Monday, March 28, 2011

Applesauce Bread

This is similar to zucchini bread without the zucchini of course. It is extremely moist and solid like a pudding cake. I tweaked this recipe to make it cholesterol free and great for your heart. The wheat bran is sold on the baking isle, I love to toss it in with my bread and muffin recipes. I traded the white flour for wheat flour and to help tone down the typical strong wheat taste I added the right amount of spice and extract. If you don't want to be healthy then substitute the honey for 3/4 cup sugar however this recipe has the perfect amount of sweetness without the sugar especially if you spread honey on a warm slice. My 4 year old son said, "Mommy this is the best cake bread you ever made." He ate 4 slices. You could add what ever you want to this recipe to give this your preferred flair (raisins, chopped walnuts, zucchini, or even try 1/2 cup of diced apples), just be careful because this is meant to be a healthy bread. I'm a raisin fan and I would have put 1/2 cup of them in but they are high in sugar. I thought about the diced apple idea after I already made the bread, but sometimes a smooth bread is better than a textured bread. I was very happy with the end result - a smooth, moist and sweet slice of heaven! I will be making this more often.

I use my bread maker but here are the directions for baking in the oven.

Applesauce Bread
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of almond or coconut extract
  • 1/2 cup egg whites (about 3 eggs)
  • 2 cups applesauce
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare either 2 8x4x2" loaf pans or 16 muffin cups.

In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.

In another bowl, beat together the wet ingredients. Pour the applesauce mixture into the dry ingredients and stir gently, just until the dry ingredients are moistened.

Pour batter into prepared pans (fill muffin cups a little over half full to get all 16 of them). For loaf pans, bake 35-40 minutes, or until they test done. For muffin cups, 18-20 minutes. Start testing loaf pans for doneness at around 28 minutes, muffins at 16 minutes.

Serve with honey or Smart Balance spread.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A New Feature

I've decided to create a new category on my blog dedicated to heart friendly recipes. This is a fun challenge I am taking on to prove that zero cholesterol and zero saturated fats recipes can be delicious. I'll be using lots of fresh veggies, fruits and whole grains. This will great for anyone who is trying to eat better, lose weight and improve their health. Sometimes its hard to find ideas that the whole family will love especially those family members who don't want to be on a special diet just because you are. Remember all my recipes are tried and tested by me. If I don't love it I won't post it. My kids have to approve it as well.

For this new challenge I will steer away from sugar, oil, dairy and most meats. I'll focus on fish and vegetarian cuisine but these recipes will leave you pleasantly satisfied and you won't feel like you are missing out one bit! Stay tuned......

But don't fret if you are feeling any anxiety - I will still post my (non-healthy) recipes every now and then to keep my fans happy. I understand that variety works best and everything done in moderation is always key to enjoyable eating experiences.

Louisianna Catfish with Mardi Gras Sauce

I went to Louisiana when I was 15 and absolutely loved the Cajun cuisine. I have been craving fried catfish ever since and I finally decided to make it. I made my own version of it and made my own sauce and it brought back some wonderful memories and was extremely delicious. I served it with my yummy black bean crisps.

Louisianna Catfish with Mardi Gras Sauce
  • 2 packages of fresh or frozen catfish nuggets
  • 1 cup corn meal
  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 - 2 cups canola oil
  • 1/4 cup Kraft Mayo with Cracked Pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp red hot sauce
Heat oil on high in a skillet. In a plastic container add all dry ingredients. Take catfish nuggets and run under water, place in container and shake until coated in cornmeal mixture. Place in hot oil and fry until golden brown on all sides. Squeeze lemon juice over top and serve with sauce.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Zesty Black Bean Crisps

I stumbled across this creation by accident. I was frying burritos and some black beans fell into the oil. Some time later I noticed them and scooped them out. I bit into one and experienced instant paradise! It was crispy on the outside and light and airy on the inside (almost hallow) like a kettle cooked potato chip. The hot oil completely changed the chemistry of the black bean just like popcorn. I had boiled dry black beans from my food storage so there was a lot left over. This was a perfect solution. I took the rest and fried them in oil and added seasoning and we snacked on them all night! Loved it. I even used them as a salad topper which offered the same crunch as bacon bits.

If you are going to make them I think it is best to cook the beans from scratch (the quick method) because they aren't soggy and squishy and so they are more crispy when fried.

Zesty Black Bean Crisps
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 2 cups canola oil
  • lemon pepper
Heat oil on high heat. Add beans and fry for 10 minutes or until crispy. Drain oil and dry on paper towel. Pat off excess oil. Sprinkle on lemon pepper.

Royal Crab Parmesan

I made this up and it was so delicious! It's creamy, zesty, tangy, warm goodness. I can't help but imagine a king enjoying this meal. If you don't like crab meat you can easily substitute it for something else like shrimp, chicken or sausage.

Royal Crab Parmesan
  • 1 box bow tie pasta
  • 1 pkg imitation crab meat flaked
  • 1 block low fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Boil pasta according package. Drain water. In a large skillet on medium heat add cream cheese, milk, vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, salt, lemon zest. As soon as cream cheese is melted stir in crab. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Swiss & Slaw Sandwich

I have made this twice in the last couple months because it is so delicious and easy. It's bursting with flavor from the bread to the beef and because of the juicy, creamy and crisp coleslaw you won't need any condiments. I recommend making your own coleslaw but if you are trying to keep it easy then Smith's sells the best coleslaw in their deli. I bought coleslaw from Walmart and it looked like baby food. You may want to call the bakery ahead of time and put in a fresh order of rye or they may not have any when you go. That's what I have to do.

Swiss & Slaw Sandwich

  • 1/2 lb corned beef fresh from deli
  • 2 cups coleslaw
  • 2 Tbsp mustard
  • 6 slices of Swiss cheese
  • 1 loaf fresh rye bread (I like marble rye)
Slice bread into 12 slices (for 6 sandwiches). Layer corned beef, cheese, coleslaw and spread mustard on top slice. Enjoy!!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Coconut Lime Cake

I created this from my imagination. It was perfect for St. Patrick's Day. It smells like my favorite coconut lime body spray and tastes like paradise. I received lots of praise for this creation. I made my white cake mix from scratch using a recipe from my Pillsbury cookbook. The cake mix in a box is easier so I am showing it in this recipe. The boxed cake mixes are much sweeter so if you get a chance to make cake from scratch give it a try but use "cake flour" instead of regular flour. Your cake will taste much better and it's only a couple dollars to buy. I made it in cake and cupcake version. Also, I put lime zest in my cake batter. Some people loved it and some people didn't so I left it out of the recipe.

Coconut Lime Cake
  • 1 pkg white cake mix
  • 1 pkg instant vanilla pudding
  • 2 Tbsp powder sugar
  • 1 pkg lime jello
  • 1 16 oz container of whipped topping
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 2 tsp coconut extract
  • 4 drops green food coloring
Prepare cake mix, add food coloring and pour into 9 inch round cake pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-43 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Divide cake into 2 slices. Prepare jello according to directions and refrigerate for 20 minutes. In a bowl mix together 2 Tbsp dry instant vanilla pudding, powder sugar, coconut exxtract and whipped topping. On first layer of cake take a straw and poke holes all over. Pour liquid gelatin into holes. Spread whipped topping mixture over top. Add next layer of cake and repeat process. Frost entire cake with whipped topping and dust all over with shredded coconut. Refrigerate two hours and serve.

Fish Stick Tacos

I got this idea from a commercial for fish sticks. It was super easy and my kids said it was super delicious. It's a fun way to do tacos and a fun way to serve fish sticks.

Fish Stick Tacos
  • 1 pkg frozen fish sticks
  • 1 pkg taco shells
  • 1 cup pineapple salsa
  • 1 bowl of fresh made coleslaw ( I make mine homemade)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream

Bake fish sticks according to directions on on box. Fill taco shells with coleslaw, two fish sticks, cheese, salsa and sour cream. Enjoy!!

Best Shepherds Pie

I made this for St. Patrick's Day and it was absolutely delicious. I snagged the recipe from Kraft Foods and made a few minor changes. I know I'll be making this again real soon.

Best Shepherds Pie
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups hot mashed potatoes
  • 4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 1 cup beef gravy
In a hot skillet brown beef and drain grease. Add ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, and gravy. Layer beef in bottom of 13X9 inch pan. Layer mixed vegetables on top. Mix potatoes with garlic, cream cheese and 1/2 cup of cheddar. Layer over top then sprinkle remaining cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pancake Cake

I wanted to make a cake today but I was out of eggs and butter. So the idea popped into my head to make a pancake cake. I had a box of Lehi Roller Mills buttermilk pancake mix. I thought to myself about the possibility of baking pancake batter rather than frying it in a pan. It was so much easier and fluffier! I love that you don't have to stand over the stove and flip the cakes or burn them. This is way better and you just top with your favorite pancake toppings - I like to top with homemade pie filling.

Pancake Cake
  • 1 box of buttermilk pancake mix (cake mix size)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
Make entire box of pancake mix according to directions on back. Add oats, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla. Mix well and pour into cake pan. Bake for 23 minutes. Remove from oven and poke all over with a fork. Pour maple syrup and spread over top. Serve with whipped cream and fresh fruit.

Tuscan Chicken

I created this tonight for dinner and it turned out really nice. It's very juicy and bursting with flavor. It went great with homemade rolls and steamed asparagus.

Tuscan Chicken

  • 4 chicken breasts sliced into tenders
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 4 Roma tomatoes sliced into fourths
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Heat oil in skillet. Add chicken and remaining ingredients (except tomatoes). Cook until golden and centers are white. Add tomatoes and cook another 2 minutes. Drizzle sweet balsamic syrup over top and serve with fresh mozzarella cheese.

Asian Dressing

I created this to go with my sesame chicken, it was yummy.

Asian Dressing
  • 3 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
Blend in magic bullet or blender and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Serve over salad.

Sesame Chicken

I snagged this recipe from my mom and it is delicious. I played around with the sauce ingredients to make a delicious Asian Dressing for salad. If you serve the chicken with rice or noodles instead you'll want to double the sauce recipe to have enough to pour over the rice.

Sesame Chicken
  • 6 chicken breasts cut into strips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
Microwave chicken for about 6 minutes before cutting. Mix water and egg together. Heat skillet and add oil. Dip chicken strips in egg mixture and then in flour and fry in oil until golden.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Get a cake pan and line with tin foil. Mix sauce ingredients together. Dip the chicken in the soy sauce mixture. and then place in pan. Sprinkle chicken with sesame seeds. Bake in oven for 20 minutes.

Tangy Steak Sauce (German Style)

I had this entree in an Italian Restaurant in Germany a couple years ago. I loved it so much I recreated it in my kitchen and matched the flavor to my memory. It's creamy and tangy and perfect for smothering a steak with.

Tangy Steak Sauce (German Style)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup flour.
Melt butter in skillet. Saute mushrooms until tender. Add flour 1 Tbsp at a time until blended with butter. Add milk and stir until thickened. May add more flour 1 Tbsp at a time to thicken or add more milk to thin. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and serve over steak.

Stuffed Salmon Braid

This is super delicious. If you don't like salmon you can substitute it with chicken or tuna salad. It's a beautiful presentation.

Salmon Braid
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
  • 1 Tbsp prepared mustard
  • 1 Tbsp minced onion
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 4 cooked and flaked salmon fillets
  • 2 eggs boiled and chopped
  • 8 oz can refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In bowl combine mayo, relish, mustard and onion. Stir in salmon and eggs. Unroll dough into 2 long rectangles. Place on a greased cookie sheet and press together with rolling pin into one large rectangle, sprinkle with flour before rolling. Spoon salmon mixture down center of rectangle. Sprinkle one cup of cheese on top. With a knife, cut dough 1 inch apart along sides making strips to braid. Wrap strips over top in a braiding fashion. Bake at 375 degrees for 17-24 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese and seeds. Return to oven and bake another 2-3 minutes.

Cheesy Chicken Bake

I decided to resurrect a classic. I have never made this but found it in a cookbook my mom made. It tasted very familiar and took me back to childhood so I thought this was food blog worthy. It was very delicious - the only thing I decided to change was the name.

Cheesy Chicken Bake
  • 1 large package frozen broccoli
  • 6 chicken breasts cooked and cubed
mix together:
  • 1 cup mayo (try Kraft mayo with olive oil -cracked pepper flavor)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup crumbled Ritz cracker crumbs
Layer broccoli, chicken, sauce and cheese. Top with cracker crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Killer Noodle Salad

This is way yummy! My mom suggested it from her ward cookbook. If you serve it cold it makes a great side dish if you serve it warm it can easily be an entree especially if you serve grilled chicken on top. My husband loved it warm. My kids gobbled it up!

Killer Noodle Salad
  • 1 pkg angel hair pasta
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 cup crushed peanuts (crush peanuts in Magic Bullet)
  • 1 bottle Kraft Asian Dressing
Biol pasta according to directions on box. Add remaining ingredients and toss. Serve warm or chilled!

Pizza Roll

So this is a fun twist on pizza. I got thinking the other day about pumpkin rolls and thought how fun it would be to try a pizza roll. It was fun and so delicious. The slices of pizza look great for presentation and they are fun to dip in your favorite pizza sauce. I like cool ranch. I used pepperoni, mushrooms, spinach, garlic and cheese. I made a homemade spaghetti sauce.The kids loved this one!

Pizza Roll
  • 2 cans of refrigerated pizza dough
  • spaghetti sauce
  • 1 bag shredded pizza cheese
  • all your favorite toppings (careful - too many bulky toppings will make the dough tear when rolling)

Sprinkle a surface with flour and roll out dough into one large rectangle. Spread sauce over, arrange toppings and sprinkle with cheese. Starting from one end roll pizza tight into the shape of a log. Make two rolls. Dust with flour and bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes. Serve with dip and tossed salad.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sausage Pillows

This recipe is fun to make and great for presentation. I took the traditional "chicken" recipe and swapped it for turkey sausage. It was better than the chicken by far. Now I would like to try this recipe with crab and that will for sure be the best. Shredded crab meat with a little lemon juice and lemon zest. I can taste it now - crab pillows!!

Sausage Pillows
  • 1 lb turkey sausage, cooked
  • 6 oz of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 -4 tablespoons green onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 2 Tbsp butter or margarine, softened
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cans of crescent rolls
  • 1 box seasoned stuffing mix (crushed into crumbs )
  • 1 stick melted butter
Cream sauce
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon mayo
  • 1/2 cup milk
In large bowl, mix together cream cheese, green onion, mushrooms, 2 Tbsp butter, milk, salt, and pepper. Stir in sausage and set aside. Open crescent rolls and carefully unroll dough. May want sprinkle flour on both sides to avoid sticking. Separate each tube into 4 rectangles. Seal seam in center of each rectangle. Place one heaping spoonful of sausage mixture on half of each rectangle. Fold over other half of roll dough and seal edges, creating a pillow. Dip each pillow in melted butter and then stuffing mix. Place on baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with cream sauce.

For cream sauce - combine ingredients in sauce pan and cook over medium heat until heated through.

German Cucumber Salad

This is truly the most delicious way to eat cucumbers and represents well the flavors of German cuisine. I make this often because it is so easy and not very many ingredients. It goes well with just about any main course hot or cold. Mmmm!!

German Cucumber Salad
  • 2 large cucumbers peeled and sliced
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp fresh minced parsley
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and chill for 2 hours before serving.