Friday, August 31, 2012

"In the Kitchen" Giveaway

Today is the big giveaway!  I'm celebrating 100+ followers.  Thank you for making this happen!

The giveaway will be active through Sunday, September 9th.  There are several options for entries.   

Since Mary's Kitchen is all about delicious and healthy meal I've decided to give you all the opportunity to win the "In The Kitchen" Herb Garden Pack from Mary's Heirloom Seeds.

This pack includes One packet of each:
-Basil-Fine Verde
-Dill Vierling

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please feel free to leave your blog/website info in your comments below so that I can check out all of the lovely blogs.  Thanks!

Growing your own kitchen garden is easy.  Check out Back to the Basics Growing from Seed and Mary's Heirloom Seeds.  
Fresh Dill

Looking for a great way to use homegrown herbs?

Try Basil Infused Olive Oil (use just about any herb) or DIY Cream Cheese and add your own herbs.

Monday, August 27, 2012

100 Follower Giveaway this Friday!

I was so excited to open my happy little blog this morning to find I had reached 100 followers!  You guys are awesome!!!

Since Mary's Kitchen is all about delicious and healthy meal I've decided to give you all the opportunity to win the "In The Kitchen" Herb Garden Pack from Mary's Heirloom Seeds.

This pack includes One packet of each:
-Basil-Fine Verde
-Dill Vierling

This time around I'll be using rafflecopter to make things a bit easier.  Stop by on Friday and enter to win!

And now for a recipe!  I'm sharing a very simple homemade salad dressing recipe.  It's yummy!

Pesto Vinaigrette

1 clove garlic, peeled
kosher salt, to taste
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
2 cups fresh basil leaves, stems removed
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
cracked black pepper, to taste

1. In the bowl of a food processor, purée garlic and salt until a paste is formed. Add pine nuts and basil and process until a fine paste formed. 
2. With motor running, add vinegar and then slowly add oil in a thin stream until the mixture is emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Linking up HERE.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Meatless on Monday # 7 (6)

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I kinda missed "meatless" # 6 since it was posted late but I plan on making it up to you.  I'm just super excited about my latest meatless recipe.  I made Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread muffins and served them with Super Simple Bean Salad.  The hubby was Super happy!!!

I planned to spend the weekend being lazy and staying indoors thanks to TS Issac.  Instead I cleaned the house from top to bottom, took a nap then baked and canned til my feet hurt.  Please enjoy this delicious jalapeno recipe (from a box) {gasp}!

Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread Muffins

2 Jiffy cornbread muffin mix
2/3 cups of milk
3 eggs
1/4 cup jalapenos, chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix according to the directions on the box (I like to add an extra egg).  Add jalapenos and cheese to the batter and gently mix.

Pour into muffin pans.  I was able to make 18 medium size muffins.  Cook for 15-18 minutes.  Cool.

Super easy and inexpensive.  Serve with Texas Chili or Super Simple Bean Salad.

Linking up HERE.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Super Simple Bean Salad

Between our hectic schedule, a new business and trying to maintain the household and get to the gym I'm short on meal creativity lately.  This is not detox-friendly but it was either this or delivery!  Enjoy!

Please feel free to make this recipe from scratch (no cans).  If I had the energy I would definitely prefer fresh!

Simple Bean Salad

1 can Canellini beans, drained
1 can black beans, drained
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 large green bell pepper (or red), diced
1 large jalapeno pepper, diced
1/2 and onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, diced or crushed
juice of 1 lemon or lime, I use lime

*This recipe would also be great with olives but I didn't have any*

Add all of the ingredients into a bowl and mix.  Simple!  Enjoy!
*This simple salad is even better after it's been in the fridge for a few hours*

Serve this simple bean salad with rice or quinoa.  This is a great addition to burritos, tacos and tostadas.

Liking up HERE.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Pesto Grilled Eggplant!

I'm so late posting my Meatless on Monday...Yes, I know it's already Tuesday.   Every day for the last 10 days has been meatless in our house but tomorrow we get to add chicken!

Tonight I used my trusty Grilled Eggplant recipe and tweaked it so it's detox-friendly (no dairy).  Did you miss my detox-friendly Pesto?

Grilled Eggplant with Pesto 

Note:  I cook this recipe on the stove, not on an actual grill.
Olive oil

They may not look very pretty but they are DELICIOUS!
Slice the top and bottom off the eggplant and throw into the compost.  Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Drizzle olive oil in your skillet and heat on high.  Place eggplant rounds spiced side down in olive oil and gook for 3 minutes.  Turn down the stove, flip eggplant over and cook for an additional 3 minutes.  Eggplant will soak up the oil so add more if you prefer.

Top eggplant with a generous dollop of Pesto and serve.

1 Eggplant will serve 2-3 people.
Original Eggplant with Mozzarella cheese

Monday, August 20, 2012

We picked a winner!

I'm a little late getting the results today.  I had this amazingly productive weekend planned...I had the best of intentions.  Saturday was good but I fell apart on Sunday.
I couldn't find my giant margarita glass so I used my giant wine glass.
So here we are, it's Monday and we have a winner for the Mary's Basics lip balm giveaway!!!
Jessica P. you are the winner!  Check your email and we'll send you 2 lip balms!

It's been so hectic around here I didn't even get to my Meatless on Monday post so you'll have to tune in tomorrow. 

If you didn't win this time not to worry, there will be another.  Mary's Kitchen is very close to 100 followers and I have a very fun Kitchen Herb pack ready for another giveaway.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pesto 2 Ways!

**TODAY is the LAST DAY to enter Mary's Basics lip balm giveaway**Winners will be announced Monday!

I have not fallen off the blogger planet but my meals lately have not been very creative.  We are on Day 8 of the detox and our daily food intake consists of veggie-fruit-protein shakes, salads with homemade dressing, a little roasted veggies and lots of raw veggies.  I LOVE the homemade Apple-Cider Vinaigrette!

Before we started on our 21 day journey I made pesto with our abundance of basil in the garden so I'll share my non-detox recipe (from my Earth Day post).  But I mentioned 2 ways, right?  I still had a bunch of basil left over so I made detox-friendly basil and it is delicious!!!

Pesto with whole wheat pasta
Earth Day Basil Pesto

2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
½ cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, packed (optional)
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
¼ cup pine nuts or walnuts
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and cracked black pepper to taste

1. Place ingredients in a food processor, starting with half of the ingredients if the processor bowl is small, stopping occasionally to scrape down sides of container. Blend until pesto forms a thick, smooth paste.
2. Store in refrigerator in a tightly closed container for up to a week, or freeze for a few months. 

Detox-Friendly Simple Pesto

3 cups fresh Basil
1 cup olive oil
2-3 cloves of garlic
sea salt and pepper to taste

I used a blender for this recipe since it was handy. (I think I've used my blender every day for at least a 2 months)

Blend all ingredients until smooth.

We really like garlic in our house (although my stomach might disagree).  Since I have so much delicious pesto on hand I might use it for Meatless on Monday.  Stay tuned...I'll be modifying an older recipe so it's detox-friendly!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Roasted Veggies (Yep, another one!)

Did I mention I'm on a strict food plan for the next 3 weeks?  Every 6 months or so the hubby and I complete a 21 day "detox."  I feel amazing once we are done but it's really tough!  (plus I'm a wimp)
So, long story short, we are eating a lot more veggies over the next few weeks. We already eat pretty clean but this is a bit more strict.  Most of our veggies are consumed raw but these are a nice treat. 
I get to eat as much veggies as I want!
Roasted Carrots

1 pound of carrots (or more)
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).

Place trimmed carrots, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet (I used a large pan), and place on center oven rack.

Roast in the preheated oven for 25 minutes, shaking pan every 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Serve immediately.

Roasted Asparagus and Onions

1 pound of asparagus, trimmed and cut in half
1 onion, sliced and quartered
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).

Place trimmed asparagus, onions, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet (I used a large pan), and place on center oven rack.

Roast in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Serve immediately.

 I served both of these alongside the Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Garlic.  The roasted veggie trio was a HUGE hit!  
The brussels sprouts were delicious!!!

**There is still time to enter Mary's Basics lip balm giveaway!  ALL of our lip balms use a vegan (veggie-base) wax (not beeswax) so they are bee-friendly** Ends August 19th**

Linking up HERE! 

If you would like more information on the "detox" program check out  Standard Process.  This is a program for people who are interested in seeing real results.  We offer the program in our office but make modifications for each individual patient.  It's not an MLM or a fly-by-night company.  Standard Process has been around since 1926 and we trust their products enough to use them ourselves and recommend them to our patients.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Meatless on Monday #5 and a Giveaway!

Check it out!
I have reached the 100 follower mark (at Back to the Basics) and just flew past 30,000 pageviews!  YEAH!  I'm super excited and to celebrate I'm offering my very first giveaway.  That's right, free stuff!

You may have noticed the links to the right which include Mary's Heirloom Seeds and a new link Mary's Basics.  Well,  hubby and I have a brand new line of products available at Mary's Basics which includes Vegan and Natural Lip Balms.  So to say "Thanx," we're giving you an opportunity to win free products.

Lip Balms make great gifts for birthdays, Christmas (stocking-stuffers) or even just because!  Our lip balms are made from natural, non-gmo ingredients.  Mary's Basics also offers a sweet selection of natural soaps as well as herbal and medicinal teas.  All of the tea available at Mary's Basics are Certified Organic.

Here's how you enter:
1. Go to Mary's Basics and check out the Vegan Lip Balms and/or Natural Lip Balms.
2. Choose your top 2 favorites.
3. Use the Contact Us page and let us know which flavors you like best.

*If you do not receive an email confirmation within 2 hours please re-submit your entry*

That's It!  Oh, I almost forgot...Tell your friends!  You don't even have to follow Back to the Basics or Mary's Kitchen to enter.    

The Mary's Basics Lip Balm giveaway will be rockin from August 13th through August 20th.  Only 1 entry per person.  We'll pick 2 lucky winners out of the Giant Margarita glass on the 20th and announce the results at Back to the Basics and Mary's Kitchen.

**There will be another giveaway to celebrate 100 followers at Mary's Kitchen!** 

On to the Recipe!  I'm on the "detox" program again.  I love this 21-day programs and try to do it about every 6 months.  I'll be going meatless for the next 10 days and I'll have lots of delicious recipes to share.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Garlic

1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed
1 clove garlic, pealed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon course sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C).

If you are using large Brussels sprouts, I suggest you cut them in half.  Place trimmed Brussels sprouts, garlic, olive oil, sea salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stir to coat. Pour onto a baking sheet (I used a large pan), and place on center oven rack.

Roast in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, shaking pan every 5 to 7 minutes for even browning. Reduce heat when necessary to prevent burning. Brussels sprouts should be darkest brown, almost black, when done. Adjust seasoning with kosher salt, if necessary. Serve immediately.

*If I was not on the detox program I would have added almond slivers or walnuts*

Linking up here! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Mocha" Popsicles

I've been on a bit of a popsicle kick lately.  I purchased these cheap molds at amazon and I've been filling them with all sorts of delicious, healthy fare.

Yesterday I made Cranberry Mango Popsicles.  

Today I made Mocha Popsicles using coffee and cocoa powder.  I like to add organic vanilla yogurt to give it a nice creamy texture.

Mocha Popsicles

1 1/2 cups strong coffee
1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
*or chocolate syrup*
agave or stevia, optional
Popsicle mold

Add all of your ingredients into a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Pour "mocha" mixture into your molds, add sticks and place in the freezer.
In the picture it looks like I separated the yogurt and coffee.  I didn't.  It foamed a bit in the blender so it kinda separated.

Popscicles should be ready in about 4 hours. They are delicious!

Enjoy your weekend!

In case you missed it...
***I'M celebrating 100 followers at Back to the Basics***

 Monday, August 13th at 6am is the start of my very first giveaway 
from Mary's Basics!  I'm giving away small-batch, handmade, vegan lip balms!  I may be adding to this giveaway but you'll have to wait and see.  The website is currently under construction but feel free to stop by and take a look.  I'll have all of the specifics on Monday for your viewing pleasure.

Linking up here

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Harvest Recipe: Rosemary Potatoes

Rosemary Potatoes
Makes 6 servings

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 450ºF and place a rack in the upper third of the oven.

Toss potatoes in a large roasting pan with oil, garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper.

Roast potatoes, turning occasionally with a metal spatula, until golden brown and tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Easy Zucchini Cakes

This is another quick and easy recipe. I've managed to make a few small snacks here and there without creating a total mess in the kitchen for my hubby to clean up.

It's tough not being able to do dishes {wink}

Zucchini Cakes
Makes 8 cakes

1 large zucchni grated, excess water removed
(Note: To do this, after you grate the zucchini, put the grated zucchini into paper towels and squeeze to release the water)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup panko bread crumbs
sprinkle of ground nutmeg, about 1/8 teaspoon (Note: If you add too much it can quickly take over the taste, less is more)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
1 egg (sometimes I use 2 eggs to really hold it together)
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil

Combine all ingredients, except olive oil, in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Using a heaping tablespoon form the mixture into 8 patties.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Once heated, add patties and cook until golden brown. About 3-4 minutes per side. Serve.

Some people serve this with ranch dressing but I prefer homemade pasta sauce.  My husband likes these with ketchup.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Meatless on Monday #4 Veggie Bake

I actually turned on my oven this morning!  
If you haven't been following for long you may not be aware that I've been on a no-bake kick.  Also, if you haven't checked out Back to the Basics you may not know that I injured my finger a few days ago (5 to be exact).  I won't go into details but it involved my finger and a sharp spinning blade. I managed to walk away with my finger intact but slightly mangled (it was gross).  I was more embarrassed at the stupidity of my actions!

So here I am, it's Sunday and I'm disgusted at the waste of food in the fridge since I've been MIA from the kitchen.  Hubby has been in charge of meals so it's been oatmeal, salads and sandwiches.  We even ordered Chinese one night.  Not that I'm complaining...He is amazingly helpful and doesn't complain about the extra work.

Back to the food...This recipe was completely made up of random stuff from the fridge that needed to be eaten.  Here goes!

Veggie Bake

1 cup rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 Red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 Green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 Onion, chopped
1/2 bag of Broccoli Slaw, you can use a full bag but I only had half
1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1/2 - 15 ounce container of ricotta cheese, I used fat-free
2 cups milk
3 eggs
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 375.
Cook Rice according to directions (mine said 2 cups water, 1 cup rice) then add red pepper flakes and seasoning.  Mix well.

On medium heat, cook bell peppers, onion and broccoli slaw with olive oil.  Turn off heat before veggies are fully cooked.  Approximately 5 minutes.

While you're waiting for everything to cook, mix ricotta cheese, milk, eggs and seasoning.  I mixed it by hand (not taking any chances).

I used 2 cake pans for this since I could not find my large glass lasagna pan.  Use whatever works for you.  Spray your pan with non-stick spray.  Layer rice on the bottom then the cooked veggies.  Top with the ricotta mixture.  Cover pan with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes.  Uncover and cook for 5 minutes.

When I make this again, I'll add fresh or home-canned jalapeno slices.  This is a great meal to make ahead or freeze.  I made plenty so we can eat leftovers while I continue my recovery.

*I'm announcing details of the giveaway at Back to the Basics this Friday*  I didn't forget it's just been a bit crazy lately!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

No-Bake Freezer Pie (finger pie)

I've made this recipe a few times but never from an actual recipe.  I sort of used a few yummy recipes and made my own version.  This is a delicious "cheesecake" freezer pie that will leave your family asking for more!

To find out why I call it finger pie, check out Back to the Basics!  It's kinda (not) funny!

No-Bake Cheesecake Freezer Pie

1 no-bake graham cracker crust (feel free to make your own)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/8 tablespoon butter
1/2 package of fat-free cream cheese, softened

1 packet (box) of cheesecake (instant) pudding
2 cups milk (I use non-fat)

Place butter and chocolate chips in a bowl and microwave for approximately 50 seconds.  Stir until smooth.  Add cream cheese and stir until smooth.  Add mixture evenly onto the bottom of the pie crust.

Prepare your pudding according to the package.  Mine stated to wisk contents with milk for 2 minutes.

Pour Pudding over the layer of chocolate in your pie crust.  Cover and freeze!
Your pie should be ready in about 3 hours.  Serve with a dollop of whipped cream if you wish.  The pie is super rich but you could also serve with homemade strawberry or blueberry sauce.

I told a friend about "finger pie" and we started talking about making this for Halloween.  I'm going to have to share those ideas later!

Good Morning!

Hey!  I didn't forget about you!  I've been injured so I'm not baking or cooking at the moment.  I'll post a super easy and delicious creation tonight.

Feel free to stop by Back to the Basics for the story!
I'm done sprouting (for now)  and Hey There! Thanx!
Baby Lucy at 5 weeks.