Saturday, June 29, 2013

Moqueca - Brazilian Fish Stew

Moqueca - Brazilian Fish Stew


I am getting oh so excited to head to Brazil this September! And as always, one thing I'm greatly looking forward to is the cuisine. I've been to a few Brazilian restaurants and have LOVED the food. I decided to try my hand at it the other day. I enjoyed this recipe so much that I made another Brazilian dish two days later! This stew is surprisingly light and refreshing, but full of flavor! 


Moqueca - Brazilian Fish Stew
Recipe adapted from Leite's Culinaria

  • 1 scallion (white and green parts), chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 tablespoons dendê oil (you can use extra-virgin olive oil or peanut oil, but you’ll loose the vibrant Bahian hue)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1 1/4 pounds sea bass, cut into 2-inch chunks (or any white fish works, I used halibut and snapper)
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/3 cup freshly chopped red, yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups fish stock (you can substitute clam juice, low-sodium chicken broth, or equal amounts of both)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup canned or jarred hearts of palm, drained and diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1. In a bowl, mix together half of the scallion, half of the onion, half of the ginger, and half of the garlic. Add 2 tablespoons of the dendê oil, all of the olive oil, and half of the cilantro. Place the chunks of fish in a resealable plastic bag and add the marinade, pressing the bag to evenly coat the fish. Remove all of the air from the plastic bag and seal it. Place the bag in a shallow bowl, making sure the chunks of fish are completely covered by the marinade, and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.
  • 2. Take the fish out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • 3. Place the remaining 3 tablespoons of the dendê oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the remaining scallion and onion along with the green and yellow bell peppers, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes.
  • 4. Add the remaining ginger and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring to combine, for another minute or until it’s hot. Add the fish stock and let it come to a full boil. Add the coconut milk and tomato paste and return to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to medium-low or so and simmer the sauce, nice and gently, while you prepare the fish.
  • 5. In the meantime, place the fish and its marinade in a gratin or casserole dish. Pour the lemon juice on top and season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until the fish is almost but not quite cooked through, 8-10 minutes.
  • 6. Carefully transfer each chunk of fish to the pan with the gently simmering sauce. Add any juices in the dish from the fish and marinade. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook just until the fish is soft and tender, 5 to 8 minutes.
  • 7. Uncover the pan, add the hearts of palm and tomatoes, and just let them get hot, which will take only a minute or two.
  • 8. Taste the moqueca, season it with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with the remaining fresh cilantro. Serve with rice.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Skinny Carrot Cake Bran Muffins

Skinny Carrot Cake Bran Muffins



I know, I know....more carrot cake stuff. Right when you thought I'd made everything having to do with carrot cake, I come up with something else! I'm obsessed, I admit it. I love everything about carrot cake. The flavors, the texture, the moistness, the cream cheese frosting....oh my yum. Well I tried to make a healthified version of my favorite cake, and was pleasantly surprised! These muffins are BEYOND healthy, but also amazingly delicious. Point being, you should make them.

Skinny Carrot Cake Bran Muffins
Recipe adapted from Skinny Kitchen

1 cup Kellogs All Bran cereal (original)
2 eggs
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup applesauce
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup raisins (optional)
1/3 cup flaked coconut (optional)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)


1. Preheat oven to 350°.  Use a nonstick muffin tin and coat with cooking spray with flour or dust with flour.
2. Add 2 cups of All Bran Cereal to a blender and puree until crumbs are created.
3. In a mixing bowl or electric mixer, add the cereal crumbs, eggs, canola oil, applesauce and mix together.  Stir in the remaining muffin ingredients.  Add raisins, coconut, and walnuts, if desired.  Mix until blended but do not over mix.
4. Fill each muffin cup to the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
5. Remove from oven and let sit for about 5 minutes.  Remove carefully using a dull knife or spoon.

Makes 8 muffins

Monday, June 24, 2013

Cherry Almond Tarts

Cherry Almond Tarts


I was thinking about fruit pies the other day and how much I absolutely love ALL of them. EXCEPT! Cherry pie. For some reason it always just tastes kinda fake and sweet...maybe I've just had bad experiences though and should give it another shot. Whatever the case, my mom brought these gorgeous cherries home the other day and I could not stop eating them. And I thought to myself, "I want to bake something with these amazing cherries...but it can't be a pie...how bout a tart!" So that is exactly what I made! Unfortunately, we don't own any fancy tart pans. But we do have a lot of little baby tart pans! This recipe is originally for a 9-inch pan, but you can make it in any tart-esque dish that you desire and I'm sure it'll turn out just fine :)


Cherry Almond Tarts
Recipe adapted from Yummy Supper

Almond Crust Ingredients:
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and then cooled
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground almonds
  • 1 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon all purpose flour 
Cherry Filling Ingredients:
  • 5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons finely ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto or Kirsch
  • 4 more tablespoons ground almonds
  • 1 pound fresh ripe cherries (cut in half if making baby tarts)
  • Optional: Confectioner's Sugar for garnish
Crust:
Preheat oven to 350.
Butter sides and bottom of 9 inch fluted tart pan with removable sides.
In a medium sized bowl, combine butter, sugar, salt, vanilla and almond extracts, and 2 tablespoons ground almonds. Stir with a wooden spoon to blend. Slowly add enough flour to make a smooth soft dough (the consistency of soft cookie dough).  You may need less flour than the recipe calls for. Trust yourself. 
Place the dough in the center of the buttered tart pan. Using your fingertips, slowly spread our the dough until it covered the bottom and sides of pan. ( No need to weight or prick the dough.)

Bake in the center of the oven for about 10 minutes. The crust should be a very pale golden brown. Set aside to cool. Leave the oven on.

Filling:
Combine cream, egg, almond and vanilla extracts in a small bowl and whisk to blend. Then add in sugar, flour, 2 tablespoons ground almonds, and Kirsch. Stir to blend.

Assemble:
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons ground almonds over the bottom of the tart shell to help the crust from becoming soggy.
Arrange pitted cherries in the tart pan in a single layer. Pour filling around the cherries and sprinkle the top with the final 2 tablespoons of ground almonds.

Bake assembled tart in the center of the oven for about 45 minutes (or 20-25 minutes for small tarts). When done, the custard filling should be firm and the crust a nice deep golden brown. Cool on a rack.


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Crumb-Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Crumb-Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


Ooooooohhhh my goodness. One of my favorite things in the whole wide world is picking berries. I am FINALLY home during raspberry and strawberry season! I have missed it the past four summers and let me tell you, it has been rather upsetting. Oh man, nothing beats sitting in the sunshine eating a ripe, warm strawberry straight off the bush. Thank you Mom and Dad for always letting me pick the berries. And for planting them in the first place ;) Anyway...I made this AMAZING pie with my Mom last week. WOAH. It was delicious. Words cannot describe. One day I ate it for breakfast and dessert. Yes, it is really that good. 


Crumb-Topped Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

One pie crust place in a pie pan (you should make your own...)
3 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour

In a large mixing bowl stir together sugar and flour. Add the strawberries and rhubarb and mix well. Transfer to the pastry lined pie pan. 

Crumb top
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
3 1/2 Tbsp butter

Combine flour and brown sugar. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs; sprinkle over filling. Bake in 375 degree oven 40-45 minutes or until top is golden and fruit is bubbling. Check pie crust halfway through, and if it's getting to dark, cover with aluminum foil.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Avocado Grapefruit Cucumber Salad

Avocado Grapefruit Cucumber Salad


Summer is the perfect time to break out all those refreshing summer salad recipes. Now when I made this salad, it was a beautiful, warm and sunny day in Dallas. As I write this post, I look outside and it's raining. Well I guess that's Seattle for you...didn't quite get the memo that the rest of the country is enjoying summer right now. Rain or shine, this salad is still delicious. It's superbly light flavors are sure to brighten up any dreary summer weather.


Avocado Grapefruit Cucumber Salad
Recipe from Pinch of Yum

Salad
  • 2 cucumbers, diced, seeds removed (about 2 cups)
  • 3-4 grapefruit or oranges, peeled and chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2-3 avocados, diced (about 1½ cups)
  • ⅓ cup almonds, chopped (I used smoked almonds)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
  • 3-4 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar (can also use lime or lemon juice)
  • 1½ tablespoon honey
  • 1½ tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • grapefruit or orange zest to taste
  1. Wash, cut, and gently toss the cucumbers, grapefruit, almonds, mint, and chives.
  2. Whisk the dressing ingredients together. Taste and adjust to your preferences. Drizzle over the salad ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.
  3. Just before serving, gently mix the avocado pieces into the salad. Top with additional herbs or almonds.

*The avocado starts to melt pretty quickly into the salad, so be sure to add the avocado right before serving for the best presentation. It’s best to eat this on the same day that you prepared it.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Marsala Chicken and Mushroom Casserole

Marsala Chicken and Mushroom Casserole


This casserole is a breeze to make. Plus it uses a lot of ingredients that most people already have on hand! This is a perfect weeknight meal as there is very little hands on time. And who doesn't like cooking with wine? Not only does it add huge depth and decadence to the dish, but you can take a few sips while you're cooking away!


Marsala Chicken and Mushroom Casserole


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1 1/2tablespoons flour
  • 1/2cup marsala wine or white wine
  • 1/2cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped rotisserie chicken
  • 3 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees . In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat until just melted. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the flour on top and stir in for 1 minute. Stir in the marsala and cream and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Stir in 2 cups water, the parsley, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
  2. In a greased 9-inch-by-13-inch casserole, spread the rice in an even layer; top with the chicken. Pour the mushroom gravy on top. Cover snugly with foil and bake until bubbly, about 35 minutes. Discard the foil, sprinkle the parmesan on top and bake for 5 minutes more.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Carrot Fries

Carrot Fries


Like I've mentioned in the past, roasted veggies are one of my favorite foods. These carrot fries are a great new way to get your daily serving of veggies. You can even make some yummy garlic aioli to go with them, but that kinda defeats their health purpose. They taste just lovely with some fresh mint on them, and that was plenty flavor for me! 


Carrot Fries

1 lb of fresh carrots cut into 1/2 inch sticks
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint

Preheat oven to 425 F. Place carrots, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl and stir to coat. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet, leaving a little room between each stick. Bake for 15 minutes, flip carrots and bake for another 10 minutes or until crispy. Sprinkle with mint and additional salt.

Garlic Aioli

1/2 cup mayo
1 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Salt/Pepper to taste

Mix it all up!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

S'mores Brownies

S'mores Brownies


After making real s'mores round the campfire with the Galuban clan, we just had to make these s'more brownies. We just couldn't get enough and just had to have s'more! Ha...ok bad joke. These brownies however are no joke. So next time you're craving that camping experience but can't get away, these s'more brownies will surely satisfy you. We made a gluten-free version (with gluten free graham crackers and a gf brownie mix, but regular works just fine too).


S'mores Brownies
Recipe from Beard and Bonnet


Makes 1 8″ x 8″ or 9″ x 9″

1 box of brownie mix
2 eggs
1/4 c water
1/2 c canola oil
1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
6 Tbsp. butter
1 jar marshmallow fluff

Graham Cracker Crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F, line a glass or metal pan with aluminum foil so that the edges hang out over the sides of the dish. *You will need to use the aluminum foil edges to pull the brownies out of the pan. Make sure that you leave enough hangover for that. Spray the bottom of the dish lightly with non stick spray and set aside.
Melt the butter in the microwave or over low heat on the stove. If using whole graham crackers, crush them in a large plastic bag with a rolling pin or in a food processor until you achieve a consistency like sand. Mix the crumbs, sugar, and melted butter until completely combined. Press the mixture firmly in the bottom of the pan and pre-bake the crust for 8-10 minutes. Set aside until needed.
Brownie Layer:
Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. In a large bowl combine the Better Batter Fudge Brownie mix, eggs, water, and oil and stir until well blended(about 30-50 strokes). Pour the brownie batter over the graham cracker crust and bake for 42-45 minutes for an 8″X8″ 34-37 minutes for a 9″x9″or until a toothpick inserted about an inch from the edge of the pan comes out clean. Brownies will be jiggly in the center and will continue to set as they cool.
Toasted Marshmallow Brownies:
There is no measurement here because it is really up to you and how much of a toasty marshmallow layer you would like. I used about 1/2 of a jar. When the brownies are warm, not hot, spoon out the fluff on top. The heat of the brownies will make the fluff easier to work with. Spread the fluff in an even layer across the top of the brownies until all you can see is white fluff. Either place your pan briefly under the broiler until the top of the marshmallow fluff toasts or if you have a kitchen torch you can hit it with the torch until the fluff is to your desired toastyness. *Side note: Much like marshmallows over a fire, the fluff can and will catch fire if you are not careful. Please don’t hurt yourself!
Enjoy: 
Allow the marshmallow and brownies time to cool completely before lifting the aluminum foil edges and removing the brownies from the pan. *If you do not give the brownies enough time to cool the marshmallow will melt all over the place and the graham cracker crust will not hold together. Trust me…use all of the patience that you can muster and wait for about 20-30 minutes before removing from the pan and slicing these bad boys up.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Watermelon Strawberry Basil Salad

Watermelon Strawberry Basil Salad


Nothing screams summer more than this salad. It is so fresh and light, I cannot wait to make it again! This is a perfect dish to bring to your next picnic or potluck. It can be eaten as a side salad or easily made into the main dish. Though light, it is surprisingly filling what with all the protein from the quinoa. This is an exciting combination of textures and flavor and you will not want to miss out on it!


Watermelon Strawberry Basil Salad
Recipe from Edible Perspective
  • 1 batch lemon shallot dressing
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 1/2 cups watermelon, 1/4-1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries, hulled + chopped
  • Goat cheese, crumbled
  • Basil, thinly sliced
  • Sliced Almonds
  • Honey 
  • Lemon, strawberries, salt, pepper, to garnish
  1. After quinoa has cooked, let cool and then place in the fridge until fully chilled.
  2. Plate just before serving.
  3. Plating option 1: Toss quinoa + fruit together with as much dressing as desired.  Place in a large bowl/platter or in individual serving cups and top with crumbled goat cheese, sliced basil, almonds, and a honey drizzle.  Add other garnishes if desired.  Serve immediately.  
  4. Plating option 2: Plate quinoa on a large platter, then add the watermelon + strawberries on top, followed by the crumbled goat cheese, basil, and sliced almonds.  Add other garnishes if desired.  Drizzle with honey drizzle + dressing or serve on the side.  Serve immediately. 
Lemon Shallot Dressing yields +1/2 cup
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced shallot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt + pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in a jar, seal the jar, and shake vigorously to incorporate the honey.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve and shake before pouring.  Flavors deepen as it sits.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce

Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce


I am having an absolute blast at the Galuban household. Especially all the cooking I get to do with these crazy boys (see photo below). We made this meatballs and sauce for our dinner a couple nights ago and they turned out to be a big hit. It was my first time attempting meatballs and I was surprised at how easy they were! The spices in these meatballs really take them to the next level of awesomeness, so don't leave them out!


Greek Meatballs with Tzatziki Sauce
Recipe adapted from Little Leopard Book

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 red onion (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 small tomato (chopped)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • ¼ cup feta cheese
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 375 F. Whisk egg in a small bowl. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and add the whisked egg. Form into small balls and place on a baking sheet about a half inch apart. Bake for 20-30 minutes. You can check if they're done by cutting one in half.

Tzatziki Sauce

  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon (juiced)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Serve with the meatballs.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tostadas

Tostadas


It was my last week in Austin this past week and I tried to see as many friends as possible! One of the sweetest friends I made in college was Carlos. He has such a joyful and caring personality and I am just so blessed to know him! We decided to make his Grandma's tostada recipe together for our friends. It was so, so simple I was pretty skeptical at first. But OH MY GOODNESS. One bite of these babies and it was comfort food heaven. The perfect balance of flavor and texture. I promise these won't disappoint  Thanks Carlos for sharing the recipe with me!!


Tostadas

2 chicken breasts
1 can refried beans
1 package tostadas
2 small avocados, sliced
2 small limes, in wedges
Shredded mozzarella cheese
Mexican creme fraiche

Boil chicken breasts in water until cooked through. Let the chicken cool, and then pull into strips using your fingers. Heat refried beans. Put a tostada on a plate and top with a layer of beans, shredded chicken, cheese, avocado, lime juice, creme fraiche, and a sprinkle of salt. Get out your napkins and enjoy!


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Carrot Cake Pudding

Carrot Cake Pudding


In addition to our paleo feast, Katie and I made this healthy pudding for dessert! If you know me, anything that includes the words carrot cake, I have to at least try the recipe. I think by now I've made regular carrot cake, carrot cake muffins, pancakes, mug cakes, cookies, and now pudding! The difference about this pudding though is that it's actually healthy, compared to normal carrot cake...I did miss the cream cheese frosting though. So if you're looking for a healthier dessert option, give this recipe a whirl!


Carrot Cake Pudding
Adapted from paleOMG

Ingredients
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (or more)
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • pinch of salt
  • Optional toppings: coconut flakes, candied pecans
Instructions
  1. Throw your carrots in a saucepan with water that covers your them.
  2. Place under medium heat and cook for 20-25 minutes or until carrots are soft when you poke them with a fork.
  3. Drain carrots.
  4. Place carrots in the food processor and puree.
  5. Then add the rest of your ingredients to your food processor and puree until completely mixed.
  6. Plop into a bowl and top with your favorite toppings!