August 26, 2010

August 22, 2010

Asparagus and Canadian Bacon Pizza Recipe

What can I say, this recipe has it all:  it is fast, delicious, and creates very few dishes.  This can be made for an easy week night meal, or a fantastic lunch.  Tonight I discovered it is wonderful with New Belgium Hoptober Golden Ale.

Preheat the oven to 425°.  In a medium bowl mix together some asparagus, fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies, Canadian bacon, two heaping handfuls of Italian cheese blend, and a dab of olive oil.

Place two lightly oiled whole wheat tortillas, oil side down on a cookie sheet.  Spread some pesto on the tortillas and divide the asparagus mixture between the two tortillas.

Asparagus Pizza

Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and brown around the edges.

Asparagus Pizza Baked

Asparagus and Canadian Bacon Pizza

Prep Time:  10 minutes  Cook Time:  10 minutes  Servings:  2


8 asparagus spears, chopped into 1 inch pieces
½ can (15 oz) of fire roasted tomatoes with green chilies
2-3 slices of Canadian bacon, sliced
3 tspsolive oil, divided
2 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
2 whole wheat tortillas
2 tsp pesto


Preheat oven to 425°F.  In a medium bowl combine the asparagus, tomatoes, Canadian bacon, cheese, and one teaspoon of olive oil. Use the other two tsps of oil to lightly oil the underside of the tortillas.  Place 1 tsp of pesto on each tortilla.  Divide the asparagus mixture between the two tortillas, and top with a light sprinkle of additional cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and brown around the edges.  Enjoy.

August 18, 2010

Vegan Sweet Potato and Chick Pea Curry with Quinoa Recipe

When I set out to make dinner this evening, I did not specifically intend to prepare a vegan dish, it just kinda happened as I kept adding ingredients.  I think I've mentioned that I love curried sweet potatoes, and it was that love that inspired this dish.

To begin, rinse one cup of quinoa (keen-wah) in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear.


Dry Quinoa

I made quinoa a few weeks ago for the first time, and my family loves it.  It has replaced rice in most of our recipes.

Place the rinsed quinoa in a medium sauce pan with two cups of vegetable stock and bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Cooked quinoa

While the quinoa cooks, grab a large sweet potato and peel it.

Sweet Potato Curry

Next quarter the potato, cut each quarter in half and slice.

Sweet Potato Curry

Dice up half of a sweet onion, and throw it in a skillet with some hot olive oil. Cook the onions until they become translucent. Be sure to stir them frequently, as you don't want them to brown.

Sweet Potato Curry

Toss in the sweet potatoes, and cook until they begin to brown a bit.

Sweet Potato Curry

Next add a tablespoon or two, depending on how hot you like it, of curry paste. Mix it all around, and let cook for two minutes until the house smells delicious.

Sweet Potato Curry

Sweet Potato Curry

Once the curry is fragrant, mix in ½ cup to a cup of vegetable stock, along with ½ cup of frozen peas. Cover and let simmer for 5 minutes

Sweet Potato Curry

Remove the lid and add a ¼ cup sweet mango chutney, a can of chick peas, and two to three heaping handfuls of fresh spinach.

Sweet Potato Curry

Sweet Potato Curry

Let the spinach cook down, stirring occasionally until you have something that looks like this.

Sweet Potato Curry

Serve up with a side of quinoa and a little more mango chutney drizzled on top. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Curry

Sweet Potato and Chick Pea Curry 

Prep Time: 15 minutes  Cook Time: 15 minutes  Serves:  6


1 cup quinoa
3 cups vegetable stock, divided
1 tbs. olive oil
1 large sweet potato, diced
½ medium sweet onion, dieed
1-2 tbs. curry paste
½ cup frozen peas
1 (15 oz.) can chick peas
1 tbs. sweet mango chutney
3 cups fresh baby spinach


Rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear.  Place the quinoa in a large sauce pan with 2 cups of vegetable stock.  Heat to boiling, then reduce heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes.

While quinoa simmers, peel and dice the sweet potato and onion.  Cook onion in the olive oil in a large skillet until they become translucent.  Add the sweet potatoes, and sautee until brown.  Add the curry paste and allow to cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.  Mix in the peas and remaining cup of vegetable stock.  Cover the skillet and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.  Stir in the remaining ingredients, stirring gently until the spinach cooks down.

Serve with a side a quinoa, and drizzle with more chutney.  Enjoy.

Hand Knit Crew Socks: Complete

Cast On Date:  June 22, 2010
Completion Date:  August 4, 2010

Remember back in June when I wrote about facing fears and starting my first pair of hand knit socks?  Well, here they are!

Crew socks

The entire experience was much more pleasant than I had expected.  I followed a free pattern from Unicorn Books and Crafts that was extremely easy to follow.   At first I had to get used to the little needles, and thin yarn, and after three attempts to join correctly on the first sock, determination prevailed.  The yarn is so soft, and these socks are custom tailored to fit my foot exactly.  I cannot wait for cold winter floors so I have a good excuse to wear these socks!

August 12, 2010

Heath Bar Apple Dip

This dip shows up at parties that my friends have all the time, and since I have started making it, it has become my most requested recipe.  It is fantastic on Granny Smith apples, and some other less expected items such as carrots and pretzels.  We have had a lot of fun experimenting with things to eat this dip on, and so far it is agreed that it should never be eaten on broccoli.

Apple Dip

Heath Bar Apple Dip

Prep Time:  10 minutes  Cook Time:  0


1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
¼-½ cup crushed Heath Bar pieces


 Mix all ingredients in a medium sized bowl, and serve with apples, carrots, and pretzels.


It is my preference to use slightly less than the ¼ cup of each sugar.  Also, a light, or fat free cream cheese could be used, but I have never tried it.  If you do, let me know how it is.

For those of you who have made this, what foods have you found that it is delicious on, and which have you found that should be avoided?

July 29, 2010

Grilled Salmon with Lentil Tabouli

I came across this recipe in a Runner's World magazine and it sounded like the perfect way to make use of the last cup of green lentils that have been in my pantry since I made lentil soup ages ago.

To get started put a cup of green lentils in a pot with three cups of water over medium high heat.

While you wait on the lentils, chop half a cucumber, some parsley, green onions, garlic, and tomatoes.

Set those aside, and make the dressing by adding lemon juice and salt to some olive oil and whisking it all together.

Mix all the chopped vegetables together in a large bowl and toss with some dressing.

Get the salmon out and rub it with some salt and lemon juice.  Rinse it off, and coat with a little bit of olive oil before throwing it on the grill.  Grill on each side for six to seven minutes.

While waiting on the salmon the lentils will have finished cooking (about 15 minutes), drain them and rinse with warm water.

Toss them with the rest of the vegetables, and add more dressing to desired amount.  When I made it, I put all the prepared dressing in, and it was too much for my liking.  I would suggest using half to three fourths and saving the rest to use as salad dressing, as it was absolutely delicious.

When the salmon is finished grilling serve it over some tabouli and enjoy.

Since I am the only one in the family who really seems to like lentils, substituting quinoa or rice will be what I try next time.

Grilled Salmon with Lentil Tabouli

Prep Time:  20 minutes  Cook Time:  15 minutes  Servings:  6


1 cup green lentils
3 cups water
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ cup lemon juice (juice from about 3 large lemons)
1 small clove of garlic, chopped
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped roughly
½ seedless cucumber, diced
½ pint grape tomatoes, quartered
2 teaspoons of salt
1½ pounds of salmon cut into six pieces
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons olive oil


Place lentils and water in a small pot.  Cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook, covered for 15 minutes.  

In a bowl, toss together olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, scallions parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, and salt.  When the lentils are finish, drain, rinse with warm water, add to bowl, and toss.

Wash fish with lemon juice and salt, rinse under cold water;  dry with a paper towel.  Coat with two teaspoons of oil and cut into six pieces.  Oil a grill and place salmon on heated grill.  Cook for six to eight minutes per side (until fish flakes easily with a fork).  Serve over tabouli. 

July 27, 2010

Chick Pea Salad in a Creamy Garlic and Herb Dressing

This recipe is a result of one of those what-can-I-throw-together-for-lunch-today experiments.

Start by chopping half a cucumber with the seeds removed, a quarter of a red pepper, a quarter of a green pepper, a fourth of a red onion, about a cup of shredded carrots, a half cup of feta, and a can of drained chick peas.

 Mix them all together.

This right here is beautiful.  You could just stop here and top with some olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.  I however, was on a mission to use up some small quantity items in the fridge.  Okay, so some of the herbs came from the garden.  For example, a tablespoon of fresh Greek oregano, about a teaspoon of mint, and from the fridge, some parsley.

Chop the herbs and set aside.

In a small bowl put a cup of fat free Greek yogurt.

Squeeze in the juice from one lemon.  This little strainer is perfect for catching seeds.

Now toss in the chopped herbs and mix.

Sprinkle in garlic powder to taste.  I used about a half a teaspoon.  Pour the creamy, garlic, herb dressing over the chick pea mixture and stir.

This was delicious, however there was slightly more dressing than I normally like.  In the future I willt use only half of the dressing over the salad, and save the other half for dipping vegetables for a snack.

Chick Pea Salad in a Creamy Garlic and Herb Dressing

Prep Time:  15 minutes  Cook Time:  0 minutes  Servings:  4


1 (15 oz.) can of chick peas, drained
½ of a cucumber, seeds removed and chopped
¼ of a red bell pepper, chopped
¼ of a green bell pepper, chopped
¼ of a red onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
½ cup feta cheese
1 cup fat free plain Greek yogurt
juice from one lemon
1 tablespoon fresh Greek oregano
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh mint
garlic powder to taste, about a half teaspoon
salt and pepper to taste if desired


Mix together in a medium bowl the chick peas, cucumber, peppers, onion, carrots, and cheese.  In a separate bowl combine the remaining ingredients to make a dressing.  Pour as much dressing onto the salad as desired.  Enjoy.