Thursday, March 29, 2012

Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts

So story...My friend from high school is the most amazing hair dresser, and I was at her house getting a cut and color. Her husband happens to be an amazing self-taught chef (I have learned so many things from him- and will be sharing another of his side dishes soon). I was super excited when I found that he would be making dinner for us. We came up to eat while my hair was processing and were greeted by the most amazing smell in the world. I was surprised to see that it was this dish. Who knew cauliflower could be so good? The roasted pine nuts really give the dish such an amazing (have I said that word enough yet?) flavor, it seriously is the best combination. I had to try it myself, and while mine will never be quite as good as his, it is pretty fabulous. Oh, and if you live in the Salt Lake valley and need a good hair dresser- email me, she is the best!

Roasted Cauliflower with Pine Nuts

1 large cauliflower cut into large florets
1 head garlic, peeled and sliced lengthwise
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup pine nuts (don't omit- they are the best part!)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 lemon

Preheat oven to 400. Toss cauliflower with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until cauliflower is tender.

Roast pine nuts on baking sheet until golden brown, watch carefully, they brown in less than a minute. Add to cauliflower, squeeze lemon juice over cauliflower and toss with fresh parsley. YUM. Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lemon Chicken with bacon, potatoes and roasted asparagus

Wow. I think this might have been the best meal of my entire life. Seriously, it is so yummy. These pictures don't do it justice at all. I thought the other roasted chicken recipe was pretty fabulous, but I think this beats it. Not only is the taste out of this world but the smell is so amazing, don't be surprised if your neighbors invite themselves to dinner...

Lemon Roast Chicken with Bacon and Red Potatoes

1 whole chicken
4-5 lemons
3-4 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon Sea salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme (you can also use dried italian seasoning if you don't have any fresh herbs)
3-4 slices of uncooked bacon (the least processed kind you can find, nitrate free of course!)

4-5 Red potatoes washed and chopped, tossed with olive oil or butter, salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Slice one lemon in half and the other lemons into thin slices. Peel the cloves of garlic and slice in half lengthwise. In a small bowl, mix together salt, pepper and thyme (or italian seasoning).

Layer half of the lemon slices on the bottom of your roasting pan. Wash chicken, pat dry and place breast down on top of the lemon slices. Rub with melted butter inside and out. Squeeze the ends of lemon over the top of the chicken. Rub with seasonings inside and out. Fill cavity of chicken with two of the garlic cloves (cut in half) and both halves of one lemon.

Put all lemon slices and ends around chicken (for added lemon flavor, place slices on top of chicken). Cover the top of the chicken with bacon slices.

Toss chopped red potatoes with olive oil or butter, salt and pepper and arrange around chicken. If you choose not to cook potatoes (which you really should- the bacon drippings mix with the olive oil and make perfectly browned and delicious potatoes), I recommend putting 1/4 to 1/2 cup water in the bottom of the pan to keep the chicken most.

Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until chicken is no longer pink.

Remove bacon strips, chop and mix in with potatoes (or just eat plain- it will be the best bacon you've ever had- the chicken flavors soak in and make it seriously amazing). Remove the lemon halves from the chicken cavity and squeeze over chicken slices before serving. Save a bit of lemon juice to squeeze over asparagus.

Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch of asparagus
Olive oil
Dash of lemon juice

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (or place in oven next to chicken during last 20 minutes of baking).

Wash asparagus and prepare each stalk by bending it until it snaps. Discard the bottom half and place the top half on baking sheet.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast for 20-25 minutes or until tender but still crisp. Squeeze with a dash of lemon juice.

And, in case you missed my previous post on making chicken stock with the leftover chicken- click here, it can stretch one meal into 3 or 4.
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

No Bake Oatmeal Cookie Bites

These little cookie bites are a great way to get your sugar fix while still sticking to healthy ingredients. It's also a great recipe for kids to help with.

2 cups oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup flax seed
3/4 to 1 cup honey (if they don't stick well add more honey or maple syrup)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raisins (or chocolate chips if you really want to go sweet)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix all ingredients together using stand mixer (it's really tough to mix natural peanut butter by hand!) and roll into bite-sized balls. Store in airtight container (if they last that long).
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Brown Rice Crispy Treats (healthy!)

I was looking for a great snack that could also double as dessert and still fit into my Real Food goal. This was the perfect snack. I love it, my boys love it, it's awesome. I got this recipe from Happy Healthy Mama and modified it just a tad.

Brown Rice Crispy Treats

1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup honey *see note
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups puffed whole grain (I used 2 cups puffed brown rice and 2 cups puffed millet)

In a large bowl mix together peanut butter, honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir in the puffed grain. Wet hands or use a bit of oil to prevent sticking, and either roll into balls or press firmly into an 8x8 cake pan and slice into bars.

*Note: I only used half the honey the original recipe calls for. They still taste fabulous and are really sweet, I think twice as much honey would be too sweet for my taste. It would help them stick together better though, so if you have a hard time getting them to stick, try adding a bit more honey or just put a little coconut oil on your hands.
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Whole Grain Waffles

These are my favorite waffles (since I won't be indluging in these baby's very often anymore). This recipe makes 4-5 belgian size waffles. We love to eat them with fresh fruit and cream, jam or maple syrup. And if we've run out of bread (and I'm too lazy to make any) we can just whip up a batch and have waffle sandwiches for lunch.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oats (quick or old fashioned rolled oats)
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter

Mix together dry ingredients, then add honey, egg, oil and milk. Mix well and pour into greased preheated waffle iron.
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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quinoa: Breakfast of Champions

This is truly the breakfast of champions. Serious cancer-preventing breakfast. Quinoa, blueberries, kiwi and strawberries, all disease preventing superfoods.

Simply cook some quinoa (I use the rice cooker function of the Fagor 3 in 1 multicooker- takes 6 minutes)   use a 2:1 ratio- 2 cups water to 1 cup of quinoa. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed and looks like the picture below.

Stir in a bit of honey and cinnamon, top with your favorite fruit and nuts and a little milk. YUM.

*I've discovered that bananas are THE perfect fruit to go along with quinoa, the flavors blend together amazingly well, especially with a bunch of cinnamon. Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Fruit bars/balls (aka larabars)

This is one of my favorite healthy snacks and my boys love them too. They are really easy to make if you have a food processor and the combinations are endless. I think the best website for different variations is the Enlightened Cooking blog.  

For the more traditional larabar style (shown above) you'll need to start with some dates. My first batch I used the Costco size dehydrated dates. Unfortunately those won't stick together unless you add something super sticky (like a lot of peanut butter). I got smarter though and got whole dates (seedless would have been easier, but they still worked!)

I simply use a 50/50 combination of fruit to nuts. I don't even really measure, just throw in my fruit and nuts at the same time and mix them all up until they're tiny.

Date bars (aka Larabars)

50% fruit, I used whole dates, golden raisins and unsweetened coconut
50% nuts, I used walnuts

Put desired fruits and nuts into food processor and blend to fine pieces that stick together. Line an 8x8 baking dish with plastic wrap or parchment paper and pour mixture in. Press mixture firmly into bottom of pan and refrigerate or freeze 1 hour. Slice into bars and serve. I like to store mine in the refrigerator because it helps to retain the shape.

Apricot balls

50% fruit, I used dehydrated apricots, golden raisins and unsweetened coconut
50% nuts, I used walnuts
Put desired fruits and nuts into food processor and blend to fine pieces that stick together. Dried fruit will not stick together well unless you add something like peanut butter or honey which changes the flavor, instead I roll into balls and refrigerate until ready to serve. Print Friendly and PDF
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