Tuesday, September 30, 2008
first of all, a quick bio on my eaters last week:
jeremy: my brother, definitely a picky eater, a very finicky palate, often tough to please, spent most of my summer cooking trying to figure out how to do just that
melissa: my sister-in-law, good eater, not tough to please
jacob: nephew, 12, likes plain noodles, plain rice and chicken - as long as you don't season it wrong
emma: niece, 7, can "pound the sushi", a more adventurous eater than i, unless you venture into the realm of "healthy" (which i often do!)
abe: nephew, 4, funniest kid you'll ever meet, prefers hotdogs and doughnuts above all else
next, my menu with reviews (recipes will be last or click links for recipes):
monday: easy baked pasta
jer, mel and jacob: m.i.a.
emma: loved the meat, got sick of the noodles 1/2 way through her plate
abe: hilarious. kept telling me he wouldn't eat it because "i tried it 20 times" and "i don't like it". i promised him i'd make him something else as long as he tried it. he tried it, admitted that he liked it, then caught me in my own promise by reminding me i only said he had to take one bite and then opting for the previous night's pizza in the fridge. funny kid man.
tuesday: turkey chili and corn bread (thanks to abe for "making" the corn bread. he's the most fun cooking buddy i've ever had) (yummiest corn bread ever. seriously. email me for recipe if you're dying for it. it can't go on skinny bovine because it is not... i repeat, not, good for you. :) )jer: liked the chili, loved the corn bread
melissa: loved both
emma: loved both - even had seconds of the chili!
abe: loved his corn bread. wouldn't touch the chili. he's 4. what do you expect?
wednesday: chicken tacos and quesadillas
jer: loved them, even raved about them you might say - surprised me and opted for quesadillas, though
melissa: loved them. doesn't usually like chicken, but she loved this chicken. opted for tacos. jacob: m.i.a.
emma: loved the quesadillas. had 2.
abe: talked about the upcoming quesadillas all day, devoured his when it finally came and discovered a new love for sour cream
thursday: orange chicken (click here for recipe on previous post)
mel: liked it okay
jacob: really liked it
emma: liked it for the first 5 minutes and then changed her mind. haha.
abe: said it was the "best chicken i ever eat". :)
friday: homemade pizza (a frequent request. they love my pizza.) lots of variation is easy with this one to please different eaters - andouille sausage and kalmata olives for jer, chicken pesto for mel and i, and simple cheese for the kids
jer: has since declared this his "favorite food right now" and said he wouldn't hesitate spending another $250 bucks to fly me in if i made the pizza for him again
mel: loved it - "what did you put in that crust?"
jacob: loved it
emma: loved it
abe: loved it - and even had seconds despite the fact that he'd been begging me to make him "shells and cheese" for dinner
Monday, September 29, 2008
1 onion, chopped
2 cups water
1 (28 ounce) can canned crushed tomatoes
1 (16 ounce) can canned kidney beans - drained, rinsed, and mashed
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (less if you're extra sensitive to spicy)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1. brown turkey and onion in large pot until done.
2. pour water into the pot. mix in tomatoes, kidney beans, and garlic. season with chili powder, paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, salt, and pepper.
your favorite pasta sauce
ground turkey browned with fresh garlic, salt and pepper
bake at 350 for 30 min
easy as that and it's a sure fire hit with almost any crowd!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
1 egg (or 1 egg white if you want to eliminate a few more calories)
1 1/3 cups mashed ripe banana
3/4 cup packed brown sugar (a little bit less is still yummy if you want to make them extra healthy)
1/3 heaping cup applesauce (or plain fat free yogurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (expensive and definitely optional!)
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees F. lightly grease one 12 cup muffin pan.
2. in a large bowl, combine egg, banana, brown sugar, applesauce and vanilla. in a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
3. gently stir flour mixture and oatmeal into banana mixture. fold in walnuts (optional). pour batter into prepared muffin cups.
4. bake in preheated oven or 15 to 20 minutes, or until light brown. remove muffins from pan and place on a wire rack to let cool before serving.
up next - my adventures in cooking for a family of 5 for a week! lots of recipes and just good plain fun (a hilarious 4-year-old, sous-chef was involved - how could it not be fun?)
recipe is a modified version of "seminary muffins" from allrecipes.com. photo is from the same.
Friday, September 19, 2008
- they are good fat, high-quality protein and not as linked to bad cholesterol as researchers used to think. (for more on the health benefits of eggs click here.)
- soooo cheap! on average they are less than $0.20 per egg - on sale they're even less!
- so many different ways to eat them - hard-boiled, scrambled, over easy, etc, etc, etc. keeps it interesting so you don't get bored of them.
make a batch of hard-boiled eggs to try for a quick snack at your house. my mom taught me how to make perfect hard-boiled eggs. here are the steps:
- arrange eggs in the bottom of a large pot.
- add cold water just above the top of the eggs.
- bring to a boil on the stove and then turn down so it is barely at a rolling boil.
- leave at rolling boil for 15 minutes.
- remove from heat, drain hot water and run cold water over eggs. let eggs sit in the cold water until they are cool.
i don't particularly like the usual "breakfast for dinner" scenario, with syrup, orange juice and the like - something hearty is better in my book. that's another fun thing about eggs - they are hearty enough to eat for dinner. when i was a freshman in college my best friend maggi taught me to make "cheesy waffles". she liked to top them with syrup, but i like to put eggs on mine and eat them like a sandwich. so in honor of my maggi, we'll call this recipe "cheesy waffles and eggs" and a bonus of "quick breakfast cobbler".
2 eggs - cooked your favorite way
waffle mix, made as per directions
cheese (sharp cheddar is yummiest, but whatever you have will work!)
- pour waffle batter into waffle iron (the thinner the waffles, the better!). top with cheese as seen in picture below. (top with cheese before you close the waffle iron.)
- while waffles are cooking, make your eggs as desired.
- top waffles with eggs. cover in syrup, more cheese, eat with a fork, eat like a sandwich - whatever you'd like!
1 ripe peach or nectarine
3 tablespoons oats
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
combine all ingredients. heat in microwave for 1 minute.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
1 cup flour
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 tsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp soy sauce
6 tbsp orange juice
1 ¼ cup orange juice
2 tbsp + ½ tsp soy sauce
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (more if you want it spicier - i'm going to use more next time!)
1 ½ tbsp brown sugar
1. combine flour, salt and pepper in a bag. add chicken pieces and mix them around to coat.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
creamy herbed chicken and homemade mashed potatoes
is it possible my food photography is getting worse? :)
1 chicken breast, cut into bit-sized pieces
1 can 98% fat free cream of chicken soup
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 ½ cup sliced carrots (use regular carrots and cut them pretty thin so they sort of look like baby carrots)
1 ½ cups broccoli, in bite-sized pieces or a little bigger
1 clove garlic, crushed
¼ teaspoon parsley
¼ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon basil
½ teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons flour
salt to taste
1. combine all ingredients above (accept flour) in large saucepan. Mix well. (Sauce will seem too thick at first, but it will thin out a ton as the veggies cook.) bring to a boil on med/high and then turn heat to low and cover. simmer covered for 30-40 minutes until chicken is cooked and carrots and broccoli are tender. check and stir frequently.
2. when it is done, push the chicken and veggies to the middle so thin broth collects on the side. add the flour and then stir until sauce is thicker and ingredients are evenly coated.
3. sprinkle with a little bit of salt over the top (to taste) to magnify flavors.
makes 4 servings. serve with mashed potatoes and rolls of your choice.
if you’ve never made mashed potatoes from scratch, here’s an easy way i made mine with this dish:
5 small-medium potatoes (idaho)
2 ½ tablespoons fat free sour cream (it’s all i had left!)
1 tablespoon butter (not spread – actual butter!)
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper (maybe a little less if you’re sensitive to pepper)
1. clean and peel potatoes.
2. boil in water until fork goes through easily
3. add sour cream and butter and let melt. add salt and pepper and whip to perfection!
this week's sale alert!!! will be changed this afternoon... after my "junk mail", a.k.a. sale adds, show up in my mail box!
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
to most people ground turkey sounds foreign, scary and just plain wrong when compared to ground beef. i hope to change your mind about that. let me introduce you to a much more flavorful, healthy and delicious alternative that will make all of your favorite ground beef dishes even more delicious.
a few reasons why ground turkey is skinny-bovine worthy:
- unlike ground beef, it is a good source of lean protein with very little fat
- it has a yummy flavor all by itself
- you can use it in almost any recipe in which you would normally use ground beef. try the substitution in one of your favorites (see trick below!)
- it's cheaper than good, extra lean ground beef. macey's in provo grounds their own turkey and it is normally $1.59/lb (good lean ground beef on sale might be $1.99/lb). the jennie-o brand is expensive, so call grocers in your area and find one who grounds their own.
- no greasy after taste. is anyone else disgusted by that gross film in your mouth after you eat ground beef?
an important ground turkey trick:
- when using ground turkey as a substitute for ground beef you'll need to know that ground turkey seasons differently than does ground beef. use more seasonings (in many recipes almost double) when using ground turkey.
it's so good. i promise. just try it. you'll be glad you did. here's a fun recipe to start with!
taco soup (4 large servings)
1 lb ground turkey (still yummy with less meat if you like less or if you want to make it extra cheap!)
½ cup chopped onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garlic salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 15 oz can corn, drained
1 cup water
½ packet western family taco seasoning - more if you like it with more spice! (same taste can be accomplished with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt to taste)
- spray a skillet with cooking spray. combine onions, garlic, ground turkey, garlic salt and black pepper in skillet. cook until meat browed and onions soft.
- in large pot cominbe crushed tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, water and taco seasoning. add meat mixture.
- cook until hot throughout and until beans are hot in center.
fun toppings: cheese, sour cream, cilantro, avocado/guacamole, tortilla chips (not all of these are healthy or cheap, but if you have them laying around they are kind of fun!)
i like to eat mine with cheese quesadillas as shown in the picture! if you’re feeling extra healthy use whole wheat tortillas.
kid-friendly – use 2 cans tomato soup instead of crushed tomatoes. makes it smooth and creamy!
vegetarian – grill onions and garlic without the meat and add a can of rinsed and drained black beans
this recipe would be easy to throw together and leave in the crockpot all day until you get home as well.price breakdown:
1 lb ground turkey - $1.59
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes - $0.84
1 15 oz can kidney beans - $0.59
1 15 oz can corn - $0.59
1/2 packet taco seasoning - $0.17
onion, garlic, garlic salt, pepper - $0.25
total (4 large servings) - $4.03
so no more ground beef. your palate and waist line will thank you.
original cow picture from http://nikkislinks.files.wordpress.com/2007/08/eat-more-chicken.jpg modified by me
taco soup recipe inspired by my mother-in-law's taco soup, but recipe is the skinny bovine's
thai peanut pasta
6 oz dried fettuccine or linguine (picture shows angel hair... i had extra in my fridge!)
1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen french cup green beans
1 chicken breast, cut into small bite-size pieces
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1. cook pasta.
2. cook chicken in a tiny bit of olive oil and lime juice. sprinkle with garlic salt and black pepper. add green beans when chicken is almost done.
3. for sauce, combine broth and peanut butter in saucepan and whisk until peanut butter melts. stir in soy sauce, lime juice, red pepper and garlic. heat through.
4. combine cooked pasta, chicken and green beans and sauce. eat and enjoy!
and like i said, this is totally skinny bovine-cheap. here are the stats:
1 chicken breast - bought at $1.69/lb - $ 0.93
pasta - $ 0.40
frozen green beans - $ 0.20
sauce ingredients (garlic, lime, broth, etc.)
a generous estimate - $ 0.50
total - 3 (big)/4 (small) servings - $ 2.03
$2.03!!!! yowsers, that is cheap!! love it!
this is a slightly modified version of better homes and gardens' "turkey and pasta with peanut sauce"
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
as i mentioned in my last post, salad is my favorite lunch meal ever. why? you can get all of the food groups in one meal and it tastes soooo good! for those of you who have never eaten at cafe rio in utah, i'm so sorry for you because their salads are fabulous. since i can't eat there every day, i make myself a cafe rio-style salad at home for lunch... every day (that is really true some weeks!).
enjoy and add your own flair to your salad with whatever you have in your kitchen. thanks for your patience with my terrible food photography while i'm learning. :)
1 1/3 cup fat free sour cream
3/4 cup low fat mayo
1 bunch cilantro
1 package ranch dressing mix
4 tablespoons salsa verde (i like herdez from wal-mart - it's yummy and cheap!)
1 clove garlic
1/8 teaspoon tabasco sauce
juice of 1 lime
blend all ingredients in blender until smooth.
cook 1 cup white rice in 2 cups chicken broth as you normally would.
when its done add 1/4 cup green enchilada sauce and any extra cilantro you have.
1 can black beans
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
dash of black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 teaspoon cumin
simmer onions and garlic in a tiny bit of olive oil until tender. add the rest of ingredients and cook until beans are hot.
cut a chicken breast through the middle to have 2 semetrical breasts. see picture below.
pan-cook in a little bit of oil, lime juice and salsa verde and sprinkle with garlic salt, cumin and black pepper. cut into thin slices.
putting it all together:
- heat a tortilla in a pan until barely crisp on both sides. sprinkle with a little bit of cheese.
- put rice, black beans and chicken on top of tortilla.
- top with chopped romaine lettuce (no iceberg - it has NO redeeming nutritional value!), fresh salsa (chopped tomatoes and lime juice will suffice if your budget has no room for fresh salsa) and your homemade dressing.
here's my silly husband in action... getting a salad ready for the camera. haha.
challenge: have extra ingredients from this recipe (like enchilada sauce, maybe)? visit the ingredient search at allrecipes.com and put your extras to good use!
also coming soon, learn about why ground turkey is totally skinny bovine-worthy. (and go buy some at macey's in provo - see sale alert!!! on side bar for details.)
i found the imitation cafe rio dressing online forever ago, but have never been able to find it again! it's somewhere out there in cyberspace without my modifications. :)
healthy cooking on a budget
qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.
please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!