Friday, May 31, 2013

Egg Drop Soup

This recipe is adapted from an Emeril Lagasse recipe.  I love to serve it with a good stir fry or other Chinese-inspired dish.  It is a very light and great start to any meal.  It only takes about 10 minutes to make.  Hope you like it!

Egg Drop Soup
(serves 4)

2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp. Bragg's liquid aminos (or low sodium soy sauce)
5 mushrooms, sliced
1/4 c. spinach, thinly sliced
3 c. chicken broth
Black pepper, to taste
3 Tbsp chopped green onions
Fried wonton noodles/wrappers (optional)

1. Add chicken stock to a medium-sized saucepan.  Heat to about medium-high heat, or a light boil. 

2. Once it begins simmering, add in green onions, spinach, mushrooms, soy sauce, and pepper.  Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes.

3. Lightly beat the 2 eggs in a small bowl.  While stirring the soup in a circular motion, slowly add in the eggs to create small cooked egg shreds or ribbons.  

4. Continue to stir for a minute or two in a circular motion until eggs are cooked through.  That's it! Enjoy :) We love the little chips they serve at the chinese restaurant with this, they are fried wonton noodles/wrappers.  You can find them at some grocery stores in the international section or you could take a stab at making your own!  Serve the soup with some if you desire, but not necessary!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cucumber Salad

This salad was adapted from a salad book my mom has (not sure of the name).  I wanted a nice light side for our Memorial Day cookout to complete my meal.  It is really light and refreshing. Hope you try it soon! :)

Cucumber Salad
(serves 8)

3 large cucumbers, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, sliced
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp celery seed
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (Bragg's brand is best)
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1. Thinly slice 1/2 a medium onion and then cut the slices into thirds or quarters to make smaller sliced pieces.  Add to large bowl.

2. Peel cucmbers and cut off the ends.  Cut in half lengthwise, then again lengthwise, chop into 1/2" chunks and add to the bowl.

3. Mince the garlic and add in garlic, celery seed, sea salt, evoo, and apple cider vinegar to the bowl.  Toss well and chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve. 

Enjoy!! :)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Banana Fudge

This recipe is based off the recipe for Clean Eating Banana Walnut Fudge from The Gracious Pantry.  My sister-in-law has made this a couple of times for us and shared the recipe with me! I changed a few things here and there, but I hope you try it soon! It's super fast and easy to make.  I love these sweet desserts that I don't feel guilty about eating! This fudge is made with banana, but the banana isn't overpowering in the fudge, in case you aren't too found of bananas.

Banana Fudge
(makes 16-20 pieces)

1/2 c. coconut oil
2/3 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 c. dried fruit (dates, raisins, prunes, figs, etc) - I used figs & raisins
1 medium ripe banana
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: chopped walnut or unsweetened coconut flakes

1. Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan.  When melted, take the oil off the burner and slowly whisk in the cocoa until smooth.

2. In a food processor, blend banana, dried fruit, and vanilla. Add cocoa mixture and continue blending until smooth.

3. Line a small baking dish with parchment paper.  Pour mixture into the baking dish and smooth over.

4. Refrigerate fudge for at least 2 hours to harden, and keep stored in the refrigerator.  When hardened, sprinkle the top with chopped nuts and/or coconut flakes.  Cut into 16-20 small pieces & enjoy! :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Taco Casserole

I was looking at the Nacho Casserole recipe in the "Healthy Treasures Cookbook" and based this recipe off of that idea.  I wanted to make it more of a taco casserole and changed it accordingly. This recipe only takes about 30 minutes to make; its great for a weeknight dinner. We loved it! Hope you try it soon!

Taco Casserole
(serves 4)

1 lb. grass-fed lean ground beef
1/2 medium onion
1 Tbsp taco seasoning
1/4 c. spaghetti sauce
1/3 c. water
1 c. cheddar cheese
1/2 bag blue corn tortilla chips
1 small tomato, chopped
2 green onions, sliced
Sour cream
Lettuce, chopped

1. Heat a large skillet to medium heat.  Brown the beef and onion until beef is cooked through.

2. Add taco seasoning, water, and spaghetti sauce to beef and mix together.  Bring the mixture to a boil, put a lid on it and simmer on low for about 5 minutes.  Take off the heat and add in 1/2 c. of the cheese.

3. Lightly grease a 9x13 casserole dish and line the bottom with blue corn chips.  Top with the meat mixture.

4. Cook in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

5. Take the casserole out, put another layer of tortilla chips on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Cook in the 350 degree oven for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

6. Top each serving with chopped tomatoes, lettuce, green onions, and sour cream.  Enjoy!! :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Whole Wheat Homemade Pizza

This is a great recipe to make on a Friday night! It is easy to make and will satisfy your craving for a delivery pizza.  You can experiment with whatever toppings you like, for this one we used mushrooms, green pepper, pepperoni, and cheese.  I will show you how to make your crust really nice with butter and seasonings.  This recipe was actually adapted from the recipe in my breadmaker's manual, but can be made easily by hand as well. I hope you try it soon!

Whole Wheat Homemade Pizza
(serves 4 - makes one large pizza)

Whole Wheat Pizza Crust:
6 to 7 ounces filtered water (I use more water in the cooler months)
3/4 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp exra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
2 1/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/4 c. wheat germ
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast

Large Pizza:
1 whole wheat pizza crust (see recipe above)
2-3 Tbsp organic (grass-fed) butter
1 Tbsp italian seasoning
1 can organic pizza sauce or homemade
1-2 c. organic shredded cheese (I used organic valley Italian blend)
Optional toppings: zero nitrate pepperoni or sausage, peppers, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, olives, chicken, etc. (we used Applegate Farms pepperoni, green peppers, and  mushrooms)

1. Make pizza crust - the process will take about 1 hr - 1 hr 30 min, but only about 10 minutes of hands-on work.  In a breadmaker, combine all of the ingredients in the order listed in the bread pan.  Place bread pan back in the breadmaker and turn it on the dough cycle. 

If you do not have a breadmaker, mix the ingredients in order and knead with your hands, until all ingredients become well dispersed and combined.  Let bread sit in a warm place (such as the oven), covered with a towel or plastic wrap until dough is doubled, about an hour.  Punch dough down and refer to instruction #2.

2. When dough has had time to rise or the breadmaker is complete, form the dough into a large rectangle or circle on a large pizza pan or cookie sheet.  I just use my hands for this, until it gets to the thickness I desire.

3. Melt the butter in the microwave in a small dish (about 30 seconds).  Add in italian seasoning and stir to combine.  Using a basting brush or spoon, baste the whole pizza (top and bottom) with the butter/seasoning mixture.

4. Ladle the pizza sauce onto the dough and spread out evenly.  Add toppings to pizza (we used pepperoni, chopped green pepper, and sliced mushrooms).  Follow with a good sprinkling of cheese all over the pizza.

5. Bake in an oven preheated to 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until to your desired doneness.  Enjoy!! :)

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Fingerling Potatoes Roasted on the Grill

These fingerling potatoes are small and flavorful! I throw them in a grill pack with some onion and spices and put them on the grill for about 30 minutes.  You could also roast these in the oven (they will take a little bit longer in the oven). They are super easy and delicious; make them with your next meal!

Fingerling Potatoes Roasted on the Grill
(serves 4)

10-16 oz. fingerling potatoes
1/4 c. chopped onion
Salt, Pepper, & Rosemary, to taste
1 Tbsp organic butter

1. Clean potatoes and chop the bigger pieces in half. Cut up about 1/4 c. onion.

2. Using two large pieces of foil, create a grilling pack for the potatoes.  Add in the potatoes, onion, about 1/4 - 1/2 tsp each of salt, pepper, and rosemary, to your taste.  Separate the butter into chunks and spread over potatoes.

3. Place the other large piece of foil on top of the potatoes and crimp the edges all around to create a grilling pack or pocket for the potatoes to cook in.

4. Put on a hot grill and cook about 30 minutes, or until potatoes become tender, but not falling apart.  Enjoy!

Berries & Homemade Whipped Cream Parfaits

This past weekend, we had some family over for dinner and I wanted to make a quick and light dessert.  On Friday, I received some yummy blueberries from Green Bean Delivery and bought some farm fresh strawberries from our local Farmer's Market on Saturday. So, I decided to make these parfaits layered with some light and fluffy homemade whipped cream. If I were thinking ahead a little bit better, I would have bought some raw cream from my distributor, but I will have to remember for next time! I am planning on making this dessert for our Memorial Day party (it'll be a great red, white, & blue dessert!).  Hope you make them soon!

Berries & Homemade Whipped Cream Parfaits
(serves 4)

3 c. berries (I used blueberries & strawberries), cut into bite-size pieces
1 c. heavy whipping cream (preferrably organic and/or raw)
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp organic sugar

1. Clean berries and cut into bite size pieces, if needed.  Put berries in a bowl, add sugar and stir well.  Set bowl aside for at least 30 minutes to break down the berries a little bit.

2. When the berries are ready, you can make the whipped cream.  Pour cream and maple syrup into a stand mixer and mix on high until whipped cream forms (about 5 minutes).

3.  Layer glasses (I used margarita glasses) with a little whipped cream on the bottom, a layer of berries, another layer of whipped cream, and then a few more berries on top.  Make sure to get a little bit of the berry juice in each glass.  That's it! Enjoy :)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Black Bean Soup

This soup only takes about 30 minutes to make and is a nice, filling, flavorful soup!  I adapted this recipe from the Cooking With Trader Joe's Cookbook.  I love this cookbook because each recipe has nutrition facts and most are under 400 calories per serving.  Most of the recipes are pretty quick to make as well. Hope you try it soon!

Black Bean Soup
(serves 4)

2 cans organic black beans
1 c. salsa of your choice (we like hot salsa)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of one lime
2 tsp ground cumin

1. Chop up onion and heat a dutch oven or large pot to medium heat. Saute onion in olive oil for about 5 minutes, or until onion becomes translucent

2. Add minced garlic, cumin, black beans (with liquid), salsa, and lime and mix together.

3. Turn the heat up to high and bring the soup up to a boil.  When the soup begins boiling, put a lid on the pot and drop the heat down to low (to simmer).

4. Simmer the soup for 20 minutes.  If you want, serve with a dollop of sour cream on top.  Enjoy!! :)

Nutrition Facts:
(for 4 servings)

Calories: 280
Fat: 6.9g
Protein: 10.9g

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Quick & Easy Weeknight Tacos

Most people don't have the time to spend cooking an elaborate dinner every night, but it is often hard to eat healthy and fast.  These tacos are made with grass-fed lean ground beef, vegetables, and organic corn tortillas and are great served with my Guacamole (see recipe here).  These tacos are fast and easy! Hope you like them.  NOTE: If you haven't thawed any beef, you can cook it frozen - just drop the heat down a little bit and keep flipping and scraping off the done parts until it all the beef gets broken up.

Quick & Easy Weeknight Tacos
(serves 4)

1 Tbsp coconut oil or butter
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 Tbsp taco seasoning
3/4 c. water
1/4 c. spaghetti or tomato sauce
Organic corn tortillas 
Toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, lettuce, tomato, salsa, and/or guacamole

1. Warm oil or butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Brown beef in skillet, stirring and breaking up into small chunks.

2. When the beef is browned, add taco seasoning, water, and spaghetti sauce and stir together.  Turn the mixture up to medium high heat until it begins boiling.  Once it is boiling, drop the mixture down to low and cover to simmer.  Simmer about 10 minutes.

3. While the mixture simmers, heat up the taco shells according to the package directions and chop up or get ready any toppings.

4.  Build your tacos with meat and any other toppings you like! I like meat, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, and a little bit of sour cream.  Enjoy!