Friday, November 1, 2013

Baked Squasherole

The following recipe came from an indecisive night fighting between craving spaghetti squash and some sort of lasagna/pizza. By baking the squash, the cheese melts, and something feels a little devilish layering the cheese (it totally reminds me of Outback's cheese fries- hello most caloric meal in America!)

Presenting, (drumroll, please) the magnificent squasherole, aka baked spaghetti squash casserole:

To make this casserole pasta swapsta, you will need:
1 spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded (instructions here)
1/2 cup marinara sauce (recipe here if you want to make your own)
4oz shredded mozzarella cheese

To prepare, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl, combine squash and sauce, and mix until evenly combined. Then, in an oven safe baking dish, arrange half your spaghetti squash/sauce mixture in the pan. Cover with cheese, add the rest of the squash, and then the rest of the cheese. Bake just until the cheese is melted and the squash is hot (10 minutes, max). Optionally, you can then put it in the broiler for about 15-30 seconds to brown the cheese. Pin It

Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's Official: I'm WWOOFING!

I'm dedicating this post to some very exciting news I would like to share with you all. I recently applied/was accepted to do a farming internship at an organic farm in California for a week working on the farm in exchange for room and board through a program called WWOOF. WWOOF has locations all over the world, and accepts people of all ages. The program is often an exchange: you work on the farm doing whatever they need in exchange for a place to stay and three meals a day. Each farm permits/requires you to stay for a different period of time. The one that I will be visiting has a one-week long program which is perfect for me since I will be starting my job full time right after graduating. The photo I've included is of some tomatoes that were grown in my family's backyard on Long Island... hopefully this farming experience will expand my abilities past just these tomatoes and some basic herbs.

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Yummus Olive Hummus

A few weeks ago, Tiny Tummy took a trip to Ithaca to visit a special someone. While there, we brunched at an adorable cafe where I got a delicious sandwich-turned salad (yes, I asked them to make a sandwich into a salad) with grilled vegetables and an olive hummus as dressing. The hummus was far and away the best part of the meal, so naturally, I had to try to replicate it because driving 5 hours for hummus is a little less than ideal. I'll admit, this recipe yields a LOT (I made it to serve 2 separate dinner parties and there was still a container leftover), so if you don't want hummus for days, I highly suggest cutting the recipe in half or by 4.

To make this olive hummus, you will need:

64 oz of chickpeas, (drained and rinsed if using canned)
1 can of olives (just the olives, not the juice)
3 T tahini
2 T good quality olive oil (I used lemon-infused olive oil which is GREAT if you can find it)
6 cloves garlic, roasted (if you only have raw garlic, simply pop the cloves into the toaster or oven for 10-20 minutes before blending. Using raw garlic will be WAY too strong)
4 T lemon juice
a pinch of sea salt

To prepare, simply toss everything into a food processor and blend. My hummus came out very creamy, but if yours is too thick to your liking, you can either add a little olive oil to thin it or even some water for a healthier option. Daddy Tiny Tummy generally likes what I make, but it's rare to get a LOVE IT from him, and not only did I get a 'LOVE IT,' but I also got an 'OH YEAH!' so I take it this is a real winner. Not to mention, that giant bowl of hummus was almost gone at the end of the 'cocktail hour' of our dinner party (and there were only 6 of us!)

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Salidify That Sandwich

It's been a while since I gave a restaurant-survival tip, so I thought it was about time I gave a simple one. In the past, I've suggested that a salad of sorts (with a plain, vinaigrette dressing) is generally a safe bet, but some restaurants don't have the most exciting salads. Recently, while traveling, I found myself in a cafe with an incredible sandwich menu and a meager salad selection, so I figured, what's to stop me asking for a sandwich-turned salad. Yes, I'm suggesting you order a sandwich as a salad. Restaurants will often have no problem placing the insides of a sammy over a bed of lettuce for you (they may charge you a few bucks extra). I did it for the first time in Ithaca with a grilled veggie and hummus salad which was fantastic as a salad and then a second time at a dosa and sandwich restaurant in Soho. The photo is from the dosa restaurant (which I'll admit, I had a bite of the dosa which was yummy too), but my mozzarella/avocado/cucumber sammy-turned salad was delish!You could easily do this with any sandwich-including a burger (veggie burger, tuna burger, hamburger, etc). Pin It

Monday, September 30, 2013

Butter Those Cashews!

Ever since I learned to make my own peanut butter in my Vitamix, I couldn't help but want to experiment with other nuts and nut butters. Mommy Tiny Tummy's friend recently sent her on an anti-peanut frenzy, so she insisted on replacing her usual banana and peanut butter with a different nut butter, and since Daddy Tiny Tummy isn't a fan of almond butter, cashews were next on the list. The nice thing about making your own nut butter is it requires minimal work on your part. Check it out below.

To make a very simple, but very delicious cashew butter, you will need, all you need is at least 2 cups of cashews (roasted or raw-- they say raw is healthier... I personally don't see the issue with roasted). If you want to make a larger batch, simply use more cashews. I suggest at least 2 cups because it is hard for the nuts to blend into a butter with any less than that. If you're a salted nut butter person, feel free to add some sea salt as well.

To prepare, simply toss your nuts into a food processor, Vitamix, or magic bullet and blend away until the nuts become a butter. You may have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times. Note: peanuts turn to butter WAY faster than cashews do, so be patient. I apologize for the yucky photo. I should have taken one before putting it into a container, and I was lazy about replating it for photographical purposes- I promise, though. It tastes better than that photo makes it look! Pin It

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Chica-Chica Curry

Anyone who has read other posts on this blog likely knows I am no stranger to Indian cooking. As a child, my family ate Indian food regularly, so I guess it's only natural that I have grown to love cooking it. This recipe, that I am going to share with you, is about as basic as it gets for Americanized Indian food. Mommy Tiny Tummy used to make it all the time growing up (and Mommy Tiny Tummy doesn't really cook), so for those of you looking to cook to impress with minimal culinary experience, here's your ticket.

To make this Chicken Curry for beginners, you will need:

2 pounds of chicken (your choice- breast, legs, thighs-- breasts are healthiest)
1 large onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, chopped
24 oz greek yogurt (I use fat-free)
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth
2-5 tablespoons of curry powder (depending upon how strong you like it. You can find some version of a curry powder at most grocery stores, though if you want a really good one, I suggest scoping out an Indian grocer)
4-5 carrots, chopped and par-cooked until slightly softened
1/2 cup peas
optional: any other vegetables of your choice

To prepare, start by pre-cooking your chicken however you prefer it (I prefer some version of boiling or some way of retaining as much moisture as possible). You could also buy pre-cooked chicken. In a large pot over a low heat, sautee your onions and mushrooms until translucent. Then, add your chicken, yogurt, broth, and curry powder and mix well. Allow those flavors to marry for a few minutes before adding your carrots, peas and any other vegetables. Cook just until all of your veggies are cooked through.

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Sunday, September 22, 2013

5 Minute Gazpacho

I have to admit something here. Prior to making this recipe, I had never had gazpacho before. And I still wouldn't have if a friend hadn't requested it when visiting me (I can't say no to a food request!) I don't know why I had never considered making it. It's all veggies, pretty low in calories, and everyone knows soup fills you up. So I got to work reading up on what goes into gazpacho (or at least what could go into gazpacho- talk about 28563275 types of the same thing!!) and decided to craft my own version. I was going for what seemed to be the most basic, yet delicious gazpacho that I could make with ingredients I had on hand, and I was pleasantly surprised with my outcome.

To make this gazpacho, you will need:

2 cups of pure tomato juice (aka as close as you can find to a tomato juice where the only ingredient is tomatoes)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 cup coconut vinegar
1.5 pounds of tomatoes, chopped
1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
dash of salt
optional (but highly recommended): a pinch of cayenne and a squirt of Sriracha

To prepare, toss the tomato juice, garlic, and vinegar in a Vitamix or food processor and blend until entirely mixed (if you're spicing up your gazpacho, now would be the time to add the cayenne and Sriracha). Then, add the remaining ingredients and blend until desired consistency is achieved. I decided to make mine a little chunky, so I didn't blend all the way, but if you prefer a completely smooth result, then blend and grind away! Pop it in the freezer to chill and enjoy for days (this makes a fairly large amount).

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Appy Happy

For Yom Kippur this past year, I ventured back to the home of Mommy and Daddy Tiny Tummy for to break the fast (for the non-Jews out there, Yom Kippur is a day where Jews repent their sins by fasting, among other things, so the meal that occurs post-sundown is often fairly extravagant). Usually, we spend the evening with the extended family in New Jersey, but since Mommy Tiny Tummy didn't want to be around the unhealthy food that my extended family traditionally breaks the fast with, I agreed to cater a healthier, more Tiny-Tummy-friendly meal, complete with the following, simple appetizer which is bound to be a crowd pleaser. Note: the photo does not include the balsamic vinegar because one of our guests doesn't eat vinegar.

To make this simple Tomato-Mozzarella Salad, you will need,

One giant hunk of fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced as thin as possible
3-4 tomatoes, sliced to match the size of your slices of mozzarella
a healthy drizzle of balsamic vinegar and optional olive oil for a richer indulgence
optional: fresh basil (I had some from the herb/vegetable garden we grow in our backyard- the tomatoes too!)

To prepare, simply layer and arrange the tomatoes and mozzarella evenly on a platter. Place the basil throughout, and drizzle your vinegar (and optional oil) generously across the platter. If you're feelin' frisky, you could make a real vinaigrette to drizzle instead of just plain ole O&V. I have a pretty great, really simple vinaigrette recipe I will have to share the next time I make it, so I can include a photograph. Pin It

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sinfully Delicious Banana Bread

I'll be the first to admit; I don't bake very often. Part of it is baked goods are generally not the healthiest, and making Tiny-Tummy-friendly baked goods takes a lot of manipulating. The second part of it is I prefer to cook and develop my own recipes, adding a little extra this here, and a little extra that there, as opposed to following a recipe with a magnifying glass as baking requires. Having taken a class on food science, I understand how baking works far better than I once did, so I know what manipulating the recipe will do to the final product. The following recipe is NOT Tiny-Tummy-friendly, but it was just about my favorite baked good growing up, so I thought I'd share it with you. I will do my best to give you the real version of the recipe, followed by a healthier version of different ingredients in parenthesis, and I will explain what each manipulation will do to the final product. I don't suggest making ALL of the healthy swaps if you are looking for a true, baked-good because the more changes you make, the less indulgent it will taste (DUH!), but here goes!

To make this Sinfully Delicious, I-Want-To-Eat-The-Whole-Loaf Banana Bread, you will need,

1/2 cup butter at room temperature (or 1/2 cup apple sauce, though it may effect the flavor of your final product)
1 2/3 cup of sugar (you could reduce this by about 25% without changing much of the final product)
2 eggs, (sub egg whites, though the yolk aids in leavening and flavor)
3 large preferably over-ripe bananas, mashed
4 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1/4 teaspoon of salt (salt effects the crumb, so be warned if you omit it)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups flour (sub whole wheat flour, though whole wheat flour inhibits the gluten from developing, so the texture will be altered, and whole wheat flour tastes a little different than white flour. You could sub 1/2 of the flour for whole wheat flour if you're reluctant)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chunks (optional, but highly recommended. If you're making other changes to the recipe, keep the chocolate because really, who will notice the whole-wheat taste of lack of butter if their mouth is oozing with melted chocolate?!)

To prepare, start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees and spraying your loaf pans with non-stick spray. Then, cream together the butter and the sugar. Then, lightly beat the eggs, and add them to the butter/sugar mix along with the mashed banana, sour cream, salt, baking powder and baking soda, and mix well. Finally, add the flour (gradually) along with the vanilla and chocolate chunks until you have a nice, even batter. Spread the batter into your load pans, and bake for an hour. If you have a strong oven, keep an eye on it- you don't want to let it get too brown on top! If you want, you could make this recipe into muffins by separating the batter into muffin tins, but adjust your baking time to about 40 minutes (though again, if you have a strong oven, keep an eye on them, as they may require a little less cooking time).

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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Balls of Energy- Vegan Style

Hey Tiny Tummy-ers. I figured you all deserved an explanation as to my prolonged absence these last few months before I share my newest recipes, findings, and foodie news. I recently accepted a job (yes, on top of my multiple other internships, college courses, and attempt at a social life) working for a restaurant management company as the head of marketing research and development. On top of that, I was just offered a promotion to take over the social media department of the company as well. Since the job market is a pretty scary place right now, I'm incredibly grateful to have the position, so I've been dedicating a lot of my time to the job. Therefore, not only is my blogging suffering, but my cooking is too. I've been doing a lot of plain ole salmon and steamed veggies, take-out meals, etc... doesn't exactly make for the most exciting posts, but after receiving enough "where'd you go?!" messages, I decided to try my best to get as many new posts up as possible.

So, to kick things off, I thought I'd start with a very simple recipe for a dessert I recently made for a dinner party I cooked for Mommy Tiny Tummy, Daddy Tiny Tummy, and some of the Tiny Tummys' friends. One of Mommy Tiny Tummys' friends is gluten-free, doesn't eat fruit, and tries to eat very healthy, so dessert posed a minor obstacle. The week prior, one of my friend's and I went to a health food store and picked up a vegan date-nut-oat ball for dessert. Since it was DELICIOUS (and a little expensive), I decided to try to replicate it for our dinner party (or at least a version of it), so here is the recipe.

To make these Vegan Energy Balls, you will need:

15-20 dates, pits removed
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
8-10 oz almonds
pinch of sea salt
optional: 1/4 cup of oats (could use gluten-free oats); pinch of cinnamon

To prepare, simply throw all the ingredients into a food processor, and blend until an even consistency is achieved. Then, roll the mixture into balls (any size of your choice), and store in the refrigerator. Easy as pie (though much healthier!) Pin It

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Catchy Ketchup (High Fructose Corn Syrup and Added Sugar-Free!)

Growing up, I was always more of the mustard over ketchup fan, but sometimes, a good squirt of the red stuff is necessary. As a kid, I had no idea just how bad ketchup was for you though (umm... high fructose corn syrup, anyone?! GROSS!) The other night, when making sweet potato fries, I realized that sweet potatoes+ mustard sounded a little gross, and what I really wanted was the dirty K word, so I set out to make my own HFCS-free ketchup, and while it doesn't have that Heinz taste, it certainly did the trick, and I'd take an earthier tomato taste over the unneeded corn syrup any day!

To make Tiny Tummy's Catchy Ketchup, you will need:
1 6oz can of tomato paste
1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder, onion powder
pinch of salt, stevia, and cinnamon (to taste)

To prepare, mix the spices into your tomato paste and mix. Slowly add water until the desired consistency is achieved. If you prefer a runnier ketchup, add lots of water. For a thicker ketchup, less! With a recipe this simple, there's really no reason to buy the bottle gook. If you serve this to your kids from the start, they'll never know the difference! Pin It

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fake Frappuccino

Starbucks is notorious for their fatty frappuccinos, which I have to admit, are pretty darn delicious, but it's not just thanks to all of the fattening and sugary ingredients in it. Half the fun of a frapp, in my opinion, is all that yummy foamy frothy stuff at the top, and believe it or not, you can actually make your coffee frothy without all that sugary, caloric junk that they use- in fact, I don't even use milk. It's all thanks to something called a frother.

I apologize for any of you coffee connoisseurs out there who already obviously know what a frother is, but for anyone who doesn't, it's a tool that spins your coffee until it gets frothy! Now, most people froth the milk and add it to the coffee to make a cappuccino, but I bet you never thought to make the coffee, itself, frothy! This way, you're saving tons of calories, and still getting your frothy fix- it's basically win-win! And if you're all about the frothy milk, then feel free to froth up some flax or almond milk- either way you're saving TONS of fat and calories by skipping the frapp! Oh, and your wallet won't hurt a bit- you can get the one pictured from Ikea for $3.00! It basically pays for itself in 1 frappuccino! Pin It

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Kan I replicate a Kani Salad? (Homemade Japanese style Kani Salad)

Confession: I am a sucker for a good kani salad at a Japanese restaurant; however, I am fully aware that  they are often prepared with full-fat spicy mayo (so I usually ask for the sauce on the side and apply my own!) But kani salads are so simple- just shredded crab, matchsticks or julienned cucumber, and the occasional sesame seed garnish, so I got to thinking, why not recreate it myself? And I set out to do just that!

To make your very own Kani Salad, you will need:

Equal parts julienned or matchsticks of cucumber and shredded crabmeat (real or imitation)

Tiny Tummy's Spicy Mayo: 
2T Walden Farms Miracle Mayo 
1t Sriracha Hot Sauce
(for your Kani salad, use this ratio to make as much as you find satisfactory to coat your salad)

optional: sesame seeds for garnish

Mix everything up in a bowl and serve it on up! I love bringing the Japanese restaurant into my home kitchen!
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Saturday, July 13, 2013

Put A Ring On It

It can't be much of a secret that I love Brad's Kale Chips... considering I came up with a recipe to replicate them, but I still buy  the real deal when I can find them cheap. While shopping the other day, I came across a new(ish) product from Brad's and considering how much I love the kale, I figured it was worth trying.
Brad's Raw Onion Rings, while not as good as their kale chips, were still pretty delicious. They were crunchy with a lot of flavor and almost reminded me of the bagged onion ring chips I used to eat as a child growing (not that frequently because there were many other chips I liked better!) For anyone who loved those faux onion ring chips as a child, or just likes something crunchy with flavor, these are definitely worth a try- not fried, no GMO's, and even kosher and vegan! Pin It

Friday, July 12, 2013

Grill Me A Pizza

I recently read an article that said you aren't a true grill master until you've mastered the grilled pizza. I don't know who made that rule, but Tiny Tummy refuses no challenge, so I figured I'd give it a try, but of course, with a healthier version. So, low and behold, the grilled pizza.

To make this grilled pizza, you will need:
1 whole wheat tortilla (I used La Tortilla Factory)
2 T tomato sauce (I used my homemade sauce)
1-2oz reduced fat mozzarella cheese (shredded)
(optional: garlic powder, red pepper flakes, additional pizza toppings)

To prepare, simply grill one side of your tortilla for about a minute (until it browns), then flip it, add your toppings, and continue to cook until the cheese melts. This is a perfect recipe for a hot summer day when you don't want to turn your oven on and heat up your home more than it already is. Pin It