Monday, March 14, 2011

Justin's Nut Butter

I want to share with all of you one of my favorite products. 
I discovered Justin's nut butter about 6 months ago while browsing the aisles of Whole Foods. 
I was impressed at the fact you can purchase small packets of the nut butter to sample before you buy a whole jar. This was convenient because I can't tell you how many times I have bought things I don't like and end up throwing it out.

The nut butter packets run anywhere from 50 cents to $2 each and you can sample the almond, hazelnut and peanut butter. The flavors are chocolate, honey, cinnamon, and original.
I am in love with ALL of the flavors! 
The texture is perfect for topping a whole grain waffle or a tablespoon in your oatmeal!

You can purchase Justin's at Target, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and more! 
This is a great product and I highly suggest checking it out if you love nut butters as much as I do :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Flank Steak

Many of you probably have never tried flank steak for the simple fact that you didn't really enjoy the bland taste or you weren't sure what it is. Well my dad and I made dinner last night and decided to take a stab at making flank steak since I have seen so many recipes for it and it's low in fat! It's a great source of protein. Our recipe and dinner turned out beautiful, we were VERY impressed with our results and how easy everything was. On the menu was Flank Steak and Oven fries! I will include the recipe to both and give you a little more info on what exactly "Flank Steak" is.

Information found on several accredited websites:

The flank steak, also known as bavette, is a beef steak cut from the abdominal muscles of the cow. A relatively long and flat cut of meat. It is quickly seared in a hot pan and eaten rare to maintain its tenderness. Flank steak is best when it has a bright red color. Because it comes from a strong, well-exercised part of the cow, it is best prepared when cut across the grain. It is great particularly for women who must get a certain amount of iron in their diet. This is a very lean, protein rich cut of meat.

Flank Steak with Soy Marinade -- This stuff is SO good!

Steak Marinade:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoons honey
3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 1/2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound flank steak

Mix all ingredients of flank steak in a large zip lock baggy. Place the steak in the baggy and smother with marinade, rubbing and tossing the bag back and forth. If you have time you may place the bag in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to marinate. We didn't have time and it still turned out wonderful, as long as it is in the bag marinating for about 10 minutes.
Heat the skillet to medium, add the steak, and cook for about 8 minutes on each side. The temperature must reach at least 140 degrees, other than that it's cooked to your liking.
Remove from skillet once the temperature reaches your desired temp, and transfer to a large cutting board. Cut the steak across the grain in strips. You may pour extra marinade on top.

Oven Fries: Created by my father

3-4 Idaho potatoes, depending on family size
1 tbsp rosemary
1-2 tbsp sea salt
1.5 tbsp garlic salt
1 packet Lipton Onion Mix
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil -- I use garlic gold because it's SO good and lightly infused but regular is fine.

Cut potatoes into spears, microwave for 5 minutes in large microwavable bowl, and place on greased baking sheet. Cover potatoes in all ingredients mixing around as you add. Heat oven to 400 degrees and bake for 30-35 minutes.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Another Great Tilapia Recipe

Hello Bloggers,

Wow, isn't this weather wonderful? Here in Indiana we had a terribly cold and icy winter, so we appreciate anything over 45 degrees. I feel the mood of my classmates, co-workers, and family shifting with the weather and I like the positive and happy attitudes, myself included! It is amazing how warmer weather and sunshine can change someone's perspective on life.

Before we continue with a delicious and easy tilapia recipe I want to announce my latest and greatest accomplishment. I got into the Respiratory Therapy Program at IU Medical School, YIPEE! I was placed on the waiting list due to the amount of applicant's but my hopes are high because last year they were able to take everyone on the list! So what this means is I am guaranteed a spot for next fall, but there's a great chance I will begin the program THIS Fall! Either way I am overly excited about my accomplishment and have Mark, my family and friends to thank for their continuous encouragement and support. It was not an easy road, a lot of studying and a lot of times where I couldn't participate in summer break, spring break, road trips, nights out, etc. It's not over yet, it's actually just beginning, but I'm jumping in head first!

Now to the recipe:

4 Tilapia Fillets (thawed and room temp)
1 tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 tbs. whole wheat flour
2 tbs. Parmesan cheese
1 tbs. Old Bay Original Seasoning
1 egg
1/2 tbsp+ salt
1/2 tbsp+ pepper

  1. Turn on skillet to medium-high, usually around a 6.
  2. Drizzle 1 tbsp. EVOO on skillet
  3. While the skillet heats, combine whole wheat flour, Parmesan cheese, Old Bay, salt, and pepper. Mix well with a fork and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl crack the egg and whisk slightly with a fork.
  5. Once skillet is heated, take one tilapia fillet and roll in the egg, then the flour, and place on skillet. Follow with the second, the third, and the fourth.
  6. Tip: I sprinkled a tad more Parmesan cheese on the fillet once in the skillet because I love the stuff!
  7. Let cook about 3.5 minutes on each side, until the fish is flaky and white.
Now go steam some asparagus and you have a delicious meal that takes about 15 minutes to make.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Back on the Blog, finally!

I haven't been myself lately, hardly cooking and a lot of sleeping! I think I have a bad case of the winter blues. I did take the time this week to make a few things that I consider worthy of blogging about :) I am proud of both recipes and strongly suggest you try them, you won't be disappointed! I am trying to get back in the swing of exercising every day, eating and cooking healthy meals, and being productive with school work. It is hard to stay on track when it's 5 degrees and no sunshine. Enough complaining, there's SO much to be thankful for. For instance my dad returned home from Nigeria, South Africa safely on Thursday night!!! I couldn't sleep some nights now knowing where he was. He did a great job keeping us updated, finished his project he was there for, and is now safe and sound in Indiana once again! The experience he had is incredible and I will share pictures with all of you as soon as I get some.

This lasagna I made because I always buy Laura's Lean meat and I had just bought a pound the day before and needed to use it. I also bought some ricotta cheese [yum] on my last grocery adventure and needed to use that as well. SO I MADE A LASAGNA! Ina Garten from Barefoot Contessa never disappoints with her recipes. I used her outline of her "turkey lasagna" to make my "Lots O Meat" lasagna :) Enjoy! 

The pictures aren't of the best quality.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow onion (1 onion)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound Laura's Lean Ground
1 can Natures Own Pasta Sauce (any flavor combo)
4 tbsp parsley
4 tbsp cup chopped basil leaves
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound whole wheat lasagna noodles
15 ounces ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan, plus 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 package mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a large (10 to 12-inch) skillet. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes over medium-low heat, until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the ground meat and cook over medium-low heat, breaking it up with a fork, for 8 to 10 minutes, or until no longer pink. Add the tomato sauce (all of it!), 2 tablespoons of the parsley, the basil, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer, uncovered, over medium-low heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, until thickened.

Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with the hot tap water. Add the noodles and allow them to sit in the water for 20 minutes. This really helps soften the noodles even if they don't require boiling, then drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 1 cup of Parmesan, the egg, the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Set aside.

Ladle 1/3 of the sauce into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch rectangular baking dish, spreading the sauce over the bottom of the dish. Then add the layers as follows: half the pasta, half the mozzarella, half the ricotta, and one 1/3 of the sauce. Add the rest of the pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and finally, sauce. 
Sprinkle with 1/4 cup of Parmesan. Bake for 30 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling.

Apple Walnut Flax Bread

This recipe I got from which is a blog that I follow often. I followed her recipe to a T because this one was for my dads arrival and I didn't want to screw it up! Everyone loved it! It is so moist and delicious, you must try this! (psst it's healthy too)

This makes one 9x5-inch loaf

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
generous pinch freshly ground nutmeg (I didn't have any so I used extra cinnamon)
2/3 cup buttermilk (I used dry buttermilk, it's the easiest but regular works great too)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup grated apples (Just use a cheese grater on the largest size)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped apples
1 tablespoon flax seeds
3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, divided
cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Grease and flour a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, melted butter and vanilla extract.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add the grated apples, chopped apples flax seeds and half of the chopped walnuts. Fold to incorporate thoroughly.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and top with granulated sugar, cinnamon and the rest of the walnuts.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for 15 minutes then invert onto a cooling rack to cool before wrapping.

Serve slightly toasted with butter. Yumtastic.