Archive for April, 2013

Chocolate Pea Pudding/Dip

Yup, you heard me.

Peas.

In a dessert.

Seems nasty right?

But just look at the picture for a second.

How about now?

You guys are just going to have to take a leap of faith and trust me on this one.

Please do.

I’m sure some of you have tried black bean brownies, spinach smoothies, and avocado mousse before. Just think of it as another “secret ingredient” recipe. In a contest with my Chocolate Avocado Mousse, I honestly don’t know who’d win.

It tastes that darn good.

As an additional bonus, this pudding/dip is FILLING (not that it stops me from finishing my portion 🙂 )To make sure my taste buds had not gone out of whack, I had some family members taste test this without telling them what was inside. Nobody could guess anything out of the ordinary.

Gotta love the power of disguise.

NOTE: I recommend using frozen peas for this for a cool and refreshing taste.

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Chocolate Pea Pudding/Dip

Ingredients:

2 cups frozen peas

1/4 cup organic pure maple syrup

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

2 tbsp UNrefined coconut oil, melted (do NOT omit)

1/2 tbsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

Directions:

Place peas in a strainer and briefly run under warm water. Transfer peas to a food processor. Add in the rest of ingredients and process until smooth and peas are no longer detectable.

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Curry Green Oatmeal

Thursday is my late dinner night. I come home from school and work and go right to the gym to lift weights (or attempt to, anyway) and take my spinning and pilates class. I don’t know if that’s considered too much gym time, but it takes my mind off everything that’s stressing me out. Plus, I can daydream for a few hours 🙂 And as sad as it may seem, I daydream about dinner when I get home. My breakfast dinner. At first, my family looked at me strange, but now they all know that Thursday night = oatmeal creations. I’ve tried so many combinations (some good, some not so good) and this is one of my favorites. It’s pretty quick to make (seeing that I’m eating this 10 at night) and it makes a decent portion.

I was going to call this “green curry” oatmeal, but I’m afraid someone will yell at me. Afterall, green curry is green curry and I would never want to falsely imitate it. However, this does contain curry and it is green colored. So, curry green oatmeal seemed fitting.

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Curry Green Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/2 cup oats, uncooked

1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 tsp curry powder

1/8 tsp pepper

2/3 cup chicken broth

1/2 tbsp minced garlic

1/2 tbsp minced ginger

1/4 large onion, chopped

1 and 1/2 cups fresh spinach or arugula

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp pine nuts

1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup frozen peas

Directions:

Place and mix oats, red pepper flakes, curry powder and pepper in a bowl. Set aside. In a small pot, bring chicken broth to a boil. Pour broth over oats, give a quick stir, and place a plate over the bowl. Let oatmeal sit, covered, for 5 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Afterward, transfer oatmeal into a food processor. Add in minced garlic, ginger, onion, spinach or arugula, soy sauce, and pin nuts. Puree all together until smooth and green. Mix in bell pepper and peas.

Sausage and Spinach in Butternut Sauce

As I’ve mentioned before, butternut squash is amazing for so many reasons. Soups, fries, mashes. And the list goes on. This week, it’s good for a nice, thick sauce. Who needs cream anyway? Add in some sausage and curry powder, and I’m in heaven.

Now, I served this meal with rice, but feel free to try noodles (hmmm spaghetti squash? Squash over squash. Now THAT’S heaven for me 🙂 ) or any other combination. Enjoy!

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Sausage and Spinach in Butternut Sauce 

Ingredients:

1 medium butternut squash

3 cups chicken broth

1/2 tbsp thyme

1 cup rice, uncooked

1 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/4 cup carrots, chopped

8 oz white button mushrooms, sliced

2 tbsp pimentos

1/2 tbsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp curry powder

12 oz organic and precooked sausage links, thawed and then coined and cut into quarters (I used Italian Herb with Porcini Mushrooms Chicken Sausage)

5 oz fresh spinach

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:  

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and cover a shallow baking sheet with foil. (Note: use a pan with sides- the squash releases liquid while roasting). Cut the butternut squash once horizontally and once vertically, so it’s cut into quarters. Remove its seeds and “guts.” Place the quarters face-down and peel-side up on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 1 hour. Let cool. Afterwards, scoop out squash pulp and transfer to a food processor. Add in chicken broth and thyme and process until smooth and set aside.

Cook rice according to box instructions.

Heat olive oil in a pot over low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes. Add in carrots, mushrooms, pimentos, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and curry powder and sauté for 2 more minutes. Add in sausage and cook until heated, about 12 minutes. Add in butternut squash, followed by spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Mix in rice and add salt and pepper.

 

Chicken Soup

I have to say, this week has been a roller coaster of events. Now, I’m just exhausted. Therefore, it seemed fitting to post a chicken soup recipe. After all, chicken soup is good for the soul (and also makes a good read as well 😉 )

Anyway, I just want to curl up in a ball and never move again. This week started with me being sick and finding out that my cat is severely ill. I’m not going to lie, I’m not a cat person. In fact, the only cat I can stand is my cat. Regardless, I get emotional whenever I enter a hospital (even if it is for animals). On top of this, I had to work extra hours this week. This means I had to stay up till 3 a.m to work on a paper and presentation and then wake up at 6 a.m for work again. This all resulted in a mini-breakdown I had this week over…car keys.

You see, I hadn’t been sleeping or eating a lot lately and it was 11 pm the night before I had my big presentation. I really had to get home from my Mom’s and work on the paper that went along with it. Only, my keys were missing. This threw me into a panic- until I remembered that my sister and brother sometimes hid my keys. They however, told me (while laughing) that they did not have it. This kinda threw me over the edge and I started freaking out. And made my family look at me like I’m crazy. Which I probably am by the way.

Luckily, I found out that they did not have my keys (my bad). Instead, they were still in my car… which was locked. Oops.

So yeah, it’s been that kinda week. Needless to say, I’m happy it’s the weekend. Well, kinda. I need to start on a Case Study report that I had all semester to do.

I’m sorry. I don’t mean to complain. I hope I didn’t scare too many people away. Rest assure, I’m not usually this depressing.

For those of you who are still with me, here’s my chicken soup (for the soul) recipe. It’s pretty basic, so feel free to add more stuff to it (we’ve already made it again and added a head of cabbage). I say “we” because my dad and I collaborated on this. Unfortunately, this means I couldn’t experiment too much as my dad is pretty traditional and basic when it comes to classics. We also had to make some compromises about cooking methods and what to do with the chicken skin. But hey- he bought the chicken so I can’t really complain. Enjoy!

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Chicken Soup 

Ingredients:

6 lb. whole organic chicken, defrosted

water

5 cups carrots, coined into 1/2 in thick pieces

1 celery stalk, chopped

7 onions, chopped to desired size

salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place chicken in a tall pot and add water until the chicken is completely covered (about 25 cups). With the lid on, bring to a boil. Let boil for 4 minutes. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour. Afterwards, remove chicken (we used tongs to do this) and add in carrots, celery, and onions to begin simmering for 3 hours. Once cool enough to touch, debone the chicken. Place large pieces of skin (optional), the bones, and carcass back in pot. Add some salt and pepper and cover pot with the lid. Shred the chicken meat and place in the fridge until serving time. For the next 3 hours, stir soup every so often. Once ready to serve, you can either remove the skin, bones, and carcass, or have everyone remove it themselves if it gets ladled into their bowls. Add more salt and pepper if needed.