Roasted Red Pepper Dip

I’ve gone a little overboard with jars of roasted red peppers and discovered three in the cupboard, beyond the two in the fridge today. So for our neighbor’s potluck, I decided to try making a roasted red pepper dip with coconut milk yogurt (a new option since goat cheese yogurt was not available), white bean hummus and goat cheese. Let’s hope the neighbors approve…

Mix two jars of roasted red peppers, a small container of hummus, 6 oz of yogurt and a small log of chevre in a food processor. Salt to taste, and serve with carrots, other veggies, or chips. Pretty easy and healthy as far as dips go!

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Put an Egg On It: Quinoa for Breakfast

My latest obsession is a fried egg on just about anything: pasta, veggies, hash. This time, I swapped the old egg-on-toast breakfast classic with protein-packed quinoa. And it couldn’t be easier.

Just follow the instructions for making quinoa, then fry two eggs over easy (season with salt while cooking). Place the eggs on top of the quinoa in a bowl, and enjoy!

Indy licked the bowl afterwards, so it’s quite possibly dog-friendly too.

Garlic Gnocchi with Avocado Mash, Peas & Tomatoes

Mashed avocado has become a popular topping for toast, so I was inspired to try it as a creamy coating for pasta – specifically garlic gnocchi, along with tomatoes, peas, and olive oil.

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It’s quick too. Simply boil the water for the gnocchi, while dicing tomatoes, scooping out avocado halves prior to mashing and seasoning with salt, and prepping the peas (I used frozen). After cooking the gnocchi for a minute or less to tenderness, drain water from the pot, and stir in the avocado mash and a little olive oil with the pasta, followed by the other ingredients. Top with Parmesan.

Beg, Borrow & Meal: Quinoa Southwestern Salad

Instant doesn’t have to mean unhealthy. Every week I order healthy and/or organic pre-packaged meals and snacks from Safeway.com to smooth out the hungry edges of a busy workday or post-commute dinner. This week, I made lemonade out of lemons (salads that arrived on the same day they expired), by beefing them up for heartier dinner portions.

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Using Safeway O Organics Southwestern Chicken Salad as a base, I added diced Safeway Select roasted red peppers, leftover O Organics quinoa from the previous night, Safeway Select pre-cut broccoli florets, and substituted the ranch dressing with goat milk yogurt. (David got both of our packets of tortilla chips.) I definitely recommend seasoning generously with salt.

(And if you’re listening Safeway.com, know that I’m a beyond loyal customer but I’m so tired of getting things delivered that have already expired or are about to expire in a day or two. My delivery drivers are always gracious about passing along the message to the store manager and I’ve called customer service countless times. The ability to return something doesn’t help if no replacement is delivered in its place.)

Quinoa Burrito Bowl

We’ve made burritos since college, but fortunately our eating habits have become much healthier since then. So tonight I decided to makeover our old standby as a quinoa burrito bowl, apropos for a more health conscious era.

Brown the ground turkey and season with salt, cumin and chili pepper. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa and prepare veggies as desired. Serve with a dollop of goat milk yogurt; season with salt, and stir to enjoy. Bye bye burrito!

Cast Iron & Wine

After tiring of burnt nonstick pans, I took the plunge with enameled cast iron. Rather than splurge on Le Creuset, I decided to get my feet wet with this four-star rated, dishwasher safe Cuisinart cast iron pan in Provençal Blue to match my cabinets. 🙂

Tonight’s test drive went surprisingly well. I turned 6-months frozen ground turkey (questionable on many fronts) into a perfectly browned and juicy filling for tacos. Call me a convert!

Healthy Crock Pot Bangers & Mash

My favorite part of summer is eating dinner al fresco with the heavenly Delta breeze in effect. In winter and spring, my crockpot became a Sunday ritual, so why I figured why not put it to use for June’s maiden dinner on the patio.

With chicken apple sausage in the fridge, onions from the farmers market, and potatoes in the cupboard, I came up with a healthy, dairy-free version of bangers and mash.

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In the crock pot, pour about 4 cups of broth (I used leftover mushroom broth from soaking dried mushrooms for Wednesday night’s quinoa) and add two sliced onions (I used yellow with 1-2 inches of the light green stems). Then place four chicken apple sausages (or other healthy, all natural brats) in the crockpot, followed by peeled russet potatoes (as many as can fit as a top layer). Sprinkle generously with salt and cook on low for 4-5 hours.

Remove potatoes and mash in a separate dish, using spoonfuls of cooked broth and almond milk, until desired consistency. Salt to taste. Serve potatoes, followed by broth and onions, and place a sausage or two on top.

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