Sunday, December 30, 2007

Menu Planning Monday

As we ring in the new year we have wonderful news to celebrate with old friends of ours. A family has been born and we are hoping to meet our friends' new baby boy on New Years Day! Although as I type both DH and DS2 have the sniffles - we are hoping a cold doesn't descend upon our home as 2007 ends. I am planning on spending NYE day, while DH works a short day and my boys play nicely together (I can hope, right?) making a vat of chili to freeze and baking up banana bread to take to our friends so they can spend more time lavishing that new baby with love than worrying about the next meal.

The challenges of integrating a low carb menu along with dairy free while at the same time using whole foods as often as possible and working with in a budget proves to be even more daunting when trying to make festive treats. Our New Years day eats are really quite out there but hopefully will keep everyone happy and full while keeping sensitive bellies well and blood sugars in check.


The menu for the week - an eclectic week between the holiday and cooking in bulk to share...

Monday (NYE)
make many loaves of banana bread
make turkey & black bean chili to freeze
for dinner - Asian Hot Pot, korean spare ribs, flax noodles

Tuesday - Happy New Year!
(visiting friends with new baby - taking them lunch to share, banana bread and freezer meals)
Appetizer night -buffalo chicken dip
, Texas caviar, guacamole, dinosaur chicken, spicy hummus, soy-flax chips, carrots & celery sticks, tuna salad stuffed tomatoes, sliced fruit

Wednesday -
leftover chili, cornbread, salad

Thursday -
Tom Ka Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup), salad

Friday -
baked tilapia, baked sweet potatoes, steamed zucchini

Check out more menus at Laura's

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Breakfast Casserole

This was a fantastic breakfast for a lazy Christmas morning at home. This is not a low-fat or even remotely healthy dish so definitely a holiday special. I prepped the casserole the night before and on Christmas morning, while I brushed my teeth DH threw the casserole in the oven and it cooked while we opened gifts. We took it out and it cooled to just perfect temp in time for us to sit down and enjoy breakfast together. I also prepped a dairy-free version the night before (with eggs, sausage, bacon, peppers, green onions, Earth's Balance, soymilk and brown rice (since the croutons had cheese)).I served breakfast with a diary-free banana bread that friends dropped off yesterday and the oranges from our stockings. Delish! Recipe adapted from Charleston Breakfast Casserole on


* 1 pound bacon, chopped and browned
* approx 1/2 pound breakfast sausage, chopped and browned
* 1/4 cup butter, melted
* 3 cups croûtons (enough to cover the bottom of the casserole dish) **
* 2 cups grated Cheddar cheese (or enough to cover the croutons)
* 9 eggs
* 1 3/4 cups milk
* 1 red bell pepper, diced
* 2 green onions, diced
* 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
* salt and pepper


1. Melt butter in the microwave, or in a small pan on the stove over low heat. Spray a 9x12 inch baking dish with vegetable spray. Place croûtons in the bottom of the dish, and drizzle with melted butter. Sprinkle with grated Cheddar cheese.
2. Sprinkle cheese with pre-cooked bacon & sausage.
3. Crack the eggs into a bowl, whisking to break up the yolks. Add milk, peppers, mustard, a few good turns of fresh cracked sea salt and black pepper, and beat until well-combined. Pour over the croutons and cheese.
4. Refrigerate overnight. Place in cold oven - turn oven on to 325* and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove and let sit for 10-20 minutes before serving.

**Purchase prepared croutons or make croutons with day old bread cut in to cubes, drizzle with melted butter or butter substitute (or olive oil), sprinkle with seasoning of choice (parmesan, garlic powder, salt & pepper, herbs) - bake at 400*, flipping once, until brown and crisp

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Menu Planning Monday

Monday (Christmas Eve)
Dinner at my parents'
taking: 3 types of vanilla ice cream for Cherries Jubilee
whole wheat bread
sugar free pumpkin pie

Tuesday (Christmas!)
a variation on Charleston Breakfast Casserole + a dairy-free version
orange slices
walnut bread toast
oj and tomato juice

veggies & dip
roast beef sandwiches

antipasto salad
low carb almond cheesecake
at the kids' request - red & green jello jigglers

Tom Ka Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup)

Mediterranean Tilapia
orzo with artichoke hearts and klamata olives

baked chicken
baked potatoes


Thursday, December 20, 2007

Low Carb Almond Cheesecake

crust: (from About)

* 1 and 1/2 cups almond meal or almond flour
* 3 tablespoons melted butter
* Artificial sweetener equal to 3 tablespoons sugar

Melt the butter (if the pie pan is microwave safe, melt the butter in it) and mix the ingredients up in the pan and pat into place with your fingertips.

Nutritional Information: The whole pie shell has 11 grams effective carbohydrate plus 17 grams fiber and 30 grams protein.

filling: (from RecipeZaar)
55 min 10 min prep
Change to: pie US Metric
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
3 eggs
25 (1 g) packets Splenda sugar substitute (1.5 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract

1. Mix together cream cheese, Splenda, and extracts. Then add eggs and beat until creamy.
2. Pour into a greased pie pan.
3. Bake for 35 minutes at 350°F or until cracked and golden brown.
Christmas Day Menu

Breakfast -
breakfast casserole (make night before)
sliced oranges
tomato juice & orange juice

Lunch -
veggies & dip

Dinner -
antipasto salad
crusty bread

Dessert -
red & green Jello jigglers
low carb almond cheesecake

Saturday, December 15, 2007

TO TRY Sweet Potato and Broccoli Soup

Sweet Potato and Broccoli Soup (from
Yes, I know it sounds a bit icky but I promise it is delicious
1 med onion — chopped
1 head + stem of broccoli, chopped
1 sweet potato, thinly sliced
6 c Chicken Stock
2 c water (though you may want to add more or less depending on how think you want the soup)
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Saute onion and garlic in some oil. Add chicken stock and sweet potato. Bring to boil, then add broccoli. Reduce to simmer and cook until veggies are completely tender (about 20 min.) Place 2 cups of soup in blender at a time. Puree. Return all soup to pot and add water, salt and pepper as desired.

Menu Plan 12/16 - 12/25

The next week and a half are gearing up to be nuts. I need to get a good plan in place so we are prepared.

S 12/16 - DH at work late

send leftover chili with DH - kids & I - ravioli, chicken & broccoli (bake sweet potatoes with chicken for another night)

M 12/17
beef & broccoli stir fry over brown rice

T 12/18 - Cookie party & dinner at friends'
(check to see what I need to bring for DH and DS2)

W 12/19
panko crusted tilapia, mashed sweet potatoes & spinach

Th 12/20
quiona pilaf
, baked blsl chicken thighs and salad w/ homemade blue cheese dressing

F 12/21
out to eat or take out

S 12/22
double recipe of coconut chicken soup,

S 12/23 - DH at work late
send leftovers with DH
kids & I - spoon bread, veggies & boca burgers

M 12/24 - Christmas Eve at my parents' - taking hummus, whole wheat bread, ice cream, diary-free ice crea and a sugar-free pumpkin pie

T 12/25 - Christmas Menu TBD - ideas - ciopinno
need to find a good hearty, low carb, dairy free breakfast that won't have me in the kitchen for hours, maybe a snack buffet for lunch (buffalo chicken dip & celery, hummus & veggies....

eggs & spinach
almond pancakes
egg in a hole
bran muffins

DH lunches:
chili from freezer
make a big pot of soup to freeze
low carb wraps

Kid lunches:
mac & no cheese
sweet potato hash

DH Snacks:
carrots & hummus
celery & peanut butter
crackers & cheese

Kid snacks:
veggies & dip

Black Bean Chili

I usually make chili in the crockpot so when Carl requested a big pot of chili at 1pm today and we still needed to go to the store I needed a quick stove top version of my all day chili.

4 cans black beans, drained
1 big (30oz?) can chopped tomatoes
1 15oz can chopped tomatoes with peppers
1 6oz can tomato paste
3 small onions, chopped
3 large cloves of garlic, minced
3 lbs ground beef
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon oregano
salt & pepper

Brown beef & onion, add garlic. Drain some fat. Add all other ingredients and simmer 20-30 minutes.

Top with sliced black olives, lowfat shredded cheese, sour cream, chopped tomatoes, chopped green onions. Serve with multi-grain chips for dipping.

Great hit with DS2 and DH. I think I might like it more than my crockpot chili. DS1 said it was "ok" and ate some but didn't rave. Pot made enough for 2 full meals plus lunches for DH. Excellent BS for DH.

Almond Pancakes

* 2 cups almond flour
* 4 eggs
* 3/4 cup water (for puffier pancakes, you can use sparkling water)
* 1/4 cup corn oil
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 2 T sweetener
* 2 t baking powder

Mix together dry ingredients. Mix together wet ingredients. Mix all together. Cook 1/4 cup pancakes in a non-stick pan over med-high heat. Makes approx. 16-18 pancakes.

The kids and DH LOVED these pancakes. They ate them with a little Earth's Balance on top. I was not fond - the taste was ok but the texture was too crumbly, it just felt oogy. We had the pancakes with bacon and eggs scrambled with spinach.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Another TO TRY - Butternut Squash Risotto

I am not sure how the arborio rice will do for Carl's BS but this looks so good. I will use Earth's Balance and leave the cheese out until the very end to keep it William friendly.

Butternut Squash Risotto
Recipe courtesy Rachael Ray, 2007
See this recipe on air Saturday Dec. 15 at 5:00 PM ET/PT.
Show: Food Network Specials
Episode: All-Star Holiday Spirit
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 (10-ounce) box cooked frozen butternut squash
Nutmeg, grated, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
7 or 8 leaves fresh sage, slivered
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Bring 1 quart stock plus 1 cup water to a simmer in a sauce pot then reduce heat to low.

Heat a medium skillet over medium to medium-high heat with olive oil. When oil ripples, add the onions and garlic and soften 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice and toast 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and cook it out completely, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes. Ladle in stock in intervals, a couple of ladles at a time. Allow liquids to evaporate each time. Risotto will cook 18 minutes, total, from the first addition of liquid. Defrost the squash in your microwave in a dish to collect any liquids and stir in squash the last 3 minutes of cook time, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. In the last minute of cooking time, stir in butter in small pieces, sage leaves and cheese, serve.

TO TRY - Cioppino

This is beyond my normal weekday dinner budget - both time and wallet wise but I am considering a non-dairy fish stew for Christmas night dinner.

Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis
See this recipe on air Saturday Dec. 15 at 5:00 PM ET/PT.
Show: Food Network Specials
Episode: All-Star Holiday Spirit
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 onion, chopped
3 large shallots, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
5 cups fish stock
1 bay leaf
1 pound manila clams, scrubbed
1 pound mussels, scrubbed, debearded
1 pound uncooked large shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 1/2 pounds assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as halibut or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks

Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots, and salt and saute until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes, and saute 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.

Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and fish. Simmer gently until the fish and shrimp are just cooked through, and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard any clams and mussels that do not open). Remove bay leaf. Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes.

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Cashew Coconut Sauce

(Original Recipe below)

Cashew Sauce
1/2 cup TJ's cashew butter
10oz light coconut milk
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water (or more as needed)

Mix all together in a small pot and cook over med-low until heated through. Add water until desired consistency. I served over chicken breasts and along side brown rice and steamed spinach. Big hit for DH, DS1 and the few bites of dinner DS2 ate were happy bites. Did well for DH's bloodsugars as well.

Cashew Sauce
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2003
See this recipe on air Tuesday Dec. 11 at 3:30 AM ET/PT.
Show: Good Eats
Episode: Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut
1/2 cup cashew butter, recipe follows
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt, optional

Whisk the butter, milk, and pepper together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Taste and add salt, if desired. Heat until sauce is warmed through. Serve over grilled chicken, pork, or rice.

Cashew Butter:
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup walnut oil
10 ounces (approximately 2 cups) roasted cashews
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place the honey in a microwave-safe container and heat in the microwave for 15 seconds. Remove from the microwave and add the oil to the container. Place the nuts and salt in the bowl of a food processor and pulse for 5 seconds. Then, while the processor is running, very slowly drizzle in the honey and oil. Process until an emulsion is formed and the mixture is smooth; this will take approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute. If the mixture is too thick and doesn't spread easily, add a little more oil.

Yield: Approximately 1 to 1 1/2 cups

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Carrot Apple Muffins Two Ways

Today was a cold, rainy day and we had no plans. Zachary wanted to make muffins - "red" muffins was his first request. Then he asked for carrot muffins so we came up with this recipe. He was furious with me that I wouldn't let him "taste" the brown sugar as it was measured and dumped in to the mixing bowl.

Kid's Carrot Apple Muffins
1 cup AP flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup oat bran

4 eggs
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup applesauce
2/3 cup brown sugar

4 cups shredded/chopped mixed apple and carrot**

Preheat oven to 350*

**In food processor shred 1.5 very large carrots and 2 large green apples (not peeled). Remove shredding disk and replace with chopper blade and pulse to make smaller bits. Total volume of apples + carrots should be approximately 4 cups

Mix dry ingredients.
Mix wet ingredients.
Add wet to dry. Mix to combine. Fold in apples.
Fill muffin cups to top. Full size muffins 17-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Mini muffins 9-10 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Makes about 2 dozen full sized muffins or 4 dozen mini muffins

Sugar-Free Diabetic friendly version
Replace brown sugar with 3/4 cup Splenda
Add 1-1.5 cups chopped walnuts

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Weekly Menu

Monday - steak, spinach salad, whole wheat garlic cheese toast (sushi and apples for the kids in the cart at Costco)
Tuesday - vegetable beef & barley soup, flaxseed ciabatta bread
Wednesday - balsamic marinated flank steak, tri-color mashed potatoes, green beans
Thursday - salmon, zucchini & carrot cheese casserole, salad with fresh blue cheese dressing
Friday - sundried tomato pesto, whole wheat pasta, broccoli
Saturday - dinner out for Papa's birthday
Sunday - pork roast, homemade applesauce, baked potatoes, something green

Monday, November 26, 2007

Meatball and Vegetable Stoup

Rachel Ray euphemisms drive me a little bonkers but "stoup" is a good description for this hearty soup.

3 large carrots, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
1 large celery heart, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
6 oz tomato paste
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Italian stewed tomatoes
4 cups water
vegetable broth paste = to 4 cups broth
dried basil & oregano

3 med-lg zucchini, halved and sliced
1-2 cups frozen green beans chopped in to bite size pieces
1 bag Trader Joe's mini meatballs
half a recipe of homemade Spaghettio's sauce

cooked small pasta shapes
parmesan for topping

Add first bunch of ingredients to crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.
Add second bunch of ingredients, stir and cook for 1.5 hours on high.
20 minutes before serving add pasta and heat through
serve with parmesan for topping

*This was a huge hit. Lots of leftovers and super yummy. The broth base ended up tasting much like Campbell's canned tomato soup but fresher.

Homemade Dairy-Free "Spaghettios"

I found a great circle pasta at Trader Joe's and knew it had to become a healthier and dairy-free version of Spaghettios. I found this recipe online and modified it to become dairy-free.

3 T Earth's Balance
3 T flour
1 3/4 cup soymilk
1 8oz can tomato sauce
1 6oz can tomato paste
big shakes of dried oregano, dried basil and dried parsley

Melt butter, add flour and cook for 1 minute while whisking. Add soymilk and herbs and cook until thickened and bubbly. Whisk in tomato sauce and tomato paste and cook until heated through. Serve over cooked circle (or other) pasta.

I thought this was an excellent mock Spaghettios - well actually much better than the original canned stuff. My kids liked it - ate big bowls served over frozen spinach to cool their portions off and get some more greens in them.

Texas Caviar

"Texas Caviar."
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1.5 cups defrosted white corn
1.5 cups defrosted roasted yellow corn
3 cans mild Ro-Tel, drained
1 can blackeyed peas, drained and rinsed
3 T. chopped fresh cilantro
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1.5 cups fresh salsa
Salt, garlic powder, chili powder to taste

Toss all ingredients in a large bowl. Chill and serve.

Amazing vegan oatmeal muffins

Amazing vegan oatmeal muffins

I started with Diana's Awesome Oatmeal Muffins from Recipe Zaar, a great base oatmeal muffin recipe that contains no egg or dairy. I will definitely try this recipe again with other liquid/pulp/spice combos.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Muffins
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups 100% apple juice
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tablespoons cinnamon*
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice*
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3+ tablespoons flax seed meal*
1/3 cup chopped raisins
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour

*flax and spices were eyeballed - measurements are estimates

preheat oven to 400*
in a large bowl soak the oatmeal in the juice for 10-15 minutes to soften the oatmeal
add the apple sauce, stir well
mix together the salt, baking powder, baking soda, spices, sugar, flax seed meal and add to the large bowl
stir in raisins - making sure they don't stick together
add flour and stir just until combined
fill mini muffin tins that have been lightly oiled and bake for 6-8 minutes
cool on a rack


Next time I think I will do orange juice and pumpkin and add pecans. I may try this as a savory muffin too - maybe pureed veggies as the pulp with soymilk as the liquid.

Pumpkin + chocolate chips = EXCELLENT!

Oat Waffles with fruit sauce

Oat Waffles
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
3 cups soymilk
2 tablespoons olive oil
1.5 tablespoons real maple syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Grind the oats in a large food processor. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Spoon on to an oil sprayed, hot waffle iron. Made about 3 fillings of my standard waffle iron - about 12 waffles.

*Adapted from The Garden of Vegan: How It All Vegan Again! by Tanya Barnard and Sarah Kramer

Fruit Sauce
a mix of 3 cups frozen mixed berries & mangoes
1 tablespoon real maple syrup

Defrost or heat in pan the fruit enough to whirl it through the food processor. Process in to a smooth but chunky sauce. Heat in pan, add syrup. Pour over waffles.

Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie

Sugar Free Pumpkin Pie Recipe #144962
I'm always looking for sugar free recipes. This one is very easy.
by sugarfree
time to make 1¼ hours 10 min prep
2 eggs
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
3/4 cup Splenda granular
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk (do not use fat free or low fat evaporated milk - it will make the pie watery and gross)
1-9 inch unbaked pie shells

1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Combine ingredients.
3. Pour into pie crust.
4. Bake 15 minute at 425.
5. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 45 minutes.
6. Cool and garnish with whipped cream.

I used an extra pie crust to make leaves to top the pie and added after the pie had baked for 15 minutes. My husband LOVED it. He said he couldn't even tell the difference between this pie and a regular pie. A big hit.

Tom Ka Gai (Coconut Chicken Soup)


* 2 large carrots, chopped
* 4 ribs celery, chopped
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 7-8 boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
* 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
* 2 (14 ounce) cans coconut milk
* 1 32 oz box of vegetable or chicken broth
* 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
* 4 tablespoons fish sauce
* 1/4 cup fresh lemon/lime juice
* sprinkle cayenne pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric (omitted)
* 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
* 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (I didn't have fresh cilantro so I added some dry cilantro midway)
* ~8oz fresh baby spinach


1. Cut chicken into bite size pieces and saute in oil for to 2 to 3 minutes until the chicken turns white.
2. In a pot, saute onion, carrots and celery in a bit of broth.
3. Add coconut milk and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Add ginger, fish sauce, lime juice, cayenne powder and turmeric. Simmer until the chicken is done, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Stir in fresh spinach and cook until wilted. Sprinkle with scallions and fresh cilantro and serve steaming hot.

This soup was a huge hit with my entire family.

Dairy Free Vegetable and Tuna Casserole

Dairy Free Vegetable and Tuna Casserole

2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 large onion, diced
~2 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
~ 4 T Earth's Balance
~ 4-5 T flour
3+ cups chicken stock
3 cans water packed white albacore tuna, drain but do not discard water
1 pkg egg noodles
3/4 large package fresh spinach, chopped
1/2 cup frozen peas
crushed kettle potato chips

cook onions, carrots and garlic in olive oil and Earth's Balance until softened
add flour, cook until golden
add chicken stock and water from tuna cans
cook until bubbly and thickened, adding more chicken stock as necessary
season w/ salt and pepper
crumble tuna in to sauce, add peas
cook noodles according to package, last 2 minutes add spinach, drain
mix together sauce and pasta in 3qt baking dish, top with crushed chips

Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes

Grandma's Rich Muffins

Grandma's Rich Muffins
(MIL's recipe)

1 c flour
1 T baking powder
1/3 c butter or margarine
1/2 t salt
1 egg
3/4 c milk
3 T sugar (can omit)

Sift all dry ingredients
beat sugar and egg in to marg until creamy
gradually add milk in to creamy marg
add sifted flour in to marg
put in muffin pans
bake 400* for 20 min or until done

serves 4-6 muffins

I made these with Earth's Balance and soymilk and they were still good. Next time I will try some whole wheat flour too.

Dairy Free Applesauce Spice Cake

Dairy Free Applesauce Spice Cake

1/4 cup Earth's Balance or other dairy free butter substitute
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup AP flour
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup shortening
1.5 cup sugar
1/2+ teaspoon vanilla
1/4 soymilk or other milk substitute
1 cup applesauce

1. Leave eggs and butter sub at room temperature for 30 minutes before mixing. Preheat oven to 350. Grease 9x13 pan.
2. In a medium bowl mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, spices. In another bowl mix together applesauce and milk sub.
3. With electric mixer beat together butter sub and shortening about 30 seconds. Beat in sugar and add eggs 1 at a time.
4. Alternate mixing in flour mix and applesauce mix. Beat until just combined.
5. Pour in to prepared pan and bake for 25030 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Top with powdered sugar, cream cheese frosting or whipped cream.

Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta

Fresh Tomato and Basil Pasta

2 garlic cloves
2 lb tomatoes
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon sugar
fresh ground sea salt and black pepper
1 lb dried whole wheat spaghetti
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
fresh finely grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
olive oil

Mince garlic and mash to a paste with a pinch of salt using a large heavy knife.

Core and coarsely chop two thirds of tomatoes. Halve remaining tomatoes crosswise, then rub cut sides of tomatoes against large holes of a box grater set in a large bowl, reserving pulp and discarding skin. Toss pulp with chopped tomatoes, garlic paste, lemon juice, salt, sugar, and pepper. Let stand until ready to use, at least 10 minutes.

While tomatoes stand, cook pasta in boiling salted water. Drain in a colander and immediately add to tomato mixture, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with basil, cheese and olive oil.

Note: Adapted from Epicurious. We loved this. We actually ate ALL of it in one meal. The kids had 3rd and 4th helpings

Chicken and Veggie Pasta Salad

Chicken and Veggie Pasta Salad

1 lb cooked whole wheat spaghetti, rinsed
half a roasted chicken, removed from bones and chopped (or 2 large chicken breasts)
6 roma tomatoes, seeds removed and then cut into thin wedges
1 English cucumber, half peeled and sliced thin
1.5 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
Italian dressing (I used Good Seasons prepared with red wine vinegar)
cheese (used a shredded Italian blend, next time I will try mini mozzarella balls)

marinate cucumbers and tomatoes in Italian dressing 4-5 hours
before serving add all other ingredients to cucumbers and tomatoes and toss

Serves a crowd. I have varied the pasta shape, vegetables (artichokes, peppers, carrots, raw zucchini, celery and more) and omitted the chicken. This makes a great potluck dish or new mom dish.

Chicken and Veggie Pasta Salad

Chicken and Veggie Pasta Salad

1 lb cooked whole wheat spaghetti, rinsed
half a roasted chicken, removed from bones and chopped (or 2 large chicken breasts)
6 roma tomatoes, seeds removed and then cut into thin wedges
1 English cucumber, half peeled and sliced thin
1.5 cups fresh baby spinach, chopped
Italian dressing (I used Good Seasons prepared with red wine vinegar)
cheese (used a shredded Italian blend, next time I will try mini mozzarella balls)

marinate cucumbers and tomatoes in Italian dressing 4-5 hours
before serving add all other ingredients to cucumbers and tomatoes and toss

Serves a crowd

Mediterranean Tilapia

Mediterranean Tilapia

4 tilapia fillets
4 roma tomatoes, sliced 1/4" thick
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 sm red onions, sliced thin
1 cup thinly sliced carrots
klamata olives
feta cheese

In a large oven proof skillet saute carrots and onions olive oil until softened. Season with salt and pepper.
Place fish fillets on top of onions and carrots. Top each fish fillet with a small sprinkle of fresh or dried basil, garlic and tomato slices. Top tomato slices with basil, cracked pepper and sea salt. Bake in 350 oven for 20-30 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.
Place each serving of fish fillet, onions/carrots and tomatoes on top of a bed of steamed spinach. Top with feta cheese and klamata olives. Serve with rice pilaf.

Note: Everyone loved it except for the garlic - it was clumped up and didn't get cooked enough. Would have been fine without -next time I will either leave it out or cook it with the onions and carrot.s

Everyone liked it.

Creamed Corn

I needed dairy free creamed corn for a recipe tonight so I modified this recipe from

Creamed Corn

Enjoy this homemade version of creamed corn as a side dish or use instead of canned creamed corn in your favorite recipes. Recipe can easily be doubled or halved, as needed.
Serves 2

* 1 TB butter (used Earth's Balance)
* 1 TB unbleached flour
* 3/4 cup whole milk (used soymilk)
* 2 tsp evaporated cane juice sugar (used regular sugar)
* 11/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
* 1/8 tsp sea salt, or to taste (forgot the salt, oops)

Melt butter in a saucepan. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the milk and then the sugar. Whisk constantly over medium heat until steaming and thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the corn and salt. Continue to cook, stirring often for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until corn is piping hot.
Makes equivalent to one 15-oz can creamed corn.

Andoullie, lentil and vegetable stew

Andoullie, lentil and vegetable stew

12oz andoullie sausage (used mini chicken andoullies)
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 med onion, chopped
2 peppers (mix of red/orange/yellow), large chop
3 cloves garlic. minced
2 med zucchini, halved and sliced
3 lg green onions, sliced thin
dried thyme
chopped parsley
salt & pepper
1/2 c frozen corn
2 c frozen green beans
2 c cooked lentils
olive oil
2 c chicken stock
8oz tomato sauce

brown sausage in wok, remove
drizzle olive oil cook onions, peppers and carrots and a big sprinkle of thyme. cook until onions are translucent
add garlic, cook couple of minutes
add chicken stock & tomato sauce, bring to a simmer
add green beans, corn, zucchini, sasuage and green onion
simmer until veggies are cooked and sauce begins to thicken
add parsley and lentils, cook until hot through

serve over herbed rice (mix of cooked white & brown rice with butter and parsley) with parmesan on top

DH loved it - added some Frank's Red Hot to his to spice it up
For the kids I served plain cooked lentils on the herbed rice with the veggies on the side (no sausage). DS1 ate two plates full.

Dutch Baby Pancake

Really naughty dessert...

1/3 c. butter
4 eggs
1 c. milk
1 c. flour
1 tbsp. sugar
Melt butter in 400 degree oven in large casserole dish.Combine eggs, milk, flour and sugar in blender. Pour into casserole dish and bake in 400 degree oven 20 minutes. Serve with powdered sugar, lemon and orange juice, or fresh fruit.

Red Enchilada Sauce

Red Enchilada Sauce

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 teaspoon minced onion
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon dried parsley
* 1/4 cup salsa
* 1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce
* 1 1/2 cups water


1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, oregano, chili powder, basil, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, parsley, salsa and tomato sauce.
2. Mix together and then stir in the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Note: made a quadruple recipe today - seemed too thin so I added a can of tomato paste. Froze 3/4 in 3 quart bags.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Buffalo Chicken Dip

1.5 large cans chicken breast - crumbled/broken up
.5 cup Franks Red Hot Buffalo wing sauce
.5 cup prepared blue cheese salad dressing
8oz cream cheese
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

in an 8x8 dish microwave cream cheese for 1 minute to soften
add all other ingredients - mix well
microwave 4 minutes, stir. microwave 2 minutes or until hot. stir before serving.

this was sooooooo good. just spicy enough for me (I am kind of whimpy). I served it with crackers, tortilla chips, apple slices and celery. Yum!

ETA: I think the cheddar made it greasy. I think I will try a lower fat version - subbing lowfat blue cheese, omitting cheese and using lowfat cream cheese.

Cinnamon Crepes with Pears


4 ripe pears - peeled and sliced thin
1/4 c butter (I only had Earth's Balance - soy butter substitute)
2 t cornstarch
1/2 c cold water
1/3 c brown sugar
1/2 t cinnamon

Melt butter
add pears - cook until tender (I just needed a couple of minutes since my pears were really ripe)
mix cornstarch and cold water - add to pears, stir
add brown sugar and cinnamon - boil 2 minutes


1 1/2 cups AP flour
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter, melted (again, only had soy substitute)

1. wisk together flour and eggs, gradually add milk and water, stirring to combine, add salt and butter - beat until smooth
2. heat a lightly oiled griddle over med-high heat. pour approx 1/3-1/2 cup batter onto the griddle. Tilt the griddle from side to side and front to back so that the batter coats the surface.
3. Cook the crepes for about 2 minutes, until the bottom is light brown. Flip and cook the other side.

To serve I rolled a couple of tablespoons of pears in each crepe and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar.

Auntie Ann's Coffee Cake

Auntie Ann's Coffee Cake


* 2 cups all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter/Earth's Balance
* 1 egg
* 3/4 cup milk/soymilk, or as needed
* 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
* 2/3 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/4 cup butter/Earth's Balance


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan. Make the streusel topping: In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup flour, 2/3 cup sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Crack an egg into a measuring cup and then fill add milk to make 1 cup. Stir in vanilla. Pour into crumb mixture and mix just until moistened. Spread into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with streusel.
3. Bake in the preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool

Note: I use the food processor for all of the 'cutting' of butter/mixing - much quicker.

This is SO good. I made it for MIL who promptly claimed it must be from a mix/box (don't know if that is a compliment or a dig at my cooking ability). I have made it a few more times at DH's request - adding flax seed and whole wheat flour once. Yum.

Easter Bunny's Pasta Salad

Easter Bunny's Pasta Salad

12 oz dried pasta, cooked and cooled
1 large carrot shredded
1 3.8 oz can sliced black olives
(celery if I had it)
5 chicken breast tenders, cooked, chopped and cooled

1 c mayo
2 T rice wine vinegar
1 t sugar
2 pinches salt
couple of grinds of fresh ground black pepper

Mix dressing ingredients together. Mix all other ingredients together. Mix everything together. chill. Eat. Yum.

Cucumber Sunomo

Cucumber Sunomo

3 cucumbers
1 carrot
1/2 sheet nori (seaweed)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
couple grinds sea salt

wash, peel (I peeled strips off using the zester), and slice thin the cucumbers
wash, peel and grate/zest the carrot
using kitchen sheers cut the nori in to teeny strips
mix vinegar and sugar together, add a couple grinds of salt
put everything together in a lidded container or dish - refrigerate for 2-3 hours - stir/toss/shake a few times
yum. Great with sushi rolls.

Fresh Broccoli Salad

Fresh Broccoli Salad

3-4 head of broccoli - washed and chopped/broken in to bite size pieces - I also peel and chop the stems
1/4-1/2 cup crumbled bacon (sometimes I cheat and use the already cooked real bacon bits in a bag from Costco - I just microwave them for a minute to get them crispy)
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3-1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries
1 cup mayo
1/2 cup sugar
3-4 tablespoons vinegar

mix mayo, sugar and vinegar together - toss with all other ingredients. Can serve immediately or chill and serve up to 48 hours later (gets softer with time).

We have been eating a lot of this salad this summer. It is yum!

Super Yummy Pork Roast

Super Yummy Pork Roast

mix equal parts soy sauce and orange marmalade (about 1/2 cup of each)
add 2 chopped cloves of garlic

cover roast with marinade
cook in 375 oven until internal temp reaches 160

Serve with steamed spinach and whole wheat couscous - the marinade/sauce is SUPER good on the spinach/couscous This recipe is always a hit with my picky DH and toddler.

Moroccan-ish Chicken

Moroccan-ish Chicken

~1.3 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breasts cut in to bite size pieces
3 T flour
1.5 t ground cumin
.5 t ground red pepper
couple of turns of fresh cracked sea salt
2 t ground cinnamon
~2 T olive oil
1.5 cups chicken broth
.5 cups raisins
4 zucchini - sliced thin

mix flour, cumin, red pepper, sea salt and cinnamon in a large plastic bag - toss chicken to coat
heat olive oil in a large saucepan - add chicken and cook until browned
add chicken broth and raisins and cook until broth is thickened (about 8-10 minutes)
add zucchini the last 5 or so minutes of cooking

I served with brown rice but it would have been more moroccanish over couscous if we had had any. I also served with a couple spoonfulls of plain yogurt.

"Haven't Been to the Grocery Store and I have two crabby kids" Lemon Chicken Piccata

12 skinless boneless chicken breast tenders, chopped in to bite site pieces
juice of 2 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 lemon thinly sliced and halved
3 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 garlic big garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup butter/butter sub
1 cup vegetable stock
3 tablespoons capers

Note: I am not an exact cook - so the above are my best guesses - I used the rest of the capers in the jar - which looked to be about 3 tablespoons, the paprika I eyeballed, lemon juice is approximate.

1. put chicken pieces in a big ziploc with the flour and paprika - smoosh around to coat.
2. melt butter in a large saucepan on medium
3. add garlic - cook for 1 minute. .
4. turn heat to med-highish. add chicken. cook chicken until lightly browned and no longer pink on the outside (I used a spatula to make sure that the pieces were not sticking together while it was browning)
5. add lemon juice and vegetable stock (I am sure this would be fine with chicken broth or stock but I had vegetable on hand). simmer for approx. 10 minutes.
6. add lemon slices (reserving a couple for garnish should you choose to photograph your meal ) and capers. cook until sauce has reduced by about 1/3 or 1/2. add kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste. Serve over pasta or rice (I mixed angel hair in the saucepan to sop up lots of sauce).

Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

(made a huge pot - taking some to a new mommy friend and some for my family for dinner)

20 frozen b/s chicken breast tenders
1/2 sm can of tomato paste
1 c frozen sliced tri-color peppers (red, green, yellow)
1 med. onion sliced thin
4 tsp chopped fresh basil
4 cloves of garlic
1 tblsp dried oregano
1/4 c red wine
2 26 oz cans of pasta sauce

Dump all ingredients in crockpot, stir to combine. Cook 4-6 hours on high. Serve over hot pasta, sprinkle with parmesan.

WW pts for entire pot of chicken and sauce = 36

NOTE: Super yummy - picky DH liked as well!

Mushroom Stroganoff

12 large white mushrooms, sliced
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
cooking spray
vegetable broth
beef broth base (paste)
3/4 cup milk (1)
2 T cornstarch (1)
6 T lowfat sour cream (2)
3+ T worcestershire sauce

Cook onions, mushrooms and garlic over med-high heat in a large saucepan sprayed with cooking spray. Add a little vegetable broth to keep veggies from sticking. Cook until soft. Mix together cornstarch and 3 tablespoons milk - add to pan, add approx 1/2 cup milk. Cook until bubbly and thickened. Add more milk as desired. Add 1/4 cup sour cream and worcestershire to taste.

4 points for the entire pan (made 2 LARGE servings over whole wheat pasta)

Spicy Arbiatta Sauce

This is our new favorite pasta sauce - easy, healthy and REALLY good.

6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
28 oz of pureed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
(optional - parsley)

chop garlic
heat olive oil in large pan
add garlic and red pepper - saute for 1 minute
add tomatoes
cook for 15 minutes

serve over pasta w/ fresh grated romano or parmesan cheese We like it over whole wheat pasta and I now use it in almost all of my recipes calling for tomato/pasta sauce. I have used chopped/whole tomatoes before and just throw them in the blender first. Also good with sausage or meatballs added.

Alfredo Veggie Lasagna

Alfredo Veggie Lasagna
I made this HUGE lasagna when my non-tomato eating MIL was in town - it made for MANY servings/meals and some to freeze!

2 large carrots peeled and sliced thin
1 onion chopped
5-6 med. zucchini sliced thin
2 10oz package of frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
2 big cloves of garlic, minced
vegetable stock
olive oil

1 lb cooked lasagna noodles
2 jars classico alfredo
4 cups shredded mozzerella cheese
2 cups shredded parmesan cheese
32 oz ricotta cheese
2 eggs
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes

1. cook noodles
2. in a small amount olive oil sweat the onions and carrots, once they begin to soften add garlic. Add zucchini and spinach. Add vegetable stock as needed. Cook until veggies are tender crisp.
3. mix together eggs, ricotta, parsley
4. put a bit of sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish (I think my big one is 10 x 14). Layer 1/4 of pasta, veggies, sauce, ricotta mix, cheeses and repeat. (when I used up what I could pour out of the jar of sauce I swished some milk to get it all out and make sure my lasagna wasn't dry).
5. cover with foil and bake at 375 for 1 hour or until hot and bubbly throughout. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving. This is a very rich dish so a little goes a long way!

White Bean and Spinach Soup

1 medium onion chopped
3 large carrots chopped
4 cups chopped, peeled baking potatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 cups of chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 16oz can white beans (S&W lightly seasoned)
4 cups shredded fresh spinach
3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (or less, to taste)
fresh parmesan for topping

Using a small amount of cooking spray and water to keep from sticking - cooking onions and carrots until onion is soft. Add chicken broth, garlic and potatoes. Bring to a boil. Add beans (including liquid). Simmer until potato is soft. Using a potato masher - mash some of the solids. Add parsley and spinach, cook until wilted. Cracked pepper and kosher salt to taste. Top servings with fresh parmesan (add points for parmesan).

Makes 8 side dish servings - 1 cup each
or 4 main dish servings - 2 cups each
2 points per cup


Nectarine & Peach Crisp

6 small nectarines
2 small peaches
1 T sugar
1 cup oats
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
nutmeg and cinnamon
1/2 cup butter/butter substitute

slice fruit - place in a 8x8 dish - sprinkle with white sugar. In a medium bowl mix together oats, flour, brown sugar, fresh grated nutmeg and cinnamon (to taste) -- cut iin butter

bake at 375 for 30-35 minutes (it smells so good while baking!)

Whole Wheat Flax Shortbread Cookies

1 stick (1/2 c) butter, COLD, cut it chunks
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons flax seed meal

In food processor process butter and sugar until a coarse meal. Add flours and flax seed and process/pulse until combined and a fluffy powder. Poor in to an 8x8 pan and press down. Bake at 325 for 20-30 mintues or until it pulls away from the sides of the pan and is beginning to get golden brown. Remove from oven. Use a butter knife to carefully cut in to pieces but leave in pan until cool. Enjoy.

notes: amazingly a huge hit w/ both dh and ds

Adapted from my regular Shortbread Cookie recipe

1 stick butter
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

Follow the same directions. If desired add chocolate ships at the end.

Vegetable and Chickpea Curry

1 tbsp olive oil
1 minced shallot
1 cup carrot, cubed
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground ginger powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
2 cans chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 cups cubed peeled baking potato
5 zucchini, sliced thick
1 cup diced red/green/yellow pepper (used frozen pre-sliced)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 14 oz can chicken broth or vegetable broth
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 can light coconut milk

1. heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over med heat. Add shallot, carrot and cover. Cook 5 minutes or until tender. Add curry powder, sugar, ginger, garlic and chile. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
2. place carrot mixture in a slow cooker. Stir in chickpeas and next 8 ingredients (through broth). Cover and cook on high 6 hours or until vegetables are tender. Add spinach and coconut milk and stir until spinach wilts.

Veggie Egg Foo Young

Veggie Egg Foo Young

10 eggs, beaten

6 spears of asparagus
3 green onions
1 med carrot
1 med zucchini
1.5-2 c spinach
4 large mushrooms
12 oz bean sprouts

1.5 teaspoons sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce (or to taste)
1 16oz can chicken broth or vegetable broth
ground pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water

Slice/chop all veggies thin. Heat skillet. Lightly coat skillet with vegetable oil. Cook all veggies (except bean sprouts) until bearly tender (sprinkle with water as needed to steam). Place veggies in a cool bowl, toss with bean sprouts. Add eggs and a healthy splash of soy sauce, mix to combine.

Heat skillet, oil and cook egg/veggie mix 1/2 cup at a time - flip like pancakes until golden and eggs are set. Remove to plate to keep warm and finish with remaining batter (I made 9 big pancakes).

Sauce: Heat chicken broth, soy sauce, sugar and pepper until boiling. Mix cornstarch and cold water in small bowl. Add to boiling sauce - mix until smooth and cook for 5-10 minutes at a low simmer or until thick and the cornstarch taste is gone.

Serve sauce over Egg Foo Young. Served with brown rice.

note: I use low sodium soy sauce so the amt of soy sauce might need to be adjusted if using regular.

Inside Out Cabbage Rolls

1 head of cabbage
1/2 large onion, chopped
20 oz lean ground turkey
2 15 oz cans chopped tomatoes
1 8 oz can tomato sauce
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
salt and pepper

brown turkey and onion in a skillet
chop cabbage in to strips
mix tomatoes, tomato sauce, cinnamon and salt and pepper
put all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Points depend on the fat content/calories of your ground turkey. Ours was approx. 4 pts for 1/5ish. Served over brown rice. VERY yummy. The cinnamon gave it a really good flavor. It was excellent leftover the next day and DH actually complimented it multiple times - unusual for him for a recipe that includes veggies

Sloppy Joes

1 pound lean ground beef
big sprinkle of onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
3/4 cup ketchup
3 teaspoons brown sugar
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste


Brown ground beef. Drain fat.
Stir in the garlic powder, mustard, ketchup, and brown sugar; mix thoroughly. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

NOTE: This is a sweet sloppy joe recipe. My DH doesn't like onions so I sneak the onion powder in. Last time I made this recipe I made 6 pounds and froze in meal sized packages. Serve with whole wheat buns and veggies/salad.

Cranberry Chicken

(split in to two meals)
1 can whole berry cranberry sauce
1 8 oz. bottle french dressing
1 pkg. dried onion soup mix
4-8 boneless/skinless chicken breasts OR 10 blsl chicken thighs

Combine the cranberry sauce, dressing, and soup mix. Put into a freezer bag with the chicken and freeze and label.

Defrost overnight, put in pan and bake for about an hour @ 350 degrees

NOTES: This was REALLY good. It cooked up as a great sauce. Served with brown rice and a bunch of vegetables (carrots, cabbage and zucchini).

Apricot Chicken

Apricot Chicken

10 frozen b/s chix tenders

all approx
6 T apricot preserves - reduced sugar, organic
4 T soy sauce - reduced sodium
1 t ground ginger
1/2 T garlic powder

marinate overnight. Cook.

Mexican Minestrone

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans Mexican stewed tomatoes
1 can corn, drained
4 medium white potatoes, chopped
1 cup frozen green beans
16 oz mild salsa
chicken stock
2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped (optional)

mix all together in crockpot, cover with chicken broth. cook on low 8-10 hours. top with sour cream, shredded cheese and avocado.

KC's Crockpot Smushed Sweet Potatoes with Apples

10lb (I think) bag of sweet potatoes (Costco)
6 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin in to bite size pieces
1/2 cup butter/Earth's Balance
1 cup brown sugar
2 T ground cinnamon
1 t ground cloves
approx 1 t freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup heavy cream/Soy creamer

1.5 cups pecans
3/4 cup flour
1.25 cups brown sugar
1 stick butter(Earth's Balance), chopped in to pieces

1. wash, prick and bake sweet potatoes at 350 until soft
2. after sweet potatoes are cooled, peel and put in big bowl
3. in a large saucepan melt butter, add brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg - stir to combine
4. add apples - cook for 15-20 or until apples are softened but not mush
5. add apple mixture to sweet potatoes and stir to combine
6. in batches, put sweet potatoes and apples through mixer to mash and combine
7. butter crockpot
8. place smooshed up sweet potatoes and apples in crockpot - smooth out top and wipe sides down (rebutter)
9. put all topping ingredients except pecans, in food processor - pulse to large crumbs - add pecans and pulse again until combined (just 1-2 times)
10. pour topping over sweet potatoes
11. cook on high for 2+ hours, until butter is all melted on top and edges are bubbling - excellent time to transport - stays hot - plug back in and keep on low/warm until serving.

Salmon Mousse

4 oz smoked salmon
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 T heavy cream
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
salt and pepper, to taste

Place salmon in food processor and pulse until all smushed up
Add all other ingredients and process until smooth
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and let stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before serving

** A new favorite dip and very easy. Could be made dairy-free/vegan with tofutti cream cheese and soy creamer

Barley and Pine Nuts Bake


* 1/4 cup butter (used butter substitute)
* 1 medium onion, diced
* 1 cup uncooked pearl barley
* 1/2 cup pine nuts
* 2 green onions, thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
* 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/8 teaspoon pepper
* 2 (14.5 ounce) cans vegetable broth (used chicken broth)


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in onion, barley, and pine nuts. Cook and stir until barley is lightly browned. Mix in green onions, mushrooms, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a 2 quart casserole dish, and stir in the vegetable broth.
3. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until liquid has been absorbed and barley is tender.

This was HUGE hit - everyone loved it. Will definitely make again.

Chard Pasta Bake

Chard Pasta Bake

Original recipe from Terra Firma Farms, Community Supported Agriculture newsletter archives
Chard Manicotti — Chard is less liquid than spinach, which makes it better suited for dishes such as this, Lasagna, Enchiladas, or other casseroles.
Boil water for the pasta.
Make a béchamel sauce: Melt 2 T. butter over low heat, then add 1 1/2 to 2 T. flour, stirring over low heat for 3 minutes. Then stir in slowly 1 C. milk, then stir with a wire whisk until thickened and smooth. Place in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes to cook slowly.
Rinse one bunch of chard, separating the stems and leaves. Dice stems to make 1 C. and discard the rest. Roughly chop the leaves. Heat 3 T. olive oil in a pan and add the chard stems, 3 minced cloves of garlic, and 1 bunch chopped scallions. Add a pinch of red pepper flakes. When the garlic is soft, add 2 C. sliced brown mushrooms, cook for 2 minutes, then add the chard leaves and 1/3 C. white wine, then stir until wilted. Turn off the heat and add 1 C. ricotta cheese and 1 C. grated Parmesan. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
Dip the manicotti shells in the boiling water for 1 minute, then rinse and fill with chard mixture.
Drizzle half the béchamel in a casserole dish, then arrange the manicotti in the pan and drizzle the other half of the béchamel over it. You can also sprinkle shredded mozzarella over the top. Bake at 350 until bubbly and beginning to brown.

my changes:
I cooked the pasta according to the box and then ended up slicing them open and making a lasagna like dish
I did not cook the bechamel in the oven - just on the stove at a very low flame - whisking and adding more milk when it got too thick
I used white mushrooms vs. brown
Red wine vs. white - could have used chicken stock
I added a bunch of fresh grated parmesan on top
I made a vegan version by making a soymilk bechamel and using vegan cheese
The vegan version was not a hit - but the no-dairy toddler was sick - so I am not sure if that was a yucky food or yucky feeling issue.
DS1 and DH (and I) really liked the dish - it was rich though.

Sweet Tokyo Turnips with Greens

3 tokyo turnips with greens
olive oil
butter or butter substitute
chicken broth
salt & pepper
1 TB sugar

chop turnips in to bite size pieces
rinse greens, chop in to bite size pieces
heat olive oil in pan - a couple of turns of the pan
add butter, melt
add turnips and saute until golden
add chicken broth to cover, sugar, salt, pepper and greens
cook until turnip and greens are tender and broth has reduced

next time: dh and kids loved the turnips but weren't fans of the greens - might be good with carrots and turnips, no greens

Orange Beef

sliced beef (I used undercooked leftover roast) ~1.5 lbs
4 large zucchinis sliced in 1/8s lengthwise and cut in half (big sticks)
half a large carrot cut in match sticks
~3/4 cup bean sprouts
2 large cloves of garlic, chopped
half a large onion cut in to thin strips
2 large green onions cut in to 1/2 inch chunks
2 cups orange juice
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
vegetable oil

dredge thin strips of beef in flour and cook in batches in a small amount of hot oil in wok, remove to paper towel covered plate
heat tablespoon of oil in wok - stir fry onion, garlic and carrots for 2-3 minutes
add zucchini and green onion cook until zucchini is no longer hard
add bean sprouts, oj and soy sauce, bring to a boil
mix cornstarch with water to make a slurry, add to boiling oj/veggie mix
stir to thicken
add meat back in, cook until hot
serve over steamed rice

Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin Soup

1/2 stick butter (I guess you could use less LOL)
1/2 large onion
2 cups chicken broth
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teapsoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup half and half

melt butter
add onion
cook until translucent
add 1 cup chicken broth, cook for a couple of minutes
puree in blender
add back to pot
add remaining cup broth, pumpkin, spices
heat until bubbling
add half and half, heat until hot
serve, eat, yum

Next time I might use a little less onion or cook them longer - the end result had a strongish onion flavor but was still good. Dh and I both liked it.

Can be made dairy free with soy creamer and Earth's Balance

Brown Sugar Carrots (on the grill)

baby carrots sliced in half - approx 20oz
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
3-4 tablespoons of butter cut in to small pats

wrap together in two layers of heavy duty foil. Grill on high (indirect heat) for 20 minutes. YUM

Honey-Mustard dressing/dip

1/4 cup mayo
1 T mustard
1 T honey
.5 T lemon juice

Whisk together. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Served on baby spinach with grape tomatoes and sunflower seeds. Pretty good but I think for salad dressing I would prefer dijon mustard - regular mustard would be good for dip for chicken strips.

Beef & Barley Soup

leftover roast - approx 1-1.5 pounds, diced
1 cup diced carrots
1 med onion, diced
8 oz mushrooms chopped
3 minced garlic cloves
8 oz tomato sauce
8 cups beef broth
salt & pepper
1 cup barley

dump all in crockpot. cook on high 4 hours.

leftover steak - approx. 3/4-1 pound, diced
3 large carrots, diced
2 small onions, diced
5-6 ribs of celery, diced
10 oz chopped brown mushrooms
15 oz can tomato sauce
~8 cups vegetable broth
salt & pepper
1 cup barley
2 bay leaves

put everything in crockpot. cook 4 hours on high.

Chicken and Rice Soup

1 medium onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 large celery rib + all the inside ribs, including leaves, chopped
2 gloves garlic
10 cups chicken broth
6 oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts (I used chicken breast tenders)
5 oz sliced cremni mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 t poultry seasoning
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup long grain white rice

In a large soup pot heat olive oil over med-high heat.
Add onion, celery, and carrot and cook until onion is translucent.
Add broth and bring to a boil.
Add chicken (I added whole pieces and then removed to cut up later), poultry seasoning, bay leaf, mushrooms and garlic. Bring back to a boil and then simmer for an hour or two.
Add rice and cover - simmer for 30-45 minutes or until rice is cooked.

A great pot of soup - easy to make (and the steps could have been shorter - I just started it during breakfast and let it simmer while we were doing other stuff) and good for a cold day when we are all feeling under the weather.

Cream of Tomato Soup

2 T olive oil
1 large carrot - peeled and chopped fine
3 T dehydrated onion flakes or 3 tablespoons fresh diced onion
3 cans chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons chopped basil (less if using dried)
1 cup + chicken stock
heavy cream, sour cream, yogurt or tofutti cream cheese

heat oo in a med sauce pan over med heat
add carrot, cook a minute or two. add onion. add splashed of chicken broth to keep from sticking and rehydrate the onion
add tomato, basil, salt and pepper - cook for a bit - until all veggies are soft
puree in batches in blender or with stick blender.
return to pot, add stock and cream if using. Ladle in to bowls and add dollop of yogurt, sour cream or tofutti and stir through. Serve.

If I had had it I would have used fresh onion but the dehydrated worked well. This was SO GOOD!!