Monday, January 31, 2011
2 tsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups crushed tomatoes
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/4 tsp salt
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer covered for 15 minutes.
This is my favourite pizza sauce recipe. It’s really easy to make and I love the taste. This recipe makes more sauce than I usually need, but luckily it freezes beautifully. I always have some on hand in my freezer, ready to go when I want to make pizza. It works well as a pasta sauce too. I often use it as a base for spaghetti sauce and add things to it, like ground beef, green peppers, onions, mushrooms, parmesan cheese, and even ground flax seed for added nutrition. It’s so versatile!
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Recipe adapted from Quinoa 365: The Everyday Superfood
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup quinoa
1 lb ground chicken
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried basil
2 egg whites
Add water and quinoa into a small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and leave covered saucepan on burner for another 5 minutes. Remove lit, fluff with a fork and set aside to cool.
Mix chicken with quinoa and salt in a medium bowl. On a large plate, combine breadcrumbs, cheese, thyme and basil. In a shallow bowl, add egg whites.
Form tablespoons of chicken mixture into flat ovals about 1/2" thick, or put a small cookie cutter in the palm of your hand and press the chicken mixture inside the cutter to form a shape, then remove the cutter. Dip the nuggets into the egg whites, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake at 400F for 20 minutes, flipping the nuggets after 10 minutes. Serve with your favourite dips.
These were pretty good. The kids really liked the heart shapes I made, but they ate the oval ones too so if you're short on time don't worry about making fancy shapes. Serving them with dips will help make it interesting. We had ketchup (Cole's favourite), and a chipotle mayonnaise dip for us grown-ups. Tony said the nuggets were 'not bad.' He didn't seem blown away by them or anything. I wasn't either, and I think it was because they seemed a little dry. Next time I might skip the quinoa and try adding fresh breadcrumbs and an egg to the chicken instead to help make them more moist. I did like the idea of using ground meat to form the nuggets into shapes rather than using pieces of chicken breast as I've done in the past. This way you can form them into whatever shapes you want, and you can easily add ingredients to the chicken to suit your taste.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
2 cups uncooked macaroni
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
Heat oven to 350F. Cook macaroni in boiling water as directed. While macaroni is cooking, melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, mustard and worcestershire sauce. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly; remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute; remove from heat. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cheese, and pour the rest into the sauce, stirring until melted. Drain macaroni. Gently stir macaroni into cheese sauce. Pour into an ungreased baking dish. Sprinkle the reserved 1/2 cup of cheese onto the pasta and then sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.
Sometimes I make a lighter version of this, with only 2 tablespoons of butter and low-fat cheese, but sometime I like to go all out. I like to substitute some of the cheddar with an herbed havarti sometimes too, just to mix things up. This time I made my own macaroni, with my new shiny Christmas gift:
A new stand mixer with a pasta-maker attachment! I've been having lots of fun with it.
Here comes the macaroni!
Please check out Quit Eating Out's Saturday Swap for some more great recipes!
Monday, January 24, 2011
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup oat bran
1/2 cup pecans
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup cranberries
1/3 cup dates
1/3 cup almond butter
1/3 cup honey
Place oats, quinoa, pumpkin seeds, oat bran, pecans, raisins, cranberries and dates in a food processor and pulse until the fruit and nuts are finely chopped. Break up the banana into 4 or 5 pieces and put them in the food processor, along with almond butter and honey. Pulse again until mixture begins to stick together. Pour mixture into a greased or parchment-lined 9 x 9 inch pan. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes.
These bars were such a yummy treat. What a bonus that they're actually good for you too! I loved how the quinoa added a nice crunch to them. The boys ate these up with no complaints. Cole even had one for breakfast when he didn't feel like having cereal. They're great for packing in lunches or any time you're on the go. For more lunch ideas, check out the post on packing lunches.
Friday, January 21, 2011
1 cup frozen ready-to-eat shrimp
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup beets, julienned
1 can baby corn, drained
3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
3 tbsp Catalina dressing
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp red wine or sherry
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water
2 cups chow mein noodles
1 bag of bean sprouts, washed
1/4 cup sliced green onion
Place shrimp in a bowl of cold water to thaw. In a wok or large heavy skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add celery, broccoli and beets and fry for 5 minutes until softened. Mix together soy sauce, Catalina dressing, red wine, and garlic. Add sauce to wok and stir. Cover and let steam for 5-10 minutes. Combine cornstarch and water, stir into wok and bring to a boil until sauce thickens. In a separate pot, cook chow mein noodles in boiling water according to package directions, usually a few minutes. Drain noodles and drain the thawed shrimp, then add them to wok along with bean sprouts and green onions. Stir until noodles are coated in sauce. Cover and cook until shrimp are heated through.
It had never occurred to me to put beets in a stir fry, until one of my readers posted a comment on my Chicken Stir Fry post about it. I finally tried it and wow, it's really good! Cole was very intrigued by the deep pink colour. Unfortunately he had a tummy ache the night I made it, so he didn't have any then, but the next day he asked if he could have some of the 'pink stuff'' for lunch. He ate it all up! Bennett ate most of his and seemed to like it. Tony didn't try any because at the last minute he decided to go out for dinner with a friend. I put some in the fridge in one of his lunch containers so he could take it to work the next day, but he didn't take it, so either he was put off by the pink colour or he just forgot it. I think he'd probably like it if he tried it and I think you will too. Go on and give pink a chance!
Don't forget to enter the Giveaway for Anytime Sacks. Contest open until Jan 27th.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I try to make litterless lunches whenever possible. When I pack food in reusable containers and bags, it's better for the environment and it's usually cheaper and healthier than pre-packaged foods. You'll also save a lot by not using as many plastic sandwich bags. I've been loving my reusable sandwich and snack bags that I found from Anytime Sacks. I got Spongebob bags for Cole and Diego bags for Bennett (or Dabodee bags, as Bennett would call them). They're really easy to wash too, you just wipe the nylon liner with a damp cloth, or for tougher messes just toss them in the washing machine and hang to dry.
Here are the boys' lunches from the other day:
This time I put granola bars in the little snack bags, and a whole apple in each of the larger bags. At daycare I need to label everything or it'll end up in someone else's lunch, so I like sticking the apple inside a bag with their name on it. Purchasing a label-maker was one of the best investments I've made, because I sure need a lot of labels!
I also like using the little round Ziploc containers, Rubbermaid juiceboxes, and Corningware dishes. The Corningware is super handy for putting leftovers in and reheating them, if you have access to a microwave. If you don't, then a thermos is great. I prefer not to reheat foods in plastic, so that's why I like these dishes.
As for foods to put in your lunch, here are a list of my favorites:
- Fruit (grapes, apples, strawberries, blueberries, mango, melon, oranges, etc)
- Cheerios mixed with raisins or dried cranberries
- Homemade bars (Fruit-filled Cereal Bars, Mini Fruit-filled Cereal Bars, Energy Bars, Fruit and Seed Bars, Cinnamon Raisin Granola Bars, Fruity Granola Bars, Apple Date Bars, Strawberry Yogurt Squares, Apricot Orange Squares)
- Granola Balls
- Cereal Crunchers
- Muffins (Triple-Hitter Muffins, Lunchbox Muffins, Banana Yogurt Muffins, Oatmeal Carrot Muffins, Tropical Mini-Muffins)
- Peanut butter and Jelly Roll-ups
- Quesadillas (Shredded Chicken Quesadillas, Black Bean and Pepper Quesadillas)
- Homemade Bear Paws
- Applesauce, Berry Applesauce
- Whole grain Goldfish crackers
- Sesame Flaxseed Crackers
- Veggies (baby carrots, cucumber slices, cherry tomatoes) and dip
- Cheese cubes
- Homemade Fruit Leather
- Sandwiches (ham and cheese, peanut butter and honey, peanut butter and jelly, cream cheese and cucumber, cream cheese and jam, cream cheese and avocado, egg salad, tuna)
- Weelicious Pizza Pinwheels
- Mini Crustless Quiche
- Pasta salad
- Quinoa Greek Salad
- Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce
- Pita Pockets with Greek Salad and Hummus
Now I'm sure you'd like to hear about this giveaway, so here it is.
Anytime Sacks Giveaway:
You can win a snack and sandwich sack of your choice from the listed on their Etsy shop. It can be a matching set or different fabrics.
To enter, just leave a comment mentioning one of your favorite things to pack in lunches. Make sure I have your email address so I can contact you if you win.
You can receive bonus entries by doing any of the following (just make sure to leave a separate comment to tell me each bonus entry you do):
- Add Anytime Sacks to your Etsy Favorites
- Share this giveaway on Facebook, Twitter, or blog
- Follow us on Google Friend Connect
- Subscribe to us by Email
- Follow us on Twitter
- Become a fan on our Facebook page (by clicking 'Like')
This contest will close Thursday January 27 2011 at midnight PST.
Winner will be chosen by http://www.random.org/. I'll contact the winner by email, and the sacks will be sent by Anytime Sacks.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 crushed garlic cloves
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
2 ½ teaspoons chili powder
½ teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried parsley
¼ cup salsa
1 6 oz can tomato sauce
1 ½ cups water
To make the red sauce, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the onion powder, chili powder, oregano, basil, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, parsley, tomato sauce and salsa. Mix well and then stir in the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or more.
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup rice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup diced smoked turkey sausage
2 cups shredded light cheddar cheese
6 large spinach tortillas
While sauce is simmering, make the casserole filling. In a large saucepan or skillet, combine spices, broth and rice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until rice is cooked and liquid absorbed. Combine sausage and black beans with the rice mixture.
In a lightly greased 9x12 baking dish, pour enough red sauce to cover the bottom. Top with 2 tortillas, breaking them to fit as necessary. Top tortillas with half of the rice and bean mixture. Sprinkle with a third of the cheese. Top with another 2 tortillas, then with the remaining rice and bean mixture. Sprinkle with another third of the cheese. Top with remaining tortillas. Pour red sauce evenly over top of the tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Serve with sour cream, salsa, and/or guacamole if desired.
This recipe is basically a short-cut version of my Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas. The directions sound more complicated but this way is actually faster than assembling each enchilada individually. Also the sausage saves you time instead of having to cook and shred the chicken. It's just as delicious, maybe even more than the original. I love the smokey flavour that the sausage adds to this dish. My family sure approved of it. Tony had an entire 2nd dinner of this stuff once the kids were in bed. It makes great leftovers, and it freezes well too.
This recipe has been added to Mommy's Kitchen Sunday Potluck, please visit her site:
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
Now I've mentioned before that my family is wimpy when it comes to spicy foods, and this proved to be true yet again. I may have put a few too many peppers because it was WAY too spicy for the kids and almost too much for me as well. I ate it up anyway and had more, because despite the spiciness it was amazingly tasty! Bennett actually ate quite a bit of it too, even though he was panting and drinking a ton of milk as he ate. His eyes were even watering, poor thing, but he kept going! Cole, being the more cautious one, removed all of the meat and just ate the bread and cheese. I didn't even put any peppers in their helpings, but I guess the meat and broth had absorbed their heat. The boys did have fun dipping their food in the broth. I'd like to try Ree's other version to see if the kids would enjoy that better, or I may make this one again without the peppers, or at least with less peppers. Drip beef is definitely a fun family meal, and I think with some experimenting I'll find a version that my family will love.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1 14 oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes
6 cups turkey (or chicken) stock
1 350g pkg of 3-cheese tortellini
salt, to taste
Heat oil in a dutch oven or large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions, green pepper and garlic. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add basil, oregano and pepper. Cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and stock. Heat on high until boiling, reduce to medium and add tortellini. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, until pasta is cooked. Add salt if desired.
I had made a really nice stock out of the turkey we had for Christmas. It was disturbingly gelatinous when it cooled, but apparently that's a good thing! I was going to use it to make turkey soup but ran out of turkey (we had a small bird this year), so I froze the stock to use when the mood struck me. Well, the mood struck. I wanted soup and I wanted pasta, so I made this. The stock really was good and not like jello at all once reheated. The kids didn't mind it but they didn't love it either. I think the tortellini was a little too big for them. I ended up cutting them into smaller pieces. Next time I'll look for smaller tortellini. I'm sure there will be a next time, because I thought this soup hit the spot. I've used up all my turkey stock but a good chicken stock should work just as well with this.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
1 1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
4 tsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 tsp dried oregano
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
3/4 cup shredded provolone cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
Line bottom and side of crockpot with heavy tin foil.
In a large bowl, stir bread crumbs with milk and let stand for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a skilled on medium heat, fry onions, garlic and oregano for about 6 minutes. Add to breadcrumbs. Then add eggs, sun-dreid tomatoes, parsely, parmesan, salt and pepper. Combine with a wooden spoon. Mix in ground meat, using hands if needed. Place in centre of foil-lined crockpot and form into a loaf shape.
Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until meat thermometer registers 170 F.
Sprinkle loaf with topping of cheese, parsley and sun-dried tomatoes Cover and cook on high until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Gently lift the foil to pull the loaf out of the crockpot. Let stand on a cutting board for about 5 minutes to let the fat drain off into foil. Transfer loaf directly onto cutting board and slice.
I made this meatloaf on New Years day for dinner. I usually make something special on that day, and while meatloaf may not sound very special, this meatloaf certainly was. It nice and juicy, thanks to the moistened breadcrumbs, and the sun-dried tomatoes added so much flavour. I'm also in love with provolone cheese now. It's not a cheese I've ever thought to buy before, but I sure am enjoying it since I had to buy it for this recipe. This meatloaf also makes great leftovers. We had meatloaf sandwiches the next day and I really enjoyed them. I had mine with pickles and it was especially yummy. The boys didn't love the sandwiches so much, but they did seem to like the meatloaf on its own the first night. I had served it with yams, which they hate, so they might have only liked the meatloaf by default. Anyway, they ate it and that's the main thing!
-Recipe adapted from Canadian Living: The Slow Cooker Collection
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Thanks again everyone, and be sure to check out my other post today too: Banana Flax Waffles...and a Linky!
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 eggs, yolks and whites separated
2 cups buttermilk or soured milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 mashed banana
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together egg yolks, buttermilk, oil, banana and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients and stir together. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form, the fold into batter until just combined. Cook in waffle-iron.
Tony gave me a waffle maker for my birthday last month, kind of like this one:
I love it when hotels have these kind of waffle makers at continental breakfasts, so it's really neat to have my very own! So now every Saturday morning I've been making waffles and experimenting with different recipes. This is one that I came up with after a few trials and it's one of my favourites so far. The great thing about homemade waffles is that you can freeze them and just pop them in the toaster when you want a quick snack or breakfast. I prefer them so much more than the store-bought frozen waffles, and they're much better for you too. If you don't have a waffle maker, you can use this batter for pancakes too.
Since this is my first post of 2011, I thought I'd try something new...a linky! Add a link to share a breakfast recipe. You'll be able to add breakfast-related posts until Jan 9th.
Happy New Year!