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Truffle & Parmesan Popcorn

25 Feb

 

 

truffle and parmesan popcorn

Makes 16 Cups

Movies and popcorn.  You’re passionate about the pair.   You wouldn’t go to a movie and not get popcorn because the novelty of ordering a jumbo bag of the light and airy pops of joy is just delightful.  And so, every movie you see, you buy popcorn and eat it—all of it—doused in liquefied butter and salt.  And you think to yourself, “Yes, I just did that, and no, I’m not sure it was worth it.” Because you also know there’s nothing gourmet about movie popcorn.  Instead make Truffle & Parmesan Popcorn, packing on gourmet flavor without the extra butter and salt.

Ingredients:

½ C. organic popping corn kernels

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 Tbsp. truffle oil

¼ C. grated Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. sea salt

Directions: 

Place vegetable oil in a 3-quart pot with three kernels.  Cover and heat on medium heat, shaking constantly until kernels pop.  Once they pop, add remaining kernels and continue to shake over medium heat until popping stops, about ten minutes.  Immediately transfer popcorn into a large mixing bowl.  With a spatula, mix in truffle oil, Parmesan and sea salt.  Add additional seasoning to suit your palette.  Serve warm.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO:  Not only is popcorn fun to make the old-fashioned way, it is high in fiber and low in fat and sodium.  Any seasoning can make popcorn a new and exciting flavor, so season to your heart’s desire!

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Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

17 Feb

Food I Love You Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 4-6

Ugh!  You’re homesick.  Which explains why your day has been anything but productive.  Aside from thumbing through your Facebook Timeline.  It’s a good thing you got that organized.  What will make you feel better?  Macaroni and cheese.  But you couldn’t—you wouldn’t.  Oh, yes you would.   When you make a healthier version like this Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese.

Ingredients: 

2 C. whole-wheat shell pasta

1 C. butternut squash, cubed

1 Tbsp. olive oil

¼ C. whole-wheat flour

¼ tsp. sea salt

2 Tbsp. butter

1 ½ C. low-fat milk

½ C. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1 tsp. olive oil

½ C. Italian breadcrumbs

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/8 tsp. dried oregano

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray six ramekins with baking oil and place on cookie sheet.  Cook shells according to packaging.

Coat butternut squash with olive oil, season with salt and pepper.  Roast for 20 minutes.  Flip and cook for another ten minutes.  Remove squash, set aside.  Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees.

Place flour, salt, butter and milk in a 3-quart pot on medium heat.  Stir constantly until light bubbles form around the side of the pot.  Reduce heat to low until flour dissolves.  Remove from heat, transfer to blender and add squash.  Blend until fully combined.  Add cheese and blend again, until incorporated.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pour sauce over cooked shells and stir to coat.  Divide macaroni among ramekins.

In a small pan, heat olive oil on low heat.  Stir in breadcrumbs, cayenne pepper and oregano.  Remove from heat.  Evenly distribute breadcrumb mixture on top of macaroni.   Bake mac & cheese for 30 minutes.  Allow to cool for at least five minutes.  Serve warm.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: Low in fat, butternut squash makes an excellent side or meat replacement in vegetarian dishes.  That nice orange hue means it’s packed with beta-carotene, which combats breast cancer and supports the healthy lung development of fetuses and newborns.  So, eat up, moms!

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A Menu for Your Honey Bunny on Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

Uh-oh.  Cupid struck you.  And he struck you good.  Looks like this Valentine’s Day,  “Romance” is your middle name.  That’s why you’re cooking from the heart to show your honey bunny just how much love you have to give with the most romantic Valentine’s Day menu.

SET THE MOOD WITH MUSIC

Download the ultimate romance playlist.  Some great ideas from Martha Stewart, Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop, and these KCRW DJ’s love song selections.

WINE

First and foremost, you need some good wine on hand.  Just make sure it goes with what you’re serving–and more importantly, it’s what your Valentine loves to drink.  Keep in mind you don’t need to spend an arm and a leg.  Find great deals at:

  • Whole Foods | Aside from their excellent selection of bottles priced under $10, they also have a handy-dandy wine tutorial on their website.
  • BevMo | It’s 5 cent sale is going on now which means you can really splurge on a good bottle because the second one is only five cents!
  • Trader Joe’s | If you’ve never perused their wine aisles, you’ve been missing out.  The store stocks  a fabulous selection and prices start at $1.00 (although you may have to spend more money on Gatorade the next morning to cure your hangover)!

FOOD

Lean Mean Meatballs with Mushroom Marinara Sauce

SAY ‘AMORE’ WITH AN ITALIAN SPREAD…

START | Follow The Hip & Urban Girls’ Guide to Cheese & Meat Board.

MAIN COURSE | Lean Mean Meatballs with Homemade Mushroom Marinara.

SIDE | Flash Roasted Green Beans.

SEAL THE DEAL WITH CASUAL GASTRO PUB FARE…

START | Cranberry Goat Cheese & Herb Hot Pockets.

MAIN COURSE | Enlightened Shepard’s Pie.

SIDE | Spinach and Strawberry Salad via allrecipes.com

DESSERT | Milk & Oats, Orange & Oatmeal Cookies.

Cream of Mushroom & Eggplant Soup

IMPRESS WITH CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN CUISINE…

START | Cream of Mushroom & Eggplant Soup.

MAIN COURSE | Sunset Magazine’s Perfect Roasted Chicken.

SIDE | Sweet Mashed Potatoes with Sage Apple Butter.

DESSERT | Hubba Hubba Brownies.

Veggie Cassoulet

NO TIME TO SLAVE AWAY IN THE KITCHEN?  MAKE VEGGIE CASSOULET, A SIMPLE ONE-POT MEAL, READY IN MINUTES. 

So, what do you have on your Valentine’s Day menu?  Share your love spun food selections by leaving a comment below.

Hubba Hubba Brownies

10 Feb

Hubba Hubba Brownies RecipeMakes 12

You and chocolate.  It’s more than puppy love—it’s passion.  You know, like when a buxom female cartoon character passes by the boys club and suddenly one guy’s eyes pop out of his sockets and the “Awooga” horn blows.  That’s love at first sight right there.  And it’s just like you’ll feel when you bake Hubba Hubba Brownies and taste these smooth, rich, silky hunks of peanut and chocolate love.

Ingredients:

½ C. dates, pitted

1 C. water

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

¾ C. sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder

½ C. whole wheat flour

¼ tsp. sea salt

¼ tsp. baking powder

1 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 C. raw peanuts

Directions:

Soak pitted dates in 1 cup water for four hours.  Drain water.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Coat a 9” x 13” baking dish with butter, oil or non-stick spray.

Combine dry ingredients into a small mixing bowl.  Sift together lightly as the air will help to give the brownies a fluffy texture.  Set aside.

Place soaked and drained dates into food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Transfer dates to a mixing bowl.  On medium speed, beat in butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Slowly beat in dry mixture until fully combined.  Add chocolate and ½  C. peanuts.

Pour brownie mix into baking dish.  Sprinkle remaining ½ C. peanuts on top.  Bake  on middle rack for 30-35 minutes.  Allow to cool before cutting and serving.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: A moderate amount of at least 70% cocoa a day is good for your heart.  In fact, studies conducted by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition show that chocolate helped to improve blood flow through the arteries and improved insulin’s efficiency.  Unsweetened cocoa powder contains almost no fat and is high in fiber, too!  Between the cocoa and dates in this recipe, you’re good to go in the digestion department!

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Have A Heart Smoothie

7 Feb

Heart Healthy Smoothie with Beet Juice, Organic Cherries

Serves 1

The juice craze has turned you into a closet smoothie snob.  If it doesn’t taste like grass, dirt or chlorophyll, you snub your nose at it.  Who are you kidding!?  You’ve resorted to the old “Plug and Chug” method to drink it down without having to suffer through the taste of it.  Drop the act and try the Have a Heart Smoothie, bursting with antioxidants and heart-healthy fruits and veggies to protect that love machine of yours.  You can still have your juice and actually love to drink it, too.

Ingredients:

¾ C. unsweetened vanilla almond milk

¼ C. beet juice

½ banana

1 Tbsp. Nutella

¼ C. organic cherries, frozen

Directions:

Place all ingredients into a blender in the order listed.  Blend until smooth.  For a great post-workout shake, add 2 Tbsp. unflavored whey or soy protein powder.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: Beets, bananas and cherries protect your heart, lower blood pressure, boost your immune system and strengthen your bones.  Now that’s a trio of goodness!

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Super Bowl XLVI Recipe Roundup

4 Feb

You’re stressing because you’re throwing a Super Bowl Party for the friends and fam but you don’t know what to make.  Well, you’re in luck because of this delicious, All-American, Super Bowl-worthy recipe list. Now all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the people around you!  Oh–and don’t forget to cook!

Set the Scene:

Do you have a favorite team?  Consider a Red, White & Blue theme (since the teams are pretty much representing the SAME exact colors anyway).  No offense to die-hard fans.  You’ll probably be able to borrow decor from 4th of July!  Easy!

CUTE ALERT!!!  Katie Brown turned lemons into mini footballs and created a fun Super Bowl centerpiece.

Drinks:

You won’t disappoint if you stock up on beer for the Super Bowl.  But put some thought into it…make it special by serving local beers, beers from Boston or New York, or an organic selection that pairs well with what you’re serving.

Starters:

Fresh & Easy Cantaloupe Salsa.  Cool, spicy and tangy.  Serve with your favorite healthy chips, like Garden of Eatin‘ Red Hot Blues.

Cranberry Goat Cheese & Herb “Hot Pockets.”  Like grown-up pizza rolls.  They’ll disappear in a flash!

Baked Kale Chips.  There’s nothing fried about ’em.  For a big crew, buy a few heads and bake away.  You’ll be amazed how quickly they’ll go.  Even the kids will love!

Spiced Party Nuts.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  No party is a party without party nuts.  And your guests will certainly go nuts over these sassy little numbers!

Sides:

Super Bowl Sunday Salad.  Flavorful and colorful.  Just what you want in a salad.  A real crowd pleaser!

Flash Roasted Green Beans.  These green machines go faster than it takes to cook ’em!

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries.  Because what’s better with an All-American meal than fries?

Not Your Grandma’s Potato Salad.  Leave the mayo in the fridge and try this slightly refined potato salad on for size.  Ol’ Grammie might not like the idea of it, but once she tastes, she’ll never go back!

Main Course:

Baked Rosemary Chicken Strips.  Kids will love ’em and parents will feel like kids again!

Pulled Pork Sliders.  Might be the easiest part of the entire meal…thanks to the crock pot!

Black Bean Patties with Mole Glaze.  Add instant chic to your football party by throwing in a little vegetarian fare.  Plus, your friends with food restrictions will love you for it.

Garlic Ginger Chicken Wings.  View this step-by-step YouTube tutorial on how to create Foodwishes.com Garlic Ginger Chicken Wings.

Desserts:

Ice Cream Social Network.  What’s more all-American than an ice cream social?

Oats, Orange & Hazelnut Cookies.  Perfect for a standing-room-only dessert line.

Healthy Tasty Chow’s Nutella Puppy Chow.  Such a great dessert for a Super Bowl soiree!  Don’t you just want to dig in already?

Oh How She Glow’s Itty Bitty Carrot Cake Cookies.  You wouldn’t know these were vegan…or a healthy cookie!  YUM!

Phew!  Now, get to work STAT.  Super Bowl starts in 24 hours!

Have a favorite Super Bowl recipe that you want to share?  Leave a comment below.

Flash Roasted Green Beans

2 Feb

healthy green bean recipeServes 6

You’ve been caught—red handed—cheating on green beans with the latest and greatest “it” veggies.  One week it’s brussels sprouts, the next kale, beets or rainbow chard.  You’re allowed to play the field (we are talking veggies here), but it’s like you’ve turned into some sort of vegetable gigolo tasting a different flavor every week.  What happened to sticking with the tried-and-true?  Perhaps Flash Roasted Green Beans will entice you to come home to mama.

Ingredients:

1 lb. fresh green beans, rinsed & tipped

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt & cracked pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place green beans into a large bowl.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Use a spatula to make sure all green beans are coated.  Transfer to baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.  Serve warm.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO:  Green beans have a little secret. Even though they’re rich and green, they’re bursting with beta-carotene and lutein, which makes them essential to maintaining beautiful, glowing skin and sparkling eyes.

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So what do you say?  Will you give green beans another chance?  Leave a comment below.

Baked Rosemary Chicken Strips with Homemade Dip Trio

1 Feb

Image

Serves 4-6

Frozen chicken nuggets. Delish?  Not so much—unless you’re a five-year-old.  But every once in awhile, you have that craving and—pow!  They hit your stomach like a brick.  Well, my dear, serves you right.  That pseudo-vegan diet of yours has made your stomach weak in your day.  So  make a healthier, homemade version.  Baked Rosemary Chicken Strips are crispy on the outside, tender on the inside and so much fitter for a young-at-heart grown up like you.

Ingredients:

Chicken:

1 lb. organic chicken breast

Salt & pepper

¼ C. veggie oil

½ C. panko breadcrumbs

¼ C. shredded Parmesan cheese

2 sprigs rosemary, minced

Chipotle Ketchup:

¼ C. ketchup

1 Tbsp. lime juice

1 tsp. cumin

¼ tsp. cayenne pepper

Honey Mustard:

¼ C. Dijon mustard

2 Tbsp. local honey

Tangy Yogurt with Dill:

¼ C. non-fat Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 Tbsp. fresh dill, minced

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Rub chicken with salt and pepper.  Cut into thin strips, creating at least four per breast.  Pour oil into a medium bowl.  In a separate medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs, cheese and rosemary.  One at a time, dip the chicken into the oil and then into the breadcrumb mixture until every strip is coated.

Get a large, non-stick fry pan going on medium heat.  Sear each strip for two minutes on each side, flipping with tongs, and transfer to a baking dish.  Bake in oven for 12-15 minutes.  Serve warm with dipping sauces.

For the trio of sauces, whisk ingredients together using separate mixing bowls to avoid mixing flavors.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO:  If you’re into eating meat, chicken is a good low fat option and an excellent source of protein.  It’s also a good promoter of strong bones and boasts a great deal of selenium, which is essential for promoting good metabolism.

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HAVE A FAVORITE CHILDHOOD FOOD THAT YOU’VE MADE INTO A HEALTHIER VERSION?  LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW. 

It’s National Peanut Butter Day! Celebrate with the PB & J Smooth Move

24 Jan

Peanut Butter & Jelly Smoothie

Serves 1

You’ve said the way to your heart is through Peanut Butter & Jelly.  But one-too-many sandwiches and we’ll have to start calling you “Peanut Butter & Belly!”  Luckily, there’s a lightened-up version of your favorite treat—one that actually prevents the belly bulge.  Bursting with probiotic, Omega-3’s and fiber, the PB&J Smooth Move makes a healthy low-cal breakfast or protein-rich post-workout snack.

Ingredients:

1 C. low-fat, plain kefir

½ frozen banana

½ C. fresh strawberries, hulled

1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

1 Tbsp. flaxseed oil

1 tsp. local honey

1 scoop whey protein (optional)

Directions:

Blend all ingredients until smooth.  Enjoy!

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO: The monounsaturated fats in peanut butter are extremely good for maintaining heart health.  A tablespoon a day can help to lower cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease.

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Pulled Pork Sliders

14 Dec

Makes 24

Pulled Pork Sliders

You’re a Sunday Funday fanatic.  That’s right—come Wednesday you’re already planning lunches, brunches and aperitifs to spare.  It’s all play and no work on Sundays.  Especially when it comes to not wanting to work on those dishes.  That’s why on Sundays you put the slow cooker to work and make Pulled Pork Sliders.

Ingredients:

3 lbs. pork shoulder

1 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. paprika

½ tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Gala apple, whole but slit around center

1 onion, cubed

¼ C. spicy Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. local honey

Hamburger pickles (dill, sweet or both)!

Your favorite slider buns (Hawaiian Rolls are delish)

Directions:

Create a dry rub in a small mixing bowl by combining brown sugar, paprika, sea salt and cayenne pepper.  Massage the dry ingredients into the pork.  Place pork into a freezer bag with olive oil.  Allow to marinate.  Tip: This is best done the night before to create the most flavor.

Place pork, apple and onion in a slow cooker on low and cook for 7 hours.  If you’re running low on time, you can crank the heat up to high, but cook for 4-5 hours only.  When done, pull the pork apart in the slow cooker using tongs (to secure) and a fork (to pull the meat).  Let it sit in the jus.

Just before serving, mix mustard and honey in a small bowl.  Spread honey mustard on inside top of roll and finish building out your sliders with a generous serving of pork and a pickle or two.  Secure with a toothpick.

FOOD THAT LOVES YOU, TOO:  A good source of lean protein, pork is naturally low in sodium and is packed with several vitamins and minerals.  Pork is also a great source of iron, which makes it a great option for your monthly holiday…hint, hint!

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