Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Meatless Monday #2

Last night, instead of doing a veggie meal with did a pizza.  Homemade pizza dough, which was made in my new Kitchen Aid mixer, Organic spinach sauted with garlic, mushrooms & onions.  Then topped with Monterey jack, Mozzarella, goat cheese & Kalamata olives.  And it was served along side an Arugula salad with blue cheese dressing.  I did learn that my Pro 600 is too big for 1 batch of pizza dough so next time any dough recipe that calls for less than 2 cups I will just make by hand & that's ok, I still love it!!!  

Monday, September 20, 2010

Meatless Monday #1

A friend of mine recently suggested doing a "Meatless Monday" for my blog & I thought what a great idea!  So tonight was our 1st one.  The Meatless Monday campaign is about reducing meat consumption to improve our health & the health of our planet.  I was born in the 70's so I love this hippie stuff & embrace it accordingly.  I can't think of a better way to start our week than with organic healthy fresh produce.  So here's a look at the yummy veggies that were served tonight for dinner.

Squash & Zucchini sauted in 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon EVOO with 1 clove of minced garlic, a little honey to enhance its sweetness & salt & pepper to taste.

Quartered Roasted Red Potatoes with EVOO, Sunny Paris Seasoning & Salt & Pepper to taste.  Roasted at 400 degrees for 45 mins.

Finished off with a salad

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Organic vs Non Organic

We have all heard the excuses for not eating organic foods & the one that's my personal favorite is that they are too expensive.  Well, today after a trip to Whole Foods & then Kroger I have something that's going to shock & awww.  We recently decided to make some additional changes to our already pretty healthy diet but we wanted to incorporate more organic foods, buy things that are free range with no antibiotics or hormones added & start a "Meatless Monday" to help reduce our meat intake & hopefully send a clear message that we will not rest until more grocery stores support the grass fed meat movement.    

Below you will find 2 pics, the first one is a few Non-Organic food items from our local Kroger, the total cost of the bill was $36.81.  

The 2nd one is of organic produce from Whole Foods, total cost of this bill was $14.21

Conclusion, we spent LESS money purchasing Organic foods from Whole Foods than we did from purchasing Non Organic foods from Kroger.  The deli meat alone was $15 from Kroger and for that same amount we bought all the Organic produce you see above.  Organic produce is only about $2.99 per lb vs meat which can be as much as $20+ per lb.  If we are eating less meat & more produce then its cheaper & better for us.  It can be done & saying it's too expensive just doesn't hold water & I will quickly refer anyone to this page who decides to go toe to toe with me ;) NOTE:  This is our entire grocery bill for 1 week for 2 ppl.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

Chicken & Dumplings

This was made as a request from my sister.  She has been craving the Banquet Crock Pot version of this and couldn't find it anywhere (don't get me started, haha).  So she came to me & asked if I could come up with one.  This is one of things I love most, the challenge to recreate something she loves & something I had never made before, I was in heaven!!!  After some research, it hit me I have a similar recipe that I created from scratch that everyone has come to love, the Cheeseburger Soup...why not keep the fundamentals & alter the ingredients a bit & come up with a whole new soup & this is what was born.  Hope you enjoy as much as we have.  

2 to 3 teaspoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 Celery stalks diced
1 cup shredded carrots (I used matchstick & gave them a rough chop)
2 cups of shredded Chicken thighs or approx 4 thighs (cooked) 
1 quart/32oz chicken stock unsalted
1/2 Teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

4 tablespoons Chicken fat (reserved from Chicken Thighs)
1/3 cup flour
2 cups Evaporated Milk
1 Tablespoon Herb de Provence 
1 teaspoon dry mustard (2 tablespoons Dijon - I think this is what causes the seperation so I will take it out next time & just use the dry)
salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 package Pillsbury Recipe Creations & cut them into squares 

1. In a dutch oven over med-high heat, add EVOO, onion, celery & carrots. Cook til tender. 

2. Add the chicken broth, shredded chicken, garlic & onion powder. 

3. In a saucepan over medium heat add chicken fat, stir in flour until smooth. Slowly stir in the milk & add dry mustard. Continue stirring until Roux thickens and begins to bubble slightly. 

4. Add roux into the soup & whisk until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

5. Unroll the dough & use a pizza cutter to cut into small squares. Add them directly to the pot & simmer for 20 to 30 mins. They will puff up. ENJOY!!

NOTE: Try to use chicken thighs instead of breasts because you need the fat from them to make the roux. And the thighs are more tender & will maintain their juicy tenderness in the soup, where the breasts will be drier.  
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