Wednesday, November 16, 2011

On My Trail: Foods We Eat

Here are a few new recipes we've enjoyed around our table recently. I love new recipes. We probably average a new recipe at least once a week, and sometimes I try a whole slew of them in a row. It keeps both cooking and eating fun. We rarely go out to eat, new foods keep it interesting. Although these are all healthier recipes, we're by no means health-nuts, just sort-of-healthy eaters. I just don't want you to be fooled or think I'm deceiving you. I love a bowl of ice cream more than the next girl.

Peter Reinhart's Crushed Tomato Pizza Sauce is my new go-to sauce recipe. It's quick and easy. No fancy ingredients for us, plain old tomatoes from the grocery store seem to work fine. I admit, I often cheat and just buzz diced tomatoes I have on hand in the cuisinart (works better if you drain the juice). I do usually choose fresh garlic; I am a garlic nut. His napoletana crust is also yummy, but requires planning waaay ahead, something I can't seem to do.

Heidi Swanson's Baked Quinoa Patties were surprisingly satisfying. In the process Ally discovered she loved quinoa and ate it warm right out of the pan. Last night I discovered my kale had gone bad, a stinky surprise, so I chose carrots as an "in a pinch substitute," and the patties still tasted good. In order not to deceive you, I'll tell you that I eat them plain but I let my kids eat them on white hamburger buns complete with condiments. That way we're all happy.

Again, from 101 Cookbooks, Nikki's Healthy Cookies were a big hit with the kiddy crowd, especially when they were approved not only for dessert but also for snack food. We had to make them nut free, no almond meal at our house, so I used whole wheat flour and that worked well. As I formed the balls to bake them I also thought coconut oil solidifies so well, they might work as a raw cookie, if you just left out the baking powder, so I tried putting a few in the fridge. They turned out solid, but did taste...well...raw. I've been on a casual look out for no-bake cookies sans nut butters for years now, so if you know of one, please share your recipe!

Finally, we tested several chimichurri sauces this last week. Chimichurri is, I guess, like an Argentinian salsa. I'd never had it before, but it's good. This was my favorite, chunky and fresh tasting. I used it tonight in a batch of black beans we ate over rice, and it gave the beans a huge depth of flavor. The first night we ate it on steak, and since have been using it instead of salsa on burritos for lunch (just in case you lack creativity and are wondering what on earth to do with this stuff). This one was Bryan's favorite, blended to a creamy green sauce, and no onions.

We're trying to eat light before the Thanksgiving food fest. Unfortunately the apples from the orchard are getting a little old and I'm afraid I must make crisp tomorrow. And who can eat apple crisp without ice cream?

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