Juice of One Lemon

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Posting this here because I often need to know it:

• 1 lemon yields 3 tablespoons juice (1.5 oz; 45 ml)
• 1 lime yields 2 tablespoons juice (1 oz; 30 ml)

Source: thekitchn

Review: Turkey Taco Casserole

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Turkey Taco Casserole

Turkey Taco Casserole

Cook’s notes: I made this for a friend’s birthday party, and it turned out quite well. The author, Lauren Keating, notes that ground chicken has a “delicate flavor [that] allows the salsa and beans to take center-stage.” I used mild salsa instead of hot and plain olive oil (not chili oil) and added lots of black olives.

To save time, I doubled the recipe for the filling (1 onion, 4 cloves garlic, 2 lbs. ground chicken, 4 Tablespoons taco seasonings, 2 cans beans, and 2 cups salsa) and cooked the mixture in a Dutch oven on the stovetop. For the casserole, I used the same amount of chips originally called for but added extra filling to fill the pan to the top. About 3/4 of this mixture went into the pan. The leftover filling was delicious not baked but eaten in a bowl like chili.

Penzeys makes taco seasoning just for chicken tacos. Highly recommended.

I would definitely make this again, and topping the casserole with guacamole is a great idea.

Source: Adapted from the Healthy. Delicious. blog

Iced Tea with Peach Puree

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Cook’s notes: I wanted to make peach iced tea from scratch with less sugar. The typical instant peach iced tea has too much for my taste. You don’t need to peel the peach slices.

Makes 2 quarts.

2 ripe peaches, sliced and pitted
1 cup water
1/4 cup mint syrup
Juice of 1/2 Meyer lemon (about 1.5 tablespoons juice (0.75 oz; 22 ml)
5 cups of strong black tea (I used 4 PG Tips tea bags steeped in 1 cup water; plus 4 cups water).

Boil the peach slices in 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Make the tea; stir in the lemon juice and mint syrup. Let cool.

Puree the sweetened tea and peach slices until blended. Serve over ice.

Family secret: For “special tea”, add Jim Beam Honey Bourbon to taste.

Roasted Salmon and Asparagus with Pistachio Gremolata

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Cook’s notes: The recipe author, Molly Gilbert, notes that gremolata “is just a simple Italian condiment of chopped parsley, garlic and lemon zest. Our version has some some chopped pistachios, too, for an extra salty, crunchy bite. It brings a little zing to a straightforward meal of roasted fish and bright asparagus” (page 88). This is a four-star recipe from the terrific Sheet Pan Suppers book.

The recipe originally called for 1/2 teaspoon black pepper; the pepper flavor was very strong. I’d reduce this to 1/4 teaspoon and add more after roasting if needed. We didn’t have fresh parsley, and the gremolata was still delicious.

Serves 2 with leftover vegetables (you can add 2 more fish filets to serve 4 people)

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed (about a pound)
Olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
2 salmon filets, 5 to 6 oz. each
1/2 red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick half-circles
1 lemon
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes

The lemon zest
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 cup roasted, salted and shelled pistachios, chopped

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line a sheet pan with a Silpat liner (or parchment paper).

Place the asparagus on the prepared pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt (1/4 teaspoon) and ground black pepper (1/4 teaspoon). Stir to coat and arrange asparagus in a single layer. Arrange the fish filets over the asparagus, spaced evenly. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper to taste.

Zest the lemon. Set zest aside. Thinly slice the zested lemon into round wheels.

Scatter lemon slices, red onion, and tomatoes around the asparagus. Drizzle everything with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake 20 to 30 minutes or until asparagus is tender and the fish is opaque throughout.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the lemon zest, garlic, dried parsley, and pistachios. Season with a pinch of salt and juice from the reserved lemon slice.

Sprinkle pistachio mixture over fish just before serving.

Review: Coconut No Bake Cookies (Wookie Cookies)

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Wookie CookiesThe Minimalist Baker has a terrific recipe for no-bake cookies.

I made these for a Star Wars-themed birthday party and called them “Wookie Cookies”. They were quickly dubbed “Chewbacca Balls” by the other guests.

Either way, one is quite rich. I’d recommend using a teaspoon scoop next time.

This recipe is both vegan and gluten-free. However, these do have nuts, due to the peanut butter. But the cookies are very tasty, no matter what they are called!

Green Pear Smoothie

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Pear, banana, and kale: a beautiful blend

Cook’s notes: Inspired by a smoothie recipe from Terri, which was posted on Buzzfeed. It’s a delicious combination, and we’ve made it 3 times this week already. I found that if you use fresh pear and banana, the smoothie tastes sweeter than if you freeze the fruit first.

10 oz. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 Tablespoons flax seeds
2 Tablespoons raw almonds
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2.3 cups (70 g) baby kale (half of a 5-oz. box)
1 small banana, peeled and chopped
1 Bosc pear, cored and wedged
If the fruit is not frozen, add 1 cup ice
Add all ingredients in the order they are listed (from liquids to soft to hard to ice) to the Vitamix container. Secure the lid.

Turn the machine on to Variable speed 1 and slowly increase to speed 10. Turn the machine to High.

Use the tamper to push ice into the ingredients as needed.

Blend for about 45 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. Add a little water to thin, if desired. Serve immediately.

NOTE: This recipe has been written for the Vitamix 5200 with Standard 64-ounce container. If you are using a different machine, you may need to make adjustments to the speed or processing time. Know your blender and don’t overload the machine.

DISCLOSURE: This post is not sponsored by anyone. I paid for any products listed here and liked using them. This is my personal blog, and I am not compensated to create posts.

Healthy Makeover: Texas Sheet Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

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Healthier cake is still delicious

Healthier cake is still delicious

Cook’s notes: I made this cake for a friend who loves the combination of chocolate and peanut butter. I couldn’t bring myself to make the original Texas Sheet Cake, which has a huge amount of sugar in it. The cake turned out terrific, and several people asked for the recipe.

Note that the cake is vegetarian, due to the yogurt, but the frosting is vegan. You can easily make the cake vegan by using a vegan yogurt.

Serve extra frosting in a bowl on the side for dipping with pretzel sticks. It’s also great spread on graham crackers topped with banana slices.

Texas Sheet Cake – Healthy Makeover

Recipe from “Chocolate Covered Katie,” who says, “yogurt gives the cake moisture and softness without all the added fat, and I’ve cut way back extensively on the sugar as well. The result is a rich and surprisingly healthy chocolate cake with fewer than 60 calories per serving.

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian (but not vegan, due to yogurt)
  • Eggless

1 cup “Cup for Cup” gluten-free flour blend
6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup granulated sugar [vegan sugar preferred]
1/2 cup yogurt (plain, fat-free Greek yogurt)
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Peanut butter frosting, see below

Heat oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 13 x 9 jelly roll pan or baking pan.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the first 5 dry ingredients very well (flour to sugar).

In a separate bowl, whisk together all remaining ingredients. Pour wet into dry and stir until just evenly combined, then pour into the greased pan. Bake 18-19 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cake comes out clean.

Healthy Peanut Butter Frosting

This will make approximately 2 cups of frosting, depending on how much almond milk is used. Recipe is vegan.

2/3 cup natural peanut butter, crunchy style
4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
8 Tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 Tablespoons vanilla almond milk, use more to change desired consistency

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the peanut butter, cocoa powder, honey, vanilla, and 2 Tablespoons of almond milk. Mix together. Continue to add almond milk in one tablespoon increments until you reach the desired consistency of frosting.

Recipe Trio: Mint Syrup, Mint Lemonade, and Mint Lemon Ice

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Lemon Italian ice, cooled with mint

Lemon Italian ice, cooled with mint

Cook’s notes: When it is still over 100 degrees, you need something refreshing. The mint syrup elevates the lemonade into a special drink. You can also make Italian ice in your Vitamix with the syrup.

I started buying granulated sugar that is certified vegan — there is no difference in flavor or performance. It is simply processed without using animal bone char. You can read more about vegan sugar on Veg Source. You can, of course, use plain white sugar for this recipe.

Mint Syrup

Yields 10 oz. (1.25 cups)

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 cup packed mint leaves, roughly chopped

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and whisk until the sugar dissolves. Remove pan from heat and add the mint leaves. Let the syrup cool completely, about 30 minutes. Strain out the mint.

Mint Lemonade

The original recipe called for 1 part syrup, 1 part lemon juice, and 2.5 parts water. We prefer our lemonade to have less sugar in it, and not have the amount of sugar equal to the amount of lemon juice.

1 glass: Mix together 1 oz mint syrup, 2 oz lemon juice, and 4 oz water. Pour into a glass filled with ice.

[To try the Simply Recipes ratio, mix 1 oz syrup, 1 oz lemon juice, and 3 oz water. Pour over ice; add more lemon juice if it’s too sweet and more water if it’s too strong.]

1 pitcher: Mix together 1 cup mint syrup, 2 cups lemon juice, and 4 cups water.

Mint Lemon Ice

This is basically 1 part syrup : 3 parts water with a whole lemon added in.

3/4 cup water
1/4 cup mint syrup
1 lemon (peeled and seeded) and its juice [1 lemon yields 3 tablespoons juice (1.5 oz; 45 ml)]
1 teaspoon lemon peel
2 cups ice

Add all ingredients in the order they are listed (from water to ice) to the Vitamix container. Secure the lid.

Turn the machine on to Variable speed 1 and slowly increase to speed 10. Turn the machine to High.

Use the tamper to push ice into the ingredients as needed.

Blend for about 30 to 60 seconds or until desired consistency is reached. Serve immediately.


Mint Syrup adapted from Michael Symon
Lemon Ice adapted from One Regular Guy

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