Thursday, March 29, 2012

Wheat Berries

Wheat berries is what you get when you cook the whole wheat kernel.
They can make great additions to all sorts of dishes - toss them in salads, add them to your homemade bread dough, puree them and use to thicken gravies and sauces, etc.
You can pop them (just like popcorn... I'll have to post on that one later).
And of course you can smother hot berries with honey and fruit for a healthy hot cereal.

Depending on what you are going to be using it for, and how soon you need it, there are two methods that I use to cook them - 1 hour or overnight.

1 Hour Wheat Berries
2 c. hard red or white wheat
7 c. water
1 tsp. salt

Rinse wheat in a colander.
Place wheat in large heavy saucepan and add water and salt.
Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
To serve hot, use immediately.
To store: cover and refrigerate or freeze.
Makes about 4 1/2 cups cook wheat berries.

Overnight Wheat Berries
2 c. hard red or white wheat
1 tsp. salt

Rinse wheat in a colander.
Place wheat and salt in a large saucepan and cover with an inch or two of water.

Put lid on saucepan and bring to a boil.
Once boiling, turn heat off.
Leave pan on hot unit with the lid on and let it sit overnight (6-10 hours).
To reheat in the morning just turn the unit back on until heated through.
Drain and serve.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Baked Oatmeal {with Strawberries, Banana and Chocolate}

I have been determined for quiet some time to find a great Baked Oatmeal recipe.  All the ones I had tried before were just a little to blah for me.  And then I just had to call myself a retard when I saw this recipe.  Why didn't I think of adding all of those delicious ingredients before?  Strawberries, banana, chocolate and almonds all baked into a warm, delicious breakfast.

Next time I think I'll use blueberries and raspberries with white chocolate chips.
And the time after that, I'll use the apples from my apple pie filling, and then drizzle the syrup over it once its baked.

Oh yeah, the possibilities are pretty much endless on this one.
Photo courtesy of Inspired Taste
Baked Oatmeal {with Strawberries, Banana and Chocolate}
Recipe modified from Inspired Taste

2 c. regular oats
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. sliced or slivered almonds
1 c. sliced strawberries
1/3 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 c. milk
1 large egg
3 Tbsp. butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla
1 banana, sliced
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar, for sprinkling

Mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, half of the almonds, half of the strawberries, and half of the chocolate chips in a large bowl.
Spray an 8x8" or 9x9" baking dish with cooking spray and sprinkle the oat mixture inside.
Arrange banana slices over the top of the oatmeal.
Assemble the remaining half of the almonds, strawberries and chocolate on top of the banana.
Whisk together the milk, egg, butter and vanilla, and drizzle evenly over the oat mixture.
Shake the baking dish to help the milk mixture distribute throughout.
Bake for 35-40 minutes at 375 degrees, or until liquid has set and top is starting to golden.
Sprinkle remaining brown sugar over the top, and place under broiler for 30-60 seconds until sugar melts and caramelizes.
Serve warm.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Black Beans and Corn

Just about the easiest side dish ever - and works great along several Mexican dishes.  I always serve it with these.
Black Beans and Corn
menu managed original

1 can black beans
1 can (or 2 c. frozen) corn
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
salt and pepper to taste

Throw beans, corn and butter in a microwave safe bowl (or saucepan), and heat through.
Add seasonings; stir to coat.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Loin

This juicy pork is encrusted with a deliciously sweet brown sugar glaze.  Easy to throw together and a perfect crowd pleaser!
This version is slightly less sweet than other online recipes, since the hubs is not a huge fan of meat and sugar.
I thought it was perfect!
Brown Sugar Spiced Pork Loin
Recipe modified from Mels Kitchen Cafe

2 1/2 lbs. pork loin
2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 c. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp. tobasco sauce

In a small bowl, stir together salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder and cinnamon.
Pat pork dry with paper towels, and coat thoroughly with the spice rub.
Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium and sear the pork on all sides.
Remove from heat.

Stir together the sugar, garlic and tabasco and pat on top of the tenderloin.
Cover the pan and roast until a thermometer reads 145, about 40 minutes.
Let pork stand in skillet at room temperature for 10 minutes - the temperature should rise to about 160.
Slice on a diagonal and serve with pan juices over top.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

If you are a red pepper fan, then you are bound to love this soup!
It was also surprisingly filling for being vegetarian.  Smooth and delicious!
**Take note that this recipe doesn't make very much; about 4 1/2 cups of soup - although one bowl filled me up.  If you have a lot to feed I'd double the recipe; or double it anyway, it freezes well.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
Recipe modified from SkinnyTaste

4 large red bell peppers, roasted, with seeds removed
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp. parsley
2 cans chicken broth
1 medium russet potato, peeled and chopped
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream

Start roasting red peppers.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, saute onion and carrot in olive oil until onion is translucent.
Add garlic, herbs de provence, and parsley and stir for 30 seconds, until garlic is fragrant.
Add chicken broth and potato, and simmer.

Peel and chop peppers and add to pot.
When potatoes are tender, puree everything with an immersion blender (or regular blender).
Add Parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste.
Ladle into bowls and serve with a dollop of sour cream, if desired.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

This delicious stuffed squash is just that... delicious.  And filling.  And easy.  And i've made it twice in the  past month (which is saying a lot for me).  And I have one more spaghetti squash left from my garden and it has this recipe written ALL over it.
Seriously, this is by far the best spaghetti squash recipe I've come across!

As a side note: we really prefer it with chicken, but it is still really good if you want to leave it out and make it vegetarian.

Southwestern Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
Recipe modified and photo from Bev Cooks

1 large spaghetti squash
1/4 c. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. chili powder
1-2 c. shredded chicken
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. corn
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 c. chopped cilantro
1 1/2 c. grated cheddar cheese

Cut squash in half and scoop out pulp.
Divide butter among halves and season with salt and pepper.
Roast squash in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet.
Add the onion and season lightly with salt, cooking until translucent.
Add the garlic, jalapeno, bell pepper, cumin, oregano, chili powder and some pepper.
Stir and saute for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken, beans and corn, stirring to combine.

Remove squash from oven and shred with forks.
Leave a small layer of squash in the shells, and add the rest to the skillet.
Add the cilantro, and stir gently to combine.
Scoop half of the mixture into the empty shells and sprinkle with half of the cheese.
Spoon the remaining squash mixture on top.
Sprinkle remaining cheese on top and place under broiler just until golden.
Garnish with additional cilantro if desired.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Green Enchilada Sauce

For all of you Cafe Rio lovers out there (and even those that aren't), this is a great knock off recipe for their green enchilada sauce.
This is the perfect dip for taquito's, to pour over taco's or enchiladas, or to dip tortilla chips in.  Super yummy!

This recipe makes a lot, so I always portion out the leftovers and freeze for a later date.

Green Enchilada Sauce
Recipe from Our Best Bites

3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 green peppers, rough chop
2 jalapenos, seeded with ribs removed
1 1/2 lb. tomatillos, husked and quartered
1/2 bunch cilantro, rough chop
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
4 c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. sugar

In a large saucepan, saute onions until tender in oil.
Meanwhile, combine tomatillos, green and jalapeno peppers and cilantro in a blender and process until smooth (you can add some of the chicken broth if you need more liquid).
Add garlic to onion mixture until fragrant.
Pour the tomatillo mixture into the saucepan.
Add the chicken broth, salt, pepper and cumin.
Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on the consistency desired - the longer you simmer, the thicker it becomes.

Serve with taco's, taquito's, enchiladas, chips, etc.
Freeze or refrigerate leftovers.