Fall Farro

Last weekend the hubs brought home a bulk bag of farro from Costco. I’d seen it on blogs before, but had never cooked or eaten it. Reading the bag I discovered it is an ancient grain, and can be interchanged with barley. It is also high protein grain, sweet!

Thursday night I decided to whip up a batch, and I thought it might taste good with whatever I’d usually add to quinoa. And I was right! Here is a super easy, and very quick, weeknight side dish recipe.

Fall Farro

Serves 4

Nutritionals: 303 Cal, 46g carb, 9g fat, 12g pro, 7g fiber, 9g sugar

Ingredients

1 cup farro, rinsed

3 cups water

3 oz feta cheese, crumbled

1/3 cup craisins

1/4 cup pecans, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

Directions

Rinse farro, combine with water in a medium pot, and bring to a low boil. Boil for 15 minutes, remove from heat, and drain.

Meanwhile, bring a small pan to medium-high heat. Add pecans, and stir until fragrant. Remove from heat and add to drained farro. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

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Bernadette’s Berry Buckle

Way back in the day my parents didn’t have a lot of money, but they did have love and creativity. Everyone they knew had kids graduating from high school, getting married, or other milestones that required a gift. So my mom gathered recipes from friends and family and created a cookbook chock full of comfort foods.

When I moved into a dorm with a fully equipped kitchen my Sophomore year of college my mom gifted me a copy of this same cookbook. I use it all the time, but for some silly reason haven’t posted many of the recipes. I think the only one I have posted is Grandma Crider’s German Sweet Chocolate Cake, (which is amazing and doesn’t have that crappy syrupy coconut frosting).

Today I’m sharing another one of my favorites: my mom’s any berry buckle. It is the perfect way to use up some of those summer berries that are super cheap right now. I like to eat a square or two with a scoop of homemade ice cream 🙂

Bernadette’s Berry Buckle

Ingredients

Crust:

1/4 Cup butter

1/2 Cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 egg

1 Cup sifted flour

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

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Filling:

2-2.5 cups berries – raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, any berry will do

1/2 Cup sugar

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Topping:

1/3 Cup flour

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 Cup butter

Directions

Pre-heat oven to 375.

In a large bowl cream 1/4 C butter, 1/2 C sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and mix well. Add 1 C flour, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1 tsp baking soda. Mix until combined, and press into a greased 8×8 pan (I use a dab of coconut oil on a paper towl & spread it around).

In a medium size bowl combine berries and sugar. Spread over crust in pan.

In the same large bowl you used earlier combine 1/3 C flour, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, and 1/4 C butter. Sprinkle over the berry filling.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

Try to wait until the buckle cools to enjoy!

Healthier creamy cucumber ranch dip

This morning I took my 1 hour glucose test to determine if I have gestational diabetes. I don’t have any warning signs, so I’m not too worried about it. But let me tell you, the drink is pretty gross. And it gives you a massive headache, like hangover quality headache, but without the enjoyment of a glass or two few of wine.

Before the test I scarfed down a bowl of eggs + dijon mustard and then I drank a neon orange drink that matched my top.

After the test, and one hour wait, I wanted something healthy stat. Luckily I recently whipped up a batch of creamy cucumber ranch dip with Chobani and was able to enjoy it with some carrots, which coincidentally also match my top.

Ingredients

1/2 – 1 package Hidden Valley ranch dip mix

2 cups 2% Greek yogurt

1/3 English cucumber, or 1/2 a regular cucumber, peeled

3 garlic cloves

1 TBS lemon juice

Directions

In a blender or food processor, add cucumber, garlic, and lemon. Pulse until cucumber is pretty mashed up. If you like a thin dip (more of a dressing quality), add 1/2 packet of ranch dip mix and Greek yogurt. Pulse until combined. If you like a thicker dip, pour cucumber/garlic/lemon juice mixture into a bowl and stir in 1/2 packet of ranch dip mix and Greek yogurt. If you like a spicier/more ranchy flavored dip go ahead and add the whole packet.

By Accident Blueberry Pie

Blueberry pie is on my top ten dessert list. Especially when paired with homemade vanilla ice cream. My mom and I decided to whip up two pies on the 4th of July, and really, this recipe couldn’t be easier. It is a pie without a top crust, which isn’t how I normally eat fruit filled pies. But I decided to trust her and roll with it. Or not roll with it, as we didn’t make our own pie crust.

She said this recipe wasn’t by accident, she knows what she is doing. It is a “by eye” and “by taste” recipe, but I think by accident blueberry pie rolls off the tongue better.

By Accident Blueberry Pie

1 9-inch pie shell (we used Marie Callendar’s frozen)

5-6 cups blueberries, divided (we used frozen and thawed them under running lukewarm water)

1.5 heaping TBS cornstarch

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup white sugar (we used Baker’s sugar)

1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice

1/2 tsp – 1 tsp vanilla

Directions

Pre-bake pie shell according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large pot combine 2 cups blueberries, cornstarch, water, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Bring to a boil (make sure cornstarch is combined thoroughly before you turn on the heat!), stir constantly on high heat, and reduce down until you have a nice saucy consistency. There will still be some whole blueberries, but it will mostly be a gelatinous mixture. If it gets too thick add water to adjust. At most this will take 5 minutes.

Add remaining 3-4 cups blueberries to the sauce and stir to coat with the sauce. Taste and adjust for flavor, adding more sugar if needed. If you are using fresh blueberries you will want to cook them in the sauce a little bit, about 2-3 minutes.

Once pie crust has cooled completely, pour blueberry mixture into pie crust and chill. Serve cold or at room temperature.

What is your favorite flavor of pie?

Fauxbux Passion Iced Tea Lemonade

Yesterday I promised this recipe. If you can even call it a recipe. It is a no brainer, really, but that doesn’t stop me from pulling into the drive-thru and paying $4 for a refreshing cup of this summery goodness.

So this is really more of a method post, than a recipe post.

I start the process when I wake up (or if I plan ahead, right before I go to bed) – boil 8 oz of water and let my passion tea bag steep for 4 minutes. Any more and it will be bitter. Smash bag with a spoon and pop it in the fridge for a few hours. I like to top my cup with a ventilated lid so my fridge doesn’t get covered in steam. If my fridge wasn’t tiny I’d brew up a big batch of tea, but that is sadly not the case.

If you like your tea sweetened you should stir in a teaspoon of sugar before letting it cool. You can also whip up a batch of simple syrup (water to sugar in a 1:2 ratio, boil water, add sugar, and once sugar is dissolved remove from heat. Let cool and store in the fridge.), but I find regular sugar to be just as effective. The benefit to simple syrup is that you can easily stir it in cold drinks.

Once your tea is cold, stir in 1/3 cup lemonade and pour over ice. I like mine with raspberry lemonade. Julie subs the lemonade for pineapple juice, which I think is a brilliant idea!

What is your favorite summer drink?

Loaded Sweet Potato Deliciousness

Today I fell in love. He is sweet, smooth, and has a lovely orange glow.

via

I don’t know what took me so long to try a loaded sweet potato, as I love all things sweet potato. But today was the perfect day to explore this comfort food that has taken the blog land by storm. I woke up to 45 degree weather and rain pouring down outside my window. This doesn’t exactly scream June to me. Instead it screams curl up under the covers with comfort food and episodes of Vampire Diaries.*

*Thanks Chels for the recommendation, I am now totally hooked.

Sourdough bread slathered in butter is my normal comfort food go-to, but I decided to go for nutrition over indulgence and whipped up this bad boy.

Loaded Sweet Potato

Serves 1

Ingredients

1 sweet potato

1/2 cup black beans

1/2 large tomato, diced

2-4 TBS chives, diced

1/4 cup shredded cheese, I used Colby Jack

2-4 TBS plain Greek yogurt

sprinkling of cumin

sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Poke sweet potato with a fork a few times, wrap in a paper towel and nuke 4-6 minutes. Nuke beans for 30 seconds. Mix sweet potato insides with cheese and top with black beans, tomatoes, chives, Greek yogurt, cumin, salt and pepper. I think this  would also be excellent with salsa.

What is your favorite way to enjoy a sweet potato?

Asparagus Pesto Pasta

File this under ridiculously easy meals.

Monday night I wasn’t feeling the steak and potatoes we had planned. Probably a side effect of recovering from that stomach bug I had. I wanted something comfort-foodie. Pasta is always a great option for this, especially when garlic bread is on the side. Unfortunately I didn’t have any garlic bread, but I did have loads of organic pasta from Costco that needed to be used.

Asparagus Pesto Pasta

Serves 4

Nutritionals: Cal: 413, Carb: 46g, Fat: 21 g, Pro: 10g, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 3g

Ingredients

8 oz pasta of your choice (I used fusilli)

12 spears asparagus, chopped

8 large cherry or grape tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on their size

3/4 cup prepared pesto (I used Trader Joe’s)

Directions

Bring pot of water to boil and add pasta. Cook according to package directions. Three minutes prior to finish, add the asparagus. Drain and toss with pesto and tomatoes. Add salt and pepper to desired taste.

Like I said, easy peasy.

What is your favorite way to eat pesto?