Archive for the month “January, 2013”

Refried Beans

So I’ve been working on a project with Mexican cuisine, and all my research has left me with an insatiable craving for Mexican.

Last night, I finally snapped and had my own little Mexican fiesta in my kitchen.  I made a delicious soup, some arroz verde (green rice), and of course needed to make some refried beans to go with it all.  However, as luck would have it- every recipe I found called for all kinds of ingredients I didn’t have or didn’t want to put in my food (i.e.- lard).

Finally, I decided to check out Food Network’s website, and found this gem of a recipe.

 I had all the ingredients on hand, and, better yet- it was healthy!  I did use black beans instead of pinto because they are a tidge healthier (tip:  the more color a food has, the more nutrients it contains!).  I also added some diced poblano pepper for extra flavor.

I love that there is no added salt to this recipe, and it really doesn’t need any if you serve it with some fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice.  Finally, I made this recipe from start to finish while my rice cooked.  It takes almost no time or attention and turns out fabulous!

Do you have any Mexican recipes you swear by? I’d love to see them since I don’t think this Mexican craving is going away any time soon!


Turkey Spinach Meatballs

Turkey Spinach Meatballs… Sounds gross, I know.

Even looks kind of gross, no?



But I came across this recipe while trying to use up some ingredients, and was pleasantly surprised.

They couldn’t be easier to prepare, either.

Chances are, you already have most of these ingredients…


Just dice some onion, garlic, and fresh ginger (I was out of fresh ginger, so just used some dried, but PLEASE use fresh if possible!)…



Then throw it all together in a bowl…



And mix it up really well with your hands.  Go ahead, dig right in!



Then scoop and shape into balls.


You can either cook these in a little olive oil on the stovetop, boil them in a soup or some broth, or do what I did and just give them a little sear in a skillet then bake them off at 350 until cooked through.  By searing them in a touch of olive oil first, you are making sure all the juices stay inside the meatballs and saving yourself the time of standing over the stove cooking meatballs 🙂  These are great served with a light lemon and caper pasta, or just with a little rice pilaf and some steamed veggies!


Turkey Spinach Meatballs

1 lb. ground turkey

1 package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed

2 Tbsp diced onion

1/2 C. oat flour (or breadcrumbs, I just can’t have wheat!)

1/4 C. grated parmesan cheese

2 eggs

1 tsp. grated fresh ginger

1 clove garlic

2 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce

Combine all ingredients, then sear in hot skillet lightly coated with olive oil.  Finish in oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or cooked through with an internal temperature of 165.



Chickpea Cookies

I started this blog with big dreams of fascinating posts with exquisite photography. I eagerly prepared the following recipe earlier this week specifically to blog about, and then, in the process… I realized my camera sucks. So, you’ll just have to bear with me through my boring, picture-less or poor quality photo, posts.

Anyhow, on to business. Last year, I saw this chickpea cookie dough dip on pinterest.

It claimed to taste just like the real thing. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, it was.

So when my friend posted this picture on facebook of some chickpea cookies it was easy to ignore… at first.

Then the comments started rolling in, along with her raves of how amazing they are.

So I started to break down a little and get curious.

Then, I was strolling through Walmart when I happened upon these…

And I knew it was my sign. Game over, I caved.

I kept the can on my countertop for the next couple of days- its stare permeating through me every time I passed through the kitchen, just waiting for me to finally take the plunge.

Finally, I broke down and made the dang cookies. As I finished pureeing, I cautiously dipped my finger into the batter…



While still not as tasty as the real thing, these definitely get a thumbs up in the deceptively healthy category. I keep them in my fridge for a quick, grab-and-go snack. I’m dying to try making these again with 1/2 tsp. mint extract in them for a mint chocolate chip cookie!


Chocolate Chip (Chickpea) Protein Cookies

1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)- drained and thoroughly rinsed

2-3 Tbsp almond milk

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

dash of cinnamon (just for depth of flavor, you don’t actually taste it!)

2 individual packages Stevia sweetener (more or less according to your tastes)

1/3 C. + 1 Tbsp. protein powder (I used chocolate flavor, but get crazy and experiment!)

1/3 C. chocolate (or carob) chips

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.  Puree the chickpeas in a food processor until very smooth.  Add the almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon, stevia, and protein powder- pulse until a ball of dough is formed; adding more almond milk if necessary (you want the consistency a bit softer than real cookie dough).  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Scoop golf ball-size portions onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.


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