Monday, December 28, 2009

Pressure Cooker Chicken

I got a pressure cooker for Christmas - I had never even heard of one before! Of course I was eager to try this new toy. The recipe we used is from Toula Patsalis's The Pressure Cooker Cookbook by way of Recipezaar (here's the link to the original).

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large white onion - I didn't have one but I would use it next time
3 garlic cloves - I used 4 scoops minced garlic
4 skinless breast halves - I used chicken tenders
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
3 cups chicken broth
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp fennel - I eliminated
1 bay leaf - The grocery store didn't have, so I had to eliminate this.
16 oz. egg noodles - My 6 oz. pressure cooker couldn't fit this many, so I used only 8 oz in the pressure cooker. and cooked the rest separately.
1/2 cup fontinella cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese


Heat oil in pressure cooker. Saute chicken, garlic, onions and peppers for about 3 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients (broth, tomato sauce, lemon juice, brown sugar, salt, pepper, herbs). Add noodles. Secure the lid on the pressure cooker and heat to high pressure (check your cooker's directions - mine has a "rocker" on top that starts to rock at high speed once the pressure is high). Reduce heat to maintain pressure and heat for 10 minutes. Check cooker's directions for how to reduce the pressure (ours included a valve that we could release pressure over time). Mix cheeses and serve with noodles and chicken mixture.

Sausage Egg Casserole


8 slices of bread with crusts cut off
1 lb ground sausage, cooked and drained
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs
Dash pepper
1 tsp salt
2 c milk

Note: Must be chilled overnight

Place bread in the bottom of a greased 9"x13" casserole dish. Place bread on the bottom as the crust. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top, then sausage. Milk the rest of the ingredients together and pour into the casserole. Chill overnight. Then, bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Cheesy Potato Casserole


1 bag hashbrowns
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 bag shredded cheddar cheese
1 stick softened butter
1/2 onion chopped
2 c corn flakes
2 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients except corn flakes and melted butter. Pour into a 9"x13" casserole dish. Top with cornflakes and drizzle melted butter on top. Cover with aluminum foil for 35 to 45 minutes or until bubbly.



Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Beth's Lemon Pepper Fried Shrimp with Tartar Sauce

1 lb fresh shrimp
1 lemon
1 tsp pepper
3/4 c soy flour
1/2 c vegetable oil

1 tbsp sweet relish
3 tbsp mayonnaise

Marinate shrimp with lemon and pepper overnight. When ready to cook, heat oil in a saute pan on medium high. Coat each shrimp in soy flour. Fry, flipping every few minutes, for about 10-12 minutes or until dark golden brown. Serve with "tartar sauce" of sweet relish and mayo mixed together. YUM!

"I have no idea how "low carb" this is so I didn't label as that, but I know its a lot better than most of those frozen prebattered shrimps or fish in boxes at the grocery store. I coated the shrimp very lightly. I didn't have the energy to figure out the carb content though. All I know is that it was totally tasty!!!!"

Beth's Blackberry Brie Chicken

8 chicken tenderloins (smaller strips, not breasts)
1/2 bag frozen unsweetened blackberries, thawed
1.5 c Marsala wine
1 round brie
3 sprigs mint
salt and pepper
1/4 olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place tenderloins in a casserole dish. Season with salt and pepper. Add oil and 1/2 cup wine to bottom of the casserole dish. Cook for 20 minutes. Place 1/2 bag of thawed blackberries and mint into food processor or blender; blend until smooth (or as smooth as you can get). Put blackberry mix and wine into a small saucepan. Heat on medium low for 15 minutes or less. (Do not overheat - it will boil and spit staining berry juice all over the kitchen - don't ask me how I know this). Cut rind off the brie and slice as well as you can into thin strips. When chicken is done, place cheese slices on chicken and cook for five more minutes or until cheese is melted. Total cook time should be 30-35 minutes. Serve chicken and cheese, and pour small amount of berry wine sauce on top. Decorate with a sprig of mint.

"This is a surprisingly light dish. I had a brie left over from a party when I made that cranberry brie dip. I found a bag of frozen berries in the freezer and wondered what those two might taste like on chicken. I was pretty surprised. I need to call subtitle this blog "Beth's Experimental Recipes". LOL. I might try the sauce over beef for a more hearty taste."

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Slow Cooker Indian Curry

This recipe is from Make it Fast, Cook it Slow by Stephanie O'Dea. This book is great because all the recipes are online at Stephanie's Web site, So if you check it out from the library, you can just write down the recipes you want to try and then go online to refresh your memory. This recipe was actually given to Stephanie by Rachael Ray, and then I modified it myself to fit my needs.

4-6 frozen chicken breasts (Stephanie's recipe uses thighs)
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1-inc piece fresh ginger (I eliminated)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 14-oz can coconut milk
1/2 tsp Tabasco (I eliminated, but might use next time)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 can garbanzo beans (I eliminated, not a big bean person)
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 an eggplant, chopped (I eliminated)
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped

Stephanie's recipe calls for a 6-quart slow cooker. I'm actually not sure what size mine is, but I think it's smaller than that. Combine spices, ginger, garlic, coconut milk, Tabasco sauce, and tomato paste in the bottom of your slow cooker. Add the chicken and make sure it's entirely coated with sauce. Pour in the beans, if using, then add the vegetables. Cook on low for 7 to 9 hours or high for 4 to 6. Serve with rice. I found mine was done in about 4 hours - cooked it for a total of 4 1/2 while waiting for the rice to cook. This is a very richly flavored but not spicy dish. My husband wanted it to be spicier, so next time I might add the Tabasco and maybe some more cumin--but I enjoyed it just as it was. Makes a lot of leftovers, too. We should be enjoying this for a few more days.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Sauteed Garlic and Lime Tilapia - Low Carb


3 tilapia fillets
1/4 vegetable oil (or more if needed)
1-2 tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp sun dried tomato and basil Delallo dipping spices (optional)
1/4 c lime juice
2 tbsp butter

Heat oil in a saute pan on medium heat. Add minced garlic and brown lightly. Add fillets and cook on one side for about five minutes on medium high heat. Turn over, brush fillets with butter, and sprinkle seasoning over fillets. Cook until the fillets get a little flaky (check with a fork). Turn over, sprinkle a little more seasoning and brush with butter. Turn down heat and add lime juice. It will start to steam because of the heat. Cook for a few more minutes and serve.

"The lime and crunchy garlic bits are so tasty on this light white fish. I was surprised at the combination. I just like garlic on protein but I know that fish tastes good with a little acidity, and I didn't have any lemon. I definitely could eat this at least once a week!"

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Low Carb Pumpkin Mousse

1 sm can pumpkin (not pie filling)
1 container whipped topping
1 cup Splenda
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Mix all ingredients until fluffly. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. "One slice of pumpkin pie has a whopping 40 carbs, which is way over the limit for those on a low carb diet. So, I created a low carb version that is just as tasty, with no cooking needed! Half a cup of canned pumpkin has 6.5 grams of effective carbohydrate and 3.5 grams of fiber. Whipped topping only has 2 carbs per serving and Splenda has none. So, enjoy this holiday treat guilt free! Serving size is about 3/4 cup."

Friday, December 04, 2009

Twisted Taco Bake

This is my variation on a recipe from Taste of Home's Freezer Pleasers, a new book the library recently acquired. I rarely have time to make casseroles ahead--and I didn't with this recipe--but it's nice to know this recipe can be frozen for later use. I really enjoyed this twist on the standard taco.

1 lb. ground turkey (lean or extra lean)
1 small bag Mexican cheese (2 cups)
8 oz. sour cream (reduced fat if desired)
1 bag frozen peppers and onions or fresh chopped vegetables if desired
1 box rotini spiral pasta (whole grain if desired)
1 jar plain spaghetti sauce (about 16 oz)
1 envelope taco seasoning

Cook turkey until no longer pink. Drain fat; add taco seasoning and 1/2 cup water. While that is working, cook noodles. When water has cooked off turkey, add peppers and onions and cook through. Add sour cream to noodles and stir. Preheat oven to 325 degrees; grease a 9x13 baking pan. Add noodle mixture to bottom of pan; cover with a layer of cheese. Cover with meat mixture and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. If desired, remove at 25 minutes and add an additional layer of cheese.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Chicken Tikka Masala


2 lb chicken, boiled and cut into bite size pieces
1 pkg Tikka Masala mix (easy to find at the grocery store)
1/2 onion slivered
1/2 sm can of tomato sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tbsp olive oil

Pour olive oil into a large skillet. Toss in onion and brown. Add everything but the chicken. Saute for 10 minutes on medium high until the sauce becomes nice and thick. Add chicken and saute for another 10 minutes or so until the chicken is browned.

"I boiled the chicken ahead of time so it was cooked, so I just needed a little crisp on the outside.
This was a pretty easy recipe. I altered what was on the back of the package I bought because I was missing a few ingredients and needed to substitute others, but I think it turned out pretty darn tasty. I made falafal using a mix I bought at Walmart and served it all with sour cream and buttered brown rice in soy sauce with french fried onions."

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Warm Cranberry Brie

(The picture was taken after I'de already eaten some of it. So it looks a bit messier than when I first made it. Also, if the cheese is not as melty as you want it, feel free to zap it in the microwave for a minute or two.)

1 (16-ounce) round Brie
1 (16-ounce) can whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/4 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Trim rind from top of Brie, leaving a 1/3-inch border on top. Place Brie on a baking sheet. Stir together cranberry sauce and all ingredients, minus almonds; spread mixture evenly over top of Brie. Sprinkle evenly with almonds. Bake Brie at 350° for 15 minutes. Serve with baked and toasted slices of Pillsbury French Bread or store-bought loaf (tastes better warm).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Shaped Cookies

2 rolls Pillsbury refrigerated peanut butter cookies
2 eggs
1 c flour
2 sm containers of orange sugar crystals

Pretzel sticks, broken in half

350F oven, spray cookie sheets with cooking spray
. In a medium bowl, stir cookie dough, eggs and flour until well mixed. Pour sugar crystals into a small bowl. Shape dough into 1 inch balls; roll in sugar crystals. Insert 1 pretzel piece into each ball for stem. Using a toothpick or tip of a butter knife, make lines around side for pumpkin ridges. Place balls on cookie sheets. Bake 9 - 11 minutes or until just set in center when touched with fingertips. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks. Cool completely before serving.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Beth's Quick and Easy Stew

2 pkg Hormel Beef Roast
1/2 onion
1 can sliced carrots
1 sm bag russet potatoes
1/2 c flour
2 c water
1 pkg stew seasoning

Cook both packages of beef roast as directed (4 min in microwave). Slice onion. Cut potatoes into small bite sized pieces. Boil the potatoes until tender (check with a fork). Add onion, cooked potato, carrots, seasoning, beef and juices, flour, and water into a large pot. Cook on medium-low for 15-20 minutes or until sauce is thick and hot. Serve and enjoy! The whole meal takes less than 30 minutes!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Beth's Low Sugar High Protein Breakfast Shake

I am not a breakfast person and loath the idea of eating meat so early in the morning, even though I know it will give me energy and stave off hunger for the first part of the day. Cereal, toast, or other "breakfasty" type products never last me until lunch, so I whipped up this recipe as a tasty, quick breakfast treat that is loaded with all the good protein, without all the carbs and sugar.

1 scoop Jillian Michaels (Biggest Loser) Whey Protein Powder (triple chocolate, available at Wal-mart)
2 sm scoops Breyers Low Carb Vanilla Ice Cream
1.5 c skim milk or soy milk
1 heaping tbs of Smucker Natural Creamy Peanut Butter

Put all of this in a blender or food processor and blend thoroughly. Drink and enjoy!

More milk or soy makes it more watery, less makes it more like a thick milkshake - YUM!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Beth's Tomato Chicken-Chile Stromboli

1 Pillsbury french bread loaf
1 lg chicken breast, cut into small pieces
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp lime
2 Roma tomatoes; 1 diced, 1 thinly sliced
1 can diced green chilies
1 sm container chive and onion cream cheese
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook chicken in a little olive oil in a skillet. Toss in brown sugar, diced tomato, and lime juice when almost done. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Mix cooked chicken and tomato mixture with cream cheese and chilies in a bowl.

Grease large cookie sheet. With lightly floured hands, gently unroll french bread dough. Scoop mixture into the middle of flat dough, about 1 in from the edge. Fold edges of the bread dough up, pinching them together very well. Pinch ends together and tuck under. Brush top of the bread dough with egg. Lay sliced tomatoes on top.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Beth's Carmel Apple Tarts or "Alien Pods"

3 pkg premade pie crust
4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored, diced small
1 egg white
1 c sugar
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pkg caramel pieces
3 tbs butter
1 tbs milk
Powdered sugar glaze:
1 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix diced apple, egg white, all sugar, cinnamon together in a bowl. In a small saucepan, add caramels, butter, and milk. Stir constantly on medium low until melted (be careful not to boil). Add warm caramel to apple mixture.

Unroll pie crusts. Take a small lid or plate, approximately 5-6 in in diameter, and use to cut small circles out of the dough. Roll remaining dough until very thin, 2 centimeters thick, and cut more circles with butter knife. Place circles in small muffin pan and press down to the bottom. Add apple mixture to each muffin space, careful not to overfill. Take edges of pie crust and twist up. Bake for 35 minutes, checking to see when pie crust is just golden brown.

Make sugar glaze and brush over the tops when cooled.

"I created this recipe in a failed attempt to make caramel apple empanadas. My husband thought they looked like the alien pods in the movie "Alien", since some of the tarts looked like they burst open revealing green oozy stuff inside. Not too appealing, but very tasty and a great treat for Halloween! I made them for a family get together and we barely had any left."

Chicken Fajitas

2 chicken breasts
1 tbs lime juice
2 tbs Worchester sauce
1.5 tbs brown sugar
1 green pepper, thin strips sliced
1/2 onion, thin strips sliced
Vegetable oil to cook
Sour cream and salsa optional.

Heat skilllet on medium high, add oil. Cut chicken into small strips using poultry scissors. Fry chicken in skillet, adding lime juice, salt, and Wochester sauce. Fry on meduim low, green pepper and onion in a seperate skillet until soft and slightly browned. When the chicken is almost done, add brown sugar, frying until slightly golden brown.

Serve with warm tortillas (30 seconds on a plate in microwave). Sour cream and salsa optional. Enjoy!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Tortilla Lasagna

This recipe is from Taste of Home, the Simple and Delicious imprint, Feb. 2008 issue. As usual, I made some changes.

1 lb ground beef - You could make it with turkey to make this lighter.
1 cup water
1 envelope taco seasoning
1/2 tsp garlic powder
12 oz sour cream - We used light.
1 1/2 tsp chili powder
2 cups shredded Mexican cheese - We used reduced-fat
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 tbsp cornmeal
10 flour tortillas (6 in.) - We used multi-grain
1 jar salsa - We used 16 oz. jar - Original recipe calls for 8 oz. but we felt like we needed more.
1 small onion

Cook beef until no longer pink. Add water, taco seasoning, and garlic powder. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sour cream and chili powder. In a large bowl, combine cheeses. Sprinkle cornmeal into 9 x 13 baking dish. Layer tortillas in the bottom; cover with 1/2 of the salsa. Cover with sour cream mixture and meat mixture. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 40 minutes--let stand before serving. Tasty!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Stuffed Crescent Cordon Bleu


2 pkg Pillsbury crescent dinner rolls
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1 tbs butter
2 cooked, chunked chicken breasts
2 slices ham, diced
2 green onions chopped
2 tbs italian bread crumbs
1 tbs butter, melted
salt, pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Blend cream cheese, butter, and green onion. Mix in cooked chicken and ham. Grease a large cookie sheet. Unfold crescent rolls and press edges of two rolls together to make a large rectangle (4 per package). Scoop 1/2 cup of mixture in the middle of the rectangle. Gather up the edges towards the top and twist, pinching any openings together. Brush a little melted butter on the tops. Then, sprinkle bread crumbs on top. Bake for 25 minutes. Delicious!!!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Nutty Asian Chicken

This was originally a Robin Miller recipe. I changed it a little (mostly with the addition of vegetables). It turned out really well--very easy and tasty. Serves 4, or 2 with leftovers.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, defrosted and sliced
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 can chicken broth
2 tbsp soy sauce
Several dashes dried sesame
1 pkg egg noodles (or rice if desired)
3 arms celery, chopped
3 med. green onions, chopped
1 pkg cashews or mixed nuts

Mix peanut butter, chicken broth, soy sauce and sesame and bring to a soft boil. Add chicken and turn down heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until fully cooked. Add nuts and vegetables and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. Prepare rice or noodles according to package directions and serve with chicken mixture.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Springy Cheesy Chicken

My husband came up with the name of this recipe - we got it out of an American Heart Association healthy cooking book. It was two dishes named differently, but of course, we changed it to our liking, so it's ours under this name now! The "if desired" ingredients were included in the recipe, but we did not use them.

For pasta:
1 box rotini or penne - We used whole wheat
1 bell pepper (green or yellow)
2 arms celery
1 bunch broccoli, chopped - if desired
Grape tomatoes - if desired
1 medium green onion
3 tbsp fat free sour cream
2 tbsp Parmesan
2 tbsp light mayo
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

For chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, defrosted
1 80z container cream cheese - we used Garden Vegetable - low fat if desired
Grape tomatoes - if desired
2 medium green onions - if desired

Boil pasta noodles according to package directions. Chop all vegetables and set aside. Mix the remainder of the ingredients for the pasta (sour cream, parmesan, mayo, mustard) in a separate bowl. Meanwhile, cut a small pocket in each chicken breast by running sharp knife up the side. Chop grape tomatoes and onions and mix with cream cheese. Stuff this mixture into each chicken pocket and fasten with toothpicks. Cook in grill pan on stove top, 4 mins uncovered, turning chicken as necessary. Cover and cook another 5 minutes or until fully cooked. Remove toothpicks. When pasta is done, toss with vegetables and parmesan dressing. Serve together.

I loved this and will definitely make it again!

Baked Taco Ring

(Cari submitted this recipe earlier, but I made a small adjustment and added pictures)

2 pkg crescent rolls
1lb ground beef
1 pkt taco seasoning
2 c shredded cheddar cheese (plus a little extra)
1 sm can green chilies
1/4 water

Garnishes and toppings:
Sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown ground beef, drain. Put back in skillet, add 1/4 c water, taco seasoning, chilies, and cheese.

Arrange crescent rolls on a pizza sheet or stone in a ring, with large parts together.

Scoop filling onto large part of crescent ring.

Fold ends of crescent rolls over mixture, creating a ring with spaces in between. Put a little shredded cheddar on top.

Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. I put salsa in a little round dish and placed in the center, and put some shredded lettuce around for a garnish. YUM!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shepard's Pie (with special Mashed Potato Recipe)


Mashed Potatoes -
6 medium sized potatoes
1/2 stick butter
2/3 c milk (or thereabouts)
3/4 c sour cream
Dash of salt and pepper

Other ingredients

1 lb hamburger, cooked and drained
1 pkg frozen mixed veggies
3/4 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 pk brown gravy mix

To make mashed potatoes: Peel potatoes and cut into 1-inch chunks and boil until tender to a fork. Add all ingredients and blend well, until fluffy. (I play with ingredients until I get the right consistency). Season to taste.

To make Shepard's Pie - Make gravy as per directions. Place hamburger in the bottom of a large casserole dish, top with gravy, then mixed veggies. Spoon mashed potatoes on top and coat well. Cover in cheddar cheese. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.


Sunday, July 05, 2009

Voodoo Chicken

I modified this recipe from Robin Rescues Dinner, the new book by Food Network star Robin Miller. There are a lot of recipes I want to try in the book, so watch for some more from her!

For the chicken:
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tsp Creole seasoning

For the potatoes:
2-4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp ground cumin (I used chili powder)
2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

For the onions:
1 med red onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup rum - Alternately 1/2 cup pineapple juice & 1/8 tsp. almond extract - I used pineapple juice & vanilla extract
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Get out two baking dishes, one for the potatoes and one for the chicken. Spray both with cooking spray. Toss the potatoes with the ingredients listed; sprinkle the ingredients listed over the top of the chicken. Put both in the oven for 25 minutes. While those are baking, saute the onions with the ingredients listed. Serve everything together.

My husband and I really liked this, but we found that it was more time-consuming than it looked, and it was quite spicy. We will probably make these dishes separately in the future, not all three together as Miller suggests. (It is convenient that they can both be in the oven at the same time.) Also in the picture is a pineapple smoothie I made from a packet - great complement to this spicy dinner.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Turkey Lasagna

This is another recipe I modified from Eat Cheap but Eat Well. I debated posting it since I screwed it up the first time... but even though the noodles on top came out crispy, the rest of it was so good I thought I would post it anyway.

1 lb. ground turkey - I used the "Italian Flavored" kind
36 oz. spaghetti sauce - Whatever kind you want, but make sure to use that much. You might need 2 cans.
14 oz. ricotta (1 container) - I used the low-fat kind
8 oz. shredded mozzarella (1 cup) - I used part-skim
1/2 cup Parmesan
2 eggs
Dried parsley, salt & pepper
9 lasagna noodles

Preheat oven to 350. Cook the turkey in a skillet and add spaghetti sauce. Turn down heat and simmer for 10 min. While that is cooking, in medium-size bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella, Parmesan, eggs, and a dash each of parsley, salt and pepper. In a 9 by 13 pan, layer uncooked noodles, sauce, and ricotta mixture. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 45 minutes.

To make this more successful next time, I plan to cover the noodles on top with sauce, make sure I get the right amount of sauce to start with, and use the "no cook" lasagna noodles!

Sunday, June 07, 2009

West Indian Curry

This recipe is modified from a recipe in Charles Mattocks's new cookbook, Eat Cheap but Eat Well. This came out pretty well--recommended if you like mild curry with just a hint of spice. Serves two.

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 tbsp Creole seasoning
2 tbsp ginger/sesame seasoning
2 tbsp curry
Dash extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 chicken bouillon cube
2 cups jasmine rice

Chop the chicken into 2-inch cubes. Mix uncooked chicken with garlic, Creole seasoning, and ginger seasoning, and set aside. Chop and add onion while oil is heating on skillet, then add chicken and onion mixture to skillet. Add 2/3 cup water and curry powder and saute until chicken is fully cooked. While the chicken is sauteing, begin cooking the rice as directed on package. Finally, add coconut milk, bouillon cube, and brown sugar to the mixture, turn temperature to low, and simmer for 10 minutes. When sauce has thickened and rice is done, serve together.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Taco Ring

This is a Pampered Chef recipe that I vaguely remembered from a party my mom had when I was in high school. I decided to recreate it from my memory and from various recipe sites I looked at. One of the reasons I believe the company sells this recipe is because they have a great baking stone you can use to make this (which I have) but you can use any sort of baking sheet.

2 packages reduced fat crescent rolls
1 lb. ground turkey - You need only 1/2 lb. of meat, but I bought the lb. and had extra left over.
1 package taco seasoning
Sliced green pepper - about 1/2 cup - I used the frozen kind
Chopped onions - about 1/4 cup
Mexican cheese - about 1/2 cup or more if desired

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brown the turkey, add taco seasoning, and chop the green peppers and onions--unless using frozen kind--then you can just heat them in a skillet. While that is going, unroll one package crescent roll dough out on your baking sheet or pizza stone. Form it in a ring shape. When the turkey is done, spoon it out onto the ring-shaped dough, and top with veggies and cheese. Unroll the second package of crescent roll dough on top of the other ingredients, and fold around so that they are covered. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the roll dough is brown.

I made two rings, one with Nacho Taco cheese and one with regular Mexican cheese. Both were very tasty--you can top with lettuce and sour cream if you like as well. There are also versions with pizza ingredients and chicken ingredients. We will be having this again!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sauteed Shrimp with Hibachi Shrimp Sauce

1/2 lb cooked shrimp
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs lemon juice

Shrimp sauce:
1 cup Mayonnaise
2 tsp Sugar (taste the mix if not sweet enough add more sugar and mix again)
2 tbs Ketchup
1/2 tsp Paprika
Dash Garlic salt
1 tsp Lemon Juice

Heat saute pan on medium high and add olive oil. Saute shrimp for about 8-10 minutes, turning. Add lemon juice and saute another few minutes. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and serve together. Delicious!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Oreo Cheesecake

I first ran across this recipe on while looking for a dessert to bring to a friend's. However, the version I found called for a springform pan, and I don't have one. As it turns out, I also didn't have an electric mixer, so I had to go out and buy one of those! So this is the version I used, with a pre-made crust I bought.

2 packages cream cheese
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
Pre-made Oreo crust
12 Oreos

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Use electric mixer to mix the first three ingredients. When fully mixed, add the eggs. If you can, crush the Oreos in a food processor before you put them in, but you can also mix them in using the electric mixer (we don't have a food processor). Pour entire mixture into pre-made crust and pat down. Bake for 40 minutes or until cooked through. Refrigerate for 3 hours, then serve.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Rosmary and Garlic Meatballs with Spaghetti Squash

Low carb recipe

1lb ground beef (or turkey)
1 egg
1/2 c Parmesan cheese
2 tbs Rosa Maria rosemary and garlic dipping spice (or garlic, rosemary, salt, and parsley)
1 spaghetti squash
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used Market District Tomato and Basil - low in carbs and sugar)

To prepare spaghetti squash (how I did it) - boil water in a large pot. Poke holes with a fork in squash and set in boiling water for 30 minutes, turning if not fully submerged. When outside is tender, take out and cool until able to be touched. Cut in half and scoop out insides with fork (this is seriously messy work, but reminiscent of carving a pumpkin). Make sure to remove seeds.

To make meatballs - Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix together meat, egg, cheese, and spices. Roll into 1 in. balls and place on a nonstick baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes (this can be done while squash is boiling). Put spaghetti sauce and cooked meatballs into a pot on medium low.

Meal takes about 40 minutes to prepare and serve. It is healthy, low in carbs and sugar. The only downside for you pasta lovers is that truthfully, spaghetti squash does not resemble al dente pasta. It is a vegetable and therefore has a tiny bit of a crunch to it, but with the meatballs and sauce, it seems more decadent than it really is. So, if you are trying to eat healthier, this is one to try.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Chicken and Sauteed Zucchini in Orange Sauce

I am finally cooking again, and zucchini is my favorite new side dish!

EVOO - Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast
2 tsp Mrs. Dash seasoning
1 lg zucchini
1 sm orange

Wash and cut zucchini into 1/2 in slices. Cut chicken into large strips or chunks to save on cooking time. Coat the bottom of a saute pan with EVOO. Heat on medium high. Place chicken into pan and shake Mrs. Dash seasoning over top. Turn chicken over repeatedly and coat all side with seasoning. Cook until done, about 10-15 minutes. Put on a plate and cover.

Add a little more EVOO to the pan as needed, and add zucchini. Cook, turning zucchini over, for about 3-4 minutes. Cut orange in half and squeeze juice into pan over zucchini. Continue cooking for another couple minutes, careful not to overcook.

Serve and enjoy. I made this as a test and it was fresh and light, but very filling! The orange gave the zucchini a little fruity taste, though I may try to add a little lemon or lime next time. My very own recipe. Stay tuned for my Fried Zucchini Bites.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Beef Strips and Vegetable Fried Rice

2 cups minute rice, cooked and cooled
1 egg
1/2 c chopped green pepper
1/4 chopped onion
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 pkg beef stir fry strips, cooked
2 tbs soy sauce
Dash garlic powder

Cook beef strips in a little soy sauce. Cook white rice and cool completely. Heat sesame oil and vegetable oil in large skillet. Add onion and pepper, saute for a few minutes. Add egg and scramble thoroughly. Add cooled rice and mix well together, saute for 5 minutes. Add soy sauce, garlic powder. Voila!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Beth's Mock Greek Pitas

Ingredients (makes 4)

1 pkg flatbread or pita
1/2 lrg package Steak Ums
3 roma tomatoes, sliced
1/2 bag romaine lettuce
1/2 container feta cheese
1/4 onion, sliced into thin strips

3/4 c sour cream
1/2 c plain yogurt
1 tsp lemon juice
couple dashes of garlic powder
dash salt and pepper

Saute steak-ums in a large skillet, add a little salt and pepper or favorite spice to season. Set aside. Mix all the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Warm pita in the microwave for 20 seconds. Serve warm pitas and fill with steak-ums, tomatoes, lettuce, feta, and yogurt sauce. YUM!

Monday, February 09, 2009

Enchilada Soup

Another one I modified from the Sandra Lee cookbook. I've never made soup before, and I was surprised by how easy and filling this was. Serves about 4 (husband and I had leftovers).

Extra-virgin olive oil - Using Sandra Lee's Food Network pal Rachael Ray's term, EVOO!
1 lb. ground chicken or turkey
Chopped onion - enough to fill bottom of a large pan
2 cans chicken broth (4 cups)
1 medium can queso cheese dip - the kind you dip with nachos
1/2 packet enchilada seasoning
1 can Mexican tomato puree with chilies
1 tsp. crushed garlic
Sprinkling of fresh cilantro - You're supposed to add this, but we didn't have any.

Using a large pot, cook chicken/turkey with onion and EVOO. When meat is no longer pink, add broth, queso, enchilada seasoning, tomato puree, and garlic. Bring soup mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add cilantro. Serve with tortilla chips--I used multigrain chips. This would be easy to make meatless as well, and probably even quicker.

Stuffed Chili Cheeseburgers

The title of this recipe is deceiving since there's actually no chili involved. I got it from the Sandra Lee Fast-Fix Family Favorites cookbook--it's modified a little (as usual) for my family's needs.

1 lb. turkey or lean ground beef
1/2 packet chili seasoning (not chili powder - chili seasoning can be found with taco seasoning)
Finely chopped onion - about a 1/4 cup
Colby Jack cheese slices

Mix onion, chili seasoning, and meat. Fashion into two large, thin patties. Fold Colby Jack cheese slice in half, and place in the center of patty. Fold patty over top of itself so it makes one large burger. You can grill these on the grill--we used the George Foreman grill because it's cold outside! Top with lettuce and serve on buns. We served with frozen seasoned fries. Very easy, quick and tasty - serves 2 - but you can make the recipe larger or smaller as necessary.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Pigs in a Blanket

"This was one of my favorites as a kid."

1 pkg Pillsbury crescent rolls
1 pkg hot dogs
4 slices American cheese

Preheat the oven according to the roll directions. Take a knife and cut down the middle of each hot dog being careful not to cut all the way through. Cut each slice of American cheese in half and place the cheese in the center of each hot dog. Roll the hot dog in the crescent, wide side first. Bake cheese side up according to roll directions. Serve with your favorite hot dog side. (I like ballpark mustard!)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Cookies and Cream Dessert

1 pkg (1lb 2oz) Oreo cookies
1/3 c butter, softened
2 small boxes instant vanilla pudding
3 cups milk
8oz pkg cream cheese, softened
12oz cool whip

Crush all but 12 cookies into fine crumbs. Mix with butter and pat into 9 x 13 pan. Mix pudding, milk, cream cheese, and cool whip and beat a few minutes until smooth. Pour over crust. Crush remaining twelve cookies and sprinkle over top. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.