Food in the Middle

December 19, 2010

Kahlua French Toast 
This was so amazing! I added ground flaxseed and honey instead of syrup on top. I also kinda burned it a bit to give it a caramelized taste. It was great!


  • Two slices of bread (I used whole wheat)
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup milk (I used coconut milk)
  • 3 generous tablespoons Kahlua :) 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (I used a heaping teaspoon!)

Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. Spray skillet with spray and heat on medium. Drown bread and cook for 5 or so minutes. Top with honey, syrup, fruit, chocolate, or whatever else your heart desires! 


December 15, 2010

Black Bean and Pineapple and Corn Enchiladas

As I usually do with these recipes, I made just a few alterations. I used whole wheat tortillas and sharp cheddar cheese for the topping. I also served mine with a side of steamed broccoli and pearl onions.

  • 1 can black beans, drained
  • 1 can Dole pineapple chunks, drained-(Make sure you get in juice instead of syrup!)
  • 1 can corn, drained
  • 2 cans red enchilada sauce
  • 8oz. bag cheese
  • 5 to 6 tortillas
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.Pour 1 can of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of your baking dish
  • Combine black beans, pineapple and corn in a bowl with about ¼ can of enchilada sauce
  • Fill your tortillas. Pour any remaining filler on top of the enchiladas, then follow with the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  • Bake for 30 minutes. Serve topped with plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream-(tasted really good!)
Original Recipe:

November 23rd, 2010

Thai Veggie Curry

I made a few modifications with this recipe, mostly because I was in a hurry to get home and forgot to pick up a couple of items. I used vegetable broth instead of carrot juice, used powdered curry instead of fresh, and used one bag of Kroger Asian style veggies and one bag of Kroger cauliflower. It was still AWESOME!


  • 2 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger 
  • 1 cup carrot juice 
  • 2 bags Kroger Meal-Ready Asian Style Vegetables
  • 4 tbsp cashews, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 lb Nasoya Firm Tofu
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk

        • Directions (Taken from 
    Add garlic, ginger, juice, vegetables, 2 tablespoons of cashews, and curry powder to a wok or large skillet. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until all vegetable are tender. Mix in peanut butter. Slice tofu in 1/4-inch-thick slices and add to woke, simmering and tossing until hot. Add coconut milk and heat through. Top with remaining cashews.

November 11th, 2010

*This recipe is taken from a new blog fav of mine, "It Ain't Meat, Babe." (
The only alterations I made to the recipe was leaving the skins on the potatoes and I used ground ginger instead of fresh. I also used half of a fresh lemon for the juice. It was simple and yummy. 

Sweet Potato and Coconut Milk Soup

1 large sweet potato, diced.
3 medium sized Yukon Gold potatoes, diced. (I used small white potatoes, four of them).
4 cups vegetable stock
3 slices of ginger (I used powder).
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, combine sweet potatoes, Yukon Gold potatoes, ginger, and coup stock.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, then cover and turn down the heat to medium-low.

Let simmer until the potatoes are really tender. Around 25 minutes or so.

Remove ginger chunks from pot and discard.

Blend the soup with your blender.

Add coconut milk, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Stir well to combi

November 9th, 2010

*This recipe is heavenly and taken straight from the "How Sweet It Is" blog ( The only modifications I made were that I did not peel the apples (I like the way the skins taste), and I used shells as well for my pasta. I also would recommend using much more cheese sauce (maybe increasing the sauce and cheese by another half cup or so), because I like my mac and cheese extra cheesy. :)

Autumn Mac and Cheese
1 pound whole wheat pasta
1/2 small butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 large apple, peeled and chopped
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
2 cups brussels sprouts, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
2 cups milk
8 ounces cheese, grated (I used smoked cheddar)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese + more for topping
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Lay chopped squash and apples on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Roast for 25 minutes, flipping once.
While the squash is roasting, heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions and brussels sprouts with a pinch of salt and pan roast for 6-8 minutes, turning frequently. Heat a large pot of water to a boil, and begin to cook your pasta.
Set aside squash/apples and sprouts/onion mixture. If pasta is cooked, set it aside as well. Reduce oven heat to 350.
In a medium saucepan, heat one tablespoon of butter on medium heat and whisk in the flour to create a roux. Add the milk while continuing to whisk, and begin adding cheese as well. I find that adding cheese in batches about 3 minutes apart works best. Continue to whisk together so the cheese melts and doesn’t stick to the bottom. The entire process takes about 10 minutes and you want the heat on medium-low, this will help thicken the cheese sauce. I find you don’t want it too thick, as it will thicken in the over.
Spray a large casserole dish with non-stick spray. Begin to layer pasta, vegetables and apples, and cheese sauce in batches, just mixing to make sure all is combined. Top with panko and another sprinkling of parmesan. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
November 4th, 2010

I did it! I made banana bread! It was delicious, fluffy, soft, moist, sexy banana bread!! I have never even attempted banana bread, and tonight's attempt was a success! I found the recipe on a new blog I have been following, "Itzy's Kitchen." I made a few modifications to the recipe, including using dark brown sugar instead of regular for the topping and leaving it in the oven for an hour and a half instead of an hour. I also used a glass casserole dish instead of a loaf pan, which is probably why I had to leave it in the oven for an extra half hour. Please try it out!

Amazing Banana Bread:
3 over-ripe bananas, mashed
dash of salt
1 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp baking soda

For the swirl:
1/3 cup sugar
1 TB cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and flour a loaf pan (I used some vegetable pan spray) I used an 8 x 5. Just keep a close eye on your bread in the oven if you use a different size, and adjust the time as needed.
Mix bananas, butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla together. sprinkle baking soda and salt around on top of the banana mixture. Then gently stir in flour. Be careful not to over-mix.
In a small dish, mix together the 1/3 cup sugar and 1 TB cinnamon.
Add 1/2 of the batter to the loaf pan and then sprinkle about half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the batter in the pan. Add the second half of the batter, and then sprinkle the leftover cinnamon-sugar on top

October 27th, 2010

Coconut-Ginger Carrots:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1-1/2 cups minced (I coarsely chopped mine) onion
1 heaping Tbsp minced fresh ginger (Ground ginger works well!
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
2 pounds carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal (I used two pounds of baby carrots...worked just as well for less work!)
2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
1/2 cup crystallized ginger (optional)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1) Preheat the oven to 375, Coat the bottom surface of a 1-1/2-quart pan with 1 tablespoon of oil.
2) Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat. After a minute, add the remaining olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onion and ginger and sauté for five minutes. Stir in the garlic and half the salt and sauté for another five minutes.
3) Add the carrots and the remaining salt (I didn't add anymore salt to my carrots and it tasted great), and stir until the carrots are well coated with the onion mixture. Turn down the heat, cover the pan, and cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Add the lemon juice and crystallized ginger, if desired. Cover again and cook for 5 minutes.
4) Transfer the mixture to the pan, cover tightly with foil, and bake for 20 minutes, or until the carrots are fork-tender.
5) Uncover, sprinkle with the coconut (making sure it gets into all the crevices), and return to the oven until the coconut is golden, 10 minutes or longer. Serve hot or warm.
(Citation note: I found this recipe on "Carrots N'Cake" at However, Tina found the recipe from Mollie Katzen's book "The Vegetable Dishes I Can't Live Without."

October 25th, 2010

Autumn Recipes: Shredded Bean Soup with Apples and Scottish Salmon

As the weather cools off, we will all be craving comfort food. I am a die hard summer lover, but when the weather gets chilly I always get excited thinking about a warm, hearty meal and a glass of red wine...nothing warms me up better! My husband is an excellent EXCELLENT cook, and he tackles the more complicated dishes for our dinner at home date nights. He found a great cookbook at a garage sale called "The World in Your Kitchen" by Arnie Kruger. This book is incredible. Each chapter is a different country in the world and the dishes that are most popular in that area. Two of my favorites are from Germany and England. These recipes are straight from the book and tried and true at our house: AMAZING. Kruger even gives wine paring advice for each dish!

Shredded Bean Soup with Apples

Ingredients: 1 pound green beans (fresh!)
                    1 qt. beef bouillon
                    A handful of bean tops
                    1 pound apples
                    4 ounces bacon
                    1 onion
                    2 tbsp. four
                    1 tbsp. vinegar
                    1.5 tsp. salt, sugar
                    1 tbsp. beef extract

String beans and cut into small pieces. Put in pot with bouillon and simmer over med low heat for one hour. In last 15 minutes, add the bean tops. Peel and core apples and add to pot for last 10 minutes. Dice the bacon and brown with sliced onion in separate saucepan, sprinkle flour and blend with juice from beans. Stir all ingredients and flavor with vinegar, salt, sugar and beef extract (p. 65-66).

(He also advices adding potatoes to this dish. We did and it made the soup even more hearty and delicious!)

Scottish Grilled Salmon

Ingredients: 4 thick salmon fillets
                    Salt (to taste)
                    1 cup melted butter
                    1 cup mushrooms
                    1/2 cup onion
                    1/2 leek (Jason usually throws the whole leek in, we love them!)
                    1 punch parsley
                    2 tbsp. fresh peas (or frozen, it is a little cheaper and just as good)

Salt the salmon fillets and brush on one side with butter. Lay them in broiler and broil for ten minutes. Repeat on other side with salt and butter, broil for ten minutes. Cut mushrooms into slices and cook in butter with onions and leek until onions are caramelized. Add peas and parsley. After salmon is cooked, spread veggies on the fish (p. 95).

(He advices a Rhine wine to accompany, but Jason and I enjoy either a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. I also would recommend using more olive oil than butter when you are sautéing the veggies. Also make sure to check the salmon before serving, sometimes with the thick fillets it is difficult to cook them in ten minutes).

October 23rd, 2010

I've been getting some questions about what meals I whip up when I either don't have enough time to dig out a recipe or am too lazy to make something incredible. The following meals are what I survive on when time is of the essence and I need to get to the gym in the following hour!

*Steamed or sauteed veggies. I buy fresh veggies every week but I also get the Kroeger brand (or any supermarket brand) frozen veggies. I keep these bad boys in the freezer and tear into them when I want to add some flavor to my pasta or sandwich. I love brussels sprouts, beans, broccoli, peas...any kind of veggies! Cook them with a little olive oil and sea salt.

*Whole grain pasta. I love to just whip up a pasta with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and fresh cheese. I also love to throw some of those frozen veggies in the mix! :)

*Veggie sandwiches (or wraps). Sautee up some veggies, then toss 'em in the wrap. If you use bread (make sure it is 100% whole wheat), either toast the bread or grill it in the saute pan. The cheese melts and it gets gooey and delicious!

*Grilled cheese and avocado sandwiches. My husband loves these! I usually throw in some rosemary and pepper in the sandwich along with the avocado. Tomato soup with this is a must.

*Mini pizzas. Use a whole wheat tortilla, put some olive oil on it and let it bake in the oven with the door cracked open at 375. I usually throw on peppers, artichokes, onions, sardines, garlic, ricotta, olives, parmesean and whatever else I can find in the fridge. Let it bake for a while until the cheese gets melty...

*Couscous. Any brand works and it is simple to make and delicious. I usually add toasted nuts and olive oil to the mix when it is done cooking, and some veggies!