April 7, 2011

EASY Couscous salad

This doesn't really have a name or an exact recipe....just kinda a throw-together kinda salad! This salad is truly easy and soooo healthy. There are so many different additions you can throw in with couscous. Try Parmesan, pine nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, any veggie really, and the great thing is, couscous cooks in five minutes! Alright, onto the ingredients that I used for this salad, but again, there is no set amount for any of these...just toss in to your taste! Tri-color couscous (I made about 4 cups of it) baby spinach 2 ripe avocados cherry or grape tomatoes EVOO red wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar fresh juice and zest from one lemon salt and pepper Cook couscous, and dump hot couscous onto spinach in bowl (it will wilt quickly this way) add in the diced avocados and cherry tomatoes (I didn't have time to halve mine, but that would be preferable!). Toss together dressing ingredients (and whatever else floats your boat) and pour over salad. Chill or eat warm as is! Good either way. Note: I also cook the couscous in chicken broth for more flavor and sometimes add some lemon zest to the broth while it is coming to a boil. I have a picture of this on my facebook album "Adventures in Cooking". But, for some reason my card-reader on my printer is acting up....again. ughhh, so try to post a picture of the salad on here later!

March 11, 2011

Baked Beans!!

So, I had a revelation when I realized I could make baked beans from scratch! And....they are easy, cheap, and best of all...healthy! I'll spare you my lecture about the nutritional benefits of beans and just give you my recipe. However, the beans taste a little different each time I make them. You really can throw in whatever you like. Example...honey instead of sugar. More or less molasses, ketchup, etc. So, here goes...

Baked Beans
2 cups (1 16 oz bag) navy beans (NOT CANNED!! dry beans...that are like 89 cents!!)
1 small onion
about 5-6 (or 8 if you are bacon-lover like me) strips bacon
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp. dry mustard
mustard (optional)
pure maple syrup (optional)

Soak beans in water overnight (or can use "quick soak" method on back of bag). In morning rinse and cook in enough water to cover beans (about 5-6 cups water) about 1 hour or until tender. If you decide to cook these in a crockpot...DO NOT add the salt until the end of cooking. The beans will NOT get tender. (I speak this from experience!)
Then put beans and rest of ingredients (I do add the prepared mustard and maple syrup) into a 9x13 pan and cook at 350 for about 1.5-2 hours!
Great with cornbread muffins (maybe I'll put that recipe up later...but its on the back of the corn meal box)