Kid-friendly, Mom Approved Pizza

This recipe actually came from Harvesters Nutrition Department. We made it with volunteers during our New Year’s Eve Family Volunteer Day. I told my team, “We should try this recipe before we serve it.” It got a thumbs-up from my entire team.

My husband was a little apprehensive about trying it. He was surprise how much he enjoyed it. In fact, it’s become our go to snack.

Here’s hoping your little ones enjoy making this healthy snack.

FullSizeRender (14)Fruit Pizza by Harvesters Nutrition Service Department
1 flavored rice cake
Greek yogurt
Fruit

Spread yogurt on rice cake and top with fruit.

Notes:

  • We used chocolate and caramel with the volunteers. I like the caramel best.
  • We used vanilla Greek but you can use another flavor to match your fruit. You can also just use regular yogurt.
  • I’ve used bananas, berries (raspberries/strawberries/blueberries), and mangos. Fresh or thawed frozen fruit both work.

Carne Asada

One of the places Jeremiah and I eat out at a lot is Chipotle. On more than one occasion, we have tried to make our own at home. I also was telling Jeremiah about these amazing black beans and rice I had eaten at the Culinary Center of Kansas City. I was convinced they used chicken broth and I could try to replicate the flavor at home.

This was our attempt last week and trying to replicate both these tasty dishes. Although we thought the Carne Asada had really good flavor, making it along with rice, beans, guacamole, and Pico from scratch made quite a mess to clean-up. Sometimes, it’s just easier to go out and stand in line.

FullSizeRender (6)Carne Asade by Show Me the Yummy
2 lb. flank steak
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 T. olive oil
¼ c. orange juice
¼ c. lime juice
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ c. soy sauce
2 T. white vinegar

In a small bowl, mix spices. Then, stir in oil. Rub half of mixture on each side of the steak. Mix together remaining ingredients. Spray Crockpot with nonstick spray. Pour in half of juice mixture. Place in steak and pour over with remaining juice. Cook on low for six hours.

Black Beans by Amber Bourek
8 oz. dry black beans
1 c. low sodium chicken stock
water
½ diced yellow onion
2 crushed garlic cloves
salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder

Rise black beans. For beans in sprayed Crockpot. Cover with 1 cup of chicken stock and enough water to cover by two inches. Add in onion, garlic, and seasonings. Cook on high for six – seven hours.

Note:

I put together a few recipes to make this dish. I cooked them for 4 hours. They were still a little hard so I kept cooking them. My husband thinks we should have soaked the beans for 24 hours and then they would have cooked in 3 ½ to 4 hours.

Guacamole

Five weeks ago, I married the love of my life in a small but beautiful ceremony. Although our original plan was to go to St. Kitts. Then, the Zika virus happened. We decided we want to either stay in the states or head up north to Canada. We settled upon San Antonio, Texas. Why? We had never been and read lots of things that said it was a must visit destination.

Jeremiah and I are planners. Unfortunately, wedding planning and out of town travel for work left us heading to San Antonio without a plan. When we arrived, our first stop was a great little restaurant called Magnolia Pancake Haus. OMG – that side order of pancakes was the best pancakes I’ve ever had. It was so good, we went back one more time and even purchased a bottle of their homemade syrup to take home.

All the food we ate on our honeymoon was amazing. We loved the Hearthstone Bakery Café, Tycoon Flats, Franks, Gruene River Mill, and Guenther House. But Boudros Texas Bistro on the Riverwalk makes the most amazing table side guacamole I’ve ever had. And Jeremiah and I thought we love Chipotle’s guac until we tasted this dish. Lucky for us, we were able to find this recipe online. My husband made it two weeks ago for dinner and I’m roasting the ingredients right now so we can have it for dinner with Skinny Chipotle Cilantro Rice and Carne Asada (cooking in the crockpot as I type this post). Note – the secret ingredient here is fruit squeezed orange juice.

IMG_0971Boudro’s Famous Guacamole
1 orange
2 limes
4-6 avocados
1 roma tomato, roasted and diced
2 serrano pepper, roasted, seeded, and diced
4 T. red onion, diced
½ c. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1 garlic clove, chopped

Squeeze orange and lime juice into a bowl. Scoop out avocados and add to the bowl. Add tomato, peppers, onion, garlic, and cilantro. Fold into avocado. Add salt to taste.

Notes:

  • Results should be more or cut together than mashed. Our server just used the two knifes she cut everything open with.
  • This makes 6-8 serving. Since guacamole gets brown so quickly, we half this recipe.

Turkey Burgers

With just three weeks to the big day, you would think I’d be working on my to-do list. My wonderful fiance is out of town for work and my place feels so quiet. So what’s a girl to do but cook.

Last week, Jeremiah was craving turkey burgers so we pulled out some ground turkey from the freezer to thaw. This Patti LaBelle’s recipe is the best one I’ve ever eaten. Very most and lots of flavor.

IMG_0671Turkey Burger by Patti LaBelle
2 tsp. canola oil
1/8 c. minced onions
1 T. minced parsley
2 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 lb. ground turkey
1 large egg white
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/2 c. crushed stuffing
salt and pepper

Saute onions, parsley, and seasoning in heated oiled pan. Cool slightly and add to bowl with other ingredients. Grill and serve. Consider making a fat free mayo mix with cranberry jalapeno jelly. It really adds to the flavors in this dish.

Since we didn’t get it made before Jeremiah left, I decided I would cook another recipe with with the ground turkey. I found this one on Pinterest today. It’s OK in taste but fell apart on the George Foreman grill. If I make it again, I think I’ll add an egg white and maybe bake it to see if that helps it keep it’s shape.

FullSizeRender (2)Turkey Burger from Pinterest
1 lb. ground beef
1 avocado, mashed
1 chopped clove of garlic
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/3 c. panko bread crumbs

Mix ingredients together and grill.

Raspberry Orange Smoothie

raspberry smoothieI was looking for a recipe to use up some raspberries in my freezer. I ran across this recipe which also used the one banana laying on my counter. Jeremiah and I decided it wasn’t too bad. No flavors were overwhelming and it’s a pretty healthy drinks.

Raspberry-Orange Immunity Smoothie by Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen
1 c. nonfat milk or soy milk
1 c. frozen raspberries
1 medium banana
1/3 c. of orange juice & one ice cube or 1 T. frozen orange juice concentrate

Blend together and serve.

Chicken Biryani

For a house warming gift, my boyfriend Jeremiah’s sister bought us a box of food from Hello Fresh. She was telling us about it a few months back because her mother-in-law had bought them some as a Christmas gift. If you aren’t familiar with it, they are one of those companies where they ship you all the ingredients to make a couple of recipes. The focus is on fresh ingredients.

With Hello Fresh, you can select from 2 or 4 servings. They have two boxes to chose from – regular or vegetarian. Each comes with three recipes and all the ingredients you need to prepare those recipes (except oil, salt, and pepper). Each of the three recipes comes in its own individual box. At the bottom of the large box is all the fresh meat. All the recipes have similar ingredients. That means sense from a cost prospective. They also work it so you can reuse ingredients like chicken stock concentrate to cook peas and make gravy. They are pretty simple recipes and often increase less common ingredients like ginger, golden raisins, and parsnips. All the recipes called frying the meat. Since this isn’t how we normally cook our meat, we modified this recipe by baking the chicken.

This particular recipe had fresh peas in it. I hate peas. Jeremiah asked if I wanted to not include them. They looked very fresh so I said we could include them. I decided if I hated them, I could always pick them out. That’s normally what I do with fried rice. To my surprise, I did not hate them in this recipe and ate all of them. I think the sweetness of the golden raisins helped. I’m sharing this recipe because it was the most complex and flavorful of the recipes we prepared. We kept the recipe because Jeremiah wants to make it again. Although this recipe was supposed to be just two servings, we ended up with a lot of extra rice. We ended up added preparing a little more roasted chicken breast and getting two more servings out of it. The leftovers were pretty good too.

If you would like to check them out for yourself, I did see a Groupon for them last week. I’m not sure if it is still available but I think you were able to get a two serving box of three recipes for $40 – or about $6.50 per serving.

Chicken BiryaniCrispy Chicken Biryani by Hello Fresh
2 Chicken Thighs (bone in, skin on)
¾ c. Basmati rice
4 oz. fresh peas
1 red onion
1 plum tomato
1 lime
1 jalapeno
1 ginger root
2 cloves of garlic
¼ oz. cilantro
1 oz. golden raisins
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. garam masala
1 packet of chicken stock concentrate
1 tsp. oil

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Coat a pan with oil and cook chicken. Meanwhile, prep remaining ingredients. Dice the onion and tomato. Peel and grate the ginger. Mince the garlic. Cut jalapeno (remove seeds for less spice). Chop cilantro. Slice lime into wedges. Remove chicken from pan but leave the leave the oil in the pan. Add onion and jalapeno to pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Then, add garlic, ginger, garam masala, and cumin. Cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomato, rice, raisins, chicken stock, and 1 ¾ c. water to the pan. Season the pan with dash of salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 12-14 minutes. Stir in peas. Cook uncovered for 3-5 additional minutes. Squeeze with a few lime wedges and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with remaining lime wedges.

Purple Potatoes

The first time I ever saw purple potatoes was in Harvesters warehouse. They were a project for the volunteers to sort and repackage. I think we sent them out on a mobile food pantry. I wondered, “How do you cook them?” and “What do they taste like?” I’m sure the Nutrition Department didn’t have a recipe for them.

My boyfriend Jeremiah is trying to watch his carb intake. Jeremiah discovered that purple potatoes are a good option for someone trying to watch their carbs. They have half the carbs of regular potatoes (37 carbs vs. 17 carbs). He says, purple potatoes have less starch, potassium, and are high in antioxidants. You can’t cook them like regular potatoes though. He found this recipe online and we made it for dinner last night. To my surprise, they were really good. In fact, I think I like them better than regular au gratin potatoes.

Purple potatoesStacey’s Famous Purple Potato Gratin from AllRecipes.com
4 slices of bacon, chopped
1 leek, sliced
8 purple potatoes, thinly sliced
3 T. flour
½ c. milk
6 oz. crumbles goat cheese
¾ c. grated parmesan cheese

Cook the bacon in a pan. Spray a 2 ½ qt. baking dish with non-stick spray. Coat the potatoes in flour. Layer the baking dish with potatoes, leek, bacon, and goat cheese. Pour milk over ingredients. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese before serving. Makes four servings.

Notes:

  • We substituted shallots for leeks in this recipe.
  • We used skim milk and it was just fine. Please note though that you must spray the pan as this dish does not have a lot of fat.
  • Before adding the milk, Jeremiah also added 2 T. of butter cubed onto of the potatoes.
  • The original recipe calls for the leeks to be sautéed with the bacon. It also suggests mixing the cheese and milk together. Then, melting it together before pouring over the potatoes.

 

Healthy Haystacks

It feels like it has been forever since I have written a blog post. That’s probably has been. In addition to working two jobs, Jeremiah and I have spent the better part of the last three months planning, packing, moving, and (still) unpacking. It’s super exciting because we finally have a place together with all of our stuff. Well, almost all of stuff. We did have to get rid of a few things to move into together.

In addition to keeping busy with all of this stuff, I took on another task. Yesterday and today, I made 120 cookies for Family Volunteer Night at work. I know, am I completely insane? Well, it had to be done. My boss promised we would have a healthy cookie as the volunteers left. Needing all hands on deck for tonight, we just didn’t have enough people at work to make them. Here is the quick and easy recipe I prepared in my beautiful new kitchen. Please note though, this is one of those recipes you’ll want to put on an apron to make. Peanut butter is super messy.

HaystackHealthy Haystacks by Harvesters’ Nutrition Department
1 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. butterscotch chips
2 c. Fiber One bran cereal
1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts
1/2 c. dried cranberries (craisins) 

Cover two cookie sheets with wax paper. In a large bowl, mix peanut butter and butterscotch chips. Microwave for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes stirring every 30 seconds. (Use a potholder while stirring and removing from oven as it will be hot.) Then, add cereal, nuts, and cranberries. Once completely coated, spoon onto wax paper. Refrigerate until firm and serve. Store leftovers in the fridge.

Nutrition Information: Makes 32 servings. 101 Calories, 7 g. fat, 10 g. carbs, 3 g. fiber, 3 g. protein, and 80 mg. sodium.

Notes:

  • I omitted the nuts and doubled the cranberries.
  • You can substitute other dried fruit such as raisins or cherries.

Blueberry Crumble

Jeremiah and I in MaineIt feels like it has been forever since I last wrote a blog post. Perhaps, that’s because it has been a few months. Today, I’m procrastinating packing for my impending move so I thought I’d take a few minutes and share a new recipe I cooked this past weekend.

During my blog hiatus, Jeremiah and I went on vacation to Maine. We walked on a sandbar to Arcadia National Park at low tide. We took a harbor cruise that included a step back to the 1980s on the Cranberry Isles (everything has to be shipped over to the island by Ferry boat so I reminded a little of my childhood days growing up in a small Nebraska town). But our favorite view was sitting on a park bench watching the Harbor while sipping on an Acadian Turtle from the Coffee Hound. Although the landscape is gorgeous, they say there is no place like home. (Wait a minute, I guess that’s ironic since I live in Kansas.) Sometimes we forget how lucky we are to live a city with amazing cuisine and some of the best customer service. Don’t get me wrong, we enjoyed our Foodie Tour of Bar Harbor and my ridiculous quest to Hart’s Turkey Farm Restaurant in New Hampshire. (Have I mentioned that Maine is a big a** state to cross on windy roads at 50 MPH?) After eating more than our fill of seafood, Jeremiah was craving a steak. We went to the place deemed to have the best steak on the island. We quickly learned that carnivore loving Kansas Citians should NEVER order steak in the northeast. That said, probably the best dish I ate on our entire vacation was a blueberry cobbler at the steakhouse. Maine’s blueberries are amazing. Although I can’t get them here, I did take advantage of $.99 blueberry sale at Price Chopper this week and tried to recreate the dish at home. It wasn’t quite the same but I did like this recipe so I thought I would share. (I’m also including the Gluten-Free and Dairy Free alterations for anyone who needs them. We have a learned a lot through dining adventures with Jeremiah’s nephew to understand how hard it is to get Gluten-Free/Diary Free dishes).

Blueberry CobblerBlueberry Cobbler from Wicked Good Kitchen
6 c. (3 containers) of fresh blueberries
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
3 T. flour

Crumble Mixture
1 c. plus 5 T. flour
6 T. sugar
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
¼. tsp. salt
6 T. chilled butter, cut into pieces
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Butter a shallower round baking dish (I used my Rachel Ray Bubble and Brown dish.) Wash and dry blueberries being sure to remove any stems. Pour into dish. In a bowl, mix sugar and lemon zest. Then, add 3 T. flour. Pour on top of blueberries. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to make the crumble. Then, blend in butter (with a fork or knead mixer beaters). In a small dish, beat the egg and add vanilla. Pour into flour mixture and stir until combined. Pour on top of blueberries. Sprinkle with nutmeg or sugar/cinnamon mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Notes:

  • I didn’t have a lemon zest so I used lemon juice. I think it turned out fine.
  • The original recipe says you can cover the dish with foil 20 minutes in to prevent browning. We did not and it tasted/looked just fine.
  • Gluten free option: substitute flour with gluten free flour.
    Dairy Free option: If you are also allergic to dairy, substitute with Earth Balance natural buttery spread. It is my understanding that it has no taste but it works the same way butter does. For the egg, you could ½ medium banana or ¼ c. applesauce.

Purple Resolution Smoothie

A few weeks ago, Jeremiah and I decided to make shrimp tacos. I found a recipe that included a slaw complete with red cabbage. Unfortunately we didn’t need very much of it so we went searching for recipes to make with the rest of it. I told Jeremiah that the Pioneer Woman had a smoothie recipe I’d tried before and it wasn’t bad. I’m not sure Jeremiah believed me. Red cabbage is really healthy and their aren’t a lot of recipes out there to make with it. We added it to Jeremiah’s green beans with bacon. It was ok but we didn’t like it as well as when he usually makes it with bacon, shallots, and garlic. So I made the smoothie for him. It’s super healthy and fills you up until lunch. Make it yourself and see what you think.

Berry smoothiePurple Resolution Smoothie by Pioneer Woman
2 c. Greek yogurt
2 c. mixed berries
2 c. blueberries
1/4 head red cabbage
1/4 c. honey
1 banana
1 c. cranberry juice

Blend together and serve. Makes four cups.

Nutritional Information (Based on a two cup serving): 524 calories, 2 g. fat, 5 mg. cholesterol, 163 mg. sodium, 988 mg. potassium, 106 g. carbs, 13 g. fiber, 83 g. sugar, 28 g. protein, 30% Vitamin A, 145% Vitamin C, 78% calcium, and 11% iron.

Notes: 

  • You could probably use regular yogurt but it will decrease the protein in this recipe.
  • You could probably use berry flavored yogurt and decrease berry content.
  • I used frozen berries and banana.
  • I used lite cranberry juice. The original recipe also suggest grape juice.