Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Shrimp and Quinoa Stuffed Poblanos

I love chile rellenos and will order them whenever I spot one on a menu. But, they aren't exactly the healthiest since they are battered and deep fried with lots of cheese and sometimes fatty chorizo (oh so good). This is a healthy make-at-home spin on my favorite. I use fresh veggies and whole grains and bake them in a smoky tomato and roasted red pepper sauce.  You could use any veggies your have in the fridge or any leftover whole grains from a dinner early in the week.  Also, you could always skip the shrimp and do chicken or lean ground beef.


-5-6 poblano peppers
-2 cups of cooked quinoa or other whole grain
-1 cup corn (thawed from frozen or canned)
-1 cup white onion, chopped
-1 cup zucchini, chopped
-1 cup tomato, chopped 
-handful cilantro, roughly chopped
-1/2 cup cotija or other white cheese
-1 can fire roasted tomatoes
-1/2 jar roasted red peppers, drained

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

If you've been to the good ole' P.F. Changs restaurant chain, there's a good chance you've had their lettuce wraps and you probably know how filling they can be.  I'm not sure what their calorie count is per serving, but I feel pretty good about this recipe even when I serve it with a side of soba noodles.  Lean ground chicken, ginger, garlic, veggies and water chestnuts make a great filling for the crisp lettuce leaves.  You can serve these as an appetizer for a larger group or a full meal for a few people.  If you have extra, it freezes incredibly well and reheats to make a quick weeknight dinner.  Just grab some fresh bibb lettuce at the store and you're set. 


-1 lb. lean ground chicken breast
-4 green onions, chopped
-3 cloves of garlic, minced
-1 Tbsp minced ginger (or ginger from the jar)
-1 Tbsp coconut oil
-2 Tbsp sesame oil total (split in half)
-handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
-handful of carrot thinly sliced carrots
-1 can water chestnuts, drained and roughly chopped
-4 Tbsp hoisin sauce
-4 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
-3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
-salt and pepper to taste
-fresh bibb lettuce leaves for serving

Optional Spicy Dipping Sauce Ingredients: 

-2 Tbsp hoisin
-2 Tbsp Ponzu (citrus soy sauce)
-1-2 Tbsp sriracha

Thursday, May 8, 2014

KC Style Oven-Baked Ribs

Summer is soooo close, but it's still supposed to freeze this weekend.  I spotted a nice rack (of pork ribs...) at Trader Joe's this week so I snagged them, hoping to fire up the grill this week.  With near freezing temps and an epic thunderstorm yesterday evening, grilling wasn't an option.  I dug up an old oven recipe and the three ingredients proved magical as always: A lemon, my favorite rub, and my favorite BBQ sauce.  Low and slow in the oven and you have fall-off-the-bone pork, baby back ribs.  It was a picnic at our kitchen table last night while listening to the rain...not too shabby.


-1 rack of pork baby back ribs
-1 lemon
-favorite pork rub
-favorite BBQ sauce

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Salmon Poke

I was at a neighborhood sushi spot recently and one of the rolls was absolutely amazing: spicy and sweet and a bit crunchy.  It wasn't because of the roll though, it was the hawaiian-style salmon poke on top of the roll.  After chatting with the sushi chef and getting some tips on the ingredients, I think I nailed it pretty well with this recipe.  The key is to start with a very fresh, fatty piece of salmon.  My absolute favorite is Scottish Salmon.  If you live in Colorado you can get it at Tony's Meat Market or Marczyk's. If you live outside of Colorado you can order fresh Scottish Salmon fillet by the pound from Chef's Fresh Fish - an online seafood market. It will be delivered to your door the next day. It's the best salmon on earth...I promise.  Sushi-grade. Fatty. Clean-tasting. Buttery. Perfect!


-2 Tbsp light mayo
-2 tsp sriracha (or more or less, depending on your heat tolerance)
-1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
-2 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
-salt and pepper to taste

optional: 2-3 Tbsp panko breadcrumbs for crunch

Sunday, December 15, 2013

2013 Holiday Foodie Gift Guide

Whether you have a friend who is a foodie, beer drinker, or wine sipper, one of these gift will be perfect for the one who has everything. Have a friend or family member that keeps asking you for ideas to get you? I bet you could have fun with one of these things, so pass it along! I've tried about 90% of these and the other few I'm dying to try.

1. DRAM Cocktail Bitters - Shae Whitney is an herbal alchemist who makes these cocktail bitters in her mountain town of Silverplume, Colorado. They're a perfect way to bring a whole new level to your drinks. Two of my favorite are the honey chamomile and wild mountain sage.

2. Ribbon Vegetable Peeler - You know those long ribbons of vegetables people use as a healthy alternative to pasta? How do they do that!?! With this little guy.

3. Badger Mountain Pure Red Organic Boxed Wine - I will drive out of my way for this wine...and yes, I know it is boxed.  A sommelier (master-o-wine) once told this was his favorited boxed wine and I agree.  Organic = no added sulfites = much less of a hangover (at least for me)

4. The Victorinox 8-inch Chef's Knife - I use this every day. Multiple times a day.  This is the most reasonably priced knife for how amazing it is. It's even been rated a top pick by Cook's Illustrated multiple times.

5. Fiesta Juan's Spinach Artichoke Dip Mix - I grew up eating this stuff and still serve on a regular basis.  I'm a KC girl so I have a special place in my heart for this KC-based dip and sauce company. Mix 1/4 jar with a block of cream's spicy and amazing!!

6. Oyster Gift of The Month Club - Oyster Lover? Shipped to your home once a month with 4 dozen oysters, 2 east coast and 2 west coast varieties.  The first shipment even comes with an oyster shucking glove and knife. They also have a ton of other fresh seafood that would make the perfect gift.

7. Italian Cheese Kit - Make 10 different types of cheese with kit. Just add milk.  I think this would be a great thing to do with a friend before a party. Really impress your guests when you tell them you MADE the cheese platter.

8. Cuppow - The mason jar trend just keeps on growing.  This company makes attachments for your mason jars.  Cups to hold dips or salad dressing, sippy-cup lid, a martini shaker, and a pour-over coffee attachment. Genius.

9. Helliemae's Salted Caramels - Some of the most gourmet caramels I've ever put in my mouth.  Ellen aka Helliemae handcrafts amazing flavors such as chili palmer, candy cane, cardamom, and coffee. Oh, and she's a fellow Denver-gal!

10. Giant Ice Cube Tray - Perfect if you know a "sipper" of whiskey, gin or vodka. This has become one of the most used items in my kitchen.  At first we started with just water, but then got crazy and made apple-juice ice cubes with an orange twist frozen inside.  Imagine a whiskey with that beautiful baby!?

11. Olli Salame - I was at a food show this week and couldn't stop eating every variety Olli had.  They're newest gift packed lets you mix-and-match your favorite salame's.  An easy way to make a custom charcuterie platter.

12. Captain Spongefoot Honey Sriracha Sauce - If you know a sriracha feen, then this is for them.  Sriracha turned a bit more gourmet with a touch of honey.  The same amount of heat hits your tongue at the end but it has a sweeter beginning.  I use this as a fabulous glaze on fish and chicken.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Baked Brie with a Brown Sugar Brandy Sauce

Baked Brie is a pretty amazing holiday party appetizer. If there isn't some of this melted cheese at a party, it's a real shame.  Bring this EASY appetizer recipe to your next get-together. It's only a few minutes hands-on time to make the sauce, drizzle on the brie and then bake.  If you're bringing it to a party you can make the sauce beforehand and just bake once you get to there.  Here are a few more easy holiday appetizers


-1 cup brandy
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 wheel of brie

optional garnishes: 

-nuts such as pine nuts, pecans, or walnuts
-earthy herbs such as lavender flowers, rosemary or sage

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Spicy Carrot Ginger Soup

I first had a version of this soup at a friend's house. They purchased the prepared soup at Whole Foods. It was delicious! A perfect way to start a meal.  I figured I had to make it myself so I found a recipe and tweaked it a bit. I also added some fun garnishes because I think not only do they make the soup more visually appealing, but they add more flavor and substance. 


-1 large yellow onion (or two small)
-8 cups of vegetable broth
-6 cloves of garlic
-2 lbs of carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
-2 medium yukon gold potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
-3 Tbsp of freshly grated ginger
-1 Tbsp. cumin
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-2 tsp. jalepeno powder (optional)
-2 Tbsp salt
-3 Tbsp sugar
-2 tsp lemon juice

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