Archive for the ‘Food Fountain’ Category

My husband has been following the recipes in his Insanity workout booklet.  I have been trying some of them out myself, with an occasional tweak.  I found this stuffed tomato recipe to be pretty delicious just has it is, although I like eating just the tuna salad part.  I’m thinking of tweaking it a bit by chopping up the tomato to put in the salad part or on top as a flavorful garnish.  The following is the recipe and the nutritional breakdown:

  • 4 oz of water packed tuna (I have 5 oz cans of water packed tuna. When I drained out the water and weighed on my scale, it came out to about 3 oz.)
  • 1/4 cup of celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of red onion, chopped (I don’t see why you can’t use any onion you prefer, the red just looks pretty.)
  • 1 Tbsp. of reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. of Dijon mustard (Again, you could swap for a mustard of choice, adjust amount for taste.)
  • 1 large tomato, hollowed out (I simply sliced off the top, use the knife to severe the “meat” sections off the “wall” of the tomato, used my hand to wrench the “guts” out, used a spoon/melon baller/scoop to scrape a bit inside, and rinsed it out.)
  • 3 pieces of whole-grain Melba toast or 1/2 of a whole-grain English muffin

Combine the tuna, celery, onion, mayonnaise, and mustard in a bowl.  Scoop the tuna salad in to the hollowed out tomato.  Serve with the Melba toast or English muffin.

Nutritional breakdown:

  • 289 calories
  • 30 grams of protein
  • 21 grams of carbs
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 3.5 grams of fiber

As always, you can adjust a recipe to fit your needs.  If you don’t like tomatoes much, but still wanted the stuffed veggie concept, use a bell pepper! Not a fan of tuna? Swap it out for chopped chicken or turkey.  The celery could be changed out with chopped bell peppers or carrots.  I personally like the idea of adding some bell pepper to the current recipe, serve on the English muffin topped with chopped tomatoes and maybe a little parsley.  The recipe doesn’t call for salt and pepper, but we did at some pepper and pinch of salt.

I was just thinking this stuffed veggie concept would work great for a breakfast!  Take a small bell pepper, hollow out or half in 2 sections, length wise.  Stuff or top with scrambled eggs of choice… plain, cooked with other veggies, seasoned up, or with a meat.  Mmm…sounds so good right now!

Today was a complete off day when it comes to eating regular meals.  I awoke to a drizzly, misting spring day with a full sky of grey clouds.  I spent part of the morning just relaxing on my deck with my coffee.  Although drery looking, the day seemed beautiful.  When my hubby (Mr. Beefy) came home from the gym, he and I worked on the cat coop for outside for a few hours, but then my back started to stiffen up since the weather was getting wetter and colder.  I decided to go in the house to rest and he was able to work on the coop at this point on his own.

While I was dickering around the internet I glanced down at my desktop clock and noticed it was getting near supper time.  My silly butt forgot to get a meat out of the freezer to thaw for dinner!  My mind raced trying to think what to do…do I make Hamburger/Tuna Helper dinner? No, not very healthy and we had one 2 nights ago.  Dash to the grocery store with the last 20 bucks on my LINK card (state food assistance card) to get a meat? No…I want that for produce and Mr. Beefy needs more salad bags for his lunches.  Suddenly my brain went “Hey, stupid…what about that pork roast you took out of the freezer 3 days ago?”

DING! DING! BINGO!

I grabbed my glass roaster, plopped in the pork roast, toss on a can of garlic soup dinner starter from Campbell’s.  Opened up one can each of kernel corn, lima beans (yuk! but Mr. Beefy loves them), and sliced carrots.  Into the oven it went at 350 degrees for about an hour.  

I just made up some batter for Bisquick‘s biscuits using Heluva’s French onion dip.  I’m currently cooking it in small batches in my toaster oven. We’ll see how the first batch comes out.  I will probably finish off the batter in the oven shortly.

Welp, I need to go check on dinner.  Mr. Beefy just came in from the garage and announced to me that my “shit’s done”. LOL!  He wants help on finishing up the cat coop…the door needs to go on.

I call this salsa-pepper salad mix “Pepper Melody” and very versatile. My darling husband LOVES this mixture. I originally came up with it because I wanted to make mini-pizzas using whole wheat English muffins for the crust, but wanted healthier toppings besides the usual sausage and pepperoni.  I rarely eat pepper, olives, mushrooms, and onions on my pizzas. It’s largely because I’m a texture person…I don’t like how most people put on these large chunks of these toppings.  I like my minces or chopped finely.

Well, I got peppers (red and green), a can of minced olives, and small onion.  I chopped vegetables up small how I like it.  I then realized instead of individually putting each topping on my mini-pizzas, I could mix all these ingredients together first!  I instantly loved the way it looked, so bright and cheery.  It tasted extremely well. I think the olives really bring out and add to the flavors of peppers and onion.

A close-up of my Pepper Melody. A little blurry, sorry!

A close-up of my Pepper Melody. A little blurry, sorry!

 

While enjoying my mini-pizzas, I thought upon my Pepper Melody and came to the thought that it could be very versatile for many meals. My husband loves to put in his salads! It would work great for stir-fry, soups, tacos, salsa…anything your imagination takes you with it!

I know, I know…you want to know the base recipe right? Well, here it is!

  • 1 large green pepper
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1 small can of minced olives
  • 1 small (or half medium) onion

Just chop up the veggies and mix! Simple, right? Just a few minutes of your day!

Pepper Melody

Pepper Melody

Now sometimes you may end up with red peppers larger than the green (or vice versa ), this is okay! If your doubling, tripling, and so forth, the recipe just use less of the larger pepper…or all of it!

The best thing about this mixture is you can easily adjust to your tastes.  Add mushrooms, add yellow or orange peppers, swap an item for another! I suppose you could also season it, but I suggest tasting with different meals before you do.  Yes, can freeze this beautiful melody. I just did so today for the first time.

I made a HUGE batch of Pepper Melody today.  I originally brought:

  • 5 green peppers, normal sized (.69 a lb or $3.45)
  • 5 red peppers, large ($1 each, on sale)
  • 5 small onions (from 3 lb bag for 1.29, over a dozen in the bag)
  • 5 small tins of sliced olives (.88 each)

My husband helped me make it up today, because he was so eager to have some for his salad. (He actually looked at me with puppy eyes, side glancing at the peppers…LOL!). I had him put the olives in my manual food processor (from Pampered Chef) to mince up.  He did the same with the onions (faster and less tears!). I chopped up the peppers, which he jumped in helped with.  AS we chopped, we occasionally mixed up the mixture to decide if we had enough peppers in it. When we were done, we had 1 and half large red peppers left and 2 green peppers left, plus the “tops” of 7 of peppers. (I sliced off the tops and ripped out the guts like you would to make stuffed peppers.)

My husband used some immediately for his salad.  I decided to try my hand at making some mini-breakfast burritos. I had 4 packages of small tortilla shells (paid $2 for 4 after sale and doubled coupon). I used only package, the rest are in the freezer.  I scrambled up 6 eggs with ground black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.  I laid out the tortilla shells and using a large spoon I scooped on egg to 7 shells and a scoop of the Pepper Melody. I folded each like a burrito. I ended up ripping 3 shells, so had to toss those and use another from the open package.  I froze 6 of the burritos using wax paper first, then aluminum foil, then put into baggies with a name, date, and cooking instructions (350 in toaster oven for about 10-15 minutes). I cooked one burrito up right away to taste test. It tasted good, but really needed a meat, maybe sausage or bacon. (At least for my tastes.)

I ended up bagging 3 cups of the Pepper Melody to freeze and still had about 2 times that left over to eat for the week.  The left over peppers I had chopped in to big chunks about 1 inch. I mixed together and then bagged 6 cups of this pepper duo mix to freeze (2 cups per bag). I knew we wouldn’t eat them anytime soon and refused to let it go to waste.  I decided to freeze them in large chunks, because I can use them for stir-fry at later date. (

FYI: I date all my bags with the day I bagged them and the amount in the bag. I also freeze them laying flat at first in my small freezer, then transfer to my chest freezer later.  Always freeze your bagged foods flat to save on storage space…fruits, vegetables, soups, etc.  Once completely frozen you can stand on end in a basket or file away like magazines or books.

Please, enjoy my Pepper Melody! Make it your own!

 

I must warn you, this is not a very healthy recipe…so adjust if you want.

This was a poor person’s, extremely tight budget, make do with what’s in the house chili.  Every item in this meal I had in the house. I just tossed them together and hoped for the best.

ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground veal (gotten from local food pantry…free)
  • 1 lb of ground hamburger (part of a 5 lb roll I split up into freezer bags a few weeks back…about $9)
  • 2 cans of Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup (part of my coupon stock pile…about $70 each)
  • 1 can of chili beans (about .90 cents)
  • 1 can of pinto beans (about .90 cents)
  • 1 small can of mushroom pieces (about .50 cents)
  • half of a large onion (about $1 for the whole onion)
  • 2 large stalks of celery (about $1.80 for whole celery bunch)
  • Seasonings for flavoring (stuff I had on hand…spent about $1 each for the 5-6 I sprinkled from).

 

First started to brown up meats from frozen. I just set to low heat in the skillet, flipping and scrapping meat off as it thaws. I usually cover with a lid or cookie sheet to contain the heat in and let cook faster.  While the meat was cooking I dumped into a large pot my 2 cans of beans (drained of the liquid first) and 2 cans of soup (as is, no water).

I drained the mushrooms and tossed into my manual food processor (from Pampered Chef) and chopped up fine, and tossed into the bean and soup mix.  Next I whacked of big chunks of onion and put in my food processor to chop up fine…did the same with the celery. Tossed both celery and onion into the bean and soup mix.  I turned the heat on for this pot on low-medium heat and tossed in seasoning (chili powder, curry, dry mustard, garlic salt, and onion powder). I don’t add salt to my dishes until I taste it. I often leave it out when cooking with canned foods since they often have a lot of salt in the first place. In my house we add salt to individual dishes for personal preference.

After the meat is fully cooked I drained off any grease.  I use a strainer/colander in a Glad plastic bowl (let the grease get solid then scrape into the garbage later). Toss the meat in to the pot and stir in.  Do a taste test and see if you want more seasonings.  I tend to let my chilis and soups simmer for about 10 minutes before eating to let the flavors infuse together.

You could adjust this recipe to fit with whatever you have on hand.  Sausage only…have it!  Tomato paste or sauce only…go for it.  Garlic cloves…toss a couple in.  No celery, but got corn…toss it in.

My concoction made enough for us for a few meals. I happen to have frozen chicken hot dogs in the freezer (from food pantry) and hot dog buns leftover from a few days ago…easily make chili dogs.  I got hash browns, I could cook those up and toss chili on top…same with the 2 boxes of scalloped potatoes I have.  I could flesh the chili out with some corn & carrots to make it more of a “stew”.

Never be afraid to experiment with whatever is your cupboard…trust your test buds.

Last night my husband, Scott, decided to cook for around 10 o’clock P.M. because I said I was hungry. He can be so sweet at the strangest times (LOL).  He was so intent on this, he would not allow me in the kitchen to see what he cooked up.  It was very good, but I gave one suggestion on it to make it better and healthier; and he agreed with it.

Scott’s Corn Shrimp Stir Fry

ingredients:

  • 1 bag of frozen shrimp (medium-large size)
  • 1 can of sweet corn kernels
  • 1 small can of mushroom pieces
  • 2-3 sticks of celery
  • 1 hot dog (this was my suggestion change…remove it! Left that hot dog taste over all the flavors and not healthy).
  • Bit of butter (substitute with a healthy oil like canola or olive)
  • Seasoning of choice (onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, etc…your choice)

Thaw out the shrimp…we tend to just put in hot water or boil in a pot.  Chop or dice up the celery sticks.  Dice up the mushroom pieces in a food processor or leave as is (your choice).  If using hot dog…chop up in small pieces.

Use a wok or large skillet…heat it up and put in the oil or butter…about a tablespoon or so.  Toss in all ingredients, season it up, and cook until shrimp begins to brown.

Put on plate and enjoy.  Could make some rice to go with it, if want to.

 

My dish had the corn even browned like they had been grilled.  I will NOT be making it in the future with the hot dog.  It just overpowered the other flavors and made the dish unhealthy.  This is such a simple recipe it can be adjusted to individual tastes.  Use a sauce for flavor like teriakyi or substitute peas for the corn…pretty much whatever works best for you.  That is the beauty of home cooking…you can adjust recipes to suit your needs (baking may be the one exception…it’s more of science then just plain cooking).