recipes

Heart Healthy Month: Whole Wheat Quesadillas

February is #AmericanHeartMonth and in honor of a heart-healthy lifestyle we are sharing this Whole Wheat Quesadilla recipe. Try it as a snack or for dinner!


Ingredients

  • mushrooms* 1 cup, sliced
  • green bell pepper * 1, diced
  • spinach* 1 cup, stems removed
  • garlic 1 clove, finely diced
  • black beans 1 15-ounce can,rinsed and drained
  • whole wheat tortillas 1 package
  • low-fat mozzarella ½ cup, cheese shredded
  • olive oil 1 Tablespoon

Directions:

Prepare the mushrooms, green bell pepper, spinach and garlic. 2) Set aside mushrooms, half green bell pepper and spinach. 2) Drain the beans and heat in a medium saucepan. 3) Add garlic and half of the green pepper to the beans, stirring occasionally until vegetables soften. 4) Remove from heat. 5) Let bean mixture cool slightly and mash into a paste. 6) Spread ¼ cup of the bean mixture on a tortilla, top with ¼ cup of the raw veggies, 2 tablespoons shredded cheese, and top it with another tortilla. 7) Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pan to prevent
sticking, heat the quesadilla to melt the cheese, turning once. Serve immediately with a glass of water and enjoy!

*Simple Substitutions: Have everyone in your family choose their favorite vegetable to add to the quesadilla!

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#ChangeOneThing Popcorn Trail Mix

 

By Cat and Abby

The #ChangeOneThing popcorn trail mix is a flavorful treat that combines healthy ingredients to form a delicious snack. Because of its protein packed nuts and organic dried fruits, this trail mix is a great source of nutrients that your body needs. Not only is this recipe easy to make, but it’s family friendly and you can make it in minutes. With the popcorn in the mix, this healthy recipe is also appealing to kids, helping them to eat healthy whole grains without realizing it. If you have allergies or don’t like something in this mix, you can easily substitute all ingredients.  This recipe is a delicious and nutritious easy snack for any time of day.

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Ingredients (serves 4-6):

  • 1 large bag pre-popped popcorn (4.4oz)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 2/3 cup raw, unsalted almonds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup diced dried apricots

Instructions:

  1. Sprinkle popcorn with cinnamon, tossing to coat evenly.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, cranberries and apricots. Mix well.
  3. Toss the nut, seed and fruit mixture with the popcorn.
  4. Divide evenly among 4-6 snack sized bowls.
  5. Enjoy!
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A Healthy After School Snack

What would Valentine’s Day be without a sweet treat or two? This year, indulge guilt-free with a delicious—and nutritious—cookie recipe!

Chocolate Chip Avocado Cookies

Avocado Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled, mashed avocado flesh (about 1 avocado)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 6 oz chocolate chips

Optional:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 375º F
  2. Beat sugar, honey and oil until light and fluffy
  3. Gently beat in avocado until blended
  4. Add egg and vanilla extract; mix thoroughly
  5. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into sugar mixture; mix well
  6. Stir in oats and coconut, then fold in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).
  7. Drop tablespoon-sized balls onto a baking sheet; bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy.
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A Healthy Valentine’s Day Treat

What would Valentine’s Day be without a sweet treat or two? This year, indulge guilt-free with a delicious—and nutritious—cookie recipe!

Chocolate Chip Avocado Cookies

Avocado Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peeled, mashed avocado flesh (about 1 avocado)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 6 oz chocolate chips

Optional:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 375º F
  2. Beat sugar, honey and oil until light and fluffy
  3. Gently beat in avocado until blended
  4. Add egg and vanilla extract; mix thoroughly
  5. Sift flour, baking soda and salt into sugar mixture; mix well
  6. Stir in oats and coconut, then fold in chocolate chips and walnuts (if using).
  7. Drop tablespoon-sized balls onto a baking sheet; bake for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden and crispy.
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FRUGURT

This delicious, healthy dessert can be eaten as a snack anytime! This cool treat will give you both fruit and dairy in one simple snack!
 

    • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit of choice
    • 4 small paper cups
    • Aluminum foil
    • 4 popsicle sticks

 

Directions:
Mash the low-fat yogurt, fruit and honey together to desired consistency
and pour into cups until ¾ full. Cover the cups with the foil. Make slits in
the foil and insert popsicle sticks. Put into freezer for about 5 hours or until
frozen solid. When ready, peel off paper cup and enjoy!

 

 

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Fruit Kabobs

Eating fruit before you play sports boosts endurance.  Delicious fruit kabobs for breakfast are a healthy way to get your day started!

 

    • 2 tablespoons natural applesauce
    • ¼ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 cup fresh fruit chunks (melon, apples, bananas, strawberries, pineapple, grapes)
    • Skewers or toothpicks

Directions:
In a small bowl, stir together applesauce, yogurt and cinnamon.
Place fruit chunks on skewers to form fruit kebabs.
Dip kebab in yogurt mixture and enjoy!

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The Obamas’ 2012 White House Thanksgiving Menu

The President pardoned the well-behaved ‘Liberty’ during the 2011 ceremony, joined by Malia and Sasha

Next Thursday, Nov. 22, with four more years to be thankful for, the First Family’s holiday will be even more special, and the White House for the first time has released the recipe for the glorious, brine-soaked Thyme-Roasted Turkey and Turkey Gravy that Executive Chef Cris Comerford will cook for the feast.  Upholding decades of White House tradition, President Obama will spare two luckier Toms next Wednesday during the annual National Thanksgiving Turkey pardoning ceremony that is equal parts excitement and jocular nail biter, as the gathered press collectively hopes for a misbehaving bird.

Thanksgiving, the President said last year, “is one of the best days of the year to be an American.”

“It’s a day to count our blessings, spend time with the ones we love, and enjoy some good food and some great company.”

 

Multiple organic turkeys will be cooked for the Presidential feast by the White House chefs, because Comerford’s recipe calls for a twenty-pounder to serve sixteen, and the First Couple have a large guest list.  It includes their adult siblings and spouses and their children, friends from Chicago and Hawaii, and White House staff and their families. The First Wingding has always been closed to press.

 

The White House Thanksgiving Menu

Kale Salad

Like many Americans, the Obamas serve the same menu every Thanksgiving.  The White House chefs make good use of the bounty growing in Mrs. Obama’s Kitchen Garden, which produces crops through all four seasons.  Accompanying the Presidential turkey is Honey Baked Ham, and the sides are a romp through regional delights.  There’s Cornbread Stuffing and Oyster Stuffing, Macaroni and Cheese, Sweet Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes, Green Bean Casserole and Dinner Rolls.  Also released for this year’s celebration is the recipe for the White House Kale Salad that the First Couple will serve next Thursday.

 

The White House has previously released the recipes for Whipped Sweet Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes and Greens and for Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese.  Comerford’s No Cream Creamed Spinach is a nice addition to any Thanksgiving feast, too.

 

The President shares his pie on the campaign trail

President Obama is America’s most famous pie lover, and the big finish to every Obama Thanksgiving feast is six different kinds of pie.  White House Executive Pastry Chef Bill Yosses is no fan of what he calls “spa desserts,” so his pie recipes make liberal use of sugar.  Yosses’ White House Apple Pie–on the Obama Thanksgiving menu–includes both butter and lard for the crust.  White House Huckleberry Pie, also on the menu, includes blueberries, too.  The White House Sweet Potato Pie that is served has a honey meringue topping, in an homage to Mrs. Obama’s first-ever White House beehive.  Cherry Pie, Banana Cream Pie, and Pumpkin Pie will also be served.

 

For the White House turkey recipe, the bird needs to soak in the brown sugar-and-garlic brine in the refrigerator for at least twelve hours ahead of roasting.  A five-gallon food-grade bucket is needed for this, unless a brining bag is being used.  A meat thermometer is a must, too.

 


 

Recipes

 

White House Thyme-Roasted Turkey

 

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    • 20-pound fresh turkey, neck and giblets removed, rinsed
    • 16 Tablespoons unsalted butter (s sticks) at room temperature
    • 16 Tablespoons unsalted butter (s sticks) at room temperature
    • 3 Tsp freshly ground black pepper

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    • 1 Gallon water
    • 1 bunch thyme
    • 4 whole heads garlic, peeled and cut in half horizontally
    • 1 Tablespoon whole black pepper corns
    • 6 Bay leaves
    • 1 Cup Kosher salt
    • 1 pound light brown sugar
    • Ice, if brining in a bucket

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    • For the brine:  In a large saucepan, heat the water, thyme, garlic, peppercorns, Bay leaves, salt and brown sugar over medium-high heat,  Stir frequently until the salt and sugar dissolve.
    • Transfer brine to a clean, food-safe 5-gallon bucket.  Add enough ice to total 3 gallons of liquid, and mix until incorporated. Add the turkey to the bucket and transfer to the refrigerator for at least 12 hours.  Alternatively, place the turkey in a large brining bag and fill with enough of the brine to cover the turkey; seal the bag and refrigerate.
    • For the turkey: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
    • Remove the turkey from the brining liquid and use paper towels to pat it as dry as possible, inside and out.
    • Rub the turkey with the butter all over, including inside the cavity, and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Fold the wingtips underneath the turkey.
    • Place the turkey in a large roasting pan, breast side up. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine and fold the neck flap under.
    • Roast the turkey for one hour to brown it, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees and cook for 2 more hours or until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 degrees.
    • Let the turkey rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before carving.  Use the pan drippings for the gravy.

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White House Turkey Gravy

 

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    • 2 pounds turkey wings and/or neck bones, plus the contents of the turkey’s giblet packet, excluding the liver
    • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped (about 3 Cups)
    • 3 medium carrots, cut into large dice (1 1/2 Cups)
    • 1 head garlic, peeled and cut in half horizontally
    • 3 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch lengths (1 1/2 Cups)
    • 2 sprigs Thyme
    • 1 Bay leaf
    • 1 Teaspoon whole peppercorns
    • 1/2 Cup flour
    • 1 Cup Sherry
    • 8 Cups water

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    • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  The first part of the gravy prep can roast with the turkey as it is cooking.
    • Place the turkey wings, bones and giblets in a single layer in a small roasting pan, and put in oven to roast.When these have begun to brown nicely, after 20–30 minutes add the onions, carrots, garlic, celery, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns, and roast for 10 more minutes.
    • Transfer the roasting pan to the stove top over medium-high heat.  Add the flour and stir to coat the contents of the pan. Pour in the sherry and use a flat wooden spoon to scrape up any browned bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Scrape contents of the pan into a large saucepan.
    • Add the water and bring the mixture just to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat so that it is barely bubbling. Cook uncovered for about 1 hour, until the liquid has thickened somewhat. Cover the pan and keep it warm.
    • When the turkey is done, scrape drippings from the roasting pan into the saucepan and stir to combine. Pour the gravy through a strainer into a bowl or gravy separator and discard the solids left in the strainer.  Skim the fat from the surface of the gravy.  Transfer to a gravy boat or other serving vessel.

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*Top photo by Chuck Kennedy/White House; kale photo by Eddie Gehman Kohan/Obama Foodorama; pie photo by Pete Souza/White House; turkey photo by Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post, which has also posted these recipes.

 


 

 

 

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