Sunday, August 30, 2015

Flatastic Picnic

Falafel-Spiced Tomatoes on Flatbread accompanied by Couscous-Stuffed Peppers  topped our picnic menu today.  Pear Crisp ended the menu, followed by an encore of hot coffee. The flatbread dish is featured on the cover of the August Bon Appetit.  I substituted the Avocado-Yogurt sauce I'd made for another meal, which was inspired by Food Network Magazine.  Here's my take on this tasty dish:

Falafel-Spiced Tomatoes on Flatbread

(Serves 4)

Avocado-Yogurt Sauce
Pulse together basil, avocado, garlic, yogurt and lime juice in food processor.  Refrigerate until service. 
2 tablespoon fresh basil
1 avocado, peeled and seed removed
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt, non-fat
Juice from 1 lime

Chickpea Mixture
Pulse cooked garbanzo beans in the food processor a few seconds, leaving chunks of beans intact.  Dress with vinegar, oil, shallots and celery.
2/3 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1 tablespoon wine vinegar
2 tablespoon shallot, diced
2 tablespoon celery leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil

Mix salt, baking powder, sugar and flours in the bowl of a Kitchen-aide mixer.  Add yogurt and about 3 tablespoons of warm water until dough forms a ball and leaves side of mixer. 
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup Greek Yogurt, nonfat
3 tablespoon warm water
Turn dough out onto floured surface.  Cover and let rest 15 minutes.
Divide dough in 4 balls.
Heat oil in individual iron skillets.  Flatten 1 dough ball in bottom of skillet to about 1/4 inch.  Brown on 1 side for 2 minutes.  Flip and brown on other side for 1 minute.
2 teaspoon olive oil

Spiced Tomatoes
Mix spices and garlic.  Sprinkle over slices of tomato at least 30 minutes before serving.
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon lime orange pepper spice blend
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
4 small heirloom tomatoes, varied colors, thinly sliced

Arrange 1 flatbread in center of plate.  Spread yogurt sauce over bread.  Sprinkle chickpea mixture over yogurt.  Arrange slices of spiced tomatoes on top.
We took a pizza cutter to cut our assembled breads prior to eating! 

The couscous recipe was inspired by Fine Cooking Magazine.  Since I did not want to repeat tomatoes, I placed our stuffing in the perfect peppers we grew in containers on our back deck!

Couscous-Stuffed Peppers

(Serves 4)

To cook couscous, bring water and couscous to a boil in water.  Lower heat to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water.
1/2 cup whole wheat Israeli couscous
1 cup water

Mix oil, juice and syrup.  Pour over couscous.  Stir in scallions, garlic, celery and carrots.
1 tablespoon walnut oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 tablespoon scallions, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoon celery hearts and leaves, diced
2 colorful mini carrots, peeled and shredded

Our picnic today was at Audra (WV) State Park, where there are many fantastic picnic spots, tucked away among the rocks and tall trees.

There are hiking trails and a river to swim or soak your feet.

Have a great week! 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

So-ba Good

Our dinner tonight-Sesame Vegetables and Soba Noodles-was based on one of Rachael Ray's 30 minute meal. The Soba (100% Buckwheat) Noodles were a bit expensive, yet this meatless meal was affordable in the end.  

Sesame Vegetables & Soba Noodles

(Serves 2)

Saute garlic, scallions, ginger and pepper in sesame oil for 3 minutes.
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tablespoon scallions, diced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 banana pepper, cut in julienne strips

Add edamame, sprouts, broccoli and carrots and saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
1/3 cup edamame, shelled
1/3 cup sprouted mung beans
4 broccoli spears, cut thinly, with leaves
3 multi-colored carrots, peeled and cut thinly in julienne strips (I precooked the carrots for 60 seconds in water in the microwave)
Add soy sauce.   
1 tablespoon soy sauce

While vegetables are sauteing, cook noodles in boiling water for 8 minutes. 
2 ounce Soba noodles
Stir noodles into vegetables.
Plate and garnish with sesame seeds.
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds.

Now to watch the Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel!   

Friday, August 28, 2015

Stone Soup Guest Blogger

"The Hubbub about Peach-Rhubarb Crisp" is my third post on the Food and Nutrition Blog.   Stone Soup is a guest blog written by members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Guest bloggers from around the world share with Food & Nutrition Magazine.  I have always loved this magazine-especially the photos and am so pleased they shared my post.

Thanks for your interest in my healthy meals!   

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Tastes & Shades in the Bulk Food Aisle

Unique grains, beans and seeds fill the bulk food aisle in co-ops and markets.  My picks today, Adzuki Beans and Forbidden Rice, seemed like a match with the sweet flavor of the beans and the nutty flavor of the rice.  This dish serves as an entree or a side.

Adzuki Beans & Forbidden Rice

4-1 cup servings (entree) or 8-1/2 cup servings (side) 

Rinse and sort beans.  Soak overnight in twice the amount of water.
2/3 cup Adzuki Beans (dry volume)

Saute carrots, garlic, shallots, celery, ginger and cabbage in sesame oil, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup fresh carrots, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 cup shallots, diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 cup cabbage, shredded

Drain and rinse soaked Adzuki Beans.  Add to sauteed vegetables along with:
4 cups water
2 tablespoon & 2 teaspoon molasses
2 teaspoon dry mustard

Bring to a boil.  Cover, lower heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, cook the rice in a separate pan.  (The rice turns the water purple)
1/2 cup Forbidden Rice (dry volume)
3 cups water
Bring to a boil.  Cover, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  
Drain and rinse cooked rice.

Check the softness of the beans.  (May require up to 2 hours total cooking time). Stir in the rice just before serving and heat 5-10 minutes more.

Forbidden rice is a purple-black heirloom rice, whole grain and rich in iron and anthocyanin.  This recipe is high in fiber and economical.

What do I buy in the bulk food aisle?
  • Whole wheat pastry flour, which I substitute for 1/2 the flour in most recipes.
  • Amaranth, millet and spelt, hard-to-find whole grains.
  • Red and rainbow quinoa.
  • Rye flour.
  • Cracked wheat, sesame seeds and caraway seeds.
  • Arrowroot and turbinado sugar.
  • Anise stars, nutmeg beans and vanilla beans.
  • Whole allspice and cloves.
  • Cumin seeds.
  • Organic mung beans.
  • Oat groats.
  • Spices. 
    I can buy what I need in small quantities.  This saves space and prevents waste.  I can buy spices that I use infrequently in a small amount that fits in an envelope versus a jar that would sit on the shelf forever.                      
  •  Variety.  I can try something new.  Yellow split peas, Kamut bulgur and soy beans are now on my bucket list.



Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chickpea Burger

These crunchy burgers with cracked wheat, sunflower seeds and mid-east spices were very good.  The recipe is from Fine Cooking Magazine.  

Chickpea Burgers

(Serves 2)

Rinse wheat.  Bring water and cracked wheat to a boil.  Lower heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Drain.
2 tablespoons cracked wheat 
1 1/2 cups water

Saute scallion and garlic in oil.  Add arugula and saute for 1 minute. 
2 tablespoon scallions, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
3/4 cup arugula, stem ends removed
1 teaspoon olive oil

Place cooked and drained wheat, along with sauteed arugula mix in mini food processor.  Add remaining ingredients.  Process, leaving some pieces intact.
3/4 cup cooked garbanzo beans
2 tablespoon wheat germ
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/3 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoon beaten egg

 Form 3-1/4 cup burgers.  Cook on stove-top in oil until brown on both sides.
1 teaspoon olive oil 

Serve with diced cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley and Greek Yogurt.



Monday, August 24, 2015

Prime Time Peppers (Meatless Monday)

A family style dinner beginning with Bean & Corn Peppers and ending with Warm Plum Cobbler filled our bellies just as the comfort of family filled our soul.  It was especially enjoyable having son Christopher visiting and helping cut up fruit and vegetables.  The pepper recipe was inspired by Cooking Light.

Bean and Corn Peppers

(Serves 4)

Bring beans to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.  Cover, remove from heat and set aside for 1 hour.
1/3 cup dry navy beans
3 cups water
Drain and rinse beans.  Cover with 3 cups of fresh water.  Bring to a boil, reduce to medium heat and cook for 1 hour.  Drain.

Mix beans, celery, corn and cheese.
1/3 cup diced celery
1 ear of corn, cooked and cut off the cob
1 reduced fat cheddar cheese stick, shredded
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Stuff peppers with bean and corn mix.  
4-6 peppers, seeded 

Brush peppers with oil.  Place in baking dish.
1 teaspoon olive oil

Squeeze juice over peppers.  Add wedges to pan.
2 limes, 1 juiced and 1 cut in wedges 

Bake at 400 F. for 20-25 minutes.

The plum cobbler recipe was inspired by Rachael Ray.  

Plum Cobbler

(Serves 6)

6 plums, pitted and wedges

In saucepan, bring wine, brown sugar, and orange peel to a boil.  Simmer until liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup.  Remove orange peel.
1 6 oz. bottle White Zinfandel
2 tablespoon brown sugar
Juice from 1 orange
2-inch strip orange peel

Stir cornstarch into sauce.
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Pour sauce over cut plums.
Place in greased baking dish.  (I use an olive oil spray) 

Mix flours, sugar and baking powder.
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Stir milk and orange zest into dry ingredients.
3/4 cup skim milk
1 1/2 teaspoon orange zest 
Spoon batter over plums.
Bake at 400 F. for 35-40 minutes.




Sunday, August 23, 2015

Friendship Fare

Our picnic fare at "Friendship Hill" featured grilled vegetable steak salad and a mini farmers market melon.  The salad was inspired by Fine Cooking Magazine.   

Grilled Vegetable Steak Salad

(Serves 2)

Marinate steak in olive oil, garlic and thyme mix for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
2 teaspoon olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
4 sprigs thyme
6 ounce sirloin tip steak, cut carne asada style (thin)
Grill steak on stove-top iron grill about 4 minutes per side.  Slice with the grain in 4 inch strips, then slice across the grain in 2 inch strips.

Marinade for vegetables
Mix oil, vinegar, garlic and clove. 
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 teaspoon basil leaves

Grill vegetables, one layer at a time, on stove-top iron grill.  Brush each side of vegetable strips with marinade before grilling.  Grill 5 minutes on each side.
1 red pepper, seeded and cut in strips
Yellow summer squash, cut diagonally 1/2 inch thick, 8 slices
Zucchini squash, cut diagonally 1/2 inch thick, 6 slices
Add corn to grill with last of the vegetables, cooking and turning until lightly browned.
1 ear of corn, cooked and cut off the cob
Refrigerate vegetables with steak strips overnight.

Add the tomatoes the morning of the picnic.
2/3 cup cherry tomatoes, halved (quarter larger tomatoes)
When ready to serve, garnish with cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Our picnic today was at Friendship Hill National Historic Site near Point Marion, Pennsylvania.  This was once the home of Albert Gallatin, Secretary of State in the early 1800s.

Soon, my best friend and I will celebrate 39 years of marriage.  It's doing things like this that makes our marriage a good one!

 Have a great week!


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs & Potatoes

The roasted chicken and potatoes is one of  Rachael Ray's "Dinners For a Deal".  The Hot Glazed Peach was one of my own Farmers Market Demo recipes.
The chicken thighs were purchased at Working H Farm Store near Friendsville, Maryland.  The petite red, white and blue are from Evans Knob Farm.  The peaches were grown in West Virginia.  The thyme is from my container garden.

Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs & Potatoes

(Serves 2)

Mix olive oil, lemon zest and juice, mustard and garlic.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, zest and juice
1 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, crushed

Pour oil mix over potatoes and chicken in a bowl.
1 cup potatoes, halved
4 chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in

Place chicken and potato mixture on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Add lemon slices and thyme.
8 thyme sprigs
1 lemon, thinly sliced 

Bake at 425 F. for 35 minutes.

Hot Glazed Peach

(Serves 4)

In an oven proof pan, on stove-top, bring apple jack and buttery spread to a simmer.  Place peach halves face down in juice.  Simmer 4 minutes.
2 peaches, halved and pitted
3/4 cup apple jack (can substitute apple juice or wine) 
1 tablespoon Earth Balanace Buttery Spread

Turn peach over with skin down.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.
4 teaspoon brown sugar 
Broil in oven (I use my toaster oven) for 3 minutes.
 Have a great evening!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Peach Plates Proper

Five colossal peaches and three recipes made a dinner entree, dessert and breakfast sandwich like no other.  Peach Barbecued Chicken Breasts, Peach & Blueberry Graham Cake and Grilled Peach Mozzarella Sandwich all were tasty August treats.  The peaches are from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, purchased at a nearby farm store. 

The chicken recipe is from Clean Eating Magazine.  I followed the recipe closely, skipping the salt.  For the 2 of us, I grilled only one chicken breast, then sliced after cooking with an electric knife.  I cut the BBQ sauce recipe in half.  Our dinner included the chicken with red, white and blue potato salad on the side. 

Breakfast was just as yummy with this Grilled Peach and Mozzarella Sandwich.  While this would have been great with most cheeses, fresh mozzarella is what I have on hand and never disappoints.  Five ingredients and not much more than five minutes is all the prep time I needed.  Here's my recipe:

Grilled Peach and Mozzarella Sandwich

(Serves 1)

1 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread
2 slices Multigrain Tuscan Bread (this is a whole grain bread sold in Giant Eagle bakery)
1 ounce shaved fresh mozzarella
4 sprigs of fresh basil (from my container garden)
6 slices fresh peach, peeling intact

Melt the buttery spread on 1 side of a pre-heated stove-top iron grill. 
Place one slice of bread in the melted spread.
Top with cheese, peach slices and basil sprigs.
Place second slice of bread on top.  Add any melted buttery spread still visible in the pan to the top of the sandwich. (I used a pastry brush) Grilled on one side, turn and grill on the other side.  

Grilling the sandwich in this stove-top iron grill pan makes a crispy sandwich.  It's the same pan I used to grill the peaches and the chicken in last night's dinner.
I'll finish with a food story and dessert.  My husband gave our neighbors' adult son a ride last week.  The next day, Johnny showed up at the back door with a casserole dish of goulash he had just made.  The sweet young man did a great job (in many ways).  When I washed their casserole dish, I'd hoped to return it with one of my creations.  Traditional size dessert recipes are just too big for Bob and I to finish, so dessert is what I made.  The recipe was inspired by Food and Wine Magazine.   I made mine in the oven, cut the streusel and batter amounts and added even more fruit.  As with most recipes, I used more whole grains, less refined sugar and fats.  Our dessert (baked in the small dish) was delicious.  I'm hoping the neighbors dessert was equally as good!

 Peach & Blueberry Graham Cake

(Serves 12)

In a small food processor, process crackers, flour, sugar and spread until crumbly.  Refrigerate.
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs (I processed 3 full graham cracker slabs to get this amount)
11/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tablespoon brown sugar
5 tablespoon Earth Balance Buttery Spread

Mix juice, cornstarch and fruit.  Divide and place in the bottom of greased pans.  (I use an olive oil spray to grease the pans)
3 colossal peaches, peeled and sliced
1 pint blueberries
3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Cake Batter
Beat eggs, honey and sugars in electric mixer bowl.
3 eggs
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar

In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients, flours, cracker crumbs and powder).
2/3 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat pastry flour
5 1/4 tablespoon graham cracker crumbs (I processed 2 full graham crackers to this)
1 1/3 teaspoon baking powder

In a measuring cup, mix liquid ingredients, applesauce, milk, juice, oil and extract.
1 4-ounce container unsweetened applesauce
3/4 cup skim milk
2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Alternately add dry ingredients and liquid ingredients to the mixing bowl, stirring just to combine.  (Do not over mix)

Pour batter over fruit in prepared pans.

Crumble streusel over tops.

Because my pans were not the same height-I baked the deep dish longer.  To start, I covered the deep dish with foil to prevent the top from browning quickly.  
Bake at 375 F. for 30 minutes.  
Decrease heat to 325 F.  Place foil from deep dish on top of small dish.  Bake 15 minutes.  Remove small baking dish and cool on rack.
Decrease heat to 300 F.  Bake larger cake for 30 additional minutes.

Total baking time for small baking pan:  45 minutes.
Total baking time for high baking pan:  1 hour 15 minutes.

When my husband delivered the still warm cake to the neighbor, the Mom picked a large yellow squash from their garden and sent home.  Sharing is the best part of cooking!