Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pomegranate Guacamole

I don't need to say much, the picture and the word avocado speek for themselves... enjoy!

- 2 avocados chopped into small chunks
- 1 large tomato seeded and diced
- 1/2 of a red onion finely chopped
- 1 jalapeno seeded and diced (include the seeds if you prefer it spicy!)
- 1/3 cup diced cilantro
- juice of one lime
- salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

Mix avocado, tomatoes, onion, jalapeno and cilantro in medium bowl. Squeeze fresh lime juice over mixture and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Fold mixture together gently and top with pomegranate seeds. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Perfect Blueberry Muffins - Finally!

Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins

Blueberry muffins aren't like brownies. I mean, when have you ever had a bad brownie? Never! It doesn't matter if they come from a 99 cent box, a coffee shop or were homemade by a 12 year old, they are always good. Admittedly, some are better than others, but I have never meet a brownie I didn't like. But a blueberry muffin on the other hand, they are tricky little suckers. They seem so tame and innocent. I mean how could blueberries, butter and suger be bad? But the fact of the matter is that they are a far cry from being created equal. Boxed versions, forget about it, not even worth it. Even most homemade or coffee shop muffins are usually disappointing. 

I am a "heal of the bread" kinda girl. The top of the muffin should be firm and have a texture different from the inside of the muffin. You should be able to pull the top off the muffin, like in the "Top of the Muffin" Seinfeld episode. They should be able to stand up to cup of strong coffee. I don't want my blueberry muffins delicate and cupcakey. 

Okay, so I admit it, maybe have a mild obsession with the nuances of pastry. And it is fair to say that my mediocre blueberry muffins have been an achilles heal. But, finally, after years of average blueberry muffins, with the right recipe and a few of my personal twists, I have hit the jackpot. These suckers are perfect: substantial, flavorful, and full of juicy blueberries!  

Adapted from Williams- Sonoma Essentials of Baking

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine-grind cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg 
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup vanilla soy milk
4 T salted butter, melted 
1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 & 1/4 cup FRESH blueberries 
3 T Turbinado sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Position a rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 400 degrees F. Butter ~10 large muffin-pan cups or line them with paper liners. 

In a bowl, stir together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and brown sugar. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until blended. Whisk in the soy milk, yogurt and butter. Pour the egg mixture over the dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Fold in the berries.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling each cup about three-fourths full. Sprinkle the cinnamon and sugar evenly over the tops. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 16-22 minutes. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 2 minutes, then turn out onto the rack. Serve warm.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Healthy Pumpkin "Ice Cream!"

Pumpkin Soy Ice Cream
- 4 parts Trader Joe's Vanilla Soy Cream
-1 to 2 parts canned pumpkin 
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch cinnamon
- walnuts (if desired)
- Mix well and enjoy or freeze for later!

PS: canned pumpkin is also great mixed into cooked oatmeal and adorned with similar toppings!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Broccoli Carrot Fruit Slaw

- TJ's shredded broccoli and carrots (approximately 1 bag)
- 1 cup garbanzo beans
- 1 tart apple chopped
- 1/2 cup salted and toasted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3 green onions chopped
- desired amount of Goddess Dressing

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Harvest Grains Fruit Feta Salad

- Head Romaine lettuce chopped (or TJ Very American Salad)
- 3/4 cup cooked Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend 
- 1/3 cup raisins 
- 1/2 cup crumpled low fat feta
- 1/2 chopped Jazz or Gala apple
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces

- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon mustard
- pinch of salt

1) chopped salad ingredients and cook Grain Blend, omitting butter
2) mix dressing ingredients
3) mix salad ingredients together and top with dressing when ready to serve

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Broken Arm AND a Sweet Potato Madness

Some of you may know that I broke my arm a while back. Needless to say that my summer plans changed rapidly and endless hours chilling out in Sacramento with nothing to do has been gifted to me (or something like that...)

After the Percocet haze I moped. 

After long, surprisingly fun, ten hour drive with J - Dub, I arrived in sunny San Diego.

After relaxing time with my family, friends, sunshine and sand I felt a bit of acceptance. 

After I could use my lower arm I spent countless hours aimlessly wandering the streets of Sacramento. Many streets have been explored and many iphone photographs have been taken. 
And I discovered that the album Lost Horizons by Lemon Jelly is totally amazing.

After I could move my non-weight baring, non-muscle using shoulder, I cleaned, a lot (in case you didn't know, this is my neon green super awesome cleaning outfit.)  Between working and taking full-time care of me, Pete definitely had his hands full. I walked the neighborhoods more purposefully, I played artist, and I cooked. Here is a hint of what's to come. 

Sweet Potato Fiesta - Ay!

- 1 medium cooked (baked or microwaved) sweet potato per person
- 1 ripe tomato chopped
- 1 can of black beans
- mozzarella cheese (feta might works well too)
- 1 or 2 chopped green long peppers (mix between a bell pepper and a jalapeno)
- salsa

- slice open cooked sweet potato and top with desired amount of cheese and beans. Heat in oven or microwave until cheese is melted and beans are warm. Top with desired about of salsa, fresh tomato and pepper.

And since I still had some cooked sweet potato left over...

Farmers Market Sweet Potato
- 1 medium cooked (baked or microwaved) sweet potato per person
- 1 ripe yellow heirloom tomato chopped
- 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed
- goat cheese
- chopped fresh basil
- cracked pepper
- salt

- slice open cooked sweet potato and top with desired amount of cheese and beans. Heat in oven or microwave until beans are just warm. Top with desired about of tomato and fresh basil.

I have a bunch more recipes to post once typing become more comfortable. But by then, I may be back on my bike ;-)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Quinoa Banana Bread

By the time I got around to writing down the recipe, this
was all that remained of the loaf.
Well, I guess that is not entirely true... by the time I got to taking the picture, that was all that was left. Currently, the loaf is gone. Poof, gone. And I barely shared!

This recipe was inspired by my friend Megan who creatively added millet to a loaf of banana bread she brought camping with us a few weeks back.

(In case you are wondering, yes, I did burn my shoes...)

The millet provided a nice nutty texture and made for a bit denser bread. Since I love quinoa, I decided to go out on a limb and add some to my next loaf of bread. The end result was a nutty bread, without the nuts, that was not too dense or dry and still tasted like ripe bananas :)

This recipe is similar to one I found online, with a number of my own additions and modifications of course. This made one regular sized banana bread plus 5 muffins.

- 1/2 cup of butter
- 2 eggs
- ~2 1/4 cups mashed rip banana
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar, plus ~ 3 tablespoons to sprinkle on top
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1 cup cooked red quinoa
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon, plus some to sprinkle on top
- 1/8 teaspoon salt

- Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour 9 x 5 pan.
- Cook quinoa (follow directions on box)
- Cream butter and sugars together. Add in honey and eggs. Mix well.
- Add in the mashed banana and make sure well mixed.
- Mix all dry ingredients together, including cooked quinoa, and separate bowl and add to wet ingredients.
- Once well mixed, pour into pan and muffin tins and sprinkle with turbinado sugar and cinnamon.
- Bake for ~ 1 hr or until toothpick comes out clean.