Monday, June 17, 2013

Banana, Tahini & Kefir Smoothie with Cocoa Nibs

This is not a sweet smoothie. The banana is sweet but nothing else. The taste is very pleasantly nutty and tangy with a texture I can only describe as gritty from the cocoa nibs. The grittiness is not like biting into a grain of sand in salad greens which haven't been properly cleaned. Horrors! No, this crunchiness is more like biting into coarse sugar sprinkled on top of a muffin.

There is plenty of good nutrition here; protein, B vitamins, minerals, as well as more antioxidants than green tea, plus probiotics.

Banana, Tahini & Kefir Smoothie with Cocoa Nibs
1 banana
1 - 2 Tbsp. tahini
1 cup unflavored kefir (or yogurt)
2 T. cocoa nibs
1 serving protein powder (optional)
Milk (soy, almond, coconut, cow)

Place banana, tahini, kefir, cocoa nibs and protein powder into blender. Process, using enough milk to achieve desired consistency.

Drink and chew at the same time. Fun!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Leftover Omelet Sandwich with Fresh Fruit for my Lunch

 I had made a Vidalia Onion and Cheddar Omelet for dinner last night and had some left over. As I was making a sandwich on toasted whole wheat bread for lunch, along with some fresh fruit, I thought about a former co-worker, Dick. One day, at lunch time, I was in the break room peeling a mango. He came in for another cup of coffee and asked, "What is T-H-A-T!?*!" I answered, "It's a mango, want a bite"? He quickly replied, "No!! I like my steak plain"!

He then proceeded into a long diatribe about how hard it is to find a plain steak in a restaurant. They are all marinated or have some kind of rub. How many steaks he's had to send back. That one restaurant manager informed him they don't have any plain steaks. And on and on.

Meanwhile, I have finished peeling and dicing my mango, was thinking about the fact that I didn't offer him steak, and would he kindly move so I could leave the room, go back to my office, and enjoy my mango in peace.

I Love Cantaloupe and Blueberries Together.

He was of the opinion that I only ate healthful (weird) food because Michelle Obama told me to. He was damn determined not to eat anything healthful because she should just get off our backs. I never bothered to advise him that I was eating healthfully long before any of us had heard of Michelle Obama. That she has nothing to do with my food choices.

I further wondered how many people in this country would prefer a McDonald's lunch over what I was having?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Barbecue Chicken

This is another recipe I tried from the Alabama Professional Women's Club 1989 fund-raising cookbook Pritchard Parker found during one of his thrift shop adventures.  This one was submitted by Dean Sellers of Bessemer, Alabama. 

I really enjoyed this recipe and thought it was such a "man recipe" while I was cooking it. I made it a second time and altered the cooking time. The recipe calls for "6 to 8 chicken breasts or 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces".  I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts and they turned out overcooked and dry, even though the flavor was delicious.

As I thought about it, I realized that in 1989 people did not buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts at the mega-grocery. People bought whole chickens and cut them up (who even knows how to cut up a chicken anymore)? If people did buy breasts, they were bone in and skin on, and probably not split.

The second time I made this, I adjusted the cooking time. I am giving the recipe, as written, but please do keep in mind that boneless and skinless chicken will take much less time to cook. I cooked the second batch of chicken, uncovered, for a total of 25 minutes, after browning.

Barbecue Chicken
6 to 8 chicken breasts or 1 whole chicken, cut up
2 medium onions
1 (6 oz.) bottle cola
1 small bottle catsup
1/2 c. vinegar
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. prepared mustard
Juice of 1 lemon
Dash of hot sauce
1/2 c. margarine
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry chicken pieces. Salt and pepper well. Brown chicken in margarine. Put chicken in large baking dish or pan, single layered. Saute two medium onions sliced in thin rings in drippings until transparent. Place over chicken. Mix and simmer barbecue sauce for five minutes or until boiling slow. Pour over chicken. Cover and bake in preheated oven at 275 degrees for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for additional 15 to 20 minutes.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Pina Colada Parfait

And just like that it was summer. We just had the coolest, rainiest, gloomiest, longest spring I ever remember. Then the sun came out and the sky was Carolina Blue. All the rain made everything so verdant, the temperatures have touched into the 80's during the day and dipped into the upper 50's at night. Perfect in my book. I opened the windows to fresh air and we have been sleeping with the windows open at night.

For a while, I have been buying ingredients I think will make interesting smoothies, including several pineapples I have enjoyed. Recently, I saw a good deal on coconut milk and grabbed a few cans. Then I picked up a fresh coconut.

As an experiment, I had made some "instant" vanilla pudding mix because I have been on a bit of a pudding kick.

One thing led to another and the next thing I knew I had pina colada parfaits. Just layer granola, fresh pineapple, coconut and pudding as desired. For the pudding, I used 1 cup of coconut milk and 1 cup whole milk.

These were delicious!

Instant Vanilla Pudding Mix
(Brown Eyed Baker)
1 cup granulated sugar
¾ cup cornstarch
¾ cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 whole vanilla beans
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, milk powder, and salt; set aside.

Split open the vanilla beans and use the back of a knife to scrape out the seeds. Add the seeds to the sugar mixture, and again whisk well to evenly combine, using a fork or the back of the spoon to break up any chunks of vanilla bean seeds. Cut the empty vanilla bean pods into two or three pieces each.

Place the vanilla bean pieces into an airtight container or jar, and add the sugar mixture. Seal it, and then give it a few good shakes to distribute the vanilla bean pieces evenly. Store in a cool, dry place.

To make pudding: Combine 2 cups of milk with ½ cup of the instant pudding mix in a medium saucepan over high heat, whisking constantly. Bring to a boil, and then immediately reduce the heat to a simmer and continue whisking until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (about 3 to 5 minutes). Let sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.