Monday, November 24, 2014

Quick n Easy Brunch

It was around 2pm and I was just starting my day (don't judge me yo!). I wasn't really feeling like a typical breakfast but I wasn't ready for a full meal either.

So... I came up with sort of a frittata. I dug through left-overs in the fridge and came up with this.

You could probably use whatever left-overs you like and come up with something just as delicious.

Here's what I used: 
2 eggs
Oven roasted sweet potatoes/yams
Cooked spinach
Breakfast sausage
Caesar dressing (odd but delish)

What to do:
Place a skillet on the stove top on medium heat
Whisk eggs and caesar dressing in a bowl
Chop potatoes into bit size and add to heated pan sprayed with cooking spray
Saute for about a minute then add chopped up breakfast sausage
Saute for about a minute and add cooked spinach
After about another minute add whisked eggs
Cook until the bottom is done and flip - no worries if it breaks up. You can sort of put it back together.
Once fully done, slide onto a plate and grab a fork.

Crave worthy and satisfying!

Semi-homemade Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies

Inspired by half a box of left-over dark chocolate brownie mix and a family member fixing for a snack, I came up with this.

I am not sure why I was convinced I could make cookies from brownie mix, maybe I had seen it on one of the many cookie shows I'd watched and really what is the real difference between cakes, brownies (blondies) and cookies!

I did a little internet search, tweaked a bit to suit my taste and ingredients I had at home and voila!

What you need:

1/2 a box of brownie mix (Pillsbury 18.4oz)
1 egg
1 Tbsp of water
3 Tbsps of canola oil
1/4 cup of flour
Handful of chopped pecans

Preparation:

Mix egg, water and canola oil in a bowl
Add flour and brownie mix
Add chopped pecans
Mix thoroughly until all ingredients are fully combined
(Add 1 more Tbsp of water if needed)
Scoop onto a cookie sheet/baking pan and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 10 - 15 minutes
Allow to cool and enjoy!

I made these cookie along with my oatmeal cookies (see recipe on blog) and they went a whole lot faster.

Simple, a little healthier than the brownies if made according to directions and much more delicious!!!


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Beans with a twist

Today folks, I have two delicious beans recipes for you.

First, the one in the picture on the left - kidney beans and shrimp and a little later, black-eyed peas/beans with hot dogs (sort of a play on pork and beans).

Each can be served alone or eaten with rice; or bread like I love to do. I make sort of a bread sandwich lol.

Kidney Beans and Shrimp

Ingredients

Uncooked kidney beans
Raw shrimp
Tomatoes
Onions
Cooking oil - olive or canola is excellent
Your favorite spice combo - e,g. adobo, salt, pepper (black and cayenne), shrimp bullion cube/seasoning

Preparation

Soak the beans in cold water for a few hours
Boil over medium heat in a pot until soft

In a separate pan, sautée sliced onions and sliced tomatoes in cooking oil
Add softened kidney beans raw shrimp and spice mixture
Simmer on low heat for about 10-15mins

Enjoy in a bowl over brown rice. Delicious!!

 

Black-eyed peas and Hot dogs

Ingredients

Uncooked black eyed peas
Hot dogs
Tomatoes
Onions
Cooking oil - olive, canola, vegetable or palm oil
Your favorite spice combo - e,g. curry powder, thyme, pepper (black and cayenne), bullion cube/seasoning

Preparation

Soak the beans in cold water for a few hours
Boil over medium heat in a pot until soft

In a separate pan, sautée sliced onions and sliced tomatoes in cooking oil
Add softened kidney beans, sliced hot dogs and spice mixture
Simmer on low heat for about 10-15mins


As you can see, both recipes are essentially the same - just substitute the type of beans you use and choice of meat (or processed meat :-)) I'm thinking I'll try these out with black or pinto beans and see how they turn out.

Beans are already an excellent source of protein. Adding the extra protein simply gives it a pleasant & delicious twist. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Spring Rolls: 3 Ways

(Pictured: Strawberry and Cream Cheese Spring Rolls)

Samosa-ish

I have this awesome recipe for vegetable samosas but I didn't have all my ingredients. So... I did a 'version' of it, and it was delicious.

Ingredients
- Boiled and coarsely mashed potatoes
- Fish masala mix
- Finely chopped onions
- Finely chopped green peppers
- cayenne pepper
- spring roll wrappers
- frying oil

Preparation: Allow potatoes to cool and then combine all ingredients in a bowl. Wrap about a tablespoon of mixture in a spring roll wrap and deep fry.

Ground Lamb

Oftentimes, I'm inspired by food I've tasted before and sale items at the grocers. This time is no different. There was this amazing cheese steak egg rolls I used to get from this place in Philly and I've just been dreaming about it since I remembered it. Being on the healthier tip, I decided to skip the cheese but not the flavor. Also, I used lamb rather than beef. It was on major sale!

Ingredients
- Ground 85/15 lamb
- Sliced onions
- Sliced green peppers
- Adobo seasoning
- Ground black pepper
- Ground ginger
- Maggi sauce (optional)

Preparation: Brown the ground lamb, add onions, green peppers and all seasonings to taste. Drain liquid and allow to cool. Wrap about a tablespoon of mixture in a spring roll wrap and deep fry.

Now it's desert time. Woohoo!

Strawberry and Cream Cheese

This one was a complete experiment - a crapshoot that turned out pretty yum.

Ingredients
- Chopped strawberries
- Strawberry cream cheese
- Light brown sugar (to taste)

Preparation: Combine all ingredients.  Wrap about a tablespoon of mixture in a spring roll wrap and deep fry.

The wrapping can be really tricky and every time I make these I forget how to roll them. The easiest is to place the wrap sort of in a diamond shape. Place mixture in the middle and then bring side closest to you over the mixture in the middle. tuck and roll, bringing in the sides halfway through.

(Pictured: Ground Lanb Spring Rolls)


Simply Broccoli

I have the best recipe for broccoli ever!

It's so simple, yet so tasty no one ever believes how easy it is.

Even more good news... you can use it for any vegetable (asparagus, green beans, etc)

Ingredients
Broccoli (fresh or frozen)
Low sodium soy sauce
Chili garlic sauce
Extra virgin olive oil

Preparation
- Grab a wok or large frying pan and place on high heat
- Add a little olive oil
- Add broccoli and stir fry until tender
- Add chili garlic sauce and low sodium soy sauce (to taste)
- Stir fry for about a minute

Et voila! Simply delicious.

Make It A Meal

Grilled Jerked Tilapia : Marinade some cleaned fish with store bought jerk chicken mix and grill under the broiler.




Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Semi-home made low fat brownies

 

There are millions of recipes online on how to reduce the calories when making cakes, brownies and cookies from a box mix. They usually involve substituting the oil/butter and eggs for diet soda, apple sauce or pumpkin pie filling/puree.

I came across a recipe (via hungry girl) that used non-fat greek yogurt instead. She suggested using a chocolate cake mix. She said the cake came out with sort of a brownie feel to it. It decided to take it up a notch and use low-fat brownie mix instead.

Ingredients
1 box of low fat brownie mix
1 5.3oz cup of non-fat greek yogurt
1 5.3oz cup of water (just use the empty cup of yogurt to measure)

Preparation
Grease pan and pour mix into pan
Follow box instructions

Brownies are ready once a toothpick or knife comes out clean or the sides start to pull away from pan.

Verdict - tastes delicious, perhaps a little too sweet even (artificial sweeteners maybe?). The brownies were a tad too gooey and hard to take out of the pan. Perhaps I needed to allow to cool much longer. The box suggested lining the pan with foil - which perhaps helps this problem.

All in all, it is a nice treat and a kinda guilt-free.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Eggs, eggs and more eggs

Today, I want to talk a little bit about breakfast food - eggs to be specific. I love eggs. Not just because they taste good and can be used in many different ways, but because they are also pretty darn nutritious and filling. Sometimes, I even have em for dinner. Shhh...

What I've got for you here is not much of a cooking lesson; but two delicious breakfast plates and how you too can enjoy them.

First, I've got an Egg and Turkey Bacon wrap.

It is super simple. Whisk two eggs with your favorite seasonings and fry in a non stick pan (or in a regular pan sprayed with cooking spray), cook three slices of turkey bacon as you like and warm up a wholewheat wrap. Layer the egg and bacon with a little (or lot) bit of ketchup and roll it up. 

Et Voila!

Secondly, I've got a family favorite - Sardine Eggs, and I've made it a meal by adding a side of homemade roast potatoes.


Whisk up two eggs, add one (or two) mashed up canned sardines, salt and pepper (to taste). If you like, add a little cayenne pepper to give it some kick. Fry in a non-stick pan just like above and pair with some roast potatoes or hash browns. If you are like me, ketchup completes the dish :-)

Also simple, and delicious!