Archive for May, 2011
My family and I just finished making the big move from Chicago to San Diego but before we left we visited our favorite Tapas restaurant for a farewell dinner one last time. It reminded me of the last time we moved from Michigan to Illinois and we stopped by my most favorite little hot dog joint – Yesterdog. Yesterdog was actually the inspiration to Dog Years in the American Pie movies. It’s located in Eastown, Grand Rapids and has been around since the 1970′s. They have the BEST, I repeat, THE BEST hot dogs in the world! Their special ‘chili sauce’ is so superb that you can actually grab a fork and dig in sans the hot dog! My favorite Yesterdog is the cheddardog – straight up chili and cheese – YUM! Now, Yesterdog’s chili recipe is closely guarded. No one knows the exact recipe so I’ve come up with my best impression. I must say, it turned out pretty darn yummy!
- 1 pound organic grass fed lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp yellow mustard
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 cup no salt added tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup Homemade Ketchup
- 1-2 tsp hot sauce (optional, tabasco works great here)
- 1/3 cup shredded cheese of your choice (optional)
- 8 hot dog buns (I used Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Hot Dog Buns)
- 8 hot dogs (I used Applegate Farms Organic Beef Hot Dogs)
- In a large skillet over medium high heat add ground beef and cook for 10-15 minutes until nicely brown. Drain meat and return to the skillet.
- Add the onions to the meat mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Stir in the mustard, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, tomato sauce, ketchup and hot sauce (if using). Mix well and reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 35 to 40 minutes. (Depending on your desired consistency you may want to add in a bit more vinegar if you’d like a thinner sauce.)
- To serve top each hot dog and bun with 1/3 cup chili sauce and a sprinkle of your favorite cheese.
Makes 8 servings.
Serving size 1 chili dog.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 388.5, Cal. from Fat: 134, Total Fat: 15.5g, Sat. Fat: 4.5g, Carbs: 38g, Fiber: 6g, Sugars: 1.5g, Protein: 25g, Sodium: 668mg, Chol: 59mg
Any leftover chili sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This chili sauce is also wonderful on top of a plate of tortilla chips, melted cheese and a bit of onion.
I have been on an all out citrus binge lately. I love the bright, crisp and refreshing flavor it gives everything. When I saw the lovely fresh shrimp at my local Whole Foods that were displayed this week I knew just what to do with them, Citrus Infused Shrimp and Rice. I had been watching Jamie Oliver make a salad dressing with a mock yuzu (a Japanese citrus) and thought I would use his trick of combining grapefruit, tangerine and lime to mimic the flavor of yuzu for this shrimp and rice dish. Yum. Thanks to Jamie for the mock yuzu trick.
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ground ginger
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 2 cups bok choy, thinly sliced *see notes
- 1 cup carrot curls or shredded *see notes
- 1/2 grapefruit, juiced
- 1 tangerine or orange, juiced
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- 1 pound peeled deveined uncooked shrimp
- 1 – 2 tbsp light miso (shiro miso), depending on taste
- 1/4 cup almonds, toasted
- 1 cup brown rice, cooked
- Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring for about 1 minute. Stir in the ginger and onion and continue cooking until the onion is soft.
- Add the bok choy and carrots. Cook until just tender about 1 – 2 minutes.
- Spoon the vegetables to a plate or other dish and cover to keep warm.
- In the same skillet add the juices and honey and increase heat to medium high. When the juice is simmering add the shrimp and cook 4 – 5 minutes or until the shrimp is done.
- Put the miso in a small cup or bowl and add a spoonful or two of the juice. Mix well. Add to the skillet. Turn off the heat.
- Add the vegetables back into the skillet with the shrimp.
- Stir in the rice (already warmed) and top with the almonds.
Makes 4 servings.
Serving size about 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 309.5, Cal. from Fat: 110, Total Fat: 12.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 26g, Fiber: 3g, Sugars: 8.5g, Protein: 22g, Sodium: 468mg, Chol: 165mg
To cut the bok choy into long thin ribbons cut off the white stalks and pile the green leaves on top of each other. Roll them up and cut thin slices. To make carrot ribbons, peel the carrot and then continue peeling long strips, rotating the carrot so the strips don’t get too wide.
Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
This recipe came about entirely by accident, and what a terrific accident it turned out to be. I had made a batch of Homemade Pizza Dough and planned on having pizza for dinner. When I went to get out the pizza sauce I realized I was out! I did however have most of the other ingredients and happened to have some Sun Dried Tomato Pesto. I had just bought a new baking pan that made little bundt cakes and thought it would be fun to throw all the ingredients into it and see how it turned out. These were so good that we ended up having them again for dinner the very next night!
- 1 batch Homemade Pizza Dough
- 1/3 cup pasture butter, melted
- 2/3 cup asiago cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup Sun Dried Tomato Pesto
- 1 1/2 tbsp oregano
- 4 green onions, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup marinara or pizza sauce for dipping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut the pizza dough into small 1 inch cubes and place in a large bowl.
- Add the butter, cheese, pesto, oregano, onion and garlic to the dough and gently combine.
- Transfer the dough mixture to either a 6 dish mini bundt cake pan or a large bundt pan.
- Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes for mini bundt pan and 30-35 minutes for large bundt pan. Serve with warm marinara or pizza sauce (optional).
Makes 6 servings.
Serving size 1 mini pizza.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 325, Cal. from Fat: 173, Total Fat: 22.5g, Sat. Fat: 10.5g, Carbs: 21.5g, Fiber: 2.5g, Sugars: 1.5g, Protein: 10g, Sodium: 505mg, Chol: 45.5mg
Any leftover pizzas can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave.
I need some comfort food! I don’t mean to sound whiny but sometimes your life just gets too crazy and you need to find a little comfort where you can. That’s what these Gnudi do for me. Whoever came up with that phrase ‘comfort food’ sure got it right. Everyone has their own food that brings them comfort and for me it usually involves cheese. I added spinach and cooked the gnudi in a tomato sauce to make them nutritious as well as comforting. Next time your life gets too crazy try a bowl of these gnudi and get your comfort on!
- 5 ounces baby spinach
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
- 1 container (15- 16 ounces) ricotta cheese
- 5 tbsp grated Italian cheese (I used a blend of Fontina, Asiago and Parmesan), divided
- 1/4 -1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, more or less depending on the moisture content in the ricotta
- salt to taste
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 tbsp basil
- 2 tsp oregano
- 1 can (15 ounce) pizza sauce
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place 1 tbsp olive oil in a large oven proof skillet and saute the spinach and 1 clove minced garlic on medium heat until the spinach is wilted. Spoon into a large bowl and let cool.
- In the same pan add the remaining oil and saute the cherry tomatoes, remaining garlic, basil and oregano until the tomatoes are soft and the skins are wilted.
- Stir in the can of pizza sauce and simmer on low.
- Add to the bowl of spinach the ricotta, 4 tbsp grated cheese and the salt. Stir to combine. Add flour a little at a time until you have a firm enough consistancy to be able to form the cheese mixture into little balls.
- Spoon a small amount (about a teaspoon or so) and form with your hands into a little ball about the size of a prune or date. It helps to keep your hands moist either with water or oil.
- Drop the balls into the skillet of tomato sauce.
- Sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of grated cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the gnudi are firm and the cheese is turning golden brown.
- Serve immediately.
Makes about 4 cups sauce and 30-36 gnudi.
Serving size 1 cup sauce and approximately 8 gnudi.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 337.5, Cal. from Fat: 167.5, Total Fat: 17.5g, Sat. Fat: 6g, Carbs: 20g, Fiber: 5.5g, Sugars: 4.5g, Protein: 16.5g, Sodium: 493.5mg, Chol: 38.5mg
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Oven Roasted Vegetables appear on my meal plan at least 3 times a week. In winter I roast them in the oven and in the summer I like to roast them on the grill. One thing is always the same though, if Sarah is around she will steal the onions! I decided to go all out with onion and roast the whole thing and stuff it with a delicious mixture of bread crumbs, spinach, mushrooms and cheese. This dish definitely has enough onion to satisfy all of us.
- 2 good sized Vidalia or other sweet onion
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup (packed) baby spinach
- 4 ounces mushroom, small dice
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp basil
- 1 tsp oregano
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup Homemade Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cut the top and bottom of the onions off and peel off the outer skin. Place the onions in a baking dish and drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil over the onions.
- Cover and bake for about 1 hour or until the onions are tender but not falling apart.
- Remove from the oven and let cool.
- Place the remaining olive oil in a skillet and over medium heat saute the spinach, mushroom and garlic until the spinach has wilted and the mushrooms are tender.
- Season with the basil, oregano, salt and pepper.
- Remove the center of the onions (I use two spoons inserted on either side of the onion) leaving about a 1/2 inch thick outer layer.
- Chop the onion centers and add to the spinach mixture.
- In a bowl mix together the breadcrumbs and the cheese (if using). Add the spinach mixture and stir to combine.
- Spoon the breadcrumb mixture evenly into the onion shells. There will probably be some left so just spoon it around the outside of the onions.
- Bake, uncovered approximately 15 minutes.
- Serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings as a side dish or 4 servings (each onion sliced in half) as an appetizer.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 207.5, Cal. from Fat: 124, Total Fat: 14g, Sat. Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 13.5g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: 2.5g, Protein: 7.5g, Sodium: 211.5mg, Chol: 0mg
The onions are best when served and eaten immediately. You can store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge but they will be slightly drier when eaten the next day.
For a gluten free meal make sure to use gluten free bread when making your breadcrumbs.
This is one of my top 10 all time favorite recipes. I’ve actually been making this recipe for many, many years now. The chicken is infused with garlic and the crispy coating adds the perfect crunch! You can use chicken tenders as well as any thinner piece of chicken to make this recipe. I’ll sometime get hand filleted chicken breasts and use them to make a chicken parmesan sandwich. Place a piece of the chicken on a bun and top with a piece of mozzarella cheese and marina sauce and you’re good to go!
- 1 pound chicken tenders (about 10 tenders)
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or Garlic Gold Oil
- 5-6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/3 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup whole wheat panko
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 tsp oregano
- sea salt
- In a small bowl mix together the minced garlic and olive oil. Set aside.
- Using a glass baking dish, line the chicken tenders up in a row and drizzle the olive oil mixture over top. Cover with lid and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 8 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl mix together the breadcrumbs, panko, cheese, oregano and salt. Pour the mixture onto a large flat plate.
- Remove the chicken from the fridge and lay each tender in the breadcrumb mixture then flip over to coat the other side.
- Place the tenders on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Half way through cooking flip the tenders over.
- Eat the tenders as is or enjoy with some Honey Mustard Dressing.
Makes 2 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 293.5, Cal. from Fat: 118, Total Fat: 13.5g, Sat. Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 14.5g, Fiber: 2g, Sugars: .5g, Protein: 30.5g, Sodium: 334mg, Chol: 76mg
Any leftovers are best stored by wrapping in foil and reheating in the oven.
If you’re having trouble finding whole wheat panko simply omit and double the amount of breadcrumbs. Wanna make your own breadcrumbs? Check out our Homemade Breadcrumbs for a flavorful alternative.
When it comes to salad dressing I’m usually an oil and vinegar kind of gal. But lately I’ve been craving honey mustard dressing and knew it would go perfect with the Crispy Garlic Chicken Tenders that I had planned for dinner. The best part of this recipe is that it’s only 3 simple ingredients! This is by far the best honey mustard dressing I’ve ever had! Enjoy!
- 5 tbsp raw organic honey
- 3 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and blend until smooth.
Makes 10 tbsp.
Serving size 1 tbsp.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 35, Cal. from Fat: 0, Total Fat: 0g, Sat. Fat: 0g, Carbs: 9g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 8.5g, Protein: 0g, Sodium: 72.5mg, Chol: 0mg
The dressing is also wonderful as a dip!
Leftover dressing can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 1 week.
For those vegans that don’t eat honey try substituting with coconut nectar.
My dad was a great gardener. While growing up Sarah followed her grandpa around the garden like a puppy dog eating anything he put in her hand. One of her first words was ‘oodie’ which started out meaning strawberry but turned into anything good from the garden. One of the first things harvested from the garden in spring was rhubarb. My mom makes a delicious rhubarb custard pie so I thought I would play with that recipe a little to clean it up so I can still enjoy this tasty treat.
4 cups rhubard (about 8-10 stalks depending on size), chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups raw coconut crystals, divided
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour, divided
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp pasture butter, softened
olive oil for greasing ramekins
Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease 4 ramekins with oil.
In a large bowl combine the rhubard with 1 1/2 cups coconut crystals, 1/4 cup of the flour and salt. Let sit 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In a small bowl beat the eggs gently. Add the vanilla.
Stir the egg mixture into the rhubarb until combined.
Spoon evenly into prepared ramekins.
In a small bowl stir together the remaining flour and crystals. Cut in the butter until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Spoon the crumbs evenly over the rhubarb filling.
Place the ramekins on a baking sheet (to catch spills) and bake for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 25 - 30 minutes more or until the rhubard is tender and the custard is set.
Makes 4 servings.
Serving size 1 cup.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 459, Cal. from Fat: 93, Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat: 5g, Carbs: 80.5g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 55g, Protein: 7g, Sodium: 152.5mg, Chol: 173mg
Store any leftover custard in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Those that know me know that procrastinate is my middle name. I’ve honed this skill over many years and I can even procrastinate procrastinating. Yes, it can be done, come over for an afternoon and watch as I procrastinate procrastinating the laundry. Yet just thinking about chocolate and peanut butter makes we want to sprint to the kitchen and whip up a super yummy dessert. Maybe if my husband covered the laundry in chocolate peanut butter fudge I would be more inclined to actually do it – maybe not, probably not, yeah, ain’t gonna happen. This recipe actually took form because my kids (I include my husband in that term cause if you knew him you would agree) kept asking for more of the ‘yummy pretzel balls” aka Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites. Unfortunately we were out of pretzels but I did have all the other ingredients. I make a few tweaks to the recipe and voila – peanut butter fudge was born! Now, I warn you, right now, that if you make this recipe and you take a bite it is REALLY REALLY REALLY hard to not eat the whole pan. And if you can resist eating the whole pan, the leftovers will call to you at night, pleading with you to have just one more square. And, in the morning when you open the fridge to have breakfast, they will tempt you into eating them – I speak from personal experience on this topic. Don’t say I didn’t warn you….
- 1 cup chocolate chip of your choice (I used SunSpire Grain Sweetened Chocolate Chips)
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter (You can also use almond butter, cashew butter or any type of nut butter you wish)
- 2 1/2 tbsp milk (I used oat milk)
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
- In a small sauce pan on low heat, melt the chocolate chips.
- Add in the milk, vanilla, salt and honey. Stir to combine.
- Remove the chocolate from the heat and stir in the peanut butter.
- Transfer the fudge to a 3 quart glass baking dish. You’ll want to press the fudge into the pan with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
- Place the baking dish in the refrigerate for 2 hours.
- Remove from the fridge and cut the fudge into 28 small pieces.
- Serve immediately and ENJOY!
Makes 14 servings.
Serving size 2 pieces.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 168.5, Cal. from Fat: 104.5, Total Fat: 11.5g, Sat. Fat: 2.5g, Carbs: 12g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 6.5g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 15.5mg, Chol: 0mg
Any leftover fudge (really, who are we kidding?!) can be stored in the fridge in a sealed container for a week. You can also freeze the fudge in a freezer proof container for up to 6 months.
To make gluten free fudge make sure to use gluten free chocolate chips.
Let me just start by saying I am not a huge fan of tofu so I would understand passing this recipe by if you feel the same way. However, if like me, you give this baked tofu a try it might change your mind. I think baking tofu changes everything I don’t like about it and makes it really good. This baked tofu recipe mimics lemon chicken and it pairs perfectly with the lemon quinoa.
16 ounces extra firm organic tofu
1 cup red quinoa
1 1/4 cups water
1 cup sugar snap peas, thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 tbsp low sodium organic tamari
2 lemons, juiced and 1 tablespoon zest
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp raw honey or coconut nectar
2 tbsp minced fresh basil
Fold a couple of paper towels into fourths and place on a cutting board or other flat surface. Place the block of tofu onto the towels and cover with another layer of folded paper towels. Place a cutting board or plate on top and then place a weight on top of the cutting board (a large can of something from your pantry will work fine). Let the tofu sit like this for 15 minutes.
In a small bowl whisk together tamari, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and honey. Add in the basil and green onions (reserve a few of the green pieces for the garnish). Set aside.
Once the tofu has been pressed cut it into 1/2 inch thick strips.
Place the strips in a large resealable plastic bag or shallow pan and pour half the marinade over them. Seal or cover and place in the refrigerator, turning over occasionally for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Transfer the tofu to a baking sheet and bake 25-30 minutes, turning over halfway through.
While the tofu bakes, heat water to boiling in a medium sized pan. Add the quinoa, cover and reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes add the peas to the quinoa and continue cooking for 5 minutes more. Remove from heat, let stand 5 minutes and then fluff. Add the remaining marinade and stir.
Once the tofu has baked, remove from the oven and cut into cubes.
Spoon 1/4 of the quinoa mixture onto a plate or bowl and top with 1/4 of the cubed tofu.
Garnish with the lemon zest and reserved green onion.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 324, Cal. from Fat: 150, Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat: 2g, Carbs: 23.5g, Fiber: 3.5g, Sugars: 6g, Protein: 10g, Sodium: 528.5mg, Chol: 0mg
Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.