A while back I found a recipe on pinterest for Mongolian beef, I made it, and it was super yummy. But, lets be realistic, I can NOT afford to buy flank steak very often, if really ever! So, tonight as I was thinking about what type of Asian food I wanted to make, and debating over if I really wanted to make teriyaki chicken again or not; I had an idea! Why don't I make mongolian chicken? Well, I kind of figured it would turn out edible/ maybe somewhat terrible. haha! But, it actually was quite delicious, the boys even loved it!! I served it along side some asian inspired quinoa, topped with steamed veggis. Super yummy all the way around, and WAY cheaper and healthier then take out as the total for 6 people probably cost about $8.00.
Ingredients: (feeds 4-6 people)
about 3 lbs Chicken breast sliced into thin strips
3/4 Cups Cornstarch
1/2 Cup Safflower Oil
1 tsp Olive Oil
2 Cloves garlic minced fine
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce (if you only use regular soy sauce, I promise you it will be very salty tasting!)
1/2 cup water
1/2 Cup Organic Light Brown Sugar
1 Dried Red Chili Pepper
2 Drops Sesame oil
1/2 tsp Rice Vinegar
In a medium sauce pan over medium heat add the safflower oil, and garlic. As soon as you begin to smell the garlic aroma add the soy sauces, and water. Stir together and then add the remainder of the ingredients, continue to stir occasionaly and reduce to low/medium heat. Cook for about 7 minutes until it thickens up a bit. Then, remove from heat.
Slice your chicken breast into thin strips, and then coat with cornstarch. Then, in a wok or frying pan warm your oil over medium/high heat. Once, hot add your chicken that has been coated well with cornstarch, cook each side just until very lightly brown. (this chicken is very thin and should not need to cook for a long peroid of time to be cooked fully.) Next, remove the chicken from the oil, and lay on a papertowel to drain off any excess grease. Now, remove the remaining oil from your frying pan or wok, and return the chicken and the marinade to the pan over medium heat. Cook until the marinade thickens around the chicken and it is all coated nicely. Stiring occasionaly! Top with some freshly sliced green onions!
Mongolian Chicken w/ Quinoa and stemmed vegis. :)
Hearty Bean with Bacon Soup
Stock for dry beans:
2 Cups Water
2 Cups Vegetable, Beef, or Chicken Stock (I used low sodium organic, beef)
1 Medium Onion Diced
1 TBSP Safflower Oil
3-4 Stalks Celery Chopped into chunks
1/4 Cup Chopped Carrots
1/2 lb Great Northern Beans (dried)
1/2 Cup Split Peas (dried)
1 tsp Parsley
1 Bay Leaf
2 Cloves Garlic Minced
4 Slices of Bacon Chopped into small pieces (uncooked)
1/2 Small Onion
1 Cup Carrots Chopped Small
1 Clove Garlic Minced
2 TBSP Tomato Paste
2 Cups Water or Broth
1 1/2 Cups cooked, chopped Ham
pinch of Thyme
pinch of black pepper
pinch of Salt
1/8 tsp Liquid Smoke
**3/4 Cups Quinoa
Place a large Dutch Oven, or stock pan over medium heat. Add, oil and onions and cook until translucent. Then, add the remainder of the ingreidents for the stock for dry beans. Cover, bring to a boil, and simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours. Now, either remove from heat and leave covered, or pour into a large bowl, cover and use this pot to make the rest of the soup, whatever works! I poured out the beans, and broth and placed into a covered bowl. Place, dutch oven over medium heat again, and add the chopped bacon, cook until almost crispy, and then add onions; cook until bacon is crispy and onions are translucent. Then, add garlic, tomato paste, and carrots; cook for 1-2 minutes. Next, add the beans and stock back to the pan, and add the remainder of the ingredients, except the quinoa, do not add this yet. Bring, the soup to a boil, cover, and let simmer for about 2 hours, then add quinoa and boil for 20 minutes. Now, remove any chunks of celery, and 2 cups of the soup and place into a blender or food processor. Pulse, until you have a thick consistancy and then add back to the pot. Mix together and it is ready to serve! Hope you enjoy, our family did.
Beans and stock after simmering for 1 1/2 hours
Bacon and Onions
Spanish Style Quinoa
I have heard so much about Quinoa over the past few years, yet never tried it. I think I was scared of it, not sure why, but I seem to do that sometimes. I know its silly! Oh well, we decided recently we wanted to give it a try, so at costco the other day I bought a bag of Organic GMO free Quinoa.
From what I have read about it, it seems like its a really great option to replace rice with, as the protein benefits from it are so substantial, so that is worth giving it a try right?
So, I searched and searched for a recipe, and ended up just using the ones I found as a reference and made up my own based on our likes. I must say it came out pretty yummy. The kids even liked it, so thats always a plus!
1 tsp Safflower Oil
1 Cup "uncooked" Organic Quinoa (rinsed)
2 Cups Organic Low Sodium Beef Broth (Vegetable, Chicken ,or Water)
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/8 tsp Black Pepper
1/8 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin
1/4 cup Fresh diced tomatoes (about 1/2 a tomato)
1 Cup Organic Black Beans (Cooked Spanish Style - recipe below)
Approx 1 tsp fresh cilantro
Prep all of your ingredients, and then in a sauce pan that is preheated over medium heat add the safflower oil, and quinoa. While stiring cook for about 30 seconds, then add your broth and seasonings to the pan, cover and bring to a boil. Then, reduce to simmer/low heat and cook for 10 mins. Next, remove the lid, and quickly add your black beans and cilantro. Then, replace the lid and cook for 2 more minutes. Now, remove your pan from the burner, being sure to keep it covered allow to cool for atleast 5 minutes. Now, fluff and serve.
Spanish Style Black Beans:
Combine one 15 ounce can of rinsed organic black beans, 1 cup broth or water, 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/4 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/8 tsp granulated garlic, and pinch of black pepper. Bring to a soft boil, uncovered for a about 8 minutes, then drain off excess liquid and serve .
Yummy to add into tacos, burritos, taco salads, rices, quinoa, over salads and more! :)
Simple French Bread
We really loved french bread, but as we began our journey into healthier eating it definitely was not on the list of things to eat often! Bread is a very useless carb., and with the bread in stores being full of unknown ingredients we just don't really eat it much anymore. Well, the kids have been asking for french bread, so I decided to make some.
1 1/4 Cups Warm Water
1 Package Rapid Rise Yeast
1 TBSP Organic Unrefined Sugar
1 TBSP White Vinegar
Place all of these ingredients into the bowl of your electic mixer, and allow to sit for about 5 mins.
1/2 to 1 tsp Salt (we go for a low sodium diet, but 1 tsp is "normal" amount)
2 TBSP Safflower Oil
Approx. 4 Cups Unbleached ALL Purpose Flour (I used a little more, but it will all depend)
I used my dough attachment, and kneaded the bread for 3-4 minutes, then turn out onto a floured surface. Grease a cookie sheet with a small amount of safflower oil, and sprinkle with cornmeal. Then, roll your dough out into 2 "loaf" shape rolls, and place onto your cookie sheet. Now, slash the tops, and use an egg wash to brush over the top. Next, place in a warm area, and allow to rise for atleast 1 hour. Then, place into a preheated 375 degree oven, and bake for about 35 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool fully before you slice!
Santa Fe Chicken Salad
I've been on a search for salad recipes, that the whole family would enjoy. I came across a Santa Fe Chicken salad that looked so yummy. So, I decided to try and make my own.
3 Chicken Breasts Filleted in 1/2 to make thin Chicken Breasts
(You will use these to sprinkle on each side)
1 clove garlic, grated or minced fine
1 tablespoon onion minced really fine
juice of 1 lime
1/2 teaspoon Cumin
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/4 teaspoon Chili Powder
1/4 cup Organic sour cream
A little sprinkle of organic unrefined sugar
2 TBSP Safflower oil
2 Heads Romaine Lettuce
1 Sweet Red Pepper Sliced thin
1/2 Green Pepper Sliced Thin
Carrots grated or sliced thin
1 Cup Spinach
*Add any other vegetables your family enjoys!
Filet chicken breasts in 1/2, and then sprinkle the seasonings on each side. Allow to sit for a few minutes while you mix up your dressing, and prepare your salad.
In a small bowl combine sour cream, and all seasoning; whisk together until well combined, then slowly add the oil while you conitinue to whisk until everything is well mixed.
Prepare your salad, and place on dinner plates, or in a serving bowl.
Now, over medium heat place a frying pan, drizzle a small amount of safflower oil over your chicken breast, and place them into the frying pan. Cover and cook each side for about 4 minutes. (depending on thickness this easily could take longer, be sure your meat is cooked well!)
We garnished with a little shredded colby jack cheese, and cilantro over the top!
Chicken Sprinkled with seasonings.
You can do it as a wrap too! -- This one had mexican bean salad on top..
We LOVE chili, but when I gave up buying canned foods, we haven't had it to often. Finally, came up with a recipe that everyone in the house enjoys!
1 TBSP Safflower Oil
1 Yellow Onion Diced
1/2 Red Bell Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves Minced
4-5 Cups Beef Broth (depending on how thick you want your chili)
1 Can (organic low sodium) Diced Tomatoes (or about 6 small tomatoes diced)
2 Cups precooked ground beef (Organic 93/7)
1/2 can organic tomato paste
2 TBSP Chili Powder
1 1/2 tsp Paprika
1 1/2 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1/8 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Crushed Black Pepper
In a large stock pot, or dutch oven place 1 TBSP of safflower oil over medium heat. Then, add diced onions and red peppers saute until tender. Next, add tomatoes and cook for about 30 seconds, then add remainder of ingredients EXCEPT the beans (you will add these later). Now, bring to a boil, cover and let simmer for about 1 hour. Then, add all the drained and rinsed beans to the pot, cover and allow to cook for about 2 more hours.
Serve with cheese, sour cream, fresh diced onions, or any other toppings your family enjoys. :)
Towards the beginning of summer I attempted to grill pizza, while it came out ok the charcoal grill was too hot, the dough wasn't cooked all the way and there were overcooked parts on the bottom of the crust. This time, I did more research, and used the gas grill!
I started with making my Pizza dough like normal. You can fid the recipe HERE
. However, I usually tend to add a little bit of granulated garlic, and italian seasoning to the dough too.
I then let the dough rise, and then split it in half to make two thin crust pizzas.
After I had them rolled out, I used a little safflower oil, and a brush to lightly grease the BBQ grill. Then I flipped my dough over onto the Grill.
In the meantime I had my gas grill on, and warming up! I then brought out my grill and set it on the grill. I then allowed each side to cook until golden brown. (using a hot pad holder just pick up your grill to look at the bottom. You may want to rotate your grill too, if possible because some areas of the BBQ are hotter then others!
Ok, so this is one step I didn't think to much about. I was worried about the dough getting over cooked again, so I flipped it. But, I should have cooked the side that was going to get the toppings more! It turned out fine, but its something to keep in mind, the top will not really cook anymore once you have flipped it! :)
Once both sides were "cooked" I slipped it onto a tray and brought it inside and put all the toppings on. Then, put it back onto the grill! You could easily make up a bunch of these and freeze them, to have an AWESOME crust for during the cold, winter months.
Toppings on, and back on the grill. I close the grill while it is cooking, and I rotated it a few times, to be sure that each area was cooking the same.
The crust came out perfect! It tasted like when you go out to eat at one of those brick oven places. Where they cook the pizza in the fire place. :)
Pizza number one! Red peppers, green onions, artichokes, cheddar and mozzarella cheese. :) Super yummy!
Pizza number two! Roasted red peppers, green onions, artichokes, and provolone & sundred tomato organic chicken sausage. (we do not use pepperoni anymore, so we buy different organic chicken sausages and slice them thing to use in place of pepperoni, and everyone loves it)!
Tonight I didnt make pizza sauce, I bought a jar of Organic Marinara sauce, and used that. :)
Italian Chicken Bites
We do not buy chicken nuggets, yet that is something kids always seem to enjoy! So, I have came up with a few alternatives, and the kids all really like them, and so do we!
2 Chicken Breasts Chopped in to large chunks
3/4 cup flour
1 Tbsp Dried Parsley
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp Crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
1 tbsp safflower, or olive oil
Start by preheating your oven to 350 and lightly greasing your cookie sheet with the safflower oil. Then, in a bowl, or on a plate combine all the dry ingredients stir together well. Now, in a ziploc bag, or a bowl place the chicken and egg. Make sure each piece is covered well with egg. Then, remove each piece of chicken with a fork and lay into the flour mixture, turn over to coat each side. Place your chicken bites onto the greased cookie sheet and cookie for about 10 mins, flip and cooke the other side for 5-10 mins depending on thickness of your chicken. Serve with some marinara suace, or ranch!
A few months back I began experimenting with making mexican refried beans.. While my first few attempts were edible, and even some what good they still were not exactly what I wanted. In the meantime I have been working hard on them, and this is the closest I have came so far, and we REALLY like time!! The receipe is pretty similar to the mexican pinto beans recipe I previously posted, but not quite. And, we like them SO much better!
2 Cups Dried Pinto Beans (rinsed)
2 tbsp sauteed sweet onions
2 garlic cloves minced, or chopped small
3 cups Organic Low Sodium Beef Broth
3 cups water
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 cup Salsa
a small pinch of crushed black pepper
Refrying: (DO NOT ADD TO CROCK POT)
1 tbsp safflower oil
1/4 cup cheddar cheese shredded
In a small frying pan place 1 tsp safflower oil over medium heat, once warm add sliced sweet onions. Once, golden brown add them to the crockpot. Then, add all remaining ingredients. Now, cover and cook on high for 4-6 hours. I usually do about 5 hours on high, and 1 hour on low. Once they seem done, using a potato masher, smash the beans until the are the consistancy you are looking for. Now, if you want to refry them, heat a medium sized frying pan over medium heat, then add 1 tbsp of safflower oil. Once, hot pour the beans in, this should sizzle a bit. Now, you can turn down the heat to low/medium you should be stirring frequently so they do not over cook on the bottom. Then, add your shredded cheese and mix in until melted. Refrying should take about 5 mins, they will be a little thicker then when you poured them in. Enjoy!
Banana - Blueberry (ice cream)
I saw some recipes on pinterest about making a "fake" ice cream out of bananas, so today we decided to try it. I peeled and froze 2 bananas a few days ago, so I would be prepared whenever I was ready to make this, however you could just do that couple hours ahead of time. The "ice cream" came out really creamy and tasty, even the kids enjoyed it! :)
After freezing the bananas the first thing I did was chop them up, and put them in my food processor. I would have to say this would be easier in a blender, but I dont have one.
After pulsing for a bit, you will have a bunch of little crumbs, this is when you might want to add other fruits. We chose to add blueberries, next time we are going to use strawberries. I added 1 cup of frozen blueberries, but you could add fresh too.
All blended up, and creamy! Super yummy, and great consistancy. AND ONLY FRUIT!!! :)
2 frozen bananas
1 cup blueberries
Place bananas in a food processor of blender and pulse until in crumbs, then add blueberries, and pulse until smooth. This made approximately 4 scoops of "ice cream".