Monthly Archives: September 2010

Taco Slaw

I would have never of thought of putting cabbage in Mexican food like this, but it totally works and it’s a great way to get some more veggies.

1 lb. ground turkey, hamburger or chicken
1 onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 package taco seasoning
2 1/2 cups diced canned tomatoes
5 cups cabbage, shredded (I bought the pre-packaged kind that is already shredded w/carrots in it.)
5 oz. cheddar cheese, grated
5 T sour cream
10 flour tortillas

Brown the ground beef, onion and garlic over medium heat.

Stir in taco seasoning and diced tomatoes with their juice. Simmer 5 minutes.

Add the shredded cabbage and cook 5-8 minutes, until cabbage is tender. Stir as needed.

Serve with cheese, sour cream and tortillas.

We had this with tortillas, but you could also serve it over rice instead. Also, this recipe makes a lot of food. We probably have enough leftovers for a second dinner.

What did the family think? I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I REALLY liked it. Hubby kind of liked it and the kids were not impressed at all.


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Filed under Easy, Mexican, Super Easy to Make

Sausage Cauliflower Spaghetti

This is a light pasta dish…no marinara…just a little olive oil.

Kosher salt
12 ounces spaghetti
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
12 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage, casings removed
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1 small head cauliflower, broken into small florets
1 bunch scallions, chopped
1 cup grated pecorino romano or parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook as the label directs. Reserve 2 cups cooking water, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until lightly browned and no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic to the pan and cook for about two minutes.

Using a slotted spoon, remove sausage/garlic mixture from the pan and set aside.

Add the cauliflower to the pan and cook until the edges are browned, about 2 minutes. (If there is too much oil in the pan to put the cauliflower in, drain some of it off first and then add the cauliflower.) Drain remaining oil and add 1 cup of the reserved cooking water, cover and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the cauliflower is tender, about 8 more minutes. Uncover and boil over high heat until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 2 more minutes.

In a large bowl, combine pasta, sausage, cauliflower and scallions. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt. Toss to coat.

Add up to one cup of the reserved water to moisten. Sprinkle with cheese and toss again.

Divide among shallow bowls and drizzle with more olive oil, if desired.

What did the family think? Well, I happened to have some marinara in the pantry, so I got it out because I know how ALL of my boys feel about pasta without marinara. I told them, however, that it would be MUCH better without the marinara as they heaped generous portions of marinara onto their pasta. Hubby said I was right, it was better without the sauce. I think the kids were happier with the sauce though. Also, we next to never have cauliflower. Seriously, I can’t think of one time that I have made cauliflower in the past five years. The boys were a little wary. Our oldest did eat some of it but he wasn’t very impressed. Our youngest ate around the cauliflower.

from Food Network

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Filed under Italian

Spiced Coucous and Chicken

This came together very quickly and was a good dinner to make on a busy soccer night.

3/4 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
1 tsp ground ginger
Salt and pepper
4 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup couscous
2 cups coarsely shredded rotisserie chicken
3 T unsalted butter
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/4 cup golden raisins
4 scallions, white and light green parts only, roughly chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping
Plain Greek yogurt, for topping

Bring 2 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, the ginger, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Add the carrots and cook until crisp tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the carrots, RESERVING THE COOKING LIQUID.

Put chicken and uncooked couscous in a medium bowl. Pour 1 cup of the hot cooking liquid on top. Stir, then cover tightly with plastic wrap and let sit for five minutes. Fluff couscous with fork when done.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the almonds, raisins, scallions, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Cook, stirring, until the almonds are toasted, 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cilantro.

Divide the couscous and chicken among bowls. Top with the carrots and more of the cooking liquid. Sprinkle with the almond mixture and more cilantro. Top with yogurt.

Did I change anything? Well, I didn’t read the recipe all the way through before I started (big mistake) and didn’t save all of the water left over from the carrots. Lesson learned.

What did the family think? Hubby and I really liked this. There are so many flavors, textures and smells going on with this dish…it was a nice surprise. The boys like all of the parts, but when you put them all together they were a little unsure. Our oldest ended up eating everything but the couscous. Our youngest ate the chicken and the carrots and maybe a raisin or two.

from Food Network magazine

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Filed under Chicken

Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Muffins

Yes, they are as good as they sound and since it’s a muffin you don’t have to feel guilty about eating it like you might if it was a cookie.:)

1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
3/4 t. salt
1 1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 cup rolled oats
2 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line with paper cups.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Allow the butter to melt completely and then cook – the butter will foam and start to crackle. Continue cooking, keeping a close eye on the pan, until the crackling subsides and little brown bits appear in the bottom of the pan when you swirl it. Remove from heat as soon as the butter solids have browned and it smells rich and nutty. Pour butter, including the browned bits, into a heat-proof bowl and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Whisk together until well combined then stir in oats. In a separate bowl, whisk together browned butter, eggs, buttermilk, and brown sugar. Stir in vanilla extract.

Add the butter mixture all at once to the flour mixture and stir with a large spoon until just combined (make sure to scrape up all the flour from the bottom of the bowl). Fold in raisins and nuts.

Using a standard-sized cookie scoop or a large spoon, divide batter between the 12 muffin cups (the cups should be mostly full).

Bake at 375 degrees for 20 – 23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean.

from Pinch My Salt

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Filed under After School Snacks, Bread, Desserts, Everybody Ate It, Vegetarian

Crock Pot Chicken with Black Beans and Cream Cheese

This is heavenly! Really, it has cream cheese so it has to be good. 🙂

4-5 boneless, skinless FROZEN chicken breasts
15 1/2 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
15 oz. jar of your favorite salsa
8 oz package cream cheese

Place chicken in the crock pot.

Add black beans and salsa.

Cook on high for 4-5 hours until chicken is cooked through.

When crock pot is done, put cream cheese on top of everything and let sit for 1/2 half hour.

We had this with tortillas. I shredded the chicken after it was done cooking and we used the chicken mixture as the filling and just rolled it up. You could also serve this over rice.

Did I change anything? The original recipe called for a can of corn.

What did the family think? It was a huge hit. My kids love cream cheese, so I knew they would like it.


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Filed under Chicken, Definitely Making it Again, Easy, Everybody Ate It, Mexican, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make

Banana Peanut Butter and Honey Panini

Our oldest gets the Food Network magazine form the mail and I find it in his room; I haven’t even had a chance to look at it yet. After reading it cover to cover, this is what he asked me to make for him.

2 slices cinnamon swirl bread
Peanut butter
1 Banana

Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread. Spread a thin layer of honey on the other slice of bread. Place banana slices on top of peanut butter. Put the piece of bread with honey on top of the bananas to make a sandwich. If you have a panini maker, use it. If not, heat a skillet over medium low heat and spray with cooking spray. Place sandwich in skillet and put a heavy skillet on top of it for a few minutes. Flip the sandwich over, place the skillet on top of it again and cook for a few minutes on that side.

What did the family think? Our oldest loved it. Our youngest liked it, but after tasting it, he had me take the bananas off. He’s not a big banana fan to begin with.

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Filed under After School Snacks, Easy, Sandwich, Six Ingredients or Less, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Sugar Cookies

Since the boys’ nanny (grandma) is visiting us, we made Halloween cookies today after school. (I know it’s not Halloween, but she won’t be here at Halloween.) These cookies turned out GREAT and they are perfect for frosting, cutting into shapes and/or decorating.

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Gradually blend in the dry ingredients.

Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden.

Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.

Did I change anything? Since we used cookie cutters, we rolled the dough out on a floured surface, and then used a rolling pin to flatten out the dough. The boys made pumpkins and witches. After they had cooled we frosted them and added sprinkles. Sugar OVERLOAD!

What did the family think? There isn’t anything NOT to like about these. I am not a huge sugar cookie fan and I think these are fantastic.


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Filed under Desserts, Everybody Ate It

Mexican Rice

I love it when I realize that I need a side dish in the middle of making the main dish, scramble to figure out what that might be and then am able to throw something together out of what’s already in the pantry.

1 T olive oil
1/2 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup Minute Rice
7 oz salsa verde
8 oz tomato sauce

Heat medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil and onions. When onions begin to soften, add garlic. After a few minutes add rice, salsa verde and tomato sauce. Stir to combine, cover and simmer for about five minutes, you may want to add more rice to make the mixture thicker. Remove from heat and let sit for about five minutes.

What did the family think? I don’t think they boys ate it, but Sean and I both liked it. I was impressed that I had everything in the pantry to throw this together.

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Filed under Easy, Mexican, Side Dish, Six Ingredients or Less, Spicy, Super Easy to Make, Vegetarian

Spinach Tortilla Bake with Ricotta Cheese and Salsa Verde

We have been eating a lot of spinach around here. It’s in season right now so now’s the best time.

2 T olive oil
4 chicken breasts (about 1 pound) OR 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups store-bought salsa verde
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
3 large flour tortillas
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cups baby spinach
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook, turning once, until cooked through, about 5 minutes. Let cool, then shred the meat and place in a bowl to the side.

In the same skillet, heat 1 T olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook for a few minutes and then add spinach until onions are soft and spinach is wilted.

In a small bowl, whisk together ricotta and salsa verde.

In a greased pie pan or 9-inch square baking dish, pour 1/3 of the salsa mixture in the bottom of the pie pan or baking dish. Next, place one tortilla on top. Next, 1/2 of the chicken, then half of the spinach mixture and then 1/2 the cheese. Repeat with salsa mixture, tortilla, chicken, spinach, cheese, tortilla. Top with remaining salsa mixture.

We had this with mexican rice and strawberries.

Did I change anything? The directions for this recipe were really confusing. I hope they are a little bit clearer now. Also, I cooked and shredded the chicken ahead of time for a quicker assembly and since the chicken had been sitting in the frig, I threw it in with the onion and spinach mixture to warm it up since it was already cooked.

What did the family think? Everyone really liked it. I think next time I make it I will switch out the chicken with some beans to make it vegetarian and maybe use pepper jack to give it some more spice. Also, I used a pizza cutter to cut this up…worked like a charm. 🙂

from Rachel Ray

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Filed under Chicken, Everybody Ate It, Mexican, Vegetarian

Veggie Burger

This whole recipe about fell apart when I couldn’t get my food processor to work. I had the wrong lid on it and it wouldn’t spin…go figure.

14 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 T chili powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg
1 T olive oil

Place the beans, onion, oats, chili powder, salt, pepper and egg in a food processor. Pulse until chunky, not pureed. Let mixture sit in the frig for about ten minutes.

WITH WET HANDS, shape into patties; refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When hot, add the patties and cook until nicely browned on one side; turn carefully and cook another five minutes on the other side.

Serve on buns with lettuce, tomatoes, ketchup, mayo and mustard. Add some cheese, too, if you’d like veggie cheeseburgers.

What did the family think? Three out of four isn’t bad, right? Our oldest wasn’t really into these; he likes bison burgers and this was just not the same thing. Everyone else liked it though. If your family is used to eating “real” hamburgers, the condiments are a must for these, not because they are needed to cover up the taste, but just to make it seem more like a hamburger.

from Parents magazine

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Filed under Lent, Sandwich, Vegetarian