Tuesday, December 30, 2008

may i direct your attention to...

Hello friends!  As most of you, I have been happily busy enjoying time with family and friends over the holidays.  Blogging has taken the back burner, but I have been thinking up some healthy and tasty treats that I will bring in the new year.  Another day of indulgence, right?  (In moderation, of course).

I wanted to point you in the direction of some really great recipes I've run across lately.

First, I'd urge you to try this locro soup.  I spent several months in Ecuador when I was in college, and I practically lived off of this stuff.  I was a vegetarian at the time, and that didn't seem to translate there, but this soup was a staple.  It's a creamy, delicious potato soup - and it is healthy, too.  I like to use yellow potatoes and top it off with a little reduced fat feta and sliced avocado. The recipe calls for achiote powder, but feel free to substitute paprika.  It really is worth a try!

Secondly, the CrockPot Lady saves the day again!  I made a batch of her chicken and rice the other night - and it was absolutely delicious.  I wanted an easy, healthy, tasty meal, and that's what we got. If you still haven't taken to brown rice, don't worry - it cooks up perfectly tender. And say goodbye to cream-of-whatever soups in this version - you make your own, and it comes together in a snap! *Just a note from me: it needs some salt, and I threw the chicken breasts in frozen, under the rice, and they cooked in under 4 hours on high.

I wish you all an enjoyable, safe, and happy new year!  Bring on 2009!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

a new take on chicken noodle soup

It is cooooold outside.  The ground is covered in beautiful, sparkly snow and I am house bound while my husband is off rescuing people who couldn't drive in the snow. He is such a good man.

I thought I'd whip up some soup while he is away so that he has something warm and hearty to come home to.  I found a recipe on my favorite recipe site and changed it up a bit, using what I have on hand and making it a bit healthier.  I think you're gonna like it.  And if you don't, don't tell me.

© One Healthy Mama 2008
Chicken Vegetable Ravioli Soup
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
1 cup shredded carrot
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups chicken broth (I used 2 cups of my chicken stock + 2 cups water)
1 cup dried cheese ravioli
1 14.5oz. can diced tomatoes
2 med. zucchini, chopped
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2-2 cup cooked chicken breast, shredded
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Saute the onion in oil 'til just tender.
Add carrot and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes.
Add broth and bring to a boil. 
Add ravioli and reduce heat.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, zucchini and basil.  Simmer until vegetables and ravioli are tender.
Add chicken and parsley 5 minutes before serving (this way it doesn't dry out, as can happen with chicken breast in soup).

If you want, sprinkle with a little parmesan and serve.  Healthy, hearty - and it'll warm you right up!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

look what i made!

This is a proud moment. While I love to cook, I am just getting my feet wet as a baker.  (Maybe I shouldn't talk about feet and baked goods at the same time.  Sorry). Anyway, as a tribute to my recent jaunt to New York,  I tried my hand at bagels today. And I was pretty pleased with the results.  

If any of you are interested, here is the recipe I used. The only thing that I did differently was substituting half of the white flour with whole wheat. They turned out great! 

If you want to make them "everything" bagels like I did, just sprinkle the top with poppy and sesame seeds, diced onion and garlic and just a touch of kosher salt.  I actually toasted my onion and garlic before baking, but I don't really think you need to.  

And I wanna know - have you made bagels before?  What'd you put in them?  I'd love tips and ideas.  They take a little time, but they're worth it - I am looking forward to more experimenting!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

one of my most favorite foods

My experimenting was postponed.  Busy schedules, changed plans and snow storms intervened.  I promise a new and interesting recipe this week.  In the meantime, how about an old classic?  At least it is in my family.  This recipe is simple and quick to come together, and sure to please a crowd.  And I have loved it since I was a little kid, requesting it on every birthday.  Now that I am all grown up, I make it at least once a month.  

This meat sauce cooks all day in the crock pot.  We usually top off a big pile of spaghetti with it, but it's great in lasagna, atop ravioli, over grilled eggplant - whatever your heart desires.  And please don't be scared off by ground beef.  I use the leanest kind you can find (you can, of course, use ground turkey, but it's actually not that much better for you - they grind the skin and fat right in).   This rich, thick sauce is low in fat and extremely high in antioxidants (hello, tomatoes!).  It'll do your body good, and it'll make a cold day comfy.

Here's what you need:
1 lb. ground beef
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 32oz. can stewed tomatoes
2 6oz. cans tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh parsley 
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon salt

In a large skillet, brown the meat with the onion and garlic.  
Drain fat.  
Add meat mixture to the crock pot, along with the rest of your ingredients.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
How easy is that?

Try it, love it, pass it on.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

it's been awhile, folks.

Hello friends!  I just got back from four glorious days in New York with some good college friends.  It was days of eating good food and feeling just fine about it because we walked everywhere.  Definitely got in those 10,000 steps!  

I promise you a good recipe coming right up.  I was inspired by a few things I saw on my flight (six hours with directTV = a lot of the Food Network), so I am going to experiment tomorrow.  I'll letchya know how it goes.  In the mean time, hope you all are enjoying the wonder of the season!  Peace.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

green bean casserole minus the soup

I love green bean casserole.  We didn't have it for Thanksgiving this year as we had about a million other things, so I am holding out for Christmas.  I made some this week, and the recipe was inspired by my friend, Sample Lady, at Trader Joe's.  I love that place.  

This dish has fewer calories and less sodium and no weird ingredients from canned soup (not that I can really bag on the stuff, because the original is so darn tasty).  But this is a very, very good alternative.  Really, you should try it.  Really.

OHM's Green Beans

© One Healthy Mama 2008
1 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and rinsed  (you can use frozen if you'd like)
salt and pepper to taste
2/3 cup grated gruyere cheese
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2/3 cup canned fried onions (I used TJ's and they don't have any weird chemicals either, but use what you can)

Put your beans in a pan and cover with water.  Add a dash of salt. 
Simmer for 5-7 minutes, 'til tender-crisp; drain.
In a baking dish (I used my pie plate), toss with cheese, almonds and onions.
Cover and bake for about 15 minutes at 350.
Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and voila!

I promise this is good.  All those textures and flavors together give you a nice fresh alternative to the ol' standby.  Give 'er a go!

Monday, December 1, 2008

merry SITSmas!

For those of you who don't know, there is a great blog out there called The Secret is in the Sauce - it's a community of bloggers who have a lot of great stuff to say, cute creations to share, and alotta love to give.  And all day Tuesday they are doing giveaways in the spirit of Christmas (every hour!!  grand prize: target gift card. oh yeah.).  Gotta love it.

This is my cute little elf last Christmas.  Oh man, I love him.  And I love this time of year.  It doesn't get any better than December.  A time to be thankful for our abundant blessings.  A time to for appreciate small joys (lights, hot chocolate, Christmas music) and huge gifts (a loving family, a roof over our heads).  

I hope this season finds you full of love and joy and a deep gratitude for all that we've been given.  Peace be with each of you this day and every day!

Much love,

do you wanna win?

Who doesn't want to win something?  Well, if you have a blog and you want to be in the running for 200 bucks at Target (ooooh, I love that place), you might want to look here