Monday, March 26, 2012

White Bean Chili

Chili simply refers to the varieties of chili peppers used to season the popular dish. When I refer to chili it usually implies "inexpensive hearty food to feed the masses." The beautiful part about chili is you can toss in various vegetables, although unorthodox to it's original form, control the amount of heat your family prefers and it still tastes fabulous. White chili certainly deviates from the traditional while maintaining the familiarity of chili powder and that fiery flair if you like it spicy.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Baba Ganoush

Baba Ganoush is a Mediterranean appetizer similar to hummus, but roasted eggplant is used in place of garbanzo beans. Like hummus, there are several variations, but the original uses a few aromatic ingredients to bring that genuine Mediterranean flair to your table. While visiting Greece a couple years ago, I remember the incredible food for its pure and uncomplicated nature. Any American can go to a local restaurant for an appetizer that packs in a salty sweet fatty combination that sends your taste buds into overdrive. I challenge you to dial it down with something simpler and fresh like this baba ganoush. Freshness has an authenticity of its' own.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Twice Baked Potato and Cauliflower Cups

You'll hear a lot of people say "Oh, I can't eat potatoes. I can't eat anything white." Please. Mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, turnips, and garlic are all of the white variety. My question is always, "so, you don't eat those either?" It's a ridiculous question for a ridiculous statement.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Strawberry "Cream Cheese" Frosting Bites

If you remember the strawberry muffin post from a couple weeks ago, you'll remember the huge amount of strawberries we came home with after the Strawberry Festival. I won't rub in how fabulous those strawberries have been. However, I will tell you Florida strawberries should be showing up in grocery stores across the nation by now. Please indulge in these juicy berries picked at perfection! That's right, the dietitian said indulge. Maybe not with the dessert below, but on cereal, as a snack, or topped on salads. Then if your strawberry mound doesn't disappear, make them super smoothie ready by freezing in Ziploc bags. If that doesn't seem to do the trick, make this simple, sweet, succulent dessert.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cabbage Soup

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner and this recipe will have you celebrating Irish heritage in an easy, low calorie, but ultra satisfying cabbage soup. I mean, surely our Irish ancestors had more recipes than corned beef to add to the table. The soup is a basic combination of ingredients and seasonings that reminds me of how wonderful it can be  to keep it simple. I don't know about you, but sometimes I get so focused on whipping up some fabulous creation, that it's comforting to come back to the calming ways of simple old fashioned cooking.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chickpea "Chicken" Salad

It's that time of year again - National Nutrition Month! This month provides us with an awesome opportunity to "Get Your Plate In Shape." While this means different things to different people, an "in-shape" plate includes more fruits, vegetables, beans and legumes. Every little fruit or vegetable morsel matters, so in my chickpea "chicken" salad, even the couple of tablespoons of veggies can add up to a serving when combined with other foods eaten in the day. It's a great option for those people who are just starting to eat vegetables. Adding the extras can help increase the recipe volume, perfect for those big appetites. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Creamy Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff and Vegan Sour Cream

Despite my qualms about typical creamy pasta dishes (you know, the artery clogging cream blended with the heart stopping oils), every once in awhile I’ll crave that rich, creamy decadence. I once thought it was straight up ridiculous to create that level of creaminess from plant based, vegan ingredients until discovered Mori-nu silken tofu. It comes in a vacuumed pack box in the Asian food aisle of the grocery store, or an Asian market. The soft (also available in firm and extra-firm) best suites a sauce, dip, or blended into a smoothie for a creamy protein boost. Now you've turned an unhealthy dish completely upside down while maintaining that rich creaminess. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Strawberry Muffins

This past weekend I was so thrilled to have one of my best friends, Cassie, visiting from Minnesota. Running the Gasparilla 15k was the main attraction, but my incessant need to plan a detailed schedule kept us busy (just the way I like it). Skyping our other friend a world away in Africa reminded me of how wonderful it is to have such fabulous friends. The kind of friend who knows everything about you and loves you anyway. The kind of friend that you haven't seen in a year and when you do reconnect, it's like you never missed a beat. Life gets ridiculously hectic and often times we don't cherish those sweet friendships enough. Needless to say, I was so grateful for this weekend.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Tofu Scramble with Caramelized Onion Sweet Potatoes

Tofu scramble tends to be one of those great fail proof vegan meals. It doesn't matter if you're an open the box kind of cook or 3 course meal cook. Tofu is like a sponge. All you need is a delicious seasoning blend that has enough time to simmer with the tofu and an assortment of vegetables. Some people prefer their tofu cubed vs crumbled. The crumbled effect resembles scrambled eggs and just makes more sense to me when it's the main attraction for our weekend brunch. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Snazzy Spinach and Fruit Smoothie

Spinach and kale are some of the most nutrient dense foods around. The trick is getting children and adults to eat more of them. Well, problem solved. Try adding 2 cups of kale or spinach with a blender full of fruit this weekend. It won't change the flavor, only increase the nutritional boost. Can you say hellooo fiber, vitamin A, C, E, iron, and calcium?! What a great way to start any day or refuel with a midday snack. 

Kids of course could care less about the nutritional value of this snazzy smoothie. Usually, the easy to eat and oh so sweet sells it to them. If not, tell them it's the Incredible Hulk Smoothie, or another favorite green superhero and they are bound to drink up.