Blooming Health

Plant Yourself in a Healthy Lifestyle… And BLOOM!

Month: June, 2012

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of…

by kerryabdow

… Poblano peppers…

…and I made… Chile Rellenos!

Arrrrrrrrrrrrrriba!!!

It’s no secret that I am a fan of Mexican food…. I mean, c’mon… what’s not to love?!  Spicy, flavorful, colorful… it’s fantastic!  What’s not always fantastic is the lard and the frying and the over-cheesing (yes, you CAN over-cheese… but only in some countries…!).  Chile rellenos have always been one of my fuh-fuh-faaaavorite Mexi chow options, but, because they aren’t the healthiest thing on earth, I decided to search for an option that would work better with my lifestyle.  Aaaaaaannnnnddddddd… Here it is!  Introducing the new star of my Mexican food world – Grilled Chile Relleno!  Gluten-free, super-flavorful and much lower in fat than it’s more recognizable cousin, it’s the find of the summer!  Or… at least the week.  🙂  I got this recipe from a blog – http://www.simplyglutenfree.com.  I’m not gluten-free, but I like to experiment with these types of recipes.  And, as I said… this one is a winner!

Ingredients

6 large Poblano peppers or Anaheim chiles (As you know, I used Poblanos.)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch dice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn kernels or 2 fresh corn on the cob, kernels cut off  (I used frozen this time.)
1 (15 ounce) can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1½ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon dried oregano  *Instead of dried oregano, I tossed in 1/4 c. fresh cilantro to the mix before stuffing the peppers.
1 teaspoon chili powder – more or less depending on taste (I would use more next time!)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ cups shredded Queso Quesadilla (Mexican melting cheese) or Monterey Jack – use divided  (I used Colby-Jack and it worked great, too…)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place peppers over a hot grill, gas burner or under a broiler and char all over, about 10 minutes. Turn regularly to ensure the peppers are completely blackened. When done place peppers in a large mixing bowl and cover with foil and let them set for about 20 minutes until cool enough to handle. When cooled peel the skin off the peppers.  (I let the peppers cool too much and it was almost impossible to get the skin off, so I had to put them back in the oven.  Let them get really charred, and get them in that bowl quickly so it creates some steam!  Full steam ahead!)

While peppers are cooling, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Sautee onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add diced sweet potato and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Add garlic, corn, beans, ground cumin, *dried oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper and cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Take off heat and pour into a large mixing bowl.

Reserve about six tablespoons of cheese for topping the stuffed peppers and add the rest to the vegetable mixture. Stir to mix.

Take cooled, peeled peppers and make a slit along the side of each one lengthwise, making sure you do not cut the peppers in half. Scoop out the seeds and veins with a small spoon. Scoop 1/6th of the mixture into each pepper. Place peppers in a lasagna pan or similar baking dish and top each with about 1 tablespoon of the reserved cheese. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the filling is heated through and the cheese is melted.

And… one more time because they are so beautiful…  taaaaadaaaaaaaaaaa!

 

Pretty awesome, right?!  I served each chile with fresh cilantro, avocado, and, on the side, a fresh green salad with citrus vinaigrette.  Totally delicious dinner!  And easy!

We had some leftovers, so I had one the next day and… it was even better because the flavors really melded!  When I make them again – which will be soon – I will make them a day or two before we plan on eating them.  Also, I would like them to be a little spicier, so I might add more chile powder or maybe even experiment with adding some jalapeños to the mixture… What would you do to make them spicier?

We all need some spice in our life, right?!  Go get it!

See you soon,  mi amigas and amigos!  Adios!

 

 

 

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Come to Papa!

by kerryabdow

What a weekend!  Father’s Day, Pride AND the season finale of The Killing!  Whew… I’m exhausted just thinking about it….  Now let’s eat!  🙂

I celebrated Father’s Day with my dad on Saturday and it was GREAT!  Husband and I schlepped up to Fort Collins to meet him for lunch and a little walking around time.  I always love seeing my dad and am SO grateful that he is super-healthy and happy!  I feel verrrrry lucky…!  And look… isn’t he so cute?!

I also went to the Gay Pride parade on Sunday which was, as always, a total blast!

I love being surrounded by handsome men!  But, seriously… who doesn’t?  Come on now!

We based out of our friends’ house, and their cat, Morena, was dubbed The Queen of The Parade.  Nice crown, Morena!  Love.

Well, Father’s Day and all these outdoor activities always make me think of grilling, and grilling makes me think of… burgers!  Of course!  I am on the constant lookout for a fantastic veggie burger recipe – I’ve shared one here before! – but have yet to find the perfect one… they alllllll fall apart!  *sad face*  It’s like my one unrequited love… *sigh plus sad face*

Testing these recipes is sure delicious, so I am NOT complaining!  And here is the latest version I tried – Lentil-Walnut Burgers.  They kind of fell apart, but not tooooo bad… and were truly super-tasty!  I give this burger 3.5 (out of four) yums!  It’s from Mollie Katzen, the Julia Child of vegetarian cooking!  Love her… http://www.molliekatzen.com/recipes/recipe.php?recipe=lentil_walnut_burgers

Ingredients:

3/4 cup dry lentils (any kind)
1 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for sautéing the patties
1 cup minced onion
4 large cloves garlic, minced
10 large mushrooms, minced
1/2 cup very finely minced walnuts
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound spinach, finely minced (optional)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs, wheat germ, or rolled oats (I used rolled oats)

  1. Place lentils and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils are soft and the liquid is gone. Transfer to a medium-sized bowl, add vinegar, and mash well.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add onion and sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients except the bread crumbs, wheat germ, or oats, and sauté 5 to 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.  Add the sautéed mixture and bread crumbs, wheat germ, or oats to the lentils and mix well. Chill for about 1 hour before forming patties.
  3. Form 4-inch diameter patties. (It might be easiest to do this if you wet your hands.) Heat a small amount of olive oil in a skillet, and sauté the patties on both sides until heated through and crispy. You can also just broil them for about 5 to 8 minutes on each side.

And then I decided to… *drum roll*… make my own mayonnaise!!  I was at the store looking at the ingredients in even the most “healthy” types and decided I wanted to just make it.  Done.  Make it.  Here’s the recipe I followed – http://www.justhungry.com/2006/02/basics_mayonnai.html

Easier said than mayonnaise… or… uh, yeah….
Game plan:

Have all the ingredients at room temperature before you start; the mayo will come together better. Also, because the egg doesn’t get cooked, use a very fresh or pasteurized egg. Once made, the mayonnaise should be stored in an airtight container and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 teaspoons white wine vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Combine egg and mustard in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade attachment. Process until mixture is evenly combined.
  2. With the processor running, slowly add oil in a thin stream until completely combined. Add vinegar or lemon juice and pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Variation (hand-whisked method):

  1. Combine egg yolk only and mustard in a bowl and whisk until well mixed.
  2. Whisking constantly, add oil in a thin stream until completely incorporated and mayo is thick (when the whisk is lifted, the mayo should hang off but not fall). Whisk in vinegar or lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

I used my hand mixer e this and, to be honest, it didn’t turn out great.  Next time I will use the food processor….  It was a little thin, but it was delicious and we still used it!

Check out the beautiful finished product!

Try it, you’ll love it!

Well, I’m off for now, people.  Next up – Chile Rellenos!  Yummmmmm!  *I hope!*

Until then…

Cheers, Dears!