Thursday, August 28, 2014

Spicy Coconut Chicken

Roast chicken is one of my favorite dishes to make, but every once in awhile I look for a new approach with it.  I found this recipe and gave it a try.  It didn’t turn out quite as expected but packed a wallop of spicy flavor in a deceptively calm looking dish.  This is a great dish to serve with veggies and rice.  It also made for great packed lunches for the rest of the week.

(note: If you're not a huge fan of coconut, don't worry, it's not an overwhelming flavor.  It mostly adds richness to the chicken.)

Spicy Coconut Chicken

8 servings
2 hours to prep
2 hours to cook

·       4 whole Chicken legs
·       1 cup of Coconut Milk
·       ½ cup of Cilantro (chopped)
·       3 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
·       1 teaspoon Cumin
·       4 small Jalapenos (chopped)
·       1 teaspoon of Salt
·       ½ teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
·       ¼ cup of Vegetable Oil
·       3 Tablespoons of Sugar

Put Chicken Legs in a bag and set aside.  Whisk the remaining ingredients in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

Pour marinade in bag, seal and refrigerate for 1.5-2 hours.

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a large baking dish.  Lay out chicken skin up in dish.  Drizzle a little of the marinade on each Chicken Leg.  

Roast for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Bast it with the juices as it cooks.  Allow resting for 10 minutes after roasting.  Serve with rice or mixed vegetables.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins

I'm pretty currently obsessed with the taste of cinnamon.  Cinnamon buns, cinnamon raisin toast, cinnamon crunch bagels... So I was looking for a delicious cinnamon breakfast for each morning.
Also we have received an obscene amount of blueberries from our CSA.  My goal this week has been finding new and exciting ways of creating fun things to eat involving them.  While I like regular blueberry muffins, I really liked this recipe because of the addition of cinnamon.  It makes for a melt in your mouth pastry.  They also freeze well and you can pop out a couple every morning. 

Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins

20 min prep time
20 min bake time
Makes 12 muffins
·       2 Cups of Flour
·       ½ cup of butter
·       1 cup of granulated Sugar (plus more for coating)
·       1 teaspoon of Vanilla
·       2 teaspoons of baking powder
·       1 teaspoon Cinnamon (I added another ½ teaspoon)
·       ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
·       ½ teaspoon salt
·       2 Cups of blueberries (frozen or fresh
·       ½ cup of milk
·       2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and add paper cups to your muffin tin.  

Cream butter and sugar together in a mixer.  The add eggs, one at a time and beat into the mixture.  

In a separate bowl mix together the dry ingredients except for the blueberries together.
Slowly add the dry ingredients and milk in parts to the mixer.  Beat until mixed together and fluffy.

Slowly fold in blueberries and spoon into muffin tins. 

Sprinkle extra sugar on top of each muffin.

Bake for 20 minutes, muffins should look slightly browned and blueberries should be bursting.  
Holy Smokes Batman these were awesome.  Some came out a little lopsided but the taste was incredibly good.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Lemon Zucchini Muffins

We're still getting boatloads and boatloads of zucchini! More and more are delivered every week.  I'm always looking for new recipes on how to use it up! Today I bring to you yet another magnificent Zucchini recipe!   
I'm also on the lookout for new zucchini recipes and ideas!! Please let me know what your favorites are! 

Lemon Zucchini Muffins

15 Muffins
20 minutes to prep
16-18 minutes to bake

·       1 Zucchini grated (6 oz)
·       1 Cup of Sugar
·       2 Cups of Flour
·       ½ cup of Milk
·       2 Eggs
·       2 teaspoons of Baking Soda
·       Zest of 1 Lemon
·       Juice of 1 Lemon
·       ½ Cup of Vegetable Oil
·       ½ teaspoon of Salt
·       2 teaspoons of Vanilla

Preheat oven at 350 degrees.  Ready a muffin tin with papers.
Begin to whisk 2 eggs in a large bowl, add milk, oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt, and vanilla.  Beat it together.

Add Zucchini, lemon zest and baking powder, combine thoroughly.  Begin to add flour a ½ cup at a time to the mixture until all flour has been added.

Pour an even amount into each cup, you may need a second muffin tin, this will make about 15 muffins.

Bake for 16-18 minutes.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Summer Salads

I love this time of year.  The warm weather helps to bring in lots of great veggies and fruits.  This week I’m bringing a couple different examples of salads to try out.  I tested these both out at home and my husband Tom’s favorite was the Peach Caprese Salad.
Peaches are in season right now and it's very easy to get sucked into buying an entire bag of them at the farmers market.  A different way to incorporate them into your weekly mealtime is it create a salad.  This is a twist on a traditional caprese salad.

Peach Caprese Salad

Serves 2
10 minutes to Prep
·       4 medium Peaches
·       ½ of a Mozzarella Ball (it’s about a ½ cup)
·       6-10 leaves of fresh Basil
·       3 cups of baby Spinach
·       3 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar (I used a cranberry walnut balsamic vinegar)
·       3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil 

Slice up the peaches and the mozzarella.  Pull out your serving platter and add baby spinach as the first layer. Then make a pattern of adding a slice of peach, slice of cheese, and a leaf of bail, alternating each in a circular pattern.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar and olive oil on top and serve.

So yes I’m bringing you yet another Kale recipe, but I promise it’s super good.  It’s also a great side dish to serve for a barbecue or just with sandwiches. 

Roasted Beet, Tomato, and Kale Salad

Serves 2
10 minutes to Prep
45-50 minutes to bake
·       3 medium Beets (I used Golden)
·       1 ½ cups of Cherry Tomatoes
·       4 Cups of Kale
·       3 coves of Garlic (chopped)
·       3 Tablespoons of White Balsamic
·       5 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Peel Beets, drizzle with 2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil and wrap in foil to bake in oven.

After 20 minutes or so add a pan with Kale, Garlic, and Tomatoes, Drizzle and toss with White Balsamic and Olive Oil and bake for 25 minutes.  Pull everything out and allow cooling for 15-20 minutes.  

Slice beets and add on top of Kale mixture. Serve as a main course or a side dish.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Welcome to mid-summer, hot weather, beautiful sunshine, and if you have a garden, well meaning co-workers or a CSA, lots and lots of zucchini.  I’ve received close to two-dozen zucchini in a three-week period.  This year I refused to plant any zucchini because I didn’t want to take the chance of having too much. However I didn’t count on my very nice co-workers also bringing lots of zucchini into work.  So I’m now going to start featuring lots of recipes featuring lots and lots of zucchini.  This is the first of hopefully many recipes.  Although this loaf of bread turned out so well that I may end up making ten or fifteen loaves to share with everyone else.  I brought the loaf to work and more then half of it was gone in the first hour. 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

Makes 2 loaves
15 min to prep
45 min to bake

·       3 Large Eggs
·       1 Cup Olive Oil (you can also use vegetable oil)
·       1 ½ cups Brown Sugar
·       2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·       2 cups grated Zucchini (This was only about 2/3's of a big zucchini)
·       1 Tablespoon Cinnamon (I added a little more, maybe ½ teaspoon)
·       ½ teaspoon Nutmeg
·       1 teaspoon baking soda
·       ½ teaspoon baking powder
·       ¾ teaspoon salt
·       2 ½ cups AP Flour
·       ½ cup of Hershey’s Cocoa powder
·       1 ½ cups of Chocolate Chips (You can add more, no one is judging)

Grease two 9x5 loaf pans, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grate the zucchini now if you haven't prepped it ahead of time.

In a mixer, begin mixing the eggs, vegetable oil, brown sugar, and vanilla until well combined.  After they’ve been thoroughly combined, begin to stir in the grated zucchini.  

Mix in the cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Then slowly begin to beat in the flour and cocoa in batches, mix it in slowly so the batter becomes uniform. 

Lastly stir in the chocolate chips.

Divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a tester can be inserted in the middle of one of the loaves and come out clean.  Let the bread cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Runner's Diet

Last year I tried out running, now I have a continual Love/Hate relationship with it.  I hate the pain and the sweat that comes with it.  I dislike blisters, loose skin, a sore back, and that my hair won’t stay out of my face.  I love the feeling afterwards, that blissful and clear-headed feeling you get when you’re finished. 
With trying out this new form of exercise I’ve made lots of runner friends, changed my diet around, and nursed a few injuries.  While researching this blog post, I asked my friends who are runners and enjoy exercise in general for what they love to eat afterwards. I tried to incorporate their ideas and the research I've done into three recipes that are easy on both budget and time for everyone.

I eat every recipe that I blog about.  This one took a few times to perfect.  The first time was a bit like drinking a glass of liquid grass, which is not enjoyable.  I then added the Agave syrup to the mix and it helped immensely.  This meal is great to have after an intense workout.  
Kale and Berries are great benefits for runners.  Kale is super packed with Vitamins C, A, E, and K, and also loaded with fiber. It’s also a great source of iron and calcium.  Berries, especially blueberries, help with inflammation and oxidative damage in the body. 

Vegan Smoothie

15 min to prep

·       1 Cup of Kale
·       ½ Cup of Blueberries
·       ½ Cup of Frozen Strawberries
·       1 Cup of Sugar Free Almond Milk
·       ½ cup of Ice (cubed or crushed)
·       2 Tablespoons Agave Syrup
Pull out Blender, combine all ingredients and pulse blender until everything is combined.  Pour out into a 16 oz. glass.

One of my favorite foods is an egg.  Scrambled, poached, over easy, soft-boiled, and hard-boiled, I love all of the different ways you can eat it.  The best part is it can go with pretty much any meal.  Eggs have wonderful health benefits for runners.  It can help maintain bone strength, fight inflammation, and slim down if you’re trying to lose weight.  Then you have Spinach, which is a powerhouse of vitamins and fiber.

Warm Mixed Green Salad with Egg

10 minutes Prep time
10 minutes Cooking Time

·       1 egg
·       2 Cups of Spinach
·       1 Cup of Radicchio
·       1 Tablespoon grated Parmesan Cheese
·       1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
·       ½ Cup Croutons (pick your fav kind)
Add oil to a heated skillet.  Add spinach and radicchio and cook for a couple of minutes.  Don’t cook it completely.  Remove from skillet and add to plate. Top with croutons and Parmesan Cheese.

Heat up skillet, crack open egg.  Try not to break the egg yolk.  Slowly tilt the skillet so the egg white cooks around the yolk and flip it over the yolk with spatula to create an over easy egg. Flip it so it cooks on both sides for a minute or two.  Add to salad.  With fork and knife, break over yolk and mix into the salad.

And last but certainly not least is my husband Tom’s favorite.  Sweet potatoes are a great anti-oxidant rich vegetable that’s easy to find and easy to make.  Aside from the traditional Thanksgiving favorites of a loaded up sugary side dish with marshmallows, it can be a great entrée or side to any dinner.  Sweet Potatoes contains Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and healthy carbohydrates.  It also contains Manganese, which offers some powerful health benefits, including the metabolism of carbohydrates (which can help keep down blood sugar).

Loaded Sweet Potato

10 minutes Prep time
2 Hours Cooking Time
Serves 4
·       2 5 in Sweet Potatoes
·       2 Cups of Spinach
·       3 cooked shredded Chicken thighs (this is just what I had on hand, please use breasts if you want to)
·       3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
·       1 Vidalia onion
Poke as many holes as you can in each sweet potato.    Wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees for 2 hours or so. 
About 20 minutes before the potatoes are done, caramelize the onions in a skillet with 1 tablespoon of oil.  Wait until they’ve browned under low-medium heat.  

Then heat up chicken in saucepan with onions and another tablespoon of oil.  Lastly add the spinach, it will cook very quickly.  Turn off heat when spinach is cooked.

Pull out potatoes and check for doneness.  If a knife can easy cut into the potato, it’s done.  

Split each potato in half and dig up the center.  Spoon the veggie-chicken mixture into each potato. 


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Chicken Parmesan Meatball

This week I went in a different direction.  Instead of keeping up with the grilling recipes, I thought I'd bring you an easy to make recipe for any weeknight meal.
My husband loves both Chicken Parmesan and Meatballs.  In an attempt to create a healthier meal for him, I’ve combined them into this yummy concoction.  By adding the fresh basil it helps to give a pop of flavor to the dish.  This is also a great meal to make a day ahead of time and then make Meatball Sandwiches with.

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

15 min of prep time
35 min of baking time

·       1 lb of ground chicken
·       ¼ cup of fresh basil (chopped)
·       ½ teaspoon of salt
·       ½ cup of bread crumbs (I used panko)
·       1 egg
·       ¼ cup of Parmesan Cheese
·       2 cups of tomato sauce
·       ½ cup of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Pre-heat oven at 350 degrees. Ready a 13 by 9 inch pan.

Prepare the meatballs by combining ground chicken, fresh basil, salt, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, and egg in a large bowl.  Mix thoroughly.  

Make meatballs by measuring out about an ounce of meat mixture.  Roll mixture into a bowl and add to pan. 
Bake for 20 minutes.
Pull out pan and cover meatballs with tomato sauce and sprinkle cheese on top.  

Bake for an additional 15 minutes or so.

These are great with pasta and salad.