Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quinoa Burger

Quinoa is considered a grain.  It's not something I grew up eating but when I started working at the vegetarian cafe in college I learned to really enjoy this grain.

The flavor of these patties were great.  They were really light though.  I really wanted more texture on with them.  This is the recipe I followed.  I might be turning the rest of the mixture into a hash to add some more texture to it.

Quinoa Burgers:
(eating well living thin)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt

To cook quinoa:
In a medium saucepan bring the 2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil over high heat.  Add quinoa and reduce heat to low.  Cover and cook for 18-20 minutes, or until all water is absorbed and the seeds are tender.  Allow to cool for a few minutes.

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or other variety, if you prefer)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 medium carrot, finely grated
3 eggs
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 green onions, including white parts
1 /2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
Olive oil for frying

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, flour, green onions, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.

Heat a frying pan and a couple teaspoons olive oil over medium-low heat.  Measure 1/4 cup and form into patties about 1/2 inch thick  - mixture will be slightly sticky.

Fry until golden-brown, about 4 minutes on each side.   Makes approx. 10 burgers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lemon Rosemary Cake with Strawberry Frosting

This is one of the most interesting cake recipes that I've seen.   I associate rosemary with savory things, like chicken, not in a sweet dessert cake.  This cake is really good and a great surprise for me.  

I decided to put a strawberry frosting on it.  I think that the flavors in the cake can really stand up to the sweeter frosting.

Lemon Rosemary Cake with Strawberry Frosting:

2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups turbinado sugar
4 eggs at room temperature
¼ cup lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
3 cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup lemon juice
¾ c buttermilk
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13x9 inch pan. Cream together the
butter and sugar with an electric mixer until fluffy and a pale yellow color, approximately
5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time making sure they are completely incorporated before
adding the next one. Add zest and rosemary.

Sift together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Combine lemon juice, buttermilk and
vanilla in another bowl.
Alternate adding flour and buttermilk mixture to the batter, beginning and ending with
the flour.
Bake for 45 minutes to an hour or until tester comes out clean.

Strawberry Frosting:
1 package cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 sticks butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract4 tablespoons strawberry jam (not jelly)

Mix everything together in a mixer.  Taste as you and and feel free to add more extract, sugar, or jam as you go.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cinnamon Apple Pancakes

I had some left over apples from Thanksgiving and decided to make some cinnamon apples.  Then I decided that pancakes would be good.  THEN I decided to just make some cinnamon apple pancakes.

Cinnamon Apple Pancakes:


4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 tablespoon baking soda

To make the pancakes:
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

1 apple (whatever you have around the house), cut into cubes
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon sugar or 2 packets of Splenda


In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Store in an airtight container in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.

Heat a skillet over medium heat.  Melt the butter.  When the butter has melted add the apples, spices, and sugar/Splenda to the pan.  Stir everything together and cook until the apples are soft.  Stir throughout the cooking time to make sure nothing sticks or burns.

Mix the apple, 1 egg, 1 cup pancake mix, and 3/4 cup of milk or buttermilk together. 

Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a lightly greased hot griddle; turn when bubbles form on top of pancakes. Cook until second side is golden brown

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Meal Plan: Week of November 20th

So, I didn't make a single thing last week that was on my list.  We didn't even make it to the grocery store.  Whoops.

Tuna Salad Wraps

Roast Chicken with Rosemary & Lemon

Grilled Chicken with Spinach

Beef Tenderlion with Mushrooms

Crispy Lemon Tilapia

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Roasted Broccoli

Mr. T and I both love broccoli.  It's a staple in our house and I'm always looking for new ways to prepare it. This is a basic preparation from Ina Garten but something amazing happens when it is roasted in the oven.

Roasted Broccoli:
(adapted from Ina Garten)

4 to 5 pounds broccoli
4 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
Olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Cut the broccoli florets off of the stalks, leaving an inch or two of stalk attached to the florets, discarding the rest of the stalks. Cut the larger pieces through the base of the head with a small knife, pulling the florets apart. You should have about 8 cups of florets. (for the two of us I just cut up 1 head of broccoli and adjusted everything else to taste).

Place the broccoli florets on a sheet pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Toss the garlic on the broccoli and drizzle with 5 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, until crisp-tender and the tips of some of the florets are browned.  (I turned everything in the pan about half way through, but you probably don't have to)

Remove the broccoli from the oven and immediately toss with the lemon zest, lemon juice, and Parmesan. Serve hot.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hilda's Cake

My mom's good friend Rick has a favorite cake called "Hilda's Cake".  It's a basic southern pound cake kicked up a bit.  Thanks Rick for sharing this recipe with the world.

Hilda's Cake:
(My mom's friend Rick, given to him by Faye Miles)

1/2 cup Crisco
2 sticks oleo (or margarine)
3 cup sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
3 cup flour
1/2 tsp BP
1 c milk
1 tsp coconut
1 tsp rum

1 c sugar
1/4 cup + 1 T water
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 325

Cream Oleo,Crisco and sugar well. Add eggs one at a time. Sift flour with BP and add alternately with milk to the batter, starting and ending with the flour. Add flavorings.

Bake in a greased tube pan 1 1/2 hours. Let cool for ten minutes.Loosen cake so it won't stick and place top side up on rack to cool. Pour on the syrup mixture and let soak in. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving Desserts

Thanksgiving is this week!  Have you decided on all of your desserts yet?  Here is a list of some of my favorite holiday desserts.




Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Thanksgiving Sides

It's time to start getting serious about Thanksgiving.  There's always so many different types of sides dishes that people like to have.  This is usually based on what was served growing up.  However Thanksgiving is also a great time to try something new.

Here are some side dishes that we rotate through on Thanksgiving.



Macaroni and Cheese
(in the south macaroni and cheese is considered a vegetable)


Monday, November 14, 2011

Bang Bang Shrimp

I love the "Bang Bang Shrimp" from Bonefish Grill.  It's good on it's own but it's awesome as a taco as well.  I found this somewhat slimmed up version online, thanks to Pinterest, and decided to give it a shot.

I just posted the recipe for the shrimp it's self below because I figure that you can all figure out how to make a taco.

Bang Bang Shrimp:

5 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Sriracha (or more depending on how spicy you like it)

1 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon canola oil
3 cups shredded lettuce
1 cup purple cabbage, shredded
4 tablespoons scallions, chopped

In a medium bowl, combine mayonnaise, Thai sweet chili sauce and Sriracha. Set aside.
Combine lettuce and cabbage and divide between four plates. Set aside. 

Coat shrimp with cornstarch, mixing well with your hands.

Heat a large skillet or wok on high heat, when hot add oil. When oil is hot add the shrimp to hot pan and cook tossing a few times until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Remove from pan and combine with the sauce coating well.


Place shrimp on lettuce and top with scallions.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Weekly Meal Plan: Week of October 13th

We're trying to get back on track with eating in this week.  I also wanted to try out a couple of recipes that I've been holding onto.

1)  Quinoa Burgers with a side salad

2)  Turkey Black Bean Tacos

3)  BBQ Crock Pot Beef Sandwiches with baked beans

4)  Bang Bang Shrimp Tacos

5)  Blackened Tilapia with roasted broccoli

6)  Leftovers

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

I love fall.  It give me the green light to make as many pumpkin baked goods as possible.  I love it.  One of my favorite things to make is pumpkin bread.  It's good by itself, as french toast, in bread pudding, or any other way.  It also freezes great.

Pumpkin Bread
(adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook)

3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 large eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 2/3 cups buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Spray 2-3 loaf pans with a nonstick spray.  (I say 2-3 because I got 3 loaves out of the batter but the book says 2).  In a large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the pumpkin and both sugars.  Mix on medium until everything has combined well.  Add the eggs and oil and mix well, scraping down the sides.  Turn the mixer on low speed and add the flour mixture and the buttermilk, alternating, starting and ending with the flour.  Mix until just combined.

Divide the batter between your prepared pans.  Bake, rotating pans midway, for 55-60 minutes.  Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to continue cooling.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Chicken Fried Rice

I love fried rice. I've made it at home a few times but it always involved a packet of stuff from the grocery store, which was probably 99% salt.  I found this recipe on Annie's blog.  She has a lot of great recipes and ideas.  

I changed this one up a little bit based on food we had at home and the fact that Mr. T is not a fan of eggs.  I went with chicken breast, a whole cup of veggies, and dropped down to 2 eggs.  Annie's original recipe is linked below so you can see the original.

Chicken Fried Rice

(adapted from Annie's Eats)

1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil, divided
2 eggs, beaten
2 stalks green onions, minced
4 cups leftover brown rice
1 cup frozen peas and carrots, defrosted
1 tablespoon soy sauce
Few drops sesame oil

In  a medium mixing bowl, combine the chicken, salt, pepper and cornstarch, and toss well to coat the shrimp.  Let sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.  Heat a large skillet or wok over high heat.  When a drop of water immediately sizzles and evaporates, the pan is hot enough to add 1 tablespoon of the oil.  Swirl to coat the pan well.

Add the chicken to the hot pan and quickly spread them out so that they are in a single layer, and all touching the pan surface.  (You may need to do this in two batches to ensure even cooking.)  Let it cook for one minute, then flip and cook for an additional minute, so that the chicken is about 80% cooked through.  Remove to a plate and set aside.

Lower the heat on the pan to medium.  Add the eggs to the pan and stir quickly, to break up and scramble the eggs.  When the eggs are almost cooked through but still slightly runny in the middle, remove from the pan to the same plate as the chicken.

Use paper towels to wipe the pan clean and return the pan to high heat.  Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, swirling to coat.  Once the oil is very hot, add the green onions to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 15 seconds.  Add the rice to the pan and mix well to combine with the green onions.  Spread the rice out evenly over the pan and let cook without stirring, until you hear the rice grains sizzle, about 1 to 2 minutes.  Toss the rice a bit with your spatula, and again spread it out over the cooking surface.

Drizzle the soy sauce all over the rice, and toss again.  Add the peas and carrots, the cooked chicken and eggs, and the sesame oil to the pan.  Toss to combine all the ingredients well with the rice.  Let everything heat back up again until the rice grains are sizzling again.  Add additional soy sauce to taste, if needed.  Serve.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Zucchini Carrot Bread

I don't like zucchini.  My grandmother tried so hard to get us to eat it but it never worked, unless it was in a sweet bread.  I know I'm not alone.  There is some weird transformation that happens when zucchini is shredded and baked into a delicious bread.  It's amazing.

Carrot Zucchini Bread:
(adapted from All Recipes)


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
2 1/4 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup grated zucchini
1 cup grated carrots

Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and carrots until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Meal Plan: Week of November 6th

Last week got a little crazy and we didn't end up eating in as much as we planned on.  Birthday, basketball games, and family time got in the way.  :)  It just means that I can recycle and eat some of it this week.

1) Turkey Burgers with Southwest Cheddar Steak Fries

2) Massive salad with chicken and more than likely some buffalo chicken dressing

3) Skillet-Roasted Chicken Breasts from November/December's Clean Eating Magazine

4) Blackened tilapia with broccoli and cheese grits

5)  BBQ Beef roast in the crock pot

Friday, November 4, 2011

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Cauliflower was on sale last week.  It made me stop and think about how little I use it and how little I know how to make with it.  This is basically the same recipe as this mashed cauliflower recipe but it was good, so I decided to change it up a bit and make something new from something known.

I still have a ways to go but at least I have found another way to enjoy cauliflower.

Roasted Garlic Cauliflower Mash:

1 head of garlic
Olive Oil

1 head of cauliflower
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon chicken or vegetable stock

Roast the garlic:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top of the garlic off.

Place the head of garlic in a piece of parchment paper or foil and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic up and cook for 30 minutes.

Make the cauliflower:

Place a pot of water on the stove top to boil. Cut up a head of cauliflower and let it boil for 5-6 minutes. Drain the cauliflower and pat it dry with a paper towel. Add the cauliflower to a food processor along with the salt pepper,

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Pretzel Rolls

One of our local specialty stores have some amazing sausage choices, including some awesome chicken sausages.  We usually eat them with normal white bread rolls but I decided to be adventurous and make pretzel rolls.  I'm a little scared of yeast breads and this one had an extra step.  What's the worst that could happen?  They don't turn out well and we use normal rolls... not the end of the world.

Plus, i've been slacking on my New Year's Resolution and this would get me closer. 

Pretzel Rolls:
(Tasty Kitchen)

1-½ cup Warm Water (110°F)
1 package (1/4 Oz. Packet) Active Dry Yeast (not Quick Rise Yeast)
2 teaspoons Sugar
4-½ cups Unbleached All-purpose Flour
2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted
¼ cups Baking Soda
1 whole Egg, Lightly Beaten
Pretzel Salt, To Sprinkle On Top

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the water and the yeast and let rest 5 minutes until foamy.

Add the sugar, flour, salt, and butter; mix with the dough hook until thoroughly combined. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.

Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.

Cut the dough into 18 pieces (2 ounces each). To shape, take a piece of dough and start forming a round, smooth ball by pulling the sides to the center and pinching to seal. Place, pinched side down, on a counter and lightly cupping your hand around the dough ball, rotate your hand in small circles lightly rolling the ball around the palm of your hand.

Place the ball on the baking sheet pinched seam side down, with at least 1” between each roll. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes until doubled.

Preheat oven to 425°F and place oven racks on the lowest and middle positions.

In a large saucepan, bring 2 quarts of water to a low boil. Add the baking soda and lower heat to a simmer. Put the rolls into the poaching liquid, seam side down. Poach for 30 seconds then carefully turn the roll over in the liquid. Poach other side for 30 seconds then remove with a slotted spoon to the same prepared sheet pans, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining rolls.

With a pastry brush, glaze each roll with the lightly beaten egg, making sure to coat all sides completely. Top each roll with a sprinkle of pretzel salt. With a sharp straight edged knife, cut a slash or “X” in the top of each roll.

Bake the rolls in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.