Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sweet Potato, Onion & Black Bean Fritatta

I made this dish over a year ago and I'm just now re-trying it. With a new little twist. I added black beans to it and Scot and I both loved it. I added too many this go around, so next time I'll cut the amount down to only a cup and I think that'll be just right.

If you want the original post of the recipe (with the revision), just go here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Cheese and Meatball Soup

I first had this soup at a playgroup lunch and I just had to get the recipe it was so scrumptious! It's perfect for these still-chilly Spring days. Full of good veggies and Italian meatballs (either frozen or homemade) this soup is bursting with flavor. Scot and the boys really enjoyed it, so it will be a definite redo! This was originally served with cheese biscuits -- I did cheese cornbread, both were fantastic pairs. Serves 10

Cheese and Meatball Soup
  • 2 c potatoes, cubed
  • 2 c carrots - chopped (I used a bag of baby carrots and sliced them in half if they were thick)
  • 2 c corn (Next time i may do 2 cans cream corn to 'up' the cream factor)
  • 1 c celery, chopped
  • 1 c onion, chopped
  • 6 c water
  • 3 beef bullion cubes
  • 2 lbs meatballs
  • 2 T butter
  • 3 T flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz block of cheddar cheese shredded or just cut into strips
--Cook vegetables in the water with bullion cubes over medium (slight boil) until potatoes and carrots are soft. 15-20 minutes.
-- Add cooked meatballs (defrost if frozen) to soup and stir gently.
-- Meanwhile, in smaller saucepan melt butter and whisk in flour. Slowly add milk making sure there are no lumps and whisk until thick. 2-3 minutes. Take off heat and add in cheese. Stir til melted.
-- Add the cheese sauce to the soup and stir until evenly distributed.
-- Add Tabasco to taste if you wanted a little kick

Crockpot: Cook vegetables in water/bullion for 5-6 hours (on low). Add meatballs and cheese sauce 30 minutes prior to serving.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Cookies

No. These are not really cookies. They are, though, mighty good for breakfast. So packed with whole grains and protein, these little guys will fill you up until it's lunch time. Please don't think that all the goodness cuts down on the taste, either - these babies are so delicious they almost could be cookies. This batch makes 5 dozen good sized cookies and since they are so easy to freeze, you'll have breakfast ready any morning you're in a rush, or any morning you just want one to accompany the cup of tea or coffee you usually have. Also, just an added bonus, if you make these, it averages out to be about .50 per "cookie" - a steal if you all ready buy pre-packaged bars to substitute for breakfasts/snacks. This way, too, you know exactly what's in them!

Cinnamon Raisin Breakfast Cookies
  • 1/2 c. butter, softened
  • 2 c. peanut butter (I suggest low fat all natural)
  • 1-2 ripe bananas if you have them (highly recommend this!)
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 4 t vanilla extract
  • 1 c. honey
  • 1/2 c. apple sauce
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 c. wheat flour
  • 4 c. oats
  • 1 c. wheat germ (this is where you get the real protein, so don’t skip it!)
  • 2 t salt
  • 1 T cinnamon
  • 4 t baking soda
  • 2-3 cups raisins or craisins or dates - whatever you want
-- Cream the butter, sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla in large bowl. (WARNING: Do not, under ANY circumstance, stick your finger in the batter at this point (or lick the spoon)!! The batter will literally open its mouth and swallow you whole. You won't be able to resist. It's that good. I know, I speak from experience.)
-- Add the applesauce, water, honey, bananas, and eggs.
-- In a smaller bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together (not the raisins).
-- Mix the dry ingredients into the peanut butter mixture until all wet.
-- Add the raisins (craisins, dates, etc...) and mix well.
-- With an ice cream scoop or large spoon, drop mounds of the batter onto cookies sheets.
-- Flatten slightly and bake for 18 minutes at 350.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Banana Cream Pie

I love a good Banana Cream Pie. It's my all time favorite pie after apple. I think. It may be my absolute favorite barring all others. I'm not sure.

Yesterday was Pi Day (3.14...get it?) and in celebration, and just because I can, I threw a Pi Party. We had a light dinner of soup and salad, and then feasted on pies! I made my Key Lime, but since I also wanted to bake something new, I ventured out and tried my hand at a from-scratch Banana Cream. Attempt one was a flop. Well, it was actually soupy, but the second attempt was great. Lesson learned: read the directions carefully and when it says "stir stir stir" -- stir stir stir! All that aside, this was a fairly easy pie to throw together. You have to stand over the stove for 10-15 minutes strait, but it's totally worth it.

And yes, this was possibly the best Banana Cream Pie I ever tasted.

Banana Cream Pie
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups milk (2% or whole)
  • 3 egg yolks, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
  • 4 bananas, sliced (one extra if you want for the pudding - see below)

1. In a saucepan, combine the sugar, flour, and salt. Add milk in gradually while stirring gently. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is bubbly. Keep stirring and cook for about 2 more minutes, and then remove from the burner.
2. Stir a small quantity of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolks, and immediately add egg yolk mixture to the rest of the hot mixture. Cook for 3 more minutes (you want them to cook all the way through); remember to keep stirring. Remove the mixture from the stove, and add butter and vanilla. Stir until the whole thing has a smooth consistency. OPT: Puree one banana into the pudding to give it the extra banana flavor!! (A must in my book)
3. Slice bananas into the cooled baked pastry shell. Top with pudding mixture. Chill overnight (or at least 4hours). Serve with whipped cream and enjoy!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pasta with Chickpea Sauce

All right fellow eater, before you just look at the title for this meal and skip it entirely, hear me out. This was surprisingly tasty and a fantastic way to get protein in your sauce without the use of meat (for all those vegetarians and vegans out there!). The pureed chickpeas actually make the sauce super creamy and rich -- the addition of the spices only heightens the total experience. Just enough heat to be slightly addicting and yet other subtle undertones that meld in so well and round out the meal. As with almost any pasta dish, throw some garlic bread in the oven and toss a salad and you have yourself a wonderful meal!

Pasta with Chickpea Sauce

Serves 6 (makes 8 cups)
Active Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Serving suggestions: A Caesar salad and some garlic bread to make it a traditional Italian meal.

What you'll need:

  • 2 cans chickpeas, liquid reserved, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup chickpea liquid
  • 2 cups chunks of sweet onion
  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup pureed carrots (opt)
  • 2 cans crushed tomatoes with juice
  • a dash or two of red pepper flakes
  • 2 TBLS nutritional yeast (opt)
  • 1 TBLS basil
  • 1 TBLS oregano
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 TBLS red wine vinegar
  • Parmesan (opt garnish)
  • 1 lb whole wheat pasta

What you'll do:

  • Cook pasta according to package.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine chunks of onion, chickpea liquid, and chickpeas and pulse until creamy.  Transfer to a bowl.
  • Now put the carrots in the food processor and pulse until pureed.
  • In a large saucepan or skillet, heat olive oil and saute garlic until fragrant. 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, nutritional yeast (if using), spices, chickpea mixture, and carrots (if using).
  • Heat through.
  • Add vinegar and stir.
  • Serve sauce over pasta with grated Parmesan on top.

Time Tip:

  • For a snappy version of this dish, take a 32oz jar of your favorite pasta sauce, a can of diced tomatoes, and the 2 cans of drained chickpeas.  Puree beans and add to sauce and tomatoes.  Use powdered onion and garlic.