thorns2roses

From the darkness to beauty.

  • Contributors

  • Monthly Poll

  • Please Subscribe

    Please subscribe to this blog to receive updates on new posts and information about this blog. We love to hear your feedback and comments!
  • Subscribe

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 11 other followers

  • Top Clicks

    • None
  • Blog Stats

    • 20,678 hits
  • Advertisements

Posts Tagged ‘Cooking’

WebMD – Raising Healthy Kids – Ways to Keep Kids at a Healthy Weight

Posted by 4love2love on July 18, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed By David Ludwig, MD, PhD

If your child is at a healthy weight now, you may wonder what you can do to help him maintain it.

If your child is currently overweight, you may wonder how you can help her stick to a serious diet and exercise plan.

Well, according to experts, rigorous diets and exercise plans are not the healthy habits to be striving for. Singling out an overweight kid will just make him feel persecuted and unhappy. It also won’t work.

Instead, you can help your overweight kid move toward a healthy weight in much the same way you can help a healthy weight kid maintain that healthy weight. How? By making it easy for everyone in your family to make healthy choices and encouraging them to make those choices so consistently that they become your family’s healthy habits.

Making healthy choices can help an overweight kid who is still growing hold his weight steady so he can grow into his weight as he gets taller. Small healthy choices also give healthy weight kids the habits and foundation to maintain their weight.

Healthy Habit 1: Choose to eat dinner as a family.

You can encourage family health by having the whole family sit down to dinner together as often as possible.

It might seem like an indirect way to help with your child’s weight, but experts say it can help. Studies have found that family meals are associated with a healthier diet and lower rates of obesity.

Why? Experts say that social eating is good for us. Family dinners are a healthy habit that help us stay emotionally connected.

Plus, when kids eat on their own — especially plopped down in front of the TV — they might not pay attention to their hunger and absentmindedly overeat.

Finally, when you cook at home, you control the menu, so it’s easier for everyone to eat healthy.

Healthy Habit 2: Don’t let your child set the menu.

It’s potentially a disservice to your family’s health to let a child’s limited tastes dictate the family’s diet. If you do, you might wind up eating hot dogs and mac and cheese every night.

When you’re cooking healthy meals — filled with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy — your child might not like the vegetables that show up on her plate. But keep offering them anyway. Studies show that the more kids are exposed to a food, the more likely they are to try it.

When you’re making a healthy entrée that your child might not like, experts recommend that you include a healthy food that she does like — fruit, for instance — as a side dish. That way, there’s something familiar for her.

If she protests, experts suggest that you be firm: Make it clear that her choices are limited to what you’ve served. Resist the temptation to cave in and make her a separate meal. In time, she’ll come to accept the limits that you’re setting — and will start trying some healthier foods.

Healthy Habit 3: Choose to reduce TV time.

Because many studies have found a clear association between television-watching and obesity, experts say that reducing your kids’ TV time makes sense. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 1 to 2 hours of TV watching a day for kids aged 2 and older. It’s best if children younger than 2 not watch TV at all.

Of course, the most effective way to curb your child’s TV watching is for you to also limit your time in front of it. The easiest way to successfully have a healthy family is for you to lead by example.

Afraid such healthy goals will challenge your poise and patience? If you’re swooping in every 15 minutes, scowling, and clicking off the TV, you might face a revolt — or your kids will just scurry off to a different screen — a computer, video game, or TV in another room.

To keep your cool and remember your goal to have a healthy family, don’t focus on what your kids can’t do, but what they can do. For instance, don’t even mention after-school TV. Instead, create a list of activities — rain or shine — that can be done after school instead of TV watching, like dancing to favorite songs or biking in the neighborhood. Then, help your child pick 1 to try.

Healthy Habit 4: Buy a pedometer for everyone in the family.

It’s not enough for you to demand that your child exercise. Instead, inspire your whole family to move more.

Outfitting each family member with a pedometer encourages healthy habits. Once a kid starts to track how many steps he’s taking, it’s pretty natural to want to take more. At the end of the day, everyone can compare the number of steps they took and chart their progress. It can become a fun competition that leads to better family health. Studies have found that pedometers can be effective in kids as young as 6.

How many steps should your child be taking? While many adults aim for 10,000 steps per day, researchers say that a child’s target should actually be higher. One study found that for kids aged 6 to 12, a healthy goal for girls was 12,000 steps a day and 15,000 steps a day for boys.

That might seem like a lot, but kids are naturally more active than adults. Of course, a child’s stride is much shorter, so they won’t walk as far as you will.

Start slowly. Begin by aiming for an additional 2,000 steps to what each person takes on an average day now. Even that modest increase will help with family health.

Healthy Habit 5: Choose not to micromanage your child’s eating.

As a parent, you don’t want to be watching every bite of food that goes into your kid’s mouth. You don’t want to be swatting her hand away from the cookie jar all the time. That sort of micromanaging will just make everyone miserable.

Instead, the easiest path to raising a healthy family is to remove the source of conflict. Replace the cookie jar with a fruit bowl. After all, kids do most of their eating at home — that’s true even for many teens. Because parents are the ones who shop, you have control over the food that’s in the house.

When you’re at the grocery store, swap the chips and cookies you normally put in your cart with healthier options. Don’t buy sugary drinks like soda and juice-like drinks, and limit the amount of 100% fruit juice you buy.

Buy only foods that you want your child to eat. It will boost your family’s health, and you won’t worry so much about which food she’s choosing for a snack.

Healthy Habit 6: Choose healthy ways to manage stress.

Some studies have shown that kids with stressed-out moms are more likely to be overweight. The cause of the stress can be anything from health problems in the family, money issues, or problems with their mate.

So, here’s another reason to enlist help to find solutions to your stressors — to help your kid’s weight stay in a healthy range. Try these healthy stress relievers:

  • Talk it out with a friend, counselor, or religious advisor.
  • Use exercise as a way to burn off stress.
  • Tell your kids about your stress, using words they can understand.
  • Look for support to help you with the things causing you distress from family, government programs, hospital classes, and so forth.

By handling stress in healthy ways you set a great example for your kids, too.

Healthy Habit 7: Choose to make sleep more important.

Studies have found that a lack of sleep is associated with weight gain. When kids are overtired, changes to hormones and metabolism seem to increase the risk of obesity.

To raise healthy kids, enforce a routine bedtime. You can make the transition easier by trying to make the time before bed relaxing. A helpful way to do this is to remove distractions from your child’s bedroom — including TVs, cell phones, and computers.

Sticking with the same routine even on the weekends can help eliminate fluctuations in mood from fatigue and avoid that Monday-morning angst from trying to get back on schedule.

Bedtime may get harder with teens. As kids hit adolescence, their body clocks reset, and they become biologically wired to stay up late. Because high school starts so early, many teens are chronically overtired and at higher risk of obesity as a result.

As a parent, the best you can do is to work with your teen to encourage healthy sleep habits before bed. Help them see just how much better they feel when they do get enough sleep and how much easier it is to concentrate in school.

A healthy amount of sleep helps reduce the risk of obesity in adults too. So prioritize sleep accordingly to set a healthy example for your family.

Healthy Habit 8: Choose to be consistent about family health.

Consult with an expert — like a dietitian or childhood weight loss expert — to adopt basic, sensible changes to your family’s diet and exercise routine and stick with them.

If after a few months you don’t think these healthy habits are helping — if, for instance, your child has been gaining weight — check in again with an expert and tweak your family’s plan.

The most important thing to help your family adopt healthy habits is to stick to your plan. Stay consistent: about the foods you have in the house, about family exercise routines, and about bedtime.

If you do, your kids are more likely to accept your rules in the long run. If they sense any hesitation on your part, they’re more likely to argue and push back. With persistence, you will be able to help your kids adopt healthy habits, and they will benefit for the rest of their lives.

 

© 2011 WebMD, LLC.

Advertisements

Posted in Cooking, Health & Wellness Information | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on WebMD – Raising Healthy Kids – Ways to Keep Kids at a Healthy Weight

Low-Carb Snacks – Buffalo chicken bites

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 25 minutes (includes baking time)

Buffalo chicken bites
Cooking spray
1 pound cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1/2 cup red hot sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot Sauce)
3 tablespoons melted, reduced-calorie margarine
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Celery sticks
Reduced-fat ranch or blue cheese salad dressing (I prefer no salad dressing or an oil-based dressing)Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray, and place chicken bites in the baking dish. In a bowl, combine Red Hot sauce, margarine, parsley, and garlic powder. Pour evenly over chicken. (If you wish, you can refrigerate the combined chicken and sauce until you are ready to heat and serve.) Bake for 20 minutes. Put a toothpick in each piece of chicken and place on serving tray. Serve with celery sticks and salad dressing.

Yield: 42 pieces
Serving size: 7 pieces

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 154
Carbohydrate: 1 g
Protein: 24 g
Fat: 6 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Sodium: 209 mg
Fiber: <1 g

Exchanges per serving: 3 lean meat
Carbohydrate choices: 0


This recipe was developed by Tami Ross, a Diabetes Nutrition Specialist and Certified Diabetes Educator in Lexington, Kentucky.

Posted in Cooking on a Budget | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Artichoke heart and salmon salad

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes (to blanch artichoke hearts)

4 fresh artichoke hearts, blanched and chopped (canned can be substituted)
Lemon half
1 can (12 ounces) water-packed, skinless, boneless salmon, drained well
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed and drained
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped celery leaves
4–6 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup reduced-calorie red wine vinaigrette salad dressing
4 radicchio leaves

To prepare the artichokes, trim stem and remove the thorny tops of the outer leaves with scissors or by bending the leaves. Cut off the top inch of the thin, inner leaves with a knife. Pull out the pink inner leaves by hand and remove the choke (bristle-like hairs) with a small scoop or knife. As you work, rub all cut surfaces with lemon to keep from browning. Submerge artichokes in water with some lemon juice added until ready to cook.

 

Bring 1 1/2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan, add artichokes, and cook for about 3–5 minutes until softened; let cool. When cooled, remove remaining leaves from hearts and cut hearts into quarters or chop coarsely.

In a medium bowl, combine salmon, artichoke hearts, peas, celery, celery leaves, green onions, lemon peel, and dressing. On each serving plate, place one leaf of radicchio. Scoop a quarter of the salad onto the leaf and serve.

Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: about 1 1/4

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 204
Carbohydrate: 13 g
Protein: 20 g
Fat: 8 g
Saturated fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 49 mg
Sodium: 745 mg
Fiber: 5 g

Exchanges per serving: 3 lean meat, 1 starch
Carbohydrate choices: 1


This recipe was developed by Kathleen Stanley, the Diabetes Education Program Coordinator at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. She frequently performs cooking demonstrations and has been involved in diabetes education for over 18 years.

Posted in Cooking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Artichoke heart and salmon salad

Skillet chicken piccata

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 5 minutes 

Cooking time: 20 minutes

4 four-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Nonstick cooking spray
Black pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon light margarine
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup thawed and drained frozen green peas
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Using a meat mallet, pound chicken breasts to uniform thickness. Spread 1 cup flour on a dinner plate or shallow dish and dredge chicken pieces in flour. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Brown floured chicken pieces on both sides (about 2–3 minutes per side), then remove from skillet to a clean plate. Sprinkle chicken with black pepper. Lower heat under skillet to medium, and add olive oil, margarine, and garlic to skillet. When margarine has melted, sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour over mixture and stir into a roux (pastelike mixture). Slowly add chicken broth to skillet, stirring constantly with a whisk or spoon. Continue stirring until sauce thickens, then mix in lemon juice. Return chicken to skillet, spooning some of the sauce over the chicken. Cover skillet and cook an additional 7–10 minutes over medium heat until sauce bubbles and chicken is cooked through. Add peas and green onion to pan and cook 2 minutes more, then serve.

Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 breast

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 191
Carbohydrate: 3 g
Protein: 29 g
Fat: 7 g
Saturated fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 78 g
Sodium: 692 mg
Fiber: 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 4 lean meat
Carbohydrate choices: 0


This recipe was developed by Kathleen Stanley, a Diabetes Educator at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.

Posted in Cooking on a Budget | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Skillet chicken piccata

Chicken gumbo

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45–55 minutes

Cooking spray
3/4 pound fresh okra or frozen, thawed okra, cut in 1/2-inch slices
1 tablespoon corn oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon (or 1 clove) minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) 50%-reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 cup water
1 pound cooked, diced, chicken breast (for convenience, thaw fully-cooked, frozen, diced chicken, such as Tyson)
3 2/3 cups cooked hot brown rice

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray, warm over medium heat, add okra, and cook until slightly softened, about 6–8 minutes. Remove okra to a plate and set aside. Add oil to the skillet and warm over medium-high heat. Gradually add flour, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring until the flour-oil mixture turns golden brown, about 3–5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high then stir in tomatoes, onion, garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile combine broth and water in a stockpot, cover, and warm over medium heat. Stir tomato mixture into hot broth, mixing well. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and stir in okra and chicken. Cover and simmer 30–40 minutes. Serve 1 cup gumbo over 1/3 cup cooked rice.

Yield: 11 servings
Serving size: 1 cup gumbo over 1/3 cup rice

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 163
Carbohydrate: 22 g
Protein: 12 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated fat: <1 g
Cholesterol: 22 mg
Sodium: 391 mg
Fiber: 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 1 nonstarchy vegetable, 1 lean meat
Carbohydrate choices: 1 1/2


Tami Ross is a Diabetes Nutrition Specialist and Certified Diabetes Educator in Lexington, Kentucky.

Posted in Cooking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Chicken gumbo

Low-calorie lasagna roll-ups

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

6 rippled lasagna noodles
1 pound lean ground turkey, 7% fat
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (15 ounces) low-sodium crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup low-sodium canned tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 375°F. In a large pot, boil 4 quarts water over high heat, then add lasagna noodles, one at a time. Stir gently after adding last noodle, and boil 8–10 minutes. Noodles should be flexible but not overly soft. Drain noodles and immediately place on a baking sheet or cutting board in a single layer. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground turkey until cooked through, and break into crumbles. Add chopped onion and sauté until onions soften slightly. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, garlic, black pepper, and red pepper flakes if desired. Stir and lower heat to simmer for 1–2 minutes. Spray a small baking dish (at least 9 inches square) with nonstick cooking spray. Handling each noodle separately, spoon about 1/4 cup of meat mixture along the length of the noodle, then roll up from one end. Place open-side down in the baking dish. Spoon remaining meat mixture evenly over the tops of the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the rolls, and bake 25 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 roll

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 197
Carbohydrate: 29 g
Protein: 9 g
Fat: 5 g
Saturated fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 43 mg
Sodium: 182 mg
Fiber: 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 medium-fat meat
Carbohydrate choices: 2


This recipe was developed by Kathleen Stanley, a Diabetes Educator at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.

Posted in Cooking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Low-calorie lasagna roll-ups

Italian-style freezer sandwiches

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 55–60 minutes
Cooling time: 15 minutes

Italian-style freezer sandwiches
1 pound ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced
1/4 cup diced black olives (approximately 1 ounce)
1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
12 hamburger buns
12 slices fat-free processed mozzarella cheeseIn a large nonstick skillet, brown and drain ground turkey. Add onion, jalapeño pepper, black olives, mushrooms, tomato sauce, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes; stir frequently. Remove from heat and cool. (Meat filling may be served right away if desired; just increase cooking time from 10 minutes to 20 minutes).Spread bottom of each bun with 1/3 cup cooled meat filling. Top with 1 slice cheese and other half of bun. Wrap sandwiches tightly in foil. Place in freezer bags and freeze.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350°F and place the foil-wrapped sandwiches on a baking sheet. Bake for 55–60 minutes, or until heated through.

Yield: 12 sandwiches
Serving size: 1 sandwich

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 243
Carbohydrate: 29 g
Protein: 16 g
Fat: 7 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Sodium: 577 mg
Fiber: 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat
Carbohydrate choices: 1 1/2


This recipe was developed by Tami Ross, a Diabetes Nutrition Specialist and Certified Diabetes Educator in Lexington, Kentucky.

Posted in Cooking on a Budget | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Free eBook: Hungarian Cookbook: Old World Recipes for New World Cooks

Posted by 4love2love on June 22, 2011

It’s exciting to taste exotic flavors and cuisine from various countries of the world. Bring Hungary to your table with an exciting free eCookbook. It features classic dishes such as ”Hungarian Goulash”, “Walnut Torte”, and “Chicken Paprika” with a total of 125 recipes. Click on the link below to get yours. Keep in mind that you don’t have to have a Kindle or other eReader to enjoy these free book downloads. You can also read these ebooks on your PC, Mac, iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, Android, or Windows 7 Phone. (Click here for more information about free Kindle-reading apps.)

Posted in Freebies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Free eBook: Hungarian Cookbook: Old World Recipes for New World Cooks

Free T-Shirt And Cookbook

Posted by 4love2love on June 15, 2011

Cooper has come forward to create a unique health and wellness program for women called Cooper for women, where they can join an exercise class, interact with the right doctor and lots of other benefits. If you become a free member of this program then among other benefits, you get a free T-Shirt and cookbook. Click the link below and get going. Requires you to join the program, no fee attached.

Posted in Freebies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Free T-Shirt And Cookbook

Free Jamie Oliver Alaskan Seafood Recipe Book Sample

Posted by 4love2love on June 10, 2011

All those who love those exotic sea food recipes from Alaska should be looking forward to this freebie offer. Even those who haven’t had the chance to savor these delicacies from Alaska should make it a point to try them. Free Jamie Oliver Alaskan Seafood Recipe Book Sample is being given away. Click the link below to order this free recipe book.

Posted in Cooking, Freebies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

What Cooking Means To Me

Posted by 4love2love on June 8, 2011

I have a genetic issue that causes me to be prone to high cholesterol. Right now, I am on medication to help control that, but I have worked to modify my diet to help relieve some of the cholesterol that I intake. I also have Type 2 diabetes, which means that I have to watch starches, sugars and carbs. I also have to be careful of calories because I am overweight.

So for me, cooking is an experiment in keeping myself healthy and off as many medications as possible. Right now, my diabetes is diet controlled. So every day is a challenge to see how different foods and ingredients affect my sugar levels. I also have to consider the amount of cholesterol in my ingredients, because I would like to eventually not require the cholesterol medications. I’ve had great cholesterol until recently, but within the last few months, my cholesterol has steadily gotten worse. Now it’s time to work even harder to cook healthier, better food that will work on my overall health and help me lose weight at the same time.

I’m well over 80 lbs overweight, but my goal is to get back down to 200 for now, which will mean losing another 40lbs. It’s coming off slowly but it is coming off. 2 years ago I was in a wheelchair, and could not walk without assistance. I stopped taking most of my medication since a lot of them were painkillers and within 2 months I was able to walk again with a cane. I still need it sometimes and I still have to use the mobile carts in the stores when shopping most of the time, but I am doing much better than I had been.

I grew up cooking hamburger helper and whatnot because I was the only girl and the oldest child and my father did not cook at all except the occasional eggs for breakfast. Since then, I have learned to use wine and acid in my cooking to improve flavor and have gotten to where I use little to no oil in almost everything I cook. I have learned some techniques that serve me well in the kitchen and I get a great amount of praise for the things I do cook from friends and neighbors that have sat in my house and eaten what I’ve prepared.

Eventually I would like to go to some culinary school and learn much much more than what I know now, and eventually possibly write my own recipe books. I hope to make more items from scratch and use less shortcuts and be able to cook tasty, healthy food that will be good for anyone with any type of medical condition that puts them on dietary restrictions.

All my recipes can be modified rather easily, as I don’t cook with much salt, preferring herbs for flavor. I love spicy food, but I realize not everyone does and I know that sometimes people will need to cut back on some of the heat I add to many of my dishes. I love hot peppers, just not too hot, though I’m not afraid to try anything. I see things like frog legs and alligator at the market and I am always tempted to buy them because I want to experiment. I’ll take a recipe someone else has done and turn it around to suit me once I’ve experienced what they have created because I love to find new flavors, new combinations, new techniques.

Cooking isn’t just a passion for me, it’s a way to survive. It’s a way to make sure that I’m going to live another 30 or more years without having serious problems with my health.

I hope that, knowing that, you will appreciate the recipes I provide as I provide them for what they are, which is my learning and growing as a cook.

Posted in Cooking, General, Personal | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on What Cooking Means To Me

Fire Stew

Posted by 4love2love on June 5, 2011

This is one of my most popular recipes. People come over to eat this often or when they’re here they ask if I will make it for them. I have been asked repeatedly for my recipe, and it was difficult to write it down because I make it a little different every time. I’ll change the meat, or some of the vegetables or some of the seasonings depending on my mood. So, here I will put down the basic recipe and you can play with it as you like to suit your individual tastes.

Just so  you know, this stew is meant to be very spicy, so if you don’t like spicy foods, you will need to make a lot of modifications to the recipe.

Ingredients :

  • 1-1 1/2 lbs of meat. This could be chorizo, hamburger, ground turkey, shredded chicken, venison or whatever type of meat you prefer. I would not recommend pork for this stew.
  • 2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (I prefer the petites in garlic and olive oil)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of sweet red wine (I generally use a cheap Merlot)
  • 5-6 whole carrots (sliced)
  • 4-5 stalks of celery (sliced)
  • 1 can or the equivalent of green beans
  • 2 cans of whole potatoes (you can actually use raw potatoes that are better for you, but I hate to peel and wait the extra time to cook for the potatoes to be ready. If you do use raw potatoes, use the small ones, like the golden or the baby reds)
  • 1/2 cup sliced Jalapeños
  • Hot sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped Cilantro (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tsp chopped Basil (fresh or dried)
  • 2 tsp chopped Parsley (fresh or dried)
  • 2-3 cloves of crushed or minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 2 tbsp season salt
  • 2 tbsp Morton’s Nature’s Seasoning (there is a reduced salt version I prefer)
  • 2 tsp fresh ground mixed peppercorn (it comes in a grinder and is very delicious for any pepper use)
  • 2 generous splashes of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water

 

In a large dutch oven, set on medium-high heat, add tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, meat, seasonings, lemon juice, wine, olive oil, jalapeños, 4 splashes of hot sauce and cook until meat is partially done, stirring occasionally. Add water and rice along with all raw veggies. Turn up heat and stir regularly until liquid begins to boil. Allow liquid to boil for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

 

Lower heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Stir often enough to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until rice is done and veggies are cooked until they are cooked but still firm.

 

I often serve in a bowl with shredded mild cheddar cheese on top, then stir the cheese into the stew before eating. It’s absolutely delicious.

 

Posted in Cooking, Cooking on a Budget, Special Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Breakfast Burritos

Posted by 4love2love on May 31, 2011

This is a recipe that I have been using a long time. I make a few modifications from time to time, but this is the base recipe. Feel free to make some modifications to suit your taste as needed.

  • 2 Packages of Lil’ Guy Tortillas (Burrito Size) – These stay good in the refrigerator for a fairly long time and do not stick after being refrigerated.
  • 1 to 1 1/2 dozen eggs (I use brown eggs)
  • 1 lb. Chorizo (Mexican sausage) – You can substitute other sausage as you like, I prefer chorize for the spiciness it adds.
  • 1/4 cup chopped Jalapeños or other type of pepper.
  • 1/4 cup diced Onion (I use red onions, though even frozen onions will work)
  • 1 can of diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced Potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Milk
  • Dry red wine
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sea Salt (or regular)
  • Ground Pepper (I like Peppercorn Medley in the grinder)
  • Herbs for flavor (I like Parsley, Basil, and Cilantro)
  • 1 full 10 oz. or larger bag of shredded cheese (I prefer mild cheddar or a Mexican/taco blend)
In one skillet, cook chorizo with a small amount of dry red wine and a couple splashes of lemon juice. Cook on medium heat until the sausage is fully cooked. Drain excess fluid out of the pan.
While the meat is cooking, in a second pan, use a small amount of olive oil to fry the diced potatoes. Once they are golden brown, add Jalapenos, Onion and saute on medium-low heat. Once meat is cooked and drained, add potato mix to the meat, keep on medium heat and add diced tomatoes.
In a bowl, crack all eggs, whisk together with a small amount of milk and add them with the diced tomatoes in the meat/vegetable mix. Keep heat on medium and add reasonable amount of seasonings. Mix thoroughly together and let cook, stirring occasionally until egg mix is completely cooked. Turn off heat and put a layer of cheese on top of mix and let sit for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.
You can warm the tortillas in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds or on a flat skillet. If you use the skillet method, a few seconds on each side is sufficient. Put enough of the filling into the tortilla shell to cover the center of the tortilla, covering about 1/3 of the tortilla. Sprinkle cheese on top. Roll one side over mixture, fold the bottom part upward, then roll tortilla over until no mixture is showing except through the top opening.
Feel free to add salsa, hot sauce, or any other condiments you like.
Enjoy!

Posted in Cooking, Special Recipes | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »