Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Party On! Spinach Artichoke Dip- with white beans!

I wanted to make a spinach artichoke dip for Christmas day since we were going to a friend's house for dinner, but my friend has a very restrictive diet, and I couldn't bear to make a dip with store-bought mayonnaise; so I re-vamped a recipe, and I am happy to say that it was a WICKED hit with my kids, and husband. So, I thought I would share it with you, just in time for 2014:

Spinach Artichoke Dip with White Beans
2 cloves garlic
1/2- 3/4tsp. salt
3 C. white beans, cooked
4 c. spinach, washed
1 can Artichoke hearts, in water
1/4-1/3 c. cream cheese
1/2 c. parmesan cheese Olive oil, and water for consistency and taste

Soak and cook beans according to package directions. Add garlic and salt to food processor, and process until minced. Add spinach and process again until chopped small. Add beans, artichokes, and a few drizzles of olive oil, and process until ingredients are combined. If needed, add some water until you reach a creamy consistency. Now for the secret ingredient: add cream cheese, and parmesan cheese until combined. Taste... enjoy! Add more salt if needed; but not too much! Tell me what you think! (I'm sorry, I would have posted pictures, but my computer was being stupid!)

Monday, December 30, 2013

Sprouted Quinoa with Sundried Tomatoes, Bacon and Feta

I discovered this delicious combination tonight as I was searching my kitchen as usual, wondering what in the world to make for dinner- or I should say, how to make it tasteful enough for everyone to enjoy it. First, we have my wonderfully patient, and always complimentary husband, Sam, who will eat anything I cook (no matter what it might look like- he's such a good sport!), especially so the kids will eat it. Gary, I'm not worried about. The four year old who used to be our pickiest eater, is now our most willing taste-tester, and exotic food connoiseur. Gracie, however, has gone from the girl who eats anything, to the girl who won't touch it, even if she likes all of the ingredients, if it doesn't look good. And Nicole, who is very vocal, and very opinionated when it comes to something she doesn't think she'll like. So, as you can see, it causes me a little bit of stress if I don't have a meal I am absolutely sure they will love and devour! Well, tonight I had some ingredients on hand that I knew they would eat, so I thought I would try them together- and it worked! Simple, and quick, this meal takes just a little bit of preparation, but is well worth your time. At least, that's what I think. You'll have to make it and tell me what you think! So, this is what you need: 1 1/2 c. Quinoa, sprouted (This is easy, I promise! Just pour your measured Quinoa into a glass jar or bowl the night before, add a Tablespoon of plain yogurt- or the whey from it- and soak it overnight. In the morning, rinse and drain your quinoa, and by the time you are ready to cook it, it will have sprouted- growing cute little tails. Congratulations! You have literally turned this nutritional little seed into a vegetable!) 3-4 sun-dried tomato halves, chopped 1 Tbsp. Bacon fat, from uncured, natural bacon - the less chemicals, nitrates, and preservatives, the better! 1/2 small onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tsp. dried parsley 1/2 tsp. salt, to taste Feta cheese, to top. After sprouting the quinoa, add to a small pot of boiling water, and cook for 5-10 minutes, until quinoa is soft and chewy, but not mushy. Drain quinoa and set aside. Add bacon fat to a skillet. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, then add garlic, tomato, and remaining spices. Add quinoa, and 1-2 Tbsp. of water to create some steam. Cover and cook about 5 more minutes until ingredients are combined. Remove from heat. Top with cheese and serve. Serves 5-6 So, what did you think? Would you make any modifications?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Black Eyed Pea Dip/ Salad

I found this recipe, which calls for it to be used more as a salsa-like dip, but I turned it into a salad- and it's fantastic! Use it however you wish. I hope you enjoy it too!

                                                         Black Eyed Pea Dip/ Salad

Ingredients:
1 c. black eyed peas
2 small avocados, diced
2 roma or vine-ripened tomatoes, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1/2 sweet onion, grated

dressing:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Place peas in a glass jar, and soak in water, 8-12 hours, or overnight. Drain, rinse, and allow them to sit for another 8-12 hours. Rinse, drain. Another few hours and you will begin to see the peas growing sprouts. Rinse them again, place in your crockpot or large pot with water, and cook- 6-8 hours in crockpot, or 1 1/2 hours on your stovetop.

Add all ingredients to bowl, toss, and chill for about 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Cawliflower, Bean, and Bacon salad with Red Onion- Grain free, and Kid Friendly!

Gracie and I LOVE this salad because it is reminiscent of our family's favorite potato salad that is vinegar and not mayonnaise -based. This is a rough re-make because I'm going off of taste alone. Hope you like it!

Ingredients:

1 head cawliflower, washed, florets cut into bite-sized pieces
4-5 strips of bacon, cooked to your liking- the crispier, the better for us!
1 C. or a large handful of Fresh or frozen string beans, thawed (not cooked) or lightly steamed if fresh (you still want the crunchiness to be present).
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin rounds

Steam cawliflower for about 5-6 minutes, so that it is just soft enough for a fork to pierce through, but not soggy. Drain and dry, and place in a large mixing bowl. Chop slices of bacon into bite-sized pieces, evenly distributed through the salad. Slice beans in half, and add to other ingredients. Add onion slices last, then drizzle with dressing and allow to chill for 30 minutes or so before eating.

Dressing:

Up to 1/4 c. white wine vinegar (not regular white vinegar; that's made from corn. Treat yourself to the real stuff)
2 Tbsp. bacon drippings/ grease
salt and pepper to taste


Simple, yet tasteful. And the fat IS good for you. It will allow your body to absorb all the nutrients from the delicious vegetables you are eating. Please remember that, and enjoy eating it. :-)