Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spinach Pesto Tofu

I had this for the second time today and combined it with the balsamic roasted brussel sprouts for a yummy and very filling dinner for the family. Last time, Josiah and I were licking our bowls. This time I put a tad too much evoo so we weren't licking anything, but noone left a drop on their plate... that is for sure. So I share with you to enjoy. :)

  • extra firm tofu
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • a handful of pine nuts
  • 2 cups parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1.5 cups of evoo

  1. drizzle tofu with evoo and broil for 15-20 minutes or until its the crunch that you prefer 

  2. dry tofu on towels
  3. mix the remaining ingredients in the blender until smooth
  4. drizzle the pesto over the tofu until properly saturated (you should have enough pesto to store for two or three more tofu blocks in freezer or fridge depending on how long until you use it again)
  5. Enjoy!

Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

I made this again tonight and realized that I never posted it on the blog. It is way too good not to share and super super easy. I have been growing brussel sprouts in my vegetable garden in the back yard so have been able to have plenty of roasted brussel sprouts lately and my hubby and lil boy love them too!

  • brussel sprouts
  • evoo
  • balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper (and any additional seasonings you enjoy)
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  1. lightly oil a glass dish
  2. spread out brussel sprouts so none of them are touching
  3. drizzle evoo, plenty of balsamic vinegar, spices, and parmesan cheese over the sprouts
  4. broil for 10 minutes or until browned and soft
  5. Enjoy!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Meatless Lettuce Wraps (In the order of P.F. Changs or Chilis)

So. I can't tell you how many times I have been to Chilis and watched a friend eat those lettuce wraps while I silently drool over the concept. As a big fan of flavorful food and one who yearns to like lettuce more it was something I wish I could enjoy. When I found a couple copycat recipes for the chilis lettuce wraps and the lettuce wraps that they make at P.F. Changs I knew that I could make a version without meat that my family would enjoy. Not to toot my own horn... but toot. It was fantastic. My son ate his two huge wraps in the blink of an eye and then was stealing lettuce off of our plates before we could eat ours. My husband asked for more despite being stuffed. And I couldn't wait until everyone was gone today and I could sneak the leftovers for lunch. Bwahahaha - yeah its all gone now. So steal my recipe and fill your bellies. Of course if you want to, you can always substitute my fake chicken with chicken or any other meat.

  • big outer lettuce leaves (we used iceburg but anything is usable)
  • boca fake chicken strips, defrosted and chopped
  • 1/2 of a sweet vidalia onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger
  • chopped peanuts
  • green onions
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • hoison sauce
  • 2 T teriaki sauce
  • 1 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T evoo
  • 1 T peanut butter
  • 1/2 T water
  • 1/2 T honey
  • 1/2 T chili sauce
  1. Cook fake chicken and onions over light evoo in pan until browned
  2. add garlic and ginger
  3. add corn and black beans
  4. add teriaki, vinegar, evoo, peanut butter, honey, water, and chili sauce
  5. cook until well blended and browned
  6. add green onions to the top and cook until they soften
  7. scoop mixture into lettuce, top with peanuts, wrap tightly
  8. Serve hot with hoison sauce and ENJOY!

Kale Chips (Potato Chip Replacement)

My husband (the one with the sweet tooth) also has a salty tooth. He can take down a full bag of potato chips in a sitting. You know the bag that most people buy, have some, clip, save for later. Yeah. One sitting. So when I heard of kale chips my first thought was - could you imagine if he would eat kale chips like he does potato chips. He would have some amazing vitamins and nutrients running through his body. Anyhow I mentioned to him and he was open to trying. Above is the final result. I think I should have cooked them a bit longer because some of them were a bit soggy. Though we had enough good ones to decide that we liked it. There were a few that we ate that we thought - ok thats the consistency of a potato chip. And the taste is definitely pretty good. So anyhow here is how you can make kale chips in your house.

  • kale chips
  • evoo
  • seasoning of your choice (salt / pepper / garlic / red pepper / sugar / ?)

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Clip your kale into bite sized pieces
  3. Oil your baking dish
  4. Spread out your washed and dried kale on the baking dish
  5.  Drizzle with evoo and seasoning
  6. Bake until chips are browned but not burnt
  7. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Toast with Strawberry Jam and Hummus

This morning I happened upon a delightful creation by accident. I was putting strawberry jam on my flat-bread after heating it. When my son said "you putting peanut butter and jelly on it?". And I thought - hmm peanut butter would be good. But when I reached into the fridge for peanut butter my hand hit the bowl of hummus. And a lightbulb went off.... Hummus is similar in consistency and taste to peanut butter. So I spread it on lightly on one side of the toast (in case it was horrid) and left the other side with just strawberry jelly. Brought it up to my office... and tasted heaven. So here ya go.

  1. Spread jam and hummus on toast
  2. Enjoy :)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Make your Own Strawberry Jam

This past weekend we took Josiah strawberry picking and when we came home with buckets of strawberries, I knew jam would need to be produced. After some google searching I found the recipe to use, modified it for my own purpose and got cooking. I share it here with you, so that you can make your own jam for your family.

  • 6 cups of chopped strawberries
  • 1.5 boxes of low sugar needed pectin (this is what thickens and jels the jam)
  • Sweetener (we used 2 cups of agave nectar but you can also 4 cups sugar or your sweetener of prefernce)
  • 6 bell jars including tops
  • funnel

  1. Sanitize your jars and lids in your dishwasher or in boiling water. Keep them in the heated dry until they are ready to use (or boiling water) so they are the right temperature and dont go to hot too fast and possibly crack.
  2. Pick or buy your strawberries. Wash them. Chop off the tops. Chop or food process them to your preferred consistency. The more they are crushed, the more natural pectin comes out in its own consistency. You want 6 cups of it after it is crushed so you will need 8-10 whole.
  3. Measure a quarter cup of sweetener with your pectin until it is blended well.
  4. Mix this sweetener/pectin blend in with your strawberries.
  5. Put the strawberry blend in a pot and bring slowly to a boil under medium/high heat.
    (If you do not use pectin you will need to take a much longer time over heat to get it to the right consistency, and double the sweetener. Pectin is a natural chemical extracted from apples - so nothing to worry about there)
  6. Once they have come to a complete boil, remove them from heat and add the remaining sugar.
  7. Bring to a boil again and let it boil for 1 minute. The slower you bring it to boiling the less foaming you will experience.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Skim the excessive foam and place in a bowl. You can microwave it for 60 seconds and throw it in the fridge for fresh jam.
  10. Here is where you get to test the JEL factor. Keep a cup of ice water with a spoon in it. Pull the cold spoon out and spoon out some jam. Let it cool to room temperature. Then see if it is the right JEL factor for you - if its not jelly enough add more pectin and reboil for one minute. Otherwise you are good to go.
  11. Let it stand for 5 minutes
  12. Stir completely
  13. Remove your jars from the dishwasher/hotwater and start funneling in the jam. Immediately place the tightly closed jar with jam in a pot of boiling water where the water covers the lid a couple inches.
  14. When the jars are all in the boiling water they should boil for about 10 minutes depending on your elevation.
  15. Remove carefully from the boiling water with tongs and place to set.
  16. After 24 hours they should be processed and set. You should be able to tell that the tops will no longer pop in or out. If they pop then store it in the fridge since it won't last as long before spoiling.
  17. Processing the jars like this ought to keep them in a cabinet for 6-12 months.
  18. Serve, share, and enjoy :)


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