Monday, February 27, 2006

Creamed Cauliflower Casserole

1 1-lb. package frozen cauliflower
2 t butter, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced, divided
1 med. onion, chopped
2 T flour
1 c lowfat milk
1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1/4 t salt
1/8 t pepper
dash thyme
2 T dried parsley
1/2 c dried breadcrumbs

Preheat oven to 325˚. Boil cauliflower in 1 cup salted water 8-10 minutes. Drain. In a large skillet, melt 1 teaspoon of the butter, and sauté 2 cloves of the garlic and onion over medium heat until tender, about 8-10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and milk, and add to the garlic-onion mixture in the skillet. Cook over medium heat another couple of minutes until thickened. Add the cheese, salt, and pepper. Remove from heat and add the cauliflower. Pour all into a greased 8” baking pan. In a small skillet, heat the other teaspoon butter, add the other clove garlic, and cook about 30 seconds until lightly browned. Stir in the thyme, parsley, and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over cauliflower. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes or until bubbly. Makes 3-4 servings.

(Almost) Sugar-Free Orange Cheesecake

1 pkg. graham crackers (about 10 pieces)
1/4 c Splenda granular
1 T dried or 2 T fresh grated orange peel
1/4 c butter, melted
1 c water
1 sm. box sugar-free orange Jell-o
3 8-oz pkgs. cream cheese, softened (I used 2 lowfat and 1 regular, since that's what I had in the refrigerator)
1/4 c frozen orange juice concentrate (I keep a large can in my freezer and scoop out some whenever I need orange juice)
grated peel from one fresh orange

For crust: Preheat oven to 350˚. In a food processor, mix graham crackers, Splenda, orange peel, and butter. Process until finely ground. Press into bottom of 10-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool.
Filling: Bring water to a boil; stir into Jell-o in a small bowl. Cool about 10 minutes. In a large mixer bowl, mix cream cheese, orange juice concentrate, and fresh orange peel. Slowly add Jell-o mixture. Pour all into springform pan. Cool until set.

Imagine how this would be if you used raspberry Jell-o, or lemon, or lime, or strawberry! This would be good no matter what flavor you used. It set up beautifully, and I served it topped with some mandarin oranges.

Emalene's Burgers

1/2 pound lean ground beef
2 T finely minced onion
2 T milk
dash pepper & salt
4 large hamburger buns

Mix ground beef, onion, milk, pepper, and salt by hand in a bowl. Spread equal amounts on hamburger bun halves, spreading as far to the edge (and even over the edge) as possible. Broil 5-6 minutes or until meat is brown and before edges of bun begin to burn. (The meat begins to shrink as it cooks, exposing the edges of the buns). You can eat these spread with your choice of toppings (mayonnaise, Miracle Whip, mustard, steak sauce) or put two of them together with toppings and cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes. Makes 4.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Red Vinaigrette

1/2 c red wine vinegar
1 T Splenda granular
1 T sweet paprika
1 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 c vegetable oil

Combine vinegar, Splenda, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Let stand at room temperature. Re-whisk before using. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Balsamic-Glazed Pork Tenderloin

1 1/2 lb. pork tenderloin
1/4 t salt
1/8 t ground black pepper
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 t Splenda brown sugar blend

Preheat oven to 375˚. Rinse pork under cool running water. Trim excess fat. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat; place pork in skillet. Sear each side to brown entire surface. Remove meat from pan; set aside on a warm plate. Add vinegar to skillet, stirring to scrape any cooked bits of meat from skillet. Reduce heat to medium; stir in brown sugar; mix well to make a glaze. Return tenderloin to skillet; spoon glaze over meat. Place skillet in oven. Roast for 20 minutes. Remove pork fromoven; allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing. Drizzle any pan juices over top.

Gwen's Four-Taste Pasta

12 oz. thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
2 cans tomato paste
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 T olive oil
1 t crushed red pepper
1/4 c dried parsley
1/4-1/3 c grated Parmesan cheese

(Yes, I know that’s six tastes–I guess she doesn’t count the olive oil or Parmesan!)

Cook pasta in boiling water till tender. While pasta is cooking, combine tomato paste, garlic, olive oil, red pepper, and parsley in a large bowl. Add drained, but still hot pasta to tomato paste mixture. Use two forks to combine the mixture with the pasta. Add Parmesan, combine, and serve immediately. Sometimes I have to zap it in the microwave to get it hot again. This is meant to be a thick pasta–it’s not a sauce, but more like a coating. You can add more red pepper flakes if you decide you want it spicier. Serves 3-4

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tomato Beef With Curry

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3/4 lb. sirloin, cut in 1/2” pieces
2 T oil
1 bell pepper, cut in 1/2” pieces
1 medium onion, cut in pieces
1/2 c chicken broth
2 t curry powder
2 t sugar or Splenda
1 T cornstarch dissolved in 2 T water
2 small tomatoes, cut in pieces

Brown meat in two batches in hot olive oil in wok or skillet. Remove from pan. Add bell pepper, onion, and broth. Cover and cook 2-3 minutes. Add curry powder and sugar; cover and cook another 2-3 minutes. (It all depends on how crispy you want your vegetables. I like mine “wilted,” so I cook mine 5 minutes.) Add cornstarch-water mixture; stir until sauce is thickened, about 1 minute longer. Add meat and tomatoes, and stir until heated through. Serve over hot rice. Makes 3 “hearty” or 4 small servings.

Mom's Banana-Apple Salad

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1 large crisp apple, diced
2 bananas, sliced lengthwise and then in slices
2 T light or regular Miracle Whip

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl. Serves 2

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Blueberry-Yogurt Pancakes

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1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
1 c skim or lowfat milk
2 4-oz. containers Dannon low-carb/low-sugar vanilla yogurt
1/4 c Eggbeaters
1 1/4 c fresh or frozen blueberries

Mix flour and baking powder. Add milk, yogurt, and egg substitute, and mix with a wire whisk to blend well. Fold in blueberries. Cook on griddle sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Makes 12 to 14 4-inch pancakes

Orange Pork Chops

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2 thick boneless pork chops (about 3/4” thick)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 c flour
1 T butter
1/2 c orange juice
1/2 c dry white wine
2 T orange marmalade (I used Smucker’s spreadable fruit)
2 t cornstarch
2 T water
1 4-oz container mandarin oranges, drained

Season pork chops with salt and pepper. Dredge chops lightly in flour, shaking off excess. Melt butter in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add chops and cook, turning frequently, until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes per side. Stir in orange juice, wine, and marmalade. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer gently 20-25 minutes, turning once. Transfer chops to platter and keep warm. Mix cornstarch and water; add to sauce. Continue cooking until thickened. Stir in mandarin oranges; heat through. Spoon sauce over chops. Serve with brown or white rice. Serves 2.

Sautéed Spinach

1 T olive oil
1 small clove garlic, crushed/pressed through garlic sieve
1 7-10-oz. pkg. fresh baby spinach

Heat olive oil and garlic in a large skillet. Add spinach; toss gently until spinach is cooked through. Serve immediately. Serves 2.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Normandy Beef Stew

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3 T oil
2 med. onions, thinly sliced
1 lb. boneless chuck, round, or sirloin, cut in 1” cubes
1 1/2 c shredded cabbage
1/4 c dry red wine
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, undrained
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
dash Tabasco sauce
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes

Heat oil in large skillet or Dutch oven. Sauté onions until tender, about 3 min. Remove and reserve. Add beef, a few pieces at a time; brown on all sides; remove. Keep warm until all pieces are browned. Return beef and sautéed onions to kettle. Add remaining ingredients. Cook over moderate heat until vegetables are tender and stew is thickened, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Serves 4

Whole Wheat Banana-Cranberry Bread

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1/4 c butter, softened
1/3 c Splenda granular
1/3 c honey
3 eggs, beaten
1 c mashed banana pulp (from about 3 small)
1/3 c water
1 t vanilla
1/4 c milk powder (I use Milkman)
1 t salt
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c oat bran
3 T ground flaxseed
1 c chopped walnuts
3/4 c dried cranberries
1 c fresh or frozen cranberries

Cream the butter, Splenda, and honey (with an electric mixer, if possible) until light; beat in the eggs, banana pulp, water, and vanilla. Stir together the dry ingredients; stir them into the first mixture, blending with a few strokes as possible. Stir in walnuts and raisins. Turn the batter into an oiled loaf pan; bake at 325˚ for about 1 hour, until well browned and a tester comes out clean.

Bauernfrüstuck (Farmer's Breakfast)

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2 c frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
2 T oil
1/4 c chopped onion
1/4 c chopped bell pepper (any color)
approx. 10 little smokies sausages
4 eggs

Fry hash browns in oil in a large skillet until they start to get soft. Add onion and bell pepper, and continue to cook a while longer until potatoes begin to brown. Slice the little smokies into small pieces and add to the skillet. When potatoes are brown, crack the eggs into the pan. Stir mixture until eggs are cooked.

Chicken Paprika

1/4 c butter
1 medium onion, chopped
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 t sweet paprika
1 c chicken broth (or 1 c water + 1 t chicken bouillon powder)
2 t flour
1 c light or regular sour cream

Dry chicken with paper towels. Heat butter. When bubbling, add chopped onion and sauté slowly until soft (do not brown). Add chicken and sauté slowly, turning often, until bright yellow. Sprinkle with paprika; stir through onions until all pieces are coated. Sauté 3 or 4 minutes more. Add broth; bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer until done (30-35 minutes). When chicken is done, remove from pan. Blend flour and sour cream; stir into broth until thickened. Return chicken to pan; simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve over noodles. 3-4 servings.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Taco Pockets

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 c chopped onion
2 t ground cumin
2 t chili powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 t salt
2-3 dashes Tabasco
3-4 burrito-size flour tortillas
(this time I used Mission’s Jalapeño-Cheddar Wraps,
and they were great!)

Combine ground beef and seasonings; form into three or four burgers. Cook burgers in a skillet.
Once the burgers have cooked, place a large, burrito size flour tortilla or wrap on a hot skillet or griddle for a few seconds. Turn it over, and place in this order, grated cheese, salsa, lettuce, tomato, and the burger.

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After a few more seconds, and tortilla soft and pliable, remove tortilla and burger to a cutting board, where you fold up the edges of the tortilla around the burger.

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Then, turn it over and cut it in half. You then have two “pockets” (sort of like pita bread) with burger and filliings inside. It’s easy to pick up and eat with your hands. And it tastes soooo good!

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Broccoli Salad 1

3 heads broccoli, cut into small florets (7-8 cups)
1 sm. red onion, diced
1 c raisins
1 c sunflower seeds
1 to 1 1/2 c grated cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked, crumbled
1 to 1 1/2 c red grapes, sliced

1 c mayonnaise
1/2 c sugar
2 T cider vinegar

Mix dressing and pour over salad ingredients.

Monday, February 06, 2006

French Epicurean Peas

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4 slices bacon, diced
1 T diced onion
1 T flour
1 (17-oz) can peas, drained
1 c milk
1 4-oz can mushrooms, drained
salt and pepper

Partially fry bacon. Add onion and cook until golden. Drain some of the grease, leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add flour and blend. Add peas and milk. Cook until thick. Add mushrooms. Cook and stir until thick and bubbly. Makes 6 Servings

Chicken Roll-ups

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2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 3-oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 green onions, thinly sliced
dash t garlic powder
2 slices bacon, cut in half

Place each chicken breast half on a sheet of waxed paper. Flatten to 1/4" thickness using a meat mallet. Combine cream cheese, green onions, and garlic powder; mix well. Shape mixture into 2 equal-size balls; place one in center of each chicken breast half. Fold long sides of chicken over filling. Then fold ends of chicken over,and secure with wooden pick. Top each piece of chicken with 2 bacon slices. Place in a lightly greased small baking dish. Bake at 350˚ for 50 to 60 minutes. 2 Servings.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Boiled New Potatoes with Dill

2 small (about 3” in diameter) red potatoes per person
2 T butter
1 t dried dill

Boil potatoes in their jackets (peel away cuts and eyes) until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain. Add butter and put lid on pot until butter melts. Stir potatoes until coated evenly with butter. Sprinkle with dill and salt to taste.

Calves' Liver with Bacon and Onion

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2 small onions, sliced vertically across the rings
1 T olive oil
4 slices bacon
1/3 c all-purpose flour
1/4 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 thin slices calves’ liver

In a medium skillet, sauté the onion slowly over medium to medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes or until tender, golden, and partially caramelized. Meanwhile, in another skillet, fry the bacon until crisp; drain on a paper towel. When onions are done, turn heat down as low as possible to keep warm. Reheat the bacon grease still left in the second skillet. Put the flour, salt, and pepper in a small plate. Dredge the liver in the flour and fry 1-2 minutes on each side. Blot with paper towel; serve topped with bacon and onions.

Apple-Peanut Butter Quesadillas

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Spread your favorite peanut butter, creamy or crunchy, on a whole-wheat tortilla, and add some sliced apples. One large apple will do two-three tortillas.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Cheese and Chile Cornbread

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3 eggs
1 8-oz can whole kernel corn, drained
1/2 4-oz jar diced pimentos, drained
1 4-oz can chopped green chilies, drained
1 t salt
1 T baking powder
1 c sour cream (I used light)
1/2 c butter, melted
1 c grated cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
1 fresh jalapeño, finely chopped
1 c yellow cornmeal
1/3 c all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9x9" pan. In large bowl, beat eggs slightly. Add corn, pimentos, and chilies, mix well. Stir in rest of ingredients. Turn into baking pan. Bake 40 minutes or until golden on top and a knife inserted into center comes out clean.

DH and I ate half of the cornbread, and I froze the other half for another time. You might want to cut back on the jalapeño, as it made the cornbread pretty spicy.

Eggs Goldenrod

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1/4 c butter
1/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 c milk
8 hard-boiled eggs
4 slices bread, toasted

In medium saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium-high heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Separate yolks and whites. Chop whites and stir into white sauce. Heat to serving temperature. Grate or crumble yolks. Arrange toast slices on plates. Spoon 3/4 c sauce over each slice toast. Sprinkle each with 1/4 c yolks. Serve immediately. Serves 4.