Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Caprese Salad

I have had people ask me multiple times if I cook every day. In all honesty, I probably do some sort of cooking every day but it is not complicated. Sometimes assembling random things that don't require cooking can make the best dishes.

This recipe is something I would make during the week when I was tired from work, and didn't feel like doing much. It's healthy, fresh, and will fill you up for the night!

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Cook Time: NONE, except toasting bread

2 Large tomatoes, I used Heirloom from TJ's but use whatever!
10 Grape tomatoes (optional)
2 Burrata balls (burrata is a creamier version of fresh mozzarella…use either!)
2 Handfuls of arugula
4 Slices bread
Olive oil
Balsamic glaze (optional)
Salt & pepper (to taste)

First, pop your bread into the oven or toaster until toasty brown (about 3 min). I actually sat my bread on top of my gas burner grate to get a char, but any of those ways work.

Meanwhile, slice your heirloom tomatoes and place on the plates. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the grape tomatoes, handful of arugula, and the burrata balls. (Burrata can be found at Trader Joe's in the cheese display right next to fresh mozzarella. It's creamier and spreads like butter on bread!)

Drizzle olive oil over everything. Then put some balsamic glaze on the side of the plate that you can dip into. (also found at Traders) You don't want to put it on top of everything because it's pretty concentrated, just dip! If you don't have glaze, regular balsamic vinegar works too.

Add in the bread and you're done! Pairs well with a nice Sav Blanc or Pinot Grigio!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili

I made this recipe when the temperatures dipped to a balmy 60 degrees in Santa Barbara. This chili is a great way to warm up on those cold nights and tastes even better the next day for leftovers.

I baked a skillet cornbread to go with it, but if you don't have time tortilla chips work too!

Don't get scared about the 6 hours cooking time, do it in the morning before you leave and it will be fine if it's left longer.

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 hours

1 Pound, ground turkey
1 JalapeƱo, seeded and chopped (use 2 if you want spicier)
1 Yellow onion, chopped
1 Green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 Red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 Garlic cloves, minced
1 Can crushed tomatoes (28 oz.)
1 Can diced tomatoes (15 oz.)
2 Cans northern white beans, drained (15 oz. each) OR any canned bean! (pinto, kidney, etc)
2 Tablespoons hot sauce (you can omit if you want)
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
1 Teaspoon salt (add more to taste if needed)
1 Teaspoon pepper

Optional Toppings: Cheddar cheese, and sour cream.

Turn your slow cooker on low. Meanwhile, cook the turkey in a pan over medium high heat. It doesn't need to be cooked all the way through, only about 4 minutes until it is light brown/pink.

Throw the turkey into the slow cooker. Then add everything else! It doesn't matter in what order, literally throw it in the pot. Only thing to mention is make sure you add everything for the canned tomatoes. (juice, etc) With the beans, just drain the can (don't wash them off) and throw them in. Mix everything together and you're DONE.

Cook on low for 6 hours. If you're going to be gone longer, you can probably get away with "warm" for 8-10 hours. If you are around, go ahead and stir it every couple of hours but no worries if you can't.

Serve in bowls and add toppings of cheddar cheese, and sour cream for a little extra flavor. Bon appetite!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rosemary Potato Chips

This is a fun and quick way to make your own potato chips. I had some potatoes laying around (you know...couch potatoes, ha ha!) and needed to get rid of them.

I used a mandoline (buy here) to get them this thin, but you can definitely use a sharp knife to slice thinly. Watch those fingers. It's a great snack that will disappear fast!

Servings: 2
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

6 Small gold potatoes (use whatever you like, it's what I had)
Olive oil
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
Parchment paper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. The oven needs to be hot otherwise it will take hours to bake these and they won't be crisp.

Meanwhile, slice all of your potatoes (skin on) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You don't have to use the parchment paper, but I think it helps with the grease. Once on the paper, drizzle with olive oil and season with rosemary, salt, and pepper. There's no specific measurements for this, just do enough to coat everything.

Bake for 20 minutes until crisp and brown around the edges. Timing may vary for different ovens, so just keep an eye on it. That's it! Very simple, fresh and easy!

WARNING: Since there are not any preservatives in these, they are best enjoyed the first day. With each day their crispness goes away.