"For I was hungry & you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty & you gave me something to drink..."

Matthew 25:35

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Chipotle's Inspired Crock Pot Barbacoa Beef

another staple (besides Cilantro Lime Rice) in my Chipotle burrito is their Barbacoa Beef.  it's a spicy shredded beef that they braise in magic. magic that i assume consists of chipotle adobe, cumin, cloves, garlic, onions & etc etc. 

sadly, the 1/2 cup or so serving that they allot you is not nearly enough.

& sadly again, daily Chipotle is not in the budget. but snagging a $10 rump roast from the grocery store & popping it in the crockpot is more than doable. 

Chipotle's Inspired Crock Pot Barbacoa Beef (adapted from skinny taste)
You Need:
3 lbs beef eye or round or rump round roast, fat trimmed
5 cloves of garlic
1/2 medium onion
1/2 lime, juiced
2-4 chipotles in adobe sauce (i used 2)
1 tblsp ground cumin
1 tblsp ground oregano
1/2 tsp ground cloves
salt & pepper
3 bay leaves
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup water

Directions: Place the garlic, onion, lime juice, cumin, oregano, chipotles & cloves in a food chopper (i used the mini Ninja chopper & it took like 10 seconds) or blender. Puree.

Trim all the fat off the beef & cut into 4 inch chunks. Rub with the olive oil & season with salt & pepper. Toss the beef into a crock pot along with the water, bay leaves & pureed spices. 

Cook on low for 8 hours. Once your beef is tender, remove it from the crock pot with a slotted spoon. Place it into a medium sized bowl & shred with 2 forks. Once shredded, put the beef into a small saucepan along with about 1 cup of the liquid from the crock pot. Add a little more cumin & adobe sauce (to taste) & simmer uncovered on low for about 10-15 minutes.

I served this over Cilantro Lime Rice & some sauteed corn. I also tossed on a handful of shredded cheese & a scoop of sour cream. crazy good.

this makes about 9 servings @ 4oz each.
- 161 calories
- 5.0g fat
- 24.9g protein
- 2.8g carbs
- 0.7g fiber
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Chipotle's "Skinny" Cilantro Lime Rice

normally cilantro & i don't get along very well. i find it rather pungent & overwhelming. but then along came Chipotle, with their Cilantro Lime Rice, to make a believer out of me.

"would you like some cilantro lime rice with that?"
"cilantro? ew. no thanks."
"it's really good. like, seriously."
"weeeell...i don't know..."
::girl puts rice in my burrito::
"i promise you'll love it & if you don't your lunch is on us."
"oh snap. thanks!"
::i eat rice. the heavens open & shine down on said girl. she looks at me & smiles knowingly::

yes. that is exactly how it happened.

i'd eat it daily if my wallet & waistline were none the wiser.
but i'll settle for every now & again...& now with this recipe, a couple times per month.

(please see below that i have directions for your rice cooker & the stovetop)

Chipotle's "Skinny" Cilantro Lime Rice (adapted from skinny taste)
You Need:
1 1/2 cups of white Jasmine rice*
the juice of 1/2 a lime
2 cups of water*
1tsp salt
1 1/2 tblsp blended cilantro
3 tsp vegetable oil

*Rice Cooker Directions: Pour your rice, water & 1 tsp oil into your rice cooker. Cook rice according to directions. Let the rice sit for a good 15-20 minutes after it's done.
Once it's ready, add the remaining oil & the lime juice, cilantro & salt. Toss together until completely mixed.

Stovetop Directions: Cut the rice down to 1 cup. In a medium saucepan add the rice, water, 1 tsp of oil & the salt. Boil on high until the water just skims the top of the ride. Reduce heat to low, cover & simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat & leave it covered for another 5-10 minutes.

Toss with the above ingredients as directed.

Now- you can go ahead & use fresh cilantro if that's what floats your boat- but since i don't keep cilantro on hand (fresh) i used this stuff instead:

it's super convenient & allows me to have "fresh" herbs on hand that last. i do think it's pretty strong so i cut it down to 1 1/2 tblsp vs. the 3 that you can use if you use fresh cilantro.

this makes 4 servings (3/4 cup) at:
- 201 calories
- 3.4 fat
- 37.4 carbs
4.0 g protein

i actually upped my rice to 2 cups & 3 cups of water & made extra to freeze for lunches later in the week. i layer it up with some corn, cheese, sour cream & Barbacoa Beef & it's like i'm sitting in Chipotle.

p.s. i ALWAYS use my rice cooker to make rice. for whatever reason i usually FAIL at stovetop rice- so a rice cooker is the way to go in my opinion.

p.p.s. this pairs perfectly with some Chipotle's Inspired Barbacoa Beef

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Lemon Ricotta Cookies

cookies made with Italian cheese...intriguing. & amazing. & a great way to get rid of the extra ricotta cheese in your fridge. if you have any- like i always seem to (lofty goals to make lasagna...blah blah)

these are fluffy & cakey & packed with lemon flavor. i purposely made them on my "cheat" day so i could inhale 2...or 7.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies (via sweet peony)
You Need:
For the Cookies:
2 1/2 cups of flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 sick unsalted butter, room temp
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 (15 oz) container of whole milk ricotta cheese
3 tblsp lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon

For the glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tblsp lemon juice
the zest of 1 lemon

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 & line 2 baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper
For the cookies: Sift together the flour, baking powder & salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of astand mixer, cream together the butter & sugar until fluffy (3 min or so). Add the eggs 1 at a time & beat after each one until incorporated. Add the ricotta, lemon juice & zest. Combine.

Turn the mixer to low & add in the dry ingredients.
Scoop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheets & bake for 12-15 min, or just until lightly browned around the edges. Let the cookies cool or a few mintes & transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the glaze: Combine all the ingredients n a small bowl, whisking until smooth. Spoon about 1/2 tsp of the glaze onto each cookie & gently spread.
Allow the glaze to harden for 2 hours.

Might I also suggest snagging one of these while still warm, spreading it with glaze & eating it asap. Divine.

* i got about 55 cookies @ 93 calories per serving (1 cookie = 1 serving)
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Whole wheat banana bread with granola and Greek yogurt

i think i've only met one person in my life who didn't like banana bread.

that person & i are not friends. i have standards after all.

the thing about banana bread is that there are an insane amount of variations. healthy, not healthy, dense, light, with chocolate chips, without, nuts (gag), no nuts (yay), etc etc.

well this one is healthy. chock full of awesome things that you read about in healthy living magazines. it's also only 255 calories per slice (a nice thick slice @ that)- & that's a win in my calorie counting book.

Whole wheat banana bread with granola and Greek yogurt (adapted from eat travel write)
You Need:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oats*
1/4 cup ground flax seeds
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup light brown sugar*
1 tsp molasses*
1/2 cup Greek Honey Yogurt
2 tblsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup granola*
3 ripe medium banana, mashed*

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 & lightly oil a 9inch loaf pan
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, oats, flax seeds, baking powder & salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the milk, eggs, brown sugar, molasses, yogurt & oil.
Add both eggs to the mix & then stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.
Stir in the bananas & granola.
Pur the mixture into the prepared loaf pan & bake for about 40 minutes (until a toothpick inserted comes out clean)
Cool in the loaf pan for 5-10 minutes before removing & slicing. Enjoy warm or room temp.

*A few things
1. i actually forgot to add my oats. My bread took around 1 hour to cook & this is probably why. it was still perfectly good without the oats so if you don't have them on hand or you don't like them, feel free to leave them out & bake a little bit longer. i like oats though so next time i'll be sure to add them.
2. you can use Dark Brown Sugar instead of light brown sugar + molasses. i only used molasses + light bs because i ran out of dark bs.
3. use any kind of granola you can find. all i had on hand was some Archer Farms Cherry, Chocolate & Hazelnut granola cereal & i used that. still incredible.
4. i always keep a bunch of ripe bananas in the freezer. take them out 30 minutes before you need them & they thaw & slide into your recipe quite nicely.
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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Basil Infused Mashed Potatoes

lately my constant snacking & cleaning of my children's plates is catching up with me. we had a rash of hot weather a few weeks back & when i pulled on the short i wore last summer...they were a bit tight. totally whack. do people still say whack?

anyway- so i decided it was time to start watching what i eat ::sob::
i started this past monday & after entering all of my info into SparkPeople.com i was informed that my goal is 1200-1500 calories per day. plus they want me to workout or some crap like that.
dear God. seriously?! i mean, 2 cookies is like 300 calories alone. & a brownie is like 500. & a plate of pasta smothered in cheese was bordering on 900 alone.
insanity. but a flashback of me wiggling into my too tight shorts made me realize that, sadly, i have no choice.

so for me, i want you to make these mashed potatoes & enjoy them. because i can't. well, i can, just not as much as i used to. bummer.

Basil Infused Mashed Potatoes
You Need:
4 large russet potatoes
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
6 tblsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup basil leaves
salt & pepper to taste

Directions: Pour your whipping cream into a microwave safe bowl & add the basil leaves. Pop it into the oven for about 3 minutes. Stop & stir after each minute.
After 3 minutes your cream should be nice & hot. Give it a final stir & let it sit while you boil your potatoes.

Peel & chop & boil your potatoes. Drain.

Go back to your cream of remove & discard the basil leaves.

Using the same pot that you boiled the potatoes in, melt your butter (on low heat) & add your cream. Toss in some salt (i use about 1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt) & pepper & turn off the heat.

Start ricing your potatoes into the cream & butter mixture.

NOTE: I always use a ricer for my mashed potatoes. They so creamy & smooth & lumpless that way. But you don't have to- if you don't have a ricer you can simply melt your butter, stor in your cream & then pour it into the bowl of your stand or hand mixer (whichever you use) & whip as usual

Once you've riced in all of your potatoes, stir everything together until combined.

Dish out as is or go ahead & add more butter or salt & pepper or cheese or whatever it is you add to mashed potatoes.
I did allow myself to lick the spoon & insert an addtl mouthful..or two because hello, i have to taste test for you guys.
These were awesome. Full of basil flavor but not too much- perfect.

I also went ahead & figured out the Calories & such for these bad boys:

Servings: 6
Per Serving
- Calories: 407
- Carbs: 40
-Fat: 25
-Protein: 4

so if the amount you make is split between 6 people (which i figured was pretty reasonable considering that you normally eat mashed potatoes as a side) it's actually not terrible calorie wise. not good, but not terrible.
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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Nutella Swirl Peanut Butter Cookies

i'm not a big peanut butter cookie fan. i won't kick one out of bed if it happens to crawl in- but i don't go out of my way to eat them.
the husband on the other hand, he invites them into his bed. then he rolls around with them. that's how much he loves them.
so i really made these for him & only a little bit for me (because hello, Nutella)

Nutella Swirl Peanut Butter Cookies (via domestic adventure via delightful bitefuls)
You Need:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Approx. 1/4 cup Nutella, i warm mine up for about 20 seconds in the microwave to make it flow

Directions: Preheat oven to 350°
Combine butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla. Mix until well blended.
Add flour, baking soda and salt. Drizzle Nutella on top of the dough then swirl it through the dough with a butter knife or spatula.

Chill dough 15 minutes in the refrigerator. Roll into balls by hand. Place on parchment or Silpat lined cookie sheet. Using a fork, press down the balls to flatten slightly. Bake until edges are very lightly browned (about 7 to 10 minutes).
Allow to rest 2 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring cookies to a cooling rack.

quickly take some pictures & then allow your husband & children to channel their inner vulture.
p.s. these were good- even to a non- pb cookie loving girl
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