Monday, October 22, 2012

Re-Invented Stuffed Peppers

It is a great time of year for stuffed peppers. They are gorgeous, in season and very affordable this time of year. I simply couldn't resist getting some at the market.  I decided to make use of other goodies I had around the house and to change my recipe up. The result was delicious, healthy, filling, stuffed red peppers.

I used 2 large red peppers. I washed and cut them in half.

I removed their seeds and ribs and put on a heated grill to roast. I usually steam them but was looking to try something different.

Meanwhile, I grilled a few tomatillo's I had that my sister had grown in her garden.

For the filling I made quinoa with sliced onions and chopped and roasted red peppers. When it was done I added diced, grilled tofu, the grilled tomatillo's (chopped), a few tablespoons of black beans and a can of diced tomatoes. 

I stuffed the grilled peppers and baked for 20 minutes at 350 degrees, topped the peppers with a few strands of cheese from a string cheese stick, returned to oven until cheese melted.

Stuffed Pepper Ingredients
2 Red peppers (for 4 servings)
Filling (See notes)
Cheese if desired

Wash and cut peppers in half. Remove their seeds and ribs and put on a heated grill to roast until soften.
Stuff the grilled peppers with filling and bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. 
Remove from oven and  top few strands of cheese if desired, return to oven until cheese has melted.

Filling Notes
The filling can be anything you like. I suggest starting with a rice or quinoa base and then adding your favorite veggies and seasonings. This time I used quinoa, in a past recipe posted HERE  I used a brown rice base and added corn, tomatoes and seasonings.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Barbecue Pizza

So much of what DH and I cook is solely based on what fresh produce we have. Each week I scour the grocery ads and base our meals on what fresh items are on sale that week. Neither of us discriminates on any veggies, so it is a money saving, healthy plan that works for us.

Although we eat healthy most of the time, our one free day is Sunday. As a tradition we always have pizza. Our negotiation with ourselves is that we make it home so we can monitor the fat, calories and salt that go into everything. We have come up with some creative pizzas and DH is always thinking about the next one he wants to put together. 

Barbecue Pizza Ingredients:
Pizza dough
BBQ sauce
Spinach (washed and cut into ribbons)
Tomatoes (sliced and excess water patted dry)
Fresh mozzarella (sliced)
BBQ Chicken (we actually used tofu this time since I had it in the fridge already cooked and ready to go)

Roll out the pizza dough. 
Layer toppings.
Cook for 8-12 minutes in the oven at 475 degrees.

One of the best things (in my opinion) about the dough we use is there is always a little left over for bread sticks  As a kid, I always skipped the pizza and went for the bread sticks. I still adore them and enjoy eating them.

Bread Stick Ingredients:
Pizza dough
Parmesan Cheese

Add your favorite, Italian style herbs to the dough. We used, basil, oregano and garlic powder.
Roll dough into stick size pieces.
Bake in oven with pizza for about 7-12 minutes, flipping them over once. 
When they are cooked, toss them with Parmesan Cheese.
Serve with marinara.


Chili Time

DH was feeling the fall season kicking in and decided to make a huge batch of his homemade chili.

He increased the recipe by about a third which gave us plenty to freeze for quick, healthy, homemade meal.

Click here for the recipe

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Grilled Tofu II

When I am making dinner for just me, I usually turn to tofu. I figure it is a good source of protein, saves an animal and of course I love tofu.

First I sliced, then purged the water from the tofu by putting it between sheets of paper towels. Then I sprinkled with my favorite spice combination that I use on all protein. Turmeric, chili powder and ground mustard.

I heated my grill pan and then cooked for about 6 minutes.

I turned the tofu slices over, and cooked for another 6 minutes.

I ate mine with a bit of ketchup, it was wonderful and very satisfying and leaves plenty of left overs for snacking. 

1 block of tofu, pressed for 20 minutes between paper towels
Chili Powder
Ground Mustard

  1. First  slice, then purged the water from the tofu by putting between sheets of paper towels. Then sprinkle with your favorite spice combination. I use turmeric, chili powder and ground mustard.
  2. Heat grill pan and cooked for about 6 minutes on each side, turning once.
  3. Serve with whatever sauce you like.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Baked Fries

I am a potato farmer's daughter, therefore I love potatoes. I also like to eat healthy and to make food as delicious as I can without adding a bunch of fat and calories. Here's how I make oven baked fries.

Take a russet potato and scrub it clean. 

Cut the ends off.

Slice into fry sized pieces. Try to keep them around the same size so they cook evenly.

Heat oven to 425 degrees and put fries on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Give the fries a light spray of oil and then season. I use paprika, garlic powder, thyme, pepper and a pinch of salt. Toss the fries to make them evenly coated with spices.

Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and flip fries over. Cook for 10-15 minutes longer until cooked though and crispy.

Ta-da! Gorgeous, delicious, healthy, baked fries.

Spaghetti Squash

I am a huge fan of squash. I've yet to meet one I didn't enjoy. My sister hooked me up with some of her fall crop and taught me a new, easier way to cook it too.

You cut the squash in half and remove the seeds. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for 7 minutes, each half separately.

Let it cool slightly (so you don't burn yourself) and begin to scoop. 

It comes out without any fuss.

And that is it. Scoop and serve your favorite way. I like it with butter spray and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast. It is also great with marinara on it.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Garden Cooking

I came home from my visit to my sister's house with a bounty of home grown food. Here's a couple of  the great meals I made using that produce. 

I sliced and seasoned a freshly picked zucchini, skewered cherry tomatoes and a fresh onion from my Momma's garden.

After I grilled all the veggies I tossed them with sliced, grilled chicken and some veggie pasta. 

Very tasty, even for someone like me who avoids pasta :)

The second dish I made from the same veggies was a  primavera  pasta for DH's lunch. I sauteed onion slices in a touch of olive oil, then added cubed zucchini, shortly followed by some pasta water and some Parmesan cheese to make a sauce. After the sauce was formed I added sliced cherry tomatoes.

I tossed more veggie pasta with the sauce and veggies. Voila!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer Pizza II

 DH aka the Pizza Guru had a great idea for pizza last night. I currently have the refrigerator stocked with fresh produce. He made a great pizza for us with it.

This pizza had:
His homemade marinara
Sliced Portobello mushrooms
Spinach cut in to ribbons
Diced, fresh, hot banana peppers

We love mushrooms and this pizza was one of our favorites!

There was a little dough left over and DH made a tart. I sliced a nectarine thinly and he dressed the dough with an agave, cinnamon mixture. We served with a scoop of frozen yogurt and it was AMAZING!

Summer Pizza

DH and I recently tried a new pizza spot in town, the Lucky Slice. They were inspired by the farmers market to make a super fresh pizza. They inspired us, so we did the same at home.

This pizza had: 
Homemade marinara
Anaheim peppers
Fresh tomatoes
Fresh corn off the cob

While the pizza baked, I enjoyed a glass of champagne with strawberries. So good!

The finished product was amazing. Fresh and delicious tasting.

For desert I grilled peaches and plums.

Served with a balsamic reduction and a scoop of ricotta. I must admit, I like it better with just frozen vanilla yogurt. Sometimes you win, sometimes you loose but it won't stop me from trying new things.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Grilled Pizza

 The obsession with my grill pan continues. DH and I made grilled pizza's last weekend.

He rolled out the dough and we put it on the grill.

Flipping over once, cooking both sides.

I prepped some toppings. We divided our one pizza dough into 3 mini pizza's. Once the dough was grilled we prepared the pizza's for a quick finish in the oven.

#1 BBQ sauce, grilled chicken, red onions and mozzarella.

#2 Pesto, diced tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and a little mozzarella.

#3 Greek style with herb'd ricotta, red onions, sun dried tomatoes, olives and feta.

When the bbq chicken pizza was done...

We topped it with fresh tomatoes.

So tasty!

And very beautiful!

What a wonderful, grilled pizza meal!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Popcorn Cob

I was at the farmer's market last week and came across some dried corn cobs marked 2 for $1. I had seen them before and wanted to try them out. The corn cobs are dried and then used to make popcorn. Since air popped popcorn is one of my favorite snacks I had to try them out.

Simple to make, you just put the cob in a brown paper bag.

Fold the top over.

Put in the microwave and press the popcorn button and listen for the popping to wind down. Just like a microwave popcorn bag.

Viola! All done.

I was pleased to see  that most of the kernels popped.

And even more pleased that the popcorn was incredibly delicious! I will be purchasing more cobs soon.