Friday, August 19, 2011

where have i been???

i have not been on vacation or doing anything truly constructive. i have not been relaxing either. i have not been eating pie. i have been on "detox"

sooooo while i WAS cooking many things that i hadn't cooked before- i was also not too terribly excited about any of it. i will admit some of it was VERY good and we will be incorporating meatless monday from now on-- i have a stash of recipes (sorta) built-in so i will post as we go.

all along we couldn't have dairy, grains, sugar, prepared foods, etc. except for 1/2 cup brown rice per day or 1 cup lentils. the first half was also devoid of ALL meat/fish but we could add chicken and fish for the second half.

it. was. hard.

but it looks pleasant enough :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

since i don't actually 'know' the muffin man

They are the perfect portable snack. They are diverse and can be very good for you if you pick the right recipe. They are also super quick and easy but still beautiful. MUFFINS!
(and the perfect use for the leftover crumble topping from the mango crisp recipe found here)
And yes, those "might" be fall themed muffin wrappers- that's all I had :)

Apple Cinnamon Streusel Muffins
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1/2 cup unbleached wheat flour
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup veg oil
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
leftover crumble topping (12 tablespoons would be PLENTY)

*mix wet ingredients (besides crumble topping)
*mix dry ingredients (besides crumble topping)
*mix wet and dry together :) just until combined
*pour into lined muffin cups and sprinkle about a tablespoon of crumble over each
*bake in preheated oven on 375 degrees for 20(ish) minutes

*Note- these got just a little dry but were fine with butter. i find that sometimes this happens with whole wheat flour, but you can try watching for doneness and pulling them out a minute or two sooner

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Weekend Breakfast Kick Off

Today does not feel like a Saturday. Even though I worked two days this week, we have sorta been in staycation mode. We've been to the Botanical Gardens, the petting zoo, the park, and so on and it has been wonderful! Today brings an early afternoon Birthday party so we need to get a move on and these are some easy easy breakfast sandwiches. A few weeks back I made some chicken fried steak with country gravy and froze the leftover gravy just for this purpose.

Biscuits- make your own if you have time but these were the store bought in a tube and baked at home style

Eggs- I scrambled them up and then coked them omelette style to cut into the sizes needed to top the biscuits

Turkey sausage- self explanatory :)

Leftover country gravy

Get on it and start your weekend!! Enjoy

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Leftover Makeover: Toddler Meals

Often when I have bits of good things here and there, I will use them for food for my 1 year old, A. Here are two super easy and nutritious meals that use almost all leftovers. Not really great recipe format- more like some ideas....

Scrambled Lentils
I have mentioned before that I add cottage cheese to my scrambled eggs to up the protein factor, but they are the perfect vehicle for lots of things. Steamed, mashed broccoli, asparagus, spinach, obviously cheeses and meats. A loooooves scrambled eggs and eats them about once a day. Yesterday I added about a quarter cup of cooked lentils to four eggs scrambled with a splash of whole milk and a heaping tablespoon of cottage cheese. She gobbled them right down (well about a third anyway- she had some more today and even I had some with some sour cream and a piece of crumbled bacon for breakfast). Lentils are a great food to cook in advance and freeze in ice cube trays- they can be added to pasta dishes, soups, stir-fry, etc. We love them.

Kiddie Carbonara
So this is not real carbonara (not even close) but it has peas and pasta in it, so we'll go with that. Earlier this week I had quite a bit of leftover orzo pasta from a side dish. I specifically set aside some without sauce for use later. To about a cup or cup and a half of whole wheat orzo, I added a quarter cup of leftover peas (w/ a tiny bit of butter). The I shredded up some leftover ham and tossed in just a bit of shredded cheddar cheese and let it all melt together. She and my 4 year old, N ate all of it. Good whole food.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Our Favorite Lasagna

Who doesn't like lasagna? Cheesy goodness baked  into marinara and pasta- you can't lose. It is probably my husband's favorite and I realized that I hadn't made any for awhile so yesterday I made one- I have made it this way for years and will say that it is the best lasagna ever! Obviously you can make your own sauce or use a jar- this time I used Bertolli Tomato and Basil that I jazzed up with onions, fresh mushrooms, fresh basil and extra garlic. It was a regular sized jar along with 1 lb of very lean ground beef. I usually use ground turkey but my husband said this was the best batch I've ever made..... I think he was trying to tell me that he notices the difference between beef and turkey- what a great palate ;)

Four Cheese Deliciousness i.e. Lasagna
Meat Sauce- I would be guessing that you need about 4 cups total (or see above)
9 Lasagna noodles- prepared
1 egg
1.5 cups small curd cottage cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
6 slices provolone cheese

*Combine egg, parm and cottage cheese- this takes the place of ricotta and I will never go back
*Spray a casserole dish with non-stick spray.
*Place enough sauce to barely cover the bottom and then layer noodles, 1/2 cottage cheese mixture, provolone, noodles, sauce, 1/2 cottage cheese mixture, noodles, rest of sauce, mozarella
*Cover (spray foil with non-stick spray so the cheese doesn't stick to it later) and bake at 350 degrees for 50  minutes
*Uncover and bake 10 minutes longer
*Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

After the provolone layer

Before Baking
This is my 3 year old's thumbs up because dinner looks good. He ate EVERY LAST BITE!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Leftover Makeover: Got Fungus??

This week I combined two things that needed using: leftover sage stuffing and some breakfast sausage. Our tiny little town market has this amazing sausage but it comes in a HUGE serving that we never use so I usually freeze half. This week I forgot and it worked out perfect because Stuffed Portobello Caps were the perfect dinner for the little one and I (daddy and my little fella are at a baseball game). She kept clapping for "more more"- so cute!

Sage and Sausage Stuffed Portabellos
1 cup leftover stuffing (mine was a boxed sage mix)
3/4 cup cooked and crumbled sausage
4 portobello caps (wiped clean/stems removed)
Coarse salt
Olive oil
Parmesan and chives to top

*Mix sausage and stuffing- add a couple heaping Tbsp of chopped portobello if you have an extra mushroom
*Drizzle the caps w/ oil and sprinkle with salt before grilling gills up for 4-5 minutes
*Top w/ stuffing and warm through in oven or on grill (indirect heat)
* Sprinkle w/ parm and chives

Monday, June 20, 2011

The weekend checked out too soon- here is a weekday breakfast kickoff

This is an old stand-by for weekend breakfast. I love to serve it when we have overnight guests because it is hearty and looks like you fussed but it is really easy (even easier if you use frozen potatoes and prepared pesto). I am not sure where the original recipe came from but I have made it so many times that it has kinda taken on a new life. It is also great if you want to substitute with sausage and add some red peppers in place of the tomato. You can also add other goodies like chives, rosemary, or veggies. Experiment away- I have and it is always no-fail delicious.

Ham and Spinach Hash
4 Tbsp butter (divided)
Extra virgin olive oil
8 small red potatoes (washed and cubed- skins are fine left on)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 med onion (chopped)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 large ham steak (chopped)- that is just deli meat in the pic but the ham steak is better
8 medium eggs
2-3 handfuls fresh baby spinach (chopped)
1 heaping Tbsp fresh basil (chopped)- or prepared pesto
1 large tomato (seeded and chopped)- or half can diced tomatoes, drained
Parmesan for topping
Salt and pepper to taste
*Cook potatoes in butter and oil with salt/pepper/granulated garlic. One tender, onion and ham and cook for 4-5 minutes longer. Remove from heat and toss with basil and spinach to wilt
*Meanwhile, cook eggs (in butter) over easy/medium- some runny yolk makes it delish.
*Top a serving of hash with two eggs and sprinkle with tomato and parmesan

Note: I did not have tomato available (see pic) and i used white potatoes- like I said, it's a versatile dish