Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tuna Dinner Salad, from Cara

1 large head red or green leaf lettuce, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
4-6 oz. colby cheese cut into chunks, optional
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can tuna, drained (can be tuna in oil or water)

Toss all ingredients with red wine vinaigrette.

red wine vinaigrette
1/2 c. red wine vinegar
1 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 T. Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced OR 1 t. garlic powder
1 c. olive oil

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl. While whisking, add the oil in a thin, steady stream until combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.

Broccoli Chicken Salad, from Karli


* 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
* 1 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets
* 1/4 cup chopped red onion
* 2 tablespoons salted sunflower kernels
* 2 tablespoons golden raisins
* 2 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
* 1/3 cup mayonnaise
* 1 tablespoon sugar
* 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar


1. In a bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Combine the mayonnaise, sugar and vinegar; add to chicken mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

~I have used halved grapes instead of raisins in this and it is good also!

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad, from


* Dressing:
* 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
* 2/3 cup light sour cream
* 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon chili powder
* 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
* 2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)
* 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
* 1/2 cup diced peeled avocado
* 1/3 cup thinly vertically sliced red onion
* 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
* 1 (8 3/4-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn, rinsed and drained


To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring well.

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.

**Add a spoonful of adobo sauce for a spicier salad. To prepare it quickly, I usually just use a bag of pre-washed mixed greens and the meat from a grocery store rotisserie chicken.

Shazzers Warm Pasta Salad, from

Shazzers Warm Pasta Salad

1 packet of small shelled pasta
20 leaves of fresh basil torn into small pieces
2 tomatoes cut into approx 1cm size pieces (ie small) Or use cherry tomatoes x8 and cut each into 1/4's
2 spring onions sliced into small pieces
1 ball of mozzarella cheese torn into small pieces
1/2 tsp salt and 1tsp cracked black pepper for seasoning

Cook pasta first in salted water.
Drain pasta but leave around 2tbsp of cooking water in the pot with the pasta. (Keep the pasta in the cooking pot when you add the other ingredients)
Add all other ingredients being careful to spread out the mozzarella as it will want to clump together.
Very gently stir and reheat the salad for 30 seconds on the stove the cheese will melt and the basil will wilt. Be gentle as it has a tendency to want to all form one big ball.

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies, from Stephanie

1 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Mix together. Drop teaspoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 12 minutes. Makes approximately 18 cookies.

Indian Eggs, from Sheetal

4 hard-boiled eggs; peeled and halved,
1 onion; finely diced,
1 small tomato; finely diced,
Browned onion paste 1/3 cup (finely slice onions and brown them in oil. When cooled down, grind to paste with a little water)
Desiccated coconut 1tbsp
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (skip the turmeric if you can't find it),
1 tsp red chilli powder (use 1/2 tsp if you don't want it too hot),
1/2 tsp garam masala powder (mixed dry spices). You should be able to find this in the international foods aisle. If not use the recipe given below.
Salt to taste,
Oil for frying,
Chopped coriander leaves/parsley to garnish.

For the garam masala

1 tbsp cardamom seeds (buy cardamom pods and shell them)
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp whole cloves
a medium stick of cinnamon, 2-3 inches, broken up into 3-4 pieces
To prepare the garam masala
1. Put all the ingredients in a clean coffee grinder or other spice grinder and grind as finely as possible.
2. Store in a tightly lidded jar, away from heat and sunlight and use as needed.

To prepare the Eggs-

Roast the dessicated coconut without oil and grind with the onion paste.
Heat oil in a wok and add onion. Saute until light brown.
Then add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and roast for few minutes.
Then add tomatoes and cook on medium flame, covered till they are soft.
Then add onion-coconut paste and cook for 2-3 minutes until the masala starts leaving oil from the edges of the wok.
Then add garam masala, salt, stir and then add some water to prepare a thick gravy. Bring this to boil.
Then drop in the halved eggs into it. Cover and cook for few minutes on low-medium flame.
Later garnish with coriander leaves.
This is eaten with roti (Indian bread) however pita bread or tortillas should work just as well. Or you could eat it with plain boiled rice.

Egg Lavash, from Carrie

First you need to make dough. I use the dough from "the" tortilla recipe:

2 cups all purp. flour
2 tsp veg oil
1 tsp salt
1.5 tsp of baking power
3/4 c warm milk

Mix all of that together by hand, turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 2 minutes, adding flour as needed to the surface to make a nice, soft dough ball. Set kneaded dough aside and cover with cling wrap to rest for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, take dough ball and divide into 8ths. (I use a pizza cutter to do this) and roll each section into a ball. Set aside and let rest for 10 more minutes.

Preheat oven to 500

Roll out each dough ball into a 6-7 inch round and place on a pizza sheet. Sprinkle with a bit of raw chopped bacon.
I only use one or two slices, removing most of the fat and only chopping up the meaty part of the bacon. You can also use turkey bacon, Canadian bacon, prosciutto, etc

Cook 2-3 minutes.

Remove and lightly brush with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Crack an egg into the center (pierce the yolk and spread it a bit if you prefer the yolk cooked) and then sprinkle with some type of dry herb mix (I use Tastefully Simple's spinach and herb mix) but you can also use fresh greens, parsley, basil... whatever.

Bake for 4-6 more minutes. Serve. I like to fold it in half to eat it.
Makes 8

****You can also use premade pizza dough but then it will be more pizza-y and less lavash-y and you'll have to cook the bacon and crust a bit longer before you add the egg. *****

Spinach-Sausage Pasta Bake, from Charity


4 garlic cloves (minced)

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 pound rigatoni (ziti or penne would work well, too)

10 ounces Baby Spinach or chopped spinach

1 package of Italian sausage, we like Hot but mild or sweet would work as well

8-10 ounces Mozzarella cheese (6 ozs will be cubed and 2-4 ozs shredded to cover pasta)

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Brown the Italian sausage and then add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more. (Mince your garlic first)

Cook pasta according to directions until al dente. Go ahead and preheat the over to 400 degrees now too.

Back to the pan, add the crushed tomatoes and oregano to the meat and garlic and cook for a about 5 minutes. Then add the cream and cook until warmed through, another 5 minutes or so. Season with salt and pepper.

When the pasta is a minute or under from being done, put all the spinach in the water too and push it down into the water. Let it cook with the pasta until just wilted. Drain everything in one strainer and return it to the pasta pot.

6 ozs of Mozzarella cheese (cube it first) and the tomato sauce to the pot as well and stir it all together. You'll need to break up some of the spinach to get it more evenly distributed.

Pour it all into baking dishes. I can get mine into one 3 qt rectangular Pyrex casserole dish. Top with the grated mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake until browned and edges are crisp, 20-30 minutes.

Red and White (Sauced) Lasagna, from Barbara

* 2 tablespoons butter
* 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
* 1 cup milk
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 small white onion chopped
* 1 clove garlic crushed
* 1/2 pound ground beef
* 1 pound ripe tomatoes
* 1 pound uncooked lasagna noodles
* 1/2 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
* 1/2 pound thinly sliced ham
* 2 ounces grated parmesan cheese
* 2 teaspoons oregano
* 2 teaspoons salt

1 Melt butter with flour in saucepan over medium heat. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add milk slowly while stirring mixture with a wooden spoon. Bring sauce to boil and cook 10 minutes. Set white sauce aside to assemble the lasagna.

Peel tomatoes then remove seeds and chop. Brown ground beef in a large sauce pan over high heat with vegetable olive oil, onion and garlic. Add prepared tomatoes and water just enough to cook a thick meat sauce. Set meat sauce aside to assemble lasagna.

Lightly spray two square glass baking dishes. Preheat oven to 350. Bring to quarts of water to a boil. Stir in salt then add noodles four at a time and cook uncovered until tender but firm. Use a large fork or slotted spoon to remove cooked noodles directly to the baking dish. Spoon meat sauce into baking dish. Make four layers of noodles and put first layer of noodles on top of meat sauce. Then alternate each layer with meat sauce mozzarella and ham. In one of the layers put only white sauce with ham. Cover lasagna with sauce, grated parmesan and a sprinkle of oregano. Bake lasagna for 20 minutes. Cover lasagna with foil during baking to avoid cheese from burning.

Grown Up Ramen, from Alison

(Adapted from Real Simple)

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 3 cloves garlic, chopped
* 7 cups chicken broth or stock
* 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
* kosher salt
* 1 pound angel hair pasta
* 1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
* 1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped <---- I usually forget to add this * 1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped * 1/2 cup grated Parmesan 1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. 2. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, red pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. 3. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until the broth is nearly absorbed and the pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and parsley. 4. Divide among individual bowls and top with the almonds and Parmesan.

Rosemary and Creamy Tomato Penne, from Cara

1 lb. penne pasta
1/4 cup fresh rosemary, minced
4 T. olive oil
1 1/2 c. tomato puree
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. Parmesan cheese

Cook the penne in water until al dente. In the meantime, saute the rosemary in the oil in a saucepan over low heat for 3 minutes. Add the tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 15 minutes. Pour in the cream and Parmesan, stirring until heated through. Drain pasta and toss with cream sauce.

Yields 4-6 servings.

This dish goes great with sauteed chicken (seasoned with rosemary, s & p, and fresh lemon juice) either served on the side or sliced and added to the pasta.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Korean-Style Beef Skewers w/Rice Noodles, an idea from Cara

From cookinglight.com

Find the noodles and sambal on the ethnic aisle at the supermarket or in an Asian market.

Price: $2.49 per serving

Pantry Checklist:

  • Less-sodium soy sauce
  • Sugar
  • Sambal oelek (chile paste, such as Huy Fong)
  • Canola oil
  • Fresh lime juice
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced


1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

2. Combine first 6 ingredients in a zip-top bag. Add beef to bag; seal. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, turning once. Remove steak from bag; reserve marinade. Thread steak evenly onto 8 (8-inch) skewers. Grill 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Combine reserved marinade and water in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute.

3. Soak noodles in boiling water until tender; drain. Place noodles in a large bowl. Pour reserved marinade mixture over noodles; sprinkle with onions; toss. Serve with skewers.

Note from Cara: We don't have skewers, so I cut the strips shorter and stir fried them.

Another note from Cara: I just looked at my Korean Beef recipe and realized that I didn't add the sugar when I made it last night. It was delicious anyway and I don't think I would use it next time. Maybe if the things were grilled it would help them to caramelize or something, but for stir fry it was fine without.

Julianna Grimes, Cooking Light, MAY 2010

Peanut Sauce, from Michelle

from a Robin Miller cookbook (w/ a few modifications):

1 C reduced sodium chicken broth
3 TBLSP creamy peanut butter
3 TBLSP reduced-sodium soy sayce
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp hot chili oil (or more to taste; leave this out for mild sauce. I didn't have hot chili oil in stock, so I used some jalapeno juice)
2 TBLSP chopped fresh cilantro (I don't use this b/c I never have fresh cilantro hanging around)
A dash of brown sugar <--my addition

In a small saucepan, whisk together everything but the cilantro. Set to medium heat, bring to simmer, and let simmer for 5 mins. Remove from heat and add cilantro.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Chicken A La King, an idea from Mel

I think Chicken a la King, traditionally, is chicken breast in a cream sauce with mushrooms, green peppers, pimentos and onions.
Mine will have mushrooms, peas, celery, carrots, and onion... and the 'cream' sauce will be made with whole wheat flour, skim milk & chicken stock.

Layered Chicken Bake, an idea from Amy

Boneless/skinless chicken breasts
diced onion mixed with cream of mushroom soup
slice of Swiss cheese over each chicken breast
covered in Pep Farm croutons

Bake until chicken is done.

Freezer Chicken Pasta Soup, from Teresa

I cooked a couple of small chicken breasts in stock I took from the freezer (left over from boiling down a deli chicken).

Took the chicken out and added half a package of ravioli, the kind from the deli section - again leftovers from the freezer.

I microwaved a package of green giant "Digestive Health" mixed vegetables - carrots, spinach and white beans in an Italian-tasting butter dressing, and put that in the soup along with the chicken, and watered down the broth until it tasted right. Done.

Mexican Lasagna IV, from Shelli

In the crock pot went:

1 lb chicken breast
1 jar Trader Joe's salsa verde
1 packet Citrus Lime grill marinade

^cook low and slow till it falls apart

Then I sprayed a 9x13" pan with cooking spray.

12 white corn tortillas (cut in half)
1 28oz can enchilada sauce
1 14.5 oz can Bush's mild chili beans
1 small jar diced green chiles
cheese of choice (I used 2% monterey jack)

Layer 1/3 tortillas, then chicken, beans, chiles, cheese and sauce. Top with 1/3 tortillas, press down. Repeat, then top with last 1/3 tortillas, rest of sauce, top w/cheese if desired (mine had 1/2 cheese b/c Alec doesn't eat it).

Bake at 375* for 20ish minutes.

YUM! I put a dab of guac on top of mine. Sooooo good. You could also put corn or other assorted veggies in it.

Black Bean Burgers, suggested by Cara

Spicy Black Bean Burgers
Adapted from "Recipe of the Week: Burgers" by Sally Sampson

4 cups cooked, rinsed and drained black beans (about 2 ½ 15-ounce cans)
1/2 cup Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
4 scallions, both white and green parts, minced
3 tablespoons (a small handful) chopped basil or cilantro, or a combination
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2-2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place 2 cups of the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chunky.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining whole black beans, plus panko, eggs, scallions, fresh herbs, garlic, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes and mix until well combined.

Using a dough cutter, portion mixture into patties about 1 inch thick. Suggested diameter: 3 inches; otherwise, the patty will be difficult to flip when cooking. KOD extra step that's worth doing: Place patties on a plate or tray and chill for 15 minutes so they can set up.

When ready to cook, remove patties from refrigerator and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a cast-iron skillet over high heat, without any fat; when it is hot but not smoking, add burgers to dry pan.

Cook for about four minutes on first side or until well seared and with a flipping spatula, turn onto second side and allow to cook for an additional five minutes, over medium heat.

Serve immediately with fixins': Monterey jack, cheddar or queso fresco, lettuce, fresh tomato slice, pico de gallo or jarred salsa, sour cream, avocado. Good on a soft bun or by itself.

Makes four to six burgers.

Note from Cara:
I got seven 3" burgers that were 1" thick and 1 thinner burger for Konrad. I used a biscuit cutter to make the patties... put it on a cutting board and spooned the mix into it. I would go with more like 30 minutes of refrigeration before cooking, they were pretty squishy. We just did lettuce and tomato topping, but I think I would do some kind of seasoned sour cream topping next time as well.

Beef Stew, suggested by Stacy

From allrecipes.com


Note from Stacy: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Kyles-Favorite-Beef-Stew/Detail.aspx

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beer Cheese Fondue, from Shelli

I prefer to use a brown ale-ish type beer. For the fondue you ate, I used Sam Adam's Summer Ale.

3/4 c beer
1 lb shredded sharp cheddar tossed with 3 tbsp flour and:
*1ish tsp double ground mustard
*1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
hot sauce to taste

Rub fondue pot w/fresh clove of garlic
Pour in beer, set pot to 375*
When boiling, slowly stir in cheese mixture. Stir, stir, stir...add hot sauce...turn to warm, keep stirring until smooth.

The end.