Hi Everybody!

Hi I have some pretty exciting news for everyone. It’s part of the reason you haven’t heard from me in a few weeks. I have been working on moving my blog over to self hosting so I can control everything about it! It has been a long and informative process, but I am really excited for the future.

Hopefully, Hunters Healthy Kitchen will continue to grow and you will stay apart of the process. For a little bit some things may not look right but I am in the process of fixing everything so bare with me! I am also trying to move over my wordpress.com followers to my new self hosted blog. If you would like to subscribe by email please do so on your own at www.huntershealthykitchen.com and on the right side bar enter your email address.

Again let me know if there are any problems. Can’t wait to share my next recipe with all of you!

Please visit and let me know what you think of the redesign @ my newly formatted blog.  

Thanks,

Hunter

Party Friendly White Bean Dip

 Simple White Bean Dip served with Pita Chips
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This is the ultimate healthy bean dip. It is so easy, in fact it does not get much easier then this for a delicious homemade dip for you and your friends. White bean dip consists of cannellini beans, parsley, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice. All you really need is a large food processor and 5 minutes of your time.

If you are doing a lot of cooking, having dinner parties, or just friends over you probably already have these ingredients on hand which is why this is so easy to throw together last minute. I am still thinking about some of the questionable choices for foods I made over the holidays, as are most of us. This really isn’t one of those things though because it feels very light, your guests will love it.

I made this white bean dip on Christmas Day to bring over for everyone to enjoy. I think this recipe gets better as it sits for a few hours so you can definitely make it a head and then just take it out of the refrigerator when you are ready to serve. This white bean dip comes from the Food Network website and is made by Giada De Laurentiis, she made it in her EveryDay Italian TV Show as well. I love a lot of her recipes but this may be my new favorite. The only change I made to her recipe was probably using more garlic because I think it adds a good flavor.

You could serve this white bean dip with home made pita chips, store bought, carrots, celery, cucumbers, even pretzels. The list goes on because it is very versatile.

What you need: (You probably have most of it sitting in your kitchen)

  • 1 (15 ounce can) cannenelli beans drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of loosely packed Italian parsley leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

What to do: 

Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup of olive oil, parsley, salt, pepper, and oregano in a food processor. Pulse until coarsely chopped. Taste and season with salt and pepper then move to a serving bowl.

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Lemony Green Beans

Lemony Green Beans on the Grill! 

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I love using a grill basket in the summer because it is so easy to cook vegetables in the basket when grilling outdoors. My new favorite way to serve Green Beans is with lemon and garlic.

Green beans, string beans, or snap beans are all the same thing. They are a great fat free and low calorie vegetable which I love! Green Beans are also a good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin K for strong bones, and Vitamin C. Lemons are also known to have many health benefits such as alkalizing the body which helps restore the bodies PH levels. As well as many other health benefits you can find here.

If you do not have a grill basket or do not want to grill these green beans then you can roast them in the oven and they will still be delicious. Roast a 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. You can also steam the green beans and then add the lemon mixture after.

Here’s What You Need:

  • 1 pound of green beans cleaned and trimmed
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • sea salt and ground black pepper

What to do:  

  1. Make lemony mixture by combining lemon zest, juice, garlic powder, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add cleaned green beans to the lemon mixture and toss.
  2. Preheat grill basket and spray with non stick cooking spray. When hot cook green beans in basket until tender about 7-10 minutes.

Enjoy for dinner with chicken or fish. Have left overs the next day in a salad.

Easy Chicken and Vegetable Stir-fry

Chinese Stir-Fry with Fresh Vegetables and Chicken served with Cauliflower Ricechicken stir-fryStir-fry is one of the easiest things to make- and that’s why I love it. This recipe is loaded with fresh vegetables and has all the flavors of Chinese takeout-but without the bloat.

I found this recipe so easy because of the components in the “Chinese sauce” for the stir fry, pretty much just lemon juice and soy sauce. I was hesitant that those two flavors alone would not be enough. But it was, and I loved this chicken and vegetable stir-fry!

I also decided to switch it up by not using rice with this dish. Instead I opted for cauliflower rice. This was my first time making cauliflower rice. It was very easy and I thought substituted nicely for rice.

Serve this chicken stir-fry with a side salad, rice, or my cauliflower rice, and you have a healthy and low-fat weeknight meal.


 

Here’s What You Need:

Chinese Chicken Stir-Fry

  • 1 pound of chicken cubed – I used chicken tenders and cubed them
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of defrosted peas
  • half a yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot peeled and sliced thin
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 1/3 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

Cauliflower Rice

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • salt/pepper
  • garlic salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • food processor

What to do:

*see below on how to make cauliflower rice

  1. Prepare red and yellow bell pepper, onion, and carrot as noted above. Cut up chicken and season with salt and pepper and place aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat with tablespoon of olive oil. Add minced garlic and let cook for 2 minutes. Next add the onion and saute for another minute. Finally add the carrots and bell peppers. Saute until tender about 5-6 minutes.
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  3. Add defrosted peas, raw chicken, soy sauce, lemon juice, red pepper flake, salt and pepper. Stir and let chicken cook. Cover pot for about 10-15 minutes until chicken is completely cooked.
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  4. Enjoy over cauliflower rice!

* To make cauliflower rice cut cauliflower head into small pieces and put into a food processor working in about 4 batches to complete the whole head of cauliflower.
cauliflower rice2Do not over process because then it turns mushy. Just let it chop into small rice pieces for about 10 seconds per batch. Remove from blender.cauliflower rice*To cook the cauliflower from there you can heat a skillet on the stove while chicken is cooking with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once hot add cauliflower rice into skillet to cook. Add salt, pepper, garlic salt, and whatever seasoning you like. Let cook for about 5 minutes and remove from heat.


 

Smashed Potatoes with Rosemary

Smashed Potatoes with a crispy skin and fresh rosemary. This recipe was something I first saw on the Food Network. I never thought of making smashed potatoes before but boy were they delicious.

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Potatoes are definitely a comfort food and one of the most important food staples around the world. However, potatoes these days have been turned very greasy. French fries or potato chips loaded with butter, sour cream, fats, and melted cheeses. If you are going to eat potatoes and you are watching what you eat make sure it is in the purest form possible. Try to stay away from processed french fries and potato chips.

I found this recipe for smashed potatoes from the Pioneer Women. In her blog she smashed the potatoes a little bit more then I did. This is because I was originally going to grill them. If you do choose to grill them then make sure not to smash them too much so they don’t fall apart on the grill.

Here’s what you need

  • A pound and a half of red white and purple potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

What to do

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil with salt
  2. Put potatoes in a pot and cook until slightly tender about 20-25 minutes. To check if tender use a fork.
  3. Once potatoes are cooked remove from pot and let cool before working with them. About 20 minutes.
  4. The steps above can be made ahead if you do want to make things easier before dinner. Once ready preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  5. To smash potatoes you can use the palm of your clean hands or a potato smasher. Smash potatoes then line on a baking sheet sprinkle with salt pepper, a little olive oil and top potatoes with fresh rosemary.
  6. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until skin is crispy.
  7. Serve right away.

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If you wish to grill your potatoes instead of bake you can!

 

 

Easy Corn Salad

Corn Salad with Yellow Tomato, Sugar Snap Peas, and Basil:

easycornsaladThis salad was so fresh and reminds me why I love summer. You can use whatever is fresh from the farm stand or from your own personal garden. For this salad I used corn that is from a local farm stand and also grown locally. The yellow tomatoes, sugar snap peas, and basil are from my own personal garden.

sugarsnappeasWe made this corn salad after coming home from the beach and wanting something quick, healthy, and light.

Corn is so popular in the summer because it is very inexpensive and of course easy to make. Everyone loves a good corn on the cob however one of my favorite ways to eat it is off the cob. Cutting the corn off the cob is a great way to add healthy carbohydrates to your salads and summer meals.

If you are trying to loose weight you may think to stay away from corn. However, this is not always the case. A small serving of fresh corn is a great way to satisfy your hunger and feed your body healthy carbohydrates. Especially if you were active that day.

Corn is a low-fat complex carbohydrate and is high in fiber and also surprisingly a good source of several vitamins such as folic acid and vitamin C.  This is why I love to eat fresh locally grown corn in the summer, and why you should too!

Here’s what you will need:

  • 4 corns in the husk (don’t be one of those people who peel at the super market – it actually dries out your corn)
  • handful of tomatoes (whatever color you have) I had a few yellow tomatoes growing so I picked them
  • small handful sugar snap peas or other green pea
  • 5 leaves of basil
  • olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • salt and pepper

Recipe:

  1. Start by cooking corn in the husk on the grill at 400 degrees until husk is brown and corn is yellow about 20 minutes.
  2. While corn is cooking prepare your vegetables. Cut your tomatoes in half, snap peas in half, and chop your basil.
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  3. Mix 1/3 cup of olive oil and juice of a lemon with vegetables add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. When corn is ready remove husk and let cool. Once cool cut corn off the cob and put with the other vegetables repeat with 4 cobs.
  5. Stir all the vegetables together and your done!
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Blue Hill Café at Stone Barn

Blue Hill Café at Stone Barn is a beautiful place to visit for those who love food and nature – set in Pocantico Hills, New York. My favorite was the farro with asparagus and wild mushroom salad!

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The Blue Hill Cafe offers light snacks, farm fresh lattes, and other locally grown goodies. I have been here many times and the food is always delicious. It is a perfect place to go on a warm day and sit outside in their courtyard or walk around the farm. The shelves are stocked with seasonal jams and pickles.

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I frequently visit Blue Hill Cafe at Stone Barn for a quick snack and hike around the property. The other day when I went to visit we had farro with asparagus and wild mushrooms (delicious), focaccia with roasted broccoli, a bologna sandwich with relish (from the farm, of course), and a chocolate tart. Be sure to get there early if you want to enjoy their delicious soups, it sells out quickly! They ran out by the time we got there!

  • Farro with Asparagus and Wild Mushrooms
  • Focaccia with Roasted Broccoli

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  • Bologna Sandwich

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  • Chocolate Tart

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After you have a snack at the Cafe you can take a walk around the farm and visit the many animals they have spread out over the property. Stone Barn is a great place to hike, visit the chickens, cows, lambs, pigs, turkeys, and many more.

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When you finishing ‘ooing” and “ahhing” over the animals take walk around the farm and walk through their vegetables gardens (both indoor and outdoor). Stone Barn has many vegetable gardens where you can see their harvest of the season.

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Even though Stone Barn is just a few miles off Route 117 you feel like you transported elsewhere. This is a perfect place to visit on a warm day, beware of weekends though, it gets pretty crowded.  On one of my next trips to Stone Barn I hope to try their restaurant.

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Roasted Baby Potato Salad with Herb Vinaigrette

Personally I am not  a huge fan of mayonnaise. Especially in potato salad! But a summer BBQ is not complete without a classic potato salad. So this summer I am trying something different and remixing a classic with my Roasted Baby Potato Salad with Herb Vinaigrette.

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Store bought tomato salad can be rather unappetizing. You might find a long list of strange ingredients listed on the back as well as added oils. Who wants that in their potato salad? Potato salad is an obvious american tradition but so many of the potato salads available have harmful preservatives and could sit on the shelf for weeks before you purchase it.

Instead of loading up on a potato salad that can have hundreds of calories  and dangerous ingredients why not mix it up and make your own. This is a simple and fresh take on potato salad that is perfect for any summer BBQ.

Try this mayonnaise free version of potato salad and your body will thank you!

You will need:

Roasted Potatoes

About a 1.5 pounds of baby potatoes or whatever potato is your favorite(I had purple, red and white), 1 Tablespoon chopped Fresh Rosemary, 2 tablespoons Olive Oil, pinch Salt/Pepper

Vinaigrette:

Juice of half a lemon , Lemon skin grated, Minced or grated garlic about 3 cloves, 1/4 cup of fresh parsley chopped, Olive Oil, Fresh cracked pepper

Steps:

1. Preheat Oven to 400 Degrees

2. Cut potatoes into bite size pieces either in halves or chunks.

3. Either use a mixing bowl or mix directly on the baking sheet 2 tablespoons of olive oil, potatoes, 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh rosemary, a pinch of salt, and finally pepper. Make sure each potato is coated.

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4 . Bake at 400 degrees until potatoes are soft and have created a nice outer skin. About 35-45 minute depending on  your potato. While potatoes are baking work on vinaigrette -* see below

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5. Remove from oven and baking sheet and let come to room temperature.

6. *Prepare vinaigrette by combining 5-8 tablespoons of olive oil, half a squeeze of lemon, lemon peel grated, garlic, pepper, and fresh chopped parsley. Mix well

7. Once potatoes are cool before serving combine vinaigrette and roasted potatoes in a serving bowl and top with extra parsley. Either chill or enjoy right away!

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A simple twist on an American classic!

 

 

 

 

No Hassle: Agave and Cinnamon Banana Bread Topped with Chia Seeds and Oatmeal!

Try this No Hassle Delicious Healthy Banana Bread & I’d Love to Hear Your Favorite Banana Bread Recipe! 

Banana Bread is one of the first recipes I learned to make on my own. Since then I have kept a special place in my heart for homemade banana bread. It all began when one day my cousin and I suddenly had the urge to bake and all we had were some old ripe bananas. We were sick of traditional boxed cakes, and after a little Googling, we came across Banana Bread and thought that seemed easy enough. We made the bread, and ate it all in the same night! (Lol- I do not recommend) From then on I have continued to bake banana bread and even continue to add a few new ingredients every time I make it!

There is no doubt that we all love Banana Bread and have our own way of making it, however, since it marked the beginning of my love for cooking I thought it would only be fitting to have as my first blog entry.

So here we go….

Agave and Cinnamon Banana Bread Topped with Chia Seeds and Oatmeal!

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Right now this is my favorite combination! YUM!

I also love this Banana Bread Recipe because there is no need for a mixer. You can use one bowl and add all your ingredients to it! This recipe is also fairly healthy- everything in moderation! We don’t have any sugars added besides the light agave nectar, and I add chia seeds for a boost of Fiber and Omega 3’s.

Steps

Step 1) Get all your ingredients together. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

This is something I never did until a recent trip to the Culinary Institute in St. Helena, California. Here, the chef who was demonstrating stressed the importance of a Mis en Place – which is a French phrase for “putting in place”. He said that this was one of the first things he learned as a student at the CIA. Watching him cook with all his ingredients together just made sense.

You will need: 1 ½ cups of Flour, 1 teaspoon Baking Soda, ¼ teaspoon Cinnamon, sprinkle of Chia Seeds, pinch of Salt, 3 tablespoons of Butter, 1 Egg, 3 ripe Banana (I only had 2 ripe and one semi ripe) , ½ cup or less Light Agave Nectar, and 1 teaspoon Vanilla. *Not included in this picture but should be: Quick Cooking Oatmeal for topping.

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Step 2) Put 3 bananas in a mixing bowl while 3 tablespoons of cold butter is melting in microwave. Combine. Then mash butter and banana until slightly clumpy and mixture is combined.

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Step 3) Add your ½ a cup of agave nectar, 1 egg, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract.

Step 4) Next add ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and finally 1 teaspoon of baking soda over the mixture.

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Step 5) Add in the 1 ½ cups of flour last. And mix well until all ingredients are combined. Do not over mix.

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Step 6) Pour the mixture into a greased baking loaf pan. Finally sprinkle with Chia Seeds, and then a bit of quick cooking oatmeal!

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Step 7) Now place mixture into the oven at 350 degrees for about an hour. Remove from pan and serve!

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*For an extra special treat: Slice a warm piece and add a tablespoon of natural peanut butter and enjoy!

get-attachment-2.aspx Let me know what you think in the comments! And if you added your own special ingredients I’d love to hear!