Saturday, December 22, 2012
Brown one pound of ground beef or venison. Once the meat is cooked, add one diced sweet onion and one diced bell pepper (I used orange). Cook until the onion is translucent, and then stir in one can of stewed tomatoes, one small can of chopped green chiles, and one bag of refrigerated hashbrowns. Spice it up with cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Add as much or as little cheese as you like (remember you can always add cheese later, when you serve it). Pour into a casserole dish, cover, and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
One of my favorite moments in life is seeing the first little pie pumpkins out at the grocery stores each fall. As always, I couldn't resist grabbing a few, and after cooking them (cut them in half, clean them out, and bake at 400 for 45 minutes, face-down on a baking sheet) and scooping out the pumpkin-y goodness, here is my first pumpkin recipe of the season...
Bring a pot of water to a boil to cook whole wheat elbow pasta while preparing the sauce. For the sauce: Heat 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil (or butter) in a separate large saucepan. Add a couple spoonfuls of flour and cook out for a minute. Stir in 2 cups chicken broth and 1 cup milk (I used almond milk). Simmer for a few minutes, then stir in 1 cup fresh or canned pumpkin and 8 oz frozen chopped spinach. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in 2 cups grated cheese (I used pecorino romano) and drained macaroni.
Top with extra cheese and serve with fresh, warm bread...
Thursday, August 30, 2012
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 2 Tablespoons olive oil and add...
1 onion, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
Cook for five minutes and then add some boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed. I only used one because we like to streeeeetttcch our meat around here, but some (aka my Dad) might like more meat.
Cook until meat is no longer pink.
Then stir in...
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk (I used almond milk)
A few generous pinches of "herbs de provence" (or thyme, savory, basil, etc.)
Bring to a boil, and then add...
2 lbs whole wheat gnocchi
A big handful of spinach leaves, torn
Bring back to a boil, and then cut it back to simmer for at least 20 minutes. After that you can serve it or let it sit up till supper, heating it back up right before serving.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat a drizzle of olive oil and then add...
1 sweet onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
Saute until tender. Add to the pot...
4 cups red potatoes, cut into small cubes
2 1/2 cups chicken broth
Bring to a boil and simmer 20 minutes. Take a potato masher and gently mash the soup. The idea is to have some "mashed" potatoes but some still left in chunks. Then stir in...
1 1/2 cups almond milk
3 T butter
2 T Mrs Dash original blend (or just season to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Bring back up to a boil, and then simmer for at least 10 minutes or until ready to eat.
It's soup-er good!
Thursday, August 9, 2012
Original recipe from here.
In a large pot, dutch oven, or crock-pot, combine the following:
2 cups cooked, shredded pork or chicken
1 onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can light red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 bag frozen corn
1 can tomato sauce
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes
Homemade taco seasoning (as follows)
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
Saturday, June 16, 2012
This is a meal that I used lots of prepped food that I did at the beginning of the week. For example, I cooked lots and lots of chickpeas and then froze them in 2-cup portions; I cooked lots of chicken, shredded it and froze it, and made chicken broth with the leftover bones and random vegetables (I keep a bag in the freezer and put the ends of carrots, pieces of onion, ends of asparagus spears, etc., in it to use when I make broth). So, that's where some of these ingredients came from.
Start with a Tablespoon of butter. Melt over medium heat and stir in 1 to 2 Tablespoons flour. Whisk in 2 cups chicken broth. Add diced carrots, green beans, and frozen corn (the kernels, not the cobs. A corn cob would not be pleasant to bite into while eating chicken pot pie).When the veggies begin to get tender, add some cooked, shredded chicken.
Meanwhile, place 2 cups chickpeas, 2-3 cloves minced garlic, a teaspoon of cumin, and some salt into the food processor. Whiz it together, adding enough chicken broth to make it creamy. Stir into the chicken and vegetable mixture. Transfer to an oven-safe dish and top with...
Mix 2 cups flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp sugar in a bowl. Cut in 3 Tablespoons of something fatty...coconut oil works GREAT and is a good alternative to butter. I have also used canola oil or any combination of oil/butter. Stir in 3/4 cups milk (I use almond milk). Knead to make it all come together.
Now you can either spoon the dough over the pie like dumplin's (What??? There's supposed to be a "g" on the end of dumplin? I don't believe you.) Or you could roll the dough out to roughly the size of your baking dish and make it like a little roof. A little biscuit roof. That sounds lovely.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30 minutes.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Go ahead. I double dog dare you.
The great thing about this meal is that you can follow the basic recipe but fill it with whatever meat and veggies that you have on hand. Here's what I did:
Cut up about 4-5 russet potatoes into chunks. Oh, I suppose you could peel them first, but that takes way too much effort for me. Cover the potatoes in water and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and return to pot; use a potato masher to...well...to mash them. Add milk to make them creamy (just start with 1/4 cup or so, and keep adding until you like the consistency). I also seasoned mine with salt, pepper, and smoked paprika.
Brown one pound of ground beef (or less works fine...this is a great meal to use a smaller amount of meat to make it stretch) in a large pot (I used a Dutch oven so I could make the whole meal in the same pot and not have to wash a casserole dish later on). Add your veggies and cook them until they start to get tender...carrots, onion, green beans, zucchini, and squash filled up our pie. Add a dash of hot sauce and a little Worcestershire for good measure. Sprinkle a couple of Tablespoons of flour into the mix and cook for one minute; then stir in a cup of beef broth. If you need to, transfer everything to a casserole, or if you are using an oven safe pot, then go ahead and top it with the mashed potatoes. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Here is my menu plan from last week...
Sweet Potato Pizza
I usually make at least 2 batches of homemade cereal per week, 1-2 loaves of bread, and some other snack type food like granola bars or muffins. For breakfast I keep oatmeal and oat bran on hand. We typically try to have 2-3 different types of fruits on hand to snack on, depending upon what is on sale, and of course veggies like carrots and cucumbers are always good to have on hand as well. For lunch we eat leftovers, sandwiches, or whatever we can find in the house :) When all is said and done, my grocery bill typically runs between $60 and $70 per week - probably closer to $70 on average because my monthly budget for food is $280. This may seem high to some and low to others, but for us $280 is doable but definitely not extravagant. My goal is to feed my family a variety of nutrients at every meal, with as little processed food as possible.
The next 5 posts are the meals from last week's plan...
Start by dicing up 2 or 3 sweet medium to large sweet potatoes. Spread on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and roast in a 425 degree oven until tender (about 20-30 minutes, stirring once).
In a bowl, pour 1 cup warm water and 2 Tablespoons of oil, and sprinkle 1 Tablespoon yeast over it. Stir to combine.
In a second bowl, mix 2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 tsp sugar, and 1 tsp salt.
Add dry ingredients to wet; mix and knead until smooth.
Roll out the dough and top with tomato sauce, italian seasoning, cheese (we use pecorino b/c of allergies but mozzarella would be fine, of course), and your roasted sweet potatoes. Bake in a 500 degree oven until crust is done and cheese is bubbly, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Trust me. We eat this pizza at least 2-3 times a month. Just try it. And enjoy!
Brown your choice of sausage/ground meat (I used a combination of venison sausage and venison burger) in a skillet and set aside. Thinly slice 2 red or orange bell peppers until tender; add sliced mushrooms, a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach, and some sliced olives to the mix and continue to cook. Add meat back into the pan and stir to combine.
Boil water and cook a box of whole wheat penne according to package directions. Drain and toss together with the meat and veggies. Top with grated parmesan or pecorino cheese.
So I made my own. And it was goooood.
For the filling:
Take 1 pound of cubed venison steak and cut into strips. Drop into an oiled cast iron skillet or dutch oven and brown; add a couple of Tablespoons of flour and then stir in some broth (enough to barely cover the meat), and a little bit of Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar. Cover and transfer to a 300 degree oven for 1 hour. When the meat is halfway done, saute a thinly sliced onion. Just before serving, add some sliced mushrooms to the pan with the onions and saute for 3-4 minutes. (I think sliced bell peppers, cooked along with the onions, would be delicious in this also.)
For the bread (recipe from here):
Mix 4 cups flour, 2 Tablespoons rapid rise yeast, 2 tsp salt, and 2 tsp sugar. Stir in 1 3/4 cup hot water and 2 tsp oil. Mix and knead until smooth; cover and let rise for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 pieces and roll out into 8 inch circles. Brush each side with a little oil and then cook, one at a time, in a heated cast iron skillet for 3-4 minutes per side.
Fill the bread with meat, onions, mushrooms, and cheese...
Cook 1 cup of brown rice according to package directions.
Peel and roughly chop one avocado. Add to the food processor, along with 1/2 jar of your favorite salsa. Blend until smooth.
Drop 3-4 thawed fillets of white fish (I used flounder) into a hot oiled skillet. As the fish cooks, flake into smaller pieces with spatula. This will take less than 5 minutes. Once the fish is done, turn the heat off and stir in the salsa mixture and the rice. Serve in warm tortillas.
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
On a baking sheet, place 2 large zucchini, chopped, and 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes. Toss with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast in oven at 425 for 25-30 minutes, until tomatoes burst.
Cook a package of whole wheat linguini according to package directions. Drain and toss with zucchini and tomatoes. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and easy homemade whole wheat bread (which comes in at around $0.50 a loaf).
BAM. I almost feel guilty, it's so simple.
This mission was almost a fail before I even left the grocery store. Why? Because the deli counter at an unnamed grocery store that rhymes with Stroger cleverly pushed their store-brand deli meats to an inconspicuous corner while showcasing the premier deli meat, leading me to believe that the only ham I could buy was the high-class brand that will remain nameless but rhymes with Doar's Fed. Which means that the 2 slices of ham I budgeted at less than $2.00 rang up for $4.54. WHAT??? After deliberating for the rest of my shopping trip...should I hide the meat in the canned foods section? should I bite the bullet and buy it anyway, producing an epic fail in my $5.00 meals week?...I finally gathered my courage and went back to the sweet lady at the counter, returning my ham with chagrin. To which the lady responded, "Oh! Well, maybe you'd be interested in our store brand meat..." So the kind deli lady saved the day and my meal did in fact come in at under $5.00
In a large pot, melt 1 Tablespoon coconut oil or butter and then add 2 Tablespoons flour. Cook out for a minute and then stir in 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup milk. Once the liquids start to simmer, add 1 bag frozen green beans and 1 bag frozen corn. Chop up 2 thick slices of deli ham and add to the pot; pour into a glass baking dish, top with crushed crackers or breadcrumbs and put in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.
For the biscuits: Add 1 Tablespoon vinegar to 3/4 cup milk; set aside. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1 Tablespoon sugar. Cut in 3 Tablespoons coconut oil with 2 knives or a pastry cutter. Stir in the milk, flatten out dough and cut biscuits (I just use a measuring cup to do this.) Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes.
Spoon ham casserole over biscuits...
In a very small bowl, mix:
1 Tablespoon flax meal
3 Tablespoons water
(This is homemade egg substitute.)
In a large bowl, mix:
2 cups oats
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinammon
1/2 tsp salt
In a small bowl, mix:
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup applesauce OR pumpkin puree (I have tried both with success)
2 Tablespoons melted butter (optional)
Gooey flax meal egg substitute (or, if you must, one large egg)
Pour into a sprayed 8 x 8 baking dish and bake at 375 for 25 or so minutes.
And then, enjoy!
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
For the chicken tacos I made the following mixture:
2 3/4 cups chicken broth
1 can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups rice
1 pack frozen corn
1 chicken breast, cooked and shredded
Salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin
I heated that mixture to boil and then simmered for an hour, covered; I also made a big pot of pinto beans. We stuffed whole wheat tortillas with all that goodness and went to town.
It was great...but we had tons of food leftover and I wanted to think of something different to do with them. I almost turned the leftovers into chicken tortilla soup but it is way too hot in the south for soup right now. Finally I thought, why not pizza? Pizza is only my favorite food ever, and anything slapped on top of cheese and bread has to be good.
So to make the pizza, just start with either store bought or homemade pizza dough, roll out, top with store-bought or homemade enchilada sauce, cheese, the chicken/rice/corn mixture, and pinto beans. Sprinkle with extra cheese if desired (always desired in my heart) and cook in 500 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
In a large bowl, stir together 3 cups oats, 3 cups puffed brown rice cereal (you know, the kind that costs $1.00 per bag...I actually like to put the puffs into the food processor first and pulse it a few times to create a better texture...), 1/4 cups unrefined cane sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup whole wheat flour, and a couple of pinches of salt.
In a small bowl or a measuring cup, mix together 1/2 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup molasses, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
Pour the liquids over the oat mixture and stir to coat. Spread on a large baking pan (I line mine with wax paper first for easy cleanup) and put into a 250 degree oven for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, stirring every half hour, until lightly browned (The cereal will get crunchier as it cools down). If you want walnuts, pecans, etc., add them about halfway through the cooking process. Let it cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Stir in dried fruit at the end if desired.
I estimated the cost of this cereal (without nuts or other add-ins) to be roughly $2.00 for the batch. Definitely worth it for us, to pay about the same or a little less than store-bought cereal and know exactly what is in it!
Yummy. We love this with almond milk and frozen blueberries. Enjoy!
***Edit: I have since made this with any combination of maple syrup, molasses, and honey to equal 1/2 cup liquid sweetener, and it has turned out great each time.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Start with a large butternut squash. Peel, cube, dress with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast until tender in a 425 degree oven - about 30-45 minutes, depending on how small you cut them.
Slice up some smoked sausage (I used venison sausage and it was perfect) and brown in a dutch oven in olive oil.
To the sausage add about 8 cups of liquid - chicken broth and water (I used 6 cups chicken broth and 2 of water). Bring to a boil and add 1 1/2 cups wild rice. Cover and simmer, adding the butternut squash whenever it is done. Simmer until rice is tender. The longer you let it go, the thicker it will get (yummmm), but make sure to stir it every once in a while to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom once the liquid thickens up.
That's it! Butternut squash...sausage...wild rice...chicken broth...
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Roughly chop one sweet onion and 5-6 carrots; saute in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Cut a pack of cubed venison into chunks and add to the pot. After about 3-4 minutes, add a couple Tablespoons of flour, cook it out for a minute, and then add 1 box of chicken broth, stirring constantly. Add to the pot 1 can of diced tomatoes, 2 medium baking potatoes (cubed), 1 bag of frozen peas, salt, pepper, and a bay leaf. Bring to a boil; then cover and simmer for a couple of hours. I'm sure you could do less, but I like to cook early in the afternoon and then let it hang out on the stove till suppertime.
I'll try to get a picture tomorrow when we eat leftovers, but if I don't...maybe I'll be in labor. In the meantime, serve with cornbread and enjoy!
Monday, February 13, 2012
Alright, here is a quick post for a quick meal with no picture (sorry). It is super simple and super good; you could eat it alongside chicken or seafood, or as we did last night, as a light supper on its own. It literally takes less than 15 minutes to make.
Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Add thin spaghetti to the water and cook according to package directions.
While waiting for the water to boil and the pasta to cook, scoop out the flesh of 2 avocados; chop them up into smaller pieces and add to the food processor, along with 2-3 minced garlic cloves, the juice of 1 lemon, salt and pepper, and 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Let 'er rip until creamy.
Drain pasta and stir in the avocado puree. Top with toasted slivered almonds if desired.
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I loooooove meatballs. Little looooooves pineapple. The Coach just loooooves good food. This one made us all happy.
To make the meatballs, mix 1 pound of ground turkey or chicken breast, ½ cup breadcrumbs, smoked paprika and black pepper to taste, and ¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce. Form meatballs and brown in a drizzle of olive oil in a dutch oven or cast iron skillet, flipping once. After the meatballs are brown on the outside, add ¼ cup beef broth, 1 can pineapple chunks (with juice), 2 Tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 Tablespoons bbq sauce. Bring to a simmer, cover, and transfer to a 400 degree oven to finish cooking. Serve over rice with steamed broccoli and glazed carrots.
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Honey Chicken adapted from "Healthy Meals for Less" by Jonni McCoy
Vegetable Tian adapted from For the Love of Cooking
Buttermilk Biscuits adapted from Eating Well
This was a really good and satisfying meal. The chicken was super tender and flavorful, the veggies were perfectly roasted, and the biscuits were too good to be not totally unhealthy. Now, this meal was a little time-consuming, but I can afford to have things cooking at different times because I stay at home. So I cooked the chicken first, removed it to the stovetop while I cooked the veggies and biscuits, and then put it back in the oven to warm before we ate. But I think you could play around with the time versus the temperature if you needed to have it all cooking at the same time. Or, you could always cook the chicken with a different side dish that doesn't also require oven time at a different temp. Anywho, here's how it went down for me...
For the honey chicken, I mixed up 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp pepper in a dutch oven (or casserole, whatever you have). To that I whisked in 1/2 cup honey, 3 Tablespoons canola oil, and 1/2 cup water. I put in a pack (about 1.75 lbs) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, coated each piece well, covered the pot, and put it in a 300 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.
For the veggies, I sliced and sauteed one small sweet onion for about 10 minutes. Last minute I added some minced garlic, then transferred the mixture to the bottom of a greased casserole dish. On top of the onions, I arranged a plethera of sliced veggies: yellow squash, zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes - seasoned with salt, pepper, thyme, and olive oil, and cooked in a 375 oven for 30 minutes covered, and 30 more minutes uncovered. Here is what it looked like after it was done...
And for the biscuits, a simple and familiar recipe with a little adjustment on the fat. First, meaure out your "buttermilk". If you're like me and have a child who is allergic to cow's milk, or if you just don't keep buttermilk in your house, here is what you can do: Measure out 3/4 cup milk (I used almond milk), and add 1 tsp vinegar and let it sit for about 5 minutes. For this recipe, you also need to add 1 Tablespoon of canola oil to the milk. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix 2 cups whole wheat or white wheat flour, 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cut in 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter with your hands, 2 knives, or a pastry cutter. Mix in the buttermilk/oil until everything is wet, then knead lightly until it all comes together as a nice dough. Flatten it out and cut your biscuits. I used a 1/3 cup measuring tin to cut mine, and it made 11 biscuits. Bake at 425 for 12-15 minutes. (At this point, if you have taken out your chicken to cook your veggies, you could put everything back in the oven to warm up to serve.)
Okay, I know that was a lot of work. But here is the finished product...
And it tastes even better than it looks. Enjoy!