Posts filed under ‘Food’
So part of this ‘eating better, budgeting more, cleaning more, being an adult’ crap has included eating less carbs recently. Glorious, glorious carbs.
One thing that had been missing from our diet was Italian food, since there are so many carbs involved in delicious pasta. One night, when watching Throwdown with Bobby Flay, he was making (or the competitor was making? I don’t know. My mind doesn’t work) lasagna with zucchini as noodles.
Now lets pause a minute. You’re probably wondering, how can zucchini taste as good as noodles? But I swear, you really won’t miss it. And it’s fairly easy.
What you need: 3 large zucchinis, or 5 medium-sized zucchinis
2 jars chunky garden pasta sauce (or homemade pasta sauce if you’re a better person than me)
1 large container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 package 2% mozzarella cheese
1 package sliced mushrooms
1 onion, diced
Basil, oregano, rosemary, cracked pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to taste
1 pound ground turkey
2 tbsp EVOO
Peel zucchini, and slice zucchini length-wise into long, skinny (about pasta thickness) strips. (Reserve any remaining ends/green parts/bad cuts) Salt the zucchini strips and toss in strainer, let sit for 1 hour. Then rinse and pat dry.
Warm pan with EVOO, and fry ground turkey until cooked through. Place into bowl. In same pan (reserving some of the grease), stir diced onions and sliced mushrooms into pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, remove in same bowl as meat. Pour in 2 jars of spaghetti sauce, stir. Dice any remaining zucchini that is not in strips and mix with sauce. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, basil, oregano and rosemary to taste.
Mix container of ricotta with egg, garlic powder, and a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg (sounds weird, but trust me, delicious). Mix 1/4 of package of shredded mozzarella in with cheese mixture.
Grease a 9X13 pan. Layer 1/3 of sauce/meat mixture across the bottom. Top with zucchini ‘noodles’. Spread with 1/2 ricotta mixture. Top with 1/3 sauce. Top with zucchini ‘noodles’, spread with 1/2 ricotta mixture, top with remaining sauce, then sprinkle remaining package of mozzarella on top.
Wrap with aluminum foil and bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees, then uncover and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Let stand for 10-15 minutes then cut and serve.
I love, love, love Mexican food. Mexican food and eating healthy, don’t usually go hand in hand. But we recently made some super tasty fajitas that came with no guilt by using some simple substitutions.
Instead of sour cream, Greek yogurt.
Instead of flour tortillas, corn tortillas.
Instead of chicken or beef, shrimp.
No rice or beans. (this was a sad loss)
2% milk shredded cheese instead of normal shredded cheese
Slices of avocado instead of guacamole
Fajita filling made out of: Shrimp, onions, red and yellow peppers, and tons of sliced mushrooms, sauteed in olive oil/sesame oil, covered in lots of black pepper, a bit of salt, some garlic powder, and heavily doused in Mama’s Spice (A great spice mix from New Mexico).
Topped with chopped tomatoes, slices of avocado, and a bit of salsa.
Depending on how much you pile on top of the fajitas, each fajita is roughly 200-250 calories.
My husband and I have been working on creating wish lists for each other for future gift buying situations, and also just for fun. (There’s not much budget for actual shopping, so it’s fun to dream)
My wish list has some of the usual suspects for a girl … purses, jewelry, perfume. But also some unusual items:
Hamburger pizza is one of those things that both shouldn’t be good and should be amazing, all at the same time. And also, having recently posted a recipe for bosco sticks – I realize I need to up the ante on the grownup-ness of my cooking. Ha.
This pizza is loosely based off pizzas from two of my favorite restaurants in our area: The Tap Room in St. Joseph has an amazing barbecue brisket pizza with barbecue sauce and pickles, and the Hangar dine-in movie theatre in Maryville’s hamburger pizza.
The latter sounds almost disgusting, doesn’t it? Hamburgers are good, pizza is good – but together? It should be disgusting, but it’s delicious – and a great, kid-friendly food.
So when we read the description in the menu, we weren’t sure. Special sauce, cheddar cheese, crumbled burgers, pickles, onions. Uh, did that just say special sauce? However everything we had from the Hangar was delicious, so we decided it was worth a try. Oh boy, it was amazing. So we set about to recreate it one day when we had leftover burgers, and it tasted damn close at a fraction of the cost of going out to eat.
Here’s what you need. The dough (again with the bread machine):
Layer in bread pan (or use any pizza dough recipe you prefer, or buy premade crusts):
1 cup beer
1 tbsp shortening
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pasta sprinkle (or use 1/2 tsp dried basil and 1/2 tsp oregano)
3 cups white flour
1.25 tsp yeast
Run on dough setting until cycle is through. Remove dough from bread machine and add a bit of flour as needed. Knead dough on bottom of a well greased roasting pan, dough should stretch most of the way (it rises as it bakes, so thin is OK). Brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter.
For sauce on pizza, mix:
1 tablespoon spicy mustard
1.5 tablespoon mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
3 tablespoons ketchup.
Spread on bottom of pizza. (If this doesn’t appeal to you, you could also use barbecue sauce, ranch dressing – anything that you would like on top of a burger)
1/2 pound cooked ground beef, turkey or bison, or 1/2 pound crumbled burgers.
1/2 cup diced onions
About 1/4 block of muenster cheese, cut into thin slices
1 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese (or just cheddar)
1/3 cup diced pickles (I used my homemade pickles, which are similar to a thick-cut bread and butter pickle. If using thinner store-bought pickles, layer under cheese instead of on top)
Crumble 1/2 pound of precooked burger meat leftover from burgers (we actually used bison burgers), or cook 1/2 pound of burger and crumble. Layer on top of sauce.
Next, layer 1/2 cup of diced onions on top of meat.
Then, layer muenster cheese on top of onions.
Then, layer shredded cheese.
Then, top with pickles.
Bake at 400 degrees until crust is golden brown and cheese has turned slightly golden, or about 30 minutes (start checking after 20 minutes to ensure desired doneness).
Serves 4-8, especially if served with side dishes. Enjoy!
A few posts ago I gave you a recipe to make with leftover mashed potatoes. This recipe is almost as good – and just uses potato flakes.
For the bread machine version, layer the following into the bread machine pan:
2/3 cup mashed potato flakes (I used the extra butter kind, any kind work)
1.5 cups water, or 1 cup water, 1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil (I used Tuscan herb olive oil)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic
1/3 cup diced fresh green onions
4.25 cups flour
1.25 tsp yeast
Bake on normal bread setting. When finished, place on cutting board and rub all over with butter. This makes a small, dense, delicious and filling loaf.
Growing up, one of the best days at lunch were Bosco stick days.
If you haven’t heard of Bosco sticks, they’re a breadstick-type treat with a mozzarella center. They are totally terrible for you and absolutely delicious.
A couple of weekends ago, my husband had a craving for these things. It had been years since both of us had them. We checked their website for possible locations and learned we’d have to go several states a way to get our hands on them. Then the wheels got to turning: How hard could this be to make?
Basically, you take pizza dough (I used the basic pizza dough recipe in the user manual of my bread machine), roll out into a rectangle, and place mozzarella string cheese per 1.5 inches of dough and cut into 1.5 inch strips. Wrap dough around string cheese, rolling as you go to form perfect breadsticks.
Place on well greased cookie sheets and bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes or until barely golden. Remove from oven, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with garlic powder, if desired. Serve with pasta sauce for dipping.
How’s that for a long title?
I realize this bread is going to be difficult to replicate as your mashed potatoes won’t taste exactly like mine, however, I think you will still be able to make a tasty approximation. The leftover mashed potatoes I used had been made with the aforementioned Tuscan olive oil goodness, as well as loads of butter, cream cheese, salt and pepper. Just FYI for any adjustments you may want to make.
In bread machine bucket, layer:
3/4 cup leftover mashed potatoes
3/4 cup milk (If you have dry mashed potatoes, you may want to add an additional tablespoon or two)
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons tuscan herb olive oil (use EVOO and add additional pasta seasonings if you can’t find an approximation of this oil)
1.5 tsp. salt (use more if you have nonsalty mashed potatoes, or less if really salty mashed potatoes)
2 tsp. pasta herb mix (If you don’t have this, try 1 tsp. basil and 1 tsp. oregano)
1/2 tsp. garlic
2 tablespoons sugar
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons yeast
Choose basic bread setting, with regular crust. When loaf comes out and is still hot, brush 2 tbsp melted butter over crust. Serve while warm for extra deliciousness.
Over winter break my mom took me to this great shop in downtown Overland Park, Kansas, called the Tasteful Olive.
This place is amazing. It is filled with giant silver casks of imported and domestic olive oils, vinegars, and deliciousness. You can travel from cask to cask and try a few drops of each kind of olive oil and vinegar.
Let me just say, before going here, I had no idea what kinds of varieties were available. If my funds had been more robust, I could have walked away with dozens of varieties. As it is, I walked away with honey ginger Vinegar, Persian lime olive oil, and Tuscan herb olive oil.
The honey ginger vinegar and Persian lime olive oil make for amazing meat marinades and a scrumptious Asian salad dressing.
The Tuscan herb olive oil is my new cooking secret. One to two tablespoons added to bread, mashed potatoes, roasted potatoes, meat – you name it – simply elevates good food to the divine. There is no better way to put it. You should order some. Now.
I’m giving you this background because the recipe in next post involves this olive oil, and if you don’t have it, well, it’s not going to be nearly so good. And also because everyone deserves to know a secret that elevates simple mashed potatoes to mouth-watering goodness.
If you happen to live nearby, check out downtown Overland Park. The olive oil store is next door to Penzeys spice shop and there is a farmer’s market nearby. Basically, people who live near here have no excuse to not cook amazing food.