Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Healthy Mediterranean Cooking

If you like dips, you have to try hummus! Hummus is a healthy way to snack because it is full of fiber, protein and flavor!

Creamy Hummus

4 garlic cloves
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/3 c tahini (sesame paste)
6 TBLS freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
2 TBLS water or liquid from the chickpeas
8 dashes hat sauce
100% whole wheat pita, warmed
Raw veggies, cut into sticks

Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it's minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste for seasoning, serve chilled or at room temperature. Serve with warmed pita and raw veggies for dipping.

I would need to add more hot sauce and serve with green, yellow and red peppers!! A classmate added roasted red peppers (more hot sauce) and said it was delicious. Sarah-Jane suggested rinsing the chickpeas (or any canned veggie) to remove sodium.

Think it's too expensive to have gourmet, fresh and healthy salmon for supper for a family of four? Think again! This recipe is delicious, feels fancy and only takes about 25 minutes from start to finish. The added bonus is that it's healthy and costs about $4.00 per person.

Salmon and Confetti Couscous

Olive oil
4 (4oz) pieces of salmon (skin removed)
salt, pepper, and garlic powder
1 box Near East brand Whole-grain Wheat Couscous, Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil Flavor
1 box grape tomatoes, slice in half
1 c crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1 bunch green onions (green parts only, about 1 cup)
1 12oz bag frozen broccoli that can be steamed in microwave

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Add a drizzle of olive oil to glass pan and place the salmon. Squeeze the juice of 1 lime over the top of the salmon and sprinkle to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Cover with foil and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Serve on a bed of the confetti couscous (see below).

Confetti Couscous

Prepare couscous according to package directions. Meanwhile steam broccoli in microwave according to package directions. Fluff couscous mixture with fork. Add steamed broccoli, tomatoes, crumbled feta, and green onions to couscous. Can be served hot or cold.

This salmon was delicious. We usually cook ours with lemon juice and onions in tin foil, which is very good also. Sarah-Jane cooked the couscous in low sodium chicken broth instead of water; which added a great taste. I know that this couscous recipe is going to be a family favorite. Remember that any veggie can be added.

Triple Chocolate Cookies

1/4 c butter, softened
1/2 c dark brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch processed)
1/4 c tsp salt, optional
1/3 c coarsely chopped dark chocolate (2oz)
1/3 c coarsely chopped milk chocolate (2oz)
2/3 c chopped pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mash together the butter and sugars with a fork until well combined. Add the oil and egg and beat until creamy. Mix in the vanilla.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and the pecans and mix well. Using a tablespoon, scoop the batter unto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack.

Not much more to say about these cookies, only that they were absolutely wonderful

Friday, March 4, 2011

Soups and Stews Class

Taco Soup

1 lb ground round (you can use ground turkey/chicken)
1 onion
1 package taco seasoning
1 package original ranch dressing
1 TBL chili powder
2 16 oz cans hominy
3 16 oz cans stewed tomatoes
2 small cans green chilies
1 1/2 cups water

Brown ground meat and onions; add all of other ingredients.
Simmer for 30 minutes

I can't begin to tell you how good this soup was! And so different from other taco soups I have eaten. Several of the ladies from the class have told me they have made this soup several times since.

Polish Cabbage Soup

1 small head of cabbage (diced)
1 16 oz can tomatoes
1 28 oz can tomato puree
1 quart water
1 TBL butter
1 tsp sour salt (citric acid)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 egg yolks
1/2 c sour cream

Combine first eight ingredients. Cover and simmer 45 minutes. Beat egg yolks and sour cream together. Gradually add 1 c of soup to egg mixture slowing raising the temperature of eggs. When egg is tempered, add to soup. Remove from heat and stir constantly until well blended. Can be served immediately.

This soup is very rich and one you wouldn't want to eat everyday; but would be good for a special lunch/dinner. I would serve it with polish sausage or a grilled cheese sandwich. Tempering the egg mixture is very important; if it is not tempered you will have scrabbled eggs in your soup. We do carry the sour salt in Ingredients.

Corned Beef Stew

1 12 oz can corned beef, chilled
1/2 c chopped onion
1/4 c chopped celery
1/4 c chopped green pepper
1 TBL oil
2 cups water
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 16 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 tsp ketchup
1 TBL Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp beef bouillon

Cut meat into small cubes and set aside. In a Dutch oven type pan, cook onion, celery and green pepper until tender, in oil, but not brown. Add water, potatoes, zucchini, undrained tomatoes, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and bouillon. Raise to a level of boiling, then reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in corned beef. Cook until meat is heated; maybe 1 or 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

I didn't even know there was such a thing as canned corned beef; but it tasted great in this stew. You can use regular corned beef; but if you do, add with all other ingredients and cook until tender.

Homemade Saltines

2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 c butter
1/2 c buttermilk
1 egg

Sift together flour, salt and soda. Cut in butter. Stir in buttermilk and egg, mixing until liquid is absorbed. Do not over mix. Knead dough for 5 minutes on lightly floured board. Work with half the dough at a time, rolling into a rectangle. Roll to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 2 inch squares. Prick dough with a fork. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired. Place on a baking sheet and bake in 400 degree preheated oven, using middle rack. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container. makes about 5 dozen.

You can make these with whole wheat flour if you want and remember when using sea salt you don't need as much. These tasted very, very good and are not "crumbly" like store bought saltines. They went well with both of the soups and the stew.