Wednesday, December 1, 2010
This substituted our usual velveeta cheese/ritz cracker/butter recipe, circa 1984 or earlier.
While definitely more of a "whole food" and gourmet type recipe, I was a little disappointed. When I was making it the day before the roux for the cheese sauce was absolutely beautiful and amazing - I would probably just use that by itself. However, after it was baked, it tasted like it needed more cheese (it just tasted milky) and definitely less milk - It was kind of "soupy" when I served it. Also, it could use some breadcrumbs or something like that on top for a special Thanksgiving-worthy "crunch".
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Sorry I've been a blogging bum. It's time to talk about my annual Thanksgiving menu!
I pretty much do the same things every year. I say "I" instead of "we" because I tend to be a bit of a control freak about Thanksgiving and insist on doing the majority of things by myself. Don't come near my kitchen!!
However, this year we're going to ditch some of the "Americana casseroles" and kick things up a notch :) We are having 16 people over and I hope they enjoy it!
The "if it's not broken, don't fix it"/ same every year items:
25 pound butterball turkey, brined overnight ala Alton Brown and made on the grill by Dad
bread stuffing with everything delicious (no raisins... ugh)
homemade cranberry sauce
The updated recipes new to this year:
Broccoli gruyere gratin (instead of broccoli ritz cracker/velveeta casserole)
Paula Deen's sweet potato casserole (just a bit naughtier than my regular casserole) - with marshmallows, of course
Roasted Brussel sprouts with bacon and bread crumbs (instead of green bean casserole) - made by Granny
A variety of homemade rolls (instead of sister Shubert's) - made by Debbie
And for dessert:
Paula Deen's pumpkin cheesecake (instead of the Libby's pumpkin pie recipe)
Chocolate pecan tart (instead of our pecan pie and chocolate pudding pie)
Pear pie with sharp white cheddar crust (well we had to have a third pie) - made by Mom
This year we also decided to ditch the garlic mashed potatoes. They are pretty time instensive towards the end of the meal prep and I dont' think we're lacking for carbohydrates, do you?? To satisfy the hubby's garlic obsession, we will definitely be having garlic rolls.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
- Chocolate banana breakfast shakes (especially in the summer)
- Cereal with milk (bran flakes with craisins, quaker oatmeal squares, Quaker Corn bran, mmm)
- Whole wheat toast with some smart balance or organic jelly; orange juice
- Quinoa with a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar
- Very rarely or on a very special occasion (birthday, etc): Chick Fil A Chicken Biscuit or Lucky Charms (what, I'm human, I have NEEDS)
- And my recent favorite.... Ezekiel English muffins and Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter!
Weekends are for things that take longer like whole grain french toast and Oaty waffles :)
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
- 2 small winter squash (Sweet Dumpling, acorn)
- olive oil
- 1 small sweet onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped English walnuts
- handfull of fresh spinach
- about 1 cup cooked quinoa (or other whole grain like rice or couscous)
- 1/2 cup grated gruyere cheese
- Buy smaller squash. Mine were a little big so didn't have as "sweet" of a flavor. You could also use acorn, butternut, or any sweet squash
- Use quinoa that is less dry - I would suggest cooking it a few minutes less so it still has some broth. After being cooked in the oven it dried out a little (you could also solve this by topping it with foil)
- Mix in the cheese with the quinoa instead of putting it on top. I think that would really make this recipe next time :) Oh, and use MORE cheese.
Today I needed a quick lunch so I drove over to the Fresh Market and picked up a brown rice California roll from the sushi counter. The good news was, it was pretty tasty.
The bad news was the ingredient list: I have accepted the fact that most california rolls use imitation crab meat. This imitation crab meat, however, contained sorbitol (why do you need a sugar alcohol in crab meat??), as well as monosodium glutamate (MSG). MSG is listed later on in the main ingredient list, and the pickled ginger apparantly contains aspartame (Equal). What?? Let's say I won't be eating that for lunch again.
I realize that Fresh Market doesn't necessarily have the "product standards" that a store like Whole Foods does (no high fructose corn syrup, MSG, artificial sweeteners). I looked at their website and they just say that they strive for "quality foods" - ok, not a regulated term.
However, if you're going to put up the front that you're some type of health food store (which many people believe Fresh Market is), can you at least not have aspartame in your pickled ginger? MSG?? Seriously. For the price you charge, you can afford not to cut corners with cheap, unhealthy ingredients and actually use the real things.
Ok, enough bashing. I did pick up some Gruyere cheese that will be featured in a recipe later. Ingredients: milk, enzymes, rennet, salt. Now that is a real food. But it was also made in Switzerland where they generally have higher standards anyway :)
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Today I will share with you one of my favorite recipes. It is SO easy.
Get ready, because the ingredient list can be daunting:
1 15 oz can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling; just pumpkin - like Libby's)
1 box cake mix (your favorite flavor)
Ok, that's it. Seriously... no eggs, water, oil, nothing.
Preheat your oven to 400 degree and spray 12 muffin tins with non-stick spray (I prefer BakeEasy). Get a bowl and mix the pumpkin and cake mix together - the batter will be STIFF. Divide the dough among the 12 muffin tins and then bake for 15-20 minutes.
When you use a chocolate cake mix, it masks the taste of the pumpkin (also, it can be difficult to tell when they are done... monitor carefully). If you want to enjoy the pumpkiny taste pick a vanilla, spice, or my favorite... Funfetti cake mix :)
180 calories per super decadent, rich muffincupcake. With plenty of beta carotene and some fiber! You are welcome :)
Original recipe modified from:
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Start out with a big soup pot. Put in 1 can (I use low-sodium) chicken broth, and then fill up to about half way with water (mind you this is a BIG soup pot). Add in some ground pepper, a bay leaf, a sprinkle of rosemary, and some salt (I use Bragg’s Liquid Aminos*).
Bring to a boil and add about 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I put them in whole and shred them later). Cook for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop up about a handful of carrots, 1 sweet onion, and some celery. Add it in whenever you are done with the boiling chicken.
Once the 20 minutes is up, take out the chicken and shred it with forks. Add back to the soup pot with the veggies.
At this point, I like to add about 4 oz of whole wheat organic shell pasta (I use 365 brand from Whole Foods). Cook for as long as it says to on the package – around 15 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, I take a package of frozen chopped (plain) spinach and heat it up in the microwave. After the pasta is done, I add the spinach to the pot too. I think this is what really makes it special! Lastly, I add some diced baby bella mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are tender. Add some parsley. Season to taste with additional salt/Bragg’s Aminos* and pepper. You could also sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top!
I have also tried variations with adding fresh tomatoes, chopped broccoli, anything… it is always delicious!
*What is Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, you ask?
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is a wonderful lower-sodium salt replacement. It has 320mg of sodium per teaspoon versus over 2,000 for table salt. It’s made from non-GMO soybeans and tastes similar to soy sauce. You can buy it in a spray bottle (great for at the table) or in a big pour bottle. I have found it at Publix and most health food stores. More info here: http://www.bragg.com/products/la.html
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
- 1 cup water, boiling
- 2 tablespoons butter (I use olive oil)
- sprinkling of salt
- 1/4 cup honey or Agave nectar (a low glycemic sweetener - get it at a natural health food store - or COSTCO!)
- 1/2 cup oats, old-fashioned
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 cups whole wheat flour (I like King Arthur flour)
- 2 teaspoons yeast, sprinkled over flour