Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tempura Fried Okra w Honey Scallion Dip

Tempting Tempura-Fried Okra
Serves 4 to 6

3 quarts canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt, plus more for seasoning the okra
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup club soda
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 pounds fresh okra, stems trimmed and okra halved lengthwise
Sweet and Sticky Honey-Scallion Dipping Sauce (see below)


In a large, heavy pot, heat the oil over high heat until a deep-fat thermometer reaches a temperature of 350°F.

In a large bowl, mix 11/2 cups flour with the salt and pepper. Add the club soda, egg, and cream of tartar and whisk until smooth.

Coat the okra with the remaining 1/2 cup of flour and shake off any excess. Dip the okra in the batter and then, using a long-handled slotted spoon or tongs, carefully submerge the okra in the oil and fry until golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not crowd the pot. Lift the okra from the oil with the slotted spoon or tongs, transfer to a large plate or baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain, and season with salt while hot. Continue frying the okra, letting the oil return to 350°F between batches. Serve hot with the dipping sauce.

Sweet and Sticky Honey-Scallion Dipping Sauce
Makes about 11/2 cups

1 cup sour cream or low-fat Greek-style plain yogurt, drained
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, honey, scallions, and cayenne. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to chill, or for up to 1 week. Stir before using.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Serves One


* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1/3 cup fresh or stale coarse breadcrumbs
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary leaves
* zest from half a lemon

1. Heat 2 T olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Ask a question about this step.
2. Add the breadcrumbs and sauté until golden and crispy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Ask a question about this step.
3. Add the rosemary, immediately remove from heat and allow to cool. Ask a question about this step.
4. Mix in lemon zest and set aside. Ask a question about this step.

Spaghetti and Eggs:

* 4 ounces spaghetti
* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 large eggs
* 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
* 1 teaspoon small capers, drained
* freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook pasta to al dente according to directions on box. (I usually undercook the pasta by about a minute.) Ask a question about this step.
2. Wipe out the skillet from the pangritata, add 1 T olive oil and 1 T butter and melt together over medium heat. Ask a question about this step.
3. Add the garlic and immediately break the eggs into the skillet. Ask a question about this step.
4. If need be, lower the heat a bit. You want the garlic to cook without burning and the egg whites to set, but the yolks to remain runny. Ask a question about this step.
5. Drain the pasta well, reserving ½ c of the cooking liquid. Ask a question about this step.
6. Add pasta back to the pot, pour over the eggs and all the fat from the skillet, add the parsley and capers and toss well, breaking up the eggs as you do. If you prefer a wetter dish, you can add in some of the reserved cooking liquid. Ask a question about this step.
7. Plate the pasta and eggs, season well with freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with the grated cheese and then top with the pangritata.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Avocado Crunch Wrap

Avocado Crunch Wrap

* 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
* 1 tablespoon canola oil
* 2 teaspoons finely chopped canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, (see Note)
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 2 cups shredded red cabbage
* 1 medium carrot, shredded
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 1 15-ounce can white beans, rinsed
* 1 ripe avocado
* 1/2 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
* 2 tablespoons minced red onion
* 4 8- to 10-inch whole-wheat wraps, or tortillas

1. Whisk vinegar, oil, chipotle chile and salt in a medium bowl. Add cabbage, carrot and cilantro; toss to combine.
2. Mash beans and avocado in another medium bowl with a potato masher or fork. Stir in cheese and onion.
3. To assemble the wraps, spread about 1/2 cup of the bean-avocado mixture onto a wrap (or tortilla) and top with about 2/3 cup of the cabbage-carrot slaw. Roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut the wraps in half to serve, if desired.

* Ingredient Note: Chipotle chiles in adobo sauce are smoked jalapeños packed in a flavorful sauce. Look for the small cans with the Mexican foods in large supermarkets. Once opened, they'll keep at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator or 6 months in the freezer.

Mediterranean Wrap

Mediterranean Wrap

* 1/2 cup water
* 1/3 cup couscous, preferably whole-wheat
* 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
* 1/4 cup lemon juice
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic
* 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1 pound chicken tenders ** or vegetarian substitute of course:)**
* 1 medium tomato, chopped
* 1 cup chopped cucumber
* 4 10-inch spinach or sun-dried tomato wraps or tortillas

1. Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan. Stir in couscous and remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, combine parsley, mint, lemon juice, oil, garlic, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper in a small bowl.
3. Toss chicken tenders in a medium bowl with 1 tablespoon of the parsley mixture and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Place the tenders in a large nonstick skillet and cook over medium heat until cooked though, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a clean cutting board. Cut into bite-size pieces when cool enough to handle.
4. Stir the remaining parsley mixture into the couscous along with tomato and cucumber.
5. To assemble wraps, spread about 3/4 cup of the couscous mixture onto each wrap. Divide the chicken among the wraps. Roll the wraps up like a burrito, tucking in the sides to hold the ingredients in. Serve cut in half.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Simple Baked Breakfast

Peach Baked Oatmeal -- or raspberry or blueberry or apple... :)
Makes 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes

½ cup oil
4 eggs
1-1½ cups sugar, depending on your taste preference
3 cups dry rolled, or quick, oatmeal, uncooked
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 pint fresh, or canned, peaches, chopped (if canned, reserve liquid)
2 cups milk

1. In large mixing bowl, combine oil, eggs, and sugar. Blend together well.
2. Add dry oats, baking powder, salt, and vanilla. Blend thoroughly.
3. If using fresh peaches, stir into batter, along with 2 cups water.
If using canned peaches, drain peaches, reserving juice. Add water to peach juice to make 2 cups. Add both peaches and 2 cups liquid to batter.
4. Add milk to batter.
5. Pour into a greased 9 x 13 baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Serve warm with milk.

Apple Puff Pancake
Makes 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Baking Time: 50 minutes

½ stick (4 Tbsp.) butter
2 large apples, peeled and thinly sliced
3 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 eggs
1½ cups milk
1 cup flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. cinnamon
confectioners sugar
syrup, optional

1. Melt butter in a 9 x 13 baking pan. Arrange apples over butter.
2. Mix brown sugar and 1 tsp. cinnamon in small bowl and sprinkle over apples.
3. Bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes, or until apples soften.
4. Combine in blender, eggs, milk, flour, sugar, vanilla, salt, and ½ tsp. cinnamon. Blend thoroughly and pour over apples.
5. Return to oven and bake 40 minutes.
6. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve immediately. Serve with syrup if you wish.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Crispiest Tofu

As with most well breaded recipes, you need a three “bowl” workstation for this. I like to use lipped plates, but if you don’t have any, try using cake pans.

Start with marinated tofu. Cut them into whatever shapes you want to eat.

Set up a three bowl work station consisting of: seasoned potato starch, thickened seasoned non-dairy milk, and seasoned home-made bread crumbs.

Mix the following together into each bowl:
Bowl 1:
½ cup potato starch
dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper

Bowl 2:
1 cup unsweetened soymilk
1 tablespoon lemon juice (or apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup chopped parsley (or a combo of other fresh herbs)
dash of salt
dash of hot pepper or allepo pepper

Bowl 3:
1 1/4 cups homemade breadcrumbs (leave your favorite gluten-free bread out on the counter for a day or so, then pulse in a food processor until crumbly).
1/3 cup potato starch
dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon onion powder
3/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder

You'll need:
1 big block of extra-firm tofu, cut into whatever shapes you want to eat and marinated overnight, or as long as possible.
parchment lined baking sheet, greased with 3 tablespoons of neutral oil (like canola).
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425F.
Dredge a few pieces of tofu with the starch mixture in bowl one. Make sure each piece is completed coated with a thin layer of starch, then tap off any extra and move down to bowl two.

Submerge each tofu into bowl two and allow any excess liquid to drip off. Move ‘em down to bowl three.

Pat each piece of tofu in the seasoned breadcrumbs, to completely coat on all sides. Transfer each breaded tofu to the oiled baking sheet.

Repeat the above steps until you’ve breaded everything within reach.

Season the tofu with a little salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake for about 5 minutes, then carefully flip each piece to allow the other side to absorb some of the oil from the baking sheet. Bake the tofu until the bottoms are brown and crunchy, about 10 minutes, then flip to brown the second side. Keep an eye on these so they don’t burn, you’re going for a deep golden brown.

Dip in yummy things like bbq sauce, low fat Vegenaise, tartar sauce, or be fancy and make remoulade!

The time needed to cook this recipe is a tiny bit more than one hour.

Greek Style Quinoa Salad

Greek-Style Quinoa Salad

Serves: 6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes


1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
3 tbsp. olive oil
¾ cup fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed in a garlic press
¼ cup kalamata olives
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
7 ounces sheep’s milk feta cheese, cubed
¼ cup diced red onion
Salt and pepper to taste

Place quinoa in a strainer and rinse under cold running water.
Add water and quinoa to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
Cook 15 minutes until quinoa is almost translucent.
Spread cooked quinoa on a large dinner plate and place in freezer for 15 minutes to chill.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, and garlic. Toss with quinoa.
Add olives, scallions, grape tomatoes, feta cheese, and red onion; gently mix ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

*Feta cheese may be too salty for some. To lower the sodium count, soak it in water overnight.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Apple Pizza Pie

Apple Pizza Pie
1 double crust pie dough recipe (or 2 refrigerated crusts)
6 medium sized apples
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup butter
2oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a cooking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
Roll pie crust out onto cookie sheet, and set aside.
Peel, core and slice apples into bite size pieces.
Add the sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and flour to the apples until evenly coated.
In a separate medium bowl mix together flour, brown sugar and oats.
Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly.
Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the apples. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. My piece of advice here is don't under-cook. I usually like my baked goods gooey, so I cook them a few minutes less than the suggested time, don't do that here. The crust in the middle takes a little longer to cook, if you think they look like they're done, I would cook them an extra two minutes just to make sure! While pizza is cooking make the icing.
Mix together cream cheese, powdered sugar and milk. Make sure your cream cheese is room temperature so you can combine easier. Whisk until all clumps are out.
Once the pizza has finished baking, remove from oven and drizzle with the icing.
Slice and serve! It tastes great served warm and cold. I kept the leftovers in the fridge, and they taste just as great then too! The butter and oats crumbles and the icing really make this a tasty dessert.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Baked Macaroni and Cheese

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

1 - 16 oz.pkg. macaroni elbow noodles
Approximately 1/2 cup of margarine
Approximately 1/2 cup of flour
Several pinches of dry mustard
4 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I use a variety of cheeses… have fun with it!)
5 cups of whole milk
1 block of extra sharp cheddar cheese
Pinch of black pepper
1 egg (uncooked)
Touch of paprika

Cook pasta according to package instructions. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large saucepan melt margarine, flour, pepper and dry mustard. Stir until thickened. Reduce heat to very low and add milk and shredded cheeses. Heat until begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add macaroni to baking dish and stir in egg. Add cheese sauce and stir. Cut up several pieces of cheese from the block and add to macaroni in baking dish. Thinly slice the rest of the block of cheese and layer on top. Sprinkle with paprika to taste. Bake for 35 minutes or until bubbly. Enjoy!

Remember… this is southern cuisine (soul food)… which means it must be made with love! It may take a few tries before it's what you want it to be, but keep trying!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Happy Cinqo de Mayo!

Mexican Tortilla Bake

I'm adding a layer of seasoned burger/sausage crumble mix, too.
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 large garlic clove, minced
• 11/2 cups cooked pinto beans or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed (I'm using cilantro lime black beans)
• 1 141/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
• 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
• Salt and pepper, to taste
• 11/2 cups prepared tomato salsa
• 4 ounces soft or silken tofu
• 2 tablespoons lime juice
• 12 6-inch flour tortillas
• 1 cup shredded vegan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Lightly oil a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pinto beans, tomatoes, chili powder, and salt and pepper to taste, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
3. In a food processor or blender, combine the salsa, tofu, lime juice, and 1/2 cup of the bean mixture. Process until well blended.
4. Spread a thin layer of the tofu and salsa mixture over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange 6 of the tortillas on top, overlapping as necessary. Spread the remaining bean mixture over the tortillas and cover with another layer of tortillas. Top with the remaining tofu-and-salsa mixture and sprinkle with the shredded cheese. I'm also topping this with salsa verde w heavy avocado chunks.
5. Bake until hot and bubbly and lightly browned on top, about 30 minutes.

Homemade Horchata

• 1 cup long grain rice, rinsed
• 1 quart of soy milk
• 2 quarts water
• 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon vanilla (optional, but definitely necessary, in my opinion)
• 1/2 cup white sugar

1. In a large saucepan, combine rice, water and cinnamon. Heat until it’s just about ready to boil.
2. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
3. Purée rice mixture in a blender until smooth. Strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve. Flavor with vanilla and sugar to taste. Chill, and serve over ice.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easy Homemade Nutella

Whipping up a jar full of this stuff is ridiculously easy…

What you need:

-a food processor, or pretty decent blender that can chop up nuts with no worries
-a spoon
-about 3 cups roasted hazelnuts, pieces or whole
-about 1/4 cup (or more) cocoa powder
-a few tablespoons agave, or other liquid sweetener
-1/2 tsp salt
-a jar to store it in
-a lid for the jar

What you do:

Place nuts into food processor and blend until smooth. This could take several minutes. Scrape down the sides as necessary. Add in cocoa powder, agave and salt. Pulse quickly to blend. Stir well, and spoon into your storage jar. Close lid tightly. Store in fridge.

See how easy?!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Roasted Garlic Creamed Spinach

Roasted Garlic Creamed Spinach

* 1 large head of garlic, top trimmed to expose the cloves
* EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
* Salt
* 1 cup half-n-half
* White pepper, to taste
* Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
* 2 tablespoons butter
* 1 round tablespoon flour
* 2 10oz boxes chopped spinach, defrosted and wrung dry in a clean kitchen towel

Yields: Serves 4

Preheat oven to 425°F. Drizzle garlic with oil and season with a little salt. Wrap tightly in foil and roast garlic to soft, 45 minutes. Let cool to handle.

Combine garlic, half-n-half, salt, white pepper and a little nutmeg in a blender and purée. Adjust seasoning to taste.

In medium skillet over medium heat, melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook 1 minute, add half-n-half mixture and bring to a bubble. Separate spinach with your fingertips as you add to the sauce. Simmer at a low bubble to thicken, 20-25 minutes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Morning Glory Muffins

Morning Glory Muffins


1 cup Fiber One® original bran cereal
2/3 cup vanilla soymilk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseed or flaxseed meal
3/4 cup chopped apple
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
1/4 cup flaked coconut -- I skipped this one and opted for 1 very ripe medium smashed banana
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup fat-free egg product
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Place paper baking cup in each of 12 regular-size muffin cups. Spray bottoms only of baking cups with cooking spray. (Muffins will stick if baking cups are not sprayed.) Place cereal in resealable food-storage plastic bag; seal bag and crush with rolling pin or meat mallet (or crush in food processor).
2. In large bowl, mix crushed cereal and soymilk; let stand about 5 minutes or until cereal is softened. Stir in remaining ingredients. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
3. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove muffins from pan to cooling rack. Serve warm.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fudgy Peanut Butter Cake

Fudgy Peanut Butter Cake

Makes 4 servings
Prep. Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1½ hours
Ideal slow cooker size: 2- to 3-qt.

¾ cup sugar, divided
½ cup flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
⅓ cup milk
¼ cup peanut butter
1 Tbsp. oil
½ tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. dry cocoa powder
1 cup boiling water

1. Butter or spray interior of slow cooker.
2. Mix ¼ cup sugar, flour, and baking powder together in a small bowl.
3. In another larger bowl, mix milk, peanut butter, oil, and vanilla together. Beat well.
4. Stir dry ingredients into milk-peanut butter mixture just until combined. Spread in buttered slow cooker.
5. In bowl, combine cocoa powder and remaining ½ cup sugar. Add water, stirring
until well mixed. Pour slowly into slow cooker. Do not stir.
6. Cover. Cook on High 1½ hours, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

Serving suggestion: Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

I take this to potlucks and it is always a hit.

Notes from the Recipe Tester:
1. If you double the recipe, cook for 2 hours.
2. This is a pretty sturdy cake. I kept one of my test cakes for over an hour before serving it, and it was just as good, if not better, than the one we ate right away.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Chocolate Nachos

DD1 has decided on an International Food Party (complete with food fight) for her birthday this month. While I was rounding up ideas, I came across this. And yes... it's definitely going on the menu!! Chocolate Nachos -- sugar sweetened tortilla crisps covered with chocolate sauce, mini diced strawberries, sprinkles, strawberry and vanilla ice cream. I think we found our midnite snack...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Healthy Poutine?


4 servings, about 3/4 cup potatoes & 1/3 cup gravy each
Active Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes


* 1 1/2 pounds new or baby potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
* 5 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon salt, divided
* 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
* 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium veggie beef broth or mushroom broth, divided
* 3 Tbs all-purpose flour
* 1 cup coarsely chopped cremini or white mushrooms
* 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
* 2 Tbs finely chopped chives
* 1/2 cup shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese

1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F.
2. Combine potatoes, 2 tsp oil and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper in a large bowl; toss to coat. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the potatoes are tender and browned, 20 to 25 minutes.
3. Whisk 1/2 cup broth and flour in a small bowl; set aside.
4. Heat the remaining 3 tsp oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and onion and cook, stirring often, until beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the remaining 1 cup broth; bring to a simmer. Cook until reduced by about half, 8 to 10 minutes.
5. Add the reserved flour and broth mixture; cook, stirring constantly, until smooth and thickened, 1 to 3 minutes. Stir in chives and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; keep warm on low heat.
6. When the potatoes are done, push them together in the center of the pan and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven; bake until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes more. Serve the potatoes topped with the gravy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chewy Granola Bars

Chewy Granola Bars

2 C rolled oats
1- 1 1/2 C Honey Nut Cheerios (or your favorite cereal)
3 C miniature marshmallows --I skipped this step and opted for more PB and honey
1/2 C peanut butter
1/4 C honey
2-3 Tbsp butter
1 C dried fruit (I used raisins and dried apple bits, but dried cherries are great in this!)

Also, if they are too gooey, try adding a bit of powdered milk to help them hold up.

1. Preheat oven to 350 F and toast oats for about 15 minutes.
2. While oats are toasting, combine butter and marshmallows in a large pot and melt over low heat.
3. When the marshmallows have just about melted, stir in the peanut butter and honey.
4. Add in the toasted oats, cereal and dried fruit. Stir until well combined.
5. Spread mixture in a greased 8 x 8 baking dish and chill until firm.
6. Once firm, cut into bars.

*I was too impatient to actually toast my oats and just tossed them in the mix untoasted. Toasting them tastes great but is not absolutely necessary :)

Savory zucchini pie

Savory zucchini pie ~ Thanks, Martha!!

* For the crust:
* 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
* 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
* 1 teaspoon coarse salt
* 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
* 1 large egg yolk, plus 1 large egg yolk, for egg wash
* 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water
* 1 tablespoon heavy cream, for egg wash for the filling
* For the filling:
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 shallot, finely chopped
* 1 small zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch-thick half-moons
* 1 1/2 pounds cherry tomatoes
* 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 4 ounces bocconcini (fresh mozzarella balls)
* 3 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
* 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


1. Make the crust: Pulse flour, cheese, salt and butter in a food processor until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add 1 egg yolk; pulse to combine. Drizzle in 1/4 cup ice water, and pulse until dough just comes together. (If dough is still crumbly, add up to 1/4 cup more water, 1 tablespoon at a time.) Form dough into a disk, and wrap in plastic. Refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 30 minutes.

2. Make the filling: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium. Add shallot; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini; cook, stirring occasionally, until light golden and liquid has been released, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.

3. Halve one-third of the tomatoes. Stir halved and whole tomatoes, both cheeses, basil and flour into shallot-zucchini mixture. Season with salt and pepper.

4. On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a 13-inch round, about 1/4-inch thick. Make seven 3-inch-long cuts around edge of dough, evenly spaced. Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. Drizzle shell with remaining tablespoon oil. Transfer filling to shell. Fold in flaps of dough, slightly overlapping. Refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Whisk cream and remaining egg yolk in a small bowl, and brush over crust. Bake pie on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, 70 to 80 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pasta Fagioli

* 2 lbs veggie burger crumbles
* 1 onion, chopped
* 3 carrots, chopped
* 4 stalks celery, chopped
* 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained
* 1 (16 oz) can red kidney beans, drained
* 1 (16 oz) can white kidney beans, drained
* 30 oz veggie beef stock
* 3 teaspoons oregano
* 2 teaspoons pepper
* 5 teaspoons parsley
* 2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce (optional)
* 1 (20 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
* 8 ounces pasta

Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 7 1/4 hrs

1. Brown beef in a skillet.
2. Drain fat from beef and add to crock pot with everything except pasta.
3. Cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours.
4. During last 30 min on high or 1 hour on low, add pasta.

Black Bean Soup

* 1 onion, finely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 celery ribs, finely chopped
* 1/4 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
* 2 small chicken bouillon cubes
* 1 -1 1/2 cup boiling water
* 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, undrained
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon cumin
* 1/2 lemon, juice of
* 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

Prep Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 25 mins

1. In a pot, combine the first six ingredients; simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Add half a can of beans, salt and cumin; cook for 5 minutes.
3. Puree soup (I use an immersion blender which makes it easy to do it right in the pot).
4. Add the rest of the beans to the soup.
5. Combine the cornstarch with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water.
6. Add the lemon and the cornstarch to the soup; cook until thickened.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sausage, Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

Sausage, Mushroom & Spinach Lasagna

10 servings
Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours

* 8 ounces whole-wheat lasagna noodles
* 1 pound vegetarian sausage, crumbled
* 4 cups sliced mushrooms, (10 ounces)
* 1/4 cup water
* 1 pound frozen spinach, thawed
* 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably chunky
* 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* Freshly ground pepper, to taste
* 1 pound part-skim ricotta cheese, (2 cups)
* 8 ounces part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 cups), divided


1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until not quite tender, about 2 minutes less than the package directions. Drain; return the noodles to the pot, cover with cool water and set aside.
3. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add sausage; cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon, until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and water; cook, stirring occasionally and crumbling the sausage more, until it is cooked through, the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Squeeze spinach to remove excess water, then stir into the pan; remove from heat.
4. Mix tomatoes with basil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
5. To assemble lasagna: Spread 1/2 cup of the tomatoes in the prepared baking dish. Arrange a layer of noodles on top, trimming to fit if necessary. Evenly dollop half the ricotta over the noodles. Top with half the sausage mixture, one-third of the remaining tomatoes and one-third of the mozzarella. Continue with another layer of noodles, the remaining ricotta, the remaining sausage, half the remaining tomatoes and half the remaining mozzarella. Top with a third layer of noodles and the remaining tomatoes.
6. Cover the lasagna with foil and bake until bubbling and heated through, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Remove the foil; sprinkle the remaining mozzarella on top. Return to the oven and bake until the cheese is just melted but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Vegetarian Variation: Use a sausage-style soy product, such as Gimme Lean, or simply omit the sausage altogether.

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

Buffalo Chicken Casserole

8 servings
Active Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

* 12 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles
* 2 tablespoons canola oil
* 3 medium carrots, sliced
* 3 medium stalks celery, sliced
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 1 tablespoon minced garlic
* 2 lbs MSF Chicken Strips or Chicken Grillers, cut into 1" cubes
* 1/3 cup cornstarch
* 4 cups low-fat milk
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup hot sauce, preferably Frank’s RedHot
* 1 1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)


1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Bring a Dutch oven of water to a boil. Cook noodles until barely tender, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
3. Heat oil in the pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook til warm, 3-5 minutes. Whisk cornstarch and milk in a medium bowl; add to the pot along with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until bubbling and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in hot sauce.
4. Spread the noodles in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish. Top with the chicken mixture; sprinkle with blue cheese.
5. Bake the casserole until it is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

* Make Ahead Tip: In Step 2, cook the noodles 4 minutes less than package directions. Prepare through Step 4, cover and refrigerate for 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake at 400°F for 45 minutes.

Tex-Mex Summer Squash Casserole

Tex-Mex Summer Squash Casserole Recipe

12 servings
Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours

* 2 1/4 pounds summer squash, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (about 10 cups)
* 2/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
* 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles
* 1 4-1/2-ounce can chopped jalapenos, (about 1/2 cup), drained
* 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
* 2 1/4 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, (about 7 ounces), divided
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup mild salsa
* 4 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
* 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Combine squash, onion, chiles, jalapenos, salt and 3/4 cup cheese in a large bowl. Sprinkle with flour; toss to coat. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish and cover with foil.
3. Bake the casserole until it is bubbling and the squash is tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Spoon salsa over the casserole and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake, uncovered, until golden and heated through, 20 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and red onion.

* Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat, covered, at 350°F for about 40 minutes. Garnish just before serving.

Zucchini Rice Casserole

Zucchini Rice Casserole Recipe

12 servings, about 1 cup each
Active Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours


* 1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
* 3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 4 cups diced zucchini , and/or summer squash (about 1 pound)
* 2 red or green bell peppers, chopped
* 1 large onion, diced
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
* 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 2 cups shredded pepper Jack cheese, divided
* 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) corn kernels
* 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
* 8 ounces vegetarian sausage, crumbled
* 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
* 1/4 cup chopped pickled jalapeños

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Pour rice into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Stir hot broth into the rice along with zucchini (and/or squash), bell peppers, onion and salt. Cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until the rice is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed, 35 to 45 minutes more.
3. Meanwhile, whisk milk and flour in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until bubbling and thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add 1 1/2 cups Jack cheese and corn and cook, stirring, until the cheese is melted. Set aside.
4. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add sausage. Cook, stirring and breaking the sausage into small pieces with a spoon, until lightly browned and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. (If using vegetarian sausage, just microwave 2 minutes til crumbly.)
5. When the rice is done, stir in the sausage and cheese sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup Jack cheese on top and dollop cream cheese by the teaspoonful over the casserole. Top with jalapeños.
6. Return the casserole to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

* Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 5; cool, cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day. To finish, bake at 375°F until the casserole is hot and the cheese is melted, about 45 minutes.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Crock Pot Lemon Bread

Lemon Bread
Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook, page 250

Cooking Time: 2-2 1/4 Hours
Ideal slow cooker size: 4-qt.

¼ cup canola oil
6 Tbsp. sugar
sugar substitute to equal 3 Tbsp.
2 eggs, beaten -- I always add an extra egg to my cakes to add moisture and texture.
1 ⅔ cups flour
1 ⅔ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup fat-free milk
4 ozs. chopped walnuts
grated peel from 1 lemon

¼ cup powdered sugar
juice of 1 lemon -- I use orange juice :)

1. Cream together oil, sugar, and sugar substitute. Add eggs. Mix well.
2. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to shortening mixture.
3. Stir in nuts and lemon peel.
4. Spoon batter into well-greased 2-pound coffee can and cover with well-greased tin foil.
Place in cooker set on High for 2-2 ¼ hours, or until done. Remove bread from coffee can.
5. Mix together powdered sugar and lemon juice. Pour over loaf.
6. Serve plain or with cream cheese.

Greek Style Orzo Soup


* 6 ounces burger crumbles
* 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1 large onion, finely chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary, or oregano
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, (optional)
* 1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained
* 2 tablespoons chopped, pitted black olives
* Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 12 ounces orzo
* 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese


1. Put a large pot of salted water on to boil.
2. Cook 'beef' in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or large deep skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, cinnamon, rosemary (or oregano) and crushed red pepper, if using; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add beef.
4. Puree tomatoes and their juices in a food processor until smooth. Add to the meat mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in olives. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Meanwhile, cook orzo until just tender, about 8 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and toss with the sauce. Serve garnished with feta.

Chicken Parmesan Subs


* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 2 MSF chicken strips
* 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
* 1 6-ounce bag spinach
* 1/3 cup prepared marinara sauce, (see Tips for Two)
* 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
* 1/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
* 2 soft whole-wheat sandwich rolls, toasted


1. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Place chicken between two large pieces of plastic wrap. Pound with the smooth side of a meat mallet or a heavy saucepan until the chicken is an even 1/4-inch thickness. Dredge the chicken in the flour mixture.
2. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach, and cook, stirring often, until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.
3. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pan. Add the chicken, and cook until golden on first side, 1-2 minutes. Turn the chicken, reduce heat to medium, top with the wilted spinach, marinara sauce and Parmesan. Sprinkle with mozzarella, cover and cook until the cheese is melted and the chicken is cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve on rolls.

Gnocchi with Tomatoes & Watercress


* 2 ounces veggie bacon, chopped
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 large tomatoes, chopped
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
* 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 pound gnocchi
* 4 ounces watercress,tough stems removed,coarsely chopped (6 cups packed)
* 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Put a large pan of water on to boil.
2. Cook pancetta in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, sugar and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes are almost completely broken down, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and salt. Remove from the heat.
3. Cook gnocchi in the boiling water until they float, 3 to 5 minutes or according to package directions. Place watercress in a colander and drain the gnocchi over the watercress, wilting it slightly. Add the gnocchi and watercress to the sauce in the pan; toss to combine. Serve immediately, with Parmesan.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mariachi Chicken Pizza

Mariachi Chicken Pizza

4 MSF Chicken Grillers -- or equal measure of MSF seasoned chicken strips. We just tried these last week in the lemon chicken. I LOVED them!! The texture is closer to real meat, which is off-putting to some, but if that doesn't bother you, then I highly recommend them! They would be great in this!
1 c. Lawry's Baja Chipotle Lime marinade
1/4 c. picante or taco sauce
1 pizza crust
3 roma tomatoes
2 c. cheese (we used colby jack)
1/4 c. sliced picked jalapenos
1/4 c. light sour cream

Place chicken and marinade in a crock pot on high for 4 hours. Turn off crock, shred.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pizza crust on a sheet pan, bake for 10 minutes.
Take out, top with taco sauce, shredded chicken, tomatoes, cheese, and jalapenos.
Place back in the oven for 5 minutes, until crisp and melted.
Top with sour cream and serve.

Korean Tofu Pancakes

Korean Tofu Pancake
* a package of firm tofu, mashed and drain
* a package of fresh oyster mushroom, cut into small pieces.
* a bunch of chives, finely chopped
* half of a sweet red pepper, finely diced
* 1 egg, beaten
* flour for coating

The tofu has to be drained properly. If the tofu is too wet, it will be very difficult to form the mixture into small patties.

Mix the tofu, oyster mushroom, red pepper and chives together. Season with salt and pepper.Add 3 to 4 tablespoons (or more) of flour to bind the mixture together.

Form the mixture into small patties.

Coat the patties in flour and then dip in egg wash (you may leave the egg wash if you would like to make this into a true vegetarian dish) and then re coat with flour.

Pan fry the patties in medium heat until both sides are browned.

You may serve the Tofu Pancake with a sauce made of Korean soy sauce, chopped green onion and Korean red pepper powder.

Or you can steam/stir-fry the whole mixture with extra slice onions and green onions. This is great with steam rice.

Vegetable Casserole with Tofu Topping

Vegetable Casserole with Tofu Topping
Makes 6 to 8 (side dish)

* Active time:1 hr
* Start to finish:1 1/2 hr

This colorful, delicious dish continues to be a staple at our Thanksgiving and Christmas tables. Using dried bread crumbs will create a crispy topping, while fresh bread crumbs produce a more tender result.

For Vegetables

* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced lengthwise
* 1 lb cabbage, cored and cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices (4 cups)
* 1 lb kale, stems and center ribs removed and leaves coarsely chopped (12 cups)
* 1/2 lb carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick matchsticks
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 tablespoons soy sauce
* 1/2 teaspoon salt

For Topping

* 1 1/2 cups fine fresh or dried bread crumbs, preferably whole wheat
* 7 oz firm tofu
* 1 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1/2 cup)
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 2 teaspoons dried basil, crumbled
* 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
* 1 teaspoon paprika
* 1 garlic clove, chopped
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

Sauté vegetables:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

Heat oil in a deep 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to moderate and add cabbage, kale, carrots, water, soy sauce, and salt. (Skillet will be full, but volume will reduce as vegetables steam.) Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish.

Pulse all topping ingredients together in a food processor until combined well. Alternatively, mash ingredients together in a large bowl with a potato masher. Sprinkle tofu mixture over vegetables in baking dish and bake, uncovered, until topping is golden brown and vegetables are heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Mushroom Tofu Loaf

Mushroom Tofu Loaf

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
3 1/2 Tbs chopped walnut or Brazil nuts
3 1/2 Tbs rolled oats
1/2 cup chestnut mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
17.5 oz firm tofu, pressed of excess water and crumbled
3 tablespoons arrowroot or cornflour
1/2 cup stale brown bread crumbs

In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally until soft and golden brown. Transfer to a bowl. Set aside
In the same pan, heat the remaining oil. Add the nuts, oats and mushroom. Saute for a few minutes, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are tender. Stir in a small amount of stock, turn up the heat and loosen stuck on bits. Add the remaining stock and cook for 10 minutes . Add the soy sauce, mustard, tomato paste, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. Continue to cook until the mixture is thick. Add to the bowl with the onions and set aside. Season to taste.
Add the tofu and arrowroot or cornflour to a food processor; puree until smooth. Add to the onion mixture and blend in enough breadcrumbs to make a thick paste; mix well/ tip gently into a non-stick or lightly oiled loaf pan measuring 9 by 5 by 3 inches. Press down firmly to pack in the mixture into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes. For optimal result, let the loaf cool for an hour or two before slicing; or make a day ahead and reheat.

Mushroom Seitan Casserole

Mushroom Casserole Recipe -- Thanks to 101

Use any cooked grain you like. Feel free to use low-fat cottage cheese or sour cream if you prefer. Use chopped seitan, veggie chicken and greens for add-ins. :)

1/2 pound (8 ounces) brown mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
1 large onion, well chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
2 large eggs
1 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
a bit of fresh tarragon, chopped

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Rub a medium-large baking dish with a bit of olive oil or butter and set aside. The pan I use is slightly smaller than a classic 9x13 baking dish - just grab for something in this ballpark.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat saute the mushrooms in a glug of olive oil sprinkled with a couple pinches of salt. Stir every minute or so until the mushrooms have released their liquid and have browned a bit. Add the onions and cook for another 4 or 5 minutes or until they are translucent. Stir in the garlic, cook for another minute and remove from heat. Add the rice to the skillet and stir until combined.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, cottage cheese, sour cream, and salt.

Combine the rice mixture and cottage cheese mixture in a large bowl, stir until well combined and then turn out into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 2/3 of the Parmesan cheese, cover with foil and place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 20 or 30 minutes more or hot throughout and golden along the edges. Sprinkle with the chopped tarragon, and the remaining Parmesan and enjoy.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Parmesan Chicken Meat Balls

Parmesan Chicken Meat Balls

The original recipe is a crock pot version, but they're just as easy to bake. Do a double batch and freeze them for quickie dinners. Perfect! They can be varied with ginger and teriyaki glaze over pineapple rice, stuffed with buffalo cheese and skewered, breaded and thrown into subs, served as dippers with some garlic alfredo sauce..... YUMM :)

Servings: 4 1/2 dozen
Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 2 hrs
Total time: 2 hrs and 25 mins

1 pound ground chicken -- I'm using ground vegetarian chicken substitute
1 egg
2 cups fresh parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella
1 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 Italian seasoning packet
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 red bellpepper,diced
4 green onions,diced
1 large jar alfredo sauce

In a large bowl add all ingredients except for alfredo sauce. Mix until combine. Make 1-inch meatballs. Put the meatballs in a crockpot that is on high, pour the alfredo sauce on top of meatballs. Cook for two hours. One hour for the veggie version.

Peasant Stew

Peasant Stew

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
6 chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds), skinned ---I'm using 6 vegetarian MSF Chicken Grillers added just at the last step of the recipe.
1 cup chopped onion
1 (14.5-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes with jalapeño peppers and spices, undrained
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Combine cumin, salt, and pepper; sprinkle over chicken.

Place chicken in an electric slow cooker; stir in onion, tomatoes, and chiles. Cover with lid; cook on high-heat setting for 3 hours. Stir in beans. Cover; cook on high-heat setting 1 hour. If you're using my vegetarian version, you'll need only the 1 hour.

Place 1 chicken thigh in each of 6 soup bowls; ladle 1 1/4 cups stew into each bowl. Top each serving with 2 teaspoons cilantro and 2 teaspoons sour cream.

A-mmmm-azing Mini Mushroom Tartlets

Mmmm-azing Mini Mushroom Tartlets

1 cup finely chopped portabella mushrooms
1/3 cup finely chopped white onion
3 T. chopped scallions
3 T. fat free cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 t. chopped garlic
1/8 t. salt
2 dashes black pepper
2 dashes nutmeg
15 mini phyllo dough shells (found in the freezer aisle)


Preheat oven to 375. Bring a pan sprayed with nonstick spray to medium high heat on the stove. Add mushrooms and onion, and cook until soft. Place mushrooms and onion in small bowl. Add scallions, cream cheese, garlic, salt, pepper and nutmeg and mix well. Evenly distribute mushroom mixture among the phyllo shells. Arrange shells on a baking sheet sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Bake in oven for 12 to 15 minutes until edges of tartlets are crisp. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Yum!
Makes 3 servings, 120 calories per serving, points value: 3

Dear Mr IHOP :)

Most of my readers will already have this link, but for those who don't....
Magical Loaf Studio. Enjoy :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Reeses Cookies with only 2 ingredients!

Found this at the Picky Palate. Couldn't resist posting :)

Reeses Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

24 snack size Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, usually comes in a pack of 8
1 large egg
Sea Salt if desired

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap all Reeses cups and place into a food processor. Pulse until smooth and combined. Add an egg and pulse until combined. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dough onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet. With the heel of your hand, press each cookie down to about 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Bake for 15-17 minutes or until cooked through and edges start to crisp. Let cool for 15 minutes on baking sheet before removing to cooling rack.

Makes 12-14 cookies

Spinach Risotto

Spinach Risotto

1 small zucchini,chopped
10 oz baby spinach
1 carrot, diced
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion, chopped
2 celery stalks chopped
2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup dry white wine -- or chicken stock or ginger ale or white grape juice
1 ½ cup GF chicken stock
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Salt, pepper, and dried dill weed to taste

1. In a large pan, over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic, celery, onion, mushrooms, carrot. And rice. Cook for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft.Stir in the GF chicken stock and the dry white wine; bring to a boil over high heat.

2. Reduce the heat (medium-low), cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until all liquid is absorbed. Add in spinach, zucchini and Parmesan. Add in salt, pepper, and dill weed to taste.Continue heating until the spinach is wilted (about 2 minutes) and the serve!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011



One recipe prepared banana bread, uncut (recipe follows)
1 cup milk or half-and-half
4 eggs
1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 Tablespoons butter, divided
2 bananas, sliced
Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting
Maple syrup

Prepare banana bread as directed below and let cool completely. When ready to make french toast, slice off the ends of banana bread. Slice the remaining loaf into 8 thick slices, about 3/4-inch thick; set aside. In a bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg until combined. Pour into a pie tin or flat pan. Melt 1 Tablespoon of butter in a griddle pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip 4 banana bread slices on both sides of milk mixture and place in hot pan. Cook until golden, about 3 minutes, then turn and cook other side until golden. Repeat with remaining tablespoon of butter and 4 slices of bread. Slice hot bread slices on a diagonal and serve 2 diagonals per person. Garnish each with slices of banana, dust with confectioner’s sugar, and pass the maple syrup.

Banana Bread

2 very ripe bananas
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside. Mash bananas in large mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, eggs, and oil until combined. Stir together flour, soda, and salt. Add flour mixture, buttermilk, and vanilla; stir until just blended. Fold in nuts. Pour mixture into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10-15 minutes, or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on wire rack for 15 minutes, then turn out of pan and cool. Proceed with above directions for making banana bread french toast. You can also use your own favorite banana bread recipe, but this one is nice and firm with a good crust for making french toast.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Brownie Batter Fudge Cupcakes

See, I started with Brownie Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies, and somehow ended up here....

Brownie Batter:
1/4 C butter, melted
1/3 C fat-free sweetened condensed milk (We used regular sweetened condensed milk)
1/3 C milk
1 (18.25 oz) box devil’s food cake mix

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 mins until well combined. Using a small scoop (about 1.5 tbsp) drop batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze overnight or until completely frozen.

Frozen brownie batter nestled inside the unbaked cupake batter

1 (18.25 oz) box devil’s food cake mix
1 (3.9 oz) pkg Jello instant chocolate fudge pudding mix
1 C sour cream
1 C vegetable oil
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 C milk
2 C mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners. Combine all ingredients except chocolate chips into a very large bowl and mix on medium speed for 2 mins until well combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Using a large scoop (about 3 tbsp) drop batter into the cupcake liners, filling about 2/3rds full. Remove brownie batter from freezer and press into the cupcake batter. Bake for 22-28 mins. Mine only needed to bake for the shorter amount of time. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

5 sticks butter, softened
8 oz powdered sugar
1.5 C unsweetened cocoa powder
a pinch of table salt
1.5 C light corn syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
16 oz milk chocolate chips

Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring well every 30 seconds. Allow to cool for 5-10 mins. Combine butter, sugar, cocoa and salt and mix until smooth. Add the corn syrup and vanilla and process until just combined, then add the melted chocolate and blend until smooth and creamy. Our frosting was pretty thin so we set it in the freezer for just a couple of minutes to thicken. Using a ziploc bag with the corner cut off or an icing bag add a generous swirl of frosting to each cupcake.

*Makes 36 cupcakes!

Veggie Meatballs

I think this recipe originally came from Nancy about 18 yrs ago, but it's a complete staple at our house. They work in spaghetti, subs, stroganoff, sweet n sour, BBQ.... They are a total go-to quickie. My mom even took the bbq version to one of her church potlucks down in Amish country. They were licking the bowl clean. High praise if you can fool ppl who raise meat for a living... Endless possibilities.


8 oz cream cheese
1 pkg onion soup mix
2 T flour
3 eggs
1 c pecan meal
4-5 c rice crispies cereal

8 oz chili sauce
8 oz grape jelly


Combine ingredients, then form into balls. Bake for 30 minutes at 350. Meanwhile, combine chili sauce and jelly and melt together. When baking is done, add balls to sauce and simmer for 30 minutes or so. Works great simmering in crock pot. Easy to double and freeze balls in ziploc bag.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Loaded Nachos

The combination of black beans, salsa, and nonfat Greek yogurt makes this version of nachos a multicultural feast without the fat. Serves 4

4 ounces baked tortilla chips,
8 ounces ground MSF burger crumbles and sausage patties
¾ cup fat-free spicy black bean dip
Salt and black pepper
1 cup reduced-fat Mexican style four-cheese blend
1 cup store bought fresh salsa
2/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2. Line a baking sheet with foil, and spread the tortilla chips out on the prepared sheet.
3. Heat a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the burger and cook it until it is just cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Stir the bean dip into the burger, and season it with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Spoon the burger mixture over the chips, and sprinkle the cheese on top. Bake for 6 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
5. Remove the baking sheet from the oven, and top the chips with the salsa. Drop small spoonfuls of the yogurt on top of the nachos (or serve the yogurt on the side if preferred), and scatter the cilantro on top. Serve immediately.

No-Bake Cookies

No-Bake Cookies

4 servings, 2 cookies each
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes


* 8 whole-wheat graham cracker SQUARES, finely ground
* 1/4 cup raisins
* 1/4 cup smooth natural peanut butter
* 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons honey
* 4 teaspoons unsweetened coconut

Combine ground whole-wheat graham crackers, raisins, peanut butter and honey in a small bowl. Pat into 8 cookies and press lightly in coconut. I'm adding dried apple and cherry bits to mine :)

Friday, February 4, 2011

French Toast Muffins

French Toast Muffins

French Toast Topping

* 3 tablespoons milk
* 1 egg,slightly beaten
* 6 slices cinnamon bread, crusts trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


* 1 cup milk
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 1 egg, slightly beaten
* 1 teaspoon maple extract
* 2 cups flour
* 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt


* 1/4 cup maple syrup
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Heat oven to 375°F
2. Combine all French toast topping ingredients in medium bowl; set aside,.
3. Combine 1 cup milk, melted butter, 1 egg and maple flavoring in another medium bowl. Combine all remaining muffin ingredients in large bowl. Stir milk mixture into flour mixture just until mixed.
4. Spoon batter into greased 12-cup muffin pan. Spoon French toast topping evenly over batter; press down slightly. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
5. Immediately brush muffins with maple-flavored syrup. Combine sugar and cinnamon in small bowl. Sprinkle over glazed muffins. Cool 5 minutes; remove from pan. Serve warm.

Ice Cream Cupcakes

Ice Cream Cupcakes, from the incredibly talented Joy The Baker

* One batch brownie batter
* Assorted flavors of ice cream

1. First make the brownie batter. Line two cupcake pans with the foil cupcake liners. Into each cupcake liner, scoop 1 Tablespoon of brownie batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 6-8 minutes until the brownie is cooked through.

2. Let the brownies cool in the cupcake pans to room temperature. Once cool, place in the freezer (still in the cupcake pans) for 30 minutes. When you place the cupcake pans in the freezer, remove the ice cream you’re using and place in the refrigerator to soften.

3. When ready to assemble the cupcakes, remove the cupcake pans with foil lined brownie cups from the freezer. Remove the ice cream from the fridge. Run the ice cream scooper under hot water and working quickly, portion a small scoop of ice cream into each foil lined cup, while still in the cupcake pan. The cupcake pan will help the Ice Cream Cupcake hold its shape. You may need to rinse the scooper under hot water in between scoops for easy portioning. Quickly smooth the scoops of ice cream with the back of a small spoon also rinsed in warm water and return the ice cream cupcakes quickly to the freezer.

4. Let the newly formed Ice Cream Cupcakes refreeze for 45 minutes to an hour.

5. To serve, remove the cupcakes from the freezer about 5 minutes before you’d like to serve them. Finish with a dollop of whipped cream and serve.

Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes

Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes

* 8 ounces elbow macaroni
* 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, plus a little more for garnish
* 2 eggs
* 1 cup milk
* Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper or foil liners.
Cook the macaroni until done. Drain and immediately return to pot.
Add cheese and stir briefly until almost melting.
Beat eggs into milk, and then pour mixture into macaroni. Mix well.
Ladle macaroni mixture into muffins tins, and bake for 20 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.

Sparkling White Grape Juice Cupcakes

Sparkling White Grape Juice Cupcakes


Sparkling Grape Juice Cupcakes:
1 box vanilla cake mix, the 'supermoist' variety
3 egg whites
1/3 C canola oil
1 1/4 C sparkling white grape juice

Sparkling Grape Juice Frosting:
1/2 C butter, softened
4 C powdered sugar
1/4 C sparkling white grape juice
1 tsp vanilla
red or pink food gel

edible pearls
pink sugar crystals


1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
2. In large bowl, combine dry cake mix and sparkling grape juice. Add oil, eggs and food color. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
3. Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
4. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
5. When the cupcakes are almost cool, prepare the frosting: In medium bowl, beat frosting ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
6. Put frosting into an icing bag and pipe onto cupcakes. I used Wilton tip #18.
7. Sprinkle with pink sugar crystals and edible pearls.

Mini Spinach Dip Bread Bowls

Found this over at the Picky Palate

Baked Spinach Dip Mini Bread Bowls

13.3 oz roll of refrigerated french bread loaf, I used Simply Pillsbury
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 Cups baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
3 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup light sour cream
2 Tablespoons fresh shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Ancho Chile Pepper
1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Garlic Salt
1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 Cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray 10 muffin cups with non stick cooking spray. Unroll package of french bread loaf and slice into 10 equal size slices, about 1 inch thick. Press each slice into about a 3 inch round, I did this by pressing in between my hands. Press into the bottom and up sides of the muffin cup. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir spinach until wilted, about 3 minutes then add garlic, cook and stir for another minute then turn heat off.

3. Place cream cheese, sour cream, cooked spinach and garlic, Parmesan Cheese, Ancho Chili Powder, garlic salt, salt and pepper into a medium bowl. Mix until well combined. With a medium cookie scoop, scoop dip into each of the centers of bread bowls. Top evenly with shredded cheese and bake for 15-17 minutes until just turning brown on edges. Remove and let cool for 3-5 minutes before removing from oven.

10 mini spinach dip bread bowls
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