Chicken-Avacado Salad

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Ingredients:

  • chicken
  • cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 avocado
  • spinach
  • pine nuts
  • balsamic vinegar

Directions:

  1. Cut up the chicken and put it in a frying pan with a little oil. I seasoned it with pepper, salt, turmeric, garlic powder, chili powder, cajun seasoning and lime juice, but feel free to season it however you like.
  2. On a plate, put spinach, a few sliced cherry tomatoes and 1/2 an avocado
  3. Add the chicken.
  4. In the frying pan, toast the pine nuts and then put on salad
  5. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and enjoy!
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Ground Beef and Vegetable Stew

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Boston gave us a taste of Spring this past weekend- a thunder storm and multiple days in the 50s. And while it is not spring yet, I figured that I needed to get some last minute stew in before it is too warm. This recipe comes from Southernplate.com  and I improvised to make it my own!

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Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef, cooked and drained
  • Carrots, diced
  • Onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 Cups frozen green beans
  • 28 ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 Cans Spicy Hot V-8 juice
  • 2 C water
  • 4 Beef Boullion Cubes
  • 1 tsp salt (more or less to taste)
  • mushrooms
  • cup or so of peas
  • cup or so of kale
  • seasonings of your liking (I used italian seasoning, adobo, black and white pepper, chili pepper, oregano)

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Instructions

  1. Place everything in a pot except for ground beef (cook before hand) and kale. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmering. Cover and cook for an hour until vegetables are tender.
  2.  Add ground beef, cook for another fifteen minutes.
  3. Add the kale, cook for another fifteen minutes

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Guest Blog Post: Chocolate Stout Cookies with Salted Caramel Frosting & Pretzels

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My friend, Erin, and I always bake insane desserts. One year for 4th of July we made brownies with marshmallows on top and tried to dye some of them red and blue. It turned into a sticky mess. We also once made homemade whiskey infused marshmallows (without an electric mixer), where in turn we made s’mores with bacon. That was probably one of better creations.

This recipe I did not participate in much of the making, so the recipe was followed well (again- I’m not the best at following recipes). It comes from Craving Chronicles, but we adopted it to be dairy-free (please keep in mind that this recipe still uses dark chocolate and butter but if you cannot tolerate that use a substitute.)

Chocolate Stout Cookies with Salted Caramel Frosting & Pretzels

Printable Recipe
Adapted from Butter Me Up Brooklyn
Makes about 2 dozen 3-inch cookies

I used Snyder’s Butter Snaps pretzels because they’re my favorite. After trying it two different ways, I discovered it’s best to dip the frosted cookies into the crushed pretzels – that way you pick up more of the salty pretzel flavor on the cookies.

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tablespoon dark cocoa (such as Hershey’s Dark Cocoa)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (Earth Balance has dairy free butter)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
6 ounces stout beer (we used Anderson Valley Bourbon Barrel Stout)
1 1/2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips

1 batch Easy Salted Caramel Frosting (below)
1 bag of salted pretzels

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with Silpats or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powders, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.

Beat butter with sugars with a mixer using the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and egg and beat to combine. With the mixer on low, add flour mixture in thirds, alternating with the beer. Beat just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula.

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Chill dough in the fridge for about 15 minutes, or until firm enough to scoop.

Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 350°F for 15-17 minutes or until tops spring back lightly when touched. Cool on pan for 2-3 minutes, then transfer to a wire wrack to cool completely.

To Assemble
Crush pretzels into small pieces in a plastic storage bag using your hands, or with a food processor. Spread pretzel crumbs out in a pie plate or on a small baking sheet.

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Only frost cookies once they have cooled completely. Working with warm frosting still in the pan, spread frosting on a few cookies at a time. Dip each cookie frosting side down in the pretzel crumbs, pushing lightly to make sure they stick. Frosting will dry as it cools, so work with only a few cookies for best results.


Easy Salted Caramel Frosting

Printable Recipe
Adapted from Betty Crocker

The trick with this frosting is to not add too much powdered sugar or it will be thick, stiff, and too sweet. Add only as much as you need to make it spreadable without being runny. Leave the frosting in the warm pan as you frost the cookies to make it easier to spread. It will set up as it cools.

Ingredients

1/2 cup (1 stick) salted butter
pinch of salt
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (you can also use a dairy-free milk or cream alternative)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup + up to 4 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, salt and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring to combine. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil unstirred for 1-2 minutes.

Remove from heat and immediately whisk in cream. (Careful! Hot caramel may spatter.) Whisk in vanilla. Cool 5-10 minutes, then stir in 1 cup powdered sugar. Whisk briskly to smooth out any lumps. If needed, add powdered sugar 1 tablespoon at a time (up to 4 tablespoons), whisking briskly between each addition, until frosting is firm enough that the whisk tracks don’t sink all the way back into the frosting.

Spread frosting over cooled cookies. (See instructions above.)

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Pasta and Veggies Galore!

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When I cook- pasta is normally the last starch I consider using. I love rice and quinoa, and often do not even use a starch. I used a bunch of random vegetables that I had in my fridge for this- the measurements are approximate so feel free to change it accordingly!

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Ingredients:

  • Pasta
  • Tomatos
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Mushrooms
  • Garlic
  • Snap Peas
  • Spinach
  • 1 egg
  • Olive Oil

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Directions

  1. Start cooking the pasta of your choice – following the instructions on the package.
  2. Peel/chop the carrots, and cut up the mushrooms, snap peas, garlic and onion.
  3. Put them in a pan with olive oil on medium heat- season accordingly. (I use adobo, salt, pepper, chili pepper, and cajun seasoning)
  4. Once they are cooked to your liking add the spinach and tomato.
  5. Combine the pasta and vegetables- then add an egg (that was whisked in a bowl previously). Cook on low heat until the egg is fully cooked.

photo 2 (6)Serve and enjoy!

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Crispy Roasted Chickpeas

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I found this recipe off Yummly, and it comes from Steamy Kitchen. It is extremely easy, healthy and a great snack. I changed a few minor things, but the recipe is almost the exact same.

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One 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt
Spice blend of your choice (I used cajun seasoning)
Lime Juice
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Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Drain the can of garbanzo beans in a strainer and rinse with water for a few seconds to clean off the beans. Shake and tap the strainer to rid of excess water. Lay paper towl on a baking sheet, and spread the beans over. Use another paper towel to gently press and absorb the water on the beans. Roll the beans around with the paper towel to also remove the thin skin from any of the beans. Discard the skins and the paper towels.

3. Drizzle the olive oil over the beans and use your hands or a spatula to toss around and coat. Season with salt and spice blend. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the beans are a deep golden brown and crunchy. Make sure that the beans do not burn.

4. Top with lime juice and serve!

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Butterscotch Brownies

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Again, another family cookbook recipe. It reminds me of growing up and my childhood when I make these recipes, which I really love!

Preheat the over to 350

Melt in saucepan: 1/4 cup of butter (or butter substitute)

Stir in 1 cup of brown sugar until dissolved

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Let the ingredients cool slightly then beat in well: 1 egg and 1 tsp of vanilla

In a separate container sift a 1/2 cup of flour and then add 1 tsp of baking powder and a 1/2 tsp of salt.

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Mix all the ingredients together (add semi-sweet chocolate chips if desired, which I did because chocolate chips are amazing!)

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Pour the batter into a greased 9×9 pan (I doubled the recipe so I used a 9×13 pan)

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes

Cut into bars when cool

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White Chicken Chili

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This is another recipe from my family cookbook, an absolutely delicious white chicken chili – lactose and dairy free!

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  • 2 cans of white beans (any kind works)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (if your stomach can’t handle that, a dairy substitute)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of almond milk
  • 1 tsp. tabasco sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 4 oz of chopped jalapeño chilies
  • 3 or 4 skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 1/2 shredded dairy free cheese

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In a skillet, cook onion in 2 tbsp. of butter over moderate heat until softened

In a 6-8 quart pot, melt remaining 6 tbsp of butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook roux, whisking constantly, 3 minutes. Stir in onions and gradually add broth and almond milk, whisking constantly.

Cook the chicken in a separate pan.

Bring the roux/onion/broth/milk mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes or until thickened. Stir in the spices, then add the beans, chilies, chicken and cheese and cook the mixture over moderately low heat, stirring, for 20 minutes.

Serve with salsa

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