Kelly

Gingerbread Donuts

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
pinch ground cloves, (optional)
pinch ground allspice, (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter,, melted
1/4 cup brown sugar,, packed
1/4 cup molasses
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
3 Tablespoons Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease two 6-count donut pans and set aside. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, ground all spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a separate large bowl, whisk together butter, brown sugar and molasses until combined, about 1 minute. Add egg and whisk to combine, another minute. Mix in milk and yogurt. Stir until all ingredients are incorporated. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Avoid over mixing. Pour batter into donut tins. The tins will be full. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes, or until donut springs back when lightly touched.

Cinnamon Sugar Coating

  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted or butter flavor spray

In a wide, shallow dish, whisk together the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Dip the tops and bottoms of warm donuts into the melted butter (or spray the warm donuts with butter flavor spray, then immediately into the spiced sugar mixture.


I used this pan from Pampered Chef and the recipe makes 12 perfect size donuts: https://www.pamperedchef.com/shop/Cookware+%26+Bakeware/Baking+Pans/Donut+Pan/100019

 

 

Chex Mix

3 cups Corn Chex™ cereal

3 cups Rice Chex™ cereal

3 cups Wheat Chex™ cereal

1 cup peanuts

1 cup bite-size pretzels

1 cup cheerios

6 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 1/2 teaspoons seasoned salt

3/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Preheat oven to 250°

Make the seasoning mixture. Place the butter in a medium, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring between each, until fully melted, 50 to 60 seconds total. (Alternatively, melt in a small saucepan on the stovetop over low heat.) Add 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 teaspoons seasoned salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder, and 1 teaspoon onion powder, and whisk well to combine.

Place all the cereals, pretzels, and nuts into a large bowl and toss to combine. Drizzle the seasoning mixture over all of it. Do this in a few stages and mix well in between each to get everything coated.

Bake until lightly brown and crispy. Transfer the mixture onto baking sheets that has been lined with tin foil and sprayed with cooking spray; then spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until lightly browned and crisp, 45 to 50 minutes total. Let cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheets before serving.

The Best Steak You’ll Ever Eat

The Best Steak You’ll Ever Eat

I know that’s a big title to live up to – but it really is the best steak I’ve ever eaten. I’ve tried this method on a few different cuts of meat and it works every time – you just  have to adjust the cooking time to suit how you like your steak and of course, the thickness.

The Best Steak You'll Ever Eat

 

This recipe makes basically two servings; of course, that depends on your appetite so adjust accordingly! I have been using “tenderloin tails” that I get at a local shop. They are around 4 ounces each and I usually make 3 of them for the two of us and I eat one and Eric eats 2 or sometimes I eat part of one of his 🙂

2 – 3 pieces of steak – recipe is assuming they are around 1 1/2″ to 2″ thick
Worcestershire sauce
“Steak Seasoning” – recipe below
Olive oil

About a half hour before you are going to cook your steak:

  • dry your steak with paper towels
  • place steaks in a shallow dish or bowl that you can cover (I use a medium rectangular Pyrex storage container with a lid)
  • drizzle around a half tablespoon or so (depending on the size of your steaks) of Worcestershire sauce over the steaks and rub in in lightly
  • sprinkle around a half teaspoon or so (again depending on size) of the “Steak Seasoning” and rub that in well
  • flip the steaks over and repeat
  • cover the steaks and let sit at room temperature for 20 – 30 minutes

Cooking the steaks:

  • preheat oven to 400º
  • place a light layer of olive oil in your (oven safe) fry pan
  • get the pan heated up to medium-high
  • use tongs (not a fork) to place the steaks in the pan
  • rub them around for a second in the pan to distribute the olive oil and IMMEDIATELY flip them over
  • cook them for around 2 – 3 minutes (keep an eye on them but DON’T flip them) yet
  • once a good crust forms on the bottom of each steak flip them over
  • then IMMEDIATELY put the pan with the steaks into the oven
  • cook them for about 3 minutes for medium rare
  • take the pan out of the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting it

Remember this recipes is for the smaller tenderloin tails – a larger cut of steak will take longer, and it depends on how rare to well done you like your steak.

A really easy way to test your steak is the “press” test. When you press on the steak with your finger you can feel the firmness of it. Use this method with your own hand to see what it should feel like:

  • Hold your hand open and face up – Feel the palm of your hand, just below your thumb. It’s a little soft and fleshy. This is what raw steak should feel like when you touch it.
  • Now bring your thumb to your pointer finger, and touch that same part of your palm again. Did you notice how it’s slightly firmer? A rare steak should feel like this when you touch it.
  • Touch your thumb to your middle finger. Notice how that section of your palm tenses up a little more? This is what a medium-­rare steak feels like.
  • Move your thumb to your ring finger. Now the palm may feel slightly flexed. This level of firmness means your steak is cooked medium.
  • Now touch your thumb to your pinky. That section of your palm will be fairly firm. This is what a well-­done steak feels like.

Steak Seasoning

This recipe makes enough for making this recipe several times. I keep it in a small mason jar on my spice shelf. All herbs in this recipe are dried herbs.

2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1 – 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon salt

I like to put all of this in my mortar and pestle and crush it up a bit as I’m mixing, but the is not completely necessary. Mix it up well and store in a tightly covered container.

Cole Slaw

Cole Slaw

Dressing:
3 Tablespoons mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon sugar or stevia equivalent
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

5 cups shredded cabbage
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots

Mix first 6 ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Place cabbage and carrots into large bowl. Stir dressing into the cabbage mixture until well combined. Chill and enjoy!

Egg Roll in a Bowl

Egg Roll In a Bowl

2 bags (or 4 cups cooked) brown rice (I use the boil in bag brown rice)

1 lb. ground turkey (you could use beef or chicken or pork as well)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium pepper (green, red, yellow or whatever color you like – or mix it up!), chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
1 1/2 Tablespoons sesame oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shredded carrots
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (more if you like it more spicy)
1/3 cup low sodium chicken broth
3 cups (approximately) shredded cabbage
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

Cook rice according to package directions. You can do this in advance or while you are cooking the rest of the dish.

Place ground meat in a large pan (I use a wok for this) and brown lightly on medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, and broccoli and stir fry until the veggies are done almost to your liking. Add the minced garlic, carrots, ginger, and crushed red pepper and saute for another minute or so; add the chicken broth, stir well. Add the cabbage and cook until the cabbage is slightly wilted. Add the soy sauce and rice; mix well and enjoy!

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

This crock pot meal takes bout 10 minutes of prep time and the incredible smell all day will drive you crazy! It’s easy, nutritious, and makes at least 8 servings at less than 300 calories per bowl…of course, that depends on what you like to put on top – some ideas are, diced avocado, raw onions, shredded cheese, sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt), tortilla strips, or crushed corn chips…..

Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Soup

Chicken Enchilada Stew

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 /14 cups red enchilada sauce (store bought – or even better try the recipe below – very easy, healthy, and less expensive!)
1 – 14 oz can diced tomatoes
2 – 14 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 – 15 oz can creamed corn, no salt added
1 – 4 oz can diced green chilies
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Add all ingredients – except chicken breasts – to a your crock pot; mix well. Submerge chicken breasts into the soup. Cover and cook for 6 – 8 hours on low. About a half hour or so before you are ready to eat, remove the chicken from the crock pot and use two forks to shred it; add it back to the soup, stir to combine, and let it cook for another half hour.

Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

1 chipotle pepper, plus 1 Tablespoon of the adobo sauce (the stuff the chipotle come packed in)
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock, low sodium
3 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 – 8 oz can tomato sauce, no salt added
4 Tablespoons chili powder
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Combine the chipolte pepper, adobo sauce, and 1/2 cup of chicken stock in a blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth, with no solids remaining.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the four and whisk for 1 minute (being careful no to let it stick to the bottom). Add the tomato sauce, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, oregano, and onion powder. Continue to whisk and add in the chipolte pepper mixture. Once the everything is totally combined and smooth; add in the chicken stock 1/2 cup at a time; whisking continuously to make sure you don’t get any lumps. Keep whisking until the sauce is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. You can use this immediately or let it cool and refrigerate it or freeze it.

This recipe makes almost exactly enough for 3 batches of the Enchilada Soup recipe above. I usually make this and use one serving for the soup and then freeze the rest in two equal portions – so the next time I want to make this soup, I just grab one from the freezer and I’m good to go!

Turkey Bar-B-Q – Slow Cooker

Coming Soon

1 – 1/2 lb. turkey tenderloin
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt-free lemon pepper seasoning
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth (you can substitute water, if desired)

Spray the insert of the slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place the tenderloin in the bottom in a single layer. Combine the remaining ingredients together in a small bowl and mix well; pour sauce over turkey. Cover and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours. About a half hour before it is ready, remove the cover and shred the turkey with a large spoon or 2 forks; replace the cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes.

This is great on toasted whole wheat buns or even served over whole wheat noodles!

Variations:

You can substitute boneless, skinless chicken breasts or pork tenderloin for the turkey.

 

 

 

 

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

Slow Cooker Chicken Stew

Chicken Stew

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into cubes
2 cups potatoes, cubed (I use either red or Yukon gold and do not peel them)
2 cups carrots, sliced (I use baby carrots and quarter them)

½ Tablespoon olive oil
½ cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons butter (I use Smart Balance Light with Flax)
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cups skim milk
1 ¼ teaspoons poultry seasoning – divided (I use Bell Seasoning)

1 cup frozen peas

Spray a slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken, potatoes, and carrots into the slow cooker; sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the poultry seasoning. In a medium sauté pan over medium-low heat, add the olive oil and onions; saute for about 5 miinutes and then add the garlic and saute for another 1 – 2 minutes. Add the onion mixutre to the chicken and veggies. Turn up the heat under the pan to medium and add the butter. When the butter is mostly melted sprinkle in the flour and 1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning; using a wire whisk, mix well. You will have what looks like crumbs in the pan. Let this cook for about 2 minutes, keeping everything moving and letting the pan get fairly hot. Start adding the milk a little at a time, whisking well after each addition and making sure everything is smooth; letting the pan heat back up again before adding the next milk addition (this will help the sauce stay smooth and lump free). Pour this sauce over the chicken and veggies and mix well.

Cover, and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours. At approximately 7 ½ hours add the frozen peas, replace the lid and continue cooking for 30 minutes.

 

 

Spinach and Artichoke Mac & Cheese

I love spinach and artichoke dip and I love mac and cheese – so why not put them together for dinner!!

Spinach and Artichoke Mac & Cheese

Spinach and Artichoke Mac and Cheese

1 lb. whole wheat pasta (I used rotini)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 10 oz. bag frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
1 12 oz. jar chopped (or quartered) artichoke hearts
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cups milk (I use skim)
1-1/4 cups shredded Asiago cheese
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350° and spray a 9″ x 13″ casserole dish with non stick spray.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package (I omit the salt). While the pasta is cooking, place a large saucepan over medium-low heat; add the olive oil and then the onions. Saute the onions for about 10 minutes; until they are soft. Add the garlic and saute for another 2 -3 minutes. Add the spinach and artichokes; season with nutmeg and pepper; mix well. Saute until the veggies are warm and well combined (3 – 4 minutes). Place all into a plate and reserve.

When the pasta is done cooking, drain, put pasta back in the pot and then add this veggie mixture to the pasta; blend well and keep warm while you make the sauce.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the butter. When the butter is mostly melted, sprinkle in the flour and, using a wire whisk, mix well. You will have what looks like crumbs in the pan. Let this cook for 2 – 3 minutes, keeping everything moving and letting the pan get fairly hot. Start adding the milk a little at a time, whisking well after each addition and making sure everything is smooth; letting the pan heat back up again before adding the next milk addition (this will help the sauce stay smooth and lump free). Once you have added all of the milk, add in the Asiago and Parmigiano Reggiano and whisk until smooth.

Add the sauce to the pasta/veggie mixture and put it all into the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle the 1/4 cup of Mozzarella over the top, cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cover, turn on the broiler for about 3 – 4 minutes to brown the top (watch very carefully!!).

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

Slow Cooker Beef Stew

1 lb. lean stew beef
1/4 cup whole wheat flour (plus some more for coating)
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 Tablespoon chopped garlic
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
4 cups low sodium beef broth
3 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups (approximately) chopped carrots (I use baby carrots and cut them in half)
2 cups (approximately) chopped potatoes
1 cup frozen peas

Spray your slow cooker with non-stick cooking spray. Place about 3-4 Tablespoons of whole wheat flour into a zip lock bag; add in a few shakes of black pepper and garlic powder, shake it up. Put all of the stew beef cubes into the bag and shake to coat well. Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the beef cubes a few at a time to the pan and lightly brown on all sides. When they are brown, remove them and add them to the slow cooker. Once you browned all of the beef add the onion to the same skillet and cook for 2 – 3 minutes (just to very lightly soften them), add garlic and cook for about another 1 minute. Transfer the onion and garlic to the slow cooker with the beef and add in the carrots and potatoes. Add the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil to the skillet (still on medium heat). Add the tomato paste and stir until the oil begins to turn brick-red, about 1 minute. Add the flour and using a wire whisk get it completely incorporated into the paste/oil mixture; cooking for a couple of minutes. Add the beef broth a little at a time, making sure to get each addition completely incorporated before adding more. Once you’ve added all of the broth, add in the bay leaves, thyme, allspice, and pepper; bring to a simmer, whisking all the time, until it is smooth and thickens slightly, about 4 minutes. Pour into the slow cooker and mix everything well. Cover and cook on low for 7 – 8 hours. Just before you are ready to serve; stir in the frozen peas, replace the cover for about 15 minutes.

Delicious!!