Monday, February 27, 2012

Greek Quinoa Burger

I've had this recipe on my my "Healthy Foodie" Pinterest board forever now and just finally got around to trying it out.

What's the point of pinning things if you never try them, right?

As I mentioned last week, we are moving, and you should see the state of my apartment. Boxes have turned our little living room and kitchen into a maze and just about every door way is obstructed.

It's an accomplishment that I cooked anything at all in that kitchen, let alone something from  Pinterest.

I feel terrible that I'm super busy with my new job and can't help with the move as much as I would like to. The least I can do, while my amazing finance takes care of all the "issues" (and calling them issues is putting it nicely), is make him a healthy/tasty lunch.

These quinoa burgers turned out better than I imagined. The seasoning was perfect. I used real tzatziki sauce though instead of plain Greek yogurt. Without the sauce the burger might be slightly dry so don't be shy with the TZATZIKI!

Shopping List (adapted from Martha Stewart)
1/2 cup rinsed quinoa
1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
6 scallions, thinly sliced
15 ounces great northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup plain dried breadcrumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon ground cumin
Coarse salt
Ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 pitas (each 6 inches)
1/2 cucumber, thinly sliced

Shopping list for Tzatziki Sauce1 cup Fage Total 0% Greek Yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh or dried dill
1 cucumber
1/2 of a lemon

1. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup water to a boil; add quiona, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12 to 14 minutes; set aside.

2. In a food processor, pulse carrot until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, half the scallions, beans, breadcrumbs, egg, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.

3. Form mixture into four 3/4-inch-thick paties (dip hands in water to prevent sticking). If too soft, refrigerate 10 minutes to firm. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; cook burgers until browned and cooked through, 8 to 10 minutes per side.

4. Peel the skin off your cucumber for the tzatsiki sauce. Cut cucumber into smaller pieces that fit in your food processor and pulse until the cucumber is like mush.  Pour the cucumber puree into a strainer to reduce the water content, adding a pinch of salt will help draw out even more water.

5. In a large bowl add your cup of Greek yogurt, dill, cucumber puree and the juice of half of a lemon, a dash more salt and pepper, then mix thoroughly. The longer it sits the better the flavor will be! You can use more or less lemon juice, but I really love how it brightens up the sauce.

6. Serve your burgers in a pita with slices of cucumber and generous amounts of tzatziki.

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Pizza (200 Calories Per Slice)

I love beets and goat cheese, and I love pizza ... I don't know why it took me so long to think of putting them all together. Especially since it's a low calorie pizza!

I can't lie though, I admit that before I ate a slice I added just a little bit more goat cheese. (Cheese head here!)

There is something about this pizza that makes me think of spring time. Maybe it's the pink and green from the beets and spinach, or maybe it's because it seems so fresh and healthy.

Maybe it's just because I want spring to arrive so badly! Today it's suppose to be almost 70 degrees in DC. I walked out of the house in flip flops for my commute to the city even though it's still about 45 degrees in the morning.

I only saw one other female donning flip flops on my way in. Since I was unsure if it was too early in the season to get away with it, I was checking just about everyones feet.

I decided immediately that her and I clearly had the most common sense. Right on girl!

Shopping List (recipe adapted from Cooking Light)
1 Store bought thin crust pizza
3 Roasted Beets, sliced with a mandolin extra thin
1/3 Cup crumbled goat cheese
1 Cup fresh spinach
1/3 Cup extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt

1. Pre heat over to 425 degrees. Bake crust (plain) for about 8 minutes or until edges are golden brown.

2. Remove pizza from oven and top with olive oil then beets, half of your goat cheese, spinach and then remaining goat cheese. Sprinkle on some salt and enjoy..

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Bang Bang Cauliflower

I tested this recipe out last week and after each bite we just kept saying "Oh wow, this is soooo good!"  I even said  "I need to have people over and make this, or make it for your parents!"

That's how you know it's a keeper.

I got the idea from Bone Fish Grill's famous bang bang shrimp.  It's one of the best things I've ever eaten,  if you've had it,  you know what I'm talking about.

Spicy, delicious and totally addicting.  I don't even order a main course there...  just the bang bang shrimp please.

I've been wanting to try this recipe out for awhile, but with my recent cauliflower obsession I figured why not try it with my favorite veggie instead?

I am so glad I did. Who needs shrimp? (okay I take that back, but this is a damn good alternative). 

UPDATE: Check out my "lightened up" version of this recipe here

Shopping List (Serves 2-4 as an appetizer)
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup egg whites
1 head cauliflower
Salt & pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Green onion
1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup lite mayo
1/4 cup Franks Red Hot Sweet Chili Sauce or Siracha (add more or less depends on how hot you can handle it)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Slice your cauliflower florets. Mix salt, pepper and garlic powder into your Panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish.

2. Set separate bowls aside with egg whites and cornstarch. Dip your florets one by one into the cornstarch, and shake off excess. Then dip into egg whites, and then coat with Panko mixture.

3. After coating all of your florets, warm up your coconut oil in a large frying pan and place all florets in hot oil. Turn with tongs making sure all sides are browned. Set on top of paper towels to remove excess oil. Top with more salt.

4. In a small bowl mix all of your sauce ingredients. Coat your breaded and pan fried florets with sauce, top with sprinkles of green onion and serve right away.

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I've been missing I know, but I'm back ....

A few things have happened over the last month or two that had me running around like a chicken with my head cut off, but things are about to simmer down. Kind of.

I got a new job! It was a long process but I got it! Tomorrow I will start my new job at a think tank in DC as a "Senior Media Associate." Fancy schmancy right?

Also, I turned 30. Sigh... But it was a perfect day thanks to my fiance and friends.  It started out with brunch with the soon to be hubby and then he took me on a shopping spree for new work clothes.  I'm a lucky, lucky lady.

Below is a photo of us celebrating later that night at Jaleo (my favorite restaurant).

In other news -- just to add to the chaos --  we are moving. My commute is about to change A LOT but it will be worth it.

I'm off work today (Happy Birthday George Washington) so I plan to do some packing, and blogging. I came up with this killer "Bang Bang Cauliflower" recipe that I will post soon.

Thanks for bearing with me while I dropped off the blogosphere. I promise more fun party treats are coming soon.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Happy Valentines Day

Check out Carleigh's heart shaped jello shots! She was nice enough to snap some pictures and send them over to me this weekend.

I love how she served them in cupcake liners.  She even saved the left over jello cut outs/scraps and served them with whipped cream and a cherry. Brilliant!  Thanks again Carleigh  :)

Heart Shaped Jello with Cherries post here

What are your Valentines Day plans? My finance is making me a romantic dinner at home  (I think he is making LOBSTER yummmm).

More posts, more frequently, coming soon. I promise.  I've got some news to share as well.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Strawberry Fruit Roll Up Cupcakes

I guess I was channeling my inner child this weekend.  (Remember this?)

Pink and purple ... Fruit roll ups... Frosting and hearts.  All that's missing is a My Little Pony and some Care Bears.

Really though, I was trying to make do with what I already had in the pantry. Does anyone else have a pantry full of left over chocolate chips, sprinkles, and coconut flakes? Mine is over flowing.

My goal this month (with the exception of some jello shots I have planned for up coming events) is to not buy any new decorative or boxed baked goods. 

You really are forced to be creative when you can't run to the store to buy something new!

Shopping List (makes 18-20 cupcakes)
1 box strawberry cake mix
1/3 cup coconut oil
3 eggs
1 1/3 Cups Water
2, 8 oz packages of cream cheese (room temperature)
Confectioners sugar to taste (about 1 or 2 cups)
2 fruit roll ups
3 heart shaped cookie cutter

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix cake mix, eggs, water, and coconut oil with an electric mixer or whisk until combined. Fill a muffin/cupcake tray with cupcake liners then fill 1/3 of each liner with mix. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick test works. Let cool completely.

2. In a large bowl add your cream cheese and sugar. Mix until combined and until you achieve desired sweetness.

3. After cupcakes are cooled, top them with the cream cheese frosting and heart shaped fruit roll up cut outs.
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