Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese




I'm back! So sorry for leaving ya'll hanging for a couple weeks there while I waited for my computer to be fixed. I lost all my data, along with some un-posted blog posts, so I'm a little sad. But, life marches on! Thanks for sticking with me despite this unforeseen break!




Today was wonderful (to put it lightly). I woke up bright and early to the beautiful sunshine, followed by a stress-relieving, sweaty session of Bikram yoga. Then I subway-ed it on down to the farmers market in Union Square, and OH MY GOODNESS, it was amazing. I usually don't buy things at farmers markets cause things are generally kinda pricey...but this market was great! Super fresh produce, a wide variety of dairy products, mouth-watering baked goods, and any kind of jam, jelly, or chutney you could ever imagine, all at very reasonable prices! 




I picked out a massive bunch of kale, some mint, and an irresistible bunch of gorgeous, rainbow swiss chard. Surprisingly, I have never eaten/cooked kale or swiss chard before, but I was so inspired by the market that I thought I'd experiment with them. And boy am I glad I picked them up! This recipe also came from a cooking demonstration booth at the market. I loved this simple dish, and not only because it gave me an excuse to buy a bottle of white wine!




Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese


Ingredients
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/2 red onion, diced
1 small bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste


Melt butter and oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the chard stems and white wine. Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted. Stir in lemon juice and top with parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper if needed.

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Poor Computer...

Hi everyone!
I just wanted to update you all on why I haven't been posting lately! My poor computer hardware is in need of replacement, so it's currently at the computer hospital :( Hopefully I'll be getting it back soon and can start posting again! Please pray that they can recover all my pictures! Thanks for supporting my blog!!!
Leah

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Bread

Lemon Blueberry Bread




I love summer. The sunshine and the warmth just make me oh so happy! Another thing that's lovely about summer is all the delicious berries and produce that are in season. So when I saw blueberries on sale the other day I couldn't help myself and I picked up three tubs of them. Now buying blueberries is not nearly as fun as picking them...but what are you gonna do when you're in NYC.




So, with all my many blueberries I was inspired to make them into something yummy! Now don't get me wrong, blueberries by themselves are so tasty and I'm really rather surprised that they made it home without me finishing them all! Blueberries and lemons just go so great together though and I couldn't help but make this deliciously moist and colorful loaf.




I followed Sweet Pea's Kitchen's recipe exactly so  I'll just let you find it there!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cilantro Lime Hummus

Cilantro Lime Hummus




Looking to spice up your life a bit? Well you can, simply by adding some flair to your plain old hummus! I've tried some different flavors of hummus in my lifetime. Roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, you know, the usuals. But this hummus stands out above the rest! 




The vibrant green color has a lot to do with the success of this dip. It not only adds intrigue and mystery, but looks and is super healthy all without tasting like dandelion stems! Try out this hummus, it won't disappoint.




Cilantro Lime Hummus
Adapted from Knead to Cook


Ingredients:


5 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 - 15 oz cans of garbanzo beens
4 Tbsp of fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large handful of fresh cilantro
1 jalapeno, stem and seeds removed


In your food processor or blender, pulse together garlic and jalapeno until finely chopped. Add beans, lime juice and salt. Puree about 1-2 minutes. Pour in oil and blend until smooth. Add extra olive oil if necessary until it reaches desired consistency. Add in cilantro and pulse until incorporated. Serve with veggies, pita bread or bagel chips (see previous post).

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bagel Chips

Bagel Chips




Every so often I do enjoy chewing on a bagel. And what better place to eat bagels than in New York City! So what do you do when you have had your fill of bagels but still have lots left over? Make bagel chips of course! I always like to pick the bagel chips out of Chex Mix, cause they're the best. Now that I can make my own bagel chips, I can avoid annoying people and have as many bagel chips as my heart desires!




These chips are great for snacking and dipping. I paired them with my cilantro-lime hummus (which will be posted Thursday), and they worked just lovely together. They are very addictive though, so be warned!




Bagel Chips
Adapted from Baked by Rachel


3 bagels
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp olive oil
Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper


Preheat oven to 350 F. Slice bagels into thin disks. In a small bowl, combine melted butter and olive oil. Pour butter/olive oil into a 9 by 13 inch baking dish. Tip and rotate dish until entire bottom is coated. Place bagel slices into dish and coat both sides thoroughly. Transfer soaked bagel slices to baking sheet. Sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper over slices. Bake for 5 minutes. Flip slices and bake another 5 minutes, or until they reach desired crispiness. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cheesy Pesto Bread

Cheesy Pesto Bread




If you make nothing else on my blog, you HAVE to try this. Not only is it super easy, quick and inexpensive, but it is delicious beyond belief. My lovely roomie, Felicia found this recipe and I am forever indebted to her. We had so much fun making it together...but probably more fun eating it! 




Beware though, it is SUPER addicting. I am a little ashamed to admit that we ate the whole loaf between the two of us in one sitting. Although...it was our dinner so it's really not that bad. Plus I peer pressured her into helping me finish it so I am the only one to blame...make yourself some cheesy pesto bread, grab a bottle of wine, pop in one of your favorite movies (27 dresses...) and have yourself a lovely night!




Cheesy Pesto Bread


1 large crusty loaf of bread unsliced
1 cup of bail pesto
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups of parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil (large enough to cover the loaf) and spray lightly with cooking spray. Place your loaf of bread on the sheet and cut into one inch cubes, being careful not to cut all the way through (see pics for reference). With a knife, spread pesto in the crevices. Top with cheese. Wrap foil around loaf and bake  for 10 minutes. Enjoy!



Friday, June 8, 2012

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies

Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies




I think now is the time I must admit that my favorite cookies are oatmeal raisin. Well to be honest I don't really have a favorite cookie. It's really just impossible for me to choose a favorite anything, especially with food. But, if there is one cookie that is my go-to when all others fail, it would be oatmeal raisin. It is the perfect blend of salty and sweet. It's soft and chewy. And so, so satisfying. 


My all-time favorite recipe I've come across so far is on the Quaker Oats lid. Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. It's the recipe my mom always uses and maybe it's her special love in them, but they always turn out the best. But knowing me I have to innovate and experiment. So, here is a recent experimental oatmeal cookie recipe I made to test out my new oven in NY. Hope you like it!




Oatmeal Raisin Walnut Cookies


1 cup raisins
1 cup water
1 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
1/2 cup chopped nuts (opt)


Boil raisins in water for 15 minutes, until plump. Let cool completely.


Mix together sugars and softened butter. Add in eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine oats, flour, soda, salt, cinnamon and cardamom. Slowly stir flour mixture into egg mixture. After combined add in raisins and nuts (if using). Be sure not to over mix your dough! Place by Tbsp onto baking sheets and bake at 375 F for 10 minutes or until done.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Stewed Black Beans with Quinoa and Plantain Chips


Stewed Black Beans with Quinoa and Plantain Chips


This is my first blog post from my kitchen in New York! I started my internship here last Tuesday and have been absolutely LOVING IT! This city is insane. In a good way of course! It's definitely a little faster paced than Austin and Seattle though...I'm catchin' up though. I'm living in this sweet, little apartment in the Dominican neighborhood of NY. So, I thought I'd use some of the flavors from this area to inspire my cooking! 


There are tons of teeny little grocery stores that sell some of the most random stuff. The best foods I've found so far are pigs/chicken feet, yucca, and plantains. I think those will inspire some pretty creative cooking! I decided to play it safe at first though and came up with this tasty recipe. Did I mention that I found 10 plantains for $1!?!? That is definitely living beautifully on a budget...


Stewed Black Beans
Adapted from The Witchy Kitchen

1 lb. Black beans soaked in water over night
6-7 Cups water
1 Onion-cut in half (do not cut off the ends or it will fall apart)
3/4 Green bell pepper (whole, seeds removed)
4-5 Cloves garlic-sliced in half
2 Bay Leaves
4 Tsp. Cumin
2 Tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp of red/cayenne pepper
Salt & black pepper to taste
Garnish: Cilantro, salsa, cheese, sour cream etc.

Drain the soaked black beans. Place the beans, water, onion halves, bell pepper half, garlic, and bay leaves in a pot. Bring to a boil and leave at a high boil for 7-10 minutes stirring intermittently. Once done, skim off any foam, lower the heat to low, and place the top on at an angle. Cook on low heat stirring intermittently for one to two hours or until beans are firm yet soft (you may need to add extra water). In the last ten minutes of cooking, take out the garlic, onion and bell pepper. Chop into small pieces and add back to beans along with the cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt, pepper and vinegar. Enjoy! Serves 6-8.

Fried Plantain Chips

1 large green plantain
1 Tbsp oil

Peel plantain and cut into 1/4 in thin slices. Heat oil in a skillet. When hot, place plantain slices in pan. Flip over when they turn golden and slightly crispy. Remove from pan when other side is golden and consistency of plantain resembles a chip. Place on a paper towel, serve warm with stewed black beans. (They're also yummy to use as chips with salsa!)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Green Muffins

Green Muffins




I'm sure by this point many of you are getting tired of my weird green spinach recipes...but I'm just getting started! I'm having so much fun making weird-looking, healthy food that tastes delicious. Life is too crazy to play it safe all the time anyway. Live a little and try something new!




These muffins were so yummy, they were all gone within 5 minutes of coming out of the oven. If you're freaked out about the spinach in them, don't be. They basically tasted like banana-nut muffins. Try 'em 
and I'm sure you'll love 'em!




Green Muffins
Adapted from Food and Fun Cafe


Ingredients:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp lemon zest
1 medium very ripe banana, mashed
1 cup packed spinach leaves
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease or line muffin tin with paper cups. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another bowl, whisk the sugar and egg until creamy and fluffy. Stir in oil, yogurt, lemon zest and mashed banana. Slowly add flour mixture into egg mixture. In a blender or food processor blend spinach leaves until very finely chopped. Fold in spinach and half of the chopped nuts into the batter. Fill prepared muffin tin with batter, filling up to the brim (whole wheat flour doesn't rise as much as AP flour). Sprinkle remaining nuts on top of muffins and bake for 20-25 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.