Cleanly Consumed. I'm having a Cleanly Consumed week here in my kitchen.....I'm trying lots of Kellie's healthy and delicious recipes, including her Cauliflower Hummus (cannot wait to try that!) and her Carrot Raisin Salad! Go check out her site.....and check out all the scrumptious meat and fish dishes she has blogged....they all look amazing - even to this vegetarian!!! 

*Please note that I DOUBLED this recipe to feed my whole family. I used 20 oz of butternut squash, 1 whole onion, 2 pears.....you get the point.....It made a good sized pot that yielded ZERO leftovers (so I'm glad I doubled it!). And my house smelled OUT OF THIS world as the veggies were roasting in the dutch oven. If you do not have a dutch oven I suggest roasting on a parchment lined cookie sheet - just keep an eye on the veggies so they do not burn. 

Here is Kellie's recipe:

*Ingredients:
  • 1 10oz bag of cubed frozen organic butternut or acorn squash <I used fresh cubed squash I found in the produce section>
  • 1/2 large purple onion- in large chunks
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large green pear- sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Organic Dried Rosemary
  • <I added 1 tsp pure maple syrup>
  • 1 Cup Bone Broth <I used store bought vegetable broth>
  • 1/3 Cup Full Fat Coconut Milk

Instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Grease the bottom of the dutch oven with lightly with olive oil
  • Add the squash, onion, garlic and pears into the pot and drizzle with a little EVOO and Sprinkle with Salt and Rosemary. 
  • Cover with dutch oven lid and roast for 45 minutes, or until tender.
  • Cool slightly and add to a high speed blender to puree.
  • Transfer into a medium sized soup pot or back into the dutch oven.
  • Add in pure maple syrup, if using,  1 Cup Bone Broth and 1/3 cup full fat coconut milk and whisk to incorporate.  Simmer until it is the desired temperature.
  • Sprinkle with Sea Salt and Rosemary
  • Serve in large bowls and top with a spoon full of coconut whip, rosemary and a drizzle of olive oil. 

Monday, February 6, 2017

Pioneer Woman's Homemade Cinnamon Bread


Of all the things I bake and cook in this world, this homemade cinnamon bread is my husband's absolute favorite. I'm surprised I've never blogged it; probably because it isn't an easy recipe - it isn't crazy hard, it just takes time (and a Cuisinart - sure, you can hand kneed the bread dough, but the Cuisinart really helps).....

Basically this is a recipe that I need to plan for....I start it in the morning and usually it's ready around dinner time.  And it doesn't really last past dessert because my husband AND children go on complete attack mode. "Cinnamon Bread?!?! Did you make CINNAMON BREAD? Is that FRESH CINNAMON BREAD I smell? From SCRATCH? Mom, I love you! I love you! You're the best! Can I have a slice now? I can't wait until after dinner? PLEASE!!?" Okay, you get the idea......I leave a stick of butter out to soften all day and as soon as I pop this baby out of the oven they start coming at it with serrated knives ready to slice and eat!

I used to make a Joy of Cooking cinnamon bread recipe that was quite amazing until I discovered the incredibly talented Pioneer Woman has a recipe of her own!  Truth be told, the PW's recipe is even more delectable and now I will never try another!!!

PW always has THE best pictures and detailed instructions....so instead of listing them on my blog, I'd like you to just click HERE and check out her blog for yourselves. I promise you this bread is worth the effort and time. ENJOY!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Coconut Chocolate Whip



My sweet friend, Kellie, has an incredible blog devoted to healthy living and eating. Her blog is called Cleanly Consumed and you must check it out!!! She gives wonderful tips on natural products for the home, how to incorporate essential oils into your daily living, and of course, delicious, healthful recipes.

I have been wanting to try this Coconut Chocolate Whip for a long time - it did not disappoint! It was delicious and I love the texture - light and fluffy - not really ice cream, not quite whipped cream - you'll have to try it for yourself to see! I loved the addition of the chocolate chips, too.

Please note that you have to refrigerate the can of full fat coconut milk for at least 24 hours before making this whip for it to thicken.

Here is Kellie's recipe from Cleanly Consumed. Enjoy!!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Can Full Fat Coconut Milk (I use Whole Foods Brand- or Native Forest–          it does need to have the Guar Gum to create a whip)
  • 1 Heaping Tablespoon of Organic Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Organic Maple Syrup <I used about 2 because we all have a sweet tooth in this house>
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Organic Vanilla Extract
  • <mini Enjoy Life organic chocolate chips, optional- my daughter really liked this addition>

Instructions:

*The can of coconut milk MUST be refrigeratorated for 24 hours in order to thicken
 
1. Pour contents of can into large bowl <I had to use a spoon to scoop it out>
2. Add in cocoa powder and vanilla extract
3. Beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes - it should begin to whip and thicken
4. Slowly add in Maple Syrup until it reaches desired sweetness

*<We had a little bit extra so I froze it....it doesn't freeze that well....if you have any extra put it in the refrigerator. Also, Kellie suggests putting it in your coffee as a natural sweetener!>

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Amazing Chickpea & Sunflower Seed Salad Topper


I have to say, I am pretty proud of myself for coming up with this incredibly tasty (and unusual) salad topper. I started throwing things in a bowl....I started with a can of chickpeas....I wasn't going to roast them, so I needed some crunch....okay, I had some roasted sunflower seeds - in they went. Next up, some capers because why not? Okay, this is coming along.....a dollop of Dijon mustard, a drizzle of maple syrup (because I put maple syrup in everything), and a sprinkling of salt and a grind of pepper. Yum, this is getting good. Okay, what's next? A sauteed shallot....now we're talking! Finally, I took a bite of the finished product and WOW! And then I took another bite, and then another....gosh, this could be a salad in and of itself....and I just might do that (but I'll add in some navy beans and lemon juice...stay tuned!)....I had to stop myself from eating the whole bowl right then and there (5:00pm is my witching hour and I feel starved waiting for my husband to come home)....

So I added this to a Greek-inspired salad with bell peppers and roasted potatoes and tomatoes and it was just delicious!

I wanted to blog the recipe right away before I forgot it!

Enjoy!

16 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 Tbl capers
2 Tbl salted sunflower seeds
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp maple syrup
1 or 2 tsp dried dill
Pinch of salt & pepper
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallot and saute for about 3 or 4 minutes.

Add all the other ingredients to a bowl and combine. After the shallots have cooled a bit, add them to the chickpeas. Stir to combine. Use as a salad topping or eat right out of the bowl!


Monday, January 30, 2017

Mushroom & Leek Quiche with Gruyere Cheese


The quiche really hit the spot. It was cheesy and savory - gosh I love mushrooms and leeks together! We ate this for dinner, but I think it would make a lovely breakfast or brunch. Heck, I could happily eat this quiche and any time of the day. My husband said he liked it because it wasn't "egg-y".

I know the ingredient list looks a tiny bit long, but really, it came together easily. And the great thing about this quiche is the leftovers are so amazing the next day. I was wondering what I was going to have for lunch today (a bowl of cereal again?) and then SURPRISE - there was left over quiche in the fridge! HURRAY!! That bowl of cereal will have to wait! HA!

**Please note that the goodies in this quiche are PACKED! There isn't a lot of room after you pour everything in, so please make sure you buy a deep dish pie crust or else you will have some major spillage! 

I hope you enjoy my recipe!

Ingredients:
  • 9” deep dish** frozen pie crust in pie tin, thawed (I used Pillsbury)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 6 oz baby bello mushrooms, stems removed & sliced
  • 6 oz button mushrooms, stems removed & sliced
  • 3 Tbl white wine (or broth)
  • 2 small leeks or one large leek, washed, and thoroughly cleaned, white parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup creme freche or sour cream
  • 3/4 cup low fat or whole milk
  • 1 cup Gruyère, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 F

Bake deep dish pie crust for 7-10 minutes (keep an eye on it). Set aside to cool.

Lower oven temperature to 375 F

In a large pan heat 2 Tbl butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 8 minutes without turning (this helps them to caramelize). Add the wine and cook another 5 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed.  Push all the mushrooms to the rim of the pan and add the remaining butter to the empty circle in the middle of the pan. Add the chopped leeks to the butter and cook for 6 minutes until starting to become translucent.

At this point, go ahead and stir the leeks and the onions together and add the chopped, fresh spinach to the top. The spinach will cook down very quickly.  Stir to combine all the vegetables and mushrooms.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs, creme frech (or sour cream), and milk in a medium bowl. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper and stir. Add the sauteed vegetables to the egg mixture and stir. Add the Gruyère and stir.

Place the par baked quiche shell onto a rimmed baking sheet that is lined with foil, gently pour the egg mixture into the shell. Bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or just until the quiche has set up in the center.

Cool for 15 minutes, slice, and serve.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Creamy Cauliflower Soup with Tortellinis Sundried Tomatoes

Yummy, easy to soup to throw together for a quick weeknight meal.  I found the recipe on the blog Cooking Closet. Here is the recipe word for word:
Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • red pepper flakes to taste (optional)
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 8 ounces cheese tortellini
  • 1 (8 ounce) jar sundried tomatoes*, drained and 1/2 pureed and 1/2 sliced thinly
  • 8 ounces spinach (optionally coarsely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup basil, chopped (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan 
 Directions:
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, add the onion and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes; cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  3. Add the broth and cauliflower; bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer covered until the cauliflower is tender about 15 - 20 minutes.
  4. Puree the cauliflower in a blender.  <I suggest letting the soup cool completely before you do this. If you don't have time to wait, then you MUST take the plastic piece out of the top of the blender before blending (and cover with a clean dish towel)- this allows for the heat to escape>. Return blended soup to the pot.
  5. Add the pureed, sliced sundried tomatoes and chopped spinach to the soup. Bring to a simmer and add the tortellini, cook for about 5-7 minutes, until tortellini is cooked.
  6. Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle soup into bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan. Enjoy! 
*I bought a jar of pureed sun dried tomatoes to save time having to puree them at by myself at home

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread


If you have been followed my blog since the beginning you will know that I really really love banana bread - I have so many banana bread recipes on this blog it's a big silly.....but there are so many different ways to bake a humble banana - and they just always seem to turn out scrumptious! I just cannot stop trying new banana bread recipes. Well, this one, folks, is a whopper! It is moist and the cinnamon swirl in the middle and on top is just delicious! They whole family gobbled this up!

I found the recipe on the blog Lovin' the Oven. Here is her recipe word for word:

For the bread:
  • 3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten <I used two eggs>
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash of salt 
  • <I added a tsp of cinnamon to the bread> 
  • 1 1/2 cups flour 
For the swirl:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbl cinnamon
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a 9X5 loaf pan.
  2. Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg(s), and vanilla together. Sprinkle baking soda, salt <and extra cinnamon if using> around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour. Be careful not to over-mix!
  3. In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 Tbl cinnamon.
  4. Add 1/2 of the batter to the greased loaf pan and then sprinkle half, or a little more than half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture all over the batter in the pan. Add the rest of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top.
  5. Bake for 50-60 minutes <I baked mine for 52 minutes>. Remove from oven and let cool completely before turning out onto a cutting board. Slice and enjoy!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Heavenly Hummus Wrap


Thank you to the Pioneer Woman for this super yummy and super easy recipe! It was the perfect meal to serve to my family on a rushed Monday night. I actually prepared all the ingredients before hand and then when it came time to assemble the wraps, it was a snap. I served these wraps with our favorite Salt & Pepper Ridged Kettle Chips and a giant fruit & spinach smoothie.

I love the Pioneer Woman's blog - head on over there to see step-by-step instructional pictures. Here is her recipe word for word - ENJOY!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tablespoon Butter Or Olive Oil
  • 1/2 whole Red Onion, Halved And Sliced
  • 1 whole Spinach Flour Tortilla (large)
  • 1/4 cup Hummus (homemade Or Storebought) - More If Needed
  • 1 whole Roasted Red Pepper (jarred), Sliced
  • 3 whole Canned Artichoke Hearts, Halved
  • 2 cups Mixed Greens
  • 1 Tablespoon Your Favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette (homemade Or Storebought)
  • 1/4 cup Feta Cheese Crumbles
 

 
Directions: 
 
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the red onions and cook slowly for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and deep golden brown. Set aside and let them cool slightly.

Grill the tortilla on a grill pan over medium heat for 1 minute, just until it has grill marks on the outside. (If you don't have a grill pan, just use a skillet.) The tortilla should still be soft and pliable; just with a little bit of color! Let the tortilla cool slightly.

To assemble the wrap, spread the hummus down the middle third of the tortilla. Arrange the cooked onion slices and the sliced roasted red peppers all over the hummus. Add the artichoke heart halves. Toss the salad greens in the balsamic dressing, then lay them on the wrap. Finally, sprinkle the crumbled feta all over the greens.

Carefully wrap up the tortilla, tucking in the ends. Slice the wrap down the middle, share with a friend, and chow down!
 

Monday, January 16, 2017

Mustardy Mushroom Stroganoff

 
I really like this UK blog I just discovered called, The Sainsbury Magazine (it might be the US equivolent of Eating Well Magazine???).  I'm really eager to check out more recipes! This Mustardy Mushroom Stroganoff was the PERFECT vegetarian dish. I loved the cream of the creme fraiche (I found this in the produce section at Whole Foods) and the tang of the mustard combined.  This recipe came together very quickly and I will definitely serve it again. Enjoy!
 
Here is the recipe straight off the Sainsbury Magazine website (I added the US measurements): 
 
Ingredients:
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 3 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 12 oz mixed mushrooms, sliced 
  • 2/3 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 Tbl grain mustard
  • 2 Tbl chopped tarragon
  • 2 handfuls of fresh baby leaf spinach, roughly chopped
Directions:
  • Briefly soften the spring onions in 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium saucepan. Tip in the rice and cook for 1 minute; add a pinch of salt and 2 cups of boiling water. Stir, pop the lid on, reduce the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed.
  • Meanwhile, soften the onion in the rest of the oil for 5-6 minutes in a frying pan; add the garlic, mushrooms, seasoning and 2 tablespoons water. Cook for 4-5 minutes or until the mushrooms have softened.
  • Add the crème fraîche, mustard and most of the tarragon to the mushrooms and heat gently, adding a little water if needed to get a saucy consistency.
  • Stir the spinach into the rice and replace the lid for a minute or two until it has wilted.
  • Spoon the stroganoff onto a bed of greened-up rice; scatter over the rest of the tarragon.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Creamy Lemon Orzo Soup


I have been under the weather for the past few days and the temperature here has been absolutely freezing. So, it made perfect sense to whip up a big pot of soup. I didn't exactly feel like cooking, so this recipe was just perfect. It was fast, easy, comforting, warm and filling. Since I was feeling lazy, I bought a pre-chopped celery and onion mix in the produce section (this saved some time when I was putting it all together). I served this soup with a warm loaf of french bread. Enjoy!

This recipe is from the blog Baker Gets Cooking. Here is the recipe verbatim:

1 large onion, diced
1 large celery stalk, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil <I used coconut oil>
1/2 teaspoon salt <I used much more salt than this - just taste it and add as needed>
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken stock <I used vegetable broth>
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 cup orzo noodles
zest of 1/2 lemon
juice from one lemon
1/2 cup heavy cream

In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, sauté onions, celery, carrots salt and pepper in canola oil over medium low heat until softened, about 10 minutes.

 Add garlic to pot and cook for a few minutes.

Add chicken stock and oregano to pot, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes until the vegetables are very soft. I like to blend the soup with an immersion blender, just a bit, to break the veggies into smaller bits. <I put half the soup into the blender and pulsed it a few times to break up the veggies>

Add the orzo noodles at this point. Cook mixture over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until the noodles are tender.  Stir them often as they like to sink to the bottom of the pot and stick.

Add the zest, lemon juice and whipping cream. Mix well and serve.