Posts Tagged ‘ Food ’

Rice & Corn Cakes w/ Spicy Black Beans

This zippy recipe is a fast and delicious meal for any night of the week! 🙂

Rice & Corn Cakes w/ Spicy Black Beans

1 c instant brown rice
6 scallions, trimmed and sliced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried, crushed thyme
1 c frozen corn
1 c whole-wheat breadcrumbs
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
2 large eggs
4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed
1 c tomato salsa

1. Cook rice according to package directions, adding scallions, garlic and thyme to the water. Remove from heat and stir in corn, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Let stand for about 5 minutes to cool slightly.
2. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until frothy. Add the rice mixture and mash until the mixture holds together, about 1 minute. Shape the mixture into 8 patties.
3. Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully transfer 4 patties to the pan with a spatula and cook until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining 4 patties – add more oil if necessary.
4. Meanwhile, combine beans and salsa in a small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. Approx. 5 minutes. To serve, divide the beans and add patty on top.

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Homemade Saltines

One of my goals this year is to cut back on processed foods. This means some of my favs like saltines, graham crackers, pretzels and granola bars need to be removed from my grocery list. Problem is – I love snacking on these foods! Solution? Learn how to make them from scratch myself. 🙂

I’ve been doing some research online to try and find recipes that are not only unprocessed but healthy, easier said than done! Many of the recipes that I’ve found include gobs of butter or shortening or something akin. While I understand that eating foods like butter rather than margarine are better because while they are higher in fat they are not made purely of chemicals and thus are healthier food choices, I still didn’t want to make my favorite snacks with super high fat content either. Dilemma!

But after searching high and low, I have found a recipe that seems to meet my criteria for a healthier snack food. I will continue posting recipes as I find/try them. If you have any favorites, I’d love to hear about them! Enjoy! 🙂

This recipe comes from Just Eat It, a blog dedicated to yummy recipes.

Homemade Saltines

  • Olive oil for brushing pan and dough
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into bits
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup very cold water
  • 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, or kosher salt

Preheat oven to 375°F with racks in upper and lower thirds. Brush 2 large baking sheets generously with oil.

Toast 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper in a dry small skillet (not nonstick) over medium heat, shaking skillet occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Cool pepper.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon table salt in a bowl (or pulse in a food processor). Add shortening and blend into flour mixture with a pastry blender or your fingertips (or pulse in processor) until most of mixture resembles coarse meal with some roughly pea-size lumps. Drizzle evenly with 1/2 cup ice water and gently stir with a fork (or pulse) until incorporated.

Squeeze a small handful: If it doesn’t hold together, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring (or pulsing) until incorporated, then test again.

Divide dough into 2 portions and flatten each into a 3-inch square.

Roll out each square on a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin into a 20- by 8-inch rectangle. Trim edges and sprinkle each sheet with teaspoon toasted pepper. Run rolling pin lightly over dough to embed pepper in pastry. Brush each sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle each with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt.

Cut sheets crosswise with a small sharp knife into 1-inch-wide strips (straight or wavy). Arrange strips evenly spaced in 1 layer on baking sheets and bake, switching position of sheets halfway through baking, until golden, 16 to 20 minutes total. Transfer to racks to cool.

Cranberry Chutney

Your holiday parties might be over, but I couldn’t resist sharing this easy, yummy recipe with you!

Cranberry Chutney

1 (12oz) bag fresh or frozen cranberries

1 1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup water

1 large cooking apple, chopped

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

1/4 tsp ground cloves


1. In a saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. (Cranberries will eventually lose moisture and deflate.) Reduce heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until apple is tender and mixture thickens. Cool completely.

2. Store in refrigerator. Serve over cream cheese with crackers or as a garnish for a main dish.

Enjoy! 😀

Scrumptious Pumpkin Chili

It’s that time of year; the days are getting colder and shorter and the air has the smell of snow and fireplaces. It’s a perfect time for another yummy recipe!

This recipe is vegan and oh-so delicious! I first read this recipe while I was on the wonderful blog – Gerbera Daisy Diaries. I was amazed at how easy it was to make. It blends the perfect combination of flavors into a great chili that goes perfectly with a big slice of cornbread. 🙂

Scrumptious Pumpkin Chili

1 cup bulgur wheat

2 tsp olive oil

1 cup each onion and red pepper chopped (I used green pepper as it tastes just as good and is less expensive)

1 pkg chili seasoning

2 1/2 cup water

1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes (diced tomatoes works just as well)

1 can (15oz) pumpkin (surprisingly, I couldn’t taste the pumpkin in the finished product, so I’ll probably add more next time)

1 medium zucchini, shredded (I opted out of the zucchini as it’s not my fav veggie)

1 can (15.5oz) black beans (I buy these dried and make as needed – cheaper and healthier, although it takes more time)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup frozen corn

1. Prepare bulgur according to directions on package.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a nonstick skillet. Add onion and pepper and saute for five minutes. Add chili seasoning, saute until fragrant.

3. Add water, tomatoes, pumpkin and zucchini and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer ten minutes, stirring occasionally, under veggies are tender.

4. Stir in bulgur, beans and corn, heat through. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

Serve and enjoy! 🙂

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Tasty Treat on a Hot Summer’s Day

I’m a BIG fan of an icy cold smoothie on a hot summer’s day. As you know, I love to be active as often as possible and wanted a smoothie recipe that would be filling, tasty and be a perfect post-workout snack.

Here’s the recipe I’ve concocted, enjoy!

1/2 frozen banana (I freeze these myself so I always have them on hand)

1/4 c frozen strawberries

1/4 c frozen blueberries

1 tsp flax seeds

1 scoop protein powder (I use Trader Joe’s vanilla soy protein powder)

1/2 c vanilla soy milk

Throw in a blender, blend until smooth.

Flax seeds are rich in omega-3 which has been shown to prevent heart disease and have anti-inflammatory benefits.

Soy is high in protein, which helps to rebuild muscle fibers, and contains isoflavones which are linked to the prevention of heart disease, cancers, and osteoporosis.

Friends and Food

There’s nothing like sharing a good meal with close friends. After rock climbing Friday night I went with some friends to try an Afghan restaurant that my friends absolutely love and rave about often. The name of the restaurant is Silk Road and it’s in Warren, NJ.

The ambience was nice – quiet, cultural (I’m assuming) decorations, set within two small sized rooms. The staff was friendly and attentive except for one spacey guy who I’m not sure even knew he was actually supposed to take our orders and then actually bring those orders to us. Such a concept!

I had no idea what to expect from the food and went with an open mind. It wasn’t very spicy at all but had lots of flavor. I had an appetizer of rice wrapped in grape leaves (a cold dish and not my favorite) and bholani which was a pastry filled with spices and potato and was very good. They have a lot of rice and kabob dishes and I tried an orange spiced rice dish (Naringe Palaw) with a side of vegetarian dumplings – both had a lot of flavor and were very tasty.

For dessert I shared a plate of Elephant Ears – flat pastry with powdered sugar – and a Turkish coffee. I could have passed on the pastry as it was nothing special but the Turkish coffee was very interesting. It’s a really, really thick coffee served in espresso cups that can be likened to taking espresso grounds stirring in hot water and serving it. It was fun to try something new, but I think I’ll stick to American style coffee and Italian style espresso still.

Silk Road was a great restaurant and I would definitely recommend it to someone who enjoys trying new, ethnic foods. I would have to say that the best part about going out to eat however is the company. Great conversations, lots of laughter and I’m looking forward to the next time we all go out again.