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green summer rolls with zero fat carrot-ginger dipping sauce

11 May

sorry i didn’t take any pictures of the process..but its pretty self explanatory..

the actual roll is basically the same as my spring roll recipe . it’s just romaine lettuce, avocado, cucumber, snap peas, thai basil, mint, cilantro and a few carrots.

for the carrot-ginger sauce:

you need:

1 cup of carrots, sliced into rounds

1 T of ginger, chopped

1/4 c water

2 tsp thai chili garlic sauce

1-2 T low sodium soy sauce

1-2 limes, juiced

saute 1 cup of round carrot slices in a pan coated with pan spray. add salt and pepper and saute about 6 minutes. add in 1 T of chopped ginger until fragrant. pour the carrots and ginger into a blender with the juice of one juicy lime (or 2 limes), a tsp of sambol–thai chili garlic sauce and about 1/4 cup of water. it should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and not at all chunky. taste it and adjust flavors! enjoy.

(sorry this wasn’t much of a recipe….)

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roasted red pepper soup with parmesan crisps

11 Apr

what you need for 2-4 servings:

3 and 1/2 red bell peppers

2 cups of chicken or veg stock

1/2 onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 t crushed red pepper

basil, if desired for garnish

1 T of grated parmesan cheese per crisp

How To:

roast the bell peps! if you have  gas stove, you can just turn the fire on and place the peppers directly on the fire and rotate until they are completely black on all sides.  if you do not have a gas stove, like me, turn  your broiler on. put the peppers on a sheet pan or directly on the oven rack under the broiler about 8 minutes on each side and rotate using tongs until all sides are blackened and blistered.

regardless of which method you use, immediately transfer the peppers to a bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap. set aside for ten minutes.

while the peppers are roasting, which takes about 20-30 minutes in the oven, saute the onion, garlic and 1/2 of diced bell pepper in a sauce pot. once translucent and fragrant, add the crushed red pepper and the stock and let simmer until ready to use.

once the peppers have been sitting for ten minutes, take them out of the bowl and just peel the skin off, it should come off very easily. discard the skin and stems.

put the bell peppers in the blender and add one ladle full of stock and a pinch of salt. continue adding stock as necessary, making sure to get all of the diced bell pepper from the stock into the blender :). once you have your desired soup consistency, adjust salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper as needed. stir in a bit of basil and soups on!

to make parmesan crisps:

preheat oven to 400. line a baking sheet with parchment paper. spoon 1 T of cheese and spread out to be a flat circle

leave about 1/2 inch space between each crisp. bake for about 4 minutes or until slightly melty but crispy and firmed. let them cool before removing them from the pan–they firm up a lot more once they’ve cooled and if they are not as crispy as you’d like after cooling you can always pop them back into the oven for a bit longer.

top your soup with 1/2 T of good extra virgin olive oil or a bit of heavy cream for a little added richness!

baked brussel sprout chips!

9 Mar

CRISPALICIOUS!

I LOVE KALE CHIPS. so then i thought O_M_G what if I make brussel sprout chips!! and then, this awesome creation was born. super healthy. super delicious. same idea as kale chips but totally different flavor, so go ahead, switch it up!

thank me later.

What You Need:

as many brussel sprouts as you want chips–you have to figure that you’ll only get 3-5 good leaves off each brussel sprout. (i’ll explain later)

1 tsp really good extra virgin olive oil

salt

crushed red pepps

 

How To:

preheat your oven to 250. (NOT 350–too hot)

so, remove the outer leaves from the brussel sprouts, most of them should be easy to peel off..it gets more difficult as you go on because the leaves get smaller. so you really won’t get more than 5 or 6 leaves off each sprout. sometimes you only get 2 good leaves off.

you want  them to look pretty so you want the whole leaf, not ripped pieces.

so, carefully and slowly peel off as many leaves as you can from each brussel sprout and put them into a bowl. toss with the teaspoon of olive oil, just enough to lightly coat them. season liberally with salt. (taste one to check the saltiness) lay them spread apart in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment. sprinkle with crushed red pepps and bake about 12-18 minutes until they are really crispy but NOT browned or burnt!

spaghetti squash with home made tomato sauce

4 Mar

OKAY. lets talk about spaghetti squash. it is a type of squash that looks like spaghetti once its cooked. it is NOT spaghetti. it does NOT taste like spaghetti. the texture is NOT spaghetti like. that being said, its DELICIOUS. the squash has a really mild, sweet flavor that makes it a perfect vehicle for a great tomato sauce or a pesto. i find that it is just as satisfying to eat spaghetti squash as it is to eat spaghetti (most of the time 😉 ) so it is a great healthy swap. one note: please please please do not make spaghetti squash and top it with jarred marinara sauce–look in the mirror and repeat after me: “I AM BETTER THAN THAT”. now, proceed:

What You Need for Two Servings:

for the squash:

1 2 lb spaghetti squash

1/2 T of olive oil

salt and pepper

for the tomato sauce:

1.5 cups of small tomatoes sliced in half (cherry, grape etc. i use the little mixed box of orange, red, yellow and green varieties) but whatever you have on hand or is cheapest is fine!

1 T olive oil

2 garlic cloves, slivered into thin rounds

1/4 cup of Pomi boxed chopped tomatoes

1/2 yellow or white onion, diced

crushed red pepper, dried thyme, dried sage to taste.

fresh basil, chiffonaded

parmesan cheese (optional, for garnish)

 

How To Getchyo Spaghetti Squash On!:

preheat the oven to 375. using a SHARPPPPP knife. cut the spaghetti squash in half length wise and scoop out the seeds.

put 1/4 of a T of oil on each half, rub it around and then coat with salt and pepper.

lay it cut side UP (lots of recipes tell you cut side down but i have my own agenda here.) on a lined baking sheet and place it in the oven for likkeeee 25 mins. checking periodically to make sure that it’s not getting too brown (if it is, flip it over, if it’s not-let it do its thang) after 25-30 minutes, flip the squash over so it’s cut side down and continue baking about another 10 minutes. at that point you can (carefully, it’s hot) check how tender it feels and if needed put it in for another few minutes. it takes about 40-45 minutes total to roast the squash.

why do i do it cut side up? because i like to get the squash slightly caramelized and brown. it really enhances the flavor. if you roast it cut side down the entire time then the part you eat gets no happy color. and that is sad for my taste buds.

so, once it is ready–get the squash spaghetti-ing! using tongs to hold the squash in it’s place (its HOT HOT HOT) use your other hand to rake the squash lengthwise with a fork to pull out the spaghettis into a bowl.

YAY now you have your “spaghetti”.

 

so, while the squash is roasting you are going to make your sauce.

heat the tablespoon of olive oil in a small sauce pot over medium.

add in the onion, cook about 3 minutes until translucent. add in a good pinch of crushed red pepper, dried sage, dried thyme.

add in the sliced tomatoes and the slivered garlic.

stir to coat in the onions and spices, add a nice pinch of salt and let it cook about 5 minutes, until the tomatoes get soft. once the tomatoes are soft, use a wooden spoon or fork or whatever to mash up the tomatoes. you basically want to just break them all up so that their juices are released. then, add the chopped tomatoes, stir and let it simmer for a while as your squash continues to roast.

right before you eat it, stir in the chopped fresh basil and let it cook just for a minute.

 

garnish your dish with some parmesan and more fresh basil if desired!

confession: i didn’t have any basil OR any parmesan cheese 😦 but the dish would be prettier and yummier with both.

happy healthy eating!

ras el hanout inspired roasted chickpeas

29 Feb

ras el-hanout is a morrocan spice blend that is filled with lots of different flavor profiles and depths. it’s savory, spicy, smokey, sweet and deliciously complex. the spices i use for these chickpeas are very ras el-hanout-esque but are still a unique blend of flavors.

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what you need for 3 servings:

1 can or 1.5 cups dried chickpeas. (if canned, drain, rinse and dry)

1 teaspoon of olive oil

1 T salt

1/2 T black pepper

1/2 T dried or fresh ( if fresh, minced) oregano

1/2 T hungarian paprika

2 t cayenne pepper

2 t cinnamon

2 t chili powder

2 t cumin

1/2 t garlic powder

1/4 t nutmeg

preheat the oven to 375. in a small tupperware container, mix all of the spices together. coat the chickpeas in the olive oil and toss into the tupperware. close the lid and shake shake shake like a polaroid picture until the chickpeas are happily coated 🙂 put the chickpeas onto a baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, until the chickpeas are crispy on the outside but still a little mealy on the inside.

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pecan brussel sprouts

16 Jan

SO GOOD. in this recipe, do not ommit the butter, and do not substitute olive oil. you need the butter to get the pecan flavor distributed through out.

What You Need for 2 Servings:

1 lb of brussel sprouts

1 cup pecan halves

1 tablespoon of butter (1/2 T per person is NOT that bad so dont skip it)

salt

 

What To Do:

cut and clean the brussel sprouts: peel off any brown outer leaves and cut them all in half.

bring a pot of salted water to a boil. add the brussel sprouts and cook for about 3 minutes until just barely al dente and are bright beautiful green in color.

drain and pat dry.

melt the butter in a saute pan over medium heat.

add in the pecans, coating them with the butter and let them toast for about 4-5 full minutes so that the pecans are really fragrant and have infused the butter with all of their nutty goodness.

add in the brussel sprouts, toss to coat and add a large pinch of salt.

let cook with the pecans for about 2 minutes until slightly tender. SERVE!!!

my dinner: roast chicken with cheesy pesto farro and garlic green beans

5 Jan

i’m not going to tell you guys how to roast a chicken. although, if you do not know how to roast a chicken and would like to know, please email me. it’s easy and magical. or you can always buy a rotisserie chicken 😉

let’s talk about farro. farro is an ancient italian grain that has very recently popped up on the trendy food list (along with ramps and adzuki beans). farro has ALWAYS been awesome though, trust me. it’s a really nutty, chewy rice like grain. it has lots of fiber and protein per serving so it’s a great alternative to your tired brown rice or quinoa.

what you need for 2 servings of cheesy pesto farro:

1/2 c of dry farro

3/4 c of water

8-10 basil leaves

1 handful of spinach (optional)

1/3 of a red bell pepper, diced

1 garlic clove

olive oil

salt

4-6 T parmesan cheese

 

how to do eeeet:

bring the farro, water and some salt to a boil in a small sauce pot. cover, reduce to a simmer and let cook 10 minutes. then turn off the heat and keep covered another 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

while the farro cooks, combine the basil, garlic and a few tablespoons of olive oil in a blender. pulse, streaming in more olive oil as needed until it is the consistency of pesto- a thick liquid consistency. (if you’d like, go ahead and buy some pesto) i like to add in a handful of spinach here too just for an extra way to get vegetables.

once the farro finishes cooking, pour in the pesto and the diced bell pepper, mix and add about 5 T of parmesan cheese.

 

 

for the garlic green beans:

a lot of people will use minced garlic and olive oil in a saute pan to make garlic green beans. i find that the garlic is too bitter in this application, and it doesn’t permeate every bite. what i like to do instead is to use just 1 tablespoon of garlic infused olive oil to saute the green beans. to make garlic infused olive oil: combine about 5-8 peeled garlic cloves and enough olive oil to cover them in a sauce pot, heat over low heat for about 15 minutes until the oil is fragrant. strain and store the oil in an air tight container in the fridge for up to three weeks. please reference the photo in my chicken sausage and orecchietti soup post!  so to make the green beans, heat a saute pan over medium heat, add in 1 T of garlic oil and 4 oz of green beans. toss to coat, let cook, tossing occasionally, for about 7 minutes. add a pinch of salt and some crushed red pepper and thats all folks!!