March 29, 2010

Potato Flakes, anyone?

I recently inherited a huge 10 lb bag of potato flakes. I have no idea how to use them, or what I should make with them. How do you use potato flakes?

March 23, 2010

oat bran-applesauce muffins

from martha stewart magazine. this takes more time than it seems like it should, so be prepared to take a little more time to make them. by the way, my kids LOVED them!

2 C unsweetened applesauce
2 oz dates, pitted and chopped (1/2 C)
1 C wheat bran
1/2 C low-fat buttermilk
1 large egg
2 T honey
3/4 t grated fresh ginger
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 C plus 2T all-purpose flour
2 T flaxseed meal
1 1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t ground allspice
1/4 C plus 1 T old-fashioned oats (i used quick)

1. preheat oven to 375. coat muffin tin with cooking spray. place applesauce and dates in a medium saucepan. cook over medium heat, stirring often, until mixture is reduced to 1 1/4 C, 15-20 minutes. spread in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet, and let cool completely. (i got impatient and didn't let it cool completely and kept it in the pan and it was fine.)

2. transfer to a large bowl, and stire in bran, buttermilk, egg, honey, ginger and vanilla. let stand for 10 minutes.

3. meanwhile, whisk together flour, flaxseed, baking soda, salt, allspice, and 1/4 C oats. stir into bran mixture.

4. spoon batter into prepared tins, filling to the brims. sprinkle remaining 1 T oats over muffins. bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 20 minutes. remove immediately and place on wire racks.

roasted tomato-garlic soup

from the back of the barilla orzo box. the pesto in this recipe is necessary. also, i added the part about the bread.

1 small carton pesto (or make your own, which would be really expensive this time of year.)
1 jar barilla roasted garlic and onion sauce
3 C chicken broth
2 T olive oil
1/2 t finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 T finely chopped fresh thyme
1/2 C barilla orzo

combine sauce, broth, oil, rosemary and thyme in small pot; bring to a boil. stir in orzo; cook 9 minutes. serve with 2 T dollops of pesto and some torn pieces of toasted garlic bread.

*use 1/4 t dried herbs to substitute for fresh.

light italian wedding soup

from everyday food magazine. i love the turkey meatballs that are in this recipe. i use them for spaghetti and meatballs and also for meatball sandwiches. also, i had never had escarole before and really liked it.

turkey meatballs

3 slices whole wheat bread
1/4 C whole milk
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey
3 scallions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T parsley (fresh)
1 large egg

process bread in food processor. mix bread and milk and let sit 5 minutes. put everything else in bowl, bread last, plus 1 1/2 t salt and 1/2 t pepper. make about 2 T sized balls.


1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cans (14.5 oz) chicken broth
2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes in juice
2 head escarole (2 lbs), cored, trimmed and coarsely chopped.

1. in a large pot, heat oil over medium. cook onion, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-4 minutes. add broth and tomatoes (with juice); bring to a simmer. add meatballs; cook, without stirring, until meatballs float to surface, about 5 minutes.

2. add as much escarole to pot as will fit. cook, gradually adding remaining escarole, until wilted and meatballs are cooked through, about 5 minutes more. thin soup with water if desired; season with salt and pepper. serve soup sprinkled with parmesan.

loaded sweet potato skins

from everyday food magazine. just something different to do with yams. and they even work as finger food for a party appetizer.

4 medium sweet potatoes (the skinnier the better), scrubbed and patted dry
1 T olive oil
salt and pepper
1/4 C low-fat buttermilk
1/4 t (or more) paprika, plus more for garnish
4 slices bacon
1/4 C reduced-fat sour cream
1 scallion, sliced for garnish

1. preheat over to 450. on a rimmed baking sheet, rub sweet potatoes with oil; season with salt and pepper. baked until tender, about 40 minutes. let cool on sheet (keep oven on).

2. halve sweet potatoes lengthwise; scoop out 1/3 of the flesh from each half into a medium bowl. add buttermilk and paprika. mash until smooth; season with salt and pepper. stuff sweet potato skins with filling.

3. arrange sweet potato skins on sheet; bake until lightly browned around the edges, about 15 minutes.

4. meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp (i use the microwave) and crumble. stir together sour cream and 2 T water; drizzle over sweet potato skins. garnish with bacon, paprika and scallion. cut in half to serve.

currant and almond pilaf

from everyday food magazine

in a small saucepan, melt 1 T butter over medium. add 1 C long-grain white rice. cook, stirring, until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. add 1 1/2 C water or chicken broth and bring to a boil. reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. remove pan from heat and let stand, covered, 5 minutes. stir in 1/4 C currants and 2 T toasted sliced almonds. season with coarse salt and ground pepper.

March 18, 2010

Irish Soda Bread

I made this last night as an experiment and it turned out wonderful! Totally yummy. I'm going to make it again for Easter. I took the recipe from here and slightly changed a few things, like adding the wheat flour and decreasing the sugar (actually, when I made it I omitted the sugar entirely and it still turned out great but probably not as sweet as the original recipe).

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pat of butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon buttermilk
Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and butter. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a *lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on a greased baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with a tablespoon of buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. ^Use a sharp knife to cut an 'X' into the top of the loaf.

Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes
or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. While baking, continue to brush with the butter/buttermilk mixture for a great crust.

*The loaf may seem dry when you mix it together and knead it,
but brushing it with that initial application of milk and butter really is enough moisture for the bread.

^I cut an 'X' across the entire top of the loaf and when it baked the X expanded next time I'm going to cut the X in the center of the top, making sure it doesn't go all the way to the edges.

March 03, 2010

veggie experiment: days 29 and 30


i did carrot soup (link from my blog) and bean and cabbage soup (recipe below).

for the carrot soup this time around, i happened to have some fresh ginger root so i minced some up and added at the same time i added the garlic. this gave the soup some welcomed heat. the cabbage soup recipe is an accelerated adaption from "the food of france" cookbook.

bean and cabbage soup

1 T butter
1 large carrot, sliced
1 potato, cubed
a couple shakes of garlic powder
1 can chicken stock
1 cup of water w/ stock flavoring in it
1/2 can white beans
some dried parsley, thyme, marjoram and oregano
2 bay leaves
1/4 of a cabbage, shredded

saute the potato and carrot in the butter and garlic powder. then add the liquid and bring to a boil. bring down to simmer and add beans and herbs and cover. stew as long as you want to get the flavors going. i only had about 20 minutes and that ended up tasting fine. add the cabbage and cook, uncovered, until the cabbage gets just tender. salt and pepper to taste.

March 01, 2010

veggie experiment: day 28

Spicy Black Bean Burgers
Adapted from "Recipe of the Week: Burgers" by Sally Sampson

these are the best non-burger burgers we've yet tried. perfect blend of flavors. i sauteed the scallions and garlic before adding them. also, i broiled them (instead of grilling) for 10 minutes on each side. also, i didn't have any cilantro or fresh basil, but i did have fresh parsley and that worked just fine.


4 cups cooked, rinsed and drained black beans (about 2 ½ 15-ounce cans)
1/2 cup Japanese-style panko breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
4 scallions, both white and green parts, minced
3 tablespoons (a small handful) chopped basil or cilantro, or a combination
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2-2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place 2 cups of the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chunky.

Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add remaining whole black beans, plus panko, eggs, scallions, fresh herbs, garlic, cumin, oregano and red pepper flakes and mix until well combined.

Using a dough cutter, portion mixture into patties about 1 inch thick. Suggested diameter: 3 inches; otherwise, the patty will be difficult to flip when cooking. KOD extra step that's worth doing: Place patties on a plate or tray and chill for 15 minutes so they can set up.

When ready to cook, remove patties from refrigerator and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place a cast-iron skillet over high heat, without any fat; when it is hot but not smoking, add burgers to dry pan.

Cook for about four minutes on first side or until well seared and with a flipping spatula, turn onto second side and allow to cook for an additional five minutes, over medium heat.

Serve immediately with fixins': Monterey jack, cheddar or queso fresco, lettuce, fresh tomato slice, pico de gallo or jarred salsa, sour cream, avocado. Good on a soft bun or by itself.

Makes four to six burgers.