Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ranch Mix

I made this mix as a part of Christmas gifts last year (actually, I've updated the recipe since then with dill & mustard). I gave a seasoning trio wrapped in little clear bags with raffia bows- taco seasoning, seasoned salt, and this. It's so yummy! You can use it to make dressing, dip, or as a seasoning. I've written the recipe in parts. You can make as large a quantity as you'd like. I made it in 1 cup parts to divide up as gifts.

1 part sea salt
1 part dried parsley
1 part dried chives
1 part onion powder
1 part garlic powder
3/4 part paprika
3/4 part dill weed
1/2 part black pepper
1/2 part dried mustard

Combine with a whisk.

Add about 1-2 tablespoons to 1-2 cups sour cream for ranch dip.

Add 1-2 tablespoons to 1 cup sour cream, 1/2 cup mayo, and then add milk until it's your desired consistency for ranch dressing. Use buttermilk for buttermilk ranch.

Add as a seasoning to chicken dishes, veggie stir fries, etc.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Campfire Chili

This is the chili I make whenever we go camping. It's a hearty chili that's got classic chili flavors with a vegetarian twist. So filling that you won't miss the meat.
This is the pot I use over the campfire. Well, not this actual pot. Mine is a little more "seasoned" looking than this one. You can do this on the stove top or even on the grill too, but the smoky flavor from the fire is what makes this super tasty.

4 veggie burgers or 1 pkg veggie crumbles
1 14oz.-ish can diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
1 14oz.-ish can diced tomatoes with onion
1 14oz.-ish can tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
2 cups stock or water
3 cups cooked beans (I use red kidney beans, or a combo of black & pinto beans)
1 cup chopped onion
2 tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tbsp onion powder
2 tsp garlic powder

Mix everything in the pot. If the veggie burgers are still frozen, just put them in the bottom of the pot. They'll break down when you add the heat.

Cook indirectly over the fire, keeping the lid on & stirring often until the onions are translucent. You can simmer this gently all day long if you'd like to develop the flavors, but it's ready to eat in about 30 minutes.

Cook in the same kind of pot right on the grill or simmer on the stove top.

Serve with cornbread and chili toppings- sour cream, shredded cheese, & chopped onion.

White Chicken Chili

One of the two chilis I made for our Chili Cook-Off party. Makes one very full slow cooker (about a 5qt. size)
1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped green pepper
48oz jar of Great Northern Beans (like this)
1 can drained diced tomatoes
2 small cans chopped green chilies
1 cup frozen corn
3-5 cups chicken stock
2 cans (or about 2 cups) cream soup (any flavor)
1 8oz. pkg cream cheese, cubed
1 cup milk
3 cups shredded cooked chicken
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. parsley
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash

Add everything but the chicken stock into the slow cooker. Gently mix. Add chicken stock until it's your desired consistency. Cook on high, stirring often for 3 hours or on low for 6.

Serve with cornbread and toppings for the chili- sour cream, shredded cheese, chives or green onions.

Freezes well.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Breakfast Cookies

These large cookies are not too sweet. Goes great with a cup of coffee in the morning. You can also freeze these to have on hand for on-the-go breakfasts.

1 1/2 cups regular rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup almonds
1 cup dried fruit

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Grease baking sheet.

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Set aside. Combine wet ingredients, making sure the banana is well incorporated. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Stir to combine.

Drop large spoonfuls onto cookie sheet. Flatten and shape cookies a little with your hands. Cookies should be about 3" diameter & 1/2"-3/4" high. Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Store in  refrigerator. 

Energy Balls

Great snack, especially after a workout. 

makes approximately 2 dozen depending on size

1/2 C peanut butter
1/3 C honey or maple syrup 
1 1/2 C quick oats
1 C shredded unsweetened coconut
1-2 tsp vanilla
pinch of sea salt if using a natural nut butter with no added salt
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 C trail mix or nuts, dried fruits like craisins or raisins

Combine nut butter, sweetener, vanilla, cinnamon & salt in a large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients stir until a crumbly mixture is formed. 

Form into balls. Store in refrigerator. 

Sausage Balls

A quick grab & go breakfast or a great appetizer.

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
8oz. mild cheddar cheese (crumbles or shredded)
8oz. sharp cheddar cheese (crumbles or shredded)
1 lb. pkg. ground sausage (Like Jimmy Dean- any flavor)

Combine all ingredients. Knead with your hands to incorporate everything. The mixture is very dry. It should take about 5 minutes to mix it all together.

Form into small meatballs (about 1 1/2 inches) and place 2 cookie sheets lined with foil & sprayed with cooking spray OR lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 375 degrees for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for about a minute and then set paper towels to absorb extra oil while they cool.

Makes around 48+ balls.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Crock Pot Refried Beans

2 lbs dried pinto beans, rinsed and sorted
6 cups water
4 cups chicken stock
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 pablano pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cumin

Add everything to the crock pot and stir to combine. Cook on low for 12 hours or on high for 6, or until the beans are tender.

Remove about 1 cup of liquid from the crock. Use immersion blender to blend beans into smooth puree. Add liquid until you reach the desired consistency.

Let cool and divide into 1lb. portions. Label and freeze in containers or freezer bags. 1lb=1 can refried beans.

To use, thaw and add to recipes or place frozen beans in pot and warm slowly over low/medium heat.

Yields about 7lbs.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Instant Oatmeal Jars

Just add hot water and stir, and you've got the perfect size breakfast in it's own little jar. To make, line up ingredients and fill jars in a little assembly line. This would be perfect for kids to help with. They make a great on-the-go breakfast, you can mix it and put the lid back on and eat it on the way. Or, take it to work with you for a mid-morning treat.

You'll need half pint canning jars. Makes a scant 1 cup serving.

For each jar, measure:
scant 1/4 cup whole oats
1/4 cup quick oats
1 tbsp. ground oats (grind up by pulsing in the food processor a few times OR throw some in a coffee grinder until it's like coarse sand)
1 tbsp. non-fat milk powder (this is what makes it creamy)
2 tsp. raw sugar
tiny pinch of salt

Layer the ingredients in the jar, then top with whatever toppings you'd like. Here are some ideas:

  • sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice & dried cranberries
  • broken up banana chips, sprinkle of cinnamon, and a few nuts
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • raisins & cinnamon
  • freeze dried strawberries
  • coconut and dried pineapple or mango pieces
  • dried apple pieces & cinnamon
To make the oatmeal, fill the jar with very hot water up to the 2nd line on the rim for thick oatmeal and the 1st line for thinner.