March 31, 2014

Meatless Monday: Kale and Quinoa Patties

Kale & Quinoa Patties |
These kale and quinoa patties are hearty and filling, while still being healthy and delicious! Serve them on leafy greens or in between a bun if you want a 'burger' feeling. Drizzle with hot sauce, top with avocado, tomatoes, or whatever you'd like - the options to doctor these babies up are limitless. 

Kale and Quinoa Patties
Recipe modified slightly from Yummy Supper
Yields over 20 patties, depending on the size
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup steamed kale, chopped
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Optional toppings: avocado, cilantro, lemon juice, salsa, poached eggs, etc.
  • Cook the quinoa according to your own personal method or the box
  • Mix the cooked quinoa, eggs, Parmesan cheese, scallions, garlic, kale, and breadcrumbs together in a bowl and set aside for 5-10 so some of the liquid is absorbed and the flavors meld
  • Form the mixture into baseball sized patties
  • Heat up olive oil in a medium sized pan (preferably cast iron) on medium heat.
  • Place 4-5 patties in the oil and cook them, about 7 minutes on each side
  • Keep doing this until all the patties have been cooked
  • Let them cool on a rack, allowing excess oil to drip off
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March 28, 2014

Fiesta Friday: Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas |

Happy Fiesta Friday! I look forward to the end of the week not just because the work week is over (sorta) but because I know there is a spicy, delicious Fiesta Friday meal planned. These vegetarian enchiladas are packed full of flavor and protein and are perfectly healthy - even topped with stringy, melted cheese!

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas
Recipe from Skinny Taste
Serves: 8, PointsPlus: 6
Serving Size: 1 enchilada
  • 1 cup canned enchilada sauce
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 10-oz. can Rotel tomatoes with green chilies1 1/2 cups reduced sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 8 medium sized low-carb whole wheat flour tortillas, like Fiber One
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallions
  • Fat-free sour cream

  • Preheat the oven to 400f. Place 1/4 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish
  • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-heat. Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno, sauteing until onions softened, about 4 minutes
  • Add the butternut squash, Rotel tomatoes, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, and water. Season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Cover and cook over medium-low heat, about 30-35 minutes
  • Place a generous 1/3 cup filling in the middle of each tortilla and roll, placing on the baking dish seam side down. Repeat with the rest of the filling.
  • Top the filled and rolled tortillas with the rest of the enchilada sauce and shredded cheese and bake, covered with foil about 10 minutes. Top with scallions and sour cream. 
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March 26, 2014

Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken

Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
A classic roast chicken is something everyone should know how to make. This recipe has a bit of a twist and comes from Gordon Ramsay. It's succulent, flavorful, and not at all dry - which can be a hurdle when roasting a full chicken. Be sure to roast it right side up! You'll see below that I had a bit of an issue...

Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken
Recipe from The Cookery Bookery
Ingredients - the Stuffing:
  • Olive oil
  • 7-oz. Chorizo, skinned and cubed
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Bunch of thyme sprigs
  • 2 14-oz. cans of cannellini beans, drained
  • 7-oz. sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
Ingredients - the Bird:
  • 1 large free-range chicken (if available), about 4.5 lbs
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp paprika, smoked or sweet
  • 1.7 cups white wine
Directions - the Stuffing:
Preheat the oven to 350f. While preheating, heat olive oil in a large frying pan, add the Chorizo, and sauté for about 3 minutes until golden. Add the finely chopped onion, cooking until softened, then add the garlic. 
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
Cook for a few more minutes then add the leaves from 3 thyme sprigs. Stir in the drained cannellini beans and season with salt and pepper. 
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken | hardparade.blogspot.comGordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
Warm the mixture through for a few minutes, then add the sun-dried tomatoes and a tablespoon of their oil. Stir to combine then remove from heat. Set aside until you're done preparing the chicken.
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
Directions - the Bird:
Season the cavity of the bird with salt and pepper, then fill it with the Chorizo mixture and stick a whole lemon in the opening, tucking the excess skin over it.
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
Drizzle olive oil over the chicken then sprinkle it with paprika and salt and pepper. Rub into the chicken skin to coat the bird. You'll see here that I stupidly seasoned the back of this chicken, which resulted in me also roasting it wrong side up. Double check before you begin - its knees and wings should be open to you, like it's trying to give you a hug.
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
Pour white wine and about 3/4 cup water into a roasting tray, seasoning the water with salt and pepper and the rest of the thyme sprigs. Add the chicken, cover with foil and roast for an hour in the oven. (See how obvious it is that the chicken is upside down?)
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
After an hour, remove the foil from the chicken and baste with the roasting juices. Turn the oven up to 400f and roast for another 25-30 minutes until the skin is golden brown and juices run clear. Remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
Take the lemon out of the chicken and squeeze it into the pan juices. Whisk together to create a light gravy. 
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
Remove the stuffing from inside the chicken, carve the chicken, and plate!
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
Gordon Ramsay's Stuffed Roast Chicken |
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March 24, 2014

Salty Caramel Oat Bars

Salty Caramel Oat Bars |
I don't know when or why 'salted caramel' became a fad but I've been mixing salty and sweet together since I can remember enjoying food. These salty caramel oat bars are ridiculously decadent and will both satisfy and obliterate your sweet tooth. They're the perfect single-serve after dinner treat.

Salty Caramel Oat Bars
Recipe totally credited to Lovely Little Kitchen, a delicious blog that you should be reading
Makes 24 bars
Ingredients - Oat Layer:
  • 4 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cups light corn syrup
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup melted butter
Directions - Oat Layer:
Preheat the oven to 350f. In a bowl, mix together the oatmeal, corn syrup, brown sugar and melted butter until well combined. Line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment paper, leaving excess hanging over the side. (I did not have a 9x13 until very recently, so I split the oat mixture into two).
Salty Caramel Oat Bars |
Ingredients - Salty Caramel Layer:
  • 1/2 cups butter
  • 2 1/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Mini pretzels and flaked salt for topping
Directions - Salty Caramel Layer:
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once melted, add the brown sugar, corn syrup, and heavy cream. Using a candy thermometer, bring to a boil and stir frequently until the caramel reaches 235 degrees. This takes a little bit of time, so be patient and try not to be scared of the giant boiling sugar bubbles.
Salty Caramel Oat Bars |
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract and salt. Allow to cool for 5 minutes. Pour the caramel over the cooled oat mixture and bang (gently) on the table to pop any little bubbles. Chill until set, at least an hour.
Salty Caramel Oat Bars |
Once set, press the mini pretzels into the caramel and sprinkle with salt
Salty Caramel Oat Bars |
Remove from the baking dish by pulling up on the parchment paper and place on a cutting board so you can cut into bars
Salty Caramel Oat Bars |
Keep the extras in the fridge. I lined a Tupperware with parchment paper layers so they wouldn't stick together. Next time, I'm thinking about adding a chocolate layer to really kick this shit up a notch.
salty caramel oat bar
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March 21, 2014

Fiesta Friday: Tex-Mex Chicken Soup

Tex-Mex Chicken Soup |
It's the first installment of Fiesta Friday here on Hard Parade and we're makin' Tex-Mex chicken soup! I've found that tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, etc. are perfect for Friday night meals since they're usually low on prep and cook time and after a week of work, quick and easy is the only kind of meal I'll make. 

If you want a lil' somethin' extra, top this tasty soup with avocado slices and tortilla strips. Just remember, this will raise the PointsPlus value (and I don't know by how much). I smother mine in Cholula Chili Lime hot sauce. 

Tex-Mex Chicken Soup
Recipe modified from Cooking Light
Serves 8, Serving Size: 1 cup, PointsPlus: 5
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups cooked shredded chicken, about 2 breasts
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 15-oz. can no salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup or more cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fat free sour cream
  • lime wedges
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, red bell pepper, and jalapeño and sauté for 3 minutes. 

Add chili powder, crushed red pepper, salt, cumin, and black pepper and sauté for 1 minute. Add shredded chicken, corn, broth, tomatoes, and black beans and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for about 6 minutes. 

Divide among bowls and top with 1 tbsp sour cream and fresh cilantro. Portion out leftovers into 1 cup serving sizes for an easy grab-n-go lunch!

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March 20, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars |
Happy Spring!! Honestly, Spring is my least favorite season - crazy, right? I don't get swept up in "Spring Fever" because I get headaches when it rains, I hate being improperly dressed for the weather, and I can never figure out what shoes to wear. The one thing that I do love about Spring is...RHUBARB is back in season! I love this weird stalky fruit/root/vegetable/whatever and it pairs perfectly with strawberries.

These crumb bars are a great breakfast on the go or after dinner dessert and can be nuked in the microwave after a few days if they begin to get a little hard. 

Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars
Recipe heavily modified from A Farm Girl's Dabbles
Makes about 16 bars
Ingredients - the Crumble:
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, chopped (plus more for the pan)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
Directions - the Crumble:
Preheat the oven to 350f. Line a 9" baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a bit on two sides. Butter and flour the parchment paper and set aside.

Mix together the small cubes of butter with the brown sugar and salt. Add the flour and oats, mixing until crumbs form, and refrigerate until you're ready to use it.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars |
Ingredients - the Bars:
  • 1/2 lb rhubarb, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 lb strawberries, sliced into 1/4" pieces
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Directions - the Bars:
In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb, strawberries, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup flour. Set aside.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars |
In another bowl, mix together 1 1/4 cup flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In yet another bowl, beat together butter and powdered sugar until it's fluffy using a hand or stand mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time, add the vanilla, and then the flour mixture. Spread the batter into the greased pan.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars |
Top the batter with the rhubarb and strawberry mixture, then add the crumble.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars |
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars |
Bake until golden brown, about 45-50 minutes. Let cool then lift from the pan using the parchment paper overhang. Cut the bars and top with whatever you'd like! Cool Whip is a favorite.
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars |
Strawberry Rhubarb Crumb Bars |
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March 14, 2014

Happy Pi Day! Banana Cream Pie

Banana Cream Pie |
It's March 14th, better known as 3.14, better known as Pi Day! To celebrate, try out this super simple diner-favorite: banana cream pie. It gets an upgrade with a chocolaty crust and you don't even need to turn on the oven. Happy Pi Day, nerds!

Banana Cream Pie
Recipe from Bon Appétit
Serves 8
Banana Cream Pie |
  • 2oz. bittersweet chocolate
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • Prebaked 9-inch pie crust
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 bananas, sliced
    • Whipped topping:
    • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
    • 2 tbsp sugar
    • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Put chocolate and oil in small saucepan, heat until melted, and pour over the prebaked pie crust, swirling to cover. Chill until set.
Banana Cream Pie |
Banana Cream Pie |
Banana Cream Pie |
Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan off heat until smooth
Banana Cream Pie |
Banana Cream Pie |
Turn on the heat and gradually whisk in the whole milk, whisking constantly until it reaches a full boil and the custard starts to come off the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes
Banana Cream Pie |
Banana Cream Pie |
Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. Fold in the sliced bananas and let cool slightly
Banana Cream Pie |
Banana Cream Pie |
Pour the filling into the chilled prebaked pie crust, cover with plastic wrap, and chill until firm, at least 3 hours
banana cream pie filling
After the pie has chilled, beat the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract until firm peaks are formed
Banana Cream Pie |
Spoon whipped cream over pie and decorate as you please
Banana Cream Pie |
Slice and serve and Happy Pi Day! 
What's your favorite pie and how are you celebrating Pi Day? Tell me in the comments!
Banana Cream Pie |

Banana Cream Pie |
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March 12, 2014

Apple Cider Crumble

Apple Cider Crumble |
Apple Cider Crumble |
I love a good crumble - the more blurbles on top the better. If you have some extra apples that are starting to get past their prime, throw them into a crumble, and devour them topped with vanilla ice cream.
Apple Cider Crumble |
Apple Cider Crumble
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is
Serves 9
Ingredients - Filling:
  • 6 apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup rye
    • I used Bulleit
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Ingredients - Crumble:
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats, not quick cooking
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, diced and room temperature
Directions - Filling:
Preheat the oven to 375f. Peel and slice the apples and add them to a large bowl. Toss with flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg and set aside. In a saucepan, combine the rye, apple cider, sugar, butter, and vanilla. bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer until slightly thickened, about five minutes. Pour it over the apples and mix until well combined
Apple Cider Crumble |
Directions - Crumble:
Combine oats, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Add diced butter and mix until crumbly.
Apple Cider Crumble |
Spray an 8x8 baking dish (or whatever size you have available) with cooking spray and add the apples, pressing them in and around so they all fit. Sprinkle the crumble evenly over top and bake for 50 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbly. 
Apple Cider Crumble |
Apple Cider Crumble |
Let cool slightly and dig in! Top with ice cream, whipped cream, etc. etc.
Apple Cider Crumble |
Apple Cider Crumble |
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