Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey solutions??

Ok, do you still have lots of leftover turkey?  I do!  I came home at 4:30 today with no idea what to make, so I took a look at the fridge....and this is what I came up with.  This is richer than most of the food I make, but it was have to live a little!!

Turkey sour cream enchilada casserole (I swear it was sooooooooo good!!!)

2 cups shredded turkey
12 corn tortillas, quartered
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 of a medium onion, finely diced
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 or 2 jalapenos, finely diced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
3 roma tomatoes, chopped
1/2 bag of fresh baby spinach
1 cup lowfat sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar jack cheese

In a large saucepan, melt butter and saute onion, garlic and jalapeno until soft and lightly golden.  Add flour and cook for 1 minute.  Add chicken stock and whisk to smooth any lumps.  Bring sauce to a simmer, and add the tomatoes and spinach, cooking for 5 minutes or until the spinach is wilted.  Reduce the heat and stir in the sour cream.  Remove from the flame and set aside.

In a large casserole dish, add about 1/2 of the sauce.  Then layer 1/2 of the tortilla pieces in an overlapping pattern.  Top with half of the turkey, half of the cheese and half of the remaining sauce.  Repeat the layers.  Place into a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.  Let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

A little grain called quinoa

Quin-what??? Quinoa is a tasty little grain if you haven't tried it is kind of like if brown rice and couscous had a baby!  It is packed with nutrition, higher in protein and lower in carbs than most cereal grains (it is also gluten free)!  If you haven't tried it, go for it.  You can buy it in most grocery stores, and it is cheapest when you buy it in bulk.

Quinoa Salad  (This is one of my favorite recipes, when I make it can't stop going to the fridge and sneaking bites!!!!)

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 large carrot, grated
1/3 cup craisins, raisons or currents
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped
1/2 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 cup olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 tablespoon ground cumin
fresh ground black pepper

Combine quinoa and water in a sauce pan, adding a pinch of salt.  Bring water to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.  Remove the pan from the fire and allow to sit and cool.

In a large, bowl mix together quinoa, carrots, craisins, almonds, cilantro, and green onions.  In a separate bowl mix together olive oil, vinegar, salt, cumin and pepper.  Whisk together and taste for seasoning.  Pour the dressing over the quinoa mixture and toss together.  This salad is great warm, or can be refrigerated and served cold.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What this is all about

I am passionate about being the best person I can be, inside and out.  I love to eat, and  I love to cook.  I believe you are what you eat.  Over the past few years I have had a true transformation in the way I cook and eat.  A few years ago I was the type of cook who cooked out of cans and boxes, using premade food and processed ingredients.  I realized that that is not real food!  I have devoted my life to changing the way that I eat, and trying to help others do the same.  My goal here is to help people by giving them fantastic, flavorful recipes that are good for you and made from whole ingredients AND are inexpensive to make.

Recipe 1:  Chana masala (an Indian chickpea curry), don't be scared...this is amazing....and cheap!!!

1 cup of dried garbanzo beans soaked in water overnight (or two cans of cooked beans)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 serrano or jalapeno chilies, minced
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chana masala (this is a spice mixture you can buy at an Indian or gourmet store)
1 can of diced tomataes or two large fresh tomatoes, pureed
1 bunch of spinach washed and rough chopped
1/2 cup water
1/3 lb paneer cheese (optional) chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

Drain chickpeas from soaking water and pour into a large sauce pan.  Cover with water to at least two inched above the top of the beans.  Add baking soda and 1 of the teaspoons of salt.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer, cooking the chickpeas 20 minutes or until done (they should be tender),  drain and set aside

In a large sauce pan heat the oil over medium heat, then add the onions, chilies and garlic.  Cook for 10-15 minutes until they take on a nice caramelized color.  Add the chana masala and cook for one minute.  Next add the tomatoes, remaining salt and spinach.  Stir together while the spinach wilts, then add the water, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add paneer cheese and allow to cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, letting the chees soften and become creamy.  Just before serving stir in cilantro and garam masala.  Serve on top of hot cooked basmati rice.