Sunday, March 9, 2014

It's Not Too Lackluster.

(rice dish, pre-cheese application)

I never had much proclivity towards eating rice. It's always been fine, I've never minded it much, and then recently, a brown short-grain version was unveiled before my eyes at the grocery store. It came home with us, a batch was steamed, and a deep love sparked.

This recipe was born out of necessity. We went to dinner at my mom's, I offered to bring a warm veggie side dish, but challenged myself to use whatever remaining produce we had remaining in the sometimes-scary abyss of  our refrigerator drawers. 

It went something like this.... and turned out pretty flavorful! Hope you like it too (also, I believe the brown, short-grain rice for this made all the difference- the grains are thicker, but kind-of chewy and meaty. Give the short-grain brown version a try. Promise.).

Short-Grain Rice with Kale, Garlic, Pepper

1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups veggie broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large handfuls dino kale (the dark green version, also known as lacinato or Tuscan kale), shredded, ribs removed
1 large red pepper, finely diced
1 cup of goat's cheese or feta
Kosher salt

In a large saucepan, bring the veg broth to an effervescent boil. Add the rice, and cook according to package directions (you might need to add more water if the rice soaks up excessive liquid). Just before it's finished cooking (which could take 30+ minutes, be patient my friends), add the kale and garlic to the pot. Remove the pot from heat, cover with lid, and allow the kale to partially wilt and soften (10 minutes-ish).

Make sure to check that it's well-seasoned (add salt and pepper as needed). Scoop into serving bowl, add the diced pepper, and sprinkle choice of snobby cheese on top. Serve warm....or cold- fortunately, it's quite good either way! Lucky us.  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

(Dairy-Free) Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

I stole these babies off of the lovable, popular food blog, Skinnytaste.  I was attracted to them because they use almond milk, agave nectar, blueberries, and oatmeal- four things I eat for breakfast nearly every morning. Yum. 

These muffins, might I warn you, DO in fact, taste "healthy"-- not always the rule, but generally speaking, most healthy muffins (those lacking in oil or butter for their moisture) sometimes turn out a bit more on the "rubbery" side. These are surprisingly NOT rubbery, but do have a texture that is a bit indicative of healthfulness, which, I very much like, which, some people, perhaps the more masculine population, would prefer not. 

Either way, whoever your eating audience may be, give them a whirl. Someone will love them. And that someone might just be you.

Ta TA. 

{Dairy-Free} Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

1 1/2 cups Quaker quick oatmeal
1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or skim milk)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tbsp agave
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 egg whites
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh blueberries
Baking spray

Preheat oven to 400°. Line a muffin tin with liners and lightly spray with oil.

Place oats in a food processor or chopper and pulse a few times. Soak oats in milk for about 30 minutes.  In a medium bowl combine brown sugar, agave, apple sauce, vanilla, egg whites, oil and mix well.
In a third bowl combine whole wheat flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and whisk to combine.
Combine oats and milk with sugar, applesauce mixture and mix well. Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in blueberries. Spoon into the muffin tin and bake for 22-24 minutes. 

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Chicken Feta Spinach Burgers

Well hello there, vast cyber world. It has been some months since I've been here. Between today's post and the previous one, I got pregnant, along with becoming wretchedly ill for about 8 weeks (fetal weeks 7-15), subsequently grew a man-child (the third, I hasten to add, whoop, whoop), and recently gave birth to the lil' human of whom we are nuts about. Its been a happy time, bereft of sleep, but still very fun. And I've been feeling super fired up to pick up here where I left off b/c there are two non-person things that bring me cheer: cooking and writing. Preferably together.  

Please excuse the poor quality of the above photo- two things going against me: poor lighting, poor photographer, oh, and a phone. Three things. 

And because there is no non-awkward way to gracefully  pick up something you abandoned months ago, I'll just dash right in again like it's been mere days. 

 It's a healthy recipe for all you, I-need-to-eat-healthier-in- 2013 resolutionists (I made that resolution too, no shame!).

Bon Appetit!

Chicken Feta Spinach Burger 
with Pesto Mayo and Arugula

1 lb ground chicken
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 box frozen spinach, thawed, and drained well of all excess liquid and chopped well
2-4 ounces crumbled feta cheese
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
Dash of milk, if needed
Prepared pesto (Costco or Trader Joes will be your place for that!)
Tomatoes, sliced
Whole wheat burger buns

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, mix the ground chicken with minced garlic cloves, feta, drained spinach, feta, egg, and seasonings. If it seems a little dry, try adding a dash of milk to moisten it up (conversely, if it seems too wet, you can add some breadcrumbs). Form into burger-size patties and place on a greased jelly roll pan. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until done. 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the prepared pesto and mayo together. Set aside. 

For serving, place one pattie on a bun, slather with pesto-mayo, and stack on top of that the arugula and tomatoes. Dive in. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Spinach and Sweet Potato Orzo with Goat Cheese

This dish.... is a classic Kate creation (that's a term I hear around the house a lot from a certain hubs of mine.. cough cough). 

And I think what that means really, is that I take ingredients which I am fond of, and somehow splash them all together in a bowl as if they are ol' peas in a pod. 

I think the term, "classic Kate creation" really took off one winter night in Philadelphia when I had made a hot lentil dish that was teeming with curry powder, onion, carrot, celery, etc... all cooked of course, and then served over rice with sour cream and fresh cilantro on top. In my palate world, it was a dream come true and a 5-star dish, but my husband laughed and said, "this is totally a Kate dish". 

And so as years have passed, that lovely little term is used generously to describe a dish that includes any of the following ingredients:

goat cheese (especially goat cheese), sweet potato, tofu, lentils, pastas, spinach, kale, and herbs.

Essentially, a few of my favorite foods that may be my life support when I am 90. 

And so, while this dish may seem a bit scary to dive into, let me assure you that it tasted delish, it went down easily, it made me feel like the healthiest person in all of Utah, it was filling, it's beautifully colored, and it doesn't require hacking any raw poultry with the hacker going into nausea flames.


Spinach and Sweet Potato Orzo with Goat Cheese

2 cups orzo, cooked al dente, partly cooled
2 cups fresh spinach (throw this into the boiling orzo in the last 30 seconds of its cooking time)
2 sweet potatos, steamed and cubed
2 Tbsp red onion, diced finely
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Goat cheese- as much as you would like
Olive Oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt, pepper

Mix the cooked orzo with the steamed spinach in a large bowl. Mix in the remaining ingredients- you’ll want the goat cheese to kinda melt into the warmth of all the ingredients just enough so that it creates a creamy coating over everything. The lemon juice will “awaken” the dish, and the olive oil, you won’t need a lot but just a drizzle.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tomato-Feta Salad

Miracles can be small but let me tell you, today's miracle is that I have managed to find/make/create an extra-generous 15 minutes to sit and blog about a recipe that will not only make a pretty addition to your summer-time/pot-luck/bbq/fathers'day table, but it will also make your breath incredibly offensive to any close talkers and that's always a telling indication of the quality of your food. I always think the more repugnant residue on your breath, the tastier and more flavorful the dish. 

I have made this pretty little salad a number of times in the last few years but have failed to ever post it here. Naughty. How could I be so negligent?? It's like eating the fruits of your hard-earned garden labors in Greece somewhere: you got the fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, fresh onion from your garden, and then the flavor of the salad pinnacles with Greek-imported feta and I will tell you that nothing will bring you closer to Greece or the summer time than this salad, and neither are a bad place to be. I mean, right? Greece, summer, Greece, summer, together?? Masterpiece.

Ta ta!

Tomato-Feta Salad
{Ina Garten}

4 pints grape tomatoes, red and yellow mixture
1 1/2 cups small-diced red onion (2 onions)
1/4 cup good white wine vinegar
6 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 1/2 pounds feta cheese

Cut the tomatoes in half and place them in a large bowl. Add the onion, vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley and toss well. Dice the feta in 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes, crumbling it as little as possible. Gently fold it into the salad and serve at room temperature (side note: it could be the fact that I don't do leftovers very well, but this salad is especially unattractive the next morning, so eat it all up if possible in the one sitting).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Puuuurfect Cinco De Mayo Drink

Something happened this last weekend. 

Cinco de Mayo. 

And we ate like it was your grandmother's last Thanksgiving dinner. 

We had three types of tacos, all sorts of various toppings, roasted corn salad, fresh guac, Mexican chocolate cookies, and unspeakable amounts of cilantro-infested everything. 

This was one of my favorite parts of the evening, though, this, honeydew agua fresca. It might just be the very tastiest and most refreshing, cooling, soothing beverage to trickle down my throat yet.  The lime, honeydew, ice, raspberries.....ooohhhh, you are in for a treat, and I mean, a treat.

Plus, who knew blending an entire honeydew was so much fun.

Did I just write 'fun'? 

Boy, I gotta get out more. 

Please make immediately, okay? 


Honeydew Agua Fresca
{Martha Stewart}
14 cups honeydew melon or cantaloupe (from a 5-pound melon)
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/2 cup fresh lime juice (from 4 limes)
Raspberries for garnish (we used frozen, and I liked that- they kinda “slush-ized” the drink a bit)

Set a large fine-mesh sieve over a large pitcher or jug. In batches, in a food processor or blender, puree melon until smooth. Pour melon puree through sieve, pressing on solids with a rubber spatula (you should have about 4 cups juice).
In a small bowl, combine superfine sugar and fresh lime juice; stir until sugar dissolves. Add lime mixture and 4 cups water to melon juice and mix well. Adjust sweetness with more sugar if desired. (Mixture can be refrigerated, up to 2 days.) To serve, add plenty of ice and top with raspberries.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Island Chicken with Avocado Salsa + Coconut Rice

Aloha. Aloha.

Oh. You thought I've been Hawaiing- it- up, did you? Maybe it's because I've been un-posting for two weeks and you thought I was laying indolently on the beach. And maybe I really threw you off with my tropic-centric greetings.

No no.

It's just that this meal, this one very wonderful meal we had lately kinda takes me to some tropical pacific island. 
Eating just a mere bit is like an instant culinary/mental getaway to somewhere balmy and beachy. 

I hope you try it- this is one of those dishes I think I'll keep making and making and making until someone finally pukes and just can't take it anymore. It's so flavorful, healthy, uncomplicated, and a bit jazzier than most normal dinner meals. Well, most normal meals that WE have, that is. (cough). 

And even though I have a bit of an anathema against eating whole pieces of meat, i.e., a slab of chicken breast in one sitting, this passes as in indisputably delicious meal and it's a good once-in-a-while ritual. 

Lastly, don't judge me, but my body is screaming for sleep tonight, and I just don't have much "type" left in me to knock out this recipe right here in this post, but, I will take you directly to the link and that's pretty much the same thing. One click more and this recipe is yours!

And may I just ask who can really have anything against eating starchy white rice that's been marinated in coconut milk and then topped off with that sweetened flaked-out coconut? It's almost better than a 10 o'clock run to 'seven eleven for a coconut/mango/cherry slurpee.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Salmon Cakes

Man, is blogging a thing of the past?? I’m not sure how much longer it can last.

But in the meantime, if there is anyone out there, kudos for still reading this blog, and for making me feel like I can still continue with it! With limits, I think blogging is still fun and a fresh way to share ideas and perspectives. So let’s not quit quite yet. K?

I think we can blame the beautiful weather outside on my serious lack of consistency lately. Spring fever has hit us pretty hard this year and if we’re doing anything, it involves being outdoors OR rushing to complete whatever is still left to be done inside. You know.

But let's talk fish.

Leftover salmon leaves an infinite amount of solutions for subsequent meals. It can be easily transferred into fish tacos, thrown over a salad, made it into a ritzy little sandwich, formed into burgers, or whipped into fish cakes.

Oh, and might I suggest you do??

Cakes, that is. Salmon cakes. It’s like taking a mental culinary escape to Seattle or back east where fish cakes are more prevalent. They are healthy, flavorful, and excellent with any other sides you choose to serve along with it. They make an auspiciously impressive dinner for little elbow grease involved. It was some weeks ago, but I believe we had quinoa, and sweet potato fries with this dish. Oh, sweet potato fries are another story for another day. I am infatuated with the things. Yum.

Salmon Cakes

{Always in Season: Jr. League Recipes of Utah}

1/3 cup chopped Italian parsley

4 green onions

3 shallots

1 ½ cups bread crumbs ( I recommend using Panko-Japanese bread crumbs)

2 eggs

2 TBSP melted butter

2 TBSP mayo

1 TBSP prepared mustard (I used a ½ tsp of dried mustard in exchange)

2 tsp lemon juice

2 ½ cups (15 ounces), flaked, cooked salmon

Salt and pepper to taste

1 ½ cups bread crumbs

½ cup veggie oil

Combine the parsley, green onion, and shallot in a food processor and process until finely chopped. Add 1 ½ cups bread crumbs, butter, mayo, mustard, and lemon juice. Pulse to mix well. Add the salmon and pulse until just mixed. Do not over mix. Season with salt and pepper.

Shape into 12 cakes. Put the other 1 ½ cup bread crumbs into a bowl. Cover each cake with bread crumbs and sauté in the oil in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown on both sides.

Garnish with herbs, capers, or lemon.