Thursday, March 28, 2013

A Quickie

Sometimes, we all need a quickie!

What I mean, of course, is a quick recipe that we can throw together on a moment's notice. Dirty, dirty mind. A recipe that can usually be put together using ingredients you already have in your pantry. Or one that uses a few pre-made ingredients to make for an easy assembly.

The thing about those quick recipes is that they usually make me feel like a fraud. A recipe that uses a pre-made pie crust....well, that just feels like cheating to me. But when it needs to be done, it needs to be done.

My job looks upon potluck celebrations quite favorable. In that there is at least one potluck event a month! This month, a fellow coworker's wife is pregnant and we had a baby shower for he and his wife. Considering it was to be held at a 10:30 meeting, it needed to be something that was a nice compromise between breakfast and lunch. And easy enough to make for a Monday morning.

Quiche was the first thing that came to mind. It's one of those quick, straightforward recipes that can easily be made in advanced and re-heated.

Pan Roasted Veggie Quiche

by Bonnie Graham
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Keywords: bake entree eggs spinach
Ingredients (1 large quiche)
  • 1 premade pie crust, defrosted
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c frozen spinach
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/3 c milk
  • 1/3 c shredded cheddar or cheese of choice
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Add onion, garlic, and red pepper with oil to a saute pan. Saute veggies over medium high heat until soften, about 8 - 10 minutes.
3. Add frozen spinach to the pan, reduce heat to low, and cover. Cook for an additional 4 - 5 minutes.
4. While the veggies cook, place pie crust in a 9 inch pie plate. Once pie crust is in the baking pan, spray or rub oil on the crust and prick with a fork. This will build a moisture barrier for the eggs as well as stop the crust from bubbling up.
5. Once spinach is de-thawed, uncover and let veggies cool for a few minutes.
6. Beat together the eggs, milk, and cheese. Add paprika, salt, and pepper.
7. Mix veggies and eggs together. Pour into pie crust. Place aluminum foil around the edges of the crust to prevent the crust from burning.
8. Bake quiche for 15 minutes at 400 degrees. Then reduce heat to 350 for 45 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes before serving.
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Tuesday, March 26, 2013


You may have noticed in my "30 Intentions in 2013" that I had "MAKE STUFF" very clearly listed.

Obviously, I make stuff all the time, right? Wouldn't be much of food blog if there weren't some recipes on it!? But, the intention to "MAKE STUFF" is slightly different then my usual day-to-day recipes. This intention to really make stuff!

Clarifies it, doesn't it?

Like stuff you would normally just buy, but can make yourself with some time and energy. Stuff that when you say "I made that myself," people are impressed, nay, amazed! You made this? I didn't even know you could make this yourself!

Yeah, man, that kind of stuff!

Homemade Stuff for 2013
Good whole wheat bread - I'm sure we've all had plenty of NOT good whole wheat bread
Greek yogurt
Almond milk
Ricotta, mozzarella and goat cheese
Infused alcohols
Veggie broth (from scraps)

I am sure that the list will grow from here, but this is for starters. I'll keep you updated.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Last of the Snow Days

We had this random snow day last week. It was barely any snow at all, yet the schools closed, alternate side street parking was suspended, everyone acted as though this was the Blizzard of the Century. By mid-day, the snow had melt off my car all by itself.

However, I took advantage of the weather and called into work. No one wants to come out in bad weather anyway. At least, that's how I justified it.

I also took advantage of the fact that this is probably my last opportunity to make a gigantic batch of warming chili before Spring is underway and the craving for fresh veggies and salads overtakes any desire for something hearty. Plus, this was a recipe I could whip up using what was already in my pantry, not having to venture into the "snowstorm."

Smoky Black Bean, Sweet Potato, and Quinoa Chili

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: soup/stew avocado beans quinoa sweet potato
Ingredients (A lot of chili)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced small
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp Smoky Chipotle and Paprika spice (you can just do one of each separately if you have it)
  • 2 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into small cubes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2 c cooked quinoa
  • 2 can black beans (15.5 oz), drained
  • 4 cups water or broth, plus more to thin if desired
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced
1. Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, carrots and salt; saute for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent.
2. Add the sweet potatoes and spices. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring frequently so spices do not burn.
3. Add the black beans, water or broth, and tomato. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to medium, add diced sweet potatoes. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
4. Add quinoa to chili and let cook for an additional 10 minutes.
5. Spoon chili into bowls and garnish with avocado. Enjoy!
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Sunday, March 17, 2013


I know you read this blog not because of your interest in me and my life, but rather that you're here merely to learn more about Jackson. It's okay. I get it. He's furry and black. We all love furry, black things, don't we? Unless they squeak and dart out from between garbage cans on the street. Ah, the wonders of New York City.  

When the time came to move Jackson again, I was really worried. He and Bilo had formed such a sweet bond that I feared he would never forgive me from separating him from his BFF (best friends forever, Mom). Maybe there was a little bit of projection onto Jackson going on. Maybe.

It was the saddest thing when they said goodbye, nose to nose with nothing but the mesh of Jackson's carrier between them. I tear up whenever I think about it. 
He's so emo.
For the first few days, Jackson didn't eat anything, which is HUGE for such a fat kid kitty. He barely came out from underneath the bed, jumped at every little noise. I was really feeling badly. Except that he also purred every time he saw me, curled up around me at night, and just seemed to be more attached. 

Over a period of few days, he started to come out more and more. More purring and playfulness each day. He started to do things that I hadn't seen him do since before our move, including chase the laser pointer, his favorite toy, and leave dry food in his bowl for later. He actually started to seem....happy. 

Then, a few weeks ago, a strange thing started to happen. He climbed onto my lap! And sleep there! While purring! What?!?!

He never did such things. In fact, he purrs constantly now! He will nuzzle his face against mine and will purr so much he drools. It seems like maybe, possibly, he likes me? Stranger things have happened, folks. Things like this have been happening more and more lately and is really quite adorable. 

Granted, he's still waking me up at 6 AM EVERY FREAKING MORNING, which makes me want to hurl him across the room with all my might. But as long as he balances it out with his cuteness, we should be just fine. 

He's not bleeding. It's just schmutz.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Detox Attempts

I've been wanting to do a food detox for quite some time. I have even picked out that doesn't include lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Despite my obsessive reviewing of this detox and the weekly commitment of "this will be the week to start," I have yet to successfully get this detox off the ground.

Whether it's just been a chaotic schedule, too many social gatherings, or just plain laziness, it hasn't happened.

Last week I thought, "This week is the week!" I had even prepared one of the main dishes for Week 1 of the detox, Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew. I was all excited to drink smoothies for breakfast and only veggies for the rest of my meal. Yes, it was going to happen!

Until it didn't. Wompwomp

I did manage to use up most of my red lentils (which I never thought would happen) and get a week's worth of healthy lunch out of the deal.

But I'm telling you. It will happen. This detox will happen.

Next week.

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: soup/stew sweet potato red lentils
Ingredients (4 servings)
  • 2 tbsp coconut or olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 diced large onion
  • 4 minced cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 2 peeled and diced sweet potatoes
  • 1 diced red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 c rinsed red lentils
  • 6 c broth
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook cumin, turmeric and curry powder until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes.
2. Add onion with a few pinches salt, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 6 minutes.
3. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes.
4. Add sweet potatoes and bell pepper and cook 6 -7 minute.
5. Add lentils and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
6. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cilantro before serving.
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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Latest Trend

The latest trend I've got going on over here is bread-making.
As in making my own bread.
Real bread.
Not in a crockpot.
Made with yeast.

It's pretty cool.

One of my goals this year is bake really good whole wheat bread. Which has not worked out quite yet. Which is why I am giving you a Rosemary Bread recipe instead.

You don't mind, right?

Now, I know you're thinking bread + diabetic = blood sugar disaster. And you would be right, my friends. Did you know we were friends? Which is why I have mostly been making bread to feed to others, taking my loaves with me to parties and dinners. That way other people's blood sugars can be a disaster.

Surprisingly, despite all of my complaining about bread-making, it's actually quite easy if you're willing to dedicate some time to it.

Rosemary Bread

by Bonnie Graham
Keywords: bake bread rosemary
Ingredients (1 loaf)
  • 3 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp quick-rise yeast
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 c water, depending on consistency
  • cornmeal, for dusting
1. Mix all dried ingredients together, including the yeast. Mix until well combined. You can also use your KitchenAid Stand Mixer for this.
2. Add olive oil and water. Mixing until a soft dough is formed. It might still be a little mushy. That's okay.
3. Let bread rise overnight. Yes, overnight. Or 8 - 12 hours.
4. Once bread has sat, knead bread with additional flour for several minutes until you are able to shape it into a nice round (or break it up and put it into loaf pans). Let rise an additional 30 minutes to 2 hours.
5. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Here's the trick. Place a cookie sheet with an oven-safe dish filled with water. Allow oven to come to temperature.
6. Dust the pan you will bake your bread on with cornmeal. Place bread on the pan and then into your oven.
7. Bake bread for 30 - 35 minutes. Bread will sound hollow when tapped or when the inside reaches 200 degrees.
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