Green Salsa

10/13/2013 14:04:45

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At my house, when it comes to Mexican food, there is one condiment that trumps them all: a good green salsa. We usually buy ours from a little Mexican market here in Pasadena but, with the amount that we go through, making our own is a better option economically. While I was at least skeptical of making my own (the salsa at this place is really good) it came out pretty darn good. You can really adjust the recipe around depending on what you want. If you like it spicy, you can a few extra jalapenos and leave in the seeds. It also depends upon the chiles themselves as the spiciness varies from pepper to pepper. I recommend serving it with a crunchy and salty tortilla chips or on top of grilled shrimp tacos. 



 
Sorry for the lapse in posts! I really have no excuse except that August was full of trips, saying goodbye to friends before they left for school, and getting ready for classes. Now that school has started, I've been busy with classes and work. 
I made this salad during the summer with my friend Marisol. While I was initially skeptical of the combination of peaches and quinoa, the sweet and savory truly make the salad quite delicious. 

Easy Chicken Salad

7/15/2013 14:10:23

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Sometimes there is nothing better than a good chicken salad. With so many different variations out there, it is hard to wrong. After trying out a couple of different recipes, I took my favorite parts from each and made one of my own. This is an easy salad to make on a ISunday and keep it in the fridge for a healthy lunch option during the week. 
For the chicken, you can use canned, grilled, or boiled - it really just depends on your preference. I prefer to use leftover chicken that has been grilled with a little lemon and tarragon. As for the vegetables, I use Trader Joe's Healthy 8 chopped veggie mix as it's easier and cheaper than buying each vegetable individually. I used to loath the idea of mixing fruit with savory but, in this case, the cranberries add another layer to the flavor of the salad. Hope you enjoy!

 
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Growing up, pancakes were a treat. When I could talk my mom into making them, she and I would bring out the Bisquik and an old and creased recipe from a magazine long ago forgotten. It varied little from the original recipe on the back of the box but included lemon and a touch of lemon, sugar, and baking powder. I remember smiling as I went outside to pick a Meyer lemon from our tree, the happiness resulting not only from the fluffy pancakes I saw on the horizon, but from cooking with my mom. 

A few days ago while looking through some recipes online, I came across one for whole-wheat pancakes. I have to say that these are even better than I was expecting (the adjectives delicious and scrumptious come to mind). A bonus is that due to the whole-wheat flour, they are high in fiber, meaning that they will keep you full for most of the day! Denser than your typical buttermilk pancake, these pancakes are a great base for a number of add-ins. I personally chose to add in slices of banana to half of the batter and wish I had put them in all of them. Whether you choose to eat them plain, add in blueberries, strips of bacon, chocolate chips, or like me, banana, these are sure to please!



Couscous Salad

6/29/2013 23:21:35

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With summer officially here, meals that require little time standing in front of a hot stove and more time outside enjoying the weather are a must. This recipe for Mediterranean couscous salad is one such recipe. It can be prepared ahead of time and left to chill, which makes it a great dish for a low maintenance meal. Couscous is really a great base for many different additions due to its versatility; you can serve it cold, room temperature, or hot. You can make an Italian variation by serving it with olive oil, parmesan, and chopped flat-leaf parsley or like I did, a Mediterranean blend that will be sure to please. 


 
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Despite climbing temperatures and a mounting pile of work, this afternoon, like most afternoons, I decided that the answer to my problems was baking. For the past few days I have been eyeing different brownie recipes but the thought of all of that butter and sugar, no matter how delicious it would be, was keeping me at bay. After a disastrous experience yesterday in which I decided to improve and 'loosely interpret' a chocolate cookie recipe - i.e. me not having enough butter for the recipe and reading somewhere that Greek yogurt could be used as its substitute - I decided that I should just bite the bullet and whip up a pan full of delicious chocolate treats. 
While looking up recipes online I came across one on The Well Traveled Wife for coconut brownies. Instead of using butter, coconut oil acts as a wonderful substitute. Unlike many brownie recipes that I have made before which require the browning of butter in a saucepan and a million different steps and ingredients, this one is a one bowl kind of treat. 
I played around with the recipe a little bit and cut the sugar down from 2 cups to 1 1/2. I also substituted regular white flour for whole wheat. The addition of shredded coconut is a nice change and adds a little extra crunch to the bars. I would also highly recommend letting them cool for about fifteen minutes or longer in order to let them sit and come together. 
While not as fudgy and decadent as other brownies, these were pretty good. So good in fact, that my father who usually scoffs at the idea of cutting back on butter, finished his piece in three minutes flat. No joke. Plus the fact that they are healthy- as healthy as a brownie can be - makes them all that much sweeter.