Archive | March, 2013

Fluffy Banana Pancakes!

18 Mar

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves 2 (double the ingredients for family-size breakfast)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp of vinegar (white or balsamic vinegar)
  • 2 tbsp of granulated white sugar
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp of butter

Preparation:

The Sour 2

1. Mix the milk, lemon juice, and vinegar in a medium-sized bowl – set it aside to “sour”

2. In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, sugar, and salt

Mushed banana 1

3. In a small bowl, mash your ripe banana

4. Combine the mashed banana into the dry ingredients, followed by the sour mixture

The batter 3

5. Mix batter lightly using folding motions with a silicon spatula to prevent over-mixing (It’s okay to be lumpy)

6. Melt the butter in a skillet on medium-low heat

Unflipped pancake 4

7. Spoon the batter into the skillet – let it cook for 2-3 minutes, allowing a few bubbles to form and pop – then flip it!

Browned Pancake 5

8. Allow it to cook for an additional 2 minutes on the other side – take a peek and see if it’s golden brown, if it is –  it’s done!

The Final product 6

Tip:

  • The acid from the lemon juice and vinegar will react with the baking soda to create gas bubbles – this will make the pancakes super fluffy! – If you’re worried about the pancakes being sour, don’t worry you can’t taste it at all!
  • I like to eat my banana pancakes with marshmallow fluff most of the time, instead of maple syrup. You can try other toppings like peanut butter, grape/strawberry jelly, or even the berry compote I made for the french toast from my last post!

Enjoy! :]

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Cinnamon French Toast with Warm Berry Compote

16 Mar

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices of bread (whatever bread you like e.g. wheat, rye, french baguette slices)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1 tbsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  1. Whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla in a medium-bowl then pour the mixture into a shallow dish.
  2. Put the tbsp of butter into a skillet at medium heat – don’t let it brown
  3. Dip one side of the slice of bread into the mixture and quickly flip it and soak the other side in the mixture
  4. Put the slice of bread into the the skillet – don’t move it or else you’ll rip the bread! Let it cook for about 2 minutes or take a peek under the slice and see if it’s golden brown
  5. Flip the slice of bread and repeat step 4
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 for each slice of bread

Tip: Add cinnamon to your liking as you dip slices. It all tends to stick to the first few slices.

Warm Berry Compote

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of frozen berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries)
  • 2 tbsp of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp of butter
  1. In a small sauce pan heat the berries, granulated sugar and water on medium-low heat
  2. Bring it to a bowl then reduce to a simmer for 2-3 minutes
  3. Add the salt and simmer for an additional 2 minutes
  4. Add the butter at the end to make the sauce glossy

Enjoy! :]

~Contributed by Damon McCullough 😀

Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with Rice, Carrots, Onions, and Chorizo

16 Mar

End Product

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Serves 4, or serves 2 super hungry people ;]

Ingredients:

  • 1 large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 cup of cooked rice
  • 4 oz. of case-less chorizo
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 medium-sized onion
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (optional – can substitute with chicken, beef, or vegetable stock)
  • 3-4 tbsp of butter
  • 1 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Cut the Spaghetti squash in half – most people cut it length-wise but I decided to be a little different (also because it was my first time making it) to cut it width-wise

Buttered Squash 1

3. Scoop out all of the seeds and fibers in the squash and spread the butter the on the inside of the squash and on the rim to prevent it from burning – set it aside.

4. Peel and dice the onions and carrots into bite size pieces – set aside

5. Saute the chorizo in a saute pan for a couple of minutes – set aside

Carrots and chorizo 2

6. Add the onions and carrots to the sautĂ© pan – add the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook for a couple minutes before adding the chorizo back in with it – sautĂ© for a couple of minutes. (I forgot about the onions so I sauteed them separately before adding it back into the rice mixture)

Deglazed Onions 4

7. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and scrape up all the delicious yummy bits at the bottom of the pan!

Rice Mixture 5

8. Place the veggie and chorizo mixture in a large bowl and mix it with the cooked rice

Into the Oven 6

9. Scoop the mixture into the cavities of the squash – pack it in! yum! (if they’re any left overs just put it in a ziploc container and eat it for lunch tomorrow)

10. Place it in the oven and set the time for an hour – after an hour, check the tenderness of the squash (you may or may not have to bake it for a little longer depending on how large your squash is)

11. Place a little bit of butter on top of the rice and bake it for an additional 15 minutes or until the top of the rice is golden brown and crispy!

12. Take it out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before chowing down!

End Product

Tip: The chorizo can be omitted to make it into a complete vegetarian dish! It can also be substituted with cremini mushrooms for a heartier taste!

Enjoy! :]

Garden Vegetable Omelette with Parmesan Cheese

15 Mar

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 of a red bell pepper
  • 1/2 of a small onion
  • 1 1/2 cup arugala
  • 1/3 cup of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp of fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp butter
  1. Whisk the 4 eggs together in a medium-sized bowl
  2. Cut up the red bell pepper and small onion into bite-sized pieces
  3. Melt the butter in a medium-sized saute pan and start sautéing the onion and red bell pepper for a couple of minutes before adding the arugula and adding salt salt and pepper
  4. Once the vegetables are cooked through set it aside on a plate
  5. Melt a little bit of butter in the pan again and add half of the beaten eggs in – add salt and pepper. Start swirling the eggs in the pan around on medium-low heat until it starts setting up but still runny in the center
  6. Next, add the sautĂ©ed veggies onto one side of the egg “crepe” and sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top
  7. Fold the egg over the veggies and sprinkle it with the cilantro and any left over parmesan cheese you might have
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 with the rest of the eggs

Enjoy! :]

Rosemary and Thyme Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

15 Mar

Prep Time: 30-40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour – 1.5 hours depending on size of chicken

Ingredients:

  • Whole chicken – cut into 8 pieces (1.5l-2lb)
  • 3 carrots
  • 3-4 potatoes (any type)
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbsp of rosemary
  • 1 tbsp of thyme
  • 1 tbsp of garlic powder
  • 1 tsp of cayenne powder (optional)
  • 2 tbsp of salt
  • 1 tbsp of pepper
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil or 2 tbsp of room temperature butter
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Cut the chicken into the 8 serving size pieces of chicken you usually find – 2 halves of the chicken breast, 2 thighs, 2 legs, and 2 wings
    1. if you need help butchering a whole chicken here is a link to to a video. If you want to cut the prep time in half you can just buy the pre-cut chickens
  3. Peel and cut the carrots and potatoes into 1/2 inch chunks and place them at the bottom of a 11″x 7″x 2″ baking dish
  4. Cut the onion into similar rustic sizes and place them at the bottom of the dish as well
  5. Toss the vegetables lightly with olive oil and sprinkle 1 tbsp of salt and 1/2 tbsp of pepper generously on the vegetables. Mix well
  6. Place the 8 pieces of chicken on top of the vegetables and rub it with the butter. The butter will give keep the chicken moist and give the skin a crunchy texture. Season the pieces with the rest of the spices! The cayenne powder is completely optional, it gives the chicken a really nice kick of heat without being overwhelming.
  7. Put it in the middle rack in the oven and back for about 1 hour (depending on size of chicken and heating of your oven). Check occasionally to see if the chicken is doing okay.
  8. After 1 hour, allow the chicken to rest and cool for about 10 minutes before cutting into it – the juices in the chicken will redistribute and keep it moist!
  9. If you like your veggies more crispy set the chicken aside on a plate and continue to roast the veggies for another 10-15 minutes

Tips:

  • I always like to roast vegetables along with a type of meat because the veggies create a nice bed in the baking dish for you to place the meat on top of. Any of the oil that drips from the meat, in this case chicken, will be mixed in with the vegetables and add extra flavor!
  • For an even healthier alternative, you can substitute the pieces of dark meat with only chicken breast

Enjoy! :]

Simple Breakfast Smoothie

14 Mar

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 4-5 ripe strawberries
  • 4 oz. chunk of tofu
  • 4 tbsp of plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4 cup of soy milk or almond milk
  • 1 tsp of honey (optional)
  1. In a blender combine all of the ingredients above and blend until smooth. An occasional stirring to help the ingredients blend together better might be needed. 

Tofu is a great source of protein,with 10.1 grams in only 4 oz. I use to make this ahead of time before I went to work during the summer. I made it at night before bed and put it in ziploc container in the fridge, ready for me the next morning! It’s also a great post-work out smoothie as well with protein to help build muscles that would keep me full for at least a couple of hours before I start munching again.

A lot of the ingredients are flexible and swappable with others such as mangoes, blueberries, and cherries. Also, if you’re vegan, the yogurt can be omitted!

Enjoy!

Crispy Tofu Fries

14 Mar

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 box of medium-firm tofu
  • 1 1/2 cup of flour
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup of panko bread crumbs
  • peanut oil
  1. Cut up the tofu block into matchstick size pieces, like how you would get your fries from a local fast food joint
  2. Put the flour onto one plate, the beaten egg on another plate, and the panko bread crumbs on another plate in that order! It’s an assembly line which will make the process of making tofu fries much faster and cleaner. I salt and peppered each step. You’re welcome to add any other spices such as curry powder or cayenne powder for that extra kick! I kept it simple since I was going to dip it in my sauce. nom!
  3. you want to make sure each side of the “fry” is coated well with flour, then egg, and the panko bread crumbs
  4. Heat the peanut oil in a shallow pan. I made sure the oil was about 1/2 inch thick. (I picked peanut oil because it has a higher smoke point)
  5. test the how hot the oil is with a little bit of the breadcrumb and see if it starts sizzling – once it is, you’re ready to put in the tofu fries!
  6. Put about 10-12 fries in the pan so it wouldn’t be overly crowded in the pan which can cause the oil to drop in temperature
  7. tofu is actually cooked already and can be eaten straight from the box (but it’s so bland),  therefore when you fry it you’re actually only making sure it’s heating through and the exterior is nice and crispy! – I fried it for about 3 minutes or until it’s nice and golden brown.

Dipping Sauce

  1. 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  2. 1/2 tsp salt
  3. 1/2 tsp pepper
  4. 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  5. 1 tbsp sriracha hot sauce

This is a great alternative to the other fries you might have had like zucchini fries or sweet potato fries! It’s packed with protein and fills you right up! Omnomnom!