Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kalyn's Kitchen Picks: Dreamfields Low-Carb Pasta (plus an important caution for Dreamfields fans)

There's definitely no doubt that I'm a big fan of Dreamfields pasta!

If you've been reading my blog for any length of time, you know I love Dreamfields low-carb pasta, made with a special process that makes the glycemic index and digestible carb count much lower than regular white flour pasta.  I even order it by the case from Amazon.com when I can't find certain shapes in my local stores!   I've been eating Dreamfields for so long that I can hardly believe I'm just now making it one of my Kalyn's Kitchen Picks, where I recommend products I've tried and loved so much that I would happily buy them over and over.  There's no doubt that Dreamfields deserves to be one of my picks, but even so this post has an important caution about Dreamfields (especially for people who need to monitor their blood sugar for health reasons) so if you're a Dreamfields fan, please read on.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Penne Pasta Recipe with Wilted Arugula, Basil, Ricotta, and Parmesan Sauce (Meatless)

If you have fresh basil or arugula in your garden, this quick pasta dish is delicious! Use more greens and less pasta if you want a lower-carb version.

For a long time I never thought of pasta as being a summer dish, except for pasta salads.  Then a few years ago I discovered no-cook pasta sauces, where a mixture of summer vegetables and fresh herbs are combined with freshly cooked pasta for a delightful dish that's eaten barely warm.  I used my first basil pickings of the summer in this Penne Pasta with Wilted Arugula, Basil, Ricotta, and Parmesan Sauce that combines barely-cooked arugula and basil, pesto, ricotta cheese, parmesan, lemon zest, and olive oil.

I didn't have that much basil yet, so I used a combination of chopped basil with a few tablespoons of basil pesto, and if you don't have garden basil you could probably use even more pesto.  I also lightened up the dish by using part-skim ricotta cheese, which I thought gave plenty of creaminess to the finished pasta.  If you like the strong flavors of arugula and basil, I think this is a perfect summer pasta recipe, but if you're not an arugula fan spinach would also be good.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday Night Photos: Baby Vegetables! (2011 Garden Update #4)

Honey Bear Squash is a type of small acorn squash that I'm growing for the first time.

Long before digital cameras and the internet, I had a friend named John who used to tease me about loving my baby vegetables so much that I should photograph them and start carrying the photos around in my wallet, just like people carry pictures of their kids and grandkids.  Of course now I can post those baby vegetable photos on my blog and just show them to people on my phone, but what hasn't changed is how excited I get when baby vegetables start appearing on the plants.  It seems the era of torrential rains may have finally ended in Utah and veggies are popping out everywhere.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Recipe for Vegetarian Seven-Layer Tostadas

If you're a fan of Seven Layer Dip, I bet you'll love these Vegetarian Seven-Layer tostadas!

As you can see, I'm still on a bit of a Mexican food kick around here, although truthfully this idea that popped into my mind for Seven Layer Tostadas is far from authentically Mexican!   But it does have Mexican flavors going on, with a crisped whole wheat tortilla topped with my family's version of what makes up the seven layers in seven layer dip:  refried beans, guacamole, sour cream with a touch of Taco Seasoning stirred in, finely grated cheese, diced tomatoes, green onions, and sliced black olives.  Did you count to see if there really were seven layers?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Recipe for Spicy Beef and Black Bean Soft Tacos with Cucumber, Tomato, and Lime Salsa

These Spicy Beef and Black Bean Tacos are healthier and maybe tastier than the ones mom used to make.

When I was a kid I loved my mom's tacos.   One thing that made them so good was the way mom would get the oil very hot in her cast iron frying pan and quickly fry the corn tortillas to make shells, folding them over to be filled with spicy taco meat, lots of grated cheese, lettuce, hot sauce, and sometimes tomatoes or olives when the family budget was flush.  When we ate mom's tacos, we had to hold them over a plate because so much grease would drip out!  

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Recipe for Kalyn's Taco Seasoning Mix

There are lots of good reasons for making your own Taco Seasoning Mix!

If you're lucky enough to be celebrating Father's Day today, I hope you won't see this until the parties are over and you're thinking about what to put on the menu for the coming week.  All weekend I've been  really missing my dad, but I've also had tacos on the brain this weekend.  I think it might have started when I bought a new type of whole wheat flour tortillas that were the perfect size for tacos, and soon I'd decided I had to mix up a batch of taco seasoning.  (Ground Beef and Black Bean Taco recipe coming tomorrow!)  There are lots of reasons why making your own taco seasoning mix is a smart idea, not least of which is that if you have a well-stocked spice pantry, you can make a lot of taco seasoning for the price of one of those packaged mixes.  Making your own taco seasoning also lets you control what goes into the mix, so you don't get sugar, preservatives, or chemical ingredients you may not want.  But most important to me is and reason this is called "Kalyn's Taco Seasoning Mix," is that when I make my own I can put just the flavors I like in a spice mix like this.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Recipe for Pizza-Flavored Breakfast Muffins with Pepperoni, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Oregano

These Pizza Flavored Breakfast Muffins are for everyone who likes cold pizza for breakfast!

I only order pizza for a very rare splurge, but when I do it's a sure thing that I'll be having cold pizza for breakfast the next morning.  I'm not sure whether it was that cold pizza breakfast memory, or my fondness for the turkey pepperoni I use to make South Beach Diet Friendly Flatbread Pizza, but recently I found myself thinking about creating some kind of breakfast muffin variation with the flavors of pizza.  It took me several failed attempts to get one I liked, but I'm very happy with these muffins that start with the basic idea behind Cottage Cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins and add pieces of pepperoni, mozzarella string cheese sticks, and dried oregano for a pizza flavored breakfast.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Recipe for Arugula and Gorgonzola Salad with Balsamic Vinegar

Arugula and Gorgonzola Salad with Balsamic Vinegar found on KalynsKitchen.com
This salad with Arugula, Gorgonzola, and Balsamic Vinegar is simple but memorable!

(This recipe was revisited and updated with better photos June 2011.)   The idea for this Arugula and Gorgonzola Salad with Balsamic Vinegar started when  I was at Costco and they were doing a demo for crumbled Gorgonzola in a big tub. The price was ridiculously low, under $6.00 for 24 ounces of Gorgonzola, and it tasted wonderful, so I bought some. As soon as I got it home I realized that now I now had to think of lots and lots of things to make with Gorgonzola!  This salad was one of the first things I tried, a simple-but-delicious combination of some of my favorite salad flavors.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Night Photos: Two Reasons this is an Exciting Day!

After thinking about it for years, I've finally taken the plunge and switched to MAC!

I know it's not Friday night just yet, but there's a very good reason I'm not waiting until later tonight to tell you how excited I am about my new iMAC computer.  Tonight my beautiful niece Alyson is getting married to a great guy named Nick, so I'll be too busy congratulating them to be posting anything on the blog.  It will be one of those wonderful family weddings with many of the 100+ first and second generation Denny family members attending, so even if I didn't have a new iMAC, this would be a pretty exciting day!  But no denying it, I am pretty darn excited about the new computer.  I've contemplated switching to MAC for years, and after months of computer issues I've taken the plunge. 

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Low-Glycemic Recipes from My Food Blogging Friends (Web Wandering 6-8-11)

Photo of Sushi on a Cracker with Tamari Ginger Dip from Andrea's Recipes

If you're wandering around the web looking for low-glycemic recipes, you'll notice plenty of tempting sweet treats on food blogs.   Still, even though many blogs feature desserts, I see healthy recipe ideas all over the web when I'm saving links for my monthly round-up of South Beach Diet Phase One Recipes.  Sometimes the recipes don't quite make the cut for Phase One, but they're still South Beach Diet or diabetes friendly or would work for people looking for low-glycemic recipes for other reasons.   Of course every recipe on Kalyn's Kitchen uses low-glycemic ingredients, but I thought it would be fun to start spotlighting low-glycemic recipes from other blogs once in a while.   Go visit these wonderful blogs to see the full-size photo of the dishes and get the recipes!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Feta and Mint

Recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Dip with Feta and Mint found on KalynsKitchen.com
If you're having a summer get-together, try this delicious dip with red peppers and feta.

How do you feel about hot weather?  I'm a fan of summer, and for weeks I've been complaining about the rainy spring we've been having in Utah.  But the weather changed while I was in Austin for the IACP Conference and now it's so hot in Salt Lake that I turned my air conditioner on today!  Hot weather makes me think about nibbling instead of eating big meals, and this delicious roasted red pepper and feta dip is perfect for a snack, but also flavorful enough to serve for a party.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Recipe for Chickpea (Garbanzo Bean) and Edamame Salad with Lemon and Mint

Everyone who loves chopped fresh mint in a salad, raise your hand!  My hand is high in the air, and if yours is too, you must try this easy salad combination with chickpeas, edamame, chopped mint, and both lemon zest and juice for lots of lemon flavor.  I ate this mostly for lunch, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to perk up the flavor after it had been in the fridge, but I think it would also make an interesting side dish for any type of grilled meat, chicken, or fish.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Friday Night Photos: Veggies are Growing and Cute New Garden Markers (2011 Garden Update #3)

When you read this I'll be in Austin, attending the International Association of Culinary Professionals  annual conference, where I'm moderating a panel on food blogging with my friends Elise Bauer and Lisa Stone.  I took these photos last weekend, when the weather in Salt Lake had been raining for what felt like weeks, and my "real" camera was still in the shop.  My apologies for both the poor photo quality and the abundance of weeds in the garden, but even with all the rain (and bad photos!) I'm pretty happy with how this year's garden is coming along.  Above is the Brandywine Tomato plant my brother-in-law Clayton started for me, and despite the cold weather it's already getting some tomatoes!  And later in the post I'm featuring some very cute garden markers that a thoughtful blogger brought to me at BlogHerFood in Atlanta, so be sure you don't miss that!

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb)

These Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies can be eaten for Phase One if you use portion control!

Low-Sugar Coconut Almond Macaroon Cookies (Gluten-Free, Low-Carb) found on KalynsKitchen.com

I see a lot of food blog posts about desserts, but although I indulge a bit when I'm traveling I don't make desserts at home all that often.   However a lot of people love sweet treats,  and when I mentioned on the Kalyn's Kitchen Facebook Page that I was experimenting with a Phase One cookie recipe from The South Beach Diet Super Quick Cookbook, it generated a lot of excitement.  

(Desserts are a challenge on Phase One, and before this the Jelled Ricotta Pudding recipe I got from a reader was the only Phase One dessert on my blog.)  I experimented with a couple of versions until I got a cookie I thought was just right, and I'm excited to share the recipe.   Even though I'm not a big sweets person, I liked these cookies so much that I had to remind myself about portion control, so if you're trying to lose weight, keep that in mind!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

South Beach Diet Phase One Recipes Round-Up for May 2011 (Low-Glycemic Recipes)

Kalyn's Favorite Phase One Recipe for May 2011 is Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Radishes and Edamame.

The calendar has flipped over to June, causing students (and teachers!) all over the country to be filled with joy at the thoughts of summer vacation.  I know I say this every month, but I can hardly believe it's time for another monthly round-up of the Phase One Recipes I've posted on Kalyn's Kitchen or found on other blogs during the month.  And I don't know if it's just the change to warm-weather cooking, but this month I found some amazing things that hadn't been featured in a round-up before.

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