Thursday, September 30, 2010

Banana Bread

This recipe was adapted from Cooking Light magazine, the October issue.  I changed and added a few things and it came out great and pretty healthy too!  I brought most of the banana bread to my friend's house the other day but I've been eating the other half for breakfast with my morning coffee! It's also a great afternoon snack, if you can contain yourself to eat only 1 slice, that is!!

Cooking Light says that if you the loaf yields 16 slices each one has 167 calories and 29g of protein.  I'm thinking my version is probably around 240 calories (don't quote me on that) and probably has a little more protein because of the Greek yogurt.  I was only able to slice my loaf into 12 slices so my calculations are for a loaf that yields 12 slices instead of 16.
Banana Bread
(makes 1 loaf)

3 mashed ripe bananas
1 container (6-oz) Plain Greek Yogurt
5 tablespoons butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup vanilla flavored protein powder (I used whey protein.)
1/4 flaxseed meal, or whole ground flaxseed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed.  Add both sugars, beat until combined.
Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add flour mixture to the banana mixture, beat just until blended.  Pour batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 55 minutes or until a wooden tester inserted comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Creamy Potato Leek Soup with NO CREAM

Summer is over and the weather is slowly getting cooler, the sun is going down earlier and earlier everyday and that means that comfort foods are coming back into play on people's plates, or bowls.  I had some leftover leeks from the tart I made last week and thought I'd prepare some potato leek soup to have in the freezer.  You never know when you'll want to cuddle up on the couch with a nice warm cup of soup, don't forget the grilled cheese!

I actually invited my friend Allison over to help me cook.  She helped buy some of the ingredients, I taught her how to make a soup, and we both were able to take home 2 quarts of soup!!  For all you cooks that need to conserve their spending, invite a friend or two over, split the shopping and get cooking!! It's always a good time when you have friends around!

Potato Leek Soup
(makes 16 cups)

3 leeks, white and light-green parts only, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 small onions chopped
1 cup olive oil
3 pounds of yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed clean, ends trimmed, and quartered
NOTE: If you prefer to peel the potatoes go ahead, I just hate peeling them, and found that the skin doesn't make a difference for the end result.
4 quarts water, or enough water to cover the potatoes in the pot
4 tablespoons Chicken flavored Consomme (I use the Osem brand)
salt and pepper to taste
**Requires an immersion blender to puree soup.  You can also substitute the consomme with 3 bouillon cubes.

In a large soup pot saute onions and leeks in olive oil.  Saute until translucent, about 10-15 minutes.
Add potatoes and pour water in the pot, enough to cover all the potatoes.  Mix in the chicken consomme and stir until combined, add salt and pepper to taste.  Boil with the lid on high for about 1 hour, until potatoes or fork tender.  Take soup off the heat and use an immersion hand blender to puree into a smooth velvety soup.  Taste and adjust flavor as needed with salt and pepper or more chicken soup consomme.  Serve with a yummy grilled cheese or salad and ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Simple Potato Gnocchi

Well let's just say this recipe is time consuming, but the steps are pretty simple.  You do need some special tools such as a potato ricer, but otherwise if you follow the directions and take your time even the beginner cook can master gnocchi!  Even better, take advantage of yourself and double the recipe, like I did, to make tons of gnocchi to stock your freezer!  Try preparing them with various sauces, like this one!  I got this recipe from the September issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine. Instead of russet potatoes I used yukon gold.

Simple Potato Gnocchi
serves 8

2 1/2 pounds russet potatoes (about 5 small)
2 teaspoons salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 large egg

In a large pot, bring potatoes to a boil in salted water; reduce to a rapid simmer and cook until potatoes are tender when pierced with a knife, 35 to 40 minutes. Lightly dust two parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets with flour; set aside. Drain potatoes and peel while still hot with a paring knife (use a thick, dry kitchen towel or pot holder to hold them). Immediately pass potatoes through a ricer into a large bowl. Let cool completely.

Sprinkle potatoes with flour and 2 teaspoons salt, then top with egg. With your hands, work flour and egg into a dough. Knead dough until smooth but not elastic, dusting with flour if it becomes too sticky, 4 minutes. Do not overwork dough.

Divide dough into 8 portions. Roll each portion into a rope (1/2 inch thick and 24 inches long). Cut each rope into 1/2-inch pieces.  Gently roll each dough piece against the back tines of a fork to make ridges, (This step is not necessary but does make the gnocchi look more authentic although it's very time consuming.) then arrange in a single layer on prepared baking sheets.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In batches, add a few handfuls gnocchi and cook until most have floated to top, 2 minutes. With a wire-mesh spider or a slotted spoon, transfer gnocchi immediately to a sauce.  

Make Ahead:  Place boiled gnocchi on a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, cover, and let sit, up to 2 hours. Freeze it: Freeze raw gnocchi on baking sheets until firm; transfer to freezer bags and freeze, up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature on parchment-lined sheets, 30 minutes, before boiling.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Israeli Style Tomato and Cucumber Salad

Israeli Style Tomato and Cucumber Salad

1 container of grape tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
5 persian cucumbers or mini seedless cucumbers, cut into large chunks (or 1 large seedless cucumber)
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and toss to coat vegetables completely in sauce. Let sit 3-5 minutes and serve immediately!  ENJOY!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Double Duty

A few days ago I conducted an experiment that ended up being a huge success!! I had bought a pound of turkey to try making stuffed peppers, but decided that since I'm only one person and live alone I don't need to make a whole pound of turkey worth.  So I bought only 4 peppers and figured that I'd use half of the turkey for the pepper stuffing.  The other half a pound of turkey I decided I'd make some sort of turkey meatloaf.  I really wanted to make them small so I thought I'd use my mini muffin tin.

Well, when I started to look and see what I had around in the apartment to mix up for the stuffed peppers I thought to myself instead of rice (which I didn't have anyway) I'd use quinoa.  We all know I love love love quinoa!  I mixed up 1 pound ground white meat turkey, uncooked quinoa, basil, garlic, red pepper flakes, sauteed onion, egg, and salt and pepper in a bowl and that was the filling for my stuffed peppers!   I stuffed as many of the peppers I had into the small pot I had and then filled my mini muffin tin up with the rest of the meat filling.  I baked those off in the oven, and VOOOIIILLLLA before the stuffed peppers were done I had 12 mini meatloaf bites that were delicious, healthy, and filled with protein!!!

Turkey and Quinoa Filling 
(for meatloaf or stuffed peppers, see recipes below)

1 pound ground white turkey meat
1 large egg
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup uncooked white quinoa, rinsed
1 small onion chopped small and sauteed in olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 handful of basil leaves, about 1/2 cup

Place turkey meat, salt, pepper, egg, red pepper flakes, and rinsed quinoa in a large bowl.  In a mini food processor chop the garlic and basil together, until finely chopped.  In a pan saute chopped onions until soft and translucent, let cool.  Mix basil garlic mixture and sauteed onions into the bowl with the turkey mixture and combine ingredients together using a fork or your hand.
This is the Turkey and Quinoa Filling

Use the filling to prepare the following recipes:

Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf Bites
(makes 24 mini meatloaf bites)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop about 2 tablespoons of turkey and quinoa filling into each section of your mini muffin tin and bake in oven for about 15 minutes.  Enjoy! Freeze leftover bites and save for a snack or lunch another time! Serve with some marinara sauce, yum!!
Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf Bites
Stuffed Red Peppers in Tomato Sauce
(makes about 8 stuffed peppers)

2 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 tomato can filled with water, you may need to add more as the peppers cook to prevent sauce from drying up.
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste (in the sauce)
8 large red bell peppers

Cut off the tops of the peppers and take out the seeds.  Stuff each pepper to the top with turkey and quinoa filling.  Place stuffed peppers along with crushed tomatoes, bay leaves, salt and pepper, and water in a large deep pot.  (Make sure the pot you are using has a lid.) Be sure that all the peppers are covered in sauce, if you need more liquid add more water.  Let simmer on low-medium heat, while continuing to watch and stir the pot so that the peppers do not burn on the bottom, for about 45 minutes to an hour, the peppers should be soft enough to pierce with a fork and the meat should feel firm inside.  Serve with roasted veggies or a nice salad! ENJOY!
Here are the peppers simmering in crushed tomato sauce and bay leaves.  DO NOT LEAVE THIS UNATTENDED, BECAUSE THE BOTTOM OF THE PAN WILL BURN!!!!!
 Turkey Quinoa Stuffed Peppers in Tomato Sauce

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Salmon Bites with Miso Glaze

I haven't had salmon in a while and I wanted to get my lunches looking more diverse, and give you some more ideas that are easy to make for you, your kids, and your family!  If you want to see a photo of this dish, click on the "my lunches" link

Salmon Bites with Miso Glaze
2 servings

10-12 ounces of fresh salmon fillet, skin off and cut into large chunks
salt to taste
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon sriracha hot sauce
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
juice of a clementine, or 2 tablespoons orange juice
toasted sesame seeds for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients, except for salmon and salt, in a mini food processor.  Process to a smooth glaze.  Set aside.

Sprinkle salt on the salmon chunks and place them on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your salmon.  Place salmon bites on a platter, drizzle with miso glaze, and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds if desired.  Serve with a side of asparagus or over a nice green salad! ENJOY!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart

Every time I travel by train or plane I buy one or two food magazines to keep me busy. Last week when I traveled home for the holidays I purchased a magazine I never had before, Everyday Food, the Martha Stewart publication.  I always saw it on the shelves but never bought it, probably because of it's small size.  Well I was totally wrong about that one!  Although small is size, it's big in the recipe department.  I found at least 10 easy recipes that I wanted to try out.  The first one I decided to try was this tomato and goat cheese tart. 
Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
adapted from Everyday Food Magazine

1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon fat free plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
2 leeks, white and light green parts only
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
2 plum tomatoes sliced
2 ounces fresh goat cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons chopped basil leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place a piece of parchment paper on a sheet pan and unfold thawed pastry on it.  In a small bowl stir together yogurt, mustard, and season with salt and pepper.  Spread the mixture over the puff pastry evenly.  Fold over 1/2 inch border on all sides and press edges to seal.  Refrigerate while preparing the leeks and tomatoes.

Meanwhile, halve leeks lengthwise, rinse well, pat dry, and slice 1/4 inch thick.  Saute leeks in a large pan with melted butter or olive oil.  Season leeks with salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 6 minutes.  Arrange the leeks evenly on the puff pastry.  Top with the tomato slices and season with salt and pepper.  Bake until pastry is golden brown and crispy, about 25 minutes.  Let cool slightly and top with crumbled goat cheese and basil.  Serve warm or at room temperature, ENJOY!

If you have any extra ingredients, use them to make a great omelet the next morning!  That's what I did...I even mixed it all up in a container so that all I needed to do in the morning was pour the egg and veggie mixture into a heated pan and cook it up for breakfast!  It's as easy as that...two meals in one!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Some exciting news...

Hey everyone, I hope you all are doing well, sorry I've been MIA but with all the holidays and stuff it's been hard to keep up, but I'm back and I have some very exciting news, at least I think it is!!

It's been 7 months since I started this blog and today, I will be offering you, my readers, my very first FREE, YES FREE, giveaway!!!

If you are chosen as the winner you will receive a $35 gift certificate to a great company that sells modern bedding, cookware, and even premium shoes and handbags for men and woman from 3 great sites:, or

You will be able to choose what site you'd like to use your gift certificate for, the $35 dollars does not include shipping costs.

In order to be considered for this giveaway you need to do the following:

1) Become an official follower of my blog. (see right and click on follower, and I don't mean on Facebook!)
2) Once you've done step 1, you should post a comment below stating your favorite recipe of the ones I've posted since February!  If you've actually made it before, please share how you enjoyed it and how easy/hard it was for you, etc.  If not, please tell me when you plan to make it and why you chose it!
3) The contest for the free giveaway will be announced on Thursday, September 23rd.  Posts after 12pm on Thursday will not be considered.


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Deli Roll

This recipe is actually something I've eaten at a friend's house.  I have made it once or twice before and anyone who's ever eaten this has loved it!!  It's a super easy recipe to make, and you can really use any deli meat you like or have on hand!  All you need is deli meat, puff pastry, mustard, egg wash, and an oven!!   NO measurements required either!

Here are the pictures of how to assemble a deli roll:
Open the thawed puff pastry sheet on a foiled and oiled baking sheet.  Spread a generous amount of mustard down the center of the pastry.  Layer with turkey slices, 1-2 layers.
Next layer the pastrami over the turkey.  Fold one side of the pastry over the center and then the other side over the first side (see picture below).  Seal the pastry together with egg wash and also make sure to brush egg wash over the top.
This is what the deli roll should look like before it goes into the oven.  Bake at 360 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until medium golden brown.
Voila...Here's your finished Deli Roll!  Let stand 5-7 minutes before serving, it will be very hot!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sweet Brussel Sprouts

HAPPY JEWISH NEW YEAR and SHANA TOVA to all who celebrate! This is a great side dish recipe to serve for the holiday!!

Sweet Brussel Sprouts
(serves 2-3 people)

2 containers of brussel sprouts, sliced in half lengthwise
4 tablespoons of butter or margarine
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

In a large saute pan, place the olive oil and butter (margarine) and let melt over medium heat.  After it melts together, place the brussel sprout halves face down and let caramelize and cook to your liking.  ( I prefer them a little over al dente, probably sauteed about 7-10 minutes).  Add the maple syrup, salt, and pepper and chopped hazelnuts.  Stir to combine and let simmer for another minute, place in a serving dish and enjoy!!

Tip: For an easy way to chop whole hazelnuts use a mini food processor!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Brisket anyone??

So Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, is quickly approaching and most Jews eat brisket on the eve of the holiday. It's usually made with loads of ketchup, spices, onions, carrots, etc. My family on the other hand either doesn't eat this typical dish known to most Jewish families so I've always heard about brisket but never made one.  After seeing a recipe in this month's Food Network magazine last week I thought that I'd try making one.  I wanted to make the brisket with a twist, so I went for a spicy pulled brisket burger.  The leftover meat can be used for beef tacos or over cous cous or quinoa.

Here's a photo of the brisket before going into the oven.
Spicy Pulled Brisket Sliders
This recipe was adapted from Smitten Kitchen's Southwestern Pulled Brisket recipe.
makes enough for 4 buns

1/2 pound beef brisket (See Note Below)
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder (omit if you don't want it that spicy)
1/4 apple cider vinegar
1 12 oz. can of diced tomatoes
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup store bought bbq sauce 
3 chiles (from a can) in adobo sauce (if you want it less spicy use 1)
4 potato buns

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season both sides of the brisket with salt and pepper.  Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in an oven proof pot on high.  Sear brisket in the pot for 5 minutes on each side.  Remove brisket and place on a plate.  In the pot place the onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, chile powder, salt and pepper to taste, and apple cider vinegar.  Stir with a wooden spoon to scrape up the pan, when vinegar is almost all gone add the brisket back into the pot. 
Pour in the  the water, diced tomatoes with the sauce, brown sugar, chiles in adobo, and bbq sauce.  Stir until well combined.  Cover the pot with parchment paper and then with tin foil.  If the pot has a cover place the cover on top of the foil. Place in the over and cook for about 3-4 hours, until meat is super tender and able to be pulled away with a fork. (If you need to leave the house for some reason, like I did, put your oven on 200 degrees and leave it alone for a few hours until you come back, as long as the pot is filled with liquid and sealed with foil and a top it should be good to go! Thankfully my apartment was still standing when I got home!)

Remove the meat from the pot and let it cool.  When cool enough to handle fork the meat into shreds.  Pour cooled sauce into a blender and blend until smooth.  
Place a large scoop of shredded beef on each bun and serve immediately drizzle with blended sauce if desired.  Serve with coleslaw or salad.

NOTE:  When I went to the butcher to buy the brisket they only had huge 2 lb pieces. I asked the butcher if he could cut it in half and I was able to purchase that.  When I got home I cut the 1 lb in half again and only prepared that much.  I put the rest in the freezer for another time.  This recipe is for a half pound piece of brisket.
Lunch for me and a friend for tomorrow! No soggy buns here!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...