Thursday, January 5, 2012

Veggie Chili...Cause It All Tastes The Same

I love to make veggie chili.  Let's face matter what you put into the pot, once you add that chili all tastes like chili.

Here is my recipe. My kids really do love this. 

Veggie Chili

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 small zucchini chopped
1 onion chopped (I use frozen chopped onions to make it quick...about 1 cup of those.)
1/2 cup frozen chopped bell peppers
1 cup frozen spinach (not the kind in a box, but the kind in a bag.)
2 large carrots chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
half a bag of frozen corn kernels
one container of mushrooms, chopped
one can of black beans
one can of chili beans
one can petite diced tomatoes, juice and all
8 oz. carton of chicken stock
one envelope chili seasoning mix
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat.  Add zucchini, onions, celery, carrots, bell peppers.  Cook until soft...about 15 minutes.  Add all the other ingredients and simmer on low until everything is tender and slightly thickened and bubbly.

I serve it with diced avocado, cheese and sour cream.  Sometimes with corn muffins.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Crock Pot Enchilada Casserole

In this house, we love Mexican food.  In fact, when I was pregnant with my son, there wasn't a salsa hot enough to satisfy me.  My co-workers joked that my baby would come out doing a hat dance. :)

I have modified this recipe to make it slightly more 'healthy'.

Enchilada Casserole

2 lbs ground turkey breast, cooked
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 chopped onion ( I buy the frozen chopped onions, no chopping needed!)
small jar mild salsa
1 can enchilada sauce
whole wheat tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Spray crock pot with non stick spray.  Cover bottom of crock pot with tortillas. (You will have to tear some to make them fit)
Alternate layers of 1/3 of each of the ground turkey, beans, corn, onions, salsa, and enchilada sauce and tortillas.  Keep alternating layers and reserve a little enchilada sauce and cheese for the top.

Cook on low 4-6 hours, or high for 2 hours.

Eat a big helping and do a hat dance.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Breakfast Pizza

This morning, for something completely different, we had Breakfast Pizza.  A friend shared this recipe while I was scaring her to death in my van on the highway en route to a field trip in Atlanta.  I think she has since recovered.

 My son took this picture.  Thank you, son, for showing the blogosphere my messy kitchen in the background.  But nice shot of our 'subject'!
Cast of Characters:

2 rolls crescent roll dough
Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles (precooked, precrumbled frozen sausage.)
Krogers "Real Bacon" bacon bits.  These are found on the salad aisle and truly are real bacon pieces.
six beaten eggs.
handful of shredded cheddar cheese

optional:  Green peppers, onions, mushrooms, chopped fresh tomatoes...if you swing that way

Preheat oven to 375.
Lay out crescent roll dough in a sheet pan, bringing it up the sides a little.
Sprinkle with a good handful of sausage crumbles and bacon bits. (y'all know I measure using Handful, Pinch, Dash, Blob....)
Pour over your beaten eggs.  Top with a handful of shredded cheese.
Bake until eggs are set.  This took me about 15 minutes, but the more toppings you add, the longer it will take to cook.

We served ours with fresh clementines and milk.  I had mine with a splash of hot sauce. Yum.

This could also be a nice lunch alternative as well!  And it took no time at all to put everything together.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Butternut Squash

I love the flavor of butternut squash!  Yes, it's a pain to peel and cut.  (Break out the machete and the chainsaw, right?)  My favorite way to cook it is to roast it in a pan with sweet potatoes.

One butternut squash, peeled and cubed
Two or three sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
olive oil
salt to taste

Toss veggies in oil and spread on a sheet pan.  Sprinkle with salt and roast in a 375 oven until soft and tender.  (30 minutes? 45?  Not sure how long...just keep in the oven til done.)

However, you can buy frozen butternut squash puree in the frozen vegetable section at the supermarket, and it is a very versatile ingredient.  It makes a wonderful pasta sauce...

One box frozen squash puree, thawed
1/2 cup chicken broth
splash of heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
packaged cheese tortilloni
steamed shrimp, 1 lb, peeled
fresh sage, chopped fine

Cook tortilloni according to directions.  Drain.  In a large pan, combine squash and chicken broth, along with salt and pepper.  Simmer for a few minutes to reduce the mixture then add a spash or two of cream.  Stir in shrimp, tortilloni and chopped sage, stir till heated through.  Sprinkle with a little parmesan cheese and serve to your happy children.  Or eat it all yourself.

I wonder if the squash puree would work in the pumpkin muffin recipe I last posted? Hmm...

Butternut squash...a mild and homey taste of fall.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gettin' My Pumpkin On

A friend shared this recipe...I hate to even call it a recipe, it's that easy.  Let's call it an 'idea'.  A friend shared this idea with me, and at first I was all "Shut the front door!  Are you serious?"  And she was all, "Totally serious!" And I was all, "Yeah, that can't possibly work."

But it does!  And if you all already know about this...idea...don't rain on my parade because I am totally psyched.

Take one box spice cake mix.
Mix with one 15 oz can pumpkin puree.

Scoop into muffin pan and bake at 350 for 20 min.

No eggs.  No oil.  and yet...heavenly.

What are you sitting around for? GO GET YOUR PUMPKIN ON!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Stealthy Healthy

I'm good at being sneaky when it comes to ingredients.

Oh yeah.

Now, let me just say that I fully espouse the notion that  kids should eat what they are served.  They need to learn and respect nutrional values.  I have told my children from the beginning that I am not a 'short order' cook and I refuse to cook two or three separate dinners for different members of the family.  They can eat what I serve or go hungry. 

However, sometimes I take secret delight in sneaking healthy stuff into their diets and watching them enjoy something I know they would balk at on it's own.

Case in point:  Spinach.

Plopped out of a can...I agree.  Yuck.


Fresh spinach sliced thinly and tossed in salads?  On sandwiches or wraps in lieu of lettuce?
Stirred into spaghetti sauce until just wilted?  (Just tell them it's parsley.)
Also, stirred into homemade chicken noodle soup or veggie soup? Chopped fine and mixed into
 meatloaf or meatballs?  And if you make homemade broccoli soup...its all green so it matches and looks pretty.

The possibilties are endless.

Wheat germ.  My daughter thought they were bacteria.

Mixed with bread crumbs and used as a crispy coating for baked chicken nuggets...mmm.
Mixed in to yogurt or even a bowl of cold cereal.  Added to cookies or brownies. one will know.

Same goes for flax seed meal.  (Note- use the ground flax seed, not the whole seeds.  Those whole ones just pass on through without doing much good.)  You can even add this to sauces and soups.  Mix it into ground beef, taco meat, meatloaf, etc. 

You can also buy frozen, mashed butternut squash, which is bland enough to even stir into mac and cheese (well, a small amount, but it's still something!), sauces, stews, cakes and cookies and brownies..oh my!

Have fun sneaking some nutrion into your children's diets!

I promise...I won't tell.  Shhhh....

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

I've Never Been to Spain...But I've Been to Oklahoma

Quick-who can name the singer who sang that?

Okay. Spanish food.  I admit I don't know a whole lot about it.  One of my mother's best friends comes from Spain and has shared a few classic recipes- paella and tortilla.

Let's start with tortilla, shall we?

I'm not talking about Mexican tortillas here, the flat flour or corn that you use for wraps and tacos.  I'm talkin' Spanish Tortilla, otherwise known as a potato and egg omlette, cooked at first on top of the stove in a skillet, then finished in the oven. Yum.

In order to make it a quick fix, I like to use the refrigerated hash browns or cubed potatoes that you find bagged in the dairy section of the grocery store.  Also, frozen chopped onions and bell peppers are huge time savers, as well as the finely cubed ham from the lunch meat section and the minced garlic in a jar.

I will note now that you need a skillet with a handle that can stand going into a hot oven.  Es muy importante.

Spanish Tortilla

1/4 c olive oil
2 or 3 cups of refrigerated hash brown or cubed potatoes
1 c chopped frozen onions
1/2 c chopped frozen bell peppers (or you can leave them out)
1/2 c chopped ham
1 tsp minced garlic
5 or 6 eggs, beaten

Preheat the oven to 475.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the potatoes and onions and cook until the potatoes are soft, but not mushy.  I even like mine browned a bit.  Now toss in your ham, peppers if you want them, and garlic and stir til the peppers are thawed and hot.  Pour in the eggs and continue to cook, stirring so the uncooked egg runs to the bottom of the pan. When everything starts looking 'set' and almost cooked, put the whole pan in the oven and watch carefully as it finishes cooking  the top.  ( you can use the broiler, but watch it carefully!)

Let it come to room temp, slice into wedges and serve with fresh fruit or salad.  A dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of Spanish paprika is nice too.  Eat two or three wedges and re-enact the running of the bulls in your living room.

Next time: Easy Paella!