Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Help Needed

My husband and I are trying to eat healthier lately, and we always hear that fish is very good for you.  The problem is, we don't really love fish.  The one type of fish that I find palatable is salmon.  Does anyone have any good salmon recipes?  What do you serve on the side?

Please help!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Chipotle Bean Burritos

This recipe was contributed by Rachel Nielson and was originally found in Cooking Light magazine.

This is a quick, easy, healthy, vegetarian dinner.  We usually have all of the ingredients in the cupboard, so it can be a last-minute meal.  We recently made this recipe with black beans and pinto beans (because that's what we had on-hand), and it seemed to taste just as good.  I think it's a versatile recipe.

 I think these would be delicious with guacamole and chips as a side dish.

For bean mixture:

1 T canola oil
1 garlic glove, minced
1/2 t chipotle chile powder (we just use regular chili powder because that's what we have on-hand)
1/2 t salt
1/3 cup water
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained (the recipe calls for organic beans)
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained (the recipe calls for organic beans)
3 T. refrigerated fresh salsa (we just use jarred salsa)


flour tortillas (obviously)
chopped tomato
chopped onion (optional)
sour cream (absolutely delicious on top!)
shredded romaine lettuce


1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently.  Stir in chile powder and salt; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Stir in 1/3 cup water and beans; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in salsa.  Partially mash bean mixture with a fork.

2.  Warm tortillas according to package directions.  Spoon about 1/3 cup bean mixture into center of each tortilla.  Top each with cheese, chopped tomato, shredded romaine lettuce, chopped onions, and sour cream; roll up and chow down.

**For leftovers, we use corn tortilla and warm them on a skillet with a sprinkle of cheese until crispy like a tostada--then we add the warm beans, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, etc.  YUM!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chunky Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

This recipe was contributed by Sarah McKenna.  I remember tasting these at a church activity in college.  I have been thinking about them ever since.  They combine so many of my favorite things . . . . peanut butter, chocolate, coconut, cake . . . . yum!  I have been craving them for over a month and finally found an excuse to make them.  (Thank you, housewarming party!)  They are easy and rich.  Love it.

Chunky Peanut Butter Chocolate Bars

1 box plain yellow cake mix
1 cup chunky peanut butter
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 bag (12 ounces, 2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Set aside an ungreased 9x13 baking pan.

2.  Place the cake mix, peanut butter, melted butter, and eggs into a large mixing bowl.  Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute.  The mixture will be thick.  Set aside 1 1/2 cups for the topping.  Using your fingertips to spread it out, press the remainder of the dough evenly over the bottom of the pan as a crust.  Set aside.

3.  For the filling, place the chocolate chips, condensed milk, and 2 Tablespoons butter inot a medium-size heavy saucepan over low heat.  Stir and cook until the chocolate is melted and the misture is well combined, about 3 or 4  minutes.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the coconut and vanilla until well distributed.  Pour the chocolate mixture over the crust and spread evenly.  Using your fingers, crumble to reserved crust dough and scatter evenly. 

4.  Bake until the cake is light brown, about 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Grand Junction Peach Cobbler

This recipe was contributed by Sarah McKenna.  It is the favorite dessert of Ryan Nielson, Rachel's hubby and Sarah's brother-in-law!

Don't you just LOVE peach season?!  I do.  Whenever I bite into a juicy, ripe peach I think of poor Kramer with his damaged sense of taste not being able to enjoy those precious Mackinaw peaches!  (That one's for you, Laura!)  They are such a sweet treat!  There are many delectable ways to bake with peaches, including my mom's famous fresh peach pie, but today I want to focus on my current craving and obsession: peach cobbler.  Yum!   Rachel got this recipe at a road-side peach stand in Grand Junction, Colorado, and it is the best cobbler recipe any of us has ever tasted.  Top it with a little vanilla ice cream (the slow churned, half fat Edy's kind is shockingly yummy for low fat!) and you can't get a much more delicious summer treat.  This particular recipe is super easy.  I have made it several times recently, but every time I forget to take a picture.  Oh well.  Enjoy!

Peach Cobbler*

*We suggest 1 1/2 - ing the topping if you want some extra gooey goodness.  Your call.  :)

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
2 cups sugar (SEPERATELY)
3/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
dash salt
cinnamon to taste
4-6 peaches, peeled and sliced

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Melt butter in the bottom of a 9x13 pan. 
3.  Mix flour, ONE cup sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
4.  Add milk.
5.  Pour batter into the pan over the butter, but don't mix/stir.
6.  Lay peaches over the top of the batter.
7.  Sprinkle ONE cup sugar over the peaches.  Sprinkle cinnamon over the peaches to taste.
8.  Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 45 minutes to one hour.
9.  Top with ice cream and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Variations on a Theme: Chicken Tacos with Fruit Salsa

These recipes were contributed by Rachel Nielson.

I love to make fruit salsas in the summer, and I've found that they are delicious with simple, chicken tacos served on corn or flour tortillas.

Here is the recipe I use for the chicken.  Soooo easy:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Combine and rub over chicken.  Add oil to a pan, add chicken, cook 4 minutes on each side or until done.  Cut into chunks for strips.

Here are some options for fruit salsas:

Pineapple Salsa  (from For the Love of Cooking blog)

  • 1 small pineapple, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp red onion, diced finely
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and diced finely (This can be left out if you don't like spice)
  • 1 green onion, chopped finely (I leave this out if I don't have it)
  • Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
  • Dash of sugar
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste  (I've never added this, but maybe should)

Strawberry Avocado Salsa (from Cooking Light magazine)

  • 1 cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped avocado
  • 2 T. finely chopped red onion
  • 2 T. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 t. grated lime rind
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 2 t. finely chopped jalapeno pepper (if you like it hot)
  • 1/2 t. sugar

Mango Avocado Salsa  (from Natalie Dayton, a friend)

  • One diced avocado
  • 1-2 diced Roma tomatoes
  • One diced mango
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 c. onion, diced
  • Juice of one lime (or lemon juice if that's what you have)
  • Several dashes Frank's Red Hot sauce (if you like it hot)
  • Salt and garlic salt to taste  (I've never added this, but maybe should)

Peach Salsa (from Cooking Light website)

  • 2  cups  finely chopped peeled peach (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2  cup  finely chopped red onion
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped cilantro
  • 1  tablespoon  fresh lime juice
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1/8  teaspoon  ground red pepper
  • 1  jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1  garlic clove, minced