Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thai Pumpkin Soup

Okay, so now that football season is over, I am back to being creative in the kitchen and blogging. Hurrah!

It has been rather frigid here in the Big D this past week, and the perfect weather
for nice hot bowl of soup. And I was craving the warm scent and spice of a Thai soup. So what does one do? Go off to Google to find one!

I came across a recipe for Thai Pumpkin Soup that sounded REALLY good on the Jazzie And Tahlia blog. And then I tweaked it a bit, making it completely VEGETERIAN. The result? A warm bowl of spicy goodness. Without a lot of fat. So not only can you love it, but your skinny jeans can love it too.

Thai Pumpkin Soup (adapted from Jazzie and Tahlia blog)

*2 TBSP Olive Oil
*1 shallot, minced
*2 TBSP grated fresh ginger
*2 garlic cloves, minced
*15 ounce can of low sodium vegetable broth
*2 15 ounce cans of pumpkin puree
*1 15 ounce can light coconut milk
*2 TBSP red curry paste
*Siracha sauce
*2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
*Sea salt
*One lime

Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add shallot and ginger, saute for about five minutes until shallot is soft. Add garlic, saute for a minute or two.

Add vegetable broth, pumpkin, coconut milk, curry paste, and Siracha (to taste--it is hot so start with a small squirt or two.) Cook soup for 20 minutes.

Add juice of one lime and soy sauce. Then add sea salt to taste.

Serve with lime wedges, chopped cilantro, and more Siracha if needed.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lasagna and Balsamic Glazed Spinach

I have recently discovered the Pioneer Woman and her wonderful blog (and cookbook!)My mother loaned me a copy of The Pioneer Woman cooks and her recipe for lasagna looked really good. Of course, being the *tweaker* that I am, I knew I could make this healthier: swap ground turkey for hamburger; swap sweet Italian turkey sausage for breakfast sausage; whole wheat noodles instead of white; reduce the cheese...and I also slashed the cooking time on the sauce.

The result? A delicious lasagna that won't kill the waistline.

Next, I had to add a veggie. So I cooked down some fresh spinach with olive oil and added a drizzle of prepared balsamic glaze...FAB!

Lasagna (Adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks)

*1 tbsp olive oil
*8 whole wheat lasagna noodles (the old school kind you boil)
*1 pound of ground turkey (I use 90-93 percent lean)
*2 Sweet Italian turkey sausage links (remove sausage from casings)
*4 garlic cloves, minced
*One 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes with basil (I like Muir Glen)
*2 6 ounce cans tomato paste (also Muir Glen, see a pattern here?)
*12 basil leaves
*1/4 cup chopped parsley
*3 cups low-fat cottage cheese
*2 eggs, beaten
*1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
*1 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add olive oil and cook noodles per package directions. Drain and lay out on a sheet of aluminum foil.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium high heat, saute ground turkey, sausage and garlic until brown. (Crumble the sausage while it cooks.)Drain off grease. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sprinkle of sea salt and ground pepper. Simmer while you make cheese mixture.

Chop basil and parsley and combine. Put half of this mixture into sauce. Save other half for cheese mixture.

For cheese: combine cottage cheese, eggs, 1/2 cup parmesan and herbs. Mix.

To assemble: Lay down four noodles in bottom of the pan. (They will overlap a little.) Cover with cheese. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella on top. Now top with a little less than 1/2 of the meat sauce.

Add another layer of noodles, cheese, mozzarella, and end with meat sauce. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over the top. Bake for 35 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

Balsamic Glazed Spinach

*1 package of fresh spinach
*2 TBSP Olive Oil
*Balsamic Glaze (found in the vinegar section of grocery aisle.)

Heat olive oil in large skillet. Saute spinach until wilted (5-7 minutes.) Put on plates and give each serving a light drizzle of balsamic glaze over the top. Done.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Blackberry Basil Jam

As soon as I saw Giada make Blackberry Basil jam on TV, I knew I *had* to make it. Immediately. I adore basil--and what is more summery than blackberries and basil together? So I got the ingredients and gave it a try. It is, in my humble opinion, deliciousness on a spoon! But what is more delicious, you ask? I'll tell you--some artisan bread, spread with soft goat cheese and topped with this crazy good jam.

Blackberry Basil Jam (adapted from Giada De Laurentiis)

*1 16 ounce package frozen blackberries, thawed and juice reserved
*4 cups of fresh basil leaves
*2/3 cup sugar
*1 large orange, juiced
*1 medium lemon, juiced
*1/2 tsp fresh lemon zest (my own addition)

Combine basil, sugar, orange juice, and lemon juice in food processor and combine until smooth. Meanwhile, put blackberries and juice in a heavy bottom pan and mash berries with a fork. Add basil mixture and lemon zest to pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occassionally. Remove from heat and let cool for 1 hour. Place in air tight container and refrigerate. Will keep for 3 days.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Homemade Granola

As you all know, I am a cookbook slut. And I have to say one of my best purchases this year was Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook, "My Farther's Daughter." This past weekend I decided to attempt the homemade granola recipe. I wasn't sure about the addition of garam masala--Indian spice in my granola? But what can I say, I was feeling adventerous (and yes this IS my idea of being wild) and I made it with the spice. BEST FREAKING GRANOLA EVER!!

I didn't have maple syrup so I used honey. And I omitted the agave nectar because I thought the honey was enough.

Yum. Yum. YUM!I have eaten this all week with 2 percent Greek yogurt as my snack. Delicious!

Granola (adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow)

*2 cups old fashioned whole rolled oats
*1/2 cup raw whole almonds
*1/4 cup raw pepitas
*1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
*1/2 teaspoon garam masala
*1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon fine salt
*1/2 cup local honey
*2 tbsp vegetable oil
*1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Stir together oats, almonds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, spices and salt in large bowl. Combine honey and oil in a small bowl. Then mix liquid with dry ingredients.

Spread granola on non-stick baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until browned, stirring occassionally. Combined cooled granola with cranberries and keep in airtight container. (Will keep for 2-3 months.)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Spice-Rubbed Steak

I love a good steak. REALLY LOVE IT. So when I saw a recipe for Tom Colicchio's Spice-Crusted Grilled Hanger Steak in Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine, it seemed like a win/win. I love Steak. I love Tom. What's not to love?

Of course, I modified the recipe. I swapped hard to find Hanger Steak with Flat Steak. I used a hickory smoked salt in the rub. I took down the garlic a bit and instead of light brown sugar, used Dark Muscovado Sugar instead. Holy crap. This was damn tasty. I served corn sauteed in fresh basil butter I made myself, then some red peppers sauteed in olive oil with fresh oregano. Divine.

Spice-Rubbed Flat Iron Steak (adapted from Tom Colicchio--serves four)

*3 pounds of Flat Iron Steak
*2 TBSP Coriander seeds
*2 TBSP Fennel seeds
*2 TBSP Dark Muscovado Sugar
*1 Jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*2 TBSP finely chopped cilantro leaves
*Hickory smoked salt
*Fresh cracked pepper

In a spice grinder (I have a coffee grinder just for this) combine coriander and fennel and grind. Put in small bowl and mix with brown sugar. Add jalapeno,garlic and cilantro.

Rub spice mixture all over steak. Season with smoked salt and pepper.

Heat grill pan to medium high heat. Lightly oil grill pan with olive oil. Cook steaks 9 minutes per side for medium rare. Turn on vent fan--this steak will smoke! Remove steak and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Roasted Peaches with Greek Yogurt

I love fresh peaches. Like LOVE them. But I *detest* how fast they spoil. Quite the quandry, yes? But I found a recipe from Health Magazine for roasted peaches and though, "Hmmmmmmmmmm I could roast them and keep them in the fridge! Hurrah!"

But of course, I had to tweak the original recipe. Instead of honey I used agave nectar. I swapped dried lavender for the fresh. And instead of serving them with marscapone cheese, I went with healthy, protein rich Greek Yogurt. FAB!

Roasted Peaches with Greek Yogurt

*Four peaches, halved (you can also use fresh apricots if you wish)
*Agave nectar
*Dried lavender (I got mine in the loose tea section at Central Market. Brace yourself...several tablespoons was .18 cents. HA!)
*2 percent Greek Yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Put one tablespoon of unsalted butter in a baking dish. Put peaches in cut side up. Drizzle with agave nectar. Zest some fresh lemon over the top. Finish with a light sprinkle of dried lavender.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve warm or cold over Greek yogurt. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Really Kick Ass Preserves

Okay, before you see the $9 price tag on this and quit reading, hang with me for a second. Still there? Good. Because this Les Moulins Mahjoub Fig Jam is FREAKING FAB! This is the best fig jam I have ever had. It is organic. It is from Tunisia. It has nothing funky in it. It is DIVINE on some whole grain bread with a dab of Irish butter...

And really, it is less than a movie ticket. Aren't you worth it?

I got mine at Central Market, but you can order yours here if you copy and paste the link:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Honey & Jalapeno Glazed Chicken Over Soba Noodles

I found this recipe by Robin Miller during a google search for "soba Noodles." You know, in my quest to make lunch more exciting because nobody in my family likes soba noodles. So much so I can't serve them for dinner.

Until I made this dish.

Oh my. This packs a ton of flavor and is very easy to make! I did some tweaking to Robin's recipe. I took out the green onion so the jalapeno would shine. I doubled the meat and the sauce. I added some toasted sesame seeds to the noodles. And if you want to put in some veggies, you can add shredded carrots, snow peas, etc. Or some fresh diced mango.

But this is so freaking good that my husband--the soba noodle protester--not only ate it, had seconds, and told me to make it again.


Honey & Jalapeno Glazed Chicken Over Soba Noodles (adapted from Robin Miller)

*12 ounces soba noodles
*2 jalapenos, seeds and ribs removed, and minced
*2/3 cup local honey
*1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves
*1/2 tsp salt
*Fresh cracked pepper
*6 TBSP water
*4 tsp olive oil
*1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and shredded OR four chicken breasts, roasted and shredded (you can do this step the night before if you want.)
*Mango or veggies (a few cups of shredded cole slaw mix, snow peas, shredded carrots, etc if you desire)
*3 TBSP Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
*2 tsp Sesame oil
*2 TBSP pickled ginger, minced (you can get this in the grocery store next to the take away sushi.)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil for soba noodles. Cook according to package directions and drain. Let them hang out while you prep chicken.

In a food processor/blender, combine minced jalapeno, honey, salt, pepper, and cilantro to make a paste. Add water and blend to make a sauce.

In a large skillet, heat up olive oil. Add chicken, vegetables or mango if using, and sauce. Cook until hot and veggies are soft (and in the case of cabbage, wilted.)

Prepare soba noodles: add soy sauce, sesame oil, pickled ginger to noodles and toss.

To serve: Put soba noodles in bowl. Top with chicken and sauce. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and fresh chopped cilantro.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Turkey Burgers with Plum Ketchup

Because I am a cookbook slut, and cannot resist a beautifully shot cookbook, I purchased Gwyneth Paltrow's My Father's Daughter last week. Oh, is there nothing better than sitting down with a new cookbook and seeing what delicious new recipes await trial in my kitchen? Love that but I digress.

Anyhoo, I stumbled upon a recipe for Duck Burgers with Plum Ketchup. Hmmmm, very interesting. I am not a big fan of duck myself, and the cost is crazy...and I've never seen it ground up at the store, but that did not stop the wheels from spinning in my crazy little brain.

I decided to adapt the recipe. I swapped ground turkey for duck. I upped the rosemary to one tablespoon chopped. Then I had some Chevre (goat cheese) in the fridge so I stuffed the burgers with that and topped with Plum Ketchup. FABULOUS AND SOPHISTICATED BURGERS!!! Divine, if I do say so myself. So thank you Gwyneth for the inspiration!

Rosemary and Goat Cheese Turkey Burgers with Plum Ketchup
*1 lb ground turkey (get 93 percent lean--too lean = dry nasty burger)
*1 TBSP chopped fresh rosemary
*Chevre or soft goat cheese
*1 egg, beaten
*1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs

*Plum Jam (preferabbly organic)
*Organic Ketchup

*Whole Wheat Buns

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, rosemary, egg and bread crumbs. USE YOUR HANDS. Don't be dainty here. Get messy. It will wash off, I promise.

Form four patties with your hands. In the center of each patty, make an indentation with your thumb. Stuff hole with goat cheese and then cover the cheese back up with meat. (Hidden cheese is the thought here.)

Heat large pan over medium high heat. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Add burgers and cook for seven minutes on each side. (Time will vary by stove so do keep an eye on them.) Check for no pink when done--again, cooking times will vary by heat source and how thick you make the burger.

For the Plum Ketchup: Mix equal parts plum jam and ketchup.

To serve: Spread bun with Plum Ketchup. Put burger on, add a little more ketchup if you like. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Kate Middleton's Perfume

Quick! Raise your hand if you wanted to be just like Kate Middleton when she married Prince William on April 29th. Hands raised? Yeah, me too!

Alas, we all cannot be the new Duchess of Cambridge, but we can smell like her! Yes, it has been relased--much to the delight of CopyKates like me--that Kate wore White Gardenia Petals by Illuminum. Now it is not available until July in the United States from Lucky and is $140 a bottle. Okay, a little *steep* but I am I am with all things Kate...Carry on.

Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Okay so I have been rather distracted with the *Royal Wedding* (by the way, so happy the Duke and Duchess are on their honeymoon right now but I digress) so I am back and bringing you a delightful, light, refreshing recipe for Watermelon and Tomato Salad!

Now don't dismiss--yes it sounds incredibly weird--but the combo is really good together. Swear on my love of Kate & Pippa fashion it is true!

Watermelon and Tomato Salad

*Seedless Watermelon, cut into cubes
*Grape or Cherry Tomatoes
*Tomatoes of your choice, sliced (I used off the vine, but can be Roma, Heirloom, etc.)
*Herb Salad Mix
*Cherve Goat Cheese, crumbled
*1/4 cup Olive Oil
*3 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
*1 TBSP Agave Nectar
*Fresh cracked pepper

Make your dressing by whisking olive oil, vinegar and nectar in a small bowl. Set aside.

Arrange greens on plate. Add some watermelon, cherry tomatoes, and sliced tomatoes. Sprinke goat cheese over the top. Grind pepper over your salad. Drizzle some dressing over it and viola! Your salad is ready. Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Baked Eggplant over Arugula

Wow. The last time I posted was January? Holy crap...

But I am urged on by something I saw on Real Housewives of Miami (and don't you dare judge--that show is FINE entertainment!) Anyhoo, they were having a cooking lesson and the dish was a deep fried eggplant served with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella over a bed of arugula.

I knew I had to eat that. Now, since I'm not about to go to Miami, nor do I eat fried food, I had a quandry on my hands. But the quandry was solved by making my own breaded and baked eggplant and balsamic dressing and, if I do say so myself, I had a delicious dish on my hands...LOVE!

Baked Eggplant over Arugula

*One large eggplant, sliced
*One egg, beaten
*One cup Italian style bread crumbs
*1 tsp fennel seed
*Cooking spray
*Fresh sliced tomatoes
*Fresh mozzarella cheese
*1/4 cup olive oil
*3 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Preaheat oven to 375 degrees.

Put egg in one shallow bowl. In another shallow bowl, mix bread crumbs with fennel seed. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray.

Dip eggplant slice into the egg, then bread crumbs, turning to coat. Place on baking sheet. Once all your slices are on, spray with more cooking spray.

Put in oven. These will need to bake 30-40 minutes (depends on your oven) until they are golden. Flip eggplant and roate sheet halfway through cooking time.

Meanwhile, mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar together for dressing.

To serve: put arugula on plate, then layer eggplant, tomatoes and cheese. Drizzle dressing over the top and enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

FAB FIND: Fleur de Sel Candles

I have to give a big shout out to Williams-Sonoma. They have a new line of Fleur de Sel scented produts that are GREATNESS. I have the candle and it is so refreshing and subtle...LOVE LOVE LOVE! On my list: every other product in this line. In a word: Glorious.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

LOVE this red, that is. My girl Khloe looks FREAKING FAB in her new red hair! Well played, Mrs. Lamar Odom!!!