Friday, November 14, 2014

Red Pepper Soup and Black Bean "Meat" balls

I've been waiting all week to try this recipe. My kids were such great helpers making the meatballs. Nicholas loved mashing the beans and Brooklyn was my little meatball helper. She loves trying to roll into meatballs.

I was a little nervous about making this because I've personally never even tried red pepper soup so I wasn't sure what to expect.

I've also tried several meatless meatballs and patties and only a handful of them were amazing, but these are my new favorite. I think next time I'm going to sauté the shallots before putting them into the mixture, or maybe even some caramelized onions! 

I was surprised my kids ate the soup, but theirs had shredded cheese on theirs! Mine was healthier and rather than sour cream, I put a little fagé yogurt in. This was so yummy! It's definitely a must try!
    For the soup:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • 1 16-ounce jar roasted red peppers, undrained
  • 2 1/2 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 sprigs of thyme (or about a tablespoon dried)
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • dash sriracha or your favorite hot sauce
  • For the "meat"balls:
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 3 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pepper to taste
  • Cooking spray
  • sour cream or Greek yogurt, to garnish


  1. In a wide-bottom pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions when it is nice and hot. Cook until they are starting to get soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Crush the 3 cloves of garlic with the side of a knife. Add them whole to the onions and continue to cook until the onions and garlic are starting to brown, about another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the 2 tablespoons of white wine (I used cooking wine) and cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated. It shouldn't take long, about a minute or so.
  4. Add the entire jar of roasted red peppers, liquid and all. Don't worry about chopping them.
  5. Add 2 1/2 cups of chicken broth and 2 sprigs of thyme, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let cook for about 20 minutes.
  6. Remove the soup from the heat and discard the thyme stems. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup very well.
  7. If you don't have an immersion blender, let cool slightly then transfer the soup to a blender. Put the lid on, but leave the top spout open so that steam can escape. Hold a towel over the top with your hand and blend until smooth.Transfer the soup back to the pot and heat it up again.
  8. Season with pepper and Add a dash of hot sauce if you want (taste it first).
  9. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the drained black beans, basil, sun-dried tomatoes, panko bread crumbs, egg, paprika, shallot and pepper. Use a potato masher to combine the mixture and smoosh the beans.
  10. Form the bean mixture into 25-30 "meatballs." In a large saucepan over medium high heat, spray with cooking spray. Add the "meatballs" when it is hot, cooking in batches if necessary. Cook for a minute or two, until browned, then gently turn them with a spatula. Continue cooking and turning until all sides are browned. Repeat with the remaining "meatballs."
  11. Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and top with meatballs. Garnish with fresh basil, thyme, sour cream, or Greek yogurt. This would probably taste amazing with some fresh grated Parmesan.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Cilantro Lime Shrimp and Roasted Poblano Sauce

For those of you who know me well, know that I LOVE LOVE LOVE Seafood! Whenever I find new recipe, I always want to try it.

This recipe was AMAZING!!!! I decided to just eat over brown rice with a side of broccoli, but I bet it would be amazing on  flour tortillas with a fresh cabbage slaw! 

  • 2 pounds shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • juice of 2 limes (about 4 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • ⅓ cup cilantro leaves, finely shopped
  •  ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin

poblano sauce
  • 3 poblanos
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • juice of ½ of 1 lime (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 4 tablespoons greek yogurt (I used fagé)
  1. Whisk together all of the ingredients for the marinade. Pour the marinade into a large zip lock bag and add the shrimp. Seal the bag and toss to coat the shrimp. Place in the fridge and marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to overnight.
  2. After you get the shrimp in the fridge, prepare the poblanos by cooking them on the grill for about 5 minutes over high heat, turning throughout to ensure even cooking. When they are charred and blistered, remove them from the grill and run them under cold water for about 15 seconds. Pat dry with a paper towel and peel off the outer skin (this does't have to be perfect, just pull off most of the skin that comes off easily).
  3. Chop the top of the pepper off and discard the stem and remove the seeds. Dice the poblanos. Add diced poblanos and all other sauce ingredients to a blender or food processor. Pulse until smooth. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  4. When you have marinated the shrimp for as long as you can, dump out the marinade and grill them for about 3-4 minutes on each side until they turn pink and begin to char very slightly. Drizzle with poblano sauce and serve immediately. Top with additional chopped cilantro if desired.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Mushrooms with Turnip, Parsnip, and Bean Mash

I've always loved trying new mash combinations to replace mashed potatoes, so last night was a new adventure with food for me.

I first had turnips about 2 years ago when our friends Brandon & Danielle came to visit us right after I had Brooklyn.  I was completely hooked after they made us mashed turnips. They were so freaking good!!! 

I found a recipe for mashed white beans with truffle oil, so I went to safeway, but they didn't have truffle oil so I decided to try something else. I instantly remembered that love of turnips I had, so I grabbed some.... Parsnips were right next to them and they looked so good I grabbed some of those too. Some of my best recipes are the ones I throw together on a whim. 

This was a huge success. The kids loved them too!!!

  • 16oz of baby bella mushrooms, you can use whatever mix or variety you prefer, thickly sliced, cut in half, or quartered, so they are all about the same size.
  • 2 - 15oz can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 3 medium turnips, peeled and cubed
  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 tbs. Onion flakes
  • 1 tbs. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs minced fresh parsley
  • EVOO, extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large pot place turnips, parsnips, onion flakes, and parsley. Fill the pot with enough water to cover. Cook on medium high heat until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, Heat a drizzle of EVOO in a skillet over medium heat. Once oil is hot, sauté leek until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add in cannellini beans, garlic, and vegetable broth. Cover and reduce heat to low, simmer for about 10 minutes. 
  3. Prepare the mushrooms in an different skillet, over medium-high heat heat another drizzle of EVOO. When oil is hot, add mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes. Season with salt to taste, continue to sauté until desired tenderness, 8 more minutes give or take.
  4. When beans are done cooking, transfer them to a blender, food processor, or use an immersion blender to blend until creamy.  
  5. When the turnips and parsnips are fork tender, drain, add beans and mash as you would mashed potatoes until mashed to desired consistency.  Keep warm until mushrooms are complete.
  6. Once mushrooms have reached desired tenderness, drizzle with balsamic. Toss to coat.
  7. Spoon mash into shallow dish and top with mushrooms. Sprinkle fresh parsley on top. 
  8. Serve immediately & enjoy!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Veggie Quinoa Fried 'Rice"

Tonight was a fun creation for dinner. I needed to whip something together really quick to bring to Jack's moms for dinner for myself since unfortunately I was unable to indulge in her dinner due to the meat.

I am a lover of different asian foods so I love creating new dishes. This was was a success and now I have 4 days of meal prep done for the week.

  • Ingredients:
  • 1 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, divided 
  • 6 large egg whites, beaten 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, diced 
  • 8 ounces shitake mushrooms, sliced 
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, chopped 
  • 2 carrots, peeled and grated 
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa 
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger 
  • 3 tablespoons liquid aminos
  • 2 green onions, sliced (optional)
  • Sriracha, for serving (optional)
  • Directions:
  • Heat 1 tablespoon sesame oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add garlic, onions, and peppers and cook, stirring often, until onions have become translucent, about 4-5 minutes. 
  • Add mushrooms and zucchini. Cook, stirring constantly, until vegetables are tender, about 3-4 minutes. 
  • Add carrots and quinoa. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. 
  • Next, make a well in the center of pan and add eggs. Cover pan until eggs are cooked through, stirring eggs frequently.  
  • Add ginger and aminos, and gently toss to combine. Cook, stirring constantly, until heated through, about 2 minutes. 
  • Serve immediately, topped with green onions and drizzled with Sriracha, if desired.
Here is the meal prepped version;

Monday, November 3, 2014

Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

I'm always trying to find healthy recipes and ways to sneak in more veggies into my kids meals. 

My daughter is like a human garbage disposal and will eat just about anything. My son on the other hand I constantly battle with him eating. 

I let the kids help with making these wonderful muffins and they both enjoyed them so much. And I know Nicholas is getting in some veggies with these! 

These are definitely a must try whether or not you're trying to sneak in some veggies to your kids meals!

1 1/2 cup white rice flour
1 1/2 cup finely ground almond
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
zest of 1 large lemon
2 cups peeled and finely grated zucchini
3 large eggs
1/2 cup low fat buttermilk
3/4 cup sugar (I used raw sugar cane)
2 teaspoons lemon extract 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
line muffin tray with paper liners
combine dry ingredients and set aside
combine lemon zest and zucchini
beat eggs and sugar with a handheld or standing mixer for 3 minutes until pale and creamy
add the zucchini, buttermilk, lemon zest, and lemon extract and beat again. Using a spatula, beat in the dry ingredients until they are all mixed in, working quickly
Spoon 1/4 cup of the batter into muffin cup. Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of muffin.