Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Party Dishes

Welp, I had my first moms' night out (in) last week and it was great - a nice little break from changing diapers and doing the mom bounce. It was at a friends house and was an "apps and zerts (and wine)" party. I love the idea. As far as I'm concerned appetizers and desserts are the best part of any meal.

I made a Spinach Artichoke dip that's been my go-to for awhile now; I first saw it on the Today show and liked that it was a bit healthier than your average dip. Here's a link to the recipe so you can try it yourself. I serve mine with baby carrots and celery.

Another recipe I've been making a lot of is this healthy enchilada dish. I use ten corn tortillas instead of the four whole-wheat ones (make sure the corn tortillas are warm before you start working with them). The in-laws came to visit this past weekend and it was a simple, healthy and tasty meal to entertain with.

Do you have any go-to party recipes? This chili dog dip looks pretty tasty for a Superbowl party.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My version of Shepherd's Pie

Simple seems to be my new mantra when it comes to cooking. I'm now a mom (Jack arrived on December 7, weighing 9.1 lbs via a natural, unmedicated labor and delivery) and we're slowly finding a schedule together. I'm now cooking and writing again, but I'm also at his beckon call. Simple food has become a necessity.

Add to that this whole trying-to-eat-healthy thing. My mid-section certainly isn't the same after carrying a 9 lb baby and I'd like to assist its shrinking in any way possible, so that's another goal: more veggies, less fat and high fiber. (It's not advised to go on a diet during the first few months of breastfeeding, which is why I'm not counting calories/limiting food, etc)

So, in an effort to keep simple and healthy, here's my take on gluten free and dairy free Shepherd's Pie:

Bison Shepherd's Pie

gluten-free, dairy-free, serves 4

For topping:

3 large sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons earth balance

1 tablespoon maple syrup

paprika for garnish

For bottom:

1 small onion, diced

1 cup carrots, diced

2 cloves garlic of 1 tsp garlic powder

1 cup button mushrooms (any type mushroom is fine)

1 lb ground bison

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

salt and pepper, about 1 teaspoon each

(I'm not much for exact measurements in recipes like these, all amounts except for the bison are approximate)

Poke holes in sweet potatoes and microwave at "potato" setting until cooked through (you could also boil or bake until tender). Preheat oven to 400 F. Meanwhile, in a large saute pan over medium-low heat saute onion, carrot and mushroom until slightly tender, then add garlic, bison, Worcestershire and salt and pepper and cook until pink is gone from bison. When sweet potatoes are done cooking, cool slightly, peel and mash with earth balance and maple syrup. Spoon bison mixture on bottom of a 9x13 casserole dish and top with sweet potato mixture. Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.