Sep 27, 2010

Potato Tips

POTATOES:Here are some tips that will help you in reducing the loss of potato nutrients:

a. Avoid peeling the potatoes before cooking them. The outer shell provides a good protection against nutritional loss during the cooking process. The protein and mineral content beneath the skin is very high and if you cook the potatoes after peeling them, most of these proteins and minerals are lost.

b. When you boil potatoes, first heat the water to its boiling point and then add potatoes. This will reduce the cooking time and help you maintain Vitamin C content.

c. Minimize frying as 75% of Vitamin C is lost during frying. You can use other cooking methods such as baking and steaming. On a different note, have you ever tried barbecue roasted potatoes?

Sep 22, 2010

EASY Crock Pot Yogurt

1/2 gallon milk
1/2 c. yogurt
Recipe notes: This recipe uses a 2 quart crock. In using a 4 or 4 1/2 quart crock I found the yogurt to have a bit of a "springy" texture. I was able to alleviate this by heating the milk an additional 15 minutes for a total of 2 hours and 45 minutes.

Turn your crock pot to low and pour in 1/2 gallon of milk. Heat on low for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Once 2 hours and 30 minutes have elapsed turn your crock pot off and unplug it. Let the milk cool in the crock with the lid on for 3 hours. After 3 hours remove 1-2 cups of the warmed milk and place in a bowl. To that add 1/2 cup of yogurt with live active cultures and mix very well. Pour the yogurt-milk mixture back into the milk and whisk thoroughly. Place the cover back on the crock and wrap the entire crock pot in a thick bath towel or two. Let it culture overnight, 8-12 hours. In the morning stir yogurt (if desired) and store in glass quart jars or a container of your choice. For optimum texture, refrigerate for at least 8 hours before using.

I used a 64 oz empty yogurt container to put the newly made yogurt in. And it tastes good! I highly recommend not having to buy your own yogurt again if you eat yogurt regularly (which is healthy because of the active like cultures (probiotics)..which build healhty bacteria in your intestines (that counteracts the bad bacteria).

TIP: Make yogurt Cheese by straining yogurt (cheesecloth/muslin over bowl and let whey/juice drain for 24 hours). Add salt and use as a cream cheese alternative.

Sep 21, 2010

Breakfast Smoothie with Spinach

I stay away from a tons of dairy, so I was surprised to find this simple drink  that is now our staple...
Ethan loves it too--is it french?

1 Banana
1/2 - 1 cup Berries
1 handful Spinach
1/2 - 1 cup Liquid (cranerry juice, oj, water, etc.)
*ground flax (optional--omega 3 and good for digestion)

Another great one is just an avocado with some milk and a touch of sugar/honey/sweetener of choice. Hide the spinach in there too.

*An Immersion Blender (stick blender) is amazing for a 30-second smoothie, with minimal effort and cleanup. It was my best kitchen gift yet.

Breakfast Parfait

A good way to get in a variety of food groups in the morning as well as probiotics and calcium is this...

Plain yogurt with a tsp. of agave or honey and some cut up fruit. Add in some type of wheat, bran or oat cereal/granola (not a cheap refined sugar one). I like grapenuts, oat squares, or our homemade granola (See recipe).

*find some wholesome, nutritious cereals you can interchange for this.

Chicken Rolls

The idea is to put something on a flattened piece of chicken (1/4" thick) and then roll up the chicken and cut into rolls and toothpick them (like cinnamon rolls). Then Bake at 400 until done (ranges between 15 or 30 minutes). (I used chicken tenders and cut them in half, since that's all I I just folded the meat over itself instead of rolling...same idea though.)

Here are a few yummy inside fillings I've tried:
1. Pesto and Mozarella
2. Basil Feta (opt. w/mustard)

*try your own and let me know

Parmesan Breaded Fish

1 lb fresh fish
1/4 c milk
1/4 c flour
1/3 c bread crumbs
1/4 c parmesan, grated
1/2 t. dill
1/8 t. pepper
2 T butter, melted

1. Put milk in one bowl. Flour in another. Crumbs, parmesan dill and pepper in another.
2. Cut fish in to bite-sized pieces and dip in milk, then flour (coat all sides), then breadcrumb mixture.
3. Place pieces on a greased sheet and bake 6-9 mins at 450 degrees. (Broil 1-2 mins for extra crispy.)
4. Drizzle the butter over top for complete yumminess (or you could've put the melted butter in with the crumb mizture, but I think it tastes better at the end).

Bacon Risotto

1/2 pound bacon, diced
5 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (opt.)
salt and black pepper to taste

1.Cook and stir the diced bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes. Drain the bacon and reserve.
2.Bring the chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan over high heat; reduce heat to low to keep the chicken stock hot.
3.Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook and stir until the onion begins to turn golden brown at the edges, about 2 minutes. Pour in the rice and stir until the rice is coated in butter and has started to toast, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; stir in one-third of the hot chicken stock and continue stirring until the rice has absorbed the liquid and turned creamy. Repeat this process twice more, stirring constantly. Stirring in the broth should take 15 to 20 minutes in all. When finished, the rice should be tender, yet slightly firm.
4.Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, the Parmesan cheese (if desired), and the reserved bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.

* Add peas or cooked spinach for a complete meal...yum.

Sep 8, 2010

TEST: Paleta Frozen Pops

2 big limes, juiced
add honey or other natural sweetener to taste
2 cups fizzy water
sprig or two of fresh mint
1/2 c. fresh raspberries

Mix all together and pulse in blender (except raspberries). Half of the mixture goes to filling the popsicle molds halfway. After the popsicles freeze for about an hour, add some frozen raspberry chunks on top and fill with the remaining mojito mixture and freeze again.

Sep 2, 2010

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

Paul's favorite pancake batter

1 egg
1 c. liquid (Buttermilk is the best! Water works. Or milk with 1 T lemon juice, sit for 5 minutes)
2 T oil
1 c. flour (1/2 whole grain)
1 T. sweetener (organic whole cane sugar)
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
blueberries (opt.)

1. Mix liquids in a bowl.
2. Add rest of the ingredients.
3. Cook in frying pan on med. heat (or griddle at 350)

Although, I like adding in 5 blueberries to each pancake while the first side is cooking and making sure they are covered, and then flipping. That way each pancake gets some.

liquid: I generally just do water..which works fine, but not the ultimate puffiness buttermilk gives.
flour: I like 1/2 white, 1/2 mix of ground brown rice, quinoa, oats and/or arrowroot (like cornstarch)
-Add a splash of vanilla, lemon juice and poppy seeds for my favorite variation

Submitted by Shelley Schneider (from Betty Crocker cookbook)

Sep 1, 2010

Zucchini Casserole

3 c cubed zucchini
3 c cubbed sumer squash
1/2 c diced onion
2 T butter
1 c cream of chicken (see homemade recipe)
8 oz sour cream (plain yogurt alternative)
salt/pepper to taste
1 pkg. chicken stuffing mix
(see homemade recipe)

Steam squash together until tender but firm (5 min). Saute onion in butter, add soup, sour cream, salt/pepper. Mix that with the squash. Place half in a casserole dish, then top with half dressing mix and half of stuffing. Layer again. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. My sister's husband loves this dish!

from Sangers

Fiesta Bake

1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 can black beans, liquid drained
1 can kidney beans, liquid drained
1 small onion, diced
3/4 c salsa
1 pkg. Taco seasoning (we just use cumin, chili powder and garlic)
1 can corn
1 can olives, chopped
1/4 c water (if needed)

1 c shredded cheese
1 can (4 oz.) green chilies, diced

CORN BREAD RECIPE: 1 c flour, 1 c cornmeal, 1 T baking powder, 1/2 t salt, 2 beaten eggs, 1 c milk, 1/4 c oil, 2 T honey. Mix dry ingredients together in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another bowl, then mix all together and set aside.

1. Cook beef and onion until beef is browned; drain.
2. Stir in beans, salsa, taco seasoning, and water. Cook over low heat for 5-6 min. or until mixture thickens.
3. Stir in corn and olives. Spoon into greased 9x13 baking dish.
4. Make the Cornbread in separate bowl.
5. Stir the cheese and chilies into the corn batter and spread over the meat mixture.
6. Bake 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and shredded lettuce, tomato and avocado if desired.

Turtle-Power Pasta

Mac n' heese isn't healthy, but sometimes you just need something quick. So I like to make a box of shell Mac with peas and tuna--a veggie and protein at least. The key is the shell pasta because the peas fit so cute in them and reminds me of turtles (I also call this Half-shell Hero the ninja turtles).

1 Box Mac n' Cheese Shells (or shell pasta and melt your own cheese)
1 c. frozen peas
1 can tuna, drained (or sliced cooked hotdog)

Cook the pasta; reserve drained liquid to add the peas into for 3 minutes, to cook.
Add cheese to pasta as directed (or do it homemade style).
Then add cooked peas and tuna.

Convenience food...not the best, but healthier than just a box of mac'.

Easy Tuna Salad

1 can tuna
2 T mayo
3 c. spinach or lettuce
3 T sunflower seeds

1. Mix tuna and mayo
2. Put lettuce in a bowl and place tuna mix and sunflower seed in it; mix together.

A Schneider Family recipe

Mexican Mud Soup

1 lb. chicken, cubed
1 c. dried black beans, rinsed (or 2 cans, drained)
4 c. chicken broth
1 c. mushrooms (opt.)
1 c. corn (or 1 can)
1 jar salsa
1 1/2 t. cumin powder
1/2 c. sour cream (opt. topping)
other opt. toppings: cilantro, avacado, cheese, chips, etc.

Put all in a crockpot (dried beans at the bottom so they cook a long time, but I'd boil 10 mins first to help them break down a little better) and cook for 4 hours on high (if using canned beans, reduce time to about an hour).

Submitted by Shelley Schneider

Chicken Galungal Soup

1 big bag of frozen chicken drumsticks (8-10)
3-4 small dried galungal root (find at Thai store)
2 T Instant Hot & Sour Paste (find at Thai store)
1 T lemongrass (optional)
1 T tumerric
1/4 t chili pepper (NOT chili powder)
1/2 T salt
4 chicken boullion cubes
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, diced
2 cans of straw mushrooms, diced
1/2 a bunch of fresh cilantro, minced
1 can coconut milk
RICE, served in bowls, soup poured over

Combine drumsticks, galungal roots, paste, lemongrass, tumerric, chili pepper, salt, garlic, and green onions in a big soup pot. Fill with water until all drumsticks are covered. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 45 minutes. Take out all drumsticks and peel off all the meat...return flesh to soup. Turn off heat and add the mushrooms, cilantro, and coconut milk. Stir, take out the galungal roots (they make the flavor but are not edible) and serve in bowls over hot white/brown rice mix! Sprinkle with cilantro to add a little color for garnish and a fresh flavor. This is such a great soup--a family favorite!

Cheeseburger Soup

1/2 lb lean ground beef
3/4 c onion (diced)
3/4 c carrots (shredded)
3/4 c celery (sliced)
1 t basil
1 t parsley
4 T butter
3 c chicken broth
4 c potatoes (peeled,diced)
1/4 c flour
1 1/2 c milk
8 oz cubed cheese (1 cup shredded cheddar cheese)
3/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 c sour cream

Brown beef. Saute veggies in herbs and 1 T butter. Add broth, beef, veggies and potatoes. Melt rest of butter, add flour and then add to soup. Reduce heat. Add milk, salt, pepper, and cheese. Add sour cream after you take pot off stove and right before you serve! ENJOY!!!

Submitted by Cheryl Sanger

Cream of ....[any Vegetable] Soup (dairy-free)

This recipe is great if you have lots of a certain vegetable, but don't know how to use it all up. I frequently do it with celery, asparagus, and zucchini.

2 medium onions or leeks, diced
2 celery, diced (opt.)
2 T butter

2-5 c main big vegetable (asparagus, zucchini, etc.)
2 quarts stock
sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

1. Melt butter in a large pot and add onions, celery and main big vegetable.
2. Add stock, cover and cook at least 30 minutes.
3. Puree soup with a handheld blender just till blended some; season to taste.

celery base: ham, potatoes and peas (add cubed potatoes and simmer 30 minutes, then add ham and peas)
asparagus base: same as above
zucchini base: add corn and black beans?

Creamier taste w/o dairy: If you want to make this creamier, then blend ¼ cup of light olive oil 2 tsp nutritional flakes (cheesy/nutty tasting) and 2 tsp salt (or to taste) and add to the soup. The whipping of the oil makes it creamy.

Potato Leek Soup

3 leeks, peeled, cleaned, chopped
2 T butter (organic, unsalted is my favorite)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 potatoes
6 cups chicken stock
several sprigs of thyme tied together
(sometimes use 1 T dried thyme if you can't find fresh)
1 cup sour cream (Daisy is my favorite)
sea salt and pepper
finely chopped chives for garnish (optional)

Saute leeks until soft in butter and olive oil. Add potatoes and stock, bring to a boil and skim. Add thyme and simmer until all vegetables are soft. Let cool. Remove fresh thyme if you used that. Puree soup with a handheld blender with sour cream until frothy. You can chill it for Vichissoise, but I like hot soup unless it is a chilled fruit soup. Serve in chilled bowls though and garnish with chives for a decorative masterpiece. (My kids love this soup!)

Wasatch Mountain Soup

(delicious Fall soup!)

1 medium onion, chopped
1 T cooking oil
2 cans white or navy beans
1 15oz can hominy, rinsed and drained (can of corn will suffice)
1 14 oz can chicken broth
1 9oz pkg. frozen cooked chick breast strips
1/4 cup lime juice
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 t ground cumin
1/4 t ground black pepper
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I prefer Tillamock brand)
Bottled green salsa
Tortilla strips
Fresh cilantro

In a large saucepan, cook onion in hot oil over medium heat for 3 minutes. Stir in hominy, beans, chicken broth, frozen chicken, lime juice, cilantro, cumin, and pepper. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally, Serve with cheese, salsa, tortilla chips, and fresh cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

Spring Garden Soup

A very fresh tasting soup!

3 leeks, trimmed and rinsed
3 each- carrots and parsnips, peeled and finely diced
4 large cloves garlic, minced
4 T unsalted butter
2 T olive oil
4 cups chicken broth
6 small red potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
8 plum tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
12 large fresh basil leaves, slivered
1 t dried tarragon
1 1/2 t ground black pepper
1/2 t ground nutmeg
Salt to taste

Finely dice leeks, then rinse well. Drain and place in a bowl along with the carrots, parsnips and garlic. Melt butter and oil in a pot over low heat. Add the leek mixture and cook, covered for 10 min, stirring occasionally. Add broth and potatoes and cook, covered for 10 min. Add remaining ingredients; cover and cook over medium heat for 15 min more. Remove the cover, reduce the heat to low and cook 30 min. more. Serves 8.