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Archive for the ‘Comfort Food’ Category

Since Christmas is just upon us, I wanted to make something healthy for brunch because who knows what I will be eating over the next few days. 🙂 I saw a similar recipe to this and decided to make my own. With the bowl of fruit, it was filling, healthy, delicious, and very satisfying. I can’t wait to make this again soon!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cooked broccoli (this may seem like a lot but I love broccoli; if you don’t, use 1/4 cup or however much you want to)
  • 1 slice sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 slice swiss cheese
  • Salt & pepper
  • Pat of butter

Directions

  1. In a small frying pan, melt butter.
  2. Crack eggs in and whisk up. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Let eggs cook, when they start to firm a bit, add cheese on top. I cut cheese slices in half and alternate them so that they mostly cover the egg (picture will follow next time I make this :)).
  3. When you can tell eggs are cooked through and cheese is mostly melted, top with broccoli. Fold the omelet in half and enjoy!!

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My little sister Gabi recommended this recipe to me after she made it and omg omg is it yummy!! I loved it so much that I made it twice in two weeks. 🙂 The second time I added a bag of fresh spinach that I had in my fridge and in addition to adding some extra nutrition it tasted delicious! This recipe is fabulous for leftovers too…portion it into individual tupperwares, pop in the fridge, and grab one on the way to work or heat up for dinner.

Here is the recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1 package(s) (20-ounce) peeled and trimmed butternut squash, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 medium (8- to 10-ounce) onion, finely chopped
  • 3  fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoon(s) olive oil
  •  Salt
  •  Pepper
  • 1 pint(s) grape tomatoes
  • 1 pound(s) (16- to 20-count) shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/8 teaspoon(s) cayenne pepper (ground red pepper)
  • 2 cup(s) (12 ounces) whole-wheat orzo
  • 2 ounce(s) goat cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. In 18-by 12-inch jelly-roll pan, combine squash, onion, sage, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss until evenly coated. Roast 15 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and roast 15 minutes longer.
  3. Meanwhile, heat covered 4-quart covered saucepan of water to boiling on high. In medium bowl, combine shrimp, cayenne, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil until well mixed. Add to pan with vegetables and roast 7 to 9 minutes or until shrimp just turn opaque throughout.
  4. Add orzo to boiling water and cook as label directs. Drain and return to saucepan. Add goat cheese, vegetables, shrimp, accumulated pan juices, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir until well combined.

roasted veggies & shrimp

Recipe Source: Good Housekeeping

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Lately I have been making a lot of pizza…boboli makes it so easy with their yummy pizza crusts and once you top them you just need to bake them for 8-10 minutes…dinner in an instant which is what I love! The other night I put together this yummy pizza with ingredients in my fridge…and it was DELICIOUS! I will definitely be making it again soon!

Ingredients:

  • 1 boboli 8 inch pizza crust
  • Basil pesto
  • Fresh spinach (washed)
  • Mushrooms, washed, sliced, and uncooked
  • Fresh garlic (just put a little since there is already lots in the pesto…I love garlic so I always include it in here but if you are not a garlic lover feel free to skip it)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  • Place pizza crust on a cookie sheet. Top pizza with pesto, garlic (and spread it into the pesto), spinach, and mushrooms. Drizzle olive oil over the mushrooms since they are going on uncooked.
  • Top with cheeses, sat, and pepper.
  • Place in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes. Let cool and enjoy!
Note: I didn’t put specific amounts of ingredients since you can really put as much as you like of anything on the pizzas. To each their own! 🙂

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I have been craving pizza lately but I feel like when I order it in or go out it is so unhealthy. So tonight I decided to make my own healthy pizza! I love the boboli crusts because you just throw all your topping on, pop it in the oven, cook for 8-10 minutes, and it’s all done and ready to eat! This is a fun thing to make with a lot of people since the pizzas are personal size so everyone can make theirs to their liking. Tonight I used some fresh and healthy ingredients that I had in my fridge…tomatoes, spinach, garlic, and of course cheese. It was so yummy and I can’t wait to make it again soon!

Ingredients:

  • 1 boboli pizza crust (8 inches)
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Feta cheese
  • Fresh spinach
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • Fresh garlic
  • Tomato sauce of choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Note: For all the ingredients just use as much as desired! 
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place pizza crust on a cookie sheet. Top with tomato sauce, spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella, feta, fresh garlic, salt, and pepper.
  3. Place in the oven to cook for 8-10 minutes until cheese starts to brown and bubble.
Enjoy!!!

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This appetizer sampler was inspired by a lot of random things in my refrigerator… another time that my scrounging has led to yumminess! Sometimes I will make this for a little dinner for myself or I will make it for a group if I am entertaining. I didn’t list amounts in the ingredients since you can pretty much just make as much as you need! I love cheese and crackers at any time and the salami is an added yummy factor. Asparagus and proscuitto is a simple appetizer that a lot of people think sounds complicated but it it super easy and quick to prepare. Babybel cheeses are little and fun and they have so many different flavors to choose from: Original, Bonbel, Gouda, and White Cheddar (and I may be forgetting one or two). Try this little appetizer platter and you will wow everyone- yourself included!

Ingredients:

  • Your favorite crackers (I like the big round whole wheat ones)
  • Sliced deli cheese (I like all kinds but especially Swiss and Cheddar for this)
  • Salami
  • Prosciutto
  • Asparagus
  • Babybel cheese (I love all flavors!)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil over a large baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cut ends off of asparagus and rinse. Pat dry and roll asparagus in oil, salt, and pepper and place on baking sheet. Put in the oven and cook on both sides until it starts to brown (turn it after about 5 minutes but check in on it depending how hot your oven is).
  2. While the oven is preheating and asparagus is cooking, work on everything else. 🙂 Cut cheese slices into 4 and assemble salami and cheese onto the crackers. I like the big round crackers since the salami fits perfectly on top (I use Safeway brand whole wheat crackers but I am sure there are a ton of other similar kinds).
  3. When asparagus is done cooking, let it cool and then roll it the long way in the prosciutto.
  4. Arrange everything on a large serving plate (or you can have a plate for each appetizer if you are making lots of each). Something else fun that I like to do is make a little plate for everyone that I am entertaining but you can do whatever you want to. 🙂
Serve with: White or red wine and/or cocktails. This is a perfect starter for an Italian meal- I used it as my starter for a meal of stuffed shells and Caesar salad and it was a perfect pairing. 🙂

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This was another of those “let’s use up stuff in the house before it goes bad” recipes and it turned out DELICIOUS! In fact, I will probably make sure to keep all of the ingredients in my house so that I have them to make this yummy smoothie. 🙂 Words cannot describe my current flax obsession. I love love love it and adding it into oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies, and baked goods makes me feel so good about what I am eating!

Here is the recipe for tonight’s smoothie… picture to follow soon!

Serves: 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 6 oz. vanilla greek yogurt (I love Chobani and remember greek yogurt is PACKED with protein!)
  • 3 tbsp. ground flaxseed
  • 2 cups ice cubs
  • Drizzle of agave nectar

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in blender and blend until desired consistency. Drink up and enjoy this healthy smoothie. Yum!!

Stay tuned… more flax smoothie recipes to follow soon! xo

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This recipe is an upgrade on one of my absolute favorite comfort food recipes, broccoli casserole. 🙂 Some of my favorite foods are pasta, cheese, and veggies and the addition of ham to this casserole adds extra protein and LOTS of flavor! I decided to toss ham and mushrooms into the casserole tonight since I had them in my fridge and I am a huge fan of using things in my fridge before they go to waste. This recipe is one of my favorites because you can assemble it in advance, pop it in the fridge, and cook it when you are ready to eat. I did all of the prep, went to yoga, then came home and popped it in the oven, cooked it for 30 minutes and it was piping hot and ready to eat! The best part? LEFTOVERS! After eating my dinner, I put the rest it into tupperwares and placed them in the fridge so now when I need a quick lunch or dinner this week I can pop one in the microwave for 2-3 minutes until hot and ready to eat. A yummy meal in an instant!

Here is the recipe for this yummy casserole:

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 small heads of broccoli, rinsed and chopped
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, rinsed
  • 1 green pepper, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese (I buy it pre-grated!)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 12 oz. wide egg noodles
  • 8 oz. chopped black forest ham (I used the sliced deli meat since I had it in the fridge. It was super easy to just chop it up into little pieces to toss into the mix)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Rinse and chop veggies and place in a large mixing bowl. Add in ham. Mix together gently.
  3. Add in cream of mushroom soup and mix in gently.
  4. Cook pasta noodles according to package instructions and mix in when they are done and drained.
  5. Add in cheese and mix in.
  6. Add salt and pepper as desired.
  7. Place mixture into a large casserole dish (you may need to use two since it makes a lot) and put in the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes, until noodles start to brown and casserole is cooked through.

Note: I LOVE veggies and cannot get enough of them. If you or the people that you are cooking for are not huge veggie lovers, feel free to cut the amount of veggies in half that you use. But remember that the more veggies, the healthier your meal! 🙂 Enjoy!

Egg noodles cooking away!

Veggies and ham waiting for the pasta and cheese!

The finished product!

Leftovers for the week!

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I was flipping through Food Network magazine and came across the recipe for this dip and could not wait to go to the store, buy all of the ingredients, and make it! And let me tell you, it is just as yummy as it sounds (as looks). This is a perfect appetizer for a party (superbowl is coming up…) and will definitely win you any man’s heart. Try it and see, I guarantee EVERYONE who tastes it will love it!

Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Serves: 12

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups Daisy Brand Sour Cream
  • 3 ounces bacon bits
  • 2 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup green onion, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a bowl, combine all ingredients.
  3. Place the mixture in a 1-quart baking dish. Cover.
  4. Heat the dip for 25-30 minutes or until hot.
  5. Serve with assorted fresh vegetables, crackers and/or chips.

*Serving option: Dip may also be placed in hollowed round sourdough loaf, wrapped in foil and heated in 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Recipe source: Daisy Brand

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2011 is here, I just turned 27, and it’s been far, farrrr too long since I’ve contributed anything to this blog.  And while I can’t change how fast time seems to fly these days, I can make it a point to share my latest foodie adventures with all of you – and between the holidays and some major culinary indulgence recently, I have a whole lot to say.  I just finished putting together a list of my favorite Japanese restaurants on Oahu for a client (which of course led to me spending about an hour compiling a list of the rest of my current favorites…), and I thought I would start of my 2011 blog entries with it.  So here goes…If you’re in Hawaii you’ve got to give them all a try, if not, this list looks like the perfect reason to book a trip!

TOP SIX – Reservations are a must for these, and I highly recommend sitting at the sushi bar and asking the chef to serve you what they think is      best/fresh that day…you’ll never be disappointed!

  • Imanas Tei: http://www.yelp.com/biz/imanas-tei-restaurant-honolulu this website rates it as being quite pricey, but you can go and have a mid-range meal there easily.  The sashimi platter is the very best…the fish is very, very fresh.  I hear their nabe is also really good.  Amazing delicious and not too formal, this is the perfect go any night of the week kind of place.
  • Sushi Izakaya Gaku: http://www.yelp.com/biz/sushi-izakaya-gaku-honolulu My absolute number one favorite sushi place in all of Hawaii right now.  The fish is unbelievably fresh, their Izakaya dishes are to-die-for and the service and ambiance are wonderful.  The head chef of Imanas is the guy who owns/runs Gaku.  Very limited seating and very popular, so make sure to make reservations.  It is pricey, but worth every single penny, I promise!  Just make sure you give the seared O-toro and the Spicy Negihama Tartare.
  • Hakkei: http://www.yelp.com/biz/hakkei-honolulu Hakkei specializes in Oden which is a Japanese soup similar to Nabe or Shabu-Shabu.  Their focus is much less on sushi (we had some sashimi but that was the only raw fish dish to be seen) and more on warm, comfort type food.  Don’t be mislead though, they change their menu monthly to focus on season ingredients, and each and every dish is creative and exceptionally delicious.  They have three tasting menus or you can just order off the menu.  Very traditional from the food to the ambiance and the staff, I felt like I was back in Japan for a few hours!  Apparently they also serve lunch (check out their website).
  • Ideta: http://www.yelp.com/biz/ideta-restaurant-honolulu Incredibly fresh fish, very straightforward, traditional yet inventive, clean, focused and mouthwatering flavors.  Sit at the sushi bar for sure, the chef/owner is a true master.  This one is a bit off the beaten path and  bit pricey as well, but most definitely worth it!
  • Matsugen: http://www.yelp.com/biz/matsugen-honolulu If you love fresh Soba this is the place to go.  Make sure to try the duck broth with the soba and their fresh tofu as well.
  • Tonkatsu Ginza Bairin: http://www.yelp.com/biz/tonkatsu-ginza-bairin-honolulu Right next door to Matsugen, this place serves Tonkatsu like nothing you’ve ever had before in your life.  Top-grade pork (when you call to make a reservation you can actually reserve the pork as they only have so much and tend to run out as the night goes on), only the freshest ingredients flown in from Japan and an old man whose life has been dedicated to perfecting this dish makes for an unforgettable meal.
Low-Mid Range Favorites
  • Phuket Thai:http://www.yelp.com/biz/phuket-thai-restaurant-honolulu very, very good thai food!
  • Hale Vietnam: One of my very favorite Vietnamese restaurants…you must try the Imperial Rolls if you go! http://www.yelp.com/biz/hale-vietnam-restaurant-honolulu Reservations are accepted here.
  • Covenant Books & Cafe:http://covenantbooksandcoffee.com/ Hawaii really lacks good soup & sandwich places, but Covenant really makes up for it in every way possible.  Nestled in a Christian bookstore, their sandwiches are amazing, and they make a different soup every day that makes you want to melt (they have a soup calendar on their website!).  They also serve an incredible breakfast.  I live for their croissant french toast with flambeed bananas….closed on Sunday.
  • Cafe Kaila:http://www.yelp.com/biz/cafe-kaila-honolulu Cafe type food, really yummy breakfast and lunch place.  Crazy on Sat/Sunday mornings, but always worth the wait.
  • Bogart’s Cafe:http://www.yelp.com/biz/bogarts-cafe-honolulu Very similar to Cafe Kaila
  • Diamond Head Grill:http://www.diamondheadmarket.com/ When I don’t feel like cooking or sitting down at a restaurant, but I want take-out that is healthy and always top-notch, I go to Diamond Head Grill.  They have prepared food available in the market to take home and heat up, or you can order from the grill outside.  Their ahi salad at the grill and their desserts in the market are my favorites.  If you like scones, they have the most insanely good blueberry and sometimes banana scones unlike anything you’ve ever had before.
  • Olive Tree:http://www.yelp.com/biz/olive-tree-cafe-honolulu BYOB, this is the hands-down the best Greek restaurant on the island.  Fat Greek which is down the hill from your house is good as well, but Olive Tree really kicks it up a notch.  VERY busy all the time, so either get there early, order take-out, or be prepared to wait.  There is a wine shop right next door for your convenience 🙂
  • Little Village:http://www.littlevillagehawaii.com/ I know we have a China Town teeming with Chinese food places, but trust me when I say that Little Village is the very best.
  • Mocha Java:http://www.yelp.com/biz/mocha-java-cafe-honolulu Located at Ward Center, this is a wonderful healthy place to go for breakfast and lunch.
  • Himalayan Kitchen:http://www.yelp.com/biz/himalayan-kitchen-honolulu Love this place!  BYOB also (go to Tammura’s down the street for great wine and beer!) We eat here all the time – great ambiance (lots of outdoor seating) and delicious food.
  • Waioli Tea Room:http://www.yelp.com/biz/waioli-tea-room-honolulu If you want to get out of the city and escape into the jungle, this is the place to go.  They serve a great lunch all week, but it is for their breakfast brunch on Saturday and Sunday that I hold out for.  Eating here always makes me feel like I’m on Kauai 🙂
  • Formaggio: http://www.yelp.com/biz/formaggio-honolulu Great french/Italian food and awesome wine list.  Perfect place to go during the week for a quick but great meal and some really yummy wine.
  • JJ Dolan’s:http://www.yelp.com/biz/jj-dolans-honolulu Simple but delicious pizza and beer place located Downtown.
  • V Lounge:http://www.yelp.com/biz/v-lounge-honolulu More artisan style pizza place that is definitely worth a try.
  • KCC Farmers Market: Saturdays from 7:30-11:30 a.m. at Kapiolani Community College…..best Farmers Market on the island, the produce, food, flowers, and everything else there makes it my favorite place to be every single week.
  • Tango:http://www.tangocafehawaii.com/ More in the mid-high range, this place serves excellent breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Tokkuri-Tei: http://www.yelp.com/biz/tokkuri-tei-honolulu another hole in the wall Japanese place, the food here is amazing.  It’s small and very popular, so you might have to wait if you go on a popular night, but it’s well worth it. (Since I wrote this I think they’ve expanded to a larger location, but I hear it’s still packed!)
  • Tsukenaya: http://www.yelp.com/biz/tsukuneya-robata-grill-honolulu this is different than any Japanese food you are used to and its wonderful!  The style of cooking originates from Nagoya in Japan so the focus is less on sushi and more on the robata or bbq style of cooking.
  • Maguro-Ya: http://www.yelp.com/biz/maguro-ya-honolulu Go here for the sushi.  Very traditional and straightforward, I’ve never been disappointed here.  If you like green tea and azuki beans for dessert, theirs is a must-try!
  • Kochi: http://www.yelp.com/biz/kochi-restaurant-and-lounge-honolulu If you are looking for a good place for happy hour and sushi rolls, this is the place to go.  It’s on King St. and I think it’s a bit of a hidden gem.
A bit pricy but VERY worth it:
  • Alan Wongs:http://www.yelp.com/biz/alan-wongs-restaurant-honolulu very pricey (appetizer, food, dessert and alcohol aprox. $100 a head) but SO SO SO worth it.  Alan Wong is one of Hawaii’s very best chefs and I promise that you will not be dissapointed.  If you go to one restaurant while you are in Hawaii, this must be it!  Make sure to make reservations WAY in advance.  Style of food is very pacific rim, fresh and local.
  • Hoku’s at the Kahala Hotel:http://www.yelp.com/biz/hokus-honolulu this is another amazing one, and the location is just beautiful.  It is about a 15-20 minute cab ride from your hotel.  If you go, I recommend going early to have drinks first, and then to dinner…the hotel is breathtaking. Style of food is very pacific rim, fresh and local.
  • Town: Farm-to-table, the ingredients are always fresh, and local and organic whenever possible.  One of my all-time favorites for sure.  http://www.yelp.com/biz/town-honolulu#hrid:kEZQplvbjxjkTEBjAT_4mA/src:search/query:town%20restaurant
  • 12th Ave. Grill:http://www.yelp.com/biz/12th-avenue-grill-honolulu#hrid:_887lbqstrayqaZ6BZSeIA/src:search/query:12th%20ave%20grill fantastic food, totally hole in the wall restaurant.  Right near Hale Vietnam and Town.  Food genre is “New American.”
  • Chef Mavro:http://www.yelp.com/biz/chef-mavro-honolulu One word: unbelievable.  Different than anything you’ll find here in Hawaii, Chef Mavro’s french restaurant is worth the indulgence (both financially and in calories).
  • BLT Steak:http://www.yelp.com/biz/blt-steak-honolulu I’ve heard mixed reviews, but my experience there was fantastic.  I think it’s the best steakhouse on the island personally.
  • Royal Hawaiian Hotel: http://www.royal-hawaiian.com/ just renovated, the Royal is one of Hawaii’s landmark hotels and one of the most beautiful.  Great restaurants but quite pricey – at the very least go for a Mai Tai at their beach front bar because they make the meanest Mai Tai’s you’ve ever had!
  • Sheraton Moana Surfrider Hotel: http://www.moana-surfrider.com/ another of the landmark hotels in Waikiki – their ocean front veranda is beautiful and a great place for breakfast, tea, or drinks at sunset.  I hear the restaurants are good as well, but on the pricier side for sure.

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The other day I was craving something filling for a late breakfast so I looked to see what I had in my fridge and put together this brunch dish, combining several of my favorite ingredients. This meal is packed with important and healthy nutrients, including lots of protein in the eggs and ham, whole grains in the english muffin, calcium in the cheese, and omega-3’s in the avocado. Add some fruit on the side and you have a perfectly balanced breakfast!

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs, scrambled
  • Butter
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices ham (I like Black Forest)
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced into strips
  • 1 whole-grain english muffin

Directions:

  1. Scramble 2 eggs in a small saucepan. Add salt and pepper and cheese toward the end, mixing in well to make sure it is fully melted.
  2. Heat ham in the microwave or in the saucepan.
  3. Toast english muffin, butter it, top with avocado, then ham, then the eggs.
  4. Eat and enjoy!

Note: Want to make this breakfast a bit healthier? Try any or all of these tips… Use only egg whites, use just 1 piece or cheese, or use turkey instead of ham.

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