fun with a food processor

Almond butter

I may have raved before about my favorite Christmas present of all time (ok, tied now with the hand blender Chris got me this year): a Cuisinart food processor from my mom. I hadn’t used it in a while and I was inspired this morning when my friend Christy – RD/nutritionist/personal trainer/yoga instructor extraordinaire – tweeted a photo of her homemade organic cashew butter. I realized I’d never made nut butter in my food processor and it’s so easy to do – just pick a kind of nut, throw it in there, and pulse until you get a paste!

 

 

 

Edamame hummus

 

 

I made some almond butter and ate it on a sliced green apple – one of my favorite snacks – and then got to work on my next project: edamame hummus. I’ve made hummus before but wanted to try something different. This has almost identical ingredients to any hummus recipe, but it uses edamame instead of chick peas. The result was green deliciousness, to be enjoyed with peppers, pita bread, and various other sliced veggies throughout the coming week. Recipe here. Enjoy!

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jalapeño poppers: healthy style

Jalapeños: a staple of Mexican food and an excellent source of Vitamins C and A, Iron, Magnesium, Niacin, Phosphorus and Riboflavin. However, when you stuff them with cheese, bread them, deep fry them, and dunk them in sour cream, as in the typical jalapeño popper recipe, it’s hard to justify these little chiles as your source of Vitamin C for the day. So if you’d like to explore a lighter version of some of your favorite superbowl snacks this winter, try this recipe for Cheddar Cornbread Jalapeño Poppers. The original recipe is here at Clean Eating magazine, and I won’t recopy it since I followed it pretty much to a tee. However I will include a few tips:

– They suggest wearing gloves to de-seed the Jalapeños. Do it. I never do, telling myself it’s too much work to go buy a box of disposable gloves, and I always regret it about two hours later when I rub my eye and spend a solid fifteen minutes cursing and tearing up.

– Try to space your poppers out on the baking tray. I have a very small oven, so I could only get one baking sheet in there, and they all kind of clumped together when the cheese melted and I had to surgically separate them with a knife. So unless you want a jalapeño casserole, give ’em a little room.

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Cheddar cornbread jalapeno poppers


ginger-lime kale with squash, chick peas & pomegranate

Apparently I can’t stop cooking and food blogging while on break from classes – the thrill of free time!

So I just discovered a new magazine called Clean Eating, which I might even consider subscribing to if they didn’t have a million and one recipes on their website. “Clean eating” isn’t some trendy fad or diet by the way; it just means consuming whole foods as close to their natural state as possible. I’m sure we could all use a little clean eating right now – I know I could – after a holiday full of more fatty, sugary, alcohol-y indulgences than a good nutrition student should admit to consuming.

This wintery super nutritious recipe caught my eye and it is actually eye-catching with its multitude of colors. If you’ve ever heard the advice that you should eat the colors of the rainbow every day, it’s true. Different colored foods provide a wide range of nutrients that complement each other and contribute to a balanced diet. For example in this meal you’ve got kale, loaded with Vitamin K, C, and A, butternut squash for Vitamin A and beta-carotenes, chick peas filled with protein, zinc, fiber, and folate, and pomegranate seeds, a superfood of vitamins and polyphenols. Between the pomegranate seeds and the lime and ginger, it was not only a rainbow of color but a taste and texture explosion! And without further ado, the recipe:

Ginger-lime kale

Preheat the oven to 400 F. Toss 2 cups of peeled, seeded, chopped butternut squash with 1/2 tsp of olive oil, spread on a parchment lined baking sheet, and bake for about 25 minutes until tender. (Side note: I hate peeling and chopping squash – it’s extremely hard and I almost lost a fingertip to it last fall! Luckily the store across the street from me sells pre-peeled chopped squash). While the squash is in the oven, saute a diced medium onion in 1 tbsp olive oil for about 5 minutes. Then add 2 cloves of minced garlic and 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger. After about 30 seconds add 2 bunches of washed sliced kale leaves and cook for about 10 minutes. Then add 1 1/2 cups of chick peas, cover, and cook for 5 more minutes. Add the squash, remove from the heat, stir in 1/4 tsp sea salt, 1 tbsp fresh lime juice, sprinkle with 1/2 cup of pomegranate seeds, and serve! This can be served over rice, quinoa, or your choice of grain, or on its own. And to keep it tasting fresh when I take some to work for lunch tomorrow, I’ll bring the lime and pomegranate separately and add them after reheating.


wild rice salad

I made this for a baby shower potluck lunch at work yesterday. Very simple and good for a big group – but my wild rice salad came out looking nothing like the photo in the original recipe! The kind of rice I used (Lundberg Black Japonica) turned the entire thing dark purple. If you don’t want a dark purple salad, cook your white rice and wild rice separately, or buy normal wild rice that doesn’t “leak” color into the water.

Also, I substituted vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, since there are lots of vegetarians where I work. This actually makes the whole dish vegan, and you can make it gluten free by making your own broth or buying one that is labeled gluten free.

Wild Rice Salad


snap crackle cod

I originally invented this extremely simple but satisfying recipe in October for my gluten-intolerant friend Erin, who suggested that I make breadcrumbs for baked fish out of rice-based products rather than bread-based products. In October we made it with snapper and the “breadcrumbs” were a mix of crumbled rice crackers, rice krispies, and spices.

Due to an unexpected plethora of rice krispies in my kitchen (I made white chocolate rice krispy peanut “snowflakes” for New Year’s Eve dessert), I decided to make the fish dish again, and decided that “Rice Krispies Fish” wasn’t a very appealing name. “Snap Crackle Cod” was soon born.

I took wild cod filets and coated each side with olive oil. Next, I filled a ziploc bag with rice krispies and crunched them up a little for some texture variety. I added a little of whatever spices I could find lying around – basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, salt, fresh pepper, and cayenne, and then poured the mixture over the filets and sprayed a light coating of olive oil over the top. Bake at 375 for about 20-25 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish, and voila! Snap crackle cod. (Served here with my mom’s recipe for whiskey-braised leeks and a squeeze of lemon).

Snap Crackle Cod