Thursday, August 11, 2011

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

This is my favorite summer soup. I know it seems weird to eat a hot soup in summer but this is delicious and a great way to use up squash from your garden. Plus it is light. The recipe came from Cooking Light and if you follow the directions exactly it only has 285 calories per serving. I usually double this recipe so I can have some leftovers the next day.

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder
4 Servings

2 slices applewood-smoked bacon
3/4 cup sliced green onions, divided
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 pound yellow summer squash, chopped
1 pound frozen white and yellow corn kernels, thawed and divided
2 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese

1. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 2 teaspoons drippings in pan. Crumble bacon, and set aside. Add 1/2 cup onions, celery and squash to drippings in pan; saute 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

2. Reserve 1 cup corn; set aside. Place the remaining corn and 1 cup milk in a blender; process until smooth. Add remaining 1 1/4 cups milk, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper to blender; process until just combined. Add pureed mixture and reserved 1 cup corn to pan. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/8 tsp salt.

Ladle about 1 1/2 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with about 1 Tbsp bacon, 1 Tbsp remaining onions, and 1 Tbsp cheese.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Zucchini with Garlic and Tomato

I made this the other night and it was really good. I recommend not having this as the main dish, but as a refreshing side. Unless you are someone who doesn't enjoy eating a lot of food. In that case you will be just fine. We unfortunately are pigs and to our sadness didn't have a whole lot of food in the house. Really we just needed some chicken or fish and it would have been perfect meal. Also if you have a tool to julienne your zucchini it makes life much easier. Of course I wouldn't know of that ease cause I don't have one. Note to self... order one from Pampered Chef. Justin and I were both surprised with how good this was. I was even more surprised that Justin liked it. The raw garlic adds a great zing and I did enjoy my addition of the garbanzo beans. Wait has Wendi taken over?? Seriously Wendi and her garbanzo beans are killing me. It's perfect for summer and takes no time to make. I found it on the cover of Martha Stewart's Whole living and just mixed it up a bit.

8 oz cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
pine nuts
1/2 to 1 cup garbanzo or white beans
2 Tbsp torn fresh basil, plus leaves for garnish
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Sea salt
1 zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise, slices cut into 1/4-inch-long strips

In a bowl, combine tomatoes, garlic, pine nuts, basil, beans, and oil. Season with salt. Let stand 20minutes. Toss with zucchini and garnish with basil

*I think this might be even better the next day

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blackberry Sorbet

We have no air conditioning in our house so everything we make is pretty much on the grill. I want to be making some crisps and zucchini bread but that would require me to turn on my oven. Then I would be dead from heat stroke and wouldn't be able to enjoy the goodies I just slaved over. Sooo I was smart and made a sorbet! It's blackberry season and since they grow like a weed around here I thought it would be good to use them. Free and Free are the best ingredients. I made it last night and it was super easy. I looked up a bunch of recipes online and this is what I put together

4 cups fresh blackberries
1 cup water
1/2 to 2/3 cup raw honey ( use less if wanting more tart)
2 tsp lemon juice

Rinse blackberries to wash off any little bugs that were hiding when picked. Add blackberries, water, and honey to blender. I used my vita mix but you could use a food processor also. Mix and pour mixture through sieve to remove all the seeds. If you don't mind seeds then skip the sieve. Add lemon juice and mix once more. Pour blackberry mixture into ice cream maker. I put my sorbet into the freezer to firm up a bit so we weren't drinking juice by the time I got our spoons out.

* with the raw could use any type of honey. I just have this weird fixation with buying honey. The raw honey is really good and I'm also not sure if the sweetness changes with raw or cooked. I really don't know much about anything just that this tasted super good.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I found this recipe on allrecipes, but of course made changes. It is super moist and fudgy; sweet, but not too sweet. Plus it's another great way to use up zucchini and it's really good. You can make a glaze if you want it a bit sweeter, but I thought it was perfect how it was.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
Makes 30 cupcakes, 1 bundt cake, 1 9x13 or 2 8-inch rounds

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup applesauce
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
4 eggs
3 cups grated zucchini
3/4 cups chopped walnuts or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350* Grease and flour 9x13 baking pan (or cupcake tins, bundt pan, etc)

In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the eggs, applesauce, and oil, mix well. Fold in the nuts (or chocolate chips) and zucchini until they are evenly distributed. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes in the preheated oven, until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Monday, August 1, 2011

For Emily

It's time to resurrect the food blog. I actually really like being able to access my recipes online - so even if the other contributors continue to fail to contribute, that's ok. So up first is a quick and easy dinner that I made last night. I wanted something I could throw in the oven and not worry about - it came out delicious! I made some brown rice and sauteed broccoli while the chicken was cooking.

Sweet and Tangy Baked Chicken

4 chicken breasts (mine were frozen)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp ketchup
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup honey
1 clove minced garlic
2 Tbsp corn starch
fresh ground pepper

Preheat oven to 375* Place chicken in a baking dish.

In a small saucepan, stir together the remaining ingredients. Let simmer for a couple minutes. Pour sauce over chicken. Cover dish with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking another 10-15 minutes, until sauce has caramelized and chicken is cooked through.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Banana Blueberry Muffins

I try a lot of muffin recipes. My kids love them, they are super fast and oh so delicious. But, the big problem with muffins is you are eating cake for breakfast. Which, on occasion, (and if it's chocolate with chocolate frosting) I can succumb to. But, for the most part, I try and start my day out right. So, I try a lot of muffin recipes. I always substitute whole wheat flour and add wheat germ or flax seed or oats; I also trim the sugar and fat and such. Some of the muffins don't turn out so fantastic. These ones did. Make them.

Banana Blueberry Muffins
makes 2 dozen

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup wheat germ (or flax or 1/2 cup oats)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup low-fat milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together flours, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In another bowl, mash bananas with a fork (you should have 3/4 cup); stir in milk and vanilla.

With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and banana mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined. Fold in blueberries.

Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 18 - 22 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer muffins to a rack to cool 10 minutes more.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Buttermilk Chicken

Raise your hand if you have ever marinated chicken in buttermilk! If your hand is not up, then you are truly missing out on easy goodness. Buttermilk is so fabulous. Endless number of uses. What is ranch dressing without buttermilk? Out of yogurt but want a smoothie? Use your buttermilk. Want to add the richness of cream without the fat? Open up some buttermilk. Soups, sauces, dressings, whatever. Try it out, I promise you won't be disappointed. So what makes it so great? First off, it's low in fat, but thick. It has a slight tang and works wonders for lean proteins like chicken and fish. It's made by adding a bacteria to low-fat milk and then heating it up so the bacteria turns the sugar in the milk into lactic acid. The lactic acid is what tenderizes your meat and gives it that characteristic tang. Chicken stays tender and juicy and oh so delicious. Pancakes made with buttermilk are lighter and fluffier because the acid reacts with the baking soda and acts like yeast. And who doesn't love light, fluffy pancakes?

Herb Buttermilk Chicken

1 whole chicken, cut up into 8 pieces (or you can use just drums, or thighs or breasts, whatever combo you want)
1 1/2 -2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup fresh rosemary or thyme or combo
4 cloves garlic, smashed* (if you love garlic, add some more):)
2 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp pepper

Rinse and pat dry your chicken pieces. Place in a gallon sized ziploc bag. Add buttermilk, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper. Shake to combine. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Pull out 30 minutes prior to using.

For grilling: Heat one side of grill to medium (direct heat). Brush grates with oil. Remove Chicken from marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Grill meat skin side down over direct heat for 10 minutes. Flip the chicken, move it to indirect heat (part of grill with no flame directly underneath) and grill, covered, until thickest part reaches 165*, about 10-15 minutes

* To smash garlic: Tear off cloves from head of garlic and place on cutting board. Hold your knife flat with the sharp edge facing away from you. Using the base of your knife blade, smash the cloves. The skin should peel right off.

And because I am on a buttermilk kick right now....

Whole Wheat Buttermilk Pancakes

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white

Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine buttermilk, oil, egg, and egg white, stirring with a whisk; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Spoon about 1/4 cup batter per pancake onto griddle. Turn pancakes over when tops are covered with bubbles and edges look cooked. Serve with syrup and butter.