Archive | September, 2012

for bean’s sake and some life lessons

23 Sep

Who is ready for FALL!? This girl. I love cold weather. I like big fluffy vinyasa scarves, hoodies, pumpkin EVERYTHING, runs that you aren’t dripping with sweat, walks in the leaves…..I love everything about Fall. I love that soups, stews and baking are now the thing and yummy warm food coating your tummy. Fall is where it’s at in my book.

This week has been amazing, hard, fun, eye opening and crazy all at the same time. I’ve learned a lot of life lessons this week and honestly. I’ve had a GREAT week with the little ones I nanny for and they are the joy of everyday, that’s for sure. I have no qualms about my childcare and cooking abilities! But, it’s those little other things in life that I sometimes am too hard on myself for. Take running, I’ve kind of taken a step back from it so I need to get back at it in full gear for the 15K and then the Disney Half so….basically…get it, girl! It’s amazing how a surgery can change your life. I used to be a eensy weensy teeny little runner and gymnast, now I am trying to get back there after being not able to workout for 6 months due to my surgeries last year. Oh well…. I LOVE running, so it’ll happen!!!

I am reading a new book, that you all should, called DARING GREATLY by Brene Brown. She is amazing. It’s all about vulnerability and how to basically love ourselves and not worry about being vulnerable or too hard on ourselves. This book totally came out at the right time.

With that being said, curling up in bed, with a hot bowl of stewy soup and this amazing book with brownies cooking in the oven….I mean sounds like heaven right!? So here goes, some yummy, gooey almond butter swirl brownies, navy bean, spinach and bacon soup and then kale salad. I wanted to post this kale salad because it is simple and I eat it quite a few times during the week. It’s a great way to get lots of vitamins in and just some yummy veg!

KALE CARROT BEET AND PEA SALAD

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups kale, washed and patted dry with a paper towel
  • beets, however many you’d like (I have about 3)
  • 1 orange
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

This is SUPER easy! In a small bowl, squeeze the juice from your orange, add your olive oil, salt and pepper and wisk to emulsify. Set aside. Take your kale and toss with one tablespoon of the olive oil and orange liquid, set aside. Then, take your frozen peas and run them under hot water until defrosted. Take your shredded carrots from your fridge, or shred your own carrots, about 1-2 carrots will be great. Next, either you can roast your own beets, or buy them, already roasted, peeled and cut from Whole Foods.

To roast your own beets:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Remove the tops and the roots of the beets and peel each one with a vegetable peeler. Cut the beets in 1 1/2-inch chunks. (Small beets can be halved, medium ones cut in quarters, and large beets cut in eighths). Place the cut beets on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, turning once or twice with a spatula, until the beets are tender.

After this is done, put them in a large bowl and add the orange juice and olive oil vinaigrette you just made. Let them sit and soak up the goodness!

After the beets have cooled, assemble your salad. On a plate, Put down your kale down on the salad plate. Next add your shredded carrots, beets on top of that, then your peas. DEVOUR the goodness!

FUDGY YUMMY GLUTEN FREE BROWNIES WITH A NUT BUTTER SWIRL

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/3 cup brown rice flour
  • 1 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips, or extremely dark chocolate, or super natural bitter chocolate chips
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce, unsweetened and not the cinnamon kind
  • 1/2 cup nut butter of choice

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch metal baking pan across the bottom and up two opposite sides with parchment paper or spray it with olive oil cooking spray or grease it. I greased my pan with a little coconut oil. You can use whole almonds and add them to a food process with the rice flour and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. If using almond flour, mix it with the rice flour. Set aside.

Place the chocolate, butter and salt in the top of a large double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir frequently until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl and let cool for 5 minutes. Stir in the honey and vanilla. Stir in the applesauce. Add the almond and rice flour mixture and stir until moistened, and then mix briskly until really well combined.

NOTE: You can make these without the nut butter. You can add nuts, more chocolate chips, the sky is the limit!

Take your nut butter of choice. I use almond butter or a nut butter that has a bit of sea salt in it. You can find GREAT nut butters with sea salt at Trader Joe’s. That way these aren’t overly sweet. This is a peanut butter and almond butter mixture, but feel free to use just almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter, sun butter, what have you. Place it in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it for 30 seconds so it gets a little gooey and creamy. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Spoon dollops of the nut butter onto the brownie batter. Using the spoon, swirl the nut butter into the brownies. This is done the easiest by taking the spoon and bring it down the length of the batter, then across and keep doing it until you like the swirl. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the brownies are slightly puffed all over and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out moist but clean. Cool and get your EAT on!

NAVY BEAN AND SPINACH SOUPY STEW

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 lb grassfed pork bacon, about 8 slices of thick cut (or regular if you prefer and don’t care about where your meat comes from)
  • fresh savory herb
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cans organic navy beans
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 quart of homemade chicken bone broth or organic free range chicken broth
  • 2 handfulls of fresh spinach (or KALE!!!!)

Slice and cube your bacon. In a dutch oven, place your bacon in on medium high heat and cook until brown. While the bacon is cooking and browning and smelling lovely, you can cut your veggies. You want to have uniform cuts so that the mirepoix (fancy French word for carrots, celery and onion, the base of LOTS of dishes) can cook together and soften. Add your onions while the bacon is cooking and let them soften in the bacon fat. Add your carrots, celery, chopped savory herb (if you do not have this or can not find it, just use fresh thyme, rosemary, another type of savory tasting herb), dried thyme and the black pepper and cook until the veggies are soft, but that the carrots and celery still have a little crunch.

Drain and rinse your beans. You want to rinse off the starchy liquid that they come canned in. Add your beans and cook for about 2 minutes so the beans are warm. Add your chicken broth and simmer until bubbly. Add your salt and pepper to taste and continue to simmer. With soups I’ve found that adding the salt last, and letting it cook a bit before tasting, helps out a lot. If you add too much salt, there’s no going back. So add a little at a time. Plus, for this recipe, the bacon adds a bit of a salty smokey flavor (DELICIOUS), so you want to hold off on the salt until you’re ready and the flavors have simmered. So basically, add about a 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt at a time, let it simmer, taste it, then add more if needed.

Take your spinach and put in as much as you want. I used about 2 large handfull, maybe 3. Let is cook down  a bit in the soup. Bowl the soup up and eat nice and hot on a cold blustery day!

You could also add KALE to this. And for those doubting kale, and my love for it. Here’s a great infographic!

http://nutribulletblog.com/all-hail-kale/

brunch. chocolate zucchini bread and cast iron skillet frittata

15 Sep

What a great week this has turned out to be and very much full of all kinds of lessons and moral tidbits. Yesterday I spent the day back with the most wonderful little girls ever. I am so happy and so excited for the next year or so to come with these little munchkins. They are two little girls who have changed my life over the last (almost) two years and I am so grateful to be back learning, growing, teaching, playing and cooking with them. I met with so many amazing people this week and finally closed a few chapters in my life. It’s been amazing. I’ve had the chance to pipe up for myself this week in a way I never thought I would and am really proud of myself for that. I’ve learned so much over the last couple months, about myself, my work, my future and my self worth. I am really blessed to have had these opportunities and can’t WAIT for the AWESOME times to come. I would say that’s quite a lot of lessons and growth opportunities!

So with all these lovely lessons, I decided to teach myself and experiment in the kitchen with some lessons of my own and also to go back to basics, like with the simple, yet delicious, frittata. I have a problem with buying tons of produce, with good intention, and then not finding the time to cook with it or make as many meals as I’d planned. Kale and raw spinach are no brainers, I can use those in everything or even juice them or make smoothies, so when I buy those and haven’t used them yet, I generally can use them up in the couple days before they turn. As for asparagus, I buy it like CRAZY. Most of the time I roast it with a little coconut oil, sea salt and pepper, but sometimes, I need a new spin on it, or just forget about it and then have to use it quickly. Same with tomatoes. I love cherry tomatoes, especially heirloom cherry tomatoes, but I buy those and then eat a few and then have to quickly use them as well. This must all have to do with the fact that I am madly in love with grocery shopping so all of this amazing produce looks fabulous and then my time management and cooking skills don’t match up with the produce I buy ha! So, I wanted to use up some of the savory things I had and what better way then to make a frittata!?

On another note, for something less savory, I thought what could be better then CHOCOLATE!? I also had a ripe zucchini needing to be loved and so I thought I would try my hand at working out some kind of gluten free bread that doesn’t use the typical rice flour or potato flour. I saw a couple recipes online and then adapted them to make my own from what I have learned lately with gluten free baking. I am not a huge fan of all of the “gums” like sorgum or xanthan gum so I wanted to try something new and see if eggs and a small bit of coconut flour could hold this together. Plus coconut flour is relatively cheap and much easier to find then trying to make a blend of rice flour, potato flour, the gums, etc. etc. etc. That’s the hard thing about gluten free cooking, it’s not like when I used to eat gluten and I just tossed in all purpose flour, there’s a science to it and a mixture of lots of different flours sometimes. I like it simple.

CHOCOLATEY NUTTY ZUCCHINI BREAD

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium sized zucchini
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 3 tablespoons good quality cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup almond butter
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your loaf pan with coconut oil so that the bread has a nice bed of oily goodness to lay on and not stick to. Shred your zucchini by placing chunks of it in your food processer and pulsing until you have nice shredded pieces, but not too fine. Lay out 6 paper towels on your counter, and dump all of your zucchini on them. Zucchini shockingly has a lot of water, so grab all that shredded zucchini in the paper towels and ring out as much of the water as possible in the sink. Dump the zucchini into your mixing bowl, add all of the other ingredients, along with 1/2 of your chocolate chips and mix! Now, the almond butter may be hard to mix in so make sure you mix everything extremely well. Pour the mixture into your greased loaf pan and smooth it out with your spatula. Top with the rest of the chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, but until a toothpick comes out clean. Every oven varies so it could take longer. When done, let cool, turn out of the pan, slice and EAT EAT EAT! yum. This isn’t an overly sweet bread, but super yummy.

USE THOSE VEGGIES! FRITTATA WITH GOAT CHEESE AND GRASS FED PORK SAUSAGE

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon grass fed butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 lb ground pork breakfast sausage, preferably grass fed organic
  • 1bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • goat chevre
  • salt and pepper to taste, plus 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper for egg mixture

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. This is great, it’s a ONE PAN dish! NOTE: If you do not have a cast iron skillet, use a skillet that has a metal handle and can be put in the oven, Calphalon makes nice ones. Wash and prep your vegetables. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half, trim the asparagus and leave the flowery tops and a couple inches of stalk. Trim into 1 inch pieces. Wash and trim your broccoli as well. Crack your eggs into your bowl, add the coconut milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and mix well.

In your cast iron skillet, add your butter and oil and melt. This will coat the skillet and a lot of it will sink in so your frittata is easier to grab out later. Cook your breakfast sausage down so it’s nice and brown and crumbly. NOTE: If you do not want any meat, just cook the veggies this way! Add your veggies and cook just for a bit till they turn green. Pour the egg mixture over your veggies until they are covered. Crumble your goat cheese on top. Also top with more cracked pepper and sea, kosher or table salt.

My sausage is from a grass fed farm called U.S. Wellness Meats. They are amazing. Order online and they ship right to you all packed in dry ice and ready to pop in your freezer. They are well priced and amazing quality for all kinds of meats.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. You’ll be able to tell it is done when the edges are crispy and it does not wiggle anymore. That means the eggs have set, are firm and ready to eat. Cool and cut into slices. This is a GREAT recipe for your weekly breakfast! ENJOY! YAY BRUNCH!

veggie pesto “flatbread” and yummy yummies

11 Sep

Ever feel like you REALLY need some veggies? After this last weekend with all the birthday festivities, I not only needed some MAJOR veggie time, but I needed some serious detoxing. Thank goodness I just brewed a huge batch of delicious kombucha and it was all ready for me to drink this morning! All bottled and delicious. Ever try kombucha? You should. Particularly brewing your own since its uber expensive at the store.

It’s been a weird day. I’ve had some strange conversations today, but all in all everything happens for a reason right? It’s weird going on interviews and talking about yourself and your experiences. I think I’ve conveyed that I am a good nanny, cook, child care provider, friend, administrative personality, organizational and cleanliness advocate, active, healthy and fun advocate and early childhood graduate student about 75 million times over the last two weeks. Makes you think a lot more about what you’ve accomplished when you are job hunting, ya know? I’ve definitely accomplished a lot and I am glad to be where I am at. This whole “30” thing has really been a GIANT self-reflection period and time where I am finally putting my needs first, or at least up there, for once. GO ME!

So, as the job hunt continues so I can further my experience for my future career with BABIES (yay!), I decided this week I am going to do lots of yummy veggie recipes. I noticed this blog has been very “comfort food” lately. So why not throw a new spin on another favorite comfort food, but make it all veggie goodness!

That’s right folks, PIZZA! Pizza has been something I’ve never really DIED for or loved, but yesterday I had this weird pizza craving for some reason so today I tried to make my own and make it super healthy by trying my hand at cauliflower crust and oh my goodness gracious it’s to die for! Try it, I dare you. You may never go back to your old gluteny wheat pizza crust again!

VEGGIE VEG SUPER VEG PIZZA

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 1 head of cauliflower (you’ll need 3 cups, so a medium sized head should work)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup of flax seed meal (you can get Bob’s Red Mill just about anywhere)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley (Penzey’s is the BEST!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. “Rice” your cauliflower. Which means, chop that puppy up and put it in the food processer (plus the garlic cloves)! Pulse until it’s about the size of rice. Nifty fact: you can use cauliflower as rice in any dish! Just chop it up like this and steam it a bit for rice as a regular rice substitute! Take the cauliflower and put it in a bowl, add all of the other ingredients and mix! Now this is going to feel/look weird, but don’t worry, it’ll be yummy. After all the ingredients are mixed well, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. OR use a brown paper bag and spray it with cooking spray, does the same thing! Take your mixture and plop it on the paper and make it into a flat bread shape. Bake at 450 for about 20-25 minutes, until the edges start getting golden. Take it out when done and set aside. You can make all of your pesto and prep your veggies while it cooks.

Ingredients for the toppings:

Really, you can top it with whatever you want, but to add extra veggie, antioxidant power, I topped mine with homemade pesto, cherry tomatoes, broccolini and goat chevre.

Pesto:

  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • olive oil (the amount used will depend on your pesto, generally 1/4 cup is about right)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 clove garlic

Other yummies:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • brocclini
  • goat chevre

For the Pesto, take the spinach, arugula, pepper, almond butter and garlic in the food processor, pulse and slowly drizzle in your olive oil to emulsify the flavors. Stop the olive oil when it’s at the desired texture. Taste, add more salt or pepper if needed. NOTE: you’ll noticed I didn’t add the salt when I first pulsed it, that’s because almond butter can sometimes be a little salty, so add the salt after you’ve tasted it.

Spread your yummy pesto, a nice hearty portion, all over the pizza “crust.” Have your other veggies washed and prepped; i.e. the stems cut from the broccolini, the cherry tomatoes halved….etc. Take the broccolini and tomatoes and evenly cover the pesto. Then knob off some lovely lumps of goat chevre and top it all off with fresh ground black pepper.

Bake at 450 for ten minutes, then bring the oven down to 350 degrees and watch as the broccolini crisps and roasts and the tomatoes cook and shrivel. The goat cheese also melts and gets a little golden brown. I like my broccolini roasted, but green. Take it out, let it cool a minute (it doesn’t take long since it’s a veg crust), cut and EAT! YUM!

NOTE: remember, this isn’t ACTUAL crust, so the edges will be nice and crispy, but it still will be a pliable, doughy kinds of thing. Lik a frittata type crust. You’ll love it, though! ALSO, use whatever veggies/meat you want, or pizza sauce, or better yet, make your own pizza sauce….hmm….another idea for a blog post???

30 years and some cuppy cakes

8 Sep

WOW. I’m 30! I can’t believe it. What an amazing 30 years this has been. I can’t believe that yesterday, September 7th, 30 years ago, I was born at 2 lbs., 9 ounces and about 3+ months premature. From what I hear, I was supposed to be born around Christmas. It’s amazing that I am here everyday and for some odd reason, this 30th birthday has really made me reflect on what I am thankful for and how lucky I am. I have a great family, great friends and great puppies. I’m extremely lucky. The last 30 years have been a bit of a rollercoaster, lots of twists, turns, ups and downs, but I keep reminding myself that if I keep working extremely hard and keep going for my goals, I’ll make it. I already have one year of graduate school under my belt, 2 more to go and I can work and cuddle with babies FOREVER!

I was really lucky yesterday to get to spend my birthday with one of my parents, my Dad, which never happens. I never see my parents on my birthday since we all live all over the country, so that was awesome. Then I got to make all KINDS of new friends as my best friend Kelly and I celebrated her birthday as well as my birthday. It was one of the best birthdays I have ever had. I can’t believe how much love poured out to me right when it was the perfect timing. That universe, it works in mysterious way. Speaking of love, this brings me to cupcakes. Who DOESN’T LOVE cupcakes on their birthday!? Particularly, ooey gooey, gluten free, pumpkiny, gingerbready cupcakes!?

Well, I decided to try out a new recipe for these birthday cupcakes and it was SUPER easy and everyone went crazy for these! I sent the boy to work with some and his office said they were the best cupcakes they ever had! Not to toot my own horn, but I also make the best variations of cream cheese frosting EVER. People tell me they can eat it by the bag full!

PUMPKIN GINGERBREAD GLUTEN FREE CUPPY CAKES

Ingredients for cupcake batter:

  • 1/2 stick of butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I like the organic cane sugar, it’s pure and simple)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract PLUS 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 can of organic pumpkin (I used to pumpkin pie pumpkin because it added extra flavor, but plain is fine since we’ll add more)
  • 1 package of PAMELA’s gluten free vanilla cake (this is rice flour and potato starch, baking powder and salt, all together already so no need to buy ALL of those flours! She really makes it easy. She also sells bags of gluten free flour and all kinds of stuff, which is really handy so you don’t have to buy xanthum gum, potato starch, rice flour, almond flour….etc. because they are expensive!)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (Penzey’s is the best. Frankly their the best for ALL spices!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Ingredients for frosting:

  • 1/4 cup white chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 cup soft, room temperature butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar (possibly more if your frosting isn’t thick enough)
  • 1 cup cold cream cheese (right out of the fridge)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean extract

Let the fun begin:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. This is an easy one, so unlike most cake recipes, just literally dump all of the ingredients in the bowl for the batter and mix! Can you believe it? Told you it was easy! Then line your muffin tins with fun papers and scoop batter into them, filling them 3/4 of the way high. Gluten free cupcakes do not rise as high as regular cupcakes, so filling them a little higher is fine.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-35 minutes. You’ll be able to tell when a toothpick comes out clean; each oven is different so temperatures vary.

For the frosting, mix together the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes until creamed together well. Add the cream cheese, by pinching off pieces of the cold cream cheese, vanilla and maple syrup and continue to mix. You want to frosting to be almost like stiff peaks, so if you need to add more sugar go on ahead!

Now here’s the easy part, after the cupcakes cool, fold down a gallon sized freezer bag and scoop the frosting into it. get it all into one corner and twist the bag like a pastry bag, cut off the tip and WALA! your own pastry bag! Now, if you want to mess with pastry bags and tips, go on ahead, but this is an easy to frost without using those. To frost, I start at the edge and circle around to then make a little round mountain of frosting. Sprinkle with nutmeg if desired.

EAT UP and try to share, please!

simple flavors jamming together

3 Sep

This week has been all about discovering what I do and do not love, so naturally, I decided to work with some simple flavors and a big fat grill today. It’s been an interesting week looking for a new job. I went on random interviews and loved all of them, but the choice right now is, what do I want to do. Right now, I’m not sure, so experimenting in the kitchen gave my mind some time to relax from graduate school and job hunting.

I had a massive batch of super ripe strawberries that needed to be used, so I decided to hop over to Whole Foods and get some pectin and jar up some yummy jam, but make sure that it was simple and wholesome. I never realized how easy it is to make jam! Can you believe from masher to jar it took about a half hour!? So simple. For some reason I always thought jam was a lengthy process. Super jazzed that it was so quick and easy.

For dinner, I decided to go with some simple flavors. I had chicken drummies (which also is what we call Dexter Doodle Puppy) in the freezer from U.S. Wellness Meats. I don’t know if you’ve heard of U.S. Wellness meats, but they are grass fed yumminess that you order online and the prices are unbelievable!

I picked up some sweet potatoes, for a healthy super food starch and hericot vert. I love hericot vert (for those that need the translation, hericot vert are green beans, and yummy ones at that). So here is my homage to simple flavors on the grill. By the way, sweet potato is a GREAT superfood for puppies and they gobble it up!

JAMMY JAM JAM

Ingredients:

  • two large pints of strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 3/4 cup sugar in the raw
  • 1.5 tablespoons pectic (I got the all natural, no preservative, no sugars pectin from Whole Foods)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lemon

Easy Peasy:

Wash and hull your strawberries. Take your orange and slice out the sections. Pour the strawberries and oranges in a large dutch oven. Turn the heat on medium to warm up the berries/oranges and start mashing away! Mash to your heart’s desire. Some like chunky jam and some like smoother jam. Once they are all mashed, turn the heat up to high and mix in the honey and sugar and mix until well incorporated and dissolved. Add pectic and bring to a boil. Boil all together for 2 minutes on high, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat off, ladle into your jars, cap the jars, let them sit until at room temperature and you’re done! You’ll hear  a pop after about a half hour meaning that the jars sealed. This makes about 1.5 jars of jam, or 2 small jars. You can put it in the fridge and use it over the next few weeks. YUM!

CHICKEN DRUMMIES HERICOT VERT AND SWEET POTATO MASH

Ingredients for sweet potato mash:

  • 3 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon grass fed butter (Kerrygold or regular butter if you aren’t into grass fed)

HEAT UP THAT GRILL! Turn the grill and place it on high. Take the three sweet potatoes, prick them with a fork and wrap them in foil. Place on high heating grill for 1 hour. These are what take the most time. The drummies and sweet potatoes will cook together at one point, so the rest of the steps are below.

Ingredients for chicken drummies:

  • 6 chicken drummies
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion
  • 1 tablespoon oregano

Ingredients for hericot vert:

  • hericot vert, about 50 beans, or a small bag
  • 1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • splash of balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Take a gallon sized large plastic bag and pour in the chicken drummies. Pour in all of the ingredients listed above; olive oil, salt, pepper, dried onion, oregano, parsley, balsamic and work for a couple minutes so it is all mixed well and coating the chicken. Place in a glass bowl in your fridge, or if cooking soon, place on your counter for the meat to marinate at room temperature for at least an hour. If placing in fridge, it can marinate for up to 24 hours.

After the sweet potatoes have cooked for about 45 minutes, place the chicken drummies on the grill. They take about 8 minutes on each side, but you can determine based on your grill temp since this is a dark meat. Your grill should be placed at medium heat now. Therefore, the sweet potatoes can still cook and the drummies can cook evenly. Pour the leftover marinade on the drummies and save a bit for when you turn the drummies over.

After about 8 minutes, turn the drummies and pour on the rest of the marinade. Take off your sweet potatoes and set them to cool. Once the sweet potatoes are cool, peel off the skin and cut off the nubby ends. Mash the sweet potatoes with a fork and add the butter, salt, pepper and honey. Cover with foil to stay warm while the hericot very cook.

Take the drummies off of the grill and place under a foil tent to finish steaming and stay warm. To prep hericot vert, wash and cut off the ends. place on foil, drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, balsamic and a nice lump of stone ground mustard. Pack them all up in the foil and place on grill. These take only about 6 minutes. Carefully open up the packet and mix the green beans so that the warm mustard coats them all. I like my hericot very al dente, where they are bright green and hot, yet not fully cooked so they have a nice snap!

PLATE YOUR FOOD AND EAT!

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