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Holiday Egg Nog Tasting

eggnog

It’s usually the first time during the holidays that I get to try egg nog, it will be at some sort of party. The taste of egg nog will vary somewhat, but the experience is usually the same. The walking up to the bowl or pouring of the liquid into your cup. I’m always surprised at just how THICK it pours. I’m like, “Gawd it’s been a long time since I’ve had something that thick poured down my throat…this is SO not going to be healthy!” By now I’ve placed the ladle or container of egg nog down and am bringing the cup up to my mouth. I’m getting a closer view of the stuff, that light yellow creamy color with maybe a few brown flecks floating in it. Nutmeg. That’s when your nose will get a whiff of the spices. Nutmeg again, cinnamon and maybe cardamom. This is usually when the transporting begins in my head. I’m continuing to bring the cup closer to my mouth, but my eyes have closed and stirrings in my head have begun. Mostly for me, it’s not so much the memories of specific events but the sense that it’s holiday time. Christmas, end of the year, parties where I’m getting dressed up. It’s usually snippets of a mishmashed memories jumbled together. Now, the cup is at my lips and I get the first taste. Here’s where I can tell it’s either a good mix or just okay. If the first thing I can taste is alcohol then I’m usually snapped out of my reverie. But…more spices? Oh yeah… then the mouth feel of that super creamy begins to fill my mouth and it’s heavenly. And the sweetness. Not too much, but enough where it begins to put a smile on my mouth. The mixing of all the spices, creaminess of the cream and eggs and finally, if it’s been made right, now I get a little bit of the alcohol burn/flavor. It just manages to cut through all the heavy spice/cream and kinda brings me back out of the reverie and now I’m just standing in front of the egg nog bowl.

Sausage and Black Bean Soup

MakingDinner
SausageSoupQuesadillas

Sausage and Black Bean Soup with Quesadillas

Sausage and Black Bean Soup

Taken from the 1999 book CookingLight 5 Ingredient, 15 Minute Cookbook

Ingredients
Cooking spray/olive oil
12 oz turkey kielbasa sausage, sliced
2 green sliced and diced green bell peppers
around 14-16oz of fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 can of no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup picante sauce or salsa
bunch of chopped cilantro
Completely optional: Frozen corn, frozen onions, chopped. [about 1/2 cup each more or less]

  1. Coat a medium saucepan with the cooking spray/olive oil, place over medium-high heat. Add sausage. Cook according to package directions. Cover pan. Let cook. 5 mins?
  2. Add in frnz onions and diced green bell peppers. Cook couple of mins.
  3. Add in frnz corn, beans, salsa and chicken broth. Mix well and bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer on low. While simmering, make quesadillas…

Speedy Quesadillas

Having a cast iron skillet is ideal for this, but you can make do with normal skillets just fine.

Ingredients

Cooking spray
whole wheat tortillas
reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
bunch of finely sliced and chopped green onions
Set oven to lowest setting if you are making more than 2 quesadillas…

 

  1. Lightly coat skillet with spray and put on stove at just over medium heat.
  2. Place one tortilla in skillet.
  3. Add cheese and green onions. Spread out over tortilla. Don’t pile on, you just want enough to make a light covering.
  4. Place second tortilla on top. Flip after 2 to 2 1/2 mins.
  5. Remove after another 2-2 1/2 mins. Repeat with as many as you need.
  6. Try to keep qusadillas warm… put on plate and keep in oven until finished making all you need.
  7. Remove from oven an cut into quarters.

Serve soup into bowls with quesadillas on side.

 

Chicken Thighs with Chunky Tomato Sauce and Red Bulgar/Quinoa

MakingDinner

Got this one from a book of quick fix recipies. I’ve modified it a bit. Seriously good.

I don’t know how much I currently like the photos being put in the post like this. I’ll probably find a different plug in to do it differently next time.

Chicken Thighs with Chunky Tomato Sauce and Red Bulgar/Quinoa

Prep time: 10 mins
cook: 20ish mins

4-6 servings

1 cup of quick fix red bulgar/quinoa (can us other grain – i.e. couscous or rice)
1 cup of water
1 cup of chicken broth (fat free, low sodium)
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs
Greek Seasoning [I used Cavender’s]
2 tbsp olive oil
2 med zucchini
1 med yellow squash

1 sm onion
1 (14.5 oz) fire-roasted tomatoes with garlic, undrained
2 tbsp cold butter [Use some sort of high quality butter/olive oil sub.]
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp. pepper

  1. Lay out chicken thighs and season with greek seasoning. don’t be stingy and don’t over do it. Set aside.
  2. Wash and chop up zucchini and squash. Dice up onion. Set aside.
  3. Heat large skillet, med-high heat, with olive oil.
  4. Cook chicken in skillet. 4 mins a side. [That would be 8 mins total…]
  5. Remove chicken from skillet, and keep warm.
  6. Reduce skillet heat to medium and add veggies and onions to skillet. Sauté for about 2-3 mins.
  7. Quickly throw water, chicken broth and bulgar/quinoa together and set on stove. Follow package directions. (Cooking of this should take about 10 mins)
  8. Add undrained canned fire roasted tomatoes to skillet with veggies. Stir regularly, for about 7-10 mins. Remove skillet from heat and then stir in butter, red wine vinegar and pepper.
  9. Fluff bulgar/quinoa. Distribute out to plates.
  10. Put chicken on top of bulgar/quinoa.
  11. Top with zucchini/squash/onion mixture.

#MakingDinner – Alison Sweeney’s Quinoa With Spinach And Feta

MakingDinner

Got this recipe from my darling who got it from self.com. I made a few additions of the edamame and the cucumber. Tasty recipe that is almost no bad fat! Adding just a tad of salt and pepper into your bowl at the end just before eating perfects it. But remember just a touch cause you don’t want to over power the mint! Plenty of left overs for tomorrow…which will be even better cause the flavors will have marinated over night!

Alison Sweeney’s Quinoa With Spinach And Feta

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ Red Onion, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 Avocado, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 10 ounce package Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups Spinach, chopped
  • 1 8 ounce package Crumbled Feta
  • 1 Cucumber, peeled, deseeded and diced
  • 1 10 ounce package Frozen Shelled Edamame, Prepared as per bags instructions
  • Fresh Mint
  • Salt And Freshly Ground Pepper

Directions:

PRE – Chop all vegetables.

  1. Prepare the fast cook quinoa on stove, following package directions (about 10 mins). Substitute chicken broth for the water.
  2. Warm oil in a saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Sauté garlic and onion until onion is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Stir into the finished quinoa. Mix.
  5. Put onion/garlic/quinoa into large mixing bowl.
  6. Toss in avocado, tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, feta and edamame.
  7. Season with some salt and pepper.
  8. Spoon out to plates/bowls.
  9. Top with fresh mint.
Finished bowl of food

Alison Sweeney’s Quinoa With Spinach & Feta

#MakingDinner – Chicken Pita Sandwiches

MakingDinner

Lately I have been enjoying some twitter cooking pic taking.  After the cooking creation I tweet the link to the recipe from where I get it. Well that wasn’t working for me and I want the web traffic. SO I’m gonna start posting them here!

 

Chicken Pita Sandwich

Ingredients:
1 cup Chicken, chopped
4 Whole Wheat Pita Pockets
½ Tomato
⅓ cup Tahini Sauce
⅓ cup Water
2-3 Garlic Clove
½ Red Onion
½ Cucumber
⅛ cup Lemon Juice
Salt & Pepper To Taste
Fresh Mint

Directions:

  1. Slice up tomato.
  2. Slice up red onion, thin.
  3. Slice up cucumber, thin.
  4. Purée equal parts tahini (sesame seed paste) and warm water with garlic  in a blender until mixture is thick and smooth.
  5. Season sauce to taste with lemon juice and kosher salt.
  6. Toss cubes of chicken in a bowl with a bit of sauce and place in warm pita bread with slices of salted cucumber, tomato, and very thinly sliced red onion.
  7. Drizzle with more tahini sauce.
  8. Add some mint leaves to your masterpiece.

 

Consume your deliciousness!

Chicken Pita Sandwich

Chicken Pita finished!