We’ve been super busy here the last few weeks between projects, spring cleaning, enjoying the first warm weather of the season, shopping, and finals (for me at least). I’m looking forward to writing about two new projects we’ve been working on. One of them is a secret because its a surprise for a friend so you’ll have to stay tuned until next month. The other is the “desk project”. Isaac got a great idea from his dad to use a solid core slab door (purchasable at any home improvement store) as the top surface for a desk. We bought two glass L-shape desks from an office supply store years ago and suffice it to say that they just weren’t working well enough for our needs. Anyone want a glass desk? We have two for sale now ;o) The new desks are being stained and finished right now, so pictures will be available in a week or so…
Moving on to food! I have so many recipes to blog that I think I’ll be blogging two at a time for awhile. Today I’m blogging Tuna Salad (don’t hang up the phone yet!) and Chilled Avocado Soup.
This is NOT your mom’s tuna salad. No offense moms. I still love your tuna salad sandwiches! What I mean by “not your mom’s tuna salad” is that it is more than just mayo and a can of tuna. There is so much flavor in this recipe. I’ve had this for lunch everyday for about a week and I’m not bored – which speaks millions for this recipe. Ok. Here it is (An Our Best Bites Recipe):
- 1 6-oz. can tuna
- 1 stalk celery, minced
- 1/2 small tart apple, chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1/3 c. light mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard (or honey mustard)
- 1/8 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. pickle relish
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/4 c. sliced almonds, toasted
Mix the first 4 ingredients in one bowl, the next 5 ingredients in another bowl, then combine the two bowls. Add almonds to garnish. Here’s where I got the recipe: http://www.ourbestbites.com/2009/01/tuna-salad/
They use curry powder, I use cumin and coriander. The apples taste awesome with this mix – don’t skip them! You can imagine this recipe is as adaptable as you want it to be. I was excited about the cumin and coriander. I found that it makes ~5-6 sandwiches and using light mayo this is lower in calories than the normal bologna and cheese!
Chilled Avocado Soup
A Cooking for 2 recipe. I love avocado and if I’m a connoisseur of anything its soup. I like this so much – its a great summertime treat and its a healthy fat right? =) Make sure you serve it cold!
- 4 Servings
- Prep: 10 min. + chilling
- 3/4 cup equals 125 calories, 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 10 mg cholesterol, 371 mg sodium, 6 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 4 g protein.
- 1 medium ripe avocado, peeled, halved and pitted
- 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 1-1/2 teaspoons minced fresh cilantro
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
- Dash cayenne pepper
- Dash pepper
Place avocado in a blender, cover and process until smooth. While processing, gradually add broth; process until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients; cover and process until blended. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.
Could a soup be any easier? Don’t skip the cayenne! Try it!
As some of you may know, Isaac is finally home after almost one and a half years of commuting from Wyoming to Indiana (Indianapolis on the weekdays, Laramie on the weekends)! I don’t know when he will be traveling again, but for now I’m elated to have him home. Not to mention that there is now some semblance of a normal schedule in our lives. This has been particularly helpful as we train for the Inca Trail in July – more on that later.
What I really wanted to start blogging about tonight was food! I’m not sure if I qualify as a foodie or not, but I like delicious homemade flavors and have recently been on a quest to kick out bad food habits (i.e. fast food & frozen dinners). One of my challenges with cooking is simply that I strongly dislike leftovers. I know, I know – how could I? There are some leftovers that I do like, but I happen to be very particular about them (i.e. my mother-in-law’s leftovers that always taste fresh OR my mom Debbie’s pasta salads which taste better with time). This aversion to leftovers makes it somewhat difficult to cook for two people without being wasteful. Now that Isaac is home and frozen dinners are out, I’m challenged. The solution to my leftover-issues has come mostly from online sources. My hope is that I can share some of my most favorite recipes and that I can get some feedback on what you think too! =)
There are two recipes I thought I’d share to start this blog off: Hominy Sausage Soup and Chocolate Drizzled Strawberries Cream Pie
Hominy Sausage Soup
A Cooking for 2 recipe. Isaac made this for me after my wisdom teeth came out a few weeks ago. He had to puree it, but it was awesome anyway! Hominy reminds me of my dad, and in that sense this soup is very comforting.
Be warned that it is a bit spicy, but you don’t have to use the jalapeno. Also, I used ground cumin rather than seeds.
- 2 Servings
- Prep: 10 min. Cook: 25 min.
- 1-1/4 cups equals 276 calories, 18 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 47 mg cholesterol, 1,768 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 15 g protein.
- 1/4 pound bulk pork sausage
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 3/4 cup canned hominy, rinsed and drained
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped jalapeno pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- Crumble sausage into a small skillet. Cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. In a small saucepan, toast cumin seeds over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until browned. Stir in coriander and cayenne; cook and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the broth, hominy, jalapeno, pepper and sausage. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 12-15 minutes or until heated through. Stir in cilantro. Yield: 2 servings.
Chocolate-Drizzled Strawberries Cream Pie
An Our Best Bites recipe. I made this for a Fellowship of Christian Graduate Students dinner last Saturday. It was sinfully delicious. So so so so good. Its like a lighter no-bake version of cheesecake! As strawberries come into season, this recipe is a must make! Its super fast/easy and looks like you spent hours.
- 1 quart fresh strawberries
- 1 8-oz. package cream cheese at room temperature (light is fine)
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/4 c. packed light brown sugar
- 1 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 c. powdered sugar
- 1 9″ graham cracker crust
- 1-2 ounces chocolate
- In a medium bowl, beat the softened cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla until light and fluffy. In a separate large bowl, beat the whipping cream and powdered sugar until medium peaks form. Add about 1 c. of the whipping cream mixture to the cream cheese mixture. Beat until smooth and well-combined. Add the remaining whipping cream mixture and mix until just combined. Spread in the graham cracker crust and refrigerate for a few minutes while you prepare the strawberries.
- Wash the strawberries and cut off the stems. Blot dry with a paper towel and then gently press, cut side down, into the whipped cream mixture. Set aside.
- If using a chocolate bar, break it into equal pieces and place in a small Ziploc snack bag. Microwave for 1-1 1/2 minutes, stopping the microwave every 20 seconds to mash the bag. You want the chocolate to be melted but not hot at all. When the chocolate is melted, snip a corner off the bag and drizzle it over the strawberries. Refrigerate for at least three hours before serving. Serves 8-10.
Here is the link for pictures: http://www.ourbestbites.com/2011/04/chocolate-drizzled-strawberries-and-cream-pie/