Sep 30

How to Roast Garlic

Step by step instructions for roasting flavorful, aromatic garlic.

RoastedGarlic

Step 1: Preheat oven to 350.

Step 2: Peel outer layers of paper off garlic head.

Step 3: Cut off the tip (not root end) of the head, exposing the garlic bulbs underneath.

Step 4: Drizzle garlic with a little olive oil.  Lightly sprinkle with salt, if desired.  (I’ve never used salt, but I know some recipes do.)

Step 5: Wrap garlic in a single layer of foil.

Step 6: Put on a roasting pan or oven-safe dish,

Step 7: Roast for 45 minutes to an hour.  Let the amazing smell fill your house.

Step 8: Remove from  oven and open foil.

Step 9: When garlic has cooled a bit, remove cloves with a fork or squeeze out with your fingers.

Step 10: Use in soups, sauces, dips, whatever you’d like.

RECIPE NOTES

I’ve used roasted garlic in recipes before (see here and here), but felt like a step by step tutorial was a good idea.  There are so many places you can use roasted garlic – it’s fantastic in most soups (especially creamy, pureed soups), as a topping on pizza, in dips, as a bread spread, just about in or on anything.  Plus the scent of roasting garlic is one of the most amazing smells in the world.  At least in my, slightly humble, opinion.

Permanent link to this article: http://healthynaturaleasyish.com/2014/09/30/how-to-roast-garlic/

Sep 26

Mac N (Blue) Cheese with Tomatoes

A grown-up version of classic comfort food.  Some days that’s just what you need.

Tomato Mac N Cheese

  • 12 oz macaroni, or other pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 oz (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 oz crumbled blue cheese
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 small tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 13×9 baking dish with butter.

Cook macaroni according to package directions for al dente, or even slightly less time.  (I cooked mine for 7 minutes.)  Drain and set aside.

Combine milk and broth and set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.  Add flour and cook for 2 minutes, constantly stirring so the flour doesn’t burn.  Add milk and broth mixture in three additions, constantly whisking and making sure the liquid is well mixed before adding more.  Continue whisking the mixture over medium heat until bubbly and thickened, about 7 to 10 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Add both cheeses and stir until melted and blended.  Add nutmeg.  Adjust taste with salt and pepper.

Combine cheese mixture with pasta. Spread in prepared pan.  Top with tomato slices.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over the tomatoes.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling.  Broil for an additional 5 minutes to toast breadcrumbs.  Remove from oven and let sit for a few minutes before serving.

 

8 servings
(calculated at myfitnesspal.com)
Calories: 354
Carbs: 15g
Fat: 26g
Protein: 15g
Sodium: 589mg
Sugar: 4g

RECIPE NOTES

With 3 small children, you can imagine how often we eat mac-n-cheese.  Sometimes, I just throw it together quickly with the goal of just getting the kids to eat something.  There are times, I even use the blue box stuff (gasp!).  This recipe, though, was purely for me and Mr. Ish.  Using a richer cheese, adding some produce, baking until bubbly.  That’s all about the adults in the house.

Lucky me.  The kids loved it, too.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://healthynaturaleasyish.com/2014/09/26/mac-n-blue-cheese-with-tomatoes/

Sep 23

Cheesy Broccoli & Cauliflower Soup

A delicious, easy, set-it-and-forget-it, slow cooker soup.

BroccoliCauliflowerSoup

  • 1 large head cauliflower
  • 2 small broccoli crowns, about 1 lb
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 8 oz (2 cups) shredded cheddar cheese

Roughly chop cauliflower and broccoli.  If you’re short on time, chop into smaller pieces, otherwise just break it all up a little bit.  Combine cauliflower, broccoli, onions, garlic, thyme and chicken broth in a large crockpot. Chop up butter and spread over the top.  Cook on low for at least 4 hours, preferably 8.  Alternatively, cook on high for at least 2 hours, preferably 4.

Just before serving, stir in cheese until melted. Use an immersion blender to puree to desired consistency.  Or let the soup cool a little, then puree in batches using a regular blender or food processor.

 

Servings: 6-8
(Information calculated for 8 servings at myfitnesspal.com)
Calories: 298
Fat: 21g
Carbohydrates: 17g
Protein: 13g
Sugar: 6g
Sodium: 553mg
 

RECIPE NOTES

I’m changing the format of my posts.  For me, the most important thing in a food and recipe blog is the food and recipe.  I want to feature those things at the top. While it’s fun to see what is happening in a blogger’s life, sometimes I just want to get the recipe and be done with it.  Most of the time, I have my tablet sitting on the kitchen counter, browser window directed to the recipe page, while I’m cooking. I feel confident assuming I’m not the only person who cooks this way.

All this isn’t to say I won’t include some personal information.  Such as? The twins started preschool last week.  My babies aren’t….well, babies any more.  They’re officially preschoolers.  And the Big One is in first grade.  She can read!  It’s all a little amazing.

This is the section where you’ll get the kids’ reactions to the recipe.  As my children love cauliflower, broccoli and cheese, they predictably loved this soup.

 

 
 

Permanent link to this article: http://healthynaturaleasyish.com/2014/09/23/cheesy-broccoli-cauliflower-soup/

May 16

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Mmmmm…who doesn’t love dipping fresh veggies in hummus? Or spreading it on wraps or sandwiches?

It’s incredibly easy and quick to make. Once the garlic is roasted, this dip comes together in less time than it takes to go to the store.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

Roasted Garlic Hummus

  • 2 heads garlic
  • 1 can Garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Preheat oven to 350.  Remove papery outer layers of garlic.  Cut off the end to expose the garlic cloves.  Wrap each head in tin foil.  Roast for 45 minutes to an hour.  Remove from oven and allow to cool a bit before handling. Use a fork or your fingers to remove cloves. Squeeze any stubborn cloves out.

Combine all ingredients (including roasted garlic) in a food processor or blender.  Blend until smooth.  Add more olive oil for a smoother texture if desired.  Refrigerate in a covered container for 3 to 5 days.

Permanent link to this article: http://healthynaturaleasyish.com/2014/05/16/roasted-garlic-hummus/

May 09

Crazy Easy Chocolate Pudding

Whenever there is a candy giving holiday, I gather it all into a large bowl and put it out of the kids’ reach. They ask for some during the first few days and then, gradually, forget there’s a big bowl of candy on top of the fridge.

And I’m left trying to figure out what to do with it all. From Halloween to Easter, the supply just grows and grows.

And thus, this recipe is born, using the extra chocolate Easter eggs given by doting grandparents.

Milk Chocolate Pudding

Milk Chocolate Pudding

  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 6 oz milk chocolate

Combine cornstarch and milk in a saucepan.  Add chocolate.  Heat over medium low, stirring constantly, until chocolate melts and mixture is smooth. Increase heat to medium, continuing to whisk constantly, until mixture thickens, about 5 minutes.  The thickening happens suddenly and once it starts, it’s very quick.  Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla.  Let cool, then serve.

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Permanent link to this article: http://healthynaturaleasyish.com/2014/05/09/crazy-easy-chocolate-pudding/

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