Welcome to my blog!

I am often asked for my favorite healthy recipes and have decided to share them here. All of the recipes use only whole grains and unrefined sweeteners. REAL FOODS! I love to eat healthy foods and I love to share my passion with others. I do not pretend to be an expert and I learn more every day. So, come in, look around, and hopefully you will find something you like!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

One day I went to the store and one of those cute little old ladies asked me if I'd like to try some hummus.  My girls and I occasionally buy hummus for a healthy snack.  I thought sure, why not? 
It was delicious.  I threw some in my cart and took it home.
While we were snacking on it, my daughter started reading the ingredients aloud.  Sugar?  Gum?  Food Coloring?  Seriously?  What happened to my healthy snack?
I started on a quest to find a yummy recipe, and came up with one that slightly missed the mark.  My daughter likes to remind me about that.  So, when I started making hummus again she said, "Are you trying to make good hummus?"
I had her taste test it when I was done. She looked at me with a bit of surprise and said, "It isn't gross." 
So, here it is, my:

"It Isn't Gross" Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

2 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 roasted red pepper
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley leaves
2 small garlic cloves
2 Tablespoons tahini paste (Sesame seed paste.  I know some people who make their own, which is fine too)
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 Tablespoons lemon juice 
5 Tablespoons water
1/4 cup olive oil

Place all ingredients in blender and mix until you have a smooth consistency.  Move to an airtight container, and let it sit in refrigerator for an hour before serving.  Enjoy!

Roasting your red pepper:  (This is how I did it; there are many different ways) Place the baking rack in the oven to the highest setting. Set your oven to broil, and place red pepper directly on oven rack.  Broil until the top of the pepper is black and bubbly; turn over and repeat.  Remove the red pepper and put in bowl of ice water.  Let it cool for a little bit and then remove the blackened skin.  Cut out the stem and seeds, and it's ready to use! 

Potato Leek Soup

So, I had a bag of Potatoes.  And it was St. Patrick's Day.  Why not make a Potato Leek soup?  Personally, I love it, and we've had it every week since then.  So, I hope you enjoy it too!

Potato Leek Soup

2 Leeks 
2 Bay leaves
10 Black Peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh Thyme
2 Tablespoons Butter
4 strips Nitrate Free, High Quality Bacon, chopped
1 Cup Apple Juice
2 Cups Chicken Stock
2 1/2 Cups Water
1 to 1 1/4 lbs Potatoes, diced
2 teaspoons Sea Salt
1/2 cup Heavy Cream (Though I've never made it without, I think this is probably optional...)
2 tablespoons snipped Chives 


Trim the green portions of the leek and, using 2 of the largest and longest leaves, make a bouquet garni by folding the 2 leaves around the bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme. Tie into a package-shaped bundle with kitchen twine and set aside. (Alternately, tie 2 leek leaves, bay leaves, peppercorns and thyme together in a piece of cheesecloth.)
Halve the white part of the leek lengthwise and rinse well under cold running water. Slice thinly crosswise and set aside.
In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the bacon. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is very soft and has rendered most of its fat. Add the chopped leeks and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Add the apple juice and bring to a boil. Add the bouquet garni, chicken stock, water, potatoes, and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are falling apart and the soup is very flavorful.
Remove the bouquet garni and puree the soup in a food processor or blender. Stir in the heavy cream. Serve immediately, with some of the snipped chives sprinkled over the top of each bowl of soup.  I also cannot eat a meal without cheese. So, I sprinkle cheese on top as well.  It's divine.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spanish Rice

This is a recipe that my husband brought into our family. It's super easy and yummy. We eat it as a meal, but it can be a side dish or rolled in tortillas for a burrito. There are versions that aren't out of a can, but sometimes I don't have time to chop veggies.

2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 can black beans
1/4 cup-ish taco seasoning (I buy mine from a spice store--in store usually has yucky stuff in it--so I'm working on my own. Just use whatever seasoning you would for tacos: cumin, garlic and onion powder, cocoa, chili powder, etc.) *
1 small can tomato sauce (or two if you like it more tomato-y)
1 can green chiles
1 small can corn (or use cooked up frozen corn)
1-2 cups cheese (we use cheddar)

Cook up the rice per directions on the bag. (Ours is 2 cups water per cup of rice.) Mix the taco seasoning with the tomato sauce. Drain the black beans and give them a quick rinse. Add all the ingredients together and stir like a madwoman/man. You can add meat if you like or anything else that sounds good. We top ours with avocado, corn chips (Fritos, which are so healthy), and olives, but I can think of lots more that would be good on top. Serves 4-5. Enjoy!

*Note from Jessica:
I thought now would be a good time to share my favorite recipe for taco seasoning. I LOVE it. I got it from allrecipes.com.

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

I usually use the whole amount in my tacos (or chili or whatever!), but if you don't, make sure you store it in an airtight container.