02
Oct
14

Feasts and Fotos got a makeover!

Come on over to the new site and be sure to subscribe  http://www.feastsandfotos.com/

 

22
Aug
14

Green Smoothie

GreenSmoothie

I have been making this green smoothie for years and it just finally occurred to me that I should post the recipe and share it with everyone.   I never thought to post a drink!

This smoothie is purely fruit, greens and water…no yogurt, no milk.  Therefore, it is not thick and creamy and, in my opinion, really can’t be classified as a meal replacement.  Maybe a light snack?  I just drink it to do my body good.  It is so unbelievably healthy I can hardly stand it. Every time I drink this I feel that I am doing something great for myself.  I think it is the quickest way to ingest a ton of greens and it ends up being quite refreshing.

I recommend using the most powerful blender you can get your hands on.  Mine blasts everything I put into it to smithereens.  I put the apple and pear in WITH the skin on and after blending there is not a trace of fruit skin or bits of leaves. If you are using a regular blender you might want to peel the fruit. However, you will be losing out on the benefits of eating the skin.  Another point to make, I am not “juicing” the fruit and greens, I am pulverizing them into a smooth liquid therefore retaining every ounce of nutrition and fiber. I told you this was healthy!

I have posted a recipe below but want to explain that this is just a base from which you can add or eliminate in many different ways.  This is a combination I came up with that I think tastes amazing.  And my two year old agrees.  But if you don’t have kale on hand, use swiss chard instead, or whatever is in your fridge.  If you don’t have a pear, don’t use it.  I have done that and it turns out just as delicious.  I do recommend always using the romaine and spinach as a great base though.  I promise, you will not even taste the spinach.  Putting in the few chunks of frozen pineapple really helps mask the “green” flavor.  Another trick is to drink this cold, over ice.

I usually make a full batch which makes enough for about 4 tall glasses.  If I don’t use it all immediately I store the remainder in the fridge for up to 2 days.

Give this one a try.  Your body will thank you.  And I bet you will like it!

Here’s what you need to serve 4, approximately….

 

Recipe

1 small head of romaine, roughly chopped

2 handfuls of spinach

3 large kale stalks, ribs removed

2 large mint leaves

2 1/2 – 3 cups coconut water (plain water is fine)

1 banana (preferably frozen)

1 apple, stems and pits removed, roughly chopped

1 pear, stems and pits removed, roughly chopped

1/2 of a large lemon, juiced

small handful of frozen pineapple chunks (4-5 small chunks)

small handful of ice cubes

*Optional Add-Ins: ground flax seed, chia seeds, cacoa nibs, 1/2 an avocado (will thicken the liquid slighly).

 

Method

In a powerful blender add the romaine, spinach, kale, mint leaves and coconut water (or whichever greens you choose). Blend on high until liquified.  Turn off the blender (obviously!) and add everything else.  Blend on high (or on the smoothie setting) until everything has completely turned to liquid.  I usually let it run for just under one minute.

Pour over ice and enjoy.

 

 

 

 

 

28
Apr
14

Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad

KaleSaladR

 

This past winter was a long one.  Spring is finally here, everything is in bloom and the warm weather is rejuvenating.  I was happy to put away the winter jacket and gloves and rediscover my warmer weather clothes.  But as we know, with warm weather comes lighter, more revealing clothes.  And so comes the mild panic…soon we will all be in bathing suits!

In an effort to lighten up our meals around here I have been whipping up this ‘salad’.  I typically don’t make salads.  I really like them, but I find in order to make a good one you need alot of ingredients and it becomes alot of work.  And I hate washing and drying all the leaves.  That’s why this salad is perfect for me.  Very little washing and drying.  It is quick and super simple.  The only skill you need is to safely slice the kale leaves and sprouts super thin.  (They really need to be so very thin, so take your time with it).  Hopefully eating more of this healthy salad will help me feel a bit less panicked about getting into a swimsuit in a few weeks.

I usually make enough to have some leftovers, this holds up nicely for a day or two in the fridge.  I like to add it to a chicken or steak wrap I make for lunch the next day.

The lemon mustard dressing is a very thick one and gives this salad a great punch.  I don’t use alot of it on here, just enough to coat everything.  If you want it thinner just add some more olive oil.

Here’s what you will need to serve 2-3 people as a side dish…

 

Recipe

4 medium stalks Lacinato kale, ribbed, leaves sliced paper-thin

7-8 large brussel sprouts, trimmed, outer leaves discarded, sliced paper-thin

1 shallot, minced

1/2 small clove garlic, grated

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted

 

Method

In a small non stick skillet over low heat lightly toast sliced almonds.  Set aside.

Tear kale leaves from the center rib, discard rib. Stack leaves on top of one another, roll them up and slice very thin.  Separate leaves with your fingers and put in a medium bowl.

Trim ends off brussel sprouts and discard outer leaves.  Slice paper-thin.  I usually cut the sprout in half lengthwise, then slice each half widthwise.  Separate with your fingers and add to the bowl of kale.

In a separate bowl mix together the shallot, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and Dijon mustard.  (It will be thick).

Five minutes before serving add the dressing to the kale and sprouts and mix really well.  Lastly, add the sliced almonds and mix gently just until evenly distributed.

Recipe adapted from various sources.

 

 

20
Jan
14

Baked Oatmeal

BakedOatmealR

I just realized this is my third ‘breakfast’ post in a row.  Seems I am on a breakfast kick lately.  I think there is something so comforting about having a hearty and warming breakfast on a cold, winter day.  Especially if it is snowing outside!

This baked oatmeal has become my absolute favorite way to prepare and eat oatmeal.  It is so easy to put together (no standing over a stove stirring!) and it tastes absolutely delicious.  I love how creamy it is and how the bananas sort of melt into the oats and give such a wonderful sweetness.  A natural sweetness. Aside from some maple syrup, there is no sugar added to this dish.  It is healthy and filling.

This recipe is husband and toddler approved!  My two year old always wants to eat this right out of my bowl.  After I realized how much she likes it, I now leave out the chopped walnuts, either omitting them completely (it still tastes great!) or toasting them separately and just sprinkling some over my own serving. (She is  not eating nuts yet). Sometimes instead of adding walnuts I will sprinkle wheat germ over the top of the dish before I bake it, as I did in this photo above.  Also, once each serving is put in the bowl I like to drizzle some extra maple syrup on top for a little indulgence.

The dish I use to bake this in (above) is small, about 7 inches square.  It is the perfect size for two people. I have doubled this recipe and used a larger baking dish so we could try having some leftovers and of course doubling the recipe just doubles the goodness.  However, I prefer this freshly baked.  The leftovers are fine (just add some water or milk and heat in the microwave) but not quite as amazing as eaten hot out of the oven.

To all you New Yorkers out there – I hear we are supposed to get a good amount of snow tomorrow. So, bake yourself some oatmeal and enjoy the beauty of the snow!

Here’s what you will need to serve 2 people…

Recipe

1 cup oats  (I use Scottish Style Porridge Oats)

1 cup blueberries

1 large banana, sliced thin

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

pinch of salt

1 tbsp pure maple syrup

1/3 cup of milk

handful of walnuts, chopped

wheat germ (optional)

flaxseed (optional)

maple syrup (for serving, optional)

Method

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Place the oats in a medium bowl and add very hot water, just enough to cover the oats.  Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes.  The oats will absorb most of the water.

To the bowl of oats add the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, milk, maple syrup, bananas and blueberries (flaxseed if you are adding it).  I like to hold back a few blueberries and banana slices and place on top.  Sprinkle the walnuts over the top.

Lightly butter the bottom of a small baking dish (about 7 inches square) and put the oat mixture into the baking dish, smoothing the top and distributing the ingredients evenly.  Add the remaining blueberries and bananas on top.  

Bake for approximately 20-25 minutes until the edges are bubbling.  

Recipe adapted from various sources.

03
Nov
13

Skillet Apple Pancake

ApplePancakeR

I am finally back to trying some new recipes and blogging about them.  It turns out that moving, with a toddler around, is a tremendous undertaking.  We are finally somewhat settled and getting into a ‘new normal’.

A few weeks ago we went apple picking and came home with a big bag of delicious Jonagold apples.  My favorite apple is the Honeycrisp and was disappointed when I discovered they were already all picked and gone from the orchard.  I was told to try the Jonagolds, that they were very similar, if not better.  I was not disappointed, they were very good!

So what to do with all these apples??  I always wanted to try a large apple pancake.  I liked the idea of it, prepare everything and then just toss in the oven.  No flipping pancakes and keeping the first batch warm while making the next batches.  Also, the site of this apple pancake reminded me of a pie.  And who wouldn’t like a slice of pie for breakfast?

In my opinion, this apple pancake is a cross between a pancake and a pie.  The texture is not quite as light and fluffy as a pancake, but not as sweet and creamy as a pie.  Since it is not very sweet you don’t feel bad about having this for breakfast. Oh, and right out of the oven, this pancake is impressive.  It’s all puffed and golden.  It will deflate after a few minutes though, so serve this right out of the oven.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love regular pancakes.  But I think during the month of October every year, after apple picking, this will be my pancake of choice.

Here’s what you will need to make one 10 inch apple pancake…

Recipe

4 tbsp. unsalted butter

1/4 cup light brown sugar

2 medium apples, peeled, cored and sliced 1/8 inch thick

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

5 large eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tsp cinnamon, plus a pinch

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/8 tsp salt

confectioners sugar, for serving

Method

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and 3 tablespoons of the brown sugar.  Add the apple slices and the pinch of cinnamon and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, flour, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and the remaining tablespoon of sugar.  Pour batter slowly over the cooked apple mixture.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until golden brown, set in the center and puffed around the edges, about 15 – 20 minutes.  Dust with confectioners sugar and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from various sources.

13
Jun
13

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

PancakeCookingR

Sometimes it takes a fair amount of motivation to prepare a delicious breakfast in the morning.  I mean, you just woke up.  You are still somewhat groggy.  Who feels like doing a lot of preparation to eat at that hour? (Thanks to Ava that hour for us is 5:30am).  So much easier to just pour yourself a bowl of cereal.  And that’s pretty much what we do around here.  A lot.

But these pancakes?  These pancakes…the thought of them actually help me get out of bed.  Yup.  They are that good.  And even though they are prepared from scratch, they are quick and easy.  And did I mention they were delicious?  And fluffy!  See how fluffy they are?

Although this recipe is for blueberry pancakes don’t be afraid to omit the blueberries if you don’t have them on hand.  The pancakes are just as delicious plain.

Here’s what you will need to make about 10-12 pancakes…

Recipe

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbsp sugar

1 cup fresh blueberries

2 cups buttermilk

2 large eggs

grated zest of 1 lemon

Method

Whisk together the  flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl.

In a small bowl toss the blueberries with 2 tbsp of the flour mixture and set aside.

Mix together the buttermilk, eggs and lemon zest.  Make a well in the center of the remaining flour mixture and add the buttermilk mixture.  Stir together until just combined, leaving some small lumps in the batter.  Fold in the blueberries.

Allow the mixture stand 10 minutes.  You will actually see the mixture ‘grow’ a little bit!

Heat up your griddle or skillet.  Once heated LOWER the flame to medium/low.  Coat with some butter and ladle 1/4 cup – 1/3 cup batter per pancake, depending on how big you like your pancakes.  When small bubbles appear across the surface of the pancakes flip them and continue to cook on the other side.

Serve with your favorite maple syrup.  Enjoy your morning!

Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart

23
Apr
13

Spinach Lasagna Rolls

LasagnaRollsCheeseR2

I have never made lasagna.  Never.  To be honest, I’ve always been a touch intimidated by it.  Seemed to be alot of work, alot of steps, alot of layers.  Just thinking about it exhausted me.  In addition, my mother makes an excellent lasagna so why would I go through all that work when she does it and does it great?

Then along came the lasagna roll.  Yay!  This is much more my speed.  Mainly because it’s relatively quick to prepare and everyone can have their own personal lasagna roll (or two, or three).  It’s certainly not your traditional lasagna but it works in a pinch.  All the familiar flavors are there. And I like to think this version is slightly healthier than a typical super cheesy lasagna.  Afterall, it does have spinach in it, right?

If you already have a favorite tomato sauce on hand you can feasibly prepare this meal on a weeknight.  I usually make a super simple marinara sauce with this anyway, so it’s quick!

The photo above was taken just before the dish was put into the oven.  Even though I have made this several times I never have the time to take a photo once out of the oven and the cheese is all melty – we want to eat it right away!

Here’s what you will need to make approximately 12-14 rolls…

Recipe

12-14 lasagna noodles, cooked and cooled enough so you can handle them

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen spinach, thawed, drained well and roughly chopped

2 15-oz containers part skim ricotta cheese

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 eggs

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 cups part skim shredded mozzarella cheese (approximately)

tomato sauce

salt  & pepper to taste

olive oil

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large pot of boiling water cook the lasagna noodles.  Remove each one carefully with tongs and lay on a hand towel lined cookie sheet to cool and dry.

In a large skillet warm 2 tablespoons of olive oil.  Saute garlic cloves for 1 minute.  Add chopped spinach and saute 2-3 minutes.  Remove from skillet and allow to cool slightly.

*If you are making a marinara sauce you can do that now, in the same skillet you just removed the spinach from.  I usually just saute 2-3 cloves of minced garlic in some olive oil with some red pepper flakes, then add two cans of whole peeled tomatoes that I have broken up.  Add salt & pepper and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.*

In a large bowl combine ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, cooled spinach and salt & pepper.  Mix well.

Pour 2 ladles of tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.  Now it’s time to start assembling and rolling…

Place one lasagna noodle on the counter (or on a sheet of parchment on the counter) and spoon approximately 1-2 heaping tablespoon of spinach/cheese mixture onto the noodle.  Spread mixture out over the entire noodle using the spoon and your fingers.  Gently roll the lasagna noodle up and place seam side down in baking dish.  I usually roll each noodle over about 3 1/2 to 4 times.

This is how things should look at this point…

LasagnaRollUpsR2

Once all the rolls are placed in the dish, spoon tomato sauce over all the rolls, being somewhat generous.  Lastly, sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over each roll.  Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  When serving I like to top each roll with some extra tomato sauce.

Buon Appetito!

Adapted from various sources.




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