Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sweet and Spicy and Salty Almond Butter

Our week away was WONDERFUL! We enjoyed R&R with our boys and my family. 

 I feel like I spent 75% (if not more) of my time eating. We were up early every morning. We saw EVERY sun rise (5:30-6). Our days were spent the in the pool, laying around, or hanging out on the beach. 

We only had one clock in the house with the right time. We NEVER knew what time it was. I often found myself wondering around the kitchen looking for something to snack on. We had a large bag of Almonds. I snacked on them -- along with other not-so-healthy snacks. I craved Almond Butter the entire week. I was going to make some but I did not have a food processor and the blender was in use for other things. 

So -- Monday morning I made some delicious Almond Butter Cabo Style.

I roasted a batch of Almonds with Molasses at 375 degrees for 25 minutes. As I was mixing the Almonds in my processor (in the garage) I added about 1 tsp Mexican Vanilla and 1 - 2 tsp Chili Powder. After 15 minutes of blending --- I tasted!!!! I enjoyed! 

It was AWWWWESOME!  I only made a small batch of this mixture because I was afraid it would not turn out right and I would waste Almond Butter. I think a small batch was perfect. Just enough to enjoy but not too much I don't get through it all. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

I am back!

Hello Enjoying Healthy Food Readers.

We are HOME!!!! We had a wonderful vacation but are glad to be home.

Now for the hard part - getting back into our routine of everyday life! :)  I do have a large to-do list but that can wait!  We had a LONG day of traveling home yesterday so today is RELAX day! Maybe tomorrow I will tackle our suitcases.

We got to our house at 1 am (today) and I do not have a way to get to the store --- so dinner --- WILL be interesting!!! I know that my creative side is tired so I am not expecting big things!!!!

I do know that I will be making a batch of Almond Butter tomorrow. Maybe I will keep to the Cabo theme and make a spicy Almond Butter. Maybe Chili Almond Butter with a hint of... I do not know maybe vanilla. :)

I am glad to be back!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Southwest Style Egg Muffins with Black Beans and Corn

In a perfect world, we’d all sit down every morning to a leisurely, healthy breakfast. In the real world, however, we’ve all done our share of eating breakfast in our cars, on the bus or at our work desk. Sometimes, where you eat the breakfast you grabbed on your way out the door can’t be helped. What can be helped, however, is what you eat.

Southwest Style Egg Muffins with Black Beans and Corn
The Ingredients:

15 oz black beans
1 cup corn
1 small can diced green chiles
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
8 large eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 heaping tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground black pepper (to taste)
smoked paprika (optional)
The Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray twelve muffin cups, either metal or silicone, with nonstick cooking spray. Don’t forget this step, the eggs will stick if the cups aren’t well greased, even in silicone! If you are using individual silicone muffin cups, arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

In a small bowl, stir together the beans, corn, and green chiles.

Spoon one heaping tablespoon of bean mixture into 12 muffin cups; there will be some left over. Divide shredded cheese between the muffin cups. In a mixing bowl with a pour spout, whisk together eggs, sour cream, cilantro, cumin, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper. Fill each muffin cup with egg mixture, about 7/8 full. With a fork, gently stir the mixture in each cup. Sprinkle with smoked paprika(optional).

Place muffin pan on the center rack of a preheated 375 degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until muffins are light brown, puffy, and the eggs are set.

Let muffins cool for a few minutes before removing from the muffin pan or cups. Loosen gently with knife if they seem to be sticking. Eat immediately or let cool completely and store in plastic bag in refrigerator or freezer. The Egg Muffins can be reheated in the microwave.


Friday, November 26, 2010

What's in a label...

I started this blog for a couple of reasons. I wanted to share yummy HEALTHY recipes with family and friends! But more importantly, I want to share information (dirty secrets) the food industry doesn't want you to know. 

I have mentioned it before but the way our family eats changed after watching Food, Inc. 

Here is one of those "dirty" little secrets the food industry doesn't want you to you know... 

The soup industry is thriving on the newest craze"hidden vegetables" but that is not all they are hiding. 
Anyone know what “mechanically separated chicken” is??? 

That is mechanically separated chicken.
That  is the result of a machine scraping clean every ounce of chicken meat off of the bones and putting it through a high pressure sieve.  Then, sources say, “because it’s crawling with bacteria, it will be washed with ammonia…because it tastes gross, it will be reflavored artificially.  Then, because it is weirdly pink, it will be dyed with artificial color.”

There’s no way that can be healthy for kids.

Thankfully - our three year old does not consume "mechanically separated chicken" but enjoys locally raised, hormone free, grass fed chicken. Otherwise, I would have been spending some time in the bathroom -- SICK... I am already sick to my stomach and disgusted by just looking at this picture... This is considered normal and healthy...

I think not!

I have created some delicious and real "healthy" soup recipes my boys enjoy! Maybe give them a try before serving "mechanically separated chicken."

Why don't you give them a look, here!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Latte

Starbucks has several speciality drinks throughout the year that get all the RAVE... Pumpkin Latte is one of them!!!! It is delicious but expensive. Instead of going to "five bucks" make a huge (crock) pot of pumpkin latte. It is just as good and really makes the house smell wonderful!
This was a huge favorite last year for us... I have not gotten around to make it as much as I would like this "pumpkin" season. 

The Ingredients:
2 cups milk 
2 TBSP canned pumpkin
2 TBSP white sugar
2 TBSP vanilla (not a typo. it asks for tablespoons)
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
OR: 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cloves, 1/8 tsp nutmeg, and a teeny tiny pinch of ground ginger
1/2 cup brewed espresso or 3/4 cup strong brewed coffee
garnish with whipped cream (optional)

The Directions.
This will make enough for 2 people to have a big mug with a bit leftover. If you are having friends over, adjust the recipe accordingly. I used a 4-quart crockpot, but as small as a 1.5 quart will work with these amounts.
Add the coffee/espresso and milk to the crockpot. Whisk in the pumpkin, spices, sugar, and vanilla.
Cover and cook on high for 2 hours if everything is cold. Whisk again. Ladle into mugs, and garnish with whipped cream and additional cinnamon. I added a cinnamon stick to be fancy.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Puree - Crockpot

curious about my easy pumpkin puree recipe... it is a crockpot easy! here it is!!! 
Slow Cooker Pumpkin Puree
1 pie pumpkin, small enough to fit into your slow cooker (mine was just a bit too big, so I simply cut it in half)
1) Poke the pumpkin a few times with a fork and place in the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until quite soft.
2) Remove from the slow cooker and scoop out the seeds and discard or roast. Scoop out the pumpkin flesh and puree in a food processor, using a hand blender or regular blender until well blended. Use in recipes as desired.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pumpkin Squash Soup

Vacation is quickly approaching. Dinner ingredients are disappearing and I am struggling with planning and preparing meals, since I do not want to have food go to waste.

I am getting creative with dinners. Mixing things, I might have never mixed. And they are coming out great! 

Pumpkin and Vegetable Stir-Fry on brown rice with a Pumpkin Naan

Pumpkin Squash Soup

When hubby saw this meal, he asked, um is this the baby's food? That is kind. When describing the meal to a friend, I said, it looked like vomit... 

It tasted AMAZING... surprisingly!!!
That was totally lucky! The ingredient list may be shocking but TRUST me --- GOOD GOOD GOOD!!!

The Ingredients:
2 Delitaca Squash (winter squash), peel, seed, chopped
1 can pumpkin (I wanted to use real puree but used it all)
1 cup sweet corn
1 cup spinach, chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper
curry powder (I used about 1/2 - 1 tsp)
1/4 cup plain Chobani yogurt
1 squirt or two of Soy Sauce or Braggs

The Directions:

Saute the Delicata Squash (if using real pumpkin - add it here too!) in Olive Oil over Medium High Heat. I browned them real good. Some pieces may have even been burnt. Once tender and the color you desire add 1/2 cup vegetable broth. The squash is going to just drink it all up. Slowly add the rest of the broth. Bring to a boil. Add Curry powder, Salt and Pepper and Soy Sauce.

Into a food processor add the squash and just enough liquid to puree. Add back to the pot. Add canned pumpkin, yogurt (or sour cream) cooked squash and corn. Heat and serve!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Chai Spiced Latte

I love enjoying a delicious hot cup of tea on a cold day. A Chai Tea Latte is my favorite, speciality drink! The only place that makes a really good Chai Tea Latte is Starbucks but who are we kidding it is far more expensive to go to Starbuck and get one than make one at home. 

I have come up with a delicious recipe!!!! Super easy and super yummy!

The Ingredients.
4 cups milk (I used Almond Milk -- have used 2% before)

4 black tea bags
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
4 sticks cinnamon (or 2 tsp ground)
4 cardamom pods
1 tsp vanilla extract

The Directions.

This will serve 2-4 adults, dependent on how much they like tea.

Put everything into your crockpot. I used a 4 quart. Anything over a 2 quart will work just 
fine. Float the cinnamon sticks, cardamon pods, and tea bags on top.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or until heated through. I cooked ours on low for 2 hours and another hour on high.

Press the tea bags against the side of the crockpot with a spoon to release the last bit of tea-goodness and ladle into mugs.

Back to organizing and packing!!! A couple more days until we are on vacation!!!! Until then -- I will enjoying this wonderful drink!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Coconut Butter

I have not tried store bought Coconut Butter. I have just heard from several friends and have read on several blogs that Coconut Butter is AAAAAMAZING.

I have coconut on hand (always!) so thought I should just go ahead and make my own! Have you ever had your food processor going for more than 20 minutes??? Your ears begin to ring and be bothered by the LOUD noise. My ears are still ringing...

The first time I flopped. I did not put enough coconut in the food processor atleast that is what I am telling myself. I think there was not enough weight or something because I pureed it for 20 minutes and nothing... so I gave up. My ears could not take anymore... my kids couldn't take it anymore.

The second time I wised up! I put the food processor in the garage. Noise minimized!!! :) I added about 4 cups maybe 6 cup into the food processor. Food processed for 20 - 25 minutes and YUMMMMMMMM.... Coconut Butter!

Pumpkin Oatmeal

I think I have a problem. I have an obsession. I am obsessed with my homemade Almond Butter. It is delicious. It is creamy. It is almost gone. I want to add it on everything. 

The main difference I have noticed with my Almond Butter and sore bought -- It is not hard as a rock, when scooping out. It is smoother. It does not melt down as well as store bought but maybe that is because I didn't add a lot of oil. Or maybe I didn't keep it in the food processor long enough. 

This will remain a mystery until I am able to make another batch of Almond Butter.

Pumpkin Oatmeal topped with Cranberries and Almond Butter
The Ingredients:
1 cup oats
1 cup milk (almond milk)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I only had 2 TBSP's of Pumpkin)
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup raisins or cranberries
Dash of salt
maple syrup & almonds (optional)

The Directions:
Mix together oats and milk in a small saucepan. Cook on medium high heat for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring once. Stir in pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Heat through, and serve. Top with maple syrup and almonds.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pumpkin NAAN

  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 TBSP Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup water
  • extra flour for rolling

The Directions:
  1. Whisk together the bread flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl.
  2. Add the water, 2 TBSP pumpkin and stir. Then knead with your hands for a minute or two. If dough is too sticky, add a bit more flour.
  3. Dough should be smooth and elastic. Divide into 4 balls.
  4. Roll out each ball until it is about 5 to 6 inches in diameter.
  5. Spritz a frying pan with olive oil and heat over high heat. When hot, place one of the pre-naans on it. Press down a bit with your hands or a utensil. Cook until golden.
  6. Then flip and cook until golden. Repeat with remaining pieces.
  7. Use a pizza cutter to cut each piece into 4 triangles.
  8. Serves between 2 and 4 people.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Applegate Farms

Since there were only 3 comments... I put the names in a bowl and asked Adam to choose one.

The Winner of the Applegate Farms giveaway is The Vaughters! CONGRATULATIONS! :)

Please email enjoyinghealthyfoods(at)yahoo(dot)com with your address!!! I will put them in the mail ASAP!

Angela Vaughter, the winner,  is a photographer in the Indiana area. I was snooping around on her family page and her professional photography page. She really has a great "photo" eye. Her pictures are beautiful!  If you are in the Indiana area and need pictures taken -- LOOK HER UP!!! You will not be disappointed!

Pumpkin Spice Almond Butter

We do not use Peanut Butter in our house... That may be hard to believe since we have a 3 year old but peanuts are sprayed heavily with chemicals. 

Instead of Peanut Butter we use Almond Butter! I love Almond Butter!!!! I am sure you have noticed a few of my recipes have had it in it. It just has a great taste. 

But none compare to HOMEMADE Almond Butter! Yup, I made Almond Butter!!! Almond butter takes a little more lovin’ than the peanut butter.  However, it is 100% worth the effort. This nut butter is thick + creamy with a slight crunchy almond texture.  It’s very spreadable but not drippy like the peanut butter.  While there is no actual pumpkin in it, it definitely has that pumpkin spice flavor. It is delicious. It is creamy. This jar will not last long!

The Ingredients:
2 cups raw almonds
2 TBSP maple syrup
1 TBSP maple syrup
1.5 TBSP molasses
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin spice
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 TBSP coconut oil (you may decide to add more)

The Directions:
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Spread the almonds on parchment, on a baking sheet. Pour on 2 TBSP maple syrup + 1 TBSP molasses.  Stir.

Roast for 30min, stirring once every 10 minutes.

Take out of the oven and let cool for about 30 minutes. Dump into your food processor and turn on.
Process + scrape down bowl as needed, until it butterizes. About 15 minutes.  [Past the stage where it has formed a large ball of dough]

Add in 1/2 TBSP molasses, 1 TBSP maple syrup, 1 1/2 TBSP coconut oil, all spices and salt. Process again until smooth consistency is met.  For another 5 - 8 minutes.  

Seriously ---  this is sooo good this jar will not last long. 

 I added my pumpkin cranberry bread right into the food processor! Couldn't waste even one drop! 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Applegate Farms

The kind people at Applegate Farms sent me coupons to share with you (my friends!) 

The coupons are:
3 - SAVE $1.00 

This is a contest --- TODAY only!!! 

All you have to do is comment under this post a recipe or a dish you plan to make with the Applegate Products you buy with the coupons!!!!

I have made several dishes with Applegate and I LOVE their Chicken-Turkey Sausage!!! You choice does not have to be a dish of mine. I might be looking for another delicious dish to try and add to my list!

The winner will be announced tomorrow! GOOD LUCK!

Pumpkin Cranberry Bars

Being the week before Thanksgiving week (and I will be in Cabo Thanksgiving week!) I am going THANKSGIVING... Well - sorta! I am going to try to make something pumpkin everyday this week! 
I love cooking with pumpkin. It makes the house smell amazing!!!! 

But when mixed with cranberries --- SUPER AMAZING!!!! 
Instead of making tradition pumpkin bread, I decided to make this recipe into bars. Although they did not come out how I imagined they would - still good! Nothing is wrong with them just not what I thought! I guess I forgot to take into consideration that the pumpkin puree would rise a bit and make the bars fluffy - bread like!

Oh well - you win some. you lose some! :) 

These are not really a loss though. The bar (bread) is moist and the flavor is great! 

Here is what I did!!! :) 

Pumpkin Cranberry Bars (bread)
The Ingredients:
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Sea Salt
1 tsp Pumpkin Spice
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 cup palm sugar
1/2 cup Applesauce
1/2 cup RAW butter (I wanted to use coconut oil - but didn't have enough)
3/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
3 eggs
2 TBSP Almond Milk

1/4 cup cranberries
1/4 cup walnuts
1/2 cup oatmeal

The Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a square pan (or round) with parchment paper.

In a bowl mix flour, baking powder, salt, pumpkin spice, nutmeg and cinnamon. 

In another bowl mix sugar, applesauce, pumpkin puree, almond milk, butter and eggs with a hand mixer. Mix for 2 minutes. Add the flour mixture. With hand mixer, mix for 3 or so minutes. Fold in the cranberries, walnuts and oatmeal. Pour mixture into lined pan. 

Bake for 30 - 35 minutes at 350 degrees. Allow to cool for 30 minutes before removing from the pan. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

I have lots of childhood memories... 

I have a few childhood FOOD memories! One of them is TGI Fridays and their Broccoli Cheddar Soup. I remember having Mother Daughter lunches at the Glenview, Chicago location. I loved their Broccoli Cheddar soup. 

Since those days I have come to find only a handful of Broccoli Cheddar soups that compare (or even come close) to my memories of TGI Fridays (in the 80's and early 90's). The soup is not the same as it was back then. They have changed something... 

I have never made taken the time to make my own Broccoli Cheddar soup, until now. 

Our CSA farmer, had extra vegetables to purchase last week, so I purchased 3 heads of Broccoli, 2 lbs Brussels Sprouts, 2 3/4 lb spaghetti squash and 1/2 bushel sweet potatoes. I froze the Brussels in serving size packages and stored the sweet potatoes outside. 

I was going to freeze the Broccoli but the process was just too long and I was not willing to (waste the time) do it. 

Instead, I attempted making Broccoli Cheddar soup for the first time. 

It came out great. Topped it with RAW Broccoli and Cheddar Cheese.

I used Almond Milk and Chobani Plain Greek Yogurt. I think the only thing I will change next time is add one more Chobani Yogurt to add a little more creaminess. The soup was still AMAZING...  Took me back to my TGI Fridays soup memory. 

The Ingredients:
6-8 cups raw broccoli, florets and stalk, chopped
1 shallot, chopped
1 lemon, juiced
3 cups vegetable broth (salted)
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 small red onion, chopped
1 cup Chobani, plain

3 cups Yukon Gold potatoes, rough chop (skin on)
1 cup parsley
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup almond milk, plain flavor
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

The Directions:

In your soup pot, saute over med-high heat: 2 Tbsp of your olive oil with the shallot, onion and jalapeno. When cooked lightly, add in lemon juice, veggie broth, remaining oil, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Add Potatoes and bring broth to a boil. Cook until potatoes are tender.

Add chopped Broccoli (florets and steams). Remember to leave out a few florets for later use though.Cover with lid, when broccoli is tender, turn heat off.

Transfer contents of pot into a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool slightly. Add to the bowl the fresh parsley, Chobani and almond milk. Fold new ingredients into the hot soup mixture.
In batches, puree the soup in a food-processor (maybe someday soon, a Vitamix!) style blender. Soup should be smooth-no lumps or chunks. In the soup pot, add the broccoli florets, a dash of veggie broth and saute covered for about a minute until tender. Add the pureed soup back into the soup pot. Add a bay leaf and a few pinches of chopped basil (optional). Simmer uncovered for at least twenty minutes to cook out all the air bubbles. Stir constantly for the first few minutes. Remove the bay leaf before serving or storing.

Serve with a garnish of 1 tsp Chobani drops, a pinch of fresh parsley, a basil leaf and of course some shreds of cheddar cheese.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sweet Potato and Kale with Chicken Apple Sausage

I am using the last of my food share vegetables. I still have a lot in the freezer and am thankful that I saved throughout the season! I had just a little bit of Kale left and needed to use it! 

See we are cleaning out our fridge for next week... we will be enjoying a week in beautiful CABO!!!! :) I do not want to waste and vegetables so I am coming up with new mixtures and combos! 

The Ingredients:
1/2 lb diced, peeled sweet potatoes

1 medium-sized bunch of kale
4 links Chicken and Apple, Applegate
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 clove of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons whole grain dijon mustard
2 - 3 TBSP maple syrup
pinch of Cajun seasoning
salt, to taste

Place the sweet potatoes in a steamer pot. Steam for 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, chop the kale to yield a half pound. Wash it, then add to the sweet potatoes in the pot a few minutes into the cooking time.

Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Slice the chicken sausage thinly and add to the skillet, cooking until browned on both sides. When the potatoes and kale are finished steaming and the sausage is browned, add the sausage to the bowl with the potatoes and kale. Set aside.

Add the olive oil to the skillet, and cook the shallots and garlic for one or two minutes. Add the cider vinegar, mustard, maple syrup, and Cajun seasoning. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer. Add the potatoes, kale, and sausage to the skillet and turn to coat and heat through. Season to taste with salt.

The winner did not email me so we have picked another winner. Will Heather (allkindsofgoodies) please email me by TODAY to claim the price! CONGRATULATIONS!!! You were lucky #36.

Sweet Potato
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