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Feb. 18th, 2008

artichokes

perpetuallydry

Smoothie Breakfast

I wanted a light breakfast, but more exciting than cereal.

frozen fruit (I got smoothie blend - mangoes, strawberries, and I think papaya? I have no idea)
fresh strawberries (I really like strawberries)
frozen blueberries
light, fat-free yogurt (I prefer peach for this, but I used cherry because I forgot to pick-up peach, because I don't usually EAT peach yogurt. Yeah, I'm weird)
orange juice
rice milk

The frozen fruit gives it a thickness that I like, and I added fresh fruit because I'm thinking it is probably healthier, but I could be completely off-base there. You need enough liquid that your blender actually blends all of it, instead of just the part around the blades.

I also toasted a piece of Double-Fiber Whole Wheat bread in my Hello Kitty toaster. I should've taken a picture of that. Here's one I found on the web that is pretty much the same thing.



Delicious AND fun!

Feb. 5th, 2008

horizon by _glitterdoll

pennywhistle

(no subject)

Trader Joe's has Tangelo's! Part tangerine...part orange....ALL DELICIOUS.


I had a most delicious raw lunch today:

Organic cucumber slices
Reduced fat Triscuits
Trader Joe's kalamata olive hummus
A tangelo

Very filling and very delicious ^_^

Feb. 4th, 2008

artichokes

perpetuallydry

Party food reviews - Gluten Free

I threw a party attended by a friend who was gluten free. Gluten free is so hard...you can't eat soft, sweet breads, pastas, snack chips, and almost any sweets. Plus, gluten gets sneaked into so many things you wouldn't even think of, like beer and coffee. Anything with distilled vinegar...

I wanted to make sure my friend didn't feel left out, or unhappy with her choices, but I also wanted things to be well rounded.

Gluten Free Foods:

Veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, carrots. Always good.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: You can dip veggies in this, or several other items I procured.

Rice crackers: I don't like rice crackers, they have a very distinct taste, but everyone raved about these, and several people asked me where I got them. They are called Savory Thins, and I got them at Trader Joes. Thin, crunchy and good for dipping.

Plantain chips: These had a picture of monkeys on them, and I know they look like bananas, so I expected them to be kind of sweet. Instead, they tasted very much like hearty potato chips. They were dense and hard, but had the same kind of flavor. Only 6 grams of fat per serving, which isn't bad for a snack chip.

Sweet without the Wheat Black Forest Cake: My friend's initial response was, "This tastes like a Ding Dong!" after which we laughed and laughed and laughed, because we are immature. It was a thin layer of chocolate cake made without wheat. I don't know what it was made out of, but it was so small it wasn't a strong flavor, more of an architectural structure, holding it all together. It was topped with a layer of some vanilla cream, more thin cake, chocolate cream, more thin cake, and shaved chocolate on top and around the sides. It also had black forest type cherries in it, but it wasn't a strong element, which is good because I don't like those either. This cake went over well.

and Today's Recipe...Caramelized Apple and Cheddar Quesadillas.

I got the original recipe from a Mixer I recently attended, and I altered it to make it not so bad for you.

small, sweet, red apples - I used Pink Ladies and Gala, Braeburn and Fuji would also be good.
2 tablespoons of brown sugar - I used turbinado sugar because 1. it was what I had on-hand, and 2. brown sugar is just turbinado sugar that has been refined into white sugar (had the molasses taken out) and THEN the molasses is added back in! Why would someone do that???
2 tablespoons of butter - I use unsalted, and I never do margarine
shredded cheddar - I prefer Skyline brand, mild cheddar. But I'm from the Cincinnati area. This may not be available other places, I'm not sure.
Tortillas - for the gluten free I found some authentic tortillas. The ingredients listed: corn, lime and salt. For the non-gluten free I used Mission brand Carb Control, which have 11 grams of fiber in them, and is apparently a REALLY GOOD THING (tm). They taste great, and they are softer than regular tortillas, and don't crack when you fold them, even without pan-heating them. Less butter!

Cut the apples into 1/4" thin slices, melt the butter in a pan over MEDIUM heat and add the apples and top with the sugar. Stir this around frequently because burned sugar smells awful. This needs to cook for around 25 minutes, til the apples are soft and golden brown, and the sugar and butter have turned into a thin caramel.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and set aside the apples until it is preheated, so they reach room temperature.

Stir the apples to coat them with the caramel and spoon apples onto half of each tortilla, and cover in cheddar cheese, then fold in half on pan. The carb control torts folded and were fine, the authentic corn ones needed to be secured with toothpicks.

Put them in the oven for 5 minutes, so the cheese can melt. The original recipe instructed me to take them out of the oven and pan fry them with more butter, but I opted to not do that for time reasons, and because less butter is always better in my opinion.

Cut each folded tortilla in half for easier handling. SO good. The carb control quesadillas went over better, but the non-gluten ones were tasty as well.

This is more amazing tasting than I can communicate with written word.

Jan. 25th, 2008

artichokes

perpetuallydry

Breakfast when the cupboard is bare

I'm out of rice milk. OH NOES! So I scrounge around in the kitchen and this morning I'm eating:

an apple cut into planks, dipped in honey. And a piece of beer bread. Normally I wouldn't be having beer bread in the morning, but between the two of us it is hard to eat a whole loaf of anything in our house before it goes bad. Plus, this recipe has no fat!

So, no actual cooking just slicing an apple and squeezing a bear. The bread took an hour the day before.

Jan. 24th, 2008

artichokes

perpetuallydry

Andouille and cous-cous - A romantic comedy

I accidentally bought some andouille sausage. I meant to buy tomato basil chicken sausage. I'm thinking, "What am I going to do with this?"

I made some cous-cous with pine nuts, according to the directions.

In a skillet heated to medium high I put chopped red pepper, sliced baby bella mushrooms, and sliced up andouille.

I squeezed half a lemon over them while they were heating. I meant to salt them, but I picked up the black pepper instead, and liberally peppered everything...OOPS!

I stirred everything in the skillet until it was almost heated, then added a half-teaspoon of minced garlic (not dehydrated). If you add the garlic too soon, it will scorch and smell and taste bad.

The heat brings out more or the sweetness of the peppers, and the lemon and garlic do amazing things to the mushrooms. AMAZING, I tell you! The pepper made it all spicier than I normally eat, and actually I don't use much black pepper, but it was pretty tasty.

I served it with a little bit of cottage cheese to cut the bite of the pepper.

A great mistake!

Jan. 10th, 2008

artichokes

perpetuallydry

Lunches

Two recent lunches for me:

#1. Cashews, grapes and 2 Babybel Lite cheeses

#2. Hummus with pine nuts, cracked pepper and olive oil Triscuits, and a Honeycrisp Apple....which was enormous. Like the size of both my fists together.



I like to have these sorts of things around because they are easy to pack and it gives me a lot of diversity, rather than a coldcut sandwich and apple, or pb&j every day. Plus I don't have to worry about bread as much. One of my co-workers tries to fit all the sandwich fixin's into one piece of bread because she has bread phobia. I don't have bread phobia, but every little bit helps. A high protein lunch washed down with some fruit is good. Stays with you til the end of the day so you don't go for the vending machine, or the horrible stale cookies that have been left over for months from a children's event, or the birthday cake that someone brought in because there is CONSTANTLY a birthday at my office. Yours?

I'm also finding the longer I eat like this, if I DO eat one of those horrible cookies (I have no idea what came over me, but believe me I paid dearly) I end up with an incredible headache that nothing can seem to help.

High fructose corn syrup just might be a drug.

Dec. 16th, 2007

horizon by _glitterdoll

pennywhistle

(no subject)

I AM A MASTER BAKER!!!!!

Not to be confused with a mastur-- oh forget it.

BOW TO ME, FOR I HAVE CREATED THIS:

sct2

It is a Strawberry Cheesecake Torte for my department's carry-in tomorrow. I have to work 12-9 tonight, and it needs time to set, so I had to get up early today to make it.

sct1

Ok, there were a few structural integrity issues. But it TASTES delicious!


And now: the eating of the leftovers.

Dec. 12th, 2007

artichokes

perpetuallydry

Burritosssss

I've been eating ridiculous amounts of canned soup lately, so I opted to take care of some odds and ends and make "BURRITOS"!

1 can of black beans. You can use refried black beans, which have more seasoning, but they also have more fat. I use whole black beans, and throw a bay leaf in with them while I heat them up.

Carb Control tortillas from Mission. I was hesitant about these, but really, they are softer, and don't need to be heated before you use them. They don't crack like the regular ones do. I don't notice a taste difference either, but I load my up with all sorts of stuff.

Rice. I like to buy this pre-cooked, frozen rice from Trader Joe's because then I can serve it directly from the bag it comes in and microwave it, and it is fast. Plus it is divided into just slightly more rice per bag than the two of us will eat. Not the ridiculous 4 cups or whatever it is if I buy dry rice and make according to instructions. I also like to use various other flavored rice, but I tend to stay away from spanish rice unless I've made some for stuffing vegetables and have left over.

I cut a lime and squeeze the juice onto the rice when it is done. I chop up red bell pepper, which is sweet and crunchy and not hot. I'm a wuss about heat. Chop up some tomatos. I like plum, roma and vine ripened, but I am also known to keep canned (or boxed) diced tomatoes in the cupboard because my guy eats fresh tomatoes like it is his job, so they aren't usually around when I need them.

Some lettuce. Last night we used left over butter lettuce from some salads I made the night before.

I usually serve with sour cream for two reasons, it has less fat than cheddar cheese, and because I've tried it with both and either, and if I have to give up one, it is the cheese. I love cheese, but it just doesn't add as much flavor as the sour cream. This will probably eventually go, because I found a recipe for sour cream, and it turned my stomach. Eventually, I'm going to have to go non-dairy. I'm such a wuss.

My guy likes a bit more heat, so I buy spicy salsa for him. Kroger premium has a black bean and roasted corn that is amazing, and Newman's Own is good too.

2 of these in what is actually probably considered a soft taco shell is a good dinner for me. Fills me up with staying power because of all the protein, and it doesn't have anything ridiculously bad in it. If we have been out doing strenuous exercise, I might make some corn with it as a side, but usually they stand alone. Veggies, fruits, dairy, protein and limited carbs. It's an awesome meal! And fast. The beans heat up on the stove in a few minutes, and you can heat the rice in 2-3 in the microwave, chop the veggies while those are heating up. I'd say 15 minutes total, probably not even that long.

Dec. 1st, 2007

artichokes

perpetuallydry

Sushi and stir fry

I attempted sushi tonight. And it went horribly awry in my opinion.

I got sushi rice, rice/sushi vinegar, seedless baby cucumber, roasted Nori (that's the seaweed wrapper), and a sushi mat. I did not get a sushi paddle, because I thought I could do okay on my own.

I cooked the rice according to directions, then added some unmeasured amount of vinegar. This might've been my first problem, not using a recipe or measuring. I do that sometimes.

I layed the nori out on my sushi mat, this is a bamboo mat that is strung together and very flexible. Nori is shiny side down. I spooned some rice on, mushed it flat and to the edges of the nori, and fanned it with a towel for a few moments to let it get stickier. I don't think I fanned it long enough either.

I sliced up a cucumber in long thin strips, and set that on the rice, and used the mat to roll everything as tightly as I could.

As tightly as I could ended up making a roll that was about 3 inches in diameter....ridiculous! I tried slicing it, but the ends weren't filled full enough, so they crushed. I tried to eat that part to see how it turned out, and the nori was like plastic and I couldn't chew through it.

So I rolled it up in the mat, and set it in the fridge, because the rice was still warm, and I thought maybe the steam coming out would soften the nori, and make it edible. This actually worked.

I sliced this into pieces...big pieces. I garnished with HOT chili mayonnaise.

The result was, comically gigantic vegetarian "sushi", with inappropriate sauce, and sticky rice on everything, including up my sleeves somehow, and what felt like a thin scratchy layer of rice starch on my entire face, and all the way up my wrists.

My guy ate all of them. And he enjoyed them, though he dipped them in soy sauce instead of chili mayonnaise after the first bite.

I'll probably read a recipe before I attempt this again. I read one long ago, and that's why I remembered the vinegar and to fan the rice.

Sushi experiment...............FAILED.

Nov. 25th, 2007

artichokes

perpetuallydry

Veggie Calzones - reposted properly.

I bought premade whole wheat pizza dough for my base. You set it on the counter while you are slicing up the veggies. Also preheat the oven. When you are baking anything it is SO important to preheat the oven, otherwise, things will burn on the outside and be raw on the inside. Such a rookie mistake I've made myself, and watched other new cooks make.

Salad:
Boston lettuce
black olives

Light Northern Italian basil and romano dressing.
This stuff has things in it I don't like...high fructose corn syrup and vegetable oil, but it only has 5 grams of fat and is mostly vinegar. It is fantastic!
honey roasted almonds

Calzones:
oven-roasted red peppers and broccoli (the broccoli didn't turn out well, I would do this part differently, though it added an interesting smokey flavor)
baby bella mushrooms sauteed in olive oil with minced garlic
Italian 5 cheese blend shredded cheese
Basil and garlic marinara from Trader Joes (so you KNOW it's good!)

You have to stretch and squeeze the dough flat and thin(ish), think 1/2", coat it thinly with olive oil, this keeps the sauce from cooking into the dough and making it weird.

Broil the red peppers (but not the broccoli, because it wasn't great)
put olive oil in a skillet on med-high heat, then add mushrooms. You have to let the oil get hot first or it soaks into the food, rather than crisping it, but not too hot with olive oil, because it burns off fast. Add garlic towards the end, because it will also singe and not taste good if you add it too soon.

In any order, layer your ingredients over half of the dough, then fold it over and pinch the edges. I brushed beaten egg yolk on the tops of mine to keep the crust moist inside. It creates a kind of shell on the outside.

Bake according to the instructions on the dough package. I nearly doubled my bake time to account for the ingredients inside, and it didn't burn, it was nice and crispy outside, and soft on the inside.

This meal took approximately 30 minutes with all the prep and cooking. I served salads while the calzones were baking, with red wine, so it felt like it only took about 15 minutes. Serve calzones with some sauce for dipping.

This was wonderful! It was Italian, with lots of veggies, and broiling the peppers brings out a sweetness that makes them awesome. I asked my guy for his input, because he had originally wanted onions in his, but he said it didn't need onions. He liked it with the smokey broccoli and everything.

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