Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Easiest Vegetable Soup

Hey everyone! Sorry it has been a week since I posted a yummy recipe. Things have been crazy busy, but that does not mean I have not been cooking every night. I have some great recipes stored up to share with you! First off is a recipe for the easiest Vegetable Soup ever and it is just as delicious as it is easy! It came from my wonderful friend Anne Nicholson. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

makes: 5-6 large bowls

try to buy as many of these ingredients organic as possible!

1 yellow pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 large onion, diced
2 cups diced carrots (about 3-4 unpeeled carrots)
2 zucchini, diced
4 cups spinach, torn
1/2 small cabbage, cut into chunks
1 Tbs italian seasoning, you can add more to taste
1 can tomato paste
1 14 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock (you could use vegetable stock to keep this vegetarian)

1. Place all ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil, cover and cook 10 minutes. 
2. Turn off heat and let sit until the vegetables reach your desired softness. We like our still a little crunchy so we ate it immediately!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pan Seared Lemon Flounder

My husband came home from one of his recent commutes to Tennessee with a gift for me! I was reminded of how special our relationship is because the gift was so perfect and thoughtful. It was a beautiful cast iron skillet. We quickly washed it with water and "seasoned" it with coconut oil. The first thing I made was this yummy, delicate wild caught flounder. I used a meyer lemon which is a little sweeter but you could easily substitute a regular lemon.

Serves: 4

1 lb wild caught flounder
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs chopped green onion
1/2  meyer lemon

1. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. If needed, add a little coconut oil (less than 1 tsp)
2. Sprinkle flounder with sea salt and pepper.
3. When pan is good and hot, add flounder. Cook 2-3 minutes per side, depending on how thick your fish is it could take up to 4 minutes per side. 
4. When the fish is almost done cooking, squeeze fresh lemon juice over fish and top with green onions. 
5. Serve warm. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Szechuan Chicken Stir Fry

This recipe is yummy and chock full of vegetables! It is from Cooking Light's Jan/Feb 2012 issue. It is a little spicy but you could always leave the chili paste out or reduce the amount, especially if you are serving this to the little ones. It takes a little time to chop the veggies but it is well worth it. This recipe is great because you do not overcook the vegetables, they should still have a little crunch after cooking!

Serves: 4

1 Tbs sesame oil
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 Tbs gluten free soy sauce such as tamari
1 Tbs rice vinegar
2 tsp chili paste (found in asian isle)
2 tsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs canola oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite size pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 cup diagonally cut snap peas
1/2 cup sliced onion
1 tsp ground ginger
1 Tbs minced garlic
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped raw peanuts (if you cannot find organic peanuts, leave them out)
2 cups cooked quinoa

1. Combine 2 tsp sesame oil and next 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add remaining 1 tsp sesame oil and 1 Tbs canola oil. Add chicken, stir fry 2 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate. 
2. Add remaining 1 Tbs canola oil, swirl to coat pan. Add bell peppers and next 4 ingredients. Stir fry 1 minute. Add broth mixture, cook 30 seconds until thick. Return chicken to pan and cook 4 minutes or until chicken is done. 
3. Spoon 1/2 cup quinoa into a bowl and top with 1 cup chicken mixture, green onions and peanuts. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Baked Sweet Potato

This is hands down the yummiest way to eat a sweet potato and it happens to be the easiest too! The juices from the potato make a syrup in the foil that is so sweet and delicious poured back over your cut potato. I know it seems silly to post a recipe for something so simple, but if you are a newer cook you may not know how to do this. Now you will, and you will be so glad you do!

Serves: as many as you want! make one potato per person

1 sweet potato per person

Wash potatoes. Leave skin on. Wrap in foil and place on cookie sheet OR place unwrapped in a glass baking pan sprayed with cooking spray.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes depending on size of potatoes.
Potatoes are done when they are soft to the touch.
I know you will be tempted to put butter and brown sugar on it, but Dont! please try it plain. You will not be disappointed!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

This chili does not photograph that well, but it tastes great! Plus it could not be any easier to make!

adapted from passthesushi.com
serves: 4-6

1 onion, diced
1 can no salt added black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can no salt added kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 8oz can no salt added tomato sauce
1 cup frozen organic lima beans
2 cans no salt added diced tomatoes
1 8 oz can diced green chiles
1 packet taco seasoning (I hated to use this because it has added ingredients like corn. Next time I will do my own seasonings)
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of excess fat

1. Combine all ingredients through garlic in crock pot. Stir.
2. Place chicken breasts on top. 

3. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. 
4. Before serving, shred chicken and stir to mix all ingredients. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

Gluten Free Carrot Cake

I have to thank www.shortbreadbakery.blogspot.com for this amazing recipe. I did change it just a little to suit our tastes and what I had on hand. This is delicious and is a treat you can feel amazing about eating! It is made with healthy fat almond flour. I use almond flour for the little bit of baking I do. White flour and white sugar are a train wreck to your body. They are super processed and cause an instant blood sugar spike which, when done repeatedly over years, can cause insulin resistance which can lead to a host of health problems. Yuck! I buy my almond flour online from honeyville products and it is wonderful! I have tried Bob's Red Mill Almond flour and it is really expensive and does not bake well.

Serves: 9

1 1/2 cups almond flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbs cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 agave nectar or honey
3 Tbs unsweetened organic applesauce
1 1/2 cups grated carrots

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg (the dry ingredients)
3. In a separate medium size bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients (the wet ingredients).
4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
5. Pour batter into a lightly greased 8x8 pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 
6. EAT!! and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pot of Black Eye Peas

Simple and delicious!

Serves: 5

1 lb dried black eye peas
at least 6 cups homemade chicken stock
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1. Rinse peas in a colander. Sift through the peas and throw out any that are rotten or have lots of brown spots.

2. Place peas in a large pot. Add chicken stock until the peas are covered by at least 3 inches.

 3. Bring to a boil, cover with lid and simmer for 30 minutes. You want it simmering where the bubbles are just barely coming to the surface.
After 30 minutes, taste a pea to see if tender. If they are starting to become tender, add salt and pepper. DO NOT STIR. Return lid and simmer 15 more minutes. Taste for tenderness. They should be done, but if they are old or large they may take longer. Check every 10-15 minutes until they are tender.

 4. enjoy!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

If you do not like brussel sprouts, you just have not have them cooked like this. They get soft, mild and salty. Yummy!

Serves: 4

1 1/2 lbs brussel sprouts (about 4 cups)
1 Tbs olive oil
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Cut stems off of sprouts and then cut sprout in half lengthwise. 
3. Place all sprouts on a baking sheet (covered in aluminum foil if you want).
4. Toss sprout halves with oil. Spread into a single layer. Sprinkle with sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
5. Bake 10 minutes. Flip. Bake 10 minutes more. Serve.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chickpeas and Greens

I have only three words: Perfect Winter Food

Serves: 4

1/2 medium onion, diced
1 1/4 cup sliced carrots (I slice mine into rounds)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
2 1/2 cups broth
1 cup water
2 (15oz) cans no salt added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 cups chopped kale
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp olive oil. 
2. Add onion and carrot to pan. Cook 4 minutes. Add garlic. Stir. Cook 1 minute. Add spices. Stir. Cook 30 seconds.
3. Stir in broth, water and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. 
4. Add kale. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until kale is tender. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Homemade Peanut Butter

You no longer  need to buy peanut butter! It is so easy, fresh and cheap to make your own. Peanuts are one of the most heavily pesticided foods so just make sure you buy organic peanuts! We eat our peanut butter with apples, carrots and celery!

Makes: 1 1/2 cups

2 cups organic peanuts (they may be roasted but definitely buy unsalted)
1/4 tsp salt

1. Place ingredients in food processor.

2. Blend ingredients. Add one point the mixture may be mainly stuck to the sides. If so, stop processor and scrape down sides. Process until smooth. It took me about 5 minutes.

3. Place peanut butter in a glass storage container and store in refrigerator.