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

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Recipe for Seared Scallops Over Brown Rice and Veggie Salad

Since returning from our recent trip, Mr. ELEB and I have been trying to get back on a healthy eating and exercise plan.  We're doing pretty good-he's actually out for a bike ride as I am typing up this recipe and I just got back from a nice long power walk on the beach, following a twelve mile bike ride yesterday.  On the trip, we had good intentions regarding exercise-packed what we needed to work out because we knew we'd be eating most of our meals at restaurants-however, we just didn't execute!  We did get alot of walking done in NY but...

So I'm working on some nutritious, delicious meals that will fuel our exercise and help us lose those *few* pounds we both gained on the trip.  We really liked this meal.  It was quick, easy to put together, tasty, and has lots of good carbs from veggies and brown rice, and protein from the scallops.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Barbecue "Surprise" Bison Burgers

Happy Memorial Day

Memorial Day.  Decoration Day as it used to be called years ago.  One day a year where we honor and remember those who have died in the military service.  Too often, it is a day of shopping, barbeques, visits to the lake or beach with barely a moment's thought for our brave service men, women, and animals who have given their life to protect our country and our beliefs.  I'm as guilty as the next person, but this year I made sure that I did honor those who have served with my own quiet moment. 

Perhaps it was the young bloggers I met in Atlanta, both married to military men.  Or maybe it was seeing all the stranded military personnel in Dallas (weather closed the airport down) last week as we travelled home.  Not sure why, but this year I felt especially nostalgic and thankful for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.   I encourage you take a minute today to reflect on the true meaning of Memorial Day as you enjoy your shopping, cook outs, visits with family, or whatever you have on your plate for today.  I hope there are some yummy things to eat on that plate too!

Here is a recipe for another "inside out" burger that we enjoyed over the long weekend.

A couple of weeks ago I made inside out turkey cheeseburgers that were really good.  So I thought I'd try something similar but this time I wanted to try the
KC Masterpiece Southern Style Barbecue Sauce that was sent to me as part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher Tastemaker program.  It's one of their new flavors. 

What to tuck inside the burgers with the sauce?  I decide to saute some red onion and mushrooms and cook down the sauce to make it thick enough to work inside the burgers.  VoilĂ !  Worked like a charm!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Three weeks, a second degree burn, and Twitter

Simply elegant place setting at The Slanted Door, San Francisco
It’s good to be back.  Hopefully you didn’t notice I was gone.   Twenty-three days away from home, away from the kitchen, away from my morning beach walks, away from my bike and weights, away from the blog.  Well, not really away from the blog thanks to automated posting.  Plus, I logged in every day to read your comments and to reply to any direct email questions.  But this is the first new blog post I’ve written in almost a month.  I’ve missed it! 

I also missed cooking.  While on this trip, I helped cook some roasted veggies at a friend’s house in San Francisco (and gave myself a 2nd degree burn in the process), cooked a simple meal at my son’s apartment in Atlanta, and made him a microwaved egg white breakfast one morning (no injuries incurred).   And that was it for cooking.  Eating?  Oh, yes there was plenty of that.  Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Recipe for Quick Sauteed Potatoes

There is nothing fancy about this recipe.  But it is quick and full of good simple flavors.  Just the ticket when you want a starchy side dish in a hurry.

Makes 4 servings, each approximately 172 calories, 5.4 grams fat, 29 grams carbs, 4 grams fiber, 3.5 grams protein, 5 WW Points+

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Recipe for Mango Crisp

We don’t eat a lot of dessert at home, it’s more of a treat when we go out and we tend to share.  Mr. ELEB loves fruit pies, crumbles, crisps, all those fruity possibilities for dessert.  Me, I’m more into chocolate, caramel etc.  So, picking something to share is often challenging.

I do recognize that for the most part, the fruit options are better for us but rationalize the chocolate because “I eat whole fruit several times a day” and “it’s a treat and a little bit of something richly chocolate goes a long way.”  Plus, as you can see from the nutrition breakdown here, just because something is a fruit dessert doesn’t mean it isn’t “Big Eats”.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Recipe for Quick Asparagus Soup

Asparagus...I always feel a little guilty throwing away the stems after I trim them.  I give them a pretty severe chop because I really only like the tops of the asparagus, not the stems.  So I was very happy to find this idea over at Green Lite Bites.  Roni always has some good ideas on her blog and this one is a winner!  Guilt assuaged. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Updated Method for Bread Baking

I’m still sold on the “Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day” technique and recipes from Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois (2009, St. Martins Press) however I’ve been trying some adaptations mentioned in the book or on their blog.  Here is my current method for baking off a baguette with italicized text noting changes from how I was baking it by their standard technique.

Start with a grapefruit sized piece of the Master Dough Recipe
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSOoH686_b8) or page 53 of the book. 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees for 30 minutes with baking stone on the lowest shelf of oven; no roasting pan in the bottom of the oven as required in previous method.  By the way, I recently got an oven thermometer and learned my oven was off by 30 degrees (lower) when set on 450 so I’d encourage you to check your oven temp if you haven’t lately.

Shape, rest, covered, on silpat, brush with water, sprinkle with mixed sesame seeds and kosher salt, and slash as in original recipe.

When oven is ready, place silpat with bread on baking stone and cover with a disposable baking pan large enough to cover the dough completely and still fit on baking stone.  This is now how the steam is generated instead of water poured into a hot roasting pan.

Bake for 15 minutes.    Remove baking pan and move bread, without silpat or baking stone, to an upper rack in oven and bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.

This steam method works-when you take the disposable baking pan off the bread, there is still steam under there so be careful not to burn yourself.  I didn’t have any problems with my oven from the other steam method, but read about plenty of people who had problems with the control boards going out which was blamed on the steam.  This method avoids any possibility of that.  Moving the bread up in the oven for part of the baking time gives the top crust more color and crunch.

Are you baking your own bread?  I’d love to hear about your experiences, methods in the comments.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Recipe for Baked Goat's Cheese

I had baked goat’s cheese years ago in a tapas restaurant, probably in San Francisco, and have loved it ever since.  It’s easy to prepare and is delicious spread on crusty bread.  It is best bubbly hot out of the oven (be careful!) but is also good room temp.  The better quality of cheese you buy, the better the experience.

4 oz. good quality goat's cheese
1/4 cup homemade or store bought pesto

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place goat's cheese on oven proof dish and pour pesto over cheese. 

Bake for 25 minutes or until browning and bubbly. 

Depending on the pesto you use, you may have to carefully pour off some of the excess olive oil that bakes out during cooking.  Before serving, stir any remaining oil back in to the pesto sauce.
Serve with crusty whole grain bread or crackers.
Printable Recipe

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Recipe for Tarka Dal (Indian Yellow Split Peas)

Recently, I had a good session organizing the pantry.   Ugh, what a mess!  I came across a few things that I bought when they caught my eye, including a bag of yellow split peas intended for soup.  Well the soup never got made, but I came across an interesting sounding recipe on Cooking Channel for Tarka Dal so I pulled out the peas and made it instead.  Oh boy.  REALLY good.   And unlike a lot of Indian recipes I’ve come across, a relatively manageable ingredient list and cooking method.  I can’t remember when my kitchen smelled so good!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recipe for Post-Bike Ride Shake

One of the reasons Mr. ELEB and I moved to Maui was to be outside all year round with the hope of continuing to stay active and fit as we get older.  I'll admit, although we do pretty good, we don't exercise as much as we should or could.   Between running (for him), biking (both of us), golf (both), swimming (both), walking (me), and weights (me), we get more exercise than we would living on the mainland so I shouldn't go on about it.  What I will go on about is my post workout routine.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Recipe for White Bean and Veggie Salad

Looking for easy ways to get more veggies in your diet?  Try this salad made with assorted crunchy veggies and creamy white beans.  Full of fiber and flavor!

Makes 4 generous servings, each approximately 191 calories, 1.2 grams fat, 36 grams carbs, 8 grams fiber, 11 grams protein; 5 WW Points+

2 cups cooked and cooled white beans (canned would also work, rinsed and drained)
¾ cup finely chopped red pepper
¾ cup finely chopped cucumber (seeds removed)
¾ cup finely chopped carrot
1 cup finely chopped tomatoes (seeds removed)
1 TBSP each chopped fresh dill and basil (or whatever herbs you have)
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve chilled.

How are you getting your daily veggie servings in?

Printable Recipe

Friday, May 13, 2011

PICTURE THIS: New Additions to the "Family"

Sale at Cooks Illustrated and going out of business sale at local bookstore=SCORE!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Recipe for Pesto Yogurt Sauce

Here's an easy and versatile recipe.  I use it as a dip, a sauce, or a dressing.  I usually make it with my homemade pesto but store bought works well too.

1 ½ TBSP pesto
½ cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
1 TBSP fresh lime or lemon juice
Salt (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and taste for salt, add if needed (depends on pesto).  Refrigerate.

What do you make with pesto?  Stay tuned, tomorrow I'm making a veggie salad using this as the dressing.

Printable Recipe

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

'Aipono Dinner to Benefit Maui Culinary Academy

Ai means food and pono means good, goodness, benefit (and about a hundred other similar things) in Hawaiian so you get the general drift of the ‘Aipono Dinners that are sponsored by Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine to benefit the Maui Culinary Academy.  The students work in the kitchen with local chefs to produce wonderful menus, using as many local ingredients as possible, and the wine distributors arrange for sponsor wineries to work with the chef and sommelier to pare wines to the food.  It’s always fun and benefits a good cause so we try to go to them when we can.

Recently we went with good friends to the ‘Aipono Dinner at Spago where Executive Chef Cameron Lewark, his staff, and the students created a lovely spring feast.   The photos were taken with my camera phone so…you know…as the night got darker, the photos got harder to capture.  Plus, wine was involved…

Monday, May 9, 2011

Recipe for Tropical Pancakes

For Easter morning, I made Mr. ELEB some pancakes.  I thought about making my whole wheat pancakes which I know are great, but was inspired by a Mark Bittman recipe to try something different.    Unlike Mark’s recipe, I toasted the coconut, included some macadamia nut oil, and topped the pancakes with mango.

They turned out very nice!

Friday, May 6, 2011

PICTURE THIS: Favorite snack!

We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless help us to be much more than what we are. ~Adelle Davis

Almond butter and apple, mmm.  Happy Mother's Day to all the Moms.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Recipe for Nutty Cheese Ball

If you need to put a quick snack or appetizer together and you want it to be on the healthy side of things, look no further.  Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Cheese-Nut Balls (Mark Bittman, The Food Matters Cookbook, Simon and Schuster, 2010, p 57.), this is more nut than cheese, but has enough cheese to keep things interesting. (On line recipe here if you don't own the cookbook)

Makes 32 TBSP, each approximately 62 calories, 5 grams fat, 2 grams carbs, 1 gram fiber and 2.5 grams protein; 2 WW Points+

2 cups roasted, salted almonds
Juice of ½ a lemon
1 tsp paprika
Pinch each of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 ounces crumbled extra sharp cheddar cheese
2 thin slices of prosciutto, chopped and pan fried until crispy
Chopped fresh basil
½ cup water
Slivered almonds for decoration (optional)

Pulse the nuts in a food processor until finely chopped. 

Add lemon juice, paprika, cheeses, prosciutto, salt and pepper and water. 

Process until well blended and creamy.

Shape into a flat disk and sprinkle the chopped basil all over, pressing in lightly.  Top with a few slivered almonds.

Wrap up in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.  Serve with cucumber rounds, whole grain baguette, or crackers.

A nice switch up from a "normal" cheese ball with lots of cheese and a bit of nuts, to a nice mouthful of cheesy flavored nut spread!  Mark Bittman made his with blue cheese instead of the cheddar.  I think you could use any cheese with a high flavor value.  Other additions instead of the prosciutto or in addition to would be dried cranberries, chopped roasted red peppers or pimientos, or olives…anything your heart desires!

Printable Recipe

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Recipe for Inside Out Turkey Cheeseburgers

It was burger night and I had ground turkey breast defrosted.  I rotate between turkey breast, bison, and Maui Cattle Company beef for our burgers.  It was one of those afternoons where the dinner hour was rapidly approaching; I had already had a glass of wine, and had zero inspiration for dinner.  Luckily for me, Mr. ELEB eats anything I put in front of him and with a smile and usually a compliment for the chef.   Luckily for both of us, these turned out really yummy, so we both were happy at the end of the day!  I mean, look at that gooey cheese, would you?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Recipe for Veggie and Orzo Salad

My pantry gets out of control sometimes.  I don’t where all the stuff comes fromJ.  Recently, while having a clean and sort in there I came across a package of orzo that “showed up” a few weeks ago.  When I think orzo, I think Greek pasta salad so I put this together based on what I had on hand.  It turned out to be quite tasty and held up well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Makes 6 generous servings, each approximately 233 calories, 6 grams fat, 38 grams carbs, 3.5 grams fiber, 8.5 grams protein, 6 WW Points+

Monday, May 2, 2011

Recipe for Flourless Chocolate Torte

I’m not even going to do the calculation on this torte for nutritional value-it will be off the chart.   So obviously this is a special occasion “Eat Big” recipe.  I made it for Easter dinner, shared with friends.    I only made a few changes from the original recipe that I found on the Food Channel website (used butter and cream instead of margarine and fake creamer; added espresso to the ganache for another layer of flavor).  This is a labor of love and unless you are comfortable with baking, not a recipe I’d recommend tackling.  Having said all that, it was amazing:  tasty, rich, decadent, and beautiful.