Sunday, October 14, 2012

Red Lentil Tacos

I LOVE these tacos. I just love them from first to last bite. And I'll always help myself to a second one.

In fact, I will always opt for red lentil tacos instead of meat filled ones. They are spicy, creamy like beans (which lentils are) that just fill the bill when you want a great, healthy taco.

If you like the consistency of refried beans, give these a try.

Red Lentil Tacos                                                   Serves 4

1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt

1 cup dried red lentils, picked through
4 tbl of chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp paprika
1 tbl ground cumin
3 tsp salt
4 tsp black pepper
2 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth

8 crunchy taco shells
shredded lettuce
chopped tomato
shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
sour cream
1. In a large saucepan or skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil; add onion, garlic, and salt and cook until onions begin to soften, about 3-4 minutes.

2. Add lentils and spices to pan. Cook until spices are fragrant and lentils are dry, about 1 minute. Add broth, and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until lentils are tender (and most of the liquid is gone), 25-30 minutes. Uncover lentils and cook until mixture thickens a bit, 6-8 minutes.

3. Spoon 1/4 cup lentil mixture into each taco shell. Top with chopped tomatoes, shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, a teaspoon or two of sour cream, and hot sauce, not necessarily in that order. Get a napkin and a fork, because things are going to get messy.

Calories calculated using Sparkrecipes Calculator: 101 calories per serving (does not include calories for shells, lettuce, tomato or cheeses)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Espresso Cake Pops

I am not a fan of making cake pops. But I DO like their individual serving size which makes them perfect for a crowd.

I made these for my sisters birthday last week and all her teacher co workers, they loved them!

They bugged her for three days straight asking when she was going to bring more treats to work.

I personally think they are a deliciously coffee infused treat. Not for children. I put a lot of espresso into these, and they give you a good caffeine kick.

Which is exactly why all those teachers loved them. I think you will too.

Espresso Cake Pops                                             makes 50 pops

The Cake
1 box Betty Crocker's Spice Cake
3 eggs
1 1/4 c water
3 tsp instant espresso powder
1/3 c oil
1 oz brandy

8 oz mascarpone cheese
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tbl milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 heaping tbl instant espresso powder

1 large package of chocolate coating (NOT CHOCOLATE CHIPS)
decorative sprinkles

1. Mix the boxed cake mix, eggs, water, oil, brandy and espresso powder according to the package directions. Let cake cool an hour and crumble into small pieces by hand or in food processor.

2. Mix frosting ingredients until smooth and incorporate with the crumbled cake until fully combined. Sprinkle in another heaping tablespoon of espresso powder and mix well.

3. Line a jelly roll pan with wax paper. Scoop  up the cake, a tablespoon at a time, and roll into individual balls, set on wax paper. Repeat until all of the cake is rolled. Freeze cake balls 30 mins to an hour.

4. I do not like the "pops," work that is involved putting them on sticks, but if you would like your pops on a stick keep reading. If not, skip to step 6. 

5. Melt a cup of your chocolate coating according to package directions. Usually it's 30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds stir etc...until smooth. Take out your pops from the freezer. Dip the ends of your stick in the chocolate and insert into one pop at a time until each pop has a stick. Re-freeze pops another 15 minutes.

6. Melt a cup of your chocolate coating according to package directions. Usually it's 30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds stir etc...until smooth. Take out your pops from the freezer. Drop a pop into your chocolate one at a time until nicely coated, remove with a candy tool or a slotted spoon, tap to remove excess chocolate back into the melting bowl.

7. Drop each coated pop onto your wax paper, and quickly sprinkle on your toppings while chocolate is still shiny and wet. I used crystal white sprinkles because they reminded me of sugar you put into coffee. 

8. Repeat coating until all pops are covered and decorated, melting more chocolate as needed.Do not refreeze your pops. I have found that doing that makes your pops sweat when they are returned to room temperature.

Calories calculated using Sparkrecipes Calculator: 146.6 calories per pop  

Un-popped cake pops

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Grilled Butterflied Spicy Lamb

These are a perfect main dish to make any time  It is spicy and juicy and who doesn't love grilled lamb? Anyone? I thought so...


Grilled Butterflied Spicy Lamb Fillets                  serves 4

2 lamb necks
1/4 c oil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tbl chili power
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic salt
2 tbl honey

1. Make a paste from the oil, honey and spices. Cut your lamb necks into two pieces and then slice lengthwise almost all the way through (like a hot dog). Coat meat on both sides with spicy paste. Cover and let marinate 2 hours to overnight. 

2. Heat up your grill to medium heat. Oil the rack and grill lamb 22-27 mins, turning halfway through. Get a nice char on these bad boys spicy rub, it tastes delicious.

3. Serve hot and enjoy with a big side of veggies like grilled asparagus or grilled eggplant. 

Calories Calculated using Sparkrecipes Calculator: 170.3 calories per serving