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Eggplant Lasagna

Ingredients-Egg Plant Lasagna

  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¾ tsp. dried thyme
  • ¾ tsp. oregano leaves
  • salteggplant lasagna
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 clove garlic
  • 5 c. store-bought marinara sauce
  • 16 oz. skim ricotta
  • 1⅓ grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 8 oz. part-skim mozzarella

Directions

  1. Heat broiler. Roast peppers on a baking sheet, turning occasionally, until blackened, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and cover with plastic wrap for 10 minutes to steam and loosen skin. Scrape blackened skin from peppers, then seed. Slice into 2-by-1/4-inch strips and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil with thyme, oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil mixture and place in single layers on 3 baking sheets. Bake, in batches if necessary, until lightly browned and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes per batch.
  3. In a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook onion and 4 garlic cloves with remaining oil until golden, about 8 minutes. Add marinara sauce, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mix together ricotta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, remaining garlic, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Spread about 1 1/4 cups marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish before assembling 3 layers. For first layer: Place one-third of eggplant slices over sauce. Dollop one-third of ricotta mixture over eggplant, then sprinkle on one-third of mozzarella. Drizzle with 1-1/4 cups sauce and add half the peppers. Repeat the same process, layering on eggplant, ricotta, mozzarella, sauce, and peppers. For third layer: Add remaining eggplant, ricotta, marinara sauce, and mozzarella. Bake lasagna until sauce is bubbling and mozzarella is melted and beginning to brown, 40 to 45 minutes.

Gluten Free Sandwich Bread

gluten free bread

Gluten Free Bread

Ingredients

1 box of Our House Gluten Free Bread Mix

1 (7g) yeast packet (included)

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

¼ oil (EVOO)

3 large eggs or egg substitute

1 ½ cups of water (115 degree F)

 

Bread Machine Method

Remove yeast packet from package

Use gluten-free cycle (for making dough) on bread machine

Follow your bread machine’s instructions for adding yeast, liquid ingredients, and dry ingredients in the right order

*Be sure to whisk the water, oil, vinegar and eggs before adding to machine * FYI, you really have to do this or the dough will not come out right, trust me I learned the hard way.

Remove the dough and pour into bread pan (s) and bake accordingly.

I prefer baking my bread in the oven instead of letting the bread machine do all the work.

Tip…using EVOO to brush the top of the bread before the baking cycle is complete.

I baked my loaf for 45 minutes at 350 degrees and then wrapped it for about 15 to 20 minutes after baking it. I just tried a sample of the bread and it came out better than my first try. My munchkins love it…I might have to make 2 loaves because I’m sure that one loaf won’t last long.

 

Vegan Tacos

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Vegan Tacos

The idea of eating less or no meat has never been a problem for me. I was concerned that it would lead to me eating some pretty boring and gross looking things. Fortunately for me, there is google. I have been researching recipes and reading up some other blogs to find great meal ideas. I found some great ones that I have modified to meet my needs.
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Here is one I really liked, I did change some ingredients.

Ingredients

2 cups of sliced portobello mushrooms
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 pack of extra firm organic tofu, sliced like fries
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2 ripe avocados, slice1 medium
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 jar of mild peach and mango salsa
1 package of gluten free tortillas
Black pepper
Salt
Lemon juice

Directions
1. Heat 3/4 of the oil in a pan and fry the seasoned tofu sticks and set them aside.IMG_1997.JPG
2. Reduce the oil and sauté the mushrooms for a minute or two. Set them aside.IMG_1999.JPG
3. Take the sliced vegetables and sauté them with a dash of salt and pepper. Drizzle some lemon juice the veggies cook. Remove the veggies and prepare to plate the food.IMG_2002.JPG
4. Set up your taco anyway you want with tofu, mushrooms, peppers, onions and avocado and then top it with the yummy salsa.

Meatless Dinner

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So my doctor and I had a very detailed conversation about my health. He made some great points about things that I need to change about my diet. I thought that I was making healthier choices already but my current health situation beg to differ.
I looked a my diet and made some much adjustments. Adjust number one has the family and I eating meat once a week.

We usually have picnics on Friday nights and that usually involves me bacon, sausage, eggs, pancakes with a variety of fruit and hot chocolate. I decided to turn things around last night. I made an entirely meatless dinner and everyone loved it.

Tofu sticks

Extra firm Tofu (Organic)
black pepper
accent
season salt
1/2 cup of vegetable

I fried the sticks and used them in place of bacon and sausage and it was awesome.

Pancakes
1 cup of flour
1/2 cup applesauce
2 medium bananas (very soft)
Baking powder
baking soda
1/2 cup of Almond milk
**the measurements might be off because I don’t always measure when I’m cooking but the pancakes came out fluffy and tasty even without me adding any sugar and eggs.

Hash Potatoes

6 Yukon potatoes
black pepper
season salt
accent
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

This also came out really well, I even got the picky diva to eat almost all of her dinner.

Smoothie

1 Banana
1 Mango
1 cup of Blueberries
1/2 cup of Blackberries
2 cups of cubed Pineapples
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of Almond milk
1 cup of Strawberries

I didn’t add any sweetener to this smoothie because I didn’t think it was necessary. It was slightly tart but I like it. The diva and I battled over her drinking the smoothie but she did.

I added green grapes to the mix and dinner was complete. Everyone had seconds, they ate the fried Tofu and never complained about it. I don’t think everyone knew that they were eating Tofu so I am just going to leave that alone.

I will be looking for more meatless, egg-less, dairy-free and gluten free meal ideas.

Kale and Curry Chicken

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Chicken and Kale Curry
INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 chicken breasts
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure honey
8 cups coarsely chopped kale or chard, tough stems removed
1 tablespoon lime juice, plus more to taste

PREPARATION
Combine curry powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Blot chicken dry with a paper towel and cut into 1-inch cubes; toss the chicken in a medium bowl with 1 teaspoon of the spice mixture.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring every 2 minutes, until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, ginger and the remaining spice mixture; cook, stirring, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Add coconut milk and honey; bring to a boil. Add half the kale (or chard) and cook, stirring, until slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the rest of the greens and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Return the chicken to the pan, cover and cook, stirring once or twice, until the greens are tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice.

I found this recipe on eatingwell.com, the original recipe used tofu and delicate squash but I am not a fan of either. I went with chicken instead and the whole family loved it. I served the chicken and kale curry with brown rice and it was a hit. I will definitely add this one to my list of recipes.

Last minute dinner idea

Last minute dinner idea

I had a rough weekend and that left me feeling kind of blah. I usually plan my meals in advance but I was just not into it on Sunday. I went to the Kingdom Hall and enjoyed a wonderful service. Afterwards a small group of us went out for lunch. It was nice being able to eat a meal without having to cut up someone’s food or ask for more napkins because someone spill their drink. I thoroughly enjoyed myself before saying thank you for the invite and saying goodbye.

On the way home I kept thinking about the fact that my babies were coming back From their dad’s place and I had nothing planned for dinner. I walked in and looked around to find an idea for dinner s and then it hit me. Penne with chicken and diced tomatoes.
I had cooked some penne the night before and ate a small portion of it with chicken and pesto.

I pulled 2 chicken breasts and cut them into bite size pieces and then placed them on a hot pot for about 10 minutes on low to medium heat. I used about 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil to cooked the chicken. I then add a can of Hunt’s diced tomatoes with sweet onion. I also add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. I covered it up cooked the sauce for about 5 minutes before adding the cooked Penne. I let the sauce and pasta simmer on low for about 5 more minutes.
I plated the food and then sprinkled some grated Parmesan cheese and then served it with some V8 strawberry/banana juice and the munchkins loved it… Correction, 2 out of my 3 munchkins loved it. In my book that was a successful dinner. When it comes to meal time, my goal is to make something yummy, simple and colorful. I have 3 picky eaters and it is rare for me to make a meal we all love.

Here are the ingredients for those of you who want to try it out.

2 Chicken breast
1 box of penne pasta
1 can of Hunt’s diced tomatoes with sweet onion
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
salt
pepper

penne with chicken

Crock Pot Dinners: Potato and Ham Soup

Ingredients

7 cup of diced potatoes (about half a can)
1 cup of diced onion
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
2 cup of ham, diced
4 cups of hot water
4 small bouillon cubes
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup sour cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
basil
1 cup of chopped cauliflower

I put all the ingredients together in my crock pot and placed it in my fridge. I like to prepare my meals in advance to free up some time for homework with my kids. I pulled everything out and plugged up my slow cooker before we left for the day. It was really nice coming home and not having to cook.

I didn’t take a picture of the final product but I will try to take one tomorrow when I eat some for lunch.

Penne Rigate with pulled Chicken

Ingredients

Chicken (2 leg quarters)
Penne Rigate (16 oz package)
Dice tomatoes (14.5 oz can)
1 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium green bell pepper
1 teaspoon of ginger
2 teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of oil
parsley flakes
1 tablespoon of butter

Directions
Boil pasta with 1 tablespoon of oil for about 10 minutes.

pasta

Bake chicken leg quarters and then remove the skin and pull apart. I baked my chicken in advance to save cooking time.

Slice the pepper and onion and set aside.

Heat a skillet with remaining oil and sauté the onion and pepper. Add ginger, black pepper, salt, basil and diced tomatoes and cook to your liking.

food

Drain cooked pasta and add the tablespoon of butter, the pulled chicken then the onion and pepper sauce. Garnish with parsley flakes and serve.

pasta and chicken combo

This was a last minute dinner idea that I came up with after baking the chicken leg quarters. I was able to cook dinner and go on a nice 3 mile run with a friend. everyone loved how this turned out and I can’t wait to come up with another recipe that the whole family is going to love.

final product

Crock Pot Dinners: Beef Stew

1 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/8 cup of soy flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
1 tablespoon of ground ginger
1 teaspoon of parsley flakes
beef bouillon (I used 4 small cubes)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups beef broth (veggie broth works as well)
6 medium potatoes, diced
A handful of baby carrots, sliced
1 stalk of celery, chopped

Directions

1.Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together the flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat, and stir to coat meat with flour mixture. Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, onion, beef broth, potatoes, carrots, and celery.

2.Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10 to 12 hours, or on High setting for 4 to 6 hours.

* I don’t always follow certain recipes because I like to be creative. This recipes calls for all-purpose flour but I used soy flour because I didn’t have any all-purpose flour. The original recipe said to use 1 bay leaf but I used parsley flakes. I like the creative aspect of cooking and it usually pays off. I am making this for dinner tomorrow night. I already did the prep work and all I have to do is plug up my slow cooker before we leave for the day and hopeful we will come home to a delicious beef stew. I also used a can of diced tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of ginger and that was not in the original recipe. I love ginger, I try to use it at least once a day in a meal, as cold or hot beverage.

I will post pictures and feedback from my munchkins, aka my food critics. Thank you for stopping by and I pray that you have a wonderful night 🙂

UPDATE: My food critics love it, it took some coaxing to get my 3 year old to try it. She is not a fan of potatoes so she initially refused to eat the stew since it has potatoes. She ate everything except the potatoes and I am perfectly alright with that.

It was nice coming home this afternoon, the aroma of the stew caught the kids and I off guard. They all became excited about dinner the moment we got home. I didn’t have much of an appetite today, I can’t wait to have it for lunch tomorrow. It is my “me time” so I better get going.

Below is a picture of the stew 🙂

beef stew

Dinner Time: Chicken Alfredo with Whole Wheat Spaghetti

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Ingredients DSCN8706

1 Pack of whole wheat spaghetti
2 Boneless chicken breast halves, cooked and cubed
1 Jar Alfredo-style pasta sauce
1 Cup sundried tomatoes Julienne-cut
2 Tablespoons of Oil
1/2 Tablespoons of parsley
A dash of black pepper and salt

Directions

1.In a large pot cook spaghetti and sundried tomatoes in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet brown cubed chicken.
3. Pour saucepan over cooked chicken and simmer over medium-low heat. Add salt, pepper and Cook until heated through.
4. Combine cooked spaghetti with sauce in the large skillet.
5. Plate the warm spaghetti and garnish with parsley.

I love this recipe because it was quick and easy. The kids like it and clean up is also easy.

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