Category: Make Ahead


The Saffron Road sauces are amazing. We love coconut curry which is what we had tonight. We are also really in love with lemongrass basil. I simply marinade boneless chicken breasts or thighs in the sauce. Sometimes I freeze it and sometimes I cook it fresh. Either way the sauces are amazing.

5 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 pouches Saffron Road Coconut Curry Sauce

6 c. Cooked Brown rice

1 bag veggies

Place Chicken in marinade and bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile cook rice in the rice cooker.

Saute veggies in Olive oil and butter.

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These are another variation of the JAlexander’s veggie burger copycat we love.  The veggie burgers are definitely a lot of work and contain a lot of ingredients, but they are so worth it.  I decided to experiment and double the recipe and make veggie meatballs.  To keep them vegetarian, I made a veggie broth based onion “gravy”.  I have a sheet pan of veggie burgers in the fridge we’re going to eat later this week.  It cracks me up that I bought a meat grinder and only have used it to make veggie burgers!

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Remember – this is a double recipe!  It made 8 burgers that are 2 standard ice cream scoop size each and 16 veggie meatballs that are 1 standard ice cream scoop size.

6 C. cooked brown rice

1  C. oatmeal

1 can black beans, rinsed and well drained

3/4 C. diced cooked beets

4 Tbsp. chopped parsley

1 medium sweet onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 c. carrot matchsticks

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

3 Tbsp. balsamic glaze

3 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette dressing

Combine all ingredients and stir until well blended.

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Feed through meat grinder and refrigerate 1 hour.

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Shape into burgers or meatballs and place on baking sheets lined with foil and sprayed with coconut oil.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least overnight.  Important! Do not bring to room temperature before cooking.  Take them straight from the fridge to the oven.

Bake at 400F for 40 minutes.

For the meatballs, I put them in the gravy and baked them 15 more minutes at 425 F.

The meatballs were amazing.  I will be making them much more often, and will cook and then freeze them for future use.

 

 

 

 

I had some not so fresh anymore bread, some leftover squash puree, and three eggs on hand.  Food obsessed, waste not person that I am, I felt they were begging to be made into bread pudding!  The idea came to me since the squash puree was a little pumpkin pie ish, in other words, sweeter than I intended.  You could easily substitute canned pumpkin and sweeten it or canned pumpkin pie filling, which is already sweetened.  This would be a nice addition to any brunch!  The picture is from the Betty Crocker website.  The picture I took of mine with my new camera was an epic fail!  Since we were having it for breakfast, mine was served with butter and maple syrup.  Also, I opted to not put any nuts in mine.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

3 C. pumpkin pie filling (I actually used leftover puree of acorn squash, pumpkin, and spaghetti squash)

8 C. cubed not so fresh bread

2 C. almond milk

3 eggs

Spray baking dish and put bread cubes in it.

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Combine puree, milk and eggs

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Pour over bread cubes and toss gently.  At this point, I refrigerated mine overnight.  You can cook it right away, though.  Make sure all the bread is completely immersed in the liquid.

Bake at 350 F for one hour.

This was yummy topped with butter and maple syrup.

 

 

 

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2 lb ground  turkey

1 lb. Sweet Italian sausage

1 egg

2 heaping Tbsp. Sweet pickle relish

1 Tbsp. Minced garlic

1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/4 C. Oatmeal

Combine all ingredients and form into meatballs.

Bake in baking dish sprayed coconut oil. At 375 for 40 minutes.

Refrigerate or freeze.

On the day you are having these, heat until warmed through.  Cover with sauce or gravy of choice and bake at 400 F for 20 minutes.

Super Bowl Sunday would be more exciting if my team (The Steelers) were in it.  However, I decided to watch the game, and commercials, and half time, while food preparing for the week ahead.  Tonight’s dinner was inspired by a BOGO sale on chicken cutlets.  We loved stuffed chicken, but the old days (before Donnie’s non-dairy days) consisted of chicken stuffed with cheese.  This no cheese version is amazingly cheesy tasting!

Chicken and cous cous

The prep plan:

Food Prep Sunday

“Cheesy” Stuffed Chicken

12 Chicken Cutlets

1 Container Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

4 oz.  Vegan Mozzarella Shreds

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

4 oz. hard salami, finely chopped

Ranch Dressing (I used Cilantro Lime) – any dressing will do though.

Balsamic Glaze

Pound chicken cutlets flat and dry.

Cook onion, celery, and carrots in a little olive oil until softened.

Cheesy Chicken filling

Add in Tofutti cream cheese, and melt.  Stir in salami and vegan shreds.

Fill each cutlet with some of the cream cheese mixture and roll.

Pour dressing of choice in two 13 x 9 baking dishes – just enough to coat the bottom.

Place rolled cutlets in baking dishes.

Spoon remaining filling over the chicken.

Drizzle with balsamic glaze.

Cheesy Chicken before baking

Bake at 325 for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, I cooked frozen chard and garbanzo’s on the stovetop over low heat.

Chard and Garbanzos

I cooked some pearl cous cous in the rice cooker, and combined it with the chard and garbanzos for serving.

Totally yummy and cheesy tasting with NO CHEESE!!

 

 

 

I try to make a breakfast/brunch every Sunday.  A busy schedule led to frozen breakfast sandwiches on BOGO.  Today, I felt inspired to use the pie crusts that had sitting in the fridge for too long, and the diced ham I bought on BOGO for the corn chowder, which ended up having the leftover chicken or turkey or whatever in it instead.  I bought berries intending to make a berry salad.  There’s some endive from our salad the other night.  Lots of Banh Mi style veggies still.  Setting everything out and letting everyone visit the table like a salad bar/buffet was great!  It looked kind of nice, too.

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The quiche were asparagus ham or spinach ham.  Both used tofutti cream cheese substitute and vegan mozzarella shreds, for a healthier take.

2 pie shells (I like to buy Immaculate brand, but any will do).  These will be baked before filling at 375 for 10 minutes, or as directed on the packaging.  Pierce them with a fork to prevent lifting and cracking.  Turn oven down to 320 when you take the crusts out.  The quiche cook at a lower temperature.

Filling:

8 eggs

1 container tofutti cream cheese substitute

4 Tbsp. butter

1 package mozzarella shred vegan cheese

2 (8 oz) packages diced ham, drained and dried

1 can spinach, well drained (ideally overnight)

1 can cut asparagus, drained

  1.  Place drained asparagus in one bowl and the spinach in another.
  2. Melt butter in dutch oven over medium heat.  Add in ham and cook and caramelize a little  to richen the flavor.
  3. In the meantime, you can crack four eggs over each bowl of vegetables.

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  1. Stir in cream cheese and melt over low heat, stirring regularly.
  2. Spread half of the cream cheese ham mixture into each baked pie crust.
  3. Whisk eggs and veggies.  Add in mozzarella shreds and pour over ham mixture.

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  1. Bake at 320 for about 45 minutes.   They never seem completely set because of the cream cheese, but they are done when they don’t jiggle.

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I bought a jar of sauce at Aldi and it sounded like it would pair well with meatballs.   It did!  Plus I tried a new method of making baked potatoes making this a stress free night.

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Regular readers of my blog know I often prepare, bake, and then freeze meatballs ahead.  I prepared these the same night I cooked burgers.  My meat mixture included pesto, bacon jam, sweet pickle relish, an egg, and seasoned breadcrumbs.   The meatballs were baked at 375 for 40 minutes and then I poured the sauce over them and refrigerated them.

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Unfortunately, I forgot to make my baked potatoes in the crockpot, so I tried a new method.

I put olive oil and salt in a bowl and rolled  the washed and dried potatoes (sweet and russet) in it.  I placed them on a sheet pan lined with foil and poked them with a fork.

They took 45 minutes all told at 425F.  I put the meatballs in for the last 20 minutes.

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Having spinach and feta on hand for the lasagna I made the other night inspired me to make these yummy burgers.

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2 lb. ground turkey

1/2 c.  Onion and spinach, chopped and sauteed

1 egg

1/2 c. oats

1/4 c. crumbled feta

Combine ingredients and shape into patties.

Place on baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with coconut oil

Bake at 350F 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature is 165F.  Serve topped with cucumber, onion and carrot matchsticks marinated in rice wine vinegar, water, and sugar.  Ratio – 1/2 cup sugar dissolved in 1 cup rice wine vinegar and 1/2 c. water.

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I had some ground turkey and pork on hand for meatballs I am making for tomorrow nights meatball subs (a Donnie special request for his birthday month).  Due to a sale, I had more than I would need for the meatballs, and went to the local market on the way home from work in search of inspiration as to how to use the remaining ground meats.  It wasn’t long before low-sodium gravy mix caught my eye, and I realized it’s been a long time since we had shepherd’s pie.  I know that ideally, homemade gravy and mashed potatoes, as well as fresh veggies is best, but due to the time crunch, I opted for convenience ingredients.  It was still delicious!

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1/2 lb. ground pork

3/4 lb. ground turkey

1 onion, chopped

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

2 packets low-sodium gravy mix (I used one brown gravy and one chicken gravy)

2 c. water

2 cans no salt added mixed vegetables, drained and rinsed

1 package Ore Ida Steam and Mash Potatoes

2/3 c. sour cream

2 Tbsp. butter

Salt and Pepper to taste

Shredded cheese to sprinkle on top (I used Mexican 4 cheese mix).

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray 13 x 9 baking dish with coconut oil.
  2. Spray large skillet with coconut oil and cook onions and ground meats over medium heat until onions are softened and meat is cooked through.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
  3. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in microwave.
  4. Sprinkle with gravy mix into meat mixture in skillet and toss until evenly distributed.
  5. Add water, and simmer until thickened.
  6. Add vegetables.
  7. Mash potatoes with butter, sour cream, and salt and pepper.
  8. If meat mixture is still too loose, add a little bread crumbs to thicken.
  9. Pour into prepared baking dish and top with mashed potatoes.
  10. Bake for about 30 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle with a little cheese and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more at 400 to melt cheese.
  12. Enjoy!

You can easily substitute leftover meatloaf for the browned ground meat and onions.  Just chop it up and add in gravy.  As for the veggies, this is a great meal no matter what veggies you use.  Broccoli and Cauliflower work well.  So do summer squashes.  Some folks like to top this with mashed sweet potatoes, but I’ve got one who’s not a fan in the family, so I stay away from sweet potatoes.

 

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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