Ingredient Challenge Monday

This is Challenge #4!  It has been so much fun coming up with the ingredients, and seeing all the recipes whipped up by my foodie challengers. 

This week’s ingredient is…..

*DATES*

So after we decided other ingredient….it got me wondering.  What are dates?  Where do they come from?  I mean, I’ve heard of them, but never really dug into what a date is.  Does it grow on a vine? a tree? in the ground?  I know….I should already know this.

So I did a little reading and here’s what I found out:

  • Dates grow on a tree called a date palm. 
  • Dates dry in stages – and if they are allowed to dry (or ripen) on the tree for a long time, they develop sugar crystals on the outside. Interesting…sun-made candy? Nope, apparently at this point it tastes pretty much like leather.
  • Date trees can stay in production for over 60 years.
  • Dates are really berries.
  • They contain more than 20 different amino acids.
  • They contain selenium, which lowers the risk of certain cancers, boosts immunity, and heart-healthy.For some reason, I was thinking there was a link between dates and figs??  Anyway, enough of the education.

Here’s a run-down of our Ingredient Challenge history – make sure to check out our recipes if you haven’t seen them yet so you can keep up 🙂

Ingredient Challenge #1 – Pomegranate

Ingredient Challenge #2 – Kale

Ingredient Challenge #3 – Quinoa

Here’s where you need to go to see all the recipes:

Nutritionella

And Love It Too!

Marci Gilbert

From The Little Yellow Kitchen

Check back on Monday and see what we come up with!

Happy Weekend –

~Dixie Chik~

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Dixie Chik’s First Blogger Award

Thank you so much to Lauren and Chrissy of From The Little Yellow Kitchen for my very first blogger award!  I’m honored – and so excited!  Thank you girls for making me feel so stylish.  If you haven’t visited their site yet, click here…..then here.

In order to accept this award, I must perform 4 duties:

1.  Make a post & link back to the person who awarded you this award.
2.  Share 7 things about yourself.
3.  Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers.
4.  Contact these bloggers and tell them they’ve won!

7 Things About Dixie Chik

 

 1.  I’m scared to death of flying.  I’ve flown 100+ times but hyperventilate and freak out every time.

2.  Seeing any of the white of my eggs runny makes me want to vomit.

3.  I’m extremely punctual.  To the point that its annoying.

4.  I don’t care for sweets.  I loved chocolate until I turned 30, now I could never have another dessert and be just fine.  Weird, right?

5.  I stopped using my first name, Kimberly, in the 6th grade when a friend of mine asked me if she could call me Shea (my middle name) because she liked it better.

6.  Tulips and Calla lillies are my favorite flowers.

7.  I’m a registered nurse.

My 10 Nominations

 

Diethood

Happy When Not Hungry

And Love It Too!

Bacon And Soufflé

Como Water

Cooking With Coley

Life As A Foodie

The Firehouse Chef

 Dad’s In The Kitchen

So This Brunette Walks Into A Kitchen…

 Thanks again to From The Little Yellow Kitchen for my award! 

Happy Cooking,

~Dixie Chik~

 

 

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Quinoa-Mushroom Burgers

Back a few years ago, my husband and I went on a low cal diet to lose weight for a caribbean vacation.  It was at that point that I first discovered Boca Burgers – about 100 calories and 1 gram of fat per serving.  They taste good, they’re filling, and there’s a ton of things you can do with them.  Needless to say, they became a staple in our lunch and dinner rotations.  Now, don’t get me wrong – I love a good *real* burger – heard of Milo’s by chance?  If you aren’t in Alabama probably not, but it’s the epitome of burger heaven.  Google it.

I still buy them every now and then, but I decided to try to make my own veggie burgers to see how close I could get to a smoky beef flavor without the beef.  And because I like to play in the kitchen.

Quinoa-Mushroom Burgers

1 lb mushrooms

1 cup beef broth

1 tbsp ground flax seed

2 tbsp hot water

1 cup quinoa, cooked

3/4 cup hummus (chickpea dip)

1 tbsp Worchestershire sauce

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp sea salt

2 tbsp coarse ground pepper

Heard of flax seed? 

It’s apparently huge in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids, which may lower cholesterol and help in fighting certain cancers.  I started buying it several years ago after I was diagnosed with IBS.  I didn’t take the prescribed IBS med very long (it did absolutely nothing), but I have continued to use this now and then.  The flax used in this recipe is GROUND flax, and when mixed with hot water can be used as a substitute for an egg in most recipes…..good little tidbit, right 😉  I’ve had to do this several times when I discover I’m out of eggs, and you can’t tell the difference. 

Anyway, onto the recipe.

Wash and dry the mushrooms. 

Bring the cup of beef broth to a boil, then add mushrooms and turn the heat down to medium. 

Boil for about 10 minutes, remove from heat and drain.   Combine the flax meal with 2 tbsp of hot water with a spoon.

Set aside.

In a food processor, add the hummus, mushrooms, flax meal mixture, and rest of the ingredients.  Pulse a few times, then scrape the sides with a spatula.

Put mixture in the fridge for at least an hour.

Remove the burger mix from fridge, and form into patties.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat.  Place 3 patties at a time (do not crowd them), cooking about 8 minutes, then flip and cook another 8 minutes.  They will be nice and brown on the bottom.  The key is cooking them SLOW.  These are not beef burgers; you can’t rush them.  They are sensitive and need your time and attention.  Needy little things, aren’t they?

Remove from heat and let them rest for about 5 minutes.  Then serve them up like you want them-

This one had Muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo mixed with tabasco and pepper.  You can do whatever you want.  Obviously I chose the heat road.

It’s your burger.

 

~Enjoy~

Dixie Chik

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A Few Of My Favorite Food Blogs (And Why)

I started finding food blogs while searching for recipes online a few years ago, and I quickly became addicted.  It didn’t take very long until I decided to start one myself. 

I wanted to share some of the blogs that hooked me in the beginning and I still continue to follow.

  Use Real Butter 

It’s not hard to be drawn in by Jen’s knack for writing and her humor.  She’s a fantastic photographer and shares stories not only about her food, but about her life in the Colorado Rockies with her boyfriend and dog, and her experiences with chemo.  It’s hard to stop reading once you go there.  I’ve made a few things from her recipe archive, but hands down Shredded Beef Tacos  is the best – I could eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

  Smitten Kitchen  

 A well known blogger, Deb shares recipes and stories from her little kitchen in New York City.  I love her entire blog section devoted to tips such as measuring, organizing spices, and food temperature.  Every now and then you’ll get to read her take on some of her local New York City restaurants, and also see some pics of her PRECIOUS baby.  Last Thanksgiving I made Artichoke-Olive Crostini as an appetizer…it’s awesome.  (She’s a huge artichoke addict, by the way).

 Big Red Kitchen   

Robin Sue started her website as a documentation of her recipes for her children, and it became something more.  She has tons of great recipes for feeding families, snacks for kids, and tells hilarious stories about her family. Check out her take on “Pop Tarts“.

  101 Cookbooks  

Heidi decided to begin her blog when her cookbook collection reached over 100.  She said it was “time to stop buying and start cooking”.  Based in San Fransisco, many of her writings and pictures have been featured in many publications, and has also written a couple of cookbooks.  She’s a vegetarian who focuses on natural, healthy ingredients but also has a sweet tooth.  I’ve made her Mushroom Casserole as a side dish for chicken one night (which was delish), and I’ve had my eye on this  for a while.  I have to make it very soon.

That’s only a few of the blogs that I love to follow, but these were my original favorites. 

By the way, my fellow Ingredient Challenge competitors, Nutritionella, And Love It Too!,  Marci Gilbert, From The Little Yellow Kitchen, and I are playing around with different ideas for the Challenge, like using limited ingredients, etc.  Please comment on any one of our blogs and let us know your ideas or thoughts – or if you would like to join us!  We challenge every other Friday, and post our recipes the following Monday.

Happy Thursday!

~Dixie Chik~

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Ingredient Challenge Monday

Welcome our two newest challengers to Ingredient Challenge Monday – Lauren and Chrissy of From The Little Yellow Kitchen!  So excited to have our bi-weekly foodie competition growing. 

Lauren and Chrissy, two recent college graduates and best friends, document their love for the kitchen with scrumptious looking dishes like Butternut Squash and Sausage Lasagna (how good does that sound?), Chocolate-Peppermint Whoopie Pie and Baked Brie Bites.  These are my kinda ladies.  Check them out!

And now onto this week’s challenge ingredient…..

Can you tell what it is? 

It’s a cutsey little grain called Quinoa – pronounced “KEEN-wah”.  The first time I said it I thought it was “ke-NO-uh”.   I’m such a silly little southern girl.  Calcium-rich Quinoa originates from South America, and made its way to the US in the ’80’s where it continues to grow in popularity.  If you’ve never tried it, you should!  It’s got a texture somewhat similar to rice, but it’s gluten and wheat-free.  The possibilities are endless here. 

One more thing….we will be posting our recipes on Tuesday, January 18th instead of Monday the 17th because of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.  So check back with us then to see what we all came up with!  Here’s our updated list of challengers –

Nutritionella

Marci Gilbert

And Love It Too!

From The Little Yellow Kitchen

Dixie Chik Cooks

Make sure and check us out next week and give us some feedback on our creativity.  Thanks for following, and have a great weekend!!

~Dixie Chik~

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