Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Rattouille Stew

I hope the ghost of Julia Childs doesn't come back to haunt me. But how boring to name this "Vegetable Soup". Plus it was really good and deserves a fitting name!

Joni's Ratatouille Stew
1/2 onion diced
1 clove garlic minced
2 TB canola oil
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
2 turnips, diced into 1 inch pieces
1/2 - 1 cup diced carrots
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 tsp Herbes de Provence seasoning
1/2 tsp pepper
Parmesan cheese
Heat oil in soup pot. Saute onions until soft then add garlic. Add tomatoes, broth, turnips, carrots, seasoning and pepper. Cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add zucchini and simmer another 10 or 15 minutes.
Grate cheese over top prior to serving.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm Easily Impressed!

Thanks to my friend, Vicky, I discovered how to put the cute little thingy that links you to my sparkrecipes! Cool...

Hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Beef Stew - Yup, it's Fall!

This was a perfect day for some beef stew. I love the comforting smell it brings to the house and it's just so tasty. This would easily go into a slow cooker. use whatever veggies you want. I don't like chunks of tomato or celery in my stew, but many would add those.

Joni's Beef Stew

1 pound beef cut into chunks
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp Montreal Steak Seasoning (or any all purpose seasoning salt)
2 tbl oil (I won't tell you that I use bacon grease, I'll lie and say I used canola oil)

Cut up veggies - carrots, 1/2 a large onion, mushrooms, TURNIPS (yes, use them, they take the place of potatoes and you won't miss that starchy little friend at all)

2 bay leaves, thyme, salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 beef bullion cubes
2 Tbl tomato paste
Mix flour and steak seasoning in a large ziploc bag. Add meat and toss to coat. Heat oil in pan and add steak to brown on all sides. Transfer meat to large crock for oven. Add veggies to the crock. Sprinkle thyme (about a tsp), salt and pepper over top and add bay leaves.
Mix bullion and tomato paste with the hot water. Pour over everything. Cover with foil and bake 400 degrees for an hour and then lower heat to 250 degrees for 2 hours. If you use a particularly tough cut of meat, you may want to cook a little longer on low.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Low Carb Blackened Chicken Alfredo

This is one of my recipes I have posted on SparkPeople. I made it tonight and, as usual, it was a hit. The cheesy topping is to die for. I used zucchini, mushrooms and carrotts as I didnt have squash or cauliflower. Still was great. Apologies for no picture. I never seem to never remember to photograph this one. It's not particularly photogenic anyway :)

Low Carb Blackened Chicken Alfredo Bake
Nutritional Info
Fat: 12.0g
Carbohydrates: 6.9g
Calories: 240.1
Protein: 26.9g

3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Montreal Seasoning
1TBL cooking oil
One cup yellow squash, cubed
One medium sweet onion, diced
One cup cauliflower
Salt and pepper (You can probably just omit salt due to the other seasoning, taste before you season)
One jar alfredo sauce (I used Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/8 cup bread crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 13x9 pan with cooking spray.Coat the chicken breasts with the Montreal seasoning and cook in a skillet coated with cooking spray until done. Set aside.Place chopped cauliflawer in microwavable dish, add 2 tbl water, cover with plastic wrap and cook for 4 minutes on high.In the same skillet add cooking oil and saute onions until clear. Add squash and saute until soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Cut cooled chicken into cubes and add to casserole dish with the vegetables. pour alfredo sauce over all. Top with cheese and bread crumbs.
Bake for 20 minutes, then broil on low for 10 minutes until top is brown.
Number of Servings: 8

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm Not Preaching... BUT...

September 28th is Family Day - a day to eat dinner with your family http://casafamilyday.org/familyday/

When have you last sat at your table with your family? I found that lately we've been so busy we've been eating ala carte and I don't like it. How else can you get everyone together at the same time without a TV blaring? The dinner table is the answer.

The meal you see above took less than 30 minutes. It's not gourmet. It's not inventive. It's not expensive. But what it IS is - nutritious, tasty and kid friendly. What's to go wrong with a well prepared steak (which melted in my mouth by the way), watermelon and beans? There were no leftovers, only 3 baking/serving dishes to wash and we sat at the table as a family to enjoy this meal.

As the kids are getting back to school and we gear up for the hustle and bustle of school activities, football games and before we know it, the holidays - don't forget how easy, nutritious and CHEAP it is to feed your family at home.

Here are some other resources -

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blueberry Donuts

In a former life, the blueberry cake donuts always called my name. I made some simple changes to the pumpkin donuts to come up with a really tasty treat. One again a thanks to Shelly at The World According to Eggface for the original recipe I tweaked.

Bluberry Mini Donuts

1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup ground flax seed
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup Splenda
1 egg
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 T milk (I use skim)
2 T melted butter (I use Smart Balance Margarine)
1/4 cup frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray a mini-donut pan with nonstick spray.

Mix dry and in separate bowl mix wet ingredients, then combine. Take the FROZEN (dont use fresh) blueberries and chop up with a small food processor or hand chopper. (I have the pampered chef one). Add to the batter and slowly combine until JUST mixed. If you mix too much you'll have purple donuts. Add batter to the wells in the donut pan until about 2/3 full. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes, then flip out and cool on a baking rack. I sprinkled mine with powdered erithrytol.

So good and filling.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

It's Fall - time for another fetish!

PUMPKIN!! Yep, I'm now officially "so over" zucchini and on to my favorite thing about fall - yummy pumpkin.

If you've never read The World According to Eggface, Click here right now!! Anyway, inspired by her mini-donuts, I made some pumpkin donuts. These are very moist and delicious. I rolled mine in splenda and cinnamon when I was done with them. (I cheated and moistened them a bit with some water before rolling, it made more good stuff stick)

Here's the recipe with the nutritional information from sparkpeople.com.

Low Carb Pumpkin Donuts
Nutritional Info
Fat: 5.3g
Carbohydrates: 2.5g
Fiber 1.4g
Calories: 69.5
Protein: 3.8g
1/2 cup ground almonds (almond flour, almond meal)
1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
1/4 cup ground flax seeds (yellow ones will look better)
1/4 cup splenda (or splenda brown sugar blend)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup canned pumpkin (plain, not canned pie filling)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
2T milk
2T butter

Directions: Remember if you use the Splenda brown sugar blend, then your calorie count will rise.Preheat oven to 325 and lightly spray the mini donut pan. MIx together ingredients in order until well blended and fill the donut wells 2/3 full. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool and remove from pan. Decorate with a simple glaze or roll in cinnamon/splenda. Number of Servings: 12

Monday, September 14, 2009

Sausage - Bean Casserole

I guess, if this had chicken and duck and you used dried beans and soaked them overnight and then you roasted you're own meat and cooked it in an earthenware dish, then the French wouldn't yell at you for calling it a "Cassoullet", but I'll pass! This was quick and tasty and a great way to use of the last of the tomatoes from the garden. You could easily add some chicken to this. I just didn't have any thawed. Tweaked a recipe from recipezaar for this.

1 lb of chicken sausage (I used a spicy sausage from Trader Joes)
1 diced onion
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup red wine
2 large or 3 medium tomatoes chopped
1 tsp Herbs de Provence seasoning (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme and 1/2 tsp dried rosemary)
1 can white or great northern beans (I found some Bush's beans that were a mixture of both) - drained and rinsed
2 heaping tsp REAL bacon bits (not those crunchy orange things)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Brown the sausage in a skillet. Remove and saute onions and garlic in the drippings (add a little canola or olive oil if needed) until soft. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add in the tomatoes and seasonings. Saute until tomatoes are softened. Then add beans, real bacon bits and sausage. Transfer to baking dish and top with bread crumbs. Bake at 325 for about 1 1/2 hours.

This is SO much better the next day. So make ahead if you want and pop in the oven when you get home from work.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ricotta Custard - No bake

I can't say I'm back to cooking up a storm, but I did come up with this little easy treat. You only have to get your blender dirty!

No Bake Ricotta Custard

2 cups ricotta cheese (cottage cheese would work, I suppose)

1/2 cup Almond Breeze (or any kind of milk is fine)

1 package Jello (I used black cherry - YUM)

1/4 cup of pasturized egg (like Egg Beaters) OR you can use a whole egg, but this is NOT cooked.

** dont skip the egg or egg beaters, you need this for the creamy, custard texture**

Heat the milk in the microwave until almost boiled (1 min 30 secs for me). Put milk in blender and add the jello. Mix on low until jello disolved. Add the ricotta and egg beater. Blend on low until well mixed and creamy smooth.

Chill for 2 hours or over night.

I want to try some cocoa powder with the black cherry jello to make a black forest custard! YUM!