Quinoa Crusted Herb Chicken

IMG_7149_2We all know anything breaded can be detrimental to our waistline if consumed on a regular basis. Yet just because we know it is bad for us doesn’t lessen the craving.  So on our quest to find a healthy alternative, we created this little gem of an idea: quinoa crusted chicken.  Not only do you get the nutrients of our most prized superfood, but you get a crunchy exterior that also pleasantly keeps your chicken moist.  Hooray!  Guilt-free and satisfying.  Now that is something we like!

Here is a look into the process…

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This is our recipe… 

INGREDIENTS

1 cup quinoa

3-4 chicken breasts

1/4 cup flour

1 egg

1/2 cup parsley, chopped

Salt

Pepper

DIRECTIONS

Place quinoa into pot of water (roughly 3 cups) and  let boil down until all water is evaporated and quinoa fluffs up, about 15 minutes. Chop parsley and combine with 1 cup flour. In separate bowl, beat one egg and set aside.

Once quinoa is cooked, about 15 minutes, mix together parsley-flour combination with cooled quinoa. In a glass baking dish, arrange the chicken breasts after they have been coated in the egg (dip front and back). Add dash of salt to chicken, if desired.   Sprinkle quinoa herb mixture over chicken breasts making sure to cover both top and bottom. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until chicken breasts are cooked through and quinoa is crispy.

Serve. Enjoy!

The (Raw) Julienne Salad

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Looking for a salad with texture and crunch? You have come to the right place for inspiration. We wanted to break the mold of salads always consisting of leafy arugula, boring romaine, or those other lettuce variatels. Just take a few of your favorite veggies, combine them with a simple and well-rounded vinaigrette and you will be pleasantly surprised by this daring salad star breakout. 

Here is a look at the process… 

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Combine the following ingredients in julienne form (as best you can) or by shaving each:

Daikon

Carrot

Cucumber

Beet

Broccoli Stems

Add parsley and a squeeze of lemon.

In addition, feel free to experiment with cabbage shreds or other veggies you see fit.

For the vinaigrette, whisk together the following:

1 Tbs sherry or red wine vinegar

1/2 small shallot minced

1/2 tsp Dijon mustard

3 Tbs olive oil

Pinch of sea salt

Toss together. Enjoy.

The Million Mushroom Stuffing

IMG_5644You know that moment in the grocery store when you happen upon that oddity of a gourmet item and you aren’t quite sure what it is, or how to cook with it, yet it happens to be a very intriguing shape or color.  Everyone knows what a normal mushroom looks like, but if we were to tell you to go find a “Hen of the Woods”, would you have ANY idea what we were talking about? Perhaps the poultry section?

Normal button mushrooms are more or less easy to spot, however the variations of names, sizes and shapes these fungi exist in is quite perplexing.  So we bring you this dish as an introduction to our fungus friends, the Million Mushroom Stuffing.  Curious to create a side dish that is warm and soothing that can compliment almost any protein?  This deliciously savory indulgence is worth the try! 

Here is the process…

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And here is the recipe…

INGREDIENTS 

1 package Beech Musthrooms (Bunashumeji)

1 package Hen of the Woods (Maitake)

5 Chanterelle mushrooms

1 package Swiss brown mushroom

4 Portobello mushrooms

1 leek

5 cups homemade breadcrumbs

4 garlic cloves

1/2 cup white wine

2 sprigs thyme

1 stick butter

Salt to taste

Pepper taste

VARIATION

Add porcini or other mushrooms of your liking. Remember to clean and remove stems.

RECIPE

Clean mushrooms thoroughly, removing stems. Chop in small cubes.

Melt butter in a heavy cooking pot and add all mushrooms. Sauté for a few minutes then add leeks and garlic.  Cook for 5 minutes. Add white wine, and thyme until wine almost evaporates, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Fold in breadcrumbs and let cook on low for 10 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat. Serve. Enjoy.

Crispy Mustard Chickpeas

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As we close out the end of January, it is completely normal to ask yourself if you are really keeping your promise of a healthier New Year. One way to keep in line with your svelte conscience is to replace a salty craving with these delicious chickpea darlings. Forgo the chips that are high in sodium, fat and cholesterol and fit these into that hunger void.  

Here is how we made them… 

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This is what you will need… 

Chickpeas

Dry Coleman’s Mustard

Salt

Cookie Sheet

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spread chickpeas out on tinfoil and cover in salt, pepper, and coleman’s dry mustard. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the chickpeas turn golden and crisp. Remove and serve. Enjoy!

Sage & Rosemary Salmon in Parchment Paper

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It can be easy to cook with fish, it can also strike a cord of frustration when not done properly.  To bake a fantastic fillet, there needs to be a balance of moisture and flakiness, spice and texture.  This recipe is a great way to prepare salmon that breaks the mold of pan frying.  The parchment paper becomes a wonderful pouch for the fish to sit and bake happily in, while it rests next to lemon juice, garlic and fresh herbs.  Here is our idea of a perfect dish to compliment your dinner menu….

Here is the process…

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This is the simple recipe… 

INGREDIENTS

Salmon fillet

Rosemary sprig

Sage sprig

4 lemon slices

1 clove minced garlic

Baking parchment paper

Salt

Pepper

Olive oil

VARIATION:

Add 1 thinly sliced onion

DIRECTIONS

Set oven to 375 degrees.

Place salmon fillet on parchment paper and cover with lemon slices (and their juice), minced garlic, sage, and rosemary.  Salt and pepper as generously as needed and drizzle with olive oil to coat the fillet. Add thin onion slices, if desired. Fold fish in parchment paper until it forms a sealed package (it does not need to be air tight) and place on cookie sheet. Bake fish for 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.

Remove fish from parchment paper gently and serve.

Enjoy.

Simply the Best Banana Bread

IMG_6804Sometimes in our quest to be healthy, there are times when shopping in a grocery store for the newest diet regimen is too much to process. All the wonderful fruits and vegetables at your fingertips, how easy it is to be persuaded to over shop; finding  yourself in an overzealous manner collecting a basket full of  produce that can feed a small army.  And after a while, items in your pantry can turn. Take our favorite potassium-rich friend, the banana — oh how quickly you ripen!  

If you find yourself in this common predicament, with browned bananas by the bunch, look no further than our simple banana bread to make use of that over-ripened fruit.  Easy to bake, this can be cut into slivers for a dessert or snack that you won’t feel too guilty about…considering nothing has gone to waste; neither the bananas nor the calories.

A look into the process… 

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INGREDIENTS

4 cups all-purpose flour (or gluten-free four)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

2 sticks unsalted, softened butter

2 cups organic cane sugar

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

8 very ripe bananas

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour two 9 x5 x3 inch pans and set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder & soda, salt, nutmeg, and cardamom in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.

Cream together butter and sugar in a separate bowl with an electric mixer until well blended. Slowly add beaten eggs while continuing to mix. Next add bananas and vanilla.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until all dry ingredients are moist and blended. Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the two pans.  Bake for an hour to hour and 20 minutes or until the bread is slight brown and cracked on the top.

Remove and let stand until cool before you remove.

Serve and enjoy!

Kale Pesto on Whole Grain Pasta

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In an effort to bring health and wellness into your life we present another kale recipe to super charge your body with vitamins and nutrients that are particularly well sourced from this curly-leafed cabbage cousin. Not to brag about its fabulous benefits, but Kale is rich in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium and the most impressive of all, an anti-cancer chemical called sulforaphane.  When chopped or minced, kale is at its most potent nutritional state.  

Lucky for you, this recipe is diced, sliced and ground down, releasing the very elements that make this have the greatest health impact.  So not only is this pesto tasty but unbelievably good for you. If we haven’t made it obvious that we adore Kale, this is our official vow to the beloved green leaf; we love you.

Here is the process for making Kale Pesto Pasta…

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Here is what you need…

INGREDIENTS

8 cups fresh kale, roughly chopped

1 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup walnuts

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup olive oil

Whole grain penne pasta

Pecorino (garnish)

Grape tomatoes halved (optional)

RECIPE

Combine kale, lemon juice, walnuts and salt in a food processor and process until kale is finely ground. Slowly drizzle in olive oil as machine is running. Chill for one hour.

In a separate pot, bring 3 cups water to boil.  Add in whole grain penne pasta and cook for 15 minutes or until firm. Drain and combine pesto with pasta. Add pecorino and tomatoes, if desired.

Serve. Enjoy.

Simple Kale Salad with Radish and Daikon

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We often hear that kale is not the “most pleasant” tasting of greens. “Lacking flavor” says one, “verging on bitter ” says another; it is hard to not be persuaded by the out criers and persistent kale-haters. Yet we decided to tackle this cruciferous plant just to see if we could persuade some to give it a shot at your dinner table. It is a superfood and all! Packing a punch of vitamins and nutrients it is hard to get out of just one leafy green. So give it a try and let us know what you think!

What you need:

Kale Leaves (two bunches)

Radish

Daikon

Mint

Lemon

Olive Oil

*Homemade croutons optional*

And here is the process:

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Roasted Beet & Potato Soup

IMG_5721Here we go 2013, and we are starting you off right! As your head brims with New Years resolutions, some changes you have wanted to do for a while, others that may verge on the impossible; we would hate to throw another idea out there for your mind to grapple with. However, we are bringing you a tasty idea, so maybe it won’t be too hard to swallow.

Take for instance our resolution to “Eat Consciously”.  Now this isn’t cutting out dairy (please don’t take away the cheese!) or dropping 10 pounds by Valentines. This is simply the notion to be conscious of your food. Glance at labels when buying something store made and secondly check to see if it is 1. made by another vendor organically 2. with less sodium or 3. altogether something you can make from scratch yourself.  A lot of us don’t have much time in our day, but slowly making habits out of REALLY knowing what you put in your pantry (and your body) is something we should all slow down for.

And to start us off, here is something simple to create with barely any sodium, a soup brilliant in color and decadent in flavor. We give you… Roasted Beet & Potato Soup.

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INGREDIENTS

2 pounds red beets, scrubbed, peeled, and diced medium

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced medium

2 shallots, coarsely chopped

3 to 5 sprigs thyme

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Coarse salt and ground pepper

5 cups low-sodium chicken broth or water

1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

Sour cream, (optional)

Chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Thinly sliced scallion greens (optional)

RECIPE

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet, toss together beets, potatoes, shallots, thyme, and olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until beets and potatoes are cooked through, about 45 minutes.

Discard thyme. Add vegetables to a medium pot, along with broth. Bring to a simmer over medium-high. With a potato masher or back of a wooden spoon, mash some vegetables until soup is thick and chunky. Stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. To serve, top with sour cream, parsley, and scallion greens, if desired.

ENJOY.