Friday, October 30, 2009

Jack-O-Lantern Casserole

I have been making this casserole for the last 3 years for Halloween night. It is warm and ready when we come home from trick or treating. It is a fun tradition. I always draw a jack-o-lantern face on the pumpkin to add to the fun. Sorry I don't have a picture, maybe I will add one for later.
Jack-o-lantern casserole
1 small onion
1 small can light cream of whatever you like soup
2 c cooked rice
2 T soy sauce
1 pound sliced mushrooms
1 cup carrots (I pre-cook these until they are almost done)
1 lb ground hamburger (I am sure you could use chicken)
2 T br. sugar
1 T margarine, butter, smart balance, whatever

Cut off top of medium pumpkin and scoop out all the seeds, draw a face on it. Saute onions and margarine in a skillet. Add meat till brown, drain off grease or rinse to get even more off. Add remaining ingredients (except rice) and simmer 10 minutes. Add cooked rice cook another couple minutes. Pour in pumpkin. Replace lid. Put on a baking sheet in 350 oven for 1 hour. The pumpkin should be tender. You can eat the pumpkin as a veggie along with the casserole. Your kids will LOVE it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Yummiest light zucchini bread

I have decided that I love pineapple the most out of each and every fruit out there. I craved it like mad with my last pregnancy and am still loving it after. I think it has magical powers to replace the taste of fat in recipes. Does that make sense at all? A week or so ago I did a search for a good zucchini bread recipe and found one on Prudence Pennywise' blog- I used Whole Wheat flour and followed the recipe almost exactly. My only change was that I added a handful of chocolate chips and I replaced half of the 1/3 cup of oil (already amazingly small amount for 2 loaves), with white bean puree. It was so incredible. My family ate and ate and ate and ate. I made it late one night and it was gone by mid morning the next day, 2 loaves!!! Here are some pictures I snapped before they were gobbled up!

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 (20 ounce) can chunk pineapple
about 2/3 cup buttermilk (I used powdered)
1 and 1/2 cups sugar (I used brown)
3 eggs
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2-3 cups unpeeled shredded zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, if desired
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, soda, powder, salt and cinnamon. In a 1 cup measuring cup, drain , the juice from the pineapple. Add as much buttermilk as you need to make 1 cup of liquid. Pour into large mixing bowl. Add sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in dry ingredients being careful to not over mix. Add the remainder. Pour into two greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pans and bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool for ten minutes and remove from pans.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Shrimp Pasta

Oh, can I just tell you how much we love this dinner?!?!? I got this recipe out of Cooking Light years ago (all my real go to favorites are from there). I can make the whole thing start to table in about 15 minutes. Keaton ate 2 servings and wanted me to pack some up.."for his lunch". Try it you will LOVE it.
Angel Hair Shrimp Pasta (you notice I only had thin spaghetti...whatever)
Start your pasta, this whole thing moves pretty fast.
Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray. Add:
2 cups chopped plum tomato
1 1/2 cups chopped green onion
1/2 cup sliced ripe olives
2 tsp dry dill (yes dill, odd but great)
2 cloves garlic minced (they say one I do 2 or 3)
Cook 4 minutes or until heated. Add 1 pound shrimp. I do the medium already peeled, cooked ones (Wal-mart always has them for about 5 bucks). Heat through. Combine pasta, sauce, and 1 cup of feta cheese (important). Delish!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Crystal's Lazy Granola

This granola I tried off of Amy's finer things. It is a fabulous easy way to increase the whole grain. I got a 25 pound bag of food storage oatmeal for 7.50 so it works up very cheap too.

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
7 cups rolled oatmeal/ no instant (I use 1/2 cup wheat germ and 6 1/2 cups oatmeal)

1. Mix honey, oil, and brown sugar in a saucepan
2. Bring to a boil
3. Mix in cinnamon and vanilla
4. Pour over oats and mix up till coated
5. Spread on a 9x13 silpat lined pan (my first batch stuck horribly so I put the second on silpat)
6. Put in 375 oven for 10 minutes.
7. Take out and stir.
8. Turn oven off and put pan back in.
9. Go to sleep...wake up to a wonderful smelling house and breakfast ready.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

White chicken Chili

I tried to do artsy with the broken bread...I know didn't work for me, looks like Keaton ate part of it first. This soup is EASY and good. I got it awhile ago from a recipe swap. I have made so many changes to it that it is a shadow of what I was given :)

White Chicken Chili
1 med onion chopped (I pre-chop my onions and freeze them in 1/2 cup bags)
1tsp garlic powder (or 2 fresh cloves)
1 1/2 cup shredded or cubed cooked chicken (I will give you my take on this later in the week)
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 15 oz cans White beans (I cooked a bag of dried beans and froze them in 1 cup bags (I used 2 bags)
1 14 oz can chicken broth
1 1/2 cups salsa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup sour cream (I use light)
1 cup whipping cream (I never put this in but I do add a bit more broth)

Saute onion and garlic till clear. Add everything else except sour cream or whip cream. Bring to a boil simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat stir in sour cream and milk (I just mix a little sour cream in each bowl. It also cools it off a bit).

Thursday, October 15, 2009

15 minute chicken on the bone

Oh how my little guy thinks things are better "on the bone". He told me the other day that he would prefer his corn "on the bone". I got these drumsticks at my local associated food store for 49 cents a pound. You would have thought I bought Sirloin with the glee in my house. This dinner was SO easy. Total prep time was less then 15 minutes with about 30 minutes cook time.
Quick Tyler Florence Chicken Drumsticks (with my variations)
Put baking sheet in 400 degree oven to heat up oven and pan.
Rinse and dry chicken (this is really important it keeps chicken from tasting "fishy")
Put chicken in a bowl with 1-2 Tbsp olive oil. I had about 12 "sticks" and coated them all with 2 Tbsp. In a ziploc put about 3/4 cup of bread crumbs (panko makes this so crispy like the best fried chicken) and about a tsp of garlic salt and onion powder. Coat chicken in bread crumbs. Take out pan and put a drizzle of olive oil on it (it will hiss and smoke). Put your chicken on there. Put in your 400 oven for 15 minutes flip after 15 minutes. It will be golden and delicious (Keaton ate THREE)!
The carrots/ potatoes go together real quick while the first 15 minutes is passing. You can also do frozen veggies and rice, or instant potatoes and then you have a 5 minute fix and can put up your feet!
For the carrots peel and slice about a pound of carrots. Steam them in a steamer or cook them with a little water in the microwave. Right before serving mix about 2 Tbsp melted butter (I used smart balance spread) 1-2 Tbsp honey, and about a tsp of garlic salt.
The potatoes are just baby white skinned potatoes we got in our produce co-op basket (for more info on that click Here ). They were really quite clean so I rinsed and boiled (with skins) then mashed the whole thing up with some smart balance, lemon pepper, salt and fat free milk.
All quick....all easy...great meal....

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Barbacoa- 15 minutes

If we are talking easy burritos are an all time favorite. Everyone love Cafe Rio Barbacoa Pork. There are tons of recipes floating around there with TONS of ingredients. My sister Meesha and I have one that is a 2 minute fix.
Cook a pork loin, picnic pork, boneless pork ribs (about 3 pounds)...whatever you can get cheap in the crock pot for 8 hours on low. Shred and add 1/2 cup brown sugar and small can of enchilada sauce (you can use my recipe for homemade enchilada sauce if you want extra credit but then you loose the quickness :). Use for burritos, tacos, nachos, enchiladas, taco salad, whatever. This also freezes well for a quick second dinner.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

15 minutes prep....the series.

My good friend Lisa asked the other day if I had any quick healthy dinners up my sleeve. I am so glad she asked. When I watch Ms. Ray I often think...who has 30 minutes anymore. This week I will share what I can get on the table in 15 minutes prep. To kick if off I am sharing this great chili recipe. It is from Cooking Light. It was tucked in a corner of their magazine probably 8 years ago. I cannot even find it on their site anymore. Every time I share this recipe it is a hit. I actually ran into a girl the other day in Target that was in my ward probably 4 years ago and she was telling me she was making it again tonight. P.S. I timed myself making this....4 minutes.

Nonstop, no-chop chili

3/4 pound ground round browned (I always have some hamburger pre-browned then rinsed (to get the extra fat off) in my freezer, great time saver)

2 cups water

1 1/2 cups frozen corn (have you tried the Costco frozen corn....WOW)

1 cup bottled salsa

2 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp sugar

2 1/2 tsp. cumin

1 1/2 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp salt

1 can chili beans undrained

1 can diced no salt added tomatoes, undrained (I used a ziploc sandwich bag full off peeled diced fresh tomatoes I froze from our garden)

* I also added a cup of zucchini I shredded and froze from our garden for some extra veggies (it one will know)

Anyway...add it all to a pot and let it simmer until you are ready to go. How easy is that? I also have put it in the crock pot to let it simmer all day! Check back tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Popcorn the Ultimate Diet Food with snacking power

Popcorn is the ultimate diet food. It is high in fiber and low in fat (depending on how you prepare it) Here are a few ideas for "healthy" popcorn snacking.
Chocolate popcorn- melt chocolate chips slowly in the microwave, 10-15 seconds between stirring. drizzle over plain popcorn spread out on aluminum foil. I personally like dark chocolate so I use the bittersweet choc chips. I also added a few chopped almonds. You can use any kind, just add up the calories and watch them extend their "filling" power by drizzling over your popcorn.
BBQ popcorn-Like BBQ chips? Purchase some bbq seasoning at your supermarket (got mine in a big shaker at sams club). Spread out your popcorn on foil again, spray with pan spray lightly to help the seasoning stick and wa-la. BBQ snack that you can munch on practically guilt free.

Let your imagination fly with more ideas....cinnamon, veggie seasoning etc.

Halloween Party Food

Have you been on the Best Bites Site? I love those ladies there. They have great tutorials and wonderful ideas. Keaton and I were checking out their Halloween Easy ideas. If you have kids or grandkids check it will be a HIT! Click here to go right there!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Enchilada Sauce

This is my favorite recipe for enchilada sauce. It makes a ton so we have extra in the fridge. I fill my enchiladas with crockpot cooked chicken, light sour cream, corn, and green onions. Then I can put the cheese on the top where you notice it. The guac is just avocado mixed with Costco's Jack Salsa. Making your own enchilada sauce is MUCH more tasty, not to mention less then 1/2 the cost. This is a keeper (thanks to Amy at Sisters Dish for this great recipe).
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 Tbsp flour
6 Tbsp chili powder
1 29oz can diced tomatoes (puree in blender (don't think that tomato sauce is the is not)
1 can chicken broth
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp onion salt
Heat oil on med high heat. Turn down to med and add flour and chili powder. Stir constantly for 2-3 minutes (you gotta stir to keep it from burning). Slowly add in tomatoes, broth, and spices. Cook for another 10 minutes until slightly thick.
This is also great mixed in beans for a great bean dip.