I have to admit I have never been one to jump on the smoothie or juice bandwagon. I have always have been a girl who would rather eat my calories than drink them. However, I was looking around the kitchen for something to eat for lunch when I decided to give the old blender a try. I tossed in blueberries which are super high in antioxidants, kale a super food, a bit of peanut butter and almond milk for protein and finally a banana for sweetness. Then I simply blended away. I have to say the easiest lunch ever, there wasn’t even any chopping to do. It was delicious. I do believe I will be making this one again. Even my husband who is not a big fan of kale was impressed.
Easy + super good for you + delicious!!!! What else do you need?
- 3/4 cup organic frozen blueberries
- 1 loose cup baby kale
- 1 tablespoon peanut butter (or any nut butter)
- 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1/2 frozen ripe banana
- 1/2 cup ice
- 5-10 drops liquid vanilla stevia (or to taste)
1. Place all ingredients into blender and mix well. Feel free to add whatever type sweetener you prefer or none at all. The banana does give it a nice sweet taste, but I wanted a touch more sweetness, so I added the stevia.
***Tip: When your bananas look paste their peak of “prettyness” and have become browned and freckled. Simply peel them, cut into pieces and place in airtight container in freezer. They are perfect for smoothies in the future.
Simple ingredients equal delicious results in this recipe. Pasta, fresh basil, garlic and olive oil sound so simple, but together they are heaven. This is a great dish to make ahead of time for a BBQ, pot-luck or even a super bowl party. All I can say is GO BRONCOS!!!! Keeping my fingers crossed they stay in this thing. Every game is such a nail biter, don’t fail me now. I’m even wearing my orange shirt and I hate orange. It’s all for the sake of football.
- 16oz rotini pasta
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon garlic, minced
- 36 grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1/3 cup fresh basil, chopped
- 16 oz block mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/2″ cubes
- 1/4 cup creamy balsamic dressing, I used Newmans Own
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked al dente, place in colander drain all water and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
2. In large mixing bowl toss pasta, olive oil, salt, garlic, tomatoes, basil and cheese. Toss until evenly coated on all pasta.
3. Finally, drizzle creamy balsamic dressing onto pasta and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Cover and store in fridge until ready to serve.
* side note: if it chills for a length of time, you may want to add a bit more dressing or olive oil. The pasta tends to soak it up a bit.
Adapted from: chef-in-training
I know you may have thought I fell off the face of the Earth; but the truth is life got crazy busy. My husband and I moved into a new house; well new to us, but old in age (built in 1896). It is a super cute old Victorian, but it needed a lot of TLC. Including new hardwood floors, painting every square inch, electrical, appliances and new toilets. The house is now sparkling, but during this time it consumed every spare moment of my time. So, as you can tell cooking was not at the top of my list after a long hard day of work. Besides there were moments in the process that I didn’t even have appliances, making it tough to whip up much of anything. But here I am, don’t worry. Back from the depths of house remodeling.
What I have decided to restart my cooking adventures with was a recipe I used for a “get-to-know-the-neighbors” potluck. I wanted to bring an appetizer, something simple yet could sit out on a counter and not go bad. Voila, behold marinated cheese. Delicious. Hello, it’s cheese can you really go wrong? I served it with crackers and it was a total hit. Give it a try, you won’t be disappointed. Also, it looks so pretty on a serving dish.
Yields: approximately 16 servings
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
- 1 (2-oz) jar diced pimentos, drained
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- 3 tablespoons green onions, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 (8-oz) package Cheddar cheese
- 1 (8-oz) package cream cheese, chilled
1. In a a jar with a tight fitting lid, combine first 10 ingredients. Tighten lid and shake vigorously; set aside.
2. Cut the block of cheddar cheese in half lengthwise. Then cut crosswise into 1/4″ slices. Repeat with cream cheese. Arrange cheese slices in a shallow baking dish, standing slices on edge, alternating cheddar cheese with cream cheese.
3. Pour the marinade from the jar over the cheese slices. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
4. To serve move cheese slices to a serving platter so they are still arranged in an alternating pattern standing on their edges. Spoon some of the extra marinade over the cheese. Serve with your choice of crackers.
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
- 11-oz can pizza dough ( I used Pillsbury thin crust pizza dough)
- marinara sauce (I used basil and garlic flavor)
- shredded motzarella cheese
- Italian seasoning
- garlic powder
- basil leaves
- 2 mini muffin pans
- non-stick cooking spray
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.
If your looking for some other great food ideas for the big game. Here are a few of my favorite game day selections.
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
- 1 (12 oz) package frozen shelled edamame (soybeans), thawed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
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.
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.
2 sweet potatoes, washed and peeled
1 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons olive oil
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
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.
After all my holiday eating and then having to getting ready for a fun New Years Eve party, I decided to come up with a healthy pre-party snack. I wanted something quick, easy and good for me. I hoped it would balance out the cocktails and food I would consume later in the night. I came up with this smoothie on the fly. So, hope you enjoy it and hope everyone has a safe and Happy New Years!
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 1 frozen banana chopped
1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until thoroughly combined, about 2-3 minutes.
**If you want a thicker smoothy either add more banana, which makes it a bit sweeter or you can add a few ice cubes.