• from Cooking Light, June 2011

    4 (6-ounce) baking potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
    1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream.
    1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
    2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    Directions:

    Place potato pieces in a microwave-safe bowl.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap; cut a 1-inch slit in the center of the plastic wrap.  Microwave at HIGH 10 minutes.  Let stand for 2 minutes.  Add sour cream and remaining ingredients to bowl; mash with a potato masher.  Yield: 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup).

    Southwest Variation:

    Omit sour cream and chives; decrease milk to 2 tablespoons and salt to 1/4 teaspoon.  Add 3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt; 1 tablespoon chopped chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce; and 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin.

    Roasted Garlic Variation:

    Omit sour cream and chives; increase milk to 3/4 cup.  Add 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted garlic cloves and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage.

    Bacon And Cheddar Variation:

    Decrease salt to 1/4 teaspoon.  Add 1/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese and 1 slice center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled; mash with a potato masher to desired consistency.

  • 5 or 6 cups leftover cooked chicken, coarsely chopped
    2 cups prepared marinara sauce
    2 teaspoons olive oil
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 red bell pepper, chopped
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    1 heaping teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
    Salt and pepper to taste
    Burger Buns, Parmesan Cheese and Provolone Cheese for serving

    Directions:

    Spray a 4-quart crock-pot with cooking spray.  Add the chicken and marinara sauce to the pot.

    In a saute pan, add the olive oil and heat over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook for three minutes, or until softened.  Add the bell pepper and cook for another two minutes.  Add the garlic and Italian seasoning and cook for an additional two minutes or until very fragrant.  Season with salt and pepper as desired.

    Add the sauteed mixture to the crock-pot and give everything a stir to combine.  Add the lid to the pot and turn it on to the low setting.  Cook for 4 hours on low.

    To serve, top each bun with a portion of the mixture and sprinkle each serving with Parmesan, and then add a slice of Provolone as well.  For added flavor, run the sandwiches (open-faced) under the broiler for a minute to brown and toast the Provolone on top.  Serve immediately.

    Makes about 8 sandwiches.

  • from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Family Favorites

    serves 8

    1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    1 cup hoisin sauce
    1/2 cup honey
    1/2 cup pineapple juice or papaya nectar (I used 1/2 cup crushed pineapple)
    1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
    1/4 cup peanut or sesame oil
    2 tablespoons chopped garlic
    8 pounds country-style pork spareribs, cut into serving pieces of 3 to 4 ribs

    1. In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, hoisin, honey, pineapple juice, vinegar, oil and garlic.  Add the ribs and turn to completely coat them with the marinade.  Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.

    2. Arrange the ribs in the slow cooker and pour the marinade over them.  If you are using a round cooker, lift the ribs so the sauce can get between them.  Cover and cook on low for 8 to 9 hours, until the meat is tender and starts to separate from the bone.  Serve immediately with lots of napkins.

  • from Bon Appetit’s Fast, Easy, Fresh Cookbook

    12 ounces rigatoni (I used 16 ounces- an entire box)
    1 1/2 cups diced ham (about 8 ounces- and this you could buy from the deli pre-chopped)
    4 large plum tomatoes, chopped
    1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces)
    1 cup (packed) grated mozzarella cheese (about 4 ounces)
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
    1 cup heavy whipping cream

    Directions:

    Preheat oven to 375ºF.  Butter a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish.  Cook rigatoni in a large pot of boiling salted water until just tender- but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally.  Drain.  Place in prepared baking dish.  Mix in ham, tomatoes, cheeses and thyme.  Pour cream over.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to blend.  Cover with foil.

    Bake pasta 15 minutes.  Uncover and stir to coat pasta evenly with melted cheeses.  Cover again. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes longer.

    Makes 6 servings.

  • “It’s seasoned with soy sauce.”

    1 onion, sliced
    2 cups sliced celery
    2 tablespoons fat
    1 can (19 ounces) bean sprouts, undrained (whoops! I drained!)
    1 1/2 cups finely diced cooked chicken
    2 chicken bouillon cubes
    1 1/2 cups hot water
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    1/4 cup cold water
    Salt and pepper
    Chow-mein noodles

    Cook onion and celery in fat 10 minutes.  Add sprouts, chicken, bouillon dissolved in hot water.  Bring to a boil; simmer 5 minutes.  Add soy sauce.  Stir in cornstarch blended with cold water.  Cook, stirring until thickened.  Season.  Serve over noodles, with more soy sauce, if desired.  Makes 4 servings.

  • 6 pounds ground chuck, browned and drained
    2 (40 ounce) cans Brooks Hot Chili Beans
    1 (128 ounce) can kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
    2 (40 ounce) cans water
    1 (128 ounce) cans diced tomatoes (#10 can)
    2 large green peppers, diced
    2 large red bell peppers, diced
    2 large onions, diced
    8 cloves garlic, minced
    4 Tablespoons beef bouillion granules
    2 Tablespoons ground cumin
    3 Tablespoons chili powder
    Black pepper and salt to taste

    Directions:

    Combine all the ingredients in a large 18 quart Nesco roaster.  Cook at 350ºF for about 4 hours, stirring frequently.  Add additional chili powder if needed.

  • Excellent on Pork

    sprigs lemon thyme (about 1 tablespoon leaves when removed)

    1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 cup)
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    2 teaspoons peanut oil

    Combine all the ingredients in a container for marinating.  Marinate your meat for 30 minutes to an hour- flipping at least once to get both sides.

    Cook your meat using your preferred method.

  • from BHG Kids Favorites Made Healthy

    Nonstick cooking spray
    8 Chicken Drumsticks
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon black pepper
    2 cloves garlic, mined, or 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
    2 teaspoons cooking oil
    3/4 cup bottle barbecue sauce
    1/4 cup catsup
    1/4 cup orange juice or water
    2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
    2 tablespoons light molasses or maple-flavored syrup
    Several dashes hot sauce (optional) (We skipped)
    Directions:

    Lightly coat a 15x10x1-inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Skin chicken. Arrange chicken in prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake in a 375ºF oven for 25 minutes.

    Meanwhile, for sauce, in a medium saucepan cook garlic in hot oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Stir in barbecue sauce, catsup, juice, brown sugar, molasses, and, if desired, hot sauce.  Heat through.

    Carefully brush chicken with sauce. Turn chicken and brush with additional sauce.  Bake for 20 to 25 minutes more or until chicken is no longer pink (180º).  Reheat any remaining sauce; drizzle some of the sauce over the chicken; pass remaining sauce.

  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
    1 large carrot, shredded
    1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
    1/2 pound sugar snap peas, halved
    2 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast meat
    1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
    1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds, toasted
    2 tablespoons white sugar
    2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
    1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
    1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
    1/4 teaspoon  ground dry mustard
    Directions:

    In a large bowl, mix together the onions, carrot, red pepper, peas, chicken, cilantro and almonds. Set aside.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, vinegar, sesame oil, teriyaki sauce and dry mustard until smooth. Pour over salad mixture and toss until coated. Serve in pita pockets or on a bed of lettuce.


  • 1/2  cup  chicken broth
    1/4  cup  chunky peanut butter
    1/4  cup  low-sodium soy sauce
    3  tablespoons  brown sugar
    2  tablespoons  rice vinegar
    2  teaspoons  grated peeled fresh ginger
    2  teaspoons  chile paste with garlic
    4  garlic cloves, minced
    Directions:

    Combine the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until smooth, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

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