Monday, January 31, 2011

Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy

1 medium to small onion, mostly chopped with about 1/4 cup diced
1 to 1 1/2 pounds ground sirloin and ground turkey mix or ground turkey
1 package fresh mushrooms, sliced or quartered (about 2 cups sliced)
About 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms diced
1/3 cup red wine or marsala wine
2 cups beef broth, low-sodium
About 1 T arrowroot powder
1 t red wine vinegar
Black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder
Parsley, about 2 T fresh chopped or dry 1T

In a large bowl, combine the ground beef and/or turkey with the diced onion, diced mushrooms, parsley, and seasonings. Form patties (about 5 or 6 per pound, 1/2 inch thick). Cook over medium to medium-high heat about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove from pan and set aside.

Rinse pan if necessary. Add olive oil and saute chopped onions and mushrooms until onions are soft. Add beef broth and seasonings, bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Mix about 2 T wine with 1 T arrowroot powder in a small cup (at room temperature) and add to broth. Cook and stir until thick, about 3 minutes. Add remaining wine and hamburger patties back to pan and sprinkle with red wine vinegar. Cook about 10 minutes or longer if necessary.

Comments: This is a pretty easy dinner other than making the hamburger patties, which does take some time. My husband said this meal was awesome and our six-year old loved it too. We served with Ms. Scratch.Love's roasted sweet potatoes, which is a new family favorite, and Hot Green Beans (boil green beans about 10-15 minutes, drain, add to pan with olive oil, salt, pepper, and hot seeds, and saute until done). I had intended to make the mascarpone mashed potatoes or some similar russet potato recipe; however, when I looked in the refrigerator we only had one potato left. I also have to comment about the use of red meat in these burgers. We do not eat much ground beef and the flavor was very strong to me. If you are used to eating ground turkey, I would suggest just using that with the beef gravy because the red meat may be too strong of a flavor if you haven't had it in a while.

These are my husband's favorite green beans and as you can see in the photo below, he did not leave many for me.

I had over 3 lbs of meat to use up tonight, so we made about 25 patties and I ended up taking turns simmering them in the sauce, which is why there is so much sauce in this photo (first batch). My husband ate four and I sent several over to my dad's, so it worked out well, but if you follow the recipe above, I don't believe you will have so much mushroom gravy!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes

I will admit that the only reason I made this recipe is that we had about 10 or 15 sad little green tomatoes going to waste outside from our garden this year. It was so hot this summer (record heat in our area) that our tomatoes did very poorly and, in fact, other than cherry tomatoes, we did not get a single ripe tomato. Therefore, if we wanted to eat any of our tomatoes, it was going to have to be the green way.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Caribbean Turkey Burgers

1 pound (approx) ground turkey meat
1/2 bell pepper
1-2 T Caribbean Jerk seasoning
1 T finely chopped fresh parsley
About 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
About 2 T crushed pineapple or chopped mango
Salt & pepper

1 small can crushed pineapple or 1 mango chopped finely
1/2 to 1 diced jalepeno
1 T orange juice

Mix together, form into patties and grill (or cook on stove or bake or cook in a George Foreman, etc.). For the salsa, mix together and serve on top of burgers.

This is pretty fast to make, about 15 minutes and then another 20 or so to grill.

Comments: If you like spicy food, you can also chop a jalepeno and/or habanero in the burgers. We served them with Roasted Asparagus with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Spelt Buns - all recipes from Ms. Scratch.Love and you can click on the links to find her recipes. I followed all exactly, except the Spelt Buns, for which I replaced the butter with olive oil and I made my own buttermilk. My buns were a bit of a failure (they didn't rise), as you will see in the picture, but I believe I fed my starter too soon before using. They tasted really delicious and we used them for our burgers tonight anyway.

Sausage & Peppers

2-3 turkey Italian sausage links
2 cups Marinara Sauce or 2 small cans of Hunt's tomato sauce
1 bell pepper, chopped medium to large
1/2 onion, chopped medium to large

Brown sausage on all sides, add peppers and onions and cook til soft. Add Marinara Sauce or Hunt's sauce (cans swished with water as needed). If using Hunt's sauce, you will need to season with oregano and basil, maybe salt and probably pepper. Simmer until sausage is done, about 15-20 minutes. Serve as-is, over rice, or on a dense roll.

This is very fast to do, especially since the onions and peppers are rough-chopped. Cook time is the longest part. My grandma made sausage and peppers and this makes me think of her.

I have to add a belated follow-up comment. I just made this recipe this morning for lunch today or tomorrow. I needed to use up two italian turkey sausages and some leftover marinara sauce from earlier in the week. After taking the photo, I actually cut the sausages in half (to serve more than two people) and left it to simmer on the stove for about an hour on the lowest possible setting, stirring occasionally. At lunch time my husband remembered we had saved two Italian rolls in the deep freeze from our last visit out East. While we generally try to avoid white flour, we do make exceptions and Calandra's rolls are one of them! If you can make this sausage & peppers recipe and enjoy it on a dense Italian bread, like a Calandra's roll, I think you will really be blown away by how delicious this simiple recipe is.

Photo shows the sausage simmering on the stove top.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Asian BBQ Pork

2 pound boneless butt pork roast, visible fat trimmed
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce/ Tamari
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (see comments below)
3 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp honey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled & grated
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon 5-spice powder
1/2 cup chicken broth/ stock

Very Easy How To:
Place pork in slow cooker and cover with the rest of the ingredients above. Cook on the lowest setting for 8-10 hours, turning once during cooking. Serve.

This recipe is extremely easy and results in a deliciously flavored pork roast. Be careful with the settings on the slow cooker as we had an issue with the sauce burning (heat was way too high) the first time we made this. I would suggest cooking longer at the lowest setting possible for best results.

Also, I would highly suggest making your own hoisin sauce if possible because the only ones I could find in the grocery store had sugar as the first or second ingredient! You can try the following mixed together (4 T low-sodium soy sauce, 2 T no-sugar peanut butter or black bean/miso paste, 1 T honey or molasses, 2 T white vinegar, 1/8 t garlic powder, 2 t sesame oil, 20 drops chinese hot sauce, jalepeno or habanero, and 1/8 t black pepper) to make half a cup.

We served this with the Almond Flour & Chedder Muffins and a salad and it was so delicious.

This post was shared on Foodie Friends Friday Crocktober Party.

Cheddar & Green Onion Almond Flour Muffins

These little muffins are so delicious that we actually made them almost every weekend for about a month when we first tried the recipe! They are super easy too - you will really enjoy them. This recipe is from Mrs. Scratch.Love, modified only slightly.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Chunky Sausage Pasta and Broccolini

12 ounces uncooked corn pasta (or your favorite whole-grain and/or gluten-free pasta)
1/2 bell pepper, any color, chopped
1/2 small to medium onion, chopped
7 or 8 green olives rough chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms, fresh
1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes (swished with 1/4 can of water)
1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
About 1 T capers
3 to 4 cloves garlic
3 links turkey italian sausage
Italian seasonings, salt, pepper, basil, oregano
A little red wine, if desired (about 1/4 cup)
A small amount of grated parmesan or romano cheese to sprinkle on top

Broccolini - olive oil, 2 packages of broccolini, onion powder, garlic powder, hot seeds, salt & pepper.

Cut turkey sausage in half and brown in a medium saucepan. Some of the insides will fall out of the casing and that is fine. Cook on medium heat until browned on all sides. In the meantime, chop all vegetables and wash & chop (in half or thirds) broccolini. Place broccolini in a pan, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, onion & garlic salt, and hot seeds (if desired). Leave as is for now. Fill a large saucepan with salted water and heat to boiling.

When turkey sausage is browned, deglaze pan with red wine if usuing. Then add the peppers, onion, olives, capers, and mushrooms. Cook until soft. Add the tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, season to taste, and simmer. The water will probably be ready by now. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Turn the heat on the burner with the broccolini and cook (occassoinally tossing) until done, I prefer a little crispy about 5 minutes.

When pasta is done, serve with sauce and sprinkle with fresh grated parmesan or romano cheese. This takes about 30 minutes for everything.

Comments: I formerly made this without the sausage, but the husband likes "meat", so I added the italian turkey sausage and it is very flavorful. We all enjoy this meal very much. If you wanted to keep it a vegetarian meal, it is very delicious that way and if I was just cooking for myself, that is how I would make it. The broccolini is my "quick" version and everyone that I make it for really likes it.

Sauce Simmering

Sauce and pasta with broccolini

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bean Burritos

Burritos area  great, quick meal and we will go through phases where we have them once a week. I love to serve them alongside avocados and/ or sliced tomatoes and/ or Easy Mexican Rice and/ or Avocado-Tomato Salad.

2 14.5 ounce can of refried beans (ensure there are no weird additives in the brand you purchase) or make your own
1/2 cup (approx) salsa to your preference (ensure this has no added sugar or other weird ingredients)
1/2 to 3/4 cup cheese, shredded
1/4 small onion, diced
Sea salt & pepper
6 to 8 tortillas
A little olive oil, butter, or ghee
Optional garnishes (avocodo, tomato, onion, lettuce, sour cream, salsa, etc.)

How To:
1. Beans: In a medium saucepan, saute onion until soft in olive oil, butter, or ghee. Add beans and salsa and cook over medium heat until warm. Season with salt & pepper.

2. Tortillas and combine: Warm tortillas and then fill with beans sprinkle with cheese, and add any garnishes. Wrap and eat.

About 15 minutes total time and this will make about 6 to 8 burritos depending on the size.

This is a favorite meal in our household. It is very easy and relatively easy clean-up as well. 

Pre-roll picture, corn tortilla

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Chicken Parmesan

About 1 pound boneless chicken breasts
About 3 lbs marinara sauce
About 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (2% skim)
About 3 T Parmesan and/or romano cheese, grated
About 1 1/2 cups breading (I used half ground flax seeds and half spelt)
1 egg, beaten with a little water
Italian seasonings, salt, pepper
Olive oil

If chicken is thick, pound to a thinner width (about 1/4 inch). Dredge in egg then breading (mixed with italian seasonings, salt, & pepper). Cook on stove until done. I had to do mine in two batches and let the cooked, breaded chicken rest on a plate covered with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil.

In the meantime, prepare marinara sauce (see separate recipe for step by step directions). Place the chicken in one layer along the bottom of a cassarole dish. Cover with sauce, sprinkle with cheeses, cover, and bake about 15-20 minutes. Done!

The chicken takes about 10 minutes to pound flat and bread and then cook time is about 10 more minutes per "batch". Marinara sauce can be made while doing this, if you don't have any pre-made. I served this with about a cup of quinoa shell pasta (our six-year old loves pasta) and used remaining marinara sauce on that. We also served with a salad, which I was also able to make while the chicken was cooking/baking.

Finished Chicken Parmesan

Quinoa Pasta with Remaining Sauce

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tuna Salad

This is a tasty version of an old favorite.

36 ounces tuna, shredded or chunked, Vital Choice offers cans or pouches
5-6 hard boiled eggs, diced
1/2 to 1 carrot, grated and chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
1 medium to large pickle, diced
4 or 5 lettuce leaves, torn or cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 cup mayonnaise - homemade is best, try this recipe from Crunchy Betty or this one from The Healthy Home Economist
1/2 lemon, juiced
Sea salt, pepper, celery seed to taste

How To:
Combine all ingredients except lettuce, mix and serve on top of lettuce leaves.

Regarding the mayo, I suggested approximately half a cup above, but that will have to be to your preference. I do not care for mayo and use as little as possible. My husband, on the other hand, would prefer twice that amount. Simply adjust as needed.

The NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council at indicates that tuna is "moderately high" in mercury and albacore is high in mercury. The NRDC recommends six servings or less of chunk light per month and three servings or less of canned albacore per month. Please visit their website to determine if tuna is a good choice for you.

We make a lot, when we make this, as my husband will take sandwiches to work so you could easily halve the recipe, which would get you about six servings. For sandwiches, we use the Ezekial bread, which is so good and available at our regular grocery store. Also, the above ingredients are based on my family's preferences and you could easily add chopped nuts, chopped dried fruit, diced celery, etc. to the tuna salad based on your own preferences. 

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Saturday, January 15, 2011

St. Croix Seafood Platter

3 lbs raw seafood, skin removed (shrimp, clams, lobster, and fish like mahi mahi, halibut, etc.) rinse and cut in chunks; this is  your choice, we use a variety of whatever is on sale when we make this.
    *if using, remove shells/tail from shrimp/lobster and scrub clams then give a salt water bath  (1 gallon water with salt, soak 20 minutes, drain, rinse, & repeat 3X total) I have included a photo below of the washed seafood we used. It was 3 lbs plus about 10 clams.
1 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes, swished with water as needed
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce swished with water, as needed
4-5 cloves garlic, diced
1 medium onion sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
4 cups cooked brown rice
Pepper to taste
Caribbean jerk seasoning (about 3T), thyme (about 1t), onion powder (1-1/2 t), to taste
Sea salt & pepper
4 cups chicken broth
Olive oil

2 cups uncooked brown rice in 4 cups chicken broth, boil, then simmer 50 minutes. When done, set aside.

When rice is about half-way done, start the seafood. Saute garlic, onion, and mushrooms in skillet in olive oil until soft. Add tomatoes and water, if necessary. Bring to a boil. Season with Caribbean jerk, thyme, onion powder, and pepper. Add fish and/or shrimp. Bring back to a boil. Re-season as needed. Simmer about 20 minutes, half uncovered.

Add about 1 cup broth to rice along with jerk seasoning and mix.

Serve seafood over rice. I served this with a salad and sugar-free cornbread.

This is a weekend recipe, as it takes a bit of time to cook the rice (although most is hands off) but I think you'll be busy cooking for about 30 to 45 minutes hands on with this recipe. Also, the recipe above makes a lot (could probably serve 6-8) and could easily be halved.

Comments: My husband and I love to visit St. Croix and when we went last year we ate at a little restaurant in downtown Christiansted that served a "seafood platter". This recipe is inspired by that experience. Our meal in St. Croix was served with sweet potato fries, a salad, and bread. You might really examine your Carribbean Jerk seasoning ingredients as I had a very difficult time finding one without sugar. If you cannot find, you could make  your own (combine red pepper, allspice, tumeric, onion powder, and thyme).

Please be mindful of mercury content and environmental considerations when selecting fish. The NRDC has recommendations on their website ( that will offer advice based on mercury content and environmental concerns. For example, many fish that are highest in mercury are also perilously low in numbers or are caught using environmentally destructive methods (for example, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish, and bigeye/ahi tuna).

Raw Seafood (mahi mahi, snapper, medium shrimp, & clams), cut in chunks and rinsed -clams were scrubbed and given 3 salt baths

Finished product with cornbread

Friday, January 14, 2011

Breaded Boneless Chicken Breasts

If you are looking for a quick and easy and unbelievably delicious dinner, this is going to be it. Every single time I make this, I get rave reviews. Even Mr. "I Hate Chicken" loves this. Loves it.

In addition, it is a really flexible meal. You could make it by itself-- breaded chicken with vegetables on the side. It's the perfect starter for chicken parmesan. Sliced, it's a fabulous addition to stir fries and salads and it makes a killer sandwich. I think you could even use as a base for a modified Cordon Bleu. This one recipe will provide you with a lot of really incredible options and I hope you will give it a try.


  • 1 package boneless chicken breast filets (mine usually have two or three breasts), pound thin (1/4 inch) and cut in half if they are too large, try this or this (about 1 to 1 1/2 lbs)
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasonings, try this
  • Sea salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (approximate & optional)
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of a "breadcrumb" mixture (try ground nuts, ground flax seed, spelt, corn meal, rice flour, quinoa flour, oat flour, coconut flour, amaranth flour, etc. --we use a different combination every time)
  • Olive oil (try this) and/or ghee and/or butter to fry chicken, you'll need enough to cover the bottom of the pan completely with about 1/4 inch, maybe less. Try less, add more if needed.
  • 1 pasture egg, whisked with a little water or milk (less than a tbsp)

How To:
  1. Chicken Prep: In a shallow bowl, combine the ingredients you will use for your "breading" as well as your salt, pepper, Italian seasonings, and garlic powder, if using. In another shallow bowl, prepare your egg by combining with milk/ water and whisking.  
  3. Coat: Dredge chicken in egg mixture and then coat with your "bread crumbs", and ensure that the entire piece of chicken is covered.
  4. Cook: Saute about 5-10 minutes per side, depending on thickness, over medium to medium-low heat. Transfer to a plate with a paper towel to absorb a little of the excess oil, if necessary, before serving.

Chicken is always delicious this way and by using an alternative bread crumb, you do not have to feel guilty. Takes about 15-20 minutes total time (prep and cook time)—you’ll have to do two batches unless you have a ginormous frying pan. Be creative with the breading. We will typically use a combination of whatever we have available. There are many whole-grain and/or gluten-free options and I think they all are tasty with a little seasoning added. This serves about four people--with the three of us we always have a little for lunch the next day.
By the way, you could use coconut oil to fry this chicken, which works out great, but keep in mind, it will leave a noticeable coconut taste. That may be great if you are serving by itself, but could be less desirable if you are including as part of another dish (oh, for example, chicken parmesan... been there done that and not so great....).

***Just to get an idea of the amounts to use, for 1.4 lbs of chicken, I used 1 cup total of spelt, almond flour, and flax seed mixed with 3/4 tsp garlic powder, and 1 tbsp Italian seasonings (as well as salt & pepper, probably about 1/4 tsp each). I also used one egg whisked with about 1 tbsp milk.

Made with half spelt flour and half flax seeds
Made with equal parts spelt, flax, and almond flour

Polenta with Tomatoes & Mozzarella

1/2 package pre-cooked polenta, sliced thinly
1/4-1/2 onion, sliced thinly
7 or 8 grape tomatoes, sliced/chopped
Fresh mozzarella cheese (garnish on top, it was three slices of my cheese and I chopped it)
Olive oil
Sea salt & pepper
2-3 cloves garlic

Saute polenta in olive oil. I like my polenta a little browned so it takes a bit to cook it. I would guess cook it about 10-15 minutes, flipping once. Then add garlic, tomatoes, and onion and saute until done (onion is soft), another 5 minutes or so. If you like the tomatoes "less cooked" add them at the end for a couple of minutes instead of with the onions and garlic.

Comments: My husband really liked this dish (said it was perfect) and so does our six-year old, although he picks out the tomatoes. I was in a hurry tonight, so in the picture the mozzarella cheese is very rough-chopped and I think next time I would make it smaller. Also, I suggest mozzarella cheese in this recipe (and almost all of the recipes) for the flavor but it is also a good choice because it is naturally lower in fat (1 oz. skim milk is about 4.5 grams of fat vs. 1 oz whole milk at just over 6 grams vs. 1 oz. cheddar cheese at 9.4 grams). We typically try to use skim milk mozzarella cheese, but occassionally will include fresh mozzarella cheese for certain recipes.

Broccolini with Olives & Pine Nuts

2 packages of broccolini, rinsed, trimmed, and cut in half or thirds (your preference)
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
7 or 8 kalamata olives
Approximately 2-3 T pine nuts
Olive oil
Sea salt & pepper

Saute garlic, nuts, and olives in olive oil in saute pan. When garlic is browned, add broccolini, toss, and cook a few minutes until done. Season with salt & pepper.

Takes about 5 minutes prep and 5 minutes cook time, which is pretty much hands on since you are tossing the broccolini.

Comments: I like my broccolini a little crispy (minimally cooked), so if you prefer a softer veggie you will need to cook longer. My husband AND six-year old both said this was very good. I agreed!


This is one of our favorites. Everyone loves fajita night!

2-3 chicken filets (or pork or beef), sliced thinly
Bell pepper, sliced (any color)
Small red onion, sliced
Lime (this is optional, but if you have one on hand it adds a nice flavor)
Various seasonings to taste - I use a Fiesta Lime and Garlic Herb seasoning, as well as salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and/or onion powder. Basically just what I grab from the cabinet.
Corn tortillas
Mozzarella Cheese (skim), shredded

How To:
Cook chicken (or pork or beef), bell peppers, and onions in olive oil in pan (cook chicken first and add bell peppers and onions after it is almost cooked). Season to taste. When this is nearly done, warm tortillas in the microwave (or on stove top). Place a little chicken/peppers on each tortilla with a sprinkling of cheese and salsa as desired. Roll and serve.

Takes about 10 minutes is using cooked meat (leftover) or a little longer if you have to cook the meat for this meal.

The really great thing about this recipe is that we typically will use it as our "leftover" recipe to use up leftover meat from a previous night's dinner. The only change in doing it this way is that I will add the chicken (or other meat), which is already cooked, to the peppers and onions after they have gotten a little soft. My husband and six-year old love fajita night and I do as well since it is a tasty and easy (quick meal). I will frequently serve this with bean soup or fried, sliced pre-cooked polenta, but you could serve with refried beans or rice, or a quick vegetable, etc.

Also, it would be easy to make a vegetarian version and replace the meat with portobello mushrooms.

Apple Nut Amaranth

This recipe is another one of my favorites from the amazing book, Ultrametabolism, by Dr. Mark Hyman (AKA my nutrition hero). Before reading Dr. Hyman's book, I had never even tried amaranth, or heard of it. Especially in winter months, try including this recipe as part of your breakfast rotation, as well as these others from Dr. Hyman, Apple Cinnamon Steel Cut Oats and the Best Protein Shake Ever.

1/3 cup amaranth, uncooked (try this)
1 cup water
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
A pinch of sea salt (optional)
1 small apple, diced (I use Gala for taste and also because they are one of the top 20 antioxidant foods. Red delicious and granny smith apples are also on the "top antioxidant" list, experiment as you like)
2 tbsp rough chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans, etc.)

One-third cup amaranth, uncooked
How To:
1. Combine: Place all ingredients except the nuts and about one-fourth the diced apples in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

2. Cook: Cover saucepan and reduce to low heat. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until amaranth is soft (water will have absorbed).

3. Serve: Top with the remaining apples and nuts (and another sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired). This recipe makes one serving but can easily be doubled or tripled (use one large apple in those cases).

Overall, this takes about 5 minutes to prepare, plus cook time, which is mostly hands off. 

Looks amazingly delicious, right??

This recipe is based on one presented in the book, Ultrametabolism, by Dr. Mark Hyman. If you have not tried amaranth, this is a great recipe to start with. Amaranth is a good source of protein, calcium, B vitamins, and fiber. It is also gluten free and has a very good taste. Dr. Hyman's recipe uses soy milk and does not include the uncooked apples at the end. I don't drink soy milk and have always just made this with water and it's delicious -- it is one of my favorites.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pork Chops with Mushroom Gravy

1 package boneless pork, fat trimmed if necessary (my package had 6 or 7 thin filets)
1/2 onion chopped
1 cup mushrooms sliced
Olive oil
2 cups beef broth (low sodium, if store-bought)
1 cup white wine (optional)
Salt, pepper, herbs du provance

Saute onions & mushrooms in olive oil until soft. Add pork and brown on both sides. Add about 2 cups beef broth and simmer. Add white wine and reduce. Simmer about 20 minutes. Add seasonings.

Hands on this took about 10 minutes.

Comments: I served this with Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes and Homemade French Onion Soup. My 6-year old said it was better than spagetti and my husband said it was the best meal of the week.

Mushroom & Feta Stuffed Chicken

You will really enjoy these chicken breasts, which have such a good flavor and are super easy to make.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Basic Marinara Sauce

This is one of the first things I learned to cook on my own. It is very simple and has a wonderful flavor!

28 oz. can crushed tomatoes (or equivalent fresh)
3-5 cloves garlic (chopped finely)
Olive oil (about 1/4 cup, enough to cover bottom of saucepan)
Salt & pepper

How To:
1. Cover bottom of medium saucepan with olive oil and cook garlic over medium to medium-low heat until slightly browned (strong garlic smell). Be careful not to overcook, as that can happen fast.

2. When the garlic looks lightly browned, remove from heat to cool a minute or two (to avoid splatter) and then add the can of crushed tomatoes. Swish the can with water to remove remaining tomato sauce (about 1/3 can of water) and add that to the saucepan too.

3. Bring to boil, season with salt, pepper, oregano, and basil to taste, lower heat, and simmer about 15-20 minutes.

This is about 5-10 minutes hands on. This makes enough for a pound of macaroni.

This marinara sauce is basically the way my grandma makes it; however, she adds a small can (6-oz.) of tomato paste along with a half can of hot water (swished around), but I generally make it without this extra step. However, if you would prefer a thicker sauce, you might like to add the paste. Nowadays I buy the Bionaturae brand of tomato paste because it comes in jars.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Rye Toast with Nut Butter & Bananas

1 slice rye toast (make sure the rye toast does not have any added sugar)
1 small banana
nut butter (almond, hazlenut, macademia nut, etc.)

Toast the rye bread in the toaster, spread nut butter on top, and finish off with sliced bananas.

Be sure to use rye bread with no added sugar. I can find this bread only at the health food store where I currently live (a small, rural town), but I formerly lived in the Kansas City and Washington, DC areas and this bread was available at my regular grocery store. I currently buy several loafs when I go to the health food store and freeze until needed. You can certainly substitute another whole grain, no sugar bread (Ezekial brand has many options, and my regular grocery store carries them) but I prefer the denseness and flavor of the rye bread for this recipe. Also, be sure that the nut butter you use does not have any added sugars, as many do. My favorite for this breakfast is creamy almond butter, which is available at my regular grocery store.

I really love this rye bread, even toasted and plain. This is a great, super fast breakfast.

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