Archive for May, 2012
Lately, I’ve been going through a pea phase. I’ve been buying up sugar snap peas by the pound and adding them to every meal I made. They are by far one of my most favorite vegetables. Right now they are blooming in our garden and there was no way I could pass up making a delicious meal with them.
While my favorite way to eat peas is fresh out of the garden, sometimes I like to change it up a bit. By searing or sautéing the peas, their vibrant green color pops even more and you are still able to maintain some of the crunchiness. When I made this recipe I meant for it to be a side dish but it was so yummy that I ended up eating the whole thing! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pound sugar snap peas, strings removed
- 3-4 green onions, diced on an angle about 1/2 inch long
- sea salt
- black pepper
- fresh lemon juice (optional)
- Heat a large sauté pan on high heat for about 1 minute. Add the oil and let it heat for about 1 minute or until it is hot.
- Add the peas to the pan and toss to coat. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and toss again. Cook, untouched, for 1 minute.
- Add the green onions and toss to combine. Let cook for 1 minute. Toss and cook again, undisturbed for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and season with a some freshly ground black pepper and a squirt of lemon juice (if using).
Makes 4-6 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 71.5, Cal. from Fat: 42, Total Fat: 4.5g, Sat. Fat: .5g, Carbs: 5g, Fiber: 0g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 0mg, Chol: 0mg
This dish is best when eaten right away.
Years and years ago I used to waitress at a Mexican restaurant. A lot of the food was made fresh daily inside the kitchen. The customers always used to say that we served the best refried beans they had ever tasted – if only they knew how easy they were to make! I don’t know why I waited to so long to share this recipe with you but better late than never! Once you eat homemade refried beans you’ll never go back to canned again. There are so many yummy uses for refried beans – tacos, burritos or one of my favorites – dip! Enjoy!
- 2 cups dried pinto beans
- 5 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- sea salt
- 1/4 cup safflower or olive oil
- Place all the ingredients in your slow cooker making sure that you have enough water or broth to cover your beans by a few inches.
- Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 5-6 hours.
- Once the beans are fully cooked and tender you can mash the mixture (a potato masher works great) to your desired consistency.
- Taste and season with additional salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve with your favorite tortilla chips or whip up some of our favorite bean inspired dishes – Baked Nachos, Layered Bean Dip, Taco Salad and Enchiladas with Homemade Sauce.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 290.5, Cal. from Fat: 87, Total Fat: 10g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 39g, Fiber: 12.5g, Sugars: 1.5g, Protein: 12.5g, Sodium: 84.5mg, Chol: 0mg
How do you like your brownies? Soft and cake-like or gooey and fudgey? I love a good ooey-gooey fudgey brownie. No cake like brownies for me. I have tried so many variations of brownie recipes recently that I have lost count. While they all taste good they end up dry as desert sand or crumble into a million pieces before even reaching my mouth. I had given up trying when I was browsing through my recipe file and came across chocolate pumpkin muffins. The muffins were moist and held together perfectly so maybe if I used pumpkin in my brownie recipe I could get the same results? But, while I love pumpkin it didn’t seem right for brownies and then I thought of sweet potatoes. Oh sweet chocolate success! They turned out perfect and don’t worry if you have vegetables objectors in your family who think they don’t like sweet potatoes, they will never know unless you tell them. Otherwise, it’s just between you, me and the mixing bowl.
- 2 tbsp ground flax seed
- 1/3 cup non-dairy milk of your choice
- 1/2 cup raw coconut oil, plus a little to grease a baking dish
- 1 cup chocolate chips of your choice, divided
- 1 cup cooked sweet potato, mashed (about 1 large potato)
- 1/2 cup raw coconut crystals
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8 x 8 glass baking dish. If using a dark non-stick metal pan reduce heat to 325F.
- In a small bowl mix the flax and milk. Set aside.
- In a large bowl (or double boiler if you prefer) add the coconut oil and 3/4 cup of the chocolate chips. Melt in the microwave (or on the stove), about 30 seconds or until completely melted. Stir to combine.
- Add the mashed sweet potato and the coconut crystals. Stir until well mixed and then add the flax mixture and the vanilla. Stir until combined.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until all the flour is incorporated.
- Stir in the walnuts and remaining chocolate chips.
- Pour into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly.
- Bake 20-22 minutes or until the edges are firm. The center will still look shiny and be slightly soft. Don’t over bake. Remove from the oven and cool completely before cutting.
Makes 16 servings
Nutritional information not available as it would depend on the milk and chocolate chips used.
Store leftovers wrapped tightly or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days if they last that long! I actually like the brownies best out of the refrigerator the next day because they are almost like fudge but if you prefer you can leave them at room temperature for 10-15 minutes or microwave for a few seconds before serving.
I could talk about how I like this recipe because of the nice balance of flavors with the bite of arugula, the sweet oranges combined with the creamy millet. Or I could talk about how eating this makes me smile to think I’m eating bird seed and how I’ve become a Euell Gibbons of sorts (for those of you too young to know who I’m talking about he was a naturalist that appeared in Grape Nuts commercials in the 70′s eating anything from pine trees to cat tails). But really, it’s much simpler than that. I like it because it just tastes good. If you are looking for something new that’s clean and refreshing and has a delicious variety of flavors give it a try yourself. Who knows what you might find yourself eating next?
- 1 cup millet
- 4 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 oranges, cut in supremes and 5 tbsp orange juice *see notes (click here for instructions on how to supreme citrus)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup asparagus, green beans or snap peas cut into 1 inch pieces and steamed or blanched
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, minced
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 2 cups baby arugula, chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts, chopped
- Place 1 tbsp of oil in a 2 qt sauce pan over medium high heat. Add the millet and cook stirring often for 4-5 minutes until the seeds start smelling toasty and turn a little darker color.
- Stir in the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.
- Add 1 tbsp orange juice and the boiling water. Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes or until tender and the water has been absorbed. Transfer the millet to a large serving bowl. Set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk together the remaining 3 tbsp oil, 4 tbsp orange juice, balsamic vinegar, basil and salt.
- Add the asparagus, orange pieces, arugula and pecans to the bowl with the millet.
- Add the dressing and gently toss.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
Makes approximately 8 servings.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 212.5, Cal. from Fat: 91, Total Fat: 10.5g, Sat. Fat: 1g, Carbs: 27g, Fiber: 4g, Sugars: 5g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 122mg, Chol: 0mg
When cutting the oranges be sure to cut them over a bowl to catch all the juice. Once the segments have been cut out squeeze the pulp to get all the juice. There should be enough juice for the recipe by doing this.
Store leftovers in an airtight container for 1-2 days.
Yup, we finally did it. We joined Pinterest. I know we are a little late jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon but better late than never, right?! We still have lots more stuff that we will be ‘pinning’ but in the meantime we’d love to share with you what we have so far. You can find us here - http://pinterest.com/TheNakedKitchen/
Now, we’ve only just begun but we’re sure there are some ‘pinning’ experts out there that can give us a few tips and tricks. We’ve heard it can be addicting… How bad can it be? We’ll be fine, right?
While working on a recipe recently I needed lima beans and was having a hard time finding them. I looked at 3 different stores and finally decided that I was going to have to make a substitution. I settled on fava beans. I don’t think I had ever had fava beans before but I ended up loving them. They are plump and nutty tasting. I was so taken with them that I started looking for other recipes to make with them. I came across Ful Medames, a traditional Egyptian dish and thought it looked good since many of the ingredients were nearly identical to one of my favorite dressings. For Ful Medames you mash the beans into a spread but I didn’t want to mash the beans so I added a few additional veggies and made a bean salad. Fava-licious.
- 1 can (15 ounces) fava beans, drained
- 1 medium cucumber, diced
- 1 small red onion, diced
- 2 medium-large tomatoes, cored and diced
- 1 batch Sesame Dressing
- 1 cup cooked barley or quinoa (optional – see notes)
- Combine the first 4 ingredients in a bowl.
- Prepare the dressing as instructed.
- Pour the dressing onto the bean mixture and stir to combine.
- Serve at room temperature or chill for 15-20 minutes before serving.
Makes 4 servings
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 290, Cal. from Fat: 148, Total Fat: 17g, Sat. Fat: 2.5g, Carbs: 27g, Fiber: 9g, Sugars: 7.5g, Protein: 12.5g, Sodium: 477mg, Chol: 0mg
To make this salad a meal with complete protein add 1 cup cooked barley or quinoa.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
While I’ve definitely been showing the blueberry some love lately, I’ve actually been going through a phase with other fruits as well. Strawberries, apples, grapes, bananas – I’ve been craving them all. Years ago when my husband and I were on our honeymoon we had brunch at a small little cafe in downtown Waikiki. I had the most amazing french toast but even better was a fruit salsa they served with cinnamon sugar tortilla chips. They used fresh, in season fruits from the island and it was so unbelievably delicious that I licked the bowl clean! So what better way to indulge my fruit craving than with some homemade fruit salsa? My daughter had a friend over to play and they both had this for an afternoon snack and loved it too. This is a great dish to make for a potluck or get together. You can easily customize it to your tastes and use the fresh seasonal fruits that are available in your area. Enjoy!
For the fruit salsa:
- 1 pound strawberries, tops removed and diced
- 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
- 1/2 pint blueberries
- 1 apple (a sweet variety like fuji, honey crisp or gala works well), cored and diced
- additional fresh fruit of your choice
- 3 tbsp fruit juice sweetened jelly or jam of your choice (I used Crofter’s Organic Strawberry Just Fruit Spread)
- 1 tbsp raw honey (optional)
For the cinnamon sugar tortilla chips:
- tortilla chips of your choice (a firmer chip works better)
- raw coconut crystals
- olive oil mister
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
- In a small container mix together the cinnamon and coconut crystals. The ratio is really up to you. I usually do about 2 tbsp of coconut crystals and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
- Spread a single layer of tortilla chips out on a baking sheet and using an olive oil mister, lightly spray the chips with olive oil.
- Lightly sprinkle the cinnamon/sugar mixture over the tortilla chips. You want only a light dusting on the chips.
- Place in the oven for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let the chips cool completely before serving.
- In a large bowl mix together all the ingredients for the fruit salsa. Serve immediately with your cinnamon sugar tortilla chips and enjoy!
Makes approximately 2 cups of fruit salsa.
Nutritional info will very greatly depending on what fruit is used.
The fruit salsa is best when served fresh. You can refrigerator the leftovers, the fruit will brown slightly but still taste just as good!
Remember the infamous broccoli and rice casserole made with instant rice, cream of mushroom soup and Cheese Whiz? I’m ashamed to say I do and that I even made it many, many years ago. What a terrible way to mess up a good healthy vegetable like broccoli! I was thinking about this casserole the other day and decided to get creative and make my own broccoli and rice casserole, Naked Kitchen style. Now this is one healthy recipe with nothing to be ashamed of.
- 1/2 head cauliflower or 1 cup cauliflower rice (see notes for instructions)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp sea salt, divided
- 2 cups chopped broccoli
- 1 cup pasta or marinara sauce of your choice
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely minced
- 1/4 cup Cashew Parmesan Cheese or Homemade Bread Crumbs
- Place the cauliflower rice into a large dry non-stick skillet (no water and no oil). Over medium heat cook the cauliflower stirring often, about 5-7 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender but not browned.
- Remove the cauliflower to a bowl and set aside.
- Wipe out the skillet with a damp paper towel and then return it to the heat. Add the olive oil, onion and 1/2 tsp salt and sauté until the onion is tender about 4-5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes more.
- Add the broccoli and remaining 1/2 tsp salt and saute until the broccoli is bright green and tender.
- Spoon the cauliflower rice back into the skillet with the broccoli and stir.
- Add the pasta sauce and parsley in with the vegetables and stir to combine.
- Reduce heat and simmer until the sauce is heated through.
- Serve topped with Cashew Parmesan Cheese or Homemade Bread Crumbs.
Makes 4 servings
Nutritional information will vary depending on the pasta sauce used.
To make cauliflower rice place raw florets into a food processor and process until the cauliflower resembles rice.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.