Tuesday, September 21, 2010

New Veggie Recipes

I went to a CSA yesterday with a friend to share in her bounty and came home with some swiss chard, okra, tomatillos and bok choy. Anyone have any great recipes for these?

Monday, September 20, 2010

healthy breakfast

Breakfast for Erin is always a challenge. She doesn't always like to eat unless. She does like pancakes and waffles but not the frozen kind and I don't have time to make them often. Did I mention that she is not a fan of fruits and veggies. We started the school year with a new agreement. She needed to find healthy breakfasts with fruit that she could make herself and would eat. She did a great job. Last week she made Pumpkin waffles. Made the batter at night cooked up a big batch, froze the extras and has been eating them all week. Last night she mixed up Mary Fran’s scones using mixed dried fruit, she not a fan of raisins but likes dried cherries and strawberries. I think she still has plans for some pumpkin pancakes. We'll see what else she comes up with.
To make it easier I am editing the post to add to more links, thanks Bridget, Katie and Caitlin.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Steak EVERYONE loves!

This summer we were lucky enough to visit Brendan & Sarah and enjoy Sarah's Korean Flank Steak. Since we returned, it has been a big request in our house, and one recipe that EVERYONE enjoys (YEAH!). Tonight, I am serving it with a peanutbutter noodles with shredded carrots and cucumbers. Can't wait!

Korean BBQ

Korean Marinade for Flank Steak

3 lb flank steak (while we love this with flank steak, we have used it with other cuts of meat as well and it works great)
1/2 c soy

1/2 c white sugar

1/2 c water

1/4 c sesame oil

1/4 c sake or I use whatever wine I have left over in the fridge

2 T chopped garlic (or more if you like it more garlicky)

1 T sesame seeds

1 t black pepper
1 bunch of scallions, washed and rinsed well. (If you don't have scallions, feel free to throw in some white onion wedges in with the beef after marinating.)

Set aside scallions and meat. Mix everything else together in a large bowl (marinade ingredients.)

Layer in green onions as you place in the flank. Continue until all flank is marinated. Pour remaining marinade on top.

Marinate at least 8 hours or overnight if possible. I personally have found that a 24 hour soak yields the best flavor. If you are planning to freeze, you can allow it to soak and then portion off what you want into ziploc bags OR immediately put into bags and freeze. Try and put a bit of marinade into each bag when freezing.

You can grill it on the bbq (our family favorite) or broil it in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, depending on your preference for rare, medium or well.

*You can boil the marinade and serve with the steak for added yumminess.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus, and Pesto

I made this Cooking Light recipe for dinner tonight. YUM! (I added some roasted grape tomatoes as well, because I can never resist the tomato/basil combo).

Gnocchi with Shrimp, Asparagus, & Pesto
  • 2 quarts plus 1 tablespoon water, divided
  • 1 (16-ounce) package vacuum-packed gnocchi (such as Vigo)
  • 4 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 pound)
  • 1 pound peeled and deveined large shrimp, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons preshredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in a Dutch oven. Add gnocchi to pan; cook 4 minutes or until done (gnocchi will rise to surface). Remove gnocchi with a slotted spoon; place in a large bowl. Add asparagus and shrimp to pan; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are done. Drain. Add shrimp mixture to gnocchi.
Combine remaining 1 tablespoon water, basil, and next 4 ingredients (through garlic) in a food processor; process until smooth, scraping sides. Drizzle oil through food chute with food processor on; process until well blended. Add salt and basil mixture to shrimp mixture; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

*I made it ahead of time to feed dinner in shifts tonight and fed Holland right after school before soccer and religion. She had an additional cold helping.

Crockpot/Slow Cooker Healthy Meals for the Fall

It is that time of year, again. Back to School (and Back to School Nights) and in my house, it is back to soccer and swimming, religion, and now scouts... There are very few nights in the fall that we will all be home at the same time to sit down and have dinner together. Add to that the cooler weather coming in & for me that means -- Crock Pot Meals. They stay warm and are easy to have ready and serve up when needed.

Here are a few crock pot links with some healthy and delicious looking recipes I am looking forward to trying this fall:

In particular, I am looking forward to trying these 2 this week:

Pesto Lasagna with Spinach & Mushrooms (I have never done lasagna in the crockpot, looking forward to this experiment)
  • 4 cups torn spinach
    2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
    1/2 cup commercial pesto
    3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
    3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded provolone cheese
    1 (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
    1 large egg, lightly beaten
    3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
    1 (25.5-ounce) bottle fat-free tomato-basil pasta sauce
    1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
    Cooking spray
    1 (8-ounce) package precooked lasagna noodles (12 noodles)
Arrange the spinach in a vegetable steamer; steam, covered, 3 minutes or until spinach wilts. Drain, squeeze dry, and coarsely chop. Combine spinach, mushrooms, and pesto in a medium bowl, stirring to combine; set aside.
Combine mozzarella, provolone, ricotta, and beaten egg in a medium bowl, stirring well to combine. Stir in 1/4 cup Parmesan, and set aside. Combine the pasta sauce and the tomato sauce in a medium bowl.
Spread 1 cup pasta sauce mixture in the bottom of a 6-quart oval electric slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over pasta sauce mixture; top with 1 cup cheese mixture and 1 cup spinach mixture. Repeat the layers, ending with spinach mixture. Arrange 3 noodles over spinach mixture; top with remaining 1 cup cheese mixture and 1 cup pasta sauce mixture. Place remaining 3 noodles over sauce mixture; spread remaining sauce mixture over noodles. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan. Cover with lid; cook on LOW 5 hours or until done.
Slow Cooker Ratatouille
  • 1-1/2 cups cubed, peeled (if desired) eggplant
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow summer squash or zucchini
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped tomato
  • 1/2 of an 8-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped red or green sweet pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 1/2-inch-thick slices baguette-style French bread
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil
In a 1-1/2-quart slow cooker, combine eggplant, squash, chopped tomato, tomato sauce, sweet pepper, onion, salt, black pepper, and garlic.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4-1/2 to 5 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. If no heat setting is available, cook for 4 to 4-1/2 hours.
For Parmesan toast: Preheat broiler. Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil. Place bread slices, oiled sides up, on a baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat about 15 seconds or until toasted (watch carefully to avoid burning). Sprinkle bread slices with 1 tablespoon of the Parmesan cheese. Broil about 15 seconds more or until cheese is melted.
Stir basil into mixture in cooker. Serve in shallow bowls with Parmesan toast. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Makes 2 servings.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Make-Your-Own Granola Bars

Maeve can bring in a morning snack to school. I offered her the options of home morning snacks from the summer, usually fruit or cracker & cheese, nuts & dried fruit. None are as exciting as the granola bars (not the dry kind Dad gets) or fruit snacks the other kids bring. I don't on a regular basis buy chewy granola bars or fruit snacks - and don't want to make them a habit. To compromise we decided to try making Chewy granola bars that were healthy and even have some dried fruit and nuts. I let you know how they go over at school. Ok. So the first one was not as big a hit as I hoped. Katie had this one pinned it was great.  First batch went in a day, and I didn't even add chocolate chips. This time I am so I'm doubling the recipe  no bake granola bars

Friday, September 3, 2010

green tomatoes

I'm not a tomato fan. My husband is. So I always plant some. This year we got more than he can eat or we can give away. We also still have loads of green one on the vine. Wondering if I and the girls will like them more green I'm trying them tonight in a soup. It helps that it is 65 degrees - welcome fall. Green Tomato and ham soup.
Fruity desserts, anyone? I’m typically an “if-it's-not-chocolate-don’t-waste-my-time-or-calories” dessert eater. But we’re trying to get more fruits into our diet, and I figured fruity desserts might be a good way to do that.

(I might also be less tempted to eat dessert.)

I do a great apple pie and a great apple crisp that my boys love (recipes below), I’ve even done a rustic apple tart, yum! and artsy. But even apples get a little old after a while.

My pumpkin cheesecake is to-die-for, but not exactly helping the waistline.

I often add dried cranberries to my chocolate chip cookies by substituting 2 cups of chocolate chips and 1 cup of dried cranberries in my Halloween Candy Cookie recipe, again not really waistline-friendly. Ditto my Chocolate, Fruit, and Nut Clusters.

Peach Melba in a Pail was a great summertime dessert, I may have to revisit that one with low-fat frozen yogurt, fat-free Cool Whip®, and 100-calorie Oreo® Thin Crisps. Regina's Polka Dot Ice Cream Pie with fat-free frozen yogurt and fat-free sorbet is great for summer too.

Will’s Favorite Apple Crisp
serves 8

6 large apples, peeled and sliced
1¼ c sugar, divided use
1 c flour, plus 2 T
1 t baking powder
½ t salt
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, not quick-cooking
1 egg
8 T butter, melted
vanilla ice cream, optional
Preheat oven to 375°. Place 1 c flour, ¾ c sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl until mixture is the texture of coarse meal. Add oats, and use your hands to toss and squeeze mixture until large, moist clumps form. Transfer to freezer to chill while you prepare apples.
Combine ½ c sugar and 2 T flour in bowl. Add apple slices and toss to coat. Place coated apples in deep baking dish.
Crack egg into another bowl. Beat. Pour egg into oat mixture and stir with fork until crumb-like. Sprinkle topping evenly over fruit. Spoon melted butter evenly over topping, covering all crumbs. Set dish on baking sheet on middle rack of oven and bake for 40 minutes until topping is brown and apples are tender. Top with ice cream and serve while warm. Can also be baked in individual dishes. Works great with pears too.

Evan’s Favorite Apple Pie

6 to 8 apples, such as Granny Smith, Cortland, Rome, or a local variety of tart apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
juice of half a lemon
¾ c sugar
1 t cinnamon
¼ t nutmeg
2 T all-purpose flour
double piecrust*
2 T butter, cut into chunks
milk, for glaze
vanilla ice cream, optional
cheddar cheese, optional
Heat the oven to 425°. Place the apples (about 6 cups) in a large mixing bowl. Pour the lemon juice over the apples and add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and flour. Toss well. Spoon the spiced apples into the piecrust-lined pie plate and dot with the butter. Place rolled-out dough loosely on top of the apple mixture. With a fork or mini cookie cutter, make a decorative pattern around the outside of the pie plate. You can also cut pie dough ornaments from extra crust to place on top of the pie, and cut slits in the dough to allow the steam to escape. Brush the top with milk for a glaze.

Place the pie in the preheated oven (lay a sheet of aluminum foil on the rack below to catch any juices). Bake for 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and you can see the juices bubbling. If the crust begins to brown before the pie is fully baked, cover it with foil. Let pie cool slightly, then slice it into wedges. Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a slice of cheddar cheese.

What are your favorite fruity desserts?