Sunday, March 31, 2013

Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie

I am always looking for a healthy drink that tastes good and doesn't put too big of a dent in my wallet. Believe me it's a lot harder than you'd think. This recipe is simple yet tasty recipe that can be used alone or as a base for other smoothies.

This recipe makes one 10-12 ounce smoothie.


Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie

Ingredients

1 large ripe banana
3-4 medium strawberries, sliced
1 large handful baby spinach (aprox. 1-1.5 cups)
1/4 cup orange juice
3-4 cubes Ice

Directions

In a blender place all ingredients layering heavier items at the top. Pulse blender a few times, then on highest setting until liquified.

Hummus Pita "Pizza"

During Spring Break my husband and I ate like, well college students, the processed foods in our system made us have no energy, our bodies ache and retain water like it was going out of style.  I never knew that one week of eating junk would cause me to go up three pant sizes, my fat jeans are now too small!

At any rate, my husband was looking for something to make that was quick, healthy and somewhat resembled junk food. Pita bread and hummus to the rescue!
The first time he made it I had eaten most of the fresh veggies in an "omg fresh Italian dressing tastes amazing" type binge, I'm not kidding it does taste amazing.  So all we had on hand was tomato and chicken.

First time around my husband boiled the chicken with a little bit of seasoned salt, serving it with tomato steaks. This time around my husband marinated the chicken and then baked it, assembling it with fresh bell peppers, diced tomatoes and caramelized onions. While these "pizzas" are small they are surprisingly filling.


Hummus Pita "Pizza"

Ingredients

2 Pita pockets
1/8- 1/4 red bell pepper, diced
1/8- 1/4 yellow bell pepper, diced
1/8- 1/4 orange bell pepper, diced
1/2- 3/4 roma tomato, diced
2- 4 Tbsp hummus
1/2 sweet onion, caramelized
1 chicken breast, diced

Marinade:
1/2 Tbsp hawaiian teriyaki sauce
1/2 Tbsp hoisen sauce
1/2 Tbsp Teriyaki glaze

Directions

1. In a ziplock bag, make marinade and add chicken breast. Seal and place in fridge for 2 hours.
2. Preheat oven to 350*F. Chop onion and caramelize onion in a skillet with a small amount of oil on medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add a teaspoon or two of sugar if desired to add more sweetness to the onions.
3. While onion is caramelizing dice the bell peppers and tomato. Make a pouch out of tinfoil for the chicken and marinade to cook in for 40-45 minutes, until the chicken breast reaches an internal temperature of 165*F.
4. Once chicken breast is cooked through, remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled dice chicken. Raise oven temperature to 425*F.
5. Spread hummus on one side of the pita, on top place the vegetables and chicken. Place hummus pita "pizza's" in oven for 6 to 8 minutes. Remove pita's from oven and cut into quarters, and serve warm. Top with additional vegetables or onions if desired.



Saturday, March 30, 2013

2AM Chili

Going to college means meeting new people, my husband met a young man named Austin in his American Sign Language class at the beginning of the school year. I was given the opportunity to meet him over our Spring Break this past week and a half and he introduced me to a new chili that he likes to make.  I have to say its a very good chili even though we had to improvise a few spices because surprisingly enough I was out of a few of them.  Who runs out of chili powder? Apparently me.

This chili recipe comes with some very comical directions that made me bust up laughing.  I have to say if the writer ever made a cookbook I would be the first one in line to buy it just to see if his cookbook was as hilarious as his blog. To view this hilarious blog head on over to Cooking Comically.


When you make this chili make sure you have a small army to feed or plan on eating it for a day or two as it makes a LOT, my soup pot was full to the brim! For my personal serving I left out the oyster crackers and added a teaspoon of sugar and some cheddar cheese.



2AM Chili

Ingredients

The Base:
1 large can of tomato sauce
1 normal can of tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2-3/4 green bell pepper, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 vidalia (sweet) onion, chopped
1.5 lbs ground beef
1 or 2 cans of light red kidney beans
1 can of green beans
1 can of corn
Brown sugar
Cooking oil of your choice (recipe called for coconut oil)

1 shot of beer

The Seasoning:
All purpose flour
Sugar
Garlic Powder
Onion Powder
Ground Red Pepper (cayenne)
Chili Powder
Ground Cumin
Basil
Ground Black Pepper

Toppings (optional, but recommended):
Oyster crackers/Mini saltines
Shredded Sharp Cheddar

Directions

1. Mix together the seasoning in a container and set aside. Chop up the bell pepper, onion and garlic, set aside.
2. In a skillet brown the hamburger. While the hamburger is browning, Pour the contents of your cans into a large soup pot, being sure to drain the beans and the corn. Drain meat and add it to the pot as well.
3. Saute the bell pepper, onion and garlic in chosen cooking oil.  When Onions are translucent add the vegetables to the pot.
4. Add the seasoning to the pot, a few large pinches of brown sugar and a shot (or more ;) ) of beer.
5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for a few hours, stirring occasionally.
6. Serve with crackers, cheese and sour cream if desired.


Monday, March 25, 2013

B & B Crustless Quiche

The B&B Crustless Quiche really comes from my husbands love of bacon and my love of bell peppers.  The mixture in this quiche really was a hit, I made a double batch but my family still wanted more. This hit has become one of my kids' favorite quick meals.



B & B Crustless Quiche

Ingredients

1/2 lb. Bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 c. Onion, chopped (1/2 med onion)
1/2 c. Bell Pepper (using a mix of bells gives a wide variety of color and flavor)
1 1/2 c. Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 Tbsp. Flour
2 large Eggs, beaten
1 c. Whole Milk
1 Tbsp. Parsley flakes (fresh can be used, double amount)
3/4 tsp. Johnny's Season Salt
1/4 tsp. Garlic Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375*F.
In a skillet over medium heat cook bacon, drain and set aside to cool. Using a 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of saved bacon grease saute onion and bell pepper.  When bacon is cool enough to touch crumble into bell and onion mixture.
In a medium bowl mix the flour and grated cheese together, pour bacon mixture over the cheese and mix well.
Mix together the remaining ingredients and pour into a well greased deep dish pan.
Bake on cookie sheet 35-40 minutes until browned and center is set.

Letting the quiche set a few minutes before slicing allows the cheese to set more and be easier when portioning into pieces.
If you want thicker quiche use a smaller, but deeper pan, and increase cook time

Crustless Apple Quiche

In the fall we made a lot of quiches because they were quick to put together and were pretty filling. In that mix was one that I had found that called for apples, I was unsure at first, but my kids sure loved it, my son had thirds! My husband however was not so thrilled about the sweet and savory mixture, so it really is a matter of taste.


 Crustless Apple Quiche

Ingredients

1/2 lb pork sausage
1-1/2 cups apples, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup half and half
1/2 cup biscuit mix

Directions

Cook sausage until browned, drain well. Set aside.
Combine apple, cinnamon, nutmeg, cheese and sausage in a mixing bowl. Spoon into a 9 inch pan.
Combine eggs, half and half and biscuit mix. Mix well, pour over apple mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes or until set.

Sesame Salmon

This is a great tasting recipe that my husband found on about.com.  While its not friendly for my new gall bladder-less lifestyle, I still loved it and would eat it again. Even my kids loved it.

 This marinade could probably work well on chicken or a white fish.

Sesame Salmon

Ingredients

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce*
2 Tbsps lemon juice
2 Tbsps fresh grated ginger
1 clove garlic, minced

4 salmon fillets

Directions

Combine first six ingredients together, marinade on salmon for 3-5 hours.
Bake in oven at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
Measure at the thickest point. Salmon should flake when done.
* using gluten free soy sauce can make this a gluten free recipe

Life... and Chicken noodle soup


Life has a tendency to get the best of me even when I have good intentions.

January, was not my month... February and March were better, but I was so busy with school and work I barely had time to sleep let alone write blog entries.

My month started like all "good months start" with my car's transmission going out, which if we were a multi-car family or perhaps not the main car used for carpooling because I'm the one with kids who have to get to/from school.
Followed shortly by... my son tripping and falling over his own feet at school and me getting a frantic call from his school unsure of if he needs stitches, which the doctor said he didn't, but I think he should have had one or two.
Let us not forget he did the same thing last March, which involved 2 stitches, because of blood I wont be showing that one however.

Then everyone in the house got the flu, the really really bad one that made people feel like they were part of the zombie hoard in The Walking Dead? Yeah, we all got that, then managed to give it back to each other for a second, and third time around.

 What this wonderful germ infested winter did however give our family was a good, and simple way to make chicken noodle soup. With little prep we could go to school feeling like death warmed over and come home to comfort food that has been scientifically proven to make you get better quickly.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Ingredients

8 cups Chicken Broth
1 cup carrots, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 cup sweet onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 Cornish hen, whole
4 tsp salt, to taste
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
3 cups wide egg noodles

Directions

In a 4-1/2 to 6-quart crock pot, combine broth, vegetables, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper into crock-pot.
On top of vegetables place the Cornish hen, put bay leaves among the vegetables, but where they can be easily removed.
Cover and put on low for 6-10 hours or on high for 3-6 hours.
Remove hen and bay leaves from pot. Discard Bay Leaves. Add noodles, cook for 20 minutes covered.
While noodles cook, remove and discard skin, bones and fat from chicken. Shred chicken, and return to pot.