Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vegan Meal – Kabob Inspired

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This dinner was so simple but so divine!  Personally, I really enjoy eating appetizers or side items for my main meal.  It allows me to taste several items instead of getting full from just one thing.  In essence – I get to eat more! 

Earlier today I went to Hoggy’s and for lunch I ordered 2 side items -the vegetable kabob and the cucumber, tomato salad.  It was so good that I decided to make a similar dish for my dinner!

For vegetables, I evenly chopped up: red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, baby bella mushrooms, red onion, cherry tomatoes, & asparagus. I then mixed in a generous helping of olive oil, salt & pepper, Worchester sauce, a dab of low sodium soy sauce, and 1 grated clove of garlic.  I let it marinate for an hour, then baked in a 375 degree oven until tender.  If I had a grill, I would have absolutely used that instead!

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For the cucumber tomato salad, I just used olive oil, salt & pepper, a dab of red wine vinegar, 1 grated clove of garlic, and a dab of Italian dressing.  Let marinate 1 hour and eat chilled.  If you like raw onion, red onion is also popular in this salad… mozzarella is also a popular choice. 

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For my full meal, I also had my chick pea mix, jasmine rice, avocado, and also added cut kernels from my corn on the cob.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Crispy fish & veggies

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Growing up, my family never made or ate fish, so I’ve never made it a part of my diet – until recently.  I’ve begun eating and cooking more fish this past year or so, and I really love it (when done right & not “fishy”). 
I’m not too ambitious yet, but I’ll eat halibut, cod, and trout with decent regularity.  I’m sure I’ll continue trying more as I have the option, but for now – that’s where my ventures lie.
I like baked, sautéed, and fried fish.  I love fish with a lemony butter sauce and I also often crave a crispy exterior. 
I found this crispy fish was quite good!  I also made a side of zucchini, mushrooms, onion and artichoke (just sautéed with olive oil, salt & pepper).
Ingredients
  • 2 cups dry potato flakes (or breadcrumbs)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning salt (use salt & paprika if you don’t have seasoning salt)
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 4 (6 ounce) fillets cod (or other white fish)
  • shortening or vegetable oil, for pan frying
Directions
  1. In medium bowl, combine the potato flakes, flour, garlic powder, seasoning salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
  2. Soak fish filets in bowl of cold water.
  3. In a skillet or fryer, heat oil to 350 degrees F.
  4. Dredge fish filets in dry mixture and fry in the hot oil for 5 minutes or until fish flakes apart easily. Remove from oil and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Eat & enjoy!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Reworking Taco Salad

My boyfriend and I were making tacos for dinner tonight.  Nothing special there, except that I wanted to go a bit more healthy.  Typically I would opt for fat free refried beans (skip the beef / light on the cheese) and call it a day, but we were all out so I had to find a substitute. 

I ended up using chick peas!  It was really good and I’m definitely going to make it a normal item on the taco menu.

I used the food processor to make the chick pea mixture a similar texture of refried beans.

Blend the following ingredients in food processor:

  • 1 garlic clove - minced
  • 1 can chick peas – drained and rinsed
  • olive oil – 3 tablespoons (or as needed to give smooth texture)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tahineh (mulled sesame seeds used to make hummus) – optional
  • 1/3 packet taco seasoning
  • salt to taste   

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Stuffed veggies!

One of my favorite things about summer is the fresh flavor of vegetables.  This recipe is a super easy dish that could easily be turned vegan (just leave off the cheese topping).  It can be used as a side or a main dish.

Slowly sauté onions in extra virgin olive oil.  While onions are cooking, blend the following ingredients in food processor:

  1. roasted red pepper
  2. 2 garlic cloves
  3. 1 cup chopped zucchini
  4. 1 cup chopped mushrooms
  5. 1-2 tablespoon(s) olive oil

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This veggie blend alone is a fabulous dip (use zucchini chips!), but to continue with the stuffed veggie dish you would:

Mix veggie blend into sautéed onion mixture and very lightly cook.  

Meanwhile – cook or use leftover wild rice mix.

Stir rice in even amount into veggie mix.

Use bell peppers, tomatoes, zucchini or any veggie you like to stuff, and fill with rice / veggie mixture.

Place in oven pan and cover with tin foil.  Cook for 20 minutes @ 375 degree, uncover, and sprinkle with cheese.  Serve while warm.

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My tomato fell apart, but it still tasted delicious!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Top Tier Devils Food Cake with Sour Cream Fudge Frosting

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I’ve recently fallen in love with Ipad’s epicurious application.  It has TONS of amazing recipes, great feedback comments, ratings, pics, etc…

My boyfriend decided to make this cake for my birthday (found via epicurious) and it was so smooth, moist, and chocolaty that I could seriously eat it all day!! 

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

  • 1/4 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 ounce high-quality milk chocolate (such as Lindt, Perugina, or Valrhona), chopped
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:
  • 8 ounces high-quality milk chocolate (such as Lindt, Perugina, or Valrhona), chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 4 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • Organic roses (for garnish)
  • Special equipment: 2 5-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides


PREPARATION:

For cake:
Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Butter two 5-inch cake pans with 2-inch-high sides. Line bottom of pans with parchment paper; butter parchment. Combine cocoa powder and milk chocolate in medium bowl. Pour 1/4 cup boiling water over; whisk until mixture is smooth. Whisk in buttermilk.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in another medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat both sugars, oil, egg, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add flour and cocoa mixtures; beat until blended (batter will be thin). Divide batter between pans.

Bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out with some crumbs attached, 28 to 30 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks; peel off parchment. Turn over; cool on racks.

For frosting:
Place chocolate in large metal bowl. Set bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Add butter and stir until melted, then add sour cream and corn syrup and whisk until smooth. Let frosting stand at room temperature until thick enough to spread, about 20 minutes.

Using serrated knife, trim top of cakes to make level. Cut each cake horizontally in half. Place 1 cake layer, cut side up, on platter. Spread 1/4 cup frosting over, leaving 1/2-inch border. Top with second cake layer, cut side down. Spread 1/4 cup frosting over, leaving 1/2-inch border. Top with third cake layer, cut side up. Spread 1/4 cup frosting over, leaving 1/2-inch border. Top with remaining cake layer, cut side down. Spread 1/3 cup frosting over top and sides. Chill until frosting is set, about 30 minutes. Keep remaining frosting at room temperature.

Spread remaining frosting evenly over top and sides of cake. Arrange roses atop cake and serve.

TIP: If you don’t have 5 inch pans, you can use 2 eight inch pans and bake for 18-20 minutes instead.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Brunch in a cup

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I’m not sure what this dish should be called – but I will say that it was delish! 

STEP 1: I sautéed onion, bacon, and potatoes to crispy brown and tender (salt & pepper to taste).

STEP 2: Put ingredients in a buttered oven-safe ramekin.

STEP 3: Top ingredients with egg and bake in oven until egg is cooked (but yolk still soft).  About 15 minutes @ 350.

STEP 4: Top cooked egg with a little parmesan or sharp cheddar, leave in oven another minute to melt, and then dive in to the goodness.

Step 1:   

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Step 2:

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Step 3:

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Step 4:

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Monday, August 2, 2010

Refresher

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I don’t know about you, but sometimes I like a nice drink after a long day.  I love white wine and usually just drink a glass of that when I’m in the mood for a drink, but today I did a little mixing instead.

When I’m in the mixing mood, I typically grab and mix together whatever is in my fridge.  Today I mixed sauvignon blanc (crisp sweeter white wine, but vodka or rum would work too!), grapefruit juice, and a splash of fruit punch – then I added fresh cherries and blueberries and gave it a good stir.  Final step: enjoy the much needed refresher.