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Black bean, quinoa and citrus salad

“A party in my mouth.” This is how I described this salad. Literally. A party.

I’m obsessed with avocado and cilantro.  And quinoa has gotten a ton of press of being a good for you food. And the entire list of ingredients is some of my favorite good for you foods.

This is perfect to impress friends and family for a late summer bbq. Sad late summer. As much as I despise the sweltering 9 million degree weather, I’m not looking forward to the brisk temps that are around the corner. Considering it seems to go from 90 degrees to 40 degrees here in St. Louis.

Back to the point. This party in my mouth, is the perfect summer salad. I wish I would have discovered this salad years ago. But I didn’t.

This was easy to make, was easy, and healthy. All which leaves room for an extra glass of Pinot Grigio. Or chocolate. Or both.

I know. Please don’t judge my lack of photography skills and how it isn’t as pretty. Working on that.

Ingredients:

for the salad:

2 15-oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 red onion, minced

2 large grapefruits, divided into segments and chopped

1 large red bell pepper, diced. We omitted this.

3 ears fresh corn, kernels chopped off’. You could easily use frozen corn or roasted corn too.

1 cup uncooked quinoa

1 large ripe avocado, diced

1 small bunch cilantro, minced

for the dressing:

juice of 3 limes

2 tsp cumin

3 T extra virgin olive oil

1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions:

1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Let cool.

2. Place black beans, red onion, grapefruit, cilantro, bell pepper, avocado and shucked corn kernels in a large bowl. Toss to combine.

3,In a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients. Add quinoa to salad. Pour dressing over salad. Toss well and serve. *

We refrigerated the salad prior to serving.

Recipe adapted from: Eat Live Run

Margarita Cupcake

Margaritas. Sigh. Beaches, friends, and warm weather. I love margaritas. Yet I think anytime is perfect for a margarita. Love them.

You know what I also love? Cupcakes. There is nothing like biting into a perfect cupcake. Especially with yummy boozy frosting on top.

Meet the margarita cupcake. They met, fell in love and made this perfect cupcake. I was  tempted to make a margarita while baking, but I decided against it. Which was probably a good thing.  More than likely I would have ended up with a messy cupcake if even a cupcake! After baking this, I was able to have my margarita, only in cupcake form!

Zumba also makes me want margaritas. Which really defeats the purpose. Why would you have a margarita after a workout? Then again, why not? All the fun latin music and you just want a cocktail afterwards. It isn’t as bad if you make a skinnygirl margarita!

This cupcake was fabulous. It literally tasted like  If you don’t like tequila or margaritas, this is not for you. This is perfect for summer, spring or anytime you want a margarita!

Margarita Cupcakes

Makes 12 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes:

1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
2 tablespoons tequila
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk

To Brush the Cupcakes:
1 to 2 tablespoons tequila

For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons tequila
Pinch of coarse salt

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a  muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

3. In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and tequila. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry, it will all come back together)

6. Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.

7. Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden.

8. Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of tequila. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.

9. To make the frosting, whip the butter on medium-high speed  for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the lime juice, tequila and salt mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with lime zest, an additional sprinkling of salt and a lime wedge.

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

Veggie Sandwich

Here is a picture of Lily love. Just because she is cute. And trouble. But cute. Lily loves to eat. Anything. Especially peanut butter.

 

But back to the veggie sandwich.

We like to eat. A lot. And when we are on vacation, well we eat and indulge, because we can.  Then sadly we woke up and found ourselves not in 70 degree weather, but 110. Sad.

Upon returning from a fun filled, wine filled, food filled vacation in Seattle and Portland, where we treated ourselves to some of the best the Pacific Northwest has to offer, we were craving/needing some fresh good for you food.  What to do? Head to Tower Grove Farmers Market and pick up a plethora of fresh fruit and veggies.

All those goodies and I whipped up this tasty good for you sandwich.

What you need:

1 loaf of bread (used Companion Bakery Kalamata olive loaf)

Fresh goat cheese

Sliced cucumber

Sliced tomato

Spinach or lettuce

 

What to do:

Slice the bread. Spread goat cheese  and pile remaining ingredients on. Cut and enjoy! Super simple and healthy.

So I have to be honest, the title of this recipe comes from a good friend who titled it (earmuffs)  Good S**t dip. Because whenever she makes it everyone eats it right up and everyone says that is some, well you get it.

I have had the same response to this super easy dip. It is great to bring to BBQ’s and parties or to just eat by yourself.  Which I find myself doing even if we are bringing it somewhere.

Everything is perfect in this dip. Yes, perfect. And it is pretty and colorful. I like pretty things.

Go and make this now. You will thank me later.

Black Bean and Feta Dip

1 can black beans-drained and rinsed.

1 can shoe peg corn

1 bunch green onions chopped

1 package crumbled feta

1 bunch cilantro chopped

1/3 cup olive oil

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup cider vinegar

Mix it all together and enjoy!

 

Source: Tay Tay

Taco Tot Casserole

Does that sound Minnesota to you? It should. Yes I realize it is July and the heat index is at, oh maybe 110. But tuck this away, and six months from now you will want this.

Growing up Momma loved her casseroles, after all we grew up in Minnesota where it is cold 9 months of the year.

Big bro and I had loved her original tater tot casserole. But as we grew older and she got a little crazy and threw in some changes. What was she thinking? Revamping our beloved tater tot casserole? Instead of green beans, we did frozen corn. Instead of cream of mushroom soup, it calls for nacho cheese soup. It was a success. It quickly became a household hit.

Good Job Momma. Hubs gives it two thumbs up.

Taco Tot Casserole

4 cups Tater Tots
1 pound hamburger (we used Morningstar veggie crumbles or lean turkey)
1 package taco mix
1 can corn (I used frozen corn)
To top salsa, sour cream

1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Brown hamburger and mix with taco mix, per directions. And place in 2qt casserole pan
3. Spread corn over hamburger
4. Spread soup over corn
5. Top with Tater Tots
6. Bake for 40-50 minutes

Serve with salsa and sour cream if desired.

Source: My Mom!

Puffy Apple Oven Pancakes

There was a phase when, I did not like any breakfast food. Eggs? Yuck. French Toast? Gross. Pancakes? Ugh. Bacon? Gag me. Thankfully one day I woke up (obviously) and that changed. Not the bacon part, no thanks.

To be a bit sentimental here for a quick second, growing up on Sunday mornings my Mom and brother and I ventured to church. My Dad stayed home and whipped up special Sunday breakfast. French toast, Mickey Mouse pancakes, and eggs.

I have attempted to recreate that tradition with hubs and me. Note the word attempt. So far I have not been very successful. When you are out of town, going out of town, had too much wine fun the night before, to plan and prepare. But that is going to change. I have a gazillion breakfast dishes I want to try from blogs, cookbooks, and magazines.

Enter this recipe. I may or may not have been shocked that I did not receive the Betty Crocker cookbook for our wedding. I was still talking about it, and my Mom finally got it for me. She uses the Betty Crocker cookbook for EVERYTHING. Maybe not, but it sounds better. I thought every woman had the Betty Crocker cookbook. I was wrong.  As I was paging through the book, these caught my eye.  We had all the ingredients on hand.

And tada, we had a tasty breakfast. Pretty good and I’d say a little different. I don’t venture to IHOP, ever, but I’ve heard these are similar to a pancake they have.

Puffy Apple Oven Pancake

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

2 large eggs

½ cup all purpose flour*

½ cup milk

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup (1 Medium) thinly sliced baking apple

Lemon juice, powdered sugar, maple syrup, or cut up fruit, if desired.

What to do:

1.Heat oven to 400. In 9-inch pie plate, melt butter in oven; brush butter over bottom and side of pie plate.

2. IN medium bowl, beat eggs slightly with wire whisk or hand beater. Beat in flour, milk, and salt until mixed (do not overbeat or pancake may not puff). Pour into pie plate.

3. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until puffy and deep golden brown. Serve immediately sprinkled with maple syrup and powdered sugar if desired.

 Double Oven Pancake (what we made)

Melt 1/3 cup of butter or margarine in 13×9-inch pan. Use 4 large eggs, 1 cup all-purpose flour, 1 cup milk, and ¼ teaspoon salt.

*Do not use self-rising flour

 

Source: Betty Crocker Cookbook

Mini Egg Omelets

When I first saw these I thought to myself. Adorable. How much cuter can it get, a mini omelet? Total cuteness.

I enjoy cute things. Puppies, babies, Edward from Twilight. Now I can add this to my list. I am guessing most people also like cute things, maybe?

And they just look so cute and are equally as tasty.

What is not so cute? Me in the morning, granted I wake up looking fresh eyed and gorgeous each and every morning. Yeah, no. Hubs has learned to maybe not talk to me in the morning because how shall I put this, I’m a total bitch bit of a grump in the morning. If mornings are not your cup of tea you can whip these cuties up over the weekend and nuke them in the microwave for a protein packed breakfast.

 

  • 4 cups broccoli florets- I used peppers instead.
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 1 cup egg whites
  • 1/4 cup reduced fat cheddar
  • 1/4 cup good grated cheese like pecorino romano
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°. Steam broccoli with a little water for about 6-7 minutes.
When broccoli is cooked, mash into smaller pieces and add olive oil, salt and pepper.Mix well.

Spray cupcake tin with cooking spray and spoon broccoli mixture evenly into 9 tins.

In a medium bowl, beat egg whites, eggs, grated cheese, salt and pepper. Pour into the greased tins over broccoli until a little more than 3/4 full. Top with grated cheddar and bake in the oven until cooked, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately. Wrap any leftovers in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator to enjoy during the week.

Source: Skinny Taste

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