Archive for August, 2012

August 28, 2012

Homemade Granola

When it comes to breakfast, I am usually really boring. By boring I mean I eat the same thing pretty much every day. (I usually stick with an apple with peanut butter if you were wondering.) It does get mundane, but it is kind of nice not to have to think too hard early in the morning. This weekend I was feeling a bit inspired and decided to throw together some granola for the week. Mary has made granola for years and this lower fat version is perfect to throw on top of yogurt or even just to snack on in a pinch. I love the touch of sweetness added by the orange juice and honey. Granola can be a calorie bomb if you don’t watch out, but this is pretty conservative and if you watch how much you are eating, it can be a great choice. We usually end up using whatever is in the pantry, which is a great way to clear things out and switch things up at the same time. We sometimes add crystallized ginger or coconut to the recipe listed below. (I have also seen a recipe with Grape Nuts, though I am probably the only person who really likes that idea.) Really, anything you like goes. I am looking forward to starting off my week with this!

Kelly

Homemade Granola

1 ¼ c Orange Juice

¼ c Olive Oil

¼ c Honey or Maple Syrup

2 t Vanilla Extract

1 c Bran (or similar) Cereal

5 c Oats

½ c Coarsely Chopped Nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts…)

¼ t Nutmeg

3 t Cinnamon

1 t Kosher Salt

1-2 Handfuls Dried Cranberries

2 T Brown Sugar

 

Preheat Oven to 300° F. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts (if raw), salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

Combine the orange juice, oil and honey and heat in the microwave about 30 seconds to dissolve the honey.

Thoroughly toss the dry ingredients with the liquid. Spread granola on lined baking sheets and place in the oven for about an hour making sure to stir a couple times.

You want the granola to be dry but not over done. When toasted, toss in the fruit, cereal, any pre roasted nuts and brown sugar. Let cool before moving to an air tight container.

Enjoy!

August 24, 2012

Tomato Bruschetta

As promised, here is one of my favorite go-to recipes of all time. Seriously, if I have to take something to a party or am making something for someone new, this almost always make an appearance. This bruschetta is easy and so pretty. I always get compliments on both the presentation and the taste. You will never have worked so little for such a great result! It is also, conveniently, the PERFECT time of year for tomatoes! Ours are just coming off the vine and we have gotten some from our CSA as well. There is just nothing like homegrown tomatoes! Do you make a version of this? I would love some new variation ideas!

Kelly

Bruschetta


6 or 7 ripe tomatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs)

2 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

6-8 fresh basil leaves, chopped.

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Shaved parmesan cheese

1 baguette French bread or similar Italian bread

Chop the tomatoes fairly small and combine with garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, basil, salt and pepper. Allow to sit for 15 min – several hours. (You can make the topping well in advance and assemble once you arrive at your destination or when your guests arrive.) Slice the bread into 1″ slices and lightly toast under the broiler or on the grill, turning once. You can brush lightly with olive oil if desired, though I do think you usually can get good results without the additional oil. Just make sure to keep an eye on it!! We have burned LOTS of bread in this house! Once the bread is toasted, distribute the topping over the bread. Top with more fresh basil and shaved parmesan. Enjoy!

August 10, 2012

Cooking for a Boy

When you bring a new man into your life and say “I like to cook,” you better deliver. It always seems like a lot of pressure, even if you know you can make something great. I, of course, decided to take my chances and see what looked good at the store and wing it, rather than actually planning something ahead. Since my wonderful boyfriend had been traveling, I was going for healthy and not for a “man meal.” I decided that salmon was a good choice but I had to challenge myself with a method I hadn’t tried and a sauce I created with what was on hand plus two of my very favorite standbys: bruschetta (with help from Ali) and zucchini salad. I have to apologize for not having final photos, but I ended up a bit distracted trying to host and not burn my zucca! Such are the trade offs, right? All I can say is this is a meal you could serve for any occasion you are looking for something healthy and fantastic. Keep an eye out for the bruschetta recipe soon! Enjoy!

Kelly


 

Herb and Mustard Salmon

With Broiled Zucchini Salad

1 Lb Salmon – Boned

Handful of Fresh Herbs – Cleaned, Stemmed and Chopped

2 T Dijon Mustard

2 T Dry White Wine

2 T Olive Oil

1 Clove Garlic

Salt & Pepper

 

2 Zucchini – Sliced lengthwise

1 Tomato – Chopped

Mixed Greens

Juice of Half a Lemon

Olive Oil

Goat Cheese

Salt & Pepper

 

Combine herbs, mustard, wine, oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender and pulse to create a paste. Lightly oil a baking dish and place the salmon in the dish, skin-side down. Cover with the paste. Bake at 350° for 20-25 min. Check for desired doneness and allow to rest about 5 min. While you make the salad:

 

Lay the zucchini on baking dishes and spray lightly with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Place under the broiler for about 5-7 min. Watch them carefully and turn once, halfway through. Allow to cook until very brown. Set aside while you toss the greens and tomatoes with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add desired amount of crumbled goat cheese. Place salad on the plate and top with several slices of the zucchini and your lovely salmon.

August 1, 2012

Post-Vaca Dinner for One

I have been neglecting my posting lately since I have been all wrapped up in tons of things. One of those things has been a family wedding/vacation to California. Going back to LA is always a bit of a whirlwind and a ton of fun! Add to that my beautiful cousin’s wedding and you have a lot to do and people to see. More to come on that soon, but you can’t do much better than hanging here for a bit!

Since I just got home and am getting back into the swing of things, I thought I would go simple and semi-homemade for dinner. I have been craving shrimp cocktail since I saw it at the fish market in LA, so I thought I would have that in conjunction with a version of my favorite salad.

I (shamefully) bought some shrimp cocktail already prepped from Whole Foods to save me some work. I just took some time to doctor the sauce to my taste a bit and put it in nice dishware as my mother would do. Turn on the broiler and slice a zucchini lengthwise and fairly thin. Place on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Place in the broiler and be sure to keep a close watch, turning the zucchini once and cooking until you reach desired doneness. They may get crispy if you let them. Next, I chopped a fresh tomato from our garden and sliced a couple strawberries to be added to some mixed greens. Dress with a squeeze of lemon, a light drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of grey salt and some fresh black pepper. Add the zucchini to the top and enjoy immediately. Some toasted bread adds just a little something! So easy, and it feels good to eat something light and healthful after a trip!

Kelly

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