Category: Make Your Own


This is a super easy for a weeknight meal.  Ingredients on hand, ready to go.  Variations are endless.

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2 packages frozen crumbles

1 onion, chopped

Oil to soften onion

1 tsp. seasoned salt

1 tsp.  garlic powder

(variations available based on seasoning choices!)

2 cans french style green beans, drained

1 can garbanzo beans, drained

1 pouch Imagine non-dairy cream of mushroom soup

1 pouch vegan cheddar shredds

1 package tater tots (I used Ore Ida mini tots)

Chop onion – I used a sweet red onion

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Put tater tots in oven to cook according to directions.

Cook onion in large skillet in oil with seasonings until translucent.

Drain beans and add in to onion.

Stir in soup and heat through.

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Keep warm until tater tots are ready.  I cooked them on parchment and made them extra crispy.

Pour skillet ingredients into prepared baking dish.

Top with cooked tater tots.  I could have used sweet potato tots to eliminate nightshades.,

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Sprinkle with vegan cheddar shredds.

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Pop into the oven at 400-425F for 15 minutes or until shredds melt.

Variations – veggie tater tots or sweet potato tots, other varieties of soup, other vegetables besides green beans, real ground meat instead of crumbles.  Mexican style?  Indian style?  Italian style?  Yum, Yum, Yum.

 

 

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I had leftover risotto from the Waiting for Dorian meal.  The local market had some chicken tenders on sale. Inspiration kicked-in!

Risotto casserole:

4 C. Leftover risotto

1 C.  Leftover chard and cannellini beans chopped up in the food processor. Any leftover cooked vegetables will do.

1 egg

1 C. Vegan mozzarella shredded

1/2 C.  Crumbs from seasoned chips or crackers. I used some organic multigrain crackers.

3 Tbsp. butter

Combine leftover risotto, chard, egg, shredds and crumbs.  Place in 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  I refrigerated it overnight. This is not a necessary step. I just did it so dinner will be easy tonight. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  Top with little pieces of butter turn heat up to 450 and cook for another 15 minutes to make golden brown across the top.

For the chicken skewers:

Weave chicken tenders on to skewers. Marinade overnight in marinade of choice. I combined 1/2 C. pineapple jalapeno jam and 1/4 C. balsamic glaze. It was amazing! Bake in the oven side by side with the risotto casserole. After 30 minutes at 350 take the chicken out and cover with foil tossing around first to make sure it all has plenty of the juices on it. Finish cooking the risotto casserole with the butter on it.

This was a huge hit!

 

Having lived in Florida, I have been fortunate to have avoided a direct hit by a hurricane.  Trees down.  Crushed tool shed .  Tonight the anticipation of what Hurricane Dorian may bring got to me, so I did some culinary therapy!

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Boneless skinless chicken thighs, risotto, chard and cannelini sauce!

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 bottle marinade of choice (or better yet homemade)

For the risotto:

1 1/2 c aborio rice

5 c.  Broth

3 Tbsp. Butter

1/2 c. Wine

4 Tbsp. Vegan cream cheese

1 c. Vegan cheese shredds

Seasonings of choice

For the chard:

1 pouch frozen chopped chard

1 can cannelini beans

2 Tbsp oil

Seasonings of choice.

1.  Preheat oven to 350 F.

2.  Marinade chicken in 13 x 9 baking dish.

3.  Combine rice and 4 x. Broth in Dutch oven.

4.  Place chicken and risotto in oven on low rack.  The need to cook 45 to 50 minutes.

5.  Heat oil in skillet.  Place chard, beans and seasonings over low heat with lid.  Saute until chicken and risotto come out of the oven.

6. Meanwhile, combine cheeses, butter, remaining broth, wine, and seasonings.

7.  Stir cheese mixture into risotto and stir vigorously until creamy.

All in all a successful culinary therapy session!

 

I cooked this for the boys, but didn’t have any because of the nightshades.  They loved it.  Super easy weeknight meal.

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1 large onion chopped.

1 c. chopped bell peppers.

1 package Gardein crumbles

2 cans store bought sloppy Joe sauce

1 recipe gluten free biscuit or corn bread, loose and wet enough to spoon over Sloppy Joe.

Cook onion in a little oil till translucent.   I seasoned with some seasoned salt.  Optional.  Add in crumbles.

Meanwhile, make batter for topping.  I used gluten free Bisquick.

Add sauce into crumbles and heat through.

Pour into 13 x 9 baking dish sprayed with coconut oil.  Top with batter.  Bake 350F 40 – 45 minutes.

In an attempt to make a breakfast with items on hand, I came across a recipe from Crazy for Crust.  I adapted it for dietary restrictions.

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10 eggs

1/4 C gluten free flour

16 oz.  Lactose Free cottage cheese

1/2 C melted butter

1 tsp. Baking powder

1 lb. Sausage, cooked and crumbled.

1 tsp. Seasoned salt

1 tsp. Garlic powder

1 package vegan cheddar like shredds

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Combine cottage cheese, eggs, butter, flour, and baking soda.  Mix in sausage and shredds.

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Pour into greased/sprayed 13 x 9 baking dish.  Bake at 400 F for 35 minutes.

I keep cooked, crumbled ground meat and sausage in the freezer for night like tonight when I can’t decide what to make and want dinner in a hurry!

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1- 2 lb.  Cooked crumbled meat I used Turkey brats

Broccoli florets

Chopped onion

Oil to cook veggies

1 tsp. Garam Masala

1 container vegan cream cheese

1 can pumpkin

1- 2 cups vegan shredded

1 lb. Cooked pasta

Cook veggies in oil.  Season with Garam Masala.

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Add defrosted meat.

Mix in cream cheese and melt.  Stir in pumpkin.  Place in greased 13×9 casserole dish.

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Top with shredded and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

A total success!!

Tuesday night is girls’ wine club, and I always try to make something that everyone, even my grandsons, will like.  The local market had frozen plantains on a BOGO sale, so my menu inspiration started there!  The chicken was cooked in the crock pot all day.  When I got home,  I shredded the chicken, I put the rice in the rice cooker, and heated up the black beans.  It’s more appealing to the eye if you serve each component up separately, but with our gang, I put it all back in the crock pot on warm so it stays ready to eat until everyone is ready to eat.  I put the plantains in the oven late, after the other food was ready, so not the best planning I’ve ever done!

Chicken, yellow rice, black beans and plantains

8 boneless skinless chicken thighs

1 pouch Frontera fajita sauce

6 c. cooked yellow rice

2 cans black beans

2 pouches frozen plantains

Olive oil to cook the plantains

Cook thighs in fajita sauce in crock pot on low 8-9 hours.

Cook rice in rice cooker and meanwhile heat up black beans in a saucepan.

Cut up or shred the chicken and add in the rice and beans, and keep warm in crock pot.

You can either make the plantains while the rice is cooking, or after you’ve put everything in the crock pot.  I bought frozen, like I said, that was on sale.

Toss frozen plantains with oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet.   Bake at 400 F until plantains are golden and crispy.  It took 25 – 30 minutes.

Plantains

 

Today is my oldest son, Austin’s 30th birthday.  We will be celebrating all day, starting with quiche and berries!

 

I made four different quiches – three vegetarian and one with chicken apple sausage.

I set up an assembly line and made them all at once.  The following is the basic recipe for one quiche.

1 pie crust

5 eggs

1/4 large sweet onion

1/2 c. carrot matchsticks

1/2 tsp. seasoned salt or salt mix

1/2 tsp. herbs of choice (I used rosemary and thyme)

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 c. sour cream (I used tofutti for my son, Donovan, who can’t have dairy)

1/4 c. milk (I used almond unsweetened)

1/4 c. cream cheese (again, I used tofutti)

1/2 package veggie shredds or shredded cheese of choice

1 package frozen vegetable of choice, cooked and drained – I used broccoli rabe, broccoli, and asparagus.

8 oz. cooked meat instead of or in addition to veggies – optional – I used apple chicken breakfast sausage.

Cook onion and carrot in olive oil, seasoned with salt and herbs, until softened and slightly browned.  If you’re making more than one, cook enough for all of them and save the pan for cooking the meat separately if you’re trying to keep any of them meat free!  Meanwhile:

Get pie crust ready.  I used 2 refrigerated and 2 frozen, since I only have two pie plates!Crust immaculate

Set out bowl to place cooked, drained veggies in.  Top with onion/carrot mixture, sour cream, cream cheese, shredded cheese, 5 eggs (per quiche) and blend.

Pour blended fillings into pie crusts.

Bake at 325 for 40-45 minutes or until knife in center comes out clean.

Many quiche recipes call for baking the crust first.  Totally not necessary!  These were a huge hit!

 

 

 

 

Okay, I confess, I didn’t set out to make a deconstructed rice bowl.  If I’d thought of that, I would have hard-boiled some eggs and served it in a bowl.  Next time!  And there will be a next time.  This dinner was yummy.

Sausage, Brown Rice, Roasted Veggies, and Salad

6 Cups cooked brown rice.  I always use a rice cooker and season with a salt blend and a spoon of duck fat (purchased at my local market).

1 Medium onion, chopped roughly.

2 lb. smoked sausage (I used smoked turkey sausage)  Lots of possibilities here!

1 yellow squash and 1 zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch thick and tossed with olive oil and salt or other seasoning blend.   I used Italian, but rosemary and thyme would be good.

2 ob. baby portobello mushrooms, cut in half, and tossed with olive oil and salt or other seasoning blend.  I used onion salt and a pepper blend.

1 can beans of choice, drained and rinsed.  I used cannellini beans.

This meal is so versatile, you can season and imitate different international cuisines.  Use garam marsala, or five spice, curry, or coriander with lime zest, etc.  You get the idea.  Take it whatever flavor direction you want.

I served this with Banh Mi veggies I always keep on hand, and it was a huge hit.  I also put together a salad kit.

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First cut up the veggies and toss with oil and seasonings.  Tasting it raw is the only what to make sure it’s not underseasoned.

Put rice in rice cooker next, as it will take longer than the rest of the foods.

Heat olive oil in skillet and cook onions over low 5-10 minutes, while you cut the sausage into semicircles.

Once the onion is softened, put sausage in on top of it and put on a lid.  It will take about the same amount of time as the rice for this to caramelize nicely.

Put the squash and mushrooms on a baking sheet and bake at 400F for 15-20 minutes, or until tender.

When the rice is nearly done, and just a little liquid remains in the bottom, unplug and stir in beans.  Place lid back on to keep warm while squash and mushrooms finishes.

I really wish I’d thought of the rice bowl angle earlier.  A nice egg on top would have been the bomb!

Lucky’s (the sip and stroll store) had some beautiful sockeye salmon on sale that called out to me!  My surrogate daughter Beth, who is vegetarian, was over.  I wanted to make a hearty  side for her to join us!  We all loved the rice, and the lentils and garbanzo beans provided her with a little protien.  The color is not as pretty when you cook the veggies in the rice cooker as opposed to stir frying them and adding them in at the end.  It is, however, much easier to throw it all in the rice cooker and walk away!  It tastes yummy, but if I was having guests, I would opt for the stir fry method for prettier presentation.  I threw together some things I had on hand for the marinade and it was a hit!  The non-fish eaters had boneless chicken with the same marinade and said it was good too.

Rice and Lentils with Salmon

Marinade salmon filet in a mixture of Italian dressing and balasamic glaze (2 to 1 ratio), with a little minced ginger added.  My marinade was about 2 Tbsp. dressing, 1 Tbsp.  balsamic glaze and 1/2 tsp. ginger for each serving of fish.  The filet was 1.2 lbs. and I cut it into three servings.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 350F and start the rice in the rice cooker, because it will take about twice as long as the salmon will.

For the rice:

2 C. brown rice

1/2 C. wild rice

1/2 C. dried lentils

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 bag broccoli slaw or other coarsely chopped vegetables

3 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. seasoned salt or other seasoning blend

6 C. water

1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

Combine all except garbanzo beans and cook in a rice cooker (one of my favorite small appliances!).  It will take about 40-45 minutes, so set the timer for 20 minutes, then put the salmon in the oven in a shallow baking dish, pouring remaining marinade over it.

When the liquid in the rice cooker was almost gone, I stirred in the garbanzo beans.  My rice cooker has a tendency to overcook towards the end, causing some of the rice to stick and over cook, so I usually stir in a little olive oil while there’s still a little liquid left to keep this from happening.

 

 

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