Friday, December 21, 2012

Jasper's Tuscan Bean Soup

Jasper's Tuscan Bean Soup

"Tuscans were very frugal people and never threw anything away," says Jasper J. Mirabile, Jr., the owner of Jasper's cooking school and restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri. Northern Italians like to serve this soup, which dates back hundreds of years, as a full meal. The hearty main dish includes beans, grains and plenty of healthy vegetables.

8 ounces dry navy beans (1 1/4 cups)
4 cups water
1 ounce pancetta, chopped, or thinly sliced bacon
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrot
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 cups water
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon instant beef bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 head escarole, torn (6 cups)*
3 plum tomatoes, finely chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup ditalini (tiny thimble- or tube-shaped pasta)
1/3 cup tomato juice

Rinse the beans. In a saucepan, combine beans and the 4 cups water. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. (Or skip boiling the water and soak beans overnight in a covered pan.) Drain; rinse beans.
In a Dutch oven, cook pancetta, celery, carrot and onion in olive oil till vegetables are tender, but not brown.
Add the 6 cups fresh water, wine, beans, bouillon granules, crushed red pepper (if you like), tarragon, basil and pepper. Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer the mixture for 1 hour.
Add the escarole, tomatoes, potatoes, ditalini and tomato juice. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes more or till potatoes are tender.
*If you can't find escarole, substitute the same amount of fresh spinach and just stir it into the soup before just stir it into the soup before just stir it into the soup before serving, instead of simmering with the potatoes.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala (Slow Cooker Version)

Chicken Tikka Masala (Slow Cooker Version)

Makes 7 Cups
28 oz Muir Glen Fire Roasted crushed tomotoes
1 small uncooked onion(s), minced
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp ginger root, fresh, minced (I used more)
2 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 pound(s) uncooked boneless, skinless chicken thigh(s) (I used half organic thighs and half organic breasts)
1 Tbsp kosher salt (it's 2 lbs of chicken, so you need it!)
1/2 cup plain, 0% Fage Greek yogurt
Combine all ingredients, except yogurt, in slow cooker. Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours. Stir in yogurt and cilantro.

Indian Restaurant Red Lentil and Spinach Soup

Indian Restaurant Red Lentil and Spinach Soup

Although this is not an authentic Indian recipe, it is my take on lentil and spinach soup that I have enjoyed at Indian restaurants in California.
Serve with naan flatbread. If you don't have naan (Indian flat bread) heat a dry flour tortilla in the microwave for about 10 seconds, it makes a good substitute.

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion (about 1 cup), diced
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon (or 1 cube) chicken bouillon powder
2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
a pinch cayenne pepper (or to taste - optional)
5 cups water
2 cups dried red lentils, cleaned, rinsed and drained
2 cups (28 oz can) plain diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups (about 10 oz) spinach, from frozen, thawed
1/2 cup plain yogurt, for garnish
naan flat bread, or heated flour tortillas cut into quarters.
In a 5-qt stockpot, fry diced onions in olive oil until lightly browned.
Add the butter and the remaining dry spices and fry for a minute or two.
Add remaining water and ingredients (except for yogurt and flat bread) and stir well.
Bring to a boil, add cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30-minutes,
stirring occasionally, unitl lentils are soft and done.
Place a cup of the lentils and broth in a blender, food processor or use a stick blender.
Blend and add back to stockpot. This will help to thicken the soup.
Serve in bowls with a tablespoon of plain yogurt on top for garnish and
naan flatbread (or a heated flour tortilla) on the side.
Makes about 8 cups.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Maple mustard chicken

Maple mustard chicken

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, preferably grade B
2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme, or 1 teaspoon dried
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
4-41/2 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, (thighs, drumsticks and/or breasts), skin removed, trimmed (see Tip)
1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs, preferably whole-wheat (see Tip)

Whisk mustard, maple syrup, 1 tablespoon oil, thyme, pepper and salt in a large bowl. Add chicken and turn to coat evenly. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to 6 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Set a wire rack on a large baking sheet.
Combine breadcrumbs and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil on a plate. Dredge the skinned side of each chicken piece in the breadcrumbs (with drumsticks, dredge the meatier side) and arrange breaded-side up on the wire rack. Leave at least 1 inch between pieces.
Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 165°F, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot or let cool, refrigerate and serve chilled.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Slow Cooker Saucy Meatballs

Slow Cooker Saucy Meatballs
Amy - amylz

1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Turkey
1-1/2 lb. lean ground beef
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup water
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2 medium green peppers, sliced (about 2 cups)
4 cups spaghetti sauce
1 pkg. (1 lb.) spaghetti
1/3 cup KRAFT 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese

COMBINE stuffing mix, meat, egg and water. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place in slow cooker; top with mushrooms, peppers and spaghetti sauce. Cover with lid. COOK on LOW for 6 to 8 hours (or on for HIGH 3 to 4 hours). COOK spaghetti as directed on package; drain. Serve meatballs with sauce over spaghetti. Sprinkle with cheese.

Make your slow cooker preparation even faster. Prepare the meatballs and cut-up vegetables the night before. Cover and refrigerate until ready to add to the slow cooker. Top with the spaghetti sauce and continue as directed.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Banana Oatmeal Cups with Chocolate Chips

Banana Oatmeal Cups with Chocolate Chips (Sassix)
3 mashed bananas (the more ripe the better!)
1 cup vanilla Almond milk (you could use skim but you may want to add a little sweetener)
2 eggs
1 tbsp Baking powder
3 cups (240g) Old Fashion or Rolled Oats
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp (42g) mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Mix all ingredients except the chocolate chips together, and let sit while you prepare the muffin pans.
Spray a muffin pan and/or liners with with non-stick spray.
Stir the chocolate chips into the oatmeal batter.
Divide batter into 15 muffin cups. They should be just about filled.
Bake 20-30 minutes, you'll see the edges just starting to brown and they will be firm to the touch.
The muffins may stick when hot but are removed easily when cooled for a bit

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Quinoa Cookies

Quinoa Cookies

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12-14 minutes

Quinoa adds a nice little crunch to these thick and hearty cookies!

2 cups Gold Medal whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup applesauce (I used chunky Musselman’s applesauce)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup raisins
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and baking soda. Set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Add the applesauce and mix until combined. Stir in the raisins.

3. Slowly add the dry ingredients into liquid ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the oats, quinoa, and chocolate chips.

4. Spoon about a tablespoon of dough onto a large baking sheet. Bake cookies for 12-14 minutes, or until cookies are just barely set. Remove cookies from baking sheet and cool on a wire cooling rack.