Monday, July 28, 2014

Love and Chicken Cauliflower-Alfredo Pasta



I have discovered the BEST thing since sliced (whole-grain) bread.

As some of you may remember, I have dabbled with cauliflower purees in the past, but this has taken it to a whole new level.

The cauliflower serves as the creamy component of Alfredo sauce...and with a little seasoning and some parmesan cheese, it tastes just like the kind we all love!

Now of course at Love&Grub, we add veggies where we can, so I've made my favorite combo of whole grain pasta, chicken and of course, vegetables.


So on top of all that goodness, we are gonna cook a sauce that is literally made from a vegetable. 

Can't stop. Won't stop.

Pasta gets a bad reputation because usually when you go out to eat, it is just white pasta and the sauce is loaded with butter, cream and cheese. 

Yes, it's delicious but it is just not healthy and definitely won't keep you full for long. Of course, if you are craving it, go get that pasta! 



When making pasta at home, using a whole-grain pasta is the first important component.

Also, make your veggie-protein-pasta ratio about 3:2:1. 

What I mean by that is, make it mostly veggies, add a protein if you'd like and make it less pasta than those 2. That way you fill up on the good stuff while still getting some pasta.

Enough talking...Let's get cooking!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Love and Beer Soaked Beans


"Beer is proof that God wants us to be happy"


I think we have all heard the famous quote by Philly's own hero, Benjamin Franklin, and I think many of us can agree that beer is pretty awesome.

It's the perfect drink for the summer. It is cold, crisp, refreshing, and has so many varieties of flavors.


So when I found out this month's Recipe Redux theme was cooking with spirits, extracts and other alcohols, I was really excited to try something new.


Beer actually has a few health benefits as well, which makes it perfect for some Love and Grub.

Having a little alcohol a day is thought to be heart healthy (2 drinks for men, 1 for women), can increase the good cholesterol, HDL, while also lowering the bad, LDL.

Beer also contains some fiber, has several B vitamins and also could be good for your bones!


Now, I'm not talking drinking as many beers as you can in one night. That is definitely not healthy. 
But having one or two, here and there, can add some benefits without causing more harm. 

Today, I'm using Harpoon's Big Squeeze Shandy which is flavored with grapefruit. It is a sweet beer, so the sweetness pairs well with richness of the beans.

Also, this citrus goes even more perfectly with a little Asian flair of soy sauce, ginger, garlic and a little sesame oil.

I even added a little kale because you all know that I love to add veggies where I can.

So let's get to it!


Ingredients

One 12oz beer, preferably a wheat beer or shandy 
1 can pinto beans (no salt added)
1/2 can black beans (no salt added)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sugar
pinch of ground ginger
salt and pepper to taste!
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil (optional)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Love and Baked 'Fried' Chicken

I received a special request, from one of my very best friends, to make a healthy version of fried chicken. 

As a fried chicken [tender] lover myself, it was not hard to convince me to try this as my next recipe. 


I originally thought of making this with drumsticks, but in an attempt to cut down on portions and some excess fat, I opted for the tenders which are smaller and skin-free. 

You can use this breading recipe and make it with drumsticks, or wings, but keep in mind that it is healthier without the skin. 

Plus, the thing I love about smaller portions is that it is easier to limit your intake, while also being able to indulge. You don't have to overdo it... you can enjoy a little and still get that satisfaction you crave. 

This recipe allows for some serious satisfaction, with less of the things that are not so great for us.

It is also very simple, straight forward and freakin' delicious. 

Let's get to it!


Ingredients
Servings: 8 tenders (good for about 2 people)

1 pack chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 8 tenders
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs (regular bread crumbs work too)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 eggs
salt and pepper

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Love and Garbanzo-Black Bean Purée


We all know or have at least heard that beans are good for us. 

Garbanzo and black beans are a good source of protein, fiber, folate and magnesium. 
Black beans are also a good source of iron. 

But, to be honest, these affordable, easy and healthy little things can get kind of boring sometimes.

Yea, I said it. 

Adding beans to salads and tacos is awesome, but sometimes, I just want to try something new and improved. 

And fortunately for me and you, beans are also super versatile.

I even saw one chef on Chopped make a black bean caramel sauce. 

Today, we are making something a little more savory.

 This AWESOME purée/dip using only a few extra ingredients.


Let's also take a second to talk about cilantro.

I grew up eating a lot of this so I am used to its flavor and LOVE LOVE LOVE it, but I have been told it can be strong if you're not used to it. 

Therefore, it's important to add a little, taste and then add more if you like it.

If you just hate it, you can substitute it with another herb like basil.

It's also has antioxidant properties and is a low calorie, sodium and fat free way to add SO much flavor. 

Can't beat that!

On to the recipe...


Ingredients

1/2 can of black beans
1/2 can of garbanzo beans (AKA chickpeas)
2 cloves garlic
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 handful fresh cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions

Now, this is an easy one.

Take all these ingredients, EXCEPT the olive oil, and put into a food processor.



Season with salt and pepper. 

Begin to purée, while slowly adding the olive oil. When you've poured about half of oil, stop the processor.

Using a spoon, press down the beans and stir. This is also a good time to taste it. If it has softened up, you can choose to not add anymore oil. 

This is will be about taste and texture preference.
If it is still a little chunky, continue to purée with the remaining oil. 

It should look a little like this.


So delicious. 

It's smooth, so flavorful and herbaceous and most importantly, so simple.

You can use this as a a healthy dip, as a spread for a sandwich or tacos, burritos, etc. 

Feel free to use only one can of either beans or you can experiment with mixing others.

Hope you enjoy it, whichever way you make it!

Until next time!

Lots of LOVE,

Eva