Monday, July 30, 2007

Hearty Multigrain Biscuits

Good flavor, I love the mixture of all the different fibers.

¾ c. whole wheat flour
½ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. cornmeal
3 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
¼ c. shortening
½ c. quick-cooking or old fashioned oats
About ¾ c. fat-free (skim) milk

1. Heat oven to 450. Mix flours, cornmeal, baking powder and salt in large bowl. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until mixture looks like fine crumbs. Stir in oats. Stir in just enough milk so dough leaves side of bowl and forms a ball.

2. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead lightly 10 times. Roll or part ½ inch thick. Cut with floured 2 ½ inch round cutter. Place on ungreased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart for crusty sides, touching for soft sides. Brush with milk and sprinkle with oats if desired.

3. Bake 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve Warm.

Betty Crocker’s
Diabetes Cookbook

Black Bean Chilaquile (Vegetarian Meal As Requested!)

1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped tomato
1 ½ cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups rinsed, stemmed, and chopped fresh spinach
2 cups crushed baked tortilla chips
8 oz. shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
2 cups prepared salsa

Saute onion in olive oil for about 5-8 minutes, until translucent. Stir in tomato, corn, black beans, lime juice, salt, and pepper and continue to saute for another 5-10 minutes until heated through. In another saucepan, blanch the greens in boiling water to cover for 1 to 3 minutes, until just wilted but still bright green. Drain immediately and set aside. Coat an 8"x8" baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread half of crushed tortilla chips on the bottom. Top with all of the sauteed vegetables and about 2/3 of the cheese. Spread greens evenly on top of cheese; top with half of the salsa. Finish layering with the rest of the tortilla chips, salsa, and cheese. Bake for 35-40 mins at 350F until cheese bubbles and begins to brown.

Bonus: According to the book this recipe came from, this has only 245 calories per 8-oz. serving! Loads of sodium, though.

Chocolate Trifle

I made this for our Stratton dinner yesterday. It is so, so good. {Sorry, Aimee, that you couldn't have any -- I know I'm a mean sister-in-law!}

1 brownie mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
1 (12 ounce) container Cool Whip, thawed
2 Skor or Heath bars (crushed)

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares. In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk. Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces cool whip until no streaks remain.
In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping. Repeat layers. Sprinkle crushed candy bars on top. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

In honor of January's birthday, here is her favorite cake that she is lucky to get once a year!

2 cups carrots, shredded
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
3/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt

Combine carrots, pineapple, oil and sugar. Add eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg. Beat thoroughly. Add flour, baking soda and salt and mix well. Pour into a greased 9x13" pan and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes (until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.) You can also do two round cake pans, bake for about 20 minutes before checking. Let cool; frost with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
1 8oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 t. vanilla
1/4 cup milk
2 lbs. powdered sugar

Beat butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes!) Add vanilla and milk until well combined. Add powdered sugar. If frosting is too stiff, add milk a few drops at a time until the right consistency. If frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. This is the prefect amount of frosting for 1 cake in Stratton land, but many of you may find you have left overs. (This is great frosting for Homemade Oreos.....its on the blog)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Guilt-free (virgin) Pina Colada

My friend, Erin, made these last week for our mini pool party. They were heavenly.

1 oz. water
2 oz. Sugar Free Coconut Torani Syrup
1/4 cup Breyer's Cal Smart Vanilla Ice Cream
1 Tbsp. crushed pineapple in its own juice (She added more to make it juicier)
3/4 cup crushed ice
1 packet Splenda

Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high speed for 30 seconds.

These should come in somewhere around 60 calories, if you follow this recipe. Enjoy!!

Request: vegetarian

I've always known, but there are tons of articles out there touting going vegetarian as a great way to save money and be healthier. While I don't think I can go completely meatless, I would like to start cooking at least one or two vegetarian meals per week. This is where you come in. We have a handful of tasty meals on the blog, but I'd love to have a few more to choose from. Do you have more you can share?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Orange-Basil Chicken

1 1/2 lb. Chicken breasts
3 T. cornstarch, divided
1 (12 oz.) bag fresh broccoli florets
2 T. olive oil, divided
3/4 c. orange juice
5 T. lite soy sauce
1/4 c. honey
3 T. grated fresh ginger
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
1 t. grated orange rind
Hot Cooked Rice

1. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces. Toss with 2 T. cornstarch, and set aside.
2. Saute broccoli in 1 T. hot oil in large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes; remove from skillet, and set aside.
3. Saute chicken pieces in remaining 1 T. oil in skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until done. Reduce heat to medium.
4. Whisk together orange juice, soy sauce, honey, ginger and remaining 1 T. cornstarch. Add orange juice mixture and broccoli to chicken, and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened. Stir in basil and orange rind. Serve over hot cooked rice.

(also good adding 1/2 c. cashews to orange juice mixture)
From: Southern Living Cooking School-Summer 2006

Easy Marinara Sauce

2 cans (14.5 oz each) Italian stewed tomatoes
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4-5 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup water

Combine first seven ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Saute onion in olive oil for 2-3 minutes, until tender. Add tomato mixture and water; simmer for approximately 30 minutes.


I love (and I do mean love) waffles. This is one of the variations on a basic recipe from The Joy of Cooking, and it's the best I've ever had. Just follow the recipe, pretend it's not unhealthy, and enjoy.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda

3 large eggs, well beaten
16 tablespoons (yes, 2 sticks) of unsalted butter, melted (do NOT use margarine)
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (you can make sour milk using lemon juice and regular milk, but I think actual buttermilk works better)

Whisk all of the dry ingredients together; make a well in the center and set aside. Whisk eggs and melted butter until well combined. Add buttermilk and whisk well. Add wet ingredients to dry ones and mix until combined but not smooth. Bake in a waffle iron until there is no more steam (even if your waffle iron says it's done, wait until the steam stops completely.)

Note: if you combine all of the wet ingredients at once, the cold buttermilk will cause the melted butter to harden, making it much more difficult to combine. There's an enzyme in eggs that keeps the butter from re-hardening, so mix those together first. (And thank you, Alton Brown, for that amazing little tip.) I find these turn out best when done in a nonstick Belgian waffle iron sprayed with a little cooking spray. Also, the batter will be really, really thick, almost more like a dough than a batter. That's as it should be.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Parmesan Popovers

3 eggs
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence **
4 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
1 cups whole milk
3/4 cup grated Parmesan (about 5 ounces)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

~In a blender, combine eggs, flour, salt, pepper, and herbs, milk, and cheese. Blend on medium speed.
~Spray a mini-muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the muffin cups, filling each cup 3/4 full.
~Bake until puffed and golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes.
~Remove popovers from muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.

From: Giada De Laurentiis

**Herbs de Provence contains thyme (mostly), rosemary, marjoram, basil, and bay leaf if you don’t have the actual mixture.

Tilapia Greek Pasta

This dish does have quite a bit of prep... but well worth it! It's so fresh and packed with taste! When you make the seasoning & dressing, you can make this dish a couple of times.

1 (12 oz.) package spiral pasta
1 lb. tilapia fillets (about 4 fillets)
2 tsp. Greek Seasoning, divided (see below)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
4 plum tomatoes, chopped
1 (6 oz.) package fresh baby spinach
½ c. Greek salad dressing (see below)
2 tsp. lemon juice
½ c. (2 oz.) crumbled feta cheese

1. Make Greek Seasoning
2. Make Greek Salad dressing
3. Prepare pasta according to package directions; drain and keep warm.
4. Sprinkle tilapia fillets evenly with 1 tsp. Greek seasoning. Cook fish in lightly greased, large skillet or grill skillet over medium-high heat 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes with a fork. Remove from skillet; flake fish with a fork into large pieces, and keep warm.
5. Sauté garlic in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and spinach, and cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Stir in cooked pasta, dressing, lemon juice, and remaining 1 tsp. Greek seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add fish, and gently toss to combine.
6. Transfer pasta mixture to a serving dish; sprinkle evenly with feta cheese.

From: Southern Living Cooking School – Summer 2006. They didn't have recipes for the Greek Seasoning or the Greek Salad dressing. I found these both online after I looked a few times in the store for the seasoning. They do have a greek salad dressing... but this recipe is really easy and a lot better I've found.

Greek Seasoning Blend

2 teaspoons salt ~ 2 teaspoons dried oregano ~ 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder ~ 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder ~ 1 teaspoon cornstarch ~ 1 teaspoon pepper ~ 1 teaspoon beef-flavored bouillon granules ~ 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes ~ 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon ~ 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pizzalinni Greek Salad Dressing

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard ~ 2 tablespoons lemon juice ~ 1/2 t. salt ~ 6 ea cloves garlic, finely minced (I use half) ~ 1 large egg ~ 1 t. dried oregano ~ 1 1/4 c. salad oil ~ 1/2 t. worcestershire sauce~ 1 T. white vinegar ~ 1 dash pepper (to taste)

In a small but deep bowl, mix mustard, salt, egg and vinegar. Add oil one drop at a time, beating constantly, until about one-third of the oil has been added. (Once the mixture begins to thicken, oil can be added several drops at a time). Slowly beat in remaining oil and lemon juice. Stir in minced garlic, oregano, Worcestershire sauce. Add pepper. Refrigerate mixture. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

Carmelized-Garlic Chicken

This chicken is SO yummy... and tastes pretty gourmet to me... and has real nice presentation. So good for a dinner party. It's from Betty Crocker Diabetic Cookbook.

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 T. canola oil or butter
2 t. packed brown sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 c. water
4 slices tomato
4 slices Havarti or Swiss cheese
1 T. chopped fresh or 1/2 t. dried basil leaves

1. Cook garlic and oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-low heat 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, just until garlic begins to turn brown. Stir in brown sugar until melted.
2. Sprinkle salt over chicken. Add chicken to skillet. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, turning once, until brown. Add water. Cook over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning once, until chicken is glazed and has clear juices. Chicken will be golden brown. Watch carefully to prevent scorching (though even if they're a little scorched - they're pretty good! My husband actually likes it if they're a little scorched).
3. Top each chicken piece with tomato, cheese and basil. Cover and heat 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Banana-Pecan Pancakes

A family favorite... inspired by Jack Johnson's Banana Pancakes song. I heard it one day and it really made me have a taste for these. So I found this recipe and it's been a hit ever since. It makes quite a few, so I freeze them, and pull them out in the mornings and microwave. And they still taste good!!
2 large eggs
2 c. flour
2 c. buttermilk
2 c. mashed ripe bananas (4 medium)
1/4 c. granulated or packed brown sugar
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. chopped pecans, toasted
Beat eggs first, then beat in the remaining ingredients - except the pecans - just until smooth. Stir in pecans. Then cook!
(I hate pecans... so I omit those... but I wanted to give ya'll the chance to keep them or omit them!)

Baked Chicken Parmesan Ricotta Bowls

This is a Robin Miller recipe -- I just love Food Network! {The recipe says to make these in 8 mini-muffin cups, but I didn't think I'd get much filling in such a small space so I made them in 4 regular muffin cups. Sadly, they were pretty hard to get out of the pan, so I'll probably just make this is a big pie next time!}

1 9-inch refrigerated pie crust
2 chicken breast halves, cooked and diced
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Divide crust into 8 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Press the balls into the bottom and up the sides of an 8-cup mini muffin tin. Set aside. {Obviously, only divide the crust into 4 pieces for regular muffin-size and leave intact for a whole pie}

In a large bowl, combine chicken, ricotta, Cheddar, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, eggs, Dijon, parsley, salt, and black pepper. Mix well. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups and top with remaining Parmesan. Bake 20 minutes, until a knife inserted near the center of 1 cup comes out clean and crust is golden brown.

Tomato-Basil Vinaigrette Salad

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained
1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 to 6 cups mixed lettuce greens

In a blender, combine tomatoes, basil, garlic powder, vinegar, and oil. Process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve over greens.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hawaiian Haystacks

This is so quick and easy to make. It's one of the recipes I keep in my back pocket for when we get home late from work and have to rush to something else we have going on as it takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. This recipe is the perfect size for two really hungry people, so adjust accordingly.

1 chicken breast
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 cups rice

Cook rice according to package directions. While that's cooking, cut up the chicken breast and cook in skillet sprayed with Pam. Once the chicken is cooked through, add soup and broth. Heat through. Pile sauce on rice with any combination of the following {I've starred my favorites}:

cheddar cheese*
lo mein noodles*
diced tomatoes*
pineapple tidbits*
slivered almonds
diced celery
chopped green onion
maraschino cherries
chopped green pepper
shredded coconut

Monday, July 9, 2007

whole wheat zucchini bread

I found this recipe on a blog I stumbled across randomly. I made this last night for breakfast today and I am in love. It's so stinking good and I can almost convince myself that it's healthy because it has zucchini and whole wheat flour!

1 large zucchini
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, and set aside. Grate zucchini on the large holes of a box grater (to yield 1 3/4 cups); set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together sugars, oil, vanilla, and eggs. Into a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add flour mixture to egg mixture, and stir to combine well. Stir in grated zucchini. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes; invert onto a wire rack, then reinvert, top side up. Cool completely before slicing.

quick pizza dough

This recipe is great for a quick meal -- there's no need to let the dough rise. Just mix, roll out, and go!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 cup warm water

Combine flour, salt, sugar, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix in oil and warm water. Spread out on a large pizza pan. Top as desired. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Mixed Greens w/ Tomato-Ginger Dressing

Show: Quick Fix Meals with Robin Miller
Episode: To Your Health

1 large plum tomato, seeds squeezed out, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
6 cups washed mixed greens (any combination of romaine, red leaf, Bibb, Boston lettuce, mustard greens, spinach)

In a blender, combine tomato, sun-dried tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and vinegar. Process until finely chopped. Add water, salt, and pepper and puree until smooth.

Divide greens evenly among 4 salad plates and spoon dressing over top.

Oven-Baked "Fried" Chicken

Cooking spray
2/3 cup instant oats
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon mustard powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 (4-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups frozen green peas, steamed or microwaved until hot

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

In a resealable plastic bag or shallow dish, combine oats, garlic powder, onion powder, mustard powder, paprika, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix well and set aside.

Brush each chicken breast with Dijon mustard. Add chicken to oat mixture with tongs and turn to coat both sides. Transfer chicken to prepared baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.

Bake 30 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve with peas.

By: Robin Miller (Quick Fix Meals w/ Robin Miller on the Food Network)