Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fresh Raspberry Soda

Last time I tried to give blood, Diet Dr. Pepper spewed forth from my veins. On my quest to healthier insides, I began replacing some of my soda with...soda. Fruity, pink, good for you soda. Grab a sieve and let's get girly.

1 cup raspberries
1 tsp lime juice
2 tsp agave nectar
1 cup soda water
Optional: splash of vodka

  • Place sieve over a bowl and & drop raspberries in. Mash the berries with the back of a spoon so that juice flows through the sieve into the bowl. 
  • Mix raspberry juice, lime juice and agave nectar in a glass and add a few cubes of ice.
  • Grab the sieve full of raspberry bits and hold it over the glass of mixed juices and nectar. Pour soda water over raspberry bits and allow it to drain through sieve into your glass. 
  • Add a splash (or two) of vodka if you so desire.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Snack Week Recipe: Roasted Cantaloupe Salad and Smoothies

Snack week continues with roasted cantaloupe salad and cantaloupe smoothies.

Cantaloupe doesn't stand a chance in my house. It's one of my favorite fruits and sometimes disappears before it reaches the fridge. This week I practiced restraint all in the name of food blogging. Let's roast!

Roasted Cantaloupe Salad
2 cups bite-sized pieces of cantaloupe
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • Heat oven to 350 degrees and cube cantaloupe. 
  • Place cantaloupe on baking sheet and roast until it begins to caramelize, roughly 35 minutes. 
  • Allow to cool.
  • Toss cooled cantaloupe, chopped nuts, Greek yogurt and coconut flakes. Makes about 1 cup.
  • Hint: if you want to serve this to folks, set aside a few of the prettiest pieces of roasted cantaloupe, a spoonful of nuts and some coconut flakes. Sprinkle each over the top of the salad. Looks matter. 
  • Eat!

Cantaloupe Smoothies

2 cups cubed cantaloupe
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt 
1/2 cup reduced fat organic milk
2 tbsp agave nectar
  • Throw all ingredients in a food processor. Process until desired texture is reached. I let mine run about 1-1.5 minutes for a smoothie with no chunks . Makes a pint and a half.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Snack Week Recipe: Fruit & Nut Squares

Snack week continues with fruit & nut squares! Which coincidentally was my nickname in high school. Let's do this.

1.5 cups mixed nuts
3 cups dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, pineapple, papaya, coconut)
1 tbsp honey
Additional 1/2 cup dried fruit for topping

  • Pulse mixed nuts in food processor until finely chopped. Set aside.
  • Process dried fruit and honey until it forms a paste. 
  • Add nuts back to mixture and pulse until combined. 
  • Roll "dough" out on baking sheet and cut into squares.
  • Sprinkle remaining dried fruit over squares and press into top.
  • Refrigerate for one or more hours prior to serving. (Squares will taste great if you skip this step but will hold up much better after spending some time in the fridge.)

Makes roughly 15 1 inch x 1 inch squares. Store in air tight container in refrigerator. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Snack Week Recipe: Black-eyed Pea Hummus

Snack week continues with black-eyed pea hummus! 

I have yet to meet a hummus that I do not like. I usually eat chickpea based hummus, but black-eye based is a delicious departure from the norm. 

Grab the vegetable chips we made yesterday and get cookin'.

1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained 
1 head roasted garlic*
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp cajun seasoning 1 tsp
1/2 cup tahini 1/3 cup
8 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
dash of sea salt
  • Place black-eyed peas, roasted garlic, lemon juice, paprika and cajun seasoning in food processor. Process until pureed. 
  • Add tahini, olive oil and sea salt. Pulse until well combined.
  • Garnish with fresh chives, cilantro, a few drips of evoo and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with baked pita chips or vegetables.

*Don't want to wait for roasted garlic? Cut the top off the head, place it in a microwave-safe dish and drizzle it with evoo. Add a little water around the garlic (about 1/4 as high as garlic) and cover the dish. Microwave for a few minutes at a time, checking to see if the garlic has softened up.

P.S. The owner of my favorite produce market/Asian grocery store questioned my use of black-eyed peas on a recent tahini trip. What's your verdict? Yea or nay? 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Snack Week Recipe: Vegetable Chips

Snack week continues with vegetable chips!

I generally prefer to eat vegetables raw. Wash and go. It's a texture thing - squash may be the worst offender when it comes to cooked vegetables. I can't stand the squish. 

Chips don't squish. Let's make some chips.

Vegetables (such as potatoes, carrots, zucchini, kale, beets, fennel, squash, etc)
1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil per vegetable used
1/4 tsp sea salt per vegetable used
1/4 tsp seasoning per vegetable used

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
  • Wash and DRY desired vegetables and thinly slice (I used sweet potatoes, beets, zucchini and kale). 
  • Toss with olive oil, sea salt, and seasonings (I used Cajun seasoning and dried cilantro) until evenly coated.
  • Place in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake until crisp. (10 min for kale; 30 - 40 min for others, flip half-way through)

Your chips should last a few days stored in airtight container. Pop them in a hot oven for a few minutes if they feel a little soft.

The kale chips are definitely my favorite. If you try this recipe, give me a shout - let me know which you like best.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Snack Week Recipe: Roasted Chickpeas Two Ways (Salty and Sweet)

It's snack week on Turning Mediterranean! I am a snacker. I often eat snacks for meals. And snacks for snacks. First order of snack week: roasted chickpeas.

I may love chickpeas too much. I toss them in salads and mash them in sandwiches and pluck them straight from the can. With a side of hummus. In my book, chickpeas are the perfect snack food: healthy, easy and delightful to the tongue. Why am I still typing? Let's cook!

Two cans chickpeas
1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
(alternatives are offered for the following - see recipe)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Slap Ya Mama Cajun seasoning
1 tsp dried cilantro
2.5 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried rosemary

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Step One: Crunch 

  • Drain and rinse two cans of chickpeas.
  • Rub peas between two paper towels to dry them out a bit. Remove any loose skins.*
  • Spread chickpeas in even layer on baking sheet and place in oven. After 15 minutes, give the baking sheet a little shake to toss the chickpeas. Return to oven and bake until almost crisp (about 10 min). Leave the oven at 400 for the next step.

Step Two: Season
While still hot, divide crunchy chickpeas in half.

  • SALTY: Toss half of the chickpeas with
    • 1/2 tsp olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • garlic powder, Slap Ya Mama and cilantro (experiment! try spices such as paprika, cumin, curry powder, lime salt, black sesame seeds, etc if garlic and slap aren't your faves)
  • SWEET: Toss remaining half of chickpeas with
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1/4 tsp sea salt
    • brown sugar and dried rosemary (try with honey, cinnamon and nutmeg if brown sugar and rosemary isn't your bag)

After chickpeas are evenly coated, return baking sheet. Make a tin foil barrier between the two to keep flavors from mixing. Place in oven until crispy (about 10 min). Store cooled left-overs in an airtight container.

*It is entirely possible that I just eat the skins as I remove them. This is a judgement-free zone.