Friday, September 26, 2014

sour cream pasta

I'm back!   Sorry for not posting in so long, but this summer was just crazy busy.

The other night, I threw together a totally random recipe...and the kids both had two helpings!!!  Always a great sign.  I took a guess with adding sour cream to pasta, but it turned out great!

- 3 small zucchini, cubed
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 pound pasta (I used linguine, but any would really do)
- 3 ladles of pasta water
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

1. cook pasta.

2. add onion and zucchini into pan with olive oil, and cook until onion is translucent and zucchini is nicely browned.

3. add three ladles of pasta water into pan with onion and zucchini

4. add sour cream and Parmesan cheese into the pan of onion, zucchini, and water.  Mix until incorporated.  Let it cook down for about 5 minutes, or so.

5.  add pasta into the pan with the sour cream mixture
and mix together. Sprinkle pepper on top.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

mexican rice (or quinoa) casserole

I have created the most easy recipe...ever!

Simple instructions:
1. preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. add all these ingredients

-2 cups rice (or 2 cups quinoa. I believe quinoa is more healthy than rice, but I didn't have any on hand.)
- 1/2 cup lentils (I had black lentils on hand, but you could use green or even red)
- packet of taco seasoning (although the more healthy option is basic spices like cumin, paprika)
- can of corn (again, can was all I had on hand...the more healthy option in the dead of winter is frozen corn)
- jar of salsa
- 2 cups of beans (I used chickpeas because that is all I had on had.  Black beans would be good, too)
- 2 1/2 cups water 

into this kind of dish

and stir around
that chuck are the frozen chickpeas

3. put into oven.

4. after 30 minutes stir

5. after 45 minutes to 1 hour, you have this.

I told you...totally easy!

It takes just a couple minutes to prepare, and as long as you have an hour to let it cook, this is an great dinner option.

Serve with sour cream and avocado.

Dinner done easy and healthy!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tacos, the easy way

Wanna make dinner in a jiffy?  Here is a suggestion for tacos, the easy way...

Place taco shells in an upside down cupcake tin.

Empty a can of refried bean in a bowl, and stir up with seasoning.  The super easy way is to add 1/2 packet of taco seasoning.  Or, you could simply add cumin.

Add beans to the taco shells

Place tacos in the oven...350...for about 5 minutes  

Place salsa, sour cream, and shredded cheese on the be added as desired by the hungry crew

And there you have it: tacos, the easy way

Of course you can add lettuce, avocado, ect.  This is what I had on on hand that night.  Easy peasy! 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Cream of Mushroom Soup

I make soup weekly during the winter months, and this is one of my favorites!

- container of mushrooms (any basic kind you find in the store in fine)
- potatoes (2-4, depending on your liking), cubed
- carrots ( 2-4, depending on your liking), sliced
- sour cream, 16 ounces
- chicken bouillon base
- salt
- pepper
- 6 cups water

1. cut mushrooms into small pieces, and add to soup pot with a little salt and olive oil.  Cook over medium high heat.
They first look like this:

and after a couple minutes (covered) they look like this:

2. add water, potatoes, and carrots

3. bring to a boil, then add a big spoonful of the chicken base

4. let simmer until the carrots are soft, which is about 20 minutes.  Now, it is time to temper in the sour cream.  Tempering makes it so that the sour cream doesn't curdle when you add it into the hot soup.

So, add your sour cream to a large bowl

Then, add a ladle of the soup to the sour cream, and stir.  

Keep repeating this step (ladle of soup, then stir) until you have the sour cream mixture good and hot

5.  Transfer the sour cream mixture back to the soup pot on the stove, then add pepper to taste.

6. Let simmer for another 10 minutes, or so, and the soup is ready!

The soup cream addition to soups is a Polish thing, and I always find this soup very comforting.  Reminds me of my mom.  This soup is earthy, hearty, and tangy all at the same time.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

tomato sauce, with added goodness

One staple that everyone has in their pantry is pasta and tomato sauce.

In an effort to "beef" up my tomato sauce, without adding any meat, I added nuts and seeds.  Folks, the results were great!  My first try at this was to simply chop the nuts, but my husband didn't care for the crunch it gave.

Here are the ingredients:
- walnuts (about 1/3 cup)
- flax seed (about 2 tablespoons)
- sesame seeds (about 2 tablespoons)
- jar of tomato sauce
- pasta (in this case I served Halloween shaped pasta, courtesy of Aldi)

Step 1: prepare pasta according to package

Step 2: add walnuts, flax seed, and sesame seeds into blender

Step 3: remind my husband that I need a better blender for Christmas!  
Step 4: mix until the ingredients turn into tiny crumbles, nearly a paste.

Step 5: add mixture to jar of tomato sauce.  Heat thoroughly. 

Step 6: serve over pasta.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

butternut squash with avocado and sunflower seeds

I make a lot of recipes on the fly. 

This one was no different. 

I had a ripe avocado.  I had butternut squash.  I searched the Internet and browsed a number of recipes, kept thinking "no, too much time to make" and so I came up with this one.  The best part about this recipe is incorporating the kids, and them being their own chef. 

Admittedly, my son does not have an open mind when it comes to food.  OK, so maybe he will eat hummus, but he doesn't even want to think about a kiwi fruit.  I have to work him a lot before he gives into some foods.  And I WILL keep working him...I want him to understand what good foods does for his body.  I figured that if the kids, mainly my son, helped with building this dish then chances are he would eat it. 

- butternut squash
- ripe avocado
- sunflower seeds
- Hungarian paprika
- honey
- lime juice

1. Cut butternut squash into pieces, and place on a cookie sheet to be roasted in the oven.  I always roast in the oven with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Cook at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes.  Ok, so this isn't the minute part of "healthy minute meals", but the rest of the recipe is super quick!

2. Place roasted squash onto plate.  Place plate in front of child, and let them build their dish with: avocado, sunflower seeds, honey, lime juice, and paprika.


This is how my plate looked:
And this is how my daughter's plate looked. I didn't get a picture of my son's plate.

I get that some people (meat eaters) would look at this dish and think more "side dish" but it really is filling as a meal in and of itself.  It is nutritious, and crazy fast to prepare!  Not to mention, the kids had fun building their own dinner.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

bean and lentil soup

I came to make this recipe quite by accident.  I was set out to make white chili, but I was missing chicken bouillon and green chilies from my pantry.  So, I scoured my options and came up with this delicious soup.

Now that Fall is in the air, soup is a great thing to add to your diet.  It is nutritious, and warms up easily the next day for busy families on the go.


-  olive oil
- 2 cups great northern beans (I make an entire dried bag at a time, and freeze 2 cup portions to use at my discretion)
- 4 cubes beef bouillon
- 1 heaping teaspoon of minced garlic (yes, the jar is empty...I just used the last of it)
- 1 onion, diced (I only had red on hand at the time, but any kind would do)
- 1/2 cup lentils
- water (enough to fill a small pot...I didn't measure exactly but I would venture to guess around 8 cups water...I promise to be better with measuring next time!)

1. In a small pot, sauté onion in olive oil.  When the onion is just about done, add your garlic and sauté for another minute or so.

2. Add water, lentils, beans, and beef bouillon to the pot. Bring to a boil for a couple minutes.

3. reduce heat, and let simmer until lentils are done, which is about 20-30 minutes. Done!

Not the best picture, as the beans and lentils are at the bottom of the pot
But, you still must try this soup!

This soup has a very hearty flavor to it.  As I mentioned, this was my first time making it, and I will be sure to make it again.

**I wanted to add some sautéed mushrooms to the mix, but I didn't have any on hand.  This would have been a great addition, and one I will probably try next time.


Let's talk lentils.  They are legumes, which are in the same family as beans.  Need some fiber in your diet?  Lentils sure have you covered!  Lentils are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber.  What does this mean to you?  You will poop better, and with that cholesterol will leave your body.  Lentils are also a very heart healthy food.  I don't totally get why they are, because this is where the details go a bit over my head with talk of acids and the like, but you can read more about lentils here at World's Healthiest Foods.