Sunday, February 27, 2011

Silver Dollar Pancakes with greek yogurt

Greek yogurt has become my Frank's Red Hot - I put it on everything.  Or more accurately, in everything.  It's high in protein, holds up well, and comes in low fat or no fat varieties that cook just as well as full fat sour cream.  This morning I altered the Joy of Cooking Silver Dollar Pancakes recipe to use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.  The results were really good, especially with mini chocolate chips in them.  (The pancakes are so small that full size chocolate chips would overwhelm them.)  
1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt 
2 large eggs
1 cup greek yogurt (I only had 3/4 of a cup, so I used what I had and then added about 1/4 cup milk.)  

1. Preheat griddle to medium heat.  (We have a two-burner griddle I'm still trying to master.  Today I found that heating it on "5" for about 10 minutes as I got food ready created an even-er heating surface.)
2. Mix together dry ingredients.  Mix wet ingredients in a separate bowl.  Pour wet into dry, mix quickly.
3. Pour batter onto griddle to create small pancakes.  Mine are usually about 2 inches in diameter.  Add chocolate chips.  
4. Wait about 1 minute or so, and then check one of the cakes to see if it is ready to flip.  These do not act like normal pancakes and bubble, so you will have to do a little guesswork - so make sure the griddle is on low enough heat that the cakes don't burn.  

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Chili Salmon

We've been eating a bit more fish in the Barefoot household lately.  Mr. Barefoot loves strong flavors, like chili, and I like milder things, like cream sauces, so I tried this recipe from Fitness Magazine for chili salmon with cilantro cream.

Verdict: It was good.  Usually I do salmon with chili powder and breadcrumbs, but this was really tasty without the added hassle of crumbs.  I made a few alterations, like taking out the poblano pepper and using greek yogurt instead of sour cream.  I also only made it for two.  Here's my recipe:
2 limes (or one lime and some lime juice, which is what I used)
4 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped up, or fed through a garlic press
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp olive oil (I actually used canola and it was fine)
2 4oz salmon fillets
1 cup frozen corn kernels (don't need to thaw)
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 small red onion, diced
1/3 cup plain greek yogurt (I use fat free)
bunch of cilantro washed and pulled off the stalks

Procedure (preheat oven to 425):
1. Put juice of one lime, garlic, chili powder, cumin, and 1 tsp olive oil together in a prep bowl
2. Put salmon in a marinating bowl or on baking sheet, coat in lime/garlic/chili mixture.
3. Combine red pepper, corn, onion, 1 tsp olive oil, and more chili powder and ground cumin together in a mixing bowl.  Stir until evenly coated.
4. Lay the corn out flat on a baking sheet.  Put salmon on baking sheet.
5. Cook both for 10 minutes.  The salmon may need a little longer.
6. While cooking, combine greek yogurt and cilantro in blender/mini food processor.  I used the immersion blender and a bowl because I didn't feel like cleaning the food processor.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Burger Salads

Over the weekend, we had veggie burgers but no buns.  I was not in the mood to cook an elaborate meal and we didn't really have time anyway.  Not wanting to eat another box of Annie's Mac & Cheese, we threw some burgers on the George and resigned ourselves to the fact we didn't have buns.

I had Spinach and our Aerogarden was ripe for picking, so I started making myself a salad.  We had goat cheese as well and since Mr. Barefoot and I had opted to split a veggie burger, in addition to each having our own, I decided at the last second to cut mine up more and enjoy it with my salad. The back of the box is always recommending I have my veggie burger with a salad, but this was the first time I've tried it.  It was delicious, and it made up for both the fact that we didn't have burger buns and we didn't have croutons.  You can do this a million ways, I'm sure, but here's mine:

1 Tomato Basil Pizza Burger or Bruschetta burger
1 cup spinach or mesclun greens
1 oz goat cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette (the burger adds a lot of flavor so you really don't need to drown this salad.)

Put burger on grill or in microwave.  Wash and spin salad greens, put them in a bowl.  Add goat cheese and vinaigrette.  When burger is done, cut into bite sized pieces, add to salad.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Cous Cous & Chickpea Salad

Mr. Barefoot made this for me for dinner tonight and it was amazing.  It's adapted from the Big Green Cookbook, which is a good cookbook but it's a little meat heavy.  This recipe originally had chicken in it, but it's really good with just the chickpeas - and it's vegan.

1 cup broth
3/4 cup whole-wheat couscous
1 can chickpeas, drained
1 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
3 scallions, thinly sliced
1/8 cup balsamic vinegar

1. Bring the broth to a boil
2. Add couscous & chickpeas
3. Cover with a lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes, then fluff.
4. Allow to cool slightly.  Then stir in the tomatoes, scallions, and vinegar.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Why I Eat Vegetables

I don't mean the simple answer of "because they are delicious and I don't eat meat."  I mean the more complicated concept of how my parents raised me to be a person that eats vegetables.  When I see the way some of my peers eat, I'll admit I'm a bit horrified.  Sure, we have nights where we just have a pasta dish and don't have a side of vegetables, or nights where we eat veggie burgers with sweet potato fries, or the occasional rice&beans dish with no nutritional value, but for the most part, we usually have at least one vegetable with dinner.  Or a fruit, if you count tomatoes.

I'll be the first person to admit that we don't eat enough vegetables, according to the people, but  so far, no signs of scurvy.

Anyway, I am not one of those adults who dislikes vegetables and feels that the greatest thing about being an adult is being able to eat cupcakes for dinner.  But I could have turned out very differently - I could have turned out like my vegetable hating friends; friends who eat frozen pizza every night, or cheeseburgers, or things with bacon.  I was reading through this link from Cheap Healthy Good, because sometimes I babysit, and there was the answer as to why I like vegetables:  "Remember, kids are more likely to do the eating if they’ve had a hand in the making."  

For my father, getting us to eat vegetables was usually as simple as asking us what we would like to have for dinner.  Yes, we usually picked spaghetti and meat sauce, but then he would say, "and we need a couple vegetables" at which point we would usually try to pick corn, to be reminded that corn was not a vegetable.  My sister liked peas but I didn't, so we usually had peas and green beans or peas and broccoli. We didn't eat a whole lot of leafy greens, like Kale and Chard, but I think we are going to subscribe to a CSA this year which involves a whole lotta leafy greens.  I'm looking forward to the challenge.   

Since right now Mr. Barefoot and I don't have kids, but we want to someday, but I spend time with my cousin's kids, so I spend a fair bit of time thinking about how to raise kids who aren't picky eaters, who will try things, who will eat vegetables, who won't embarrass me at a friend's house.  I had cousins growing up who were twins - and he was the pickiest eater I've ever seen, and she was one of the most adventurous.  At Thanksgiving, she would fill her plate with turkey and baked ziti and even give the vegetables a try, without really being pushed.  He would eat mashed potatoes.  The answer isn't to never let kids have sugar or snack foods - but I'm very interested in figuring out how to develop a healthy decision-making process, because I truly believe that food is just the beginning and making good choices about food can transcend into making good choices about life.  (This is not to say that having a chocolate covered marshmallow, as I did this morning, is necessarily a bad choice.  In fact, it was an excellent one.  Again, we are discussing the process.)  

Are you a healthy eater now?  Why do you think that is?  

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Taco Casserole

Last night I made rice to go with dinner, but the fish was done before the rice.  We made couscous in a hurry and then ate that, and I decided to use the leftover rice to make boxed lunches for us, since there wasn't really any leftover fish.  I checked our pantry but we were out of, well, a lot of stuff.  So I plugged the ingredients into and found this recipe for Easy Mexican Rice.

You will need:
1 can kidney beans
1 can (large) tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups brown rice, cooked [if using a slow cooker, use uncooked rice and 1 1/2 cups water as well)
Taco seasoning

1. Drain and rinse kidney beans; drain diced tomatoes.
2. Add beans, tomatoes, and tomato sauce to brown rice, stir.
3. Add taco seasoning.

You can heat everything together over a stove or in a crockpot if you would like, but if you are making boxed lunches, they'll all be microwaved together anyway.  Next time you make rice, just make an extra cup and a half and make some taco casserole to have in stock for healthy lunches.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mustard Salmon

I'm not a big mustard person, but I do love mustard salmon.  It somehow has just the right blend of flavors, and it's amazing.
Tonight my husband made this - the original recipe is here, he added the breadcrumbs and they totally make the dish.
Salmon Glazed with Honey and Mustard
1 1/2 pound salmon fillet with skin (1 1/4 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons grainy Dijon mustard 
2 tablespoons mild honey
1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
Panko bread crumbs
Preheat broiler. Line rack of a broiler pan with foil and lightly coat with oil. 
Pat salmon dry and put, skin side down, on pan. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. 
Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then stir together with mustard, honey, vinegar, caraway seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. 
Spread mustard mixture evenly on top of salmon, sprinkle panko on top of that, then broil 5 to 6 inches from heat until just cooked through, 12 to 15 minutes. 
Transfer salmon to a platter with 2 large spatulas.