Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blood Orange and Beet Salad

I whipped this salad up over the weekend.  I used what I had in the fridge and it was a total hit!  I think it would also be a great Valentine's Day salad, if you're trying to go for an all red meal.  It has beets, blood oranges, and tomatoes, all which are red!  Blood oranges are now in season, they are one of my favorite types of oranges!

Blood Orange and Beet Salad
(serves 4)

1 package baby arugula
3 ears of corn, shucked
1 container of grape tomatoes, halved
3 red beets, cooked and sliced
4 persian cucumbers or kirby, sliced
2 blood oranges, peeled and edge trimmed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste

Place first 5 ingredients in a large salad bowl.  Right before you are ready to serve the salad, hold one blood orange over the bowl, and using a paring knife, cut along the membrane on both sides of each segment. Free the segments and let them fall into the bowl.  Allow the juices to drizzle over the salad, squeeze the membranes to extract the rest of the juice. Repeat with the second blood orange.  Add olive oil, the juice of 1 lemon, salt, and pepper.  Mix salad, serve, and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps

Every now and then I spend several hours and days just browsing through food blogs, some that are more known and some that are not.  While browsing around one day, I found this recipe on Dinner with Julie.  I was so happy when I found it because I actually love Lesley Stowe's Raincoast Crisps!!  My friend introduced me to them one day at her house and directly after leaving I went to purchase my own box at Whole Foods.  They are in the cheese section.  They are really yummy and have a a few flavors to choose from.  I have only had the Rosemary Raisin Pecan version.  There's a nice balance between the sweetness from the raisins, crunch from the pumpkin seeds and pecans, and even a little umami from the sesame seeds.  On top of all that there's flax seed meal and buttermilk in them as well!  They go great with any and all cheeses, but my fave is spreading them with a creamy brie!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!!  This recipe is taken directly from Dinner with Julie.

Rosemary Raisin Pecan Crisps
(makes 2-3 small loaves, depending on the size of pan)
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup flax seed, ground
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary

Preheat oven to 350° F.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the buttermilk, brown sugar and honey and stir a few strokes. Add the raisins, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed and rosemary and stir just until blended.
Pour the batter into two 8”x4” loaf pans that have been sprayed with nonstick spray. Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the pans and cool on a wire rack.
The cooler the bread, the easier it is to slice really thin. You can leave it until the next day or pop it in the freezer. Slice the loaves as thin as you can and place the slices in a single layer on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I like to slice and bake one loaf and pop the other in the freezer for another day.) Reduce the oven heat to 300° F and bake them for about 15 minutes, then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes, until crisp and deep golden. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Almond Date Breakfast Smoothie

So, I've literally had this breakfast smoothie almost every morning since the new year began.  It's amazingly delicious and healthy!  You get protein, calcium, vitamins, and a little sweetness too!

Almond Date Breakfast Smoothie
(makes 1 large glass)

1 cup skim milk or vanilla soy milk
1 tablespoon smooth almond butter
1 banana
5-6 pitted dates
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (optional)
6-8 ice cubes
*For added protein I sometimes add a scoop of protein powder, usually vanilla flavored.

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth!  Pour into your glass and enjoy for breakfast or anytime of the day!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Nutella Pound Cake

I was invited to a friend's house for some chili, they have a party every year!  I wanted to bring something that everyone could enjoy for dessert and had seen this recipe on The Italian Dish Blog and it looked like the perfect thing to make!  Chocolatey and delicious, this Nutella Pound Cake was gone in about 15 minutes, next time I will double the recipe for sure!!  Even the kids enjoyed, just make sure no one has a nut allergy!!

Nutella Pound Cake
(makes 1 loaf)

for a printable recipe, click here
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
One 13-ounce jar Nutella
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Lightly grease and flour a 9x5 inch loaf pan, tapping out any excess flour.  (I like to brush the loaf pan with melted butter, lay a cut sheet of parchment paper on the bottom of the pan, butter that and then flour the entire inside and then tap out the excess.  It ensures that your bread comes out perfectly.)  In a medium bowl, whisk the 1-1/2 cups of flour with the baking powder and salt and set aside.
In a large bowl beat the butter with the sugar at medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  With the mixer at medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each one gets incorporated before adding the next one.  Add the vanilla extract.  Add the flour mixture in 3 batches, beating at low speed between additions until incorporated.  Continue to beat for 30 seconds longer.
Spread one-third of the batter in the prepared pan, then spread half of the Nutella on top.  Repeat with another third of the batter and the remaining Nutella.  Top with the remaining batter.  Lightly swirl the Nutella into the batter with a butter knife.  Do not overmix.
Bake the cake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Invert the cake onto a wire rack, turn it right side up and let cool completely, about 2 hours.  Cut the cake into slices and serve.
The pound cake can be  kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.  It can also be wrapped tightly and frozen.

Some friends enjoying the Nutella Pound Cake!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Miso Glazed Cod

Miso Glazed Cod
(enough to marinate 2 fillets, adapted from Epicurious)
1/3 cup Mirin
1/2 cup white miso paste
1/4 cup sugar
2 6-ounce fillets of black cod

Bring the mirin to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat. Boil for 20 seconds to evaporate the alcohol.  Turn the heat to low and add the miso paste, mixing with a wooden spoon.  When miso is dissolved completely, turn the heat up and pour sugar into the pot.  Stir consistently until the sugar is dissolved, make sure not to let the sugar burn on the bottom

reserve some of the glaze for drizzling when you are ready to eat.  Let the rest of the miso glaze cool completely and pour over cod fillets in a bowl, let marinate for a few hours or for up to 2 to 3 days.  When you are ready to cook, place fillets on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for about 20 minutes. 

Drizzle with reserved glaze and serve alongside sauteed mushrooms and roasted brussel sprouts, as shown here or with your favorite veggies!!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Carrot-Ginger Dressing

I recently purchased the Candle Cafe Cookbook.  If you live in New York City, you should definitely check out both of their restaurants, both on the Upper East Side.  It's a vegan restaurant but even if you are not on a vegan diet you can still enjoy great soups, salads, entrees, and even desserts!!  I particularly love their dressings, they have about 8 to choose from! Here's an adapted version of their Carrot-Ginger Dressing.

Carrot-Ginger Dressing
(makes 2 cups)
3 knobs of peeled ginger, about 1-inch each, minced
2 garlic gloves
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup peeled and shredded carrots
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 cup vegetable or safflower oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons agave nectar
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Place all ingredients in the food processor or a blender and process until smooth.  Taste to adjust seasoning.  Keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for up to 10 days.  Pour over your favorite mixed greens and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Espresso Frappe

Since I purchased my new Vitamix blender almost a month ago I've been experimenting with all types of smoothies. Before I got my Vitamix, I made this green tea and banana smoothie a lot. I wanted to try to make a smoothie that can serve as part of my breakfast, with some caffeine, and lots of protein, and I think I've got it!  It's basically my own version of a frappucino, minus all the calories.  This drink has 35 grams of protein and about 250 calories and probably will keep you full until about 11am. At that time have  another 100 calorie breakfast snack such as a vita-muffin, greek yogurt, whole grain waffle, or a piece of fruit!

I poured my frappe into my reusable to go cup that I got at Bed Bath and Beyond and took it with me on my way to work...Speaking of venti cups, have you heard that Starbucks is coming out with a bigger iced coffee cup size?? Check out this article!

For an even better drink throw some chocolate chips in the blender and now you have a mocha frappe!!

Espresso Frappe
(makes enough to fill 1 Venti cup, see photo)
1 cup Skim Plus Milk (110 calories, 11 grams of protein)
1 package or scoop of vanilla protein powder (mine has 110 calories, 24 grams of protein)
3 packets Splenda (add more if you like it sweeter)
2 teaspoons (or packets) of instant espresso powder, or 2 shots espresso
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract (optional)
2 cups ice

Blend all ingredients together in the blender until smooth.  Pour in your to go cup and get on your way!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Carrot Ginger Soup

I love soups during these cold Winter days.  I've made Butternut Squash soup, Potato Leek Soup, Poblano Potato Soup, and French Onion Soup.  Now I'll share with you the recipe for a Carrot Ginger Soup.

Carrot Ginger Soup
(makes 10 cups)
2 medium onions, chopped
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 2-inch knobs of ginger, peeled and grated 
2 lbs baby carrots
2 tablespoons chicken consomme + 6 cups water OR 6 cups chicken/vegetable stock + 2 kosher teaspoons salt
pepper, to taste

Saute onions in olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until translucent, about 10 minutes.  Add freshly grated ginger to the pot and stir.  Add baby carrots and cover with your preferred liquid and seasonings (either water+consomme or stock+salt).  Cover and let boil for 1 hour, or until the carrots are fork tender.  If you want to make the cooking time less, slice the carrots.  

Use an immersion blender, food processor, or blender to puree soup into a velvety delicious soup full of flavor!  
There's only one knob of ginger here because at first I was only using one, but after I tasted the soup during cooking, i decided it needed more ginger so I added another!  Feel free to add as much as you can handle!
Before being blended  
Silky smooth Carrot Ginger Soup!  Delish!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Poblano Potato Soup

First off I want to wish everyone a healthy and happy new year!!  I am very excited to begin my journey through 2011!  Over the holidays I was away in Aruba relaxing and spending time with my family!  It was a great trip and very needed.  I came back refreshed and ready to get back to blogging.  So here I am...

While I was away I ate at this steakhouse called L.G. Smith's.  On the menu they have this wonderful poblano soup.  I ordered it for an appetizer and when it arrived I was surprised by how good and tasty it was!  I knew it would be very easy to re-create back at home. So for dinner on this snowy cold evening I decided to give it a whirl! I actually did give a whirl, in my new Vitamix blender.  If you are a fan of the Feed Your Sister page on Facebook you'd know that I purchased a Vitamix blender and am falling in love with it!  I've made ice cream, soup, and amazingly smooth smoothies.

Anyway here is a recipe I created for Poblano Potato Soup.  It's creamy without the creaminess.  It's extremely tasty without too much spice.  And it's not what you think a pepper soup would be at all!  So be brave and give it a try, even if you don't love peppers.

Poblano Potato Soup
(makes 4 cups)

2 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 poblano peppers, seeded and roughly chopped (leave some seeds in for extra spice)
2 yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
3 cups water + 1 tablespoon chicken consomme (OR replace with 3 cups vegetable/chicken stock + 1 teaspoon kosher salt)
Pepper to taste

Place chopped onions and olive oil in a pot and saute until onions are soft, about 10 minutes.  Add poblano peppers, potatoes, water or stock, and chicken consomme.  Let soup come to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for about 30-40 minutes.  The potatoes should be fork tender and peppers should be soft.  Place contents of soup in two batches into a blender and puree until smooth.   You can also use an immersion blender to blend the soup.

NOTE: If using a Vitamix blender, pour everything into the 64 ounce container and blend on variable 1 and increase to 10, blend until smooth.
Isn't this the most gorgeous color green??
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