Monday, May 27, 2013

Vegan Hot Dog Casserole

Growing up my daughters loved Hot Dog Casserole.  Now it has turned it into a vegan dish that is so good.   Look at the creamy cheese melting over the potato and corn.  That is what you call just plain ole good!  If you love a great bowl of comfort food your gonna want this one!  I made it so many times I could do it in my sleep.  I can tell you from experience there were never any leftovers.  This is the vegan version.  Making non-vegan version is a simple substitution of hot dogs, instant potatoes and Velveeta cheese.

8 Lightlife Hot Dogs
1 3.5 oz package Edward & Son's Roasted
                               Garlic Instant Potatoes
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 Cups Frozen Corn
2 Cups Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds

Prepare potatoes according to package directions adding salt and pepper to taste.  Place frozen corn and sliced hot dogs on the bottom of a 9" casserole dish or pie pan.  Spread hot mashed potatoes on top of hot dogs.  Top with cheese.  Bake at 350 until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sopa de Cosecha

When I get a chance to combine two of my favorite activities together and create something spectacular its just fun.  This is one soup that is so tasty it amazed me.  I was simply looking for something to do with the abundance of vegetables building up in my refrigerator before they started spoiling.   It's even more fun when you just toss it all in a crock pot and let it cook without a lot of fuss.  This makes a large crock pot full that serves 4-6.
4 Cups Water
6 Carrots, scrubbed and sliced
6 Stalks Celery sliced
3 Cups Broccoli
2 Cups Corn
2 Large Tomatoes
1 Cup Diced Onion
1 Cup Diced Green Pepper
3 Cubs Shredded Cabbage
1 3oz can tomato sauce
3 Better Than Bullion No Chicken Chicken Bullion
1 6oz Package Bow Tie Pasta
Wash, scrub and slice all of the vegetables (except cabbage) exactly as you prefer.  I like mine nice and chunky, cut them finer if you prefer.  Shred cabbage. Place vegetables and water in crock pot with bullion and tomato sauce.  Cover and cook on low heat for 2 hours or longer.  If you prefer a nice crispy soup cook less, if you like the vegetables more done cook longer.  Add pasta and cook for an addition 30 to 45 minutes.  Remove crock from pan and let cook for ten minutes before serving.  This allows the pasta to absorb the flavor of the sauce.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fire Grilled Beef Fajitas

 You know the best part of grilling?  I get freed from the kitchen!  That's right.  My husband takes over and I get the night off!  Well, mostly.  I don't know anyone who doesn't enjoy a good Fajita.  Trouble is they are so popular restaurants charge a bundle, and buying pre-marinated meet is, well unreasonable.  So we came up with our own marinade and put these things to the grill.  Tender, tasty and just the right amount of smoky flavor.  The meat is one of the least expensive cuts of beef, but don't let it fool you.

2 lbs Beef Skirt Steak

1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
1 Large Onion

1 16 oz Bottles Zesty Italian Dressing
4 TBS Chili Powder
2 TBS Oregano
2 TBS Cumin
1/4 TSP Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
4 TBS Mesquite Liquid Smoke

20 Fajita Sized Flour Tortillas

Optional Toppings:
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Pico De Gallo

In a large bowl mix Italian Dressing saving 1/4 cup.  Add Remaining ingredients mixing very thoroughly.  Add meat to marinade and allow to set for at least four hours in fridge covered..

Slice Vegetables in strips and place in heavy duty foil.  Sprinkle with remaining Italian dressing ad mix well coating all vegetables.  Wrap tightly and store in fridge until ready to cook.

Prepare Grill and allow to get very hot.  While coals are heating place vegetables wrapped in foil to the side of the fire.  Once fire is ready add meat and cook turning constantly until done.  Skirt meat is quick to cook so it won't take long.  Leave vegetables as close to, but not directly above heat so they turn nice and tender, but not limp.

One meat and vegetables have been removed from heat cook the tortillas over heat while it is still hot.

Add your favorite toppings, serve with beans and rice.

No Chicken Chicken Stew

Wow!  My daughter sure picked up the imagination gene!  She is so good at grabbing whatever she has available and making one tasty dish.  I love the way she combines nutritional dishes with vibrant colors.  This dish will serve two, so if you need more (and you certainly want more) step up the recipe.  The leftovers are so perfect for a workday lunch.

1 14 oz Pkg extra firm Tofu
Poultry Seasoning
2 Cups Imaging No Chicken Chicken Broth
1 Cup Brown Beans cooked with salt and pepper only
1/4 lb fresh green beans washed and snapped
1 Cup White Rice-uncooked
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
Fried Onion Crisps

2 TBS Corn Starch mixed with 1/2 Cup Cold Water

Dice Tofu and place on a lightly sprayed baking pan.  Sprinkle with Poultry seasoning and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until golden brown turning once halfway through.

While Tofu is baking place Green Beans, Brown Beans and Rice in Chicken Broth and simmer on medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.  Simmer until rice is done.  Add baked Tofu and simmer for another 15 minutes.  Add Corn starch mixed with water and stir constantly until thicken.  Remove and garnish with fried onion crisps.

Vegan Carrot Cake

 There are some things you just never know are vegan.  Like this moist and tasty Vegan Carrot Cake.  Perfect texture, and topped with a cream cheese frosting it will satisfy any ones sweet tooth.  It even made a great breakfast treat.  This recipe makes one 9 X  cake.

1 Cup flour
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 TBS Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Canola Oil
1 1/4 Cup Canned Pumpkin

1 1/2 Cups Shredded Carrot
1 Cup Raisins
1 Cup Walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 Mix all dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir until well blended.  Add oil and mix in with a fork or pastry cutter until mixture is course.  Add pumpkin mixing with dry ingredients until moist.  Mixture should pour easily when lifted with spoon.  Add additional pumpkin if necessary.  stir in carrot, raisins and walnuts.  Coat 9 x 9 baking dish with canola cooking spray.  Cook 45 minutes in a 350 oven or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cook in pan for at least 2 hours.

2 TBS Earth Balance Butter
1 Cup Follow Your Heart Cream Cheese
1/2 Cup Powder Sugar
1 Tsp. Vanilla
1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Allow Butter and Cream Cheese to reach room temperature.  Place in mixing bowl with powdered sugar and vanilla.  Blend with mixer until creamy and smooth.  Spread on cooled cake and top with chopped walnuts.

Calabacina y Carne Gumbo

When my husband and I began dating he invited me to his place for lunch one day.  I only lived five minutes away from work, and he lived in the same apartment building that I did.  It was nice to get away and join him, but what he made me was a big surprise.  It wasn't just that he could cook.  I had never tasted anything quite like Calabacina Y Carne Gumbo in my life.  I knew that was a big moment for me!  To this day every time he makes this overwhelming dish of deliciousness I'm reminded of that day sitting at his breakfast nook enjoying this amazing meal with him.  Even though this makes on very large kettle full be prepared.  The leftovers never stick around long.

1 1/2 LB Tender Boneless Thick Cut Pork Chops
1 8 OZ Package 41-60 Count Shrimp
1 LB Spicy Summer Sausage Link
2 TBS Vegetable Oil

1 5oz Can Tomato Sauce
4 Cups Hot Water

1 Small Onion
1 Medium Green Pepper                                                               OPTIONAL
1 Large Yellow Squash                                                                  Shredded Cheese
1 Large Green Squash                                                                     Sliced Jalapeno
3 Garlic Cloves Minced                                                                  Sour Cream

2 TBS Salt
1 1/2 TBS Lemon  Pepper
2 TBS Oregano

Dice Pork into 1 1/2 inch cubes.  Heat oil in frying pan, add pork and stir constantly until golden brown about 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and add to a large soup kettle.  Add chopped onion, chopped green pepper and minced garlic to oil and cook until slightly tender abut 5 minutes.  Add to kettle.  Quarter Sausage link and slice adding to kettle.  Add tomato Sauce, water, salt, pepper and Oregano.  Simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes.  Slice green and yellow squash add to Carne and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.  Make sure shrimp is thoroughly clean, deveined and rinsed in cold water.  Toss into Gumbo.  Cover and simmer an additional 10 minutes.

Top with Cheese, Sour Cream or Jalapeno if desired. Serve with fresh flour tortillas.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Fire Grilled Stuffed Burger

This has got to be the best burger I've ever had.  After doing a stuffed chicken breast I wonder "why not a hamburger.  I  brain stormed trying to come up with the best combination of flavors to stuff it with.  I'm sure this would work just as well cooked up in a frying pan, or even in the oven.  You want to get the best flavor possible so I definitely recommend sticking with an open grill.  Just remember, if my filling does not appeal to you toss together what ever sounds the best to your taste.  Either way, you'll be completely awed at how good it is.  This recipe will make four 1lb hamburgers.

3lbs Hamburger
3 Tbs Weber's Mesquite seasoning
1/4 TSP Mesquite smokey flavoring
2 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
Salt and Pepper to taste
4 bakery style deli bun
1 1/2 Cup shredded Colby Jack Cheese

3 Slices Bacon cooked crisp and chopped
1/4 Cup Minced Onion
1/4 Cup Minced Green Pepper
1/2 Cup Chopped Mushrooms
4 Small Garlic Cloves Minced

Condiments (optional)
Mayo, Catsup, Mustard, Avocado, Lettuce, Tomato, Sliced Cheese

Mix meat very well with Mesquite Seasoning, Smokey flavoring, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.  Divide meat into four equal portions and set aside.  Cook bacon crisp and crumble in mixing bowl.  Add onion, green pepper, mushrooms, garlic and cheese.  Flatten one portion of the meat into a round patty about 1/4" thick.  Place 1/4 of the filling on the right side and fold the meat over.  Carefully mold the meat back into a round shape.  Follow same procedure for remaining hamburger.

Place patties on heated grill and cook ten minutes on each side, longer if you prefer.  Toast the buns if you like.  Place hamburger on bun and add your favorite toppings.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Oriental Tofu Bake

Thanks again to my daughter for another outstanding vegan dish.  I had to give this one a try.  One look at it and I immediately knew it would be delicious.  This is a simple relaxing dinner that serves two.  Notice the gorgeous green salad :).

2 Packages of Oriental flavor Top Ramen
2 TBS of Earth Balance Butter
1/2 Cup Chopped Green onions
1/4 Cup Shallot
1 Cup Diced Mushrooms
1/2 Cup Baked, Diced Tofu

Melt butter in a cause pan.  Add two packages of Oriental flavor seasoning packets included in ramen packages.  Stir constantly until dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Add all vegetables and tofu to a large bowl. Pour melted butter over the top and blend very well.  Pour into a 9 X 9 casserole dish and cover with foil.  Cook at 350 for 20 minutes (be careful, it's smells so good cooking)

Meanwhile prepare Ramen noodles according to package directions.  When done top with Tofu Bake and enjoy

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

PineappleBerry Pie

Here's just what you need to top off those sunny summer weekend Barbecue's.  Sweet, with a slightly tart nip and full of refreshing berry goodness.  The secret to making this pie so yummy is simple.  Don't over do it!  Mother nature supplies all of the awesome taste you could possibly want.  You won't believe how easy and delicious this pie turns out.   As always I like to make my pie crust from scratch. In hurry? a nice store bought crust works just fine.

1 9" Pie Crust

1 1/2 Cups Diced Pineapple
1 1/2 Cups Sliced Strawberries
1 1/2 Cup Blueberries
1/2 Cup Orange Juice
2 TBS Cinnamon
1 TBS Nutmeg
2 TSP  Sugar
1 Cup shredded coconut
1/4 Cup Corn Starch mixed with 1/4 Cup cold Water

2 Cups Whipped Cream
2 TBS Coconut

Place fruit and Orange juice in a large sauce pan.  When mixture begins to boil add cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut and sugar.  Mix corn starch with water and stir until dissolved.  Add to pie filling stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Remove from stove and set aside to cool.

Cook pie shell until it begins to turn very light brown.  Add pie filling and cook until shell is brown and crisp all the way through.  Remove from oven and cool completely in fridge.  Spread reaming 2 TBS of coconut on a baking dish and place in oven until toasted and brown, about 5 minutes.  Stir coconut at least halfway through the toasting process. Remove from oven to cool.

When Pie is completely cooled remove from fridge and carefully top with whipped cream.  Sprinkle with toasted coconut.  Return to fridge until ready to serve. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Saucy Stacked Breakfast

This is what mornings are meant for!  A good, warm filling breakfast.  When you get one so full of flavor it gets your day off to a great start you've got a win win!  I don't know what I was thinking, but it sure came out right.   Pretty darn easy too!  This is for one service, so double up if you need to. 

2 Slices Multi Grain Bread
2 Eggs
1/4 cup Canola Oil
2 Slices of bacon

Toppings (your choice)
Shredded Cheese
Jalapeno slices
Sour Cream

Toast bread until nice and golden brown.  Fry bacon in skillet until good and crisp.  Set both aside and prepare eggs.  When frying an egg you never want to start them off in grease that is hot.  Crack eggs in a skillet with grease that has not been heated.  Cook at medium heat until eggs settle on the outside and begin turning white.  Once everything but the yolk is firm gently turn the egg over with a turner and let cook for about 30 seconds.  Gently pick egg up (to avoid breaking yolk).

Place unbutter toast on service plate and place each piece with one egg on top.  Split each piece of bacon in half and criss-cross on top of egg.  Add a spoonful of salsa and any addition toppings you prefer.

There you are.  Quick, simple and oh so tasty!  ENJOY