Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Giant Spiders, Snake Sweaters, and Low Carb Bars

Onyx to Quartz: "Ask Mom if I can bring Shelob to bed."
Sapphire: "What if I was Professor X for real?"
Wes: "So basically I've been stuffing myself and eating as much as I want of all the foods I love and I feel really healthy and I've lost ten pounds."
Sapphire: "I want a sweater for my snake." Quartz: "We only sell pasta here." Sapphire: "I could make a sweater out of pasta."

Low-Carb Nut "Granola" Bars

If you're trying to eat low carb, and craving something like a granola bar but with a crunchy homemade taste, try these!

4 c. nuts (almond, hazelnut, pecan, macadamia, etc)
3/4 c. nut butter
1/4 c. agave or honey
1/4 c. shredded coconut
1 c. seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, sesame, flax, etc)
1/4 c. chocolate chips or freeze-dried raspberries (optional)

Chop nuts in a blender or by hand.  I put them in the blender until about half were a coarse meal and half were pieces.  Heat the nut butter in the microwave for 1 minute.  Pour the nut butter and the agave over the nuts, and add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir until everything is moistened and will stick together.  If you need to add a bit more nut butter so it will stick together, go ahead.  Spray a 9x13 cookie sheet, and press the mixture into it.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until browned and crunchy-looking.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Low Carb Sausage and Lentil Soup Recipe

Since Wes has been eating low-carb lately, I've been trying to implement that more in my cooking (though the kids and I still eat plenty of bread, cereal, etc).  I jokingly call it the "Sausage and Salad" diet, since that seems to be a lot of what he eats, so here's a way to have sausage *and* salad in one healthy meal.  Carrots and lentils aren't the lowest-carb thing ever, so feel free to leave them out if you're being really strict; it will work just fine with out them.

Sausage Spinach Lentil Soup

2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 c. chopped celery and/or bell pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 lb. sausage (I like bratwurst or kielbasa for this recipe)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 TBSP curry powder

1 chopped carrot
4 c. beef or chicken broth
4 c. water
1 c. lentils
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 c. chopped cilantro
10 oz. spinach
1/4 c. lemon juice

Saute onion, celery, bell pepper, carrots, and sausage until the sausage is cooked through and the vegetables are starting to get soft.  Add garlic, ginger, pepper, and curry powder and mix.  Add broth and water and bring to a boil.  Add the lentils and turn the heat down to low to simmer for 30 minutes.  Add tomatoes and spinach, and heat until spinach just barely wilts.  Turn off the heat and add cilantro and lemon juice.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kettle Corn Recipe

And now, to live up to my nomsensical name, I offer you a recipe!  Kettle Corn, that slightly sweet popcorn, is delicious, but I never had good luck making it when I added the sugar afterwards.  So here's a recipe for perfect kettle corn.  This makes about 12 servings (enough for an elementary school class or a party).

1/2 c. oil
2 c. popcorn kernels
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sugar

Use large stock pot.  Put oil in cold pot, making sure it coats the bottom.  Add popcorn kernels and salt, coating kernels with oil.  Heat on medium-high, shaking the pot so nothing burns.  When the first kernel pops, after 2-3 minutes, pour sugar on evenly and put the lid on.  Shake the pot.  The popcorn will start popping again after 1-2 minutes.  Turn the heat down to medium.  Keep shaking the pot until they are almost all popped (1-2 seconds between pops).  Turn off the heat, and shake the pot a little more until they finish popping.  Take off the lid, sprinkle on a little more salt to taste, and pour out into a bowl to cool.  There may be a few burned ones stuck to the bottom; just leave them there (I put them out for the quail in the backyard).  To clean out your pot, let it soak in water for a few hours with the lid on, and then wash it out.