Saturday, March 30, 2013

East Meets West Salisbury Steak

This isn't your traditional Salisbury Steak recipe.  This recipe has an Asian-flair with the water chestnuts and hoisin sauce.  This is also great served over brown rice.  I much prefer this version over the Salisbury Steak I had in elementary school.

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts
1/2 cup chopped green onion, divided
1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
2 1/2 TBS hoisin sauce, divided
3 tsp minced ginger, divided (fresh or jarred, not dried)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1/2 cup reduced-sodium beef broth
1 TBS rice vinegar
1 tsp brown sugar

In a medium bowl, lightly mix the beef, water chestnuts, 1/4 cup green onions, bell pepper, 1 1/2 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 2 teaspoon ginger and pepper.  Shape into four 3 1/2 inch patties.

Spray a large non-stick skillet with cooking spray and place over medium heat.  Add the patties and cook for 4 minutes on each side until cooked through.  Remove the cooked "steaks," cover, and set aside.

With the skillet still over medium heat, add the beef broth, 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, vinegar, 1 teaspoon ginger, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup green onions to the pan.  Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the sauce is slightly thickened.  Return the steaks to the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes, until thoroughly heated through.  Serve topped with hoisin pan sauce.

Makes 4 servings

Source:  Eat More of What You Love - Marlene Koch


Classic Creamed Spinach

When I found this recipe for a healthy version of creamed spinach, I just knew I had to make it.  It was delicious.  You could also add chopped artichoke hearts or water chestnuts and serve this as an appetizer.

2 (10 oz) pkgs frozen chopped spinach
2 tsp butter
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots or onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cornstarch
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional - I didn't use this.)
3 TBS light cream cheese
3/4 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese

Place the frozen spinach in a large microwave-safe bowl, add 1/2 cup of water, cover, and microwave on high for 9 minutes.  Place the spinach in a colander, using a spoon or small plate, press the water out of the spinach until the spinach is dry.

In a large non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the shallots (or onion) and cook until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.

Stir the cornstarch into the milk along with liquid smoke (if using).  Add the mixture to the pan, bring to a simmer, and simmer for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened.  Reduce heat to low and stir in the cream cheese, seasoned salt and pepper.  Cook until smooth.

Stir in the spinach and increase the heat to medium.  While gently stirring, cook for 2-3 minutes or until thoroughly coated (if adding spinach creates excess water, continue cooking until thick again).  Stir in Parmesan cheese and serve.

Makes 4 servings

Source:  Eat More of What You Love - Marlene Koch


Saturday, March 23, 2013

Navy Bean and Ham Soup

This is Kimberly's favorite soup.  I think she makes extra ham so I will make this soup.

2 cups (1 pkg) dry small Navy beans
6 cups water
5 cups chicken broth
2 - 3 TBS chicken bouillon granules
3 cups water
1 large meaty ham bone (use more ham if you wish)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1/2 tsp pepper
1 bay leaf
2 medium onions, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup potato flakes (optional)
1/4 cup parsley

Place navy beans in a stock pot.  Cover with 6 cups water.  Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes  Remove from heat and cover.  Let sit for one hour.  Drain.  

Add chicken broth, chicken bouillon granules, water, ham bone, thyme, salt, marjoram, pepper and bay leaf.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours.

Saute onions, carrots, celery and garlic in olive oil until tender.  Add to the soup.  Cover and simmer for one hour.  Stir occasionally.

Optional:  Add 1/2 cup of potato flakes if you prefer a thicker soup.             

Remove the ham bone from the soup.  De-bone the ham, cut ham into chunks and return to the soup.  Skim the fat and add 1/4 cup parsley. 


Split Pea and Ham Soup

This is a great soup for a cold day!  This is a perfect way to use up leftover ham. 


2 TBS oil
2 medium onions, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 bag split peas
8 cups water
1 ham bone or 1 cup ham, cubed
1/4 tsp thyme
3 medium red potatoes, peeled & diced 
1 tsp salt

additional water if necessary

Saute onions, celery, carrots and garlic in 2 TBS oil for 5 minutes.
Add bag of split peas, water, ham bone and thyme.
Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour.

Add potatoes.  Simmer for another 30 minutes.

Remove ham bone and pull meat off and set aside.

Using an immersion blender or potato masher, blend some of the soup.  Add ham meat and 1 tsp salt.  Add up to 2 cups water if too thick.


Friday, March 22, 2013

Breakfast Burritos

At work we have a 'pig-out' day right before Christmas.  A co-worker makes these Breakfast Burritos every year and they are always the first to disappear.  The burritos are wrapped in foil and kept warm in a crockpot.  I seriously think people stand by the door waiting for him to walk in with his crockpot..they are that good!

1 lb. Ground Chuck
1 lb. Chorizo (a Mexican sausage)
1/2 to 1 onion (to taste)
1 - 1 1/2 peppers (red and/or green) (to taste)
1/2 package Taco Seasoning mix
1/4 cup water
12 eggs
1 pkg (4 cups) finely shredded cheese (I used cheddar, but a white cheese or Mexican blend would be good, too)
about 30 flour tortillas (I purchased the 7" Fajita size)

Saute the onion and peppers.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Brown the ground chuck and the chorizo.  Drain the grease.  Add the taco seasoning mix and the water.  Stir to combine.

In a separate skillet, scramble the eggs.  Salt and pepper to taste.

Combine all of the above ingredients in a large bowl and gently stir.  Gently stir in the cheese.

Fill each tortilla with a heaping 1/4 cupful of the mixture.  Fold up opposite top and bottom ends and roll.  I found that the tortillas fold/roll better if they are warmed slightly in the microwave to make them more pliable.  (Tip:  when warming the shells, place a cup of hot water in the microwave next to the shells to add moisture so they do not dry out.  Warm just a few shells at a time).

Wrap each tortilla in foil.  When you are ready to eat them, you can warm them in the toaster oven (you may leave the foil on them) or in the microwave (remove the foil!).

This recipe makes a lot of burritos.  They are great to freeze so you have them handy whenever you need a quick breakfast on the go.  To freeze them, put the foil-wrapped burritos in a Ziploc bag. 

Makes 30


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Smothered Chicken

I really enjoy the flavor combination of spinach, mushrooms and cheese.  When I saw this recipe, I knew I had to make it.  It was delicious!  I found there is a little bit of multi-tasking with this recipe, however, the end results are sure worth it!

For the sauteed mushrooms: (I doubled the mushrooms...cuz I love 'em!)
8 oz package mushrooms, sliced
1/2 stick butter
2 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

For the creamed spinach:
1 large bag of spinach leaves
4 ounces cream cheese
1/4 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 TBS onion, minced
2 TBS olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the chicken:
4-5 boneless chicken breasts (mine were very thick so I only used 3 breast, butterflied them and then cut in half so I ended up with 6 pieces of chicken)
8-10 slices Mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/8 inch slices
1 TBS garlic powder
1 TBS seasoned salt, like Lawry's
1 TBS pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

For the mushrooms, melt butter and 2 TBS olive oil in a skillet.  Put the mushrooms in the pan and cook until browned all over.  Don't season with salt until they are browned or they will never brown.  Deglaze the pan with the wine.  Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until most of the wine is cooked out.  Set aside.

While the mushrooms are cooking, in another skillet melt 2 TBS olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions and saute 2-3 minutes.  Add the spinach and garlic.  It will shrink ridiculously.  When it's cooked through, stir in the cream cheese and Parmesan cheese.  Continue cooking and stirring until the cream cheese is melted.  Remove from the heat.  Set aside.

While the spinach is cooking, sprinkle the garlic powder, seasoned salt and pepper on both sides of the chicken.  Bake for 16 minutes.

After the chicken has baked for 16 minutes, turn them over.  Divide the spinach and mushrooms over the top of each breast.  Lay two slices of cheese over each piece of chicken.  Cook another 12-14 minutes or until cheese is browned and the chicken is done.



Mini Focaccia

I served these Mini Focaccia with the Smothered Chicken dish that is posted on this site.  They are also great with soup, salad or a pasta dish. You can also find my recipe in the March/April 2006 issue of Country Woman Magazine and on the Taste of Home website.

1 tube (11 oz) refrigerated breadsticks
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese

Remove dough from tube; do not unroll breadsticks.  Cut dough into eight slices; transfer to a greased baking sheet.  Press each to form a 4 1/2 inch circle.  Brush tops with olive oil; sprinkle with Italian seasoning and Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown.  Makes 8 focaccia.


Friday, March 8, 2013

Raspberry Angel Dessert

A friend of mine from work shared this recipe with me.  It is so delicious and refreshing!  This dessert is perfect for any occasion!

3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
3/4 tsp. vinegar
2 (10 oz) bags frozen raspberries - keep the juice!  (do not use raspberries in syrup)
1 small pkg. tapioca pudding (not instant)
1 (8 oz) Cool Whip  (or more if you prefer)*

Beat egg whites until stiff.  Beat in 1/2 cup sugar.  Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar alternately with vinegar (1/4 tsp each time).  Pour into a buttered 9" x 13" baking dish.  Bake at 275 for one hour.  Let cool.

Drain the raspberry juice into a 2 cup measuring bowl; add enough water to make 2 cups of liquid.  Add liquid and tapioca pudding mix to a sauce pan and cook until thick.  Fold raspberries into pudding and cool. 

Spoon 1/2 of the Cool Whip over cooled meringue crust, then spread cooled raspberry mixture over Cool Whip; top with remaining Cool Whip.

Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving.

* I have also made this dessert using whipped cream sweetened with a little powdered sugar.  It turned out great.


Sunday, March 3, 2013


Top this chili with some chopped onions, shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream.  Serve with Frito chips or corn bread and you have a satisfying meal for a cold winter day. 


2 lbs ground chuck, lightly browned til no longer pink, drain grease

2 tsp sugar
½ tsp cumin
1 ½ TBS chili powder
1 ½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ tsp onion salt

1 – 29 oz can tomato sauce
2 - 15.5 oz cans red kidney beans, undrained
2 - 15.5 oz cans pinto beans, undrained
1 - 15.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 cup celery, diced

Brown the meat, drain grease.  Combine spices and add to meat.
Combine remaining ingredients and add to meat.
Bring chili to a simmer. Continue to simmer on medium-low heat for 20 to 30 minutes.  Stir every 10 minutes, or so.

Adjust seasonings to taste. 

* If you chose to drain and rinse the beans, you may need to add about 1 1/2 cups of additional liquid (beef broth, tomato sauce, tomato soup or water)
Makes 6 servings (2 cups per serving)
This freezes well.