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Posts Tagged ‘recipe’

A year and a half ago my parents gave me this blender for my birthday. It’s great. Mine came with 2 large travel cups with lids and I used it almost every day to make these yummy iced coffee drinks, which my mom knew I loved, so it was the perfect gift. I loved it.

However, as I have mentioned before, I like my coffee with loads of cream and sugar. Think melted coffee ice cream.

I saw Live and Let Diet when it first aired. In the show, Alton sings the praises of having a smoothie for breakfast and shares his recipe. Based on that show, I decided to retire the coffee drinks and change over to fruit-based smoothies. My recipe is a little different from Alton’s so I thought I’d share it. I don’t measure, so these are approximate and make 1 large smoothie.

1 1/2 cups frozen fruit
1/3 cup of yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons of wheat germ
3/4 cup of pomegranate juice
fill rest of cup with another kind of fruit juice

Blend on low until fruit is chopped up, then blend on high for 30 seconds or so. Drink with a straw, it’s more fun.

I get frozen fruit at Walmart. I can’t find it on line to link to, so it’s possible it’s not available in all areas, but here’s a photo of it. It’s not organic, but it is, as it says on the bag, a great value. It doesn’t include bananas which is important to me, bananas always overpower smoothies in my opinion. It’s a combination of strawberries, peaches, mango and pineapple. I also sometimes throw in some frozen blueberries.

For yogurt I usually use Stonyfield french vanilla yogurt because I believe in the company, the yogurt is good tasting, it’s organic and from Vermont New Hampshire*.

I love wheat germ. That is maybe weird, but it’s awesome on toast with peanut butter and honey and I like adding the nutritional kick of it.

If I lived near a Trader Joe’s, I would buy all my juice there. But, since I don’t, I buy bottles of 100% pomegranate juice usually in the healthy section of the grocery store. At this point I think you can find Pom Wonderful in a lot of places, but it also seems like acai juice is taking over as the new “it” juice.

For the other kind of juice, I mix it up for variety. Orange, grape, cranberry, blends, anything that is 100% juice. I also sometimes get the V8 Fusion juices, they tend to be on the sweet side but include vegetables.

The best thing about smoothies is that you can add in anything you need. My neighbor got me into using vitamin D drops during the winter last year—those were easy to add into the smoothie. I would really like to find kale juice, I’d add that in a heartbeat to up the nutritional value. Make them your own and enjoy.

* My apologies Wilton and Londonderry New Hampshire! Stonyfield belongs to you!

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Just saw this recipe on the Cultivating Sustainability blog over on FoodPress.com. This one combines sweet potato and kale. I will be trying these during an upcoming kale week, a week when my family tries kale in 7 different recipes in hopes of learning to love it. Check out Sweet Potato, Kale & Black Bean Fajitas and check leafy greens off the daily list and sweet potato off the three-times-a-week list. Add avocado or guacamole and check that off the list as well.

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Sweet potatoes are on the 3 times a week list. I’ve never been a fan of the sticky sweet brown sugar and marshmallow dish of many Thanksgiving tables. It’s so rich and dessert-like, and really wouldn’t do you any favors if your trying to Eat Like Alton. But I have a fast, really good-tasting recipe for you. You can make as a side for an after work meal, but they are so good, you might want to make them for a fancier affair.

We first started making these after we saw the Barefoot Contessa making them on her show. So yummy.

Cut 2 large potatoes into 1-2″ size cubes, leaving the skins on. In a dutch oven (or any large pot with a thick bottom), put 1 1/2 tbsp of butter and let it melt. Add the potatoes and some salt and pepper. Mix so the potatoes are well-coated. Put on the cover and walk away. My mom freaks out at this point because she thinks the potatoes are going to burn, but there’s something about the butter + the steam from the potatoes that keep them from sticking. Cook them over low-medium heat. Cook them for 20+ minutes until the potatoes are soft and done. The parts of the potatoes that were in contact with the bottom of the pan will be crispy and caramelized.

I think you could add cumin or curry powder, garlic…when we’ve made the fingerlings (this works with just cubed potatoes as well) we’ve added chives once the potatoes are cooked. I think you could also try adding golden raisins, a few nuts and maybe a delicious chutney on the side. We paired this with chicken and peas simmered in a curry simmering sauce.

The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission shares a bunch of recipes on their website. Check out the Sweet Potato And Greens Soup. Sweet potato + kale!! This is going on my must-try list.

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A is for Avocados!!

Avocados are on the 3 times a week list. This time a year it seems that all the grocery stores have them on sale: 5 for $3, 10 for $5, etc. That is good for Eating Like Alton. I like avocado. Some people are allergic, or find it slimy, but I’m a fan. I like it sliced up on sandwiches or salads (especially a chopped or Cobb, or a taco salad). Its a good addition to tacos and nachos and if you do a search on MyRecipes.com, you’ll find 995+ recipes using avocados.

But here is my favorite way to have them:

Guacamole!!

I’m sure I had it before my husband and I traveled to San Francisco, but that is the first time I remember having guacamole. I remember our friend Eric made it for us and it blew me away. It was so fresh and bright-tasting, it was amazing. Eric used a store-bought mix for his, but I have developed this really simple recipe for my own. Don’t measure, it’s all based on what taste good for you.

Take 1 avocado. Slice it down the middle and divide into 2 halves. Take the pit out by putting a knife blade into it and twisting (this is not me in this video, but this does illustrate what I’m describing). Scoop out the avocado into a bowl and roughly mash it with a fork (I like to leave some chunky). Squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the top of the avocado. If I had to guess I’d say I usually squeeze about 1/2 a teaspoon on. Add some salt and pepper, garlic powder, cumin and either a few red pepper flakes or some hot pepper sauce. Mix and eat. I’m sure it’s better if you let the flavors blend together while chilling in the fridge, but I often don’t plan out my snacks that far ahead.

Delicious. You avoid all the salt and other ingredients you ad unknowingly when you use a mix (maltodextrin, nonfat dried milk, modified tapioca starch, corn syrup solids, lactic acid, etc), can adjust the flavors to your specific taste and create a quick, healthy snack that meets one of the 3 times a week requirements. I’ve recently found these Tostitos Multigrain Tortilla Chips, which while not being the most nutritious thing you can eat, is a healthier alternative.

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My son and husband LOVE mac and cheese. I usually make this version. I decided to give this an Eat Like Alton makeover.

Mac And Cheese Madeover

The first change I made was to add about 1/4 cup of wheat germ to the flour butter mixture before letting it bubble. I love wheat germ, I add it to smoothies, sweet breads and a family favorite is toast with peanut butter, honey and wheat germ. It’s a great snack.

The second change I made was to use whole wheat elbow pasta. I found a store-brand in our local grocery store, but there are also name-brands out on the market too. I cooked it a little longer than the 8 to 10 minutes suggested, thinking that often whole wheat pasta is tougher, but I may have overdone it. The pasta had no tooth and was just this side of mushy. Next time I’ll follow the time suggestions on the bag.

What are those little orange specs you wonder? Carrots. I put about 1/2 a cup of baby carrots in our mini food processor and tossed these in just after adding the milk. These cooked up, but still had some texture after the whole thing was baked. My husband said he liked them and although it caused my son to stop mid-song and ask “what are those orange things” after hearing they were carrots, he ate up as usual.

The two other changes I make from the recipe above: I have an older version of this recipe, before they modernized it with ground mustard and Worcestershire sauce, though I bet those would be good additions. I usually add a little bit of nutmeg, and on top I add bread crumbs or panko.

Close up of mac and cheese

The end result tasted very similar to my usual mac and cheese, both guys liked it, and this recipe makes plenty for left overs. Next time I’m going to add spinach at the same time I add the carrots. I love spinach, but the other folks in my house are not fans.

Lets recap: I added 2 whole grains (whole wheat pasta and wheat germ) and carrots, both on the ‘eat every day’ list. It’s still mac and cheese, made with butter and cheese, but it’s a step in the right direction. Remember, pasta is a once a week food, so bring the leftovers into your  work mates!

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I’m a long time subscriber to Cooking Light Magazine. It’s one of 3 magazines that I read cover to cover (the other two being Real Simple and Entertainment Weekly) and as I’m reading I fold back the pages of all the recipes I want to try. Depending on my free time I enjoy cooking. I’m not crazy about making the simple meals. I like making elaborate meals and as my husband with tell you, I leave a wake of dirty dishes like no one else. One of the recipes I found a couple of years ago was Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup and it’s been a favorite ever since.

Coconut-Curry Chicken Soup

When I started looking for things I could make to Eat Like Alton, I was happy to discover that this soup could make the cut. This soup is fantastic if you make it exactly as the recipe says, but I have made some changes: Instead of snow peas, I use cauliflower. I love my curries with cauliflower and I like the texture of cauliflower in this soup better than snow peas. I don’t put in the red chilies. Depending on how much I want my son to eat it, I sometimes put in red pepper flakes. Lastly, instead of the pad thai noodles, I usually use basmati rice, I love the flavor, and the noodles seem to make the soup hard to eat. I’d also caution you to use the best chicken broth you can for this. I often use Better Than Bouillon Organic Chicken Base, but this last time I bought the non-organic version by mistake and I think it made the soup a little salty.

My two suggestions for making this Eat Like Alton approved:

1. Instead of using spinach, use kale, or use half and half. With the spinach, it’s within the rules (leafy greens); but why not add in kale, the super food. I’d recommend cutting it up into smaller-than-bite-sized pieces, so your not trying to chew down big pieces of kale while enjoying your soup.

2. Instead of noodles or basmati rice, cook brown rice (I do it according to Alton’s Baked Brown Rice recipe – while still chewy, it’s delicious tasting and perfectly done). Put the cooked rice in the bowl first and then ladle the soup on top of the rice and enjoy. I think the texture doesn’t disrupt the soup, and it ads another Alton element to the dish: whole grains.

Next time I make this I’ll also be cutting up carrots and put them in. Carrots are on the eat daily list, they are delicious in curry and would work well in this soup, maybe in a 1/4 inch dice. I’m also planning to make this for a soup fundraiser in the future. It’s that good and I’m that confident everyone will enjoy it.

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Just home from this years Superbowl party. I had such good intentions. But instead of rehashing the bad (which included Tar Pit Wings), I thought I would tell you about what I brought to the party, which I think would be Alton approved.

Sate Burger from Cooking Light Magazine

Sate Burger from Cooking Light Magazine

Sate Burgers from Cooking Light Magazine (via MyRecipes.com)

These burgers are a great alternative to your everyday beef burger, they are full of flavor, moist, and cook up great on the grill. And, the best part: they follow Alton’s rules. They are made from ground turkey (the recipe calls for 1/2 ground pork, 1/2 ground turkey, but I use all ground turkey), have peanuts in them, and I even found these whole grain hot dog buns that I cut in half to fit my slider-size burgers. I also served mine with thinly sliced cabbage and a sort of spicy mayo made with Hellmanns mayonnaise, yellow mustard, fresh lime juice, fish sauce, hot sauce, and garlic powder, salt, pepper and cumin. Also, since we have 2+ feet of snow outside, I cooked these in a grill pan today, with some olive oil brushed on it, over medium-low heat and they came out great.

I will say that I did a decent job of only having a taste of the smoked cheese, french onion dip in a bread bowl, crackers and Boursin cheese, cup cakes, chips and dip (ok, maybe more than a taste of chips and dip), but overall, I don’t have horrible regret about my choices tonight. And maybe even Alton eases the rules a bit on days like this.

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