Monday, October 28, 2013

S'more rice krispy treats

If a smore and a rice krispy treat had a love child, this would be it.
If you're looking for a healthy dessert, go to the other dessert recipes on my 'eating in' page. Though this isn't super high-calorie, it's not a dessert I'd normally make. But Justin needed something for a bake-off competition and didn't think the healthy desserts would pass the taste test for normal people (aka, not me), so I went all out with these.
And I have to admit that I'm kind of in love with these now. So I may have a go at a healthier version sometime soon. These have the components of a regular rice krispy treat (rice krispies cereal, marshmallows, butter), but they also add this game changer:
I had forgotten how good Golden Grahams cereal is! Same with game changer #2:
OK so enough build up, here's the recipe. I didn't photograph the process (sorry!) because my hands were super sticky with marshmallow goodness.
-Approx 16 jumbo marshmallows
-13.5 graham cracker squares
-5 cups rice krispies cereal
-1 cup golden grahams cereal
-3 tbsp butter
-1/2 c small chocolate chips
-3/4 cup chocolate chips (melted)
1) Microwave 10 jumbo marshmallows in a large bowl with 3 tbsp butter, then mix it all around until smooth
2) Add rice krispies and golden grahams to the bowl and mix well.
3) Add 1/2 c small chocolate chips to the bowl and mix again.
4) Press entire mixture into 13x9' pan.
5) melt 3/4 cup chocolate and stir until smooth, then spread it over the pressed 13x9' krispy mix in the pan (spread while chocolate's still warm).
5) While chocolate's still warm, place graham cracker squares on top with just a tiny bit of space between the squares (I had to half the squares for the last row).
6) Slice the remaining jumbo marshmallows in half, and place them on a baking sheet in the oven. Broil them on high for a few minutes, until they turn golden-brown.
7) Let the broiled marshmallows cool for a couple of minutes, then squish them atop the graham squares.
I cut some of these in half to make them bite-sized, and then ate lots of bite sized pieces. SO GOOOD.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Mahi curry

This is a delayed post from my week of no chicken (due to the Foster Farms news). I got some mahi filets and tried a food network magazine recipe that was pretty good. But I have suggestions for improvement (or rather adding more spice)!
That sauce added the main flavor. But if I make this dish again I'll definitely add more sauce plus more heat (jalapeno seeds, cayenne pepper, tapatio, or any other form of spice you enjoy).

-1/4 cup yellow curry sauce
-1/2 cup coconut milk
-1/2 cup boiling water
-2 mahi filets
-1 fistful of cilantro, chopped fine
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/2 red bell pepper, diced
-1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
-1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced (I pulled the seeds out for fear they'd add too much intense heat, but I then wished I'd left them in).
-1/2 yellow onion, diced
-(1) 12 oz bag cubed butternut squash
-zest of one lime
First put the curry sauce in a bowl and zest the lime over it. So your lime is naked like this (you can save it and use the juice for something else, maybe my peanut butter curry).
Then chop the mahi into 1-inch chunks and coat them in the mixture so they can soak it up while the veggies sautee. Next, chop the veggies (bell pepps and jalapeno), and garlic, and sautee them over medium-high heat with coconut oil spray (or any other oil of choice).
So they get translucent.
At which point you add coconut milk (take not of my pan's color change- I realized my first pan was too small and had to transfer to a bigger one). I then added boiling water.
And squash chunks.
And let it all sit over medium-high heat, covered, for about 20 minutes.
Until the butternut squash was tender. Then I added the uncooked mahi chunks coated in curry/lime zest. And re-covered the pot.
Then let it sit over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes more. Until the mahi was white and cooked all the way through...
And the squash and veggies were uber tender. Then I prepared the finishing touch (cilantro).
Put it all over rice.
And dug in.
Then added some hot sauce to cure the slight blandness. As I mentioned before, next time I'll try extra curry and leaving some jalapeno seeds in.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Greeter's Corner

Any breakfast featuring this ocean view from your table is already pretty good. And what's great about Greeter's Corner in Laguna Beach is that you can also eat tasty, inexpensive, no-fuss food while enjoying this view :)
A wedding brought us down to Laguna Beach recently, and instead of paying for overpriced hotel breakfast I told Justin we should go to Greeter's Corner. One of my childhood favorites, I grew up eating french toast here almost every other weekend. Now that I'm a little more health conscious than I was at age 10, I went for an egg white veggie omelette with wheat toast and fruit.
Very white on the outside, bursting with veggies on the inside...
Justin got the same thing, and what he liked as much, if not more, than the food and the views was the fact that the restaurant has history.
It's named after a gentleman who always stood at this very location and waved at passersby to cheer people up during the depression. Today he'd just be a crazy homeless man, but in a less cynical time he was revered :) And thus the restaurant serves a tribute to him. His footprints are outside...
As is his waving statue...
All right next to the gorgeous view of Laguna's main beach, featured in this lovely postcard our waitress gave us with the bill...
I love Laguna. It has more character than any other place within OC, including lots of fantastic restaurants and art galleries. If you haven't been before, go. And pay homage to the greeter.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Shrimp tacos

I'm still on the no-chicken bandwagon. While avoiding chicken, I also made shrimp tacos.

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

-1/2 lb jumbo shrimps
-1/2 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp chili powder
-1 tsp finely chopped cilantro
-pinch of red chili flakes (or cayenne pepper)
-pinch of salt
-1/2 tsp white flour
-squirt of lime

Salsa topping:
-1 cup chopped pineapple
-1/3 cup finely chopped bell pepper (I did a combo of red and orange)
-juice of 1 lime
-1/2 jalapeno pepper finely chopped
-1 tbsp cilantro

I also added cabbage (for taco stuffing with the shrimp and salsa), rice and beans (for sides).

First I coated the shrimp with the dry mix.
Then seared it in a pan over medium-high heat.
While it seared, I made salsa!
It was very easy. I chopped and mixed.
Then I added some beans and rice (I added lime and cilantro to the rice so I could get the Chipotle rice effect)
And voila!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Crab cakes & slaw

With the recent chicken recall, I've been opting for seafood this week. I randomly decided to try crab cakes last night, and though they did turn out OK, I will not be making them again due to labor involved. Case in point below.
After starting with that crazy thing which made my kitchen smell like the sea, I managed to get the below.
Getting the meat out of that sucker was tedious. And then I had to make sure there were no shell bits inside the meat. I checked the pile for shell several times before I felt confident there was none in there. Lots of work after a long day of work. Never again. But anyway, once I had that meat pile, I used the following health conscious crab cake recipe (divided by 2 since I made 2 cakes instead of 4).

(To make 4 cakes)
-8 oz crab meat
-1 tsp lemon juice
-1 tsp worcestershire sauce
-1 egg
-2 tbsp mayo (I subbed plain greek yogurt for mayo)
-1/2 cup panko (bread crumbs)
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1/4 tsp paprika
-1/2 tsp kosher salt
-2 tbsp flat leaf parsley

Mixed it all together:
And instead of pan frying, I baked it on a baking sheet (well coated in cooking spray) in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes, until the cakes browned up.
And served it on buns with coleslaw (coleslaw recipe below).
Slaw ingredients:
  • 1/2 carrot shredded plus 3/4 small green cabbage, chopped (I used about 3/4 of a bag of pre-chopped cabbage/carrot mix because I deserved a shortcut after dealing with that nasty crab)
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • I mixed the dressing together.
    Then poured it in the slaw and tossed it around.
    The slaw paired well with the cakes, and I had some leftover. I ate the leftovers today and I must say this slaw is even better the next day after it's soaked up the juices. I'll probably make the slaw again because it was a thousand times easier than the crab cakes. Now you've witnessed my first and last homemade crab cake extravaganza.

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    Butternut squash stew

    Even though it still feels like summer in LA, I'm getting into fall by eating lots of pumpkin and squash. Lots. This stew is uber healthy and loaded with squash.
    Ingredients (4 servings):
    3 chicken breasts
    2 cups vegetable broth
    1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
    1/2 can diced tomatoes
    (1) 12 oz package cubed butternut squash
    1/2 yellow onion, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1/2 cup diced kalamata olives
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp black pepper
    1/2 tsp oregano

    First I steamed up the butternut squash the lazy way. In the micro.
    I ran it on high for about 3 minutes until tender. Then I removed half the squash pieces. I kept the rest going for another 3 minutes or so, until they were easy to mash.
     While the squash was cooking, I was also poaching the chicken breasts in veggie broth.
    I got the water boiling, then inserted the raw chicken, and let it cook on medium-high heat, covered, for 15 minutes.
    I took the chicken out (leaving the broth in the pot), and made sure the chicken was cooked all the way through. Then did some shredding.
    Next I got to chopping the onion and garlic. And I sauteed it with the salt, pepper and oregano.
    Then I added it to the broth.
    I also added the mashed butternut squash and diced tomatoes.
    And 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa. Once the quinoa was in, I kept the pot at a simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. I added the olives.
    Then added the rest of the cubed squash (the stuff that went unsmashed) and the shredded chicken. I let the complete mix of ingredients simmer together for about 5 minutes covered.
    Then served it up!
    This already had its fair share of vegetables, but I still felt a need for greens. So I made a kale salad, too :) Because in my opinion there's no such thing as too many vegetables.