Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Hummus: Roasted Pepper & Roasted Eggplant & Garlic

Hummus is an absolute staple in my refrigerator.  It is one of my favorite snacks, salad toppers and has become a must have spread when making wraps.  Here are a couple of my favorite recipes;

Roasted Pepper Hummus

Ingredients

15 oz can of chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 head roasted garlic
2 roasted bell peppers - red, yellow or orange
1 tbsp tahini paste
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lemon
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp salt

To roasted the garlic and bell pepper; preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Cut about 1/4 inch off the top of the garlic head, put into a baking dish with the bell peppers, drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil and roast until tender - about 45 minutes to an hour. 

*Instead of adding more oil when making the hummus I used the juices and any olive oil left in the pan from roasting the garlic and bell peppers.

In a food processor; combine all of the ingredients to your desired consistency, mixing to ensure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and incorporated. 


Roasted Eggplant & Garlic Hummus

Ingredients

15 oz can of chick peas (garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 medium roasted eggplant
1 head roasted garlic
1 tbsp tahini paste
1 tbsp olive oil
juice of half a lemon
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8-1/4 tsp salt

To roasted the eggplant and garlic; preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Cut about 1/4 inch off the top of the garlic head, put into a baking dish with the eggplant, drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil and roast until tender - about 45 minutes to an hour. 

*Instead of adding more oil when making the hummus I used the juices and any olive oil left in the pan from roasting the eggplant and garlic.

In a food processor; combine all of the ingredients to your desired consistency, mixing to ensure all of the ingredients are evenly distributed and incorporated. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nasi Goreng Recipe

The best way to try authentic exotic dishes is to visit their country of origin. Thing is, it’s quite expensive to go out of the country just to savor such wonderful treats. Thanks to the internet, we can always look for recipes and information on where we can shop for ingredients that we’re not so familiar with.

One unique recipe that caught my interest was Nasi Goreng, which is a popular dish in Indonesia and Malaysia. And since the quest for tasting something new and distinctive is never ending, and creating dishes such as Nasi Goreng is simply a must. Note though, cooking this dish may take some time, so you might want to take out your iPad and play a few rounds on Cheekybingo.com to keep yourself entertained.

Ingredients:

1 red chilli
1 onion
1 bulb of garlic
½ tsp palm sugar
½ tsp toasted belacan (shrimp paste)
½ tbsp soy sauce
2 cups overnight rice
1 egg
2 tbsp of oil (preferably olive oil)


1. On a medium sized pan, toast the shrimp paste with low heat or until dry and aromatic.
2. Fry the egg sunny side up, set it aside.
3. Blend the onion, garlic, red chili, and the toasted shrimp paste.
4. On the same pan, heat the oil and add in the blended mixture.
5. Increase the heat to high and add the overnight rice.
6. Stir-fry until the mixture spreads evenly with the rice.
7. When done, transfer the rice mix into a bowl and top with a sunny side up egg.
8. The dish is best served with chicken, salted duck egg, fried potatoes, and vegetables.

Friday, February 15, 2013

DailyBuzz Food - Top 9!


Hey Everyone check out the DailyBuzz Top 9 Coriander recipes including my very own

Coriander Cauliflower Chickpea Soup

This is the first recipe of mine to be featured and I am very excited about it! 

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Review: La' Pans Food Corp


Something you may, or may not know about me is that I am a gal that loves sauces!  I always look forward to trying new varieties to add zing to the dishes I am eating, and the right type of sauces are great for adding flavor and turning mundane food into something special. 

Recently, I was fortunate enough to be sent a selection of samples to try from La Pan’s Food Corp; a So. Cal based company that has created a line of gourmet products ranging from bloody mary mix, hot sauce, traditional and spicy BBQ sauces all made using all natural ingredients.   

BBQ Blessings Spice Rubbed Steak Burrito Bowl

First off, I wanted to try the rub, and decided to use it on steak I planned to use with dinner.  Being that I strive to eat leaner cuts of meat, anything I can do to add flare is welcomed with open arms so, I coated the steaks I used on each side before grilling.  The result was a fantastically flavorful steak that accompanied the grilled veggies in my burrito bowl perfectly!

Ingredients
Serves four

Two 4 oz sirloin steaks
Three ears fresh corn
Three zucchini, sliced length wise
1 cup cherry tomatoes
One red bell pepper, seeds removed and quartered
15 oz low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup quinoa, rinsed
La Pan’s BBQ Blessings Spice Rub
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 limes
Salsa (optional)

A benefit of the BBQ Blessing Spice Rub is that it is so flavorful it cuts the need to marinate; I allowed my steak to sit with the rub for about four hours due to preparing them during my lunch hour at work.  I have made this recipe again using the same steak without allowing it to sit and the flavor was just as amazing.

Preheat your grill to medium high heat for about 8 to 10 minutes.  As a side note; I primarily use an indoor grill due to being unable to have an outdoor grill at the apartment I rent.  I know I am already in search of a new rental come the end of my lease!

Start by grilling the corn, this can be done one of two ways; dry – placed directly onto the grill, or by rubbing with a small amount of grapeseed oil; and cook until just charred on all sides.  Next, grill the zucchini slices, and bell pepper until achieving the same lovely char as you did the corn.  Last, cut the limes in two and place them cut side down on the grilled for a few minutes to loosen the juices.

In a large bowl; carefully cut the corn kernels from the cob using a sharp knife, halve the cherry tomatoes, roughly chop the zucchini and bell pepper, and then toss everything together with the juice of the limes and chopped fresh cilantro.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.  As far as seasoning goes; I prefer the natural flavors of the grilled vegetables without adding any additional seasoning however, feel free to season with salt and pepper if you desire.  

If you are unfamiliar with how to prepare quinoa; simply rinse the desired amount before covering with water, bringing to a boil and allow it to simmer 15 minutes, and then drain off any excess water.  You can also take the ratio approach as you would cook rice but, this tried and true method works for me every time.

Next, grill the rubbed steaks to your desired taste; I prefer medium so about 2 minutes per side works perfect.  Once cooked, allow the steaks to rest (an essential step in cooking lean protein) at least 10 minutes before slicing thin.

Assembling the burrito bowls simply layer the ingredients starting with a bed of quinoa, followed by the grilled vegetables, then the steak and top with your favorite salsa.  Blue corn tortilla chips make a great accompaniment to this dish as well.

For the next recipe, I wanted to keep things classic so, I put together an easy dish of grilled chicken topped with the Foundation Gourmet BBQ Sauce.  I love sweet and spicy BBQ sauces and this one packs a rich flavor with the perfect amount of spice that goes on and on. 

Foundation BBQ Chicken

Something else that stood about La Pan's, is the entire ingredient list is comprised of easily recognizable ingredients (and easily pronounced) providing confidence that you are using products of high quality.  This is not something you see in comparison to other BBQ products on the market. 

My best advice is to check out La Pan's Food Corp to try the delicious product range for yourself.  You won't be disappointed!

Stay tuned another recipe using the Foundation Gourmet BBQ and La Pan’s Fire in the Hole! Hot Sauce; Spicy BBQ Baked Black Beans!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Quick Recipe: Wasabi Tuna Wrap


There are two condiments items that work as excellent flavor enhancers; wasabi sauce and salsa.  Wraps aren’t anything new when it comes to the world of healthy eating.  Using whole grain tortillas in place of bread not only helps to cut back on carb intake but, when filled with things like hummus in place of mayo, fresh veggies and protein they make for a tasty meal option or pre workout snack.  I have never been a huge fan of tuna salad but, the convenience tuna packed in water offers makes it a hard item to resist experimenting with, and one way I love to prepare it is simply with a dollop of wasabi sauce which complements the tuna adding a solid punch of flavor.

Ingredients 
Make two wraps

5 oz can tuna packed in water, drained
Two whole grain or whole wheat tortillas
2 tbsp hummus
Spinach
One medium vine ripe tomato
Salt and pepper

Simply combine the drained tuna with two tablespoons of Woeber’s (or your favorite brand) wasabi sauce.  Evenly spread one tablespoon of hummus onto each tortilla, on one side even spread out the spinach, divide the mixed tuna into two portions and spread on top of the spinach, top with fresh tomato slices, season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Eating Clean


At times life brings on change whether we are ready for it or not.  It can be in the form of good transition, or bad and at times makes everything seem impossible to overcome.  Over the last several months, my life has gone through transition in all phases but, the one thing that kept me balanced through it all was the dedication I held on to keeping myself healthy – mind, body and soul. 

I live by the ideology; eat clean, stay fit and don't deprive.  Eating clean is a term I am sure most of you have heard before, if not, to explain it is a healthy lifestyle in which you nourish your body by consuming food in it's purest form focused on the nutrients it thrives on.  It is not about dieting, or restricting yourself from indulging, it is about focusing on feeding your body the best you can so that you can indulge, in moderation, without the worry.  For me, the benefits alone out weigh any desire I have for junk food, or sweets.  Almost immediately I noticed a huge increase in energy, I was able to better control my appetite, my complextion started to clear, and it catapulted the results of my fitness routine feeding my motivation to continue. 

The principles are straight forward;  
Increase water consumption; replace alcoholic beverages or those high in sugar with water and green tea, this helps aide in flushing impurities from your body, assists the body to better absorb nutrients, helps control hunger and as a bonus hydration promotes a healthy complexion.

Eliminate refined sugar and salt; instead opt to curb cravings with fresh fruit, and take advantages of herbs and spices to enhance flavor.

Choose whole or multi grains over refined when choosing bread, rice and pastas.  Dark leafy greens and fresh vegetables are also excellent sources of unrefined carbohydrates.

Stop reaching for processed foods; this is one of the most important principles to follow when looking to lead a clean lifestyle.  Processed foods, while convenient, are loaded with additives and sodium that work against your body’s fight to stay healthy.

Replace saturated and trans fats most commonly found refined foods, with unsaturated fats in the form of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated which can be found in nuts, vegetable oils such as olive, grapeseed, and flax, fish and avocados.  

Last but, most certainly not least; eat smaller portions five to six times per day – this helps maintain blood sugar dips, keeps energy levels up and is also a great way to manage appetite control.   

Is it easy to give up all things healthy that taste so good?  No.  But, for me I wanted change so, to make it happen I tackled it head on and after seeing continuous results haven’t looked back since. 

Getting Started

 

Food prep is vital; not only making preparing meals through out the week less time consuming but, also to replace convenience foods with healthy options.

Buying fresh meat, fruits and vegetables requires grocery shopping more often so, to make it easier I have a staple grocery list which consists of items I always have on hand making trips to pick up additional items much quicker.  Here is my staple grocery list;

- Unsweetened almond milk
- Cracked wheat or steel cut oats
- Whole wheat tortillas
- Protein - sirloin, fish, poultry, deli meat such as chicken or turkey breast
- Raw almonds, cashews and/or walnuts
- Unsalted natural peanut butter
- Chia seeds
- Quinoa
- Nonfat plain greek yogurt
- Berries
- Bananas
- Apples
- Lemons
- Fresh garlic
- Ginger
- Mixed greens
- Tomatoes
- Carrots
- Bell peppers
- Kale
- Swiss chard
- Low sodium stock
- Low sodium beans
- Tahini
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Grapeseed oil
- Vinegar - rice wine, red wine and balsamic
- Dark chocolate
- Tea - green, herbal

Now, what I have on my list may differ from what someone else eating clean has on theirs, or there may be items you don't like, prefer over others.  What one person eats doesn't mean it is what another person should eat.  The best thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to customize a menu of foods that works with you, for your tastes while holding true to the basics. 
While this journey started for me sometime ago, I will continue to share with you the recipes I love that support healthy eating but, do not cut out flavor in anyway.  Good luck!