Recipe: Colonial Chowder

stemarie_1650sfortentrance.JPGMy mom found this recipe in a local paper years ago in a column called “Making it Light”. The basic gist of the weekly article was to take crazy fat and calorie laden recipes healthy.

The problem becomes that that a lot of the changes that are made are so super drastic that the food no longer resembles the original recipe.  Since both recipes are published within the article, my mom was able to combine parts of each recipe to make something tasty and healthier than the original. I don’t have a link or a photo of the article or the original recipe, since it’s been over 20 years.

Without Further Adieu…. Colonial Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. Butter
  • 4 slices of bacon, finely diced (or you can use 1/2 cup of pre-cooked bacon crumbles)
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 large yellow onions, diced
  • 4 ribs of celery, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp. of each of the following: basil, oregano, thyme, sage
  •  Bay leaves (I usually use 2-3)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 cup frozen corn, or 1 can rinsed and drained salt free corn kernels
  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. In a large stock pot, melt 1 T. butter, and cook bacon.
  2. Add chicken and cook chicken until no longer pink.
  3. Add onions, and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes)
  4. Add remaining carrots, celery, potatoes, and chicken broth. Cook over medium heat, until potatoes are soft.
  5. Add both types of corn, and milk. Cook over medium/low for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Add Salt and pepper as needed. Serve with Cheddar biscuits.

This recipe serves 8-10, freezes well, and makes great leftovers!

This recipe is naturally gluten free. It cannot be made vegetarian/vegan.

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Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies!

img_8846.jpgI know today is Pi Day, but Henry doesn’t really like pie (except Cheesecake), and I’m always looking for ways to get more protein into my buddy. He has a lot of food aversions, so most meat is a no-go (I don’t really count the occasional chicken nugget he inhales), same with beans, lentils, peas, and most other traditional sources of protein.

And who doesn’t love chocolate chips cookies…..

On the Back of the Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes mix I noticed that they say you can swap their mix  1 for 1 with flour, leavening, and salt in any baking recipe. Challenge accepted!

I turned to my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, the one on the back of the Tollhouse Chips Bag.

Making a few modifications based on what we had in the house, and we were ready to bake!

Here is the Original Recipe. One thing I really recommend is to cream the butter (basically use the electric mixer to “fluff up” the butter) for 30 seconds to a minute before adding the sugars.

IMG_8851.jpgIngredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups Kodiak Cakes Mix
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar or Splenda (I used baking Splenda)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

 

 

 

 

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Cookie Dough

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Directions:

  1. Cream the butter for 30 seconds to a minute.
  2. Add Sugars and mix until combined.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, and mix completely before adding second egg.
  4. Add vanilla, Kodiak Cakes mix, blend until dough forms.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon 1 Tbs. blobs onto a greased cookie sheet or a silicone cooking pad on a cookie sheet. I love Sil pads.
  7. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Here are the calorie stats for the entire batch of cookies and per serving, which is 2 cookies. I serve Henry 2 of these with an 8 ounce glass of milk. So the total protein for his snack is 12 grams.

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This recipe makes 5 dozen cookies.

Do you have a secret to getting your kids to eat more protein?

1/29/18 Meal Plan Monday

dsc07997One month into the new year, and our new routine/schedule is starting to firm up!

I’m just posting dinners for our meal plan. The kiddos lately have been having protein pancakes (I like Kodiak Cakes mix- it’s yummy and very versatile) with butter and Peanut butter. Hubs likes Oatmeal (my recipe for an easy almost instant oatmeal mix can be found here) if he’s got time, otherwise he and I have protein shakes. We mix it up, and have different flavors and mix in all kinds of stuff into our shakes, so as not to get bored. Here area few of our favorite recipes.

Lunches for Lil’ Man are usually Peanut butter and crackers, fruit, milk, a protein muffin (aka a kid cupcake), and applesauce cup. He takes his lunch every day! Hubs usually has a protein shake or I pack him leftovers or a frozen entree.

Bitty Bird and I usually have leftovers from the night before, or soup, sandwiches, quesadillas. She eats almost anything!

Monday:

  • D: Soup (I’m really tired- Sleep Regression is a bitch!)

Tuesday:

  • D: Pork Scalapoini (It’s a kit, so we’ll see), Steamed veggies

Weds:

  • D: Veggie enchiladas, Rice, and Baked Apples

Thursday:

  • D: Chicken Soup (Crockpot)- I have a chicken carcass in my freezer that I need to use up!

Friday:

  • D: Date Night (dinner out)

Saturday:

  • D: My birthday, so who knows!

Sunday:

  • D:  Fiesta of leftovers!

The menu may change, as  I pull stuff out of the pantry to rotate what we’ve got (I am trying to cut down on waste, and put the older stuff up front to get eaten first). My birthday is this weekend, so we may be using up a lot of my birthday freebies as we are in the vicinity of deals.

Family Recipe: Aunt Linda’s Mess

file8721293943264.jpgAunt Linda’s Mess, this recipe has been in my family for at least 50 years. When I was a kid we ate it at least once a month. My mother was born on her Aunt Linda’s birthday.  Aunt Linda and her husband live in Minnesota, where the majority of my mother’s family still lives today.  This dinner is what is referred to in the midwest as a “hotdish” and is frequently prepared in an electric skillet. This recipe serves 6-8 with a side dish, like a green salad, or steamed veggies.

This cheesy delicious mess is a great meal for kids and grown ups alike.  I’ve modified it a bit from it’s original form (which calls for Velveeta and canned mushrooms).

I’m not sure if Aunt Linda invented this dish or if she inspired this dish- and no one knows why it’s called a mess.  It reminds me of a cheesy stroganoff. Regardless- No one can say no to this dish!

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1C chopped mushrooms (fresh are better, but you can used canned mushrooms if you prefer- just remember to drain them!)
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup (you can use low fat/low sodium if you prefer)
  • 1/2C+ shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 carton sour cream (or plain Fat free Greek yogurt)
  • 1 package cooked spaghetti (you can use any kind of pasta or macaroni- you want 6-8 cups of cooked pasta)

Directions:

  1. Brown and crumble beef.
  2. Add onion and mushrooms. Sauté until onions are transparent and mushrooms have softened (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add canned soup and cheese.
  4. Cook until the cheese is melted.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.
  6. Add the cooked, drained pasta and toss to coat the pasta.

You can omit mushrooms if you don’t care for them. Unfortunately, I’m not sure if there are any vegetarian or vegan work arounds for this recipe, since it’s mostly meat and dairy products!

I’ll be posting more family recipes over the next few weeks.

 

1/22/18 Meal Plan MOnday

dsc07997

We are in our first full week of Husband being away at rehearsals after work, so dinners will be stuff that re-heats well or makes good leftovers.

I’m just posting dinners for our meal plan. The kiddos lately have been having protein pancakes (I like Kodiak Cakes mix- it’s yummy and very versatile) with butter and Peanut butter. Hubs likes Oatmeal (my recipe for an easy almost instant oatmeal mix can be found here) if he’s got time, otherwise he and I have protein shakes. We mix it up, and have different flavors and mix in all kinds of stuff into our shakes, so as not to get bored. Here area few of our favorite recipes.

Lunches for Lil’ Man are usually Peanut butter and crackers, fruit, milk, a protein muffin (aka a kid cupcake), and applesauce cup. He takes his lunch every day! Hubs usually has a protein shake or I pack him leftovers or a frozen entree.

Bitty Bird and I usually have leftovers from the night before, or soup, sandwiches, quesadillas. She eats almost anything!

Monday:

  • D: Aunt Linda’s Mess (receipt will be posted later today)

Tuesday:

  • D: Grilled Cheese and Soup

Weds:

  • D: Bean Rice, Veggie, & Cheese bowls

Thursday:

  • D: Chicken Chili (crockpot)

Friday:

  • D:  Leftover Fiesta (I need to clean out the fridge)

Saturday:

  • D: Date Night (dinner out)

Sunday:

  • D:   Breakfast for dinner (probably pancakes)

The menu may change, as  I pull stuff out of the pantry to rotate what we’ve got (I am trying to cut down on waste, and put the older stuff up front to get eaten first).  It’s cold and rainy here in San Diego right now, so we may end up having more soup and salads if I don’t feel like cooking or get busy doing other stuff.

Zuppa Tuscana Soup CopyCat Recipe

IMG_5194.JPGThis is one of my favorite recipes to make and freeze. It makes a great meal to take to someone who is sick, bereaved, or just had a baby.

I discovered the recipe while I was pregnant with Lil’ Man and craved soup. I’ve tweaked it a bit from the original that I discovered online to fit more of our families tastes and sensibilities (the original recipe called for a lot of butter, half and half, and pork Italian sausage).

It’s gluten free naturally, and can be easily made vegetarian. I’ll include substitutions under the recipe.

 

Creamy Tuscan Soup

(Zuppa Toscana Copy Cat from Olive Garden)

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb turkey Italian sausage, crumbled (not in the casing)
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers (that’s 1/2 packet of the pepper flakes that come with take out pizza)
  • 1 large diced white onion (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup bacon crumbles (I like the ones from Costco)
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 4 large cartons of chicken broth (your favorite brand/variety)- it’s about 12-ish cups of liquid. You could also do boullion cubes and water if you prefer.
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 3 large potatoes sliced (skin left on)
  • 1/2 bunch Kale or spinach, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook sausage in a large stockpot, crumble it up as you cook it.
  2. Once sausage is cooked, add bacon, onions, and garlic, and cook until onions are soft and clear (about 10 minutes).
  3. Add the broth, and cook on medium until the soup boils.
  4. Lower stove to low add sliced potatoes and cook over low heat until potatoes are tender, about 30-45 minutes.
  5. Stir in the milk, red pepper, and the kale/spinach and cook on low for 10-15 minutes, until kale/spinach is tender.

Makes about 10-12 servings.

To make this dish vegetarian, use soy italian crumbles and vegetable stock.

To make this dish vegan, use the variation above, and also substitute the evaporated milk for your choice of non-dairy milk.

As you store this soup in the fridge, it will become spicier, so I recommend no more than 2 days in the fridge before freezing it.

Black Bean Veggie Soup

IMG_7410I made this soup tonight and it was sooo good. This would be great for meatless Monday (if you do that at your house), or save this recipe for Lent (if you give up meat for Lent). I served it Mexican Cesar Salad.

It’s tasty, quick, and easy. It took about 5 minutes to put together, and I let it simmer on low for 45 minutes.

Black Bean Veggie Soup
Ingredients:

  • 1 can Campbell’s Black Bean Cumin & Cilantro Condensed Soup
  • 11 oz (1 can) of water
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 15 oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bag of Birds Eye Recipe Ready Southwest Blend
  • 1 packet Taco seasoning
IMG_7411
This Veggie blend is great! Perfect in soups, chili, and tacos!

Directions:

 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a stock pot
  2. Cook on medium/low for 45 minutes-1 hour.
  3. Top with shredded cheese. It’s also really good with hot sauce and a squeeze of lime.
  4. Serve with Mexican Cesar Salad (Recipe below) and warmed tortillas.

Makes about 6 servings.

The best part is that this meal was less than $1.00/serving! The can of Campbell’s Soup was .49, the tomatoes and black beans were .79/each, and the Frozen veggies were $1.00. I had taco seasoning in the cupboard (It was freebie from a few months ago).  All of these ingredients can be purchased at your local 99 Cents Only (That’s where I got them!).

Here what I serve this incredibly filling soup along side:

Mexican Cesar Salad

  • 6-8 cups of your favorite lettuce/lettuce blend (romaine and bibb is great!)
  • 2 tomatoes cubed/sliced
  • ½ cup purple onion, cut into rings
  • ¼ c ranch dressing
  • ½ c your favorite salsa
  1. Combine the salsa and ranch together, chill in fridge 6-8 hours before servings. This allows the flavors to blend.
  2. Toss the veggies in a chilled salad bowl with the dressing.
  3. Top with ¼ c crushed corn chips/tortilla chips for some added crunch!

Serve topped with grilled chicken breasts for an entree or without meat as a side dish.  Serves 3 as an entree, serves 6 as a side dish.