Superbowl party food

I don’t plan on watching much of the Superbowl on Sunday. I love college football, but am  not a huge fan of pro football. What I watch will be mostly for the commercials and half time show. But it is always a good excuse to make some delicious food!

Football and buffalo chicken go hand in hand. With this years previously reported chicken wing shortage now being reported as a lie, I will still give you a wingless buffalo recipe in case there really is a shortage.

I love crock pot buffalo chicken. It’s way healthier than wings, full of flavor and super easy to make. It’s also very versatile; use it to make buffalo chicken salads, pizza, sandwiches or nachos.  In fact, I made a batch yesterday. Leftovers on Sunday? There’s a good chance.

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Wait? You are a vegetarian or vegan but love that buffalo flavor? How about some Tofu hot wings?

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How can you go wrong with homemade guac and chips? You can’t!

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Need something more exciting than mixed nuts or pretzels to set in bowls to munch on? Why  not make some sweet and spicy roasted chickpeas.

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Or what about a big tray of healthy coconut shrimp? I would go to any party serving these tasty little suckers!

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Another way to have a stress-free party is to utilize the crock pot. I am a huge pan of Rick Bayless’s pork tinga and can’t think of anything tastier than a taco bar!

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Two more slow cooker recipes that will wow the crowd are Epic chicken taco soup or Chipotle apple turkey chili.

Hopefully there are enough tasty recipes here to get you on your way to having the best Superbowl party ever!

Curry fries

I make sweet potato fries at home as a side for a lot. It cures my hankering for fries and it healthier than eating them out because they are baked, not fried.

I usually just salt and pepper them. Occasionally I will sprinkle a little cayenne pepper on there for spice. This weekend I decided to switch it up and use curry powder, which added a nice flavor without being overpowering.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into fries
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil(or olive oil)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder

Preheat oven to 400F.

Cut the potatoes into fries. Make them as uniform as possible.

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Toss with coconut oil and curry powder.

Spread as evenly as you can in a single lay on a baking sheet. Or if you own a french fry plan(like I do), use that. While you don’t need one, they are great for roasting vegetables. The holes on the bottom allows the air to circulate better and helps the food cook better.

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Bake for about 10-12 minutes. Uses a spatula to flip the fries the best you can to the other side for even cooking. Trying to make sure that they stay in a single layer

Continue baking for another 15-20 minutes. I like mine to be darker and crispier. This batch was a little underdone for me. I would have liked another 5-7 minutes in the oven for more brown spots, but the rest of lunch had already been done cooking for a little bit. Cold food and hot fries or all hot food? I chose all hot food.

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How do you make fries at home? What seasoning do you use?

Hunker down vegetable soup

With Sunday’s pending ice storm, I decided that a big batch of piping hot soup was in order. I had been drooling over blog posts of vegetable soups all week, so I decided to clean out the crisper drawer in the fridge and transform it to soup. What a good decision.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium onion, sliced or diced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 zucchini, cut in quarters then sliced
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes(preferably fire-roasted)
  • 1 15oz can of beans of choice(I used butter beans)
  • 8 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • fresh ground pepper

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes until glassy. Then stir in garlic and cook for about another minute.

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Then add in carrots and celery. Cook another 5 minutes until celery and carrots start to soften.

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Stir in zucchini, oregano, parsley and basil. Cook another 3 minutes.

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Add in can of tomatoes, beans and broth.

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Cover and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Add pepper to taste. You can add salt, too, but I didn’t think it needed any.

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This soup is so good, filling and hearty. A huge dose of vegetables in every bowl! I absolutely love it!

The Pummelo

Have you seen these huge fruits lurking in the grocery store lately? Probably near but dwarfing the grapefruits.

Upon my friend’s recommendation, I took a chance and bought one of the beasts. Just look at the size of that thing!

20130126-202643.jpgAlso thankful for my friend’s explanation of how to eat one before taking a crack at it myself, otherwise it could have not been a very nice experience. Peel the skin off. It’s very thick. Then I split it in half.

pummelo2 Doesn’t it look like s furry and rugged piece of fruit? How did people every start eating them?

Then peel the segments and just eat the fleshy jewels. This might sound very messy, but they are pretty easy to get the fruit from. The white skin and pith is very bitter. The fruit is sweeter than a grapefruit with no bitterness.

The process reminds me a bit of getting the goodness from the pomegranate. This fruit takes a little bit of time to eat but it totally worth it.

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Golden elixir: A detox beverage

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In this months issue of Whole Living magazine was the new whole living plan. It was the detox that I followed last year and really liked. This years looked even better than last with more great, healthy recipes. I’m looking forward to making most of them.

Twice today, I have drank a mug of their golden elixir. It’s really detoxifying and tasty. To make, add 1 T fresh lemon juice, 1/8 tsp turmeric, 1/8 tsp ginger( it calls for ground ginger but I used fresh grated), a dash of cayenne(depending on your heat preference you can add more) and a squirt of honey(optional) to a mug of hot water. Stir and sip.

Enjoy!

Bread maker bagels

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I’ve made homemade bagels before. They were delicious. I wanted to make them again. But not the same ones.

So, I began scouring blogs for good bagels and kept running across recipes for bagels that started the dough in the bread maker. I was intrigued. I was also a little worried that they wouldn’t turn out well. They turned out great. I’m not sure making the dough in the bread maker simplified the recipe all that much. The only change I made to the recipe was that I used half regular and half whole wheat flour.

Here are some pictures from the process:

In the bread maker:

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Bagel toppings. Everything and rosemary/sea salt:

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Top those bagels!

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What about making a breakfast sandwich with one of these beauties?

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Quick and easy veggie burgers

For a while I was on the hunt for the best veggie burger recipe. I don’t know when or why I stopped making my own patties. I must have gotten tired or them. Or maybe it was about the time I discovered amazing gluten-free veggie burgers at Costco that weren’t loaded with crap.

Well, last week we didn’t have many groceries but we did have the makings of a homemade veggie burger, so I threw these together. And they turned out surprisingly well. While they aren’t my favorite recipe, they were so easy and fast that I would make them again.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small to medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats(not instant, preferably gluten-free)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds(or nut of choice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350F.

Poke holes with fork in sweet potatoes and microwave 5-6 minutes or until soft.

Saute diced onion in a little oil until glassy.

Once cool enough to handle, cut sweet potato into 1′ chunks and place in bowl with black beans. Mash black beans and sweet potato together until combined, but not smooth. I like it left a little chunky, this will also help the patties stay together.

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Mix in onion, oats, egg, seeds and seasonings until combined.

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Form into 6 large or 8 medium patties. Place on non-stick aluminum foil. Make the patties fairly thin. This will help them cook best. Mine were a little more wet that I wanted them, but they still held together in patty form, so I continued on.

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Bake for about 15 minutes. Once starting to brown on the bottom side, carefully flip over and continue making about 20 minutes on other side.

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I like mine a little crunchier on the outside, so you may want to cook slightly less.

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These actually held together very well and have great flavor. Only one broke apart when I was flipping it, so I crumbled it up a little more and ate it on a salad with avocado. Yum!

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The total cost for making 6 veggie burgers? Less than $2! Bargain burger!

Day in pictures

With Chicago potentially getting an ice storm tomorrow, I decided I needed to get as much done today as possible in the event of a power outage or the extreme desire to lounge on the couch all day and watch movies. Well, I got most everything done but laundry, that is. I loathe doing laundry. No, that’s a lie. I don’t loathe doing the laundry, it’s the folding, hanging and putting away that I hate. Since I know that comes right after the washing and drying process, I tend to avoid them as much as possible, too.

So, now that you know about my dislike for laundry, I’ll get back on track. Today I headed to yoga, conveniently located next to Whole Foods so I could stop and buy figs and almond flour to make rosemary and fig crackers. These are “OMG, I can’t stop eating them” crackers. No really. I’ve been snacking on them all day.

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Then I moved on to some morning glory muffins. These bad boys have apple, carrot, banana, raisins and nuts hidden in there. I love the flavor:

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I used the afternoon to run some errands and pick up a few more groceries(after making a meal plan for the week, of course). I may have gone a little overboard on the citrus fruits.

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I’m dying to dive into that pummelo. I also picked up a bunch of guavas that we have been enjoying munching on.
Tonight I made a batch of bagels where the dough started out in the bread maker. Not sure these were really any easier than making bagels without it, but oh well. We have homemade bagels!!!

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I made a few everything bagels, a few plain and one rosemary and sea salt.

Tomorrow will bring vegetable soup, hummus and crockpot buffalo chicken. Yum, yum and yum!