Veggie & Chicken Goat Cheese Melt

4 Comments

Last weekend at the farmer’s market just down the road from us, we stumbled upon a local goat’s milk cheesemaker.

_DSC9160

He had lots of samples which is always fantastic and I came away with two different types of goat cheese.

A spreadable garlic dill cheese and a goat mozzarella. We used the goat mozzarella on pizza a few days ago and it was delicious. Melted perfectly without being too moist. I think I even prefer it over buffalo mozzarella.

_DSC9150

I decided to use the garlic dill goat cheese and another cheese I found at our local grocery store for the melts. The garlic dill is incredibly flavorful. The dill really stands out and I love the balance of garlic and salt. The Beemster goat cheese tastes similar to a  light swiss cheese.  Alone, or together, they are fabulous.

_DSC9153

I sliced up an onion, pepper, a couple of mushrooms, chopped a clove of garlic, and sautéed them in olive oil.  When they were almost finished I added three chopped sun-dried tomatoes (in oil) and tossed them around until they melted nicely.

_DSC9132

_DSC9135

Then I cut a piece of french bread in half and toasted it under the broiler.

_DSC9147

This is such an easy lunch.

I then spread the garlic dill cheese on the toasted bread, added a layer of sautéed veggies, then a few slices of left over chicken breast.

_DSC9151

Then, another layer of veggies, a drizzle of olive oil on each…

_DSC9152

and a generous amount of grated Beemster cheese.

_DSC9155

_DSC9156

Popped it under a 500 degree broiler until the cheese started to bubble…

_DSC9159

_DSC9157

Easy as that.

_DSC9162

Fabulous and full of flavor. I served mine with a side of spicy mustard.

Delicious!

_DSC9161

Cupid’s Breakfast Salad

12 Comments

~ Happy Valentine’s Day! ~ 

DSC_7494

This Valentine’s Day we’re thinking outside the chocolate box. Cupid is no dummy when it comes to starting the day off right. He has plenty of opportunities to eat sweets and goodies, but knows he’ll need to stay healthy and full of energy for the task at hand.

After all, being the symbol of love and master of attraction and affection is no easy task.

DSC_7482

Cupid’s Breakfast Salad is balanced beautifully with all kinds of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats.

DSC_7489

There’s even a little bacon on top to add a bit of salty, smokey, goodness.

Cupid knows that bacon spells L-O-V-E.

DSC_7488

His dressing is made with tart cherry juice, the deep and romantic color of the heart. Tart cherries reduce inflammation, lower the risk of stroke, fight that tummy jiggle, and are loaded with melatonin to give a peaceful start to the day.

Cupid wants only what’s best for you when it comes to matters of the heart and health.

DSC_7482

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ―Virginia Woolf

Cupid’s Breakfast Salad

2 Cups of Packed Organic Spinach, stems removed

1 Organic Red Chard Leaf, stem removed and sliced

1/2 of an Organic Avocado, cubed

1/2 of a Small Organic Apple, cubed

1 Organic Clementine, peeled with a knife, sectioned

4-5 Organic Strawberries, cubed, plus some for garnish

1 Slice of Organic Bacon Cooked Crisp, crumbled

4 Organic Pecans, sliced lengthwise

1 Medjool Date, seed removed and diced

Toss all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl.

Cupid’s Tart Cherry Dressing

4 teaspoons of Organic Lemon Juice

3 teaspoons of Pure Maple Syrup

2 Tablespoons of Avocado Oil

1/2 Cup of Organic Tart Cherry Juice

2 1/2 Tablespoons of So Delicious Greek Style Raspberry Coconut Milk Yogurt

Grated Rind of 1/2 of a Lemon

Pinch of Sea Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

Rind of 1 Lemon

Place all ingredients in a jar and screw lid on tightly. Shake until emulsified.

Spicy Sausage and Bean Soup & Lazy Man’s Garlic Bread

4 Comments

DSC_6849

I could live on soup.

In fact, as long as I had a nice variety, I literally would eat soup every day of my life for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have no idea why I feel this way about soup, but really, what’s not to like about it? Your options are endless. You can make a light soup or a hardy soup. You can make a puree or you can make one with all kinds of yummy texture and flavor. All I ask is that you don’t eat it out of a can.

Soup is easy to make yourself (not as easy as opening a can…but not much harder)  and the payoff is huge. Just the fact that you’ve created something delicious from scratch all on your own is a plus. The fact that you can control what’s in it…that’s the important part. No chemicals, creepy thickeners, hidden allergens, or crazy genetically modified who knows what for you. Just simple organic ingredients that are beneficial for the whole family.

Spicy Sausage & Bean Soup 

3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

1 Small Onion, chopped

1/2 Cup Celery, sliced thinly

2 Garlic Cloves, chopped

About 2 Cups of your favorite GF/DF sausage, sliced (I used Hot Italian Pork & Sweet Italian Chicken)

4 Large Tuscan Kale Leaves (rib removed) rolled, cut in half, and sliced thinly

1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme Leaves

1/2-1 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes (depends on how spicy you like it)

1 15 oz. Can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained

1 15 oz. Can Black Beans, rinsed and drained

8 Cups Chicken Broth

1/2 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

Kosher Salt & Pepper to taste

Add the olive oil to a dutch oven or large pot and heat. Saute the onion, celery, garlic, sliced sausage, kale, thyme, and red pepper until the sausage is cooked through and the onion and celery are becoming translucent. Add the beans, broth, and Old Bay Seasoning and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 15 minutes. Add kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

DSC_6845

Lazy Man’s Garlic Bread

*Super easy and a perfect way to use up leftover hamburger buns.

2 Udi’s Gluten Free Hamburger Buns

Earth Balance Soy Free Butter Spread

Garlic Powder

Dried Oregano

Open the buns and spread with butter. Sprinkle generously with garlic powder and dried oregano. Place under the broiler until golden.

DSC_6851

 

The Race Is On

4 Comments

DSC_5006Remember when I told you I was going to have a huge organic vegetable garden this summer?

I even started some of the longer growing seeds indoors for the first time. I had visions of canning and freezing and having all kinds of wonderful veggies and herbs to use throughout the winter.

58112_10151547472769259_1093253528_n

All was going well, they were beautiful, we bought the supplies to make three large raised gardens, I replanted the seedlings once they were strong enough into their secondary pots…

934733_10151568531659259_154129415_n

And then they all died.

It was quite disappointing.

DSC_4992

The thought of going through that all over again and then possibly losing them all in a massive downpour (which are common in NH) was just too much. We’ve only lived in this house for 7 months and we have been busy. Seriously busy. There’s a lot that goes on when you move 3,000 miles across the country to a new area and new home. Plus we’re having visitors for summer and fall…so I decided to set the garden aside until next year, when I could really give it some special attention.

DSC_4998

Unfortunately, now I’m kicking myself for not starting the organic garden. Not only is purchasing all of our organic vegetables a large expense every week,  for some reason the organic produce in the grocery stores here doesn’t last nearly as long as it did on the west coast. A lot of it comes from California so I’m guessing by the time it gets here, it’s already at least 5 to 6 days old.  Organic produce that’s already a week old! Certain things are also hard to find, like a simple red bell pepper. Very frustrating.

I’ve learned the hard way that we need to eat them up as quickly as possible. Throwing away organic vegetables is a pricey, awful, feeling.

So the race is on.

DSC_5002

When I get home from the store I make a huge salad, put it in an airtight container, and I eat salad every day for lunch and sometimes dinner until it’s gone.

Have you tried Schar’s gluten-free table crackers?

DSC_5008

I put the other vegetables in a zipper bag with a paper towel and that seems to hold them for a just a couple more days so we can have fresh vegetables with other meals.

Here’s the Trader Joe’s goat Gouda I’ve been telling you about.

Unbelievably fabulous.

DSC_5007

I’ve learned my lesson and won’t be procrastinating on our organic garden next spring!

Organic Chopped Veggie Salad

Purple Cabbage

Romaine Hearts

Baby Spinach Leaves

Celery

Carrots

Sweet Petite Peppers

Roma Tomatoes

Dice all veggies (shred the carrots) and place in an airtight container.

Dressing

1 part Organic Olive Oil

2 Parts Organic Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

Organic Oregano

Organic Raw Honey

Kosher Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper To Taste

Place all ingredients in a canning jar, tighten the lid, and shake to emulsify.

Breakfast As I See It

8 Comments

DSC_4950

Sometimes, I think I cannot face another egg for breakfast.

Boiled-Egg

(Photo – digitalbusstop.com)

I require protein in the morning if I’m going to make it through the day with any amount of energy. But honestly, I can only handle so many mornings of eggs

dsc_0108

and protein shakes.

f7616bb91879d3a48029de91e5a82df3

I do like leftovers for breakfast but couldn’t find one single leftover in the fridge besides chili. Chili for breakfast is pushing it, don’t you think?

The cinnamon rolls would be fabulous though…but not much protein there.

dsc_02001

So I went with a turkey sandwich. I was able to fit all of the important things in like protein, vegetables, and a carbohydrates.

DSC_4965

The only thing missing was bacon, because we ate the rest of it yesterday on some fabulous BLT’s for lunch.

Now bacon is another story. Ahhh….bacon. I don’t know anyone that doesn’t like it. And clearly, if you don’t like bacon – well, you’re just not going to be in my close circle of friends. Because bacon is a must if you’re going to enjoy life.

Have you tried the Applegate Sunday Bacon? So, very, good.

img_7117

If I thought I could live on bacon and peanut butter & chocolate pancakes every morning, now THAT would be my mainstay. But we all know what a daily diet of  bacon, chocolate, and peanut butter will lead to. An embarrassing trip to the cardiologist where I would have to admit that I’d been having a love affair with all the wrong foods.

dsc_3335

So to avoid that, “I wish I was invisible moment” with a heart doctor, I settled on a sandwich for breakfast this morning.

DSC_4970

~April’s Breakfast Sandwich~

2 Slices of Udi’s Gluten Free Bread

3 Slices of Applegate Organic Roasted Turkey 

Organic English Cucumber Slices

Organic Tomato Slices

Organic Broccoli Sprouts

Annie’s Organic Horseradish Mustard

Olive Oil Mayo

King Crab Salad with Creamy Avocado & Dill Dressing

8 Comments

DSC_4239

A couple of weeks ago I Googled recipes for salad dressing made with avocados. I made the mistake of trying the recipe right before we were going to eat and the very expensive, organic dressing ended up being poured down the drain. It was too vinegary, too acidic, and I couldn’t detect avocado anywhere in the dressing except in the color. In fact the dressing had no flavor at all. I hated to waste two organic avocados but down they went.

So yesterday when I was contemplating what to do with our leftover Mother’s Day King Crab legs, I thought I’d give an avocado dressing another try.

This time, I made up a recipe. It took all of 5 minutes and it tasted fantastic.

DSC_4243

King Crab Salad

*Makes 2 large personal sized salads.

2 Handfuls of Organic Baby Spinach

1 Head of Organic Romaine Lettuce, sliced

A Few Slices of Organic Red Onion, thinly sliced

1 Organic Tomato, chopped

1 Organic Avocado, chopped

2 Medium Organic Carrots, grated

Juice of 1/2 Organic Lemon, for drizzling over the avocado after it’s on the salad

About 1 1/2 Cups King Crab, chilled

Gluten Free Croutons

Divide the first 7 ingredients between two plates. Top with the crab (I pulled mine apart into bite sized pieces), sprinkle with croutons. Top with Creamy Avocado & Dill Dressing.

DSC_4244

Creamy Avocado & Dill Dressing

DSC_4236

*Makes about 1 Cup

1 Organic Avocado

1 1/2 teaspoons of Organic Dry Dill, you can use fresh if you have it

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

1/4 teaspoon Granulated Sugar

Juice of 2 Organic Lemons

1/4 Cup Olive Oil Mayonnaise

1/4 Cup Unsweetened Organic Almond Milk

2 or 3 Grinds of Fresh Pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

DSC_4229

Pretending It’s Spring

5 Comments

There’s not much more we can do, really.

Well, besides maybe whine and complain. But I think we’ve already tried that and it didn’t work.

So all that’s left is…pretending.

DSC_3528

We woke up this morning to eight inches of new snow. Yep.

And we’re supposed to get six to ten more inches before the day is over. It’s snowing heavily right now at 2:30 in the afternoon, so I’m going to assume the weather forecast was correct. Luckily snow is beautiful. Can you imagine if we had to endure months and months of something ugly falling out of the sky every year? See, it’s not hard to find something in this weather to be thankful for. I’ll hang on to that and keep pretending that this will all melt next week and it will warm up to at least the high 50’s so I can start working in the yard.

Today I made Tony and I a colorful lunch to help us get through the pretending of spring.

This whips up very quickly (maybe 10 minutes at the most) and serves two. We had about a cup leftover. Perfect for a bed for an egg “sunny” side up in the morning.

Warm Spring Salad

Organic Olive Oil

1 Chicken Sun Dried Tomato & Basil Sausage (I used Alfresco), sliced lengthwise then chopped

1 Small Organic Onion

About 1/2 Cup Organic Red & Orange Bell Pepper, sliced

About 1 Cup Organic Broccoli Florets, sliced

Large Handful Organic Baby Kale, chopped

Large Handful Organic Baby Spinach, chopped

1 Can Organic Black Beans, rinsed & drained

Blackberry Ginger Balsamic Vinaigrette

Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Saute the sausage, onion, pepper, and broccoli until sausage is lightly browned and vegetables are al dente. Add the black beans, kale, spinach, and toss until kale and spinach wilt. Season with salt and pepper and a few splashes of your favorite vinaigrette.

DSC_3527