Tag Archives: onion

Basic Meat Filling

This is the basic meat filling to use with the stuffed plantains. It can also be used with stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbage etc. The recipe calls for ground beef but you can also add ground sausage to the mix if you wish.

Ripe Plantain

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound lean ground beef (or ground pork)

3 chili peppers, finely chopped and seeded (any type of pepper you want is fine)

1 green pepper, finely chopped and seeded

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon wine vinegar

6 green olives stuffed with pimentos

1 teaspoon capers

1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil

hot sauce to taste

Stuffed Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a heavy pot, add 1 tablespoon oil and saute chili peppers, onion, green pepper and garlic for 10 minutes.

2. Add oregano, salt, vinegar and ground beef. Stir over high heat until meat loses its red color.

3. Turn heat to low. Add olives, capers and hot sauce. Mix and cook 30 minutes for beef or 1 hour for pork.

4. Let cool slightly so it won’t be too hot to handle when stuffing the plantains or other item.

Stuffed Cabbage

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Tuscan Style Pumpkin-White Bean Soup

This is a favorite soup in our house. It is hearty and rich and full of fiber. It is enough for a meal in itself. It is also a great soup if you are watching your weight. The fiber will help big time. Pumpkin is so versatile and most people just think of pumpkin pie when cooking with it. I use garbanzo beans in my recipe but you can also use white cannellini beans or any other white bean. I also use one of those hand-held immersers (or boat motors as we call them) to mix/blend the ingredients rather than a blender. It’s easier for me. But feel free to use a blender. The richness and creaminess of this soup comes from the beans. There is no milk or cream added which makes it so much healthier for you! So make a pot and enjoy!

Tuscan Style Pumpkin-White Bean Soup

INGREDIENTS:

olive oil cooking spray or just enough olive oil to coat bottom of large pot

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

15 oz. canned pumpkin

3 ½ cups fat-free chicken broth

15½ oz. can garbanzo beans (or whatever size can is closest), rinsed and drained

¼ teaspoon ground oregano

1/8 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

6 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Coat a large soup pot with cooking spray and set over medium-low heat. Add onion, cover and cook until tender, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes.

2. Stir in pumpkin, broth, beans and oregano; simmer for 8 minutes.

3. With an immerser* blend soup until smooth.  Be careful as it may splatter. You can leave a few of the beans whole if you like also. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Serve with ladle and top with 1 tablespoon parmesan cheese.

Serves 6 (1 cup servings)

*If you wish to use a blender transfer soup in batches being careful not to overfill the blender. Return to pot and reheat.

**Coming next Monday: Layered Salad!

Meatloaf in the Round

One of the all time favorite comfort foods, meatloaf. I could make meatloaf every night for John and he’d be so happy! But after a while the same old loaf gets boring. So to change things up a bit I have made them in muffin tins or as today’s title says, “in the round”.  All I do is take a round casserole dish and invert a small bowl in the center and put the meatloaf mixture all around the small bowl. Ta da! Meatloaf in the round! Still tastes exactly the same just in a different shape! The muffin tin is great too because you get little mini meatloaf muffins, though the pan is a pain to clean so I don’t do that too often!

Meatloaf in the Round

Meatloaf in the Round

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound ground beef of choice

1 cup bread crumbs of choice (I like Italian Panko)

2 eggs

1 small onion or half of a large onion chopped

3 cloves garlic chopped

½ cup parmesan cheese of choice

¼ cup milk of choice

2 tablespoons dried parsley

1 tablespoon dried basil

Meatloaf Ingredients

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

few dashes Tabasco hot sauce, optional

tomato sauce or tomato paste for topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and mix till everything is evenly mixed in. Don’t over mix though.

Meatloaf Ingredients in Bowl

Meatloaf Ingredients in Bowl

2. Place small bowl upside down in center of round casserole dish. Place meatloaf mixture evenly around small bowl in casserole.

3. Bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and spread tomato sauce or tomato paste over top of meatloaf if you wish.

4. Return meatloaf to oven and continue to bake for 15 more minutes.

5. Let sit 5 minutes before serving so it can set up a bit.

6. Enjoy!

After 30 minutes at 350 degrees

Meatloaf after cutting

Crustless Dinner Quiche

This is a very filling dish which is great for leftovers as breakfast the next day! I use most of the same ingredients each time though I will switch sometimes depending on what I have on hand. I always add spinach but I will vary if I put in chicken, shrimp, scallops, sausage. And you will not even miss the crust! It comes out almost like a Quiche casserole. It’s always a good “go to” dinner if you can’t figure out what to make. It’s easy and actually good for you! I usually use egg beaters (plain or flavored) and fat-free half-and-half. Feel free to use real eggs and milk if you want the full fat version. Make sure also with any of the high water content foods like the spinach and shrimp to get as much water out of them as possible.

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup EggBeaters (or any egg substitute)

1 cup fat-free half-and-half (or 2% milk)

1 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon dill

1 teaspoon basil

2 teaspoons parsley

1 cup salad shrimp, thawed and drained well (or enough cooked chopped shrimp to make a cup)

2 pre-cooked chicken sausages, roughly chopped (any flavor you like)

few dashes hot sauce

1 ½ cups shredded 2% cheese of your choice (I usually use cheddar)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Combine all ingredients except for ½ cup of the shredded cheese, in a large bowl. Mix well.

2. Pour into a round deep dish baking pan. I use a 10″ round which is about 2″ deep. It has to be deep enough to hold all of the mixture. Sprinkle the ½ cup of shredded cheese over the top.

3. Bake at 350º for about 45 minutes. The top will puff up and then settle when you take it out of the oven. Let sit for about 5-10 minutes. Cut it up and serve!

Andrea’s Famous Salsa!

Many years ago (19 actually) when I received my first food processor I had no idea what to use it for. I still have the same exact Cuisinart Little Pro Plus and it still works great! The first thing I attempted to make it in was salsa. I first followed the recipe that came with the food processor but I quickly changed it to make it my now famous salsa. I have to admit my first attempt at salsa was almost a complete disaster. It was my first time dealing with jalapeno peppers. Nobody told me how dangerous they can be if not handled properly! Needless to say after cutting the peppers and scooping out the seeds I rubbed my eyes! I can feel all of you wincing now. It was like being sprayed with pepper spray only worse. My entire face looked like I had severe sunburn! I couldn’t open my eyes for a while until I totally flushed them with water. They still stung and my face burned as well. The only thing I got to work on the burn to my skin was aloe vera gel! So after this incident I handled peppers with extreme care and wash my hands often and I NEVER touch my face again!! It was a sight for sure!

So the following recipe is what I finally ended up with and I even sold it for a bit to friends and co-workers. It can be frozen also but I recommend draining it a bit once it’s thawed out as the tomatoes hold tons of water. This salsa can be used on pretty much anything you want. It stays pretty long in the fridge also, not as long as a jarred salsa but it’s so much better and fresh. You can also adjust the amount of peppers to your liking or even change the type of pepper. I usually stick to jalapeno peppers. I have tried it with Habanero peppers also but of course cut the amount down a great deal. Enjoy!


INGREDIENTS:

5 large ripe plum tomatoes, quartered

1 small red onion (or 1 medium regular yellow onion)

5 medium fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded (if fresh isn’t available jarred ones are fine, just not as fresh tasting)

2 large cloves of garlic

2 TBS dried cilantro (or 1/2 cup fresh chopped)

1 tsp wine vinegar (red or white)

salt and pepper to taste


DIRECTIONS:

1: Chop onion, garlic, cilantro and chili peppers in food processor. Transfer to a large bowl.

2: Place the tomatoes in the food processor and coarsely chop. If you want larger chunks of tomato cut by hand. Add to bowl with mixture.

3: Stir in vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Mix thoroughly. Let sit for a couple hours for best results.


TIPS:

If salsa is too watery just drain in a colander.

This is a very low-calorie snack. The carbs are from the veggies so they are good carbs and it’s virtually fat-free.

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