Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm moving!!!

And you know what that means... lots of packing, rearranging and unpacking again.

I'm moving my blog to the address below...

Stop by for a visit?! I think you're going to like what you see!!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

RECIPE: Fish Tacos

Mmmm.... fish tacos!!!  There is no better summer dinner. None...

Here's where I started... mahi mahi, corn tortillas, a green onion or two, cilantro, cabbage and the amazing Southwest Dressing...

Oh yeah... and you must, must, must use the Liquid Gold aka the garlic-infused olive oil ... promise me you'll keep this on hand in your kitchen.  You won't regret it!

Here's the quick run down on how the Lite Southwest Dressing is made... greek yogurt, cayenne pepper, cumin powder and chili pepper.

Several dashes of chili powder, a dash or two of cumin powder and a pinch of cayenne pepper...

And some kosher salt and black pepper... 

Mix it together.  Taste to see if it needs anymore kosher salt (it probably does) or black or cayenne pepper.  Just make this to your own tastes.  You can't go wrong with this... and whatever is left over can simply go in a container in the refrigerator for several weeks (just like the yogurt).

Next attack those greens... cabbage (sliced rather thin), green onions, cilantro...

Line 'em up where they will await their final calling in life... 

Next is the fish... add about a tablespoon of garlic-infused olive oil to the skillet and bring it up to HOT!  Then add the salted/peppered fish to the skillet and let it cook through, turning over half-way through.

While the fish is cooking you can throw the tortillas on a griddle to warm up a bit, on medium heat... turning over once they bubble a bit.  Don't let them get too crispy... they'll just crack in half when you use them.  And you don't want that to happen... 

Once the fish is done you can remove it to another flat surface cut into strips...

Then the assembly process starts...  line up your warmed tortillas, schmear them with a touch of Southwest dressing, topping them with a couple slices of fish...

Then add the cabbage, green onions and cilantro... and be prepared... 

to enjoy a really yummy (and rather healthy) dinner!!!  

We typically serve these up with a small side dish:
sharing a can of clam chowder
corn on the cob
black bean soup

there really are so many options... 
the only thing that ISN'T an option is making these tacos...

enjoy your time in the kitchen...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Things, they are a-changin'...

he just said WHAT?!
a friend's husband said something to me one day in passing that really stuck with me. he knows about my food blog (due to consequent love for food) + my desire to lose weight and gain life = two things that have been at war with each other.

this friend's husband (who, for these purposes, shall remain unnamed. lest said husband wants to get punched by his wife - he knows who he is) said to me "if you spent as much time in the gym as you spend on that food blog i'm sure you'd see some amazing results."

he was so right. so very right.

i kinda wanted to hit him.

but i'll be honest with you, i knew that up until that moment in time i wasn't ready to hear that from ANYONE.

and i thought about it. pondered it. still wanted to hit him. but he was right.

that's around the time my postings on this food blog slowed down. my attention was drawn in other directions.

friend's husband will be happy to know that since then i have spent a bit more time in the gym - and lost over 20 pounds to prove it. (granted, up to that point i had been spending about 4 hours/week in the gym - i'm now up to spending about 7 hours/week "working on my fitness") but i've also started counting my calorie consumption. THAT will "do in" any food blog.... RIGHT?!

so i've been busy revamping recipes by tearing them apart and tweaking them to a much lower calorie count, if possible. (some of our old food favs have since gone by the wayside, fortunately and unfortunately.) i've also been testing healthier food ideas altogether.

all the while i've attemped to wrap my head around how this changes the food blog. you see, i have had so much fun with this blog. i've met some new people while blogging. i've enjoyed taking pictures of food (the food doesn't complain about how it looks in the photo).

i've learned quite a few new things about cooking and baking and writing and blogging.

overall, i've been thoroughly enjoying my time at this. in fact, i've missed it immensely over the past 2 1/2 months.

so now what?!
so this post is my promise to you that i didn't go anywhere. but things are going to start looking a little different around here.

the freshness factor will remain.
the yumminess factor will continue.
the step-by-step tips and play-by-play photography isn't going anywhere.
dare i say, my fruity character will live on...

i will continue to forge forward without advertising on my blog.

but most importantly, i will continue to enjoy this fun adventure in the kitchen.

but it will look (and taste) a bit different around here. thankfully healthy food still tastes good!

come with me as I find new / yummy ways to be healthy???

enjoy your time in the kitchen...

Monday, September 5, 2011

WRAPS: His and Hers

Just as summer is coming to an end, I realized I hadn't yet posted one of our staple summer dinners...

Wraps... we make "his" and "hers" versions of our mediterranean chicken wraps. How easy can THAT be?!

But first I'll start with the low-cal dressing that goes on so many dishes in our house... it is adapted from a chain brewhouse-type restaurant. Instead of a mayo/sour cream base, I use 0% fat Fage yogurt to keep the calories down.

Low-Cal Southwest Dressing
Recipe courtesy Lori Tisdale

1 cup Fage 0% yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Healthy pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch kosher salt/black pepper

Whisk together. Give it a taste; add more cayenne or salt, if needed.

The grilled chicken gets cut into long strips...

The tortilla (aka wrap) gets thrown on the griddle real briefly to warm it up, on both sides...

Then the low-cal Southwest Dressing gets gets smeared on the slightly warmed sun-dried tomato wrap...

Then the rest of the to0pings-of-choice get placed atop the dressing... I chose lettuce, red onion, red bell pepper strips, chicken, havarti cheese and arugula. Mmm mmm good!

Cut it in half... and you've got an entire meal right there!

And for his... (he likes different toppings)...

Same wrap. Same dressing, lettuce, red onion, red pepper strips... but he prefers mozzarella cheese and some New Zealand spinach...

Oh! I forgot one more important thing... wrap it tightly and place back on the griddle for about 45 seconds, seam side down. This will help to hold the tortilla together at the seam.

There ya go... this meal earns major points, in my book!
- It's quick and easy.
- It doesn't require heating up the whole kitchen (which is a plus during the hot summer).
- It can be easily customized for each person.
- It can be easily wrapped up and taken with you.
- It makes for fantastic leftovers.

These wraps are just fantastic for easy summer livin'... and life is good!

enjoy your time in the kitchen...

RECIPE: Nutty, Fruity Granola

They say "You are what you eat" ... and you know what that means: I'm nutty and fruity!!!

That being said, here's how I made my special granola...

I preheated the oven. I chopped some nuts. I got out every last mini dish I had in the kitchen... and I lined up all my ingredients.

The coconut flakes got toasted...

And set aside to cool, looking all toasty and scrumptious...

Next? I got the oat mixture into the oven after mixing together the oats, agave nectar, water, oil and sugar...

I spread it out on a baking sheet... and slid it into the hot oven. I closed the oven door and waited to smell the amazingness that is homemade granola.

The nuts and seeds? They got toasted in a little smidge of butter in a big ol' skillet. I melted a pat of butter (or maybe it was two) in a skillet over medium-low heat and cooked the raw taste out of the nuts.

Depending on how many nuts and seeds you have in that skillet (and the size of the nuts) this will take between 10-15 minutes.

I added the flax seed in the last 3-5 minutes... they are very tiny and don't need much cooking time...

I transferred the nuts and seeds to a large bowl to await the toasted oat mixture. Once they had cooled slightly (waiting was the hardest part) I added the oats, coconut and dried fruit to the nut/seed mixture.

It's so simple... you can do this too! ENJOY!!! But let me warn you, you might want to make sure you have enough of these ingredients to make a second batch... because it's so tempting that it will go faaaassst!!!

You might even want to make sure you have yogurt on hand so you can enjoy while the granola is still warm...

Or you can just put some in a little dish and carry it with you around the house, munching on it all along the way. That's what I did...

Just call me nutty (and fruity)!!!

Now... go make your own! And quit judging me...

Nutty, Fruity Granola
Recipe courtesy Lori Tisdale

½ cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 cups old-fashioned oats
¼ cup canola oil
2 tablespoons agave nectar (or honey)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
¼ stick butter
¼ raw pecan halves, chopped
½ cup shelled pistachios, chopped
¼ cup pine nuts
¼ cup sunflower seeds (roasted/salted is ok)
2 tablespoons flax seed
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
Pinch kosher salt/black pepper
¼ cup dried cranberries
¼ dried/chopped apricots

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread coconut on rimmed baking sheet; toast until light brown. Stir occasionally; about 6-8 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In large bowl mix together oats, canola oil, agave nectar, sugar and water. Spread in thin layer on baking sheet. Bake until oats are golden brown, stirring occasionally; about 20-25 minutes (or to your personal liking). Set aside to cool.

In large skillet, over medium-low heat, melt butter in large skillet. Add chopped pecans and pistachios, pine nuts, sunflower/pine/pumpkin/flax seeds. Cook until nuts are golden, stirring occasionally (about 10-15 minutes). Sprinkle with pinch of kosher salt and black pepper, toss well. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In large bowl mix coconut, oats, nuts/seeds, and dried fruit. Store in airtight container. Consume within 1 week.

Serving suggestions: Serve granola over yogurt, with fresh fruit, etc.

enjoy your time in the kitchen...


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