Sunday, October 31, 2010

Stuffed Shells

from Real Simple

20 jumbo pasta shells
1 24 oz jar marinara sauce
1 small container ricotta cheese
2 cups chopped baby spinach
broccoli floretts chopped and steamed
asparagus chopped and steamed (you can add any veggies to this!)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup grated mozzarella (4 oz)
I have made these with the above ingredients so they are vegetarian, but they are also good if you add browned ground turkey or beef.

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and run under cold water until cool.
2. Spread marinara in the bottom of a baking dish.
3. In a bowl combine cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and veggies. Mix together, spoon into shells and sprinkle top of shells with mozzarella.
4. Bake about 10-12 minutes until shells are heated through. Increase heat to broil, broil shells until cheese begins to brown, 2-5 minutes.

Autumn Vegetable Soup

from Simply in Season


1/2 cup onion chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 cup each of kale, carrots, red and green pepper (chopped)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup tomato juice
1/2 cup corn
3/4 cup cooked beans (any kind)
2 teaspoons orzo pasta
2 teaspoons dried instant barley (I'm using regular barley, cooking it, then adding it)
1 1/2 teaspoons red cooking wine (optional)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley chopped

1. In soup pot saute onion in 1 TBSP olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.
2. Add kale, carrots, and pepper with the salt, basil, oregano and pepper and saute a little, turning down heat to low and cover. let cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.
3. Add liquid, beans, corn, barley, pasta and wine, bring to a gentle boil, simmer about 15 minutes.
4. Add tomatoes and parsley, simmer about 5 more minutes.

Mustard-Crusted Salmon

from Jenn's recipe blog


1 1/4 pounds fish, salmon fillet, center cut, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
pepper, black ground, to taste
1/4 cup(s) sour cream, reduced-fat
2 tablespoon mustard, stone-ground
2 teaspoon lemon juice


Preheat broiler. Line a broiler pan or baking sheet with foil, then coat it with cooking spray.
Place salmon pieces, skin-side down, on the prepared pan. Season with salt and pepper. Combine sour cream, mustard and lemon juice in a small bowl. Spread evenly over the salmon.
Broil the salmon 5 inches from the heat source until it is opaque in the center, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges.

Nutrition Facts
Number of Servings: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 290
Total Fat: 18 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 89 mg
Sodium: 389 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 2 g
Dietary Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 29 g

From: Jillian Michaels

Crock Pot Bean and Vegetable Burritos


2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1-1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 large sweet or regular potato, peeled and diced
1 can black beans or pinto beans, rinsed and drained
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 green pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon cilantro
3/4 cup shredded cheese, your choice
Flour tortillas

1. Combine chili powder, oregano, and cumin in a small bowl. Set aside.
2. Layer potato, beans, half of chili powder mix, garlic, onion, green pepper, remaining half of chili powder mix, and corn in crockpot.
3. Cover and cook on LOW for 5 hours, or until potato is tender.
4. Stir in lime juice and cilantro.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
6. Spoon a little cheese into the center of each tortilla. Top with 1 cup of filling from crockpot. Fold all 4 sides to enclose filling. Place burritos seam side down on baking sheet. Cover with foil and bake 20-30 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream.

Broccoli with Carmelized Onions & Pine Nuts

from Jenn's recipe blog


3 tablespoon nuts, pine nuts, or chopped slivered almonds
2 teaspoon oil, olive, extra virgin
1 cup(s) onion(s), chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cup(s) broccoli florets
2 teaspoon vinegar, balsamic
freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. Toast pine nuts (or almonds) in a medium, dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until lightly browned and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
2. Add oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and salt; cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting heat as necessary, until soft and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, steam broccoli until just tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the nuts, onion, vinegar, and pepper; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

from Jillian Michaels (serves 4)

Go Go Mango Chicken

from Jenn Gunther's recipe blog

2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
1 (12 oz) jar Pineapple salsa (our favorite Trader Joe's salsa!)
1 1/2 c frozen Mango Chunks or frozen Tropical Fruit Trio

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees

2. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish, cover with salsa, and top with mango chunks (don't bother thawing). Lightly drape with aluminum foil.

3. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until chicken is done and juices run clear when cut. Be careful not to overcook.

Serves 2.

Super easy & flavorful!

--Cooking with All Things Trader Joe's Cookbook, page 87

Homemade Cornbread

from Aunt Beth


¾ cup corn meal

1 cup flour

½ cup sugar

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup sour cream

½ cup milk

1 beaten egg

2 Tablespoons melted butter or margarine


1. Mix all ingredients together.

2. Pour into a GREASED pan—square glass or metal.

3. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Pasta With Tomatoes & Chickpeas


1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled if desired, and finely chopped
1 garlic clove minced
salt & black pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3/4 pound fusilli
1/4 cup crumbled feta or grated Parmesan

1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, salt, black pepper, vinegar, basil, and oil in a wide bowl. Let sit for 15 to 30 minutes, or longer. Stir in the chickpeas. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Salt generously and add the pasta. Cook al dente, until the pasta is firm to the bite, following the directions on the package but checking 1 to 2 minutes before the suggested cooking time. Drain, toss with the tomatoes and chickpeas, sprinkle on the cheese, and serve.

Variation: Add 1/4 to 1/2 pound broccoli florets or green beans. Before adding the pasta to the boiling water, blanch the broccoli for 3 minutes, green beans for 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water, then drain. Return the water to a boil and proceed with the recipe. Toss the vegetables with the pasta along with the tomatoes and chickpeas.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Spanish Style Quinoa

This is delicious. Literally phenomenal--one of my new very favorite side dishes, SO yummy!

1 TBSP vegetable oil
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small green bell pepper chopped
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 1/4 cups water
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin

1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium high heat. Stir in quinoa, onion, garlic and green pepper.
2. Cook and stir for 5-10 minutes until onion is tender and quinoa is lightly toasted.
3. Stir in tomato sauce & water, then season with chili powder, garlic powder, and cumin.
4. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer until quinoa is tender and liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes.
Stir quinoa occasionally as it cooks.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Thai Turkey Wraps

I've now made these twice in the last two weeks, my husband loved them so much he was offering tastes to several of our neighbors! Inspired by our friends Jenn and Josh, and our love for PF Changs chicken lettuce wraps, behold the Thai Turkey Wraps. I like ground turkey better than dealing with chicken breasts, and I love peanut sauce. If you want a super easy, relatively healthy, summer time meal here you have it!

white rice (for however many you are cooking for)
lettuce leaves (I buy the Trader Joes bag of the hearts of romaine leaves, but a head of iceberg lettuce would work just fine, just pull each leaf off individually and leave it whole)
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 chopped red onion (diced)
1/2 chopped red pepper (or any other color)
1/2 chopped pepper (in another color)
2 chopped green onions
4 garlic cloves minced

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup oil (I used vegetable)
a dash or two of red pepper flakes

1. Begin rice cooking
2. Chop all veggies and mince garlic.
3. Sautee turkey until brown with the garlic and red onion
4. When almost cooked add peppers and green onion. Simmer together until peppers reach the desired level of cooked for you (I like them a bit crisper than some might)
5. Mix together all sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan until peanut butter is melted
6. Pour into pan with meat mixture and simmer for a few minutes until it is mixed together and the sauce thickens a bit.
7. When rice is done, you're ready to eat! Serve by placing a small scoop of rice and scoop of meat mixture in each lettuce cup. Wrap and enjoy!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Slow Cooker Enchiladas

This is also from my Simply in Season cookbook and looks delicious!

1 pound ground beef or turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
2 cups cooked pinto or kidney beans
2 cups cooked black beans
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup water (only use 1/4 cup if you're using the summer squash)
1 cup shredded summer squash (optional)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup corn
ground red pepper to taste (optional)
1 cup cheddar cheese shredded
1 cup Monterey jack cheese shredded
7 flour tortillas (6-7 inches)

1. Cook meat, onion and green pepper together until browned. Drain off fat.
2. Combine beans, vegetables, spices and water and add to the meat mixture. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Combine the cheeses.
4. In a slower cooker, layer about 1 cup of the meat/bean mixture, one tortilla, and 1/3 cup cheese. Repeat layers to use all ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 5-7 hours or until heated through.

Friday, May 7, 2010

5 Minute Hummus

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste; optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  1. In a food processor, puree the chickpeas and garlic with the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini (if using), cumin, and ¾ teaspoon salt until smooth and creamy. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water as necessary to achieve the desired consistency.
  2. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with the paprika before serving.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Southwestern Corn Chowder

Also from Simply in Season, this is what we're eating this weekend :)

1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
2 1/2 cups corn
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
1 small tomato chopped
1/2 fresh lime
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro finely chopped
Optional: cooked black beans, lima beans, chunks of chicken or turkey

1. Saute onion in olive oil until soft
2. Add corn and broth, cook for 10 minutes. Remove 1 cup of solids with about 1/3 cup broth and place in a blender, blend until smooth. Return puree to the soup pot and heat until nearly boiling.
3. Add pepper and tomato, heat another minute
4. Squeeze lime into pot and top with cilantro immediately before serving. Garnish individual bowls with lime wedges and a dollop of plain sour cream (optional).

Berry Muffins

These delicious and healthy muffins are courtesy of the amazing cookbook Simply in Season, my new favorite thing EVER!

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 TBSP baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup honey
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen berries (any kind)

Combine flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a bowl.
In another bowl combine egg, milk, oil and honey--mix well. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones and stir until just moistened.
Fold in the berries.
Fill well greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar.
Bake in preheated oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

Variations: you can substitute shredded summer squash for the berries. Or you can replace the rolled oats with 1/2 cup additional whole wheat flour and 1/2 cup raw wheat germ. OR, you can use 3/4 cup additional whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup flax seed.

Real Simple Granola

This has been a staple in our house the past few weeks, we mix it with smoothies, eat it plain as a snack on the go and both of us love it!


  • 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick cooking)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut (preferably unsweetened)
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds) or shelled sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup dried fruit (such as cherries, cranberries, raisins, or currants)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the oats, almonds, coconut, and pepitas with the maple syrup, oil, and salt.
  2. Bake, tossing once, until golden and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.
  3. Add the dried fruit and toss to combine. Let cool.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Garlic Chicken Stirfry with Quinoa

This recipe comes from the box of Trader Joe's Organic Quinoa.

1 cup Organic Quinoa prepared with chicken stock according to package directions
2 cups Chicken Broth
1 1/2 pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast Tenders
4 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
5 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
20 leaves fresh sweet basil, julienne
Grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut chicken into one inch pieces. Heat large nonstick skillet over high heat and add the oil. Add chicken and saute for 5 minutes or until golden brown. Add onions, peppers, and saute for one or two more minutes. Add garlic and saute until peppers become slightly limp, but still bright, about one to two minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from heat. Add basil and quinoa. Toss until basil wilts and garnish with parmesan cheese. Serves four.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Vegetarian Crock Pot Layered Dinner

my sister in law sent this, it looks yummy!


6 potatoes -- sliced

1 large onion -- sliced

2 carrots -- sliced

1 green pepper -- sliced

1 zucchini -- sliced

1 cup corn -- frozen or fresh

1 cup peas -- frozen or fresh

Any other favorite veggies


2 1/2 cups tomato sauce

1/4 cup Tamari soy sauce -- low-sodium

1 tsp thyme -- ground

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp basil

2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp sage

2 Tbs parsley

Layer vegetables in crock pot in order given. Mix together ingredients for sauce and pour over vegetables. Cook six hours on high or 12 hours on low.

Basic Granola

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal ( I have used up to 3 c. depending on how much of the other stuff I had on hand)
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, loosely packed
  • 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ ( I have used a combo of oat bran and wheat bran, whatever you have on hand, it can also be left out)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup honey ( I have adapted this to include any liquid such as molasses, OJ, agave anything you have on hand as long as you have about 2/3 c. liquid. I recommend a mixture)
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots (optional you can use any of your favorites!)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Toss the oatmeal, almonds,coconut and wheat germ ( or whatever you are using) together on a sheet pan and bake for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and stir in the wheat germ.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Place the butter, honey, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for a minute, then pour over the toasted oatmeal mixture. Add the dates, apricots, and cranberries and stir well.

Transfer mixture back onto the sheet pan and spread evenly. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes stirring ever 5-10 minutes, until light golden brown. Allow to cool before serving. Serve at room temperature.

Butternut Squash Quesadillas

these are from my sister, and they are SO yummy! These make a bunch too!

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 medium onion - chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove - minced
  • 2 packs of large flour tortillas
  • 1 large chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 bag grated jack cheese

Cut the squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place in a roasting pan, cut side up, with 1" of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cover pan with foil. Roast in 400 degree oven for 20-40 minutes until fork is easily inserted into squash. Scoop out inside of squash and set aside. (Note: The squash does not need to be mashed, it can be in large chunks.) Saute chopped onion and garlic in a large skillet. Add butternut squash and mix together. Remove from heat. Spread squash mixture on a tortilla. Top with some jack cheese, red bell pepper, and another tortilla. Grill in a frying pan, over medium heat, like making a grilled cheese sandwich, until the tortilla is slightly brown and crispy. Careful flipping! If you flip before the bottom tortilla has crisped up you will lose all the innards. Slice into wedges and serve with sour cream.

For the chipotle lime sour cream dipping sauce:
  • 1 Tbls of chipotle seasoning blend (I like Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle blend which can be found with all the other spices)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup sour cream

Red Lentil Curry

1 larger onion, diced
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 pound red lentils
28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 can water
salt and pepper to taste
diced carrots (optional)
"big squirt" of ketchup

1. Dice and saute the onion
2. Add 2 cloves of garlic & curry powder
3. Add the lentils and fry until they turn a translucent and darker orange
4. Before the lentils burn add the tomatoes, 1 full can of water, and salt and pepper.
5. If you want to add the carrots, do so now.
6. Bring to a boil and cook for 15-20 minutes
7. Add a big squirt of ketchup for the vinegar flavor that it gives.
You can serve this over rice, pasta, or baked potato.

Ravioli with Red Peppers

  • 2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and minced
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 cup cubed eggplant
  • 4 Tbs. chunky tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. crushed red pepper, optional
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 9 oz. fresh roasted-vegetable or other gourmet ravioli
  • 1 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella

  1. Bring lightly salted water to boil over high heat.
  2. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. When hot, sauté onion and garlic for 30 seconds. Add zucchini, red pepper and eggplant; cook 7 to 10 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Stir in tomato sauce, oregano, crushed red pepper, if using, and salt and pepper.
  3. Meanwhile, cook ravioli for about 5 minutes. When tender, drain and set aside.
  4. Divide the vegetable mixture into equal-sized portions, and place on serving plates or in large soup bowls. Top with ravioli and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Serve immediately.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Pasta Primavera

from Vegetarianism for Dummies

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 clove minced garlic
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and sliced diagonally in 1/4 inch pieces
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium carrot, sliced very thin
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 pound hot cooked fettuccine
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts

1. In a large skillet, heat olive oil. Cook onions and garlic over medium until onions are translucent.
2. Add asparagus, zucchini, carrot, and mushrooms, and cook over medium heat for 2 minutes.
3. Add milk, broth, basil, and cook over high until the liquid boils. Cook for 3 minutes and add peas, and green onions. Simmer for 1 minute.
4. Add salt and pepper, and then add the pasta, cheese, and pine nuts, tossing until ingredients are well mixed. Serve immediately.

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup diced peeled potato
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • In a large saucepan, bring the onion, garlic and 1/4 cup broth to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in the beans, potato, thyme, cumin and remaining broth; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  • Stir in tomatoes and hot pepper sauce; heat through. Sprinkle with green onions. Yield: 6 servings.

Red & Green Winter Stoup with Asiago Cheese Bread

from Rachel Ray

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 large baking potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/4 inch thick
2 onions, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
One chicken or vegetable broth ( 32-ounce, 4 cups)
1 bunch kale, stemmed and coarsely chopped
One can crushed tomatoes or fire-roasted tomatoes (28 ounces)
3 large roasted red peppers
4 thick slices crusty whole grain bread
large cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 cup shredded asiago cheese

1. In a medium soup pot, heat the EVOO, 4 turns of the pan, over medium to medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, onions, rosemary and bay leaf; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, 7-8 minutes.
2. Add the broth and bring to a boil, 6-8 minutes.
3. Add the kale in batches and cook until wilted, 1-2 minutes.
4. Stir in the tomatoes.
5. Using a food processor or a mini chopper, puree the roasted peppers. Stir the pureed peppers into the soup pot, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.
6. Meanwhile, pre-heat the broiler; toast the bread, rub with the garlic halves and top with the cheese. Melt the cheese under the broiler for 1 minute. Serve the stoup with the toasts.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Vegetarian Chili with Cashews

I know it sounds different, but this was so yummy!

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
2 large green bell peppers, seeded & chopped (I used 1 red and 1 green)
2 stalks of celery chopped
4 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (this wasn't enough, not enough spice, so I'd add 1 teaspoon)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon black pepper
15 oz can tomato sauce
16 oz can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 cup cashew pieces
3 cups kidney beans (2 15 oz cans)--you can vary it a bit, I used 1 kidney and 1 garbanzo bean
1 cup frozen corn (optional)

1. In a large pot heat the oil and saute the onions, peppers, and celery over medium heat until the onions are translucent (about 10 min)
2. Add garlic, basil, oregano, chili powder, cumin and black pepper
3. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes (with juice), vinegar and bay leaf. Reduce heat to low and cook for 2-3 minutes.
4. Stir in cashews and cook over low for 15 minutes.
5. Add beans and cook for 25 minutes stirring frequently. Chili is done when ingredients are well blended and soft, and the chili is thick and bubbly.

I serve this over brown rice and with some shredded cheddar on top.

Baked Salmon

Note: Requires marinating for 1 hour!


  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 (6 ounce) fillets salmon


  1. In a medium glass bowl, prepare marinade by mixing garlic, light olive oil, basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley. Place salmon fillets in a medium glass baking dish, and cover with the marinade. Marinate in the refrigerator about 1 hour, turning occasionally.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  3. Place fillets in aluminum foil, cover with marinade, and seal. Place sealed salmon in the glass dish, and bake 35 to 45 minutes, until easily flaked with a fork.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Brown Spanish Rice


1 TBSP Olive Oil
1 Cup Long Grain Brown Rice
2 Cups Beef Broth
1 Cup Tomato Sauce
1 Cup Chopped Onion
1 Red Bell Pepper Chopped
2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Kosher Salt

Heat oil in skillet over Med heat. Add onion, bell pepper, and rice. Sautee for about 5 minuted or until veggies are tender and rice is toasted. Add beef broth, tomato sauce, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt. Bring to a boil. Once rice is boiling, cover with a tight lid and cook about 45 minutes or until rice is done.

Long Grain Brown Rice Pilaf

I'm trying to incorporate more brown rice into our diets since it's so much better for us than white rice (which has almost zero nutritional value), but brown rice by itself isn't all that exciting. I'm going to try the brown rice pilaf and see how it goes, it looks good to me!
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice (about 6 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 (2-inch) strip fresh lemon peel
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth, low sodium canned or homemade
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan with a tight fitting lid, over medium heat. Add the rice and lemon peel and cook, stirring, until slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Stir in the water and add salt to taste, bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until all the water has been absorbed by the rice, about 45 minutes. Please don't lift the lid to give a peek or stir or the rice will not cook evenly.

Remove the pan from the heat and let the rice sit, covered, for 10 minutes?{once again, no peeking. Fluff with a fork, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Cook's Note: Zip up this basic pilaf with one of these easy variations: Add a handful of raisin or apricots to the rice with the water. Add chopped parsley, toasted pine nuts and caramelized onions during cooking or to already cooked pilaf. Add chopped fresh herbs and peas to cooked pilaf.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Two Bean Enchiladas

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1⁄4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 15-oz. can black beans
  • 15-oz. can kidney beans
  • 1 cup canned tomato sauce
  • 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
  • 8 corn tortillas


  1. Preheat oven to 450˚F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with vegetable oil cooking spray.
  2. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine onion, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin and vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion and pepper have softened, 5 minutes. Add beans with their liquid and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in corn and simmer 2 minutes. Set strainer over a bowl; strain mixture, reserving liquid.
  3. Steam tortillas: Put a stack between damp paper towels and microwave on high until they are soft and pliable, about 1 minute.
  4. Put 1⁄2 cup drained filling in each tortilla, then roll and place side by side in prepared baking dish. Drizzle filled tortillas with reserved bean-tomato juices. Cover dish with foil and bake until heated through, about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Speedy Red Sauce

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 12-oz. jar roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained
  • 2 small onions, diced (2 cups)
  • 2 Tbs. dried basil or 3 Tbs. finely chopped fresh basil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced (1 Tbs.)
  • 1 28-oz. can fire-roasted crushed tomatoes


1. Purée roasted red peppers in food processor or blender until smooth. Set aside. 2. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, and sauté 5 minutes, or until golden. Add basil and garlic, and sauté 1 minute more. Stir in tomatoes and roasted red pepper purée. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Baked Halibut Steaks


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup diced zucchini
1/2 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 (6 ounce) halibut steaks
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Lightly grease a shallow baking dish.
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat and stir in zucchini, onion, and garlic. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until tender. Remove saucepan from heat and mix in tomatoes, basil, salt, and pepper.
Arrange halibut steaks in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Spoon equal amounts of the zucchini mixture over each steak. Top with feta cheese.
Bake 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish is easily flaked with a fork.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lentil Sausage Stew

  • 2 cups sliced fresh carrots
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 7 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 cups dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 pound Italian Sausage
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Dash each dried thyme, basil and oregano
1. Cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain fat.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients except the lentils to a large soup pot. Bring to a boil.
3. Add lentils, reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 60-70 minutes until lentils are tender.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Honey Mustard Chicken Pasta

Note, this recipe only serves 2 but can easily be doubled


1 cup uncooked bow tie pasta

2 bacon strips, diced

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 garlic clove minced

1 cup cooked diced chicken

½ cup frozen peas, thawed

½ cup condensed cream of chicken soup

1/3 cup milk

1 tablespoon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

½ teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons grated parmesan cheese

I am going to add extra veggies to make it a bit healthier--chopped broccoli and yellow peppers would be a great addition.


1. Cook pasta according to directions on package.

2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels and drain, reserving 1 tablespoon of the drippings.

3. In the bacon drippings, sauté onion until tender. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

4. Stir in chicken, peas, soup, milk, honey, parsley, salt, pepper and bacon. Cook over medium heat til heated through, stirring.

5. Drain pasta, add to skillet and toss to coat.

6. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Ranch Potato Crisps


3-4 medium baking potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 package dry ranch salad dressing mix


1. Preheat oven to 400. Wash potatoes but leave skin on.
2. Slice into ¼ inch thick slices.
3. Place in a bowl with a lid and add vegetable oil—mix until all potatoes are coated.
4. Add salad dressing mix and then cover and shake until all is coated.
5. Line potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet without overlapping slices. Bake 40-45 minutes or until potatoes are brown. Serve warm.

Jean's Twice Baked Potatoes

from Jean Wiitala


2 large baking potatoes

2 tablespoons margarine

2-4 tablespoons milk

½ teaspoon salt

dash of pepper

½ cup shredded cheddar

2 teaspoons chopped fresh chives


1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Scrub potatoes but don’t peel. Pierce potatoes on all sides, wrap in tin foil and place on oven rack. Bake potatoes for 1 hour or until they feel tender when squeezed.

3. While potatoes are cooking leave butter on counter to soften.

4. Once potatoes are done, cut them lengthwise and scoop out the insides into a bowl.

5. Up the oven temp to 400. Mash potato insides with an electric mixer. Add milk in small amounts, beating thoroughly. Add margarine, salt and pepper. Beat until potatoes are light and fluffy. Stir in cheese and chives.

6. Fill shells with mixture and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until hot.

Mom's Meatloaf

from Sue Hanson


2 eggs
¾ cup milk
2/3 cup finely crushed saltines
½ cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sage
dash of pepper
1.5 pounds ground beef
1 cup ketchup
½ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


1. In a large bowl beat the eggs. Add milk, saltines, onion, salt, sage and pepper.
2. Add beef and mix well, shape into an 8 ½ x 4 ½ inch baking pan (loaf pan).
3. Combine rest of the ingredients and spread ¾ of the sauce over the top of the loaf. Save the rest for topping as you serve.
4. Bake at 350 for about an hour and 15 minutes.
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