Sunday, August 19, 2012

Veggies So Delicious They Taste Like Candy

Pin It This past week my aunt and uncle happened to be in the area for an organic farming conference so we were able to hook up and have lunch together.  We went to this cute little cafe and enjoyed a delicious lunch.  It was so much fun to catch up with them and talk about our latest cooking creations and nutrition research.  One of the best parts about the day (besides actually being able to visit and spend time with my aunt and uncle) was getting a load of vegetables from my uncle's ginormous garden.  Cucumbers. Carrots. Zucchini. Beets. Tomatoes. Lettuce. Peppers. Onions. Garlic. Nutrition nerd heaven.
Sorry about the poor picture quality...I was too excited to take the time to get out my good camera and spend some time taking pictures.

At first I was kind of nervous to bring it all home to my roommates being as our fridge is already packed as it is.  Sharing a fridge with 4 other girls gets a little crazy sometimes... but we made it work no worries! The girls were actually almost as excited as I was about all the free vegetables.  It didn't take long before they were enjoying fresh salads and sliced cucumbers. 

To take a little load off of the fridge I decided to roast a bunch of veggies right away. In the mix went several beets, some carrots, and a pepper. I've never really had much experience with beets being as my mom absolutely hates them, but I asked my uncle to bring a few so I could try them.  Guess what??  I LOVED THEM! They were so sweet and flavorful I couldn't keep my hands off the plate as I was trying to take pictures.  Yummy! 

I think roasting vegetables is one of my favorite ways to cook them (nothing tops grilling of course).  I don't know what it is about them, but the tender centers bursting with flavor and crisp toasted outsides is just something that cannot be beat.  Plus it couldn't be easier to chop up a bunch of veggies, toss 'em in some olive oil, season with a little salt and pepper and throw 'em in the oven. It's hard for me to even call this a recipe, but I just had to share the beautiful bright colors of the roasted vegetables and my new love for beets.  Seriously you need to try them this way!

Note: I'm warning you right now.  Roasted veggies are as addicting as candy.  The other night I cut up a whole zucchini, several carrots, and a whole onion...and ate it all...only me right?  "Only Kara the crazy vegetable girl would do that."  No... I'm serious these are so good it can happen to you too!

Olive oil
Seasonings (Salt, pepper, basil, etc.)
Vegetables of choice

*I just used salt and pepper on mine this time and used 2 red beets, 1 golden beet, 1 pepper, and several carrots.

1. Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
2. Wash and cut up vegetables into 1 inch or so chunks.  I like to cut my carrots in half too for faster cooking.
3. Lightly toss veggies in olive oil on a cookie sheet lined with foil (for easy clean up).
4. Sprinkle on desired seasonings.
5. Bake 10-15 minutes, stir, and repeat until the edges are getting crispy and the middles are soft.

*I have no idea what how many people this serves...if it was me it'd only be 1-2 servings...but I really like my veggies.  I don't have nutrition facts either due to too many recipe variations, but feel free to calculate your own if you are curious. :) ENJOY!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sweet Potato Breakfast Bake

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Good morning everyone!  I hope you are all waking up and enjoying a nice healthy breakfast this morning.  I know I am!  I love going to bed at night know I have a delicious breakfast waiting for me when I get up. 

Normally, I am not in the mood to make myself an extravagant meal in the morning.  Takes too much effort when I'm still groggy from the last night's sleep... especially during the school year.  How am I enjoying such a delicious breakfast then you may ask?  Leftovers!  Seriously.  For those of you cooking for one or even for a family, leftovers can be the best thing ever.  Cook a big batch, scoop individual potion sizes into containers, store in the fridge, go to bed, wake up, pop one of those babies in the microwave, and dig in!  Easy peasy! (Note: I even skip the microwaving step all together with the recipe because I love it cold.)

Lately I've been making egg bakes for the week, but decided I needed to change it up for a few days.  This is when my Sweet Potato Breakfast Bake recipe was born.  Mmm. I just finished my last bowl as we speak and I'm kind of sad.  I loved the soft texture...kind of like a mixture between a muffin and pumpkin pie....interesting comparison I know, but still so good.  Plus the raisins add a special touch of sweetness with every bite.  Nuts would also be a great addition to this recipe for those of you who like a little crunch!

1 large Sweet potato
1/2 cup Almond meal (Fine ground almonds)
1/2 cup Sesame seeds, ground into a flour
2 tbsp Flax
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp Baking soda
2 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 cup Raisins

1. Preheat 375 F degrees.
2. Cook the sweet potato in the microwave or the oven until very tender.
3. In the meantime, add the almond meal to a food processor to grind into a finer flour (you can omit this step if your almonds are already pretty fine).
4. Transfer the almond meal to a mixing bowl and add the sesame seeds to the food processor.  Process into a flour like texture.
5. Mix together the almond meal, sesame seed flour, flax, spices, and baking soda.
6. Scoop the cooled sweet potato (you don't want it to cook the egg right away!) into food processor along with the egg and vanilla and puree.
7. Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
8. Fold in the raisins.
9. Pour into a grease 8x8 baking dish and bake for 30-40 minutes.  I took mine out when a fork came out clean, but it ended up being pretty soft in the middle when I cut into it.  I thought it was actually really good that way; however, if you don't want a gooey casserole you can try cooking it longer for a drier cake like texture.
Makes 6 decent sized breakfast servings.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 227
Total Fat: 13.2 g
     Mono. Fat: 3 g
     Poly. Fat: 3.5 g
     Sat. Fat: 1.6 g
Cholesterol: 54.5 mg
Sodium: 251 mg
Potassium: 290.6 mg
Total Carbs: 23.4 g
     Dietary Fiber: 4.8 g
     Sugars: 10 g
Protein: 7.4 g
Vitamin A: 36%
Vitamin C: 1%
Calcium: 18%
Iron: 17%

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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Grain and Gluten Free Burger with Homemade Ketchup

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I'm experiencing some major writers block today, so I don't have much to say today....except here's the recipes. Enjoy! 

P.S. These buns also make for some great BTLs with fresh tomatoes!

1 cup Cauliflower, pureed
1 Egg, whisked
2 tbsp Flaxmeal
Garlic powder
Onion powder
1/2 tsp Baking powder

1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.
2. Mix all the ingredients together.
3. Pour small circles of the batter onto a greased cookie sheet (VERY IMPORTANT STEP).
4. Bake for 10 minutes until they start to look drier and golden. 
5. Using a large spatula flip the buns over and bake for another 5 or so minutes.
6. Once the buns are nice and golden remove them from the oven and let cool before assembling the burger.
Makes 4-5 buns depending on the size.

(No added sugar or chemicals!)
1 can Tomato paste (6 oz.)
1 tbsp Vinegar, plain
2 tbsp Lemon juice
1/2 cup Water
1/4 tsp Dry mustard
1 dash cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1 pinch Ground cloves
1 pinch Ground allspice
1 large dash Onion powder
1 dash Garlic powder

1. Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and enjoy!
Note: The ketchup will taste better once the flavors combine overnight in the fridge.
Makes 1 cup.

Nutrition Facts:
- Bun nutrition facts not calculated.
- 1 tbsp Ketchup
Calories: 9.5
Total Fat: 0.1 g
     Sat. Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 128.4 mg
Potassium: 110.5 mg
Total Carbs: 2.2 g
     Dietary Fiber: 0.5 g
     Sugars: 1.3 g
Protein: 0.5 g
Vitamin A: 0.5%
Vitamin C: 4.7%
Calcium: 0.5%
Iron: 1.8% 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Best of Both Worlds Chocolate Chia Pudding

Pin It Wouldn't it be awesome if you could boost your daily fiber and protein intake while eating dessert?!  I sure think so!  Chocolate Chia Pudding can do just that!  One serving of this pudding has about 11 grams of fiber and protein... can you believe it?!  That's a lot of fiber.  If you are not sure your body can handle all that fiber at once, you can try adding less chia seeds (warning: this will make the pudding a little thinner) or you can start with smaller servings sizes until your body adjusts.  Upping your fiber intake really fast can cause some issues in your digestive track...if you know what I mean... But if you are already used to a high fiber diet be my guest and dig in!

I'm sure you can make other variations to this recipe too.  I've probably already mentioned this, but I have this crazy disease that makes it really hard for me to follow recipes as written.  I can't help but sub a little something here or there, add a few secret ingredients, and change the measuring ratios.  Experimenting with different flavors is always fun too!  Cookies and creme pudding? Vanilla? Butterscotch? Peanut butter? Cookie dough? Peanut butter?  Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum.

1 cup Milk
1 packet Stevia
2-3 tbsp Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup Chia seeds

1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process for about 5 minutes.  It should be starting to thicken.
2. Pour into a container and let sit in the fridge for a few hours.
3. Scoop into a bowl and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 180
Total Fat: 6.5 g
     Sat. Fat: 0 g
     Poly. Fat: 5 g
     Mono. Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 2.5 mg
Sodium: 65 mg
Potassium: 330 mg
Total Carbs: 19.5
     Dietary Fiber: 11 g (WOW!)
     Sugars: 6 g
Protein: 11.5 g
Vitamin A: 5%
Vitamin C: 1%
Calcium: 31%
Iron: 14%

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mochachino Popsicles

Pin It Easy, creamy, and dreamy. Nutritious and delicious. That's all you need to know... Now go make these popsicles! Go now! I mean it go!

Don't they look dreamy?  I'm drooling. :P

2 very ripe Bananas
1/4 cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup Coconut milk from a can
2-3 tsp Instant coffee granules

1/4 cup Coconut milk from a can
1 packet Stevia

1. Peel and mash bananas in a medium sized bowl with a fork.
2. Add in the cocoa powder 1/2 cup coconut milk, and instant coffee and mix well.
3. In another small bowl mix together the stevia and a 1/4 cup coconut milk.
4. Layer the two mixtures into several popsicle molds (I had enough to make about 5 popsicles).  If you don't have popsicles molds you can just as easily make mini popsicles in an ice cube tray with toothpicks or in dixie cups with popsicle sticks.  Get creative!
5. Freeze popsicles for several hours before serving.
6. Once frozen you can run the outside of the mold under hot water to help release the popsicle. Enjoy!
Makes about 5 popsicles.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 117
Total Fat: 6.9 g
     Sat. Fat: 5.4 g
     Poly. Fat: 0.5 g
     Mono. Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 9.4 mg
Potassium: 213.8 mg
Total Carbs: 14.6 g
     Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g
     Sugars: 6.2 g
Protein: 1.6 g
Vitamin A: 0.8%
Vitamin C: 6.8%
Calcium: 0%
Iron: 3.3.%

Low Carb Stir Fry

Pin It Did you know you can make cauliflower into rice??  I've been seeing recipes all over the Internet lately and have been itchin' to try it.  Not being very picky, I had no worries about trying it, but if you are worried about your rice tasting like "nasty" cauliflower...STOP.  No worries and no "nasty" cauliflower taste here.  The vibrant flavors of everything else in this dish are so strong you would never even know there was cauliflower in it!  I'm sure it would taste like cauliflower if you ate the rice plain, but really why wouldn't it? It's cauliflower!  With that being said you can use this rice in a ton of other recipes if you are not fond of soy sauce and are looking to get more veggies in your system or lower your carb intake.

1/2 head of Cauliflower
1 lb cubed Venison (or lean beef or chicken)
1/2 cup Red and/or green peppers, chopped
1 8oz can Water Chestnuts, drained
1/2 cup Mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Frozen spinach
1/4 cup Lite soy sauce
Garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper to taste

1. Cook the venison in a pan over medium heat until cooked through.
2. In the meantime, roughly chop the cauliflower and toss into a food processor (blender may work?).
3. Using the pulse button, chop the cauliflower until rice like.  Be careful not to turn the cauliflower into a puree!
4. Once the meat is cooked rinse and drain the extra fat from the pan and set meat aside in a bowl.
5. Add the cauliflower, peppers, water chestnuts, mushrooms, and spinach to the pan and stir together over medium heat.
6. Cook for 4-5 minutes before adding the soy sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.
7. Stirring occasionally, cook for another 5-10 minutes until peppers are tender and mushrooms are soft.
8. Stir in the cubed meat and serve immediately!
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition Facts:
Calories: 225
Total Fat: 3 g
     Sat. Fat: 1.1 g
     Poly. Fat: 0.2 g
     Mono. Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 88 mg
Sodium: 1140 mg (Yikes! If you are worried about your sodium intake you might want to scale back the amount of soy sauce in this recipe or only enjoy this once in awhile)
Potassium: 711.1 mg
Total Carbs: 6.9 mg
     Dietary Fiber: 2.1 g
     Sugars: 4.2 g
Protein: 36.8 g
Vitamin A: 13%
Vitamin C: 50.7%
Calcium: 4.4%
Iron: 27.8%
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