Time to Cook!

Inspiration for wholesome weeknight & weekend cooking.

Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

This is a wonderful tasting, moist and healthy muffin that you can feel good about giving to your kids or enjoying as an afternoon snack.  After tasting these, you won’t believe there isn’t any white flour, sugar, butter or vegetable oil in them.  They truly taste decadent — and they’re not!  Note: if you don’t have the wheat germ or flax, substitute with oats and the muffins will turn out fine!

Healthy Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Recipe adapted from the blog Baking Adventures in a Messy Kitchen.

Healthy Dark Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups grated zucchini
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup coconut oil, softened or melted
2 large eggs
1 banana , well mashed
3/4 cup yogurt (vanilla or plain; Greek or non-fat or low fat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups whole wheat white flour
1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup ground flaxseed or meal
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup (heaping) dark chocolate mini chunks (Whole Foods private label sells these in a bag)

Directions:

To prepare, grate the zucchini, using paper towels to squeeze out any excess moisture, and mash the banana.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease mini muffin tray, planning for 45-50 mini muffins.

Using a stand mixer, beat together the zucchini, honey, molasses, coconut oil, eggs, banana, yogurt, and vanilla until well mixed.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, wheat germ, flax seed, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt with a whisk.

Add the flour mixture to the stand mixer incrementally, beating on low speed, stopping as soon as the flour is fully incorporated.

Remove the bowl from the stand and fold in the dark chocolate mini chunks.

Scoop the batter into mini muffin cups (filling just over 3/4 full), and bake them in the oven for approximately 13 minutes. Let sit in the pan for a few more minutes, then move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Try to eat just one. Really. Try.

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I love the Orzo and Spinach Salad that Whole Foods makes and thought about replicating it at home.  A quick search on the internet brought me to one that sounded promising, and I made a few modifications.  This salad can be served cold or at room temperature and would be great to bring to your next BBQ.

Orzo & Spinach Salad

Recipe adapted from Food.com

Ingredients

  • 1 (16 ounce) package uncooked orzo pasta (can be whole wheat)
  • 1 (10 ounce) package baby spinach leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 lb crumbled feta cheese (2 cups)
  • 1/2 small red onion, very finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil (or 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add orzo and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in spinach, feta, onion, pine nuts,olives, basil, salt and pepper. Toss with olive oil and white balsamic vinegar. Refrigerate and serve cold or at room temperature.
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I don’t own a Vitamix.  I’ve never done a cleanse or a detox.  But I do love a good, healthy smoothie every now and then.  This is a great way to start your morning or makes a great snack.  My kids love this too (although I could put just about anything into a blender and they’d be hard-pressed to not like it!)  I try not to have juice around the house (we have diabetes in the family and juice is filled with sugar) but this smoothie is plenty sweet without it.  This has become my “go to” green smoothie because it actually tastes good and it’s good for you.  It’s from Brit Morin, who is a young Martha Stewart type.  Her website Brit + Co is fun to check out for DIY and craft ideas.  Enjoy!

 

Spinach Smoothie

Recipe from Brit + Co.

Ingredients:
– 2 cups spinach
– 1/2 cup almond milk (original recipe uses sweetened, but I buy unsweetened)
– 1/2 cup frozen mango
– 1/2 of a small banana (2 ounces if you have a scale)

Directions:

Place your spinach in the blender. Add the almond milk and frappe until smooth. This step is key for a smooth texture. Add the frozen mango chunks and banana. Blend again until smooth. Your smoothie will be thick, but not so thick that you can’t drink it from the glass without the help of a spoon.

Total Calories – 145 calories.

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Wondering what to do with Swiss chard?  It’s one of the healthiest vegetables out there and bountiful at the grocery store and at farmers markets almost year-round.  I’m always looking for new, simple recipes that use this superfood.  This one is wonderful – it’s basically a Swiss chard pesto that would be great on orecchiette or penne pasta.  If you double the recipe, the pesto would freeze well for future dinners.  Enjoy!

 

Orecchiette with Swiss Chard and Parm

Recipe from Mario Batali; featured on the Today Show.

Orecchiette with Swiss chard and Parmigiano-Reggiano

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small white onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 1 pound Swiss chard, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • Maldon or other flaky sea salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound orecchiette
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
Preparation

Combine the oil, onion, garlic, and chard in a large pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion and chard are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Season well with Maldon salt, add 1/4 cup water, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is very tender, about 20 minutes. Season with pepper and remove from the heat. Place ingredients into food processor and finely chop. Set aside in large bowl.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Drop in the pasta and cook until just al dente.

Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the chard ragu and stir and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated (add a splash or two more of the reserved pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce). Stir in the cheese.

Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and serve with additional grated Parmigiano on the side.

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This is my easy, weeknight (and weekend) vinaigrette that I make all the time, all year round.  It’s so easy to make — it only takes about 3 minutes — and you can make 2 or 3 X the recipe to keep in the fridge for the week.  Some nights, even making a 3-minute dressing is just too daunting, right?

Basic White Balsamic Dressing

 

Basic White Balsamic Vinaigrette

1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar (Trader Joe’s brand is the best!)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
pinch of Maldon sea salt flakes
pinch of fresh ground pepper
pinch of marjoram and/or dill

In a small glass dish, add balsamic vinegar, then slowly whisk in the extra virgin olive oil until combined.  Finish with salt, pepper and herbs.  Add vinaigrette into your greens in a salad bowl, tossing to see how much you need.  Taste a leaf.  If your salad has no taste, it just needs another pinch of salt and that will bring out all of the flavors.

To make a green salad special (I usually favor Butter / Bibb or baby lettuces), I often add toasted nuts and a sweet fruit like pears, persimmons, or apples.  I also like the combination of scallions and avocado.

 

 

 

 

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I love these shaved brussels sprouts (I found them raw in a bag at Trader Joe’s and I think Safeway now carries them too).  This would be a lot of work to cut these delicate sprouts up so thinly, so I love that the prep work is already done for you.  I should note that I hated brussels sprouts growing up (I think my Mom boiled them and added no seasoning) … but prepared this way (shaved and roasted), they are so tasty, delicate, salty and crispy — they are sure to turn any brussels sprout sceptic into an enthusiast.

Shaved Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts Ingredients: Two (10 ounce) bags of shaved brussels sprouts 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper Directions: Spread the brussels sprouts onto 2 rimmed baking sheets, so they have plenty of room to roast (if they are too crowded, they will steam and stay too moist).  Toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until nicely browned and a bit crispy.  Season to taste with more salt.  Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4-6.

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