Monday, April 25, 2011

If it makes you healthy

A few weeks ago I caught Sheryl Crow on the Rachael Ray show. She has a new cookbook out that she wrote with her personal chef. All healthy recipes and ways to eat for maximum health. This week I am giving some more of the recipes a try. Last week it was the cashew sticky rice. This week I am trying Veggie Caponata Soup, a bulgur wheat salad, a potato salad and a quinoa pasta salad. So far I have tried the quinoa pasta salad. Very very good. I am not a huge fan of the quinoa pasta. Turned out really tough. If you want to try this salad and aren't feeling daring regular pasta would be good too and to be honest with you, no pasta would be really good too still. I love this salad so much. I will post it soon. The Veggie Caponata Soup is what we are having for dinner. I have made it a goal to serve my family at least two meatless meals per week. I myself will be eating more meatless meals for lunch as well. This soup is very tasty and unique. Here it is.

Veggie Caponata Soup
adapted from If It Makes You Healthy by Sheryl Crow and Chuck White

3 T canola oil
1 cup diced celery
1 medium red onion diced
1 T minced garlic
3 T tomato paste
4 c vegetable broth
2 c cremini mushrooms
1 1/2 c diced zucchini
1 1/2 c diced eggplant
2 c tomato juice
2 c diced tomatoes (I didn't read carefully enough so I dumped in to cans of diced tomatoes; after realizing this I only put in half the amount of tomato juice called for to make up for the extra liquid I had added. bone head!)
1/2 c chopped green olives
3 T drained capers
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 t sugar
salt and pepper
2 c packed arugula
1/2 c chopped basil

In a large pot add your oil and heat a minute or two. Then add the diced onion, celery, and garlic. Cook until softened. Add the 3 T of tomato paste for a minute adding a bit of stock so you don't burn the paste. Cook 2 minutes until stock has evaporated. Add the eggplant, zucchini and mushrooms and cook 3-4 minutes. Add the remaining broth, tomatoes, tomato juice, olives, capers, lemon juice, and sugar. Season to taste. Cook until veggies are softened, about 20-25 minutes. Serve topped with arugula and basil. Yummm. Enjoy.

I promise to get the others posted soon when I have some more free time to type them out. They are so new I can't find links to paste in here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Still cooking

I made something amazing today that I am so excited to dine upon again. Sheryl Crow has a new cookbook out called If It Makes You Healthy which is really a great book. I found this recipe in there and had to try it. Yummmmm.
Sticky Cashew Rice
1 1/4 c brown rice (I used short grain)
2 c water
1 T soy sauce
2 T rice vinegar
2 T sugar
1 T salt
1 c cashews
green onions

Cook the rice accordingly. I always use my trusty rice cooker. Works much easier. I actually did 1c rice and 2 c water so I have no idea how it would turn out otherwise.
Whisk all the ingredients after the water together. When the rice in finished cooking spread out on a foil lined pan with cooking spray. Sprinkle the sauce mixture over the top. Add the cashews and green onions as well. Because I used less rice it was a little more liquidy than I desired so I actually cooked up some tofu and mushrooms in a wok for a bit then added the rice. I love this dish so much. I will dream about it.

My good buddy Laura and I decided that from now on every time we have a play date someone will make chocolate chip cookies. We are going to try all different recipes just for fun because we love chocolate chip cookies so much. This is the best one in the world so I am going to find it hard to make many others, alas I will though. Yum. You have to make these.

I promise you that you can not find a better chocolate chip cookie recipe out there. I got 15 out of the batch and cooked them for about 11 minutes and let them cool on the pan for a few. They turned out perfect. I had to eat two in a row they are that good. I can't wait until thursday when I make them again. Yummm. Plus going to New York this summer and will dine upon the real thing then. The ones I dream of.

My sweet husband came home from the library with a Nigella cookbook. This is a really yummy Korean recipe I found and loved it. Super simple and super super yummy. It had just the right amount of spice. It was so funny because serving it to my three year old she cried at first saying it was too spicy but then kept on going back to eating it. It's delicious.

Another recipe from the book was called Chinatown Chicken Salad. Super duper yummy. Very simple and fresh flavors.

1 red or green chile seeded and diced
2 t chopped fresh gingeroot
4 t lime juice or rice vinegar
3 T soy sauce
splash of sesame oil
1/2 t sugar
I actually doubled this because it didn't seem like enough. I used 4 t of lime and 4 t of rice vinegar. Turned out great.
1/2 c salted peanuts chopped
1 iceberg lettuce chopped
1 1/2 c bean sprouts
4 scallions chopped
1 red bell pepper sliced thin
4 c shredded cooled chicken (used rotisserie chicken)
handful of fresh chopped cilantro
Assemble and serve with dressing. Enjoy.

Margarita Soft Fish Tacos
from none other than Rachael Ray. Still rockin the Look and Cook book of hers. Love it so much. This was a good recipe for one reason, the sauce. The fish was super dry to me. Not a fan. I would make these again with shrimp or shredded rotisserie chicken. I ended up eating the sauce for days. You could use it as a salsa with chips or serve it over some rice. I loved this sauce that much. I wasn't going to waste a drop of it and it did make a lot. Way more than you would ever need for this recipe but like I said, I was not sad about that. Super yummy.

I am really excited to get cooking more from the Sheryl Crow book. Very healthy recipes and very interesting flavors going on. It will be fun. Things I will probably have to make for me and Lucy but that's ok. I enjoy having a healthy lunch.