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Archive for August, 2009

So I made this last night for dinner and as always it was a HIT! My toddlers ate it!  I was really really thrilled! It’s super super easy to make and it’s made with ingredients almost everyone already has on hand! The reason I use spicy Italian sausage is because it comes already fully and incredibly well seasoned. So, you don’t need to add any more spices, just salt and pepper. Of course you CAN use mild sausage, but it won’t be as spicy and you may want to add some fennel and red pepper (optional) to kick up the flavor of the soup.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2.5-3lbs spicy Italian turkey sausage
  • 2 extra large onions, diced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-5 medium carrots, diced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 28oz can diced tomatoes + 1 28oz can water
  • 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 quarts  (8 cups) chicken broth
  • 2 cups blackish green french or brown lentils (brown are my fav)
  • salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

1.   In an extra large pot (6-8 quarts), add 2 tbsp of olive oil and turn your burner to medium/medium high and allow the pan to warm up.

2. If your family likes medium to large chucky bits of italian turkey sausage in their soup then just slice it into rounds and cut in half. I love taking it out of the casing and breaking it into crumbles like you would any ground meat. Removing it from the casing also disperses the spices into the  soup better, making it stronger flavored.

3. Brown your sausage chunks or crumbles until golden brown and remove from the pot and set aside.

4. Add onions, celery and carrots to pot and scrap up all the browned bits (fond) on the pan. Later add the garlic and keep cooking until garlic is       fragrant and onions and celery are translucent.

5. Once the onions, celery, carrots and garlic have become fragrant and translucent, add the diced tomatoes. water, tomato sauce, chicken broth and lentils. Bring the pot to a boil.

6. Once soup is boiling, skim off the scum that sits on the surface of the soup. Reduce your burner to medium/medium low so that the pot keeps a slow soft simmer where the bubbles are bearly breaking the surface. Leave it uncovered for 30-45 minutes, keep testing and tasting until the lentils are soft to the bite. Enjoy!

Meal Planning Ideas: Serve wtih crusty whole grain peasent bread, salad and fruit w/ creamy ricotta cheese and cinnamon sprinkled on top.

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Spicy Peanut Sauce w/ Crazy Veggie Slaw
Ingredients:
Sauce Ingredients:
¼ cup peanut butter (natural, no sugar added kind)
2 teaspoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon brown sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
¼ cup coconut milk (lite is fine, if you prefer or substitute water or any kind of milk (dairy, soy or rice. etc)
¼ cup water
red chili flake to taste
1 clove crushed garlic
Optional Sauce additions:
sesame oil
curry paste
rice wine vinegar
fish sauce
grated ginger
shallots sauteed till brown in oil
Worcestershire sauce
Veggies for slaw:
1 large head cabbage, thingly sliced/shredded or
1 10oz pkg pre-shredded cabbage
1-½-2 cups shredded carrots ( however much you have on hand)
1-½ cup red bell pepper, seeded, sliced thin (from freezer, thaw)
½-1 cup grated zucchini
½-1 cup grated fresh broccoli stalks
Optional Additional proteins:
Left over grilled chicken, baked/marinated tofu, left over grilled salmon burger, shrimp or anything else you might have left over you need to use up.
Serve on the side: Whole grain bread, fresh sliced stone fruit/strawberries
Procedure:
For Sauce:
1. Combine all ingredients with a whisk in a small bowl or small sauce pan- save on clean up, adding the water last.
2.Pour into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until sauce begins to bubble and thicken.
3. Experiment with this sauce adding a teaspoon at a time of one the optional additions and tasting as you go. Serve hot or cold.
For Slaw:
1. Defrost sliced bell pepper from freezer under running water. Drain. Or if using fresh bell pepper slice into bite sized pieces.
2. In a separate bowl while red peppers are draining combine shredded cabbage, carrots, zucchini and broccoli stalks.
3. Once red pepper has drained cut into bit sized pieces and add to shredded veggies.
4. Add the additional proteins, if using to veggie slaw mix. If using plain firm tofu, marinade some of the tofu in the peanut sauce for about ½ an hour minimum or more.
5. Add spicy peanut sauce and mix well to cover all the veggies starting with 1 cup and slowing adding more as needed so the veggies are moisten but not drowning. Reserve remaining peanut sauce on the side incase anyone at the table wants more sauce on their salad.

This spicy peanut sauce with crazy veggie slaw is a great way to clean out your crisper,  eat more healthful cruciferous veggies, colorful vitamin packed bell peppers, carrots, and green onions. And the BEST part about this is all you need is a knife or food processor, a sauce pan a little heat melt and meld the ingredients and toss with the shredded ingredients.

Ingredients:

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3/4-1 cup peanut butter (natural, no sugar added kind)
  • 3 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon unsulfered molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • 1-1.25 cup coconut milk (light is fine, if you prefer or substitute water or any kind of milk (dairy, soy or rice. etc)
  • 1 cup water
  • red chili flake to taste
  • 3-4 clove crushed garlic

Optional Sauce additions:

sesame oil
curry paste
rice wine vinegar
fish sauce
grated ginger
shallots sauteed till brown in oil
Worcestershire sauce

Veggies for slaw:

  • 1 large head cabbage, thingly sliced/shredded or 1 10oz pkg pre-shredded cabbage (organic is best any variety green, red or napa cabbage)
  • 1-½-2 cups shredded carrots ( however much you have on hand) or half a package of pre-shredded carrots (about 3oz)
  • 1-½ cup red bell pepper, seeded, sliced thin (from freezer, thaw)
  • ½-1 cup grated zucchini
  • ½-1 cup grated/julianned fresh broccoli stalks or 1 pkg broccoli slaw
  • 2-3 green or spring onions (green and white parts), finely chopped.

Optional Additional proteins:

Left over grilled chicken, baked/marinated tofu, left over grilled salmon burger, shrimp or anything else you might have left over you need to use up.

Procedure:

For Sauce:

1. Combine all ingredients with a whisk in a small bowl or small sauce pan- save on clean up, adding the water last.

2.Pour into a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until sauce begins to bubble and thicken.

3. Experiment with this sauce adding a teaspoon at a time of one the optional additions and tasting as you go. Serve hot or cold.

For Slaw:

1. Defrost sliced bell pepper from freezer under running water. Drain. Or if using fresh bell pepper slice into bite sized pieces.

2. In a separate bowl while red peppers are draining combine shredded cabbage, carrots, zucchini and broccoli stalks.

3. Once red pepper has drained cut into bit sized pieces and add to shredded veggies.

4. Add the additional proteins, if using to veggie slaw mix. If using plain firm tofu, marinade some of the tofu in the peanut sauce for about ½
an hour minimum or more.

5. Add spicy peanut sauce and mix well to cover all the veggies starting with 1 cup and slowing adding more as needed so the veggies are
moisten but not drowning. Reserve remaining peanut sauce on the side incase anyone at the table wants more sauce on their salad.

Serve on the side: Whole grain bread, fresh sliced stone fruit/strawberries

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zucchini_flower
So for the last few weeks we have been getting tons and tons of  zucchini summer squash and carrots, by the BOAT LOAD. I have not been able to keep up with the supply and now my fridge is over flowing!!!

I have so much on hand I have come to realize I cannot use it all up  before it goes bad. So I went in search of recipes and ways to preserve  this harvest so that I can use it later to make zucchini breads, muffins and casseroles during the winter months.

According to pickyourown.org there are two ways to store and or preserve  zucchini summer squash:

If you want to store/preserve grated zucchini for chocolate zucchini muffins, zucchini carrot cinnamon yogurt muffins, zucchini bread,
zucchini pancakes or anything recipe that you would use grated zucchini here’s how you would preserve it:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil with a steamer insert that can sit inside the pot
  2. Grate the amount of zucchini you would like to preserve. Just enough to drop into the steamer basket.
  3. Once the pot is steaming drop the zucchini into the steam basket for 1-2 minutes, until translucent.
  4. Pack the steamed and grated zucchini into containers or zipper plastic bag in the sizes that you might use most in baking ( 1-2 cup per container/bag).
  5. Cool by placing them in containers of cold ice water.
  6. Once cool, label, date, seal and freeze.

For sliced zucchini/summer squash for casseroles or simple steamed veggies as a side dish:

  1. Get a large pot of boiling water ready ( about 2/3 filled). And get a large bowl of ice and water ready to recieve the squash after blanching. To stop the cooking
  2. Wash the squash, cut it into 1/4-1/8th inch rounds and drop it into the boiling water. only slice as much zucchini/summer squash that would fit into your bowl. Zucchini/Summer squash oxidizes if its left out too long. Set your timer for 3 minutes.
  3. Once three minutes has passed using a slotted spoon grab the zucchini/summer squash and plung it into the ice water bath in the bowl.  Add more ice as needed to keep the squash cool.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3. Once you have started your next batch of zucchini/summer squash. You can do this up to 5 times for each with the same water. Refill water as needed to keep pot 2/3 full.
  5. Once the zucchini in your ice water bath as cooled your squash (about 5 minutes ) drain the squash in a strainer for 2-3 minutes to dry them as much as possible.
  6. Once the squash is thoroughly drained pack these babys in  ziploc bags or a vaccum sealer bags. For ziploc bags get as much air out as you can and seal until almost closed then using a straw to suck the remaining air out and then seal closed.

Zucchini Carrot Cinnamon Yogurt Muffins

I was inspired by about.com’s Zucchini Muffins I created my own whole grain, low fat intesly delish muffins perfect for breakfast, lunch or
dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup organic coconut oil or grassfed butter or organic applesauce
  • 2 large pasture raised/free range organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tbsp  vanilla or plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat organic pastry flour or
    KA’s organic white whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded unpeeled zucchini
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup toasted, finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Topping:
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tbsp organic sugar

Preparation:

1. Grease and flour 12 muffin cups. Heat oven to 375°.

2. In a mixing bowl, beat the oil with eggs, sugar, yogurt, and vanilla extract.

3. Combine the flour, soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg and  cinnamon; add to the wet ingredients; stirring until blended. Fold in the shredded
zucchini,  carrots and nuts.

4. Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or granulated sugar, if desired. Bake for 20 minutes.

Makes 12.

Thanks for stopping by to get more tips join us at Tammy’s Recipe’s , Tempt my tummy tuesday !

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greenmpm

Well its been a long long long time since I have participated in menu plan Mondays, but I’m getting back on track and so here is the list of what we have coming up with week plus an excellent recipe for a simple cold gazpacho clean out the fridge soup! And the best part is you just need a blender ( stick or regular) and a knife! Since I have TWO toddlers now my menus have had to simplify A LOT.

So here’s this week’s menu:

Breakfast

  • organic oatmeal w/ dried fruit (dried organinc cranberries, blueberries, raisins or cherries)  & hard boiled egg
  • organic whole grain pancakes with fruit, maple syrup and or yogurt
  • toasted peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with milk
  • poached eggs w/ sprouted grain toasted bread & grass feed butter & fresh sliced fruit
  • mixed left over veggie fritatia w/ herbed feta cheese, sprouted whole grain bread and fruit
  • carrot zucchini yogurt muffins, fruit and morning star sausage patties

Lunch:

  • Dried organic ravioli w/ organic vodka tomato sauce w/ grated pecorino and steamed veggies
  • Gazpacho clean out the fridge soup, crackers/bread , cheese & fruit
  • peanut butter and jelly sandwitches, carrot sticks and apple sauce
  • fingerfood feast (bite sized fruits, veggies and cheese w/ crackers or bread
  • wild salmon or turkey burgers (from freezer), sprouted grain whole wheat buns w/ cucumber sticks and fresh sliced fruit
  • leftover’s

Dinner:

Desserts/Snacks:

  • homemade strawberry yogurt
  • popcorn and mixed nuts
  • string cheese and fruit

Gazpacho  clean out the fridge w/ white beans  soup

Equipment:

  • Hand held blender or regular blender
  • kitchen knife for slicing and dicing
  • clean cutting board

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced/smashed
  • 1 onion, coursley chopped
  • 1-2 cucumbers
  • 1-2 green bell peppers
  • 1 28oz can crushed or diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 sliced zucchini or summer squash
  • 3 tbsp olive oil (organic extra virgin is best)
  • 1/4 cup organic balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 bunches fresh parsley or basil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12oz v8 tomato juice
  • 8oz beef or veggie broth
  • 1  14.5oz can white or black beans (optional) or equal amount dried beans, soaked and cooked.

Method/Directions:

  1. Slice and diced all veggies if you have not already done so.
  2. Toss all veggies, paprika, vinegar, v8 juice, beef broth in a tall soup pot, extra large bowl or into your blender’s container.
  3. Puree until desired texture is achieved.
  4. If using beans for added protien drain and rinse beans and toss into soup
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!

For more great meal ideas visit Organized Junkies site

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