Friday, June 27, 2008

Breakfast ideas

These are not really recipes, but just some different ideas of how to fix things and foods you may not have tried before.

First is a different version of pancakes. I discovered a whole wheat blend pancake mix (Aunt Jemima) that I really like. 100% whole wheat pancakes just don't taste very good, but I wanted to try and have them be as healthy as possible, so when I came across this mix I was very happy. It's delicious too. The different idea I wanted to share with you though came from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook. The idea is to add 1/2 cup of sweet potato puree to the mix. (You can buy a canned version a lot like canned pumpkin. It's pure mashed sweet potato with nothing added- at HEB in the canned vegetable aisle) I also like to add a little cinnamon and some vanilla. The pancakes are delicious and a lot healthier!

Tip: When you add the purees I find it works best to use a little less water in the mix or the batter becomes too thin.

Just the other day I saw on Jon and Kate plus 8 that she had made banana pancakes. I don't know why I had never thought of that or heard of it before, but I thought it sounded good, so I tried it just by mashing up a banana and adding to the mix. (I also wanted to add nuts, but didn't think the kids would like it, so I put some on top of mine.) They were awesome! They tasted just like banana bread!

Another one of my favorite finds is Weetabix. They are reportedly the most popular cereal in the U.K., but the English aren't known for their great food, right? I decided to try them after seeing commercials for them and being quite intrigued. When you first see them you may be taken aback. They are odd shaped cereal "biscuits". But I LOVE them. My favorite way to eat them is to toast them and then put peanut butter and chocolate hazelnut spread (like Nutella, only I found one with no partially hydrogenated oils and less fat and calories called Racconto Nocello at HEB) on them. Yummmm!!! Sometimes I do just chocolate and add some strawberries or a banana.

Another great thing to do with them is to break one up an put yogurt and cut up strawberries on it!! It's like a yogurt parfait. It's a delicious and filling, yet nutritious snack!
Another of my new faves is a granola Erica introduced me to called Bear Naked. I usually eat this as more of a snack though. The Heavenly Chocolate is to die for!! It's awesome just to munch on by itself. It's also great in a bowl with milk or with a banana!! Yummmmm!

It's the only flavor I've tried just because I love it so much and it's kind of expensive (almost $5 a bag), but I saw on their website some new flavors that look really good!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Home-baked Mac N' Cheese

This is a recipe from Kraft Foods magazine. It's super easy and really good, I think. I've tried lots of recipes that are much more complicated than this and aren't as good. I hope you agree. (I did take my own picture, but it didn't look very appetizing, so I went with the stock pic.)

Prep Time:20 min
Total Time:45 min
Makes:5 servings, 1 cup each.
1 pkg. (14 oz.) KRAFT Deluxe Macaroni & Cheese Dinner
1 cup KRAFT Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided
1/2 cup BREAKSTONE'S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
1/4 tsp. ground red pepper(cayenne) or black pepper
6 RITZ Crackers, crushed (about 1/4 cup)
1 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

PREHEAT oven to 375°F. Prepare Dinner as directed on package. Stir in 1/2 cup of the Cheddar cheese, the sour cream and pepper.

SPOON into greased 1-1/2 qt. baking dish; sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Cheddar cheese and the combined cracker crumbs and butter.

BAKE 20 min. Let stand 5 min. before serving.

If your kids are going to eat it I would reduce the pepper to about an 1/8th tsp. The cayenne pepper gives it a really nice zip though. Also, I usually use the 2% reduced fat version of Kraft Deluxe and when I can't find that the 2% Velveeta shells and cheese does just as well. You can reduce the fat and calories by using light versions of sour cream and shredded cheese as well. We all really like this and like I said, it doesn't get any easier than this!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Roasted Nectarines with Buttermilk Custard

I made these the other night and fell in LOVE!
Just make sure your nectarines or peaches are organic and if I could do anything differently, I would add a mint sprig. Other than that perfect-o!

1/8 teaspoon salt
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 medium nectarines, halved and pitted (about 2 pounds)
Cooking spray
1 tablespoon sugar
Verbena sprigs (optional)

To prepare sauce, combine salt and egg yolks in a medium bowl. Gradually add 1/3 cup sugar, beating 2 minutes with a mixer at medium-high speed.
Heat 1% low-fat milk over medium heat in a small, heavy saucepan to 180° or until tiny bubbles form around edge (do not boil). Gradually add hot milk to sugar mixture, stirring constantly. Return milk mixture to pan; cook over medium-low heat 5 minutes or until slightly thick and mixture coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly (do not boil). Remove from heat. Stir in buttermilk and vanilla. Place pan in a large ice-filled bowl until mixture cools completely, stirring occasionally. Spoon mixture into a bowl. Cover and chill.

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare nectarines, place nectarines, cut sides up, in a 9 x 13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle nectarines evenly with 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until nectarines are soft and lightly browned. Serve with chilled sauce. Garnish with verbena sprigs, if desired.

6 servings (serving size: 2 nectarine halves and 1/4 cup sauce)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 176(17% from fat); FAT 3.4g (sat 1.4g,mono 1.4g,poly 0.5g); IRON 0.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 138mg; CALCIUM 70mg; CARBOHYDRATE 32.8g; SODIUM 80mg; PROTEIN 4.3g; FIBER 1g

Jackie Mills , Cooking Light, JUNE 2007

Corn and Summer Vegetable Saute

Corn and Summer Vegetable Sauté

We love all these ingredients so its a no brainer in our house.

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup chopped green onions (about 4)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup sliced fresh okra (about 4 ounces)
1 cup chopped red bell pepper (about 1)
1 finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup minced fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add okra; sauté 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add bell pepper and jalapeño; cook 5 minutes. Add corn; cook 5 minutes. Stir in beans; cook 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro; sprinkle with salt and black pepper.
6 servings (serving size: 2/3 cup)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 90(27% from fat); FAT 2.7g (sat 0.2g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.9g); IRON 1.2mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 43mg; CARBOHYDRATE 15.9g; SODIUM 232mg; PROTEIN 3.7g; FIBER 4.8g

Cooking Light, JUNE 2007

Cheez-it Chicken

I was just talking to Lisa about what I could post and I totally forgot about this little treasure. I actually made it last night (and didn't take a picture, sorry Lisa). It's a delicious, unbelievably easy recipe that kids and adults love!! My sister, Susan told me about it. It's actually from Epicurious magazine, but it totally seems like a recipe from Kraft or something being so simple.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 cups Cheez-It Cheddar crackers (3 oz)

3/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/4 lb chicken tenders (not coated or cooked)

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

Put oven rack in lower third of oven and preheat oven to 475°F. Brush a large shallow baking pan with oil (2 tablespoons).Pulse crackers in a food processor until finely ground, then transfer to a wide shallow bowl and stir in 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Toss tenders with mustard in a large bowl until coated, then dredge, 2 at a time, in cracker crumbs until evenly coated. Arrange tenders in 1 layer, without crowding, in oiled pan. Bake, turning over once, until golden brown, about 15 minutes total.

Last night when I made it I just sprayed the pan with cooking spray and omitted the oil. I also didn't do the pepper. It's good both ways, but I didn't want any complaints from the peanut gallery. I almost always have all the ingredients on hand, so it comes in really handy sometimes when you don't know what to make for dinner. Yummm!!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Mexican shrimp cocktail

2 large tomatoes
1/2 yellow onion
1/4 cup cilantro to taste
3-4 avocados
1 pound cooked shrimp

Chop above ingredients and mix together.

salt and pepper to taste
2 limes squeezed on top

Serve with tortilla chips or make your own by frying corn tortillas until crispy.