Sunday, September 19, 2010

We've MOVED!!

Published by Lauren's Latest at 8:32 AM

We are no longer at golokitchen! 
Check us out at

Friday, September 17, 2010

Sweet & Spicy Salsa with Homemade Whole Wheat Chips

Published by Lauren's Latest at 7:20 AM

It's Friday! I don't know about you but I am so ready for a break! And, here's to hoping that everything for my new site will be ready to go soon! I've been just waiting for this day to come and slowly but surely we're getting there! Hooray!

So, here's a quick, cheap and healthy snack that everyone is sure to love. Instead of making my usual fresh salsa the other day, I decided to make some restaurant style salsa that would store much longer and take the place of store bought salsa. Truth be told, snack cravings hit me hard and we ran out of our usual salsa we buy! But, after making this kind of salsa at home, I don't know if I even want to buy it from the store anymore! (1) It's cheap to make at home (2) you know what you're putting into it which therefore means no preservatives (3) you can make it how you like it (4) it's mighty tasty (5) because I said so. Don't know if that last one will work for you but works like a charm on Gord! Haha!

All you need is a food processor, some fresh ingredients, electricity and 5 minutes or so. This recipe is suited for my taste and is only slightly spicy and pretty sweet. I like the sweetness paired with the salty chips. I'm a quirky salty sweet kinda girl. But, maybe start with half the amount of sugar and go from there. I was totally prepared to put a whole jalapeno into this salsa too, but I clearly used my better judgement and started with half. Holy momma did I pick a HOT pepper! It was pretty big for a jalapeno, but yikes! I got a nice little kick in the back of the throat--still tasty though! So, beware of those huge hot jalapenos on sterroids at your local grocer! Start with less than you think! You never know when one is mild or when one will set your mouth ablaze.

Do you like things spicy? (This question could be interpreted in a very wrong way) Let me rephrase: Do you like your food spicy? Am I just a sissy and play it safe on the mild side? Let me know in the comments below.

Now for these chips--yup, you guessed it! We ran out of these too! We were coming to the end of a week and we were desperate for tortilla chips! I mean, hello! I JUST made salsa. So, I grabbed some leftover whole wheat tortillas from the fridge, cut them into wedges and baked them until crispy. Very simple to do. You can add some salt or other seasonings if you'd like, but I just did mine plain with a light mist of olive oil. (If you don't have one of those self pump spray bottles, you should get one! They are great!--olive oil sprays from the store are fine too) So there you have it! Chips and salsa from a stingy budget friendly kitchen. Now, please excuse me while I go grocery shopping.

PS- Check out my Guacamole too! It's pretty tasty stuff!

Sweet & Spicy Salsayield:1 1/2 cups of salsa (approx.)

3 tablespoons chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro, washed
1/2 large jalapeno pepper, seeded & ribs removed
1-15 oz. can organic diced tomatoes (you aren't cooking this so use good quality ingredients)
2 teaspoons sugar (start with 1 if you're hesitant about the sweet)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
pinch of dried Oregano
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients into bowl of food processor. Pulse until desired consistency is reached. Refrigerate in an air tight container until ready to serve. Serve with chips.

Homemade Whole Wheat Chipsyield: 2 servings

4 whole wheat flour tortillas, cut into wedges (I used trader joes)
olive oil spray
salt and other spices (if desired)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Arrange tortillas onto sheet tray. Spray lightly with olive oil and sprinkle over any desired seasonings. Bake 10-15 minutes or until brown and crunchy. Serve with salsa or guacamole!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Banana Bran Muffins with Oats

Published by Lauren's Latest at 7:11 AM

What did you eat for breakfast today? Was it healthy? Leave a comment! I had these Banana Bran Muffins with Oats! Here's where this recipe idea came from:

I've been trying to implement healthier things here and there into my diet and bran popped into my brain a few days ago. After thinking of some exotic and untraditional things to do with it, I opted to first try a simple bran muffin with a few healthy additions: bananas and oats. I was fully expecting to bite into a dry tasteless muffin and was planning on a recipe redo. But one bite in, I knew it was a winner. These were moist and sweet muffins with a great texture! I thought the oats and bran together would really make it chewy and cardboard-like, but it was surprisingly smooth and delightful! People seem to associate bran muffins with something dry and gross. I mean, I've had my fair share of bran muffins gone bad, but could it be possible to make a moist and delicious bran muffin?

HECK YES IT'S POSSIBLE because I did it!

Delicious and healthy BRAN muffins! You can feel good eating them because they are high in fiber, low in fat, only 175 calories per muffin. (I calculated it myself!)

The bananas and sour cream keep the muffins moist and the cinnamon and vanilla enhances the flavor. In this recipe, I call for 1/2 cup of wheat germ. Wheat germ is not a common ingredient to have on hand, so you can substitute it out for ground flax or more all purpose flour. Also, the molasses is optional.

These muffins are great to make late one evening for a snack and then serving the rest for breakfast the next morning. They also freeze well as long as they are stored correctly. Just microwave until warm. It's a quick and easy breakfast!

Make these muffins and start your day off right!

Banana Bran Muffins with Oats
yield: 18 muffins


1 cup Bran Cereal (such As All Bran)
1 cup Whole Milk
½ cups Melted Butter
1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
1 whole Large Egg
1-½ teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon Molasses
⅓ cups Light Sour Cream
2 whole Ripe Bananas, Mashed
½ cups Whole Grain Quick Oats
1-½ cup All-purpose, Unbleached Flour
½ cups Wheat Germ
½ teaspoons Salt
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1-½ teaspoon Cinnamon
More Whole Grain Quick Oats For the tops


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spray 18 muffin tin cups with non stick cooking spray and set aside.

In small bowl, mix bran cereal with milk. Set aside to soak.

In large bowl, whip melted butter and brown sugar together. Stir in egg, vanilla extract, molasses, sour cream and mashed bananas.

In medium bowl, stir together all of the dry ingredients (everything else except the final listing for the 5 dashes of quick oats, which you’ll use for garnish). * Note: You can substitute more all purpose flour for wheat germ if you prefer.

Into the creamed mixture, alternate stirring in some of the dry ingredients with some of the bran cereal/milk mixture until all is incorporated.

Fill muffin cups 3/4 way full. Sprinkle more oats over the top and bake 15-20 minutes, checking after 15. Be sure not to over bake! Remove from oven, cool 5 minutes and remove from tins.

Serve warm with butter and jam.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Stuffed Peppers

Published by Lauren's Latest at 7:14 AM

A few days ago, my friend, Machel, asked me if I had a stuffed peppers recipe. "Do I ever!" is what I responded with...and then I got to thinking--do I really have a recipe for this? These stuffed peppers fall under the 'make it until it tastes right' family recipe category. Meaning there are no measurements--just ingredients. So for all of you wanting to make my Mom's stuffed peppers in the near future, give this recipe a try. It's just delicious and will stick to your ribs. Good food for the upcoming months.

Side note--after I had my baby, my Mom came into town for a good two weeks to help with the little one and fill my fridge and freezer to the brim with prepared meals. This was one of the things she made and my husband (and my brother in law) went crazy over them! They both were puzzled as to why we (my sister and I) had never made them before. I didn't really have an answer. So now he requests them, and I make them. 

Hope you all are in the mood for some German food tonight! Or maybe it's Hungarian. (My ancestors are from both places, so we eat food from both places and things get confusing!) Either way, these are mighty tasty.

Stuffed Peppers
yield: 4-6 servings

1 lb. ground beef (80/20)
1 lb. ground pork
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 cup long grain white rice
6 green bell peppers*
1 large can tomato juice
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup lard or shortening
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Prepare bell peppers by cutting the tops off and removing the seeds and the ribs. Wash and set aside. In large bowl, mix together beef, pork, onion, rice, salt and pepper. Stuff bell peppers with meat mixture. 

*If you do not have enough green peppers, then form meatballs with the remaining stuffing--this is a great way to get your kids to eat this meal, too!*

In a large pot, pour in the entire can of tomato juice. Rinse can out with 1/2 cup water. Place stuffed peppers and any meatballs into the pot. Try to submerge them as best as possible. Cover with lid and heat pot over medium high heat. Once it comes to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer lightly for 1-2 hours. 

In a large skillet, melt shortening over medium heat. Sprinkle in flour and whisk until smooth. Cook roux until it deepens in color to be a medium brown. Stir frequently to make sure it doesn't burn. 

Using a slotted spoon, remove stuffed peppers and meatballs from pot leaving the hot cooking liquid. Pour browned roux into remaining tomato juice (it will bubble violently for a few seconds at first, so just be aware that it is totally normal). Stir well. After a few minutes, the tomato juice should thicken and become more of a sauce. Stir in sugar and more salt and pepper. It will be sweet--as it should be :) Serve with rye bread--or any other bread you have around, but really, rye is the best.

Recipe TIPS
-You can use all ground beef if you don't have/can't find ground pork.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Published by Lauren's Latest at 10:42 PM

Hello, friends! Hope you all have had a good weekend! The highlight for me was giving my little one pop rocks! Talk about hilarious! She didn't know what to do with herself! What a sight to see!

Anyways, I wanted to tell you all that I'm switching over to wordpress and I'm switching the url on you too! Sorry! I know I do that a lot. So, in the next few days if you get re-directed over to a new site that looks a little unfamiliar but much prettier and user friendly, then you'll know why. If you manage to get to my usual, then be sure to click on the link saying where we've all moved!

My new site has been a work in progress and has taken me a lot longer than expected. (Darn html!) I'm still trying to make it more 'me' if that makes any sense. It will still have all of my recipes and a few more fancy features. So, I hope you guys will join me for a walk on the wild side and bear with me while I work out the last few kinks!

Have I mentioned that I appreciate you all? Well, I really do and I love the feedback and the comments I receive. So, thanks a million! 

Hope you all have a GREAT day and look forward to a new recipe on Tuesday!

--Lauren :)