Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Yay! It’s movie night at our house! There is nothings better then curling up on the couch with your family to watch a movie and enjoy a nice warm bowl of homemade popcorn. You agree, right? I’m not talking about putting a bag in the microwave and letting radiation cook my food, no way. I’m talking about good old fashion pan popcorn. I know, I know…. you don’t have time for that. My goodness, haven’t you learned anything from us? This is quick and easy. It takes just as long as the microwave does, minus the radiation, unnecessary food coloring, and TBHQ….yeah, I didn’t know what that was either. All the more reason not to eat it. Here’s a rule to eat by: Can’t pronounce it, don’t know what it is? Don’t ingest it. Period.

For now though, let’s appreciate this yummy (and much less scary) popcorn.

What you’ll need:

3 Tbs olive oil
1/3 cup corn kernels
2 Tbs butter substitute, melted

Put olive oil and some salt in pan and let it heat up on medium high. To make sure oil is heated enough, throw a few kernels in and wait for them to pop, then, add the rest and cover with the lid slightly ajar and wait and listen. Soon you’ll hear pop, pop, pop and you’re almost done. To avoid burning your pan, be sure to shake it during the whole process. When the popping slows down to one or two pops a second remove from heat and pour into a large bowl. While stirring pour butter substitute over popcorn, don’t forget to add the salt to taste.

Simple right? Really now, what did you expect from us?

Want a cheesy flavored popcorn? Well, here’s a way to change up this recipe and add some Vitamin B at the same time. After the final step, add some nutritional yeast to your popcorn and there you go! Now you can feel good about the movie snacks you choose to give your family, I know I do.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Avocado Spring Rolls

These are not your ordinary spring rolls. I don’t remember the exact date I first tried these at The Cheesecake Factory, but I think we were in California with my boys and mother in law on a trip to Disneyland.

“Avocado spring rolls... that sounds interesting”, I thought.

“Oh we may want to order two of those” my mother-in-law's sister told us.

Well, she was right. We gobbled those up so quickly and even made an out of the way trip back to the Cheesecake Factory, a few days later, to pick up some more before our flight home. Yep, they were that good.

Since we don’t have a Cheesecake Factory in Oregon yet, I knew I needed to recreate these to share with my friends and family. So here is my version of avocado spring rolls, but you may want to double this recipe.

Dipping Sauce

1 Tbs white vinegar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
½ tamarind pulp
½ cup honey or agave
1 pinch ground saffron
½ chopped cashews
2/3 cup fresh cilantro
2 cloves garlic
2 green onions
1 Tbs sugar (optional)
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
¼ cup olive oil

In a small pot mix vinegars, tamarind paste, honey and saffron and heat for about 1 minute, until tamarind dissolves. Puree this mixture, cashews, cilantro, garlic, green onions, sugar (if using), pepper and cumin in food processor.

Pour mixture into bowl and stir in oil. Refrigerate until ready to use. Make sure to save any leftovers. This is an excellent dip for fresh veggies!

Spring Rolls

1 large avocado, pitted and diced
2 Tbs sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
1 Tbs minced red onion
½ tsp chopped fresh cilantro
1 pinch salt
Egg roll wrappers
Cornstarch and warm water to seal rolls

Gently stir together avocadoes, sun dried tomatoes, red onions, ½ tsp of cilantro and salt.

Create a glue with the cornstarch and warm water to use to hold the spring roll together.

Distributed filling evenly onto center of each egg roll wrapper

Position wrapper so the point is facing you, fold the bottom corner up so it just covers the filling. Continue rolling up from side to side fold corners in and seal with cornstarch mix.

Deep fry rolls in hot oil for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper bag.

For those of you more health conscious individuals, you can try baking them on 425 for 15 minutes then flip and cook for an additional 10 minutes.

Slice rolls diagonally across the middle and serve with dipping sauce. Oh, and be sure to take a couple for yourself, cause they’re gonna go real fast.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Instant Pudding

Did I say instant? Heck yeah I did. You can make this pudding quicker than you can stir all the lumps out of that box crap. And as you might have guessed, it’s much healthier. No dairy, no eggs, no junk. Yup that’s right it’s all natural. Ok, I know what you’re thinking. You’re asking yourself, how can it taste good then? We said healthy, not disgusting. Don’t be fooled - nature provides us with all sorts of amazing foods that taste fabulous. Really now, would we post a recipe that sucked? Don’t answer that…you know it’s gonna be good. So…. what’s in it? Sorry, that’s our little secret. Okay okay, we’ll share it with you. Drum roll please…. avocados. Yup you read it right, A V O C A D O S. Man this pudding’s so good.

Here’s the deal, after you make this for your friends, and they love it, then you can share the secret with them too…we promise, they’ll want it (unless they’re freaks). In the meantime enjoy this healthy treat, your body will thank you.

What you’ll need

2 ripe avocados
1 Tbs vanilla, make sure it’s the real stuff
About a cup of maple syrup, yeah spend the money on this too, the bottle with the lady on it is not real maple syrup and you can definitely taste the difference.
Cocoa Powder
Blend the avocados in your food processor until smooth. Add vanilla, maple syrup, coca powder and just a dash of salt. Top with fresh raspberries or strawberries, or make your own puree to top.

Raspberry Puree
Put raspberries in your food processor and blend until it’s your desired consistency.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

Think burritos are a boring dinner option? Well, I guess at some point we all get bored with our 'same old' weekly standbys. Since roasted sweet potatoes are one of our favorite veggies, we decided to change things up a bit with another one of our favorites. These oughta spice up those old standby burritos. We love these!

What you’ll need:

1 large sweet potatoes, chopped into small cubes
1-2 Tbs olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed ( or use your own homemade beans)
½ Tbs chili powder
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained (or use fresh)
Salt and pepper to task
2 cups of your favorite salsa (fresh is best)
8 large whole wheat or flour tortillas
½ cup chopped red onions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and toss with your hands. Roast until tender, turning once about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degree. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, cook until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add beans, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir in sweet potatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside.

Lightly oil a 9 x 13 baking dish, add a thin layer of salsa over the bottom.

Place a tortilla on a flat work surface. Spoon in a portion of the sweet potato mixture down the middle of the left side of the tortilla and roll it up, folding in the ends. Place the filled tortilla in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining mixture and tortillas. Spoon any remaining mixture on top of the burritos, top with the remaining salsa and red onions. Cover and bake for about 20 minutes. Serve hot with avocado slices or guacamole.