Thursday, September 30, 2010

GF Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

from The Gourmet Cookbook

GF Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies Makes about two dozen cookies.

What you will need and baking instructions:

1 cup all-natural chunky or smooth peanut butter
1 cup sugar (1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup granulated sugar)
1 egg
1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
In a mixer combine peanut butter and sugars until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add egg and baking soda and mix for another 2 minutes.
Roll mixture into walnut-sized balls and create a cris-cross pattern with a fork.
Optional: Add a few chocolate pieces to the top of the cookies.
Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool on the baking sheet for two minutes, then transfer to… your mouth.

The Souper on Foodista

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rainy Day Saturday Soup - aka Veggie Soup

Description: My version of Minestrone Soup utilizing fresh veggies on-hand, reaching for pantry items to add into soup stock. This completed soup is built upon staples on hand for the day. My creative efforts produce a one-of-a-kind soup full of nutritious vegetables, pasta/beans. Can become a complete meal in a bowl.
Extra touches: grate cheese into an individual bowl (keeping the pot of soup non-dairy) and add-in homemade crouton or soup crackers.

Recipe Preparation: About an hour from chopping veggies to completed soup.
Pull any fresh veggies of choice from your refrigerator. Saturday’s veggies listed below. Chop into same-size pieces.
Peeled garlic clove(s), chop ready to include with sautéing veggies in olive oil.
Soup pot on the stove ready to sauté pieces of veggies in olive oil.
Wooden spoon available to stir veggies while sautéing.
Tube of tomato paste for a couple of squirts into sautéing veggies in pot.
Box of low-sodium chicken broth (32 oz.) ready to add slowly as veggies absorb olive oil.
Cold water in a measuring cup (2 cups at a time) to add slowly after the chicken broth.
(you might be adding up to 4 cups of water depending on other ingredients put into the soup that will absorb the liquids.)
Assorted spices & dried bay leaves, including salt & pepper ready to be added to the soup while veggies sauté in liquids.
Canned beans, washed & drained, ready to put into soup pot while soup cooks.
Small-size pasta or shells (uncooked) ready to put into the soup by a handful or two.

Olive Oil: to drizzle into bottom of soup pot to sauté veggies.
Carrot or two, depending on size and desire. Cut into discs.
Celery, one or a couple of stalks. Peel to take tough, stringy outer layer off. Cut into small slices.
Butternut squash, peeled and cubed.
Asparagus: wash and cut tough bottom ends off, then cut upper part into small pieces.
Garlic clove(s) to taste. Chop.
One box of low sodium Chicken Broth (32 oz.)
One large can of crushed tomatoes with no salt added (28 oz.)
One tube of tomato paste for a couple of squirts into sautéing veggies.
One small can of Cannellini (white kidney beans), washed and drained.
Small pasta such as shells. (a couple of handfuls.)
Water, about four cups.
Spices (dried): Oregano, Basil, Cinnamon, Ginger, Red Pepper Flakes, Turmeric, Tarragon, Salt & Pepper.
Bay Leaves: two-three
Sugar: optional

Building the Soup:
Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of the pot, on stove burner.
Turn heat to medium-high, let it heat for a couple of minutes without burning and begin to add the chopped veggies. Should hear sizzle of veggies in heated oil.
Stir the veggies with a wooden spoon to get them soft.
Add chopped garlic on top of veggies sautéing.
Add salt, pepper and rest of spices. Stir with wooden spoon.
Add about three squirts of tomato paste (to taste) and stir into the sautéing veggies. Stir.
Add slowly the chicken broth to keep veggies from burning. Keep stirring.
Add water up to four cups if you will be adding pasta and beans. Keep stirring.
Add Bay Leaves (two – three).
Add small pasta (two – three handfuls). Keep stirring.
Add washed & drained Cannellini Beans (Red Kidney Beans work well, too.)
Add more salt & pepper to taste when pasta is cooked in the soup. (The beans and pasta absorb salt.)
Add some sugar if soup tastes bitter as canned tomatoes might be very acidic. (sugar & salt correct an acidic taste.)
Turn temperature of cooking soup to low and put a cover on soup loosely, leaving opening for steam to escape.
Sir and taste soup before serving.

Serving Suggestions:
Slice a baguette or hearty-grained bread, drizzle with olive oil, heat in oven (400 degrees on lined baking sheet) for homemade croutons.
Put a homemade crouton in the bottom of a soup mug/bowl or serve on the side.
Add a protein to the soup for a complete meal:
-left over cooked chicken, cooked sausage or cooked ground beef (meatballs/meatloaf.)
-add melting cheese to the soup bowl. (now it is a dairy soup.)

Be creative in building your own soup recipe. Enjoy and have fun.

The Souper
Rainy Day Saturday Soup - Aka Veggie Soup on Foodista

Friday, September 17, 2010

Meatballs - Homecooking Happiness

Meatballs – The Healthy Way

A small round package of ground beef mixed with traditions of families. Eat alone as is or combined with tomato sauce to be ladled over fresh pasta, meatballs satisfy my meat cravings. How many families prepare these little bursts of flavor filled with the secrets of grandmas of many cultures? Here is a new twist on an old world favorite.
My recipe combines healthy add-ins to get more veggies into a meal creating a very moist ground beef mixture. Highly seasoned with lots of spices, these meatballs are not boring. Baking the newly-created version of my meatballs cuts down on calories as well. Serve as an appetizer or in a sauce over pasta. Watch your friends and family be surprised from this hearty creation.

The Prepping:
· Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
· With parchment paper, line a rimmed baking sheet.
· Have ready one pound of fresh ground beef (or defrost some from freezer.)
· Gather fresh vegetables, wash and chop into small pieces to mix into ground beef mixture.
· Organize add-ins for creating your meatballs: seasonings, spices & condiments of choice.
· Large mixing bowl.
· Oven mitts or pot holders.
· Wooden spoon for mixing; or mix with clean hands.
· Tongs or spatula for transferring cooked meatballs to a serving dish.

Ingredients: (choose any from list below or include your personal choices.)
One pound of fresh ground beef.
One egg
Ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestshire Sauce: all to personal taste.
Mustard: optional.
Chopped fresh onion.
Chopped fresh peppers: use different colors.
Chopped baby spinach: optional.
Chopped fresh zucchini/summer squash.
Grated cheese: optional.
Salt and ground black pepper
Dried oregano, basil, tarragon.
Dried cumin (more intense flavor); red pepper flakes (for heat): optional.
Seasoned bread crumbs or Panko flakes (do not include for Gluten-free meal.)
Enough to allow mixture to form a meatball.

Mix all the above ingredients in a large bowl. If not using bread crumbs, this mixture will be wetter but should still form a meatball. The size of the meatballs is up to you. For meals, a golf ball size is good. For an appetizer, make a smaller meatball.

Arrange the meatballs on the lined, rimmed baking sheet and put it into the preheated oven.
Bake until browned. (about 30+ minutes depending on your oven.) Your nose will tell you when they are done. Your kitchen will be filled with a delicious, inviting aroma of home cooking.

Serve with dipping sauces of choice.
A side salad completes a very healthy meal.
Serve bread or rolls on your table as an option.

Meatballs - The Healthy Way on FoodistaMeatballs - The Healthy Way

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Noodle Pudding - Noodle Kugel

Noodle Pudding or Noodle Kugel

Bringing back holiday tradition with this sweet dairy Noodle Kugel. Talk about comfort food!!! Sweetness with butter and cheeses mixed with cinnamon and noodles. Oh, yes, this has it all. Great brunch dish or weekend at home. Perfect dish to serve at the end of a fast such as Tisha B'Av or Yom Kippur.

· 16 ounces (400 gm) broad egg noodles
· 4 Tbsp. (50 gm) butter, melted
· 1 pound (500 gm) cottage cheese ( or 8 oz. cottage cheese + 8 oz. farmer’s cheese)
· 1 pound (500 gm) sour cream
· 4 eggs, beaten
· 1/2 cup sugar
· 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
· 1 cup crushed cornflakes
· 1 tsp. cinnamon
· 1/4-1/2 cup sugar

1. Cook noodles in boiling water according to package direction. Drain and rinse with cold water.
2. In a large bowl, mix the noodles with the melted butter, cheeses, eggs, sugar and vanilla.
3. Pour into a greased 9x13 inch pan.
4. In a separate bowl, mix the cornflakes, cinnamon and sugar. Sprinkle the cornflake mixture on top of the noodle mixture.
5. Bake in a preheated oven for about 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit or until the top is brown.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Sole Meuniere - Classic French Meal

A fancy name for a simple-to-prepare fish dish. With prep before cooking, you too can enjoy this classic French fish dish. The sole melts in your mouth and does not taste "fishy" at all. Enjoy

Sole Meuniere
What You Will Need

6 sole fillets (skinned) (about one pound fresh fish.)
1 cup flour
6 Tbs unsalted butter
6 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (plus 1 lemon cut into wedges for serving)
2 Tbs fresh parsley (minced)
salt and white pepper to taste

In a shallow dish combine flour and 1 Tbs salt and 1/2 tsp white pepper. Dredge each fillet in the flour mixture on both sides.

Heat a large skillet on medium high heat add 2 tsp butter with 2 tsp oil. When butter foams, shake excess flour from fillets and cook until golden brown about 1 minute, flip and cook the other side for a couple minutes until cooked through. (next step optional)Wipe the pan out and repeat process until all of the fillets are cooked.

(optional)Clean pan one more time and make sauce. Melt the remaining 4 Tbs butter over medium heat, add lemon juice and swirl the mixture in the pan. Pour over warm fillets, sprinkle with parsley and serve with extra lemons.

adapted from Williams-Sonoma Fish cookbook

Hints: If you are not fussy for a very white sauce, you can skip the pan-wiping steps. I actually enjoyed the little brownish look after cooking the fish in the pan and then continued to make the quick sauce in the same pan. Very tasty.

I also think the next time I prepare this Sole dish, I will cut back on the amount of butter during cooking process. A little unsalted butter is delicious, but a lot is not healthy, I feel.