Saturday, March 30, 2013

Breakfast Stuffed Peppers


How did I not come up with this before?

Or even at all...since it was my friend S that shared this amazingness with me.

We love peppers. We love stuffing peppers. We love breakfast. Come on, Kate. Its not a hard leap to make.

Moving on.

I made 4 peppers. You could easily a little more of each ingredient to stretch this to 6 or more peppers.

Feel free to use different veggies, meats, or cheeses. Green onions would be a nice addition. Fresh tomatoes too.

Breakfast Stuffed Peppers


4 bell peppers
1 cup frozen hash browns. I used shredded. Country style would work too
1 cup diced mushrooms
1 cup asparagus, 1 inch pieces
1/2 cup cheese of choice. (we did a mix of parmesan and mozzarella this time. Sharp cheddar would be nice too)
2/3rds cup breakfast sausage, cooked, drained, and crumbled (I cooked a whole package and froze the leftovers for easy sprinkling in breakfast burritos. Bacon or ham would work as well)
4 eggs
salt, pepper, garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375

Bring a stockpot of salty water to a rapid boil

Decord and deseed the peppers. Barely shave off the bottom a little so they stand well, if needed.

Place peppers in boiling water and boil 5 minutes. Remove, drain, and place in baking dish.

Bring a skillet to heat on the stove. Cook hash browns per package instructions.

Remove hashbrowns to paper towel. Return pan to stove and heat.

Add veggies. Cook 4-5 minutes, until softened. Remove from heat and place on paper towel to drain. Return pan to heat.

Cook sausage or bacon until done. Drain and crumble. If using ham cubes, just heat and toast a little.

Place 1/4 of the hashbrowns in each pepper. Repeat with veggies and then meat. Top with cheese and smush down filling a little if needed.

Cook in oven for 10-15 minutes.

Pull pan out and crack an egg into each pepper. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook 15-20 more minutes, until whites of egg is cooked through, but yolk is still a bit runny if desired.

Friday, March 29, 2013


This is a nice way to serve kale or chard. It is a good way to ease into serving greens, and mixing it into mashed taters is a comforting way to do it. It has a nice flavor and is really easy! Its pretty versatile too. You can do it with kale, chard, or cabbage. You can also sub chives for the green onions. You can lighten it up by using stock instead of milk or cream, or even do half stock and half milk.



5-6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 bunch chard or kale, washed, dried well, de-stemmed, and chopped
4 tbsp butter (more for serving)
3 green onions, whites and greens diced (or 1/4 cup diced chives)
1 cup milk, cream, or chicken stock. Or any combo thereof.
Salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a stock pot of cold salty water, with 1 inch extra water over the top of the potatoes

Bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and cook until fork tender.

Drain potatoes. Return empty stock pot to stove and turn burner onto medium heat. Add butter and melt.

Add greens and cook 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly.

Add green onions or chives and cook 1 minute.

Add milk/cream/stock and stir

Add potatoes. Turn to low and mash. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm with a pat of butter on top.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Simple Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

I have been wanting to make this for a long time now. And getting a cabbage in my organic produce box this week made it finally happen. We are trying to eat lighter this month so I decided to do it with ground turkey but you could go the more traditional way and use ground beef. I have seen several recipes for this, but they seemed like a ton of ingredients which I wasn't in the mood for at the time, especially for my first attempt. So I modeled mine off a more simple recipe and it turned out well!

Simple Stuffed Cabbage Rolls


1 head of cabbage

1 lb ground turkey (or beef)
1 onion, diced
2 cups cooked rice
1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

28oz can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup chicken or beef stock
1 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp sour cream

Preheat to 375

Heat a large stock pot of salty water on high on stove until rapid boiling.

Core the cabbage and remove the loose, outer leaves if they are still on the head. Peel about 12-14 leaves off the cabbage. Remove a V shape out of the leaf to cut out a inch or two of the stem/core/tough part. Nothing too crazy though, just a little chop chop.

Once water is boiling, drop in leaves and boil 3-4 minutes. Remove, drain, and cool enough to handle.

Mix filling ingredients together with your hands until well mixed.

Place some of the filling into the leaf and wrap or roll up. If the leaf tears, use a bit of one of the smaller leaves you boiled to patch it. You should end up with 10ish rolls. Place rolls in a 9x13 pan

Mix sauce ingredients together and pour over top of the rolls. Cover with foil and bake an hour.

Dish up and top with extra sauce.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sesame Roasted Sugar Snap Peas

I had an abundance of sugar snap peas in my possession this week. Wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do with them. A bit of googling made me decide to roast them, which is pretty much our favorite way to eat most veggies. Even my almost 2 year old ate his weight in these. It lends itself to asian type foods, but others as well. With just a couple ingredients, its a nice fast and healthy side.

Sesame Roasted Sugar Snap Peas

1 lb sugar snap peas, trimmed
2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sesame seeds, white or black (optional, really)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss the snap peas in the oil and salt. Place on baking sheet and cook 10-15 minutes, until browning. Stir a couple times during cooking.

Sprinkle with seeds and serve!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower "Bread" Sticks

These are a great way to use up some cauliflower and replace some flower with some veggie goodness. My son and husband loved it as well. Probably why only a few are in the picture.

Cheesy Garlic Cauliflower "Bread" Sticks


1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets
1/2 cup mozzarella
1/2 cup parmesan 
2 eggs
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp parsley
2 tsp basil
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder

1/2 cup mozzarella
1/2 cup parmesan
1 tsp salt
2 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350

Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until small like rice or couscous.

Add into a bowl with eggs, cheese, and seasonings. Combine well.

Place either a silpat or parchment paper on a sheet pan. Place cauliflower mix on the mat in the center and smush into a thin layer. Don't go all the way to the edge. Leave a little room to spread the sticks later.

Place in oven and cook until turning golden brown. About 20 minutes I believe.

Take out of oven and turn to 450 .

Use a pizza cutter and cut into sticks. Use a butter knife to get to the edge if needed. 

Use a fork to flip the sticks and separate them a little.

Place in the oven and cook until well browned, 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the topping ingredients.

Top the sticks with the cheese mix and pop back in for another minute or two until melted

Friday, March 22, 2013

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Ragu

I was craving spaghetti with meat sauce since the rugrat hates all thing tomato sauce based. I decided to give him some leftovers so momma could have her craving. Its weigh in time for my husbands job soon, so lightened up healthier foods have been a bigger priority lately. So I decided to tweak around with it. :)

Spaghetti Squash with Turkey Ragu 


2 small-medium spaghetti squashes, cut in half and deseeded.

1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
2-3 roasted red bell peppers (from a jar)
4 basil leaves (or 1 tsp dried)
1 handful parsley (or 2 tsp dried)
1 tsp dried oregano
pinch of red pepper flake

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

1 lb ground turkey
1 onion, diced

Preheat oven to 375

Place squash face down with a 1/4 cup water on a baking sheet

Bake for about 45 minutes, until fork tender. Might need to go 10-15 minutes more. Let cool

Meanwhile, place crushed tomatoes, garlic, bell peppers, and herbs in a pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer 30 minutes.

Blend up sauce in a blender, food processor, or most easily with a stick blender. Add diced tomatoes and bring back to a simmer.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet to medium. Add a splash of oil and the onions. Cook a few minutes. Add the turkey and break up and cook until done. Drain and add to sauce. Combine well and simmer.

Once squash is cool enough, use a fork to shred and scoop out the flesh.

Dish up squash and top with sauce. Add parmesan cheese if desired. :)

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mixes, Seasonings, and Sauces from Scratch

Onion Soup Mix

2/3 cup minced onion
3 tsp parsley flakes
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp tumeric
11/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Place in a jar and shake well each use. Put 3-4 tbsp for 1 packet Onion Soup Mix. I also add 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce with the soup mix

Seasoning Salt 
(Think Lawry's)
1/2 cup salt
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp celery salt
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp onion powder
2 tbsp garlic powder
2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp thyme
2 pinches cumin
1 pinch cinnamon
1 pinch clove

Place all ingredients in a spice grinder, food processor, or magic bullet and pulse together for 30-60 seconds. This makes the salt and sugar a more fine texture and blends the flavors together.

Store in a airtight container.

Ranch Mix
4 tsp parsley flakes
4 tsp dill
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
3/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried chives

Place in a jar and shake before use.

Use 1-2 tbsp to 3/4 cup greek yogurt and 1/4 cup milk for a dip. Add more milk for a dressing

Pumpkin Pie/Apple Pie/Plain Yummy Spice Mix

This is great for pies, but I always add it to my waffles, pancakes, and french toast too. This makes a enough for a couple recipes.

3 tbsp cinnamon (I LOVE vietnamese cinnamon...YUM)
1 tbsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground clove
1/2 tsp nutmeg

Taco/Fajita Seasoning

1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup cumin
1/4 cup onion powder
1/4 cup garlic powder
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper (for a "medium" heat seasoning)

Use 3-4 tbsp for 1 packet of seasoning.

For tacos, add 1/4 cup water to drained and browned hamburger and onions plus seasoning and simmer until water is absorbed

For faijtas, at 1/2 cup chicken broth and 3-4 tbsps seasoning and simmer. I sometimes add a couple tsp paprika and a pinch of red pepper flake.

Burger/Steak Seasoning
(think Montreal Steak Seasoning)
Large batch:
1/2 cup coarse salt
2 tbsp black pepper, coarse preferred
2 tbsp dried onion
2 tbsp dried minced garlic
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried coriander

Mix in a airtight container. Sprinkle each side of meat liberally.

Chili Seasoning
Makes enough for one large batch.
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cayenne powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tsp sugar or sweetener of choice
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

My Marinara Sauce is here

Teriyaki Marinade/Sauce: 


1 cup light soy sauce1 cup water1/4 cup brown sugar2 tbsp rice vinegar2 tbsp oil3 tbsp dried minced onion3  smashed garlic cloves1 inch knob ginger, grated

Mix in a ziplock bag and soak meat in it, in the fridge, for a few hours up to overnight.

For a glaze, cut soy sauce to 1/2 cup and water to 2 tbsp. combine in a sauce pan with a tbsp of cornstarch. Whisk together and heat on medium. Simmer until thickened. Scoop out garlic before serving.

BBQ 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

There is a good amount of personal taste with sauces like this. Add more of whatever sounds good to you. I LOVE Worcestershire sauce, so I usually add more. 
You can make it into a asian BBQ sauce which is a nice change. Add soy sauce instead of worcestershire and rice vinegar instead of cider. Add a bit of grated garlic and ginger too. 
Just mix all together and simmer for 30 minutes, or just add to a crock pot if doing pulled pork/chicken or something.

Vanilla Extract

4 GOOD vanilla beans, sliced lengthwise
1 cup vodka or white rum

Place in a jar and shake. Keep in a dark place and shake 1-2x a week. Will be ready in 4 months about.

This is good for 7 YEARS. Just add a a bit of vodka every so often.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Potato Leek Soup

I love leeks. They make me happy

This soup is creamy, without any cream. Blending some of the soup thickens the base and makes it deceptively rich.

Adding the hot sauce really does add a depth of flavor. I used a yummy local sauce we found at the farmers market.

Potato Leek Soup
Adapted from Simply Recipes

3 leeks, whites and light green parts. Sliced into thick rings, separated and rinsed very well.
2 tbsp butter
salt and pepper
5 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock (or veggie)
2 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2 chunks
1/2 tsp dried thyme
pinch of oregano
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
hot sauce (tabasco or the like)

Heat the butter in a saucepan or dutch oven on medium low. Add the leeks and salt and pepper. Stir to coat in the butter. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring often. Do not let brown, just soften.

Add the broth, potatoes, thyme, and oregano. Bring to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes, or until tender.

Ladle out half of the soup into a bowl and either put into a blender or use a stick blender. Blend until smooth. Add back to the pot along with parsley and a splash or two (or more) of hot sauce.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

My sister makes these for her family all the time. I was always super intrigued but I was lucky enough to be able to try them last week when I was home visiting. Super yummy, easy, and frugal. Of course I had to make them myself. And of course, I had to tweak them to my tastes, because I just can't leave any recipe alone, lol.

You can steam or boil the sweet potatoes, but I decided to roast them since we love roasted veggies so much anyway. I think it gets the seasonings into the potatoes in the cooking process. But feel free to steam or boil and just toss with the seasonings.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas


2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
1 packet taco seasoning (or 1tbsp each of chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and onion powder)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flake
2 tbsp oil
2 cans reduced sodium black beans, lightly drained
2 small cans diced green chilis
2 green onions, greens and whites chopped
1 handful cilantro, chopped
6 oz of queso blanco or queso fresco, crumbled (could omit or sub for a shredded jack cheese)
juice of 1 small lime
12 8 inch tortillas
1 28oz can of green enchilada sauce

Toss the sweet potatoes with the seasonings and oil until well coated. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast at 400 for 25+ minutes until done. I crank it to broil for a couple minutes after to get nice and toasty

Meanwhile, combine black beans, chilis, green onions, cilantro, cheese, and lime juice.

Add cooked potatoes and toss

Spoon a little green sauce into the bottom of the pan to just lightly coat. I had to use a 9x13 and a small casserole pan. If you have a larger baking pan than a 9x13, it would be great.

Spoon into tortilla generously, roll into a tube. Place seam side down in pan. Repeat 11x.

Pour remaining sauce generously and evenly over enchiladas.

Cover with foil and bake at 375 for about an hour or until heated through and bubbling.

Goes great with cilantro lime rice or quinoa