Category: Make Ahead


Waste not, want not.  Leftover boneless chicken breast (cooked in a delicious white wine, lemon, garlic sauce) was in danger of going to waste.  I chopped it down to small bite size pieces and tossed it with some grape tomatoes, celery, and leftover farro and some Kimchi, great northern beans, a little mayonnaise and viola a yummy new type of chicken salad is born.

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4 C. leftover chicken, chopped into bite size pieces

2 celery stalks, cubed

1 pint grape tomatoes

2 Tbsp. Kimchi

5 Tbsp. mayonnaise

2 C. cooked farro

1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed.

Combine and refrigerate for 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

 

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Gearing up for Thanksgiving – trolling the web for recipes of ideas.  I came across this on delish.com.  We love deviled eggs, and these will be so cute to put out!  Great for Halloween get togethers too!

Pumpkin eggs2

Ingredients:

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 4 chives, cut into small pieces

Directions:

  1. Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and add enough water to cover eggs with 2″ of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, covered, 1 minute. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, 14 minutes, then rinse under cold water.
  2. Crack shells and carefully peel under cool running water.
  3. Halve eggs lengthwise. Spoon out yolks into a small bowl and place whites on a serving platter. Using a fork, mash yolks, then stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice, and Dijon and season with salt and pepper.  I also like to add sweet pickle relish, but that’s just me!
  4. Spoon mixture evenly among egg whites and smooth top, or if you’re really OCD use a pastry bag!
  5. Carefully dust paprika all over yolk mixture, completely covering yolk. Use a sharp paring knife to make ridges down the paprika-dusted yolk to look like a pumpkin.
  6. Place chive above egg mixture to look like a stem and serve.

It’s been a while since I made these.  They were just as good as I remembered!  The hardest part is planning ahead, since they have to be refrigerated overnight prior to cooking.  Definitely a week-end type project in my life.  I used some dressing I had on hand instead of soy sauce and some seasonings the original recipe called for.  We topped them with the leftover pickled onions and cucumbers. Yummy!

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3 cups cooked brown rice

1/2 cup packed oatmeal

1/2 cup black beans

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1/4 cups diced onions

3 ounces canned beets

1/2 cup julienned carrots

1/4 cup diced celery

1/4 cup diced red bell peppers

1/4 cup button mushrooms cut in 1/4 -inch slices

1 tablespoon garlic

2 tablespoons Old Cape Cod Toasted Sesame Soy Ginger dressing

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Drain and wash beans. Drain beets. Place all ingredients in large plastic mixing bowl and mix well.

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Run ingredients through a meat grinder. Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.

Portion into 8-ounce patties.  Place burgers on a baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with coconut, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. These keeps the burgers from falling apart. (Patties must never get above 40 F or they will fall apart.)

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Bake at 375-400 F for about 25 minutes.  Top with cheese before serving.

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I’m so glad my kids have decided to like quiche again.  So simple to make.  I can make it the night before and everyone helps themselves in the morning at their own pace.  Fresh broccoli for one.  Onions and peppers for the other.  I’m still loving the Immaculate brand pie crusts!  So much better than mine.

1 package broccoli florets

2 Tbsp. oil (I used sunflower grapeseed blend from Lucky’s)

1 Tbsp. mixed seasoning of choice (I used barbecue seasoning)

1 large sweet onion, diced

1/2 each yellow, red, and orange bell peppers, diced

1 Tbsp oil

Salt and pepper

1 box Immaculate pie crusts (2 crusts)

12 eggs

1/2 C. milk (I used unsweetened almond coconut)

2 C. shredded cheese

Goat cheese, crumbled

Bake the pie crust at 400 F until golden (about 10 minutes).  Set aside to cool.  Reduce oven heat to 325 F.

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Toss broccoli, oil, and seasoning.

Spread on large baking sheet lined with oil.

Toss onions and peppers with oil and salt in same bowl broccoli was in.  No sense wasting dishes.

Spread next to broccoli.

Bake at 400F until slightly charred (about 10-15 minutes)

Place broccoli in one crust and onions and peppers in the other.

Whisk eggs and milk together.

Sprinkle the broccoli with one cup of the shredded cheese and half of the goat cheese.  Do likewise with the onions and peppers.

Pour equal amounts of the egg mixture into each.

Bake at 325 for 50 minutes until knife in the center comes out clean.

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I bought some cauliflower rice the other day and had no idea how I was going to prepare it.  Luckily, I found a recipe that called for ingredients I almost always have on hand.

KIMG0070

2 bags cauliflower rice (I used Eat Smart – fresh)

1 bag frozen seasoning vegetables (onions, peppers, celery, and parsley)

2 cans tomatoes with green chiles

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 tsp. taco seasoning

1 c. shredded cheese (I used cheddar, monterey jack, and habinero lime fontina)

3 eggs

Saute frozen seasoning vegetables in oil until softened.  Add seasonings and garlic.  Cook for about a minute, and then add in tomatoes and cauliflower.

Simmer 10 minutes until cauliflower is tender.

Meanwhile, spray a 13 x 9 baking dish and preheat oven to 350F.

Beat eggs and set aside.

Allow cooked cauliflower to cool 5-10 minutes and then stir in eggs and half the cheese.

Spread into prepared baking dish and top with remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

This would work well with spaghetti squash, zucchini, broccoli slaw, etc.  You could also change up the seasonings and make it Italian or Indian – lots of great variations!  You could also add in any leftover cooked veggies, or even cooked rice or quinoa.  Cheese substitutes would work well, too, as long as they are the kind that melts well.  My friend Danielle swears by Trader Joe’s veggie cheese that is supposed to be like mozzarella.  Add in tofu to make it a complete meal.  I can’t wait to try this on a meatless night!

 

 

sam_2758

Ground meat is one of the best buys around for reasonable priced meals for your family.  I buy in bulk when there’s a sale and prepare stuff ahead as much as possible.   Meatballs are baked and then frozen.  Meatloaf is frozen to defrost the day ahead of being made.  Ground meat seasoned with salt and pepper is cooked, crumbled and drained and then frozen.  Burgers are made and then frozen.  This past week Aldi had a sale on 5 lbs. of ground beef  for $9.95.  Another market had ground turkey on a BOGO sale so it ended up being $2.20 per pound.  One of these days, I’m going to experiment with grinding my own meat.  Ironically I bought a meat grinder to make veggie burgers, but it’s sitting in my pantry gathering dust.

First, let’s talk about meatballs.  I used to buy the frozen, precooked variety until my kids rebelled and said only mine would do, claiming the others are like little rubber balls.  I see their point.  The only way I can make this happen, though, is to cook them ahead and freeze them.  I make rather large batches, so I have at least enough for two meals when I’m done.

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3-4 lb. ground meats (use a blend of at least two – beef, turkey, chicken, and pork are all great)  Keep in mind, though, that beef really throws off a lot of grease, whereas the others are leaner and less greasy.  For that reason, I try to use less beef.

2 eggs

1/ 2 or so seasoned bread crumbs (in a pinch, I’ve used oatmeal, instant grits, and leftover quinoa)

2 heaping Tbsp. sweet pickle relish

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

16 oz. cottage cheese (or ricotta if you don’t have any cottage cheese)

Optional add ins:

Pesto, seasoning packets from Rice-A-Roni (ha ha – when I make prepared foods like that I always use 1 packet per two boxes to reduce the sodium, and keep the spare packet around for future use)

Prepare two 13 x 9 baking dishes by spraying with coconut oil.

Mix meats and wet ingredients by hand, gradually adding in the bread crumbs/oatmeal/whatever, so that you can form meatballs that do not fall apart.  Add sparingly, as you can always add in more, but you can’t take them out once you’ve put them in!  Sometimes when using ground chicken, the meat is impossibly sticky.  Using the grab and roll method with flour on your hands, and rolling the meatballs in a  little seasoned flour takes care of that!

Scoop meat mixture using an ice cream or cookie dough scoop if it’s not too sticky and place meatballs in baking dishes.  If there is no beef, drizzle with a little olive oil.  If there is beef, skip this step.

Bake at 375 F for approximately 40 minutes (depending on meatball size) or until golden and the internal temperature is at least 160 F.

Allow to cool, and place in containers to freeze for future use.

I defrost them overnight the night before I am going to make them for dinner.

Meatballs are so versatile.  Some variations we have enjoyed are:

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/buffalo-meatball-and-potato-casserole/

Ground meat 1 Buffalo meatball and potato casserole

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2015/02/26/stroganoff-style-meatballs/

SAM_1844

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2016/01/24/meatball-sub-casserole-from-tasty/

SAM_2408

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/coconut-curry-meatballs-using-imagine-thai-coconut-curry-sauce/

FullSizeRender

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/chinese-chicken-meatballs-adapted-from-guy-fieris-general-guys-chicken/

ground meat 3 gen tso meatballs

 

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/barbecue-ranch-chicken-meatballs-2/

barbecue ranch meatballs

Or simply bake them with your favorite spaghetti sauce topped with cheese!

Sometimes I make them big, like little mini meatloafs.  You can even cook them in a muffin pan.

The recipe for crock pot meatloaf follows much the same recipe as my basic meatballs.  Cooking it in the crock pot is by far the easiest way to make a moist, delicious meatloaf.

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2016/03/16/crock-pot-meatloaf/

Crock pot meatloaf

You can stuff uncooked jumbo shells or manicotti with meatloaf mixtures, too, or add in a little sausage to give it a zing.

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2016/02/21/stuffed-shells-using-uncooked-pasta-and-meatballs-for-another-night-or-two/

Stuffed shells

The recipe I use for burgers is more or less the same.  I put them in a Tupperware and freeze them until the night before we’re having them.  I cook them on a baking sheet, rather than standing at the stove flipping burgers.

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2016/07/05/burgers-cooked-in-the-oven/

burger cooked in the oven

There are a load of recipes you can make with precooked and frozen ground meat or sausage:

SAM_1377

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2016/02/17/stuffed-poblano-pepper-casserole/

Stuffed Poblano Pepper Casserole

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2015/09/29/stuffed-bell-peppers-with-polenta/

Stuffed peppers

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2015/05/17/cabbage-rolls-deconstructed-casserole/

cabbage rolls casserole.jpg

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/cheeseburger-casserole/

Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2015/01/02/hawaiian-crock-pot-delight/

Hawaiian crock pot dish.jpg

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/shepherds-pie-using-leftover-meatloaf/

shepherds pie

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/gluten-free-sloppy-joe-cornbread-casserole/

sloppy joe

 

https://vickidelbrouck.wordpress.com/2013/09/18/lazy-day-casserole/

Lazy day casserole

KIMG0053

2 Immaculate pie crusts

12 eggs

1/4 c. sour cream

4 oz. diced pancetta

1/2 onion, finely diced

2 apples diced

6 oz. brie, diced

1 c. shredded cheese (I used fontina)

Pre-bake pie crusts until slightly golden at 400F.  Lower temperature to 325F.

Whisk together eggs and sour cream.

Cook pancetta until crispy, adding in onions to carmelize toward the end.

Place brie and apple in one pie crust.

Place pancetta and onion in the other.

Top both with shredded cheese.

Pour egg mixture equally into both.

Bake for 50 minutes or until knife comes out clean.

What I love about quiche is I can use up whatever is in the fridge.  Any veggie, any cheese , any meat, equals Yumm.

Serve with fruit or a salad – you can’t go wrong.

 

 

 

KIMG0048

1 pouch Imagine Thai Coconut Curry Sauce (OMG Yummy!!)

2 lb. fresh sausage (I used turkey kielbasa)

2 Tbsp. olive oil blend

1 can garbanzo beans

Leftover veggies (red pepper, zucchini, kale) for color and texture

1. Cut sausage into small slices using kitchen shears.

2.  Cook sausage in a large skillet over medium heat in the olive oil blend until cooked through.

3.  Add in remaining ingredients until heated through.

4.  Transfer to crockpot to keep warm until everyone is ready to eat.

Serve over rice.  (I used a brown and red rice mixture of Lundberg rice I had on hand)

We loved this!  The Thai Coconut Curry Sauce is one of our favorites.  I buy it in bulk (6 at a time) online.  Same with the Lundberg rice that we love!

 

coconut curry

 

 

Uncle Bob, who turned 90 a short while back, loves Molly the Baker’s lemon pie.  She gave me her recipe, and despite not being much of a baker, I used Immaculate Ready-to-Bake Pie crust, and it came out amazing.  I didn’t pipe whipped cream on top and garnish it like the picture I borrowed from Taste of Home, but nobody complained!

Mom-s-Lemon-Custard-Pie_exps4516_BSD1754026C02_10_1bC_RMs(Photo from of TasteofHome.com)

Bake one Immaculate Ready-to-Bake pie crust at 400 F for 5-7 minutes until golden brown.

Filling:

Lemon zest 1/2 oz

Sugar 13 1/4 oz

Eggs 5
Butter 2 1/4 oz
Lemon juice 3/4 C +1 Tbsp
Mix the eggs and sugar together.
Melt the butter. Should be very hot and clear.
Mix the butter into the eggs and sugar.
Process the lemon zest with a little bit of lemon juice and then add to mixture.
Add the rest of the juice.
Pour mixture into parbaked crust bake at 300 F until it jiggles slightly (It took about an hour)
It would be good topped with whipped cream, as it is tart (but so yummy).
We like So Delicious CocoWhip.

 

 

 

 

I made quiche about a week ago because I had a few frozen pie crusts on hand, and wanted to make the kids breakfast.  It was a huge hit compared to the last time I remember making it.  Maybe their tastebuds are grown up, or maybe I’ve gotten better at it.  Then, I bought Immaculate pie crust the other day to make a lemon pie for Uncle Bob (with a recipe from Molly the Baker which I will post, even though I failed to take a picture of mine)  I had one pie crust left, so I decided to make another quiche this morning.  The Immaculate crust is soooooo good, I don’t think I’ll ever make my own pie crust again or use any other brand!

quiche

1 ready-to-bake pie crust (I used Immaculate and will NEVER use the others again!)

immaculate pie crust

7 eggs

1/4 c. sour cream

1 lb. sausage, crumbled, cooked, drained (I used Jimmy Dean  fully cooked turkey crumbles)

turkey sausage

1 c. shredded cheese (I used sharp cheddar)

  1.  Bake crust at 400 F for 5 minutes or so, just until slightly golden.  Remember to either pierce it with a fork or use pie weights, so it doesn’t lift up.  When you pull  the crust out of the oven, immediately turn oven temp down to 300 F.
  2. Meanwhile, mix eggs and sour cream until well blended.  I didn’t even add salt or pepper, which you could, of course, but I figured the sausage would bring the salt to the party (it did).
  3. Stir in sausage crumbles and cheese.
  4. Bake quiche at 300 F for 50-55 minutes, until set.  (check for doneness by inserting a sharp knife in the center – it should come out clean

This can easily be made ahead, and keeps well for a few days!  Add in onions, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, other meats.  Switching up the cheese will really change things too.  I’m thinking of trying a brie and apple version next week.

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