Monday, July 28, 2014

Roasted Pickled Beets

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Chris is obsessed with fresh beets, so I try to make them every time they're in season. Last time we made a trip to our local Farmer's Market, I was sure to grab a bundle just for him. Yes, making fresh beets can be messy, but it is so worth the purple finger stains!
I usually just roast beets and mix them with apple cider vinegar, but this past time I decided to try something new. I combined sugar, salt, cinnamon and cloves with the vinegar and then boiled the mixture to make a pickling juice. I then added it to a Mason jar with the beets and allowed it to sit for a day. The sweet flavors cut some of the acidity of the apple cider vinegar, which I really liked. There really isn't anything like fresh roasted beets. I highly recommend giving them a try. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. beets, ends cut off 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the beets on the aluminum foil in the pan. Rub olive oil over the beets, and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the aluminum foil over the beets and roast for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the beets and how old they are.

After 1 hour, test every fifteen minutes by poking a beet with the tines of a fork. Once the fork tines go in easily, the beets are tender and cooked. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes.


While beets are cooking, bring water, vinegar, sugar, salt, cinnamon and cloves to a rapid boil. Remove from heat.

After the beets have cooled for several minutes, but are still warm to the touch, peel off the outer skins and discard (be careful not to get the juice on your clothes!). Cut the beets into quarters or slivers.

Place cut up beets into mason jars and fill with brine. Allow to cool then place lids on and refrigerate.


Source: Adapted from The Cookery Wife

Friday, July 25, 2014

Deconstructed Guacamole Orzo Salad

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Guacamole is my favorite type of dip ever. I have a weird obsession with avocados, so I get really excited when people proclaim that they are "good" for me. Yes, I get they are a good type of fat. But what about when you eat 4 of them? Does that still make them good for me? I'd like to think so.
For this salad, I took my standard guacamole ingredients and cut them in chunks to add to cooked orzo. I usually mash them together to make guacamole, but when I leave them semi-whole then add them to orzo, I can pass it as a salad. And salad sounds healthy, so it's a win-win for me! Chill this in the fridge for a couple hours and you have the perfect side dish. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 15 oz. beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1/2 small tomato, seeded and chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 avocado, cut into chunks
Heat broth and water in a small saucepan. Add orzo, and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, combine cilantro, onions, tomato, salt, pepper, olive oil and lime in a bowl. Once orzo is cooled, add to mixture and stir to combine. Allow to chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours. Before serving, add avocado chunks.

Source: SK Original

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Easy Bistro Chicken (Gluten-Free)

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This Italian-inspired dinner is a one-pan meal that even the novice cook can master. Aside from browning the chicken, you simply add all the ingredients to the pan and let them simmer together to create a mouthwatering sauce. Voila!
Green olives and capers are the surprise elements in this dish that add some saltiness to the sauce. The vinegar adds a little extra acidity to the tomato base, giving it a nice little kick. Serve this over noodles or rice for a complete meal. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 6 (6 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sliced green olives
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • Dash of ground red pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 oz. baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (28-ounce) can Italian-style tomatoes, undrained and chopped
  • 8 cups hot cooked macaroni or cavatappi*
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breast halves to pan; sauté 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Remove from pan.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in pan. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add parsley and next 8 ingredients (parsley through tomatoes). Return chicken to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Uncover and simmer 25 minutes or until chicken is tender. Discard bay leaves. Serve with pasta. Garnish with parsley, if desired. 

*Note: Leave out the pasta to make this low-carb and gluten-free.

Source: Adapted from My Recipes

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

{Tiny Tot Tuesdays} Homemade Organic Baby Yellow Squash

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Bradley loves zucchini and butternut squash, so I figured yellow squash would be a big hit for him as well. I think maybe you could say I was a teensy bit wrong. He ate about three bites of it with no problem, then his body shuddered when Chris tried to give him a fourth spoonful. He would much rather eat strawberries and cheese and turkey instead :)

Printable Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 large organic yellow squash

Clean the squash well using cold water. Remove the ends and cut into chunks. Rinse under cold water again. 

Note: I kept on the skin since it contains a lot of nutrients. It is also thinner, so it purees easily. I also left the seeds in since they become tender while cooking and puree easily. If you are worried about the texture for your baby, peel and seed the squash prior to cutting it up.

Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Add the squash to the water and cook for 12-15 minutes, or until tender.

Drain squash and add to a food processor. The squash retains a lot of water, so I did not find it necessary to add any to the puree. If you want a thinner consistency, feel free to add purified water to thin it out.

Allow to cool then serve to your baby with a spoon. You can also add some breast milk or formula to the pureed squash to thin it out and add a flavor they already know and enjoy.

If saving for a later date, pour it into storage cups to freeze or refrigerate. You can refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze for 30 days. Make sure you label your squash! Once you are ready to serve, heat the refrigerated or frozen squash up in the microwave and allow to cool to just warmer than room temperature. Add breast milk or formula to thin it out, if desired.

*Consult with your pediatrician before feeding your baby solid foods and to see what amount/type of food you should give your child.

Source: SK Original

Monday, July 21, 2014

Key Lime Pie Popsicles

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You know how they say that you and your partner sort of become "one" once you get married? Well Chris and I are beyond that. We like the same movies. The same snacks. The same TV shows. Before I even make something, I know if he will or won't like it. And we also both learned to love things that we didn't love before solely because the other person is a fan. In my case: key limes.
It's not that I didn't like them before; I just rarely had them. I never would have ordered a key lime dessert off of a dinner menu before I met Chris, but now it's one of my go-to sweet treats. So as soon as I saw that Mary Anne and Mariel from Feast on the Cheap had a recipe for Key Lime Pie POPSICLES, I knew what my Secret Recipe Club post was going to be.

One thing I absolutely love about Feast on the Cheap is that it is co-hosted by a mother-daughter team. I love cooking with my mom, so I know how special the duo must be for them. Their website is filled with a ton of amazing recipes, including these refreshing and delicious (and simple!) Key Lime Pops, so I highly suggest you going over and checking out their site! These pops were perfect on a hot summer evening and tasted just like a frozen version of my favorite pie. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat graham crackers crumbs
  • Juice of 7 limes or about 3/4 cup of Key Lime juice
  • 1 (32 oz.) container of low-fat or no-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 (8 oz.) package low-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 sleeve of 5 oz. Dixie cups
Using an electric or hand mixer, combine the sugar, yogurt, cream cheese, lime juice and all but 2 tbsp. of the graham cracker crumbs on medium-high speed. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.

Sprinkle a pinch of the remaining ground graham crackers in the bottom of each Dixie cup, then pour in the filling until about 3/4 full. Poke the popsicle sticks into each cup.

Freeze your pops for 2 hours before eating. About an hour in, straighten any sticks that are lopsided.

Note: If you’re freezing these overnight, cover the pops with some saran wrap to prevent potent ice box aromas from tainting the flavor of your desserts.

Source: Feast on the Cheap