Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Store Bought Hummus No More!

So at this point, I'm sure that you all know how obsessed I am with dry bulk beans and their many delicious uses.  After discovering the quick soak, I have kind of gone crazy making tons of hummus because well...I could!  So two things I will say and then I'll get on with the recipe: You need a decent food processor...I wouldn't recommend the Ninja-mine kept getting stuck on the chick peas and well...that just isn't productive. The second: In order to make REAL Hummus (any type) you MUST use TAHINI...I don't care what all of the other websites say or call Hummus, real Hummus contains Tahini (therefore I do not think that edamame hummus would be good if it was real hummus).

Anyway, on with the recipe:

To buy:
Dried beans (your favorites, or mix and match-I mix all of my dried beans in a canister; right now, mine has black beans, garbanzo beans/chick peas, lentils, and red beans)

1-2 TBSP Tahini...if you look in the Kosher or Middle East section at your grocery store, you will find it...THIS is the brand I normally see...it's called Jovya, it's white and orange and has an Aladdin/Jafar guy on the top of it

1 TBSP Olive Oil

Fresh Lemon Juice (1 lemon)

Minced Garlic

Garlic Salt

And...any other spice you'd like to put-I like adding cayenne pepper in for a little kick

To do:
Soak your beans (here is the Quick Soak again if you need it)
Load your food processor with at least 2 cups of your soaked beans.  Add in 1-2 tbsp of Tahini, the juice of one lemon, about 1 TBSP Olive Oil.  If you don't like garlic or don't want any other taste than plain, stop here and process your hummus.
If you'd like to flavor your hummus, add 1 TBSP of minced garlic, and the rest of your seasonings and spices to taste.
Turn on your food processor and process until pretty smooth.

Enjoy with pita chips, on pita sandwiches, on turkey sandwiches, with carrot chips...the list goes on!
FYI: The standard serving of hummus is about 2 TBSP

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites: 2 Ways

It's always fun to experiment with different ways to make healthier fried chicken tenders.  I won't lie, faux fried chicken does not by any means completely substitute for fried chicken, but if you're looking for a flavorful crunch with less fat and calories, these are definitely the way to go.  This time, I decided to try this with crushed up pretzels.  I used barbecue sauce one day and spicy brown mustard the next; I also experimented with baking the chicken closed in a foil pack or open just on the baking sheet-You definitely will get a crispier chicken if you bake it open instead of in the foil pack.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Bites

To buy:
Chicken-I prefer boneless chicken breast or chicken breast tenders-lean, white meat and easy to cut into small pieces
Spicy Brown Mustard OR Barbecue Sauce (I used Stubss Original)
A bag of pretzels (I had just the normal sized twists)

To do:
Preheat oven to 450*

Cut chicken into desired tenders or bites

Open bag of pretzels and take out desired amount (for 1 chicken breast/1 serving of chicken, use 2 handfuls of pretzels). Put the handfuls of pretzels in a plastic bag (at least quart size). Lay it flat on the counter and roll it with a rolling pin until the pretzels are crushed into small crumbs.

For the coating, I used 2 tupperware tops; you can also use saran wrap, small dishes, whatever you prefer.  Put the pretzel crumbs on one plate and the mustard or barbecue sauce on the other.  Coat chicken piece in mustard or barbecue sauce, then roll through the pretzel crumbs until coated.  Place on  baking sheet.  Repeat until all of your chicken pieces are coated.

Bake for about half an hour.  Chicken bites should be crispy and delicious! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Mini Greek Pizza Muffins

Nine times out of ten, I will choose a savory breakfast over a sweet one, so for a quick morning bite, that usually leaves me with egg whites and turkey bacon.  Nutritious and easy, but pretty boring.  I found a recipe for Mini Greek Pizza Muffins on Eating Well and decided that they would be a really good "make ahead and freeze for the week" kind of breakfast.  They're just 39 calories for one muffin, so pop 2 of these in the oven with your turkey bacon while you're getting ready for work and you've got a delicious, nutritious, and filling breakfast.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Spinach and Onion Egg Drop Soup

My mom taught me how to make this simple egg drop soup years ago.  It is the easiest soup you will ever make from scratch.  My mom usually used chicken broth, egg whites, and chives.  Since I didn't have chives, I used onions and added in the rest of a bag of frozen spinach that I had in my freezer.  It's a great low calories soup, and is also a good source of protein and fiber.

Spinach and Onion Egg Drop Soup

To buy:
Eggs (I used 3 egg whites in my soup)
Frozen Spinach ( I probably used a little less than half of a small bag)
1 Small-Medium diced onion
2  cups of water (If you're going to use actual chicken broth, do not use water unless the broth is condensed)
Chicken Broth or Powdered Chicken Consomme...or something that gives your soup some base flavor
Seasoning of your choice, to taste (I used Cayenne Pepper)

To do:

Boil the water with the powdered chicken consomme or boil your chicken broth
"Thread" Egg whites into the boiling water...Okay, so technically you can just dump the egg whites in, but to get it into more thinner strands instead of chunks, this is what I did: Instead of breaking the egg completely in half, I cracked it and then poked a hole in it big enough to get one fork spear in to draw out the whites.  It's kind of time consuming to do with 3 eggs, but it gives you strings instead of chunks.
After you've got your egg whites in, add the frozen spinach, diced onion, and seasoning.
Boil until spinach is no longer frozen, egg whites are white and cooked, and onions are soft.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Unbelievably Delicious and Easy Apple Cake [3 Ingredients]

My step mom recommended that I make this apple cake for a Break the Fast meal after Yom Kippur last week. I am usually pretty skeptical about these "3 Ingredient" recipes that float around twitter.  This Apple cake is made of apple slices, a bag of cake mix, and a stick of melted butter.  My first thoughts: dry cake mix+oven=ashley's apartment is on fire.  Even though my step mom had made this before and told me how great it came out, I was still a little skeptical that it actually worked.  I went ahead and made it anyway and decided that if it did not come out well, that I'd just make brownies instead.  Also, it gave me an excuse to buy an apple slicer/corer which I really really wanted (they're AWESOME!! cores the apple and slices it perfectly in one push...who wouldn't want it?).  So anyway, fast forward: nothing caught fire and this was the best apple cake that I had ever tasted in my life.  Somehow, the juice from the apple slices, the butter, and the cake mix combine to make the most amazing apple cake ever. No mixing or anything else needed! 

Literally you just core and slice about 3-5 apples (enough to cover the bottom of a 9x13 baking pan), dump the cake mix in, and melt a stick of butter and pour that on top.  You can put some brown sugar over the top as well, bake at 350* for 35-45 minutes and you're done! Serve with vanilla ice cream if you'd like...this is seriously delicious and addicting. Literally unbelievable.