Monday, November 29, 2010

100% Whole Wheat Rolls

 I decided instead of bread this week, it would be more user friendly for my kids to have rolls. I modified a recipe I found at to be 100% whole wheat with flax seed added for texture and Omega-3's.  They turned out SO good, light and fluffy!

Makes 4 dozen

* 4 tbs active dry yeast
* 3 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
* 1 cup white sugar
* 2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
* 2 egg, beaten
* 9 cups whole wheat flour
* 1/2 cup flax seed meal (you can use more flour instead, but the flax gives it a beautiful texture and adds Omega 3's.


1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. Mix sugar, salt, melted butter, egg, salt, flax and half the whole wheat flour into yeast mixture. Stir in remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn dough out onto a well floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place dough in bowl, and turn to coat. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
3. Punch down dough, cover, and let rise in warm place until doubled again, about 30 minutes.
4. Punch down dough, and shape rolls as desired. Makes 4 dozen large rolls. Let rise uncovered in a warm place 40 minutes, or until doubled in bulk.
5. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Granola: Chocolate Chip, Coconut, and Peanut Bars

I made these last week and they are so good! Very easy and with ingredients I always have on hand. Perfect for treats to add to a sack lunch.

Prep: 10 minutes
Yield: 20 bars

2 1/2 cups crispy rice cereal
2 cups old fashioned oats
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
1/4 cup packed coconut
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanuts

In a large bowl combine the rice cereal and oatmeal. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.

Mix brown sugar, honey and peanut butter in a small sauce pan. Stir over medium heat until just boiling. Add to cereal mixture along with vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt, peanuts, coconut, and chocolate chips.

Press into the prepared pan using a spatula. Set aside to cool, then cut into bars. (I put the pan in the freezer for about 20 minutes before cutting.) Bars can be individually wrapped and frozen, or store in an airtight container.

Monday, November 1, 2010

White Chili

My SIL made this chili for a Halloween Party this weekend and it was so good!

Yield: 6 servings

1 16 oz bag frozen white corn
2 (15oz) cans white beans
1 (4 oz) can green chilies
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup veggie or chicken broth
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Cook for 8 to 9 hours on low and 4 to 6 hours on high in your crock pot.  Recipe can be doubled.

Top with cheese and sour cream.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Lumpiang Shanghai & Lumpiang Gula (Filipino Egg Rolls)

My new neighbor is from the Phillipines and she did a little cooking class teaching us how to make egg rolls.  These are super delicious, but the ingredients are measured by sight so they are not exact, and as you make them you will learn to season to taste.

Prep: 30 mins
Yield: enough for a big party!

Lumpiang Shanghai (pork egg roll)

3 lbs ground pork
3 eggs
1 tbs chicken bullion
3 carrots, shredded
3 tsp salt
garlic powder

Combine all ingredients and season heavily with pepper & garlic.

Lumpiang Gula (Veggie Egg Roll)
1 head cabbage, shredded
3 carrots, shredded
1 jicama, shredded
bean sprouts
garlic powder
2 tbs chicken or veggie bullion

Combine ingredients and mix well. Season heavily with pepper and garlic.

To make egg rolls:
4x4 inch spring roll pastries
medium-thick paste of flour & water
Canola oil for deep frying

Place 2-3 tbs of filling diagonally on spring roll wrapper. Roll tightly, folding in sides. Seal pastry with flour & water mixture. Deep fry on medium heat. Pork egg rolls need to be cooked to internal temperature of 160 degrees. Veggie egg rolls are perfect when veggies are crisp-tender.

Serve with sweet chili sauce.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shrimp Kabobs

Prep: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 large Skewers

1 lb frozen cooked shrimp, thawed under cold running water
2 small zuchinni, cut in thick slices
1 yellow bell pepper cut into 1 inch chunks
4 roma tomatoes, cut in thick slices
1 onion, cut in 1 inch chunks
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 tbs fresh minced garlic
1 cut lime

Alternate shrimp and vegetables on skewers. Combine oil and garlic to allow flavors to marry. Brush kabobs with oil and garlic mixture and cook over medium heat until shrimp is warmed through and veggies are tender. Spritz with lime and serve.

Tips and Tricks:
These were a huge hit with my family.  I like to drizzle with hot sauce for a bit of a kick.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Strawberry Almond Salad

I had this salad last week at a family party, and it's better than the strawberry-walnut salad I had at Mimi's Cafe a few weeks back.

1 bag baby spinach
1 bag Romaine lettuce
    (can use 1 bag of red leaf lettuce)
Mozzarella cheese (shredded)
Green Onions (1 bundle or 8 onions)
Sugared almonds (slivered)
Pecans (whole)
Strawberries (1 lb container sliced)
    (can use apples and dried cranberries)

1 c. oil
¾ c. sugar
½ c. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. garlic
½ tsp. salt
    (can add 1 tsp. dry mustard and ½ tsp. celery seed)

Whip in blender
Add dressing to salad just before serving.

Sugared nuts:
Put in non-oiled pan (Teflon)
1 c. sugar
1½ c. almonds
1 c. pecans

Medium to low heat.  Stir when slightly brown and take off heat quickly.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Grilled Cheesy Potatoes

Prep: 10 minutes, grill 30 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

6 potatoes, thinly sliced
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Coat one side of a piece of aluminum foil large enough to hold all the potatoes and vegetables with cooking spray. Place the potatoes, onion, and green bell pepper in the center of the foil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then place small pats of the butter or margarine over the vegetables.
Carefully seal all the edges of the foil around the vegetables to form a packet.
Place packet on the preheated grill, and grill for 20 minutes. Turn packet, and grill for 10 more minutes.
Carefully open packet, check for tenderness with a fork. If tender, sprinkle the cheese over the vegetables and allow it to melt. Transfer to a platter, and serve with your main entree.

Tips and Tricks:
Double wrap with foil to prevent burning.

Try adding in other veggies such as broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini or summer squash.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chicken Pasta Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

I have a weakness for pasta salad.  This is one that my husband, mom, grandma and kids all loved.  Guess what, its super healthy too.

Serves 4
1/2 cup fat free sugar free vanilla yogurt
2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp grated lemon zest 
1/2 tsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

6 Oz dry whole grain penne pasta
12 oz cooked skinless chicken breast, cubed
3 oz spinach cut in bite size pieces
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small red onion, halved & slivered
1/4 cup almonds, dry roasted
1 to 2 tbs milk, optional

In a small bowl, whisk together dressing ingredients. Set aside.
Prepare the pasta according to package directions, omitting the salt.  Drain.  Rinse under cool water until cool.  Drain well.

In a large bowl, stir together pasta, chicken, spinach, bell pepper, and onion.  Pour the dressing over the salad, tossing to coat.  Serve sprinkled with almonds and refrigerate up to 4 hours, sprinkling with almonds just before serving.  Add milk if salad is dry after refrigeration to add moisture.

Nutrients per serving:

Calories: 364, Total fat 7.5g, Saturated fat 1g, trans fat 0g.  Polyunsaturated fat 2g, monounsaturated fat 3g, cholesterol 73 mg, sodium 238 mg.  Carbs 40g, Fiber 6 g, sugars 6g, protein, 35 g.

Tips and Tricks:
I substituted regular (not sugar free) low fat yogurt because I try to keep chemical sweeteners out of my home.  I didn't have lemon zest, so I used lemon juice in place of the zest and vinegar.  There was no spinach in the store, so I bought arugula and wilted it slightly, it gave a delicious, nutty flavor to the salad.

Tomato and Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup

I served this soup at a lunch with my mom and grandma, it was a big hit, with lots of flavor and very few calories.

Serves 4

1 14.5 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 3/4 cup fat free, low sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup roasted red bell peppers, drained if bottled  (to make, roast bell peppers under broiler until skin starts to black, peel  and chop)
1 tbs dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt

In saucepan stir together tomatoes with liquid, broth, roasted peppers, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in oil, sugar and salt..

Nutrients per serving:
Calories, 57, Fat 2.5g, Saturated fat, 0.5g,  Trans fat 0.0 g, Polyunsaturated fat 0.5 g, monounsaturated fat 1.5g, cholesterol 0mg, sodium 127 mg, carbohydrates 7 g, fiber 1g, Sugars 4g, Protein 2g.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Ravioli Casserole

This recipe comes from the kitchen of Amy.  She notes that it makes enough to fill both a 9x13 pan as well as a 9x9!  I'll be trying this out with my family later this week, but we will probably cut the recipe in half.

Yield: 8 Servings

2  pkg (25 oz) frozen cheese ravioli
1/4 C butter, cubed
1/4 C flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 t nutmeg
2 C milk
1/4 C veggie or chicken broth
1/2 C minced fresh basil (or about 1 Tbs dried)
3 C (12 oz) shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
3/4 C grated Parmesan cheese, deivided
2 1/2 C marinara or spaghetti sauce

*Cook ravioli to pkg directions. Do not overcook.
*Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter. Stir in the flour, salt and nutmeg until smooth; gradually add milk and broth. Bring to a boil; cooka nd stir for 1 minute or until thickened. Remove from the heat. Stir in the basil, 1 C mozzarella cheese and 1/4 C Parmesan cheese.
*Drain ravioli; toss with sauce mixture. Transfer to a greased 9x13 baking dish. Top with 1 C mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce; sprinkle with remaining cheeses. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 5-10 minutes longer or until bubbly. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving. Serves 8.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pork Chops With Tangy Sauce And Potatoes

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

6 bone-in pork loin chops (7 ounces each)
2 teaspoons canola oil
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 large green pepper, cut into rings
6-8 large potatoes, peeled and sliced

In a large skillet, brown chops in oil in batches. Transfer to a large baking dish

In the same pan, saute celery and chopped onion in butter until tender. Stir in the ketchup, water, vinegar, brown sugar, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until slightly reduced.

Pour sauce over chops. Top with sliced onion and pepper rings. Cover and bake at 350°for 20-25 minutes

While chops bake, place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and mash with butter and milk until desired consistency is reached.

Tips and Tricks
I have always used boneless pork chops for this recipe and left out the celery. You can use red wine vinegar if you don't have cider vinegar.
Make It Healthier
Omit salt.
How Kids Can Help
Use food chopper to chop onion and celery. Measure and dump ingredients. Older kids can peel potatoes.

Nutrition Facts
1 serving equals 284 calories, 12 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 91 mg cholesterol, 469 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 31 g protein
Diabetic Exchanges
4 lean meat, 1 starch, 1/2 fat

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tuscan Soup with Tortellini

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 tsp chopped garlic

1//2 tsp red pepper flakes

1 (14.5 oz) can less sodium beef broth

3 cups water

1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes

1(16 oz) bag frozen Italian vegetable blend

1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 Tbsp Italian seasoning

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 (16 oz) bag frozen cheese tortellini

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the beef broth and 3 cups of water. Add all of the remaining ingredients, except the tortellini. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tortellini and simmer until the tortellinis are cooked, another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into serving bowls and serve with Herb Focaccia, if desired.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Seven Uses for Leftover Rice

I found this list at World's Healthiest Foods for ways to use up rice. I always seem to have a cup or two leftover when we have rice.

  1. Make a simple rice salad. Artichoke hearts, roasted or raw red pepper, olives, almonds, pistachios and cashews all go along well. Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, a teaspoon of sherry wine vinegar, and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard combine in a quick dressing that will make your rice seem like anything but a leftover.
  2. Add your rice to some soup, either canned or fresh. Rice really makes a split pea, lentil or bean soup into a hearty mid-day meal.
  3. Make a quick rice pudding. Add a cup of organic lowfat vanilla yogurt, a cup of applesauce or finely chopped apple, a handful of raisins, and a teaspoon of cinnamon to each cup of rice. Stir well, heat through, and you're done with the basics. For a richer dessert, crumble a few walnuts on top.
  4. Saute a few of your favorite vegetables- asparagus, broccoli florets, mushrooms, slices of red and green sweet peppers, onions, butternut squash-spoon over a bed of warmed rice, top with a handful of your favorite "healthy roasted" nut or seed, and enjoy. (To roast nuts and bring out their flavor without damaging their healthy fats, toss them with a little tamari or soy sauce, spread on a pan or cookie sheet, and roast at 170 degrees for 20 minutes.)
  5. Use the rice to make some Pineapple, Coconut Rice Breakfast. Just add pineapple chunks, almonds, raisins, banana, and coconut milk, and blend.
  6. Go macrobiotic! Simply reheat your brown rice, drizzle a tablespoon of tamari on top, then sprinkle with a tablespoon of sesame seeds.
  7. Make a wrap. Spoon rice down the center of a tortilla. Top with a little salsa, some kidney beans, a couple of sliced black olives, some chopped onions, and a tablespoon of low-fat plain yogurt and/or grated low-fat cheddar cheese. If you have an avocado on hand, finish off with a few slices, then roll up and heat in the microwave or oven. Voila—a healthy flavorful meal.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Six Week Bran Muffins

These muffins are called "six week" because the batter will safely keep in the fridge (in a sealed container) for a long time. It makes a big batch, but it won't take you six weeks to use it up, enjoying hot fresh muffins in the morning!

1 1/2 cups chopped dates, raisins, craisins, or golden raisins
5 tsp Baking Soda
2 cups boiling water
1 cup butter
4 eggs
5 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 quart buttermilk
2 cups 40% bran flakes
2 cups All Bran cereal
1 tsp salt
1 cup walnuts (optional)

In a bowl mix dates or raisins with baking soda. Over this pour 2 cups boiling water and let cool. In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in buttermilk alternately with flour and salt add bran flakes and All Bran and stir until moistened. Then, add the baking soda mixture. Stir just until moistened--do not overmix! Put in well greased muffin tins. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Store leftovers in a tight container in refrigerator for up to six weeks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Oatmeal Applesauce Struesel Muffins

I am craving muffins today, so I'm trying these out. I found the recipe at I'm going to use whole wheat flour & regular rolled oats instead of quick. I'll let you know how they turn out!

1 1/2 c. quick oatmeal
1 1/4 c. flour
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/2 c. skim milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
3 tbsp. veg. oil
1 egg white

Mix together in order given. Top with the following:

1/4 c. oatmeal
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. melted butter

Bake in a preheated 375F oven for about 15 minutes, or until done (depends upon the size of the muffins).

Tips and Tricks:
These just came out of the oven and they are good but could stand a few small improvements--next time I will add a dash of salt to the recipe and use a whole egg, not just the white. I think this will improve the flavor. I didn't get a chance to try the whole wheat as planned because I'm out of flour in my freezer. Serve them with butter & honey for the best taste.