Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Back to healthy recipes!

Makes 2 servings (but eaten with a side salad, could easily be 4 servings)

Adapted from a HungryGirl recipe and filled with fiber, protein, and veggies, these tasty things are all you need for dinner!

2 large bell peppers (red is sweetest!)
1/2 lb. ground turkey
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1.5 servings of brown rice (even though it's 2 servings, I recommend the boil-in-a-bag)
3/4 cup tomato sauce
2 tsp. chili powder (or to taste)
1/2 cup 2% shredded cheese (Mexican blend is best)

1. Slice peppers in half and remove ribs and seeds. Place in a glass baking dish, sprayed with cooking spray, and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.
2. While peppers are cooking, prepare brown rice as directed on package.
3. Cook ground turkey in a shallow skillet, seasoning with as much spiciness as you like. Mix in the chopped onion and mushrooms, and saute for a couple minutes. Take off the heat and add in the cooked rice, tomato sauce and cheese.
4. Remove peppers from oven and fill with rice and turkey mixture, top with cheese if desired (not included in nutritional info), and bake for an additional 20 minutes.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recipe of the week: Galicky mashed goodness

4 servings

This is my favorite recipe for mashed potatoes, and it comes from one of my favorite chefs, Emeril Lagasse — and though some of the comments on the Food Network site suggests it's too garlicky, I would never say such a thing. They're delicious and a perfect addition to any table, but especially a Thanksgiving one.

• 3/4 lb. small red bliss potatoes, uncoooked, quartered with skin
• 12 whole roasted garlic cloves*
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 2 tbsp. butter
• Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp. chopped green onion, for garnish (optional)

In a saucepan cover unpeeled potatoes with cold water and bring to a boil. Cook just until tender — do not overcook or potatoes will be watery. Drain well, return pan with potatoes to low heat and shake to dry. Squeeze in garlic cloves, cream, butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Mash together with a potato masher until ingredients are combined but potatoes are still lumpy.

* Make the roasted garlic yourself, it's easy and oh so much better. Just make sure to cook the cloves long enough to really get the sugars cristalized. Yum. (My mouth's watering just thinking about it!)

A creative garnish

Thanks to The Kitchn blog from Apartment Therapy, my Thanksgiving table is going to have a little something extra on it this year: carrot flowers. These really simple to make veggies make the garnish part of the dish. I'm going to add it into my soup, but it could easily make it into any casserole, stuffing or salad. Click here for step-by-step directions that really mean just an extra two minutes to your normal carrot chopping routine.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Spice is Right

As you get ready to make your pumpkin bread, pumpkin cheesecake and pumpkin pie, it's probably best to check all the expiration dates on your spices. Three years is about all the potency will last (check out the chart from McCormick).

Most of the newer bottles have the dates on the packaging, but many of the older ones do not. A good tip is to go to McCormick's Web site, where they have a neat tool to help you check your spices based on a number printed on the bottom of the bottle. (That way you can toss the nutmeg from 1998...)

Happy baking!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dress to impress aprons

STAYING CLEAN IN THE KITCHEN: On the topic of fun, funky designs for the kitchen, I have to share the amazing Etsy shop, snappyshop. She sews her own aprons, and they are everything from amusing cartoonish foods to stylish vintage patterns. She even makes aprons for men, though they'd probably have to be pretty secure in their masculinity to wear them... Anyway, they are very reasonably priced, and like most Etsy stores, she could probably custom make one for you.

Fun free designs for the kitchen

CHIC FOR FREE: LookGirl Entertains just blogged about this great new free designs Web site, and posted a picture of these fantastic recipe cards you can download for free and print out. I also checked out the site and found these cute ice cream recipe cards. Very vintage fun. Also, check out the mouth-watering desktop wallpapers from Nordjus and these DIY dishtowels for a bit of fun.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Healthy recipe of the week

Makes 8 servings

Get outside and use the grill with this seasonal favorite — mixing and matching for the best of what's at the peak of pickability. (OK, so I just made up that word, but you get the point.)

• 2 tbsp. olive oil
• 2 tbsp. brown sugar
• 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
• 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
• 2 apples, cored and cut into 1" pieces
• 2 bananas, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
• 2 peaches, pitted and cut into 1" pieces
• 4 kiwi, peeled and sliced into 1" pieces
• 1 can pineapple chunks or one fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
• 16 strawberries, washed and hulled
• feel free to use other fruits, such as watermelon, grapes or plums

1. Prepare grill.
2. In a small bowl, combine oil, sugar, lime juice, cinnamon and mint. Mix until sugar is dissolved.
3. If using soaked wooden skewers, thread alternating fruit pieces.
4. Brush kebabs with the sugar mixture then place on grill.
5. Grill kebabs for about 6-8 minutes, turning frequently until fruit starts to brown and is heated through.

Source: Public Health — Seattle & King County

Pick the waist-trimming ice cream sandwich

Who says dieters have to give up chocolate cookies and ice cream — or even ice cream sandwiched between two chocolate cookies? In these dog days of summer, you don't need to break you diet in order to have a refreshing dessert. Time for another showdown:


The Skinny Cow makes low-fat versions of your favorite ice cream treats, including several flavors of sandwiches. Soy Dream, which makes all sorts of frozen desserts, is dairy-free and contains the goodness of soy protein. But which of these frozen treats will satisfy your sweet tooth for fewer calories? WINNER: Soy Dream wins the calorie battle. Each sandwich contains a low 100 calories and only 4 grams of fat — and even an ice cream connoisseur probably couldn't tell the difference between this soy version and those made with milk. Skinny Cow's sandwich is only slightly higher in calories (140), but it also contains less fat (1.5 grams), and a surprising find: 3 grams of fiber. Whether you're watching your calories or want to consume less fat while boosting your fiber intake, the choice is yours. Both of these make healthy choices for different reasons.
Source: SparkPeople

Just One Plate, but so much more

One of the owners of Just One Plate e-mailed me recently and I just got around to visiting the site, and wow, I can't believe I waited so long. The site, which is just starting up and will be greatly expanded as the months go on, takes one restaurant, one dish from that restaurant and interviews the chef with 10 questions about the inspiration. Beyond the amazing eye candy of the gorgeous photography, the recipes run the gamut of simple for the everyday chef to complex new trends in gastronomy. I am definitely going to go home and make some of these creations, namely the marinated skirt steak with avocado corn relish from Border Grill and the tuna tartar cannoli from Charlie Palmer (pictured above).