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Who doesn’t love whipped cream with strawberries? Add coconut into the mix (anything with “coconut” in front of it is a winner in my book), and you’ve got yourself a fun and tasty recipe that’s guaranteed to be a hit at any party or evening in.

Homemade whipped cream also allows you the ability to regulate the amount of whipped cream you make – so often I’m forced to throw out a store-bought container after discovering the expired leftovers three months after purchasing them during a refrigerator inventory cleanse. No more!

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Coconut Whipped Cream 
Ingredients
  • 1 can of full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp sugar, powdered*

* Most recipes call for powdered sugar. To get around purchasing a bag of powdered sugar just for this single use, we’re going to use the Magic Bullet to powder plain sugar for us.

Directions
  1. Pour sugar into Magic Bullet and blend for thirty seconds using flat blade. Set aside in another container.
  2. Scoop thick layer of coconut cream from the top of the can into the Magic Bullet. Save coconut water for another use or discard.
  3. Blend coconut cream for half a minute.
  4. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and blend for two to three minutes, or until desired level of fluffiness.

Eat with strawberries, waffles, pancakes, ice cream or all of the above!

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Mar
10
0

Miso-Glazed Cod

Learning how to cook cod well has been on my To Do list for a while: it’s a famously delicious fish with a great history and is available cheaply frozen in my local supermarket. Plus, apparently it’s sustainable again, so that’s cool.

This dish is inspired by the famous black cod with miso dish at Nobu, the famous restaurant in New York. (As it turns out, black cod isn’t all that similar to cod. Whatever.) The miso glaze here is a wonder: salty, sweet, and full of umami, it provides a terrific counterpoint, almost a sauce, to the mild yet flavorful fish.

I used a sous vide machine and a blow torch to make this, which without getting into the details is a bit of food science magic, but far from necessary. You can easily poach the fish and finish it in the broiler.

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Miso-Glazed Cod
Ingredients
  • 1 pound cod; if frozen, defrost in the fridge overnight
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mirin
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • ½ tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 tsp. miso, any type
  • 2 tsp. brown sugar
  • 2 cups chicken broth, optional
  • 2 Tbsp butter
Directions
  1. Add soy sauce, mirin, ginger, sugar, oil, and miso to Magic Bullet. Blend until creamy.
  2. Add chicken broth and butter with the cod to a pan and bring to a boil. Cover, turn off the heat, and let cook for ten minutes or so. Alternatively, use a sous vide machine and cook to 126 degrees.
  3. Brush glaze on top of cod and put under the broiler (or use a blow torch) until just browned, no more than one minute.
Mar
9
0

Grapefruit Sorbet

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I am always looking for healthy dessert alternatives and the other day I made this grapefruit sorbet with a little sugar and lemon juice. It is really easy to make and you don’t need an ice cream maker. You can skip the sugar of course, but, as you know, grapefruits are on the bitter side without adding the additional sugar. I like to top these with fresh mint leaves to introduce a new, refreshing flavor to this dessert. A fun idea is to save the grapefruit skins and use them as bowls to serve the sorbet (this only works for the same day, of course!)

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Grapefruit Sorbet 
Ingredients
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • Mint, for garnish
Directions
  1. Slice the grapefruit in half and use a spoon to scoop out the fruit. Save the skins if you plan on serving the same day.
  2. Add the grapefruit pieces to a ziplock bag and freeze for 1 hour.
  3. Once frozen, add to a Magic Bullet blender along with the sugar and lemon juice.
  4. Pulse the blender a few times until you get a nice texture and scoop into a tupperware bowl. Freeze for 20-30 minutes before serving. If you are serving later, take it out of the freezer for 15 minutes to thaw before serving.
  5. Garnish with fresh mint leaves.

Makes 2 servings

Mark Bittman has a new cookbook out, How To Cook Everything Fast. I actually made one of his pastas, with calamari and tomatoes, on my personal blog and Mark himself read it and linked to me. Pretty cool.

Anyway, this recipe here was perfect for the Bullet: a fast version of one of my favorite Mexican dishes, chicken mole. Mole – if you know of it, you probably think of it as “Mexican savory chocolate sauce” — is famously complex and contains dozens of ingredients, most notably chocolate, so it was interesting to see how Mark streamlined: chocolate, chilies, and black beans in a blender (Bullet). I thought this was a really good weeknight dinner with most of the taste and substance of mole with probably one-tenth the work. Was it really mole sauce? Well, no – predictably, it lacked the depth of flavor from “real” mole. (I suspect it also lacked the substantial amount of lard that is traditional, so I guess that’s for the best.) All in all, though, this was pretty darn good, satisfying a Mexican craving, fast, and pretty healthy to boot.

Per Mark’s instructions, I served this with broiled chicken thighs, which provide a nice crispy skin-crust and cook up in no time. If you’ve forgotten, chicken thighs are probably the tastiest part of the chicken, especially when cooked fast with high heat; they’re small enough to cook evenly and rich enough to stand up to slight overcooking.

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Quick Chicken “Mole”

Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Fast

Ingredients
  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¾ cup almonds or peanuts
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 cups chicken broth (I use Better than Bouillon)
Directions 
  1. Salt chicken and broil until nicely browned on one side but not totally cooked through, about eight minutes.
  2. In Magic Bullet, blend beans, chocolate, garlic, chicken broth, and nuts with the spices (cumin, chili powder, and cinnamon), in batches if necessary
  3. Transfer sauce to a large skillet and bring to boil, then lower to a simmer.
  4. Add the chicken, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about twelve minutes.

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Mar
3
0

Avocado Brownies

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I was always scared of trying to make avocado brownies, because brownies are one of my favorite desserts and the thought of making them healthier did not sound very good! I bought way too many avocados that all became ripe at once, so after a few bowls of guacamole, I decided it was time to get adventurous.

You might be surprised to know that you cannot taste the avocados at all in these brownies – they simply add to the fudgey texture, in place of butter or oil. Therefore, substituting avocados is a much healthier choice that gives you the same result! I love using almond flour instead of wheat flour, because the almond flour gives these brownies a slightly nutty taste to them – which is delicious!

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Avocado Brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 cup almonds
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Melt the chocolate chips in a microwave or double boiler, then mash the avocado in the melted chocolate.
  3. Add the almonds to a Magic Bullet blender and grind into a fine almond flour (you may need to pusle the blender a few times). Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  4. Add the sugar, eggs, cocoa powder, vanilla and avocado mixture and blend well until smooth.
  5. Transfer the batter to a greased 8×8-inch baking pan using a spatula and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the top is firm to touch.

Makes 9 brownies

Feb
25
4

Tortilla Soup

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A friend of mine gave me this tortilla soup recipe, which has become a regular weekday dish in my house. When I first tried it at her house, I could not believe it was made from scratch! It tasted just like it was from a restaurant. After she explained the recipe to me, I was even more surprised at how easy it is to make at home. It only requires a few simple ingredients. I love topping it with tortilla chips and cheese, which melts over the hot soup. This soup is a great way to use up extra cooked chicken in the refrigerator – just shred it by hand and throw it in. If you like your soup on the mild side, you can skip or decrease the crushed chili peppers.

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Tortilla Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed chili peppers
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 14 oz can Mexican stewed tomatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
  • Shredded Mexican blend cheese, for topping
  • Tortilla chips, for topping
Directions
  1. Heat the vegetable oil over medium heat in a large pot.
  2. Add the chopped onions and garlic, and cook until the onions are translucent.
  3. Stir in the cumin and chili peppers, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cilantro, stir, and shut off the heat.
  5. Let cool, then transfer to a Magic Bullet blender pitcher and blend until smooth.
  6. Add the chicken broth to the pot and bring to a boil.
  7. Add the soup back to the pot and stir well. Add the chicken and heat through.
  8. Top the soup with cheese and tortilla chips.

Makes 6 cups

Lately, I’ve been having a lot of success with cooking pasta in what I think of as “risotto style:” with a minimal amount of flavorful liquid that gets absorbed into the pasta as it cooks, creating pasta that bursts with flavor, as well as a nice sauce that isn’t tomato-based. (Often “sauces” that aren’t made of tomato are too rich, at least for everyday meals, because they’re basically just butter or cream.)

This pasta is a riff on this recipe from Serious Eats, but my version takes the mushroom flavor to the extreme by using dried mushrooms and the mushroom-soaking liquid as part of the risotto broth. If you love mushrooms and like the idea of a pasta dish that tastes like mushrooms mushrooms mushrooms, this dish is for you.

Oh, and also kale and bacon, because they’re good.

If you wanted to make this dish vegetarian (vegan, actually), you could omit the bacon and substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth. You wouldn’t lose much, but the toasted breadcrumbs at the end would become more essential than optional, for crunch.

The Magic Bullet serves a nice supporting role here, chopping up the garlic for speed and minimal mess.

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Mushroom Risotto-Style Pasta with Kale and Bacon
Ingredients
  • 1/4 lb bacon, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms, woody stems removed
  • 4 oz cremini or button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2/3 cup dried mushrooms (about 2 oz), soaked in 1 cup of water water (save soaking liquid)
  • 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (I use Better than Bouillon)
  • 1 pound dried fusilli or other short pasta
  • 1 bunch kale or other greens, chopped with thick stems discarded
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice (preferably fresh)
  • toasted breadcrumbs (optional)
Directions 
  1. Heat very large saucepan to medium-high heat and add bacon. Cook until brown, about four minutes. Meanwhile, chop garlic in Magic Bullet. Remove bacon to paper towels.
  2. Add the shiitakes and the creminis/buttons and the garlic and cook until mushrooms have browned, about five minutes.
  3. Add broth and soaked dried mushrooms with the mushroom-soaking liquid. Add pasta and bring to boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes less than pasta’s package instructions, then stir in greens. Cook until the pasta is al dente, greens are wilted, and liquid has mostly evaporated and formed a creamy sauce, about 1 minute (if necessary, add water a tablespoon at a time if liquid completely evaporates before pasta is tender).
  4. Add lemon juice, stir, and serve, passing bacon and breadcrumbs.

 

Feb
23
0

Spicy Black Bean Dip

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Here is another healthy dip recipe that you can blend up in minutes. No heating required until serving, although you can eat this spicy black bean dip hot or cold. It is made with fresh ingredients like tomatoes, red bell pepper, jalapeño, and onion. Do you have to wait for a special occasion to make it? Of course not! I like to have some of this black bean dip in my refrigerator for an anytime-snack. Top it with fresh cilantro, avocados, or cheese to dress it up a bit!

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Spicy Black Bean Dip
Ingredients
  • 1 14oz can black beans
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 Tbsp chopped jalapeño
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp. red cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Avocado for topping
Directions
  1. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeño, tomato and cilantro to a Magic Bullet cup and blend until smooth.
  2. Add the black beans, spices, lime juice and sour cream and continue to pulse until you get a smooth dip.
  3. Store in the refrigerator.

Makes 1 cup

 

Feb
20
1

Gingersnap Cookies

1962… It was the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the birth of Jim Carrey, and Western Samoa’s independence (congratulations!). It was also the year that these gingersnaps were born, in the Better Homes & Garden cookbook. They’re still really good: soft and buttery like air, with a pleasantly warming spice flavor.

Spooooooky!

(Ten points for you if you get that reference.)

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If this recipe is retro, it’s retro in a good way, requiring only pantry ingredients that are inexpensive and easy to keep on hand.

A full batch is below, but the Bullet does best when you are making a micro-batch – a third or even a quarter for just ten or fifteen small cookies to pop in the oven.

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Gingersnap Cookies

Adapted from Better Homes & Garden (1962)

Makes 50-60 small cookies

Ingredients
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger (heaping)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon (heaping)
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves (heaping)
Directions 
  1. Cream butter, brown sugar, molasses, and egg in the Magic Bullet, in batches if necessary.
  2. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in large bowl.
  3. Stir the flour mixture into the molasses mixture.
  4. Form into small balls by rolling between palms, until about walnut size.
  5. Roll in granulated sugar and place 2 inches apart on greased cookie sheet.
  6. Bake at 375 for about 9 minutes for a soft cookie, more for a crisper cookie.

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Homemade peanut butter is healthier, cheaper and tastier than store-bought brands. Not only that, making it in the Magic Bullet is a million times more fun than waiting in line at your local grocery for a bottle.

I’m using maple syrup as a sweetener for this recipe. It’s a unique and delicious flavor, though if you’d prefer, you can substitute honey or plain sugar.

Recommended: Purchase your peanuts from the pack-your-own section of your local grocer, rather than pre-packaged peanuts. It’s much less expensive this way!

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Maple Peanut Butter
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups of roasted peanuts
  • 1 ½ Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
  • 2 ½ Tbsp maple syrup
  • Salt
Directions
  1. Pour peanuts into Magic Bullet and blend until desired consistency. Somewhere in the vicinity of 3 minutes should work for most tastes. Seriously – it’s really cool how they turn into butter.
  2. Add oil, maple syrup and one or two pinches of salt to puréed peanuts and blend.

Spread it over some fluffy white bread, add jelly, honey or raisins (or ham if you’re an Elvis fan) and enjoy!

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