Two Sisters, One Kitchen

Quick, healthy meals by a loving team. See what’s cooking in J & K's kitchen!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato January 12, 2015

Jamie says: New goal- embrace the slow cooker (aka Crock Pot). It’s a genius concept that, I’ll be the first to admit, I under utilize. I love a good sweet potato and thought I’d give the good ol’ classic sweet potato a shot- in the Crock Pot- to make a delicious and tender Slow Cooker Sweet Potato. It was awesome and ready for me when I was. Score.

I was so excited when I found this potato scrub brush for part of a gift that I had to buy one for myself. So adorable!

Check out my new little potato scrub brush dude. Too cool. Too cool.

Check out my new little potato scrub brush dude. Too cool. Too cool.

In the slow cooker you go, sweet potato! And 6 hours later… Out you come, perfectly done!

Sweet potato in the slow cooker- ready to eat

Sweet potato in the slow cooker- ready to eat

The potato was perfectly cooked and absorbed all the water in the bottom of the slow cooker- making it perfectly tender.

Hot potato!

Hot potato!

Vibrant orange. Chock full of vitamin A!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato

I drizzled extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled Parmesan cheese on top for an Italian variation. Delish!

Drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese... oh so good!

Drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese… oh so good!

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato

Ingredients:

  • 1 large sweet potato (organic)
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions:

  1. Scrub sweet potato under running water.
  2. Place wet sweet potato with water in a slow cooker on low heat.
  3. Place lid on top and cook for about 6 hours or until soft when pierced with a fork. Enjoy!

Serving suggestion: Top with extra virgin olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

  • Nutrition note: Cooking in a slow cooker allows the potato to absorb the small amount of water in the pot. Unlike boiling, which causes some water soluble nutrients to be leached from the potato into the water, the slow cooker better preserves the nutrients. With no water left in the pot, the nutrients stay within the potato.
Advertisements
 

Mocha Almond Butter January 11, 2015

Jamie says: I did it. I made my own nut (almond) butter. And it was super easy and honestly quite fascinating to do (perfect for kids to watch).

I had a fun afternoon with my new dietitian co-worker friends. It began with a walk, followed by lunch, and soon led to an impromptu DIY nut butter adventure. Earlier, I had found a recipe for inspiration in the Publix FamilyStyle magazine which led to the creation of Mocha Almond Butter.

Mocha Almond Butter

Mocha Almond Butter

It was really quite simple. And within a couple of minutes, we had a ball of almond butter.

Almond butter ball!

Almond butter ball!

I added coffee for a kick. It spread nicely, just like peanut butter except this one is made of cocoa-dusted almonds with a burst of coffee.

Perfectly blended

Perfectly blended

I put a heaping tablespoon in one of those little containers you’d use for a side of salad dressing and packed it for lunch.

Creamy mocha nutty goodness

Creamy mocha nutty goodness

It’s perfect for an apple or to make a Mocha Almond Butter and [banana, strawberry, (insert your favorite fruit here), blueberry, raspberry, and/or blackberry] whole wheat sandwich.

Mocha Almond Butter to go. Apple ready!

Mocha Almond Butter to go. Apple ready!

Mocha Almond Butter

Ingredients:

  • 6 oz dark chocolate flavor oven-roasted almonds (Blue Diamond)
  • one 0.07 oz packet instant coffee (Nescafe Clasico)

Directions:

  1. Pour almonds in a food processor to cover blades. Place lid on top and blend until the nuts become a ball, pausing occasionally to use a spatula to scrape down the sides. (Nuts will first become chopped. Then finely chopped. Next, they will start clumping. Then, they will form a ball.)
  2. Add coffee packet. Continue to blend until the ball finally forms a layer on the side of the food processor.
  3. Scrape down nut butter and store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

Servings: 5

Serving suggestion: Pack in a little reclosable container to spread on an apple.

  • Nutrition note: Almonds are an excellent source of vitamin E. Peanuts have more protein. Both are great.
 

Ricotta with M&M’s and Pomegranate Seeds December 27, 2014

Jamie says: Ricotta makes a tasty base for a quick dessert. I learned this from my Italian Grandma. She makes an incredibly delicious ladyfinger cake that will rock your world. For a fun and festive dessert-like snack, I made Ricotta with M&M’s and Pomegranate Seeds.

Ricotta with M&M's and Pomegranate Seeds

Ricotta with M&M’s and Pomegranate Seeds

The M&M’s and pomegranate seeds add little bursts of sweetness to the creamy ricotta base.

Red and green bursts for the Christmas season

Red and green bursts for the Christmas season

Amazing. I had it two days in a row.

A simple Christmas treat

A simple Christmas treat

Ricotta with M&M’s and Pomegranate Seeds

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup ricotta
  • 12 M&Ms (Christmas)
  • 1 Tbsp pomegranate seeds

Directions:

  1. Scoop ricotta into a small bowl. Top with M&M’s and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!

Servings: 1

  • Nutrition note: Add fruit to a snack, dessert, or meal to add volume and nutrients such as fiber and vitamins.
 

Citrus Berry Sunrise Smoothie December 26, 2014

Jamie says: I went for a Christmas run yesterday morning. Not a creature (or human) was stirring in our house or on the ridge (except for one couple). I called it my Dasher 4 miler. Sounds festive and legit, right? It was beautiful. The weather rocked and the terrain of the ridge was refreshing as I pranced over the soft grass. For my quick post-run pick-me-up, I went to town with a variety of juices and fruit to make the perfect smoothie: Citrus Berry Sunrise Smoothie.

Citrus Berry Sunrise Smoothie

Citrus Berry Sunrise Smoothie

It just might be my best fruit juice smoothie yet!

Berry wonderful!

Berry wonderful!

Cheers to a great Christmas! Yum, yum, yum.

Post-run flavor fun

Post-run flavor fun

Citrus Berry Sunrise Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup grapefruit juice
  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 cube watermelon
  • 2 strawberries, tops removed
  • 4 blackberries
  • 1/4 small banana, peeled
  • 4 small ice cubes

Directions:

  1.  Pour juices into a smoothie blender cup. Add watermelon, strawberries, blackberries, banana, and ice cubes. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Servings: 1

  • Nutrition note: Look for 100% fruit juice (instead of 100% vitamin C) to eliminate added sugar.
 

Cottage Cheese and Cantaloupe-topped Waffle Sprinkled with Pomegranate Seeds December 25, 2014

Jamie says: Merry Christmas! I love pomegranate seeds. And they’re only in season for a short window, which includes the Christmas holiday. They look so festive. Like little light bulbs.

It’s one of the only fruits I can think of where you eat the seeds and discard the flesh. They do make a mess, though. Thank goodness for red aprons, right?

I usually quarter the pomegranate, seed it by hand (pulling the seeds away from the membrane), and scoop the seeds into a jar to have them ready for my next culinary masterpiece. Which in this case was a Cottage Cheese and Cantaloupe-topped Waffle Sprinkled with Pomegranate Seeds. The title says it all. Really.

Cottage Cheese and Cantaloupe-topped Waffle Sprinkled with Pomegranate Seeds

Cottage Cheese and Cantaloupe-topped Waffle Sprinkled with Pomegranate Seeds

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole grain waffle (Kashi 7 Grain)
  • 4 oz 2% cottage cheese with live and active cultures (Breakstone’s)
  • 4 chunks cantaloupe (Publix cut fruit)
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate seeds

Directions:

  1. Toast waffle in a toaster.
  2. Scoop and spread cottage cheese on top.
  3. Cut cantaloupe chunks into bite-sized pieces, and place on top of cottage cheese.
  4. Sprinkle waffle with pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!

Serves: 1

  • Nutrition note: Cottage cheese makes a great substitute for butter. It adds protein which will help keep you satisfied, calcium for strong bones, and probiotics for a healthy digestive system.
 

Parchment Sesame Tuna December 23, 2014

Jamie says: Parchment fish. It’s trendy- and for good reason. I tried it once and let’s just say, it wasn’t worth writing about. When I went home for Thanksgiving, my Mom cooked an outstanding parchment fish meal. I’m talking amazing and inspiring. My next mission should be to recreate her recipe. So despite the first hiccup I had a few months ago in parchment paper cooking, I’m back at it. Here’s my first blog-worthy one: Parchment Sesame Tuna.

 

Parchment Sesame Tuna

Parchment Sesame Tuna

I love the taste of sesame oil. In addition to fish, it tastes great on brown rice.

Simply sesame

Simply sesame

Parchment Sesame Tuna

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz tuna steak (wild)
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots (organic)
  • dash salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Fold a large sheet of parchment paper in half and cut to form a heart. (Think back to making Valentines in elementary school.) Open paper.
  2. Place tuna in the center of half of a heart. Drizzle with sesame oil. Top with carrots.
  3. Fold the other half of the heart over so the edges line up (just like when you first cut the heart). Fold two inch pieces upwards and repeat (half way around) to form a pouch which seals in the fish. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked throughout. Open carefully. Enjoy!

Serves: 1

  • Nutrition note: Sesame oil contains mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, which are the heart healthy fats we should have more often than the saturated or trans fats.
 

Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sunflower Seeds

Jamie says: Cookie exchange time! It’s that time of the year. We had a department cookie exchange at work, and I was looking for a new recipe. The only rule- bring enough for everyone in the department to have one. My only requirement- it must have chocolate (and bonus points if it resembled a brownie this time). I just so happended to be taking to my Aunt/Godmother/expert baker on the phone and she mentioned her Dunkable Brownie recipe. Sold. She emailed it over. I invited a friend over and we went to work in the kitchen. I did a little cookie makeover (see nutrition note) and came up with: Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sunflower Seeds!

Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sunflower Seeds

Chocolaty Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sunflower Seeds

Sunflower seeds add a nice crunch and nutty flavor to this chocolate upon chocolate cookie.

A brownie-like cookie with a nutty crunch

A brownie-like cookie with a nutty crunch

I had a little leftover dough and put it in single-serving silicone baking cupcake cups. Fun, right?

Cupcake-style cookies!

Cupcake-style cookies!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa (Hershey’s)
  • 1 1/2 cup + 3 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 c + 2 Tbsp margarine (Smart Balance with omega 3s)
  • 3 eggs (Eggland’s Best, organic)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (Spice Island)
  • 3/4 cup 100% whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup 60% cacao baking chips (Ghiradelli)
  • 1/3 cup roasted sunflower seeds (Publix)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place parchment paper on cookie sheets.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together cocoa and sugar. Add vegetable oil and margarine. Beat with electric beaters.
  3. Beat eggs. Add eggs and vanilla to cocoa mixture.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually beat in dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
  5. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chips. Using a tablespoon, scoop heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet. (You can also use batter in a cupcake tin.) Sprinkle with sunflower seeds. Bake 18 minutes. Enjoy!

Yield: 26 cookies

  • Nutrition note: Cookie makeover- instead of baking chocolate, I used a cocoa powder/vegetable oil/ sugar substitution (1 oz semi sweet Baker’s chocolate = 1 Tbsp cocoa powder + 2 tsp canola oil + 3.5 tsp sugar; 1 oz unsweetened Baker’s chocolate = 3 Tbsp cocoa powder + 1 Tbsp canola oil); instead of butter, I used margarine with omega 3s; to replace most of the all-purpose flour, I used whole wheat; I chose omega 3 eggs with a higher vitamin/mineral content; and I added nutrient-rich seeds.