Snack Series: Garlic Edamame + a Snack Roundup

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I’ll never forget the first time I tried edamame. I didn’t know what it was and started chewing the whole thing (shell & all) at lunch one day with my co-worker. We were at an Asian restaurant and they served edamame as an appetizer.

“Don’t eat the shell!” she cried as I was chomping away. Let’s just say it’s difficult to gracefully discard edamame shells from your mouth.

Despite this experience, I got hooked on edamame as a snack. It’s great with just salt sprinkled on but I like adding garlic powder to give it a little extra flavor.

Garlic Edamame; Recipe or Not

  • 1 cup or so of shelled edamame (find it in the freezer section, thaw according to directions)
  • sprinkle of kosher or sea salt
  • sprinkle of garlic powder, optional

SNACK ROUNDUP!

We had three great reader contributions to this snack series.

- Nuts with or without raisins in the mix (Love this suggestion! I keep nuts at my desk as a quick snack or they are great for on-the-go! Healthy fats & protein. *Thumbs up*)

- Dark chocolate covered almonds (I mean… dark chocolate. Enough said. *Makes mental note to get some for desk snack stash*)

- Smoothie: frozen blueberries and strawberries, half a banana, almond milk, a scoop of vanilla whey protein powder, a handful of oats, some chia seeds and a scoop of coconut oil. (Now that’s a power smoothie! Could even be breakfast or a post workout treat. I will be giving this a try!)

Thank you so much to Veronica & Amy for contributing these snacks!

More snacks from Recipe or Not:

BBQ Popcorn

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Lemon Vanilla Chia Seed Pudding

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 Healthy Homemade Granola

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Previously from this snack series: Avocado Toast

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Previously from this snack series: Cinnamon Apples

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Snack Series: Cinnamon Apples (& I need your help!)

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I have lots to share with you today! But first — Cinnamon + Apples.

As a self-proclaimed apple pie enthusiast, this snack is my JAM.

There’s a window of time right after I’ve eaten dinner and before the time I know I shouldn’t eat anymore because it’s so close to bed time (but still sometimes eat then anyways, shhhh. ;)).

During this time, I just need a leeettle bit of something sweet. Apples with a sprinkle of cinnamon is the perfect thing. But really, it’s good ANY time.

Second — I wrote my very first guest blog post! 4 Things I Love About Cooking: Click here to read.

And third — An idea popped in my mind. I want to ask YOU (yes, you right there in front of the screen!) to share YOUR favorite snack(s) in the comments. Then, I will compile the list and share it on Friday. I think it would make this snack series even better (plus who doesn’t love more snacks?). If you’ve got a simple, (mostly) healthy, and delicious snack to share, leave a comment and your snack will be featured Friday. :) (***Please be clear on ingredients or any specific instructions.)

Cinnamon Apples; from a personal trainer at my gym

  • 1 apple, cut into slices
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Start off light on the cinnamon. Taste it and add more until you’re satisfied with the apple to cinnamon ratio.

Snack Series: Avocado Toast

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Ready for some snacks?!

This week I’m sharing three of my favorite. They can hardly be called recipes since they’re so simple but I think it’s good to have some go-to snacks in your repertoire.

I’ve been telling a lot of friends recently about avocado toast so I thought I’d start with it first.

The bread gets nice and crispy in the toaster then smeared with creamy avocado. This on its own is a little bland so we sprinkle on salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes for a kick. BOOM. It’s snack time. (Or breakfast… I frequently eat this for breakfast!)

Avocado Toast; from Kris Carr

  • 2 pieces of bread, toasted
  • 1 small avocado*
  • sprinkle of kosher or sea salt
  • sprinkle of black pepper
  • sprinkle of red pepper flakes, optional

Toast the bread, smear with avocado, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Done!

*If you use a large avocado, only use half. Leave the seed in one side, wrap with plastic wrap, pressing it against the avocado to remove the air. Leaving the seed in helps keep more surface area of the avocado from oxidizing and turning brown.

Asian Chopped Salad with Sesame Dressing

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I’m on a salad spree.

And by spree, I mean I posted a salad recipe last month and loved it so much I decided to create another one.

Ok, so it’s not really a spree but let me tell you why I’m so into these salads right now.

I’m an accountant and work in an office all day. I’ve learned the hard way that it’s best to avoid eating heavy lunches during the workday.

They make the already difficult 2:00 slump EVEN HARDER.

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That’s where this perky and colorful salad comes in. It’s packed with all sorts of good-for-you ingredients. Plus we’re adding some grains to make it more filling.

No more 2:00 crash with this for lunch and I’ve noticed I have more energy when I get home too! Soo, uh… you should.. *nudge nudge* … make this salad. ;)

It tastes as fresh as it looks with a smooth sesame dressing to drizzle on.

PS – Have you entered to win these kitchen goodies? The giveaway closes at 10:00pm CDT TONIGHT (9/4). There is still time to enter! Find out how here: Recipe or Not Giveaway.

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And one last announcement — next week I’ll be doing a series of some of my favorite snacks! A new snack will be in your inbox Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. :)

Asian Chopped Salad with Sesame Dressing; Recipe or Not

serves 4-5

For the salad:

  • 1 5oz. package spinach leaves (I tore mine into smaller pieces.)
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2-3 green onions, diced
  • 1 1/2 c. shelled edamame
  • 2 c. cooked brown rice (or quinoa)
  • sesame seeds for garnish

For the dressing:

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 3 T. soy sauce
  • 3 T. honey
  • 2 T. rice vinegar
  • 3/4 t. sesame oil 
  • Want to add some spice? Use sriracha or crushed red pepper flakes.

Combine the salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a mason jar or container with a tight light, shake the dressing ingredients until everything is completely mixed. You may need to use a fork or spoon to whisk/scrape the honey off the bottom before shaking the dressing.

***Like this recipe? Share it with a friend and if you want free weekly recipes, click ‘Get recipes!’ on the top of the sidebar and enter your email address.

Pear Pastries with Honey Whipped Cream & a GIVEAWAY!!!

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Celebrations call for dessert! We’re celebrating with these pear pastries with honey whipped cream. Rich, creamy, and slightly sweet… and SUPER easy. Get the recipe at the end of the post!

What are we celebrating?

Recipe or Not is officially two years old! That’s right, I’ve been creating, photographing, and sharing recipes with you for TWO YEARS. I really can’t believe it.

This little corner of the internet has given me so much joy (and dirty dishes :)). Thank you for reading, commenting, and trying my recipes. It always makes my day when I know someone has enjoyed one of my recipes. :)

To thank you, I’m hosting a giveaway! 

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You have the chance to win a wooden cutting board (complete with non-slip grippy things), a nifty julienne peeler so you can eat all the zucchini noodles your heart desires, and, because I just love them so much, a super duper cute apron so you can look good while whipping up some yummy meals. Produce not included. ;) (These are a bundle prize. One person wins it all!)

How can you win all of these kitchen goodies?

STEP 1. (REQUIRED) Subscribe to Recipe or Not by clicking ‘Get recipes!’ at the top of the side bar, enter your email address, and confirm your subscription in the email that will come to your inbox. This is FREE and I will only use your email address to send you weekly recipes. Already a subscriber? Awesome! You’re the best and you can skip this step. ;)

STEP 2. Get an additional entry to the giveaway by leaving a comment letting me know what you’re going to cook first in your fun, new apron.

STEP 3. For up to 3 more additional entries to the giveaway, you can share this blog post/giveaway on Facebook, Twitter (Tweet it now!), or Pinterest.

STEP 4. (REQUIRED)  Once you’ve subscribed, commented, and shared, complete your entry by clicking here: Submit My Entry, fill out the information (SUPER short) and click ‘Done’. This is totally on the honor system and I know you’re a wonderful, honest person. :) You will NOT be entered in the giveaway if you skip this step.

********THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED.**********

Congratulations to Veronica B. for winning the giveaway!

THANK YOU so much to ALL that participated!

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Pear Pastries with Honey Whipped Cream; Recipe or Not

serves 8

  • 1 puff pastry (find it in the freezer section, follow the instructions for thawing)
  • 2-3 pears, cut into thin slices
  • 3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1/4 c. peach preserves or jam
  • 1/2 c. sliced  almonds

For the whipped cream: In a medium bowl or stand mixer, add the heavy whipping cream and honey. Beat with a hand mixer or stand mixer, starting at low, for a minute or two. Increasing speed as the cream gets thicker. Once stiff peaks start to form, refrigerate until needed.

For the pear pastries: Preheat oven to 400°. On a floured surface, spread out the puff pastry and lightly sprinkle the top with flour. Cut the pastry into eight equal pieces. Place the pastries on a baking sheet and top each one with 4-6 pear slices, leaving 1/2 inch border around the pears. On a separate baking sheet, spread out the sliced almonds. Bake the almonds for 10-11 minutes and bake the pastries for 20-22 minutes until the pastry has puffed and is starting to brown. While the pastries are still hot, carefully brush on 1/2 T. of peach preserves over each pastry. When ready to serve, top each pastry with a dollop of the honey whipped cream and a sprinkle of toasted almonds.

Note: The pastries do not keep very well and are best the day they are made.

Cornbread with Rosemary & Caramelized Onions

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Happy Friday Eve! (Sounds better than Happy Thursday Night, doesn’t it? :))

I’ll keep this short and sweet so you can finish making weekend plans… which should probably include this cornbread. ;)

It’s moist, yet still a little crumbly because, well, it wouldn’t be cornbread if it wasn’t, right? The rosemary complements the cornmeal perfectly and the onions add that slightly sweet flavor from the glorious caramelization. It’s not a sweet cornbread, but can easily be made that way with honey.

PS – Fun things are in store for next week! I’ll be celebrating Recipe or Not’s 2nd birthday with dessert and a giveaway (!!!) so be on the lookout. (Can you believe it’s been two years?!)

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Add a pat of butter…

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…and a drizzle of honey.

Cornbread with Rosemary & Caramelized Onions; Recipe or Not

makes about 8 servings

 For the caramelized onions:

  • 2 yellow onions, diced about 1/2-1″ in size
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • pinch of salt

For the cornbread:

  • 1 1/2 c. yellow fine ground cornmeal
  • 3/4 c. all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 T. sugar
  • 1 T. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 c. plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 T. butter, melted
  • 1/2 c. corn
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped (about 1/2 t.)
  • caramelized onions from recipe above (yields about 3/4-1 cup)

For the caramelized onions: Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a large skillet. Toss in the onions and salt and turn the heat to low, cover with a lid leaving a small crack for steam to escape. Stir the onions every 10 minutes or so until they start to turn brown and caramelize. Mine took 1.5 hours to get really caramelized. HOWEVER, you can add a little sugar to speed the process up (I did not.) and I read that gas stoves will caramelize the onions faster than an electric stove, which is what I have. Pro-tip: Cook them the night before. They’ll keep covered in the fridge overnight.

For the cornbread: Preheat oven to 425°. In a mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients, corn, rosemary, and onions. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until everything is just combined. Grease a 9″ oven-proof skillet or 9×9 baking dish. Pour in the batter and smooth it out evenly in the pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is starting to brown and a toothpick comes out clean when poked in the center of the bread.

***Like this recipe? Share it with a friend and if you want free weekly recipes, click ‘Get recipes!’ on the top of the sidebar and enter your email address.

Homemade Chorizo Tacos with Mango & Red Onion

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Writing a food blog has made eating at restaurants more entertaining.

When I really like something it becomes this fun guessing game – “What kind of cheese is in this mac and cheese? Is it white cheddar? You know what… I think it’s a combination. Yeah, it has to be a combination.” It usually results in me asking the server –  “Excuse me, what kind of cheese is this?”

Getting inspiration for recipes from restaurants is easy. Recreating the recipes is another story. Especially when they use things like “house seasoning” or “house dressing”. I haven’t fine-tuned my tastebuds to that level of discernment yet.

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Luckily this recipe was restaurant-inspired, but not impossible to recreate. The restaurant it came from made their chorizo in house and thankfully, chorizo seasoning is not some kind of locked up family recipe requiring maximum level clearance to get access to. I did have to do quite a bit of Googling though. :) It took a couple tries but I’ve got it down now.

You can never go wrong with a salty sweet combo. I love all the spices of the chorizo combined with ripe, juicy mango. The red onion adds a nice bite while the cilantro brings a pop of freshness. This is a super easy recipe and would be a flavorful and quick weeknight dinner.

Homemade Chorizo Tacos with Mango & Red Onion; Recipe or Not

makes 10-12 crispy tacos

For the chorizo:

  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 T. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 T. smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 t. salt 
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/2 t. ground coriander
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper, optional
  • big pinch of black pepper

For the tacos:

  • 1 mango, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 10-12 crispy taco shells
  • cilantro for topping

Heat a skillet on medium heat. In a bowl, combine the ground pork and all of the seasonings until the seasonings are evenly mixed. Cook the chorizo, breaking it into small pieces with a spatula or spoon every couple of minutes. Cook until the chorizo until no longer pink inside (as best you can tell since it is tinted red from the paprika), about 12-15 minutes or so. Fill the taco shells with a spoonful or two of chorizo, top with mango, red onion, and cilantro.

***Like this recipe? Share it with a friend and if you want free weekly recipes, click ‘Get recipes!’ on the top of the sidebar and enter your email address.