Sunday, June 19, 2011

Tofu + Turkey Amazeballs!

The Tofurkey Sausages adds another dimension of meaty texture and flavor to these delicious Tofu+Turkey Meatballs. Lean, healthy and absolutely flavorful, these meatballs freeze very well so make a large batch so you can dig into a delicous meal after a long day at work!

Tofurkey meatballs
¼  pound ground turkey breast
1-2 links of Tofurkey Sausage (can be found in Whole Foods or Trader Joes or most other supermarkets. We used Apple Sage Tofurkey)
½ Jalapeno pepper (finely chopped)
1 small onion (finely chopped)
1 tbsp of chopped fresh basil
1 Egg
2 tsps Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
Preheat the oven at 375 degrees.
  1. In a large bowl mix all the ingredients well and form into equal sized meatballs.
  2. In an oven proof skillet, heat some olive oil on high flame and arrange the meatballs in the skillet
  3. You want the meat balls to just brown on each side and not cook through. Once browned, transfer the skillet to a preheated 375 degree oven and bake the meatballs for 15 minutes.
Once the meatballs are just cooked, you will transfer them into the simmering sauce and cook for another 10 minutes.
For the sauce (you can use store bought pasta sauce but homemade is so easy that we had to go with that!)
1 large can Tomato sauce
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 medium onion (finely chopped)
3-4 cloves of fresh Garlic (finely chopped)
½ Green Pepper (finely chopped)
200gms of mushrooms
½ cup of frozen yellow corn
½ cup water
1 tbsp fresh Basil
½ tbsp fresh Oregano
1-2 tsp Red Chili Powder
1-2 tsp Sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large crock pot heat 4-5 tablespoons of Olive Oil. Add the chopped Onions, Green Pepper and Garlic and sauté until slightly brown
  2. Next add the Mushrooms and Corn and continue to cook for another 7 minutes
  3. Next add the salt, pepper, sugar, basil, oregano and red chili powder and sauté for 2 more minutes
  4. Now add the can of Tomato sauce, tomato paste and ½ cup of water and simmer on medium heat for 15 minutes
  5. Finally, add the meatballs from the oven and continue to cook for another 10 minutes, stirring the sauce occasionally
Serve the Meatballs and sauce over some fresh cooked pasta or with as a sub with hearty Olive Bread!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Red, Red Wiiiiiiinneeee.....Cupcake, DUH

I am sure you saw that comin'. I should apologize, it's been a while since my latest cupcake post, and tonight I just absolutely needed to bake. You know how some days you just need to shop, drink, or sleep? Well tonight, I needed to bake. And alcohol seems only appropriate to add to that therapy session!

I have now had two bottles of red wine starring at me these past couple of weeks. Coming home from the gym, they just keep talking to me, saying "do something with me!" Rather than drink an entire bottle by myself and negate the efforts of the gym, I immediately thought of pouring the bottle into a cupcake batter (after pouring myself a glass, of course). And then promptly feeding the cupcakes to all my loving friends & co-workers. The result? A velvety chocolate cake, with a tangy/sweet mascarpone & buttercream frosting. Purple, pretty, and packed with flavor!

So the next time you're feeling blue (or purple?), bake these up, pour a glass of wine.... and indulge. Yumm!


1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup cocoa powder (we likey Hershey's)
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup red wine (Shiraz/Cab Sav was used here)

1 stick unsalted butter
4 oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup red wine reduction (reduce red wine in a pot over high heat for 20 mins, or until syrup consistency is formed-- let cool thoroughly before adding!!!!!)

First, make the cupcakes. Cream butter & sugar together until light & fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder). Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter/cream mixture. Alternate this with 1/3 cup of vegetable oil and the 3/4 cup of red wine. Once thoroughly combined, pour into cupcake liners (at least 3/4 way full), and bake at 375 for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile- whip up this red wine batter. FIRST, reduce the red wine in a pan with a dash of granulated sugar. Let it reduce on medium-high heat until it reaches a maple syrup-y consistency. Let this cool THOROUGHLY until you add to the frosting. For the frosting: Cream 1 stick butter, 4 oz mascarpone cheese & the confectioner's sugar together. Add the vanilla extract, then the cooled red wine reduction, whip up really well (the red wine doesn't get along with the butter, just keep whipping just keep whipping just keep whipping---- using the Dory voice from Nemo, anyone get it??). Pour into a pipping bag, and frost away! Pour a glass of wine, and EAT THIS UP!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Eat More Chikin!

I’ve been craving chicken all this month, I don’t know why but it’s such an intense craving that I had to make not one but two separate chicken dishes! Each is so different from the other that at least one of these recipes is sure to satisfy even the fussiest eater! Plus if you are anything like me and truly believe that variety is the spice of life, then you will surely appreciate this culinary journey through India and Spain!

A lot of people I have met and know are super intimidated by Indian cooking. They love the curry but want it in a hurry! But with a little more effort than ordering take out might need, you can have your curry and eat it too! Trust me folks! You won’t regret trying this recipe out! Don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients!

Karahi Chicken in a Spinach Tomato curry

2 boneless/skinless chicken breasts (you can use chicken with the bone in, or however you prefer it)
4-5 tbsp of vegetable oil (Olive oil will do as well)
1 bunch of spinach
1 large can of tomato puree
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp minced ginger
½ onion finely shopped
½ red bell pepper thinly sliced
1 Japaleno thinly sliced (you can chose to leave this out if you don’t like your curry very spicy)
A few strands of saffron – very little goes a long way! (Optional) (Dilute the saffron in 1-2 tsp of warm water)
1 cup of water
3-4 tbsp of heavy cream (Optional)

2 tsp Turmeric
3 tsp red chili powder
3 tsp cumin powder
4-5 tsp of curry powder (you can use garam masala as a substitute)
Salt and pepper to taste

For the curry:
1. Start by sautéing the onions, chopped garlic, ginger, jalapeno and red peppers in a heated wok, in vegetable oil; for 7-10 minutes or until they start to caramelize.
2.  Once the onion mixture is caramelized; add all the listed spices and continue to sauté for another 10 minutes. You are now cooking the spices so they release their flavor. (At this point you may need to add a few extra tbsp of oil)
3. In the mean time, blanch the spinach in hot water for a 3-5 minutes and drain. Then transfer the spinach to a food processor and pulse until it’s pureed. 
4. Now add the pureed spinach and tomato to the cooking spices and mix well. Lower the heat, cover the wok and let it simmer for 15 minutes (stir occasionally so the mixture does not stick) 
5. Now begin adding the cup of water, a little at a time, constantly incorporating the water before adding more. You will now see texture and color of curry developing!
Cover the wok again and let the curry simmer for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the chicken. Cut the chicken breasts into bite sizes pieces.
1. In a separate skillet, heat some oil and sauté the chicken pieces for 5 minutes (you don’t want to cook them through but don’t want them to be completely raw either!)
2. Add the chicken into the curry and let it simmer until the chicken is completely cooked (approximately 10-15 minutes).
3. Finish the curry off by adding the saffron and the heavy cream; mix to incorporate.

Serve with simple steamed Basmati rice or Naan, or just even slices of white bread AND an ice cold Beer! Enjoy!!

Moving on to Mexico and my love for all things Adobo, I present to you Adobo rubbed Roast Chicken and Roasted Vegetables with a Caramelized Onions and Mushroom sauce

2 half chicken breasts (with skin and bone)
5-6 medium sized potatoes – chopped into quarters
4 carrots – cut in 1-2 inch pieces
1 large onion – chopped the same size as the potatoes
3-4 cloves of garlic – roughly chopped
2-3 tbsp of sage, rosemary and thyme – finely chopped
½ stick of butter
2 tsp of Olive Oil
1 large lemon
2 packets of Sazon seasoning
2-3 tsp of Adobo spice
2 tsp red chili powder and cumin powder
salt and pepper to taste

For the Sauce
1 large onion – thinly sliced
Quarter pound of mushrooms – thinly sliced
2 tsp of all-purpose flour
2-3 tsp of Olive oil or butter
1.5 cups of chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tsp of chopped chives

This dish is cooked family style so you want to roast your chicken and vegetables together on a large baking tray.

  1. Prepare the chicken first by seasoning it with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Remember to season it well, getting into any cavities as well.
  2. Layer the chopped vegetables around the chicken and season them with some salt and pepper too.
  3. Now add the Sazon, Adobo spice and red chili and cumin powder and coat all the vegetables and the chicken very well.
  4. Finally sprinkle all the herbs and mix well.
  5. Add pea size pieces of the butter by spreading them evenly over the entire tray of chicken and vegetables and pour the olive oil to finish.

Roast the chicken and vegetables in a 425-degree oven for at least 60-70 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. The juices from the chicken mixed with the spices will caramelize and flavor the vegetables as well!

Remove from the oven and let the chicken rest before you cut and serve it.

For the sauce
  1. In a skillet add the olive oil (or butter) until it is heated.
  2. Now add the onions and salt and pepper and sauté until they are absolutely brown and caramelized.
  3. Next add the mushrooms and cook until they brown.
  4. Now sprinkle the all-purpose flour 1 tsp at a time and incorporate it well.
  5. Finally begin adding the chicken stock, a little a time while consistently stirring and incorporating the liquid. If you feel you need a bit more stock feel free to add more.
As the sauce simmers it will thicken some more. Finally, when it reaches the consistency of gravy, sprinkle the chopped chives over it and serve with your portion of Adobo rubbed Roast Chicken and Roasted Vegetables!!

This was a super easy recipe to make as it does not call for any complicated ingredients and can be made using all of two utensils! Now more chikin!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pork Chops in a Red Wine & Citrus Reduction… AKA, winning

Ok this recipe sounds uber-fancy, but it is so ridiculously easy you won’t regret trying it.
After this past weekend, I looked in my fridge to make dinner and really didn’t want to go to the store and buy 25 different ingredients for a meal. Shamefully, all I was left with was a lot of lemons, limes, red wine, a red onion, and some margarita mix. (Yes, all remnants of a party where massive amounts of sangria were made.)

After careful review, I decided to leave the margarita mix out, I just have no idea how to put that into a healthy savory dish. BUT, red wine and onions go together like bread and butter, it’s just absolutely necessary in life. I wanted to add a healthy yummy protein, so I just bought some thinly sliced pork chops, some dried cherries, and got to cooking.


4-8 pork chops (8 if they’re thinly sliced, depending on your grocer’s options)
1 lime
1 lemon
½ cup dried cherries
1 small red onion, diced
¾ cup red wine
salt & pepper

First, dice up your onion into small chunks, and heat up some olive oil in a large pan. Once the pan is hott, add the onions and let them cook down for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Next, salt & pepper the pork chops & add to the pan, seasoned side down. Season the pan with a dash more salt & pepper. Add the dried cherries, and slice up 1 lemon and 1 lime. Squeeze some lemon & lime juice into the pan for an extra citrus kick. (by using the un-used ends when you dice up these babies). Finally, pour ¾ cup of red wine into the pan, reduce the heat, cover, and let the flavors marry for about 15-20 minutes. Once the lemon & lime slices start to shrink, uncover the pan to let the remaining alcohol cook off. Cook for another 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat off, cool, and serve. The cherries give a sweet bite, they’ve gotten nice and plump from the red wine, and the acid from the lemon and lime balance it all out perfectly. Don’t have dried cherries? Go for raisins! Or cranberries. Or apricots… basically use whatever you got! It’ll all be good. Red wine makes this dish a star. Buon Apetito! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Summer is here... time for a margarita....

You know you saw this recipe coming. A margarita cupcake. All these tropical drinks, trips, and the summer weather just had me aching to try this one out. A few friends, some sangria, and a pitcher of margaritas later--- this cupcake was a KILLER hit. DISCLAIMER: there is tequila in the frosting. If you want the kiddie-friendly version, just leave it out and add some extra lime. But tequila gives it a nice little "kick" that leaves you wanting more. Sprinkle it with sea salt & garnish with a lime if you're feeling fancy.

Any other favorite drinks out there that you'd like to see us make into a cupcake? Send requests our way to !


1 stick butter, unsalted (room temp!)
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup canola/vegetable oil
¼ cup margarita mix
juice & zest of 4 limes plus 2 tbsps extra lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 stick butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1-2 shots of tequila (depending on your alcoholic factor)
zest of 1 lime
2 tsps lime juice
¼ cup margarita mix

Same old drill, folks. Make the batter first. Cream the room temp butter & sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time and incorporate. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add this to the butter/sugar mixture. Alternate with the canola oil, vanilla extract, margarita mix, lime juice and zest. Mix well!! Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350, and line your cupcake tins. Fill the cupcakes a little over halfway, these guys rise and are super light, moist, and FLUFFY!! Bake for 20 minutes, or until the toothpick test is passed. Let cool for at least 20-30 minutes before frosting. 

cream together butter, and slowly add the confectioner's sugar. Then, add the lime zest, juice, margarita mix, and tequila. Mix this well, it takes a few minutes to perfectly combine and fluff up. Schmear (yes, schmear) onto the cooled cupcakes. Use your leftover limes and slice them up for garnishes, and sprinkle with some sea salt if you like that sweet/salty kick. The tequila helps :) 

Pour an actual margarita with your leftover mixer, and ENJOY!!