Category: Make Your Own


So, I am definitely on an empanada kick.  They are something everyone loves!  I had some leftover mashed potatoes and was looking for inspiration as to how to use up the leftovers.  Pirogi recipes kept popping up, but they require more steps than I was up to doing, what with the boiling and then pan frying.  I decided to make an empanada pierogi fusion!  Leftover mashed potatoes, onions and crumbled sausage, vegan cheese, and viola!

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2 packages frozen empanada dough (I used Goya)

4 C. leftover mashed potatoes

1 large onion, finely chopped

1 lb. sausage (I used apple sausage)

2 Tbsp. oil (I used grapeseed)

1 package vegan cheddar style shredds (I used Daiya)

1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Set frozen empanada dough out to thaw.  The Goya type below is my favorite.  The discs are separated by plastic sheets and are not too fragile.  They don’t fit my empanada press, though, so I have to seal them by hand.

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Prepare large sheet pan by coating with cooking spray.

Saute onion in oil over low heat until softened, and add in sausage.  Drain well and crumble.

Add in mashed potatoes and cheddar style shredds.

You may want to make the filling ahead since you need to let cool before filling dough.

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One at a time, fill and press empanadas/pierogis.  Preheat oven to 350F.

Place on sheet pan, and brush with egg.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until golden.

I am so loving Goya empanada dough.  So crisp with great lamination.  You can make filling of almost anything.  We like ground meat, vegan crumbles, tofu crumbles, or sausage mixed with onion best.  Sometimes I make it with Korean BBQ, Pizza sauce, Tex Mex style, whatever.  They are always a winner.  We’ve been on a teriyaki ranch kick lately.  They are soooo good together.

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I sauteed onion and browned ground turkey with Chinese five spice and added teriyaki and ranch.  Here are the specifics.  First start with my favorite dough by Goya:

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1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 tsp. seasoning of choice – I used Chinese five spice

2 lb. ground turkey

2 packages empanada dough

Oil to soften onion

3 Tbsp. teriyaki sauce (I used garlic teriyaki)

3 Tbsp. ranch dressing

1-2 tsp. corn starch to thicken

1 packet Daiya Pepper Jack Shredds

1 egg, beaten

The empanada dough has to sit out at room temperature for about an hour before you can use it.

Prepare a large baking sheet ahead by covering it in foil and spraying with cooking spray.

Cook onion, sprinkled with seasoning, in a little oil until softened.  Add in turkey, chopping it up in little pieces as it cooks.

Add in teriyaki, ranch and corn starch.  Simmer until thickened.  Let cool.

Once filling is cool, add in shredds.

Preheat oven to 350F.

Hold dough in the palm of your hand and spoon filling in middle.  Seal edges by pressing between your fingertips.

Lay out on prepared baking sheet.

Brush with beaten egg and bake about 20 minutes until golden brown.

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My sister Sue introduced me to the combination of tuna and pineapple.  I bought some canned tune and crushed pineapple recently to use for lunches during the workweek.  I added  in Korean Kimchi and Pepper Jack Vegan Shredds.  I can’t wait to try this with Ahi seared tuna and fresh pineapple.

 

2 cans light tuna, packed in water, well drained

1 small can crushed pineapple, well drained

2 Tbsp. Garlic Teryaki Sauce

1 Tbsp. Korean Kimchi, drained

Combine ingredients and chill for flavors to marry, at least 20-30 minutes

4 large tortillas

Vegan shredds (I used about 1/4 c. Daiya pepper jack shredds for each quesadilla)

Spray for pan

Heat tortilla until browned on one side.  Flip and top with filling ingredients sprinkled with shredds.

Cook about 1 minute and flip top over.

I love fruit and protein, so this really appealed to me.  I will make it with gourmet ingredients soon. (Using chicken for non fish eaters, or even tofu crumbles fried up with teriyaki sauce would be good.)

My local grocer had russet potatoes on sale for an amazing price.  I bought 10 pounds!  I can’t eat much of them because of my sensitivity to nightshades, but the kids really like the stuffed baked potato skins we had on night one.  I served them with Teriyaki Ranch Chicken Thighs and Roasted Baby Bellas.

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I baked the potatoes a day ahead, so I could work with them cool.   I made 18 potatoes!  I washed them thoroughly, poked them with a fork and baked at 350 F for an hour.

The next day, I scooped out the skins, leaving a little potato and refrigerated the skins again for a while.  I put the scooped out potatoes in a tupperware for mashed potatoes another day.

Brush skins with oil, season with a little seasoned salt and pepper blend, or other seasonings you like, and then sprinkle with cheese (I used vegan cheese) and cooked bacon pieces.

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Meanwhile, I put the chicken in a baking dish, and the baby bellas in another.  The chicken was marinaded and cooked in Giorgio Blendabella Coconut Thai Sauce that was amazing!  I added in some Marsala wine to make it liquidy enough to be a marinade.

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They were simply tossed with oil (I used sunflower) and seasoned salt and pepper blend.  These can be seasoned according to taste.

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It all baked together at 350F for about 40 minutes (chicken with internal temperature of 165F.  I kept checking the food the last 15 minutes or so, and cut the chicken up so it would crisp up.

Then tonight, I made mashed potatoes by ricing the potatoes and adding in melted butter, non-dairy milk, and seasonings.  I just heated them on the stove top while tonight’s Honey Mustard Jalapeno Chicken cooked in the oven.

The Honey Mustard Jalapeno Marinade/Cooking Sauce was made from stuff I had a little of each of in the fridge.  Raspberry Honey Mustard mixed with Jalapeno Pineapple Jam.  No kidding.  Really good.

I served a salad that was a kit from Target’s new line.  Maple, Bourbon, Bacon salad.

Maple Bourbon Bacon Salad Kit

Yummm.  I know it sounds like a lot of different flavors, but they all complemented each other.

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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.

 

 

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!!

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