Archive for the ‘healthy’ Category

Zucchini

Jul
2012
17

posted by on cooking, Grilling, healthy, quick, side dish, vegetable

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Zucchini is everywhere this time of year & I love it! It’s pretty versatile (banana bread, soufflés, cake mixes…) but I prefer it one of two ways: raw or grilled with a marinade.

Here’s a simple marinade that’s great for grilling up zucchini (also, works well in the oven at about 450 degrees if you don’t have a grill/grill plate).

What you’ll need:

  • 4 zucchini’s (I try to get organic), washed well and ends chopped off (leave the skin on!)
  • Olive oil
  • Lemon pepper
  • Garlic salt
  • Basil
  1. Slice the zuc’s in half, then each half into thirds, longways.
  2. Place in any kind of container (I use a bread baking pan) and be generous with the olive oil and seasonings (get creative! a pinch of cayenne, oregano, Greek’s…).
  3. Let marinade before grilling for a few minutes.
  4. Grill skin side down until you see grill marks and zuc’s are softened.
  5. *if you’re baking, bake at 450 degrees for 8-10 minutes on a cookie sheet or until light brown and crispy on the outside. You may have to use your broiler.*

Breakfast burrito

Jun
2012
26

posted by on cooking for 2, healthy, leftovers, portions, quick

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Won’t say too much about this one except it goes back to my thoughts on using what you already have in your refrigerator to come up with a quick and delicious dish!

What you’ll need – makes 2 burritos:

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • Splash of milk
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese (whatever you have)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • Green onion, cleaned and chopped
  • Meat (optional – I used leftover slices of smoked turkey I had in the fridge – left over ground beef or sausage would be great too!)
  • Frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • Paprika
  • Garlic
  • Onion powder
  • Lemon pepper
  • Salt & Pepper

**if you decide to use harder veggies like onions or green peppers, sprinkle with salt & saute them until soft first)**

  1. Beat the eggs and milk together. Add the green onion and seasonings. Set aside.
  2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat until warm.
  3. Add the spinach and chopped up turkey and cook until hot.
  4. Pour the egg mix in and let sit until the egg starts to cook up around the edges.
  5. Start scrambling/mixing everything together and leave it alone for 2 or 3 min.
  6. Sprinkle the cheese on top and mix until the eggs are fully cooked.
  7. Serve on warmed up whole wheat tortillas.  

Cooking for 2

Jun
2012
17

posted by on cooking, cooking for 2, healthy, leftovers, portions, vegetable

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When I first started this blog I mentioned cooking for 1 or 2 people and how my favorite cookbook is based around that idea (remember?). At this point, cooking for 2 people comes naturally to me. It’s hard for me to actually think “normal” and cook for 5 or 6 people because I’ve adapted to shopping, prepping and cooking for me and the boyfriend.

This all ties in with portion control and waste too. I hear friends tell me that they’ll go ahead and cook a full recipe fully knowing most of it will go to waste, even after eating leftovers. I would love to try and convince everyone that this doesn’t have to be the case if you’re cooking for yourself or you and a significant other. Hopefully I can touch on this subject every once in a while to help you guys out – along the way, let me know if you have questions or any ideas to add!

I still really struggle with cutting down when it comes to baking & probably because I know baked goods will be gone before I can even get them off a hot baking sheet! For this post I’ll focus on cooking and start of with some tips. We’ll go into more detail later!

Meat & Poultry:
Buy meat/poultry when it’s on sale and in family sizes – when you bring it home divide it into 1/2 lbs., put in freezer bags and store for later. I generally use 1/2 pound of any kind of meat when I cook for the boyfriend and I.  Really a 1/4 lb. of meat is a little bit more than a portion so this will be plenty. Trust this Nebraska girl – I know it sounds like not enough, but it will be.

When I buy chicken breast I’ll clean them up, cut them in half and freeze them separately. When it’s time to use them, thaw them out, place between two pieces of saran wrap or place in a baggie and pound with a rolling pin until about 1″ thick. You’ll have plenty for one serving and cut down on your cooking time significantly.

Vegetables:
Visit your local farmer’s market (if you’re fortunate enough to have one around) and buy what’s in season. This one is hard for me sometimes when I see Brussels sprouts or asparagus and have to hold back because they’re not in season and are so expensive. You’ll help out your wallet if you pay attention to this. Google your local growing seasons and see what’s in now. www.cuesa.org has a good one…

Frozen vegetables are something my freezer is always stocked with. I use them in everything and love having the different options when it comes time to throw a quick 15-minute dinner together or when there’s no meat in the house, I can easily put together an awesome vegetarian meal (think stir fry with rice or noodles).
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posted by on blog, healthy

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Screen shot from NeverSeconds blog

As read on The Frisky:

“…a food blog curated by nine-year-old Martha Payne. For the past month, Martha has borrowed her father’s camera and diligently documented the lunch offerings at her Scottish primary school…”

I decided to check out her blog NeverSeconds and can honestly say I’m a fan. Don’t let her age fool you. This girl is a smart cookie writing and photographing her lunch meals at school, she’s thoroughly entertaining. Yay for the Queen’s diamond jubilee!

posted by on cooking, cooking for 2, healthy, leftovers, Phoenix, portions, quick, vegetable

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Now that it’s reaching past 100 degrees every day here in Phoenix, I’m afraid my baking will have to subside until my birthday (yes, I bake my own birthday cake – a crazy dark chocolate bundt to be exact – follow up on this after June 12!).

When I really “read” my first cookbook I remember mention of keeping staples in your kitchen – basics that are versatile and can be used in a lot of different meals.

This quick recipe uses just about every main staple I keep around. Onions, garlic, rice, canned tomatoes, beans & veggies, pasta – just to name a few. Here’s a quick dish that makes excellent leftovers that are even better on day 2.

Here’s what you’ll need:
(makes enough for 2-4 people depending on if you want leftovers)

  • 1½ cups of instant rice, cooked
  • ½  onion, chopped
  • ¼-½ lb. ground beef
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Cumin, salt & pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups frozen corn
  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Throw in the ground beef, chopped onion and seasonings as you like.
  3. Half way through the beef cooking, add the chopped garlic and mix well.
  4. Cook until beef is browned and onions have softened and are translucent.
  5. Add the frozen corn & beans and mix until well heated. Add more cumin, salt & pepper as needed.
  6. Finally, stir in the cooked rice and continue cooking 4-5 more minutes until well mixed and hot.
  7. Serve in bowls!

It may seem hard at first, but it is possible and easy to cook for 2 people when you have staples already in your kitchen, ready to use. Keep portions in mind and read the labels for serving sizes.

cooking vs baking

May
2012
16

posted by on baking, cooking, gripes, healthy, leftovers, quick, vegetable

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The idea of spending more than 30 minutes cooking a meal is annoying to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in the kitchen but I’d much rather spend 4 hours with the precision of baking. Throw “a bunch of sh*t” in a pan and cook it is my theory when it comes to dinner (which is exactly what I did last night).

I had a couple of almost empty boxes of elbow pasta, some feta cheese, frozen corn, frozen chopped spinach, and a half can of diced tomatoes leftover in the fridge. I heated up a tablespoon of butter, threw in the frozen spinach, corn, can of tomatoes with the juice, mixed it all up until it was hot and bubbling and added some finely chopped garlic at the very end. Feta cheese was sprinkled on the top after it was dished up. Bonus: it made about 4 servings so the boyfriend and I had leftovers for lunch which, in my opinion, was even better reheated the next day (you’ll have to ask him how it was cold – yuck!).

posted by on banana, Colorado, Denver, healthy, ice cream

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Let me preface this post: Little Man Ice Cream in the Highlands neighborhood of Denver is what this girl’s dreams are made of! If you’re nearby (I’m talking 30 mile radius ‘nearby’) you must stop and try their ice cream or gelato. I would walk for hours, days, miles to have their strawberry ice cream!  Anyway…

Last night I had a staring contest with 3 really ripe bananas sitting on my counter. Wondering how to prevent them from going to waste (Déjà vu), I started looking for a new way to use them up. I came upon the solution, a recipe from theKitchn, a blog I’m very fond of.

A lover of all things ice cream, I was hesitant to believe I could get the same creamy texture and taste of soft serve ice cream using only frozen banana. Boy, did this recipe prove me wrong! Check it out for yourself. One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream *they’re right about being patient and scraping down the food processor – be patient! I used my Ninja®  food blender*

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