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Monday, November 30, 2015

Recipe Review from 11/23/2015

This week lead into Turkey Day, which we celebrated with the Folks and youngest sister, her Husband and the nephew and niece.  My contribution was:  GF Pecan Tassies, Pumpkin pie, a no-bake Creamy Pumpkin Pie and the Butternut Wild Rice Pilaf that I cooked for potluck a couple weeks ago.  All tried and trues. 

Regular dinners were several quick meals that made a couple servings each.  I'd have to say, I'd recommended everything this go around.  Delish!   

The Meal Plan:
Sun (L) leftovers   (S)  Roast Beast with potatoes
Mon (yoga/bkgrp/Legion)  leftovers, out
Tues - One pan pasta
Wed - leftovers
Thurs (L) clean out fridge leftovers   (S) Turkey Day!
Fri (L) pasty  (S) Mini BBQ meat loaves
Sat - (L) leftover meat loaves  (S)  Spicy Veggie Hash

Lunches - (The Husband)  Roast Beast   (Me)  Lentil and Squash Chili  (last week's recipe)

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Pancakes (The Spiffy Cookie via Pinterest) 
I made these for Pancake Sunday.  I was in the mood for waffles and pumpkin.  A quick google on Pinterest and this seemed like the recipe to make.  I did one thing different - I skipped whipping the egg white.  Yeah, it probably would have made the waffles a bit lighter and fluffier, but I wasn't in the mood for extra dishes.

Recipe did indeed make 6-8 waffles.  It will depend on your waffle iron and how thick or thin your batter is.   I had two waffles leftover that I tossed in the fridge for later in the week. 

I served these with banana slices, chopped pecans and maple syrup.  YUM! 

Yield: about 6 large

1 cup milk
1 egg, separated
Photo from
1/2 cup plain pureed pumpkin
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp canola oil
2 Tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. In a large bowl, combine milk, egg yolk, pumpkin, vanilla, oil and brown sugar together. Place egg white in a separate smaller bowl and beat with a hand mixer until firm peaks form. Set aside. Pour in remaining dry ingredients to the wet and slowly incorporate. Fold egg whites into waffle batter.
  3. Spray waffle iron with non stick cooking spray. Pour about 1/2 cup of batter onto waffle iron. Close the top slowly. Cook about 2 minutes or until waffles are crispy. {I like crispy waffles, so I cook mine a little longer so they get a lot of color. You can cook yours how you like them.}
  4. Serve immediately with butter and maple syrup.

One Pan Pasta with Artichokes  (Ckng Light, Dec 2015)  vegetarian**
Sorry,  no link or pic for this dish.  Not yet posted on the Ckng Lght Website.  Magazine is out, recipes just aren't up yet as of 11/30. 

This was ready in about 20-30 minutes from start to table.  I'm not in a local that has access to fresh pasta, so I used some I found in the refrigerator section:  green vacuum sealed package by the ravioli and tortellini.

I also recently discovered that cottage cheese makes a most acceptable substitute for ricotta, so I did so in this dish.   I skipped the frozen artichokes and used canned.  There are small, fresh mozzarella balls that work perfectly for this.  I recommend those.

Overall, tasty.  Very tasty.  Highly recommended. 

Serves 4.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped
8 oz mushrooms sliced or pre-sliced  (I used cremini)
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 1/2 cups chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 1/2 cups frozen artichoke quarters (I used one can, drained and rinsed)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can unsalted fire-roasted tomatoes
1 (9 oz) package refrigerated fresh fettuccine
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta (I used cottage cheese)
3 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup torn fresh basil

1. Preheat broiler to high.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil, swirl to coat.  Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic to pan;  cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add stock, artichokes, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and pasta to pan, and bring to a boil. Stir to combine.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Dot pasta mixture with mozzarella and ricotta.
4.  Place pan under broiler.  Broil mixture 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with basil. 

Mini BBQ Meat Loaves with Blue Cheese Smashed Potatoes (Ckng Light, Dec 2015)
Sorry,  no link or pic for this dish.  Not yet posted on the Ckng Lght Website.  Magazine is out, recipes just aren't up yet as of 11/30. 
A couple of substitutions/alterations:  I used 16oz buffalo instead of 8oz sirloin and 8oz Italian sausage and I skipped the green onions and added 2 cloves of garlic.  I also did 1 1/2 lbs potatoes instead of 1 lb.   Rest made as directed.

This actually came together as quickly as noted in about 40 minutes.  Potatoes and meat loaves can cook at the same time.  Now, I'm not a ground meat eater per se, but even I had to admit these were tasty.  I liked the smaller size and how crispy the outside turned out.     I would consider making these again, and would make them for company if I had some green veggies along side.

Serves 4.  

1 lb small red potatoes, cut into quarters (I used 1 1/2 lbs)
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk (I increased as necessary for creamy potatoes)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 oz blue cheese crumbles (ha! add's BLUE CHEESE!)

8 oz mild turkey Italian sausage **
8 oz 90% lean ground sirloin **
   ** I used 16 oz ground buffalo
1/2 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/4 cup whole-wheat panko
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/3 cup-lower sodium bbq sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350*

2 Place potatoes in a medium saucepan filled with water.  Bring to a boil; cook 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain, Return potatoes to pan.  Add buttermilk, salt and cheese; mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.  Keep warm.

3. Coat 8 muffin cups with cooking spray.  Combine sausage, sirloin, carrot, green onions, panko, black pepper, and egg in a large bowl, stirring just until combined.  Divide sausage mixture evenly among prepared cups.  Make a (1/2 inch deep) indentation in the center of each meatloaf with 2 tsp bbq sauce.  Cook for 15-20 minutes or until a thermometer inserted registers 160*.  Serve with potatoes.

Spicy Veggie Hash (Ckng Lght Dec 2015)  vegetarian
Given the amount of meat based dishes that show up this particular weekend (Thanksgiving), I needed something veggie to balance things out.  This looked tasty and was touted as quick to assemble.  And yes to both.

A couple of notables - I skipped the fresh oregano.  Seriously, I'm not paying $4.00 for a 1oz pkg of herbs.  I'll sub dried.   I also did a mass combine toward the end of this dish - I put the adobo sauce and black beans right over the potatoes, and once the green beans were cooked, I took the whole pot and tossed right over everything and gave it a good stir.   I served the tomato, cheese and seeds on the table so the Husband could top his own. 

This did turn out a bit on the spicy side which I attributed to the adobo.  Ease back if you and yours are not hot-heads.   The rest of the flavors are bright, creamy and perfect for a warm Fall vegetable dish. 

2 tbsp olive oil
3 cups diced peeled sweet potato (about 1 medium-large)
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4 cups water, divided (I used chicken stock)
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
1 tbsp adobo sauce  (or to taste)
1 (15oz) can black beans rinsed and drained
2 oz (1/2 cup) queso fresco, crumbled  (I used goat cheese)
1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds (I lightly roasted)
1 plum tomato, seeded and diced

1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan; swirl.  Add potato, oregano, and 1/2 tsp salt.  Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Add cumin, cinnamon, red pepper, and garlic; cook 1 minute.  Add 1/2 cup water, cover, reduce heat and cook 5 minutes. Uncover and cook 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat.

3. Bring remaining 3/4 cup water to a boil in a saucepan.  Add remaining 1/4 tsp salt and green beans, cook 4 minutes.  Stir in adobo sauce and black beans.  Place 1/2 cup potato mixture in each of 4 shallow bowls; top with 1/2 cup bean mixture, 2 tbsp cheese, 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, and tbsp tomato.  Serves 4. 

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