Guest Post: Eat Drink Cleveland's Resolution Recipes

Scott and I at Austin's Salt Lick, after stuffing ourselves on the best BBQ we've ever had.

When you read this, I’ll be on the road somewhere between Texas and Ohio. Austin was stunning and Jodi and Rusty the perfect hosts. I can’t wait to share how Scott and I managed to find a little bit of Cleveland over 1000 miles away and I hope you’ve been enjoying the guest posts while I’m gone.

Last week, Finding the Time shared her giveaway for tickets to the Near West Theatre benefit (if you haven’t already, enter here). Today, Crystal from Eat Drink Cleveland has some cold-weather recipes to try out this winter.

Before I learned she wrote a blog about Cleveland food, I became friends with Crystal through NEO Food Tours as she has been a longtime supporter of the organization (learn more about her in this Focus on Foodies Q&A).

I’m already missing Austin’s 70-degree temperatures, so these recipes will be the perfect way to re-acclimate to the cold weather once I’m back!

***

Hi! I’m Crystal from Eat Drink Cleveland. When Amanda asked me to do a guest post for her while she is having a fabulous time on vacation, I was totally honored!

I absolutely love her blog about all the fun things to do around the CLE. When trying to come up with a topic, I read her post about their delicious sounding Christmas dinner. Amanda talks about how she is totally terrified of cooking at home and has just started stretching her comfort level and hitting the kitchen. If you know me or read my blog, you know I love to eat out. But I also really love to cook and do it regularly.

In honor of Amanda’s blossoming cooking skills, and to help everyone keep their New Year’s resolutions about eating healthier and losing those extra pounds, I’m going to share some of my favorite healthy recipes with you that are super easy…even if it’s your first time in the kitchen!

1. Citrus Kale salad 

Beautiful salad for the holidays thanks to the bright red and green colors.

This is a new recipe that we recently tried that is now a staple. It’s so healthy and delicious! The original recipe came from the Feb. 2012 issue of Whole Living magazine.  Here is my version:

  • 1 bunch kale, torn into bite sized pieces
  • 1 T fresh lime juice
  • 2 T citrus olive oil
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, grated (about 1T)
  • 1/2 fresh pomegranate (about 1/2 c)
  • 2 T red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 c toasted walnuts

Put kale leaves in a bowl. Drizzle olive oil, lime juice and ginger on top. Rub into leaves until well coated and kale is bruised. Add remaining ingredients and S+P to taste.

TIPS:

* Drain kale very well. If it is damp, the dressing won’t stick.

* If you don’t have citrus olive oil, add segments of clementines, tangerines, or mandarin oranges to the salad.

* I used a lot more ginger, closer to 2 tablespoons.

Raw kale salad with clementines.

2. Crystal’s Cherry Delicious Brussels Sprouts

Toast nuts in dry pan until fragrant.

  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, cut in quarters
  • 1 c toasted pecans or slivered almonds
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 c dried cherries
  • 1/2 c golden raisins
  • 1 T EVOO
  • 1 T herbed butter

Toast nuts. Set aside. In same pan, saute onions in olive oil until soft. Add brussels sprouts and cook until just tender but still firm. Add herbed butter and fruit. Season with S+P to taste.

* Even people who claim to hate brussels sprouts love these. (I bet Scott will too!)

* I always double the recipe because they are soooo good!

* I use Creekside Creamery Garden Herb Butter from Costco. You can substitute plain butter and herbs of your choice.

Crystal's Cherry Delicious Brussels Sprouts

3. Barley Stuffed Acorn Squash

  • 2 acorn squash, cut in half
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried chopped dates, cherries, raisins
  • 1/2 slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cooked barley
  • 1 t. cinnamon
  • 1 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1 t. Adobe seasoning
  • S+P

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place squash cut side up in shallow baking dish.  Liberally salt the inside of the squash. Add 1 c water to pan and set aside. Saute onions and zucchini in olive oil until tender. Add garlic, dried fruit, almonds and stir until fruit plumps. Add cooked barley and seasonings – mix well. Adjust seasonings to taste. Scoop mixture into acorn squash halves. Cover with foil and bake until squash is tender, about 40 minutes.

These recipes are all perfect for the colder months and won’t break the bank or your diet plans! They are healthy, easy to make and won’t keep you in the kitchen for hours. I hope that 2012 is a happy and healthy year for all of you.  Now get cooking!

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