Thursday, April 22, 2010

Morocaan Couscous, A Barefoot Contessa Recipe

Moroccan Couscous
from Barefoot in Paris, Ina Garten

2 cups diced butternut squash
2 cups chopped yellow onion (I did a little more than half that)
1 1/2 cups diced carrots (4 carrots)
1 1/2 cups diced zucchini (2 med)
2 T good olive oil
Kosher  salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
2 T unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. saffron (I didn't have any, but still tasted great)
1 1/2 cup coucous (10 oz)
2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped (didn't have these either)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Place the butternut squash, onions, carrots and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper (I thought this was too much pepper, I would 1/2 it). Roast for 25-30 min, until all the vegetables are tender, turning once with a spatula.

Meanwhile in a small saucepan, bring the chicken broth to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the butter, 1 tsp. salt (depending on the saltiness of the stock), 1/2 tsp pepper, cumin and saffron and allow to steep for at least 15 min. 

Bring the broth back to a boil. Place the couscous and cooked vegetables in a large bowl and pour the hot chicken broth over them. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to stand at room temperature for 15 min. Add the scallions, toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork and serve warm or at room temperature. 

Here's a dark photo of our meal:

And here's Jane stirring the couscous with the fork

This was a very yummy dish!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Getting in your Greens: Spinach and Eggplant Rolls

This is probably my favorite homemade dinner that I have had in the past 3 months. I don't have a food processor so I just used my blender... I'm sure a food processor would make the prep time much quicker. This one is definitely worth a try!! Recipe found on

Spinach and Eggplant Rolls

Servings: x4

Preparation Time: 10 minutes (ya right - it took me like 45)

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Other Time: 5 minutes

Cuisine Type: Italian


· 2 cloves garlic (~2 tsp)

3 tbsp sunflower seeds, toasted

· 2 cups spinach, baby, packed

· 1 cup basil, fresh, packed

· 1 cup cheese, ricotta, part skim milk

· 1/2 cup parsley, fresh italian / flat leaf

· 2 tbsp cheese, Parmesan, low sodium

· 2 eggplant, cut lenghtwise into 1/4" thick strips

· 1 tbsp olive oil

· 1 cup tomato sauce, no salt added

· 1/2 cup cheese, mozzarella, low sodium, grated


1. Prep

1. Place the garlic, sunflower seeds, spinach, basil, ricotta, parsley and Parmesan in a food processor and puree.

2. Set aside.

3. Preheat the broiler.

2. Cooking

1. Brush the eggplant slices with the olive oil.

2. Place on a baking sheet and broil for 10 minutes, flipping once after 5 minutes.

3. Remove from the oven and set aside.

4. Set the oven to 400F.

5. Spread half of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9" X 13" baking dish.

6. Place about 2 tbsp of the spinach and ricotta mixture onto the short end of the broiled eggplant strips and roll up to form a cylinder.

7. Place the eggplant rolls, seam side down, on top of the tomato sauce in the baking dish.

8. Cover with remaining tomato sauce and mozzarella.

9. Bake until cheese melts and tomato sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes.

10. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Yummy Naturally Sweet Treat!

Chocolate Coco Smoothie
(This is from the cookbook Nutritious Meets Delicious)

1 can coconut milk
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/3 c. agave nectar
1-4 c. ice cubes depending on preference
1 tsp. guar gum (optional, as a smoothing agent)

Just blend together in blender and enjoy! A few tips: 1) we use lite coconut milk and it is just as delicious and lots fewer calories. 2) Also, it can be pretty expensive ($2.00-2.50ish) but we get it at Sunflower Market for 99 cents a can:) Sometimes they have sales and it's even cheaper. You'll find it usually in the oriental section of any grocery store. 3) The ice really makes a difference in the consistency, if you want it thick, use almost 4 cups, but if you like it more smoothie style, we do between 1 and 3 cups.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Snack Attack Part 1: Merry Marinated Vegetables

I can do whole grain breakfasts, vegetable-based lunches, and well balanced dinners... but snacks?? You can only eat so many baby carrots! This is the first of many healthy snack posts that will help when that mid-day salad just doesn't hold you over.

Merry Marinated Vegetables
(this recipe can be found in Lisa Lillien's Hungry Girl cook book)

1 large cucumber; thinly sliced
1 medium-sized red pepper; thinly sliced
1 red onion; thinly sliced
1 medium-sized zucchini; halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 tsp. olive oil
4 packets SPLENDA (or 2 1/2 tbsp. SPLENDA Granular)
1 cup water
salt and pepper; to taste

After cutting the vegetables as listed above, place them in a bowl and add balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Splenda, water, salt, and pepper. Seal and let veggies marinate for 24 hours (or less) then enjoy!

Apple Cider Chicken

Now, here's a little secret. Our other authors are very good at being healthy eaters. I, on the other hand, have a husband who needs a bit of fattening up, so we don't really cut the butter or the cream. If you are wanting a healthy option, feel free to skim the cream and replace with half and half. Or take the butter out of the recipes.

But, this recipe wasn't too bad. :) It was, in fact, delicious.

John made the carrots, asparagus, and tortellini with Janette's Alfredo sauce. Great!

Tortellini Spinach Soup

This was a fun way to use up things that I had in the fridge and make a quick meal. 
I used this recipe as the base (tortellini is from Costco):

and then I added:
black beans

Topped with Romano Cheese