Sunday, February 28, 2010

Another Magazine Giveaway

And yet another magazine I forgot I subscribe to and bought at the bookstore. My mistake is your gain. If you'd like to win this magazine just leave a comment. I'll leave this giveaway open until Friday 3/05 at 10 p.m. and I'll announce the winner Saturday morning.

This is a Taste of Home Simple and Delicious magazine February 2010 issue. It has some great recipes that are easy to make. I usually adapt the recipes in this magazine since I try to avoid processed foods. I have pretty good luck at doing that so don't turn down the magazine just because of that fact. I love the Express Lane recipes. It provides menus and a shopping list for dinner Monday through Friday. Great feature if you like having a menu and a list provided for you. I also like the 30 minute meal feature. The magazine even offers a ready in 10 minutes section. Trust me you'll get use out of this magazine.

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Garlic Spiked Homestyle Hash Browns

These hash browns turned out really tasty. They were really simple to make too. I served these for dinner but these would be great for a breakfast side dish. The recipe called for a red onion and I was out so I used a yellow onion. Also to save time you can boil the potatoes up to days before you wanted to make this dish and place them in a sealed container in the fridge. You could also change the herbs some and come up with several different flavor combination's. The exchange for a diabetic is as follows:
2/3 cup serving, 1 1/2 starch, 1/2 fat; 120 calories, 33 calories from fat, 4 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 19 g total carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugars, 3 g protein

Garlic-Spiked Homestyle Hash Browns
The All Natural Diabetes Cookbook

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp unsalted butter, divided
1 cup chopped red onion,
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 medium Yukon gold or red potatoes, boiled with peel, chilled and diced in 1/2 inch cubes (about 4 cups)
3/4 tsp sea salt, or to taste
1/4 tsp ground cayenne red pepper, or to taste
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives

Heat the oil and 1 tsp butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Saute the onion for 3 minutes, then add garlic and saute for 1 minute.

Add the potatoes and cook for 5 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned, turning occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining butter. Sprinkle evenly with salt and red pepper. Stir in parsley and chives.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Salsa Verde

Surprising this turned out to be very tasty. I've never tried green "salsa" before because to be honest green isn't very appetizing when your use to a red salsa. We ended up really liking this dish and have made it twice since. I found this recipe in The All-Natural Diabetes Cookbook. Here are the exchanges on this dish: free, 20 calories, 5 calories from fat, 1 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 75 mg sodium, 4 g total carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugars, 1 g protein. A serving size is 1/4 cup.

Salsa Verde
The All Natural Diabetes Cookbook

1/2 lb tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed (6 to 8 tomatillos)
1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
1 slice medium white onion
1 large garlic clove
1/8 tsp sea salt or to taste
1 tbsp lime juice (optional)

Place the whole tomatillos in a large saucepan and fill with water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes or until softened.

Drain and chop the tomatillos. Puree half of them, along with the cilantro, onion, and garlic, in a blender until smooth.

Return the puree to the saucepan and add the remaining chopped tomatillos. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt and lime juice (if using). Serve at room temperature.

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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Basil Vinaigrette

Don't let the coloring fool you this was a great tasting dressing. Once it's on your salad you won't notice that it's green in color. The flavors combined well to make a great tasting vinaigrette. It's simple and easy to make and so much better tasting than a bottled dressing.

Basil Vinaigrette
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 of a shallot
1 garlic clove
4 fresh basil leaves (larger ones, if you have small ones you may need more)
2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in food processor and process until blended smooth.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Fruit Water

One of our goals this year was to stop drinking soda. Our family had stopped a few years ago but then one good sale of soda later and we were addicted to it again. We stopped cold turkey again. Yes it's been hard but I'm looking at the long term health benefits and they far outweigh our love for soda. Since stopping soda I've allowed kool-aid, which to me is almost as bad as soda, for the kids but I still needed something. The Biggest Loser Simple Swap book had a recipe for a fruit water which sounded like something I'd love. I have been drinking this drink for almost 4 weeks now and have made a few improvements to the original. Hopefully you'll like it as much as I have.

Fruit Water
adapted from The Biggest Loser Simple Swaps Book

1/2 of a lemon, cut thinly
1/2 of a lime, cut thinly
1/4 of a orange, cut thinly
5-6 grapes
1/8 teaspoon citric acid
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 quarts water

Mix water, citric acid, and sugar until the citric acid and sugar dissolve. Add fruit and stir. (I like to crush the grapes just a little in the water. Place in the fridge to get chilled or serve with ice.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Sweet Pork Barbacoa Salad

Here is the final result of all the previous recipes. It was a huge hit at the birthday party and something I'd make again for a family get together.

Now to make the salad place the following things on the plate in order listed:
1. Large Flour TortillasUse homemade or buy the uncooked ones and cook them on a griddle. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top and cook until the cheese is melted. Place the cheesy tortillas in a cake pan.
2. Cilantro Lime Rice
3. Black Beans
4. Sweet Pork Barbacoa
5. Romaine Lettuce
Wash thoroughly, and cut into large squares.
6. Pico de Gallo
7. Guacamole
8. Lime Wedges
9. Grated Cotija cheese
10. Cilantro sprigs
11. Crispy Tortilla Strips Just cut some corn Tortillas in thin strips and quickly fry until crisp. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with a little bit of salt.
12. Creamy Tomatillo Dressing

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa

Here is the sweet pork that I made for the Cafe Rio salad. It turned out really good. I cooked the pork in the oven at 300 for about 6 hours instead of using the crock pot. Mainly I did this because I've decided I'm not a huge fan of meat cooked in the crockpot. The directions below are for using the crockpot. Also I made my own enchilada sauce, sadly I forgot to take a picture but if your interested I'll get the recipe up soon. Tomorrow I'll be putting all the ingredients together for the salad.

Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa

Pork Roast: Put it in a crock pot with a little water and cook until very tender (about 8 hours on low).
Shred pork and add:
1 can enchilada sauce
2 cloves minced garlic
1 small can diced green chilies
1 can Coke (not diet coke)
1 cup brown sugar
salt to taste
Cook for one more hour.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Black Beans

This is the second recipe I used in recreating the Cafe Rio salad. If you don't want to use canned beans I've used 1 cup of cooked black beans for a can of beans before with great results.

Black Beans
1 can black beans, rinsed
2 Tbl finely mined onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin
1 cup tomato juice
3 Tbl chopped Fresh Cilantro
1 tsp salt
Fry onion, garlic and cumin in a small amount of olive oil. Add beans, tomato juice, cilantro and salt and heat through.

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Friday, February 12, 2010

Winner of the Giveaway

Comment 2 Melanie. Just drop me an email at and I'll get that in the mail as quickly as I can. Thanks!

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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Cilantro Lime Rice

Over the next few days I'll be posting the recipes I used to recreate the Cafe Rio Sweet Pork Barbacoa Salad for a birthday party. On the last day I'll show you how the salad came together. I have to say this was a big hit at the party and there were no leftovers.

Cilantro Lime Rice
3 c water
3 c rice
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp salt
¼ cup lime juice
1/2 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro, remove large stems
1 small can green chiles

Place water, rice, bouillon, and salt in pot. Bring to boil. Place lime juice, onion, garlic, cilantro and green chilies in a blender and puree. Stir into rice. Simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes.

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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Super Bean Burritos

I love the blog My Kitchen Cafe. I'd say I check her blog daily for new recipes. We seem to both like the same foods so her blog is a favorite. Well she posted these burritos and I knew we had to try them cause we love burritos in our house. My husband declared these the best burritos ever and then helped me make two more batches to keep in the freezer for future lunches and meals. I had wanted to make these smothered but time got away from me so I ended up topping the burritos with homemade pico de gallo and guacamole. Give this a try you'll never go back to store bought frozen burritos again.

Super Bean Burritos
Melanie at My Kitchen Cafe

1 cup brown or white rice (or 2 cups already cooked rice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 jalapeno, seeds and membrane removed, finely diced (can substitute 1 can of green chiles)
1 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 (10 oz) package frozen corn or 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
6 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

16 burrito-sized (10-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Cook rice; set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, jalapeno and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and golden, being careful not to let the garlic burn. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Add one can of beans and mash gently in the pan (a potato masher or fork works great here). Add the second can of beans and the water and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10-12 minutes, being careful not to let the mixture stick to the bottom of the pot. Add corn; cook to heat through, 2-3 minutes. Stir in onion and garlic powders. Remove from heat; stir in green onions and cooked rice.

Heat tortillas in microwave for about 30-45 seconds or until all are warmed through.

Fill each tortilla with about 2/3 cup bean and rice mixture and 1/4 cup cheese on one side of tortilla. Fold, and hold in sides. Starting from filled end, holding sides in as you work, tightly roll into a bundle. Place on a baking sheet, seam side down, and prepare remaining burritos.

Serve warm immediately, with salsa and sour cream if desired -- or, to freeze for later consumption, put the baking sheet of burritos into the freezer for at least 30 minutes, or until very cold so that they don't come apart in the wrapping process. Remove them from the freezer and wrap each burrito individually in plastic wrap and place all the wrapped burritos in a freezer-safe resealable bag and freeze up to three months.

To reheat from frozen:
Remove plastic wrap from the burrito. Poke holes in the top several times with a fork. Microwave on high for two minutes. Gently poke a few more holes in the burrito and microwave for another minute. Be careful as the burrito will be piping hot!

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I'm giving away the Jan/Feb. 2010 issue of Cooking Light. Somehow I forgot I subscribe to this magazine and I bought a copy at the store. This issue has loads of great looking recipes along with their new rules and tips to make healthy eating simple. The giveaway is simple. Just comment on this post saying you would like the magazine. Feel free to enter more than once if you'd like. The contest is open until Thursday at midnight. I'll announce the winner Friday.

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Monday, February 8, 2010

Salmon with Lemon and Dill

I can't believe I'm posting another seafood recipe so soon after the last as I'm not a fan of seafood. However my husband loved this dish and he wants me to remember how I made it so we can make it again. I searched all over the internet for a quick and easy salmon recipe that I had all the ingredients on hand to use which led me to combine three recipes into one.

Salmon with Lemon and Dill

2 salmon fillets
2 tablespoons butter
juice from one lemon
1 teaspoon dried dill, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Melt the butter in a pan over medium high heat. Sprinkle the salmon, on one side, with the juice, dill, and parsley. Add pepper to your taste. Place the sprinkled side down in the butter and cook about 10 minutes. Watch so it doesn't burn. Flip the salmon over and cook another 5-10 minutes or until salmon flakes easily.

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