Yes. I am here to tell you that it is possible for you to be turning on your oven in the middle of August (especially if you live in central Ohio where it was a cool 58 degrees this morning!) and this recipe is the perfect reason to do it.
First, I recently received a question asking me what healthy snacks I like to eat. So here are my top five picks in no particular order:
1. Dry Roasted Almonds (I usually eat a handful (about 15) for a quick 100 calorie pick me up)
2. Carrots plus a couple tablespoons of hummus
3. Roasted Kabocha Squash (Love this squash! It is so sweet and pairs well with peanut butter or a laughing cow)
4. A light Laughing Cow cheese spread in a tortilla (you can add veggies but sometimes I just like the taste of carbs and cheese)
5. A smoothie like this one
I like my snacks to contain a little nutrition and staying power and all these options are great for meeting both of these requirements.
Back to business. . .
The following recipe was so delicious that I am making it again tonight for dinner since I haven’t stopped thinking about the last one I made.
It is a quick and healthy “stromboli.” I got the idea from here and adapted the recipe to use what I had on hand.
4 oz of ground turkey breast
a handful of sliced mixed bell peppers
1/2 of a small onion thinly sliced
2-3 sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 flatout flatbread
1 light laughing cow cheese
tomato sauce (for dipping)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown the ground turkey in a nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray for 2 minutes before adding the bell peppers, onion and mushrooms (if using). Continue cooking until the veggies are softened (you can add some italian seasoning and garlic at this point for a more prounounced “pizza” flavor). Lay the flatout on a cookie sheet. Spread the laughing cow over the entire flatout. Spoon the turkey and veggie mixture down the center of the flatout and roll up like a burrito. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before cutting in half and serving with tomato sauce for dipping. Enjoy (I sure did 😉 )!
Looks a little like summer doesn’t it (only minus the perfectly sweet tomato slices because mine was mealy. . . oh well)
This recipes comes from Mama Pea whose had her recipes being posted all over blogosphere today with the release of her new recipe book. I actually just finished reading her first book and really enjoyed her recipes. She has a talent for making the flavors of healthy food accessible to not just adults but children as well (she probably gets lots of practice considering she has two young daughters herself).
It’s funny because I was actually planning on making one of her recipes that I have made a variation of a number of times tonight for dinner. It is your basic quinoa dressed up with sunny mediterranean flavors. I love it because it is super simple, takes about 20 minutes and can be served with hummus (always a plus in my book).
I served ours warm because, even though it is suppose to be spring in Ohio, the weather is still clinging to the last cool gray days of winter.
The quinoa tasted sort of like the summer that lies ahead (only better 🙂 ).
Mama Pea’s Greek Spinach Quinoa (Makes 6 servings)
- 1 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 2 c. vegetable stock
- salt and pepper
- 2 c. baby spinach, chopped
- 1/2 c. crumbled feta
- 1/3 c. sundried tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 c. Kalamata olives, sliced
- 1 t. dried oregano
- 1/2 t. dried parsley
- 2 T. balsamic vinegar
- optional garnishes: baked pita chips, hummus, Greek yogurt, vegetable crudités
Place a medium pot over medium high heat. Add quinoa and dry toast for several minutes, until grains are starting to brown. Add stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until all of the liquid is absorbed and grains are fluffy.
Add spinach, cheese, tomatoes, olives, oregano, parsley and vinegar and continue to heat until spinach starts to wilt and cheese has melted.
Serve hot or cold with desired garnishes or as part of a mezza platter.
Can you tell I like my food from my pictures? I don’t “style” my food per se like some bloggers do because I am always in a hurry to eat it! Yes, I eat everything I post :). Just sort of a disclaimer.
I served our quinoa with a dollop of greek yogurt, sliced onion roast beef from Whole Foods, spicy hummus, whole-wheat pita, kalamata olives and cucumber (not in season but it completed the theme somewhat). It was a nice combination but I think a piece of white fish or chicken might pair better with the quinoa.
I am definitely going to save this recipe for summer and serve it chilled with fresh veggies and hummus. I am looking forward to it already. 3 more weeks left of school for me (can you tell it is on my mind?)
What could make this better on a snowy winter night?
No. Not a new episode of Downton Abbey. Getting warmer though (no pun intended and a new Downton Abbey never hurts)
I was thinking more along the lines of individual servings of baked beans that have been naturally sweetened with cranberries, maple syrup and molasses then topped with crispy warm and lightly sweetened cornbread.
This recipe earned a 10 out of 10 from my family. It is from Oh She Glows who is such an inspiration to me because of the talented way she combines flavors and textures.
The original recipe calls for baking in a casserole dish but I was short on time so I baked individual portions in a jumbo muffin tin. The results were delicious. The caramelized baked bean exterior was perfectly complemented by the fluffy cornbread.
The delicious and hearty winter meal.
Pumpkin Maple Baked Bean Cornbread Casserole (slightly adapted from OhSheGlows)
Maple baked beans with a pumpkin twist all topped with a lightly sweetened cornbread.
Yield: 8 servings
Cornbread Topped Maple Baked Beans:
- 3 (15oz) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 sweet onion, chopped finely
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 3 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 4 tbsp pure maple syrup, to taste
- 1.5-2 tbsp regular mustard
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400F. In a pot, add a splash of oil along with the chopped onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.
2. Now add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Cook over low heat until thick, about 10-15 mins. You can make this the night before and leave it in the fridge like I did.
Cornbread Topping (I don’t suggest making this on its own as cornbread, it works as a topping only)
- 1 cup cornmeal
- 1 cup flour (I used spelt flour)
- 2 tbsp ground flax
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup organic cane sugar
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp light-tasting extra virgin olive oil (or canola)
3. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients. Add wet to dry and stir until combined.
4. Grease a casserole dish (I used 2.3 L) or a jumbo muffin tin (makes approximately 8 servings if using a jumbo muffin tin), spread in the maple beans, and spoon the cornbread mixture over top. Bake at 400F for about 35 minutes until golden and a toothpick comes out clean. Serve immediately.
Note: Does not keep well for leftovers (it dries out a bit). I suggest serving immediately or halving the recipe if needed. Enjoy!
There is nothing better than a hot bowl of soup on a chilly evening. Except a bowl of soup that is packed with nutrients and protein and is super simple to make. That is why when I saw this recipe from OhSheGlows I knew I had to make it.
This soup seriously exceeded my expectations. Most all vegetable soups have thin broth with very little flavor. The broth in this soup has depth and flavor from multiple spices. The lentils add thickness and make the soup very satisfying and add a good dose of protein.
However, I am never one to just serve a bowl of soup for dinner and be done. So, I whipped up a tiny loaf of Irish Soda bread and smeared toasted slices with goat cheese to be served on the side and dipped in the steaming hot soup.
My father (a meat and potatoes guy who is ever so patient with the numerous “girly” meals he is fed throughout the week) said quote “I don’t normally like this type of stuff but this is really good, you can make it again.” Well, he is in luck because I will definitely be making this soup again.
Leftovers reheat well and taste just as good the next day.
Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale Soup (from OhSheGlows)
Yield: 5.5- 6 cups
- 1 tsp coconut oil (or other oil)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 & 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/4-1/2 tsp smoked sweet paprika, to taste
- 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 14-oz can diced tomatoes
- 5-6 cups vegetable broth, more if desired
- 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
- fine grain sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 handfuls torn kale leaves or spinach
1. In a large pot, sauté the onion and garlic in oil for about 5-6 minutes over medium heat. Add in the celery and sauté for a few minutes more.
2. Stir in the bay leaf and the spices (cumin, chili powder, coriander, paprika, cayenne). You can add half the spices and add more later if you prefer.
3. Stir in the can of tomatoes (including juice), broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer, uncovered, for about 20-25 minutes, until lentils are tender and fluffy.
4. Stir in kale or spinach and season to taste adding more spices if you wish.
I woke up this morning and I actually didn’t want oatmeal for breakfast! I have eaten oatmeal every day for breakfast for at least a year. I love its versatility and the way it keeps me full all morning. However, this morning I just wanted something different. Something quick and filling.
Enter the two ingredient pancake.
I have seen various versions of this pancake all over the internet. I have never tried to make it because it only consists of mashed bananas and eggs. I thought for some reason that it would taste like banana-flavored scrambled eggs. I was very wrong. This pancake tastes just as good as any pancake made with flour or other grains and takes much less time to make.
Here is what I did:
Two-Ingredient Pancake (serves 1)
1 ripe medium-size banana
1 egg and 1 egg white
optional: cinnamon, vanilla extract
In a small bowl mash the banana very well with a fork. In a separate bowl whisk together 1 egg and 1 egg white (add cinnamon and vanilla extract if desired). Combine banana and egg mixture. Heat a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and add batter. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form on the surface of the pancake and the edges look dry. Carefully loosen the edges of the pancake and flip. Cook for another one to two minutes. Transfer to a plate and add whatever pancake toppings you desire. This is particularly good with peanut butter spread on top (it also adds some staying power).
I really enjoyed this pancake. I thought it had a very nice fluffy texture. I also love that I usually have all the ingredients on hand. This will definitely become a part of my breakfast rotation.
We have had record snow fall here in Ohio–close to 11 inches total from two separate snow storms. I don’t mind snow too much as long as I can still drive in it and go about my day without falling on my butt. Though I have noticed a tendency I am developing called “sitting on the couch all day next to the fire and television.” In fact, it was about part-way into my third movie this afternoon that I decided it was time to go for a walk.
An hour and 20 layers later I was walking on pristine powdery snow next to a small creek near our house. I live in a secluded area of the city so on normal days we can hear plenty of traffic noise but today the only sounds to be heard were the babble of the water and the cardinals. It was so peaceful.
One downside of snow though is that events tend to be canceled, which is how I found myself with the world’s largest bowl of pineapple mango salsa and no one to share it with (our church was going to have a salsa-making contest which was canceled due to the two snowstorms).
Needless to say we have been discovering new ways to eat salsa. We have tried it on chips, pita, in tacos, on salad and tonight we had it on top of paprika-dusted cod (my favorite way so far).
This salsa is so fresh and sweet with pops of flavor from lime, cilantro and flakes of sea salt that almost make it taste like a margarita. This recipe is based on a salsa served at Whole Foods. My two recommendations for getting it just right is to dice everything very small so you get a good variety of flavors in every bite and don’t leave out the salt because it really enhances the overall flavor.
Sweet and Salty Pineapple Mango Salsa (makes approximately 3-4 cups)
- 1 pineapple-cored and diced
- 1 ripe mango-peeled and diced (add a little agave nectar to your chopped mango if it is still slightly green)
- 1/2 bunch of finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 of a green bell pepper-diced
- 1/2 of a red bell pepper-diced
- 1/2 of a red onion-diced
- Juice from 1 fresh lime
- Kosher salt
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl except lime juice and salt. Then add the lime juice and salt to taste. Allow to stand 5 minutes then taste and adjust seasonings as necessary. Enjoy!
So colorful (and tasty)!
Now it is back to studying for me. I am taking the GRE tomorrow. So relieved it is finally here so I can be finished and done with it 🙂