Monthly Archives: September 2012

Home Sweet Colorado

“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.”
   ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes ~
 
Well as my husband and I spent our last day in Phoenix, we figured what better way to celebrate than to have some great Mexican food.  We decided on a cute little restaurant, Aunt Chiladas.  It was built in the 1890′s as a supply depot and general store.  Now it serves as a one of a kind, great Mexican restaurant. 
 
Hands down, my favorite dish there is El Pollo Fundido.  It is a smothered chimichanga stuffed with chicken and then covered in jalapeno cream cheese sauce.  Deelish!!!!  My mouth is watering just remembering it.  And what better way to top it off than with a fresh squeezed margarita. 
Now, as I say goodbye to Phoenix, I’ll tell you the rest of my adventure.  It started at 4:45 am and progressed into a 900 mile, 13 hour epic drive.  Can I just say no matter how “cush” your car seats are, after 13 hours my butt, neck and back felt like I had been involved in 100 rounds of boxing.  Painful.  But, the adventure did come to an end and when I finally saw this sign I cracked a giant smile and said to myself, “I’m home.”

Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites

Tis the season for pumpkin.   I was inspired to make this recipe when on the search for a quick healthy post workout snack.   They remind me of some of my favorite energy bars, but a smaller version.  I like the concept of the bites, so when you need a quick energy boost you can just pop one in your mouth and your not committed to eating an entire bar.  They are very easy to make, packed with protein and super delicious.  You can also easily adapt this recipe by adding different ingredients to cater to your own taste.  Try adding chocolate chips, chia seeds or cinnamon chips.  Cheers, here’s to fall.

 Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chopped dates
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon flax seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked)
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) 

Directions:

1.  Combine dates, agave nectar, pumpkin puree, flax seeds, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a food processor.  Pulse until thoroughly combined.

2.  Placed date mixture into large mixing bowl.  Stir in oats, coconut, and pepitas until combined.  Cover and place in refrigerator for 1 hour.

3.  After an hour, use a spoon or cookie scoop to shape mixture into desired size for energy bites.  I made mine about 1″ in diameter.

**Store in a airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Storing them in the refrigerator helps the bites to keep their shape.

 Adapted from: gimmesomeoven
 

Spinach and Leek White Bean Soup

I know you,  may want to call me crazy when it is beyond hot outside and all I could think about  making for dinner was soup.  This spinach, leek and white bean soup is so worth the overheating and extra sweating.  It is a healthy and hearty soup.  It is easily made vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth if you desire.  Plus, it is very simple to make.   Leeks have a mild onion-like flavor, usually added to give flavor to soup stocks.  The first time you buy leeks, it is impressive how large they are, but understand you only use the bulb end (or the white part).  I also realized while making this what a beautiful vegetable a leek can be.  Again, call me crazy, but while taking pictures of the leeks they reminded me of a bouquet of flowers, or would that be a bouquet of onions.  Yeah, that probably wouldn’t get you many dates now would it?  So, if you have never cooked with leeks before, give this soup a try.  It’s delicious!  Serve this soup with some fresh French bread and enjoy.

Ingredients:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 large leeks, bulb only chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (32 ounce) container chicken broth
  • 2 (16 ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

 

 

Directions:
1.  Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the leeks and garlic, saute until tender.  About 5 minutes.

 

2.  Add in chicken broth, cannellini beans, italian seasoning, cumin and bay leaves and bring to a boil.

3.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

4.  Next stir in couscous, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes.

5.  Remove bay leaves and stir in spinach, season with salt and pepper.  Serve immediately.