Saturday, February 28, 2009

Fried couscous

This is another dish inspired by 101 Cookbooks. This time it's a fried couscous bowl, which is a variation of Heidi's Wild Fried Rice.

Jill was over today and she wanted couscous. I had made some stuffed bell peppers the other day with couscous and cannellini beans, which were really good together. We still had a can in the pantry, so we decided to toss those in, along with some garlic, white onion, tomato, spinach, parmesan cheese, fried egg, and lots of red pepper flakes and/or tabasco. I am starting to love spicy food, which is really weird for me.

This is a good dish to get in all your nutrients; it's full of whole grains, protein, and veggies. Use a 1/2 TB of olive oil to fry your egg, then remove it from the pan and add another 1/2 TB to fry your couscous. It's also pretty versatile...just add in whatever you've got laying around: beans, carrots, peas, bell peppers, pretty much anything. Just remember not to add in any beans or tomatoes until the end, or they'll get mushed up.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Chipotle white beans

This is a recipe I snatched from 101 Cookbooks, which was originally Giant Chipotle White Beans. I didn't change much, I just used small white beans instead of giant, and added some chickpeas. For the cheese I used chunks of queso fresco.

This recipe makes a gorgeous panful that makes you think you're eating a big cheesy pizza...we gobbled it right up. The chipotle sauce and red pepper flakes make it really spicy, so have a big glass of ice water ready.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Low-carb cheesecake

I have had a never-ending chocolate craving this weekend. I can't get enough of it. So far, I've been able to control it to a decent extent, but I did have a few too many Valentine chocolates.

I've been limiting my carb intake recently... I'm not doing the Atkins diet or anything, but I am trying to avoid bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, tortillas, chips, etc. When I started this, I told myself I would boycott desserts...but I quickly realized that I can't do without chocolate for an extended period of time. Actually, I don't think I can go without chocolate for more than a day or two.

Anyway, so I found myself craving chocolate once again tonight. I found a recipe for a low-carb "cheesecake," and I immediately decided to make it into a turtle cheesecake. Here's the recipe..

Low-Carb Turtle Cheesecake
(makes 3 or 4 servings;
267 calories and 14 carbs;
or 202 calories and 10 carbs)

8 oz package cream cheese or neufchatel
1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder
3 TBS splenda*
3 sugar-free pecans-and-caramel chocolates
Can of light whipped cream

Heat neufchatel in microwave for 20-30 seconds. Mix in cocoa powder and sugar, and place in fridge to set. (If you have some time, give it about 30-40 minutes. Or, you can put it in the freezer to speed it up.)
Finely chop the chocolates. When the neufchatel mixture is set, divide up portions, top with a squirt of whipped cream, and sprinkle generously with chocolate.

*We were practically out of splenda, so I used 1 TB splenda, 1 TB stevia, and 1 TB regular sugar.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Ricotta scramble with black beans

Ricotta Scramble with Spinach and Black Beans
(370 calories; 28 g protein; serves 1)

2 eggs, beaten
1/4 c ricotta cheese
3/4 c fresh spinach, chopped
1/4 c sprouts, chopped
1/4 c onion, chopped
1/2 c black beans
1/2 tsp sea salt
Cayenne or red pepper flakes (optional)
Salsa verde (optional)

Season eggs with salt and cayenne or red pepper to taste. Heat pan to low heat. Spray with no-calorie cooking spray. Cook spinach until wilted. Increase heat to medium-low heat. Add onions and cook another minute. Make a well in the center, and add another dose of cooking spray. Add eggs, stir, and spread mixture out around the pan. Add the ricotta evenly across the eggs. Add sprouts. Stir and cook about another minute. Remove from pan. Heat black beans in microwave for 30 seconds. Place on plate with eggs. Top with salsa verde and eat.

Surf Club salad

Maranui Surf Club Salad

This is a squash and chickpea salad, with coconut milk, lime, and curry. I estimate this salad has 200 calories per 3/4 c serving.

My fresh acorn squash was too hard to cut, so I meant to soften it a bit in the microwave....but I absentmindedly cooked it for almost 6 minutes. Consequently, my squash was much softer than the recipe calls for. It's supposed to be toasted cubes of squash. Because it was more creamy, the result tasted like a coconut-y, exotic potato salad! It's actually really good, it's just a different texture than the original recipe.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Baked Quince

At Whole Foods yesterday, I came across some odd-looking fruits in the produce section. This quince was the only one I could afford. LOL. I wasn't sure how to eat it....I thought you could eat it like an apple. Apparently not. I looked it up, and I found out that raw quince is hard and tart...and that quince jelly used to be common in the U.S. until canning went out of fashion. Quince can also be baked like pears or apples, used in compotes, cobblers, and pies, or made into a kind of fruit leather.

The quince intrigues me. It looks like a lemon, smells like a pineapple, and tastes like a pear. The word "quince" sounds so medieval and antiquated to an obsolete word. It makes me feel like I'm eating something from the middle ages, maybe along with some Cornish pasties and mutton. I can't wait to buy more, so I can make another of the recipes I found. Apparently when you cook quince for several hours (5), the flesh turns from white to bright, blood red.

I came across a few quince recipes, and I combined a couple of them.

Baked Quince

1 quince, cut in half and cored
1 TB butter
1 TB honey
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cloves
cinnamon (to taste)
3 c water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the quince flesh side up in a deep baking pan. Place butter on the quince, drizzle with 1/2 TB of honey, save the rest. Sprinkle quince with sugar, cloves, and cinnamon according to your liking. Fill pan with water and heat uncovered for 1 hour. Remove from oven, drizzle quince with remaining honey. Serve by itself or with vanilla ice cream. :)

Chickpea Veggie burgers

Ultimate Veggie Burger

This is the most ingenious idea. Instead of putting a veggie burger on dry bread, you make the veggie patties the bun! I stuffed mine with dijon mustard, red onion, green olives, grape tomatoes, gruyere cheese, and some kale. It was so good! I can't wait to try it with avocado. Mm...


Some lime zest...

Whole-wheat crumbs to thicken it up a little...

Little bit o' olive oil...

It's so pretty too!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Homemade Squash Gnocchi and Baked Peas

Baked Peas with Tarragon, Yogurt, and Pistachios

I found this recipe last night and it sounded intriguing. The yogurt dressing smells SOOOO GOOD. I should've doubled the dressing to make it a little creamier, but it was good anyway. However, I could have done without the pistachios on time I'll probably just use another nut or leave them off all together.

Acorn Squash Gnocchi
I've been trying to make this squash gnocchi for a week. But things kept coming up and I didn't have time to make a complicated dinner. I finally had some time last night, and it took a LOT longer than I thought it would. The squash was really hard to scoop out, and by the time I had the dough made, I didn't even care what the gnocchi looked like - I just cut them as fast as I could, so they're all different shapes. Haha..

I didn't use the sauce listed in the recipe, I just cooked together a couple TBs of butter, a little olive oil, black pepper, sage, and parmesan. The gnocchi was sweet and salty - overall, very good.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Vegetarian Griller Salad

This is a yummy recipe from Morningstar Farms that I altered a bit.

Griller Salad (serves 1)

2 cups baby spinach
1/4 - 1/2 red bell pepper (cut into strips)
3 slices avocado
1/4 c sprouts
1 MF Grillers soy patty (cooked and sliced into strips)
3/4 TB olive oil
black pepper (to taste)

Toss it all together and you're done. :)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Chicken Coconut Stew

This is very tasty. I love it. It's a healthy chicken stew with coconut milk, curry, and vegetables in it. Kind of like an Indian pot roast. I found it here.

I also found a recipe for Lemony Lentils in the newspaper the other day. There's a similar recipe on Recipezaar here. They were good and very lemony, but they're actually too filling to go with the stew. I imagined they would be lighter. They should be served with something light or be used as a main dish. The newspaper article suggested serving them with a falafel wrap, which I'm sure would be good, I love falafel. Since we have a lot left over I might make a lentil soup this week. (Tada: I just found a recipe for lemony lentil soup here.