Archive for the ‘What’s For Dinner’ Category

Easy Addictive Radish Dip

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Today I present a recipe for super easy, super delicious radish dip. I ate an entire batch of it over the past two days which means a) I will smell like garlic for a week and b) I ate an entire block of cream cheese by myself. I’m not even sorry.

easy radish dip

My sister made this dip when she came to visit a zillion years ago. I was confused, because who uses radishes for anything?? They’re like the acid wash jeans of vegetables – they’re always AROUND and sometimes they’re trendy and maybe other people use them for stuff but for most people? No. Just no. Who knew they were actually delicious and spicy and perfect for a crunchy snack? Also, they’re perfect in this dip, which might be the easiest thing you ever eat way, way too much of in one sitting.

Easy Radish Dip

Ingredients:
1 block cream cheese (regular or light)
6-7 medium sized radishes
4 cloves of garlic, peeled

Directions:
Put everything in a food processor, blend until radishes and garlic are minced. Eat with crackers, carrots or more radishes cut into slices.

Add more garlic if you like things super garlicky. Add more radishes to make it a tiny bit healthier (less cream cheese per bite). Double it if you’re making it for a party. Enjoy!

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A Paleo Update and Grain-Free Cranberry Orange Scones

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
paleo grain free cranberry orange scones

You can skip all my rambling and scroll to the bottom for the recipe

I am really terrible at sticking to things I start. Hobbies, fitness plans, housekeeping schedules, photo-a-day-for-a-month projects have all fallen by the wayside after I declared they were totally my new favorite thing and THIS TIME would be different. I don’t even stick to big things like houses for very long – the one we’re in now is the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere in my whole life.

But I got a legitimate email question asking if I was still doing paleo/primal and how I liked it so I thought I would answer, even if the answer is a little bit meh.

I AM still trying to eat a mostly paleo diet. I don’t eat any bread or grains or legumes any more and don’t miss them much. I switched to using coconut oil for all my cooking and love it. I eat a lot of vegetable substitutes for things – eggplant or spaghetti squash instead of noodles, kale chips instead of chips – and eat tons of fruit. I still think this is something I can do long term, but it hasn’t been a miracle diet for me.

At the beginning when I was being really careful and strict I lost 8 pounds very quickly. But as soon as I let things slide even a little I gained a few back and got frustrated. The idea of NEVER EVER EVER eating bread again depressed me.When I go to a birthday party and I’m faced with a table full of cupcakes – even if the cupcakes aren’t that GOOD – my brain convinces me I must have them because only a crazy person would pass up CUPCAKES. I don’t want to give up dairy completely (which is why I was calling my diet almost-paleo but more like primal) but I have a hard time not eating an entire block of cheese. I keep telling myself things that are OK in moderation – red wine, dark chocolate – are OK on a daily basis when obviously that’s a poor choice.

Basically, this is another thing I’ve started and not been very good at. I realize that is my fault and not the fault of the diet. I’ve also decided this IS something I DO want to stick to, so I’m trying again. I do feel better when I’m eating a high protein, moderate fat diet. I like not feeling bloated. I like not craving soda and sweets and having energy after 3 pm. I’ve found a lot of really delicious recipes (PaleOMG, NomNomPaleo and Civilized Caveman are three of my favorite sites) and I enjoy how easy it is to throw some meat in the crockpot and be done. Plus: BACON! I even talked my friend Alena into trying this with me and now we’re working to motivate each other.

So! Here’s my first attempt combining something I love (baking) with something I WANT to love (paleo).

I haven’t had a lot of luck with paleo baking so far – coconut flour is not a very good substitute for real flour. Stuff made with coconut flour tends to be very egg-y with just token amounts of flour to make it a “muffin” or a “pancake” instead of an omelet. But when I found a recipe for almond flour scones I thought I’d give it a shot and was thrilled with the results. Even my husband ate these and was surprised to hear they were part of my “crazy, stupid diet”. They take less than 20 minutes start to finish and are easy enough to make at 7 am when you can’t stand the thought of scrambled eggs AGAIN.

paleo grain free cranberry orange scones


Grain-Free Cranberry Orange Scones
(inspired by these from Civilized Caveman)

Makes 8 scones

2 cups almond flour or meal
1/3 cup shredded (unsweetened) coconut
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Pinch of salt
1 egg
2 T honey
Zest of 1 orange
1 T fresh orange juice
1 tsp almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix all the wet ingredients in a small bowl until the egg is fully scrambled. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until combined (I used a spatula, but you could use a mixer). Turn it out onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Form the dough (it will be sticky) into a rectangle about 1/2 an inch thick. Cut into four equal-ish rectangles, then cut each smaller rectangle diagonally to make triangles. Space them about 1 inch apart and bake for about 10 minutes until edges are browned. Let them cool down before you eat them or they’ll fall apart. Delicious with butter or coconut butter.

(Notes: I couldn’t find unsweetened dried cranberries so I cheated and bought some sweetened with organic cane juice from Stop & Shop. I bet you can get them at someplace fancy like Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. If you aren’t on a paleo/primal diet and don’t want to track down unsweetened coconut flakes, use the regular kind from the baking aisle and use a little less honey. You can make your own almond meal by grinding up almonds finely in a food processor.)

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Easy Addictive Radish Dip

What’s For Dinner: Primal/Paleo Edition

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

I’m going to talk about this paleo/primal thing for a minute. Feel free to skip to food pictures.

Short update: I love it. I eat so many eggs I’m afraid I might turn into a chicken. I’ve lost 5 pounds, eat real butter and real cream, and am shocked at how little I miss most of my old diet.

Long update, in bullet point form because I keep thinking of things to add:

1. I am not technically following a Paleo diet because I still eat cheese. It’s closer to the Primal Blueprint diet, but I’m not sure I’m even doing that correctly. I don’t actually care very much about whether or not a caveman would have eaten it – I care whether or not it’s going to give me a migraine or make me feel like I’m dying (both things that happen now if I eat the wrong stuff). Being sort of lax with the rules mean I’m not getting all that magical fat-melting the interwebs seemed to promise, but it also means I don’t want to jump off a bridge.

2. Once I got through a few days carb/added sugar/Diet Coke-free my cravings for said things dropped off the map almost entirely. It’s like all the willpower I’ve lacked my entire life just SHOWED UP. Oh hey, Willpower, nice to see you. I could have used you back when my pregnancy cravings had me eating McDonald’s fries twice a day but whatever. I’m really glad the desire is gone because I am NOT making the whole family stick to my diet. Caroline basically does it on her own – she’d rather have eggs for breakfast than cereal – but Evan would starve without carbs. Thanks to my new willpower when I bought the kids special treat donuts after the Fresh Beat Band concert, I managed to bring one home, look at it for a while, then leave it for E to eat. I NEVER could have done that before.

3. I’ve thrown out all the rules about breakfast, lunch and dinner. Steak at 10 am, eggs and bacon for dinner, and eating any time I feel hungry is the new plan. Since I can’t count on easy, instant food I also do a lot more cooking (and dishes) and eat a lot more leftovers. Also, eggs. All the time.

4. I sometimes get this weird burning in my nose, like I accidentally inhaled water. I have NO idea if my new diet is to blame but it happens 3-4 times a day and it’s something that has never happened to me before (unless I really did get water up my nose). Dr. Google seems to think it’s an unrelated sinus infection, but I swear I’m not sick and haven’t been for a while. It might be my face rebelling against my diet (although my skin and hair seems to like it.)

5. My exercise schedule has been pretty sad (or non-existent) since E’s schedule changed back in August. I stopped running and haven’t been going to Stroller Strides. Now that I’ve seen a little success with the diet change I’m more motivated to see if I can amp it up with some workouts. I think it would make a big difference in my shape/jeans size.

6. I’m going to stick with it. It’s not so much that it’s some sort of magical cure-all weight-loss miracle plan, but just that I like it. I like drinking my coffee with real cream and I like putting steak on top of my lunch salad and I like eating eggs – all things I WASN’T doing before because I thought I needed to eat low fat to lose (or even maintain) my weight. This is better.

7. Still no plans to turn this into a blog about paleo/primal stuff, but if you want to talk about it I’m more than happy to on email or Facebook. Thank you to people who emailed me suggestions and recipes and blogs to follow – it’s been SUPER helpful!

8. Who can tell me where to get coconut flour? Don’t say Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods – we don’t have those.

So, to answer the title question, here’s what’s for dinner (complete with a lot of Google-fu to find the recipes):

 

1. Thai-Inspired Scallop Soup – The Primal Blueprint Cookbook (I KNOW I found this recipe online somewhere but can’t re-find it. It was totally amazing, so I might remake it and blog it)
2. Turkish Eggs – Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals (basic recipe can also be found here)
3. Smoked Salmon, Egg and Asparagus Roll-ups – Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals (just what it sounds/looks like)
4. Bison Chili – The Primal Blueprint Cookbook (just basic chili, no beans)

5. Artichoke & Green Olive Dip – Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals (almost the same as this one)
6. Nut Crackers – The Primal Blueprint Cookbook (This one IS online – recipe #2 here.)
7. Deep Dish Pizza Casserole – A Girl Worth Saving
8. Meat sauce over roasted eggplant – I made spaghetti for everyone else and just threw some eggplant in the oven at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. It was better than noodles.

9. Coconut Almond Coleslaw – The Primal Blueprint Cookbook (I was most meh about this one)
10. Bacon & Mushroom Dip – Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals (online here)
11. Zucchini Carbonara – Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals (someone blogged it here)
12. Chicken & Artichokes With Garlic Sauce – Primal Blueprint Quick & Easy Meals (REALLY good, really easy, I’ve made it twice. There’s a version online here, but I used anchovies instead of fish sauce.)

I’ve also eaten a lot of broccoli made with this recipe I found on the Girl’s Gone Child blog and successfully replaced rice with grated cauliflower in both fried rice and jambalaya. Plus eggs. Did I mention eggs yet?

(Links in this post are not sponsored or affiliate links, just stuff I’ve read or bought on my own.)

P.S. ALSO, I made Jalapeno Popper Quiche last night (minus the crust) and it was SO FREAKING GOOD I didn’t even take time to eat a picture before E and I ate it all.

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Berry Almond Baked Oatmeal

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

I’d never had baked oatmeal before I saw this recipe on Pinterest a few weeks ago. I decided it would be a quick and easy brunchy-type dish for my first local blogger get together and something my family would eat. In typical Suzanne fashion I only had half the ingredients on hand so I improvised and created my own Berry Almond Baked Oatmeal.

berry almond baked oatmeal

Berry Almond Baked Oatmeal
Serves 8

2 cups rolled oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup slices almonds
2 cups raspberries
1 cup coconut flakes
2 cups milk
1 large egg, beaten
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ripe banana peeled and sliced

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking dish (7×11, 9×13, whatever you’ve got – just watch baking times if it’s bigger) with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients, the almonds, half the raspberries and half the coconut. In another bowl, mix the milk, egg, butter and vanilla.

Spread the oats, etc out in the baking dish. Top with the other half of the raspberries and coconut, then put the banana slices on top. Pour your milk mixture evenly over the oats and let it sink down. Bake 40 minutes or until slightly brown around the edges.

berry almond baked oatmeal

Delicious! And it’s super easy to add/subtract ingredients for other ones if coconut or almonds aren’t your cup of tea. One of the benefits of a baked oatmeal casserole is you can cut and serve rather than eating it with a spoon. The kids think they’re getting cake. Shhhhh…don’t tell!

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How To Make Sorbet Out Of Juice

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

For Christmas, my uncle always sends me a really generous Williams-Sonoma gift card. It takes me WEEKS to decide what to buy with it, since Williams-Sonoma is pretty much my favorite store on the planet. Sometimes I blow the whole thing on something huge, like my KitchenAid mixer and sometimes I break it up into a bunch of small but useful things, like the year I got a strawberry huller and some treats and some spatulas and the best kitchen tool ever. This past year I split it between a grill tray and an ice cream maker – the Cuisinart Stainless-Steel 2 Quart Ice Cream Maker to be exact (Five stars! Highly recommend!)

And then I let it sit in my basement for 5 months, waiting for ice cream weather. Once the warm weather arrived, I spent hours online looking for the best, most delicious, most complicated ice cream and gelato and frozen yogurt and sorbet recipes. But in the end, it turns out EASY and ON-HAND beats fanciest every time so I’ve perfected a recipe for turning whatever-the-heck you have in your fridge into delicious, refreshing sorbet.

how to make sorbet out of juice

When I say juice, I literally mean any kind of juice. Grape, pineapple, cherry, whatever. You could make carrot sorbet if you wanted to, although that’s not really my cup of tea. TEA is more like my cup of tea, since the Sweet Tea Sorbet I made barely got photographed before I shoved it all into my face.

Here are a few of the kinds I made in the past week:

orange mango tango sorbet

Newman's Own Orange Mango Tango Juice

pink grapefruit sorbet

Stop & Shop Ruby Red Grapefruit 100% Juice

V8 Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry Juice

V8 Fusion Pomegranate Blueberry Juice (hidden veggies!)

Market Pantry (Target) Sweet Tea

Market Pantry (Target) Sweet Tea

Welch's White Grape Peach Mango

Welch's White Grape Peach Mango Juice

Are you ready for the recipe yet? Gentlemen, start your ice cream makers!

Sorbet:

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
1 1/2 cup juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest

Put the water and the sugar in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until the sugar is all dissolved, then simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer syrup to a container and refrigerate until cold*. Zest a lemon – use a vegetable peeler if you don’t have a zester and chop up the zest a little. Then cut the lemon in half and squeeze out all the juice. Add the lemon juice and zest to your syrup. Once everything is cold, pour the syrup/lemon mix and the 1 1/2 cups juice into your ice cream maker**. Following your machine’s instructions, let it churn until it’s frozen (mine takes about 25 minutes). Eat as is – it will be a little soft – or transfer to an airtight container and freeze for a couple hours until it’s more like store-bought sorbet. SO GOOD. Don’t forget to put your ice cream maker bowl back in the freezer to make more tomorrow.

*Look, you just made simple syrup! You can make it in larger batches using the same 1/1 sugar/water ratio and keep it on hand for more sorbet or other delicious things like a blueberry gin gimlet or sparkling lemonade.

**This is SO SUPER EASY with an ice cream maker, but if you don’t have one you can just pour everything into a large flat baking dish. Put it in the freezer and let it freeze, scraping the top occasionally to make it fluffier. The end result will be a little icier than with the ice cream maker but it’s still delicious! If you want a softer finished product (like a Rita’s Water Ice) pulse it in a blender or food processor for a few seconds after it’s frozen. Eat immediately and enjoy!

I’ve practically broken my arm patting myself on the back for this recipe. I love the fact that I can make any possible flavor of sorbet with minimal effort. I love the little bits of lemon zest to even out the sweetness. I love that it’s fat free. And I love that I can bribe my kids to do pretty much anything for a spoonful – and they have no idea it’s practically the same juice they can get any old time.

Suggestions and variations:
If you don’t like lemon, use some other citrus. If you don’t like citrus, leave it out.
If you want a less-sweet sorbet, use 1/2 cup simple syrup and 1/2 cup water.
If you don’t have juice, use pureed fruit and/or squeeze your own.
Top with fresh or frozen berries (duh).
Blend it with tequila or rum for a delicious frozen drink.

p.s. After my super home-made food photography shoot on Saturday, I had three adorable little dishes of sorbet just sitting on my counter melting. Obviously I had to fix that problem immediately.

Get in my belly! The blueberry-white grape was especially delicious together.

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