Monday, February 18, 2013

One Shallot in the Pantry Hummus

So, I alternate between hummus and those amazing 100 calorie guac snack packs for an afternoon pick me up at work with a massive pile of some combo of carrots, red bell pepper, broccoli, cucumber slices, and cherry tomatoes.  It's a 3pm hold over until dinner.  Recently, I'm making the hummus myself.  It's so much cheaper and you can control the ingredients.  I love garlic but found throwing in a straight raw clove can be a bit pungent.  This recipe can be easily altered.  Like sometimes I use olive oil, sometimes I use tahini paste.  This weekend I noticed one shallot on my shelf I had no plans for, and plenty of garlic cloves.  So I decided to saute those in oil before throwing in the food processor - made for a sweeter, less pungent flavor.

One Shallot in the Pantry Hummus
Makes 8 - 2 T servings

1 can chickpeas drained, reserve the pack liquid
Zest of one lemon
Juice of same lemon
1 T Olive Oil
1 shallot
2 large garlic cloves
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin

In a skillet on medium heat, add olive oil.  When oil is heated, saute roughly chopped shallot and garlic cloves until translucent and smelling yummy.  In food processor, put chick peas, lemon zest, lemon juice, cumin, paprika, sauteed shallot and garlic.  Puree.  Add a small amount of pack liquid.

Hummus without hot sauce
is just plain silly.
Eat it up.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Crawfish & Chicken Jambalaya

Enjoying the Crawfish at the LA State Society Boil  
Operation use things in my freezer commenced.  This afternoon, I started thinking about a stash of cleaned, cooked leftover crawfish from the Louisiana State Society's annual crawfish boil in July that I still had in my freezer.  After pigging out, the organizers let everyone take home bags of crawfish.  By the end of peeling those bad boys it was like I dragged my fingers on sandpaper covered in hot sauce.  But it was worth it.  As I am enjoying them 6 months later and mighty grateful. I heart the freezer.  I also had some leftover shredded rotisserie chicken and chopped bell pepper in the freezer. Go ahead and judge.  I use the heck out of my freezer.  But it's mostly whole foods that I've processed, soups, or frozen meals like the one you're reading about now.

Anyways, I stopped off to grab most of the ingredients on the way home to make a lightened up a Jambalaya recipe.  I looked up a few and modified.  I do that a lot.  Read like a dozen recipes and modify.  My only wish is that I remembered how long brown rice takes.. I don't like eating dinner immediately before bolting out the door to yoga.  But this made the discomfort of my full belly in shoulder stand worth it.  This came out infinitely better than I even anticipated.

Serves 8; ~1.5 C portions (Dinner, 3 fridge portions and 4 freezer bag portions)
Chicken Sausage, Frozen crawfish, frozen
rotisserie chicken, and veggies

2 tsp canola oil
1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken (could cook raw chicken as well and set aside)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 link of smoked turkey sausage (I thought I had some in my freezer.... made a trip to corner market for a substitute of 1/2 lb of chicken sausage...)
1.5 cups crawfish (or you could use raw shrimp)
1 small chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
Veggies Cooking
Small bunch of celery chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
1 1/2 C uncooked brown rice
1 3/4 C fat-free chicken broth
1/2 C water (maybe)
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne
sprinkling of cajun spice - like "Slap Yo Mama"
1 can of diced tomatoes

Heat oil in skillet medium high.  Cook sausage.  Set aside.  Cook onion, bell pepper, celery, garlic, salt and pepper.  Cook covered on low until vegetables are tender. 10-12 minutes.  Add rice; broth; spices.  Simmer 30 minutes.  May need to add water and cook longer, brown rice takes awhile.  Cook until a rice grain has the right bite and liquids are mostly absorbed.  Stir in meats (frozen crawfish, frozen cooked chicken, cooked sausage) and tomatoes and cook until heated. Eat.  I sprinkled a tad more cajun spice as I served.  Divide and freeze leftover portions.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Curried Chicken Salad

Friday night was glorious.  I had an overdue date with myself.  I stopped by the grocery on the way home with plans to roast my own chicken.  But genius-ly noticed the rotisserie chickens were $6 and a raw whole chicken was $8.  I'll save roasting my own for another day.  It was already pushing 6:00 pm and I was hungry.  I took my garlic rosemary chicken home, had one skinless breast, made some homemade hummus, had lots of veggies to dip, and cracked into a bottle of Jefferson Vineyards Meritage and stopped the remote on some trashy British comedy show on public broadcasting.  I need evenings like that more often.

But what to do with the rest of that chicken?  I shredded it, froze half, and with the other half, made some yummy chicken salad for lunches this week.  I'll probably so the same with the frozen portion - later.  I just don't like committing to 4 meals in a row of the same thing.

Curried Chicken Salad
Makes 2 servings

~1.5 Cups shredded rotisserie chicken
2 T reduced fat mayo
Enough curry that you can taste it ~ 1 T ?
2 T raisins
A dash of Splenda
Nuts optional.  It'd be good with slivered almonds.

Mix.  Enjoy for lunch 2 days in a row.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Roasted Spicy Chick Pea Snack or Salad Topper

Chick Peas going into the oven


I first saw this recipe in some health magazine over Christmas.  I'd always wanted to try roasted chick peas.  Seemed like a delicious snack with some crunch.  And I do love some protein.  I made it a few times for family and friends to rave reviews.  I made a few tweaks to the spices and I think I have a new snack staple.  I recently took it to watch a hockey game at my friends' casa.  The obvious next step was to put it on a salad and bring it to their Super Bowl gathering.  Well, I did.  And check and mate.  There is usually plenty of sweets, chips, and dips at parties and I often show up with hummus and carrots.  This was a much more fun way to bring a veggie side. (I hope the friends enjoy the leftovers I accidentally left in their fridge.)  And #smurffail because I forgot to take a pic of the final product.  But I think you all know what an assembled salad looks like.  Also, the chickpeas are delish on their own.  Also, it's pretty easy to half the recipe.  

Spicy Chick Peas
 2 15-oz cans of rinsed and drained chick peas*
 2 T canola oil
 1 1/2 T sugar
 1 tsp smoked paprika
 1 tsp garlic powder
 1/2 tsp salt
 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
 1/4 tsp black pepper

 Mix all of the things.  Bake in a single layer on a cookie sheet at 425 for 20-25 minutes.
 *I found dried soaked and cooked chick peas work well also, they aren't as mushy and get crunchier much easier. But canned is faster.  To each their own.

Salad Additions:
1/2 C reduced fat crumbled feta
1/2 English cucumber diced
3 roma tomatoes with seeds removed and diced
Plenty of mixed greens. 3-4 cups.

Juice of 1 lemon, 1 T olive oil.  Salt and pepper.

Mix everything together.  Enjoy!