Monday, January 23, 2012

squash curry stew.

how many of you made new year's resolutions to:
a.) eat healthier
b.) stop buying lunch
c.) be more organized
d.) all of the above

for those of you who circled 'd', I have the one dish wonder that will keep your resolutions going strong... well beyond january.  

this is my go-to sunday stew, which I prep and portion out into tupperware at the beginning of the week.
when time is tight, these pre-portioned goodies go straight from the freezer into my bag and are thawed by lunch.  

it's delicious.  it's healthy. 
it's convenient.  it will save you money.  
squash curry stew

servings: 4
source: slightly adapted from oh she glows

the goodies:
- medium kabocha squash (japanese pumpkin squash) ~ 500 g
- 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp. curry powder
- 1/2 tbsp. cayenne pepper *optional
- 1/2 tbsp. chili powder *optional
- 1 c. red lentils
- 1 carton low sodium broth
- 2 cups of greens, chopped (I use kale, de-stemmed)
- freshly grated ginger, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste

the fun part:
1.) preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  cut the squash into 1 inch pieces, arrange on foil lined baking sheet and bake until tender, and browned slightly.  approximately 30 minutes.
2.) meanwhile, in a large pot, heat extra virgin olive oil.  add chopped onion and minced garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes over low-medium heat.
3.) stir in curry powder, cayenne and chili powder and continue to stir to prevent burning.  after a couple of minutes, add lentils and broth and bring to a boil.  reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.
4.) stir in cooked squash and greens. cook over medium heat for 5-8 minutes.  season with salt, pepper and freshly grated ginger.

what your body will like:
1 serving = 1.5 cups
per serving: 340 calories - 49 g carbs - 3 g fat - 23 g protein - 18 g fiber

for a vegetarian dish, this is PACKED with PROTEIN! as we've discussed before, it is the winning combination of protein and fiber that will keep you fill you up and keep you satisfied for longer.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

lemon blueberry muffins.

In my first year of university I was the girl in the chemistry lab who would spill test tubes of chemicals, break beakers full of boiling solution and drop perfectly formed crystals moments before weighing her final product.

Science doesn't make sense when it's fancy structures and big long words in lab manuals.  

Fast forward a few years, and I am still enrolled in lab courses.
I've traded my lab coat for an apron, and acetylsalicylic acid for flour, butter and sugar.  

Science makes sense when it's delicious ingredients in recipe books.  

 I get to see how eggs contribute leavening, binding and structure.  I get to see how you can trade sugars and flours and still have delicious baked goods.  Now cooking and baking is not only for fun, but it is for credit.  

this week?  eggs and dairy.  
next week? flours and baked goods.  
see... I'm so keen than I read ahead!


lemon and blueberry muffins.

These muffins were incredibly tasty, especially warm out of the oven.  The lemon lent a tart edge to the rich and buttery taste of the sweet muffin.  The sour cream complemented this combination by contributing a smooth, tangy flavor. The muffin was moist and tender, and the quinoa provided hints of nutty, chewiness throughout. The proportion of blueberries was excellent, as they added a juicy sweetness with every bite.   

yield: 12 muffins
source: quinoa 365

the goodies:

- 1/2 c. uncooked quinoa
- 1 c. water
- 1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
- 1.5 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 3/4 c. sugar
- 1/4 c. vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 c. sour cream
- 3 tbsp. fresh squeezed lemon juice (~ 1 lemon)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 c. frozen blueberries (not thawed)

the fun part:

  1. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Reduce to a summer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.  Turn the heat off and leave the covered saucepan on the burner for an additional 15 minutes to allow the quinoa to cook longer and become plumper.  Remove the lid and fluff with a fork.  Set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
  3. Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.  Stir in the lemon zest and 1 ¼ cups (310 mL) of the cooked quinoa, breaking up any clumps.
  4. Whisk the sugar and oil in a large bowl, then add the sour cream, egg, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir until the mixture is thoroughly blended.
  5. Toss the frozen blueberries in the flour mixture.  Fold the flour mixture into the sugar mixture.
  6. Drop the batter by large spoonfuls into the muffin cups. Bake on the center oven rack for 25 to 30 minutes, until the tops are slightly golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan.

what your body will like:

1 serving = 1 muffin:
185 calories - 28 g carbs = 7 g fat - 3 g protein - 2 g fiber