Sunday, September 30, 2007

A warm cheesy, crunchy, and nutritious meal-in-one.

Roast mushrooms, onions, red bell pepper, zucchini, and summer squash then toss it with whole wheat pasta. Then add tomato sauce, peas, and mozzarella cheese and bake.

Time Saver: I roasted the veggies the night before, the next day after work I tossed them with the warm pasta, sauce, and cheese and baked.

A Wholesome Start

What a great, moist pancake made with two whole grains (buckwheat and whole wheat flour)! This was my first experience cooking with buckwheat flour and I plan to do so more. A warning: due to buckwheat, the color of the pancakes is a deep grayish brown. Hey, add enough fresh berries, syrup, or roasted apples with cinnamon, as I did - or just close your eyes and enjoy the warm, soft goodness – they won’t disappoint!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Mexican Tonight!

These rock! They are easy and quick to prepare and one of those recipes that you should make a double batch of and keep on hand in the freezer! (The other item I LOVE to have pre-made and waiting for me in the freezer are black bean burgers, previously posted here:

3/4 cup rice (brown or white)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 jalapeno chile, chopped (ribs and seeds removed, for less heat)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and ground pepper
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 bag frozen corn kernels, (10 ounces)
6 scallions, thinly sliced
8 burrito-size flour tortillas, 10 inches each
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Salsa and sour cream, optional

Cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Add onions, garlic, jalapeƱo, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add tomato paste, and cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Add beans and 1 ½ cups water; bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Add corn; cook to heat through, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in scallions.

Heat tortillas according to package instructions; fill with rice, bean mixture, and cheese.

Assemble: Mound ¼ cup rice, ¾ cup bean mixture, and ¼ cup cheese on one side of tortilla. Fold, and hold in sides. Starting from filled end, holding sides in as you work, tightly roll into a bundle. Place on a baking sheet, seam side down, and prepare remaining burritos.

**At this point you may stick the sheet pan in the freezer for atleast 2 hours to freeze them individually. Then remove pan from the freezer, wrap individually in plastic wrap and then place them in a freezer storage back. Freeze up to 3 months. To reheat: Microwave for 2 minutes on high and then bake for 10 minutes at 375 dregrees.

Serve immediately, with salsa and sour cream, if using, or wrap individually in plastic and freeze up to 3 months.

Recipe courtesy of

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Twist on the Classic Spaghetti and Meatballs

Chicken Meatballs with Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce

This recipe looked like a lot of fun both to make and eat! The original recipe is linked above, but I simplified it a bit more to make it easier for a week night meal. I am including the slight changes I made and used below.

1 1/2 pounds ground chicken
1 tablespoon grill seasoning
1/4 cup tender sun-dried tomatoes
1 cup, 20 leaves fresh basil, divided
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 jar pasta sauce

1 pound gnocchi, potato dumplings
1/2 cup Parmsean, grated

Bring a pot of water to a boil for gnocchi. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Place chicken in a medium bowl with grill seasoning. Coarsely chop sun-dried tomatoes and add to bowl. Chiffonade the basil and add half to the bowl. Drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the bowl. Mix chicken together, roll into mini balls and arrange on a nonstick cookie sheet. Bake at 400 degrees F for 10 to12 minutes or until firm and lightly golden.

Salt boiling water and drop gnocchi in, cooking 5 minutes or to package directions. Drain gnocchi and add back to pan. Pour sauce over gnocchi and add in remaining basil. Remove meatballs from oven and add to gnocchi. Grate parmesan cheese over meatballs and hot dumplings. Serve.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Summer Berry Pudding

This turns out to be quite a simple dessert: cook down berries and sugar, layer between rounds of white bread, weight with a press
and let it chill for 8-24 hours. I made these for my parents this weekend and we all enjoyed this unique way to enjoy fresh berries.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Everyday Dinner

Better than Chicken Cordon-Bleu and easier too!
I made several swap-outs - roasted red pepper jam rather than the apricot, turkey rather than ham, Monterey jack rather than cheddar, and Vienna bread rather than baguette --- but the same general gist as the recipe above. This combo was delish! Hey, I'm all about using what I have on hand.