Easy Julia Child’s Eggplant Pizzas (no pic)

Sorry, I made these on whim when visiting the parents and forgot to take a pic! Got the recipe from Kalyn’s Kitchen though, so if you need pics they have plenty. Please note that I’ve slightly altered the recipe however. This is a healthy, gluten free option.

Ingredients:

  • Sauce Ingredients:
    • 2-3 tsp olive oil
    • 3 garlic cloves (or garlic powder)
    • 1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes or 2 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes
    • 1/2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
    • 1/4 tsp dired oregano
  • Additional Ingredients:
    • 1 large eggplant
    • 1 Tbsp salt
    • 2 Tbsp olive oil
    • 2 tsp dried Italian seasoning
    • 10 large basil leaves cut or 2-4 Tbsp dried basil
    • 1/3 cup Parmesan
    • 1/3 cup low-fat mozzarella blend or fresh mozzarella
    • red pepper flakes for taste

Directions:

  1. Cut off and remove both sides of the eggplant. Peel the eggplant (you can keep the skin on but I personally do not enjoy the tough skins). And then cut the remainder of the eggplant into 3/4 inch thick slices. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant generously with salt and then lay on a paper towel to draw out the liquid. Let sit for 30 minutes. Half way through preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Also while the eggplant sits, make the sauce. Heat the 2-3 tsp olive oil and saute the garlic. Add the petitie diced tomatoes, dried Italian seasoning, and oregano. Cook and let simmer until thickened. If needed, add water.
  3. Once eggplant is dried pat water with paper towel. Spray a cooking sheet with olive oil and lay the eggplant on it. Brush the tops of the eggplants with more oilive oil and sprinkle Italian seasoning on them. Roast the eggplant for approximately 25 minutes. Don’t let the eggplant become mushy or lose shape.
  4. While the eggplant cooks, slice the basil (if fresh) and mix parmesan and mozzarella cheese (if not fresh). When eggplant is cooked, remove from oven and turn the broiler on. Spread a few tablespoons of the sauce on top of each slice of eggplant, basil, and top generously with cheese. Put sheet back in the oven and broil until the cheese is melted (roughly 3-7 mins).
  5. Sprinkle red pepper flakes on top and serve hot.
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Blackened Cajun Mahi Mahi with Coconut Lime Rice

Blackened Mahi Mahi & Coconut Lime Rice

It has been a long time since I’ve posted on this blog, but I have some great recipes to share. Unfortunately I do not have photos for all so we are started with one I did remember to take photos of. This was my first time making Mahi Mahi and I loved it! I better give credit where credit is due though because I stole this recipe from Tastes Lovely . I am sure they must have tons more delightful meals I need to check out. Anyways check out this delicious and well balanced meal.

Blackened Cajun Mahi Mahi

Ingredients:

  • Rub Ingredients:
    • 2 tsp dried parsley
    • 2 tsp dried oregano
    • 2 tsp dried thyme
    • 2 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp cayenne pepper ( I added a heaping tsp to add an extra kick)
    • 1 tsp onion powder
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 tsp pepper
  • Other Ingredients:
    • 4-5 (5oz) Mahi Mahi filets, thawed and patted dry  (I got mine at Trader Joe’s; you can substitute with another type of fish if desired)
    • 2 Tbsps coconut oil
    • lime wedges

Directions:

  1. Mix all the rub spices together on a plate by using a fork.
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a medium size pan over medium high heat. While heating coat the filets in the rub and then place in pan and cook thoroughly.  This may be roughly 4 mins per side.
  3. Serve warm over coconut lime rice (details below) and topped with avocado slices and lime juice.

 

Easy Coconut Lime Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup white jasmine rice (if you choose to use brown rice you will need more liquid and need to cook longer)
  • 1 can (13.5 oz) of light or low fat coconut milk
  • juice of half a life
  • salt to taste
  • optional: zest of 1 lime

Directions:

  1. Over medium heat in a small pan, saute the rice in the coconut oil for about 1 minute.  Pour the coconut milk and stir.  Bring to a boil, then cover with a lid, and reduce heat. Simmer the rice for approximately 35 mins (may be a little less).  Remove from heat and let sit with lid for another 10 mins (if in a rush you can skip this step).
  2. Remove the lid and fluff rice. Stir in the lime juice, zest, and salt.

 

I like to pair my fish and rice with a green veggie.  ENJOY!

 

No Bake Granola Bites

No Bake Granola Bites

Posting due to popular demand. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup ground flax seed (I usually do 3/4 C flax seed and 1/4 C chia seeds)
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips (you can use regular sized; mini just fits better)
  • 2/3 cup honey or agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoons coconut oil (I usually just use vegetable oil and add shredded coconut for flavor)

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients together in a large bowl, mixing gently so the rice cereal doesn’t get crushed. Mix until well-combined.
  2. Roll into small balls and place in Tupperware on wax paper.
  3. Refrigerate.
  4. And enjoy!

Yields: 30 bites

Easy Chickpea Curry

 

 

 

I haven’t posted in way too long, but this week I finally tried something new! This meal was easy, took less than 30 minutes to make, and serves about 6 people. Pardon my blurry cell phone picture.
unnamed

Easy Chickpea Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 can coconut milk (13.5 fl oz or 400 mL)
  • 1 can chick peas
  • 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon or more brown sugar
  • 1 quarter lemon squeezed or more
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 bunch spinach, cleaned
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water

1) Heat coconut milk in a pan until simmering. Add chickpeas, red curry paste, tomato paste, brown sugar, lemon juice, chili powder, basil. Mix everything together until even consistency.

2) Add spinach and green onions to the coconut milk mixture and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3) In a separate pan, combine 2 cups of water and 1 cup of quinoa. Simmer and cook until all liquid is absorbed and quinoa is cooked and fluffy.

4) Serve curry over quinoa.

Note: The curry flavor might be stronger if served over rice instead of quinoa. Also, you can make this recipe with mushrooms, but would need to increase the simmer time in step 2 to 15-20 minutes, until the mushrooms are cooked all the way through.

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken

Grilled Bruschetta Chicken
This is a simple healthy recipe if you are good at grilling chicken. It was my first time grilling chicken myself, so I am sure I can use some more practice.

*** Recipe requires an overnight marinade

Ingredients:
4 small boneless chicken breasts
1/2 C sun-dried tomato salad dressing
2 tomatos finely chopped
1/2 C part-skim mozzarella cheese (I recommend shredded)
1/4 C fresh chopped basil or 1 Tsp dired basil

Instructions:
Place chicken (I recommend slicing them smaller) in resealable plastic bag. Add 1/4 cup dressing and seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 minutes (I marinate it all day if I remember in time). Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and dressing.

IMG_0527
Grill chicken for about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/4 dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil. Turn the chicken over and place cooked-side up, on the grill. Top with tomato mixture. Close lid. Grill 8 minutes or until chicken is done.

*Can add a splash of balsalmic vinegar to give it a bit more zip.

Pumpkin Soup!

delicious pumpkin soup
Yes! It is finally fall and time for one of my favorite flavors, PUMPKIN! I try to devour all things pumpkin during the October and November months, and this year I wanted to try something new, so why not Pumpkin Soup!

Here’s the recipe I found and it was delicious and hearty! Hope you enjoy!
Oh by the way, credit for the recipe is given to nourishingmeals.com with some of my own additions.

Soup Ingredients:

2 to 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons finely chopped ginger
4 to 5 large carrots, peeled and chopped
4 to 5 celery stalks, chopped
2 Granny Smith Apples, cored and chopped
10 cups water or stock*
8 cups cooked sugar pie pumpkin flesh
1/4 cup maple syrup or dark agave nectar*
2 to 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3 to 4 teaspoons Herbamare or sea salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Garnishment Ingredient Options:

coconut milk and cilantro
or cream, agave maple syrup, and pumpkin seeds*

*(I used this second option; the syrup makes it a little sweeter though)

Directions:

Start with cutting your pumpkin in half. Soak it in 9×13 pans filled 1/4 the way with water. Bake in the oven for 45 to 90 minutes at 350 to 400 degrees. I cooked mine at 400 degrees for about 55 minutes. You will know your pumpkin is cooked enough when you can easily poke a fork into the pumpkin. It should be mushy and collapsing a little.

When the pumpkin is cooked you will scrape out the flesh for your soup! This part is fun. You will need about 8 cups. I was able to get more than 8 cups in a good carving-sized pumpkin.

Pumpkin soup flesh

Next you will heat the olive oil in a stock-pot (preferably 8 quart). Start by sauteing the your chopped onions, then then add the ginger, carrots, celery, and applies. Saute all for about 5-10 minutes.

Now, add the water and/or stock, cooked pumpkin flesh, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and pepper. Bring all to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook covered for roughly 20 minutes.

It should look something like this.

pumpkin soup

Lastly, you will puree the soup in batches. I know you are thinking, “why? It looks so good chunky?” But I promise you, it is even better pureed.

I would recommend baking the pumpkin seeds from your pumpkin to add to your soup or just as another snack. When I made this we were running short on time so we just did a salt and pepper recipe, but I would recommend trying something more savory like this recipe.

You can serve with a swirl of coconut milk and cilantro (which if you do you will have to let me know how it tastes). Or you can add a swirl of cream, agave maple syrup, and a sprinkle of baked pumpkin seeds (or any of the assortment).

pureed pumpkin soup

ENJOY your delicious Pumpkin Soup!!! It yields PLENTY!

Lemon Shrimp Spinach Pasta

SO I made this up today and crossed my fingers that it would turn out…and it was a success!

Sauce:

[I just made a white roux]

– 1-2 T flour

– 1 T butter

– 3 T white wine

– add milk until sauce is to desired thickness (I preferred a thinner sauce for this pasta)

*once sauce is forming, squeeze lemon juice

Shrimp:

– sauté shrimp in butter, squeeze lemon juice into mixture

– season with salt & lemon pepper

– when shrimp is almost done, add 1 T capers

Pasta:

I just used whole wheat linguine

– when pasta is done, add with shrimp to sauce, then add 1-2 cups fresh spinach. Cook for approx. 1-2 more minutes and you’re done!

 

 

Peanut Butter Banana Spinach Smoothie

A big thanks to Iowa Girl Eats for this recipe and my new breakfast of champions. I’ve even convinced Joe, who wouldn’t come anywhere near spinach with a ten foot pole a few months ago, to drink it for breakfast and he agrees – it just tastes like peanut butter and bananas! Plus, spinach is a superfood! Studies even show that increased consumption of dark leafy greens, such as spinach, helps ward off age related mental decline and memory loss by up to 40%! Eat your greens!

Peanut Butter Banana Spinach Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana, sliced before frozen
  • 1 Tbs. peanut butter
  • 1/2 c. low-fat vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 c. milk
  • 3-5 c. baby spinach, really it’s just however much you can put in there. 🙂

Directions: Blend all ingredients until smooth. Makes 1-2 servings.

what to do with a huge leftover bag of lettuce: PF Changs style lettuce wraps

leftoverlettuce

After throwing an event where we had sub sandwiches I was left with this HUGE bag of lettuce.  My solution for how to use it was: lettuce wraps. And if I do say so myself I think they turned out pretty well. The following recipe was found online. It is supposedly PF Chang style lettuce wraps.

Serving Size: 6 people

Ingredients:
7 1/2 tablespoons oil
5 boneless chicken breasts
2 1/2 cups water chestnuts
1 2/3 cups mushrooms
7 1/2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
10-12 1/2 leaves iceberg lettuce leaves (or sub walmart sub sandwich bag style)

Special Sauce:
5/8 cups sugar
1 1/4 cup water
5 tablespoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
5 tablespoons ketchup
2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 teaspoon sesame oil
2 1/2 tablespoons hot mustard
2 1/2 – 5 teaspoons garlic and red chile pepper paste

Stir Fry Sauce:
5 tablespoons soy sauce
5 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar

lettuce wraps

Directions:

  1. mix all the special sauce ingredients together. refrigerate.
  2. bring oil to a high heat in either a large frying pan or a wok
  3. saute Chicken breast till fully cooked. this should take about 10 minutes.
  4. remove chicken from pan to cool. leave oil in pan and keep it hot.
  5. mince water chestnuts, mushrooms, and chicken to roughly the size of a small pea.
  6. prepare stir fry sauce in a bowl by adding all stir fry sauce ingredients.
  7. add another Tbsp oil to pan and saute water chestnuts, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and chicken in the stir fry sauce. about 4 minutes.
  8. serve over lettuce “cups” and top with special sauce.

Note:  Lettuce wraps can be very messy to eat.  It might be easier to cut lettuce up and eat like a salad. Use the Special Sauce as your dressing.