Monday, April 25, 2011

Barley-Vegetable Medley

This recipe (in it's original, pre-Kristened form) is from the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book (pg. 71), with a slight variation based upon our likes (and, more honestly, what we already had in our pantry!).  It's a great side dish, and I think it tastes a bit like vegetable soup - super yummy!

What You'll Need:
1 can corn

1/2 c. quick-cooking barley
1/2 c. chopped onion (about 1 medium)
1/2 c. chopped green sweet pepper
1/2 c. chopped carrot
2 beef bouillon cubes
1/2 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1/4 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/4 tsp. dried oregano, crush
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/2 can (so 4 oz.) tomato sauce

What to Do:
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to boil.  Stir in all ingredients EXCEPT the tomato sauce.  Return to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and simmer about 10 minutes (until barley is tender), stirring occasionally.
2.  Drain barley mixture.  Stir in tomato sauce.  Cook and stir about 1 minute more.

Makes 6 side-dish servings.  100 calories, 1 g. fat, and 22 g. carbs per serving.

Meat and Cheese Frittata

In my opinion, a frittata is really just a glorified omelet, but it looks cooler and the name is fun to say.  We tried the basic frittata recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (pg. 233) for dinner one night, and we really enjoyed it.  Once again, I'm going to write it down as we liked it, although you should know you can put basically anything you want into a frittata!
What You'll Need:
6 eggs
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. chopped onion (or less)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb. margarine/butter
3/4 c. meat (we used Turkey sausage, and it was so good!)
2 Tb. grated Parmesan cheese

What to Do:
1.  Beat eggs and pepper, set aside.  In a 10-inch oven safe skillet, cook onion and garlic in margarine until tender.  Stir in meat. 
2.  Pour egg mixture into skillet over meat.  Transfer pan to a 350* oven.  Cook for 15 minutes (or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean).  
3.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cut into wedges.  

Makes three servings:  233 calories, 15 g. fat, and 8 g. carbs

Rice and Vegetable Casserole - Mexican Style

This recipe (which can be found on page 73 of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book) comes with many variations, but I'm only going to share with you how we make it:  Mexican style!  It's super yummy, and super easy.  For the other variations, you'll have to get the book (which, by the way, if you call yourself a cook, how do you not have this book already?!!?).
What You'll Need:
1/2 c. chopped green sweet pepper
1/2 c. chopped onion (abt. 1 medium)
4 oz. can diced green chili peppers, drained
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tb. margarine/butter
1 1/2 c. cooked rice
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper

What to Do:
1.  Cook sweet pepper, onion, and garlic in margarine till vegetables are tender.
2. In a bowl combine cooked rice, cream cheese, chili peppers, cumin, salt, and pepper.  Stir in vegetable mixture.  
3.  Transfer to a 1-qt. casserole dish.  Bake, uncovered, at 375*F, for 25 minutes (or until heated through).  If mixture seems stiff, stir in milk (1 Tb. at a time) to moisten.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake 2-3 minutes more (until cheese melts).

Makes 5-6 side-dish servings.  Each servings has 226 calories, 14 g. fat, and 18 g. carbs.

Cheesy Potato Casserole

I got this recipe by way of my sister, Erika Pike, who got it by way of Maureen Wengert (a family friend), who probably got it by way of someone else.  The point is - this is one yummy variation of what we affectionately refer to as "Funeral Potatoes."  Enjoy
What You'll Need:
5-7 baking potatoes
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
3-4 green onions (chopped)
1 stick butter (1/2 c.)
1/2 lb. grated cheese (cheddar works well)
(The cornflakes, green onions, and cheese amounts can all be played around with until you find the right amount that works to your tastes!)

What to Do:
1.  Set oven to 350 degrees.  Boil potatoes with skins, then peel them, and finally shred/grate them.
2.  Mix the 2 cans of soup with the sour cream.  Melt 1/2 stick of butter (1/4 c.) with green onions.  Mix in with soup and sour cream mixture.  Fold in cheese.
3.  Fold the soup mix into the potato mixtures with a fork (don't mash!).  Spreak into 9x13 pan.  
4.  Melt the rest of the butter and crush cornflakes into the butter - mix.  Sprinkle cornflakes over the top of the potato mixture.  
5.  Cook at 350* until it bubbles/looks cooked through (about 30-40 minutes).

Italian Chicken

This is my go-to recipe that I have been making for years (with many variations).  When you're totally out of ideas, this is where to look!  
What You'll Need:
Frozen Chicken Breasts (1/2 - 1 per person - depending on age and appetite of person)
Fat Free Italian Dressing (the kind in the bottle - not the powder)
Italian Bread Crumbs 
Cooking Spray

What to Do:
1.  Preheat oven to 350*.  Spray the bottom of a baking dish (size will depend on how many breasts you are cooking) with cooking spray.
2.  Place chicken breasts (still frozen) in baking dish.  Cover in Italian dressing (you might just use the entire bottle!).  Sprinkle with bread crumbs (this is totally to your taste and preference here) until each breast is coated.
3.  Bake in 350* oven for 1 hour.  Check to make sure the chicken is cooked through by cutting through thickest part of largest breast - if it's not pink, you're good to go!

Spaghetti Pie

My toddler gobbled this right up - she couldn't get enough of it!  It's very easy, and looks impressive.  Also, it allowed me to still feel like I was eating spaghetti without overdoing it on the carbs!  This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, and it can be found on page 353 in that book.  Enjoy!  I highly recommend!
What You'll Need:
4 ounces dried spaghetti
1 Tb. margarine or butter
1 beaten egg
1/4 c. grated Parmesan Cheese
8 ounces ground beef (or turkey)
1/2 c. chopped onion (1 medium)
1/2 c. chopped green sweet pepper (we didn't use this)
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. fennel seed, crushed
1 8oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
Nonstick spray coating
1 c. low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

What to Do:
1.  Cook the spaghetti to an al dente texture. Drain the spaghetti and then return it to warm saucepan.  Stir in the margarine/butter until melted.  Stir in egg and Parmesan Cheese.
2.  Cook ground beef, onion, sweet pepper, garlic, and fennel seed until meat is brown and onion is tender.  Drain the fat.  Stir in the tomato sauce and oregano.  Heat through.
3.  Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick cooking spray.  Press spaghetti mixture onto bottom and up sides of pie plate, forming a crust.  Spread cottage cheese on bottom and up sides of crust.  Spread meat mixture over cottage cheese.  Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella cheese.
4.  Bake at 350* for 20-25 minutes (until bubbly).  

Makes 6 servings.  Each serving contains 276 calories, 12g. fat, and 22g. carbs.

Crispy Oven-Fried Fish

Last week I decided to delve further into the Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book.  So, you'll be getting a plethora of recipes from there (at least the ones we liked!).  This breading for fish was a yummy addition to the cod.  It was not too much spice, but enough to give it some flavor.  You can find this recipe on pg. 242 of the cook book.
What You'll Need:
1 lb. fresh or frozen skinless cod, orange roughy, or catfish fillets, about 1/2 inch. thick
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1/3 c. fine dry bread crumbs (we used Italian flavored)
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. dried dillweed
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 Tb. margarine or butter, melted

What To Do:
1.  Thaw fish, rinse, and pat dry.  Cut into 4 serving size pieces.  Put milk in dish, put flour in separate dish, and in a third dish combine bread crumbs, cheese, dillweed, and pepper.  Toss the bread crumb mixture with the melted butter.
2.  Dip each piece of fish in the milk, then in the flour, then in the milk again, and, finally, in the crumb mixture (to coat all sides).  Place fish on a greased baking sheet, and bake the fish, uncovered, in a 450* oven for 6-9 minutes (or until the fish flakes with a fork.).

Makes 4 servings, and per serving:  232 cals; 9g. fat; 13g. carbs. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nacho Cheese Chicken Chowder

Found this yummy soup recipe in the 2011 Diabetic Living Magazine.  We all enjoyed it!  
What You'll Need:
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 (14.5 oz) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, undrained
1 (10.75 oz) can condensed nacho cheese soup
1 (10 oz) package frozen whole kernel corn (2 cups) 
Shredded cheese (optional)
Crushed chips (optional)

What to Do:
1.  In a 3 1/2 - or 4- quart slow cooker, stir together chicken, undrained tomatoes, soup, and corn.
2.  Cover and cook on low-heat setting 4-5 hours or on high-heat setting 2-2 1/2 hours.  If desired, sprinkle each serving with cheese.
3.  Top with cheese and chips, if desired.

Nutritional Info (for just the soup) per serving (1 1/3 c.):  213 cal, 5 g. fat (2 g. sat. fat), 630 mg. sodium, 23 g. carbs, and 21 g protein

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Did you know that processed spaghetti sauce is a no-no when you have gestational diabetes?!!!?  Yeah, neither did I, and I love spaghetti sauce!  So, I went back to the good old homemade version that I got from my college roommate, Julianne.  When you make your own, you can control the sugars, and it's very yummy!  Thanks for the great recipe Jules!
What You Need:
1 1/2 - 2 lbs. Hamburger - cooked and drained
1 med. onion - chopped
2 (16 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 Tb. Italian seasoning
2 (16 oz) cans diced tomatoes

Here's what you do:
Add together and simmer for at least 1 hour.  Serve!  Yummy and easy!
(You can heat this in your crock pot as well - just a few hours on low!)