Eating with the Armstrongs

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Summer has provided some good eats for us with out-of-town guests, birthday celebrations, and the use of my favorite cooking method: the grill. We have greatly enjoyed all of the following recipes and will be making them again!

Key Lime Meringue Pie

Summer in a dessert. The airy meringue topping made this pie an over-the-top treat! My only change is that I made a graham cracker crust rather than the shortbread crust the recipe calls for. I just can’t get away from the fact that graham cracker crumbs + sugar + butter is the best thing on earth. Find the recipe for it on the back of any graham cracker box.

Dark Chocolate Pie with Almond Crust and Raspberry Compote (Vegan & Gluten Free)

In all honesty, when I hear “vegan and gluten free” for a dessert, the I think: “dry and tasteless” because it’s just hard to believe that the omission of flour, butter, and cream can be a good thing. But much to my delight (and health to my body) that’s actually not true and I’m happy to say that I’ve enjoyed several gluten free desserts lately. This pie is absolutely incredibly rich, smooth, and perfect. I made it for a birthday party and everyone raved. The recipe calls for strawberries, but I used raspberries because they are my favorite thing to pair with dark chocolate. Also, I didn’t have any vanilla, and really didn’t miss it, however, I will include it next time as I know it would only add another layer of flavor. The dark chocolate chips are melted with coconut milk and maple syrup for a creamy pie filling and the toasted almond pie crust is divine. My one other note is that I used the whole can of coconut milk rather than just the cream as the recipe calls for because I didn’t have time to chill it overnight, but the consistency was perfectly creamy. Please make this!

Zesty Lime, Shrimp & Avocado Salad

We made this for the Fourth of July and it is truly all things summery, flavor packed, and tasty. How can you go wrong with lime and avocado? I grilled my shrimp to add an extra note and also added black beans which made the salad less pretty but more filling.

Pineapple Cashew Fried Rice

Definitely a different flavor profile from the typical fried rice and one I gladly welcomed. Cooking the rice in pineapple juice and coconut milk provided a scrumptious sweetness that paired wonderfully with salty soy sauce sprinkled on top.

Greek Meatballs

We really enjoyed this version of meatballs. Rather than using lamb like the recipe calls for, I substituted ground beef. The inclusion of Bulgar wheat adds a nice crunch. I served this with my homemade hummus and a little salad of cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh basil & feta topped with a drizzle of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Yum!

Yukon Gold & Sweet Mashed Potatoes

My friend Abigail introduced us to these a few months ago, and I’ve made them a couple times since as they are absolutely incredible! The sweet potatoes add a whole new element to the traditional mashed potatoes. They are great as the original recipe goes but I have also substituted sour cream instead of cream cheese with great success as well.

Happy July and Happy Eating!

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Eating with the Armstrongs

Hi hello! First of all, the weather is SPECTACULAR here which is wonderful as the last two weeks were rainy rainy rainy.

Second, as promised, here is what we are having for dinner this week. I’m going back to a couple of tried & true recipes as well as attempting a new soup AND we are eating vegetarian for not one, but two dinners this week! (Don’t tell, Matthew).

Monday: PanRoasted Chicken & Potatoes with Garlicy Lemon Green Beans

Trying this recipe for the first time tonight! I trust Real Simple’s recipes and expecting it to be incredible.

Tuesday: Roasted Broccoli & Cheddar Soup

A lighter version than the typical soup, but so flavorful and delicious!

Wednesday: Crockpot BBQ Chicken Tacos

**For these tacos, you can follow the recipe for Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork Tacos substituting chicken for the pork as well as substituting 3 cups of your choice of BBQ sauce for the can of Dr. Pepper and omit the chipotle peppers, if desired. Otherwise, it’s the same simple steps and absolutely delicious!

Thursday: Baked Falafel

Friday: Dinner at a friend’s house

Saturday: Leftovers

Hope these recipes give you some ideas for meal planning! Enjoy!


Greek Pizza with Hummus

First of all, this is what I ate for breakfast:

You too can turn your squishy bananas and kinda brownish strawberries into big, moist, tasty muffins. I know I already told y’all about this recipe, but it’s just so good (minus the sage)! And if you substitute the sour cream for bananas, it’s healthy(ish)! I’m thinking of ways to make these healthier like decreasing the amount of sugar-the bananas add some sweetness, and using half whole wheat flour.

But, onto today’s post. First, please excuse me in the journey of learning how to photograph my food. It’s hard! And when you’re short on time, trying to make dinner in 30 minutes before your hungry husband gets home, even harder! I decided I need some photography lessons, so hopefully you’ll see some progress soon.

Greek pizza. What’s not to love? Ground turkey, crazy feta, homemade simple sauce, sauteed onions and red bell pepper. Add a side of hummus and I could eat this meal for days! And, to make things even better, I was filled with joy, surprise, delight, and pride when I watched my East Texas husband put a spoonful of hummus on his pizza! I’ve never doubted that I married the right man, but this act of food brilliance confirmed my heart even more. True love.

This is my favorite homemade hummus recipe:

Drain and rinse one can of chickpeas so as to get rid of all the canned juice and canned flavor.

Put chickpeas, 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 (or more!!!) cloves of garlic, 2 generous tablespoons of tahini, the juice of two lemons, sprinkles of salt, and some pepper in your food processor.

Pulse until the ingredients reach a smooth, creamy consistency. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Place in the refrigerator to allow flavors to combine. Yum. And way less expensive than buying it. Tahini is expensive when first buying it, but lasts a long time.

On to the Greek Pizza.

Here’s what you need:

Pizza crust–homemede is delicious but not when you have 30 minutes, thankfully there are great store bought crusts

Pizza sauce–my simple recipe is below

Crazy feta-my adapted recipe is below

1.25 lbs of ground turkey

1/2 of one red bell pepper, diced

1/2 of one sweet yellow onion, diced

garlic powder

olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

First, do Step 1 for the crazy feta, see below. Then make the sauce so that flavors can combine well (recipe below).

Dice onion and red bell pepper on medium heat with 1 teaspoon of olive oil until they are soft and a little bit browned.

Sautee ground turkey with 1 tablespoon garlic powder and 2 teaspoons olive oil until cooked through-a medium greyish color. Salt and pepper to taste.

Crazy feta:

I made an adaptation of the original recipe, basically I just reduced the amount of feta cheese (because it’s a bit costly) and jalapenos.

1 8oz brick of feta

1 Jalapeno

1 bulb of garlic

Step 1. Cut off the top of the garlic bulb, place in a small sheet of foil, cover with some drops of olive oil, pop in the oven on 450 degrees for 30 minutes. Put the jalapeno in by itself for the same amount of time. Place these on your pizza stone or on a cookie sheet.

Step 2. Crumble the feta then add roasted garlic, chopped up roasted jalapeno, the juice and zest of the lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

This would make a great dip with pita chips, but is also excellent as the pizza topping. I used all of it on the pizza, but most non-feta obsessed people probably wouldn’t.

Pizza sauce:

One 14oz can of diced tomotoes

1 garlic clove minced

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 small can of tomato paste

1 1/2  teaspoon oregano

1 1/2 teaspoon basil

salt and pepper to taste

Combine all these ingredients with immersion blender (one of my favorite kitchen appliances) or in stand blender.

To assemble:

Top pizza crust with sauce, ground turkey, onion and pepper mixture, and crazy feta. Bake on 450 for about 10 minutes, until crust is brown.

Makes enough for four! Or two with leftovers.

Sadly my photo doesn’t do it justice, but, truly, so good. Especially with a dollop of hummus on each bite.