Thursday, August 30, 2012

Vanilla Bean Almond Butter

I don’t know about you but I LOVE nut butters. I have never made my own because I didn’t realize out easy it was. I’m telling ya, everyone can make nut butter as long as you have a decent food processer and there's not turning back.

Nut butter

I’ve had some left over vanilla beans from the vanilla I made a while back and wanted to use them, so I decided to use them in the almond butter.

I made this about a week ago and it’s already half gone! It’s like a yummy creamy dessert. Once you try fresh pure nut butters you will never go back to store bought. Only 3 ingredients and no added oils!

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So here it goes:

Start out by toasting your almonds until they start to smell yummy.

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Pour your almonds in the food processer and start to process. You will need to process for 8 to 10 minutes and stop several times to scrape down the sides, so be patient.

Stage 1

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Stage 2- Powder

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Stage 3-The natural oil starts to come out and its starts to ball up.

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Stage 4-Almost there, just a few minutes longer to be that nice and smooth butter.

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Stage 5- Just right!

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Slit your vanilla bean in half and scrape out the beans. Its easy to just use a spoon.

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Add your beans and brown sugar and blend until mixed well.

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Pour into container. The small mason jars work really well. You can store this in room temperature.

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Vanilla Bean Almond Butter

1 1/2 Cup Almonds

1 Vanilla Bean with beans scraped out

2 tsp Brown sugar

1. Toast the almonds on a cookie sheet at 350 until they start to smell toasted. About 10 to 15 minutes

2. Pour you toasted almonds in your food processer and start the processer. It will take about 8 to 10 minutes to fully blend into butter. you will need to stop several time to scrape the sides down.

3. Once your butter is at the consistency that you would like, add your vanilla beans and brown sugar. Blend until mixed well.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Honey Sesame Chicken- Crock pot Style

Who likes Chinese food? I love it with all my heart, but I don’t like all the MSG they use in their meat. Why not make your own? I tried a new recipe this week and was very satisfied with the outcome. AND I wasn’t even hungry 2 hours later. Why is that? You could eat and eat at a Chinese restaurant and are hungry 2 hours later.
Check out this tasty dish
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I made the chicken in the crock pot which I highly recommend because it cooked for 1/2 the day and the chicken was so tender and flavorful. This can also be done on the stove top.
I started out by seasoning the chicken breasts with salt and pepper on both sides. I also chopped up 1/2 of an onion.
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Place your chicken in the crockpot once its seasoned. To make your sauce, mix together your onion, honey, soy sauce, ketchup, olive oil, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes. Mix well.
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Pour your sauce over you chicken. Cook on low for 4 hours.
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After 4 hours remove your chicken and chop into cubes.
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Mix up a mixture of cornstarch and water and pour into the crockpot with your sauce.
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Cook this on high for 10 minutes or until your sauce starts to thicken. You can then add the chicken back to the crockpot and toss to coat.
Now you have your honey chicken ready. Serve over rice and top with sesame seeds.
I added edamame and an egg roll and called it a meal!
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Honey Sesame Chicken
2.5 lb Chicken breast
salt and pepper
1 Cup Honey
1/2 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup chopped Onion
4 Tbsp. Ketchup
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Cloves garlic
1/2 tsp. Red pepper flakes
3 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in water

1. Season both sides of your chicken breasts with salt and pepper, place in crockpot.
2. In a small bowl combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, oil, garlic, and pepper flakes. Mix together well and pour over chicken.
3. Cook on low for 3-4 hours.
4. Remove chicken from crockpot and leave sauce. Chop your chicken into cubes.
5. Dissolve 3 tsp. of cornstarch with 4 Tbsp. of water and pout into crockpot. Stir, replace lid and cook sauce on high for 10 to 15 min or until sauce starts to thicken slightly.
6. Return chicken to crockpot and toss.
7. Serve over rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Enjoy!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Summer Garlic and Lemon Pasta

Summer is going by fast and I’m ready for it to slow down.  Fall will be here before you know it. I don’t know about you but I don’t like to heat up the oven much during the Summer because I heats up my apartment. I really wanted something that tasted like Summer and that was quick and easy to whip up. I decided to make pasta! I think you will really like this dish. The lemon flavor is not too much but just enough tang. And the basil taste so fresh, it hit the spot

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I started by making garlic olive oil. Mince 2 garlic cloves and sauté in olive oil until edges start to turn brown.

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Once your oil is done pour into large mixing bowl.

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Sauté 1/2 cup of chopped onion in a tablespoon of olive oil.

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Chop a handful of basil, preferably fresh

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Add basil to garlic oil

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Add the rest of your ingredients; pine nuts, parmesan, lemon, and onion.

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Add your cooked pasta in with you sauce and toss.

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I grilled up some chicken breast to put on top but this can be serve by itself or as a side dish.

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Summer Garlic and Lemon Pasta

3 cups cooked whole wheat pasta

1/4 cup olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup onion

1/4 cup parmesan

1/4 cup pine nuts

Juice of 1/2 of a Lemon

1. Cook pasta as directed on box.

2. Sauté garlic in with olive oil until garlic edges start to turn brown.

3. Sauté onion until caramelized.

4. Toss all ingredients together (except pasta) to form sauce.

5. Once the sauce is mixed well toss pasta in with sauce.

 

Hope you enjoy this yummy Summer dish!