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.

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


Directions
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.

source: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/homemade-teriyaki-sauce-no-msg-or-hfcs

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.

Ingredients

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


Directions
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


source/inspiration: http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/healthy-homemade-salad-dressing-ideas

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.

Ingredients
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

Directions

  • 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.


source: http://www.food.com/recipe/spaghetti-squash-marinara-197203

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.

Ingredients

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.


Directions

  • 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


source: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Lime-Chicken-Tacos

Any Veggie Quiche

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

Ingredients
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

Directions

  • 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.

Ingredients
Pesto
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

Pasta
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)

Directions
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.

source: http://chefprivato.blogspot.com/2011/09/living-on-food-stamp-budget-part-2-day_13.html

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.

Ingredients
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

Directions
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.


source: http://www.moneysavingmom.com/money_saving_mom/2009/06/baking-day-waffles-and-banana-bread.html

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.

Ingredients

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)


Directions

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.

source: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Alfredo-Sauce-2/detail.aspx

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. :-)

Ingredients

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


Directions
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.

source: http://onecharmingparty.com/2010/12/06/holiday-party-treats-cinnamon-almonds/

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Pumpkin Pie Pudding

Note: I took the original recipe as more of a... guideline.  Skipping all the straining makes it a quick & delicious dessert.  Yield: 3 cups of pudding (four 3/4-cup or six 1/2-cup servings).


Ingredients
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 cup roasted pumpkin purée
2 cups half and half
pinch of salt
3 large egg yolks


1-2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spices
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces 



Directions
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine all ingredients except the butter and vanilla.  Blend in portions in a blender or blend with a hand-blender until smooth.


Cook the mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbling.  As the mixture thickens, you will probably have to switch to stirring with a spoon or spatula.  Remove from heat and continue stirring for another minute or so.  Pudding will be thick but still pourable.  Stir vanilla extract and butter pieces into the hot pudding. 



Let pudding cool to warm then either divide into individual containers or leave in bowl.  Cover and refrigerate until cold.  


source: http://pinchmysalt.com/butternut-squash-pudding/

Friday, February 10, 2012

Red Beet Brownies

Note: Prepare beets by boiling and then peeling.  Puree in the food processor.  Clean any surfaces that come in contact with beet juice IMMEDIATELY!  Measure out beet puree and freeze any leftovers in 3/4 cup portions to use for later batches of this recipe.

Ingredients
3/4 cup of beet puree
4 ounces of good-quality chocolate chips
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
7 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
 

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350F.
2) Melt chocolate in microwave by microwaving for 30 seconds at a time, stiring in between. When chocolate is smooth, set aside.

3) In a small bowl, whisk flour with baking powder and salt.
4) Cream butter and sugar together, add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, until the mixture is creamy.
5) Add melted chocolate, beet puree, and flour mixture. Mix until there are no lumps.
6) Pour batter into 8 x 8 greased baking pan (or 7 x 11) and bake for 30 minutes.
7) When a toothpick comes out clean, they are done.  Let cool and cut with a plastic knife.




source:  recipe provided by my CSA.

Monday, February 6, 2012

French Onion Soup

Note:  Fair warning:  This will make your house smell like onions for DAYS!  This recipe is fancy, but inexpensive to make (especially if you make your own stock).  Serve with a slice of crusty bread in the soup, top with your favorite cheese & broil for a minute or two.  I started using seasoned croutons instead of bread which adds a nice touch.

Ingredients
3 lb onions, peeled and roughly chopped
1 Tbsp crushed garlic
4 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup Apple Cider (or Apple Juice)
2 cups stock (turkey is fabulous, but use whatever you have!)
3 cups water
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground thyme
1 tsp coarsely ground rosemary (I used my mortar & pestle; I don't like little sticks of rosemary in my soup)


Directions
1) Caramelize onions and garlic in butter over medium-low heat.  This will take about 45-60 minutes.  Keep an eye on it, stirring as necessary.  You do not want it to burn!!
2) De-glaze the pan with 2 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar.  If you need more liquid to finish de-glazing the pan, add a little water, don't use more vinegar.
3) Add apple cider, stock, water, and all off the spices.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes.  You can also dump the caramelized onions and everything else in a crockpot on low for at least 4 hours or on high for at least 2 hours.  The longer it simmers, the better the flavor will be.


Inspiration: http://www.simplebites.net/eat-well-spend-less-seasonal-soups-recipe-french-onion-soup/
http://thursdaynightsmackdown.com/2011/10/29/french-onion-soup-recipe/

Marianne's Dill Dip

Note:  Dill is my mom's absolute favorite herb & this dip is a great way to feature DILL!  This is a new favorite in our family (ps, I am not a dill lover, but I do love this dip!)  I almost feel bad calling this a recipe considering the very short directions, but the ingredients are delightfully balanced, so here it is!

Ingredients
16oz Sour cream
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp lemon juice(fresh is best)
1 Tbsp dill weed (fresh chopped or from a tube)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (or equiv.)
1 1/2 tsp fresh grated lemon peel (optional)


Directions
Mix and chill.

source: my mommy. :-)