Monday, November 9, 2009

Fresh Salsa

Chips and salsa is a complete guilty pleasure that I happen to indulge in quite frequently ;) I absolutely love making my own fresh salsa as an alternative to opening a $4 jar. Using fresh ingredients and however much of what you want, this salsa can become a personal favorite of yours and a request from friends and family!

6 Roma tomatoes
1 large white onion
2 jalopeno peppers
lime juice
season salt (I like to use Vulcan fire salt, but Cajun is great too!)

1. De-seed jalopenos (I always wear gloves ever since a nasty occurrence including a horrific burning sensation all over my hands...ick)
2. Chop and combine all ingredients
3. Toss with lime juice and season salt

Roasted potato wedges

Potatoes are an easy and nutritional addition to any meal. They fill you up and complete meat and veggies as a sustaining side. Additionally, you can season these wedges so that they hardly add any unnecessary calories to your daily allowance, while still tasting absolutely delish!

-Baking potatoes
-Baby red potatoes
-Yukon gold potatoes
Pam spray
Lawry's season salt

1. Preheat oven to 525
2. Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper
3. Cut potatoes into bite-sized wedges
4. Place wedges on cookie sheet and spray with Pam
5. Sprinkle with season salt
6. Bake for 20 minutes, checking occasionally, turning if necessary until you see a golden brown outside

Turkey Chili

Right around the beginning of October, I had the urge to chow on some yummy chili. Tis the season! There are a zillion different ways to make your chili with your choice of beans, tomatoes, and additional add-ins, your perfect chili can be achieved. I switched up my own night of chili by using ground turkey and additional spices.

1 pound of ground turkey
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 can chili ready diced tomatoes
1/2 white onion diced
1 packet chili seasoning (check for gluten-free, if needed)
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

1. Brown ground turkey and season with salt and pepper
2. Drain beans
3. Combine all ingredients in a large pot on medium high heat

Chunky Broccoli Soup

I love love love making a huge batch of soup in the fall and eating it throughout a chilly week. This soup is so versatile in that you can add different flavors by varying the spices you use. In this recipe, I just use salt and pepper, but recently, my aunt made a killer soup and added rosemary and thyme. The tomatoes add an extra kick with a little spice to heat up this delicious dish. Reheating is a snap, or if you're headed out of town for the weekend for a big football game, freeze the remaining soup and reheat the next week!

1 bunch of fresh broccoli stalks
2 carrots
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cans chicken broth
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup half and half

1. Wash and cut broccoli into small chunks, shred carrots
2. Heat broccoli, carrot, salt, pepper and chicken broth to boil. Once boiling, reduce to simmer; cover and cook for 6 to 8 minutes
3. Open and drain Rotel tomatoes and add to pot
4. Mix flour and water. Pour gradually into broccoli mixture
5. Heat to boiling and stir occasionally.
6. Stir in half and half. Stir frequently until hot. Do not let boil.

Banana Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Bread

This bread comes with quite the name, but its combination of ingredients and flavors will whet your palate. I have engineered this recipe to cut down on the calories and add enriched nutrients. As with most of the sweet treats in my repertoire, I have added my favorite dark chocolate chips, Ghirardelli...yum.

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup quick oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup no-sugar-added applesauce
2 eggs
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 smashed bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients
3. In a separate mixing bowl, smash the bananas and then mix peanut butter, applesauce and eggs.
4. Slowly combine the wet and dry ingredients and add chips and nuts.
5. Pour batter into two bread pans
6. Pop in the oven and cook for 50 minutes

*If top of the bread starts to brown too much, cover with foil to retain moisture and prevent over-browning