Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Red Cabbage Slaw

What to do with a head a red cabbage... hmmmm?  Look no further!  This made a fantastically fresh summertime side dish!  I apologize that mine isn't "prettier"-- I didn't get it smoothly blended (wishing for a good food-processor!) but it still tasted great- I loved the addition of honey.... but then I like the addition of honey in just about anything. :)

Red Cabbage Slaw (Bobby Flay)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/2 small red onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 head red cabbage, finely shredded

Combine all ingredients, except cabbage, in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Place cabbage in a large bowl and toss with the vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper and let sit 30 minutes in the refrigerator before serving.

SERVES: 4; Calories: 321; Total Fat: 28 grams; Saturated Fat: 2 grams; Protein: 2 grams; Total carbohydrates: 18 grams; Sugar: 12 grams Fiber: 3 grams; Cholesterol: 0 milligrams; Sodium: 175 milligrams
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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Grilled Bean Burgers

Here is a great meatless meal for the fam!  This one is packed with so much flavor (not to mention healthy veggies) you will never want to go back to those greasy, cardboard hockey-pucks.  It makes a big batch, and I actually froze about half of it.  It thawed out perfectly and made a delicious, quick meal a month or so later, so they didn't get tired of it.

Lyd's Tip:  If you're like me, you want to save a buck so you use dry beans... and if you're like me even more, you're also a little forgetful when it comes to soaking the beans over night.  The solution:  slow cooking the beans!  Rinse them and throw them in the crockpot- fill the water almost to the top, and cook on high for about 4 hours (maybe less).  Drain and rinse the beans when they are soft and you're set.  I usually store the extra in a Tupperware in the fridge to use in other things that week.

Grilled Bean Burgers (Taste of Home)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained 
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
1-1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 whole wheat hamburger buns, split
8 lettuce leaves
8 tablespoons salsa

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, saute onion in oil for 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook for 1 minute. Stir in the carrot, chili powder and cumin; cook 2 minutes longer or until carrot is tender. Remove from the heat; set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans and black beans. Stir in oats. Add the mustard, soy sauce, ketchup, pepper and carrot mixture; mix well. Shape into eight 3-1/2-in. patties.

Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Grill patties, covered, over medium heat or broil 4 in. from the heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until heated through. Serve on buns with lettuce and salsa. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutritional Facts
1 burger equals 307 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 723 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 12 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 3-1/2 starch, 1 lean meat.
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Classic French Bread

"Marie!  The Baguettes!  Hurry up!"  If life were a musical, that's what I would be singing as I pulled these loaves out of the oven. (Ok- that's what I sang anyway.)  I can make a good hearty loaf of whole wheat bread, but I've never tried my hand at any other bread, so I thought I would give it a shot.  It was HARD WORK!  It seemed quite labor intensive for two small loaves, but I was amazed at how the little tweaks in the recipe could change the flavor so much.  It turned out tasting quite delicious... and quite like french bread.... shocking, I know. :)  I know I'm a slacker, but I do have to say that when you can pretty much pick it up for $1, it becomes one of those things... like angel food cake, that is totally worth every penny at the store.  I'm just saying.  BUT it is a good skill to have I suppose. (although, mine could use some practice. :)

Classic French Bread (Betty Crocker)

to 3 1/2 cups flour 
tablespoon sugar
teaspoon salt
package regular or quick active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
cup very warm water (120ºF to 130ºF)
tablespoons vegetable oil
egg white
tablespoon cold water
Poppy seed or sesame seed
  1. In large bowl, mix 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, salt and yeast. Add warm water and oil. Beat with electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to make dough easy to handle (dough will be soft).
  2. On lightly floured surface, knead dough about 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Grease large bowl with shortening or spray with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover and let rise in warm place 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours or until dough has doubled in size. (Rising time is longer than times for traditional breads, which gives the typical French bread texture.) Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.
  3. Grease large cookie sheet with shortening or spray with cooking spray; sprinkle with cornmeal. Gently push fist into dough to deflate; divide in half. On lightly floured surface, roll each half into 15 x 8-inch rectangle. Roll dough up tightly, beginning at 15-inch side, to form a loaf. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Roll gently back and forth to taper ends. Place both loaves on cookie sheet.
  4. Cut 1/4-inch-deep slashes across tops of loaves at 2-inch intervals with sharp knife. Brush loaves with cold water. Let rise uncovered in warm place about 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
  5. Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix egg white and 1 tablespoon cold water; brush over loaves. Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seed. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack; cool.
  6. Heat oven to 375º. Mix egg white and 1 tablespoon cold water; brush over loaves. Sprinkle with poppy or sesame seed.
  7. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.
Makes 2 loaves (12 slices each)

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Raspberry-Stirred Custard

Oh- how I love a good custard! (Basically anything pudding delights me!)  And this one is quick and easy to boot!  In about 15 minutes you can serve a lovely, summery dessert that, in the words of my five-year-old, "seems quite fancy-sh'mancy."  Love the fresh fruit coming on!

Raspberry-Stirred Custard
Recipe from: Betty Crocker Cook Book, Bridal Edition
Prep: 5 min/Total Time: 10 min/Makes: 4 servings
1 cup raspberries
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups half-and-half (I just used regular milk.)
½ teaspoon vanilla
4 tsp. packed brown sugar
Divide raspberries evenly among 4 individual serving bowls. Mix granulated sugar, cornstarch, and salt in 2-quart saucepan. Stir in half-and-half. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring frequently. Stir in vanilla. Spoon custard over raspberries. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Serve warm or cold. Store in refrigerator.
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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Company Couscous

I've always wanted to give couscous a fair shot- foodnetwork certainly has. :)  I see it on there all the time... that is, when I get a chance to watch... which is usually during Christmas Break at the in-laws... so, ok, not that often, but I when I DO watch it, someone always makes couscous... so in order to keep up with the "Rachael Rae's" I thought I better try it out.  I was amazed at how easy it is to make and how quickly it cooks.  Super simple, and adds a fun new texture and variety to the table.  I'm glad I tested it out.  This was a great dish to test it out with, too- I liked the fresh basil.  Makes a good side or main dish.

Company Couscous (allrecipes)
1 cup couscous
1 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
4 green onions, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1 cup fresh basil leaves
1 pinch salt
1 pinch ground black pepper
1 dash balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Stir couscous into boiling water and return water to a boil. Cover and remove pot from heat. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
While the couscous is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in garlic, green onions and peppers; saute briefly. Stir in tomatoes, basil, cooked couscous, salt and pepper. Mix together and transfer to a 1 1/2 quart casserole dish. Splash some balsamic vinegar on top.
Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese while still warm.

(I am sorry that my text is so weird- I wish I was more techno-savvy and could figure out why in the world it has the weird back ground.  If you have any tips- please share.)
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Monkey-Bee Sandwiches

We "go bananas" over this simple snack. :)  It's a favorite around here- easy to throw together, healthy, and fairly filling... which means they won't be asking you 5 minutes later for another snack... YAY!  (Also just going to put in a plug for "Dave's Killer Bread."  It's so yummy!  Our favorite is 21 Grain.  It's so hearty and healthy, tastes like it's straight from momma's kitchen... only it's ex-con Dave's kitchen. :)  Quite delicious though.)

Monkey-Bee Sandwiches (By Lyd)
Peanut Butter
Honey (*only if you're a brave mom, and don't mind "sticky".)

Toast your bread.  Spread PB.  Layer with bananas.  Drizzle with honey.  Sprinkle with cinnamon.  Devour and act like a monkey.
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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Put a Lyd on Beef Stew

I can always count on soup or stew as a great way to squeeze in more veggies.  I've posted a version of my Beef Stew before, but it's ever evolving.  I liked this combo, in which the veggies steal the show, tender and delicious!  (You can even leave the meat out all together, although I think there's a sacrifice in flavor.)  I tried asparagus this last time and LOVED it!  Just don't over cook.  Delish!

Lyd's Tip:  Don't limit yourselves to just these veggies- clean out the crisper and use what you have on hand- that little old bell pepper past it's prime or the wilty celery discover new-found vitality in soup. :) (I'm not recommending "rotten veggies" to enhance your soup... you know what I mean. :)  Throw in tomatoes, celery, squash, eggplant, broccoli, ANYTHING!
Lyd's Tip: This is one of those meals where the "meal kits" I mentioned really come in handy because there is so much chopping.  Saves a lot of time if you do it before hand.

Put a Lyd on Beef Stew (By Lyd)
Slow cooked beef roast (with drippings) or Sunday roast left-overs EASY! :)
1/2 cup olive oil
1-2 tsp minced garlic
4-6 potatoes, peeled and sliced
8 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 large yams, peeled and sliced
1 bunch asparagus
1 tsp ground thyme
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp each onion and garlic powder
Fresh chopped parsley
1 cup flour (you can even use whole wheat if you want)
2 quarts water with beef bullion or beef stock
salt and pepper to taste

In a large stew pot, pour and heat oil.  Add garlic, potatoes, carrots, onion, and yam.  Add meat and drippings.  Stir and simmer for about 5-10 minutes until veggies are tender.  Add asparagus (they cook faster so you might want to wait a bit longer).  Add parley and seasonings and flour; stir to coat.  Slowly add beef stock.  Bring to a boil so flour with thicken.  Season further to taste.  Serve nice and warm on a rainy day.
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