Green Goddess Avocado Dip

Anyone who knows my husband knows his obsession with Costco. He gets a rush when he flashes his membership card and walks through the parting glass doors of this warehouse club store. I don’t know what it is about the fluorescent lights, never-ending isles, and excessive amounts of merchandise, but for him, Costco is his happy place. For me, it just makes me itch. It used to anyway. The mobs of people, giant packages, and the fact that you have to buy 57 of one item makes me crazy. I have to admit though, I’m coming around to Costco. With their increased selection of fresh and frozen organic foods, I’m starting to become more on board. By the way, this post is NOT sponsored by Costco!

On one of my husband’s weekly, yes weekly, trips to Costco, he picked me up a bag of avocado. With so many avocados and such little time before they went bad, I brainstormed ways I could put them to good use. I came up with this Green Goddess Avocado Dip that I whipped together in a matter of minutes, thanks to my NutriBullet. The tangy dip stayed fresh in the fridge for a couple of days, and it was a delicious way to encourage us to take down some raw veggies!

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Green Goddess Avocado Dip

What You Need

  • 2 ripe avocados, pits removed
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley
  • Juice from 1-2 lemons, depending on how lemony you like it
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

What To Do

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  2. Scoop dip into a bowl and serve with fresh vegetables and pita chips.
http://glorioffood.com/2015/03/17/green-goddess-avocado-dip/

Quinoa & Kale Salad

I come bearing no statistics, but I do know that food allergies are so prevalent, I’m willing to wager that everyone knows at least a couple of friends/relatives/co-workers who have been handed this misfortune. Since my friend’s daughter has an egg allergy (one she’ll likely grow out of), she asked me to bake an egg-free smash cake for her 1st birthday party. While this was a huge compliment, I’m no experienced cake-baker. Since I do love to bake, and want improve in this area, I agreed to the task! Yesterday was the party, and of course, I saved the entire process for the day of. I spent all morning mixing, baking, cooling, frosting and more frosting. I had no idea that a tiny two layer cake would take me so long. The finished cake was no where near professional looking, but my friend’s little girl dug into that cake like a champ!

While I was waiting for the cake to cool before frosting it, I prepared this Quinoa & Kale Salad for Meatless Monday lunch. The salad consisted of quinoa, chopped kale, carrots, celery, sunflower seeds, dried blueberries and raisins. While I normally don’t gravitate toward salads with fruit, there was something about this combination that made think that the sweetness was exactly what this salad needed. I did a little dance in my head when even my 1 year old son enjoyed eating this for lunch…thanks to the raisins. I recommend taste-testing this salad while making it and tweak it accordingly; with just the right amount of lemon, salt and pepper, this salad is healthy and delicious.

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Quinoa & Kale Salad

Serving Size: 3-4 servings

Recipe from The Family Cooks by Laurie David, with a few of my own additions

What You Need

  • 3/4 cup quinoa
  • 1/4 cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries or raisins, or a mix (no sugar added, if possible)
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped (I used shredded because I had them on hand)
  • 4 large kale leaves, stems removed, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • Additional salt and pepper to taste

What To Do

  1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Once cooked, set aside and let the quinoa cool.
  2. Meanwhile, combine the sunflower seeds, parsley, dried berries, celery, carrot, and kale in a large bowl.
  3. When the quinoa is cooled, add it to the large bowl and toss to combine everything. Distribute olive oil, lemon juice, garlic salt and pepper. Toss and then taste and adjust with more lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning as needed.

Notes

Tips: If the lemon and olive oil is too light in flavor for you, try adding the zest of 1 lemon for a heightened lemon flavor. Or, instead of the olive oil and lemon juice, try using a mild Italian dressing such as Garlic Expressions for more flavor.

http://glorioffood.com/2015/03/09/quinoa-kale-salad/

Vegetable Fried Brown Rice

I grew up in a household with parents who ate very healthfully. My mom always cooked nutritious, well-rounded meals, and to this day both, parents almost always shy away from foods that are bad for the waistline and body. Not to throw my dad under the bus, but recently I found out that he doesn’t eat refried beans because they’re fried. I tried explaining to him that refried beans aren’t actually fried in the sense that he is thinking, and often times they can be purchased vegetarian and without a lot of or any fat at all. While the name is definitely misleading, I thought my explanation cleared things up; but it had been too deeply engrained in his head and there was no changing his mind.

Similar to refried beans, fried rice gets a bad rap. When dining out it can be made with tons of oil and sodium, so I don’t completely disagree here. However, fried rice doesn’t have to have get a bad name. With a few tweaks, and making it yourself versus ordering it at a restaurant, you can almost guarantee a healthier version of a “fried” dish. I’ve made a few lighter fried rice recipes in the past, but they lacked flavor and didn’t warrant repeating. However, when I came across this particular recipe for Vegetable Fried Brown Rice, there were a few extra ingredients that I thought would help take this from tasteless to tasty. If you’re in a time crunch, you could use all frozen vegetables; just don’t forget the fresh garlic and ginger! I also loved that this sauce had teriyaki sauce and sesame oil, in addition to the soy sauce.

I consider my husband to be my biggest food critic because he’ll say it like it is, and he complimented this dish to be restaurant-quality! Put any preconceived notions aside and give this dish a try…I’m looking at you dad :)

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Vegetable Fried Brown Rice

Serving Size: 3-4

Recipe adapted from CookingForKeeps.com

What You Need

  • 1 cup brown rice (or 2½ to 3 cups leftover cooked brown rice)
  • 1 ½ cups water or low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ small onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 scallions (white and some green), chopped (reserve a little for garnish)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Sauce:
  • 1 ½ tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¾ teaspoon sesame oil

What To Do

  1. Bring brown rice and water or chicken stock to a boil in a medium saucepan, and then reduce to a simmer. Season with salt. Simmer for 30-45 minutes until rice is cooked through. Refer to package directions for exact cooking time. Once cooked, remove from heat.
  2. Mix teriyaki, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a small bowl. Set aside.
  3. Heat ½ tablespoon olive oil in a large sauté pan over a high heat. Add onion and carrot, cook about two minutes. Add scallions (reserve some for garnish), garlic and ginger to the pan. Cook another two minutes. Add in the rest of the olive oil and the brown rice. Stir-fry about two minutes. Add sauce and stir-fry until incorporated, about two minutes.
  4. In separate pan, scramble eggs until almost cooked but still slightly runny.
  5. Make a well in the center of the brown rice, pour eggs in and finish scrambling. Note: you can skip the step of scrambling the eggs in a separate pan and do the entire scramble in the well in the center of the rice.
  6. Add in peas, then toss everything together until the peas are warmed through. Distribute into bowls and add remaining scallion as garnish, and serve with additional soy sauce if desired.

Notes

In a time crunch? Use frozen carrots, onion, and pea mix.

http://glorioffood.com/2015/03/05/vegetable-fried-brown-rice/

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

In the two and a half years I’ve lived in St. Louis, there has only been one substantial snowstorm that I can remember. One snow that really warranted sending people into panic mode. But no matter what, anytime even a little snow is forecasted, people are out in droves stockpiling food, gas and anything else that they may need for the 5 seconds that they’re “stuck” inside. On Saturday before the snow we did end up getting, I was at Trader Joe’s buying a few ingredients to make my second batch of Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites. You would have thought the world was ending. There was not one available shopping cart or basket, the isles were gridlock, and the check-out lanes were 10 people deep with their overflowing carts of groceries. I want to know, is this common in most cities, or is this just a St. Louis thing?! I certainly don’t remember this type behavior when living in Chicago!

Back to those aforementioned Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites. For well over a year, I’ve looked at this recipe from time to time, and have wanted to make them. I thought with the ingredients consisting of raw cashews, oats, and unsweetened coconut flakes, that the cookie dough in the name was just to be clever; it didn’t occur to me that these would actually taste just like COOKIE DOUGH! As I was rolling out each ball, I noticed that they smelled a whole lot like chocolate chip cookie dough. Finally, when I sunk my teeth into one of these, I was overjoyed by how amazing they were and how I actually thought I was eating buttery delicious, raw-egg-and-all, chocolate chip cookie dough! So, I promptly made a big, second batch to stockpile, you know, for a snowstorm, or snack attack, whatever the emergency may be. I put them in my freezer to grab out whenever I need a quick Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bite. My only suggestion: don’t wait as long as I did to try this recipe!

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As a note: I’ve made a few different batches of these. The pictures above are of the bites with the chocolate chips mixed in; below is a picture of the chocolate chips blended in with the food processor. I liked the ease of blending them in, but the chocolate chips don’t necessarily stay whole, so the mixed in ones possibly look more appealing.IMG_9266

Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites

What You Need

  • 2/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup gluten free oats
  • 1/3 cup shaved unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or agave)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dairy free mini chocolate chips (or regular chocolate chips)

What To Do

  1. Blend the cashews, oats and shaved coconut in a food processor until they are a fine powder. If it has turned into a peanut butter consistency, it has been blended for too long!
  2. Add the syrup and vanilla extract and blend until incorporated.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand and roll into bite-sized balls. You can also blend the chocolate chips into the dough, but they will not remain in whole chips. (I have tried it both ways and prefer the blended way because they are easier to roll into balls)
http://glorioffood.com/2015/03/02/raw-chocolate-chip-cookie-dough-bites/

Fresh, Fruity Summer Porridge

This past week I was in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with my husband’s family. They rented a beautiful house on the inter coastal, with the beach within walking distance. We had a few really nice warm days which allowed us to go to the beach, lay by the pool, and take walks outside. On the cooler days we went to Lion Country Safari, shopped, and took a water taxi ride, giving us a the perfect view of incredible yachts and real estate! By the way, if you ever get to this area, Lion Country Safari is a must. It’s known as the first cage-less zoo, allowing you to drive through the grounds while the animals roam freely. Having zebras and rhinos walk right in front of a car was exciting for the toddlers and adults, alike! I went as a child, and it was fun being able to take my own child now. The entire vacation was great, and it was so fun getting to see our son take in all the new surroundings that Florida offers!

The warm weather was such a treat and a tease, since coming home to single digits was not easy. I now have summer on the brain and cannot wait to shed these sweaters and ditch the hearty meals and move on to lighter everything! In dreaming of warmer temps, I made Fresh, Fruity Summer Porridge, which is essentially overnight oats. I love eating the yogurt, oats, and fresh fruit in the morning out of the mason jar; its a delicious and nutritious way to start the day. What makes this recipe different from others like it is the liquid in this version comes from grated apple. This does add an extra step, but its worth it. Until the snow melts and the temperature creeps back up, I am going to be eating this Fresh, Fruity Summer Porridge, pretending that its just around the corner.

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Fresh, Fruit Summer Porridge

Recipe from: The Family Cooks by Laurie David

What You Need

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not "instant")
  • 3 cups plain yogurt (whole or low-fat) or kefir
  • 3 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 large apples (not peeled), grated
  • 1 cup mixed fresh fruit, such as sliced kiwi or strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries (save a little extra for garnish)

What To Do

  1. Combine the oats, yogurt, honey, apples, and mixed fruit in a bowl, making sure that the apple is completely folded into the yogurt .
  2. Divide the porridge evenly among six 8-ounce glasses or mason jars, cover tightly with wrap or lids, and refrigerate overnight. Have a good night's sleep.
  3. Garnish the porridge with more fresh fruit and enjoy.

Notes

If you do not want to grate the apple, you can replay with 1/2-3/4 cup of milk of your choice. May need to adjust sweetness.

http://glorioffood.com/2015/02/24/fresh-fruity-summer-porridge/

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