We have been having our home remodeled which has been a massive pain. Now that it has been completed I am thrilled with the end result, however the process was painful. Since my ability to cook was sidelined I searched for delicious and healthy options to curb my hunger, which is how I stumbled across a salad at my local PCC store called, the Perfect Protein Salad. I instantly became addicted and wanted to share my version, which tastes extremely similar to PCC’s Perfect Protein Salad.
One of my favorite parts of cooking is the ability to customize recipes. In this case the recipe calls for lemon, dill and garlic. Since I am crazy about these three flavors I upped the amounts to make them more pronounced. The base for this salad is garbanzo beans and spelt berries which provide both a creamy texture and a chewy texture. Since I am huge on texture the crunch of numerous veggies, including cucumbers, celery, peppers and onions are also a complete bonus.
In a nutshell, this has become one of my go to salads. I love enjoying it for a quick lunch, enjoying it at dinner with a grilled piece of chicken or fish and it also makes a great salad to take to a friends house. In the event you have someone in your life that is vegan, this version is made with vegan mayonnaise* which is an added bonus. I hope that if you live in the Northwest you stop by PCC and try their Perfect Protein Salad or make it at home for yourself.
Perfect Protein Salad (inspired by PCC’s Perfect Protein Salad)
(serves 2 for a main dish or 4 as a side dish)
1 – 15 ounce can of Garbanzo Beans
2 stalks cucumber, diced
1 cup cooked spelt berries
1/3 c. Vegenaise
2 carrots, diced
1/4 c. green onion, thinly sliced
2 T. red onion, small dice
3 T. lemon juice
3 T. italian parsley, thinly sliced
1 T. cider vinegar
1 clove garlic
2 T. fresh dill weed or 1 t. dried dill weed
2 T. fresh basil or 1 t. dried basil
salt & pepper to taste
Combine all ingredients. Put in refrigerator and let flavors meld together for a couple of hours if possible. More often than not I am rushed and not able to do this, but if you can, definitely do this. This salad is very easy to make and lasts for a day or two in the fridge so you can make it ahead and enjoy leftovers later.
* Side note, vegenaise tastes great! If you have never tried it, I would recommend doing so. I was extremely hesitant at first, but now I really love it.)
It is the New Year and like many people I indulged and enjoyed in glutenous baked goods and enjoyed many, many, many savory appetizers at holiday parties. I didn’t want to be rude and not eat. So I am feeling a little bloated and am looking to lighten up my diet up a bit so feel healthier and more energetic.
In an effort to try and feel less bloated I decided to try this smoothie I saw featured on YouTube and wow – it is really, really good. The original recipe was featured on Miss Glamorazzi’s channel where cookbook author and blogger Claire Thomas shared several recipes that were quick and healthy. You can see the video featured here that also has other delicious recipes. In the meantime, here is the recipe for the Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie that is amazing! Enjoy!
Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 1/2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tsp. chia seeds
2 T. agave nectar (I didn’t have this so I used brown sugar – YUM! (perhaps why I have gained some weight…))
1 pinch of salt
1 T. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T. flax meal
1/3 c. gluten free oatmeal
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup crushed ice
Put all ingredients in your blender for about a minute and enjoy!
I have mentioned several times that I love one pot meals and one of my favorite one pot meals is Emeril Lagasse’s Turkey and White Bean Chili. It is amazing! I actually can’t believe that it has taken me so long to blog about this dynamite dish since it is my all time favorite chili recipe. I have made this for football parties, for lunch on a rainy day and when I need a weeknight meal on a busy evening. The other plus to this recipe is that you can make it ahead of time and the longer it sits the better this chili gets.
So let’s talk about the ingredients. I love that the main protein in this chili is turkey, you could use ground beef, however I absolutely love the clean, lean taste of turkey. The addition of white beans is another clean flavor that really makes this chili recipe different from other chili recipes. Then there are the spices, from chili powder to red pepper and many flavors in between there is some serious flavor going on. One of the last ingredients I was very surprised to see is the addition of corn meal that acts as a binder to thicken the chili up. I think this is a genius addition since corn naturally complements chili so well.
I hope I have sold you on making this chili. It is delicious, healthy and the perfect chili to serve your friends and family.
4 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced jalapeno
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 tablespoons Emeril’s Southwest Essence, recipe follows
1 2/3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons cornmeal
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 (10-ounce) cans Ro’tel Diced Tomatoes and Green Chiles (original), undrained
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles, undrained
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro stems
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
Grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, for serving
Emeril’s Southwest Seasoning:
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon dried oregano
In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion and jalapeno until soft and beginning to caramelize, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the ground turkey, Southwest Essence, chili powder, salt, cumin, oregano, and bay leaf and cook, stirring occasionally, until turkey is browned and cooked through, 6 minutes. Add the cornmeal and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, canned chiles, and cilantro stems and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. After it has cooked for 30 minutes, add the cannellini beans. Add the heavy cream and cilantro leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes longer.
Serve the chili in deep bowls, garnished with cheese and cilantro.
I was talking with two of my very close friends recently and they were talking about their amazing lunch at Neiman Marcus and in particular the Neiman Marcus Popovers with Strawberry Butter they enjoyed. It immediately took me back to lunches that I used to share with my mom at the luxe Neiman Marcus restaurants and all of the memories I shared with her.
My mom was old school and loved the crisp tablecloths, fine napkins and of course the doting that comes with all things Neiman Marcus. After hearing my friends speaking of these heavenly bites I found the recipe in my Neiman Marcus Cookbook and made my own batch of these scrumptious, eggy, airy bites of heaven.
A few of the chef’s notes in the cookbook states that it is important to make sure to have the eggs and milk warm before mixing. Also, make sure to let the batter sit for an hour before baking them and always make these fresh. Popovers that are frozen or trying to make popovers from batter that has been pre-made tends to not work well. So, in a nutshell, you must commit when making these. No shortcuts for these little babies.
There is something that is irreplaceable when recollecting memories with loved ones that have passed on. I will never forget the lunches I shared with my mom at Neiman’s and making these delicious popovers brings back so many memories filled with love, nostalgia and deliciousness.
3 1/2 cups milk
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
6 large eggs, at room temperature
To make this recipe, you will need a Teflon-lined popover pan with a 12-cup capacity. These are available at kitchen equipment and specialty stores, and some cooking mail-order catalogs.
Preheat the oven to 450° F. Place the milk in a bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes, or until warm to the touch. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a large mixing bowl.
Crack the eggs into the work bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk and beat on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until foamy and pale in color. Turn down the mixer to low and add the warm milk. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Turn the machine off and let the batter rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
Spray a popover tin generously with nonstick spray. Fill the popover cups almost to the top with the batter and place the popover tin on a cookie sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Turn down the oven temperature to 375° F and bake for 30 to 35 minutes longer, until the popovers are a deep golden brown on the outside and airy on the inside. Turn out the popovers and serve hot with strawberry butter. Yields 1 dozen popovers.
1 pound butter
1 1/4 c. strawberry preserves
In an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Add the preserves and mix until just combined.
Pumpkin pie is a Thanksgiving tradition – problem is, I am not a fan. I enjoy the flavor of pumpkin but I find pumpkin pie to be too dense in pure pumpkin. I am a heavy carb kind of a girl – a real white flour and butter kind of a gal, if you catch my drift. So I need to share this recipe for Pumpkin Crisp that is pure heaven.
As a child my mom being the traditionalist that she was always served pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner so growing up I just passed on turkey day dessert. All this changed several years ago when a dear neighbor told me about this Pumpkin Crisp that she makes. A buttery crust houses a delicious pumpkin filling and a buttery, sugary crust tops that. The crumb crust gets crisp, yummy and melts deliciously into the decadent pumpkin filling. I love the dish and so does everyone that tries it.
I should also add, that it is simple. No crust to roll out and nothing fancy. I hope you try it and like it as much as my family does.
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (29 ounce) can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup white sugar
2/3 cup evaporated milk
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
Ice Cream or Fresh Whipped Cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Set aside 1 cup cake mix for the topping. Combine remaining cake mix, 1 egg, and melted butter or margarine. Pat into a 9×13 inch baking pan.
In a large bowl, mix pumpkin, 2 eggs, spices, 1/2 cup sugar, and milk. Pour pumpkin mixture over the cake mix crust.
In a small bowl, combine 1 cup cake mix and 3/4 cup sugar. Cut in 1/2 cup softened butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle mixture on top of pumpkin mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 minutes.
I like to cut this into 12 servings, but you could make the squares smaller or larger depening on how “stuffed” you are after Thanksgiving dinner. 🙂