Monday, January 31, 2011

Bedtime for blogger

Hey Folks, I am a total fail today. I wont go into details, but it was a crazy busy day, and I barely had time to pee. I mean dont worry I found time to pee, but not to make a meal to blog about.

I am going to bed after eating toast, an apple, and 3 pickles. Yes 3, they were SOOOOO good.

Tomorrow I will blog my lunch, and hopefully this week Ill find time to plan some yummy meals. You take ONE day off and the wheels come off the wagon.

Good news is Im craving steamed broccoli, perhaps that will be on the menu tomorrow!

Hope everyone is eating healthy tonight, aka NOT 3 pickles: )

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Quinoa

Well I did actually do some cooking this weekend, and for the first time I cooked BRUSSELS SPROUTS. Dun, DUN, DUNNNNN!
 I was sure I hated these little suckers until about a year ago when I had them at my favorite french restaurant. I was shocked at how good they were(it helped I was eating steak at the time, so I was a happy girl in general)
They are actually very easy, and delicious. They are also super good for you. They are high in Vitamin K, C, and A. They are great for detoxing your system and there have been studies done on the cancerous fighting agents in brussels sprouts. As always the worlds healthiest food site has much more info, here is a link: B Sprouts Yo

I like my brussels sprouts roasted, which is very simple to do. Last night I also made the meal I made last week with roasted butternut squash, but use Quinoa instead of pasta. For that recipe, see my previous post Roasted Butternut Squash Recipe, and just cook Quinoa instead of pasta.

The picture I have of the brussels sprouts are before they went in the oven, I forgot to get an after shot. Hopefully I will cook more this week, and can get better pics. Im pretty tired this evening, it was a long weekend, but wanted to at least put a little something up.
Have some fun meals planned for the week, post more soon!

Serves 5-6 as a side
  • 1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
2.Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Cut in half. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
3. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt  and serve immediately.
This recipe is based on how one of my faves Barefoot Contessa cooks them. Holy Moly do I love her! Ok folks, go get some sprouts and enjoy!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Home Cookin

Well first a confession. I have FOOD SINNED! Thats right, last night I was hungry, healthy boy was gone, and I caved and ordered pineapple pizza. Im not proud, and this morning my tummy is doing penance. It happens, but I really wish it happened less. My addiction to destructive food is so......well destructive. Not going to dwell, time to move forward.


I feel like the hungry caterpillar when he eats all the bad food, and gets a tummy ache. And then the next day he wakes up and eats a big green leaf and feels all better. Good thing I have my spinach and walnut salad today!

I will try to blog some this weekend, but I am going home this weekend, so may not be cooking much.

I will be eating a lot because home means my Mom will be cooking, and lets face it, nobody is a better cook than my mom. I mean YOUR mom might be better to you, but that because you are bias. I, luckily, am not bias, but my mom is still the best. In every way.

So folks, the weekend is often when we eat our worst, or at least I do, so lets keep those forks full of greens, local foods, and foods that are good for the planet!

Eat happy Live happy!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Spinach Salad with Toasted Walnuts

Ever eaten a walnut and thought, MY GOODNESS that is a toasty nut! Well this week I am eating salads again, with spinach and strawberries per usual, but I am also using walnuts this week. I discovered when you toast walnuts, and most nuts, they taste SOOO much better and are not any less healthy for you. Nut score!

The trick with toasting nuts is NOT TO FORGET them. Nuts can go from toasty to burned in minutes. This is not the kind of thing you should throw in the oven and forget about. Find something in the kitchen to do while they are toasting, because while a toasted nut gives you have a happy face, a burned nut is all frowney face.

Spinach Salad with Toasted Walnuts

Serves 1, increases as needed


2-3 cups baby spinach, washed 

2-3 medium strawberries, chopped

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted(See below)

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1-2 tablespoons Annies Balsamic Vinegrette(Be VERY careful with dressings, they can make a salad bad for you with just a flick of the wrist)

Place all ingredients in a bowl, putting the dressing on last. Toss and enjoy! 

I usually have a whole wheat english muffin or slice of toast with a salad, just to make sure Im getting some fiber.

Toasting Walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place walnuts on a baking sheet and bake 5-10 minutes. Cooking time may vary, I find a layer of nuts covering a baking sheet takes about 6 minutes, but I ere on the side of caution. They wont look any different, unless they are burned, I often taste mine to see if they are ready. The taste, well nuttier. You'll see!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Nothing glamourous tonight my dear readers(or possibly still just talking to myself). I have LOTS of leftovers, and the eco boyfriend gave me an important guilt trip about eating them and not wasting food.

I would love to figure out a way to make exactly how much I want to eat, because I hate leftovers and would much rather eat a pizza. I am a chronic thrower away of leftovers. There. I admitted it.

But waste is terrible, and my roommate has filled up the trash can twice in two days. It annoys me to no end to see a trash can full or recyclable material, so how can I throw away perfectly good food?
I cant. Dammit.

Will try to make something delicious tomorrow, but honestly I have enough leftovers for a few days.  Anyone want 2 day old potatoes and kale? Anyone?
You just let me know!
Keep on cooking healthy!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mango and Pineapple Smoothie

Well Ladles and jellyspoons my breakfast this week is a SMOOTHIE! So many people use these as a meal because they are filling and delicious. They are also 5-7 bucks if you buy them at a juice shop which I think is TOO ridiculous. Its frozen fruit Jamba Juice, lets be honest.

Buying frozen fruit is kinda expensive, but it keeps forever, so you dont have to commit to making them every day that week. Most of the other ingredients are things I buy every week regardless, like yogurt and bananas. You can always adjust to the ingredients that normally frequent your fridge.

I experimented with fruits I like, and instead of using milk or ice cream, I used fruit juice and yogurt. Its important you use a healthy juice that is made from real fruit, and doesnt have lots of added chemicals or HFCS(high fructose corn syrup). That adds crap that your body doesnt need. I love SIMPLY NUTRITIOUS morning blend, its expensive but full of yummy fruits and vitamins.

 I have a reusable cold beverage mug from starbucks, though now you can get them at Target or most places that sell coffee mugs. They are essential for carrying around cold beverages and eliminate any paper or styrofoam waste that happens when you get drinks to go. SA-WEET!

Look at the PRETTY colors, YUM!

Mango and Pineapple Smoothie

Serves 1
1/3 cup ice
1/3 cup frozen mango chunks
1/3 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1/2 banana
1/4 cup fruit juice, Simple Nutritious Morning Blend
3-4 tablespoons plain non-fat yogurt, I used greek b/c its super good for you
About a teaspoon of honey, just a squirt or two
Pinch of salt, helps bring out the flavor

Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until Smooth. Pour in a cup and enjoy!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Scalloped Potatoes and Kale

Kale Oh Kale, Why art though so intimidating?

 I pass you every time Im in the grocery store. I notice your deep green color and have heard tell of your ridiculously healthy value, but still I can never get up the guts to buy and cook you.

Well all that ENDS TODAY! I have prepared kale in a dish that is good for Kale beginners. Some of you brave folks may just want to dive right in and have a big plate of kale, but I find baby steps are the best way for me to start on new vegetables. I have tried having bites when boyfriend orders it a resturants, and have enjoyed it, sorta.

I want to love kale because it is SOOOO GOOD FOR YOU. It has tons of Vitamin A, K, and C. Its also high in magnesium and fiber, some say its better for you than Broccoli. (thats right Broccoli, youre good, but Kale is better) In general its good to eat a variety of leafy greens, and most people dont eat as much Kale as Broccoli so anytime you can get this nutritious vegetable in your belly, you should.
Lots more info on the world healthiest food site, read all about it: KALE 4 LIFE

This was a good main course, but would also make a nice side dish to a meat entree. If using as a main dish, add a side salad to round out the meal. You can taste the kale, but its not overpowering.

Here is what the kale looks like after its cooked and some prep work pics:

Scalloped Kate and Potatoes

Serves 3-4

1 pound fresh kale, OR 1 10 oz package frozen kale, thawed

5 medium large potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese, grated. I used a mix of cheddar and havarti b/c thats what I had.

6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into bits OR sub all or some smart balance. I used 3 tbsp real butter and 3 tbsp smart balance

1 1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt, I would add more if you are salty like me.... 

Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. If using fresh kale, thoroughly rinse it and shake out excess water. Pull the leaves off the steams and discard steams. Stuff kale into medium pot and add about 1/2 cup water. Cook on medium high heat until the kale just wilts, about 7 minutes. It will look bright green, similar to steamed broccoli. Drain the kale, and squeeze and remaining moisture with your hands. Roughly chop and set aside. (If using frozen kale, simply squeeze it dry with your hands and set aside)

2. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Butter a 10 x 10 x 2 inch baking dish or other large shallow baking dish. Spread half the potatoes slices on the bottom of the dish. Spread on the kale, then sprinkle garlic, half the cheese, half of the butter, salt and pepper. Top with remaining potato slices, cheese, butter, salt, pepper.

3. Carefully pour in the milk and gently shake the dish to distribute. Bake 50 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the top is nicely browned. Serve warm.

Based on a recipe from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures! Enjoy!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Deep Dish Apple Pie


Is this healthier than a box of oreos, YES MA'AM! But can you count this as heathy because it has fruit, I dont think so. In conjunction with eating healthier, I do allow myself one homemade dessert a week for several reasons. One if I try to stop eating sweets all together, I will crack like an egg and eat an entire bag of dark chocolate m&ms in one sitting. Two in learning about food there is a whole new world where cookies, cakes, and desserts are concerned, and they are fun to try as well, if just less often.

All that goes to say is everyone if different, if you have people to share a dessert with, they are great to make. Try not to make a pan full of brownies if its just you, because we all know what will happen. Empty pan, overly full person watching Buffy repeats and trying not to be sick from sugar overload. Its not just me right?

I had been craving apple pie for a while, and since my man was back in town I figured it would be a wonderful Saturday night treat.

Making apple pie from scratch is fairly easy, the crust is what is always a pain. I was a bad little new chef and used an organic pre-packaged crust because it was on sale, and I was lazy. Making your crust makes a big difference, and I was disappointed with the taste of my pre-made crust. Next time I will definitely take the extra time to make it myself. My crust also started to brown way before the pie was ready, so if that happens, just put aluminum foil over the top of the pie to prevent burning.

Based on the cooking goddess herself, Barefoot Contessa Family Style.

Deep Dish Apple Pie

Ingredients, makes one 10 inch pie. Serves 5-8.

4 pounds granny smith apples, peeled, cored, and quartered

Zest of 1 lemon

Zest of 1 medium orange

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice

1/2 cup sugar, plus a few pinches for the top

1/4 cup all purpose flour

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon allspice

2 ready made pie crusts, or homemade

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water, aka your egg wash

Pint of Vanilla Ice Cream, optional

Preheat the oven too 400 degrees. 

1. Cut each apple quarter in thirds crosswise and combine in bowl with zests, juices, sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. 

2. Place first pie crust on pie plate. If the crust isn't big enough, ball its up and roll it out on a floured surface. Do not try to stretch the crust to fit. 

3. On top of first pie crust add the apple mixture. Brush the edge of the bottom crust with the egg wash so the top will adhere. Top with the second crust and trim the edges so there is only an inch over hang. Seal your top and bottom crust using a fork or your fingers. 

4. Brush the entire crust with egg wash and sprinkle with a few pinches of sugar. Cut four or five slits, or make a fun design like I did!

5. Place the pie on a sheet pan, and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours, or until crust is browned and the juices begin to bubble. 

6. Serve warm, add a few scoops of ice cream if desired. (Hint, DESIRE IT, its SO GOOD!)

*NOTE: My crust browned way before my pie was ready, so be sure to check the time and that the juices are bubbling. 

Wheat Spaghetti with Buttnernut Squash

Saturday night meal! Thats what Im talking about!

Well Saturday was a night of wild and crazy cooking. My sweet boyfriend was in charge of dinner and I did dessert. He decided to cook with wheat berries, and after 2 hours of attempting to cook them, we gave up and made spaghetti.

Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels, so they are very rich in fiber. They are an interesting grain, but one I still have yet to try. We knew that they would take a while to cook, we just didnt know HOW long. (hint it was REALLY LONG) We had not soaked the wheat berries ahead of time in water, and they just would not cook. We tried different pots, adding more water, and in the end, the wheat berries won. I will try wheat berries again soon, and do some more research on how they cook best. One site said you can cook them for an hour and they will come out fine, but that was not our experience last night...

Luckily we did have a REALLY delicious meal, and whole wheat spaghetti made a great last minute substitution. Its very important in cooking to be persistent, but not to the point that you ruin your evening. Live and learn, and try again!

The squash and red onion are ridiculously good together, and the fresh tyhme makes this dish really memorable. The goat cheese also adds the perfect creamy texture, without overpowering the dish.
This is a GREAT elegant way to dress up ordinary pasta, use some winter vegetables, and feel very fancy.

This recipe is based on 101 Cookbook website, a beautiful healthy website, with some changes:


Serves 2, increase as needed

1/4 box of whole wheat pasta, or small handful 

1 1/2 cup butternut squash, diced into small even cubes

1 medium/small red onion cut into 1/8ths

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced 

3-4 tablespoons of olive oil 

1 tablespoon walnut oil, optional

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup goat cheese, garlic and herb preferred 

2 teaspoons sea salt


1. Preheat oven to 375. 

2. Toss squash, onion, thyme with 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and a few pinches of salt on a rimmed baking sheet. Put in a single layer on sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Toss the squash and onions every 5 minutes or so to get even browning on all sides. Remove when fork slides easily in squash, or taste for preference. I like my squash a bit softer, others enjoy it tougher, so the cooking time depends on how well you like your squash cooked.

3. While the squash is cooking, boil a large pot of water. Add spaghetti and cook as directed. 

4. Once both are ready toss in a large bowl with 1 tablespoon of walnut oil(or olive oil). Salt to taste if desired. 

5. Serve into bowls and add goat cheese to plates individually. If you are like me, controlling your goat cheese portion could prove difficult :)

This was a great meal on its own, but a simple salad and a quality french bread would round out the meal nicely and be appropriate if you are having guests. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mushroom Pie!


Well folks, finally I have cooked something besides toast this week! Sure its thursday and having healthy boyfriend back helps a lot with motivation. This is a very easy, healthy pie, and for mushroom lovers its a must. This probably goes without saying, but DO NOT make this pie if you dont like mushrooms. Its mushroomtastic! The cooking is fairly easy, but with prep it took me almost an hour and half. So if you can, cutting all your vegis ahead of time would be ideal. Its a fine meal on its own, but some mashed potatoes or nice bread would make a great side dish!

Mushroom Pie

Serves 4


1/2 tbsp on unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup cheddar, shredded

1/2 cup bread crumbs

2 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 medium onions, diced

1 cups broccoli, chopped

1 1/2 pounds(around 8 cups) fresh mushrooms, finely chopped

2 large eggs, beaten

3/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Dash cayenne pepper, add more if you enjoy heat

2 tablespoons unbleashed flour

1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter a 9-inch pie plate and sprinkle bread crumbs, covering the bottom and sides. This will be your simple crust.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, then saute the garlic, onions, and broccoli for 5 minutes.

3. Raise heat to high, stir in mushrooms, thyme, paprika, and cayenne. Cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until the juices have almost completely evaporated.

4. Sprinkle on the flout, stir to coat the mixture and cook 1 minute. Stir in the milk and salt and cook 1 more minute. Scrape into a large bowl and let cool until just warm. NEVER add eggs to a hot mixture, they will scramble and not in a good way :)

5. Stir in the beaten eggs into the mushroom mixure and spoon half of the mixture into into the pie plate, then sprinkle with half your cheese. Pour the rest of mixture in, and top with remaining cheese. Top with additional breadcrumbs if desired. Bake 30 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted in the sides of the pie or almost clean when inserted in center. Let pie cool for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spinach and Strawberry Salad!

Spinach, and Strawberries in Salad OH MY!

This week in my lunch box is SALAD. I had to take a break from the leafy greens last week, but now that delicious, nutritious spinach is back. 
One thing I have learned over the years is how the way you prepare vegetables makes a HUGE difference in the taste. I mean DUH, but still I always thought I hated spinach because I had only had it cooked. When I finally had it raw, I was like, HEY this stuff is tasty! It was a very nice moment, wish you could have been there..... I really prefer spinach to lettuce and mixed greens, its also healthier, but any leafy green is going to be filled with good stuff. 
Spinach is great because its filled with Vitamin K, Iron, Antioxidants, and all sort of ridiculously wonderful things. This site has detailed info about it, including cancer fighting properties!Spinach for LIFE!
This week Im having a super simple salad so use this recipe, or use any vegis you have on hand. Usually I try to eat whats in season, but sometimes in January and February Florida has wonderful strawberries, and Ingles had them on sale for the last two weeks. I have eaten at least three cartons this last week, I cant stop! With salads, there really is no end to the variety. 
Spinach Salad with Strawberries: Serving for 1

2-3 big handfuls of baby spinach, enough to fill a good sized bowl
3-4 small to medium strawberries, sliced
2-3 tablespoons of walnuts or pecans chopped
1 carrot sliced
A few dashes of Annies Organic Vinaigrette(Dressing is often what makes your salad bad for you, be very conscious of what dressing you buy and WHAT is in them. Annies is expensive, but trustworthy)

Throw it in a bowl, grab a fork and feel like a healthy bunny! Salads can be filling enough, though often a piece of toast or english muffin will help insure you dont get afternoon munchies. 

Monday, January 17, 2011

healthy lunch, dinner toast

Yo anyone who is reading. I had planned to make a mushroom pie tonight, but am feeling pretty yucky at the moment and will probably just have toast for dinner. Luckily I got whole wheat english muffins this week, so my dinner will be small but will be filled with nooks and crannies!

Week three not starting out like I hoped, but gotta role with the punches. I have been trying to exercise this sickness out, I think now its time to sleep it off.

Hoping Ill feel better tomorrow and can finally post a new recipe, bed by 9 tonight!
Oh yeah, early bedtime baby!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

BAD, BAD, Lysandra Brown.....

Well folks week number two was not NEARLY as successful as week number one. With super healthy boyfriend gone, I reverted back to my old chips for dinner ways. I can make excuses about how busy I was, and how the snow made me just want cheese, but really I need to find stronger internal motivation to cook healthy. There will always be excuses, but they may not always be trees!

Glad I kept up with the blog this week, though I was disappointed looking back at how little vegetables I ate. It was like the tale of how much pasta a person can eat. I made that alfredo sauce twice this week, it is DANGEROUSLY good.....

But NOT TO FEAR! I have a whole week of healthy things planned, and a kitchen full of delicious vegis including parsnips which I have never cooked with before, and a butternut squash which looks like a penis. I literally couldnt find ONE butternut squash that DIDNT look like a penis. Is that why it is called butterNUT? But that doesnt make sense, it should be butterpenis? Ahhh the things we think about and cant laugh about in the grocery store....

Anyway more to come tomorrow, will probably start the week with a mushroom pie! why pie? why NOT pie I ask you!?

Tonight Im watching the globes and ordering pizza. WHY? Because Im very very bad, and like eating pizza while watching skinny people accept awards they dont deserve and judging them on their offensively expensive outfits. Its the little superficial things in life....
Eat healthy out there yall!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The weekend junk attack

AHHH! When the super healthy boyfriend is away, the former junk food junkie will play! And by play I mean eat REALLY unhealthy.

All I want is pizza, fried chicken, and steak. OR FRIED STEAK PIZZA..... No on second thought, that is gross.

Im having a strange craving for pigs in a blanket, which I havent had in months, even longer maybe, but all I want are tiny little piggies wrapped in butter and flour.

Wish me luck, so I may choose the vegetable dinner not planned, if not I will be consuming all sort of terrible foods filled with chemicals and "meat product". Well no I would get quality hot dogs, I dont trust mechanically separated meat, I watch an Xfiles one time that scared the beef jerky out of my mouth forever.

Repeat after me: I will eat Broccoli, I will eat Broccoli, I will eat pigs in a bl.....AAAAHHHH DAMMIT, I will eat Broccoli.......

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


So one of the best and easiest ways to eat broccoli is to steam it. Broccoli is so good for you its kinda ridiculous, you just cant eat enough. I mean you CAN, but it would be hard. Check out this website, it has all sorts of wonderful info on broccoli and steaming: Healthy Broccoli Info!

 My super healthy boyfriend got me started on steaming and now Im hooked. Steaming broccoli is about the healthiest way you can eat it. Many dont know that the METHOD you cook your vegetables effect the nutrients you get from them. Its one of the reasons the raw food diet was started, though I would never advocate it. Go live with the bunnies if you want to eat like one. Though I learned when you boil broccoli, you lose a lot of nutrients in the water. Or if you saute it, you consume added fats from the butter/oil you use to cook it.

 If you dont like broccoli my advice is to just start eating it. I spent most of my life CONVINCED I hated the stuff, and after a few months of eating it regularly I find myself craving it. Of course not in the same way I crave goldfish, but Im getting more and more certain there is some sort of crack in those flavor blasted goldfish. I digress.

So to steam broccoli or most vegis, you do need a steamer. They are come in all sizes and colors(like people!), and I use mine all the time. A typical one looks like this:

Regardless of which one you have, they work about the same. Below are instructions on steaming Broccoli, though you can steam pretty much any vegetable you like.

Steamed Broccoli: Serves 2

2-3 cups Broccoli chopped

2-3 cups water

1. Fill a medium pot with around a 1/2 inch of water. Just enough to cover the bottom of the pot. Place on high heat and cook until boiling.

2. Place broccoli in steamer and place the steamer over the boiling water. Boil covered for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat when the broccoli is bright green, and a fork can be easily inserted. Serve hot.

If you are still having a tough time with the Broccoli taste, you can also saute it for a minute in some Braggs. This makes a great side dish to nearly anything. My boyfriend often has this and some brown rice for dinner, though I have not reformed THAT much from my junk food ways.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bagel Sammich!

I struggle a lot with healthy lunches. Something portable, delicious, and healthy. I have been known to eat 3 packs of fruit snacks and a bag of chips for lunch. Yikes! I always pay for my bad lunch choices, because by days end Im exhausted, hungry, and grumpy. And then that turns into not wanting to make a healthy dinner because Im so "tired" (really Im just hungry), so I end up eating 6 slices of facon and some goldfish. I go to bed feeling awful and the cycle continues.

So I have started planning my meals for the week, breakfast, lunch and dinner. Its more work at the beginning of the week, but having my meals planned saves me stress throughout the week, and I make sure to get the nutrients I need. My challenge now that I have been planning is that after I eat something for a week, I get sick of it and have to try something new.

Salads are great, but I usually need to take a break from them after a few weeks. So this week Im trying something new, a bagel sandwich. Im using vegis I like, but this is really flexible, so use the vegis you have or look nice in the grocery store:

Healthy bagel sandwich

Ingredients: 1 serving, increase as needed

1 whole wheat bagel(ALWAYS check the bagel label and make sure 1st ingredient is WHOLE WHEAT FLOWER)

A "smear" of homemade scallion cream cheese(recipe to follow)

2-4 slices of red onion

Handful of baby spinach

12-15 Capers(if you like them,  since Im a salt-aholic, these are my guilty pleasure)

Carrots, shredded

1 slice of tomato

Any other vegis you like


Making your own flavored cream cheese is super easy, and healthier because you dont get all the added chemicals most flavored cream cheese have. This should keep for 3-5 days, depending on your storage container.

8 ounces low fat or fat free cream cheese, room temperature

1/4 cup chopped scallions(2-3 scallions)

1 tbsp milk

pinch of salt then salt to taste.

Place cream cheese, scallions, milk, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade and process until smooth.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Healthier than typical Alfredo? Still not as healthy as it could be....

Well, week two is not starting out with as many vegetables as it should. Today is a snow day, and after a long day of playing in the snow I want something warm, creamy and delicious. I made this sauce with things I had on hand, and used frozen gnocchi. Making your own gnocchi is actually pretty easy, it just takes a while, and my house was lacking potatoes.

Though not as healthy as using tomato sauce, using half and half instead of heavy cream and some smart balance instead of all butter does eliminate some of fat. Not a good meal to have all the time, but its a sweet treat!

Pour this sauce over any pasta you have on hand, I love Alfredo Sauce with gnocchi, but we all have our faves. Steamed broccoli, asparagus, or green beans would make nice healthy additions.

Alfredo Sauce:
Serving size 2, increase as needed.

  • 2 tablespoons butter, OR 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp smart balance
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 
  • 2-3 tbsp grated cheddar, optional
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat. 

2. Add cream and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

 3. Add garlic and cheese and whisk quickly, heating through. Remove from heat, stir in parsley, add salt/pepper if desired and serve.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Week one

Things I love about my blog: That I actually am doing it! Even though Im not sure anyone is reading it, I am really encouraged to continue to eat healthy and find healthy cheap recipes.

Things I want to improve:
BE MORE HEALTHY!! I will always strive for desire to eat vegetables in the same way I desire pizza and goldfish. yummmm goldfish......See so hard. But I used to HATE all vegetables, and this week I ate a decent amount every day. Ill never be vegan or do the raw food thing, Im not a bunny, but I really hope to start craving the things that truly nourish my body.
The pictures. I am a terrible photographer and have struggled all week to take pictures that are half way decent. My wonderful boyfriend has been helpful in this, trying new angles or dishes, but its a struggle. But A picture is better than no picture, yes?

Ok, I must go prep my week of food, I will post my lunch this week soon!
Over and out.

Mac and Cheeese PLEASE!

So this is not the healthiest of recipes, but it feeds the soul in a way that almost no other food can. My mothers mac and cheese could heal the world, I truly believe that.
This is a variations on her dish, since she often changes the cheeses depending on what she has.
If you have never made your own mac and cheese, finish reading this recipe and then get in the car and buy the ingredients needed. On the way call your mother and see how she makes it, because I found most people prefer how there mom makes it. My mom happens to make the best, so I got lucky in that way :)
This recipe is straight from Martha Stewart, though I prefer Barefoot Contessas. The only thing I changed was adding 5 ounces goat cheese and 1 cup parmesan instead of gruyere, but again mac and cheese can be played with a lot. I also changed elbow macaroni to rigatoni, because thats the way my mom makes it. The rigatoni make little cheese pockets, SO GOOD!

Serves 12
6 slices good-quality white bread, crusts removed, torn into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for dish
5 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar
2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere or 1 1/4 cups (about 5 ounces) grated pecorino Romano
1 pound rigatoni
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish; set aside. Place bread pieces in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Pour butter into the bowl with bread, and toss. Set the breadcrumbs aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk. Melt remaining 6 tablespoons butter in a high-sided skillet over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, 1 minute.
2. Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
3. Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, 3 cups cheddar, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyere or 1 cup pecorino Romano. Set cheese sauce aside.
4. Fill a large saucepan with water. Bring to a boil. Add macaroni; cook 2 to 3 fewer minutes than manufacturer's directions, until outside of pasta is cooked and inside is underdone. (Different brands of macaroni cook at different rates; be sure to read the instructions.) Transfer the macaroni to a colander, rinse under cold running water, and drain well. Stir macaroni into the reserved cheese sauce.
5. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Gruyere or 1/4 cup pecorino Romano; scatter breadcrumbs over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Transfer dish to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes; serve.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Bake that POTATO!

Man oh Man do I love twice baked potatoes. This is an easy recipe that uses cottage cheese instead of sour cream or heavy cream so its a bit healthier. If you are like me, you hate cottage cheese, but in this recipe you cant really taste it but you still get all the nutritional benefits. Plus less cream means less guilt!   The potatos do take a while to bake, so its good to throw them in the oven right when you get home, or plan ahead so you dont end up eating at like 9pm, which I have done many times and ended up a hungry grump.
It a good sized meal, but steamed broccoli or salad would make a nice side dish.

Stuffed Potatoes with Cheese and Scallions. 

Ingredients: Serving for 2, increases portions as you increase potatoes

2 large baking potatoes, well scrubbed

1/2 cup cottage cheese

1 1/2 tbsp low fat milk

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese(fresh grated is ALWAYS better)

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese(or any cheese you like)

2 scallions, thinly sliced

Fresh ground pepper/salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400. Prick potatoes in a few places, place in oven and bake for an hour or until tender throughout, ie knife slide in like butter :)

2. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise and let cool for a few minutes. While cooling prepare cottage cheese mixture.

3. In a blender or food processor, combine cottage cheese and milk until very smooth(no lumps!). Turn off blender and scrape cottage cheese mixture into a large bowl. Stir in scallions, your cheese, and salt/pepper.

4. Scoop out flesh of potato leaving enough of a shell to hold the new mixture, about 1/4 inch. Mash potato pulp with fork, then stir into cheese mixture. Mix well, but should still be lumpy. Spoon mixture into potato shells and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top, if desired. Place potatoes on a cookie sheet and bake another 20 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.

This is a recipe that has lots of variations, so try some of your own!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Bragg about it!

I love salt. LOVE SALT. Cant get enough of it. I used to add salt to salt bagels but only when I was alone, because my best friend at the time would slap the salt out of my hand out of disgust. As she should have, I ate way to much salt, and still do. So I LOVE when I find something thats fufills my salt craving but isnt bad for me.
Which is why I want to tell you about Bragg Liquid Amino Acids. It tastes like soy sauce, but has less sodium and its actually good for you. Its great in stir fry, salads, soups, marinades, popcorn, really anything you want to add a little healthy flavor too. This is a picture of it, so you can look for it at the grocery store.


 Most chain grocery stores dont carry it, so your best bet is a whole foods or hippie type grocery store. This is a website where you can read about all of their products.

In tonights meal Ill be using some, so look out. I dont mean to Bragg......
And yes, I love puns, there is really no way of getting around it.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Zucchini, Tomato and Cheddar Pie

Zucchini, Tomato and Cheddar Pie:
This is a easy, delicious pie, that will satisfy your need for pie, but is still mostly vegetables. Serves 3-4, and can be served as a meal, but a salad or side dish would round out the meal nicely.  
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup bread crumbs (I prefer Panko, b/c they are generally healthier)
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium tomatoes diced and seeded
3 medium zucchini quartered lengthwise then thinly sliced
3 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
1 1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I prefer Cabot, its cheap, made in Vermont, and a great company)
3-4 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp fennel seed(optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Butter pie plate then sprinkle bread crumbs covering sides and bottom of pie pan. This will be your simple crust. 
2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute for 10 minutes, onions should cook down slightly. Stir in diced tomatoes and saute for five minutes. Raise heat to high. Mix in the zucchini, salt, pepper, and fennel seed(if using). Cook until the zucchini is barely tender, about 5 minutes. The mix will begin to stick to the pan. Remove pan from heat and cool for 5 minutes(this recipe can be prepared in advance at this point, and chilled for up to 24 hours. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.)
3. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in milk then stir in zucchini mixure. Pour half into prepared pie plate, top with cheddar cheese, then pour on remaining vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese covering the top and dot with remaining butter. 
4. Bake 30 minutes or until knife inserted comes out clean and the top is golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving. 
Total prep/cooking time about an hour. Cutting vegetables ahead of time will save you 20 minutes.
Based on recipe from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures. 

Rule of Thumb

One of the first steps on my road to recovery was the “rule of thumb”. Im not sure who deserves credit for it, perhaps Michael Pollan, but its fantastic. The premise goes never eat anything if the ingredient list is bigger than your thumb. Its a great rule if you are in a hurry and dont have time to read all the ingredients but want to attempt to eat well.
I have been doing it for over a year, and its amazing the amount of junk food I can rule out with my handy little digit.
Of course what is going to be better in the long run is reading ingredients and making a list for yourself of absolute no eat ingredients. Then when looking at an ingredient list you know the danger words to look for, and food to rule out. More to come on that in the next post.
 But in a pinch, use a thumb! 

A junk food-aholic attempts to reform

Since I can remember I have been obsessed with junk food. In high school I ate fast food every day. I am in my late twenties now and only in the past year have a really started to cook and enjoy the natural taste of vegetables. 
I want to eat healthy because it is good for the planet, and for my body. It is hard because the craving I have for junk food seems uncontrollable at times. People often have a sweet or salty tooth, I have both. Though salt might edge out in the end. I used to eat salt bagels and add salt. Not good. I know most people can relate to the desire to be healthy, but the desire to eat crap far outweighing, literally, the former.
In this blog I will attempt to cook healthy(mostly vegetarian) food that is also delicious. I will also try to use local ingredients and be very conscious of the food Im eating in general.
I want to learn and try to inform others of how you can eat healthy, and help save the planet. I also want to learn how to cook better, so I can treat food with the respect it deserves. 
OK lets eat!