Who is Bia?

My name is Brenda. I am a wife and an aunt-turned-mom of an amazing 13 year old. My passion for cooking and recipe creating developed as an adventure in finding healthy alternatives to the foods I don't want to live without! I am an advocate for local farming and my recipes are inspired by what is in season. I strive for my ingredients to be from a mother or from the ground and minimally processed. Please try my recipes, critique them, and share them! Just stay home and cook tonight!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Vegetable Marinara

Veggie Marinara
Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a can of "spaghetti" sauce? What is all that stuff. Part of my journey of weightloss also includes eating the right stuff. No corn syrup, no preservatives, no processed goods as much as I can. Well here is my version of a yummy marinra sauce, packed with veggies that when blended up, can get some kids (or husbands) to eat veggies that they won't normally eat! :)
So for this recipe you will need a large crock pot and the following ingredients:
1 large zucchini
2 peeled carrots
1 large onion
5 cloves of garlic
7-8 tomatoes (depending on the size)
1 green pepper
Fresh basil leaves
Salt and Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups Vegetable Stock
Chop up all the veggies into about ½ inch cubes. Finely chop the garlic cloves. Cut out the stem parts of the tomatoes. Add all the veggies and the basil, oregano, salt and pepper into a Crockpot and then drizzle with Olive Oil.
Put tomatoes on the top of the veggie mixture and then pour in the vegetable stock. Cover and cook on Low heat for about 5 hours.
When the veggies are all soft, strain them and place into food processor. Puree until desired consistency while streaming in just a bit of olive oil.
(Add some shredded rotisserie chicken and you have a nice chicken soup at this point!)
Now with my prepared sauce I browned up some lean ground beef and combined. Mixed with some whole wheat linguini and some fresh basil and here you go!
Now I hate wasting anything! After you strain all the veggies you are left with all this yummy, wonderful broth.
I put it in a frezzer storage bag and freeze it until I need it for a soup or liquid to cook some brown rice in!
Along with leftover marinara, this will freeze BEAUTIFULLY! Let everything cool before you store it in the freezer.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Beans and Potato Soup!

I know it is almost summer, but I can eat soups year round!!!
This is my Beans and Potato Soup

What you need:
2 large red potatoes (or any color you like)
2 green onions (white and green parts)
Pint of grape tomatoes (sliced in half)
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
Handful of fresh parsley finely chopped
16oz can of Garbanzo Beans (drained)
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp Paprika
Pinch of white pepper
Salt and Pepper

What you do:
Chop up potatoes and put in medium saucepan. Fill up with COLD water until the water is just above the potatoes. When they begin to boil add in all the rest of the ingredients (except for the garbanzo beans) and let simmer until potatoes are falling apart! Add Garbanzo beans until they are heated through. Top with some Parmesan cheese and Voila!

Makes about 2-3 servings

Now if you don't like garbanzo beans or if you just wanna switch this up, replace the Garbanzo beans with black beans and replace the parsley with cilantro and top with tortilla chips and Mexican blend cheese. You can also replace the garbanzo beans with pinto or chili beans, add some chili powder, and top with Cheddar cheese!

For 3 sevings, each serving contains: Calories 257; Fat 2g; Sodium 487g; Carbs 51g; Fiber 9; Sugar 3; Protein 10g

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Green Grilled Chicken!

So because I have a new obsession with my grill, I have been brainstorming some different ideas for recipies. Last night I attempted something I have never done...cutting up a whole chicken. I have seen how to do it on FoodNetwork and such, but have never tried it in my own kitchen. So tonight I took this:
...and split it up! If you have never done this, you first start out by cutting out the back bone (sorry if you're squeemish)
Then you can flatten it and split it right down the middle!
Now on to the good part!!!! I created a little pesto type filling and rub to flavor up this bird! Here is what you do:

In a food processor combine the following:

Bunch of Flat leaf parsley
Bunch of Cilantro
5-6 mint leaves
Grill Seasoning (like McCormiks)
Ground Coriander
Lemon zest of 1 lemon
Lemon juice of 1 lemon
½ white onion

As you puree it, slowly stream in some Extra Virgin Olive Oil until it is a pesto-like consistency.

Here is what it will look like when it is ready:

Now this yummy mixture is going under the skin. When you cook chicken on the grill with the skin on it holds all the juices in. If you don't like skin on your chicken (like me) just remove it after it is cooked.
Here is where you stuff the greens:
Now after it is stuffed, rub some on the outside of the bird and then sprinkle with the paprika! Here is the before:
And here is the DELICIOUS after!!!!!!
Try it and enjoy!!!!!!!!!