Eating healthy and delicious

Don’t think you can eat healthy and delicious? Wrong my friend. This is my favorite part about doing the whole 30. Actually enjoying what I am eating and knowing that I’m not eating food that is bad for me or chock full of chemicals.

This mornings breakfast: (serves 2)
1 medium potato
3oz all natural sausage
1/2 red bell pepper
1 handful of mushrooms (sliced)
2 organic brown eggs (whisked together)
Salsa or hot sauce (optional)

I shredded the potato with my Pampered Chef ultimate mandolin, but you could use a cheese grater as well. I then started frying up the sausage, crumbling it as it cooked. I added in the peppers, potatoes and then the mushrooms. When the mixture is 90% cooked, I add in the eggs and scramble away.  Let the eggs cook through and you’re done!

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Beef & Mushroom Stuffed Peppers

I’m trying out some new recipes this week! This one was easy and a big hit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 (pound) lean ground beef
  • 1 (cup) fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 (whole) onion, diced
  • (to taste) salt and pepper
  • 3 (small) red bell peppers, halved and seeded
  • 3/4 (cup) shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Brown beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Halfway through browning, add mushrooms and onion. Continue cooking until meat is fully browned; drain fat from skillet. Season with salt and peper.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan of water until boiling. Place peppers in water, and boil for 2 to 3 minutes, until just tender; remove from water. Place peppers, hollow side up, in a 9×13 inch baking dish, and fill each with beef mixture.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until bubbling. Top with cheese, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes.

Spaghetti with meat sauce

I’m not a fan of spaghetti sauce.  I never have been.  I would rather have noodles with butter and garlic.  I do however love to dip my bread in sauce, and my husband and kid LOVE spaghetti.  So I set out to find a good sauce recipe to just make it from scratch.  This recipe makes about 3 quart bags that go in the freezer quite well and take about a day or so to thaw out.

Ingredients:

  • 2 29oz cans tomato sauce
  • 2 6oz cans tomato paste
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-8 gloves of garlic (depending on personal preference)
  • 2 lbs ground beef or turkey
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 can water (use empty tomato sauce can)
  • oregano to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Put garlic gloves (approx 2-8, depending on preference) and onion into a food processor and pulverize.
  2. Salt pan and cook meat, spoon off any grease.
  3. When meat is thoroughly cooked, stir in onion and garlic. Cook for about 3-4 more minutes, stirring constantly.
  4. Pour tomato sauce and paste into a large pot.
  5. Add 1/2 can of water to tomato mix.
  6. Add meat mixture to tomato sauce, stir well.
  7. Sprinkle oregano on top of sauce, enough to coat the top. Stir, then repeat.
  8. Add salt and pepper to sauce, stir.
  9. Add sugar, stir.
  10. Simmer on low for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Serve over your favorite pasta.


Summer of Ice Cream – Part 1

This weekend we had family in town, so what better reason to break out the Ice Cream book? 

I started off on Saturday by making Lemon Yogurt Ice Cream and while that was churning, I made Espresso Granita’s.  The Espresso Granitas were amazing, especially with a little bit of Whipped Cream vodka thrown in. YUM YUM.  Next time I don’t think I’ll use as much sugar though, they were a bit sweet and sort of tasted like tootsie rolls, but that’s not a bad thing!

The Lemon Yogurt Ice Cream tasted fantastic, but the zest was a little over abundant and too.. chunky.  I think next time I might substitute some of the zest for some lemon extract just for texture purposes.

Sunday we made Strawberries and Cream Ice Cream, which I had made a few years ago and it always comes out amazing!! 

Now, for the part you’ve been waiting for!  Recipes!

Lemon Yogurt Ice Cream

  • 2 cups full fat plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
  • grated zest and freshly squeezed juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 1/2 cup superfine (bakers) sugar 

Put the yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and sugar in a bowl and stir until smooth. Churn in an ice cream machine, then transfer to a freezerproof container and freeze until ready to service.

Espresso Granita

  • 1/2 cup freshly made espresso
  • 1/2 cup superfine (bakers) sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons dark crème de cacao

Pour the hot espresso into a bowl and add the sugar.  Stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the water and crème de cacao.

Pour the mixture into a large freezerproof container (or use 2 smaller ones) and freeze until solid around the edges and slushy in the center.  Remove from the freezer and fork the edges to form crystals, mixing in the center slush as you do so.  Spread out the mixture evenly over the container again and return to the freezer. Repeat the process a couple of times until the mixture is frozen into large crystals.  Serve in espresso cups (we served ours in martini glasses with whipped cream vodka poured into it)

Strawberry and Cream Ice Cream

  • 14oz strawberries, washed and hulled, about 4 cups
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon

Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Churn in an ice cream machine until frozen.  Transfer to a freezerproof container and freeze until ready to serve.

Shredded beef & bean burritos! YUM!

We made a very delicious dinner tonight.. It was all pretty experimental and I’m glad it turned out well!

A while back I bought a 2 lb Flank Steak to make carne asada with, but never got around to making it and decided today to try something new.

Shredded beef & black bean burritos smothered in homemade enchilada sauce and melted cheese.  

Now, I’m a huge fan of red enchilada sauce and Mike loves the green enchilada sauce, so of course I make both!

Shredded beef:

Ingredients:

  • 2lb Flank Steak
  • 1 14oz can of stewed or diced tomatoes 
  • 1 baggie of home made fajita seasoning (see recipe below)
  • 6 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lime
  • Olive oil

Directions:

  • Warm a pan or griddle big enough to sear the flank steak.
  • Turn your slow cooker on low and add in the tomatoes and garlic, then stir in the fajita seasoning until it’s throughly mixed.  
  • Rub one side of the flank steak with enough olive oil to coat and season with salt and pepper.  
  • When your pan is hot, put the flank steak on it oil side down and while that side is searing rub oil on the top side and add salt and pepper.  Turn the flank steak to sear the other side.
  • Once the flank steak is seared add it to the slow cooker and squeeze the juice of 1 lime onto the meat and cook on low for 5 – 6 hours. After 5 – 6 hours, take the flank steak out of the slow cooker and shred it using 2 forks.  Put shredded meat back into the sauce until you’re ready to assemble your burrito.

Fajita Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2-1/2 tsp. crushed chicken bouillon cube
  • 1-1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin

Directions:

  • Recipe makes enough seasoning to equal 3 packages of store bought fajita seasoning.
  • Combine all of the ingredients into a bowl and seal with a tight lid.  Shake the bowl up to mix all of the ingredients thoroughly.  Separate mixture into 3 small zipper baggies and store in a cool dry area.

Green Chile Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion
  • 1 8oz can of green chiles
  • 1 jalepeno pepper
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken, pork or vegetable broth (or stock)

Directions:

  • Combine onion, green chiles, jalapeno pepper and garlic into your food processor.  Using your food processor on low, run it for about 30 seconds at a time to get your ingredients to a finely chopped state, don’t do it too much as you don’t want it pureed.
  • Once the mixture is finely chopped add it to a sauce pan with the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.  Once to a boil, turn to low and allow to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.

Red Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 cups chicken, pork or vegetable broth (or stock)
  • 8oz can of tomato sauce

Directions:

Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Then add the chili powder, cayenne pepper and garlic powder and cook for 1 more minute.  

Gradually stir in the broth mixing well with a wisk to make sure you get out all of the lumps.  Then stir in the tomato sauce.

Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Note: if sauce thickens too much, just add a little water to thin it out.

Now once you get your beef and sauces made, assemble a burrito using your favorite ingredients.  I prefer beef, black beans and shredded cheese but Mike likes avocado, sour cream and salsa in his.  You can also put in rice or shredded cabbage (lettuce wilts too much for me).  Pour a couple of tablespoons of enchilada sauce on the top and top with more cheese.  You might need to toss it in the microwave or under the broiler for a few seconds to get the cheese to melt properly.

Enjoy!

*I inhaled my food before I had a chance to take a picture.  I’ll be sure to throw a picture up when I have one for lunch tomorrow!


White Chocolate Cake & Frosting

Some people have asked for my home made cake and frosting recipes, so here goes:

White Chocolate Cake 

This makes enough batter for 3 9” cakes, but I normally just make about 3 dozen cupcakes with it.  Usually bake for 20-25 minutes (toothpick test at 20, then add 5 minutes between checks until they’re done) for cupcakes

  • 4 (1 ounce) squares white chocolate, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 egg whites

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 3 (9 inch) pans. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the yolks one at a time, then stir in the melted chocolate and vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk. 
  3. In a large glass or metal mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whites into the batter, then quickly fold in remaining whites until no streaks remain. Divide batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

This makes plenty of frosting for the above cake recipe

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 cups white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

 

  1. In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form; set aside. (it’s best to use a metal bowl and put it and the beater in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before beating)
  2. In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth, then fold in whipped cream

Veggie Lasagna

I found this recipe on Freshdirect.com, the website I use to buy groceries.

I tweaked it a bit by substituting zucchini for the onions, as I’m allergic to onions.  I also did not saute the zucchini, I just put it on the layer raw as zucchini can get too mushy if overcooked.

I think it turned out pretty good, but I would’ve bought more sweet potatoes (2 medium sweet potatoes didn’t make many slices!) and probably more mozzarella as I couldn’t get it sliced thin enough to have a layer on top and my top noodles got VERY crunchy. 

Will I make it again? Probably 🙂

Serves 8

1 pound lasagne noodles Extra olive oil for coating the pasta, brushing the potatoes, and greasing the dish

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds (1 1/2 pounds)

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil 3 medium Spanish or other sweet onions, sliced into1/4-inch-thick rings

1 teaspoon sugar

1 large egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves or 2 teaspoons dried basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or1 teaspoon dried oregano

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

3 cups ricotta cheese

1/2 cup mixed grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses

1/2 pound butternut squash, cooked and mashed

1 pound mozzarella cheese, preferably fresh, thinly sliced

Freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain, and coat with enough oil to keep the noodles from sticking. Set aside.
2. Preheat the oven to 475°F.
3. Spread the sweet potatoes in one layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle a little oil (about 1/4 teaspoon) over the potatoes and turn to coat both sides. Bake for 15 minutes, until cooked and lightly golden. Remove and set aside. Reduce the oven heat to 375°F.
4. Melt the butter along with the 2 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Stir in the onions and sugar and sauté over medium heat for 20 minutes, until soft and beginning to turn golden. Set aside.
5. Place the egg, basil, oregano, garlic, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together. Add the ricotta and grated cheeses and whisk to smooth. Add the squash and mix to blend well. Set aside.
6. To assemble the lasagne, lightly oil a 13 by 9-inch deep baking pan. Line the bottom with a layer of noodles. Spread some of the cheese and squash mixture over the noodles. Add a layer of sweet potatoes, then a layer of the onions. Top with a layer of mozzarella and sprinkle with black pepper to taste. Continue until all the ingredients are used and the top is a layer of onions lightly covered with mozzarella.
7. Bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until bubbly and golden across the top. Remove and cool for 5 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.