Friday, June 10, 2011

blueberry muffin cookies

i have a problem. actually two.
my first problem? i found this recipe and i just had to make it. i didn't even think. i just got my bake face on and went right at it. you see, sometimes i have little to no self control in situations that involve blueberries.
the second problem i have is that i often try to health-itize things that shouldn't be healthy. ie adding way too much wheat flour to cakes, cutting butter like it's going out of style, reducing sugar etc etc etc. in the original recipe for these cookies, i just wanted to add some greek yogurt, but my calculations went a bit awry, and i ended up totally changing the consistency of the batter from the original recipe. at first i was a little panicky, but i baked em anyway and you know what? they were delicious. and somewhat healthy.
and i had to take them to work so i wouldn't eat the whole batch.

needless to say, they were gone before lunch break was over.
that, my friends, is how you measure a good recipe.

blueberry muffin cookies
adapted from how sweet it is
makes almost 2 dozen cookies depending on size

1/4 c butter (i used whipped... and highly recommend it)
1/2 c greek yogurt
3/4 c brown sugar
 1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 c flour (next time i will add a little wheat)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 c fresh blueberries

1. preheat oven to 375. in a medium bowl, cream together butter and yogurt until smooth and combined. incorporate brown sugar, egg, and vanilla. cream this together until your arm is sore. (we don't have a mixer in these parts...)
2. in a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients sans the blueberries. add dry ingredients to wet ingredients a little at a time, mixing until incorporated. add in blueberries
3. grease your cookie sheet and drop tablespoon sized balls of dough onto sheet- they don't spread our much so just crowd them on there!
4. bake until firm and golden, probably about 12 minutes, but who really knows. our oven is a little bit testy.
5. let cool, then share with all the ends of the earth.
the secret is in the greek yogurt.

garden risotto

boys and girls, this is a meal for the books.
this recipe is one you should print out and put all the necessary ingredients on your shopping list right away.
in fact, you should probably make it right now, eat half of it, and save the rest for breakfast tomorrow.
lately i have been obsessed with broccoli, so finding this recipe while perusing the pioneer woman's archives hit me like a ton of bricks. it's simple and delicious- the kind that makes you close your eyes and let out a big long "mmmmmmmmmmmm" when it hits your tongue. or is that just me?

vegetable risotto
adapted from the pioneer woman
serves 2

1 c arborio rice
3 c water
1 1/2 vegetable bouillon cubes
1 c chopped baby carrots
2 c chopped broccoli- fresh is best
1 c chopped yellow squash
1/2 c chopped onion
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

to make:
1. boil your water and bouillon cubes. in a separate pot, combine 1/2 T olive oil with rice and stir til coated, cooking for 1-2 minutes
2.with stove on medium heat, add 3/4 cup of broth to rice. once the rice has sucked up all the broth, add 1 more 3/4 cup, following this process over the next 30-40 minutes, or until all the broth is incorporated into the rice. taste often, reducing heat and adding more broth as needed.
3. while your rice is simmering, grab a large frying pan (i used a wok) and saute the onion with another 1/2 T olive oil until translucent. add the rest of your vegetables and cook for 3-4 minutes, mixing as needed. add a little broth to help the process along, then when time is up remove from heat and put in serving bowl.
4. when rice is done, cut the heat and add parmesan cheese and mix until incorporated. add rice to vegetables, then give them all a stir. salt and pepper to taste.

honestly, if this isn't the best thing you've eaten for the month of june, well, don't even worry. it will be.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

egg avocado spinach pita

i am not a girl who buys loaves of bread.

i'm not really a sandwich person, nor enjoy toast that much, therefore i hardly ever walk out of the grocery store with any bread in tow. if it's great harvest bread, well that's another story, but talking about my love of great harvest would probably be a little too much for just one post.

anyway, with that little fact out of the way, i must say that bread in any other form than the sliced version holds a near and dear place in my heart. hence the reason these pitas made it into my cart monday at the grocery store. i mean, at 90 calories a pita can you really pass that up? nope. i didn't even try.

pitas are great because they are so versatile. they can be stuffed full, filled with hot or cold ingredients, toasted and served with hummus, the list goes on and on! i've come to one conclusion about them, and that is that anything tastes good in a pita.

egg avocado spinach pita
serves 1
1 pita pocket
1/2 cup spinach
half an avocado, mashed and salt n peppered
hard boiled egg, diced
pico de gallo
1 tbsp feta cheese

this is really easy, just mix all the ingredients and stuff that pita chock full. eat. savor. enjoy.
make another.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

channa masala

right now my house smells like an indian village. in a good way.
the first time i had indian food was in high school at one of my friends houses. her family was vegetarian and ate all kinds of stuff i didn't even know existed. when her mom whipped up a batch of dahl one day, i was really confused as to what the baby poop colored mush was on my plate. needless to say it was delicious and i have been a believer ever since. sadly this dahl pictured was a little bland, but the channa masala was, in the words of guy fieri, out of bounds. (i may or may not watch a lot of diners, drive ins, and dives at the gym...)
this stuff is downright delicious. a little spicy, but for the most part just good and i would like to think somewhat authentic... hey i had to go down to the local bollywood market to secure the garam masala, so i think that means we're pretty legit!
i got it from this blog, which i am jut loving right now. i think it's safe to say that the writer makes me want to go to culinary school.
til then i will just keep chopping my onions and measuring out tomato paste.
please notice the sheer size of that strawberry
channa masala
serves: 4
1 c dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked
1.5 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 jalepeño, diced
2 tsp ginger paste (or fresh or powdered, whatever you've got)
3 tbsp tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp coriander
1 tsp cumin
sprinkle of salt
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cayenne (or less... cook be warned...)
1 tsp tumeric

1. saute your onion til it get carmelized on medium heat. patience is a virtue!
2. add your jalepeño and your ginger. stir this all together and let it marry a couple minutes while you measure out your tomato paste
3. add your tomato paste and stir stir stir. let it cook down it's crusted on the bottom of the pan a little. that means the flavor is really getting in!
4. add your tomatoes to the mix and stir it all together.
5. throw in your spices. i like to measure yout all the spices in another bowl, mix, then add them together so they are nice and conglomerated.
6. finally, add the chickpeas and stir until everything is incorporated.
7. serve with a side of yogurt. adding it gives a nice smooth texture and adds creaminess and relief to the cayenne. enjoy
could that fork look any bigger? really?

Monday, May 23, 2011

vegetable stacks

this is one for the books, folks. 
i found some really great food/fitness blogs a couple days ago, and this was on one of the more random finds of the day. i was a little skeptical at first, seeing as it's comprised mostly of vegetables, but i couldn't believe my stomach when i was suprisingly stuffed as i took the last bite. plus it's extremely low calorie.

vegetable stacks
adapted from the hungry girl cookbook
1 eggplant, sliced into 6 pieces lengthwise
1 yellow squash, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1 small zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
1/2 cup cottage cheese
3 tbsp fresh basil. (trust me you will want it fresh)
1/4 cup spinach
3/4 cup marinara sauce
freshly ground pepper and garlic salt

1. heat your oven to 425. while its preheating, heat up a frying pan on medium heat, spray with cooking spray,and throw in your squash and zucchini rounds, cooking 2-3 minutes on each size until a little bit brown. salt and pepper them as they cook.
2. when they're done, throw the rounds on a couple paper towels to soak up any extra condensation. put your eggplant in the pan, salt and pepper, and cook on each side for 2-3 minutes. 
3. while your vegetables are frying, mix your cottage cheese in a food processor until smooth. add garlic salt to taste, pepper, basil, and spinach. mix well.
4. to assemble stacks, put a big spoonful of marinara on a glass baking dish. lay down a slice of eggplant, followed by your cheese mixture. top that with the zucchini and squash rounds, then marinara. do another layer of eggplant, cheese mix, and zucchini. put a piece of eggplant on top, followed by more marinara and parmesean cheese to taste. do the same to your other stack.
5. throw your dish in the oven for 15-20 minutes, then when cheese is bubbly, remove from oven and let cool. serve, enjoy, and lick that plate clean.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

easy margherita pizza

i think i cleaned the kitchen probably at least four times this weekend... and i was the only one who cooked! what can i say? just can't help myself..
so this afternoon when britni and i got home from church we were starving. i tell you what- my big intestine felt like it was eating my small one. church at 11:30 really confuses the old bod!
after thinking about it the whole time on our walk home we decided pizza is what we were craving. and hummus. but that's a recipe for another post :)
this recipe would probably be tenfold better with some fresh basil, but we didn't have any... in fact i am pretty sure we stole all of my roommate's ingredients for this. she was in boise. don't tell :)
anyway, here we go!
9. cut up and feast.
margherita pizza
makes one big pizza
serves: 2? 3?
crust: eating well
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp quick rising yeast
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
3/4 cup hot water
1 tbsp olive oil

to make crust:
1. preheat oven to 500 degrees, put your pizza pan in oven to warm. combine all dry ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.
2. mix together wet ingredients, then as processor is running, add liquid a little at a time until a ball forms
3. turn dough onto floured surface and knead dough into a manageable ball. if necessary, add a little water to help dough ball up. knead for a couple minutes by hand.
4. coat a sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and cover dough, letting rest 10-20 minutes.

the rest of the ingredients:
2 tomatoes, cut into rounds
1 mozzarella ball, sliced thinly
olive oil
salt and pepper
parmesan cheese
basil- fresh if possible (we used dried)

5. when dough is done resting, roll out onto floured surface, forming a big ol pizza surface. (i dare you to try to make a perfect circle! and then teach me how...) remove pan from oven, and spread out dough. drizzle olive oil on surface and spread all over
6. in a small bowl, drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper your tomatoes.
7. arrange the mozarella and tomatoes on dough, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, basil, and more pepper.
8. cook pizza in oven for 10ish minutes. watch it! it cooks fast!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

banana chocolate chip oatmeal bars

sometimes i think being a vegan would be cool.
sometimes i think going raw would be cool, too.
however, when i think about all the work that would have to go into buying random seeds/vegetables to sustain myself and never cooking my food over 118 degrees, i feel mentally tired. plus i like cottage cheese too much, and i think cottage cheese is against the vegan code of conduct.
however, this recipe is totally vegan and totally easy.
plus totally delicious. which is much more important that it being vegan or easy.
i found it originally on this site, and then made just a couple tweaks for it to fit my fancy a little.
ps where the heck have banana chips been my whole life? i just tried them last weekend, and my tastebuds were just jumping for joy, i tell you what. those, combined with dark chocolate chips are ambrosia. and with oatmeal, they can almost pass for breakfast.
 well, almost.

banana chocolate chip oatmeal bars
makes 12 bars

one very ripe banana
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup oats
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup chopped banana chips
2/3 cup dark chocolate chips

1. preheat your oven to 350. in one bowl, mash your banana, add your brown sugar, vanilla, and vegetable oil. mix to combined and somewhat smooth with minimal chunks.
2. in another bowl, combine your flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, chocolate chips, and banana chips.
3. combine your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients, a little at a time, stirring until combined.
4. grease a pan, and press your mixture into your dish. throw it in the oven and bake for 25 minutes or until it looks done. let it cool and then cut it up. ... or just dig right in, whatever fits your fancy!
 eat another one. they're healthy i tell you.