Almond butter better

I don’t remember why, but at some point in the past few months, I bought a bag of roasted, unsalted almonds from Trader Joe’s.  I used some of them for whatever and that was it.  So fast forward to today – I needed almond butter from the store and forgot to buy it.  Well, I looked at my pantry and saw this bag and I decided to make the little bit of almond butter that I needed.   And then I saw how quick and easy it was and I just made enough to fill a plastic container with.  Amazing!

THEN I saw a container of cocoa roasted almonds and made that into almond butter along with a little sugar.    And then I made a  smoothie using said cocoa roasted almond butter, a pear, banana, plain yogurt, and spinach in it and it was sooo yummy I had to share.  Really you cannot taste the spinach at all.  I think as long as you put a banana into your smoothie mix, the texture and taste turn out great.

 

Almond butter

Ingredient:

Almonds

Mix in food processor about a cup of almonds at a time to ensure you don’t burn your machine out.  After it starts looking pureed a bit around the edges, mix it around with a spoon or spatula.  Add more almonds.  Keep pureeing until it looks like the almonds are sticking together.   Mine began to form a ball and it was easy to get out of the processor.  You can make it as crunchy or smooth as you like.

I was just so excited about this discovery, I had to share!


Healthy-sweet potato and lentil stew

I think my favorite part of cold weather is eating stews and soups. I don’t know if I am a lazy eater or what, but having an entire meal in one bowl is so appealing to me. And when the soup/stew creates leftovers, this is a bonus to me. This recipe is full of veggies that I had and it was a complete meal full of lentil protein and veggie vitamins. I made a quick batch of “beer bread” with it to offset the healthiness of this recipe. In case you are wondering, beer bread is easy to whip up, does not include yeast, but instead includes, among other things, butter, white flour, and a can of beer.

Sweet Potato and Lentil Stew
Serves 6
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
2 medium celery ribs, chopped (I added another carrot instead of celery)
1 bay leaf
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
2 cups dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cut in 1/2-inch dice
1 package (9 ounces) frozen cut green beans
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves (I omitted)
Coarse salt and black pepper
Plain low-fat yogurt, for serving

Directions
1.In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion, carrots, celery, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
2.Add 7 cups of water and lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook 10 minutes. Add potatoes and continue to cook, covered, until lentils and potato are just tender, about 15 minutes.
3.Add green beans and tomatoes with juice. Cook until warmed through, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Add cilantro; season with salt and pepper. Serve with yogurt.
This is from wholeliving.com


Kohlrabi- excuse me

Kohlrabi is one of those vegetables that I’d never heard of before last year when we started getting local vegetables from a CSA.  Perhaps it’s the only one we had that I’d really never even knew existed.  I can’t remember what we did with it last year but it wasn’t much of a success.  So when we got another last week from the Fresh Fork, I wanted success!

A bit about kohlrabi:  The low-calorie plant is high in dietary fibers and contains the dietary minerals selenium, folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and copper.  A cup of it has over 100% of your daily vitamin C requirements.  It is in the cabbage family and the flavor of kohlrabi can be described as similar to raw broccoli stems mixed with cabbage, turnip and radish, but slightly sweeter.

Here is a better picture that I found online.

Fresh Fork being the awesome CSA that it is, sends out a weekly newsletter including some recipes of things that are in the bag.  I decided to try the Roasted Kohlrabi recipe from the newsletter.

Roasted Kohlrabi

Ingredients:

1 large kohlrabi

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon garlic

Salt and vinegar

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Remove the root end, leaves, and peel/slice off the thick outer layer to expose the inner flesh.  Dice the kohlrabi into approximately 0.5 inch pieces.

Toss the diced kohlrabi with olive oil, garlic, and salt. Add some coarsely chopped onion pieces if you like, half way thru roasting. Roast in a roasting pan (not cookie sheet) so that you may toss them over every now and then. You want to cook them until the bottom starts to stick then toss and repeat. It will take about 45 minutes to cook.

After you remove them from the oven, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and serve warm.

If we get these again, I’d be happy to eat them!


Crock pot pork tenderloin= Amazing!

I tend to use the crock pot more in the fall and winter than in the summer and spring.  I love the feeling of having dinner prepared before I even eat lunch.  This particular recipe is a shorter one and doesn’t encompass a whole meal, although you could probably add veggies to it.  But it is definitely worth trying.  I’ve heard if you turn the crockpot on before work and keep it on warm after 4 hours, it is still good.  I posted it on a “mom board” I am a member of and people rave about it.  You can always freeze your leftovers or use them to make a sandwich.

I use the crockpot liners for easy clean-up.

Amazing Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker
from allrecipes
INGREDIENTS
1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin
1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
1 cup water
3/4 cup red wine
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons lite soy sauce (I use low sodium version)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Place pork tenderloin in a slow cooker with the contents of the soup packet. Pour water, wine, and soy sauce over the top, turning the pork to coat. Carefully spread garlic over the pork, leaving as much on top of the roast during cooking as possible. Sprinkle
with pepper, cover, and cook on low setting for 4 hours. Serve with cooking liquid on the side as au jus.

 


Pumpkin pancakes

I’ve never made anything but plain or blueberry pancakes before, but I had a half a can of pumpkin in the fridge so I decided to try some pumpkin pancakes.   I have two little ones at home with a cold, so I thought something kinda healthy but fun would be a good RX.  The flavor of these is like pumpkin pie!  And with some maple syrup (real, not fake) on top, these were fantastic!

Pumpkin pie pancakes

Makes about 4 pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (click for recipe if you don’t have on hand)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • cooking spray

Mix together dry ingredients in one bowl.  In another bowl, mix together canned pumpkin, milk, eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients and mix together until there are no more dry spots.  Do not over- mix.

Heat skillet on medium heat.  Spray with cooking spray and pour batter onto pan.  When the pancake starts bubbling and the edges start to set, flip.  Repeat with rest of batter.

Enjoy!


Welcome fall with some cookies!

I am generally not a big fan of fall, as I never like to see summer and the warm weather ending for several months of cold days.  However, there are some definite perks to fall which I think are all related to food- pumpkins and apples.

So we are kicking off fall with a pumpkin cookie recipe with butterscotch chips.  I found this on pinterest.com , which is a fun way to surf the web from one website.  You can find recipes, home decorating ideas, crafts, etc. that other people have “pinned” for their use and you can “repin” if you so choose.

My little cookie thief. ❤

Pumpkin Butterscotch Cookies

Yield: about 2 dozen cookies
Ingredients:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup butterscotch chips

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325° F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  In a small bowl combine the
flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; whisk to blend.

In a the bowl of an electric mixer combine the eggs and sugar.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and light in color, about 1 minute.  Blend in the oil, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract until well combined.

With the mixer on low speed, mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Gently fold in the butterscotch chips with a spatula.

Drop mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, spacing them a few inches apart.  Bake, rotating the sheets halfway through baking, until the tops feel set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 14-16 minutes.  Allow to cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in an
airtight container.

Source: www.annies-eats.com

Do yourself a favor and bake some of these cookies on a cold, rainy, fall day.


Parmesan Galore!

It seems our family enjoys parmesan.  My kids would like “green cheese” (because our container is Kraft green) on top of anything or just straight up eaten with a spoon.  Of course, baked on to chicken or potatoes, they won’t touch.  Anyway, these are very enjoyable and probably kid friendly for most kids.   I served with corn and green beans as you can see in this picture.

Baked Chicken Nuggets

via skinnytaste.com
  • 16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bit sized
    pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp panko
  • 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • olive oil spray (I used my Misto)

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.

Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken.

Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the top with olive oil then bake 8 – 10 minutes. Turn over then cook another 4 – 5 minutes or until cooked though.

We love these chicken nuggets!

Parmesan roasted potatoes

via http://megkat.com/2010/05/parmesan-roasted-potatoes.html
(Serves 2-3)
3-4 medium red potatoes, cut into small wedges  (I used small yukon gold potatoes.)
3 TBS olive oil
1/3 C parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp paprika
sea salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Wash and dry the potatoes then cut each potato in half length wise, then cut each half into 4 or 5 wedges measuring an inch or less.

In a small bowl, combine the parmesan, garlic salt, and paprika and set aside. Next, toss the potatoes and oil together in a mixing bowl then add the bowl of cheese and seasonings and stir to coat. Dump onto a cookie sheet and arrange in a single layer.
Bake for about 25 minutes then remove from oven and turn over all the potatoes.  Put them back in the oven for another 10 or 15 minutes until they’re sufficiently crispy and divine.

The  smaller  you cut these, the crispier they will be!