Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Golumpki aka Cabbage Rolls)

Hello everyone and welcome to another Free Recipe Wednesday. Today’s recipe is something I’ve only had a couple of times before but it was super delicious. Cabbage rolls are common to the ethnic foods of many parts of Europe. My in-laws, being of Polish descent, are always making dishes I’ve never had before and this is one of those. Cabbage rolls, also known as Golumpki in the United States, are often served during the Christmas season and on festive occasions. The recipe below uses a crock pot to cook these and while they are still very good in the crock pot I feel like if you cook them in the oven, covered with foil, for 1 hour at 350 degrees they taste even better. As with most recipes, I would tweak the ingredients of this one just a bit to make them better. I think I would add ½ tsp garlic powder, more or less depending on how much you like garlic, and I would increase the amount of onion to ½ cup. I would also double the amount of sauce so you have plenty to cover the rolls with. Overall this is a good recipe just the way it is and if you like cabbage I definitely recommend you give them a try.

Golumpki (Cabbage Rolls)

  • 12 Cabbage Leaves
  • 1 cup Cooked White Rice
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Minced Onion
  • 1 lb Extra-Lean Ground Beef
  • 1 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
2. Boil cabbage leaves for 2 minutes; drain.
3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked rice, egg, milk, onion, ground beef, salt, and pepper.
4. Place about 1/4 cup of the meat mixture in the center of each cabbage leaf and roll up, tucking in the ends; place the rolls in a slow cooker.
5. In a small bowl, mix together the tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce; pour over the cabbage rolls.
6. Cover the slow cooker and cook the cabbage rolls on Low for 8 to 9 hours.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Smoked Cheese Ravioli)

Hello again friends and food lovers. Welcome to another Free Recipe Wednesday. Today’s recipe isn’t quite like the fall/holiday recipes I’ve been posting this month but it’s still one I think you’ll enjoy. Personally when it comes to pasta I’d much rather have a cream based sauce than a tomato based one so I’m always on the lookout for something new. When I first saw this recipe I knew it would be good, especially with Smoked Gouda cheese which is one of my favorites, but I could also tell the sauce was just a base to start with and that it needed more. That’s the nice thing about most cream based sauces is that you can modify them in so many ways. The recipe and picture below is the basic recipe, and it’s good the way it is, but personally I feel like it needs more color. I think adding a can of rotel with the green chilis and maybe sprinkling some green onions on top is a great way to liven up this dish. You could also add oregano, basil, and garlic to the sauce for a different flavor profile and/or use meat ravioli instead of cheese ravioli. Like I said before it’s good the way it is but it’s fun to experiment and make something your own. Give it a try and let me know in the comments below what you thought and what modifications you made to yours.

Smoked Cheese Ravioli

  • 1 (16 oz) pkg Frozen Cheese Ravioli
  • 1 cup Half-And-Half Cream
  • 1 cup Shredded Smoked Gouda Cheese
  • 1 tsp Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 1 tsp White Pepper

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil over high heat; stir in the frozen ravioli and return to a boil.
2. Cook uncovered about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the ravioli float to the top and the filling is hot; drain.
3. While the pasta is cooking, bring the half-and-half to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat.
4. Whisk in the Gouda cheese until melted; season with parsley and white pepper.
5. Pour the sauce over the cooked ravioli; garnish with parsley and serve.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Gluten Free Friday! (Baked Apples)

Happy Friday everyone! Welcome to another edition of Gluten Free Friday! Today’s recipe is a delicious dessert that I had once at a family gathering and have been meaning to make sometime. As these bake, the brown sugar and butter melt together on the inside while the apples soften creating a flavor similar to apple pie. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with orchards, like I am, then you should also still be able to get fresh orchard apples at least through the end of October. This dessert is just great in general but it’s especially awesome for celiacs or those just simply following a gluten free diet as they’re able to enjoy one of the fall season’s best desserts, apple pie, without the glutinous crust. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Baked Apples

  • 4 Large Baking Apples (Rome Beauty, Golden Delicious, etc)
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup Chopped Pecans
  • 1/4 cup Currants or Chopped Raisins
  • 1 Tbsp Butter
  • 3/4 cup Boiling Water

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2. Wash the apples; remove the cores to 1/2 inch of the bottom of the apples and use a spoon to dig out the seeds. Make the holes about 3/4 to 1 inch wide.
3. In a small bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, currants/raisins, and pecans.
4. Place the apples in an 8 x 8 square baking pan and stuff each apple with this mixture; top with a dot of butter then add the boiling water to the baking pan.
5. Bake the apples 30-40 minutes until they are tender but not mushy; remove them from the oven and baste the apples several times with the pan juices.
6. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream on the side.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Double Edition)

Hello again foodie friends. Welcome to another edition of Free Recipe Wednesday. As you may have noticed, there wasn’t a Free Recipe Wednesday last week. Unfortunately, I was out sick a couple of days and instead of doing a late week recipe I figured I’d just give you all 2 recipes this week.

The first recipe, Brown Sugar Smokies, is something my boss makes often to bring in for our monthly “food day” at work. It’s really a simple finger food to make with the majority of your time putting toothpicks in each one as you wrap bacon around it. You can put these in a crock pot when they’re done for easy transport and to keep them warm if they’re going to be sitting out in a pot-luck type situation. The sweetness from the sugar and the saltiness of the bacon really works together to make these super delicious. You’ll have friends and family begging you to make them again.

The second recipe today, Spicy Deviled Eggs, is a take on the holiday classic. In our family there’s rarely a family holiday get-together without Deviled Eggs ….and if there is, someone’s in trouble. The thing about Deviled Eggs is that there are so many different ways to make them. I learned how to make them from my grandmother at an early age and ours have always been mayonnaise based. However, as I’ve gotten older and had other people’s Deviled Eggs here at work I’ve come to realize that a lot of people make them with mustard. I still prefer mine mayo based with no mustard but I’ve yet to have a bad Deviled Egg. Today’s recipe is a spicy version of Deviled Eggs, using both mayo and Dijon mustard. The Worcestershire sauce and hot pepper sauce really make these Deviled Eggs super flavorful. Give them a try, as well as the first recipe, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Brown Sugar Smokies

  • 1 lb Bacon
  • 1 pkg (16oz) Little Smokies Sausages
  • 1 c Brown Sugar (more or less to taste)
  • Toothpicks

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Cut bacon into thirds and wrap each strip around a little sausage; place a toothpick through each sausage to hold the bacon in place.
3. Arrange the sausages on a baking sheet and sprinkle them liberally with brown sugar.
4. Bake until the bacon is crisp and the brown sugar is melted.

Spicy Deviled Eggs

  • 12 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Hot Pepper Sauce, or to taste
  • 1 pinch Salt and Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Paprika, for dusting
  • 1 can (6 oz) Black Olives (optional), drained and cut in half horizontally

Following the instructions in Step 2, in regards to the cold water, will make the eggs much easier to peel.

1. Place the eggs in a saucepan with a lid, pour in water to cover, bring to a boil, and then remove the pan from the heat; cover and let stand for 10 to 12 minutes.
2. Remove the eggs from the hot water and immediately dunk them in ice water or place them under cold running water; once cooled, peel the eggs.
3. Cut each egg in half lengthwise; remove the yolks to a bowl and mash them with a fork until the yolks are “crumbly”.
4. To the yolks add mustard, mayonnaise, Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce, and salt and pepper; stir the mixture until smooth and thoroughly combined.
5. Using a spoon, piping bag, or a sturdy plastic bag with a corner cut off, fill each egg half with the deviled yolk mixture; dust each egg with a pinch of paprika.
6. If using the black olives place an olive half, round side up, in the center of each egg. 
7. Refrigerate until chilled, 20 to 30 minutes, and serve cold.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Gluten Free Friday! (Gluten Free Orange Chicken)

Happy Friday everyone! I hope everyone has had a good week and it looking forward to the weekend. Welcome to another edition of Gluten Free Friday. If you’re on a gluten free diet one of the things you really don’t get to enjoy is Chinese food. Most Chinese food, like General Chicken and Sweet and Sour Chicken, is loaded with gluten in the breading and let’s not forget about the noodles, crab rangoon, and egg rolls that are also loaded with gluten. Well today I have a solution to that problem with a Gluten Free Orange Chicken recipe. I came across this recipe one day while navigating the sea of recipes on the internet and immediately knew I was going to have to give this a try. Now I know this won’t satisfy your cravings for crab rangoon or egg rolls (though I’m working on that), but it’s a good start and hopefully this does the job of satisfying any cravings you might have for Chinese food. In addition to being Gluten Free, this dish is also low in carbs and high in protein. Give it a try and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Gluten Free Orange Chicken

For The Chicken
  • 2 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
  • 1 Tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Coconut Flour
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 Tbsp Coconut Oil

For The Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Ginger, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Orange Juice
  • 2 Tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Gluten Free Soy Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp Orange Extract
  • 2 tsp Sweetener
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
  • 1 Tbsp Orange Zest
  • 1/4 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Sesame Seeds
  • 2 Tbsp Scallions, chopped

1. Chop the chicken thighs into bite sized pieces.
2. Combine the cornstarch and coconut flour in a medium sized bowl and season with salt & pepper.
3. Add the chicken to the flour mixture and toss well until fully coated.
4. Heat coconut oil in a large saute pan.
5. Cook the chicken in small batches until golden brown and no longer pink; remove the chicken to a plate or bowl.
6. Combine the ginger, orange juice, fish sauce, soy sauce, orange extract, sweetener, water, and coriander in a blender or magic bullet and blend until smooth.
7. Pour into a saute pan and cook until reduced by half.
8. Add the chicken into the sauce and stir to coat.
9. Cook for about two minutes and then add the orange zest, sesame seeds, red pepper flakes and scallions.
10. Cook for another minute, then remove from the heat and serve garnished with more orange zest if preferred.

Approximate nutrition info per serving: 424 calories, 20g fat, 6g net carbs, 46g protein

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

New "Printer-Friendly Version" Button

As you may have noticed, there is a new "printer-friendly version" button below each recipe title that looks like the one above.  Clicking this button will open a printer-friendly version of the recipe that you can print.  Now you can print all of your favorite recipes from my blog without all of the formatting and the picture(s) so you use less ink when you print.  This button will be added to all recipe posts going forward and I will gradually be updating older recipe posts with this button as well so you can go back and print your favorites.  I hope everyone finds this new feature useful.

Free Recipe Wednesday! (Slow Cooker Pumpkin Turkey Chili)

Hello again food fanatics and welcome to another edition of Free Recipe Wednesday. This week I have another fall recipe for you. When I think of all the comfort foods out there one of the things near the top of the list would have to be chili. Chili is great on cool fall nights and it’s so easy to make. Today’s chili recipe is a sweet spicy version but doesn’t have a lot of heat so even kids or those sensitive to spice can enjoy it. If you want your chili a little spicier try using a can of medium or hot Rotel tomatoes instead of regular diced tomatoes. Also, if you don’t have fresh pumpkin you can use a 15oz can of pure pumpkin instead. I personally think this is one of the best chili recipes I’ve ever tried and it’s actually quite healthy with all of the veggies, beans for fiber, and using turkey instead of beef. Give it a try yourself and let me know what you think in the comments below.

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Turkey Chili

  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 lb Ground Turkey
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 (28 oz) can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2 cups Cubed Fresh Pumpkin
  • 1 (15 oz) can Chili Beans
  • 1 (15 oz) can Seasoned Black Beans
  • 3 Tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • Shredded Cheese and Sour Cream, for garnish

1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Brown turkey, stirring often, until crumbly and no longer pink, about 10 minutes; drain and transfer to a slow cooker.
3. Stir in diced tomatoes, pumpkin, chili beans, black beans, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and chili powder.
4. Set slow cooker to Low, cover, and cook about 3 hours or until pumpkin is tender and has started to break apart.
5. Garnish with shredded cheese and sour cream.