Andrea Meyers http://andreasrecipes.com making life delicious blog Tue, 08 Apr 2014 18:35:37 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl http://andreasrecipes.com/quinoa-and-egg-breakfast-bowl/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=quinoa-and-egg-breakfast-bowl http://andreasrecipes.com/quinoa-and-egg-breakfast-bowl/#comments Tue, 08 Apr 2014 17:45:43 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13227

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Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl - Andrea Meyers

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Leftovers for breakfast is a time-honored tradition around our house. I usually have some leftover brown rice or quinoa in the refrigerator, plus a few random vegetables from various meals, and the boys and I like to toss some of it together to make healthy breakfast bowls on busy mornings. We just pull everything out of the frig and the boys start dishing up whatever sounds good to them. After they go off to school and I’ve gotten in some exercise, I head back to the kitchen to make my own breakfast, such as this quinoa bowl with fried egg, bacon, and vegetables. I stir some salsa into the leftover quinoa and top it off with a little chopped bacon and whatever style of egg sounds good at the moment. To get extra vegetables, sometimes I pile it on top of a handful of spinach or baby kale, and add whatever is fresh in the garden, such as cilantro and green onions.

That is what I call a healthy and filling breakfast.

Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

Quinoa and Egg Breakfast Bowl

Ingredients

1 cup leftover quinoa or brown rice
salsa
cooked egg, your choice
avocado chunks
chopped piece of bacon
black or kidney beans
chopped vegetables (peppers, tomatoes,
herbs (cilantro, parsley, basil, chives)
green onions
freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

Stir the quinoa or rice with the salsa and reheat. Top with the cooked egg, avocado chunks, chopped bacon, and any vegetables and herbs you like. Sprinkle on some green onions and freshly ground black pepper.

Equipment & Recipe Notes

Equipment:
small nonstick skillet soup or cereal bowl

Recipe Notes:
Recipe can vary with seasonal produce. Try making a bed of baby spinach or baby kale. Also try tossing the quinoa or brown rice with your favorite homemade dressing or vinaigrette instead of salsa.

http://andreasrecipes.com/quinoa-and-egg-breakfast-bowl/

More Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Breakfast Oatmeal with Peanut Butter, Bananas, and Honey - Andrea Meyers Kale, Spinach, and Pear Smoothie - Andrea Meyers Huevos Rancheros (The Kids Cook Monday) - Andrea Meyers

More Healthy Breakfast Recipes From Other Blogs

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Andrea’s Cooking Kickstarter on Springpad http://andreasrecipes.com/andreas-cooking-kickstarter-on-springpad/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=andreas-cooking-kickstarter-on-springpad http://andreasrecipes.com/andreas-cooking-kickstarter-on-springpad/#respond Sat, 05 Apr 2014 20:13:10 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13204

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Springpad logo

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Springpad has long been one of my favorite personal organizer apps, and it’s so handy to use on my Android phone and my iPad, even my laptop and desktop PCs. So I’m excited to announce a new partnership with Springpad. I’ve created a customized digital cookbook to help Springpad users collect and organize your favorite recipes. It includes some of my favorite weekday recipes, as well as an easy shopping list tool. It’s called Andrea’s Cooking Kickstarter, and you can download free it at the new Springpad Notebook Store.

Springpad - Andrea's Cooking Kickstarter

How to Use My Free Notebook

Use my Cooking Kickstarter to collect recipes, save shopping lists, and make your meal plans. Plus get my favorite weekday recipes, suggested kitchen gear and more! Here’s what my
notebook has in store for you:

  • Collect recipes: Use the Recipe tab to save your favorite recipes.
  • Go shopping: Never forget your grocery list again ­ just make your shopping lists in the Groceries tab and you’ll have them with you on your phone.
  • Plan meals: Great for party planning or weekly meal planning.
  • Recipes & Advice from me: I included a list of my favorite weekday recipes, kitchen gear, pantry staples, and simple foods growing tips just for you!

Andrea's Cooking Kickstarter (Favorite Weekday Recipes) - Springpad

And one benefit of downloading my free notebook is updates! When I add notes to the notebook, you will automatically get them without needing to update. If you haven’t used Springpad before, this is a great time to try it. You can download the free app for iPhone and iPad, Android, Kindle, and Nook. And make sure to check out the other great notebooks in the Springpad Notebook Store.

Thanks for subscribing to this blog! Copyright © 2005-2014 Andrea Meyers: making life delicious.

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Browned Butter Gnocchi with Broccoli and Almonds http://andreasrecipes.com/browned-butter-gnocchi-with-broccoli-and-almonds/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=browned-butter-gnocchi-with-broccoli-and-almonds http://andreasrecipes.com/browned-butter-gnocchi-with-broccoli-and-almonds/#comments Thu, 03 Apr 2014 01:40:16 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13190

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Browned Butter Gnocchi with Broccoli and Almonds - Andrea Meyers

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Michael and I have long had a fondness for gnocchi. I love the little dumplings and how good they taste with our homemade pesto and other Italian sauces. This recipe that I adapted from Cooking Light adds some broccoli and warm nutty flavor with browned butter. My boys are all broccoli addicts—not a bad thing—so broccoli is usually a safe choice for a vegetable side dish at our house, especially when there’s pasta or rice to go with it. They’ll eat it in salad or stir-fry, and love it plain with a bit of Parmesan sprinkled on top.

I changed the recipe up a bit and used toasted slivered almonds instead of pine nuts to make this fit into a budget meal, and added some fresh sage to the browned butter for extra flavor. It’s nice, a little different, and I love the whole wheat gnocchi, though you can use regular gnocchi if you prefer.

Browned Butter Gnocchi with Broccoli and Almonds

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Browned Butter Gnocchi with Broccoli and Almonds

Adapted from Cooking Light.

Ingredients

2 (16-ounce) packages prepared whole wheat gnocchi
5 cups chopped broccoli florets
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large sage leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted
1/3 cups fresh grated Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Preparation

1. Cook gnocchi in a large Dutch oven according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Add the broccoli and cook 1 minute, then drain.

2. While the gnocchi and broccoli cook, heat the large skillet over medium heat. Add the butter and oil, and cook until the butter browns, about 7 minutes. Watch carefully and don't let it burn. Add the chopped sage and stir for 1 more minute. Add the gnocchi and broccoli and pepper to the pan, then toss to coat. Serve with the toasted almonds and Romano cheese.

Equipment & Recipe Notes

Equipment:
6-quart heavy bottom pot with lid
large (10 to 12-inch) skillet

Recipe Notes:
Cut the broccoli florets small so they will cook quickly. You can also use other vegetables, such as baby kale, spinach, or green beans instead of the broccoli. Baby kale or spinach will not need to be precooked, and can go right into the skillet with the gnocchi.

Homemade gnocchi is a nice touch if you have time on a weekend to make it.

http://andreasrecipes.com/browned-butter-gnocchi-with-broccoli-and-almonds/

More Tasty Side Dishes

Mujaddarah (Rice with Lentils) - Andrea Meyers Asparagus Risotto - Andrea Meyers Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Parmesan Cheese - Andrea Meyers

More Broccoli Recipes From Other Blogs

[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers' Connection.]

Thanks for subscribing to this blog! Copyright © 2005-2014 Andrea Meyers: making life delicious.

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Cape Malay Curry http://andreasrecipes.com/cape-malay-curry/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cape-malay-curry http://andreasrecipes.com/cape-malay-curry/#comments Tue, 18 Mar 2014 17:57:58 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13100

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Cape Malay Curry - Andrea Meyers

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When I buy a new cookbook or receive one to review, I cook my way through several recipes and tell my guys to give me their honest opinions. Hit me with your best shot and don’t hold back. I want to hear what they have to say about the recipes and why they like or don’t like how a dish turns out. I always give fair warning that we are trying something new, just so the boys are prepared. They’ll hang around, nosing in the pot or peeking in the oven, checking out what’s for dinner and giving early opinions on appearance and aromas. And I love that they are learning to identify ingredients and explain why they like or dislike something, not just say “Yum!” or “Gross.”

Sometimes new dishes are a hit, sometimes a miss, and sometimes “let’s not go back there ever again”. I am thrilled that this Cape Malay Curry was a total hit with thumbs up and requests for seconds (and even thirds) from all my guys. It’s from the new book Cooking Light Global Kitchen: The World’s Most Delicious Food Made Easy, by David Joachim, which just came out a couple weeks ago. The book is full of international dishes for busy families with some light makeovers. If you have an adventurous palate, this book is a good choice for your collection. There is food from many regions, and while some will be favorites, others will be brand new to you. Some of my favorites from the book include the Koshari (Egypt), Beef Bourguignon (France), Lemony Chicken Saltimboca (Italy), Champagne-Browned Butter Chicken (France), Flourless Almond Cookies (Almendrados, Spain), Argentinean Pork with Chimichurri, Indian Cashew Chicken, and this Cape Malay Curry from South Africa.

The mix of spices is just right; full of flavor but not too hot for the kids, and it’s balanced with tangy buttermilk and red wine vinegar plus sweet dried apricots and apricot spread. I made it with our homegrown bay leaves and the last of the garden bell peppers that we had stored in the freezer, and served it with brown basmati rice, though it will also go well with other rice or quinoa. All of the ingredients are easy to find in a well-stocked grocery store.

Giveaway

It’s been a while since we did a giveaway, and I’m happy to share one with my readers! I have a copy of this fantastic book to give to one lucky reader, courtesy of Cooking Light. Thanks for reading, and good luck in the giveaway. And make sure you check out Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, and Instagram for more #GlobalKitchen posts and information.

Rules

  1. The book can be shipped within the 50 United States and Canada. Apologies to my readers in other countries.
  2. You must leave a correct email address in the email field so I can contact you if you win. Please don’t put your email address in the comment field unless you want a bunch of spammers to find you.
  3. The giveaway closes at 8:00 pm EST on Monday March 24, 2014. Random.org will select the winner and I will contact the winner immediately via email. The winner must respond with 48 hours and provide a mailing address for shipping purposes. If a winner does not respond within that timeframe, another winner will be selected.
  4. I will announce the winner in this post once it’s official.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Thien-Kim, winner of the cookbook!

Cape Malay Curry

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Cape Malay Curry

Adapted from Cooking Light Global Kitchen: The World's Most Delicious Food Made Easy, by David Joachim

Ingredients

1-1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 teaspoons sunflower oil
2 cups chopped onion (about 2 medium)
1-1/2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 bay leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
1 pound (454 g) beef stew meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
1-1/4 cups (300 ml) less-sodium beef broth or homemade beef broth
1 cup (240 ml) water
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1 medium)
1/3 cup (53 g) chopped dried apricots
1/3 cup (96 g) apricot spread
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup (60 ml) low-fat buttermilk

SERVE WITH
prepared brown basmati rice

Preparation

1. Combine the turmeric, cumin, coriander, chili powder, cinnamon, and salt in a small bowl, stirring well.

2. Heat the oil in the Dutch oven medium-high heat. Add the spice mixture and cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the onion and sauté just until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the ginger, bay leaves, and garlic, and sauté 15 seconds. Add the beef and sauté until the meat has started to brown, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the beef broth, water, bell pepper, apricots, apricot spread, and red wine vinegar, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1-1/2 hours. Uncover and discard the bay leaves. Simmer until the beef is very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in buttermilk. Serve immediately.

Equipment & Recipe Notes

Equipment:
small bowl
5 to 6-quart Dutch oven with lid

Recipe Notes:
For our family of five, I make a double batch, which gives us leftovers for lunches. I sometimes even increase the sauce ingredients because my guys love the sauce that much.

If you don't have buttermilk, you can make your own with a few drops of lemon juice in low-fat milk, or even stir together a tablespoon of sour cream with low-fat milk and let it rest a few minutes before adding to the pot.

The amount of sunflower oil (or whatever oil you are comfortable with) can vary depending on the type of cookware you use. Nonstick will generally require less oil.

http://andreasrecipes.com/cape-malay-curry/

More Tasty Weeknight Recipes

Chicken Chow Fun (The Kids Cook Monday) - Andrea Meyers Asian Tuna Salad (LifeCafe) - Andrea Meyers Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps (The Kids Cook Monday) - Andrea Meyers

More Curry Recipes From Other Blogs

[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers' Connection.]

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Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kah Gai) http://andreasrecipes.com/thai-chicken-coconut-soup-tom-kah-gai/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=thai-chicken-coconut-soup-tom-kah-gai http://andreasrecipes.com/thai-chicken-coconut-soup-tom-kah-gai/#respond Wed, 12 Mar 2014 17:23:22 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13069

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Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kah Gai) - Andrea Meyers

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Spring is almost here. The snow is nearly melted, the ground is starting to soften, and the first crocuses peeped out today, which means it’s about time to get out in our garden and start prepping the spring beds. I have packs of cilantro and dill seeds, two herbs that love cool spring temperatures, plus our spring greens ready to plant. Cilantro is at the top of my favorite herbs list, and I love that it pops up in the spring, its fragrant leaves ready for just about anything I want to cook. We seed several rows of it, staggering the plantings to help keep it going into the summer. Once the summer heat really kicks in, the cilantro will flower and go to seed, but we have a few months to enjoy fresh-picked cilantro before that happens.

I add handfuls of the fresh cilantro leaves to this Thai chicken coconut soup, aka tom kah gai, one of my favorite Thai dishes. The ingredients list may send you off on a treasure hunt, but once you have everything it’s very easy to make. The coconut base is flavored with lemongrass (which we grow year round in a pot), hot chiles, galangal (a root from the ginger family), and kaffir lime leaves. We have some great international grocery stores nearby, but even with those resources it can be a challenge to find fresh galangal and kaffir lime leaves, so in a pinch I buy them in jars, which keep in the refrigerator for a few months. And when I can’t find my favorite fresh straw mushrooms, canned is ok too.

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kah Gai) ingredients - Andrea Meyers

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kah Gai)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Thai Chicken Coconut Soup (Tom Kah Gai)

Ingredients

2 sticks lemongrass, smashed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 inch galangal root, thinly sliced
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 hot Thai chilies, sliced in half
1 (14-ounce/400 ml) can unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup (240 ml) water
1 pound (454 g) boneless skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
8 ounces (227 g) straw mushrooms
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 teaspoon palm sugar (or light brown sugar)
fresh cilantro leaves

Preparation

1. Combine the lemongrass, galangal, lime leaves, chilies, coconut milk, and water in the pot. Cook over medium heat until hot, but not boiling. Add the chicken pieces and continue to cook over medium heat, until the chicken is just cooked and still tender. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 more minutes, until the mushrooms are hot.

2. Stir in the lemon juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Cook for another 2 minutes, until the sugar dissolves. Divide among the bowls and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves to serve.

Equipment & Recipe Notes

Equipment:
4-quart heavy bottom pot with lid

Recipe Notes:
I’ve tasted this soup done up many different ways both here and in Thailand. Most often it has mushrooms, but a few times it had bell peppers, which also went nicely with the coconut. I like the flavor and texture of straw mushrooms, but you can substitute others. And if you can’t find galangal or kaffir lime leaves, ginger and a few drops of lime juice work nicely.

http://andreasrecipes.com/thai-chicken-coconut-soup-tom-kah-gai/

More Easy Thai Recipes

Thai Stir-Fried Brussels Sprouts (The Kids Cook Monday) - Andrea Meyers Thai Coconut Curry Chicken - Andrea Meyers  Shrimp Pad Thai - Andrea Meyers

More Thai Recipes From Other Blogs

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Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms http://andreasrecipes.com/stir-fried-baby-bok-choy-with-shiitake-mushrooms/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=stir-fried-baby-bok-choy-with-shiitake-mushrooms http://andreasrecipes.com/stir-fried-baby-bok-choy-with-shiitake-mushrooms/#respond Mon, 03 Mar 2014 14:00:05 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13028

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Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Mushrooms - Andrea Meyers

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My inbox has filled with wonderful, encouraging messages from readers since I wrote last week about my cancer diagnosis and treatment. Thank you for all the love and support. I hope the things I share about food and how it has helped me deal with treatment will help others, whether you are living with cancer or helping someone else who is.

As I mentioned previously, adjusting to my new normal took a while. For the second time in as many years, I was dealing with medications that helped and yet hurt, and I struggled to find my way through a bizarre maze of side effects. I experimented with different things on my own, trying to find foods that worked for me, and found that fruit yogurt smoothies and green smoothies were very helpful on days that I just did not want to eat.  But even on days that I felt like I could eat and cook, my palate was limited, so I set out in search of something, anything that would help. And that’s when I found Rebecca Katz and her award-winning book The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen.

Katz is dedicated to helping people find better health through good nutrition, and in her words, “My primary tool has been flavor.” Flavor, among other things, was high on my list of problems to deal with, as I had lost my taste for many healthy things that I used to love. I don’t want to sound maudlin, but as I turned the pages of her book and used up a package of sticky notes, I found hope. Chapter 1 is all about cancer treatment side effects and how to eat for them, with suggestions for enhancing flavor and dealing with taste changes. Her FASS fixes (fat, acid, salt, sweet) help patients deal with a variety issues, such as food having a metallic taste, or too sweet, salty, or bitter, and even tasting like cardboard. And it’s little things, like a bit of maple syrup, lemon, lime, or a touch of sea salt that can make all the difference for someone whose senses of taste and smell have gone around the bend due to cancer.

In addition to all the recipes, she helps readers understand the healing power of different foods in the section Culinary Pharmacy, especially herbs and spices. She has eleven pages devoted to explaining how various things that we can keep in the pantry help with inflammation, digestion, appetite stimulation, and even bacteria and microbes. Some things I already knew, and other things I learned as I read, and I made sure to incorporate these ideas in our meals. Her recipe for Magic Mineral Broth, both meat and vegan versions, is a flavorful foundation for many of the healthful dishes in the book, and even worked for me as a cup of broth by itself on really tough days.

Thankfully I did not loose my taste for Asian food over the last year, and I found that I could eat a number of of my favorite Asian dishes, but in particular I have found Indian spices and curries satisfying. The warm flavors of cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cumin, and cardamom have a calming, comforting effect that helped me eat on some days when food was at the bottom of my priority list. So it should come as no surprise that my family has been eating more Indian food lately!

Katz’s book has 150 recipes for soups and broths, vegetables, meat and meatless dishes, breakfast, healthy snacks, condiments, and dessert. Some of my favorites include her Velvety Red Lentil Dal, Curry Cauliflower Soup, Shredded Carrot and Beet Salad, Green Tea Ginger Lemonade, Triple Berry Smoothie, and this Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms. Shiitake mushrooms are good immune enhancers, but they can be elusive and sometimes difficult to find in our area, so I use other mushrooms when necessary. The flavors are rich with tamari soy sauce and sesame oil, though not overpowering, and I’ve often make a meal just out of a bowl of this. And even if you aren’t living with cancer, it’s a delicious dish.

So this is my thank-you to Rebecca, and a message to never underestimate the power of a good cookbook.

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Stir-Fried Baby Bok Choy with Shiitake Mushrooms

Reprinted with permission from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery. Copyright © 2009 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

Ingredients

4 heads baby bok choy
2 tablespoons light sesame oil
2 scallions, white part only, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces (227 g) shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced 1/4 inch thick
sea salt
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1-1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Preparation

1. Trim the bases off the bok choy and discard. Trim the leaves from the stems and cut both crosswise into bite-size pieces, keeping the stems and leaves separate.

2. Heat the light sesame oil in the sauté pan over medium heat, then add the scallions, ginger, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, and a pinch of sea salt and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the water, tamari, and the bok choy stems and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the bok choy leaves, lime juice, toasted sesame oil, and a pinch of sea salt and sauté until the bok choy is just wilted, about 2 minutes. Taste and add another squeeze of lime if you like. Sprinkle with the toasted sesame seeds and serve immediately.

Equipment & Recipe Notes

Equipment:
large sauté pan

Recipe Notes:
Toast sesame seeds in a 350° F/175° C oven until aromatic and slightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes.

http://andreasrecipes.com/stir-fried-baby-bok-choy-with-shiitake-mushrooms/

More Healthy Vegetable Recipes

Spiced Vegetable Dal - Andrea Meyers Steamed Asparagus with Red Onions, Almonds, and Raisins - Andrea Meyers Carrot Ginger Soup - Andrea Meyers

More Healthy Vegetable Recipes From Other Blogs

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Kale, Spinach, and Pear Smoothie http://andreasrecipes.com/kale-spinach-and-pear-smoothie/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=kale-spinach-and-pear-smoothie http://andreasrecipes.com/kale-spinach-and-pear-smoothie/#comments Thu, 27 Feb 2014 01:37:26 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=13017

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Kale, Spinach, and Pear Smoothie - Andrea Meyers

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I love greens. From the time I was a young girl and ate up my first serving of southern-style turnip greens with a splash of vinegar, I have loved my green vegetables. We grow our own chard, kale, arugula, and lettuces, though for some reason spinach doesn’t do well in our garden so we have to buy it. Our herb bed has parsley and cilantro, and we pick dandelion greens growing wild in the yard for summer salads. I like to eat my greens raw, lightly sautéed, or cooked in soup.

But green smoothies and juices were another thing entirely. I adore fruit smoothies with yogurt, especially for breakfast in the summer, but when it comes to greens, I like the idea of chewing my food and enjoying it. It was going to take something really drastic to get me to drink my greens, like not being able to eat.

In January 2013, the day after my birthday, I was told I had breast cancer. My family does not have a history of breast cancer, so this came as a complete shock. The next three months were a bit of a whirlwind, but somewhere in that timeframe I had tests, tests, surgery, and more tests. I was fortunate; it was invasive but we had caught it early. [Note: Ladies, get your mammograms.] Now I’m in the maintenance treatment portion, which involves injections and daily medications for five years.

That’s the doctor’s part. My part is the exercise and food, and honestly food has been the hardest. Not because I had to fundamentally change how I cook; most of the stuff I cook is healthy to very healthy. For me, the problem has been the side effects. Some women sail through the maintenance treatments with few side effects, while others have side effects that make you wonder how you can get through five years of this. That has been my relationship with food for the last seven months.

Some days I can’t tolerate cooking smells and it’s hard to even want food, even though my body needs it, and when that happens I make dinner for my family and retreat to another part of the house. But of course that doesn’t work well long-term. I needed to find things that I could tolerate and would nourish my tortured body, and that is how I turned to green smoothies.

Yes, I was desperate.

The first time wasn’t horrible, I just told myself it was chilled soup and sipped away. I realize that doesn’t sound like a ringing endorsement, but that’s where I was at the time. A week or so later, after I had made several green smoothies and was actually enjoying them, I poured some into a small glass for Michael so he could try it. His eyebrows arched as he took a sip and he said, “That’s an acquired taste.” That’s ok, because for me it’s absolutely true. I would not have chosen to do this if it weren’t for cancer. But now the green smoothies are a regular part of my routine, along with fruit and yogurt smoothies, and I usually feel better on the days I get my smoothies.

And then on the days I am able to cook and eat our regular healthy food, I really enjoy it!

To enable my green smoothie habit, I keep my favorite ingredients on hand and throw into the blender whatever sounds good at the moment. My body gets much-needed vitamins and minerals, and it’s easy. No funky smells on the days that my nose is in overdrive, my taste buds are off, or textures feel weird in my mouth.

Kale, Spinach, and Pear Smoothie in the blender - Andrea Meyers

Now our refrigerator is regularly stocked with organic produce for my food treatment. And yes, I emphasize organic because to us it makes no sense to go through cancer treatment while getting produce with lots of pesticide residue. That’s counterintuitive. We grow as many of these as possible in our organic garden, and purchase the rest. Fortunately all of these items are easy to find in our area, even the chia seeds which I buy in bulk at Costco.

So here it is, the list of things I keep on hand for my green smoothies:

  • Lacinato (dinosaur) or curly kale
  • baby spinach
  • flat-leaf parsley
  • mint
  • cilantro
  • pears
  • apples
  • celery
  • cucumbers
  • Hass avocados
  • flax meal
  • chia seeds
  • unsweetened plain coconut milk
  • fresh lemons
  • fresh limes
  • fresh ginger
  • maple syrup

I know the maple syrup may sound odd, and I actually don’t use it in my smoothies very often because very ripe pears and coconut milk serve as my usual sweeteners. However, on the days I need a taste bud adjustment, I’ll add a bit of maple syrup. If maple syrup isn’t your thing, try agave.

This green smoothie recipe is my favorite, the one I make most often. As mentioned above, I use either Lacinato (dinosaur kale, in photo below) or curly kale, the two most common kinds you’ll find at the market. Both have a relatively mild flavor and play well with the other smoothie ingredients. Just make sure to strip away the tough stems and use only the leaves. The parsley and cilantro stems are tender, flavorful, and blend easily, so you can throw those in with the leaves. Very ripe pears are perfect for smoothies because they are naturally sweet and juicy, which is why that beautiful Anjou pear in the photo below has some brown spots.

If you have a high-speed blender such as a Blendtec or Vitamix, they will make quick work of your smoothie. Other blenders will work well, too, old-style jar blenders just may take a little extra time, and you may need to remove the blender jar and stir down ingredients to get it to finish.

I’ll share more of my favorite green and fruit yogurt smoothies in the coming months, as well as other foods that have been helpful in my cancer treatment. You can also find links to many healthy smoothies and juices on my Smoothies & Juices Pinterest board.

Kale, Spinach, and Pear Smoothie

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 5 minutes

Yield: 1 smoothie

Kale, Spinach, and Pear Smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup (240 ml) unsweetened plain coconut milk
2 leaves Lacinato kale, tough stems removed
handful baby spinach leaves
handful parsley stems and leaves
handful cilantro stems and leaves
1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax meal
1 very ripe Anjou pear, cut into chunks

Preparation

Put all of the ingredients in your blender in the order recommended by the manufacturer. Blend well and drink immediately.

Equipment & Recipe Notes

Equipment:
blender

Recipe Notes:
You can use coconut water instead of coconut milk.

http://andreasrecipes.com/kale-spinach-and-pear-smoothie/

More Smoothie Recipes

Peach Mango Smoothie - Andrea Meyers

More Green Smoothie Recipes From Other Blogs

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Slow-Cooker Chicken Korma http://andreasrecipes.com/slow-cooker-chicken-korma/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=slow-cooker-chicken-korma http://andreasrecipes.com/slow-cooker-chicken-korma/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 17:18:08 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=12972

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Slow Cooker Chicken Korma - Andrea Meyers

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Curries are one of my favorite dishes to make in the slow cooker because the flavor improves the longer it cooks, but the bonus is that I get to enjoy the aroma for most of the day. This chicken korma with tomatoes and sweet potato makes the house smell so good. It’s a family favorite that I pulled from the Cooking Light online feature 105 Slow-Cooker Favorites, which is full of meat and meatless dishes. I make a double batch, which gives us plenty of leftovers for lunches or a hasty meal on one of our crazy busy weeknights. I love that it only takes about 15 minutes to put it all together, and then the slow cooker does the rest of the work.

S&B Oriental Curry PowderThe curry is flavored with curry powder—I recommend S&B brand—ginger, cumin, coriander, red pepper, cinnamon, and garlic. The flavors are full, but it’s not too hot for the kids. Michael adds some hot sauce to his bowl, and the boys enjoy it as is with some extra yogurt stirred in their bowls. Make brown basmati rice and steamed broccoli to go with it, and you have a meal.

Slow Cooker Chicken Korma

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 15 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Slow Cooker Chicken Korma

Adapted from Cooking Light.

Ingredients

2 pounds (~900 g) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 cups coarsely chopped onion
2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons curry powder (I use S&B brand.)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 (14.5-ounce/411 g) can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
2 bay leaves
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
1/2 cup (120 g) plain fat-free yogurt

SERVE WITH
hot cooked brown basmati rice
chopped fresh cilantro
steamed broccoli

Preparation

1. Heat the nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and sauté until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer the chicken from the pan to the slow cooker, reserving any drippings. Add the onion to pan and sauté until just soft, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger, curry powder, coriander, cumin, red pepper, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes. Pour the onion mixture over the chicken in the slow cooker. Stir in the sweet potato, kosher salt, tomatoes, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick.

2. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Discard the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Turn the slow cooker off and let stand for 15 minutes. Stir in the yogurt. Serve over rice with cilantro garnish.

Equipment & Recipe Notes

Equipment:
large nonstick skillet
5 to 6-quart slow cooker

Recipe Notes:
The original recipe calls for baking potatoes, but I use sweet potato instead.

The chicken is sautéed without oil in a dry nonstick pan, which cuts down on the fat. If you don’t have a nonstick pan, try using a very small amount of sunflower oil, just enough to glaze the pan.

http://andreasrecipes.com/slow-cooker-chicken-korma/

More Slow Cooker Recipes

Slow Cooker Paprika Chicken - Andrea Meyers Ann's Spaghetti Sauce - Andrea Meyers Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup - Andrea Meyers

More Slow Cooker Curry Recipes From Other Blogs

[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers' Connection.]

Thanks for subscribing to this blog! Copyright © 2005-2014 Andrea Meyers: making life delicious.

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Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Apples http://andreasrecipes.com/warm-kale-salad-with-dried-cranberries-and-apples/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=warm-kale-salad-with-dried-cranberries-and-apples http://andreasrecipes.com/warm-kale-salad-with-dried-cranberries-and-apples/#respond Thu, 13 Feb 2014 02:23:11 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=12918

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Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Apples - Andrea Meyers

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I have long been a fan of Todd and Diane, the dynamic duo of gardening, cooking, and photography at the blog White on Rice Couple. I remember first seeing their blog when they began to join in with the Grow Your Own event several years ago, and I was so envious of their gorgeous garden! They had fruit trees, a rosemary hedge, beautiful tomatoes, and Michael and I followed their garden work closely, hoping to pick up some helpful tips. I remember in 2008 when Diane surprised me with a little box of fresh passion fruit in the mail, which I promptly used to prepare a curd that made my toes curl, it was so delicious. And when I had a chance to spend a weekend in Boulder learning more about photography with them, Jen Yu, and Helene Dujardin, well I just could not pass that up.

They are wonderful; two of my favorite people in the world. And they have a beautiful cookbook, Bountiful, that is full of recipes inspired by their garden. Choosing just one favorite recipe from the book isn’t easy, but I have to say this warm kale salad is definitely on the list. It’s simple to prepare, with just a few seasonal ingredients, and perfect for cold winter evenings. I love the combination of the cinnamon, apple, cranberries, and kale, and could eat this several times a week.

If you haven’t seen their book yet, check for it at your local bookstore or at one of the online retailers. Both the photography and the recipes are stunning.

Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Apples

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

Warm Kale Salad with Dried Cranberries and Apples

Adapted from Bountiful: Recipes Inspired by Our Garden, by Todd Porter and Diane Cu

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large apple, chopped
1/3 cup (about 40g) dried cranberries
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces fresh kale (227 g), ribs and tough stems removed, leaves chopped

Preparation

1. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once melted, add the apple, cranberries, cinnamon and salt.

2. Fry until the apples are soft, stirring frequently – about 8 minutes.

3. Add the kale and cook until it becomes tender. Serve warm or chilled.

Equipment & Recipe Notes

Equipment:
large frying pan

Recipe Notes:
The recipe works with both mature kale and baby kale, just shorten the cook time for baby kale.

http://andreasrecipes.com/warm-kale-salad-with-dried-cranberries-and-apples/

More Recipes with Kale and Other Healthy Greens

Italian Sausage, Kale, and Cannellini Bean Soup - Andrea Meyers Sweet Potato, Chicken, and Spinach Curry with Quinoa - Andrea Meyers Winter Minestrone - Andrea Meyers

More Recipes with Kale From Other Blogs

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Meyer Lemon Polenta Cake with Winter Fruit Compote http://andreasrecipes.com/meyer-lemon-polenta-cake-with-winter-fruit-compote/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=meyer-lemon-polenta-cake-with-winter-fruit-compote http://andreasrecipes.com/meyer-lemon-polenta-cake-with-winter-fruit-compote/#comments Thu, 06 Feb 2014 15:55:14 +0000 http://andreasrecipes.com/?p=12888

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Meyer Lemon Polenta Cake with Winter Fruit Compote - Andrea Meyers

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Last spring Michael bought me the most wonderful Mother’s Day gift. He always gives me big baskets of fuschia, my favorite hanging flowers, but this time he also bought two large Meyer lemon trees. We already had one that was still small, but these were large. I mean they had tons of blossoms and about a dozen small green lemons already on them. I was so surprised and happy! They sat out on our deck in large pots all summer, basking in the sunshine, growing and ripening. When the weather turned cold, we moved them into the sunroom where they would still have plenty of light and warmth. And we waited for the lemons.

We were finally able to harvest our lemons, and we have been so happy with them. We’ve used them in pie and cakes, and the flavor is fantastic.  If you can find some way to have a potted Meyer lemon tree, it’s well worth the experiment. As long as I don’t inadvertently kill them off, we’ll have lemons and the intoxicating fragrance of the lemon blossoms for years to come.

One of my favorite new recipes for the lemons is this Lemon Polenta Cake from Cooking Light. It’s served with a winter fruit compote spooned over the slices, and the Meyer lemons worked beautifully with it. You know how some cakes are tons of work? This one is not. It’s a one bowl cake that you can whisk together in just a few minutes, making it a great after school snack, and it’s moist and pretty enough to serve to guests. An all-around winner.

Meyer Lemon Polenta Cake with Winter Fruit Compote - Andrea Meyers

Funny story about the day I made this. Schools in our area have been closed many days this winter due to all the snow and ice days. So the boys were home, yet again, and one monkey who shall remain nameless stuck his finger in the middle of the cake while it cooled. Can you tell? Apparently the culprit needed something extra special and fun to do on another snow/ice day. Like sticking fingers in the cake.

It still tasted delicious.

Meyer Lemon Polenta Cake with Winter Fruit Compote

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Calories per serving: 243

Meyer Lemon Polenta Cake with Winter Fruit Compote

Adapted from Cooking Light.

Ingredients

1-1/4 cups (150 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup (175 g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (75 g) yellow cornmeal
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup (80 ml) low-fat buttermilk (see Recipe Notes below)
1/4 cup (60 ml) extravirgin olive oil
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons Meyer lemon zest

FRUIT COMPOTE
1 cup (240 ml) apple cider
1/2 cup (80 g) golden raisins
1/2 cup (55 g) fresh cranberries, rinsed
1-3/4 cups finely chopped, peeled pear or apple (about 2)
2 teaspoons fresh Meyer lemon juice

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350° F/175° C.

2. CAKE - Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and level with a knife. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt in the large mixing bowl. Make a well in center of the mixture. In the medium bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, olive oil, eggs, and lemon zest. Add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture, stirring until moist. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

4. FRUIT COMPOTE - While the cake bakes, combine the apple cider and raisins in the small saucepan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, and cook until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 4 minutes. Add the fresh cranberries and cook until the cranberries pop, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped pears and cook just until pears are tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Equipment & Recipe Notes

Equipment:
8-inch round cake pan, coated with cooking spray and lined with parchment
large mixing bowl
medium bowl
small saucepan with lid

Recipe Notes:
I make my own buttermilk with lemon juice and milk. Just add 2 tablespoons of the Meyer lemon juice to the measuring cup, then add milk until you have 2/3 cup. Let it sit on the counter until it starts to curdle, about 10 minutes, then it's ready.

http://andreasrecipes.com/meyer-lemon-polenta-cake-with-winter-fruit-compote/

More Easy Winter Cake Recipes

Cinnamon Apple Cake - Andrea Meyers Mini Spiced Pumpkin Bundt Cakes with Maple Glaze - Andrea Meyers Brown Sugar Cake with Prunes and Apples - Andrea Meyers

More Recipes with Meyer Lemons From Other Blogs

[Disclosure: I am a member of the Cooking Light Bloggers' Connection.]

Thanks for subscribing to this blog! Copyright © 2005-2014 Andrea Meyers: making life delicious.

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