Welcome to Yummy Fixins!

Thanks so much for checking out my blog. My name is Arica, I am a Personal Chef serving the Lake Tahoe area. Please visit my new website at www.yummyfixins.com

Cooking is my passion, I love spending time in the kitchen creating yummy dishes. I originally created this blog to share healthy yummy recipes with my friends and family but now I'm sharing them with the world. Most of the dishes you will find here are very healthy and can be altered to fit any dietary restrictions. I hope you will find something delicious!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pesto Pasta with Turkey Meatballs

As I mentioned in a previous post I have been seriously slacking on posting recipes that have meat as an ingredient so here is another one for all my meat eating friends out there. I had this recipe in mind for one of my friends who was looking for something quick, easy and healthy to make for dinner or to bring to work for lunch. 
Makes 2-3 servings
  • 1/4 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 5 oz ground turkey
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 2 tbs bread crumbs
  • 1 tbs asiago
Mix all of the above ingredients in a small mixing bowl. Roll into 8-12 meatballs and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes, flipping once then baking for another 8-10 minutes. 
  • 2 cups uncooked wheat pasta
  • 1 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup quartered artichoke hearts
  • 1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup arugula pesto
Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Add in a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of salt and the pasta then return to a boil. Cook on medium high heat for 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked then drain the pasta. Once the pasta and meat balls ready place them in a casserole dish* along with the artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, olive oil and pesto then toss until everything is coated in pesto.Cover and keep warm until ready to serve. 

*The warmth of the pasta and meatballs should warm all of the ingredients enough but if you want you can warm heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan and add in the artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes & pesto and warm before adding it into the pasta. 

Baked Chicken Over Sauteed Chard & Leeks

I recently realized that I don't have a single dish on my blog that is not a vegetarian recipe! Someone might mistake me for a vegetarian. I eat mostly vegetarian dishes at home since the boyfriend is veggie but I do partake in meat eating at work and out to eat I just never write down my recipes so I decided that that has to change. This is a quick and easy recipe that is great to make ahead of time and take to work or make at home for a delicous well balanced dinner.
Makes 2 servings

  • 1 large chicken breast, cut into 8-10 slices
  • olive oil spray
  • 1 roasted bell pepper, cut into 8-10 strips
  • 6 oz of mozzarella, sliced into 8-10 small medallions
  • 5 large rainbow chard leaves (or collard greens)
  • 1 tbs water
  • 1/2 small leek, sliced (white part only)
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 2 tbs parmesan garlic blend* 
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegrette
Preheat the oven to 425. Season the chicken with pepper and parmesan garlic blend*. Place the chicken on a non stick baking sheet and spray with a little olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes then remove from the oven and place a strip of roasted pepper and a mozzarella medallion on each slice and bake for another 5-10** minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

While the chicken is cooking heat 1 tbs of coconut oil to a medium/low heat in a saute pan. Add in the leeks and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add in the chard along with 1 tbs of water, cover and cook for 7 minutes or until leaves are wilted.
Remove the chicken from the oven once it is cooked and place on top of your chard. Drizzle a little balsamic vinaigrette across the top before serving and enjoy.

If you making this dish to serve immediately leave the chard on low heat until chicken is ready and if you are planning to take this to lunch place the chard evenly in two separate glass Pyrex or Tupperware dishes then top with chicken. Bring your dressing to work and drizzle on once the dish has been warmed.

*If you dont have Pepper Creek Farms Parmesan Garlic Blend use 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp red pepper flakes and 1/2 tsp garlic powder.**Baking time is dependent on your oven

Arugula Pesto

Arugula is a tasty low calorie green that is high in antioxidants and packed full of vitamins and minerals. If you are looking to switch things up this arugula pesto recipe is delicious and quite a nice change from traditional basil pesto. 
Arugula pesto goes great on just about anything. I like to toss cheese tortellini in the pesto along with chopped tomatoes and black olilves for a cold pasta salad or warm fusilli noodles with artichoke hearts and sun dried tomatoes. Get creative and let me know your favorite arugula pesto dish!

Here are a few other recipes using the arugula pesto:
Green Beans and Potatoes
Shroom & Eggplant Polenta Medallions
Pesto Pasta with Turkey Meatballs
Cold Quinoa Salad w/Green Beans, Mozz & Tomatoes
Eggplant & Arugula Pesto Sandwich

Makes roughly 2 cups
3-4 cups of arugula
1/2 cup roasted almonds
1/2 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove
juice from 1 lemon

Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until smooth. 

Kabocha Squash & Chocolate Chip & Raisin Bread

Kobocha Squash is another goody that we have been getting in our CSA box every week. The kobocha squash is a Japanese pumpkin that has a yummy sweet taste just like the pumpkin we all know. 
I have been playing around with a few different recipes like Kobocha Squash Risotto but nothing beats a good ol loaf of sweet bread! This recipe makes a great dessert or a yummy breakfast treat.

This recipe calls for half a cooked kobocha squash. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and place in a baking dish with 1/2 cup water, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 1 hour. Peel off the skin and set aside to cool. If you dont have a kobocha squash use a small baking pumpkin.

Preheat the oven to 350. 
  • 2 cups wheat flour 
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

    Mix the above dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • 2 cups cooked kobocha squash (or pumpkin)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla

    Place all of the above wet ingredients into a large food processor and mix until smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well.
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cup chocolate chips

    Fold in the raisins and chocolate chips. Pour batter into a non-stick baking dish and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. 

Kobocha Squash Risotto

Risotto is such a delicious dish but it requires dedication and a long time in the kitchen. I made Butternut Squash Risotto in February last year and it turned out great so I decided to try again. Looking back at that recipe I realized that I added a few extra unneeded steps. This recipe is very similar but has a few different steps.
Make sure you have some dry white wine laying around for this recipe. I luckily had a bottle of wine but it was an amazing Italian Verdicchio so I was really not excited about pouring it into dinner.
Makes 4-6 servings
  • 2 cups kobocha squash, pureed*
  • 1/4 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 tbs coconut oil
  • 1 tbs chopped sage
  • 1/2 tbs tarragon
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup shredded asiago or parmesen cheese

    In a large pot warm the coconut oil until to medium heat until it melts, then add in the garlic and onions and cook for 3-5 minutes. Add in the arborio rice, sage and tarragon, stir and cook for a 2-3 minutes.

    Pour in the white wine.Once the white wine is absorbed add in 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and 1/2 cup of squash, stirring constantly. Once the liquid is mostly absorbed, add in another 1/2 cup of broth and 1/2 cup of squash. Continue this process until you are out of broth and pumpkin. 

    This is a very slow process so have patience and make sure you stir continuously so the rice doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the final added liquid is absorbed turn the heat to low and cover until you are ready to serve. Top with a little shredded cheese and enjoy!!  

* Preheat the oven to 400. Place the squash into a baking dish with 1/2 cup of water. Drizzle with olive oil and cook for one hour. Peel the skin off and puree the pumpkin.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Polenta Medallions with Arugula Pesto Mushrooms & Eggplant

This recipe makes a great party snack, appetizer or in my case an addition to dinner. I had quite a bit of polenta in the pantry and a good amount of arugula pesto left over from my Green Beans & Potatoes  and wanted to make something delicious.The first thing that popped into my head was mushrooms with polenta tossed in pesto but I wanted to get a little more creative and add some variety to the plate so I added eggplant and roasted peppers. You friends and family will be quite impressed with this recipe so give it a shot and let me know your thoughts! 
  • 18 oz. pre-cooked polenta, sliced into rounds
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 Japanese eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, cut into squares
  • 8-10 large crimini mushrooms, stems removed
  • 4-6 oz buffalo mozzarella, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1/4 cup arugula pesto (or any pesto of choice)
  • 3 large basil leaves, sliced into strips
Bring the oven to a high broil. Place the eggplant on a nonstick pan and spray each side with olive oil. Broil the eggplant on high 5 minutes, flip and broil for 3 more minutes. Once the eggplant is cooked remove from the pan and place in a bowl, cover and keep warm.

Place 1/8 cup water and 1 tbs olive oil in a non-stick pan and bring to medium heat. Once it is warm add in the shrooms cover and cook for 5-10 minutes flipping once. Remove the shrooms from the pan when they are soft and add to the eggplant. Toss the vegetable in pesto and set aside.

Warm 2 tbs of olive oil in a large non-stick pan. Place the polenta medallions in the pan and cook for 5-7 minutes on each side or until they start to get crispy. When the polenta medallions are ready place them on a baking sheet or baking safe plate. 
After you place the medallions on the plate or pan assemble your creations. Once your medallions are assembled place the plate in the oven on a low broil for 5-7 minutes or until the cheese starts to melt. Carefully remove and serve warm.

Here are a few layering ideas: 
1) Mozzarella Cheese, Mushroom, Basil, Parmesan
2) Eggplant, Red Bell Pepper, Eggplant, Basil, Parmesan 
3) Red Bell Pepper, Basil, Parmesan 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Watermelon Radish & Citrus Salad

I think I have found my favorite raw winter salad. We have been getting lots and lots of radishes in our CSA vegetable share but they aren't something I use often when cooking. I have been trying to get creative and find creative ways to use them but I have been slacking on my radish recipes. This week we got a few oranges and more radishes which reminded me of a salad I saw in a cookbook. I made a few additions to the recipe and added a dressing. This combination of raw vegetables and fruit is such a tasty salad and it is great for you. 
3 watermelon radishes, peeled
1 large jicama, peeled
2 oranges, peeled
1 cucumber

3 tbs orange juice

juice from lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs dijon mustard

Slice the watermelon radish and cucumber into very thin slices and cut in half again into crescents  Peel the oranges making sure to reserve a few pieces to juice for the dressing. You only need is 3 tbs so juice cut first then squeeze the juice. After you peel the jicama cut it into rectangular slices. Mix all these ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Mix the dressing fixins in a small bowl then toss the salad with a little dressing at a time. Enjoy cold. 

*I served it over lettuce but it also makes a great salad on its own. 

Carrot Curry Soup with Chickpeas

Yum, yum yum!!! I am so glad I made this delicious dish for dinner tonight  I had a bunch of extra carrots and leeks from my past two CSA vegetable boxes and I thought I would make a carrot and leek soup. Before I started cooking I realized I only had a one can of vegetable broth so a traditional soup was out of the question. I also had a can of coconut milk so I thought to myself... why not make carrot curry. What a great decision it was because this recipe is super easy and tasty! If you are looking for something different try this carrot curry out.
Makes 4 servings

5-6 carrots, sliced thin
1 small leek (white parts only) chopped
2 tbs coconut oil
2 cups of vegetable broth
1 can of coconut milk
2 tsp chopped cilantro
1 tbs chopped basil
3/4 tbs curry powder
1/2 tsp coriander
1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Place the coconut oil in a large pot and heat on medium/low. Once the coconut oil is melted add in the garlic, leeks and carrots, saute for 5 minutes. Next add in the cilantro, basil, curry powder and coriander and cook for another minute.

Pour the vegetable broth in the pot and bring to medium/high heat. Cover and cook for 25 minutes or until carrots are soft. Once the carrots pour in the coconut milk and use an immersion blender* to puree the curry. When the soup is to the consistency you want it add in the chickpeas and warm for just a few minutes. 

*If you don't have an immersion blender just pour the mixture a little at a time into a blender and puree. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Polenta Pizza with Roasted Peppers & Shrooms

I love polenta because it reminds me of grits. Growing up in Louisiana I did not know too much about food like quinoa, polenta, wheat berries, butter lettuce and the list goes on and on!  Typically I buy precooked polenta and make it into rounds like in my Polenta Bruschetta recipe but this time I decided to use make a pizza. If you are looking for a gluten free pizza recipe this one is for you!
 The directions below look a little intimidating but it really is easy. Just be super careful when transferring the polenta to your baking dish. I used a pizza stone but you can use a pizza pan instead which might make it easier. 

Step 1 - Make the Crust
1 cup uncooked polenta

2 cups of water 
1/8 tsp salt
sprinkle of garlic pepper 

Place the water and polenta in a large sauce pan and whisk until all clumps are removed. Bring the water to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Whisk the polenta a few times while it is cooking until it is thick and starting to stick together. Once the polenta is ready place the polenta on a sheet of wax paper on a flat pan. Shape the polenta into the shape you want your pizza and place into fridge.

Step 2 - Prep the Fixins

1 tbs butter 
2 small portobello caps, sliced

1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers, sliced
6 basil leaves cut into strips
4-6 oz buffalo mozz8 oz tomato sauce
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Preheat  the oven to 450. If you are using a pizza stone place it in the oven now. In a large skillet melt the butter on medium heat and place the sliced mushrooms in the pan and cook for 3 minutes on each side. Make sure not to crowd the mushrooms and cook them in two rounds if needed then set aside when they are cooked. Slice the cheese, bell peppers and basil and set aside with the shrooms. Place the tomato sauce in a small pot with the oregano, garlic powder and red pepper flakes. Warm the sauce and make sure the flavor is to your liking.

Step 3 - Put the pizza together
Remove the pizza stone from the oven and the polenta from the fridge. Very carefully place the polenta on your pizza stone. Spray with a little olive oil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and spread on your pizza sauce, layer the cheese first, then vegetables and basil. Sprinkle with a little fresh parmesan and bake for 15 minutes. 

* The crust is not as strong as pizza dough so you may have to eat some of it with a fork. Next time I make this pizza I will use more polenta and see if that helps.

Lemon Poppy Seed Waffles

There is nothing like a warm breakfast after a nice long walk in the cold.  A couple times a week my friend Jessica and I will take our pups out for an early morning walk up the old highway. It is a wonderful way to start the day and get exercise for us and the dogs. It is about a 30 minute walk up and 15 minutes down so by the time I get home I am good and hungry. These lemon poppy seed waffles were just what I needed when I got back home. This recipe is a nice twist on waffles so give it a shot. It was super easy and of course YUMMY! 
Makes 4 waffles

1 egg
1 cup almond milk
1 tbs lemon extract
zest from 1/2 lemon

1 1/2 cups of wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbs sugar
1 tbs poppy seeds

Mix the wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Slowly mix the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well. Place in a waffle iron or on a skillet for pancakes. Garnish with lemon zest, a dab of butter and syrup! 

Green Beans & Potatoes with Arugula Pesto

Here is a really delicious side dish that is quick and easy. It would make a great addition to any meal or a great dish to bring to a potluck. 
 I came across a recipe that inspired this one in a cook book that I got for Christmas, Herbivoracious. This cook book is awesome. It has really amazing vegetarian recipes and most importantly it has lots of great photos. 
I changed up the arugula pesto recipe but kept the basic beans and potatoes the same. I thought about throwing in some cherry tomatoes but they are not in season. Another goody you can add would be raw onion or scallions but I didn't have any of those laying around either, so get creative and toss in just about anything!

1/2 lb yellow fin potatoes, scrubbed 

4 cups of fresh green beans, rinsed and ends trimmed

Arugula Pesto
packed cups of arugula
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large garlic clove
juice from 1 lemon

Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way full with water and bring to a boil. Place the potatoes in the pot and boil for 10 minutes. While the potatoes are boiling make the pesto by adding all of the pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until everything is mixed well.

Next add the green beans in with the potatoes and boil for 5 minutes. Strain the veggies and shake off as much excess water as you can. Place the veggies in a bowl and toss with the pesto 1/4 cup at a time.

*The pesto recipe above makes a little more than you need for this recipe so set some aside for a yummy white fish or something else delicious. Stay tuned for a recipe using arugula pesto and polenta.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tempeh and Pinto Bean Soft Tacos

I don't like to use fake meat products when cooking but I really like texture in my tacos and burritos. I was introduced to tempeh a few years ago and it was just what I needed to get that ground meat texture. Tempeh is a soy product made out of fermented soy beans and it is a great addition that is packed full of protein. This is a very easy recipe that takes very little time and effort to make.
If you like the tempeh tacos you should try my Black Bean & Tempeh Lettuce Wrap recipe.
Makes 4 -6 servings

1/3 cup onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
8 oz tempeh
1/3 cup water
taco seasoning (see recipe below)
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed 
1 tbs lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

In a saute pan heat 1 tbs of olive oil to low/medium heat. Saute the onions and garlic for 3 minutes. Crumble the tempeh into the pan and add in the taco seasoning and water. Cook on low while you warm up the pinto beans. Place the beans, cilantro and lime juice in a small pot and warm on low. Season with salt and pepper. Once you warm your tortillas and place your toppings on it starting with the tempeh and the beans. Place the rest of your fixins on the tortilla then top with the avocado cream sauce.   

shredded cheddar cheese
 green onions
raw onion
diced tomatoes with cilantro
soft taco tortillas
Avocado Cream Sauce
1 very ripe avocado

1 tbs of chalula or taco sauce
6 oz of plain greek yogurt
Mix the ingredients together until smooth.

Taco seasoning
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp lime juice
Place in a small bowl and mix together until all clumps are gone. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Shepherds Pie with a Stewy Twist

This is my first time making shepherds pie and of course I could not make a traditional recipe I had to make a vegetarian shepherds pie with a little twist. Now don't get me wrong I am a carnivore and love traditional shepherds pie but I am terrible at eating leftovers and my vegetarian boyfriend would not help be willing to help me eat a meat filled dinner.
I had some carrots, chard and a beautiful large turnip left over from my recent CSA box and they just went perfectly with this dish.
There were quite steps involved in making this dish but it is so worth the time and effort. Since the dish is baked in the oven it is okay if one of your layers is cold when you prepare the dish for baking. 

First Layer - Lentil Stew
3 cups vegetable broth - 1 cup separated
1 cup green lentils

2 tbs olive oil
1/2 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
2 carrots, sliced into crescents
1 scarlet queen turnip, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
6 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp ground thyme
1 bay leaf

Pour 2 cups of broth into a small pot and bring to a boil. Once the broth is boiling add in the lentils, return to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
Heat the olive oil in a  large pot on medium heat. 
Saute the garlic & onions for 3 minutes. Next add in 1 cup of vegetable broth and the rest of the veggies. Cover and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes. Add in the lentils, thyme, oregano & bay leaf. Uncover and cook for another 8-10 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone. 

Second Layer - Chard Saute
5 chard leaves or 1 bunch of spinach 
1 small shallot 
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup white wine

Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Add in the scallions, chard and white wine. Saute for 3-5 minutes or until leaves begin to wilt. 

Third Layer- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
1.5 - 2 lbs of potatoes, peeled & cubed 
2 tbs butter
1 cup almond milk
1 tbs garlic powder
sprinkle of salt

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add in the potatoes and boil for 15 minutes or until soft. Drain the water and place into a mixing bowl. Add the butter, almond milk, garlic powder and salt. Mix well and set aside. 

Preheat the oven to 350. Layer the three mixtures in a casserole dish starting with the stew. Top with Parmesan Garlic Bread Dipping Blend* and bake for 25 minutes. 
*If you don't have Parmesan Garlic Bread Dipping Blend you can use dried garlic, red pepper flakes and oregano. 

Adapted from http://thewimpyvegetarian.com/2012/11/vegetarian-shepherds-pie/

Fennel & Apple Salad with Lemon Vinagrette

Fennel is loaded with vitamin C, fiber and potassium and is great for your liver. It is a very new vegetable to me but I first I was a little close minded. I was told it had a strong licorice flavor and I am not a fan of licorice. This is the second dish I have made with fennel and I have to say I like it a lot! The licorice flavor is not as bad as I thought it would be so I totally suggest giving it a try!
This first fennel dish I made was on a pizza with mushrooms and caramelized onions... YUM! Tonight I decide to eat it raw with a salad and I am so excited about this recipe. It is such a delicious combination of flavors. 

Makes 4 small salads
1 apple, sliced
1/2 cup cranberries
1/2 cucumber, sliced
1/2 bulb of fennel, shaved
4 cups mixed greens

Mix ingredients below in a small bowl.
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tbs olive oil
3 tbs red wine vinegar
1 small shallot, diced

Toss the apple, cranberries, fennel and cucumber
 in the dressing. Top the mixed greens with the mixture making sure to scoop some of the dressing as well. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Black Bean Mushroom Burgers

Oh veggie burgers how I love thee! I have been playing around with veggie burger recipes for quite some time and I think I am getting close to perfecting it! This time I added flour and a little more egg and it really made a difference.
Last week I decided to try and make jalapeno cheddar bread and that inspired these delicious black bean burgers. I used avocado and Greek yogurt to make a yummy spread for the burgers. I was struggling to think of a way to use some of my carrots as a side dish since I wanted to keep the flavors some what consistent. I ended up making some delicious Roasted Carrots and it was the perfect healthy side dish to go with these tasty burgers.  I recently added a recipe for jalapeno cheddar buns which work great with these burgers. 

Makes 6-8 patties 

8 oz baby bella mushrooms
1 tbs olive oil

2 garlic cloves
1/3 cup red onion
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat bran
1 cup of bread crumbs
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 cup cilantro
4 oz can of diced green chilies
1/4 cup egg whites

Place the mushrooms, black beans, olive oil, garlic & onion in the food processor and chop until smooth then place in a bowl. Add the seasoning, bread crumbs, cilantro and green chilies. Taste and see if the seasoning works for you then add in the egg whites. If the mixture is too wet add in some more bread crumbs. Chill the mixture in the fridge for an hour. Make 6-8 and heat a skillet to medium heat with some non-stick spray. Cook the patties for 8 minutes on each side.

green leaf lettuce
corn salsa
avocado sauce (1 avocado, 3 tbs plain greek yogurt, 1 tbs chalula- blended until smooth)

I shaped my patties kind of like meatloaf so it would fit my yummy jalapeno bread. I also roasted up some Cumin & Lime Carrots. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Sauteed Leeks, Collard & Beet Greens

Have you ever bought beets and tossed out the greens? I know I have tossed them out multiple times. But one day I decided to saute them with a little S&P and olive oil and see what would happen. They actually tasted pretty delicious with a spinach kind of texture. Next time you buy beets don't toss out those gorgeous greens, cook em' up! 
I had a really nice bundle of collard green in my CSA box along with 2 beets so I decided to toss all the greens in together and came out with this yummy side dish.

Makes 2-3 Servings

2 garlic cloves, diced
1/4 cup sliced leeks, rings separated
2 tbs olive oil

5 1/2 cups of collard greens and beet greens 

Heat 2 tbs of olive oil in a large skillet on medium/low heat. Once the oil is warm add in the garlic and leeks and cook for 3 minutes. Add in the greens and mix them up so that they are lightly coated in olive oil. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes on medium/low heat or until wilted. Season with S&P.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Roasted Carrots

I'm always looking for good healthy side dish to go with my entrees. I had some extra carrots in the fridge and decided to try roasting them. I was serving the carrots with black bean veggie burgers so I thought I should stick to the same flavors. I threw this little dish together and well it turned out pretty good.  

5-6 carrots 
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 tsp cumin
1 tbs lime juice
pinch of salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 400. Peel your carrots and cut into 1/4 inch diagonal slices. Toss the carrots in olive oil then the seasoning and lime juice. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Make sure you stir up the carrots while they are cooking or else they will burn a little like in the picture below. It is quite a fun twist on carrots. 

Romesco Sauce

Romesco Sauce (raw)
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup almonds
1 red bell pepper
2 vine ripe tomatoes
1 tbs red wine vinegar
1 tbs olive oil

Place the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are finely chopped. 

You can use this sauce on pasta, as a dip, on white fish or pretty much anyway you want it. 

My favorite way to use this romesco sauce it mixed with roasted eggplant and chickpeas. I really like the raw vegetable crunch so I usually just toss it with something delicious and enjoy. 

Roasted Eggplant & Chickpeas with Romesco Sauce

Makes 4-5 cups
1 eggplant, cubed (3-4 cups)
1 tbs olive oil
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups of romesco sauce

Set the oven to a low broil. Coat the eggplant with 1 tbs olive oil or spray. Broil for 5-6 minutes tossing every few minutes. One the eggplant has softened place it in a mixing bowl with the chickpeas and seasoning. Mix the eggplant and chickpeas with romesco sauce and serve. 

Wheat Bran Chai Muffins

If you are a fan of chai I totally suggest you get yourself from David Rio Tiger Spice Chai or Elephant Vanilla Chai! This powdered chai is great in oatmeal, lattes, pancakes and more! I decided to throw some chai into some muffins and they came out quite delicious!

I don't make my muffins too sweet so taste the batter before adding the eggs and add more to your liking. 

  • 3 tbs powdered chai
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (place oats in a food processor until flour like texture)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup almond milk 
  • 2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used macadamia nut)
Preheat the over to 350. Mix all of the dry ingredients in a bowl and the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Use a fork and make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet slowly stirring with the fork. Once everything is mixed well fold in the nuts. Pour the batter into a non-stick muffin tin or bread pan. Bake for 25 minutes. 

*You may want to adjust the baking time and salt, powder, soda combo based on your altitude. My measurements are for 6000ft. 

Stuffed Bell Peppers - Eggplant, Chickpea & Romesco

I have been loving on this romesco sauce recipe! It makes a great addition to so many different things. I most enjoy it with eggplant and chickpeas as mentioned on the post.  It makes a great side dish but I wanted something more to do with it so I decided to stuff some peppers. 


1 eggplant, cubed (3-4 cups)
2 tbs olive oil
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 small eggplant, cubed (makes 3-4 cups)
1 1/2 cups of romesco sauce (minus the bell pepper)

4 bell peppers
1/4 cup water
3/4 cups parmeasn or asiago cheese

Set the oven to a low broil. Coat the eggplant with 2 tbs olive oil or spray. Broil for 5-6 minutes tossing every few minutes. One the eggplant has softened place it in a mixing bowl with the chickpeas. Mix the eggplant and chickpeas with romesco sauce. 

Preheat oven to 425. Place the bell peppers in a baking pan place 1 tbs of cheese in the bottom of the pepper then fill with eggplant mixture. Top with 1-2 more tbs of cheese. Add 1/4 cup of water in bottom of the baking dish after you stuff the peppers. Bake for 45 minutes. 
Since I was stuffing bell peppers I decided to leave out the bell pepper from the romesco sauce. I try stuffing bell peppers whenever I can but without using meat it is hard to tell how if will turn out. This was a great idea and it was so delicious and filling. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Forbidden Black Rice, Purple Veggie Stir Fry

Purple and blue vegetables have lots of vitamin C and all kinds of other nutrients that lower cholesterol and boost your immune system. My last CSA box had a head of purple cabbage and a purple cauliflower. I remembered seeing a recipe in Whole Living Magazine this summer for a black rice stir fry so I picked up a few more purple vegetables and decided to make black rice stir fry.
 I had black rice for the first time in Hawaii last year and fell in love! I had it with some type of fish and it was cooked in a teriyaki type sauce. I have only used it in dishes with soy sauce but  I will have to think outside of the box next time and see what other dishes it works well with. Black rice falls into the category of a super food. It is considered to be anti-inflammatory and a great source of antibiotics.You can find it at most grocery stores but I like the Lotus brand of Forbidden Black Rice. 
Step 1. Baked Tofu (optional) If your a meat eater just use chopped, baked chicken
6 oz tofu, cubed
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tbs soy sauce

Toss the tofu in the sesame oil and tofu, let sit for 15 minutes, flipping once. Bake on a non stick pan at 350 for 30 minutes, flipping once. 

Step 2 Stir Fry
1 tbs sesame oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, diced
1/4 cup scallions or leeks, sliced
3 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs rice wine vinegar
1 cup purple cauliflower
3 cups eggplant, cubed
2 cups purple kale, chopped
2 cups purple cabbage,chopped
1-2 tbs siracha

1 cup of black rice, cooked

In a large wok, heat up the sesame oil on low/medium. Saute the garlic, leeks and ginger for 3 minutes. Add in the egg plant, cauliflower, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes on med/high until the eggplant softens. Add in the cabbage and kale, cover and cook for another 5 minutes or until soft. Once all of the vegetables are soft add in the tofu and toss with siracha (adding as much or little as you like). Place the rice on the plate then top with vegetables. Serve warm. ENJOY!