Posts tagged garlic

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I bought some butternut squash and doubled, then modified this recipe: Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese from Cooking Light.  Tim had no idea I was feeding him vegetables until after he’d eaten.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups peeled and sliced butternut squash
  • 2 cans fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth (I actually used one chicken broth and one vegetable broth)
  • 3 cups milk (I used 1.5 Almond Milk and 1.5 1% milk)
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups 2% Velveeta, cubed.
  • 2 lbs. uncooked noodles (I used bowties and whole wheat rigatoni)
  • cooking spray
  • 1 cup homemade bread crumbs, optional (toasted wheat bread and Italian Seasoning, smashed together.)

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 375°.
  • Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a paper towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in cheeses. Stir until combined.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into glass or ceramic baking dish(es) coated with cooking spray.
  • Top with bread crumbs
  • Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Serve immediately.  Top with grilled chicken (and/or bacon, tofu) if you want.

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Mmm, Spicy Chili!

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Ingredients:

  • 2lbs. Ground Beef
  • 3 cans Rotel
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce
  • 2 cans low sodium red kidney beans
  • 2 cans low sodium white kidney beans
  • 1 can low sodium pinto beans
  • 1 can low sodium garbanzo beans
  • 2 cans light beer
  • 1 can beef broth
  • Garlic (fresh or Garlic Powder (I used refrigerated garlic from a jar)
  • Chili Powder(s) (I used regular from the store and Piri Piri from Cruelie)
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Cajun Seasoning (basically more chili powder)
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Cumin
  • Hot Sauce (I used my own Fire In Your Hole (Mango Habanero) and Tortuga Hellfire)
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Fritos
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • Sour Cream

Chili Ramblings:

You really can’t fuck up chili.  You just throw shit in a crock pot and leave it for a while, and it’s magically delicious in a few hours.  However, quality ingredients and a few tips I’ve learned over the years will certainly benefit any chili chef.  This recipe probably can’t be replicated, since you won’t be able to access the same ingredients (Cruelie’s Piri Piri chili powder, Tortuga Hellfire sauce, or my own Fire in Your Hole sauce (I don’t think I had a recipe… If I did, I can’t find it…))

So, some tips before I get into how I made this:

  1. Beer.  Always put beer in the crock pot.  Doesn’t matter what kind, just dump some in.
  2. Sugar.  It makes the ingredients blend together.  I always throw in a pinch or two.
  3. Cinnamon Stick.  It’s like chili chocolate.  I don’t know how, but cinnamon in chili is a fucking must.  Do it.  Trust me.  This was my first attempt using nutmeg as well.  I think it worked also, but it’s too soon to make a “tip” out of it.
  4. Beans.  Who says you have to use “chili” beans or even red kidney beans?  I always use them as a base, but include a variety.
  5. Beef.  Some argue to use ground chuck or other expensive beef.  Frankly: you won’t taste it with the other flavors.  Don’t waste your money.  If you want to waste money, get a more expensive beer and fancy spices. These will enhance your flavor better than expensive meat.
  6. Quality spices.  The things that make this chili fabulous are my Fire in Your Hole sauce and my Piri Piri Chili Powder.  There are fancy herb/spice shops you can get good, fresh spices at to include in your chili over the traditional store bought ones.  Invest in one for your chili!
  7. When you think you’ve put enough seasoning in…. double it.  😉  Kidding.  Sort of.  I didn’t give amounts of the spices I used, because it is always “to taste.”  But I dump a shit ton of seasoning in.

Directions: (You’ll put most of the seasonings into the meat while it cooks as well as the crock pot.  Everything except: cinnamon, sugar, and nutmeg only go into the crockpot.  Crushed red pepper and garlic only go into the meat.)

  1. Brown Ground Beef.
    • Season with: chili powder, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic, cajun seasoning, cumin, crushed red pepper, 1/2 can of beer.
    • Once beef is browned and beer has cooked off, add hot sauce(s) and cook another minute or so.  Remove from heat, toss into crockpot.
  2. Dump into crockpot:
    • beef
    • rotel
    • all the beans
    • tomato sauce
    • Season with: chili powders, cayenne pepper, onion powder, cajun seasoning, cumin, cinnamon stick(s), nutmeg, sugar.
    • the rest of the beer
    • beef broth
  3. Cook on low 6-8 hours.  If it’s watery, cook on high for a bit to boil off the liquids.
  4. Enjoy with fritos, cheese, and sour cream.

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Carribbean Cottage Cheese Dip

cottageCottage Cheese Dip Recipe

24 oz cottage cheese (I use 1%)

bundle green onions

2-6 cloves garlic

salt & pepper to taste.

Directions: Put ingredients in food processor and blend like a crazy person.  Serve with kettle chips or fresh veggies.  This is a great “light” dip option for garlic and onion lovers.

It’s caribbean because that’s where I first had it.  My parents live in Grand Cayman, and some of their island native friends had us over for dinner one night, years ago.  They served this dip.

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Brussel Sprouts and Shitake Lo Mein

Brussels Sprouts and Shiitake Lo Mein Recipe

Wow.  This was amazing.  Mmm….

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Changes to the recipe.

  • First–I used one package fresh Shitake Mushrooms instead of dried.  No brainer, right?
  • Second–instead of 4oz egg noodles, I used the whole bag–12oz.  (I increased everything else a smidge as well.)
  • Sprouts carries “Mung Sprouts,” but they were out.  Their regular sprouts were $3,99!  So I thought I’d get them for $1.99 like I used to at King Soopers.  D’Oh!  King Soopers no longer carries sprouts!  So I had to return to Sprouts a second time to purchase sprouts.  Irony?

I can’t explain how good this was.  Without Soy Sauce, a little bland, but… still a rich garlic flavor (that I love.)  Only put a splash of Soy Sauce on, though.  Tim and I both overdid it.  🙂  When I make this again, I will splurge and use two cartons of Shitake Mushrooms.  Also, I might add some tofu or chicken to make it a one-skillet-meal. Tonight, I served it with Thai Fish Sauce and Lime Chicken.  The flavors definitely complemented one another, but I think each can stand alone.

Nutritional Information:

Amount per serving (Yield 6 servings)

  • Calories: 214
  • Calories from fat: 43%
  • Protein: 6.3g
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 1.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 26g
  • Fiber: 4.3g
  • Sodium: 286mg
  • Cholesterol: 19mg

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Post-practice goodness

I’m going to start reblogging good looking recipes.

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