Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Carrot Ginger Soup

Note: This is delicious and carroty!  This soup only makes about 4 main-portion sized servings (or 8 appetizer sized servings).  I have a feeling it would freeze well, so I will probably double it when I make it again.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 3" piece of fresh ginger, peeled & coarsely chopped
1/2 cup onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 pounds of carrots, evenly sliced
5 cups of stock (vegetable or poultry)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
pinch of nutmeg
Crème fraîche or sour cream (optional garnish)

1) Heat oil in the bottom of your soup pot over medium heat.  Saute ginger and onion until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
2) Add carrots, juice, and stock.  Raise heat to medium high and bring to a boil.
3) Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes or until carrots are tender.
4) Puree the soup in the pot, using an immersion blender, until smooth.
5) Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper.  Add more stock or water if soup is too thick.

Serve hot or chilled (refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving).  Top with Crème fraîche or sour cream.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Teriyaki Sauce

Note:  I love to make this sauce for stir-fry.  I skip the thickening process and either make the sauce right in the pan with the cooking chicken or pour finished sauce over all stir-fry ingredients.  Either way, it is delicious & flavorful without over-processed ingredients.


1/4 cup soy sauce (I get a low-sodium variety)
1 cup water
1-2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger or dry ground ginger
2 Tablespoons honey
1 minced garlic clove

cornstarch for thickening, if desired

Combine all ingredients (save cornstarch) in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. To thicken, dissolve 1 tbsp of cornstarch in 1/8cup cold water.  Stir into sauce.  Repeat for thicker sauce.


Ranch Dip Mix

Note: This can be extremely inexpensive to make if you buy your spices in bulk.  Sam's Club & Costco are both good choices.


5 Tablespoons dried minced onions
2 1/2  Tablespoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika

Combine the ingredients and store in an air-tight container.

To make dip: Mix 2 Tbsp of mix with 16oz of sour cream or plain greek yogurt
To make dressing: Mix 2 Tbsp of mix with 1 cup mayo & 1 cup buttermilk


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Spaghetti Squash Fake-Out Casserole

Note: I fed this to my boyfriend and he had no idea it was not pasta!  This is a great way to reduce carbs and get some extra veggies in there.  This meal has about an hour and a half prep time.

1 spaghetti squash
olive oil, for sauteing
1 clove of garlic, minced
8-16oz of marinara sauce (depending on size of squash)
5oz grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
fresh basil or 1 tbsp dried basil
black pepper, optional


  • First, you must roast your spaghetti squash.  Preheat the oven to 375.
  • Rinse your squash with cool water and remove all dirt and debris; pat dry.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the squash lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon and rub the flesh with olive oil.  Sprinkle with pepper if desired.
  • Lightly grease the bottom of a baking pan and place the squash halves face down on it.
  • Bake for 35-45 minutes (until tender).  Remove from oven and let cool until you can handle it.
  • Use a fork to remove the squash from it's rind.  The squash will have a natural "grain" and will come out in long strings if you drag a fork across the flesh.
  • Saute garlic in oil and after a few minutes, add squash.  Saute for 7-10 until heated through.
  • Place squash in a baking dish and mix in marinara sauce 1/2 cup at a time until it is incorporated, but not watery.
  • Top with cheese and basil.
  • Bake for 30 minutes at 350degF.


Lime Chicken Taco Filling

Note: For lime-lovers up the lime juice to 1/4 to 1/2 cup for a more pronounced flavor.  I like to eat this over brown rice, in nachos, or as a filling for tacos.


1-1/2 pounds of boneless chicken or 2 pounds of bone-in chicken

3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin

1 can of black beans or pinto beans, rinsed
1 1/2 cups chunky salsa

Fixings for tacos, nachos, or rice bowl.


  • Put the chicken in the bottom of a slow cooker.  
  • Whisk lime juice and spices in a small bowl and pour over chicken.  
  • Dump beans and salsa over top of the chicken.  Make sure the chicken is covered.
  • Cook on low for 5-6 hours for raw chicken or 8-9 hours for frozen chicken.  
  • Carefully remove chicken from the bottom of the slow cooker - it will be moist & might fall apart! Use a slotted spoon or two large carving forks.
  • Shred the meat and return to the slower cooker (remove bones at this time)
  • Cook for 15-30 on high to let the mixture thicken.
  • Serve as desired


Any Veggie Quiche

Note: This is delicious for any meal of the day.  It also re-heats well in the toaster oven or microwave.

1 unbaked pie shell
1/2 c Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
1/2 c Milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
8oz cheese (cheddar, swiss, mozzerella all work well)
14oz of cooked veggies (spinach, mushrooms, & onions is my favorite combo)
4oz cooked meat (ham or turkey) - optional


  • Set oven to 400degF.
  • Whisk Mayonnaise, Milk, and eggs together in a bowl.
  • Put unbaked pie shell in a pie plate and place pie plate on a cookie sheet for easy transfer into the oven.
  • Layer veggies, meat, and cheese into the pie plate. Slowly pour egg mixture over top of the veggies letting the egg get in between all the veggies.
  • Bake covered for 45 minutes.  Uncover and bake for 10-15 minutes more.
  • Remove from the oven and let set 5-10 minutes before cutting.

source: inspiration from many online recipes, but I claim this as my own!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pistachio Pesto Pasta

Note: It took me about 40 minutes to shuck (shell?) a full cup of pistachios.  I managed to only eat 2-3.  Considering how delicious this was, that was time well spent.  I will probably shell some more and set them aside in bags marked "1cup - not for snacking!" so I can make this again even more quickly.  Beautiful and delicious as well as inexpensive and healthy!  Trifecta+1!  I didn't make any modifications to the original recipe (other than forgetting the salt, oops!), but I am posting this with a few modifications that I think would make it even more marvelous.

1 C Pistachios (shelled)
1/2 a bunch of Basil or Parsley (flat leafed is better)
~4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 tsp Salt
1 clove of garlic
~ 1/4-1/2 C Pasta Water

8oz of your favorite pasta (something with ridges will help the sauce to stick 
4 C vegetables (anything you love! suggestions: cauliflower, broccoli, pea pods, peppers, green beans)
Fresh tomatoes (for garnish, optional)
Grated Parmesan (garnish, optional)

1) Put Pistachios in food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add olive oil and basil/parsley and salt.  Continue to process until finely chopped and all ingredients are incorporated.  Set aside in a bowl large enough to mix cooked pasta and vegetables.
2) Cook pasta to directions on package (you could have started this while working on the pesto, honestly).  When 2 minutes are left on the timer, add the hearty vegetables.  With 1 minute left, add any tender vegetables (peppers and pea pods, for example).*
3) Reserve about a cup of water and then drain pasta.
4) Add hot pasta water, a few tablespoons at a time, to the pesto while stirring/whisking.  I just added enough to make it a sauce instead of a paste & then a little more so it would cover all my pasta.
5) Stir pasta and vegetables into the sauce.  Server topped with fresh chopped tomatoes and cheese(both optional, but a nice touch.)

*you can also cook your veggies separate and then mix together at the end, but this was suggested in the original recipe & I thought it was a cool idea to save time/dishes.  The only issue I encountered was that some of my veggies were frozen and that brought the water temp down for longer than I would have liked.  Still turned out great, though.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Banana Bread

Note: This was delicious and moist. Next time, though, I will set the rack lower in the oven because the top got a little too done.

2 cups flour (all-purpose, whole-wheat, or a mixture of both)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or butter)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3-4 bananas, mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 Tablespoons milk

Stir together dry ingredients. Beat together remaining ingredients. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and blend until just combined. Pour into greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Three Cheese Alfredo Sauce

Note: The type of dairy you use in the recipe is entirely up to you.  The original recipe calls for heavy cream.  I used half and half.  You could use skim or 2% milk.  Whatever you use will determine the creaminess of the sauce.


1/4 cup butter
1 cup milk
1 clove garlic, crushed (or equivalent)
1/2 cup grated asiago
1/2 cup grated romano
1/2 cup grated mozzerella
(or 1 1/2 cups of any blend of italian cheeses)
1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried parsley (optional)
1/2 tsp dried basil (optional)


1) In a medium bowl, combine cheese, garlic, and any herbs. Set aside.
2) Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat.
3) Add milk.  Stir and simmer for about 5 minutes.
4) Slowly stir in cheese mixture and whisk until the cheese is melted.  Remove from heat.

This sauce will reheat well on the stove or in the microwave.  You will need to stir it and possibly add more milk so it returns to its original consistency.

 and whisk quickly, heating through. Stir in parsley and serve.


Cinnamon Sugared Almonds

Note: These cook up quick and are delicious.  Making them a few hours before a party will make your house smell delightful. :-)


1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 cup water
3 cups raw, unsalted almonds (you could also use walnuts or pecans)

1) Line a cookie sheet with wax or parchment paper.
1) In a large skillet stir together the sugar, cinnamon and water.
2) Turn the burner to medium heat, as the mixture heats up add the almonds.
3) Stir constantly, coating the almonds with the syrupy mixture.
4) Keep stirring until the sugar starts crystallizes.
5) Immediately remove from pan to the prepared cookie sheet. Let the nuts cool on the cookie sheet before serving.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container.