Friday, September 28, 2012

Recipe 6 of 100 - You do not want to miss this!

When I saw the recipe for Quinoa Pizza Bites I knew I had to try it. The original recipe which I saw on pinterest called for pepperoni which I do not eat. So I decided to update it and make Quinoa Vegetable Pizza Bites. The possibilities are endless. Next time I imagine using different vegetables – thinking some Broccoli or zucchini would be a nice addition.

Anyways, each of these mini bites are filled with the flavor of pizza and they kinda remind me of a healthier version of mozzarella sticks. (pizza and fried mozzarella may be in the category of favorite foods). Dipping these flavorful bites into spicy pizza sauce was just amazing!

While I do not have kids I imagine these being a great afternoon snack for the whole family. Also, what a great football game snack for everyone to enjoy. Wherever I am for the super bowl, plan on seeing these!

Quinoa Vegetable Pizza Bites

What you need:
 2 cups cooked quinoa (only 1 cup of uncooked)
2 large eggs
1/2 chopped onion
1 cup shredded low fat mozzarella cheese - if you love cheese add away
 2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 cup of vegetables of your choice (today I used red and green peppers)
1/2 tsp seasoning salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp dried crushed oregano
pizza sauce for dipping (I used a spicy sauce)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Mix together all ingredients, except pizza sauce, in a medium mixing bowl.

3.  Distribute mixture into a greased mini muffin tin, filling each cup to the top (1 heaping Tbs each), press down gently to compact. 
Ready to go into the oven - perfect bites coming up!
- -If you find yourself with some fresh parmesan cheese in the house, sprinkle some on top of each bite! 

4.  Bake for 17-22 minutes.

The finished product
Serve with some pizza sauce for dipping! 

For those on myfitnesspal you can just search Quinoa Pizza Bites and they are on there! (woo)

Yup they are that easy and so yummy. Can’t wait to hear how you enjoy them!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Recipe 4 and 5 What Happens When a Recipe is Not Worth Blogging – DOES IT COUNT?

Over the past two weeks I have made two new recipes that were – well not blog worthy. They were fine and edible, however I would not encourage you to try them at home.  So do these recipes count as trying something new – Yes, but because I won’t post these recipes I decided I would have to share other recipes with you. Something yummy replacing my not so yummy trials (and errors).

The Not Blog worthy stuff:
I made an Israeli Couscous salad with peaches and beets. It sounded so great in theory but it was not very good. It was overly sweet, again edible, but NOT worth sharing. I also tried these fruit pouches using phyllo dough as the shell and apples, raspberries, and blueberries on the inside. They were VERY tart and lacked sweetness. I may try them again figuring out a way to sweeten them by adding some chocolates or vanilla – ohh the possibilities.

OK. Today I am going to share with you what I just made for dinner. I LOVE eggs and toast, but while watching my weight I was looking for a healthier version. So I made eggs in a basket – the catch, the basket was avocado. All you need is an avocado and eggs. I also had some sliced tomatoes on the side.

Heat a non-
stick skillet and lightly spray with oil. Slice an avocado WITH the skin ON lengthwise – the thicker the better.  Remove the pit and use a small cookie cutter to make a hole in the middle. (no cookie cutter, just use a knife) Place the avocado in the pan and crack an egg into the center.  Cover and cook for until the egg is as you like. Season with salt and pepper (and if you are like me HOT SAUCE)

I hope that the recipes I am trying this weekend are “news “worthy!
Some new fall recipes are definitely coming your way. 

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Recipe 3 of 100

I LOVE hosting Shabbat meals. There is something to fun about sitting with friends at the end of the week eating great food, having some drinks and of course laughing a lot.

Last Friday night I got back into Shabbat Dinners. With Ben home I am more likely to host meals. That being said we are moving in a few weeks so as I begin packing I will likely host fewer meals. Once we move and have a real dining room I will host frequently and cook lots of new recipes to post. 

The chicken I made this week was really great and it made the whole apartment smell so fresh. I love the flavors of tomatoes and basil so when I saw a recipe from Kosher by Design Short on Time mixing tomatoes, basil, and chicken I knew I had to try it. 

I made some slight adjustments to the recipe found in Susie Fishbein’s Kosher by Design Short on time page 122.

So if you want to come for Shabat dinner let me know. Just be prepared that not all my recipes come out as great as I would like – others turn out better then expected. Just as Robyn about the mishap challah turned cinnamon babka! 97 recipes to go!

Tomato Basil Chicken

What you need
2 kosher chickens, cut into 8 eight pieces each with the skin on
2 large tomatoes, cut into large chunks – I used Heirloom tomatoes but in the off season Beefsteak tomatoes are a good option
1 (8 ounce) bottle Italian dressing.
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
4 cloves fresh garlic
5 sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil
1 TBS of Tomato paste
Fresh basil leaves, for garnish
Salt and Pepper (Cayenne Pepper) to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the chicken pieces in single layers, skin-side up, into baking pans. Set aside.

Place the chunks of tomatoes into a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Pulse to chop. Add the dressing, basil, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes. Pulse to purée. - If you do not have a food processor you can probably use an emersion blender. 
Pour the tomato-basil dressing evenly over the chicken pieces.
Bake uncovered for 90 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink. Your meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part should read 180 degrees.
Transfer to serving platter. Garnish with basil leaves.

Source: “Kosher by Design: Short on Time, Fabulous Food Faster” by Susie Fishbein (Mesorah Publications, $34.99)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Recipe 2 of 100

I had fully intended to blog while on my vacation, but I failed. The weather was just too beautiful; the lake kept calling me outside. That being said I did test out a new recipe.  I made a Blueberry, Mango, Craisen Quinoa Salad – and it was so yummy. Of course I had to add some Cayenne pepper because I always need a bit of extra spice.

So, What is Quinoa? Quinoa is a tiny grain-like seed packed with rich nutrients that is a great alternative to rice. Packed with protein, vitamins and minerals these little powerhouses are also rich in antioxidants. AND for those of us who keep kosher its OK for Passover!

When I made the salad my sister D said she wouldn’t like it because she doesn’t like fruit where there should be vegetables. (Weird I know) Even she enjoyed this fresh summer salad with the lemon Basil dressing.

Blueberry, Mango, and Craisin  Quinoa Salad

For the quinoa
 - 1 cup quinoa
1 and a 1/2 cup water
For the fruits and veggies
 - 1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup cubed ripe mangoes
3/4 cup cubed cucumbers
1/2 tablespoon dried cranberries
For the lemon basil dressing -  3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, ½ tea spoon orange zest 15 Basil leaves, chopped finely, Salt and pepper, and of course Cayenne Pepper to taste (it helps balance the sweetness from the fruit. 
Place the quinoa and water in a skillet and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, and simmer covered till the quinoa is cooked. Remove the lid, and fluff the quinoa. Let it cool to room temperature.
While the quinoa is cooking, combine the fruits in a bowl and refrigerate till you are ready to serve the salad.
Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, except the chopped basil. Refrigerate till you are ready to serve. Chop and add the basil to the dressing just before serving. If you add it earlier, it will go black.
Add half the dressing to the quinoa and mix gently.
Assemble the salad just before serving – toss the quinoa, fruits and cucumbers together and add remaining dressing (you may not need it all, taste as you mix – that’s always my philosophy)

If you are having a small meal or just want this for lunch cut the recipe in half.
I made this with a meat meal so I did not add feta cheese, however, I think the salty cheese would be a GREAT addition. You can add ¼ of a cup of Feta cheese YUMMY!