Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Childhood Favorites!

Corn dogs were one of my favorite "kid" foods. Here's an update version using chicken sausage. I have been craving these, so I dug up the recipes and I thought I would share (Everyday Food Jan/Feb 2007).

I don’t know how you ate yours, but I always ate my
corn dogs with ketchup and mustard swirled!

Baked Corn Dogs*****

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for dusting sausages
2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons sugar
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2/3 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
4 precooked smoked chicken sausages (13 ounces total)
Ketchup and mustard, for serving (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Make a well in center; add milk, eggs, and oil. Mix just until combined.

2. Insert an ice-pop stick into one end of each sausage, leaving a 1 1/2-inch handle. Dust with flour; tap off excess. Using handle, rotate each sausage over bowl as you spoon batter to coat evenly. Place on sheet; bake 5 minutes. Remove from oven. Using a spatula, reapply batter that has slipped onto sheet. Return to oven; bake until golden, 20 minutes. Serve with ketchup and mustard, if desired.

Speedy "Baked" Beans*****
These are great in the summer too, and are so easy.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (15 ounces each) white beans, such as cannellini or navy, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
1/2 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon mustard powder

1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add beans and 1/2 cup water; simmer until beans have softened, 5 to 7 minutes. If beans are not soft after 7 minutes, add more water and continue to cook.

2. Add molasses, ketchup, mustard powder, and another 1/2 cup water. Simmer until sauce has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day; reheat over low.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

I've never had hamburger helper before (thanks Mom, for never introducing those types of food to us :); but from what I have seen, I think this could be considered the "homemade" version. Andy's comment: "hamburger helper tastes like salt - this tastes like really good food."
Benefits of making it from scratch - low fat, fresh produce, no additives or preservatives, no mystery powders, and choice of whole wheat pasta (higher in fiber and protein).

1 pound ground turkey
1 onion, chopped
3 cups water
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste
12 oz dried whole wheat rotini
Sour cream, optional
Fresh parsley, chopped, optional

In a large pot, sauté the ground turkey over medium-high heat, until no longer pink. Break up meat while sautéing. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and sauté until they are tender about 5 minutes. Add 3 cups water, crushed tomatoes, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, soy sauce, and seasonings. Stir well. Place a lid on the pot and allow this to cook for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the pasta, stir well, return the lid to the pot, and simmer for about 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves and allow the mixture to sit about 10 minutes more before serving. Optional: dollop with sour cream and parsley.

Monday, January 21, 2008

This may be a light version, but yet it gives the full flavor. I can see this dish becoming a classic household meal (that is if I were to ever stop making new things).
A few suggested changes: I would leave off the egg/cornstarch coating – good but not needed and make a double recipe of the honey sesame sauce. Instead of steaming the broccoli, I roasted it the night before (when I was making something in the oven anyway) and then stirred it into the rice the last couple minutes to reheat – this worked out well.

Mocha-Chip Meringues*****
At only 23 calories a piece, these are oh so appealing for a chocolate fix!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Homemade Wheat Bread

Homemade Wheat Bread*****
I can't wait to take a bite...I LOVE this bread! I made this today for our first snow day in NC. It literally was the quickest, easiest, and softest bread I have ever made. It came out perfectly baked.

Recipe from:

For bread machine:

1 cup warm water (110-115 degrees F.)
1 tablespoon milk
2 tablespoons oil
4 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dry yeast

Put all ingredients in the bread machine in the order listed. Set on dough cycle. When dough cycle is finished, take dough out and shape into a loaf, then place in a greased bread pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

*Without a bread machine:

Friday, January 18, 2008

This salad makes me feel healthy by just eating it. It is a complete meal-in-one with the vegetables, wheat couscous, and chickpeas!

with Balsamic Onion Barbecue Sauce *****

A little spicy, moist, and full of flavor version of chicken burger.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup*****

1 Tbsp EVOO
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, copped
1 small onion, chopped
1 can 14.5 oz chicken broth
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c wild-rice blend

In a medium saucepan, heat oil over med-high. Add carrots, celery, and onion; season with s&p. Cool until veggies are crisp-tender, 3-5 mins.

Add broth, chicken, rice, and 1 ½ c water to the pan. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cover. Cook until chicken is opaque, 6-8 mins. Transfer chicken to a cutting board, when cool to handle, shred with two forks.

Meanwhile, continue to cook soup, uncovered for 6-8 mins. Return shredded chicken to the pot. Season with s&p.

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers*****
I wish I had taken a photo of these, YOU MUST TRY, but here's the recipe non-the-less
from the Jan/Feb 2008 issue of Everyday Food.
4 red bell peppers
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp coriander
1 c. quinoa, rinsed
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1/3 c. walnuts, chopped
1 c. provolone cheese, grated (or pepperjack)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice a very thin layer from the base of the peppers, so they sit upright. Slice off top, just below stem, and remove ribs and seeds from top and bottom. Repeat. Chop tops, and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, hat oil over medium. Add onion, garlic, coriander, and chopped tops; season with s&p. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion has softened, 4-5 mins.Add quinoa, and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add 1 c. water, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until water has absorbed, 11-13 mins. Remove from heat, stir in parsley, walnuts, and 3/4 c. cheese, season with s&p.

Dividing evenly, stuff peppers with quinoa mixture, place in 2 qt baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and top with remaining 1/4 c cheese; bake until cheese melts, 10-15 mins more.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Healthy Alternatives

I have enjoyed these the last few nights as a healthy dessert option. I can feel pretty good about eating these since they have both quinoa and whole wheat grains, as well as dried fruit in them.

I substituted dried cranberries for the raisins, 1% milk for the whole milk, and 1-cup whole wheat flour in place of a cup of the all purpose white flour.

Vegetable Enchiladas *****

I also included a couple diced roasted red peppers in the filling and used whole wheat instead of corn tortillas. I had never made red enchilada sauce from scratch before, this recipe turned out great and I am glad to have this technique/recipe in my arsenal.

Monday, January 7, 2008

I suggest doubling the sauce recipe and adding a couple
teaspoons dijon mustard to it.

This was a great combination: pasta, pancetta, garlic, and mozzarella! I lightened the recipe a bit by using lowfat ricotta, 1% milk, and 2 whole eggs with 2 egg whites. Serve this with some roasted veggies and it's a meal!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Decadent Comfort Food

This was a great quick meal with all of our favorite toppings. It combines ground chicken, spinach, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers, and feta cheese.

The recipe called for stuffing the crab mixture into cannelloni noodles. Well I neither had those on hand nor cared to take the time to stuff them. I used the whole wheat pasta I had and mixed the stuffing mixture into the cooked pasta and then poured the béchamel sauce over. Delish!