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About Kirby's Healthy Cooking


Welcome! My name is Kirby Miller and I am a home chef, self taught cook, lover of reading food blogs and cookbooks, teacher of in home healthy cooking classes, and a writer of my own healthy recipes. Along with this I am also a wife to a wonderful husband, a mom of two dogs, and a Kindergarten teacher!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Snowman Cookies

Snowman Cookies



Ingredients:
½ box Ritz crackers
1 jar creamy peanut butter
1 package white melting chocolate
1 bag semi-sweet mini morsels
1 package orange tic-tacs


Directions:

Spread peanut butter on cracker and put another cracker on top to make peanut butter sandwiches. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for one minute. Stir with a spoon until smooth.

Cover a platter with wax paper. 

Dip sandwich in chocolate. Place tic-tac in middle for the nose, two mini morsels on top for the eyes, and five mini morsels for the mouth. Repeat until all chocolate and sandwiches are used.

Refrigerate and enjoy!


Friday, November 23, 2012

Veggie Burgers

Veggie Burgers 


Servings: 4
Ingredients:
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped spinach or kale
½ cup scallions
2 garlic cloves – minced
¼ cup yellow onion- chopped
1 large egg
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Cooking spray
salt and pepper


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Directions:

Cook you quinoa according to package directions. While the quinoa is cooking,  heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook for 5 minutes on medium low. Add the garlic and cook for 2 more minutes. Stir in the chopped carrots and let cook for about 2.

 
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In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, cooked vegetables, chopped spinach or other green, scallions, flour, egg, and salt and pepper. 




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Cover a dish with wax paper. Form 4 patties with the mixture and place on wax paper. Put the patties in the freezer for 10-12 minutes (until firm).

 Spray a large skillet with cooking spray (or can use olive oil). Heat on medium. Place the burgers on the skillet. Let cook for 4 minutes and flip over. Let other side cook for 4-5 minutes.

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Serve on toasted hamburger bun, pita bread, or salad. It also goes well with tzatziki sauce, ranch, or ketchup. 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Green Goddess Rice


Green Goddess Rice


Ingredients:

½ cup quinoa
½ cup brown rice
1 cup vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 clove garlic – minced
¼ cup green onion – sliced thinly
1 medium zucchini – shredded (I use the large cheese grater)
½ can artichoke hearts in water – drained and chopped into 1/4ths
½ cup frozen peas – dethawed
1/3 cup pistachios
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fresh basil leaves or fresh citrus oregano tastes great too


Directions:

Rinse and drain the quinoa and rice. In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute over medium heat. Add the quinoa and rice. Lower heat to medium-low and stir to toast for 3 minutes. Slowly add the vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to low.

Cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes (until tender).  You may need to add more water as the rice cooks and absorbs the liquid.

Meanwhile, shell the pistachios and toast in a pan over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Once the rice is done cooking, turn the heat to low. Add the green onion, pistachios, shredded zucchini, dethawed peas, and artichoke heats. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well and make sure all the ingredients are heated throughout. Serve and top with shredded parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.

Stuffed Acorn Squash - 2 ways


Stuffed Acorn Squash (2 ways)


Ingredients:
1 acorn squash
2 cups fresh or frozen kale
1/3  cup good crumbly cheese – I used a cheese that had dried cranberries in it. Feta or your favorite cheese would work well.
Cooking Spray
Salt and Pepper
¼ lb ground turkey
 1 clove garlic – minced
¼ onion chopped or 1 tsp onion powder
1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Microwave the acorn squash for two minutes. Cut the squash in half and clean out seeds and strings. Wash the seeds and reserve for roasting.

Lay the squash cut side down in a baking dish with 1/3 cup water. Bake for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile season the seeds with salt, pepper, and maybe some spice if you like. Spray a large baking dish. Spread seeds over and spray the seeds with cooking spray. Let roast for 8 minutes.

Steam the kale and drain.

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the onions, stir for 2 minutes. Add the onions and cook for another minutes. Add the ground turkey and cook until light brown – about 6 minutes.  Drain any excess fat.

In one bowl mix the turkey, half the cheese and half the kale. Season with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl mix the kale and cheese and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the squash from the oven. Stuff each squash with the mixtures and top with the roasted seeds. Heat oven to 425 and cook the squash for another 5 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Creamy Kale Pesto


This is our new favorite pasta sauce. We seriously can not get enough of it! We like it with pasta, couscous, quinoa, and goes great with veggies, crispy shrimp or chicken, or just eating it cold out of the fridge the next day!! I made this with mushroom pasta noodles, crispy shrimp (recipe to come soon) and topped it with parmesan cheese for Mike's birthday. He loved this birthday present : ) 

 
Creamy Kale Pesto Sauce


Ingredients for Creamy Kale Pesto:

1 ½ cups frozen Kale (or can use fresh- just skip the defrosting step)
1 tablespoon smart balance light
2 garlic cloves – minced
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups skim milk
½ cup water
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Defrost Kale according to package directions. I use a veggie steamer in the microwave and add about 2-3 tablespoons water.
Do not drain the water after cooking.  Pulse the kale in food processor until smooth. This usually takes a few minutes to make sure there are not big chunks.  Set aside.

Melt smart balance butter in a large saucepan. Add flour and whisk on medium low for 3 minutes. Add garlic and let cook, stirring occasionally for 3 minutes.

Slowly add in milk, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk for 4 minutes on medium low heat. Turn up the heat to medium high, whisk for 2 1/2 minutes.

Add the cornstarch and continue to whisk until thick (this only takes about 30 seconds).
Turn the heat back down to low, add the kale, water, nutritional yeast, and onion powder. Stir on low for 6-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

 Serve generous helpings on top of pasta, chicken, shrimp, quinoa, couscous, veggies or sometimes we eat this by itself.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Eggplant Stew Served Over Parmesan Polenta Grits


Eggplant Stew over Corn Polenta Grits



Ingredients for Eggplant Stew:
2 small or 1 large eggplant sliced lengthwise
4 tomatoes chopped into ¼ inch pieces
1/3 yellow onion – chopped
½ shallot - minced
2 garlic gloves – minced
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
salt and pepper to taste
fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese to top when serving

Ingredients for Grits:
1 cup fresh ground polenta grits
4 cups water
1 cup corn (can use fresh, frozen, or canned – I used frozen but I think a fresh roasted corn would taste better!)
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese




Directions for eggplant stew:

Pre-Heat oven to 375.

Sprinkle salt on eggplant slices and place in a colander for 20 minutes.
Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. Lay eggplant in dish and spray the top with cooking spray. Let roast for 20 minutes.

Remove from over, let cool before handling and cut the slices into ¼ inch pieces.

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large pot. Add the onions and cook over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add the shallot and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the chopped tomatoes (with their juices) and cook on medium low for 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and the oregano.
Stir and cover pot. Stir occasionally and let cook on low for 25-30 minutes. Add salt and pepper at the end to taste.


Directions for Polenta grits:

Boil 3 cups of water. Add the grits and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring back to boil.
Stir and then cover the pot with a lid. Let simmer for 15-18 minutes. Add the corn and parmesan cheese and remove pan from heat.

Spoon grits onto plate, top with stew, and garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh basil.


Friday, September 14, 2012

Eggplant Pesto Involtini

 

Eggplant Pesto Involtini



Ingredients:
1 medium eggplant (sliced lengthwise 1/3 inch)
2 medium balls of fresh mozzarella cheese – sliced thin
1/3 cup pesto
2 ½ cups marinara sauce
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper
Fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese to top
Cooking spray




Directions:

Pre-Heat oven to 350.

Mix eggplant with a small amount of salt and let sit in a colander for 20 minutes.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Lay eggplant out in rows. Spray a light coating of cooking spray on top of the eggplant. Bake the eggplant for 22 minutes. 

Spoon the marinara sauce in a large baking dish.



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Remove from oven and place on a cutting board. Spread ½ tablespoon of pesto on each eggplant. Place 2 slices of mozzarella cheese in the middle of each eggplant and roll tightly.  Place eggplant rolls on top of marinara. Sprinkle with dried basil and oregano.

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Bake on 350 for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve. Top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese.  

Brussels Sprouts Cranberry Walnut Quinoa


Brussels Sprout Cranberry Walnut Quinoa

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked quinoa
2 cups Brussels sprouts (sliced into 4ths)
1 cup chopped eggplant (or any other vegetable you have)
½ cup walnuts, chopped
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped green onions (scallions)
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons peach balsamic vinaigrette
salt and pepper to taste



Directions:

Pre-Heat oven to 375.

Mix 2 tablespoons olive oil, Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper. Place in a baking dish and roast for 30 minutes. (Add your other veggies you are using accordingly)

Toast chopped walnuts in a small pan over medium low heat for 5 minutes.

Combine vegetables, quinoa, 2 tablespoons olive oil, balsamic vinaigrette, walnuts, cranberries, salt and pepper. Serve and top with Parmesan cheese.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Roasted Vegetable Farro


 
Roasted Vegetable Farro


Ingredients:
1/2 eggplant, cut into ½” pieces
1 zucchini, cut into ½” pieces
1 large or 15 baby carrots, chopped
¼ viola sweet onion
2 tablespoon olive oil plus 2 teaspoons for later
2 cups faro
4 cups water
1 tablespoons peach balsamic vinegar
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons pine nuts
fresh basil
salt and pepper


Directions:

Pre-Heat oven to 375.

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium sized pot. Add onions and sauté for 5-6 minutes. Add farro and cook for another minute. Add the water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn to simmer and cover the pot with a lid for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue cooking on low for 5 minutes. Then remove from heat and allow all the water to become absorbed.

Spray a large baking dish with cooking spray. Add eggplant and spray with cooking spray. Roast in oven for 9 minutes.  Add the carrots, spray with cooking spray and lightly coat eggplant and carrots with salt and pepper. Return to oven and let cook for another 12 minutes. Add the zucchini. Continue to roast for 5 minutes. Remove from oven.

Lightly toast pine nuts in small pan on stovetop for 4 minutes.

Mix Farro, balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons olive oil, roasted vegetables, salt and pepper, and pine nuts. Serve and top with fresh basil and crumbed feta cheese. Enjoy!!

Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan Pasta


Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan Pasta


Ingredients:
½ large eggplant, cut into ½” size pieces
2 roma tomatoes – chopped and seeded
½ viola sweet onion – diced
2 gloves garlic – diced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups marinara sauce
¾ cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh basil
fresh mozzarella balls (cut into small bite size pieces)
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
cooking spray
parmesan cheese – grated for topping
2 cups noodles



Directions:

 Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large pan. Add the eggplant, onion, and one teaspoon salt. Sauté for about 10 minutes. (Make sure your heat isn’t too high or it will burn the onions.) Add the red pepper flakes and garlic and let cook for 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, and water. Let simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook pasta according to directions, drain and rinse.

Heat small skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray and add panko breadcrumbs. Cook and stir for about 4 minutes until the crumbs become crispy. Remove from heat.

Mix the mozzarella cheese into the eggplant mixture. Serve over noodles and top with fresh basil, panko breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

White Bean, Kale, and Ciabatta Soup

White Bean, Kale, and Ciabatta Soup


Ingredients:
2 cups dried white beans
2 cups frozen kale
¼ loaf day old Ciabatta bread (tear in ½ inch chunks)
3 cups vegetable broth
fresh sage – about 10 pieces
4 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 bay leaf
2 cups water
½ tbsp kosher salt
pepper
Parmesan cheese
Olive oil


Directions:

Soak beans in water over night. Drain and Rinse. In a large pot bring beans, water, and broth to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add sage, garlic, and bay leaf.  Simmer beans for an hour. Add salt and cook for another 20 minutes.
Add the Kale to the beans and cook on medium low for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and add Ciabatta bread. Cover pot with lid and let sit for 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.
Serve and top with a drizzle of olive oil and shaved parmesan cheese.  


Lentil and Spinach Salad



 
Lentil and Spinach Salad


Ingredients:
1 ½ cup dried green lentils
1 bay leaf
2 cloves garlic - crushed
2 cups water
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups spinach (washed dried and chopped)
1 large carrot – peeled and chopped
I zucchini cut into small pieces
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup walnuts – roughly chopped
2 tbsp fig vinegar (found in bulk section at whole foods or can use any other kind of balsamic vinegar)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste        
parmesan cheese to top



Directions:

Soak lentils for 4-6 hours. Rinse and drain. In a large pot, place lentils, water, vegetable broth, garlic, and bay leaf. Bring to boil and then cover and simmer for 40 minutes.  Remove the bay leaf.

Spray a large pan with cooking spray. Add the carrots and cook for 4 minutes over medium heat. Then add the zucchini and cook for another 3 minutes. Remove the carrots and zucchini and place in a large bowl. Then add the spinach to the pan. Cook the spinach on low heat and cover pan with lid. The spinach should only take about 3-4 minutes to wilt.
While spinach is cooking, toast the walnuts in a small pan over low heat, stirring occasionally. Toast for 6 minutes.
Combine the lentils, spinach, carrots and zucchini, dried cranberries, walnuts, vinegar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and top with grated parmesan cheese.