Batter Licker

April 14, 2010

quick and healthy smoothie with berries, almond milk, and kale

Filed under: breakfast, brunch,fruit,vegan,veggies — Tags: , , , , , — Kristen @ 11:20 pm

If I had known breakfast could taste like a berry-vanilla milkshake, I would never have become a Pop-Tarts fanatic in elementary and middle school or a Cocoa Krispies junkie in high school or a leftover-pizza-for-breakfast snarfer in college.

And that’s not even taking into account how quick and easy this smoothie is, much less the fact that it is incredibly healthy and full of vitamins (thank you, leafy green kale). Check out the nutrition facts listed at the end of this post if you don’t believe me.

But to find out whether this good-for-you, quick-to-make-and-consume smoothie actually tastes like a berry-vanilla milkshake, you’re just going to have to make it yourself. And I’ll tell you a little secret: (more…)

April 13, 2010

lamb souvlaki salad with tsatsiki and cumin pita chips

This Greek salad with lamb, tsatsiki (cucumber-yogurt sauce), and oven-baked cumin pita chips is not only healthy, but also the fastest, easiest, most delicious dinner ever – especially if you had a figurative ton of lamb’s meat left over from, oh, I don’t know, last week’s roasted leg of lamb, perhaps?

Last week’s roasted leg of lamb was delicious enough to finish in one sitting, had it not contained enough meat to feed an entire family or had we actually been a family of six and not a mere twosome. But at the meal’s end, I was left with approximately 2/3 of the original amount of lamb. Knowing that I had already sated my lamb cravings for the week, I set about dicing the meat. And then I did something that some of you will find horrific: I froze the diced meat.

Ordinarily, I would never have frozen the cooked meat of a succulently home-roasted leg of lamb (or any other already-cooked meat, really) … except chili. (But real chili takes a very long time, is meant for large batches, and holds up for quite a few months in the freezer – upon defrosting, it tastes even better, in fact.) But due to the outrageous amount of lamb already consumed and massive amount of lamb still to-be-consumed, there were only three options: (more…)

April 11, 2010

sun-dried tomato-spinach sauce and pasta on broiled portobello plate and poached egg on capellini carbonara

The first time I had a giant portobello mushroom was back when I thought vegetarians were weird and the only mushrooms I had ever known were of the button variety, came presliced and packaged in plastic wrap, and didn’t really do anything for me. But then my aunt served me a grilled burger whose patty was – gasp! – a giant mushroom. The surprisingly meatiness of the mushroom, in combination with its smokey flavor, was so satisfying that I barely missed the meat.

This time around, I got a little too excited at the prospect of using a portobello mushroom as the hearty plate for a smaller pasta dish, and went a bit overboard. Essentially, I made one initially confused dish, but was able to modify it into two separate, fantastic recipes that ended up working wonderfully. Part of the initial problem was that I really wanted to pair the mushroom with a more robust and fresh sun-dried tomato and spinach sauce, while Jay was in the mood for a cabonara sauce (egg, Parmesan, and bacon – or, in our case, pancetta). But, in trying to please both of us, I just did too much.

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So please do as I say, not as I did. The sun-dried tomato and spinach sauce, unlike the carbonara, did a wonderful job of standing up to and enhancing the smokey, meaty portobello. I also liked that the sauce tasted delicious and fresh, and that the whole sauce-pasta-mushroom combination was healthy yet seemed very hearty (despite a smaller pasta serving) thanks to the mushroom.

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While I wasn’t the biggest fan of my initial carbonara-on-portobello combo because the mushroom completely overpowered the simplicity of the carbonara, I really loved how much more fun – and tasty – the carbonara became with a poached egg on top. (more…)

April 7, 2010

roasted leg of lamb

Filed under: lamb — Tags: , , , — Kristen @ 5:06 pm

Looking for something to highlight all the amazing flavors and texture of that cherry-pistachio-cocoa powder couscous I recently raved about? Well, here it is: an easy peasy lemon squeezy recipe for roasted leg of lamb (except no lemon squeezing, please).

I’m a little ashamed to admit that I failed to take any pictures of the sliced meat. You see, while this baby was roasting in the oven, my hungry self had to endure the worst waiting game. First, I tried to distract myself by doing homework, but that didn’t work very well. I’m always looking for distractions from homework as it is (and this particular homework featured some very dense reading about corporate finance and the various details involved in financial statements), so the incredible smell of roasting lamb constantly drifting into my nose was a necessary and welcome distraction from homework, but not from my rumbly tummy.

So then I tried doing laundry. We had a nice big pile of it laying around anyway, so might as well exorcise the hauntingly delicious smell of lamb from my nostrils by taking a trip down the hall to the laundry room. (more…)

April 6, 2010

couscous with dried cherries, pistachios, orange zest, and cocoa powder

Filed under: fruit,grains,mediterranean,salad,vegan — Tags: , , , , — Kristen @ 11:28 am

Couscous: the food so nice, they named it twice! So I can only imagine how many times over they might have named it had they added a little cocoa powder. For those I almost lost on that cocoa powder suggestion, don’t worry – the cocoa flavor is on the back end , not up-front, in-your-face chocolate like these.

Rather, a bite tastes something like this: the tart-yet-sweetness of cherries, followed by a hint of bright citrus from the orange zest, balanced against the delicate buttery-nutty flavor of pistachios, and finally the subtle yet discernibly nutty chocolateyness of unsweetened cocoa-powder flavoring the couscous.

Beyond the interesting and delicious flavors involved, this dish has an amazing texture – from the chewiness of the cherries to the crunch of pistachios, to the spongy grains of couscous. (more…)

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