Broccoli & Bow Ties

May 10th, 2010 // Dinner, Kid-tastic, Recipes, Veggie Friendly

I can’t say enough good things about the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. I own every one of them and always reach for one whenever there’s company coming. My mother in law was in town this weekend, so in honor of mother’s day, my kid and I decided to make the Broccoli & Bow Ties recipe from the Barefoot Contessa Family Style cookbook. It’s light and delicious.  A nice way to balance out the churros I had for a pre-breakfast snack!

Broccoli & Bow Ties Recipe

Prep Time: 10 mins  Cooking Time: 20 mins

kosher salt
8 cups broccoli florets
1/2 pound farfalle (bow tie) pasta
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Toast the pine nuts by placing them in a dry saute pan over medium low heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, tossing often until golden brown.  Cook the broccoli for 3 mins in a large pot of boiling salted water. Remove the broccoli from the water with a slotted spoon. Place in large bowl and set aside. In the same water, cook the bow tie pasta according to the package directions. Drain well and add the broccoli. Meanwhile, in a small saute pan, heat the butter and oil and cook the garlic and lemon zest over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Off the heat, add 2 teaspoons salt, the pepper and lemon juice and pour this over the broccoli and pasta. Toss well. Season to taste, sprinkle with pine nuts and cheese.

Broccoli & Bow Ties

Cheater Coffee Cake

May 9th, 2010 // Breakfast, Easy Cheats, Recipes

I’ve written in the past about Anne Byrn, author of β€œThe Cake Mix Doctor Returns.”  The cookbook concept is all about making great cakes starting with a mix as the base.  When I follow her recipes, I use organic cake mix to avoid the nasty trans-fats in the Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker brands. Plus, I think they taste better.  This morning my kid and I whipped up this coffee cake in no-time!  There are lots of recipes just like this in β€œCake Mix Doctor Returns.”

Prep Time: 10 mins  Cooking Time: 40 to 45 mins

1 package plain golden cake mix
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans (optional)
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly mist 13×9 metal cake pan with cooking spray then dust with flour. Shake out excess flour. Place the cake mix, sour cream, oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla in a mixing bowl. Beat for 30 seconds, scrape down and beat again for 2 minutes longer. Pour half the batter into prepared cake pan. Meanwhile, combine brown sugar, pecans and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle half the brown sugar / cinnamon mixture over the top of the batter in the cake pan. Pour the remaining batter over the topping and sprinkling the rest of the sugar / cinnamon mixture on top of the cake batter. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

Cheater Coffee Cake

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

May 6th, 2010 // Breakfast, Drinks, Picky Busters, Recipes, Snacks

Smoothies are a great way to use up fruit before it goes bad. We save all of our brown bananas in the freezer and also toss in berries before they turn. It’s a great substitute for juice because my kid gets all the benefits of fruit plus I’m able to sneak some milk into his body. (He will not drink milk!) If you follow the blog you’ve already seen our Sunshine Smoothie recipe and our Very Berry Smoothie recipe. This Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie recipe is so easy because all you need is a banana and some of the peanut butter and milk you already have on hand.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe

Prep Time: 2 mins  Blending Time: 3 to 4 mins

2 very ripe bananas
2 heaping tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 cups lowfat milk
10 to 12 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Italian Lentil & Chicken Stew

May 5th, 2010 // Dinner, Easy Cheats, Healthy, Recipes

My vegetarian husband is just gaga for Lentil Stew. When we lived in Brooklyn he ordered in at least once a week from a place called Rice which served the stew piping hot over brown rice. The main flavors of the stew were Asian inspired and included both cumin and curry. As much as I’d like to expand my kid’s palette to those tastes, he’s just not there yet. So, we set out to create a more Italian inspired version of this very same stew. We made the stew all vegetarian and then added shredded rotisserie chicken to it after dishing out my husband’s helping. (I love using rotisserie chicken in this cheating manner!)

Italian Lentil & Chicken Stew

Prep Time: 15 mins  Cooking Time: 45 mins (largely unattended)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 large onion (diced finely)
1 pound green lentils
3 carrots (peeled + diced)
2 zucchini (cut in rounds + halved)
1 russet potato (peeled + diced)
2 large roma tomatoes (diced)
6 to 8 cups water
3 packets vegetarian liquid broth concentrate packets
4 cloves crushed garlic
1 teaspoon oregano
2 to 4 teaspoons basil (we use Trader Joe’s frozen basil cubes)
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 rotisserie chicken (shredded)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent. Add all remaining ingredients (EXCEPT CHICKEN) and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes or less. Stir in shredded chicken and cook for just a few moments until it is just warm. Serve hot over brown rice.Italian Lentil & Chicken Stew

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal

May 4th, 2010 // Breakfast, Recipes

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal

Remember one  of our very first recipes for Baked Oatmeal? It has since become a staple in this house! Today we decided it was time to reinvent this old favorite so we looked in the cabinet to see what alternatives might surface. A jar of peaches caught my eye and we proceeded with a new Peaches and Cream Oatmeal Recipe based on our orginal Baked Oatmeal Recipe. We were both very pleased with the results!

Peaches and Cream Oatmeal Recipe

Prep Time: 10 mins  Cooking Time: 35 to 40 mins

1 tablespoon canola oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups sliced canned peaches
1/2 cup juice from sliced peaches
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 cups old fashioned oats
1 egg
1 egg white
1 1/2 cup lowfat milk

Preheat oven 350 degrees. In a medium sized bowl combine egg, milk, juice and canola oil.  Whisk in baking powder until no longer clumpy. Add oats and cinnamon. Stir to combine. Pour batter into well greased 9 inch square baking pan.  Spread batter evenly and place peach slices on top. Sprinkle with brown sugar.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until set. Scoop into bowl and add a splash of warm milk if desired.  Serves 4.

Note: This batter can be made the night before. Just remove from fridge and add peaches before cooking.Peaches and Cream Oatmeal