Thursday, April 29, 2010

What's for Dinner Wednesday...Stir Fry!

I know, I know, it's Thursday. I'm a day late. We had my wonderful uncle over for dinner last night, and the good company, good food, and good wine postponed my recipe until today.

Dinner included another Ocean State Job Lots steal--Organic Soba Noodles. For $1! I love that place. I've been trying to cook a better variety of grains (we have so much wheat and rice!), and since soba noodles are made with wheat flour and buckwheat flour, the fit the bill. And they're SO good....Mike found them a little slimy, but I think I may have just overcooked them a little.

I cook a stir fry almost weekly, my own recipe of figuring out the best mix over the years...using whatever veggies I have on hand and a package of tofu. Here's the details:

Tofu Veggie Stir Fry with Soba Noodles

1/4 c. sesame oil
1/4 c. rice wine vinegar
1/2 c. soy sauce
1 large clove minced garlic

2 carrots, grated
1 small onion, chopped
1 small head baby bok choy/a few handfuls of chopped kale/baby spinach...any greens you like!
2 stalks celery, chopped
a few handfuls of broccoli
10 mushrooms, sliced
1 package firm tofu, cubed

Mix sauce ingredients in a bowl, and add cubed tofu to marinate while you prepare veggies.
In a large pan, saute onions in a little olive oil until almost cooked.
Stir in carrots, celery, greens, and mushrooms (and, really, any other veggies your little heart desires...the more the merrier!!).
Add a splash of sesame oil (the flavor is incredible) and pour in just a splash of your tofu marinade and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until veggies are cooked.
Add remaining tofu and sauce, and warm through.
Adjust seasoning as needed--sometimes I add just a little more soy sauce or rice wine vinegar if it tastes bland; just do a little at a time!
Follow cooking directions on noodle package, and serve with veggies on top.


Friday, April 23, 2010


Doesn't just reading that instantly bring you back 20 years? (sad, huh? It has indeed been that long.) If you watched any TV, you remember this beauty from 1985:

I remember we got my Mom one for Mother's Day one year. It was great, and weird. The seeds mixed into a slimy, jelly, spreadable blob. One would think there must have been some strange additive into the seed mix to make it that way, right? Nope. They just do that.

I'm sure you're wondering why I'm discussing Chia Pets on a food blog. Turns out those little chia seeds are a SUPER food. They're high in Omega-3 fatty acids (even more than flax seeds), calcium, and protein, and pack tons of fiber. Chia seeds even made it onto Oprah with Dr. Oz-- here.

I bought some at the co-op this week and I'm trying a few different things with them. We had some sprinkled on our salad, and I didn't even notice them (they're flavorless, by the way). I'm planning to make some chia gel to bake with (see this website; you can replace half the butter in a recipe w/ gel and supposedly not notice...I'll keep you posted on that one). And for dessert tonight I made chocolate rice krispie treats with some mixed in, and they were DELISH. Even my non-health-food-nut parents enjoyed them. Recipe follows below, and I will experiment with some cookie-baking this week.

PS-Good luck getting the Chia Pet song out of your head. :)

Chocolate Chia Rice Krisipie Treats
modified from Clean Food, by Terry Walters

3/4 c. maple syrup
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. chocolate chips
3 c. crispy rice cereal
1/4 c. toasted sesame seeds
1/4 c. chia seeds

In a medium Dutch oven over medium-low heat, combine syrup and peanut butter until smooth. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. Fold in rice cereal, chia seeds, and sesame seeds and stir to coat everything. Press into an 8x8 casserole and refrigerate until firm (at least 20 minutes). Cut into squares and serve or store in an airtight container.
Makes 1-1 1/2 dozen 1" squares

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's for Dinner Wednesday...LEFTOVERS!

Each Thanksgiving, we buy our turkey from a local farm, Sap Bush Hollow Farm (see them at Their grassfed turkey is incredible; really puts that Butterball to shame. This year we bought a second turkey so that we could enjoy a turkey dinner one extra time before next Thanksgiving. And that time was this past Sunday. I cooked a 25 lb. turkey that we shared with some dear friends, and we have been enjoying turkey sandwiches every night all week.

Here's tonight's dinner!

On my plate:
turkey sandwich with mayo, lettuce, cranberry sauce, salt and pepper
salad with walnuts and goat cheese
warm beet and potato salad leftovers (recipe thanks to my friend Cara!)
a local dill pickle...mmm....

Oh, and on the side, I made a quick batch of kale chips! Slightly different recipe, this time: I drizzled them in red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and dill, and roasted for about 20 minutes and 350°. Even Mike liked them (He likes it, Mikey likes it!). Delish!

And on Lainey's Plate...she has serious issues with meat. She seems to have trouble with the idea that she can chew and chew and chew and still have meat left in her mouth. So, on Lainey's plate tonight....

leftover black bean and corn quesadillas from the Sunset Cafe
half a pickle (which she didn't like because it made her "tongue tingle")

Isn't leftover night the best? I love cooking, but I really love when the fridge is full of dinner options without any work required.

Roasted Potato and Beet Salad (from Kilpatrick Family Farm via Cara)

1 lb. potatoes
1 lb. beets
2 onions
1/2 c. olive oil
1 c. mayo
1 c. sour cream or yogurt (I used yogurt)
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. fresh dill

Preheat oven to 350°. Scrub potatoes and peel beets. Chop into bite-sized pieces. Mince one onion. Toss in a bowl with potatoes, beets, and olive oil. Season to taste. Roast until tender, 40-50 minutes. When done, toss back into the bowl and coat with vinegar. Set aside. Mix mayo, yogurt, and dill, then stir into bowl of veggies. Stir until well coated. Amount of sauce can be varied to your preference. Chop 2nd onion and add to mixture.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mr. Magoo Muffins

Thanks to one of my favorite blogs, Mixing Bowl Kids, for this recipe! These Cereal Muffin Treats, or Mr. Magoo Muffins as Lainey calls them, are sooo good! Really, though, how could you go wrong with your favorite cereals and chocolate? Also check out Jan's other blog, Family Bites, for more great food ideas!

Lainey really had fun helping me make these. She mixed, she poured, but perhaps most importantly, she licked. Thank goodness I had the forethought to take off her shirt! :)

You know you've really enjoyed yourself when there's chocolate in your hair...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What's for Dinner Wednesday...Veggies and Mr. Magoo

GREAT dinner tonight. I got a new book from the library today called "The No-Tofu Vegetarian Cookbook", by Sharon Sassaman Claessens. We had a slightly adapted version of the Scalloped Vegetable and Cheese Casserole. It was a little bland, but a dip of dijon mustard with each bite made it perfect. Also very quick and easy to prepare, and I think you could also prepare it ahead.

As for Mr. Magoo...we made some yummy deliciousness for dessert that Lainey creatively named Mr. Magoo muffins (but they're not muffins...go figure). Stay tuned tomorrow for that one! Here's a sneak peek at the prep process. :)

adapted from The No-Tofu Vegetarian Cookbook

2 russet potatoes
1 stalk broccoli
1/2 onion
2 carrots
two handfuls chopped fresh baby spinach
3 eggs
1 1/2 c milk
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t. salt
1/8 t. pepper
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil a shallow 13x9 casserole dish.
Peel and thinly slice potatoes. Layer across the bottom of casserole dish.
Peel broccoli stem and thinly slice. Chop broccoli top. Layer over the potatoes.
Thinly slice onion and layer over top of broccoli.
Peel and thinly slice carrots on the diagonal. Arrange over onion.
Sprinkle spinach over carrots.

Beat together eggs, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. pour over vegetables. Cover with foil and bake 60 minutes, or until veggies are nearly tender. Remove foil and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes more or until casserole top is lightly browned.

Serves 4.

Pre-baked on the left, half eaten on the right. :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Modified Mexican Night

I try to have a Mexican dinner night each week, for two reasons. 1) hubby loves mexican food (see how nice I am? :) ), and 2) it's almost always quick and easy to fix. Tonight's dinner came to me because I decided to try to branch out from the beans/rice/onions/salsa routine.

This recipe was a little bit of a treat for us. That's because tonight we had BACON. I'm pretty happy with all our veggie-based meals. I rarely miss meat. But bacon...ahh, bacon. That's another story. It's so salty and delicious...and the smell. Mmm. My kitchen still smells like the diner on a Saturday morning. I love it.

I bought a pound of bacon at the farmer's market a couple months ago (from a local farm, organic and nitrate-free, from pastured pigs...). When I cook with meat, I try to make sure that it is a side or an ingredient in our entree, not the actual entree. So this pound of bacon has lasted us a long time. I keep it wrapped up in the freezer, and when I want to use some in a dish, I just use my sharpest knife to cut off a small section. Then I give it a quick chop while it's still frozen, and fry it up. Fast and (mostly) easy. Gotta use a little muscle, that's all. :)

Onto the recipe. I made two different quesadillas tonight using the following ingredients:

4 eggs, scrambled (I cooked the eggs with 1 clove of minced garlic)
a few handfuls of chopped baby spinach
1-ish c. grated cheddar cheese
whole wheat flour tortillas
1/2c.-3/4 c. cooked bacon, chopped
1 can baked beans
a few spoonfuls of pasta sauce

Quesadilla #1:
Spray your skillet with oil and place one tortilla in the pan. Top with half of the scrambled eggs, a sprinkling of spinach, a handful of cheddar cheese, half the bacon crumbles, and a couple spoonfuls of baked beans (trust me!). Sprinkle just a little more cheese on top, and cover with the 2nd tortilla. (the photo is pre-covered...wish I had a better camera or better food photography skills, because it looked waaay better than it does in this pic :( )
When the bottom tortilla is browned slightly, flip carefully. Brown side 2, remove from heat and devour.

Quesadilla #2:
Same cooking directions, but fill with scrambled eggs, spinach, cheese, bacon, and a couple spoonfuls of pasta sauce (again, trust me.)

These were unique and so good. The one with baked beans was exciting, I wasn't sure how the baked beans would work out, but it was a perfect flavor combination. It would have been perfect with a sauce, but I couldn't figure out what. Not salsa, not pasta sauce...I picture something like a slightly creamy tomato sauce, but I'm not sure...Anyone have any ideas???

Thursday, April 8, 2010

"Breasts: Food for Baby, Fun for Daddy"

This is from a bumper sticker I have...hubby begged me not to put it on our car, though, so it makes me smile every time I open the fridge instead.

On a more serious note--I feel my blog would not be completely addressing its goal (feeding your family in a healthy way) without mentioning breastfeeding. There is a great article on the benefits of breastfeeding in this weeks news. The study, here, found that billions of dollars and the lives of 900 babies would be saved every year if 90% of women breastfed for just six months. I've read alot of articles and blogs following this study arguing the reality of this breastfeeding rate. I realize there are many obstacles for women (time, workplace pumping, the push of formula...). But I also think the research is compelling, and hopefully it will act as a great springboard for increasing support for breastfeeding women in the hospital, the workplace, and public places.

"If a multinational company developed a product that was a nutritionally balanced and delicious food, a wonder drug that both prevented and treated disease, cost almost nothing to produce and could be delivered in quantities controlled by the consumers' needs, the very announcement of their find would send their shares rocketing to the top of the stock market. The scientists who developed the product would win prizes and the wealth and influence of everyone involved would increase dramatically. Women have been producing such a miraculous substance, breastmilk, since the beginning of human existence..."-- Gabrielle Palmer, in The Politics of Breastfeeding

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

What's for Dinner Wednesday...

Good news in our house--the 80° weather felt like summer and snapped me out of my winter vegetable rut! Tonight's dinner recipe was copied from my friend Rebecca--thanks Bec!! I've made it with brocolli before, but this week was with asparagus.

So, dinner tonight was ziti with asparagus, garlic, tomatoes, and fresh mozzarella in pesto sauce.
Just sautee the asparagus in some olive oil until tender, add the chopped garlic and cook a few more minutes. Toss with cooked ziti and a few big spoonfuls of pesto sauce. Mix in 2 small chopped tomatoes and a ball of fresh mozzarella, diced. Make the garlic taste really come out by chopping the cheese in the same spot on your cutting board as you did the garlic. YUM!

My apologies for once again not having a photo. I forgot. :( I will share a moment from our dinner table with you instead. I've been having alot of trouble lately with Lainey spitting food out onto her plate. Ew. And she's on a veggie-refusal kick. If it's not one of her favorites, she wants no part of it. In an attempt to encourage her to eat her dinner tonight, I pointed out to her how hubby was going to eat his vegetables so that he could have some dessert. And what did he do? I kid you not, he took a bite of his dinner, and spit it out onto his plate. If I post no recipes within a week it's because I've gone on a cooking strike. Grrrr.

So, this week, my question is not what you had for dinner. Please share your best, family pleasing veggie meal...guess I have to consider toddler and adult male preferences in cooking now. :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cheesy Beany Veggie Enchiladas

I promised I'd come through with a good recipe this week, and here it is. These enchiladas were our dinner Tuesday night and they did not disappoint. My husband is obsessed with Mexican food. Me...not so much. I have this weird sensitivity to peppers, so most of the time when I eat them I end the night curled up in a ball on the couch...not exactly conducive to anything Mexican. Because the pepper-laden salsa is only on the top of these enchiladas (versus inside them, as in the typical), I could just scrape them right off. To be kid-friendly, you can do the same to avoid crying toddlers, too. :)

No photo of these (they looked beautiful, actually!) because hubby is traveling with the computer that lets me post photos. To those of you who know him personally, a gentle reminder that his lovely wife could reallllly use a nice computer of her very own (oooh, I don't know....this one maybe?) would be great. :)

*I didn't measure my filling ingredients; if it seems to dry, just add a little more cottage cheese.

1 grated carrot
1/2-1 c chopped kale
1 can pinto beans
4 oz cream cheese
8 oz cottage cheese
6 whole wheat tortillas (8")
1 c. salsa
1 c. yogurt
1/2-1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

In a small bowl, mix carrots, kale, cream cheese, and cottage cheese, mashing slightly with a fork. (I used carrots and kale, but really any veggie could be used.) Spoon about 1/4 c. of mixture down the middle of each tortilla and roll up. Place seam side down in a greased 13x9 baking dish.
In another dish, mix the yogurt and salsa, and spread over the top of your enchiladas. Bake for 20 minutes at 350°, sprinkle with cheddar cheese and bake another 10 minutes until cheese melts.

We had this with rice and a salad. Yum!