Monday, March 29, 2010

Strawberry Spinach Salad

This is the only way my daughter will eat spinach. If you haven’t tried this salad, you will not be sorry that you did. This salad is always a hit at luncheons I do for the teachers appreciation at my daughters school. I am asked for the recipe anytime I make it.

Strawberry Spinach Salad
1 pkg fresh spinach
1 pint strawberries (sliced)
1 cup sugared pecans
Raspberry dressing
Combine in a large bowl spinach, strawberries, and sugared pecans. Add dressing and toss.

Sugared Pecans
4 TB cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
pecans ( I buy the largest bag at the grocery
Stir the cream and brown sugar, add the pecans and toss. Bake 350 degrees for 20 minutes-cool on wax paper

Raspberry Dressing
This dressing makes enough for several batches
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp dry mustard
1 1/2 TB poppy seeds
2 tsp salt
2/3 cup red raspberry vinegar
2 cups oil
add all ingredients in a blender and blend well.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Garlic Oven Baked Fries

**Sorry about the picture, but these were YUMMY!** I've heard of these potatoes made with onion soup mix and ranch dressing packets instead of the seasonings listed below but why add the MSG's

Garlic Fries
4 medium red potatoes cut into wedges
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried basil leaves
1 tsp garlic salt

Heat oven to 500 degrees. Spray jelly roll pan with cooking spray. (I cooked mine on my pampered chef stone, so I didn't use the spray) In medium bowl toss potatoes, oil and seasonings until the potatoes are evenly covered. Arrange on baking dish.

Bake uncovered 15-18 minutes, stirring once, until potatoes are tender and crisp on the outside. YUM!

Heavenly Pasta

**I received this recipe from my friend Sheri. I used a new spaghetti sauce from my cupboard that I did not like at all. It was very tangy. So, I would like to try this again using the Prego spaghetti sauce that I know I like. I am posting it because I think it has great potential and ingredients lots of people enjoy. I just made the mistake and used a new spaghetti sauce. I might even make more of the alfredo sauce the next time and cut down on the spaghetti sauce. I will test out a couple different things.**

My friend says she does double the Alfredo. :)

Heavenly Pasta
1 box motoccioli pasta or any tubular shaped pasta
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup mozarella cheese
Alfredo sauce...recipe below
1/2 cup butter
1TB cream cheese
1/2 pint heavy cream (I used half n half)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1tsp garlic ( I didn't add this because my spaghetti sauce had alot of garlic in it)

Cook pasta. Pour jar of spaghetti sauce in a 9x13 baking dish. Make alfredo sauce by adding all ingredients in a medium saucepan, cook until all ingredients are melted and blended together. Pour cooked pasta over top of spaghetti sauce. Pour alfredo sauce over top of pasta. Cover with mozarella cheese.

Bake 350 degrees covered for 30-40 minutes, then uncover and cook another 10 minutes.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cheesy Baked Shells with Polska & Broccoli

We doubled this recipe last night & had this much left over. But we've found the leftovers are often better!

We can make this much healthier by using non-fat milk, reduced-fat cheese, turkey polska kielbasa & leaving off the French's fried onions. You could also use whole wheat pasta. You won't miss the fat at all! It's very flavorful & rich. ENJOY!

Cheesy Baked Shells with Polska & Broccoli
Total prep time: 25 mins Serves 8

2 1/2 cups dry macaroni or shells pasta

4 T butter

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

4 cups milk (I use non-fat powdered milk - you can't even taste the difference!)

4 cups coarsely grated Cheddar or Gruyere cheese

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

2 16 oz pkgs frozen broccoli florets, thawed or cooked with pasta

2 turkey polska kielbasa, cut into bite-sized slices

1 cup French's fried onions

  1. Heat broiler (or oven to 350*). Cook pasta according to package directions. (You can add the frozen broccoli in with the pasta & add 3-4 mins cooking time) Heat milk in microwave-safe measuring cup or pitcher, 3 minutes. Set milk aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add flour & cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in warm milk & cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add 3 cups grated cheese & stir until melted & smooth. Add nutmeg, salt & pepper.
  4. Stir together pasta, broccoli & cheese sauce - toss to combine. Transfer to a broiler-proof (or oven safe) 9x13" or 3 quart baking dish.
  5. Sprinkle with remaining cheese & French's onions. Broil until golden, 3-4 minutes OR bake until warmed through, about 15 minutes.


Replace polska with 2 cups cooked, bite-sized chicken chunks. Also replace nutmeg with garlic powder and use Monterey Jack cheese.

Recipe was adapted from one I found in Real Simple Magazine.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chicken Basil Heaps on Flatbread

If my girls like a recipe then it gets the approval to post, and they both enjoyed these.

You can find the recipe for these here from jensyummyfun blog. She's got some yummy looking stuff on her blog. :)

I could not find something at the store that said "flatbread" so I bought the brand above. It looked like 2 large pitas but they did not open up.
I cut up the bread to be in 19 squares. This easily served our family of 2 adults and 2 kids with some left over.
Seasoned flat bread - rosemary or italian flavored cut into wedges or squares
3-4 Chicken breasts - boiled, shredded and seasoned
1/3 C. sun dried tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh basil - washed and finely snipped
3/4 C lite mayo
1 C swiss cheese grated
1 tsp garlic salt (to taste)
1/2 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 tsp fresh minced garlic
2 Tb seasoned rice vinegar
1 +1/4 tsp sugar
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare chicken and set aside to cool. Chop up fresh basil and sun dried tomatoes and combine with chicken, set aside. Mix together in a bowl mayo, cheese, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic, sugar and mix well then combine with chicken mixture. Dollop chicken heaps on cut flat breads and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake 400 for 5-8 minutes until golden and bubbly. (I cooked mine longer.) Great as an appetizer or served with fresh salad for main course. YUM!

Our families favorite way to eat brocoli is to steam a crown of brocoli, and then add 1TB butter and sprinkle with onion salt to taste. Cover until butter melts and then stir. Both my girls will eat their brocoli this way. :)

Easy Shepherd's Pie

Made this for St Patrick's Day - but we loved it so we'll plan to work it into our family's menus all year 'round. Easy, quick & super yummy!!

Easy Shepherd's Pie - serves 4

1 lb ground beef, turkey or lamb
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
8 oz frozen mixed vegetables - thawed (we liked peas, corn, carrots & green beans)
1/4 cup (1 oz) shredded Cheddar cheese
2 cups prepared mashed potatoes (fresh, from powdered mix, or frozen/refrigerated)

  1. Heat oven to 400*F.
  2. Brown ground meat in large skillet. Spoon off & discard any fat.
  3. Stir in ketchup & Worcestershire.
  4. Add vegetables & cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  5. Spoon meat/veg mixture into a 8x8" baking dish. Sprinkle with cheese.
  6. Spread mashed potatoes over the top.
  7. Bake until heated through, about 15 minutes.
  8. Serve & enjoy!

I doubled this recipe for my family & baked it in a 9x13" pan, for 15 minutes.

You can also serve these in individual bowls or ramekins. The recipe above fills 4 individual dishes. Baking time is the same.

Recipe courtesy of Real Simple Magazine

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry

Another quick-n-easy recipe from me! This can be on the table in less than 15 minutes. It's a family favorite - enjoy!

Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry

4 cups cooked rice, hot & ready to serve

Vegetable or sesame oil

16 oz bag frozen vegs (we like the stir-fry mix)

2 cups chicken - can be precooked or fresh - cut into bite-sized cubes

1 cup chicken broth

6 T soy sauce - low sodium is ok

2 T cornstarch

2 T brown sugar

Mix broth, soy sauce, cornstarch & brown sugar in small bowl until fully combined. Set aside.

In a large skillet on medium-high heat, cook & stir frozen vegetables in 1 T hot oil for 4 minutes. Remove vegetables from skillet into serving bowl.

Reduce heat to medium & add 1 T oil to skillet.
Cook & stir chicken cubes, 2 minutes if precooked, 4-6 minutes if raw. Cook until heated or cooked through.

Add broth mixture to chicken in skillet. Heat & stir until thick & bubbly. (This just takes about a minute so keep stirring & don't walk away!)

Add vegetables back to skillet, stir to cover all with sauce. Cover skillet & simmer on low for 2 minutes.

Serve over rice.

This is great with tofu too, if you want a vegetarian meal.

You can use leftover veggies from your fridge, but only cook them at the beginning for about 2 minutes - just to reheat them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chicken Tostadas

*We really enjoyed this chicken mixture. I left the cilantro out of half the batch because I don't know that my girls are real lovers of it. This would also make a really yummy filling for burritos.

Chicken Mixture
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
**I used 1 1/2 tsp taco seasoning instead**
2 tsp canola oil
12oz chicken breast tenders cubed
1 cup chopped red onion ** I used yellow onion **
1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 cup chopped zuchini
1/2 cup green salsa
2 TB chopped cilantro

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. In a bowl add cubed chicken and seasonings, stir so that the chicken is evenly covered. Add Chicken mixture to pan. Saute for 3 minutes. Add onion, corn, and zucchini. Saute another 2 minutes or until chicken is done. Stir in salsa and cilantro. Cook 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.

You can use this mixture to make chicken enchiladas, tostadas, or burritos. I may even make it with brown rice next time and add some more green salsa and sour cream over top to serve.

Oven Fried Chicken

Oven Fried Chicken
4 chicken breasts defrosted
1 6oz carton nonfat plain yogurt
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 pkg dry stuffing or crushed melba toast - I used reduced sodium chicken flavored Stove-top

Mix the yogurt and garlic in a shallow bowl and let marinade for an hour. In another shallow bowl put 1/2 pkg of stove top stuffing mix. Dip Chicken breasts in yogurt mixture and then in stuffing mix. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

I served this with our families favorite Cauliflower recipe.

Steam a head of cauliflower. When done sprinkle with Lawrys seasoning salt and then sprinkle with finely grated cheddar cheese. YUM!!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Whole Wheat Pancakes and Waffles

These are both tried and true recipes....My oldest daughter is very picky about whole wheat pancakes and waffles because she does not like the "grit" texture in them. She probably approved of these tonight because they have 1/2 white flour. :)

Whole Wheat Pancakes
Adapted from:
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3 TB sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (I used a bit more. The batter was thick)
1 TB olive oil
1 large egg
1 large egg white

Add all dry ingredients together in a bowl and stir together. Add all wet ingredients together, stir with a whisk and add to dry ingredients. Grill on a skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. This recipe made us 9 pancakes.

Serve with maple syrup or fresh fruit.

Whole Wheat Waffles
**This recipe came from my daughters church leader Kimberly Montgomery**
*I have made these and frozen them. Then I just heat them up in the toaster if I want them more crispy or the microwave for soft and fast*
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup margarine, butter or oil. (I use olive oil)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 TB brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder

Heat waffle irron. Beat eggs until fluffy. Beat in remaining ingredients until smooth. Cook in waffle iron.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Pasta with Chickpeas and Garlic sauce

This recipe came from here.

It really has great flavor. I was very pleasantly surprised. It may be more for adults, but both my girls, ages 12 and 4 ate this, but it wasn't their favorite.

At our local store here called Raleys, in the health food section, I found a macaroni shaped pasta which was made of brown rice instead of whole wheat. It was REALLY good and had great flavor and texture.

I followed this recipe exactly except I used jarred minced garlic instead of fresh. I am thinking that fresh garlic may even be better.

OH, and by the way, I don't have a food processor, so if you are like me and think you are going to put a hot mixture in your blender and blend it until it's pureed, let me WARN you that you should definitely put a towel over the top of the lid and hold on tight! The first time I turned on the blender, the mixture was so hot in there and the pressure of the steam pushing up on the lid was just too much for my hand to deal with. There was the pressure and also the HOT coming out of the lid as I turned it on. I made a mess everywhere!

2 teaspoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (15.5-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups uncooked medium seashell pasta (about 6 ounces)
1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add crushed garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add salt, pepper, chickpeas, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes.
While garlic mixture simmers, cook pasta in boiling water 9 minutes, omitting salt and fat; drain well.
Place chickpea mixture in a food pro-cessor, and process until smooth. Combine chickpea mixture, pasta, tomatoes, minced garlic, fresh parsley, and lemon juice; toss well. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Healthier Chicken and Noodles

*This had good flavor for being a healthier version of a fettucine type dish*

We have 4 in our family and this served all of us with some left over.

Healthier Chicken and Noodles
1/2 pkg Whole Wheat noodles cooked
2 frozen chicken breasts cooked with lemon pepper (or seasoning of choice) and cubed
1 can healthy recipe Cream of Chicken soup
3/4 cup skim milk
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/8 tsp pepper (or red pepper flakes may be good if for adults)

In a saucepan combine the soup, milk, parmesan cheese and pepper. Bring to a boil. Pour over cooked noodles, add cooked meat, then stir together and serve.


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