Saturday, October 30, 2010

chow-down on chow-dow.

rain stinks.  but thankfully there are a few things that can make grey days a little bit better: 
1.) cute rain boots and a pretty umbrella 
2.) knowing that rain in the city means snow on the mountains 
3.) SOUP!

so turn that frown upside-down and warm up your house and your body with this delicious southwestern yam and corn chowder.

the goodies:

- 1 tbsp. canola oil
- 1/2 onion
- 3 c. yam
- 1 c. broth
- 3 c. water
- 1 tbsp. chipotle puree
- 1 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 tbsp. cumin
- 1 c. corn kernels
- 1 roasted red pepper*
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- garnish: salt, pepper and green onion

the fun part:

#1.) heat oil in large pot, and saute chopped onion until soft (ps. when chopping the onion, sharper knife = fewer tears!) add all 3 c. of yam and cook for about 3 minutes.

#2.) sass things up with the spices: add the chipotle puree, cayenne, coriander and cumin to pot, stir slightly and then add the water and broth. bring to a boil and then let simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes until yams are soft.

#3.) if you're really lucky, like me, you can use your immersion blender in this step to puree the yams.  if not, transfer in batches to a blender or food processor.  

#4.) return your creamy concoction back to the stove and prepare it for meeting its new friends: corn, chopped roasted red pepper and itsy bitsy chopped up jalapeno pepper. cook all ingredients together on medium heat, while stirring, for 5 more minutes.

#5.) ladle into bowls, garnish with s&p and chopped green onion.  let your insides be warmed up by your delicious soup.

* make your own roasted red peppers! cut pepper in half and place both sides on a top rack under the broiler. rotate peppers several times until outsides are starting to blacken.  remove from oven, and cover the peppers with lid.  the steam will help you to peeeel off the blackened skin and leave you with soft, sweet and delicious roasted red peppers!

what your body will like:

#1.) vitamins & minerals
- vitamins a and c: immune boost and better eye-sight.
- potassium: trades places with nasty sodium inside your body.  good bye high blood pressure!

#2.)fat: uh oh, I said the f-word!  fat in your food doesn't necessarily mean fat on your body.  making smart choices and eating in moderation will allow you to reap all the benefits that this macronutrient has to offer: transporting vitamins, protecting organs, providing energy and most of all, giving flavor to your food - without putting on the pounds.  canola oil is always one of your best bets when cooking.  it's high smoking point will withstand high temperatures, and it is low in saturated fat and high in omega-3 fatty acids.  

Thursday, October 21, 2010

sweet treat.

attention: starving students.  the only thing sweeter than these baked peaches is the price of them!

what's better than a healthy version of a delicious classic?  a cheap and healthy version of a delicious classic, of course!  what do you do when you score a bag of 6 perfectly intact peaches for 99 cents?  make a delicious peach and blueberry crisp. what's the best way to top your warm, juicy fruits? with a sweet, crunchy, nutrient- filled topping!  

the goodies:

- 6 peaches
- 1 c. blueberries

- 1 c. old fashioned oats
- 1/4 c. maple syrup
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 1/4 c. ground flaxseed
- 1/4 c. uncooked millet
- cinnamon
- salt

the fun part:

* preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

#1.) grease and set aside a 8 x 8 pan.

#2.) cut peaches into bite-sized pieces and mix with blueberries.  toss in your ready-to-go pan.

#3.) prepare crust: mix all 'topping' ingredients together in a separate bowl.  distribute evenly over fruit.

#4.) bake for 30 minutes.  check on the bubbling-peaches/browning-topping status.  bake for longer if needed!

#5.) scoop into cute little mugs and hand them out to your friends.  sharing is caring!

what your body will like:

#1.) vitamin A: if you've been making your hands turn orange by eating too many carrots, why not switch it up and get some vitamin A from peaches?  in addition to improving your eyes sight late into the night, this charming vitamin will do wonders for your immune system.  no sick days for you!

#2.) non-glutinous: for all you celiac/gluten-intolerant kiddies out there, this is a crisp is a gluten-free zone!  millet is a delicious ancient grain that is full of purpose: fiber + complete protein + crunch.  really, what more could you ask for?  toss these seeds in, and you've got all of the above!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

beans and barley.

okay, so here's the deal.  I love cooking.  but I also love math.  so what could be better than combining the two?  I think this recipe allows us to do both.  follow along carefully:

beans + barley = complete protein
beans + barley = delicious

complete protein + delicious = a pretty darn good meal!

the goodies:

- 3/4 c. uncooked barley
- 1/2 c. edamame beans
- 1/2 c. corn kernels
- 1/2 c. red cabbage
- 1/4 c. parsley
- 1 tomato

(adapted from ann lindsay's new light hearted cookbook)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp. of water
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tsp. dijon mustard
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- pepper, pepper, pepper

the fun part:

#1.) cook barley* separately and let cool.

#2.) chop cabbage and tomato into delicious bite sized pieces, and parsley so that it is garnish appropriate.  add to large bowl with corn and edamame beans.  

#3.) prepare dressing in small bowl: squeeze in lemon, toss in minced garlic, stir in mustard, splash in water, grind in pepper.  slowly add olive oil in a steady stream, while whisking at the same time.

#4.) stir together cooled barley and veggies, and slowly add the dressing, to taste.  (chances are you won't need all the dressing, so you'll have an excuse to make another delicious salad soon!)

#5.) enjoy your yummy (and pretty) meal.

*cooking times for varieties of barley vary:

pearl barley: 1 c. barley + 3 c. water + boil + 45 minutes of covered simmering.  
pot barley: 1 c. barley + 3 c. water + boil + 60 minutes of covered simmering.  
hulled barley: 1 c. barley + 4 c. water + boil + 100 minutes of covered simmering.

what your body will like: 

#1.) fiber. barley, particularly the hulled and pot varieties, are excellent sources of soluble fiber.  soluble fiber will:
- increase satiety: making you feel fuller, longer.
- slows glucose absorption: decreases peaks in blood glucose levels after your meal. (good-bye, diabetes.)
- decrease cholesterol levels: how heart-smart!

#2.) protein. science: protein is just lots of amino acids linked together.  your body can make some all by itself (called amino acids), and your body cannot make some, no matter how hard it tries (called essential amino acids).  essential amino acids need to come from the things you eat.  combining legumes and grains makes sure you get all the amino acids you need to make the protein that your body so desperately wants! (basically: protein - animals + legumes + grains = complete! and no, I'm not a hippie.)

#3.) vitamins and minerals. more colors = more vitamins and minerals.  the first bite is with your eyes!