The best cornbread

Cornbread is single handedly the best accompaniment to chili. Or at least I think it is. They are a perfect combination of flavors and textures and it’s a sad day when I have chili and don’t have cornbread to go along with it.

Today, I made some chili. Yes, I know. It is one-billion degrees outside and I am crazy for making a “cold weather comfort food” today. But I’ve been craving it and my siblings and I are home alone this weekend so we needed some “we want our mommy” comfort food.

Of course, I had to make some cornbread to go along with it. But, as most of you know by now I like to make my recipes as healthy as I can without sacrificing flavor.

Cornbread is generally a really fattening bread. It usually contains about a stick of butter and a good amount of white processed flour. This recipe is different. It has no butter or flour in it and is seriously so moist that you could eat it with a spoon if you really wanted to.

Ingredients

1 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup ground rolled oats (I just put mine in the food processor so they would be ground up)
1 egg
2/3 cup creamed corn
1 cup non-fat milk
2 Tbl honey
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup fresh or frozen corn

**You can also add some cheese or green chilies to this to add a little more flavor – although it is plenty flavorful on it’s own!

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Mix together all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into an 8×8 prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes. The top should be golden brown and a tester inserted into the center should come out clean.

Enjoy!

***This cornbread makes about nine servings. Each serving is less then 100 calories!

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Fruit salad

Fruit salad is such an easy recipe to prepare, but when it is enhanced with some citrus juice, honey, and mint, it makes this recipe so much better. This is a great side dish or dessert to make during these hot summer months for BBQs or parties. I sometime just make this and keep it in the fridge, snacking on it throughout the week (if it even lasts that long – it’s so good!).

Ingredients

1 small pineapple, cored and diced
1 pt. strawberries, quartered
1 mango, cored and diced
1/2 pt blueberries
1/2 pint raspberries
2 cups green grapes, halved
Juice from one lime
1 Tbl honey or agave
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 Tbl mint, minced

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Toss fruit to coat with honey, juices, and mint. Refrigerate for 1 hour. Serve!

Easy guacamole


Avocados are one of my favorite foods. Actually, I have three favorite foods. And they are all in the recipe. So I guess that makes guacamole my favorite food.

Avocados, limes, and serrano/jalapeno peppers are my three favorite ingredients to cook with. I really dislike using things like mayo and sour cream in recipes that call for them. Usually, I will substitute a puree of avocado for them and it makes it taste so much better with less calories/fat. Limes are also really great ways to flavor things without calories. It can sometimes take the place of salt in certain recipes because of its high acidity. I omit the salt in this recipe because the lime juice adds enough “saltiness” to make it taste seasoned.

I don’t really have a good reason as to why hot peppers are some of my favorite things to eat. I just really love spicy food and I add them whenever I can because I can never get enough heat.

If you like avocados, you should most definitely give this recipe a try. This is a really easy and fast dip that you can serve for really any occasion at any time of the year. Its a great recipe to just have on hand as something you can throw together in minutes.

Ingredients

3 ripe avocados
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 serrano pepper, minced (Jalapeno can also be used here)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
Juice from one lime
2 Tbl red onion, finely chopped

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Take a knife and cut through the avocados in the bowl, leaving the pieces chunky. (If you like your guacamole a little smoother, you can mash the avocados with a fork. I like mine more chunky so I leave the pieces pretty big.)

Serve immediately. If making ahead of time, cover the guacamole with plastic wrap and make sure the plastic is touching the surface of the guacamole. This will help prevent it from browning.

Whole-wheat rosemary raisin bread


Is it possible to have an addiction to bread? Because I think I may have that. There are few things as good as a freshly baked loaf of bread.

Maybe some butter on that bread. Yeah, that might be better.

But, freshly baked bread is pretty darn good on its own. Especially when it has rosemary and raisins in it.

By now, you all probably know that I have a mild obsession with Trader Joe’s. Is it sad that I just like walking around in there? No? You do too?! Anyways, my mom found some crackers there that have raisins and rosemary in them. Not only are these crackers amazing eating utensils for any dip, they are so tasty on their own. And that got me thinking – Would these flavors be good in a bread? Heck yeah they are!

Sweet/salty/carbs. What more do you need people? Oh, and to make you want this bread even more – this recipe is so easy. I basically did it in my sleep. Which is what I did in between all the breaks you have to take while making it. This bread is also one that can be made all year long. It would be really great around the holidays, but its delicious during the summertime too! (By the way, this bread is even more amazing when you slather preserves all over it 🙂 . )

Ingredients
Adapted from King Arthur Flour / How Sweet It Is

1 packet dry active yeast
1 1/4 cup milk, warmed but NOT hot
2 tsp honey
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbl butter, melted
3 Tbl brown sugar
1/4 cup rosemary, chopped
1/3 cup raisins

In a bowl, combine yeast, milk and honey. Set aside for about ten minutes until it is foamy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add flours, oats, salt, butter, brown sugar, rosemary, and raisins. Pour in milk mixture and mix on low speed until the dough looks shaggy. Increase the speed to medium and knead dough for five minutes. It should begin to look smooth.

Place dough in a well oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for one hour.

Remove dough from the bowl and place in an oiled 9×5 loaf pan. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let sit for 90 minutes. Pre-heat you oven to 350 degrees.

Once you oven is hot, bake bread for 35-40 minutes. The top will look golden brown. Allow to cool completely before eating.

Florida quinoa

First and foremost, I want to apologize for being MIA for the last few weeks. As most of you may already know, I graduated college two weeks ago and relocated back to Naples from Charlotte. It has been a crazy few weeks. But I have really missed all of you 🙂

Because my sister and I have lived in North Carolina for the last few years, we wanted to make sure to hit up all of our favorite restaurants before we moved away. This included an array of food that was fried and/or laden with butter and cream. It was all so good. But so bad. I need to detox.

Quinoa is so healthy, so any time I get the opportunity to make it, I do. I recently had a salad that was very similar to this recipe in Whole Foods and decided to put my own spin on it once I got home. It has so many really healthy ingredients in it – but is so flavorful. You would never guess there is no added fat in it!

Ingredients

2 cups quinoa
4 cups water

Cook quinoa according to directions on the box. Once cooked, allow to cool completely.

1 mango, diced
1 cup shelled edamame
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 orange, peeled and cut into segments
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
Zest from one lemon
Juice from one lemon
Juice from one orange
Juice from one lime

Combine all ingredients into a bowl. Add in the cooled quinoa and stir to combine. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to allow all the flavors to be absorbed into the quinoa before eating.

Enjoy!!