Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hoppin John

(ignore the cat scratches on my face, we have a mean one)

Here's what's in mine:

1 yellow bell pepper
1 celery stalk with leaves
1 red onion, all veggies chopped
2 tablespoons butter
1 smoked kielbasa sausage, sliced 1/4inch thick
3 cans crowder peas, drained
3 cups turkey broth
1 bag of frozen turnip greens
garlic powder, dried savory leaves, red pepper flakes, salt, & black pepper(all to taste)
1 pound brown rice,

Here's what I did with it:

Softened the veggies in about 2tbsp butter.  Cooked rice as per instructions on bag with no salt or butter/oil, set aside.  Cooked turnip greens in turkey broth for about 20 minutes.  Added kielbasa to veggies and cooked about 10 minutes.  Added greens, broth, seasonings, and peas to veggies.  Simmered for about an hour.  Served over rice.  Pigged out.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chicken, Potato, & Kale Zuppa Rustica

This was an experimental soup based on a pinterest posting found at  and another recipe she has linked.

Mine is as follows and can be changed up any number of ways...

1 pound ground chicken(or pork, or turkey, or sausage)
5-6 cups diced red potatoes and a sweet potato(I'll add more of them next time)
1 onion
2-3 garlic cloves
spices of choice, I used sage, citrus mint, red(cayenne) pepper, black pepper, and celery seeds
water or broth(I have no broth made up right now and don't use store bought, water was fine), enough to cover potatoes by 2-inches or so
powdered goat's milk(we're currently rearing baby squirrels and it is their food too)
1/2 of a large bag of kale, at least a bunch worth or so
more water to cook the kale, fill it within an inch of the top of the pan if you want to, really you can't do much harm to this recipe, adjust seasonings if you need to
yogurt and/or sour cream, I used both, to taste
salt to taste
spoonful of butter(makes everything better)
parmesan cheese

Brown the meat and onion, add garlic, potatoes and water.  Bring to boil, lower heat, and simmer for 40 minutes.  Add kale and simmer another 40 minutes.  Turn off heat after everything is soft enough and add dairy products.  Serve with crackers or bread.  YUM!

This made a TON of good soup!  It seemed to separate as it cooled but that didn't bother us at all.  It was probably just the sour cream getting too hot initially.  My son asked if he could have seconds!  By all means, child, help yourself!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Coconut Cauliflower Soup(easy)

No pics because my camera is elsewhere.

This is easy and very satisfying.

2 large heads of cauliflower
1 onion
3-4 garlic cloves
some butter
tandoori seasoning or curry powder to taste(maybe a tablespoon or so)
1-2 cups of water
1 can coconut milk
salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste
feta or blue cheese to serve

Wash, trim and chop the cauliflower and onion.  Soften onion in the butter, add garlic and cauliflower and heat for a few minutes.  Add water and spice.  Bring to boil, cover and turn down the heat.  Let simmer until the cauliflower is soft, maybe 20 minutes, maybe 30, depends.  Using a potato masher, squish it all up in the pot.  Transfer to a blender in batches and process til smooth.  I do about 2/3 of it smooth and leave the rest ricey.  Add coconut milk, salt and peppers and heat it back up.  Serve with cheese, sour cream, butter, green onions, etc, etc.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Throw it together soup...

Having one last cold snap(we hope) here in northeast Texas means I have one last time to make a healthy, comfort soup.  This didn't disappoint and was a clean out the fridge and freezer meal bonus!

2-3 quarts turkey or chicken stock(I used both).
2 large boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 14 oz can petit diced tomatoes(or 2 cans of the former)
1 small can Rotel sauce(not their diced tomatoes, its like a tomato sauce-use plain or a seasoned kind if you can't find the Rotel) *by the way, all my canned goods are no salt added.
Add some salsa if you feel like it, the Rotel stuff is spicy but not overly so.
1 can black beans, undrained
1 large baking potato, cubed
1 cup brown rice
1 tablespoon spearmint
1-2 teaspoons Balti seasoning(I get mine from Penzey's, LOVE them!)
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the chicken in the broth with the tomatoes, Rotel, beans, and potato until tender and done, about 35-45 minutes maybe.  Add rice and seasonings.  Simmer, covered for 2-3 hours total(from adding the chicken).  

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eggs in tomatoes

I'm always looking for ways to stretch my eggs into a filling meal.  This morning I did the following:

1 cup petit diced tomatoes
dried seasonings of your choice:
basil, oregano, garlic and onion powder
black pepper, salt, savory, paprika
red pepper flakes
spoonful of honey

Cook this in a skillet til thickened and seasonings are softened.  Make two small hills of the mixture and crack an egg over the top so the yolk stays elevated.  Mix the whites with some of the tomato sauce to cook through.  When all the whites are cooked to satisfaction then dump into a plate, keeping the yolks on top.  Break them and enjoy!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Kale with Prunes and Onions

We had no idea what was for supper tonight.  Mark and I are both tired and didn't feel like doing much.  I knew I wanted something healthy and "green", no more nachos or baked potatoes, or whatever is in the pantry.  I raided the fridge instead and we are ever so glad.

Kale with Prunes and Onions

1 large bag of chopped/pre-washed kale(or 2 bunches, torn and rinsed)
1 small red onion, in slivers
7-8 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped
red pepper flakes to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup water

Heat oils and add onion.  I cooked mine in a 13-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat.  When onion is soft, add garlic and pepper flakes and cook for another 4-5 minutes.  Add kale by the handful, pressing down with a large spoon or spatula.  Turn over carefully for a few minutes, add water and cover.  Let cook for 10 minutes or so, until wilted but not too soft.

1 tablespoon each, lemon juice and soy sauce
12 bite sized prunes, cut in thirds
1/2 cup water

Add the rest of the ingredients, cover and let cook over med-low heat until kale is soft and prunes are mooshy.  Serve in bowls by itself, over pasta, polenta, mashed potatoes, or quinoa.  We ate it plain and LOVED it!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2013


I have a thing for Deviled Foods.  I love spice but not flaming hot.  Flavor is important and spicy heat just kicks everything up a notch.  Deviling foods gives just enough heat to be intriguing.

Deviled Party Mix

1.5-2 larger boxes Corn Chex cereal
1 large can mixed nuts
1 bag gluten free pretzels(we used Glutino brand-sticks)

1 stick butter
1/2-2/3 cup horseradish mustard
several good shakes balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup honey
dashes of sriracha sauce, cayenne pepper, worchestershire sauce, and garlic powder to taste.

Melt butter and mustard in a large roasting pan.  Add liquids and spices, mixing well.  Add cereals, nuts and pretzels and stir very well to coat all pieces.  Heat at 265(250 but I'm impatient), stirring after every 15 minutes or so.  I do this sometimes 6 times to make sure its dry enough.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gluten Free Vinegar Pies Two Ways

We have recently discovered my husband is gluten intolerant so when I saw this recipe at Surprise! Vinegar Pie... Oh,My! I knew we'd be having it with our Thanksgiving meal. I doubled it and made two amazing pies!  My changes were to the flour/baking mix called for.  I used gluten free Bisquick and baked it at 350 for less time(because I didn't read the recipe while I was actually making it).  They were practically inhaled but we all thought they were way too sweet.

So, here's where I veered off the second time around...

I added about 1/4 cup of cocoa powder and maybe 1/4 to 1/2 cup more of the gluten free bisquick mix and cut back on the sugar by just over 1 cup(all changes as per the doubled recipe).

The texture is way different; lighter and less gooey than a brownie but not dry like a cake either, and definitely not custardy like the first version.  Both are fabulous and SOOOO easy!  Go ahead, make one(or two)!  Of course, if you are going for a super sweet, custard texture just add some cocoa powder to the first version, I'm sure it would work just fine.

Gluten Free Chocolate Vinegar Pie(makes 2)

preheat oven to 300 and grease two pie plates(I used coconut oil)

2 sticks of butter, melted and cooled a bit.
6 eggs
2/3 to 3/4 cup gluten free Bisquick baking mix
1 and 3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder(I used Hershey's Special Dark)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Mix dry ingredients, add eggs to butter and whisk til well mixed. Add wet stuff to dry stuff and whisk really fast. Add vinegar and vanilla, mix some more. Poor into pie pans and bake for 50 minutes. Cool completely, or until you can't stand it any more. I waited about 15 minutes I think. Maybe.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Decadent Dip

This is SUCH a wonderful dip! Two years ago I happened upon a woman selling packets of powdered dip mixes for $4.50 each at a festival. One of them was a Cajun spiced dip that was oooohmygosh good! I came home with a package and was disappointed that it only made one batch. We had just become acquainted with Sriracha sauce and I thought that might make a good substitute mixed with mayonnaise and sour cream. It did. But I wanted a more substantial dip with more flavor. Here is what I've arrived at...

Decadent Dip(makes a ton)

2 8oz pkgs cream cheese, very soft

1 8oz block of cheddar cheese(mild or med, you choose), grated

1 24oz container sour cream(I use full fat everything)

1 3.5oz pkg nitrate free real bacon bits(or regular real bits)

3-4 green onions, sliced very thin

1 tablespoon sriracha sauce garlic powder, onion powder, parsley, and dill to taste

Combine cheeses, sour cream and sriracha sauce, its good exercise for your arms! Add bacon bits and seasonings and mix some more. Refrigerate for 4 or more hours to blend flavors and let it thicken back up. Serve with corn chips, fritos, or use as a filling for lavash or tortilla roll-ups. This is a very forgiving and adaptable dip, leave things out, add some chopped nuts or olives, etc., etc. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Easy Italian Chicken Veggie Soup...

Imagine, if you will, the soup in my header picture with lovely chunks of zucchini, freshly wilted spinach, chicken breast cubes, fluffy quinoa, and a few more dark flecks of spice and you'll have a mental image of what went down tonight. It was soooo good and healthy on this chilly night.

Easy Italian Chicken Veggie Soup

2-3 quarts homemade chicken stock
1 jar(23-24oz) spaghetti sauce of choice, I use one that has no added salt.
Combine in large stock pot and bring to simmering.
Meanwhile, cube 3-5 medium boneless/skinless chicken breasts and add to liquid.  Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
Quarter 4-6 medium zucchini squash and add to soup along with 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa.  Let simmer another 10-15 minutes.
 Add 2-3 tablespoons balsamic, red wine, or apple cider vinegar and olive oil.  Season to taste with basil, oregano, garlic powder, and parsley, salt and pepper.
Add about 3-4 cups fresh spinach and let it get good and wilted.  Adjust seasonings and serve with fresh grated Parmesan cheese!

This makes a ton so we'll be set for tomorrow night and I even froze a few servings.