Thursday, January 31, 2013

Beef Stroganoff

I vary this recipe to our liking. (This recipe comes from a Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.) This is one of those comfort foods that I can only make on occasion, because I have a hard time not eating the entire dish. I love eating fresh-sliced garden tomatoes with this dish. Almost doesn't seem complete without them on the side. This dish is SO YUMMY and so easy to make.

Beef Stroganoff
4 servings

1 pound lean ground beef (or 12 ounces boneless beef sirloin steak) I use ground beef
8 ounces sour cream or Greek Yogurt
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water
Dash of black pepper (I use Wildtree's Rancher Steak Rub)
2 teaspoons instant beef bouillon granules (I use Wildtree's beef bouillon soup base)
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons butter (I use Wildtree's Natural Butter Flavored Grapeseed Oil)

You can also add a packet of Ranch dressing mix for extra flavor. I add a dash of Wildtree's dill dip blend, a dash of Wildtree's Absolutely onion blend, and a dash of Wildtree's California Style Garlic and Pepper Blend in place of ranch seasoning.
2 cups hot cooked noodles/macaroni/or rice to serve over

(I start cooking my noodles or rice before I start making the stroganoff so they are ready about the same time.)

Method: Brown ground beef (or sliced sirloin), mushrooms, onions and garlic in skillet with butter or grapeseed oil. Cook for 5 minutes or until meat is cooked through. Drain off fat if desired.

In small bowl, combine sour cream OR Greek Yogurt, flour, 1/2 cup water, beef bouillon granules and black pepper or Steak Rub

Add sour cream mixture to skillet with meat mixture and combine thoroughly. Cook until bubbly. 
Serve over hot cooked noodles/macaroni/or rice.  

Ground Beef Stroganoff served over hot cooked whole wheat macaroni


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lavendar Heart Cookies

I got this recipe from "The Great Big Cookie Book," by Hilaire Walden. I made them for my friend and former co-worker, Florence, when she came to my house for tea. They were beyond delicious! I will definitely be making them again... and again and again!

 Lavender Heart Cookies
Makes 16-18

1/2 cup unsalted butter (I ended up having to add another Tablespoon or so to get the dough to stick together.)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1&1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tablespoons fresh lavender florets or 1 Tablespoon dried culinary lavender, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons superfine sugar for sprinkling (I used regular granulated sugar)

Method: Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in the flour and lavender and bring the mixture together in a soft ball. Cover and chill for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface and stamp out heart cookies using a 2-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter. Place on heavy baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes, until golden.

After removing from oven, sprinkle with sugar then leave the cookies standing for 5 minutes to set. Using a metal spatula, transfer carefully to wire rack. Cool completely. Can be stored in airtight container for up to one week.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Qunioa Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

I made this recipe up. It is original to me so if you share, please include my information.

This recipe can be vegan-friendly or meat-friendly. Adapt to your liking.

They are delicious and so healthy you can eat two without feeling guilty.


 Quinoa Stuffed Portabella Mushrooms

5 Portabella Mushrooms
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup vegetable or chicken broth (I used Wildtree's vegetable bouillon soup base mixed with water.)
2 medium Roma tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
1/2 cup raw spinach, torn or chopped
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, cubed or chopped
Optional - 1 Tablespoon Wildtree's Zesty Lemon Grapeseed oil

Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook quinoa in vegetable broth. (I used Wildtree's vegetable soup bouillon base with water.) While quinoa is cooking, remove stems from mushrooms. Chop the stems and place in food prep bowl. Wipe mushroom caps clean with damp paper towel or cloth. De-seed and shop tomatoes into small chunks and put in bowl with chopped mushroom stems. Tear or chop raw spinach into small pieces and add to bowl. Cut cheese into small cubes or pieces and add to bowl with vegetables. I added about a tablespoon of Wildtree's Zesty Lemon Grapeseed oil to the vegetable mixture. You could really use any variation of vegetables you like. When quinoa is fully cooked, add to vegetables in food prep bowl. Place mushrooms, cap side down, in greased pan. (9X13). Divide filling evenly among the five mushroom caps. I sprinkled the top of the filling with Wildtree's California Style Garlic and Pepper Blend. Bake for about 20 minutes. Serve fresh from the oven.

Calories per serving: 163, Calories from fat: 53, Protein, 9 grams. 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Quick Easy Quesadillas

Quesadillas are one of my favorite foods fast. When you make them at home, you can "healthify" them to your liking. I always start with the basic whole wheat tortilla and cheese and "build" from there. Use your imagination and your family's favorite ingredients to make your own.

To make one quesadilla, I take two whole wheat tortillas.

I pour a teaspoon or so of any flavor of Wildtree Grapeseed Oil in a cold skillet. (You can use butter instead and just butter one side of each tortilla.)

I rub one side of each tortilla in the Grapeseed oil, leaving one in the pan.

Turn skillet on to medium heat.

I add cheese and whatever other ingredients I have on hand. (Our son prefers cheese only.)

In this one, I took leftover pork loin and tore it into small pieces.

I sauteed green onions and mushrooms and placed them into the tortilla in the skillet.

Sauteed green onions, mushrooms and leftover pork loin ready for the tortilla
I sprinkle lightly with Wildtree's California Style Garlic and Pepper Blend.

I then added shredded cheddar cheese and placed the second tortilla on top, turning it once the one on the bottom had browned nicely.

Transfer from skillet onto plate or cutting board. Use a pizza cutter to slice into wedges.

I served these with sour cream mixed with Wildtree's Garlic and Herb Blend. You can use your favorite dip or they are great as is.

Lentil and Brown Rice Casserole

Quick to assemble, cheap ingredients and so easy to make! It does require a good bit of baking time so prepare for that in advance. We are not vegetarians, but we absolutely love this casserole. I took it to a family Christmas meal where it received rave reviews. I got the original recipe here. 

This time, I used red lentils because that's all I had on hand. I recommend using brown because they seem to hold up better for the casserole and seemed to absorb the liquid a little better. I also used white cheddar and I generally use yellow cheddar, but it was equally delish!

Casserole served with green peas. The casserole was a little juicy with the red lentils
One reviewer on the recipe where I found it said she combines the dry ingredients and puts it in baggies and gives it out as gifts to all her vegetarian friends. I loved that idea. All they have to do then is add water, bake and add the cheese.


Lentil and Brown Rice Casserole

3 Cups vegetable or chicken broth (I use Wildtree's vegetable bullion base)
3/4 cup lentils
1/2 cup brown rice
3/4 cup chopped onion (I use 1/4 cup Wildtree's Absolutely Onion Blend)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning (I use Wildtree's Perfect Pizza Sauce Blend)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (I use Wildtree's California Style Garlic and Pepper Blend and instead of incorporating it into the casserole I sprinkle it on top after I have added the cheese.)
1 Cup grated cheese (cheddar or a blend is preferable)

 Method: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a baking dish except the cheese. (An 11X7 pan work great.) 

Baked and ready for cheese and 20 more minutes in the oven
Topped with white cheddar and ready for a few more minutes in the oven

Cover with foil and bake for one (1) hour and ten (10) minutes. Remove foil. Top casserole with cheese and sprinkle with Wildtree California Style Garlic and Pepper Blend if using.

Return to oven and bake another 20 minutes.   

Served sautéed onions, mushrooms, minced garlic, chopped kale and halved cherry tomatoes with this dish this evening. Oh so yum!!!