Daily Dose of Rabbit Food

Daily Dose of Rabbit Food

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Vitamin D!

Hello from Florida! I am going to be getting my daily dose of Vitamin D everyday for the next week! I hope I can package up some of the sunshine and bring it back home to Indiana with me--it has been so gray and cold at home (blah!).

I may or may not be checking in on Daily Dose of Rabbit Food--just wanted to let all of you fabulous people know the hiatus will not last longer than a week. I have been trying to talk Cody into running away to Key West and starting a beachfront smoothie business but he hasn't come around yet... 

Our plans for the week include lounging (yes!), eating seafood (a lot of it), and soaking up that sunshine. 

So far, I have had a healthy amount of Bacardi and diet coke and have been robbed of my raw oyster virginity.

I really didn't want to do it but I got pressured! Cody said I couldn't call myself a "foodie" and NOT try the oysters. Peer pressure is a B****. They weren't THAT bad. I didn't do the full slurp off of the shell; I put it on a cracker with a hit of horseradish sauce. The same concept as covering your broccoli with cheese. Whatever works, right? 

Enjoy your weekend! For those of you back home, STAY WARM!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cha Cha Quinoa and Shrimp

Obsessed? YES. I. AM.

This meal was somethin' from nothin'.

The other night, I found myself standing in front of the refrigerator, with the door wide open, thinking, what in the H. E. Double Hockey Sticks am I going to have for dinner.

I have been on a Mexican kick, for like, the last year. Fish tacos, chicken enchiladas, rice bowls, you name it, I want it. Naturally, any Italian girl on a Mexican kick would have cans of beans and corn piled in her pantry. Luckily, this Italian girl also keeps fresh tomatoes and garlic on hand, you know, for emergency situations.

A little imagination and a bag of frozen shrimp later this dish was born. It was the bomb. Being Mexican obsessed, of course I had sour cream, guacamole, and limes within an arms reach. I can barely eat a chip without dipping it into a big bowl of mashed up green goodness. Good fats, right?

Chips. Yes, lots of corn tortilla chips.

Go. Now. Raid your pantry.

I hope you find cans of beans and a little sombrero in the back.

Put on your party hat and get the fiesta started. I will bring the margaritas.

Healthy Quinoa and Shrimp

Cha Cha Quinoa and Shrimp

1 lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 cup tomato, diced (I used grape tomatoes)
1 cup corn
1 cup black beans
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flake
1/2 fresh lime
2-3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Sour cream, guacamole, and chips to garnish and dip!

1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Prepare steps 2 and 3 while quinoa cooks.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium. Saute garlic and onion until soft, approximately 
    10 minutes. Add tomato to pan, saute for another 5 minutes. Add corn and black
    beans to pan, continue to saute for 5 minutes. (Are you sick of sauteing yet???)

3. Add all spices to pan and constantly stir for 1-2 minutes.

4. Add cooked quinoa to pan, mix thoroughly with vegetable saute. Squeeze fresh lime over
    mixture. Stir, cover and reduce heat to low, to keep warm.

5. In a second pan, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil to medium heat. Saute shrimp,
    approximately two minutes on each side.

6. Serve shrimp atop a bed of quinoa. Garnish with sour cream and guacamole. Serve
    with chips.

Healthy Mexican Quinoa

Healthy Mexican Quinoa with Shrimp

Cha Cha Quinoa and Shrimp

If you didn't find a sombrero or a can of corn in your pantry, I would put these items on your next grocery list.

This "somethin' from nothin" meal turned out fab. I have eaten leftovers twice and will definitely make again.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Happy Home

My Grandma passed away this past Fall, and my Grandpa passed away close to two years ago. It is still so hard to believe they are gone. They were grandparents in every sense of the word. It was their actions that spoke louder than their words, and anyone who knew them, can attest to this.

From the moment I was born, my grandparents had an infinite love for me. When I was a newborn, my parents went on a honeymoon trip, snowmobiling in Yellowstone, and my grandparents babysat me. They kept a journal of everybody who stopped over to see their new granddaughter. As a toddler, my dad traveled for work quite a bit, my mom would take us over to their house, and we would have  sleepovers. I can remember the smell of their coffee brewing in the morning and the taste of Cheerios with a half of sliced banana for breakfast. As a kid, they attended every event possible. As a college student, they sent me handwritten letters at Central Michigan, and would slip me a $20 bill for gas when I came home to visit. As a young adult, they always supported my goals and dreams. All of my life, their actions symbolized the love they had for me.

It is so hard to remember these moments, without getting sad. I can remember going to see my Grandpa in the hospital, shortly before he passed away. I am not always good at saying I love you, but that day I did, and he squeezed my hand in a way I will never forget. The evening before my Grandma passed, I was able to see her too. I will never forget being able to sit by her side and telling her I loved her. 

My mom, Aunt Sue, Uncle Steve, and Uncle Ed spent a lot of time going through my grandparents house. How do you even begin to sort out a lifetime of love and memories? How do you know what to keep and what to pitch? I don't know, but would imagine, doing this sort of thing is probably one of the hardest parts of life. 

My mom and Aunt found many handwritten "A Happy Home" recipes scattered throughout my Grandma's cookbooks and paperwork. I have been keeping a handwritten copy on my refrigerator. I walk by it everyday, but when I take the time to read it, and really think about it, this is how my grandparents lived their life, and they were great people because of it.

A recipe for A HAPPY HOME. This recipe must be made EVERYDAY.


A Happy Home

4 cups LOVE
2 cups LOYALTY
5 spoons of HOPE
2 spoons of TENDERNESS
4 quarts of FAITH
1 barrel of LAUGHTER

Take LOVE and LOYALTY - mix thoroughly with FAITH. Blend with TENDERNESS, KINDNESS, and UNDERSTANDING. Add FRIENDSHIP and HOPE. Sprinkle abundantly with LAUGHTER. Bake with SUNSHINE


A recipe for A HAPPY HOME. This recipe must be made EVERYDAY.

Inspiration from my grandmother. she led by example.

There is really no need to sum up this recipe, it speaks for itself. 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Roasted Red Pepper Spaghetti Squash

If you have been following me, you know I am a spaghetti squash junkie. You shouldn't be surprised to see another spaghetti squash recipe on here. In fact, you might as well get used to it, because there will be more where this came from.

Why do I love thee? Spaghetti squash has a subtly sweet flavor, is easily swappable for noodles, is low in calories, and high in beta-carotene, potassium, and key vitamins.

This past weekend Cody was traveling for work. He is in RV sales, so he is heading straight into busy season. I love roasted peppers, but Cody does not, so while he was gone shakin' his moneymaker, I took full advantage of chowing down on Roasted Red Pepper Spaghetti Squash. I made it Friday night, had it leftover on Saturday, and again for lunch on Sunday. I really think I need to get out more. Drinks, anyone?

Healthy Spaghetti Squash

Roasted Red Pepper Spaghetti Squash

3 lb spaghetti squash
2 tablespoons of olive oil
4 garlic cloves, freshly minced
1 cup of roasted red peppers, sliced or diced (I use jarred peppers)
4 cups of fresh spinach
1/2 cup kalamata olives
1/2 cup feta cheese

1. Cut spaghetti squash in half length-wise, scoop out seeds and discard. Coat baking sheet
    with olive oil cooking spray. Place squash on baking sheet (rind side up) and cook at 375 for
    45-60 minutes, or until done. You should be able to take a fork and gently pull
    apart the strands.

2. Pull strands from squash, set aside. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Saute garlic for 5
    minutes or until fragrant. Add roasted red peppers and olives to pan, saute for another 5
    minutes. Add squash to pan. Gently stir squash into roasted red pepper mix.

3. When squash is warm, add spinach to pan. Keep stirring the spinach into the squash
    until it is wilted. Just before serving, gently stir in feta cheese.

Take my ingredient amounts with a grain of salt. They are rough estimates--I am ingredient happy, so I always throw in a little extra of the good stuff. If you like something a lot, add more, if you don't care for something as much, use less.  Go with your gut, and make it your own. Cooking should be an adventure.

Roasted Red Pepper Spaghetti Squash

Healthy Spaghetti Squash

If you like the sound of this recipe, you may also like Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash or Italian Baked Squashgetti.

By the way, TGIF.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Redemption Meal... Healthier Chicken Pot Pie

Redemption meal? Yes. I had to make up for my meatloaf cupcakes. It was a must.

There isn't a better redemption meal than chicken pot pie. What is not to love? One dish, creamy, stick-to-your-ribs filling, and all with a flaky biscuit topping. Chicken pot pie is nostalgic for me--it reminds me of being a kid. When we were young, my brother Nick was a picky eater, but he loved chicken pot pie. So much so, my mom had to tell him everything was "chicken" to get him to eat it--chicken meatloaf, chicken spaghetti, chicken casserole, etc. Hey, as a mom, you gotta do what you gotta do! 

Chicken pot pie is not necessarily considered a healthy dish but there are a lot of ways to make it better for your without skimping on flavor or losing any of the comfort factor: No cans of condensed soup, organic dairy milk, hormone-free chicken breast, lots of vegetables, and whole wheat flour as a thickener. A pot pie is not complete without a biscuit topping. For those of you who make them from scratch, more power to you. Me, I haven't made it that far yet. I resort to refrigerated buttermilk biscuits. I prefer Immaculate Baking Company's buttermilk biscuits--a step up (or a giant leap) from Pillsbury biscuits. Immaculate's products are non-GMO, they use unbleached flour, contain no artificial preservatives, and have no-hydrogenated oils. Win-Win.

Let's get to the goodness...

Healthier Chicken Pot Pie
-Adapted from Motherhood on the Rocks's Healthy and Easy Chicken Pot Pie

1 lb of organic, antibiotic-free chicken
1 large sweet onion, diced
2 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup of organic celery, sliced
1 cup of carrots, sliced
1 cup of frozen peas, unthawed
1 cup of frozen corn, unthawed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup of organic dairy milk
1 can of buttermilk biscuits

*I specify the celery to be organic because it is one of the highest pesticide-contaminated foods according to EWG. 

1. Bake chicken at 350 for 20 minutes, or until cooked. Let cool, then shred or dice.

2. Heat olive oil in a soup pot, saute onion and celery until soft.

3. Add chicken broth, carrots, corn, peas, thyme, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Bring 
    to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender, approximately
   10 minutes.

4. Slowly sprinkle whole wheat flour into the vegetable mixture, stirring constantly to thicken. 
5. Slowly add dairy milk, stirring constantly. 

6. Add chicken breast.

7. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.

8. Coat a baking dish with olive oil cooking spray. Pour vegetable/chicken mixture into dish.

9. Place biscuits on top of the mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 or until biscuits are

Oh my Lord, this is heavenly. Cody and I couldn't stop eating this. I may have exceeded my one serving limit on this dinner. Since it is just us two, I split the filling into two different baking dishes so I could put one in the freezer. I am trying to cook once, eat twice, as much as possible this year. I am looking forward to pulling that baby out of the freezer some chilly night when only a belly-warming dinner will do.