Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chipotle Basil Corn Chowder

This is delicious, so healthy, practically fat-free, and even vegan if you follow the recipe exactly (I don't since we're not vegan.) My extremely-meat-loving husband adores it, if that tells you anything.

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced (1/2 cup)
5 small red potatoes, diced small (3 cups)
1 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp chipotle in adobo, minced (canned)-(This gives the soup a spicy "kick." I use some Hickory Farms chipotle ranch sauce instead because we always have it in the fridge.)
3 cups water
1 vegetable bouillon cube
3 cups sweet corn
1/2 cup soy milk (I use regular milk)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp lime juice
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
Black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in large pot with a tight fitting lid. Add onions and saute until golden. Add the potatoes, carrot, and chipotle and stir to coat. Let them cook over medium heat for a minute. Add water and bouillon cube and mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover, cooking for 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. If your corn is frozen, put it in a strainer and run lukewarm water over it until it has softened. Transfer all or half of the mixture to a blender (I transfer all but about 1 cup). Add half of the corn, soy milk, salt and lime juice and blend until smooth. Return to the pot and stir in basil and remaining corn. Add black pepper to taste. This comes from this great cookbook called Vegan Yum Yum.

S'mores Bars

TRUST me when I tell you these are better than you'd think. Quite a crowd favorite. For sure best when right out of the oven, and way better than you'd think for how easy they are. They are UN. BE. LIEVABLE.

1 pouch sugar cookie mix

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 cup butter or margarine, melted

1 bag chocolate chips

4 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, stir together cookie mix and crumbs. Stir in melted butter until soft dough forms. Press into ungreased 13x9-inch pan.
Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until set. Immediately sprinkle chocolate chips over crust. Let stand 3 to 5 minutes or until chocolate begins to melt. Spread chocolate evenly over crust.
Set oven control to broil. Sprinkle marshmallows over melted chocolate. Broil with top 4 to 5 inches from heat 20 to 30 seconds or until marshmallows are toasted. (Watch closely; marshmallows will brown quickly.) Cool 10 minutes. For bars, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows. Serve warm. Store any remaining bars tightly covered.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hamburger Ratatouille

Or as my daughter calls it: Ratatooty

You need:
1 lb ground beef
5 zucchinis, cut into 1 inch pieces
2 eggplants, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
2 red peppers, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 small white onion, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes, drained
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 bay leaves
1 tsp ground thyme
2 tsp dried basil
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In one pan, brown ground beef
In another larger pan heat up 3 tbsp olive oil. Brown eggplant and zucchini until crisp and lightly browned. (you may need to add extra olive oil, eggplant is a sponge!)

Remove eggplant and zucchini to a large mixing bowl. Add ground beef.

In same pan you used for the vegetables, add 2 tbsp olive oil and onions, garlic and red peppers. Saute until tender, about 5-6 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Add tomatoes and seasonings (salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, basil)to onions/garlic/peppers. Let simmer about 2 minutes.

Add to veggie-beef mix. Stir thoroughly.

Pour mix into 9x13 baking dish (rectangle)
Cover with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.

Make a tent with foil over the top of the casserole (so the cheese doesn't stick) bake covered at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove the cover, bake another 15 minutes.

Serve with rice.