Travel Often

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Love Deeply, but Laugh Along the Way

"Happiness is only real when shared." - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

View Marriage as an Adventure

"Love is a flower which turns into fruit at marriage." ~Finnish Proverb

Fuel your body with GOOD (It's the only one you get)

He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything. - Arabian Proverb

Open your Soul to Motherhood

A Grand Adventure is About to Begin - Winnie the Pooh

A New Kind of Love is Born

Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Fresh Tomatoes? Now what? Salsa!

Best salsa ever!
serves as many as you want
(recipe given to me by church organist - Karen Daniels)

1 jar of already made salsa (garden fresh - she recommends Pace)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 tsp cumin
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
3 green onions chopped
as much cilantro as you like
1 garlic clove, minced
pepper to taste
salt to taste

I had a bunch of fresh tomatoes lying around from our deck plants so I decided to make mine from scratch.

6 large tomatoes (chopped and ground up)
2 cartons of grape tomatoes chopped and diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 tsp cumin
1 jar of black beans with jalapeños, drained and rinsed
3 green onions chopped
1/2 tablespoon dried onion
pepper to taste
salt to taste
1 garlic clove, minced
cilantro to taste
2 limes (squeeze lime juice)

My take - We had a work salsa competition and I made this. It ended up tasting very close to how the recipe from already-made salsa tastes like and the best part is this one is super fresh. I had lots of good feedback on mine! I'll be making this again because it can go on everything!!

Cherry-Chipotle Chili

"Cherries are rich in anthocyanins, which can jump-start your immune system and mop up free radicals."

Cherry-Chipotle Chili
serves 4
(recipe found in Self Magazine August 2011)

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb lean ground turkey
3/4 tsp salt (preferably kosher)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 medium carrots, diced
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp chili powder
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cups pitted black cherries (fresh or frozen)
2 canned chipotle chilies, diced, plus sauce
2 bay leaves
1 can (15 oz) white beans (such as cannellini or navy), rinsed and drained
1/4 cup nonfat plan Greek yogurt (optional)
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-heat. Cook turkey with salt and pepper, stirring, until browned, 5 to 10 minutes.

2. Add carrots, onion and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until carrots soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in chili powder. Add tomatoes, cherries, chipotles, bay leaves and 1/2 cup water; bring to a boil.

3. Reduce to simmer; cook, stirring once or twice, until chili thickens, 10 to 15 minutes. Add beans; cook 2 minutes. Flavor with chipotle sauce to taste.

4. Remove bay leaves. Divide chili among 4 bowls. Top each with 1 tbsp yogurt and garnish with cilantro, if desired, before serving.

Karl's reaction - "Whoaaaaa, this is hot!! Mouth is on fire!! Burn. Burn. Burn. It's different babe. I think if the spice was taken down a few notches, it'd be real good."

My take - Yeah, I went a little wild with the chipotle chilies. I never cooked with them before and didn't realize how hot they really are. Also, the grocery store didn't have frozen cherries so I had to take the pits out of fresh cherries, which was a HUGE pain. This tasted really good heated up the next day!

Rolled Lasagne

A delicious Italian dinner

Rolled Lasagne
serves 4
(recipe found in Fitness Magazine May 2011)

Rolled Lasagne
8 lasagna noodles
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 12-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1 large leek, white part only, chopped
1 3/4 cups slices cremini mushrooms
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 ounces low-fat mozzarella, grated
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh mint
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
I also used Jennie-O turkey Italian meatballs to give Karl his meat!

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside. Reserve 1 tablespoon pasta water.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add the garlic; cook 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes; cook 15 minutes. Whisk in 1 tablespoon of the goat cheese until combined. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion; sauté 3 minutes. Add the leek; cook 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms; cook 10 minutes. Add the asparagus; cook 3 minutes.

4. Turn heat off; add 1 1/2 tablespoons goat cheese and mozzarella, reserved pasta water, nutmeg, salt, and black pepper. Add the mint and basil, reserving 1 teaspoon of each.

5. Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. Spoon 1/2 cup vegetable mixture onto each noodle, roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Drizzle with remaining tomato sauce; crumble remaining goat cheese on top. Bake 15 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with the Parmesan and reserved mint and basil; serve.

Karl's reaction:  "Mmm, this is pretty good, babe! This goat cheese really adds a zing!"

My take - I really made a mess of our kitchen making this recipe, but I really liked the unique taste of this. Really good!