Roasted Cabbage with Lemon

A friend of mine posted a photo on her Instagram of roasted cabbage and I thought “WHY HAVE I NEVER TRIED THAT?!” Yes, with that much enthusiasm. I love cabbage and I love to roast things…vegetables in particular. So I  gave it a try and it was just what I dreamed of. Delicious.

What you’ll need:

  • one whole cabbage. I have purple cabbage that I’m going to try next!
  • juice from 2 lemons (I used Meyer which makes everything taste better)
  • about 1/2 tbsp of olive oil
  • salt and pepper (any other seasoning you’d like)
What you’ll do:
Cut cabbage into 8 equal parts and place on baking sheet. Use brush to coat each side of cabbage with oil and lemon mixture and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn over and bake for another 15 minutes at 400 degrees or until golden brown. Squeeze lemon on top before serving.

What are your favorite veggies to roast?

Quinoa and Veggie Stuffed Peppers with Spicy Black Beans

Stuffed bell peppers are one of my favorite things to make (I’ve blogged about them before here). Last night I made these with quinoa and a whole bunch of veggies. They were delicious and they were pretty filling because of the protein in the quinoa!

What you’ll need:

  • 2 large bell peppers
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I used a quinoa and brown rice mix)
  • handful of fresh spinach
  • 1/2 of a red onion, chopped
  • a handful of mushrooms, chopped (any kind will work, I used white)
  • 1 tbsp. sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 c dry white wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • I added a little cayenne pepper for some spice but you can leave that out

What you’ll do:

Chop the top off the bell peppers and clean out the seeds. Hold on to the top so you can put it back on for baking. Saute the onions and green bell peppers in a little olive oil until tender. Then add mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes. After a few minutes, add the wine and spinach. Mix in the quinoa and cook until heated through. Add the mixture to the bell peppers until they are full, put the caps back on and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

The black beans are super easy and super yummy. All you need is a can of black beans (I use organic), 1/2 cup of your favorite salsa or pico de gallo (I used a fresh pico from the store that was extra spicy) and a little salt and pepper! You heat those ingredients together and then top with a little bit of your favorite shredded cheese. I made these for a little extra protein on the side of our veggie bell peppers since we weren’t having any meat. Enjoy!

An Artichoke a Day

Last night my husband and I made a healthy, delicious meal of fresh lemon and dill salmon and steamed artichokes. Artichokes have been my favorite vegetable since I was a kid and I don’t think I will ever get sick of them. We even grew them ourselves last year!

When I was little I would refuse to eat the heart of the artichoke. I remember my mom saying, “Why don’t you eat the heart? It’s the best part!”  My response would usually be something like “Eww, gross!” It took years until I finally told my parents that I wasn’t eating the best part of the artichoke because I thought it was a real heart. I was little and didn’t understand the difference between a real heart and the idea that something could be called a heart because it was at the “heart” of the vegetable.  When I finally learned the difference I was amazed by what I had been missing. The heart really is the best part! I guess mom’s always know best!

The problem with eating an artichoke a day is that most artichoke dipping sauces are loaded with fat and extra calories. Most people eat them with mayonnaise, or garlic butter, which clearly are not the healthiest choices. When my mom used to make them, we would dip them in Italian dressing mixed with Parmesan cheese. I know, it sounds weird, but it was really tasty and much healthier. Randomly one day I added cottage cheese to that mixture and ate my artichokes dipped in cottage cheese and Italian dressing for years after that. Of course I’ve had the mayo and the garlic butter as well, but now I am always trying to come up new healthy versions that still tastes delicious. This one is my favorite so far:

Lemon and Dill Yogurt Aioli 

  • 1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve! Double recipe as needed for more artichokes (amounts don’t need to be exact. Add ingredients to taste)

Baked Lemon and Dill Salmon

  • 2 salmon filets
  • 2 tbsp room temp butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon

Mix together butter, lemon and dill. Spread over top of salmon filets in a baking dish lined with foil. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes (depending on size of salmon). Then broil for 5 minutes to crisp the top of the salmon. Squeeze lemon on top before serving and garnish with fresh dill. Enjoy!

Ground Turkey and White Bean Soup

This is another warm, hearty soup I made last week to take to work for lunch. I found the recipe online a while ago and made a few small changes to make it my own. It was another super easy, super fast recipe that turned out delicious. There are very few ingredients and you can cook everything in one big pot.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed (I used Northern but others will work just fine)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 16oz jar green salsa
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 small can green chilies
  • cilantro for garnish

Instructions:

Saute the onions and garlic in olive oil in a large soup pot until tender. Add ground turkey and cook until brown. Add the canned beans, chicken broth, salsa, green chilies and cumin and bring to a boil. Turn down and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Serve and garnish with fresh cilantro (sour cream tastes great on top as well). Enjoy!

Black Bean and Green Chili Soup

It has been so cold here this week that I have been wanting to make some warm soups to take to work for lunch. Salad just doesn’t cut it in this cold weather! And when I say “cold,” I mean California-cold, which would be laughable to most people who don’t live in the Golden state, but I’ve lived here most of my life and am therefore a complete baby when it comes to harsh weather. So I’m sticking with my story, and saying it is “cold” in Northern California right now.

I wanted to make an easy soup with few ingredients that would be filling enough to have as an entire meal. So this is what I came up with and it was delicious! It may not look very pretty, but trust me, it tastes pretty.

What you need-

– 1 large onion, chopped

– 3 garlic cloves, chopped

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 2 tbsp. cumin

– salt and pepper to taste

– 3 large tomatoes, chopped (canned tomatoes would work too)

– 2 cans of black beans, drained

– 1 4-6oz can green chilies

– 3 cups of chicken or vegetable stock

– Cilantro and sour cream for garnish

This soup is so easy. Just saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil until the onions  start to turn clear. Add cumin and salt and pepper. Then add the broth, tomatoes, black beans and green chilies. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and garnish with sour cream and fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

The broth is kind of an ugly green color from the chilies but don’t let that trick you. It’s delicious and perfect for a cold day.

Butter Bean, Sun-dried Tomato and Pesto Soup

I have been sick with a nasty cold for over a week now and all I have been wanting to eat is delicious, warm soup. This past weekend I made two soups and this one was the easiest and the most tasty. I have had this cook book for a few years now and never made anything from it until this soup. Everything in the book only requires 3-4 ingredients. How easy is that?

All you need is 4 cups chicken broth, 4 tbsp. sun-dried tomato paste, 4 tbsp. pesto, and 2 cans white lima beans (or butter beans). I also added some sautéed onions to the soup because I already had them on hand from the other soup I was making.

First you add the butter beans to the broth in a large pot and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and slowly ladle the beans and broth mixture into a food processor. Mix until creamy and transfer back into the pot. Then blend the sun-dried tomatoes into a paste in the food processor (or blender). Add that to the bean and broth mixture along with the pesto and onions.

Let simmer for 15 minutes and serve. I added a little cayenne pepper to the mix and topped the soup off with a little Tapatio because I like everything a little spicy. This soup was hearty and delicious and was so easy and fast to make. I think this will be a recipe I make every winter!

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Last night I made stuffed bell peppers with chicken sausage, brown rice, and some veggies. It was an easy, delicious dish that you could also make vegetarian by taking out the sausage.

Here is what you’ll need:

– 1 cup cooked brown rice

– 1/2 red onion, chopped

– 2 stalks of celery, chopped

– 1 clove garlic, minced

– 1 large tomato, chopped (or 1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes, which is what I used)

– 2 large bell peppers (I used one yellow and one red)

– 2 tbsp. olive oil

– 2 chicken sausage links, chopped (I used Adele’s mango and jalapeno sausage)

– 1 jalapeno, diced (you can leave this out if you don’t like spicy food)

– 1 glass of red wine (for drinking, not for cooking)

Directions:

Pre-heat your over to 350 degrees. Saute onions, garlic, jalapeno, and celery in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add in chopped sausage until warm (this sausage is pre-cooked, and just needs to be heated through). Once sausage is warm, add chopped tomatoes and cooked brown rice. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and clean out insides. Add rice and sausage mixture to bell peppers and place in oven on a baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes or until peppers are soft. Sprinkle with a little paprika and serve warm.

Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce

Now that the weather is finally starting to cool down and it’s actually looking a little like fall outside, I have been craving a rich, creamy fall pasta. So, I decided to make a butternut squash sauce.
I wanted this to be quick and easy, so I picked up a package of cubed butternut squash from whole foods.

Here is what you’ll need:

– 1 medium yellow onion, diced

-1 clove garlic, minced

– 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cubed

– 1 tbsp. olive oil

– Fresh parsley, torn

– Fresh Basil, torn

– 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or other red pepper)

– 1/4 cup butter

-1/2 white wine

– 1/2- 3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock

– salt and pepper to taste

– pasta of your choice

Directions:

Cook onions and garlic in olive oil until they start to turn clear. Then add wine and broth and bring to a boil. Add squash and lower heat. Throw in parsley, salt and pepper, and cayenne pepper and cover. Let cook until squash is tender, about 10-15 minutes. While the squash is cooking, start your pasta. When the squash is ready mash with a fork or potato masher to make a thick consistency. Add water or broth to thin out the sauce at this point if necessary. Add butter and stir. Serve over freshly cooked pasta of your choice and top with torn basil and a little red pepper. The buttery sauce goes great with a glass of nice chardonnay.

Warm Apple Crisp

A friend of mine at work brought me a bunch of apples from her parent’s apple tree last week and I have been dying to make something with them. I haven’t had a lot of time to cook or bake so I thought a warm apple crisp would be easy and delicious.  It only takes a few ingredients and is so easy to throw together.  If you remember from Triumphs of a Terrible Baker, I cannot bake. But this was so easy even I couldn’t screw it up. I started with about 9 apples. Then I peeled, cored, and sliced them.

Then combine 2 tbsp. of flour, 2 tsp. of cinnamon, and a 1/2 cup of white sugar and pour them over your apples until they are coated.

Combine  1 cup raw oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used dark because it’s all I had), and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Slowly add small chunks of butter or margarine and mix until oat mixture is crumbly. Then place apples in a large baking dish and cover with oat mixture.

Bake for 55 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve warm and top with cool whip, whip cream, ice cream, or eat by itself!

Pumpkin Banana Oatmeal

I’ve been making pumpkin oatmeal the last few mornings and I have decided it is my new favorite breakfast. I cooked the oatmeal with a sliced banana, a little almond milk, and two large scoops of pumpkin puree. Then I mixed in some flax-seed and topped it with a little granola, a small scoop of peanut butter, chia seeds, and one day I added shredded coconut. I think it is the perfect warm breakfast for fall.