Monday, January 6, 2014


My sister posted this link on Facebook last week.  They looked delicious.  We had lots of leftover turkey from Christmas (It was in the freezer while we were out of town so it wouldn't go bad).  My husband also agreed to contribute some of his 2 lbs Tilamook pepperjack cheese (a stocking stuffer from Santa) to the cause so that we could enjoy the deliciousness.
I did make a few changes to the recipe to make it a little healthier.  Only a little though, because it still has a pound of cheese.

 2 chicken breasts
1 c cooked brown rice
1 can black beans
10 tortillas, normal sized.  For gluten free, use corn tortillas as opposed to flour.
1 can giant can green chile enchilada sauce (I used 2 cans since I bought the small ones.
1 small can diced green chile's.
3/4 c sour cream
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
1 lb shredded pepper jack cheese.

Here's how I prepared it.

Dice or shred your turkey/chicken.  Put the meat in a large bowl.  Rinse your black beans, dump the beans in with the meat.  Add your rice, 1/2 c enchilada sauce (Save the rest to pour on top of your enchiladas), 1/2 c cheese (or possibly more, because yum) chile's, sour cream, cumin, and cilantro.  Mix it all up.  Roll the chicken mixture into the tortillas.  I used a toothpick to hold the rolls together. into a greased casserole dish.  Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top and spread evenly.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and bake 5 more minutes.

I think next time I'm going to put some peppers into my food processor and toss that in the mix as well.  I thought about trying it this time, but I figured I'd try a bit closer to the original version first.

My boys all loved these.  Even my littlest one said "I like it!"  That's a big deal for him.   The bonus was that since I added the black beans and rice, they were pretty filling, so we  have enough leftover to have it for dinner again tonight!  Plus the beans and rice bring down the cost of this meal.  If you wanted to make it vegetarian, you could just leave the meat out all together.  I would add another can of black beans, another cup of rice, and of course the peppers if you're going the vegetarian route.  I would probably put a bit more cheese in with the filling as well. 

Sorry that I don't have any pictures, but trust me.  This is delicious.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Whole Wheat Bread

This recipe came from some good friends of ours.  The bread is delicious and nutritious, and super easy to make.

Lemon juice in this recipe acts as a dough enhancer, which gives the bread a fine, light texture.  Gluten, a natural protein derived from wheat, provides elasticity and strength, added texture, helps retain moisture, prevents crumbling, and extends the shelf life of bread.  If you do not want to store gluten flour, substitute whole wheat flour in its place.

Makes 5 (8x4 inch) loaves
7 c whole wheat flour
2/3 c gluten flour
2 1/2 Tbsp instant yeast
5 c steaming hot tap water (120-130 Degrees farenheit)
1 Tbsp salt
2/3 c oil
2/3 c honey or 1 c sugar
2 1/2 Tbsp bottled lemon juice
5 c whole wheat flour

Mix  together the first three ingredients in a mixer (If you have a Bosch, use it.  This bread will wear down a Kitchenaid quickly!) with dough hook.  Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes.  Add salt, oil, honey or sugar and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute.  Add last flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup.  Beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from sides of the bowl.  This makes a very soft dough.

Set oven to warm (approximately 170) and place a small bowl of water on the bottom rack.  Turn dough onto oiled countertop; divide, shape into loaves, place in oiled bread pans.  Let rise in warm place for 10-30 minutes until dough reaches over top of pan.  Remove from oven and preheat oven to 350 and bake for 23-25 minutes.  Remove from pans and cool on racks.

The original yield of the recipe was 4 loaves, but I found that using the rapid rise method I can easily get 5 loaves. 

 Here is the dough divided and ready to cook
 The bread after rising.  I let it rise too long, but it does show that you can easily get 5 loaves.
 The finished product.  It smells amazing!
You can tell I let it rise too long by the wrinkles.  But it still tasted delicious, and didn't collapse too much.

Monday, October 28, 2013


When I was little, my mom would make granola from scratch.  It smelled wonderful, and tasted delicious.  It was, unfortunately, for my Dad, and NOT for us kidlets.  Such cruelty.  Luckily, my mom still has the recipe, so I whipped this up today.
I was a little bit worried it wouldn't be quite as delicious as I remembered.  After all, part of the deliciousness of some food is in the sneaking, right?
I needn't have worried.  It's delicious.  So here's the recipe.

10 (very full) c oats
1 c wheatgerm (found in the cereal aisle, freeze after opening)
1/2 lb shredded coconut
2 c raw sunflower seeds
1 c flaxseed meal
3 c almonds and walnuts (I used 1 c walnuts, 2 c almond slivers)
1 c all bran
1 c grapenuts
1 c brown sugar
1 c water
3/4 c oil
1/2 c honey
1/2 c molasses
2 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp vanilla

Mix sugar, water, oil, honey, molasses and cinnamon.  Combine with oats, wheatgerm, coconut, seeds, nuts, all bran and grapenuts.  Bake in 5 9x13 cookie sheets at 275 for 20-30 minutes.  (I did 20, if you want crunchier, go for 30).  Stir every 10 minutes, use within 6 months.

You can add in craisins or raisins after baking. If you do it before, you'll burn the raisins.  Ick.

This stuff is fantastic, I'm so excited to have finally made it.  It's full of fiber, protein, iron, folic acid, and all sorts of other good stuff.  Healthy and delicious!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Black Bean Pico de Gallo

So I'm trying to serve less meat to my family.  It's all part of the good ole Word of Wisdom.
To this end, I developed black bean happiness.  Littlest bit loves this stuff- it's one of the few dinners I make that he will eat happily without assistance.  My oldest sister tried it and said he has the right idea.  


2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn
4-6 tomatoes, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1- 2 avocados, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Tbsp Lime Juice
1 Tbsp Chili Powder
pinch of sugar

Combined beans, corn, tomatoes, pepper, onion, and avocado.  Chop garlic and cilantro in the blender.  Before you dump the ensuing deliciousness into the mix, take a good whiff.  It's good.  Now that you have whiffed, pour the cilantro/garlic mix on top of the vegetables.  Add the vinegar, lime juice, chili powder, and sugar.  Mix until well combined.
This is best if you let it sit for a couple of hours to let the flavors mix and get wonderful.  It also gives the beans a chance to absorb some of the liquid so they're not quite so crunchy.  I love this with wheat thins.  You could also use it to make vegetarian or even vegan tacos, quesadillas, tostadas, or any number of delicious things.  This raw salsa is a powerhouse of protein, vitamin a, vitamin e, vitamin c, calcium, magnesium, and potassium, along with a few other minerals.  It's also delicious.  I've made it 3 times in as many weeks, and I can tell you that it doesn't last long.  I'll try and post a picture soon- I apologize for the poor quality of my photos!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


I adapted this recipe from the good ole, red and white, Better Homes & Garden Cookbook.

Whole Wheat Apple Waffles

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 c white flour
2 Tbsp sugar *
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 c buttermilk
1/2 c no sugar added applesauce
1 tsp vanilla

I a medium bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside. (Want to know a secret?  I only used one bowl.  I didn't sift my flour, and I didn't make a well.  They were still good).
In another medium bowl beat eggs slightly; stir in milk, applesauce, and vanilla.  Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture.  Stir just until moistened (batter should be slightly lumpy). (Don't be like my Grandpa.  According to my mom, when he made waffles, he would let the beater run for a couple of minutes.  He also put bacon grease in his waffles.  They were gross.  I repeat, don't be like him).
Pour 1 to 1 & 1/4 c batter onto grids of a preheated, lightly greased waffle baker.  Close lid, bake according to manufacturer's directions.  When done, use a fork to lift waffle off grid.  Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm.

 The batter, lightly mixed.
 This meal could have been sponsored by kroger- I used Kroger applesauce, white flour, wheat flour, sugar, and vanilla.  I'm a fan of cheap stuff.

Pour the batter on the waffle iron.

Wait for it...
Mmmm.  These were good.
Now here's the deal.  I topped these with Dandelion Mama's Buttermilk Syrup.
Mainly because it is delicious.  I think it would also be delicious with raspberry sauce.  Or even just fresh fruit- strawberries, raspberries and blueberries would be delicious, get a 2nd serving of fruit in, and cut down on the sugar.  My boys all loved these waffles.

*Because you're using applesauce in place of oil, and the applesauce is a little bit sweet, I think you could easily leave out the sugar.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Taco Salad!

Often when I ask my boys what they want for dinner, Elmer will ask for tacos.  He loves them.  I think his favorite part is dipping chips into the taco mess, but whatever.  I'll take what I can get.

Often I will just use my chili with less broth as a taco meat, but last night I changed it up a bit and used the taco seasoning recipe from my friend over at Love to Be in the Kitchen.  Now this looks a lot like her Corona Turkey Taco Mix, but I was doing this before she posted that recipe, I swear!  Tacos are a great way to sneak in some veggies. 
So here is my taco meat. 
Here is the base for the salad.  I got pretty lazy and bought the salad mix with carrots and red cabbage in it.  It was cheap, and it was good.
All mixed together...

And here are the boys, all digging in.  I think my favorite part about this was when Elmer said "Mom, this is good dinner" about two bites in.  Hooray!

They liked it so much they were eating it without the Doritos to dip into it!  (I still gave them Doritos about halfway through though).

In full disclosure, when I made the seasoning, I left out the salt because I prefer not to use much salt.  I didn't miss it.  I also left out the cayenne pepper because I didn't have any.  It was still delicious and had plenty of kick.

Taco Meat:
1/2 lb ground turkey
1 can black beans
1 green pepper
1 c frozen corn
2 carrots
taco seasoning (packet or homemade)
1 clove garlic
(Add 1 can tomatoes, it'll be great!)
(and an onion if they don't make your husband cry!)
Brown turkey in iron skillet (I got one for Christmas, I'm so excited!).  Finely chop pepper, garlic, and carrots in food processor.  Leaving skillet at medium heat, add beans, pepper, seasoning, and chopped veggies.  Stir until well blended, let veggies heat through, then reduce to low until you're ready to use it.
To make the salad:  I really hate to have the huge chunks of lettuce that are too big to be eaten in one bite.  So I took scissors to the lettuce and cut it into tiny pieces that my boys could handle eating.  Then I quartered some cherry tomatoes and shredded some cheese over the top.  Top with the taco meat, serve with Doritos!
In the future, I think I'll toss the tomatoes in with the meat, since tomatoes are one of the few veggies that are actually better for you if they're cooked.  (You could also use canned tomatoes if you go that way, which is a bit cheaper).  I would love to put some onion in as well- cook it with the meat even!  But my husbands eyes go nuts when I use onions.  He's a good sport, but sometimes I take pity on him). I would also normally serve this with sour cream, but mine was at my parents house from making them Ritz Chicken Cordon Bleu the other night. 
This dinner went over really well with my littles, even Littlest Bit!
I loved the colors- Green pepper, green lettuce, orange carrots, red tomatoes, purple for the red cabbage, yellow corn, black beans.  Hooray for eating a rainbow!
In this meal you get cold busting vitamin C, Vitamin A that's good for your eyes and skin, lycopene, antioxidants, and lots of protein!

Another way to serve this if you don't want to give your kids Doritos?  Make a quesadilla.  Or case of dee-a as Wiley calls it.  This meat is extremely versatile!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tomato Soup

This tomato soup is a little different from the creamy variety that is most often associated with the name.  This stuff has smallish chunks of other veggies in it, and it's awesome.

This is another freezer meal, and it usually keeps us going throughout the winter.  This is great for those nights when you have zero time to make a meal, but don't want to resort to going out to dinner (or can't afford it!)  Plus, this is much healthier than fast food.

Ingredients: (Not pictures because I made this with my mother in law before I had this blog)
1/2 Bushel tomatoes
12 medium onions
8 green peppers
1 bunch celery
2 carrots
1/4 Tbsp ground pepper
1/4 c salt
1 1/2 - 2 c sugar

Wash tomatoes, then quarter them.  Place them in Victorio Food Strainer & Sauce Maker.  (These things are awesome, man!)  Throw away seeds & pulp (or use for mulch for your garden), place sauce in pot.  (Make it a really big pot-like the kind you use to do your canning).  Grate the onion, peppers, celery, and carrots in food processor, add to the pot.  Then add pepper, salt, and sugar, stir.  Bring to a boil (since it's in such a huge pot, you will probably want to do this on high heat), stirring occasionally.
Let cool, then separate into freezer bags or tupperware.  (How much will depend on how many servings you will need for your family.  Figure approximately 3/4 c per serving.  So if you have 6 family members, you'll want 4 1/2 c in each container).  Label, then freeze.

To thaw: reheat in the microwave or on stovetop.  
Optional:  Throw in a pound of meat, or a cup of rice, or cheese, or all three. (We usually throw in ground meat or sausage, but once we had it with cilantro lime shrimp.  It was amazing).
This soup is also delicious with grilled cheese sandwiches.

Here's the thing.  This soup is a lot of work to make initally.  I recommend working with at least one other person, because clean up alone might make you want to cry.  I work with my mother in law, because she's awesome and this is her recipe.  But after your one day of hard work, you have at least a dozen nights of easy peasy guilt free dinners.  Low fat, high fiber, high antioxidant, and nutrient dense. (Hello vitamin A, vitamin C, and lutein!)

Also, one year, we added some spaghetti squash.  Because I grew some and we had it.  It was delicious- it added a sweetness to the soup that I really enjoyed.  With this soup, you can get your kids to devour vegetables that they wouldn't normally touch, because they can't see them!  (I love tomatoes- they hide so many things!)

My boys all love this soup.  I love this soup.  I know it's a bit late in the season this year, but next year, when you have tomatoes coming out your ears?  Make this soup.