Thursday, September 26, 2013

Pizza on a spaghetti squash crust-carb free!

Here is a step by step w/pics if you want it Part 2
 

Alright kids...let me blow your mind.
Pictured you see pizza. Cheesy, meatly, delicious pizza. What you might not see..is there are no carbs. No 'white' flour. No 'wheat' anything. So I can call it gluten free too, right? I'll have to ask some of my gluten free pals. Either way...you can pretty much eat this pizza guilt free. AND sneak in veggies on the kids while you do it.
Kinda detailed..so bear with. Also..make sure you have plenty of time. I mean..good pizza takes a while..right?
Ok..you are going to start with a spaghetti squash. It's in the veggie section. Pale yellow. Super hard. You'll cut that sucker in half, scoop out the seeds, and put it cut side down on a parchment covered 1/2 baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 30-40 minutes.
Then once it's roasted, you'll let it cool for a bit. Then scoop out the center into a big bowl and think "wow..this DOES look alot like spaghetti!" because it totally does.
To that you'll add 2-3 eggs (I whisk up 2 first, and add, then see if I need the third. Depends on the size of your spaghetti squash). You'll also add about 1/2 a cup of whatever sauce you are using. I vary between actual 'pizza' sauce or just jarred marinara.
In your bowl you'll be looking at a very wet and confusing pinkish mix of veggie/egg/and sauce. And you'll likely think..no..this isn't going to work..stick with it.
You know that baking sheet you roasted on? It's already covered in parchment...so spray it down with some Pam and pour your crust onto it...and squish, erm..pat it out as thin and evenly as you can. Then put it into the oven at 425 and let it go for about 45-55 minutes. Not kidding.
I told you this was a longer process.
But chin up, because while it is baking..you can work on your topping. Our topping (this time around) was cooked/crumbled spicy italian sausage, chopped red bell peppers, minced garlic, and a provolone/mozz mix of cheese.
Toward the end of cooking for the crust..I broil it for a few minutes. Get that top nice and brown.. not burnt..just brown.
Take it out and add your toppings. I usually do a  decent layer of my sauce, sprinkle of cheese, then my meats/veggies then top with more liberal amounts of cheese.
Return to the oven and let bake another 15 minutes, or until your toppings look all melty and happy.
Remove and let cool for about 5 minutes...this pizza will scald the roof of your mouth just like regular carb filled pie will.
But it's just pizza. There is NOTHING about this pizza that tastes anything but pizza-y. If you don't tell people..they won't know it's a squash crust. Seriously...try it out on people and don't tell them. I mean, don't lie to them. Just say "we're having pizza" because you are. Then sit back and smile at the fact that it's carb-free and full of veggie goodness!
Now...the longer you let the crust bake/broil...the 'firmer' it will be. I've made this pizza..alot..and have yet to have it sturdy enough to be able to pick up big pieces w/out them getting floppy. So eat it with a fork...be civilized. And be warned...it will be made ALOT in your house. :)

You can also mess with this recipe to suit your needs. Make pizza YOUR way! You can do about anything you want with toppings. You can also add cheese and cooked meats INTO the crust. It's really hard to mess this up and have it not taste good!

Would it be helpful for you guys for me to do more step by step pics on this one? Let me know!


Deen shrimp with bell pepper salsa

This is another one of those 'diet' meals. But whoa..was it good!

Let's start with the shrimp...
the other day I was watching an episode of Home for Dinner with Jamie Deen. I mean..I gotta get my Deen fix SOMEHOW since Paula isn't on anymore! But since I'm doing the diet thing..we tweaked the recipe a little...like..we didn't wrap it in bacon. That's about the only change. :)

Jamie Deen Shrimp (tweaked from here)
1lb raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 Tablespoons Sriracha sauce
3 Tablespoons honey
1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
skewers
hot grill

In a bowl mix together the sriracha sauce, honey, and paprika. Add shrimp. Toss to coat. Allow to sit for about 15 minutes, then put onto skewers*, however many you can fit on there. Then grill until done!

Serve over/with a bed of this awesome Bell Pepper salsa! Another weird thing I can't have on the diet (what have we covered so far? pork/bacon, pears..the list continues) white onions. What? I know, right? But I can have green onions/scallions (if you are fancy). I can also have bell peppers..so yay! Also..not a huge tomato fan here..so I was happy to find a recipe I could work around to make work for me.

Bell Pepper Salsa (adapted from So, How's it Taste?)

2 Yellow Bell peppers, seeded and chopped finely
2 Orange Bell peppers, seeded and chopped finely
8 radished, chopped finely
8 scallions, chopped finely
1 1/2 Tablespoon chopped garlic**
1-2 small stalks of celery and leaves (the stuff in the middle of the celery, know what I mean?)
4 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons brown sugar

I ran all my veggies through a food processor (you could also use a mini chopper)...but I ran them in batches. Peppers first, then put them in a big bowl, repeat with radishes, scallions, and celery.
In a separate little bowl mix together the vinegar, garlic, oil and brown sugar.
Toss to combine. Try to let it sit for awhile..it truly gets better after a night in the fridge!

We served the grilled shrimp over the salsa (as pictured). We also ate the heck out of the salsa on blue tortilla chips. Did NOT taste like diet food. Tasted amazing!

*skewers-if you are working with wooden ones..soak them in water for a bit before you put your food on it, so they don't just burn up on the grill.

**I cheat and keep a bit ol jar of the chopped garlic in oil in the fridge and just use scoops as needed. Great shortcut!





City Slicker Pear Butter



Conversating with a friend the other day went like this-
He said: I'm canning salsa that is totally from my own garden.
I said: I made pear butter the other day in the crock pot...
He said: But did you grow the pears?
I said: No, bought them..what's your point?
He said: Then you can't take credit for it. It's City Slicker Pear Butter. It doesn't count.

"It doesn't count"...well that's where he's wrong (he's also a colossal ass btw). B/c this butter counts, it counts big time! And it's all crockpotted and super simple!

Now...here is the pitiful backstory on the pears. I'm on this diet right? And we go to the store and I see these pears, and I buy said pears, to get home and look at my approved foods list..and 'no pears'. What tha? I had to do something with them.
So I scanned through some recipes, and when I didn't find one that fit my needs..I just made my own.
The reason pears aren't on my food list..they are sweet. Like super sweet. So I didn't want to add any more sugar.
I also didn't have an extra hour or so to stand in front of the stove stirring.

This is going to be more of a 'walk through' recipe. Less 1 cup of this, 2 tsp of that..more 'these are the things I did'-
Crock pot? check
Pears? a bag of em'..approx 8-12. peeled, cored, and chopped up into pretty little pieces
Pears into the crock!
3 heavy squirts of local honey (approx 3 tablespoons)
liberal sprinkle of powdered ginger (approx 1 tablespoon)
slight sprinkle of powdered cinnamon (approx 1 teaspoon)
Lid on the crock. Crock on low.
How low can you go?
I kid...
I let mine go a long time. For reals. I put the stuff in the crock before Husband got home from work (about 5pm-ish) and didn't mess with it again until the next afternoon.
My crocks longest time setting is 10 hours, then after that it will 'warm' for like 2...so I just let it go. And when the 'warm' kicked off. I let it sit to cool off.
I had a crock full of wonderful smelling pear stew..but I wanted it 'butter'. So once it was cooled more..I ran it through the food processor (you can use a blender as well).
Then I packed it up in jars. My batch made almost 2 quarts of Pear Butter. Not overly sweet, slightly spiced (from the ginger), great deliciousness.
Now...I can't really eat it..but the kids dig it. It's got more of a applesauce texture..so that's what I sub it for. If I really wanted it traditional 'butter' I could have cooked down the pureed mix for another few hours.
Whether you grow it or not...it can still be homemade..and delicious. :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Beer Mini Muffins

It's that time of year...fall is coming..and the "seasonal" crafts have been released. Now myself..I'm not a huge beer drinker. However when I do..it's Blue Moon..(I blame my attorney on that one)...and I was very excited to see this year they came out with a Caramel Apple Spiced Ale.
What do I do with it? I bake with it!

Beer Mini Muffins-(featuring Blue Moore Caramel Apple/butterscotch chips)
Oven at 350

3 cups self rising flour
1 bottle Blue Moon
1/3 cup milk
1/2 bag butterscotch chips
1/2 jar (approx 6oz) apple jam/jelly

Combine all in a bowl. Drop by spoonfuls into a greased mini-muffin tin and bake for about 10 minutes.
Let cool...devour!

They aren't overly sweet, they aren't really savory..and you can get the hint of the ale. Since they are in mini form though..it's hard to stop at one. Or 6.
I'm excited to play around with this recipe..and the other seasonals! I'm thinking Harvest Pumpkin Ale with white chocolate and cranberries. Or maybe even a Chocolate mini muffin with the Belgian White and orange zest.

Yay for fall!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Fish..on a diet.


So I started a diet. Yes..for the ump-teenth time. This one is more structured. More check-ins. More money..boo. But I'm losing some and I'm getting used to it..it being the diet...
The pic that you see? That was a dang tasty plate of food. And totes healthy.
Let me break it down for you a little bit.
I can have two starches daily (mainly a slice of the 45 calorie bread)-2-3 times a week I can have 1/4 cup of brown rice. Not that much..but with this meaty fish..I didn't really need it. Not to say I didn't clean the whole plate.
Oh..and the broccoli. I'm not typically a fan of 'cooked' broc. I like it raw..dipped in ranch. I like the florets, swimming in a beer cheese soup. But I don't like it cooked...until I learned to roast it.
What?! For reals.
Set the oven at 425, toss the raw broc with some lemon zest, put it on a baking sheet and spray with some Pam. Let it go for about 20..or until it starts to darken up a little bit. Fan-freakin'-tastic. I LIKE broccoli now!
If you aren't watching your fats/oils as closely as I have to right now..you could probably ad a little bit of oil to the toss instead of the Pam.

The fish!
Mahi-mahi fillets..steaks? Meh..I got it in the Costco freezer section and let it thaw...
then I made a spice mix-
1 T smoked paprika
1/2 T chili powder
1 T garlic
1 t black pepper
I patted the spice mix onto the fish, and put it into a pan to 'fry' on the stove top (sprayed the pan with Pam first..again with the oil/butter if you'd rather).
After it browned a little on both sides, I popped it into the oven to finish off for about 5-10 minutes.

While it was finishing I worked on my 'sauce'.
I can have 1 serving a 'fat' a day. It can be either a lite margarine or a lite mayo. I'm Team Butter. If I can't have Butter..I don't want it. So I chose the mayo.
My sauce consisted of-
1 T lite mayo
lemon zest
half a lemon-juiced
sprinkle of black pepper

So...the lemon in the sauce, played off the lemon in the broc. The meaty fish was awesomely spiced..and for a healthy, dare I say "diet" meal. It was amazing. :)

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Cabbage Confetti

This is not rice. Nope. Looks like it..but isn't.
It's not cauliflower either in case you might be thinking it is...
Nope...
Cabbage.
Say what?!
Yup.
I got on this kick of roasting cabbage. Because you see cabbage and I aren't huge buddies. I like it kraut style..and even then it has to be in small amounts. But then I started chopping it up and roasting it..and I LOVE it.
But Hubby likes it all sorts of ways. Including boiled to death and slimy as sh.....shomething slimy. *Gags*
So the other day I'm working..subbin' at the school..and Ma is watching the kids and she texts me:
Ma: dinner?
which is Ma speak for 'do you want me to make something b/c you are working and didn't put anything in a crockpot b/f you left'
Suze: Ck in the freezer, cabbage in the fridge
Ma: baked how? cabbage what?
Ma is not a friend of cabbage either (still not)
Suze: DKG style chicken, cut up cabbage in semi small pieces, I'll roast it when I get home.
Ma: K.

For the record DKG style is 'salt, pepper, granulated garlic, some butter, splash of water' and frozen chicken breasts into the oven at 350 for about 4 hours. Perfect each time.
Her translation of 'semi small pieces' of cabbage, turned into confetti though. She seriously mini-choppered a WHOLE head of cabbage. I mean like chopped..like 2x2 or 1x1...
however her Cabbage Confetti is now the staple. Even Hubs who criticizes my Ma's cooking for the salt content, has decreed from hence forth, the cabbage has to be made "Like your Mom" made it. Well, ok then.

If you have a food processor, it works bigger batches than the mini chopper. I still laugh at the image of the WHOLE head of cabbage in tiny little batches. Anyway.


Cabbage Confetti

Oven at 425-
One head of cabbage..run through a food processor, smaller than KFC coleslaw people.
BIG pan..I usually roast it off in my 11x14 metal cake pan, lined with parchment.

Put all your cabbage into the lined pan, then put it into the oven. If it is a HUGE cabbage, you can roast two pans at a time.
About 10 minutes in. Take it out and toss it about. You'll notice some pieces are starting to brown up a bit.
In about another 10 minutes, repeat.
And let it go until you are happy with the 'doneness'.
If your pieces go black..you went to far..that is burnt..and burnt cabbage does not taste good. Shoot for a light brown..but still some green. You want it to look like the picture.

The result? The brown bits are carmelly and sweet. The green is still slightly crunchy. And served along side some baked chicken..you shovel it in thinking it is rice. It kinda looks like rice. It doesn't taste overly cabbagey. It has ZERO carbs..and not that many calories either.

Truth..it's a pain to make...BUT if you are wanting an alternative to starch..it's awesome.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Honey Mustard Sauce

It seemed easy enough...Honey + Mustard SHOULD equal 'honey mustard'..just like it tastes at a restaurant...but it didn't.
So I went to Honey+Sugar and CALLED it 'honey mustard'..but it still wasn't.
Played with it some more and FINALLY found a combo that to me, makes for the best "Honey" Mustard dipping sauce. Chicken nuggets and pizza rolls...meet your maker!

Honey Mustard Sauce

1/2 cup yellow mustard
2-3 Tablespoons mayonaise or Miracle Whip
2-3 Tablespoons honey
dash of lemon pepper

Mix to combine and dip away!

Potato Stick(Chip) Butterscotch Cookies

It's a combo of salty and sweet, and a great way to clean out the pantry. Please tell me I am not the only one with random 1/2 bags of chocolate, butterscotch, etc, baking chips laying around?

Potato Stick (Chip) Butterscotch Cookies (adapted from Landee)

2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 t vanilla
2 large eggs (I used duck eggs)
2 1/4 cups self rising flour
3 cups potato sticks/chips crushed
1 cup butterscotch chips

Oven at 350
Cream butter and sugars
Add vanilla and eggs-mix well
Add flour
Mix in 2 cups of potato sticks and your butterscotch chips. You don't have to worry about the sticks breaking b/c they work better crunched up anyway.
Roll into small balls (about 1 1/2 inches?) then roll those into left over potato sticks. Place on lined (or greased) baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 13 minutes.
Remove from oven and let set up for a couple minutes before you remove to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

KISS Pasta

Ok, so there really isn't any 'kissing' involved...and it wasn't our Valentine's Day dish...KISS-Keep it Simple Sweetie. I find that alot of times I try to go above and beyond. Take a recipe and make it  my own, try this, add that, and sometimes it turns out good..and sometimes it doesn't. But when it comes down to it..sometimes the most 'simple' prep works the best. Yesterday Hubs had put italian sausage, tomatoes, and onions into the crockpot. And well...after smelling it all day, it just wasn't what I wanted for dinner..do you ever do that? The kids didn't want it either and requested spaghetti..but they didn't want the sauce from the crockpot, they just wanted it plain.
Well..'plain' noodles just stick together. So I added a couple things that originally was just to keep them from sticking, and ended up being really good.
And Hubs who is traditionally anti-lemon pepper, LOVED it as well. I love sneaking things in on him he 'thinks' he doesn't like. *snickers*

KISS Pasta

Spaghetti noodles cooked*
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1 teaspoon lemon pepper
shredded mozzarella cheese for sprinkling

You'll have to decide how many noodles you need. What does that mean? Well..how 'wet' do you want the pasta? I cooked the whole box of noodles, then added my butter and oil to the already warm pan (that I just cooked in) then added noodles until it looked coated enough. I didn't want it dripping w/butter and oil, so I added noodles until it looked just moist enough, then added in the garlic and lemon pepper. Then topped w/a little cheese once it was on the plate.

It's fairly light for pasta really. The kids still thought it was 'plain noodles' and Hubs enjoyed it with his italian sausage crockpot stuff. Nothing fancy about it at all, and simple..that's the key. I'm thinking I need more of the KISS stuff. :)

Baked Oatmeal To-Go Cups


If you haven't checked out Chocolate Covered Katie by now..you are missing out on some seriously healthy and delicious food (original link above). I was browsing on there yesterday and came across these babies and knew there were a MUST make. I'm constantly skipping breakfast (life long habit-2 cups of coffee for me equals breakfast and evidently that is not correct)..and Husband generally is good to grab fruit or an shake and attests that breakfast indeed helps him maintain his 60lb weight loss. Along with his weight loss though...he is constantly eagle-eyeing EVERYTHING. So when I told him I'd found a website (Katie's) where it's healthy desserts..he was all for it. And last night gobbled down 4 of these babies and then annouced he felt guilty about it. But what for? They have no flour, no sugar, no eggs even...aside from my addition of some cinnamon chips there really isn't anything 'bad' for you in them.
Warm out of the oven they are delicious, and they are even good room temp along side of cup-a-joe (#2 for me). Also, the recipe makes around 2 dozen. Katie also has a link to the nutritional info on her main recipe.
I think these will become a popular product at our house, tons of different variations too. I'm already contemplating a coconut one for next time. Ooh..or maybe a toasted coconut one.

Baked Oatmeal Cups (feel free to check her recipe out, I just made a few tweaks for our house)

5 cups oatmeal
2 1/2 cups mashed banana (best to use the overripe ones, I keep mine in the freezer)
1 tsp salt
2 2/3 cups water
1/4 cup coconut oil*
2 tsp vanilla
1 T ground cinnamon
1/2 bag cinnamon chips

Oven at 380 degrees
Standard muffin tins lined (I used 20)
Combine all wet ingredients, then add the dry (might want to two-bowl this one). I use my regular sized ice cream scoop and it's about the perfect 'cupcake' size for filling the cups. Into the oven for 21 minutes. And done!

*I still have a bit of a learning curve on coconut oil. I ended up melting mine totally in the microwave THEN adding it in last b/c when I put it in the first time it seized up on me. So keep that in mind, or just sub veg oil.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Swede-ish Meatballs

 
 
I don't exactly know what makes a meatball Swedish. I also can't say whether or not I've actually had them either. But I was looking at the recipe for them and there was making a roux and more steps than I have the capacity to do since right now I don't have a kitchen sink. So I crossed my fingers and hoped for the best...and you know what? I'd take these any day!
 
 
Swede-ish Meatballs
 
1 bag frozen turkey meatballs
4 cups water
6 Tablespoons Brown Gravy mix
1 pkt Lipton Onion soup mix
1/2 cup sour cream
 
In a fairly large pan (I used my spaghetti pot) add water, gravy mix, and onion soup mix. Heat over medium until it looks combined. Then add meatballs. Adding them frozen is fine. Reduce heat to low and let the meatballs and sauce simmer about an hour. About 20 minutes before serving mix in sour cream.
I served ours over mashed potatoes, pretty excellent!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sausage and Bean Baked Chimichangas

 
Right now..I don't have countertops.
I don't have a kitchen sink.
I have to do dishes in my bathtub.
My fridge is basically empty.
We built a house and moved and I just haven't felt like cooking.
But today...I got called a "hot blonde" and just like that...the mojo was back!
So I took to my pathetic little 'kitchen' (that I won't call a kitchen until I have countertops)..and I pillaged my freezer and my fridge..and made one of the best means we've had in a long time!
And that 'crunch' you get from a good fried chimichanga? It was there. AND it was only about 535 calories.
 
Sausage and Bean Baked Chimichangas
makes 4
1/2 lb breakfast sausage, browned and crumbled
1-1 1/2 cups pinto beans, cooked (see instruct)
3/4-1 cup shredded cheese of choice (I used Monterey Jack)
1 Tablespoon hot sauce of choice
4 flour tortillas-8 inch
cooking spray
shredded lettuce and sour cream on the side for toppers
 
Oven at 400
Mix together your cooked and crumbled sausage with your beans. I had made a pot of beans over the weekend that we'd been working on..so I had leftovers, but you could easily use a can of beans, your preference on whether you drain and rinse them. Add hot sauce to mix (less or more, up to you on how hot you like it). Spoon about 1/4 cup of mix onto center of tortilla, top with 2-3 Tablespoons of cheese and fold. I did the tuck sides then roll over and laid it on the baking pan seam side down. Spray chimis liberally with cooking spray and bake for about 20 minutes.
 
The cooking spray helps it get crunchy and doesn't add near the calories that frying these babies would. Once out of the oven top with shredded lettuce and sour cream.
 
I am fairly certain now that I have the crispy chimi pattern set, this will make a repeat showing in our house w/many different fillings!