Fresh Homemade Raspberry Vinaigrette Recipe

I LOVE salad.  Maybe that is weird, but I know for sure it comes in handy for maintaining a healthy diet. Most of the time when Will and I go out to eat I order salad – partially because they are a safer gluten-free bet, but mostly because I really enjoy them.  Though I love salad, I am not a huge fan of the heavy, creamy dressings.  I prefer vinaigrettes mostly.  I also enjoy having a variety of veggies in my salad, and I love having fruit in my salad.

Raspberry vinaigrette  (6)

These things in mind, it is no surprise that my favorite dressing is a fruity vinaigrette.  Raspberry Vinaigrette.

Raspberries are one of my very favorite fruits, and lucky me – they are in season, which means that they are cheap!  This combined with the adorable container I got at the dollar store, inspired me to try my hand at some homemade raspberry vinaigrette.

that little bottle was only $1!  Dollar Tree FTW 6000!
that little bottle was only $1! Dollar Tree FTW 6000!

It was really easy!  And it’s some of the best dressing.  It’s sweet and light to begin with followed by the zing of vinegar.

I tried it out for Will’s family last weekend, and everyone seemed to like it.  Our little sister shares my love for raspberry vinaigrette and a good fancy salad.  So Carrieli, this one goes out to you!

Raspberry vinaigrette  (1)

Simple Fresh Raspberry Vinaigrette

adapted from this Walmart Living Better Recipe

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup Fresh Raspberries
  • ¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar (I think you could sub apple cider vinegar here)
  • A splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼-1/3 cup Honey
  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil

Directions

  1. Puree raspberries with the vinegar and honey in a food processor/blender.
  2. Add in the olive oil and blend some more.  If you have the ability, slowly add the oil while blending.
  3. Taste and add more ingredients as need.
  4. Store in a covered container in the fridge.

Raspberry vinaigrette  (2)

I have had mine in the fridge for a week, and it is as good as the day I made it.  Just give it a little shake before using, and voila! I also want to try this recipe with other berried, like blackberries, or the wild berries from Will’s mom’s farm, or maybe the mulberries on our tree out back that I made compote, cobbler, and jam out of this week!    Yeah, so we are berry obsessed (and that was a little bit of a pun); at least our life is delicious =).  This dressing will make your life more delicious as well.   making your own salad dressing will also make you feel really accomplished.

Raspberry vinaigrette  (4)

Let me know if you try it!  Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

Yesterday I posted about using Leftover Pulled Pork to makeBBQ Nachos.  Today I am going to share how to use that same pulled pork to make pizza!

pizza 3

Since I am gluten-free pizza is a special thing in our house because it requires a lot of extra effort.  But on Saturdays I try to put extra effort into having an awesome meal ready for Hubster when he get homes from his long, sunny shift of chucking bags of mulch and loading paver stones all day at Home Depot. He’s great at what he does!  I have stalked him at work.  He’s always ready to help someone and is always friendly and approachable.  So as a reward for having to work all day in the sun on Saturday I have an especially good meal ready and on the table when he walks through the door with his fresh layer of farmer’s tan.

pizza 2

A couple Saturdays ago I had this pizza ready for him.  He loves pizza.  We were in a rush to leave the house for his brother’s birthday party, so pizza seemed like the perfect meal that would satisfy the hard-working man but be quick to eat.

It was.  This pizza is like a party in your mouth! It’s not greasy like pizza usually is.  It’s filling, refreshing, and a perfect blend of sweet and spicy.  Maybe you think that is weird for a pizza.  That’s ok.  Just try it anyway.  Growing up I was your regulation pepperoni lover. Extra pepperonis please! Somewhere along the line I became a grease blotter, trying to mop up the pools of grease before they found their way to my arteries. That was the beginning of a slippery slope into trying different pizzas… now I prefer veggie loaded pizzas of all different flavors.  Including taco pizza; that’s definitely one of my favorites!

You’ll notice nothing has measurements…. That’s because pizza is a very intimate food.  Everyone has their own preference and specification for sauce to cheese ration and meat to veggies, toppings under the cheese or toppings on top of the cheese.  You see where I am going with this.

pizza 1

Instead of having normal, tomato-paste-based pizza sauce, this pizza has a sweet and spicy BBQ sauce.  What I did was put a couple tablespoons of some BBQ sauce (KC Masterpiece – have to represent my homeland/we were out of Will’s favorite) and then I mixed in a few shakes of hot sauce.  Neither of us are big pizza sauce fans; we care more about having a mountain of toppings. So you will need to eyeball how much sauce you need and how spicy you want it to be – only you can answer those questions about your own pizza.

Hawaiian BBQ Pulled Pork Pizza

This pizza is like a party in your mouth! It’s not greasy like pizza usually is. It’s filling, refreshing, and a perfect blend of sweet and spicy.

Ingredients

  • Your favorite pizza crust recipe (I used this one from Betty Crocker http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/pizza-crust/dfd30165-0b22-47aa-b192-268be25e138d for Will’s pizza)
  • Pulled Pork
  • Hot Sauce (we used Franks)
  • BBQ Sauce (we used KC Masterpiece)
  • Jalapeno Slices
  • Pineapple (I sliced up some canned rings)
  • Shredded Cheese (we used “Queso Quesadilla”)
  • Finely Diced Purple Onion

Instructions

  1. Make your pizza crust according to the instructions. Mine called for being pre-baked some. So while it is pre-baking slice up your onion and pineapple and get out your cheese and jalapenos.
  2. Mix together the BBQ Sauce and Hot sauce (see post for more on this). I used about 2-3 Tablespoons of BBQ sauce and a couple teaspoons of hot sauce.
  3. When the crust is done prebaking, brush on your desired amount of sauce. Top with your desired amount of onion, pineapple, and pulled pork. Then cover it with the cheese and top with jalapenos. I do it this way because I want to be able to see my jalapenos coming.
  4. Put back in the oven for 8-10 minutes until everything is very warm, crust is baked through, and cheese is starting to brown.
  5. Remove from oven, slice, and devour. Your taste buds will thank you.

Munchie Monday: Pulled Pork “Nachos”

You might remember a couple of weeks ago I posted a Jerk Pulled Pork recipe.  That recipe made way more than we could eat before it would have spoiled so we froze some of it.  It freezes very well!  The best part is that it makes for quick easy dinners when you have a bunch of pulled pork ready to pulled out of the freezer.

jerk pulled pork

We used our leftovers to make some BBQ “Nachos” and BBQ Hawaiian Pulled Pork Pizza.  Please make yourself some pulled pork and then use the leftovers to make nachos and pizza.  Or even taquitos.   Today we will cover the nachos, and tomorrow I will share the pizza recipe.

the “Nachos” you use potatoes instead of corn chips. Less processed and more filling.
the “Nachos” you use potatoes instead of corn chips. Less processed and more filling.

Some nights we are in a rush or aren’t able to eat dinner till close to 8pm.  Nights like those are perfect for these nachos.   They are simple to make, and chances are you will have most of what you need on hand already!

I think that they would also be a good appetizer for a big dinner or a fun alternative to normal nachos for party or game night.

nachos 1

Pulled Pork “Nachos”

These are a full of flavor, quick dinner, and a good way to use up leftovers. They would also make a good appetizer or snack to have at a game night.

Ingredients

  • 1 large or 2 medium Potatoes
  • 1-2 tablespoons Olive Oil (or whatever oil you have on hand)
  • ¼ teaspoon Cumin
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon Seasoned Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon Oregano
  • Pulled Pork
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Your Favorite variety of Shredded Cheese
  • ½ small Onion (I like purple onions with BBQ), finely chopped
  • Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 Green Onions, finely chopped and white and green parts separated.

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°F.
  2. Slice the potatoes no thicker than a ¼ inch thick.
  3. Lay them out on a plate and microwave them for 3-5 minutes (depends on your microwave and the thickness of your slices). This gets the potatoes cooking so that they do not have to be in the oven for as long. If you aren’t in a pinch you can cook them in the oven the whole time. If you are really in a bind you can microwave then fry them in a skillet.
  4. After your potatoes have pre-cooked a bit toss them in the oil and then add the spices and mix them up. (if you want to lighten this up more, you can just season the potatoes, lay them on a cookie sheet, and lightly spray them with oil based non-stick spray)
  5. Lay the seasoned potatoes out on a cookie sheet in a single layer, place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and cook for 10-15 minutes more. (or fry them in a large skillet till crisp on each side)
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, thaw your frozen pulled pork in the microwave if it isn’t thawed already. Mix the pork with enough BBQ sauce to moisten it – you don’t need it to be drowning.
  7. Finely chop up the onions and the cilantro. You can lightly sauté the onions if you like or use them crunchy and raw like we did.
  8. When the potatoes are done, lay them out on a plate and top with the pulled pork, then cheese, and then onion and whites of the green onions.
  9. If necessary, microwave to melt the cheese. Top with finely chopped cilantro and the green parts of the green onions.
  10. EAT!

 

I hope you make these and enjoy them!  Come back tomorrow for BBQ Pulled Pork Hawaiian Pizza!  It was probably one of the best pizzas we have made!

Munchie Monday: Jerk Pulled Pork

In Kansas, Beef is what’s for dinner.  And when we barbecue, it’s beef not pork.  The extent of my pig eating growing up was ham at Christmas & Easter, bacon, and the occasional fried pork chop.

I can honestly say that I had never had pulled pork till Will and I were dating.  I don’t think that I even knew what it was.  However, one of Will’s favorite foods is pulled pork.

Now we eat pulled pork pretty frequently.  Granted it’s not usually restaurant quality pulled pork, but for how easy it is, how versatile it is, and how cheap it is we don’t complain!  Plus, just because it isn’t restaurant quality, doesn’t mean it isn’t good!  This Jerk Pulled Pork recipe was definitely really good!

PhotoGrid_1398695377773

 

As you can see we ate it on sandwiches and salads.  Will had his on toasted bread without any fixin’s, and he enjoyed it.  I had mine on bread one day and as a salad the next.  Both times I topped it with some rainbow slaw veggies (Shredded cabbage and carrots), thinly sliced red onion, and “grilled” pineapple.  Let me tell you…. Will was missing out.  If you don’t do anything else, top this stuff with the pineapple.  It’s amazing!

Jerk Pulled Pork

I got the basic recipe for this pulled pork from this blog.  But here is how we made ours.

Jerk Pulled Pork

Sweet and flavorful bbq. Very versatile.

Pulled Pork:
  • 2 lbs Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ tsp Thyme
  • ½ tsp Brown Sugar, packed
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • 1 (12 oz) can Root Beer
Serving
  • Bread/Buns – toasted
  • Rainbow Slaw Veggies
  • Thinly Sliced Red Onion
  • “Grilled” Pineapple
  • BBQ Sauce
”Grilled” Pineapple:
  • 1 can Pineapple Rings
  • cinnamon
Instructions
Pork:
  1. In small bowl, stir together all the seasonings. Save ⅓ of the seasoning mix for later.
  2. To prepare the tenderloin, first coat it with the olive oil and then rub the remaining ⅔ seasoning onto the oiled tenderloin.
  3. Put the seasoned tenderloin in the crockpot, and pour the root beer over it.
  4. Cook on low for 6 hours.
  5. Once the pork is cooked, remove the tenderloin from the crockpot and shred (this is easily done using two forks).
  6. Discard the juices from the crockpot. You don’t need them anymore.
  7. Sprinkle the seasoning mixed you saved over the pulled pork and mix it up.
  8. To Serve: Mix the pork with a small amount of bbq sauce, top with thinly sliced red onion, grilled pineapple rings, and any other desired toppings. Serve warm on toasted bread or over a bed of salad.
Pineapple:
  1. Place pineapple rings in a single layer in a non-stick skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Sprinkle lightly with cinnamon.
  3. Cook until browned, flip, and repeat.
 If you want something Chocolatey and Sweet to go with this, try my Grandma’s Chocolate Zucchini Bread.  It’s the perfect light and tropical dessert to follow this meal.

mmmmmm

I told you that Will really likes pulled pork; well here are some other recipes of ours involving pulled pork:

Crockpot Carnitas (aka Mexican Pulled Pork)

And then use the leftovers to make this unique and tasty soup:

Carnita Soup

Or Make the pulled pork recipe from this post, and then use some to make these taquitos.  These little babies are wonderful because they freeze really well so when you are in a hurry you can pop a couple in the broiler for a few minutes and ta da!  crispy taquitos in a flash!

BBQ Pulled Pork Taquitos

Munchie Monday: French Onion Soup

 

This is one of Will and I’s favorite soups.  It’s a go to cheap meal that feeds us for a solid three days. We don’t do the bread/cheese topping because Will doesn’t like soggy bread and I don’t like the way the cheese sticks to the spoon.  Does that gross anyone else out?  It’s just…. weird and feels awkward in my mouth.  Instead we do something equally delicious and I think easier. We just make garlic bread to eat with it, or toast with some cheese on top to dunk in it.

The crusty Dutch Oven Bread in the picture below was gluten-free and delicious!  With a great texture.  I will post that recipe soon as well.

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look at all those beautiful onions sauteing. yum! 20140209_155755

French Onion Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick Butter
  • 3 Large Yellow Onions
  • 1-2 Medium Purple Onions
  • 3/4 cup Cooking Wine
  • 4 cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
  • 4 cups Beef Broth
  • 2 large cloves Minced Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • Pepper & Thyme to taste
  • Optional: Bread and Cheese of choice

Directions:

  1. Melt butter in a heavy soup pot or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Place soup pot into the oven with the lid slightly ajar to ensure the onions will brown.
  2. Allow onions to cook in the oven for 1 hour, stirring at least once during the cooking process so onions won’t stick and burn.
  3. Remove pot from oven and place back on stove top over medium heat. Stir, scraping off all the brown, flavorful bits. Turn off heat and pour in wine. Turn heat back to medium. Cook wine for five minutes, allowing it to reduce. Add broths, Worcestershire Sauce and minced garlic and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. To serve you can do the traditional method of topping with bread and cheese then broiling.  Or do what I prefer and simply stick some bread topped with cheese in the broiler to dip into the soup.

Crockpot Carnitas

If there was one kind of food that I could eat all day every day (other than chocolate and cereal) it would probably have to be Mexican.  I love me some Mexican food!  Tortilla chips, enchiladas, tacos, nachos, burritos, Chipotle, huevos rancheros, Mexican hot chocolate, fajitas, quesadillas, beans & rice…. You get the picture.  Mexican food is really the best there is.  Can I get an Amen?!

Carnitas

Will and I love trying out new Mexican restaurants.  They MUST have all you can eat complimentary chips and salsa, and if we don’t like the salsa…. We won’t be back.  Is there anything that ruins the fiesta vibe of trying out a New Mexican restaurant worse than bad salsa?  One bite and all the mouthwatering you had been doing over the menu is instantly extinguished.

You have heard people referred to as “Coffee Snobs.”  Will is a Mexican Snob.  He has high standards, but I am not going to complain about that because it means we eat really awesome food!  He is also a Chipotle addict.  If going to Chipotle is mentioned around him, you can bet that we will be there.  He never misses an opportunity to go to Chipotle.  I think the only time I have seen that happen was the other night when he seared for a place with gluten free pizza for me instead of going to the Chipotle next door because he knew I was craving pizza.  It’s kind of a big deal when I give a firm opinion on what I want to eat.  It doesn’t happen often.

Will's favorite place.
Will’s favorite place.

Another wonderful thing about Mexican food is that a lot of the time it’s the same few basic ingredients just prepared in different ways, which makes it great for maximizing your grocery budget.

Will and I like to buy meat when it’s on sale, store it in the freezer, and then base our menu off of what’s in the freezer.  Well, thanks to our nearly 2 month vegan stint at the beginning of the year we have a freezer full of meat to use. This week we are eating a couple of pork tenderloins.  I say a couple, but in all reality it’s just one because we save money by purchasing tenderloins that would be enough for a family of four and splitting them into two.

see the two smaller pieces of pork in there
see the two smaller pieces of pork in there

As an attempt to use up some of the meat in our freezer before it gets freezer burnt I decided to try my hand at carnitas and have Mexican food to eat this week.  Because Mexican food is just too good!  These were really easy to make, but they taste like I spent a long time slaving over them.  I had mine sitting in the fridge, soaking up the rub for a whole day because the schedule changed, and I wasn’t able to turn the crockpot on in the morning.  Instead I turned it on at night when we went to bed and shredded the meat in the morning.  That took no time at all!  the meat just falls apart!  I left the shredded meat sitting in the juice all day till dinner time.

after cooking all night it just falls apart when you touch it, and turns into that wonderful stuff!
after cooking all night it just falls apart when you touch it, and turns into that wonderful stuff!
photo credit to Will who chopped and displayed all the toppings so nicely
photo credit to Will who chopped and displayed all the toppings so nicely

Carnitas Carnitas Carnitas

These were instantly hubster approved!

Crockpot Carnitas  

based off of a recipe from pinch of yum.                         

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 lbs. Pork Tenderloin (or shoulder or butt)
  • 2 large cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1-2 teaspoons Cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Oregano
  • ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 lime
  • ¼ cup Orange Juice
  • 6 ounces Beer (supposedly chicken broth works too)
  • 2 tablespoons Salsa or Tomato Paste or Tomato Puree (I used a “tomato cube” which is a frozen chunk of pureed tomatoes from our garden last year)
  • Toppings: diced onion, chopped cilantro, jalapenos, lime juice, cheese, lettuce, hot sauce, beans, sour cream…. whatever your heart desires (but definitely onion, cilantro, & lime juice)
  • Tortillas for serving.  I tried making my own corn tortillas following this recipe.

Instructions:

  1. Mix all the spices and the minced garlic together in a bowl.
  2. Place the pork in the slow cooker, sprinkle the seasoning mixture over the meat, and rub it into the pork.
  3. Place in fridge and allow it to soak up the flavors of the rub overnight.
  4. Remove from fridge, cut your lime in half and squeeze the juice over the pork, then toss the lime in the crockpot.  Add orange juice, beer, and salsa/tomato.
  5. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours…. Your house will smell amazing!  I actually let mine sit in the fridge for a whole day then cooked it overnight while we slept.
  6. Shred meat with two forks. It will fall apart super easily!  You can shred it in the crockpot with all the juice or try to pull it out, shred, and place it back in the sauce.
  7. Preheat broiler. Place the shredded meat on a cooking sheet, drizzle a little sauce over the top. Broil for 5-10 minutes, until edges of the pork start to brown.
  8. Serve on tortillas with fresh cilantro, avocado, cheese, lettuce, jalapeno, onion, hot sauce, and/or lime juice.  Basically top with whatever your preferred toppings for Mexican food are.  As BK would say “have it your way.”  However you have it; it’s going to be delicious!

Use the leftovers to make soup!20140312_190625

Other Pork & Mexican Recipes:

BBQ Pulled Pork Taquitos
BBQ Pulled Pork Taquitos
cilantro-lime chicken tacos
cilantro-lime chicken tacos
Sweet Potato Taquitos
Sweet Potato Taquitos

Meatless Munchie Monday: Sweet Potato Taquitos

One thing that Will and I try to do is set aside our Wednesday evenings as date night.  I have mentioned it from time to time, including this popular post about some of our “Manly Date Night” activities in the past.   Or you can see this post about the surprise date Will planned for me in December.

Setting aside that one evening to invest time, laughs, adventures, and memories into each other “pays dividends,” as my stock market enthusiast husband would put it. And it’s true.  There’s nothing more powerful than putting down your phones, forgetting your to do lists, and setting aside your hobbies to say “Hey, husband/wife, I still notice you and want to spend time with you.”  Our premarital counselors gave us that tip, and I think that we have passed it on to all of our friends who have gotten married since.  We are not the best at keeping date night sacred, but we are growing in it.  That’s why our premarital counselors suggested it in the first place, because we were really bad at going on dates. I think there is a visible difference in the harmony and genuine care shared between us on the weeks when we do have a date night.

Sorry for that rant, but honestly, if you don’t have a scheduled date night with your spouse – think about setting one.

This past week our date night activity was one of our favorite things to do – cook together, and this is the result of our little experiment in taquito making. We have made taquitos before, and if you are in the mood for BBQ or aren’t having a Meatless Monday then I strongly suggest that you check out this BBQ Pulled Pork Taquito recipe.

Will and I were planning on making homemade pizza for our date night.  We love homemade pizza. But, I spaced and did not properly prepare for making the crust so what we did instead was empty the contents of our produce drawer into the skillet, roll it up in a corn tortilla, and broil it.  It was fun, easy, and ended up being delicious!  So delicious that we barely had any leftovers. In fact, I think I should call “date night: binge addition.”  I ate so many taquitos and homemade Fritos that I felt like I had just had Christmas dinner.  To continue the binging, we watched Alias on Netflix till we fell asleep.

Date Night Fun
Date Night Fun

I put a picture up on instagram from our date night; if you don’t follow us on instagram you can start by clicking the purple instagram logo on the right side.  Instagram is like a sneak peak of what stories and recipes will be coming to the blog.

Enough with my story telling and lessons learned – here’s the tasty recipe you have been waiting for. We paired them with these homemade Chili-Cheese Fritos from the Minimalist Baker.

homemade fritos
homemade fritos

Sweet Potato Taquitos

Ingredients:

  • ½  Large Sweet Potato, diced
  • 1 Medium Purple Onion, diced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, diced
  • 4 Large White Button Mushrooms, diced
  • 2 Large Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1 Jalapeno, diced
  • 3 Green Onions, chopped
  • ½ cup Cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice from ½ a Lime
  • 1-2 tsp Chili Powder
  • ½ tsp Cumin
  • Olive oil
  • 10-12 Corn Tortillas (it will take fewer tortillas if you are using flour tortillas, as they are larger)

Directions:

  1. Heat some olive oil for sautéing with in a large skillet. Chop the onion and sweet potato, mince the garlic, and place those 3 items in the skillet to begin cooking over medium heat. 20140122_180500 20140122_180853
  2. While keeping an eye on and occasionally stirring the onions and potatoes, chop the bell pepper, mushroom, jalapeno, and green onion.  After the potatoes are beginning to soften (it will take 5 minutes or more) and the other veggies to the skillet.20140122_181055
  3. Add the seasoning and cilantro.
  4. When the vegetables have reached your desired doneness, remove them from the heat and squeeze the lime juice over to20140122_182204
  5. Steam the tortillas in the microwave to make them more pliable, and then fill them with the veggies.  Roll them placing them seam side down on a cookie sheet.  Spray them with a little pan spray (to help give them a crispy shell), and then place them in the broiler.  Ours were in for about 5 minutes, which might have been a little long.20140122_184045

    ...their's always a casualty when using corn tortillas, or anything gluten free for that matter....
    …their’s always a casualty when using corn tortillas, or anything gluten free for that matter….
  6. Serve with chips and salsa.  Top with salsa verde and hot sauce.
    ta da!
    ta da!

    the insides
    the insides

Let It Snow, Let It Snow… I Have Soup to Keep Me Warm

The weather outside today.
The weather outside today.

This is definitely my new favorite soup, and today is the PERFECT day to come home from work to snuggle up with some hot tea and a steaming bowl of soup.

The Chinese Tea Will brought me from Chinatown in DC.  Went perfectly with my soup tonight.  In the mug that I won in my race in October.
The Chinese Tea Will brought me from Chinatown in DC. Went perfectly with my soup tonight. In the mug that I won in my race in October.
Can't wait to get home to this!
Can’t wait to get home to this!

It’s been snowing all day, and as the snow rises the temperature falls.  Conditions like these require certain survival tactics in our drafty, quirky, honeymooner-sized home we must:

  • leave the water running so the pipes don’t freeze,
  • wear a sweatshirt and a blanket,
  • run the heater and the space heater,
  • and eat hot food.

And if you are me, you also either workout to generate body heat, or go the easy route and binge watch a TV show as an excuse to cuddle with Will and Izzy Pup in order to absorb their body heat.  So in other words I am heat-sucking leach… But the relationship is symbiotic; after all, I do feed them and clean up after them.

But tonight I am particularly excited for dinner time.  We had some leftover rice noodles from making Pad Thai the other day and a fridge full of vegetables.  So I decided that soup was in order.  The soup that I made was based off this recipe from the Everyday Vegetarian.  I wish that I could take complete credit for its deliciousness, but I can’t.  I had never made anything with those rice noodles before so I was trying to look for ideas/instructions.  I stumbled upon this recipe and I had to try it.

Not only do I think this soup is the bomb, but it was also stamped “Hubster Approved” after the first bite! Will calls it “suped up soup” because of all the good for you ingredients.

I have to say... the man knows his way around the computer... Nerds are so attractive!  Part of why I try to feed him well, gotta take care of my attractive man
I have to say… the man knows his way around the computer… Nerds are so attractive! Part of why I try to feed him well, gotta take care of my attractive man

I strongly suggest you try it too!  It is such a quick and easy soup.  And the leftovers are phenomenal.  I made mine a head of time on Sunday (I do all the cooking for Monday and Tuesday on Sunday).  So if you are going to make yours ahead of time or make enough to have leftovers, then I encourage you to keep your rice noodles and spinach separate.  Put them in when you are heating the soup to serve it.  That way the noodles do not disintegrate and the spinach is fresher.

20140120_181644

Rice Noodle Soup

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces WideRice Noodles (1/3 of 16 oz package)
  • 2-3 cups of Spinach (depends on how much spinach you like)
  • 4 small-medium sized Carrots, sliced in half circles
  • 6 ounces Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 small Onions, chopped (I sliced mine into half circles, then halved them again.  I did not dice them all the way)
  • 1 cup Black-Eyed Peas (pre-soaked)
  • 2-4 cloves Garlic, minced (this depends on the size of your cloves.  Mine were monsters so I only used 2)
  • 6 cups Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • ½ tsp Cumin (or to your taste)
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper (or to your taste)
  • Olive Oil

Directions:

  1. Prepare the noodles according to the instructions on the package.
  2. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan; add the onion and garlic and sauté till the onion is almost translucent.  I used a deep skillet for this so that I could just add the broth to it and simmer the soup in the skillet.   If you are planning on eating it all right away I would recommend picking something big enough to add the broth and noodles to.  The fewer dishes you have to clean, the better.
  3. Once the onions are translucent, add the mushrooms and carrots and sauté for another couple of minutes, till the mushrooms have darkened and the carrots are bright and starting to soften.
  4. Add the black-eyed peas, pepper, and cumin to the vegetables, and then add the broth.  Simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. To serve add the noodles to the soup and let them simmer for a few minutes to get warm.
  6. Lastly, cut the stems off of the spinach and mix into the soup.  The spinach will wilt down within a minute.
  7. Ladle it into your favorite soup bowl, and slurp it up!  It’s so good!20140121_192359

Meatless Munchie Monday: Smothered Sautéed Veggies

First, I want to apologize for not posting a menu this month.  Due to the fact that Will and I weren’t really home till the 5th of the month I just decided to do our menu for the month more informally.  I made up a rough plan and am taking it week by week. But if you need ideas, you can check out the eight other menu’s that I have up on the menus’ page here.

I missed Munchie Monday with this recipe.  I didn’t have enough time and frankly, the recipe needed some tweaking.  Mostly due to the fact that we ran out of black pepper…. Very few things that we make for dinner taste right without pepper.  I don’t know how I let this crisis come upon us, but it did.

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So for those of you who believe in, practice, or are intrigued by the new trend of Meatless Monday’s here is a delicious and appetite satisfying dinner that you can prepare.  This was completely my brain child.  Last month Will and I tried out chicken stroganoff, and it got me thinking.  So I bring you Smothered Sautéed Veggies. Seared asparagus and green beans served over rice or pasta and smothered in a tasty onion-mushroom gravy.

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This recipe earned the “Hubster Stamp of Approval” and mine as well; it also got a few “ooh!  What’s that?!” at my Bible study, so evidently they thought it looked as good as it tasted. =)

 Smothered Sautéed Veggies

Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

  • ½ bundle of Asparagus* (I chopped the asparagus into thirds to make it more bite sized)
  • 3 Handfuls of Fresh Green Beans*(I used ones from our garden this summer that we blanched and froze.  Instructions on that here)
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1 Onion, Diced
  • 4-8 oz of Baby Bella Mushrooms, diced (I like a lot of mushrooms so we did 8oz)
  • 2-3 cloves of Garlic (depends on the size of the cloves)
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp Rosemary
  • ½ tsp Thyme
  • 1 cup Milk (We used original almond milk)
  • ½ cup Vegetable or Chicken Broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons Cornstarch
  • Olive Oil
  • Rice or Pasta for serving with

*Really specific I know, but I really don’t know how else to measure that.

Directions:

  1. Dice up your onion and mushroom and mince your garlic.  Heat some olive oil in a pan till it is nearly rippling, and will easily spread out to coat the pan.  Reduce the heat to medium. Add the garlic, onion, and mushroom to the pan, and sauté till onion begins turning translucent and the mixture is very fragrant.
  2. Toss in all your spices.
  3. At this point I rely on my Pyrex 2 cup Measuring cup.  I put in about ½ cup of milk and a tablespoon of cornstarch. Mix that well in your handy dandy measuring cup and pour the slurry into the sautéing veggies.  This is my gluten free version of a roux.  Stir it around and let the quick thickening “roux” soak up all those flavors.  Now add the rest of the milk and the broth.
  4. Back to your measuring cup, add two more tablespoons of corn starch and a little water.  Mix that till you have a milky homogenous slurry.  Add the rest of the 2 cups of water and pour into the pan with everything else.
  5. Turn the heat up a bit and let your mixture bubble and thicken into a delicious gravy.
  6. Now, in another skillet heat some olive oil.  Once the pan is hot add your green beans and asparagus.  You’re not only sautéing, but also searing these veggies.  Toss the veggies around to get them coated in the olive oil and then add the garlic powder and crushed red pepper.
  7. You only need to cook the veggies for a maximum of 5 minutes.  You want them to still be crisp so that you have something to chew on in the dish.  Plus the high heat sears them giving them a delicious flavor, but if you cook them too long then they will burn.
  8. To serve put a bed of either pasta or rice on a plate, cover that with a layer of the sautéed vegetables, and smother them with your desired amount of gravy.

Munchie Monday: Pomeroy House Potatoes

Every restaurant has their own house specialty potatoes of some kind, be it steak fries, home fries, loaded baked potatoes, or mashed potatoes with so much butter you can feel your blood slowing down as you eat them. Here in the Pomeroy life we have our own signature potato dishes.    I like most dishes that involve potatoes or sweet potatoes. And since I am gluten free potatoes are a good way to pack some carbohydrates into my diet, as well as lots of potassium.   

Now while I can make some mean artery clogging mashed potatoes every Christmas, we have three house specialty potato recipes.  Two of them are quick and delicious as a side or a meal in themselves.  The third is my family’s baked potato soup recipe tweaked to be gluten-free, which is delicious and easy.

Devra’s Baked Potatoes

Based off of these from Iowa Girl Eats

I don’t really like baked potatoes, never have.  Until I tried these!  They are not your average baked potato.  They are 10 times more delicious, and take ¼ – ½ the time to bake! Once you’ve made these one time, you’ll have them down.  You’ll be able to whip them up in no time.  These are what I make when we only have 20 minutes to get out the door.  While they cook we whip up a salad.

Ingredients:

  • Potato
  • Butter
  • Seasoned Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. First, rinse any dirt off of your potato, and then, using it a fork, stab the potato a couple of times on all “sides.”
  2. Microwave the potato for 5-10 minutes.  You want it basically all the way cooked, but not quite.  The cooking time will vary based on the size of your potato, how many potatoes, and the power of your microwave.
  3. Turn your oven onto broil.
  4. Remove potato from microwave and slice it in half long ways.  Slice a waffle grid into each half (you don’t want to slice all the way through! Just enough for the butter to melt down in there).
  5. Now put a pat of butter (this is up to your taste) on top each half, spread it around as it melts to ensure you get that deliciousness melted down into all of you potato.
  6. Sprinkle pepper, seasoned salt, and parmesan cheese to taste over top.
  7. Place the potato in the oven on broil for 5-10 minutes. Again this probably depends some on your oven and some on how crispy you want the top of your potato to get.

THE Pomeroy Potatoes

This one is Will and I’s go to, cheap, quick meal.  The best part is that they are good for any meal- breakfast, lunch, or dinner!  You can spruce them up however you like.  Add onions, peppers, jalapenos, black beans, cheese, or even bacon.  Oh and you can’t forget the Franks! Like the previous recipe, make them once and you’ll be lightening fast at them the second time around.

I don’t have any definitive measurements for you, it’s whatever you are in the mood for and whatever you have on hand.

Potatoes - 3

What you need:

  • A big skillet
  • Oil
  • Potatoes
  • Onions
  • Seasoned Salt & Pepper
  • Hot sauce
  • Optional: Bell pepper, jalapeno, cheese, black beans, bacon

Directions:

  1. Start by slicing your potatoes thin.  I try to make mine no more than 1/8th of inch thick.  That is because they cook faster if they are thinner,  If you have more patience than I do, then maybe you might want to try thicker slices.
  2. Heat a drizzle of oil in your skillet, add your potatoes.  I like to try to keep the potatoes in one layer as much as possible, but Will piles them in there, and honestly his turn out just as good as mine.  So whatever suits your fancy.
  3. As your potatoes are frying dice up your mix-ins.
  4. Keep an eye on the potatoes to make sure they aren’t burning, turn the periodically to cook all the sides, and you may need to add more oil.
  5. Sprinkle the potatoes with seasoned salt and pepper to taste. Potatoes - 6
  6. When you think your potatoes are just about done, add in the onions and whatever else.  You don’t want to add these in till close to the end because otherwise they turn into little bits of diced up charcoal.
  7.  Put on a plate and top with Hot Sauce, maybe even some cheese and bacon if you like.

 

My Mom’s Baked Potato Soup

Growing up my youth group would always have a baked potato bar fundraiser for our mission trips.  Man was that a hit with the second service church crowd!  But no matter how many people came we always had oodles of baked potatoes left over.  So my mom would always make baked potato soup – enough to feed a small army.  But that was perfectly ok with all of us, because that soup was ballin’.  I just made some for Will and I this week.  I had to deviate a bit from the original recipe because I have to use corn starch instead of flour.

Ingredients:

  • 6 medium Potatoes (can be leftover baked potatoes, or you can bake some ahead of time)
  • 1/3 cup Butter (or margarine)
  • 1/3 cup Green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons Dill
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups of Milk
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • ½ -1 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 4-6 slices of Bacon (cooked, drained, crumbled)(or bacon bits if you want to make this really easy)

Directions:

  1. Bake the potatoes at 425 for 40-60 minutes.  Remove them from the oven and allow to cool some.  Scoop out the insides of 4 of the potatoes and set aside.  Slice the other two into chunks.
  2. In a large sauce pan, melt the butter with the green onions.
  3. Add the seasonings (pepper, salt, and dill). Add the milk, and heat till almost boiling.
  4. Ladle out some of the hot milk mixture into a separate bowl, add the cornstarch, and whisk like mad till dissolved. I like to use a mug or my glass 2 cup measuring cup for this process.  They are easier to mix in.
  5. Add the thickened mixture back in, and add all the potatoes.  Cook for a few more minutes to reheat the potatoes.
  6. Mix in the cheese and bacon crumbles.

My Tweak:  I added about 2 tablespoons of chopped, fresh cilantro to mine.  I want to try adding mushrooms next time.

I hope you enjoy these recipes!  The first two are cheap and easy go to’s that I wish I would have known about in college! If you try them, leave me a comment and let me know what you think. =)