Tuesday, April 27, 2010


This plate may look somewhat familiar, since I did a post on the chicken you see as well as the sweet potatoes (these are white not orange, but same prep). Today however, I am going to focus on the asparagus on the plate.

Asparagus has many health benefits, it helps the kidneys and liver function better, it also is a great source of folate and a B vitamin that is good for your cardiovascular system. It is also especially important for pregnant women because it's known to help prevent certain birth defects, such as spina bifida.

That's the first good news, all the benefits it provides, the second good news, I have the perfect, EASY way to cook it so it comes out perfect, not too mushy, not too crunchy. First thing you do when you buy asparagus is to look for ones that aren't too thick, you want to look for thinner stalks. Once you bring them home you need to snap off the ends, if you just lightly bend them back and forth they will snap off where they should. Then find a flat bottom pan that fits the stalks and boil about an inch of water. Once the water is boiling throw the asparagus in. Now here's the important part, leave it in for exactly three minutes, no more no less.

My Dad gave me this recipe and it has never failed to come out perfectly. Things you can add are some garlic in the water, or after taking them out sprinkle with some pepper and garlic salt, or just eat them as is!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sweet Potatoes!!!!!!!!!

Ok so one of my favorite things is to find a food I don't like and make it in a way that I do like it. Last night I had the pleasure of having a sweet potato dish made for me, and up until this point I had never enjoyed a sweet potato dish I've eaten. But this was delicious, so I must share it with you!

Here's the best part...it's SO simple!

Just cube up a sweet potato and toss it with some olive oil, salt, and rosemary. I'll leave it to you to judge the amounts, but make sure not to overdue any of them...a little goes a long way. Then stick it in a pan and put it in the oven at 450 degrees for 20-25 minutes...until the potatoes are soft. I know, super simple, but really really good.

AND it really makes a plate look colorful! Needless to say we didn't leave much...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Using Kale in a Recipe...

For a while now I've wanted to find a recipe to use Kale in. Kale is a leafy green vegtable, and it happens to have lots of health benefits. I'd tried it raw, thinking I could use it instead of lettuce in my salad, but it just didn't have the salad taste to it.

So imagine my excitement when I found a recipe using Kale in one of the food networks own Giada De Laurentiis...the hot Italian chef for those of you who don't watch.

It's called: Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale.

What you need...
3 tbl olive oil
1 med onion, sliced
1/4 pound of cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into one inch pieces
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup white wine
1/2 red pepper flakes
1 bunch of Kale, rinsed, stemmed, and chopped
2 tbl freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbl grated parmesan

What you do....
Warm the olive oil in a large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, green beans, salt, and pepper and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and continue cooking until the green beans are almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and the kale and continue cooking until the kale has wilted, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and the Parmesan cheese. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

I made this as a side dish at Easter, and I was VERY impressed, it has great flavor and even a little kick!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Mashed Potatoes....Or....

For my families Easter dinner we basically re-make the traditional Thanksgiving meal, since we love turkey and all the fixings so much. So last Thanksgiving I decided to try out this much talked about substitute for mashed potatoes....cause I mean I love mashed potatoes but they really aren't very healthy, esp in the quantity I like to eat them on big holidays =)

So I made mashed cauliflower. I know sounds like it couldn't possibly stand up next to the real thing, but surprisingly enough it does a pretty darn good job. Of course it's not the same thing, but it tastes good and its guilt free! Basically to make them you just boil up a whole bunch of cauliflower instead of potatoes, then just blend them with some I can't believe it's not butter, a little half and half and I use garlic salt and pepper. I'm just saying it's worth a try.

I have heard MANY different versions of this dish, this is how I made it, but I've heard of people adding cheese or scallions....all sorts of different things. Play around with it and find a way you like them, of course try not to add all the unhealthy calories back by adding bacon or something...even though we all know bacon makes EVERYTHING taste good. =)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Asian Chicken Wrap

Ok I am going to begin this post with a disclaimer. The first time my sister was making this wrap I thought she was crazy and it sounded nasty. But true to who I am I decided to try it before completely writing it off.

Here is what it is...Asian Chicken Wrap. Take a whole wheat tortilla and spread about a tablespoon of peanut butter on it. I prefer all natural peanut butter, crunchy. Then take some of those precooked chicken strips you can buy from the store and put a serving in it. (check the package for that info) Next add some fresh spinach leaves. Finally get the Asian Silk spritzer, the salad dressing that comes in a spray bottle, and spray two or three times. I know I know sounds like a weird combo of flavors, but I'm telling you it's super good!!!

Just give it a try, it's quick, it's healthy and really it's Yummy!