Recipe Round Up: Putting the Internet to Use

A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how easy it can be to bookmark tons of delicious looking online recipes and then never actually make them. In my previous post, my goal was to use a different breakfast recipe from my Pinterest board each morning. The experiment was highly successful and I enjoyed the variety to my breakfasts and the sense of accomplishment – it felt like I made an achievement when I could put a mental check next to all the recipes I made!

Since then, I’ve tried to continue actually making some of the recipes I set aside ‘for later.’ Here are the highlights of what I’ve tested from around the web in the past week:

Whole Grain Brown Soda Bread from Texanerin Baking
served below topped with tuna, melted cheese, with an asparagus and carrots side dish

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Oatless Oats from ‘fitting it all in’
topped with yogurt, dried currants, and cashew butter

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Bison Meatballs with Sage Onion Gravy from the Whole Foods Market Recipe App

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All this ‘cooking by the book’ got me inspired to try some of my own recipes, so I made up some of my own creations for the kitchen…

Peachy Green Tea Smoothie

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Ingredients
- one peach, chopped
- 2 T chia seeds
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 T of edible green tea whole tea leaves
- 1/4 cup steel cut oats
- 1/4 cup yogurt
Method
-Combine peach, chia seeds, 3/4 cup of the almond milk, 
and green tea in a container and let sit in the refrigerator overnight
- In the morning, cook oats with 3/4 cup water
- combine oats and chia seed mixture with yogurt and remaining
milk in an emersion blender
- blend and enjoy!

I poured my smoothie into a bowl and ate it with a spoon because somehow it tastes better that way!

Basic (but not boring) Taco Meat

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Ingredients
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 onion
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 T coconut oil
Method
- chop onion and saute in coconut oil just beginning to soften
- add meat and cook until no longer pink
- add tomatoes (including juice) and spices
- simmer for 5 minutes and serve with tortillas, avocado,
or the toppings of your choice

 

Turkey Spinach Meatballs and Broccoli

Now that restaurant week is over, it’s time to get back in the kitchen! A few weeks ago I found a recipe for spinach and turkey meatballs on Fast Paleo (a paleo recipe-sharing site) that caught my eye, so I decided to make that. I had originally planned to serve it with spaghetti squash, but I forgot to buy some at the store, so I improvised and decided to pair it with broccoli and toast.

For the meatballs, I combined 1.25 lbs of ground turkey (Jennie-O extra lean) with one egg, a heaping teaspoon of garlic powder, a few shakes of garlic salt, and a generous 1/2 teaspoon of cumin.

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I added one cup (plus a little) of chopped spinach:

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Mix it all together:

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And form into balls on a baking tray:

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The mixture held together well enough to shape, but it wasn’t too moldable (I think there may have been a little too much spinach). I cooked for 23 minutes at 350°.

Meanwhile, I prepped some broccoli. Tina at Carrots N Cake has raved many times about a roasted broccoli recipe. I decided to finally try it for myself. The prep was pretty easy. Just chop up your broccoli:

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Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil and a couple tablespoons of sugar (I really did more like 1.5 tablespoons of sugar):

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Broil on high for 8 minutes:

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Although any broccoli is good broccoli to me, I definitely don’t think I did this recipe quite right. First of all, I think I was using a larger quantity of broccoli than in the original recipe, so I may have needed a little more oil/sugar. Additionally, the broiling time wasn’t sufficient for my oven, and I think I should have left the broccoli in there to cook a little longer. Oh well! I don’t know if I will try this recipe again anyway though – something about adding sugar to my veggies feels like sacrilege.

Here’s the final product – plus a few mini portabellos on top…

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…and some wheat toast with hummus:

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Restaurant week was fun, but it’s nice to back in my own kitchen.

My Personal Restaurant Week

My family is visiting from out of town, so the next few days are going to be sort of like my own personal restaurant week. I don’t normally eat many meals out at all, so this is an exciting treat and opportunity to try several restaurants I’ve had my eye on.

First up, Broders’ Pasta Bar in the Linden Hills neighborhood. This restaurant features homemade pastas and a wide selection of traditional Italian dishes.

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The menu had a lot of enticing dishes. The most interesting to me were a ricotta gnocchi with peppered beef, spaghetti with meatballs, and a fettuccine with salmon, capers, and pistachios. While I was trying to decide, a basket of focaccia, sourdough, and salted crackers were brought to the table:

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On the waitress’ recommendation, I finally decided on the meatballs. I substituted linguine for the spaghetti though because the linguine was homemade and the spaghetti wasn’t. Direct quote from the waitress, “It’s the best meatballs and sauce I’ve ever had – and I’ve tried a lot.”

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The dish was fabulous. The sauce wasn’t too overwhelming, and the meatballs had a great flavor. If I went back, I would probably want to try another one of the appealing dishes though since there were so many good looking items!

Since I stayed at the hotel with my family, I took a quick stop by Dunn Brothers with my father for breakfast.

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This Dunn Brothers is inside of the Minneapolis Convention Center. I tried a vegetarian breakfast sandwich and had a yogurt parfait minus the granola:

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This was not good. I feel strongly about eating my own sort of breakfast, and the weird food in the morning didn’t make me feel very good. Neither item was too tasted – I’m going to pack my own breakfast from home if I stay at the hotel again. This breakfast incident made me realize that I have two primary meal preferences.

1) I don’t like to switch up breakfast. I know what I like, and I like to make it in my own kitchen.
2) I like to eat lunch alone.

I can try, but I just don’t like switching these rules up. Call me a creature of habit.

What are your meal preferences?