Saturday, September 14, 2013

Vegetarian Chili with sweet potato and pumpkin


 
 
I could say that fall is the time of year for chili, but I think anytime is chili season! This chili has lots of good fall flavor in it, and I have already made a couple pots this year even it is not officially autumn.  Chili is so wonderful to warm you up after a crisp fall day of hiking, various sport events or even raking leaves so have the ingredients ready because here come the cooler days of autumn!


 
Some wonderful friends and I got together to cook dinner that was vegetarian, gluten and dairy free (minus toppings). We had lots of fun and made this chili as well as a quinoa pilaf and gluten free corn muffins.

 
 
 
 
Here is the chili recipe. Like so many of my recipes, this one can be adapted and changed to fit your preferences! You could throw in some ground beef or chicken if you wanting meat, but this chili is so hearty and thick you will not miss the meat!

 
 
 
 
 
Denise’s Favorite Vegetarian chili

3 sweet potatoes, diced
1-1 ½ onion, chopped
Oil
3-4 Poblano peppers or Anaheim peppers (may substitute canned chilies in a pinch) roasted, peeled, diced

1 ½ -2 tsp. ancho chili pepper (or if you don’t have dried ancho, use an extra tsp. chili powder)
1 ½ -2 tsp. Chili powder
1-1 ½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. or so sea salt
½ to 1 tsp. each- onion powder, garlic powder may use a clove of fresh garlic instead)
1-2TBSP brown sugar
1-2 tsp. adobe seasoning, optional (salt, garlic, onion, cumin, black pepper, chipotle, lemon peel blend) You could just use more of all the spices if you don’t have adobe seasoning
 
For extra spice you may add --1-2 tsp. canned chipotle chili in adobe sauce, chopped (wear gloves! ) if you like it hot OR 1 tsp. chipotle pepper spice Or for flavor without added heat- 1 tsp. smoked paprika

 
1 bell pepper red or green, diced
3 small zucchinis or yellow squash, any summer squash
 
Other optional veggies—1 – 1/12 cups roasted corn, sliced carrot, green beans, cauliflower, chopped tomatillos, diced red potatoes,  diced butternut squash (add potatoes or squash with sweet potatoes) or whatever you would like to try!

2-4   cups vegetable broth (start with 2 and add more broth as needed)  
1 can diced tomato, 15 oz or so, fire roasted, organic preferred  
1 can crushed tomatoes,15 oz or so, fire roasted, organic preferred
1-1 ½ cups pumpkin puree, about 1/2- 2/3 of a 15 oz. can pumpkin (Or may substitute 1 small can tomato paste OR use both pumpkin and tomato paste)
½ to 1 cup water, as needed to thin

1 to 2 cans beans, prefer 1 can of kidney beans and one of black beans but any beans are fine
1-2 TBSP cocoa powder
1 TBSP unsweetened or bittersweet chocolate, optional
Salt and pepper to taste, more ancho or chili powder if needed

Toppings—cheese, sour cream, green onions, cilantro, tortilla chips, corn bread


In a wide deep pan, add oil and heat to medium-high and add evenly diced sweet potatoes in a single layer. If they cannot all fit, do this in two batches. Sauté over medium heat stirring often. After about 5 minutes, lower heat to medium-low and add diced onions. Cook on low for about 20 minutes until a bit caramelized and brown and sweet potatoes are starting to soften.  Note: Add any hard vegetables like butternuts squash, potatoes or carrots at this time or cook ahead of time.

Roast peppers --Turn oven on broil and place washed, slightly wet peppers onto foil lined pan under broiler. Broil until skin is charred and blackened on one side and then turn until all is charred.  Once skin is charred throughout, remove from oven and fold foil over the peppers and seal up foil to let peppers steam. Let it cool about 10 minutes, then open foil and use gloves or carefully remove stem, seeds and membrane and skin. Using running water helps. Wash hands carefully or discard gloves. Chop roasted pepper and add to onion, sweet potato mixture.

To the pot, Add spices, sugar and salt and continue to cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Remember you can always add more spice later so go easy! I would skip the canned chipotle and some of the dried chili pepper if there are sensitive palates eating this. You could allow people to add hot sauce to spice it up at the end. It will taste a little spicier the next day.

Turn pot to low heat and stir in summer squash, bell peppers, roasted corn and any softer vegetables you are using and sauté for another minute or two.

Add tomatoes, broth, pumpkin puree, beans, cocoa, and optional chocolate and gently stir well. Simmer on low for about 25-35 minutes and gently stirring until everything is nicely cooked through and thick. Taste and add more salt or spice. If it is too spicy, add a little more broth and pumpkin and perhaps a tiny bit more brown sugar.

This chili is wonderful topped with a bit of sour cream, cheese, green onions and cilantro, Serve with corn bread. If you have leftovers you could serve it over cooked pasta such as macaroni or spaghetti noodles.

 

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Pesto


   Making pesto more intuitive and flexible than preparing most other recipes. You don’t really need a recipe if you make it often. It is kind of like biscuit baking in the south. It is made with a few key ingredients which can be adjusted or varied. Yet I have had pesto I was not all that fond of and pesto that I loved. The pesto I made last night was the latter; it possessed a flavorful, fresh taste  with a kick of garlic that was delicious alone and was wonderful in a few recipes I made using it. So I want to remember just what I did this time.

  
I am not a pesto expert. I really began to enjoy pesto when I visited Italy and tasted fresh pesto slathered on bread with a sweet ripe tomato sliced on top. Even with that sublime experience, I still have not made pesto all that often. I usually  only make it a couple times a year or so, when my summer basil is winding down and sprouting more buds than leaves. I am not sure why I don't buy basil from a green house in the winter and brighten a dreary winter day with the fresh luxurious taste of pesto! Perhaps this will be my year of pesto!

 
 
Pesto is basically basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese with a pinch of salt blended together in a food processor or blender.  Basil is most often used but parsley, mint, other greens can all be included. I might try a mix soon since all of my herbs need to get used up before autumn is upon us, which despite the 90 F temps here will be sooner than I imagine!  You can also try different nuts.  You could skip the cheese for a dairy free/ vegan version, but I would add a little more salt and maybe some red or black pepper for interest. You could use less oil and substitute just a little water. As I said, pesto is flexible and adaptable!! I will give you some idea of the mix I put together last night but it is really just a springboard for you to try out your own version! Let me know if you find any interesting additions!!

   While pesto is probably best freshly made, this batch stayed fresh several days and it should last around a week in the refrigerator well sealed, with a thin veneer of olive oil over it and a piece of plastic wrap over the olive oil then another airtight seal over that. I sometimes freeze pesto in an ice cube try then tightly seal the pesto cubes up and keep frozen until needed over a few months.

A word on some of the ingredients

    I am still figuring out how to find good olive oil after reading up on the lack of purity of much of the olive oil on our store shelves. It has really made me distrust the labeling on olive oil. I now try to buy certified California extra virgin olive oil but I am still trying to figure out who to trust and which oils to buy, especially the ones that are imported. This I do know-olive oil should not taste rancid or have that bad after-taste. Real olive oil is not bought in large bargain batches, it will go bad! Look for quality and fresh taste sold in a darkened bottle preferably with some kind of certification of authenticity. Buy only what you can use up in a couple months after opening. Also, look for olive oil with a sell by date closer to two years or a recent harvest date as it is better when fresh.

   When looking for cheese for pesto, I do not buy the bargain parmesan plastic...err, I mean cheese. Parmigiano reggiano cheese is authentic, from a particular region of Italy. It does cost a little more but the taste is more than worth it!! Get good cheese to use in your pesto! It should not be waxy or tasteless.

   Pine nuts are expensive but you don’t use a large amount. I think they taste wonderful in pesto! But try other nuts if the cost of pine nuts is prohibitive.

   I used a generous portion of garlic in this pesto and it was a pronounced flavor in it but it was sooo good. I think less garlic is perhaps more authentic but don’t be afraid to make this the way you would like.

Pesto

4 ½ -6 cups basil leaves, loosely packed
1/3 cup pine nuts, ( for a combination of nuts such as walnuts or almonds along with pine nuts, use up to ½ cup )
1/3-1/2 cup grated
Parmigiano-Reggiano
, (or other hard cheese like pecorino)
1-3 garlic cloves, crushed (I used 3 but it makes for a pronounced garlic kick, which I love!)
¼-1/2  teaspoon salt
Splash of lime or lemon juice, highly optional
1/4-1/2 cup extra-virgin high quality olive oil (it should not have a heavily bitter or rancid taste, but be light, fruity or peppery and fresh)


 Using a food processor or blender, begin with about half the basil leaves, pine nuts, cheese, garlic, and salt and pulse so that everything is finely chopped. Add in the rest of the basil leaves and process until everything is finely chopped, scrapping down the sides as needed. Now, open the top to pour the olive oil in as it is processing, being careful that it does not splash out of the top. Process or blend just a few seconds more until pesto is uniform and emulsified.

      So once you have pesto, how do you use it? I love it on bread or pasta. Baguette slices could be toasted with a thin brush of olive oil and then a dollop of pesto with a dusting of Parmigiano broiled for just a moment, perhaps adorned with a slice of tomato.
Pesto is wonderful on chicken or fish that is grilled, roasted, broiled or baked. It is great on veggies or pizza and in a white bean dip. You could make pesto pinwheels or pesto cheese straws for an appetizer.

 

 

 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Poblano, Corn, Pepitas and Avocado


A few weeks ago I posted on facebook that I had a new favorite dish. Well here it is...It is Quinoa with roasted acorn squash, mild chili peppers, corn and pumpkin seeds topped with avocado and cilantro and it is marvelously delicious!!  It can be served cold as a salad, hot as a pilaf or room temperature. It does have a large number of ingredients but they come together pretty easily. Still it might be a good idea to double everything and have a little extra to make the time worthwhile and also because it is super good.
 
 
I couple of tips for this. First, I made this with fresh corn and made a broth using the corn cobs and veggie broth but you could easily skip this step and just use frozen corn. I don't think it will be a big change in the finished dish. 
Make clean up easier by using just one baking sheet to roast all the veggies and seeds-just put foil over it each time.
This recipe is great for a springboard so be confident in substituting similar items or skipping things you do not like. For example, you could use fresh or frozen corn. Or you could use sweet potatoes or kombucha pumpkins in place of the acorn squash. You could even try this dish with brown rice. You could skip an item or two. For example, if avocados are expensive, just don't use them.
Please let me know if this recipe is easy enough to follow, I would like to make it simpler if needed. And if you make it, comments are appreciated greatly! It lets me know what you think and if anyone is reading :-)
 
Quinoa with Roasted Squash, Poblano, Corn, Pepitas and Avocado

2-3 ears of corn or about 1 cup of frozen corn ( more or less as desired)
 Few TBSP oil for roasting all the veggies and seeds
 
2 cups veggie broth
1 cup quinoa, rainbow, plain or mixed, very thoroughly rinsed
Juice of 1 lime, about ¼ cup, to taste so may use more or less as desire
Splash of olive oil
1 tsp salt, (more when served  if needed
½ tsp adobe seasoning and ½ tsp Cajun spice or cumin- you might start with a little less if you don’t like spice  (if you don’t have these spices use anything you like with a bit of warmth to it)

1 poblano, Anaheim  or other mild  pepper
2/3 to ¾ cup pumpkin seeds(pepitas), raw
Small acorn squash ( or half of a larger one)
3 green onions, white and green parts sliced
½ cup cilantro, chopped, extra 2 TBSP to garnish top
1  small avocado, sprinkled with more lime juice, salt


1) If using fresh corn, begin by cutting kernels off the cob into a large bowl. Turn the cob around and then flip other end up to get all the kernels. Reserve kernels for roasting.
 If you have the time and would like to--Place the cobs in a large pan with the vegetable broth and cook on low for several hours to get corn broth flavor. Remove corn and strain broth, measuring to see if you have 2 cups. If not add water,This may be done a day or two ahead.
 
Note: if you are using frozen corn (or if you just want to) skip this step—this is just fine! Just use broth, no need to strain.
 
Pour the broth into rice cooker or back into pot if you prefer to cook quinoa on the stove.
2) Quinoa- Rinse quinoa several times to remove the bitter coating. You may want to let it soak for five minutes in a bowl of cold , swish it around several times then strain out water using a fine sieve.
Cook quinoa in rice cooker just as you would cook white rice or in covered pot according to directions or simmer about 15 to 20 minutes and drain and fluff.)   Place quinoa in a large bowl and sprinkle with lime juice to taste. Add olive oil, salt and spice.  

Turn oven on to broil-
3) Poblano or Anaheim  pepper- While quinoa is cooking, wash the Poblano or Anaheim pepper and place on large piece of foil under broiler, turning every few  minutes with tongs until all skin is charred and loose. ( This can be done over the flame of a gas stove or on the BBQ grill if desired.) Remove and wrap in foil to steam chili pepper. After about 15 minutes, open foil and wash off pepper, pulling off and discarding charred skin and stem with seeds and membranes. Wear gloves if you are sensitive and wash hands carefully afterwards—you don’t want to rub chili oil in your eye!! Coarsely chop pepper.

Then Preheat oven to 425

4) Corn--.  Cover baking pan in foil, if desired for easy clean up, and spread corn out on sheet and sprinkle with oil, salt and pepper. Place in hot oven-425. Use spatula to turn corn a few times.

After 15 minutes see if the corn is browning and getting firm. If it is, remove corn to a dish or bowl.

Lower heat to 375 ( but put acorn squash in immediately after removing corn)

5) Acorn Squash—While corn is roasting, slice clean acorn squash in half and remove seeds. Place a few Tablespoons of water in the pan and place squash cut side down, and bake for about 18 minutes (This step could be done well in microwave for 9 minutes). Cook just until starting to barely soften. The squash will continue cooking in a later step after you peel and cut it up. For now, remove squash from oven and place on cutting board to cool before next step. Okay, on to Pumpkin seeds!

6)Pumpkin seeds-- Remove squash from oven to cool while you place pumpkin seed in a baking dish with a bit of olive oil and salt perhaps a sprinkle of smoked paprika, onion or garlic powder.  Place in 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes or until crispy and light.

Raise oven temp to 400 degrees

 
 
Acorn Squash—Once the squash is cool enough to touch, cut into slices lengthwise and cut/peel skin off. Chop into pieces of about 1”. Once you are done with the pumpkin seeds, place acorn squash back onto sheet with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with brown sugar and dust with cayenne and cinnamon. Mix a bit then put into oven for about 25 -30 minutes, turning once or twice, until beginning to be caramelized and crunchy.

Chop cilantro, slice green onion.
 
 
 
 

Immediately after squash is done, add into the quinoa the chopped chili pepper, roasted corn, and half of the pumpkin seeds, chopped cilantro and green onions, saving the rest to garnish the top.

Slice avocados and sprinkle them generously with lime juice and a hint of salt. You can either mix in half the avocado and garnish with the other half or just mix it all in.

Plate salad and top with avocados, some of the roasted pumpkin seeds, green onion and cilantro OR top with these in the bowl.

This salad is great served room temperature with the roasted squash just out of the oven. It could be served hot or cold.

 

 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Quinoa Salad with Herbs, Cucumber, Cheese and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


I  still love quinoa and I am often on the lookout for new recipe with the protein rich grain/seed! Here is one I just came up with this weekend for a light lunch on a hot summer day. Packed with nutrients, this salad will not leave you hungry!
 
 
 
 
 
Quinoa Salad with Herbs, Cucumber, Cheese and Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


1 cup quinoa, uncooked

Dressing-Whisk together the following -
 
2-3 TBSP Lime or lemon juice
3 TBSP olive oil, may use more if needed
Zest of 1 small lemon (or maybe lime would work too)
1 tsp. Lemon pepper
½ tsp. Garlic powder
Generous pinch of cumin, smoked paprika, optional
Salt to taste
 
1 Cucumber
1 Tomato
½ cup Parsley, minced
 About 2 Tablespoons basil or other fresh herbs, minced
½-3/4 cup Sweet peppers, diced, either the small ones or bell peppers  

½-2/3  cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
2/3  cup Smoked Gouda or other cheese, cubed, optional
Kale chips for garnish, optional (or premade kale or seaweed chips)
Green leaf or romaine lettuce for serving

Note: All of these amounts are flexible; this is just to give you an idea.

First rinse and cook quinoa. You can use any method you like.  I know some people have trouble with having mushy, soggy or overcooked quinoa. This does not have to be!! Try one of the methods listed in this note.*

Once quinoa is done you can add the dressing and then refrigerate until cool

Peel or mostly peel cucumber then slice in half lengthwise twice, quartering. Cut the seeds out. Chop.
Cut up tomato, squeezing out some of the seeds. Chop.
Seed and dice sweet peppers.

Preheat oven to 3 50 and roast raw pumpkin seeds in a bit of olive oil, salt and pinch of cumin and smoked paprika if desired.  Roast until crunchy, about 8-11 minutes.

If you have a leaf or two of kale, make a mini batch of kale chips. Wash the leaves, dry, cut of stems and into pieces. Rub with just a hint of olive oil. Turn oven down to 300 and bake for 10 minutes or so until fully crisp but not browned.

After quinoa has cooled a bit add the cucumber, tomato peppers and herbs. Throw in any fresh herbs you would like. Mix it all together. Taste and adjust lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning. If you need more oomph you may splash a bit of vinegar or crumble some red pepper flakes in.

Plate and nice sized scoop of salad on a bed of green leaf or romaine lettuce and top with crunchy seeds and creamy cheese cubes and a sprinkle of kale chips if desired. Of course for dairy free you may skip cheese.


*Start by rinsing quinoa. I buy pre rinsed but still make sure to rinse well to remove the bitter residue that is a naturally occurring pest and mildew deterrent.

One way to rinse is to use the finest mesh sieve and place it in a bowl to soak and rinse. Some quinoa may fall through, but the bowl will catch it. However you do it, Rinse several times and then you are ready to cook.

Next it is time to cook the quinoa. Here are three ways you can cook quinoa for any recipe.

Method 1- My favorite is to use a rice cooker and cook as you would rice. The rice cooker works wonderfully with little effort or guessing when it is done, making nice fluffy “grains.”

Method 2-Another way is to cook it according to package instructions in a good sized pot with a tight lid. I bring salted water to a boil, stir in quinoa, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Some varieties may take up to 20 minutes. But check for doneness and when the grains are tender, remove from heat. If there is any water you may drain this with a sieve. This is my second choice for how to cook it.

Method 3- I saw this on a Rachel Ray cooking show years ago but I am not sure which one. It takes a bit more work but comes out as nice as it does in the rice cooker and is my preferred method without rice cooker.

 Rinse quinoa  in a fine-mesh sieve then pour it into a large pot of boiling, salted water and cook until almost tender, about 12 minutes; drain in the sieve. In the same pot, bring enough water to reach about 2 inch to a simmer over medium heat. Set the sieve with quinoa in the pot. Cover with a kitchen towel, then the lid, and steam until tender, about 10 minutes.

Whatever method you use: DO NOT OVERCOOK Quinoa! Check it just before it is supposed to be done and only use the amount of water specified. If there is any water left after quinoa is cooked, try draining it with a sieve. You want it dry and fluffy...

 

 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Roasted Corn Kernels Off the Cob


I love fresh sweet corn on cob yet there are times when I would like to eat it sans cob. Sometimes it is because I want to use the cobs to make corn broth for chowder. Other times, I just don’t want the messiness of eating off the cob or Great Aunt Matilda is coming and would like things a little more refined. Whatever the reason, I will now try to use it more because I LOVE the way fresh roasted corn tastes. It is so good, I came home tonight and had some for a snack.

 Roasting makes each kernel sweet, and full of flavor while it also enhances texture with a subtle caramelization and slight crunch to the tender kernels.  You just have to try this! Plus, you won’t end up with corn all over your face J


Roasted Corn Kernels Off the Cob

4 or 5 ears of corn
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1-2 tsp. of butter (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 450.

Husk and wash the ears of corn.
Over a very large bowl, hold an ear by one end and cut off kernels of the lower end with a large, sharp knife. Turn the ear over and cut off the rest.   It is okay if you leave a few on because you can make a wonderful corn broth with the cobs. Add the cobs with water to cover and salt in a stock pot and let them simmer for 3 to 4 hours. Strain and use to make corn chowder—yum! You can freeze for later.
Use foil, if desired to line a very large rectangular jelly roll/cookie sheet with an lip around the edge.  Rub just a bit of oil on the pan.  Place the corn in a single layer. If you have too much corn, get another pan. Don’t crowd. Drizzle a bit of olive oil and mix it in well so that corn has a light coating of oil but not too much!!
Place corn in the 450 oven. It takes about 12 to 18 minutes to roast. Turn/stir as needed so it begins to brown evenly  and check after about 10 minutes.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper, dot with butter, if desired, and let it continue roasting another 5 minutes or until it is a bit firm and beginning to brown or crisp here and there. Remove and serve.
This roasted corn is an excellent side dish. But if you have enough you can use it in salsa, sprinkled over soups or salads, in “Spanish” rice with black beans and tomatoes, etc.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Butterscotch Blondies


                   

 These soft and chewy Butterscotch bars are sort of a cross between a cookie and a carmely brownie. It is a family favorite. My daughter used my old recipe and  baked them to bring to our fourth of July cook out where they were happily received by all.


 
 
As you may know, I like to make nutritious dishes-- most of the time. But every once in a while (well, maybe slightly more often...) I want to make something the tastes wonderful but may have a bit more sugar or contains something I seldom use, like shortening. Today is one of those days!  I have tried making these with something besides shortening and it just did not work as well! You could try half shortening and half butter or coconut oil but it will affect the texture. I try to only make these when there will be a big crowd because then I won't be tempted to eat half a pan :-)
I don't know where the original recipe came from but I got it from a friend about 25 years ago and have changed a few things.
Butterscotch morsels are a delicious butterscotch chip similar to chocolate chips but if they are not available in your locale, these are wonderful even without the morsels. You could substitute toffee bits or chocolate chips.
 

   Butterscotch Blondies


 ½   cup   shortening
1 ¾    cups brown sugar, packed
2    egg          
2   teaspoons   vanilla extract
1 ½   cups    flour
1   teaspoon  salt
2   teaspoon  baking powder
 1 ½   cups  butterscotch morsels ( Nestle’s )
1    cup     nuts, chopped -- optional

 
Preheat oven to 350.

Place shortening  in a medium  mixing bowl and heat in microwave until melted.( You may melt shortening on stove or in oven if preferred.)

 Mix in brown sugar, egg and vanilla. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into another bowl and blend well.  Gently fold and thoroughly blend into sugar and shortening mixture.  Fold in morsels and nuts.

Grease 13x 9" pan and press mixture evenly into pan.  Bake 20-25 minutes at 350'. Check that blondies are set and starting to firm up like brownies. If not, bake them another 5 minutes.

 

Cool a few minutes then cut into pieces while warm, but do not remove until blondies are cool.

 

           

 

 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Carrot Parsnip Soup with Ginger


I love soup! It is velvety smooth and full of flavor. I love making it is fall or spring but it is really good year round! It is nice to have a favorite soup which is made from things that are available year round like carrots and parsnips.


Carrot Parsnip Soup with Ginger

4 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced
6 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium, organic)
1-2 cups water
2-3 TBSPN of ginger paste, crushed fresh ginger
1 tsp. garlic (about 1 clove), crushed
1 large can of coconut milk, maybe an extra little one
1 tsp. coriander
½ tsp. cumin
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg)
1 tsp. salt
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes

In a large pot, heat vegetable broth and a cup or two of water. Add sliced parsnips and carrots. Simmer for about 20 minutes then add ginger and garlic. Simmer another 15-20 minutes until vegetables are very tender.

Put a colander into a bowl or pan. Spoon carrots and parsnips into colander placed over a pan or bowl and drain, reserving broth. Put vegetables, about 1/3 at a time into blender with a bit of the coconut milk.  Put pureed vegetables back into pan and add coconut milk along with enough broth to get it the right consistency.  You can serve this thick and creamy or thinner. Add spices to taste.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Barbeque Boneless Chicken Thighs--Quick and Easy on the Grill


   You can have delicious, tender barbeque chicken in a hurry! Just choose boneless, skinless chicken thighs and cook them up on the grill. I have always thought I needed to cook chicken low and slow after a long marinade or brining. But I wanted to make these up quickly so I tried this and it turned out fantastic!!
Do trim excess fat, skin off and make sure the pieces are uniform-ish in thickness. My favorite store bought sauce is Sweet Ray's honey BBQ.
                             Barbeque Boneless Chicken thighs
                                   quick and easy on the grill

Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
Generous  sprinkle of Salt, pepper, smoked paprika, onion powder, smoky BBQ spice blend
Drizzle of olive oil
Favorite BBQ sauce

Rub spice mixture onto chicken.

Lightly drizzle with oil.

Heat grill to medium high.

Place chicken thighs onto grill and reduce heat to medium.

Grill chicken for 5 -7 minutes or so, until chicken starts to brown and get grill marks. Flip and cook a few more minutes until almost done but not quite cooked through.

 Place in a bowl or dish and add favorite bottled or home-made barbeque sauce and coat each piece. Return to grill for about 4 or 5 minutes to caramelize sauce lightly and internal temp reaches 165 degrees

Let chicken rest a few minutes or place in a 200 degree oven to hold until everything is ready.

 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Lemonade in a Juicer


I do love lemonade in the summer!! I had a few lemons and I wanted to try to make a healthier version so I pulled out my big juicer and threw in some other ingredients. I added extra nutrition and needed a lot less sugar. If you like tart, you can even skip the sugar altogether since  juicing grapes and apples means there is a lot of natural fructose in this refreshing beverage.  Pull out your juicer and try your own version! I think this could be good with some cucumber or carrots, too!




Lemonade in the juicer

1-2 lemons , zest removed*

About 2 ½ to 3 cup green grapes, washed ( just used a bunch, with stems. I did not measure)

1-2 apples, semi-peeled, chunked ( I used green granny smiths)

1” fresh ginger root,peeled,  optional

1 orange, zest removed, optional

3/4 cup kale, optional

Simple syrup- ¼ cup sugar , ¼  cup water, OR Agave optional


Juice everything except simple syrup.

Make simple syrup and cool. You may find your lemonade is sweet enough so do taste before adding. If you find it is still not sweet enough you can add more. Or sweeten with agave.

Serve over ice immediately for best flavor and nutrition.

*I used large lemons but the amount is really up to you. Try one lemon then add the other if needed. My juicer says to remove outer colored part of peel, as it is too sour and a bit bitter, but you could try leaving some on if you like extra flavor.