Saturday, April 28, 2012

Granola Lunch Box Bites:

I find building a lunch for my picky little eater every day is always a challenge. (Boring!)
The kid does not enjoy sandwiches
Despises Peanut Butter
OUr Kid is a snack plate Hero
Maybe...Probably...okay SO its totally  my own fault
I like making snack plates with lots of colour and fun variety
I can't help it
Food is SO pretty
This would be a common day snack plate:

SINCE I am not sure how I would pack this snack into a lunch kit I have to come up with some pretty tricky ways to build a lunch that Bodo boy will eat.
Lately he has started to really like granola bars.
Since I would rather make them than buy them
realizing store bought bars would be loaded with preservatives
Plus making a batch could only save money
I set out to find a recipe that would be a hit
I don't know if any of you have discovered silicone muffin cups...but they are so rad
no more paper cups or worse scrubbing muffin tins (The WORST)
These work great for this project.

2 1/2 C. quick oats
1/2 C. crisp rice cereal (I used Kashi Honey Sunshine cereal)
1/2 C. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C melted unsalted Butter
1/4 C honey
1/2 tsp vanilla
* optional: ground flax seed (I use 3 heaping Tbs)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Mix together all ingredients EXCEPT for the chocolate chips - keep those out for now 
Mix the goodies together really REALLY well.
I started with a wooden spoon then ended up mixing with my hands.
Take your time to mix it all up. This ensures you get it combined plus gives the dry time to soak up some of the moist wet ingredient.
If your mixture seems dry after mixing then you may need to add a little more melted butter and/or honey add only a teaspoon at a time - until it starts to clump up a little.
It may be hard to tell, but can you see how some of the granola mixture is starting to cling and ball then it is ready.  Not too wet, not too dry..NOW you can stir in your chocolate chips (maybe even mini marsh mellows ...can you say Rocky Road yeah!) 

Holding the mini muffin cups, scoop in yummy granola mixture. 

Use a spoon or your hands to really press the stuff into each muffin cup.
Place muffin cups onto cooky sheet or into muffin tins.
Place your beautiful bites into the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes. 
They are ready to remove from oven when the tops are golden. 
If they don't cook long enough they may not hold their shape. 
If they cook too long they will get too dry (not to mention they can burn) and may not hold their shape. 

Let the granola bites cool completely. Just leave 'em alone for a few hours so they can set. Then, they are done! 

So easy.
I wrapped mine up so I could easily toss them into the lunch kit 
I love pre prepped food to make my week run so much smoother!
Asia Girl


Shredded Chicken Enchiladas

This is a Recipe I could not resist.  I made two hoping I could freeze one....Yeah...
Maybe I should have made Three....
CHeese CARbs ...this is not diet food but OH so good


2 Cloves of garlic, minced
2 Cans enchiladas sauce (mild) (you can get away with just using one but I like lots of sauce)
Salt & Pepper
2 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup Shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
1/2 Cup Cilantro (or in my house Green onions for the Cilantro haters)
12 6-Inch Corn Tortillas
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Add the minced garlic to the enchilada sauce in a deep skillet and heat to boiling.  Generously sprinkle salt & pepper onto the chicken breasts.
Nestle the chicken into the sauce.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.  Remove the chicken from the sauce, set aside and let both the chicken and the sauce cool.
Using two forks, shred the chicken breasts.  One fork to hold the chicken in place.  The other fork to scrape and shred.
Transfer the shredded chicken to a large bowl.
NEXT Add half the enchilada sauce, 1/2 Cup of each Cheeses.
Stir to combine.
Spray or lightly oil a 9 inch x 13 inch baking dish.
Warm your tortillas lightly.  I stick mine in the microwave for a few seconds just to make them easier to roll.  Add a bit of your sauce to a shallow plate or wide bowl so you can dip your tortillas just before you are gonna fill them and roll em.
Next spoon about 1/3 of a cup of the chicken mixture along the centre of the tortilla.
Gently, but firmly, roll the tortilla around the filling and place in baking dish, seam side down.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Lightly spray the tortillas with cooking spray (or gently brush with olive oil).
This will help the tortillas turn golden in the oven and will also keep them from cracking.
Place the dish into the oven, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until the tops begin to turn golden.
Reduce the oven heat to 400 degrees.
Remove the baking dish from the oven.  Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle remaining cheese over the sauce.  Sprinkle the Green onions on top.
Lightly cover baking dish with foil and place in tot he oven for 20 minutes.
Carefully remove foil after 20 minutes and bake, uncovered, for an additional 5-1o minutes or until the cheese is golden.
Remove from the oven and let cool 5 - 10 minutes before serving.
We serve ours with a dollop of light sour cream!
Asia Girl

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

My New Favourite Tea!
Caffeine Free Earl Grey
I have been fighting hard to kick coffee out
Rooibos has been a big help
then I discovered this Earl Grey
@ HealthyWay Natural Foods in Campbell River.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Salad Art In A Cabbage Bowl ...PURPLE!

Cooked Kamut
Raw Kamut

Have you tried Kamut?  I have been trying out new grains as much as I can lately...I guess I am just curious and also who doesn't like a bit of variety to keep healthy food interesting.

I eat a big salad mostly twice a day.  This might sound VERY boring but you must understand my salads are NEVER the same and NEVER boring!!!
I fill my fridge with salad goodies that are ready and waiting when hunger strikes!
Just a few that I keep on hand these days...

Roasted Beets             Steamed Asparagus         Homemade Sprouts
Green onions              Avocado                         Shredded Carrot
Cilantro                      Celery                              Purple Cabbage
Swiss Chard               Kale                                 Pumpkin Seeds
Almonds                    Walnuts                            Sunflower Seeds
Cooked Chicken        Canned Salmon              Poached Halibut 
Toasted Corn Tortillas Cut into strips (yum)   Rice or any other Cooked Grain like....KAMUT
Some things I have learnt about Kamut is that it is holds a high protein ratio for a grain, it is rich in antioxidants and minerals as well it contains a unique type of gluten which is tolerated by some who have wheat sensitivities.
Kumut kinda rules.
Kamut cooks up as a pretty big grain with a chewy yummy texture.  Really satisfying.  I have been trying it as an addition to my salads and even with my morning eggs.
To Cook Kamut you need 3 parts water to 1 part grain.  Bring water to a boil then add grain.  Return water to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 35-40 mins unit later is absorbed.

The Two salads I have made today are posted below.  They are sorta similar because of the ingredients I have going on in my fridge at the moment but they were both fabulous, colourful, super exciting and Super yummy.
Salad Art begins with throwing a handful of Spinach, Kale, or any Salad mix into a bowl, add as many goodies as you want.  Include raw nuts, a protein source, a grain if like, and a healthy dressing.
Voila you have yourself a meal that WILL leave you satisfied and happy with a ton of green energy to tackle even the craziest of days..

Todays Salad # 1:
  • Purple Cabbage Leaf
  • Spinach Leaves
  • Cooked Kamut                
  • Shredded Carrot
  • Green Onions
  • Avocado 
  • Cilantro 
  • Canned Salmon
  • Dressing of Braggs, Chipotle Salsa,Flax oil 
Todays Salad # 2:

  • Cabbage Leaf
  • Spinach Leaves
  • Halibut 
  • Sprouts 
  • Green Onion 
  • Fresh Green Peas 
  • Avocato 
  • Walnuts
  • Celery 
  • Braggs/salsa/flax dressing again 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Green Machine Wraps

SO my Sweetheart is a Newfoundlander
For some reason it is common practice to nickname any ANY item ...
A machine
Maybe this is just a Young thing ...and not a Newfie thing at all
A Pen ...A hat...A piece of food
These items are all included as machines
This is very convenient when carrying on conversation you can simply state :
"look at this machine" pointing to the item of your choice....
I am not completely certain of all the rules for this phenomenon...
But I THINK these green wraps COULD be included as I have named them just that

These are SO GrEEn and so yummy!
As with Every Wrap style sandwhich the possibilities are endless to what you can fill it up with
Choosing a nice spread will help make the wrap feel moist as well as act like a 'glue' to hold your wrappy together.
I whipped up a batch of BEAN free Humous for these
(ahhhemm low carb yeah)
This is an amazing spread that you will want to put on everything!!!!

What you will Need for THESe wraps:
  • Rainbow Chard or  Collard Greens
  • Bean Free Humous
  • Carrot grated  
  • Beet roasted and grated
  • Firm Tofu marinated with balsalmic vinegar & Garlic then roasted in oven 
  • Avocado
  • Spinach leaves or Sprouts 
  • Onion
To start make Raw-Bean Free Humous:
  • 1 Cup Diced Zucchini (peeled if you like)
  • 1/3 Cup Raw Tahini
  • 1/4 Cup Lemon Juice
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Ground Cumin 
Just Put the works into your blender.  Blend till smooth add a little extra water or lemon juice if needed.

NExt Prep your Veggies for your Wraps:
To Prep you Collard Green or Swiss Chard or other large Green Leafy material 
Put them into a large Bowl of warm water with a bit of Vinegar for about 10 minutes.
This ensures that they are nice and clean and at room temperature which will aid in easier folding later ;) 

See that large Stalk running through the length of your leaf.  This has gotta go!
It just won't fold and it will end up tearing and breaking your pretty wrap.
I used my Filet knife to slice the stalk off and the thickest part.  Careful not to cut your leaf!

AND Now for the super exciting awesome fun part 
Make your wrap ooooooh!
Lay two large leaves down arranging head to foot, stalks at opposite ends (see picture)
Spread with your dream Humous. 
Pile on your other goodies
Warning! if you load your wrap up with too much stuff it might end up being Humungo
 ......ahhemm like mine
I'm thinking a smaller version might be less messy while eating
When all your goodies are in tuck in both sides and wrap up from one end as you would wrap a Burrito
Healthy lunch/Dinner/ Snack???
Good to go 
Asia Girl

Friday, April 6, 2012

Flower Pizza

Cauliflower that is!
Whoever invented cauliflower pizza crust is brilliant!
Wish it was me!
I keep seeing the recipe pop up on certain blogs I visit and figured it was time to give it a try.
I took some of the ideas from a couple of recipes and mashed them together
I think for a first timer it turned out pretty good
AND it tasted GreAt!  Just trust me and give it a try.

makes 1 Large crust
4 Cups Cauliflower "Rice" steamed and squished (keep reading to Step#1 this will make more sense)
1 Egg
1 Tbsp corn meal
2 tsp Italian seasoning
pinch of salt

Pre Heat Oven to 400

  1.  Make Cauliflower Rice:  Pulse in batches with food processor until rice like texture achieved.
  2.  Steam and Squeeze:  Fill a pot with about an inch of water.  Bring to a boil.  Add "Rice"      remove from heat and cover.   Let steam like this for 5 mins.  Transfer to Cheese cloth or dish towel lined strainer. Gather cloth and squeeze SQUEEZE all the excess moisture you can out!
  3. Transfer to Large bowl.  Mix in Egg, spices, and corn meal.
  4. Spread onto parchment lined cooky sheet pressing with your hands to create your pizza crust.
NOW bake in oven for 35-40 mins.  check to make sure it isn't burning.  Depending on how thick you make your crust will depend on how long it will need to cook it.
I like my crust thin and crispy so it took the whole 40 mins.

NOW the fun part.  Dress your pizza.  I like Sauce, onions, hot banana peppers, Pineapple, Feta, and scissor chopped spinach, and just a little bit of old aged cheddar to make it feel like I am ordering from PAnAGo ...sortof

Return to oven and bake for 20 mins 


                        XO Asia Girl