Sunday, March 28, 2010

Garbanzo Bean and Pasta Soup- Meatless Monday

I am preparing for meatless Monday again. This week we are having a soup with garbanzo beans. The beans are something a bit different, but have a great taste and provide a lot of protien. If you go to find them in the store- they are called garbanzo beans or chickpeas. It is the same ingedient used to make hummas (one of my personal favorites). If you buy them canned you will want two cans. One thing to think about- canned beans contain much higher levels of sodium than dried beans, but when you forget to soak the beans the night before, the cans can be a lifesaver. Anyway, have a good week. ksg

1 4 cup box of vegetable broth
1 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
1 bag of garbanzo beans (soaked overnight)
1 cup of small shell pasta
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Mix all ingredients, except pasta, in the crockpot. Turn on low for 6 to 8 hours. 45 minutes prior to serving, stir in pasta. Serve with cheese on top and a side of bread.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Homemade Chicken Tenders via Jamie Oliver

My household has been eating differently this year. At least five nights a week we eat at home. I only purchase locally grown beef (Still haven't found a good supply of local chicken). I feel good about what my family is eating, and our budget for meals out is looking better. This week a new reality show came on, Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. I watched him on Oprah this Friday and totally agree with what he is doing. When I look at what I allow my kids to eat sometimes, it is crushing. I want to be part of the generation to change that. The girls are starting to help me to plan out our meals- they think it is fun. Tonight they helped me make pizza- they were thrilled and it was cheaper. This is the recipe girls want to try tomorrow night. Check out Jamie Oliver's other recipes at

Crunchy Garlic Chicken

1 clove garlic
1 lemon
6 cream or plain crackers , such as Jacob's
2 Tbsp. butter
4 sprigs fresh Italian parsley
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 heaping Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 large egg , preferably free-range or organic
2 skinless chicken breast fillets , preferably free-range or organic
Olive oil

Directions: To prepare your chicken: Peel the garlic and zest the lemon. Put your crackers into a food processor with the butter, garlic, parsley sprigs, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper. Whiz until the mixture is very fine, then pour these crumbs on to a plate. Sprinkle the flour on to a second plate. Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork. Lightly score the underside of the chicken breasts. Put a square of plastic wrap over each one and bash a few times with the bottom of a pan until the breasts flatten out a bit. Dip the chicken into the flour until both sides are completely coated, then dip into the egg and finally into the flavored crumbs. Push the crumbs on to the chicken breasts so they stick—you want the meat to be totally coated.To cook your chicken: You can either bake or fry the chicken. If baking, preheat your oven to its highest temperature (475°), place your chicken on a sheet pan and cook for 15 minutes. If frying, put a frying pan on a medium heat, add a few good lugs of olive oil and cook the chicken breasts for 4 to 5 minutes on each side, until cooked through, golden and crisp. To serve your chicken: Either serve the chicken breasts whole, or cut them into strips and pile them on a plate. Beautiful and simple served with a lemon wedge for squeezing over, and a tiny sprinkling of salt. Great with a lovely fresh salad or simply dressed veggies.

This recipe is taken from Jamie's Food Revolution by Jamie Oliver (Hyperion). ?? Jamie Oliver, 2009

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


We have done Meatless Mondays pretty smoothly. This week I made a quick quesadilla and served it with beans and rice. The girls got plain cheese quesadillas, but I made the adult ones with veggies, too. It was exactly what the girls order when we eat Mexican food, so they lapped it up. Clay would have rather had chicken, but was okay with the veggies only option. This is a recipe that can be different every time you make it, and you can have it on the table in a short amount of time.

Basic Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of quesadilla cheese (it will make about 5)
  • 1 package of 10 inch tortillas (1 for each person)

Optional Ingredients:

  • Sauteed onion
  • Sauteed green pepper
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Black beans
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Pico di Gallo
Dipping Sauces
  • Guacamole
  • Sour Cream
  • Salsa
  • Pico di Gallo

Heat 12-inch non-stick skillet or flat griddle over medium heat. Coat with vegetable oil spray. Cook quesadillas, 1 at a time, 3 minutes or until golden, turning halfway during cooking. Cut into wedges to serve.

**I have found I have to watch the temperature- if they start getting too brown, turn down the heat.

Cincinnati Chili

It doesn't seem like almost a month since I posted, but it has been. I seem to go in spurts. I am halfway through spring break, and it is finally starting to feel like spring here. :) I also feel like we are making the switch from warm and hearty winter foods to springy, lighter foods. We have been eating at home this week, but more out of the freezer than anything else. I haven't felt like big productions during the dinner hour. Last night we tried a new recipe from Hannah's cookbook, the Kit Kittridge Cookbook, she got for Christmas from Aunt and Uncle Chris. Throughout the book are recipe used frequently during the great depression. Hannah has enjoyed the different recipes- some old favorites, like mac and cheese, and some new- like Cincinnati Chili. So, if you want to try something a little different with you chili- give this recipe a try.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 pounds ground beef
2 to 3 Tablespoons of chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 (1 ounce) square unsweetened chocolate
1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 cup of water
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 6 minutes.
  • Add beef, in batches if necessary, and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until browned.

  • Add chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, chocolate, water, tomato sauce, cider vinegar, and red pepper. Stir to mix well. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

  • It is the best if you now refrigerate overnight. Reheat gently over medium heat. Serve over hot, drained spaghetti. Top with shredded cheddar cheese.