Blog of the Belly Biter:

Some plant-based, some unhealthy, some super healthy but ALL good. Kid tested and mother approved!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Florentine Frying Pan Pizzas

Another Rachael Ray from me, imagine that. This pizza's really good and smells amazing!! She made them in a frying pan for the deep dish approach. I just put the pizza dough on a flat baking sheet and called it good. I got a little confused because it was an "individual" but in on the show she put it in a small frying pan - but yet it's 4 to 6 servings. Not my idea of a slice of pizza. But then again, who ever just has one slice/one serving of pizza?! I spread out the whole Pillsbury pizza dough and it was enough for my whole family: 2 hefty eating adults and 2 hefty eating kids.

She also said that you can also feel good about eating it because of all the vitamins in it... well, I think all the fat in her cheese trumps the vitamins - so I cut way down on the cheese... and it still tasted real good.

4 tablespoons EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
Salt and ground black pepper
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated (I used 1/4 c.)
A pinch of nutmeg
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 store-bought pizza dough from your favorite pizzeria
1 1/2 cups fontina cheese, shredded (I used 1/2 c.)

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Preheat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons EVOO. Add the mushrooms and sauté until golden brown. Season them with salt and pepper then remove them to a plate.

In the same skillet the mushrooms where cooked in, melt the butter. Add the flour and garlic, and cook 1-2 minutes then whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened.

Add the mushrooms back to the skillet along with the cheese, nutmeg and spinach. Remove the Florentine mixture and let cool.

Cut the dough into quarters, reserving one for this recipe. Wrap up the rest in plastic wrap and freeze it for another time. Roll out the dough so it fits into a 6-inch skillet (use one that's oven-safe).

Before placing the dough into the skillet, drizzle about 1 to 2 tablespoons EVOO on the bottom of the skillet. Lay the dough into the skillet, pressing gently as you work the dough up the sides so it reaches the edge of the skillet. Fill the with the filling and sprinkle with fontina cheese. Pop in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the edges and bottom of the crust are golden brown.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Homestyle Potato Soup with Roasted Corn

I wanted a crockpot soup for after church so I snagged the idea of roasted corn from Mel's Roasted Corn Chowder and added it to a crockpot Homestyle Potato Soup recipe I had. The results were SUPER yummy. Between Shayne, I and the 2 kids we almost finished off the whole pot {i don't know if that should be overly embarrassing admitting how much we eat, but it's not!} It's a perfect Sunday meal, ready to eat in only 25 minutes after church.

1 (14 1/2 oz.) can fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
2 c. cubed red potatoes (about 4 lbs.)
1 c. chopped onion
1 c. thinly sliced celery
3/4 c. thinly sliced carrot
3 T. butter or margarine, cut into small pieces
1 1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 c. 2% reduced-fat milk
4 c. frozen corn
1 3.4 oz. shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Place first 9 ingredients in crockpot; stir will. Cover with lid and cook on HIGH setting for 1 hour. Reduce to LOW setting and cook 4 to 5 hours or until vegetables are tender. Increase to HIGH setting.

Place flour in a bowl; gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until well blended. Stir into soup. Cook, uncovered 25 minutes or until thick, stirring frequently.

To roast the corn, heat the oven to 400. Place kernels on an oiled sheet pan (you only need about 1T to keep it from sticking). Roast corn for 17-20 minutes, until it just begins to brown and the sugars are released. When done, gently stir into soup.

Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with cheese and ground pepper.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Chorizo Black Bean Soup

This is my new favorite black bean soup, it beat out my old favorite. It's really good and really cheap to make but totally filling - BONUS!

1 tablespoon EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 pound cured chorizo, casing removed and chopped
1 small onion, chopped
3 to 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
2 serrano peppers, seeded and chopped
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
Salt and ground black pepper
3 14-ounce cans black beans, drained
3/4 to 1 quart chicken stock, depending on desired thickness
2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup sour cream
Zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup (about a handful) flat-leaf parsley or cilantro, chopped

{{I did 4 cans of black beans and the full quart of chicken broth, and it was barely enough for 1 serving for 4 adults}}

Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Add the chorizo to the pan and cook until crispy, 4-5 minutes. Remove from pan and reserve.

Add the onion, garlic, serrano peppers, smoked paprika, salt and ground black pepper to the pan, and cook until the onions are tender, 5-6 minutes.

Add the black beans and chicken stock to the pan, and bring the liquids up to a bubble. Ladle a couple of scoops of the soup into the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Return the pureed soup to the pot and keep warm.

After pureeing the beans, rinse the food processor bowl out and return it to the base. Add avocados , sour cream, lime zest and juice and process until smooth.

Serve the soup topped with some avocado cream, reserved crispy chorizo and cilantro.
{{I served with Pancheri Cornbread}}

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Shrek Shakes

My sister told me all about these Green Smoothies she makes. And after fighting with my kids each meal to eat their veggies, I was completely intrigued. I tried them, held my breath as my kids tried them and they were in love... which means I was in love too. I don't worry about them eating their veggies so much when they down one of these each morning. And since my kids love Shrek, we call them Shrek Shakes.

It's been 2 weeks of eating them everyday and they still love them and ask for them each morning (at least Ava does, Nolan still doesn't talk - so he grunts for it)! If you can brave gulping down something green, give it a whirl. They're really good - especially considering how good they are for you!

This is how we make our Shrek Shakes...
Put in your blender...
1-2 T.
flax seed
{{contain high levels of lignans and Omega-3 fatty acids. Lignans may benefit the heart, possess anti-cancer properties, may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels. Benefits of flax seed as shown in many studies include lowering total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the Bad cholesterol) levels. Other benefits show that flax seed may also help lower blood triglyceride and blood pressure. It may also keep platelets from becoming sticky therefore reducing the risk of a heart attack.}}
1-2 bananas

(make sure it's ripe and not green... this should not be where the green comes from! ;)
2 handfuls of frozen strawberries
(probably 1 cup - like 6 or 8)

**blend these together first, smoothie will be creamy pink

huge handful of spinach
(1 1/2 to 2 cups)
{{rich source of iron and calcium; an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorous, zinc and vitamin E. In addition, it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium.}}
3-4 large kale leaves
{{considered to be a highly nutritious vegetable with powerful antioxidant properties and is anti-inflammatory.[1] Kale is very high in beta carotene, vitamin K, vitamin C, lutein, zeaxanthin, and reasonably rich in calcium}}
3-4 collard green leaves
{{good sources of vitamin C and soluble fiber and contain multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties.}}
**submerge and blend, smoothie turns green!
6 or 8 baby carrots
1 scoop of soy protein powder
then I add some ice to make it cold
**blend and Voila!!

How's that for some nutritional value before 9am?!?
And here it is from the original Green Smoothie Lady... GENIUS!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin

I got this recipe from a ward cookbook my sister in law gave me from Houston. It was super easy, and tastes pretty good... but the best part - completely ready and waiting for you when you get home from church at 5pm!

4 lb. pork tenderloin
package fajita seasoning mix
ground pepper
2 red peppers, sliced
large onion, sliced in rings
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 medium or 4 small red potatoes, cut into bit size pieces
large zip lock bag

Put all ingredients into Ziploc bag, mix... then add the pork. Dump contents into a Pam sprayed crockpot and put 1/4 to 1/2 cup water in the bottom. Cover and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours. The longer, the more tender the tenderloin.

It was good for how fast and easy it is! And for sure works when you want dinner as soon as you get home!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Smoky Chicken Tortilla Soup

LOOOOOVVEEE the smokiness of this stuff!
3 cups chicken stock
1 pound chicken tenders
1 bay leaf, fresh if available
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
4 slices thick, smoky bacon, chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 chipotles in adobo, chopped, plus 2 tablespoons sauce {next time I'll just use the adobo sauce, no chipotles - it was too spicy for my kids to eat}
1 28-ounce can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes
Salt to taste
4 cups corn tortilla chips, lightly crushed
3/4 pound (2 cups) shredded fresh smoked mozzarella or smoked sharp white cheddar cheese
1 lime, cut into wedges
1/2 red onion, chopped
Fresh cilantro, chopped for garnish

Bring broth to a simmer and add the chicken tenders. Poach them for 6-7 minutes with a bay leaf.

While the chicken poaches, heat EVOO in a medium soup pot or deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook it until crisp then remove it with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain off the excess fat, leaving 2-3 tablespoons in the pan. Add the onions and garlic to the skillet and cook them for 5 minutes. Stir in chipotles and tomatoes.

Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid, dice it then add it to the tomatoes and chipotles. Pass the poaching liquid through a strainer then add it to the soup pot as well.

Place a pile of crushed tortilla chips in the bottom of each soup bowl. Cover it liberally with cheese then ladle the hot soup down over the top. Serve it with lime, raw onions and cilantro at the table. a Rachael Ray

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mean Green Tortilla Soup

This is a lot like my Mom's tortilla soup that I posted a while back... but Rachael Ray adds tomatillos to it... and I loved it!! It makes it greener, tangier and more flavorful. Next time I think I'll add some rice like in my Mom's recipe.

2 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
3 ears of corn, kernels removed (reserve shaved corn cobs)
1 package corn tortillas, cut into strips
4 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
1 package (3 pieces) chicken thighs or breasts
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, grated
2 teaspoon cumin
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
10 to 12 tomatillos, husks removed
2 cups cilantro, chopped
Zest and juice of 2 limes
2 cups jack cheese, shredded
3 avocados, chopped (optional)
{1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered lengthwise - I added}

Preheat oven 400°F.

In a large pot, bring the chicken stock and water to a bubble with the reserved corn cobs and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

Place the corn tortilla strips onto a baking sheet and spray them with some cooking spray. Transfer to the oven and bake until crispy, 10 minutes.

Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat with some EVOO about 2 turns around the pan. Add the chicken, browning on all sides, then place into the oven for about 7-8 minutes, until juices run clear and no pink remains in the center. Once the chicken is done cooking, remove from oven and let rest before cutting into strips.

Preheat a heavy-bottomed pot with remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO. Add the onion, garlic and cumin, and cook till soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the corn kernels along with the jalapeño.

While the veggies are cooking, puree the tomatillos in a food processor until somewhat smooth. Add the purée, stock and chicken to the pot along with the veggies.

Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the soup from the heat and add in the cilantro, lime zest and juice, and serve it up garnished with a big handful of jack cheese, tortilla and avocado.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Crockpot Beef Tortilla Wraps

round rump roast
Green Mexican Salsa (I use the La Costena brand)
shredded cheddar cheese

Put meat and salsa in crockpot for 4-6 hours on low. Shred. Place in tortillas, sprinkle with cheese and tomatoes. Super simple, super easy and super yummy! I serve with spicy creamed corn.

Fish Taco w/ Quick Slaw, Avocado Sauce and Green Rice

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for drizzling
2 jalapeño peppers, seeds removed and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups rice
3 cups vegetable stock, divided
4 firm white fish filets, such as Mahi Mahi (about 8 ounces each) {i use tilapia}
Zest and juice of 3 limes, divided
1 tablespoon grill seasoning
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons hot sauce
1/2 small head red cabbage, shredded
1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
3/4 pound baby spinach
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
2 ripe avocados
1/2 cup sour cream
1 clove garlic, grated
12 6 to 8-inch flour tortillas

Preheat broiler, grill or large, nonstick skillet – whichever you prefer.

Place a medium-size pot over medium-high heat with 1 turn of the pan of EVOO, about 1 tablespoon. Toss the jalapeños into the pan and cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add in the rice and cook about a minute (you’re toasting it, so it's ready when it starts to smell nutty). Add in 2 1/2 cups stock and bring up to a bubble. Turn the heat down to medium-low and simmer the rice until tender, about 20 minutes.

While the rice is working, season the fish filets on both sides with the lime zest, grill seasoning, cumin and coriander. Lightly drizzle some EVOO over the filets and cook: If you're broiling, the fish should take about 6 minutes to cook (3 minutes per side); if you're grilling, the filets should take about 8 minutes to cook (4 minutes per side); if you're cooking them on the stovetop, they should take about 8 minutes to cook (4 minutes per side). Once the fish is cooked, transfer the filets to a plate and cover them with aluminum foil until you're ready – just don't let them sit too long here!

Once you've got the fish cooking, prepare the quick slaw by mixing together the juice of 2 limes, honey, hot sauce, some salt and freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl. Whisk in the remaining 1/4 cup of EVOO. Add the cabbage and red onion, toss to combine and set aside.

Make the "green" part of the rice by pureeing together the baby spinach, cilantro and remaining vegetable stock (about 1/2 cup) in a food processor. Dump the mixture into a dish and reserve it until the rice is finished cooking. Rinse out the food processor bowl and make the avocado sauce by pureeing together the avocado, sour cream, garlic and the juice of the remaining lime. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and set aside.

When the rice has finished cooking, stir in the green sauce and transfer the rice to a serving bowl or platter.

Assemble the fish tacos by shredding the fish filets (each one should give you enough meat for 3 tacos) and place some meat into each tortilla. Top them off with a little of the quick slaw and some avocado sauce. Serve each person 3 tacos and some green rice, and enjoy!