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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Crockpot Cheesy Chicken and Quinoa

So we had this recipe. It was delicious. Comfort food to the max. Full of boxed yellow rice, cream of chicken soup, and sour cream. Just scrumptious.

Well, we haven't cooked it in a while around here. Too crappy for you. But its been mentioned often.

Well, Husb challenged me to make it healthy(ier). Challenge accepted.

It may not be a diet food, but at least its less processed and made from good food. :)



Crockpot Cheesy Chicken and Quinoa
Ingredients:

2-3 chicken breasts (frozen or thawed)
1 can Rotel diced tomatoes and chilis
2 cans of cream on chicken (but MAKE it! Takes 5 minutes....)
1 diced onion
1 minced garlic clove or 1 tbsp powdered garlic
1/2 tsp salt
6 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup sharp cheddar
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
2 cups frozen corn


In a crockpot on low, put chicken breasts, rotel, cream of chicken, onion, garlic, and salt.

Cook on low 4 hours for thawed chicken, 6 for frozen.

Shred the chicken.

Add the quinoa, cheese, yogurt, and corn. turn on high for 30 minutes.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Breakfast Burritos/Quesadillas

This is a fast, multipurpose, yummy, and filling go-to for us. You can use whatever you have on hand. Great way to use up the 3 mushrooms and 1/2 bell pepper you have sitting around. You don't need a lot of each ingredient. A little goes a long way. These are just suggested ingredients. Other ideas include: Black beans, zucchini, tomatoes, bacon, ham, sausage....



Breakfast Burritos/Quesadillas
Ingredients:

4-5 eggs
1 jarred roasted red bell pepper, dried and diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 jar diced green chills
3 mushrooms sliced
1/3rd cup shredded cheese
4 small flour tortillas, warmed
sour cream
salsa

In a skillet over medium, saute the peppers, chilis, and mushrooms until soft. (A little butter or oil if needed)

Beat the eggs well. Add to pan. Stir constantly until cooked, a couple minutes. Stir in cheese and remove from heat.

For burritos, simply scoop into a warmed tortilla and top with sour cream and salsa.

For quesadillas (my toddler prefers these) place tortilla in a small warmed skillet. Place filling on one half of the tortilla, and fold other side over. Cook until tortilla is lightly browned on each side. Top with sour cream and salsa (or gently open and place some inside)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mexican Lime Chicken Soup

This is a nice broth soup. The chicken falls apart, the lime makes it tangy, the chipotles are spicy (so do less if you don't like kick) and smokey, the corn balances some of the heat, and the beans make it hearty.


Mexican Lime Chicken Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, finely chopped, plus 2 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
  • cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 1/2 cups beans (white, pinto, black, whichever you prefer) drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 avocado, thinly sliced lengthwise 
  • Crushed tortilla chips (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. I used my dutch oven for this. Add the garlic and onion. Cook until starting to brown. Turn the heat up to medium high, push the onions and garlic to the side, and add the chicken pieces. Cook until browned, 5 minutes or so. Stir in the chipotles, adobo sauce, broth, corn and beans. Lower heat and simmer at least 15 minutes. I prefer 45. Skim any foam off. Stir in lime juice, cilantro, salt, and pepper. Serve with avocado, tortilla chips, and a plop of sour cream if desired. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Buttermilk Peanut Butter French Toast

Yeah. Its even better than it sounds. You will thank me :)

If you don't have buttermilk, no need to make a special trip to the store. Just use milk But if you have it, use it :)



Peanut Butter French Toast

Ingredients:

1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 eggs
1/3 cup peanut butter

3 tbsp brown sugar sugar or honey
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
6-8 slices of bread. (We use leftover Challah  or store bought texas toast. )

2 tbsp butter




Whisk together the milk, eggs, PB, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Heat a skillet to medium for at least 5 minutes. Coat in butter. Dip the bread for 15 seconds on each side. Cook until heated through and golden brown, around 3 minutes per side. If it gets too dark too fast, lower heat a little. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

Who needs pasta sides or rice side packets? Not I. Although our side dishes have been lacking since I stopped using them a few years back. I spend a lot of time thinking about the main dish and space off the sides. But I am trying.

This takes about 5 minutes longer than cooking a regular batch of rice.

Cheesy Zucchini Rice

Ingredients

2 cups rice
3 cups chicken broth (or veggie if you want to be veggie)
1 onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar
salt and pepper


I cook my rice in a rice cooker. Easy peasy. Dump the rice, broth, onion, and garlic into it and hit cook.

If you use the stove, dump all that into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to simmer and cook 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit 5 minutes. Fluff

Once cooked, put in a large bowl with the zucchini and cheese. Mix well, and cover with foil. Let sit 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stovetop Popcorn

I know you can't avoid everything. But microwave popcorn is HORRIBLE for you. So if its possible to find a good alternative, why wouldn't you? This takes about 2.4 minutes more than just zapping a bag, and not too much effort. Make it with the kids. Its fun! And it costs pennies to make.
Caramel Marshmallow

Stovetop Popcorn

Ingredients
3 tbsp coconut oil (or vegetable if you *must*)
1/3 cup popping corn
2 tbsp butter
Salt

Additional toppings
Cinnamon Kettle Corn (to follow)
Caramel Marshmallow (to follow)


You HAVE to use at LEAST a 3 qt pan. With a lid.


Heat pan, oil, and 3 kernels of corn over medium heat, covered.

Once those 3 kernels pop, add the rest of the kernels. Cover and remove from heat. Count to 30. Place back on heat. Once it starts popping, shimmy the pan back and forth a few inches over and over to keep the kernels moving. Also hold the lid so there is a crack for steam to escape. Once the popping slows drastically (just like microwave popcorn) remove from heat and immedietly dump into a large bowl. Place pan back on heat and melt the butter. Drizzle over popcorn and season liberally with salt.


Cinnamon Kettle Corn.

Kettle corn is just sugar and salt. Pour the butter like stated above and stir til well mixed. And then I mix about 2tbsp white sugar and a tsp of cinnamon (by all that is holy and good, buy yourself some Vietnamese cinnamon) And sprinkle on top. Do NOT forget the salt. It makes all the difference.

Caramel Marshmallow
(exclude the butter from the original recipe)
Melt 5 tbsp butter with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Once melted, add 6 large marshmallows (or a cup or so mini) and stir until melted. Drizzle over popcorn and toss until coated. Don't forget the salt!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thrifty Chicken Stock

I am a nerd. I have been so excited about this the last few day. Its SO easy and SO cheap. And SO good for you. Even the organic broths have "natural flavor" added (Also known as MSG). And they can be EXPENSIVE. This can make GALLONS of stock. No joke. With ONE batch of chicken bones. You can do even more with beef bones. I haven't gotten there yet, but I will sure update you with it.

Bone broth is super nutritious. Adding vinegar to the water helps leach out the minerals from the bones as well as the nutritious gelatin. THIS is the chicken soup that will help you get over a illness sooner.

It is thrifty, because you can strain the liquid out, and scoop out the veggies and start again! You can do it two or even THREE times with chicken bones! And double that for beef bones. Its unreal.

And if you are short on freezer space, there is a few things you can do. First, you can freeze in ice cube trays or muffin trays and then place in ziplock bags once frozen solid. Then you can just use what is needed. Or you can return the strained liquid to a pot and simmer on low, uncovered, for several more hours and reduce it by half. Then you can freeze in small jars and its a concentrated form. Just add water once you thaw.

This is also a great way to stretch a meal. Buy a rotisserie chicken or roast a whole chicken on your own and save the carcass. You could even save the bones of thighs and drumsticks from other meals in a baggie in the freezer and make a batch when you have enough. The added drumsticks are great to find on sale. Its a very cheap cut of meat. Save the gross bag of innards from the roaster chicken too. And all the butts of onions, carrots, or celery you cut off and throw away? Save those in the freezer too.

You can add chicken feet to it as well. I haven't gotten there yet :-)


This is about 1/3rd of ONE batch. Not reduced

Thrifty Chicken Stock

Ingredients:
I whole chicken carcass
1-2 lbs of whole chicken drumsticks
chicken gizzards, neck, etc (optional)
1 onion, halved
4 carrots, washed, peeled, in 3 inch chunks
4 celery (tops too!) washed, in 3 inch chunks
8 cloves of garlic (no need to peel) cut in half
1/2 tsp dried thyme (fresh is even better. Several stems)
2 bay leaves
10 peppercorns (optional)
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar or lemon juice


Place all of the ingredients in a HUGE stockpot and fill with water 2 inches above the top of ingredients. If you wish, let sit at room temp for an hour. This lets the vinegar work on the bones a little. Then bring to a simmer. Cover, and keep on a very low temp. You just want to gently simmer, never boil.

Cook for about 18 hours. Check on the water lever occasionally and to make sure its still simmering. I am sure you can do this in a crock pot, but be aware many crock pots run too hot to just simmer, even on low. So pay attention the first time you do it.


Strain the liquid through a mesh strainer. Either use immediately, place in the fridge for up to 5 days, freeze for up to 3 months, or simmer uncovered to condense and then freeze.

Use in soups, to cook noodles, rice, beans, etc. Or season and sip.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chunky Roasted Red Bell Pepper Tomato Sauce

I haven't bought pasta sauce in months. While its nice to open and heat store bought sauce, it takes 5 extra minutes of prep, and 20 minutes of simmering is all you need for this quick sauce. Basically, start this a few minutes before you boil the noodles. It will pretty much be done at the same time. If you have an extra few minutes, letting it simmer longer will only add to the yummy flavors.
The red bell peppers add to the sweetness and depths of flavor. Thanks Deanna for the tip!


Chunky Roasted Red Bell Pepper Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:
1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
2 roasted red bell peppers (I buy a HUGE jar at Costco. Worth its weight in gold!)
3-4 cloves garlic
1 can petite cut diced tomatoes (can get the garlic ones or other similar flavor, if they don't have them plain) Drained
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 tsp parsley
1 tbsp dried minced onion
1/4 tsp red pepper flake
1tbsp balsamic vinegar


With a stick blender (or put in a regular blender), blend the crushed tomatoes, red bell pepper, and garlic. Add to a pot with the diced tomatoes and spices. Cover and cook on medium until bubbling and then lower heat and let simmer.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Vegetable Beef Stew with Onion Herbed Dumplings

I came across a variation of this in my websurfings. Husb likes Chicken and Dumplings, so I thought this style of it would be a interesting mix. I tweaked it to my tastes and it came out great. Nice for the changing seasons.


Vegetable Beef Stew with Onion Herbed Dumplings
Ingredients

2 lbs stew meat
1 can beef broth
1 cup water
1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
4 carrots, peeled and sliced in buttons
2 celery, sliced
2 onions, sliced
1 package sliced mushrooms
2 bay leaves
2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp dried mustard
salt and pepper
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup water



Dumplings:
1/2 cup (a few more TBSP if needed)
1 1/2 cup flour
2 tbsp cold butter, in small pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary (crushed up)
1 tbsp dried minced onion


Stew:

Get a skillet hot on medium high heat. Add meat, in batches to sear each side.

Put meat in the crockpot with broth, water, tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, bay leaves and spices.

Cook on low 8-10 hours or high 4-5.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Whisk water and flour and add to soup.

Put all the dry ingredients of dumplings into a bowl. Add butter. Cut in with pastry cutter, forks, metal whisk, or even your hands. Make sure the butter is mixed well. Add milk and stir until just mixed.

Drop glops of this into the stew, cover, and cook on high until toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

This is Husb's mother's recipe. I actually haven't changed it much (except using home made tortillas and cream of chicken from scratch)

Its nice to be able to give him some comfort food that reminds him of home.


Creamy Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

8 8 inch flour tortillas
2 cans cream of chicken (or 2 recipes from scratch)
4-5 green onions, chopped
1 4oz can diced green chilis (not drained)
1 cup milk
3/4 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded cheddar or colby jack
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded (or rotisserie chicken.)

I baked my chicken breasts in the 350 oven for 30 minutes


Preheat oven to 350

Mix cream of chicken, green onions, chilis, milk, sour cream, S&P, and cheese. Reserve 2 cups of this. Mix the shredded chicken in to the remaining mix. Spoon approx 1/2 cup of the reserved mix on the bottom of a 9x13 pan to lightly coat it. Fill the tortillas with the mixture and place seam side down in the pan and top with remaining reserved mixture. Spread to cover completely.

Cook for 30 minutes or until bubbly

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Mini Make Ahead Frittatas

I am always looking for make ahead food for my toddler. I am a zombie in the morning so I don't want to have to think about what to make. Or lunch is a scrounge for yourself type day. Its not fair for the toddler to find his own lunch so this is a good option :)It would also be great for a fast breakfast before work.
I just adapted my other frittata recipe. The combinations are endless. Play around with it.

Sorry about the picture. I forgot to take one until they were already frozen.


Mini Frittatas
Makes 12 muffin sized

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter or oil
2 russet potatoes, grated
1 onion, grated
8 eggs
2 tbsp milk or cream
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
1 cup of cheese (I used feta, cheddar, and provolone, separately)
filling of choice. Ideas: mushrooms, asparagus, bacon, sausage, ham, spinach, zucchini, bell pepper, tomatoes

Preheat oven to 375

Dry the potato and onion very well after grating. Place in a large skillet that has been heated over medium heat, with butter melted.

Cook until starting to brown, stirring/flipping as needed. About 5-8 minutes.

Evenly divide potato mix between the muffin pans. Add whatever fillings you want. Put cheese on top.

Beat the eggs, milk, and spices well. Add a couple/few tbsp to each muffin pan.

Place in oven and cook 15-20 minutes or until golden brown and set. Let cool in pan. Eat or transfer to sheet pan and put in freezer for 2 hours and then move to freezer bag. This is so they don't stick together

Sunday, September 16, 2012

How to make Cream of ___ from scratch!

I try to do as much homemade as possible. But some of my favorite comfort food recipes have some cream of goop in it.

My compromise lately has been to buy it organic. That has to cut out some of the crap, right??

Well, the last time we went to the store, I couldn't find any. Husb really wanted me to make his moms creamy chicken enchiladas. But it calls for TWO of those bad boys. :-/


So I did some searching. I always see on Pinterest a powdered mix you can make. But it calls for bouillon powder and instant milk...Is that really that much better??

So, todays search found this!! REAL food "cream of"substitute!


I really didn't need to take a picture of this. It looks like whitish yellow goop. You have all seen it before.

This makes a chicken version. For cream of mushroom, use beef broth and add some sautéed mushrooms!

"Cream of"
(makes 1 can worth. Ok maybe a little less, but we really don't need to use THAT much, ya know?)

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3/4 cup chicken stock/broth
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper.(don't be shy)
optional (highly recommend at least some):
1/2 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder


Essentially you are making a roux.

Melt the butter over medium heat. Add flour. Cook for 3 minutes, whisking often. (It will be a bunch of clumps.

Add the milk and broth. Whisk and heat until bubbling. Stir often. Add salt and pepper (and spices) to taste.

Once thickened, remove from heat.

Thats it. 5 minutes and pennies compared to the crap you have to buy. Just keep some stock around for times like this!!



Zucchini Tots

Side dishes aren't my best speciality. I get halfway through dinner and realize I don't have a plan for sides. Whoops. We have many a one pot meal around here. Which has its place. But options for side dishes are always good to have around. I am only 24, and only have been really cooking for 2 years or so, so this is a constant learning and growing process :)


These taste like fried zucchini meets zucchini cakes meets a quiche. Super yummy and comforting like tater tots, but with a fresh element. And pretty healthy all things considered!


Zucchini Tots
Makes 24 mini muffin tots

Ingredients:

2 grated zucchini
1/2 grated onion
2 eggs
1/2 cup cheese (I used shredded sharp cheddar this time, but feta, parm, or some others would be great!)
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400
Pat dry the grated onion and zucchini.
Mix all ingredients well
Spray the mini muffin pan well.
Divide mixture evenly in the pan.
Press down well to compact it.

Cook 17-19 minutes, until golden brown. Let sit in pan 5 minutes then flip out.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Orzo with Veggies and Feta

I don't know what it is about orzo that is so yummy. Its like rice, but a better texture. I love it. And I love feta. And pretty much everything else in this. And its all staples around here so that makes it convenient. The only thing that would make it better is some mushrooms. I didn't have any on hand. : ) My toddler ate his weight in this stuff.



Orzo with Veggies and Feta

Ingredients:
1/2 box of Orzo pasta
1 18 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained
2 roasted red bell peppers (from a jar), diced
1/2 package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
2-4 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 tbsp olive oil


Cook pasta to box directions (if there is a time range, do the lower number since this cooks a little after) and drain.

Combine the tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, feta, spices, and olive oil. Add to the pot with the pasta and heat on medium until warmed through!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Pork Potstickers with Dipping Sauce

You can easily double this recipe and freeze (just freeze on a sheet pan and then transfer to a ziplock) You can use the standard wonton wrappers or go giant and just use egg roll wrappers. The pros to the wonton is they are easier to dip, but the process takes a lot longer. The giant ones are faster to make, but you will need a fork to assist the dipping process.



Pork Potstickers with Dipping Sauce
Ingredients:
(makes about 16 giant or 40+ regular)

1 lb ground pork
1/2 bag of shredded cabbage
1 cup diced green onion
1 can water chestnuts, diced
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 cube of ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp corn starch
salt and pepper

wonton or egg roll wrappers
oil
water

Dipping sauce (recipe at bottom)

Mix all the stuffing ingredients together with your hands.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Lay out a wrapper. For wonton sized, use a heaping tsp full of filling. For egg roll sized, about an egg sized.

The wrapper is going to be folded in half, diagonally. So fill one half of a wrapper (from corner to corner) with the filling. With the egg roll one, make sure the filling is smushed down, leaving about a half inch around the edge. The wet your finger and run it along the edges. Pull the corner from the empty side across and press shut. Then press seal the rest of the edges. The end result is just a simple triangle. If you are confused at this point, Im sorry. Its hard to describe but its easy to do. Just look at the picture and it will all come together. Next time I make it, I will take pictures of the process.

Finish filling the wrappers. At this point you can freeze and transfer to a ziplock and make later. Just freeze when they are laying separate or they will stick when thawed.

To cook:

Heat a skillet (with a lid!!) to medium. Let it fully preheat.

Put a tsp or so of oil in the pan and swirl it around. Put a few potstickers in it. Leave room to maneuver.
Let cook a couple minutes, until golden brown (check often, it could burn fast depending on how hot your stove gets)
Flip and brown the other side. Once nice and brown, add 1/4 cup of water and put on a lid. Cook until water is gone, shuffleboarding the skillet every so often. Remove and let cool a couple minutes.


Dipping sauce
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar or honey
1 tsp of Srircha or Garlic Chili Sauce. Or 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. (more or less to taste)

Whisk together and dip away!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Cheddar and Feta Au Gratin Potatoes

Ok, I really need to do a "Kitchen Gadget" post. Someday.

In the meantime, its time for a gadget plug. A mandoline slicer. Oh heavens. Best invention ever. I got mine for $19 off amazon. Its amazing.

So unless you want to manually slice 4 potatoes and a onion into 1/4 inch slices, INVEST.

Anyway. This dish is crack. Ooey gooey. Carby. Comforting. A good holiday or sunday meal dish. The potatoes still have enough bite in them that they aren't mush. Its just a great dish.

You could add some ham or bacon and make a meal out of it!


Cheddar and Feta Au Gratin Potatoes

Ingredients:

4 medium Russet potatoes, sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 onion, sliced into as thin of slices as possible
4 garlic cloves, sliced (or minced, if desired. I like chunks)
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
2 cups cheddar cheese
4oz feta crumbles
salt and pepper to taste.

Prep your potatoes, onion, and garlic.

Place a single layer of potato sliced on the bottom of a greased casserole pan.

Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium. Add the flour and cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Add the milk. Whisk until combined. Once hot, but not boiling, add the cheddar. Whisk until combined. Add salt and pepper. Move off heat.

Ladle a ladle or two of sauce on potatoes. Add a layer of potatoes, then some onion, garlic, and feta. And then another overlapping layer of potatoes. Spoon a bit more sauce on top. Repeat until done. Ending with sauce and a little feta.

Cover with tin foil and bake at 375 for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Let sit 5-10 minutes, then serve.







Monday, September 3, 2012

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon and blueberry are that classic combo. They belong together.

These muffins don't rise a ton, so don't be afraid to pile them high.


Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tbsp butter, melted 
  • 1¼ cups sour cream
  • Juice and zest of one lemon
  • 1½ cups frozen blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350. Either grease or line a 12 muffin pan

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the blueberries and toss to combine.

In another bowl, whisk the egg until light. Add the sugar and lemon juice and zest. Add the butter and sour cream, until just mixed.

Add this to the flour and blueberries. Mix until just combined. It is very thick. Do not over mix or they will be tough.

Divide into the muffin pan. Cook about 30 minutes, turning halfway through. As always, its done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Let sit in pan 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Lemon and Rosemary Roasted Chicken

I'll be honest. Rosemary isn't a herb I am very comfortable with. It looks like pine needles and its pretty strong. But I had to give it a try.

I don't know what it is about our location, but chicken is outrageous. About $8 for 3 medium chicken breasts. I don't know, it just seems like a lot to me. But for $6 or $7, we can get a whole roaster chicken. And its really pretty easy.

The secret to perfect crispy skin is twofold. First, SALT. And lots of it. Chicken is bland. You have to be heavy handed with the seasonings. Salt also dries out the skin to make it crispy. Second, high heat in the first part of cooking


Lemon and Rosemary Roasted Chicken

Ingredients:

1 roaster chicken, about 4.5 pounds. Give or take
1 lemon, quartered
3 tbsp butter, melted
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 onion, very very thinly sliced into rings
Lots of salt and pepper.


Rinse the chicken after your remove the nasty bag inside. Dry very well.

Place the onions on the bottom of a roasting pan.

Stuff the lemons inside the chicken.

Combine the butter, olive oil, rosemary, and garlic in a small bowl. Rub all over chicken and even under the skin.

Place in pan and salt GENEROUSLY and sprinkle with pepper.

Cook in a 450 oven for 20 minutes, and then reduce to 350 for 20 minutes per pound. About an hour and a half.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Greek Pasta Salad

I could eat this every.single.day. Its my favorite. I just love it. I love feta, and olives, and tomatoes. And the zingy dressing. Gah.



Ingredients:

Dressing:

1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vinegar


1 lb pasta of choice (tortilini is a good choice too!)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
4 oz of feta, crumbled
1 small can of diced or sliced black olives, drained
1 cup of frozen peas (optional, I don't always)

First, put all the dressing ingredients into a airtight container and shake to combine. Let sit to hydrate the dried herbs

Cook the pasta according to the package. Drain and rinse with cold water. Mix all ingredients together with most of the dressing. Serve room temp or chilled. Reserve remaining dressing (is fine not refrigerated) to add to the salad if it needs it

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Beef Stroganoff, Two Ways

Ok, so I make this two different ways. Both are good and fast, in their own way. One is with stew meat and cooked in the crock pot. The other is made on the stove in about 30 minutes, and uses ground beef. I don't currently have a pic of the first method, but I will add it the next time it is made.

Yes, it has a cream of mushroom soup can in it. I try to avoid it. But sometimes I can't. In this case, I compromise with organic. Its only about 1$ more and it makes me feel better. *or you can make it from scratch!

And, yes, I know its not pretty. But its yummy. God doesn't give with both hands all the time.



Ingredients:

1.5 pounds lean ground beef OR lean stew meat.
1 diced onion
1 lb sliced crimini mushrooms
1 can of organic cream of mushroom soup (or 1 recipe from scratch)
1/2-2/3 cup of sour cream

2-3 pounds of gold potatoes, diced.

Method 1, crockpot:

Sear the stew meat on high heat until all sides are browned. Add to crock pot along with mushrooms, soup, and onion. Cook on high 4-5 hours or low 6-8. Add sour cream 20 minutes before serving

Method 2, stovetop:

On medium heat, cook ground beef and onion until well browned. Drain. Add mushrooms and cream of mushroom. Simmer on medium until mushrooms soften, about 15 minutes. Add sour cream and serve.


Cook the potatoes in salty water. Either drain and serve, or make into mashed potatoes.

Some people use egg noodles. I think this is gross. But more power to you.

Corn is a must side to this for us.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I'm surprised at how many people haven't had rhubarb! Its tangy and yummy. It needs to be eaten.

Many stores will have it in the produce section. Somewhere. Sometimes its near the bananas. Or coconuts and plantains. It looks like pink celery. If not, check the frozen fruit section.


Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

1 recipe double pie crust

filling:
1 cup strawberries, halved
3 cups rhubarb, sliced (thawed and drained if frozen)
1 cup sugar
1/4 quick cook tapioca
2 tsp orange zest
2 tbsp orange juice
1tsp cinnamon

topping:
1 egg white + 1 tsp water
2 tbsp white sugar

Combine all the filling ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes

Place in a dough lined pie pan and cover with other crust. Pinch shut and cut vent holes. If its warm in your kitchen, place pie back in the fridge for 10-15 minutes (hey, while the oven is preheating to 400!)

Beat the egg white and water. Brush all over pie crust. Sprinkle with sugar.

Cook for 20 minutes at 400, then lower to 350 for 30-40 more minutes until nicely browned.

You can eat this warm, but it will be more runny. The filling really thickens when cooled.

Best with vanilla ice cream!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Southwestern Creamed Corn

Uh yummo! Canned cream corn has nothing on this! Its colorful and flavorful and not mushy!
Not to mention fast.



Southwestern Creamed Corn
Adapted from PW

Ingredients:
2 bags frozen corn
2 red bell peppers, diced
2 jalapeños, diced
1 cup cream or half and half
salt and pepper
4 tbsp butter, in pieces

Combine corn, bell peppers, and jalapeños. Season generously with salt and pepper. Put in casserole dish and add cream. Put butter on top and cook at 400 for 30-45 minutes or until thick and bubbly. If it seems thin still, scoop 1/4 cup of the cream into a bowl and add 2 tbsp corn starch and whisk. Stir back into the pan.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

7 Layer Greek Dip

Hummus. Super yummy and healthy. This dip brings it up a level and is great for parties. I served it with pita crackers



7 Layer Greek Dip
Ingredients:

Hummus:
2 cans chickpeas/garbanzo beans, drained
1-2 cloves garlic
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil olive oil
2 tbsp tahini
1-2 tbsp water


6oz crumbled feta
1 sm red bell pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 sm cucumber, diced
3 tbsp fresh dill, minced
1/2 small can diced black olives (you can use katamala if you prefer)

Throw all hummus ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Season with salt to taste. Add the water if needed to make more smooth.

Smear into bottom of a small casserole dish. Top with other ingredients. Cover and chill for at least an hour.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Crockpot Pulled Pork with Home Made BBQ Sauce

I am no BBQ expert. I can't tell you the difference between all the different regional BBQ sauces. I just know what I like. And this is it.

I am sorry there is no photo at this time. It looks pretty much like you would expect it would. ;-)



Pulled Pork

Ingredients:
1 4-5lb pork roast (Boston, butt, shoulder, whatever you like)

Rub:
2tbsp paprika
1tbsp chili powder
1tbsp onion powder
1tbsp garlic powder
2tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Sauce:
2c ketchup
1/2 cup molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup brown sugar
3tbsp worcestershire sauce
3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp red chili flakes
2 tsp liquid smoke

Mix up the rub and coat the pork in it. Discard the excess. Its best if you let it sit overnight in the rub, but its ok if you forget.

In the AM, place the pork in the crock pot on low for 8 hours.

Shred the meat and drain the liquid.

Add the sauce and cook on high 30-60 minutes.

Serve on some nice kaiser rolls or better yet, some home made challah rolls



Saturday, July 14, 2012

Black Bean and Pepper Frittata

I am getting obsessed with frittatas. They are fast, easy, and you can make them with anything. Whats not to love?



Black Bean and Pepper Frittata

Ingredients:

2 large or 3 medium russet potatoes
1 onion
1 bell pepper, diced
1 can fire roasted diced green chilies
1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed
2 tsp Adobo seasoning
1 cup shredded cheese ( I used a little colby jack and cheddar)
9 eggs
splash of milk


Preheat oven to 400


Grate/shred the potatoes and onion with a large cheese grater or food processor attachment.

Use paper towels to squeeze out the excess moisture.

In a 12 inch oven safe frying pan, heat up a couple tbsp of your oil of choice over medium heat. Add the potatoes and onion. Sprinkle with Adobo. Let cook until brown.

Add the bell pepper and flip the potatoes (in sections)

Cook for a few more minutes.

Combine the milk and eggs and beat well

Add the beans and diced green chilies. Add the cheese. Top with the egg mix.

Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until center is set and is somewhat browned.

Let cool 5 minutes and serve

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Buttery Caramel Syrup

I think I have said it before, but I will say it again. I am not a food photographer. If you want fabulous pictures, this is probably not the place. But I promise it tastes good...And sorry this looks more like gravy than syrup.

But anyway, this syrup is great on pancakes or waffles as well as on ice cream. And while it has a ton of sugar, it has to be a little better than the HFCS maybe-ish crap, right?

Besides, its fast and yummy. And you can make a bunch and store it in the fridge for quite a while.

Please to not do the vinegar/lemon juice with milk sub for buttermilk. Get the real thing. Make the waffles with the leftovers. Worth it.



Buttery Caramel Syrup

Ingredients


1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla



In a large saucepan (3 qt+), bring the buttermilk, sugars, and butter to a boil over medium heat.


Let boil 2 minutes.


Remove from heat and add baking soda and vanilla. Whisk. It will bubble a lot. Glad you used the big pan?


Let cool. It will thicken as it cools. 


Serve and refrigerate leftovers. If you don't eat it all with a spoon.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Creamy Tortellini with Garden Vegetables

Comforting and fresh. A great combo. Pretty easy and fast too. 



Creamy Tortellini with Garden Vegetables

Ingredients:

2 9oz packages of cheese tortellinis 
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 cup snap peas, trimmed and halved
1 tbsp butter
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 small bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper
1 cup milk
1 package 1/3rd fat cream cheese
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Cook tortellinis according to package instructions. When there is 4 minutes left, add the carrots and snap peas.

Meanwhile, heat butter in skillet over medium, cook mushrooms and pepper for 5 minutes. Remove and place in large bowl.

Whisk chicken broth, oregano, garlic, flour, salt, pepper, and milk in saucepan. 

Once bubbling, add cream cheese. Stir often.

Once melted, add lemon juice and remove from heat.

Stir together veggies, pasta, sauce, and tomatoes. Place in 9x13 pan and cook for 30 minutes. Top with parmesan cheese and serve

Friday, June 22, 2012

Soft Pretzels with Jalapeño Cheddar Sauce

Cheese sauce doesn't have to be "processed cheese spread" or "cheese flavored". Its crazy easy! And these pretzels are best eaten the day they are made. But don't worry, that shouldn't be too much of a challenge.




Soft Pretzels
From Alton Brown

Ingredients


  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp water
  • Coarse sea salt
Combine water, sugar, salt, and yeast. Let sit 10 minutes until foamy (if you use instant, skip this step and just add yeast to flour)

Combine flour, butter, and water mix to a stand mixer with dough hook. Mix until combined and then let knead 5 minutes. Place in well oiled bowl and cover for 1 hour

Preheat oven to 450

Bring water and baking soda to a boil.

On oiled surface, divide dough into 8ths. Roll into 18-24in ropes. Fold and pinch into pretzel shape.

Place on slotted spoon and lower 1 pretzel onto the boiling water. Let cook 30 seconds. Remove with spoon and pat dry with a paper towel. Place on parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Repeat.

Brush with yolk mix. Sprinkle with salt and place in oven. Bake for 12-14 minutes.

Cheese Sauce

Ingredients:

1 jalapeño, de-veined and de-seeded, fine diced
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Melt the butter in a pan on medium. Add jalapeños. Cook 3 minutes.

Add flour, cook 1 minute.

Add milk. Heat through.

Remove from heat and add cheese. Whisk until melted.




Thursday, June 21, 2012

Eggs Benedict California on English Muffin Toast

This english muffin bread is SO fast and easy. Its more like a quick bread or beer bread than a tedious yeast bread. Even if you don't want to make these eggs benedict, give the bread a shot...But the rest of it is so easy, why not do it all?

Oh and this blender hollandaise takes about 3 minutes and its perfect.



Eggs Benedict California on English Muffin Toast

Ingredients:

Eggs for poaching
white vinegar
2 avocados, sliced
2 vine ripened tomatoes, sliced
english muffin toast (recipe as follows)
hollandaise (recipe as follows)

Assemble the toast. Toast, tomato slices, avocado slices.

Bring a pot of water with a splash of vinegar to simmer, not boil.

Crack an egg into a small bowl. Gently pour egg into water. Use a slotted spoon to gently prod the whites to keep them close to the yolk. After one minute, turn off the heat. Let sit 3-4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to bring egg to surface so you can lightly press into the yolk to make sure its soft. You want the yolk runny but the whites set and not too underdone.

Remove with slotted spoon and pat dry with a paper towel. Place on the toast tower and cover with hollandaise.


English Muffin Toast
Adapted from OneGoodThingByJillee

Makes 2 loaves

2 3/4 cups warm water
3 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
5 1/2 cups flour



All you do is mix it all together and divide into either 1 or 2 greased loaf pans. 2 pans will make smaller loaves, closer to english muffin size. 1 will make a nice large loaf, good for toast. Let rise until it reaches the top of the pan. Bake for 35 minutes at 350, brush with melted butter, and continue baking until golden brown. About another 5-10 minutes.

Cool completely before cutting.


Blender Hollandaise Sauce
Adapted from Simplyrecipes

3 egg yolks
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cayenne
10 tbsp butter

Melt the butter on the stove top. Do not boil. 

In a blender, combine yolks, salt, lemon, and cayenne. Blend for 45 seconds on high.

Turn blender on low, add melted butter slowly. Let blend 5 seconds after butter is added.

Taste the sauce. Add more lemon, salt or cayenne to taste. Should be buttery, lemony, and slightly salty. 

Keep warm. Use within a hour.



Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Greek Mac and Cheese

I am in love with feta. Its salty and crumbly and so yummy. Everything about this pasta was super yummy and comforting


Greek Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Adventurescooking



1 head garlic, top sliced off, rubbed with oil, wrapped in foil, roasted at 400 for 30 minutes, cooled
1 leek, thinly sliced and soaked 
1 onion, chopped
1 box dry pasta
11 oz feta cheese, in brine
1 cup asiago cheese, shredded
2 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp butter, divided
olive oil
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp greek oregano
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
salt and pepper


Start on roasting the garlic right away.

Also, start cooking pasta to box instructions

Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp butter in a saucepan. Add a little olive oil. Add the leeks and cook on medium, stirring often, until caramelized. 10-15 minutes. Remove from pan and put in a large bowl.

Add spinach to the pan. Cook until wilted, a minute or two. Remove from pan and add to bowl.

Add remaining tbsp butter to the pan, melt. Add flour. Cook 1 minutes. Add milk and cream. Heat well, but dont boil. Add oregano and rosemary 

Add asiago and crumbled feta. Heat until mostly melted. 

Add to the big bowl along with the sun dried tomatoes and pasta. Squeeze the roasted garlic into the bowl. Combine and add salt and pepper as needed.

Place under a low temp broiler for 10 minutes or until melty and browning. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mexican Dip

This is a twist on the 7-layer dip. I change it almost every time and its always a different number of layers. So lets just move past obscure things like numbers.

Mexican Dip

Ingredients:

1 can fat free refried beans
1 can fat free spicy refried beans
1 avocado
4oz 1/3 fat cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
juice of one lime
garlic powder
1 cup salsa
1 bag shredded lettuce
3/4 cup shredded cheese (taco/mexican mix, colby, cheddar, whatever)
2 vine ripened tomatoes, diced
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 green onions, sliced
chips

Other topping ideas:
black olives
diced green chills
jalapeños
raw onion

In a 9x13, mix and spread the refried beans.

In a food processor/blender, combine the avocado, cream cheese, sour cream, and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Spread over beans.

Sprinkle garlic powder over everything.

Spread salsa

Sprinkle lettuce, then cheese, then tomatoes, the corn, then green onions

Monday, June 18, 2012

Zucchini Grinders

This tastes kind of like a meatball sub. But not meatballs. Just zucchini. And it is gooood. You *can* use shredded mozzarella on this. But please don't. Use the fresh soft stuff. Its a little more expensive, but its so much better.


Zucchini Grinders

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchinis, quartered lengthwise, and sliced
1 tbsp butter
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp red pepper flake
4 italian hoagie rolls
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed


Heat butter in saucepan over medium. Add zucchini and stir to coat. Cook a few minutes until softened.

Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, and spices. Cook until bubbling

Add zucchini into sliced rolls. Top with cubed cheese. Wrap in aluminum foil and cook for 15 minutes in a 350 oven.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

So, avocado just needs to go on everything.  Its crazy good for you and tastes like heaven. Whats stopping us?



Avocado Egg Salad Sandwich

Ingredients:

8 hard boiled eggs, whites and yolks separated. Chopped
2 avocados, rough chopped
2 tbsp plain low fat greek yogurt
2 tbsp chopped scallions
1 tbsp cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Mash up the yolks and avocado. Add whites, scallions, yogurt, vinegar, and s&p. Smear on a yummy bread and ENJOY.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Santa Fe Burger

AKA the best burger ever. Oh my. So yummy.

I'll admit, I am not a big fan of Bobby Flay's attitude. He is a cocky mo fo and he bugs the crap out of me. In fact, I watch Throwdown JUST hoping he will lose.

But, the guy knows how to cook. Not only does his meatloaf knock my socks off, but this burger was the bomb. Totally worth being one of our meat meals for the week.

Burger slathered with queso, topped with roasted poblano and crumbled blue corn chips. Yeah. Told ya. Put it on a fresh baked challah roll, and you will die very very happy


Santa Fe Burger
Adapted from Bobby Flay

Ingredients:

1 lb 80/20 burger
Montreal Seasoning
1 lg poblano pepper
1 tsp oil
4 hamburger buns or challah rolls

Queso:

1tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup whole milk
8oz fresh grated monterey jack cheese
salt and pepper

Form the 4 patties and season well with the Montreal Seasoning. Cook on grill to desired doneness.

Coat pepper in oil and roast in 375 oven for about 15 minutes, until skin browns. Remove from oven, put in bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 15 minutes. Peel off the skin. Remove seeds, and dice

Heat skillet to medium. Melt butter. Add flour and cook 1 minutes Add milk, turn up heat to high, and stir constantly for 5 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in cheese. Keep warm

Top burger with diced pepper, a generous helping of queso, and a few crumbled corn chips. Ah-may-zing.

Friday, June 8, 2012

New and Improved "Cuban" Black Beans and Rice

Quick, easy, cheap, flavorful, and pretty much everything is staples. What more can you ask for?
I recently updated this recipe double the amount and to include tomatoes and spinach. Hence the "cuban". The cuban flavor is still there, but I am not sure if the new ingredients are traditional. So its "cuban". :) And of course the spinach and tomatoes are optional, but recommended!



Cuban Black Beans and Rice

Ingredients

2 cans low sodium black beans, not drained (or 3 cups of home made black beans)
1 onion
1 red bell pepper
4 tbsp fresh cilantro
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp cumin (or more)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 package of frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil

3 cups cooked rice
juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp chopped cilantro


Put the onion, pepper, cilantro, and garlic in a food processor or blender. Pulse until well chopped

Heat a skillet over medium heat with a little olive oil

Add veggies. Cook for 4 minutes.

Add black beans, vinegar, cumin, S&P, tomatoes, and spinach.

Cook for 20 minutes (while rice cooks)

Toss rice with lime juice and cilantro. Top with beans.

Serve!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tuna and White Bean Pasta Salad

Trying to figure out the no meat lunch issue. I mean, cold cut sandwiches are out. Also Husb is home a lot more during the day with his new schedule. Its a challenge.

This has some protein and can be made in advance. Also we can go get it whenever we are hungry, which makes life easier.

Tuna and White Bean Pasta Salad


Ingredients:

2 small cans tuna
1 can white beans, drained and rinsed, (great northern, cannellini, navy, whatever its called)
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cucumber, peeled, deseeded, and diced
1 carrot, grated
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 bell pepper, deseeded, diced
1 cup frozen peas
1 box tri color rotini pasta, cooked according to box
2/3rds cup plain greek yogurt
1/3rd cup fresh herbs (I used parsley, basil, and a little thyme)
juice of 1/2 lemon or whole lime
1 tbsp dried dill
1 tbsp lemon pepper
salt to taste

Mix together yogurt, herbs, seasonings, and citrus juice.

Mix the tuna, veggies, and pasta. Add yogurt mix.

Chill and enjoy

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Southwest Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

Quinoa is a fun little grain. I think its a seed actually. Whatever. Treat it just like rice. I cook it JUST like I do rice. In my rice cooker actually! With a 1:1.5 quinoa to water/broth ratio. Fluffy and perfect each time.



Southwest Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers


Ingredients:

6 bell peppers, sliced lengthwise and deseeded and deribbed(is that a word?).
2 cups (cooked) quinoa (about 1 cup uncooked)
1 1/2 cup frozen corn
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes, not drained
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp cilanto (optional, but recommended)
1/4 cup of chicken broth (water works in a pinch)

Heat a large pot of well salted water to a high boil. Put the peppers in for about 4 minutes. Remove peppers and place in icy water to cool.

Mix all other ingredients (about half the cheese) together and stuff the peppers. Cover with foil and cook at 400 for about 30 minutes. Remove foil, top with remaining cheese and cook another 5 minutes



Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pizza Stuffed Portobellos

So here it goes. We are doing more meatless meals! We are seriously cutting back on meats, so that means more creativity on my part. Luckily, you guys will get the best of both worlds since we aren't cutting it out completely!

Mushrooms have a heartiness that we are still craving. So stuffing them seemed like a great way to go! This is a great way to go low carb. Or, you can be like us and serve it with a salad and a loaf of crusty peasant bread. :-D


Pizza Stuffed Portobellos

Ingredients:

4 portobello mushroom caps, de-stemed and gills scraped out
1 8oz can of tomato sauce (recommend Roasted Garlic)
1/2 tsp each of dried basil, oregano, parsley, salt, and pepper
2 oz fresh mozzarella, cubed (small)
1/2 each green and red bell pepper, chopped
1 shallot, fine chopped
3 fresh basil leaves, rolled and sliced (optional)


Mix the seasonings into the sauce. Place 2 spoonfuls in each mushroom.

Add cheese, peppers, shallot, and top with basil.

Place on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for around 10 minutes.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Pasta with Bell Peppers, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan

This dish is a favorite. Both hearty and light, comforting and fresh. Takes less than 30 minutes to whip up.

If you really want to stretch this dish out and have a LOT of leftovers, simply double the pasta and add a bit more olive oil.



Pasta with Bell Peppers, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan

Ingredients:

1 box whole wheat penne pasta
4-5 bell peppers, assorted colors, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb sweet italian sausage (we used turkey sausage last time and it was good!)
1 container of the good parmesan cheese, shredded. A romano and asiago blend is yummy too.


Make pasta per box direction.

Meanwhile, heat saucepan with oil over medium/medium high heat. Crumble sausage (remove casing if applicable) and brown.

Once brown, add bell peppers. Stir and cover. Cook until soft. 10 minutes or so. Stirring often.

Drain pasta and put back in stock pot. Add sausage and peppers (pan juice and all) to pasta.

Stir. Add cheese and stir.

If it seems dry at all, add a tbsp of good olive oil (I usually do this when its leftovers)