Time to Cook!

Inspiration for wholesome weeknight & weekend cooking.

Posts tagged ‘weekday’

Here is a yummy, nutritious mini muffin that’s great for kids — serve with breakfast or as a snack.  The only change I made was to add some shredded zucchini to the original recipe.  Any extra muffins can be frozen to be gobbled up later.

Toddler Muffins

Recipe slightly adapted from one I discovered on  Erika Follanbee’s photography blog and originally posted on Allrecipes.com.

 

Toddler Muffins

Makes 24-30 mini muffins

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 large bananas, mashed
1 (4.5 ounce) jar baby food squash
2 carrots, grated

1 large zucchini, grated

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup oat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 24 mini muffin cups.
  2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas, squash, carrots, zucchini and eggs. Stir in the flour, oat bran, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until just combined. Spoon the batter equally into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake about 18 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5  minutes, run a knife around the edges to loosen them up, before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. Enjoy immediately, or they freeze beautifully!
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I’m always looking for new chicken recipes, so was excited when I found this one.  It’s super easy and tastes like “fresh”, flavorful Chinese food.  I’ve tried this with breasts (white meat) and thighs (dark meat) and liked both.  We serve with brown rice.  This was a hit with the entire family … I’ll be making this again and again.

Lemony Chicken Stir-Fry

Recipe from Food and Wine (contributed by Todd Porter and Diane Cu).

Lemony Chicken Stir-Fry

TOTAL TIME: 30 MIN
SERVINGS: 4

“Bright and lemony, this superfast chicken stir-fry makes an excellent weeknight dinner.”

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts or trimmed
thighs, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for seasoning
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon
finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 scallion, thinly sliced
Steamed rice, for serving

Directions:

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned all over, 3 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce and sesame oil, season with salt and pepper and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through, 3 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt, pepper and soy sauce. Transfer the chicken to a platter, top with the sliced scallion and serve with rice.

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I love this veggie — it’s healthy and tasty (almond coating adds a nutty taste to the vegetables) and each bite offers a different flavor: carrot, parsnip or sweet potato.  Note: you can grind the almonds in a mini prep processor or I have an extra coffee grinder that I dedicate to grinding nuts and spices only.  I double this recipe (you’re going to want more!) and roast on two baking sheets (you don’t want to crowd the veggies).

Root Vegetable Fries

Recipe from cookbook “The Little Paris Kitchen.”

Baked Vegetable Fries

Ingredients:

3 1/2 tablespoons ground almonds

2 tablespoons sunflower oil

salt and freshly ground pepper

1 sweet potato, cut into thin strips

1 parsnip, cut into thin strips

1 large carrot, cut into thin strips

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large bowl, mix together the ground almonds, oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and some pepper.  Toss the vegetables in the mix and then spread them out on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Bake for 30 minutes or until crisp, shaking the sheet halfway through.

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Certain foods are supposed to bring you good luck for the year if eaten on New Year’s Day — cabbage, black eyed peas, etc.  Here is my favorite cabbage recipe that I plan to make.  Cabbage is so good for you (high in lots of nutrients, filled with antioxidants, can lower bad cholesterol, and is very low in calories and fat) and inexpensive, but often gets a bad rap.  It does have a strong, funky smell when you cook it (that’s how I remembered it growing up) — and it can give you gas!  Just don’t eat like three servings in one sitting!  This cabbage recipe is awesome though – it’s fresh and delicious.  You will want more than one serving!  Great served with pork chops, pork tenderloin, or grilled sausages.  Note: I lowered the amount of salt in the recipe below.

Sauteed cabbage and leeks

Recipe from blog Simple Bites.

Sautéed Cabbage & Leeks with Apples

Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 whole leek
  • 1/2 green cabbage head
  • 1 large apple
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Prepare leeks by cleaning them, drying and chopping them into 1/2 inch rounds. Divide cabbage into two quarters, lay them on a flat, cut side and roughly chop them into chunks, avoiding the core. Separate the cabbage pieces slightly.
  2. Heat a 5 quart French oven or a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter and heat until butter is bubbling.
  3. Add leeks to melted butter and sauté for two minutes. Add the cabbage all at once and immediately stir thoroughly to coat the cabbage with butter. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Partially cover and cook on medium heat for about 7 minutes, stirring often, until cabbage has wilted significantly. During this time, quarter and core the apple and roughly dice.
  5. Add the apple to the cabbage as well as the apple cider vinegar. Sauté on medium heat for another three minutes, stirring often. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve hot.

Note: Chardonnay vinegar can be substituted for apple cider vinegar and the whole dish would be lovely with a sprinkling of caraway seeds sautéed in the mix.

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I don’t know about you, but I always seem to mess up rice!  I know it’s a simple thing to cook, but if you are off on something (size of the pot, amount of the water, level of heat, cooking time, etc.) you can be left with a sticky mess or burnt rice.  I’m so bad at cooking rice, that  lot of times I resort to (don’t tell!) Boil-in-a-bag Success Rice, but that’s not as good for you.  We are supposed to be eating slow-cooked foods — and choosing whole grains over white.  So, I was over-the-moon when I tried Gwyneth’s recipe for Perfectly Cooked Brown Rice.  Just like it promises, your rice will turn out beautifully and it does keep well in the fridge for a few days.

Perfectly Cooked Brown RicePerfectly Cooked Brown Rice

Recipe from Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook “It’s All Good

Makes 3 cups

1 cup short-grain brown rice

1 3/4 cup water

Coarse sea salt

Rinse the rice thoroughly in a fine-mesh strainer until the water runs clear.  Place it in a pot set over high heat with the water and a big pinch of salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot, and cook until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through, exactly 45 minutes.  Turn the heat off, place a dry paper towel between the pot and the lid, and let the rice sit for at least 5 minutes before giving it a fluff with a fork.

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For some reason, I craved this when I was pregnant with both of my boys and might have had it everyday as an afternoon snack.  It’s healthy and somewhat filling and super easy!  I call it a milkshake because it really does taste like one, but it’s just milk and banana!  I’ve newly discovered unsweetened almond milk, which is fun to use in smoothies or in oatmeal.  It has a slightly nutty taste and is very good for you (twice the calcium and half the calories of cow’s milk).

Banana Milkshake

Banana Milkshake

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (can use regular cow’s milk)

1 banana, cut into thirds

Directions:

Purée milk and banana in blender until smooth and drink immediately.

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