Gooseberry Patch has an amazing line-up of new cookbooks coming out this year, and I'm so glad they decided to kick things off with this one...
I have been doing my very best lately to eat healthy, so I was MORE than happy to review this cookbook. It's fabulous! Over 200 guilt-free recipes that are easy enough for this busy mom to whip up on a weeknight. And would you believe it - I lost over 5 pounds while reviewing this book, all while eating delicious, hearty meals!
There are several recipes that I've placed on my short list to try in the coming weeks. I'm always looking for good breakfast recipes, and the Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes, Hearty Breakfast Quinoa, Banana Bread Pancakes, and Baked Blueberry Oatmeal totally caught my eye. The Rosemary-Sea Salt Bread and Sweet Avocado Muffins intrigued me - I've never heard of putting avocado in a muffin, but it sounds delightful! We will definitely be trying the Rosemary-Braised Navy Beans, Sweet Potato Chili Wedges, Summer Squash Pie, and Corn, Tomato, and Black Bean Salad this summer. And for dessert, who wouldn't want to try Brown Sugar Pineapple Crisp with Coconut Whipped Cream?
Oh, and did I mention that two recipes from this blog are featured? :) Around here, we love Kristin's Peasant Stew and Kickin' Pasta Sauce!
Here are the recipes that we've tried so far and our thoughts on them. I'll be sharing all of these recipes with you in the upcoming two weeks!
Energy Boost Smoothies in "Off to a Fresh Start"
These smoothies are chock full of fruits and vegetables. With no added sugar, it's all healthy! The taste is incredibly good. My food processor didn't get the drink smooth enough for my tastes (I've heard a Magic Bullet would do the trick), but little miss Pebbles couldn't get enough of it. She said it was the best "soup" she's ever tasted! :)
Mexican Roasted Cauliflower in "Garden-Fresh Sides and Salads"
Who knew cauliflower could be so good?! I enjoy cauliflower, but I have to be creative in order to get my husband and daughter to eat it. This passed their test. The spicy flavor perfectly compliments any Mexican entree (or just about any entree, for that matter). We enjoyed it alongside marinated chicken breasts and brown rice for a delicious, healthy meal.
Spicy Chicken Soup in "Hearty Soups and Fresh-Baked Breads"
We've had more cold weather here, so I enjoyed warming up to this spicy soup. The ingredients are simple, but the addition of a jalapeno adds a perfect boost. I topped it off with some homemade pico de gallo - we loved it!
Honey-Lime Peas in "Garden-Fresh Sides and Salads"
These peas are out-of-this-world awesome! We served them warm alongside our favorite spicy roast - they were perfect. We had them cold on top of our favorite salad - they were perfect. I love how versatile they are and how much the flavor comes out. Next time I make these, I might turn them into a full-on pea salad, complete with cheese, onions, and peppers. I know these will be delicious!
Black Beans and Saffron Rice in "Fish and Vegetable Mains"
And now for our favorite of the bunch! This was such an easy meal to put together (only about 20 minutes), but you would never know it. The taste is excellent, and I love the way that the colors just pop! This makes quite a bit, so we enjoyed it for several meals. This gets my blue ribbon for best weeknight meal!
Isn't that just beautiful! See below for the recipe.
Black Beans and Saffron Rice
from Gooseberry Patch's Good-for-You Everyday Meals
- 2 5-oz. packages saffron yellow rice, uncooked
- 2 T. butter
- 3/4 cups onion, chopped
- 3 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 T. garlic, minced
- 2 16-oz. cans black beans
- 1 t. ground cumin
- 3/4 cup pico de gallo or salsa
Cook rice according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a separate saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; add onion, celery, and garlic. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes, just until crisp-tender. Stir in beans with liquid and cumin. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Season with more cumin. To serve, divide rice into individual bowls; top with bean mixture. Garnish with pico de gallo or salsa. Serves 6.
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