Sunday, May 6, 2012

Breakfast for a Week is complete

Breakfast in our household is always a bit of a hairy time. The little boy is always hungry and ready to eat right about the same time I am twirling around the house trying to get lunches made and the big boys up and dressed. I know, I know...make the lunches ahead right....well in a perfect world I would, but save the lecture for another day. I am a glutton for chaos. So, I decided in backwards world to make breakfast ahead of time instead. Makes sense right!!!

Make Ahead Oatmeal
(I made a huge batch equaling 6 generous servings...since I share with my little guy)

2c steel cut oats
6c water
a few pinches of salt

Combine in a pot and bring to a roiling boil. Reduce heat and simmer 3-4 minutes. Then, turn heat off and remain covered for 5 minutes or so while you mix the flavors.

The flavor possibilities are endless, here is what I came up with:
Apple Cinnamon: add 1 container organic applesauce and cinnamon
Almond Mango Surprise: Slide up 1 mango (for 2 servings), crush some almonds and add ginger
Nutty Maple Blueberry: 1/4c blueberry, 1T maple syrup, add nutmeg
Date-A-Mon: 1 date chopped, 1t vanilla, 1T coconut flakes, 1-2T crushed walnuts
Nutter-nana: 1T peanut butter or sunflower butter, 1/2 chopped or mashed banana,

The possibilities are go WILD!

Once you have decided on a few flavors, let's get packing. I pulled out 2 Tupperware containers. While the oats were "steaming" with the cover on, I filled each container with the fixens. Then, spoon equal servings of oats into each container. Cover and refrigerate for the week.  (For us each serving is enough to feed the baby and myself.) When ready to use, just nook for a minute or so with a little extra liquid if needed (I use almond or coconut milk, but water or regular milk works equally as well) Voila...oatmeal for the week is done with a different flavor everyday so no one gets bored. Now...if only lunches were that easy!

A Sweet Treat for my boys

My boys don't get sweets often, but my big boy has been REALLY super lately, so, I decided a baking day was in order. My big boys request was chocolate cookies...since he is a HUGE lover of graham crackers I decided on a chocolate graham cracker recipe....can I go out of a limb and call them Chocolate wafers???

Chocolate Wafers

2 sticks organic butter, softened
3/4 c powdered sugar
1 egg
2t vanilla
2 1/2c whole wheat flour
1/2c cocoa powder
dash salt

Cream the powdered sugar and butter. Then, slowly mix in the remaining ingredients.

(The big boy decided to sift the flour because what is more fun than a sifter in the kitchen...He also enjoy sifting flour on his little brother...what's a little mess in the kitchen right!)

Then, ball it up, cover in plastic wrap and chill (while I de-flour my boys & kitchen). Then, I rolled it out really thin, and the big boy used the biscuit cutter to make the cookies.

Bake for 7-8mins at 375 degrees.

**I put half the batch in freezer bags to save for another special day!

Cinco De Mayo Menu

We had a fun Cinco De Mayo celebration at our home last night after a perfectly fabulous day!
Drinks: Skinny Margarita
Appy: Pineapple Mango Salsa and chips
Dinner: Mexican Chicken Cups with Rice and Beans
Dessert: Bailey's Pot de Creme

So, Here is how to make it happen:

Skinny Margaritas
2 shots Don Julio, 1 shot triple sec, 1/2 shot lime juice, Lots of Ice

Pineapple Mango Salsa
1 really ripe Mango, cut into bit sized pieces
2 slices of fresh pineapple (or 1 can pineapple), cut into bite sized pieces
1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
2T red onion, finely chopped
2T freshly chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
dash of salt

Combine and chill

Mexican Chicken
*There are several ways to do this depending on your time and food on hand. You can: cut up a rotisserie chicken, boil chicken breast and shred, or slow cook the chicken. (This time I slow cooked the chicken, but any method will work!)

1 can of organic cream of chicken soup <--- please avoid Campbell's with its chemically separated really don't want that horror in your food...I digress
1/2 red pepper diced
3 breasts chicken
Juice from 1 lime
1 jalapeno, trimmed, halved and (mostly) deseeded
1t chili powder
1T paprika
1/2t cumin
dash of salt and pepper

1 package of Small Tortillas

Put chicken, red pepper, jalapeno, juice from lime and soup in a crock pot and cook 3-4 hours until chicken pulls apart. Remove chicken, pull apart. Remove about half the liquid and set aside. Place shredded chicken back into slow cooker with remaining soup. Add seasonings and enough liquid back to combine chicken. You do not want it soupy or you will have really WET tacos! :)

Turn oven on to 400 degrees. Then, pull out a muffin tin  and flip it over. You are not going to fill the cups, you are going to your the back side as a mold. For my muffin tin, I used a med. size Tupperware to cut my tortillas down. Basically make the tortilla circle about 1.5" smaller. Once I had them all cut out, I nooked for 15-20 secs so they were easier to form. I then coated the outside of the muffin form with butter and pressed onto form. If warmed, they will drape over lovely. Then, I put a little butter on the outside just to help crispy them up. (not too much though or you will have a mess in your over...yes...I did that!) Bake for 5-6minutes until shells are crispy. Then, removed and pop off the form.

Fill with a scoop or two of Mexican chicken, add a bit of shredded cheese ( I mixed cheddar and Monterrey jack) and serve with a dollop of sour cream or a wedge of avocado.

Rice and Beans
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 can black beans (or any type of beans...I'll try fava next time)
1 can dice tomatoes (I diced up organic plum tomatoes)
1 cup water (use as needed)
dash of salt
dash of paprika, cumin, chili powder

Heat all ingredients up in a pan until hot.

Pots de Creme
**I used Baileys in mine, but you can simply use vanilla or any flavored liquor you prefer!

1 bag chocolate ( you can use any type you prefer: dark, semi or milk...I used semi- sweet)
4 eggs
1T Baileys
dash of salt
1c REALLY hot coffee

Place chocolate, eggs and Baileys in a food processor and process to break chocolate up a bit. Then, pour in HOT coffee (I nooked mine left over cup of coffee in the micro for 1.5 minutes first). Then, process until do not want any unmelted bits of chocolate). Pour into your serving dishes and chill in the fridge for an hour or 2.
***Just a side note: The semi sweet were REALLY rich and delicious so I would recommend smaller dishes. I used sundae cups and small ramekins. For me, the ramekin sized portion was plenty! AND a must needed garnish...FRESH whipped cream! Did I say yet these were heavenly!!! (and super simple!!!)

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dinner ideas for the week

My hubbie has basically sworn off all meat other than chicken. He is going strong with this being week #3. He is trying to cut out all ground beef after he saw the news show about the pink slime. So, old news! lol! He has also cut out pork completely. This these are some ideas for the week for the remaining meat eaters in the family (Tata and Mimi). :)

Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings for the hubbie & Eggplant Sliders with a Sweet Potato (These were AWESOME...I'll post the recipe later)

Grilled Chicken Skewers and a grilled Salad for me
Roasted Chicken on Barley Risotto- I LOVE Barley and what could be better than a Barley Risotto I get something I love while making the carnivores equally happy. A win win in my book!

Creamy Chicken Peperonata - Great idea for everyone....Versatile. Sounds like a nice easy red pepper sauce that I could use on a yummy veggie dish for myself (I am thinking roasted root veggies) over Quinoa
Another great idea for our meatless night is Tomato Basil Creme Ravioli

Also, a Cobb Salad is on the menu for another meatless night

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Vegetarian Enchiladas

My hubbie and I have finally agreed on 3 meatless nights a week...sweet for me because I am no longer going to have cook 1 meal for the boys, 1 for my hubbie & mom and 1 for me and/or my mom. So, his first attempt is a very mild, easy enchilada.

Veggie Enchiladas

Enchilada Sauce: (you can make & freeze like me or use the canned variety)
1 28oz can of Organic Tomato Puree
2T Chili powder
2t garlic powder
3t Cumin
3t sweetener (agave, sugar, etc...)
1c water

Combine and simmer.

Enchilada Filling:
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper (I used roasted red peppers I made the other night)
1 can Organic Black Beans
1/2 bag of frozen Organic mixed veggies
1 small cluster of Broccoli (I put in the food processor to hide it)
2 cloves minced garlic
1c enchilada sauce
1/2c feta
Salt and Pepper

Soft Tortillas
Shredded cheese

1. Saute onions and peppers in a bit of oil. While they saute, drain and rinse the beans. Then, mash about half the can with a fork. Once onions and peppers are tender, add garlic only for a minute (let is smell great but not burn). Then add in beans, pulverized uncooked broccoli :), and frozen veggies to the pan with the onions. Combine together with 1/2c of enchilada sauce and simmer.

2. Heat oven to 400 degrees and pull out a pan for your enchiladas. Put a few spoonfuls of sauce on the bottom of the pan enough to just cover...don't make it soupy. Then, removed bean mix from heat and stir in the feta. Roll up the enchiladas placing seam down in your pan. (I had a small ceramic dish so I did my enchiladas in 2 layers).

3. Cover enchiladas with remaining sauce (about 1/2-3/4c) and put a bit of cheese if you have on top. Cover in foil and bake for 10-15 minutes!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Carry over meal from a night of grilling

It was warm out last night, so, we were able to get out for the first time in a long time to grill. I took the opportunity to grill ALL my veggies. My hubbie indulged in grilled pork chops, roasted red peppers and pasta salad. I skipped on the meat and indulged in a roasted veggie salad with homemade pesto. I LOVE grilling!!! Needless to say I got a little carried away with all the veggies I grilled, so, I needed a good recipe...hence (thank you Pinterest) a grilled veggie Lasagna. I have to say 2 things about this lasagna...1. I made it light in the cheese so it doesn't weight you down. I hate that overstuffed feeling after eating lasagna. 2. The leftovers the next night were AWESOME!!! So, here ya go... ENJOY!

Grilled Veggie Lasagna

Grilled Organic Veggies- I grilled 1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, 1 med eggplant, 1/2 a package of Asparagus, 4 Kale leaves, 1 red pepper, 1/2 Vidalia Onion, chopped to bite sized pieces

1 package Organic Lasagna Noodles ( I used these made with Artichoke flour!)

1 c Shredded Mozzarella (I used part Mozz and part Parm)

1 small container of fat free Organic ricotta
1/3 c Pesto

Homemade Pasta Sauce: I used 1 can organic petite diced Tomato, 2T tomato puree, 3 cloves roasted Garlic, sauteed diced onion, fresh chopped basil and 1/2t red pepper flakes (adds an awesome kick)

1. Cook the Lasagna noodles to al dente according to package. While cooking, combine the ricotta and pesto. (I could make a meal of just this!!). Also, make sure you chop up all the veggies and toss. (The original recipe kept everything in long slices...not my style. I prefer the chopped each their own)

2. Spray pan with olive oil. Then, layer starting with noodles, then ricotta, 1/2 your veggies, thin layer of cheese, and sauce...repeat. End with a Cheese on top!

3. Bake at 350 until golden brown, about 40-45 minutes.

Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Thighs with Soba Noodles

I have really been enjoying my week off and have enjoyed spending time in my kitchen with the windows has been in the 70s here all week! Sweet Winter!!

Chinese 5 Spice Chicken Thighs with Soba Noodles

6 Organic Chicken thighs
Chinese 5 Spice

6 cloves of garlic

1 T dry ginger
1 T agave (or  brown sugar)
1/4 c Tamari soy sauce
1/2 t Chinese five-spice powder

1 package Soba Noodles
(I also saute spinach, carrots for the noodles)

1. Trip all the thighs of excess fat and skin. Sprinkle with Chinese 5 Spice seasoning and a little salt. Then, bake in the oven on 400 for 20 minutes.
2. Make the sauce by combining all the ingredients.
3. Boil the noodles as directed. While boiling saute spinach and carrots (I did shoestring) in a little olive oil. Once carrots are soft, add the drained noodles and the sauce. Allow to cook on low, stirring constantly to avoid sticking. Serve Chicken over the noodles.
(Or, if you are me marinate tofu in your sauce and add to your noodles in place of chicken)