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!


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.


what’s-in-your-fridge asian salad

September. It’s that time of year again. I’m back to work and have started classes for my MS Nutrition program. So, as will be the case with many nights to come (apologies in advance for the serious decline in blog posts), I pulled myself away from my Biochem textbook and wondered what I could make for dinner that was fast and wouldn’t involve going to the store. I call this the What’s-In-Your-Fridge Asian Salad. This is what I did, but you can really substitute anything here for anything else, as long as it tastes good to you.

Boil vermicelli (rice noodles) for three minutes and then run under cold water. Using a mandolin (or just slice very thinly), slice cucumber, scallion, and red onion, and grate carrot. Arrange the rice noodles atop boston lettuce and baby spinach, and then pile the other veggies on top. Add dressing (1 tbs smooth peanut butter, 1 tbs rice vinegar, 1/2 tbs sesame oil, 1 tbs mirin, 2 tbs soy sauce, and red pepper flakes to taste) and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.

It would be great with some grilled shrimp or chicken on top. And crumbled peanuts. But then it wouldn’t be a what’s-in-your-fridge salad, it would be a walk-to-the-grocery-store-and-buy-stuff salad. Try it! What’s in your fridge?

What’s-in-your-fridge Asian Salad


beet green & goat cheese crostini

Beet greens

The last CSA farm share pick-up came with some delicious beets, which of course meant that I was left wondering what to do with the beet tops (greens) afterwards. Pretty much all of the recipes I’ve ever seen for beet greens involve sautéing them in some combination of olive oil, garlic, onion, white wine, and lemon juice. But I wanted something a little different. So luckily for me I discovered this recipe for crostini topped with beet greens and goat cheese – and I had leftover goat cheese! Not only did the recipe sound perfect and tasty, but the really awesome photography helped too.

I picked up a long crusty french baguette at the store (and felt very French biking home with it sticking out about three feet off the back of my bike) and cut it on an angle to get longer slices. I toasted the slices in a pan with a little olive oil and set them aside.  The beet greens needed a thorough washing (two actually) before I chopped the red stems into small pieces, and the leaves separately into strips. I sauteed two cloves of minced garlic (maybe a bit too much?) in extra virgin olive oil and then added the beet green stems and let them cook for about five or six minutes. Finally I added the leaves and let them cook for about two more minutes until they were nicely wilted, and tossed everything with balsamic vinegar and sea salt to taste. I mixed the herb-coated goat cheese together with fresh lemon juice and black pepper and spread it over each piece of toasted bread, topping them off with a heap of beet greens. The original recipe suggested putting a thin slice of lemon on each, which I didn’t do because I added quite a hefty squeeze of lemon to the cheese, but it would have added a nice color contrast. It was a (slightly messy but) great flavorful appetizer with grilled tilapia and heirloom tomato salad. This makes for happy taste buds – and lots of Vitamin A and K!

Beet green & goat cheese crostini