Sunday, January 24, 2010

Easy Crepes

From the first time I ever had a crepe, I was in love. They are so versatile, so easy and oh so good! I have never actually made them myself until last week. I saw a recipe that looked easy and I gave it a shot. I am SO glad I did! I didn't need a fancy crepe pan or anything else, just my day to day non stick skillet and a spatula.

You are on your own for the fillings, as the options are limitless, but here are a few ideas I have tried in the past:
1) Sauteed Spinach and Swiss cheese, or Havarti.
2) Sauteed leeks and shredded Brussels sprouts
3) Sauteed mushrooms, with scrambled eggs and cheese
1) Sliced bananas, peanut butter, and a few chocolate chips thrown in (heaven).
2) Fresh lemon juice with a dusting of powdered sugar
3) Warm berries and whipped cream
4) Nutella and any fruit (strawberries and bananas are pretty awesome though)

Easy Crepes
Recipe taken from (Jennifer from Santa Barbara)
1 cup of flour
1 cup of milk
2 tablespoons of butter
3 eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla
a pinch of salt

In medium bowl, beat eggs slightly.

Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth.

Heat crepe pan or 7-8 inch skillet over medium heat. (NOTE: A few drops of water will bounce when heat is just right.)

Grease pan lightly.

Pour about 3 tablespoons batter into pan, tilting pan to spread evenly.

When crepe is light brown and set, turn over in pan.

Repeat with remaining batter to make about 14 crepes, stack cooked crepes.

Sprinkle crepes with powdered sugar and/or Jam. Or fill crepes with desired filling. Enjoy!!

NOTE: Batter may be covered and refrigerated up to 2 hours or cooked immediately. Cooked Crepes can be wrap and refrigerate up to 2 days.

Pumpkin Waffles with Pumpkin Butter

We love waffles in this house. They are easy to freeze to always have on hand. Since these waffles have a fair amount of fiber and vitamin packed pumpkin, I don't feel as bad starting the day with white flour. To give you a heads up, this recipe made a LOT of waffles! I served my waffles with a yummy homemade pumpkin butter (recipe below) that was quick and easy to make.

Pumpkin Waffles
Adapted from
2 1/2 Cups Flour
1/3 Cup Light Brown Sugar
2 1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Tsp Ground Ginger
4 Eggs
1 Cup Milk (I used rice milk)
1 Cup Buttermilk (I used low fat)
1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
6 Tbsp Butter, melted

1. Preheat waffle iron.
2. Sift first 7 ingredients into a bowl.
3. In a separate bowl whisk the remaining ingredients.
4. Whisk the dry ingredients into the liquid mixture and whisk until smooth.
5. Pour about 1/2 cup of the pumpkin batter into a waffle iron that’s been buttered or greased and cook according to manufacturer’s directions.
6. Serve with maple syrup or make into sandwiches filling with cream cheese and whatever other fillings you desire.

Pumpkin Butter (Makes 1 Cup)
Recipe by
1 Cup Pureed Pumpkin (I used canned)
1/2 Tsp Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp Nutmeg
1/8 Cup Honey
1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1/2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

1. Place all of the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
2. Cool and serve.

Quinoa Risotto with Mushrooms and Thyme

We had a long fun day today and I had nothing planned for dinner tonight. Around 4:00 Adam got on and we made the first quick thing he saw, which was a quinoa risotto. Quinoa is a super grain (actually a seed related to spinach) that is packed with complete protein and contains high levels of potassium and riboflavin, as well as other B vitamins and minerals. I am always excited to try any dish with this ingredient, and who doesn't like risotto? Right?
Turns out this dish was very easy, filling, healthy and good! Here's the recipe!
Quinoa Risotto with Mushrooms and Thyme
Recipe from, Bon Appetit January, 2010
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 8-ounce package sliced crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
6 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, sliced (I used a dried mixture of mushrooms and soaked them for 20 minutes in warm water....then used the soaking water for the quinoa, but it's not necessary.)
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 cup dry white wine
Grated Parmesan cheese

Bring 2 cups salted water to boil in medium saucepan. Add quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender and water is absorbed, about 13 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until onion begins to brown, 5 minutes. Add garlic; stir 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and thyme. Sautée; until mushrooms are tender, 6 minutes. Add wine; stir until wine is reduced and liquid is syrupy.

Mix quinoa into mushroom mixture; season with salt and pepper. Top with cheese separately.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Vegetable Lentil Soup

As you all know, we love soup in this family. Since we don't eat much meat, I am always happy to find a recipe that includes lentils. They contain high levels of protein, plenty of fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. They are also one of the best vegetarian sources for iron, which is important for growing kids and pregnant women, a win win in our house :) This soup also includes lots of veggies which we love as well. And the taste...well, you should try it, it's super hearty and full of flavor! A new favorite : ) Add some warm crusty bread and call it dinner!

Lentil Vegetable Soup
Recipe adapted by a recipe on

1 cup dried brown lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, diced
2 leeks, sliced (or you can use 1 medium onion, diced)
4 large carrots, peeled and sliced
4 celery stalks (including leaves,)chopped
1 small bunch of kale, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

1. Pour lentils in a bowl, cover with water, and allow to sit overnight. (Alternatively, you can bring them to a boil in 2 cups of water or broth, then simmer with the lid on for 25 minutes until tender, but not mushy).

2. Over medium heat, cook leeks (or onions) in olive oil in a large soup pan. Add garlic and celery. Once celery begins to soften, add carrots, tomatoes, bay leaf and vegetable stock.

3. Pour in drained lentils.

4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and allow the soup to
simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Remove and discard bay leaf and add vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Carrot and Butternut Squash Soup

I had a butternut squash from my garden, and some carrots that were getting close to the end of their prime that were all waiting to be used. With the cold weather we have been having lately, I decided to put it all into a soup. This was SO Good! The white pepper made it warm and spicy, but not too much. I can't wait to make this again, it didn't stick around our house for very long! Sorry no's smooth and orange, use your imagination! ; )

Butternut Squash and Carrot Soup
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens
3 cups peeled, diced butternut squash (about 1 small squash)
2 cups thinly sliced carrot (4 medium)
3/4 cup thinly sliced leek or chopped onion
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
2 14-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup half-and-half or light cream
sour cream (optional)
Toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
Fresh tarragon sprigs (optional)

1. In a large covered saucepan cook squash, carrot, and leek in hot butter over medium heat about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 25 to 35 minutes or until vegetables are very tender. Cool slightly.

2. Place one-third of the squash mixture in a food processor or blender. Cover and process or blend until almost smooth. Repeat with remaining squash mixture. Return all of mixture to saucepan. Add white pepper and nutmeg; bring just to boiling. Add half-and-half; heat through. If desired, garnish each serving with sour cream, pumpkin seeds, and/or fresh tarragon.

3. Makes 6 servings (6 cups)

Pineapple Carrot Muffins

These muffins are delicious! They are moist, have no refined sugar, still sweet and full of good stuff! Owen helped me put all the ingredients in (except the eggs) and we "mix, mix, mixed." 20 minutes later, Voila, we had yummy muffins fresh out of the oven. Adam packed them up as part of Owen's snack at the zoo today. They were a hit! Enjoy!

Pineapple Carrot Muffins (Makes 18 Muffins)
Recipe by

1 1/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
3/4 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tsp Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Butter, melted
1/2 Cup Agave Nectar
2 Eggs
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Pineapple, chopped fine and drained well OR 1 8 oz Can Crushed Pineapple, drained well
1 Cup Shredded Carrot (about 2 Large Carrots) I put mine in the food processor.
1/2 Cup Walnuts, optional

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees,
2. In a large bowl combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate bowl combine the butter and agave using a whisk or an electric beater to combine.
4. Add the eggs and whisk to combine.
5. Add the vanilla, pineapple, carrots and walnuts (if using) to the butter mixture.
6. Stir in the dry ingredients, making sure not to over mix.
7. Pour the batter into regular size, paper lined muffin cups.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
9. Cool and serve.