Posts Tagged ‘Dish Deanna’

This month we are focusing on the spice turmeric!  Here is a new one from Dish Deanna:

Turmeric is typically used in a lot of curries, can be used as a substitute for saffron and apparently has great health benefits. It is very vibrant, adding color to any bland-looking recipe and it even has anti-inflammatory properties, helps detoxify the liver, and is a natural pain killer. As I was doing research about this interesting spice, I was reading that many people put it into capsules and ingest it daily. This might be something worth looking into further! I do have to say though, when I heard that Turmeric was the theme of the month I panicked a little. I had no idea what kind of recipe to make. I knew that it is used in many curry recipes but I wanted to do something different. As I was browsing some vegetarian recipes, I came across one for hummus. It didn’t have turmeric in it but I improvised a little and came up with something that I think is pretty damn creative.

Ingredients for the hummus:

  • 2 (15 oz) cans of chickpeas (or garbanzo beans)
  • 3 or 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup olive oil

Ingredients for the pita chips:

  • 1 pkg of pita pockets
  • Garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

You will need:

  • A food processor or blender!
  • An oven or toaster oven


To start, strain the chickpeas and rinse them with water. This will take off any liquids that are still clinging to the chickpeas from the cans.


Measure out all of your ingredients and toss everything into the food processor. Pulse until the mixture is smooth. You may want to open the food processer intermittently and see how your hummus tastes. I found as I was making this that it was very experimental. In order to get the creamy texture I wanted I had to add just a little bit more olive oil. Feel free to be liberal with your measurements – you can’t really mess this up!


After you’ve finished with your hummus, place it into a bowl. I prefer my hummus at room temperature but if you like it cooler, throw it in the fridge! To start on the pita chips, first preheat your oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Cut one pita pocket into 4 even triangles and peel apart each side. Lay them flat on tin foil on a baking sheet. You should then brush one side only with olive oil, and sprinkle garlic powder and salt over the pita. Toss them in the oven for approximately 5 minutes (maybe even less). I wouldn’t walk away from the oven because you want to take them out as soon as the edges turn golden brown. I burned the first batch!


When they look about ready, take them out and let them cool. Then get ready to enjoy. You’ve just made homemade hummus and homemade pita chips! CONGRATS!!

*** serve with veggies or save for later to use as a spread for sandwiches!***




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Chicory month continues here at SLD.  Check out this tasty bite From Dish Deanna:


When I came home for Passover this past week, my mom and I got so wrapped up in cooking for the holiday, we forgot that at some point we needed to take a break and eat. In the midst of making the matzo ball soup, brisket, fish, and other yummy Passover dishes, we had to figure out something that would be tasty for us to munch on, but easy enough to make so that our main focus could be on the other dishes.

It is truly amazing what your mind can think up when you’re feeling creative. We looked in the fridge and had crabmeat and endive. That seemed workable for us. We decided to make little endive boats, filled with crabmeat, red cabbage, and a special sauce we whipped up on the spot!



1 endive: 6 small endive leaves, peeled off

2 tablespoons of mayonnaise

1 teaspoon of ketchup

½ teaspoon Dijon mustard

½ cup chopped red cabbage

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In a small bowl, mix the mayo, ketchup, and Dijon. Feel free to play around with the ingredients depending on which flavors you like best. I happen to enjoy Dijon mustard so I may have added a little more than I listed here. Next chop the red cabbage. At this time you can lay your leaves out for stuffing!

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This recipe is really all about preference. Some may prefer to toss the crabmeat in the sauce, whereas I drizzled it on top and then sprinkled some red cabbage over it to layer. This recipe can be doubled, tripled, and quadrupled depending on how many leaves you want to make! It makes for a great appetizer or even a healthy main. So one night when you’re feeling adventurous, play around with the proportions and find what you like best!


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From Dish Deanna:

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I’ve never actually made quinoa before this recipe. I’ve always been a rice and couscous kind of girl but something about quinoa really intrigues me. Quinoa is appreciated for its nutritional value (14% protein!) and considered easy to digest. Those two things are very important to me in my diet so I decided to give it a try. If you don’t season it well it could be very bland, much like couscous. I find this grain so interesting because it can be made for so many different things. Plenty can be put into it and made as a whole meal, or it can be enjoyed as a side dish. For this recipe, I made a sweet quinoa side dish!


1 cup quinoa

½ cup sliced or chopped almonds

1 cup chicken broth

1 and ½ hot water

½ tsp salt

1 cinnamon stick

1 bay leaf

½ cup dried cranberries


First, over medium heat, I toasted the almonds. Make sure that you stir continuously or they’re likely to burn. When the almonds turn golden brown add the quinoa into the pan. Stir for a few more minutes until the quinoa begins to darken.

almonds and quinoa

Transfer the toasted quinoa and almonds into a saucepan and add the water, chicken broth, salt, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, and cranberries. Bring to a boil, simmer, and then cover for the next 20-25 minutes. When the quinoa has consumed all the liquids, fluff it with a fork. Don’t forget to take out the cinnamon stick and bay leaf! No one wants to chew on those…

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Let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes before serving and then ENJOY!

me with quinoa

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From Dish Deanna:


The last time I had lobster mac & cheese I was on a date about a year and a half ago. We went to this really nice restaurant on the water and because it was on the water I obviously had to order some sort of fish. I’d heard good things about the lobster mac & cheese and couldn’t help myself. It was literally the best thing I’d ever eaten. Unfortunately, the date didn’t really work out (we’re still friends!), however, the mac & cheese made quite an impact.

I was feeling pretty adventurous when I woke up this morning and said to myself, “I NEED to make lobster mac & cheese tonight.” I don’t know what came over me. I already had a recipe for homemade mac & cheese but it was missing a few key ingredients, including the lobster. Here’s my own take on the most fattening and delicious dish ever.


  • One 2 lb steamed lobster
  • ½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup fontina cheese, grated
  • ½ cup gruyere cheese, grated
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 and ½ cups buttermilk
  • 2 and a ½ tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons ground, powdered mustard
  • ½ lb of pasta (I prefer Cellentani for this recipe but you can use Elbows or Cavatappi, or really anything)
  • ½ cup plain breadcrumbs
  • Salt & pepper to taste

lobster meat

The first thing you should do is cook your lobster. I went to the store today and they offered to steam it for me. When it came time to shell the lobster, it was already cooked perfectly.


Prep all your ingredients. Grate all your cheese (make sure your measurements are correct- don’t eyeball it), take out the butter, & pour the buttermilk into a measuring cup. If your lobster is already cooked, take this time to shell it and cut the meat into bite size pieces.

First, boil water in a saucepan and add your pasta. Add salt and olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking. Cook the pasta to your liking. In a separate saucepan, on medium heat melt the butter completely and then add the flour. Stir continuously until the mixture turns golden brown. Add the buttermilk and stir until the liquid thickens. It should be thick enough that it coats the back of your spoon. This should take around 10 minutes. Don’t forget about your pasta during this time! If it is ready, strain and set aside for later.

buttermilk mixture

When the buttermilk has thickened, add in the cheese mixture and the mustard. Stir continuously until the cheese is completely dissolved. Add salt and pepper.

When the mixture is completely blended, add the pasta and lobster meat to the saucepan with the cheese and stir until it is coated.

Grease your casserole dish lightly and transfer the mac & cheese into it. Sprinkle plain breadcrumbs on the top until it is completely covered. Pop it in the oven for approximately 8-10 minutes at 300 degrees. It is my personal preference to brown the top of it but that is completely up to you! If you choose to brown it, keep your eye on it so it doesn’t burn!




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From Dish Deanna:


During the holidays I always find myself over-doing it with food. I look forward to Christmas and New Year celebrations being over because I know that I can start fresh. This year I was so overwhelmed with cookies, cakes, chocolate, and dinners that I thought I was going to explode. I knew it was bad when I started wearing bigger sweaters.  Bigger sweaters made me realize that I needed to immediately start eating smaller portions. Mini Tacos are a great way to control your portion size and can be served in many settings. I find they are easy to make for a simple night in or even if you’re entertaining a group of people.  For this recipe I enlisted the help of my best friend, Jodi!  We had a great time making these.

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2 cooked chicken breasts

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

24 (3-inch) corn tortillas

Shredded cheddar cheese

Shredded lettuce

Hot sauce (optional)

Sour cream (optional)


Yields: 24 mini tacos, but can certainly be cut down if only meant for one or two people

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Start by finely shredding the chicken by hand and place into a medium bowl. Add lime juice, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss the mixture until it is thoroughly combined. Next, shred the lettuce.

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Lay the tortillas out for stuffing! If you can’t find mini tortillas, use a 3 inch round cookie cutter and make cut outs from larger tortillas. Place some cheddar cheese on the bottom, a big pinch of chicken, and some lettuce on the tortilla. Wrap up the tortilla and pierce with a toothpick.

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Right before you serve, stick the tacos in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so until the tortillas are soft and the cheese is melted.

These mini tacos are so good you’ll want to eat them all!


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From Dish Deanna:


I don’t know about any of you, but I hate winter. As soon as the weather starts turning from summer to fall to winter, I can’t help but become a little grumpy. The biggest problem for me is the cold weather. I usually try to solve this problem with hot tea, Starbucks, hand warmers, space heaters, and SOUP. I’ve always loved soup no matter the weather. When I was in middle school my mom would make me soup for lunch and pack it in a thermos. Whatever contents of the soup didn’t fit in the thermos I ate before I left for school. Yes, at 7 am I would have soup for breakfast. Looking back on that I realize how disgusting it is. Regardless, my love for soup has never dissipated. I’ve never been discriminatory with my selections, I love them all equally. However, cream soups are particularly fun for me to make.  This recipe is a family favorite and I’m glad to say I’ve never eaten it at 7 am!



1 ½ cups chicken broth (you can use fresh broth or College Inn Chicken Broth)

½ cup chopped onion

1 small bay leaf

a dash of garlic powder

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all purpose flour (or Wondra)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon white pepper

1 cup milk

Yields: 3-4 servings

food processed

This recipe is great because it is so incredibly easy and you can use it for any vegetable if you change out the seasonings.  For this recipe, start out by combining the chicken broth, chopped onion, the bay leaf, garlic, and broccoli in a pot.


Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for approximately ten minutes or until the broccoli is tender.


Remove the bay leaf and place half of the mixture into a food processor or blender. Pulse the mixture for 30 to 60 seconds or until smooth. Pour into a large bowl and repeat with the remainder vegetable mixture.


In the original pot, melt the butter under medium heat. Then blend in the flour (or Wondra), salt, and pepper. Once those are combined, add in the milk. Continuously and slowly stir the mixture until it is thickened and bubbly. If you find that your mixture is too thin, add more flour or Wondra. The thicker your mixture, the thicker the soup will be. Once you have obtained the desired thickness, stir in the blended vegetable mixture. Cook and stir the soup until it is heated. Add salt and pepper to season the soup further. If you like cheddar cheese, you can even add it in to make Broccoli Cheddar!

Like I mentioned earlier, you can use this for any vegetable because the recipe is the same. I’ve included a small chart for popular vegetables and their seasonings, if you want to get adventurous! The great thing about these soups is that you can freeze it for a later time. Enjoy and stay warm!

Vegetable Seasonings Cooking Time Yield
1 ½ cups chopped celery 2 tablespoons parsley½ teaspoon dried, crushed basil 15 minutes 3 cups
1 cup sliced mushrooms 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 5 minutes 2-3 cups
1 cup sliced potatoes ½ teaspoon dried dill weed 10 minutes 3 cups

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