Thursday, January 26, 2012

Copycat Amylu's Kickin' Cranberry Meatballs

Another meatball copy cat. Easy and delicious.

1 1/4 lb ground chicken breast(pre-ground or you can do breasts in your food processor or food grinder)
1/2 cup dried cranberries, chopped
2 Tb minced jalapeno peppers
1 tsp raw sugar(original recipe calls for cane juice)
1 tsp maple sugar
1 tsp water
1/4 tsp chipotle powder(more or less to taste)
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Form into meatballs by Tablespoon sized scoops and place onto a greased baking sheet(I prefer a broiling pan)

Bake for 20 minutes until the meatballs reach 170 degrees. Turning about 1/2 way through.

Broil for 3-5 minutes until browned

Serve over pasta with a lite sauce. I prefer a simple tomato marinara but they are absolutely delicious all by themselves.

W/O the Jalapenos for the kiddos....

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cran-Apple-Carrot Muffins

My youngest son wanted muffins for his snack day at preschool and when I asked him what kind he kept changing his I took the 3 most requested flavors and combined them... these would be great to pop in the freezer for a quick pull out breakfast too!

2 medium apples, shredded
2 medium carrots, shredded
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup applesauce
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 TB baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger

Preheat oven to 350, grease muffin tins. (I use mini-muffin tins, this recipe made 48)

In a bowl combine apples, carrots and sugar. Allow to sit for a minute or two. Add in cranberries, applesauce and eggs, mix well.

In another bowl mix flours, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and ginger.

Add dry ingredients to wet, mix well.

Scoop by spoonfuls into prepared muffin tins, filling about 3/4 full or so.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean(times will vary if you use larger muffin pans)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Pepper Jack and Green Chile Steak Roll-ups

I had thin sliced steaks in my freezer so I decided to create something easy and tasty with the steaks.

6-8 thin sliced steaks
pepper jack cheese(1 slice per steak)
diced green chiles(about 1 TB per steak)
garlic powder
salt and pepper

Place the steak on a board, top with cheese and chiles.

Roll up and secure with a tooth pick and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder as desired.
(you might be able to see in the photo I made some with provolone and spinach for the kids, this is a pretty versatile recipe, take a culinary adventure by choosing your favorite cheese and other fillings)
Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400

Bake for 20 minutes. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Lemon and Garlic Roasted Red Potatoes

My family is not really big on potatoes but every now and then we like a good red potato side dish. I found a recipe several years ago and have since made it into our own favorite...

6 Red Potatoes(scrubbed, skin on, sliced into wedges)
1 TB canola oil
3 TB butter, melted
2 TB lemon juice(fresh is best!)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried dill
2 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Make sure your potato wedges are dried very well.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees

In a large bowl combine all ingredients(except potato wedges) ad mix well

Add wedges and toss to coat.

Place on a foil lined cooking sheet(make sure it has raised edges to prevent spills)

Drizzle the remaining butter mixture over the top.

Bake for approx 45 minutes until the potatoes are tender and crispy on the outside, turning once about 1/2 way through the bake time.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gluten Free Pigs in a Blueberry Blanket

My son saw some Jimmy Dean Sausage and Pancakes on a stick and thought they looked yummy so I decided to give something similar a shot. Perfect for the freezer to pull out on a school morning. I didn't actually put them on a stick this time but I may in the future for fun. If you do, insert the stick in the sausage before placing them on the pancake.

This made enough for 12 sausages and a few extra pancakes

12 sausage links, cooked

Pancake Batter:
3/4 cup brown rice flour
3/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1/4 cup corn starch
6 TB buttermilk powder
2 TB sugar(I use raw sugar)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp xanthan gum
1 1/2 cups water(plus extra to thin if needed)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped blueberries(I use frozen and chop them up in the food processor)

Mix all dry ingredients and blend well.  Slowly add the water and eggs, mix gently, adding extra water if it looks too thick, you want it on the thinner side.

Heat a griddle to medium heat. Grease lightly.

Pour batter by about 1/4 cup and spread it out slightly, you want the pancakes to be on the thinner side.
Cook until bubbles start to appear, then place a sausage on one side....allow to cook a little more.

CAREFULLY roll the pancake in half over the sausage. Allow to cook a few minutes more until the edges are cooked.

If you plan on freezing these leave them slightly underdone. Cool completely. Freeze in a single layer on a cookie sheet , when they are fully frozen wrap well and return to the freezer.

To re-heat preheat oven to 350, bake on a cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes until heated through or wrap in a paper towel and microwave on defrost for 90 seconds, then on full power in 30 second increments until heated through.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dough Enhancer

I am been meaning to put this on here for a while. I add this to all my breads, it helps keep it fresher longer and it helps whole grain breads rise higher. I got this recipe from this blog and I modified it a bit , it works beautifully.

1 cup vital wheat gluten
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 cup non-fat dry milk powder
2 TB lecithin granules(available at health food stores Bob's Red Mill makes a good one, my store sells it in the bulk containers)
2 TB pectin powder(sure-jell)
2 TB unflavored gelatin(1 packet of Knox is generally just under 1 TB, I usually do 2.5 packets)
2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp ascorbic acid(you can crush unflavored/uncolored vitamin c tablets or buy granules)

Combine in a container with a tight lid. Place on lid and shake well.
Store in the fridge.

I use 2 TB for a white flour based loaf and 1/4 cup for a whole grain loaf mixed in with the flours.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Simple Hamburger Soup

One of our favorites on a chilly winter night and super easy!
Also fantastic with ground turkey or chicken.

1 lb hamburger, browned and crumbled(seasoned to your tastes, I use garlic powder and seasoning salt)
8 cups water(less if you like it more stew like, more for a thinner soup)
2 large stalks celery, chopped(with leaves gives a little more flavor)
2 large carrots, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 cups diced peeled tomatoes
2-3 cups tomato sauce*
1 TB dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste

*I find when using canned 1-15 oz can tomato sauce and 1-14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with juice, makes it just tomato-y enough, if using fresh tomatoes I would add the extra cup of sauce

Combine everything and allow to simmer for at least an hour until the veggies are tender.

This is great in the crock pot as well, just put it all in and turn it on and let it go.

Freezes beautifully!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Smoked Gouda and Spinach Stuffed Chicken

I found this recipe using pork but I decided to try it with chicken and it turned out fantastic! Everyone gobbled it up.

4 chicken breasts, pounded to about 1/2 inch thickness
4 slices smoked gouda
baby spinach
1/4 cup horseradish sauce
panko bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400

Place chicken breast on a plate and place on a slice of cheese with a few leaves of baby spinach

Roll up tightly and secure with a toothpick or butchers twine.

Place Horseradish on a plate and roll chicken breast in it.

On another plate place panko crumbs and roll coated breast in them.

Place in a sprayed cooking dish and bake for 40-50 minutes until an internal temperature of 165.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Black Eyed Peas and Greens Gumbo

We always like to have Black Eyed Peas and Greens on New Year's Day. I found a Gumbo recipe and tweaked it for my own liking.

1 TB olive oil
1 small-medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
2 cups chicken broth(or veggie broth for vegetarian)
1/2 cup quinoa
1/2 cup brown rice(you can use all brown rice and omit quinoa if you like)
4 cups cooked black eyed peas(you can use 2 cans if you don't want to take the time to go from dried)
28 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 oz can green chilies
1 large handful baby spinach, chopped or torn into small pieces(plus or minus to your tastes)
salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot heat oil over medium heat, add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is soft and the garlic is fragrant. Add in peppers and celery and cook until they are soft.

Add in remaining ingredients except the spinach. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, add spinach and simmer 10-15 minutes more until the rice and quinoa is tender.

This is also fantastic done in the slow cooker, sauté your veggies then add everything(except spinach) to the slow cooker. Cook 6-8 on low, add in spinach in the last hour or.