Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sweet Carrots

This recipe comes from the same recipe post as the crockpot beef roast recipe I got from The Sisters Dish. While I was turned off by the "sweet" in the dish name, I really liked these carrots! The only sweetness I could taste was the naturally sweetness of the carrots. The broth and butter complimented these carrots so well, and everyone in my family loved them, too! I love it when there is no coercion required to get them to eat vegetables!

Sweet Carrots

  • 1 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 T butter
  • 1 T sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place everything together in a small saucepan. Bring to boil and cook until carrots are tender.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Roasted Asparagus

This is yet another recipe I got from my mom, but she originally got it from Simply Recipes. These are better than I remember ever having had asparagus (which hasn't been for a very long time, but we've had it twice this week!). I love them because they are quick and easy, plus they make me feel like I'm fine dining. :)

Roasted Asparagus

· 1 lb asparagus spears (thick spears are best for roasting)
· 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
· 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used a sprinkling of garlic powder)
· Kosher Salt
· Freshly grated black pepper
· Lemon juice (I left this out)

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse clean the asparagus. Break the tough ends off of the asparagus and discard.
2 Lay the asparagus spears out in a single layer in a baking dish or a foil-covered roasting pan. Drizzle olive oil over the spears, roll the asparagus back and forth until they are all covered with a thin layer of olive oil. (Alternatively you can put the asparagus and oil in a plastic bag, and rub the bag so that the oil gets evenly distributed.) Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub over the asparagus so that they are evenly distributed.
3 Place pan in oven and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus spears are, until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Drizzle with a little fresh lemon juice before serving.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Healthy Burgers

These came from Jessica Sienfeld's cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, which I was able to borrow from a friend. (Thanks Rachel!) Her whole philosophy is to get your kids to eat healthy while feeding them the kid-friendly food they already love. It sounded like a perfect fit in my family because my toddler rarely even takes a bite of the vegetables I put on his plate and the same goes with meat unless it's in the form of a hamburger smothered in cheese and ketchup. And my husband isn't much better when it comes to things of the green and leafy variety. So I tried these out.

My husband could immediately tell it wasn't any normal meat and was quick to ask what it was. However, he did say that they tasted a little bit better than the normal hamburgers I make because there was more flavor. And my toddler gobbled his whole, adult-sized hamburger, too. That stands to show that the texture isn't that far from pure beef and that the veggies were well concealed. I will definitely be making these again because not only do they taste great but they are also a great way to stretch your meat budget. The mushrooms and zucchini act as fillers and take on the flavor of the meat and seasonings.

While these were delicious, I will be making some change next time because I found the meat and veggy mixture to be a little dry and some of the veggies wouldn't mold with everything else. I think I might just try adding one beaten egg or maybe cut out some of the bread crumbs. Whatever I do, I'll be sure to report back the changes I made. **Updated 5/29/10: I made these again, and I added one egg, beaten, and also used about 3/4 cup bread crumbs instead of the full cup**

Burgers 2 (with mushrooms and zucchini)

Prep:15 minutes Total: 35 minutes Makes 16 little burgers (or 8 normal sized)

-1 pound lean ground turkey or sirloin (I used ground beef I had in my freezer, but would prefer turkey due to cost)

-1/2 pound white button or (stemmed) shiitake mushrooms, trimmed and finely chopped

-1 cup whole-wheat or Italian (seasoned) breadcrumbs

-1/4 cup chopped or grated zucchini

-1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

-2 tablespoons ketchup

-1/2 teaspoon salt

-1/8 teaspoon pepper

-nonstick cooking spray

-1 tablespoon olive oil

-16 mini whole-grain hamburger buns, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 400*F.

2. In a large bowl, mix the meat, mushrooms, breadcrumbs, zucchini, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt and pepper until well combined. The mixture will be moist. Form into 16 patties and place them on a sheet of waxed paper or aluminum foil.

3. (I skipped this next part and just cooked the burgers on my George Foreman Grill) Coat a large nonstick ovenproof skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add the oil. Add the burgers and brown on ones die for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the burgers, then slide the skillet into the oven. Bake for 4 to 5 minutes longer, or until the burgers are no longer pink in the center. Serve each burger on a bun.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

I found these while looking for a cheat-day treat. And they didn't disappoint! In fact, they are easily my favorite peanut butter cookie. They are really soft and chewy and stay that way for a couple of days at least. And the only reason we had these cookies for a couple of days is because it made around 5 dozen cookies. Which is a lot for a household where only 3 of its occupants are capable of eating solid food. And I gave many away, but we still had a ton of cookies! I'm thinking they'll freeze well, but I'll try that next time and report back. **Edited 2-18-10: They do freeze ok, however they are slightly harder than when fresh.** I like that you can taste just a little bit of the honey and the peanut butter is present, but isn't dominant. I think they'd also taste yummy drizzled with some chocolate- although that would also increase there already high sugar content. While these are definitely a once in a while treat, they will be my go-to peanut butter cookie from now on!

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies
from Annie's Eats

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1½ tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
¼ cup vegetable shortening
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used all shortening, so 1/2 cup total)
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup honey
2 large eggs
Sugar, for rolling the cookies (I used at least 1/4 cup)

In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the shortening, butter, peanut butter and honey. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and beat just until incorporated.

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Roll the dough into 1½-inch balls, and roll each dough ball in sugar. Place the dough balls on an ungreased baking sheet, a couple inches apart. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until slightly puffed and golden. Remove from the oven and let cool on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. Store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Twice Baked Potatoes

Potatoes are the ultimate side dish and often make themselves known in main courses, too. This is one of those recipes that can go either way. Feel free to substitute your favorite baked potato toppings. Because I'm dieting, we kept our simple, but I would have loved to load them with butter, sour cream, bacon, and lots of cheese! This recipe comes from a Weight Watchers cooking booklet my mom gave to me.

Twice Baked Potatoes

4 hot baked russet potatoes cut in half lengthwise**
1/2 cup fat-free milk (I used 1%)
2 tsp fat-free margarine
1 cup steamed broccoli florets, chopped (I didn't have any on hand)
1/2 cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese
1/4 cup sliced scallions/green onions (I think this was way too much- maybe use 2 Tbl)

Preheat oven to 375*F. Carefully scoop pulp from potatoes into a medium bowl; set shells aside. (I found it easier to scoop the potatoes if I let them cool slightly before I cut them in half and then again before I scooped.)

With a fork or potato masher, mash pulp with milk and margarine; mix in broccoli, cheese, and scallions.

Divide mixture among shells; bake until heated through, 15-20 minutes.

Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 232 calories, 1 g fat, 6 g fiber or 5 weight watcher points

**To bake your potatoes: Wash skins of potatoes, prick each potato a couple of times with a fork to let the steam escape during baking, and then bake at 350*F for 45 minutes to an hour. You can wrap in foil, but I didn't with great results.

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