The Rising Spoon - The Rising Spoon

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Double Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins with Sea Salt

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These decadent double chocolate muffins are naturally sweetened with just enough maple syrup to balance out the rich chocolate flavor from a mixture of cacao powder and dark chocolate chips. A sprinkle of coarse sea salt on top creates a slightly sweet & salty first bite that's a dark chocolate lover's dream.

Double Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins with Sea Salt

These double chocolate muffins have been on my mind for nearly two months now. I wake up in the morning and before I've finished my first cup of bulletproof coffee, I'm dreaming of baking a batch. I walk down to the lake and an image of rich chocolate muffins pops into my head.  

I've lost track of how many times I've brought up dark chocolate muffins to my sister on the phone. Clearly, the universe is sending me a message: Dear Elaina, hurry it up up, there's a chocolate lover out there who needs this recipe!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Carnitas Tacos with Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder

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Imagine soft corn tortillas filled with tender, slightly crispy, and juicy shredded pork carnitas, chopped onion and cilantro, crumbled Mexican cheese, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Are you salivating yet? Carnitas tacos are perfect for a quick weeknight meal or even a large gathering where you need to feed a crowd without breaking the bank. Make some today and your belly will thank you.

Carnitas Tacos with Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder

Let me introduce you to one of my favorite comfort food meals of all time: street-style carnitas tacos. Never heard of them? Boy, you're in for a treat! 

This is a particular type of taco served at tiny (often hole in the wall) taquerias all over the southwest. Street-style tacos consist of small soft corn tortillas filled with juicy & crispy meat (my favorite is pork) that's topped with finely diced raw onion and cilantro and served with a side of lime wedges, salt, and either red or green sauce.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sauteed Asparagus with Garlic, Butter & Parmesan

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A quick & easy sauteed asparagus recipe with butter, garlic & shredded Parmesan cheese. In about 10 minutes or less, you'll have a simple side dish made with real food ingredients to accompany any meal. Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of asparagus and why you should eat it with a healthy fat. 
Sauteed Asparagus with Garlic, Butter & Parmesan
Raise your hand if you love asparagus so much that you secretly wish you could eat the whole bundle every time you fix it? Sound familiar? Let's be friends. The kind of friends who bring their own asparagus bunches to gatherings, of course.

I love asparagus every which way: sauteed, roasted, steamed, baked, boiled...you name it. However, my two favorite ways to fix fresh asparagus are roasting it in the oven and sauteeing it on the stove-top. 

When I've already got the oven heated for other dishes, I'll roast the asparagus right before the meal. Otherwise, it's a quick cook on the stove-top after fixing fast dishes like The Best Tuna Patties or Pan-Seared Mahi-Mahi with Pineapple Salsa. (And all in the same pan!!) This is convenient in the spring and summer months when you want to keep your home cool.

Although...if I'm being honest, I use my oven even in the hottest of Texas days (100+ degree weather). I blame it on random cravings for roasted potatoes & root veggies. That, and no charcoal grill.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Healthy Banana Bread

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A healthy real food banana bread recipe made with a natural sweetener and higher protein flour so you can enjoy a slice or two of moist & fragrant banana bread any time of the day without going overboard on sugar. 

Healthy Banana Bread

One of the best smells in the whole entire world is fresh baked banana bread. It's one of my favorite recipes to make when I've had a bad day and am feeling grumpy or sad. After about 10 minutes of easy prep, I can sit back and relax while my home fills with the warm fragrance of sweet banana, vanilla & cinnamon. Bye bye stress, hello endorphins! 

Despite the fact that baking banana bread is legit kitchen therapy and brings me to my happy place, I've considered it a "special occasion" treat for years because all the classic recipes I tried called for generous amounts of cane sugar.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder (For Pulled Pork & Carnitas)

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Fall-apart-tender pork shoulder cooked in the crock-pot. This super easy recipe takes less than 10 minutes to prep and can be cooked in as little as 4-5 hours on the high setting. Use the delicious shredded meat for pulled pork and carnitas recipes to make meal planning a breeze, all the while fooling your loved ones into thinking you spent hours over the stove.

Slow Cooker Pork Shoulder (For Pulled Pork & Carnitas)

Have you ever eaten a pork or beef dish that was so fall-apart-tender it was like cutting into butter? Maybe you ordered it at a restaurant and with each bite of succulent meat imagined the chef painstakingly standing over the cut for two days straight, cooking it low and slow to perfection. 

The good news is you can replicate this at home with hardly any effort. The key is the buy a large cut of meat with lots of connective tissue and fat. 

This is where the magic happens. When you take a tough cut of meat that's NOT super lean and you cook it beyond well-done, all of the connective tissues breaks apart and creates the most tender, luscious, shreddable meat.

If you've ever made pot roast, you know what I'm talking about. Take a simple chuck roast, coat it with spices, slow cook it for several hours and you have amazingly fork-tender beef to serve with your favorite sides like mashed potatoes and gravy.

Well, today I'm focusing on pork shoulder, which is the chuck roast of the pork world, except better. This is the cut of pork that magically transforms into crave-worthy pulled pork or carnitas. 

You know, extra-napkins-required, barbecue-sauce-dripping pulled pork sandwiches and juicy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside street-style carnitas tacos topped with cilantro, onion, and red + green sauce. 

The good stuff.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Pan-Seared Mahi-Mahi with Pineapple Salsa

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Need an easy & healthy fish recipe? Try this pan-seared mahi-mahi (a neutral-tasting white fish) topped with fresh pineapple salsa. Serve it with your favorite sides for a quick weeknight meal in less than 30 minutes. 

Pan-Seared Mahi Mahi with Pineapple Salsa

One of my go-to mid-week meals is fish fillets pan-seared in a cast-iron skillet. (I shared it recently here and here on Instagram.) I like to stock up on 2-packs of frozen wild-caught fish (usually at Trader Joe's) so I can grab one out of my freezer when I need a quick meal. Fish fillets can be cooked in as little as 10-15 minutes (depending on their thickness) and if you forget to thaw them overnight in the fridge, you can simply run the bag under cold water in your sink for several minutes.

If you've never had mahi-mahi before, you're in for a treat! It's a neutral-tasting buttery white fish, which makes it perfect for picky eaters. I like to think of it as a poor man's halibut because it's 1/4 of the price, but similar in taste. As much as I wish I could eat wild-caught halibut every week (maybe if I lived in the Pacific Northwest or Alaska), my pocketbook appreciates mahi-mahi much more.