Monday, June 27, 2011

From-Scratch Lasagna

I always felt that my lasagnas using store-bought sauces were 'lacking' something. Now I've discovered what it was. Here's my new favorite lasagna.

From Scratch Lasagna

1 80z box lasagna noodles
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp fresh basil, torn
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp rosemary
dash pepper
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup red wine
1 60z can tomato paste
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 large container ricotta cheese
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp parsley
2 tsp basil
2 tsp oregano
16 oz mozzarella, shredded

In large pan, sautee onion, garlic, beef, basil, oregano, rosemary and pepper in olive oil until meat is browned through. If desired, drain fat from meat. Add crushed tomatoes and wine and simmer 15 minutes. Add tomato paste and vinegar and stir well.

Boil noodles according to package instructions. In large bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, parsley, oregano and basil. Drain noodles.

In 13"x9" casserole dish, layer 1/2 noodles, 1/2 meat sauce, 1/2 ricotta mixture and 1/2 mozzarella. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes (or 60 minutes if lasagna has been refrigerated). Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.

**To make a super-nutritious version, add a cup or so of shredded dark leafy greens, carrots, zucchini and/or broccoli to the meat sauce before simmering. Or, layer spinach between the meat and cheese mixtures when assembling.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Chili-Garlic Tofu

I adapted this from a slow-cooker pork recipe - and it turned out delicious! Spicy and sweet at the same time. Yum!

Chili-Garlic Tofu

1 lb tofu, cut into cubes
3 tbsp chili-garlic sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce (or liquid aminos)
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 cup broth
1/3 cup chopped green onions

Mix everything but onions in small bowl and let sit at least 1 hour. Cook in pan over medium heat until heated through. Add onions and cook another minute or two. Serve over rice.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Double Chocolate Walnut Cookies

I altered my grandmother's super yummy chocolate chip cookie recipe a little to make it gluten free and a little fancy. The results were fantastic. Here it is.

Double Chocolate Walnut Cookies*

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown rice flour **
2 tbsp teff flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup tapioca starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1/2 tbsp hot water
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Cream butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Stir in baking soda and hot water. Add flours, cocoa powder, baking powder and xanthan gum. Mix will. Gently stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop onto greased baking sheets by heaping teaspoonfull (or refrigerate for one our and roll into small balls then place on greased baking sheets). Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

*Recipe may be doubled, but use only 3 eggs and 1 tsp vanilla

** to make with regular wheat flour, use 1.5 cups all-purpose flour, subbing 2 T cocoa powder for 2 T of the a-p flour

Kale and Walnut Pesto

This pesto turned out amazingly yummy and it is packed full of healthy vitamins too. Tastes great over corkscrew pasta.

Kale and Walnut Pesto

1 bunch kale, without stems, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 cup parmesan
salt and pepper
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1.5 lbs cooked pasta

Cook kale in pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. Drain in colander and rinse with cold water. Squeeze kale to remove water. Place kale in food processor and add walnuts, garlic and parmesan. Puree until almost smooth. Add salt and pepper. With machine running, add EVOO. Add pesto to cooked, hot pasta, mixing in enough water to achieve desired consistency. Sprinkle with additional parmesan if desired.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Veggie Egg Scramble

Here's one from my hubby - always a genius with stir-fries and scrambles.

Veggie Egg Scramble

1 red pepper
7 large eggs
1 handful of green grapes
4 stalks of turnip greens
3 small (roma size) tomatoes
1 teaspoon ginger

chop red pepper and sautee red pepper in olive oil
add eggs and scramble
chop turnip greens and add to skillet
chop tomatoes and add to skillet
cut grapes in half and add to skillet
cover skillet for 5 minutes
add ginger
cover skillet for 2-3 minutes

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Indian Poblano Potato Poppers

My husband is a whiz in the kitchen. He can rumage through the pantry and fridge and come up with the most amazing things. Like these pepper/potato snacks. So yummy and so easy.

Indian Poblano Potato Poppers

2 large poblano peppers
2 medium baking potatoes
cheddar cheese
garam masala

Slice potatoes into 1/4 inch thick slices. Cut polbanos in half, flatten out, then cut into pieces the same size as potato slices. Top potatoes with peppers. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove from oven and top each potato with a slice of cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with garam masala. Return potatoes to oven until cheese is melted.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tuna Rice Casserole

I discovered this as I was attempting to make a hearty dinner from just the items I had on hand. Simple, easy, and yummy!

Tuna Rice Casserole

4 cups cooked rice
1 tbsp oil
1 cup onion, diced
1.5 cups frozen peas
1 can tuna, drained
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup milk (omit if not using condensed soup)
1/2 tsp ground mustard
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayanne
1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Over medium heat, sautee onion in oil. Add peas and cook till peas and onions are tender. Meanwhile in large bowl, combine tuna, mushroom soup, milk, mustard, pepper, cayenne and cheese. Stir well. Mix in rice and peas and onions. Pour all into 2 quart casserole dish. Top with additional shredded cheese if desired. Bake for 20 minutes or until heated through.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Brown Cookies

Every Valentines my Grandmother made a version of these and cut them into heart shapes. Yummy, easy, and sweet.

Brown Cookies

1 cup raisins, ground or chopped
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter, softened
3 eggs
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon baking soda
4.5 cups flour (all purpose or gluten free)
extra flour for dusting

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in water until moist but not sticky. Add raisins. Turn out onto floured surface and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into heart shapes (or any shape desired). Place on buttered baking sheet. Bake at 375 for 10 minutes or till lightly browned.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Daddy's Pancakes

Here's Daddy's yummy version of our favorite breakfast treat.

Daddy's Pancakes

1 cup flour (or 1/3 cup potato starch, 2/3 cup rice flour, 1 tsp xanthan gum)
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk + 1 tbsp vinegar)
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/8 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 cup crushed walnuts

Mix all ingredients. Cook in skillet or on griddle over medium heat. Top with syrup or applesauce.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Curry Chicken Marinade

If you like Indian food as much as we do, you'll enjoy this marinade - perfect for baking or for cooking on the grill.

Curry Chicken Marinade

1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp each turmeric, crushed coriander, cumin, cardamom, chili powder and curry powder
1 whole clove, crushed
1 clove garlic, crushed

Place 2-3 chicken breasts in a gallon size ziplock bag. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and drizzel over chicken. Seal bag and shake to coat. Let sit several hours or over night. Remove from bag and bake or grill.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chicken A La King

This is a great creamy, hearty dish for a cold night. Serve over hot rice or buttered toast.

Chicken A La King

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour (all purpose or rice)
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 cups milk
2 cups diced cooked chicken (2 large breasts or 2 60z cans)
1/3 cup chopped green olives with pimentos
1 cup peas (frozen or canned)

Heat butter in medium pan until melted. Sautee onion until tender. Stir in flour until smooth. Add milk and whisk until smooth, heating thickened and bubbly. Stir in chicken, green olives and peas. Heat through and serve over rice or buttered toast.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Butternut Squash Soup 2

Here's another slightly different version of one of my favorite soups. The curry powder gives it a hearty feel and it's a very creamy soup.

Butternut Curry Soup

1 tbsp butter or oil
5 green onions or 1 small onion, chopped
2 medium butternut squashes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
dash pepper
2 cups veggie or chicken broth
2 cups water
1/2 cup cream or milk
1.5 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp cilantro

In stock pot sautee onion and squash in butter or oil until tender. Add pepper, broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and cook 20 minutes. With immersion blender, mix until smooth (or blend by batches in regular blender). Add cream or milk, curry powder and cilantro and stir well.

Lentil Loaf

I was a vegetarian for 10 years and since we preferred to avoid heavily processed soy, we had to look beyond 'fake meat' for good meat substitutes. I missed eating meatloaf, so we would make a loaf using lentils and nuts instead. I've since discovered that just like meatloaf, it's a great way to hide veggies for the kids. My 3 year old just heard the word 'loaf' and gobbled down 2 helpings. He didn't even seem to notice that it wasn't meat. So here's the recipe:

Lentil Loaf

4 cups water
1 cup lentils
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped*
1 carrot, grated*
1/4 cup spinach, shredded*
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans
5 slices whole grain (or gluten free) bread, crumbled**
2 eggs (or egg substitute)
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sage
1/2 tsp savory
1/4 tsp marjoram
salt and pepper to taste

Boil lentils in water for 45 minutes. Drain well (I recommend leaving them in the sink for several hours). Transfer lentils to large bowl and mash well. Add remaining ingredients and mash until well mixed. Spoon into well greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

* Substitute any veggies you like as long as you wind up with about 1/5-2 cups (including onion). I often use green pepper instead of celery.
** Start with one slice bread and add until reaching desired consistency.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gluten Free Cornbread

This turned out moist and springy and really delicious.

Gluten Free Cornbread

1 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1/4 tsp vinegar
1/3 cup potato starch
1/2 cup cornstarch
3 tbsp teff flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tbsp ground flax seed

Mix all dry ingredients in medium bowl. Mix milk, oil, egg and vinegar in small bowl. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix well to remove all lumps. Grease an 8x8 pan and pour in batter. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes or until knife-tests done.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Green Bean Casserole

Since I can't eat gluten, my husband created this casserole for me for Thanksgiving instead.

Green Bean Casserole

1 bag french style green beans, thawed
1 can corn
1 can sliced mushrooms*
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp sesame seeds

In medium pan sautee onion and garlic in oil until translucent. Stir in flour. Add milk and cream and whisk until smooth and slightly thickened. Stir in corn, green beans and mushrooms. Top with sesame seeds to serve.

*You can substitute fresh chopped mushrooms - just sautee with the onion and garlic.