Monday, October 29, 2012

Yum wow yum!

I had Jason pick up a rotisserie chicken from Costco the other day not really sure what I was going to do with it. Well, I found the most amazing thing to do with it and now it has been fully consumed. That's right. I did share a little.
I made the most killer delicious chicken salad ever. I mean, I made it this morning while my oatmeal was cooling and I will tell you this. My oatmeal was dumped down the drain after taste testing this salad. turning into my breakfast. This was so freaky deaky good. So here goes.

1 rotisserie chicken
1 avocado
1 container plain yogurt
1-2 T mayo (to tone the heat down to a level you are comfortable with)
1 chipotle from a can of chipotle in adobo (remove seed to reduce heat)
juice of 1 lime
pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
green onions

Puree the avocado, yogurt, 1 T of mayo, juice of 1 lime, a pinch of salt and chipotle. Holy cow this is some good stuff. I added my mayo after the fact because I realized how hot it was without. This puree without the mayo makes a killer killer dip. I was dipping my chips like crazy because you really only want to dump half of this mix into the chicken or it will be way too creamy.

Add your chopped green onion, cilantro, and pepitas to the creamy chicken and enjoy. I am telling you. WOW! I just filled those tostidos baked scoops with this and dined. Wow.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Too long but still cookin

I would love to do a better job of posting to my food blog. It saddens me that it can't be easier to load pictures. I dreamed of a food blog with lots of pictures but it takes so much time to upload pictures and then post them. If only I could do it from my phone. Alas.
I just made some delicious soup the other night. This was the first pureed soup I have ever tried to make and it turned out quite lovely. I have been eating it for a couple days now and even had it for breakfast the other day. Yum.
It comes from an amazing cookbook called Isabel's Cantina. I bought this book probably four year ago and have made many things from it and they have all been delicious. Please try this one and maybe your library has a copy you can check out and make more meals from it. There is also a pumpkin soup I plan on trying. The pumpkin has been sitting on my counter for two weeks now calling to me. It requires me to roast a pumpkin which I have never done before. Seems like a lot of work but I will do it. So...her it is.

Minto Mojo
1/2 c mint leaves
1/2 c cilantro
2 cloves garlic minced
3 T olive oil
1 1/2 T lemon juice
1 1/2 t sugar

Puree this in a food processor or bullet. Drizzle on top of your soup to serve.

Tomato Ginger Soup with mint mojo

3 T olive oil
1 medium yellow onion diced
4 cloves of garlic
3 carrots diced
2 stalks celery diced
3/4 c ginger minced
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 c dry white wine
6 cups chicken broth

Sautee the onions and garlic in oil until softened. Add the carrots, celery, ginger and white wine. Cook 10 minutes or so until wine is reduced greatly. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes and cook 45 minutes or until the vegetables are softened and ginger has mellowed. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. I did mine in the blender in about 5 trips. Remember not to cover your blender tightly and don't get it too full. I take the middle out of the lid of my blender and cover it with a towel to prevent and explosions. Same goes for processor. I'd leave the little top out and cover loosely with a towel. When ready to serve drizzle with the mint mojo and enjoy pure bliss.

As a serving idea. I put a big scoop of rice in the middle of mine and some arugula greens. Once I even sprinkled on some pepitas (pumpkin seeds). Experiment with your own yummy ideas.

I apologize for the lack of picture. If you are on facebook you can see it there. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Facebook Page

My friend Jennifer talked me into starting a facebook page to post my recipes too so I have been trying to do a little of both here. I find it easier to post entire recipes to this blog, but want to show people the delicious things I am making on facebook. I will start to post my blog address for people to find the recipes.
Today for lunch I made a Quinoa and corn salad with toasted pumpkin seeds from a favorite cookbook of mine called Power Foods. I added black beans to mine and used half of a red onion in place of the green onion because I didn't have them on hand. They were way too strong. I should have minced them smaller and used less. I am thinking of added some lime zest too so I can get more of that lime flavor. It makes a ton of dressing. I don't like to put too much on because quinoa can get really mushy. I can't stand a mushy salad. So I drizzled maybe a 1/4 of the dressing on in the end. Super healthy and the kids actually ate some of it. Yeah!
The actual recipe was not found by me online for the link to it so this link is to another gals site who made it and posted it. I just don't have the time in my day to type out every recipe I make. She made hers a little different down in the bottom where she starts to assemble it. I actually only made one cup of quinoa. I wanted the ratios to be a little even with veggies to grains being equal. I do 1 c rinsed quinoa with a little under two cups of water. I have a rice cooker that I make mine in on the white rice setting. Love it. I use my rice cooker at least twice a week if not more. I've had it for years and it's an amazing machine. Perfect rice/quinoa every time!
Found a great write up on Power Foods if you are at all interested in that book. I love it. It's from the writers of Whole Living which is a division of Martha Stewart. I get the magazine too! I love this book so much.

For dinner last night I made another Everyday Foods recipe. I love these recipes because they don't require a bunch of bottled/packaged foods. Almost everything in them is a whole food. Love that. It's really easy for me to make them gluten free and almost all of them are naturally healthy.

Stir Fry Chicken with Bok Choy
adapted from the magazine Everyday Food

1/4 low sodium soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
2 t light brown sugar
1 lb chicken breast or thigh meat cut into 1 inch cubes or sliced
4 t corn starch
2 T vegetable oil (I used my new favorite which is grapeseed oil-better for you)
2 garlic cloves thinly sliced
2 t peeled minced fresh ginger
4 c bok choy sliced from one head
1 small red chile or jalapeno seeded and diced
rice for serving (I used noodles)

In a small bowl combine soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar and 3T water. (I thought the sauce was a little weak so I wouldn't add the water next time or reduce it) Whisk. In a medium bowl combine chicken with the corn starch and toss to coat. In a large wok or skillet add oil cook garlic and ginger until fragrant about 1 minute. Add chicken and cook about 6-8 minutes. Add the bok choy and cook 1 minute or until wilted. Add the sauce and cook two minutes more. Serve over rice or noodles.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sloppy is my middle name

I must say I am a sloppy joe connoisseur. I have to have tried a dozen or more recipes. I just love all of the flavors that go into them. All of the ingredients they can include and be so different. They are super healthy and an easy way to get kids to eat a lot of different ingredients without knowing it.
Tonight I am going to be making one of my favorites of all time. It's Rachael Ray of course. You know, now that I think of it, most of the ones I have made are from her. Amazing recipes. This one is called a Buffalo Joe. Follow the link though because for some reason she has a couple Buffalo Joe recipes. I really love this one.
In this recipe I changed a few things with much luck and actually have never made it the way it's called for. If you do and it's awesome let me know. But the day I was going to make it I realized I had no worcestershire in the house. So instead I googled good substitutes and did red wine vinegar (completely leaving out the cider vinegar) and soy sauce. (GF for me). It was amazing. I think I did just a couple splashes of each. It tasted amazing and have been doing it the same ever since!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Great food as of late

I have been making some great recipes lately. My husband gives me a hard time because I will make something the family loves, but may not see it again or for some time. I try so many new recipes, it is rare that I will make something twice. I must quote Marcel when I say, "I like that
about myself."
If you don't know who Marcel is look him up on youtube. Marcel the Shell with shoes on. He's a family favorite!

One recipe lately was a Korean Noodle Bowl from Rachael Ray. I have had the recipe for months and never made it. Then I went and became wheat free, keeping me from pasta until I found the great brown rice pasta at Trader Joes. I have to say, it was amazing. Even Jason ate it. Didn't comment on the pasta. It does get a little sticky on it's own but with the recipe gave it a creaminess that was really delicious. Couldn't even tell. I ate it for breakfast this morning. I used organic chicken thighs. I stopped using breast meat. I don't care if it's less fat. Less fat means less flavor. I am not going to get fat eating a meal with dark meat for crying out loud. I like to enjoy my food and have it taste good, thank you very much. It never turns out dry and disgusting like breast meat does.

Lucy had been asking me about eggplant a lot lately and on a trip to the grocery store wanted to pick some up. I had just the recipe I had been wanting to try. I love it so so much. It was amazing. Everyday Food never disappoints. Steamed Eggplant and Mushrooms It was so so yummy.

I just got a cookbook at the library that I am pretty excited about. Simple Food, Big Flavor by Aaron Sanchez. It is an amazing cookbook. I love how it's set up. There will be a recipe for something like a sauce and then the next whole section of recipes is based on that recipe using that sauce. I happened to make something that could be altered. There was a recipe for roasted tomatillo salsa but I opted to purchase my own in a jar. Had I had more time, would have loved to do that.
The recipe goes like this:

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
1 1/2 lb of tomatillos
5 fresh serrano peppers or 10 jalapenos
3 whole garlic cloves peeled
1 large white onion peeled and sliced 1/2 in thick
1/4 olive oil
kosher salt
1/2 c fresh cilantro
fresh ground black pepper

After husking and washing tomatillos, broil along with garlic, peppers, and onion on a baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt. After charred and turning a few times (7 minutes) let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender and puree. Store up to a week or freeze for two months.

I must say if you decide to purchase tomatillo salsa, see if you can find mild if you are feeding the kids or if you can't tolerate heat. This was spicy. I mean, my nose was running. It was tolerable to me because I can stand that kind of heat but the salsa I purchased was medium. The heat I tasted was definitely medium level. I loved it. The kids did now. Sad too because it would have been a great dish. I am thinking if you added a can of chicken stock it may even it out though. If you make this salsa from scratch, you could always do like 5 jalapenos and it may be fine. Serranos are a lot hotter than jalapenos. Plus always remove all of the ribs and seeds for sure. Don't just chuck those babies in whole after roasting them.

The recipe I made was sausage chili verde with hominy and pumpkin. These recipes are not available through the web as of yet so I will type it out for you. I kid you not, when I tasted this soup I let out a sigh of extreme flavor pleasure. This is bursting with flavor. I mean, I am totally in love. I was going to freeze a bowl of it, but really, who am I kidding, this stuff aint gonna last through tomorrow. I will dream about it tonight.

2 T evoo
1 large yellow spanish onion diced
1 lb sausage ( I buy an Italian chicken sausage from Super Target)
1 1/2 t dried whole oregano crumbled (preferably Mexican)
3 large cloves of garlic minced
2 c roasted tomatillo salsa
1 15 oz can hominy
1/2 c fresh cilantro
1/2 lb butternut squash peeled and diced into 1/2 in cubes

Heat oil in pan and cook your onions for about 4 minutes until translucent. Add the sausage and break it up until browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in oregano and garlic. Stir 3 more minutes. Stir in the salsa, hominy with all of it's liquid, cilantro and squash. Simmer covered until tender squash 15-20 minutes. Taste and season as necessary.

I did not salt mine at all as it was perfect. I am telling you, this is a winner. I will make it again and again. I love it. Hoping Jason likes it tomorrow as he didn't make it home for the first round. May be dining upon it for breakfast. :) Lately my theory is that you can put a friend egg on anything and call it breakfast. Ha ha ha.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Recipes with pictures!!

Thai Beef with Chili and Basil
I have had this recipe as a staple for a long time now. Good ol Martha. Super flavorful. Really easy. I use jalapeno instead of the hot red chilis. I only use two and cook them together. Recipe calls for three and to add some in the end. I like to cook them all as to make sure it's not too hot for the kids. Doesn't turn out spicy at all. As will all of the recipes I will be posting now, gluten free. I use a Kikomon gluten free soy sauce. If you didn't know already, wheat is a main ingredient in soy sauce which is ironic to me because it is called SOY sauce. Why not call it wheat sauce for crying out loud.

Today for lunch I had a surge of energy and got all these things cooking. I had a pot on the stove going for pasta. I had the oven going roasting some zucchini. A pot on the stove boiling carrots. A pan cooking some Italian sausage. And some asparagus and broccoli steaming in the microwave. I was super leery about trying this brown rice pasta I had bought at Trader Joes. I must say, super super good. Tasted just like the real thing. The kids chowed it. It turned out to be a super tasty lunch with lots and lots of beautiful leftovers. I simply put a little butter on the carrots and broccoli but everything else had so much flavor it didn't need anything. I buy an Italian chicken sausage at Super Target that I love and have buying for a year or two now. Happens to be gluten free, so lucky me. It comes in a tube over by the breakfast sausages.
Me and my good friend Laura started cooking lunch for each other on our play dates. It gives us a great chance to make things our kids and husbands wouldn't typically eat. I love food. Really love food. I have never liked Indian food. It's one food I have never had a desire to eat. The spices smell far to strong. I don't like coconut milk at all, which is typically found in Indian dishes. She really surprised me with this dish and ever since I crave it on almost a daily basis. I had to make it for myself and wound up eating it for six straight meals. That does not upset me. For the tomatoes I used two 14 oz cans of plum tomatoes and smashed them up in the pan. As for the cauliflower; I used almost a small head. You can gauge it as to your liking. We served it over white rice. Wow!!! I love this dish. Super super healthy and super super flavorful. Plus, no coconut milk!

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry with peppers and water chestnuts
This was a super delicious stir fry from the Food Network Magazine. Again, really healthy. A little more prep and steps but totally worth the work. Really flavorful. Anytime I see sesame oil in a recipe I instantly put up the flavor flag. I would definitely give this one a try. Your family will love it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wheat Belly

I started reading a new book today called Wheat Belly. At first I was a little skeptical because I thought it was going to be another fad diet type book. It's everything but that. This is a doctor who found that on the days he didn't eat wheat he didn't feel tired, miserable, ill. He decided to have his patients, many diabetic suffering obesity, to cut wheat out of their diet. After weeks of following his wishes they had significant health improvements. Not only did many of them become non-diabetics, but they had improved health. Rashes clearing up. Irritable bowel symptoms subside. Arthritis improve if not disappear. Weight loss.
It does get a little boring as he goes into the history of wheat but it does prove his point all the further. The wheat we consume today has been modified so much that our body doesn't know what to do with it. So we become sick, obese individuals who turn to intense workout regimens, diets, and drugs to cure our ailments and weight issues.
I have read three chapters of this book so far. I find it all very interesting. I feel frustrated and confused by the way our FDA handles the foods we eat. The foods that are being produced in these factories. I have concluded that all I can do is change the things that I can change and do the best that I can. If I know that wheat is bad for me, I am going to stop eating it. What isn't bad for us anymore these days? True. This is one thing I can change. A big thing. I have already seen a significant improvement in my health, my mood, my body. I love the food I eat. I do miss wheat at times but it's really easy to get over it. For now, I will continue on this path.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gluten Free!!!

Wow, it's been forever since my last entry. It's been so hard for me to remember to take pictures of these delicious meals I am making. I always need to see pictures of the food I am making so I hate to not provide that to my readers. I promise I will try and get better about that.
Recently a friend of mine had posted an article about wheat on her facebook page. For a long time I had considered trying to eliminate wheat from my diet. It's so bad for the body. Well, at least now days it is because of all of the things our government is letting happen to our food.
Here is a link to the article. If it doesn't work it's calle The Dark Side of Wheat by the Washington Post Social Reader. Either way you could google it and real hundreds of articles about this very thing.
It basically talks about all of the chemicals they are using on the wheat we are eating every day. The more the wheat is processed into these food we eat, the worse it is for our bodies. Look at how many people today have Celiac. Look back in time and no one even knew what that was. Was it because it hadn't been diagnosed yet, or is it because over time our food has become more and more processed.
On this journey to becoming gluten free, (it's been a month now), I have come to realize it is also a clean diet. I don't eat food from packages anymore with a few exceptions. I make our meals every night. When I want a snack I eat some fruit, nuts, yogurt, vegetables. I feel amazing. I never feel that gross full feeling after eating too much. I haven't had gas anymore. I feel good. I feel healthy and light.
So am I going to be posting boring, gross recipes. No. I am going to be posting the same foods I was eating before without the pasta recipes. I have always ate this way, with a few slight changes. I use soy sauce in a lot of my cooking as I do love asian. Have a great gluten free soy sauce I use from the grocery store and it isn't anymore expensive than the others and you can't taste a difference at all.
Last night I made an amazing Chile Chicken Posole from The Food Network. It was so flavorful and easy. I have been using chicken thighs in all of my cooking these days instead of breast meat. Yeah, it's a little more fattening but it's a lot more flavorful and it's never dry. I got so sick of making these awesome meals that fell short because chicken breast meat is so dry. You aren't going to get fat from eating a little dark meat. I used one less can of green chilis in fear of it being too spicy for the kids. Better safe than sorry and it was the perfect amount of heat. The one thing I will change next time is to use half the amount of time if not any. I thought it was way to strong. It dominated my palate. We did garnish it with avocado and it's a must. So delicious. I highly recommend this dish. I will be making it again for sure.
The next dish I have made is awesome and I am making it again tonight. Chipotle Turkey Chili from Rachael Ray. Always love her recipes. This dish is super healthy, flavorful, filling. I love it. It has green apples and lots of meat. No beans for those dudes out there. Seems like most women like beans, but not the men. This is a really great recipe and I'm excited to make it again.
It's not hard to find recipes that are gluten free if you are cooking clean, real food. My favorite sources are: Everyday Food Magazine/Books, Rachael Ray, and Food Network Magazine. I have never been disappointed with a recipe from any of these. I haven't missed wheat at all. I can't say how long I will be on this journey but for now, it feels really good.