Sunday, January 18, 2015

Roasted Hard Apple Cider Pork Loin

The only way I cook a pork loin is an amazing recipe out of How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.  It's more time consuming than I usually go for, basting the meat every 15 minutes, but the end results more than make up for it.  I took that recipe this week and used hard cider instead of the white wine usually called for (and changed some of the spices accordingly) and I must say, it was great.  I used hard apple cider over regular because it has less sugar and I didn't want the end result to be super sweet.  (Also I had some leftover in my fridge that was open, so no one was going to drink it.)

Roasted Hard Apple Cider Pork Loin


Roasted Hard Apple Cider Pork Loin

Ingredients:
3-4 lb. boneless pork loin
1 tsp. dried rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups hard apple cider (I used Stella Artois Cidre because it's less sugary)
1 Tbsp. butter

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 450.
Mix rosemary, garlic, and a liberal amount of salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Rub all over the pork.  Put pork in a roasting pan and roast for 15 minutes.
Pour about 1/2 a cup of cider over the pork, lower the oven to 325 and roast for 15 minutes.  Continue to roast, adding about 1/4 cup of liquid every 15 minutes.  (If there is liquid in the bottom of the pan, baste instead of adding more.)
Start checking the roast after 1 1/4 hours (though mine usually takes about 1 1/2 hours).  It will be done when a meat thermometer reads 145-150. Transfer meat to a platter.
Place roasting pan over 2 burners, add the rest of the cider (if you didn't use it) and the butter.  Reduce to about 3/4 cup of liquid, scraping up the brown bits in the pan as you stir.
Serve the roast with the sauce over top.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Denver Frittata

Today I decided to clean out all of the leftovers in the fridge, and that amounted to all the ingredients for a Denver omelet.  However, with my new pots and pans, I have not figured out how to properly cook an egg.  (They're stainless steel, how do you work those things!?)  Anyway, I figured since it was the weekend I would use the oven and bake it up.
I also only had a yellow pepper, but I would normally use a green pepper in this dish, as per a traditional Denver omelet.  (Though it was still very good!)
The best part about this meal is that it is great for any meal of the day!  Though we served it for dinner, it could be a great breakfast or lunch.  I served mine with homemade bread.  Yummy!


Denver Frittata



Denver Frittata

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1 cup ham, diced
8 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400.
Spray a 9 or 10 inch round pan with cooking spray.
Over medium heat, add butter to a large skillet.  Once the butter is melted, add onion and peppers.  Cook 3-4 minutes, or until the onions get soft.  Add the ham, and cook until warmed through.
Meanwhile, add the eggs and milk to a large bowl.  Whisk until combined.  Add ham mixture and cheese.  Stir well. Add to greased pan.
Cook 20-25 minutes, or until the egg is no longer runny (when you insert a knife in the middle, it should come out clean).
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup

After all the unhealthy eating/eating out we did over Christmas break, I was excited to be cooking things from scratch.  Though I wouldn't exactly call this recipe healthy, it does have broccoli, so that's a plus, right?  (In reality, this isn't that bad for you, there's only a half cup of heavy cream.)  Anyhow, this turned out super delicious and as an extra plus, I served it with homemade bread.  It was just what I needed!

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup


Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Ingredients:
1/3 cup butter, sliced
1 1/2 cups onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
6 Tbsp. flour
2 (12 oz.) cans fat-free evaporated milk
5 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock to make it vegetarian!)
5 cups diced broccoli*, (about 2 medium heads)
1/8 tsp. dried chives
1/2 cup heavy cream
12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation:
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until they soften, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic powder, flour, salt, and pepper, cook, whisking continuously for about 2 minutes.  Add milk, whisk until smooth.  Cook until it begins to thicken, stirring continuously.  Pour into slow cooker along with chicken stock, broccoli, and chives.  Cover and cook on hit for 2 1/2 - 3 hours, or on low for 5-6 hours.
Turn heat on warm and stir in heavy cream, shredded cheese, and parmesan, stir to blend.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

*Make sure to dice the stems quite fine if you're using them so they cook evenly

Recipe adapted from Cooking Classy

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Buffalo Blue Cheese Meatballs

As I was clicking through Pinterest trying to figure out what to make for our New Years Eve get together, I found a recipe for blue cheese stuffed meatballs, they sounded great!  As I started to make these, I realized I was supposed to have a block of blue cheese as opposed to crumbles (which I had) and no egg... well I decided to kill two birds with one stone and use the cheese as a binder.  These ended up not being stuffed, but delicious anyhow.

Buffalo Blue Cheese Meatballs


Buffalo Blue Cheese Meatballs

Ingredients:
1 lb. ground turkey
1/4 cup onion, grated
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. ranch seasoning
4 oz. blue cheese crumbles
1 cup hot sauce (I used Frank's Redhot- though for a more mild flavor, you can use wing sauce)
2 Tbsp. butter

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400.
Combine turkey, onion, breadcrumbs, garlic, ranch seasoning, and blue cheese in a large bowl.  (I used my hands to mix, if you want, you can use a fork.)
Roll into medium-sized meatballs, you should end with 16 meatballs.
Place meatballs onto a sprayed baking sheet.
Bake for 16-18 minutes.
Meanwhile, add hot sauce and butter to slow cooker.  Place on high and whisk until combined.  Turn to keep warm.
Add meatballs to slow cooker and spoon sauce over the top of each meatball.
These can be kept in the slow cooker for about a half hour.
Serve warm can be topped with blue cheese dressing.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Inspired by Charm

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Creamy Sausage and Arugula Pasta

A few weeks ago Alouette cheese was on sale at the grocery store plus I had a coupon, so I bought some.  After looking at the expiration date this week, I realized that I had to use it up... but how?  I decided to make it into a sauce and put it over pasta.  I was a little nervous as my made-up recipes have about 50/50 a success rate.  However, this one turned out to be a success!  It was a little rich, though I believe that if you use chicken broth instead of milk in the sauce it would cut the richness, or you could use chicken sausage instead of pork sausage.  Yum!

Creamy Sausage and Arugula Pasta


Creamy Sausage and Arugula Pasta

Ingredients:
1/2 pound medium shape pasta (I used veggie rotini)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 lb. ground bulk sausage
1 6 oz. bag arugula
1 6.5 oz. container roasted red pepper spreadable cheese (I used Alouette)
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup saved pasta water
Salt
Pepper

Preparation:
Cook pasta according to directions on package.
Add oil to large skillet.
Add onion.  Cook until slightly translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add sausage and cook until no longer pink, breaking it up as you go.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, add container of cheese and 1/4 cup of milk.  Whisk together until smooth.  Add the rest of the milk and the salt and pepper (to taste).  Whisk again. Add sausage to cheese sauce.
When pasta is done, add pasta water to sauce.  (If sauce is still thick, add more milk until it's the consistency you would like.)
Add arugula to pasta pot.  Add drained pasta and sausage cheese sauce.  Mix well.
Enjoy!


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas

I'm back at it with enchiladas.  You know they're my favorite by now, and they're the best because they're so easy!  This vegetarian version is delicious and filling!  You know I'm a little weary of not being full after vegetarian meals, but these were great!
These were also a little spicier than I had intended, the pepper jack I used was spicier than the normal kind I use- whoops!

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas 


Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas

Ingredients:
1 (15 oz.) can of corn, drained
1 (9 oz.) box of frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 (15 oz.) can of black beans, drained
1 (8 oz.) brick of pepper jack cheese
12 corn tortillas (I used taco size)
1 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1 (10 oz.) can of enchilada sauce
1 jalapeno, diced and seeded (optional)
3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, divided
5 scallions, white and green parts divided

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Place corn, spinach, black beans, 1 cup of cheese, taco seasoning, 1 Tbsp. cilantro, jalapeno, and the white parts of the scallions. Mix until combined.
Take a 9x13 pan and spray the bottom with cooking spray.
Fill each tortilla with a heaping amount of filling (they should just close) and place seam-side down into the pan.  Repeat until pan is full.
Top with enchilada sauce, spreading so that all of the tortillas have some sauce on them.
Top with remaining cheese.
Bake for 15 minutes.
Top with remaining scallions and cilantro.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Perry's Plate

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup

This soup was delicious!  It's perfect for fall and had just the right amount of spice!  I was a bit surprised that it was so filling being vegan, but I got a thumbs up from Matthew, which is the true test of how good vegetarian/vegan meals are.  The best part is that the spiciness can be modified for people who are a little more sensitive.  I served this with homemade bread for a great fall meal.

Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup


Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 medium butternut squash, cubed (you of course may cheat and buy pre-cubed butternut squash which will greatly cut down on the labor of the soup)
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 Tbsp. Thai red curry paste (you can go more or less depending on your spice level, but this is very spicy)
1 (15 oz.) can coconut milk
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt
Pepper
Cilantro, for garnish

Preparation:
Place a large pot over medium-low heat.
Add vegetable oil.
Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add curry and ginger.  Stir until well-incorporated.
Raise the temperature to medium. Add vegetable stock and squash.  Cover and cook until squash is soft, about 20 minutes.
Take the pot off of heat.
Either use an immersion blender or carefully put into a blender and blend until a puree.
Add coconut milk, lime, salt, and pepper (to taste). Stir. Heat for another 5-10 minutes, until soup is hot.
Garnish with fresh cilantro.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Ready for super easy chicken tacos that everyone will eat?  Ready for (almost) the entire meal to be prepared in the crockpot so you have the tiniest bit of clean up?  Do I have the dish for you!  These tacos scored big amongst the picky eaters in my house and it was super easy.

Double Chicken Tacos

Look at that succulent chicken


Crockpot Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 green pepper, julienned
1 medium onion, julienned
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste
8 taco shells (hard or soft)
1/2 cup cheese, shredded
1/2 tomato, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
Salsa, sour cream, optional

Preparation:
Combine chili powder, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Place chicken in bottom of crock pot. Layer peppers and onions on top.  Sprinkle spice mixture on top.  Cook on low 8 hours.
When ready to serve, shred chicken in crockpot and mix together with peppers and onions.  Assemble tacos with chicken mixture, and top with cheese, tomato, cilantro, salsa, and sour cream.
Enjoy!


Monday, August 18, 2014

Balsamic Chicken and Strawberry Quesadillas

We have been on a super quesadilla kick lately in our house, perhaps because of the excess of tortillas we have in our fridge.  However, I didn't want to put in regular old toppings, so when my sister brought home strawberries from work this week, I figured these would be perfect!  My Mom's friend also had given us basil and a banana pepper from her garden, so we threw those in too.  They were delicious!
Also, sorry for the poor picture quality, I had to take it on my phone.

Balsamic Chicken and Strawberry Quesadillas


Balsamic Chicken and Strawberry Quesadillas

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 pint strawberries, diced
1/2 small red onion, sauteed and diced
1 banana pepper, diced (optional)
2 Tbsp basil, julienned
1 Tbsp parsley, julienned
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 brick mozzarella cheese, shredded
6 Flour tortilla shells

Preparation:

Pre-heat skillet over medium heat.  Place one tortilla shell on skillet.  Layer cheese, strawberries, chicken, basil, onion, parsley, and top with more cheese on one half of the tortilla.  Drizzle balsamic over, a small amount goes a long way!  Fold over the empty half of the tortilla onto the full half.  Flip to brown both sides.  Repeat until you're done with tortillas!  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Your Home Based Mom

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

So, you guys know how much Matt and Alyssa like vegetarian things, especially if they're not covered in cheese.  But here I was, being so sneaky, I made homemade veggie burgers that were VEGAN.  No jokes.  Now, they weren't a huge hit, but they were eaten.  So, I will take a victory where I can get it.  I will say, that I thought they were pretty good, though a little mushy.  Probably because I didn't wait long enough for them to crisp in the oil, but I was hungry!  Oh well, they were tasty!
Also, I made mine vegetarian by putting some tzatziki on top, but Alyssa and Matt had onion, avocado, and mustard for my vegan friends.  

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger


Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients:
1 large sweet potato, cooked and skinned
1 can black beans, drained
1 Tbsp. tahini
1/8 cup flour
1 tsp. lemon pepper
1/4 tsp. cayenne
Panko bread crumbs (I'm not sure how much I used, I filled up a plate and used most)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Toppings: avocado, onion, tzatziki, whatever you want

Preparation:
Mash potato and beans together in a large mixing bowl. 
Add tahini, lemon pepper, cayenne, and flour.  If mixture is loose, add more flour until a consistency you can form into a patty.  Place patty into bread crumbs to coat. 
Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat.  
Place patties into pan and cook until golden brown on first side.  Flip until golden brown on the other side.  
Serve topped with avocado and onions on a roll.  
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Healthy.Happy.Life.