recipe card
June 25, 2014

oatmeal ala kristine
cooked up by kristine
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On exercise days or days I need my food to fill me up for longer, I love making oatmeal. the options for add-ins are endless and it's even a little therapeutic to watch it turn into the perfect consistency,

Boil together:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup almond milk or your other favorite milk.

When it gets well heated, be careful it doesn't boil over! now add:

  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1T chia seed
  • 1T flax seed

Stir well, I use a wisk. Reduce the heat to a simmer.

Now it's time to pick your add-in favors. I almost always put 2T diced candied ginger (Trader Joe's Sweet and Spicy is good). Then I throw in a handful of other dried fruit like raisins, or dried cherries, or dried blueberries, or chopped dried apricots. You could add other flavors here like cocoa powder or brown sugar or spices like cinnamon as well.

Continue simmering until the consistency is thick - between 20-30 minutes cook time total.

Take off the heat and add 2 scoops of protein powder - I use Trader Joe's soy protein. Stir together, and put it in a bowl.

For toppings, you may also wish to add fresh or frozen fruit or jam, some nuts, a nut butter, and/or a sweetener like local honey, maple syrup, or my fav: ginger syrup.

Serve hot and enjoy!

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recipe card
October 14, 2013

breakfast, photo-enhanced
pumpkin oatmeal
cooked up by kristine
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The breakfast invention today was really a last minute decision. Some days are like that, I look at my fridge and the thing I planned doesn't sound quite perfect. Voila! a container of pumpkin awaited - I've been using it in yogurt and smoothies this last week, and the rest needs to be frozen. So I whipped up this healthy and hearty oatmeal recipe.

The pumpkin and spices really give a warm flavor, and the chia seeds make it nice and thick. Then the honey at the end gives a touch of sweet, and you can adjust how much you use for your preferred sweetness level.

serves 1.

  • 1 cup liquid - I used 1/2 cup Almond Milk (Almond Breeze's Unsweetened variety) and 1/2 cup of cold tea.
  • 1/4 cup steel oats, dry
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin - pure pumpkin purée, not the pumpkin pie filling with extra additives!
  • 1T chia seeds
  • 1/2t cinnamon
  • dash of ground nutmeg, cloves, and ginger
  • 1t honey

Bring liquid to a boil. Add oatmeal and stir. Add pumpkin, chia seeds, and spices. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often. Serve with honey and another sprinkling of cinnamon on top. Enjoy!


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recipe card
August 14, 2013

for one or two, photo-enhanced
blueberry fluffcakes
cooked up by kristine
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When looking for a new breakfast idea, I happened upon a ricotta pancake recipe that I was interested in. And then I remembered the almond meal in my cupboard and decided to try to use it too. What came out is a fluffy pancake, just lightly sweetened, with good lean protein, and healthy fats.

theredkitchen: blueberry fluffcakes

serves 1. may double for 2 or to freeze and make an easy 2nd meal!

  • 2T Almond Meal
  • 1/2t Poppy Seed
  • 1/8t Baking Powder
  • 1/4C Part-skim Ricotta
  • zest of 1/2 Lemon
  • 1/2t Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4t Honey (or more to taste)
  • 4 Egg whites, whipped
  • 5 fresh Blueberries per pancake (frozen blueberries could also be used if slightly thawed)
  • 1/4t Coconut Oil, or your favorite pan spray/oil

Combine the dry ingredients of almond meal, poppy seeds, baking powder, along with the ricotta, lemon zest, vanilla, and honey. Stir well to make a well blended mixture.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites - I used my stand mixer. Gently stir in half of the egg whites into the other mixture, and then even more gently fold the rest of the egg whites in to keep things fluffy.

Heat large frying pan over medium low heat and add oil. Spoon small mounds into the pan - I got about 5 pancakes in my largest pan to give them plenty of room to be turned. Press blueberries into each pancake. Cook 3-5 minutes per side. Serve and enjoy!


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recipe card
June 20, 2013

for one or two, photo-enhanced, vegetarian
build your own adventure quiche/frittata
cooked up by kristine
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Do you have a meal that can work with a variety of stuff in the fridge? I think Alton Brown called it refrigerator velcro. Kind of like a "choose your own adventure" book, looking at what is in the fridge and needs using. Or plan carefully to have your favorite ingredients on hand, it's up to you :)

A frittata is basically the same as a quiche, but the quiche is baked in a crust. The core ingredients I use are generally the same:

  • eggs (or a combo of egg whites and whole eggs) and milk
  • meat (or a vegetarian meat)
  • vegetables (and seasonings/herbs)
  • cheese
  • a little oil or butter for sautéing.

serves 2.

1. Prep your pan: For a quiche, I use a frozen crust, places in a glass pan and placed in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes to defrost and toast up a little. For a frittata, spray a glass pan with some oil.

2. Sauté your veggies: over medium heat, use 1t-1T butter or oil to gently reduce and tenderize the firmer veggies:

  • 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 chopped pepper
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2T chopped green onions
  • 2T chopped fennel
  • other great options include leeks, broccoli, onion, jalapeño, riced cauliflower, cooked green bean pieces, cooked spaghetti squash, etc!

3. Prep your meat: lightly defrost frozen pre-cooked ground meat, vegetarian meat, or sausage links. Cut sausage links into small circles if using. Add cold meat to your veggies to warm through. Or if you have cooked meat like chopped chicken breast, no further prepping is needed, just add to your veggies.

frittata step 4

4. Finish adding veggies and herbs: spinach or kale is a great item to add to egg dishes - you can choose to use a frozen box of spinach (defrosted and drained) or a small bag of fresh spinach/kale, chopped roughly. Add this to your pan with the other veggies and meat. Slice up any fresh herbs you wish to add - see list below for ideas. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently place this veggie+meat+herbs mixture into the prepared pan.

  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes (the dried variety)
  • 5-10 chiffonaded basil leaves
  • chopped bunch of parsley
  • sprinkle of lemon pepper
  • sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 10-20 olives

5. Cheese it up: gently sprinkle cheese on top of the veggies in the pan. I use a combo of a "normal" shredded cheese blend like 1 cup of cheddar or a Mexican blend, and then top that off with a small amount of a flavorful cheese like 2 ounces of sharp provolone or 1/2 cup crumbles feta. You could replace some of this with a lower fat option like Laughing Cow or a 2% version of your favorite cheese.

frittata step 7

6. Mix up the eggs and milk: in a separate bowl, combine eggs and milk and wisk well. How many? I've found that my pan fits 3 eggs and 1 cup of milk. You can do any combo of eggs to egg whites, just plan that about 2 egg whites are the same quantity as a single egg. I use almond or soy milk for this recipe, but whatever milk you have on hand should work fine.

7. Put it all together: slowly pour the liquid mixture over the pan. By doing this slowly, it will let the liquids flow over the other ingredients, getting into the nooks and crannies rather than overflowing or staying on the top! Place in a preheated oven at about 375° for 30 minutes. To check for doneness, stick a knife in the center of the dish and see if the liquid is set. When you take the pan(s) out of the oven, let them set for 5 minutes to give it a chance to set while it cools a bit.


Tip: if you did the refrigerator velcro idea to the fullest, your sink may be filled with leftover storage containers! This is good!

frittata step 8




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June 07, 2013

for one or two, main dish, soup, vegetarian
minestra polpetta
cooked up by kristine
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Inspiration for meals sometimes comes when I'm browsing for ways to use an individual ingredient, and this time I was actually looking for something to so with the ground turkey in my freezer. On further consideration, I decided to try this in a vegetarian soup to be able to share with my husband. So the inspiration ingredient doesn't even show it's face in this soup!

Minestra was not a name I was familiar with until looking through a Trader Joe's cookbook. Minestrone, yes, but not minestra. It fits though! Minestra Polpetta literally means Italian meatball soup.

Tip: If celery, zucchini, and cabbage aren't your style, substitute in leeks or fennel. Or add a combination of all 5! Just adjust the veggie quantities so the amount of broth still gives you a good soup consistency.

serves 2

theredkitchen: minestra polpetta
  • 2 ribs of celery
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1t olive oil (I used a basil flavored olive oil I had on hand)
  • 1/2t poultry seasoning
  • several dashes crushed red pepper, depending on your spice sensitivity
  • cabbage, 1/2" round slice, chopped
  • small zucchini, cut in 1/2" rounds and each in 6 pieces
  • 2 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 oz tomato sauce , no sugar added preferably (half of a small can)
  • 12 Trader Joe's Meatless Meatballs, slightly defrosted
  • sprinkle of Parmesan Reggiano
  • several kale chips for garnish (optional)

Heat soup pan and add oil over medium heat. Add the celery, garlic, and poultry seasoning, pepper flakes, and sauté, stirring regularly until celery is tender. The zucchini and cabbage can go in next, cooking for several minutes.

Add the chicken broth and water and return the pan back to a low simmer. Gently pour in the tomato sauce to prevent splattering. Give everything a good stir and place the meatballs in the center of the pan. From this point out, be careful not to displace the meatballs too much when stirring, or they will fall apart. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the liquid reduces slightly, all the veggies are tender, and the meatballs are fully warmed.

Scoop into soup bowls, add a curl of parmesan, and a few kale chips. Enjoy!

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recipe card
May 30, 2013

side dish
kale crisps
cooked up by kristine
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theredkitchen: kale crisps

Kale is something I was required to eat as a child, raw from the garden after weeding duty. My siblings found clever ways of disposing theirs (throwing it out the window while driving, etc). I was not a fan. So when I started seeing recipes for Kale Chips, I poo-poo'd the whole idea. "I don't like kale, it is like chewing on waxed paper." But more and more friends I trusted were trying it... so one day when a bunch of kale was on sale, I gave in. "Worst case scenario, I try it out and still don't like it, and I'm only out 99 cents." Lo and behold, it's all about how it's prepared! and I liked it! I did a little experimenting to find a combination of methods that made my perfect crisps. Special thanks to some friendly advice from Jasmin who makes kale salads, Emilia who suggested liquid aminos, Fitandfabby40's video tutorial, and Dara who makes a spicy version.

  • 1 bunch of kale, trimmed from its stem, or half a bag of pre washed pieces of kale (like the ones at Trader Joes)
  • 1T olive oil
  • 4-6 sprays of Braggs Liquid Aminos
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • seasonings of your choice. some combinations:
    • nutritional yeast (also known as brewer's yeast) and onion powder
    • Italian seasoning
    • I'd like to try a spicy sesame seed version

In a large bowl, place kale and drizzle olive oil over it. Now massage the kale! make kneading motions through the leaves. You'll notice after a few minutes, the coloring changes and the amount of kale shrinks down somewhat. This makes the kale more like crisps than chips, melting in your mouth when you eat them.

Place a silpat or other baking sheet liner (parchment paper may work) on a large cookie sheet. Spread the kale out as evenly as possible. Spray the liquid aminos over top evenly. Add salt and pepper, and any additional seasonings you would like.

Bake in a preheated 250 oven for 20 minutes. The low temperature will dry out the chips without browning them. After 20 minutes, use tongs to lightly toss the chips, flipping them over a bit, and put them back in the oven for another 10-20 minutes. Taste them to see if they are to your liking to determine if they need more time.

Enjoy these as a side to a sandwich, a mid-day snack, or even on top of a bowl of soup! (tip, I've got a recipe coming that does just that!)


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