Simply Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts

Simply Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Whole, fresh Brussels Sprouts
Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Cracked Pepper

Nothing tricky here. Crank your oven dial to 400 degrees F and you’re half way there. If you bought your Brussels Sprouts on a stalk, pull ’em off and toss them into a mixing bowl. Coat lightly in olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss in oven for 30-40 minutes, depending on preferred darkness. Done. Eat fresh off the sheet tray, or great on the side of just about anything (or perhaps even as an alternative to popcorn!).

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Caramelized Sweet Onion and Feta Pizza

Caramelized Onion sauteed in balsamic, fresh tomatoes, arugula, and feta cheese top this homemade pizza crust

Caramelized onion sauteed in balsamic, fresh tomatoes, arugula, and feta cheese top this homemade pizza crust

Pizza Dough (and the only pizza dough worth using is homemade)
Red Onion
Arugula
Crushed tomatoes (preferable fresh)
Feta
Additional Cheeses as per your taste (here, asiago and cheddar)
Garlic
Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt / Pepper / Oregano

This bad boy is one of my greats, the magnum opus of my pizza creation to date. Who could have expected such a masterpiece to emerge from a few left over ingredients I once found in my kitchen. At once, this sweet and savory ‘za will satisfy your craving for the warm, heartiness of oven-baked dough, and fresh melted cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat olive oil to fry onions, then add minced onions to pan and saute until darkened to taste–a dark caramel color works wonders for this recipe. Reduce heat to medium and add balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, and oregano. Reduce if you’re feeling pretentious. Toss dough and stretch to preferred thinness. spread onion-tomato sauce across the pizza and cover in an ample supply of feta and any other favorite cheeses you may have around (it’s actually a great pizza to dump any leftover cheeses on). Arugula can go on before or after baking (or both or not at all, who cares, it’s pizza!).

Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until preferred crispiness. Enjoy, and tell you’re friends about this one . . . but not until after you’ve had your fill because this one’s going fast.

Categories: New American Medley | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Runner’s Strength Granola Bars

Runner's Strength Granola Bars

Runner’s Strength Granola Bars

Even the very best of store-bought granola bars will leave you disappointed. Many continue to be made with high fructose corn syrup–an ingredient the world would do well without, and others load them so full of sweeteners that you can’t even taste the nutrients hidden somewhere in there. Be the solution, and make them at home. A 9×12 pan will make two dozen bars, which should keep you running for quite some time.

Your Favorite Oats
Your Favorite Nuts (here I’ve used almonds and cashews)
Flax Seeds
Dried Cranberries
Peanut Butter
Agave (or honey, if you prefer)
Sea Salt
And chocolate, if you must (not used here)

As is typical with my site, I don’t use measuring units (much to my reader’s chagrin, I imagine, but I want you all to have the freedom to experiment and customize). There are two important ratios to keep in mind with this recipe. First, your solids (oats and nuts)-to-liquid (peanut butter and agave/honey) ratio should be approximately 2:1. This ratio will keep the bars sticking together, but not to your fingers. The second ratio to keep in mind is between the peanut butter and the agave/honey. A 1:1 ratio here works well, although the magic glue of the recipe is the peanut butter, so if you are struggling with holding the bars together, go ahead and lean slightly in favor of peanut butter.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place your agave/honey and peanut butter into a microwave-safe container and nuke for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of your batch, until it is fluid enough to mix together evenly. In a separate mixing bowl, combine your dry ingredients–oats, nuts, flax, and cranberries. Pour PB/agave blend into dry ingredients and mix until the entire batch is evenly coated. Spread into a baking dish (I used a 9×12), and don’t forget ample use of wax paper here will save you much scrubbing later!

Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until edges just start to darken. Any longer and you will be left with crunchy granola bars (unless that’s what you’re looking for). Let cool in baking dish for ten minutes then transfer onto a cutting board to cool completely. Top with sea-salt (or chocolate) while still warm and sticky. Cut into preferred-size bars. Freeze or refrigerate to keep them fresher longer.  Keep a couple in your backpack with you at all times, in case of food emergency!

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Apple-N-Agave Vinaigrette

Apple-N-Agave Vinaigrette

Apple-N-Agave Vinaigrette

Olive Oil
Apple Vinegar
Agave
Lemon Pepper
Lime Juice

Store-bought dressings are notoriously unhealthy. You will rarely make it to the second ingredient on the list before you run into a refined sugar. Fortunately, they are very simple to make and easy to store (and last practically forever, unless you get really creative).

A vinaigrette is, at the most basic level, a mixture of oil, vinegar, and a sweetener. You can play with the wide variety of these three ingredients to develop literally hundreds of dressing concepts. Here, I have kept it quick and easy.

Mix one portion of olive oil to an equal portion of vinegar. Add in agave to taste, lemon pepper for texture, and just a splash of lime juice for zest.  Mix, and you’ve created a delicious dressing without using a single refined sugar, and you can pronounce everything on the ingredient list too!

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Harvest Grains Salad

Romaine
Arugula
Red Onion
Assorted Grains (in this case, I used Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend), but also a great way to use up any leftover grains you might have)
Dried Cranberries
Cucumber
Dressing of your choice (preferably a homemade vinaigrette–I used my Apple-N-Agave Vinaigrette)

This colorful, hearty classic is one of my fall favorites. Adding grains to a salad is a quick (and vegetarian-friendly) way to add some caloric bulk to your salad. Entirely leaf-based salads leave you feeling hungry a short hour later.

Boil and chill grains ahead of time. Once cool, marinate in the dressing you will be using to top the salad. From there, salad assembly is simple. Dice or julienne your onions, depending on how classy you’re feeling, and follow suit with the cucumbers. Set aside. After your romaine is washed, cut it to your preferred size and add a handful of arugula to the mix (a little arugula goes a long way, favor-wise).  Toss everything together and top with cranberries for a little touch of color. Never underestimate the deliciousness of cranberries and arugula when used together! Dress and enjoy.

Categories: Autumn Harvest | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Never-Buy-Marinara-Again Marinara Sauce

It’s truly a shame that people continue to buy marinara sauce, when it is so easy to make at home (and fun to customize to your tastes!). This works especially well if you can your own tomatoes from the garden; however, should that prove to not be an option, vine-ripened tomatoes from the produce section or a tasty brand of canned tomato such as Trader Joe’s Fire-Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chiles will work just fine.

Never-Buy-Marinara-Sauce-Again Marinara

Never-Buy-Marinara-Again Marinara

Half red onion
Any mix of fresh and canned tomatoes
Garlic (a great opportunity to use roasted garlic paste)
Sun-dried Tomatoes
Fresh Chives
Fresh Parsley
Olive Oil
Sea salt and cracked pepper

Heat oil on medium-high, and toss in onions. Let soften or darken to preferred color/taste. Add all tomatoes and reduce heat to a simmer. Mix in chives, parsley, and salt/pepper to taste. That’s all it takes. Make extra, because this stuff adds flavor to absolutely everything.

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Potato Gnocchi with Homemade Marinara

Potato Gnocchi with Marinara Sauce

Potato Gnocchi with a Homemade Marinara sauce, topped with a smoked cheddar.

Potato Gnocchi
Never-Buy-Marinara-Again Marinara Sauce
Your Favorite cheese

Assemble: gnocchi, marinara, and top with cheese.

Enjoy.

Categories: New American Medley | Leave a comment

Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic

Roasted Garlic

1 head of garlic
Olive oil
Sea Salt
Cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

This one is as simple as they get, and makes a great hor’ dourve, and can serve as an ingredient in many other recipes. Cut off the top of the head of garlic and coat in olive oil. Salt and pepper to taste. Place on a sheet tray and cover with foil, or simply wrap each head of garlic in foil. Place in oven for 45 minutes. Cool before serving. If using as an ingredient elsewhere, use spoon to pull roasted garlic out of individual cloves and use roasted garlic paste in place of garlic in any recipe.

Categories: Mediterranean Delight | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Roasted Red Onion Polenta

Served here with an arugula salad and mediterranean slider

Served here with an arugula salad and Mediterranean slider

  • Polenta
  • Red Onion
  • Asiago Cheese
  • Arugula
  • Tomato
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Olive Oil

Mince and fry the onions until they are nice and crispy; set aside. Cook the polenta in a little olive oil on medium-high, flip, place onions top, and melt on cheese. Serve with a slice of tomato on a bed of arugula marinated in balsamic vinegar. Yum!

Categories: New American Medley | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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