Monday, October 1, 2012

Recipes of Late

I have been  getting many request lately for some of the things I've been making.
I have a hard time keeping up with you asked for what, so I am going to try and start posting recipes on my blog again.
I am not one to stick straight to a recipe. I usually tweak things to my own ways and likings, but I will always site the source from which I got the recipe.  (Blog etiquette and all that jazz :)

Also, all of my recipes are Gluten Free, unless otherwise stated.  If you don't eat Gluten Free, don't be afraid, the men in my house don't "eat" gluten free either, and yet they never complain about my cooking and eat good pretty much every night.  Gluten Free doesn't have to be a bad thing!

I am bad at including pictures on my blog.  I know that is what you want is pictures.
Sorry.  I am a slacker.

Here is a funny Zumba picture.  It has nothing to do with recipes, but it was on my computer and I want you to have something to look at.  And I want you to laugh.  And I want everybody to do Zumba because it is fun.

I stole this picture from my own blog from a couple years ago.  It is food.

Up first, Zucchini Lasagna!


Here is the original link:
Zucchini Lasagna

Here is my version:

1 lb lean ground turkey
spoonful of minced garlic
S & P to taste
15oz part skim ricotta
1 egg
Sprinkle of Italian Seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, S & P  (This is the annoying part because Missy doesn't measure.  Sorry!)
1/4 cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce- you will probably want to jazz it up with some extra seasonings.  I don't care how good they advertise, spaghetti sauce is never good enough on its own.
2 cups of mozzarella cheese
3- medium to large whole zucchinis

First you will want to cut off the ends of the zucchinis. Slice them fairly thin.  Do not worry if they are not perfect.  Perfection is overrated.
Place your zucchinis on a cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray, and sprinkle with salt.
The salt helps to absorb the moisture of the zucchini.
Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes per side.
Remove to a plate and absorb excess liquid with paper towels.
This will probably have to be done on 2 cookie sheets.
* The reason for this step is because zucchini has a lot of water in it and if you don't cook out some of the moisture first, your lasagna will be watery.  If you like watery lasagna (don't share it with me) you can skip this step.

For the rest, it is basic lasagna 101.
Cook your ground turkey with the garlic and S & P.
Please drain your meat.
Meat that is not drained is gross.

Mix your ricotta cheese,parmesan cheese, a beaten egg, and the other seasonings.

To assemble:
Put a little bit of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan.
Put a layer of zucchini.
Put a layer of sauce.
Put a layer of Ricotta cheese mixture.
Put a layer of zucchini.
Put a layer of sauce.
Put a layer of Ricotta cheese mixture.
Put a layer of thought I was going to say zucchini?
Nope!  Put a last layer of sauce, then top with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes - an hour.  Put foil on it for the last 15 minutes if it is browning too much.
If you care about such facts, you can cut it into 9 servings and each serving is only 324 calories of goodness.
Also, if you like leftovers, these are the best leftovers!  I ate this for about 4 days in a row, and the 3rd day it was perfect!
Don't judge me.

Next up, Chicken Pot Pie

I have no original link for this as I got it out of a magazine and tweaked it so much, its really not the same as the magazine anyways.

2 chicken breast, cooked and diced into small pieces
2 cans veg-all (the kind with the potatoes)
2 cups of chicken broth
3 TBLS cornstarch
S & P to taste
1 cup shredded cheese ( I use the pizza blend)
Bisquick ( I use GF)

Make a gravy with the chicken broth and cornstarch.  Add S & P to taste.
Add 2 cans of drained veg all, the chicken, and the cheese.  Let simmer until the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are mixed well together.

Pour into a greased 9x11 dish.

Make a crust with your Bisquick.  You can follow the directions on the box for biscuits.
The directions on the box will yeield more topping, or do it the following way:
1 cup bisquick
2 eggs
1/4 cup milk ( I use almond milk)
Mix together. Spoon over top of chicken mixture.
Bake at 375 for 30-40 minutes, or until top is done and mixture is bubbling on the sides.

Calorie Info: (This is figured with the crust mix as I wrote above)
6 servings at 303 calories per serving.
Comfort food at its best!
I will warn you, this is much better hot and fresh out of the oven.  It was not as good for leftovers the next day.  The biscuits absorbed all the liquid.

Moving on to Squash and Zucchini Casserole

The original link
Squash and Zucchini Casserole

What I did:
2 yellow squash and 2 zucchini- Sliced thin
1 onion
Spoonful of minced garlic
1 package of mushrooms ( small package)
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
6 TBLS egg beaters (or 2 eggs if you wish)
2 TBLS light sour cream
1/4 cup Shredded parmesan cheese

In a large pot, saute onion, garlic, and mushrooms with some cooking spray.
I added the squash and zucchini after the onions had sauteed some.
Add salt and papper to taste.  Let this all saute together for about 15 minutes.
Use the lid to your pot and drain off the excess liquid, or pour into a strainer.
Use a paper towel to absorb excess liquid.

Mix together the ricotta, cheddar, egg beaters, sour cream.  You may also want to add some salt and pepper and I just decided maybe a little chilli powder would be good in that too.  Yep, I need to make it again to be sure of that fact.  Darn.

Now combine your cheese mixture with your veggie mixture and pour into a greased casserole dish.
I use my large round corning wear.  In case you wanted to know.
Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.
Top with the parmesan cheese and bake an additional 10-15 minutes.

Serves 8 ( those are big servings!)
Calories per serving: 127 yummy calories.

A few notes:
The original recipe calls for layering all of these things.
I just combined them all and thought it was just fine.
The original recipe also has you boil the squash and zucchini.  Too many steps for me.  I thought combining it with the other veggies and then draining it was the way to go.
I am a food pioneer.

Another winner is Chicken Lettuce Wraps. 
Oh my.  Chicken Lettuce wraps are such a winner.  Winner winner chicken lettuce wraps dinner.

There are many variations out there, but this is how I do it.

1 Lb of chicken- cut into bite sized pieces
Small package of fresh mushrooms-sliced 
Handful of baby carrots-sliced
Small can of water chestnuts-diced 
Garlic powder, red pepper flakes, a couple teaspoons of soy sauce.
Teriyaki sauce, peanut sauce
Head of Ice Burg Lettuce
Rice Stick Noodles

Sautee all of the above in EVOO until chicken is cooked through.   
Then take this mixture and in small batches ( unless you have a big food processor) process down til its all small and shredded together.
Put back on the stove and add some teriyaki sauce and let simmer on low while you cook the noodles.
Sorry again, I don't measure really.  But you don't need a lot of sauce.  1 or 2 Tablespoons at the most.

For the noodles:
1 bag of rice stick noodles.  Basically follow the directions, but here are some tips.
I did it in a 2 quart pot.  You put oil at least 2 inches high into it and let it heat over medium high heat.  
The key is making sure it’s hot enough but not too hot.  Break of about 1/8th of the noodles and put into oil and they should immedietly curl and puff up.  Let it cook like that for about 20-30 seconds and then remove with tongs and put on a cookie sheet lined with paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt.  I cooked the whole package but should have only cooked about a quarter of it. 
What was leftover though made a nice snack for the kids.  I may just make some more of those and add different seasonings for a nice crunchy GF snack for everybody.

Then you just use iceberg lettuce pieces as a wrap.  Put the chicken mixture in it, top with some of the noodles, and then we also had some thai peanut sauce that was fabulous on top!  
Low calorie too...Around 200 calories for 3 full wraps!
This should be enough for 12 wraps.
You will never want to go to PF Changs again.  
OK, I lie.
I want to go to PF Changs, right now. 

I'm feeling extra nice today,  so I am going to share with you a recipe I made up the other day.
I say made up, but there are a kazillion recipes for White Chicken Chili out there.
This just so happens to be how I roll with it.

White Chicken Chili 

3 Chicken breast
32 oz Chicken Broth (or 4 cups)

2 cans Great northern beans
1 small can Green chillies
1 can Corn
S & P to taste
Chili Powder ( Um, to taste? Sorry, I don't measure.  I should start measuring so I can be a better sharer)

Put chicken in crock pot ( you can do this with frozen chicken)
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and some garlic powder if you'd like.
Cook on low for around 4 hours.
When chicken is cooked, shred with a fork and knife into small pieces.
Add remaining ingredients.  Do not drain any of your cans, just open them up and throw them in.
Do not throw in the can.  Nobody likes to eat cans.
Cook until heated through in your crock pot.

If you want to do this quickly, skip the crock pot and put it all in a pot on your stove and have a quick fix dinner.
This is muy bueno ( I am a good spanish speaker) topped with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and eaten with tortilla chips.

As for servings and calories, you can get 8 big ole bowls of soup out of this or 10-12 small balls.
But lets go with 8 big bowls for purposes of calories...
Grand total: 168 (Without all the topping stuff.  Don't be a cheater and think you can eat cheese and sour cream and chips AND Soup for only 168 calories!)

I will now be nice, and I will give you some dessert.
Who doesn't love dessert right?!

First up, Pumpkin Chocolate Blondies.
This is the original recipe. I made up my own recipe, but since it is loosely based on this recipe, I thought I would include the link ( blog etiquette :) plus, the original looks really good, so I may want to try it that way sometime too.

You are about to love me or hate me.
I am about to introduce you to a concept that is either going to blow your mind, or send you running for the hills.
Are you ready for this?

Using beans instead of flour.

I know what you are thinking.
Stop thinking that.
Open your mind.
Don't be hatin on the beans.

I have made brownies several times using black beans instead of flour.
My friend Kim Hill makes the most awesome chocolate cake with black beans instead of flour.

I made this recipe with chic peas/garbanzo beans.

2 cans of Chic peas/garbanzo beans
1 can of Pumpkin
3 TBLS Coconut Oil
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla
2 tsp Baking powder
1/2 tsp Baking soda
1/2 tsp Salt
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 cup of Hersheys dark chocolate chips

Now listen very closely.  This is easy to make, but you can't cut steps.

Step 1: Rinse and drain  your beans.
Put them in a strainer and rinse and take out the little bad pieces.
I also pat dry with some paper towels.

Step 2: Put the beans in a food processor and process down til its not chunky.  It will have the look of thick flour.  I have a small food chopper type thing so I have to do it in several batches.  Its all good.

Step 3.  Place all ingredients (except the chocolate chips) into your mixer and mix.
( I have a kitchenaid stand up mixer and so I let it mix up for a couple minutes)

Step 4:  Stir in the chocolate chips.

Step 5: Here you have to make a decision.
Make thick, deep dish slices, or make thinner (but still thick) brownie type slices.
I chose deep dish and poured it into a  greased 10" springform pan (like in the link above).
You could also pour it into a greased 9x13 dish.

Some helpful hints from me to you.
Because I added a whole can of pumpkin, it made these very mushy.
I liked it mushy, but if you don't want it to be mushy, then only add half the can.
We ate them hot out of the oven,  mush and all, they were amazing.
We also ate them the next day, cold out of the fridge, and they were really good after they had firmed up some in the fridge.
Either way, it. is. good.

Some calorie and serving info for you my friends.
10" springform pan makes about 12 thinish slices at 254 calories a piece
                          10 thicker slices at 304 calories per piece.

In a 9x13 you could get 16 small bars for 190 calories a piece
                                          12 bigger bars at 254 calories a piece.

Who says you can't have dessert?  Not me!

Can you handle one more?
I think you can.

Enter, Chocolate Caramel Cake.

Here it  comes in its original form.

And here it comes in my form.

1 box of Gluten Free Yellow Cake Mix ( if you are not a GF person, just use regular...but then you can't share it with your GF friends, and shame on you!)
1/4 cup Hershey Cocoa
2 cups unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup So Delicious French Vanilla Coconut Milk Creamer
1 cup Brown sugar
2 TBLS Earth Balance coconut butter spread ( You can use butter if you want to.  I didn't want to.)
8 Oz tub of Cool Whip

Betty Crocker has made me happy with their Gluten Free yellow cake mix.  Yes, it does cost me over $4 per box.
But it has a box top....


It is just versatile!  I make so many things with this box mix, and I have never, not even once, used the eggs and oil that it calls for.

I can never find the chocolate cake mix, so I just add 1/4 cup Hershey cocoa to make it chocolate.
Who has 2 thumbs and is a problem solver?  This girl!
I then stir in 2 cups of applesauce until its all stirred together.  (Thumb user ;)
Bake at 350 for around 30-35 minutes.

While that bakes, whip up your "caramel" sauce.  I say "caramel" in quotations because it doesn't really look like caramel, but I like the flavor that happens with this french vanilla creamer.
I do.
The original recipe for the caramel sauce came from here. 

But since I don't stick to recipes, here is what I did.
I just can't stress to you enough how much I loved the SoDelicious French Vanilla Coconut milk creamer.
Get some!
I melted 2 TBLS of the butter spread in the pan, then added 1 cup of brown sugar.
I like using all brown sugar.
Its a personal thing.
Then pour in the creamer and stir until the sugar melts.  Keep stirring until it all thickens up a bit and you want to lick the hot pan.  Except you don't really want to lick the hot pan, cause that would burn your tongue.  You just want to lick the sauce, but unfortuantly the sauce is IN the hot pan.

I digress.

Once the cake comes out of the oven, use a fork and poke holes all through your cake.
Poke Poke.Poke.
Then, and this step is going to make you giggle while you work...
Pour that vanilla flavored caramel sauce all over that poke poke poked cake.
Put that cake in the fridge and let the caramel do its work in the poke poke poked holes.
After a couple of hours, spread that thawed cool whip over the top, and then serve it.
Serve it with reckless abandon to your friends, neighbors, strangers on the street that will now want to be your friends...just serve it up!

You could serve 9 friends, neighbors, strangers at 404 calories a piece.
Of you could serve 12 of them a much smaller piece at 304 calories a piece.

P.S.  This only makes an 8x8 pan.  A shame.

Here we come to the end of this fiesta of recipes, but I feel like I would be amiss if I didn't share one more with you.
Did I already say that?


Its another variation of this Chocolate Caramel Cake, but we are going to call this one...
are you ready?

Pumpkin Caramel Cake Bars

Use that Yellow Cake mix, and instead of adding chocolate and applesauce, you will want to add a can of pumpkin, and some pumpkin pie spice instead.
Oh. Yes.
Follow the same steps with the  recipe above.
With this one though, it makes better gooey bars, so you can pour it into a 9x13 dish.

This will make about 12-15 bars at around 250 calories a piece.
And I will tell you a secret.
Cool Whip started making frosting.
And it is good.
And it goes reallllly well with these bars instead of plain cool whip.
You are welcome.

I will try, try, to post more recipes.
If you have a request, let me know.