Monday, March 5, 2012

Brussel Sprouts (a new look)

A few months ago, I tried brussel sprouts and developed a new opinion of them.  They were always on the list of few foods that I hated, along with green olives (yuck)! I'm not sure that I actually ever tried them until a month ago but they were a food my mom didn't like or make for us and therefore I decided I didn't like them. 

The big difference I found though is how you prepare them! If you steam brussel sprouts they get slimy and taste horrible.  However, if you roast them they become crispy little cabbages and delicious! So, give them another try and let me know what you think!

 Cut in half and spread evenly onto a baking pan

 Evenly coat with olive oil, salt, pepper 
(or any other seasonings you'd like, I like them simple)

Roast in the oven at 400 degrees until they become crispy and lightly browned.  
About 15 minutes.  Enjoy!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Pasta Sauce

This pasta sauce is so flavorful and packed full of good for you veggies!  I love roasting vegetables on cold days like this one.  We just may have our first snow of the season tonight! The recipe makes quite a bit of sauce, but you won't mind having leftovers!  So here is what you'll need!

1 medium size eggplant
1 red pepper
4-5 roma tomatoes
5-6 cloves garlic
1/2 small onion
1 jalepeno (optional)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup water

Red peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, garlic, 1/2 small onion, jalepeno

 Chop vegetables and bake at 400 degrees about 20-30 mintues
Watch the vegetables since the eggplant and tomatoes will be done sooner than the red peppers.  
(You may want to separate onto 2 pans.)

 Combine all roasted veggies except red peppers into a food processor and pulse until it's blended but still a bit chunky. 

 In a sauce pan add 1-2 cans of diced tomatoes.  (You will use 1 or 2 depending on how many vegetables you have roasted.)

 When red peppers are charred, put them in a bowl

 And cover with plastic wrap, let it sit for about 15 minutes. 
Then take skin and charred part off, chop the peppers

Combine pureed vegetables with tomatoes then chop and add the roasted red peppers.  Add 1/2 -1 cup water if sauce is too thick.  Simmer on low until sauce reduces, add salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, cayenne, and any other seasonings you'd like! Enjoy over pasta!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


I love apples and seem to buy them every time I'm at the grocery store.  About this time of year I seem to have many apples in my refrigerator that have been there well... for awhile.  So a few weeks ago, I decided to clean out the fruit drawer and make some homemade applesauce.  It was super easy, so easy I'm not really sure if I can call it a recipe, but delicious anyway!  Hope you'll make some next time you have some extra apples!

Start with 10-12 apples, I used fuji, gala, golden delicious, and granny smith

 Peel the apples

Core and cut into even pieces

Put in a crockpot on low with 1/2 cup water

Sprinkle with cinnamon

Cover and set on low for 5-6 hours.  
When the apples become tender, use a potato masher to make applesauce. 


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fiesta Bowl

This is a great meal to make when you want something healthy but will also fill that cozy comfy place inside.  Lentils are pretty high on my list of favorite foods, I just love the natural flavors and the health benefits.  This is another recipe from a friend at church and it has become one of our favorite fall/winter meals.  It makes about 3 servings so adjust to fit your family.  It's nice for us that there is some left over for lunches the next day. 

1 cup lentils
3 carrots (grated)
1 small onion (chopped)
Brown rice (cooked, I use 1 cup uncooked to prepare)
Fresh salsa - try this recipe, it's our favorite
1 Avocado (chopped)

 Combine lentils, onion, and carrot with 4 cups of water in a large pot.
Cook about 25-30 minutes until the lentils are tender.  
Add some seasonings if you like, I used cumin, garlic, salt, and pepper. 
Also prepare some brown rice at this point, it will take about 35 minutes.

 The base of the bowl is a BIG handful of spinach

 then add some rice,
The hot rice and lentils will wilt the spinach.

 add the lentils,

Finally top with lots of fresh salsa, avocado, and tortilla chips.

Enjoy it knowing that it's all good for you! Well, maybe not the chips, but you need a little crunch in there!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chickpea Dumpling Soup

 Hope you have had a wonderful week! I've been busy with clinicals which I'm really enjoying and this week was so much better than last.  My sweet friend Donna passed away last week which made for a rough week.  She was such a Godly woman, friendly, and so sweet.  I just loved her so much! I'm glad she's resting now but it's just sad to think that's she's gone.  Anyway, Stephen's been working so hard with the church and I know he's especially tired at the end of the week.  We have music practice tonight too so I prepared this soup today since I got off work early and it will be perfect for when we get home tonight.  It really doesn't take long to make either. 

I've always had this desire to have chicken dumpling soup, it just sounds so comforting and hearty.  But, I don't eat chicken! So when I saw this recipe on The Chew, I knew it would be the perfect substitution.  The dumplings were just like I thought they would be and I think this is a perfect soup! It takes about 30 minutes to prepare so it's great for a weeknight quick meal.  Hope you'll try it and let me know what you think!

Chickpea Dumpling Soup

1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
3 stalks celery
3 carrots
2 cans chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon Adobo seasoning (one of my favorite all-purpose seasonings, it gives great flavor!)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4-5 cups vegetable broth

3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup corn meal
1/2 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
A little sprinkling of Adobo seasoning
3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk)

1. Chop the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots and saute in olive oil or a little vegetable broth.  I have recently learned you can use broth instead of oil to saute, it really doesn't make a difference and cuts out the oil!

2. Add seasonings and chickpeas.  Saute another 2-3 minutes then add the broth and bring to a boil. 

3. Reduce the heat and let the vegetables cook until just tender (15 minutes).

4.  In the meantime, combine the ingredients for the dumplings.  First the dry ingredients, then the milk stirring until just combined. 

5.  Once the veggies are just cooked, spoon the dumpling batter into the soup in small teaspoons (I learned this the hard way last time making huge dumplings!) Let the soup simmer another 15 minutes.  I flipped the dumplings over about halfway through but I'm not sure it's necessary.  I'm not an expert with dumplings but I understand the cornmeal makes them not chewy... anyway, then it's done!

6.  Season with additional salt and pepper or whatever you think it needs! Hope you enjoy, I know we will!

Monday, January 23, 2012

National Pie Day!

It's National Pie Day, (and week) which means I couldn't pass up an excuse to make pie. It really doesn't take too long to do the prep work, so celebrate by making a pie and maybe try one of these recipes! I'm sure a special person in your life will be glad you did!

Try these others too, I think I may soon!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup is such a classic that I don't make often enough.  A friend recommended Reames frozen noodles (found in the freezer section of the grocery store) so I wanted to try these noodles and soup sounded like a great option.  It was such a comforting soup and the noodles are really hearty and filling.  You should try them next time you go to the store!  The next day the soup broth pretty much absorbed into the noodles but it made a new dish... chicken and noodles! Anyway, it was really simple and quick and a great meal for when you get home late and want some soup, which happens quite often at our house.  Or when you're feeling under the weather, which is likely to happen at some point this winter!

So here's the simple recipe:

2 stalks celery
3 carrots
6 cups chicken/vegetable broth
Chicken (I used "fri-chick")
1 bag Reames noodles
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the celery and carrots and saute in a little olive oil (5 min).  Add seasonings and saute another 2 min.  Add broth and chicken, when it comes to a boil, drop the noodles in and continue cooking about 20 minutes or until noodles are cooked.  Season with salt and pepper and that's it!