Tag Archives: cooking

My Favorite Healthy Pinned Recipes

Before I dive in with my favorite healthy recipes I’ve pinned, I have to ask: is Pinterest still happening, or at this point is it only yoga-pants wearing women age 18-35 looking at fitspo pics while crying into pans of slutty brownies? Actually, don’t answer that: I don’t care. I still like it. Make fun of me if you want, but if I ever win the lottery, I know EXACTLY how I’m going to decorate my 2,000-square foot kitchen that I’ll use exclusively to make mac and cheese.

Anyway, since this is the time of year when most of us are all, “Maybe I should counteract the last two months of gluttony by eating healthy for a week,” here are some healthy recipes you should consider making. I’ve made each of these over and over because they’re so delicious and easy. Click the photo to get to my Pinterest board, and the source link to get to the recipe:

Source Crispy Orange Chicken Quinoa Bowls

Source Crispy Orange Chicken Quinoa Bowls (Note: Cut the Sriracha in half and don’t add the red pepper flakes if you don’t like spice!)

Source Cilantro lime skirt steak with chimichurri sauce

Source Cilantro Lime Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Source Paleo pad thai

Source Paleo Pad Thai

Source Cauliflower crust pizza

Source Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Source Barbecue Chicken Quinoa Bowls

Source Barbecue Chicken Quinoa Bowls

Source Veggie alfredo lasagna

Source Veggie Alfredo Lasagna

Dave and I have been battling the plague for most of 2015, so we haven’t really gotten around to cooking very much yet. The good news: I think I’ve lost all the holiday weight I gained. The bad news: I’m pretty sure eating only ramen and Christmas candy isn’t healthy, even if you can lose weight on it. I hope you’ll try some of these!

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Violence of the Lambs (AKA, Guinness Lamb Stew Recipe)

The following is a guest post from Dave, who really did give himself a blister cutting the lamb for this recipe. Apparently we need to invest in some better knives.

***

“Guinness lamb stew, you say? Well I’ll make that for you, Heather.” – me

I was excited to make lamb stew Sunday, mostly because I love the taste of lamb and the taste of Guinness, and it was my first foray into turnip-cooking. When we went to buy the ingredients, there was really only one snag: we needed boneless leg of lamb, and all we could find was bone-in. No big deal, I thought. I’ll just cut that tender baby sheep meat off the bone and cook it up.

This stew recipe estimated a three-hour cook time, give or take, so I yanked the shanks out of the fridge after cooking up the onions, thyme and rosemary (which smelled phenomenal) and got to cutting around 4:30.

Wait, did I say cutting? No, that’s what knives normally do. What I did was ineffectually glance knife blows off a lamb’s leg like it was Robocop’s titanium farm friend. What I failed to realize going into this recipe was that lambs, the curious little scamps who flit about our sleeping exercises, are actually indestructible creatures who laugh in the face of chefs who use knives purchased at a Big Lots! about seven years ago. Part of the problem was the fat on the shank, which had the tensile strength of carbon filament and the piercing resistance of Kevlar.

You won't be laughing when my impenetrable lamb-armor stops your bullets. Well, you'll still be laughing, but I won't be hurt.

You won’t be laughing when my impenetrable lamb-armor stops your bullets. Well, you’ll still be laughing, but I won’t be hurt.

I hacked, poked and prodded the meat on those little lamb legs in what assuredly looked like one of Babe’s nightmares. I’m sure if it had been filmed, vegetarians would use the horrifying footage to scare kids into meat-free diets. I finally ended up with a decent pile of mangled pieces of lamb for the stew about an hour later.

Luckily, the stew tasted really good, and the actual blister I got from using the knife was definitely worth it.

Guinness Lamb Stew

Not baaaa-d

The recipe, which came from … some calendar of recipes Heather owns, is here:

Guinness Lamb Stew
8 tsp olive oil, divided (or just pour it as you need it, like a normal person)
2 cups chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1.5 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2.5 pounds BONELESS leg of lamb, trimmed and cut into one-inch cubes
salt
pepper
2 cups Guinness Stout
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 cups of beef broth
2 cups cubed, peeled Yukon gold potato (we used honey gold, which are probably the better choice)
2 cups of 1-inch diagonally-cut carrots
8 oz turnips
1 tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard
parsley

Heat a large Dutch oven or a regular pot over medium-high heat.  Add 2 teaspoons of oil to the pot. Add onion, thyme and rosemary; sauté for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. By “occasionally” the recipe meant continuously, unless you want burnt ingredients. After five or so minutes, dump that stuff out into a nearby bowl.

Salt and pepper the wonderfully cut and not-at-all mangled lamb chunks and coat in flour. Bring the pot to medium-high heat again and pour in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add half the lamb to the pot, and brown on all sides. The recipe says this will only take six minutes, but it also says that unicorns exist.

Once browned, pour into the bowl with the onion mixture and repeat with the second half of the lamb chunks.

Add beer to the pan and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally and reducing to about half the initial amount. Pour in the onion-lamb mixture and tomato paste, stirring while cooking for about 30 seconds. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring as often as you like, depending on how awesome the Law and Order: SVU episode you’re watching is.

Uncover the pot and put in the carrots, potatoes and turnip. Simmer uncovered for about one-and-a-half hours. Stir in some more salt and pepper to taste and the mustard. Throw on some parsley when serving.

Next time I will try it using a pale ale instead. Oh, and I’ll bring a chainsaw for the damn lamb.

[Heather’s note: It is in your best interest to mop up the leftover broth in your bowl with a heavily-buttered piece of bread. Or three.]

Healthy Alfredo Sauce Made From Cauliflower. I KNOW.

No offense to Dave, but cheese is the love of my life.

It is the answer to all the important questions I ask myself every day: Why get out of bed every morning? So I can eat cheese on toast for breakfast. Is it really necessary to spend so much time running every week? Yes, because brie.

It is even the answer to important questions other people ask me. On Saturday, Dave and I met with a home loan officer, who looked over my finances and asked where all my discretionary income goes. He was clearly thrilled with my answer:

“Uh … cheese? I mean, SAVINGS. IT GOES RIGHT INTO MY SAVINGS.”

So when I was browsing Pinterest last week and saw this picture of Veggie Alfredo Lasagna from Pinch of Yum, I made a mental note to make it over the weekend because look! At all of the gooey cheese!

final-34

Photo: Pinch of Yum

And then I found out that it’s actually fairly healthy. The sauce on this bad boy is made from pureed cauliflower, milk, vegetable broth, garlic, and just a small pinch of parmesan. And yet it tastes like full-fat, cheese-heavy alfredo sauce. WHAT IS THIS CULINARY MAGIC?

I will admit I was skeptical at first, so I dipped a pinkie into the sauce for a small taste when I had finished blending it. I seriously could not believe how delicious it was, and decided I  needed to taste a bigger sample in order to properly “check my seasonings.” Because that sounded better in my head than, “I want to drink this alfredo sauce like a damn milkshake.”

Instead of dirtying a spoon, I decided to just take a small sip from the edge of the blender. (Important Note to All My Friends: I swear I do not do things like this when we have guests.) This of course happened to be the exact moment Dave walked into the kitchen to grab a beer. I totally tried to play it off like I was just smelling the sauce and not DRINKING IT like a total creeper, but I think my alfredo mustache gave me away.

I can’t believe I write these things on the Internet.

Also, somebody please start a band called Alfredo Mustache before Gwyneth Paltrow uses it for her next kid’s name.

Anyway. In addition to the healthy cauliflowery sauce, this lasagna has a ton of other fresh veggies mixed in the filling. Lindsay at Pinch of Yum used carrots, tomatoes, and greens. We used eggplant, yellow squash, tomatoes, and spinach. I had planned to use mushrooms as well, but forgot to buy them because I’m an idiot (like you didn’t figure that out from the sauce chugging story). My point is: Don’t be like me. Use mushrooms if you make this recipe.

Veggies

Photo: Heather Homefaker

I’d post a picture of how mine turned out, but right now I’m struggling to take close-ups of my food without it looking like a pile of inedible slop. It’s stressing me out. I need some cheese.