Saturday, June 21, 2008

A quick bite before we leave...

Yay, we are going to Brazil!
Yes, we used to visit the family at the end of the year, but now with Matheus in school (he is going to 1st grade already!!) our vacation time got transferred to June/July. The only drawback is that now it is winter there and I really don't like the cold, but visiting the family is always so much fun that their love will certainly warm us up during our entire stay!
We are so excited! Even with all the packing and the "I-think-I-am-forgetting-something" feeling we can't wait to leave for the airport tomorrow!
This time we will stay for a whole month, so I will probably won't post much, but I will certainly try to come here and say hi, and maybe even post some pictures from our trip.
And right now, before we leave, I just wanted to post this Sandwich, which is quick to make but filling and delicious, perfect for the warm weather we are having now, when turning on the oven/stove is not something we want to do.
My sister sent me this recipe, which comes from a Brazilian cooking magazine called "Claudia Cozinha", last year and I always make it when I feel like having a sandwich. It is light and refreshing, makes you feel satisfied and it is also quite healthy and good for you!
Feel free to adapt/adjust the ingredients and add/omit things based on what you have at home. This sandwich is very versatile and can even be used as a base for you to create your own version!
On the one I have in the picture I used a mix of salad leaves instead of arugula, didn't add the mushrooms and the sesame seeds, as I didn't have any of those at home. Also, I only used 2 pieces of bread, as that is definitely enough for me (and for Matheus! Yes, I made one for him and he loved it, especially since it had egg inside and he loves hard-boiled eggs!)
Hope you enjoy too, and I will come back to post as soon as we land in "Terras Brazilis" and have sort of organized ourselves there!
See you all soon!

Vegetarian Sandwich with Orange Dressing
(Adapted from Claudia Cozinha)

1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
3 slices good whole wheat bread
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/4 cup walnuts, broken into small pieces
1 tablespoon sesame seeds (toasted)
5 basil leaves
1/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (I didn't use, didn't have any at home...)
1 hard boiled egg, sliced
1/3 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup arugula leaves

In a small bowl whisk together the orange juice, olive oil and the salt until you have a homogenized mixture, set asidde.
Lay one slice of bread on a plate and on top of it put the following ingredients in layers: grated carrots, walnuts, sesame seeds, basil, and over it pour half of the orange juice dressing. Lay the other slice of bread on top and then add the mushrooms, sliced egg, cottage cheese and the arugula. Pour over the remaining orange juice dressing and top with the last slice of bread. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Healthy and delicious Fried Rice

We tried this recipe a while ago and it is so good that I have made it a few times ever since. I am not a fan of this type of dish when bought at restaurants and such as I usually find it very salty and heavy in the soy sauce department. But this recipe was a great surprise and I enjoyed a whole lot!
Matheus and I liked it just as it is, full of vegetable and tofu (more veggies than rice: great!), and even the husband ate his share but had his with sauteed shrimp!
Besides being very tasty, this dish is also very versatile as you can easily vary the vegetables accordingly to what you have at home, or swap the tofu for your favorite protein (chicken, shrimp), and still have a nice balanced meal!
I really liked the tofu and the edamame with all the veggies, oh and the egg bits throughout the rice were delicious too. The seasonings were simple and the flavors of the garlic, green onions and ginger were nicely balanced.
All in all a winner that will be made again when the cravings for fried rice strike - or when pressed for time, as it was also quick to make!

Fried Rice with Scallions, Edamame and Tofu
(Recipe from Ellie Krieger)

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon canola oil, divided
2 large cloves garlic, minced
4 scallions, greens included, rinsed, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon minced ginger
4 cups leftover cooked brown rice
3/4 cup finely diced red pepper
3/4 cup cooked, shelled edamame
1/2 cup fresh or frozen, thawed, corn
6 ounces firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
2 eggs, beaten
3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a wok or large skillet until very hot. Add the garlic, scallions and ginger and cook, stirring, until softened and aromatic, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice, red pepper, edamame, corn and tofu and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Make a 3-inch well in the center of the rice mixture. Add 1 teaspoon of canola oil, then add the eggs and cook until nearly fully scrambled. Stir the eggs into the rice mixture, then add soy sauce and incorporate thoroughly. Serve hot.
Yield: 4 servings

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Blueberry Bran Muffins and my apologies...

I have been absent from my blog lately and I do owe an apology to the friends that visit me here. Believe me, I do miss posting and even more so the comments you all leave (they reeeally cheer me up!), but sometimes I get these days when I don't feel all that inspired to write, or make many different things.
Well, I am glad to say that the latest phase is over and I intend to be back for real now! :o)
Summer is finally here and I am truly happy with the warm days, it is soooo nice outside!
With such sunny days we have been grilling a lot (yum!) and already using the ice cream machine, so I better get my camera ready and take some time to come here to share the recipes with you all.
And what a better way to start my June posts than with a new muffin recipe?? You all know by now that we love muffins here at our house. I make them weekly and freeze for breakfasts and snacks, so I am always looking for different healthy muffin recipes to try.
Well, the summer fruits are here and one of my favorite started to show up at the farmers market this past week: blueberries!!
Yay, I love blueberries, the plump purple spheres are so sweet that you don't need anything else to go with it. I am a happy camper to sit down with a bowl of fresh blueberries, to me it is the perfect snack. Heck, I will even have a bowl of blueberries for dinner if you let me!
So, with some of those beauties around I decided to look for a muffin recipe and as I typed "blueberry bran muffins" on the google website I was sent to a recipe at the allrecipes website. It was the first one I took a look and it won me over immediately. I knew it could only be good, and I wasn't wrong... it was great!!
I loved the muffins, it is certainly one of the best bran muffins I have made. Easy, simple, and better yet, low fat, healthy and good for you. I used blueberries but can see these being made with apples and cinnamon, raisins, or even chocolate chips. I really enjoy bran muffins and these were delicious!
If you like bran muffins to then make sure you try this recipe, believe me, it is that good!

Low-Fat Blueberry Bran Muffins
(adapted from Original recipe can be seen here)

1 1/2 cups wheat bran
1 cup nonfat milk (I used soy milk)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 egg
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or line muffin tins with paper cups.
Mix together wheat bran, milk, and applesauce and let rest for about 10 minutes. To this mixture add egg, vanilla, and sugar and mix well.
In another bowl mix together flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Fold in blueberries.
Portion batter into the prepared muffin cups and bake for about 18 to 20 minutes.