Navigation Bar

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

{Chunky 2 Bean Quinoa Chili}


Ah, Winter!  You’re still here…


February is one of the toughest months for me – and I am sure others would agree with me on this one!  By February I am just over winter.  I don’t want to bundle up anymore, the sight of snow makes me want to cry, and I find myself googling tropical vacations because I have the itch to just get out of the frozen tundra I call home!  Yes, February can be brutal, but thankfully there are things like this delicious Chunky Two Bean Chili with Quinoa that helps warm me up and even brightens my day just a little bit!


I love making a big batch of chili on a Sunday or Monday night and then enjoying the leftovers all week!  Makes meals super easy and lunch packing a breeze, plus the longer this chili sits the more the flavors begin to meld and the more delicious it becomes! 


Chunky Two Bean Chili with Quinoa 
Brunch N’Cupcakes
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
1 – 15 Ounce Can Chickpeas (Drained and Rinsed)
1 – 15 Ounce Can Black Beans (Drained and Rinsed
1 – 15 Ounce Can White Hominy (Drained and Rinsed, I used Bush’s Brand)
2 – 15 Ounce Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes (Un-drained)
1 – 15 Ounce Can Sweet Corn – No Salt Added (Drained and Rinsed)
½ a Large Onion Roughly Chopped
½ a Large Green Pepper Roughly Chopped
½ Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 Tablespoon Curry Powder
1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
½ Cup Dry Quinoa – Prepared according to package directions

Directions:
1- In a large soup pot coated with cooking spray sauté onions until fragrant and translucent.  Add in green peppers and sauté until tender.
2- Stir in beans, hominy, corn, un-drained tomatoes and spices.
3- Bring to boil.  Once chili is boiling reduce to simmer and cook for 15 minutes.   Stir in quinoa and cook an additional 5 minutes.

**Serve with shredded cheese, avocado slices, chips, Greek Yogurt or your favorite chili toppings!

Enjoy!

More delicious “chili” recipes to get you through February!
Quinoa Chili - Damn Delicious 
Quinoa Turkey Chili - Taste of Home 
White Chili - Cooking Light 

Friday, February 13, 2015

{Valentine’s Day – Sweet Treat Round Up}


Valentine’s Day is just around the corner (tomorrow to be exact)  which means there is still time to whip up some sweet treats for the people you care about most in your life!  Staying in for dinner or making brunch at home?   Well here is a list of some of my favorite go to dinners, delicious breakfast treats – all perfect for that special someone in your life! 
Enjoy – and Happy Early Valentine’s Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

{Shaved Brussel Sprout and Purple Cabbage Salad}


Simplicity – what I am aiming for these days and the word that perfectly describes this delicious salad!  This salad isn’t fussy or fancy it is just simple ingredients combined together for a delicious outcome.  What I like best about this salad is that the majority of the “ingredients” are pantry staples in my house. 



 The other thing I love is that the star ingredients are Shaved Brussel Sprouts and Purple Cabbage – two things which I absolutely love – not sure why!   This salad is great for tossing together Sunday night and eating throughout the week – the flavors get stronger as the week goes and the cabbage and brussel sprouts both begin to soften a bit.  I serve this simple salad with chickpeas or tempeh for protein and some sunflower seeds or peanuts for added crunch!


Shaved Brussel Sprout  and Purple Cabbage Salad
Brunch N’Cupcakes
Serves 6-8

Ingredients:
3-4 Cups Purple Cabbage – Shredded (One small or ½ a medium should do)
1 Bag Shaved Brussel Sprouts (Target and Trader Joe’s both have – need about 3 cups)
2 Tablespoons White Wine Vinegar
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon Garlic
1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
½ Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
¼ Teaspoon Sea Salt
Sesame Seeds, Tempeh, Chickpeas, Peanuts for Garnishing/Serving

Directions –
1- In a large bowl combine purple cabbage and brussel Sprouts – mix until combined, set aside.
2- In a small bowl whisk together white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil and spices.
3- Pour dressing over cabbage and brussel sprouts until evenly coated – serve.

Note – Top salad with tempeh or chickpeas for protein (Grilled chicken would also be delicious), and a tablespoon of peanuts or sesame seeds for a little crunch!
Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

{Almond Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars}




Valentine’s Day is on my mind– so that means I cannot stop thinking about all things red, pink and chocolate!  I know these Chocolate Cherry Almond Snack Bars  are not the decedent Valentine’s day treat you were hoping for but I promise they are delicious!  

  
These little snack bars are studded with tart cherries (red for Valentine's day), packed full of chocolaty goodness and feature Almond Butter one of my all-time favorites (and a great alternative to peanut butter- read about the health benefits of almonds here, and here)!  They are healthy, no bake and quick to throw together – plus you can add any sort of mix ins you like to make them all your own!  I have been enjoying these bars crumbled over my Greek yogurt as “granola” enjoying them plain or even topping one with a little Greek yogurt frosting – (recipe here) for a sweet treat!  They are delicious!


Almond Chocolate Cherry Snack Bars
Brunch N’Cupcakes
Makes 15 Bars

Ingredients:
1/3 Cup Dried Cherries – I buy bulk bin cherries by the pound
1/3 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips
2 ½ Cup Oatmeal – I used quick cooking
1 1/3 Cup Almond Butter (I used Almond Butter – from Nuts.Com)
¼ Cup Maple Syrup

Directions:
1- Combine dried cherries, and oatmeal together in a large mixing bowl.  Set aside.
2-  In a microwave safe bowl combine peanut butter and maple syrup.  Microwave for 1 minute (stirring after 30 seconds).  Peanut butter should be melted and easy to stir – if not place in microwave for an additional 30 seconds.
3-  Slowly pour peanut butter mixture into your oat mixture.  Stir until oats and cherries are evenly covered.
4- Stir in chocolate chips.
5- Press dough into a 9x13 baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray – place in the fridge for 30-60 minutes to allow bars to set. Cut and enjoy!

**Note these bars get soft if they are stored out on the counter.  I store mine in an airtight container either in the fridge or freezer!

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

{Super Bowl - 2015 Snack Edition}

One of my favorite things about the Super Bowl, well besides the commercials is prepping and curating a delicious and healthy spread of party snacks! 

So for any of you who are last minute party planners or are still hunting for the perfect super bowl snacks... below are a few of my favorite and go to dishes! 

Dips - 


Main Dishes - 

Tasty Desserts - 

Enjoy and happy game watching! 

Friday, January 30, 2015

{Crock Pot Italian Chicken over Polenta}

 Oh, Hello All!  It has been a while and I have to say I am glad to be back sharing a recipe with you!  Wedding to do lists are consuming my mind, and the planning meetings are starting up again!  I may or may not be running around like a mad women!   I am moving full steam ahead and fired up and ready to go!  And even though it is a crazy busy time I am excited and jittery (like I have little butterflies in my stomach).  I can hardly wait till April 11th and am thankful that time is moving quickly!  I am even more excited that 2015 is here... It is wedding year!


Lately, (like the entire month of January) I have been looking for the quickest, simplest and  yes healthiest dinner options/recipes!  I find that after working all day, completing a workout and crossing to do’s of my checklist that I just do not have the energy to make a full blown meal! I have been resorting to steamed veggies, grilled chicken, scrambled egg whites and giant yogurt bowls – I know not the most exciting!  But, I have to say that blah boring same old same old dinners took a back seat with this easy Italian Crock Pot Chicken with Polenta!  I got the recipe idea from the recent issue of Cooking Light, but since I am not a huge pork eater I made my own minor (yes, minor) tweaks!


End results… totally drool worthy, tender chicken that packed a flavor punch!   The original recipe (found here) served the stewed meat over a creamy polenta but if you like you can serve the chicken over polenta “steaks” seared in olive oil to soak up all the delicious crock pot juice!  Yum, yum, YUM!  Make this tonight, it might just become your next crock pot staple meal!

Italian Crock Pot Chicken over Polenta
Brunch N’Cupcakes – Adapted from Cooking Light
Serves 5-6

Ingredients:
2 Large Chicken Breast
2 – 15 Ounce Cans Diced Tomatoes with Basil and Garlic
½ Large Onion – Roughly Chopped
½ Medium Red Pepper – Roughly Chopped
8 Garlic Cloves – Minced
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley and Oregano
1 Teaspoon Rosemary and Thyme

1 1/2 Cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth (Low Sodium)
2 Teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 Cup Instant Polenta 
2 Cups Water
1 Cup Milk 
1 Tablespoon Parmesan Cheese
1 1/4 Teaspoon Pepper 
Salt to Taste

Directions:
1-      In a large crockpot combine canned tomatoes (undrained), broth, onion, pepper, garlic and spices (Parsley, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme and Teaspoon of Pepper).  Stir until well combined
2-      Add chicken breast to crockpot and cook on low for 7-8 hours.
3-      Once chicken is fully cooked, remove chicken from crockpot and shred.  Add chicken back into crockpot.  Stir to combine.  Stir in Worstershire sauce and balsamic vinegar.  

For the Polenta: 
Combine water, milk and polenta into a medium sauce pan.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low add polenta and whisk together.  Cook for 4 minutes.  Remove polenta from heat stir in parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.  

For Serving: 
Serve Italian chicken of polenta in shallow bowls - or plates like I did!  

Enjoy! 



Friday, January 23, 2015

Life Lately - 2015

Happy New Year my Friends!  I hope 2015 and well the month of January is off to a fabulous start for you all!  I know I am a little behind in professing that 2015 is here!  But I hope you all had a fabulous time ringing in the New Year and rounding out your Holiday Season!