Monthly Archives: June 2013

Zucchini Fritters

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Zucchini

Summers home are boring. They’re exciting at first because it’s nice to be catered to by your parents and be back with your high school friends but then you realize that the place you grew up, or at least where I grew up, is exactly what it was when you left: a little town with nothing to do but eat. Today I was bored and super hungry after a long work out, (to counter act all my eating,) so I decided to make myself something filling. I’ve made salmon burgers/salmon cakes before, so I kind of went off of that recipe-style. We had two zucchinis in the fridge so I figured, what the hell? Sometimes no ideas at all turn into something delicious, apparently.

Ingredients:

  • Two small zucchinis
  • 1 1/2 cups of Panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp of Cayenne Pepper spice
  • 1 tsp of Rosemary
  • Pepper to taste

You’ll need a cheese grater with a fairly large grate. I also used a garlic press – NOT necessary but it made things so much quicker and easier.

 

What To Do:

1. Preheat your oven, with baking sheet inside, to 400 degrees.

2. Use the large side of your cheese grater to grate both of the zucchinis. This gets very messy, (maybe that was just me,) so do it over your sink into a colander. After they are completely grated, sprinkle the slices with salt in order to drain it. Leave it sitting for 5-10 minutes while you prep the breadcrumbs.

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3. Pour the breadcrumbs and seasonings into the bowl. This was the fun part for me! I used my mother’s garlic press to break down the garlic clove. Normally, I would chop it up and throw it in but this press saves times and dishes (ugh). All you have to do is put the clove into the press and squeeze it right into the bowl! Boom. Mix all of this together and move it to a bigger bowl that the zucchini will fit in.

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4. Now, return to the zucchini. Shake the colander and individually squeeze, handful by handful, each portion of the zucchini. I didn’t do this, but I would recommend that you immediately put that dry handful into the bowl with the breadcrumbs and seasonings. Once all the zucchini is in the bowl mix this all together.

5. Beat the egg, then add it into the mixture. Mix everything together really well!

6. Take the baking sheet out of the oven and spray it with cooking spray. Form the zucchini into medium sized balls. I was able to make about six and placed them on the sheet. Flatten them with your palm and they’ll flatten out more so.

7. Cook the fritters for 25 minutes, flipping half-way in between. As it comes to end of the cooking, use a spatula to press the fritters so a little more moisture comes out onto the sheet while they are still in the oven. After the time is up, remove them!

 

You can literally serve these with ANYTHING. I’ve seen recipes that serve fritters with salsa, guacamole and other sauces. I decided to go classically me and make a greek yogurt based dip. I squeezed half of a ripe orange into about a cup of yogurt and put a little dry mustard in. It was a little bland, but the cooling quality of it made it good, regardless, with the fritters.

These were healthy is absolutely delicious. They came out super crunchy and kind of reminded me of latkes!

Stay healthy in wealth,

S

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Momma’s Quiche

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One of my favorite things that my mom has always made when I come home is quiche. She’s made us bacon quiche, sausage quiche, veggie quiche and my all time favorite…lobster quiche. So after getting her recipe, (which is based on Fannie Farmer’s Cookbook recipe,) I decided to try it myself. Needless to say, it was a success and the best part about it is, you can make whatever kind of quiche you want.

In the past, my favorites have been a Shrimp and Sausage Creole Quiche and Sausage, Bacon and Broccoli Quiche.

The prep takes a little while and the cooking is about 30-45 minutes but it refrigerates well and heats up in either the oven or the microwave really easily. And, on top of that, it’s so deliciously worth it.

These are the ingredients I use for a classic quiche, substitute or add whatever you want!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Deep Dish Frozen Pie Crust (They come in packages of 2 so yay, two quiches!)
  • 4 medium sized eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups of cheese, the kind depends on your preference. Mozzarella or 6 Cheese mixes work!
  • 2 cups of cream (Heavy cream gives you a fluffy quiche, half and half gives you a semi and regular cream is in the middle. Whatever you’d prefer.)
  • 1 cup of cut up broccoli florets
  • 4 pieces of cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 8 oz of Jimmy Dean cooked and crumbled sausage (You can buy the log, which is cheaper, and crumble it yourself and cook it. If you’re only putting sausage as your meat, you can use all 16 oz of the log.)
  • 1/2 a medium yellow onion, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Preheat the oven to 425 and thaw out your pie crust. This shouldn’t take long and will probably take the length of the prep. You’re going to cook it anyway, so don’t worry. Also, these pie crusts come in a tinfoil pan already, so that saves you dishes. I loathe dishes.

2. Chop and cook all your ingredients. For things like bacon, shrimp and sausage, cook them before but do not overcook them, remember, they’re going in the oven! Chop the onions, broccoli and whatever else you want to put in your quiche. Heat everything (cooked and raw toppings) over a skillet on the stove, using the grease from the bacon as the oil. If you aren’t using bacon, you can add a little cooking oil in order to grease the pan. Cook everything so it’s about half way cooked and remove it from the hot burner.

3. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, cream and salt and pepper.

4. Pour the cooked veggies and meat into the pie crust dish. Then, sprinkle the cheese over the top. Lastly, pour the egg-cream mixture over both of them. POUR SLOWLY – SOMETIMES IT WILL OVERFLOW. Do not let this happen..obviously.

5. Cook the quiche for about 30-45 minutes. After 30 minutes, rotate the quiche on the rack so that it is browning evenly. Stick a fork in the middle and make sure it comes out clean. I like my crust extra-crispy, so I tend to keep it in longer.

So easy…right?

This can be a breakfast, lunch or a dinner dish. Honestly, when I made it, I’m pretty sure my roommates and I ate it for all three. For multiple days. It’s simple and perfect and filling.

Eat up!

S

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Two is better than one…

Crunchy Quinoa Spring Salad

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Today it was hot with a breeze, so even though I was in the mood for a salad, I wanted something a little more filling and a little warmer. I love quinoa. It is a great pasta alternative and this particular mix includes couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans and red quinoa. It’s a harvest grains mix from Trader Joe’s and living in Florida for so long and being deprived from this wonderful store was heartbreaking. I am so happy that long-distance relationship is now short-distance.

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Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend

This recipe is really simple and extremely healthy. The worst thing in it is probably the tablespoon of butter you add into the boiling water for the quinoa…and you don’t even have to add it! Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of quinoa (whatever kind you’d like)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 15 cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 15 baby carrots, sliced into small pieces
  • 1 handful of spinach
  • 1/2 a cucumber

Cook the quinoa according to the directions. For this particular bag, it required me to boil the water and then add a little butter. I actually used some homemade lemon butter my mom had made earlier (now you know where I get it…). While the quinoa is sitting and absorbing the water, (the second step to cooking quinoa,) take out a bowl and lay a bed of the spinach down. Slice up all your vegetables and put them aside. When the quinoa is done, pour in all your vegetables and stir it up. Now, pour the mixture on top of the spinach. I topped the “salad” with a dollop of greek-yogurt and some cilantro to give the hot quinoa a cool-down. This was one of the easiest recipes I ever made and it just came to me randomly. You can definitely make it with other types of veggies, I wanted to make it with sugar snap peas but there were none left in the fridge 😦

Let me know how it goes!

Eat well,

S

Avocado and Asparagus Fries – YUM

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195e370cb38111e1aebc1231381b647a_7   e6b262bc407311e2949722000a1f90e1_7Above are just two different occasions when I made avocado fries. The first picture is actually the first time I ever made them for my boyfriend!

I have made avocado fries and asparagus fries multiple times and each time they have been mouth-watering. They are a perfect side for any dish, particularly when you’re eating fish or burgers, or better yet, a mix, salmon burgers!

The best part about this recipe is that it isn’t limited to avocados or asparagus. Recently, the idea of making veggies into “healthy fries” has been blowing up all over Pinterest and food blogs. This post is  jumping on the bandwagon! I LOVE avocado fries because of the crunchy outside and soft, tasty inside. I’ve also come up with a signature Sriracha sauce, (which isn’t too hot because I’m a pansy when it comes to spicy food…) which is perfect to pair with any kind of fries.

First things first, there are two ways to make these fries. They are delicious both ways but the first way takes a little more work and is a little less healthy.

Frying

The first way to make these fries is to fry them in canola oil on the stove in a frying pan. As always, heat the pan first (keep it on medium-high heat or the fries will burn quickly,) then add about an inch of oil. It just occurred to me that you could probably use coconut-oil, too, which would add flavor but remember, coconut oil, like avocados, has a lot of fat, so be precarious. If it’s that kind of week, hey, what’s stopping you? In order to see if the oil is ready, let a drop of water fall into the pan. The oil will sizzle and pop and then you will know that the pan is ready. After breading, add your veggie fries. Let them sit on one side for about 5-7 minutes or until they are golden brown. Beware, sometimes the oil will splash and it is very HOT. Stand clear! After they’ve browned, flip the fries onto the side that has been facing up. Even when these fries burn a little bit but that doesn’t make them taste bad, especially if you don’t mind the taste or mask it with the sauce. Once the fry is browned on both sides, take it out of the oil and put in on a plate that is lined with paper-towels in order to absorb oil.

Baking

This way of cooking is the healthier option and it takes a lot less work and attention. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and place a baking sheet inside. Once the oven is hot, take out the sheet and pour a couple lines of olive oil onto it. Spread the oil around so that it covers the entire baking sheet. Place each of the fries onto the sheet and sprinkle oil on top of them (don’t go crazy, remember this is healthy!). Cook the fries for about 10-12 minutes on one side and then check them. Make sure they’re browning properly, then flip each fry so the other side cooks. If you feel like you need to add a little more oil, feel free. After they’re done, take them out, turn the oven off and plate them.

Okay, so back to the original breading of the fries and the ingredients.

Here’s what you need for 2 people for Avocado Fries:

  • 2 avocados (The recipe works best when the avocados are JUST ripe and are still a little firm. If they’re too soft, they will fall apart when you’re breading them.)
  • Breadcrumbs (Panko or Original..I like to use both)
  • Seasonings (Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Garlic Salt) – I tend to just throw seasonings in, I’m not picky. If you know you don’t like something, then don’t put it in.
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • Olive Oil/Canola Oil (Depending on which method you use)

For asparagus fries:

If you want to make asaparagus fries, I usually about 15 stalks of asparagus and cut them into halves. With this vegetable, you have to make sure to cut off the bottom of the stalk, which is not typically ripe enough or edible. To tell where to cut, try bending the stalk and wherever it seems like it will snap, that’s where you should cut. Then cut that stalk in half, which just makes it easier to coat and bread in small dishes, if you want to keep them whole, that’s up to you. If you have asparagus that’s wilting, take it out of the fridge, sprinkle some water on it, then wrap it in a paper towel. Put the bundle back in the fridge for about 3 hours and they’ll firm up! The best part is, once they are breaded, they won’t even taste like they were wilting in the first place. Follow the same steps as you would for avocado fries but because of the shape, they’re a little harder to fry in the pan. I normally use the baking method.

Breading

In order to prep for the breading of the veggies, take out three bowls. Put the flour in one bowl, the a mix of the bread crumbs and  seasonings in another bowl and the egg (beaten), in the last bowl. If the large egg is smaller than you expected, add a splash of milk. Make sure not to add so much because it will water-down the egg bath too much. You just want enough liquid egg so that you can cover all your fries. Cut the avocados in half, pop the seed out, then slice them in vertical fry-like shapes. Take the baking sheet out of the oven at this point if you are planning on using the oven method. Do each fry individually. Start with the flour and cover the fry completely in a light coating of it. Shake it off so there are no clumps. Then move to the egg bath and cover the fry, again shaking off excess egg. Move the fry into the breadcrumb and seasoning mix and coat the fry completely. Place it on the baking sheet if you plan to bake the fries, and then repeat this step until all of the fries are done.

If you plan to pan-fry the fries, I recommend that you bread all of the fries first, then move on to frying. The veggies fry quickly so it makes things easier.

There, your fries are done!

This side can really be paired with any type of simple condiment, like ranch or a mayo, but after trying a few I’ve come to the conclusion that this sauce is my favorite. As I said earlier, I am a huge baby when it comes to spicy food. For example, I love sushi but I avoid wasabi as much as possible! Sriracha is a delicious type of hot sauce and in small doses, I can handle it.

Depending on how many fries you make, you can adjust the recipe. This amount is for the 2 person serving the avocado fry recipe listed earlier called for.

You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup of mayonnaise (I use the olive oil based one or a light mayo for health benefits)
  • 1 tbsp of Sriracha.. feel free to add more if you can deal with it!
  • 1 tsp of spicy mustard
  • 1 tbsp of Ranch dressing
  • A dash of pepper

Mix everything together in a small bowl and dip right from there! Sometimes I add a little lime juice to the sauce, too. This is just a simple sauce and it can be easily altered depending on your mood and your tastes. If you come up with something else that tastes good, let me know!

Happy, healthy eating!

S

Avocado Pesto Pasta Sauce

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avocado pasta

This sauce is such a healthy alternative when you want to stuff your face with pasta and carbs but you don’t want the added calories from a red sauce with meat. If it wasn’t already obviously, I am OBSESSED with avocado. I try to limit my intake to one a day because, although they are have so many health benefits, they are also have a lot of saturated and unsaturated fat. My mouth is watering even talking about avocados so let me get on with the recipe…

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves of garlic (Feel free to add more or less depending on how much garlic flavor you want in your dish. Keep in mind that a lot of pesto’s include garlic.)
  • 1/4 cup of pesto (I just used some I bought from the store that is always in my fridge!)
  • 1 box of cooked pasta, whatever shape, brand you’d like.
  • 1 tbsp of lime juice
  • 1 tbsp of lemon juice
  • 1 whole avocado
  • Salt and Pepper to your liking

And that’s it!

After cooking the pasta, strain it and put in back in the pot. Keep it on the burner you used but make sure that it’s off. The heat will help melt the sauce together and will save you time so you don’t have to make the sauce on the side beforehand.

First, put in the avocado. Make sure it’s ripe and a little squishy, if not it will make it harder to melt into the pasta. If your avocado is slightly under-ripe, cutting it up into smaller pieces will help break it down more. Remember, chunks of avocado’s are not necessarily a bad thing! Chop up the garlic gloves and mix them into the pasta. The more you stir, the more the sauce will coagulate and cover the pasta. Then add the pesto and everything else. I tried to avoid putting salt into mine just for the health benefit.

And there you go, you’re done! So easy, right?

My boyfriend and I loved this since we have a mutual love for avocados. He put cheese on his while I tried to avoid it; it simply just didn’t need it! Pair this pasta with a veggie and you have a healthy and filling dinner!

Keep in mind that because of the avocado, this dish probably won’t keep well in the fridge. Also, I’ve seen a lot of other alternatives to this recipe. Some people blend the sauce beforehand and add tomatos, which sounds delicious but not blending did save me a good 10 minutes. You can also make the dish without pesto to tone down the calories. I’ve done it before and it was equally delicious!

If you have any changes, let me know after you try it. I love suggestions.

And now you’re a little more wealthy in health!

S