June 26, 2012

Grilled Goat Cheese, PB, Apple and Ham Sandwich with Sauteed Kale and Apples

This sandwich was inspired by one of my favorite dishes, CB&J, served at Hop Leaf in Chicago. A CB&J is a grilled cashew butter, fig jam and brie sandwich. Trust me, it’s amazing.

I was craving those same flavors and decided to utilize what I had in my kitchen to create a similar dish. For lunch, I often like to have a good sized serving of greens, so the sauteed kale and apples seemed to pair perfectly with the sandwich.

What you’ll need:

– 2 slices Whole Wheat Bread

– Goat Cheese

– 1 Gala Apple, sliced

– 1 Slice Deli Ham

– 2 tsp Fig Jam

– 2 tsp Natural Peanut Butter

– 1.5-2 cups cleaned and chopped uncooked kale

-Olive Oil, Salt, Pepper and Garlic powder.

Method:

Heat a large non-stick pan to medium. While the pan is heating, assemble sandwich. Spread peanut butter evenly on each slice. Then spread Fig Jam evenly. Add layer of sliced apples, goat cheese and 1 slice of deli Ham. Instead of spreading butter for grilling, spray olive oil on each side of sandwich. Grill in pan till brown and cheese has melted.

Remove sandwich from grill. Add seasoned and oiled kale to grill pan and saute until leaves are crispy on edges. Saute remaining apple slices with kale. Plate and serve immediately. Enjoy!!!

 

Image

 

Advertisements
May 29, 2012

Protein Loaded Better Breakfast Bowl

It’s been a while since I have had some time to get creative in the kitchen BUT I’m finally back to cookin’ and gnashin’! I was recently in St. Louis and had a great Korean Bim-Bop inspired breakfast bowl that was absolutely delish! A few weeks after my trip I was craving this Bim-Bop Breakfast, so I decided to get in the kitchen and make my own version. I used cous-cous instead of rice, and improvised with what was available in my kitchen (i LOVE utilizing what’s already at my disposal).

This dish makes for a great week day power breakfast or special weekend brunch.

What you’ll need:

1 cup Whole Wheat Cous Cous

2 Large Organic Eggs

1/2 Shredded Zucchini

1/4 cup Shredded Carrots

2 tbsp Rice Vinegar

1 tbsp Soy Sauce

salt and pepper to taste

Sriracha for garnishing

Image

Method:

Boil 2 cups water with 2 tbsp olive oil. Remove from heat and add cous cous. Let cous cous sit for 5 minutes.

While waiting for cous cous, heat a small saute pan. Add rice vinegar, soy sauce, zucchini and carrots. Saute’ veg until tender. Set veg mix to side.

In the same pan, cook eggs to over easy (you can also poach the egg for a more rich tasting bowl).

Scoop 3/4 cup cooked cous cous, add over easy eggs, top with veg mix. For some spice, garnish with Sriracha.

Enjoy!

Image

March 21, 2012

Slow Cooker Bison Chili with Roasted Corn

Even though the weather has been unseasonably warm, I have still been making some hearty meals. This is recipe is full of flavor, keeps you full and freezes well. You may think that using a slow cooker is a only a Winter method of cooking, but it is also great for when it’s warm out (keeps your house cool).

What you’ll need:

For Chili

  • 1 lb ground Bison
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cans organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1tsp. cayenne powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1tsp. Agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 can organic pinto beans

For Cornbread

  • 1 package Jiffy corn bread/muffin mix
  • 1/2 cup frozen fire roasted corn
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • muffin tins or a small rectangle dish

Method:

Brown bison in a pan over medium heat. Once bison is cooked, add chopped veggies, browned bison and beans to slow cooker.

Image

Let veggies, bison and beans cook down for about 30 minutes. Add spices, canned tomatoes, bayleaf and mushrooms. Let cook for 3-5 hours on low.

Image

Add agave nectar and stir. Turn off slow cooker and let sit for 10 minutes before eating.

Method For Cornbread:

Preheat oven to 400. Beat jiffy mix, egg, milk and roasted corn together until smooth. Pour into baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Image

Spoon chili into glass bowl, add slice of corn bread and 3 slice of avocado for creaminess. Gnash on!

Image

February 20, 2012

Refined Homemade Tomato Sauce

This is one of my staple recipes. I use this sauce with so many things, and love making huge batches. I first started making my own tomato sauce after I saw this Giada DeLaurentiis’s tomato sauce recipe. Although I like her recipe, I needed to refine it to fit my taste.  This sauce can take anywhere from an hour to 3 hours to make, depending on how long you have to let the flavors develop. The longer this simmers, the more ripe the flavors will be (I cannot stress this enough). This sauce makes a great base sauce for pasta, polenta, meats, bread, rice, and casserole dishes.

What you’ll need: 

  • 1 large can Organic Plum Tomatoes
  • 1 large can Organic Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 Sweet Onions, chopped
  • 2-3 stalks Organic Carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks Organic Celery, chopped
  • 3 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup Organic Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Sugar
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • Sea Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 tsp Parsley

Method: 

Heat a large pot to medium heat. Add olive oil. Once heated, add chopped onion, carrots and celery (mirepoix) and sauté for about 10 minutes. Add garlic, salt and pepper, Stir. Add the tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Adjust heat to a simmer and add bay leaves, parsley, red pepper flakes and sugar. Simmer for 1-3 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and remove the bay leaves. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until smooth.

Homemade Sauce with Spaghetti and Meatballs

January 29, 2012

Lemoney Lunch Quinoa

Eating lunch out can get expensive, and everything quickly begins to taste the same. I’ve been experimenting with lunch ideas that are portable, and balanced. This week, I’m turning to this quinoa recipe. It’s fresh, light, and provides the energy needed to get through your afternoon. You can eat this warm or cold, depending on your mood. Try making this on Sunday, and eating for lunch a couple of days of the week. You can always add some lettuce or spinach to make this more filling.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup organic Quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1.5 cups low- sodium organic Chicken Stock
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow Onion, diced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 tbs Olive Oil
  • 1 vine Tomato, chopped
  • 2 Hearts of Palm, chopped
  • 1 tsp Parsley
  • 1 tsp Dill
  • 1/4 of Lemon
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Be sure to rinse and drain your Quinoa!

Method:

In a medium saucepan add olive oil, garlic, pepper and onion. Saute until translucent. Add quinoa and mix. Add chicken stock and cover. Bring quinoa to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Let cook for 20 minutes. Transfer to a container and let cool. Once cooled, squeeze lemon over quinoa. Add tomatoes, hearts of palm, parsley and dill. Toss until fluffy and mixed.

This fluffy Lemoney Quinoa will be sure to power you through the afternoon!

 **Makes 4 servings, and is 6 Weight Watchers PlusPoints per serving**

January 21, 2012

Chicken Verde Casserole

When working a full-time job you’re always looking for some easy dinner’s that you can prep ahead of time, so when you walk in the door all you have to do is pop dinner in the oven. This Chicken Verde Casserole is a GREAT recipe to prep ahead, and it  makes some great leftovers as well. I was inspired by Martha Stewart’s Chicken Enchilada Casserole recipe. This recipe is delicious, versatile, balanced AND gluten free!! Put this on your list for dinner this week, I know you won’t be disappointed.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 package Corn Tortillas (Mission brand is Gluten Free)
  • 1 can Mexican-style beans (or re-fried black beans)
  • 1 Green Pepper, diced
  • 1 White Onion, diced
  • 1 can Salsa Verde (I like Rick Bayless’s salsas, or Trader Joes)
  • 1lb Organic Chicken Breasts, grilled and chopped
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Shredded Pepper Jack cheese

 

Method:

Pre-heat oven to 375. In a large glass baking dish, spread a layer of beans on the bottom of the dish. Add a layer of corn tortillas.

Layer onions, peppers, and chopped chicken. Pour 3/4 jar of salsa verde over the chicken. Sprinkle half of the shredded cheese over pepper, onion, chicken, salsa layer.

Add another layer of corn tortillas. Pour remaining salsa verde and sprinkle the remainder of the cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes.

*Casserole serves 6 and is 6 Weight Watchers PointsPlus*

*You can prep the casserole and refrigerate over-night*

Gnash On!

December 28, 2011

Gnashing Refined’s Seasonal Favorites

This Holiday season has flown by…. with baking, shopping, cleaning, and doing some holiday pampering…oy vey! But there are a few things that made this Holiday season most enjoyable. Each season brings a new set of favorites. Here are this season’s…..

  • Corn Pasta is quickly turning into my favorite pasta. It’s absolutely DELICIOUS (which is what’s most important), AND it’s GLUTEN FREE. I’ve eaten my fair share of brown rice pasta, and although it’s edible, it doesn’t always satisfy my pasta craving. I think corn pasta is going to be a popular food in the new year. This is a great pasta to whip up with some marinara and veggies, or oil and garlic with spinach. You can find corn pasta at Trader Joes.

  • Green Tea Latte’s are a great way to treat yourself to a delicious drink without having coffee. There is nothing more warming, or relaxing, than a warm green tea latte. Order yours with soy milk for a non-dairy treat! But beware, some places use melon syrups that add extra sweetness…. you can always order your drink with one (or no) pumps of syrup.

  • Amanda Skrip’s Creamy Black Bean Recipe is a great way to add some hearty, delicious beans to your diet. This recipe results in some seriously flavorful beans, that are mildly addicting. I plan on constantly having some in the fridge all winter long. (Check out Amanda’s blog, it has so much more deliciousness to offer.)

 

  • Mistos’ are an awesome way to flavor food with oil and vinegar without overdoing it. Releasing the perfect amount of oil for cooking, I use my olive oil Misto daily. Mistos’ are also great for cookouts and camping. Additionally, these make a great affordable gift for the fellow cook.

 

  • An order from Door-to-Door Organics makes my life sooo much easier, and  much more nutritious. If you have a hard time finding quality produce at your local grocery store, or if you’d like to begin to enjoy a wide variety of fruit and veggies, door-to-door is the way to go. During summer I love going to the farmer’s market, but often miss that freshness throughout winter. With weekly and bi-weekly subscription options, and a variety of size options, each week has a new menu of organic goodies to offer. If you don’t like something on the weekly menu, no worries, you can sub-out items for other fresh produce.

 

 

I hope you all continue to have a joyous, and relaxing holiday season. Happy New Year!!

December 10, 2011

Tzimmes (or Simmus)

Tzimmes is a traditional sweet potato and fruit dish served during passover. I think it makes a great holiday dish, and did quite well at Thanksgiving this year. It’s sweet, buttery, and mashed perfectly. With a little time, and patience you can have a great holiday dish!

What you’ll need:

  • 3lbs sweet potatoes, peeled, boiled and sliced
  • 2lbs McIntosh apples, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 1 bag large marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • spritz of lemon juice
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • sea salt

 

Pre-heat oven at 375. In a large heat-resistant bowl layer boiled sliced potatoes, salt, apples (pre-spritz with lemon juice), brown sugar, a few pats of butter, mini marshmallows and cinnamon. Repeat layer until you run out of potatoes and apples or until you get to the top of your bowl.

 

Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes. Remove from oven and mash with a hand masher.

Mashed Sweet Potato and Apply Mix

 

Set oven to broil. Transfer mashed mix to a rectangle shallow baking dish, and add a layer of large marshmallows. Return to oven and broil for 10 minutes or until marshmallows get golden. Remove from oven, let cool for 5 minutes and serve.

Gnash On!

November 27, 2011

Sloppy Joe’s Loaded Baked Potato

My Dad’s version of Sloppy Joe’s is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I grew up eating Sloppy Joe’s on everything, rice, pasta, bread, and potatoes. I love this Sloppy Joe’s recipe for it’s savory heartiness. Warning, this is NOT your traditional Sloppy Joe’s!! It has so much more flavor and depth than the Manwich you’re thinking of. In this recipe I used Sloppy Joes as a topping for a baked potato. Sloppy Joe’s are great on any starch or as a stand alone, and make great leftovers and freezer items. In this recipe I used ground beef but ground turkey, chicken, or bison will all work wonderfully.

What you’ll need:

  • 1lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Sweet Onion, chopped
  • 1 Sweet Pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3/4 jar chili sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 container of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • dash of worcestershire sauce
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • Baking potato
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese

 

Method:  Bake potato in tinfoil with kosher salt at 350 for 45 minutes.

Heat a large pot to medium temperature. Add olive oil, onions and peppers. Saute. Once Sauteed, add ground beef and brown meat. Once browned, drain any excess fat. Return to heat and add 3/4 jar chili sauce. Stir. Add tomatoes, ketchup, worcestershire, and vinegar. Stir thoroughly and bring to simmer. Add mushrooms. Allow to stew for 30 minutes, or so, on low heat.

Remove potato from oven and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Remove from foil and cut open. Spread small amount of sour cream and sprinkled cheese on potato. Spoon over Sloppy Joe’s and serve. If the potatoes are large, only use half of a potato as your starch base.

Enjoy this hearty dinner!

November 17, 2011

Some Easy & Balanced Lunch Ideas

When approaching any meal I first like to think of the protein I’m going to use. Whether meat, fish, beans, etc, I like to have that part of the meal planned out before I explore my other options in the fridge. Below are two great options for making a quick lunch or even dinner. You could even pre-make these meals and bring them to work with you. For lunch I usually like to get a big helping of my daily vegetables to give me fuel for the rest of the afternoon. Whether your watching what you’re eating or maintaing a balanced lifestyle, both of these are great options.

Tuna Salad with Veggies:

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 can low-sodium tuna, drained
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp mayo
  • Dill, Onion Powder, Sea Salt, and pepper to taste.
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 Cucumber, sliced
  • 1 Sweet Pepper sliced
  • A handful of grape tomatoes
  • A few crackers of your choice (I like pita chips the best)

Method:   In a large bowl combine drained tuna, mustard, mayo, lemon juice and spices. Mix thoroughly. Arrange sliced veggies and tomatoes around tuna and serve. (Yes, It’s THAT easy)

 

 

Salmon Burger with Melted Goat Cheese, and Spinach salad with Orange Honey Vinaigrette:

What You’ll Need:

  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 1 Salmon Burger (a nice quality frozen kind works just fine)
  • 1 Slice Goat Cheese Slices (I use goat cheese, as it digests a little better in your system)
  • 2 tablespoons Cider Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Orange juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Canola oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon Onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 dash garlic powder
  • 1 dash cayenne

Method:  In a small bowl combine Cider Vinegar, Orange Juice, Honey, Canola Oil, Dijon, Onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne. Wisk thoroughly and set aside. Heat a small non-stick pan to medium heat, once pan is warm, place salmon burger in pan. Brown on each side for about 3 minutes, place Goat cheese on top and cover to melt. Plate spinach and arugula and add dressing. Toss salad and put any leftover dressing in fridge (for up to a week, the dressing also makes a great marinade). Remove salmon burger from heat and plate. Sit back, relax and enjoy every bite of this energy-filled lunch!