I have a big problem. Every time I learn just how bad a particular food is for you, I can’t get it out of my head. You see, as my interest in nutrition/health continues to grow over the past couple of years, I read more and more about the health benefits (and defecits) of many food stuffs. Recently, while Brian and I were weekending in Portland, we hit up a Chili’s chain restaurant in search of some margaritas. (BTW, problem #2, for later discourse, is my inexplicable longing for chain restaurants when I am out in the middle of nowhere – restaurants that I am not particularly amenable to frequenting in “real life”). Regardless, as we perused the menu at Chili’s, we were fascinated that all of the menu descriptions were adorned with calorie counts. Let me just say: OHMYGOD. I was most taken aback by some of the “healthier” stuff’s deadly characteristics (um, 1400 calories for a salad?? almost 1300 for a grilled chicken sandwich??), and yet still bummed by some of the more notorious items (ribs and burgers clocking in over 2,000 calories, etc.).
Moral(s) of the story:
1) i took immense pleasure in the country fried steak (1270 cals) I ordered, of which I ate half and was glad with every bite that it was not a salad.
2) though it is probably not great for business, I appreciate having the information. maybe this kind of exposure will inspire restaurants to offer healthier food.
3) I haven’t been able to get ribs out of my mind since — and here is a killer recipe! These ribs are quick cooking, relative to most rib cookery which typically takes 4+ hours (this recipe only takes 1 hour), and have a great sweet/spicy flavor combination. Yum!
Once in a great while, I see a recipe that makes me want to jump up, whip out my rolling pin, and get baking. This process usually ends in tears, but once in a while it works out lovely. These muffins are SUPER healthy (once you take a peek at the ingredients you’ll see what I mean) and delicious. Smear them with a little yogurt butter and dig in!
I made these moroccan-spiced veggies the other night as part of a vegetarian meal that I served to some of my lovelies, and I knew the leftovers would be fabulous for a weekend brunch with some eggs on top. Sweet potatoes, onions, green beans, and spinach spiced with fenugreek seeds (my new favorite spice), cumin, cinnamon, and hot paprika. YUM.
I received this great ol’ bag of pretty pink beans from my CSA this week, and didn’t have a clue what to do with them. Confession: I have never cooked a fresh bean before. I admit, I am a fan of the canned bean. I see nothing wrong with the canned bean. Call me a bad foodie, but it is what it is. Nevertheless, I found a darned tasty way to cook up these beans. They are creamy, and the cinnamon lends a nice warmth that is so perfect for fall. Try it. Continue reading
Part of the reason baking has always seemed so daunting to me is all of the directions. Keeping dry away from wet, sifting, making butter and flour look like “peas”, etc. It’s all so exhausting. What is most difficult for me is actually remembering to use all of the ingredients you’re supposed to use. This has happened on more than one occasion. This here blueberry zucchini bread was baked twice this week in my household, because the first time I completely forgot to add the sugar. Now, because it was still delicious without the added sugar (just a little tart, but still yummy), I could have totally just played it off as a south beach friendly baked good. Before I go messing with recipes, I like to make them as intended first, so I can taste what I like and dislike about it. Enter loaf #2. Also, delicious, not overly sweet, but definitely sweeter than the original. Verdict: I liked #2 better. Either way, you won’t go wrong with using berries and squash fresh from the farm.
I’ve had a series of dinner fails this week…I’m not going to get into the details, but I ended up ordering take out twice, and, while delicious and convenient, it most often makes me feel sluggish and lazy. And not in a good way. While I was making these burgers, I was sort of thinking of an alternate dinner plan in my head (um…triscuits? tuna fish? vodka and ginger ale?), because I was half-anticipating another fail. Lamb has been hit or miss for me sometimes because of its gamey-ness, but this recipe has been in my head ever since I read about it in one of my beach-reading books. Also, I’m on board with pretty much any savory recipe that includes cinnamon. I’m glad I made this — they didn’t require a take-out menu and were very satiating and aromatic. In a good way.
Ever since I had those merguez sausages, I’ve been craving some of the same flavors. I haven’t substantiated this yet, but I suspect that sumac is involved in those sausages. Since I also made a fattoush salad as a side dish to serve with the burgers, I added some sumac to the burgers. Good idea by me, but totally optional if you can’t find sumac (I bought mine at Christina’s spice shop, but also available online at Penzey’s, amazon, etc.) Serve it up sans bun, in a pita like I did, or on a hamburger roll — yummy.
I love any opportunity to use up some of the less popular spices in my cabinet, and this was a great way to do it. Did you you know you’re only supposed to have spices for a few months (a year, max) before they get stale? This produces immense anxiety for me, especially since I maintain a slightly indulgent spice cabinet…which I can justify because I shop at the best store on the planet for cheapie spices, Christina’s.
Anyway, back to the chicken. This was YUMMY, but I’m not going to lie, it’s a fairly spicy dish. I love spicy, but you may want to cut down to 1 jalapeno and cut back on the cayenne (which I added extra) if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing. I love Thai food, but I always feel slightly guilty ordering any sort of coconut curry in a restaurant because I know it’s made with full-fat coconut milk, which is just evil stuff. Light coconut milk tastes the exact same to me and is SO much healthier. Shout out to the We’re Not Martha gals for putting me on to this recipe – I will definitely be making this again the next time I crave a healthy Thai curry dish.
This peach cobbler is semi-ghetto for a couple of reasons: #1) It’s partially made in the microwave. I’m really ok with this, as I hardly ever use my microwave in regular cooking and I am not, by any means, a baking enthusiast. Nuke it up, I say. #2) It’s low-fat. In it of itself, that does not make something ghetto, but something tells me that peach cobbler (or any dessert, really), should not be very good for you. But this is!
This was a great after work meal. I threw the potatoes in the oven while I worked out and after that, it all comes together pretty fast. It is super filling and a perfect meal with a salad. Most of the prep can be done in advance, too, which could make it more week-night friendly.
Between the bacon, cinnamon, and creamy sweet potato, this smelled exactly like the amazing, indulgent, delicious carbonara I made a while back. Next time, I may try tossing the stuffing mixture with some pasta and see what happens. Yum.
Anyway, the rice is an old favorite that went perfectly with this dish. Overall, YUM, and great for satisfying cravings for indian takeout.
This is my favorite comfort food dish. It might even be my favorite dish, period. I CRAVE this. It’s so rich and delicious, it’s definitely a once a year kind of thing. Once, in a moment of insanity, I tried fussing with it to make it slightly less deadly – using egg beaters (gross!), turkey bacon, and FF half and half, but it was a total waste of time. I mean, if you’re going to have pasta with eggs, cream, and bacon, have pasta with eggs, cream, and bacon. Am I right?
Also, this dish really benefits from some freshness in the way of chives — cuts through the richness a bit. Unfortunately, when Brian offered to run to the corner store for me, he came home with 4 bunches of GIANT scallions instead. He means well
Ok, I may have outdone myself with this one. Totally comfort food, totally delicious. I’ve been looking for a good shepherd’s pie recipe for a while, and have tried a couple of RR’s recipes over the years…well, THIS is the only recipe you want for shepherd’s pie, legit.
Part 1 of our Pumpkin Party Sunday night Recipe Swap. This is a super easy way to enjoy enchiladas. They definitely pack a punch – ease up the chili powder if you want it milder. The walnuts make this really special – kind of a wink & a nudge to the flavors in a Nogada sauce – a traditional mexican creamy walnut sauce (get it at Tu y Yo in the ‘Ville – YUM)