Friday, June 21, 2013

Curried Lentil, Squash, and Apple Stew

This sweet and savory stew is a fun vegetarian alternative to your typical beef stew. We love the flavors of the ginger, curry, and apple, and it's great French rustic look. A perfect dish for a cool fall or winter night!
Curried Lentil, Squash, and Apple Stew
from Chloe's Kitchen
Serves 6

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger (we use the tube kind)
1 Tbsp curry powder
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup dried lentils (we like to add an additional 1/4 cup)
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (a little more if you're doing extra lentils)
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 cups peeled butternut squash (1/2 inch cubes--they need to be this size or they'll get too soft; if they're smaller, add them in a few minutes later)
1 large unpeeled apple, diced
5 oz baby spinach
1 can corn, or frozen equivilant (optional--our addition)

In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, and saute onions and carrots until almost soft. Add garlic, ginger, curry, and salt, and let cook a few more minutes until fragrant. Stir in lentils, broth, and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes. Add squash (wait 5 minutes if smaller) and apples, cover, and simmer for another 25 minutes, or until vegetables and lentils are tender. Uncover and stir in spinach until wilted. Add salt to taste and serve.

Our Favorite Marinara

Growing up eating a lot of spaghetti, then practically living off of it in college, it's sadly been a dish that has rarely made it on to Travis' and I's dinner table since we've been married. That is, UNTIL we discovered this marinara recipe. It's ridiculously easy to make, from ingredients that are usually on hand anyway, and it elevates your hum-ho spaghetti to a pasta that's totally delectable. We've paired it with brown rice (or whole wheat) spaghetti noodles and Chloe's meatball's for both our Easter and Father's Day dinner's this year, which tells you how much we love it. :) We've also added it to stuffed shells,  lasagna (which was a huge hit at our family get together in Idaho), and used it as a pizza sauce, which shows how incredibly versitile it is as well. Bon Appetit!

Marinara Sauce
from Chloe's Kitchen
Makes 4 cups

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup soy, almond, or rice milk (we do a soy/almond mix)
1 Tbsp brown sugar or maple syrup

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and saute until onions are soft and vegetables are lightly browned. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, and let cook a few more minutes. Add crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Remove from heat and stir in nondairy milk and brown sugar, which will soften the acidity of the tomatoes. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Mexican Medly Quinoa

Quinoa (keen-wa) is one of those super grains that we keep wanting to use more in our cooking, but don't have a lot of recipes for. Well, we got this recipe from a friend a while back and finally got around to making it last night...and loved it! It's colorful, super easy to put together, and packed with protein and veggies, making it a super star dinner. We hope this will be a healthy hit with your family too!

Mexican Medly Quinoa
Heavily modified from Epicurious' Black Bean And Tomato Quinoa & Trader Joes Organic White Quinoa package instructions
Makes 4 servings

For the dressing:
Juice and zest of one lime
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp (or more) cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

For the quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water

For the mixture:
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 medium tomatoes, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2/3 cup corn
1/2 to 1 mango, diced (as much as desired)
1 avocado, diced
(Next time we also plan on adding 1/4 cup onion (instead of the green onion) + 1 garlic clove and 1/4-1/2 cup diced red pepper, sauteed until soft)

Whisk together the dressing ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.

Rinse quinoa in 1-2 changes of cold water. Place quinoa and 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until all the water is absorbed (for about 10-15 minutes). (When done, the grain appears soft and translucent, and the germ ring will be visible along the outside edge of the grain.)

Add dressing to the quinoa and toss until dressing is absorbed, then stir in remaining ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Serve as is, as a filling for soft tacos, or as a dip with tortilla chips (our favorite). 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Grandpa Lemmon's Favorite Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

We just got back from a trip to visit family in Idaho. While we were staying there, we were blessed to have Travis' grandfather, Mel Lemmon, stay at Travis' parents house with us for a week. And during our stay, Travis' mom whipped these cookies up for a couple different family get togethers, and everybody loved them, but especially Grandpa Lemmon, who just couldn't get enough! These cookies are super soft and delicious, and about as healthy as a cookie's going to get! So go ahead and eat a few (Grandpa did! ;) ).

Gold Medal's Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes 3 dozen cookies

3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine, softened (we do 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup applesauce)
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg (we subsitute 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp hot water, mixed)
2 cups whole wheat flour (we like to do 1 cup wheat, and 1 white, otherwise they are VERY soft)
1 tsp baking soda (plus 1/4-1/2 tsp if using the "flax egg")

1/2 tsp salt
1-2 cups chocolate chips

Heat oven to 375. In large bowl, stir sugars, butter (and applesauce), vanilla and egg until well blended. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be stiff). Stir in chocolate chips.
On lightlly greased cookie sheets, drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light brown (centers will be soft). Cool slightly; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Daddy Dave's Pizza Dough--Whole Wheat Style

The (aforementioned) Holloway pizza tradition began with Travis' father Dave, who served his mission in Italy and has since created some of his own delicious Italian dishes (which are all family favorites!). Here we've taken his pizza dough recipe and just switched out some of the white flour for wheat to up the health factor. It's one of our whole families favorite pizza crusts--lightly crisp on the outside and pillowy on the inside--we love this homemade dough!

Daddy Dave's Pizza Dough
Makes 1 extra large pizza crust

2 1/2 tsp instant yeast (if using active dry yeast, follow the instructions on the package instead)
1 Tbsp sugar
1 cup warm water
3 Tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour (1 1/2 of whole wheat flour, 1 cup of white or vice versa)

Combine yeast, flour, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Add the oil and water, then stir to combine. Once it's combined, knead dough a few times with your hands. (If it's too sticky, add flour by the tablespoonful until it no longer sticks to your hands.) Form into a ball and place in a bowl, then cover bowl with a dish towel, and let it rise for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 450. Roll out dough on a floured surface; transfer to a prepared pizza paddle (that's been sprinkled with cornmeal) and top with desired sauce and toppings. Carefully slide onto the pizza stone and bake for 8-10 minutes (or until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust is lightly browned.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich

My love for avocado has already been established, so you'll understand why this recipe caught my eye. Just picture it with me--crusty bread, creamy guacamole, and melted cheese, all nestled together in one perfect sandwich that's ready to eat in less than 15 minutes. Seriously. It's indulgent and delicious, and will make you feel like you're at your favorite sandwich shop. Mmmm...

Guacamole Grilled Cheese Sandwich
Altered from
Two Peas & Their Pod
Serves 2

1 ripe avocado
1/4 small onion, minced OR 1/8 tsp onion powder
1/2 clove garlic, minced (1/4 tsp pre-minced garlic)
1 small jalapeño, stems and seeds removed, minced OR a couple shakes of red pepper flakes (for those--like us--with low spice tolerance)
1 tablespoons cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon of fresh lime juice (but I'd start with 1 tsp, and add more to taste)
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
A dash of freshly grated black pepper
1/2-1 Roma tomato, chopped

4 slices crusty (bakery) white or wheat bread
2-4 slices Cheddar cheese
Butter, for buttering bread

To make the guacamole-cut avocados in half. Remove seed. Scoop out avacado from the peel and put in a small bowl. Using a fork, mash the avocado. Add the onion (powder), garlic, jalapeño (or red pepper flakes), cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir until well combined. Add the chopped tomato and stir.

Heat a pan or griddle to medium-high heat. Spread desired amount of guacamole on both slices of bread then top with cheese (1-2 slices per sandwich). Butter outer slices of bread and grill on one side for about 2 minutes or until golden and crispy. Flip the sandwich and grill until golden brown. Make the other sandwich the same way and serve warm.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Healthy Whole Grain Waffles

This is our family's go-to waffle recipe. We love how it's comprised of mulitple healthy grains and still completely kid-approved!

Healthy Whole Grain Waffles
Recipe altered from Our Best Bites

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat germ
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed meal
2 tsp baking powder
4 Tbsp sugar or splenda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 cups milk (we do a mix of almond, soy, or rice milk)
1/8 cup (or more) coconut milk
1/3 cup applesauce
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp hot water, mixed, then chilled in the fridge for 5 minutes (this is your egg)
1 tsp vanilla
Water, to reach desired consistency
*If you don't have or choose to omit the wheat germ and flaxseed meal, add an additional 4 Tbsp flour (whole wheat or all purpose) instead. (Those two ARE super healthful though, so we recommend including them if you can).

In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients  (except water) until combined. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and whisk until just mixed together. Add water to reach desired consistency.
Ladle about a heaping 1/2 cups worth of batter (at a time) into an electric waffle iron and cook until golden-brown.
Serve warm with desired toppings (like maple syrup, agave nectar, fresh fruit, yogurt, or a combination of the above).
Note: These waffles do have a slightly different texture than your typical waffle. They're extra moist and spongy on the inside and only slightly crisp on the outside. So, they may take a little getting used to, but we think their sweet taste and hearty nutrition will win you over in the end. :)