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I don’t know about you, but we have a LOT of shoveling to do. A few feet of snow will result in a few hours of shoveling our sidewalk and driveway, and I hope everyone around us does the same if they can. After all of the falling I did last winter, I am terrified of wandering around on treacherous sidewalks.

I am officially ready for Spring, but if you have to be stuck inside, making and eating dessert is a fun way to pass the time, especially after you’ve burned so many calories shoveling! Here are a few easy and decadent dessert recipes to make on a snowy (or rainy, or any) day.

peanut butter pretzel truffles

Peanut Butter Chocolate Pretzel Clusters – So easy, so delicious!

 

banoffee pie

Banoffee Pie – One of our favorites!

chocolate and butter in a double boiler

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Guinness

Guinness Ice Cream Floats – St. Patrick’s Day is on the way!

 

bread pudding

French Toast Bread Pudding – Since there’s always a run on bread, milk, and eggs before a blizzard, French Toast is a must. Turn it into dessert in bread pudding form!

At least in Boston, there’s nowhere to go on days like today! Make something delicious, take a nap, pop some bubbly and enjoy the pause in busy life.

 

Are you snowed in today?

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Tags: baking, desserts, Food, recipes, snow, snowed in, winter

It’s only a few weeks in, but I feel like we have made some big changes in the New Year, including cutting out weekday wine and cooking at home more often. It’s hard. We love food and wine and to go out around Boston and we have well-stocked wine fridge. It’s a constant temptation to stay in line, but I want to be back in shape and feeling more vibrant, so it’s a worthy cause.

We all know that healthier eating can be absolutely delicious. Case in point, this “Mac” and cheese I made last week with Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains, peas. a yummy cheese sauce, and a Ritz Chips topping. No butter involved.

 

shredded cheddar

The success of this healthier mac and cheese like dish comes from sharp cheddar, which comes with lots of flavor. As a result I only used a cup of the shredded cheese. A mix of Kerrygold cheeses would have been great as well.

frozen sweet peas

A veggie component also helped to add to the nutritional value of this dinner. I love sweet peas, and frozen peas are both delicious and a great value.

Harvest Grains Blend   Third, I replaced traditional macaroni with a Harvest Grains Blend, which includes Israeli couscous (one of my favorites), along with lentils and quinoa.

harvest grains blend

Since I wanted a true baked macaroni and cheese feel, I used toasted Ritz Chips, which are lighter than the crackers but super crunchy and yummy and browned up without the addition of butter. But oh how I wanted to melt some butter over the top. . .

Ritz Chips mac and cheese topping

healthy "mac" and cheese healthy mac and cheese

I am pretty much the worst when it comes to actual recipes, but I can tell you I cooked the Harvest Grains according to package directions, in chicken stock. I made about two cups of the grains.

Separately, I mixed in two cups of skim milk with a cup of shredded cheddar and some garlic and truffle oil and simmered until it thickened a little. I mixed the grains and the cheese sauce, added the peas and topped with cracker crumbs and baked at 350 for about 10 minutes. This dish was super easy and SO delicious. We had leftovers for lunch the next day and wished we had more.

It can be a fun challenge to make yummy, healthy dishes for every day, and we are getting back in the swing of things as we go along.

Have you been making an effort to be more healthy in 2015?

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Tags: comfort food, cooking at home, Food, macaroni and cheese, recipes, Vegetarian, vegetarian recipes, winter recipes

Detox, sober January, weight loss, gym memberships. . . my blog inbox has been completely inundated with press releases this week, and I have tossed all of them. I’m not one for extremes, especially when they all hit me at once. I am a firm believer that you can eat, drink, and be merry and also maintain a healthy balance.

Our lives haven’t changed much since the holidays, except for the fact that we have tried to work in more movement, more veggies, and a little less wine. Manageable improvements I can fully support.

This carrot salad is the perfect counterpart to a rich roast or some ginger beer pulled pork. It’s bright, tangy, and full of nutrition. It’s also great on its own or with some chickpeas and goat cheese for a little something extra. This salad is a reminder that healthy can be easy to integrate into a lifestyle and it never has to be all or nothing.

Ingredients

2 cups shredded organic carrots

1 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

1 cup dried cranberries

1 large shallot, diced

1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar

black pepper to taste

Mix it all up and chill.

This salad is as easy as it gets, it lasts for several days, and it’s really yummy.

 

carrot salad

Have you made any diet/exercise changes in 2015?

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Tags: delicious, Food, food blog, foodie, healthy, recipe, side dish, vegan, vegetarian recipe

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