Friday, June 29, 2012

Chewy, Spiced Brown Sugar Cookies

These cookies do not mess around.
They mean business.
They will hit your mouth hard (metaphorically speaking) with subtle spice and chewy texture.
How great is a big ole yummy cookie that is actually filling?
Pretty great, if you ask me.
This good looking, and whole grains to boot.
You just can't beat it.

Chewy, Spiced Brown Sugar Cookies
makes 1 dozen

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg

Topping: 1/2 tbsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp white sugar

Mix all your dry ingredients and set aside.  Mix the butter, sugar, egg and vanilla in another bowl and combine with dry ingredients.  

Scoop out the dough with a cookie scoop and drop it in the topping and get some on both sides of the ball.

Bake for 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

slightly adapted from Joy the Baker

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

WIAW: Stuffed Zucchini

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast Numero Uno: Gross Bar
I have one word to describe this bar~EWWW.  Well, I guess I'll describe it further.  It tasted like prunes (which are not bad on their own) with some artificial peanut butter and chocolate flavor.  Blech.  I managed to choke down half before my 5 a.m. boot camp workout.  Never again, Odwalla.

 Breakfast Numero Dos: Salmon & Egg
My second breakfast was a wheat bagel thin topped with a Laughing Cow garden vegetable cream cheese wedge and 1 scrambled egg with smoked salmon.  So flavorful and protein-filled (about 25 grams).  
I made a special iced coffee today, mimicking Tina's Peanut Butter Wonderful Iced Coffee.  I made a few changes, though.  Here's how I made it.
In my big mug, I put 1 tbsp cocoa, 3 sweetener packets and a few drops of vanilla extract.  I then brewed (straight into the mug) some super strong peanut butter cup coffee.  I stirred it up and let it cool while I got ready.  Then I poured it over ice and added almond milk.  Oh so delicious.

Mid Morning Snack: Yogurt
Nothing too exciting for snack today, but it is sensible for sure.  I had a blueberry Greek yogurt to hold me over until lunchtime.

 Lunch: Fancy Lunch-able
I made a fun bento box lunch today containing: 1 thick slice of deli ham, 2 slices of Swiss cheese, some Special K crackers/blueberries & strawberries/cucumber slices with red pepper hummus.  You gotta admit, this is more exciting than just having a sandwich for lunch ;)

 Afternoon Snack: Banana
Ok, I am being a little goofy today.  Overcompensation for tiredness, maybe?  Well, after pretending like I had a banana smile, I peeled and ate this banana to get my potassium on (helps with muscle cramping, y'all). 

Dinner: Stuffed Zucchini
You know dinner was really good when this was the best picture I could get before this was gone.  Well, actually I just ate one, because they were so filling!  I stuffed 4 zucchini halves with 1 egg, 1/4 c parmesan, 1/4 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, ground turkey and some spices.  Then I topped it all with a little mozzarella and baked them on 400 degrees for 25 minutes.  Yum!

Of course, that was followed with a little of this...

In case you missed these, here's some yums from this past week:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

Gosh, pop music is cheesy.  Does anyone else totally analyze it like I do?  Well, I guess that doesn't stop me from listening to it.
It does leave me with some questions, though.

Are we supposed to really believe that a certain girl in One Direction's song doesn't know she's beautiful?  I mean, seriously.  She flips her hair and heads turn when she walks by.  I think she has some sort of idea.

Ok, and Biebs, I gotta ask you how exactly you are like Buzz Lightyear when you fly your hypothetical girlfriend all around the globe?  I mean, Buzz is a toy.  I don't guess I saw the 3rd Toy Story, so things might have changed with Buzz and maybe he flies his dates around the globe.  It seems to me that he has more pressing matters, like not getting sold or donated with the other toys.

I'm thinking Carly should maybe drop the "maybe" in her song, Call Me Maybe.  It's confusing.  Do you want him to call you or not?  I'm thinking you do.  Don't confuse the poor dude that you just met.

And did you guys know that Starships were meant to fly?  I really had no prior knowledge of their function prior to this song.

So, what does this have to do with enchiladas?
I'm going to make that connection with cheese.  Pop songs are cheesy and so are enchiladas.
But enchiladas have more staying power.
They just make sense.
So grab some healthy ingredients and get crackin'.
A whole wheat corn tortilla?  Yes, please!
Sweet potatoes and black beans are now soul mates.  Sweet potatoes take black beans and fly them across the globe.  It's an intensely delicious relationship.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas
serves 4 

1 1/2 medium sweet potatoes
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
2 oz goat cheese
2 tsp fajita seasoning
salt to taste
1 can red enchilada sauce
1 cup shredded white cheese
8 corn tortillas

Cooking your sweet potatoes is your first step.  I'm impatient, so I poked them with a fork, wrapped them up (in plastic wrap) and microwaved them.
Then take the peel off and smash 'em a little.  Throw in the black beans, fajita seasoning, salt and goat cheese.
Heat up the tortillas (again, with the microwave) and then start assembling.  Put a big spoonful or two of the filling into each tortilla, wrap them up and place them in a greased 9x13 pan.  Top with enchilada sauce and shredded cheese.
Bake for 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
Top them with avocado, sour cream and pico de gallo for a whole lotta awesome on a plate.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer Orzo Salad

Hooray for summer!

Hooray for quick and light summery dishes!

This one is a winner, you guys.  Make it for a quick dinner (it literally took me less than 20 minutes to throw it all together) or take it to a summer party.  The fresh produce and creamy, rice like pasta come together for a flavorful meal.

Summer Orzo Salad
serves 4 (as a side dish)

1 cup orzo pasta
1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 ear of grilled corn (or charred over an open flame, then microwaved in the husk for 3 min.)
1 cup grape (or cherry) tomatoes, quartered
1/2 avocado, diced
2 oz crumbled goat cheese
2 tsp olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
optional--fresh basil (6-8 leaves, chopped)

Boil orzo according to package directions (usually 6-8 minutes).  Throw the spinach into your colander and pour the pasta over it to both drain the pasta and wilt the spinach (2 birds. 1 stone.).  Then you can let it cool a bit, or run some cold water over it for a minute.  Combine all the rest of the stuff and mix it on up.  Serve at room temperature or refrigerate and serve cold (good either way).  Yep, it's that easy.

Have a nice weekend!

If you are looking for a quick dessert that would be perfect following this, check out my 1 Minute Sea Salt Chocolate Cherry Cake at Endless Simmer. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WIAW: Grilled Portobello "Burger"

Hi, people!  Happy first official day of Summer!

I apparently took an unscheduled vacation from the blog (a blog-cation?) last week.  It was just one of those weeks.
I was feeling guilty about not posting, but then I remembered that I blog because I like it.  It's not a job or an obligation, so I guess I shouldn't beat myself up about it too much ;)

On to the food!

Peas and Crayons

Breakfast, Part 1: PB English Muffin

Ok, so I went to take a picture of my half an English muffin with some banana peanut butter (that I ate before my workout) and my camera battery was dead.  It turns on in my purse sometimes ;) I charged it while I was at boot camp.  So, imagine that this plate has half of a toasted PB English muffin!  I grabbed this PB sample at Target this week.  At first, it kind of tasted sort of like artificial banana flavor, but after the first bite, it was pretty good.  Only 110 calories for the whole pouch, so that's not too shabby.  I ate half of the pouch.

Breakfast, Part 2: Spinach Omelet

My second breakfast was a spinach omelet and the other half of the English muffin.  I made my omelet using 1 whole egg, 1 egg white and 1 cup of fresh spinach.  I also had an incredibly fantastic iced coffee using my peanut butter cup coffee!  

Mid Morning Snack: Fruit Smoothie

While I was preparing breakfast and getting my lunch together, I thought I'd make a quick smoothie in a mason jar to pack for my morning snack.  I threw 1/2 a cup of frozen strawberries, 1/2 a frozen banana, 1/2 scoop of vanilla protein powder & some almond milk in the jar and blended it up.

Lunch: Salad, Carrots, Goldfish & Hummus

I didn't feel like washing my bento box this morning (so lazy!), so I grabbed a sectioned Ziploc container and made a salad.  I like how it has a large section that is perfect for salads!  My salad contained spring mix, fresh corn sliced off the cob, pico de gallo and a leftover, grilled turkey sausage. On the side I had some baby carrots, pretzel Goldfish & Greek hummus.

Afternoon Snack:  Cottage Cheese

My sensible afternoon snack included some Quaker Oat Squares cereal (cinnamon flavor) and a 100 calorie cottage cheese pack with pineapple.  That should hold me over until dinner!

Dinner:  Portobello Burger, Veggie Hash 
For dinner I made some big ole portobello mushroom burgers on the grill.  I love when I get the cross hatch grill marks!  Served with a side of veggie hash, it was such a filling and yummy meal.

Grilled Portobello "Burger"
serves 2

2 portobello mushrooms

3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
5 leaves fresh basil (or 1 tsp dried basil), chopped

salt & pepper

Wipe off the mushrooms with a damp paper towel and remove the stems.  Mix the marinade together and pour over the mushrooms.  Let it marinate for about 30 minutes.  Salt and pepper the mushrooms.
Heat grill to medium high heat and grill for about 5 minutes on each side.

The mushrooms kind of have a burger like taste, but the consistency is more mushroom-y.  If you have never tried it, I'd recommend it.

I topped mine with red peppers and goat cheese and served it on a toasted English muffin.  I also served it with a side of veggie hash.

Dessert:  Wine!
I enjoyed a lil' glass of Riesling to top off a good day of eatin'.

Want more?  Check out some more What I Ate Wednesday posts:
WIAW #10 (last week's)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

WIAW: Spinach, Feta Turkey Burgers

Before I start What I Ate Wednesday, I gotta give a shout out to my little brother who turns 28 today!
This was last year's birthday at the best Mexican restaurant in town.  He doesn't normally wear a sombrero.  My bro is definitely on my list of my top 5 favorite people.  He is super fun and awesome.  Definitely a great brother.
Happy Birthday, DJ!  I hope you have a great 28th birthday!

Ok, let's talk about food stuff now!
Peas and Crayons

Breakfast, Part 1: Rice Cake
This caramel rice cake with almond butter was consumed at 4:45 this morning (Tuesday) before a very challenging boot camp workout!

Breakfast, Part 2: Egg & Avo Sandwich
It was pretty cloudy today, so I guess my pictures are gonna be less than top notch.  Oh well.  For breakfast's main event, I had a toasted whole grain English muffin topped with half of a sliced avocado and a fried egg.  I smushed it all together to make a dippy egg sandwich delight.
I also had some Trop50 orange juice & the most delicious coffee!
Here it is, y'all.  Normally I would not spend $11.99 (seriously, Fresh Market, what are you thinking?) on coffee, but for peanut butter cups, all bets are off.
This coffee is super delicious!  The peanut butter flavor is very subtle, but it is decadent and totally worth the large price tag!  {weird coincidence: June 12th is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day!  I guess I celebrated with peanut butter coffee ;)}

Mid Morning Snack: Cottage Cheese Single
This is a Breakstone's 100 calorie Cottage Double, strawberry flavor.  It is a little snack pack of cottage cheese and some strawberry preserves.  I like to grab these at the store for on the go snacks.  My favorite is the pineapple (but they were out at the grocery store this week)!

Lunch: Wrap, Fishes & Cherries
Today's bento box lunch included: turkey, cucumber, spinach & hummus wrapped up in a high fiber tortilla, whole grain Goldfish crackers & the last of my fresh cherries.

Afternoon Snack: Almonds & Apple
I know you have seen this "sensible snack" a time or two from me ;)  It's a great afternoon pick me up!

Dinner: Spinach, Feta Turkey Burgers w/ Sweet Potato Fries & Veggies
I felt like I already had more carbs today than intended, so I just had half a wheat bun with my turkey burger.  I paired it with some Ore Ida sweet potato fries (ooh, more carbs) and some baby carrots.  Two orange sides ;)

I originally posted this recipe over at Endless Simmer (see original posting here), but I'm totally going to give it to you now.  No clicking necessary ;)

Spinach & Feta-JalapeƱo Dip Turkey Burger
serves 4
1 lb ground turkey (I used 93% lean white meat)
half a batch of feta dip (recipe below)
3-4 handfuls baby spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp egg substitute
Saute baby spinach in an oiled skillet until wilted. Combine half of feta dip, sauteed spinach, breadcrumbs, egg and ground turkey and form into 4 patties. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Cook over medium high heat on the grill or in a pan (about 4 minutes on each side).
If you are grilling these turkey burgers, oil the heck out of the grill grates with a folded paper towel dipped in oil and held with grilling tongs. These burgers tend to stick a bit.
Feta Dip
makes 1 cup
adapted from How Sweet It Is
1 brick of feta cheese (8 oz)
1 whole jalapeno pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
the juice of 1/4 a lemon
the zest of 1/4 a lemon
salt & pepper
Mince garlic & jalapeno (after seeding) & saute it in a skillet with some olive oil.
In a bowl, crumble the feta brick, add all other ingredients and mash to combine.

Dessert: Crispy French Toast Roasted Strawberry Shortcake
I created this dessert recipe for my Endless Simmer post this week.  It's not up yet, so keep an eye out.  I taste tested this and ate about half.  It was supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  In other words, it rocked.  [Update: recipe posted here]

'K, have a great rest of the week, everyone!

Want more?  Check out some more What I Ate Wednesday posts:
WIAW #9 (last week's)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Boston Cream Pie Shooters for Dads

If there is one dessert dads love it is totally Boston cream pie.  I mean, what's not to love?  It's like a trifle of deliciousness.
All the necessary ingredients for yums.
Here's me and my Dad!
He's not much into sweets, usually.  So for Fathers' Day this year, I'm going mini.
These little shooters give you the perfect bite of sweet after a lovely, grilled meal ;)
Did I mention they are the most easy dessert ever?

Boston Cream Pie Shooters 
makes 6 mini desserts using 3 oz shot glasses (found mine at Pier 1)

Vanilla pudding mix
1 cup milk
Sponge cake
Chocolate chips
Heavy cream

Sorry, I didn't really do any measurements.  Also sorry I did not add another layer of chocolate ganache.  It would have been more visibly appealing.  Oh well...

Ok, so make your pudding using 1 cup of milk, instead of the 2 it calls for.  This will make it thicker and more custard-like.  Make your chocolate ganche by putting a glass bowl over a pot of water (where the glass bowl sits inside the pot and the bottom of the bowl touches the water--this is called a double boiler).  In the glass bowl, throw in some chocolate chips.  I maybe used 1/2-3/4 cup.  Put about a tablespoon of heavy cream (or use milk) in the chocolate chips and heat the pot to medium heat.  Stir until melty, adding more cream if needed to make it silky and smooth.
Use the shot glasses to cut out some pieces of sponge cake.  Layer the cake, pudding and ganache in the shot glasses & serve to your impressed daddy (or whoever).

Happy {early} Fathers' Day, Dad!  Love you a bunch!