Monday, May 31, 2010

Moroccan Carrot Soup

{Meatless Monday}

I got this recipe from my sister.  It is very different than any recipe I've ever tried.  It has a lot of flavor and is a nice break from our pasta/rice/tortilla rotation!

Here's what you need:

2 T butter or olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 pound large carrots, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 1/2 cups veggie or chicken broth
1 T honey
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin (I only used about 1 tsp)
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/2 cup plain yogurt or milk

Saute onion in butter or oil until translucent.

Mix in carrots and broth and bring to boil.  Simmer until carrots are very tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove soup from heat and puree in blender until smooth.  Return to pan and whisk in honey, lemon juice, cumin, allspice, and yogurt or milk.

Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Eat as a bowl of soup, or serve over rice.

I think this soup could be even yummier with the right toppings...but I'm not sure what those are yet.  Maybe some homemade wheat croutons...a little sour cream...something to add just a little pizazz.  I do like that it has a very simple, fresh flavor to it.

I must admit that most of my kids didn't LOVE it...they endured it.  My three year old told me he didn't want any poop in his bowl...NO JOKE!!  I just gave him a tiny little bit with plain rice and he got over it.  Oh, and my mother-in-law who was visiting said she was having an "adventure" every night at our dinner table.  Ha!  What does that mean?? ; )  I just laughed and told her that I KNOW we eat really differently than most people.  She did admit that this soup tasted very healthful...that was before she got hold of the salt shaker.  ; P

Monday, May 24, 2010

Jumbo Stuffed Shells

{Meatless Monday}

This recipe is actually my manicotti recipe...but I have been putting it in shells lately.  Mostly because I noticed that you get more shells for your money!  ; )

You'll need:

1 12 oz pkg of jumbo shells
4 cups cottage cheese (or ricotta)
2 cups grated cheese (cheddar or mozzarella)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (I was all out--so it's not in any of my pics)
1 egg (I actually added 2 eggs...but I suggest only one)
1 T chopped fresh parsley
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Spinach--chopped--about 2 cups
garlic powder, onion powder, seasoning salt
3 cups (about 1 jar) spaghetti sauce

Heat oven to 375.  Boil pasta according to directions and drain.  Lay shells out on wax paper so they don't stick to each other.

In a 9X13 pan, spread about 1/2 cup spaghetti sauce.

Mix together all remaining ingredients (except spaghetti sauce).

 I used 2 eggs, but it turned out a little bit runny...I don't know if that was because of the egg or because I used some fat free cottage cheese.  I don't normally put any egg into my manicotti you could just leave it out!

I always end up throwing some of these three into lots of things I make...just to season it up a little.

Fill each shell with about 2 T cheese mixture.  Layer half of the shells in the pan, spread 1/2 of remaining sauce over, then layer the rest and top with sauce.  Sprinkle with additional cheese, if desired.  Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes or until bubbly.
Even though mine turned out a little runny this time, it had a very yummy flavor!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chili-Cheese Hashbrowns

This recipe came about because I had planned on having Chili and Baked Potatoes...but I really didn't feel like a big baked potato.  So I decided to make some quick hashbrowns...they're so much yummier anyway...lots of flavor on a little piece of potato and a little crispy-ness.
I figured if people can have Chili-Cheese French Fries, then we could certainly do the same thing with hashbrowns!

I really liked was yummy, and filling, and QUICK!  And things always taste better to the cook who didn't have to slave over it!
This is all you need:

Potatoes (I have the hardest time getting through a bag!  We just don't eat them that often!)
Vegetarian Chili

I just microwave my potatoes for 8-9 minutes in the microwave (five small potatoes).  I have a splatter cover in my microwave, and I like to put that over my potatoes so they don't dry out.  You could always bake the potatoes in the oven...that is, if you are better than I am and actually think about dinner before 5 PM! ; )

 Then I chop them into small pieces and fry them with a little olive oil, butter, and seasoning salt.

 As you fry them, don't stir them too often...let them sit for a couple minutes and then stir so that they can brown on all sides and get a little crispy on the outside....yum!

Heat up the canned chili and top the hashbrowns with chili, cheese, and a little sour cream or diced onion, if desired.
My kids all liked this...once I convinced my little one that hashbrowns were just little chunks of french fries! ; )
Have a great week!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Veggie Ensaladas (Bajio style)

I don't know if you all have Bajio or Cafe Rio near you, but we love their veggie salads.  Last week, some girlfriends and I ordered salads from Bajio and then the following day, I decided to make my own since I had leftover dressing...and it was DELICIOUS!

So I thought I'd share the recipe here.  They turned out very good, but I do think that the next time I want to make these, I will go buy a couple of their little dressing cups...because it is about 10 times yummier than regular ranch and it absolutely MAKES the salad!

Here's what you need: (I just realized I forgot to put rice in the picture. was already in the rice cooker!)
 Tortillas, Refried Beans, Black Beans, Rice, Cheese, Corn, Onion, Lettuce, Salsa, Ranch, and Chips.

Saute the onions and corn in a little oil/butter and corn juice.  Season with salt and pepper.  Saute for 7-8 minutes until onions are tender.

I heat up my black beans, undrained, in the microwave.
And I always add tomato sauce and taco seasoning to my refried beans.

Place your warmed tortilla in a large bowl.  Layer in this order:
 Onions and Corn (my FAVORITE part!)

 Rice -- I just used seasoned white could do Spanish Rice, also

 Refried Beans
Black Beans (and white beans since I already had some cooked up in my refrigerator)

Ranch Dressing
Broken up Chips

All of the kids really loved this dinner.  My little 5 year old ended up with a huge salad...and almost ate it all!  We just eat it with a fork and tear off pieces of the tortilla to eat with each bite.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

5-Minute Ice Cream

I have had this little recipe for years...but I think only my 2 oldest ever remember doing it before.  It is very fun for kids of all ages and very simple.

Here's what you need:

Milk (at least 2%, whole works best!)

You'll also need:
Quart size ziploc
Gallon size ziploc

Fill the gallon size half way with ice and add 6 Tbsp. of salt.

Put 1/2 cup milk, 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla into a quart size bag.  Seal bag.  Place in gallon size bag. 

Seal and shake for 5-7 minutes.  It will become VERY cold.  My girls like to have oven mitts on! ; )  Carefully take the small bag out and rinse off with COLD water.  You need to rinse off all the salt so that it won't ruin the flavor of your ice cream!  Also, make sure none of your bags have holes, because the salt taste will go everywhere!

It turns out more like an "ice-milk", but it is a fun thing for the kids to do and it is still a yummy sweet treat.  We had ours tonight on brownies with chocolate syrup!  Yum... Not as yummy as Dreyer's (I admit)...but it worked in a pinch!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Vegetable Pot Pie with Biscuit top

This is one of those recipes that I just throw together, so I will try to write down amounts as close as possible... ; )

This is what you'll need:

2-3 Potatoes, peeled and diced
2-3 Carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 onion, chopped
4-6 mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cup frozen peas
bouillon cubes/powder (I am finally getting a vegetarian sister ordered it on her co-op for me!)

salt and pepper

Saute mushrooms 3-5 minutes until lightly browned.  Set aside.

Place potatoes, carrots, and onion in about 4 cups of water with 2 bouillon cubes.  Boil until tender.  Add frozen peas for final 5-7 minutes of boiling time. 
I forgot to toss mine in, so I just microwaved them until they were warm.  ; )

Drain vegetables, but KEEP THE DRAINED LIQUID!! You will use this in your cream sauce.  It has so much flavor and little bits of the veggies.

 To make a white sauce, I always start with 2-3 T of butter in a saucepan.  Melt and let it slightly brown.  Add in 4-5 T of flour, until you have a thicker paste.  Then I let this brown.  I have found that this gives a white sauce SO much more flavor.  You don't want to burn it...just let it sit for a minute and then give it a little stir, then let it sit again to brown on the bottom.  Then you whisk in your liquid and milk to get your desired consistency.  I use about 1/2 milk,  1/2 veggie water.  Then add in your salt and pepper, basil, and any other seasonings you like.  I often use rosemary, italian seasoning, or seasoning salt.  Whatever sounds good to you!

Add the mushrooms to your drained vegetables and then pour sauce over them and stir.

Put mixture in an 8X8 pan and top with a 1/2 inch layer of biscuit dough.

Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes until top is nice and browned.

I am sure everyone has a simple biscuit recipe.  I like to make buttermilk biscuits and I use mostly shortening, but I also cut in at least 2-3 T of cold butter to help it be more flaky.