Oh. Yeah. Tomatillo Breakfast Burrito

Dios Mio…all that is holy (-:

The real reason El Mexicano married La Gringa…

Wipe the drool from your smart phone…you need to make this and eat it–now.  As promised and continuing with the 5 Off, 1 On-ish, 1 On Meal Plan, this tasty egg delight follows the 5 Off gluten free principle.   Made with a simple store bought corn tortilla and stuffed with easy to whip up scrambled eggs, the smothering of the delicious green tomatillo salsa is what makes this breakfast burrito truly mouthwatering and out of this world yummy.   The salsa is served warm and can even be made a day ahead for convenience.  My Mexican paisanito husband tries to take proprietary ownership of this green goodness–Bull Shoot! (to read like a gutteral cough imminating suddenly from me).  I will concede it is inspired by his mother’s kick ass green enchilada sauce, though this tangy tummy pleaser is all my own.  It is a versatile salsa that also goes wonderfully with grilled or broiled meat, poultry or fish.  De nada.

Green Tomatillo Salsa

6-8 Servings

20 tomatillos (husked…reserve 2 husks for boiling)

2 tablespoon of vegetable oil

1/2 yellow or white onion

3 garlic cloves

2 serrano chiles chopped (with seeds)

1/4 cup of chopped cilantro

1 teaspoon of chicken boullion paste (I love the Better Than Bouillon organic brand.  It is available at Whole Foods.  I prefer this paste to dry cubes because you have more control re: the amount going in recipe and that it does not contain MSG. Most dry cube brands contain MSG.)

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of sugar (cuts down on the acidity from the tomatillos)

1/2 cup of water

Directions

Husk and clean (run under cold water and gently rub) 20 tomatillos.  Reserve two of the rinsed husks for boiling.  Place 20 cleaned tomatillos in a aproximatly 3.5 to 4 quarts of water along with 2 rinsed husks.  Bring to a boil for 10 minutes or until all tomatillos are a light green color.  Discard husks and drain tomatillos in sieve.  Let cool to the side.  In a separate frying pain, heat 2  heaping tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Add onion, garlic and chiles and saute for 3 minutes or until onions are tender and a bit translucent.  Transfer cooled tomatillos to a regular blender or food processor.  Blend to pulverize the cooked tomatillos into a sauce.  Add the sauted onion/garlic/chile along with the 1/4 cup of cilantro.  Blend until smooth.   Transfer sauce mixture back to frying pan.  Add teaspoon of bouillon, 1/2 teaspoon of salt , 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 cup of water.  Bring to a quick boil and then reduce heat, cover and simmer low for 20-30 minutes.  You may add additional salt and/or a sprinkle of black pepper to taste.

Simple Burrito Construction

Heat corn tortilla directly on gas stove or hot griddle-like pan.  Scramble eggs separately and spoon into tortilla.  Wrap and plate.  Generously smother filled tortilla with green tomatillo salsa.  You can top burrito with a sprinkling of cheese,  some fresh avocado slices and a dash of chopped green onion.

Tostada To A Tiny Tush

Tostada Yum

End of the holiday season, end of my early January snow bird fleeing flight out west to basically imbibe and eat…a lot.  5 extra pounds later to shift around spandex-ed stretched leggings…enough is more than a bad Jennifer Lopez movie…it really is enough…I need to put a quick kibosh on the winter rear expansion.   I’m not one of those gals that can effortlessly crank up the ol’ dusty $300 juicer and stoically live solely off of vegetable innards for days on end.  I need to chew, dammit…and not nervously grimace when I swallow either.  What works for me is the 5 On, 1 Free-ish, 1 Free Day Model to blubber checking.   It goes like this:  for 5 days you abstain from alcohol, sugar, wheat and red meat (minimal dairy permitted).  You may still moderately eat rice and potatoes…i.e. one serving at dinner and lunch.  1 day per week you can add a moderate dose of something on the no-go 5 day a week list, i.e. a glass of wine, a small dessert, a serving of pasta or bread.  Finally, you have 1 day to eat whatever you want…meaning a serving (or two) of the forbidden 5 day foods/drinks at each meal…this could mean you indulge in pancakes and syrup for breakfast, a bready sandwich at lunch, a plate (or two) of pasta and dessert at dinner–with a couple glasses of wine.  This is a reasonable plan that food worshippers like myself can coexist with.  You still get to enjoy great food but with a grounded consciousness of what you’re putting into your temple.   As for exercise, awesome if you can incorporate a consistent routine into your schedule, but as a lazy New Yorker and Mommy of two, I get my fitness primarily from chasing after my two wee ones and walking around my hood.   The next few blog posts will feature delicious, filling and reduced calorie meals that adhere to the 5 Day On guidelines.  Below are my jammin’ Turkey Tostadas.  Fresh and tasty, they hit the spot.  They are also easily adaptable to healthily feed the kids as well.  I just omit the spice factor.

TURKEY TOSTADA

Turkey Chipotle

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 lb. of ground lean turkey

2 tablespoons of Lea & Perrins

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1 teaspoon of onion powder

6 tablespoons of water

1/2  juiced lemon

1/2 pack of Casa Mexicana Chicken Chipotle Tacos-Tacos de Tinga Mix Pack...this is NOT a sponsored post.  I happen to love this brand of spice seasoning.  They are all natural, food coloring and MSG free.  I easily find the packs at WholeFoods but you can also check out their website at www.casamexicanafoods.com  You can also substitute their Chicken Fajitas Mix Pack.  Good stuff.

For a kid friendly ground turkey filling, omit season packet and reduce water to 3 tablespoons.

Kid friendly spice free version

Heat skillet and add olive oil.  Mix in ground turkey and add the next 5 ingredients.  Brown and thoroughly cook.

Delicias Corn Tostadas

clock in at just 54 calories a tostada and 2 grams of fat

if Tostadas are not your thang…you can substitute with a corn tortilla which generally run 50-60 calories per serving with around 0.5 fat grams.   The point is to use corn product as opposed to flour.

Pico de Gallo

6 roma tomatoes chopped and diced

1/4 cup of chopped cilantro

1/2 cup of chopped yellow or white onion

2 serrano chiles (I like the heat, so I chop mine with seeds–but you can always de-seed and de-membrane to reduce spice quotient)

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar

1/2  juiced lemon or one entire lime juiced

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

salt and pepper to taste

Guacamole

1 Haas avocado

1 teaspoon of onion powder

1 teaspoon of garlic powder

1/2 lemon juiced

1 teaspoon of sour cream

salt and pepper to taste

Toppings

shredded Romaine or Green Leaf Lettuce

shredded Mexican cheese

Assembly Directions

Plate tostada and add a tablespoon of guacamole and spread evenly.  Add turkey mix and top with shredded lettuce.  Add a heaping spoonful(s) of the pico de gallo.  Finish with a light sprinkling of shredded cheese.  For the kids’ modified version, I omit the lettuce (my kids not so much into the lettuce) and spicy pico de gallo and go with the spice free ground turkey that I prepare first in the same skillet used for the spiced adult turkey mix.

Buen Provecho!

 

 

 

Eat, Love, Curry

Okay, okay…peeps actually from India (and not merely the Eat Pray Love Ashraming variety), you might want to avert your eyes now–as this is not the most authentically legit curry.  Though, it is a tasty one nonetheless.  Growing up partially in Kenya (with its sizable Indian population), I acquired an early taste for spice driven food with a kick of heat to it.  Compound that biographical tidbit with another, I also happen to have married a Mexican who, with an obvious and innate love of the picante, also spent some time in India (Marketing, not Ashraming, FYI).  Suffice to say, we love curry in these here parts.  So much so, we are making it one of our more serious parenting missions to condition our kids to love the spice and bite.  We will consider ourselves failed human beings if we do not succeed.

 

Eat, Love, Curry

1 lb of chicken breast (chopped in squares)

1 6 oz container of plain yogurt

1 whole lemon (juiced)

 

4 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil

2 large russet potatoes (peeled and roughly chopped)

3 carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)

1 onion (finely chopped)

3 teeth of garlic (chopped)

2 tablespoons of fresh finely chopped ginger

1/4 cup of cilantro (chopped)

 

1 packet of Arora Creations Organic Chicken Tikka Masala Spice Blend

1 teaspoon of dry ground coriander

2 teaspoons of turmeric

3 tablespoons of tomato paste

 

1 13.5 oz can of coconut milk

1 14.5 oz of tomato sauce

1 cup of water

 

1/2 cup of frozen peas

salt and pepper to taste

 

garnish with chopped fresh serrano chiles

 

Marinate chopped chicken breast in container of plain yogurt, lemon juice and 1/4 Arora Spice Blend.  You can do this a few hours before or a few minutes before depending on your timeframe.  Either way, it is delicious.

In a large pot, add 2 tablespoons of olive or vegetable oil and heat on medium.  Add garlic, ginger and onions and lightly saute with 1/4 of  Spice Blend. Mix In chopped potatoes and carrots.  Saute for 2 minutes more.  Remove everything from pot and place to side in small bowl.  Add 2 more tablespoons of oil and heat then add chicken marinade to hot pot.  Lightly brown.  Return previously sauteed vegetables to pot and add can of coconut milk (shake can well before opening and adding), can of tomato sauce and 1 cup of water.  Mix in remainder of Spice Blend and add turmeric, ground coriander and tomato paste.  Bring to a boil and then cover and let simmer for 45 minutes.  At the 40 minute mark, add freshly chopped cilantro and frozen peas.  Salt and pepper to taste.

This can be served over a plate of Basmati Rice and served with store bought Naan Bread.  Add optional fresh chili garnish to top.

 

 

 

 

 

Santa Bring Your Insulin Pen

Just 2 nights to go before Santa comes looking for his sugar and gluten fix.  You know the drill: milk and cookies in exchange for the good loot.  Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, these seriously delicious citrus sugar cookies will guarantee the choice drop from the top of the sleigh.   Merry Christmas to all and to all a yummy night (-:

Citrus Sugar Cookies

2 cups unbleached all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

9 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room temperature

1 teaspoon of vanilla

1 1/4 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 1/4 grated teaspoons of orange peel

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 large egg

Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.   Mix butter, lemon peel and tangerine peel in large bowl until light.  Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup powdered sugar.  Beat in egg.  Add dry ingredients.  Mix until dough forms (dough will be soft). Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously flour work surface and rolling pin. Divide dough into 3 parts.  Press rolling pin into first section of dough several times to flatten slightly for easier rolling. Roll out dough to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thickness, frequently lifting and turning dough to prevent sticking. Using assorted cookie cutters dipped into flour, cut out cookies. Transfer cookies to greased baking sheets or silpat, spacing 1/2 inch apart. Gather dough scraps together and reserve.  Repeat with remaining sections.

Bake until cookies turn brown on edges, about 10 minutes. Let cookies stand on sheets 1 minute. Using metal spatula, transfer cookies to racks and cool completely.

 Sugar Icing

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 cup powdered sugar

crystalized sugar sprinkles

Whisk powdered sugar with lemon juice.  Drizzle cookie with icing or apply icing generously with a small spoon and then cover in sprinkles.

 

Double Chocolate Cranberry Walnut Biscotti

These are fabulously delicious chocolate-y cookies, so much so that I got into some serious trouble trying to get through the cookie shoot above…I kept eating all the sweet and sinful props.  At one particularly low point, I even dipped one in the staged coffee.  In spite of my gluttony and complete lack of self control, I make these yummies often.  They’re easy to prepare and keep forever so they are great to have around for an impromptu tea time or a coffee break.  They are also a tasty treat for the holidays. The cranberries add a nice, seasonal touch…and after you run down to Michael’s for some inexpensive cellophane bags and ties, they make a great little gift for neighbors, schoolmates and co-workers…that’s if you can manage not to eat them all yourself.

 

Ingredients

2 cups of all purpose flour

1  teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

 

2 eggs

3 tablespoons of coconut oil

1 teaspoon of vanilla

3/4 cup of granulated sugar

1 teaspoon of grated orange rind

 

1/4 cup of cranberry

1/4 cup of crushed walnuts

1/4 chocolate chips

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix all dry ingredients separately in a bowl.  In mixer bowl, add eggs and the following 4 ingredients.  Mix until thoroughly combined.  Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Mixing until consistent dough is formed.  Mix in cranberries, walnuts and chocolate chips to the dough.  Place dough on a silpat/silicone baking sheet or well greased (you can used coconut oil or butter) cookie sheet.  Shape into a flat loaf about 11 inches in length by 6 inches in width with a bout a 1/2 inch thickness. Let bake for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven and lower oven temp to 325 F.  Let flat baked loaf cool for 5 minutes then, with a serrated knife, cut horizontally into separate cookies.  Return separate cookies back to cookie sheet or silicone mat and cookie sheet and let bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove and let cool to room temperature before serving.

Mea Culpa and/or Chin Up Lentil Soup

Nothing says, “I give an honest genuine crap” like someone making you a comforting bowl of warm soup.  Conveniently, soup offering also doubles as the ultimate act of contrition.  I F-ed up, I’ve been–or even life’s been–an ass…now let’s wash down the hard feelings and deep troubles with some spoonfuls of brothy good stuff.   More from the Food=Family Therapy file, growing up with a hardened ice Pop for a Dad, he was about as sentimental and effusive as a steel door.  Hugs and kisses were not doled out on the regular…or well, to be more specific, ever.  Though every now and so often, when one of us little gals fell ill or was sullenly swimming in a sea of adolescent blues, he’d take to the kitchen and whip up some soup.  With a terse knock at the bedroom door, he’d find a crestfallen teen, with her head most likely hidden under a blanket, and he’d quietly place the steamy, aromatic bowl table side. Few words (well, actually, none) were ever exchanged, but the gesture itself spoke volumes: “I love you with all of my tough-as-dried-grizzled-meat heart…now feel better, dammit”.  In keeping with tradition, this delicious lentil soup recipe goes out to a dear friend who I’ve recently had a series of misunderstandings.   Our communication has unfortunately devolved into the uncomfortable glance and cool shrug of chin acknowledgment as we hurry pass each other on the street following school pickup.  But I’ve matured enough (despite being 1/2 raised by a metal entryway) to recognize that our seemingly ambivalent body language really laments mutually hurt feelings.  So here you have it: my mea culpa lentil soup.  Think of it as an olive branch…only it’s spoons and legumes.  Now let’s get to feeling better, dammit (-:

Ingredients

1 cup of chopped carrots (roughly 3 sticks)

1 cup of chopped celery  (roughly 3 stalks)

1/2 cup of leeks (chopped)

1/2 cup of yellow onion (chopped)

2 teeth of garlic (pressed or finely chopped)

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of white wine (I generally have leftover table wine in the fridge that I use for cooking…you could also substitute with regular water, if no white wine is on hand)

4 teaspoons of chicken boullion paste (I love the Better Than Bouillon brand.  It is available at Wholefoods.  I prefer this paste to dry cubes because you have more control re: the amount going in recipe and that it does not contain MSG. Most dry cube brands contain MSG.)

1 cup of dried lentils  (rinsed)

3 tablespoons of tomato paste

7 cups (or 2 quarts) of cool water

salt and pepper

shredded parmesan (optional topping)

Directions

Chop first 5 ingredients.  Heat olive oil, on regular heat, in soup pot.  Add garlic and onions and sautee until tranluscent.  Add additional chopped vegetables and cook for 4 minutes.  Add tablespoons of wine or water for additional moisture.  Stir in 1 cup of dry, rinsed lentils. Mix in tablespoons of tomato paste.  Add 7 cups of cool water.  Mix in teaspoons of chicken bouillion paste.  Bring to a quick boil.  Reduce heat to simmer.  Cover soup with lid and low simmer for 45 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

I Heart Mammals Turkey Chili

Burrr, it’s cold out there.  When the thermostat drops, I, personally, like to feed my numb, round face hot and spicy bowls of this good stuff: Turkey Chili.  It’s turkey chili because I–currently (check back with me in 6 months)– don’t eat mammals.  Giving birth and nursing for almost 4 years–calm down, back to back kids (you can now erase the scary image of the Newsweek tribute to vertical breastfeeding from your minds) has given me a slightly higher sense of consciousness concerning my fellow lactat-ers.  I’m aware you could easily make the whole chicken (or turkey) and an egg argument here.  Therefore, If you so enjoy, feel free to substitute any other yummy mammal (i.e. pork or beef) in place of the turkey.  No judgments…unless you’re a heartless carnivore and throw some ground veal in…that said, I might still eat it…as long as we don’t talk about it.

This is a super easy recipe.  I use canned beans and tomatoes. I also pick up a chili seasoning pack.  I like the Spicy Simply Organic brand (available at Whole Foods), but you can use whatever might be available at your local grocer and what hits your own heat quotient.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of olive oil

4 teeth of garlic chopped or pressed

1 large shallot chopped

1 lb of lean ground turkey

1 tablespoon of Lea and Perrins Worcestershire Sauce

1 teaspoon of onion powder

small dash of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of seasoning salt

dash of pepper

1/3 cup of chopped cilantro

Simply Organic chili pack

1 tablespoon of tomato paste

1 can of tomato sauce (15 oz)

1 can of diced tomato  (15 oz)

1 can of kidney beans (drained) (15 oz)

1 can of black beans (drained) (15 oz)

1 regular can or bottle of beer

Toppings

organic sour cream

organic shredded mexican blend cheese

chopped green onions

Cooking Instructions

Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add chopped garlic and shallot to saute.  Add ground turkey, Worcestershire sauce and brown thoroughly.  Mix in onion powder, cinnamon, seasoning salt and pepper.  Add chopped cilantro. Blend in chili pack and add canned tomato sauce and canned diced tomatoes.  Stir in beans.  Add tomato paste and can or bottle of beer.  Bring to a boil and then cover and let low simmer for 45-60 minutes.  Top with sour cream, shredded cheese and green onions.