Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hummus Slaw

I am not a big fan of most coleslaw recipes. I don't like mayo, so any recipe that uses that as a base is a definite no-go, and I don't really care for sugar-y/vinegar based dressing that accompany lots of other coleslaw recipes. When I saw this simple version of slaw, that is dressed with hummus and lemon juice, I knew it would be something I liked. I ended up just making the slaw part of the recipe and not the chicken part, but I think that the full recipe would probably be really good. This was a great side dish and also made a delicious lunch.

Here is the recipe I took the Hummus Slaw from

I also made this recipe for Roasted Pork with Lentils.
from the same issue of Food Network Magazine, but the picture I took was too hideous to share. It was a great dinner. We had collard greens on the side.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Date Chocolate Nut Balls

For the past couple months, I haven't been consuming refined sugars. I will admit that I had a slice of this pie (sans the coconut) that I made on Thanksgiving and tasted a cookie or two over the Christmas Holidays, but for the most part, I haven't been eating it. I haven't been baking very much. I still make my kids cookies or muffins occasionally, but I don't always consume what I make. I also have been experimenting with other ways to enjoy sweet treats.

We are big LARABAR fans in this house. If you are familiar with those, you know that they can be a little bit pricey. Especially when a certain 9 year old wants to eat one- every. single. day. *sidenote- his favorite flavors are - Coconut Cream Pie, Cashew Cookie, and Chocolate Coconut Chew :D

I have seen multiple recipes for Homemade LaraBars and so, I bought a huge bag of dates a few weeks ago.

Long story short- These little Date Chocolate Nut Balls were the first thing that I made with my dates. They are kinda like little nuggets of a LaraBar.

These little treats are so good. They are just sweet enough to qualify as a treat and the perfect way to top off a meal. I made them when I was taking dinner to someone and kept quite a few for us. We have been enjoying them as snacks straight from the freezer. I worked out the calorie info and each one has about 40 calories. I will be making these over and over again.

Here is the recipe for Date Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls
* I used a mixture of cashews, pecans, almonds, and hazelnuts instead of peanuts
* I used unsweetened coconut milk instead of water, just because I had it in the fridge

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chicken and Broccolini Stir-Fry

Stir- Fry is always a great option for weeknight dinners around here. I love how quick they are to prepare and also the versatile number of veggies that you can use in them. I saw this fun take on stir-fry in a recent issue of The Food Network Magazine and thought it looked delicious.

My kids have been snacking on sweet mini peppers lately, so I had no problem slicing up a few of them for this stir-fry. My family really enjoyed this meal and I hope you do too.

Here is the recipe for Chicken and Broccolini Stir-Fry
* I used rice wine vinegar instead of mirin

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Brussels Sprout-Sweet Potato Hash

I saw this recipe on facebook and loved the idea of a savory, veggie-filled breakfast. Since now I like sweet potatoes, I was really excited to try this dish. I also love brussel sprouts, so I knew this had to be good.

This quick breakfast was delightful. It took a few minutes to prep the vegetables, but once they were ready, the whole thing came together really fast. Because the sweet potatoes are finely shredded/grated, they really don't take that long to cook. I added a fried egg on the side and decided to add this to my weekly breakfast menu. It's fast, nutritious and soo good!

Here is the recipe for Brussels Sprout-Sweet Potato Hash

Monday, January 16, 2012

Herbed Salmon Croquettes

My in-laws gave me a gift certificate for my birthday and so over the Holiday break, I took the kids to Barnes & Noble to look at books. I picked up a giant stack of cookbooks, novels, and magazines and parked it in the kids section. Luckily for me, my kids like to look at books as much as I do. We spent a few hours there, but I waited to use my gift certificate, so I could think about what I wanted to get.

Before we went to the bookstore I was thinking about dinner and what I could make. I really needed to go get groceries, but decided to use what I had on hand to make dinner instead. I was thinking about making some sort of salmon patty because I had 2 pouches of salmon in my pantry. While at the bookstore I saw this recipe for Herbed Salmon Croquettes. My past experiences with Ellie Krieger's recipes gave me confidence and I knew they would be fabulous. I have her 2 other books and love them. I had everything on hand and I felt confident that I would be able to find the recipe online. Thankfully, I was able to look inside this book on Amazon and get the recipe.

These Salmon Croquettes were fabulous. My kids loved them. I just served them over a big salad of mixed greens and we devoured them. I wanted to try one of the sauces that Ellie recommend in her book to go with them, but didn't have the ingredients on hand. To my satisfaction the croquettes were flavorful enough to not need any sauce. I was so happy with this recipe and how it turned out, that I went back to the bookstore and used my gift certificate to get this cookbook (and maybe a Lego StarWars book for my son, since we were on a date :D )

Herbed Salmon Croquettes adapted from Comfort Food Fix by Ellie Krieger
2 slices whole wheat bread
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 5-ounce pouches skinless, boneless salmon, drained of any excess water
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 celery stalk, very finely diced
2 large egg whites
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
olive oil cooking spray

Put the bread in a food processor and process until fine crumbs are formed. There should be about 1 3/4 cups of crumbs.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.

In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the bread crumbs, the onion mixture, salmon, mustard, celery, egg whites, parsley, dill, salt and pepper, mixing well to combine. Form into eight 2 1/2-inch patties and gently press each patty in the remaining 3/4 cup bread crumbs.

Heat the remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the croquettes until browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Spray the tops with oil spray, flip.. and cook 3 minutes more, or until browned and warmed through.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Peach Almond Green Smoothie (with Swiss Chard) & other Green Smoothie recipes

Back in October my sister came to visit. She was reading a book about Beauty Detox when she came and although we didn't agree with everything in the book, we both decided that we would incorporate green smoothies into our diet. I had had them before, but not consistently, because I always felt that I was getting enough greens in my normal diet. Swiss Chard is my all-time favorite food. We eat tons of kale, spinach, swiss chard, beet greens, turnip greens, collards, etc., and even had a very successful first summer/fall of growing swiss chard in the garden. (I still have some sprouting up out there!)

Taking all of this into account, my sister and I started having a green smoothie almost daily. She went back to Utah and we would email or text our different recipes and ideas
. I experimented with some of my own concoctions, some were delicious, some not so good-(which I still got drank, somehow). I also tried a bunch of different recipes that used different greens besides spinach, which I am going to share. I haven't taken a picture of every single one of these recipes, but I have enjoyed each of them 5+ times in the past few months. My go-to, on hand, I-don't-want-to-think green smoothie is banana, frozen mixed berries, spinach and cold water. I don't like using yogurt/milk or juice because it adds unnecessary calories, in my opinion.

Now I have some sort of green smoothie 3-4 days a week. I find they are very refreshing as an after workout snack/meal, but also are great as a breakfast or snack anytime of day.
I don't add any honey/agave/sweetener because I think the fruit makes them sweet enough. My kids drink them with me and really like them. I know many people try to eat healthier as the New Year rolls around and green smoothies are a great and easy way to up the number of veggies/fruits you consume.

I have made and enjoyed each of the following Green Smoothie recipes at least 5 or more times. My kids love them too.

Peach Almond Green Smoothie (pictured above)

1 cup frozen peaches

1 sliced banana

2 cups chopped (torn) swiss chard

1 T raw almond butter

2 cups water+ a few ice cubes

Optional: 1 T ground flax seed

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth

Blueberry Kale Smoothie

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 1/2 sliced bananas

2 handfuls (1 1/2 cups) chopped kale (I like to use red russian kale, it has a better raw taste)

2 cups water

handful of ice

Optional: 1 T ground flax seed

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth

Grape Fig Cleanser

3 cups grapes (purple or green)

3-4 black mission figs

2 cups chopped spinach

2 cups water

1 cup ice

Optional: 1 T ground flax seed

Oat Berry Green Smoothie

1/4 cup oats (ground up in blender before other ingredients are added)
1 sliced banana
1/2 cup chopped fresh or frozen mango
1 cup frozen blackberries or blueberries (or mixed frozen berries)
2 cups spinach
2 cups ice cold water

Glowing Green Smoothie by Kimberly Snyder

1 1/2 cups water

1 head organic romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 of large bunch of organic spinach (or 3/4 of small bunch)

3-4 stalks organic celery

1 organic apple, cored and chopped

1 organic pear, cored and chopped

1 organic banana

Juice of 1/2 organic lemon

Optional: 1/3 bunch organic cilantro (stems okay), 1/3 bunch organic parsley (stems okay)

  1. Add the water and chopped head of romaine and spinach to the blender.

  2. Starting the blender on a low speed, mix until smooth.

  3. Gradually moving to higher speeds, add the celery, apple, and pear.

  4. Add the cilantro and parsley if you choose. Fresh herbs, like cilantro and parsley, have cleansing properties that help extract heavy metals and other toxins from the body.

  5. Add the banana and lemon juice last.

Here is a link for Green Smoothie Cups that I plan to try really soon since I located coconut water at Trader Joe's last week

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Rice Krispy Bundt Cake and looking forward to a great 2012!

My husband's birthday is on December 23rd and mine is the next day, so our birthdays are usually a busy, fun celebration that involve many Christmas festivities thrown in with the birthday stuff. Neither of us mind this at all.

Last year I spent way too much time in the kitchen on Matt's birthday making these totally decadent, divine Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes. This year I wanted to keep it simple and so when I saw Mary post this fun idea for a Rice Krispy Bundt Cake a couple of months ago, I knew it would be the perfect birthday treat for my hubby. One of his fave treats happen to be rice krispy treats, so he was very excited. The preparation was easy. The celebration was simple and there was absolutely nothing fussy about this fun birthday treat. We decorated the top with Christmas shaped marshmallows and each enjoyed a slice after going to a basketball game.

I am excited about 2012. I think it is going to be a great year. I am looking forward to fun, challenges, growth, excitement, laughter, hard work and much more. I'm not sure what exactly that means for my blog, but I have made some changes to my diet over the past 2 1/2 months and I don't know for sure how that is going to translate to what goes on over here.

On another note, I saw this Food Lover's Cleanse on Bon Appetit last year and really wanted to try it. I am thinking about starting it within the next day or two, but I'm pretty sure the only part I will include my family in is the dinner portion. Maybe I will choose the best 7 days of it and do it for only a week. I hope you all had a great holiday and are as excited about the new year as I am!

Here is the post about the Rice Krispy Bundt Cake from the Food Librarian
* I made a double batch of rice krispy treats so they would fill a normal sized bundt pan and
made sure to use lots of baking spray so the cake would come out easily