Holiday Appetizer: Beet and Goat Cheese Pizzas

cooking, food, healthy, nutrition

The Holidays are here! Many of us stress about eating healthy during this time of year or just throw away healthy eating all together.  Well here is a recipe that won’t ruin healthy eating for you, and it has many delicious seasonal flavors.  This Beet-za is something you could have as an appetizer at any holiday party and it will certainly impress your guests!
Beets and goat cheese are a classic combination.  On this Beet-za, I used whole wheat naan as the crust, or you could use pitas or flat bread.  I paired the beets with quick-pickled onions, beet greens, and rosemary cayenne  roasted walnuts.  I also used a pepper jelly for a tangy and spicy surprise!  I know these ingredients sound kind of crazy, but they were totally awesome all combined together!

Here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 Large beet, boiled, peeled and sliced 1/16th of and inch thick

1/4 red onion, thin sliced

1/2 cup vinegar

sea salt

1 tsp sugar

2 beet green leaves, sliced in thin strips

1/2 cup walnuts

olive oil

1 tsp Rosemary, chopped

1/2 tsp cayenne

2 Naan whole wheat

2 T pepper jelly

1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese

Method:

  1.  boil beet for about 30 minutes until soft. This will make it much easier to peel and slice.
  2. While the beet is boiling, prepare quick-pickle liquid by combining vinegar, 1/ 2 cup water, a dash of salt and sugar over heat.
  3. Slice onion and pour the pickle liquid over the onion.  Allow to soak for at least 25 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 425 and combine oil, walnuts, rosemary, salt and cayenne in a small oven safe pan.  Roast for 10 minutes and set aside.
  5. Once the beet is soft, peel and slice on mandolin slicer.
  6. Place naan on sheet pan and spread 1 tablespoon of pepper jelly on each, then arrange the beet slices on each naan.  Sprinkle salt on top.
  7. Place the Naans in the oven for 12 minutes.
  8. After the 12 minutes, top each Beet-za with pickled onion, goat cheese, beet greens and walnuts.
  9. Cut the beet-zas into 4-6 slices and serve!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Spicy Chicken Tortilla Soup

cooking, food, healthy, nutrition

So, I’m not going to lie… this recipe was supposed to be white chicken chili and I got carried away with spicy peppers! The white chicken chili turned out very orange… so I added black beans and decided that it was  more of a chicken tortilla soup! Despite my confusion on what type of soup I was actually making, it turned out really delicious and spicy, which was the goal! I used three types of peppers: jalapeño, green chilies, and chipotle peppers.  I have picky husband who hates “pepper chunks” so I put all of the vegetable ingredients through the food processor, which actually made a nice texture for the soup.  So overall, this recipe was a learning experience which happened to turn out very nicely!

Always keep in mind that my soup recipes make a very large amount!  You can always freeze some, or give some to a friend or neighbor!

INGREDIENTS:

Olive oil

2 Jalapeño peppers, sliced

1 8 ounce can diced green chilies

1 8 ounce can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce ***use half of this if you want a less spicy soup**

1 yellow onion, diced

2 cloves garlic

3 T flour

1 Cup milk**optional, I added this for creamyness

5 cups chicken broth

1.5 lbs chicken, cooked and shredded

2 t coriander

1 T cumin

1 T chili powder

2 cans white beans, rinsed

2 cans black beans, rinsed

S&P, to taste

Shredded cheese, for topping

Fresh jalapeño, for topping

Blue corn tortilla chips, for topping/dipping

METHOD:

  1. Saute onion, jalapeño, garlic cloves in olive oil in a large soup pot, until tender
  2. Remove from pot, and puree in food processor or blender with canned green chilies and chipotle peppers.
  3. Add about 3 T of olive oil into the pot and stir in flour. This will make the soup thicker.
  4. Stir in milk, continue stirring and add the broth, pepper puree, and shredded chicken
  5. Add all spices, increase heat and stir occasionally.
  6. When the soup is hot, add in all beans.
  7. Serve with cheese for topping, fresh jalapenos, and blue corn tortilla chips for crunch and a fun color contrast!
  8. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Butternut Squash and Veggie Soup

cooking, food, healthy, nutrition

Fall is here, which means it’s also Soup Season! I love making soups and chili because you can make extra and save it in the freezer for a day you don’t feel like cooking.  I also love to make soups with LOTS of veggies because you can get a variety of vegetables in one dish.  This soup really hit the spot with the butternut squash.  It adds a perfect fall flavor and heartiness.  Another thing I loved about this is that I used some full fat coconut milk to add creamy flavor and to help thicken the soup.  This recipe is vegetarian, but can be easily adapted to any diet.  If you’re a vegan, just switch out the chicken broth for a vegetable broth.  If you’re a meat lover, add cooked, ground turkey with lots of spices for a protein option, while keeping it lean!  Here’s the recipe:

*use a big pot for this!! it makes quite a bit:)

Ingredients:

Olive oil

1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped

5 stalks of celery, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1/2 cauliflower, chopped

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 T paprika

1 T oregano

1 T fresh thyme

1/2 T fresh rosemary

1 t. Garlic powder

1 t. Cayenne Pepper

1 t. Chili Powder

2 T sriracha sauce

1/2 Cup flour

1 can full fat coconut milk

5 cups chicken broth

1 bag frozen peas

1 can chickpeas, rinsed

S&P, to taste

METHOD:

  1. Saute squash, carrots, celery, onion, cauliflower and garlic in olive oil until the vegetables begin to soften.
  2. Add all of the spices, toss the vegetables, and then remove from the pot and into a large bowl.
  3. Pour about 1/2 cup of olive oil  into the pot, whisk in flour. Reduce heat to medium.
  4. Whisk in coconut milk, continue whisking until it begins to thicken.
  5. Add sauteed vegetables back into the pot.
  6. Add chicken broth and continue to stir.
  7. Add sriracha sauce, peas and chickpeas, stir.
  8. Increase heat to medium high, and allow the soup to reach desired temperature.
  9. Salt and Pepper, to taste.
  10. Serve hot and enjoy!

No Mayo- Curry Chicken Salad

cooking, food, healthy, nutrition

Hello world!!

I am finally posting again!! I love chicken salads, but I’m not a huge fan of mayo.  It just isn’t something I keep in the house.  My friend Dave gave me the idea to use hummus as a mayo substitute in chicken/tuna salads!  It is certainly a very healthy alternative and it tastes great! I decided to make a curry chicken salad.  This is also a great thing to make for meal prep lunches.  Just keep the chicken salad in the fridge, and bring lettuce wraps, whole grain crackers, or a tortilla with you to lunch!  This recipe is super easy, healthy and delicious.

Ingredients:

2 large chicken breasts (about 1.5 pounds)

1 Cup diced celery

1/2 cup sliced green onion, reserve some for garnish

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 container of plain hummus

1/4 cup honey

2 T lemon juice

2 T olive oil

2 T curry powder

1 tsp cumin

S&P, to taste

Method:

  1.   Cook chicken to internal temperature of 165 degrees.  Cool completely.
  2.   Dice chicken in to bite size pieces, and combine with celery, green onion, and sunflower seeds.
  3.   In a separate bowl, combine hummus, lemon juice, olive oil, curry powder, cumin, honey, and S&P.
  4.  Pour hummus mixture over the chicken mixture and stir together.
  5.   Serve with lettuce wraps, crackers, or on a tortilla or toast!
  6.  Enjoy!!

 

 

Turkey and Brie Panini with Apple Pear Chutney

cooking, food, healthy, nutrition

I’ve been dying to use my cast iron grill pan!  I just couldn’t decide what to grill.  This morning my fiance suggested a panini and I decided it would be perfect!  The grill pan worked amazingly and made beautiful grill marks.  If you don’t have a grill pan, you could certainly use a George Foreman grill, or something similar.

Paninis are great because you are getting a nice hot sandwich, with out it being slathered in grease or butter.  You can simply make your sandwich and then grill it, no grease necessary.  Also, you can use a nice lean meat like turkey, rather than having a greasy burger.  You can also add some nice fresh greens to your sandwich to help add nutrients.  I used spring mix.  I also used a nice, healthy whole wheat bread with a seeded crust.

The chutney I made for this was really easy and super flavorful.  It was great on the panini.  This chutney was very versatile.  It would go great with fancy cheese and crackers, crostinis, or as a topping on a protein such as ham, turkey or lamb chops.  It is something you can really get creative with.

INGREDIENTS (serves 4-6):

2 Granny smith apples, diced

2 Pears, diced

1 Small yellow onion, diced

2 jalapenos, diced

1 T garlic

1 T ginger

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp cardamom

1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

S&P, to taste

1/2 cup golden raisins

1 cup pecan halves

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup apple cider vinegar.

1 Pound sliced turkey breast

Spring mix blend

1 package of brie, cut in thin slices

Whole wheat bread of your choice

METHOD:

  1. In a lightly oiled and heated saute pan, add the first 15 ingredients (from diced apples down to apple cider vinegar).
  2.  Stir over medium heat, until all the liquid is gone and the apples and pears have softened.
  3. Once the chutney is fully cooked, you can take off the heat and set aside.
  4. Heat your grill pan over medium heat.
  5. Build your paninis one at a time with brie, spring mix, turkey, and then the chutney.
  6.  Place one panini on the grill and press down with a bacon press or a spatula.  Leave on one side for about 90 seconds and then flip and press the other side down for 90 seconds.  This will allow the brie to melt and for the grill marks to form.
  7.  Repeat last step for all of your paninis.
  8. Serve immediately after they come off the grill!

 

Veggie Frittata with Goat Cheese

cooking, food, healthy, nutrition, Uncategorized

I am off work today, so last night I kept thinking about breakfast.  That’s what I do, I lay in bed at night and think about what I’m going to eat in the morning.  Any way, I decided I wanted to make a frittata.  My wonderful fiance got me lot’s of kitchen stuff for Christmas, including some cast iron skillets.  I love my cast irons and they are great for making frittatas.

You can really do what ever you want with a frittata.  I chose to pack mine full of veggies and top it with a little goat cheese.  I love trying all different cheeses lately, so I thought goat cheese would go well with this.  For the veggies I included spinach, onion, zucchini, sweet potato, and tomato.  This is a really great way to start your day because you are getting protein from the eggs and sweet potato, vitamin C from the tomato, fiber from the zucchini, iron and many nutrients from the spinach.

INGREDIENTS: (Serves 6-8)

1/2 A sweet potato, sliced

1 Small yellow onion, diced

1/2 A zucchini, sliced

1 Small tomato, sliced

1 Cup baby spinach

12 Eggs, beaten

2 Ounces goat cheese, crumbled

S&P, to taste

METHOD:

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2.  Oil and heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet.
  3.  Slice and/or dice all veggies, but keep them separated.
  4. Add the sweet potatoes to skillet first.
  5.  When the sweets begin to soften, add the onion.
  6.  When the onion is translucent, add the zucchini.  Keep stirring.
  7. Add the tomatoes when the zucchini begins to soften.
  8.  Reduce heat and begin beating eggs.  Don’t forget to salt and pepper the eggs.
  9.  Add the spinach to the other vegetables and give a light stir.  Don’t let the spinach wilt down too much. Top with the crumbled goat cheese.
  10. Pour the beaten eggs over top. Raise the heat to medium high and allow the bottom to set.  You should not be stirring once the eggs have been added.
  11.  Once the bottom and sides are starting to firm, put the skillet into the oven for about 10 -12 minutes or until the eggs are completely firm and cooked.
  12. Remove from oven and serve hot!

Protein Packed Vegan Brunch Bowl!

cooking, food, healthy, nutrition, vegan

What a great and healthy way to start the day after sleeping in!  I absolutely love having brunch and this bowl was so easy and super nutritious.  I decided to make this a vegan brunch because the ingredients in this are all great for getting protein in a vegan diet.  I used a super grain mix of quinoa, millet, and buckwheat, which are strong sources of protein, fiber and iron.  The sweet potato is also a good source of protein, along with fiber and Vitamin A!   I topped this with avocado to add a nice healthy fat to the dish, plus I just want avocado on everything! For all you non-vegans out there, this would also be wonderful with a nice gooey, over easy egg on top, which would add even more protein to this awesome brunch bowl.

Another added bonus to this recipe is that it doesn’t make a lot of dishes, since it is cooked all in one pan!

INGREDIENTS: (serves 4)

1 cup super grain blend

2 cups organic vegetable broth ( I used low sodium)

1 sweet potato, diced

1/2 red onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup dandelion greens

1 T crushed red pepper

2 avocados, sliced

METHOD:

  1. Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a saute pan.
  2. Add grains and chopped sweet potato.  Lower heat to simmer and cover.
  3. Cook covered 16-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Chop up other veggies.
  5. When the liquid is absorbed, lower heat and add in all the other veggies and crushed red pepper.
  6. Stir about 3 minutes until the greens are wilted.
  7. Serve with avocado topping!