Wednesday, December 28, 2011

food, food, and more food.

Does anyone else ever feel like all you do at Christmas is eat? I had such great food, but between driving to get the food, preparing the food, driving to go out to eat, driving home and then ordering more food, that is really all I did over Christmas. I am most certainly not complaining. My brother-in-law is an amazing cook, so he gets stuck with making us Christmas dinner every year. He has the distinct honor of making the second and third best steakes I have ever had in my life. This year's menu included pork roast, mushroom risotto, and homemade mac n cheese. Awesome. Heavy. (Marty, is there a problem with gravity in the future? I knew it!)

So, this inspires me to think about healthy winter foods; things that are much, much better for me, but still comforting and hearty. Here are just some of the things I have found around the web. I have tried some of them and want to try others.

1. Salmon with lemon and capers. It is some kind of understatement to say that this was amazing. It was easy, fast, worry free, and best of all, it is cooked in foil, so there is little to no clean up. Do it.

2. Butternut Squash with Gnocchi and Kale. One pot. Many flavors. It is lighter than it sounds and kale is a super healthy veggie- quickly becoming one of my favorites. Unlike my co-worker Jordan who gained a distaste for it because he grew up eating kale chips, I discovered kale later in life and I am in love. Check out this rice recipe. Awesome.

3. Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes. I pulled this off a blog called, and she in-turn pulled it off of someone else's blog, I think. I have posted the link to the original bog here. In any case, I have been obsessed with foodgawker. Go there. Amazing and tasty things await you. This also only takes one pan, and I am anxious to try it.People are coming to my house for NYE weekend, and perchance I shall force them to try it.  I am sensing a theme here of one-pan meals. That was not my purpose, but now that it is here, I will just run with it. Doesn't that just make you so happy? One-pan meals? Handy.

4. Quinoa and Black Beans with Salsa. This was a suggestion from my friend, Annie; and it was a very good call. A great call. Almost the kind of right-on-the-money-game-winning-in-the-end-zone-by-an-inch call, except that Annie does not love football, she is really more of a basketball, baseball fan. The problem being that I don't know those sports well enough to use a really great analogy, so football is it, baby. This is not the point. Annie gave me a recipe very similar to this one. Here are the modifications on the recipe listed above:
start with 2 tsp cumin seeds (or 1tsp cumin). heat with oil for 2 min to bring out the flavor.
add in:
1 can black bean soup
1 c. salsa
1 can drained and rinsed black beans
2 Tbs (less or more to taste) of pickled jalapenos (yes, that is right, but they are super tasty and really needed in this recipe and easy to find in Hispanic foods section)
water and quinoa.
Cook everything else as directed.

5. Pan Roasted Salmon and Bread Salad. I have not tried this, but it looks amazing and easy. I am on a bit of a Salmon kick.

6. Mocha Peppermint Cookies. Okay, I am cheating a little bit, this is not healthy nor one pan, but it was darn tasty. Try them.

This is all. Happy cooking to us all and to all a good night.