That's A Keeper 10

If you’re new to the blog, That’s A Keeper is a series I do where I round up some of the latest recipes I’ve tried that are successful KEEPERS!  They’re recipes that you want to hold on to and make over and over because they’re just that good.  And in my case, I have them on reserve as a just in case.  Again, for those that don’t know me well, I rarely make the same recipe twice.  But if needed, I have my KEEPER recipes, ready to go to for that special brunch or shared gathering.  KEEPERS:  Where I try the recipe so that you don’t have to and pass on only the best of the best.  

 

In this series of That’s A Keeper, I even bring you a recipe all my own – with a little inspiration from food bloggers and from my last few years of cooking, I finally have put together a concoction I can call my own.  I’ve always been told that I need to do a cookbook.  To which I respond that the recipes I’ve been trialing are mainly recipes from other people and I really don’t have that much creativity or science backing to be able to create a recipe all on my own.  But I’m here to tell you I can see my kitchen skills evolving (not to mention how much my photography has improved!) and I am starting to get some creativity when putting recipes together.  I like to think of it as adding my own flair.  So if that’s a recipe I can call all my own, I don’t know.  But what I do know is that I have been inspired and the creative juices have been flowing.  Read on for my latest keepers that I hope are yours too.

 

Breakfast, Lunch, or DinnerA Frittata.  Eggs are most likely the quickest thing to make in the kitchen.  They can serve as breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and are a lean protein – minus the accompaniments:  bacon, cheese and butter, what really raise your blood cholesterol (due to the saturated fat).  Back to the recipe, a frittata.  A frittata is cooked in a cast iron pan or an oven-safe skillet, because you start the cooking on the stovetop and finish it in the oven.  A one-pan meal which translates to less dishes and equals winning in my opinion.  Frittatas are also great because I like to think they can pass for any meal and are made in less than 30 minutes.  Even better?  You can throw whatever vegetables you have on hand that are leftover from the week to make as many different concoctions as you like.  As I mentioned simply be careful with some of the add-ins like meat and cheese.  I used reduced-fat feta in my version seen here and loaded it up with a LOT of veggies.   Peruse through the many recipes here, and see what one fits the bill.  I ended up making a version all my own.  The key is to have your go-to base and then have add-ins as you like.  I’ve done zucchini, peppers, onions, and mushrooms.  I’ve had one just with kale and even made one with leeks and asparagus.  The combinations really are limitless.  Experiment and most of all enjoy and have an easy meal.

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VegetarianMarinatedChickpeas – One of my favorite food bloggers, HowSweetEats, just released her second cookbook, ThePretty Dish.  I tagged all the recipes that I want to make and then determined which ones I already had the ingredients for.   I can’t be the only person that wants to make all the recipes when they get a new cookbook.   Or maybe I am?  Anyhoo, HowSweetEats made this recipe awhile back and to be honest I wanted something quick and easy as a go-to lunch last week.  These marinated chickpeas are one to have in your back pocket.  No joke.  They are so simple and so good.  I served them over a bed of lettuce and added tomato and some avocado.  While I can’t post a recipe from her cookbook, just know that this recipe here – is the same.  The only difference is she added roasted red peppers into the mix.  And the bonus with this recipe is the chimichurri.  Her chimichurri made it in a series of my “Keepers” before.  So this really is a double keeper.

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SaladMarinated Zoodle Salad (no link to the recipe because this one's all my own)– If you’ve never liked zucchini raw or cooked this is your chance to try it!  Zoodles, aka zucchini made to look like noodles but have no carbs, have been the rage for a while now.  I always teach patients that zucchini, as all non-starchy vegetables, should be included in an unlimited amount.  It’s the reason why ½ the MyPlate is illustrated this way – we need to eat MORE veggies!  Zoodles were never created in my opinion to eliminate carbs from the mix, but unfortunately it has shifted this way a bit.  You’ll see many a picture on social media depicting zoodles with marinara sauce on it and calling it a meal.  Nope.  Not even close.  You can add zoodles in with your pasta if you’d like to cut back on the total volume of carbs because we do eat too many carbs.  But eliminating pasta?  Um no.  This combo is my take on eating a salad and not having to make it all leafy greens.  There is spinach on the bottom and your standard tomatoes, but there’s something about mixing it up and not having it be the same old boring that makes my salad new again.  The recipe for the vinaigrette is simple:  2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and a dash of black pepper.  Think of it as an outline for any vinaigrette you want to make.  You can always mix it up and add in some vinegar, red wine or balsamic, a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and any other spices you’d like.  It’s simple to make a homemade dressing.  Play around with the combos, but the ratio of 2:1 for the olive oil to lemon juice (or vinegar) is how I make the base.  The other add-ins are just bonus in changing flavors.

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CondimentCucumbers and Pickled Shallots – Try and feed me a pickle from a jar and I’ll tell you, “no thanks”.  Give me a homemade pickle?  Now you’re talking.  And don’t just stop at cucumbers.  Give me all the pickled anything!  Recently I’ve been pickling red onions – I mean the color alone is reason to at least try them, shallots, cucumbers, radish, and carrots.  I haven’t tried any other veggies, but I typically add them on to tacos.  Amazing crunch and flavor addition.  Not to mention more non-starchy vegetables for ya!  You know me, the sneaky dietitian trying to get you to eat more veggies in your everyday life.  And not a bad way I might add.  #amIright  This recipe for the cucumbers and shallots by itself is amazing and my go-to recipe to use.  Occasionally I add in the fried shallots, only because they’re fried and no one needs fried non-starchy vegetables…that wasn’t the deal.  But when you mix the cucumber with the pickled shallots and then add that fried shallot on top?  Whoa!  THE best!  This is a must try and again your way to add more veggies into your life and enjoy them.  Tears aside from having to cut the onions, this is a happy cry!

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Vegetarian Main DishKimchi “Fried” Farro – GOYA had a contest a couple of weeks back where all you had to do is use the hashtag #HEATGameDayMeal and show them what your “recipe to win” was.  I love the Miami HEAT and to have a chance to win game tickets and more, I was like count me in!  I picked at random just one of my more recent pics that I posted and thought, what the heck?  I never win anything, but knew I had to take a chance.  It was simply adding a hashtag to one of my pictures.  Not too hard.  Well I am here to say that I can never again say that I don’t win anything.  Because guess what??  I WON!! I went to the game last night and got to watch the pre-game shoot around. 

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May I just say that Justice Winslow didn’t miss any shots?  En fuego.  For tickets, I had FRONT ROW FLOOR tickets.  Had to let that sink in for just a second.  I mean pinch me, is this for real?? When the HEAT do their introduction they have flames that ignite (there is a pyro tech crew there just in case.  Don’t try this at home.) and they do bring the heat, literally. 

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I thought we were at least a ways away, but even still we felt the heat.  Insane!  The game was exciting, back and forth, and even went to OT.  I will say there were lots of missed calls and our boys just need to play.  I’m looking at you Hassan.  But when the last play looks like DWade was robbed and it would have come down to free throw shots, it leaves me still mad that we got the L.  After the game there was a meet and greet with Rodney McGruder.  I’m not sure he was thrilled to meet everyone in line, but I think he’ll remember me.  I was the one with the GOYA basket. 

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And if you’re interested in the recipe I made, that just happened to use GOYA red beans, here’s the recipe from Lindsay Maitland’s book, Healthyish.  Simple and thrown together with some leftover farro I had.  Those meals are always the best.  Not sponsored by GOYA, just a proud sweepstakes winner.  Thanks GOYA!

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Dessert Vegan Chocolate Mousse – This is one recipe I have repeated too many times to count.  It’s just that good.  I know, I know, I said I almost never repeat a recipe.  But when it’s this good you want to make it for everyone.  Yep, that good.  I froze them once and realized they still turn out okay after being defrosted.  I had a friend tell me they tasted good right out of the freezer, kind of like an ice cream fix.  And I even had one friend heat it in the microwave for just a few seconds after coming out of the fridge.  I have yet to try it either of these ways, so I guess that means I’ll just have to make this recipe again.  Me?  I just eat it straight from the fridge.  Don’t think that it’s light and airy like egg whites make normal chocolate mousse.  It’s not that.  This is vegan.  But what it is, is full of chocolate creamy goodness that doesn’t taste a lick like coconut if you were worried.  So yes, make this and thank me later.  P.S. I have tried at least two other “vegan” chocolate mousse recipes and none have paled in comparison to this.  What can I say?  I’m a connoisseur of chocolate mousse.  And when I was making this for someone that doesn’t consume dairy, I considered it my mission to find a great recipe.  Mission accomplished. 

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So there you have it, my latest round-up of recipes that have made it to “keeper” status.  I’ve found the more and more that I trial recipes the pickier I become.  I think that’s a good thing – for all my readers out there, you’re only getting the best of the best!  And I’m even getting better at selecting recipes to know that they’re keepers.  There’s only been a few misses as of recent.  If you try some of these recipes, let me know.  I hope they make it to “keeper” status for you too!

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