Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"Cooking Light" Beef Stew, suggested by Heather

(Taken from an issue of Cooking Light)

 It's super easy, but needs to simmer for a long time, so you have to either start it early or make it ahead and reheat. **NOTE** I use one 14.5oz can of low fat/less sodium beef broth and about a 1/2 cup of a red wine for the liquid. I also skip the rosemary & oregano. I used to include the rosemary, but I didn't think it made a huge difference and DH didn't enjoy all the "sticks" in his stew. For the meat, I get about a 1.5 lb boneless sirloin steak and cut it into cubes. If you simmer it for the full suggested time, the meat is so tender it's ridiculous.


* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 2 pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 1/2 cup chopped celery
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic
* 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
* 1 cup fat-free, less-sodium beef broth
* 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano
* 2 oregano sprigs
* 2 rosemary sprigs
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 cup chopped carrot


Sprinkle flour, salt, and pepper over beef. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add beef mixture to pan; cook 5 minutes, browning on all sides. Remove beef from pan with a slotted spoon; keep warm. Add onion and celery to pan; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add beef, wine, and the next 5 ingredients (through bay leaf) to pan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes or until beef is just tender. Add carrot to pan; cover and cook for 30 minutes. Discard the rosemary and oregano sprigs and bay leaf.

Chicken and Dumplings, from Mel

For the stock:

1 TBSP cooking oil
1 whole, cut up chicken
2 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
1 onion
1/2 red bell pepper or 3 mini bell peppers
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 TBSP peppercorns

Put a large stock pot with 1TBSP oil on the stove over medium high heat. Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper and add to hot stock pot, skin down. Leave it alone for about 5 minutes. Chop veggies into large pieces. Add all ingredients to chicken in pot, cover with water, and simmer for about an hour. Skim fat and crud off the top as needed. (I removed about a cup of pure fat from the top of mine while cooking it.)

Pull chicken pieces out of pot and let cool enough to handle. Pour everything left in the pot through a collander into another pot or bowl. Wipe out stock pot. Pour stock through a fine mesh strainer back into stock pot. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and shred a bit. Discard bones and skin. Discard veggie chunks.

For the final product:

Reserved stock
Reserved chicken
2 medium carrots
2 celery stalks
1 onion
frozen peas, if you wish

Chop carrots, celery, and onion into small pieces. Add to reserved stock in stock pot over medium high heat. Add shredded chicken to pot. Cook for a while. :D (An hour or so?) While that cooks, prepare dumplings.

Rolled Dumplings

2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
herbs or something, if you like
1/3 cup of shortening/butter. I like to use half and half - you can use all of one or the other or whatever you feel like
1/2 cup milk, maybe more if needed

1 carton chicken stock, or about 4 cups if using homemade (what is in the pot with chicken and veggies won't be enough.)

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, pepper, herbs... whatever you feel like adding in a large bowl. Cut in the shortening/butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk to form a soft dough. Roll out chunks of dough to be about 1/4 inch (or less) thick. These really puff up when cooking, so it's a matter of taste. Once they're rolled, cut into small squares/diamonds/rectangles/strips/whatever floats your boat with a pizza cutter. I make mine into about 1 inch diamonds/squares.

At some point, put the carton/4 cups chicken stock into a sauce pan over medium high heat and bring to a boil.

Once your dumplings are cut, add them to the boiling stock in batches and cook, covered, for about 8-10 minutes. They may boil over, so reduce heat and/or vent lid as needed. After each batch is cooked, add it to the pot with the chicken and veggies. (Just the dumplings, keep the stock in the pot.) Ladle more stock into the dumpling-cooking pot (from the pot with the veggies) as needed to have enough stock for cooking the dumplings. When the final batch of dumplings is done cooking, add them along with the (now thickened) stock to the pot with the veggies. Stir it around. Cook for a while longer if you feel like it, or serve it right away.

:D I hope that's pretty much right. That's what I did. It was tasty. ;) You can certainly add whatever veggies/seasonings you'd like. If I'd happened to have herbs, I would have added them (in a bundle) to the stock.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Meatloaf, from Shauna

AKA, the meatloaf that made Shauna a believer...

1 pound beef
1 egg
1 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp Parmesan
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tbsp worcheshire sauce
3 tbsp BBQ sauce
1/2 cup shredded chedder
chopped olives
2 tsp ground pepper

Bake at 375* for about an hour.

Brown Sugar Chops, from Karli

I just season pork loin chops with garlic and onion powders, sprinkle on some brown sugar and soy sauce, then bake.

Slow Cooker Jambalaya, suggested by Tami




  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound frozen cooked shrimp without tails


  1. In a slow cooker, mix the chicken, sausage, tomatoes with juice, onion, green bell pepper, celery, and broth. Season with oregano, parsley, Cajun seasoning, cayenne pepper, and thyme.
  2. Cover, and cook 7 to 8 hours on Low, or 3 to 4 hours on High. Stir in the shrimp during the last 30 minutes of cook time.

Chicken with Gravy and Matchstick Potatoes, from Sheetal


1 kg chicken, cut into pieces
2 onions, finely sliced
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
1 piece cinnamon stick
1 tsp salt
1/2 kg potatoes, cut finely

Heat the oil and fry the sliced onions, light brown. Fry the garlic. ginger and salt slightly, add the chicken pieces and brown both sides, then add cinnamon stick. Add a little more water, cover and put in the oven, 350 degrees for about 1 1/2 hours, or till done.

Fry the finely sliced potatoes, and before serving, arrange the chicken in a dish and garnish with fried potatoes

Instead of putting it in the oven, I just pressure cooked the chicken.

Easy Chicken Divan, from Stacy

I put a 10oz. bag of frozen broccoli florets on the bottom of a glass baking dish. 

Then I strip a rotisserie chicken of its meat and break it up a little. 
Mix that with a can of cream of chicken, a can of cream of mushroom, and half a cup of mayo (I use smart balance omega 3 mayo). 
Pour that over the broccoli and kind of spread it around evenly. 
Sprinkle with a cup of shredded cheddar and bake. I usually serve it over rice.

Cheesy Sloppy Joe Bake, from Karli

Brown 1lb ground beef/turkey with some chopped onion and garlic. 
Pour in a can of petite diced tomatoes, a squirt of BBQ sauce, a smaller squirt of brown mustard and a little brown sugar. 
The amount depends on if you like it sweet or more tomato-y. 
Bring to a boil and pour in a baking dish. 
Mix some Bisquick, garlic powder and shredded cheddar cheese with just enough water to make the batter spread over the meat mixture. 
Bake @ 425 until biscuit topping is done. 
Not real healthy but I sometimes add pureed veggies...

Beef Stew, from Carrie

1 can each of cream of mushroom soup, tomato soup, and beef broth.
1-2 medium onions chopped large
1-2 lbs stew meat
7-10 small -medium red potatoes, diced chunky
1/2 - 1 full bag of baby carrots

As you can see, the measurements aren't too specific :D I guess it just depends on how much of everything you like. I use just a few carrots because I'm not a big fan of cooked carrots. I use lots of taters and onions, 'cause that's my thing. So, make it how you want it.

Toss it all in the pot and simmer on low for 8 hours+ in the crock pot or 3 hours on med-low on the stove-top.

It tends to be a little runny for my liking so I pull out a few potatoes, mash them up and toss them back in to thicken it right before serving (or I add a cup of instant potato flakes)

Chipotle Gouda Mac & Cheese, from Shelli

* Kosher salt
* 1 pound cavatappi or elbow macaroni
* 1 quart milk
* 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 12 ounces chipotle gouda, grated (4 cups) eta: I used 8 ounce and it was fine!
* 8 ounces extra-sharp cheddar, grated (2 cups)
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
* Panko


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add salt to large pot of boiling water. Add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and add the flour. Cook over low heat for 2 minutes, stirring with a whisk. Still whisking, add the hot milk and cook for a minute or two more, until thickened and smooth. Off the heat, add the Gouda, Cheddar, 1 tablespoon salt, the pepper, and nutmeg. Add the cooked pasta and stir well. Place the mixture in 6 to 8 individual gratin dishes, or large casserole dish.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, combine with panko, and sprinkle on the top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.

Delicioso Spaghetti Sauce, from Kris

Spaghetti sauce:

Onion, small dice
garlic like 6 - 8 cloves, finely diced
ground meat of choice (4% beef or turkey breast for us)
petite diced tomatos in juice
tomato sauce
fresh sliced mushrooms (sauteed prior to entering party)
oregano to taste (about 1 - 1/2 tsp dried)
basil a good heaping TBSP dried from the beginning or 1/4 cup fresh at the end
any other Italian herbs you want - marjoram, rosemary etc...

Simmer away for hours until reduced, thickened and delicioso.

San Francisco Chicken, suggested by Michelle

C/P of recipe (I did double the sauce and serve it over egg noodles. Herb salad with goat cheese on the side):

4-6 Boneless chicken breasts (or boneless pork chops)
3 cloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
4 T. soy sauce
3 T. brown sugar
1 1/2 c. chicken broth
1 T. cornstarch

Lightly brown chicken breasts in a small amount of oil. Remove from pan and add garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar and 1 c. chicken broth. Stir to mix and return chicken to pan and cover. Simmer for a few minutes until the chicken is done (15-20 minutes or so). Remove chicken again and add remaining broth which has been mixed with cornstarch. Bring to a boil to thicken and return chicken to the pan, coating it well. Serves 4. Simple and delicious!

I like to double the sauce and serve it over rice or noodles.

Cara's Beef Buns, from Cara

Bun Recipe:
2T yeast
1c plus 2T warm water
1/3c oil
1/4c sugar
1 egg
1t salt
3 - 3 1/2c flour

Dissolve yeast in water. Add oil and sugar and let rest for 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients to form a soft dough. Knead dough for 3-5 minutes. Divide into 8 pieces and form into balls. Let rest on ungreased pan for 10 minutes. Bake 8-12 minutes.

For the flour I used 1/2 cup of toasted wheat germ, 1 cup of wheat flour, and 1 1/2 - 2 cups of white flour.

It was the lightest, softest dough when I was kneading it. OMG, so nice. They were so tasty, too.