Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pork & Apple Stew

I loved this! It would have been even better had the weather been cold, but I will never complain about a sunny afternoon in February!

1 1/2-2 lbs. pork butt chops, trimmed of fat (as much as possible)
2 T. grainy mustard
2 T. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced lengthwise
1/2 t. dried thyme
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 c. fresh apple cider (I used apple juice)
2 cups apples, cut into medium sized chunks

Cut the pork into bite-sized pieces. Rub the pieces with the grainy mustard and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and add the pork, working in batches if the pan doesn't fit all of the meat in one layer. Brown meat until you don't see any pink left, remove from the pan, and set aside.

Add onions to the pan and cook until limp. Add thyme, salt, and pepper to the onions and stir. Add cider and deglaze the pan, scraping any brown bits off the bottom. Transfer the onion mixture and the pork to a slow-cooker. Add apple chunks and stir. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with mashed potatoes and veggies.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pineapple Rice

This recipe is pretty much all about the dressing in my opinion. You could use the dressing on a number of "salad" or rice combinations. It was very good, although I added more pineapple juice to offset the spice from the ginger a little more. I also sauted the shallots and chile a bit before adding the rice and tofu so that everything was hot when it was served.

1/3 cup macadamia oil, olive oil, or sunflower oil
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup (fresh or canned) all-natural 100% pineapple juice
1 garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or shoyu)
1 cup pineapple, cut into chunks
2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

4 handfuls of mizuna, watercress, or arugula ( fresh spinach would be just as good and much cheaper)

2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice, room temperature
4 green onions, thinly sliced
3 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup cashews, roasted/toasted and chopped
1/2 small serrano chile, seeded and deveined, and minced (optional)
4 ounces seitan, cut into little bits and pan-fried (optional) - I used tofu

Start by making the dressing. Combine the oil, sesame oil, pineapple juice, garlic, red pepper flakes, soy sauce, fresh pineapple, ginger, and salt in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Transfer to a small saucepan, and gently warm just before serving, don't simmer or boil.

In an extra-large bowl toss the mizuna with a generous splash of the dressing. Arrange it on a platter (as a bed for the rice)

You can serve the rice portion of this recipe room temperature or hot - Wayne really loved the hot version, and so did I. In the same bowl you used to toss the greens, or in an extra large skillet over medium heat, combine the rice, most of the onions, shallots, cashews and serrano chile, and seitan. Add about half of the dressing and toss well. If you are serving the rice hot, saute it in the pan until it is heated throughout. Taste, and adjust with more dressing if needed. Spoon the rice over the greens and finish with any remaining onions, shallots, cashews, and seitan.

Serves 2- 4, main vs. side.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pumpkin and Butterscotch Mini Muffins

My mom sent a new mini-muffin pan for my birthday this weekend. Thanks, Mom! I had to put it to the test right away. These were delicious, but dangerous. Mini muffins are way to easy to just pop in your mouth!

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup canned pumpkin
1 (6 ounce) package butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.

Sift together the flour, brown sugar, white sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, butter, and pumpkin in a separate bowl. Mix the flour mixture with the egg mixture. Stir in the butterscotch chips; pour into each cup of the muffin pan to about 3/4 full.

Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, 10 to 12 minutes.

Chicken Enchilada Chili

I found
this recipe and thought it looked delicious (the picture comes from that site). It was pretty good, but even better after adding a little salt and topping the bowl with cheese and avacados. Below is the recipe with a few adjustments I made.

1 1/2 pounds chicken (boneless & skinless, OR fish out the bones and skin after about 4 hours)
1 1/2 cups prepared enchilada sauce
2 chopped celery stalks
2 (14.5 oz) cans tomatoes with seasoning (your choice: I had garlic and olive oil on hand)
2 (15 oz) cans pinto or kidney beans, drained (or 1 cup dried pinto beans, soaked overnight)

1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

Pour enchilada sauce and canned tomatoes into the bottom of a 6 quart slow cooker. Add beans, celery, onion, garlic and spices. Stir to combine.
Place chicken on top.

Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or until flavors have combined. If you are using dried beans, you may need to cook longer to fully soften the beans.
Since I was using chicken quarters, I fished out the chicken after about 4 hours, and removed the bones. I then stirred the chicken back into the pot.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sweet Potato and Peanut Stew

Ryan and I were both BIG fans of this dish. The flavor combination was very unique and delicious over brown rice. We opted for the vegetarian version. Sorry the format is a little different than my normal posts - I didn't want to take the time to change it.

Heat oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium-low heat:

¼ cup peanut oil


1 onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

Cook until vegetables are tender but not brown, 7 to 10 minutes. Add:

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 packed tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger

Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes and stir in:

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon red pepper flakes

Cook for 1 minute and add:

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch pieces

½ cup tomato paste

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Add enough water to barely cover the vegetables and mix well. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. While the stew cooks, heat in a medium skillet over high heat:

1 tablespoon peanut oil


12 ounces ground beef or turkey [optional]

Sauté, turning often, until browned. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside until the stew is cooked for 45 minutes. When ready, add the meat to the stew along with:

2 small zucchini, trimmed and sliced

Cook for another 15 minutes. Place in a small bowl:

½ cup peanut butter, preferably unsalted

Stir in 1 cup of the stewing liquid until smooth and add the peanut butter mixture to the pot. Mix well and cook another 15 minutes. Season with:

Salt and ground black pepper to taste

Serve plain or with hot cooked rice

(from Joy of Cooking)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sun-dried Tomato Turkey Meatloaf

This meatloaf was so flavorful. The tomatoes added a little tang and, well, who doesn't love feta cheese?!

1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs at room temperature, lightly beaten
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 pound ground turkey

Place oven rack in center of oven and preheat to 350. Spray 9-by-5-inch non-stick loaf pan with cooking spray.

In large bowl, stir together everything except turkey. Add turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork meat. Carefully pack meat mixture into prepared pan; it will fill pan halfway. Bake until internal temperature registers 165 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 40 to 45 minutes.

Remove pan from oven and let meatloaf rest 5 minutes. Use paper towel to remove any fat that may settle on surface. Slice and serve.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Spicy Sausage Dip

After seeing this recipe posted twice (here and here), I decided I had to try it out. I made the mistake of serving it to a group of guys and not doubling the recipe. I'm pretty sure I saw someone scrapping the remnants with their finger! You really can't go wrong with this one.

1 8 oz. block cream cheese
1 can rotel, drained
1 lb. spicy breakfast sausage

Brown the sausage in a skillet and drain on a paper towel. Add cream cheese, rotel and sausage to small crockpot. Cook on low for 90min. Devour.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Pizza Bites

I was excited to include this in our menu of Super Bowl snacks. They were good, but not great. I used refrigerated dough (probably not the best choice) and half of the pepperoni package had lost its seal so I was short on the meat (boo!). Next time I will make my own dough and make sure to get enough pepperonis to put two in each bite.

½ batch (enough for 1 pizza)
4 oz. mozzarella cheese, cubed (about 20-24 pieces)
Sliced pepperoni
For topping:
Olive oil
Italian seasoning
Grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate or cake pan. Divide the pizza dough into 20-24 roughly equal sized pieces. Take one of the dough pieces, top with a cube of cheese and a slice or two of pepperoni. Pull the edges of the dough around the fillings and pinch closed. Place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining dough pieces.
Lightly brush the tops of the dough balls with olive oil. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning and grated Parmesan cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown. Serve warm, with dipping sauce as desired.

Molasses Sugar Cookies

Mmmm . . . these were moist and delicious! We gobbled them up while watching the Super Bowl with friends (who said they usually don't like molasses)!

3/4 cup shortening (I used butter)
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup molasses
1 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt

Melt the shortening in a large pan on the stove, and cool. Add sugar, eggs, and molasses, beat well. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together and add to the pan. Mix well and chill 3 hours or overnight.

Form into walnut-size balls. Roll in granulated sugar. Place on greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8-10 minutes. (I rotated my pans in the oven half-way through and 10min was the perfect amount of time)

Store in an airtight container to keep from getting overly crisp. If they do lose their softness, an easy way to restore it is to place one slice of fresh bread in the container with the cookies for a couple of hours or overnight and they will be soft again!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Baked Shrimp in Tomato Feta Sauce

A simple, but tasty dinner dish with lots of serving options. We chose pasta, but I think a crusty loaf would be better to soak up all the flavorful juices!

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 14.5-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 Tbsp minced fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
1 to 1 1/4 pounds medium sized raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (can leave tails on), thaw if frozen
Pinch of salt, more to taste
Pinch black pepper, more to taste
3 ounces feta cheese (about 2/3 cup, crumbled)

Preheat oven to 425°F. Heat oil in a large, oven-proof skillet on medium high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds more.

Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer, reduce heat and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the juices thicken a bit.

Remove from heat. Stir in the herbs, shrimp, feta cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Place pan in oven and bake, uncovered, until shrimp are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.

Serve immediately. Serve with crusty French or Italian loaf bread, pasta, or rice.

Serves 4.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Salmon Patties

I was excited to try out this recipe after hearing a nutritionist speak on "Key Nutrients in the Food and Mood Relationship". We got out fill of vitamin D and Omega-3 Fatty Acids with this meal! The patties had a good kick and the mayonnaise was a nice topper since the fish was just a tad dry. I had to cook the patties longer than suggested because I made them too thick. Also, make sure your shallots are truly minced.

We love this asparagus, and it went well with the salmon.

1 1/2 pounds skinless salmon fillet, finely chopped
2 shallots, minced
2 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
salt and pepper
lime wedges, for serving (optional)
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 thinly sliced scallions
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil (I didn't use this)

In a large bowl, combine salmon, shallots, ginger, egg, crushed red pepper, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper. Form mixture into eight 1-inch-thick patties, packing each firmly; transfer to a plate. Place in freezer until just firm, about 20 minutes.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add salmon patties; cook until browned on both sides and just opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes per side, turning carefully. Serve with lime wedges and Sesame Mayonnaise, if desired.

To make Sesame Mayonnaise: in a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise, scallions, lime juice, and sesame oil. Chill until ready to serve.

Serves 4.
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