Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meet the new potato chip.

This winter break has been full of experiments. Remember the time I experimented with protein pancakes?

Unlike that experiment, this one was (almost) successful!

If you've ever been to the bulk section at Sprouts, Sunflower Market, Whole Foods, or any health food store, you have most likely come across vegetable chips. No, I don't mean the vegetable flavored potato chips that are quite addictive.

I mean real vegetables turned into chips. I've made similar "chips" a couple of times, but nothing that really gives that crunch like a potato chip does.

Today, I experimented with carrot and sweet potato chips.

Chop the veggies into thin slices.

Sprinkle salt liberally on the chopped veggies. This allows all the water to be released to facilitate the dehydration process.

So moist after 20 minutes!

Dry the vegetable pieces.

I used a white towel that turned orange during the drying process.

For the sweet potatoes, I placed them on a plate and microwaved for 5 minutes to further the dehydration. I didn't do this with the carrots although this definitely would have been helpful.

Arrange the pieces on a baking sheet and coat evenly with olive oil, salt, and black pepper.

Bake at 300F for about an hour, flipping after 30 minutes. It may need more oven time if it's not crunchy enough.


 Sweet potato.

 Notice how few slices are left on the tray. This picture was taken 30 seconds after it came out of the oven.

The texture of these could use a bit more work, but the flavor was 100% excellent. Stay tuned for vegetable chip experiment #2!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Designated Food Day.

Although I have no elaborate recipes to discuss today, I do have lots of delectable food items I'd like to show you.

#1. Hemp seed veggie patty from Hopdoddy Burger Bar.

 With all kinds of healthy fixings, including avocado, sunflower sprouts, and delicious sharp cheddar!

I wish I could eat hemp seed patties all the time. (Don't even get me started on hemp seeds...they are so full of protein and are considered a super food!). Needless to say, I demolished that burger.

After that beast of a burger, a light dinner was quite necessary. (Refer to numbers 2 and 3).

#2. Bruschetta thins.

Whole wheat sandwich thins topped with Boursin cheese, fresh spinach, sliced tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Grilled to perfection!

#3. Spinach salad.

Fresh spinach, cubed grapefruit, and sliced tomato dressed with sesame shiitake vinaigrette and garnished with a pepperoncini.

#4. Chocolate chip cookie dough dip. [Original recipe from Jessica].

The light dinner called for a sugary, buttery, and simply irresistible dessert. Sometimes you just can't help these things.

Plus, ever since I saw this post on the How Sweet blog, I'd been dying to try it. It was quite successful, yet so different from anything I usually post on my blog.

The process:

The dip was warm when I added the chocolate chips, so I had a very chocolate looking cookie dough dip. But the melted chocolate chips added a nice texture.

I dipped both animal crackers and pretzels into the dip. DELICIOUS. And I will definitely be going on a run tomorrow morning.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday eatin'. Southwestern edition.

From the looks of it, I guess you could say this week is Southwestern week. But if you haven't noticed, the vegetable weeks have come to a halt during winter break and will return as soon as I am back in the swing of things at school in a couple of weeks.

Before I begin the Southwestern holiday feast, check out this awesome gift an anonymous reader gave to me:

My very own personalized TFG apron!!! 

Just a few tools of the trade...salt/pepper, olive oil, and an apron!

I used this apron to cook some elaborate enchiladas today. It made cooking that much more fun. This is also why I made both green and red, flour and wheat enchiladas. Some with veggies and some with various cheeses. 

Told you it was elaborate.

Remember when I wrote my first blog post and I posted a picture of some enchiladas I had made? Well, these enchiladas are similar to the enchiladas in that picture--and this time the recipe is included!

  • tortillas
  • enchilada sauce
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 jalapenos
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • shredded cheese

Saute the veggies (garlic, bell peppers, corn, jalapenos, and black beans) in vegetable oil in a pan. Season with salt, pepper, and Mexican oregano.

Pour several spoonfuls of enchilada sauce onto a plate and dip a cooked tortilla in it, covering each side of the tortilla in the sauce.

Spoon the vegetable mixture onto the sauce-covered tortilla and top with cheese. Roll and place in baking dish.

Pour remaining sauce onto the top of the rolled and filled tortillas. Top with cheese.

Bake at 350F for 15 minutes or until cheese has thoroughly melted.

As I mentioned earlier, I made this with both green and red sauces--pictured below.

Serve with salsa and guacamole.

 2 avocados, 1 tomato, salt, pepper, and fresh lime juice.

Prepare for a food coma.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Comfort food. Southwestern edition.

What's better on a cold, dreary day than a nice, hot bowl of soup?

If you haven't noticed by now, I need specific occasions to make soup. And by that I mean cold days. And where I'm from, you don't see many of those.

Lately I've been seeing a lot of tortilla soup recipes. I thought I'd try my hand at this. And to combat the cold, I made it really spicy. Sometimes its fun to sweat while you eat.

  • 2 cans vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pepper and Mexican oregano to taste
  • shredded cheese (I used a Monterey/cheddar blend)
  • 1 avocado
  • 1-2 small tortillas

[This makes about 6 servings].

In a pot, saute the cumin seeds and garlic in olive oil. 

Add the vegetable broth. I also added one can of water to make it more dilute.

Add the frozen corn and diced tomatoes. Speaking of diced tomatoes, check out this cool can I found.

Add the jalapeno. I chose to cut big slices and just let it simmer with the broth.

Add the seasonings-- black pepper and Mexican oregano. Cover and let simmer for 5-10 minutes.

 Bake the tortilla(s) until crispy and then cut into strips. Dice the avocado.

Place the tortilla strips in a bowl and pour soup on top. Garnish with shredded cheese and top with avocado slices.

This soup has quite a kick to it, but it is exactly what I was looking for! And another plus is that it is quite hearty. I know I say that about a lot of my foods, but I even tested this by practicing a quick Zumba routine not even one hour after eating two bowls of this soup.

Despite the problems that [the combination of jumping and hot/spicy soup] gave my stomach, I highly recommend trying this recipe, whether or not the weather permits!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mmm...protein powder?

I've been experimenting with ways to incorporate protein powder in foods other than protein shakes. Today, I tried protein pancakes.

This recipe is really going to need some tweaking, especially in the taste department. But that's what experiments are about, right?

And next time, I'm definitely using chocolate protein powder instead of vanilla. And perhaps some mix-ins and toppings.

So here is protein pancake experiment #1.

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

I blended the oats until the consistency was almost flour-like.

I added the protein powder and milk.

And the cocoa powder. Blend.

These cook really quickly on the skillet.

Quite a cookie-like texture!

I topped mine with honey and coconut oil. It still didn't eliminate the protein powder taste. Stay tuned for experiment #2!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Move over, Boca!

For all of you avid readers, I apologize profusely for the lack of blogging that's been going on for the past several days.

On the bright side, I have a valid excuse. The past few days have been FULL of Zumba. Enough said.

Today, I made some homemade veggie burgers. Disclaimer: these are not as compact as Morningstar or Boca burgers. However, they taste great, and have no preservatives! And even better, this particular recipe does not involve soy!

  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • frozen broccoli
  • frozen mixed veggies (peas/corn/green beans/carrots)
  • rolled oats
  • breadcrumbs 
  • shredded cheese
  • garlic
  • cumin
  • olive oil
Get ready to work up a sweat because this involves a lot of mashing.

First, mash the garbanzo beans.

Heat the broccoli and mixed veggies in the microwave until mash-able. And then mash.

Mix into the mashed garbanzo and add the rolled oats (about 3/4 cup).

I made breadcrumbs by blending two slices of toasted whole wheat bread.

I conveniently forgot about taking an after picture. 

Mix the shredded cheese with the breadcrumbs and add the mixture to the "mashed" mixture. 

Make the seasoning by sauteeing garlic and cumin seeds in olive oil.

And add this to the mixture. (This would also be a good time to add salt...which I forgot about. It's okay, it happens sometimes). Then form small patties and heat them on the skillet.

I cooked them until slightly browned.

These are fragile little patties. Be careful!

These can be served in burger form or with pitas. 

Serve with condiments of choice (mustard, mayo, or tahini) and a small salad (carrots/tomatoes/green chili/cilantro with lemon juice/salt/pepper) inside the pita and you have a complete and hearty meal!