Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Asparagus Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust

Here’s another side dish recipe you’ll want to try for the holidays. I’ve been looking for recipes that are off the beaten path, so to speak; something different from the traditional Thanksgiving and Christmas dishes. This one was so interesting to me because it uses spaghetti squash to make the crust, foregoing the usual flour based pie crust.

Even though I was interested in it because of the unique crust, I have to tell you I didn’t think it would work out. I thought it wasn’t going to hold up, or it would stick to the pie pan or something. Am I ever glad I was wrong! It turned out excellent, and is one of those foods you want to keep eating just to keep enjoying that flavor!

It comes from Tasty Kitchen, by the way, and I did tweak it in my own special way. ;-) I cut down on the onion slightly, and I added in grated carrot and rosemary. It came out so good, I just know you’ll love this.

 So, let’s get cooking!

You’ll need to first bake the spaghetti squash. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Grease a sheet pan and lay the squash halves cut side down. Bake at 375° for 30-40 minutes, until tender inside.

When they’re cool enough to handle, use a fork to scrape out the inside, which comes out looking like angel hair spaghetti. My beautiful assistant chef, my daughter Megan, loves doing this part and she’s very good at it.

While the squash is cooling, grate the carrot, peel and mince the garlic, mince the onion, and cut the asparagus into 1 inch lengths.

In a skillet with a little oil, sauté the minced onion for about two minutes. Add the asparagus and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Then add the minced garlic and cook a minute more.

While that’s cooking, press the 3 c of spaghetti squash into a greased pie pan with your hand.

Mix the carrots into the asparagus and add to the pie pan. Whisk the eggs and milk together, along with the salt, pepper, rosemary, and Swiss cheese. Pour it on top of the veggies.

Bake in a 375° oven for about 40 minutes. You want a knife stuck in the center to come out clear, and the top to be lightly browned.

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Asparagus Quiche with Spaghetti Squash Crust

1 small spaghetti squash
13 oz asparagus
2 Tbl minced onion
2 cloves garlic
1 small carrot
5 eggs
½ c milk
1 tsp dried rosemary, chopped
½ tsp each salt & pepper
1 c shredded Swiss cheese

Monday, December 14, 2015

Best Green Bean Casserole

A little story about me and green beans. Growing up, my 4 siblings and I would spend the night at our Grammie and Grampie's house in Roslindale, MA, individually, for a special time with them. On one of my turns, Grammie served green beans, and I hated them. I wouldn't eat them, and Grammie said I had to stay at the table until I ate them. After an hour, she finally let me get up. I never did like green beans until I was well into adulthood with children of my own. And then, I would only eat them plain or cooked Chinese style.

Anyhoo, this is a recipe from All Recipes, by Jan, it says. I’ve never been a fan of green bean casserole, never ate more than a taste, probably because with the usual ingredients, it just never sparked much interest. But when I saw this recipe, I was persuaded to try it, especially because it added cheese. But I didn’t stop there, I tweaked it by adding some sour cream, and good gravy Marie, was it ever good. Try this tweaked version of Best Green Bean Casserole at your holiday table this season and see what happens!

So, let’s get cooking!

Assuming you’ve cooked the frozen green beans, shred the cheddar cheese.

In a large mixing bowl, place the cream of mushroom soup, milk, sour cream, salt and pepper, ¾ c of the cheddar cheese, and 4 oz of the French Fried onions.

Mix together and add the beans.

Grease a 9 X 13” baking dish. Pour the whole ball of wax in and level out. Sprinkle the other ½ c of shredded cheddar cheese on top, and then the rest of the French Fried onions. Bake at 350° for 35 minutes.

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Best Green Bean Casserole

24 oz frozen cut green beans,
1 10.75 oz can cream of
   Mushroom soup
½ c milk
½ c sour cream
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 ¼ c cheddar cheese, divided
6 oz French Fried onions

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Garlic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

So, we all know that many people don’t like Brussels sprouts. Even I didn’t like them for years. I would have eaten them only with someone holding a gun to my head. Enter Garlic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon. This is *the* recipe that will turn people’s hearts around toward the lonely little cabbage-like veggie. Because….bacon. ‘Nuff said.

This recipe, from Allrecipes, originally had some chicken broth to cook the sprouts in, and some oil. I didn’t want to boil them, so I excluded the broth, and I switched the oil out for the grease left from the bacon. It came out so delicious, we carefully rationed out the leftovers at lunch, wishing there had been more.

So, let’s get cooking!

First, cook the bacon in a skillet. Most people like their bacon crispy, and the recipe did call for it that way, but I like it a little softer, so I made it my way. Set the bacon aside after it’s done cooking, but leave the grease in the pan.

While the bacon is cooking, peel and mince the garlic. Cut the ends off the Brussels sprouts and slice in half.

When the bacon is done, toss the Brussels sprouts into the skillet and sauté over medium heat, stirring several times. I covered the pan and cooked them about 10 minutes, stirring every minute or so. Add a couple teaspoons butter if needed. I did.

Add the garlic and stir, cooking a minute more.

Chop up the bacon and add to the sprouts, stirring thoroughly until heated through. Add the pepper.

And they’re done. A great dish to make for a holiday gathering this season. Enjoy! ~TMMF

Garlic Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

1 lb Brussels sprouts
½ lb bacon
2 huge cloves garlic
2 tsp butter
½ tsp pepper

Monday, December 7, 2015

Cheesy Cauliflower & Ham

This is a recipe I made based on my Baked Macaroni & Cheese recipe. I was trying to cut down on the carbohydrates, so I used cauliflower and added ham. It would have tasted fine without the ham, but I love ham in this kind of dish, and my little carnivore Timmy always asks, “Is there any meat in it?” ;-)

The only changes I made to it were….oh wait, it’s my recipe! Haha

So, let’s get cooking!

Cut the cauliflower into florets. Cook in a large pot with water halfway up the cauliflower, covered, until just tender.

Cube the ham into ¾ inch chunks.

Shred the cheddar cheese and cube the Velveeta cheese.

In a large sauce pan, melt the butter and mix in the flour with a whisk to make the roux.

Slowly add the milk, stirring continuously, until thickened. You’ll want the heat at slightly more than medium, but make sure it doesn’t burn and as soon as it’s thickened, turn the heat down a couple notches.

Add the salt, pepper, and all three cheeses, stirring, until cheeses have melted. Look at the stringy cheese!

Drain the cauliflower after cooking. Add the florets and the cubed ham to the cheese sauce. And look at all that yummy stringy cheesy goodness! Enjoy! ~TMMF

Cheesy Cauliflower & Ham

2 heads cauliflower
3 c cubed ham
5 Tbl butter
½ c flour
4 c milk
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
6 oz Velveeta
1 c sharp cheddar cheese
1 c mozzarella cheese

Monday, November 30, 2015

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

This delicious pasta dish comes from Damn Delicious, and it sure is! I love pasta, my kids love pasta, the whole family loves pasta, even my hips love pasta….but we won’t go there. ;-)

What did I change in this? The original had cream and goat cheese. I decided I could just use milk, and I switched out the goat cheese for feta. I didn’t have any goat cheese, and even if I had, I probably would have paid too much for it, and one goal I have at TMMF is to present really good recipes for the average family who doesn’t have a heck of a lot to spend.

That’s not to say I don’t ever use something expensive in my recipes; I’m just choosy about what I will pay more money for. Most of the time you can switch some ingredients out for something less expensive and still have a fantastic dish.

So, let’s get cooking!

Set a large pot of water to boil for the linguine. When the pasta is cooked al dente, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

And while that’s happening on a back burner, dice the onion and mince the garlic.

In a large skillet, sauté the onion and garlic in the oil a few minutes until tender.

Add the milk, feta cheese, and parmesan cheese, stirring with a whisk. Cook over medium heat about 4-5 minutes.

Throw in the drained roasted red peppers. Well okay, no sense in making a mess. You know as well as I do you’ll be the one that has to clean it up. “Place” the drained roasted red peppers, ever so delicately, into the sauce which is in the skillet. Better? ;-)

Now you need to puree the sauce. If you have a handy dandy immersion blender, like I do, you’re way ahead of the game. If you don’t, well then you’re SOL, sorry-outta-luck. Kidding, KIDDING!

If you must be so difficult as to not have an immersion blender, find yourself a regular blender, puree it, then transfer it back into the skillet.

Now add the drained linguine to the sauce and mix in, cooking just a couple of minutes to heat the pasta. And you’re done!

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo

12 oz linguine
2 Tbl oil
1 med onion
2 cloves garlic
1 c milk
4 oz feta cheese
½ c parmesan cheese
1 14 oz can diced
   roasted red peppers, drained

Friday, November 27, 2015

Brownie Protein Truffles

The holidays are upon us, and with all the parties, gatherings, and special occasions, most of us are going to be cooking and baking like nobody’s business. This recipe is not only easy and fun to make with the kids, it’s also a healthy snack for a holiday to-do amongst all the fat-laden, empty calorie goodies out there.

This no-bake recipe is from Busy But Healthy, and it’s pretty adaptable to suit your family’s dietary needs. It uses whey protein powder, but soy protein powder stands in perfectly fine. The nuts and dried fruit possibilities are endless with this one, and make for some interesting combinations.

My daughter and I used peanuts, almonds, cashews, raisins, dried cranberries, dried cherries, peanut butter chips, and chocolate chips. In order to make this an affordable recipe for our family, we purchased a 5 oz package of Great Value Dried Mixed Berries for $2.98. It had cranberries, cherries, and blueberries. We also bought an 8 oz can of mixed nuts for $2.00. If you’ve ever looked at the bags of individual dried fruits, and the selection of nuts, you know how expensive they are. Doing it this way gave us a variety of fruits and nuts, saved us money, and gave us plenty left over for other recipes.

The kids loved this snack, and I just know you will too.

So, let’s get "cooking!"

Pick out a variety of nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips, coconut, seeds, and seasonal cookie/cake decorations. Chop the nuts and larger dried fruits. My Chief Assistant, my daughter Megan, loved helping with this. She wanted to do all of the nuts, but then I wouldn’t have had much to do!

Mix together the dough for the truffles. It starts out looking like it’ll be too dry, but have faith, it does come together. ;-)

Scoop out using a 1 ¾ oz scoop.

We scooped a bunch out onto our cutting boards, then rolled them. We then took the balls of dough and rolled them into nuts or pressed dried fruits or chocolate chips into them, then rolled them into nuts.

Some combinations we made: cherry chocolate chip, cherry almond, and raisins and peanuts (like a Chunky candy  bar). Others we rolled in plain cashews or peanuts, and peanut butter chips. Oh, and we rolled some in assorted Christmas jimmies and sprinkles.

Place on parchment paper on a sheet pan. Store in a container in the fridge. If they make it that long. ;-)

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Brownie Protein Truffles
    (makes about 30)

1 c whey protein, chocolate
1/2 c baking cocoa
1 c natural peanut butter
1/2 c honey
2 Tbl milk

Nuts, dried fruits, coconut, chocolate chips, jimmies, seeds

Each unadorned Truffle has approx.: Calories: 49, Fat: 2.7 g, Saturated fat: 0.5 g, Carbs: 5 g, Sugar: 0.3 g, Sodium: 12 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Protein: 4 g.

Check out for some other healthy snacks and recipes for this holiday season, including vegan and gluten free.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

One Pan Enchilada Pasta

One pan, cheese, and Mexican to boot? I’m in! This great recipe comes from No. 2 Pencil. For veggies, it only had ½ a small onion, and you just know I’d up that somehow. I used more onion and added in green bell pepper. I could have added diced carrots or zucchini, which would have gone well in it, but I didn't have any on hand. I also threw in a can of black beans and some red pepper flakes, and left out the 2 Tbl oil. It didn‘t need that extra fat and served no purpose. It came our awesome!

So, let’s get cooking!

Dice the onion and green pepper, and mince the garlic.

In a large skillet, sauté the ground turkey, onions, peppers, and minced garlic with the packet of taco seasoning.

When thoroughly cooked, add the chicken broth, enchilada sauce, red pepper flakes, pasta, and drained, rinsed black beans. Bring to a boil on high heat, then turn heat down and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

While that's cooking, slice the scallions and black olives, if you're using them.

Uncover and cook an additional five minutes. Stir in 1 c of the Colby jack cheese, then top with the rest of the cheese and the scallions and black olives. Um, I may or may not have thrown in a big handful of shredded mozzarella cheese, too….. ;-)

Serve and watch the smiles. Enjoy! ~TMMF

One Pan Enchilada Pasta

1 lb ground turkey
1 sm onion
1 sm green bell pepper
2 cloves garlic
1 pkt taco seasoning
½ tsp red pepper flakes
1 19 oz can enchilada sauce
2 c chicken broth
8 oz rotini
2 c shredded Colby jack cheese
1 can black beans
scallions and black olives (optional)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Spicy Southern Chicken Spaghetti

Okay, this is a recipe from Delightful-Delicious-Delovely. I’ve heard of Chicken Spaghetti, but I had never made it before now. I was attracted to this particular recipe because it has cheese, diced tomatoes with green chilies, and more cheese. The only changes I made were to use a little less pasta and a little more cumin, use cream of celery soup instead of cream of chicken, and I used regular bread crumbs instead of Panko. This recipe is oh-so-good! I’m sure you’ll like it too!

So, let’s get cooking!

Get a pot of water boiling to cook the spaghetti. When done, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking.

While that’s happening, sauté the chicken breast in a tiny amount of oil in a skillet. I sliced it up to make it cook faster. When it’s done, set it aside on a plate to cool.

And in the meantime, cube the Velveeta.

In the same skillet (don’t clean it out), mix together the cream of celery soup, milk, sriracha sauce, cumin, pepper, and salt with a whisk. Add the Velveeta and cook over medium heat to melt and blend.

While the cheese is melting, cube the cooked chicken breast into ½ inch pieces.

Add the cubed chicken and the can of diced tomatoes and chilies and heat through.

Turn the heat off and add the mozzarella cheese, melting it. Mix in the spaghetti. A set of tongs made it easier to do. Turn the whole mess into a greased 11X15 baking dish.

In a bowl, melt the butter and add in the bread crumbs, mixing together with a fork. Sprinkle over the casserole. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. And it’s done! Look at the cheesy yumminess bubbling up!

Enjoy! ~TMMF

Spicy Southern Chicken Spaghetti

12 oz pasta
1 lb chicken breast
1 can cream of celery soup
1 c milk
12 oz Velveeta
1-2 Tbl sriracha sauce
1 tsp cumin
¾ tsp pepper
½ tsp salt
1 10 oz can diced tomatoes & chilies
1 c shredded mozzarella
1 c bread crumbs
2 Tbl butter

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

One Pot Wonder Southwest Pasta

I love One Pot recipes, whether you throw it all in and just cook, or you use the same one pot or pan several times for the recipe. This one is from The Wholesome Dish, and since I love anything remotely Mexicanny, I had to try it. It came out soupier than many of the One Pot pasta recipes I’ve made, but that’s not a bad thing. I *love* soup, and this was SO good that my daughter Megan and I ate leftovers for breakfast the next day. Yup, we’re weird like that. ;-)

The only changes I made to this recipe was adding some chicken breast and a couple cloves of garlic. You know how I love garlic, and it keeps me safe from vampires, too. ;-)

So, let’s get cooking!

First cut the veggies. Slice the pepper and onion into strips about an inch long. Mince the garlic.

Measure out the two cups of frozen corn. Or if you’re like me and froze a huge bag of it without thinking, use a butter knife and hammer to hack off 2 cups of frozen corn. ;-)

Place the peppers, onions, tomatoes, corn, garlic, and pasta in a large pot.

Cut the chicken breast into cubes. This recipe would be fine without the chicken too, but I have a little carnivore named Timmy who asks for meat all the time. ;-)

Add the cubed chicken to the pot, along with the taco seasoning, oil, and broth.

Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to simmer, covered, for about 12-15 minutes.

Drain and rinse the black beans and add to the pasta mixture along with the cheese. Mix in until heated through, and serve it up.

Enjoy! ~TMMF

One Pot Wonder Southwest Pasta

1 green bell pepper
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes & chilies
14 oz pasta
1 chicken breast (optional)
1 packet taco seasoning
2 tsp oil
4 c chicken broth
1 15 oz can black beans
1 c fiesta blend shredded cheese