Tag Archives: healthy

Chia Seed Muffins à la Pain Quotidien

7 Mar IMG_2242

I could wax rhapsodic about the nutritional wonder of chia seeds, but I won’t bore you again. Bottom line is I dig them.

Bowls

These little beauties are inspired by the chia seed muffins at Le Pain Quotidien. Theirs are freaking delicious and I can barely stop myself from getting one every time I pass a store while walking around NYC.  Armed with the basic ingredients, I tinkered around until I found a recipe I could make at home, saving money and satisfying my cravings while in the far dinkier city of New Haven.

The result was awesome and I’m pretty positive they are healthier than their counterpart; I limited the fat by subbing in apple sauce and ended up making them gluten free.  I experimented both with a 50/50 wheat/white flour blend and this gluten free version.  Surprisingly, the gluten free muffins were far tastier and much closer to the ones I knew and loved.

They aren’t super pretty, but these muffins are definitely a “super” food.

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Blueberry Chocolate Chunk Frozen Yogurt

7 Jan IMG_1940

At Rosh Hashanah, my favorite part of the holiday is Tashlich, where we take bread and cast it into water, reciting things we want to leave behind from the previous year.  In this way, we are ready to take on the new year with a clean slate.  Although New Years Eve comes and goes, with exciting parties or not, the new year forges ahead and we think of what we will change and make promises to ourselves about the months ahead.  It is important when making our “new years resolutions” that we allow ourselves a clean slate – letting go and forgiving ourselves for things of the past, so we can fully enjoy the splendor of the new year.

For me, new years resolutions must be simple and attainable.  Making short term goals allows me to find success sooner, which often buoys me to continue in my pursuits throughout the year.  So with no regrets from last year (no should haves or could haves), here are two of my goals for the remainder of January:

  • post at least twice a week here
  • make a dent in my pantry and freezer

Luckily, these are two very compatible goals.  The first fruits of this are this incredible frozen yogurt; it’s tangy and bursting with juicy blueberries and dark chocolate chunks. It’s made completely from items in my fridge, freezer, and pantry and, with under 8 ingredients, practically no fat, and no refined sugar, it’s sure to meet someone else’s new years resolution. (It also allowed me to use my ice cream maker that had been gathering dust. Another possible resolution for the year: breakout all my fancy cookware?)

Blueberry Chocolate Chunk FroYo

 

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Nutty and Spicy North African Squash and Sweet Potato Soup with Kale

5 Mar AboveFeature

Ok, I’m going soup crazy lately.  It could be the sudden turn for the worse weather-wise in Boston (we had one first/last snow storm) or perhaps the exciting SoupaPalooza.  Whatever the reason, my tummy has not been suffering.

This soup is awesome. It has an incredible combo of flavors – the peanut butter and Harissa sauce (a nod to North African cooking) make this soup nutty, sweet, spicy and smoky all at once.

It is the perfect soup to spice up a grey New England day (or a grey day anywhere). The addition of kale (yum) is obviously divine.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups leeks, white and light green parts cleaned and thinly sliced

1 onion, diced

2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch cubes

2 med sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into thin slices

3 tbsp tomato paste

3 tbsp natural peanut butter

3 tablespoons harissa (store bought or homemade – see recipe below)

3 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tsp ground tumeric

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

3-5 cups low sodium broth (I use Better than Bouillon with twice the recommended amount of water ) – enough to cover veggies

3 packed cups thinly sliced kale

Directions:

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add leeks and onions and saute until they are lightly golden, 5-7 minutes.

Stir in tomato paste, peanut butter, harissa, garlic, and spices.  Cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

Add squash, sweet potatoes and enough broth to just cover.  Bring to a boil and then cover and turn to medium-low heat.  Cook 20-30 minutes or until squash is soft when poked with a fork.

Using an immersion blender, puree soup until smooth.  Add more broth if needed for desired consistency.

Add kale and cook until soft, 3 minutes.

Enjoy!

Harissa

Ingredients:

10 dried cayenne peppers (chile de arbol)

2 dried ancho chiles

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin

Soak the dried chilies in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain. Remove stems and seeds.  In a food processor combine chili peppers, garlic, salt, and olive oil. Blend. Add remaining spices and blend to form a smooth paste. Store in airtight container.

Another recipe for SoupaPalooza! Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored byKitchenAidRed Star Yeast and Le Creuset

Smoky Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup with Quinoa and Kale

1 Mar Featured

One of the things I love most about having a food blog is the interactions it allows me with people.  I love that my friends and family are constantly emailing me recipes or telling me about something wonderful they’ve recently eaten or cooked.  Food has an amazing power to connect people; it brings them together at meals, it allows shared traditions, and it evokes strong emotions.  Sharing my love of food on my blog reminds people that they can share their love of it with me.

Similarly, I love cooking for people and having them love what they are eating.  I like to observe their reactions to exciting flavors or rich desserts; sometimes I wish I could do it as an invisible observer, as praise often overshadows my inherent pleasure in actually feeding people.  Though I don’t mind the question that often comes now, “Is this on your blog?”  Inevitably, if they are eating it, the answer is always, “no.”

I made this soup for a group of my co-teachers the other day at our weekly rotating lunch share.  So for all my lovely co-workers, here you go – it’s on the blog.

This was lunch for 15 people, though it was so delicious we were all left wanting a little more.  Perfect for 8 hungry people with a leftover lunch or two! Feel free to cut recipe in half for a smaller crew.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2 cubes

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

2 small parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 pieces

2 chipotles in adobo sauce

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 heaping tablespoons cumin (to taste)

1 heaping teaspoon red chile powder (or to taste)

4 32-oz cans of black beans, 2 in their juices and 2 drained, rinsed, and reserved

4-8 cups low sodium vegetable broth – enough to cover sweet potatoes (I use Better than Bouillon and use about half the suggested ratio) and any left over reserved for later

1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked to perfection

1 bunch kale, stems removed and cut into thin ribbons.

Salt to taste

Directions:

Heat olive oil in large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute until they start to be translucent, about 5 mins.  Add jalapeños and garlic, cooking until fragrant – 2 mins.

Stir in celery and parsrnips, cooking until the celery begins to sweat, 5 mins.

Add sweet potatoes.

Stir in chipotle, tomato paste, and spices, evenly coating.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning.

Add 2 cans of beans with juices, and enough broth to cover the sweet potatoes.  Bring to a light boil, turn heat down a bit, and cover.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are just soft with a fork.

Meanwhile, cook quinoa to perfection and chop kale.

Scoop out as many sweet potatoes as you can (I got about half) and puree the rest of the soup using an immersion blender (or regular blender – but I LOVE my immersion blender).  Add back in sweet potatoes, remaining 2 cans of beans (rinsed), cooked quinoa, and kale.

The heat from the soup should cook the kale pretty quickly, but if it doesn’t just return the soup to the stove for a couple minutes.  If it is too thick, add in some additional broth.

Serve with warmed corn tortillas or corn bread.  You can also do sour cream, cheese, or avocado, but they aren’t necessary – this soup rocks.

Easy to print version (for my lovely coworkers):

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2 cubes

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

2 small parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 pieces

2 chipotles in adobo sauce

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 heaping tablespoons cumin (to taste)

1 heaping teaspoon red chile powder (or to taste)

4 32-oz cans of black beans, 2 in their juices and 2 drained, rinsed, and reserved

4-8 cups low sodium vegetable broth – enough to cover sweet potatoes (I use Better than Bouillon and use about half the suggested ratio) and any left over reserved for later

1 1/2 cups quinoa, cooked to perfection

1 bunch kale, stems removed and cut into thin ribbons.

Salt to taste

Heat olive oil in large soup pot or dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add onions and saute until they start to be translucent, about 5 mins.  Add jalapeños and garlic, cooking until fragrant – 2 mins. Stir in celery and parsrnips, cooking until the celery begins to sweat, 5 mins. Add sweet potatoes.Stir in chipotle, tomato paste, and spices, evenly coating.  Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add 2 cans of beans with juices, and enough broth to cover the sweet potatoes.  Bring to a light boil, turn heat down a bit, and cover.  Cook for about 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are just soft with a fork. Meanwhile, cook quinoa to perfection and chop kale.

Scoop out as many sweet potatoes as you can (I got about half) and puree the rest of the soup using an immersion blender (or regular blender – but I LOVE my immersion blender).  Add back in sweet potatoes, remaining 2 cans of beans (rinsed), cooked quinoa, and kale.  The heat from the soup should cook the kale pretty quickly, but if it doesn’t just return the soup to the stove for a couple minutes.  If it is too thick, add in some additional broth.Serve with warmed corn tortillas or corn bread.  You can also do sour cream, cheese, or avocado, but they aren’t necessary – this soup rocks.

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I’m also posting this for SoupaPalooza.  I’m “souper” excited to be joining a crew of wonderful bloggers as we warm up with some delicious soup.  It came just in time for one last snow.

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAidRed Star Yeast and Le Creuset

Kale and Butternut Squash Crustless Quiche

21 Feb Casserole

Ok, let’s be honest.  Lately, I have been obsessed with kale. As in, I can’t get enough of it, eat it several times a week, and find ways to work it into almost everything I make.  Butternut squash hasn’t been a shy player in my wintertime recipes either. What can I say – the two flavors (and colors) complement each other wonderfully and they are both filled with beaucoup de vitamins.

This recipe was the brainchild of a dreary Monday evening, when I came home from work plum tired.  I hadn’t made it to the grocery store over the weekend since I had been in NYC with hubby, and only had kale and squash in my crisper. I threw this together – yum, delicious! It made an excellent dinner and, because I was all by my lonesome, a couple good lunches.  What more could you ask from a meal?

This frittata/crustless quiche/egg bake is a delicious and simple way to get a balanced vegetarian meal, with plenty of protein and veggies.  The veggies and cheeses can be swapped for whatever you have around.  It is a pretty forgiving dish.

However you make it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did that night!

Ingredients:

butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/4 inch dice

1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and cut into small ribbons

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp sage

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

10 eggs, slightly beaten

1/4 cup grated parmesan

3 oz neufchatel cheese

Salt and pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash with olive oil, sage, thyme, and salt and pepper and roast until soft, about 20 mins. Meanwhile, sauté kale and garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk eggs and cheeses until evenly combined. Combine all ingredients and bake in greased casserole at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until fully set (the eggs don’t jiggle when you shake the pan).