Celebrating the delights of good healthy everyday food and special treats! Sharing recipes, information, and experiences.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Recipe For Creamed Spinach Lightened Up

Creamed Spinach Lightened Up
I’m always intrigued by a “light” recipe.  Gina’s blog has some great ideas.  I saw her recent post for lightened up creamed spinach and used it for my inspiration.  It’s an easy recipe that came together quickly (so quickly I almost forgot to take pictures!)

The taste was very creamy and rich.  At only 100 calories per serving, go ahead-indulge and enjoy.  Thanks Gina!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Recipe for Roasted Vegetable and Cheese Omelet

I'm trying to expand my repertoire of veggie cooking methods beyond my go-to steam and season routine.  So, this past weekend when the TV was on and I was only half way paying attention to whatever was on, I pulled out a bunch of fresh veggies from my weekly Kula Fields delivery.  I chopped them up, seasoned them, tossed them around in a little oil and roasted them up in the oven.  We’ve enjoyed them for dinner twice (just reheated in a pan on the stove top the second time) and I’ve made a veggie omelet twice.  Don’t you love cooking once and eating twice (or more!)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Recipe for Three Cheese Mini Macs Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine

Three Cheese Mini Macs from Food and Wine
We were hosting a pot-luck cookout for a bunch of our friends and I wanted to have something homey on the menu.  The ladies stick mainly to healthy eats as I do but we also like a treat, especially if it is portion controlled like these delicious little bites of mac and cheese from Food and Wine

These mini macs were pretty easy to make.  The blend of 3 kinds of cheese made them, well, really cheesy.  I made them ahead and then popped them back in the oven to warm up as the burgers and chicken were coming off the grill. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Recipe for Overnight Oatmeal: Three Days, Three Ways

Are you eating all the whole grains you can?  Are you?  We’re trying to do our best and a delicious bowl of oatmeal is a great start to the day.  I have high cholesterol, so I am doing myself a favor every morning I eat oatmeal because it is a great way to naturally lower my "bad" cholesterol.

When I lived in chilly San Francisco, a hot bowl of oatmeal was great.   I used to make it in the microwave with milk for a creamy hot breakfast in about 5 minutes (as long as I didn’t boil it over and have to clean up the microwave before work).

Here on Maui, even the mornings during fall and winter aren’t quite "hot bowl of cereal" kind of mornings but I still love oatmeal and am still doing everything I can to naturally manage the cholesterol (it is working pretty well, BTW). 

I don’t know when I first saw a recipe for overnight oatmeal, I’m sure it was on a South Beach chat board or the like.  It is a great recipe for warm weather and you can heat it up quickly (without any boil overs) if you prefer it that way (or during the middle of winter!).  Such a versatile recipe too.  You can use whatever milk/yogurt combination you like, or no yogurt (increase the milk).  Add in different nuts, or add in fruit, dry or fresh.  Experiment!  Let me know what you come up with.

Friday, October 22, 2010

PICTURE THIS: Perfect Maui Tomato

"It's difficult to think anything but pleasant thoughts while eating a homegrown tomato." - Lewis Grizzard

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Recipe for Chopped Caprese Salad

I hate wasting food so I’m always looking for ways to use up bits of this or that in our day to day meals.  I made a caprese salad inspired pizza yesterday that was reeeallly good and still had half the heirloom tomato, some basil, and some of the mozzarella left from that meal.

I had an open face breakfast sandwich with mozzarella and tomato grilled on half a thin sandwich bun.  It was a lovely fresh start to the day and surprisingly filling and satisfying.  The rest of the tomato, along with another regular tomato, and some of the mozzarella were used to make this twist on a traditional caprese salad.

So easy! Because of the shape of the heirloom and the fact that I had it and a more traditional tomato to use, instead of slicing I chopped everything in to small bite size pieces. Dressed it lightly with some fine ribbons of basil, salt and pepper, good EVOO and balsamic vinegar and we had a delicious “left-over” salad to go with a meal.

I know you have been creative using left over ingredients-what was your most ingenious creation?
Printable Recipe

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Recipe for Quick and Easy (and Tasty) Whole Wheat Caprese Pizza

Well it is pizza night, and the last ball (small one) of dough was pulled from the freezer last night.  Time to crank up the bread machine and make some more.

My whole wheat pizza dough recipe is hereBut this would also be good on a Boboli pizza crust.   Tonight's inspiration was the hubby's favorite salad-Caprese.  The heirloom tomatoes were on sale, and who could resist!   Some pesto as a base, good moz, and some spinach for added veggies, basil of course, and a squirt of balsamic to finish it off.  Magnifico! 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tasty Tenderloin of Pork with Naan and Tangy Sauce

Recently, I made a version of Alton Brown’s Pork Wellington, a fairly easy and very tasty meal.  Our normal way to eat pork tenderloin however, is grilled with various marinades and/or rubs.  This is the first time I’ve actually written the recipe down, I usually wing it!  You can marinade for an hour or all day.  For a new twist, I served the pork on grilled store bought naan with a tangy sauce (I’m looking for a recipe to make naan at home). 

I hope you’ll try this!  I’ll be sharing more marinades and grilling ideas with you soon.  Would love to hear your favorites for the grill.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Gougères with Whole Wheat Flour

There is a group of courageous bloggers/cooks who are cooking a recipe a week (I think that is how it is going) from Dorie Greenspan’s new book Around My French Table.  You can follow along here.

I’m not committing to the series, but I was intrigued by their first recipe, gougères, French cheese puffs.   A friend was recently in Paris and mentioned on Facebook that she had some which brought back memories of the cheesy puffs eaten on my last trip to Paris.  The next day, I came across the FFwD group and their first recipe.  So, Cathi, this one’s for you!

Friday, October 15, 2010

PICTURE THIS: In Vino Veritas

Grapes, Colchagua Valley, Chile February 2010

Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance. -  Benjamin Franklin

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Great Guacamole!

A few days ago, I finally ripened up a couple of avocados that I had sitting around.  I've been enjoying the avocado salad dressing I made and today I made up a quick batch of guacamole for our cocktail time snack.  (Check out the salad dressing post for how to ripen avocados).

This is super easy, very tasty and satisfying.  You can use fresh deli salsa in place of the tomatoes and onion if you'd like.  Just be sure to drain it really well.   I keep the seed from the avocado in the container to help keep oxidation at bay (it doesn't hurt anything if it oxidizes, but it is more appealing to have nice bright green/yellow guacamole rather than dull brown).

BTW, I had this cilantro for over 2 weeks.  I kept meaning to use it but...  I clipped half an inch off the bottom of the stems and stuck the rest in a glass of water in the fridge and changed out the water every 4-5 days.  This works well for most herbs, especially if they are pretty fresh when you get them.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lighten Up Pumpkin Muffins

I like to have lazy Sunday mornings reading the paper and drinking coffee (who doesn't?!).  A few weekends ago, I came across a recipe for "Skinny Pumpkin Muffins" in Parade Magazine in our local island paper.  Since the transitions between seasons are very subtle here on Maui, Pumpkin Muffins sounded like just the thing to help get us in the "Fall" mood.  I have been looking for pumpkin puree for 3 weeks (not that unusual-"gotta wait for the boat") so when I found some today, I grabbed a few cans and promptly came home and made these muffins.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Avocado Dressing

Two very firm avocados had been sitting on my counter for a week…hmmm.  Well first I needed to ripen them up so into a paper bag they went for another week, yep another whole week on the counter in the paper bag.  This morning, ta-daaah!  Soft avocados.

I recently had a very fun “BLT salad” at one of our favorite Maui Restaurants, Merrimans Kapalua.  I commented to the waiter about the dressing and he said it was made with buttermilk and avocados.  So, I thought I’d give making it a try and it turned out to be very tasty. 

The great thing is that this is a 3 ingredient recipe-you could definitely doll it up some but I liked the simplicity.  Now, I’m on a quest to find recipes I can use it with besides the obvious, salads.  Let me know if you have some ideas!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Slowcooker Cuban Beans and Rice

Extra post today! My blogging friend Steph at The Cheapskate Cook asked me to participate in her Beans and Rice series.  Check out her blog for some frugal recipes and tips!  Here was my contribution-Cuban Beans and Rice cooked in the slowcooker.

Chocolate Hazelnut Whole Wheat Pancakes

How did I come up with this concoction for Chocolate Hazelnut Whole Wheat pancakes?  Breakfast at our house is generally pretty simple.   Almost always cereal for the hubby, pretty often for me too.  I’ll also make some of my breakfast quiches and eat those, or some hard boiled eggs.  Rarely do we do pancakes unless we go out.  Primarily because I haven’t found a recipe that feels halfway healthy.  That is until I found this one on Cooks.com

I liked it because it used whole wheat flour as the base and it got rave reviews about lightness and fluffiness.  Sounded good to me.

I felt a little creative this morning so I looked in the pantry and fridge for some inspiration.  Pumpkin?  Probably would be good, but didn’t float my boat and I had recently made pumpkin muffins.  Banana?  Hmmm, sort of ho-hum.  Semi-sweet chocolate mini chips (the tiny ones)?  OK, I can work with that, who wouldn’t like a chocolate treat for breakfast? 

I was thinking of adding some walnuts or other nuts and a light bulb came on…what about chocolate and hazelnut?  Sort of like that amazing choc/hazelnut spread I refuse to buy because I’m tempted to just stick a spoon in it and eat it straight from the jar?

Friday, October 8, 2010


I hope you can visit Maui some day...until then, enjoy some photos from our recent Staycation on the west side of the island.  Aloha!

View from our day 1 lunch spot

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Roasted Beets

Wednesday evenings are always fun as we open our veggie delivery to see what goodies have arrived for the week.  I was very pleased to see some fresh beets in a recent delivery.  I love the earthy, subtle flavor of beets and I have never met a beet salad on a menu that I passed up!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Palak Paneer (Indian spinach and cheese curry)

OK, the color is off a bit in the picture, but believe me this was AAAAmazing!  And fairly easy to make too.   As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I've been wanting to make palak paneer.  I stumbled across this blog, Indian Simmer, and Prerna's palak paneer recipe.  Well, actually it is her husband's recipe! (Read the blog for the story).

I had tons of spinach, and I made my own paneer since I couldn't find any here.  I followed Prerna's husband's recipe pretty closely, but here is exactly what I did.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Paneer (fresh cheese, Indian origin)

What is your favorite ethnic food?  That's a hard one for me to answer.  Living on Maui has very few drawbacks but one is a lack of many good ethnic restaurants.  I'm sure that living in the foodie city of San Francisco spoiled me and gave me high expectations for restaurants.  Fortunately, when we get the itch for some good Indian Food, we have a place to go.  And, it is really good.  And a bunch of our friends like it too so we always take a group and order family style so there is alot to taste and enjoy.  If you come to Maui and like Indian food, be sure to go to Monsoon India in North Kihei.

One dish everyone, including me, seems to love is palak paneer-spinach and fresh cheese in a curry sauce.  I wanted to try making it at home but wouldn't you know it, I couldn't find paneer.  I did, however, come across this recipe and decided it looked foolproof enough to try even though I've never made cheese before.

I didn't do alot of additional research until after I made the paneer.  One step that this recipe doesn't include that I found in several others is to chill the cheese in ice water for a few hours.  Next time I'll try that because, although the taste was perfect for the dish, the cheese was a bit crumbly (like a goat cheese log) compared to what I'm used to in palak paneer (firm cubes).

Here's the recipe as written.  I followed it to the letter.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Posh Pork

My dear hubby is a late afternoon/early evening exerciser.  Me?  If I don't work out in the morning, chances are I won't work out at all.  When he's taking his early evening run, I'm usually watching "Good Eats" on the Food Network.  I love Alton Brown's show!  It's filmed in Atlanta, where I have alot of ties and I enjoy his goofy science spin on things.

Recently, Alton did a show on pork tenderloin, one of our favorite meats to grill (I'll be sharing some marinade recipes with you soon!).  He did a twist on Beef Wellington, making it with pork.  Here's the original recipe.  It looked easy on the show and so off I went to get some puff pastry.

The dried apples were MIA at my local grocery store, so I substituted dried apricots, which I've used with pork before and knew was a good pairing.  Turns out, when I read the recipe online, that many who tried the recipe also used apricots with good results.  I also used 2 tsp of thyme.  I had very fresh young thyme so I didn't worry about getting the leaves off the tender stems.  I omitted the salt (thought the prosciutto would be plenty salty enough).  I also used 2 TBSP mustard and 2 oz of apricots.  Otherwise I followed the recipe as written.  Oh, and I rolled the pastry out on a baking mat.  Next time, I would trim off some of the ends of the pastry and make a pretty decoration for the top.

Friday, October 1, 2010

PICTURE THIS: Shrimp as Art

From a lovely meal on a rainy night, November 2009, in Kyoto Japan
I hope you have a great weekend.