2014 Year in Review

Another banner year on ye’olde food blog! Thank you so much for stopping by and viewing these darn MUFFINS!!! The Power Muffin reigns supreme yet again with a massive following! With 270,000 views this year, I could not be more thrilled! I take no sponsors, I do it for the fun. I cut back on recipes in the latter half of the year due to work changes and frankly: I want to put the time and effort into quality recipes for you. New responsibilities didn’t lend themselves to more time to cook but less. I’m hoping to balance it back out in 2015. I also started stitch fix this year and LOVE the service, highlighting my boxes each month.
2014 in Review {Domesticated Academic}

Want the recipe for these fabulous muffins?

Power muffins | Domesticated Academic

You’ll need:

makes 12 regular muffins (depending how full you pack your muffin tin)

  • no-stick cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup oats–quick or regular oats, plain
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 ounces honey nonfat greek yogurt or 1 1/2 cups (Chobani)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Coat muffin tin with cooking spray or liners.
  3. Combine flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  4. Combine yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla in a second bowl.
  5. Fold yogurt mixture into dry mixture; stir to combine completely.
  6. Gently fold in blueberries.
  7. Spoon into muffin tins.
  8. Bake until top is golden and springs back when you gently touch it, 20-25 minutes.

Pinterest, foodvee, and a host of other sites pumped out my work to the ether. Thank you for a great year! 2014 in Review {Domesticated Academic}

Parsley Salad with Pecans & Dried Cranberries

Parsley Salad with Pecans & Dried Cranberries {Domesticated Academic}

This salad is light, refreshing and highly addictive! I’ve been working to integrate more whole grains in my diet. The best way for me is to make a big batch of something on the weekend so I can eat off of it during the week. I saw the idea for a parsley based salad from budget bytes and really liked the fresh herb as the green in it. Since fall is here in full swing, this is also great because it’s not quite so heavy. Fall often brings warm, comforting, gooey foods and I’m also trying to NOT eat those for every meal. This is perfect. I mixed chicken with it for lunches for a satisfying bite and spruced it up with more vinaigrette when it dried up a bit.

Parsley Salad with Pecans & Dried Cranberries {Domesticated Academic}

You can mix up your grains on this. From brown rice  to quinoa, to bulgar, it’s up to you. You could even make this out of orzo or any kind of fun pasta. Be mindful of the amount of vinaigrette you make, you might want more. My vinaigrette recipe is BASIC (not basic like the college girls are currently using) but basic in the sense that it’s a single batch with some nice flavors but not overly heavy. Spice it up, add more salt and pepper, whatever makes you happy. I like extra garlic and extra mustard, but that’s just my taste preference.

You’ll need:

Salad

  • 1 c. cooked brown rice that’s been cooled
  • 1 c. cooked quinoa that’s been cooled
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley, clean & dry
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped small
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (craisins), chopped roughly

Vinaigrette

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar works too)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • salt + freshly cracked pepper to taste
  1. Whisk the dressing ingredients together while the quinoa and brown rice are cooking and cooling so the flavors will marry. Put all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk with a fork or whisk until combined. Set aside.
  2. Rinse parsley and pat dry with paper towels or dry in a salad spinner. Finely chop the leaves and put in a bowl for mixing.
  3. Roughly chop the cranberries and pecans. Place in bowl with parsley.
  4. Top with the cooked and cooled quinoa and brown rice.
  5. Top with dressing and lightly toss.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Burgers | Domesticated Academic

Comforting and filing without being too heavy leaving room for football food and plenty of pumpkin everything, these burgers are up to the challenge! Fall is here. And the stuffing of my face with yummy things is coming. Not all the things are bad things, but not all the things are exactly good things either. In a vain attempt to have good things to put in my mouth that don’t involve the words “homemade macaroni and cheese” I was rummaging through my freezer to make room for other things and came across a bag of frozen black beans. Hmmmmm…..brain…..thinks……

Black Bean Burgers | Domesticated Academic

Now before I get ahead of myself: the beans in the freezer–I have been trying to buy dry beans, soak them, use what I need and freeze the rest. It’s cheaper to do this and the beans freeze really well. I made a batch of turkey chili, using kidney beans I’d soaked and froze a bag for something fun later. I had the bag of black beans in the freezer since March and there was no freezer burn on them and they had not dried out or didn’t disintegrate when I defrosted them. A great way to maximize the dollars. I get a bag of beans for $1.25 or just one 16 oz. can for the same price for half of the product. No brainer. You can soak almost anything overnight with little effort if you’re worried about your time costing money.

Back to ma’burgers. I was craving them. The local watering hole makes one hell of a black bean burger and I wanted some. I make these and will sometimes throw in some tuna, feta, and black olives, but this time around, I wanted straight up burger. If you don’t have any greek seasoning (I make my own & store), you can check out your own recipe online to help you out. I’m not the boss of you. You know how to cook. I know it! If you like your burgers a little mushier, cut the bread crumbs by half. If you like a drier consistency, stick with the half cup.

You’ll need:

30 min. total

  • 2 cans (32 oz) black beans, drained
  • 1/2 medium onion (cut in chunks)
  • 1/2 bell pepper (cut into chunks)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. greek seasoning
  • olive oil
  1. Put the onion, green pepper, and garlic in the food processor (or chop them ultra fine if you don’t have a food processor) and pulse until finely chopped.
  2. Add in the bread crumbs, egg, salt, pepper, greek seasoning and the black beans.
  3. Pulse until combined and chunky, don’t pulverize the beans.
  4. Turn out the mixture and hand mix if necessary to make sure everything is mixed well. You want to see some of the beans!
  5. Shape into patties. This recipe will make 4-5 very good sized patties.
  6. In a skillet on medium heat, saute the patties in olive oil until brown on each side, 4-5 min. on each side.
  7. Serve or store for quick lunches. These also freeze nicely.

Greek Ranch Dip

Greek Ranch Dip | Domesticated Academic

The guilt can be gone! Greek yogurt is strong enough to stand up to all those other dips this year! You’ll love this because it’s a healthier swap for the typical ranch or mayo based dips we see during the summer and on one will really know the difference. This stuff is hearty enough to get some veggies dunked in it, get slathered on a burger in place of mayo, and it will keep in your fridge and be ready for you when the moment strikes. The cool, creamy texture of the dip also serves up some protein and will make a great addition to your summer table and snack time!

Greek Ranch Dip | Domesticated Academic

I played with the ratio of yogurt to seasoning but decided that the best way to go isa 2:1 ratio: two cups yogurt, 1 ranch packet. You should test it out for yourself.

You’ll need:

  • 2 cups non-fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 packet of ranch seasoning mix
  1. Mix the two ingredients together in a bowl.
  2. Sit in the fridge for an hour to let everything get ‘married’ and get all delicious.
  3. Serve!!!

Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip | Domesticated Academic

Greek Yogurt Fruit Dip

Spinach Bread Bowl Dip | Domesticated Academic

 

Spinach Dip Bread Bowl

Banana Ice Cream

Banana Ice Cream | Domesticated Academic

It’s banana’s and you’ll go banana’s over it! Fake out ice cream is an excellent sub for when you want something cold, creamy, and quite frankly-delicious, without the level of guilt after you’ve consumed more than the typical 1/2 cup serving that’s on the nutrition label. Letsbehonest, who eats 1/2 cup of ice cream ONLY over the age of about 2? NO ONE (amiright?) so, as long as you’ll be wanting some cool summer treats, you might as well allow yourself more than a measly 1/2 cup serving. With this, you can!

I love summer and ice cream. Unfortunately, too much ice cream (like err’yday) leads to my pants all being too tight and me resorting to elasto-waist for the rest of summer. In a vain attempt to cut down on my elasto-wait pile of clothes this summer, I resorted to some ripe banana’s and my food processor. The addition of peanut butter was an afterthought that was a 100% “win” and added to the curb appeal of this frozen treat. Trust me.

You’ll need:

  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2-3 TBS cocoa powder
  • peanut butter (optional)
  1. Peel those ripe old banana’s and put them all in the food processor with the blade in it
  2. Add the cocoa powder (you may want to sift it if you have a fine mesh strainer or sifter)
  3. Pop the lid on that sucker and whiz it up until it’s smooth.
  4. Pour into a container for the freezer.
  5. Dollop some peanut butter on it.
  6. Freeze that thing and enjoy!

Lemon Ice | Domesticated Academic

 

Lemon Ice

cheesecakeicecream2 (Small)

 

Low Fat Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Balsamic green beans & cherry tomatoes w parm

Balsamic Green Beans With Tomatoes |Domesticated Academic

Warm weather means bountiful produce and I’m thinking ahead to fresh beans cooked with fresh cherry tomatoes and topped with some balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese! Is your mouth watering too?

Balsamic Green Beans With Tomatoes |Domesticated Academic

I was lamenting that it was cold and yucky during a stretch of rainy weather and took to the grocery store to cheer me up. Not exactly a good coping technique, but thankfully, I made this healthy choice! Fresh green beans were looking good and a pint of festive cherry tomatoes also landed in my basket to be whisked away to an exotic location: my kitchen. Cook the beans to your desired tenderness, I prefer to keep them a bit firm, the same with the tomatoes-do what you like to eat.

You’ll need:

20 min.

  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 lb. green beans, trimmed
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes
  • 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • parmesan cheese
  1. Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil on medium heat until they become translucent.
  2. Add green beans and chicken stock. Put a lid on the pan so the beans will cook down until desired tenderness, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add cherry tomatoes and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Turn heat off of pan and cover. Let stand for about two minutes, or until cherry tomatoes are heated through or starting to break down.
  5. Finish with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Sprinkle parm over the top before serving.

Veggie Noodles | Domesticated Academic

Veggie Noodles

Spicy Bacon Sprouts | Domesticated Academic

Spicy Bacon Sprouts

Veggie “Noodles”

Veggie Noodles | Domesticated Academic

These veggie “noodles” are hearty enough to hold sauce, super easy to make, and can add some extra servings of veggies in your diet! Spring is here, produce is showing back up at the farmers market and we’re all eating lighter, a bit healthier, and enjoying the longer days with endless sunshine.

Veggie Noodles | Domesticated Academic

I had seen Skinnytaste making some amazing veggie noodles with her fancy gadget. A search on the all knowing Internet revealed I had several choices in gadget and I chose to buy the $10 solution–I’m not that hardcore and who knows what else I can do with it?

Veggie Noodles | Domesticated Academic

I bought the OXO Good Grips Julienne Peeler and hit the grocery store for some carrots and zucchini for noodle magic. To put this in one word: IMPRESSED. This gadget made me beautiful noodles in no time flat. Two standard sized carrots and one small zucchini yielded about two cups of noodles. I blanched them for about two min. to heat them through and put some of my favorite healthy sauce on them.

You’ll need:

yields about 2 cups noodles

  • 2 medium to large carrots, peeled
  • 1 medium zucchini, washed
  1. Using the Julienne peeler, hold the veggie down on a cutting board and fun the length of it with the peeler. Remove the noodles, breaking them up if they’re attached to each other.
  2. In boiling water, blanch for two minutes (maybe three at most) to soften the noodles and heat through.
  3. Strain in a colander to remove water.
  4. Serve hot with your favorite sauce!
  5. Tip: I made a large batch and also cooked 1/4 lb of spaghetti, cooking the veggie noodles with the pasta the last few minutes. I ate less of the real pasta, more vegetables and didn’t notice what I was missing: carbs and cals!

Healthy Alfredo Sauce | Domesticated Academic

 

Healthy Alfredo Sauce

Healthy Spinach Alfredo Sauce | Domesticated Academic

 

Spinach Cilantro Alfredo Sauce