Sunday, January 26, 2014

Impossible Quiche (AKA Crustless Quiche)

I can't imagine finding a recipe book as good as the Goodlands community fundraiser recipe book.  There are fancy recipes, suitable for the fanciest events you might host at home.  There are healthy recipes, suitable for the healthiest of lifestyles.  This recipe is one of my mom’s go-to recipes, and has become one of mine too.    It is easy to prepare, not even a little bit messy to clean-up, and if you plan it right, you can have pretty much everything you need in your pantry at all times.

So, here goes – please enjoy, page 108:

Impossible Quiche (AKA Crustless Quiche)

1 cup grated cheese
1 can flakes of ham – chopped
2 green onions, chopped
4 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
2 tbsp softened margarine
½ cup flour
½ tsp salt
Pepper to taste

Butter a 10” pie plate.  Layer cheese, ham, and onions in it.  Combine remaining ingredients in a blender.  Blend for one minute.  Pour over ingredients in pie plate. 

Bake at 350ºf for 40-45 minutes. Let stand 3-4 minutes before cutting.

(Note:  The original recipe calls for: 6-7 slices cooked bacon, crumbled or 1 cup chopped ham instead of the can of flaked ham; 1/2 cup chopped onion instead of 2 green onions; and to process the chopped onion with the items in the blender.  Also, because onions are my enemy, I rarely use them.  But it really does taste better with them.  Lastly, if you want this to be a "mostly pantry items", you can substitute evaporated milk - mix 1/2 canned milk with water, and dried chopped onion.  Imagine - all you'd need to have fresh is butter/margarine!)

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Creamy Chicken Polenta

This is my current favorite “comfort food.”  Absolutely delicious.  But off-white on off-white on off-white is never going to look tasty.  I gave up pretty quick on getting an appetizing shot of this dish.  It suits the taste buds with its delicious chicken, its smooth creamy cheesy sauce.  So trust me, not your eyes. Give it a try.

Creamy Chicken Polenta

1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp butter
½ tbsp flour
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1 cup milk
¼ (scant) grated parmesan cheese
1 diced cooked chicken breast

Polenta:  Measure broth into small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium.  Slowly add cornmeal, stirring constantly.  Add butter.  Stir.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Simmer, covered, for about 2 minutes, stirring often.

Chicken:  Melt butter in separate small saucepan on medium.  Add flour, salt and pepper.  Heat and stir for 1 minute.  (Actual recipe calls for 1 tbsp flour.  I found that was too much.)

Slowly add milk, stirring constantly until smooth.  Heat and stir until boiling and thickened.  Remove from heat.

Add cheese and chicken.  (Initial recipe called for 1/3 cup p. Cheese and ¼ c. diced chicken.  Too much cheese, and not enough chicken.  I altered.)  Stir until heated through.  Spoon polenta onto two plates.  Spoon chicken mixture over top.  Serves 2.

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Almond Meal Pancakes with Cherry Coulis

There have been periods of excellent nutrition habits in my life, and periods of less than excellent nutrition habits.  The part I like about waves of sound nutrition is that each time, a few more favorites fit into my overall repertoire.  Almond meal pancakes are one of those additions.  No matter how decadent my habits are at any time, pulling this recipe out always makes me feel like royalty.  It is so very tasty. (And so very good for you.)

Some notes regarding this recipe:
-          Sometimes I buy prepared almond meal.  More often, in an attempt to be frugal, I make my own.  To do so, whir blanched almonds with an immersion blender. (Or blender-blender.)  Enjoy cleaning up the mess. J  The finished product is nice either way.  With prepared almond meal, it tastes more like normal pancakes.  With home-made meal, it has bits of larger almonds that make it more rustic.

-          I don’t always add the full amount of sweetener.  And I always use honey as sweetener.  You can reduce the amount you need by adding large amounts of cinnamon. (Start at 2 tbsp and go up from there.)

-          The original recipe called for ¼ tsp salt.  I found that way too much.  You may find that you want to use the full amount.
Without any further ado:

Almond Meal Pancakes With Cherry Coulis
1 cup almond meal
2 eggs
¼ cup water
2 tbsp oil
2-3 shakes of salt
1 tbsp sweetener
2 tbsp cinnamon

Mix ingredients together and cook, by ¼ cup of batter, as regular pancakes.
This makes 6 pancakes.

Cherry Coulis
1 cup frozen tart cherries
2 tbsp honey
¼ cup water

Place all ingredients in saucepan.  When cherries are starting to soften, whirr with immersion blender.  Bring to a simmer, and reduce sauce – about 10 minutes.
Serve 2 tbsp over each pancake.  A dash of coconut milk is a nice addition.

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Crockpot Chicken Rice Soup

Nice to start a new year with a new soup recipe that I can foresee using often.  So much so that I’m prepared to buy a new crock-pot, so that I won’t avoid making this tasty, healthy, dish repeatedly during the year! It is adapted from a Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup recipe I found online.  ( Wanting to stay away from noodles, having a bagfull of prepared peppers/fennel in the freezer that never quite made it to soup-form, and being an enemy of the onion, here is my adaptation:

Crockpot Chicken Rice Soup
2 cups carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 cup chopped peppers & fennel
2 slices ginger (approx. 1/4 inch thick each), peeled
Pinch poultry seasoning
1/4 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
3 Knorr chicken cubes
5+ cups water
Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
Small handful wild rice
Large handful brown rice

Add chopped vegetables, ginger and poultry seasoning.
Arrange chicken on top of vegetables.

Prepare chicken cubes with water.  Add to veggies.  Add rice(s).
 Cook on high for 8 hours.

Remove chicken, shred with two forks and put back into pot.  If possible, remove ginger before serving.

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