Monday, February 9, 2009

veggie stock

hi all! now that i'm a mom i've been learning about the benefits of a slow cooker and have been making a lot of things in it. seems like a lot of recipes call for stock. i've been annoyed about the amount of sodium in stock/boullion so, i decided to make my own veggie stock for the first time a few weeks ago and it was great. it's great to keep on hand, it freezes well and it's uber cheap and easy to make.
here's how you do it...

veggie stock

keep the scraps of veggies you use, can be anything. i keep a gallon size ziploc in the fridge and just add peelings to it and when it gets pretty full i'm ready to make stock. i used carrot and potato peelings, bits of garlic, onion, celery ends, etc. make sure everything is washed. either rinse it all in a strainer or if you washed, for example your carrots before you peeled them then your peels are clean and you're ready to go.

throw them in a large soup pot with 8-10 cups of water.

add a bay leaf, some salt, pepper and any other seasonings that sound tasty to you.

bring to a boil.

simmer one hour.

let cool and strain out the veggie scraps.

now you have 8-10 cups of veggie stock to use. i poured some of mine into 2 cup containers and put it in the freezer so i can just pull it out to use as needed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Spinach, Chicken & Rice Soup

We all love this soup, especially topped with sour cream & crackers.

2T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1-10 oz pkg. frozen, chopped spinach
1 cup cooked chicken- chopped or shredded
1 1/2 cup cooked rice (white, basmati or brown)
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1/2 t. oregano
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
6 cups chicken broth

Saute onion in oil for 5 min in large soup pan.  Thaw spinach.

Add spinach, chicken, rice & spices to soup pan & cook for 1 minute, stirring.  Add broth & heat to low boil- simmer for 10 minutes.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Mac & Cheese

My little pasta piggie eats a lot of this every week.  Lately I've been steaming cauliflower while I cook the mac & cheese, puree it in the food processor with a little bit of water & just mix it in.  Normally it's about 1/4 cup of cauliflower.  He doesn't notice & I think it actually tastes better.  Since broccoli is the only fruit or veggie he'll eat, I take any opportunity I can to get him a little more nutrition!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Pizza Quesadillas

Last night I made Pizza Quesadillas for dinner. Yummy, quick & easy. I topped whole wheat tortillas with a cheese mix, sauteed mushrooms & pepperoni. Then we dipped them in warm pizza sauce. It was a hit all around & I didn't have to make a trip to the grocery store!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Soup time!

It's really freakin' cold outside. What's your favorite soup to make?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Deceptively Delicious!

I got the Jessica Seinfeld cookbook Deceptively Delicious for Christmas & have been cooking with it for the past week. I spent 4 hours in the kitchen the other day steaming, pureeing & freezing vegetables to sneak into my dinners. It's made me really excited about cooking because I feel like I'm doing something good for Jack, who doesn't eat any fruit at all & will only eat a little broccoli. And, once I started cooking her recipes it's been easy to see how I can adapt the purees for other foods I normally cook.

Here's what I've tried so far:
Pancakes w/ sweet potato puree- I make some pretty good pancakes & the sweet potatoes made them 10 times better. Yum.
Grilled cheese w/ sweet potato puree- Yum again. I add goat cheese crumbles to my grilled cheese. You couldn't even tell something was different about these.
Spaghetti Pie- The sauce had pureed carrots & the meatballs pureed broccoli. This was so tasty. Even better the 2nd day after I baked it again like all pasta.
Mac & Cheese w/ cauliflower puree- This was okay- a little creamy, but not terrible. It was reminiscent of cafeteria mac & cheese.
Sloppy Joes w/ sweet potato & butternut squash purees- John & I both liked this a lot. Yum, yum.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Pork Chop and Potato Bake

Nate and I both liked this. See my notes below.

10 3/4 oz. can cream of chicken soup
24 oz. pkg frozen shredded hashbrowns, thawed (I could only find 20 oz. package near the eggs and sour cream at Schnucks)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp. pepper
2.8oz. can French fried onions, divided (I think this was in the canned vegetable aisle; i had to ask a worker)
4-6 pork chops, browned (I used boneless)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided

Combine soup, hasbrowns, milk, sour cream, pepper, half of cheese, and half of french fried onions; spread into a buttered 13X9" baking pan. Arrange pork chops on top; sprinkle with seasoned salt. Cover with aluminum foil; bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Top with cheese and remaining onions; bake, uncovered, 5 additional minutes. Serves 4-6

Other notes: Cook hashbrowns in a skillet (in a little olive oil) before putting in casserole since they take longer to cook than the recipe allows. Also, I browned the pork chops for about 30 seconds on each side before putting them in casserole, but I wonder if this made them a little tough (anyone have more pork chop baking experience than me?) They were still very good, but not tender.
I served with Sister Shubert yeast rolls (in frozen foods near waffles at Schnucks) and apricot jelly.