Three Day Challenge of de-stressing and new recipes.

Turkish Chickpea Cookies

Turkish Chickpea Cookies

With everything going on in life that stresses me out and makes me feel like I’m not doing what I should be, I was given a three day plan to de-stress. I then gave myself a three challenge, and what helps me to unwind and let go of the stresses in my life; running and trying new recipes.

Day One was Friday and seeing a Chickpea Flour Cookie recipe on Pinterest was my first challenge. I already had the chickpea flour from another recipe and the rest of the ingredients. I did not have whole wheat flour so I subbed regular all-purpose flour.  As I was making the cookie dough I did notice that the amount of liquid was not enough to create an actual dough so I had to add probably about 3-4 tablespoons of water to get it to a dough consistency. I took about a tablespoon of dough and rolled them in to balls.  Here’s where it became fun and I just let my mind wander and let go of everything as I dipped each cookie in to lightly whisked egg whites and then in to either powdered sugar, cocoa poster and chia seeds. You can see below what they look like post-dipping and pre-baked.

Chickpea dough cookies

Chickpea dough cookies

After dipping and coating the cookies I placed them in the fridge to chill out for an hour and then in to the oven they went for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies weren’t that sweet even though they have powdered sugar in them. The best one’s were the powdered sugar and cocoa ones. I think the next time I try these I’ll add more sugar, maybe some honey and see how that works out. Overall this was a good day, I was able to unwind while making the cookies and had dessert all in one!

Baked

Baked

Today’s challenge will be posted later, my assignment: saltwater taffy!

Bon Appétit!

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In the mood for Mexican Sweet Potatoes

While I was at work thinking of things I could make for dinner that have that extra kick because I’m in the mood for Mexican food, I came across this interesting recipe from Back on Pointe for these Healthy Mexican Sweet Potato Skins and I thought, ‘Perfect!’ I just so happen to have a sweet potato at home just waiting to be made in to something delicious. Sababa! This recipe was it! After taking a look at the ingredients on the way home I decided to omit the sour cream (yuck) and the cream cheese (don’t need the extra calories and headed to the grocery to pick up the shredded cheese and some yellow corn on sale.

Now, how great is this recipe? You can satisfy your Mexican craving and eat healthy all in the same meal! Now back to the sweet potato, so I came home with my low fat shredded cheese and my corn and put my apron on so to speak. Being that I got home close to 7 I wasn’t going to bake the sweet potato so I nuked it for a few minutes, probably 8-10 after poking it with a fork a few times to cook. I shucked the corn, that word looks weird…shucked. Anyway, did that and then roasted the corn over medium-heavy heat without any butter or oil until it browned nicely. Next, I sauteed the onions, added them to a bowl with my black beans. Then I removed the potatoes from the microwave and after letting them cool I scraped out the middle so it left only the skin in a nice little boat. Instead of mixing it with the sour cream and cream cheese I just added it to the bowl with the bean and onions and added in the corn mixing them altogether. I added in some salt, cumin and a little pepper just to taste and then put the mixture back in to my potato skin, topped it with cheese, cilantro and some quickly whipped up guacamole and Bon Appetit!

Here’s the ingredients and instructions: (recipe adapted from Back on Pointe)

Ingredients
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 can corn, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2-4 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced or pureed
  • 1 ounce light cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt (+ more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 6 tablespoons shredded cheese (Pepperjack, Cheddar, Colby Jack… anything will work)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the sweet potatoes for 45-60 minutes.
  2. While sweet potatoes are baking, place corn in a heavy cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with no butter or oil. Sprinkle with salt and other Mexican seasoning (as much as you want). Do not stir! Let corn roast for several minutes before stirring. Let it roast for a few more minutes before stirring again. Continue this for about 10 minutes, until corn is browned and roasted on the outside. Set aside in a small bowl with the black beans.
  3. Saute the onion in the butter over medium heat until soft and translucent. Set aside.
  4. Remove sweet potatoes from the oven when fork-tender. Let cool for 5-10 minutes. Cut the sweet potatoes in half. Scrape the flesh of the sweet potatoes out, leaving the skins intact. Sometimes leaving a thin layer of potato inside of the skins helps them hold together better.
  5. Mix the flesh of the sweet potatoes with the cream cheese, sour cream, chipotle peppers, and salt. You can use a mixer or just a spoon, depending on how soft the potatoes are. When well-mixed, gently stir in the black beans, roasted corn, sauteed onions, and cilantro.
  6. Scoop the filling into the skins and top each with 1 tablespoon shredded cheese. Broil for about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Notes

The filling is delicious all by itself!

One serving size is 1 potato skin.

Healthy Mexican Sweet Potato

Healthy Mexican Sweet Potato

Almost La Madeline’s Tomato Soup

La Madeline was a french inspired restaurant that somehow left the west coast and is now only on the east coast, at least that’s where I’ve seen it. See as how here in Phoenix this weekend we’ve had freezing temperatures, literally, I knew I wanted to make soup for dinner. I wanted a warm, homey soup that was full of flavor and warmed you to your core. I searched Pinterest for a tomato soup recipe and found one that I could try out that only took 30 minutes to make. I came across this recipe and went straight to work chopping up the onions.

Wow, was I crying non-stop chopping and dicing onion. I only used one onion instead of the two that the recipe suggests, but one was more than enough. I then went to work mincing 3 garlic cloves. I cooked the onions in my soup pot for about 15 minutes until they browned and then added in the garlic, cooking for another minute longer. Then I added in the entire box (4 cups of vegetable stock) and 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes. Since I didn’t pick up fresh basil I sprinkled in some dried basil and pepper and salt that worked out well. After allowing the soup to cook I used my new hand immersion blender (thanks mom for the wonderful Hanukkah gift!) and dang is that thing amazing! So helpful! Once blended I poured in the 1/2 cup of heavy cream.

Here is the finished product that I have to say, DELICOUS! The only thing that would have made it perfectly match La Madeline’s version would have been to add cheese.

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Renaissance Cinnamon Almonds

If you’ve ever been to the Renaissance Festival then you have probably had their cinnamon roasted almonds. I found a recipe for them on Pinterest of course, and decided to try it out. I had no idea if this was going to work but figured I didn’t have anything to lose.

So I gathered my supplies:

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Crock pot
Crock pot liners
Dry, unsalted almonds 3 cups
Vanilla 1.5 tsp
Cinnamon 3 tbs
Salt 1/8 tsp
Sugar 1.5 cups
1 egg white

First thing is first, line your crock pot so that you don’t have a cinnamon-y mess when done. IMG_3851I first mixed the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set it aside. Then I combined the egg white and the vanilla. Next, mix in the almonds with the vanilla and egg white mixture making sure that the almonds are all coated. Once they are all coated pour the dry mixture in and mix well.

 

 

 

 

 

They should look like this when everything is mixed together right before you pour it in to the crock pot.IMG_3852 Then they cook on high for 2 hours. Here is where you need to really pay attention. Mix the almonds every 20 minutes so as to keep them from burning through the liner. After two hours are up they come out wonderfully toasted and candy coated and your home smells delicious. I can say that these taste very much like the almonds you find at the Renaissance Fair, except much more budget friendly, and you can eat the whole thing by yourself (unless you make them as gifts and give them away). That just means another batch is on it’s way!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Eggplant Pizzas or Julia Child’s Tranches d’aubergine á l’italienne

It’s been a while but I’ve been busy as a bee cooking things up in my kitchen! So as not to waste any time let’s get started on talking about food! Here’s a recipe I saw while browsing Pinterest recipes, of course and it piqued my interested because 1. it’s a healthy version of pizza and 2. it’s a Julia recipe. I am one of those people that actually loves eggplant whether it’s baked, fried, in babaganoush, however it’s made I love it! I also love pizza and the fact that this recipe is gluten free (for a friend of mine) made this recipe perfect for our Monday Night Dinner Parties! Below is a list of the ingredients, pretty simple and aside from letting the eggplants sit so as to bring out the water in them, the recipe doesn’t take much time either.

Ingredients

  • globe eggplant (about 8 ounces and 9-10 inches long)
  • 1 tbsp salt (for drawing water out of eggplant)
  • 2 tbsps olive oil (for brushing eggplant before roasting)
  • 2 tsps italian seasoning (dried, for sprinkling on eggplant before roasting)
  • 10 basil leaves (large, cut in chiffonade strips, optional. I used dried.)
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/3 cup low fat mozzarella (finely grated, blend)
  • hot red pepper flakes (for sprinkling finished pizza, optional)
  • extra-virgin olive oil (2-3 tsp.)
  • large garlic cloves (very finely chopped)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (good quality petite, with liquid, or use 3 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes)
  • 1/2 tsp seasoning (dried italian, blend)
  • dried oregano (1/4 tsp., use Greek or Turkish oregano)

Sauce Ingredients: 2-3 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil 3 large garlic cloves, very finely chopped 1 can good quality petite diced tomatoes with liquid (or use 3 cups peeled and diced fresh tomatoes) 1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning blend 1/4 tsp. dried oregano (use Greek or Turkish oregano)

This recipe turned out amazing! The taste was perfect and everyone loved the ‘pizzas!’ Here’s where I found the recipe, when I clicked from Pinterest my ever so wonderful online never ending cookbook!