Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sausage Macaroni Casserole

This is another recipe from my grandma's collection. It had a great combination of sausage and cheese sauce mixed with the noodles. Yum! Definitely a great recipe on a cool day.

Sausage Macaroni Casserole

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper strips
3 T flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
8 oz elbow macaroni, cooked

Brown sausage in skillet, remove. Drain on paper towel. Saute onion and green pepper in 2 T remaining drippings. Stir in flour. Slowly add milk. Cook over medium heat until thick. Stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese. Combine macaroni, sausage and sauce. Turn into greased 2 qt casserole; top with remaining cheese. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until bubbly.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Baked Tilapia

I got home a little later than usual tonight and didn't have anything planned for dinner. If that's the case, it's usually pretty simple to take some frozen tilapia out of the freezer, thaw and bake with some butter and various seasonings for a quick and tasty meal. I was able to find a recipe for tonight's tilapia that I haven't tried before, but we really liked tonight. This is also from Taste of Home. Serve this fish with the Seasoned Couscous. This is a super fast meal if you're short on time and don't know what to make.

Baked Tilapia

4 tilapia filets
3 T butter, melted
3 T lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp salt
2 T capers
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp paprika

Place tilapia filets in bottom of greased 9x13" baking dish. Mix the other ingredients together and spoon over fish. Bake at 425 for 10-15 minutes. Enjoy!

Seasoned Couscous

We love couscous! I was so excited when I found couscous in the bulk foods section at the store tonight. We really like it, but it seems difficult to find just plain. I filled a bag about a third full and was excited to bring my treat home. If you've never had it before, it is actually a small pasta, tinier than rice. It cooks up so fast and with different seasonings it can be pretty versatile. I needed to make something quick and this is what I found on Taste of Home website.

Seasoned Couscous

2 cups water
1 T butter
1 T dried parsley
2 tsp chicken boullion granules
1/2 tsp dry minced onion
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
10 oz couscous

Mix everything but the couscous in a quart size saucepan. Bring to a boil. Add couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff couscous and enjoy! It's that easy!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oatmeal Bread

I got this recipe from one of my patients at work. It smelled so wonderful as it was baking in the oven and this is one of the best breads I've ever made. I even made it all by hand instead of trying to use my breadmaker for the kneading. If you've been tempted to try to make your own yeast bread-try this one. It takes a little while to allow the dough to rise, but once it bakes up it is so tasty!

Oatmeal Bread

2 cups boiling water poured over:
1 cup quick oatmeal
1 tsp salt
5 T butter or margarine

Cool mixture until lukewarm. Stir 1 pkg yeast into 1/2 cup warm water. Add 1 cup flour to yeasat mixture and stir well. Set aside. Add 3/4 cup brown sugar to oat mixture and 4 to 5 cups of flour. Add yeast mixture and stir well. Turn out onto floured surface and knead well until smooth and no longer sticky. Place in bowl coated in cooking spray, turn once. Cover with dishtowel and let rise until double in size in a warm place. Punch down and let rest about 5 minutes. Put into loaf pans. Let rise again until light. Bake 1 hour at 325 degrees. Makes 2 loaves.

Hamburger Noodle Casserole

This was a pretty quick dish to put together, it just took a while to bake. The house smelled so yummy though as this was cooking up. This is great when you just don't know what to make since more than likely most of the ingredients are in your cupboard or freezer already!

Hamburger Noodle Casserole

1 pound ground beef
16 oz can whole tomatoes (or diced)
16 0z can peas, drained (or frozen)
1 can condensed tomato soup
6 oz noodles
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Heat oven to 375. Spray sides and bottom of 2 qt casserole dish with cooking spray. Place ground beef in casserole and break apart with fork (I cooked it first, it looks like that's not necessary though). Stir in tomatoes (with liquid), peas, tomato soup, uncooked noodles, onion, celery and salt and pepper. Mix well and cover. Bake about 1 hour and 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hearty Lentil Soup

I had never had lentils before making this soup. You can buy a bag of them by the bagged, dry beans at the store or in the bulk food aisle as well. They are tiny little beans, I guess, and are packed full of fiber (the recipe says there are 10 grams of fiber per serving from the lentils!).

This soup was really good and very filling. I put half in the freezer for a later time since we also had leftovers for lunch and dinner the next day as well. This is a great soup to get more fiber and veggies into your diet.

Hearty Lentil Soup From Taste of Home's Healthy Cooking

3 cups water
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 medium carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 small green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup uncooked brown rice
1 tsp dried basil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup tomato paste (I used 2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce since I was out of tomato paste-it would be slightly less tomatoey, but still good)
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/2 cup frozen peas

In a large saucepan, combine the first 11 ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until lentils and rice are tender.

Add the tomato paste, corn and peas; stir until blended. Cook, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until corn and peas are tender. Discard bay leaf before serving.

Layered Enchilada Bake

This is another tasty, meatless dish that's good for you. Ryan and I really liked this. It was not too difficult to put together and it filled us up quickly. There are still some leftovers too! Just make sure you figure in the time to cook the brown rice into assembling time (35-45 minutes to cook rice).

Layered Enchilada Bake From Cooking for Life

1 1/2 cups brown rice
8 oz hot pepper cheese, shredded (I used cheddar and added a couple T minced jalepenos)
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
6 (10") whole wheat tortillas
2 cups rinsed and drained canned black beans
1 tsp minced fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese
1 1/3 cup salsa

Cook the brown rice according to package directions. Combine the brown rice, hot pepper cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, onion, chili powder and cumin in a bowl and mix well.

Line the bottom of a 9x13" baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray with 2 of the tortillas and spread with 3 cups of the brown rice mixture. Repeat the layering process 2 more times and top with the beans, spreading to the edges. Sprinkle with the tomato, cilantro and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes or until brown and bubbly. Garnish with salsa.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Chicken and Biscuits

Yeah for!!! Actually, this is a recipe from the kraft magazine, Food and Family. This a free magazine that is sent 4x a year I believe with easy and yummy recipes. Go to to sign up!

I made this the other night when I didn't want to make anything too difficult, but I was looking for some comfort food. This hit the spot!

Chicken and Biscuits

1 can (10 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup sour cream, divided
2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 pkg (16 oz) frozen mixed vegetables, thawed (I used a mix of frozen corn and peas which I actually forgot to thaw and just cooked the casserole a about 15 minutes longer)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup baking mix
3 T milk

Heat oven to 375. Mix soup and 1/2 cup sour cream in 8" square baking dish. Add chicken, vegetables and cheese. mix. Place baking mix in medium bowl. Add remaining 1/4 cup sour cream and milk; stir until a stiff dough forms (I had to add a little more milk). Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls inot 6 mounds over chicken mixture. Bake 35 minutes (or 50 if veggies still frozen) or until biscuits are golden brown and chicken mixture is hot and bubbly. Cover the dish with aluminum foil if the biscuits are browing too quickly.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cheesy Cauliflower

Ryan and I are making an effort to eat more fruits and vegetables in our diet. We're both working on getting healthier and losing a few pounds. What makes this task a little complicated is that Ryan is a little picky about what veggies he likes and doesn't like. He does eat cauliflower so I bought a couple heads of it when it was on sale. We had roasted cauliflower at one meal (which is a fantastic way to serve cauliflower) and I found this recipe for another meal. I know it's not the most low fat side dish, but it does have a bunch of veggies in it and Ryan loved it!

Cheesy Cauliflower From Taste of Home Annual Recipes

1 large head of cauliflower, broken into florets
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1/3 cup flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 1/2 cup milk (Skim worked great)
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided

In a covered saucepan, cook cauliflower in a small amount of water until crisp-tender. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Drain the cauliflower. Add peas, mushrooms, 1 cup of cheese and cauliflower to the milk mixture; stir gently. Transfer to a greased 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Cover and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 minutes longer or until heated through. Serves 8.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Dijon-Crusted Chicken Breasts

This has got to be one of the best chicken recipes I've ever tried. These were pretty simple to put together and the cook up pretty quickly on the stovetop. I made sure to thaw the chicken out more than I usually probably would have and probably cooked them a little longer than I would have had to, but I was waiting for the rest of dinner to finish up. They turned out great anyway! This is a definite must try!

Dijon-Crusted Chicken Breasts From Taste of Home Healthy Cooking

1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
1 T grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 T Dijon mustard
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp butter or margarine

Place the first 6 ingredients in a shallow bowl. Brush chicken with mustard; roll in crumb mixture. In a large skillet, cook chicken in oil and butter over medium heat for 5-6 minutes on each side or until juices run clear.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Spaghetti Pizza Casserole

We tend to have homemade pizza about every week or two and this week we tried pizza a little different. This spaghetti casserole was a cinch to put together and baked up so tasty. You could cut back on the cheese a bit if you want to lighten it up some. I added some red pepper to the meat as it cooked. You could add onion, green peppers or mushrooms as well.

Spaghetti Pizza Casserole

7 oz pkg spaghetti cooked and drained
1 pound hamburger, cooked and drained
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz pkg cheddar cheese
1/2 to 1 tsp oregano
32 oz jar Prego spaghetti sauce
16 oz pkg shredded mozzarella cheese, divided in half

Place spaghetti in lightly greased 9x13" pan. Combine eggs, milk, salt and pepper; pour mixture over spaghetti. Layer on cheddar cheese, 1/2 the mozzarella cheese, hamburger, oregano, sauce and remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes, covered. If using tin foil, spray lightly. Allow to rest 5 minutes before eating.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Black Bean Veggie Enchiladas

These were a really tasty alternative to beef or chicken tacos like we would usually have. We are working on going meatless for a meal or two every week to eat a little healthier, but it's also generally cheaper as well. These were so simple to make and tasted great!

Black Bean Veggie Enchiladas From Taste of Home Healthy Cooking

1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp olive oil
15 oz. black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 can (4 oz) chopped green chilis
2 T taco seasoning
1 tsp dried cilantro flakes
6 whole wheat tortillas, warmed
1/2 cup enchilada sauce
3/4 cup shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese blend

In a large skillet, saute the onion, pepper, mushrooms and garlic in oil until crisp-tender. Add the beans, corn, chilies, taco seasoning and cilantro; saute 2-3 minutes longer.

Spoon 1/2 cup bean mixture down the center of each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in a 13x9" baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour sauce over the top: sprinkle with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Shredded Pork Sandwiches

Here is a tasty and simple recipe for dinner when you don't want to put a lot of effort into making dinner, but you want something that tastes awesome. I made this last friday for dinner and it was so good. It is a crockpot recipe so I put it together in the morning before I left for work and when I got home, the house smelled really good. It made a lot so we've been eating it up all weekend, but it still tastes great.

Shredded Pork Sandwiches From Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook

3 pound boneless pork shoulder blade meat (I used a boneless pork loin we had in the freezer)
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano, crushed
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup beef broth
12 hamburger buns, split and toasted

Trim fat from meat. In a small bowl combine garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, onion powder, black and cayenne peppers, and 1/2 tsp salt; rub into meat. Place meat in a 3-5 quart slow cooker; add beef broth. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8-10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4-5 hours. Shred meat when done and serve on buns.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Yeah Superbowl Sunday!!!! This is what I am making to take to the party we're going to. I've made it before and when I asked Ryan what we should bring to the party this is what he requested. It is simple to whip up and really good! I'm trying it in a crockpot tody and doubling the recipe so I'm hoping it turns out just as good.

Buffalo Chicken Dip From Taste of Home

8 oz package cream cheese, softened
10 oz can of chunk white chicken, drained
1/2 cup buffalo sauce
1/2 cup ranch salad dressing
2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese
Tortilla chips

Spread cream cheese into an ungreased shallow 1 qt baking dish. Layer with chicken, buffalo wing sauce and ranch dressing. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake, uncovered at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve warm with tortilla chips.