Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Banana Cherry Smoothie

Trying another smoothie idea. There is lots of room to make changes or additions. For example, you can add ice cubes if you like a thicker (and colder) smoothie. You can also easily add flax seeds or chia seeds.

Ingredients:
¾ cup organic plain yogurt, you can also use vanilla yogurt
1 banana, remember the riper the banana the sweeter it will be
1½ cups frozen dark sweet cherries (I only had dark tart cherries, so I added about 1 tablespoon honey)

Preparation:
Add all ingredients to the blender and blend until desired consistency.
Superyummy and superhealthy. Cannot have a better way to start the day (or can even be made for a snack during the day!)

Enjoy =)

 

Banana Cheery Smoothie_3_small

 

Health Benefits:
* Bananas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamin B6 and C, manganese, potassium, dietary fiber, protein, magnesium, and folate.
* Cherries are rich in vitamin A and C.
* Yogurt provides about 9 grams of protein. Furthermore, it provides nutrients such as calcium, vitamin B-2, vitamin B-12, potassium, and magnesium.
* Chia seeds are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids and are also rich in antioxidants and full of fiber, magnesium, zinc, iron, and calcium.
* Flax seeds are a rich source of dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and omega-3.


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Indian-style Potato and Pea Curry (Aloo Mattar)

So after making Yellow Dal, we had coconut milk leftover and we wanted to try making Garlic Naan. So what did I do? I went online searched through some menus of Indian restaurants as well as recipe site to get inspiration of the next Indian dish. Here is what I came up with:

Ingredients (Makes 3-4 servings):
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (we used Safflower oil)
1 small yellow onion from our garden (or ½ store-bought onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon salt
3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
¾ cup frozen peas
½ can coconut milk, depending desired consistency

Preparation:
1. Place potatoes into a large pot that contains salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until just tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potatoes and allow to steam dry for a minute or two.
2. If serving with rice, start the preparation of the rice. Also, if you are planning on making home-made Naan make sure to start proofing the yeast.
3. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, curry powder, garam masala, and salt; cook for 2 more minutes. Add the tomatoes, peas, and potatoes. Pour in the coconut milk, and bring to a simmer. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
4. Serve with Basmati rice and home-made Naan. Enjoy =)

Flatbread served with Aloo Mattar

Flatbread served with Aloo Mattar

Note: Regular home-made Naan recipe https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/supereasy-homemade-naan-indian-flatbread/ and home-made Garlic Naan recipehttps://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/06/04/supereasy-naan-bread-with-garlic/.

The dish stores well in airtight container and heats well in microwave. Be aware though, that it may even be more delicious the second day.

Inspired from http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Spicy-Vegan-Potato-Curry/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=1875


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Supereasy Naan Bread with Garlic

I was buying ingredients to make another Indian dish to use up the left-over coconut milk. In front of me was a gentleman, who bought cured bacon, a small block of cheese, and a beer. He was very helpful in putting up the dividers between the different grocery orders. So I teased him and said that WholeFoods should hire him. He said “Oh no thanks. I am a chef.”
Curious about this situation, I asked him what he was going to cook with his three ingredients?! I mentioned that we love cooking and that we just figured out how to make homemade Naan. He then suggested to just crush up some fresh garlic and add it to the Naan.
So of course, we had to try that…and it was wonderful. The garlic gave the Naan a little extra kick =)

Try for yourself and share your thoughts.

Ingredients (6-8 Naan breads):
1/3 cup milk, warmed
2¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
½ tablespoon raw sugar
¾ cup plain organic yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (we used Safflower oil)
1½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2½ cups organic flour (can be made with whole white wheat flour: 2 cups whole wheat and ½ cup all-purpose flour)
Crushed garlic (we used about 6 small-medium garlic cloves and pressed them through a garlic press)

Preparation:
1. Combine milk, yeast, and sugar in small bowl. Cover and let the yeast proof (5-10 minutes).
2. Add yogurt, vegetable oil, salt, baking powder, flour, and yeast mixture into mixer. We used a dough hook and let the mixer combine the ingredients until they formed a dough ball.
3. Let the dough rest and allow to rise until doubled. (If you have an oven that allows proofing, proof in oven).
4. Remove dough and divide into 6 or 7 lemon-sized balls. Add the crushed garlic and briefly knead the dough through to spread the garlic evenly.
5. Roll dough and flatten into a ¼” oval shape. Sprinkle one side with water and gently place the oval shape with the water-side down onto a heated griddle. Let the dough cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to puff and brown on the underside (similar to making pancakes, be patient). Flip the Naan and gook on the other side until golden brown.
6. Serve with Indian meal or eat with dip.

Naan_6_small

I forgot to take pictures with the garlic. So I am using the same pictures as for the regular Naan bread. Note: The overall appearance of the Naan does not change, but the taste does =)


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Supereasy Homemade Naan (Indian Flatbread)

So last time Hans and I made Indian food at home, we used store-bought Naan to go along with the dish. But why not make Naan from scratch?! Turns out our new blender (a Blendtec) came with a recipe book that included a Naan recipe.

We have modified the recipe slightly and made it using a mixer (instead of the blender). It turned out phenomenal. But try for yourself and share your thoughts.

 

Ingredients (6-7 Naan breads):
1/3 cup milk, warmed
2¼ teaspoon dry active yeast
½ tablespoon raw sugar
¾ cup plain organic yogurt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (we used Safflower oil)
1½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder
2½ cups organic flour (can be made with whole white wheat flour: 2 cups whole wheat and ½ cup all-purpose flour)

Preparation:
1. Combine milk, yeast, and sugar in small bowl. Cover and let the yeast proof (5-10 minutes).
2. Add yogurt, vegetable oil, salt, baking powder, flour, and yeast mixture into mixer. We used a dough hook and let the mixer combine the ingredients until they formed a dough ball.
3. Let the dough rest and allow to rise until doubled. (If you have an oven that allows proofing, proof in oven).
4. Remove dough and divide into 6 or 7 lemon-sized balls. Roll dough and flatten into a ¼” oval shape. Sprinkle one side with water and gently place the oval shape with the water-side down onto a heated griddle. Let the dough cook for a couple of minutes until it starts to puff and brown on the underside (similar to making pancakes, be patient). Flip the Naan and gook on the other side until golden brown.
5. Serve with Indian meal or eat with dip.

Naan_6_small


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Veggie Burrito–Can’t Believe It’s Homemade

There may not be left-overs when making Cheese & Bean enchiladas https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/traditional-cheese-bean-enchilada-dinner/

https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/restaurant-quality-cheese-bean-enchiladas/

but if there are rice and beans left-over, here is just the delicious thing to use them for. Make a most unbelievable delicious burrito.

Ingredients:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
spices (such as taco seasoning)
2 small tomatoes, chopped
left-over refried bean
left-over Mexican rice
shredded Mexican cheese
Cotija cheese, optional
One 12-inch (burrito-size) flour tortilla

Preparation:
1. Heat olive in small pan. Add onion, tomatoes, and green pepper. Add spices (such as taco seasoning) and saute until heated through.
2. Heat oven to 350 F. Spread refried beans on center of tortilla. Cover with rice. Sprinkle with shredded Mexican cheese and place the sautéed veggies on top. If using, sprinkle with Cotija cheese.
3. Fold sides of tortilla and roll tortilla into a burrito. Heat in oven for 10 minutes.
4. Enjoy =)

Veggie burito_9_small


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Traditional Cheese & Bean Enchilada Dinner

Hans does not care for guacamole or pico de gallo. As I like both, it is nice to cook make it whenever we have dinner guests.

So below you will find a detailed description on how to make cheese and bean enchiladas, Mexican rice, refried beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo. Enjoy =)

Ingredients for the enchiladas:
8 medium flour tortillas (8-inch)
1 1/2 can refried pinto beans (We love the organic refried pinto beans from Trader Joe’s)
shredded Mexican cheese mix
1 small can enchilada sauce

Preparation of enchiladas:
1. Use about one tablespoon of refried beans and spread in the center of one tortilla.
2. Sprinkle beans with shredded cheese.
3. Tug the sides of the tortilla in and roll the tortilla.
4. Place in oven-safe glass dish. It is best to spread a little bit of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the glass dish to prevent sticking. Layer the rolled tortilla with the seam down into the glass dish.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the remaining tortillas.
6. Pour enchilada sauce over the rolled up tortillas. It maybe helpful to use a knife to gently lift each one and allow sauce to go in between each. Sprinkle with cheese on top.
6. Preheat oven to 350 F. Bake for 30 minutes.

Ingredients for Mexican rice:
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup salsa, blended
1 cup water
1 veggie bouillon cube

Preparation of rice:
1. Rinse the rice under running water. This will remove the starch and make the rice very fluffy.
2. Heat oil in dutch oven on stove. Check for the temperature of the olive oil by dropping a couple kernels of rice into the dutch oven. If they start to sauté right away, the temperature of the oil is at the correct temperature.
When the correct temperature has been reached, add the rice to the dutch oven. Stir frequently and sauté the rice until it appears translucent.
3. Add the water, salsa, and veggie bouillon cube. Heat until simmering while stirring constantly. Once the mixture is simmering, turn off the stove. Move the dutch oven into the oven at 350 F. Cook rice for 30 minutes. Stir once at 15 minutes.

Ingredients for refried beans:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon green chilies
1 1/2 cans refried beans
taco seasoning (we use our homemade taco seasoning https://ourfunstuff.wordpress.com/2015/05/23/homemade-taco-seasoning/)

Preparation of refried beans:
1. Heat olive oil in small pot. Once oil is hot, sauté onion until translucent.
2. Add beans, sautéed onion, and green chilies into blender. Blend until smooth.
3. Transfer bean mixture back into small pot. Heat slowly. Add taco seasoning to taste.

Ingredients for guacamole:
2 avocados
¼ medium tomatoes, chopped
¼ small onion, chopped
Jalapeños/serranos, chopped (to taste)
5-6 sprigs cilantro, chopped
¼ teaspoon cumin powder
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Lemon/lime juice, to taste

Preparation of guacamole:
1. Cut and peel the avocados and take the flesh out in a bowl.
2. With a fork mash it up a little, be careful not to overdo it. It needs to have a little texture.
3. Add in the following: tomatoes, onions, jalapeños, and cilantro.
4. Squeeze some lemon juice into it, and mix.
5. Add in cumin powder, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
6. Chill and serve as a dip with some chips.

Ingredients for pico de gallo:
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1/3 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
salt to taste

Preparation of pico de gallo:
1. Combine the ingredients. Be sure to taste the pico de gallo. If necessary adjust the seasoning by adding more salt or additional diced jalapeno pepper.

Serving of food:
1. Heat plates briefly in oven.
2. Arrange enchiladas, rice, beans, guacamole, and pico de gallo. Sprinkle with Coteja cheese and serve with sour cream (optional).
3. Enjoy =)

Cheese&Bean enchilada dinner_4_small

 

 

Recipe inspired by:
http://mexican.food.com/recipe/mexican-rice-117892

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ree-drummond/pico-de-gallo-recipe.html

 


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Homemade Taco Seasoning

Not sure if it was the price or the ingredients listed on taco seasoning in the store that first made me consider making my own taco seasoning.

It is really simple to make and you get to use all organic ingredients. It will also have much less salt than the many available store-bought versions.

Here is what you need:
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together and store in airtight container.

Next time I make this, I will take pictures and post them.