Tuesday, July 28, 2015

"Mac & Cheese" Spaghetti Squash

This is a fairly small recipe, because sadly my husband doesn't enjoy very many "lower-carb" recipes - but I love this quick, tasty, healthier version of Mac & Cheese!

1/2 T flour
Salt & Pepper
1/4 c. milk
1/4 shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c. spaghetti squash, cooked and shredded
1 green pepper, finely diced
1 green onion, finely diced
1/4 c. frozen peas
1 T. parmesan cheese

     Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 8x8 glass pan with cooking spray and set aside.
     In a small saucepan, over medium heat, whisk together flour and salt & pepper. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Cook and stir until thickened. Remove from heat and add shredded cheddar cheese. Add spaghetti squash and stir until well combined. Spread in prepared glass pan.
     Sprinkle with green pepper, onion, peas, and Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes until cheese is melted and squash is heated through.

Chicken Fried Rice

If you don't have a wok for this recipe, a sauce pan can also work. But if you do have a wok, use it!

Sesame oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 c. frozen peas
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 eggs
2 grilled chicken breasts, seasoned with salt & pepper, diced
3 c. prepared white rice
1/4 c. soy sauce

    In a wok, heat about 1 T. sesame oil. When pan is warm, add onion, peas, and carrots - saute until tender. Add more sesame oil if vegetables start to stick to the wok. Crack eggs over vegetables and stir quickly to almost make "veggie scrambled eggs". Add in chicken, rice, and drizzle soy sauce over all. Stir to combine.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Soy and Sesame Edamame

  • 1 1/2 cups edamame in pods
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • salt and pepper to taste

  1. Boil edamame for five minutes. Drain in cold water and dry with paper towel.
  2. In a pan over high heat, add sesame oil. When the oil is hot, almost smoking, add edamame pods and fry for about 3-4 minutes, until the pods are sightly charred.
  3. Add soy sauce and stir until the sauce has evaporated.
  4. Season with salt and lots of black pepper.
  5. This healthy snack can be served immediately or refrigerated. Delicious hot or cold!

How To! Pumpkin Puree

I'm starting a "How To" label - these aren't recipes exactly - more like guidelines/instructions I've found helpful while stocking my kitchen!

Use as many pumpkins as you want. (I washed and scrubbed mine on the outside)
  1. Set your oven to preheat at 350.
  2. Scoop out the insides of the pumpkin (the seeds and stringiness).
  3. Cut into manageable sizes and lay on a baking tray.
  4. Season with salt and pepper (optional).
  5. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour in the oven until it is fork tender (should slide right off of a fork stuck into it.)
  6. When finished baking, peel the skin (it should come right off)
  7. Put the pumpkin into a food processor and blend until it's smooth.
  8. Store in your fridge in a container until needed, or, if you're not going to use it for now (like, this week) you can store the pumpkin puree into plastic zip bags and place them in the freezer laid flat.

Chicken Chimichangas

These chimichangas are amazing! A little bit of heat in the filling and a crisp outside combine to make a tasty meal! (These are not only "husband-approved", but they are brother-in-law and nephew approved!)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove seeds for less heat)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
1 small tomato, chopped, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup sour cream
1 15 -ounce can refried beans
4 10 -inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, plus more for topping

Shredded lettuce, for topping
Mexican rice, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Melt the butter with 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet; transfer to a bowl. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet. Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon salt; toast 30 seconds. Add the tomato and cilantro and cook until slightly dry, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chicken and sour cream and warm through. Remove from the heat.

Brush a rimmed baking sheet with some of the butter-oil mixture. Spread 2 tablespoons refried beans down the center of each tortilla, leaving a 2-inch border on both ends. Top with 1 cup chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. Fold in the ends and roll up.

Put the chimichangas seam-side down on the baking sheet; brush with the butter-oil mixture. Bake 8 to 10 minutes per side, brushing again after you flip. Top with the sauce, more cheese, lettuce and tomato. Serve with rice and the remaining beans.

Dutch Oven Bread

So, Jordan got me a dutch oven for Christmas (he knows me so well!!), and I've been on the hunt for some new recipes for a dutch oven. This artisan-type bread is great for breakfast, sandwiches, dipping, everything! Added bonus, it only takes about an hour and a half from start to finish!

4-4 1/2 cups bread flour
2 Tablespoons yeast
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 cups warm water
1 1/2 Tablespoons salt

Proof yeast by combining the yeast and the sugar in the bottom of the bowl of a stand mixer and then pour the warm water over it. Whisk it by hand lightly. Let is rest for 10 minutes until it is foamy.

In a separate bowl mix 3 cups of the flour with the salt.

Add the flour mixture one cup at a time to the yeast mixture in the stand mixer attached with the dough hook. The dough will start to come together, but still be sticky. Add in the rest of the flour in 1/2 cup increments until the dough completely comes together in a ball. Let the mixer knead the dough for a few minutes. Then dump the dough onto the counter and continue to knead for about five minutes, or until the dough is smooth.

Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover the top with a lightly damp kitchen towel. Let is rise for 20-30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees with the Dutch oven inside.

Do not punch down the dough.

Simply take out the ball of dough, that should have risen. Lightly coat both the bottom and the top of the loaf with flour. Carefully remove the Dutch oven from the oven and just as carefully drop the dough in the center of the Dutch oven. Cut three slits in the top of the loaf. That will give it that artisan top.

Cook for 30 minutes covered. Then take off the lid and cook for another 7-10 minutes, until the top is golden and crunchy looking.

Remove from the Dutch oven onto a cutting board. Let it cool slightly.

Then slice into its artisan bread glory.

Double Chocolate Muffins

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk (skim, 1%, 2%, whatever you have works)
1/3 cup sour cream
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (I used mini chips)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper liners to make 12 muffins.

2) Cream together the butter, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla until light and fluffy - about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated between each addition.

3) Stir together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with the milk, in 2-3 additions each (so add a third of the flour, half of the milk, another third of the flour, etc.). Stir in chocolate chips.

4) Divide batter between 12 muffin cups and bake 25-27 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean (a little melted chocolate is fine - the toothpick may hit a melty chocolate chip).