From The Kitchen Of Rachelle Underwood

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Southwest Quinoa Salad

I have the most delicious salad for you!  I was skeptical.  I haven't jumped on the whole quinoa bandwagon.  But, I have some baby weight to lose, and I have been looking for healthy alternative to eating carbs.  This recipe doesn't taste like "diet food".  I love all the fresh flavors in this salad, it does not lack any flavor.  Try it, you will love it!  If you don't know how to cook quinoa, here is an fabulous website that tell you how:

Southwest Quinoa Salad

1 c quinoa, cooked according to package directions (cooked in chicken broth)
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 cup of frozen corn, defrosted or 1 can of corn, drained
4 green onions, sliced thinly
1/2-1 c cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1/2 c cilantro, chopped

Lime Vinaigrette:
1/3 c olive oil
juice from a large lime
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and chopped finely

Cook quinoa, and let cool for 15 minutes.  Mix all ingredients for the vinaigrette.  Combine all ingredients for the salad, and then toss with the vinaigrette.  Let the salad sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Banana Bars with Brown Butter Frosting

These are AHHHHHHHmazing!  I will never use my over ripe bananas for boring banana bread again.  Not only were the bars moist and delicious, but the frosting sends it over the top.  I never knew how much flavor browning the butter can add to a frosting.  The frosting is insanely good.  You will be licking the bowl and spatula. I made a half batch, because I was testing the recipe.  I will give the measurements for the full recipe.  Just know that you can half the amount and it turns out great!

Banana Bars with Brown Butter Frosting

BANANA  BARS         
1 1/2 c sugar
1 c sour cream
2 eggs
1/2 c butter, softened
1 3/4 c mashed ripe bananas (3-4 bananas)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 c butter
4 c powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp milk
1/4-1/2 tsp salt

1. Heat oven to 330F. Grease a 15x10-inch jelly roll pan. For the bars, in a large bowl, beat together sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs until creamy. Blend in bananas and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend for 1 minute. Stir in walnuts.
2. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown.
3. Meanwhile, for frosting, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Let the butter turn a delicate brown and remove from heat immediately.
4. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract, salt and milk. Whisk together until smooth (it should be thicker than a glaze but thinner than frosting). Using a spatula, spread the brown butter frosting over the warm bars (the frosting will be easier to spread while the bars are still warm).

Picture courtesy


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Fancy Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing and Candied Nuts

This salad is amazing.  Every time I have had it, I have loved it.  Feel free to 1/2 the amounts or double the amounts according to the crowd you are serving.  You can add tons of ingredients to this salad to bulk it up for a meal or to serve as a special side salad.  I have used all romaine lettuce and I have also done it with a combination of romaine and mixed leafy greens.  Both are delicious.  Just use what you have on hand.  The nuts, feta and dressing are key though in making this salad unique, tasty, and special.

Poppy Seed Dressing:

1 medium onion, chopped roughly
1 c sugar
1/2 c cider vinegar
1 tbs poppy seeds
2 c veg or canola oil
1 tsp salt

In a blender combine onion, sugar, cider vinegar and poppy seeds.  Puree mixture.  Then while the blender is running, add oil and salt.  Store in an air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Candied Nuts:

1/2 pound of nuts (any kind) about 2 1/2 cups
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg white
1/2 tbs. water
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Beat egg white and water in a bowl until soft peaks form.  Add salt, vanilla, sugar, and cinnamon.  Beat with mixer.  Add nuts, and stir to coat nuts evenly.  Line baking sheet with foil and grease with cooking spray.  Spread nuts evenly on cookie sheet.  Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Other ingredients for the salad:
Feta Cheese
Chicken (optional)
Green onions (optional)
peas (optional)
shredded carrots (optional)
cucumber (optional)
tomato (optional)
strawberries (optional)

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Herb and Apple Stuffing

I got this recipe from my dear friend Becky who made it last year for our Thanksgiving meal.  I loved it, and fell in love all over again this year.  I had to make some modifications according to the ingredients that were available.  It turned out amazing!  It was so good to combine it with the turkey, and mashed potatoes.  I made it the day before, which I think really makes a difference in flavor and texture.  It may seem super liquidy to you, but trust me it won't be when you cook it up.  Its crunchy on top and soft on the bottom.  Delish!

Herb and Apple Stuffing

  • 8 cup(s) sourdough bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup(s) (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3 ounce(s) of bacon, cut up
  • 2 cup(s) (about 1 large) chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cup(s) (about 3 large stalks) chopped celery
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cored, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup(s) medium or dry sherry or white cooking wine
  • 2 tablespoon(s) finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 cup(s) chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 5 extra-large eggs
  • 2 cup(s) heavy cream or half n half
  • 1 cup(s) chicken stock or broth
  • 2 cup(s) (8 ounces) freshly grated Gruyère cheese
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange bread in single layer on 18-inch by 12-inch jelly-roll pan. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside.  Needs to be like croutons almost.
    1. While bread toasts, in 12-inch skillet, heat butter on medium-low. Add bacon; increase heat to medium and cook 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Add onion, celery, and apple; cook 8 to 10 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in sherry/white wine, rosemary, 3-4 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat; stir in parsley.
    2. Meanwhile, in very large bowl, beat eggs, cream, chicken stock, and 1 1/2 cups Gruyère. Add bread, then vegetable mixture, stirring until well combined. Let stand 30 minutes to allow bread to soak.
    3. Stir mixture well; transfer to 2 1/2- to 3-quart (13-inch by 9-inch by 2-nch) gratin dish. Sprinkle with remaining Gruyère. (To make ahead, assemble bread pudding, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate up to 1 day before baking.)
    4. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until top is browned and custard is set (when knife inserted in center comes out clean). Serve hot or warm.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Berry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

I made these Berry Bars a while back, and I forgot to blog about them.  We always have a bag of Costco frozen mixed berries in our freezer. I wouldn't waste your money on fresh berries for this recipe.  This recipe is the perfect combination of sweet and tart.  The crust and topping tastes like a brown sugar oatmeal cookie, and the filling is to die for. 

Berry Oatmeal Crumble Bars

3 cups of frozen berries
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch 

Crumble and Crust:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (quick-cooking or regular)
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened and cut into 7-9 large chunks
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Filling: In a medium saucepan, stir together berries and lemon juice and cook medium heat until fruit is defrosted.
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar and cornstarch, then stir into fruit mixture. Continue cooking until mixture comes to a boil. Boil for 1-2 minutes, until thick. Scrape berry filling into a medium bowl and set aside.

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×13″ baking pan.
In a food processor (or large mixing bowl), combine flour, oats, brown sugar, butter, baking soda , salt and vanilla extract. Pulse until mixture is thoroughly blended and resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of this mixture in a medium bowl. Pour remaining crumb mixture into the bottom of the prepared baking dish, spread evenly and pat down. Place filling in dollops over crust and carefully spread to cover entire surface. Squeeze reserved crumb mixture into large clumps with your fingers and sprinkle evenly over the top of the fruit filling.
Bake until golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.
Cut into 20 bars to serve.