Friday, May 13, 2011

Spaghetti Squash Creation

So good news guys!: Spaghetti Squash in a perfect alternative to angel hair pasta!
I just recently discovered this little food treasure and I'm crazy about it. Anyone who knows me understands my undying love for the squash family-- this has a lot to do with the dishes that my grandmother has cooked for me my entire life... heartwarming butternut squash soup, squash stuffed with rice, mint, & lamb, stewed squash with tomatoes and basil (this list continues for miles).
With all of that being said, I really think you ought to give this recipe a chance!

  • 1 medium Spaghetti Squash
  • a bit of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup of mushrooms
  • a handful of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of chopped shallots
additional: salt, pepper, lemon juice, a bit of olive oil

  1. Preheat your oven to *340 F
  2. Cut your spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds
  3. Oil a baking sheet with a lighter oil such as extra virgin olive oil and place each squash halve face down. The squash should bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
  4. While the squash in baking you can combine other ingredients in the skillet (aside from the Parmesan & fresh basil) and saute for 10 minutes.
  5. Scoop the inside of the squash into the skillet and combine all of your veggies with the squash.
  6. Add Parmesan cheese and chopped basil leaves to top it all off!
I hope that you guys enjoy this! it's really simple, healthy and delicious! Feel free to experiment and substitute veggies:)

Here's a pleasant song for good cooking:

Lastly, I do apologize for not having updated in a few weeks.
Many of you are probably aware of the destruction that has found Alabama recently. I would like to take this time to say that we can use all of the help that we can get. This includes food donations, clothing donations, and money donations. I have posted several links at the bottom of this post that will direct you to the Red Cross, Bay Area Food Bank virtual food drive, and other ways of assisting.
After having visited Tuscaloosa, Al to volunteer at the West Alabama Food Bank for several days I can say that the disaster there is much more significant than you could ever really imagine.

Thanks guys,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Food Alert: KALE!

       After finding this wonderful list of the 20 healthiest foods under a buck on Divine Caroline: I knew that it was time for me to experiment with cooking Kale. However, I had no idea that it would be such a success! So here's the thing~ Kale is actually really delicious.
      It also just so happens to have many health benefits including a few minor things such as: aids in Digestion, full of Antioxidants, it's an Anti-Inflammatory, helps COMBAT CANCER?!, Cardiovascular support, (am I boring you yet?), Detox, Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C. Yeah. You should definitely give Kale a chance. I know it's green but it's totally harmless! It's also in season!

Just to prove that Kale can be wonderful I made some baked kale chips for the office today and well, just see for yourself...
That's happiness if I've ever seen it! (from left: Peej, Karl, & Jon)
This is so easy! All you need is:
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • some olive oil
  • a baking pan 
  • your chosen spices

I used a bit of greek seasoning. Then you just bake the kale in the oven on 425 F for about 15 minutes. You want it to be crispy but not burnt.

This is the best and most perfect snack & speaking of snacks...
There will be SNACKS!,

P.S. Don't forget to vote for the Bay Area Food Bank in Theodore, Al to win a Fruit Orchard for our community! You can vote everyday until May 31st!!:

Monday, April 18, 2011

Simple Spinach Quiche

My roomie & I tried out this concoction for a late Thursday night dinner and we both agreed that it was perfectly delicious. Later, I began to think that this is actually the perfect food for brunch. You get your carbs, veggies, and protein in one slice!
     After attending a lecture at my work conference in Ohio on healthy eating, I learned that flash frozen vegetables are actually quite good for you- because they are flash frozen many of the nutrients are locked in. I also learned that microwaving frozen vegetables keeps many more nutrients than any other form of cooking a frozen veggie (sauté, bake etc). I really hate advocating the act of microwaving your vegetables, but it is quite interesting. Due to the affordability and ease of flash frozen vegetables it only seems to make sense that I would incorporate them into this blog. this is after all about eating well on a tight budget and busy lifestyle. With that being said- frozen spinach is pretty tasty, although I will always prefer a fresh bundle from the farmer's market:)


optional: 1/2 cup of diced onion, 3 cloves of diced garlic,some diced red pepper, salt & paper for taste.

     Make this!
  1. thaw your pre made frozen pie shell & frozen spinach
  2. preheat your oven to 375 F
  3. dice up your sausage patties (after cooking) and any addition veggies that you would like to add (under optional)
  4. put a bit of olive on in the skillet and combine the thawed Spinach, veggies, vegetarian sausage and cheese. Cook together on the skillet for about 5 minutes (until the cheese is melted).
  5. Mix the eggs & milk together in a separate bowl and then combine all ingredients.
  6. Pour the mixture into the pie shell and cook in the oven for about 40 minutes.
lastly, please please please! vote for the Bay Area Food Bank in Theodore, Alabama to win a Fruit Orchard for the gulf coast community. This would be AMAZING! Many family's & individuals would receive fresh fruit and would be able to participate in planting, growing, and maintaining this fruit orchard. That is sustainability at it's finest! You can vote everyday until May 31st:

Thanks for your help and catch ya later!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Hello all! I just wanted to give you a brief glimpse into my favorite Fruit Stand in Mobile, Alabama: Jimmy Lowe's!
Jimmy Lowe's Fruit Stand has that warm southern feel that just can't be rivaled. They have the lowest fresh produce prices in town and much of it is grown by many of our local Alabama & Florida farmers -not to mention their homemade strawberry rhubarb jam and peach preserves. I can't think of a reason not to adore this place!
I love buying starter plants. It's such an easy way of growing vegtables on your own!
Turnips & Collards!

Local hoop cheese from the middle of nowhere Alabama

For more information on Jimmy 

Lowe's Fruit Stand be sure to "like"
them on facebook!

I love that they have bundles of fresh fruits on sale.
They are still perfectly delicious!

             and speaking of fruits...

I hope that you guys enjoyed the tour!
I would love to know where you enjoy grocery shopping the most. Please comment on this post and tell me where you like to shop!

Sham on, Y'all

How could I resist?

Monday, April 4, 2011

Moroccan Inspired Stuffed Acorn Squash

مرحبا أصدقاء!
Today, I have a delicious Morrocan inspired dish for all of you. Give it a chance and love will follow!

المقادير :
  • 1 large- medium sized acorn squash
  • 1 cup of raisins
  • 1 box of almond Rice pilaf mix by Near East- you may also use couscous or plain rice
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese
(1 acorn squash = 2 servings due to it being halved)

دعونا نبدأ!
  1. Cut the acorn squash in half and empy out all of the seeds from the center of the squash to leave a minature sized bowl. * Save the seeds for roasting!
  2. Mist both squash halves with Pam with Olive oil of just regular olive oil and brush on some brown sugar. Place each half face down on a baking sheet. These go in the oven for 30 minutes at 350 *F (be sure that squash in tender before removing from the oven)
  3. While your squash is cooking- use this time to create your stuffing. You will first need to cook your rice pilaf. The preparation instructions are on the back of the box:
  4.  Cooking the pilaf should take about 20-25 minutes. Once the rice has been cooked and fluffed you can add your raisins, brown sugar, salt and pepper for taste.
  5. Once your squash is tender you can take it out of the oven and scoop the pilaf stuffing in each half.
  6. Lastly, sprinkle chedder cheese onto the top of each halve of  stuffed acorn squash and pop it back in the over for an additional minute.
I hope that you enjoy this dish as much as I did! Don't be afraid to experiment and to add different spices and vegtables! I will be updating again soon but in the meantime- dig this:


Monday, March 21, 2011

Rosemary Artichoke White Pizza

Oi Amigos!
It's a beautiful monday and that can only mean pizza (duh)
So here it is! Use fresh rosemary if at all possible- it truly makes all the difference! Pick some out of your garden or buy fresh rosemary from the grocery store in the produce section.

Stuff you need:
  • 1 package of pizza dough mix (you may also make your own dough but I'm including this for the sake of less ingredients and simplicity)
  • 11/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of Alfredo sauce
  • 1/2 small can of artichoke hearts
  • a dash of fresh rosemary
(this recipe is for one pizza for about two people but you could easily double it)

  1. Preheat your oven to 450*F 
  2. Thoroughly mix the package of pizza dough with 1/2 cup of warm water. Let the dough sit (covered) for 5 minutes
  3. After your dough has had it's 5 minutes nap it's time to disperse the dough onto a flat baking pan that has been thinly covered in olive oil. The pan can be any shape- get creative! ***Be sure to powder your hands with flour or some of the pizza mix before picking up the dough. Otherwise, it will be difficult to manage
  4. Now for the fun part! Decorate your pizza!! 
Enjoy this pizza while listening to something groovy. Perhaps this :

     Tchau por agora,

    Friday, March 11, 2011

    Moonpie Banana Pudding Trifle

    Hello All!
    If you are anything like me- the 5 million moonpies that you caught on Fat Tuesday might be melting in the back of your car. Don't let this happen!! Moonpies are low in fat and can be easily used for a fun, retro dessert.

          Things ya need:
    • 2 cups of 2% or skim milk
    • 1 3.4 oz package of vanilla instant pudding
    • 2 bananas (I picked some up from Jimmy Lowe's fruit stand)
    • fat free whipped cream 
    • chocolate, vanilla, or banana moonpies that you snagged at the parades.
    (this recipe is for two servings but can easily be doubled to make four:)

    1. Follow the instructions on the back of the pudding box to make a simple vanilla pudding: Mix two cups of low fat milk with pudding powder, stir for two minutes, and then let it form in the refrigerator for 5 minutes.
    2. I prefer using a nice glass for desserts like this (think wine glass or champagne glass) and It's good to do this in layers. First, dice up 1 moonpie into bite sized pieces. This will be the first layer of your trife. 
    3. Next, do a thin layer of whipped cream (don't go overboard because whipped cream is super sweet).
    4. The third layer of this trifle will be the vanilla pudding. Make sure that the pudding has set and that it is thick.
    5. Lastly, add a layer of sliced bananas and a dab of whipped cream.
    Enjoy! This is such a simple southern dessert that must be enjoyed on your front porch while the sun is still out. You should probably be listening to this as well:

    -but most importantly have a marvelous friday.