Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Clue into Healthy Cooking at Home

Today this post is featured on my friend Amanda's blog, Clue Into Cleveland. She is having a great time in sunny Texas so she asked me to do a guest blog for her while she is on vacation. Here's a link to her post over at Clue Into Cleveland. I can't wait to hear all about Amanda and Scott's fabulous trip to Austin and all the fun (and good food!) they had!

Hi! I'm Crystal from Eat Drink Cleveland. When my awesome friend Amanda from Clue Into Cleveland asked me to do a guest post for her while she is having a fabulous time heading out west to Texas on vacation, I was totally honored! 

I absolutely love her blogs about all the fun things to do around the CLE. When trying to come up with a topic, I read her post about their delicious sounding Christmas dinner. Amanda talks about how she is totally terrified of cooking at home and has just started stretching her comfort level and hitting the kitchen. If you know me or read my blog, you know I love to eat out. But I also really love to cook and do it regularly. I like that when I cook at home, I know exactly what I'm eating. It also helps me save my dining out dollars for higher quality meals (no take out or Applebee's for me!)

In honor of Amanda's blossoming cooking skills, and to help everyone keep their New Year's resolutions about eating healthier and losing those extra pounds, I'm going to share some of my favorite healthy recipes with you that are super easy...even if it's your first time in the kitchen!

1. Citrus Kissed Kale Salad 
Beautiful salad for the holidays thanks to the bright red and green colors.
This is a new recipe that we recently tried that is now a staple. It's so healthy and delicious! The original recipe came from the Feb. 2012 issue of Whole Living magazine. Here is my version:
1 bunch kale, torn into bite sized pieces
1 T fresh lime juice
2 T citrus olive oil
1 piece fresh ginger, grated (about 1T)
1/2 fresh pomegranate (about 1/2 c)
2 T red onion, chopped
1/4 c toasted walnuts
Put kale leaves in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil, lime juice and ginger on top. Rub into leaves until well coated and kale is bruised. Add remaining ingredients and S+P to taste.
* Drain kale very well. If it is damp, the dressing won't stick.
* If you don't have citrus olive oil, add segments of clementines, tangerines, or mandarin oranges to the salad.
* I used a lot more ginger, closer to 2 tablespoons

raw kale salad with clementines
2. Crystal's Cherry Delicious Brussels Sprouts
toast nuts in dry pan until fragrant
1 pound brussels sprouts, cut in quarters
1 c toasted pecans or slivered almonds
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c dried cherries
1/2 c golden raisins
1 T herbed butter

Toast nuts. Set aside. In same pan, saute onions in olive oil until soft. Add brussels sprouts and cook until just tender but still firm. Add herbed butter and fruit. Season with S+P to taste. 
* Even people who claim to hate brussels sprouts love these. 
(I bet Scott will too!)
* I always double the recipe because they are soooo good!
* I use Creekside Creamery Garden Herb Butter from Costco. You can substitute plain butter and herbs of your choice.

3. Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash
2 acorn squash, cut in half
2 small zucchini, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup dried chopped dates, cherries, raisins
1/2 slivered almonds
1 cup cooked barley
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. cayenne pepper
1 t. Adobe seasoning
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash cut side up in shallow baking dish.  Liberally salt the inside of the squash. Add 1 c water to pan and set aside. Saute onions and zucchini in olive oil until tender. Add garlic, dried fruit, almonds and stir until fruit plumps. Add cooked barley and seasonings - mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste. Scoop mixture into acorn squash halves. Cover with foil and bake until squash is tender, about 40 minutes.

Savory and sweet with a touch of cinnamon and a little heat, this is a great vegetarian first course or meal

These recipes are all perfect for the colder months and won't break the bank or your diet plans! They are healthy, easy to make and won't keep you in the kitchen for hours. I hope that 2012 is a happy and healthy year for all of you.  Now get cooking!

1 comment:

  1. Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash...loved the recipe, very satisfying. If you wouldn't mind sharing some of your ideas and experiences, I would like invite you to share at http://Gailshealthyhomecooking.blogspot.com. Let us learn from each other!


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