Monday, August 27, 2012

Week of August 20th, 2012

*Gingery Pork Meatballs- I really enjoyed the flavor in these meatballs. Angela had mentioned the noodles were a little bland so I added some soy sauce while cooking the veggies. I would definitely make again.

*Italian Beef Sandwiches- I served these for community group and I thought they were ok. I like these French Dip sandwiches a lot more.

*Lemon Spaghetti- Perfect easy meal for two different picnics we had this week- dinner at Matthews Beach and lunch at Jetty Island. It's hard to get my kids to eat anything at the beach because they are so distracted. This recipe worked!

*Swiss Chard Tacos- Our neighbor John was gracious to give us some swiss chard from his garden. Mark was not excited about this recipe but ended up enjoying them. He said he could mainly taste the caramelized onions and the feta cheese. And that was fine by him.

Chicken marinated with Soy-vay teriyaki sauce, grilled and served with brown rice and snap peas and peppers

Dinner at my sister's house- she made the always amazing Pizza Pockets

*Pumpkin Spice Granola- James said, "Mom, please don't make this kind again." I thought it was pretty tasty but apparently not a fav of the entire family!

My Favorite Websites for Recipes

People often ask me where I find most of my recipes. My favorite way is by people sending me recipes they've tried and loved. I LOVE recommendations. (Hint, hint) The other recipes I find from websites. Here are my most frequented:

Pinterest (I love picking recipes by looking at pictures)

Let's Eat (Angela's blog- healthy, family-friendly food)

Good Eats, Sweet Treats (Becky (my sister) posts her weekly menu- always yummy)

Our Best Bites (A wide variety of tasty, uncomplicated recipes)

Mel's Kitchen Cafe (same as above)

What are your go-to recipe sites?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Week of August 13th, 2012

*Pesto Pasta with Chicken Sausage and Roasted Brussels Sprouts- We loved this but wished there was more of a pesto flavor. I would have used 1/2 cup instead of the 1/3 cup it calls for.

*Mediterranean Chicken and Couscous Wraps- Angela recommended this one because it's fast and simple. It's a great inexpensive, week night meal. We used an entire box of herbed couscous.

*Greek Black-Eyed Peas Salad- I really liked the flavor combination of this unique salad. It took us a looooooooong time to cook the black-eyed peas. This would be a fun New Years recipe.

Fruit Nut Salad- A fun meal for the first night of my mother-in-law's visit with us.

Pizza at Five Restaurant in Edmonds- Awesome patio, totally kid friendly. I would never take my kids to the swanky restaurant inside but the patio was perfect. It was the perfect place to go on the evening it was 94 degrees in Seattle. What?!?

*Quinoa Protein Balls- These are a really great snack! I also love that they are in the freezer so I'm not eating more than I should.

* = new recipe

Changes to Bites

I'm switching things up here on Bites. With my sweet three babes, I have very little time to blog, take pictures of meals, etc. However, I still love to try new recipes and I want to continue to document the recipes I try so I remember which ones to try again! So, instead of posting each recipe individually, I will be posting a weekly menu with links to each recipe. I will also put an asterisk next to each new recipe. To search, continue to use the search bar at the very top left corner of the page and then sort by date once the results come up. Recipes within the weekly menu will still show up. Let me know if there are any suggestions you have about the new format. I hope this blog can still be a source of fun recipes and encouragement to get cookin'!

Chicken and Quinoa Burritoes

I saw a quinoa burrito on the menu at one of our favorite coffee shops in Edmonds so I searched until I found this recipe which sounded similar. We all loved these. Perfect for our picnic at the beach in Edmonds.

4 burrito-size whole-wheat tortillas, warmed
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken, warmed
1 cup black beans, rinsed and warmed
1 cup cooked quinoa or brown rice
1 cup grated Monterey Jack
1 cup fresh cilantro sprigs (didn't have so I left out)
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
1 avocado, sliced
1 cup corn salsa (Trader Joes brand is yummy)

Dividing evenly, top the warmed tortillas with the chicken, beans, quinoa, Monterey Jack, cilantro, yogurt, and avocado.
Roll into burritos and serve with the salsa.

Summer Salad

One of my favorite summer salads I've ever made!
Ribbons of yellow squash and green zucchini (just used my veggie peeler)
Sliced mini heirloom tomatoes of various colors (they are selling these at Costco right now)
Red and orange pepper strips
Purple onion strips
Fresh cooked corn (I took the silks out and then microwaved 2 ears for 5min) Creamy goat cheese
Bag of Mixed Greens
Vinegarette (I used one from Trader Joes)

Smores Cookies

If I had a 10 Star label, this recipe would get it. Seriously, seriously amazing.

11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows
3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.
Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight (I did one batch right away and another after chilling overnight and found there was no difference.)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used one 11x17 pan and one 9x13 pan but you can really use any sized pans you want.
Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). I used 16 graham cracker squares on one pan and 10 squares on another. You may have to add or remove graham crackers according to how much dough you have. If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers.

Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart. I averaged about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per graham cracker square as seen in the picture above. Press down slightly with fingertips.

Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top. You can place as many pieces or as little as you want depending how much chocolate flavor you want.

Bake for 5 – 7 more minutes or until dough is beginning to turn golden brown at the edges. Remove to a wire rack to cool. For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Pistachio Pesto Pasta

James was super excited about using his basil plant for this recipe. Hopefully it's barren branches will survive!

1 lb of pasta
1 garlic clove
1/2 cup of unsalted pistachios
2 cups of fresh basil
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp feta cheese
1/2 avocado
1/4 cup olive oil

Add pasta to a large pot of salted boiling water and cook according to box directions. While it’s cooking prepare the pesto.
Add the garlic clove to the food processor, and pulse until chopped
Add the pistachios and pulse until pistachios are finely chopped
Add everything except the olive oil and mix until well combined
While it’s still mixing, slowly add the olive oil
Add the pesto to pasta and mix well, serve hot or cold
We topped ours with pistachios, grape tomatoes, feta cheese and avocado chunks.
Save any leftover pesto covered in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days.

Chickpea, Lemon Herb Salad

Photo Credit: Green Plate Rule
This recipe fit the bill for a picnic at the park.

15 oz. canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 T. olive oil
1/2 c. sweet onion, diced
1 lg. garlic clove, minced
1/8 t. kosher salt
1/8 t. pepper
1t. basil puree or 1 T. basil, fresh, chopped
1 T. Italian parsley, chopped
2 T. lemon juice, fresh
2 T. parmesan cheese, grated (the good stuff!)
Bag of spinach

Saute onion and garlic until softened in olive oil over medium heat in a small saute pan – add salt and pepper.
Combine rinsed and drained chickpeas, basil, Italian parsley, fresh lemon juice, and pressed garlic clove in medium bowl. Add grated Parmesan cheese and toss gently to blend all ingredients thoroughly.
Cover and refrigerate. Serve salad chilled or at room temperature over bed of spinach.

World's Best Chicken?

I kept seeing this recipe pop up on pinterest, with the title "World's Best Chicken." Well, the verdict is in from Bites...tasty, but not world's best. It was very moist and flavorful but my vote for world's best chicken would be Balsamic Goat Cheese Chicken.

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Salt & Pepper
Rosemary (I used dried)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together mustard, syrup, and vinegar. Place chicken breasts into 9×13 baking dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour mustard mixture over chicken. No need to marinate. I love that because I hate marinating/often forget to until it’s too late.

Bake for 40 minutes or until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees. Season with rosemary.

Creamy Avocado and White Bean Wraps

We all LOVED this recipe I made some slaw without the chipotles for the kids and we all gobbled them up. Highly recommend!

2 tablespoon(s) cider vinegar
1 tablespoon(s) canola oil
2 teaspoon(s) finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/4 teaspoon(s) salt
2 cup(s) shredded red cabbage
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/4 cup(s) chopped fresh cilantro
1 can(s) (15-ounce) white beans, rinsed
1  ripe avocado
1/2 cup(s) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
2 tablespoon(s) minced red onion
4  8- to 10-inch whole-wheat wraps or tortillas

Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle chile, and salt in a medium bowl. Add cabbage, carrot, and cilantro; toss to combine.
Mash beans and avocado in another medium bowl with a potato masher or fork. Stir in cheese and onion.
To assemble the wraps, spread about 1/2 cup of the bean-avocado mixture onto a wrap (or tortilla) and top with about 2/3 cup of the cabbage-carrot slaw. Roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut the wraps in half to serve, if desired.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Whole Wheat Pancakes

Emilie raves about this pancake recipe. We followed her suggestion to use whole wheat pastry flour for all of the flour and they came out great. They are not as light and fluffy as Mark's famous pancakes but the kids couldn't tell a difference and I really enjoyed them. Following the Heaviland tradition, we also added a mashed banana to ours.

3/4 C whole wheat flour
3/4 C all-purpose flour
3 Tbs sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 C low-fat buttermilk *
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbs canola oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Cooking Spray or butter for pan

*As a substitute for 1 C buttermilk, place 1 Tbs lemon juice (or vinegar but I prefer lemon juice) in a 1 C measuring cup and then fill the remainder with milk.  This recipe calls for 1 1/2 C buttermilk, so do the same thing with 1/2 Tbs lemon juice and remaining 1/2 C milk.

Combine flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.  In a separate bowl combine buttermilk, eggs, oil, and vanilla and whisk well.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until moistened and combined.

Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet to medium heat.  Coat pan with non-stick spray or a little butter and then pour on pancake batter.  Use about 1/4 C batter for large pancakes (5-6″) and 2 T for kid-sized ones (2 /2-3″).   Wait until bubbles form and edges are set and then flip.

Makes 12 large or 24 small pancakes.

Asian Turkey Burgers

Photo credit: Blue Kitchen
This recipe is the best turkey burger I've ever eaten. SOOOOOOOOO delicious!

1 pound ground turkey breast
2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce (reduced sodium preferred)
2 green onions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
2 teaspoons minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or less)
1/2 cup bread crumbs
freshly ground black pepper
canola oil

4 hamburger buns

For Sriracha Mayonnaise:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Sriracha Hot Sauce

Make the burgers. Combine ground turkey, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, green onions, ginger, garlic cayenne pepper, bread crumbs and a generous grind of black pepper in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly by hand. Form into 4 patties. Heat a grilling pan over a medium-high flame (you can use a large skillet, but grilling pan is preferred—you can also grill the burgers). Brush the grilling pan lightly with canola oil and toast the cut side of the buns in batches; set aside.

Brush the pan more generously with oil and cook the burgers until just cooked through, about 5 minutes per side. Use a quick read thermometer to make sure the burgers reach an internal temperature of 165ºF.

Meanwhile, make the Sriracha mayonnaise.  Put the mayonnaise and the Sriracha Hot Sauce in a small bowl and mix with a spoon.

Assemble the burgers.  Bun, burger and a smear of Sriracha mayonnaise. You can add some lettuce or tomato slices, but I would discourage it. These are quite tasty on their own.

Mango Blueberry Quinoa Salad

The perfect summer salad recipe! Loved this!

For the quinoa
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water

For the fruits and veggies
½ cup fresh blueberries
½ cup cubed ripe mangoes
½ cup cubed cucumbers
1/2 tablespoon dried cranberries

For the lemon basil dressing
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
10 Basil leaves, chopped finely
Salt and pepper

Place the quinoa and water in a medium skillet and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat, and simmer covered for about 15 minutes or till the quinoa is cooked. Remove the lid, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Let it cool to room temperature.

While the quinoa is cooking, combine the fruits in a bowl and refrigerate till you are ready to serve the salad.

Whisk together all the dressing ingredients, except the chopped basil. Refrigerate till you are ready to serve. Chop and add the basil to the dressing just before serving. If you add it earlier, it will go black.

Add half the dressing to the quinoa and mix gently.

Assemble the salad just before serving – toss the quinoa, fruits and cucumbers together. Serve other half of the dressing on the side. Serve  immediately.


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