Friday, November 6, 2015

Spice Cake Mix Pancakes with Applesauce

*Adapted from Domestic Diva on a Dime.

PREP: 30 minutes
SERVES: 30 - 4" pancakes

1 box spice cake mix
3 cups Bisquick or other pancake mix
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (or two snack-size cups)
4 eggs
2 cups water
2 Tbsp ground flaxseed (optional)

1. Mix all ingredients until most of the lumps are smooth. If consistency is too thin, add Bisquick mix until preferred thickness is reached.
2. Heat griddle and cook pancakes. Tip: keep the prepared pancakes warm in an oven preheated to 200 degrees until ready to serve.
3. Serve with butter & maple syrup. (These are more flavorful than traditional pancakes, so less syrup is required than normal.)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mexican Quinoa

Serves: 4 (side dish portions)
Prep: 5 minutes

1 (8.8 oz) pkg HEB Central Market Brand White & Red Quinoa - in "quick heat grains" pouch
1/2 can corn (drained except for 2 Tbsp liquid)
dash of: garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, and fajita seasoning
dash of cayenne pepper, optional - I didn't use this
cilantro, optional - I didn't have this the first time I made it
1 can Goya black bean soup

Prepare bag of quinoa according to package directions. In a medium bowl, heat corn in its liquid for approximately 1 minute in the microwave. Add quinoa and seasonings. Stir together and serve topped with black beans.

Notes: I served this with fish tacos and it was a great alternative to rice and beans. It would also be delicious served as a chopped salad with the additions of tomato, cucumber, avocado, cilantro, lime juice, and chicken.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Paleo Breakfast Casserole Bites

*Adapted from Gal on a Mission.

Prep: 30 minutes
Serves: 12 mini-casseroles

9 large eggs
8 oz ground breakfast sausage
1 red, yellow, or green bell pepper
1 cup frozen kale (slightly thawed and chopped)
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or coat with coconut oil. Set aside.
2. Brown the ground sausage over medium heat.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and then add in the sausage, peppers, kale, and pepper. Scoop the batter into the muffin tins using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, filling 3/4 of the way to the top.
4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until eggs are set. Allow to cool for 5 minutes then use a knife to loosen the sides.

Note: These freeze well.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Sausage Fruit Kabobs

*Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.

Prep: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

3 Tbsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp honey
12 oz cooked smoked sausage, bias cut in 3/4" slices (I used turkey sausage)
1 apple, cored and cut into 1/2" wedges
1 zucchini, halved and cut in 1/2" slices (sprinkle with salt to enhance flavor)
6 oz crusty bread, cut into 1" pieces

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir together mustard and honey in a small bowl.
2. Alternately thread sausage, apples, and zucchini on skewers, leaving 1/4" between pieces. Brush with some of the honey-mustard; reserve remaining honey-mustard. Place on rack of unheated broiler pan. Change oven setting to broil and broil kabobs 4-5 inches from heat for 4 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, thread bread skewers; lightly brush with olive oil.
4. Turn sausage skewers, brush with more honey-mustard, and add bread skewers to the pan. Broil 3 minutes more or until sausage is heated through and bread is toasted, turning bread once.
5. Serve with honey-mustard.

Note: Try with other veggies--sweet potato, red onion, bell peppers, corn, yellow squash, broccoli, or carrots.

Lasagna Soup

*Adapted from Bobby's Lighter Tastes Like Lasagna Soup.

Prep: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

2 tsp olive oil.
1 lb Italian mild turkey (or pork) sausage, casings removed
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (32 oz) container chicken broth
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14 1/2 oz) can petite diced tomato
1/2 tsp minced onion
1/2 tsp salt
5 whole wheat lasagna noodles, broken into 1/2" pieces
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick saucepot or Dutch oven. Add the sausage and cook over medium-high heat stirring occasionally until the sausage is crumbled and browned, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and sautee for an additional 2 minutes.
2. Add the broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, minced onion, and salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors are blended, about 20 minutes.
3. Add the noodles, basil, zucchini, and squash; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the soup thickens slightly and the noodles are tender, 10-15 minutes.
4. Remove from the heat and stir in Parmesan and mozzarella cheese.

Serve with salad and breadsticks.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuscan Garlic Chicken Pasta

*Adapted from Tuscan Garlic Chicken on Mel's Kitchen Cafe.

Serves: 4
Prep: 45 minutes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, halved into cutlets
5 Tbsp olive oil, divided

1 pound pasta (fettuccini, farfalle, or penne)
1 Tbsp finely minced garlic (about 4-5 cloves)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 cup milk
can diced tomatoes, drained
6 oz fresh spinach, chopped
salt & pepper, to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a shallow dish, combine the flour, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and Parmesan. Dip each chicken piece in the flour mixture until both sides are well coated. Reserve flour mixture.
2. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 3 Tbsp of the olive oil over medium high heat until the oil is hot and shimmering. Place the chicken breasts in the pan, working in batches if needed. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until they are golden and browned but not cooked all the way through.
3. Remove chicken to a foil-lined, lightly greased baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside and tent with foil until ready to use.

4. While the chicken is cooking, heat a large pot of water to a boil and add the noodles, cooking until al dente. Also, wipe out the skillet with a couple paper towels and return it to medium heat, adding the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, sautéing for 2-3 minutes.
5. In a small liquid measure, whisk together the cornstarch and cream.
6. To the skillet, add in 2 Tbsp of the flour mixture and stir constantly with a wooden spoon for another minute. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring the mixture to a low simmer, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
7. Add the cream mixture and milk to the skillet. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened.
8. Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook 2-4 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Salt and pepper to taste.
9. Plate pasta with chicken and sauce. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Easy Crostini

Crusty French baguette slices for serving with dips or in making bruschetta.

French baguette, sliced into 1/4" slices
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay slices flat, covering the surface of a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 5 minutes, or until bread is lightly browned around edges and crispy.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Christy's Oreo Truffles

Serves: 48 truffles

36 OREO cookies, finely crushed
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
4 pkg (4 oz each) BAKER'S Semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces (or other candy/chocolate coating)

Mix cream cheese and cookie crumbs until well blended. Shape into 48 (1-inch) balls. Freeze 10 minutes. Dip in melted chocolate; place on rimmed baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Baked Chicken with Spinach and Artichokes

*Adapted from Diethood.

Prep: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

1 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 chicken thighs
salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 can (14 oz) quartered artichokes, rinsed and drained
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red onion, thinly sliced
3 carrots, sliced into thin rounds
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 bag (6-8 oz) baby spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup vegetable or chicken broth

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Heat butter and olive oil in a large oven-safe nonstick skillet or dutch oven on medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to skillet and brown on both sides; about 5 minutes on each side. Remove from skillet and set it on the side, leaving oil in skillet.
3. Add artichokes, onions, carrots, and garlic to the skillet. Cook for 5 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly tender, stirring occasionally. Add chopped garlic and spinach; continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and add broth and chicken.
4. Place in the oven, uncovered, and bake for 18 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes.

Serving suggestion: Serve over brown rice.