Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mini Raspberry Almond Tarts

I am so excited to share this recipe with you.  It came to me last night as I was thinking what I could make with these fabulous Driscoll Raspberries!

I was contacted through The Daily Meal by Driscoll's with an offer to come up with a raspberry recipe in exchange for some coupons on there fabulous berries. Okay!  Twist my arm, I will do it.  Nonsense.  No twisting necessary.  I love Driscoll Berries.

So here is my idea.  Since I am nearly sugar free, trying to take off, taking off some major poundage, I decided to go as sugar free as possible and up the protein content.  So many people are into low carbs and high protein.  Why not?  Now, good carbs, like raspberries rock my world.  I love raspberries!

Mini Almond Raspberry Tarts

Crust:

1 cup almond flour
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Filling:

2/3 cup Greek Plain Lowfat Yogurt
1 tablespoon sugar- of course you can replace it with honey or something
1 large egg

Topping:

Why beautiful raspberries of course!

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line mini muffin tins with mini cupcake liners.

With a fork combine almond flour and baking soda- then ad in egg and vanilla.  Mix until combined. Set aside.

In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, sugar and egg. Set aside.

Get a little bowl with some water in it.  Set near work surface.

Spoon a scant teaspoon of almond mixture into cup. Fill all the little tins.  THe mixture is just enough.  So borrow from one to another if you need to to make sure all 24 cups have the almond base in them.  Next, dip your finger tip in the water and smush the almond crust into the bottom of the cup.  The water will help with the stickiness.  Once you have dabbed down all those little crusts flat, wash your hands.

Pour a scant two teaspoons of filling into the cups.  Keep going to make sure all 24 cups get the filling.  Divide as evenly as possible.  You should have just enough.

Bake in a preheated over for 20 minutes. They should be lightly golden.  Remove, cool, and then chill.  Top with AMAZING raspberries!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

South Western Quinoa Salad



The good people at Red Pack tomaotes contacted me and sent me some of there wonderful canned tomatoes. This recipe is slightly adapted from Red Pack's recipe.  Visit there website for more delicious recipes and pcik up a can and make some of these fresh delicious salads!

South Western Quinoa Salad
Recipe courtesy of Red Pack Tomatoes

1 cup quinoa cooked
1 – 14 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 – 14 ounce can corn, drained
1- can Red Pack Tomatoes
1/2 of a large red bell pepper
4 green onions, sliced thinly
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Juice from 2 limes
3 tablespoons barbeque sauce

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
for bonus flavor and added heat add a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne or a chopped pickled jalapeno

In a small bowl whisk together limes, olive oil, garlic powder, barbeque sauce, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Combine cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, bell pepper, green onions,  and cilantro.  Mix in the dressing.  Serve with cilantro sprinkled over top and some lime wedges.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Thai Beef Salad


If you have some steak leftover this dish comes together really fast.  You can totally substitute chicken as well or skip the meat all together.  I have had this salad before and I have to tell you anytime I have leftover steak- which is not too often, I think of this salad straight away.  I have mainly used Hangar Steak before.  

Thai Cabbage and Steak Salad


2 limes, juiced
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil ( roasted)
3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Thai fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc mam)
1 pinch ground red pepper (cayenne), if  you like a little heat
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar 
 
leftover steak, sliced as thin as you can
2 carrots, peeled and cut into strips
10 cups romaine, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup mint, thinly sliced
1/4 cup Thai basil or regular basil, thinly sliced
fresh ground black pepper
3 green onions, sliced thinly
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts (optional)

 
The most important thing here is to do a nice chop of everything that is in this salad. With a whisk combine the lime juice, vinegar, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, Thai fish sauce and olive oil. Set aside.

Chop and then toss the vegetables and herbs in a large bowl.  Toss in the dressing and then serve with steak and peanuts sprinkled over top.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Camponata on Quinoa


The good people at Red Pack Tomatoes sent me some of their delicious tomatoes.  I had to make this quinoa and camponata dish with the tomatoes.
With summer coming and so many delicious vegetables coming, this is a recipe that will use a lot of them and is sure to please.  Whether you serve it like a bruchetta or over quinoa it is very flavorful and delicious.


Camponata

2 tablespoons plus two tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 eggplant (about 1 pound), cut into 3/4-inch dice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large sweet onion, diced
3 rib celery, finely diced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup minced fresh mint leaves, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup  minced fresh parsley leaves, plus more for garnish
1- 15 ounce can Red Pack Petite Diced Tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons capers, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Sauté onion, celery and red pepper in oil.  Add in eggplant and the extra oil.  Continue cooking until eggplant is tender.  Add in garlic, salt and pepper, mint, parsley, cinnamon, raisins, tomatoes. capers, sugar and vinegars. Cook on a gentle simmer for about 20 minutes, uncovered.  Remove from heat.  Best if made a day in advance, flavors will marry.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Asian Cabbage Salad


My favorite go to meal for a low calorie lunch and super healthy and delicious.  Does it freaking get any better than that?

Asian Cabbage Salad

2 cups cabbage chopped small
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 green onion, sliced thinly
1/4 cup peanuts or almonds, chopped
2 tablespoons or more carrot shavings
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Mix the cabbage with the rice wine vinegar and let sit for at least ten minutes.  Add in the remainder of ingredients and toss well!  Enjoy.

Happy Mothers Day!

 I love when the tulips come up!
The earth laughs in flowers.  
                       Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Mustard Chicken With Blackberry Sauce

 

I was at the Farmers Market last week.  Along with the farmers that sell there, there are many vendors from the local food warehouses that sell their goods as well.  When lots of stuff is fresh and local, I buy from the farmers, of course, but in the colder months I buy from the warehouses as well.  I scored a huge container of black raspberries.  I had seen this recipe in a magazine called Eating Well when I was at a doctor appointment and had copied it down.  I knew I had to make it when I found the blackberries.  Yeah!  You can find that original recipe here.

Seldom does that happen where I find the recipe and the ingredient at the same time.  How many times I have cut out a recipe, gone to the store at some other time, bought what I needed and then could not find the recipe.  Ha!
 Isn't it a beautiful color?  So rich and delicious without being fattening. Score!

Then I knew I had to make this other recipe as well.  I love how it turned out with the layers of flavor both in the chicken as well as the sauce. It was easy too.  Flavor it all up and place in the oven.
And for dessert.  Oh YEAH!

Mustard Chicken

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons of Dijon
1 tablespoon Italian Herb seasoning (or a combination of basil and oregano)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 large chicken breasts

In a baking pan 9 x 9 mix olive oil, dijon, garlic and Italian seasonings together until combined.  Place breasts in mixture and coat evenly.  Bake at 350F oven for about 20 to 30 minutes or until done.

Blackberry Sauce

1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
6 ounces blackberries

Make this sauce at least a couple hours before you are ready to use it.  Place honey and Dijon in a food processor or blender. Whirl it until it is combined and add in blackberries.  Whirl until the blackberries have been chopped and it is a nice smooth consistency.  Refrigerate until ready to use.  It will keep for a few days and actually get better the next day.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Vegetarian Baked Beans

Holy Crow!  Has it been that long since I last posted.  Well, in between getting my yard ready for summer, planting and sewing, I thought I would try to get a post in.  Since my daughter is vegetarian and baked beans for picnics and such is upon us, I thought I would share this amazing recipe with you.  If you want it meaty add in bacon.  That of course will kick it up a notch.  Without it, though, its pretty flavorful.  We all really enjoyed it! Hope you do too!

Vegetarian Baked Beans

Water
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 pound small dried beans, such as great northern or pinto beans, rinsed
1 1/2 cups finely minced yellow onion (about 1 large onion)
2 tablespoons finely diced seeded jalapeño (about 1 medium pepper)
1 1/2 cups finely diced green bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 3 medium cloves)
2 cups reserved bean broth
1 1/2 cups (homemade) ketchup
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon BBQ 3001 (Penzey's Spice) or BBQ spices of your preference*
1 tablespoon hot sauce ( as many squirts as you need/want)

In a large container, whisk together 2 quarts water and salt until salt has dissolved. Add beans, cover, and let stand overnight at room temperature. Drain and rinse beans.

Add onion to dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion softens and begins to brown around the edges, about 7 minutes. Stir in green pepper, jalapeño, and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups of water, chicken stock, reserved bacon, and beans. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 300°F while beans are simmering.

Stir in ketchup, brown sugar, honey, molasses, mustard, vinegar, barbecue rub, and hot sauce. Cover and transfer to oven. Cook beans for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove cover and cook until beans are tender throughout and sauce has thickened, about 1 hour longer. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Season with salt. Serve immediately; alternatively, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or freeze. Reheat before serving.

Full Disclosure:  Nope.  I was not told to say or asked to say anything about how wonderful Penzey's 3001 BBQ spice is.  I just like it.  That's all.  You can use what you want.

*BBQ SPICE CAST of CHARACTERS include:
cumin, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, celery salt, garlic, ... (what am I forgetting?)

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