Lasagna

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I dove into the family cookbook to make some lasagna. There are a few recipes to choose from the Riesberg Recipes, this one is easy and of course I made some alterations to it. Below I have both the original recipe and the substitutions I have made.

Lasagna

8 oz lasagna (I’ve been using no boil)
1 lb hamburger (ground turkey)
32 oz spaghetti sauce
15 oz cottage cheese
12 oz grated mozzarella cheese (riccota, from a deli it comes in a pie shape)
¼ c grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
spices as desired (i.e. oregano, basil, ground pepper)

In greased (or lined) 9×13 pan place small amount of spaghetti sauce, put 3 layers of 3 strips of uncooked lasagna, spaghetti sauce with hamburger, cottage cheese and mozzarella. Top with Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake at 375° for 30 minutes, remove cover and continue baking for 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

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Chicken Noodle Soup

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I created my own chicken noodle soup recipe on a whim one day. I wanted to create something that I knew exactly what’s in it. It wasn’t until after creating this recipe did I realize all the extra benefits I had put into it. Also since I made this up the measurements are mostly in grams since I enter my recipes into My Fitness Pal and want accurate weights.

My family has a history of Alzheimer’s/dementia and cancer. After my own health problems I have learned that tumeric is an all around great spice to have in your cupboard. It’s actually being studied for it’s benefits in slowing Alzheimer’s and possible prevention and treatment of cancers. Seriously, go search this! There are even pills so you don’t have to add it to every meal. And I chose to use rice noodles since my husband has a wheat sensitivity.

In general chicken noodle soup is believed to be good to eat when you have a cold, while this seems to be true, adding some of these other ingredients will make this a great thing to eat while you’re feeling great too. Rosemary is an antioxidant, carrots are good for beta carotene and fiber, chicken provides protein, the list goes on. Don’t just make this if you are feeling under the weather, make this to keep your body going strong. Give your body the nutrients it needs to fight off more than just the common cold.

Chicken Noodle Soup

2-4 chicken breasts, cooked and diced
2-3 lg carrots
200 g onion (white)
20 g fresh parsley
2 c vegetable broth (I use Saffron Road vegetable broth, so yummy!)
1 c water
150 g celery
4 oz rice noodles (or regular if you don’t have gluten issues), cook per package directions
3 lg garlic cloves
1 Tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp ground tumeric

While chopping vegetables, put chicken breasts in a roaster with 1/2 cup vegetable broth and 1/4 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup chicken bone stock and pepper. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, check to make sure it’s cooked through.

In a stock pot, melt down coconut oil. Add garlic and onion. After a couple minutes start adding celery and carrots. Slowly add in vegetable broth to keep vegetables from sticking to the bottom of your pot. Continue cooking until vegetables are tender. Dice chicken and add to stock pot with remaining broth. Add spices and noodles, mix well. Add water and parsley, continue stirring and heat through.

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Add a little turmeric

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I have no idea if my thought of making eggs more yellow is even a thing that people care about, but I thought I would share this little tidbit. Now that I’m at home I’ve been making myself lunch. Most days (when I’m not eating a bag of chips (because we ran out)) I make myself scrambled egg with potato and onion. Sometimes I’ll even throw in a dried out Anaheim pepper from last year’s harvest for some extra extra heat.

This “recipe” has no measurements because, well I just dump stuff in and go. Keeps the excitement alive while making and eating the same thing everyday.

When I scramble up my egg I use some 2% milk (I read somewhere it’s better for you than skim, and I don’t think coconut milk would taste good with eggs). I also add in fresh ground pepper (go crazy!), turmeric root powder (makes everything yellow, and adds a little spice, oh and it’s good for you), a little cayenne (much less of this than turmeric), and feta cheese. Like I mentioned before some dried Anaheim pepper might find it’s way in there as well. I also chop up a small red potato and white onion.

There you have it! My fairly simple, takes about 20 minutes to make lunch.

Also for the photography I was trying some bounce flash off my ceiling. Need to keep practicing these photo skills!

Mediterranean Tuna Casserole

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If you want to go for something different tonight (or tomorrow) this is a great recipe featured in Taste of Home. I’m not a fan of fish, and really not a fan of tuna casserole. This dish makes the tuna hard to taste and gives a nice update to an old (and usually gross) classic.

Mediterranean Tuna Casserole

1½ c uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
2 cans (10 oz) white water packed tuna, drained
1 can (10¾ oz) condensed cream of mushroom soup, undiluted
1¼ c water-packed artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained and chopped
½ c sour cream
¼ c roasted sweet red peppers, drained and chopped (I oven roasted some red pepper)
3 Tbsp chopped onion
3 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
2 Tbsp Greek olives, chopped
1 Tbsp snipped fresh dill or 1 tsp dill weed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp grated lemon peel (or juice)
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ c dry bread crumbs (I used crushed Corn Flakes)
¼ c grated Parmesan cheese
½ tsp Italian seasoning

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the tuna, soup, artichokes, sour cream, peppers, onion, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, dill, garlic, lemon and pepper flakes. Drain pasta; stir into tuna mixture. Divide among six 10-oz. ramekins or custard cups.

In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheese and Italian seasoning. Sprinkle over tuna mixture. Place ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

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Chickpea and Spinach Veggie Burger

veggie burgers_0413_05I don’t even know what spurred this, but Friday I decided I wanted to make a veggie burger. Ok I do know a little bit of what started this thought track. My husband and I have been getting Morning Star® on sale and they came out with a new flavor called Mediterranean something. Anyway I saw some whole chickpeas in it and thought, “Well I could make something like this.” Now my only problem is I don’t buy beans in a can. Other vegetables I do, but beans, just something about it I don’t like. Because of this it takes a lot of planning for things like chili, hummus and now veggie burgers.

Since I had no clue where to even start I hopped on Pintrest to get some chickpea based burger recipes. I found this recipe from Splash Dash Mom. It has the basic instructions and the spinach ingredient inspiration. Below is my rendition. I did sample it and it’s actually really tasty.

Chickpea, Spinach and Roasted Garlic Veggie Burger

2 c chickpeas
¼ c black beans
2-3 garlic cloves
½ tsp oregano
½ c (60g) white onion
1 tsp olive oil
½ c (25g) fresh baby spinach
½ c crumbs (I used corn flake crumbs)
1 egg

I started with having to cook Chickpeas soakingthe chickpeas. Soaked them overnight and cooked them for a couple of hours the next morning. Just be aware these guys soak up water like crazy. As you can see by this photo. They were covered not that long before.

Combine all the ingredientsThe next step is to mix everything together. I started out by using a hand potato masher thingy and found that would take a bit longer than I wanted, so I put everything in my Vitamix on low. This did the trick, but I would recommend using a food processor so everything has more room to move.

veggie burgers_0413_03This is everything all mashed up. Next step form it into burgers. I made 8, but they are larger. I use the sandwich thins buns, so I wanted these to fill out most of that space.

formed burgersI tried putting these on a George Foreman, didn’t really work out. Following the original instructions I tried browning them in a small skillet one at a time. This seemed to cook them pretty well. They were a bit crumbly and need to be handled carefully. I think some tweaking will be done to the next go round, maybe add more oil? If anyone has any suggestions for making them less crumbly that would be great!

finished burgersThe finished product. Some I left longer than others, just judge that for yourself, how brown you would like them.

Simple Pork Chop Dinner with Herb Pesto

 
Tonight I needed something easy but super flavorful. It may look like a total mess, but just soak your pan when your done it should be fine. The original recipe calls for some water and all of the spices to be marinated with the pork as least an hour and then grilled. So if that’s something you want to try it can be made that way too. I found this recipe in my Taste of Home (possibly Healthy Cooking) magazine, sent in by Lisa from Mississippi.

Pork Chops with Herb Pesto

150 g pork chops (two boneless pork chops however much you want)
½ Tbsp olive oil (and some non stick spray for your pan)
1 tspish of each of the following: rosemary, sage, thyme, parsley, basil, (garlic)
1-2 cloves garlic, mashed then chopped

Put olive oil in the pan. Rub the spices and garlic on the pork chops. Put the pork chops in the pan and cook until 170º. Serve with a side of vegetables or rice or both. I hope you find this as good as me!

BBQ Chicken Pizza from scratch

My lofty goals of the weekend weren’t all met, but I did get a couple of things accomplished. I got through the formals from the wedding. Now it should be pretty smooth sailing.I made pizza yesterday. Completely from scratch too. So if you’re brave and want to make pizza starting with the dough this recipe is for you! I also baked it on an off brand stone which is fun, just because it’s different.

BBQ Chicken Pizza

The Dough

There’s an awesome cookbook called ‘Dining on a Dime’ where I found a recipe for pizza dough. I might be a little odd, but I add spices to the dough instead of to the sauce. I find it adds a lot of flavor to pizza.

1 c warm water (120°)
1 pkg or 1 Tbsp yeast
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 ½-3 c flour
The Optional Spices
2 tsp
garlic (chopped fresh if you’re brave)
1 tsp basil, thyme, oregano, paprika, Jamaican jerk, parsley, fresh ground pepper, or whatever else you would like to add.

Dissolve yeast in a bowl with arm water. Add sugar, salt and oil and spices as desired. Mix well. Gradually add flour to form a stiff dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth. Place in greased bowl. Turn dough over so as to grease both sides in the bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled. Makes 2 medium pizzas or one large.

The Topping

The cheese is something you can choose whatever you have on hand or you think would taste good. For this round I used some Chipotle cheddar, mozzarella, and feta. I also shred the cheese myself because there are a few less ingredients added. Better for you and still tastes great.

1 small can tomato paste
500 g chicken (or about 2 breast halves)
1 Tbsp BBQ sauce (whatever’s your fav)
1-2 tsp poultry seasoning
1/3 c red onion
1 tsp chipotle cheddar
¼ c green onion
50 g chipotle cheddar
50 g mozzarella
¼ c feta crumbled

Once the dough has risen roll it out on your stone or pan, just make sure it’s oven safe (oh and I would put some olive oil down to help it spread. And I just learned that putting a little cornstarch down too to make a more crispy crust). Heat the oven to 400°. While the oven is heating put the crust in for 5 minutes. Once that’s done take it out and put the pan on a hot plate or wire rack. Now put on your tomato paste/sauce and BBQ sauce, make sure to spread it to the edges. Next place everything else on and cover the whole pizza. Once this is done put the pan back in the oven and bake for another 20 minute or until chicken is cooked and the cheese is melted.

There you have it…Some awesome BBQ Chicken pizza made from scratch!

Vegetarian Night

My crafting has really gone by the wayside with all my cooking and baking this last week. Tonight I took to Pintrest and my fridge for dinner. I found this recipe for a pasta dish that uses an avocado, lemon and some garlic. Sounds simple enough, but I decided to change it up a little bit..

I have some mushrooms that needed using and some Parmesan reggiano that was just asking to be grated. The recipe may not look so pretty, mainly from the lovely avocado green, but it does taste good.

The finished dish before it was plated.

Avocado Lemon Spaghetti

1 ripe avocado
1 lemon, halved and juice squeezed out (can zest for garnish)
olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves
a little extra lemon juice if desired
some salt and pepper
spaghetti, cooked to package instructions
optional: mushrooms, fresh grated Parmesan

Cook spaghetti (or other pasta) according to package instructions. Put everything except spaghetti (and mushrooms/Parmesan) into a food processor, blender, Vitamix, etc. Blend until it is the consistency you want, mine was a paste. Saute the mushrooms in pan with a little cooking spray then pour avocado mixture on top. Heat through, then add your pasta. Mix thoroughly and add Parmesan if desired. It will start to bubble a little which means it should be heated through, then serve and enjoy!

This is super fast and easy and has lots of flavor. Once you get over the bright green color it tastes pretty good.

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