Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Sassy Wonton Tacos

This recipe was made by my friend Kim Cappello (Taken from the Hungry Girls website) on our craft night using ideas from Pinterest. Although are crafts were mediocre at best, these tacos were absolutely delicious!!

Ingredients
 
  • 8 small square wonton wrappers (usually stocked with the tofu in the refrigerated section of the market)
  • 1 cup dry coleslaw mix
  • 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp. Newman's Own Lighten Up! Low Fat Sesame Ginger Dressing (or another low-fat sesame ginger dressing)
  • 4 oz. cooked and shredded (or finely chopped) skinless lean chicken breast
  • 2 tbsp. BBQ sauce with about 45 calories per 2-tbsp. serving
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray the inside and outside walls of a deep square or rectangular baking pan with nonstick spray. Evenly drape the wonton wrappers over the pan's walls on a diagonal, making triangle-shaped "shells." (Use two pans, if needed, to keep wontons from overlapping.) Bake until just crispy enough to hold their shape, about 3 minutes.

Remove pan from the oven, but leave oven on. Carefully remove wontons and gently open to form "taco shells." Set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine coleslaw mix, cilantro, and dressing. Mix well. Cover and microwave for about 1 minute, until slightly softened. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine chicken with BBQ sauce; mix well and set aside.

Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray. Evenly distribute the BBQ chicken among the shells, followed by the slaw, about 1 tbsp. of each per shell. Lay the filled shells gently on their sides on the baking sheet.

Spray the shells lightly with nonstick spray. Bake until warm and crunchy, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly and then serve!


NOTES: Kim used eggroll wrappers instead of wonton wrappers so they were slightly bigger. She added a little spice by using chicken sausage instead of chicken breast for some added spice! She also filled them and then baked but I would suggest sticking to these directions if you want a crunchier shell!

Monica's Turkey Chili Verde with Hominy and Squash

This recipe comes to us from the Sunny state of California!! Monica is a friend from when I was younger that I was able to reconnect with through Facebook. She is a working mother with two beautiful children, Penny & Wes. Can't wait to try this as it looks delicious!!!

Ingredients

2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 lb cooked turkey sausage ( I use Jenny O's) cut into 1inch pieces
1 large onion, diced
11/2 tsp dried Mexican oregano
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 15-oz can hominy, undrained
1 cup green chili enchilada sauce
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 cups 3/4-in cubes of peeled butternut squash

Directions

1. Heat oil in heavy, large pot over medium heat. Add sausage.
Sauté until heated through, about 4- minutes. Add onion, oregano and garlic. Stir 2 minutes.
2. Add hominy, enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cilantro and squash. Simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Transfer to slow cooker. Cook on low for 4-6 hours.
4. Transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle remaining cilantro on top and serve (optional).



Picture to come....


NOTES: Monica sometimes works long hours. So, she adapted this to the crockpot!! I look forward to more recipes from Monica!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Whats better than a baked Sweet Potato? Give up?? Stuffing it with a yummy mix of fruits and nuts! Went great with a Roast Chicken on the grill!

Ingredients

Sweet Potatoes (1 half per person)
2 pears, peeled and diced
Craisins
Pecans (or nut of choice)
2 tablespoons butter (I used soy)
1 tablespoon brown Sugar
2 tablespoons vinegar (I used cider but balsamic will work too)

Directions

Poke wholes in the sweet potatoes and bake on a foil lined baking sheet at 350 for about an hour until fork tender. Put craisins in a cup of hot water for about five minutes and then drain well. Meanwhile, in a saute pan melt butter and add pears. Cook until browned. Add cranberries, brown sugar, and vinegar.Reduce heat to low and cook until sauce begins to reduce. Add nuts and continue to cook on low. When ready, the stuffing will have a syrup like sauce. Cut potatoes in half and top with pear mixture. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin Pasta recipe is a keeper!!!

It's Autumn and what better way to celebrate then with a pumpkin pasta dish that the whole family will love! It's a recipe of medium difficulty but definitely on the healthy side with some substitutes of your normal cream sauce! There are lots of ingredients that can be changed or added to suit your likes and dislikes. It can also be made vegetarian!


Ingredients


1 box wheat pasta
1 package chicken sausage
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup evaporated skim milk
15 oz. pumpkin puree
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bag of baby spinach
1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
Sprinkle of brown sugar


Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions. Slice sausage links in half, then into 1-inch
pieces. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and cook sausage until browned. Add
onion and cook for 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Add broth, milk, pumpkin,spices, and pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low, allowing liquid to thicken slightly. Add spinach and stir until wilted. Sprinkle with brown sugar and mix in sour cream just before removing from heat.Toss pasta with sauce and serve.



NOTES: I used unsweetened soy milk and tofutti cream cheese instead of evaporated milk and sour cream and it came out just as good as it did when I made it with the original ingredients.I also added diced apples at the onion stage the most recent time I made this and it was a GREAT addition! Also add some other ingredients such as white beans to make a heartier dish!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Its Fruit Crisp season....

Apple picking season is among us. However, this fruit crisp recipe can be used with any variety of fruit you choose such as apples, plums, pumpkin puree, raspberries, blueberries, pears, or anything else. You can also choose to use frozen fruit if you are not lucky enough to be in New England where the picking is a plenty!

Ingredients

5 cups of fruit peeled and sliced, chopped, or thawed
2-4 tablepsoons of sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4  cup plus 1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon spice (use you favorite: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, etc)
1/4 cup butter

Directions


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Prepare your fruit and toss with sugar and tablespoon of flour. Use less sugar for fresh fruit.
3. Combine the remainder of the ingredients in a separate bowl until the butter is the size of peas.
4. Put fruit in a pie dish or any other oven safe dish you choose.
5. Top with crumble topping.
6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until topping is browned and fruit filling is bubbling.
7. Let sit for about 10 minutes before serving.



Notes on dish: I used soy butter with no problem. You can use artificial sweetener as well if you prefer to take out the sugar. I actually used brown sugar to toss the apples and in the topping. 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chicken Fried Rice: Semi Homemade Style

This rice is so easy.  I just came up with it tonight thinking about ingredients I had and tada!!!

I made rice in a steamer but if you dont have one then make rice like you normally would. I used brown rice.

Then for my chicken, I used pieces from a rotisserie chicken I had in the fridge. I also used frozen organic veggies! Can't get much easier than that!

1 cup cooked rice
1 small onion diced
1 egg scrambled (optional)
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
1 tablespoon garlic
1 - 1 1/2 cups chicken, diced or shredded
salt and pepper
ginger (fresh or dried ground)
seasame seeds, toasted
lite soy sauce
teriyaki sauce

In a pan, heat enough oil  to coat the bottom of a pan (I used sesame but you can use vegetable oil). On one side cook the onion and garlic and on the other side, scramble the egg. Once cooked, mix them together. Add everything else but the rice. Cook for a few minutes. Add rice and toss together. I used about a tablespoon on the soy sauce and teriyaki at first and added to taste. Also, you can take out any of the ingredients or add things like snap peas or broccoli depending on your taste buds and what you have on hand!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Honey Nut Quinoa Salad

I have tried many different ways of preparing this nutritious grain. Some have been great and some have been epic fails. I really like this sweet and crunchy variation. As always, adding or removing any ingredient in a salad won't ruin the recipe but I think that each component adds a great piece to this dish! Its easy and can be served hot or cold, although the census has preferred cold so far!

Ingredients

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup each of regular and golden raisins
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/2 cup sliced or chopped almonds, toasted
1 teaspoon tumeric (optional)
fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, cilantro, basil, etc.)

Dressing

1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespook red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
pinch of sea salt

Directions

1. Cook quinoa as directed on package.
2. Toast almonds and pine nuts in a dry pan until golden brown. Remember that nuts go from perfect to burnt very quickly and burnt nuts have to be thrown out.
3. In a small saucepan, bring cider vinegar and raisins to a boil. Take off heat and let sit for about 10 minutes. This softens and rehydrates your raisins.
4. Combine ingredients for dressing and mix well.
5. Put cooked quinoa, nuts, raisins with liquid, herbs, and dressing in a bowl and toss until combined.

You can serve it warm or cool in in the fridge and serve it cold!!

It's time for Chili....

Although it is labor day weekend...I think it is safe to say that chili is a favorite any time of year. Here is my award winning (in a school chili cook off ) recipe!

 Ingredients

1 lb Beef

1 lb ground turkey
1 package sweet or hot sausage
2 beef bouillon cube, crushed or minced
1 8 oz can sliced olives, drained
1 15 oz can black beans, not drained
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 small cans Spanish tomato sauce
1 28 oz can red or pink kidney beans, not drained  
2 bell peppers, diced (any color)
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno, sliced lengthwise with ½ seeds removed
Spices to your liking (chili powder, crushed red pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, cumin, black pepper, fresh or dried cilantro, garlic, hot sauce)

Directions

1. In a Dutch oven pot on the stove, brown each of the meats individually.
2. Add beef bouillons to a mug of hot water and dissolve, add to pot.
3. Add all other ingredients except for the meat, corn, tomato juice and spices. Let veggies soften.
4. Put all three meats back in and stir.
5. Let cooked for about 15 minutes.
6. Add tomato juice, corn, and spices. Mix thoroughly.
7. Put chili in a Crockpot and let cook all day or over night at low or simmer on the stove for a few hours. 

Serve with rice, chips, sour cream, cheese, or anything else that you want!



Monday, August 29, 2011

Marinara....simplistic but necessary for any cook! Plus some meatballs :)

Tonight I made one damn good pot of sauce. Although its impossible to duplicate my elder relatives, I really like my combo. Not much to it.....

Ingredients

2 big cans of crushed tomatoes (I used my mom's canned tomatoes)
3 carrots, chopped finely
1 medium onion, chopped finely
3 stalks of celery, chopped finally
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch of fresh basil
1 bunch fresh parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil


Directions
1. Using a knife or food processor, chop carrot, onion, and celery to bits.
2. In a large sauce pot, add enough olive oil to coat the bottom and add chopped veggies, along with minced garlic.
3. Cook until onions are transparent.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for an hour or so.
5. If you are going to add meat, simmer for about 15 minutes before doing so.
Enjoy alone or with meatballs made from recipe below!




Meatballs
2 lbs of meatloaf mix (pork beef and veal) or all beef
4 slices of bread dipped in milk and broken into small pieces
3 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste



Directions
1. Mix all ingredients together except meat.
2. Once ingredients are combined, add might and mix through handling as little as possible.
3. Form into balls of desired size.
4. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes to release some of the fat.
5. Add to pot of sauce and cook for another 20 minutes.

NOTE: The less you handle the meatballs, the less dense they will be. You will get nice light and fluffy meatballs as a result of proper handling. Omit cheese and use unsweetened soy milk for non dairy meatballs. Also, buttermilk can be used to dip bread in and provide meatballs with some acidity to break down fat.

Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Dairy-Free Eater :)

There are some things that I have not be able to perfect for my son to enjoy. However, Chocolate Chip Cookies is no longer on that list. I used "Enjoy Life" brand chocolate chips and they were great. He keeps sneaking them because he has never been able to have them before!! So cute....



Ingredients:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ t. salt
  • 1 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. baking soda
  • 1 cup all-vegetable non-dairy shortening, such as Spectrum
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 cups dairy-free chocolate chip
Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.
3. In another medium-sized bowl and using an electric hand mixer at a medium speed setting, cream together the shortening and brown sugar until well combined and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until well combined.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the eggs, mixing until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, drop cookies onto the prepared sheet, about 2 inches apart, and bake for 20 minutes, or until cookies are golden brown.

NOTE: The drops seem big, but they made nice size cookies :) I used Earth Balance instead of shortening.

HELLO, ARE YOU THERE? It's me Kaitlin and my favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe

It's been oh so long!! However, I made a delicious cake from scratch and I have to share it with you!! Hopefully I can get back to this thing sooner and post ALOT of deliciousness that I have been making. But this should start things off for you!! Please make for your favorite chocolate lover ASAP!!! I raided many recipes and put this together. Came out Fabulous! And its milk free if you want it to be!! Enjoy!



Cake Ingredients
- 1 3/4 c all purpose flour
- 2 c sugar
- 3/4 c cocoa powder
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 c strong black coffee
- 1 c buttermilk (See NOTE for substitute)

- 1/2 c vegetable oil
- 1 tsp real vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting Ingredients
- 1/2 c margarine, softened  
- 2 oz melted unsweetened chocolate, cooled
- 3 c powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 2 tsp real vanilla extract

Directions
1.   Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl or stand mixer.
2.   Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla.
3.   Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Batter will be thin.
4.   Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 pan or two 9 inch cake pans.
5.   Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes for a 9x13, or 30-35 minutes for layer pans.
6.   Combine frosting ingredients and mix with a hand or stand mixer. Spread frosting on cooled cakes. 

NOTE: You can use a cup of soy or rice milk with 1 tablespoon of vinegar to replace the buttermilk. You can also use any kind of margarine and milk in the frosting. I used soy for all three and it came out FABULOUS!! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Patient for Posts...

I want to thank everyone who follows me on my blog....I have been horrible with posting but have been busy making some delicious eats that I will share with you shortly!


Looks forward to the following recipes:

Chocolate Covered Salted Caramels
Watermelon Cucumber Salad
Jicama Salad
Cannoli Dip
Roasted Corn Crostini
 Mexican Rice Bake

Monday, February 28, 2011

Quick, Easy, and Delicious...Who knew Swai was even a fish?

While doing my weekly shopping (a day late), I came across a fish called Swai. I asked the man at the counter what he would compare it to and he said similar to tilapia. At $3.99 a pound, even if it tasted like crap, it was worth trying. I am SO happy I did. I just hope they carry it more often!! If you google it, they say its from the catfish family but I am NOT a catfish fan and loved this fish!

I seasoned the swai with olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper and then topped it with some slices of red onion. I baked it for about 8 minutes at 400 degrees. It came out moist and delicious!

I have been using quinoa very frequently and came across a red variety today. Although it was good, I think for a fish accompaniment, the white quinoa would have worked better. However, I cooked it as instructed on the package and used it as a bed for my fish.

I needed a veggie and didn't feel like anything steamed and dull so I picked up some fresh snap peas and an avocado. I made a simple vinaigrette with olive oil, red wine vinegar, lime juice, salt and pepper. I then sliced the peas lengthwise so that the dressing could get into their pods. I diced some avocado and added some thinly sliced red onion and tossed them all. I needed to add something and I remembered my mom usually puts both cheese and pancetta in her version of this salad so I added a pinch of really good parmigiana reggiano. It was the perfect touch! I topped my fish with this fresh salad and it made for a great light and tasty meal after a rainy day!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

NY Cheesecake made with love and lots of fat!

So I made a cheesecake for the first time without ricotta cheese and it didn't turn out that bad. My suggestion is to NOT use any low fat ingredients to replace the ones listed below in order to maintain consistency. If you must substitute....I wish you luck! I would suggest making the crust yourself as well because I think that you will have too much filling if you try to use a pre-made shell. Come on...it's not that hard!! In order to result in a creamy texture, you MUST make this ahead of time.

Ingredients for Crust:

1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/4 c. sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter

Ingredients for Cake:

4 packages of cream cheese (8 oz each, softened)
1 1/2 c. sugar
3/4 cup milk or cream
4 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 c. sour cream
1/4 c. flour

Directions for crust:

Mix the three crust ingredients together until combined. You should have something that looks like wet crumbs. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a spring form pan (a MUST). Use a measuring cup to condense crumbs and form corners along the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Directions for cheesecake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a hand mixer or kitchen aid, whip sugar into cream cheese. Slowly add milk and vanilla and combine. Add eggs one at a time. Then add the sour cream and flour. Mix for a minute until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour mixture into spring form pan making sure the top is smooth. Bake for about one hour until top is slightly golden. Cool on counter for about 2 hours and then transfer to refrigerator and cool completely (at least 4 hours but preferably overnight). Serve chilled with fresh fruit, compote, or all alone.

NOTES ON THIS DISH: Many recipes call to cool cake in oven but this started to overcook the cake and brown the top too much. We tried cooling on the counter and when we cut into it, it seemed like it was a souffle like consistency. However, after chilling it overnight, the desired creaminess was achieved!! If you like a crumbly crust, use less butter. If you like a firm crust use more butter!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Appetizer:Brie en Croute with Apples and Walnuts

Brie wrapped in crescent dough or puff pastry is a common appetizer at gatherings with friends and family as of late. However, the fillings have varied and usually include fruit and nuts from cranberries and figs to almonds and pecans. Today, I made a twist on this popular starter.

Ingredients:

1 tube of crescent rolls (reduced fat preferred) or two sheets pastry dough
1 triangle of brie
1 green apple, sliced thin
1/2 cup of walnuts
3 or 4 tablespoons brown sugar


Directions:

Preheat oven according to dough directions. Lay out first layer of dough onto a silpat (rubber nonstick sheet) in a pan or onto a greased cookie sheet. If you are using crescent rolls, use four triangles and create a rectangle, pinching the seams together. Place a single layer of apple onto the dough. Next layer with nuts and brown sugar. Top with Brie that has been sliced thinly into rope like pieces. Top with a second layer of apples and then the second sheet of dough. make sure to crimp all edges together to prevent the cheese from escaping. Make two or three steam slits in the top of the dough. Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown...Enjoy!



NOTES ON THIS DISH: I have found that store bought dough around the mini wheel of brie never really covers perfectly for me. Many times my dough doesn't cook at the same pace as my cheese melts. This method of slicing the cheese is an easier way to do it and gives you a little less cheese per bite with the same great taste. Also, I prefer to use the reduced fat crescent rolls so that there is not an artificial butter flavor and less grease from the dough. It allows the brie, brown sugar, and apples to really come out with a crunch from the nuts. An idea I thought of afterward is to use the packaged candied walnuts you can purchase at any grocery store made by Emerald. If you choose to use these, there is not need for the extra sugar. However, with this shortcut, expect a stronger and sweeter flavor from the nuts which may take away from the brie and apples.

Karen's Pineapple Stuffing

One of my favorite recipes that I inherited from my mother in law Karen is her pineapple stuffing. Its a sweet dish that can be made as a breakfast entree or a side during a holiday feast. Either way, it is delicious and very easy to make!


Ingredients:

1 loaf of white or wheat bread (nothing with seeds)
6 eggs
1/2 cup of butter (soy works great)
1 cup sugar (white or brown sugar or Splenda can be used)
1 can crushed pineapple

Grease 13x9 pan with PAM. Cream together the eggs and sugar. Incorporate the butter into the mixture. Stir in crushed pineapple. Set aside. Break up the bread and put into a large mixing bowl. Pour egg mixture over bread making sure all of it has been soaked up. Put into refrigerator for at least one hour (more with time permitting).
When ready to make, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered with foil for 45 minutes to an hour until set. Remove foil and brown top til golden brown about 15 minutes. Serve warm!