Archive for the Recipes Category

Un-stuffed Meatless Peppers

Don’t run away just yet! It’s not as bad as it sounds, I promise.

DSC_0605 (2)

I know my mind goes to that same place too, “oh, it’s meatless? Must be tasteless, or weird.” I assure you this recipe is not.

 

Yes, I am about to say a scary word, tofu. Ahhh!

 

Are you up off of the floor yet? It’s not that bad, really. Just listen, for a minute. Tofu is a weird word. I mean, it just sounds like it should taste bad. Naturally it can. Taste bad that is, but so can chicken, if you don’t cook it. Tofu wants to be sauced, or seasoned, and sauteed to a slightly crispy texture. To me, that is when tofu tastes the best. It does a great job of absorbing all the flavors you throw at it. If you throw nothing it’s way, and you don’t saute it? Well, then you get white mush. You know, reminiscent of the stuff you find in Miso soup? That is tofu, in it’s “bleck” state.

 

In this recipe we are going for amazing, easy, healthy, and cheap. Tofu costs $1-$2.50 for 12 oz. depending on where you get it, and if you spring for organic or not. Other awesome feature, you can freeze it. That mean’s the net time you see it on sale for that lovely $1 price, pick it up. When you arrive home, stuff it in your freezer until you decide that you are no longer scared of it and you are ready to cook with it. Thaw. Easy peezy.

 

Now that I have hopefully helped you move past your tofu fears, and it’s stigma, let’s get to the kitchen!

 

Un-stuffed Meatless Peppers

 

I adapted this recipe to make it meatless, and vegan.

 

This recipe is great because you will only use one pan to cook everything.

 

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced (based on preference and taste)
  • 2 or 3 bell peppers of any color chopped (I usually use three)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 12 oz of extra firm tofu drained and chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (if you have them with garlic in olive oil, or with green chilies, either could be used in this recipe)
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • pinch of sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 cup rice of choice (I have used both white, and brown rice)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese* optional omit for vegan recipe

 

DSC_0593

 

  1. On medium heat, warm olive oil in pan and saute garlic for about a minute. Add chopped tofu, and saute for 2-5 minutes. Really just enough to warm it up. *a tip if it is your first time cooking with tofu – tofu will release water that it absorbed, this will not ruin your recipe, and most of it will boil off.DSC_0599
  2. Add in onion and peppers, and season with salt and pepper. Saute everything on Med High heat until peppers and onions are soft, and tofu is just starting to golden, about 5-10 minutes. (all that extra liquid should be gone now)
  3. Now you can add in your vegetable broth, can of tomatoes, tomato sauce, and soy sauce. Mix well so that it is all blended nicely.
  4. Once mixture has come to a gentle boil reduce heat to medium low and stir in rice. Stir the mixture completely so the rice is evenly distributed. Cover with lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, until rice is tender, and fully cooked. About 20-30 minutes.DSC_0601
  5. If you opted for cheese, sprinkle generously after serving. Serve with a tasty bread, and enjoy!

 

 

What is your favorite meatless recipe?

Whole Wheat Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe

Cookies blog 025

 

It’s that time of year where people every where are baking. Maybe even baking cookies. For class, neighbors, friends, family, cookie swaps, or just to eat yourself …. that’s why I do it.

 

If you are looking for an easy and unique cookie, this is it! Chances are that the other people in your cookie swap don’t read my blog, so no one else will be bringing these. I never tasted anything like them, until I made them.

 

I made these up last year when I ran out of things needed for plain chocolate chip cookies. I adapted this from Betty Crocker’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe. They were so tasty that now I make them on purpose. At first they taste like any other chocolate chip cookie, then you get a gentle after taste of almond. Mmmmm …… please wait while I go eat another. (That’s the problem with cookies, they get eaten)

 

This year I am sharing the recipe with you.

Cookies blog 002

 

Whole Wheat Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients;

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup butter or margarine, softened (I always use margarine)

1 tsp almond extract

1 large egg

2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour *I do not recommend substituting all purpose white flour, but you can. It will change the taste, and is not as good.

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup slivered or chopped almonds * optional

1 12 oz bag semi sweet chocolate chips

Cookies blog 006

 

Preheat oven to 375.

 

Cream together sugars, butter, almond extract, and egg. I usually do this part with a mixer.

 

Add in four, baking soda, and salt. This will be a bit more dough like so I switch from the mixer, and use a spoon for this.

Cookies blog 011

 

Stir in nuts (if you opted for them), and chocolate chips. More like folding than mixing, but your smart and you can figure it out.

Cookies blog 012

 

We would have had almonds in our cookies, but daddy ate them all. No big deal, they are still tasty.

Cookies blog 015

 

Using a spoon put on cookie sheet or stone. You can do small spoonfuls or

Cookies blog 016

big ones. Just take the size of your spoonfuls into account when determining baking time.

 

Also if your using a stone, you can heat it in the oven while it is preheating, or your first batch will take longer to cook.

Cookies blog 018

Bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. Big cookies like the ones pictured, will take a little longer. When adding time I usually increase 2 minutes at a time.

 

You want the bottom edges to be just slightly more brown than they were when they went into the oven. (In my oven they take closer to 12 minutes on a stone, but I check them at 10 minutes)

Cookies blog 020

 

Once removed from the oven cool on cookie sheet or stone for 2-ish minutes.

Cookies blog 024

 

Then cool completely on a cooling rack.

 

Do you need me to tell you to eat them and enjoy?

 

Let me know if you try this recipe, I’d love to hear what you thought!

Simple Sunday

Let’s make vegetable broth for free. How?

image

This is very simple. It requires little effort, and makes use of what would otherwise be waste. Woo hoo.

 

What do you do with vegetable peels and parts that don’t quite make the cut for your dinner dinner? You most likely throw them in the trash, but they are still good.

 

How, I imagine you are wondering? Let me share.

 

As I chop my vegetables for dinner I keep a gallon size freezer bag on the counter. The parts that I would have otherwise thrown in the trash, that are not moldy or rotten, go into the bag.

 

I store the partially filled bag of veggie scraps in the freezer. Adding to it as needed.
image

Once the gallon bag is full I then use the scraps to make vegetable broth. Yes, for real.

 

I place all the contents from the bag into my crock pot (slow cooker, whatever name you choose to call it) and fill with water. Add desired amount of salt and let it cook on low for the day. The first time I made this I did not add enough salt, the resulting broth was lacking in flavor. I added as much salt as one might sprinkle on your dinner, if you did that sort of thing. I clearly wasn’t thinking about broth going into several dishes. The second time I made this I added probably around half a tablespoon of salt and the flavor was much better.
image

After cooking the vegetables and salt on low all day turn the slow cooker off and let it cool. Then strain everything out, keeping only the broth. I just use the same strainer that I would use for pasta. I do often have some small flakes of herbs left, but it doesn’t bother me. You could avoid this by using cheese cloth.

 

Freeze. Then thaw and use as necessary.

 

I used to spend $2 on 32 oz boxes of vegetable broth, and would buy 4 at a time. In the winter I use about 32 oz of broth a week, sometimes more. Doing this has saved me some money. So I am sharing with you so you can give it a try.

 

An extra tip; don’t freeze in one large tub. Break it up, and freeze into amounts you would use for a recipe. I do 2 cup segments for example.

 

Ta da! Easy peasy.

A Week In Photos

Here is a little peek at our last two weeks via Instagram.





Friday night fun. Mommy and Daddy getting started on Christmas presents for the kids. Sadly that piece we started is still left unfinished. Maybe after I finish this post I will go do some more work on it. Hey, I said maybe.

When it is completed the piece pictured will be a wooden play stove. We are going for a play kitchen theme for Christmas this year. The kids really need a new one, and I wanted something that would last. Play kitchen goes all the way into Kindergarden at least so to me it will be worth it.

This will be a joint gift for both of the kiddos. I figure K2 has a birthday in December and he will only be 2 anyway. Joint gift should work out just fine. My hope is to include all our family and friends so that this will be overwhelmingly awesome. I have yet to communicate that to anyone so we will see what happens. It’s early still.



This poor guy is a little bit behind in the teething. Here he is finally passed out from the pain. He got 4 teeth that round, no big deal. (hah) I also believe he is teething again today.



Headed in for my final exam for this super awesome class and I see this. I laughed because who determines what qualifies as low emission and low fuel intake? It’s not like there is an electric charging station there. Silly sign.



This little daredevil. He truly believes he is ready to ride a bike. He may be, but he can not reach the pedals. I think that constitutes him not being ready. Either way that does not stop him from trying.



There was a nearby fairy festival which was a free event. So I dug out both K1’s and my fairy costumes from Halloween, dressed up, packed up, sauntered our way to the party.

Everyone was really very taken with the “Orange Fairy.” Based on my observations at the festival, orange is not a common fairy color. Nice. Way to stand out from the crowd. Orange also happens to complement her hair color, and she was previously a Halloween fairy. (Hence the black accents in her tutu) We did leave out the spider hair bow for this event.

You can not tell in this photo but I am also dressed up. I was a purple Halloween fairy. It is also hard to wear wings when someone is getting a piggyback. Babywearing did make the event possible for us to attend so I am not complainging. 
Poor K2 had to stick to me like glue because I went to this alone.



Mickey ears getting put to good use.

Doing squats of course.



I have been on a smoothie kick the last two weeks. These are just a few that I made with what we had on hand. I really enjoyed the second one pictured more so than the first one.

In case you want to try it;

2/3 of a mango
2/3 of an apple
Handful of chopped broccoli
Handful of cilantro
Few pinches of raw oats
Same amount of flax seed meal
Add almond milk to get the desired consistency

Not science, but surprisingly tasty. Feel free to mix and switch as desired.



Our crayon box is overflowing and messy. Broken, peeled, and dirty crayons fill a majority of the box. I posted this photo on Instagram to see if these crayons were worth melting down. I was curious if the black spots on the sides would ruin the color or not.

Any experience? I would love to hear. I have not done anything with them yet.



This guy was super crazy one morning. He then found these ears in the dress up box and had to wear them. After I carefully placed them on his head he started saying “hop, hop, hop,” all over the house. While simultaneously hopping like a grounded bunny. I love that little kid “jump” where they don’t leave the ground.

With the energy and the ears, I called him the Energizer Bunny. Fitting, don’t you think?



Pinterest pin test. Success. This is a pretty easy and tasty snack. Try it out. Zucchini, tomato, basil, and hummus. The actual pin called for some other ingredients, but that is what I used and is pictured.

I make my own hummus, and this one is a red pepper hummus.




Apparently I was all about food this week. Hope I didn’t make you too hungry.


I honestly never thought that a creme sauce could be vegan, but it seems it can. Silly me. I made this recipe up all on my own and it was yummy! 



Phyllo mushroom turnovers (recipe from Chloe’s kitchen)

Mushroom and zucchini cream sauce over whole wheat spaghetti. 



Mmmmm …. tasty and filling.



What did your week look like? 



If you haven’t done so already head over and enter to win a Kindle Edition copy of Tanglewood Plantation and join in the discussion.


Feel free to see what some other blogger’s were up to this week;
life rearranged


Gwen

Meatless Monday

Maybe you haven’t decided to go vegan, or vegetarian, but every now and then you need a little something to offset all that bacon, right? If you have been reading along with me for any amount of time then you know that one of my goals this year was to incorporate more vegan meals into my family’s diet. In the spirit of Meatless Monday, I thought I would share one of my own recipes. This also happens to be what’s for dinner.

I should also add that as a previous Another Week In Photo’s post mentioned, my family really enjoyed this. S, the man of the house, was very distraught at my removing meat from one of his favorite meals. He told me not to do it again, that it wouldn’t work, or be a good substitute. Until he took his first bite. Then he agreed it was good, and we could even have it again. (hence it being for dinner and all)

Eggplant Tacos
Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 eggplant cut up into 1/2″ cubes
  • 2-3 tbsp onion based on your tastes
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped or minced
  • 1/2 jalapeno or 1/4 green pepper diced
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans 
  • 1 packet of your favorite taco seasoning approx 4 tbsp or 1.25oz
  • 1 tomato chopped into 1/2″cubes
  • 1 ripe avocado sliced thin
  • cilantro for garnish
  • taco shells, or wraps


Directions
  1. Chop eggplant into 1/2″ cubes salt and place into a colander for 30 mins to an hour. Rinse with cold water before use.
  2. Heat oil on medium high heat, saute’ pepper, onions, and garlic until just soft and slightly translucent.
  3. Add eggplant and cook for 8-10 minutes until tender. 
  4. Add black beans, chopped tomato, and taco seasoning, cook until warm throughout.
  5. Serve warm in either shells, or a wrap, topped with avocado. Add a side salad and enjoy!

Just a tip, this mixture should not be liquidy or runny. If the tomato’s are over cooked this may happen, just heat on high to cook liquid off.

There you have it. Not only will you have consumed a Meatless Monday meal, but it is also vegan with out even trying.

Gwen
Still time to enter in these giveaways, here, here, here, and here.

Simple Sunday

With New Years around the corner you may be thinking about your health or diet. With that in mind I thought I would share a simple, and healthy snack for the whole family.

We all know that kids love anything with the word fry, right? Well, here is a healthy fry option you can make at home, without the use of a deep fryer.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH FRIES

1. Pre heat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Peel butternut squash and slice into strips. Thick is perfect for these, think country style fries. (this is also the most time consuming part)

3. Toss with 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tsp seasoned salt until well coated.

4. Spread out on baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

I make this version when I am planning on sharing with my kids. However, if you like spice, substitute 1/2 tsp each of black pepper, cayenne, cumin, and salt for the tsp of seasoned salt. You could mix it up even more with any of your favorite seasonings. I have even used an herb seasoning.

Baking time may vary baised on your own tastes. I suggest sampling to determine their “done-ness”, but there may not be any left to share when they are “done”.

You could also substitue sweet potatoes, and/or bake them in a toaster oven.

Enjoy!

Gwen

Irish recipes tested

Okay, okay, so it has been a few months. Your right five of them, but still, you will be prepared for next year. Remember this post about preparing for St Patrick’s day? No? Okay I will wait for you to refresh.

Got it? Okay. I really did try all of those recipes. There was the great, the good, and the not so good. I also added a recipe to the list, halfway through the week.

Bangers and Mash

I guess we can start with the Bangers and Mash. As you can see from my onion mixture in the photo I do not have gravy browning handy. Clearly I don’t think that it changes the taste of anything, but I will say that it looks a lot different. Food is like 70% visual, so I was taught while working in restaurants. I would say use the browning gravy. I was not quite in love with the sausage I obtained, which effected how everything blended together. Bland might be a great choice of sausage for this recipe.

Mini Shepard’s Pies

This is a make again recipe, for sure.

Naturally I made Corned beef and cabbage. I did not take any photo’s because it’s pretty basic and I figure everyone has already seen it at least once in their life.

I also made the Guinness stew as planned. I did not enjoy it. The stew was edible, but the taste was something that no one in the house really liked. It seemed to be missing something.

When a recipe has promise it is always worth trying again and making an adjustment. This recipe just is not in our taste pallet and we will not be making it again. Probably ever.

I also made this fun spin on the classic Shepard’s Pie. It was fun to try something different, but I wouldn’t call it Shepard’s Pie. The tomato taste really makes you feel your eating something else. They were tasty and great. Two per person was not enough. My DD even ate two of them herself. If you are planning on making these for more than two people, make a double batch. You won’t regret it I promise. I will make these again, but not when I am craving Shepard’s Pie.

 I also made this Irish Whiskey Cake. It was not photo worthy, I have never actually used a bundt pan, so the cake did not come out in one piece. This cake was super chocolaty, and tasty. I kept the broken part aside and did not add liquor to it, so kids could have some safely. It was great either way! If you know how to properly bake in a bundt pan, and enjoy chocolaty tasty-ness, try it. You can omit whiskey if desired.

Irish soda bread, and Full Irish Breakfast were both tasty.

Lastly I leave you with the addition. A gem. We have made this twice already. Dubliner stuffed chicken. At first glance the recipe looks a bit daunting. It is worth it. Totally! We used cheese on hand, nothing special. (I think Swiss) Just a tip, I would suggest using more cabbage than suggested. It’s good for you, and to me, the salty bacon taste is a bit too strong. Love, love, love this one.


Enjoy!


Gwen

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...