Zucchini and Asaparagus with Lime and Cotija (what a mouthful)

I have really been loving this website lately… I sometimes get in a food rut and I need some new flavors to switch it up.  I had a couple of zucchini and some leftover asparagus in my fridge so I wanted to find an exciting way to eat them.  Voila!  For the Love delivers again.  This was such a fun and easy thing to make, and everyone ate it- no leftovers!  Plus let’s face it – vegetable leftovers are blah the next day.  Here’s the recipe.

zucchini (and Asparagus, or any vegetable really) with Lime and Cotija Cheese (original recipe from For the Love of Cooking)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 zuchinni, cut into spears
  • 1 bundle of asparagus
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • Juice of one lime
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • Zest of one lime
  • Cotija cheese, grated

DIRECTIONS:

Cut the zucchini into spears then place into a shallow bowl. Drizzle the top with the lime juice, olive oil, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Toss to coat evenly.

Heat a grill pan over medium high heat then coat with cooking spray. Place the zucchini into the grill pan and cook on each side for 1-2 minutes or until it has nice grill marks all over and the zucchini is tender. Place the zucchini on a serving plate then sprinkle the top with lime zest and grated cotija cheese.

Consensus:

Tornado ate some and ate the cheese off the rest.  The Wild One refused at first but agreed to take one bite.  No worries, I ate his leftovers.  The Mr. and I ate the rest and ohhh boy was it delicious!

Grilled Veggie and Smoked Fontina Pizza

First of all, a quick shout out to all my friends and family in New York.  Luckily they are all safe.  Have you seen the footage of Hurricane Sandy?  Here’s the World Trade Center site.  I was just there a few months ago!

My heart goes out to everyone there!

***

I love finding and trying new flavor combinations.  This new one did not disappoint.  It’s a veggie pizza without sauce!  I was a little skeptical but it ended up being yummy and fun.  The boys of course took off ALL the vegetables, but I figure if I make this enough times they are bound to at least eat a tomato or two.

Here’s the recipe.

Grilled Veggie and Smoked Fontina Pizza (original recipe from For the Love of Cooking)

  • 2 baby bell pepper, or 1 large bell pepper sliced
  • 10 spears of asparagus, ends removed and sliced in half
  • 1 zucchini, cut diagonally into coins
  • 1 red onion cut into wedges
  • 4 tsp of olive oil (divided)
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 batch of pizza dough (I made two)
  • Smoked fontina cheese, shredded
  • Handful of grape tomatoes
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

Preheat the grill to high heat (I just used a regular frying pan). Drizzle the bell pepper, zucchini, red onion, and asparagus spears with a little olive oil then season with a bit of sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste; mix until evenly coated. Place on the grill rack; grill 8 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, place the dough onto the baking sheet. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on top of the dough then season with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Place into the oven and cook for 5 minutes.

 

Remove the veggies from the grill. Remove the dough from the oven.

Sprinkle with cheese then place the veggies on top along with a handful of grape tomatoes.  Season again with sea salt, freshly cracked pepper, and crushed red pepper, to taste, if desired.

Place into the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes or until the dough is golden brown and the cheese has melted. Slice and serve. Enjoy.

 

 

 

 

New Favorite: Black Bean and Vegetable Stuffed Poblano Peppers

Woah, folks, have you ever had a poblano pepper?  I hadn’t.  I went to the store to get some, and looked and looked, but couldn’t find them.  I finally spotted something that looked just like them, but it said, “pasilla peppers.”  Luckily, I had my iPhone so I quickly looked it up and sure enough, they are the same thing.  Here in Utah where everyone is a gringo, the checkout lady said, “These are called Prascilla (Pruh-SILL-uh) peppers, right?”  And I said, “Close enough,” and laughed to myself.  But I grew up on the border of Mexico, so I am used to the gringos trying to pronounce things correctly.  Pretty funny.

So…This was a little bit time consuming, but TOTALLY worth it!  You have to broil the peppers until the skin turns black, and then let it sit for a few minutes before you peel  the skin off.  I totally didn’t know what I was doing, and it turned out great.  So have no fear!  Be adventurous!

 

(The pepper is under there somewhere, I promise!)

Black Bean and Vegetable Stuffed Poblano Peppers (original recipe from For the Love of Cooking)

  • 3 poblano peppers
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup of cotija cheese (I’d never had this before either, and it really made a difference in the flavor.  Definitely use it!)
  • 1/ cup of orange and yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small sweet yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup of frozen sweet yellow corn, thawed
  • 3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 large handful of grape tomatoes, sliced
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • Dash of oregano

Clean the poblano peppers and carefully slit them down the center (be careful not to go all the way through the pepper). Gently remove the seeds from the inside of the pepper. Line a baking sheet with tin foil then place the pepper on top.

While they are broiling, make the black bean mixture.  Combine the black beans, bell pepper, onion, cilantro, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, all but 2 tbsp of cotija cheese, oregano, cumin, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste. Mix all ingredients thoroughly.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a glass Pyrex dish with olive oil cooking spray. Place the roasted peppers in the dish. Carefully stuff each pepper with the black bean mixture. Top each pepper with the remaining cheese.

Place in the oven and bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked and the cheese is melted.

Serve with guacamole and sour cream or salsa. Enjoy.

Consensus:

Smashing hit all around, except the kids just had some leftover chicken and didn’t get to try it.  Maybe next time!

Cookie vs. Apple

 

I heard about this study about a month ago, but finally looked it up and read it tonight.  Basically, some researchers studied school kids for a few days and monitored their choice of eating a cookie or an apple.  After putting an Elmo sticker on the apple, more kids took it!  Pretty cool stuff.  The power of branding!!  Read more about it here and here.  Somebody send me some Elmo stickers stat!  The question is:  how can I put an Elmo sticker in my boys’ salads?  We need some help in that department. 🙂

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls in 20 Minutes

Fellas,

These rolls went so fast I didn’t even have time to snap a picture!  Aw man!  But here’s a pic of some yummy rolls…just imagine this came out of my oven tonight.

This is my very beautiful Aunt Shelly (with her hubby who I used to think was Clark Kent. haha).

She is amazing in many ways, not the least of which she birthed eight children.  Eight!  And also her people come from miles around to sample her cooking.  It’s pretty tasty stuff. I’ve had lots of hilarious memories with these guys when our families got together, and I miss her.  But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel because I feel we’re almost hanging out when I am making her dinner rolls.  She has the best rolls recipe ever and it literally takes 25 minutes to make before you put it in the oven.  Including rising time!  Truly a dream come true, especially if you are really last minute, like me, and realize as you cooking a big pot of soup that rolls would be a nice addition.  Boom. Done and done.

Here it is:

Whole Wheat Dinner Rolls

  • 3 TBS Yeast
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 3/4 Cup Warm Water
  • 5 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 Cup Butter
  • 3/4 Tbs Salt
  • 2 Eggs

Directions:

Mix yeast, sugar, and water.  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients.  Knead for a minute or two.  Form into rolls.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes.

Bake 10 minutes.  They will rise a lot when they are cooking.

Voila!  Enjoy!

Recipe: Green Goddess Grilled Cheese

My sis-in-law showed me this recipe from Pinterest and I had to have it in my stomach ASAP.  And I made it twice in a week. haha!  It’s really yummy, fast, and easy.  We had some homemade bread to use up, so it was extra tasty!  Plus, the pesto makes a lot, so leftovers are easy to do in a few days.  If you are in a time crunch, but still want something yummy and healthy, give this a try.

Green Goddess Grilled Cheese (original recipe from tastespotting.com)

 

Ingredients for 1 Sandwich

  • 2 slices bread (we used a white bread, but one filled with lots of different whole grains and seeds would be *awesome*)
  • 2-3 tablespoons Green Goddess Herb Pesto (recipe below)
  • 2 slices mild white melty cheese like mozzarella
  • handful fresh baby spinach
  • ¼ avocado, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, crumbled
  • olive oil (and butter if you’re so inclined)

Directions

Spread about 1 tablespoon of Green Goddess Herb Pesto onto each slice of bread (2 tablespoons total, but if you’re sensitive, go light, the pesto is STRONG).

On one slice of bread, add 1 slice of cheese, sliced avocado, crumbled goat cheese, spinach, second slice of cheese, then top it with second slice of bread. Press together gently.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan over medium low heat. (If you want to use butter, add it to the oil and let it melt). Add the sandwich to the oil and cook until bread is golden brown. Press down on the sandwich lightly, then flip the sandwich over and cook until second side is golden brown.

Green Goddess Herb Pesto

Ingredients

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 (or 2 if you’re ballsy) anchovy fillet (in oil) – I actually left these out and it was still very tasty.
  • ½ small shallot, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • handful chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • handful chopped kale
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Pulse garlic, anchovy, and shallot in food processor until chopped. With the food processor running, add lemon juice, parsley, kale, tarragon and chives. Very slowly drizzle in olive oil until kale and herbs get sufficiently chopped and everything is the consistency of a pesto. You may need more or less of the olive oil depending on how big a “handful” of herbs is to you. You can also turn off the food processor and push herbs down the side of the bowl with a spatula every once in a while.

Season to taste with salt and pepper (You probably won’t need too much salt if you used 2 anchovies).

Consensus:

SOOOOO Delicious!  The flavor combination is unreal.  It was definitely very tasty, and the boys ate it!  I mean, The Wild One peeled some spinach off, but he ate the rest so I was happy!

 

Granola Mom turns the big 3-0!!

I have always felt like a birthday should be a celebration of the baby AND the mom who gave the baby a birthday!  I recently had a birthday, so here’s a shout out to my mom – Thanks for growing me and getting me here safely!  Happy Birth-day to YOU too!  Here’s the secret – I turned the big 3-0 and it was hands down the best birthday I have had in my most recent memories.  The Mr. made it very special for me.  I think he might have been worried that I would have a massive meltdown over my age, but I didn’t!  30 and flirty!  I’m totally embracing it!

I spent the day shopping, getting basically a whole new wardrobe (this helped with the whole not-having-a-meltdown thing cause now I don’t feel frumpy), doing some yoga, and ending it with a nice dinner at Sundance with my sweet stuff.  Oh, and of course cake and ice cream back at home (insert mouth drool here).

In honor of PGM’s Birthday, I reposted my favorite birthday cake (yes I ate some on my birthday and might have had a bite for breakfast the next day too!) for my guest post at Grainmillwagon.com.  This is a pretty awesome blog about the wheat grinder I use (more on that later).