Monthly Archives: January 2013

Pizza Bites

 
When I think of delicious game day food, I always think pizza.  Well, why not make pizza into a snack size.  No, I’m not talking about Totinos pizza rolls, I am talking about fresh bite size pizza straight out of your own oven.   I came up with these as a game day snack for the Superbowl.  I used pepperoni, because my husband is meat fanatic, but you could also make them vegetarian.  Just adding fresh basil, black olive and a bit of green pepper would be wonderful.  So, go ahead and use this recipe as a base and add your favorite pizza toppings to them.  Enjoy some good food, good friends and good football.  Go Broncos!!  Oh wait, that’s right they lost to the ravens.   Maybe next year.  


Yields: 24 pizza bites

Ingredients:

  • 11-oz can pizza dough ( I used Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough)
  • marinara sauce (I used basil and garlic flavor)
  • pepperoni
  • shredded motzarella cheese
  • Italian seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • basil leaves
  • 2 mini muffin pans
  • non-stick cooking spray

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Spray mini muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.
2.  Lightly flour counter top and lay pizza dough out and roll until 1/4″ thick.
3.  Using the open side of a cup slightly larger around than each muffin.  Cut out circular pieces of dough.

 4.  Place cut out dough in each prepared muffin pan.  1 piece of dough in each muffin.

5.  Then place 1 piece of pepperoni into each muffin, then add small amount marinara sauce into each muffin.

5.  Sprinkle each one with small amount of Italian seasoning and garlic powder.

6.  Top with a sprinkle of motzarella cheese.

Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese and dough is slightly golden.

Enjoy!!! 
If your looking for some other great food ideas for the big game.  Here are a few of my favorite game day selections.
                                   
                                                             Avocado Deviled Eggs
 

Baked Crispy Edamame

If your looking for an easy party appetizer or a great side dish, then here you go.  These soybeans baked under a Parmesan cheese crust, turn a basic frozen vegetable into a delicious snack.  Crunchy on the outside and chewy in the middle.  However; be warned, they are addictive.  If you are making these for a party, make them shortly before the party starts, or you may end up having to make another batch, because you can’t stop nibbling.  Another good tip to remember when making these delights is that toasted edamame are best when consumed on the day you roast them.  They tend to loose some of their crunch the next morning.  You can still eat them, but they may be more chewy than crispy.  When making this recipe, make sure edemame are dry before mixing with other ingredients.  I placed them on a clean dish towel and patted them dry.  Making sure they are completely dry helps them get that crispy crunch that is so delicious.

Edamame also pack in a healthy punch.  A 1/2 cup serving of shelled edamame contain as much fiber as 4 slices of whole wheat toast and 11 grams of protein.  Step over protein bars, say hello to the new delicious high protein snack.

note:  if you don’t have time for the edamame to thaw, you can speed up this process by pouring the edamame into a stainer and running it under warm water for a few seconds.  Then spread the edamame on a clean dish towel and pat until dry. 

Yield:  roughly 2 cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 (12 oz) package frozen shelled edamame (soybeans), thawed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 400°.  Place edamame, olive oil and Parmesan cheese into medium sized mixing bowl.  Stir until all edamame are coated.

2.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, again stir.  Place edamame onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, in single layer.

3.  Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.  Stir edamame.  Bake for another 5 minutes or until cheese is crispy and golden.  

The Weekly Adventures of Insightful Girl

Well, despite having to work all weekend, the blog must go on.  So here is my weekly update of adventures.

Unfortunately this week I was a bit under the weather, so my adventures have been horribly boring.  I did eat some delicious Thai food though, spicy basil chicken.  I have to say the spice definitely helped to clear up my sinuses (added bonus to filling my stomach).  I love spice, as I always say, “spice makes everything nice.”  I think I may have to come up with a Thai recipe to incorporate into the blog.  So, keep you eye out for that one.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend.  Keep a look out for more delicious recipes to come this week.  And let the countdown to the Superbowl begin. 

You have to play this game like somebody just hit your mother with a two-by-four.
DAN BIRDWELL

The Weekly Adventures of Insightful Girl

Hello all.  I know, I know I have been a total slacker with my weekly adventures.  It seems from the time Thanksgiving rolls around to Christmas and New Years, time just flies.  Every spare moment seems to be packed with parties, family and to-do lists.  So I am hoping since the holidays are done, life will again slow down and my blog will get more attention. 

I do have a funny story.  I was at work the other day and had to give my patient a shot, and while I was drawing up the medication I asked him, “which arm do you want your shot in?”  My patient immediately answered, “your arm.”  I just had to stop and laugh.  Sometimes you get into such a rut in what you are doing, you forget to stop and take a look around.  I thought it was such a perfect response to get me to check back in.  So, thank you to my patient for the laugh. 

I have a new nightly ritual of vanilla chamomile tea, it has tricked me into thinking I am having dessert.  I first discovered this wonderful tea when my husband and I were having movie night.  We watched Safe House, which was an amazing movie if your looking for a good flick to rent.  Lots of action and Ryan Reynolds.  Need I say more.  He is a great actor whether it be comedy (The Proposal) or this action flick, he seems to do a great job.  Besides he is like dessert for your eyes.   Yummy!

Since the Broncos decided to loose last week, I am now forced to pick another team to win the Superbowl.  I guess there is always next year.  Sob, sob.  Ok, I’m over it and with that I leave you with this quote.

Recipe Review:
 
Coconut Poke Cake

                                        

Coconut Poke Cake

 

I decided to make this recipe for Christmas dinner.  I know I’m a bit behind in posting this, but hey better late than never.  We were having a low key Christmas, just my husband and I and we invited my best friend Melissa to join us.  She taught me to make dressing, gravy and turkey stock from scratch.  So, I let her choose dessert for the evening.  She said anything “coconut”!  So I went on the search for a coconut dessert and came across something called a poke cake.  I had never heard of such a thing.  Then I found a coconut poke cake and decided to give it a try.  I used fat free condensed milk and lite cool whip to lighten up the calorie content and it was plenty sweet.  It was amazing.  The cream of coconut and condensed milk make the cake extra moist and the added coconut extract I put in the batter and frosting, bumped the flavor into coconut heaven.  Even my husband who is a chocolate fanatic couldn’t stop eating it.  It was a hit.  I am excited to try other flavors and varieties of this new found “poke cake.”

Ingredients:

  • 1 package white cake mix (not one with pudding)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 (14oz) can cream of coconut
  • 7 oz fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (16oz) container lite cool whip, thawed
  • 1 (14oz) package shredded sweetened coconut

Directions:
1.  Prepare and bake cake according to package directions, adding 1 teaspoon of coconut extract to batter before baking.
2.  Remove cake from oven and while still HOT, using the end of a wooden spoon poke holes all over the top of the cake.

 

3.  In a medium bowl, mix the cream of coconut and sweetened condensed milk.  Pour mixture evenly over hot cake.
4.  Allow cake to completely cool.  In a large bowl mix cool whip, 1/2 the bag of coconut and 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract together.

 

5.  Frost cake with mixture and sprinkle remaining coconut evenly over top of cake.

6.  Refrigerate cake for at least 1 hour before cutting.  Make sure to store cake in refrigerator.

Adapted from:  allrecipes

Noodle-Less Turkey/Veggie Lasagna

I came across this recipe on a vegetarian website.  It sounded delicious with the spaghetti squash.  I can honestly say that it never occurred to me to use spaghetti squash instead of noodles in a dish.  And I am a big fan of spaghetti squash.  I did make some alterations in this recipe by adding the lean ground turkey.  I thought it would be a great way to pack in some protein without adding a bunch of fat.  My husband even said he liked this lasagna better than traditional noodle lasagna.  He also decided it was okay to have 2  pieces of sourdough bread as he put it, “without the noodles, I don’t have to feel guilty about the extra piece of bread.”  After dishing our plates, we did spice things up with some red pepper flakes and dash of Parmesan cheese.  So whether you are a vegetarian and leave the turkey out or cook it with the turkey you will not be disappointed.  Italian night has now taken on a vegetable theme.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (24oz) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 package lean ground turkey
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 medium zucchini thinly sliced (I used the thin slice side of my cheese grater)
  • 3 cups cooked spaghetti squash
  • 3/4 cup part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded Italian Blend cheese
  • ground pepper
  • dried parsley flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 °.  Spray casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Place turkey in large skillet and cook until no pink remaining.  Add jar of spaghetti sauce and Italian seasoning.  Simmer 10 minutes.
  3. In a casserole dish, begin layering 1/3 zucchini, top with 1 cup spaghetti squash, 1/4 cup ricotta cheese, sprinkle with 1/4 cup shredded cheese and then 1 cup of turkey/sauce mixture.   Repeat this process until all ingredients are gone. Mine ended up being 3 layers.  When doing top layer use all remaining turkey/sauce mixture and finally top with another 1/4 cup shredded cheese.

4.  I used my fingers to crumble the ricotta into small pieces.

5.  Sprinkle with parsley flakes and fresh ground pepper.

6.   Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes.  There will be some water in the lasagna because of all the vegetables.  After it was done baking I just slightly tilted the pan to the side and used a spoon to scoop out most of the water.

Adapted from: greenlitebites

Sweet Potato Fries

I love sweet potato fries, but when I have made them in the past they never seemed to get crispy.  I ended up cooking them so long in attempt to get them to be crisp, that they ended up burnt.  I came across some recommendations that included soaking the potatoes before cooking them.  I decided I would give home-made sweet potato fries one more try.  With, this recipe I included a spicy dipping sauce to go along with it.  Sweet and spicy, delish.  Well, I have to say they turned out well.  Even my husband who usually is not a big fan of anything beside old white potato fries, ate them up.

Ingredients:

For Fries:

2 sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons olive oil
Ziplock bag

For Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise ( I use Nayonaise, it’s a low fat vegetarian version.  A bit healthier)
1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne pepper

Directions:
     1.  Wash and peel sweet potatoes.  Cut potatoes into medium sized fries.  Not shoestring and not   steak fries, somewhere in between.
     2.  Place sweet potatoes in bowl of water and allow to soak for 1 1/2 hours.
     3.  Preheat oven to 425°

     4.  Put a tablespoon of cornstarch into medium sized ziplock bag.  Put half of sweet potato fries into ziplock back and close (leave some air in bag, allowing for fries to freely be tossed around). 
     5.  Shake fries until lightly coated w/cornstarch. Place coated fries onto nonstick cookie sheet.  
     6.  Repeat process until all fries are coated and placed on cookie sheet.

     7.  Drizzle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over fries, using hands toss fries to make sure all are coated with oil.
          * you can use more oil, depending on how healthy you would like them to be. The more oil you use the more crisp they will get.  But using 2 tablespoons, I was able to get them pretty darn crispy.
     8.  Arrange fries on cookie sheet, making sure there is space between each fry.  If the fries are too close, they tend to steam instead of getting crispy. 
     9.  Place into preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes.
     10.  While fries are cooking, make the dipping sauce.  Mix mayonaise, Sriracha and cayenne pepper together in small bowl.  You can adjust the amount of Srirach and/or cayenne pepper depending on how spicy you want it. 
     11.  After 15 minutes, check fries and flip over.  Cook another 5-10 minutes, watch closely so they don’t burn.