Recipe Rampage

10:42 PM


So, during my new days in mommy-land, I've been able to enjoy more time in the kitchen. Here are some of the tasty things I've made:



Greek Pizza with this easy pizza crust
Pizza with Cauliflower Crust

Hope Commentary:

Strawberry Freezer Jam:  I made freezer jam for the first time just before Little C was born and made a second batch a couple of weeks ago when strawberries went on sale again. Now, I had heard freezer jam was easy, but I didn't know it was THIS easy! Also pretty cheap when strawberries are on sale for .99c/lb and especially since I found liquid pectin at the dollar store :) Daniel got me a Blentec blender for my birthday back in April, so I've been utilizing it for all sorts of recipes, including this one for jam. SUPER easy! Yummy on toast, waffles, in yogurt and as an ice cream topping.

Hummus
: I had made hummus before using just a regular blender and it didn't quite get smooth enough for me. However, with the Blendtec I get smooth creamy hummus. A perfect hummus recipe, in my opinion, is one that uses tahini (sesame seed paste). I eat this with veggies, pita bread/chips, on crackers, and have also used as a sandwich spread - one of my favorites is to spread on whole wheat tortillas and fill with tuna salad.


Greek Pizza:  The week after Little C was born we had some meals delivered by members of the Women's Relief Society from church (which was a great help!) and during that week my friend Rachel brought us this AMAZING pizza! She forwarded me the recipe and I've made it a couple times within the past few weeks. It's easily become one of THE MOST crave-able foods ever. Try it. I think you just might agree.  Next time I make it, I want to use fat-free feta from Trader Joe's and see how I like it.

Pizza Crust: The Greek pizza was made using this delicious and surprisingly quick-and-easy crust. Nice and chewy and we bake it on a pizza stone sprinkled with corn meal, which always produces a crispy bottom. It will definitely be our go-to pizza crust from now on.


Homemade KIND & TRIO Bars: This recipe has to be one of the best discoveries I've had in the food world recently. I love those KIND bars you get at the store; nice and natural with just fruit, nuts, and some natural sugary binding agent to hold it all together. Truly a healthy-ish treat. SO, I googled a recipe to make from home (since store bought are quite expensive, at least $1.50 a pop) and this website came up. Also, apparently KIND bars also have some sort of rice cereal incorporated in with the fruits and nuts, which I didn't realize. Since I wanted just the fruits/nuts/seeds, I followed the recipe for TRIO bars and got exactly what I was looking for.  Also, I know that it says to not use brown rice syrup because of supposedly higher levels of arsenic, but that's all I had and I didn't want my jar of brown rice syrup to go to waste. Mostly the issue was about arsenic levels possibly being higher in infant foods that contained organic brown rice syrup, but it's being closely monitored and there have been no official product recalls. 

**UPDATE**
This article came out recently, so I will try using dates and honey as a binder
from now on and see how it goes.

Regardless of the specific ingredients, I will be making these bars as a staple in our home from now on. The ones I made included: chopped dried apricots, unsweetened coconut, almonds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds. I have wrapped in wax paper (as the lady on the recipe site suggests), and also have put in snack-sized zip-lock bags.

After doing the math, these homemade bars came out to .50 cents each! Awesome, compared to $1.50+ from the store. 

Now, the second time I made these I wanted them to go a bit further, so I added 1/2 cup finely chopped oats and turned them into granola bars. If you are into making granola bars, you HAVE to try making them this way. SO easy, SO quick, SO yummy and quite nutritious for a sweet snack.

Thai Green Curry Chicken: Okay, this dish was like candy to me. The rich coconut milk along with sweet and salty Thai spices...so good. And the chicken gets nice and tender the longer it soaks in all the flavorful saucy goodness. Serve over brown rice (or rice of your choice) and you have a very, VERY satisfying (and cultural, I might add!) meal. I might try making this with a lighter version of the coconut milk to cut back on fat count, but that might take away too much of a good thing. I'd rather make it occasionally as is than have a not-so-satisfying Thai dish more frequently. You know what I mean? Definitely a savory treat for dinner--no dessert required!

Cafe Yumm Bowls:  Shout out to Eugene, Oregon! These scrumptious bowls are a taste of home in Eugene where they do not mess around with delicious vegetarian cuisine. The savory and tangy "Yumm" sauce is what makes it. We had this the other night and still have plenty of sauce for leftovers. I did make a couple of modifications, but knowing what the real thing tastes like, it didn't make much of a difference. I used some leftover hummus instead of the garbanzo beans and omitted the soy beans/tofu altogether because I didn't have any and didn't want to go to the store. If you don't want it so tangy, just cut back on some of the lemon juice, as it calls for a whole half cup. Along with the Greek pizza, this has become one of our favorite vegetarian meals. Yumm!

S'mores Bars: My friend Samantha brought me some of these shortly after I gave birth, and they were gone within just a few hours...or maybe they lasted a whole day, I can't remember. All I know is that ever since I began breastfeeding, I have been RAVENOUS. Especially those first couple of weeks when my body was getting used to producing a new substance called milk that burns 500 calories a day. Maybe it's just me, I don't know. Anyway, this blog post is proof that my appetite is making a mighty comeback after 9 months...my stomach is no longer being squished by a little person :-)

Back to the S'mores bars. They are dee-licious. If you're looking for a summery chocolate fix, then look no further. These will hit the spot - no campfire required :)

Pizza with Cauliflower Crust: So I actually didn't try this recipe. I DID make cauliflower crust last week with a different recipe that I can't seem to find now, but I came across this one and want to try it. It says it's the PERFECT cauliflower crust, not just A cauliflower crust, so I'm definitely intrigued. The one I made was fine...but rather thin and didn't hold it's shape under the pressure of the toppings (which mine consisted of sauce, some mozzarella sprinklings, red onion and spinach leaves).  I'm excited to try this "perfect" cauliflower crust and see how it compares. Certainly a nice way to enjoy pizza if you want to keep your carb intake low.

*Addendum* I was inspired by sis-in-law Amy to look into the cauliflower pizza crust recipe. Thanks, Amy ;)

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans):  This recipe is out of my "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld. These are tasty cookies, and I actually like the dense lumpy texture of the chickpea (which Daniel disagrees with...), but I found the texture to be more cake-like, almost like those pumpkin cookies you see around the holidays. That isn't a bad thing, but I did make some modifications the second time around so I could come up with a texture that was more chocolate chip cookie-like. I added 1/2 cup almond flour, used 1 whole egg + 1 egg white (as opposed to just 2 egg whites) and probably the biggest change was that I used nearly a 1/2 cup (almost 1 cube) of butter + 1/4 cup "trans-fat free tub margarine" (which the recipe uses 3/4 cup of). I figured that if I wanted a more cookie-like texture, then I needed to use the real deal of butter. It worked! I was pleased with the results. Nothing like getting your daily fiber (okay, more like a fraction of) with a chocolate chip cookie laced with chickpeas.

Easy Cream Cheese Frosting: 
I can't even remember what I made this frosting for in the first place, but it's a keeper. It's super simple with only 3 ingredients and a lower fat option that goes well on graham crackers or baked goods. I added peanut butter and wa-lah, you've got a yummy pb cream cheese frosting. You could probably add cocoa or flavor extracts, e.g. almond, lemon, etc. for some flavorful twists. Also, I seem to remember adding less powdered sugar than the recipe calls for. Maybe start with 1/2 cup and increase to taste.

 
Tuna Salad with Cauliflower Puree: Also from the "Deceptively Delicious" cookbook, this is a great recipe for lunches. The cauliflower puree is perfect because it adds moisture so you can use less (or no) mayonnaise like traditional tuna salads call for. And since it's white, the puree doesn't add any funky colors...perfect for being "deceptively" delicious ;)

Outrageous Granola:
This recipe is from the back of the box on the Silver Palate Thick and Rough Oatmeal I bought at the grocery store. What? A granola recipe that doesn't have any added oils? PERFECT. That's always been a huge deterrent for me in buying (or making, for that matter) granola. So, when I saw this simple recipe using no oils or fats, I didn't hesitate to try it. Yes, it does have a bunch of sugar from the maple syrup, but hey...it's maple syrup; what's not to love? Try it. It's easy, delicious, and relatively low in fat.


Alright, that's it! As you can see, I enjoy cooking/baking and trying new recipes. It would be fun to do this sort of thing and post the recipes I try (and often modify to my liking :) and write what I think about them...but this definitely took longer than I thought it would :)  Maybe every few months I'll do it again. If you come across any recipes that you think I'd be interested in, please do share!

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