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Easy Green Sauce for Freezing

We had a huge harvest of tomatillos from our garden this year – definitely enough to make some salsa verde (green sauce) to freeze for use later in the winter. We brought in about 17 pounds.  That’s a lot of tomatillos!

Tomatillos, or husk tomatoes, are in the same family as tomatoes, yet have a completely different flavor and texture.  The fruit is low in calories and has a good amount of fiber, minerals and vitamins, and antioxidants.  They can be a healthy addition to your diet.  My favorite way to use them is salsa verde.

This sauce is great with tortilla chips, as a salsa for tacos, or as a sauce for chicken enchiladas.  And it’s not hard to make either.  Since we had so many tomatillos, I tried making the sauce two different ways: on the stove top, and in the oven. The sauce was great either way.  So if you have some extra from your garden, or get them at the farmer’s market, try it and let me know how you like it.  Enjoy!

Green Sauce for Freezing

Ingredients:

5 lb. tomatillos, husks removed and fruit washed

1 large, sweet onion, cut in wedges

7-8 cloves garlic, unpeeled (for stove top – peel and coarsely chop)

2 ancho peppers, cut in chunks

2 whole jalapeno peppers (for stove top remove seeds and dice)

2 tsp. kosher salt

3-4 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Oven Roast Method:

Preheat oven to 400° F.  Line 2 jelly roll pans with foil and drizzle olive oil on top of the oil.  Husk and wash tomatillos; place on pans.

Peel onion and cut into large wedges.  Add these to the pans, along with garlic cloves, ancho peppers, and jalapenos.

Roast at 400° F for 35 minutes until tomatillos are soft and have turned olive-green.

Remove from oven.  Cool slightly.  Peel garlic and return to the pan.  Remove stems and seeds from jalapeno peppers and return to pan.  In small batches, spoon roasted ingredients into food processor along with kosher salt and cilantro.

Process till smooth, or desired consistency.  Fill freezer containers to within 1/2 inch of top.  Place on lid, label, and freeze.  Makes 5-6 pints.

Stove Top Method:

Husk and wash tomatillos and place in large pan with 1/2 cup water.  Peel onion and cut into large wedges; add to tomatillos.  Peel garlic, chop coarsely and add to pan along with chopped ancho peppers and diced jalapenos

Cook on medium heat 25 minutes or until tomatillos are soft and turn olive-green, stirring occasionally.  Add water in small amounts, only if needed, to prevent scorching.

Cool slightly.  In small batches, spoon mixture into food processor along with kosher salt and cilantro.  Process till smooth, or desired consistency.  Fill freezer containers to within 1/2 inch of top.

Place on lid, label, and freeze.  Makes about 6 pints.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 7, 2012 in Cooking, Gardening, Recipes

 

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Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. . .a perfect fall breakfast

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day. . .and sadly skipped by many people, young and old.  With September being National Breakfast Month I thought it would be appropriate to post a good, healthy breakfast recipe.  But why eat breakfast?  Do a quick Google search and you’ll find resources showing how kids do better in school if they’ve had breakfast; you’ll feel more energetic; or that you’re overall health will improve.  Personally, I find that I feel better and work more productively if I’ve had something to eat after going all night without anything.  So don’t skip.  Find something you like and fill your tank before you head out for the day.

One of my favorites is oatmeal.  It’s easy to make, doesn’t take too long, and you can easily change up the flavor by adding a variety of other food items.  In fact, you could get all the dry ingredients together the night before so all you need to do is chop an apple, add the liquid, and cook.  Even the apple could be chopped the night before if you toss it with a little lemon juice to prevent browning. This recipe is perfect for autumn, when apples are in season, and the smell of cooked apples and cinnamon leave a rich scent in the kitchen.  Health-wise, it’s great, filled with fiber, good-for-you walnuts, and low-fat too.  Enjoy – my daughter did!

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1 c. quick cooking oatmeal

1 c. water

1 c. skim milk

1 small apple, finely chopped

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 T. dried cranberries

Dash of salt

1 Tbsp. finely chopped walnuts

2 tsp. brown sugar

Method:

In medium-sized sauce pan mix together oatmeal, cinnamon, cranberries, salt, brown sugar, and walnuts.  Stir in chopped apple, water and milk.  Cook on medium heat, stirring continually to prevent scorching, about 5 minutes or until desired consistency.  Remove from heat and add 1 more tsp. brown sugar on top, then cover and let rest for 1 minute.  Serve warm with milk.  Makes about 2 1/2 cups ( 5 – 1/2 cup servings).

Chop the apple into small chunks. Larger pieces won’t cook as quickly.

All ingredients in the pan and ready to cook.  Stir continually to prevent scorching.

Cooked and ready for milk.

Ready to eat

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2012 in Cooking, Health, Nutrition, Recipes

 

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Birthday Dinner Salad

The Birthday Salad

It was birthday time at our house today and I usually ask the birthday person what they would like for a meal that evening.  The requested meal this time, by my husband, was salad.  I found all kinds of good stuff to put into a birthday dinner salad for him.  In his words, this was really good!

On the counter I found a day-old cinnamon raisin bagel.  I figured no one was going to eat it for breakfast, and rather than throw it out later this week I decided to make a little crostini to go with the salad.  Slice the bagel into thin pieces and lay them on a baking sheet.  One bagel  made about 27 pieces.  Melt about 2 Tbsp. of butter (yes, butter) and brush a small amount on each slice.  Top it with a slight sprinkling of cinnamon sugar and then broil for 3-4 minutes till golden brown.  Remove the pan from the oven, turn the slices over, and repeat the procedure on the other side.  Broil about a minute till golden brown.  Watch closely to prevent burning.

Crostini made from a day old cinnamon raison bagel

In the freezer I found some salmon – not enough for a main dish by itself, but I thought it would make a lovely addition to our salad tonight.  So out it came.  After it defrosted I sprinkled on a little dill weed, sea salt, and fresh lime juice.

Salmon waiting to be cooked

For the salad, use a variety of lettuce and spinach, about 1 c. of golden grape tomatoes – halved.

Lettuce and tomatoes

One purple carrot from the garden – cut in small pieces

Purple carrot. Isn’t it pretty?

And 1 cucumber – peeled, halved and sliced.

Now with carrots and cucumbers

If you have red peppers you can try grilling them.  Peel, slice, and add them to the salad for a little more interest.

Peppers on the grill

To cook the salmon, wrap it loosely in foil and grill for 5-7 minutes or till done.

Lifted the foil a bit to check the salmon

To finish the salad, core and dice one apple, drizzling the pieces with lemon juice to prevent browning and add to the salad. Top it with 2-3 Tbsp. of feta cheese and salmon pieces, drizzling some fresh lime juice on top.

Almost done!

Serve with the cinnamon raisin crostini.  For dressing I let everyone choose their own.  My favorite, however, was a simple raspberry balsamic vinegar.  This made a tasty, healthy salad the whole family liked.  Hope you enjoy it as much as they did!

The Birthday Salad

“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

 
7 Comments

Posted by on September 17, 2012 in Cooking, Family, Recipes

 

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Summertime Salsa – Tomatoes and Mango

Tomatoes and mango, technically both fruits, but one savory – the other sweet.  Pair them together with onion, peppers, and garlic, and it’s a great start to a healthy, tasty salsa.

Tomatoes and mangoes are both a wonderful addition to any healthy diet.  Tomatoes are rich in potassium and vitamins C and A, but low in calories.  Mangoes are also a good source of vitamins C and A, and have a fair amount of fiber too.  Together they create a savory-sweet salsa that’s visually attractive and pleasing to the taste buds.  Add some hot peppers and you’ll get a little heat as well.

This salsa is another favorite for my family.  My oldest son even helped in the preparation – an added bonus!  Here’s the how we made it:

Tomato and Mango Summertime Salsa

1 mango, peeled and diced

7-8 small Roma or paste tomatoes, diced

1 small onion, diced

2 large cloves garlic, minced

2 small jalapeno peppers, finely chopped

1 Ancho pepper, diced

1-2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tsp. kosher salt

1/2 tsp. grd cumin

1/2 tsp. coriander

juice of 1 fresh lime

Mix together the mango, tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno peppers, and diced ancho pepper.  Sprinkle with salt.  Season with cumin and coriander.  Mix all together and squeeze lime juice on top, stirring gently to mix.  Serve with tortilla chips or pita chips and enjoy!

 
7 Comments

Posted by on August 13, 2012 in Cooking, Health, Nutrition, Recipes

 

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