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Friday, January 29, 2010

Ratatouille on Pasta

I found some eggplant on sale for $1. I've only had eggplant once before on a pizza and my husband and girls had never tried it, so we decided to be a little adventurous.
I decided to use my eggplant in ratatouille. Here's how I made mine:
You need:
1 eggplant
2 zucchini
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes with garlic
1 can tomato sauce
olive oil
Dice up the zucchini and eggplant. Because the zucchini will take longer to cook, add it to a large skillet and drizzle with olive oil and cook for about 3 minutes or so, until it starts to become tender and then add your eggplant. Drizzle with more olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes and then add diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to boil and simmer until vegetables are cooked through.
While cooking ratatouille, put on pasta to cook. I used miniature bow tie pasta and dittany, simply because that is what I had on hand.
The verdict:
My husband and I both thought this was very good. My girls refused to even try the eggplant, but really had fun with the pasta. I thought this would also be good with sausage.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Mushroom Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

I found mushrooms on sale for a dollar so I picked some up. I also had a few sweet potatoes and surprisingly an onion that needed to be used real soon in addition to muenster cheese in the freezer that I had picked up on sale a while back. What to do with all these? Make hamburgers and fries, of course.
I bake my hamburger patties in the oven at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes, flipping once. I find this is easier for me than cooking them all in a skillet, especially since we don't have a grill. I sliced the onions thin and sauteed them with the mushrooms in Worcestershire sauce. As for the sweet potatoes, I peeled them and then placed them on a cookie sheet with some olive oil and salt and pepper for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

White Chicken Chili

With the weather taking a bit of a turn and getting colder, I decided to make a nice hearty chili. While I made this on the stove, this could easily be put in the crock pot to cook.

Ingredients: 1 can chicken, 1 can diced green chilies, 1 can garbanzo beans, 1 can navy or white kidney beans, 1 can corn or hominy, i can sliced olives, 1 t. diced garlic, 1T oil (I use EVOO), 1 can chicken broth (or 2 cups if using homemade), 1t. cumin. If you want it spicy add 1/2-1 can of El Pato sauce (We add ours to individuals bowls after serving.)
Using a stock pot (or dutch oven) add oil, garlic, green chilies and cumin and mix together. Add in remaining ingredients. Bring to boil and simmer about 5-10 minutes. Serve with chips, cheese, salsa, tortillas, sour cream, El Pato, salsa, corn bread, etc.
If using a crock pot, cook on low 4-6 hours or high 2-3 hours.
This also makes a great food storage recipe, since all the ingredients are pantry friendly.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Goals Update

I started this blog a year ago to help me keep track of how often and how much we were spending eating out. While I didn't do so great in keeping a monthly tally, I did get better at eating more at home. We moved to a smaller city in the fall, which I believe helped. There simply isn't the fast food or restaurant choices available here as there used to be. I also began watching other children during the week, which has put an end to my lunch time fast food runs. I don't necessarily want to spend more money than I make watching them to feed them lunch. We do still occasionally eat out, but not nearly as often and more than not I have planned to eat out, which is a first. Before, it was simply a whim. Dinnertime would come and I would not feel like cooking, so off to the nearest fast food place we'd go. I've gotten better at menu planning and stocking my pantry and freezer, so I can put a quick meal together with what we have. I still have room for improvement. We still eat out 1-2 times a week. I'd love to get that down to 1-2 times a month. We'll see what 2010 brings.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Kielbasa and Acorn Squash

I received a plethora of acorn squash over Christmas, so I've been coming up with recipes to use with the ones I haven't been able to give away.
This is just a twist on an old recipe.
Ingredients: 1 pkg kielbasa, 1 acorn squash, bell pepper, 1/2 c. orange juice, 1/4 c. maple syrup, instant rice, olive oil
Directions: Peel and cut up squash into 1 inch pieces. Dice bell pepper. Slice kielbasa. In skillet, pour approx. 1 T. olive oil and add kielbasa. Cook kielbasa to desired doneness (Kielbasa doesn't need to be cooked, but we like ours browned. So, if you want you can just add it along with the vegetables.) Add squash and bell pepper. Mix orange juice and syrup together and pour over meat and vegetables. Cook until squash is done, about 10 minutes. Prepare instant rice. Serve kielbasa and acorn squash over rice.


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